I Had A Bad Day –Merkel Made It So

I had A Bad Day

Well , it was Memorial Day Eve in the US and I watched and heard the Memorial Day Concert carried by PBS.

It was something else to listen to the music and hear the stories of war heroes—yes the Second World War, Korea, Vietnam Nam , Iraq and Afghanistan . The raids over Japan —-Normandy etc.

The millions of Americans that made the ultimate sacrifice in Europe.

Then I read a story in the UK Telegraph newspaper about Pouting Merkel , the Chancellor of Germany, expressing the idea that she guesses Europe is now really on its own after a meeting with President Trump and the fact the people of the UK wanted to remain independent –i.e. Brexit.

You don’t say?

Tut, tut Madame Merkel ——because Trump wants all of the 27 NATO members , not just four , to pay their 2% of GDP for defence ( US spends 3.61%, Germany spends 1.19%) as they had all agreed to do , because he has legitimate concerns about the Paris Environmental Agreement ( you know many will not keep their promises) American is no longer reliable????

Are you serious ? Or have you had it too good for too long. Half in Russia’s pocket half not –that natural gas you know. Half in Turkey’s pocket, half not. The refugees you know.

You have a short memory . No , not World War Two, but much later the US coming to the rescue in Serbia when Europe failed to act decisively . Remember?

And what about if Russia attacked you tomorrow. Who , pray tell, would have to come to the rescue? You did nothing in Ukraine ! Serbia and little almost everywhere else.

So , if two very democratic countries , the UK and the US , disagree with you legitimately on an issue , is not that allowed in your world—-but doing deals with two questionable democracies is somehow ok ?

Obama was alright because he towed your line and did nothing —and got a Nobel Prize for it.

Bear me the hypocrisy !

New Canadaian Conservative Leader –Andrew Scheer

In a suspenseful vote over the weekend the Conservative Party of Canada elected Andrew Scheer of Saskatchewan as their new leader edging out Maixim Bernier for the top job. It was close . Scheer won with 50.95% of the vote.

And the Conservatives went for the safe candidate. Sheer is less classically conservative than Bernier, and hence likely more attractive to the Canadian voter , who remains clearly situated in the political middle. Some even call it the Canadian way. For example , it is suggested by some commentators that if Bernier had not opposed the supply side management system we now have in agriculture , he might have won . Ironically , with the NAFTA renegotiation about to start with the Americans this item may be one of the first items upon which Canada will have to compromise. Yes politics is strange. Or the art of the possible.

Additionally, Scheer is young, better still, looks young , has a young family, and therefore, is on that same image turf as our Junior Princeling. Don’t think he is into selfes as much, however. He knows his way around Parliament having been the youngest Speaker , and now the first former speaker to head a Federal Party. And he is likeable, a trait many Canadians have often thought was not particularly a characteristic of a Conservative leader. Oh, and very necessary —he is fluently bilingual—English and French that is.

Scheer tends to be socially conservative , a position that may not enhance his electability , especially on the abortion issue . Some necessary fudging here is inevitable , I suggest.

I would have preferred a more classically conservative candidate but that is dreaming in the Canadian context, unfortunately . But , Scheer is somewhat to the right of the Priceling on the carbon tax and immigration so I guess half a loaf is better than none.

Murray on Family and Religion Before The Congress

Hearing on the State of Social Capital in America 17 May 2017

Charles Murray
WH Brady Scholar American Enterprise Institute

Members of the Committee have before them the excellent report, “What We Do Together,” from the Social Capital Project, and the presence of Robert Putnam, who knows more about American social capital than anyone in the world. So what am I supposed to add?

I’ve decided to emphasize how complicated are the effects of the deterioration of social capital on human behavior. Statistics on the decline of marriage and of male labor force participation are important. But they tend to make the task of solving those problems sound too straightforward. Fewer people are getting married? Maybe that can be fixed, or at least ameliorated, by higher working-class wages so that people can more easily afford to get married. Males aren’t in the labor force? We need more and better job opportunities.

I am not saying such solutions would have no good effects. But the actual problems reach deeply into the ways that humans are socialized into institutions like marriage and the labor force. A good way to get a grip on those actual problems is Prof. Putnam’s book, Our Kids. The heart of that book consists of five accounts of real people and real families in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Orange County California, Big Bend Oregon, and Port Clinton Ohio. Those stories provide ammunition for Bernie Sanders and Charles Murray alike. We hear the voices of the unemployed whose manufacturing jobs were exported abroad—a real problem—and the voices of people who quit good jobs because they didn’t feel like working or who got fired because they showed up late, shirked their tasks, and got in fights with coworkers—another real problem. We hear stories of unmarried low-income parents who were fiercely devoted to their kids and of other parents who created children casually and walked away from them casually.

But if I had to pick one theme threaded throughout all of these superbly told stories, it is the many ways in which people behaved impulsively—throwing away real opportunities—andunrealistically, possessing great ambitions but oblivious to the steps required to get from point A to point B to point C to point D in life. The same theme appears in steroids in J.D. Vance’s best- selling memoir, Hillbilly Elegy. He describes an America that is still the land of opportunity; we know it is, because his parents and extended family squandered a prodigious number of opportunities. You read Vance’s account and keep saying to yourself, “Why are they behaving so self-destructively?”

It comes down to the age-old problem of getting people, especially young people, not to do things that are attractive in the short term but disastrous in the long term and, conversely, to do things that aren’t fun right now but that will open up rewards later in life. The problem is not confined to any socioeconomic class. The mental disorder known as adolescence afflicts rich and poor alike. And adolescence can extend a long time after people have left their teens. The most common way that the fortunate among us manage to get our priorities straight—or at least not irretrievably screw them up—is by being cocooned in the institutions that are the primary resources for generating social capital: a family consisting of married parents and active membership in a faith tradition.

I didn’t choose my phrasing lightly. I am not implying that single parents are incapable of filling this function—millions of them are striving heroically to do so—nor that children cannot grow up successfully if they don’t go to church. With regard to families, I am making an empirical statement: As a matter of statistical tendencies, biological children of married parents do much better on a wide variety of important life outcomes than children growing up in any other family structure, even after controlling for income, parental education, and ethnicity. With regard to religion, I am making an assertion about a resource that can lead people, adolescents and adults alike, to do the right thing even when the enticements to do the wrong thing are strong: a belief that God commands them to do the right thing. I am also invoking religion as a community of faith—a phrase that I borrow from, guess who, Robert Putnam. For its active members, a church is far more than a place that they to worship once a week. It is a form of community that socializes the children growing up in it in all sorts of informal ways, just as a family socializes children.

This is not a preface to a set of policy recommendations. I have none. Rather, I would argue that it is not a matter of ideology but empiricism to conclude that unless the traditional family and traditional communities of faith make a comeback, the declines in social capital that are already causing so much deterioration in our civic culture will continue and the problems will worsen. The solutions are unlikely to be political but cultural. We need a cultural Great Awakening akin to past religious Great Awakenings. How to bring about that needed cultural Great Awakening is a task above my pay grade.

One G7 Nation Has No Terrorist Problem

Leo Hohmann of the WND website writes :

President Trump proposed a temporary halt on refugee resettlement from six countries known to harbor Islamic terrorists, and the U.S. establishment went into convulsions, a level of hysteria not seen over any policy ever proposed by a modern-day president.

But in Japan there is no such debate about refugees. That’s because the Asian nation has a permanent ban on refugees from Muslim countries.

John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, referred to the lack of a problem with terrorism in Japan in an interview Friday on Fox News.

“This [G7 meeting] is being held in Sicily. The Italians are the hosts this year. And Sicily is one of the places in Southern Europe where so many of the refugees from North Africa come,” Bolton said.

“We’ve just seen an attack in Egypt this morning on a busload of Coptic Christians by Islamic terrorists. So, I think this issue of how to deal with terrorism and how to deal with the refugee so-called problem, how to work better together in light of the Manchester attack, really this is the time to be very realistic about the threats that everybody, with the exception of Japan, around that table is facing.”

The Brits are following 3,000 terror plots now in the wake of the Manchester attack. The United States has more than 900 active ISIS investigations in all 50 states, according to former FBI Director James Comey, stretching the FBI to its limits in trying to track all of the suspected jihadists.

Meanwhile the Japanese live in peace.

Terrorism is not happening in Poland, either.

Nor is it happening in Slovenia or Hungary.

All of these countries keep Islamic migrants out, and Hungary recently punctuated its policy by erecting a razor-wire fence along its southern border.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has scolded Japan repeatedly over the years, trying to get the country to accept refugees, mostly Muslim, from various countries. The Japanese have steadfastly refused.

In 2016, Japan granted refugee status to only 28 people out of 10,901 applicants. In other words, 99 percent of applications were rejected.

Of the few refugees that Japan has taken in, most are non-Muslims from Burma, and, even then, Japan requires them to go through an extensive, months-long training on Japanese culture.

Poland’s prime minister, Beata Szydlo, has also refused the constant pressure from the European Union for her country to accept its “quota” Muslim refugees from the Middle East and Africa.

“Poland will not submit to any blackmail on the part of the European Union,” Szydło stated during a parliamentary debate, adding that her Central European nation would not be participating in the “madness of the Brussels elites.”

Referencing the Islamic suicide bombing that killed 22, mainly children, and injured dozens more at a pop concert in Manchester this week, the Catholic prime minister said she had the courage to call out the EU’s political elites on their “folly.”

Two Polish citizens were among those killed in Monday night’s atrocity in Manchester.

“Where are you going, Europe? Get up off your knees. Get out of your lethargy. Otherwise you will be crying every day for your children,” she warned, stating that Poland had no intention of accepting Brussels-imposed migrants.

Yet, the leaders of the Western European and U.S. governments don’t seem to be able to look at what is going on around the world and draw the conclusions that are so obvious to Japan and Poland.

“There’s a direct link between Islamic immigration and terrorist attacks,” says Ann Corcoran, editor of the Refugee Resettlement Watch blog. “As we get more Muslim immigration, we’re going to get more terror attacks. It’s like a straight-line graph. Trump should invite the prime minister of Poland to the White House. It would send a message to the wimps in Europe, it would send a message to Americans that he really does believe what he originally said during the campaign.”

Only last week, the European Commission again warned Poland of “consequences” if it continued to refuse to take in migrants from camps in Italy and Greece, a decision the previous government was set to implement. Since Szydło’s Law and Justice Party came to power in October 2015, however, Poland has refused to resettle a single migrant, infuriating Brussels.

In 2015, the EU’s Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, discussed plans to open legal channels for the migration of a staggering 50 million migrants into Europe over the next several decades. Similar figures have previously been proposed in relation to immigration from Africa alone, with the stated goal of importing labor to make up for collapsing birth-rates across the continent.

Only days ago, a leaked German report revealed there were almost 7 million migrants ready to cross from North Africa and Turkey into Europe. Other estimates circulating put the number of those on the point of embarking on the journey in the tens of millions.

Corcoran pointed out in a recent post that the United Nations doesn’t seem to pester communist and Islamic countries that refuse to accept Muslim migrants.

“The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has been haranguing Japan for years to open its doors (and begin diluting their culture) to the masses of Middle Eastern and African (mostly Muslim) migrants on the move around the world,” Corcoran writes. “I have not seen the UNHCR harangue China, Saudi Arabia or some other Middle Eastern countries in the same way they nag Japan.”

The Conceptual Penis As A Social Construct

Mocking gender studies

By Mattt Ridley

Published on: Thursday, 25 May, 2017

A hoax shows how easy it is to fool peer review

The latest university prank is embarrassing to academia and hilarious for the rest of us. Philosophy professor Peter Boghossian and mathematician Dr James Lindsay made up a learned paper on the “conceptual penis” as a “gender-performative, highly fluid social construct” that is “the conceptual driver behind much of climate change”, stuffed it full of random jargon and fake references and then got it through peer review into an academic journal.

True, it was a low-grade, pay-to-publish journal of the kind that has proliferated recently as a money-making venture, but the authors were recommended to try that journal by a serious journal, and the peer review was genuine. As the authors have written of their own work: “We don’t understand it either. Nobody does. This problem should have rendered it unpublishable in all peer-reviewed, academic journals.”

This happened last year, too, when Professor Mark Carey published an even more absurd paper arguing that “a critical but overlooked aspect of the human dimensions of glaciers and global change research is the relationship between gender and glaciers” and introducing “feminist glaciology”. In that case, however, the professor continues to insist, against all evidence, that he was serious. Science magazine gave him a lengthy, softball interview to justify his work after it was laughed at on the internet. I still think he’s a joker in deep cover.

Neither paper would have been published if it had not fitted the prejudices of much of academia: leftist, postmodern, relativist, feminist and moralising. “The academy is overrun by left-wing zealots preaching dangerous nonsense,” says Boghossian. “They’ve taught students to turn off their rational minds and become moral crusaders.”

As a system of ensuring quality in research, peer review is in deep trouble. It allows established academics to defend their pet ideas and reward their chums. Its one-sided anonymity, in which the referee retains his anonymity but the author does not, could hardly be better designed to ensure cronyism.

Worse, as a recent report by Donna Laframboise, a Canadian investigative journalist, concluded: “A journal’s decision to publish a paper provides no assurance that its conclusions are sound . . . Fraudulent research makes it past gatekeepers at even the most prestigious journals. While science is supposed to be self-correcting, the process by which this occurs is haphazard and byzantine.”

Peer review’s flaws now allow people with an axe to grind to dismiss even the most rigorous and careful of science along with the nonsense. It’s time for science, and the softer social sciences in particular, to get their house in order.

Judical Stop Trump–Forget What The Supreme Court Has Already Said

by DAVID FRENCH May 25, 2017 6:18 PM National Review Website

Call it ‘Trumplaw.’

A strange madness is gripping the federal judiciary.

It is in the process of crafting a new standard of judicial review, one that does violence to existing precedent, good sense, and even national security for the sake of defeating Donald Trump.

We’ll call this new jurisprudence “Trumplaw,” and its latest victim is once again the so-called Trump travel ban. The perpetrator is the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

This afternoon, the Fourth Circuit upheld a nationwide injunction on Trump’s temporary halt on immigration from six majority-Muslim countries — each of which is either a state sponsor of terrorism (Sudan and Iran) or overrun with terrorist violence, with entire regions under jihadist control (Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Somalia).

Indeed, some of these countries no longer have a recognizably functional government.

Here is the essence of the court’s ruling: Trump’s campaign statements were so grotesque that they not only (1) hurt the feelings of a Muslim resident so much that he was granted standing to challenge an executive order that did not apply to him, but also (2) rendered an otherwise lawful executive order so damaging that the harm to the plaintiff’s feelings (and his wife’s possibly delayed entry into the United States) outweigh the government’s asserted national-security interest in pausing to reexamine foreign entry from hostile and war-torn countries.

Since Trumplaw is such a novel form of jurisprudence, it’s exceedingly hard to square with existing precedent. So, when existing precedent either doesn’t apply or cuts against the overriding demand to stop Trump, then it’s up to the court to yank that law out of context, misinterpret it, and then functionally rewrite it to reach the “right” result.

Take, for example, the Fourth Circuit’s reading of a Supreme Court case called Kleindienst v. Mandel.

In Mandel, a collection of scholars demanded that the U.S. grant a non-immigrant visa to Belgian Marxist journalist. The government had denied him entry under provisions of American law excluding those who advocated or published “the economic, international, and governmental doctrines of world communism.”

Make no mistake, the First Amendment protects the right to advocate or publish Marxist doctrines every bit as much as it protects the free exercise of the Islamic faith.

Yet the Supreme Court still ruled against the Belgian journalist:

We hold that, when the Executive exercises [its] power negatively on the basis of a facially legitimate and bona fide reason, the courts will neither look behind the exercise of that discretion, nor test it by balancing its justification against the First Amendment interests of those who seek personal communication with the applicant.

The meaning is clear. If the order is supported by legitimate and bona fide reasons on its face, you simply don’t go beyond the document. By that standard, the executive order is easily and clearly lawful.

On its face, the order asserts a legitimate and bona fide national-security justification.

On its face, the order isn’t remotely a Muslim ban.

On its face it doesn’t target the Muslim faith in any way, shape, or form.

On its face it describes exactly why each nation is included.

The Fourth Circuit, however, interpreted Mandel to argue that the Court looked only at the face of the document to determine whether its supporting reasons were legitimate, not whether they were “bona fide.” It could go “behind” the document to determine “good faith.”

Yet, as the dissent notes, this approach would have altered the outcome not only in Mandel itself, but also in other key Supreme Court cases.

Indeed, in those cases the Court expressly declined to look behind notices and documents to explore the subjective motivations of relevant government officials.

Judge Paul Niemeyer’s dissent is stinging, and correct:

In looking behind the face of the government’s action for facts to show the alleged bad faith, rather than looking for bad faith on the face of the executive action itself, the majority grants itself the power to conduct an extratextual search for evidence suggesting bad faith, which is exactly what three Supreme Court opinions have prohibited. Mandel, Fiallo, and Din have for decades been entirely clear that courts are not free to look behind these sorts of exercises of executive discretion in search of circumstantial evidence of alleged bad faith. The majority, now for the first time, rejects these holdings in favor of its politically desired outcome.

Trump can even change his mind — as he so plainly did — and not even his changed mind can be cleansed of its original sin.

Thus, we are left with a majority holding that a document that unquestionably does not exclude Muslims from the United States is the means of, you guessed it, excluding Muslims from the United States.

We are left with a majority holding that cements the idea that an otherwise lawful order is unlawful only because Donald Trump issued it.

We are further left with a majority holding that a court may — in its sole discretion — determine when campaign statements (or any other political statements, really) can affect the constitutionality of a government action and trump even the text of the document itself.

All this adds up to Trumplaw, the assertion by the federal judiciary of the legal authority to stop Trump.

But don’t think Trumplaw will end when Trump himself leaves office.

The principle is now established: When a judge doesn’t like a politician’s campaign statements, those statements can taint even actions that clearly contradict those statements.

In other words, Trump can even change his mind — as he so plainly did — and not even his changed mind can be cleansed of its original sin.

The sad reality is that this takes place in the aftermath of an event — the Manchester bombing — that demonstrates that one of the countries on the list, Libya, is in fact a hotbed of terrorist activity. The bomber traveled to Libya and allegedly had help there. He was a British citizen and not subject to the travel pause, but his journey illustrates the very real dangers of lawless regions gripped by jihad.

Is it unconstitutional to pause entry from that nation to make sure that we can properly vet and screen for ISIS sympathizers?

The Supreme Court has always said no. Today, the Fourth Circuit says yes.

Today, the Fourth Circuit has chosen to distort the law and risk our national security to stop Donald Trump. —

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, an attorney, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Lone Wolf —Really?

American Center for Law and Justice Website


The Entire Concept of a Lone Wolf Terrorist is Fake News

Matthew Clark wrote yesterday

Each and every time another dastardly jihadist terrorist attack is inflicted on the world, headlines emerge that the savagery was carried out by a “lone wolf” terrorist.

As a lawyer who deals in facts, the absurdity of this concept is beyond the pale. The mountain of evidence that has been amassed in the wake of dozens upon dozens of radical Islamic terrorist attacks points to one and only one conclusion – there is nothing lone about jihadist terrorism.

To be sure, there have been instances of lone wolf attacks – singular individuals who are carrying out their own deranged mass murder. The Unabomber and the Oklahoma City bombings (though even that was two individuals) come to mind. These were one-off acts of terror.

As I have written before, radical Islamic terrorism on the other hand is anything but.

Sometimes we get lost in the details of each attack. Did this particular terrorist go to a terrorist training camp and receive instructions from an Osama bin Laden-type leader of a specific named terrorist group to carry out a specified attack on a delineated target at an agreed upon time?

This is a pre-9/11 mentality that plagues our media, much of our government, and our collective understanding of the threat we face.

Sometimes the simplest facts are the ones that get overlooked the most. For example, Dabiq and Inspire magazines. Would a lone wolf terrorist have international magazines? Think about it. There are actual magazines put out by radical Islamic terrorist groups that call for precisely the kinds of attacks that we have witnessed: soft targets, large vehicles mowing people down, military targets, etc.

Would a lone wolf terrorist have an intricate network of social media platforms? Do lone wolf terrorists recruit new members? Do lone wolf terrorists have a caliphate?

The questions border on absurd. Of course not.

Further, jihadists are not “self-radicalized.” They are indoctrinated, inculcated, and brainwashed by radical Islam – many times on social media, by online magazines, or in many of the worst cases by terrorist leaders like Anwar al-Awlaki (even long after he was dispatched from this Earth). Reading Inspire magazine, being indoctrinated by the teachings of al-Awlaki, and pledging allegiance to ISIS or al Qaeda are not signs of self-radicalization. They are not the creation of lone wolfs.

Likewise, “ISIS inspired” is a deadly distraction from reality. It ignores the scores of direct calls upon followers of ISIS and adherents to radical Islam to take up the sword, to carry out very specific types of attacks on enumerated categories of targets. Each and every one of the recent attacks – Manchester, Paris, Nice, Orlando, San Bernardino, and on and on – were not merely inspired; they were ISIS directed.

Describing the post-9/11, asymmetrical, jihadist threat we face as individual lone wolfs is not just oversimplification; it’s obfuscation. It’s not true. It doesn’t match the facts. It isn’t reality. It’s fake news and should be treated as such.

It’s time for America to come to terms with the reality that radical Islamic terrorism – jihad – is a coordinated global cancer that must be rooted out.