To Tame Coronavirus, Mao-Style Social Control Blankets China

To Tame Coronavirus, Mao-Style Social Control Blankets China. By Raymond Zhong.

China has flooded cities and villages with battalions of neighborhood busybodies, uniformed volunteers and Communist Party representatives to carry out one of the biggest social control campaigns in history.

The goal: to keep hundreds of millions of people away from everyone but their closest kin. …

Residential lockdowns of varying strictness — from checkpoints at building entrances to hard limits on going outdoors — now cover at least 760 million people in China, or more than half the country’s population, according to a New York Times analysis of government announcements in provinces and major cities. Many of these people live far from the city of Wuhan, where the virus was first reported and which the government sealed off last month. …

China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, has called for an all-out “people’s war” to tame the outbreak. But the restrictions have prevented workers from returning to factories and businesses, straining China’s giant economy. And with local officials exercising such direct authority over people’s movements, it is no surprise that some have taken enforcement to extremes.

Holden killed by union greed and government blunders

Holden killed by union greed and government blunders, by Robert Gottliebsen.

For almost its entire life as a manufacturer of cars in Australia, General Motors operated its Australian plant under union control. Executives could not make decisions — even small ones – without union agreement.

Many areas of Australian manufacturing, mining and commercial building were the same. But in the last decade of the 1990s and extending into the current century, many tough executives emerged to change the Australian efficiency game. …

Economic conditions changed in the 1980s:

Meanwhile, … during the 1950s and 1960s when Holden cars were in short supply, General Motors executives gave in to unions regularly. Because GM Australian executives were moving on to other parts of the global GM group it was peace at any cost. And tariffs, a low currency and government subsidies insulated GM from the inefficiencies and crazy work rules. In addition the union was moderate and did not usually overuse its power.

But then that all started to unravel. Tariffs were slashed, the dollar floated, and governments became unhappy with subsidies. And the Coalition Canberra signed trade agreements that made it impossible to send Australian car parts to places like Thailand, thus so curbing Australian exports and hitting the local supply chain. But if subsidies were on the way out then the “work agreements from hell” had to end.

Ford:

Ford actually had a reasonable agreement but despite the writings on the wall, crazy Ford workers actually went on strike to get a similar “agreement from hell” to GMH. The Ford workers “won” but for both the foolish Ford managers and the workers, signing that agreement was their death warrant. Ford in Dearborn US responded by closing manufacturing in Australia.

Holden:

The CEO of General Motors in Australia in 2012 and 2013, Mike Devereux, and the executives around him knew that they had to regain control of plants and end that agreement from hell or General Motors would shut the plants. Unfortunately the workers and the unions preferred to lose their jobs rather than adopt modern work practices and return control of the shop floor to managers. Some older workers, particularly at the Elizabeth plant in South Australia, wanted their retrenchment pay. GM gave Devereux a deadline.

In the end, Devereux and his people got worker and union agreement but it was too late, because the deadline had passed. Back in Detroit, General Motors had decided to close the plants and would not budge. …

Toyota:

Toyota was more complex. The Japanese made a serious mistake in taking old-style, inflexible people from its Port Melbourne plant to the new plant in Altona. They foolishly signed an agreement, which gave vast areas of plant control to the unions …

The GM and Ford closures had made it was clear in Japan that Australian workers did not understand what was happening in the world. To Toyota’s way of thinking, there were lots of other countries where workers actually wanted well-paid employment.

However the case of Toyota the so-called “free trade” agreements that Australia signed had an even greater effect on Japanese executives.

The Japanese could not understand why we kept signing “free trade” agreements that were not free trade agreements at all.

John Howard signed the Thailand free trade agreement, which allowed free entry of Thai motor parts into Australia but whacked huge tariffs and other restrictions on exports of Australian motor parts and cars into Thailand.

The Thai trade agreement, plus the GM closure made it hard to get scale in the parts industry to justify continuing, even if Toyota could end their own agreement from hell.

Yet Toyota knew that with a modern labour agreement robots would have made Australian car making economic and made this nation a high technology leader in the region, with lots of well-paid, satisfying technology jobs for employees.

We only have ourselves to blame.

Every heavily unionized industry in Australia that has to compete with overseas industry has died. The construction industry and the public service are heavily unionized, but overseas competition is obviously minimal in those areas.

Clearly, the influence of Australian unions makes any industry non-competitive and eventually kills it. Our unions are a little too successful for their long term good.

The reality of the lizard people

The reality of the lizard people, by Eric Ramond (esr). This seems absurd at first, until you realize its actually a serious complaint in a ridiculous wrapper. The crazy lizard story provides the cover for a darker truth.

One of the loonier and more wonderful conspiracy theories floating around the Internet is it many of the world’s elite are shapeshifting lizardoid extraterrestrials. This explainer seems to sum it up pretty well.

When I first encountered this idea I was gobsmacked. How could anyone actually believe such a thing? And yet, apparently, many people do — millions of them, if polls on the topic are to be believed. …

What is it about their experience of reality that believers in lizard people are coding in this cheesy [science-fictiony] imagery? What are they actually trying to talk about?

The answer came to me almost immediately once I managed to formulate the question. That was the moment at which I realized that, barring one unimportant detail, lizard-people theory is actually true.

The unimportant detail is the part about the lizard people being actual extraterrestrials. But let’s look at the rest of it. The believer says: Our elites behave as though they are heavily infiltrated by beings hostile to the interests of ordinary humans. They hide behind a mask of humanity but they have alien minds. They are predators and exploiters, cunning at hiding their nature — but sometimes the mask slips.

Nothing about this is in any way wrong, once you realize that “lizard” is code for “sociopath”. Sociopaths do, differentially, seek power over others, and are rather good at getting it. The few studies that have dared to look have found they are concentrated in political and business elites where drive and ruthlessness are rewarded.

“Lizard” is actually a rather clever code, if you happen to know your evolutionary neuroanatomy. Oversimplifying a little, humans have an exceptionally elaborate neocortex wrapped around a monkey brain wrapped around a lizard brain. The neocortex does what we are pleased to consider higher cognitive functions, the monkey brain does emotions and social behavior, and the lizard brain does territoriality/aggression/dominance.

What is wrong with sociopaths (and psychopaths – these categories are not clearly distinguished) is not entirely clear, but it is certain that their ability to experience emotions is damaged. The monkey brain is compromised; sociopaths live more in their lizard brain and display a lizard-like ability to go from flat affect to aggressive violence and back again in two blinks of an eye.

So, yeah, aliens. We have a live conspiracy theory because a lot of people can sense the alienness in their sociopathic/psychopathic bosses and politicians — and sometimes the mask slips. Not having any grasp of the language of abnormal psychology, they reach for the nearest metaphor handy. …

Since explaining this to some of my friends, I’ve taken to using the term “lizard people” when I mean sociopaths, the uncaring predatory monsters who reveal themselves by seeking domination over others.

Often when looking at the behavior of the elites — over many different areas — we come to the same question: are they evil or stupid? Surely they cannot be that deliberately ignorant, so they must be evil. But us normal people are rarely evil for long, and in any case some other people go along with it, so they can’t really be evil. So they must just be stupid. But you cannot rise to those positions being that stupid. Hmmm, what’s going on?

The answer could be just that they they are lizard people. Contrary to everyone’s assumption, many of the elite simply don’t care in the slightest for the rest of us. Because they aren’t normal, like us. They just do what’s good for them. So they are evil, not stupid.

UPDATE:

The Golden Age of White Collar Crime

The Golden Age of White Collar Crime, by Michael Hobbes.

Over the last two years, nearly every institution of American life has taken on the unmistakable stench of moral rot. Corporate behemoths like Boeing and Wells Fargo have traded blue-chip credibility for white-collar callousness. Elite universities are selling admission spots to the highest Hollywood bidder. Silicon Valley unicorns have revealed themselves as long cons (Theranos), venture-capital cremation devices (Uber, WeWork) or straightforward comic book supervillains (Facebook). …

From the blackouts in California to the bloated bonuses on Wall Street to the entire biography of Jeffrey Epstein, it is impossible to look around the country and not get the feeling that elites are slowly looting it. …

And why wouldn’t they? The criminal justice system has given up all pretense that the crimes of the wealthy are worth taking seriously. In January 2019, white-collar prosecutions fell to their lowest level since researchers started tracking them in 1998. Even within the dwindling number of prosecutions, most are cases against low-level con artists and small-fry financial schemes. …

Country-club nepotism and Gilded Age avarice are nothing new in America, of course. But the rich are enjoying a golden age of impunity unprecedented in modern history. …

Elite deviance has become the dark matter of American life, the invisible force around which the country’s most powerful legal and political systems have set their orbit. … Epstein’s dinner party guest lists included Harvard professors, billionaire philanthropists and members of political dynasties in at least two countries. …

Tax evasion, to pick just one crime concentrated among the wealthy, already siphons up to 10,000 times more money out of the U.S. economy every year than bank robberies. In 2017, researchers estimated that fraud by America’s largest corporations cost Americans up to $360 billion annually between 1996 and 2004. That’s roughly two decades’ worth of street crime every single year. …

Legal enforcement for the elite and white collar crime has been wound back to the point where it’s just an ineffective show pony:

An entrenched, unfettered class of superpredators is wreaking havoc on American society. And in the process, they’ve broken the only systems capable of stopping them. …

After the Enron-led avalanche of corporate bankruptcies in the early 2000s, Congress gave the SEC enough funding to hire 200 new auditing staff. At the same time, however, lawmakers obligated the agency to review the filings of every publicly traded U.S. financial firm every three years — a mandate far larger than the agency’s new staffing levels. Then, after the financial crisis, it happened again: The Dodd-Frank act tasked the SEC with monitoring even more companies and trillions of new assets while increasing its enforcement staff by less than 10 percent.

This cycle has left America’s regulators with no choice but to engage in an increasingly desperate pantomime of white-collar law enforcement. On the outside, they report impressive performance statistics to avoid even more budget cuts. Behind the scenes, they’ve retreated to investigating only the defendants they know are guilty and the crimes they know where to find.

The primary beneficiaries of this shift are American elites. Rich people generate mountains of financial data. Millionaires can have over 100 bank accounts; billionaires’ tax returns run to 800 pages long. For people who earn most of their income from working (i.e. almost everyone), the IRS has an automatic system that compares individuals’ reports to the records submitted by their employers and banks. For the wealthy, who make much of their income from interest and investments, the agency has nothing to compare their reports against. The only way to tell if a rich person is cheating on their taxes is to sit down and go through them line by line.

“Let’s say you get a tip that some billionaire is hiding a bunch of money offshore and not paying taxes on it,” said Arthur VanDesande, who spent 25 years as a criminal investigator for the IRS. “And you manage to narrow the tax evasion down to 20 of his bank accounts. OK, now you have to prepare 20 subpoenas, get them signed by a judge and deliver them to the banks. But when you go to Bank of America, they say, ‘We don’t accept subpoenas at this location, you have to go to our authorized representative in Orlando.’ So then you go to Orlando and and you find out the money is linked to an offshore account. So then you have to write to the embassy…’” …

Contrary to the “Catch Me If You Can” myth, Albertson said, solving financial crimes is not a cat-and-mouse game between cunning investigators and slippery con artists. Most of the time it is simply the blunt application of resources to a series of unimaginably tedious tasks.

Even though auditing millionaires and billionaires is one of the most cost-effective government activities imaginable — an independent report estimated in 2014 that it yielded up to $4,545 in recovered revenue per hour of staff time — the IRS investigated the returns of just 3 percent of American millionaires in 2017.  …

Helen Richmond, a paralegal in a white-collar prosecutor’s office (that’s not her real name), said most of the defendants her office pursues are “either dumb or unlucky.” She’s worked on cases against money launderers who named stolen items on their wire transfers and fraudsters who sent emails with recipe-like details of their schemes. Criminals with even a scrap of sophistication, Richmond said, mostly avoid detection. …

The all-consuming yet unstated goal of every regulation agency in America: Make yourself look more powerful than you are. The best way to do this is to focus on the cases that will yield the maximum deterrence for the lowest cost. …

The IRS has explicitly instructed agents to prioritize cases likely to generate headlines. (Ever wonder why so many B-list celebrities get busted for tax evasion?). Federal investigators go after media punching bags like Martin Shkreli, Martha Stewart and Fyre Festival scammer Billy McFarland to make the public think criminal prosecutions are routine. They’re not: In a case-by-case analysis of the 216 alleged large-scale corporate frauds discovered between 1996 and 2004, researchers found that the media uncovered twice as many as the SEC. …

Richmond, the paralegal, tells me federal and state prosecutors have been playing hot potato with one of her cases for months because they can’t justify an expensive prosecution for a fraud that adds up to the low six digits. “It felt personal,’” [Lewis Winters, an SEC examiner] said. “Why did I spend three months examining this guy if enforcement just goes, ‘meh’?” …

The system is wide-open to being played by those who can afford enough lawyering:

Eventually, after a five-year investigation, Enron … former CEO Jeffrey Skilling … got 24 years in prison. At the time, it was one of the longest white-collar sentences in U.S. history. Prosecutors called it a victory. Skilling’s lawyers called it just the beginning. As soon as the nation turned its attention elsewhere, Skilling’s lawyers began quietly dismantling his sentence. They filed appeals objecting to the statutes used to convict him, the trial’s Houston location and the questionnaires filled out by potential jurors. In 2013, citing the “extraordinary resources” it had spent prosecuting and defending Skilling’s conviction, the Department of Justice agreed to cut ten years off Skilling’s sentence if he promised not to file any more appeals. He was released in February 2019 after serving less than half his original sentence. …

Nearly every high-profile corporate scandal has the same overlooked epilogue. The wealthy have always attempted to spend their way to lighter sentences, but in the last two decades, the American judicial system has become increasingly willing to let them. …

An overworked enforcement system loosens the rules to reduce its workload:

“We’ve seen a concerted effort to define deviance downward,” said Paul Leighton, a professor at Eastern Michigan University and the co-author of “The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison.” “We’ve made felonies into misdemeanors, misdemeanors into torts and torts into regulatory offenses.”

Think of a mechanic telling you that your perfectly functional transmission is busted, then telling you it will cost $2,000 to fix it. He hasn’t defrauded you exactly — he really will replace your transmission — but he used his position of authority to scam you into paying for something you didn’t need. …

But over the last three decades, the Supreme Court has taken the [law on honest services fraud] apart piece by piece. … From now on, the lying mechanic is breaking the law only if someone else is paying him to scam you. …

Wealthy defendants win cases by arguing that fraud statutes and insider trading rules are poorly written. They are. But so are the rest of the laws. (Numerous state anti-gang statutes, for example, define “gang” so imprecisely that they could apply to most sororities.) The only difference is that white-collar defendants have the ability to dispute every step of the process used to convict them — and a judicial system all too happy to oblige.

White color crime is too often only subtly different from normal activity:

The near-impossibility of establishing white-collar defendants’ motives combines with the high standard of reasonable doubt to create a paradox. Most Americans have a visceral aversion to greedy executives in general. Introduce them to a single banker and a specific crime, however, and their moral outrage often melts away. As Sam Buell, a Duke University law professor, told me: “Put people on a jury and they’ll say, ‘Gee, it seems like this guy was doing his job, so I don’t think it was a crime.’” …

And this is it, the Rosetta Stone … American law is incapable of prosecuting crimes in which elites use their legitimate power for nefarious ends.

“The way businesses harm people is the same way they interact with them normally,” Albertson said. Banks collect debts and foreclose on homes every day. Banks give out home loans every day. When they entice customers into unaffordable mortgages or foreclose on borrowers tricked into signing loans they can’t afford, the courts can’t tell the difference. …

Plausible deniability:

What self-checkout kiosks [at supermarkets] provide, researchers have found, is plausible deniability. If a security guard spots you slipping a pack of Tic-Tacs into your pocket, there’s no way to cast yourself as anything but a thief. If he catches you keying in a $10 bag of trail mix as a $2 bag of lentils, you can call it a mistake– oops, I must have typed in the wrong code! Perpetrators, especially middle-class white ones, know that if they get caught, everyone from the store manager to a small-claims court judge is likely to give them the benefit of the doubt. Self-checkouts turn shoppers into shoplifters by providing them with an opportunity to steal and a ready-made excuse to get away with it. …

Super-predators never admit guilt:

Larkin, the Manhattan prosecutor, said that when she used to prosecute murderers, they would strike a plea deal and then immediately open up — here’s why I stabbed him, here’s where I hid the knife. Once she switched to elite criminals, she was floored by their utter refusal to take responsibility. “They minimize and make excuses,” she said. “They believe in their own brilliance. They keep saying what they did wasn’t really wrong.” …

More surveillance is the only thing that works:

Criminologists have consistently found that increasing the likelihood of punishment works better than increasing its severity. …

“If you follow a company over its life cycle, studies have found that most of them engage in some kind of lawbreaking and almost all of them reoffend,” said Sally Simpson, a University of Maryland professor and the author of “Understanding White-Collar Crime: An Opportunity Perspective.” “The way you get deterrence is by showing them they’re being watched.”

Read it all.

The Balloon Heads of Modern US Politics

The Balloon Heads of Modern US Politics, by the Z-Man.

One of the unremarked aspects of the current age is that we seem to be experiencing exaggerated versions of various types in the managerial society. For example, Pete Buttigieg is an exaggerated version of the managerial class striver. He is entirely without accomplishments, but festooned with participation medals. Trump is the exaggerated, almost cartoonish, version of the populist resistance. He’s the picaresque populist fighting the system, but all of the dials are turned to eleven.

Michael Bloomberg is turning out to be another wildly drawn version of types that have come to associate with the managerial state. The most obvious being the scheming middle-man, who produces nothing, but is highly skilled at inserting himself into transactions where he can extract a fee. Bloomberg became one of the richest men on the planet by gaining a lock on the flow of data to the financial world. This allowed him to, in effect, tax every transaction, despite having no direct role.

He is he exemplar of the new, post-industrial economy. Instead of inventing something or building something, he schemed to gain control of the flow of information, which allowed him to operate as a tax farmer, of sorts. Silicon Valley operates much the same way now. They don’t produce anything of value to us, but instead skim from the economy in various ways. Big finance is also just a massive skimming operation. Bloomberg is the extreme version of the new economic man. …

This is current year America. The public stage is populated with cartoon figures, who have little bodies and massive balloon heads. Their bodies are the sum of their contributions to society, while their heads are the wildly exaggerated stereotype of the managerial age. Over-The-Top Jewish Oligarch has been called in to stop Unfrozen Bolshevik Caveman from winning the nomination, because Gay Managerial Man and Screeching Old Harpy are not up to the job.

Real-life Iron Man? Sheikh Hamdan

Real-life Iron Man? Sheikh Hamdan. By Thomas Shambler.

Dubai’s Jetmen have made history once again: this time for the first 100% autonomous human flight (with vertical takeoff). …

Vice Reffet travelled over 100-metres in the first 8-seconds of the flight, reaching a height of 1,800-metres at the end of the 3-minute flight.

The latest mission … was the first time the pilots have taken off vertically. Typically, as in the last Jetman mission – over China’s Tianmen Mountains – the Jetmen must jump out of a helicopter before engaging their engines. …

The Jetman can reach speeds of more than 260kph — and travel for around 55 kilometres.

Andrew Sabisky: No 10 adviser resigns over telling the truth seven years ago in a comment on a blog

Andrew Sabisky: No 10 adviser resigns over telling the truth seven years ago in a comment on a blog. Steve Sailer tells it best:

Tory Prime Minister Boris Johnson employs an advisor, Dominic Cummings, who actually is really smart.

Cummings recently advertised on his blog for, …

“we’re hiring data scientists, project managers, policy experts, assorted weirdos… We want to hire an unusual set of people with different skills and backgrounds to work in Downing Street with the best officials, some as spads and perhaps some as officials.” …

Picture credit: BBC

So one of the weirdos hired was Andrew Sabisky, a 27 year old Anglican and super-forecaster. Lots of Sabisky’s old random web comments are being scrutinized, with everybody acting shocked, shocked. …

Sabisky’s crime against PC:

He’s being dragged for having submitted a comment in 2014 (when he was about 21) to somebody else’s blog that asked for an explanation of why:

“There are large differences in disabilities — or at least in disabilities treated in school — between black and white students. … Black students are shockingly more likely to receive services for “Emotional Disturbance” or “Intellectual Disability.”

Sabisky helpfully explained what has been Settled Science since Arthur Jensen’s 1969 Harvard Education Review article:

“If the mean black American IQ is (best estimate based on a century’s worth of data) around 85, as compared to a mean white American IQ of 100, then if IQ is normally distributed (which it is), you will see a far greater percentage of blacks than whites in the range of IQs 75 or below, at which point we are close to the typical boundary for mild mental retardation. Typically criminals with IQs below 70 cannot be executed in the USA, I believe.

“That parsimoniously explains the greater diagnostic rates for blacks when it comes to “Intellectual disability”. It simply a consequence of the normal distribution of cognitive ability, because there are significant differences in the group means.”

The background:

In the mid-1960s, Jensen, a top professor of educational psychology at Berkeley, was asked to look into a mystery besetting a local school: most of the white children who were declared to be suffering from intellectual disability because they had IQs below 70 were visibly suffering from Down Syndrome or some other Funny Looking Kid problem and were seen as retarded by their classmates on the playground. On the other hand, a much larger fraction of the black students scoring below 70 were normal-looking and socialized fine on the playground. What was wrong with the IQ test?

After intensive research, Jensen finally came to the conclusion that the IQ tests were fine: they predicted the future equally accurately for both whites and blacks. The cause was that whites and blacks had a difference in average of IQ of about one standard deviation (15 points), so 70 was two standard deviations below the white mean (2nd percentile) but only one standard deviation below the black mean (16th percentile).

As Linda Gottfredson explained in a 2002 article I wrote about the Supreme Court’s decision banning the death penalty for murderers with IQs below about 70:

“The researchers said that the majority of low IQ individuals do not suffer from medical problems such as Down’s Syndrome. Gottfredson noted, “About 75 percent-80 percent of mental retardation is called ‘familial,’ because it mostly just represents the unlucky combinations of genes that are passed in the normal manner from parents to children. Only a small proportion of mental retardation is due to organic problems, such as chromosomal abnormalities or brain damage. This is just like height. Most very short people are perfectly normal.”

“The stereotype that most low IQ children are what obstetricians often callously refer to in their notes as FLKs – “Funny Looking Kids” is not true. Elite members of American society tend not to realize this because when an extremely high-IQ person, such as a Supreme Court justice, has a retarded child, it’s generally due to organic causes.”

Andrew Sabisky: No 10 adviser resigns over alleged race comments. By the BBC.

Downing Street has said its adviser Andrew Sabisky has resigned, following criticism of alleged past remarks on pregnancies, eugenics and race.

Labour had called for Mr Sabisky to go for reportedly saying black people had lower average IQs than white people.

He is also alleged to have said compulsory contraception could prevent “creating a permanent underclass”.

Mr Sabisky tweeted: “I wanted to help the government not be a distraction… accordingly I’ve decided to resign.”

“I know this will disappoint a lot of people but I signed up to do real work, not be in the middle of a giant character assassination,” it continued.

“If I can’t do the work properly there’s no point, and I have a lot of other things to do with my life.”

Government is only for dim toadies who follow the PC line, like at the BBC. Rule Britannia, the genius of the enlightenment, and the brilliant Britain that launched the industrial revolution are but a receding dream.

New calls for No10 to sack ‘weirdo’ advisor Andrew Sabisky, 27, who claimed black people are mentally inferior and advocated forcing ‘underclass’ to use contraception to boost society’s overall IQs. By Joe Middleton.

Boris Johnson was today facing fresh calls to sack Dominic Cumming’s controversial new aide who previously claimed that black people are mentally inferior.

Andrew Sabisky, a self-described ‘super-forecaster’, answered Number 10’s call for ‘weirdos and misfits’ but has prompted fury with his extreme views. …

How f***ing dumb is this ‘super-forecaster,’ a source hitting out at the new hiring told Buzzfeed. …

His position at the heart of government has sparked such fury in Westminster that ministers are prepared to boycott meetings with Mr Sabisky and stonewall all communication. …

The Cambridge graduate, who is a government contractor rather than a fully-fledged SpAd, has deleted several tweets, including one dismissing female Labour politicians Yvette Cooper, Angela Rayner and Rebecca Long Bailey as ‘dim’.

In another tweet, Mr Sabisky said: ‘I am always straight up in saying that women’s sport is more comparable to the Paralympics than it is to men’s.’

Reader Phillip Barton:

What makes it worse is that the real pressure for him to go came from within the government. Boris is not going to be any sort of answer; he was just the marginally better option than Corbyn.

Truth can get you into a lot of trouble these days.

On the one side, Sabisky is alluding to the century of research on black-white IQ difference, the most studied question in all of social research. There’s not just the usual sample size of a few hundred or thousands, but millions — including everyone ever  in the US armed forces (who have learned not to admit people with IQs less than 85, because they are too dangerous to their own side). Sabisky quoted a prominent and leading researcher.

It’s way beyond equivocal that the average IQ of blacks (sub-Saharan Afriacns) is less than the average IQ of whites. It’s a property of groups, just like height or melanin content. People didn’t want to believe the results, so the testing has been redone and redone. But the statistics are undeniable. Or at least they would be in a rational world.

On the other side, the PC crowd have no evidence, just assertions. No evidence offered, whatsoever. They shout him down and get him sacked. This is the sort of nonsense that gives the PC religion a bad name. Meanwhile the PC left claim the mantle of “science”. “Government funded science” perhaps, which is fast becoming an oxymoron — because only religiously-correct results can be admitted.

Here’s another seeker of the truth getting into political trouble from those who believe one can choose what is true (as easily as choosing your gender!):

Good bye Richard.

The Antidiscrimination Tyranny

The Antidiscrimination Tyranny, by R.R. Reno.

I read The Age of Entitlement in one sitting, unable to put down Christopher Caldwell’s riveting account of the last fifty years of American politics and culture…

By Caldwell’s account, we now live under a new constitution, significantly different from the one that preceded it. …

A “civil rights ideology” has inspired a government-­led project of social transformation. In ways few anticipated when Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the legal mechanisms developed to end Jim Crow are now used to fight discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, and soon, if activists have their way, gender identity.

The range of application is unlimited. The civil rights legal infrastructure puts immigration policy under judicial review, along with other executive branch policies that can be seen as having a discriminatory effect. …

The most dramatic cultural consequence has been the functional prohibition of majoritarian views.

Gay marriage:

A decade ago, same-sex marriage proponents said, “If you don’t like gay marriage then don’t get gay married.” The riposte implied that the institution of marriage would not be harmed by the innovation of gay marriage. Perhaps gay marriage proponents believed this, but it was never realistic, for the logic of antidiscrimination prohibits public endorsement of male-female marriage.

If I observe that children flourish best when raised by a mother and a father, I imply that the mother-father household should be the norm for society. I also imply that gay marriage, if tolerated, should be marginal, which is to say abnormal. But this is precisely the condition the antidiscrimination regime seeks to prevent, which is why Mark Regnerus is denounced as “anti-gay” when he publishes social-scientific evidence backing up the claim that children do best with a mother and father.

The new America cannot tolerate free speech:

Here, as elsewhere, the speech of private citizens is monitored by political correctness, the cultural-­enforcement arm of the antidiscrimination regime. …

Caldwell’s account helps me see that placing antidiscrimination at the center of our social compact fifty years ago was a mistake. …

Kill the successful people:

In 2017, Amy Wax coauthored an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer that commended bourgeois values: Get and stay married, work hard, don’t get hooked on drugs or alcohol, stay out of jail, and respect authority.

She was immediately accused of racism for “privileging” a certain cultural script. Commending bourgeois values is “white supremacist discourse.” Student and faculty groups have tried to get her fired. These denunciations are not accidental to the antidiscrimination regime. They follow directly from the urgency of inclusion. Any “privileged” script is by definition discriminatory, because it judges alternatives less worthy of public commendation. Therefore, the “privilege” must be eliminated, along with those who commend it. …

The left, as usual, is at war with reality:

It was inevitable that the antidiscrimination project would run up against human nature. Male-female differences keep reasserting themselves, subverting the project of equality between the sexes, and many parents still have a healthy desire to shepherd their children toward normal male-female sentiments, though it runs afoul of gay rights. …

The all-or-nothing character of civil rights, as well as the intense moral meaning assigned to them, exacerbates rather than moderates the social tensions that arise in a pluralistic society. It encourages us to interpret personal setbacks as consequences of discrimination. … Recourse to litigation means we have no incentives to learn how to live together. The centrality of civil rights also has encouraged a relentless emphasis on discrimination …

What we share is by definition majoritarian or “normal,” and any dynamic of social consolidation places what is not normal on the margins of the social compact. In brief: Coming together as a nation will invariably be cast as an act of discrimination. I have experienced exactly this dynamic. Whenever I speak about our need for solidarity, I am accused of promoting a dangerous “ethno-nationalism.” The response is so predictable it’s hard to take seriously — yet I still feel its coerciveness. …

If there is no center, nobody will be marginalized. …

The more disintegrated we are — the less defined we are by any “center” — the more fully everyone will be included….

The dream is that America won’t have a dominant culture, which means (progressives imagine) nobody will be dominated. …

Politically correct nonsense is a disease of the elite:

Resistance to renewed solidarity does not come from the slums of Baltimore or the Spanish-speaking neighborhoods of Miami. It comes from the very rich, mostly white Americans who are perched at the top of society. …

Caldwell adduces a revealing statistic about wealth inequality: “The share of wealth held by the top 1 percent of American households, which reached its lowest level in recorded history in 1978 (23 percent), had nearly doubled (to 42 percent) by 2013, a generation later.” Most of us are aware that we are living in a new Gilded Age.

Caldwell makes a further observation: Very rich people constitute a minority who are as vulnerable as black Americans. … The wealthy [… are] at risk of being relieved of their wealth, as populists remind them.

Therefore, the richest and most powerful people in America have strong incentives to support an anti-majoritarian political system..

Organizing society around the antidiscrimination imperative allows those who have prospered over the last generation to redescribe the populist revolts against their indifference and arrogance as expressions of racism or other forms of bigotry, rather than as what they are — ­expressions of popular discontent with elite priorities during the last two generations. …

It was never noted in or supported by the majority:

Caldwell details how the antidiscrimination regime, though established by legislative acts in the 1960s, has been built out with judicial decisions and executive orders. He makes the mordant observation that Barack Obama’s political career was “built at the intersection of billionaire finance and community-based race activism.” Wealthy individuals shovel donations into elite institutions that incubate identity politics, which further fragments the nation and prevents the formation of majorities. …

Caldwell’s insight into the vulnerability of the wealthy minority explains why the party of the rich throws itself into the cause of transgender rights. It is the ultimate upper-class project, a test of the elite’s power to cow every local school board, reluctant company, and red-state governor. …

Voters want their leaders to prevent their communities from being hollowed out by globalization. They are tired of being told that affirming what we share as Americans is racist, or that normal sentiments about men and women are sexist. Most of all, they don’t trust the prosperous “creative class” to have their interests at heart.

Read it all.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Reality versus Political Correctness: It’s all been Done Before. Confessions of a Nobel-Prize-winning Feminist and Communist

Reality versus Political Correctness: It’s all been Done Before. Confessions of a Nobel-Prize-winning Feminist and Communist. By Doris Lessing, via blogger Neo. Doris Lessing was a prolific British novelist, a committed communist, and lifelong feminist, who died in 2013. But, she had a load of talent and thought for herself.

Here is some of what she said in an interview in 1997:

Lessing: Capitalism was dead [postwar 40s and 50s in England]. It was done and finished. And the future was socialist or communist. We were going to have justice, equality, fair pay for women, cripples, blacks — everything, in a very short time. This nonsense was believed by extremely intelligent people.

Question: You call these beliefs a kind of mass hypnosis.

Lessing: I call it mass psychopathology. Because what we believed was rubbish. It had absolutely nothing to do with what was going on in the world.

Question: But it was such a heady kind of belief, wasn’t it? Was it truly all rubbish?

Lessing: Look, most of it was rubbish. But it had an enormous emotional charge behind it, which meant that people could achieve more if they believed this kind of thing. You know, if you are fueled by this pure belief, amazing things get done.

Question: You write about all of these interesting, caring, passionate people who put so much work into their belief in communism, and what they got in return was Stalin. It was a cruel kind of a joke.

Lessing: Well, that’s why socialism is, for our time, dead. … We were all — in one way or another — obsessed with the bloody Soviet Union, which was a disaster. What people were supporting was failure. And continually justifying it. That had a disastrous effect on — this is another cliche, forgive me — progressive thinking of every kind. …

Question: You compare that kind of progressive thinking to today’s political correctness, to use another cliche. How true is that?

Lessing: I think it is true. I think the attitudes of mind behind it are the same.

Question: What are those attitudes?

Lessing: A need to oversimplify. To control. And an enormous distrust of the innovative, of new ideas. All political movements are like this — we are in the right, everyone else is in the wrong. The people on our own side who disagree with us are heretics, and they start becoming enemies. With it comes an absolute conviction of your own moral superiority. There’s oversimplification in everything, and a terror of flexibility. This characterizes political correctness.

Then, about a talk she gave in 2001 to the Edinburgh Book Festival:

The novelist Doris Lessing yesterday claimed that men were the new silent victims in the sex war, “continually demeaned and insulted” by women without a whimper of protest.

Lessing, who became a feminist icon with the books The Grass is Singing and The Golden Notebook, said a “lazy and insidious” culture had taken hold within feminism that revelled in flailing men.

Young boys were being weighed down with guilt about the crimes of their sex, she told the Edinburgh book festival, while energy which could be used to get proper child care was being dissipated in the pointless humiliation of men.

“I find myself increasingly shocked at the unthinking and automatic rubbishing of men which is now so part of our culture that it is hardly even noticed,” the 81-year-old Persian-born writer said yesterday…

“We have many wonderful, clever, powerful women everywhere, but what is happening to men? Why did this have to be at the cost of men?

“I was in a class of nine- and 10-year-olds, girls and boys, and this young woman was telling these kids that the reason for wars was the innately violent nature of men.

“You could see the little girls, fat with complacency and conceit while the little boys sat there crumpled, apologising for their existence, thinking this was going to be the pattern of their lives.”

Lessing said the teacher tried to “catch my eye, thinking I would approve of this rubbish”.

She added: “This kind of thing is happening in schools all over the place and no one says a thing.

“It has become a kind of religion that you can’t criticise because then you become a traitor to the great cause, which I am not.

It is time we began to ask who are these women who continually rubbish men. The most stupid, ill-educated and nasty woman can rubbish the nicest, kindest and most intelligent man and no one protests.

Men seem to be so cowed that they can’t fight back, and it is time they did.”

It seems only feminists are allowed to say the bleeding obvious about men’s issues.

Parker:

IMO feminism has long ago ended up where all movements of the left inevitability lead: dogmatic, totalitarian, and far away from understanding human nature and a stupid belief in the arc of history. Leftists keep doing deja vu all over again as they create the new dystopia.

Geoffrey Britain nails it:

All isms of the left end up there because all isms of the left reject basic aspects of human nature and key operative principles that govern the external reality within which we all exist.

At base, they are at war with God and his creation.

No ideology in fundamental opposition to reality is sustainable. They are dogmatic because they cannot withstand factual contradiction, thus the first sacrifice upon the left’s ideological altar is… factual truth.

They end up totalitarian because an unsustainable ideology can only continue through coercion. The more evident the failure, the greater the coercion. See Venezuela, Cuba and N. Korea…

New York Times Has An Issue With Trump’s Daytona 500 Appearance

New York Times Has An Issue With Trump’s Daytona 500 Appearance, by Tony Katz.

The crowd loved him. So, of course, media decided it was improper.

Air Force One flew low, just 800 ft above the massive crowd gearing up to watch the 62nd running of the Daytona 500. President Donald Trump, with the First Lady, Melania Trump, took to the microphone and addressed the crowd: talking about the love of NASCAR, and the more important love of country. The tens of thousands in attendance cheered. He joked with FOX Sports about jumping in a car and racing a few laps. And after uttering the classic words of racing, he got into the presidential limo – affectionately known as “The Beast” – and led the drivers around the track.

There is not a single Democratic nominee who could come close to matching this level of showmanship, and not a one who could so connect culturally with America without Hollywood’s help. No matter how many billions Bloomberg spends nor how Pete positions himself nor how Warren, well, lies, none of them could even dream of a moment that will so resonate with so many Americans across the country.

Even Bernie, who does connect with young voters with his message of Free! Free! Free!, can’t capture what President Trump pulled off on a Sunday afternoon in Florida.

So how does the Democratic apparatchik respond? Like this:

How the left see reality?

Everything the president does can be seen as political, regardless of party. There is no doubt that it can in this case as well. But snide, nonsense comments won’t change the facts: It was politically adept. It was culturally connected. It was, even for the casual observer, what the Republican party has been unable to do for election after election after the election: Look normal. Look like they were having fun. And, yes, look cool. …

Trump was cool on Sunday. Trump won the day on Sunday. And the New York Times can’t handle it.

Maggie Haberman is a White House correspondent for the New York Times, and a political analyst for CNN. Head tilt – Check. Glasses – Check. Hair and clothes – Check.

Donald Does Daytona

Donald Does Daytona, by John Hinderaker.

In what many deem a stroke of political genius, President Trump served today as Grand Marshal of the Daytona 500 NASCAR race. …

Short version:

Long version:

NASCAR is famously patriotic, and Trump is a patriotic president. That may turn out to be the most fundamental difference between Trump and his Democratic opponent in November.

In 1972, I was discussing the upcoming presidential election with a friend from college. Both of us were on the left at the time, but my friend summed up the race succinctly: “Nixon is going to win because he is for America, and McGovern is against America.” It depends somewhat on who wins the Democratic nomination, but essentially the same dynamic will be on display this year.

Scientists believe killer coronavirus may have begun in Chinese government research facility 280 meters from Wuhan wet fish market

Scientists believe killer coronavirus may have begun in Chinese government research facility 280 meters from Wuhan wet fish market, by Ross Ibbetson.

A new bombshell paper from the Beijing-sponsored South China University of Technology says that the Wuhan Center for Disease Control (WHCDC) could have spawned the contagion in Hubei province.

‘The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus,’ penned by scholars Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao claims the WHCDC kept disease-ridden animals in laboratories, including 605 bats.

It also mentions that bats — which are linked to coronavirus — once attacked a researcher and ‘blood of bat was on his skin.’

The report says: ‘Genome sequences from patients were 96% or 89% identical to the Bat CoV ZC45 coronavirus originally found in Rhinolophus affinis (intermediate horseshoe bat).’

It describes how the only native bats are found around 600 miles away from the Wuhan seafood market and that the probability of bats flying from Yunnan and Zhejiang provinces was minimal.

In addition there is little to suggest the local populace eat the bats as evidenced by testimonies of 31 residents and 28 visitors.

Instead the authors point to research being carried out withing a few hundred yards at the WHCDC.

Only 55 labs in the world are certified to handle coronavirus. There is only one in China, and it just happens to be 280 meters from the Wuhan wet market.

One of the researchers at the WHCDC described quarantining himself for two weeks after a bat’s blood got on his skin, according to the report. That same man also quarantined himself after a bat urinated on him.

And he also mentions discovering a live tick from a bat – parasites known for their ability to pass infections through a host animal’s blood.

‘The WHCDC was also adjacent to the Union Hospital (Figure 1, bottom) where the first group of doctors were infected during this epidemic.’ The report says.

‘It is plausible that the virus leaked around and some of them contaminated the initial patients in this epidemic, though solid proofs are needed in future study.’

Copy of the paper here.

When the people of China find out that their own government did this and covered it up, they will be furious. People might tolerate a competent authoritarian government, but not an incompetent one.

Boris Johnson tells BBC licence fee will be axed

Boris Johnson tells BBC licence fee will be axed, by Tim Shipman.

Downing Street has turned on the BBC — vowing to scrap the television licence fee and make viewers pay a subscription. The national broadcaster could also be compelled to downsize and sell off most of its radio stations.

In a plan that would change the face of British broadcasting, senior aides to Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted on Sunday AEDT that they were “not bluffing” about changing the BBC’s funding model and “pruning” its reach into people’s homes.

The blueprint being drawn up in government will scrap the ­licence fee and replace it with a subscription model; force the BBC to sell off the vast majority of its 61 radio stations but safeguard Radio 3 and Radio 4; reduce the number of the corporation’s national television channels from 10; scale back the BBC website; invest more in the World Service and ban BBC stars from cashing in with lucrative second jobs.

Set at £154.50 a year, the licence fee generated £3.69bn for the BBC last year. …

A No 10 source rejected [a] claim a subscription model would cost the BBC money: “The BBC is making a wonderful case for the importance of the BBC; if the people of this country agree, they’ll subscribe.”

Take note, those on the Australian right. In Australia, the ABC is even more dominant than the BBC in the UK, and ensures a leftward tilt to Australian politics.

hat-tip Stephen Neil

The corruption of Barack Obama

The corruption of Barack Obama, by J.B. Shurk.

For those of us not seduced by pretty words and skillful theatrics, the Obama years were a cesspool of corruption that brought back the stench of the Clinton years in a fashionable new package.

Obama ignored court orders and congressional oversight, protected his friends from criminal prosecutions, and stirred up racial tensions by creating unnecessary controversies and playing whites and blacks against each other for electoral gain.

He entered the White House as one of our poorest presidents, and he will die as one of the richest ex-presidents. Whereas the Clintons found fortune through their charity, Obama has found fortune by greatly benefiting in his post-presidency from companies who coincidentally benefited greatly during his time as president.

On his way to making a billion dollars out of holding the office of US President for eight years. Puts the Clintons in the shade.

Wherever he goes, he picks up checks, including a staggering sixty-five-million-dollar book deal advance from Penguin Random House, a publishing house taken over in 2013 by Bertelsmann, a privately held German company; one of the world’s largest media conglomerates; and the parent of Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of private banking funds in the services and natural resources industries, including those in Iran. The “most transparent president in history” has now become the “most transparent billionaire in history,” adding to his vast wealth in ways the public can only imagine.

Although there are numerous ways to describe the present divide in America, one of the simpler is thus: those Americans who take Barack Obama at his word that his presidency was historically “scandal free” and those Americans who see the unrelenting stream of Deep State attempts to take down President Trump as a continuing coup and the natural extension of an unethical, criminal, and at times unconstitutional Obama presidency.

For those of us in the latter camp, Barack Obama presided over a corrupt administration and used his historic election as the first non-white American president as a get-out-of-jail-free card to abuse his power while silencing his critics.

See the article for a long list of scandals. But with the media on his side, most people never knew at all and are never reminded. Do you believe the picture curated by the media, or reality?

The Obamas are ‘Becoming’ a billion-dollar brand, by Isabel Vincent.

The launch of Michelle Obama’s cross-country book tour for her new memoir, “Becoming,” last week is just the latest marker on the road to fabulous wealth for the former first couple, who are on their way to becoming a billion-dollar brand.

In addition to a $65 million book advance and an estimated $50 million deal with Netflix, both of which she shares with husband Barack Obama, the former first lady is poised to rake in millions from appearances on her 10-city US tour and sales of merchandise connected to her autobiography. …

Michelle Obama is currently in demand as a speaker for corporations and nonprofits, commanding $225,000 per appearance, The Post has learned.

Forbes estimated the couple made $20.5 million in salaries and book royalties between 2005 — when Barack Obama became a US senator and they first arrived in Washington — and 2016. They are now worth more than $135 million. …

Barack Obama currently rakes in $400,000 per speech, and earned at least $1.2 million for three talks to Wall Street firms in 2017.

Top 10 “Most Corrupt” List Dominated by Obama Administration, by Alex Newman in 2013.

President Obama and key members of his Democrat cabinet like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, and UN Ambassador Susan Rice were all among the top ten most corrupt politicians in Washington for 2012, according to an annual list compiled by the non-partisan Judicial Watch. Also on the roster were several lawmakers including two GOP congressmen from Florida and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada).

The president himself made the infamous “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” list due to a series of scandals and broken promises that have plagued virtually his entire time occupying the White House. Lawless behavior, regular violations of the U.S. Constitution, unprecedented secrecy, and abuse of so-called “executive privilege” to protect his senior officials all contributed to Obama’s designation as one of the most crooked politicians in the capital today.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

Planning, Not Home Ownership, Caused the Housing Crisis

Planning, Not Home Ownership, Caused the Housing Crisis, by Wendell Cox, principal of Demographia, an international public policy and demographics firm.

The Economist explains: “The soaring cost of housing has created gaping inequalities and inflamed both generational and geographical divides. In 1990 a generation of baby-boomers, with a median age of 35, owned a third of America’s real estate by value. In 2019 a similarly sized cohort of millennials, aged 31, owned just 4%.” …

OECD says of the middle-class that “there are now signs that this bedrock of our democracies and economic growth is not as stable as in the past.” The threat is indicated by the fact that costs of living are rising much faster than incomes. OECD places much of the blame on “house prices have been growing three times faster than household median income over the last two decades.” …

[The Economist again:] “Young people’s view that housing is out of reach — unless you have rich parents — helps explain their drift towards “millennial socialism”.

These concerns are understandable. Unlike previous generations, younger people, do not believe their futures will be better than that of their parents …

And the growth in housing prices is due to the growth in money supply, which is due to excessive money manufacture and increase in debt. The current system of creating money, with no constraint such as the supply of physical gold, is the root cause. So, the millennials are accidentally right — their economic woes are due to capitalism. Literally, in the way we manufacture money that represents capital.

There is also a second cause: bureaucratic planning, which artificially restricts the supply of housing and thus drives up the prices of houses (in the areas where the bureaucrats and policy makers live!).

In their rush to stop the spatial expansion of cities (pejoratively called “urban sprawl”) urban plans have imposed bans or serious constraints on new urban fringe housing. These “urban containment” policies typically include “urban growth boundaries,” “green belts,” and other strategies. As with any policy that seeks to regulate markets, there are consequences. …

Figure 2 shows price-to-income ratios at least doubling in Australia and New Zealand, where urban containment has become virtually universal. … In the US and Canada, the price-to-income ratios have risen, but less, because many markets have retained more liberal regulation …

Look at how efficient those bureaucrats down-under are!

The long term median price to income ratio is a touch under three, which is where it was in the 1980s when the present money bubble began. But look at Australian cities in the last three decades:

It’s a bubble awaiting a pin. And when the Australian housing bubble bursts, it may take our banks with it. Normally our banks have 25% of their loan book in residential housing, but CommBank’s is now around 70% and ANZ is not far behind.

All markets revert to their mean ratios eventually (note that the use of ratios steps around the effect of money manufacture and inflation in making currency worth ever less in absolute terms.) It’s not different this time. Only market distortion can prevent the housing price ratio returning to three, but that won’t last forever either. The market will eventually find a way of resolving this unstable situation.

World must prepare for Trump’s second term

World must prepare for Trump’s second term, by Paul Kelly.

Having declared Trump unfit to govern, a law-breaking president and morally corrupt, the Democrats are locked in a confused contest to find a candidate who can save American democracy from the crisis they proclaim….

As for the impeachment, … that removal should come only by the democratic vote of the people at an election. The Democrats risk being exposed as frauds — seeking to remove Trump in a trial because they cannot beat him at an election. They disguise their weakness with a flawed moralism.

Trump represents the “racists” so he should not be allowed to govern, says the left. Meanwhile, the left trashed Martin Luther King’s dream and are promoting anti-white discrimination. Then they cannot work out why they are not so popular anymore!

Trump’s removal in the impeachment process would have had a potentially catastrophic impact on US democracy — the entire pro-Trump populist right would have declared they were robbed and their president sacked by a partisan Washington establishment that could not defeat him at the polls. …

[Trump’s] State of the Union speech that saw Republicans breaking into their “four more years” chant revealed the superiority of his political skills.

“Three years ago we launched the great American comeback,” Trump said at the outset. “Tonight I stand before you to share the incredible results. Jobs are booming, incomes are soaring, poverty is plummeting, crime is falling, confidence is surging and our country is thriving and respected again.

“The years of economic decay are over. The days of our country being used, taken advantage of and even scorned by other nations are long behind us. In just three short years we have shattered the mentality of American decline and we have rejected the downsizing of America’s destiny.

“Our agenda is relentlessly pro-worker, pro-family, pro-growth and, most of all, pro-American. …

“After decades of flat and falling incomes, wages are rising fast — and, wonderfully, they are rising fastest for low-income workers who have seen a 16 per cent pay increase since my election. This is a blue-collar boom. Since my election, US stockmarkets have soared 70 per cent, adding more than $12 trillion to our ­nation’s wealth, transcending anything anyone believed was possible … wealthy people and companies are pouring money into poor neighbourhoods or areas that haven’t seen investment in many decades.”

Trump is running a cultural campaign appealing to the nobodies against the somebodies. Peggy Noonan, speechwriter to Ronald Reagan, said in The Wall Street Journal: “This was the President putting the Republican Party on the side of the ­nobodies of all colours as ­opposed to the somebodies. (Van Jones on CNN had it exactly right: Trump is going for black and Hispanic men and the Democrats are foolish not to see it.)…

Trump is now creating a movement for the times based on the resentment of the economic disadvantaged, the lure of economic revival, renewed patriotism, cultural tradition and a populist war on his opponents that aims to split the country, with the Democrats locked into an electoral college minority.

There are many differences between Trump and Johnson. But their radical, reinvented conservatism shares a conspicuous strategy: their penetration into the working class and lower middle class, non-tertiary educated, often non-capital city base that once belonged to the Democrats and the British Labour Party but now feels betrayed by parties that have become socially progressive. …

But the difference with Morrison is conspicuous. The Prime Minister is an incrementalist, a function of his temperament of the times in Australia. At home there is no existential crisis like Brexit. There is nothing like the depth of middle American ­resentment of elites and the ruling class.

Morrison won last year because he discerned the Australian people opposed radical change, as offered by Labor, and actually wanted reliable, competent government. While Morrison penetrated the Labor base at the last election there is little evidence of any realignment in Australia comparable to the situation in the US and Britain.

hat-tip Stephen Neil, Stephen Harper

Our top judges are vying for the title of the most activist judges in the common law world

Our top judges are vying for the title of the most activist judges in the common law world. By James Allan, Garrick professor of law at the University of Queensland.

This week’s High Court of Australia case, Love v Commonwealth, on the question of deporting plaintiffs who were born outside Australia, are foreign citizens and who have not been naturalised or made Australian citizens, but who claim to be Aborigines, was in my view a disgrace.

By 4-3 it effectively constitutionalised identity politics; in a weird sort of way it elevates the common law — judge-made law to be clear — above the Constitution itself; it introduces a race-based limit on the parliament’s power …

It looks very much to be a clear case of outcome-oriented judging, meaning you start with the conclusion you want and then struggle to find rationales to get you there.

Sounds harsh, I know. But I stand by all of the above claims. …

Brendan Thoms, left, has more rights than most Australians reading this, because he is aboriginal.

The third dissenter, Justice Patrick Keane, comes out and says what the vast preponderance of Australians believe. “There is no support in the … Constitution for the contention that there is a special class within the people of the Commonwealth who, by virtue of their biological descent … enjoy a constitutionally privileged [position].” …

The other three majority judgments, by Justices Geoffrey Nettle, Michelle Gordon and James Edelman, indulge in all sorts of politically correct nostrums and observations that sound far more political and activist than legal and constitutional — all basically leveraging or bootstrapping off the common law decision in Mabo to end up with a constitutional outcome that amounts to a just-discovered limit on the elected parliament’s power.

High Court in the crossfire of runaway judicial activism

High Court in the crossfire of runaway judicial activism, by Janet Albrechtsen.

The word swamp is an acronym for “superior wisdom alienates mere peasants”.  …

In creating this exception … to treat two people differently based on their race, a majority of the High Court has revealed a likely trajectory of brazen activism, and a propensity to divide the country by race. The silver lining is that the court’s activism will help convince Australians it would be a grave mistake to insert a race-based voice into our Constitutions. …

This runaway court needs fixing fast. If it can do this in a case involving section 51 (xix) of the Constitution that gives parliament power to make laws with respect to naturalisation and aliens, what will the High Court do with other clauses?

Lawyers across the country effectively received an invitation from the country’s highest court to ask courts to concoct other special race-based exceptions. …

Now remember that three of the four majority judges were appointed by a conservative government. Labor MPs must be laughing. If there is one thing Labor knows how to do expertly, doggedly and unashamedly, it is putting its kind of people into big jobs to shape the politics of this country well beyond parliament.

By contrast, conservative governments are hopeless on this front. Whether they are too polite, too nervous or lacking conviction about their values, they consistently appoint activist judges who thumb their noses at elected politicians. Our politicians could learn something from Donald Trump. He has built a powerful political coalition by arguing against unelected philosopher kings presuming to make law because they think a lumpenproletariat and their elected repre­sentatives won’t do it.

From the Prime Minister down, the Coalition should remember Brexit, too, where millions of British people have good reason to distrust experts — all those with big jobs, public servants, tenured professors, banking bigwigs, judges too, who warned against Brexit. In fact, right across the West, distrust among ordinary people of the so-called “clever classes” — people with lots of degrees but little common sense — is at an all-time high.

When the High Court added itself to this group, presuming to change the Constitution because its policy preferences are more important than those of voters, it gave the Morrison government a political opportunity. And, make no mistake, this a political matter. The High Court has made it political by ignoring the law when dreaming up special exceptions based on race to allow two criminals, two non-citizens, to live in Australia.

The real question is whether the Morrison government has the political courage and the commitment to the rule of law to turn this court around.

hat-tip Stephen Neil