Trump 2020? Yes!

Trump 2020? Yes! By John Hinderaker.

When the 2016 primary season started, there were 17 Republican candidates in the field. In my estimation, Donald Trump ranked somewhere between #15 and #17. … I worried about whether he was conservative enough to be the Republican nominee, but I was never a Never Trumper. And I was one of the few who predicted that he would win the election.

A year into his administration, I am impressed: so far, Trump is obviously, in my view, our best president since Reagan. And based on his first year in office, he might be even better.

We have a long way to go before Donald Trump is ranked with the Gipper. For one thing, he will have to win a second term. I have wondered about that. Does Trump, already 71 years old, even want to serve eight years as president? That question was answered, seemingly, today, as President Trump announced that digital strategist Brad Parscale will be his 2020 campaign manager.

Success has many fathers.

Time to Go Ask Your Local Progressive Bakery to Bake an NRA Cake

Time to Go Ask Your Local Progressive Bakery to Bake an NRA Cake, by John Ellis.

In a rush to out-virtue signal their competitors, businesses are cutting ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA) right and left. Well, really, just left and left. In the most egregious example, late last week the First National Bank of Omaha tweeted, “Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA. As a result, First National Bank of Omaha will not renew its contract with the National Rifle Association to issue the NRA Visa Card.” …

Under the new rules, business owners have to conduct their business according to the ever-shifting ideology of SJWs. … Business owners who are conservative Christians and who desire to operate their business in a way that honors the God of the Bible have found out the hard way that they are not allowed to do that. Examples abound of bakery owners who have lost their business because they couldn’t, in good conscience, bake a cake for a gay wedding.

Keep in mind, the business owners are discriminating against an event, not a person. As far as I know, all of the bakers sued out of business have graciously and even happily baked cakes for LGBTQ individuals for things like birthday parties, graduations, etc. …

Sadly, I’m fairly confident that at some point in the near future, a Christian baker is going to be dragged into court for failing to bake a cake celebrating an abortion. …

I normally shy away from this kind of activism, but at some point conservatives need to begin pushing back. To that end, here’s what I encourage:

An NRA member needs to find the most progressive bakery he can, and then request an AR-15-shaped cake for a Second Amendment celebration. Walk into the store wearing an NRA shirt and hat. Openly carry a gun if you’re legally allowed. Ask for the top of the cake to be decorated with words like “In celebration of the NRA.”

A Tidal Wave of Refugees Is Coming

A Tidal Wave of Refugees Is Coming, by David Goldman.

Harden your hearts.

According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 68 million people around the world are or at risk of becoming refugees. The migration of a few million people has already turned the European Union inside out and motivated the election of an America-first presidency.

What we have seen so far, though, is nothing compared to what is to come.

Fertility is declining in almost all the educated and prosperous parts of the world, notably including East Asia. But it remains extremely high in the least-educated parts of the world with the worst governance and the poorest growth prospects.

At constant fertility, the number of people aged 20 to 30 years will grow from 1.2 billion to almost 4 billion over the present century, and all of the growth will occur in Africa and South Asia (notably in Pakistan, where total fertility is 3.6 children per woman vs. 2.4 in India). Africa will be the main source of new young people. …

The problems of sub-Saharan Africa (as well as Pakistan and other troubled countries) are physically too large for the West to remedy: The sheer numbers of people in distress soon will exceed the total population of the industrial world.

That means that there is a point in time at which the most devout pussy-hat wearing, virtue-signaling, politically correct liberal will pretend not to notice millions of starving children dying before his eyes. …

The mass of human misery headed towards the industrial countries simply is too great for us to bear. It is hard to see how humanitarian catastrophes of biblical proportions can be avoided.

Florida school shooting was an entirely predictable outcome of intentionally followed policy

Florida school shooting was an entirely predictable outcome of intentionally followed policy, by sundance. Deliberate policies of the Sheriff and School Boards, inspired by an Obama Executive Order, helped create the school shooter and the environment in which to do his evil work.

In April of 2012 Jesse Jackson began to promote the principle: “we must stop suspending our students.” Three months later, in July of 2012, President Obama signed an executive order establishing the basic outline of what later came to be known in Broward County as “The Promise Program.” …

Sheriff Israel and Superintendent Runcie’s implementation of the Broward Promise Program was easy; just stop arresting students and the statistics would be great. As the statistics improve so too does the financial reward from federal grant monies.

While Sheriff Israel and Superintendent Runcie were garnering praise for the results of their program, Parkland school student Nikolas Cruz was a simultaneous benefactor as his anti-social and violent behaviors were being ignored. …

The fact that Nikolas Cruz was able to exit high school without a police record, then began amassing weapons, and eventually became a school shooter killing 17 students and staff; is an outcome of strategic policy, not incompetence.

While Nikolas Cruz was being ‘handled’ and not documented, the Sheriff’s police force was conducting diversity training seminars, de-escalation meetings, and sensitivity training exercises. The last active shooter training was somewhere around 2006. …

There is no actual mechanism to stop Broward county officials from carrying out their ideological objectives. Social Justice has replaced Law Enforcement. The sheriff is essentially untouchable until his next election – which he will likely again win easily; the School Superintendent is protected by the political apparatus willing to sacrifice a few dozen residents to retain the ideology; the school board and county officials are all part of the political apparatus; the mayors are appointed not elected; the district attorneys are all-in on the program; and the judges come from the ranks of the attorneys…. so, don’t expect changes.

Poll: Americans Blame Gov’t For School-Shooting Failure in Florida, by Neil Munro.

The pollster [Rasmussen, 1,000 adults] asked:

Which is more to blame for the mass shooting at the Florida high school? The failure of government agencies to respond to numerous warning signs? The lack of adequate gun control?

Fifty-four percent of all adults blamed government failures, while 33 percent blamed the lack of gun control. Eleven percent says “something else.” …

The highest-ranking subgroups in the 33 percent who blame the lack of gun control were 50 percent of Democrats, 48 percent of people who earn more than $200,000 per year, and 36 percent of unmarrieds.

hat-tip Paul

More Than 100,000 Non-Citizens Are Registered Voters in Pennsylvania

More Than 100,000 Non-Citizens Are Registered Voters in Pennsylvania, by Katherine Rodriguez.

More than 100,000 non-U.S. citizens are registered voters in Pennsylvania, according to testimony contained in a lawsuit demanding that the state admit its problems when it comes to non-citizen voting.

Are a mere 100,000 voters significant? Yes:

Donald J. Trump has won Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes. Trump has 44,292 more votes than Hillary Clinton, with 100 percent reporting.

The Democrats in the US prevent voter ID wherever they can.

Reader Charles:

All this does is illustrate why Democrats are in favor of open borders and illegal immigration. In the last election the Democrats called middle class Americans deplorables. What will the Democrats do. They will simply flood us with a permanent underclass of illegal immigrants that will vote solidly Democrat. That is why the Democrats won’t make a DACA deal. They are unwilling to give up chain migration. The Democrats really don’t care about these people; they just want their votes.

hat-tip Charles

Denmark plans double punishment for ghetto crime

Denmark plans double punishment for ghetto crime, by the BBC.

The Danish government plans to double the penalties for crimes committed in deprived “ghetto” areas, where immigrant numbers are above-average. …

The government lists 22 areas as “ghettos”, where more than 50% of residents are non-Western immigrants. …

Danish legal expert Birgitte Arent Eiriksson, quoted by the news website The Local, said the double punishment plan risked violating the principle that “everyone is equal before the law”. …

The government is also trying to tackle “parallel societies”, targeting immigrants who resist integration with local Danes, preferring to stick to their own traditions.

The Danish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Interior says the country has about half a million inhabitants with non-Western backgrounds — 10 times more than in 1980.

It estimates that 28,000 immigrant families “live in a parallel society”, and the proportion who do so reaches about 50% in “ghetto areas”. The largest ethnic groups in that category are Somalis (44%) and Lebanese (41%), the ministry says.

Bland UK Conservatives are blind to maverick Jeremy Corbyn’s appeal

Bland UK Conservatives are blind to maverick Jeremy Corbyn’s appeal, by Janet Albrechtsen.

Professional politicians are killing modern politics. … Gone are people with real-world experience. And when politicians haven’t had a real job, it’s no surprise that they’re disconnected from what matters most to the voting public. In this vacuum, straight-talking Corbyn and Trump make sense. …

May has become Corbyn’s most effective enabler. … No cut through. No real sense of what she believes in. Trying to look more human last week on ITV’s This Morning! May gabbed on about the critical need for a review of university tuition fees. Meanwhile Corbyn promises to get rid of tuition fees. Tories can’t possibly outbid Corbyn, but at least try a passionate rebuttal, pointing out that no fees are a boon for the rich and a hit to every low-income taxpayer. Instead, May sat quietly, brow furrowed, mumbling about being determined to jolly-well get on with her job. …

Last year, the party of Thatcher couldn’t even launch a spirited defence of Uber, its 40,000 drivers and 3.5 million users of its app, which is disrupting the London cab monopoly. Instead, Labour mayor Sadiq Khan has been bringing Uber to heel.

It’s not enough for the Tories to counter Corbyn’s crazy socialist policies, be it rent control or renationalisation, by alluding to the disasters of the 1970s when his most ardent supporters were born in the 90s. Corbyn is resonating because Tories can’t rebut his policies with enough courage and conviction, and because his critics have cried wolf too many times.

The May government is right that Corbyn’s policies will be disastrous for the British economy. So was Bobby Vedral, the London-based Goldman Sachs partner who recently said: “If we have Corbyn, we have Cuba without the sun.” But most Tories and almost every corporate head honcho said a vote for Brexit would cause immediate economic ruin, and now Brexit is official government policy and the economy is fine. …

Both Trump and Corbyn have attracted ridiculous slurs, with each affront only cementing their popularity with supporters. It lets both men point to a media monolith that is out to get them. Recent claims by Corbyn’s opponents that he sold secrets to communist spies during the Cold War, accusing him of “betraying his country”, comparing him with Kim Philby, a proven traitor, are backfiring. The May government looks desperate and Corbyn has another chance to promise that change is coming, this time pointing the finger at billionaire press barons.

The rise of this radical socialist is bad news for Australia. Bill Shorten may be the poor man’s Corbyn, but Labor is steadily ahead in the polls here because even Shorten’s opportunistic brand of class-war politics is resonating more than blancmange managerialism from the Turnbull government.

hat-tip Scott of the Pacific

Tucker Carlson’s “Change of Heart”: The Chronicles Interview

Tucker Carlson’s “Change of Heart”: The Chronicles Interview, by James Antle.

If we are living through an “America First” moment following Donald Trump’s election as President, Carlson has emerged as one of its leading media voices. He has taken over Bill O’Reilly’s time slot on the country’s top cable news network and, according to Nielsen, held on to his predecessor’s ratings while offering a much smarter and more principled conservative populism. It’s made Carlson, once thought of as a journeyman television commentator, one of FOX’s undisputed stars. …

The tragic results of the Iraq war pushed him in a different direction, at a time when that was still very much discouraged in his Beltway-conservative circles.

“I think it’s a total nightmare and disaster, and I’m ashamed that I went against my own instincts in supporting it,” Carlson said of the war to the New York Observer. “It’s something I’ll never do again.” That was in 2004, when George W. Bush still defined for a lot of people what it meant to be a conservative. …

Empiricism is paramount for realists. This is what separates them from ideologues, especially the PC left.

“[T]he reason my views changed is that I got older and the country changed,” he said. “I noticed that a lot of things that I thought would work didn’t work. There’s deep resistance in Washington to acknowledging that.” He mentioned research challenging the effectiveness of Head Start, a liberal early-intervention education program he said he would have presumed to be beneficial, before moving on to ideas still widely held by movement conservatives.

I’d always believed you ought to judge ideas by the fruits they bear, and a lot of the ideas that I subscribed to in 1995 that I thought were right turned out to be wrong,” Carlson said. “One of them was that you could make the world better by bumping off dictators. I think there are certainly occasions when that’s true, but it’s not always true. Like most young people, I didn’t understand the law of unintended consequences very well. I just thought that if you add this to that you get a predictable result—but you don’t a lot of the time. You don’t have any idea what is going to happen.” …

Old ideas overturned:

“As a kid, I was always pretty aggressively pro-choice. And I was for the death penalty. And I was basically for open borders. And I believed that wars generally against unjust regimes made America stronger and the world better,” he told me. “These were all assumptions that I had that I no longer have. In fact, I have the opposite view of every one of those issues because I thought about it.

“It turns out abortion doesn’t liberate people. And maybe people are squeamish about it because it is killing, and you shouldn’t kill people except in self-defense, and that’s exactly why I’m against the death penalty, too,” Carlson added. “If wars are so great, then name a country that has become more peaceful and stable and prosperous after waging a lot of them. Did they do anything good for the British Empire? No, it collapsed because of it. The most benign empire in human history couldn’t withstand the strain of two world wars. [War] destroyed it.” …

“On immigration, I grew up in California, which has more immigrants than any other state,” he said. “Has it gotten richer and more impressive? No, it’s become less prosperous and more dysfunctional. It was the richest state in the country when I grew up. It now has more poverty than any other state. That’s not all the product of immigration, but is mostly the product of it, I think. They had the best schools in the country; now it has some of the worst. It had a thriving middle class; now they’re all in Oregon.

“What happened? Third World immigration does not make you richer. It turns out that importing millions of poor people is not the key to prosperity. I [now] wonder, ‘Why didn’t I ever think that?’ I wasn’t as independent a thinker as I thought I was. I really thought I was an independent thinker. I thought I was giving the middle finger to the man, but in reality I was obeying the man in a lot of ways.” …

Carlson argues that there are two major problems with our current immigration policy. One is that it is contributing to economic and class divisions in the country, the driver of income inequality that is most obviously and easily within the government’s power to stop. The second is that it does not reflect the will of the voters. …

Diversity is our strength? Prove it.

Carlson said that champions of uninterrupted mass immigration should have to answer certain questions.

“If ‘diversity is our strength’ — which, by the way, I would like to believe; it’s the operating principle of America; it is the idea upon which our entire society is built . . . I want it to be true, but where is the evidence?” he asked. “Are you really telling me the less we have in common, the stronger we are? Is that true in marriage? Is that true in a family? If I have nothing in common with my kids, am I closer to them? Really, is that what you’re saying?”

“Show me how that’s true. If you’re going to base your decisions on that, if you’re going to organize our society around it, if you are going to make it into a civic religion — and you have — isn’t it incumbent upon you to show me how it’s true? Show me how it has been true. And of course the answer is, ‘Shut up. How dare you!’” …

“But it’s not like I’m against diversity on principle. I’m actually for it on principle. I just want to make sure, and I think it’s fair to ask, if the people who are running everything — our government, our economy, our culture, the people in charge of all of that — are basing their decisions on a single slogan, is the slogan true?” …

Interesting view on Bill Clinton:

“The biggest change is in how I view Bill Clinton, who I think is a loathsome person,” he said. “What I didn’t understand at that time is that Bill Clinton was doing what a politician is supposed to do in a democracy, and that is listen to voters. So in 1992, I covered the campaign, and I and every other conservative in town believed that if voters only understood who Bill Clinton was as a person, they wouldn’t vote for him. And now I know, having watched Trump, that voters knew exactly who Bill Clinton was from day one — they knew he was a philanderer, they knew he was dishonest, he was disingenuous, they knew he was all of that, and they voted for him anyway. Why? Because the things he ran on were matters of concern to them: the economy, crime, immigration, these were middle-class concerns.”

The same is true of the voters’ understanding of Trump, which is why he has successfully weathered so many controversies that arise from his personal character flaws.

“I distinctly remember going on television in the 1990’s and criticizing Bill Clinton’s small-bore policies that were poll-tested before rolling them out,” Carlson said. “I remember saying, ‘That’s not leadership.’ Really? This is a democracy. You have to represent the views of your voters. That’s the whole freakin’ point. If you’re not doing that, something is wrong. It doesn’t mean you can’t translate some of those desires into workable public policy or moderate them. You should; it’s a republic. But fundamentally, your legitimacy comes from the desire of the majority. Period. That’s the only place your legitimacy comes from.” …

And Carlson is modest too:

A successful talk-show host, though Carlson is modest when asked about his solid ratings. “Oh, mostly [from] being on FOX,” he reasoned. “I have worked at all the networks, so I know you can have an amazing show, and it doesn’t matter if nobody watches the network that carries it. Obviously, I think I am brilliant and handsome, but the real reason the show works is it’s the eight o’clock show at FOX.”

hat-tip Stephen Neil

Less than half of German submarines and warplanes ready for use

Less than half of German submarines and warplanes ready for use, by Channel NewsAsia.

Missing spare parts and quality defects at a time of increased operations mean less than half of Germany’s submarines, warplanes and some other key weapons are ready for use, according to a government report on Tuesday. …

The report said readiness was improving slowly, with 550 more weapons available in 2017 than in 2014. But more time and money were needed to recover from decades of spending cuts. …

Germany sharply curtailed military spending after the end of the Cold War, but began boosting spending again after Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014. …

Mostly undergoing repairs in the garage

It said only 39 of 128 Eurofighter fighter jets, built by Airbus and other European arms makers, were available on average in 2017, largely due to long maintenance periods and “a shortage of a wide variety of replacement parts”. …

The new report cited “quality deficiencies” that occurred during maintenance for the “limited and clearly lower-than-expected” availability of the Airbus A400M military transport. Just three of 15 aircraft delivered by the end of the report period were ready for use on average in 2017.

German Cities Banning Older Diesel Vehicles to Tackle Air Pollution

German Cities Banning Older Diesel Vehicles to Tackle Air Pollution, by Melissa Eddy. Diesel cars and trucks are the new cancer sticks, not suitable for crowded places like cities?

Other European countries have taken measures to reduce the number of diesel-powered cars, but the technology is almost synonymous with Germany, where there are 15 million diesel cars on the streets and where automakers bet their futures on technology they billed as environmentally friendly, even as they rigged software in their cars to pass stringent emissions tests. …

The days of flooding the inner cities with poisonous diesel emissions are over,” said Jürgen Resch, managing director of Deutsche Umwelthilfe. “These vehicles have no place in our cities anymore.”

Frustrated with the lack of progress in improving air quality in about 70 of the country’s most polluted cities, the group brought lawsuits against several local governments, demanding that they uphold the air quality standards set by the European Union. In some instances, cities found that the only way to ensure those standards were met involved banning certain vehicles — mostly older diesel models — from city streets. …

The court further found that when emissions exceeded the allowed limits, banning all vehicles with diesel motors older than those approved in 2014 and gasoline-burning engines older than those approved in 2001 was the only way for the municipal authorities to ensure air quality. …

But resistance to steps that curb drivers’ rights in Germany remains deeply rooted. Diesel technology was developed in the country, and it accounts for many of the 800,000 jobs in the German auto industry. …

Municipal groups have warned that allowing bans could be fatal for inner cities, where delivery, repair and emergency workers, as well as many residents, rely on diesel-fired vehicles. …

Customers are already turning away from diesel technology. The latest figures show a drop of more than 17 percent in the number of diesel-burning cars registered in January compared with December.

What is it like to live under Sharia law?

What is it like to live under Sharia law? In “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” a popular 2007 novel, Khaled Hosseini describes what happens when the Taliban took control of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan in 1996. Kabul had become quite Westernized, with women studying at the universities and holding professional jobs for instance. Islam has never been able to move away for its roots in seventh century Arabia, because the fundamentalists follow the immutable texts and return any Islamic society that strays too far.

Here is a short excerpt about what happened when Islamic fundamentalists got hold of a somewhat westernized society and set about implementing Sharia. If the west is successfully colonized by Islam, this may happen here too in a few decades.

The following day, Kabul was overrun by trucks … red Toyota trucks weaved through the streets. Armed bearded men in black turbans sat in their beds. From each truck, a loudspeaker blared announcements, first in Farsi, then Pashto. The same message played from loudspeakers perched atop mosques, and on the radio … The message was also written in flyers, tossed into the streets. …

These are the laws that we will enforce and you will obey:

All citizens must pray five times a day. If it is prayer time and you are caught doing something other, you will be beaten.

All men will grow their beards. The correct length is at least one clenched fist beneath the chin. If you do not abide by this, you will be beaten.

All boys will wear turbans. Boys in grade one through six will wear black turbans, higher grades will wear white. All boys will wear Islamic clothes. Shirt collars will be buttoned.

Singing is forbidden.

Dancing is forbidden.

Playing cards, playing chess, gambling, and kiteflying are forbidden.

Writing books, watching films, and painting pictures are forbidden.

If you keep parakeets, you will be beaten. Your birds will be killed.

If you steal, your hand will be cut off at the wrist. If you steal again, your foot will be cut off.

If you are not Muslim, do not worship where you can be seen by Muslims. If you do, you will be beaten and imprisoned. If you are caught trying to convert a Muslim to your faith, you will be executed.

Attention women:

You will stay inside your homes at all times. It is not proper for women to wander aimlessly about the streets. If you go outside, you must be accompanied by amahram, a male relative. If you are caught alone on the street, you will be beaten and sent home.

You will not, under any circumstance, show your face. You will cover with burqa when outside. If you do not, you will be severely beaten.

Cosmetics are forbidden.

Jewelry is forbidden.

You will not wear charming clothes.

You will not speak unless spoken to.

You will not make eye contact with men.

You will not laugh in public. If you do, you will be beaten.

You will not paint your nails. If you do, you will lose a finger.

Girls are forbidden from attending school. All schools for girls will be closed immediately.

Women are forbidden from working.

If you are found guilty of adultery, you will be stoned to death

Listen. Listen well. Obey. Allah-u-akbar.

Rasheed turned off the radio. They were sitting on the living-room floor, eating dinner less than a week after they’d seen Najibullah’s corpse hanging by a rope.

“They can’t make half the population stay home and do nothing,” Laila said.

“Why not?” Rasheed said. …

“This isn’t some village. This is Kabul. Women here used to practice law and medicine;  they held office in the government-”

Rasheed grinned. “Spoken like the arrogant daughter of a poetry-reading university man that you are. How urbane, how Tajik, of you. You think this is some new, radical idea the Taliban are bringing? Have you ever lived outside of your precious little shell in Kabul, my gull? Ever cared to visit the real Afghanistan, the south, the east, along the tribal border with Pakistan? No? I have. And I can tell you that there are many places in this country that have always lived this way, or close enough anyhow. Not that you would know.”

“I refuse to believe it,” Laila said “They’re not serious.”

“What the Taliban did to Najibullah looked serious to me,” Rasheed said. “Wouldn’t you agree?”

“He was a communist! He was the head of the Secret Police.”

Rasheed laughed.

Mariam heard the answer in his laugh: that in the eyes of the Taliban, being a communist and the leader of the dreaded KHAD made Najibullah only slightly more contemptible than a woman.

And to think that the left in the West currently supports Islam by preventing criticism of the Islamic invasion, by accusing critics of “Islamophobia,” and by supporting immigration from the Islamic world. The left is making a dreadful error, just like they did a few decades ago when they protected and quietly encouraged Communism.

Communism and now Islam. Both are totalitarian political ideologies that require massive government violence to enforce them.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s “Gulag Archipelago” in the 1970s lifted the scales from my eyes about the real nature of Communism, as opposed to the lovely sounding theory about equality. I’d been lulled by a lefty news environment into believing Communism was maybe somehow benevolent, trendy, and perhaps even kind of good. But that changed when Solzhenitsyn pointed out that equality of outcome in practice required state thuggery on a vast scale.

The left never renounced communism or admitted it was a horrible mistake. Now they are doing it again, but with a fair deadlier ideology. This is a mistake on an historic scale, one that could destroy the west.

Immigration is changing western society from high trust to low trust, and the elites are blind to it

Immigration is changing western society from high trust to low trust, and the elites are blind to it, by Eric Raymond.

Facts on the ground have caused me to move away from a pure laissez-faire position on [immigration]. …

Disease and crime:

Both here and in Europe there’s been a significant spike in communicable diseases that can be traced back to low immunization rates in what Trump may or may not have called “shithole” countries.

Crime is a real issue. … Illegals’ propensity is much higher, to the point that 22% of all incarcerees are illegals (that’s 92% of all jailed immigrants). …

But the really big issue is social trust:

Diversity erodes social trust, trust being that extremely valuable form of social capital that enables people to make handshake deals, leave their doors unlocked, and trust institutions to treat them fairly. Sociologist Robert Putnam was so shocked to discover this that he sat on his results for seven years before publishing.

In diverse communities trust drops not only between ethnolinguistic groups but within them. It’s insidious and very harmful — low-trust societies are bad, bad places to live.

Australia’s per-capita rate of immigration is much higher than in the US, but we started with a more homogeneous nation of people.

The U.S. has a proud tradition of assimilating legal immigrants into a high-trust society, but it succeeds in this by making them non-diverse — teaching them to assimilate folk values and blend in. Putnam’s work suggests strongly that without the ability to rate-limit immigration to be within some as yet undetermined maximum, the harm from erosion of trust would exceed the benefits of immigration.

We are probably above the optimal legal immigration rate — the highest compatible with avoiding net decrease in social trust over time – already …

Everywhere outside a few blue-state enclaves, Americans sense the erosion of social trust and have connected it to illegal immigration.

If you run around saying “We should end border enforcement”, enough people to form a blocking coalition are going to hear that as “He wants the U.S. to sit on its hands as erosion of social trust degrades it into a shithole.”  Of course most of them don’t have this intellectually analyzed — it’s a more a gut feeling. But no less powerful for that, especially since the problem is real. …

Why the elites are blind to it:

We can only save the positive benefits of immigration by controlling it. And by growing some freaking humility about our biases. It’s easy for elite whites like you and me to see only the upside of immigration (cool restaurants, interesting music, exotically pretty girls, lower price levels due to labor cost push on the things we buy, getting to feel virtuous about our inclusivity); immigration seldom has any obvious downside for us unless we roll snake-eyes and get killed by MS-13 or something.

We tend to miss the fact that if you’re a native-born unskilled laborer or minority or legal immigrant the cost-benefit ratio looks very different and not favorable at all. Loose labor markets are good to us, but sure as hell not to our poorer compatriots. A little more compassion and a little less class-blindness on our part would be an improvement. …

The deplorables are winning the argument against too much immigration and free trade:

One of the major forces currently poisoning our politics is a breakdown in trust between people like you and me — the cognitive elites — and the rest of America. Deplorables. Flyover country. Brexit, and Trump’s election, slapped me upside the head. I’ve been forced to confront some uncomfortable truths.

They think we’ve betrayed and abandoned them for a mess of virtue signaling and glib ideologizing. On the left: identity politics, PC, and open borders justified on multiculturalist grounds. On the right: free trade and open borders justified on laissez-faire principle.

They have a point. I’m seeing that now.

I mean, I might still think free trade is a good idea and have lots of arguments for it. But my arguments don’t mean fuck-all to a Rust-Belt steelworker who’s watched his livelihood get exported and the community around him wither and has nothing left but a cheap high on opioids. Nor to an unskilled black or legal-immigrant urbanite who can’t get a job because the restaurants can hire illegals for cheaper.

We owe these people more than we have given them. What we owe can’t mainly be paid in money. It’s compassion; a fair hearing. Respect. Not dismissing them as trash or troglodytes because they don’t love the brave new globalized world that gives us options but – too often – closes off theirs.

I don’t have easy solutions to these problems. But is it too much to ask that people like you and me should stop being arrogant assholes about them?

Commenter TheDividualist:

It isn’t blindness as such, it is a conscious effort to cement in a progressive/Dem voter majority, whatever the social costs. …

Basically, elites are selected for loyalty. To ensure loyalty, people who would not do well on a free market are selected. …

What do you do? Join the screaming and scream more intensely than anyone else. Cement in your political loyalties. Maybe you get a political and/or diversity hire job somewhere.

Commenter Anon Regular:

Historically, high trust is almost a synonym for ethnic homogeneity. I can’t think of another mechanism to build it upon (at least not outside of artificial situations like the military).

If you have a high IQ population but no homogenous substrate to generate that high trust, the best you can end up with is Singapore.

View from the left: Trump Is Winning — are you sick and tired of it yet?

View from the left: Trump Is Winning — are you sick and tired of it yet? By Alex Brandon at Politico, trying to talk some reality into his leftist readers.

Donald Trump is on track to win reelection to the presidency of the United States.

Yes, despite Russiagate, despite shitholegate and despite whatever gate he blunders through next. Despite approval ratings that would make Nixon weep. Despite his mind-numbing political misjudgments — defending accused pedophiles, for example — and the endless, unnecessary daily drama. Trump is winning. It is actually happening, people. And if there are those who want to stop it — and there are, of course, millions — they need to know what they are up against. It’s a lot more than they overconfidently think. …

Consider Trump’s record as president. He actually has something to run on. He’s cut taxes. He’s rolled back regulations. He’s put ISIS on its heels. The economy and the stock market are humming along again, despite recent turmoil. Any other Republican incumbent running on that record of relative peace and prosperity — just as Eisenhower and Reagan did — would be in pretty good shape for reelection. Trump, as loathed as he is, might not cruise to reelection on an electoral landslide like those predecessors. But if jobs continue to be created and the economy continues to hum, whether he deserves the credit or not, enough voters might just hold their nose again and vote for him.

Still living in the fantasy world though. Trump unpopular? Maybe with you and your friends Alex, but Trump is running at 49% approve, 49% disapprove in the latest Rasmussen poll. That’s 5% better than Obama at the same stage, and I don’t recall anyone in the media saying Obama was “loathed”.

One big difference is that most people like Trump’s tax cuts, but disliked Obama’s health care changes. In both cases the media gave a very misleading impression, and people only learned the truth after these changes actually hit their budgets. Most like the tax cuts (bigger than told) and hated the health care changes (premiums went up more than they were told).

Italy is seething with anger over the immigrant murder and dismemberment of an 18-year-old girl

Italy is seething with anger over the immigrant murder and dismemberment of an 18-year-old girl, by Robert Hardman.

Flowers are still arriving at the roadside for Pamela Mastropietro. It is just over two weeks since this troubled blonde 18-year-old went missing here [in Macerata], only to resurface in a pair of suitcases left in a ditch.

No sooner was an illegal immigrant arrested for her killing than a local neo-fascist took it upon himself to drive around town in broad daylight shooting anyone who looked vaguely foreign.

Six African migrants were injured — though no one has left any flowers for them.

Several arrests and the arrival of one of the country’s top police officers here have done little to calm the mood.

Troubling questions continue to emerge. Why are some of the girl’s body parts allegedly missing? And why was the suspected murderer here in Macerata at all, having had all his claims for asylum rejected?  …

Elections soon:

The EU’s failed migration policies and the arrival of hundreds of thousands of African migrants on the Italian coast had already made immigration one of the two big issues in the election on March 4. The other is Italy’s dismal economy, currently buried under £2 trillion of national debt.

Macerata has raised the stakes even higher.

Most Italians I meet blame their politicians for ineptitude and the EU for abandoning them. They are in a vengeful mood. …

The two front-runners are the ‘anti-politics’ Eurosceptic Five Star Movement, founded by an anarchic comedian, but now led by a nervous young man in a suit. On the other side is a Eurosceptic, Right-wing coalition led by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. …

As for the Left, things are looking bleak. Italy’s centre-Left Democratic Party (PD) is the only one sharing the vision of ever-closer European union peddled by France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel. But Italians want less Europe, not more. …

There is, though, little appetite for a Brexit-style break with Europe — there will be no ‘Quitaly’ just yet — largely because the country could not stand the economic shock.

But Brussels is viewed with utter contempt.

Here in Macerata, 150 miles north of Rome, I find zero appetite for greater European integration — and this is a Left-wing university town.

Not any more. Even the liberals talk like Ukip, while those on the Right talk of mass deportations. Every conversation involves the phrase: ‘I’m not racist but . . .’