Emails and articles of interest are posted here by John Ray to make them more widely available
"And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" -- Genesis 12:3
My (Gentile) opinion of antisemitism: The Jews are the best we've got so killing them is killing us.
I have always liked the story of Gideon (See Judges chapters 6 to 8) and it is surely no surprise that in the present age Israel is the Gideon of nations: Few in numbers but big in power and impact.
Postings from Brisbane, Australia by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.) -- former member of the Australia-Soviet Friendship Society, former anarcho-capitalist and former member of the British Conservative party.
America is no longer the land of the free. It is now the land of the regulated -- though it is not alone in that, of course
The Leftist motto: "I love humanity. It's just people I can't stand"
Why are Leftists always talking about hate? Because it fills their own hearts
Envy is a strong and widespread human emotion so there has alway been widespread support for policies of economic "levelling". Both the USA and the modern-day State of Israel were founded by communists but reality taught both societies that respect for the individual gave much better outcomes than levelling ideas. Sadly, there are many people in both societies in whom hatred for others is so strong that they are incapable of respect for the individual. The destructiveness of what they support causes them to call themselves many names in different times and places but they are the backbone of the political Left
The large number of rich Leftists suggests that, for them, envy is secondary. They are directly driven by hatred and scorn for many of the other people that they see about them. Hatred of others can be rooted in many things, not only in envy. But the haters come together as the Left.
Leftists hate the world around them and want to change it: the people in it most particularly. Conservatives just want to be left alone to make their own decisions and follow their own values.
Ronald Reagan famously observed that the status quo is Latin for “the mess we’re in.” So much for the vacant Leftist claim that conservatives are simply defenders of the status quo. They think that conservatives are as lacking in principles as they are.
The shallow thinkers of the Left sometimes claim that conservatives want to impose their own will on others in the matter of abortion. To make that claim is however to confuse religion with politics. Conservatives are in fact divided about their response to abortion. The REAL opposition to abortion is religious rather than political. And the church which has historically tended to support the LEFT -- the Roman Catholic church -- is the most fervent in the anti-abortion cause. Conservatives are indeed the one side of politics to have moral qualms on the issue but they tend to seek a middle road in dealing with it. Taking the issue to the point of legal prohibitions is a religious doctrine rather than a conservative one -- and the religion concerned may or may not be characteristically conservative. More on that here
Some Leftist hatred arises from the fact that they blame "society" for their own personal problems and inadequacies
The Leftist hunger for change to the society that they hate leads to a hunger for control over other people. And they will do and say anything to get that control: "Power at any price". Leftist politicians are mostly self-aggrandizing crooks who gain power by deceiving the uninformed with snake-oil promises -- power which they invariably use to destroy. Destruction is all that they are good at. Destruction is what haters do.
Leftists are consistent only in their hate. They don't have principles. How can they when "there is no such thing as right and wrong"? All they have is postures, pretend-principles that can be changed as easily as one changes one's shirt
I often wonder why Leftists refer to conservatives as "wingnuts". A wingnut is a very useful device that adds versatility wherever it is used. Clearly, Leftists are not even good at abuse. Once they have accused their opponents of racism and Nazism, their cupboard is bare. Similarly, Leftists seem to think it is a devastating critique to refer to "Worldnet Daily" as "Worldnut Daily". The poverty of their argumentation is truly pitiful
The Leftist assertion that there is no such thing as right and wrong has a distinguished history. It was Pontius Pilate who said "What is truth?" (John 18:38). From a Christian viewpoint, the assertion is undoubtedly the Devil's gospel
"If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action." - Ludwig von Mises
The naive scholar who searches for a consistent Leftist program will not find it. What there is consists only in the negation of the present.
Because of their need to be different from the mainstream, Leftists are very good at pretending that sow's ears are silk purses
Among well-informed people, Leftism is a character defect. Leftists hate success in others -- which is why notably successful societies such as the USA and Israel are hated and failures such as the Palestinians can do no wrong.
A Leftist's beliefs are all designed to pander to his ego. So when you have an argument with a Leftist, you are not really discussing the facts. You are threatening his self esteem. Which is why the normal Leftist response to challenge is mere abuse.
Because of the fragility of a Leftist's ego, anything that threatens it is intolerable and provokes rage. So most Leftist blogs can be summarized in one sentence: "How DARE anybody question what I believe!". Rage and abuse substitute for an appeal to facts and reason.
Their threatened egos sometimes drive Leftists into quite desperate flights from reality. For instance, they often call Israel an "Apartheid state" -- when it is in fact the Arab states that practice Apartheid -- witness the severe restrictions on Christians in Saudi Arabia. There are no such restrictions in Israel.
Because their beliefs serve their ego rather than reality, Leftists just KNOW what is good for us. Conservatives need evidence.
“Absolute certainty is the privilege of uneducated men and fanatics.” -- C.J. Keyser
"Almost all professors of the arts and sciences are egregiously conceited, and derive their happiness from their conceit" -- Erasmus
THE FALSIFICATION OF HISTORY HAS DONE MORE TO IMPEDE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT THAN ANY ONE THING KNOWN TO MANKIND -- ROUSSEAU
"Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him" (Proverbs 26: 12). I think that sums up Leftists pretty well.
Eminent British astrophysicist Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington is often quoted as saying: "Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine." It was probably in fact said by his contemporary, J.B.S. Haldane. But regardless of authorship, it could well be a conservative credo not only about the cosmos but also about human beings and human society. Mankind is too complex to be summed up by simple rules and even complex rules are only approximations with many exceptions.
Politics is the only thing Leftists know about. They know nothing of economics, history or business. Their only expertise is in promoting feelings of grievance
Socialism makes the individual the slave of the state – capitalism frees them.
MESSAGE to Leftists: Even if you killed all conservatives tomorrow, you would just end up in another Soviet Union. Conservatives are all that stand between you and that dismal fate.
Many readers here will have noticed that what I say about Leftists sometimes sounds reminiscent of what Leftists say about conservatives. There is an excellent reason for that. Leftists are great "projectors" (people who see their own faults in others). So a good first step in finding out what is true of Leftists is to look at what they say about conservatives! They even accuse conservatives of projection (of course).
The research shows clearly that one's Left/Right stance is strongly genetically inherited but nobody knows just what specifically is inherited. What is inherited that makes people Leftist or Rightist? There is any amount of evidence that personality traits are strongly genetically inherited so my proposal is that hard-core Leftists are people who tend to let their emotions (including hatred and envy) run away with them and who are much more in need of seeing themselves as better than others -- two attributes that are probably related to one another. Such Leftists may be an evolutionary leftover from a more primitive past.
Leftists seem to believe that if someone like Al Gore says it, it must be right. They obviously have a strong need for an authority figure. The fact that the two most authoritarian regimes of the 20th century (Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia) were socialist is thus no surprise. Leftists often accuse conservatives of being "authoritarian" but that is just part of their usual "projective" strategy -- seeing in others what is really true of themselves.
Following the Sotomayor precedent, I would hope that a wise older white man such as myself with the richness of that experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than someone who hasn’t lived that life.
IQ and ideology: Most academics are Left-leaning. Why? Because very bright people who have balls go into business, while very bright people with no balls go into academe. I did both with considerable success, which makes me a considerable rarity. Although I am a born academic, I have always been good with money too. My share portfolio even survived the GFC in good shape. The academics hate it that bright people with balls make more money than them.
If I were not an atheist, I would believe that God had a sense of humour. He gave his chosen people (the Jews) enormous advantages -- high intelligence and high drive -- but to keep it fair he deprived them of something hugely important too: Political sense. So Jews to this day tend very strongly to be Leftist -- even though the chief source of antisemitism for roughly the last 200 years has been the political Left!
And the other side of the coin is that Jews tend to despise conservatives and Christians. Yet American fundamentalist Christians are the bedrock of the vital American support for Israel, the ultimate bolthole for all Jews. So Jewish political irrationality seems to be a rather good example of the saying that "The LORD giveth and the LORD taketh away". There are many other examples of such perversity (or "balance"). The sometimes severe side-effects of most pharmaceutical drugs is an obvious one but there is another ethnic example too, a rather amusing one. Chinese people are in general smart and patient people but their rate of traffic accidents in China is about 10 times higher than what prevails in Western societies. They are brilliant mathematicians and fearless business entrepreneurs but at the same time bad drivers!
The above is good testimony to the accuracy of the basic conservative insight that almost anything in human life is too complex to be reduced to any simple rule and too complex to be reduced to any rule at all without allowance for important exceptions to the rule concerned
"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here. For roughly two centuries now, antisemitism has, throughout the Western world, been principally associated with Leftism (including the socialist Hitler) -- as it is to this day. See here.
Leftists call their hatred of Israel "Anti-Zionism" but Zionists are only a small minority in Israel
Some of the Leftist hatred of Israel is motivated by old-fashioned antisemitism (beliefs in Jewish "control" etc.) but most of it is just the regular Leftist hatred of success in others. And because the societies they inhabit do not give them the vast amount of recognition that their large but weak egos need, some of the most virulent haters of Israel and America live in those countries. So the hatred is the product of pathologically high self-esteem.
Conservatives, on the other hand could be antisemitic on entirely rational grounds: Namely, the overwhelming Leftism of the Jewish population as a whole. Because they judge the individual, however, only a tiny minority of conservative-oriented people make such general judgments. The longer Jews continue on their "stiff-necked" course, however, the more that is in danger of changing. The children of Israel have been a stiff necked people since the days of Moses, however, so they will no doubt continue to vote with their emotions rather than their reason.
Who said this in 1968? "I am not, and never have been, a man of the right. My position was on the Left and is now in the centre of politics". It was Sir Oswald Mosley, founder and leader of the British Union of Fascists
The term "Fascism" is mostly used by the Left as a brainless term of abuse. But when they do make a serious attempt to define it, they produce very complex and elaborate definitions -- e.g. here and here. In fact, Fascism is simply extreme socialism plus nationalism. But great gyrations are needed to avoid mentioning the first part of that recipe, of course.
Politicians are in general only a little above average in intelligence so the idea that they can make better decisions for us that we can make ourselves is laughable
A quote from the late Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931–2005: "You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
The Supreme Court of the United States is now and always has been a judicial abomination. Its guiding principles have always been political rather than judicial. It is not as political as Stalin's courts but its respect for the constitution is little better. Some recent abuses: The "equal treatment" provision of the 14th amendment was specifically written to outlaw racial discrimination yet the court has allowed various forms of "affirmative action" for decades -- when all such policies should have been completely stuck down immediately. The 2nd. amendment says that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed yet gun control laws infringe it in every State in the union. The 1st amendment provides that speech shall be freely exercised yet the court has upheld various restrictions on the financing and display of political advertising. The court has found a right to abortion in the constitution when the word abortion is not even mentioned there. The court invents rights that do not exist and denies rights that do.
"Some action that is unconstitutional has much to recommend it" -- Elena Kagan, nominated to SCOTUS by Obama
The U.S. Constitution is neither "living" nor dead. It is fixed until it is amended. But amending it is the privilege of the people, not of politicians or judges
The book, The authoritarian personality, authored by T.W. Adorno et al. in 1950, has been massively popular among psychologists. It claims that a set of ideas that were popular in the "Progressive"-dominated America of the prewar era were "authoritarian". Leftist regimes always are authoritarian so that claim was not a big problem. What was quite amazing however is that Adorno et al. identified such ideas as "conservative". They were in fact simply popular ideas of the day but ones that had been most heavily promoted by the Left right up until the then-recent WWII. See here for details of prewar "Progressive" thinking.
The basic aim of all bureaucrats is to maximize their funding and minimize their workload
A lesson in Australian: When an Australian calls someone a "big-noter", he is saying that the person is a chronic and rather pathetic seeker of admiration -- as in someone who often pulls out "big notes" (e.g. $100.00 bills) to pay for things, thus endeavouring to create the impression that he is rich. The term describes the mentality rather than the actual behavior with money and it aptly describes many Leftists. When they purport to show "compassion" by advocating things that cost themselves nothing (e.g. advocating more taxes on "the rich" to help "the poor"), an Australian might say that the Leftist is "big-noting himself". There is an example of the usage here. The term conveys contempt. There is a wise description of Australians generally here
Some ancient wisdom for Leftists: "Be not righteous overmuch; neither make thyself over wise: Why shouldest thou die before thy time?" -- Ecclesiastes 7:16
People who mention differences in black vs. white IQ are these days almost universally howled down and subjected to the most extreme abuse. I am a psychometrician, however, so I feel obliged to defend the scientific truth of the matter: The average black adult has about the same IQ as an average white 11-year-old. The American Psychological Association is generally Left-leaning but it is the world's most prestigious body of academic psychologists. And even they have had to concede that sort of gap (one SD) in black vs. white average IQ. 11-year olds can do a lot of things but they also have their limits and there are times when such limits need to be allowed for.
Jesse Jackson: "There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery -- then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved." There ARE important racial differences.
Some Jimmy Carter wisdom: "I think it's inevitable that there will be a lower standard of living than what everybody had always anticipated," he told advisers in 1979. "there's going to be a downward turning."
R.I.P. Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet deposed a law-defying Marxist President at the express and desperate invitation of the Chilean parliament. He pioneered the free-market reforms which Reagan and Thatcher later unleashed to world-changing effect. That he used far-Leftist methods to suppress far-Leftist violence is reasonable if not ideal. The Leftist view that they should have a monopoly of violence and that others should follow the law is a total absurdity which shows only that their hate overcomes their reason
Did William Zantzinger kill poor Hattie Carroll?
The "steamroller" above who got steamrollered by his own hubris. Spitzer is a warning of how self-destructive a vast ego can be -- and also of how destructive of others it can be.
Many people hunger and thirst after righteousness. Some find it in the hatreds of the Left. Others find it in the love of Christ. I don't hunger and thirst after righteousness at all. I hunger and thirst after truth. How old-fashioned can you get?
Heritage is what survives death: Very rare and hence very valuable
I completed the work for my Ph.D. at the end of 1970 but the degree was not awarded until 1974 -- due to some academic nastiness from Seymour Martin Lipset and Fred Emery. A conservative or libertarian who makes it through the academic maze has to be at least twice as good as the average conformist Leftist. Fortunately, I am a born academic.
As well as being an academic, I am an army man and I am pleased and proud to say that I have worn my country's uniform. Although my service in the Australian army was chiefly noted for its un-notability, I DID join voluntarily in the Vietnam era, I DID reach the rank of Sergeant, and I DID volunteer for a posting in Vietnam. So I think I may be forgiven for saying something that most army men think but which most don't say because they think it is too obvious: The profession of arms is the noblest profession of all because it is the only profession where you offer to lay down your life in performing your duties. Our men fought so that people could say and think what they like but I myself always treat military men with great respect -- respect which in my view is simply their due.
Two lines below of a famous hymn that would be incomprehensible to Leftists today ("honor"? "right"? "freedom?" Freedom to agree with them is the only freedom they believe in)
First to fight for right and freedom,
And to keep our honor clean
It is of course the hymn of the USMC -- still today the relentless warriors that they always were.
I imagine that few of my readers will understand it, but I am an unabashed monarchist. And, as someone who was born and bred in a monarchy and who still lives there (i.e. Australia), that gives me no conflicts at all. In theory, one's respect for the monarchy does not depend on who wears the crown but the impeccable behaviour of the present Queen does of course help perpetuate that respect. Aside from my huge respect for the Queen, however, my favourite member of the Royal family is the redheaded Prince Harry. The Royal family is of course a military family and Prince Harry is a great example of that. As one of the world's most privileged people, he could well be an idle layabout but instead he loves his life in the army. When his girlfriend Chelsy ditched him because he was so often away, Prince Harry said: "I love Chelsy but the army comes first". A perfect military man! I doubt that many women would understand or approve of his attitude but perhaps my own small army background powers my approval of that attitude.
The kneejerk response of the Green/Left to people who challenge them is to say that the challenger is in the pay of "Big Oil", "Big Business", "Big Pharma", "Exxon-Mobil", "The Pioneer Fund" or some other entity that they see, in their childish way, as a boogeyman. So I think it might be useful for me to point out that I have NEVER received one cent from anybody by way of support for what I write. As a retired person, I live entirely on my own investments. I do not work for anybody and I am not beholden to anybody. And I have NO investments in oil companies, mining companies or "Big Pharma"
UPDATE: Despite my (statistical) aversion to mining stocks, I have recently bought a few shares in BHP -- the world's biggest miner, I gather. I run the grave risk of becoming a speaker of famous last words for saying this but I suspect that BHP is now so big as to be largely immune from the risks that plague most mining companies. I also know of no issue affecting BHP where my writings would have any relevance. The Left seem to have a visceral hatred of miners. I have never quite figured out why.
Despite my great sympathy and respect for Christianity, I am the most complete atheist you could find. I don't even believe that the word "God" is meaningful. I am not at all original in that view, of course. Such views are particularly associated with the noted German philosopher Rudolf Carnap. Unlike Carnap, however, none of my wives have committed suicide
I have no hesitation in saying that the single book which has influenced me most is the New Testament. And my Scripture blog will show that I know whereof I speak. Some might conclude that I must therefore be a very confused sort of atheist but I can assure everyone that I do not feel the least bit confused. The New Testament is a lighthouse that has illumined the thinking of all sorts of men and women and I am deeply grateful that it has shone on me.
I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age. Conservatism is in touch with reality. Leftism is not.
I imagine that the RD are still sending mailouts to my 1950s address
Most teenagers have sporting and movie posters on their bedroom walls. At age 14 I had a map of Taiwan on my wall.
"Remind me never to get this guy mad at me" -- Instapundit
I have used many sites to post my writings over the years and many have gone bad on me for various reasons. So if you click on a link here to my other writings you may get a "page not found" response if the link was put up some time before the present. All is not lost, however. All my writings have been reposted elsewhere. If you do strike a failed link, just take the filename (the last part of the link) and add it to the address of any of my current home pages and -- Voila! -- you should find the article concerned.
It seems to be a common view that you cannot talk informatively about a country unless you have been there. I completely reject that view but it is nonetheless likely that some Leftist dimbulb will at some stage aver that any comments I make about politics and events in the USA should not be heeded because I am an Australian who has lived almost all his life in Australia. I am reluctant to pander to such ignorance in the era of the "global village" but for the sake of the argument I might mention that I have visited the USA 3 times -- spending enough time in Los Angeles and NYC to get to know a fair bit about those places at least. I did however get outside those places enough to realize that they are NOT America.
If any of the short observations above about Leftism seem wrong, note that they do not stand alone. The evidence for them is set out at great length in my MONOGRAPH on Leftism.
COMMENTS: I have gradually added comments facilities to all my blogs. The comments I get are interesting. They are mostly from Leftists and most consist either of abuse or mere assertions. Reasoned arguments backed up by references to supporting evidence are almost unheard of from Leftists. Needless to say, I just delete such useless comments.
My academic background
My full name is Dr. John Joseph RAY. I am a former university teacher aged 65 at the time of writing in 2009. I was born of Australian pioneer stock in 1943 at Innisfail in the State of Queensland in Australia. I trace my ancestry wholly to the British Isles. After an early education at Innisfail State Rural School and Cairns State High School, I taught myself for matriculation. I took my B.A. in Psychology from the University of Queensland in Brisbane. I then moved to Sydney (in New South Wales, Australia) and took my M.A. in psychology from the University of Sydney in 1969 and my Ph.D. from the School of Behavioural Sciences at Macquarie University in 1974. I first tutored in psychology at Macquarie University and then taught sociology at the University of NSW. My doctorate is in psychology but I taught mainly sociology in my 14 years as a university teacher. In High Schools I taught economics. I have taught in both traditional and "progressive" (low discipline) High Schools. Fuller biographical notes here
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There are also two blogspot blogs which record what I think are my main recent articles here and here
Mirror for "Dissecting Leftism"
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MONOGRAPH ON LEFTISM
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Fascism is Leftist
Hitler a socialist
What are Leftists
Psychology of Left
Leftism is authoritarian
James on Leftism
Irbe on Leftism
Beltt on Leftism
Pyszczynski et al.
Cautionary blogs about big Australian companies:
St. George bank
Bank of Qld.
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Saturday, October 02, 2004
John Kerry Made At Least 16 Inaccurate Statements During Last Night's Debate
Kerry Inaccurately Claimed Cuts In Homeland Security Funding Caused NYC Subway To Be Closed During The RNC Convention. "In an early exchange about homeland security, Kerry got it wrong when he claimed President Bush's cuts in funding for infrastructure protection was 'why they had to close down the subway in New York when the Republican Convention was there.' The only problem is that no subway service beneath Madison Square Garden was suspended during the convention, even as buses were diverted and gridlock ruled the streets." ("Subway Flub Derails Challenger," The New York Post, 10/1/04)
Kerry Falsely Claimed He Had "Made A Mistake In How" He Talked About His Vote Against The $87 Billion, Despite Previously Saying It Would Be "Irresponsible" To Vote Against Funding For Our Troops. (CBS -- "Face The Nation", 9/14/03)
Kerry Claimed He's "Never, Ever" Used Word "Lying" In Reference To President Bush On Iraq, But In December 2003 Kerry Told A New Hampshire Editorial Board Bush "Lied" About Reasons For Going To War In Iraq And In September 2003 Kerry Said Bush Administration "Lied" And "Misled." (Patrick Healy, "Kerry Camp Lowers N.H. Expectations Behind In Polls, Senator Now Seeks Spot In 'Top Two,'" The Boston Globe, 12/8/03; Sen. John Kerry, Campaign Event, Claremont, NH, 9/20/03)
According To FactCheck.Org, Kerry's "Cost" For The Iraq War Is Off By $80 Billion. ("Distortions And Misstatements At First Presidential Debate," FactCheck.org, 10/1/04, http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID=271, Accessed 10/1/04)
According To FactCheck.Org, Kerry "Overstated The Case" On Osama Bin Laden's Alleged Escape At Tora Bora. ("Distortions And Misstatements At First Presidential Debate," FactCheck.org, 10/1/04, http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID=271, Accessed 10/1/04)
Kerry Made Assumption The UN Was Willing To Continue Sanctions Against Iraq Despite The Fact They Were Becoming "Increasingly Unpopular With Key Nations." (Glenn Kessler And Walter Pincus, "Few Factual Errors, But Truth Got Stretched At Times," The Washington Post, 10/1/04)
Kerry Misspoke And Said Weapons Of Mass Destruction Were "Crossing The (Iraq) Border Every Single Day." "The AP noted that Kerry misspoke when he said 'we got weapons of mass destruction crossing the (Iraq) border every single day, and they're blowing people up.' Kerry meant terrorists were crossing the border, not nuclear weapons." ("Distortions And Misstatements At First Presidential Debate," FactCheck.org, 10/1/04, http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID=271, Accessed 10/1/04)
Kerry Claimed U.S. Soldiers Are "90 Percent Of The Casualties In Iraq," But The Wall Street Journal Puts U.S. Casualties Closer To 50% When You Include Iraqis Helping To Secure Their Own Country. (Editorial, "Our Kerry Iraq Guide," The Wall Street Journal, 9/30/04)
Kerry Falsely Claimed President Bush Diverted Forces From Afghanistan To Iraq; Gen. Tommy Franks Said It's "Absolutely Incorrect" That Resources Were Diverted From Afghanistan. (General Tommy Franks, ABC Radio's "The Sean Hannity Show," 9/21/04)
Kerry Falsely Claimed The Bush Administration Has Not Organized An International Summit To Discuss Iraq. "Reality Check: The administration has, in fact, organized just such a conference, in consultation with Iraqi and other Arab allies. It will be held in Cairo late in November, with the foreign ministers of the G8 countries (i.e. including antiwar countries such as France, Germany and Russia), China, the countries of the Arab League, Turkey and Iran invited to attend. If it goes ahead, it will mark the most significant attempt to forge a political consensus on Iraq since the war." (Tony Karon, "Reality Check: John Kerry," Time.com, http://www.time.com/time/election2004/article/0,18471,703913,00.html, 10/1/04)
Kerry Falsely Claimed The President Is "Cutting The COPS Program," When The Truth Is President Bush Has Already Met And Exceeded The COPS Program's 100,000 Officer Goal By 18 Percent. (http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/Default.asp?Item=1056)
Kerry Claimed Gen. Shinseki Was Retired For Testimony On Iraq When In Fact Shinseki's Retirement Was Announced In April 2002, Long Before He Testified About Potential Conduct Of Iraq War. (Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, "Inside The Ring," The Washington Times, 4/19/02)
Kerry Misleadingly Claimed He Can Bring More Allies Into Iraq. "Reality Check: It wasn't the President's credibility that kept most of the international community out of Iraq; it was, and is, the policies pursued by the U.S. in Iraq. But Kerry is broadly committed to the same policies. And if, as he says, other countries will participate because they have a stake in the outcome, the presumably they would do so no matter who was President of the United States." (Tony Karon, "Reality Check: John Kerry," Time.com, http://www.time.com/time/election2004/article/0,18471,703913,00.html, 10/1/04)
Kerry Claimed To Have His Own Four-Point Plan For Iraq, But It Mirrors The President's Plan. "Kerry's "plan" is pretty much a checklist of recent initiatives adopted by the Bush Administration." (Tony Karon, "Reality Check: John Kerry," Time.com, http://www.time.com/time/election2004/article/0,18471,703913,00.html, 10/1/04)
Kerry Falsely Stated The Agreement With North Korea Broke Down Because The President Didn't Continue The Clinton Administration's Policy. "Reality Check: While the Yongbon facility was under scrutiny and the fuel rods were sealed, North Korea has since admitted to running a secret parallel uranium-enrichment program to create weapons-grade fissile material in the years following the agreement reached with the Clinton administration, in violation of that agreement." (Tony Karon, "Reality Check: John Kerry," Time.com, http://www.time.com/time/election2004/article/0,18471,703913,00.html, 10/1/04)
Kerry Falsely Claimed The "Reason For Going To War Was Weapons Of Mass Destruction, Not The Removal Of Saddam Hussein," But The 2002 Use Of Force Resolution Kerry Voted For Specifically Recognized Longstanding Regime Change Policy. (Public Law No. 107-243, Signed Into Law 10/16/02
(The above list originally appeared here).
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
You won't hear about THIS on the evening news!
Last week, on Tuesday, our school had a field trip to see President Bush speak at the Farm Progress Show in Alleman, Iowa. It was even educational ( ! ) to learn about all the security we had to go through at the outdoor event. It was a typical campaign stop for the President. He spoke for 45 minutes, much of his speech was about agriculture because there were many farmers there, along with thousands of other people.
A few days later we learned something very interesting about George W Bush's visit to Iowa. Carson's former teacher had some friends there at the speech, whose son had been killed in Iraq as a Marine last April. The couple's son was named Ben. Ben's parents had blue tickets, which meant they would be standing outside on the ground with the rest of the crowd to hear the speech.
At some point, their tickets were upgraded, and they were given tickets where they could be seated on the stage with the president. About 45 minutes before President Bush came on stage, 2 secret service men asked them to leave the stage, and come inside a white trailer, behind the stage. The parents were told to wait there, and also told that when the door of the trailer opened, they would want to stand up.
When the door opened, there was President Bush. He greeted them warmly, sat down with them at a table, and said, "Tell me all about Ben." The parents told of how Ben knew the all the reasons why he was going into Iraq, and how he was glad to be doing what he, as a Marine, had been called to do. They told of how they had a complete peace about his death, and how they were absolutely certain he was in a much better place now.
After about 20 minutes of conversation, Ben's dad said, "We want to tell you, Mr. President, that my wife and I pray for you every day." Then President Bush said, "Let's pray right now." They gathered hands around the table. Ben's dad opened the prayer and the President closed.
This quiet encounter happened on a day when the President had major campaign stops in Tennessee and Pennsylvania, as well as Iowa. He also made an appearance at the Republican National Convention that evening by satellite. We were amazed to hear of this kind and heartfelt deed, which is one of many that the President does without any reporters present, and a deed that will not likely ever hit the mainstream media. It was a lesson to my children, that a truly great leader is a humble person, one who will go out of his way seek out the hurting, and lastly, a man of prayer who loves and trusts God. I hope that by sharing this, you will see a glimpse of this leader behind a closed door. I hope that we can also ponder, as Ben's parents did even in their sorrow, that God has a plan for our lives, and for our country.
Monday, September 27, 2004
VILLAIN OR VICTIM
He might have left office four years ago, but Bill Clinton would still like to settle some old scores. Here, for the first time, he shares with Australian Journalist of the Year, Peter Wilson, his theory on exactly who tried to get him out of the White House
Bill Clinton is sitting in a London hotel suite, calmly naming the man who set in motion the "vast right-wing conspiracy" to undo his presidency. It is more than 12 years since Clinton was first sworn in as president by United States Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and more than six years since Hillary Clinton first went public with her famous conspiracy theory - that the official inquiries and shadowy dirt-digging exercises that ended up exposing her husband's affair with Monica Lewinsky were the work of right-wing ideologues. Neither Clinton has ever named a conspirator-in-chief.
But now, during an interview intended to promote his autobiography, "My Life", a more relaxed ex-president is discussing what he calls, "the right-wing coup". As well as the well-known man who got the ball rolling on the campaign to drive him from office - "a very partisan Republican" with his own history of opposing civil rights, who knew exactly what he was doing when he set the dogs loose on Clinton.
The aim of that hunt, Clinton says, was nothing less than to overturn the results of the 1992 and 1996 presidential elections, and the culprit eventually played a key role in stealing the 2000 election for George W Bush.
An aide sits quietly in a chair behind me, overseeing our interview, and as Clinton starts to talk more passionately about evidence that he says indicates the person in question might have held racist views, the aide suddenly clears his throat, then coughs loudly - the only such interruption of our entire interview.
It might have been coincidence, but when I later listen to the tape of the interview, I hear the former president hesitate when he hears the cough, pause for a second and then choose his words more carefully. And no wonder. The man he was blaming was William Rehnquist, the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, who twice swore Clinton in as president. This was a remarkable attack by a former president on the superpower's highest judge.....
Clinton's greatest anger is reserved for the judges who appointed Starr in the first place. Laws passed after the watergate scandal gave the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court the power to appoint a three-judge panel which in turn appoints special prosecutors with enormous powers to investigate a presidency. In appointing that panel, the chief justice is supposed to avoid political activists and is specifically directed by the relevant Act to give preference to senior or retired judges. But William Rehnquist, a 79-year-old conservative lawyer appointed from within the Nixon administration and promoted to chief justice by Reagan, first removed the moderate Republican who was head of the panel and in mid-1994 overlooked a dozen more senior judges to appoint the relatively inexperienced David Sentelle, 50, as chairman. To say that Sentelle is a politically partisan judge is like saying Bill Clinton votes Democrat.
In August 1994, Justice Sentelle's panel sacked Robert Fiske, a Republican prosecutor who had been appointed by Clinton's attorney-general, Janet Reno, to look into the Whitewater corruption allegations. Reno had been involved in appointing Fiske only because Congress had allowed the law authorising Sentelle's panel to temporarily lapse.
Fiske was moving to wrap up his inquiries and had already angered some hardline Republicans by ruling that Clinton's friend and aide, Vince Foster, had committed suicide the previous year and had not been murdered, as Clinton-haters such as the radio host Rush Limbaugh and televangelist Jerry Falwell had claimed. Sentelle replaced Fiske, an experienced and respected prosecutor, with Starr, a highly partisan Republican lawyer and former judge who had never prosecuted a single criminal case and, incredibly, had earlier offered to work for free to help Paula Jones sue Clinton for alleged sexual harassment.
Clinton argues persuasively that Starr - "an ultraconservative guy" - should never have been given, or accepted, the job. "He was plainly conflicted - he had already tried to get into the Paula Jones case and he had no business doing it [becoming prosecutor].
"There is a reason he was put in there, to do what he did - at a minimum to take the inquiry beyond the 1996 election. And to do whatever could be done to try to sink our ship and reverse the results of two presidential elections. He can deny that all he wants but it is true. It was just a dragnet, and if I gave you $70 million and told you to go and investigate one of your competitors, you would find somebody who did something wrong.
"But I don't hold him accountable for what he did - he was part of a larger movement and he was just doing what he thought he was hired to do, which is the reason that the other guy was replaced. Fiske was too fast and too fair, even though he was a Republican," Clinton says.
In his book, Clinton accuses the Rehnquist court of stealing the 2000 election by halting vote-counting in Florida for three days when George Bush was ahead in the count, and then ruling by a 5-4 majority to forbid further counting that might have given victory to a11 Gore. Calling it "one of the worst decisions the Supreme Court ever made", Clinton wrote that "five Republican judges stripped thousands of their fellow Americans of their votes, just because they could".
When I suggest that he is clearly no fan of Justice Rehnquist, Clinton goes further: "Yeah, well he knew what he was doing [in appointing Sentelle]. Five former presidents of the American Bar Association, including two Republicans, criticised Starr's appointment in the first place." Clinton, now clearly on a subject that still rankles, goes on to develop his conspiracy theory further, citing historical precedent all the way back to the Nixon White House....
When told about Clinton's comments on Rehnquist, Stephen Hess, an expert on presidential politics at the centre-left Brookings Institution in Washington, says it is "an extraordinary thing for any president or former president to say about a chief justice". "Ex-presidents typically become instant elder statesmen and don't spend their time settling old scores," Hess says. "It clearly shows a real animus, a deep-seated animosity towards the Chief Justice, who is conservative but is generally not considered to be a partisan person in that way."
Neal Katyal, a professor of law at Washington's Georgetown University, agrees it is "strikingly unusual" for a former president to accuse a chief justice of such unethical behaviour. "The problem is that this system of appointing special prosecutors makes the chief justice a political figure and creates terrible temptations for judges, and an opportunity for presidents to blame their problems on the judges."
Hess says one of the most remarkable things about Clinton's comments is his allegation that Rehnquist held racist views. "I think playing the race card like that is disturbing - it is unattractive of Clinton and unfair to Rehnquist."
And yet racism is a crucial part of Clinton's explanation of why his enemies came after him so relentlessly. "Black people all over America knew that the drive to impeach me was being led by riaht-wing white southerners who had never lifted a finger for civil rights," he claims in "My Life".
Author Toni Morrison famously called him "our first black president" because of his relationship with black America, and he has even been inducted to the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. But racism is still an extraordinary explanation, I suggest, for the hunting of a president who was, to put it bluntly, white.....
For the man who so often persuaded millions of Americans to see things his way, this will be one of the hardest sells of all - convincing people that the hunting of his presidency was not really about his own grubby meetings with a young intern, but about a witch-hunt by an unethical prosecutor, and the deliberate abuse of the highest judicial office in the land.
The above are excerpts from an article that appeared in "The Weekend Australian Magazine" of September 11th, 2004. A letter to the same publication published in its issue of 25th. had the following comment:
I thoroughly enjoyed the juxtaposition of Dr Robert Hare's psychopathic theory with your article on Clinton. Hare suggests a psychopath has "a lack of empathy or guilt, a desire to manipulate, to blame others and to be callous and calculating without necessarily resorting to criminal behaviour". Clinton has shown little empathy with or guilt over the affairs that led to his impeachment. He has consistently manipulated his lovers and the public and now tries to blame his problems on a right-wing conspiracy.
Stephanie Hamilton Ardross, WA
The summary of Hare's theory referred to is also given hereunder:
They say you need a bit of "the mongrel" in you if you want to succeed in business, but ruthless corporate climbers be warned: you could be a potential psychopath. That's the conclusion of a world-renowned expert in psychopathy, Dr Robert Hare, of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Based on 20 years of research, he claims that about one per cent of the general population - and 25 per cent of the prison population - has psychopathic tendencies. The psychopath thrives in today's hyper-competitive business world, Hare suggests. No, we're not talking about the types who have more human body parts than chicken wings in their freezer - but those whose traits include a lack of empathy or guilt, a desire to
manipulate and back-stab, to blame and bully others, to be callous and calculating - without necessarily resorting to criminal behaviour. Indeed, this corporate psychopath may be lurking in the next cubicle.
The psychopaths who wind up in prison are merely the "failed" variety, according to Hare, the predators who let their powerful cravings get the better of them because they are either not smart or disciplined enough to control them. All psychopaths - or sociopaths, as they are more euphemistically known these days - share a spectrum of characteristics. Many are highly charismatic, but save their phoney charm for those higher up the food chain or who are useful to them in some way.
Psychopaths brim with the very qualities most of us envy: an untroubled conscience, boundless self-confidence and a propensity to cajole, even if they have the soul of Satan.
Psychopathic behaviour can be identified across all professions, from stockbrokers to heart specialists, according to Hare. But in case you suddenly suspect that you might be working with or for a psychopath, bear in mind it's a recognised medical syndrome - anti-social personality disorder - diagnosed from a long list of different criteria including habitual lying and deceit, and an absolute lack of remorse for decisions that hurt co-workers.
In short, beneath that highly successful facade you have to be a really nasty piece of work to make it as a true workplace psychopath.