Day: November 13, 2017

Trump Shines in Foreign Policy


Remember ISIS? When Obama left office, it was still a growing network of eager sadistic killers, with secret sponsorship by Turkey, by some Gulf Arab regimes, the Wahhabi radicals, and by the Iranians. Today a lot of those boastful YouTube killers are just smoking splotches in the sand.

A single MOAB bomb was dropped on a mountain tunnel complex in Afghanistan, apparently a clean target with no “weddings” going on. The day afterwards the media said that 94 ISIS killers died, but that assumes that somebody had already cleaned up that collapsed tunnel structure; not a chance. So a hundred or more of the worst human beings since Hitler died in one big explosion. 

Most important, the United States sent a strong signal of determination. Trump-Mattis announced a strategy of “surround and kill the enemy in place.” For mass-murdering criminals there will be no mercy.

The U.S. media just rolled its eyes and yawned, but the Muslim world got the message loud and clear. They’ve been wondering how long the United States, which was the winning power in the Cold War and the two world wars was going to come back to its senses. Well, the MOAB bombing wasn’t wish-washy, it wasn’t half-hearted and it didn’t signal cowardice and weakness. The United States was finally getting serious.

Obama would never even name the enemy, and most importantly, under Obama the United States lost the moral high ground against child-murdering sadists; we started to support Sunni killer cults in Syria.

If ISIS is just a minor nuisance, as Obama tried to tell us, that would make the genocides of history meaningless. But genocide is first-degree murder on an enormous scale. Murder with malice aforethought is punished for a good reason. The church killer in Tennessee the other day had a previous conviction for attacking a two-year-old baby, and he should have been put away for good. It would have saved many good and decent lives in Tennessee.

ISIS is just like that guy, except they think God wants them to kill babies.

Obama never, ever seemed to get that basic point of morality, nor did Hillary, nor did any other Democrat. Trump and Mattis obviously understand it, and Mattis has been subtly reminding Muslims that yes, they also have a moral code that prohibits baby killing (it depends on the religion of the baby). Since Mattis took over, DOD press releases constantly remind Muslims that baby-killing is the worst evil.

Obama seemed to take the side of the enemy, and Bush just called the whole thing “the War on Terror,” totally ignoring the monstrous doctrine that runs Al Qaida and ISIS and other jihad killer cults. American military who were on the ground in Syria and Afghanistan were tremendously demoralized by U.S. failure to cast this war in the proper moral terms. Mattis in particular emphasizes morality in war, a concept liberals can’t even imagine. You kill people because they are beyond evil. You don’t kill innocents. Somehow the Democrats can’t seem to remember that.

So Trump and Mattis have been effective against ISIS because they know they are doing the right thing. So do the rest of us. (But Hillary never seemed to get the point, either.)

ISIS war theology is still peddled by the Wahhabi priesthood in the Sunni states and by Saudi-funded mosques around the world. The Iranians have their own version of primitive desert morality, and they are still encircling the Sunni states and Israel.

So Trump opened up our domestic oil and gas. In one year we have become the biggest supplier in the world. OPEC doesn’t control the price anymore, and we are now the strong horse.

The new heir to the Saudi throne (known as MBS for Mohammed bin Salman) and the aging king needed our help against Iran. They know Trump won’t help Saudi Arabia if they don’t purge their own jihad sponsors. That is one big reason for the purge over there, and we will have to see how it comes out.

Now why do you suppose the Bushes, the Clintons, the Obamas and such didn’t think of cranking up U.S. oil and gas? They could have done it by executive order at any time since the first truck bomb attack on the Twin Towers in 1993. Just think of that.

Would Bush have opened the American oil spigot? Or Obama? Hillary?

Fat chance.

But Trump did it, and patriots should be cheering.

The Saudis could see their doom coming up fast, and they have been sending surrender signals. So their fabulous century of oil dominance is fading, and it was change or die. That is why the current purge had to come.

Trump is supposed to be an idiot, but this idiot has been a success in the international hotel business for years, and people like that have to know about currencies and commodities. They have to have credible information sources or they’ll make the wrong moves. They have to read price signals. Rex Tillerson is one likely source for Trump, and so is Mattis.

(Meanwhile the idiot media are spotting a Trump-Tillerson split. They have no idea how serious these people are, and it’s better to keep them in their hate-hate-hate narrative. They can’t make real trouble that way.)

Pessimists still say you can’t defeat the Muslim terror campaign. In jihad you have to kill the diehards on the battlefield, but then you also have to change them ideologically. We did it with Japan in World War II, another war theology with a knack for martyrdom. In Germany, the Nazis were destroyed and the culture changed. In the former Soviet Union, the culture has changed dramatically. So yes, the U.S. does have a track record of beating fanatics and ultimately changing war ideologies.

After the Ottoman Empire went down after World War I, Kemal Ataturk was able to secularize Turkey, and that lasted until the present jihadist dictator Recip Erdogan. Turkey became modern, women were educated, and then the reactionary throwbacks took over again. Erdogan put a stop to modernization, but maybe it’s time for America to take the moral side in Turkey, too.

Let’s remember that one year ago, when Obama left office. Obama didn’t just leave the United States idling in neutral, foreign-policy-wise, but rather in the worst shape we’ve ever been in. He made clear his lifelong hatred and contempt for the United States — that’s what the Obama Apology Tour was about — and our worst enemies were celebrating.

So, post-Obama, the United States wasn’t just on level zero. We were below zero.

Today the NYT-WaPo Axis of Sabotage is complaining that Trump is scaring Kim III of North Korea too much. OMG, he’s gonna get us into a nuke war!!!

The Wap-NYTs have always whipped up fear about strong U.S. presidents, never about foreign throwbacks like Kim III threatening us with nuclear weapons. They don’t care if it’s the Soviet Union, or the Nazis way back then, or Stalin, or the 9/11/01 Wahhabi killers. Our enemies are all victims of U.S. Imperialism, and if they’re mad at us we gotta just take the punishment we deserve.

This is a form of liberal insanity, of course, but the one positive is that the voters understand it all. The Trump voters include tens of millions of Americans who love their country, and wanted Obama and Hillary out of their lives.

The Democrats still can’t believe it, because somewhere in their infantile minds they just can’t grasp that normal people do not love them. Just like Harvey the perp, anytime he shook his personal business at a young actress, he just couldn’t take No for an answer.

Well, the American voter said No! loud and clear, and the left is still screaming at the heavens in protest. (Though not at God).

The Democrats will lose as long as the current inner cult stays in charge. All we can do is encourage them to get as infantile as possible, and hope they’ll never bring in any adults.

Trump might just achieve that all on his own. 

Remember ISIS? When Obama left office, it was still a growing network of eager sadistic killers, with secret sponsorship by Turkey, by some Gulf Arab regimes, the Wahhabi radicals, and by the Iranians. Today a lot of those boastful YouTube killers are just smoking splotches in the sand.

A single MOAB bomb was dropped on a mountain tunnel complex in Afghanistan, apparently a clean target with no “weddings” going on. The day afterwards the media said that 94 ISIS killers died, but that assumes that somebody had already cleaned up that collapsed tunnel structure; not a chance. So a hundred or more of the worst human beings since Hitler died in one big explosion. 

Most important, the United States sent a strong signal of determination. Trump-Mattis announced a strategy of “surround and kill the enemy in place.” For mass-murdering criminals there will be no mercy.

The U.S. media just rolled its eyes and yawned, but the Muslim world got the message loud and clear. They’ve been wondering how long the United States, which was the winning power in the Cold War and the two world wars was going to come back to its senses. Well, the MOAB bombing wasn’t wish-washy, it wasn’t half-hearted and it didn’t signal cowardice and weakness. The United States was finally getting serious.

Obama would never even name the enemy, and most importantly, under Obama the United States lost the moral high ground against child-murdering sadists; we started to support Sunni killer cults in Syria.

If ISIS is just a minor nuisance, as Obama tried to tell us, that would make the genocides of history meaningless. But genocide is first-degree murder on an enormous scale. Murder with malice aforethought is punished for a good reason. The church killer in Tennessee the other day had a previous conviction for attacking a two-year-old baby, and he should have been put away for good. It would have saved many good and decent lives in Tennessee.

ISIS is just like that guy, except they think God wants them to kill babies.

Obama never, ever seemed to get that basic point of morality, nor did Hillary, nor did any other Democrat. Trump and Mattis obviously understand it, and Mattis has been subtly reminding Muslims that yes, they also have a moral code that prohibits baby killing (it depends on the religion of the baby). Since Mattis took over, DOD press releases constantly remind Muslims that baby-killing is the worst evil.

Obama seemed to take the side of the enemy, and Bush just called the whole thing “the War on Terror,” totally ignoring the monstrous doctrine that runs Al Qaida and ISIS and other jihad killer cults. American military who were on the ground in Syria and Afghanistan were tremendously demoralized by U.S. failure to cast this war in the proper moral terms. Mattis in particular emphasizes morality in war, a concept liberals can’t even imagine. You kill people because they are beyond evil. You don’t kill innocents. Somehow the Democrats can’t seem to remember that.

So Trump and Mattis have been effective against ISIS because they know they are doing the right thing. So do the rest of us. (But Hillary never seemed to get the point, either.)

ISIS war theology is still peddled by the Wahhabi priesthood in the Sunni states and by Saudi-funded mosques around the world. The Iranians have their own version of primitive desert morality, and they are still encircling the Sunni states and Israel.

So Trump opened up our domestic oil and gas. In one year we have become the biggest supplier in the world. OPEC doesn’t control the price anymore, and we are now the strong horse.

The new heir to the Saudi throne (known as MBS for Mohammed bin Salman) and the aging king needed our help against Iran. They know Trump won’t help Saudi Arabia if they don’t purge their own jihad sponsors. That is one big reason for the purge over there, and we will have to see how it comes out.

Now why do you suppose the Bushes, the Clintons, the Obamas and such didn’t think of cranking up U.S. oil and gas? They could have done it by executive order at any time since the first truck bomb attack on the Twin Towers in 1993. Just think of that.

Would Bush have opened the American oil spigot? Or Obama? Hillary?

Fat chance.

But Trump did it, and patriots should be cheering.

The Saudis could see their doom coming up fast, and they have been sending surrender signals. So their fabulous century of oil dominance is fading, and it was change or die. That is why the current purge had to come.

Trump is supposed to be an idiot, but this idiot has been a success in the international hotel business for years, and people like that have to know about currencies and commodities. They have to have credible information sources or they’ll make the wrong moves. They have to read price signals. Rex Tillerson is one likely source for Trump, and so is Mattis.

(Meanwhile the idiot media are spotting a Trump-Tillerson split. They have no idea how serious these people are, and it’s better to keep them in their hate-hate-hate narrative. They can’t make real trouble that way.)

Pessimists still say you can’t defeat the Muslim terror campaign. In jihad you have to kill the diehards on the battlefield, but then you also have to change them ideologically. We did it with Japan in World War II, another war theology with a knack for martyrdom. In Germany, the Nazis were destroyed and the culture changed. In the former Soviet Union, the culture has changed dramatically. So yes, the U.S. does have a track record of beating fanatics and ultimately changing war ideologies.

After the Ottoman Empire went down after World War I, Kemal Ataturk was able to secularize Turkey, and that lasted until the present jihadist dictator Recip Erdogan. Turkey became modern, women were educated, and then the reactionary throwbacks took over again. Erdogan put a stop to modernization, but maybe it’s time for America to take the moral side in Turkey, too.

Let’s remember that one year ago, when Obama left office. Obama didn’t just leave the United States idling in neutral, foreign-policy-wise, but rather in the worst shape we’ve ever been in. He made clear his lifelong hatred and contempt for the United States — that’s what the Obama Apology Tour was about — and our worst enemies were celebrating.

So, post-Obama, the United States wasn’t just on level zero. We were below zero.

Today the NYT-WaPo Axis of Sabotage is complaining that Trump is scaring Kim III of North Korea too much. OMG, he’s gonna get us into a nuke war!!!

The Wap-NYTs have always whipped up fear about strong U.S. presidents, never about foreign throwbacks like Kim III threatening us with nuclear weapons. They don’t care if it’s the Soviet Union, or the Nazis way back then, or Stalin, or the 9/11/01 Wahhabi killers. Our enemies are all victims of U.S. Imperialism, and if they’re mad at us we gotta just take the punishment we deserve.

This is a form of liberal insanity, of course, but the one positive is that the voters understand it all. The Trump voters include tens of millions of Americans who love their country, and wanted Obama and Hillary out of their lives.

The Democrats still can’t believe it, because somewhere in their infantile minds they just can’t grasp that normal people do not love them. Just like Harvey the perp, anytime he shook his personal business at a young actress, he just couldn’t take No for an answer.

Well, the American voter said No! loud and clear, and the left is still screaming at the heavens in protest. (Though not at God).

The Democrats will lose as long as the current inner cult stays in charge. All we can do is encourage them to get as infantile as possible, and hope they’ll never bring in any adults.

Trump might just achieve that all on his own. 



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The Dark Side of Science


The technology spawned by science grows ever more powerful, and does so at an ever-faster rate. Where is it taking us?

Science has bestowed enormous benefits on mankind. But it has a dark side as well. It gives us miracle medicines, but also, germ warfare. It bestows upon us nuclear power, and nuclear bombs. Its power can be used to benefit the environment or to destroy it.

But there is another aspect of science, one that has nothing to do with technology. It has to do with shaping our worldview. In doing so, it influences how we structure our society, our laws, and our moral codes.

What is most remarkable about science is not its gadgetry, but rather, what it tells us about ourselves, who we are, what is our purpose and destiny. Do we have inherent value? Or are we just another species of animal?

In other words, there is a powerful philosophy that underpins science. It affects us all.

Science is based on the premise that the universe has rules, unbreakable laws that do not depend on our opinion, but which are revealed to us by observation and reason. As far as we can tell, the universe is orderly; it has structure and hierarchy. Is that all just meaningless coincidence?

Until recent times, nature was correctly seen to be the work of a divine designer whose purpose, plan and meaning are revealed to us in the wonders of Creation. We have a special place in that creation; we are its stewards, its gardeners. We have life, we have consciousness — and we possess free will. Therefore, we are accountable for our deeds. Our noble purpose is to love one another, to be our brother’s keeper, and to treat each other with the same kindness and respect we desire for ourselves.

But that was then, this is now.

Many scientists no longer regard us as having any special place. We are no longer regarded as having a spiritual dimension, but only a physical one. We are seen to be products of a cold, uncaring universe, indeed, not even a product, but only a mere byproduct, an accident, an unlikely outcome of events that had no plan, no purpose, no meaning.

The inevitable extension of this purely physical view of humanity is technological barbarism. If we are mere atoms, biological machines, then by what right can we expect to be treated as anything more than that?  Indeed, there would be no rights at all, but only force.

Of course, such dismal interpretations of science are not at all scientific, but only ideological. Most people, however, confronted with the scientific arguments for physics devoid of spirit, find themselves ill equipped to counter those arguments. All too many people have subscribed to the material paradigm, and have come to regard religious faith as mere superstition at best, as harmful at worst.

The God paradigm, on the other hand, holds that life is not merely a chemical reaction. It informs us that our free will empowers us – supernaturally — to break the otherwise immutable chain of cause and effect.

Physical science, when it is divorced from faith, denies that free will can possibly exist. In that view, the criminal cannot be blamed for his crimes; the hero deserves no praise.

In the material view, as expressed by the social left, there is no right, no wrong. “Do as thou wilt.” That view has led us to enact laws that make no moral distinction between family values and sexually perverse relationships. It regards humans in the womb as disposable tissue masses.  It invites, across our borders, masses of people who are hostile to Judeo-Christians. It defines our Founders only by their sad record of slavery, but makes no mention of the freedoms they imparted to all of us.  It is changing the definition of free speech to violent bigotry. It promotes the accelerating decay of Western civilization.

How can we free ourselves from that futile and destructive world view? The answer is simple, but not easy. We need to reform the institutions of both science and politics.  We need to restore faith to the public forum.

Concerning scientific atheism, the late, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen said it well. He wrote,

“The great arcana of Divine Mysteries cannot be known by reason, but only by Revelation.  Reason can however, once in possession of these truths, offer persuasions to show that they are not only not contrary to reason, or destructive of nature, but eminently suited to a scientific temper of mind and the perfection of all that is best in human nature.” — The Life of All Living

Science is only as valuable as its foundation. If that foundation is not faith, then science is a house built upon shifting sand, and must collapse. Let’s stop worshipping the false gods of so-called science, before they demand the sacrifice of all that is truly sacred.

The technology spawned by science grows ever more powerful, and does so at an ever-faster rate. Where is it taking us?

Science has bestowed enormous benefits on mankind. But it has a dark side as well. It gives us miracle medicines, but also, germ warfare. It bestows upon us nuclear power, and nuclear bombs. Its power can be used to benefit the environment or to destroy it.

But there is another aspect of science, one that has nothing to do with technology. It has to do with shaping our worldview. In doing so, it influences how we structure our society, our laws, and our moral codes.

What is most remarkable about science is not its gadgetry, but rather, what it tells us about ourselves, who we are, what is our purpose and destiny. Do we have inherent value? Or are we just another species of animal?

In other words, there is a powerful philosophy that underpins science. It affects us all.

Science is based on the premise that the universe has rules, unbreakable laws that do not depend on our opinion, but which are revealed to us by observation and reason. As far as we can tell, the universe is orderly; it has structure and hierarchy. Is that all just meaningless coincidence?

Until recent times, nature was correctly seen to be the work of a divine designer whose purpose, plan and meaning are revealed to us in the wonders of Creation. We have a special place in that creation; we are its stewards, its gardeners. We have life, we have consciousness — and we possess free will. Therefore, we are accountable for our deeds. Our noble purpose is to love one another, to be our brother’s keeper, and to treat each other with the same kindness and respect we desire for ourselves.

But that was then, this is now.

Many scientists no longer regard us as having any special place. We are no longer regarded as having a spiritual dimension, but only a physical one. We are seen to be products of a cold, uncaring universe, indeed, not even a product, but only a mere byproduct, an accident, an unlikely outcome of events that had no plan, no purpose, no meaning.

The inevitable extension of this purely physical view of humanity is technological barbarism. If we are mere atoms, biological machines, then by what right can we expect to be treated as anything more than that?  Indeed, there would be no rights at all, but only force.

Of course, such dismal interpretations of science are not at all scientific, but only ideological. Most people, however, confronted with the scientific arguments for physics devoid of spirit, find themselves ill equipped to counter those arguments. All too many people have subscribed to the material paradigm, and have come to regard religious faith as mere superstition at best, as harmful at worst.

The God paradigm, on the other hand, holds that life is not merely a chemical reaction. It informs us that our free will empowers us – supernaturally — to break the otherwise immutable chain of cause and effect.

Physical science, when it is divorced from faith, denies that free will can possibly exist. In that view, the criminal cannot be blamed for his crimes; the hero deserves no praise.

In the material view, as expressed by the social left, there is no right, no wrong. “Do as thou wilt.” That view has led us to enact laws that make no moral distinction between family values and sexually perverse relationships. It regards humans in the womb as disposable tissue masses.  It invites, across our borders, masses of people who are hostile to Judeo-Christians. It defines our Founders only by their sad record of slavery, but makes no mention of the freedoms they imparted to all of us.  It is changing the definition of free speech to violent bigotry. It promotes the accelerating decay of Western civilization.

How can we free ourselves from that futile and destructive world view? The answer is simple, but not easy. We need to reform the institutions of both science and politics.  We need to restore faith to the public forum.

Concerning scientific atheism, the late, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen said it well. He wrote,

“The great arcana of Divine Mysteries cannot be known by reason, but only by Revelation.  Reason can however, once in possession of these truths, offer persuasions to show that they are not only not contrary to reason, or destructive of nature, but eminently suited to a scientific temper of mind and the perfection of all that is best in human nature.” — The Life of All Living

Science is only as valuable as its foundation. If that foundation is not faith, then science is a house built upon shifting sand, and must collapse. Let’s stop worshipping the false gods of so-called science, before they demand the sacrifice of all that is truly sacred.



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Some Tax Deductions Are More Equal than Others


The truth is a bit different than popular perception on this matter. 

Few, if any, among that small sample would offer the correct answer.  That is, that the mortgage interest deduction has been a part of the tax code since 1913, when the 16th Amendment was first implemented, and that there was fairly sound reason for it.

Essentially, such interest payments have been deductible in the modern American tax era as an effort to preserve market neutrality in the lending market, in spite of taxation. The idea is that if a lender loans money to a borrower and charges interest, the lender will increase lending rates in proportion to the taxes required to be paid on the income earned by lending the money.  This income is taxed at the corporate tax rate, which is currently 35%.  This inflates the cost of investment to the borrower relative to the cost of taxation to the lender, which might act as a disincentive to invest in a home, or more practically in 1913, a farm.

Only it still doesn’t act as a disincentive to invest in a home today, because the investor is still able to deduct the interest paid from his income.

If that, in principle, doesn’t make sense, here are a couple of examples which might explain why it might.

Take this first example.  Say someone purchases a $500K home.  He puts the requisite $100K down, meaning that in the first year of ownership, he will pay nearly $18K in the first year on the $400K loan (at an assumed 4.5% rate).

Today, the lender is taxed for this $18K of income at a 35% rate, meaning the government collects $6,300 in revenue from this loan.  In real terms, the price of the interest would otherwise be $11,700 to a consumer to get a return the lender desires, absent taxation to the lender.  For the borrower, this $18K is deductible from his income tax.  Let’s assume this borrower earns $300K annually, and that this $18K deduction would reduce his tax liability such that the cost of the loan would actually be nearer to the $12K price of the loan, again, absent taxation.

Some might say that this deduction acts as “incentive” to purchase more expensive homes.  A better way to frame it, however, would be that it doesn’t act as “disincentive” for more expensive home purchases.  As Curtis Dubay of the Heritage Foundation explains, “stopping a disincentive to invest is not the same as creating an incentive or providing a subsidy.”

There are still others who might say that this borrower’s deduction amounts to the taxpayers’ “subsidizing” more expensive homes.  However, to suggest that the $6K that the borrower got back is actually the rightful property of the federal government, with the other taxpayers as its proxies, rather than the property of the homeowner as fundamentally understood in the tax code since its inception, is anything but a free-market argument.

Now, I will be the first to tell you that the tax code is bloated, full of deductions which are suspicious in nature, and practically, that the progressive income tax is among the greatest affronts to individual liberty in American history.  There can be no argument that there’s more of Marx in it than of Madison.  The 16th Amendment granted license for the federal government to tax individuals discriminately and without defined limitations, leading to the redistributionist monstrosity that we have today.  I would be 100% in agreement with a more simplified system — a flat tax, for example, which applies to all Americans equally.

But we should not pretend that the current call to curtail the mortgage interest deduction is anything but a means to “soak the rich.”  In this case, it’s meant to target higher-income earners who might purchase an expensive home relative to their high income in the future.

There is proof that I’m correct.  There has been selective acceptance about the proposed curtailing of this deduction.  Good, many say.  Taxpayers shouldn’t subsidize homes for the rich, and all that.  But there’s no outrage about the proposed expansion of another deduction which serves, much more holistically, the exact same purpose (and then some) for millions upon millions of other Americans.

I’m speaking, of course, about the standard deduction.

Let’s take a second example.  Let’s say you purchase a home for $187K, and you put your 20% down, leaving a roughly $150K loan that you pay interest upon.  You’ll be paying a little over $6,500 in mortgage interest in that first year.  Assuming your other deductions don’t bring you and your spouse above the current standard deduction for married filers at $12,700, TurboTax or some tax professional will prompt you not to itemize that $6,500.  You should just take the standard deduction.

Assuming you have no other deductions (that’s unlikely, but it’s equally unlikely that you’re itemizing deductions rather than taking the standard deduction since 70% of Americans opt for the latter), this is the same result as the government “pretending” that you paid $6,200 more in mortgage interest than you did.  If you earn, say, $85K annually, this amounts to roughly $1,550 more in tax refund than you would have received had you simply itemized your mortgage interest deduction. 

The person in the second example is: A) paying a much lower effective tax rate than the higher-income earner in the first example, even if you consider the first person’s deductions, and B) getting roughly 2% of his income back from the federal coffers because of an arbitrary tax deduction which is not predicated upon any principle of market neutrality, but on the basis of good, old fashioned government redistribution.

The second person can claim all he likes that he’s subsidizing the home of the first.  But any fool can tell you that the opposite is closer to the truth.

The first person is among the top 5% of income earners. The top 5% of income earners pay roughly 60% of all income tax to the federal coffers, despite only earning a 36% of shared adjusted gross income.  Even with all his sinister deductions firmly in place (and with the help of the current Alternative Minimum Tax, when applicable), he’s helping to provide the lion’s share of government revenue.

But here’s an additional bit of food for thought.  The proposed House GOP tax bill nearly doubles the standard deduction to $24,000.  There’s not a lot of squawking about this.  Why?  The simple answer is because it will likely function as a tax cut for the majority of middle America.  But you don’t hear higher-income earners screaming that they’re forced to “subsidize” an additional bit of money into the pockets of middle-class earners.   

Inversely, I’ve heard plenty of commentary that curtailing the mortgage interest deduction is a good thing, despite the fact that it very obviously will function as a tax hike for many higher income earners in areas of the country which have higher-priced real estate, and that keeping the mortgage interest deduction, as is, somehow amounts to taxpayers “subsidizing” their high-priced homes.

Utter nonsense. 

It’s true that not all tax deductions are created equal.  For example, I can see the rationales in the arguments that state and local tax deductions amount to subsidizing high-tax state policies.  But, as aforementioned, there’s an equally good argument that the standard deduction amounts to the middle class being subsidized by higher income earners.  The point is, unless we opt for true reform of the tax code, eliminating state and local income taxes will specifically act as a tax hike for high-income earners in higher-tax states, just as raising the standard deduction amounts to a specific tax cut for the middle class.  Indeed, if 70% of Americans take the standard deduction today, doesn’t it stand to reason that those same Americans will be able to deduct an extra $11K+, altogether arbitrarily, if the standard deduction is nearly doubled?

I am for the proposed increase in the standard deduction, mind you.  This is a simple plea. 

Do not be suckered into supporting selective tax hikes in order to achieve tax cuts for what we presume to be the masses. We conservatives, in unison, should be calling for the shrinking of government, entitlement reform, and tax cuts for working Americans which leaves more of their earned money in their own pockets.  We do nothing but muddle our efforts by playing into Washington’s redistributive rhetorical shenanigans.

William Sullivan blogs at Political Palaver and can be followed on Twitter.

If you were to randomly ask a sample of 100 Americans from around the country why the mortgage interest deduction was implemented in the tax code, I’d wager that the bulk of the answers would range from “I don’t know” to “they were designed to give a tax break to the rich.” 

Both answers suggest ignorance of facts, but the former is at least honest.  The latter is just regurgitation of a leftist talking point by those feigning knowledge on the subject.

The truth is a bit different than popular perception on this matter. 

Few, if any, among that small sample would offer the correct answer.  That is, that the mortgage interest deduction has been a part of the tax code since 1913, when the 16th Amendment was first implemented, and that there was fairly sound reason for it.

Essentially, such interest payments have been deductible in the modern American tax era as an effort to preserve market neutrality in the lending market, in spite of taxation. The idea is that if a lender loans money to a borrower and charges interest, the lender will increase lending rates in proportion to the taxes required to be paid on the income earned by lending the money.  This income is taxed at the corporate tax rate, which is currently 35%.  This inflates the cost of investment to the borrower relative to the cost of taxation to the lender, which might act as a disincentive to invest in a home, or more practically in 1913, a farm.

Only it still doesn’t act as a disincentive to invest in a home today, because the investor is still able to deduct the interest paid from his income.

If that, in principle, doesn’t make sense, here are a couple of examples which might explain why it might.

Take this first example.  Say someone purchases a $500K home.  He puts the requisite $100K down, meaning that in the first year of ownership, he will pay nearly $18K in the first year on the $400K loan (at an assumed 4.5% rate).

Today, the lender is taxed for this $18K of income at a 35% rate, meaning the government collects $6,300 in revenue from this loan.  In real terms, the price of the interest would otherwise be $11,700 to a consumer to get a return the lender desires, absent taxation to the lender.  For the borrower, this $18K is deductible from his income tax.  Let’s assume this borrower earns $300K annually, and that this $18K deduction would reduce his tax liability such that the cost of the loan would actually be nearer to the $12K price of the loan, again, absent taxation.

Some might say that this deduction acts as “incentive” to purchase more expensive homes.  A better way to frame it, however, would be that it doesn’t act as “disincentive” for more expensive home purchases.  As Curtis Dubay of the Heritage Foundation explains, “stopping a disincentive to invest is not the same as creating an incentive or providing a subsidy.”

There are still others who might say that this borrower’s deduction amounts to the taxpayers’ “subsidizing” more expensive homes.  However, to suggest that the $6K that the borrower got back is actually the rightful property of the federal government, with the other taxpayers as its proxies, rather than the property of the homeowner as fundamentally understood in the tax code since its inception, is anything but a free-market argument.

Now, I will be the first to tell you that the tax code is bloated, full of deductions which are suspicious in nature, and practically, that the progressive income tax is among the greatest affronts to individual liberty in American history.  There can be no argument that there’s more of Marx in it than of Madison.  The 16th Amendment granted license for the federal government to tax individuals discriminately and without defined limitations, leading to the redistributionist monstrosity that we have today.  I would be 100% in agreement with a more simplified system — a flat tax, for example, which applies to all Americans equally.

But we should not pretend that the current call to curtail the mortgage interest deduction is anything but a means to “soak the rich.”  In this case, it’s meant to target higher-income earners who might purchase an expensive home relative to their high income in the future.

There is proof that I’m correct.  There has been selective acceptance about the proposed curtailing of this deduction.  Good, many say.  Taxpayers shouldn’t subsidize homes for the rich, and all that.  But there’s no outrage about the proposed expansion of another deduction which serves, much more holistically, the exact same purpose (and then some) for millions upon millions of other Americans.

I’m speaking, of course, about the standard deduction.

Let’s take a second example.  Let’s say you purchase a home for $187K, and you put your 20% down, leaving a roughly $150K loan that you pay interest upon.  You’ll be paying a little over $6,500 in mortgage interest in that first year.  Assuming your other deductions don’t bring you and your spouse above the current standard deduction for married filers at $12,700, TurboTax or some tax professional will prompt you not to itemize that $6,500.  You should just take the standard deduction.

Assuming you have no other deductions (that’s unlikely, but it’s equally unlikely that you’re itemizing deductions rather than taking the standard deduction since 70% of Americans opt for the latter), this is the same result as the government “pretending” that you paid $6,200 more in mortgage interest than you did.  If you earn, say, $85K annually, this amounts to roughly $1,550 more in tax refund than you would have received had you simply itemized your mortgage interest deduction. 

The person in the second example is: A) paying a much lower effective tax rate than the higher-income earner in the first example, even if you consider the first person’s deductions, and B) getting roughly 2% of his income back from the federal coffers because of an arbitrary tax deduction which is not predicated upon any principle of market neutrality, but on the basis of good, old fashioned government redistribution.

The second person can claim all he likes that he’s subsidizing the home of the first.  But any fool can tell you that the opposite is closer to the truth.

The first person is among the top 5% of income earners. The top 5% of income earners pay roughly 60% of all income tax to the federal coffers, despite only earning a 36% of shared adjusted gross income.  Even with all his sinister deductions firmly in place (and with the help of the current Alternative Minimum Tax, when applicable), he’s helping to provide the lion’s share of government revenue.

But here’s an additional bit of food for thought.  The proposed House GOP tax bill nearly doubles the standard deduction to $24,000.  There’s not a lot of squawking about this.  Why?  The simple answer is because it will likely function as a tax cut for the majority of middle America.  But you don’t hear higher-income earners screaming that they’re forced to “subsidize” an additional bit of money into the pockets of middle-class earners.   

Inversely, I’ve heard plenty of commentary that curtailing the mortgage interest deduction is a good thing, despite the fact that it very obviously will function as a tax hike for many higher income earners in areas of the country which have higher-priced real estate, and that keeping the mortgage interest deduction, as is, somehow amounts to taxpayers “subsidizing” their high-priced homes.

Utter nonsense. 

It’s true that not all tax deductions are created equal.  For example, I can see the rationales in the arguments that state and local tax deductions amount to subsidizing high-tax state policies.  But, as aforementioned, there’s an equally good argument that the standard deduction amounts to the middle class being subsidized by higher income earners.  The point is, unless we opt for true reform of the tax code, eliminating state and local income taxes will specifically act as a tax hike for high-income earners in higher-tax states, just as raising the standard deduction amounts to a specific tax cut for the middle class.  Indeed, if 70% of Americans take the standard deduction today, doesn’t it stand to reason that those same Americans will be able to deduct an extra $11K+, altogether arbitrarily, if the standard deduction is nearly doubled?

I am for the proposed increase in the standard deduction, mind you.  This is a simple plea. 

Do not be suckered into supporting selective tax hikes in order to achieve tax cuts for what we presume to be the masses. We conservatives, in unison, should be calling for the shrinking of government, entitlement reform, and tax cuts for working Americans which leaves more of their earned money in their own pockets.  We do nothing but muddle our efforts by playing into Washington’s redistributive rhetorical shenanigans.

William Sullivan blogs at Political Palaver and can be followed on Twitter.



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George W. Bush Finally Criticizes Another President


Some weeks ago, former President George W. Bush delivered a speech attacking the incumbent president, Donald Trump, and his supporters.  That was the “unmistakable” thrust of Mr. Bush’s remarks, in the apprehension of virtually everyone, even though he chose not to mention President Trump by name.  The address consisted largely of elliptical references to sins committed against democracy, with the guilty parties left unidentified.  But all of the sins referenced — bigotry, white supremacism, nativism, protectionism, isolationism, “casual cruelty,” Russian interference in the last election — sounded like liberal talking points.  This address, given at an assemblage entitled “Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In the World” in New York City, was not criticism of the Democrats. 

The former President, of course, has grounds for personal animosity against Trump. As a candidate, Mr. Trump attacked the Bush Administration and, in particular, the Iraq War.  He was not kind to Jeb Bush when they were competing for the Republican nomination.  And yet, President Bush’s two current friends, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, denigrated him often enough.  And their supporters in Congress, the press, Hollywood, and everywhere else reviled him.  More significantly, this is about the future of the American people, not the personal pique of the famous and powerful.

For those of us who venerate President Bush’s leadership in the months after September 11, there is no pleasure in taking exception to what he chooses to say now.  The former President, of course, is perfectly free to denigrate the present Republican Administration, having uttered not a word against his Democratic predecessor or successor, whose company he now keeps with manifest cordiality.  Mr. Bush apparently deems uplifting the sight of him associating with such men as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, in bipartisan pursuit of the national good, which includes hostility to President Trump. 

Internationalism is Mr. Bush’s first theme.  That means free trade and the propagation of democracy around the world.  All good things have come “from the global advance of free markets, from the strength of democratic alliances, and from the advance of free societies.”  And it is “free trade” that “helped make America into a global economic power.”  Now, however, we are afflicted with “fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade” and we forget that “conflict, instability, and poverty follow in the wake of protectionism.”

Mr. Bush acknowledges the “economic and social dislocations caused by globalization.”  He has compassion for those affected.  “People are hurting.  They are angry.  And they are frustrated.” Much of the former President’s address has to do with quelling the irrational anger of those who in their ignorance and parochialism simply do not know what is best.  “We must hear them and help them,” he stipulates, but not listen to anything they say (because they don’t get it).  “[W]e can’t wish globalization away,” Bush intones, “any more than we could wish away the agricultural revolution or the industrial revolution.”  Retraining the displaced “for new opportunities” and growing the economy are the answers.

We have no occasion here to examine the complex issues of international trade to which President Bush summarily alludes.  It is one thing to say that free trade undergirded by international conventions is in the long-term interest of the country, even if there are temporary disruptions in some of our industrial sectors.  It is quite another to consign to the realm of demagoguery the mere assertion that American economic policy, domestic and international, should be designed to preserve the wellbeing of Americans, the citizens of this country, whose votes give public officials their authority.  Surely there may be inquiry as to whether other countries with which we trade themselves practice protectionism, or otherwise act to the disadvantage of the United States.

Thus far in the Trump Administration, there have been no actual protectionist measures enacted. There was talk of such policies during the campaign, and in the first days of the Administration the President used the bully pulpit to induce a few firms to keep jobs in America.  That would not quite add up to “conflict, instability, and poverty.”  Is the economy not prospering, with increased growth and a surging stock market?

America’s duty to promulgate freedom in the world is another Bush theme.  There is no explicit reference to war, but the allusions to isolationism and security threats abroad suggest that armed conflict is part of what he means by the promulgation of freedom.  President Bush is very certain that everyone the world over wants freedom.  “We know that the desire for freedom is not confined to, or owned by, any culture; it is the inborn hope of our humanity.”  Furthermore, the crusade for freedom represented 70 years of bipartisan policy, in which “the presidents of both parties believed that American security and prosperity were directly tied to the success of freedom in the world.” Striving for that success came naturally to Americans, “because it expressed the DNA of American idealism.”

Now, however, “we have seen the return of isolationist sentiments” — a very bad thing, when your DNA goes haywire — “forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places.”  And American security indeed may be so threatened.  But finding success in American military interventions since the Second World War takes a bit of looking. Inconclusive results or outright catastrophes achieved over prolonged periods and at a certain price in blood have been the pattern.  The suggestion that there was bipartisan support for the war that President Bush himself initiated in 2003, or for the Vietnam War, or for any of the military measures taken by the Reagan Administration is a joke, though not the most amusing sort.

Is it really isolationism to wish that before American troops are sent to fight and die, there be a resolve to use whatever means are necessary to attain victory?  Or to think that if such means are deemed immoral or impractical, the troops ought not be sent in the first place?  Should the American armed forces be deployed for any reason other than that of protecting the security and freedom of the American people, or of upholding their honor, by adhering to treaty commitments constitutionally undertaken?   Is it not a consummate folly to send our soldiers to fight for the sake of foreign peoples, from whom gratitude is then expected, but never in the end forthcoming?  The inhabitants of this planet plainly do not all love freedom — there are millions of them whose devotion is instead to Islam and Sharia.

Finally, there is the attack upon “nativism,” as well as “anger about immigration” and “resurgent ethno-nationalism.”  President Bush patiently explains to us that being an American means believing certain things, and it makes no difference how the nation’s demography changes.  “Our identity as a nation [and it would seem, as a people] … is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood.”  Take the population of this country that existed in 1965, when the immigration laws were amended through the endeavors of Senator Kennedy and others, change it to one with a different majority race, and you have altered nothing, so long as the members of the new racial majority still venerate the ideas of Jefferson and Madison.

In Mr. Bush’s eyes, no Americans should be perturbed about ceasing to be part of the demographic majority in their own country and becoming henceforth of the minority.  Of course, a learned paper predicting that by the middle of this century, more than half the population of Japan (or Nigeria, or Mexico) would consist of persons of Northern European descent perhaps would not inspire adulation, but that must be what President Bush means when he tells us that we are “unlike many other nations.”  

President Bush closes his remarks by praising the American capacity for “self-correction,” which is “the secret strength of freedom.”  And was self-correction not precisely what the American electorate sought to accomplish in 2016?   In the minds of Mr. Trump’s supporters, his election was the remedy for unsatisfactory leadership on the part of some on the stage at President Bush’s gala event.  They were happy neither with their jobs vanishing, their sons perishing in wars with no apparent strategy for victory, nor with the massive migration to this country, for which they did not vote.  The gaze of condescension that our Washington aristocracy casts upon those who turned to Donald Trump is my idea of “casual cruelty.”

Some weeks ago, former President George W. Bush delivered a speech attacking the incumbent president, Donald Trump, and his supporters.  That was the “unmistakable” thrust of Mr. Bush’s remarks, in the apprehension of virtually everyone, even though he chose not to mention President Trump by name.  The address consisted largely of elliptical references to sins committed against democracy, with the guilty parties left unidentified.  But all of the sins referenced — bigotry, white supremacism, nativism, protectionism, isolationism, “casual cruelty,” Russian interference in the last election — sounded like liberal talking points.  This address, given at an assemblage entitled “Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In the World” in New York City, was not criticism of the Democrats. 

The former President, of course, has grounds for personal animosity against Trump. As a candidate, Mr. Trump attacked the Bush Administration and, in particular, the Iraq War.  He was not kind to Jeb Bush when they were competing for the Republican nomination.  And yet, President Bush’s two current friends, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, denigrated him often enough.  And their supporters in Congress, the press, Hollywood, and everywhere else reviled him.  More significantly, this is about the future of the American people, not the personal pique of the famous and powerful.

For those of us who venerate President Bush’s leadership in the months after September 11, there is no pleasure in taking exception to what he chooses to say now.  The former President, of course, is perfectly free to denigrate the present Republican Administration, having uttered not a word against his Democratic predecessor or successor, whose company he now keeps with manifest cordiality.  Mr. Bush apparently deems uplifting the sight of him associating with such men as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, in bipartisan pursuit of the national good, which includes hostility to President Trump. 

Internationalism is Mr. Bush’s first theme.  That means free trade and the propagation of democracy around the world.  All good things have come “from the global advance of free markets, from the strength of democratic alliances, and from the advance of free societies.”  And it is “free trade” that “helped make America into a global economic power.”  Now, however, we are afflicted with “fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade” and we forget that “conflict, instability, and poverty follow in the wake of protectionism.”

Mr. Bush acknowledges the “economic and social dislocations caused by globalization.”  He has compassion for those affected.  “People are hurting.  They are angry.  And they are frustrated.” Much of the former President’s address has to do with quelling the irrational anger of those who in their ignorance and parochialism simply do not know what is best.  “We must hear them and help them,” he stipulates, but not listen to anything they say (because they don’t get it).  “[W]e can’t wish globalization away,” Bush intones, “any more than we could wish away the agricultural revolution or the industrial revolution.”  Retraining the displaced “for new opportunities” and growing the economy are the answers.

We have no occasion here to examine the complex issues of international trade to which President Bush summarily alludes.  It is one thing to say that free trade undergirded by international conventions is in the long-term interest of the country, even if there are temporary disruptions in some of our industrial sectors.  It is quite another to consign to the realm of demagoguery the mere assertion that American economic policy, domestic and international, should be designed to preserve the wellbeing of Americans, the citizens of this country, whose votes give public officials their authority.  Surely there may be inquiry as to whether other countries with which we trade themselves practice protectionism, or otherwise act to the disadvantage of the United States.

Thus far in the Trump Administration, there have been no actual protectionist measures enacted. There was talk of such policies during the campaign, and in the first days of the Administration the President used the bully pulpit to induce a few firms to keep jobs in America.  That would not quite add up to “conflict, instability, and poverty.”  Is the economy not prospering, with increased growth and a surging stock market?

America’s duty to promulgate freedom in the world is another Bush theme.  There is no explicit reference to war, but the allusions to isolationism and security threats abroad suggest that armed conflict is part of what he means by the promulgation of freedom.  President Bush is very certain that everyone the world over wants freedom.  “We know that the desire for freedom is not confined to, or owned by, any culture; it is the inborn hope of our humanity.”  Furthermore, the crusade for freedom represented 70 years of bipartisan policy, in which “the presidents of both parties believed that American security and prosperity were directly tied to the success of freedom in the world.” Striving for that success came naturally to Americans, “because it expressed the DNA of American idealism.”

Now, however, “we have seen the return of isolationist sentiments” — a very bad thing, when your DNA goes haywire — “forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places.”  And American security indeed may be so threatened.  But finding success in American military interventions since the Second World War takes a bit of looking. Inconclusive results or outright catastrophes achieved over prolonged periods and at a certain price in blood have been the pattern.  The suggestion that there was bipartisan support for the war that President Bush himself initiated in 2003, or for the Vietnam War, or for any of the military measures taken by the Reagan Administration is a joke, though not the most amusing sort.

Is it really isolationism to wish that before American troops are sent to fight and die, there be a resolve to use whatever means are necessary to attain victory?  Or to think that if such means are deemed immoral or impractical, the troops ought not be sent in the first place?  Should the American armed forces be deployed for any reason other than that of protecting the security and freedom of the American people, or of upholding their honor, by adhering to treaty commitments constitutionally undertaken?   Is it not a consummate folly to send our soldiers to fight for the sake of foreign peoples, from whom gratitude is then expected, but never in the end forthcoming?  The inhabitants of this planet plainly do not all love freedom — there are millions of them whose devotion is instead to Islam and Sharia.

Finally, there is the attack upon “nativism,” as well as “anger about immigration” and “resurgent ethno-nationalism.”  President Bush patiently explains to us that being an American means believing certain things, and it makes no difference how the nation’s demography changes.  “Our identity as a nation [and it would seem, as a people] … is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood.”  Take the population of this country that existed in 1965, when the immigration laws were amended through the endeavors of Senator Kennedy and others, change it to one with a different majority race, and you have altered nothing, so long as the members of the new racial majority still venerate the ideas of Jefferson and Madison.

In Mr. Bush’s eyes, no Americans should be perturbed about ceasing to be part of the demographic majority in their own country and becoming henceforth of the minority.  Of course, a learned paper predicting that by the middle of this century, more than half the population of Japan (or Nigeria, or Mexico) would consist of persons of Northern European descent perhaps would not inspire adulation, but that must be what President Bush means when he tells us that we are “unlike many other nations.”  

President Bush closes his remarks by praising the American capacity for “self-correction,” which is “the secret strength of freedom.”  And was self-correction not precisely what the American electorate sought to accomplish in 2016?   In the minds of Mr. Trump’s supporters, his election was the remedy for unsatisfactory leadership on the part of some on the stage at President Bush’s gala event.  They were happy neither with their jobs vanishing, their sons perishing in wars with no apparent strategy for victory, nor with the massive migration to this country, for which they did not vote.  The gaze of condescension that our Washington aristocracy casts upon those who turned to Donald Trump is my idea of “casual cruelty.”



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The Real Scandal in the Alabama Senate Race


Scandals take many forms. If you could be transported back to antebellum times, for example, would you not find scandalous the desire to perpetuate the legal institution of slavery? This brings us to the Alabama special election to fill Jeff Sessions’ vacant Senate seat, a contest now front-and-center with the recent sex allegations made against GOP hopeful Judge Roy Moore. Moore denies the charges, but there are certain things that can’t be denied.

Democrat Doug Jones, Moore’s opponent, has some noteworthy positions. He’s pro-prenatal infanticide. It’s not a stance he took 40 years ago but has since abandoned, and it doesn’t mean he’s accused of once having kissed an underage girl.

It means he believes in the murder of underage girls — and boys. That’s beyond scandalous.

Jones supports de-facto amnesty, meaning, he wouldn’t even require illegal aliens to return to their home countries before being granted citizenship. This undermines the rule of law and exemplifies the treasonous attitude that subordinates the good of one’s countrymen to the good of invading foreigners — and all because they’ll vote Democrat after being naturalized. Selling out your culture for political power is scandal on steroids.

Jones supports the regulation of carbon dioxide, otherwise known as plant food, because he pushes the dubious global-warmingclimate-change, uh, “global climate disruption” agenda. Since it’s average Americans who’ll pay these regulations’ costs, this serves to further impoverish the struggling. That’s scandalous.

Jones advocates the unscientific, socially disastrous “transgender” agenda. First, he said President Trump was “wrong, wrong, wrong” to return to the longtime status quo of banning so-called “transgender” people from the military; this means he supports social experimentation in the armed forces.

Second, he also supports allowing boys masquerading as girls to use girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms. In fact, he said that Trump’s rescinding of Barack Obama’s school guidance to that effect was “wrong, wrong, wrong!” (Because, you see, when you say that way it makes the other guy three times as wrong.) By the way, below is a video of Jones expressing these sentiments just last month.

Oh, yeah — the above is scandalous, too.

In addition, Jones advocates using taxpayer money to fund fanciful, economically unviable energy schemes such as solar, wind and thermal energy. Apparently, he’d like to repeat Obama’s “green energy” boondoggles (e.g., Solyndra), which only turned out green in that they wasted 2.2 billion worth of Americans’ greenbacks.

But Jones loves spending other people’s money. While he doesn’t believe in cutting your taxes to spur economic growth, he thinks having government give away your tax money will do so.

Lastly, despite the fact that ObamaCare is unconstitutional, has caused millions of Americans’ healthcare premiums to rise and created co-ops that have collapsed right and left, Jones opposes rescinding the program. Well, no matter. He’ll have great healthcare through the Senate if he wins December 12.

As for the last four positions, some would say calling them scandalous is a stretch, so you can apply your own adjective (stupid comes to mind). And whatever you might prefer for characterizing all his positions, “old” and “repudiated” don’t fit. “Current” sure does, though.

So, killing babies, killing the rule of law, killing with regulations, killing tradition and kids’ right to privacy, killing our pocketbooks, killing the economy and killing healthcare (sounds like an alternate-universe Bill O’Reilly book series). In the scandal department, Roy Moore has a long way to go to have a chance of keeping up with the Joneses.

Simply put, Doug Jones is the most scandalous of creatures: a leftist radical. It’s a wonder he isn’t seeking office in California, New York, Massachusetts or North Korea. Running someone whose positions are so wholly contrary to Alabaman culture is a slap in the face to the state. Is this a political version of Punk’d?

If I lived in Alabama, on December 12 I’d vote for Judge Roy Moore while holding my nose — but only because the stench from Doug Jones’ name would be rising right from the ballot.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

Scandals take many forms. If you could be transported back to antebellum times, for example, would you not find scandalous the desire to perpetuate the legal institution of slavery? This brings us to the Alabama special election to fill Jeff Sessions’ vacant Senate seat, a contest now front-and-center with the recent sex allegations made against GOP hopeful Judge Roy Moore. Moore denies the charges, but there are certain things that can’t be denied.

Democrat Doug Jones, Moore’s opponent, has some noteworthy positions. He’s pro-prenatal infanticide. It’s not a stance he took 40 years ago but has since abandoned, and it doesn’t mean he’s accused of once having kissed an underage girl.

It means he believes in the murder of underage girls — and boys. That’s beyond scandalous.

Jones supports de-facto amnesty, meaning, he wouldn’t even require illegal aliens to return to their home countries before being granted citizenship. This undermines the rule of law and exemplifies the treasonous attitude that subordinates the good of one’s countrymen to the good of invading foreigners — and all because they’ll vote Democrat after being naturalized. Selling out your culture for political power is scandal on steroids.

Jones supports the regulation of carbon dioxide, otherwise known as plant food, because he pushes the dubious global-warmingclimate-change, uh, “global climate disruption” agenda. Since it’s average Americans who’ll pay these regulations’ costs, this serves to further impoverish the struggling. That’s scandalous.

Jones advocates the unscientific, socially disastrous “transgender” agenda. First, he said President Trump was “wrong, wrong, wrong” to return to the longtime status quo of banning so-called “transgender” people from the military; this means he supports social experimentation in the armed forces.

Second, he also supports allowing boys masquerading as girls to use girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms. In fact, he said that Trump’s rescinding of Barack Obama’s school guidance to that effect was “wrong, wrong, wrong!” (Because, you see, when you say that way it makes the other guy three times as wrong.) By the way, below is a video of Jones expressing these sentiments just last month.

Oh, yeah — the above is scandalous, too.

In addition, Jones advocates using taxpayer money to fund fanciful, economically unviable energy schemes such as solar, wind and thermal energy. Apparently, he’d like to repeat Obama’s “green energy” boondoggles (e.g., Solyndra), which only turned out green in that they wasted 2.2 billion worth of Americans’ greenbacks.

But Jones loves spending other people’s money. While he doesn’t believe in cutting your taxes to spur economic growth, he thinks having government give away your tax money will do so.

Lastly, despite the fact that ObamaCare is unconstitutional, has caused millions of Americans’ healthcare premiums to rise and created co-ops that have collapsed right and left, Jones opposes rescinding the program. Well, no matter. He’ll have great healthcare through the Senate if he wins December 12.

As for the last four positions, some would say calling them scandalous is a stretch, so you can apply your own adjective (stupid comes to mind). And whatever you might prefer for characterizing all his positions, “old” and “repudiated” don’t fit. “Current” sure does, though.

So, killing babies, killing the rule of law, killing with regulations, killing tradition and kids’ right to privacy, killing our pocketbooks, killing the economy and killing healthcare (sounds like an alternate-universe Bill O’Reilly book series). In the scandal department, Roy Moore has a long way to go to have a chance of keeping up with the Joneses.

Simply put, Doug Jones is the most scandalous of creatures: a leftist radical. It’s a wonder he isn’t seeking office in California, New York, Massachusetts or North Korea. Running someone whose positions are so wholly contrary to Alabaman culture is a slap in the face to the state. Is this a political version of Punk’d?

If I lived in Alabama, on December 12 I’d vote for Judge Roy Moore while holding my nose — but only because the stench from Doug Jones’ name would be rising right from the ballot.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com



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In Defense of Judge Roy Moore


If one reads the original Washington Post article on Judge Moore’s supposed harassment of underage “girls” with an open mind, one will conclude that Judge Moore is completely innocent, and that he is the victim of Fake News.

First, a few definitions. I shall call a human female who is under the age of consent, a “girl.” I shall call a human female who is of the age of consent, a “woman.” I shall also define the “age of consent” to be what the legal code of the state of Alabama, both in the 1970s and today, to be the age of consent: 16. This age is above the biological age of consent, which is puberty: menstruation for a woman, pubic hair for a man. In medieval canon law, a woman was thus of the age of consent around 12. In most of current-day Mexico, this is still the age of consent. I am a 70-year-old college professor, and to me, a woman under the age of 30 seems like a young girl. I personally regard none of my female students as women; all are children in my eyes. But I shall reject both the biological age of consent, and my own personal view of the age of consent, and adopt Alabama’s age of consent.

Now read the Post article and assume that the reporters wrote the exact truth about what four human females told them (a big assumption, I grant). Then three of the four claim that Roy Moore dated them when they were women, not girls. And not only did they themselves consent to dating Moore, their families consented to their dating Moore. (Actually, according to one, her family withdrew consent, after which Moore ceased to date her). Furthermore, according to these three women, Moore never went beyond kissing and hugging. Which are the only acts a Christian man is permitted to engage in with a woman not his wife. According to these three women, Moore consistently acted as the Christian he claims to have been, and claims to be now.

The fourth human female told the Post reporters a completely different story. She claims that not only did Moore date her when she was a girl of fourteen, but that he also undressed her, and exposed himself. Notice the differences between this single claim and the other three reports: In a single case, Moore, a trained lawyer, dated jailbait. In this single case, Moore behaved in a dishonorable manner to a girl, not a woman. In this single case, we have reasons, given in the Post article, to doubt the claim: the accuser has been married three times, and has been in bankruptcy twice.

A commonsense view of human behavior is that bad guys repeat their MOs. Willie Sutton did not stop with a single bank robbery. Harvey Weinstein, Roman Polanski, and Bill Cosby have numerous rape accusers, not just one. Yet we are asked to believe a single report of mere sexual misbehavior, which is not even a claim of statutory rape.

On the basis of the Post article alone, I would have no doubt that Judge Moore dated young women when he was a young man in his early 30s. It is irrelevant that these women were in their late teens.  They were of the age of consent, and hence women, not girls. It was my own experience in my thirties that women preferred older men. My own wife is six years my junior. Judge Moore’s wife is fourteen years his junior. (Judge Moore was 38 when he married his wife of 24, which an indication that he preferred younger women — and that his wife preferred older men.)

Disregarding the single dubious accusation, Judge Moore is accused of behavior which has been considered completely moral for almost the entirety of human history: courting a young women in her teens while being more than ten years older. In contrast, John McCain, who has demanded that Judge Moore resign from the senate race, committed adultery, and divorced his wife to marry the woman with whom he committed adultery.

Notice that I don’t have to write “alleged to have committed adultery.” McCain admits it, because adultery is not only no longer illegal, it is now not even immoral. But for the entirety of human history, adultery has been, not only immoral, but a capital offence (Leviticus 20:10). “Thou shalt not commit adultery” is the Seventh Commandment. No doubt this is real reason the federal judges object to Judge Moore placing the Ten Commandments in his courtroom.

Democrat Doug Jones, Judge Moore’s opponent in the senate election, supports partial birth abortion, which is to say, infanticide. In earlier times, Jones would have been considered not merely immoral, but a homicidal psychopath. Jones, should be elected, fully intends to continue supporting infanticide. Judge Moore will support pro-life Christian morality.

The Alabama voters have a choice. I hope they make the only moral choice.

Frank J. Tipler is Professor of Mathematical Physics at Tulane University. He is the co-author of The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (Oxford University Press) and the author of The Physics of Immortality and The Physics of Christianity, both published by Doubleday.

If one reads the original Washington Post article on Judge Moore’s supposed harassment of underage “girls” with an open mind, one will conclude that Judge Moore is completely innocent, and that he is the victim of Fake News.

First, a few definitions. I shall call a human female who is under the age of consent, a “girl.” I shall call a human female who is of the age of consent, a “woman.” I shall also define the “age of consent” to be what the legal code of the state of Alabama, both in the 1970s and today, to be the age of consent: 16. This age is above the biological age of consent, which is puberty: menstruation for a woman, pubic hair for a man. In medieval canon law, a woman was thus of the age of consent around 12. In most of current-day Mexico, this is still the age of consent. I am a 70-year-old college professor, and to me, a woman under the age of 30 seems like a young girl. I personally regard none of my female students as women; all are children in my eyes. But I shall reject both the biological age of consent, and my own personal view of the age of consent, and adopt Alabama’s age of consent.

Now read the Post article and assume that the reporters wrote the exact truth about what four human females told them (a big assumption, I grant). Then three of the four claim that Roy Moore dated them when they were women, not girls. And not only did they themselves consent to dating Moore, their families consented to their dating Moore. (Actually, according to one, her family withdrew consent, after which Moore ceased to date her). Furthermore, according to these three women, Moore never went beyond kissing and hugging. Which are the only acts a Christian man is permitted to engage in with a woman not his wife. According to these three women, Moore consistently acted as the Christian he claims to have been, and claims to be now.

The fourth human female told the Post reporters a completely different story. She claims that not only did Moore date her when she was a girl of fourteen, but that he also undressed her, and exposed himself. Notice the differences between this single claim and the other three reports: In a single case, Moore, a trained lawyer, dated jailbait. In this single case, Moore behaved in a dishonorable manner to a girl, not a woman. In this single case, we have reasons, given in the Post article, to doubt the claim: the accuser has been married three times, and has been in bankruptcy twice.

A commonsense view of human behavior is that bad guys repeat their MOs. Willie Sutton did not stop with a single bank robbery. Harvey Weinstein, Roman Polanski, and Bill Cosby have numerous rape accusers, not just one. Yet we are asked to believe a single report of mere sexual misbehavior, which is not even a claim of statutory rape.

On the basis of the Post article alone, I would have no doubt that Judge Moore dated young women when he was a young man in his early 30s. It is irrelevant that these women were in their late teens.  They were of the age of consent, and hence women, not girls. It was my own experience in my thirties that women preferred older men. My own wife is six years my junior. Judge Moore’s wife is fourteen years his junior. (Judge Moore was 38 when he married his wife of 24, which an indication that he preferred younger women — and that his wife preferred older men.)

Disregarding the single dubious accusation, Judge Moore is accused of behavior which has been considered completely moral for almost the entirety of human history: courting a young women in her teens while being more than ten years older. In contrast, John McCain, who has demanded that Judge Moore resign from the senate race, committed adultery, and divorced his wife to marry the woman with whom he committed adultery.

Notice that I don’t have to write “alleged to have committed adultery.” McCain admits it, because adultery is not only no longer illegal, it is now not even immoral. But for the entirety of human history, adultery has been, not only immoral, but a capital offence (Leviticus 20:10). “Thou shalt not commit adultery” is the Seventh Commandment. No doubt this is real reason the federal judges object to Judge Moore placing the Ten Commandments in his courtroom.

Democrat Doug Jones, Judge Moore’s opponent in the senate election, supports partial birth abortion, which is to say, infanticide. In earlier times, Jones would have been considered not merely immoral, but a homicidal psychopath. Jones, should be elected, fully intends to continue supporting infanticide. Judge Moore will support pro-life Christian morality.

The Alabama voters have a choice. I hope they make the only moral choice.

Frank J. Tipler is Professor of Mathematical Physics at Tulane University. He is the co-author of The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (Oxford University Press) and the author of The Physics of Immortality and The Physics of Christianity, both published by Doubleday.



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