Thursday, August 03, 2017

The destruction of all values has left the way open for Trump

Trump ignores all values but his own.  He is constantly treading on the toes of the Leftist establishment. But who is responsible for that? If "there is no such thing as right and wrong" how can anything Trump does be wrong?  The Left have been hoist with their own petard (blown up by their own bomb).  Liberals dismissed civic values as jingoistic so Trump is not bound by them and is free to rewrite them

‘A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”

It was almost too much of a gift, wasn’t it? When the Boy Scouts of America held a 40,000-strong jamboree and asked the president to give the keynote speech, most of elite America tuned in hoping for some fun. They would have settled for jejune gags and perhaps for some of that mission statement to be dishonoured.

What they got, though, was the full madness of King Donald, who took his jousting routine to rural West Virginia and proved that he could cause jaws to drop there, too.

Everything about the speech struck America’s elite as awful. It was overtly political. It was boastful. It was cruel, including a wildly inappropriate story of a property mogul Trump had known who “failed badly” and who cut a sad and lonely figure at a party “with all the hottest people in New York”.

In West Virginia the “hottest people” are simply those who wear the most clothes in summer. No wonder that, within days, the Boy Scouts of America apologised for “the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree”. Yes, it was quite a week for smart, elite, anti-Trump America. The trashing of the American political system and the social norms that underpin it has come to pass.

One in six think it might be all right for the army to take over
But if Trump is a nightmare and his courtiers worse, then who are the morons? Are they not the electors, the wider nation? And in particular those members of the bipartisan elite that used to run America but on whose watch its civic virtues fell from favour? Some Americans have been remembering fondly the time when civics was taught in schools. It was a part of every education until the late 1960s: the values of volunteering, the way the constitution worked, a sense of pride in the whole glue of being American.

This century has seen civics teaching wither even further. The effects range from the mundane, with surveys suggesting that only a third of Americans can name all three branches of government, to the more worrying: according to the World Values Survey, one in six Americans think it might be all right for the army to take over, up from one in 16 in 1995.

Once, when I lived in America, my young son leant towards me on a bus and pointed out that the driver was black. It seemed an odd thing for him to notice or care about. So what, I said. “Well,” he said, “black people are at the front of the bus because they used not to be allowed and now they have the right and they drive all of them.”

His misreading of the Rosa Parks story was, at that stage, pretty much his only teaching on Being American. Where once he would have learnt about the separation of powers and glories of the constitution, the focus was now on conflict, injustice, the righting of historical wrongs. I was at home writing books about how wonderful America could still be, while my son went to school and was taught how awful it could be.

No decent person can deny the injustices committed by Americans in the past. But in their haste to banish the jingoism of civics, the educational establishment has thrown out baby and bathwater. The awful truth is dawning on thoughtful Americans: that the trashing of norms of behaviour by this president has been enabled by well-meaning but naive liberals who thought those norms were not worth teaching in class.

The split over civics has mirrored the wider cultural chasm that opened up as confident, progressive, self-satisfied wealthy Americans began to take off and leave the rest behind. Who needed to know about the petty civic virtues of the United States, the rules and regulations and traditions, when there was gay marriage to fight for, or transgender rights? The answer has come back to bite the trendies hard.


Can a Conservative Conduct an Orchestra?

Dennis Prager

Most Americans are at least somewhat aware of what is happening at American (and European) universities with regard to conservative speakers. Universities disinvite conservative speakers, never invite them or allow the violent (or threatened violent) prevention of them. No non-left-wing idea should be permitted on campus.

But we may have hit a new low.

Let me explain.

For years, I have been conducting symphony orchestras in Southern California. I have conducted the Brentwood-Westwood, Glendale and West Los Angeles Symphony Orchestras, the Pasadena Lyric Opera and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. I have studied classical music since high school, when I first began playing piano and studying orchestral scores.

I conduct orchestras because I love making music. But I also do so because I want to help raise funds for local orchestras (I have never been paid to conduct) and I want to expose as many people to classical music as possible.

After I conduct a symphony, I then conduct select parts of the piece in order to show the audience what various sections of the orchestra are doing. After that, I walk around the orchestra with a microphone and interview some of the musicians. Everyone seems to love it.

After intermission, the permanent and professional conductor conducts his orchestra in another symphony.

About half a year ago, the conductor of the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra, Guido Lamell, who is also a longtime member of the violin section of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, asked me whether I would be interested in conducting his orchestra. I said yes even before he added the punchline -- at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

For those not up to date on concert halls, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which opened less than 15 years ago, is one of the preeminent concert halls of the world. Being invited to conduct a superb orchestra at that hall is one of the great honors of my life.

However, about a month ago, a few members of the orchestra, supported by some Santa Monica city officials, decided to lead a campaign to have me disinvited.

As I said, this is a new low for the illiberal left: It is not enough to prevent conservatives from speaking; it is now necessary to prevent conservatives from appearing even when not speaking. Conservatives should not even be allowed to make music.

To its great credit, the board of directors of the orchestra, composed of individuals of all political outlooks, has completely stood by its conductor and his invitation to me.

But the attempt to cancel me continues. It is being organized by three members of the orchestra, each of whom has refused to play that night. Readers will not be surprised to learn that two of the three organizers are college professors. Michael Chwe is a professor of political science at UCLA, and Andrew Apter is a professor of history at UCLA.

In an open letter to the symphony's members posted on the Slipped Disc website, the three wrote, "A concert with Dennis Prager would normalize hatred and bigotry."

One example of my hatred and bigotry includes my belief that in giving a child over for adoption, adoption agencies should prefer a married man and woman before singles and same-sex couples. Another -- my favorite -- is my having said that if there is no God, ethics are subjective, which will offend atheist members of the orchestra.

These are the types of academics who are giving universities their reputation for illiberal closed-mindedness -- which not only ruins the universities as educational institutions but also hurts them financially. The New York Times recently published an article on how many alumni are no longer donating money to the colleges they attended because of the war on diverse thought on their campuses.

Now they want to do to orchestras what they have done to universities.

I hereby extend an invitation to Chwe and Apter to come on my radio show to explain to my listeners why my conservative positions render me a hateful bigot and explain why people with conservative views should not be allowed to conduct classical music. I hope they accept -- people will then be able to assess who is and who isn't a hater.

Not to be outdone by these professors, a former mayor of Santa Monica and current council member, Kevin McKeown, was quoted on Slipped Disk as saying: "I personally will most certainly not be attending a concert featuring a bigoted hate-monger. The judgement (or lack of) shown in inviting Prager may affect future community support for the Symphony."

However, there are other voices. The Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole does not agree with the former mayor. "This City supports the arts," he said when asked by the Santa Monica Lookout whether the symphony's invitation presented difficulties. "It appears that Dennis Prager supports the arts. The City, in funding a season of musical performances, does not choose what music is played or who plays it at any particular concert."

I have devoted this column to this subject to expose the latest attempt of anti-liberal leftists -- the real haters -- to shut conservatives out of every form of intellectual and artistic endeavor.

Another reason is to ask readers in Southern California to attend the concert. Here is a rare opportunity to combine a terrific evening (especially if you've never attended a classical concert) in one of the world's greatest concert halls with a chance to defeat the illiberal left. The more people who attend on Aug. 16, the greater the message that music must transcend political differences. And it rewards the Santa Monica Symphony board and conductor for their moral courage.

I will be conducting Haydn's Symphony No. 51. Like Haydn, I think music is one of those few things that can bring people together. Clearly, not everyone agrees.


10 States Ready Legal Action to Undo Obama Amnesty for ‘Dreamers’

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and officials from other states speak with reporters April 18, 2016, after oral arguments in their court case opposing President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. (Photo: Jaff Malet Photography/Newscom)
A lawsuit by states seeking to end protected status for children whose parents brought them to the U.S. illegally could spare President Donald Trump from personally halting the Obama administration program.

“DACA is an unlawful program that must be phased out,” @AGRutledge says.

Or, immigration experts say, such litigation could force Democrats in Congress to bargain on stricter enforcement of immigration law.

Last month, 10 state attorneys general, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, wrote U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling for the Trump administration to end a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

The program shields from deportation those who were minors when their parents brought them to the country illegally, a population their advocates call “dreamers.”

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 1.4 million DACA requests were accepted.

The state attorneys general have filed a lawsuit, but are willing to drop it if the Trump administration acts.

“There is no way around it: DACA is an unlawful program that must be phased out,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who signed the letter, told The Daily Signal in a prepared statement.

“I am not asking the government to remove any person currently covered by DACA or for the administration to rescind DACA permits that have already been issued—this is about upholding the rule of law,” Rutledge said. “Even former President Obama acknowledged many times that he did not have authority to unilaterally grant this type of legal status to over 1 million aliens.”

Justice Department spokeswoman Lauren Ehrsam confirmed to The Daily Signal that the department received the letter but declined further comment.

Besides Paxton, those signing the letter to Sessions include the attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter also signed.

In 2012, while President Barack Obama was running for re-election, his Department of Homeland Security adopted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

In 2014, Obama expanded protection from deportation to the parents of illegal immigrants with Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA.

After states sued, courts rejected DAPA, asserting the executive branch doesn’t have the solitary power to grant legal status.

In June, citing the rulings, Trump’s Homeland Security secretary, John Kelly, revoked the 2014 memo authorizing DAPA. But the agency said at the time that DACA would remain in effect.

The Supreme Court deadlocked on DAPA in 2016, leaving in effect a U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding an injunction that blocked the policy.

“If DAPA is illegal, then DACA is illegal,” Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Daily Signal. “But dreamers are the most sympathetic group of illegals. This would involve taking something away. So, you would have a string of sob stories in the media, which would be Pulitzer bait.”

However, if the Trump administration simply allows a case against DACA to move forward, the courts likely would strike down the program, alleviating it from political blame, Krikorian said.

He said it also might force Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to reach a deal for tougher enforcement of immigration laws in exchange for the Trump administration’s agreeing to provide protection from deportation for the “dreamers.”

“The administration might hope the courts will decide for them and they can say, ‘Our hands are tied,’” Krikorian said.

“If Texas and the other states sue, and [DACA is] struck down and is about to turn into a pumpkin, [Trump] might be able to pressure Schumer to pass E-Verify and end chain migration.”

Under the E-Verify system, now voluntary, employers electronically check the legal status of immigrant workers. Many conservatives hope to make it mandatory.

Chain migration is a term used to describe a policy of keeping immigrant families together by giving reference to the relatives of those already here in allowing individuals to enter the country. Trump and others back a merit-based system based on what skills and education an immigrant can bring.

Paxton organized the letter to Sessions signed by himself and his counterparts, who were plaintiffs in the lawsuit that challenged DAPA, the program protecting parents of illegal immigrants.

The letter states that DACA is illegal for the same reason of executive overreach, and that if the Trump administration makes corrections by Sept. 5, the attorneys general will dismiss their lawsuit against that program in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

The letter says, in part:

The original 2012 DACA program covers over 1 million otherwise unlawfully present aliens … And just like DAPA, DACA unilaterally confers eligibility for work authorization … and lawful presence without any statutory authorization from Congress. … We respectfully request that the secretary of Homeland Security phase out the DACA program.

A lawsuit would force the Trump administration to act, said Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

“If a lawsuit were filed, then DOJ would be put in the awkward position of defending the Obama program or eliminating it in response to the lawsuit,” von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal.

The letter is a needed reminder to the Justice Department that the DACA program is also unlawful, he said:

The administration has a constitutional obligation to terminate the DACA program, a program providing government benefits for illegal aliens that was not only not authorized under federal immigration law, but actually violated the law. This administration should not allow the unlawful actions of the prior administration to continue.

Illegal immigrants protected under DACA are allowed to get a Social Security card and, in many states, a driver’s license. Although “dreamers” can’t access direct federal financial assistance for college, they are eligible to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which opens up opportunities under certain state and private grants and loans.

The 10 state attorneys general are “egging the federal government on to be more cruel and heartless,” said Naomi Tsu, deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center, a progressive legal group known for labeling its political opponents as “hate groups.”

“The letter requests that the Department of Justice revoke protections for immigrant youth and begin targeting for deportation these young people who have grown up as Americans,” Tsu said in a prepared statement. “These attacks will prevent children, many of whom know no other home, from working legally and reaching their full potential. If the Trump administration follows through on this request, they will be responsible for further pushing immigrant communities underground, making communities less safe, less prosperous, and more divided.”

Although the letter from the state attorneys general mentions the Department of Homeland Security, DHS spokesman David Lapan referred The Daily Signal to the Justice Department.

The program is not likely to survive a court challenge, said Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which seeks stricter enforcement of immigration laws.

“If it went to the Supreme Court, it would be ruled unconstitutional,” Mehlman said of DACA in a phone interview with The Daily Signal. “Our expectation was that DACA was just going to lapse. It wasn’t our expectations these people would be rounded up and deported. But they would revert back to their previous status.”

For Idaho Attorney General Lawrence G. Wasden, the letter is about separation of powers under the U.S. Constitution.

“This is part of my office’s ongoing efforts to encourage the federal government to respect the separation of powers,” Wasden said in a prepared statement, adding:

These [Obama administration] directives were the equivalent of legislating by executive order. My signature on this letter is not about targeting immigrant families. Rather, it is consistent with my objection to legislative executive orders as well as encouragement to Congress to fulfill its constitutional responsibility and address these pressing issues


Political commentator slams Waleed Aly as 'unhinged' after  Aly claims Australian Government has 'over-hyped the threat of terrorism'

An amusing example of Leftists telling only half the story.  Aly says that immigration and multiculturalism used to be celebrated in Australia but are now considered a threat.  Not a whisper about WHY it is now considered a threat. It wouldn't be experience of Muslim atrocities and violent crime, would it?

Political commentator and author Gerard Henderson has slammed Waleed Aly's comments about immigration and terrorism as 'unhinged'.

The Project host Waleed Aly wrote a piece for The New York Times on Thursday titled 'Immigration as a security threat' in which he said Australia 'over-hyped the threat of terrorism'.

Aly called Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull 'extremely weak' and slammed his plan to create a super ministry of Home Affairs to combat terrorism.

Appearing on Andrew Bolt's The Bolt Report on Tuesday, Gerard Henderson rubbished Aly's take on the system.

'I've had a look at Waleed Aly's piece, and for Dr Aly to say that Malcolm Turnbull has debased immigration in Australia to an American and international audience, is completely false,' he said.

'The idea that the prime minister, because he renames a department is debasing immigration, is just a total fallacy.  '[It's] demeaning of the country.

'From a man who holds a doctorate of philosophy and teaches students at Monash University and has a number of programs on the ABC and Channel 10, this is sort of unhinged commentary.'

In his piece for the New York Times on Thursday Waleed Aly detailed Australia's apparent morphing perception of immigration.

He said immigration and multiculturalism used to be celebrated but was now considered a 'threat to be managed'. 

Waleed Aly also claimed Australia was inflating the threat of terror to tighten immigration.

'Every now and then you get the impression that Australia is desperate to be under grave threat,' he said.

'Turnbull last week announced the creation of a super ministry, choosing as his backdrop a mix of military equipment and soldiers wearing gas masks. 'It was a shocking yet predictable moment because it seemed like a sudden escalation for Mr Turnbull who was once a critic of Mr Abbott's tendency to over-hype the threat of terrorism.'



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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