Friday, June 11, 2010
The ‘Cry Wolf’ Project
The summary of the project below is from Breitbart's "Big Journalism". I am not as bothered by it as the writer is. The guy behind the project seems a bit of a dimwit to me. With the mass media and the universities already pumping out Leftist propaganda day and night, what difference are a few more academic bloviations from the Left going to make? But it is worth noting the corrupt nature of the project.
The most interesting aspect of the matter would have to be a full account of who the "We" is. Where is he getting the money to buy articles at $1,000 a pop?
It could be coming from the college where he works. The college makes some pretty good statements about its students being entitled to politically unbiased teaching and grading but the old Soviet constitution (written by Stalin) guaranteed human rights too.
The reason I think the college may be involved is that it seems very far-Left. It has a whole academic department devoted to "critical theory" -- which is not as good as it sounds. "Critical theory" is simply modern Marxism. But if you have read any "critical theorists", you won't feel threatened by them. "Critical theory" is just a type of theology and if you don't believe in the holy books (in this case the writings of Karl Marx) of the theologian concerned you won't see the point of it all
The Cry Wolf Project is a politically motivated and financed scheme to recruit university students and faculty to “give substance and scholarly integrity” to a predetermined partisan narrative – namely that in the “battle with conservative ideas,” “conservative politicians and right-wing pundits” use “falsity and exaggeration” to “thwart progressive reform.”
Simply put, Cry Wolf wants scholarly proof that conservatives are liars and is willing to pay to get the results it wants.
In addition to the potential legal — and certain ethical — violations, there are two fundamental problems with the Cry Wolf Project’s approach:
The first is that the purpose of science, even social and political science, is not to prove, but rather to disprove hypotheses. Legitimate academic process suggests that an idea be first proposed and then tested. If the available evidence all supports the idea, and the idea holds up in the face of all of the testing it can be subjected to, the hypothesis is still not proven since a future test or as-yet-undetermined piece of evidence could still one day disprove it.
The best science can do is to elevate certain hypotheses above others. Thus, anytime someone employs the term, “science has proven,” you can be certain it is not science that is being discussed. Science has not proven anything, from modern evolutionary theory, to man-caused global warming, or even the simplest ideas, like what gravity is (Exaggeration? Google: Large Hadron Collider).
The role of science is to question, probe, and test. Good science is habitually skeptical of the claims of scientists and subjects every idea to relentless opposition. It is precisely this method of continuous critique that makes the scientific method the best process available to us to test ideas, just as the constant competition of a truly free market is the best process available to test innovation, goods, and services. Free markets are decidedly scientific.
So, when the well-lettered doctors in this and that field from one college or another who are behind the Cry Wolf Project make their stated goal not the testing of their hypotheses, but to “undermine the credibility and arguments” of those critics that would test them, they forfeit any claim of “scholarly integrity.” They have become evangelicals for their own ideology, not academics, and the letters by their names give them no more qualification in the field of politics than a ministerial credential qualifies a priest to pilot the space shuttle.
Which, of course, is the second fundamental problem with the Cry Wolf Project, and so much of academia and progressivism in general, and that is the utter hypocrisy with which it conducts itself.
Cry Wolf claims the mantle of scholarship while employing none.
They wish to castrate all opposing views before they are even made, such that the “first reaction of millions of people, as well as opinion leaders” will be to ignore any challenge to their views. Not through any empirical testing in the marketplace of ideas, but through devotion to a cause, they have determined that they are inarguably right and that the right is inarguably wrong. Thus conservative opposition to their policies must be unfounded and must be silenced — by any means necessary, including outright propaganda.
For conservatives, there is no need to silence differing views, since we believe our ideas will win out on their actual merits over time. You can only rely on the kindness of strangers for so long. You can only spend more than you earn for so long. You can only appease your mortal enemies for so long.
In true scientific fashion, conservatives believe that the truth will out, or at least that falsehood will be revealed. We fight, of course, but our fight is not to eliminate competition, just to out-compete in the search for the truth. That we are continually accused of being the opposite of what we are by those who are what they claim to hate is nothing new to us.
Those who pervert academia accuse us of having no regard for education, those who believe people should be treated differently because of their race or gender call us racists and bigots, and those who call us purveyors of injustice seek to take from one man his just rewards and allocate them to another who did not justly earn them.
Believers are daily mocked for what unbelievers see as a blind faith in God, while those same people place a blind faith on the conclusions of a system never meant to conclude in the first place.
We are called greedy by those who can never take enough, and fascists by those who would force their views on all who draw breath, so it is no surprise that those who would accuse us of “crying wolf” are the same people who themselves “cry wolf” most often.
Whether through irony or design, the Cry Wolf Project does just that. It preemptively alerts the public to a danger it is not in. It employs the very tactics it derides, and it cheapens the very credentials from which it claims its authority.
Conservatives don’t cry wolf, but we do call bulls*@!.
Obamacare: The More We Learn, The Worse It Gets
This week, we learned that the Obama administration is orchestrating a $125 million propaganda campaign to sell the recently enacted health-care law to the public. That effort will be funded by labor unions and other groups from the Democratic political orbit. It comes on top of the misleading government mailer sent to the nation’s seniors, at the expense of taxpayers, touting the supposed benefits of ObamaCare for the elderly. On Tuesday, the president himself will join the fray again to make the sales pitch, this time promoting the colossal waste of taxpayer money associated with $250 per senior bribes to be issued this summer and fall.
The problem the White House has, however, has never been insufficient public relations spin. The problem is the substance. Americans care deeply about their health care, and they have seen right through the Democratic rhetoric on ObamaCare from day one. They know that it is a poorly conceived experiment, built on the flawed assumption that the problems in U.S. health care can be solved with heavier regulation, subsidization, and micro-management from Washington, D.C.
In Medicare, the results of the new law will be disastrous. ObamaCare will cut payments to the private insurance component of the program (called Medicare Advantage, or MA) by nearly $200 billion over ten years. The chief actuary of the program says this cut will eventually drive 7 million seniors — many with low-incomes — out of the plan they would prefer to enroll in. And it will mean thousands of dollars in benefit reductions for every MA enrollee, beginning next year. These seniors won’t be silenced with patronizing and one-time checks. In addition, the new law imposes arbitrary price cutting for all manner of Medicare services, which the chief actuary says will harm access to care by forcing scores of institutions to stop taking Medicare beneficiaries.
Last week, we learned that the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has postponed issuing guidance on the ill-conceived “medical-loss ratio” requirement in the new law because, as passed by Congress, it will cause massive and unnecessary disruption to millions of current insurance enrollees. One estimate is that 1 to 2 million people with individual insurance will lose their coverage if the requirement is imposed because national insurers will be forced to exit the market to avoid large business losses.
The president has said repeatedly that Americans will get to keep the insurance they have today if they like it. But that’s quite clearly not going to be the case. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, of the American Action Forum, has released a new study that shows some 35 million Americans will get bumped from job-based coverage under the new law and be forced into the new government-managed system. That’s because the massive new subsidies promised by the government will make dropping insurance unavoidable for thousands of employers. He also predicts the migration out of employer plans will drive up the overall federal costs dramatically, adding another $500 billion over ten years to the costs projected by the Congressional Budget Office for the bill.
Perhaps that why CBO’s Director, Doug Elmendorf, is saying that the federal government’s health costs are still unsustainable, even after passage of the new law, despite repeated presidential promises that ObamaCare would solve our budget problems by painlessly “bending the cost curve.”
The truth is, the more we learn about ObamaCare, the worse it gets. It’s filled with budgetary gimmicks and flawed assumptions that will bankrupt the U.S. treasury. Its taxes will force deep cuts in employment in the medical device and other industries. Restaurants and other employers will have strong incentives to avoid hiring workers from low income households in order to lessen the burden from the law’s mandates and penalties. It will disrupt insurance for millions of Americans who are perfectly happy with the coverage they have today. And the government’s clumsy cost-cutting efforts will undermine the quality of American medicine.
Most Americans already instinctively understand all of this. But it’s also clear that the administration and its allies will spend millions trying to persuade them that up is down when it comes to health care. We have launched this web site to set the record straight. ObamaCareWatch.org pulls together all of the best evidence and analysis about the legislation, as well as relevant news items and commentary, in an accessible and searchable format for anyone to use as they need to. Our aim is to provide Americans with the facts so that they can hold those who sponsored and passed ObamaCare accountable for what they have done.
Jobs report a nightmare for Obama progressivism
Private-sector job creation almost stopped in May. The 41,000 jobs created were dwarfed by the 411,000 temporary and low-wage government jobs needed to administer the census. Last year's stimulus having failed to hold unemployment below 8 percent as predicted, Barack Obama might advocate another stimulus -- amending Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, which mandates a census every 10 years. If it were every year, he could take credit for creating 564,000 -- the current number of census takers -- permanent jobs.
May's 41,000 jobs were one-fifth of the April number and substantially fewer than half the number needed to keep pace with the normal growth of the labor force. This is evidence against the theory that a growing government can be counted on to produce prosperity because a government dollar spent has a reliable multiplier effect as it ripples through the economy from which the government took the dollar.
Today's evidence suggesting sluggish job creation might give pause to a less confident person than Obama. But pauses are not in his repertoire of governance. Instead, yielding to what must be a metabolic urge toward statism, he says the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is yet another reason for yet another explosion of government's control of economic life. The spill supposedly makes it urgent to adopt a large tax increase in the form of cap-and-trade energy legislation, which also is climate legislation, the primary purpose of which is, or once was, to combat global warming, such as it is.
At any time, some economic conditions would be better than others, but the more certainty about conditions the better. Today investors and employers are certain that uncertainties are multiplying.
They are uncertain about when interest rates will rise, and by how much. They do not know how badly the economy will be burdened by the expiration, approximately 200 days from now, of the Bush tax cuts for high earners -- a.k.a. investors and employers. They know the costs of Obamacare will be higher than was advertised, but not how much higher. They do not know the potential costs of cap-and-trade and other energy policies. They do not know whether "card check" -- abolition of the right of secret-ballot elections in unionization decisions -- will pass, or how much the economy will be injured by making unions more muscular. They do not know how the functioning of the financial sector will be altered and impeded by the many new regulatory rules and agencies created by the financial reform legislation. The economy has become dependent on government stimulation of demand, and no one knows what will happen as the stimulus spending wanes.
Uncertainty is a consequence of hyperkinetic government, which is a consequence of the governmental confidence that is a consequence of progressivism. The premise of progressivism is that all will be well if enough power is concentrated in Washington, and enough Washington power is concentrated in the executive branch, and enough really clever experts are concentrated in the executive branch. This is why the government's perceived impotence concerning the gulf oil spill is subversive of the Obama administration's master narrative.
Progressives generally, and Obama especially, encourage expectations as large as the 1,428-page (cap-and-trade), 1,566-page (financial reform) and 2,409-page (health care) bills they churn out as "comprehensive" solutions to this and that. For a proper progressive, anything short of a "comprehensive" solution to, say, the problem of illegal immigration is unworthy of consideration. For today's progressive president, the prospect of a jobless recovery is a comprehensive nightmare.
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 11:50 PM