Saturday, October 30, 2010

Leftists are not nice people

Comment from Australia by Mirko Bagaric -- sparked by an episode in which a Leftist threw his shoes at John Howard (Former conservative Prime Minister of Australia) while Howard was appearing on a TV show hosted by Australia's public broadcaster (the ABC).

Police charges could of course have been levelled at the thrower but Howard just laughed it off, with his customary good nature. I understand that the thrower even got his shoes back. The shoes did not hit Howard as the thrower was said to "throw like a girl". There is a comment on the episode by an Australian cartoonist here -- JR

Look left, look right, then watch for the shoe from the left. John Howard was entitled to throw his shoes with gusto at the leftist fanatic Q & A shoe-thrower. The fact Howard laughed off the bitter, violent stunt underlies the moral gulf between most conservatives and the hypocritical Left, who self-select when it comes to occupying seats at the hopelessly biased ABC studios.

Without knowing it, I've been doing a wide-ranging social experiment on this exact issue during the past few years. It turns out that the supposedly warm and fuzzy Left is anything but that. Intoxicated by self-righteous irrelevance it has developed an addiction to anger pills and suffers from a hyperventilation disorder.

Before I disclose my data nailing the Left, first a little bit about how I acquired it. I regularly make wide-ranging comments that conflict with policies of the Left and Right. I'm apolitical; the policies of Labor and Liberal are so similar to make the debate almost irrelevant. Most of my writing is informed by one underlying principle. It's called utilitarianism. It is the theory that when you are faced with a moral or political choice you should make the decision that will maximise human flourishing, where each person's interest counts equally.

The Left doesn't like me because I'm a fan of tough counter-terrorism laws and harsher sentences for sex and violent offenders. I also oppose euthanasia, abortion and dispute the desperate need for a reduction in greenhouse gases. I often upset the Right because I push for gay marriages, animal rights, no tax for the poor and mega taxes for the rich, multiculturalism and tolerance towards Muslim values.

So what is the conclusive evidence I have that shows the Left has mutated into a hysterical, hypocritical - albeit well-intentioned - bunch? It comes in the form of thousands of abusive emails, an endless array of insulting (albeit sometimes witty and amusing) grossly misinformed blog comments, demands to my employers to sack me for saying what I think and even the occasional demonstration by some time-rich, agenda-poor anti-moralisers who are defeated by the practical ramifications of the concept of free speech.

This is nearly the sum total of responses to my comments in the past couple of years. The striking aspect of this is that nearly all of the besmirching and attempts to stereotype and censure me have come from the supposedly tolerant, libertarian Left, even though the Right has just as much reason to be jacked off at me.

What about the Right? I was raised to think that it was raised to be mean. But even this building block of social discourse has disintegrated. The Right doesn't have any more smarts than its opponents but certainly is nicer. It rarely throws hissy fits and seems to have a deficient vocabulary when it comes to name calling. Some members even show embryonic signs of a sense of humour. That's not to say that they always fail to live up to expectations. The anger meter on my email occasionally goes into overdrive when I write a piece suggesting that Muslims are being vilified in Australia. Still, on numbers alone this is negligible compared with the extremist torrent from the Left.

So why is it that the Left has become much of what it despises? Well, that's easy. History teaches us that rebellions without causes can be nothing other than character-destroying. The Left has fought a good fight. The right to life, liberty, property, equal access to high-quality health care, education and the professions; they're all now an entrenched part of the Australian landscape. Its job is pretty much done - at home. There's no scope for acquiring a sense of genuine purpose pursuing the current leftist agenda in the form of promoting anti-Americanism and salvaging the reputation of convicted terrorists.

Life can be nothing other than miserable for people with a warped sense of moral priorities and who spend their spare time pursuing meaningless causes. That's why the Left has mutated into such an embittered and angry tribe. Its only redemption is to reconnect with its historical roots and start fighting worthwhile causes that have some prospect of enhancing human flourishing.



Genetic defect identified in Leftists

My heading above is tendentious but so are the interpretations offered in the article following these introductory comments.

I have been pointing out for years that genetics largely determines politics -- on the basis of twin study evidence. And James Fowler, co-author of the academic article summarized below, has previously confirmed in 2007 how powerful is the genetic effect on politics revealed in twin studies.

But the mechanism behind the relationship has remained conjectural. The evidence below, however, suggests that there is a gullibility or suggestibility gene -- so people with that gene who also mix a lot with young people tend to adopt the politics of the young. Because they have yet to learn how complex the world really is, young people do tend Left -- the Left being the home of simplistic ideas

The full academic article can be read here or here. The title of the article is "Friendships Moderate an Association between a Dopamine Gene Variant and Political Ideology". Note that this is a study of young adults only so whether the effect lasts into later life remains, again, conjectural. Given the normal movement from Left to Right that most people undergo as they age, the effect of whom you associate with in your youth could well be a transient one

The article also identifies the gene concerned as leading to novelty seeking and my research has shown that Leftists tend to be sensation-seekers. So change for change's sake would seem to be part of what drives Leftism -- JR

Researchers have for the first time identified a gene that they say can influence political outlook.

Past studies had found that political views have a genetic component, but hadn't pointed out actual genes involved. The new research from the University of California and Harvard University indicates that a variant of a gene called DRD4 makes people more likely to be liberal, if they also had many friends as tenenagers.

DRD4 codes for the production of molecular structures in the brain that facilitates transmission of the chemical dopamine among brain cells. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, or a brain signaling chemical.

Appearing in the current edition of The Journal of Politics, the research focused on 2,000 subjects from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a federally funded U.S. project that surveyed health in relation to a range of behaviors. By matching genetic information with maps of the subjects' social networks, the researchers found that people with a specific variant of DRD4 were more likely to be liberal as adults, but only if they had an active social life in adolescence.

Dopamine is a messenger chemical affecting processes that control movement, emotional response, and ability to experience pleasure and pain. DRD4 codes for the production of a receptor, or molecular gateway, that regulates dopamine transmission.

Previous research has identified a connection between a variant of DRD4 and novelty-seeking behavior. This behavior has previously been associated with personality traits related to political liberalism, the investigators noted.

Lead researcher James H. Fowler of University of California, San Diego and colleagues hypothesized that people with the noveltyseeking gene variant would be more interested in learning about their friends' points of view. Thus, they might be exposed to a wider variety of social norms and lifestyles, which could foster a liberal viewpoint.

It's "the crucial interaction of two factors the genetic predisposition and the environmental condition of having many friends in adolescence that is associated with being more liberal," the investigators wrote, adding that this held true regardless of ethnicity, culture, sex or age.

Fowler said he hopes "more scholars will begin to explore the potential interaction of biology and environment." He added that he would like to see scientists try to replicate the findings "in different populations and age groups."



Brass Oldies

Thomas Sowell

Classic songs from years past are sometimes referred to as "golden oldies." There are political fallacies that have been around for a long time as well. These might be called brass oldies. It certainly takes a lot of brass to keep repeating fallacies that were refuted long ago.

One of these brass oldies is a phrase that has been a perennial favorite of the left, "tax cuts for the rich." How long ago was this refuted? More than 80 years ago, the "tax cuts for the rich" argument was refuted, both in theory and in practice, by Andrew Mellon, who was Secretary of the Treasury in the 1920s.

When Mellon took office, there was a large national debt, the economy was stagnating, and tax rates were high, though the tax revenues were still not enough to cover government expenditures. What was Mellon's prescription for getting out of this mess? A series of major cuts in the tax rates!

Then as now, there were people who failed to make the distinction between tax rates and tax revenues. Mellon said, "It seems difficult for some to understand that high rates of taxation do not necessarily mean large revenue for the Government, and that more revenue may often be obtained by lower rates."

How can that be? Because taxpayers change their behavior according to what the tax rates are. When one of the Rockefellers died, Mellon discovered that his estate included $44 million in tax-exempt bonds, compared to $7 million in Standard Oil securities, even though Standard Oil was the source of the Rockefeller fortune.

For the country as a whole, the amount of money tied up in tax-exempt securities was estimated to be three times as large as the federal government's expenditures and more than half as large as the national debt.

In short, huge amounts of money were not being invested in productive capacity, such as factories or power plants, but was instead being made available for local political boondoggles, because this money was put into tax-exempt state and local bonds.

When tax rates are reduced, investors have incentives to take their money out of tax shelters and put it into the private economy, creating higher returns for themselves and more production in the economy. Andrew Mellon understood this then, even though many in politics and the media seem not to understand it now.

Mellon was able to persuade Congress to lower the tax rates by large amounts. The percentage by which tax rates were lowered was greater at the lower income levels, but the total amount of money saved by taxpayers was of course greater on the part of people with higher incomes, who were paying much higher tax rates on those incomes.

Between 1921 and 1929, tax rates in the top brackets were cut from 73 percent to 24 percent. In other words, these were what the left likes to call "tax cuts for the rich."

What happened to federal revenues from income taxes over this same span of time? Income tax revenues rose by more than 30 percent. What happened to the economy? Jobs increased, output rose, the unemployment rate fell and incomes rose. Because economic activity increased, the government received more income tax revenues. In short, these were tax cuts for the economy, even if the left likes to call them "tax cuts for the rich."

This was not the only time that things like this happened, nor was Andrew Mellon the only one who advocated tax rate cuts in order to increase tax revenues. John Maynard Keynes pointed out in 1933 that lowering the tax rates can increase tax revenues, if the tax rates are so high as to discourage economic activity.

President John F. Kennedy made the same argument in the 1960s -- and tax revenues increased after the tax rates were cut during his administration. The same thing happened under Ronald Reagan during the 1980s. And it happened again under George W. Bush, whose tax rate cuts are scheduled to expire next January.

The rich actually paid more total taxes, and a higher percentage of all taxes, after the Bush tax rate cuts, because their incomes were rising with the rising economy. Do the people who keep repeating the catch phrase, "tax cuts for the rich" not know this? Or are they depending on your not knowing it?



Voter Fraud Threatens Election Integrity

Nevada is a state ripe with the possibility of voter fraud for many reasons. First, the state allows early voting, which in itself is not a problem, as described on current Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller’s website.

Nevada’s design of early voting can become a problem because its state law does not require proof of citizenship when at the polling place. Because no form of ID is required at the polls, it could be plausible for a voter to stop at many different polling places throughout the days of early voting, use a fake name and address, and vote as many times as he or she would like. Under this design an illegal immigrant could also cast a single or multiple votes.

As ironic as it sounds, when Nevada Republican Secretary of State candidate Robert Lauer pushed for state legislation that would have required voters to show a government-issued picture ID at the polls to keep voter fraud at bay, it was never adopted by the state.

Why? Maybe Miller and Sen. Reid saw some advantages to the way the current system is designed as it could possibly tip elections in their favor.

Miller is now the one in control of the voting machines throughout Nevada, which considering what happened in Clark County, obviously have problems. Not only is the machine software 7 years old, according to Lauer, but Miller will not let anybody other than a Voting Machine Technician, a government employee who is a member of the notorious Service Employees International Union, get close to the machines.

Therefore, all the voting machines in Clark County are under the control of Miller and SEIU. This alone should shake the confidence voters in Nevada have in their own system.

As Bill Wilson says, “if there is nothing wrong with the system, it would seem logical that the Nevada Secretary of State would not mind law enforcement ensuring ballot integrity. However, given his historic opposition to making certain that only legally registered voters vote, this simple proposal may be too logical for him to accept.”



List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)


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)


Thursday, October 28, 2010

ACORN’s October Surprise

Like a zombie in a horror movie, ACORN is alive! Even worse, it’s still in the business of registering Mickey Mouse and dead people to vote—and the person running its get-out-the-vote operation is under indictment for felony voter registration fraud.

But first, some background. The radical group staged an elaborate prank on April Fool’s Day by pretending to die. That’s when chief organizer Bertha Lewis said ACORN would dissolve its national structure. But the group still exists and continues to send out direct mail solicitations for funds.

Disturbingly, Project Vote, ACORN’s scandal-plagued voter registration and mobilization division, remains open for business. Project Vote has been part of the ACORN family since at least 1992 when Barack Obama ran a successful voter drive in Illinois.

Although legally separate entities, in practice the two are the same, as the congressional testimony of former ACORN/Project Vote employee Anita MonCrief can attest. They share office space, employees, and budgets. Project Vote continues to operate out of ACORN’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.

Even worse, its voter drive is being run by Amy Busefink, an ACORN employee under indictment in Nevada for violating election laws. It might be understandable for an employer not to fire an employee until she is actually convicted of a crime, but this is ridiculous. Busefink should not be running a voter drive.

ACORN and Project Vote did collect more than one million voter registration applications in 2008, but 400,000 applications “were rejected by election officials for a variety of reasons, including duplicate registrations, incomplete forms and fraudulent submissions,” the New York Times reported.

In May 2009, Nevada Atty. Gen. Catherine Cortez Masto, and Secretary of State Ross Miller, both Democrats, made public charges against two senior ACORN employees—Busefink, ACORN’s deputy regional director at the time, and Christopher Edwards, then ACORN’s Las Vegas field director. Both were implicated in a conspiracy in which they and ACORN as a corporate entity were charged. Edwards pleaded guilty and has turned state’s evidence. The trial of ACORN and Busefink is scheduled to begin on November 26.

The state’s charges list 26 felony counts of voter fraud and 13 of providing unlawful extra compensation to those registering voters, a practice forbidden under Nevada law because it incentivizes fraud. Canvassers were allegedly paid between $8 and $9 an hour and based on a quota of 20 voters per shift.

Project Vote is working with eight groups on voter drives. One is Pennsylvania Neighborhoods for Social Justice (PNSJ), a “new” group operating out of ACORN’s offices in Philadelphia. Longtime ACORN national board member Carol Hemingway is on the board of PNSJ and its sister nonprofit, Pennsylvania Communities Organizing for Change (PCOC).

Although ACORN closed many of its offices, Lewis has been working with a skeleton staff. Congressional investigators say she is consolidating power and hoarding assets. They estimate ACORN has $20 million in cash and that its affiliates hold another $10 million.

ACORN plans to resurface under a new name soon, according to John Atlas, author of Seeds of Change, a book sympathetic to ACORN. ACORN chapters in at least 13 states and the District of Columbia changed their names and obtained separate nonprofit status.



How ACORN Survives -- and Thrives

The Obama administration is stonewalling efforts on two fronts to investigate the still-operating ACORN and uncover what aid administration officials offered the radical advocacy group infamous for its thug tactics and election fraud.

The Obama administration is sitting on Capital Research Center's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that seeks correspondence between Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and ACORN. HUD rules state that FOIA requests must be answered within 45 days, but at this writing our request has been pending for just over seven months.

The request was filed because Donovan is a longtime ACORN collaborator. He worked closely with ACORN for five years when he was New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's housing development commissioner.

"Perhaps no administration official has had more interaction with Acorn than" Donovan, the New York Times reported. ACORN chief organizer Bertha Lewis admitted as much. "We grew to respect him, and he grew to respect us."

Ever since hidden-camera videos surfaced last year showing ACORN employees helping undercover conservative activists with financial and tax planning for a brothel for pedophiles, Donovan has remained silent about his relationship with ACORN. It's unclear what Donovan is hiding.

And if you thought conservatives were the only ones urging the Obama administration to conduct a proper federal racketeering investigation of ACORN, you'd be wrong.

The whistleblowers of the left-leaning "ACORN 8" group are learning the hard way that the Obama Department of Justice is just as adept at stonewalling as Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.). Longtime ACORN benefactor Nadler is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution, civil rights, and civil liberties who refused to initiate a probe even when confronted with powerful evidence of ACORN's wrongdoing. (To make matters worse, in a breathtaking conflict-of-interest Nadler devised a novel legal strategy ACORN used to defend itself.)

ACORN 8 is a group that broke away from ACORN in 2008. It is headed by Marcel Reid, a former member of ACORN's national board. She was expelled from ACORN after demanding to see financial documentation related to a million-dollar embezzlement perpetrated by the brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke. The brother, Dale Rathke, blew his ill-gotten gains on spending sprees at Neiman Marcus, limousine rentals, and other accoutrements of the Mercedes Marxist set. Big brother Wade and other high-ranking ACORN officials covered up the theft for eight years until it was discovered two years ago.

"I was attracted to the mission of ACORN to help people, to alleviate poverty," Reid said previously. "We asked to see the books because the promissory note indicated a theft had occurred. They played games with us."



Leftist cartoonist can see no faults in Obama

"There are none so blind as those who will not see"

From an interview with Gary Trudeau in Slate:

Slate: Who's the hardest politician to satirize, and why?

Trudeau: Believe it or not, Obama's very tough for business. The contradictory characterizations of him as fascist or socialist only serve to confirm the truth—he's a raging moderate. And satirists don't do well with moderates, especially thoughtful ones. In addition, Obama rarely makes gaffes and has no salient physical or temperamental features. And sinking popularity isn't a critique.


Rats deserting the ship

"Nancy Pelosi said Monday that 'we haven't really gotten the credit for what we have done,' and the Speaker is right. However, it appears that her party will get that credit on November 2, which is why so many Democrats are now jumping the liberal ship, at least symbolically, to save their seats. ...

Mississippi Democrat Gene Taylor ... [said] that he won't support Mrs. Pelosi for Speaker, another revelation considering his vote for her in 2009. 'I'm very disappointed in how she's veered to the left,' Mr. Taylor said, as if Mrs. Pelosi's ideological predispositions were ever hidden.

Mr. Taylor joins a growing list of Democrats who voted for Mrs. Pelosi in 2009 but now profess to be shocked by her left turn. They include Idaho's Walt Minnick, Pennsylvania's Jason Altmire, Alabama's Bobby Bright and Texas's Chet Edwards, endangered incumbents all.

Brett Carter, who is hoping to replace Tennessee Democrat Barton Gordon, has gone even further and requested that Mrs. Pelosi not even run again for the Speakership. 'Voters in my district believe that you do not represent their values, and my opposition has little to offer apart from critiquing your leadership,' Mr. Carter wrote in a September letter. ...

Over in the Senate, the prize for distancing himself from his party goes to West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, who ran the famous TV ad featuring him literally putting a bullet through the 'cap and trade bill.' Apparently that wasn't politically far enough away from the Washington Democrats he hopes to join, so Mr. Manchin declared on Fox News Sunday that he would have voted against ObamaCare too. ...

Remind us again why these folks are running as Democrats?"



Voting fraud continues

Suspicious voting-machine malfunctions and cheating candidates are the stuff of banana republics, not America. With Democrats about to suffer historic losses, is our election's integrity in question?

'It can't happen here," most Americans would say about the chances of voting one way and seeing your votes recorded the opposite. But that's what happened in early voting in North Carolina's unfortunately named Craven County last week.

Voter Sam Laughinghouse of New Bern found that "an electronic voting machine completed his straight-party ticket for the opposite of what he intended," the New Bern Sun Journal reported.

Laughinghouse "pushed the button to vote Republican in all races, but the voting machine screen displayed a ballot with all Democrats checked," the local paper reported. "He cleared the screen and tried again with the same result."

Election personnel eventually straightened it out, but clearly a less observant Republican voter would have inadvertently voted for every Democrat on his ballot. Chuck Tyson, chairman of the Craven County Republican Party, told the Sun Journal he "got two or three calls" from voters experiencing the same problem and is not satisfied with state election officials' efforts to fix it.

In Boulder City, Nev., meanwhile, where voters use computer screens, another disturbing episode was reported by Fox News. When voter Joyce Ferrara and her husband went to vote for Republican Sharron Angle, they — and several others, according to Ferrara — found that Democratic incumbent Harry Reid's name was already checked. The county registrar's explanation: The high-tech voting screens are sensitive.

The Nevada case is especially disturbing because the seat of the most powerful Democrat in the Senate is at stake.




My Tea Party: "The Tea Parties are just one of a number of historically pivotal developments (including the Internet, conservative talk radio, and perhaps even on-demand publishing) that became necessary to get over, under, around, and through the Great Wall of the Northeastern Liberal Establishment and its numberless, faceless hordes of duly appointed gatekeepers. In that sense, the Tea Parties are exactly what the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and the New Left always aspired to be and never really were.”

Charity and generosity that aren’t: "In a recent stump speech urging people to keep Democrats in power, President Obama told his audience that America is a country based in large measure on the principle that ‘we are all our brothers’ keepers.’ This is not true, but even if it were and even if that idea were itself a good one, President Obama’s political philosophy has nothing to do with it. What the president and those who share his politics believe in is the coercive welfare state, not in charity or generosity.”

Obamacare feeds insurance oligarchs: "Like all regulations declaredly subduing Big Business predominance over consumer’s lives, the new laws synthesize ‘public’ and ‘private’ — both of which are ultimately meaningless in our system — boosting an already corporatist economy for health services. As we might have foreseen, the politicians’ solution nurtures a condition whereby smaller ‘carriers will collapse under the new mandates and higher overhead.’ So in the face of everything the President said about ‘not accept[ing] the status quo as a solution’ in health care, ‘Obamacare’ delivered for Big Insurance, a cartel that loathes competition and welcomes impenetrable regulation.”

The madness of King Jon: "The history of the present chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, Jon Leibowitz, is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of absolute tyranny over the people of the United States. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.”

Government kills businesses: "The Institute for Justice released a fun video today revealing the trevails of ‘Chuck’ — a poor sucker who wants to start a small business. The video makes a compelling case for how hard it is to start a business in America today. My favorite part is when ‘Chuck’ goes thru the maze of trying to get a street vendor’s permit in the city of Miami. … This video should be required watching for every government official who is getting ready to pass more regulations. ESPECIALLY those who are getting ready to pass more regulations and say that they also want to ‘create jobs.’ When will they learn that the best way to ‘create jobs’ is to LEAVE US ALONE?”

A revolution in sovereignty: "At the end of the 19th century, Nietzsche famously announced that God is dead, which was never a pronouncement of his atheism (though he was one), but more of a statement about the dissapearing authority of the ’spiritual.’ Because of a moral vacuum left by this waning authority, he prophesized that in the next century men would project onto the state a spiritual life they fooled themselves into thinking science had explained away. The terms would be different, but the emotional resonators would remain the same, only at terrifying scale. And that disgruntled German was right. All too right. Nowadays it is by no means an exaggeration to say we live under the Church of Unlimited Government.”

France Returns to Normal after Senate Pension Change: "Strike season in France appears to have ended with a whimper. The French Senate today finalized a vote on pension reform, a college students’ strike barely materialized, and workers at five of France’s 12 oil refineries voted to start work again. After a month of protests, which created excitement and temporarily immobilized parts of the country, union leaders appeared largely unified on a deal to call off the walkouts in exchange for further debate on unemployment aspects of pension reform.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)


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)


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Openness", Obama-style

Don't ever expect Leftist talk to be matched by their actions

Officials at the Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Stability contracted with a small consulting firm that has given nearly $25,000 to Democratic candidates since 2005 (and no money to Republicans) to hire “Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Analysts to support the Disclosure Services, Privacy and Treasury Records.” The firm is currently advertising a job opening for a FOIA analyst with experience in the “Use of FOIA/PA exemptions to withhold information from release to the public” (emphasis mine, and if that link goes down, The Examiner has kept a copy for its records).

UPDATE: Phacil has changed their job description on their website (without making a note), however here is a link to another job description for the same job that still uses the above as a qualification. They also have not yet returned calls to The Examiner. The side by side comparison of the old and modified versions are at the bottom of this post.

This means that the entire OFS, which is tasked with overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program, is trying to hire people who will withhold information from release to the public.

In fact, according to the website of the staffing company, Phacil (pronounced Fa-SEAL), co-founders Rafael Collado and Sascha Mornell were “thanked by President Obama,” and “commended at the White House during National Small Business Week for being selected the SBA New Jersey State Small Business Persons of the Year.” The contract is listed under service contracts of the Office of Financial Stability in a recent report from the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Collado and Mornell are among the top donors at the firm. Mornell has given $12,600 over the years, while Collado has given $6,700. Another donor, Robert Cottingham, listed Phacil as his employer, stating his position as vice president of government affairs.

That Treasury outsourced its mechanism for transparency to a firm with such partisan ties casts new light on a report from Bloomberg News in which Treasury officials have repeatedly obstructed reporters’ requests for information.



Liberal "ideas" boil down to coercion and more coercion

Here’s a letter to the New York Times Book Review from economist Don Boudreaux

A theme that runs with approval throughout Jonathan Alter’s review of recent books on modern “liberalism” is that “liberals,” in contrast to their mindless Cro-Magnon opposites, overflow with ideas (“The State of Liberalism,” Oct. 24).

Indeed they do. But these ideas are almost exclusively about how other people should live their lives. These are ideas about how one group of people (the politically successful) should engineer everyone else’s contracts, social relations, diets, habits, and even moral sentiments.

Put differently, modern “liberalism’s” ideas are about replacing an unimaginably large multitude of diverse and competing ideas – each one individually chosen, practiced, assessed, and modified in light of what F.A. Hayek called “the particular circumstances of time and place” – with a relatively paltry set of ‘Big Ideas’ that are politically selected, centrally imposed, and enforced not by the natural give, take, and compromise of the everyday interactions of millions of people but, rather, by guns wielded by those whose overriding ‘idea’ is among the most simple-minded and antediluvian notions in history, namely, that those with the power of the sword are anointed to lord it over the rest of us.




Herbert London

You have undoubtedly heard of existentialism, a philosophical position based on personal choice without the benefit of normative judgment. Well I reject it since driving through a red light is hazardous to your health.

However, I am a resistentialist, an eponymous condition in which adherents categorically reject the fatuities of modern life. Let me cite several examples.

Automobile manufacturers produce a car with 300 horse power that can easily achieve speeds of 120 miles per hour so that the car can remain stalled on the Long Island Expressway during rush hour.

Art is often described as post-modern, a school that has flash but no pan. However, if modern is new, how can you be post new? In fact, at what point does new go post?

Texting is the communications channel of the young. But from what I can discern it is an addiction to banality since the text hasn’t any substance and the language is puerile shorthand, e.g. RUOK?

The IPod is one of those devices that permits cultural toxins such as rap music to enter the brain without filter. It inflicts a form of Parkinson’s disease on its adherents who find it very difficult to stand still.

These examples are the symptoms of modernity that resistentialism oppose. Fortunately personal liberty suggests you don’t have to drive a car with a turbo engine or admire Michael Graves’ architecture or use a handheld device to communicate or put any electronic wiring in your ears. But it is hard to avoid the conditions of modernity since they are osmotic, in the cultural air surrounding us.

There aren’t many triumphal moments for the resistentialist, but the few he does experience are memorable. I recall with satisfaction my resistance to the plasma screen TV. After all, I noted, is it really so different from the conventional color TV? “Well,” said the salesman “yes it is different and it will change the nature of viewing.” I wasn’t about to change my viewing patterns and would certainly not do so for $2500. So I resisted. A year later this same television set sold for $2000 and despite entreaties from my family, I remained firmly opposed. By the third year the price was $1200 and I conceded, but at least I had the satisfaction of knowing my resistance saved $1300.



The Meltdown: A brief history lesson

1977: Jimmy Carter (D) signs the Community Reinvestment Act, guaranteeing homes loans to low-income families.

1999: Bill Clinton (D) puts the CRA on steroids by pushing Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac (F&F) to increase the number of sub-prime loans (owning a home is now a 'right'.)

1999 (September): New York Times publishes an article, 'Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending', which warned of the coming crisis due to lax lending policies of the Clinton (D) administration.

2003: White House calls Fannie and Freddie a "systemic risk". The Bush (R) administration pushes Congress to enact new regulations.

2003: Barney Frank (D-CN) says F&F are "not in a crisis" and bashes Republicans for crying wolf and calls F&F "Financially Sound" Democrats block Republican sponsored regulation legislation.

2005: Fed Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan voices warning over F&F accounting "We are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk"

2005: Sen Charles Schumer (D-NY) says "I think F & F over the years have done an incredibly good job and are an intrinsic part of making America the best-housed people in the world."

2006: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) again calls for reform of the regulatory structure that governs F&F.

2006: Democrats again block reform legislation.

2008: Housing market collapses: Democrats blame the Republicans.

Obviously the Republicans aren't free of guilt concerning the cause of this crisis because they didn't try hard enough to prevent it and in some cases allowed it to happen. But as can plainly be seen the Democrats hold the lion's share of blame for the economic meltdown we're currently enjoying.

I received the above by email but it seems pretty right -- JR


Some news summaries from Richard Viguerie

Why NPR must go: Pat Buchanan writes that the issue of terminating federal funding for PBS, NPR and the CPB will be an early test to determine whether the GOP is serious about having learned its lesson from the days of Big Government “conservatism,” arguing that these taxpayer supported entities are ripe for elimination. Buchanan says the firing of Juan Williams helped highlight the need to cut funding, but the main reason for eliminating the money is the simple fact that the government shouldn’t be in the news and entertainment business in the first place.

The voter fraud perpetrators are at it again! Michelle Malkin highlights a pervasive problem throughout the United States, namely rampant voter fraud perpetrated by various leftwing groups that are determined to fix the elections using any means possible – including through largely unaccountable absentee and early voter schemes. Malkin provides the evidence from different parts of the country and underscores the need for Americans to elect state secretaries of state who will enforce the law in determining legal voter registrations.

Good news for the GOP and great news for conservatives from the Battleground poll: Bruce Walker examines the results of the most recent Battleground poll and argues that it bodes very well for Republican candidates in the upcoming elections, and for conservatives in general. Walker says the Battleground poll has been the most consistent over the course of the years, and there’s no reason to doubt that America is truly a conservative-leaning country and that people will vote that way next Tuesday when they go to the polls.

Fed-up Americans: Don’t stop with kicking out incumbents, fire the judges too! Connservatives all across the country are working hard to toss out liberal incumbent congressman, state legislators and governors that don’t listen to the People, and in Iowa, they’re getting the opportunity to “fire” Justices on the state Supreme Court who have proven to be equally contemptuous of tradition and the will of the majority. The Iowa Supreme Court recently overturned the state’s Defense of Marriage Act in order to allow homosexuals to “marry,” and three of those jurists are now on the ballot. Fire the judges too!

President Obama pushes the myth that fat cats favor the GOP: Timothy Carney examines myth (as espoused by President Obama) versus reality (actual figures from the Center for Responsive Politics) in who donates money to candidates, arguing the real numbers would surprise people who only rely on the mainstream media to feed them the “news.” Carney debunks the notion that Republicans are the main beneficiaries of Wall Street contributions (as well as lobbyists and other various special interests), a fantasy that is perpetuated by lazy and biased “journalists” who should be reporting the facts.

Latinos are rejecting Obama’s socialist policies and are going conservative: Hispanic conservative Chris Salcedo states it plainly: President Obama’s greatest accomplishment may be the awakening of the conservative movement in the Latino community. Salcedo cites polls that show Latino support for President Obama’s policies has dropped significantly in this year alone as the traditionally conservative Hispanic culture realizes that liberal socialistic policies are not in line with what they believe. As a result, Salcedo argues, a major shift could be taking place in the country’s fastest growing demographic group.




WikiLeaks leaks all over the anti-war cause: "Is WikiLeaks just a curnning front for the American military-industrial complex? First its latest document dump showed that Lancet exaggerated by 600 per cent when it published its notorious paper claiming the liberation of iraq cost the lives of 655,000 Iraqis. Now it’s confirmed that Saddam Hussein did indeed have weapons of mass destruction - and the experts to resume production once the US backed down: "By late 2003, even the Bush White House’s staunchest defenders were starting to give up on the idea that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But WikiLeaks’ newly-released Iraq war documents reveal that for years afterward, U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins and uncover weapons of mass destruction".

Protect deployed parents’ rights: "Divorced or separated military parents often lose custody of their children — and sometimes permanently forfeit any meaningful role in their lives — simply because they have served their country. Many married parents deploy overseas, never suspecting that their parenthood essentially ended the day they left home. The divorce rate in the Armed Forces has skyrocketed during the long deployments necessitated by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Obama’s imaginary tax cuts: "How many times have you heard the president and the congressional Democrats say Americans who make less than $200,000 a year have not had, and will not have, any of their taxes increased? Unfortunately, it is not true, and it is likely to become a whole lot worse. The 111th Congress has already enacted $352 billion in net tax increases and may, in the upcoming lame-duck session, enact the largest tax increases in history, which will hit every man, woman and child — as well as every business in America.”

To fix the economy, let bad banks die: "Two years ago, many of the nation’s largest banks should have failed — because their business model failed. That business model was willful incompetence. Back then, banks, including Countrywide Financial, now part of Bank of America, showcased this incompetence in helping homeowners borrow money they could never repay. Today, thanks to Washington’s bailouts, the bad banks are still alive. So is their disastrous business model.”

Ethiopia shows the damage that aid can do: "HRW have shown in chilling detail how aid money given to the Ethiopian government has been used to coerce people into supporting the regime. Aid-funded education programmes are turned into government ideology reeducation camps; projects aimed at feeding the country’s poor are used to deprive the regime’s opponents of food; and other aid money is channelled to fund ‘retraining’ of judges and teachers. In short, Western aid money is being used by the Ethiopian government to create a totalitarian regime.”

Animal rights fanatics in New Zealand ban kosher meat: "New Zealand recently became the first country in the world to outlaw kosher slaughter since the Nazis enacted similar legislation in Europe over 70 years ago. New Zealand Jews may soon be the only Jews in the world who can no longer eat chicken. Your children or grandchildren may never experience a Passover with chicken soup and matzah balls, or ask the meaning of the lamb shank on your family’s Seder plate. "Some kosher meat (but not chicken) may be able to be imported, for a limited period. It is likely however that if we lose the right to practise shechita, then the ability to import kosher meat will soon follow."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)


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)


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Always get it in writing -- on paper

The foreclosure crisis has highlighted again a major flaw of our modern economy: the fragility of ownership and property rights in the Internet age. Quite apart from the possibility of an EMP field blanking out everybody’s servers, the sheer complexity of computer-managed structures such as securitization can make them very difficult if not impossible to unravel. At some point, we will all pay a major price for this flaw.

Securitization was always going to involve these kinds of problems. The idea that you can take a simple instrument like a home mortgage and dice up payments from it in hundreds of different directions, with mortgages being securitized and re-securitized, worked all right in the investment banks’ computers, but would never have worked on paper! Naturally, with sloppiness all round and a fair admixture of fraud, together with a lot of expensive lawyers available, the result has been an unholy mess. Even without fraud in the computer systems themselves, the passage of time, as not only the original deals but the original deal management systems become forgotten, will ensure that ownership rights become untraceable. For a substantial percentage – perhaps 5%, perhaps 10% -- of the mortgages written between 2002 and 2007, this process will result in the property rights, in both the mortgage and the underlying house, becoming unenforceable because the evidence for them does not exist in unambiguous form.

While securitization has given rise to the most immediate problems, there are other areas in which property rights have been rendered more uncertain by computerization. Dematerialized bonds and stocks, the great back-office fad of the 1980s and 1990s, mean that investors are now completely dependent on the record-keeping capabilities of New Jersey computer servers. Banks, investment companies and credit card companies increasingly badger their customers to go “paperless” thus leaving themselves with no tangible record of their assets and liabilities.

The dangers of this are obvious. The science fiction threat of an “EMP” nuclear attack is far greater now than it was in the early days of the Internet around 1995-96, although electronic equipment was already as vulnerable then as it is now. Back then, banks still sent paper statements and transactions in general generated a blizzard of paper, even though the Internet was rapidly becoming a popular means of communication. Hence an EMP destruction of the 1995-6 Internet would have left us with written records of almost all significant transactions. That is far from being the case today. Far from having improved our defenses against EMP we have made ourselves infinitely more vulnerable. Like holders of California subprime mortgages with inadequate documentation, our property rights have been sharply diminished.

Ownership rights were not particularly solid in the ancient world; there was always the risk that someone with more clout or simply a bigger band of thugs would dispossess you. Outside Song Dynasty China, the first attempt at a society with solid ownership rights occurred in the reign of England’s Henry VII. He established the rule of law, even applying it to the baronage and setting up a system of Justices of the Peace to enforce prohibitions against random thuggery. His Tudor and early Stuart successors violated property rights frequently, but after the Restoration the protection of property rights increased rapidly – an increase that coincided with Britain’s economic take-off and to some extent caused it.

The high point of property rights in Britain came under the great Tory governments of 1783-1830. By that time, the legal system worked well, under the benign guidance for most of the period of Lord Chancellor Eldon. With a sound monetary system, property rights could thereby be preserved over astonishingly long periods. In Anthony Trollope’s first Barchester novel “The Warden,” published in 1855 the plot revolves around a bequest for Hiram’s Hospital that had been made in 1434. By the time of the novel, roughly the late 1840s, the bequest has increased in value, providing an excellent income for the hospital’s warden, Septimus Harding.

The gradual erosion of property rights after 1830 is however illustrated by the novel’s central struggle to update the terms of the bequest more in line with the money values and moral principles of the Whig 19th Century, depriving Harding of most of his income. Harding and his supporters the Bishop of Barchester and Archdeacon Grantly base their case on the values of their pre-1830 youth; in the Whig world of two decades later they are eventually defeated. However the protection and expansion of the Hiram’s Hospital property rights for 400 years is a notable example of the stability of both money values and society as a whole that emerged in the centuries following John Hiram’s death.

Thus in Trollope’s world, 400-year old documents kept in strong boxes by family solicitors (or, in that case, those of the Diocese of Barchester) were still rock-solid evidence for the disposition of substantial sums of money. Those property rights had already begun breaking down in 1855 and were sadly further eroded by the 20th century tendencies of governments toward expropriation, ruinous taxation and currency debasement. The virtualization of records has now taken that unhappy process a massive stage further.

One has only to think of the chances of making a successful claim in the year 2410 based on today’s computerized records to realize how far property rights have sunk. Computer databases are updated every 2-3 years and after a few “generations” of such updates become unusable. Even ten years ago, the massive panic over the Y2K problem, based on inadequate programs that were at that stage only 20-30 years old, shows how quickly data stored in virtual form can be rendered inaccessible. In addition, there’s the destructibility of the computers themselves, which has become a far worse problem with the new migration of data to cell-phones and tablets. (Desktops were equally likely to be smashed when you dropped them, but they were much less likely to be dropped, since they were not considered “portable.”)

If John Hiram’s will were made today therefore, and kept in virtual form, it would become a major data recovery problem by 2030 and entirely unavailable by 2050 or so. (Bizarrely destructive monetary policies might well also make his legacy valueless in that time!) Within a tenth of the period for which the original Hiram’s will was preserved by the Diocese of Barchester’s solicitors, and the value of his property preserved by good management aided by mostly sound monetary policies, the property of a new John Hiram would have been decimated, and the evidence for its existence destroyed.

This problem will get worse not better. Its ramifications will become exponentially more obvious as the virtualization revolution ages, and only concerted action, nowhere currently in view, can remove it.



A Mass Nervous Breakdown of the Left

The left can be mean, vicious, and deceitful. I've recently concluded, however, that the left is having, before our eyes, a mass nervous breakdown at the prospects of its collapse, exacerbated by the lost prospect of being on the verge of something really big. They thought they had won. Now, they're seeing it all crumble in a mountain of unsustainable debt, a loss of freedom, and an awakening of voter awareness of who's and what's at fault.

I first came to the conclusion that the left had crossed a sanity threshold to the point that its arguments were hurting its cause when President Obama and the patsy chorus on the left began attacking the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other very American entities, without proof, of using foreign money on political ads.

The president himself had taken contributions of questionable origin. The left raises money from multinational sources the same way as those they accuse, but the left probably has a problem twice as incriminating. That angle of attack was a tactical error that sane, strategically thinking people would not make. It's irrational.

There have been many other instances -- too many to mention in this piece -- but I don't recall ever seeing the like of the disproportionate, unhinged attacks on Christine O'Donnell for her statements addressing the Establishment Clause in her Widener Law School debate with Chris Coons.

The left couldn't possibly want that one Delaware Senate seat enough to match their vitriol.

It's important to understand the context in which the Establishment Clause issue was addressed at the debate. Chris Coons said that only evolution must be taught in schools, and that intelligent design is prohibited from being discussed, even as a dissenting footnote to the conclusion that man was not created by God (who, then, consistent with Marxist doctrine, cannot be the source of our rights).

As I and others have pointed out, Ms. O'Donnell was right about the Establishment Clause. The mere debate, though, unravels many on the left.

Our president, for example, has stubbornly and repeatedly removed reference to "the Creator" from his quotations of the Declaration of Independence. That omission does little to motivate his base, enough of whom still believe God is the source of our rights, but it is a frontal attack on our most fundamental American principle -- that we are endowed with rights by God -- and is therefore an affront to most Americans' sense of being and security.

The omission is an irrational act, like the false, vitriolic representations of Christine O'Donnell's Establishment Clause comments. Those attacks on our fundamental, existential notions of who we are have already begun to unleash a torrent of thoughtful articles, blogs, and discussions about the bastardization of the Establishment Clause and, concomitantly, why control by the federal Department of Education should be replaced by state and local controls.

If nothing else, eliminating the Department of Education, which has been with us only since 1980 and is neither essential nor necessarily constitutional, would result in many billions of dollars saved for the states and localities. There is no constitutional question about fifty state departments of education, and once people understand how much money is spent and wasted by the U.S. Department of Education, and by states complying with its mandates, wiser heads will prevail.

Also, the national debate that will evolve will expose how the separation of church and state doctrine has become an excuse by which the left actually under-educates our children and is used to impede real First Amendment freedoms.

Religion, education, and even science, properly and thoughtfully addressed, are not only compatible, but often are inextricably linked. That's rational. Those who say religion may not be addressed in schools have an agenda, but that agenda is collapsing. And there are enough people on the left who understand correctly that the separation of church and state doctrine was not intended to remove discussion of religion, for religion's good or for its misuse, from the public square or within schools.

Would, for example, it be permissible for the federal government to ban the teaching of how religion has played a role in America's history, that religion played a role in the art of Michaelangelo, or that religion played a central role in the motivations and science of Galileo ("I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect had intended for us to forgo their use")?

Would such teachings violate the separation of church and state? Or would the absence of such teachings deprive students of real knowledge?

The media, by showing a consuming, irrational rage over one relatively inconsequential race, has opened Pandora's box. They have made a larger debate front and center. The Tea Parties and new, fresh candidates will challenge notions and assumptions that have not been challenged enough in decades by go-along Republicans.

The left will laugh and mock those attempts. That's good. That's what got them into trouble in the first place. They're too crazed to understand that.

In fact, many people never experienced personally the savage, disingenuous, doctrinaire political media attacks until they became active in the Tea Parties. A sane person on the left would understand that what the left is doing is actually fulfilling Christine O'Donnell's "I'm you" ad. Sane-thinking people don't do things intentionally that hurt their own cause.



Comparing Jews to Nazis Meets NPR's 'Editorial Standards and Practices'

"[Juan Williams'] remarks were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR." - Statement issued by NPR

Remember what National Public Radio did to its foreign editor Loren Jenkins last year after he said, "Israel has used Gaza as a bombing target practice"?

They did nothing to him, for he was simply espousing the reckless anti-Israel hyperbole that is business-as-usual for NPR. Addressing an audience at an Aspen public radio event, Jenkins also said that Israel "created the biggest ghetto we've ever known" and is therefore responsible for the likelihood that Gazans "are all going to be turned into Palestinian terrorists because they have nothing else to do."

Andrea Levin of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), who reported on Jenkins' inflammatory falsehoods, also recounted his history of equating Jews with Nazis and softening the image of Palestinian terrorists:

That Jenkins, who clearly harbors prejudicial views about Israel, remains ensconced at NPR with influence over what is broadcast about the Middle East should be a worry to those who care about decent and factual coverage of the region.

An earlier CAMERA study of NPR bias found its editors and reporters working on behalf of organizations that vilify the Jewish state:

... Significantly, Jenkins has regularly appeared at events sponsored by the stridently anti-Israel American-Arab Anti- Discrimination Committee (ADC), and [reporter] Kate Seelye was for a number of years beginning in the late 1980's the ADC's Manager of Media Relations.

Not surprisingly, the report found, "[e]ntirely one-sided programs were commonplace, whether devoted to assailing Ariel Sharon as a 'war criminal,' to characterizing Israel as a 'Jim Crow' nation which should be done away with in its 'apartheid' form, or to blaming Israel for excessive violence, anti-American riots in Arab capitals and erosion of a supposed Arab commitment to peace."

Perhaps nothing reveals NPR's true colors more dramatically than their hiring of Hamas enthusiast Ali Abunimah (perhaps best-known as an early ally of President Obama on Mideast issues) as a commentator -- and their promise in 1998 to blacklist terrorism expert Steven Emerson when Abunimah demanded it.

Jeff Jacoby noted that Steven Emerson had achieved the status of "the nation's foremost expert on Islamic terrorism" when Abunimah set out to have him silenced.




The fallacy of TARP profits: "In the end, we were right. The entire Wall Street bailout has cost taxpayers billions while not improving the economy in the slightest. It surely has not improved the housing market or the job market — the unemployment rate stands at a high 9.6 percent. In fact, a Congressional Oversight Panel report says that ‘there is very little evidence to suggest that (TARP) led small banks to increase lending.’”

Insurance lessons from Alabama: "While Alabama certainly has some ambiguous laws and archaic regulations, the federal government ought to take a lesson from Alabama when it comes to property insurance. In an effort to keep the state’s insurer of last resort solvent (meaning it will have enough money to pay the claims people are likely to file), Bob Groves, manager of the state-run insurer, announced that they will no longer issue policies for homes built over or standing in water.”

One more reason why Britain really does not need the European Union: "Idly browsing, as I do, I came across this fascinating little post about the cost of transport. As a decent approximation, getting 30 tonnes of anything from anywhere to anywere now costs around $5,000. If, and only if, you’re on the container routes (either sea or rail). Which means that, again to a reasonable level of approximation, distance is no longer really a concern in trade matters. … It simply isn’t true any more that geography determines the costs of trade: thus geography shouldn’t be an influence upon trade policies.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)


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)

Barack Obama echoes anti-Americanism of Europe in calling voters stupid

Obama and his fellow Democrats are mocking Republicans and the Tea Party as stupid. But they could be the ones who look foolish on election day

So what is the closing argument of Barack Obama's Democrats before next Tuesday's midterm elections? The President is no longer the self-proclaimed "hope-monger" of 2008, who vaingloriously declared that his vanquishing Hillary Clinton marked "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal".

He has stopped patting voters on the back for choosing, by voting for him, to listen not to their doubts or fears but to their "greatest hopes and highest aspirations". Instead, he is berating Americans (most of whom now do not believe he deserves a second term) for not being able to "think clearly" because they're "scared".

Having failed to change Washington or, as he promised that night in St Paul, Minnesota in June 2008, to provide "good jobs to the jobless" (unemployment was 7.7 per cent when he took office and is 9.6 per cent now), Obama is changing tack. Boiled down, the new Obama message to Americans is: you're too stupid to overcome your fears.

To be fair, it's not entirely new. During the 2008 campaign, Obama was caught on tape at a San Francisco fund-raiser saying it was not surprising that voters facing economic hardship "get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them".

At a fund-raiser in Massachusetts this month, Obama spoke of Democrats having "facts and science and argument" on their side. As opposed, presumably, to the lies, superstition and prejudice that Republicans rely on.

This year, Democrats have embraced with gusto the notion that Republicans, and by extension anyone thinking of voting for them, are dimwits. Their mirth over the likes of Tea Party figures like Christine O'Donnell, the former anti-masturbation activist who once she had "dabbled" in witchcraft and is now a no-hoper Senate candidate in Delaware, seems to know no bounds.

The most chortling of all about the populist Tea Party and its anti-tax, anti-government uprising against the Republican establishment can be found on the shows of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, the edgy liberal satirists on Comedy Central. Mocking Republican candidates last week, Stewart declared the midterm elections as "the best chance ever for a bowl of fresh fruit" to be elected.

Three days before the elections, Stewart will hold a "Rally to Restore Sanity" in Washington on the same day as Colbert, who adopts the character of a Right-wing talk show host, leads a "March to Keep Fear Alive". The thinly-disguised message: Republicans are crazies who trade on fear.

In choosing California and Massachusetts, two of the most liberal states in the union, to demean ordinary Americans during election campaigns, Obama did not display a whole lot of his much-vaunted intelligence. But Obama's decision to plug Stewart's rally approvingly and appear on his show three days beforehand is even more foolish.

In the 1990s, Democrats managed to get away from their image as "eggheads" in the 1950s or "pointy-headed liberals" in the 1970s. Bill Clinton spoke like a Good Ol' Boy from the Deep South, ate junk food and enjoyed trashy women. He was clever, but he did not look down on people.

Obama, by contrast, has become a parody of the Ivy League liberal smugly content with his own intellectual superiority and pitying the poor idiots who disagree with him. It is an approach that shares much with the default anti-Americanism of British and European elites, who love to mock the United States as a country full of gun-toting, bible-clutching morons.

David Cameron [Centrist British PM] has made nods to this sniffy condescension, speaking of the Sarah Palin phenomenon as being "hard for us to understand" (how about giving it a go, Dave?) and describing American conservatism, inaccurately, as moving in a "very culture war direction". This might be part of the reason why he seems to have hit it off with Obama.

The problem for Obama and the Democrats is that belittling the Tea Party movement, which is taking hold of much of Middle America, merely fuels the popular sense that the party in power is out of touch. It also highlights the reluctance of Obama and the Democrats to discuss the Wall Street bail-out, economic stimulus and health care bills because they know they are not vote winners.

Joining the Europeans in mocking ordinary Americans for their supposed idiocy may play well at big-dollar fund-raisers. In adopting this as a political strategy, however, the Democrats could be the ones who end up looking stupid.



A problem with socialism

by Roderick T. Beaman

Like many others, I flirted for a while with socialism when I was in high school. I think many have. It seemed sensible on paper but then I saw how the world really worked.

William Buckley once responded to a high school student who had written that he thought Buckley was horribly wrong and that John Kenneth Galbraith was correct about economics. Buckley responded that the high school student was at the perfect age to appreciate John Kenneth Galbraith; another perfect putdown by the Enfant Terrible.

During the 1960s, there were many variants of this saying; if you’re not part of the solution, at least don’t be part of the problem. As I grew up, I saw more and more that government was the problem.

The 1964 election had promised to be one of the most interesting in history until the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Barry Goldwater was considered the favorite of rank and file Republicans to be nominated to face Kennedy in his reelection bid.

Kennedy’s assassination elevated the loathsome Lyndon B. Johnson to the presidency and he immediately embarked upon the imposition of his Great Society that was so broad and so deep that we are still absorbing its effects, 41 years after he left office. The election instead became a referendum on the sentiments for a dead man’s agenda. Johnson swamped Goldwater, taking 44 states with Goldwater winning six.

Enter the Monday morning quarterbacking. The New York Times, which had been endorsing Democrats for years, began telling Republicans what they did wrong. It anointed Cong. John V. Lindsay for Mayor the following year. He was the Moses who would lead the GOP out of the Goldwater wilderness.

Lindsay was Yale educated, handsome and from New York City’s fabled Silk Stocking District of Manhattan’s East Side. He was also as reliably liberal as any liberal Democrat, voting for just about every New Frontier and Great Society program. Lindsay had never seen a taxpayer’s dollar that he didn’t want to spend.

Lindsay was elected beating Buckley, the Conservative Party nominee, the only time he ever ran for office, and Democrat Abraham Beame. The spending began.

Lindsay was greeted in 1966 with a 12-day subway strike under the Transit Worker’s Union leader Mike Quill, who’d had a deep and long association with the Communist Party of the USA. (In an interesting sidelight, Quill’s communist roots were never mentioned by the various media during the strike. I never knew about it until years after. Why am I not surprised by that?) He’d broken with them in 1948 but there could be no doubt that his orientation was socialist. He extracted a generous contract from the Lindsay Administration and died three days later. The contract, and concessions to others, left the city teetering.

Lindsay responded with (drum roll, please), you guessed it, a tax increase in the form of the City’s first income tax. It went into effect in September 1966.

At that time, I was working as an electrician’s helper in Local Union #3 in the city. We were contracted to a 6-hour workday but almost everyone was working seven hours a day. For paid holidays, we received the contract pay for just six hours, not the usual seven we worked.

One day we were asked to work overtime one hour and most of us jumped at the opportunity for some extra pay. That pay week though, encompassed the Labor Day weekend and the one hour of overtime just balanced the 6-hour holiday pay and brought us up to our usual 35 hours pay week. That week, the city’s income tax also went into effect so we netted less than what we had been.

One fellow worker said that if he had known that, he wouldn’t have grabbed the extra hour of overtime and just accepted the smaller paycheck. The take home lesson is that this is an example of how people react within a system. It is all so very predictable and our governmentalist politicians, (fascist, progressive, liberal and socialist) rarely take into account how people will react within a system.

Rhode Island has, as many states have had, a long tradition of vanity license plates. The car owner pays some extra fees and has some special combination of letters to spell something or his initials, etc. It raises some extra revenue for the state treasury and is a harmless venture for the driver.

When Bruce Sundlun, a Democrat, became governor in 1991, the state was facing a revenue shortfall. Together with the solidly Democratic legislature (in Rhode Island, that’s redundant), they decided to double the fees for vanity plates. They assumed that the revenue would increase markedly, possibly double. Instead, people who had held particular plates for years, even decades, simply decided they weren’t worth it and turned them in for regular plates. My wife and I did it for each of our plates and four or five other people and couples we knew did the same. While I don’t know the exact figures, I am sure that the actual revenue realized was far less than what had been predicted just from the experience and I am sure the many people at the State House never even considered the possibility that a lot of people would simply turn in their plates.

I am also befuddled by politicians, of all stripes, who rail against ‘price gouging’ during emergencies. Of course, any serious student of economics knows that there is no such thing as price gouging. Either the marketplace sustains a price or it doesn’t. As many far wiser minds than mine have noted, the price mechanism represents an opportunity for signals of needs or excesses to be passed through the market to others for problems to be corrected.

During the recent spate of hurricanes to hit Florida, Attorney General Bill McCollum has been out there in front of the cameras (for any politician that’s almost redundant) was out there, thundering, about various businesses price gouging. It certainly appeals to voters (is anything a politician does, not geared to voters?) but it doesn’t stand up to examination.

In storms, floods and other natural disasters, one of the first things to be needed is water. Oh yes, it may impress as unseemly for a merchant to jack up his price for water after a storm but it does provide an important signal for the need for more. If someone has a truck with few other resources to otherwise drive to, say Tennessee, to bring back a truckload, would not the possibility of earning some money to do it, afford him the wherewithal? I think this is an intelligent question but few politicians can answer intelligent questions.

The merchant or businessman has several choices in such a matter. He can simply close his shop or refuse to sell the item in question or he can sell them at the regular price and soon be exhausted of them. In any case, he is left with no resources to correct it and in the first two cases, no need whatsoever is met.

The ultimate example of governmental stupidity (I apologize here for any redundancy) is the rent control situation in New York City. It was first enacted nationally in 1943 by (are you really surprised by this?) Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was considered an emergency at the time (what government action isn’t?) and has been in effect ever since.

The force of logic shows that price controls on anything leads to shortages or distortions in the market. Rent control has been shown to lead to a two-tiered system of rents. The simplest thing would be to terminate the program but political pressures from people who have stayed in their sub-market priced residences for decades will lead a march on City Hall to protest any such attempts. The controls are part of many systemic reasons why there is a huge dearth of medium priced apartments The Big Apple. There is a great need but socialism or governmentalism gets in the way of a solution.

So there we see government getting in the way or its ventures not living up to expectations. It’s the limit of politics and government as Buckley said in his campaign. People will react in ways that are simply not anticipated but nevertheless are very predictable. They will always move in the direction of their own perceived self-interest. The problem is they may not move in what the state’s perceived self-interest. They may decide not to work or to turn in their license plates rather than pay the extra price, they may simply withdraw from participation.

And what is the state’s ultimate weapon against the people when they act in their own self-interest rather than the state’s? Why penalties. Imprisonment. And ultimately, execution.




The mystery of FDR unraveled: "For seventy-plus years, the case of Franklin Delano Roosevelt has vexed people of a libertarian bent. His policies, extending war socialism based on Mussolini’s economic structure, expanded the American State to an unthinkable extent, and prolonged the Great Depression through the horrific World War II. Normalcy did not return until after his wartime controls were repealed and the budget was cut. Lasting economic recovery began in 1948. And the guy that made all that happen is a hero? His picture is on the (depreciated) dime.”

The real reason for FDR’s popularity: "All presidents worry about their popularity. They try to bolster it through impassioned rhetoric, free stuff for influential voting blocs, new programs that cost billions, dramatic photo ops, and of course wars to unite the country behind their valiant leadership. In most all cases, they choose means of gaining popularity that come at the expense of liberty.”

ME: City considers letting non-citizens vote: "Like his neighbors, Claude Rwaganje pays taxes on his income and taxes on his cars. His children have gone to Portland’s public schools. He’s interested in the workings of Maine’s largest city, which he has called home for 13 years. There’s one vital difference, though: Rwaganje isn’t a U.S. citizen and isn’t allowed to vote on those taxes or on school issues. That may soon change. Portland, Maine, residents will vote Nov. 2 on a proposal to give legal residents who are not U.S. citizens the right to vote in local elections, joining places like San Francisco and Chicago that have already loosened the rules or are considering it. Non-citizens hold down jobs, pay taxes, own businesses, volunteer in the community and serve in the military, and it’s only fair they be allowed to vote, Rwaganje said.”

Mountain roads, take me home: "A natural camaraderie exists among people who work for a living and don’t have much. I didn’t exactly work, but I had grown up around people who did, and knew how to fit in. It wasn’t surprising that they offered to share their vodka with a stranger. Talk to anyone who has hitchhiked extensively. He will tell you that the likelihood that a car will stop is inversely proportional to the price of the car. People who have needed help are inclined to provide help.”

A better way than the VA?: "If you listen to Democratic campaign ads in Colorado, Nevada, or Delaware, among other places, you will discover yet another perfidious plot by evil Republicans — they want to ‘privatize the VA.’ Which makes one respond, ‘This is a horrible thing because … why?’”

How much air superiority does a man need?: "The chatter is skittering on the sheen of the Obama and Israel-approved Saudi purchase of 84 old and technically degraded F-15s. As this sale promotes the MIC and is agreeable to AIPAC, Congressional approval of this proposed sale is moot. In terms of military capability shifts, as Jeff Huber at explains, is it much ado about not much. The sale simply enhances Saudi Arabia’s capability to do what we ourselves do with our F-15s, primarily argue amongst ourselves about which old man is going to take a joy ride. Expensive fun counts for plenty, if you are a servant of the state.”

There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)


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)


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mao's Great Famine‏

An email from a Western correspondent living in China who was once himself a Maoist

Well I've been reading again -- this time going over old familiar territory using new, unbelievable sources: Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe as reported in national, provincial and city archives in China.

Can it be possible? - Author Frank Dikotter, China historian in HK, claims a new law allows such access and basically confirms the details of what we knew generally back in the 70's. Whereas we used transcripts of mainland radio broadcasts and reports of mainland newspapers and magazines, refugee accounts and documents smuggled out, he got access to official documents which, while they have shortcomings, add a degree of authenticity and first person, including the words of major players as reported in provincial reports of meetings in Beijing. No-one comes out well, even those who were persecuted for their honesty, as they were usually enthusiastic supporters before they saw for themselves the degree of horror in the countryside.

Their disillusionment was they thought officials at the lower levels, people were better than they! -- e.g unrealistic grain seizure quotas were increased at every level before they got to central level. They were often met by starving villagers to death -- i.e. The Chairman's delusional and venal behaviour was reflected at all levels of the party with any villager questioning the quotas being branded a bourgois conservative, anti-party element and often beaten to death.

I guess this marks the beginning of a whole new genre of revisionist scholarship bound to embarrass Professor Barme and the New Sinologists who appear to insist we should draw a line under 1978 and ignore anything before it!

As for me it only underscores the inadequacy of my mea culpa. And what of those who still cry Shihuizhuyi hao! (Socialism is great!)? Are present-day officials any better? Only a matter of degree perhaps.

One typical line from the good Chairman. "It is necessary for half of the people to die so the other half can eat their fill!" The legendary Zhou making endless calls to local cadres in 1959 demanding they fulfil their quotas despite knowledge of the famine.

The official policy of exporting grain to one and all, often free, to demonstrate the superiority of Chinese Communism. Liu Shaoqi giving the GLF his enthusiastic support. The enormous loss of state stored grain due to neglect, insects, rot, theft and corrpuption extending up to 80% in some places. Deng Xiaoping insisting quotas be collected ruthlessly "As in war". Its all very depressing reading.


Obamacare Reality Bites: And HHS waivers

The Obama-inspired overhaul of medical insurance has just started to kick in, and already reality, in the form of economic law, is biting back. Companies are canceling or threatening to cancel coverage because the new terms of doing business make business as usual uneconomical. For example, some insurance companies announced they would no long write child-only policies. The new rules say that beginning now, no insurer can refuse coverage to an already-ill child and that the premiums can’t be higher than those charged for well children. (In a few years the “antidiscrimination” rule will apply to adults.)

Anyone with a smidgen of economic knowledge – heck, how about just some common sense? – would know that this cannot work. How can you run an insurance company when parents can wait until their children are seriously ill to buy coverage — and then the insurer can’t set the premium according to the expected medical services. That’s not insurance. It’s welfare filtered through business.

Well, now, when the companies announced they would stop writing those policies, the Department of Health and Human Services relented and waived the rule (at least for a while).

A pattern emerges. Companies claim they can’t live with a particular Obamacare mandate, and HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius issues a waiver. When McDonald’s and other companies said that their limited mini-med policies would become prohibitively expensive if the government enforced its no-benefit-cap rule, Sebelius granted a waiver. She is now considering a request for a waiver of the rule mandating no less than an 80-85 percent medical loss ratio on mini-med polices. That’s the percentage of revenues paid in benefits rather than administrative costs. Companies with a high workforce turnover say insurance administrative costs are naturally higher than with a stable workforce and thus the mandated medical loss ratio is impractical. (It’s been pointed out that the medical loss ratio was not intended as a measure of efficiency.)

At issue here is not the details of the more than two thousand pages of law. It’s the discretionary power the government has acquired because of it. A one-size-fits-all law was written by Congress. During the debate over the legislation many of us warned that such an approach would defy the laws of economics and would therefore have undesirable unintended consequences. We said, for example, that price caps which ignore real market conditions would cause producers to exit the market, leaving people without services they want.

So Secretary Sebelius is busy granting waivers. On one level this is good: The direct consequences of Obamacare will be less severe than they would have been. But at another level this is not good at all. Obamacare has increased the amount of discretionary power bureaucrats have over our lives. Whatever standard HHS uses in judging waiver requests will be arbitrary. How big does a hardship have to be before a request gets a favorable ruling? Will a company’s CEO have to be careful about criticizing the Obama administration – even on nonmedical issues – for fear that a future waiver request might be turned down? Bureaucrats are human too. (Sebelius has warned insurers not to publicly blame premium increases on Obamacare mandates.)...

Finally, we readily describe the negative effects of this law as “unintended consequences.” I’d like to suggest that they may not be so unintended. It is hard to believe that some of the higher-ups did not realize that price controls and similar restrictions would push insurers out of the market. I would not be surprised to learn that this was widely anticipated and that the ruling elite intended to exploit problem to amass even more power over medical insurance. One need not be a conspiracy aficionado to think this. One need only understand purposive human action.



The Lies of ObamaCare

Yet more evidence is emerging that Obamacare is a lie, a complete fraud perpetrated on the American people. Prior to congressional enactment of the legislation, Barack Obama promised in his State of the Union Address that it would “reduce costs and premiums for millions of families and businesses.”

Now we know that’s a lie. Not only are insurance companies already warning of higher premiums because of Obamacare, now the Department of Justice (DOJ) is preparing to sue Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan because, get this, premiums are too low.

Specifically, because the insurer negotiates with hospitals and other health care providers for the lowest possible rates for its customers, Obama’s DOJ is arguing that that is increasing the costs for everyone else. Never mind that Blue Cross covers 2.4 million people in Michigan, or about 27.7 percent of those with insurance in the state.

Those 2.4 million people just are not paying enough, according to Obama.

So, they will wind up paying more for their health care if the Administration’s lawsuit succeeds. Why? Because if Blue Cross’ contracts with hospitals and other health care providers are deemed invalid, it will not result in others getting the same rates as Blue Cross had. It will mean that Blue Cross customers will pay as much as everyone else.

Further, it will set a precedent that no company can negotiate for a lower rate. This puts the lie to Obamacare. The intention never was to lower rates for the insured. It was to drive up the costs to force individuals off of private health insurance — and into government’s waiting arms.

Obamacare always was a road to government control. That’s why it includes an individual mandate to purchase insurance starting in 2014, and that’s why its own regulators admit the bill will force up to 69 percent of enrollees off of their employer-provided plans. How else to get folks to incrementally be forced into a single-payer system?

The whole purpose Obamacare, therefore, is to drive up costs, creating a health care affordability crisis in the nation. In the mean time, the Administration accuses companies of “price-gouging”.

It’s already started. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has warned insurers not to inform enrollees that premium hikes are a direct result of Obamacare: “[S]everal health insurer carriers are sending letters to their enrollees falsely blaming premium increases for 2011 on the patient protections in the Affordable Care Act… [T]here will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases,” Sebelius wrote in a letter to America’s Health Insurance Plans.

Sebelius has the answer. She writes, “Later this fall, we will issue a regulation that will require state or federal review of all potentially unreasonable rate increases filed by health insurers, with the justification for increases posted publicly for consumers and employers.” Never mind that insurance carriers are already required to notify enrollees of hikes in premiums, how dare insurers tell their customers the real reason for the hikes?

Sebelius promises to “keep track of insurers with a record of unjustified rate increases: those plans may be excluded from health insurance Exchanges in 2014.” The implication? If you are an insurer, and you speak out against Obamacare, they will shut you down...

The Obama Administration is taking great pains to force health care costs up to compel the American people onto government-run health care. Meanwhile, they are regulating blame for those premium hikes to private insurers.

All of this is proof that Obamacare was a lie from the very beginning. The Administration does not care about lower costs, because they don’t even care about the costs. What they want is control.



Close to a trillion down the drain

What if I told you that the Chairman and CEO of IBM, Samuel J. Palmisano, approached President Obama and members of his administration before the healthcare bill debates with a plan that would reduce healthcare expenditures by $900 billion? Given the Obama Administration’s adamancy that the United States of America simply had to make healthcare (read: health insurance) affordable for even the most dedicated welfare recipient, one would think he would have leaned forward in his chair, cupped his ear and said, “Tell me more!”

And what if I told you that the cost to the federal government for this program was nothing, zip, nada, zilch?

And, what if I told you that, in the end and after two meetings, President Obama and his team, instead of embracing a program that was proven to save money and one that was projected to save almost one trillion dollars – a private sector program costing the taxpayers nothing, zip, nada, zilch – said, “Thanks but no thanks” and then embarked on passing one of the most despised pieces of legislation in US history?

Well, it’s all true. Samuel J. Palmisano, the Chairman of the Board and CEO for IBM, said in a recent Wall Street Journal interview that he offered to provide the Obama Administration with a program that would curb healthcare claims fraud and abuse by almost one trillion dollars but the Obama White House turned the offer down.

Mr. Palmisano is quoted as saying during a taping of The Wall Street Journal's Viewpoints program on September 14, 2010: "We could have improved the quality and reduced the cost of the healthcare system by $900 billion...I said we would do it for free to prove that it works. They turned us down."

A second meeting between Mr. Palmisano and the Obama Administration took place two weeks later, with no change in the Obama Administration's stance. A call placed to IBM on October 8, 2010, by FOX News confirmed, via a spokesperson, that Mr. Palmisano stands by his statement.

Speaking with FOX News' Stuart Varney, Mort Zuckerman, Editor-in-Chief of US News & World Report, said: "It's a little bit puzzling because I think there is a huge amount of both fraud and inefficiency that American business is a lot more comfortable with and more effective in trying to reduce. And this is certainly true because the IBM people have studied this very carefully. And when Palmisano went to the White House and made that proposal, it was based upon a lot of work and it was not accepted. And it's really puzzling...These are very, very responsible people. They don't have a political ax to grind. They are very familiar with the subject; they understand exactly what the issues are."

Given the fact that Mr. Obama’s own Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services actuary debunked the claim that health insurance costs would diminish over the next decade and given that the budget deficits for 2010 and 2011 are in the $1.2 trillion–$1.4 trillion ballpark, the question begs to be asked: Why would Mr. Obama balk at a sure-thing savings of almost $1 trillion?

CMS actuaries also say that Medicare cuts mandated by the law are unrealistic and unsustainable. An April 22, 2010, CMS report about the financial and coverage effects of selected provisions of the new law estimates that about 15 percent of hospitals and other healthcare providers could lose money treating Medicare beneficiaries as a result of the proposed cuts.

And the Congressional Budget Office is projecting that the deficit for the 2010 budget year, which ended Sept. 30, will total $1.29 trillion. The Obama administration has projected that the deficit for the 2011 budget year, which began on Oct. 1, will climb to $1.4 trillion and that over the next decade, it will total $8.47 trillion.

So, again, I ask you, with the main issue being the economy, including the audacious spending habits of elected officials in Washington DC, why would Mr. Obama and his team balk at facilitating not only the saving of almost $1 trillion in healthcare expenditures, but the opportunity to affect an issue victory in the 2010 midterm election cycle?

Mr. Zuckerman concluded: "When you are in a situation where this country is facing a huge deficit and where anybody who knows anything at all about the healthcare system knows how much waste, fraud and abuse is involved in that system...not to take this offer up, frankly, does not make sense."

Mr. Zuckerman is correct, but only to a point. It doesn’t make sense if Mr. Obama is trying to reduce waste and fraud, and make health insurance affordable for all Americans. It does make sense if those were never the goals in the first place.

As I wrote in an article titled, Cloward, Piven & Obamacare: “...the goal of the Progressives is to crash the system; to overwhelm the system to such an extent that it fails. It is at this moment of failure that Progressives believe they can enter the situation as the “knight in shining armor.” It is at this particular moment of vulnerability that Progressives believe the American public will acquiesce to the false choice of “something is better than nothing”; to a government-run universal healthcare plan to rescue the devastated American healthcare system, a system Progressives themselves threw into chaos, courtesy of their ridiculous health insurance reform law."

It is one thing to be – as a good many elected officials in Washington DC are – arrogant, self-absorbed spendthrifts, so detached from the actualities of what Americans require and want from their government. It is quite another to willfully abuse the system – and the American people – in an attempt to bring about an ideological “change” – a “fundamental transformation” – of the very system of government that has made the United States the most prosperous nation in the history of the Western Civilization and the last best hope for freedom and liberty for all in the world.



List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)


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)