Monday, December 05, 2011

The Fallacy of Liberal Intelligence

The claim that the Tories are "The stupid party" was political propaganda in 19th century Britain. Liberals think that anyone who disagrees with their utopian schemes to change the world and humanity with it must be stupid. That caution might be smart and lack of it stupid they cannot entertain.

The column below offers some good rejoinders but the best rejoinder to my mind is the fact that about 50% of those in the population with college degrees voted for that "idiot moron numbskull chimpanzee" George Bush Jr. in 2004. Yet people who have college degrees have gone right through the Left-run educational system and been certified by the Leftist professoriat themselves as intellectually accomplished! People whom Leftists themselves certify as the brightest are just as likely to vote Republican as Democrat! So it is demonstrably NOT intellectual accomplishment that differentiates the parties -- JR

By David Bozeman

One of the most annoying axioms in politics is that of the smart liberal/dumb conservative. Look for the media to ramp it up in the coming months, though the notion is so absurd it would be laughable were it not for the fact that so many people buy it. Basically, liberals are not smarter, they just (to borrow an old adage) know more that isn’t true.

Roger Simon recently penned a column on the perceived intellectual shortcomings of the Republican field, quoting Chicago mayor and former Obama advisor Rahm Emanuel (and I’m paraphrasing) that Sarah Palin seems a deep thinker by contrast. Columnist Kathleen Parker, who inexplicably passes for conservative in many papers, recently weighed in on the theme. While she doesn’t buy Paul Begala’s assessment of the GOP as the “stupid party” (and she opines that Begala doesn’t either), she writes that “scientific skepticism, the engine that propels intellectual inquiry, has morphed into the skepticism of science fueled by religious certitude.”

Jon Huntsman, she continues, committed blasphemy by stating that he trusts scientists on global warming. “It takes courage to swim against the tide of know-nothingness that has become de rigueur among the anti-elite, anti-intellectual base. Call it the Palin-ization of the GOP.” Ah, a Palin reference. How original. And by the way, Huntsman may be courageous, that doesn’t make him right.

In a nutshell, the supposed anti-intellectualism of modern conservatives is merely a rebuke of liberal dogma. The left has audaciously declared global warming, to name one issue, a closed subject, despite questionable data and ongoing doubt. Risk being compared to a Holocaust denier — now that’s courageous. British writer and journalist James Delingpole recently described the latest episode of the 2009 Climategate scandal as Climategate II, which he writes “shows the scientists at the heart of the Man-Made Global Warming industry in a most unflattering light.” He notes that the global warming scare is not about science but about political activism. Certainly, whether or not man-made global warming proves to be true, the case is far from closed.

So, could it be that the left does not embrace science so much as junk science? The Paul Begalas of the world hide their statist dreams behind the window-dressing of intellectual pedigree.

How would one of these hardcore advocates of the scientific method react if scientists discovered massive oil reserves off the coasts of Malibu or Martha’s Vineyard? Would they be considered anti-science for barring progress at the expense of their exclusive beachfront getaways?

Could one not make the case that opposing nuclear power is anti-progress and anti-science? Why are liberals, particularly feminists, so quick to shun science when differences in male and female brain structures and aptitudes are merely alluded to? In 2005, Harvard President Larry Summers suggested that males may possess an advantage in mastering science and engineering (while it is widely regarded that females enjoy a similar advantage in verbal and communication skills). After a chorus of outrage and censure by the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, the man lost his job. Now who’s the one committing blasphemy?

Intellectual bravado provides wide latitude for social and economic experimentation and daft verbal cover when things don’t go as planned. Conservatives may appear less intelligent because, in an increasingly complex world, we still defer to common sense, which is rooted in an understanding of human nature.

We are all far from perfect, thus we rely on the time-tested (but less academic) institutions of faith, family, community, limited government and the free market to keep human nature in check.



Despite What You've Heard, Unemployment Rate Rising not Falling

In "Unemployment Rate Dips to 8.6% as 487,000 Drop Out of Labor Force" I presented some quick facts on the drop in the unemployment rate.

In the last year, the civilian population rose by 1,726,000. Yet the labor force fell by 67,000. Those not in the labor force rose by 1,793,000.

In November, those "Not in Labor Force" rose by a whopping 487,000. If you are not in the labor force, you are not counted as unemployed. Were it not for people dropping out of the labor force, the unemployment rate would be well over 11%.



Obama Abandons the Working Class

An opening for Romney, if he's smart enough

There's a message here for Republicans for 2012. Ironically, it may have been outlined best by two Democratic strategists in a publication for the left-leaning Center for American Progress. In "The Path to 270: Demographics versus Economics in the 2012 Presidential Election," Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin made headlines for making official what everyone has known unofficially for some time: The Democratic Party is abandoning the white working class.

The authors therefore suggest that Mr. Obama's best demographic bet for 2012 lies in holding white college graduates. They are also up front about the vulnerability. Mostly they phrase it politely—"the perceived inability of the Obama administration's policies to spark real recovery"; "serious doubts about Democratic stewardship of the economy"; or "disenchantment on the economy."

That shouldn't be a hard sell in places like Scranton, where the 9.7% unemployment rate is the worst in the state. When the Obama stimulus came, Lackawanna County spent nearly half of the $39 million it received on education, which means teachers. The city has been deemed "financially distressed" for two decades, and just this month the mayor released a new budget that includes a 29% hike in property taxes.

If these citizens weren't bitter before, they sure have reason to be now. For the white working class, the private sector was what gave them jobs and propelled them into the middle class. Yet whether it's drilling for oil or putting up a shopping mall, today's Democratic Party seems opposed to most of the private-sector jobs that deliver opportunity to those without a college degree.

That's an opportunity for Mitt Romney. In these hard economic times, the former Massachusetts governor could be the first Republican in history to benefit from the prejudice that Republicans are the party of business.

Put it this way. If you are a Democrat or independent who has lost confidence in Mr. Obama, what might you like about Mr. Romney? You might like that he's proved himself successful in business. You might find that especially attractive if you are someone who has lost your job or worry that you might lose your job.

Alas for Mr. Romney, the winning message here will not come by accepting Mr. Obama's class approach to tax relief. The way to win is by drawing distinctions—between states that welcome investment and states that drive it away; between states burdened by a politicized and overcompensated public sector and states that are not; between an approach that divides people by race and class and one that emphasizes upward mobility for all.

Above all, the way to win is by asking Americans whether they want a future for their children that looks like Texas and Indiana—or like Michigan and Illinois?

People in places like Scranton are hungry for more than a 59-point business plan. They need an economic vision rooted in an expanding private sector. Mr. Romney appreciates that his success next November would depend in good part on his ability to attract disaffected Democrats and independents. What he may not know is that this will in turn depend on whether he comes across as a successful businessman, or merely a rich one.



Obama the unready

He wasn’t ready to be a US Senator and he wasn’t ready to be president either. And because some Americans put White Guilt above common sense and thereby elected the most unready of candidates to the office of President of the United States, our economy is at a standstill.

But even more importantly, the country has, under Obama, once again lost a sense of its place and is questioning its historical mission of being the City on a Hill for the rest of the world.

Only 18 percent of Americans now believe that the country is on the right track, according to Rasmussen. The number has never been above 47 percent since Obama took office. The country reached it’s feel good moment at the six-month mark of the Democrat takeover of Congress, and it’s been downhill for Obama ever since. He now faces an 18 precent gap between those who strongly approve of his performance versus those who strongly disapprove according to Rasmussen.

The last time the world was this demoralized, was the last time a Democrat president let things drift because he had no idea how to be president of the United States.

Obama has been lately reprising that president’s “malaise” speech, calling Americans “lazy” and generally bemoaning the country’s lack of direction.

The guy who couldn’t find his way to Congress even if a cruise missile was strapped to his backside recently sympathized with the one-tenth percent of Americans whom Occupy Wall Street think they represent, saying, according to ABCNews: “A lot of the folks who’ve been down in New York and all across the country in the Occupy movement,” says Obama, “there is a profound sense of frustration, a profound sense of frustration about the fact that the essence of the American Dream… feels like it’s slipping away.”

Bravo, Mr. Obama. Terrific job acting like Occupy Wall Street has anything to do with the American Dream. Terrific job pretending like you even understand what the American Dream is about. Spoken like a true, leftist community organizer.

If the American Dream is slipping away, though, the only replacement Obama has offered the country is the lush verbiage from the book Dreams from My Father, a mish-mash of circular logic, an American Oblomov, superfluous, inert and self-absorbed- the inverse actually of the American Dream.

“Congress needs to pass the rest of my American Jobs Act,” said Obama, after Dems and the GOP passed modest legislation aimed at making it easier to hire veterans, “so that we can create jobs and put money in the pockets of the middle class.”

But Obama’s words belie the real trouble with him: He doesn’t really have a Jobs Act. He doesn’t have a budget, a foreign policy, an energy policy, an immigration policy. Instead he only acts like he has some of these.

He’s the incomplete genesis of a community organizer.

But reading words on cue cards prepared by others isn’t a substitute for having a policy; it isn’t the same thing as being president of the United States.

Complicating things for Obama is the dilemma that is that he has never really decided in life who he really is.

“Thomas Aquinas once raised the issue of choosing between a proud man and a pusillanimous one,” writes William Manchester in Goodbye Darkness. “Take the proud one every time, he advised, because you will be sure that he will at least do something.”

Perhaps it’s time for someone to ask the relevant question: Does the life of a community organizer, which is necessarily a parochial endeavor, adequately prepare someone for the job of leading the nation?

At least in the case of Obama, one would have to say no; not because of policy, not because of ideology, not because of point of view, but rather on account of inadequate preparation. When the history of the Obama administration is written, I predict, Americans will be appalled by the pusillanimity of the man once anointed the One.

But that’s not all. Because, he not only lacks the skills, but he also lacks the conviction to be president of the United States.

A man with conviction would be either for or against Occupy Wall Street- or banks or illegal immigrants, etc- not both for and against them at the same time.

That’s what happens when a community organizer wars with the president of the United States, wholly in the person of himself.

It makes for great drama, great acting. But it makes for the poorest possible history.



Federal Housing Authority May Have 13 Billion More In Losses

The Federal Housing Administration recently gave even odds that it would need a taxpayer bailout within the next year. But the reality is a lot worse, according to one housing expert. "The FHA is effectively insolvent," said Edward Pinto, resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. The FHA denies this, calling AEI's claims "irresponsible."

The agency, which insures mortgages, has come under increased scrutiny in the last month after its recent actuarial report suggested there was a 50% chance it would need a bailout sometime next year.

The report also noted that the FHA has a $27 billion negative cash flow in its single-family program, but has $28 billion in total capital resources to offset that.

But Pinto claims that more rigorous accounting paints a bleaker picture. He points out that any private mortgage insurance company would assume that about 55% of the loans delinquent at least 60 days or in foreclosure would go to claim. As of October, FHA had 836,789 loans in that category, totaling $117 billion. Expected claims on that would be about $64.4 billion.

The FHA's most recent loss ratio, how much it pays on claims, was about 63%. That would mean the FHA would need $41 billion to pay claims, $13 billion more than its current assets.

FHA has increased its loan exposure from about $300 billion in late 2007 to more than $1 trillion now in response to private mortgage companies exiting the market in the wake of the housing bust. FHA guaranteed 24% of new mortgages in fiscal 2011 ended Sept. 30. It was 30% in 2010.

FHA's seriously delinquent rate — those loans at least 90 days late or in foreclosure — has grown since FHA has expanded into the mortgage market, from 5.5% at the end of fiscal 2007 to more than 9% in October 2011.

Pinto also notes that 17% of FHA-insured loans are at least 30 days delinquent, up from 16.8% in September. The delinquency rate for all home loans is 12.4%, according to the latest figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

FHA capital reserves were only about 0.24% of loan amounts as of September vs. about 0.5% a year earlier. Congress mandates a modest 2%. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan told lawmakers Thursday that FHA may need to raise insurance premiums for the fourth time since 2010.



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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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