Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ignorance (Of Liberalism) Is Bliss

Too often, presidential primaries resemble American Idol auditions and bear about as much ideological substance. How alarming that our cherished liberties can rest on the whims of focus groups and the same Madison Avenue machinations used to sell toothpaste.

Politics regularly sells style over substance, and the temptation lingers to select our leaders breathlessly hopeful of the approval of those who deem themselves the final arbiters of electability — the mainstream media.

Thanks to the media’s incessant prattle about, among other attributes, his towering intellect, Barack Obama was elected president and now presides over an economy careening ever closer to a double-dip recession. And while no one would argue that intelligence is undesirable, it is over-esteemed by some in the bloviating classes (both left and right) as a noble trait unto itself.

Just calling someone intelligent confers stature unattainable merely by displaying goodness or prudence or to-the-death loyalty. A lack of intellectual finesse, despite her convictions and ability to inspire, makes Palin fodder for ridicule and marginalizes her beliefs and her staunchest followers.

After the 2008 election, Sarah Palin was advised by the media’s armchair political consultants to read more and brush up on foreign policy. Excuse me? Brush up on foreign policy? Did any pundit ever demand that Barack Obama brush up on foreign policy? Or economic policy? Where would America be today if someone had offered candidate Obama the works of Adam Smith and Milton Friedman?

Palin, of course, recently offered a garbled account of Paul Revere’s ride, and Michele Bachmann placed Concord in the wrong state. But would either one of these so-called dim bulbs have removed a bust of Winston Churchill from the White House to the dissatisfaction of our staunchest allies in Britain, like you know who?

Would the majority rather be led by the historically ignorant who promote the original Constitution (as Palin did on her tour, handing out copies) or by those who stretch a ‘living’ Constitution, as liberals do, to cunningly enact electorally unpopular ideas?

Again, no one is endorsing ignorance, but maybe if more leaders were a little less in tune to the leftist orthodoxy, our country would be a freer, more prosperous nation. Sarah may well possess a near-childlike understanding of our founding, but her general interpretation is closer to the truth and more in line with the thinking of her fellow citizens.

While many Americans can cite only a cursory knowledge of the fact that George Washington owned slaves, enough liberals can recite the facts like gospel, so that the father of our country’s name has been removed from some schools and his birthday has been diluted as a national holiday. But it is the ignoramuses of flyover country who grasp the larger truth — Washington and our founders, imperfect though they were, laid much of the groundwork for ending slavery in this country, thus they still deserve our admiration.

It is these larger truths that unite Americans behind shared history and values. Obama sycophants, on the other hand, only want to be the smartest kids in the class, and you know what you can do with your American greatness.

The leadership for which this country is starving is predicated upon conviction, common sense and community of like-minded, inspiring individuals, thus if Sarah Palin doesn’t read, at least she isn’t reading Karl Marx, Saul Alinsky or the collected sermons of Jeremiah Wright.

Leadership is also about assuring others that you “have their back.” Finally, more than two years into Hope & Change America, people crave a re-affirmation of our founding values of freedom, accountability and limited government. It’s bold, it’s brilliant, but it doesn’t take a Harvard degree to understand.

Ultimately, hyper-intelligence in pursuit of bad policy is national suicide, while common sense in defense of liberty is idealism in action.



Blood On Their Hands: Giving Guns to Criminals Was the Plan All Along

“Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals, this was the plan. It was so mandated.” –Special Agent John Dodson ATF Phoenix Field Division.

Damning new evidence from Capitol Hill shows that ATF Directors and Justice Department Officials knew about and encouraged the purposeful trafficking of thousands of weapons across the southern border, despite strong objections from ATF agents. Thousands of innocent lives were taken as the result, including those of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and ICE Agent Jamie Zapata.

New emails released by House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa show that ATF Director Kenneth Melson was briefed weekly about Operation Fast and Furious and watched a live feed of straw purchasers (who serve as middle men, purchasing guns and giving them to cartel members) in Arizona gun shops from his cozy Washington D.C. office. Emails also show that Deputy Assistant Director for Field Operations William McMahon was enthusiastic about the operation.

“An e-mail from April 12, 2010, indicates that Acting Director Melson was very much in the weeds with Operation Fast and Furious. After a detailed briefing of the program by the ATF Phoenix Field Division, Acting Director Melson had a plethora of follow-up questions that required additional research to answer. As the document indicates, Mr. Melson was interested in the IP Address for hidden cameras located inside cooperating gun shops. With this information, Acting Director Melson was able to sit at his desk in Washington and – himself – watch a live feed of the straw buyers entering the gun stores to purchase dozens of AK-47 variants,” Chairman Issa said in his opening statement.

Senator Charles Grassley, who has been working closely with Rep. Issa, pointed out that officials from the Justice Department have been stonewalling the investigation for months. Attorney General Eric Holder has said he is unaware of who ordered the operation.

“On October 26, 2009, emails indicate that there was a meeting of senior law enforcement officials at the Justice Department. It appears to have included the heads every law enforcement component of the Department, including directors of the FBI, the DEA and the ATF. It also included the U.S. Attorneys for all the Southwest border states, the Director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and the Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee,” Grassley testified.

Emails also show that ATF encouraged gun dealers to sell to straw buyers, in spite of their own hesitance to do so.

"ATF encouraged gun dealers to sell to straw buyers. Emails prove that at least one dealer worried prophetically about the risk. He [a dealer] wrote to ATF about his concern that a border patrol agent might end up facing the wrong end of one of these guns. ATF supervisors told the dealer not to worry. So, the agents said it was a bad idea. And, the gun dealers said it was a bad idea, but ATF supervisors continued anyway", Grassley said.

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was that agent. He was killed by cartel member 18 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border near Rio Rico, Ariz. Agent Terry was a fighter-a former Marine who was willing to put everything he had, including his life, on the line for his country. He was dedicated to his job, his family and the United States.

ICE Agent Jamie Zapata was killed in Mexico in February 2011 while on assignment. He was killed by a gun traced back to Operation Fast and Furious, however, Zapata’s family will never see justice. Once guns flow back into Mexico, they are no longer within the jurisdiction of the United States, leaving the government without any authority to prosecute anyone for any crime.

Three Special ATF Agents gave additional incriminating testimony. ATF Agent Dodson, one of the first whistleblowers to come out publicly against Operation Fast and Furious, provided details about the failed operation.

“I was involved in this operation, we monitored as they purchased hand guns, AK-47 variants, and .50 caliber rifles almost daily. Rather than contradict any enforcement actions, we took notes, we recorded observations, we tracked movements of these individuals for a short time after their purchases, but nothing more. Knowing all the while, just days after these purchases, the guns that we saw these individuals buy would begin turning up at crime scenes in the United States and Mexico, we still did nothing,” Dodson said. “Allowing loads of weapons that we knew to be destined for criminals, this was the plan. It was so mandated.” And there still isn’t an explanation as to why....

According to testimony, it has become common practice for retaliation to occur against ATF Agents who spoke out against their supervisor's corruption, even when operations had no logical backing.

Forcelli also added that while the ATF was ordering gun dealers to sell to straw buyers under surveillance, gun dealers were taking the heat for it, and being held responsible for violence in Mexico. He stressed gun dealers were not the problem. In fact gun dealers were helpful in pursuing cases against cartel members, making it blatantly clear law abiding gun owners are not at fault, but the government is.

Issa said he will continue to investigate in order to find the truth and get to the bottom of the operatation. The government owes the truth to the American people and to the family of Brian Terry and Jamie Zapata, he explained. “There has now become a focus on getting the truth out.”

More here


ANN BARNHARDT has an explanation for the absurdity above

If her explanation seems extreme, remember that Obama was brought up as a Muslim and had both a Communist father and Communist mentors. Those things are facts, not theories

Obama and Holder are complicit in murder and are engaging in outright treason just within the matrix of Gunwalker alone. Bottom line:

Gunwalker never, ever had ANYTHING to do with drug enforcement or stopping the cartels. NOTHING. The reason that the Obama regime, which we all know is a treasonous Marxist-totalitarian enemy force, executed the Gunwalker program was to create optics (lots of dead Mexican civilians, dead Mexican law enforcement, dead Mexican military and dead Americans) that they could then use to justify the elimination of the Second Amendment via the U.N. -- specifically the Small Arms Treaty.

ATF insiders have reported that the Obama regime was "giddy" that Mexicans were being killed by Gunwalker firearms. This is because these people are Marxists, and as I have said here repeatedly, Marxists lie and murder human beings as policy. Marxists believe that human life has no intrinsic value and that human beings are object pawns that can be used and exterminated without compunction in order to further their own goals and increase their own power.

In this case, the goal is to disarm the people of the United States so that the Marxist-Obamaist regime can seize totalitarian, dictatorial power, overthrow the Constitution, and establish a global power matrix. This disarmament will be achieved (or so they think) by using the meme of American omni-culpability. In other words, everything is OUR FAULT.

"See? These Mexicans are dead because of weapons sourced in the U.S. If it weren't for the U.S. and the Second Amendment, none of this would have happened."

Yeah, except the Obama regime specifically handed the weapons in question to the Mexican cartels, and then explicitly FORBADE the ATF agents from interdicting them.

Kids, we have to get our heads around the fact that the Obama regime is an enemy of this nation. They are not "us". They are not "on our side". These people are the sworn, declared enemy of this Republic, its constitution, and every single person who is loyal to the Republic and the constitution.

Additionally, any other sovereign nations that are allied with the United States are the ENEMY of the Obama regime, and, conversely, those nations and groups that are enemies of the United States are the allies of the Obama regime.

The Obama regime IS THE ENEMY. The Obama regime is the "black flag". They are engaging in operation after operation, be it Gunwalker, cultivated destabilization on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood in more nations than I have fingers, overt support of Marxist factions in Honduras, surrendering Poland to Russia, handing Russia the U.K.'s missile codes, and on and on, that are diametrically opposed to the United States and her allies.

All of these actions are being taken IN THE NAME of the United States, but the Obama regime IS NOT the United States. The Obama regime is its own non-American Marxist entity that is in a state of war against the United States, its constitution, its economy and its people. This is the mother of all false flag operations, and Gunwalker is just one facet of that operation.



Obama a free-market believer??

With deteriorating economic conditions putting a damper on his poll numbers and jeopardizing his 2012 re-election prospects, Barack Obama now portrays himself as a free-market leader for a change.

Yet while he poses for pictures with CEOs and unveils a private-sector “jobs plan,” his administration remains fundamentally committed to sabotaging the American marketplace at every turn.

In North Carolina this week, Obama accepted the recommendations of his jobs council — corporate leaders who were asked to provide new economic ideas. What he got instead was a hodge-podge of recycled reforms — including an unspecified reduction in red tape, a pledge to expand financing for small businesses and another round of “energy efficiency” initiatives aimed at creating those “green jobs” he’s so fond of talking about.

“What we want for growth is that it be centered in the private sector,” Obama’s chief economist said earlier this month. “We’ve got to do what we can to get the private sector leading the recovery.”

Really? Obama certainly didn’t want the private sector “leading the recovery” when he pushed through a massive bureaucratic bailout shortly after taking office — nor did he want it “leading the recovery” when he scored new government rules over Wall Street.

Also, what about socialized medicine, the elimination of welfare reform and the bailouts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Obviously the private sector wasn’t “leading the recovery” as it relates to any of those proposals either. And make no mistake — for all of his recent photo ops with corporate chieftains, Obama has absolutely no intention of letting the private sector lead the way now.

According to a recent National Economic Research Associates study, the regulatory assault on the energy industry planned by Obama’s EPA would destroy four private-sector jobs for every “green job” it creates. It would also raise the cost of electricity in this country by up to 23 percent...

“Just as our economy is beginning to climb out of the deepest recession since the Great Depression, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a variety of new rules that will inevitably lead to large-scale unemployment and massive rate hikes over the next several years,” UMWA President Cecil Roberts said recently.



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)

A growing socialist mentality among Americans is the big threat

We could be seeing a paradigm shift in the way people view their social compact with government. More and more people believe that government exists not just to perform essential services as delimited in the Constitution, but as a grand equalizer of economic outcomes.

It's one thing to argue that those who earn more should pay a higher percentage of their earnings in income tax. But it's a completely different idea to suggest that the government should use the tax code and other legislative schemes not just to ensure sufficient revenues to operate the government, but to more equitably distribute people's remaining income -- or, possibly, assets.

This is not just a matter of semantics. In this new paradigm, some contend that irrespective of the government's operating needs, it has a moral right -- and a duty -- to proactively intervene to redistribute income.

I observe this latter attitude with increasing frequency. It's not just President Obama indicting corporations and "obscene profits" by saying that the wealthy should spread the wealth around and that at some point, people have made enough money.

It's liberals I encounter who are constantly complaining about the "largest wealth gap in our history" and blaming it on George W. Bush and the evils of capitalism.

In their disappointingly simplistic view (articulated in an email I received), the Bush tax structure created this "gap" by "transferring money from the middle class to the rich ... and transferring our debts to our grandchildren."

But wait. Under the Bush tax rates, higher-income earners paid a higher percentage of their income in taxes. Any transfer of wealth was from higher-income earners to lower-income earners. Plus, almost half the people don't pay income taxes at all, and some 60 percent take more from the government than they pay in.

I told the emailer he was factually wrong and also misguided to believe it is government's function to proactively redistribute wealth. (We're talking more than safety nets here, by the way.)

He replied, "Yeah, the CEO of Disney 'earned' $50 million last year without the help of government through the invisible hand of the market."

Note the palpable contempt. He and others convince themselves that government is greasing the skids for high-income earners, but what they're really angry about are the inherent disparities of outcomes under a free economic system. Whether or not they realize it, they don't much like capitalism, which is why they're always pushing us toward socialism.

These same people also seem to object to disparities of income between Americans and the rest of the world. They apparently believe it is morally wrong that we are more prosperous than other nations and consume more of the world's resources.

It only follows that we would detect a disturbing correlation between their anti-capitalist mindset and their attitude toward economic prosperity and even debt tolerance. Those who have a chip on their shoulder about capitalism and America's wealth don't seem to be nearly so anxious about the nation's growing debt crisis. They either naively assume it's not that bad or figure that even if it is, there's nothing wrong with America's getting its comeuppance. Maybe an economic meltdown would put us in our place -- and in the meantime, it might cause us to draw down our evil "military-industrial complex" and our warmongering arsenal.

I am not suggesting that leftists of this particular stripe wish economic harm on the nation, but I am saying they look admiringly at European socialism, with its perennial unemployment of 15 percent. I am saying that they believe the government should proactively redistribute wealth -- to a much greater extent than it is doing now. I am saying that they are wholly unbothered by the obvious unfairness that almost 50 percent of the people pay no income taxes. And I am saying that most of them either don't understand that their prescriptions to equalize outcomes rather than opportunity inevitably result in less for everyone or don't care because they believe it's preferable for everyone to have much less than it is for some to have a great deal more than others under a free system.

This kind of thinking is dangerous to a free and prosperous society, and as 2012 approaches, conservatives have to address it and start remaking their moral case for capitalism and liberty. Under this ever-softer society, that's quite a tall order.



Homosexual arrogance

They think the RC church should bend to them! They should all become Episcopalians. They would be welcome there and the "bells and smells" are the same. And you can wear GORGEOUS vestments!

By Jeff Jacoby

From Boston's South End, home to the Catholic parish of St. Cecilia, comes a different tale of misplaced outrage.

St. Cecilia's worshipers include a considerable number of gays and lesbians, many of whom are active in the church's Rainbow Ministry. According to its mission statement, the Rainbow Ministry works to "welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Catholics to worship God and . . . to embrace Jesus' call to unconditional love." Its goal is to "help LGBT Catholics seek reconciliation with the Church to enrich a spirit-filled life."

St. Cecilia and its pastor, Rev. John J. Unni, are obviously sensitive to the difficulties faced by gays and lesbians who are Catholic, and want them to feel fully appreciated as members of the congregation. That is admirable as a matter of basic decency. It's also in keeping with church doctrine: The catechism of the Catholic Church expressly teaches that gays "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity" and that "every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided."

But even as it enjoins goodwill toward homosexuals, the church firmly opposes homosexuality itself. The same section of the catechism describes "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" as "objectively disordered," and says that gay sex can "under no circumstances ... be approved."

So St. Cecilia plainly crossed a red line when it announced last month that it was planning a "Liturgy To Commemorate Boston Pride 2011," and invited "friends and supporters of the LGBT community to a Mass in celebration of Boston's Pride Month." After all, there is no way to square the church's condemnation of homosexual activity with a mass "in celebration" of Gay Pride Month. The Archdiocese of Boston ordered the parish to cancel the service -- and the result, predictably, has been angry indignation.

"I think that's horrible, just horrible, that they would cancel. What an abuse of authority," fumed Marianne Duddy-Burke, a gay Catholic activist. Charles Martel, co-founder of Catholics for Marriage Equality, went so far as to accuse the archdiocese of yielding to "a hatred for gay people."

Their anger may be sincerely felt. But denouncing a Catholic archdiocese for upholding Catholic standards isn't rational. The Catholic Church, like any great religion, is open to all who seek to be guided by its teachings. It can hardly be expected to discard those teachings for the sake of popularity or political correctness -- or to quell the outrage of parishioners who prefer a church more concerned with their self-esteem than with their spiritual well-being.



America’s Job Creators Face Uphill Battle

Two-thirds of business owners view the current period as a bad time to expand

President Obama recently commented, “I am concerned about the fact that the recovery that we’re on is not producing jobs as fast as I want it to happen.”

His promise, made in 2009, that if Congress passed the “stimulus” package unemployment would not rise above 8 percent, has yet to be fulfilled. In fact, it has been 28 straight months now that the unemployment rate has been at or above 8 percent. This is bad news for Americans, but also for America’s small businesses.

On top of high unemployment, the housing industry also continues to flounder as prices fall and foreclosures rise. And the No. 1 asset many entrepreneurs need to get their business off the ground is their home equity. “Before the financial mess hit, people would use their home equity to get a small business loan,” says Raymond Keating, chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship (SBE) Council.

Since almost one in four homes is underwater — more is owed on their homes than what it’s worth — the reality of being unable to start a small business has hit a lot of homeowners hard. “The biggest hurdle to getting a small business off the ground is getting capital,” Keating says. “Capital can be hard to get even in good economic times.” But now, he says, it’s especially hard. “If you’re underwater, you’re not approved for a loan so you have to use your own cash.”

The housing crisis has hit some areas harder than others. Alyson Austin, spokeswoman for CoreLogic, a real estate data firm, says that the Northeast part of the country is doing much better because housing didn’t increase as rapidly as in the “sand states such as Nevada, Florida and California.” And she’s right. New CoreLogic data shows that in the first quarter of this year Nevada had the highest negative equity percentage in the nation with 63 percent of all mortgaged properties underwater.

But Keating says the economic impact facing small businesses spreads farther than a homeowner’s inability to acquire a loan. “Lots of small businesses are nervous about what is going on,” he says. “They are holding off.” Holding off on hiring, investing and growing. In a poll conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), almost two-thirds of business owners view the current period as a bad time to expand, and 71 percent of those blamed the weak economy.

“So many things are pointed in the wrong direction right now,” Keating explains, “the cost of energy, the huge questions on the policy front, spending and the nation’s debt and the issues on the regulatory front like ObamaCare. We need to get back to something that gives confidence back to small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

The supposed recovery period is in its second year, yet small businesses have seen no relief and continue to struggle. “President Obama and his team have not given America’s job creators — small businesses — any legs to stand on during this recession,” says Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG). “Every part of this economy is a mess from high inflation and questionable monetary policy to Obama threatening to raise the tax rates. No small business can grow and produce jobs in this uncertain economy.”

America’s small businesses are not in a recovery period at all. And as long as they struggle to survive, the rest of the economy will as well. “Everything feeds off each other,” Keating says. “When you give proper incentives to job creators, you will see a flow of new jobs and then people can better afford houses and prices will once again rise.”



Muslim Rep Keith Ellison Conflates Christians And Jews With Jihadists

During an MSNBC interview, Representative Keith Ellison [who took the oath of office on a Qur'an] tried to draw some equivalency between Islamic jihadists and Christian and Jewish Americans.

Regarding GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain's debate statement, that he would permit Muslims in his cabinet only if they took some form of loyalty oath, Ellison stated, "Well, you got violent Christians and good Christians...You got violent Jews and good Jews. You got people of all...what he said about Muslims is true for every community."

We would expect nothing less than this type of double-talking takiyya from Mr. Ellison. His continued support for two groups, ISNA and CAIR [both unindicted co-conspirators in U.S. vs. Holy Land Foundation, the largest and most successful prosecution of American Hamas funders to date] mark him indelibly as an Islamist.

One measure of this is Ellison's obvious hate for Israel. He apparently doesn't even support the Jewish state's right to self defense, explaining in a video feed at a 2009 ISNA conference why he voted "present," rather than "yea or nay" to a House resolution in support of Israel's inherent right to defend itself against the Islamic jihad it has withstood since the country's inception. See his comical parsing on YouTube, here

In a recent video address to a CAIR conference, he said in part, "I am very very proud, very very honored that the Council on American Islamic Relations [CAIR] is continuing to do the excellent work around civil and human rights that you've been doing for so many years..." See here

We believe that Ellison's very words affirm the wisdom of Mr. Cain's statement, that some Muslim Americans must be kept as far as possible from the seat of government because their loyalty is to Shari'a and not the U.S. Constitution.




Just say no to implementing ObamaCare: "A key battleground is whether states will implement the law by creating government bureaucracies that Obamacare euphemistically calls health insurance 'exchanges.' Starting in 2014, these exchanges would enforce the insurance regulations that will make health care more costly and scarce, and will dole out the subsidies to private insurance companies that will add trillions to the national debt. Supporters have called exchanges 'the most important aspect' of the law. The Obama administration wants exchanges set up yesterday, but since it can create only a few exchanges itself by 2014, it is counting on states to help. States are under no obligation to create these bureaucracies, however, and many have wisely refused."

Another example of Leftist intellectual prowess: "Is glitter the left’s new tool to combat conservative values? Following Newt Gingrich’s recent bedazzling, Tim Pawlenty is the latest Republican to fall victim to being “glittered” by angry protestors. The former Minnesota governor was signing books at the America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) convention (where he also delivered a health care speech) in San Francisco when two gay rights advocates ambushed him. A pair of women dumped pink glitter and confetti on the governor demanding “Tim Pawlenty, where is your courage to stand? Stand for reproductive rights! Stand for gay rights!”

Free-market groups hail measures to reduce credit union red tape: "While politicians are decrying the lack of lending to small businesses, government red tape is preventing credit unions from coming to the rescue, note leaders of two prominent free-market think tanks. The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s John Berlau and the Heartland Institute’s Eli Lehrer applaud the Senate Banking Committee for its hearing today 'on arbitrary restrictions on business lending"


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, June 16, 2011

Why most of the public are in the mushroom club

(Kept in the dark and fed bullsh*t)

I really appreciate you reading my articles regularly. However, I have a confession to make: You will never read my best articles here or in any other publication. That’s a strange statement to make, but it’s absolutely true. I’ve written the articles in my mind years ago, but I’ll never put them down on paper. What are these articles about? They concern my experiences in D.C. working for a think tank and a lobbying firm. I wasn’t there long, but it was long enough for the confidentiality agreement to matter.

This isn’t true just of me; it’s true for all of D.C. The television news reports and op-ed columns never reveal the true face of Washington politics. The real D.C. is hidden behind a wall of silence and secrecy. There isn’t a soul in the city without a story to tell and a confidentiality agreement to protect it.

Aside from the legal problems, whistleblowing is political career suicide. The D.C. job market rewards those who can keep their mouths shut, and potential whistleblowers are carefully scrutinized. Job candidates are typically run through an ideological gauntlet. If a Congressman or lobbying group finds that one strongly disagrees with just 15% of their positions, there’s almost no way to get the job. Leaks here are a serious business, and trust is often more important than any other qualification.

During my time in Washington, I recall attending a mentoring session for young libertarians and conservatives. The speakers shared advice on a career in Washington. One suggestion was, “Do not write about politics, and do not have a blog. It’s the worst decision ever for your career.” And the speaker was absolutely correct. If someone searches your name online and finds that your political beliefs do not match their own, your chances of getting the job become practically zero. So, there are two options: don’t write at all; or write on topics that follow the party line. Otherwise, at best, one’s future holds a prestigious position as the director of communications for the National Association of Hubcap Distributors.

When one turns on the news or reads an article, the piece has already been filtered by these incentives. Anything worth saying can’t be said. And no one wants to write a real opinion – only the party line.

Furthermore, the risk/reward tradeoff for the whistleblower is extremely bad. If one breaks a story about the inside workings of a D.C. organization, the press gets an entertaining story for the next week. Everyone soon forgets about it and nothing changes for the better. However, the writer is left in a pile of legal trouble and facing career ruin. Unless one is exposing the crime of the century, it doesn’t pay to be the sacrificial lamb for the political entertainment “news.”

Well, surely someone has written on what happens behind the scenes. There are some revealing works out there. My favorite has to be the comedy Thank You for Smoking, a fictional story of a tobacco-industry lobbyist. One may watch the trailer and the whole movie in parts. (On a side note, it’s no coincidence that the story is “fictional.” Don’t forget the confidentiality agreements.)

My experience on K Street was frighteningly similar to Thank you for Smoking, but the film fell short on one way. It showed the tobacco industry as a manipulative organization conjuring questionable studies and manipulating the public at every turn. And many critics of the movie falsely believe that the movie is only a criticism of the tobacco industry. In reality, the exact same tactics are the standard from labor unions to your favorite cancer organization; everyone is overexaggerating their case and specializing in ways to manipulate the public.

D.C. as whole is simply a giant fraud and theater for the masses. None of it is genuine. Every speech, position, and research study is manufactured by some group of analysts and writers. This experience has forever twisted my perspective of politics. When I hear a president quoted – whether it’s JFK, Reagan, or Obama – I don’t think to myself, “Man, what a great, inspiring quote”. Instead I think, “Wow, what a great speech writer. If only his opponents were lucky enough to have the same team of writers.”

My disillusionment is at its worst near Washington’s tourist sites – particularly the statues with presidential quotes. The tourists read the quotes in awe and snap picture after picture. But there I am thinking about the absurdity of these monuments. The statues are built to remember a man, and the words carved below it aren’t even his own. I guess even in death, the charade must go on.



Open Letter to Dummo Obama

From Prof. Donald J. Boudreaux

In your recent interview with NBC News you explained that your policies would promote more private-sector job creation were it not for (as you put it) “some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.”

With respect, sir, you’re complaining about the source of our prosperity: innovation and the increases it causes in worker productivity.

With no less justification – but with no more validity – any of your predecessors might have issued complaints similar to yours. Pres. Grant, for example, might have grumbled in 1873 about “some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank that uses a modern safe and so employs fewer armed guards than before, or when you travel on trains which, compared to stage coaches, transport many more passengers using fewer workers.”

Or Pres. Nixon might have groused in 1973 about such labor-saving innovation: “You see it when you step into an automatic elevator that doesn’t require an elevator operator, or when you observe that polio vaccination keeps people alive and active without the aid of nurses and all those workers who were once usefully employed making iron-lung machines, crutches, and wheelchairs.”

Do you, Pres. Obama, really wish to suggest that the innovations you blame for thwarting your fiscal policies are “structural issues” that ought to be corrected?



Wisconsin: News Intern Harassed While Taping Public Protest (Graphic Language)

Warning! The video above contains graphic language and is not suitable for children

As we move closer to the inevitable passage of the state budget…and as the collective bargaining law dispute becomes resolved either via the Supreme Court or additional legislative action…as families across Wisconsin and the nation tire of the circus-like chaos in Madison… the protests are getting smaller, but much more intense.

From teacher walk-outs with their students, to doctors issuing fake sick notes, to ‘zombies’ disrupting a Special Olympics ceremony, The MacIver News Service has brought you the story from Madison, Wisconsin since the protests began in mid-February.

Tuesday afternoon we sent out an intern to gather video footage of the day’s protests. Several hundred had gathered, in public, on the steps of the Wisconsin State Capitol in anticipation of Tuesday night’s budget debate in the state assembly. The video captures what happened after our intern answered the simple question: “Who are you with?”

It was his second day in the office. We’re relatively sure he’s coming back tomorrow. But it looks like we may have to institute a buddy system so our vidographers do not venture into the crowd alone. We apologize for the foul language, but thought it important to present this footage, unedited.

So much for the new tone.



The Legal War over Voter Fraud

Even with the demise of ACORN, a lot of people are worried about voter fraud in the upcoming 2012 presidential election.

That's because the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now has not really gone away since two young conservatives posing as a pimp and prostitute administered a very painful video sting in 2009. ACORN has transmogrified into lots of little ACORN groups with misleadingly innocent names, such as Affordable Housing Centers of America (formerly ACORN Housing Corporation) and New England United for Justice.

Another reason to worry is that the ACLU is working overtime to curb laws designed to reduce illegal immigration and to require voters to present identification. Yes, you can't cash a check or open a bank account without a valid ID, but the ACLU thinks it is somehow "racist"; to ensure that only American citizens vote in our elections.

That's why on June 3 they filed a suit to halt Florida’s law shortening the early voter days from 15 to 8 before an election and tightening registration rules. The ACLU contends that requiring people to vote within about a week of the actual election day constitutes “voter suppression.”

If you think that's over the top, listen to plaintiff Arthenia Joyner, a Democrat state senator:

"It is un-American to make it a burden to vote. Too many people fought and died for this right. This is an abomination. And it's unconscionable."

It was only a few years ago that people were expected to vote on election day, and obtain absentee ballots if they couldn’t. Now it’s an “abomination” if they don’t get to vote two weeks ahead of time.

The law that Gov. Rick Scott signed is in part a reaction to Florida election officials in 2009 finding at least 888 phony voter registrations submitted by ACORN officials, including one alleging to be from the late actor Paul Newman. Arrest warrants were issued for 11 ACORN employees.

Florida is not alone. In 2007, Washington State filed felony charges against several ACORN employees and supervisors, alleging more than 1,700 fraudulent voter registrations, Fox News reported. In March 2008, a Pennsylvania ACORN employee was sentenced for submitting 29 fake voter registrations. In 2009, a Cleveland, Ohio ACORN employee was caught reregistering the same person 77 times.

Voter fraud investigations targeting ACORN were launched in 12 states: Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. In September 2009, Congress voted to defund ACORN, three-quarters of whose 2009 budget of $24 million was composed of federal money, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, on the immigration front, the ACLU and other groups are challenging Arizona-type laws in Utah, Indiana, Alabama and Georgia.

In Alabama on June 2, both houses of the legislature passed a law that would require employers to check the legal status of new employees using the e-Verify system. Republican Gov. Robert J. Bentley signed the bill on Thursday, June 9.

The Alabama law would also allow police officers to detain motorists if they have a "reasonable suspicion" that they are here illegally. The ACLU said it will file a lawsuit challenging what they call an “extreme” and “draconian racial profiling law.”

On Wednesday, the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center requested an injunction to stop an immigration law in Georgia pending the outcome of a lawsuit they filed the week before. Republican Gov. Nathan Deal signed the law in May, noting that it differs from the Arizona law that a U.S. District judge struck down in July 2010. The Obama Administration had requested an injunction against Arizona’s law, portions of which – including use of the e-Verify system – were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court on May 26.

The Georgia law, set to take effect July 1, has already caused some illegal immigrants to head back home, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The law says police can investigate the immigration status of suspects and take illegal immigrants into custody. It also makes it illegal to traffic in or transport illegal immigrants while committing another crime or to use fraudulent IDs when applying for a job.

In Indiana, an immigration reform law signed on May 10 by Gov. Mitch Daniels will take effect July 1. On May 25, the ACLU filed suit seeking a preliminary injunction.

The law, as summarized by WIBC in Indianapolis, “threatens the state tax credits of employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens, revokes state contracts with those companies, and denies unemployment benefits to illegal immigrants. It also ramps up penalties for crimes associated with illegal immigration, including fake ID's and the smuggling or harboring of illegals.”

In September 2009, after the ACORN scandal broke, Barack Obama was asked about it during an interview for a Sunday news show. Mr. Obama replied, “Frankly, it’s not something I’ve followed closely.” That’s odd given that Mr. Obama had an extensive association with ACORN. The Wall Street Journal’s John Fund noted that Mr. Obama’s ACORN-related activities included running a voter registration drive for Project Vote in 1991, training ACORN volunteers and representing ACORN in a 1995 case that forced Illinois to adopt the federal Motor Voter Law.

ACORN, which specialized in compiling voter registrations among minority groups – a good thing in and of itself but not when it’s done with rampant fraud – is still out there in different guise. Meanwhile, the ACLU is trying to take down state laws that would discourage illegal immigration and using false identification. If the ACLU prevails, it could unleash a tsunami of illegal aliens joining the voter rolls, which would benefit one political party in particular.

Given the fact that the Obama Administration is ignoring "sanctuary cities" that flout federal immigration laws and instead is going after states like Arizona that want to enforce the law, you have to wonder how seriously they take voter fraud.

If the question is qui bono? – to whose benefit? – the answer is pretty obvious.




WI: State Supreme Court upholds anti-union law: "Wisconsin's polarizing union rights law is set to take effect on June 29 after the state Supreme Court determined that a judge overstepped her authority when she voided the governor's plan to strip most public workers of their collective bargaining rights. The ruling Tuesday evening was a major victory for Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who said the law was needed to help address the state's $3.6 billion budget shortfall."

Vague law will hobble economy: "Back in February, President Obama stopped by the US Chamber of Commerce to talk up the economy. He urged the assembled CEOs to 'get off the sidelines and get in the game.' Their persistent complaint that uncertainty about new regulations discouraged investment and job creation was met with a presidential eye roll. In the White House view, the new health care overhaul and Dodd-Frank financial service regulation gave them all the certainty they needed. If the economy is currently enjoying the benefits of certainty, we should all be worried, not just the CEOs."


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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)

America's drift into Fascism

Evidence that the growth of government is a one-way ratchet continues to mount in Washington, where President Obama's pieties about abiding by the rule of law are eclipsing "one word: plastics" as a punch line.

The day after he was inaugurated, Obama promised that the rule of law would be a touchstone of his presidency. Apparently this was not a solemn vow but rather a sop to those liberals and progressives who had fumed over the Bush administration's traducing of the Constitution. For eight years the printing presses of the left had been smoking with the heat generated by articles such as "Bush's War on the Rule of Law" (Harper's), "Cheney's Law" (PBS) and others far too numerous to list.

The brief against Bush encompassed numerous charges: his use of signing statements to provide a pretext for disregarding parts of certain legislation; the indefinite detention without trial of suspected enemy combatants in Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay; the use of military tribunals; the Patriot Act; his administration's use of warrantless wiretapping and extraordinary rendition; the use of national-security letters to comb through private information; and so on. Policies such as these "evoked the specter of tyranny," put America on the slippery slope to fascism, and were generally bad for children and other living things.

With Obama's election, the nation supposedly said goodbye to all that. The clouds broke, the fog lifted, and the sunlight of civil liberties once again bathed the nation in its golden hue. Except: Nothing like that happened. Instead, the Obama administration adopted every single one of the policies listed above. Some of the more principled progressives have voiced outrage and a sense of betrayal. The more partisan types have politely averted their gaze.

But Obama has not confined his disdain for the rule of law to the Bush inheritance. He has carved out new realms for it. Take Libya. The president started a war—or "kinetic military action"—without bothering to give Congress formal notification. The War Powers Resolution says a president may do something like that in exigent circumstances, but the action must be limited to 60 days. The administration has blithely let the deadline pass.

Last week, Virginia Democratic Sen. James Webb gave a stirring call to accountability: "Was our country under attack, or under the threat of imminent attack? Was a clearly vital national interest at stake? Were we invoking the inherent right of self-defense as outlined in the United Nations charter? Were we called upon by treaty commitments to come to the aid of an ally? Were we responding in kind to an attack on our forces elsewhere? … Were we rescuing Americans in distress? … No, we were not." The administration ignored Webb, too. Say what you will about the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq, at least he got congressional assent before launching it.

But that is not all. Consider the many waivers the administration has granted—around 1,500, though it is hard to keep up when the precise number grows so fast—to ObamaCare. Many of them—unions and the AARP, which supported ObamaCare, now have waivers from it—bear a distinctly political tinge. None of them bears the color of legitimacy: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contains no statutory provision for the granting of waivers to itself. Neither has the administration offered any rationale for the approval or denial of waivers, despite its claims to transparency, and FOIA requests, and lawsuits.

But that is not all, either: Remember how the administration gave precedence to the United Auto Workers' claims upon Chrysler over the claims of the company's secured creditors—a direct contravention of U.S. bankruptcy law. Or how it mau-maued BP into creating a government-administered compensation fund in advance of any judgments against it. Or its Orwellian reinterpretation of labor law to stop Boeing from moving a plant from Washington state to South Carolina.

Critics on the right accuse the administration of socialism, but its economic approach more closely resembles fascism properly understood—in which the means of production are privately owned but business decisions are centrally made through a policy of dirigisme. Socialism and fascism are incendiary words, tossed about by people who are upset that they have not gotten their way. That does not render them entirely inapplicable.



Democrat scum being protected

The same congressional panel that launched a preliminary inquiry into Weiner-gate this week has been diddling around with several other Democratic ethics scandals for years. These aren't foxes guarding the henhouse. They're sloths guarding the foxhole.

The House Ethics Committee is now reportedly probing into Twitter-holic Democratic New York Rep. Anthony Weiner's possible abuse of government resources while sending pervy messages and photos to young women across the country. The latest batch of Weiner's leaked social-media self-portraits -- more cheesecake than beefcake -- showed him in various states of undress at the congressional gym. From what other public buildings has Ick-arus tweeted his junk? And how much time on the public's dime did his government staff spend coaching Weiner girls to assist with damage control?

Don't expect an answer from the House ethics watchdogs until after Weiner's first child enters kindergarten. The wheels of justice grind more slowly there than a dial-up modem.

Weiner's dirty laundry is just the latest addition to a teeming heap of scandal. To wit: The committee still hasn't issued a final report into last year's reckless Capitol Hill predator du jour, former Democratic New York Rep. Eric Massa. He's the notorious creep who serially groped male staffers and subjected interns to "tickle fights" for months while then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi looked the other way.

Then there's Beltway swamp queen Democratic California Rep. Maxine Waters. Last summer, after a yearlong investigation, the House Ethics Committee charged her with three violations related to her crony intervention on behalf of minority-owned OneUnited Bank in Los Angeles. The panel accused Waters of bringing discredit to the House for using her influence to seek and secure taxpayer-subsidized special favors for the failing financial institution. Her Democratic guardians have successfully delayed a trial for 10 months.

Another California Democrat, Rep. Laura Richardson, has been under the House Ethics microscope since the fall of 2009. She defaulted six times on home loans, left a trail of unpaid bills in her wake and allegedly failed to report required information on her financial disclosure forms while receiving special treatment from a lender. While the panel cleared her of "knowingly" accepting favors, she is reportedly the subject of a second probe into using employees on government time to work on her political campaign.

The panel has also toyed for the past two years with Illinois Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s pay-for-play scandal involving charges that he or his staff sought to buy President Barack Obama's former Senate seat. A separate congressional ethics office referred the matter to the House ethics panel after it "learned that staff resources of the representative's Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Ill., offices were used to mount a 'public campaign' to secure the representative's appointment to the U.S. Senate." But Jackson's House ethics probe remains on ice while the feds chase former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was at the center of the scheme and remains on trial.

The House Ethics Committee suffers from dysfunction by design. It is chronically understaffed and underfunded. The panel most recently went without a staff director for four months. Its investigative backlog was compounded by the partisan-charged suspension of two staff attorneys last fall who were knee-deep in the Waters' probe. And the panel's ranking Democratic member, California Rep. Linda Sanchez, is bogged down with her own ethical conflicts of interest.

Sanchez's chief of staff, Adam Brand, is the son of the lawyer handling Waters' ethics defense. That lawyer, Stan Brand, also represented Sanchez and her sister, Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez, in a separate ethics case. The sisters engaged in smelly hiring shenanigans after an aide to Loretta embezzled money from the office account in 2006. Short of funds, Loretta "borrowed" three aides from Linda's staff. House rules ban members from paying people to do work in offices other than their own. Miraculously, Loretta's embezzling aide avoided jail time, and the Sanchez sisters escaped any sanctions for their payroll-sharing collusion. The House ethics opinion on the matter remains confidential.

Intended to boost voters' confidence in Congress (now at an all-time low), the committee's stubborn secrecy and predictable wrist-slap punishments (see "Rangel, Charlie") only make matters worse. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: House-soilers can't be cleaners. Voters, not Washington politicians, are the ultimate ethics committee.



Cuts can be done

John Stossel

America is falling deeper into debt. We're long past the point where drastic action is needed. We're near Greek levels of debt. What's going to happen? Maybe riots -- like we've seen in Greece? We need to make cuts now.

Some governors have shown the way. You know about Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Rick Scott, John Kasich, etc. But you probably don't know about Luis Fortuno.

Fortuno is governor of Puerto Rico. Two years ago, he fired 17,000 government workers. No state governor did anything like that. He cut spending much more than Walker did in Wisconsin. In return, thousands of union members demonstrated against Fortuno for days. They clashed with police. They called him a fascist

Fortuno said he had to make the cuts because Puerto Rico's economy was a mess. "Not just a mess. We didn't have enough money to meet our first payroll."

Fortuno's predecessors had grown Puerto Rico's government to the point that the state employed one out of every three workers. By the time he was elected, Puerto Rico was broke. So the new conservative majority, the first in Puerto Rico in 40 years, shrank the government. What was cut? "Everything. I started with my own salary."

The protesters said he should raise taxes instead of cutting spending. "Our taxes were as high as they could be, actually much higher than most of the country. So what we've done is the opposite." Fortuno reduced corporate taxes from 35 percent to 25 percent. He reduced individual income taxes. He privatized entire government agencies. "Bring in the private sector," Fortuno said. "They will do a better job. They will do it cheaper."

Fortuno's advice for leaders who want to shrink the state: "Do what you need to do quickly, swiftly, like when you take off a Band-Aid. Just do it. And move on to better things."

Canada did that years ago. When I think Canada, I think big government. I'm embarrassed that I didn't know that in the mid-'90s, Canada shrank its government. It had to. Its debt level was as bad as ours is today, almost 70 percent of the economy. Canada's finance minister said: "We are in debt up to our eyeballs. That can't be sustained."

Economist David Henderson, a Canadian who left Canada for the United States, remembers when The Wall Street Journal called the Canadian dollar "the peso of the north." It was worth just 72 American cents. "Moody's put the Canadian federal debt on a credit watch," Henderson said.

The problem, he added, was that Canada had a government safety net that was more like a hammock. "When I was growing up in Canada, people who went on unemployment insurance were said to go in the 'pogie.' You could work as little as eight weeks, taking the rest of the year off."

So in 1995 Canadian leaders cut unemployment benefits and other programs. It happened quietly because it was a liberal government, and liberals didn't want to criticize their own. The result was that Canada's debt stopped increasing. As the government ran budget surpluses, the debt went down.

"The economy boomed," Henderson said. "Think about what government does. Government wastes most of what it spends, and so just cutting government and having that money in the hands of people means it's going to be used more valuably."

Canada fired government workers, but unemployment didn't increase. In fact, it fell from 12 percent to 6 percent. Canadian unemployment is still well below ours. And the Canadian dollar rose from just 72 American cents to $1.02 today.

Canada also raised some taxes. But the spending cuts were much bigger, six to one: agriculture was cut 22 percent; fisheries, 27 percent; natural resources, almost 50 percent.

"We should learn from Canada's experience that you can cut government substantially," Henderson said. "It is so wasteful. There's so much to cut, without causing much real pain -- not causing pain, but helping your economy grow, helping people become better off."

Henderson added, "We need to move more quickly than the Canadians did. Unfortunately, we're moving more slowly than the Canadians did." If we're moving at all. While Canada thrives, we pour more money down the hole.




Obama’s economic experiment has failed: "A flurry of recent economic news –- especially the May jobs report –- confirms what many have feared for some time: This president’s leadership deficit has caused a disastrous jobs deficit, and where he has led, his policies have made things worse. The president clearly inherited a difficult fiscal and economic situation when he took office. But his response to the crisis has been woefully inadequate. The president and his party’s leaders have made it their mission to test the hypothesis that more government spending and greater government control over the economy can jump-start a recovery better than the private sector can."

The exceptional children of skilled immigrants: "Much of the debate over increasing legal immigration and work visas, such as the H-1B visa for highly skilled workers, has centered on the present benefits to the economy and technological development. But there is another long-run benefit that has been largely ignored: The children of highly skilled immigrants become exceptional Americans."

Winners (Romney, Bachman) And Losers In The GOP Debate: "The headline for the big GOP debate should read “ROMNEY SOLIDIFIES HIS STATUS AS FRONTRUNNER” but the appropriate sub-head may prove even more significant in the long run: “Bachmann Makes Energetic and Well-Received Debut.” At this point, no one should doubt that the feisty congresswoman from Minnesota will emerge as a major contender—certainly in Iowa (where she was born and raised, and where her evangelical fervor will rally Mike Huckabee’s currently unfocused cadres) and, if she wins there, then most likely in the rest of the country. It’s not that Bachmann delivered a brilliant or masterful or inspiring performance on the stage at St. Anselm College, it’s just that she so wildly exceeded expectations, especially from all those skeptics who wrote her off long-ago as a whining, unhinged Sarah Palin"


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, June 14, 2011

Government Causes Poverty

One Indian town ended up, by accident, without any local government. It happened after Indian bureaucrats decided to divide an existing Indian state in half, the NY Times reports:
"One half would revolve around the city of Faridabad, which had an active municipal government, direct rail access to the capital, fertile farmland and a strong industrial base. The other half, Gurgaon, had rocky soil, no local government, no railway link and almost no industrial base."

As an economic competition, it seemed an unfair fight. And it has been: Gurgaon has won, easily. Faridabad has struggled to catch India's modernization wave, while Gurgaon's disadvantages turned out to be advantages, none more important, initially, than the absence of a districtwide government, which meant less red tape capable of choking development."

Wow, even the New York Times says there is too much regulation. The article also notes that while the government didn't get in the way, it didn't provide basic services, either. Without a reliable electric grid, sewer system, post office, or even adequate policing, how could anything succeed?

Things succeed because companies build their own infrastructure. One company, Genpact has backup diesel generators capable of producing enough electricity to run the complex for five days... a sewage treatment plant and a post office, which uses only private couriers, since the local postal service is understaffed and unreliable. It has a medical clinic, with a private ambulance, and more than 200 private security guards and five vehicles patrolling the region...

"We pretty much carry the entire weight of what you would expect many states to do," said Pramod Bhasin, who this spring stepped down as Genpact's chief executive.

With less government, the city has thrived. The population skyrocketed from 100,000, when the local government was eliminated thirty years ago, to 1.6 million today. And there are now 26 shopping malls, seven golf courses and luxury shops selling Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Mercedes-Benzes and BMWs shimmer in automobile showrooms. Apartment towers are sprouting like concrete weeds, and a futuristic commercial hub called Cyber City houses many of the world's most respected corporations.



Another Obama half-truth

Leftists excel at those

Republican congressmen who attended the "frosty" meeting rolled their eyes when Mr. Obama told them federal income tax rates now are the lowest they've ever been, lower even than during the presidency of Ronald Reagan.

This was less untrue than, say, Mr. Obama's claims for the Chrysler bailout. For most of the Reagan presidency income tax rates were higher than they are now because Reagan inherited very high rates from Jimmy Carter.

But it still was untrue. When Ronald Reagan left office, there were just two income tax rates, 15 percent for those making less than $17,850 and 28 percent for those earning more than that. Today there are six rates, with the highest bracket paying 35 percent on income more than $379,150.



Obama finds a political soulmate

Elected just last month, as the new pitch person of the DNC, Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Shultz has already been called out by four independent watchdog groups for outrageous mischaracterizations of the House GOP's Medicare reform plan.

Already throwing the flag on the chairman is the Washington Post's Fact Checker blog, the Associated Press,, and And, that's just the beginning. In addition, according to

She’s accused Republicans of wating to reinstate segregation and of waging a "war on women." She has asserted, somewhat nonsensically, that the GOP wants to make illegal immigration — by definition against the law — “a crime.” She’s also been mocked for driving a foreign car after pounding Republicans for not supporting the American auto industry.

But, the Democrat with the most at stake in 2012 thinks Wasserman-Schultz is doing a great job. Barack Obama's top political adviser, David Axelrod, told Politico that the White House was "pleased" with the DNC chairman's job performance.

For a White House that consistently misrepresents the truth about the economy, our borders, and even national security, the garbage coming out of the DNC is just more of the same. Instead of "change you can believe in" the 2012 Democrat slogan should be "Lying for Votes."



The Oedipal Left

By James Lewis

Sigmund Freud had a nasty mind. The question today is, was Freud's mind nasty enough? To understand the Oedipal Left, for example.

I've never known what to think about Freud's Oedipus myth, the uprising of the archaic sons to kill the father of the clan, and steal the women. It's all supposed to be unconscious, which makes it hard to tell if it's nonsense or not. Freud's idea of the Oedipus Complex was based of his lifelong study of dreams, especially his own. Or maybe he just had a nasty mind.

The one Oedipal drama I keep seeing in real life is the left. They just keep doing it over and over again, as if they're compulsively playing Oedipus Rex. Google shows 2,580,000 hits for the phrase "Kill your parents." It has more than 8,000,000 hits for "fxxx your mother." That doesn't sound like a conservative slogan. Was Oedipus a leftie?

The left is a huge, power-hungry, mass-manipulating, community disorganizing, grandiose, world-conquering movement, which always recruits its storm troopers from teenage males. When liberals are in power, so is sexual promiscuity. It's hard to avoid the suspicion that those "idealistic" rebels just want power and free sex, hetero, homo, cats or dogs. Like Anthony Weiner and Bill Clinton.

"Revolution" means overturning the existing order. That would be the "patriarchy," as the feminists like to call it, the Daddies of this world. When he was destroying Cambodia, Pol Pot sent all the teachers he could catch to the death camps. Today, a lot of bored teenagers in high school probably think that's a great idea. Off with the teachers! Down with authority!

When revolutionaries get their way they become Authority with a capital A. It's never the poor and the victim groups who get the benefits. It's the lefties themselves. Talk about unmitigated greed for power and goodies. The rationales for revolution keep changing, but the selfishness and power hunger are always the same.

Maybe Oedipus is the reason why the Left has such a bond with reactionary Islam, which also managed to destroy advanced civilizations after the 7th century: The Persian and Byzantine Empires, for example. Today Muslim suicide bombers are still dreaming of a Paradise filled with sex slaves, as soon as they've blown up some civilized people. Well, teens will be teens, even in 7th century Arabia.

Defiant posters of Che and Mao decorate dormitory walls all over the Western world. Both of those celebrated heroes of the left were cold-blooded killers, though Mao killed forty million more people than Che. But Che talked a good game about his desire to kill off the bourgeoisie...who are always, always just like their own parents. Those hero posters have been on those dormitory walls for decades, because nothing is more repetitive than Oedipal rebellion. Freud scores big on that one.

The left always claims to be new, but it's the oldest power trip in human history. Even monkey clans get together to overthrow the A males. On the left every traditional value is slandered, ridiculed, and finally made illegal.

The giveaway is absolutism. Rational people see pros and cons. The left only sees the Children of Light (themselves) against the Children of Darkness (everybody else). That's why killing comes so easily when the time comes. Satellite photos now show that North Korea has death camps for about 200,000 people. Everybody is just starved and worked to the limits, except for the Kim dynasty, who are the fatties.

No conservatives are as anti-science and anti-technology as the Green left. Global Warming megafraud is a typical product of their lock-step minds. It's planet-saving grandiosity, unbelievably expensive, shot through with corruption and double-dealing, and blatantly false. Mitt Romney believes in Global Warming because he's read about it in the paper. He can't actually have thought about it. It doesn't stand up to skeptical examination.

Conservatives are not against change. Conservatives love new things that are likely to be good. We love our computers. We love modern medicine and advances in beneficial technology. It's capitalism and free thought that keep changing things for the better. Conservatives always try to figure out which changes are good, and which ones are bad. The left infallibly makes the wrong choices. It's the "progressive" thing to do.

Example? The marvelous discovery of deep shale hydrocarbon deposits all over the world, and of technology that can turn them into a vast supply of clean natural gas. The left is desperately looking for excuses to block shale-based natural gas. If they can't stop it, they will try to tax it, and with any luck they will tax it to death. That's progress for ya.

It's the left that rants against our precious gifts from the Industrial Revolution, including abundant food production, medicines, and a thousand other useful inventions. The left is agin' it all, without ever thinking about costs and benefits. That is the mark of unreason.

Freud spent a lifetime studying the varieties of human irrationality. His answer was not to make people happy, but to make them into reasonable adults. At exactly the same time the Soviet Union pursued the New Soviet Man program, which was supposed to condition people to turn into superworkers who didn't eat too much. It's an interesting contrast between Freud and the Soviets.

China is building a new coal-fired power plant every day, and expanding its use of coal in steel-making. That's because steel cannot be smelted without coal, and other fuels don't burn hot enough. Even Lenin understood that. Today the left wants to kill off the cheap and abundant fuel that made the Industrial Revolution possible. This is mindless.

If you think about their list of issues, the left is opposed to every good, compassionate, and humane thing.

1. Item. Obama thinks the Constitution is too much of a barrier against his own off-the-wall brainstorms, which are always better than anything the founders dreamt of. But the founders knew about narcissistic Napoleon types, who always lead to disaster. They saw all that bloody head-chopping in the French Revolution and didn't like it. Then Napoleon, the "man on a white horse," rose to power from the chaos of revolutionary France, and went on to kill tens of millions of people from Spain to Russia. Not good.

But Obama took his "Audacity of Hope" slogan from Napoleon. He believes in an imperialistic creed with himself as l'Empereur.

2. Item. Sexual identity. Elementary school kids should be taught they aren't necessarily boys or girls. They could be "none of the above."

2. Item. Heroes. Americans used to admire Jefferson, Washington, Lincoln. Today we worship the grunge rock star of the week.

3. Item. Men, women, and power. Men used to vote and speak in the townhall meetings. They had public power. Women used to govern the home, including their husbands. Well, OK, let's have equality instead. But radical feminists demand, not equality, but gender favoritism in hiring, promotion, education, and media propaganda. (Except for Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.)

4. Item. Race. African-Americans were treated dreadfully during slavery and Jim Crow. But a giant political movement, the Abolitionists, built up huge pressure to abolish slavery before the Civil War. Six hundred thousand Americans died in that war, and it's simply a lie that it wasn't fought about slavery. It was, both about slavery and the Union.

But today, fifty years after Martin Luther King, Obama wants more. His Third World ideology wants to pit all the "people of color" against all the palefaced oppressors. Obama doesn't stop with equality. He seeks retribution.

5. Item. Fantasy answers to non-existent problems. The whole ObamaCare debate was an example of fantasy-based legislation, totally ignoring little things like the Federal budget. The banner of universal health care is only about empowering the left. If the Democrats cared about health, they would have voted for Health Savings Accounts during the Gingrich Congress, fifteen years ago. But they don't. It's all Power to the People! As long as the People knuckle under to the new ruling class.

The Nazis, another romantic revolutionary gang, liked to shout that "Alles muss anders sein." Everything must be different. Everything must change.

So...I'm still a skeptic about Uncle Siggie's Oedipus Complex. But I do wish the left would stop making the case for Freud, over and over again. Tell them to stop it already!




More on Gurgaon: "Gurgaon is a bustling, flourishing testament to the power of good rules -- even when competing against areas with ‘better’ infrastructure. Tabarrok points out that for-profit corporations swiftly filled the ‘institutional vacuum’ left by the absence of government by investing billions in Gurgaon. Health clinics, electricity, water, roads, and a security force outnumbering the ‘real’ police are all provided privately. One leading Indian business magazine has ranked Gurgaon the number one Indian city to work and live"

TN: Appeals court upholds homeowner against Metro: "The state Court of Appeals has sided with a Nashville man who challenged a Metro board's denial of a permit to hold parties and other special events at his historic home in a residential neighborhood. The court upheld a 2009 ruling by Davidson County Circuit Court Judge Joe Binkley ... Binkley ruled that BZA members were annoyed by Demonbreun's appeals of their previous decisions to higher legal authorities, though they cited previous code violations and complaints from neighbors."

Fed meddling in health insurance rates: Wrong & will hurt consumers: "On May 19, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final regulation requiring that, starting on September 1, 2011, health insurers filing for an 'unreasonable' rate increase (one that exceeds 10 percent) must publicly justify their proposal, so that 'consumers [will] know why they are paying the rates that they are.' The problem is that the federal government has no legal authority to regulate health insurance rates. ... With no regulatory authority at all, HHS is trying to bully or shame health insurers into reducing their rate increases. The whole effort is an incredible exercise in chutzpah."


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)


Monday, June 13, 2011

In the last 10,000 years, humans have got smaller and our brains have shrunk

I suppose I should say a few words about the story below. The facts as given are sound but they omit to mention that the decrease in brain size in late prehistoric times was linked to known brain mutations (genes MCPH1 and ASPM) taking place at that time which seem to have led to an increase in IQ -- as indicated by the sudden arrival of early civilization in the Middle East. What presumably happened was an increase in the degree of folding in the brain, thus giving a bigger surface area even while overall size decreased. In short, human brains with the mutation became more efficient at that time.

And once civilization had arrived, selection for hunter characteristics (height, muscle etc.) diminished greatly, leading to a shrinking in those attributes. Social characteristics (e.g. verbal ability) were selected for instead

Having conquered Everest and landed on the Moon, it is tempting to think we are bigger and better than our ancestors. But on a purely physical basis, it seems, we just don’t measure up. Mankind is actually shrinking.

Cambridge University experts say humans are past their peak and that modern-day people are 10 per cent smaller and shorter than their hunter-gatherer ancestors.

And if that’s not depressing enough, our brains are also smaller.
The findings reverse perceived wisdom that humans have grown taller and larger, a belief which has grown from data on more recent physical development.

The decline, say scientists, has happened over the past 10,000 years. They blame agriculture, with restricted diets and urbanisation compromising health and leading to the spread of disease.

The theory has emerged from studies of fossilised human remains found in Africa, Europe and Asia. The earliest, from Ethiopia, date back 200,000 years, and were larger and ‘more robust’ than their modern-day counterparts, said Dr Marta Lahr, an expert in human evolution.

Fossils found in Israeli caves and dating from 120,000 to 100,000 years ago, reveal a people who were tall and muscular, a pattern that continued uninterrupted until relatively recent times. An average person 10,000 years ago weighed between 12st 8lb and 13st 6lb. Today, the average is between 11st and 12st 8lb.

Dr Lahr, who last week presented her findings to the Royal Society, Britain’s most prestigious scientific body, described the changes as ‘striking’. ‘We can see that humans have continually evolved but in body size it is not until the last 10,000 years that they have changed substantially, so the question is why this should have happened.’

The male brain of 20,000 years ago measured 1,500 cubic centimetres. Modern man’s brain averages just 1,350 cubic cm – a decrease equivalent to the size of a tennis ball. The female brain has shrunk by about the same proportion. It doesn’t mean we are less intelligent – rather we have learnt to make the best use of our resources.

Dr Lahr said: ‘Over evolutionary time there would have been huge energy savings in making the brain smaller but more efficient – as we see today with computer processors.’

Robert Foley, a Cambridge University professor of human evolution, said: ‘Becoming human, in an evolutionary sense, is a continuous and gradual process. Our species, rather than being a fixed entity, is more like a piece of putty, changing shape and dimensions all the time.’



Deadly Prescription Drug Shortages Caused by Regulation

Doctors at the Johns Hopkins cancer center are rationing cytarabine, a drug used to treat leukemia and lymphoma. They are literally deciding who will live and who will die. The drug is also in short supply at the Stanford, Wisconsin and Nebraska university medical centers. Large medical centers, in Oklahoma and Maryland have completely run out.

All of this might be dismissed as an unfortunate turn of events were it not for the fact that a lot of other drugs are also in short supply. About 90 percent of all the anesthesiologists in the country report they are experiencing a shortage of at least one anesthetic, for example. Drug shortages are also endangering cancer patients, heart attack victims, accident survivors and a host of other ill people. The vast majority involve injectable medications used mostly by medical centers, in emergency rooms, ICUs and cancer wards.

Currently, there are about 246 drugs that are in short supply and as the chart shows, the number has been growing for some time. There were 74 newly reported drug shortages in 2005; the number dipped slightly to 70 in 2006, then rose to 129 in 2007, 149 in 2008, 166 in 2009, and 211 in 2010.

So what’s going on? Industry insiders point to numerous causes of the problem, including the fact that the generic drug market may be inherently more volatile than the market for brand-name drugs. Others point to supply chain problems. Then there is government regulatory policy.

Output Controls. The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been stepping up its quality enforcement efforts — levying fines and forcing manufacturers to retool their facilities both here and abroad. Not only has this more rigorous regulatory oversight slowed down production, the FDA’s “zero tolerance” regime is forcing manufacturers to abide by rules that are rigid, inflexible and unforgiving. For example, a drug manufacturer must get approval for how much of a drug it plans to produce, as well as the timeframe. If a shortage develops (because, say, the FDA shuts down a competitor’s plant), a drug manufacturer cannot increase its output of that drug without another round of approvals. Nor can it alter its timetable production (producing a shortage drug earlier than planned) without FDA approval.

Even the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has a role — because minute quantities of controlled substances are often used to make other drugs. This is the apparent reason for a nationwide shortage of ADHD drugs, for example, including the generic version of Ritalin. And like the FDA, DEA regulations are rigid and inflexible. For example, if a shortage develops and the manufacturers have reached their preauthorized production cap, a manufacturer cannot respond by increasing output without going back to the DEA for approval.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also has a role – levying large fines for “overcharging,” forcing some companies to leave the generic market altogether.

Price Controls. Also contributing to the problems of many facilities is a little known program that forces drug manufacturers to give discounts to certain end users. The federal 340B drug rebate program was created in 1992 to provide discounted drugs to hospitals and clinics that treat a high number of indigent patients, clinics treating patients on Medicaid, hospitals and clinics in the Public Health Service and certain Federally Qualified Health Centers (more listed here). Currently, the law requires drug companies to provide rebates of 23.1 percent for brand drugs; and 13 percent for generic drugs off of their average manufacturer’s price on qualifying outpatient drug use. States have the right to negotiate further discounts and actual rebates negotiated are typically much steeper than the federal requirement.

Economics teaches that when prices are kept artificially low, shortages develop. People cannot get all of the care they try to obtain at the existing rate. Also, regardless of the apparently multiple causes of the shortages, certain patterns tend to emerge. People respond to persistent shortages by doing things that invariably make the problem worse.

Stockpiling. Buying organizations will typically respond by trying to stockpile quantities of drugs where supply is uncertain. That is, they will try to hoard more of the drugs than they ordinarily would keep in inventory in order to try to make sure they are available when needed. As the Healthcare Alliance Report explains, “drug shortages have been exacerbated by stockpiling on the part of providers,” who are trying to “protect themselves from the instability of the drug supply chain by placing orders that exceed normal requirements.”

Cascading Effects on Other Markets. Another consequence of shortages is that the effects in one market begin to cascade to other markets. In general, when hospitals cannot get a drug, they will turn to the next best alternative drug that creates the least adverse effects for patients. But as a Premier healthcare alliance analysis explains, when a shortage of one drug causes increased demand for a therapeutically similar product, the substitute product may also then be in short supply because it “is not normally produced in quantities sufficient to meet unanticipated market needs.” This scenario occurred last year with the morphine and subsequent hydromorphone shortages.

Solutions. Again, the Obama administration did not create this problem. But up till now, its preference for regulation rather than market forces to solve safety problems is making the entire health care system less safe than it otherwise would have been.



Reactionary Progressives

They desparately hang on to the status quo

No one seems to be more conservative and backward-looking than the modern day, self-described "progressive." Their modes of thought and rhetoric reflects what they themselves would call a reactionary conservatism if spotted in others. Today I will explore three of these modes:

1. Argument by Appeals to Authority

2. Complete lack of imagination when it comes to social change

3. A profound intellectual inconsistency

* Appeals to Authority

The most obvious example here is the "scientific consensus" on "climate change" (what they used to call Global Warming). Perhaps there is one – progressives keep insisting that there is one. Nevertheless, the idea of human-made carbon emissions changing the planet's climate seems both plausible yet conter-intuitive when one considers other often-extreme changes in climate only over the past thousand years, not to mention in Earth's overall history.

Their position would be FAR more credible if almost all of research on the topic would be privately funded, not government-funded, and that the scientists involved worked in non-State institutions. Oftentimes, the most progress in science was accomplished by those who worked outside of the System and dissented from the status quo. As long as science is directly or indirectly funded by the State, why should we believe scientific claims? "Because scientists say so!" isn't much of an argument.

This isn't the only example of the Progressive Appeal to Authority. They blame "corporate greed" and rich people for the world's problems, but when a rich guy says that taxes should be raised, progressives treat him as a wise, public-spirited man of conscience who we should believe. And, they are often at best skeptical toward religion, but will gladly trot out pastors who claim that Jesus wanted higher taxes and more regulation.

"Question authority" is not part of the Progressive vocabulary. At least not anymore.

* Lack of Imagination

Progressives seem more interested in just throwing tax dollars into public education bureaucracies, and doing nothing about overpriced universities. They'd rather coerce people into overpriced health insurance schemes than give doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies the freedom and flexibility to provide quality care at lower prices.

They are more concerned with the nation's economy as measured by "Gross Domestic Product" in terms of dollars, than they are with allowing individuals to start their own businesses and to make exchanges by non-dollar means.

In other words, their institutions and insistence on regulatory control of our lives and the economy is more important than the idea that these institutions might not actually work. In other words, Progressives are resistant to change.

* Intellectual Inconsistency

The most famous inconsistent position of Progressives is that women should be "free to choose" abortion, but that women (or anyone else) can't buy a gun to protect herself, smoke marijuana, give money freely to a political candidate, or send kids to a school of her choice. While Progressive causes on behalf of gay rights, women's rights, and civil rights for minorities may be admirable, they meanly seem to want mere "equality" for these groups, NOT more freedom.

Perhaps the most significant inconsistency is the Progressive view of the environment and economy. They constantly speak of "jobs" and believe that economic "stimulus" can be achieved by creating money through increased government spending.

This is inconsistent with the environmental stewardship they claim they want. Creating money out of nothing encourages consumers to spend money, and for investors to invest money, they didn't earn. The obsession with home ownership is just one example of what can happen. When homes are built that people can't afford, the earth's raw resources are taken to build it, and the earth's energy supplies are similarly taken.

Wouldn't it have been better for the planet for the home buyer to have stayed in his existing rental residence, then consume more resources – with unearned money – to build a house he didn't need?

Consumerism, environmentalism, and inflationary policies don't mix. Progressives can't artificially overheat the economy and then blame business for the resulting emissions. The truly environmentally-friendly economy is the free economy. Without the promise of monetary inflation, individuals would have greater incentive to make more efficient use of the earth's resources.




MI: TSA “apologetic” for patdown of disabled man: "A Detroit father said agents with the Transportation Security Administration singled out his special-needs son for a pat-down while the family was headed to Disney World, an incident that the TSA admitted was a 'case of bad judgment.' David Mandy said agents at Detroit Metro Airport took his son Drew, 29, and asked him about the padding underneath his pants, which turned out to be adult diapers. Drew, who is severely mentally disabled, had trouble understanding the agents’ orders because his family said he has the mental capacity of a 2-year-old. ... The agents confiscated a six-inch plastic hammer, something Drew had carried with him for 20 years for comfort [and] ... called it a security threat."

Freedom must include right to die: "Who owns your body? Judging from our nation’s body of law, the ruling class wrongly believes the government does. However, you own your body and, with that ownership, you have a God-given natural right to do what you will with it, even if that means ending your life."

Virginia is not for small businesses: "No matter how bad the economy gets, governments at all levels will always put their own petty authority ahead of productive market activities. An example is the Batesville Store in rural Albermarle County, Virginia, which was closed — without notice or due process — by a local bureaucrat who decreed the store, which was being used primarily as a restaurant and live music venue, had too many seats."

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)