It's being reported today that video has surfaced of Texas' Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis saying: "They’re talking about whether they should soften their language on immigration, but we all know where they are because they’ve been talking about it on the airwaves for the last couple of months.” She continued: “And we know what they really believe and think about people who don’t look like them or come from where they come from.”
Saying "we all know" is apparently the liberal version of a fact, and I guess the "common-knowledge" nature of this "fact" led her to conclude that actually identifying what it is that they all know was an unnecessary exercise. Since I in fact don't "know," I'm not going to attempt to understand her insidious implication---I can simply assume that she was saying that we are racist. But if she is referring to white men who were born in America, she has it backwards---nobody votes for those who fit their own profile at a lower rate than white, native-born American males. It is, in fact, nearly every other racial-ethnic-gender group combination that votes for those who "look like them" at the highest rates. So, what's really going here is not that we don't like people who don't look like us and don't come from where we come, but rather it is Wendy Davis who doesn't like people who do look like her and do come from where she comes---since we know how this smear will go over in Texas, it's safe to assume that this had little to do with her gubernatorial race, and much to do with her MSNBC application...
Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) recently repeated the same questionable logic that many in the GOP establishment have offered when making the case for "comprehensive immigration reform." During what I guess was a campaign event, Mulvaney made the following comments in regard to immigration reform (as reported by Breitbart):
1) "Immigration is not a simple issue. There are at least three major parts of it: there's border security, legal immigration, and...the status of the folks who are here illegally. People say, 'oh, comprehensive reform is a bad idea.' Ok? But, unless you deal with all three of those you haven't dealt with immigration."
2) “There are jobs that American citizens will not do. There are jobs that American citizens will not do. We can talk about why that is. We can talk about how our welfare state is broken, how we encourage people not to work, but that doesn't help the farmer pick his peaches this summer. We have businesses that rely on migrant---legal---migrant workers, and a lot of them are in this state.”
The problem I have with his first statement is that it's a specious misdirection, which serves no valid purpose in an honest debate on the fundamental issues underlying immigration reform---the only purpose it does serve is to avoid such a debate. He identifies those who say that "comprehensive immigration reform is a bad idea," but then proceeds to make an argument that has nothing to do with the specific question of whether comprehensive reform is a good idea. Comprehensive reform means dealing with all these issues (and more) in a single piece of legislation, but Mulvaney clearly seems to be implying that the alternative to such an approach is to not deal with some of these issues at all. This is false; it's not a question of if, it's a question of how (and when)---as the other alternative, which he ignores, is to deal with these issues one at a time, in manageable portions.
"Comprehensive" is one of those DC words that implies both a value and a contrast without actually identifying either one; they would like you to believe that the only alternatives to this type of reform are "partial" or "incomplete" reforms. This is simply semantics, as we could just as easily say that "comprehensive" reform is unfocused---that it is too wide-ranging to be workable. In other words, the sheer scope of comprehensive immigration reform could just as easily result in it being incomprehensible---and isn't that the reason that such reform is needed in the first place? Is the problem with the current law that it isn't comprehensive, or that it isn't comprehensible?
As to the second quotation, this logic is more than just "questionable," it appears that it is downright false. At the end of this article I have attached the most-detailed statistics that I could find on the macro-economic aspect of this claim. These numbers reveal that Americans are not only willing to do these jobs, they are already doing them. The following statistics come from a research study conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies (which cites the Census Bureau as its source); I don't know much about this group, but I'm sure that it is safe to say that they have a political agenda. That being said, I have no reason to believe that their numbers are wrong:
1) Of the 472 civilian occupations, only six are majority immigrant (legal and illegal). These six occupations account for one-percent of the total U.S. workforce. Moreover, native-born Americans still comprise 46 percent of workers even in these occupations.
2) Many jobs often thought to be overwhelmingly immigrant (legal and illegal) are in fact majority native-born:
Maids and housekeepers: 51 percent native-born
Taxi drivers and chauffeurs: 58 percent native-born
Butchers and meat processors: 63 percent native-born
Grounds maintenance workers: 64 percent native-born
Construction laborers: 66 percent native-born
Porters, bellhops, and concierges: 72 percent native-born
Janitors: 73 percent native-born
3) There are 67 occupations in which 25 percent or more of workers are immigrants (legal and illegal). In these high-immigrant occupations, there are still 16.5 million natives---accounting for one out of eight natives in the labor force.
4) High-immigrant occupations (25 percent or more immigrant) are primarily, but not exclusively, lower-wage jobs that require relatively little formal education.
5) In high-immigrant occupations, 59 percent of the natives have no education beyond high school, compared to 31 percent of the rest of the labor force.
6) Natives tend to have high unemployment in high-immigrant occupations, averaging 14 percent during the 2009-2011 period, compared to 8 percent in the rest of the labor market. There were a total of 2.6 million unemployed native-born Americans in high-immigrant occupations.
And here are some of their conclusions about this data:
If you would like to compare this report to one that comes from a group with an opposing political perspective, here is a link (and you should notice how they have to limit their focus and skew their data to fit their argument): http://olsonpr.com/white-papers/immigration-in-agriculture/
Reagan uses his mind to outline the dangers of socialized medicine, while Smerconish uses a dictionary to downplay it...
Joe Garcia, a Democratic congressman from Florida, inexplicably claimed that the recognition of El Paso, Texas as the safest large city in the United States shows that "communism works." During a conversation about funding for immigration policy (specifically border control), Garcia said: “Let me give you an example of the kind of money we’ve poured in. So the most dangerous---sorry, the safest city in America is El Paso, Texas. It happens to be across the border from the most dangerous city in the Americas, which is Juarez. Right? And two of the safest cities in America, two of them are on the border with Mexico. And of course, the reason is we’ve proved that Communism works. If you give everybody a good government job, there’s no crime.”
When Garcia says, "safest cities," he is presumably referring to a widespread report (the original source of which is not clear) that ranked the "safest" and "most dangerous" cities in America by population. El Paso was ranked "safest" for cities with 500,000 people or more---the report does not mention that, according to the Census Bureau, there are only 34 cities in the United States with populations of 500,000 or more (El Paso is America's 19th largest city in terms of population). That being said, El Paso is safe for a city of that size---but it still had 1,400 violent crimes in that year, so it's all relative. However, it is Garcia's comparison with Juarez, Mexico that's most puzzling here. Juarez has the second highest murder rate in the world (every city in the top-20 is in Central or South America---5 of the top-10 and 9 of the top-20 are in Mexico)---so apart from the fact that Juarez is in lawless Mexico and El Paso is in the United States, what could possibly account for the disparity in crime between these two cities? (I'll pretend as if I didn't just answer that question). El Paso is home to Fort Bliss and Biggs Army Airfield, and has 37,000 people employed in the defense industry. In addition to the military presence, El Paso is home to the multiple headquarters, divisions, task forces, and operation centers for agencies such as the DEA, INS (immigration), DHS (homeland security), and CBP (customs and border patrol)---maybe this is the deterrent that keeps crime from spilling-over from Juarez...? Nah. He's probably right, it's the communism.
Setting aside the crime statistics, and the reason behind that crime, let's take a look at the labor statistics: El Paso has an unemployment rate of about 7.2%---and this is the official rate, the real rate is likely at least a few points higher. El Paso has a population of about 672,000, and, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it has a civilian labor force of 323,000, with 299,200 of those people employed. A quick digression: From November of 2013 through March of 2014, El Paso's civilian labor force dropped by 3,400 people, and total employment dropped by 500 jobs. This a perfect example of the Obama economy, because, over that same time period, El Paso's unemployment rate plummeted from 8.2% to 7.4%---they lose 500 jobs and the unemployment rate drops by nearly a full percentage point! But the issue here is Garcia's claim that everyone in El Paso has "a good government job" and that's why "there's no crime." So far I've shown that his claim doesn't even come close because nowhere near "everyone" in El Paso has a job, but what about government jobs? According to the BLS, only 70,000 out of the above-mentioned 299,200 are employed in government jobs. I'll do the math for you: that's 23% of El Paso's total employment, and only 10% of its total population. These numbers show that Garcia is wrong, as 90% of people in El Paso don't have government jobs, and 77% of those employed are working in non-government jobs. But his logic gets even worse, because in order for his comparison to make sense it would have to be the case that El Paso has a communist economy and Juarez has some different economic system that could be contrasted with communism. In reality, El Paso is largely capitalist, and Juarez is a socialist wasteland.
Finally, there is a bigger point about communism here: There is no greater criminal in the history of the world than the communist system of government---around 100 million people killed, and countless others who lived the life of a sub-human slave, deprived of any semblance of humanity, much less liberty. It is only in the mind of a liberal that all this could be wiped away by the crime rate in El Paso...truly deplorable.
Link to BLS statistics:
Modern science was born from the Enlightenment’s emphasis on reason and individualism; it began as a branch of philosophy. Today, philosophy has become a mere pretense, and science has effectively become a branch of government. For these governmental-scientists, science is not true or false, it is strategic; the objective branch of philosophy which sought science for science’s sake, gave way to the subjective branch of politics, namely collectivism, which employed science for society’s sake---as conceived by an institutionalized elite. Thus, science came to service the same greater good as politics---if the truth (objective reality) contradicts that greater good, it isn’t true.
Religion once served this purpose for the elites; concepts such as the “divine right of kings” resulted from their co-opting of religion so as to create societal truths that justified their power. The collectivists of the mid-18th century sought to replace what they viewed as the intellectually discredited concept of religion with a new justification for the confiscation of individual liberty by an institutionalized (government-sanctioned) class of elites---science served this need. While science was only made possible by the Enlightenment’s philosophical fidelity to reason and the concept of objective reality (the immutable laws of nature), the collectivists saw science in the context of the dimly-lit dungeons that they wished to relegate man. The value of science to the collectivist was its ability to create truth out of agreement---the ability of an elite faction of society---the “scientists”---to agree upon certain truths, which the rest of society comes to accept without ever understanding, or questioning---so long as enough influential scientists agree, it is true.
The concept of “climate change” is the result of such scientific agreement. These scientists have seized upon a completely natural phenomenon, the “greenhouse effect,” in order to cynically and dishonestly perpetrate an insidious con. The greenhouse effect does not need man in order to occur, and the very concept of man would not even be possible without it. The heat from the sun streaks toward Earth in the form of solar radiation, and reflects off the Earth in a thermal infrared form. A “greenhouse gas” is in effect any gas that 1) is transparent to solar radiation, but 2) absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This means that greenhouse gases allow the heat from the sun to reach the Earth’s surface, but prevent that heat from completely escaping, which results in a warmer average surface temperature than would be the case in their absence. Without greenhouse gases the Earth’s surface would be about 60-degrees colder, and life on Earth would not be possible.
Governmental-scientists identified in the 1970’s that the Earth’s temperature is prone to natural fluctuation, and that it was highly likely that the temperature would begin to change by the end of the century. Accordingly, they devised two separate, contradictory theories regarding the future temperature of the Earth: 1) the first theory held that human activity was causing the Earth to cool, and that, in the absence of government intervention, catastrophic consequences would ensue; 2) the second theory held that human activity was causing the Earth to warm, and that, in the absence of government intervention, catastrophic consequences would ensue. These scientists played-upon the ignorant view that anything that wouldn’t exist in its present form in the absence of man adversely affects the Earth's natural balance.
This concept of a natural balance is the darling of ecology---the scientific study of the interactions of living things within the context of a specific environment. Concepts such as an immutable food-chain are the corollaries of such thinking, and result in such irrational government actions as causing a man-made drought in the San Joaquin Valley in order to save smelt. Of course, as we are constantly reminded by high-minded collectivists, God couldn’t have created the Earth in its present form because evolution proves that the Earth is always changing, and the organisms currently existing on Earth evolved from earlier organisms over the course of millions of years---God did not create man, we are told, because man evolved most recently from the ape, and more fundamentally from a primordial soup.
The theory of evolution thus contradicts the ecological assumption of a natural order of living things within their environment. How and why would evolution occur if this perfect natural balance existed? Remember, nearly all of the “evolution” that is said to have occurred over Earth’s history took place before the rise of modern man---and certainly before the rise of industrial man. If every single instance of such change which is believed to have occurred took place before man, why the sudden panic regarding man’s impact on that system of change? It would be one thing if evolution didn’t exist; if everything on Earth were exactly as it always was, and that change was the sole result of man’s manipulation of nature. But this obviously is not the case---just ask the “scientific community,” as it is they who formed the “scientific consensus” on this issue. But in regard to the temperature, the concept of “evolution” seems not apply; while living organisms are constantly subject to a process of adaptation and change, the temperature, we are led to believe, is an immutable constant in the absence of man.
In 1975, Newsweek ran a cover-story titled, “The Ravaged Environment,” in which the author reported on a survey of ecologists: “[Scientists] like to play with the notion that global disaster may result if environmental pollution continues unchecked. According to one scenario, the planet is already well advanced toward a phenomenon called the ‘greenhouse effect.’ Concentrations of carbon dioxide are building up in the atmosphere, it is said, as the world’s vegetation, which feeds on CO2, is progressively chopped down. Hanging in the atmosphere, it forms a barrier trapping the planet’s heat. As a result, the greenhouse theorists contend, the world is threatened with a rise in average temperature which, if it reached 4 or 5 degrees, could melt the polar ice caps, raise the sea level by as much as 300 feet and cause a worldwide flood. Other scientists see an opposite peril: that the polar ice will expand, sending glaciers down to the temperate zone once again. This theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.”
Behold the adaptable nature of governmental-science. Their view of man, as a scourge upon the Earth doesn’t change in accordance with the facts of reality; rather, the facts of reality are adapted as necessary---as the plausibility of their argument requires---in order to portray man as a scourge upon the Earth. If it gets colder, man is to blame and catastrophe will follow; if it gets warmer, man is to blame and catastrophe will follow---all with the critical caveat: unless you turn over your freedoms and your mind to an ever-more-powerful government so that it may regulate and eradicate the manifestations of your evil nature---then, and only then, may you be saved. Once again, science is not true or false to these people, it is a strategic pretense for the expansion of government in the name of some greater good.
It was never about accurately determining the true nature of the climate, it was about strategically covering all the bases to ensure that once the climate underwent the process that we know for certain is always occurring---change---their collectivist allies in the media, their collectivist bosses in government, and their collectivist comrades at the Ivy League education camps would be able to point to the governmental-scientists who had predicted it somewhat correctly---thus giving those scientists a stamp of legitimacy and authenticity---giving them a blank-check to hypothesize on the future effects of the trend that they had only very vaguely predicted in the first place---a check which the collectivists in government would then cash, emptying what’s left in the once flush accounts of economic freedom and individual liberty in this country.
What about the scientists who had predicted the next Ice Age? The thing about the "scientific community" is that that term seems only to apply to their analysis of the present and predictions for the future---to things which are open to their subjective interpretation of arbitrary or limited data, rather than the objective results of objective reality---it ceases to be a community when it comes time to answer for the demonstrably incorrect, false, and fabricated reports, which all received that same awe-inspiring stamp of "science" when they were first published.
Abstractions, like “science” or “the scientist,” did not discover (identify) a single fact of reality---individuals did. The collectivists cynically and dishonestly attempted to attribute the discoveries made by individuals (in addition to concealing the actual means through which they made them) to an abstract aggregate---the “scientific community.” Isaac Newton once attributed his success to “standing on the shoulders of giants”---meaning that he built on previous discoveries, and would not have been able to do what he did had not that previous knowledge been synthesized for him. Whereas men like Newton may have stood on the shoulders of giants, the collectivists devised a way to ride their coat-tales. Knowing full-well that any explicit attempt to censor or otherwise co-opt science would be met with stiff resistance, the American collectivists (namely the progressives) devised a different scheme---use the power of the purse, and the legalized use of force that only the federal government may wield in order to dominate the market of scientific ideas.
In 1972, Ayn Rand wrote an essay on this scheme titled, “The Establishing of an Establishment,” in which she identified the peculiar phenomenon of a free society that appeared to be censoring itself---in which the cultural atmosphere bore all the hallmarks of a society living under government censorship, where no such censorship existed. She wrote of this strange occurrence: “If you find it puzzling, the premise to check is the idea that governmental repression is the only way a government can destroy the intellectual life of a country. It is not. There is another way: governmental encouragement.” Such encouragement, writes Rand, “does not order men to believe that the false is true: it merely makes them indifferent to the issue of truth or falsehood.”
In “The Road to Socialism,” F.A. Hayek has a chapter titled, “The End of Truth,” in which he writes that, under a collectivist moral code, “Every activity must derive its justification from a conscious social purpose.” Hayek continues: “(This view) is the direct result of (the) desire to see everything directed by a ‘unitary conception of the whole,’ of the need to uphold at all costs the views in the service of which people are asked to make constant sacrifices, and of the general idea that the knowledge and beliefs of the people are an instrument to be used for a single purpose. Once science has to serve, not truth, but the interests of a class, community, or a state, the sole task of argument and discussion is to vindicate and to spread still further the beliefs by which the whole life of the community is directed. As a Nazi minister of justice has explained, the question which every new scientific theory must ask itself is: ‘Do I serve National Socialism for the greatest benefit of all?”
Consider the collectivist moral code for a moment; it holds self-interest to be evil, and rejects the validity of any end pursued for its own sake apart from the greater good of society. How then does a collectivist conduct science? How does his moral code bide its time while he’s out in the field in a disinterested pursuit of the truth, the results of which may or may not be beneficial to society? Science for science’s sake is an alien concept to these men---to them, it is science for society’s sake---with, of course, the elite being the ones who get to determine what “for society’s sake” means. That determination is put into practice by Congress, through the appropriations process, which allocates over $100 billion every year in “governmental encouragement” to the sciences.
Setting aside the issue of content---i.e., what the government chooses to fund---for a moment, consider the effect of such “governmental encouragement.” Rand writes: “...any intrusion of government into the field of ideas, for or against anyone, withers intellectual freedom and creates an official orthodoxy, a privileged elite. Today, it is called an ‘Establishment.” Over forty-years later and it is still called that by its more honest observers; the only difference is that it is over forty-years more-established. In regard to the actual content of the funding, Rand poses a critical question: “How would Washington bureaucrats---or Congressmen, for that matter---know which scientist to encourage?” A question which she then answers: “The safest method is to choose men who have achieved some sort of reputation. Whether their reputation is deserved or not, whether their achievements are valid or not, whether they rose by merit, pull, publicity or accident, are questions which the awarders do not and cannot consider. When personal judgment is inoperative (or forbidden), men’s first concern is not how to choose, but how to justify their choice. This will necessarily prompt committee members, bureaucrats and politicians to gravitate toward ‘prestigious names.’ The result is to help establish those already established---i.e., to entrench the status quo.”
Just as both government-imposed burdens (taxes, regulations, and the like) and government hand-outs (subsidies) have an effect on the free-market in an economic context---the effect being, at a minimum, a less-free-market---so too does government encouragement in the intellectual fields---most notably science---in the form of government grants, contracts, and other forms of legalized favoritism.
The Department of Energy (DOE) oversees the Office of Science (SC), which boasts on its website: “The Office of science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States.” In addition to its 17 laboratories, SC awards research grants every year to academic institutions across the country. One program in particular, Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS), “Leverages the expertise of its six research program offices and the unique capabilities at DOE’s laboratories to sponsor workforce training programs designed to motivate students and educators to pursue careers that will contribute to the Office of Science’s mission in discovery science and science for the national need.” Such a thing as “the national need” is of course not self-evident---if this mission statement were revised for logical accuracy it would read: “science for the national need as determined by the federal government.” In practice, this results in a “national need” that far too often just happens to coincide with the government’s preferences for certain people---like campaign contributors (see Solyndra)---or for certain findings---like a scientific consensus that results in the urgent need for more taxes and more government (see “global warming”). It also leads to certain research and data being suppressed when it contradicts that “need.”
In 2012, when the federal government was supposedly experiencing “political gridlock,” and “not getting things done,” it spent over $135 billion on “science.” This money is spread through a multitude of governmental, quasi-governmental, and non-governmental entities (referred to as intramural and extramural). Within the federal government, this includes the likes of NASA, NOAA, NIST, NIH, USGS, S&T, NSF, DARPA, ONR, NIFA, and others. The 2012 number was down from its all-time high of nearly $147 billion in 2010, but still represents a near-doubling of the less than $70 billion spent in 1996. Bottom line: The federal government is the robber baron of the science industry.
This is one of the most insidious collectivist cons in regard to science---they use government financing and control of academic institutions (which is to a large degree itself a product of that financing) in order to "establish an establishment"---the "scientific community" becomes a quasi-governmental entity with a mission to promote what it perceives to be the greater interests of (collectivist) society and of the (non-human) Earth. The nasty truth about these "scientists" who clumsily trip-over one another as they attempt to "agree" without "colluding," is that they would support every single proposed governmental response to "global warming," whether such a thing as "global warming" existed or not---far from being an "inconvenient truth," a changing climate created an extremely convenient excuse for these collectivists---who openly advocate vastly more government regulation of industry, vast reductions in economic activity and output, eliminating "inefficient and individualized" modes of transportation, more "green technology," a global power structure with an ever-less-sovereign United States playing an ever-less important role, higher taxes on consumption, and on and on--they are, first and foremost, advocates of the socialist variant of collectivism. The true political nature of what they call "science" was revealed by Bill Clinton's undersecretary of state, Timothy Wirth, who said: "We've got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the global warming theory is wrong, we will be doing the right thing, in terms of economic policy and environmental policy."
When minimizing and negating the accomplishments of private industry and individuals---"you didn’t build that”---the federal government’s involvement in the field of science is proudly acknowledged, but when the opinions of “the scientific community” are needed to justify further expansions of government, that same involvement gives-way to the objective nature of the field and the impartiality of the men operating within it. The elites would have us believe that, rather than trust funds, the scientists have truth funds---that the paychecks for scientists come from heaven, delivered by angels and signed by God himself. It is not about truth, though, its about strategy---for which “truth” serves as the legitimizing agent, tasked with validating the con.
These governmental-scientists would have us believe that man must be controlled so that nature may be free. The government may intrude-upon, control, regulate or otherwise manipulative every facet and sphere of human activity, but man’s pursuit of happiness---of a better life---must be halted in its tracks because of its reliance upon the manipulation of the natural order. Financial and economic markets must be placed within the sphere of governmental-power, we are told, because of man’s greed and the inefficiencies and instability created by ignorance and self-interest---the chaos created by the divergent and conflicting purposes and needs of free individuals engaging in commerce. No matter the context, the song remains the same: the fate of society rests upon its willingness to abandon individual liberty and economic freedom in favor of some variant of collectivism, which places the ability to decide what interests are valid and conducive to a greater good, and which are not, in the hands of an enlightened class of intellectual elites---men who can see the forest through the trees. Science is quickly becoming one of the most prevalent and insidious tools for this purpose, because it replaces rational discourse with reverence for the "findings" of those "qualified" to determine the truth.
Governmental-science ends the conversation, and decides the debate before it ever can take place. Just remember: truth is not their goal, and a legitimate concern for humanity is not their motivation---if you doubt this fact, observe the pride that overtakes environmentalists as you talk about the banning of DDT; observe how the fact that millions of humans have died as a result of that ban has no effect whatsoever on that feeling of pride. As was openly admitted at the recent climate conference in Copenhagen, the crusade to end “global warming” cannot be separated from the crusade to end capitalism---neither will occur unless both do. It is your freedom that they want, and they will use any pretense whatsoever to take it.
A recent poll released by the London-based partnership, Economist/YouGov, found that 71% of Obama-voters don't know what the word regret means. The poll asked a very simple question of Obama-voters: "Do you regret voting for Barrack Obama?" An incredible 71% answered yes, and a mere 26% answered no; but, astonishingly, 79% said that they would do the exact same thing---the thing that they just openly admitted to regretting---if given the exact same choice, and would vote for Obama once again. Only 10% said they would switch and vote for Romney, and the other 11% presumably chose to abstain.
As someone who didn't vote in the last election, I can sympathize with those Obama-voters who chose to abstain from voting in this hypothetical rematch. If I could've cast a ballot for a serious candidate who opposed the DC Establishment I would have, but I had no interest in placing my personal stamp of "democracy" on a choice between whether I wanted my fascism straight-up or watered-down and on the rocks---I'm a fan of Mitt Romney, but he's a CEO/manager, and we need a revolutionary. Those Obama-voters have my hypothetical sympathy for their hypothetical choice---for the others, I have only deep-seated disdain for their choice, and will feel only indifference---perhaps mixed with a regrettable degree of satisfaction---when reality teaches them the true meaning of the word regret---the type of regret felt by every member of every society in the history of the world that gave-up whatever measure of freedom they had in exchange for the promises of socialist-dictatorship---the type of regret felt by every enviousness mediocrity who traded-in their freedom in exchange for the promise of a "greater-share" of the material possessions of the productive, successful members of their society. What these people are claiming to "regret" is not their choice to vote for Obama, but rather the fact that his promises were as hallow as the space between their ears that led them to that choice.
Someone needs to tell Paul Krugman that angels do not fly down from heaven to hand-deliver paychecks to the omniscient men of unimpeachable virtue that he calls “scientists.” Leftists like Krugman dismiss the findings of any “corporate-sponsored” research, but hail the interpretations of data by any other “scientists” as if it were divine revelation----to the extent that the simple act of questioning it is a sinful admission of one’s own moral faults. How do these people think that scientists make money? Do they think that bags of money drop down from the sky when a scientist conducts a study and writes a report? Or do they think that there is some form of “prize money” floating around for the first person who can figure out what the temperature and sea-level will be in 2100?
Most likely, they view it in much the same way as they view government spending---they disregard the source of the wealth and focus solely on the “merits” of the recepient, and then shout-down anyone attempting to discuss the actual merits with accusations of racism, and various other snarling accusations designed to end the debate by forcing the submission of the debater through moral threats---the anti-science accusation is but one arrow in their quiver. These threats prevent people from asking questions like: What does the left mean when they say they are pro-science?
This claim of being “pro-science” is offered most often and most obnoxiously by people who are in fact not “scientists”---by people who have not reached the conclusions that they so confidently and arrogantly assert through any thought or effort of their own---they have neither conducted nor seen an actual study in its complete context---they have set no standards for how numerical data can be translated into government policy and objective laws---they scoff at questions regarding the leap from a set of numbers revealed by a study designed by a man---not a god---and interpreted by that man, and seemingly some of his colleagues, to the conclusion that those with political power should be given ever-more power to control and regulate the actions and lives of everyone else---where in the data does it show that freedom is a servant of science?
Next time you are in the presence of a proselytizing “pro-science” leftist, ask it: Why do you point to the percentage of scientists that are in agreement in regard to global warming, but not to the percentage of their studies? Why do you follow sentences in which you make the claim that the science on global warming is “settled,” with sentences in which you point to “the most recent studies” showing that the effects of global warming may actually be worse than previously predicted? Is the “scientific-community” gated?---does it have a pool?---do I need a guest-pass, or can I sneak-in if I throw-on a labcoat and some thick-glasses?
Former Wall Street executive and Obama car-czar, Steven Ratner, recently wrote an op-ed for the NY Times, with a seemingly innocuous title, "Bernanke Should Be Thanked," but which reeks of condescension when placed within the full context of the article and the man writing it. The title implies that Bernanke is not being properly thanked by...someone. Ratner could have simply written an article defending Bernanke's reign as Fed-chair. Instead, he goes the extra-mile and commands (through a suggestive sort of call to action) that some third-party act a certain way to show their appreciation to Bernanke. This conscious choice creates two obvious questions: 1) Who exactly should be thanking Bernanke? 2) Why should they thank him? The last sentence of the article goes a long way in answering the first question: "At an early January meeting of the American Economic Association in Philadelphia, Mr. Bernanke’s farewell address was followed by a standing ovation, symbolic of the standing ovation he deserves from the entire country."
The financial elite---as symbolized by those in attendance at that farewell address---already have thanked Bernanke, and gave him a standing ovation to boot, which means that the aforementioned "third-party" that Ratner chose to import, but not to explicitly identify, means everyone else---which means the ignorant masses. What point did Ratner hope to make by including this little aristocratic anecdote? Did he offer it as "symbolism," or as proof of his argument? In other words, was his actual intention here to say that the rest of the country should thank Bernanke because the financial elite did? Does Ratner believe that the rest of the country lacks the divine mixture of enlightened knowledge and unimpeachable class embodied by those financial elite, such that we are unable to recognize Bernanke's credentials on our own accord and respond in kind? Yes! If he didn't, why go through the trouble of telling us? He thinks we're too dumb, or too rude, or both, to understand and exhibit the reverence that Bernanke deserves for...what exactly?
Mr. Ratner, we are not like you; Bernanke doesn't come to us, and we're prohibited from going to him---so how exactly do you propose that we thank him? If you have his phone number, and would be so kind as to share it with the rest of us, I'm sure many people would love to give him a call and have a chat. Obviously, that won't happen, but even if it were possible to thank Bernanke, why should we? Was it our system that he saved? Were we responsible for the state of affairs that needed saving? No---it was the financial elite who caused the mess, and who most needed Bernanke's help. To be sure, the entire country would've felt the pain if events had unfolded as the financial elite warned they may---without action---as the crisis began to unfold; but that hasn't changed---they didn't see the crisis coming, they only saw the future in regard to the possible effects of the crisis---they never saw the crisis itself.
Ratner praises Bernanke as a man with a "first-rate mind...matched by a first-rate temperament," and attributes his "success" to a "non-ideological approach that allowed him to take on each fresh challenge unshackled to a particular dogma." You should notice that this sentence is a truism---"unshackled to a particular dogma" is synonymous with "non-ideological"---Ratner uses synonyms to create a semantic impression---as he did with his opening, "Bernanke should be thanked," assertion and his conclusion, "Bernanke deserves a standing ovation"---to pretend as if he is actually saying something, and not simply repeating a naked assertion. But the deeper point here is that our financial system is inherently ideological; we have a fiat currency that is backed by nothing other than the monetary manipulations of the Fed and the Treasury, and promises pinned to the backs of future generations. What Ratner is actually identifying, but attempting to cover-up with the weasel words, "dogma" and "ideology," is the fact that Bernanke, and those like him, are "unshackled" by the law, the free market, and any semblance of democracy. They can do what they want, when they want.
In Ratner's own words: "(Bernanke, Paulson, and Geithner) first threw out the playbook from past crises as inadequate to the current challenge and then threw out the rule book, as they formulated innovation after innovation to fight the conflagration. Most notable were the 2008 rescue of the insurance giant A.I.G. and the alphabet soup of programs designed to pump liquidity into the frozen financial system." "Conflagration" is a perfect word, as it reveals Ratner's intention to paint Bernanke (and his colleagues) as heroic fire-fighters, who used unique, brave, and effective methods to tame the fire that was burning through the system. This cynical construct conveniently obfuscates the fact that the Fed, the Treasury, and the other governmental and semi-governmental actors and agencies that formed and ran this system, were the arsonists before they were the fire-fighters---if they put out any blaze, it was only the one that they started!
Ratner's article is around 20 paragraphs long---with nearly, if not exactly, the same number of sentences as paragraphs. He writes as if each sentence is so important that it deserves to be cordoned-off from the others---or maybe it's that he believes the reader is too dumb to fully appreciate his point without taking a mental break after each sentence? Either way, Ratner failed to make any objective case for any explicit claim---the article is more psychological than anything else, as it comes across as a whiny elitist crying about the lack of thanks that men like himself receive.
He offers the assertion, "(Bernanke) played a central role in averting a financial meltdown and lifting the nation out of recession," and then proceeds as if this is settled fact---wasting no time actually proving it. Almost every paragraph is a naked assertion, and mostly having to do with Bernanke's "temperament," or "approach," or "style," or his "first-rate mind," or his "outspokenness," or, things that he was completely wrong about, like his economic pronouncements in the years immediately prior to the crisis. The only time that Ratner actually used facts in support of his argument came in this sequence: (I combined some of the paragraph-sentences into a single paragraph---Does he get paid by the paragraph?)
"To counter the recession, Mr. Bernanke championed cutting interest rates to zero. But when even that proved insufficient, the Fed began its highly controversial program to buy Treasury and other debt as a means of lowering financing costs and stimulating growth. This program, known as quantitative easing, brought a chorus of criticism down on Mr. Bernanke, ironically, mostly from Republicans...And in a November 2010 letter in The Wall Street Journal, 24 well-known, conservatively inclined economists, financiers and academics decried the asset purchase program as risking 'currency debasement and inflation' while not promoting employment. Well, the group proved wrong on all counts. The program has succeeded in lowering interest rates without causing inflation — prices were up just 1.5 percent last year."
He finished this little "I-told-you-so sequence" by referencing (not quoting) an assertion made by the president of the San Francisco Fed: "unemployment may have been pushed down by a quarter of a percentage point — roughly 400,000 jobs — by just the second phase of quantitative easing." This is weasel wording at his height; Ratner cites the Fed as the source for an assertion about the success of the Fed's own actions---and even then, the best Ratner's biased source has to say is that maybe, just maybe, the second phase of quantitative easing pushed unemployment down by a whopping quarter of a percentage point---ha! That was an average month during the six years of job growth under the Bush Administration---without quantitative easing. And how does the Fed buy the Treasury's debt---is the Fed's money not American money, or is the Treasury's debt not American debt? If there is a complicated answer to this question, who, Mr. Ratner, should I thank for that being the case? Furthermore, I was under the impression that interest rates were determined by the Fed---but I value my sanity too much to even attempt to understand that system---how is it that the Fed succeeded in lowering rates? What alternative properly classifies this as a "success?"
As I pointed out earlier, those of us who Bernanke gives no farewell address to, and whose letters he will neither read nor hear of, have no way to thank the outgoing Fed-chair. So even if we held Bernanke in the proper esteem, and felt the proper gratitude that Ratner believes Bernanke deserves, he could still write this demeaning article about how this public-servant, who gave so much to us, received so little in return from the peons that his wisdom saved---pulling their financial system back from the edge of collapse. So why did he write it? Because the standing ovation was symbolic---not just of what Ratner believes Bernanke deserves---but what he believes every member of that class of financial elites deserves---most notably himself. But it's not our system Mr. Ratner, it's yours, and Bernanke's, and the few people who are like the two of you and get to exercise such great power over the rest of us. Do you go through the trouble of buying a plane ticket when you travel to Detroit, the city you "saved" with the auto-bailout, or do you just start flapping those angel-wings?
Here is the only thanks that the American people owe---it is the type of thanks that a host owes to its parasite: thank you for not taking too much, too quickly; thank you for not doing the only thing you are capable of---destroying us. What would Ratner have us believe? That we, the barbaric know-nothings, created this complex financial system in which the value of the dollar is pegged to...itself, in which a single entity can legitimately "buy" its own debt (or assets, or whatever else) apart from paying down that same debt? Thank you Mr. Bernanke, thank you Mr. Ratner, thank you so-so much for saving the greatest economic system in the history of the world from the virus that you and your predecessors pass around like hepatitis in a heroin den. Thank you for the fiscal insanity and crushing debt; thank you for destroying this country's productive capacity, and replacing it with a system of consumption---the existence of such a system is unsustainable. So don't fret Mr. Ratner, once the binge is over, we'll be sure to give you and Mr. Bernanke the thanks you undoubtedly deserve.
The Oneida Indian Nation, which, according to a recent report: "spent $3.5 million on lobbying and political contributions over the last eight years, more than any other entity involved in gambling in New York," attempted to use MLK's legacy to push their Redskins name-change agenda by running radio ads on the issue in Seattle, Denver, and DC on MLK day. The Oneida's position on this issue puts them in a very small minority among Americans, and an even smaller minority among Native Americans---a fact which many in the media have conveniently ignored. A poll conducted in 2004 found that 90% of Native Americans were not offended by the DC football team's moniker. In fact, many native americans still embrace the term "redskin," and some high schools on Indian reservations chose it for their nickname---like the Red Mesa Redskins on the Navajo Nation reservation. A recent poll by the leftist group, Public Policy Polling (PPP), found that 71% of Americans are opposed to the Redskins changing their name, with only 18% saying that they should change it, and 11% being unsure. While these polling numbers would be bouncing like pinballs off the walls of the liberal media's echo chamber if they were reversed---i.e, if they matched they matched a poll of the Washington Post, New York Times, or Boston Globe editorial boards---they are buried in favor of the manufactured outrage of professional activists posing as aggrieved victims.
Suzan Shown Harjo, the leading activist for changing the Redskins name, dismisses the fact that the overwhelming majority of Native Americans claim not to be offended by the term, as she states: "(This) is really a classic case of internalized oppression...People taking on what has been said about them, how they have been described, to such an extent that they don’t even notice.” It must have been this lack of awareness, this "internalized oppression," that led Harjo to produce an Indian radio program called "Seeing Red." Furthermore, Harjo's excuse---that Natives accept "redskin" because non-natives subtly forced the term upon them---is fundamentally undermined by term's origin. The Oneida Nation's own newspaper, Indian Country Today, reported in 2012: "It was the Native Americans who first used the term “red” in order to differentiate between indigenous, white, and black people." The article cites a book written by Ives Goddard, a senior linguist at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of History; the book is titled, I am a Redskin: The Adoption of a Native American Expression (1769-1826), and the article reports that Goddard's work proves that "the earliest uses of 'red skin' were in recorded statements from Natives by the French who generally traded amicably with them. The French were careful to denote the 'red' distinction was made by Natives themselves."
It was the Natives who referred to the Europeans as "the white man" and distinguished themselves as "the red man;" the article backs this assertion with a quote from Sitting Bull: “I am a red man. If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place.” The article also cites J. Gordon Hylton, an historian and professor of law who wrote an essay titled, "Before the Redskins were the Redskins: The use of Native American team names in the formative era of American sports, 1857-1944;" Hylton wrote: "…throughout the nineteenth century, the term (redskin) was essentially neutral when used by whites, reflecting neither a particularly positive or particularly negative connotation.” The article finishes with the author conceding that, as a Native American, he sympathizes with those who find the name offensive, and admits that he is "annoyed by shirtless white guys putting on fake war paint and headdresses," but concludes: "Remember, in the study of history, one should not let their own passions of today override existing facts of the past just because they don’t fit our own modern version of political correctness." In other words, Native Americans are entitled to their own feelings about the word, but they are not entitled to rewrite history in accordance with their current feelings.
While the Indian Country article makes clear that Natives self-identified as "red"---an association that was adopted by the "Red Power" movement of the 1960's, which essentially attempted to re-write history so as to create a homogenous, unified concept of Native Americans, and portray them as the original green, pacifist hippies---the term "redskin" was also used in reference to artificial skin color. The Oxford Dictionary states: "Redskin is first recorded in the late 17th century and was applied to the Algonquian peoples generally, but specifically to the Delaware (who lived in what is now southern New York State and New York City, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania). Redskin referred not to the natural skin color of the Delaware, but to their use of vermilion face paint and body paint." The entry goes on to say that the term went through a process of "pejoration"---through which a positive or neutral term becomes negative---but gives no indication as to when, how, or to whom the term became offensive, or in what regard.
Another issue that must be fleshed out is how the term "redskin" relates to the abstract concept of a team's nickname; why would a franchise affix its own players with a disparaging nickname? If you name your team the redskins, then the players are, by definition, redskins; if the name is disparaging, then it is the players who are directly disparaged. Furthermore, the coach at the time the name was chosen, William "Lone Star" Dietz, was of Native American descent---so in addition to being theoretically disparaging to the team, the name would have been personally disparaging to its coach. Imagine for a moment that team owner Daniel Snyder decided to change the name from the "Redskins" to the "Aryans;" while such a name would be considered offensive by almost everyone, not a single person would claim that the name represents an attempt to disparage Aryans---it would be without question viewed as an attempt to glorify that term. This is due to the nature of a team's nickname---its fundamental purpose is to glorify and/or identify, not to disparage---a disparaging nickname contradicts its own purpose, and is disparaging, first and foremost, to the franchise itself and the players who represent it. And if you think this controversy is simply based on the fact that "redskin" is a reference to skin color, how do you explain opposition to the Indians, the Braves, the Seminoles, or the Fighting Sioux?