Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

10/10/2011 (10:08 am)

Occupy Washington

An acquaintance of mine made the observation that no mention of Occupy Wall Street should fail to mention the collusion and corruption that they are protesting. This guy thinks that Wall Street is responsible for the woeful economic condition of the US. He’s an idealist, and also, in my estimation, a dupe. The real cause of the meltdown is in Washington — and so is the real cause of Occupy Wall Street.

I have some expertise in finance, and did a fair amount of digging during the meltdown in 2008 and 2009 to be sure that I understood the underlying causes. There was collusion, and Wall Street was complicit with it at the end. Suffice to say, it’s mostly the result of ill-formed government policy aimed at noble-sounding goals, with some criminal profit-taking in the mix — from politically-connected financiers in Washington.

The important thing to remember is that buying politicians does not benefit anybody so long as government is not involved in the market. If Washington was not overreaching into financial markets, there could be no collusion between government and finance. That’s one of the main reasons why some of us are so adamant about reducing the size and reach of government — and why any protest about it should take place in Washington.

Occupy Wall St. will not focus on Washington, though, because Washington organized it. My acquaintance is idealizing the protesters, but I’m pretty sure they’re astroturfed — that is, they’re organized and orchestrated by a political machine with political goals.

The Tea Party, a genuine grass-roots movement, rose in clear opposition to the bailouts; that was the real grass-roots reaction to the collusion and corruption. It threatens to remove power from entrenched interests in Washington, and in early elections seems to be having an enormous effect that Washington cannot control. The President and his party cannot retain power in the 2012 election without neutralizing the Tea Party, and all of their efforts to demonize and marginalize it — and there have been several — have failed.

So the President did the one thing at which he seems genuinely competent: he organized a protest. The goal is to seize the news cycle, steal the sincere initiative from the Tea Party, and give the Democrats a chance to retain power in the 2012 election. Occupy Wall Street is, in brief, the Democrats’ Anti-Tea-Party.

The protesters don’t realize it; they hold debates in the street discussing what they’re there for, which means that they don’t have a clue. But Progressive street activists do what they’re told. If political activists suggest a demonstration on Wall Street, Progressives demonstrate on Wall Street. They don’t know why; they just do it. Listen to their words, and you’ll hear lots of references to 1968 and the Vietnam war. They’re idealizing themselves. They do it on the fly, ad hoc, because they genuinely don’t know why they’re protesting.

But their organizers do know why they’re there; they’re there to neutralize the Tea Party. The Left has always known how to manipulate the crowd. It’s how they obtain and keep power. They sow the seeds of the protest in the right places, the echo chamber starts, the people move, and voila! A movement.

The real demonstrations not only belong in Washington, they have already taken place; that’s what the Tea Party was, and is. Occupy Wall Street is the response to the Tea Party by the entrenched, political interests who stand to lose if the Tea Party succeeds.

With that in mind, let’s take a moment to review why the meltdown occurred in the first place.

The Meltdown: Let’s Remind Ourselves

There are almost a dozen separate causes of the financial collapse of 2006. Yes, 2006. FNMA artificially postponed the most direct effects for 2 years by acting as the entire secondary market for mortgage loans, doubling its holdings in that brief, 2 years. They amplified the worst effects by doing so.

The Community Reinvestment Act, during the Carter administration, began as a limited initiative affecting only inner city banks. It was the first direct cause of the rise in housing prices, but it was small.

The CRA became national policy under the Clinton administration, when FHA was instructed to loosen their loan criteria and $1 trillion was dumped into the secondary market for mortgages by the federal government. Suddenly, the loose lending standards of the CRA were no longer small. Loose lending + instant liquidity = increased demand for housing. Housing prices started rising rapidly.

Then the Fed set interest rates artificially low in 2001 to counter the recession caused by the Internet bubble collapse, the Enron/Worldcom/auditing crisis, and 9/11. The favorable mortgage rates and eagerness to lend generated a whole lot of speculation in housing, driving prices up even more. The Democratic party prevented any serious investigation of FNMA and FHLMC, while they provided easy liquidity for marginal loans — this is where the criminal collusion occurred. Government-subsidized rating agencies completely missed the weakness in mortgage securities that infiltrated due to the relaxed lending criteria, and new federal regulations in Sarbanes-Oxley forced banks and financial institutions to invest artificially large sums in AAA-rated securities (look up “Recourse Rule.”)

When land prices started dropping, as the price of any artificially-inflated commodity must, major holders of mortgage-backed securities were forced by yet another Sarbanes-Oxley provision (“mark to market”) to write down the value of their holdings, and then to try to borrow enough to meet federal reserve requirements. This sucked all the air out of the capital markets. Most of the financials couldn’t get the loans to cover their reserve requirements, so they had to declare insolvency. Then the bailouts started — more collusion.

Count the number of times “federal” gets mentioned in that thumbnail description. This collapse was manufactured by brainless federal policy. The claim by progressives that the collapse was caused by “a failure of capitalism” and “deregulation” is a joke without a punchline; the economists saying it know they’re lying, and most of the people repeating it are too ignorant to understand why they’re making idiots of themselves.

Yes, we can complain about the hippies protesting capitalism, but that’s not what needs to be said here. What needs to be said is that Occupy Wall Street is the Obama White House’s response to the Tea Party, and that it is an organized, political movement that represents the political interests that caused the collapse in the first place. The protesters are helping the very people they protest. The real, public objection to the corruption that caused the meltdown in 2008 is the Tea Party.

06/27/2011 (2:26 pm)

Posing As Christians

A member in a private, Christian facebook group recently had to be asked to leave because (s)he was touting an agenda in the group and would not let it rest. A stir arose when somebody suggested that perhaps (s)he was a deliberate plant from an activist group.

It turned out that (s)he was not, but in response to that possibility one of the members of the group posted this fascinating testimony, which I submit for your instruction today, edited to hide the identity of the author:

Posing as Christians

Some members have alluded to the notion that people might infiltrate [Christian] groups with the intention of furthering their agenda. While this may sound a bit conspiratorial, I want to acknowledge that it is true, that it is very common, and that I have been paid to do this– in the past, that is; not now.

Before I was saved, I worked for [organization’s name redacted to protect the identity of the author.] I worked as a writer and as a(n) [official title redacted]. I routinely assumed false identities in order to introduce some radical agenda to a group. Staff writers had accounts at all the major newspapers’ sites and at various blogs and forums. We would pose as members of the “group” to legitimize our authority. I would pretend to be black, pretend to be a woman, pretend to be an immigrant, or pretend to be a Christian–whatever suited the cause.

My wife, formerly a [topic redacted] activist, did the same thing.

My point is, it’s not just “trolls” who do this sort of thing: it’s a concerted effort made by multi-million dollar a year organizations. They particularly want to infiltrate “conservative” groups and slowly introduce their agenda. The more people who profess to be Christians and, for instance, advocate for “gay rights”, the more tolerable the stance becomes. The position gravitates from “unthinkable heresy” to “well, we disagree, but we’re still brothers in Christ” to “acceptance”. It really is that simple, and frankly it works. We need to be cautious of this, and we really need to consider the motives of people introducing foreign ideas, as well as the impact merely tolerating those ideas will have on the future of our group. “Tolerance” is what they rely on.

My $0.02, from someone who’s been on the other side.

We all knew that they were there. Enough of them have been exposed for us to realize that there exists a concerted effort to deceive. But it is useful occasionally to revisit the evidence that we are not imagining this; the effort is real, and the damage is real.

This is why there is no point in dialogue with Progressives as Progressives. They do not believe the laws of decent behavior apply to them. They will lie without compunction to take you in. They will pretend to be interested in dialogue, but they are not. What they are interested in is winning by getting you to treat them politely. You will give ground; they will not. So long as the politeness continues, the culture will move in their direction.

The culture will never move back in the other direction until you identify them for who they are, call them the liars that they are, and take a firm stand on what you know to be the truth. Progressives must be confronted and called out.

Private, personal relationships are a different matter. There is no way to win them to Christ without engaging them personally. However, one must not let them use the relationship as a springboard into activism.

02/18/2011 (10:17 am)


Not that this is the first evidence we have that the left’s outrage concerning uncivil language in the public square was completely disingenuous, or even the strongest, but…

The demonstrations in Wisconsin over relatively sensible cuts in union budgets has the leftists there showing their true faces. It does not take much to do this, as the viciousness of progressives lies very shallowly below the surface; their civility is a thin veneer covering seething masses of bile and ill will. Their progressive dreams are bankrupting the Western world, and the least suggestion that they should be made to live, not within their means, but within perhaps an order of magnitude over their means, evokes screeching like that from a cranky toddler.

The Republican party of Wisconsin put together a montage juxtaposing the faux outrage of the political left over harsh rhetoric with the reality of how they protest even the mild, sensible cuts required by Wisconsin’s fiscal nightmare — a nightmare brought on by the delusions of progressives. Watch (1:34):

The biggest of the Big Lies from the leftists in that montage comes from Bill Maher, who, with straight but bloated face, spoke precisely the opposite of the truth. Nobody on the right talks about how much fun it would be to kill our opponents. Virtually all of that sort of talk comes from the left. It can be found daily on the Daily Kos, Huffington Post, and the Democratic Underground. It can be found at any demonstration against any Republican politician; nobody has to manufacture instances, the way progressives have tried to do to discredit Tea Party activists. It can be found in the still-present flood of Internet references to “Bushitler,” the still-common references to Dick Cheney as Hitler or the devil, the cartoons and comments about Sarah Palin… And notice how progressives always, always take their demonstrations to the politician’s home, terrorizing his family and disturbing private neighborhoods.

By the same token, all the vicious, black-hating talk I’ve heard in the last 30 years has come from the left as well, as well as all the vicious, woman-hating talk, the vicious, Hispanic-hating talk, and the vicious, Jew-hating talk. They haven’t banished those things; they’ve just reserved them for conservative blacks, women, Hispanics, and Jews. Through one side of their mouths, they call conservatives racist and insist that we intend to drag women back into the kitchen, but through the other side of their mouths, they tell minority groups “You’re still subject to all the hatred you always used to face — unless you serve our political interests.”

Theirs is not the politics of civil public discourse, but rather the politics of personal destruction. They have given themselves over to evil.

And by the way: if this is how they respond to relatively modest budget cuts, what are they going to do when somebody actually starts to cut the budget down to the place it truly needs to be?

11/22/2010 (11:24 am)

How To Talk To Progressives — Every Time

Thank God for Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey. Seriously. He is providing the model for dealing with Progressives that we’ve needed for so long. This is outstanding. Four minutes and change. Listen:

“You can come and talk to me when he’s out of his job, and not one minute before.” Christie simply rejects out of hand the incredible double standard which these evil human beings take for granted. And make no mistake, Progressives are evil, but a very common, familiar sort of evil: they’re rebellious children grown to adult size. Just like when dealing with children, they cannot be permitted to benefit from their tantrums, their manipulations, or their lies, ever. They need to be handled with firmness and made to pay for their excesses, or else they get no dinner.

We’ve actually seen this approach work before. We saw Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn resist the Canadian Human Rights Commission (HRC) after telling the truth about Islam’s conflict with Western-style liberty, and win. The result was the dismantling of the Progressive Kangaroo Court that was the HRC. And let’s not forget how the Progressives responded to voters telling them “No” over Obama’s Health Care Thuggery. When you grow a spine and get in their face properly, they have nothing much to say. Like spoiled children, they’re all noise but lack the ability to follow through. The illegal shenanigans that they employed to get ObamaCare past the Congress demonstrate that you have to be vigilant about taking away Plan B. But there’s no payoff to cooperating with their games.

Remember, when dealing with a Progressive, that they do not actually believe anything they tell you about what’s right and wrong; they only use moral speech when they want to use guilt to control you. Ignore them, and decide using whatever moral guidelines you usually use. You do not have to get angry, although it probably won’t hurt much if you do (especially if they’re already angry.) The rule is, never accept the lies they’re telling you “for the sake of civility,” treat them the way you would treat an angry teenager: tell the unvarnished truth without apology (especially the truth about what they’re doing), stick to your principles, insist firmly that they act responsibly, and never give in.

The similarity between the approach that works with naughty children and the approach that works with Progressives suggests that the cause of Progressivism is improper parenting, parenting without sufficient backbone. Ultimately the downfall of the West has been that we’ve let our children get out of hand. I’m guessing that we would find something similar in the demise of any major civilization. Affluence seems to make parents soft. It is a lesson we should never forget.

I would love to see Christie run for President, but honestly, I think we should let him finish his term in New Jersey to show the nation what needs to be done. The man is priceless.

05/10/2010 (4:26 pm)

Why Greece Matters To You

Greece is broke. So is the United Kingdom, which will be hitting up the EU for loans next.

Greece is facing the same sort of problem we’re facing here in the US, but more advanced. The government is paying too much to too many people, promising easy and early retirements, hiring everybody in sight and paying above-market wages… and borrowing money to do it all.

Take a gander:

Vasia Veremi may be only 28, but as a hairdresser in Athens, she is keenly aware that, under a current law that treats her job as hazardous to her health, she has the right to retire with a full pension at age 50.

“I use a hundred different chemicals every day — dyes, ammonia, you name it,” she said. “You think there’s no risk in that?”

“People should be able to retire at a decent age,” Ms. Veremi added. “We are not made to live 150 years.”

Perhaps not, but it is still difficult to explain to outsiders why the Greek government has identified at least 580 job categories deemed to be hazardous enough to merit retiring early — at age 50 for women and 55 for men.

Greece’s patchwork system of early retirement has contributed to the out-of-control state spending that has led to Europe’s sovereign debt crisis. Its pension promises will grow sharply in coming years, and investors can see the country has not set aside enough to cover those costs, making it harder for Greece to borrow at a reasonable rate.

As a consequence of decades of bargains struck between strong unions and weak governments, Greece has promised early retirement to about 700,000 employees, or 14 percent of its work force, giving it an average retirement age of 61, one of the lowest in Europe.

The law includes dangerous jobs like coal mining and bomb disposal. But it also covers radio and television presenters, who are thought to be at risk from the bacteria on their microphones, and musicians playing wind instruments, who must contend with gastric reflux as they puff and blow.

At the linked article there’s an in-line graphic showing what percentage of each European Union country’s Gross Domestic Product is demanded by government pension promises. In Greece, that number is over 800%.

In the United States, it’s about 460%. That’s just as unsustainable, only it will take longer for the bankruptcy to occur.

Recall a couple of months ago when I posted a remarkable speech by New Jersey’s new governor, Chris Christie? It was remarkable in its candor; Christie outlined in clear terms what the state had to do in order to survive fiscally. Salary cuts down to market-standard wages. Restructuring of pension promises. Cuts in programs.

In short, Christie had to undo decades of Democratic party largess. It’s the same all over Europe: the left has been promising easy retirement, unlimited medical care, higher wages, all of it with absolutely zero understanding of where the money comes from. Leftists assume that the wealth of the nation is a fixed sum that springs up from the ground fully-formed, and need only be apportioned fairly. They buy votes by promising to use that wealth for the “poor,” like Robin Hood (“poor” meaning anybody not earning in the top 5% of incomes). The promises they make are empty, because nobody can afford them. Nobody can. All of Europe is broke. Here in America, every city, every state run by Democrats is likewise broke.

Socialism is bankrupt. Progressivism is too expensive for everybody, including God.

We saw it when the Democrats took office in 2009. Within a month, the annual deficit for the national government rose a trillion dollars. One trillion dollars. That’s per year, on into the future, no end in sight. That trillion dollars is almost entirely new spending on social programs that Democrats consider “human rights” — college scholarships, business bailouts, unemployment benefits, health care subsidies, targeted energy tax cuts, federal aid to local school districts, free Internet access, smart electrical grids, and on and on.

Democrats dream dreams of what they would do if they were God, and then they do it, because they actually believe they are God. And then, they wonder why the nation can’t sustain the spending. “Just raise taxes. That will cover it.” Sure thing. And they wonder why the economy goes sour. It must be because of criminal Republicans not doing their share, or robbing the public through profit motive. Punish them. Oh, gee, why is gross domestic product dropping? We meant so well, we’re doing so much…

AthensViolenceGreece has announced austerity programs as a condition of receiving loans from other EU nations. The public is rioting in response; the public employee unions are leading the demonstrations.

The violence in Greece is following a pattern that has begun here in the US. In Arizona, a violent demonstration broke out in opposition to the state enforcing federal immigration standards. In Berkeley, CA, this February, protests against tuition hikes and budget cuts erupted into violence.

These outbreaks of violence have a couple of things in common. They arise from complaints by people who expect something for nothing from the government, and they’re fomented by hard leftists, folks we used to call “communists.” Hard leftists use violence as a strategy, hoping to produce revolutionary overthrow of non-Marxist governments. In terms of actual violence, most of what we’re seeing this year comes from the left, and it’s coming on the heels of governments cutting back their giveaways.

News outlets responsive to the overtures of the Obama administration have been attempting to paint the Tea Party demonstrations, which have been proceeding peacefully for a full year, as a potential source of violence. This is bunk, and has little basis in fact. The major sources of domestic violence in the US over the past 40 years have been animal rights and environmental rights groups, hard-left anarchist groups, Puerto Rican separatists, and fringe religious-racial superiority groups, with the largest number of such incidents by far coming from the eco-terrorists. A recent study on domestic terrorism by the Council on Foreign Relations notes that virtually all the domestic terror attacks between 2002 – 2005 were carried out by environmental extremists; the claim in that report that right-wing terrorists are potentially more dangerous appears to be the opinion of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a organization of leftist ideologues that raises a great deal of money by perpetuating the myth of violent racial bigotry in the United States. Their bias against the right is suspect.

There may be some threat of violence if the leftist-controlled government of the United States under President Obama appears to threaten individual liberty in a way that political activism can no longer address; I certainly hope that citizens resist a leftist coup here, if one such occurs. A much more likely scenario for violence, though, appears to be that the political activism of conservatives succeeds in the next year or two, and Congress begins to roll back socialist policies from which large groups of citizens have benefited. I have little doubt that the rolling back of favorite New Deal programs by the right will be met by violence from the left, leftists carrying out the acts they have projected onto Tea Party protesters. The left in the US appears to be much more amenable to violent protest than does the right.

03/29/2010 (3:16 pm)

Aaaand, Now the Scary Militia Stories


The ObamaBots are playing for keeps.

After a week of coordinated “news” reporting about how scary and violent those Tea Party inciters are, the FBI and ATF staged a raid on a fringe militia group — that is to say, the group was one that the militias consider a fringe group — in three states, indicting nine people on charges apparently related to a plot to lay pipe bombs along the route of a police funeral procession.

Take a gander at their explanation of the timing:

“Because the Hutaree had planned a covert reconnaissance operation for April, which had the potential of placing an unsuspecting member of the public at risk, the safety of the public and of the law enforcement community demanded intervention at this time,” said Barbara McQuade, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.

A “covert reconnaissance operation.” Meaning, they were going to sneak through the woods and spy on someone. In April. So it was absolutely essential to raid them the week after a bunch of alarmist propaganda. In March.

The raids took place in three states: Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. Indictments were turned in against 9 individuals, one of whom remains a fugitive. All were members of a group called the Hutaree, a quasi-Christian group preparing militarily for the return of Christ, apparently intending to be His bodyguards (got news for them: He won’t need them). The federal indictment contains five counts, all surrounding an alleged plot to kill an unnamed law officer, to be followed by planting pipe bombs along the funeral procession route.

A web site apparently visited regularly by serious members of other militia groups contains talk indicating that the Hutaree were considered fringe even by other militia groups. They confirm a report that shows up in one of the newspaper accounts that a Hutaree member called a group leader from the Michigan Militia looking for a place to hide and was turned down. They also regard the ATF/FBI action as a move to pick off “low-hanging fruit” and possibly hoping to spark a national incident.

There seems to me to be little doubt that Main Justice was eager to ping us back after the past week or so when a few broken windows on our part and other threats not of our making caused over a hundred congresscritters to call the FBI down on the capitol building carpet to verbally beat up the Fibbies for not doing their job and to demand that they do something about the threats they perceived to their imperial personages.

The Hutaree, who by their previous nuttery over the past two years set themselves up as low-hanging fruits — wannabe John Browns with a persecution complex — made a perfect target. Yet even moving on the Hutaree had many risks for the Feds. If, God forbid, shots had been exchanged, people killed, or buildings burned down a la Waco, we would be looking at a nationwide mobilization and civil war. There are analysts deep in the Hoover Building who understand that there are no more free Wacos. Yet the Feds, prodded by the Dems in Congress were willing to risk it.

They were willing to risk it — OR THEY WANTED IT.

We’ll learn more as time passes and more details emerge, but the upshot now is that they got lucky — very lucky for them indeed, for the Hutaree have long sworn they would die rather than surrender.

Yet there were apparently no shots, no innocent deaths, and thus no retaliatory spasm of an open source insurgency using 4th generation warfare to target the war-makers and war-leaders — and those are the stakes of the game they are clumsily playing. I doubt the Dem politicians who urged them to do SOMETHING had their own deaths in mind. Unintended consequences indeed.

The opening paragraph appears to admit that some of the window-breaking of the past week was carried out by organized militia. I seriously doubt that this reading is correct, however, as it would be inconsistent with their normal mode of operation. Most likely what he means is that he thinks conservatives may actually have been behind some of the broken windows. Nothing of the sort has been confirmed yet.

On the other hand, the last paragraph does contain a pretty serious threat against Democratic party leaders in Congress. The threat appears connected to the possibility of a Waco-style incident, with the message “If you leave us alone, we’ll leave you alone. But if you don’t…”

Talking Points Memo, a leftie blog with links to the White House, headlines that the Hutaree members were indicted for “seditious conspiracy” and “attempted use of WMD.” Yes, you read that correctly. Fox News reported, on the other hand, that the group was arrested for attempting to build pipe bombs. Both are correct: it turns out that the technical definition of a “weapon of mass destruction” in the US Code appears in section 2332a(c)(2), and in addition to chemical (subheading B), biological (subheading C), and nuclear (subheading D) weapons, are defined as

(A) any destructive device as defined in section 921 of this title;

Section 921 contains a list of definitions, including this one:

(4) The term “destructive device” means—
(A) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas—
(i) bomb,
(ii) grenade,
(iii) rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces,
(iv) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce,
(v) mine, or
(vi) device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding clauses;
(B) any type of weapon (other than a shotgun or a shotgun shell which the Attorney General finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes) by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter; and
(C) any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into any destructive device described in subparagraph (A) or (B) and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled.

Short version, if you make a bomb of any kind in your basement, it’s a WMD. I suspect this was not the definition used when examining weapons caches in Iraq.

hutareeWhat we’re watching, folks, is an effort by the Obama administration to use US law enforcement agencies to add to the public fear of an irrational, violent, right-wing insurgency rising in the US. It is possible but not certain that they expected armed resistance from the Hutaree, which would have aided their public relations campaign immensely. Meanwhile, no public statement of any kind acknowledges federal awareness or concern regarding Muslim militia training going on on American soil. I wonder why? I’m sure they know they exist…

I spoke yesterday of the possible usefulness of organized violence, and of the Obama administration’s fear of same. Today’s news is an indication of how timely that warning is. Obama does, in fact, fear armed rebellion, and this effort to build a public relations case on a group nobody will defend makes it clear how much. There are real, serious militiamen out there, training in military tactics in anticipation of tyrannical government crackdowns; their sense is that the Waco incident in 1993 is the only one of its type that will occur for free, and that the next such incident will trigger a civil war.

03/10/2010 (3:46 pm)

UN Takes Another Run At Scamming Climate Science

I didn’t even have to examine this one for 10 seconds. This is pure scam.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, alongside the now-completely-discredited chair of the IPCC, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, today announced the launch of an “independent” review of the IPCC’s processes and procedures at a press conference in New York. The review is to be conducted by representatives chosen by the InterAcademy Council, an international consortium representing the national academies of sciences from 15 separate nations. Here is their press release.

The announcement was carried by water-carriers from the Associated Press to the unthinking masses bearing this grotesquely misleading lede (with my emphasis added):

World’s top scientists to review climate panel

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – At a tumultuous time in U.N.-led climate negotiations, one of the world’s most credible scientific groups agreed Wednesday to plug the recent cracks in the authoritative reports of the United Nations’ Nobel Prize-winning global warming panel.

“We enter this process with no preconceived conclusions,” said Robbert Dijkgraaf, a Dutch mathematical physicist who co-chairs the group, the InterAcademy Council of 15 nations’ national academies of science.

Just look at the puffery in that lede. It’s “one of the world’s most credible scientific groups.” They’re reviewing an “authoritative” report, from a “Nobel Prize-winning” panel. They claim they have “no preconceived conclusions.”

There is a well-known, well-established process for correcting errors in scientific research, and This. Is. Not. It. Peer review has served the scientific community for centuries, and will serve here if it is carried out using a fair process with appropriate transparency and without governmental interference.

The AP report is pure propaganda. The IAC is not one of the most credible organizations in the world; it is a politically-oriented entity devoted to international governance. The heads of 15 National Academies of Sciences are 15 political operatives representing 15 governmental liaison bodies. Yes, I imagine they’re all professional scientists of some sort; that does not make these organizations any less political. The men calling for this report are thoroughly discredited already. The United Nations is devoted to internationalization, as is its sister organization, the IAC. They have a dog in the hunt: they both gain immense power from a finding of significant anthropogenic global climate effect. They both should stand a billion miles from the credibility recovery process and let others do the work. We have no reason to expect anything but a sham review that will go through the requisite motions and summarily declare the IPCC report golden.

I am completely disgusted. These frakking criminals are still attempting to co-opt the entire world’s governments by manufacturing “science” in a dishonest manner. They should be in prison for life, and that’s the merciful take. Let’s hope the honest process of peer review continues unmolested, so we can get a clearer take on what effect human activity has on the climate. The UN is not going to provide that, not in a million years.

02/10/2010 (7:19 am)

Miss Me Yet?


By way of PowerLine Blog:

This is not a photoshopped image; the sign appears beside I-35 in Wyoming, MN. It’s existence has been confirmed by eyewitnesses. A reporter from Minnesota Public Radio called the billboard company, which confirms that the ad was purchased by some local businessmen who wish to remain anonymous. These businessmen have apparently noticed that the Obama administration’s policies are routinely anti-small-business, favoring large, well-established businesses against smaller ones. Hilarious.

I was no great fan of big-government conservatism, which is really just progressivism on the installment plan, but I do miss him.

What these small businessmen have noticed is something that’s changed in my own thinking over the past year. I used to think that neo-Marxism was anti-business. I still do, but it has become apparent that President Obama’s form of progressivism actually favors the largest, best-established businesses against their competitors, and favors those who employ union members against those who don’t. There’s a place for big corporations in Obama’s America: anyone who pours money into Obama’s coffers gets to survive. He’s running a very large protection racket. Too bad the President is immune from RICO prosecution.

Jonah Goldberg’s book Liberal Fascism confirms that this has been characteristic of every government run by progressives in the 20th century, including FDR’s and Woodrow Wilson’s. They use strong anti-corporatist rhetoric, but in practice what they oppose is competition; government intrusion favors whoever happens to control the market at the time regulation begins, and progressive policies always favor those businesses who support progressive candidates.

02/01/2010 (10:12 am)

Ailes Schools Arianna

Prominent on the web today is this instance of “gotcha” played by Arianna Huffington at the expense of Roger Ailes, in which Huffington gets caught in her own trap by a well-prepared Ailes. Huffington was pretending to be serious when reciting one of the left’s favorite slurs, the silly imagination that when a conservative offers analysis of the danger posed by a leftist policy, it’s “inciting the nation” and engaging in “the politics of paranoia.” Of course, far more vicious assaults from the left are completely reasonable. Ailes deftly posits the comparison, leaving Arianna scrambling for lost legitimacy. Listen:

It’s got enough punch that Huffington Post today is featuring attempts to prove that Ailes was mistaken, focusing on a bit of hyperbole in one of Beck’s diatribes. Absent from their analysis is any mention of similar hyperbole regularly enjoyed by Huffington’s readers but aimed in the other direction.

That such hyperbole is common has been established long ago, and is hardly debatable. Media Research Center gathered a few instances together back in 2007: guests at Huffpo, largely well-known actors and politicians, calling the Vice President a “terrorist” and a “lying, thieving whore,” calling the President “human scum” and his followers “flag-sucking half-wits,” accusing Americans of “loving hate” and failing the test of humanity for buying Ann Coulter’s books. Camera.org (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) produced a report last year documenting widespread anti-Semitism among Huffpo’s commenters and authors. And then, there’s the instance Ailes quoted regarding himself: San Francisco Examiner columnist Bill Mann saying Ailes had “a face like a clenched fist,” that Ailes has “done more to spread fear and hatred in this country than anyone since Joe McCarthy,” and that Fox News “is a tumor on the body politic.” Huffington, who hosts what is arguably the least fervid of leftist talk sites, is nonetheless hurling stones from a glass house when she accuses another commentator of “inciting Americans” with “politics of paranoia.”

Arianna’s spur-of-the-moment defense for this was that HuffPo does not employ the people who are saying such things. As is invariably the case when leftists attempt to draw distinctions to defend their rampaging hypocrisies, it’s a distinction without substance: it’s all vicious paranoia, and she publishes it. Apparently Ms. Huffington thinks that “politics of paranoia” is perfectly acceptable so long as one’s business model includes invited guests rather than paid employees. Fine: I’ll gladly go onto Fox for free and tell the world what Glen Beck is getting paid so handsomely to tell it. I’m sure that would satisfy Arianna.

What Huffington is doing is simply extending the left’s ongoing war against conservative media. The end result of it will be laws outlawing conservative talk if the left ever gets its way. But it’s “paranoia” of me to say so, right? Only leftist warnings against the outcomes of conservative policies are permitted. We have to silence Glen Beck. For the children. To save the planet. To protect civil discourse. Because leftists are the very apex of civil discourse. Arianna says so.


12/29/2009 (5:20 pm)

The Murderous Side of Progressivism

The man talking in this video is Larry Grathwohl, the only law enforcement agent ever to penetrate the Weather Underground. The video is from a documentary entitled “No Place to Hide: The Strategy and Tactics of Terrorism,” produced in 1982 by G. Edward Griffin. Grathwohl, while under cover, was an associate of Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers in their violent heyday, and is relating a discussion held among the leaders of the Weather Underground in those days.

You can read some background material from Grathwohl here, in a Time article from 1975. Griffin, the filmmaker, is a fringe artist, but Grathwohl was a real investigator, and the content is entirely his. The video is badly coordinated with the audio feed, a fact for which I apologize, but can find no way to correct.

Recall that the outcome of the election-year research into the Ayers-Obama connection was that the two of them, along with Rashid Khalidi, had operated in a tight collaboration for at least 20 years, and probably longer. They share a common philosophical background, a common view of the world, and common policy goals. Barack Obama went to great lengths to hide his association with Ayers, lying outright and organizing slander assaults and legal challenges to prevent anybody from discovering their common activities. I wrote about this on the eve of the 2008 election.

The point is, there is no reason to believe that Ayers or any of his associates have changed their views on these matters. While Ayers apparently has abandoned violence as a tactic, his political goals have not changed, nor has he ever renounced anything like what we’re hearing here. What is being discussed is consistent with the actions of progressives when they take over governments; it was carried out in Cuba, in China, in Vietnam, in Cambodia, in North Korea, in Russia, in Albania, in Romania, in Bulgaria, and in East Germany, more or less as described here. And our President, Barack Obama, is a long-time associate and collaborator with him, sharing his political underpinnings and goals.

I’m sure progressives reading this will insist that they intend nothing of the sort — but can they say with certainty that the leaders of their movements do not? And if they examine themselves honestly, will they not find instances where they advocated only marginally less coercive practices to change the political thinking of their opponents, or their opponents’ children? I know I did when I was one of them. And given the examples of Cuba, Vietnam, and Bulgaria, among the rest, what assurance do we have that progressivism here will be less murderous than progressivism there?

wryBobI’ve also been privy to discussions in which fringe environmentalists and ultra-religious earth worshipers agreed that the earth can only comfortably support something like 1/20 the amount of humanity that it currently supports, and agreed also that some cataclysm would come to reduce the population to that level. They actually believe this would be a good thing, the only thing that will save the planet, in fact. This is an extreme of misanthropy, to be sure, but the difference between this and the more mainstream positions on the left, those being touted by the fans of Copenhagen and Kyoto, is a difference of degree, not of type.

All told, the proclivity of world progressives for murder is a great deal scarier than I’m apt to trust. Probably my friends who are progressives will object when the murderous ones come to drag me to a re-education camp. I’m touched by their friendship and honesty, but I don’t find that very reassuring,

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