Monthly Archives: March 2011

Articles for your consideration, and RP please run for the White House

Just before I put out some article submissions, I just want to comment on post we had here on CHT on Ron Paul hinting at his future plans and something I saw on Lew Rockwell the other day about how Iowa and New Hampshire’s winter weather should influence RP to run for the Senate in Texas.  Granted the winters in the North are tough, but so is being a freshman Senator with zero seniority and no committee chairmanship. If RP wishes to run for higher office, it should be for one which can influence the direction of the party for years and years to come even if he doesn’t come close to the White House. Winning the GOP nomination would be very, very valuable for the future. Besides, how can the many RP fans across the country participate in Texas  U.S Senate campaign?

Now for some articles for your consideration:

Is this what Democracy Looks Like?” by Robert Rohlfing

“Does the an Attacker Attacked have a Right to Attack Back?” by J.J. Jackson at Liberty Reborn

“Romans 13 and the Impotent Church” by Chuck Baldwin

“Beyond Free Trade” by Eamonn Fingleton at TAC which we put up on our Anti-KORUS page on Facebook

Order in Japan; Chaos in Haiti

Many bloggers have pointed out the stark contrast between post-earthquake Japan and post-earthquake Haiti.  Even CNN notes:

The layer of human turmoil – looting and scuffles for food or services – that often comes in the wake of disaster seems noticeably absent in Japan.

While post-earthquake Japan exemplifies order and cooperation, post-earthquake Haiti exemplified chaos and anarchy.

Contrast Haiti after its earthquake:

“[Haiti] Sporadic violence, looting and gang-related gunfire broke out under sweltering Caribbean skies even as thousands of US forces awaited deployment from a newly-arrived aircraft carrier sitting in the waters off the city…. In one particularly shocking incident, a looter was spotted hauling a corpse from a coffin at a city cemetery so that he could drive away with the wooden box. There were reports of armed gangs setting up roadblocks to demand money and essential supplies from passing lorries….”

Why is Japan nearly the opposite? Why do order and cooperation rule in Japan? John Derbyshire discusses the differences in terms of human bio diversity and makes a number of points.

(1) Derbyshire notes that racial homogeneity is a necessary condition (not a sufficient condition) for cooperation. Recent evolutionary studies in kin selection suggest that racially homogeneous societies are more likely to engage in altruistic behavior; by helping those with whom you share more genes, you’re securing the survival of more of your genes.   If Japan were ethnically diverse, we probably would not see the same cooperation. But since Haiti is largely homogeneous, homogeneity wouldn’t be a sufficient condition. Thus, we need more explanation.

(2) IQ? While the higher average IQs of the Japanese may help, Derbyshire notes that even Japan probably has probably 20 million lower-IQ people. Why don’t these people loot? (Still, Derb overlooks that the quite low average IQs of Haitians might contribute to Haiti’s disorderliness.)

(3) It is not “the culture.” Derbyshire rightly notes:

“[Saying it is the culture] is epistemically empty — a tautology, in fact — a knee-jerk cant response with no mental processes behind it. “Culture” means “how people customarily behave.” If I ask you why these people are behaving like this and you reply: “It’s their culture,” your reply is equivalent to: “They behave like this because this is how they customarily behave.” Oh. Thanks.”

(4) Finally, Derbyshire concludes:

“Population genetics, as it affects those parts of the nervous system involved in social behavior, together with geography and a long common history, predisposed the Japanese to strong ethnonationalism and social stability in a well-organized and well-supervised hierarchical order.”

In the 10,000 Year Explosion, Cochran and Harpending note that those who evolved over the last 10,000 years in agricultural societies (e.g. Europeans and North Asians) underwent heavy selection for cooperation and docile behavior, while those who evolved in hunter-gather societies (e.g. certain Africans) did not undergo heavy selection for cooperation and docile behavior.  So, a short answer as to why the looting in Haiti and not in Japan: it’s in the genes.

Update:  The intent of this post was not to disregard the seriousness of the current situation in Japan.  Pray they will get everything under control and soon begin the long process of mourning and rebuilding.  The determined and cooperative manner in which the Japanese have conducted themselves throughout this situation is indeed noble.   It’s one of the most impressive things I’ve witnessed.

The Koch takeover of Conservative INC.

Given his good polling numbers and base of support, why is Mike Huckabee so reluctant to try again for the White House? He has as much claim to being a “runner-up” for the 2008 GOP nomination as Mitt Romney does and probably would stand as good or better chance against President Obama in the general election compared to Plastic Man.

When Huckabee boycotted this year’s CPAC gathering this year he cited the increasing “libertarian” bent of CPAC. But this writer feels his reasoning goes a lot deeper than just being offended by the presence of GOProud. It goes to what is increasing become a takeover of the “conservative movement “, (or as it should be referred to as “Conservative INC.”) by Koch brothers Charlie and David, and their vast fortune. This takeover is involves more than just money. It’s a perverse fusion of populist and libertarian idealism to a corporatist agenda which the beneficiaries are Koch and the coporate community.

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The Obama Books Authorship Question: A Casualty of Conspiracy Phobia

One of the reasons that I keep harping on the long form birth certificate issue, despite not technically being a birther, is because I think anti-conspiracy theory hysteria inhibits rational debate even more than default conspiracy theorizing. The tendency to automatically search out and embrace conspiratorial explanations undoubtedly distorts rational debate, but it is the habit of a few. A few that aren’t going anywhere any time soon and who inhabit disproportionately the political “fringe” of both sides, but a few nonetheless. The reason why I believe conspiracy phobia distorts the debate more than conspiracy theorizing is that it is more broadly embraced, particularly by the elites, the media, and the establishment.

A case in point is the debate about the authorship of Obama’s two books, especially the first one, Dreams from My Father. Looked at dispassionately and objectively, the suggestion that Obama didn’t really write Dreams isn’t even a conspiracy theory. It would require no broad complicity. It is simply a rather mundane allegation of fraud and dishonesty. (By a politician? No way!) Obama would hardly be the first politician to have a book ghostwritten, and he will hardly be the last.

But anti-birther hysteria has made any questioning of Obama’s murky background and accomplishments off limits in “polite society” because it automatically gets lumped in with “birtherism,” which is a political hot potato that no one wants to touch. (In addition to the fact that Obama’s race will automatically be attributed as a motive to anyone who raises the question.) So the legitimate and interesting question of the authorship of Obama’s books remains unaddressed by the Mainstream Media due to it falling within the “penumbra” of birtherism. (I don’t have a link at this time, so this is from memory, but I recall the authorship question coming up at a press conferences, and it was dismissed by the President’s spokesman out of hand with some sleazy reference to birtherism. I’ll look for the link.)*

Check out this recent interview at Front Page Mag with Jack Cashill who has addressed the authorship issue more thoroughly than anyone else as far as I am aware. Also check out the new book Cashill wrote on the subject.

So why does the authorship question matter? Like I said above, the allegation that a politician didn’t actually write his book is hardly earth shaking. The reason it matters is because much of the early buzz around Obama before he was elected was that he was some sort of literary genius based on the admittedly well-written Dreams? Well this supposed credential goes away if he didn’t really write it. Also, he made a point to specifically say he wrote it (see the Cashill interview) likely because it is routinely assumed that politicians often don’t. So if he didn’t write it, he blatantly lied. Also, he made a concerted effort in the campaign to distance himself from Bill Ayers, the alleged ghostwriter. If Ayers is in fact his ghostwriter, then Obama blatantly lied about the extent of his relationship with Ayers.

As an aside, Cashill essentially confirms my conspiracy phobia thesis. He says:

FP: How did the media respond?

Cashill: With a shrug.  This did not surprise me.  Real knowledge might just have undermined their commitment to a philosophy so evasive — “Yes, we can?” — they themselves would be at a loss to describe it.  That much I got.  What I did not get was why the “respectable” conservative media were mimicking the turtle-like defenses of their mainstream peers.  I was not asking them to buy my thesis sight unseen but to kick the tires and take it for a test drive. (emphasis mine)

I get it Dr. Cashill. It’s called conspiracy phobia and the intellectual paralyzing and curiosity dampening effect it has on too many timid minds.

*On further investigation, I was thinking about the Social Security Number issue. There are so many mysteries about Obama I can’t keep them all straight.

http://www.antiobamablog.com/2010/06/gibbs-sidesteps-obamas-social-security-number/

How about another war?

Now let’s see — we’ve already tossed over 5,500 American troops into the Afghan and Iraqi meat grinders, killing tens of thousands of innocent people in the process, while running up a $3 trillion debt, and with no gains in national security.

So what do we do? Why, we take another hit of Kristol Meth, that’s what:

Bill Kristol: “I think at this point you probably have to do more than a no fly zone. You probably have to tell Qaddafi he has to stop his movement east and that we are going to use assets to stop him from slaughtering people as he moves east across the country. We might take out his ships in the Mediterranean. We might take out tanks and artillery.”

Who would be insane enough to agree with the thorougly discredited Bill Kristol, the Charlie Sheen of Neoconville?

Oh. Sorry I asked.

The FDA cracks down on genetic testing

As noted by Razib Khan and Henry Harpending, the FDA is attempting to crack down on genetic testing.  Khan writes:

In the very near future you may be forced to go through a “professional” to get access to your genetic information. Professionals who will be well paid to “interpret” a complex morass of statistical data which they barely comprehend. Let’s be real here: someone who regularly reads this blog (or Dr. Daniel MacArthur or Misha’s blog) knows much more about genomics than 99% of medical doctors. And yet someone reading this blog does not have the guild certification in the eyes of the government to “appropriately” understand their own genetic information. Someone reading this blog will have to pay, either out of pocket, or through insurance, someone else for access to their own information. Let me repeat: the government and professional guilds which exist to defend the financial interests of their members are proposing that they arbitrate what you can know about your genome. A friend with a background in genomics emailed me today: “If they succeed in ramming this through, then you will not be able to access your own damn genome without a doctor standing over your shoulder.” That is my fear. Is it your fear? Do you care?

N.B.  On a related note, The Economist two years ago predicted a crisis in human genetics:

Human geneticists have reached a private crisis of conscience, and it will become public knowledge in 2010. The crisis has depressing health implications and alarming political ones. In a nutshell: the new genetics will reveal much less than hoped about how to cure disease, and much more than feared about human evolution and inequality, including genetic differences between classes, ethnicities and races.

We will also identify the many genes that create physical and mental differences across populations, and we will be able to estimate when those genes arose. Some of those differences probably occurred very recently, within recorded history. Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending argued in “The 10,000 Year Explosion” that some human groups experienced a vastly accelerated rate of evolutionary change within the past few thousand years, benefiting from the new genetic diversity created within far larger populations, and in response to the new survival, social and reproductive challenges of agriculture, cities, divisions of labour and social classes. Others did not experience these changes until the past few hundred years when they were subject to contact, colonisation and, all too often, extermination.

 

Next stage Wisconsin

So what’s next for the conflict in Wisconsin now that legislature has stripped public employee unions of their right to collective bargaining?  Well this struggle will now go from the capitol square in Madison to the ballot box. Various elections, reacall or otherwise  will take place through the rest of the year which test the strength of how deep the backlash is to this proposal. And of course we haven’t even begun hearings on the actual budget itself, whose cuts may very well devastate much of rural Wisconsin. There’re proposals to have public budget hearings in the Kohl Center in Madison and the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, two basketball arenas which seat over 17,000 people. So no, this isn’t going away anytime soon.

Why did the GOP make such a potentially illegal move in the legislature to pass this, especially when they could have done so anytime they wanted to in this process at lot sooner? I’m sure they knew this tactic was available to them. The reason I suspect is their collective fear the longer this dragged out with public opinion in the state turning against them, the more chance other members of the caucus besides one would vote against the governor’s proposal. Better to do so now and damn the torpedoes and take their chances.

But before one dances around the funeral pyre of unionism, I would give you Exhibit A, which is the city of Austin, Minn. In 1985-86, the private meatpackers union went on strike against Hormel which wanted to slash their wages and benefits. The strike was a failure and the union busted. Now for a while, there were people willing to work at Hormel for less than half of what their fathers made working in the good old days of the 1950s and 60s (even the 70s were a paradise if you ask people in Austin). But then came the great economic boom of the 1990s and people who could afford to be choosy decided what Hormel paid to be a meatpacker wasn’t worth potentially getting their hands sliced up. So Hormel had a hard time finding workers in the area to man their plant. Now, instead of raising wages to make the job attractive again to a perspective laborer, you know what they did? They imported their workforce from Mexico! Yes, there were actually people who were willing to work even less than subsistence wages just to experience the miracle of modern indoor plumbing even if the winters were just a little bit colder than they were normally used to. And anyone who called Hormel on this was labeled a “racist”.

So the “free market” in this case didn’t exactly create an economic paradise of low taxes and high wages. Instead, it was a force of, how shall we put it? “creative reconstruction” which basically created barrios in many medium-sized towns like Austin across southern Minnesota and turned the once solidly Republican First Congressional District into one the DFL can compete and win in more often than not. And there are probably lots of other examples of those in communities all across the country, especially when it concerned the food industry.

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Ron Paul Hints at Another Run

Ron Paul is hinting at another Presidential run.

“I’ve been as up front as I can on this because there’s no doubt I’ve thought about it, because people make me think about it.” Paul told Libertarian radio host Lew Rockwell yesterday.

“I do feel a personal obligation to so many who have placed a fair amount of trust in me to continue this fight.” Paul said.

“So it is a possibility, as it always has been, but its also a major major decision on my part for personal reasons, for political reasons, and it just is very tedious.” the Congressman added.

Rumours of a presidential run have been bolstered by the fact that the Congressman is embarking on several speaking appearances this month, alongside other potential Republican candidates such as Newt Gingrich, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Articles for your consideration

From new contributor Harry Beadle:  “The Fallacy of Human Rights”

From Robert Rohlfling: “Top-Down Lies”, and “The Fires of Unrest” and “Facing Harsh Realities” at his website the Drumbeat of Liberty

From SARTRE: “Populism, Progressives and Public Unions” at the website BATR along with “Is Gaddafi and Oil Baron?”

From J.J. Jackson: “The Republicans are going all Thomas Jefferson on us”  at his website “Liberty Reborn”

Fr0m Chuck Baldwin: “Remembering the Alamo” at Chhuck Baldwin Live

Dave Weigel had a nice piece in Slate about conservatives and trains which isn’t self-gratuitous.

The Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus gets it right about the radical Islam hearings.

Think gas prices are bad now? Wait until Middle East unrest hits Saudi Arabia, especially if there is a Shiite rebellion as this article at Lew Rockwell.com explains

Blowback strikes again according to Dr. Srdja Trifkovic at Chronicles

It’s Libya’s war, not ours says Pat Buchanan at TAC . Amen.

Happy Ash Wednesday!

 

 

Warmongering Obama Regime Considers War in Libya

The warmongering Obama Regime is gearing up for interventionism in Libya. Having increased Bush’s military budgets two years in a row and having expanded the “war on terror” to half the Middle East, the Obama regime, with the support of both neocons and neoliberals, now contemplates war in Libya.

The Week reports:

“Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), an Obama ally and the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also warns of failing to prevent a slaughter. Obama says he’s considering “a range of potential options, including potential military options.” Can Obama delay taking action much longer? Should he?”

Perhaps Libya will prove to be the entry into Africa from which Obama can wage war in Darfur, something the Obama regime has long desired to do.

Although US Defence Secretary Robert Gates denies there’s a “rift” between the Obama regime and himself, it appears otherwise. Pat Buchanan writes:

Pushed by neoconservatives to institute a no-fly zone over Libya, Gates retorted: “Let’s just call a spade a spade. A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya.” To sustain it would require at least two aircraft carriers. Why is Libya’s civil war our problem?

Yes, why is Libya’s civil war our problem?  Apparently, for the warmongering Obama regime, no problem is too small for the US to remain uninvolved.

Update: In fact, contrary to the wishes of the Obama regime to topple Gaddafi, there are real reasons why a pro-Westerner would wish for Gaddafi to stay in power (even while remaining uninvolved).

The “a-political,” “neutral,” government-funded NPR shows its true colors

CBS:   Conservative activist James O’Keefe, whose deceptively edited hidden camera videos have made him a star on the right, is out with a new video targeting National Public Radio executive Ron Schiller – and by extension NPR itself. The video purports to show Schiller speaking to a pair of men posing as representatives of a phony Muslim group called seeking to give $5 million to NPR. The men tell Schiller they are affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist political movement… Schiller goes on to say that the “xenophobic” Tea Party has hijacked the GOP and calls them “white, middle-America, gun-toting – I mean, it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.” [Continue reading....]

Trading Away Sovereignty

Trading Away Sovereignty

By Virgil Goode, American Conservative, March 7, 2011

Last week, the New York Times reported that Obama received received “rare bipartisan praise” from Republicans when he signed the South Korean Free Trade agreement, known as KORUS, last December. However Republicans stalled congressional approval of the agreement, largely because of “partisan feuding,” in part because Republicans want even more free trade agreements with Columbia and Panama.

While I am glad that KORUS is stalled, Republicans should oppose it on principle because it creates a globalist bureaucracy that will cost hundreds of thousands of American jobs, not because of partisan bickering over how quickly we expand these globalist agreements.

Republican supporters of KORUS claim that the agreement is about promoting capitalism, free markets, and free trade. The truth is that this agreement does not promote free markets. On the contrary, it will make American businesses more regulated.

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Update:  If you haven’t done so already, please sign the petition at Stop US-Korea NAFTA.

Huckabee’s Kenya Gaffe and George Will’s Pompous Establishment Shilling

Recently Huckabee made news when he said the President grew up in Kenya. He later corrected himself and said he meant Indonesia, where Obama actually did spend some time as a child. I don’t doubt that Huckabee misspoke, but this incident doesn’t speak well for him as I explain below. But George Will has now chimed in on the gaffe and is at his pompous, condescending, elitist worst. Ostensibly the article is about potential Republican contenders for 2012, but Will can’t help but take a swipe at Huckabee over the Kenya misstatement.

Daniel Larison has commented on the article here.

Below is the comment I made on Daniel’s website. What I say regarding the birth certificate issue I have said here several times before, but at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will continue to say it. My position seems so commonsensical to me that I have a hard time believing that opposition to it is motivated by genuine disagreement on the issue. Maybe that makes me pompous and condescending, the same thing I accuse Will of being, but if so, so be it. I’m just irked by the whole unnecessarily toxic dynamic surrounding the birth certificate issue.

This is George Will at his condescending, elitist, inside-the-beltway worst.

The (One) problem with Huckabee’s answer was that it indicated he hasn’t really been keeping up with the birth certificate issue, and seemed to be just babbling off the top of his head about some peripheral issues he was remotely familiar with. I don’t expect Huckabee to necessarily be an expert on the Obama birth certificate controversy, but I do expect someone who holds himself up to be a conservative commentator to be at least somewhat familiar with the issue. How could he not be? Is he that insulated and/or incurious? (Or dense? ~ Not in original.)

I have never believed that Obama was born in Kenya. That has never made logistical or any other kind of sense. (Especially when you consider that his mother’s marriage to BO Senior seems to have been mostly a sham anyway.) But I do think BO should release his long form birth certificate because people are rightly curious about it and there is no good reason he shouldn’t.

What Huckabee should have known if he was remotely familiar with the issue is that the focus has shifted away (for the curious and thoughtful who are not already convinced “birthers”) from BO being born in Kenya to a more generalized “What is he hiding?” given all the many documents he refuses to release. This is clearly what the talk radio host was driving at, and Huckabee could have fielded the question easily with a simple “Yeah, I’m curious to see those things too.”

Will is typical of what I call taint phobics of which conspiracy phobics are a subset. They are so concerned about their reputation (they will claim they are worried about the brand, but what they are really worried about is their own status), that they run screaming from any whiff of the disreputable -”racism,” conspiracy theories, the gold standard, etc. – and then point and mock from a distance like a bunch of children on the playground.

The problem with this mindset (besides indicating the person who has it is a suck up) is that it distorts your ability to think objectively and rationally about an issue to the same degree that the automatic embrace of conspiratorial explanations does.

To want to see the long form birth certificate and the many other things Obama has refused to release is the naturally curious, intuitive response, and it has to be actively suppressed by conspiracy phobia. But it shouldn’t be up to conservative talk radio hosts or potential Presidential candidates to raise the issue. That is the job of our worthless press corp, whose incuriousity about these issues has to be willful.

Boiled down to it’s most basic my position is this: Obama should authorize the release of his long form birth certificate. How can anyone disagree with that? I don’t get it.

CNN Broaches Subject Forbidden by Thought Police: Are Whites Racially Oppressed?

CNN broaches subject forbidden by Thought Police:

Are Whites Racially Oppressed?

John Blake, CNN, March 4, 2011

They marched on Washington to reclaim civil rights. They complained of voter intimidation at the polls. They called for ethnic studies programs to promote racial pride. They are, some say, the new face of racial oppression in this nation — and their faces are white.

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- A Texas group recently formed the “Former Majority Association for Equality” to offer college scholarships to needy white men. Colby Bohannan, the group’s president, says white men don’t have scholarship options available to minorities. “White males are definitely not a majority” anymore, he says. Continue reading