Islamists are rising in America while we sleep by Allen West

This week we covered two key stories that I’m quite certain aren’t getting much play: the rejection of Muslim women’s advocate Ayaan Hirsi Ali by Brandeis University and the Muslim Brotherhood forming a political bloc in America.

We are indeed witnessing the rise of Islamists in America. How has it come to this, that such a small minority has gained such a powerful political voice and influence? How is it that an organization like the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is even allowed to exist in our Republic?

It’s simple, we have become so damn politically correct that a vile organization that was an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest Islamic terrorist funding case in America can thumb its nose and by intimidation and coercion deny free speech and freedom of expression in our country. We have fallen under the spell of the bumper sticker “coexist” and have failed to heed the lessons of history.

What is even worse, we have failed to even take this enemy — yep, I mean it –enemy to heart for what they have openly stated their objective to be. Just read the Strategic Memorandum discovered in 1991 if you still have any doubts.

However, most importantly, we have seen a class of political cowards who castigate those of us who recognize this enemy as “Islamophobes” and “extremists.”

And why is that possible? Because we refuse to develop our own energy independence so that we can tell OPEC and the 56 nations of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to get bent. Instead, they use our petrodollars to hold us hostage, fund their Islamic terrorism, export their materiel propaganda, and worst of all, buy off American political cowards.

We need to follow the money in America from these Islamist organizations to any politician and defeat them. We then need to find courageous men and women who will be relentless in identifying these Islamist infiltrators and their enablers, and ban them from operating in our country. If the Egyptians can categorize the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, so should the United States of America. And in turn, classify those groups associated and listed in the Strategic Memorandum of the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organizations and cease their operations in America.

This is no laughing matter. It is not about “freedom of religion” — as a matter of fact, Islam stopped being a religion in 622 when Muhammad decided to undertake the “”hejira” (migration) and departed Mecca for Medina.

When he returned to Mecca in 628 it was after breaking the Treaty of Hudaibiya and massacring the occupants of Mecca in the Battle of the Trenches. Thus began the violent march of the theocratic-political totalitarian system, a global scourge for the past 1400 years known as Islam. America battled this enemy in the Barbary Wars, first from 1801-1805, and then in 1815. The specter of the past has returned, but do we have a Jefferson and Madison who will give the order to crush this enemy — or will we continue down the path with feckless, accommodating, and acquiescing leadership which offers the throat of our Republic to this rabid barbaric foe?

If there is one thing that is bipartisan it is the failure of Democrat and Republican senior elected officials to confront this enemy — and therefore they exploit this weakness.

I cannot say this often and enough: When tolerance becomes a one-way street, it leads to cultural suicide.

Sorry, I ain’t going down this way, and to Nihad Awad, Ibrahim Hooper, and all the other Muslim Brotherhood facilitators and Islamists in America — enjoy it for now, but your dawg don’t hunt!

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.

Students protest public school’s Day of Silence with “Gay is not OK” T-Shirts

Ian Parker, KATU News Oregon City, Oregon, reports, “Students wearing anti-gay T-shirts to class disrupted Oregon City High School’s celebration of unity Friday. Friday was National Day of Silence. It’s where students take some form of silence to call attention to the bullying of the LGBT community in schools. Two students told KATU News that if the school is supporting Day of Silence, then they have the right to speak out against it.”

They wore T-shirts to school that said, “Gay Is Not Ok” and “Gay Day Is Not OK,” which is a reference to Day of Silence. They sought out a KATU reporter to be interviewed.

Dr. Judith Reisman has decried the Day of Silence as a direct assault “on traditional parental, American values.” Dr. Reisman in her column How teachers’ “attitude restructuring” is hypersexualizing your kids notes:

The whole purpose of these “sex positive” programs is not to liberate adults from their Victorian moral prisons but to indoctrinate children into an unrestrained, sexually available lifestyle. Even if such “programs” are not being taught in all schools yet, this material has been made available on multiple websites and are widely promoted to all, regardless of age. The Kinsey Institute, SIECUS, Planned Parenthood, AASECT and others all provide, or recommend, sites that extoll the virtues of unrestrained sexual experimentation.

Is it any wonder that youthful STDs, pregnancies, abortions and abuse are pandemic?

Which brings us to one of the big lies spread by these organizations: safe/safer sex.

“I’m not comfortable with you guys making a whole day about what you believe,” said Alex Borho, a senior. “So if you’re going to make a whole day out of it and not talk and a have a ‘moment of silence,’ then I can wear my T-shirt.” They claim they’ve received a lot of support from other students at Oregon City High, but most of the students KATU spoke to said it’s the shirts that are “not okay.”

So, freedom of speech is not OK? Watch this KATU video news report:

According to Wikipedia:

In 2005, the Alliance Defense Fund began sponsoring a yearly counter-protest called the Day of Truth.”Events like these actually end up promoting homosexuality in public schools, and that actually creates a hostile climate for students of faith,” said Candi Cushman, an education analyst for Focus on the Family. A card carried by participants in the Day of Truth reads: “true tolerance means that people with differing—even opposing—viewpoints can freely exchange ideas and respectfully listen to each other. It’s time for an honest conversation about homosexuality. There’s freedom to change if you want to. Let’s talk.”

Other socially conservative organizations, including the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, Mission America, Traditional Values Coalition, Americans for Truth, and Liberty Counsel, opposed the Day of Silence in 2008 by forming a coalition urging parents to keep their kids home on the DOS if students at their school were observing it. The Rev. Ken Hutcherson, the principal supporter of those who skipped school, said, “We want education, not indoctrination.”

[ … ]

In April 2010, in opposition to the Day of Silence, several students in Laingsburg High School in Laingsburg, Michigan wore t-shirts stating “Straight Pride” on the front side and bore a reference to Leviticus 20:13 on the back. That Bible verse refers to homosexual behavior as an abomination and prescribes death as the penalty for it. The same protest, which was organized on a Facebook group, also took place in the St. Johns and Bath school districts.

On October 6, 2010, CNN reported that Exodus International, which promotes “freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ”, would not support the 2011 annual Day of Truth as the organization had done in 2010. President Alan Chambers stated, “All the recent attention to bullying helped us realize that we need to equip kids to live out biblical tolerance and grace while treating their neighbors as they’d like to be treated, whether they agree with them or not.”

In 2011, Focus on the Family acquired the “Day of Truth” event and renamed it into the “Day of Dialogue”. As of 2012, the Day of Dialogue website stated: “Now it boasts a new name, while maintaining the same goal it’s always had since its founding — encouraging honest and respectful conversation among students about God’s design for sexuality.”

EDITORS NOTE: The feature image is courtesy of KATU News.

Captain America Winter Soldier: Based on President Obama, John Kerry and Bill Ayers?

I went to see the latest episode in the Marvel series of movies titled “Captain America: Winter Soldier“.  I am a fan of Captain America because he epitomizes what is good about the American soldier – loyal, brave, dedicated to the nation and its defense. Captain America has a greatest generation mindset of duty, honor, country that serves him well in the 21st century. He is a soldier battling evil, where ever he finds it. In the case of the Winter Soldier movie the enemy is from within.

As I was watching it there were three names that came to mind: President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Bill Ayers. But why?

Captain America: Winter Soldier is based on foiling a plot to launch “Operation Insight.” Operation Insight consists of three heavily armed Helicarriers linked to spy satellites, which are designed to preemptively eliminate political threats in America.   Mother Jones Mixed Media writer Asawin Suebsaeng published a column titled “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” Is About Obama’s Terror-Suspect Kill List, Say the Film’s Directors.” Suebsaeng writes, “There are currently no plans to screen Captain America: The Winter Soldier at the White House, as far as the film’s directors have heard. But if it makes it to the White House family theater, President Obama would be watching one big-budget, action-packed, and Scarlett Johansson-starring critique of his controversial terror-suspect ‘kill list.’ This isn’t me reading things into a mainstream comic-book movie. It’s what the directors themselves will tell you.”

I came away with the same impression. However, Operation Insight is more than just President Obama’s kill list, it is about all of those realities hitting Americans like: the Bundy Ranch standoff in Nevada, IRS targeting of conservative groups, NSA data collection on Americans and allies on a massive scale, and the growing use of drones domestically for “law enforcement and national security purposes.”

In the movie Winter Soldier the main antagonist is Alexander Goodwin Pierce, played by Robert Redford. Pierce is a member of the intelligence community who works his way up to become a senior member of the group that has the mission to implement Operation Insight. Pierce is referred to several times in the movie as Mr. Secretary. Secretary of State John Forbes Kerry reminded me of the protagonist Alexander Goodwin Pierce.

I remember how in 1971 Kerry speaking before a US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations said, “We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have to be winter soldiers now.” The intent of the Winter Soldier Investigation  was to publicize war crimes and atrocities by the United States Armed Forces and their allies during the Vietnam War. The result was the fueling of massive anti-war protests leading to the eventual withdrawal of all US forces from South Vietnam. Within a few years South Vietnam fell to the Communist North Vietnamese.

The Winter Soldier Investigation was funded by actress Jane Fonda and Mark Lane an American attorney and former New York state legislator, civil rights activist, and Vietnam war crimes investigator. The support of antiwar celebrities was considered crucial to generate both money and publicity. A series of benefit productions, Acting in Concert for Peace, were created and featured performances by Jane Fonda, Dick Gregory, Donald Sutherland, and Barbara Dane. Two concerts by Crosby and Nash, as well as folk singer Phil Ochs, also raised funds.

John Forbes Kennedy is today’s winter soldier, working, some say, against the national interests of the United States.

Finally we come to Bill Ayers, supporter of President Barack Obama and a force behind the implementation of Common Core State Standards in our public schools. In the movie Operation Insight’s sole purpose is to eliminate those politically opposed to the administration – an estimated 20-25 million people – who are suspected of standing against the protagonists.

This reminded me of a October 2008 article in The New American by William F. Jasper about FBI informant Larry Grathwohl. Grathwohl infiltrated the Weathermen and Weather Underground led by Bill Ayers and Bernadette Doran. In the 1982 video documentary No Place to Hide: The Strategy and Tactics of Terrorism, Grathwohl explains that the Weathermen actually believed that they would be successful in overthrowing the U.S. government and that, with the help of the Cubans, Chinese, Russians, and North Vietnamese, they would occupy America. Americans would have to be “re-educated” in camps, similar to what the communists did in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and other countries they had taken over. Here is one of the chilling revelations Larry Grathwohl made in the film:

Grathwohl asked the Weather Underground leaders, “Well what is going to happen to those people we can’t reeducate, that are diehard capitalists?” And the reply was that they’d have to be eliminated.

And when I pursued this further, they estimated they would have to eliminate 25 million people in these reeducation centers.

And when I say “eliminate,” I mean “kill.”

Twenty-five million people.

I want you to imagine sitting in a room with 25 people, most of which have graduate degrees, from Columbia and other well-known educational centers, and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people and they were dead serious.

Given events unfolding today, are President Obama, Secretary Kerry and Bill Ayers todays “winter soldiers”? I will leave it to you to answer that question.

Hail Hydra!

RELATED STORY: News Flash: General Bundy Defeats the FedCoats at Bunkerville!

RELATED VIDEO: HIDDEN AGENDA: No Place to Hide – Strategy of Terrorism courtesy of UFO TV:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/GV0uu4bIC6w[/youtube]

 

On October 28, 2008, Bob Owens of pajamasmedia.com published a recent interview he had conducted with Grathwohl, expanding on his statements in No Place to Hide 26 years ago.

Here is a portion of the interview, which can be read in entirety at PajamasMedia.com.

Pajamas Media: You stated in your interview in No Place to Hide that you wanted us to “imagine sitting in a room with 25 people, most of which have graduate degrees, from Columbia and other well-known educational centers, and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people.” A lot of people have now had the opportunity to listen to you and contemplate the horrors these people planned. Can you recall who these people are by name, and who the ringleaders of this plan were?

Larry Grathwohl: Conversations regarding this occurred in Cincinnati, Detroit, Flint, and Buffalo. Participants included Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Mark Rudd, Linda Evans, Jeff Jones, and many others.

Pajamas Media: Was this merely an academic matter to them, or were they serious about killing 25 million Americans that would not bend to their political will?

Larry Grathwohl: I suppose you could consider this a purely academic discussion in that the Weathermen never had the opportunity to implement their political ends. However, I can assure you that this was not the case. There was an absolute belief that they, along with the international revolutionary movement, would cause the collapse of the United States and that they would be in charge. Nixon was of great concern and how his end would be conducted. This may sound absurd in today’s context, but the Weatherman believed they would succeed….

Pajamas Media: Scattered news accounts on the Internet note that you were instrumental in foiling Weather Underground attacks in February of 1970, in Detroit. The Weathermen built two bombs targeting the Detroit Police Officers’ Association (DPOA) building and the 13th Precinct. Were the goals of these attacks symbolic property damage as were some other Weathermen attacks, or were these targets selected to kill police officers?

Larry Grathwohl: The instructions I received from Billy Ayers was that the bombs to be used in Detroit must have shrapnel (fence staples, specifically) and fire potential (propane bottles). The intention was to kill police officers….

Pajamas Media: One of the Detroit bombs was to be placed on the side of the DPOA building, and the blast was likely to cause damage to the adjacent Red Barn Restaurant, which had mostly African-American customers. Who ordered the attack, and what did he say when you told him that innocent civilians would be killed?

Larry Grathwohl: When I objected to Billy Ayers that more innocent people would be killed in the restaurant, he replied, “Innocent people have to die in a revolution.” Billy also acknowledged during a criticism session in Buffalo that Bernadine placed the bomb at the Park Police Station which resulted in the death of Police Officer McDonnell.

Pajamas Media: Bill Ayers came out of hiding around 1980, became a college professor, and has served on numerous boards and foundations. Do you think he’s changed in his radicalism?

Larry Grathwohl: Has Billy changed? I hardly think so.

Jasper noted in 2008:

After a decade of bombings and life on the run as a fugitive terrorist, Ayers decided to resurface. Due to technicalities, he got off scot-free. Ayers remains completely unrepentant and is, among other things, an avid fan of Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez, whose guest he has been — more than once. In an interview with journalists David Horowitz and Peter Collier (who were comrades of his in SDS [Students for a Democratic Society], but have since converted to the right) Ayers exulted: “Guilty as hell, free as a bird — America is a great country.” In a 2001 New York Times interview he said: “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.”

Ayers and his former SDS and Weather Undergound comrades are now training a new generation of “activists” through New Students for a Democratic Society (NSDS), ACORN, and other militant leftist groups that are backing Obama.

For information about the Obama-Ayers connection, see William F. Jasper’s article “Obama’s Terrorist Ties and Radical Roots.”

April 16th: First Anniversary of Terrorist Attack on Metcalf, CA Electric Power Substation

A year has passed since the terrorist attack on the Metcalf, CA electric substation. These events are significant and experts say that this type of attack will most certainly happen again. Two reports sound the alarm of the vulnerability of America’s electrical grid system. Some portray our grid as “America’s Achilles heel.”

CBS News reports, “PG&E announced Thursday [April 10, 2014] a $250,000 reward for the capture and conviction of suspects responsible for damaging a substation near San Jose last year by using sniper rifles to knock out 17 transformers. Nearly a year has passed since the April 16, 2013, attack on the Metcalf Transmission Substation, but investigators have released few new details since then as to who may have committed the attack or what their motives might have been. The attack caused more than $15 million in damage.”

So what has been done to protect America’s electrical grid? Answer: Not much.

The Center for Security Policy is concerned by the lack of action to protect “the grid.” CFSP warns if the attack had been successful, “The power to Silicon Valley and parts of the San Francisco Bay area could have been disrupted, possibly for a protracted period.  And, since the perpetrators got away, it must be assumed that they are in a position to try again with perhaps catastrophic effect against a still-vulnerable electric grid. Preventing such a disruption – whether from man-induced causes or naturally occurring solar storms – must be a national priority.”

CFSP is so concerned that they are hosting a panel on this issue. Panel members include: Hon. Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives (by video); Hon. Pete Sessions (R-TX), Chairman, House Rules Committee; Hon.Trent Franks (R-AZ), Co-Chairman, House EMP Caucus (by video); Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, former Staff Member, Congressional EMP Threat Commission; Michael Del Rosso, former Chairman, IEEE Critical Infrastructure Committee; and MG Robert Newman, former Adjutant General of Virginia. The panel will be held at the Reserve Officers Association, 1 Constitution Avenue, NE, Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 3–4:30 pm.

Brian T. Kennedy, President of the Claremont Institute, in a recent speech titled “Early Warning: The Continuing Need for National Defense” notes:

Last April 16, just outside of San Jose, California, a group of terrorists or soldiers, operating on American soil, attacked the Metcalf transmission substation in a military action aimed at disabling a part of America’s electrical infrastructure. The operation began at 1:00 a.m., when the attackers cut underground fiber optic cables, disabling communications and security systems. Thirty minutes later, using high-powered rifles, they began a 20-minute assault on the substation’s extra-large transformer and the cooling system that supports it. Police arrived at 1:50, but the shooters disappeared into the night. To this day there is no trace of them.

John Wellinghoff, then chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, would call this attack “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving [America’s electrical] grid that has ever occurred.” Obviously it was a professional operation by skilled marksmen—estimates of the number of gunmen range from two to six—with training in reconnaissance, stealth, and evasion. That the plan went undetected, the casings from the spent shells bore no fingerprints, and the perpetrators have not been caught, suggests a high degree of intelligence. Damage to the facility forced electricity to be rerouted to maintain the integrity of power transmission to the Silicon Valley, and repairs took several months.

The political response to the attack ranged from an immediate dismissal by the FBI of the idea that it was a terrorist act—puzzling given its sophistication and its proximity in time to the Boston bombing—to recognition by a bipartisan but small group of U.S. Senators and Representatives that defending America’s electrical grid is an urgent priority. Although there are over 100,000 transformers of all sizes throughout the grid, the destruction of less than two dozen key large transformers—which weigh hundreds of tons, are transported on special rail cars, and are mostly produced in Korea—would cause a catastrophic failure that would blackout the United States. Such is the vulnerability of the system. [Emphasis added]

Kennedy warns of our vulnerability to attacks by terrorists, Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) from the low air detonation of a nuclear weapon and solar flares. Kennedy fails to mention the higher probability of cyber attacks against our electrical grid.

If you Google the words “cyber attacks” you will get 164 million results. So where is our government on defending you and me against this growing peril? According to experts like John Jorgenson, CEO and founding partner of  the Sylint Group, our government is woefully behind the times in capability and capacity to deal with the threat of cyber attacks let alone the cyber warfare being conducted on a global scale by nation states such as China, Russia, North Korea and Iran.

Today the cry across America is the cyber attacks are coming, the cyber attacks are coming! But no one is taking action. No one that is except those few who, like Jorgenson, truly understand the catastrophic nature of the threat.

Jorgensen states, “America’s electrical grid has been compromised.” What does this mean? It means that foreign entities have placed malware on computers that control American electrical power stations, including nuclear power plants.

If the power goes out at any nuclear power plant, which depends on electrical pumps to cool the reactors, then – well you get the picture!

Kennedy ends by quoting a speech given by Abraham Lincoln in 1838:

All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

“As a nation of freemen today, we are courting suicide by ignoring clear and present dangers. Our elected representatives have eyes but do not see, and they have ears but do not hear. We must awaken ourselves, and then awaken them, before it is too late,” warns Kennedy.

About the Center for Security Policy

The Center for Security Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security and then ensures that such issues are the subject of both focused, principled examination and effective action by recognized policy experts, appropriate officials, opinion leaders, and the general public. For more information visit www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org.

RELATED STORIES:

California Nightmare: We Must Fix the Power Grid-Now
How the U.S. Power Grid Is Like a Big Pile of Sand – NationalJournal.com

Keep Unions Out of College Athletics

We’ve been raised to compete, to want more! More! More! It’s a way of life. It’s about greed. — Sandy Duncan, actress, singer

And so, the label “amateur” will likely be lifted from college football players very soon. No more is it about earning scholarships, attaining a college education, and working hard at a sport in order to pay for that education. It’s all about greed.

Gimme, gimme, gimme.

The National Labor Relations Board issued a ruling in March declaring football players from Northwestern as “employees” of the university and therefore the right to form a union.

What?

That’s like saying tuba players in the band are employees of the college. Maybe even swimmers, cheerleaders and chess players. After all, they all compete, they all enhance the “sporting” events and they all work hard.

Yes, football players work hard at their sport. But they are not employees! They are students of a college or university who – in most situations – must maintain a particular grade average in order to be granted the privilege to compete.

Now, a mighty foot has wedged into the proverbial door for unions to take over college sports. It may start with football, but don’t think for a minute this won’t spill over to basketball, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling and more, even beyond sports.

For their hard work and training, many football players have earned scholarships at institutions of higher learning, which is worth a lot of money, not only in tuitions but in achieving an education that will prepare them for profitable careers in later life. There’s the reward.

Some outstanding players are often cherry-picked into the big leagues where millions of dollars are bestowed upon them as a pro. That’s another reward for being great at their sport.

But until then, the kids are primarily students. Other than teachers, there is no place in amateur/university sports for unions. Union power will eventually translate in to sport domination, collective bargaining and if they deem necessary, strikes and sit-downs. And it will reach out to all other extra-curriculum activities on campus.

Talk about opening Pandora’s box.

Collective bargaining will translate to higher and higher salaries, which will create the need for new sources of funding. Network television is already established and on board. So where will that come from?

Ticket sales. Vendor costs.

Today’s pro baseball and football, ticket prices have soared out of sight to where the average family can barely afford a day at the ball game, unless they sit in the bleachers over center field or the end zone. The bulk of good seating is reserved for corporations, politicians, and clients of all sizes and shapes of money bags.

Fortunately, prices for attending amateur school games have not hit the stratosphere – yet. But wait until the costs of ball players generate the need for revenue – revenue which the average Joe cannot afford.

Going to college is first and foremost about attaining education. Sports and their associated events are an important element of college life, but it’s not a “profession.” If kids wish to dodge education and go for the big bucks, they can always apply for the pros once out of high school.

Amy Perko, Executive Director of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics said, “Universities and the NCAA, not unions, need to be the ones to guarantee benefits, like multi-year scholarships.”

When it comes to students, regardless of their extra curricula, unions should be kept out of the universities and colleges. To say that students who play sports are an “employee” of the school, is not only absurd, it’s nothing but a money-grubbing ploy to destroy the spirit of school sports now and forever…not only for the kids, but the families and spectators as well.

Amy Perko enunciates many of the benefits that college athletes should be entitled to, outside of being paid “salaries” as an employee. Watch the video:

RELATED STORIES:

College Players Granted Right to Form Union – NYTimes.com

College Athletes Granted the Right to Unionize—Is This the End of the NCAA? | Alternet

The Positive Nature of Risk: Removing or Shifting Risk by Government Fiat Is Not a Panacea by CHRISTOPHER MAYER

There would be no risk if the future were known and all of one’s plans played out exactly as expected. Because of pervasive uncertainty, a variety of risks permeates all human endeavors.

It is a common human desire to want to feel secure, to want to avoid as much risk as possible and live a comfortable, protected life. But different people deal with risk in different ways. Not all people are risk-avoiders.

For example, artists take risks with each work. In his Lectures on Shakespeare, W.H. Auden draws a distinction between a minor writer and a major one. This distinction hinges on the writer’s appetite for risk-taking and his ability to break new ground. A minor writer (Auden used the example of the poet A.E. Housman) is one who finds his niche and sticks to it. “The minor writer never risks failure,” Auden states. On the other hand, the major writer, like Shakespeare, pushes himself to discover new problems and try new things. In a word, the major writer takes risks. According to Auden, “Shakespeare is always prepared to risk failure. Troilus and Cressida, Measure for Measure, and All’s Well that Ends Well don’t quite come off, whereas almost every poem of Housman does.” Yet Shakespeare risked enough so that his successes have earned him almost universal acclaim as a great writer.

The same can be said of musicians. Great jazz artists like Charlie Parker and Miles Davis pushed their art in new and different directions, taking risks when they had no assurance they would succeed. Their experimental play earned them places in the pantheon of jazz immortals.

Gamblers are other examples of people who willingly take risks. In fact, gamblers who frequent the gaming tables create risks in playing various games. Sometimes they are lucky. The tale of Charles Wells is a case in point. In 1891 Wells gained fame by “breaking the bank” at Monte Carlo three times in one year. One evening he played the wheel and left his chips on the number 5, with the odds 36 to 1. The number five came up five times in a row. He walked out with the equivalent of over one million dollars. He was written up in the newspapers and even had a song about him (“The man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo”). Ironically, Wells would die broke.

In any event, whatever happens to the artist or to the gambler happens to him alone (and perhaps his backers, should he have any). In other words, if Shakespeare wrote a clinker, Ben Jonson didn’t have to come out of pocket to support him. In a similar way, the gambler who loses his shirt has no claim against sober individuals who choose not to gamble. Conversely, Shakespeare’s fame is his alone and the gambler’s winnings are his too.

However sensible this arrangement seems, it often does not prevail in the modern world where collectivist thinking is rampant. In real life successful people indirectly support those who are unsuccessful. In some cases successful people do this voluntarily by contributing their time and money to charity. But more often, successful people support others whether they want to or not, since their pockets are regularly picked by government officials of every stripe. The government encourages the illusion of a mighty shield that will protect people from their own imprudence and misfortune rather than let them take care of themselves, which would require them to save, to plan, and to be prudent.

The existence of a forced safety net, or a support system not voluntarily funded, warps the normal incentives and changes people’s behavior, in perverse ways.

Banking and Risk

Look at the banking world. If a bank makes a series of poor decisions that lead to failure, the FDIC stands ready to make good on any losses depositors should suffer. Here we have two problems. The first is that the banker is not held accountable for his losses. And the second is that the depositor is relieved of the responsibility for where he puts his money. All he has to know is whether his bank is FDIC-insured.

This would be like giving your money to Charles Wells knowing that the house will reimburse him for any losses he suffers and that he will in turn reimburse you. Do you think that this would change Wells’s behavior? Do you think that he might take some risks that he otherwise might not take? And what if Shakespeare knew that no matter how bad any particular play was, he would get reimbursed for any losses incurred? It is common sense to acknowledge that risk influences behavior.

In more formal terms, a moral hazard is created when the adverse consequences of risk-taking are transferred to a third party and the transfer benefits the risk-taker and harms the third party. Insurance is often cited as a common example of risk transfer. However, most insurance is created in the marketplace and is priced, like all goods and services in the market, by the interplay of buyers and sellers. In other words, insurance is not persistently mispriced. The fact that the FDIC determines the price of insurance necessarily means that it will likely be higher or lower than the market price. Risk will always be too cheap or too dear. Occasionally, perhaps, the FDIC hits the market price. Then the question becomes, why not let the market run this insurance program?

Then again, deposit insurance is really not insurance at all. Just because the government calls it insurance doesn’t mean it is. No other industries have insurance like it. When Amazon or General Motors or Dell takes a loss, no one reimburses the company for it. Entrepreneurial risk is inherently uninsurable. Insurance protects against certain kinds of risks, but it doesn’t underwrite failure.

Behavioral Boundaries

If the theory of moral hazard is correct, then risk—the possibility of loss, the element of chance—serves a useful purpose in changing behavior. Risk can keep people within certain behavioral boundaries.

Few would dare cross a busy street without at least looking to see if any cars were coming. The risk of being hit and its attendant consequences are simply too great. People modify their behavior to deal with these risks. They mitigate them, in this case, by looking both ways before crossing the street. Further, a pedestrian may choose to cross only when the light is in his favor. These are some of the ways people deal with risks of crossing a busy street. The risk of being hit forces them to think before they act.

In banking, the theory of moral hazard is no different. Benjamin Esty of the Harvard Business School conducted a valuable study on the impact of contingent liability on commercial bank risk-taking.* Esty looked at the banking world prior to deposit insurance. From the passage of the National Banking Act of 1863 until 1933 regulators imposed double liability—a form of contingent liability—on national bank shareholders. Esty explains: “Under this system, shareholders were doubly liable in that they could lose both the market value of their shares and, through assessment, an amount equal to the par value of equity to cover creditor obligations including deposits and other debts.” Most banks at the time had a par value of $100 per share. So, as a shareholder, if your bank went belly up you would lose the market value of your stock and you could be assessed another $100 per share to cover depositor and other losses. Do you think that this would change your behavior as an owner of a bank?

The states passed their own versions of contingent liability as well. Some had single liability. California had triple liability. And regulators were effective at collecting assessments. During the years 1865 through 1934, the comptroller of the currency collected 51 percent of the assessments. The fact that these assessments were creditable is shown in the behavior of the banks and their risk-taking activities. As Esty notes, from 1865 to 1933 voluntary bank liquidations accounted for over 70 percent of all bank closures. The states had similar experiences with state-chartered banks.

In an FDIC world there is no incentive for banks to close or liquidate as soon as trouble arises. And since bank shareholders have limited liability, their appetite for risk is greatly enhanced. Banks of the nineteenth century were fortress-like compared to their late twentieth-century counterparts. They had reserves of gold and silver, and by law their reserves had to cover 25 percent of deposits. Some banks, like National City, carried reserves to cover 60 percent of deposits.

This is not to recommend that contingent liability is the way to enforce bank soundness, but rather to illustrate how the risk of loss changes behavior and forces prudence in a way that FDIC insurance lacks.

Other Interventions

Deposit insurance is only one commonly known way that governments try to collectivize and minimize risk. They have numerous other programs and guarantees that seemingly lower risk. Another example is the Small Business Administration (SBA), which provides banks with a partial guarantee of loans made to certain favored classes. If a minority-owned business, financed under an SBA loan, fails, the SBA stands in to absorb a portion of that debt. This encourages the banks to take risks that they otherwise would not take.

Removing or shifting risk by government fiat is not a panacea. Genuine risk serves a useful purpose. Forcing the shifting of risk to third parties, in essence creating moral hazard, leads to the perverse outcome that the risk one hoped to avoid is actually recreated in the form of the false promises made by the welfare state.

*“The Impact of Contingent Liability on Commercial Bank Risk Taking,” Journal of Financial Economics, February 1998, pp. 189–218.

ABOUT CHRISTOPHER MAYER

Christopher Mayer is a commercial loan officer and freelance writer.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

His Aim Is True, Sometimes by SARAH SKWIRE

William Shakespeare. Merchant of Venice. Circa 1598.

Everyone knows about Shylock. Even those who have only a passing familiarity with Shakespeare know about the vicious money-lender in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. He lends Antonio (the merchant of the title) 3,000 ducats to give to his friend Bassanio, and if Antonio fails to repay the loan in time, he must give Shylock a pound of his flesh.

A lot has been written about Shylock and about his contract with Antonio. (Some of it has even been written by my brother.)

But we spend a lot less time thinking and talking about Bassanio, the friend for whom Antonio takes on the debt. Bassanio interests me because he represents what seems to be a completely different way of financial thinking. In contrast to Antonio’s fairly conservative financial approach—while he has invested heavily, he has diversified his investments into three different ships—and Shylock’s grasping, near-miserly attitude, Bassanio is a spendthrift. When we first meet him he is explaining to Antonio exactly how he has ended up broke again.

‘Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,

How much I have disabled mine estate,

By something showing a more swelling port

Than my faint means would grant continuance:

Nor do I now make moan to be abridged

From such a noble rate; but my chief care

Is to come fairly off from the great debts

Wherein my time something too prodigal

Hath left me gaged.

In other words, in the style of spendthrifts the world over, he tells Antonio that he has spent more than he has to look like a more important person than he is. Now he is in debt, and he is worried. But, he adds, he won’t be worried for long, because he has “plots and purposes/How to get clear of all the debts I owe.” Those plots will involve, however, just a little bit more investment from Antonio. After all, Bassanio argues, money management is like archery.

In my school-days, when I had lost one shaft,

I shot his fellow of the self-same flight

The self-same way with more advised watch,

To find the other forth, and by adventuring both

I oft found both . . .

This is a perfectly reasonable way to find a lost arrow, according to several archers I consulted—but it’s a fairly rotten financial plan. It amounts to “throwing good money after bad” or doubling down on a bad hand.

And what are the precise details of Bassanio’s plan? It seems that “in Belmont is a lady richly left,” and Bassanio means to wed her and her inheritance. If he can win her.

Despite Bassanio’s appalling credit history,  Antonio acts on the notion that “sunk costs are sunk” (this joke is much funnier if you have read the play) and takes out the loan to help him. While this decision rapidly brings things to a peak of tension for Antonio in Venice, events go beautifully for Bassanio. He arrives in Belmont. Portia, the “lady richly left” is delighted to see him. All he must do to win her is to play a little game that her father devised before he died.

In a scene straight from a fairy tale, Bassanio is presented with three small caskets or chests—one of gold, one of silver, and one of lead. The gold casket reads, “Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire.” The silver casket says, “Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves.” And the lead casket is engraved with, “Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.” By the time that Bassanio is ready to choose, those of us watching or reading the play have already seen two suitors choose and fail. So we know several things. First, by the immutable law of fairy tale triplets, we know that Bassanio will choose correctly merely because he is choosing third. Second, we know that the right choice is the lead casket, because the two earlier suitors chose the gold and the silver caskets and were rejected. Lastly, we know that Bassanio’s character means that he is perfectly suited to make the right choice.

How do we know this? Well, the lead casket says, “Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.” Portia’s previous suitors argued against this casket by saying it (and perhaps Portia) was too unappealing for such a risk—“You shall look fairer, ere I give or hazard” and:

Men that hazard all

Do it in hope of fair advantages:

A golden mind stoops not to shows of dross;

I’ll then nor give nor hazard aught for lead.

These previous suitors are following some very sensible real world financial principles. Bassanio, however, is following fairy tale rules. He has already proven in Venice that he is perfectly happy to take all kinds of irrational risks with his fortune and with his friend’s fortune. The possibility of a very high return on a risky investment in something that is apparently worthless is irresistible to Bassanio. Of course he will choose lead. He would choose lead even if he didn’t like Portia. He would choose lead for much smaller stakes than her endless wealth. And in a place like Belmont, where marriages are decided by casket games, he is a clear winner.

So here are the questions that I have always had about Bassanio. His financial irresponsibility, taken out of the realistic world of Venice (which is governed by scarcity and real risk) and transported to the fairy tale world of Belmont (which is governed by luxurious superfluity) is transformed into good sense. Are we meant to see him as the model for good choices in this play? Are we meant to remember that his initial stake in the casket game means that his best friend nearly dies? Are we meant to think that his choices are only good choices in a world with no scarcity? The great thing about a great play is that it can open these questions, and leave them for us to ponder through repeated readings. At the moment, I’m inclined to think that Bassanio may serve as the opposite extreme to Shylock—both of them willing to see Antonio die in order to achieve their own satisfaction and neither of them engaging in anything like a reasonable relationship with wealth.

Thanks to Adam Cowming, Kyle Trowbridge, Joe Lehman, and Sean Malone for their helpful elucidation of archery questions.

20121127_sarahskwireABOUT SARAH SKWIRE

Sarah Skwire is a fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc. She is a poet and author of the writing textbook Writing with a Thesis.

Does Megyn Kelly understand the Fallacy of Radical Islam and Moderate Muslims?

Megyn Kelly of Fox News has done an outstanding job of pounding CAIR’s Spokesperson Ibrahim ‘Dougie’ Hooper. Although she and other major journalists and self proclaimed counter-terrorism experts continue to make the same mistake. 

I counted at least a half dozen times that Ms. Kelly used the term “radical Islam.” If you really want to fight and defeat the Islamic ideology that advocates the destruction of Israel and America this practice must stop.

Is it intentional so as not to offend the Saudi government and terrorist supporting organizations such as CAIR? Islam is Islam and there is no word within Islam, the Hadith, or within Sharia law, for the term ‘Radical Islam’. One is either fully practicing Islam with their hearts, soul, and minds, or they have chosen to not practice Islam completely. In accordance with Sharia law these people are referred to as Apostates within Islam.

I will use an analogy but first must make a statement. Never, ever try to correlate
Christianity or Judaism with Islam. It can’t be done and Islam never intended them to be understood as having the same rules and guidelines. For instance. I often hear people saying there are Christians who do not adhere to all aspects of Christianity. This is true, but in comparison to Islam there is nothing within Christianity that says a non practicing Christian can be killed for this action. Sharia law does condone and advocate killing people within Islam who practice and adhere to Islam partially.

If a Christian does adhere to all 10 Commandments of the Bible is he/she a ‘Radical Christian’ or is it not better to define him/her as a practicing Christians? If a Muslim follows all aspects of Sharia law are they ‘Radical Muslims’? No, they are doing exactly what Islam dictates to be a good Muslim.

Journalists make the huge mistake by continuing to use the term ‘Radical’. The groups such as Hamas, Al Qaeda, Taliban, and the Saudi government are practicing Islam as Islamic leaders from 1400 years stated it must be followed. They are not being ‘Radical’ by following their ideology of hatred of Jews, Christians, and others. They are being faithful to their ideology.

I have released the following a couple of times. It is a more extensive explanation of the’ fallacy of the moderate Muslim’.

The Fallacy of the “Moderate Muslim”

There have been, and will continue to be, debates on the authenticity of ‘who and what are moderate Muslims’? I could spend two years giving my personal opinion and it would mean as much as Bill O’Reilly giving his opinion of the next Super Bowl Game. The point being there are no experts pertaining to the Islamic based ideology. During my years of first-hand research I have obtained thousands of materials from Islamic Centers/Mosques, interviewed hundreds of Islamic scholars and Imams. The evidence I provide in this article is based on their information and not my opinion. In accordance with Sharia law a Muslim is either 100% Sharia compliant or they are not. If they do not accept all aspects of Sharia law they are considered Apostates. This eliminates the term ‘Moderate Muslim’. This term is man-made and in reality has no meaning or existence. In other words a ‘Moderate Muslim’ is simply a non practicing Muslim. Since 1979 I have been traveling throughout the Middle East and have met thousands of good people who have called themselves Muslim. Again in reality the ‘good Muslims’ were people who did not adhere to Sharia law, specifically in regards to physical Jihad.

Many will by right now wondering why I did not use the word ‘religion’ in the same context as Islam. To best answer this it is best to explain to the reader that my background has led me to the Middle East since 1979. Since that period of time I have had the fortunate opportunity to speak with hundreds of the leading Islamic leaders and Imams throughout the world. I was selected as the first U.S. Federal Agent to enter Iraq in 2003. Although the rules of engagement did not specifically give us the authority to enter mosques, schools, and hospitals, I had insisted the men and women with me check these places before all others. My number one responsibility was to ensure the young 18 and 19 year old kids who were putting their lives on the line for people of all religions, races, and cultures, were going to go home and be with their families – regardless what a ‘political General’ had read from a book about sensitivity training in dealing with the Muslim people.

Per my suspicions our team located senior Saddam Forces, Taliban, Al Qaeda, and Fedeyeen forces hiding in the off limit areas: schools, mosques and hospitals… We captured them without incident.

Many Muslim people risked their lives and in fact many gave the ultimate sacrifice to assist the American forces. Of course in war this is not seen by the enemy as a ‘medal of honor’ nominee. On the contrary the Muslims who helped protect Americans were considered traitors and ‘Apostates’ of Islam. Islamic Sharia law demanded the death penalty for the Muslims who assisted the enemy (the American forces and their allies).

Why would I bring up a war time situation to try and explain ‘moderate Muslims’ living in America? The one and only point is for the American people to understand Muslims can only have allegiance to either Allah and Sharia law, or to the U.S. Constitution and America. Islamic leaders stress this avidly to their worshippers across the U.S. A Muslim can’t serve two masters. Sharia law and the U.S. Constitution are not compatible.

Again the word of Dave Gaubatz is not important. The words of Islamic leaders such as Yusef Estes, Ahmad Sakr, Zaid Shakir, Siraj Wahhaj, CAIR and ISNA Executives and a half dozen other pseudo-based Islamic leaders need to be listened to before me. These leaders take their orders directly from Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, and more importantly from the Saudi government.

I have personally visited over 250 Islamic Centers/Mosques throughout America. 95% are Sunni dominated (“Pure Islam”). Islamic leaders put out material distributed from Pakistan, India, and Saudi Arabia detailing the specifics of how a ‘Pure Muslim’ should lead their lives in accordance with Sharia law. A Muslim can’t pick and choose which aspects of Sharia they want to adhere to and which ones they prefer not. A Muslim is either Sharia compliant or they are not. In other words, they either practice Sharia law or they are non practicing Muslims. If a Muslim does not adhere at least in his or her heart to all aspects of Sharia law, they are considered Apostates by their leaders. This is a death sentence for them regardless of what country they reside in. Islam and Sharia law have no boundaries. Boundaries are man-made specifically by Jews and Christians, and in the hearts of Muslims they are meaningless.

Within America we have politicians and media who use the term ‘moderate Muslim’ as if this word has a legitimate meaning to ‘Pure Muslims’ who control the actions of Islamic terror groups. There are three requirements which non Muslim world leaders must come to terms with if we are ever going to live in safety and if our children are to ever have a fighting chance of having peace from Islamic terror groups in their lifetimes.

The following three requirements are directly from Islamic leaders/Imams from whom my research team and I have received advice over the last three years. The intelligence I collect is always first-hand intelligence.

  1. Islam is not a religion.
  2. Islam is a political, economic, and military ideology.
  3. Religion within Islam is used as a tactic to achieve the ultimate goal of Islam which is an Islamic Ummah (nation) worldwide and under Sharia law.

Sharia law is an all or nothing. A Muslim can’t pick and choose which parts of Sharia they desire to adhere to. 90% of Sharia law may be peaceful, but it is the 10% that innocent people must ‘fear’. This part pertains to the intolerance of other religions, the hatred of Jews, Christians, and even Muslims who do not adhere to Sharia law, and physical Jihad. All Muslims are not required to physically fight their enemies, but ‘All’ Muslims must assist in equipping and financing their brothers and sisters who are engaged in physical Jihad. For a Muslim to choose not to do so equate to him/her being an Apostate of Islam; again this is a death sentence for the accused.

The innocent people of all races, religions, and cultures are at war with Islam. This is the hardest and most difficult concept for people to understand. The Muslims who committed murder on 11 Sept. 2001 were doing so in the name of Islam. The 4000 plus men and women who have been murdered in Iraq and Afghanistan were killed in the name of Islam. Maj. Hassan from Ft. Hood who killed several people did so in the name of Islam. The same materials being studied by Hamas, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and the Taliban are the exact materials being distributed across America and provided to innocent young Muslim children to study in order to be ‘Pure Muslim’.

Readers should note that in 90 plus percent of the mosques my research team visited in America, the following was being advocated for the worshippers. The manuals of ‘Riyadh Ul Salheen’ are literally an explanation to Muslims on how to interpret the Quran in their present day lives. For instance the following is an explanation of how Muslims should always be prepared for war against their enemies; yes even in America!

“In accordance with the conditions of his times, the Prophet (PBUH) ordained the Muslims to acquire every possible power and keep it ready for war. Elucidating his order on this point, he stated that by power he meant archery and then he repeated this word three times to stress its importance. He did it because the art of archery had fundamental importance in war at that time. In the present-day world, archery has lost its value as it has been replaced by other inventions like tanks, guns, atom bombs, etc. Similar is the case of devices which are used in naval war, and all these military wares have superb importance in modern warfare.

In the present-day context, the injunction of the Noble Quran to acquire power means manufacturing and possession of all these devices. It is incumbent on the Muslims that they equip themselves with all this material and show no carelessness in this regard. In modern times, Muslims have badly neglected this field with the result that non-Muslims have more knowledge of modern warfare and by dint of that they are dominating the world and making a claim of their supremacy all over the world. Unless Muslims pursue the Quranic injunctions on this score and acquire greater or equal or at least similar measure and style of power, as is possessed by the non-Muslims, they will not be able to check the onslaught of their enemies, and to defeat them. It is incumbent upon the Muslims to overpower the might and power of the infidels for the “glorification of Islam”.

The commentary and instruction to the Muslim worshippers throughout America is:

“It is essential that they should not slack in acquiring the material resources required for war, nor neglect military preparations and exercises. Modern military weapons and new style of warfare have now taken the place of archery, and Muslims should master all of them”.

“He who neither performs a good deed nor aspires for it, has a hypocritical disposition. This is especially true of a Muslim who does not even aspire to take part in Jihad. Such a Muslim develops a resemblance with hypocrites”.

If our country has even the remotest chance of securing our nation we must accept America is indeed at war with Islam. There is no nice way to ignore the violence within neither Islam nor its teachings. There are millions of ‘good people who call themselves Muslim’, but in actuality they do not follow Sharia law and are Apostates of Islam. Sharia adherent Muslims are not ‘good Muslims’. Islam forbids this trait which naïve Americans desire. There is nothing I have said in this article that the leaders of Islam have not repeated over and over to their worshippers and to non-Muslims.

Now is the time to take them for their word, or else you are risking the lives of your children by ignoring their warnings.

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It’s Academic: Kinsey’s Love Affair with Pedophilia Three Generations Later

Twentieth-century philosopher and mathematician Alfred North Whitehead defined western philosophy as “footnotes to Plato.” Similarly, sexology can be defined as “footnotes to Alfred Kinsey,” whose psychopathologies are writ large in the hetero and homosexual child-abuse epidemic that is touching every corner of the world, particularly in academic settings.

My own academic case study illustrates the woeful state we are in. On June 18, 1986, American University’s (AU) celebrated psychology chairman, Dr. Elliot McGinnies, was discreetly “charged with sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl on four occasions in his trailer at a nudist colony.” Meanwhile, my staff and I were being rather indiscreetly banished from our AU annex. AU administrators deliberately subverted our research on both Professor Kinsey’s child sex crimes and our findings of systematic child sex abuse by “Kinsey’s pamphleteer,” Hugh Hefner, which were published in a U.S. Department of Justice study titled Images of Children, Crime and Violence in Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler (1984–1986), a study for which I was principal investigator. Why were we targeted, I wondered?

Was there more to it than McGinnies’ nudist escapades? Did other AU academics protect their colleague in order to protect themselves from exposure? Indeed, birds of a feather must have flocked together: In 1990, AU’s distinguished president, Dr. Richard Berendzen, pled guilty to charges arising from years of making obscene phone calls to daycare centers. Berendzen would call the centers and talk to the caretakers about having sex with children, child pornography, and sex-slave auctions, and he even claimed to be keeping a 4-year-old girl caged in his basement.

Shocking but Not Surprising

Fast forward 21 years, to the arrest of Penn State’s popular assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, for allegedly engaging in the sexual molestation of boys over a period of at least 15 years. In the wake of Sandusky’s arrest, head coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier were fired, and other Penn State officials were formally charged with failing to report Sandusky’s alleged abuse to proper authorities.

Spanier himself had subscribed to Kinsey’s views for years. In 1972, he endorsed Kinsey to the Midwest Sociological Society, claiming that Kinsey had accurately documented the “widespread existence of extramarital sexual relations” in the United States. In 1976, under a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Development, Spanier validated Kinsey’s data on “childhood sex play”5 for similar “scholars.” More recently, Spanier approved the choice of Pat Califia, a transgendered advocate of sadomasochism and pedophilia, as the keynote speaker for a women’s health conference held at Penn State in 2002. The previous year, the group Womyn’s Concerns hosted a “Sex Faire” on campus, featuring such activities as “orgasm bingo” and “the tent of consent.” Asked if the fair was morally wrong, Spanier was quoted as saying, “It depends on what your definition of immoral is.” So while news of the Sandusky affair is shocking, it should come as no surprise.

About the same time as the charges against Sandusky surfaced, Syracuse University associate basketball coach Bernie Fine was also charged with having engaged in homosexual child abuse and fired. Like Sandusky, Fine had allegedly been molesting boys for years. One of his accusers, a former ball boy, said Fine had abused him for six years, beginning as long ago as 1984.

Training in Deviancy

Alfred Kinsey

Alfred Kinsey

In fact, as long ago as 1948, the world’s future leaders were being taught that sex with children was intelligent adult behavior. Their teacher was that Rockefeller Foundation-funded biology professor at Indiana University, Alfred Kinsey. For 64 years—almost three generations—his Sexual Behavior in the Human Male has trained millions of young college students—like Berendzen, McGinnies, Sandusky, Spanier, and Fine—to believe that all sexual perversion is normal. Both hetero- and homosexual interactions with children are said to help children by replacing “sexually repressed” Judeo-Christian morality with a more “enlightened” sexual worldview. According to one Kinsey disciple, the late Dr. Loretta Haroian, “free sexual expression of children” requires “a sexually supportive society . . . in which every man, woman and child can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to sex.” Dr. Haroian was a member of the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, which has trained millions of “sexologists” in the Kinsey mode.

The inroads made by the academic pedophile coterie are reflected not just in the reports coming out of Penn State and Syracuse, but also in earlier incidents at American University, Johns Hopkins, and scores of other institutions of higher learning. Academic journals embraced the Kinseyan worldview early on, as illustrated by Ralph Slovenko’s comment in the 1962 Vanderbilt Law Review that “even at the age of four or five, [a girl’s] seductiveness may be so powerful as to overwhelm the adult into committing the offense”; in other words, a little child could be an “initiator and seducer.”

In 2007, the first Chinese-language book on Kinsey (English title: Kinsey, the Man Who Has Changed the World) was published and sold 500,000 copies in China. Co-author Liana Zhou, head of the Kinsey Institute library, says that, thanks to Kinsey’s “pioneering” work, we can now “study human sexuality within the confines of science rather than only through the lens of religion or social morality.” In Italy, researchers claim to have found a possible “pedophile” gene, and the bankrupt Greek government has just amended state-recognized disability categories to include “pedophiles, exhibitionists and kleptomaniacs.” So now the sexual immorality and psychopathologies of Kinsey are being spread in other countries, too.

All this modern sexual insanity may be a “footnote to Alfred Kinsey,” but a few people are trying to set the story straight. When former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann was told by a critic that “10 percent of the population is gay,” she replied, “Well, that’s according to the Kinsey Report.” Her husband, Marcus, then added, “It’s been a myth for many years.” Alas, that myth invented by Kinsey, “the Man Who Has Changed the World,” has been normalizing abusive sex education, pornography, child sexual abuse, and sexual trauma all over the world, training millions to be as sexually insane as he was.

Special thanks to Mary McAlister, Esq., who contributed to this article.

Endnotes:

1. Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, (Free Press, 1979), p. 39.
2. www.nostatusquo.com/ACLU/NudistHallofShame/McGinnies.html.
3. http://articles.philly.com/1994-05-15/living/25829613_1_childhood-sexualabuse-richard-berendzen-child-pornography.
4. www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/12/penn_state_officials_tim_curle_2.html.
5. Graham B. Spanier, “Mate Swapping,” Archives of Sexual Behavior, vol. 4, no. 2, 1975, and “Formal and Informal Sex Education,” ibid., vol. 5, no. 1, 1976.
6. www.wnd.com/2002/03/13317.
7. http://www.localsyr.com/sitesearch?q=Bernie-Fine%20fired%20from%20Syracuse%20University
8. www.ejhs.org/volume3/Haroian/body.htm.
9. R. Slovenko & J. Phillips, “Psycho sexuality and the Criminal Law,” 15 Vanderbilt Law Review (1961–1962).
10. www.kinseyinstitute.org/newsletter/sp2008/zhoubook.html.
11. http://worldcrunch.com/therepedophilia-gene/4032.
12. http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-01-10/news/30613327_1_disability-welfare-system-greece.
13. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/18/bachmann-pausesin-iowa-tour-to-talk-myth-of-kinseyreport

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EDITORS NOTE: The edited featured image is by R. Rafson. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Obama’s Chickens Have Come Home

In a March 26, 2014 article for The Jerusalem Post, titled Column One: Campus Brownshirts Rising, writer Caroline Glick reports on the efforts of Vassar College Earth sciences professor Jill Schneiderman’s abortive attempt to arrange a field trip to Israel to study water supply issues in the Holy Land.

The trouble started when Professor Schneiderman conducted a pre-trip seminar for students who intended to participate in the field trip to Israel.  When the Vassar student chapter of an anti-Semitic hate group, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), picketed her seminar, pressuring Earth science students to drop Schneiderman’s class and to forego any plans to travel to Israel, Schneiderman complained to Vassar college administrators, seeking redress for her students whose civil rights and academic freedom were under attack by the SJP.

Instead of taking action against the thuggish actions of the pro-Palestinian students, college administrators once again demonstrated the sort of cowardice that has become so common among college and university administrators across the country.  They referred the issue to the college’s Committee on Inclusion and Excellence.  But when those vested with the responsibility for “inclusion and excellence” at Vassar convened to discuss the anti-Semitic outrage, Professor Schneiderman was, as she noted in her blog, “knocked off-center by a belligerent academic community dedicated to vilifying anyone who dared set foot in Israel.”

As Schneiderman and her Vassar students proceeded with plans for their trip to Israel, the University of Michigan student government was voting on a motion to suspend debate, indefinitely, on a resolution submitted by an anti-Jewish student group, calling upon the University to boycott and divest from all companies that do business with Israel… precipitating yet another confrontation in which Jewish interests came in second to the interests of Muslims on a traditionally liberal college campus.

According to the Jerusalem Post, a Michigan students group, calling itself Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), “responded with rage and violence,” staging sit-ins at the student government offices and cursing Jewish members of the council, hurling epithets such as “kike” and “dirty Jew.”

Then, on Thursday, March 27, 2014, fascism reared its ugly head on the Dearborn campus of the University of Michigan.  On that evening the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was successful in blocking the screening of a documentary film, titled Honor Diaries.  The film tells the story of the unspeakable horrors endured by women throughout the Muslim world, including such brutal practices as female genital mutilation, honor violence, honor killings, the forced marriage of eight and nine year old girls to thirty and forty-year-old men, the lack of educational opportunities for women, and restrictions on their freedom of movement.

However, according to a Fox News report, CAIR wasn’t doing its own dirty work, or even its own research.  The group relied on facts and arguments presented by Richard Silverstein, a liberal blogger who argued, “One has to ask why a film about the purported abuse of Muslim women was produced by Jews… ”  In other words, how could a group of Jews possibly produce a film that profiles human rights abuses against Muslim women?  It flies directly in the face of Muslim sensibilities… the truth of the matter be damned.

In the end, those who sponsored the screening of the film were fearful that the showing would be seen as “Islamophobic.”  Wishing not to offend the Islamic community… and perhaps in fear of violent retribution… university administrators canceled the screening, proving once again that intimidation works.  But, as the Fox report asks, “Who is being offended when we are talking about mutilation and women setting themselves on fire to escape marriage before puberty?”

Then, just days later, the April 9, 2014 edition of Frontpage Magazine reported that Brandeis University, a longtime bastion of liberal orthodoxy, had conferred an honorary degree on leftist anti-Semitic writer, Amos Oz, who has described religious Jews as “Hezbollah in a skullcap.”  Brandeis is the very same “progressive” institution which yielded to pressure from Muslim Brotherhood front groups, such as CAIR and the Muslim Students Association, causing the university to withdraw a similar honor intended for Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a noted Somali critic of Islam and co-producer of the Honor Diaries film.

So what’s happening on our college and university campuses?  Haven’t the most liberal colleges and universities always been places where Jewish academics hold forth and children of Jewish families are prepared for lucrative careers in medicine, academia, and the law?

CarolineGlick

Caroline Glick

For answers we might refer to a February 1, 2014 Jerusalem Post article by Caroline Glick,  titled, Column one: The New York Times Destroys Obama.”  In that column, Glick quotes extensively from a Times report by David Kirkpatrick on Barack Obama’s handling of the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.  Glick writes that Kirkpatrick “tore to shreds the foundations of President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism strategy and his overall policy in the Middle East.”

Glick reminds us that “Obama first enunciated those foundations in his June 4, 2009 speech to the Muslim world at Cairo University.”  It was his first venture abroad as president and is best remembered for his warm embrace of Islam, for his unprecedented bow to the King of Saudi Arabia… described in the Washington Times as a “shocking display of fealty to a foreign potentate”… and for the cold shoulder he delivered to Israel, America’s most steadfast ally.

The thought that a newly-inaugurated president of the United States would take a major overseas trip, passing within fifty miles of Israeli territory, and not pay a courtesy call on the Israelis… the only functioning democracy in the Middle East… was a snub of gargantuan proportions and a major diplomatic faux pas.  It was also a portent of things to come in the Obama foreign policy.

Reassuring his friends in the Muslim world of his belief that the violent extremists in the Muslim world were but a “small but potent minority of Muslims,” Obama went on to say that he had traveled to Cairo “to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition.”  Instead, he asserted, “they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”

The Israelis, listening to his words from less than 220 miles away, must have been shocked and dismayed to hear Obama refer to Islam… the most violent and intolerant force on the face of the Earth, where Christians, Jews, and others are brutally murdered and persecuted simply because they are not Muslims… as sharing American principles of justice and progress, tolerance, and the dignity of human beings.

Then Obama went on to say that Islam had “carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment.  It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed… And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”

It was then that he shocked Americans, describing how “Islam has always been a part of America’s story…”  He reassured Muslims that “The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the (Sharia) laws, religion, or tranquility of Muslims.”  He claimed that, “since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States.  They have fought in our wars, served in government, stood for civil rights, started businesses, taught at our universities, excelled in our sports arenas, won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building, and lit the Olympic Torch.  And when the first Muslim-American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers – Thomas Jefferson – kept in his personal library.”

So, if we wonder how radical Muslims have come to feel as if they are welcomed with open arms at our institutions of higher learning, and if we are wondering why Muslims feel as though they can shut down major portions of America’s busiest cities by holding prayer sessions in the middle of public thoroughfares, we may have struck on the answer.  It is Barack Obama who has set the stage and who has invited them to take full advantage of American tolerance and generosity.

Since the first day that Obama occupied the White House, he has extended the hand of friendship to the most brutal and intolerant people on the face of the Earth.  In doing so, he has denied the Judeo-Christian origins of our great nation.  He has caused the gloom of a declining culture to fall across the face of America; his chickens have come home to roost.

EDITORS NOTE: The features image is courtesy of S. Schofield and Watchdog Wire.

The Arab Spring: An Assessment Three Years On

A new Henry Jackson Society Report – The Arab Spring: An Assessment Three Years On – examines the ways in which the Arab Spring has affected the citizens of countries across the Middle East and North Africa, and assesses the impact on countries three years later.

The Arab Spring: An Assessment Three Years On, launched today by The Henry Jackson Society, provides an urgently-needed examination of the impact of the Arab Spring uprisings. Surveying the economic, social, political and security arenas of countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, the report finds that despite high hopes for democracy, human rights and long awaited freedoms, the overall situation on the ground is worse off than before the Arab Spring uprisings.

Among the report’s key findings:

  • Economy: Libyan oil production has dramatically fallen by 80% as neighbouring Tunisia’s economy is now dependent on international aid. Egypt’s economy, suffering from a substantial decrease in tourism, has hit its lowest point in decades, at the same time Yemen’s rate of poverty is at an all-time high.
  • Democracy: Whereas Tunisia has been progressing towards reform, Libya’s movement towards democracy has failed with militias now effectively controlling the state. Egypt remains politically highly-unstable and polarized, as Yemen’s botched attempts at unifying the government has left many political schisms.
  • Social: Egypt’s human rights, especially those of women and minorities, have deteriorated to the point of regular physical attack; in Libya, arbitrary detention, torture and attacks against religious groups have become common; and Yemen’s social freedoms have been ranked as progressively worse every year since the Arab Spring. Only Tunisia represents hope with a new constitution providing freedom of press and increased rights for women.
  • Security: Extremist and fundamentalist activity is rising in all surveyed states, with a worrying growth in terror activities across the region: Tunisia has suffered from an unheard number of terror attacks from al-Qaeda; Libya‘s southern provinces have been taken over by jihadist groups; Egypt has seen a spread of insurgent activity in the Sinai as well as the state’s capital; and in Yemen, the influence of the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the north is expanding, leading to confrontation with government troops.

Olivier Guitta, Research Director at the Henry Jackson Society and co-author of the report, said:

“Contrary to popular perception, there is insufficient analysis of the impact of the Arab Spring revolutions on the lives of those it most directly affected.  This report presents an accurate picture of what is actually happening, providing Western states with a deeper understanding of the security threats coming out of these countries.”

Download the full report here

Mr. Kerry’s Blame Game

In the annals of the entirely predictable, the current state of the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations must stand very high. Who could not have predicted this? That the talks would fail and that Israel would get the blame.

Earlier this week, testifying in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State John Kerry finally got there. He said that both the Israeli and the Palestinian sides bore responsibility for ‘unhelpful’ actions in stalling the progress of talks. But – and the ‘but’ is the most predictable bit of all – the event which he claimed to have led to the stalling is Jewish settlement in parts of Jerusalem. Kerry said of the Israeli building, “Poof, that was sort of the moment. We find ourselves where we are.” Which makes us have to ask, where else but ‘where we are’ did Mr Kerry ever think he’d find himself?

We have commented here before that the frenetic activity by Mr Kerry – the continuous trips to Israel, the clocking-up of air miles in lieu of an actual policy was a bad sign. It signalled two things. Firstly, that Kerry thought by all this activity he might actually solve the Israeli-Palestinian border dispute. And secondly, that this problem – of all problems – was the one which demanded most of his time. Not the massacring of hundreds of thousands of people in Syria. Not Iran, whose Supreme Leader said again this month that the Holocaust didn’t happen while other members of the regime boasted about how close they have come to nuclear capability. No, the issue which he claims to be the most important is the long defunct paradigm of the Israeli-Palestinian border dispute being the ‘key’ to unlocking every problem of the Middle East, and that the bar to solving that ‘key’ issue is Israeli building policy.

What is so disturbing in all this is what any fair observer must surely see is going. In the same period as that which Mr Kerry is talking about, the Palestinian Authority chose to unilaterally apply for membership in more than a dozen international institutions and treaties. Mahmoud Abbas chose to reach out to the Hamas leadership in the Gaza. He – the Palestinian ‘leader’ – continued to refuse to recognise the existence of Israel as a Jewish state. And the Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee Jibril Rajoub declared on the official PA TV channel that Hitler “could have learned” from Israel “about the concentration camps, the extermination camps.” This is just to note a few of the more salient facts.

This, we would submit, is where the problem lies. Blame for the break-down of talks does not rely on a 2014 building decision on the Israeli side. It lies on a 1948 decision which has still not been reversed on the Palestinian side.

But the problem really starts from now. For now that the Secretary of State has blamed Israel for the breakdown of talks, it will be time for the next wholly predictable stage in this game. America has blamed Israel. Now it must punish Israel. And in the form of the EU and other allies, it finds entities willing and eager to begin that process.

Read the Henry Jackson Society Report: The Arab Spring: An Assessment Three Years On

For the Love of Money? by Gary M. Galles

Money at the margin, not everything for money.

It’s not unusual to hear market systems criticized for relying too much on money, as if this comes at the expense of the altruistic relationships that would otherwise prevail. Ever heard the phrase “only in it for the money”? It’s as if self-interest has a stink that can corrupt transactions that generate benefits for others, turning them into offenses. So this line of thinking suggests reliance on market systems based in self-ownership would be tantamount to creating a world where people only do things for money, and lose the ability to relate to one another on any other terms.

People Don’t Do Everything for Money

One need not go far to see the falsity of the claim that everything is done for money in market systems. My situation is but one example: I have a Ph.D. in economics from a top graduate program. It is true that, as a result, I have an above-average income. But I did not do it all for the money. One of my major fields was finance, but if all I cared about was money—as my wife reminds me when budgets are particularly tight—I would have gone into finance rather than academia and made far more. But I like university students. I think what I teach is important, and I value the ability to pass on whatever wisdom I have to offer. I like the freedom and time to pursue avenues of research I find interesting. I enjoy the ability to tell and write the truth as I see it (particularly since I see things differently from most) and I prefer a “steady job” to one with far more variability.

Every one of those things I value has cost me money. Yet I chose to be a professor (and would do it again). While it’s true that the need to support my family means that I must acquire sufficient resources, many things beyond just money go into choosing what I do for a living. And the same is true for everyone.

Ask any acquaintances of yours who they know that only does things for money. What would they say? They would certainly deny it about themselves. While they might apply this characterization to people they don’t know, beyond Dickens’s Ebenezer Scrooge and his comic book namesake, Scrooge McDuck, they would be unable to provide a single convincing example. If market critics performed that same experiment, they would recognize that they are condemning a mirage, not market arrangements.

Confusing Ends and Means

Beyond the fact that all of us forego some money we could earn for other things we value, the fact that every one of us gives up money we have earned for a vast multitude of goods, services, and causes also reveals that individuals don’t just do things for the money. Each of us willingly gives up money up to further many different purposes we care about. Money is not the ultimate end sought, but a means to a vast variety of possible ends. Mistakenly treating money as the end for which “people do everything” is fundamentally flawed—both for critics of the market and for the participants in it.

To do things for money is nothing more than to advance what we care about. In markets, we do for others as an indirect way of doing for ourselves. This logic even applies to Scrooge. His nephew Fred’s assertion that he doesn’t do any good with his wealth is false; he lends to willing borrowers at terms they find worth meeting, expanding the capital stock and the options of others.

That an end of our efforts is to benefit ourselves, in and of itself, merits neither calumny nor congratulations. Money’s role is that of an amoral servant that can help us advance whatever ends we ultimately pursue, while private property rights restrict that pursuit to purely voluntary arrangements. Moral criticism cannot attach to the universal desire to be able to better pursue our ends or to the requirement that we refrain from violating others’ rights, only to the ends we pursue.

To do things for money in order to achieve world domination could justify moral condemnation. But the problem is that your intended end will harm others, not the fact that you did some things for money, benefitting those you dealt with in that way, to do so. Using money to build a leprosarium, as Mother Teresa did with her Nobel Prize award, does not justify moral condemnation. Similarly, using money to support your family, to live up to agreements you made with others, and to try not to burden others is being responsible, not reprehensible. Further, there is nothing about voluntary arrangements that worsens the ends individuals choose. But by definition, they place limits on ends that require harming others to achieve them.

It is true that money represents purchasing power that can be directed to ends others object to. Money is nothing more than a particularly powerful tool, and all tools can be used to cause harm. Just as we shouldn’t have to forego the benefits of hammers because somebody could cause harm with one, there’s no reason to think society would be better off without money or the market arrangements it makes possible just because some people can use those things for harmful ends. And if the ends aren’t actually causing harm, then the objections over them come down to nothing more than disagreements about inherently subjective valuations. Enabling a small class of people to decide which of these can be pursued and which can’t makes everyone worse off.

Those who criticize people for doing everything for money also do a great deal for money themselves. How many campaigns have religious groups and nonprofit organizations run to get more money? How much of government action is focused on getting more money? Why do the individuals involved not apply the same criticism to themselves? Because they say they will “do good” with it. But every individual doing things for money also intends to do good, as he or she sees it, with that money. And if we accept that people are owners of themselves, there is no obvious reason why another’s claims about what is “good” should trump any “good” that you hold dear, or provide for another in service through exchange.

Criticizing a Straw Man

Given that the charge that “people do everything for money” in market systems is both factually wrong and logically lame, why do some keep repeating it? It creates a straw man easier to argue against than reality, by misrepresenting alternatives at both the individual and societal level.

At the individual level, this assertion arises when people disagree about how to spend “public” resources (when we respect private property, this dispute disappears, because the owner has the right to do as he or she chooses with it, but cannot force others to go along with or allow it; “public” resources are obtained by force). The people who wish to spend other people’s confiscated resources in ways the original owners disagree with claim a laundry list of caring benefits their choice would provide, but foreclose similar consideration of the harms that would be caused to those they claim care only about money. That, in turn, is used to imply that the purportedly selfish person’s claims are unworthy of serious attention. (Something similar happens when politicians count “multiplier effects” where government money is spent, but ignore the symmetrical negative “multiplier effects” radiating from where the resources are taken.)

This general line draws support from a misquotation of the Bible. While more than one recent translation of 1 Tim 6:10 renders it “the love of money is a root of all sorts of evils,” the far less accurate King James Version rendered it, “the love of money is the root of all evil.” When one simply omits or forgets the first three words, it becomes something very different—“money is the root of all evil.” Portray those who disagree with your “caring” ends as simply loving money more than other people, and they lose every argument by default. Naturally, it’s a seductive strategy.

At the societal level, criticizing market systems as tainted by the love of money implies that an alternate system would escape that taint and therefore be morally preferable. By focusing attention only on an imaginary failing of market systems that would be avoided, it allows the implication of superiority to be made without having to demonstrate it. This is a version of the Nirvana fallacy.

By blaming monetary relationships for people’s failings, “reformers” imply that taking away markets’ monetary nexus will somehow make people better. But no system makes people angels; all systems must confront human flaws and failings. That means a far different question must be addressed: How well will a given system do with real, imperfect, mostly self-interested people? And it shouldn’t be necessary, but most political rhetoric makes a second question nearly as important: Does the given system assume that people are not imperfect and self-interested when they have power?

Given that the utopian alternatives offered always involve some sort of socialism or other form of tyranny, an affirmative case for them cannot be made. Only by holding the imaginary “sins” of market systems to impossible standards, while holding alternatives to no real standards except the imagination of self-proclaimed reformers, can that fact be dodged. But there’s nothing in history or theory that demonstrates that overwriting markets with expanded coercion makes people more likely to do things for others. As Anatole France noted, “Those who have given themselves the most concern about the happiness of peoples have made their neighbors very miserable.” And as economist Paul Heyne wrote, “Market systems do not produce heaven on earth. But attempts by governments to repress market systems have produced . . . something very close to hell on earth.”

Money at the Margin

Money is not everything. But changes in the amounts of money to be earned or foregone as a result of decisions change our incentives at the many margins of choice we face, and so change our behavior. Such changes—money at the margin—are the primary means of adjusting our behavior in the direction of social coordination in a market system.

Changes in monetary incentives are how we adapt to changing circumstances, because whatever their ultimate ends, everyone cares about commanding more resources for those purposes they care about. It is how we rebalance arrangements when people’s plans get out of synch, which is inevitable in our complex, dynamic world. In such cases, changing money prices allow each individual to provide added incentives to all who might offer him assistance in achieving his ends, even if he doesn’t know them, doesn’t know how they would do so, and doesn’t think about their wellbeing (in fact, it applies even if he dislikes those he deals with, as long as the benefits of the arrangements exceed his perceived personal cost of doing so).

For instance, consider a retail gas station faced with lengthy lines of cars. That reflects a failure of social cooperation between the buyers and the seller. Those in line are revealing by their actions that they are willing to bear extra costs beyond the current price to get gas, but their costs of waiting do not provide benefits to the gas station owner. So the owner will convert those costs of waiting in line, which are going to waste, into higher prices (unless prevented by government price ceilings or antigouging directives) that benefit him. That use of money at the margin benefits both buyers and sellers and results in increased amounts of gasoline supplied to buyers.

Further, people can change their behavior in response to price changes in far more ways than “outsiders,” unfamiliar with all the local circumstances, realize. This makes prices, in turn, far more powerful than anyone recognizes.

Consider water prices. If water prices rose, your first thought might well be that you had no choice but to pay them. You might very well not know how many different responses people have already had to spikes (ranging from putting different plants in front yards to building sophisticated desalinization plants). Similarly, when airline fuel prices rose sharply, few recognized in advance the number of changes that airlines could make in response: using more fuel-efficient planes, changing route structures, reducing carry-on allowances, lightening seats, removing paint, and more.

If people recognized how powerful altered market prices are in inducing appropriate changes in behavior, demonstrated by a vast range of examples, they would recognize that the cost of abandoning money at the margin, which enables these responses by offering appropriate incentives to everyone who could be of assistance in addressing the problem faced, would enormously exceed any benefit.

Massive Improvements in Social Cooperation

If we could just presume that individuals know everyone and all the things they care about and the entirety of their circumstances, we could imagine a society more focused on doing things directly for others. But in any extensive society, there is no way people could acquire that much information about the large number of people involved. Instead, this would extend the impossible information problem that Hayek’s “The Use of Knowledge in Society” laid out in regard to central planners. You can care all you want, but that won’t give you the information you need. Beyond that insuperable problem, we would also have to assume that people cared far more about strangers than human history has evidenced.

Those information and other-interestedness requirements would necessarily dictate a very small society. But the costs of those limitations, if people recognized them, would be greater than virtually anyone would be willing to bear.

Without a broad society, the gains from cross-pollination of ideas and different ways of doing things would be hamstrung. The gains from comparative advantage (areas and groups focusing on what they do best, and trading with others doing the same thing) would similarly be sharply curtailed. A very small society would eliminate the incentive for large-scale specialization (requiring more extensive markets) and division of labor that makes our standard of living possible. Virtually every product that involves a large number of separate arrangements—such as producing cars or the gasoline to power them—would disappear, because the arrangements would be overwhelmed by the costs of making them without money as the balance-tipper. As Paul Heyne once put it,

The impersonal transactions that constitute the market system . . . have, over the course of a few centuries, enormously expanded our ability to provide [for] one another . . . while at the same time vastly extending our freedom both by offering us a multitude of options and by freeing us from arbitrary restrictions on our choice of life goals and on the means to further those goals. To reject impersonal transactions as unethical amounts to rejecting the foundation of modern life.

Conclusion

A pastiche of false premises leads many to reject out of hand what Hayek recognized as the “marvel” of market systems, which, if they had arisen from deliberate human design, “would have been acclaimed as one of the greatest triumphs of the human mind.” This is great for those who seek power over others—they have an endless supply of bogeymen to promise to fight.

But it’s a disaster for social coordination. The record of disasters inflicted on society demonstrates what follows when voluntary arrangements are replaced by someone else’s purportedly superior vision.

But it’s often forgotten. We must continue to make the case.

ABOUT GARY M. GALLES

Gary M. Galles is a professor of economics at Pepperdine University.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

Florida: TEA Party Protesters challenge Republican Establishment

This Press Conference by several group leaders is the precursor to the Rally this Saturday, April 12th, on Amelia Island to protest John Boehner, Eric Cantor and other republican RINO’s conspiring with enemies of the state against groups whose values are what is really under attack… values shared by our founding fathers and values which made this nation the greatest the world has ever known.

Please watch and share via facebook by copy and pasting in all groups you are a member, via email, via twitter with #RINORetreat.

The George Soros funded Republican Mainstreet Partnership planned strategy session to stymie TEA Party Candidates and conservative Republicans of the ilk of Ted Cruz or Mike Lee by the current Republican Leadership to include John Boehner & Eric Cantor are put on notice during a Press Conference by Conservative Republicans and TEA Party leaders who will mass troops on the ground this coming weekend.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/eK85zpQvFr0[/youtube]

Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead, The Wicked Witch, The Wicked Witch

Photo caption: Barack, now that we have wrecked havoc on all the Christians in this country with my HHS Mandate – I think it’s time that I resign and let you and Nancy take it from here. Remember, focus on the 70 Million Catholics. Like Nancy and I – the Majority of them are not “real Catholics”.

There is a GOD and I believe in Miracles. And, I love the movie, “The Wizard of Oz”. Great classic that has such a surprising ending. Sure, it was all a dream that took place in the tornado alley of Kansas and Dorothy experienced something out of this world in the Emerald City, while meeting a scarecrow, a tin man and a cowardly lion on her way to meet a wizard. But, it was all a dream.

The HHS Mandate is not a dream. It’s a reality. It is still going on as I write this piece, and there is no wizard at the controls. Far from a wizard. There is a liberal dictator by the name of Barack Hussein Obama at the controls behind that curtain, pushing all the buttons with no regard for anybody – but, at least the “wicked witch behind the Mandate is dead”…or, at least resigned – as in Kathleen Sebelius…the wicked witch – and yes, she also spent quite a bit of time in Kansas.

Just like Dorothy and Toto’s episode taking place on a farm in Kansas – the “Pro-abortion” 65 year-old Sebelius was once governor of Kansas. Not a coincidence. Dorothy’s beautiful story was a dream. Sebelius’ controversial story was a nightmare. But, after 5 years of raising hell, of going head-to-head with Cardinal Dolan and the Catholic Church – she finally decided to “throw in the broom” and call it a day. “I’m melting”…but, how much damage has been done??

Like I have said for over two years, “When Sebelius & the Obama administration introduced the H.H.S. Mandate back on January 20th, 2012 – challenging the Catholic Church in a big way – Cardinal Dolan (then President of the USCCB), should have never “backed down”, and given Sebelius & Obama any window of opportunity to control the countless Catholic institutions in this country. Had Dolan taken a stronger stance against this liberal administration and had he instructed “every single Catholic institution to file a lawsuit against the H.H.S. two years ago”, we would have never spent more than a month on this issue. We would have been able to put it to rest immediately…and Obamacare would have gone away before our very own eyes… almost like pouring a bucket of water on a wicked witch, to put out a fire on a helpless scarecrow.

Needless to say, that did not happen. Only seventy-seven lawsuits from Catholic institutions have taken place to date; Cardinal Dolan is no longer the President of the USCCB; and Obamacare is trying to survive as the number of enrolled Americans has been inflated greatly by Obama, himself, stating that 7.1 million Americans have signed up – or were forced to sign up – for this controversial health care.

So, we shall see what happens from this point on. Is it too late for the new president of the USCCB, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, to instruct every single Catholic institution to file a law suit against this unethical H.H.S. Mandate? Is the Catholic Church finally going to stand up to the liberal Obama administration and this H.H.S. fiasco, while the transition from Sebelius to Sylvia Mathews Burwell, is taking place?

Will the ever-popular Pope Francis put in his two cents worth during this up-coming Holy Week and remind Obama what he shared with him back on March 27th, when the two met at the Vatican? Or, are we going to go back to that famous 5th Amendment cop-out cliche and say once again – “WHO AM I TO JUDGE”???