Putin thinks globally, while Obama acts locally

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Russian President Vladimir Putin

There have been hundreds of columns written about the rise of a new “Red Dawn” under Russian President Vladimir Putin. Europe is a twitter (not the social media site) with concern about the Russian bear. President Obama is finishing up a trip to Europe and has called for sanctions against Russia for its actions in Crimea.

The world is waiting with baited breath for Putin’s next chess move perhaps into Ukraine. Gas prices are spiking, global fear is rising and America is cutting its military forces to pre-World War II levels. Those old enough to remember know what happens when America is weak and its eventual cost in blood and treasure. Talk of WW III abound.

Diplomacy is designed to prevent war. It is useless once the war has started. All war presupposes human weakness and seeks to exploit it. Prussian General and military theorist Carl von Clausewitz wrote:

Kind-hearted people might of course think there was some ingenious way to disarm or defeat the enemy without too much bloodshed, and might imagine this is the true goal of the art of war. Pleasant as it sounds, it is a fallacy that must be exposed: War is such a dangerous business that mistakes that come from kindness are the very worst. War is merely the continuation of policy by other means.

President Obama is a kind hearted person, President Putin is not.

Raphael Israeli in his book “Defeat, Trauma, Lesson: Israel Between Life and Extinction”, writes, “All too often we celebrate our rare victories in slow motion, play and replay endlessly their every detail so as to savor them  as if they were the natural state of affairs, but we tend to push our defeats to the corner, belittle and forget them.”

Israeli notes, “Winston Churchill  has become the hero and icon of the Allied resistance in spite of his association with war, death and destruction, and Neville Chamberlain, his predecessor, has been encrusted in the pages of history as the defeatist and naïve ‘peacenik’ who sought peace at any price, but in his search of peace and honor ended up forfeiting both.”

Who will history view as today’s Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill?

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President Barack Obama

President Obama has, since his election in 2008, had multiple bites at the apple to stand with peoples seeking liberty over repressive regimes. A second bite at the apple is defined as, “A second chance at an argument or negotiation previously lost.” President Obama may have a third bite at the apple of freedom if he decides to support the people of the Ukraine in their efforts to achieve liberty and independence from Russia. He has failed twice to make a strong argument against tyrannical regimes during his administration. As people died Obama remained silent.

The first failure was in 2009 during the Green Revolution in Iran. President Obama materially did nothing and the Green Revolution was put down violently by the Iranian regime. The winners: Russia and Iran. Loser: United States.

The second failure was in 2013 during the mass demonstrations against and overthrow of the Morsi regime in Egypt. President Obama materially did nothing and the people of Egypt prevailed. The winners: Egypt and Russia. Loser: United States.

Today President Obama is faced with yet another revolution but this time in the heart of Eastern Europe – the Ukraine.

As Clausewitz wrote, “Everything in war is simple, but the simplest thing is difficult. If the mind is to emerge unscathed from this relentless struggle with the unforeseen, two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth; and second, the courage to follow this faint light wherever it may lead.”

Who is following the faint light – Obama or Putin?

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Warfare Three Ways

A History of the Disastrous Global Warming Hoax

“It is the greatest deception in history and the extent of the damage has yet to be exposed and measured,” says Dr. Tim Ball in his new book, “The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science”.

Dr. Ball has been a climatologist for more than forty years and was one of the earliest critics of the global warming hoax that was initiated by the United Nations environmental program that was established in 1972 and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) established in 1988.

Several UN conferences set in motion the hoax that is based on the assertion that carbon dioxide (CO2) was causing a dramatic surge in heating the Earth. IPCC reports have continued to spread this lie through their summaries for policy makers that influenced policies that have caused nations worldwide to spend billions to reduce and restrict CO2 emissions. Manmade climate change—called anthropogenic global warming—continues to be the message though mankind plays no role whatever

There is no scientific support for the UN theory.

CO2, despite being a minor element of the Earth’s atmosphere, is essential for all life on Earth because it is the food that nourishes all vegetation. The Earth has passed through many periods of high levels of CO2 and many cycles of warming and cooling that are part of the life of the planet.

“Science works by creating theories based on assumptions,” Dr. Ball notes, “then other scientists—performing their skeptical role—test them. The structure and mandate of the IPCC was in direct contradiction of this scientific method. They set out to prove the theory rather than disprove it.”

Cover - Deliberate Corruption“The atmosphere,” Dr. Ball notes, “is three-dimensional and dynamic, so building a computer model that even approximates reality requires far more data than exists and much greater understanding of an extremely turbulent and complex system.” No computer model put forth by the IPCC in support of global warming has been accurate, nor ever could be.

Most of the reports were created by a small group of men working within the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia and all were members of the IPCC. The result was “a totally false picture supposedly based on science.”

The revelations of emails between the members of the CRU were made available in 2009 by an unknown source. Dr. Ball quotes Phil Jones, the Director of the CRU at the time of the leaks, and Tom Wigley, a former director addressing other CRU members admiting that “Many of the uncertainties surrounding the cause of climate change will never be resolved because the necessary data are lacking.”

The IPCC depended upon the public’s lack of knowledge regarding the science involved and the global warming hoax was greatly aided because the “mainstream media bought into and promoted the unproven theory. Scientists who challenged were denied funding and marginalized. National environmental policies were introduced based on the misleading information” of the IPCC summaries of their reports.

“By the time of the 2001 IPCC Third Assessment Report, the politics and hysteria about climate change had risen to a level that demanded clear evidence of a human signal,” notes Dr. Ball. “An entire industry had developed around massive funding from government. A large number of academic, political, and bureaucratic careers had evolved and depended on expansion of the evidence. Environmentalists were increasing pressure on the public and thereby politicians.”

The growing problem for the CRU and the entire global warming hoax was that no clear evidence existed to blame mankind for changes in the climate and still largely unknown to the public was the fact that the Earth has passed through many natural cycles of warmth and cooling. If humans were responsible, how could the CRU explain a succession of ice ages over millions of years?

The CRU emails revealed their growing concerns regarding a cooling cycle that had begun in the late 1990s and now, some seventeen years later, the Earth is in a widely recognized cooling cycle.

Moreover, the hoax was aimed at vast reductions in the use of coal, oil, and natural gas, as well as nuclear power to produce the electricity on which all modern life depends. There was advocacy of solar and wind power to replace them and nations undertook costly programs to bring about the reduction of the CO2 “fossil fuels” produced and spent billions on the “green” energy. That program is being abandoned.

At the heart of the hoax is a contempt for mankind and a belief that population worldwide should be reduced. The science advisor to President Obama, John Holdren, has advocated forced abortions, sterilization by introducing infertility drugs into the nation’s drinking water and food, and other totalitarian measures. “Overpopulation is still central to the use of climate change as a political vehicle,” warns Dr. Ball.

Given that the environmental movement has been around since the 1960s, it has taken decades for the public to grasp its intent and the torrents of lies that have been used to advance it. “More people,” notes Dr. Ball, “are starting to understand that what they’re told about climate change by academia, the mass media, and the government is wrong, especially the propaganda coming from the UN and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

“Ridiculous claims—like the science is settled or the debate is over—triggered a growing realization that something was wrong.” When the global warming advocates began to tell people that cooling is caused by warming, the public has realized how absurd the entire UN climate change argument has been.

Worse, however, has been “the deliberate deceptions, misinformation, manipulation of records and misapplying scientific method and research” to pursue a political objective. Much of this is clearly unlawful, but it is unlikely that any of those who perpetrated the hoax will ever be punished and, in the case of Al Gore and the IPCC, they shared a Nobel Peace Prize!

We are all in debt to Dr. Ball and a score of his fellow scientists who exposed the lies and debunked the hoax; their numbers are growing with thousands of scientists signing petitions and participating in international conferences to expose this massive global deception.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

The Middle East Test

This video is a special edition of The Glazov Gang, filmed live at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s West Coast Retreat at the Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, California. The wide-ranging discussion touched on the Israeli / “Palestinian” conflict, the Muslim persecution of Christians, and the Obama Administration’s willful ignorance regarding the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat.

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Caroline Glick is the senior contributing editor to the Jerusalem Post and author of the new book, The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East. My upcoming book, also discussed here, is Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We’re In.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the Freedom Center, a Jihad Watch contributing writer, and author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians. 

Hosting was Jamie Glazov.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image by HeartofSharjah is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

A Brief History of Sex Ed: How We Reached Today’s Madness

Today’s sex ed curricula are based on the widely-accepted teachings of depraved human beings.

Once upon a time, sex education was a simple biology lesson. Students learned the facts of life, and, with those facts, that sex is part of something bigger, called marriage. Teachers explained that this was the moral and healthy way to live.

In those days, people understood that men and women are different, and that their union is unique, unlike any other relationship. It went without saying that boys grew up to become men, and girls, women.

There were only two sexually transmitted diseases, and having one was a serious matter. Certain behaviors were not normal; individuals who practiced them needed help, and a child’s innocence was precious.

Things have changed.

Now we have comprehensive sexuality education. It includes discussion of identity, gender, reproductive rights, and discrimination. Children learn that they’re sexual from birth, and that the proper time for sexual activity is when they feel ready. They’re taught that they have rights to pleasure, birth control, and abortion.

The terms husband and wife aren’t used, the union of man and woman is one of several options, and morality? Well, that’s judging, and judging is not allowed.

You won’t find much biology in sexuality education, but there’s voluminous information on the varieties of sexual expression, the pros and cons of different contraceptives and abortions, and the harms of gender stereotypes.

Gender itself is a complicated matter. A boy might turn into a man, a woman, or something else. A girl might feel she was born in the wrong body, and want her breasts removed. This is all normal, children learn.

There are over two dozen sexually transmitted diseases, and infection with one of these “lovebugs” is considered by some to be a part of growing up. A doctor declares on YouTube, “Expect to have HPV once you become sexually intimate. All of us get it.”

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And childhood innocence? Forget it! Material created for children makes most adults uncomfortable. On websites recommended to students, nothing is taboo—sadomasochism, polyamory, and what were once called “deviant” behaviors . . . they’re all good. When I first discovered this, I was astonished. What do these bizarre behaviors have to do with health, I wondered? How can responsible adults allow this? How can they fund this?

As a physician and a parent, it really bothered me. I wanted to understand: where did this come from? How did we reach this madness?

So I looked at the history of sexual education, and I wrote a book called You’re Teaching My Child WHAT?. This is what I discovered.

Modern sex ed began in the sixties. It was based on Alfred Kinsey’s model of human sexuality. Thanks to the brilliant and courageous work of Dr. Judith Reisman, we now know that Kinsey was both a fraud and a deeply disturbed individual.

For Kinsey, it was anything goes when it came to sexuality, and I mean anything. He believed, for example, that pedophiles were misunderstood, and their punishments unjust. “Sexuality is not an appetite to be curbed,” Kinsey insisted. He taught that, and he lived it.

His official biography documents the beliefs on which he based his work, and his personal life: the “human animal” is pansexual. Traditional morality is destructive. Sexuality is not an appetite to be curbed.

When I say that Kinsey was a deeply disturbed individual, it fails to capture the level of his psychopathology. I’ve been a psychiatrist for thirty years, and trust me, I’ve met some very strange people. I am not easily shocked.

But when I began to read Kinsey’s official biography…what can I tell you? He was—please excuse the technical jargon—a real mental case.

Kinsey was afflicted at his core. He was a depraved human being, and his emotional illness expressed itself through his sexuality. He was consumed by a grotesque, debilitating obsession with a wide range of abnormal behaviors—I’ll spare you the details, but I doubt very much that in all the 62 years of Kinsey’s miserable life he knew even one day of what we would consider healthy sexuality.

Alfred Kinsey had a dream. He would prove to the world—and himself—that his lifestyle was normal. Average. Typical.

It was society that was at fault, with its religions, moral codes, and restrictions. Society made people feel guilty for following their natural urges, and that was unhealthy. Kinsey’s dream was to free people from those destructive institutions—to free the “human animal.” He did thousands of interviews, crunched the numbers, and concluded that most people practiced forbidden sexual behaviors. The average mom and dad were living a double life, just like he was.

His conclusions were widely questioned by leading scientists, but the criticism didn’t seem to matter. The popular press accepted Kinsey’s reports, and his books were best-sellers. A revolution was spawned and western culture transformed.

But his research was fundamentally flawed. His samples were too small and the demography was badly skewed. He excluded some populations and focused on others—most notably, imprisoned felons. His subjects were pre selected, since he relied on volunteers for his data.

The whole nefarious scheme has been exposed in a number of books and videos by Dr. Reisman. I urge you to check out her work at drjudithreisman.org for yourself, if you’ve got a strong stomach.

Kinsey died in 1956. This was a time in America when, thanks to antibiotics, venereal diseases were being obliterated. With one shot, syphilis and gonorrhea were cured. It was believed that this was the end of STDs, the end of all infections. The 1960 winner of the Nobel Prize in medicine said “we are seeing the virtual elimination of infectious diseases.” Can you imagine?

Also in 1960, birth control pills became widely available. With STDs easily cured, and pregnancy preventable, the only obstacle to Kinsey’s anything-goes model of sexuality was Judeo-Christian morality.

It was in this context that in 1964 Dr. Mary Calderone founded the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS). This is the group behind the sexuality education guidelines published by UNESCO, aggressively promoted to nations all over the world. Calderone created SIECUS with seed money provided by Hugh Hefner.

Like Kinsey, she was on a crusade to change society. Sex education has too much negativity, she insisted, too much focus on unwanted pregnancy and diseases. The real problem, she insisted, following Kinsey, was that society is puritanical and repressed.

There were too many nos in sex ed. The approach of SIECUS, Calderone promised, would be based on yesses. Proper sex ed would teach children that from the day they’re born they are sexual beings, and that the expression of their sexuality is positive, natural, and healthy.

She told parents, “Children are sexual and think sexual thoughts and do sexual things . . . parents must accept and honor their child’s erotic potential.” She also told them, “Professionals who study children have recently affirmed the strong sexuality of the newborn.”

What did it mean, exactly, to be open and positive, and to replace the nos of sex education with yeses? What did it mean to “break from traditional views”?

It meant more than premarital and extramarital sex. Much more. Modern sex ed was about breaking boundaries. There were officials within SIECUS who were so radical that they argued publicly for relaxing the taboos against adult/child sexuality, even incest. Wardell Pomeroy, for example, a disciple of Kinsey’s who served as president of SIECUS, argued, “It is time to admit that incest need not be a perversion or a symptom of mental illness.”

TIME magazine described Pomeroy as part of the “pro-incest lobby.” He wrote a book, Boys & Sex, for grades six and up. There he argued that “our sexual behavior…is like that of other animals….There is essentially nothing that humans do sexually that is abnormal.” Calderone provided a blurb for the book jacket: “As I read your manuscript, I kept saying to myself, ‘At last it is being said…’”

Another figure to know is Dr. John Money. In 1955, he introduced the radical concept that maleness and femaleness are feelings, separate from anatomy and chromosomes. He was convinced we are born without gender, then conditioned by society to identify either as male or female.

Money was a prominent psychologist; he’s well respected to this day. He described pedophilia as “a love affair between an age-discrepant couple.” Money was also part of the incest lobby: “For a child to have a sexual experience with a relative,” he wrote, “was not necessarily a problem.” Like Kinsey, Money had deep emotional wounds. His identity as a man was troubled, and he molested young boys.

What’s so astonishing is that these men, these very disturbed men, using fraudulent data and theories that have been discredited, succeeded in transforming much of society. Today’s sexuality education is based on their teachings.

Once I understood who the founders were—Kinsey, Calderone, Pomeroy, Money, and others—I understood how we got to today’s “comprehensive sexuality education.” I knew how we had reached today’s madness.

It came from disturbed individuals with dangerous ideas—radical activists who wanted to create a society that would not only accept their pathology, but celebrate it!

These men were pedophiles. It was in their interest to see children as miniature adults who enjoyed sexual contact, and had the right to consent to it, without other adults, or the law, interfering.

Why would they value childhood innocence? They didn’t believe that children were innocent to begin with. They also thought that restricting sex to husband and wife was unnatural and destructive. They weren’t fighting disease, they were fighting ancient taboos; they were fighting biblical morality.

The bottom line: sex ed began as a social movement, and it remains a social movement. Its goal is for students to be open to just about any form of sexual expression. Sex ed is not about preventing disease, it’s about sexual freedom, or better—sexual license. It’s about changing society, one child at a time.

You don’t have to be a physician to understand the dangers of this ideology. All you need is common sense. While the founders of sex education are long gone, their vision is alive and well. The obligation to fight it rests on the shoulders of every responsible adult.

Lesson Learned: The ‘Show’ of Support for Common Core in Georgia

Pro-Common Core groups astro-turf the illusion of overwhelming support for the program.

Earlier this week opponents of the “Common Core State Standards” cautiously celebrated their first major victory as Governor Mike Pence signed legislation withdrawing Indiana from the nationalized education program.

But in Georgia, the pro-Common Core big business/big government forces outgunned the grassroots and celebrated victory on the last day of the session last week.  A look at their tricks can provide lessons for other states.

Republican State Senator William Ligon was the sponsor of anti-Common Core legislation this year and last.  The 2013 version of his SB 167, which called for a complete withdrawal from Common Core, failed to get out of committee.  This year’s bill, revised multiple times, also failed to get out of the education committee.  Parts of the bill attached as two amendments to another education bill did not get approval on the last day of the session (with some supporters switching their votes).

On the side fighting Common Core and trying to enact legislation that would withdraw Georgia from the national education standards were tea party groups, alarmed parents and grandparents, dissenting teachers, and such groups as Concerned Women for America and American Principles in Action.

But even Democratic teachers and parents who oppose Common Core would not be able to fight the pro-Common Core rent-seekers — lobbyists, the Chamber of Commerce, principals, teachers, superintendents, and public radio and television employees.

The only thing that passed was a resolution to form a study committee on Common Core.  But even this was too much for Georgia Democratic State Representative Alisha Thompson Morgan, now running for state school superintendent.  In February, Morgan had introduced a House Resolution affirming Georgia’s commitment to Common Core.

To even discuss Common Core in a study committee was crazy talk, she implied in her speech against the measure in the waning hours on the last day.  For evidence, she noted, “I’ve heard all kinds of things, like let’s abolish the U.S. Department of Education.”  To Morgan, the federal Department of Education protects students: “It’s the federal government’s job to ensure that we don’t violate the rights of students.”

She listed the benefits bestowed by the U.S. Department of Education: the $400 million in stimulus funds in exchange for agreement to the Common Core standards, innovation grants, and data-tracking from “preschool to Ph.D.” Morgan insisted this was not a Democratic or Republican issue.  She was speaking as “a mom” of a first-grader, and she was hearing great things from her teacher about Common Core — like developing “critical thinking skills.”

“Why are we still having this conversation?” Morgan asked.  No further discussion should be allowed: a March 5 education committee hearing on Ligon’s bill had 68 people testifying, with the vast majority, 58, opposing Ligon’s bill.

“I don’t ever remember so many people testifying,” she said: “It was the first time I recall groups like the Chamber of Commerce and Coalition of 100 Black Men joining together.”

Plus, she had been overwhelmed by emails and other communication from teachers, parents, and citizens pleading to keep Common Core, a claim she repeated from what she had said at the education committee hearings on March 5 and March 12.  These Common Core fans, Morgan said, spoke up at “listening sessions” held across the state in the months leading up to the start of the session in January.  They greatly outnumbered those who spoke against it — proof that the public supported Common Core.

In spite of Morgan’s arguments, the resolution for a study committee on Common Core passed, but it was the only — and largely symbolic — state level effort against Common Core this year.

Representative Morgan’s characterization of the groundswell of support for Common Core, however, does not fit with what documents obtained from an open records request reveal.  Those testifying against Ligon’s bill were largely members of the Chamber of Commerce — and public school employees: teachers, principals, superintendents, and administrators.  By my own count, 12 of them came from Tift County, 181 miles to the south of Atlanta, and they used school buses to get there.

They had apparently also used school buses to travel to the “listening sessions” across the state.  These were sham forums and used to present a show of openness on the issue.  In reality, the establishment, from Republican Governor Nathan Deal to the Education Committee chairman, Brooks Coleman (also a Republican), had made their decisions that Common Core was going to stay.  After the testimony of Tift County principal Mickey Weldon at the March 5 education committee hearing, Chairman Brooks Coleman thanked her and those who have been arranging the bus trips: “They bring those buses, and we appreciate them.”

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How Obama Is Drowning the Economy in Red Tape

Kelsey Harris and Amy Payne from The Foundry write, “Regulation: It’s a mostly hidden drain on the economy—and a favorite of the Obama administration. It affects all of our lives—and wallets—yet rarely makes headlines. Why? It’s complex; it’s constant; and the sheer volume of regulations is stunning.”

Heritage experts James Gattuso and Diane Katz have just updated their one-of-a-kind report on the Obama administration’s unrelenting use of regulation to push its policy agenda. Check out our new infographic to see how this presidency compares to the previous one, and what it’s costing us.

Gattuso and Katz note, “In his January 2014 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama vowed to wield his executive powers when faced with congressional resistance to his legislative agenda, stating: ‘America does not stand still—and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation … that’s what I am going to do.’” And he is doing it daily with red tape.

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Shocker: FBI dumps Southern Poverty Law Center as “hate crime” watchdog partner

This is indeed a shocker, as it goes against the consistent policy line of Obama’s FBI and Justice Department. But it is a most welcome development. The SPLC is one of the Left’s foremost propaganda organs, tarring any group that dissents from its extreme political agenda (such as our American Freedom Defense Initiative, and this website) as a “hate group.” Significantly, although it lists hundreds of groups as “hate groups,” it includes hardly any Islamic jihad groups on this list. And its “hate group” designation against the Family Research Council led one of its followers to storm the FRC offices with a gun, determined to murder the chief of the FRC. This shows that these kinds of charges shouldn’t be thrown around frivolously, as tools to demonize and marginalize those whose politics the SPLC dislikes. But that is exactly what they do. Its hard-Left leanings are well known and well documented. This Weekly Standard article sums up much of what is wrong with the SPLC.

“Shocker: FBI dumps Southern Poverty Law Center as ‘hate crime’ watchdog partner,” by Paul Bedard for the Washington Examiner, March 26:

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has labeled several Washington, D.C.-based family organizations as “hate groups” for favoring traditional marriage, has been dumped as a “resource” on the FBI‘s Hate Crime Web page, a significant rejection of the influential legal group.

The Web page scrubbing, which also included eliminating the Anti-Defamation League, was not announced and came in the last month after 15 family groups pressed Attorney General Eric Holderand FBI Director James Comey to stop endorsing a group — SPLC — that inspired a recent case of domestic terrorism at the Family Research Council.

“We commend the FBI for removing website links to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that not only dispenses erroneous data but has been linked to domestic terrorism in federal court. We hope this means the FBI leadership will avoid any kind of partnership with the SPLC,” Tony Perkins, FRC President, told Secrets.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center’s mission to push anti-Christian propaganda is inconsistent with the mission of both the military and the FBI, which is to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States,” he added.

The FBI had no comment and offered no explanation for its decision to end their website’s relationshipwith the two groups, leaving just four federal links as hate crime “resources.” Neither eliminated group had an immediate comment.

SPLC has been a leading voice against hate crimes, and has singled out evangelical and traditional family groups as advocates of hate against gays. It has even gone after a local official, Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, who also heads a group that promotes traditional, opposite sex marriage.

In August 2012, a Washington area man guided by the SPLC’s “hate map” that cited FRC, entered the group’s headquarters and shot a security guard. The guard survived and the shooter, a volunteer with a gay group, pleaded guilty to domestic terrorism.

In their letter, the 15 conservative groups argued that the FBI website’s inclusion of SPLC as a resource “played a significant part in bringing about an act of domestic terrorism.” It added, “It is completely inappropriate for the Department of Justice to recommend public reliance on the SPLC hate group lists and data. The links to the SPLC as a FBI ‘Resource’ must be taken down immediately, leaving only official, trustworthy sources listed on the agency’s webpage.”

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The White House is Defeating the U.S. Military

I began March with a look at the way President Obama is undermining the U.S. military and did not think I would have to return to this topic for a while. I was wrong.

A March 25 article in The Washington Times was titled “Obama to Kill Navy’s Tomahawk, Hellfire Missile Programs in Budget Decimation” and on March 21, The Wall Street Journal published a commentary, “America’s Incredible Shrinking Navy.” When you add those to The New York Times February 23 article, “Pentagon Plans to Shrink Army to Pre-World War II Level”, you’ve got sufficient reason to begin to realize something very ominous is occurring.

This concerned is heightened by the way dozens of high ranking officers are, in the view of some observers, being purged. A number of retired generals are speaking out about it. One of them, retired Army Major General Paul Vallely has charged that Obama is “intentionally weakening and gutting our military and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged.” Retired Army Major General Patrick Brady agrees saying, “There is no doubt he is intent on emasculating the military and will fire anyone who disagrees with him.”

The world, over the course of human civilization, has always been a dangerous place. Much of the history of mankind is a history of wars, large and small. In the last century the U.S. military was involved in two world wars, a Korean conflict, a war in Vietnam, and the Gulf War to drive out Hussein’s Iraqi forces after he invaded Kuwait.

The Russian seizure of Crimea in the wake of the protests that has left Ukraine in disarray has put all of Europe on edge and raised questions about the readiness of NATO. A look around the world sees China increasing its military strength, particularly at sea.

The Middle East to include much of northern Africa is a hotbed of turmoil. And, of course, Iran continues to contribute to it, aiding Syria’s regime along with the Russians, supporting Palestinian terror organizations that threaten Israel, while pursuing its own nuclear weapon capabilities.

This would hardly seem a good time to undermine U.S. military capabilities, but that is exactly what is occurring thanks to President Obama.

The Washington Times reported that “President Barack Obama is seeking to abolish two highly successful missile programs that experts say have helped the U.S. Navy maintain military superiority for the past several decades.” The Tomahawk missile program, under Obama’s 2015 budget proposal, would be completely eliminated by fiscal year 2016. Seth Cropsey, the director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for American Seapower, said “This really moves the U.S. away from a position of influence and military dominance.”

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Navy Aviation Ordnancemen work together to mount Laser Guided Bombs underneath an F-14B Tomcat during combat preparations on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) on Feb. 1, 2005.

Writing in The New York Times, Steve Cohen, a former director of the U.S. Naval Institute, noted that “The Navy is supposed to be ‘forward deployed’ to provide the president with tools powerful enough to deal with potential threats and trouble spots.” For decades since the end of World War Two the U.S Navy has patrolled the world’s sea lanes to protect trade between nations, but Cohen said, “The rest of the world isn’t unpatrolled, but it is under-patrolled” noting that “Some 90% of the world’s trade moves by sea. Much of that can be disrupted by attacks on a handful of choke points readily apparent to pirates, terrorists, and rogue nations.”

“With the U.S Navy arguably at its smallest since 1917, we don’t have many ships that are actually at sea. Only 35% of the Navy’s entire fleet is deployed, fewer than 100 ships.”

U.S. air power has been under assault as well by the Obama regime. In June of last year, David A. Deptula, a retired Air Force three-star general and senior military scholar at the Air Force Academy, warned that “In the Air Force alone, more than 30 squadrons are now grounded, along with aircrews, and maintenance and training personnel.” Less than a year ago “The graduate schools for Air Force, Navy and Marine combat aviators” had been cancelled. “Equipment testing and upgrades to F-22s, F-15s, F-16s, and other aircraft have been delayed.”

In September 2013, the commandant of the Marine Corps, James F. Amos, warned that cuts to the nation’s defense and security spending that occurred from 1990 to 2001, reduced its total active-duty strength by 32%. In 2001 the Corps totaled approximately 172,000 Marines, down from 197,000 in the 1990 Gulf War. When 9/11 occurred, the Marines “found themselves short of critical capabilities in intelligence collection and analysis, in communication and in mobility on land, sea and in the air.” These days the Marines are facing further reductions.

It will be up to Congress to eliminate the sequestration cuts and the Obama regime proposals to ensure that the U.S. military is restored to a state of readiness. If it rubber stamps the reductions that have been occurring for more than a decade, the ability of the nation to respond to an attack on our homeland or any of our allies will be highly limited.

You can be sure that those nations unfriendly to our future are fully aware of this and the defeat of our armed forces could occur on the battlefield because it has already occurred here.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

RELATED STORY: President Obama killing our soldiers softly with his Rules of Engagement

Effectively Irrational: 30 common fallacies used against libertarians by Max Borders

By now you have probably heard of Bryan Caplan’s “rational irrationality.” The idea is that if the cost of holding irrational beliefs is low enough, there may be more irrationality demanded. Indeed, if holding an irrational view makes someone feel better about himself or keep membership in some in-group—but holding the view doesn’t directly harm the holder—she may very well stick with that view.

Caplan contrasts this with the idea of “rational ignorance,” which is more familiar to our readers. That simply means the cost of acquiring enough information to have a truly informed opinion about some issue is generally high, so people remain ignorant.

Both of these behaviors certainly play a role in the preponderance of dumb policies and dumb views. But are there corollaries in debate tactics?

Most libertarians find they’re arguing in social media these days. So they’re not only finding new people on whom to test their ideas, they’re finding new fallacies in response. And sometimes these fallacies work, despite being fallacious, which is probably why they’re so commonplace. This is especially true on social media, where one can quickly learn that the real point of these exchanges is to play to the audience, to provide them with an excuse to withdraw into whatever biases they already hold. Still, maybe it’s possible to raise the costs of employing these fallacies—at least a little.

We’ve decided to offer you a fun list of them, which you can use as a handy guide in the process of engaging in well-mannered, reasoned discourse online.

  1. Argument ad KochBrotherium: This fallacy is a cousin to the genetic fallacy and guilt by association. The twist, of course, is that anything that the Koch Brothers ever say, said, fund, funded, might fund, came close to funding, could have funded, will fund, walked by, looked at, support, think about, or mention is invalid by virtue of, well, “Koch Brothers! Boo!”
  2. The Unicorn: You’ll recognize this fallacy from the question, “Why does no libertarian country exist anywhere in the world?” Embedded in the question is the assumption that libertarian countries don’t exist because they are fantastic creatures, like unicorns. Of course, just because something doesn’t exist yet does not mean it can’t exist. Indeed, the Internet in 1990 and the American Republic in 1775 beg to differ. And the unicorn fallacy fundamentally confuses the libertarian worldview with some “L”ibertarian platform that might be the product of some electoral processes—processes most libertarians reject. Michael Lind and E. J. Dionne have brandished this fallacy rather shamelessly, and have had it parried rather effectively by better minds.
  3. Nut-Picking: This fallacy has nothing to do with Jimmy Carter. In this style of argument, the arguer finds the kookiest or most insane person who self-identifies as libertarian and then ascribes all of that person’s beliefs or claims to all libertarians. (This one could also be called the Alex Jones fallacy.) This is a tough one to counter simply because there are plenty of nuts to pick from, and plenty of them use the L-word.
  4. Must Be Scared/Have No Answer: This one’s pretty simple really, and a unique creature of “debate” via social media. The libertarian leaves his computer or signs off for a while and the opponent accuses the libertarian of not being able to answer his or her Facebook claims, which the libertarian simply never saw or had no time to answer.
  5. The Tin Man: This fallacy was identified and named by Cole James Gentles (here), who inspired this article. With the tin man the arguer either concludes or falsely assumes that the libertarian “has no heart” because she argues against some favored policy. This cousin of the straw man (scarecrow) fallacy assumes a direct line between sympathies and outcomes. Any failure to support some means amounts to a failure to support the wished-for end.
    The tin man fallacy is rooted in the assumption that one’s opponent, often a libertarian, has no heart. Unlike the straw man fallacy, in which the debater needs to mischaracterize their opponent’s position, the tin man fallacy allows the debater to build a sturdy-looking, if hollow, general facsimile of their opponent’s position (“You are against state mandated universal health care?”), but not give him a heart (“Then you don’t care about poor people who don’t have access to affordable, quality insurance, or people with pre-existing conditions!! You heartless monster! WHY DO YOU HATE THE POOR?!” Heard that one before?)

    The frightening part of this fallacy is that its wielder usually thinks exitus acta probat.

  6. Availability Cascade: Something big and bloody happens on the news (or goes viral), so the arguer implies or concludes that it’s a widespread occurrence. Example: A mass shooting has occurred, which points to an epidemic of gun violence. It’s not clear that if gun violence is at a multidecadal low point, the incident reflects an “epidemic.” The ready availability of some story leads one to conclude that a problem is widespread and demands a drastic response. Cass Sunstein, known for his work on “nudging,” gets credit along with Timur Kuran for identifying this phenomenon. (An availability cascade doesn’t always have to involve specious reasoning, but it very often does.)
  7. Man on the Moon: Remember Rachel Maddow standing in front of the Hoover Dam? She’s trying to convince her viewers that the government (which she calls “the country”) must tax and build some major make-work project in order to revive the economy (or whatever). Maddow is employing a form of the man on the moon fallacy, which takes the form, “If we can put a man on the moon, we can do X.” But it misconstrues any reservations about big, awe-inspiring State projects as doubts about “America’s” ability to do big things. It’s just assumed that anything requiring extensive collaboration must be done via State power for it to count. Questions of the value, cost, or feasibility (or some combination thereof) of any particular project are sealed off from the word “if.” And of course “we” is never carefully unpacked.
  8. The Gap: I wrote a whole book about why the following involves fallacious thinking. The fallacy goes something like this: “The free market widens the gap between rich and poor.” Now, strictly speaking that claim might be correct. But so what? I’ll pass over the problem that the “free market” has probably already been attacked with the unicorn fallacy at some prior point in the same hypothetical conversation. In any case, because economies are dynamic, the “rich” and “poor” change from day to day, and measured in quintiles, we don’t know whether the “gap” will be greater or smaller from one day to the next, even assuming a free market. The real problem with such reasoning is the built-in assumption that a gap itself is a bad thing. Suppose a really tall man moves into my neighborhood. Apart from my suddenly wishing I were taller, does the presence of the tall man make me worse off somehow? Of course not. The existence of the rich person doesn’t make me worse off, either, unless he got rich by using political means to transfer money from my pocket to his. This happens all the time. But such transfers have nothing whatsoever to do with free markets.Measuring an asset gap in and of itself tells us little. Indeed, without the functional story of how any gap came to be—stories, not snapshots matter here—we can’t make any judgments about it whatsoever. “Gap” talk is just a fetish that ignores how much better off the poor are thanks to the existence of innovators and entrepreneurs who got rich by creating value. And the unstated assumption is that if any group of people has more wealth at any particular point, the people with less are somehow being wronged simply because the other group has more. The gap fallacy is also meant to preempt debate, usually in the service of another agenda (which is rarely more than reinforcing the opponent’s opinion of himself as a good guy).
  9. The Two-Step: Some opponents will simply change the subject in the middle of a discussion, leaving the original claim by the wayside. Usually neither party notices the two-step. For example, the opponent may refuse to answer the libertarian’s direct question and instead respond with another question. Or the debater may slide into one or another irrelevant point that has no bearing on the original point at issue. This process can go on for a while unless the libertarian rigorously brings the opponent back to the original point. The red herring, ad hoc, and non sequitur are similar enough fallacies, so the two-step may also be classified as an evasive tactic.
  10. Panglossian Fallacy: Because the military-industrial complex was somehow involved in developing aspects of what later became the commercialized Internet, it follows that government funding is indispensable for such wonderful things to appear—and that all the things that go along with the funding (and revenue-collection) apparatus are therefore also acceptable. This variation of the post hoc fallacy is seductive particularly because we can never know what would have happened in the counterfactual private sector. Form: If it happened, it must be the best of all possible worlds. (See also the “The Government R&D Canard.”)
  11. Your Side: Also known as tarring with the same brush, this fallacy has a couple of related forms (see No. 1 and No. 3). An opponent may accuse the libertarian of being a Republican or Tea Party conservative because he or she happens to agree with a majority of Republicans on some particular issue. One hears: “Your side thinks . . . ” when in actuality the libertarian doesn’t have a “side” per se. It works even better as a tactic if there is really no connection at all apart from being something the opponent’s “side” would never say. The “your side” fallacy allows the opponent to appeal directly to tribal biases, which are more immediate and powerful than any argument. When it’s intentional, this rhetorical maneuver is meant to appeal to others who may be watching—the hope being that they’ll swerve into the ditch that is their own biases.
  12. The We/Society Fallacy: This common form of hypostatization occurs when the user ascribes rational individual agency to “society” and conflates or confuses society with the State. Both usually happen immediately, or somewhere hidden, before the opponent even speaks. The opponent wants his moral position or emotional state to be reflected somehow in the organization of society. Although “we” or “society” is a useful ersatz word that appears to confer legitimacy on some aspect of the opponent’s claim, it is almost always an intellectual sleight-of-hand. Only individuals can act. Groups must work through processes of either collaboration or coercion. (Note: “The market” is often misused this way by both supporters and detractors.)
  13. Deus ex Machina/Market Failure: People is people. And yet opponents sometimes think that it’s enough to argue that governments, by dint of largess and force, have the power to fix certain kinds of problems, which they label “market failures” because they happened outside the purview of State action. Note that this only works in one direction: Problems in any area covered by the State are usually chalked up to being problems merely of execution, whereas “market failures” allegedly reflect an inherent deficiency. Even if one agrees that one set of people working in voluntary cooperation cannot solve some problem (or at least haven’t yet), it does not follow that another group of people—“the government”—can. Indeed, greats like James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock have given us very good reasons why government is not likely to solve problems and will likely make matters worse.
  14. The Organic Fallacy: Such arguments take the form, “It’s organic, therefore it’s good or good for you.” Or similarly, “It’s not organic, therefore it’s bad or bad for you.” One hears this rationale to demand regulations and food labeling. And while there may be independent reasons to justify such regulations or labeling, these are not justified by the organic fallacy. It’s not clear that Socrates would argue for the health benefits of natural hemlock, nor would people with thyroidectomies argue they should go without Synthroid. I would add that, until there is more evidence to the contrary, there are plenty of GMOs that are good for me. (Note: Plenty of libertarians commit this fallacy too. Just because Monsanto is a rent-seeker doesn’t mean all its products are bad.)
  15. Nobel Fallacy: You may recognize the form “X has a Nobel Prize in economics, who are you to argue against his claims?” I don’t care whether Krugman or Stiglitz has a Nobel Prize, they’re wrong about just about everything. And the truth or falsity of one’s claim doesn’t depend on his credentials. (Meanwhile Nobel Laureates James Buchanan, Vernon Smith, Elinor Ostrom, Douglass North, Milton Friedman, and Friedrich Hayek are mostly always right. I mean, that’s like 6–2 for the good guys. [*rimshot*])
  16. No Parks for You: Snarkier opponents of libertarianism rhetorically ask why libertarians avail themselves of all the goods and services government happens to provide. “If you’re going to live by your principles, you can’t use X or Y” (insert: state universities or public roads). Of course, it does not follow that one should not avail himself of some good or service he thinks should be provided by other means. Indeed, one could argue that he is more than justified in consuming some good or service he has been forced to pay for against his will.
  17. The Self-Exile Fallacy: Snarkier still is the opponent who argues that “If you don’t like it, why don’t you just leave?” Implicit in this question is the suggestion that there is some positive duty for one to leave a condition he doesn’t like and/or that by one’s staying, he his implicitly consenting to whatever the system is. By this “logic,” if you have just bought a house with an ‘80s bathroom, instead of improving, changing, or upgrading it, you should just take a bath in the kitchen sink.
  18. Somalia: Opponents love to tell you that Somalia must be a “libertarian paradise.” Everyone laughs. If you respond with a phrase like “comparative institutional analysis,” everyone’s eyes glaze over and you lose, despite being correct. Somalia has been better off on most dimensions without a central government than it was under a brutal, centralized regime—warlordism notwithstanding.
  19. Social Contract: Rousseau left a terrible intellectual legacy. And progressives use his “social contract” to justify anything under the statist’s sun. Of course, there could be a real social contract, but libertarian opponents prefer the one that allows them to justify anything under . . .
  20. Start Somewhere: You’ve slogged through the data. You’ve offered a completely rational response. You’ve explained the ins and outs of why your opponent’s policy X won’t work and why it may even make things worse. The response? “We’ve got to start somewhere.” The idea here is that it’s better to do, well, anything—even if it might result in calamity. And, of course, the State must do that potentially calamitous thing. (See also No. 23.)
  21. Social Darwinism: “The free market is just social Darwinism!” This is actually a pretty old meme. It was used by progressive academics in the 1940s to smear the work of Herbert Spencer. Spencer was a biological Darwinist to be sure. And he also thought the market and social phenomena like institutions and ideas would be subjected to analogous evolutionary forces. But the unit of survival in markets is the business, not the individual. In other words, businesses that fail to create value for customers die. But advocating for free people to engage in voluntary exchange is not advocating that people leave the weak, poor, or vulnerable to suffer. Quite the contrary. Most advocates of the free market believe a robust philanthropy sector is part and parcel to a system of voluntary exchange. Herbert Spencer thought so too. He writes: “Of course, in so far as the severity of this process is mitigated by the spontaneous sympathy of men for each other, it is proper that it should be mitigated.”
  22. Argumentum Ad Googlum: This fallacy proceeds when the libertarian makes a good point or builds a stellar case, or asks a question the opponent can’t answer. The opponent disappears for a while, frantically Googling away. The opponent comes back with a series of links that stand in for argument. To be fair, this isn’t always a fallacy, as some will use links to support their claims. But often the tactic is used to thrust the burden of debate back onto the libertarian who is expected to read through the links and infer some point. At best, it’s bad form.
  23. We’ve Got to Do Something!: Related to the “start somewhere” fallacy, “We’ve got to do something!” is an argument that really means (a) the State has to do something, and (b) State action is preferable to both no action or private action. Numerous examples of this fallacy appear when opponents think any action riding on good intentions is good enough, consequences be damned. Often, however, it can be demonstrated that it is better for government to do nothing and to stop doing what it’s already doing. (Examples include stimulus spending, regulation, and other forms of intervention.) For government to do nothing is rarely presented as premise subject to debate and evaluation. Someone genuinely open to ideas would ask, “What should be done about this?” and “Who should do it?” Someone genuinely interested in answers would have the courtesy to make explicit what they already believe: “The government has to do something, which is beyond debate. Here’s what I think that something should be.”
  24. Empirical Fallacy: A familiar opponents’ refrain of late is: How do we know X isn’t going to work until we try it? We have to wait and see the empirical evidence before calling X a failure. With such reasoning we should let monkeys go to Washington and type randomly into a big machine that spits out statutes at random. Well, we already do this in a manner of speaking, but it might be a good idea to look at some well-established economic theory and economic thinking before sallying forth into legislative adventures that could have both predictably perverse and unintended consequences. More importantly, the opponent presumes it is the prerogative of the State—and, by extension, any governmental group within the State apparatus—to experiment on those under its auspices, and that it is the duty of the subjects in that jurisdiction to submit to the experimentation. (Also called the Pelosi Fallacy.)
  25. No True Libertarian: Ever heard of the no true Scotsman fallacy? Usually it’s applied by someone in a group to question another’s membership in that same group in terms of their ideological purity. Libertarians are famous for saying to each other, “If you think X, you’re no libertarian.” But libertarians’ opponents use a variation of this too. They’ll say something like, “Libertarians believe in X. If you don’t, you’re no libertarian.” (X might be natural rights, collective non-State action, a social safety net, etc.) The no true Libertarian fallacy is a way of trying to force the libertarian to choose between a subtle variation in his argument and his own doctrine. It implies the libertarian lacks credibility: “This clown doesn’t know what he thinks!” Of course, such a tack has no bearing on the truth or falsity of either party’s claims, or the validity of their arguments. Libertarianism is a diverse school of thought. It is not a monolith. One need only demonstrate the consistency of his argument.
  26. Fascist Ignorance: This one should be familiar: Libertarian opponents were outraged—OUTRAGED—when John Mackey pointed out quite correctly on NPR that Obamacare is a fascist policy. Fascism is, of course, a doctrine that calls for significant State control over private industries, to be carried out in the service of State ends. So the fallacy of fascist ignorance is a form of ad hominem in which a libertarian opponent refers to the libertarian or his views as “fascist” despite, strictly speaking, holding fascist views herself. (One might also refer to this as the “chicken calling the cow ‘poultry’” fallacy.) In the interests of good discourse, however, it’s probably not wise for anyone to evoke the power of the “F” word at all, given how much baggage it carries.
  27. Just One Life: The emotional appeal, grounded in nothing substantive, is meant to be a moralistic shutdown card. It goes “I’m sorry, but if we can save just one life with this policy, it’s worth it.” What does that even mean? Does it mean that every life has infinite value? Does it mean that saving lives at the expense of others and all other considerations is the purpose of government? Or does it mean that “worth it” is completely vague, but you just care a lot? It’s a heroic-sounding sentiment, but it demonstrates only the speaker’s commitment and earnestness—not any analysis of the policy itself.
  28. Consensus: This hybrid of the bandwagon and appeal to authority fallacies infects lots of discourse. It takes the form, “Lots of really smart and educated people believe X, therefore it’s true.” From the USDA food pyramid dieticians to macroeconomists, authorities are not always right. There are limits to any individual’s ability to understand all the nuances of a given issue. Prediction and forecast are even more difficult. Political decision-makers must confront the same cognitive limitations as mere mortals, which is why they, like libertarian debate opponents, rely far too heavily on expert “consensus.”
  29. Logo-phallo-euro-centric: Opponents accuse libertarianism of being hostile to women, minorities, homosexuals, and other marginalized groups. The fallacy lies in the idea that if your doctrine doesn’t acknowledge that groups deserve special, State-sanctioned treatment at the expense of other groups or individuals, it’s tantamount to some ism. Some even go as far as to say that if you use certain language some construe as racist, sexist, or homophobic, it invalidates libertarian doctrine. While many libertarians act like idiots and should probably not overreact to collectivist PC victim narratives with foul language, libertarian doctrine is at root a doctrine of anything peaceful—voluntary cooperation, decentralized power, and radical community formation. The heroes of libertarianism (of all races, sexes, and ethnic backgrounds) know that collectivism and Statism are interdependent world views: It takes evoking collectivism and inventing group rights (or wrongs) to justify most State actions, and the State has historically had the power systematically to prop up or tear down people by group.
  30. Who Will Build the Roads?: This familiar duck has a thousand variations, but the idea is that because the opponent has never seen it nor can imagine it being done without the State, it follows that it can’t. But of course, it (roadsaideducation, and the rest of it) can. (See also No. 13.)

I encourage readers to add more to the comments section below.

Note: huge credit to Cole James Gentles, Jeff Ellis, Sarah Skwire, and Zach Spencer for their assistance in compiling these fallacies. Thanks also to Michael Nolan for help in fleshing these out.

Max Borders

Max Borders

ABOUT MAX BORDERS

Max Borders is the editor of The Freeman and director of content for FEE. He is also cofounder of the event experience Voice & Exit and author of Superwealth: Why we should stop worrying about the gap between rich and poor.

Keystone XL: Who benefits? Who loses?

Last Thursday, 20 March, the Washington Post published an amazing article by Juliet Eilperin, their Environment reporter, claiming the Koch brothers are the major owners of Canadian “tar sands” – the source of oil to be shipped through the Keystone XL . Specifically the article said:

“The biggest leaseholder in Canada’s oil sands isn’t Exxon Mobil or Chevron. It’s the Koch brothers.”

In doing so, Eilperin and the Post relied on a recently issued report from a far-left outfit called the International Forum on Globalization (IFG).

Ms. Eilperin is a longtime advocate of action to save the earth from “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming” (CAGW), the old name before it became “climate change” or “carbon pollution.” It is not terribly surprising that Eilperin opposes the pipeline, whoever is invested in it. The surprise is that Eilperin rushed so quickly and gullibly into an obvious hoax.

The recent IFG report is a supplement to one issued in October, 2013, which became a laughingstock when John Hinderaker of Powerline blog tore it apart, noting that even IFG admits Keystone XL would provide competition for Koch oil sales in the American Midwest, costing them about $120 billion. In addition, Koch Industries has never lobbied for the Keystone XL. Also, one does not just drive up to a Keystone XL terminal – assuming one ever exists – and pour in a truckload of oil. A would-be user has to pay, in advance, for a quota of oil to be shipped, an allowance of a portion to be used (of a total 830,000 bbl/day). Koch Industries hasn’t bought a quota. Needless to say, Hinderaker had a lot of fun ripping the WaPo and Eilperin.

A wise journalist – or, at least, an honest one – would have issued a retraction and an apology to the readers. Eilperin and the Post have done neither. Nor has the Post’s Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, the man who issues “Pinocchio” awards to liars, said anything about the article.

pinocchio_4

Pinocchios courtesy of the Washington Post.

This lie ought to get Eilperin four pinocchios.

So, what did Eilperin offer in response? She said:

The Powerline article itself, and its tone, is strong evidence that issues surrounding the Koch brothers’ political and business interests will stir and inflame public debate in this election year. That’s why we wrote the piece.

Oh. The fact that someone – not even Koch Industries – tried to rebut a complete lie is justification for printing the lie in the first place – since it “stirs and inflames public debate.”

But wait, as the TV salesmen say, there’s more.

Juliet Eilperin is married to Andrew Light, who formulates environmental policy for John Podesta’s Center for American Progress (CAP). Light is also a member of the Obama Administration, as a Senior Advisor to the Special Envoy on Climate Change in the State Department. As you remember, Climate Change is the most important issue facing the world – according to the Secretary of State, John “A Child Could Understand This” Kerry. Today President Obama is in Europe, discussing with NATO and the leaders of the European Union, what we can do to blunt the Russian control of the EU energy supply.

As you probably remember, John Podesta was recently made a “special advisor” to Obama – and specifically to advise on climate for the guy who once promised to make your electricity costs “skyrocket.” Mr. Podesta strongly and unequivocally opposes the construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals. He wants more study – as has been done for Keystone XL pipeline, for five years.

Who benefits if the Keystone pipeline goes ahead? Millions of Americans who will see gasoline prices decrease. Millions of Canadians who will see taxes flow into their national treasury. Thousands of Americans and Canadian workers. American energy independence, a priority since the 1970’s. Certainly not Koch Industries.

Who benefits if Keystone is not approved?

Tom Steyer, hedge fund billionaire and major Democratic Party contributor. Steyer is offering $100 million to Democrats in 2014 who oppose Keystone. Prior to the Democratic Senators’ talkathon, the leaders visited Steyer’s home in New York. Does anyone believe Mr. Steyer cares for the environment and global warming $100 million worth?

The feature image is a picture of Brad Johnson, a staff writer for Podesta’s Center for American Progress, admonishing the Washington Post against telling lies – when the Post dared print a column by Charles Krauthammer that suggested climate science is not “settled science.”

The American Physical Society (APS) recently appointed a panel of members, including three prominent sceptics, to review its previous endorsement of global warming as a matter of concern. Sounds pretty unsettled. I don’t often agree with Johnson or the rest of Podesta’s gang, but I also wish the Washington Post and its environment writer, Eilperin, would stop telling lies.

RELATED STORY: Keystone XL is Proof Obama Opposes U.S. Economic Growth

Obama Killing the Cornerstone of US Naval Power: The Tomahawk and Hellfire Missile Programs

At a time when there is fear that all-out war may break out in Ukraine, President Obama is taking action to disarm the US Navy.  Please review this article by Adam Kredo on the canceling of the US Navy Tomahawk and Hellfire missile programs. Not only is Obama reducing the US Navy to less than 200 ships from President Reagan’s 600 ship fleet, but Obama is also effectively telling the Chinese, Russian, and Iranian Navies that we are raising the white flag, and they will be able to attack US Navy more easily after he leaves office.  The Navy’s tomahawk stock will be completely depleted by 2018, with no replacements missiles to come online for 10 years.

By his actions, Obama is minimizing the defense of US Navy ships at sea from shore based missiles and enemy fleets. He is putting the lives of all Naval personnel at sea and the entire fleet in extreme danger.

This certainly should be viewed as a plan make the US Navy a second rate Navy, as his plans to degrade the US Army to a level below WWII strength, and reduce the US Air Force in numbers of combat aircraft that would be inadequate to protect the Republic; the plans to execute those reductions are already well underway by Obama’s civilian appointees at DOD, and being driven by the pretender in the Oval Office.  Obama has worked diligently for 5 years to negatively affect the unit cohesiveness, personnel moral, religious freedom, and the “Combat Effectiveness” of the US Armed Forces.

The ineffective Republic leadership in the House that controls the purse strings has done very little to combat it for the last 3 years, but they did vote to reduce the retirement pay of military personnel until we protested—forcing them to cease and desist.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff, General Dempsey, who helped Obama cover up the fact that US military rescue forces were prevented from saving the lives of the Americans in The Battle of Benghazi.  He and Admiral Mullen covered up the fact that Obama refused to authorize “Cross Border Authority” which is required before the Pentagon can deploy a rescue force.  Multiple rescue forces were ready and waiting on the tarmac 450 miles away ready to fly the 90 minutes to reach Benghazi during the commando style attack by 125-150 Al Q’ieda terrorists on the US Mission in The Battle of Benghazi, and we continue to watch while the CIA, the State Department, the National Security Council, the Joint Chiefs–of-Staff, and left of Center liberal media establishment are all complicit in the cover up.

Every Navy Veteran and every US Naval Academy graduate should contact their Congressional Representative, their US Senators, and the media in their states to demand Obama be stopped dead in his tracks from effectively destroying the US Navy at a time when Russia is going to war in the Ukraine.

Every day another shoe drops, and the “feckless and inept ” Republican leadership in the House of Representatives and the “anti-American and leftist” Democratic leadership in the US Senate do not act to prevent the continued destruction of the US Armed Forces by Obama.

Unless the leadership groups in both Houses of Congress act to prevent Obama from destroying the US Navy, “ALL” those Congressman and Senators in leadership of both houses who are perpetuating this and are standing for re-election in November must be defeated at the polls.

RELATED STORIES:

Obama to Kill Tomahawk, Hellfire Missile Programs

US notified 3,000 firms about cyber attacks in 2013

W Ketchup™ Denounces Obama’s Foreign Policy

Old foes, new allies?

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is of a tactical “Tomahawk” Block IV cruise missile, conducting a controlled flight test over the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) western test range complex in southern California.

The Austrian Influences on Bitcoin by Jeffrey A. Tucker

There is a bit of Menger, Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, and Kirzner in every satoshi.

Bitcoin seemed to emerge out of the blue in early 2009 as a unified monetary and payment system, something anticipated by no one. It’s true that the people who saw its merits and viability early on were code slingers and hackers. They posted their masterworks in strange places, and they are not available at university libraries. It’s all a little much to get your mind around, and there’s no academic literature about it. But then, the beauty of bitcoin is that you can jump in, start using it, and learn from the ground up.

For my part, I was incredulous about Bitcoin for two years after I heard about it. It just seemed crazy that money could somehow be created by a computer without any external or physical foundation. In some ways, this seems contradictory to everything we know about money.

But now that the currency has taken hold, its infrastructure is being built, cash-to-Bitcoin machines are going up everywhere, and mainstream opinion is gradually coming around. Cryptocurrency is real and not going away.

It’s time for a retrospective on exactly who among economists anticipated such a radical idea that markets themselves could discover and sustain a money independent of the State. When looking for economists, we need to begin with those who regarded money as a market good, created through entrepreneurial experimentation.

That points directly to the Austrian School.

Carl Menger (1840–1921). “Money is not an invention of the state,” wrote the great founder of the Austrian School. “It is not the product of a legislative act. Even the sanction of political authority is not necessary for its existence. Certain commodities came to be money quite naturally, as the result of economic relationships that were independent of the power of the state.”

This runs against most of what we think we know. Money is produced by the State today and has been in most places in the world for the better part of one hundred years. This creates an illusion that the State is the reason for money’s existence.

This is untrue. Money was nationalized away from markets, just as the roads and schools were. None of the reasons for this development are good. Government likes to control the money because it can depreciate it and thereby have another revenue source besides taxes. It can guarantee its own debts to prevent markets from evaluating them realistically.

The banks oblige this wish. In exchange, they are protected from market competition and enjoy protection against bank runs. In essence, the government grants banks the right to counterfeit so long as government can enjoy the first fruits of the printing press.

Once you release yourself from the myth that government created money, new possibilities emerge. Menger describes the emergence of money in evolutionary terms. There is trial-and-error. There is innovation. There are fits and starts. Something can be money in one place and not in another. Its emergence is gradual and goes through many iterations. “This transition did not take place abruptly, nor did it take place in the same way among all peoples.” This is a good description of the emergence of Bitcoin.

Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973). In a book published in 1912, Mises deepened and broadened Menger’s original theory about the origin of money. He was seeking an answer to the question of money’s original price in terms of goods and services. He explained that at any one time, there are many goods competing for money status—that is, that the good would be acquired not just to consume but also to trade for other goods.

He explained that it is impossible for anything to just be labelled money and for it to obtain value. There must be more to it than that. Gold and silver, for example, obtained their money value by virtue of their prior use in barter. In this sense, money must extend from a living market experience.

How does this apply to Bitcoin? The underlying value of Bitcoin is connected to its incredibly innovative payment system. The technology combines a distributed network, a ledger updated and verified for each transaction, cryptography, and a direct peer-to-peer system of exchange to create the blockchain. Users played around with the results for fully 8 months before the attached currency (Bitcoin) obtained its first market value.

Giving value to this digital currency was not something that could be done by government or social contract. It takes real market experience with a value good—or, in the case of Bitcoin, a wonderful service that the whole world needs. Such is the origin of Bitcoin’s value. In fact, if there were no payment network bound up with the currency, the currency itself would have no value at all.

In my experience in explaining this to people, this is a real sticking point. Most people think of money and a payment system as different entities (dollars vs. Visa). With national money, this is entirely correct. But Bitcoin is different. It unites the two in one. That’s hard to think through.

Mises made two additional contributions. He said that central banking was not necessary and predicted that it would be detrimental to the soundness of money. History has proven him right. In his ideal, money would function entirely apart from the State—just as Bitcoin does. Also, Mises closely tied the cause of sound money to freedom itself. He compared sound money to constitutions that guarantee fundamental human rights.

F.A. Hayek (1899–1992). Hayek was Mises’s colleague in pushing for fundamental monetary reform for many decades. Together they warned of the dangers of central banking. They demonstrated how expansionary credit policy leads to price inflation and business cycle, and also fuels the growth of government. They begged and pleaded to reverse course. But they were doomed to be prophets of decline.

One year after Mises’s death, Hayek decided to take a different course. In 1974, he wrote “The Denationalization of Money.” He gave up on the idea of government involvement in money at any level and concluded that there had to be a complete separation, even at the level of reform. He suggested a revolution from below.

He once favored the gold standard, but with this book he said, in effect, “We certainly can do better than that, though not through government.” He explained that “we have always had bad money because private enterprise was not permitted to give us a better one.” He endorsed a system of privately created monies based on a variety of technologies, included indexes of commodity baskets. These monies would all compete for market dominance, same as with any other good.

This book seemed mind-blowing at the time. But with Bitcoin, it’s not so crazy. The technologies were not around during Hayek’s day but now we can see how much we’ve been missing in the age of nationalized money. Money has gotten worse rather than better—and this is different from other private commodities, like phones, cars, and computers. Money can indeed be a product of private enterprise. The right reform plan is to just forget about the government’s system and move onward to something more wonderful. In the competition for money and payment systems, the market system will win.

Murray Rothbard (1926–1995). The first I ever heard of the idea of private coinage, it was from Rothbard’s 1963 book, What Has Government Done to Our Money. The idea astonished me, though, again, the notion seems not entirely outlandish now. New research has emerged that has shown that private currency is a huge part of modern history, from England in the Industrial Revolution to the American nineteenth century.

This wasn’t his central contribution. Rothbard was a theorist of the idea of private property, spelling out its implications for the whole of the social order. It is private property that brings order, secures liberty, rationally allocates resources, keeps conflict at bay, allows for the adjudication of disputes, incentivizes production, and generally shores up human liberty. Rothbard firmly established that money is and must remain private property.

Why does that insight matter? It comes down to one word: banks. They first existed as warehouses, made necessary because of safety and the costs of transport. The function of banks as lenders is really something different. In either case, the rights to who owns what ought to remain clear. Alas, it was not to be the case. Banks love ambiguity over ownership. If they can warehouse your stuff and make money lending it out at the same time, that’s all the better for them. If they can get government backing for the practice, that’s even better.

Rothbard’s best idea of reform—spelled out at great length in his 1983 book The Mystery of Banking—was to re-institutionalize property rights in the realm of money. No more should there be confusion and uncertainty about the titles to money property. Just as in the rest of the world, there should be clear distinctions. You can warehouse your money or your can loan it to a lender at a risk but there should be no mixing of the two. In today’s world, no one has a clue who has a right to what.

Now consider Bitcoin. When I own it, you don’t. When you own it, I don’t. There are no intermediaries, no charge backs, no confusions about how many there are or to whom they belong. To pay is to transfer, not just on some fictional ledger that may or may not reflect. This is a Rothbardian dream come true.

To be sure, Mt. Gox muddied the situation substantially, but that is not intrinsic to Bitcoin itself. It was a result of one firm that was poorly run, and this firm was compromised by a hacking theft, a cover up, incompetence, or outright fraud (it’s still just starting to be sorted out—for instance, Mt. Gox just found 200,000 BTC it didn’t realize it had). But the beauty of the situation was that even with that institution’s obfuscation, users knew of the foul play. For years prior to bankruptcy, it was obvious that something was amiss. Bitcoin is still being traded. The newest firms are going the extra mile to make it clear that they hold all your property at all times. Plus, with paper wallets and cold storage, you don’t have to use third parties at all.

Unlike the gold that Rothbard favored as currency (he died in 1995, just as the web was privatized and began to mature), Bitcoins are both weightless and spaceless. This means that the warehousing function of Bitcoin is technically unnecessary. Every owner can be his or her own banker. This is a dream in many ways, since the the warehousing function is technologically contingent, not an eternal feature of the world.

Israel Kirzner (1930– ). Kirzner is a student of Mises’s who has dedicated his life’s work to understanding and expanding upon an insight of his teacher. Mises saw that economics resisted formal modelling for many reasons but a major factor was the presence of entrepreneurship. There is a reason that textbooks neglected this topic for decades. It contradicts the goal of perfect prediction and perfect control. Entrepreneurship introduces an element of chaos that defies every expectation. Kirzner elaborated.

This is the act of discerning unmet technologies and needs in a market setting and bringing them to life for consumption and production. Entrepreneurship means introducing something new that had previously been unknown. There is an element of surprise that is essential to entrepreneurship that drives forward the process of market development.

When we think of Bitcoin, how can we not think of entrepreneurial surprise? It was released not as a traditionally capitalist product but rather on a free forum. Anyone could download it and starting “mining” Bitcoin. But only those super-alert to the opportunity did so. One of those was the inventor himself, who is a very rich person today. This is what it means to be alert to and discover an opportunity.

Today there are many thousands of businesses that have grown up around Bitcoin. There are wallets, exchanges, retail and wholesale stores, service companies, and so much more. Each one represents a risk. Most will not make it. But some will. What determines their success or failure (leaving aside government regulations) is whether they meet the needs of the consuming public. No one can know the results in advance.

Kirzner is the master of describing this process, one that Menger said is at the heart of causing a new money to emerge. Thus have we come full circle: 120 years of scholarship that describes the very economic heart of cryptocurrency. To most people it is mystifying and amazing, and truly it seems that way. But there is a logic to it all, even if it is only obvious in retrospect.

How many years will it be before the economic science of the non-Austrian variety catches up? For now, most professionals in this field are politely ignoring the fact that Bitcoin has blown up nearly all conventional wisdom about monetary theory and monetary policy. (Konrad Graf, though, is already on the story). Indeed, Bitcoin was necessary in part because the current State-based system has utterly failed to keep up with the times. Had the market been allowed to work all along, instead of being restricted and truncated by state control, the system would likely be further along than it is.

Now is a good time to look back, dust off those neglected books, and rediscover the school of thought that anticipated all the core of what makes Bitcoin so incredible.

RELATED STORY: IRS Rules Bitcoin is ‘Property,’ Subject to Tax

20121129_JeffreyTuckeravatarABOUT JEFFREY A. TUCKER

Jeffrey Tucker is a distinguished fellow at FEE, CEO of the startup Liberty.me, and publisher at Laissez Faire Books. He will be speaking at the FEE summer seminar “Making Innovation Possible: The Role of Economics in Scientific Progress.”

Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness” — But Not for NPR’s Rick Steves

One radio station that I seldom listen to, in order to keep my blood pressure at its normal low, is NPR, National Public Radio, which I once renamed, “Notorious for Palestinian Revisionism.”  However, while surfing the stations the other day, I paused at NPR long enough to hear, “settlements,” a term exclusive to Israel’s housing developments.  Someone was spewing the usual Islamic propaganda about Israelis constructing housing for Israelis in Israel.   It was one of the station’s fundraising programs, and the guest speaker was Rick Steves, a Washington state-based, self-proclaimed travel guru.

He then proceeded to assure the listeners that the “settlements” are illegal, which is absolutely not the case.  He probably knows, but emphatically denies with purpose, that Israel’s boundaries are explicitly defined for the Jews in the ancient Hebrew Bible, the Torah, and established by the League of Nations in 1920 and the United nations in 1948.

Henry_Moore,_Tel_aviv

A sculpture by Henry Moore, in front of Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Picture taken by David Shay.

Meanwhile, Jordanian Muslim scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Adwan, has joined others who declare, “Allah gave Israel to the Jews.  There’s no Palestine,” admonishing those who distort the Koran.  Blogger Elder of Ziyon quoted the Koran, saying Allah assigned Israel to the Jews until the Day of Judgment (Sura 5:21), and that the Jews are the inheritors of Israel (Sura 26:59).  Adwan continued, “I say to those who distort . the Koran: from where did you bring the name Palestine, you liars, you accursed, when Allah has already named it ‘The Holy Land’ and bequeathed it to the Children of Israel until the Day of Judgment.  There is no such thing as Palestine in the Koran.”

These settlements – more aptly, neighborhoods – in the territories are entirely legal, although politically contentious.  Most of these communities were built on undeveloped land during 1967-77 (after Israel won the defensive wars) in order to provide security for the Jews from their aggressive Muslim neighbors.  After 1977, communities were built on unallocated government land, and by 2005, there were about 150 communities -about 200,000 Israelis – living on less than two percent of Judea and Samaria (aka West Bank).  The Jews’ right to settle is a “legal right assured by treaty and specifically protected by Article 80 of the UN Charter, and precisely equal to the right of the existing Palestinians living there.”

Nevertheless, the Palestinians thrive on public relations and propaganda, not unlike the Nazi propaganda that led up to World War II,  to make their claim for the land they covet, just as Muslims have done to conquer the rest of the Middle East over 1400 years.  And revisionists and anti-Semites are more than eager to broadcast those assertions against the 3500-year-historical, legal, and security-related claims of the indigenous Jews.

Without his ingrained mindset, Steves might have acknowledged history – that the Gazan Muslims and their descendants (not citizens of Israel) who chose to leave Israel when their fellow-Arabs attacked, were indeed from Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, Egypt, and Jordan.  The Muslims who chose to stay in Israel are now, with their descendants, two million-plus citizens of Israel.  He might then have concluded that despite originating from those warring countries, they were not permitted to return to them for, as squatters, they are regarded as valuable pawns in the never-ending Muslim jihad war against the Jews – the quintessential way of harnessing world opinion against them.

Further to Steves’ lies, his website illustrates that he has joined the Muslim jihad at war with the West. He indulges in Islamic taqiyyah (lies for Allah) by choosing the most anti-Israel groups to reinforce his accusations, by referring to a distorted PBS documentary about the “Holy Land” (whose very name aims to discredit Israel’s sovereignty), and the George Soros-supported, pro-Hamas, virulently anti-Israel lobby in Washington, DC, J-Street, that solicits funds for the congressional candidates who are openly hostile to Israel.

In his brief time on NPR, he used guile to deceive his audience by speaking of the Israeli children who played with toy guns, as he, himself, “once had as a young boy, ” in order to shoot at the Palestinians, adding that it would be so much better if “the wall” were dismantled so that the children could get to know each other.   He failed to mention that the Palestinian children do not play with toy guns.  Rather, they indulge in the deadly drive-by, rock-throwing attacks at Jews.

For the sake of misinformation, he did not acknowledge that Jewish, Christian and Muslim children do attend school and play together in Israel, but that Mahmoud Abbas vowed that no Jews would ever live in a future Palestinian state.  Palestinian children are taught by their teachers, TV programs, imams and the Qur’an that Jews are “dogs and pigs” to be hated and killed, and their leader refuses to recognize that the Jewish children are there, so playing together in a Palestinian state is entirely out of the question.

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Rothschild Blvd. in wintertime, facing south. Tel Aviv, Israel.

As a world traveler, Steves undeniably knows that there are walls throughout the world that keep one people safe from another, and this wall and fence combination is actually a protective shield that Israel had to erect to keep her citizens safe from those whose raison d’etre is to kill the Jews who will not accept Allah as their god.  In fact, since the erection of the barrier, the number of attacks is said to have declined by more than 90 percent.  So, surely, Steves understands that removing the wall would provide easy access for the Palestinians to attack and kill Israelis, but perhaps that is his objective.

If Steves could face reality, he would grasp that Muslims are in the United States for the same reason that Israel built the shield.  They showed their hand when they bombed the World Trade Center on September 11, with the Fort Hood massacre, and with the Boston bombing, to name the most infamous.  Another sign of “arrival for a purpose” is the increased number of mosques nationwide, requiring footbaths in public places, allocating Islamic books to libraries throughout the US, and funding and distributing Islamized textbooks to our K-12 schools and universities.

If he were functioning properly, Rick Steves would realize that Muslim emigration to foreign countries results in gradual changes, from non-assimilation to riots, terrorism, violence and death, to Islamic rule, as they institute Shari’a law.  He would then come to understand that the bloodshed throughout the Middle East, Africa and Asia are a natural outcome of more than 14 centuries of such invasions and arrive at the realization that unless he too fully acquiesces, he will surely bleed as did all the others when they were decapitated, a favorite Islamic technique.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of the beaches in Tel Aviv.

What Common Core Looks Like In Desperation

It seems that the protests of the American citizen against the so-called Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has become proverbial grains of sand in the works of the mammoth corporate reform machine.

Die-hard supporters of CCSS are becoming desperate, and such is showing in their words and actions.

Consider Jeb Bush’s declaration, “In Asia today, they don’t care about children’s self esteem….”

This hard-nosed attitude is supposed to appeal to the American public and advance CCSS?

Jeb is definitely pushing CCSS whether America likes it or not– but he is becoming sloppy in his rhetoric.

He is not alone in his desperate, Save CCSS efforts.

Founder and director of the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools Caroline Roemer-Shirley (sister to our state board of education president) wrote this op/ed for the Baton Rouge Advocate on March 24, 2014.

Not surprisingly, she is pro-CCSS.

Notice the authoritarian desperation in her closing statement:

It’s critically important that all of us — parents, educators, community leaders and businessmen — oppose efforts to derail the Common Core State Standards.

Good public education is the key to success for our children and we must help them get there by all means available. A quality education is one of childhood’s most basic civil rights. Our goal must be to get our children into the top tiers nationally. That means pushing aside anything or anyone standing in the way of their success. [Emphasis added.]

Roemer-Shirley equates CCSS with “a quality education.”

The same day at Roemer-Shirley’s op/ed, education historian Diane Ravitch posted a marvelous piece that unequivocally demonstrates CCSS as not even qualifying as standards given its secretive, controlled, stakeholder-absent creation and declared rigidity:

In the United States, the principles of standard-setting have been clearly spelled out by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  …

[CCSS] were written in a manner that violates the nationally and internationally recognized process for writing standards. The process by which they were created was so fundamentally flawed that these “standards” should have no legitimacy.

Setting national academic standards is not something done in stealth by a small group of people, funded by one source, and imposed by the lure of a federal grant in a time of austerity.

There is a recognized protocol for writing standards, and the Common Core standards failed to comply with that protocol. [Emphasis added and some text order reversed.]

Monday, March 24, 2014, also gave us blogger Peter Greene’s fine post on the purpose of CCSS to tag student data down to the very classroom assignment. 

Roemer-Shirley does not care for protocol that honors the democratic process, and she does not care about the invasive, science-fiction nature of CCSS data tagging. Instead, she is willing to “push aside anyone standing in the way of their (let’s be real, folks– she doesn’t mean students’) success.”

Hmm.

The creepy-desperate CCSS push does not stop there. On March 18, 2014, both national union presidents met with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO– one of the two CCSS copyright holders), with in attendance all desiring to save CCSS.

It seems that AFT members can expect their national president to cling to CCSS no matter what her constituency thinks:

Weingarten added that she expects that many of her members would call for outright opposition to the standards during the AFT’s summer convention, even though both the AFT and NEA support the standards and Weingarten said she wouldn’t back away from the common core[Emphasis added.]

If the AFT membership opposes CCSS “outright,” how is it, then, that “AFT supports the standards”?

Does a declared, “official” position outrank the desires of AFT’s own membership?

Apparently so.

NEA (not the membership, mind you) is right there with AFT in its protection of CCSS:

During the same discussion, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel… said the union remained squarely behind the standards themselves….

What is one to do in order to ensure CCSS support? Why, one must promote a positive CCSS message in the media:

… (South Dakota) Education Secretary Melody Schopp expressed concern that enough wasn’t being done to push more positive common-core stories to the public: “The media’s not hearing that.” [Emphasis added.]

All of this “pushing” so-called reform “to the public.”

Genuine standards are not “pushed.” Genuine standards are elicited.

Nevertheless, in our current, for-profit reform era,  it’s all about the spin. No organization knows that better than Stand for Children (SFC). (I debated SFC Louisiana twice on CCSS– see this link and this link.)

The question is, how far will SFC go in its CCSS-desperation spin?

Well beyond the ethical, it seems.

In their efforts to “push” a positive CCSS message, SFC Oklahoma decided “positive” need not necessarily be honest:

Some names on a petition, from a group hoping to keep Common Core, were faked. The group, Stand for Children Oklahoma, presented a petition to legislators in early March with 7,000 signatures, but many people whose names are on the list said they didn’t sign it.

Sherri Crawford is one of those. She’s adamantly against Common Core. …

When asked if she signed it, she responded, “No, absolutely not.”

Sherri found out her name was on the petition after a group of moms, who oppose common core, got a hold of it and started checking the names. They said they found not only several obviously fake names, like Barack Obama, but more than a thousand they have personally verified didn’t sign it. [Emphasis added.]

Yes, my fellow lovers of the democratic process, we have indeed become grains of sand in the greasy wheels of the pro-CCSS engine.

The very idea makes me smile.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is by Rennett Stowe. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

What if the Green Movement is not saving the planet but enslaving humanity?

For decades the Green Movement has claimed that Earth is threatened by the activity and even the existence of mankind. Green policies dictate that the noble response is relinquishing our liberties to “save” the planet from peril. Award-winning filmmaker JD King sets off on a cinematic journey to challenge these Green philosophies, and overturn the tables on issues like carbon emissions, climate change, overpopulation, natural resources, and unmasks the UN’s Agenda 21 plan. BLUE casts a bold new vision: that through greater freedom we can realize a fuller potential for our fellow man and this beautiful blue planet we call home.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABCDEFGH[/youtube]

Connect: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bluebeatsgreenTwittter: @BlueBeatsGreen #Blueisbest #BlueWorld Instagram: http://instagram.com/bluebeatsgreen

Official Website: http://www.bluebeatsgreen.com/movie

Featuring: Leighton Steward, Cal Beisner, Robert Zubrin, Lord Monckton, Steven F. Hayward, Mark Baird, Mike McKenna, Joe Voetberg, Michael Shaw, Vishal Mangalwadi, and many more.