“LGBT” Teachers Conference in Boston – Part II: Pushing ‘Gay’ clubs in Middle Schools

The latest push: “Gay” clubs for kids in middle schools. Here’s how they get them in — and what comes with them.

The homosexual-transgender movement is working hard to indoctrinate schoolchildren as young as possible. By far, the most effective way is to get them into school-based “gay” clubs that are run by activist, often radical, adults, but though otherwise unsupervised. They have been working at this for several years (see our 2008 report) but are now ramping up their efforts considerably.

We reported last week, on this year’s annual GLSEN Conference in Boston which brought together LGBT teachers, activists, and supportive administrators to discuss their latest tactics for the schools.

A prominent part covered strategies for setting up “gay-straight alliance” (GSA) clubs in as many middle schools as possible, given that most high schools now have them.

Getting kids to feel involved — especially middle school students — is a major tactic of the LGBT movement. These buttons were given out at the GLSEN Conference in Boston.

At that conference, there were kids as young as 11 and 12, and that younger age group was clearly the focus of much of the conference.

Middle school student gives speech at LGBT conference opening session

Middle school are such an important target that GLSEN recruited an activist “LGBT” middle school student to address the conference’s opening session. She said she’s bisexual (in middle school!) and that her sister is lesbian.

The girl spoke about how she helped organize the “Day of Silence” in her middle school. She said that one teacher was reluctant to put up the posters because of parent conferences that evening, saying that parents might not be comfortable seeing it. The girl labeled the teacher “ignorant” and said the teacher is “no longer working at the school” (which brought a cheer).

She added that “kids are figuring out who they are younger than ever” (i.e., being persuaded to self-identify as L, G, B, or T) and that “we need to create a safe environment for them in the lower grades.” This was a mantra that was repeated again and again in the conference. (“Safe environment” is the Orwellian term for a school that aggressively enforces pro-“LGBT” sexual ideology and suppresses all dissent.)

Given that middle school students would not have these ideas and talking points on their own, this shows how well the adult activists instruct them.

Helping kids be “safe” at school is the Orwellian term for aggressively enforcing pro-“LGBT” sexual ideology — and more importantly, suppressing all dissent. In particular, it’s used very effectively to confront any criticism by adults, including parents.

The workshop: “Starting a Middle School GSA”

The LGBT movement is getting serious about the lower grades. One of the prominent workshops at the GLSEN conference was “Starting a Middle School GSA.”

At first glance, a “gay” club for middle school students would seem beyond something even most liberals would buy into. But that’s simply another challenge for the movement to overcome. After all, it wasn’t too long ago that ANY “gay” club at all, even in high school, was beyond the pale.

Here is how the conference program listed it:

3.1 Starting a Middle School GSA: A Sustainable, Grassroots Approach
Practical advice and encouragement for students, staff, parents and community members who would like to establish a sustainable GSA in their local middle school.

Presenter(s): Anna Watson, Friends of the Ottoson Middle School [Arlington, MA] GSA

This workshop gave step-by-step instructions by a seasoned activist.

The presenter, Anna Watson, started out by saying that she believes that “coming out” is a “life-saving adventure” and that kids are coming out at younger and younger ages. Thus, they need support groups to help them do that.

She told the workshop attendees that she has been an “LGBTQ” activist and organizer for several years. In particular, she is interested in starting GSA-type groups for young people.

“Queering the ‘Burbs Since 1992.”  Anna Watson gave out this card at the workshop. She is no casual activist, obviously.

She said that in city schools there are lots of GSAs, but it’s different in the suburbs. This is likely because the parents are more attentive to what’s happening in the schools. She used the term “suburban gap” and said that just a few people with a lot of energy can make it happen.

The strategy: Build up incrementally then hit with petition!

Her goal at the Ottoson Middle School in Arlington, Mass., was to put in a GSA with “permanent club” status — with a line item in the school budget for financial support.

At first, the principal was resistant, even though Arlington is a very liberal town.

The homosexual movement has found that a very effective approach for overcoming resistant school officials is using a petition as a pressure tactic, along with other maneuvers.

Watson’s tactic was to do incremental, smaller things to set up an informal GSA and have it become active as much as possible in the school. They would get everything else in place so that there would be no procedural or other excuse not to allow it. Then they would go over the head of the principal and blitz the superintendent with a petition — with as large a force as necessary — to push it over the top with a demand it be given permanent “club” status in the school.

The Petition presented to the Superintendent (and Anna Watson’s timeline of events)

That strategy worked perfectly. Here’s the timeline of events that Watson described:

1. Starting in the fall of 2010, Watson began discussing it with the principal. Since the principal had an interest in anti-bullying, Watson positioned it as an anti-bullying group.
2. Spring 2011: Watson established an “informal” GSA group at the school that met every other week. She submitted a grant to the local “Arlington Education Fund” for funding.
3. Fall 2011: The grant was awarded from the local group. The GSA’s outside activities, including a stipend to the adult staff advisor, were now funded and it started meeting every week.
4. Spring 2012: The GSA began giving out “Human Rights” awards to students at the school. They also attended the GLSEN Conference that year, brought in “educational” groups, and established a “peer leader” program in the school.
5. Fall 2012: They persuaded the principal’s discretionary fund, the PTO, and the Parent Advisory Council to give the GSA funding. They also had volunteers raise money in the community.
6. Fall 2013: The petition was put together and formally presented to the Superintendent, accompanied by a lot of pressure.  The superintendent easily capitulated and granted the GSA permanent club status and a budget item in the school budget. They achieved their goals.

The principal and any other staff who might have been resistant were completely steamrolled. It’s a strategy that can be replicated at other schools where there is any significant resistance.

Other comments at the workshop

Many of the other people at the workshop were experienced GSA activists. Some of their remarks and ideas on starting a GSA were interesting:

  • Some schools have made it easier by having a less overt title, such as calling it an “affinity” group rather than a GSA.
  • One person said, “For school clubs, no permission slips are needed. Thus parents do not know. The same is true for GSAs. You don’t have to let your parents know. There is a sort of goodwill around it.”
  • They always say that GSA’s are about “school safety” and suicide prevention. They also remember to make a point to say that GSAs “are not about sex.”
  • One teacher recommended that the GSA follow the GLSEN “Ally week” program. (See more on that below.)

How to get kids to come to their first GSA meeting? Most middle school kids would not normally think of going to a “gay” club. So the LGBT activists use a variety of tricks and misleading tactics. Once the kids are there, it’s easier to persuade or pressure them to keep coming back.

Here are some of the ideas brought up by activists at the workshop:

  • Announcing a “cheese & food” party.
  • Getting the school football coach to come is a great draw for bringing kids to a GSA meeting.
  • One school put up posters with the message: “You don’t have to be gay to be in the GSA.”

For a larger view click on the flyer.

The LGBT movement will use any tactic they can to lure kids into their “gay” clubs for the first time. GLSEN passed out this information at the Conference.

What is Watson’s next project? Apparently, her next goal is to set up AGLY (“Arlington Gay and Lesbian Youth”) which would probably be a youth/adult “gay” club not connected with the school. There are several of those around the state, supported at least in part by taxpayers.

GSAs: A poisonous experience for vulnerable kids

In our experience going back nearly twenty years working with parents and kids, the GSAs in the schools are emotionally poisonous and physically dangerous to vulnerable kids, many of whom have serious psychological issues to deal with. And GSAs are often run by radical “gay” adults who themselves are psychologically dysfunctional.

GSAs persuade students that homosexuality, transgenderism, etc., is perfectly normal to engage in. They take troubled kids and tell them that if they feel “different” or that they “don’t fit in” then they’re probably really “gay” or “transgender.” This causes enormous trauma down the road. We’ve seen that these kinds of “clubs” lead kids into engaging in perverse sexual activities.

Also in GSAs: Indoctrinating kids in radical “queer theory” as “LGBT allies”

But additionally, a purpose of GSAs is to indoctrinate the kids (including those calling themselves “straight”) in the radical ideas of the LGBT movement, which they term “queer theory.” Most people are not aware just how extreme this is. Then the GSA leaders have the kids spread those ideas to the rest of the school through events like the “Day of Silence”“Gay History Month”, and “Transgender Awareness Day.”

When getting this training, the kids are told that this helps them become “allies” of the LGBTs. The concept of being an “ally” pushed very hard throughout the schools. It becomes another identity for the kids in their fight for so-called social justice.

At the GLSEN Conference, this “training” pamphlet, titled “Ally Packet” was given out. It’s a pretty frightening example of what the LGBT movement teaches children, and what parents know almost nothing about.

“Ally Packet” given out at GLSEN Conference

Here are just a few examples and excerpts from the 8-page pamphlet. THIS is what the LGBT movement is teaching schoolchildren:

What is an Ally?
An ally is a member of the dominant social group who takes a stand against social injustice directed at target group(s) – for example .. . heterosexual individuals who speak out against heterosexism and homophobia. An ally works to be an agenda of social change rather than an agenda of oppression.

Characteristics of an ally
Recognizing that unlearning oppressive beliefs is a lifelong process.

Appropriate Group Terminology
Genderqueer: A term used by individuals, especially transgender youth, who identify as neither male nor female, or as both, and who often seek to blur gender lines.

Appropriate Social Justice Terminology
Gender-Normative Privilege: The benefits and advantages that gender-normative people receive in genderist culture.

Inappropriate Terminology
Homosexual: A clinical term for gay men and sometimes lesbians.
Transvestite: An outdated clinical term for crossdressers.

What are Biphobia, Homophobia, and Transphobia?
Example of Biphobia: Believing that bisexuals are confused or indecisive about their sexuality. Example of Transphobia: Believing that cross-dressing is a sexual perversion or that people who cross-dress do so for sexual gratification.

How to Be an Ally to LGBT People
Validate people’s gender expression. For example, if a person assigned male at birth identifies as female, refer to that person as “she” and use her chosen name.
Educate yourself about LGBT histories, cultures, and concerns.
Support and involve yourself in LGBT organizations and causes.

What is Heterosexual Privilege?
You can belong to the religious denomination of your choice and know that your sexuality will not be denounced by its religious leaders.
You can expect to see people of your sexuality positively presented on nearly every television show and in nearly every movie.

Myths and Realities of LGBT Life
Myth: The majority of child molesters are gay men. Reality: Very few gay men molest children. Myth: Bisexual men are largely responsible for the spread of HIV/AIDS to heterosexual women. Reality: This stereotyping of bisexual men ignores the realities of AIDS. It is unsafe sexual practices and needle-sharing behavior, not membership in a particular group, that spreads HIV.

Lots of help from your tax dollars

In Massachusetts, once these “clubs” are set up, they get substantial organizational and financial help from the state. This will likely become more prevalent in other states.

Among other things, the Mass. State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education maintains a staff to make sure that the GSA clubs across the state are properly organized and that the school is cooperating with them. The Department also provides training for GSA adult leaders.

In addition, the state-funded Mass LGBTQ Youth Commission goes into the schools and works directly with students and pushes LGBT programs statewide.

Just the beginning

The GSAs and the “training” are, unfortunately, just the foundation of what the LGBT movement is doing in the nation’s high schools and now, the middle schools.

In upcoming posts we will reveal more from the 2014 GLSEN Conference. As we’ve said, most people are completely uninformed of what the LGBT movement does with schoolchildren . . . and where this leads beyond the school doors.

National Council on Teacher Quality Gets Caught in a Data Collecting Lie

NCTQ-300x240The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) will be “grading” university-level, traditional teacher training programs again soon.

Last year, 2013, they released this report on June 18. They “grade” in a superficial manner, relying upon program artifacts to form skewed judgments– judgments that they publish in US News and World Report and that are meant to damage the credibility of traditional teacher training in favor of the privatization of American public education. Just consider who ends up on their advisory board. (For example, in a profound irony, NCTQ’s board even includes five-weeks-of-training, temporary-teacher organization Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp.)

Georgia State University Professor Emeritus of Science Education Jack Hassard had this to note about reading NCTQ’s “report” on traditional teacher training programs:

When you read the NCTQ report it seems as if teacher prep institutions are the enemy. …All of the data come from paper or online documents. None involved interviews or discussions with people at the teacher prep institutions. As hard as this is believe, it is the pattern that the NCTQ has followed since it was formed by the Thomas Fordham Institute. [Emphasis added.]

Passing maligned judgment is what NCTQ does. And because their reporting is done with much fanfare and is backed by reformer cash (Gates alone has paid NCTQ $11 million since 2005), the public views NCTQ as a credible source for information on teacher education.

NCTQ is the creation of the Fordham Institute, a pro-privatization organization that is pushing hard for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), having itself taken over $6 million from Gates, $2 million of which is earmarked for the CCSS push. Fordham Institute’s VP Mike Petrilli is even willing to tell states with comparable or better standards that they should retain CCSS.

Back to NCTQ’s shallow “reviews” of teacher training:

The beauty of NCTQ’s grading teacher training programs based upon artifacts (as opposed to on-site observations and in-person, open communication with the evaluated programs) is that NCTQ is still able to complete its “evaluations” even when programs do not wish to participate.

As far as non-accredited, self-appointed traditional-teacher-training policeman NCTQ is concerned, programs are not allowed to refuse the NCTQ intrusion.

NCTQ insists upon gathering teacher training program artifacts, and it will resort to deceptive tactics to get those artifacts.

Consider this email sent to a Fordham University teacher education professor even today (May 23, 2014). The entire account was forwarded to me by Fordham University Associate Professor John Craven. (Note: Fordham University is not affiliated with the Fordham Institute):

Dear Professor **,

I was informed you would be able to assist me.  My daughter is currently looking at different grad programs.  Being a teacher myself, I have a question about the student teaching aspect of the program.  I was on the school website and couldn’t find how many formal observations are conducted by the university supervisor during the student teaching semester.  Could you please elaborate on this?

Thank you.

Emilie Baker [Emphasis added.]

An odd email: A teacher “parent” writing on behalf of a college-age “student” and singling out the number of formal observations??

The Fordham professor to whom this email was addressed wrote the following to Craven and others:

I’m pretty sure this would be an attempt to get information from us for NCTQ (or similar) purposes.  Have any of you received something similar?

Teacher training faculty are apparently alert to NCTQ’s tactics.

Craven responded to “Emilie Baker” on behalf of the initial Fordham faculty member:

Dear Ms. Baker,

As coordinator, I’ve been forwarded a request you recently made regarding our program.  Firstly, let me thank you for your interest in our programs at Fordham.  Secondly, I understand you are seeking to better understand our clinically rich programs (funded by NYSED) and scholarship opportunities for initial certification.  It would be my pleasure to mail you a copy of our scholarship program, student handbook, and requirements for field experiences.  Following internal policies, I need to send hard copies of these materials  to interested prospects and potential applicants.  Accordingly, can you please indicate where you would like these materials sent?  I’ll have my graduate assistant send out the information immediately upon our response to this email.  Again, thank you for your interest in the programs at Fordham.

JC

“Emilie Baker” offers the following response– including an address:

Great, thanks so much!  I’d like it all sent to the following address:

Andrew McCorry 

1823 W. Henderson St, #3

Chicago, IL 60657

Well, now. Who is Andrew McCorry in Chicago?

Craven investigated and uncovered the following Linkedin bio:

Andrew McCorryAndrew McCorry
Research Analyst at National Council on Teacher Quality

Greater Chicago Area 
Nonprofit Organization Management

Uh oh. Looks like NCTQ has been found out.

As for “Emilie Baker”: No information that clearly connects her to NCTQ is available. However, NCTQ is known for hiring students to collect teacher training program artifacts (as noted in these Central Washington University October 2011 meeting minutes).

In his review of the 2013 NCTQ “report,” Hassard notes the unorthodox “student solicitation” role:

…I’ve never read a study in which researchers demanded cooperation from the research participants. The NCTQ policy is very clear. If you don’t give us what we want we’ll use legal means to get it. They also “reached out” to a few students to supply materials that were requested from the administration.

The so-called NCTQ researchers not only resort to coercive strategies to get data (syllabi, curriculum, etc.), but you get the feeling that they snoop around universities, trying to find what texts are used by bookstore shopping.

The NCTQ “snooping” apparently incorporates direct-yet-deceptive solicitation of information from university departments of education.

NCTQ should really better “train” its information gatherers in their would-be-deceptive practices.

Otherwise, they might reveal more information about NCTQ than they manage to gather– and that NCTQ “research analyst” Andrew McCorry might prefer.

RELATED STORIES:

The 2008 Common Core Sales Job: Part Two
Duncan Flunks the “State led” Test with His Indiana NCLB Waiver Warning
College Dropout Bill Gates, Who Spends Millions on Harvard, Gets Honorary Doctorate
Arne Duncan’s “Principal Ambassadors”: Federally Monitored “Local Control”??

It All Depends on Who You Know

A May 20, 2014 report by the Reuters news agency tells us that Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second largest bank, has been fined $2.5 billion by U.S. regulators.  The bank was charged with helping wealthy Americans conceal major cash assets, making it possible for them to evade U.S.  federal and state income taxes.

In a related story, the Associated Press reports that, “The case is part of an Obama administration crackdown on offshore banks believed to be helping U.S. clients hide assets.  Justice Department officials said their investigations into secret bank accounts held by Americans in Switzerland and other countries likely will bring forth additional resolutions.”

The prosecution of Credit Suisse came after prolonged criticism that the Obama administration has not been aggressive enough in its pursuit of wrongdoing in the banking industry.  According to the AP, “A report from the Senate subcommittee that investigated Credit Suisse accused (Eric Holder’s) Justice Department of (surprise, surprise) lax enforcement and faulted the government for gleaning only 238 names of U.S. citizens with secret accounts at Credit Suisse, or just 1 percent of the estimated total.”  The Senate subcommittee was able to find more than 22,000 U.S. clients with Credit Suisse accounts totaling some $10-12 billion.

The subcommittee report charged that Credit Suisse had sent bankers to recruit American clients at golf tournaments and other events.  They encouraged potential clients to travel to Switzerland where they were assisted in hiding assets.  The report disclosed that, in one instance, a Credit Suisse banker passed bank statements to a U.S. client hidden in the pages of a Sports Illustrated magazine during a breakfast meeting.  In some instances, Credit Suisse bankers helped wealthy U.S. depositors withdraw funds from their Swiss accounts by either providing hand-delivered cash in the United States, or through Credit Suisse bank accounts in the U.S.

The $2.5 billion fine will be divided between the U.S. Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Reserve, and the New York State Department of Financial Services.  Just under $200 million has already been paid to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  In order to appease investors, the bank will begin paying out roughly half its profits to shareholders until its profitability reaches a pre-established price/earnings ratio.

However, the Credit Suisse settlement calls into question a 2009 “deferred prosecution agreement” between the U.S. Department of Justice and Switzerland’s largest bank, the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS).  In 2009, following a lengthy investigation by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, UBS agreed to pay just $780 million in fines and to turn over the names of thousands of customers suspected of evading U.S. taxes.

So why the disparity in fines between the two largest Swiss banks, UBS and Credit Suisse?

In July 2008, Barack Obama boasted of a contributor base totaling some 1.5 million people, with one-fourth of his $265 million coming from those contributing $2,000, or more.  However, by October 2008, just five months later and just days before the General Election, the campaign reported that their contributor base has grown from 1.5 million to 2.5 million, and that the total amount raised approached $600 million.  So who were all those people, and where did all that money come from?

In a July 25, 2008, column we pointed out that UBS Americas, headed by Robert Wolf… along with George Soros, one of Obama’s top two money men… had been accused of highly unethical and illegal banking practices in six months of hearings by the Senate subcommittee.  According to an article in The Nation, UBS Americas had advised wealthy Americans, including many of our worst villains, how to shelter funds from the IRS, as well as from prosecutors, creditors, disgruntled business associates, family members, and each other.

In a Statement of Fact in the criminal trial of former UBS executive Bradley Birkenfeld, it was learned that UBS took extraordinary steps to help American clients manage their Swiss accounts without alerting federal authorities.   For example, UBS advised American clients to avoid detection by using Swiss credit cards to withdraw funds, to destroy all existing off-shore banking records, and to misrepresent the receipt of funds from their Swiss accounts as loans from the Swiss bank.  According to The Nation, UBS established an elaborate training program which taught bank employees how to avoid surveillance by U.S. authorities, how to falsify visas, how to encrypt communications, and how to secretly move money into and out of the country… ”

It was the perfect instrument for funneling illegal campaign contributions into the coffers of an unscrupulous American politician.  Putting two and two together, I suggested that a very wealthy individual, such as George Soros, wishing to influence the outcome of an American presidential election, could transfer unlimited sums of money through this device.  A U.S. recipient, such as the Obama campaign, could receive tens of thousands of individual contributions via Swiss credit card transfers, with the identities of bogus contributors “borrowed” from their extensive list of $10 and $20 U.S. contributors and entered onto FEC reports by teams of paid staffers working in a “boiler room” setting.  The owners of the Swiss accounts would receive periodic statements indicating debits of varying amounts, up to $2,300 each, and offsetting credits funded by the wealthy, but unnamed, “international financier.”

For most of the super wealthy, especially those attempting to hide income and assets from U.S. authorities, an unexplained debit and credit of $2,300, or less, would not even raise an eyebrow.  It would look to the depositor as if the bank had made a debit error which had been immediately corrected with a credit of like amount.  However, in this instance, the Swiss bank account would actually have been debited, money transferred to the U.S. recipient, and funds replaced by person or persons unknown.  The scheme would represent money-laundering of the first order.  So who would ever know the source of such contributions?  No one.

In response to my July 25 column, and at my suggestion, Newsmax sent a team of researchers to the Federal Election Commission to take a closer look at Obama’s FEC reports.  In a follow-up October 20 article by Kenneth Timmerman, Newsmax provided details from FEC records that gave substantial weight to my theory.  In studying Obama’s FEC filings, Newsmax found more than 2,000 donors who had given substantially more than their $4,600 limit ($2,300 in the primaries and $2,300 in the General Election).

But these were relatively minor infractions compared to 66,383 highly suspicious contributions that were, oddly enough, not rounded to even dollar amounts.  For example, Newsmax reported that John Atkinson, an insurance agent in Burr Ridge, Illinois, gave a total of $8,724.26, more than double his legal limit.  He gave in odd amounts such as $188.67, $1,542.06, $876.09, $388.67, $282.20, $195.66, $118.15, and one of $2,300.  A self-employed caregiver from Los Angeles made 36 separate contributions totaling $7,051.12, of which thirteen were later refunded.  However, in an odd coincidence, those 13 refunds, in amounts such as $233.88 and $201.44, came to an even $2,300, the maximum amount allowable in any one election.

One contributor interviewed by Newsmax, Ronald J. Sharpe, Jr., a retired schoolteacher from Rockledge, Florida, was reported to have given $13,800… $9,200 over his limit.  However, when interviewed by Newsmax, Mr. Sharpe did not remember giving that much money to Obama, nor had anyone from the Obama campaign ever contacted him about a refund.

Lest anyone suggest that those 66,383 donors either emptied their piggy banks or emptied their pockets and purses periodically and just sent it all to Obama, pennies and all, I think it is far more reasonable to assume that those contributions were the proceeds of foreign currency conversions, smuggled into the country in foreign credit card transactions, converted to U.S. dollars, and deposited in Obama’s campaign coffers.  Of course, when your money is coming in large chunks from illegal offshore accounts and laundered though a Swiss bank in Zurich, it takes a bit of creativity to put authentic-sounding names on all of it for the quarterly FEC reports.  But the Obama campaign had a huge source of such data: the names, addresses, and occupations of tens of thousands of $10 and $20 U.S. Kool-Ade drinkers.

According to Newsmax, the Obama campaign finance reports contained some 370,500 unique names… a far cry from the 2.5 million contributors claimed by the campaign.  Of course, a great many of those 2.5 million contributors were illegal Muslim “conduits” who were given money by their local imams with the understanding that they would use it to help elect Obama… a crime for which Eric Holder is now prosecuting a major Obama critic, author Dinesh D’Souza. The principal difference being that, instead of creating tens of thousands of illegal conduits, as the Muslim clerics clearly did, D’Souza reimbursed only three people in a New York senate race.

So what happened to Robert Wolf, Obama’s most important friend in the international banking industry?  Was he fired, tried and imprisoned?  No, Wolf was named to UBS’s Group Executive Board and promoted to President and COO of the UBS Investment Bank.  From 2009-11, Wolf served on Obama’s Homeland Security Advisory Council, in 2011 he became a member of Obama’s Council on Jobs & Competitiveness, and in 2012 he was appointed to the President’s Export Council.

In response to the Credit Suisse prosecution, Attorney General Eric Holder has said that no bank  is immune from criminal prosecution.  But it’s clear that in his world, and in Obama’s world, the severity of punishment depends very much on who you are and who you know.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is courtesy of  Reuters/Ruben Sprich.

Democracy Inaction: Who would be a politician?

Who would be a politician?  It’s a serious question.  At the best of times politicians face an unpleasant set of challenges.  They work ungainly hours.  They have to live under permanent public and media scrutiny.  And they have to smile and nod while members of the public address stupid remarks to them.  In Britain, even the manner in which a party leader might eat a bacon sandwich has opened up as a potential avenue for criticism.

But if the lot of politicians has always looked poor, the situation has just got a whole lot worse.  Because having lived through an age of comparative political indifference, we now seem to have entered an era of anti-politics.  Across Europe people are casting their votes, and an increasing number of votes seem to be going to anti-politics politicians.  This leads to several conundrums, not least: what does an anti-politics candidate do once they become a politician themselves?

But the bigger question is for the political mainstream.  Because it is no good for mainstream politicians to condemn the public for not voting for them, or to say that the public are voting for the wrong people for the wrong reasons.  In recent years the whole relationship between politicians and the public has suffered a number of terrible blows.  Some, like the British Parliamentary expenses scandal, are specific.  Others, are the result of too much being promised and too little being delivered.  But whatever the cause, an increasing number of people are showing themselves willing to vote for absolutely anyone, so long as they promise to be opposed to the mainstream political class which they rightly or wrongly deem to hold sway.

Of course relationship breakdowns of this kind cannot be rectified overnight.  But this one is too important to leave broken.  One way to start mending it is for politicians to be far more honest about what they can and cannot achieve.  From Barack Obama and other Western leaders, the world can hear many lofty speeches.  It is sometimes even possible for a moment to be carried aloft on their words.  But then, when it turns out that the new Jerusalem hasn’t just been ushered in, the elected politician may hope that nobody has noticed, but we do notice.  And remember.

In this age of globalization it is especially necessary to say what is simply not in our control.  This may be a humbling process, but it may prove more and more necessary.  Politicians could improve their lot significantly if they were more frank about the world that we live in.  It is a world where a mortgage financing problem in America can trigger a worldwide recession and where a law may have been passed in Brussels without ever having come before any politician in Westminster.  It may sound like a risky strategy, but it is a vital one.  Anti-politics comes from a sense that politicians are lying to the people.  One solution for that problem is for politicians to tell more truths to the public: especially difficult truths.  And among the unpalatable truths they may venture to say is, ‘You know what, we’re not always in charge.’  At the very least it might return politics to being what it is meant to be – a masterclass not in the politics of fantasy, but in the art of the possible.

The Slow, Sure Death of “Climate Change” Lies

Even though President Obama continues to lie about “climate change” and employs the many elements of the federal government to repeat those lies, this huge hoax is dying.

Obama is on record saying that climate change “once considered an issue for the distant future, has moved firmly into the present” and is “affecting Americans right now.” Climate change as studied by climatologists is measured in terms of centuries whereas the weather is what is happening today. It has been happening before and since the rise of civilization. Obama’s claim that “climate-related changes are outside of recent experience” and “have become more frequent and/or intense” is a lie from start to finish.

The White House recently released its latest “National Climate Assessment.” It is 841 pages of outlandish claims that reflect the lies generated by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. When you consider that the federal government spends an estimated $2.6 billion annually in grants for climate research, about the only beneficiaries are those “scientists” employed to further the hoax.

The UN’s IPCC was created in 1983 and has issued a series of reports whose sole intention has been to frighten people around the world with claims of global warming that are scientifically baseless.

The Heartland Institute, a non-profit market-based think tank, responded by creating the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) and by sponsoring a series of international conferences. The 9th conference will be July 7-9 in Las Vegas. That effort began in 2003 in cooperation with the Science & Environmental Project led by Dr. S. Fred Singer and was joined by the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change.

I am an advisor to the Institute, having written about environmental and energy issues for several decades at this point.

AA - Heartland Cover

Click on the image to view and download a free copy of the report.

Calling on thousands of scientists around the world, in 2013 the NIPCC published the first of a three-volume response to the IPCC’s fifth assessment. This year, it has published a volume of Climate Change Reconsidered devoted to biological impacts, a 1,062 page opus. The NIPCC is an international panel of scientists and scholars with no government affiliation or sponsorship, and it receives no corporate funding.

Writing in the Financial Post in October 2013, Lawrence Solomon, the executive director of Energy Probe, a Toronto-based environmental group, noted that “solar activity is now falling more rapidly than at any time in the last 10,000 years.” The Earth’s climate is primarily a reflection of solar radiation or the lack of it. From 1300 to 1850, the Earth was subject to a mini-ice age. While the global warming hoax began in the late 1980s, Solomon noted that, in the 1960s and 1970s, the scientific consensus was that the Earth “was entering a period of global cooling. The media in those years was filled with stories about a pending new ice age.

It was only the intervention of the UN’s IPCC that changed the “consensus” to one of global warming. A cooling cycle that began around fourteen years ago could lead to another mini-ice age or the planet could be on the cusp of a full-fledged one. On average, the interglacial periods of the Earth have lasted about 11,500 years and we are at the end of such a period.

Climate Change Reconsidered II devoted to biological impact features scientific studies that conclude:

  • “Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant.” Considering that all vegetation on Earth depends on it, it is not surprising that another conclusion was that the ongoing rise in the air’s CO2 content is causing a great greening of the Earth.
  • As a result, “there is little or no risk of increasing food insecurity due to global warming or rising atmospheric CO2 levels and that terrestrial ecosystems have thrived throughout the world as a result of warming temperatures and rising levels of atmospheric CO2. Multiple lines of evidence indicate animal species are adapting, and in some cases, evolving, to cope with climate change of the modern era.”
  • In addition, “rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels to no pose a significant threat to aquatic life and that a modest warming of the planet will result in a net reduction of human mortality from temperate-related events.”

The irony of the latest NIPCC report, of course, is that it responds to the claims of global warming and carbon dioxide’s role at a time when the Earth is cooling. It makes one wish that all the talk about “greenhouse gases” is true enough to help us escape from the present cooling.

One thing we do know for sure is that the Greens talk of climate change has lost its grip on the public imagination and attention. As the cooling cycle continues, people around the world will be far more focused on increased evidence of massive ice sheets at both poles, on frozen lakes and rivers, on shortened growing seasons, and on the desperate need for more fossil fuels to warm our homes and workplaces.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Europe Longs for the Sovereignty it has Lost

Le_Pen,_Marine-9586

Marine Le Pen

My translation from the German of part of a recent interview with Marine Le Pen, whose anti-EU party Front National is trending to become the most popular in France, follows. This trend bodes ill for the EU but well for the French people. The issue is sovereignty — the right of a people to determine their own way and their own future — for example, the right not to be taxed to supply peripheral countries like Greece with perennial bailouts.

The same trends prevail throughout most of the EU core countries, which are sick and tired of a small oligarchy controlling their lives, regulating business out of business and taxing them into poverty.

BTW, my American friends: when was the last time you heard a US politician or candidate mention the word sovereignty?

Of all the issues discussed at election time, this most vital of all issues is conspicuously missing. We aren’t supposed to have it. The elites are deathly afraid of the concept, which implies control of one’s borders, among other things. The GOP top leadership wants open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens. Further, many Republican candidates are Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) members. The CFR wants a one world government.

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Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations

Richard Haass, the president of CFR, once wrote “it is time to rethink sovereignty.” Rethink is code for abolish. I had said before that it is time to relearn, not rethink, sovereignty. After all, if the culture of a nation is stealthily undermined by transnational elites, that is a takeover by a foreign power. Millions of bewildered Americans no longer recognize American culture, even as the degenerate transplanted culture is touted in terms of “freedom.”

A sovereign country also controls its own borders. It’s part of security. The Democrats also want open borders. The Libertarian top leadership, while vacillating somewhat on the subject of illegal immigration, is not strongly against it and is intent on wooing the Hispanic vote.

Unfortunately, without sovereignty, “liberty” is an illusion and talk of it is empty palaver. You can hardly be a free individual in a slave country.

All three parties think Hispanics are obsessed with coming to America without visas. Yet Hispanics live in communities where their safety is threatened by transnational illegal gangs and drugs imported by illegal aliens. If politicians turned their narrative and their dialogue toward this issue and cited any of the numerous examples of how Hispanic communities are threatened by crime and drugs due to illegal immigration, progress could be made and the Democrats could be exposed as enemies of Hispanics. But no politician seems capable of resetting the dialogue this way.

With elections coming up, you need to ask your candidates what they intend to do to help restore sovereignty to your state or your country. Watch them hem and haw when you do. They don’t know what the word means. Open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens are the antithesis of sovereignty.

Marine Le Pen says she sympathizes with Putin because he upholds sovereignty for this people. He is in fact the only major world player who does so.

Anyone who finds himself hating Putin may also hate sovereignty. Either that or they are victims of racist Russian bashing. The interview: http://kurier.at/politik/eu/marine-le-pen-putin-verteidigt-die-werte-der-europaeischen-zivilisation/65.991.041

You maintain relations with the Russian head of state. His representatives have wished your party success. You have expressed sympathy for Putin.

I want to be at the head of a non-aligned state, which is not beholden to either the U.S. or Russia. To talk to these two powers as an equal. Without waging a cold war such as that waged by the EU in an absolutely stupid manner and completely against the interests of the European people. Maintaining good relations with a power like Russia is the least one can do in terms of peace because the EU talks a lot of peace, but wages a lot of war. A war of words, diplomacy, economics. I want peace.

How do you explain the sympathy that Putin’s camp has expressed for your “Front National”?

Because Mr. Putin is a patriot. He upholds the sovereignty of his people. He is he aware that we defend common values​​. These are the values ​​of European civilization. He probably will not find these qualities of courage, sincerity and respect for identity and civilization in other political movements in France.

So you find that Putin represents those values?

Yes, yes, I believe it. So (slightly delayed), at least from everything that is expressed [by Putin—Don]. The way he leads the country, this is a man whose values ​​are important. Assuming one accepts these values. The Socialist Party does not recognize these values.

European values ​?

Yes, the values ​​of European civilization. The values ​​of our Christian heritage (laughs meaningfully). Because we do not question the Christian heritage of European civilization.

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The TEA Party is Wanted: Dead or Alive

Greetings from Houston, Texas where yesterday I had the pleasure to address the C Club on the topic of a “Conservative Policy Agenda” as it relates to economic, energy, and national security. I’m heading up to Dallas to speak at a dinner event this evening. Tomorrow I’m off to Jackson County (Spring Arbor) Michigan to speak at the annual Lincoln dinner there.

Anyway, we just came through the big primary season “Super Tuesday” and it’s interesting to hear all the post-primary election pundits. Most interesting are the conflicting assessments on the constitutional conservative grassroots movement, the Tea Party. First of all, this isn’t not a political party, it’s an ideological movement.

On one side we hear the Tea Party is done, dead, stick a fork in it, because its candidates aren’t successful. Not too long ago many were singing the praises of Nebraska Senate candidate Ben Sasse who won his primary in the Cornhusker State. Now, after yesterday, the sentiment is that the Tea Party isn’t an influencer and irrelevant.

The thing is, it’s not about individual candidates, but about influencing a policy agenda — and that’s what makes this conservative grassroots movement so very viable. How is it that anyone can disagree with the fundamental principles of America; limited government, fiscal responsibility, individual sovereignty, free market system, strong national security, and traditional values?

And with that comes a policy agenda that focuses on fiscal/economic reforms, monetary policy reforms, governmental structure and organization reforms, development of an energy security plan and program, and a focus on strengthening our foreign policy and national security that promotes peace through strength and military deterrence.

Well, that’s in direct opposition to a progressive socialist agenda that has exploded our debt and deficits, but more importantly has expanded a welfare nanny-state and dependency society all as a means of political bribery using the largesse of the public treasury. I find it quite interesting that during the Bush administration when the average price of gasoline hit $2.50 the liberal media went apoplectic — heard from them recently?

And so, it is in the same vein that we have liberal progressives such as Debbie Wasserman-Schultz who says there’s a “civil war” in the Republican party and the Tea Party has overtaken the party — what?

So is the Tea Party losing and irrelevant or is it running the Republican Party? Can’t be both!

It’s obvious The Tea Party has become the “boogeyman” — the Alinsky target for the liberal Left, all because they fear a strong grassroots movement, and what happened in 2010.

That’s why this administration unleashed a government agency, the Internal Revenue Service, against everyday American citizens who seek to participate in the political process of their country — heck I thought that was a fundamental principle of America? But then again I forgot we’re in the midst of a “fundamental transformation.”

I can tell you one simple thing. Americans are hurting — and that’s not Democrat or Republican. And the American people are seeking principled leaders who will provide a better way ahead, a Reaganesque “Morning in America.” I like to think of it as the “Dawn of a New America.”

The restoration of this Constitutional Republic is happening, and it’s not about this candidate or that candidate. It’s about one thing, the one thing that should matter: the American people — not the poll-tested politically-manipulated collective being subjugated to a growing federal government.

Constitutional conservatism is rooted in America’s fabric. It is far from dead, quite to the contrary. It is quite alive, and quite impactful.

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

Obama’s phony “anger” at Chinese cyber attacks

It’s not anger, it’s fear.

The Obama administration is furious at China, supposedly for cyber attacks.

But China has hacked our government and businesses forever and no one ever complained. Why now?

Here is the secret no one in the MSM will mention, and it is obvious:

Russia (which the US has started a cold war with over Ukraine, even though the Kiev disturbances were made in USA and EU) just signed with China a huge deal for around $400 billion under a gas supply contract for the piping of gas to China for at least 30 years. This is designed by Russia as a stopgap measure in case Europe decides at some point to stop buying Russian gas, which is a real threat. The West sees this deal as a threat to their economy. But since signing energy contracts does not rise to the level of an act of war, a pretext had to be concocted.

The alleged cyber attacks came in handy.

But it’s worse than just a gas supply deal: China and Russia have long been planning to dedollarize (as reported in numerous sources in both the English language and foreign–including Russian–media). That means international sales would be transacted in currencies other than the dollar. A look at the shambles the Fed has created and especially a look at the QEs, i.e., the insane issuing of dollars in the trillions with no backing in noble metals, goods, services, or anything of value at all except the brand name US dollar, will help you understand why they see this as necessary. Issuing unbacked currency for any purpose other than replacement of worn out notes and coins, is like adding water to the soup when unexpected guests show up. It gets the host out of a tough spot but spoils the dinner. Guests tend to stay away next time.

Recent reports that I have seen do not state whether this gas deal that was just signed will be in a currency other than the dollar, but most likely the contract will be denominated in the yuan or the ruble.

This is the true source of the anger in Washington, but anger is hardly the right word. Call it fear.

Well, folks, the US government could have reined in the NGOs in Ukraine (including Soros’ Open Society Foundation. Don’t take my word for it. It’s proudly mentioned on Soros’ own web site!) and it didn’t have to spend $5 billion of our money (as Victoria Nuland foolishly blurted out in a meeting) on destabilizing Ukraine via USAID. Nor did it have to send the ancient lunatic John McCain (who never met a war he didn’t like) to meet with a known Nazi in what must have been a deliberate provocation of Russia, a country that lost millions of its people and millions of dollars worth of infrastructure to the Nazis. To the average Russian, there is nothing more hated than a Nazi, and with good reason. And now the US and the EU are schmoozing with Nazis in Kiev. (Please note that Russians never never never give up. Which is largely why Hitler and Bonaparte saw the bulk of their armies devoured by Russian vultures.)

No one made the US government accept the Wolfowitz doctrine of encirclement of Russia. Russia had traditional economic and diplomatic ties to every country surrounding it and there was no rational motive for trying to harm it economically as long as it was cooperating with the US, as it was. But we meddled in each one, even grooming a president for Georgia. It was deliberate provocation.

Some people believe implicitly that “war is good for the economy.” They never stop to think why they think that. This is because it has nothing to do with cognition. It is a cliché that became popular after WW II, when FDR implemented Keynesian stimulus. The war was his biggest stimulus experience, and it worked, but only because the US was industrialized, unlike today, and we had a captive market in countries whose infrastructure was destroyed and hence could not produce their own manufactured goods.

Those conditions no longer exist. And further, a group of economists at UCLA have shown that FDR’s Keynesian policies, far from stimulating, actually delayed the recovery from the depression by about 7-8 years. Yet the foolish politicians in Washington, on both sides of the aisle, believe the ‘stimulus’ myth implicitly.

But here is a pattern that has been followed by such Keynesians in the past in times of severe crisis: bailouts of business and banks, paid for by the tax payer failing that, issuance of unbacked dollars failing that, war.

What makes Keynesians so feckless is that their approach to all of these reflexive steps is wholly unscientific. When scientists test new drugs, for example, they generally propose a mechanism that would explain why the drug would most likely be efficacious. That is usually the start, before the rats get their doses of the samples. But Keynesians are not scientific. They are religious fanatics who do not question anything. No one could possibly explain a mechanism by which the standard forms of “stimulus” work because there is no logic or reason behind these elaborate Ponzi schemes. Clearly, throwing money away will not bring more money into the treasury; it will only more quickly empty it out.

It is clear that China and Russia are aware of this error, and probably the rest of the BRICS nations are as well. Yet arrogant Western powers demand that they behave as recklessly as we do. To these nations, that must be seen as provocation.

Now ask yourself: If you told your teen not to go out to the bear cave and taunt the mother bear by stealing her cubs, what would you expect to happen if he disobeyed you? And would your teen be blameless if he failed to heed your warning and got mauled or eaten?

We were at peace with the Russian bear. Now that peace is troubled. It didn’t have to be this way.

The bear has shown its claws, and they are scary. No one expected it, but then they never do expect the unexpected consequences. They think they are dealing with a circus bear and are used to it sitting up and begging.

Don’t get me wrong. We desperately need a war. But it ought to be between the political and corporatist class in the West on the one hand and We the People on the other, not between us and a scapegoat country under a narrative concocted by our keepers.

The US has lost war after war since the 50s, including the ones we ‘won.’ Will we be fooled again?

God grant us wisdom this time around.

Do Markets Promote Immoral Behavior? by Fred E. Foldvary

Pure markets enhance good behavior, because in such arrangements, voluntary acts are rewarded and involuntary acts are punished. A pure market, as we define it, consists only of voluntary human action. That’s because a truly free market includes governance structures that penalize coercive harm, and such pure markets do not impose any restrictions or costs on honest and peaceful human activity.

Critics of markets think otherwise. They point to slave markets or a market for stolen goods as examples of market immorality.

More recently, Professor Dr. Armin Falk (University of Bonn) and Professor Dr. Nora Szech (University of Bamberg) conducted experiments in which people were offered a choice between receiving 10 euros versus letting a laboratory mouse get killed. If a subject decided to save a mouse, the experimenters bought the animal, according to the study authors writing in the journal Science.

But in the experimental market with buyers and sellers, more people were willing to accept the killing of a mouse than when individuals were simply offered an isolated choice. Therefore, the researchers concluded, markets erode moral values. Guilt is shared with other traders who are also involved in transactions that kill mice. If a person refused a transaction to save a mouse, somebody else would step in, so the mouse would be killed anyway.

Do Falk and Szech’s analysis prove that markets erode morals?

Pure Markets or Coercion-Infected Bazaars

The term “market” can refer to any bazaar or system of transactions, and also to pure free markets in which action is voluntary. Thus the buying and selling of slaves falls outside a voluntary market, but it is a bazaar or trade “market” in the sense that it includes buying and selling. When discussing the morality or failures of “markets,” we need to distinguish between voluntary transactions and those that involve coercive harm. Hence I will use the term “bazaar” to refer to trade that may involve coercion, while using “market” to mean a nexus of trade free of coercion.

In his paper “Is Economics Independent of Ethics?” economist Jack High examined the term “market economy,” in contrast to “government activity.” The market, writes High, “is defined as a system of voluntary exchange.” A deep understanding of the concept of the pure market requires an analysis of the meaning of the term “voluntary.” It will not do to simply state that “voluntary” means “not coercive,” since “coercive” is equivalent to the term “not voluntary.”

“Voluntary” action implies an ethical rule by which some acts are morally permitted and other acts, the involuntary ones, are prohibited. To have a universal meaning of voluntary action, and thus of the market, this moral standard must itself be universally applicable to humanity. This universal ethic is the expression of natural moral law, based on human nature rather than any cultural practice or personal viewpoint.

The Universal Ethic

John Locke (1690) described the moral “law of nature” or natural moral law as being derived from two premises: biological independence and human equality. Independence is the biological fact that human beings think and feel as individuals. Equality is the proposition that there is nothing in human biology that entitles one set of human beings to be masters over another set which are slaves.

A unique universal ethic can be derived from these Lockean premises. The universal ethic has three basic rules:

1. Acts that have welcomed benefits are good.

2. Acts that coercively harm others, by initiating an invasion, are evil.

3. All other acts are neutral.

The term “harm” is distinguished from a mere offense. In an offense, the distress is due solely to the beliefs and values of the person affected. In contrast, coercive harm involves an invasion, an unwelcome penetration into the legitimate domain of the victim. So if a person is offended by what someone says, this is due to his beliefs and values; this act is not coercively harmful, and is designated as morally neutral by the universal ethic.

The universal ethic also provides a meaning for moral rights and liberty. A moral right to X means that the negation of X is morally evil. For example, a person has a moral right to possess a car because the negation of that possession, i.e., theft, is morally evil. Since the universal ethic is the expression of natural moral law, the moral rights based on that ethic can be called “natural rights.” Society has complete liberty when its laws are based solely on the universal ethic, with legal rights congruent with natural rights.

The pure market is inherently ethical because the same universal ethic that provides the meaning of “market” is also the natural-law ethic used to judge policy and human action. Involuntary action is both evil and outside the market. There are slave bazaars, but there cannot be a free market in buying and selling slaves, because slavery is involuntary and, thus, evil.

Although the pure market is ethical in excluding evil acts, it is a separate issue whether a free marketenhances or hinders ethical behavior by minimizing evil action. Since the governance of a pure market penalizes acts that coercively harm others, the ideal governance of a free society will have optimal penalties for wrongful acts.

By deterring coercive acts, rehabilitating criminals, and providing restitution for victims, the free society steers human action toward those acts that are good or neutral. Adam Smith, who popularized the concept of the invisible hand of the market, also wrote in his book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, that people have a natural fellow-feeling or sympathy for others. Social entrepreneurs can promote sympathy for communities and benevolent causes, which promotes morally good behavior.

Relative to today’s interventionist economies, the free market promotes good behavior by avoiding the imposition of costs and restrictions. In today’s world, even when good acts are not prohibited, they are impeded with costs such as taxes, licenses, and permit requirements. Even when an organization is tax exempt, it must today fill out forms and report on its activities. The free market promotes good behavior more than today’s interventionist economy by avoiding barriers that make goodness more costly.

Critics of markets claim that when people search for the cheapest goods, moral concern takes a back seat. But in a truly free market, the products offered are produced by moral means, by a process that does not involve coercive harm. Therefore searching for the lowest-cost goods is not evil. Only when goods are produced by immoral means, such as with slave labor, is the product morally tainted, but that, by definition, could not occur within a voluntary market.

Of Mice and Men

Unfortunately, some behavioral economists—those who conduct experiments on human behavior—leap to incorrect conclusions about markets because they use the term “market” for any system of transactions—even those involving non-voluntary aspects.

Recall that in the Falk and Szech experiments cited above, subjects were offered a choice between receiving money versus letting a laboratory mouse get killed. If a subject decided to save a mouse, the experimenters bought the animal and allowed it to live. In the experimental bazaar, however, more people were willing to accept the killing of a mouse than when individuals were simply offered an isolated choice. The researchers concluded that markets erode moral values as guilt is shared with other traders who are also involved in transactions that kill mice. If a person refused a transaction to save a mouse, somebody else would step in, so the mouse would be killed anyway.

The first trouble is that no conclusion about markets and morals can be derived without first analyzing the morality of the particular act, killing a mouse. There is no consensus among ethicists on the issue of mouse (animal) rights, but with respect to the issue of how markets affect moral behavior, we can analyze two possibilities: First, if killing a mouse is not evil, then accepting a choice that kills a mouse is not promoting evil behavior. Second, if the non-utilitarian killing of a mouse (i.e., killing for reasons other than for food, useful materials, or self-defense) is indeed evil, then it is prohibited by the laws of the market and is thus penalized, which minimizes such acts and avoids eroding moral values.

Another problem with the Falk and Szech approach is that the study turns on the condition that people violate their own “individual moral standards,” which to some individuals may, indeed, include mouse killing. I have tried above to show that, in order for an ethic to be universal, it must satisfy certain criteria. Individual moral standards are not morals per se, but rather personal values. Violation of these would be offenses. It may be interesting to some that markets—even pure ones—tend to make people overlook offenses, due to the distance the transactional nature of the arrangement creates between the actor and the original evil, or due to the perceived amorality of fellow actors in the bazaar. For example, “If I don’t buy or sell, someone else will” can creep into a market actor’s rationale. But this rationale has no bearing on a universal moral ethic, which would proscribe harmful actions ex ante—that is, before they infect the market.

In other words, concern about the tendency of market forces to reinforce perceived evils confuses the body and its symptoms with the pathology. The blood stream can carry a pathogen around to various part of one’s body, for example, hastening disease. That doesn’t mean that the bloodstream is somehow evil or undesirable by extension. It’s simply that the pathogen must be eliminated.

Evils of Intervention

Another (perhaps more familiar) approach is to blame markets for outcomes that are actually the result of state intervention rather than voluntary action. Even economists have made a cottage industry out of blaming the market for problems such as recessions and unemployment. These critics fail to distinguish between today’s mixed economies (bazaars replete with governmental interventions) and an arrangement that is much closer to a pure market. Any outcome, however, such as an economic crisis or depression, has to be analyzed sufficiently to determine whether the causes are the interventions or the markets.

Failure to appreciate the concept of a pure market is on display in the article “Markets Erode Morals, Let People Do Horrible Things: Study” by Mark Gongloff in the Huffington Post.  The author states, “The devastating collapses of the dot-com and housing bubbles in recent years have finally led us to start questioning the value of unfettered markets.”

If markets are unfettered, the Federal Reserve does not exist, there are no income and sales taxes; no asset forfeitures; no government subsidies; no federal regulatory agencies such as the SEC, FDA, FHA, and Fannie Mae; and no state and local interventions. The author presumes, with no analysis, that the housing bubble was caused by the market. There is good reason to conclude that massive monetary and fiscal subsidies to real estate—intervention—were primary causes of the crash of 2008, and that the cheap credit provided by money expansions skewed interest rates away from their natural rates, promoting previous bubbles. In these cases, the evils of those impure markets were the consequences of interventions whose intentions may arguably have been good.

The purpose of economic theory is to enable people to understand the implicit economic reality beneath superficial appearances. Critics of free markets observe the superficial appearances of the bazaar without delving into the ethical foundations of the free market and the economic causes of outcomes such as the boom-bust cycle. The ethical and economic reality is that markets are inherently ethical, and they promote ethical behavior.

ABOUT FRED E. FOLDVARY

Fred Foldvary teaches economics at San Jose State University.

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

Two Women, Two Paths

Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin are polar opposites, one bad, one good depending on your political persuasion … which will America choose to follow?

[youtube]http://youtu.be/E4dGMrFV15U[/youtube]

 

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More Self-Reliance Needed in Africa

The recent kidnapping of the Nigerian school girls has been all over the news which is a good thing. We need to take the emotion out of this issue and have a heart-to-heart talk with the leadership of Africa.

I am very aware that Africa is not a country, but a continent made up of 54 countries. I am a big booster of the potential of all things Africa, but have been, and still am, a big critic of Africa.

Everyone touts the potential of Africa as a continent, not just in terms of its vast natural resources (gold, diamonds, oil, gas, bauxite, etc.); but also in terms of its human resources. Well more than half of Africa’s population is under 18 years of age. They have a “youth bulge” that can be a great asset or a great liability.

According to a report by the accounting firm of KPMG, Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to reach $2.6 trillion by the year 2020. Africa also has the fastest-expanding labor force in the world; there are more than 500 million people of working age (15 to 64) in Africa, and that number is expected to pass 1.1 billion by 2040 and larger than China and India.

For the most part, my criticism of Africa has to do with its leaders and government bureaucrats, not the people. Many of the leaders are corrupt and selfish, interested only in the enrichment of themselves, their families and their cronies.

On the other hand, the people of Africa only want three things: education, healthcare, and a job. This seems to be very reasonable and pretty much a universal desire; and one that should be easily achievable on the continent of Africa. But it’s not.

Africa reminds me of the kid who always wants to be treated like a “big boy,” but then constantly cries for his big brother to rescue him when he gets in trouble. Generally speaking, Africa wants U.S. investments yet can’t provide security for their own people. And if they fail to provide security at that level, there is no reason to believe African countries can provide security for foreign investments.

What I find amazing about the abduction of the girls in Nigeria was the immediate cry from Africans for U.S. involvement in finding the girls. Why was there no cry for the involvement of the African Union (AU)?

The AU is composed of 53 African states and was created on July 9, 2002 as a successor to the Organization of African Unity (OAU). According to the AU’s website, its objectives are: to accelerate the political and socio-economic integration of the continent; to promote and defend African common positions on issues of interest to the continent and its peoples; to achieve peace and security in Africa; and to promote democratic institutions, good governance and human rights.

It’s almost as though whenever there is a crisis on the continent, Africans reflexively call on the U.S. or the United Nations (UN) for help, not the AU. The AU has been around for 12 years, so no more excuses about it being a young organization. If African leaders want to be treated as an equal player on the world stage, then they must be willing to comport themselves in a manner consistent with that desire.

Africa continues to lack the understanding and sophistication for why they need to constantly engage with the American media. During the crisis of the kidnapped Nigerian girls, I have yet to see or hear of any engagement by the Nigerian Embassy or the AU with the American media.

Most of the so-called experts on Africa, as presented in U.S. media, have been White. The media is partly to blame for this because of their continued insular approach and not looking for non-White experts on Africa.

And there are plenty of Blacks who are experts on Africa.

Gregory B. Simpkins is staff director for the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; and one of the foremost experts on Africa in the U.S. He has both a journalism and public policy background. He also is Black.

But I put more blame on Africa for continuing to believe that any media outlet is going to do for them what they should be doing for themselves, i.e. telling their own story. If Africa continues to govern with a third world mentality in a 21st century world, they will continue to be ignored and marginalized.

Africa wants Americans to view their continent as a tourist destination and a developing haven for foreign direct investment, but yet they can’t or won’t protect young girls attending school.

Despite all this, I should be willing to take my family on a vacation to or invest my money on the continent? Really?

Africa gets most of its media coverage from their failure, not their successes. A simple Google of the word Africa brings up nothing but negative information. So, until African leaders truly understand the value of proactive media engagement in the U.S., they will continue to be viewed as third world and not worthy of serious business consideration.

Charlie Crist talks Climate Change, Racism and Democrat Debate Dodging

After allowing protesters to take him and his campaign staff off message during the grand opening of his Miami office, former Florida Governor Charlie Crist quickly bounced back into form and addressed reporters shortly after the Saturday morning protest concluded. Crist answered questions ranging from his new position on the U.S. embargo to Cuba, Racism, Climate Change, and his dodging of his Democrat primary opponent, Nan Rich. Read more about the protest in Miami here.

Climate change

Florida is considered “ground zero” for climate change, and Crist, who firmly believes that “the sky is falling,” so to speak, was asked what he would do about it, if he was elected governor.

Crist, who says that it is”ridiculous” to ignore science, and that “climate change is a real issue,” as well as stating that he would hold a climate change summit, and invite people like Robert Kennedy Jr. and other so called know-it-alls on the subject.

Back in 2007, when Crist the Republican governor of Florida, he held the “Serve to Preserve” 2007 climate change summit in Miami, and brought in the likes of the Terminator himself, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Crist says the he signed “Cap and Trade” executive orders when he was governor, and would sign them again, if he defeats Rick Scott this fall.
When asked if he supported “Cap and Trade,” Crist said that he was “willing to do whatever it takes to make sure we are addressing this important issue.” When the sun shines, we have flooding, and there’s a reason. And it’s because the seas are rising – Charlie Crist

Crist statement sounds a bit bizarre, but on Miami Beach, flooding is occurring because of rising seas caused by the Earth’s natural climate and temperature evolution, and not just from rainstorms.

Debating Nan Rich

rich-1024x569

Photo courtesy of The Shark Tank.

Democrat Nan Rich Many Floridians believe that the 2014 gubernatorial general election between Republican Governor Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist is set in stone, but that belief is far from the truth.

Charlie Crist has a Democrat primary election to contend with first. Former state Senator and staunch Progressive Democrat, Nan Rich is hoping that she will be able to garner enough of the Democrat Party vote to defeat party newbie, Charlie Crist.

Rich, who believes that Crist’s rhetoric lacks substance, has been calling for the former Republican to debate her, but Crist has taken the position of ignoring her, and focusing on “the real opponent,” Rick Scott.

What’s important for this campaign is to be focused on the real opponent here- the real opponent here is Rick Scott. If I take my eye on that target, shame on me. I have a duty to the voters, I have a duty to our supporters, and I am going to stay laser focused on Rick Scott. – Charlie Crist

While Crist says he has a duty to voters (presumably Democrat voters), Rich is saying that Democrat primary voters deserve to hear from the field of primary gubernatorial candidates, and hopes that the party apparatus stays out of the contested primary race.

“Debates are part of the Democratic process. Charlie Crist is new to our party which is even more reason the people are entitled to hear about his new found positions and compare records to determine who best represents their values. Let’s get on with the debate!”- Nan Rich

Florida Governor Rick Scott has even stated that Crist had to first contend with Nan Rich in a Democrat primary race.

“The first debate Charlie Crist needs to do is with Nan Rich. He needs to quit ducking a debate with Nan Rich. He’s in a primary. I might not agree with her on many issues. But she is somebody who’s consistent, something that Charlie Crist has had a problem with his whole career.” – Gov. Rick Scott

Crist’s dodging of Nan Rich’ debate requests is considered to be hypocritical ,being that back in 2010, he debated now – Senator Marco Rubio in the Republican primary Senate race. Read more on Nan Rich’s “Where’s Charlie” debate efforts here.

Racism

Crist was then asked by a reporter to give “one example of racism in the Republican Party,” prompting Crist to dismiss the question by answering, “I have already talked about it, it speaks for itself.”

Watch the video.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/1W6Rr8s3Bdk[/youtube]

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Shark Tank. The author of this column states that flooding in Miami is caused by rising sea levels. Sea levels on the Pacific coast have been falling due to the cooling of the ocean waters. The rise in sea levels on the Atlantic coast has stopped and will decline as well for the same reason – the cooling of the ocean waters. The average rise of oceans has been measured at 1 inch per century. Not enough to cause flooding.

Exposed: Offendo-Fakes

Are you tired of people who pretend to be offended as a way of pushing their own agenda?  Here we expose those who fake being offended to push a progressive agenda.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/0W0pAWHytj0[/youtube]

Is All Love ‘Equal’?

The following is adapted from a one-page flier passed out by AFTAH President Peter LaBarbera at an April 14, 2014 protest at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada [see this excellent video commentary by Canadian pundit Brian Lilley]. At the protest, led by Canadian pro-family/pro-life activist Bill Whatcott, both he and LaBarbera were arrested on the charge of “mischief” for not abandoning their peaceful sign protest against homosexuality and abortion. In explaining why the university felt the need to eject Whatcott and the three other protesters, U of R provost and vice-president Thomas Chase said, “The materials were graphic and the materials were disturbing,” he told the Regina Leader-Post. “The materials, we felt, could harm members of this campus community who we have a duty to protect and support.”

hrc-equal-sign-logo-adapted

Is All Love ‘Equal’?

“Love is Love,” same-sex “marriage” advocates are fond of saying. At a recent protest in Weyburan, Saskatchewan, Canada, a pro-“gay” activist said, “It doesn’t matter who you love, it just matters that you love.” The implication is that homosexual sex and relationships are equivalent—morally, practically and health-wise—to natural sex and relationships (i.e., marriage) between a man and a woman. But is that true?

Capacity to Produce Life

Sex between men or between women alone can never produce children.  “Gay parenting” requires a previous heterosexual relationship by one or both of the same-sex partners, or adoption or artificial means to acquire a child.  That child will then intentionally be denied a father or a mother.  In contrast, heterosexuality and natural marriage produce children, families and future generations.

‘HIV Is a Gay Disease’

Homosexual sex between men is the biggest risk factors for HIV/AIDS. A stunning 94-95 percent of all HIV diagnoses in 2011 among boys and young men were linked to homosexual sex, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports.[1] A 2008 CDC study of “gay” men in 21 major cities found that nearly one in five were HIV positive while 44 percent of those did not know it. [2] Facts like these have led some homosexual activists to admit that, “HIV is a gay disease.”[3] Yet students rarely are educated on the heightened health risks associated with homosexual behaviors.

CDC slide demonstrates the strong correlation between

CDC slide demonstrates the strong correlation between “male-to-male sexual contact” and HIV among adolescent boys and young men. To view the full CDC slide presentation, go HERE; to read the related AFTAH article, go HERE. Yellow highlighting did not appear on original CDC slide.

Viral Hepatitis and High-Risk Homosexual Sex

“Among adults, an estimated 10% of new Hepatitis A cases and 20% of new Hepatitis B cases occur in gay or bisexual men,” the CDC reported in October 2013. The disproportionate risk is linked to high-risk sexual behaviors by “men who have sex with men” (MSM). The CDC reports: “Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter—even in microscopic amounts—from an infected person. Among men who have sexual contact with other men, Hepatitis A can be spread through direct anal-oral contact or contact with fingers or objects that have been in or near the anus of an infected person.”[4]

Sex Practices Common Among Homosexual Men Are ‘Highly Efficient Ways of Transmitting Disease,’ Says ‘Gay’ Writer

“Some practices common among gays–especially rimming [mouth-to-anus sex] and anal intercourse–are highly efficient ways of transmitting disease.”–”Gay” writer Jack Hart, Gay Sex: A Manual for Men Who Love Men [5]

CDC-table-Intimate-Partner-VIolence

A 2010 CDC study on “Intimate Partner Violence” among homosexuals and bisexuals found higher rates of “rape, physical violence, and/or stalking” among lesbians and bisexual women compared to heterosexual women–and higher rates of “sexual violence” among homosexual and bisexual men compared to heterosexual men. Go HERE to read CDC report summary.

Domestic Partner Violence Higher for Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals

“Rates of some form of sexual violence were higher among lesbian women, gay men, and bisexual women and men compared to heterosexual women and men,” the CDC reported in 2010.

“Forty-four percent of lesbian women, 61% of bisexual women, and 35% of heterosexual women experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime…

“Four in 10 gay men (40%), nearly half of bisexual men (47%), and 1 in 5 heterosexual men (21%) have experienced SV [sexual violence] other than rape in their lifetime. This translates into nearly 1.1 million gay men, 903,000 bisexual men, and 21.6 million heterosexual men.” [6]

Anal Cancer

“The incidence of anal cancer in gay men is approximately 80 times that of the general population.” [7]

Syphilis

“In 2012, 75% of the reported primary and secondary syphilis cases were among men who have sex with men (MSM)/” the CDC reported. [8]

Dr. Stephen Goldstone

Anus: ‘Highest Risk Place for STDs,” Says Homosexual Doctor 

“[An] anus is the highest risk place for STDs [sexually transmitted diseases].”–Dr. Stephen Goldstone, The Ins and Outs of Gay Sex: A Medical Handbook for Men [9]

Sources:

1. ”CDC: 94 to 95 Percent of HIV Cases among Boys and Young Men Linked to Homosexual Sex,” AFTAH website, September 11, 2013 [link HERE]; links to CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] presentation, “HIV Surveillance in Adolescents and Young Adults,” National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatisis, STD and & TB Prevention, Div. of HIV/AIDS Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/statistics_surveillance_Adolescents.pdf.

2. CDC Press Release: “1 in 5 men who have sex with men in 21 U.S. cities have HIV; nearly half unaware,” National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention; “The CDC study tested 8,153 MSM in 21 cities participating in the 2008 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System (NHBS).” [link HERE]

3. Sharon Bernstein, “HIV Ads Embrace, and Stun, Audience,” Los Angeles Times, September 30, 2006: “the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center had embarked on a controversial ad campaign with this stark declaration: ‘HIV is a gay disease,’ with the tag line ‘Own It. End It.’ on billboards and in magazines.” [story link HERE].

4. CDC, “Viral Hepatitis: Information for Gay and Bisexual Men,” October 2013; http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/Populations/PDFs/HepGay-FactSheet.pdf.

5. Jack Hart, Gay Sex: A Manual for Men who Love Men (Revised & Updated, Second edition, October 1998). Published by [now defunct] Alyson Books (Los Angeles, New York), pages 194, 212-213. [AFTAH link HERE] Full quote by Hart, a homosexual, is below:

“Many sexual transmitted diseases (STDs) occur more often among gay men than in the general population. Several factors contribute to this difference: Gay men have the opportunity to engage in sex with more people than do most heterosexual men, and some practices common among gays–especially rimming [oral-anal perversion*] and anal intercourse–are highly efficient ways of transmitting disease….”

6. NISVS: “An Overview of 2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation,” The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), 2010: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/cdc_nisvs_victimization_final-a.pdf

7. HIV Essentials 2013 (Sixth Edition), by Paul E. Sax , Calvin J. Cohen, Daniel R. Kuritzkes, (Jones & Bartlett Learning: Burlington, MA, 2013), p. 132. [Amazon book link HERE]

8. CDC, “Syphilis & MSM (Men Who Have Sex With Men) – CDC Fact Sheet; page last updated: January 7, 2014. http://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/STDFact-MSM-Syphilis.htm

9. Dr. Stephen Goldstone, The Ins and Outs of Gay Sex: A Medical Handbook for Men, (Dell: 1999), p 16; in the passage, Dr. Goldstone, a homosexual and “gay” advocate, is urging condom use. For more quotations by Goldstone, see this AFTAH article. [Amazon book link HERE]

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World Environment Day and the Three Fundamental Truths about the Climate

There are three fundamental truths about the climate: 1.) The climate changes, 2.) The changes are cyclical, and 3.) There is nothing mankind can do about it except prepare for the changes.

Sarasota County, Florida has been selected by the United Nations Environment Programme’s Regional Office for North America (UNEP RONA) as the official North American host community for World Environment Day (WED) 2014.

According to the Sarasota County website:

More than just a single day of environmentally focused events, the WED celebration launches on Earth Day in April and bridges the globe—and the months—with programs and events that culminate on June 5. This year’s launch was held at Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey, during its 25th annual Earth Day celebration on April 27. The events will culminate with a Community Forum and International Children’s Painting Competition Exhibit on June 5. Dozens of nature walks, classes, workshops and volunteer events are also planned between these two dates. Find more information about all these events on the WED Events page and listed in the WED Calendar.

This year’s WED theme focuses on the small island developing states, places particularly threatened by environmental changes. Sarasota County was chosen to host this year’s WED events because it is a coastal community facing similar challenges, and also because of its positive and proactive environmental track record, according to UNEP RONA.

Since its inception in 1972, WED has grown into a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in more than 100 countries. It also serves as grassroots inspiration for individuals and groups to do something positive for the environment, galvanizing creative individual actions into a collective power that has the potential to generate an exponential positive impact around the world.

Crosby

Dr. Michael P. Crosby

A forum will be held as part of WED. The forum will be moderated by Dr. Michael P. Crosby, President and CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory. Forum topics will include:

  • Identifying emerging environmental issues from the perspective of the Small Island Developing States — United Nations Environment Programme representative.
  • The Economic Value of Sarasota Bay — Sara Kane, Public Outreach Manager, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program
  • Sea Level Rise — Barbara Lausche, Director, Marine Policy Institute at Mote
  • Eco-Tourism — Jennifer Shafer, Executive Director, Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida
  • Green Building and the Green Economy — Tony Stefan, U.S. Green Building Council, Myakka River Branch

The forum will be from 10:30 a.m. to Noon, on Thursday, June 5, 2014 at the Mote Marine Laboratory’s New Pass Room, on the 3rd Floor of the Keating Marine Education Center, 1599 Ken Thompson Parkway, City Island, Sarasota.

Protests are planned.

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