Dr. Ben Carson on the Islamic State: We must ‘destroy them before they destroy us’

“We’re talking about global jihadists, and their desire is to destroy us and to destroy our way of life….our goal is not to contain them but to destroy them before they destroy us.” Why is it so rare to hear presidential candidates make such simple, obvious and commonsensical statements?

“Carson on ISIS: ‘Destroy Their Caliphate,’” by Jordan Schachtel, Breitbart, November 10, 2015 (thanks to Bulldog):

…Carson was asked by Fox Business host and debate moderator Maria Bartiromo if he supports President Obama’s recent initiative to place 50 special ops forces in Syria, and leave 10,000 U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

“Well, putting the special ops people in there is better than not having them there because they — that’s why they’re called special ops, they’re actually able to guide some of the other things that we’re doing there, and what we have to recognize is that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is trying to really spread his influence throughout the Middle East,” Carson responded….

“You know the Chinese are there as well as the Russians, and you have all kinds of factions there. What we’ve been doing so far is very ineffective.”…

“But we can’t give up ground right there. We have to look at this on a much more global scale,” Carson said. “We’re talking about global jihadists, and their desire is to destroy us and to destroy our way of life.”…

“So we have to be saying, ‘How do we make them look like losers,’ that’s the way they’re able to gather a lot of influence, and I think in order to make them look like losers, we have to destroy their caliphate,” he stated.

“And you look for the easiest place to do that, it would be in Iraq. Outside of anbar in Iraq there’s a big energy field. Take that from them, take all of that land from them, we could do that, I believe, fairly easily, I’ve learned from talking to several generals, and you move on from there, but you have to continue to face them, because our goal is not to contain them but to destroy them before they destroy us,” Carson concluded.


Al Nusra’s Lion Cubs Religious Academy: “All the Christians and a message to America, your grave is in Syria”

UK Muslims claim to be “negatively affected” by counter-terrorism policies

VIDEO: Young Frankensteins at the University of Missouri

Radical students at the University of Missouri are turning on the university which created them. They are neo-Frankensteins.

Michael A. Kline from Accuracy in Academia writes:

Most of the coverage of recent college demonstrations has been largely sympathetic to the demonstrators. Indeed, few sources were consulted who would speak any evil of them.

mizzou president tim wolfe

Nevertheless, our November author’s night speaker—William Barclay Allen—saw in them the culmination of a disturbing trend. “I have spent my whole life in academia and I can tell you I have witnessed the deterioration over the course of time,” Dr. Allen, a professor emeritus at Michigan State University, said in November. “It is no longer to be assumed that freedom of speech prevails on a university campus.”

“Instead, there are codes of speech.” Dr. Allen is the former chairman of the U. S. Civil Rights Commission.

“What I am suggesting to you is not that there are outliers, a few extremists who at college campuses especially in elite institutions who the rest of us can look at as perhaps, in their own way, testaments to our virtue because they are so unlike us,” Dr. Allen said. “No that is not the case.”

Read more.

Here is a different perspective on the problem.


College Demonstrators Aren’t Outliers

MIZZOU STUDENT JOURNALIST: Files Charges Against Prof. Melissa ‘More Muscle’ Click

U. of Missouri professor under fire in protest flap

Why Is There a Protest at the University of Missouri?

VIDEO: The Collective suicide of Europe — The Muslim Migrant Invasion

This video was produced by The Death of Nations and is titled “With Open Gates: The forced collective suicide of European nations.”

Breitbart reports:

Although the 19-minute film may feel like a dispatch from the future, it is cut entirely from recent news reports, police camera footage, and interviews. Kicking off with scenes of a modern car ferry disgorging thousands of illegals into Greece, the film then cuts to dozens of aerial shots of columns of migrants marching north into Europe.

The film then changed to the harrowing testimony of one young Greek woman who was unable to hide her horror and despair at the scale of the migrant crisis sweeping over her home island of Lesbos. Just six miles from the Turkish coast, the island was subjected to migrant riots in September as newcomers turned on their hosts for not moving them to mainland Europe fast enough.

Read more.

RELATED ARTICLE: In first six weeks of FY2016 U.S. resettled 827 Somalis; all but one are Muslim

EDITORS NOTE: If you wish to support the producers of this video you may do so with Bitcoins/BTC at
1ybX49kKFNN7hKnrzaegnha4Fy9WrFATu. The music used in the video is titled”Invasion A.D.” by Carpenter Brut (Google PlayAmazonMP3iTunes)

Refugee Resettlement [or] Treason?

Atop the list of very hot topics in the USA circa 2015 is the topic of refugee resettlement, the importing of problem children from parts of the world that do not like America much. And in a post 9-11 America, with the free world still at war with “radical Islam” all over the globe, why shouldn’t it be a hot topic?

Americans must get the facts on U.S. Refugee Resettlement

The first U.S. refugee resettlement policy was established by President Truman in 1948, when the USA took in more than 650,000 displaced Europeans in the wake of World War II. The original intent of the policy was to provide political asylum for foreign citizens not only displaced by war, but still at risk in their home countries due to their objections to political circumstances at home.

In 1975, the Democrat controlled 94th congress expanded that policy to include a broadening definition of “refugee” – “A refugee is someone who has fled from his or her home country and cannot return because he or she has a well-founded fear of persecution based on religion, race, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.” The “social engineering” aspect of the policy was now in place…

The Democrat controlled 96th congress passed the Refugee Act of 1980, adopting the United Nations (UN) ever changing definition of refugee and allowing the UN to standardize the resettlement services for all refugees to be admitted to the U.S., under the powers of the Executive Branch, administered by the US State Department.

This means that refugee resettlement is in no way associated with “immigration” under the legislative control of congress, at present. US refugee resettlement is being controlled by the United Nations, through the US Executive Branch and State Department.

Refugee resettlement in the USA has been systematically altered from that of its original humanitarian intent, to a full-blown “social engineering” program designed to forever “fundamentally change” the United States by simply importing foreign anti-American interests, planting anti-American cells across America and altering the political demographics of the United States.

YES… resettled refugees get to VOTE! And so can “illegal immigrants”

The current Obama refugee resettlement policies are even worse… The unbridled UN run refugee resettlement program is now being used to import what could easily be described as “Islamic sleeper cells” from all over the Middle East to cities all across the United States. In short, our “generosity” in the world is being used to destroy the United States, again…

Working through the following “volunteer organizations” which are “highly paid” for their “volunteer services,” our Federal Executive Branch sworn to uphold the Constitution, faithfully execute the laws as created by Congress, and provide for the “common defense” of the nation and its legal citizens,” is intentionally “aiding and abetting” known enemies of the United States via the refugee resettlement program.

  • Church World Service
  • Ethiopian Community Development Council
  • Episcopal Migration Ministries
  • HIAS
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
  • U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services
  • World Relief

These organizations referred to as Voluntary Agencies (volags) or Resettlement Agencies, all actively participate in “aiding and abetting known enemies of the United States,” acting in concert with the Obama Administration and US State Department, as Congress sits idly silent… and all of these organizations are receiving billions in taxpayer funding from our Federal government to carry out this mission.

Obama’s refugee policy meets that of the UN, but violates that of the U.S. demonstrating once again, Obama’s affinity for Global Interests at the expense of U.S. sovereignty and security. Obama is the greatest threat to all U.S. interests here and abroad and he must be dealt with swiftly and completely.

Both illegal and legal immigration are a huge problem in the United States, due to Executive Branch refusal to faithfully execute the standing immigration laws passed congress, and fraudulent court opinions regarding all sorts of “citizenship” issues designed to undermine the rule of Constitutional Law in America, and support “social change” via “social justice.”

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions is ringing the alarm! But who is listening?

“The U.S. has already taken in four times more immigrants than any other nation on Earth. Our foreign-born population share is set to break every known historical record. Since 9/11, we have permanently resettled approximately 1.5 million migrants from Muslim nations inside the U.S.  Ninety percent of recent refugees from the Middle East living in our country are receiving food stamps and approximately 70 percent are receiving free healthcare and cash welfare.  All of the nearly 200,000 refugees the Administration is planning to bring over the next two years would be entitled to these same benefits the moment they arrive.  Since we are running huge deficits, every penny of these billions in costs will have to be borrowed and added to the debt.  This refugee expansion would be in addition to the 1 million autopilot green cards handed out each year by the government to mostly low-wage migrants, including a large share from Middle Eastern nations.”

“Our schools, job markets and public resources are already stretched too thin. And, even at current rates, we have no capacity to screen for extremist ideology, as we have seen with the surge of ISIS recruitment in Minnesota’s Somali refugee community.”

Hence, the massive top-down push to teach Islam in American schools via the Common Core curriculum.

Betraying one’s country, especially by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government, or “fundamentally change” the demographics of society or systems of self-governance under a Constitutional Republic, a violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or to one’s state, the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery, tyranny and aiding and abetting known enemies of the country in an overt effort to destroy the country from within, these are all crimes in the United States, a crime which falls under thelegal definition of treason.

Despite rhetorical claims of a “peaceful religion” seeking “equality” in the free world, the basic tenet of Islam remains a global caliphate, the Islamization of the free world. This is exactly what folks like Valarie Jarrett’s father-in-law were writing about in 1979, in “Islamic Purchase of the U.S. Presidency.”

Even Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee Tulsi Gabbard recently accused Obama & Co. of aiding and abetting known enemies of the United States in an HBO interview with Real Time host Bill Maher, who had no choice but to agree, based on the inescapable mountain of evidence.

As the FBI steps up a full scale criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s active role in the attacks in Benghazi, The Washington Times reports “A federal appeals court said President Obama’s own words claiming powers to “change the law” were part of the reason it struck down his deportation amnesty, in a ruling late Monday that reaffirmed the president must carry out laws and doesn’t have blanket powers to waive them.”

Every bit of this is public confirmation from even some of the most unlikely sources, that the entire Obama regime is criminally corrupt and acting in a manner that can only be described as treason…

When an administration acts in such a manner, the U.S. Constitution says we should immediately Impeach, try, convict, remove from office and then proceed to a full scale criminal prosecution once the individuals involved are private citizens subject to criminal charges.

The North American Law Center (TNALC.org) drafted proper proposed Articles of Impeachment against Obama and released them to House Republicans and the public in July of 2014. Over a year later, no action has been taken, as almost every American, now including many Democrats, are talking about Obama crimes daily, in the open…

As patriot writer Rick Wells asks, “Where are all the Patriots” who are the only people in America who can or will hold these criminals accountable for their intentional destruction of the United States.

If “the people” are no longer interested in holding elected officials accountable for even treason, then the United States of America is already dead and gone…

It isn’t refugee resettlement…. It is TREASON! If “the people” won’t act on treason, there is nothing they will act on.

Where do the 2016 Presidential Candidates Stand on Sexual Justice?

In light of the public health crisis of pornography, rising rates of campus and military sexual assault, and the prominent issue of human trafficking, America needs a president who will stand for sexual justice.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) released the 2016 Presidential Candidates Survey on Sexual Exploitation today, in an effort to gauge the positions of all presidential candidates regarding the multi-faceted spectrum of sexual harm.

Which candidates will publicly speak about issues like federal obscenity laws, or websites like Backpage.com that profiteer by advertising the sale of people (who are often trafficked) for sex? Which candidates are going to prioritize solving human trafficking, or ensuring restitution for victims of digital media sexual exploitation abuse of children? NCOSE believes in sexual justice – freedom from sexual exploitation, objectification, and violence. It’s vital for the presidential candidates to make their positions known.

ACTION: Ask the candidates to respond to this survey, and to defend dignity, here.

To learn more about this survey, and to view the complete list of questions, visit: http://endsexualexploitation.org/presidentialsurvey/

Six in 10 Senior Citizens disprove of the job Obama is doing as President

WASHINGTON, /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Marking one year to the 2016 general elections, Bring The Vote Home (BTVH) – a nationwide initiative that is surveying seniors on a wide range of issues while empowering them to engage fully in America’s electoral process – today released the results of polling data that surveyed more than 2,000 registered voters over age 65. The data found broadly-held concerns that cut across party lines: more than six in 10 respondents (63 percent) disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing as President and nearly seven in 10 seniors (69 percent) think 2016 Presidential candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties are not paying enough attention to issues affecting seniors.

On the issues of the economy, national security, health care, seniors, women, education and energy, 38 percent of senior registered voters said candidates’ position on seniors’ issues is of greatest importance to them when casting a vote for Senators or Congressmen. The health of the nation’s economy came in second, with 25 percent of voters most concerned about this issue area.

When respondents were asked about each of the leading Democratic and Republican candidates individually, the majority of respondents expressed a surprising lack of confidence in their ability to handle issues affecting seniors. For example, 55 percent of senior voters do not trust Hilary Clinton to handle seniors’ issues and 48 percent do not think Donald Trump is up to the task. These views carry over to the national political parties as well, with 41 percent of senior voters saying they trust the Democratic Party and 42 percent saying they trust the Republican Party to best handle seniors’ issues.

“These poll results should grab the attention of every candidate’s campaign as they strategize for the coming year,” stated Eric Berger, CEO of the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare. “This polling data reveals that American seniors want a candidate who will be an advocate for them on issues specific to those over 65, including healthcare.”

The BTVH poll also concluded that individual states have room to improve helping seniors cast their vote, with only four in 10 seniors indicating their state does a good job educating homebound seniors on how to register or obtain an absentee ballot.

For this reason, BTVH has launched a new website that offers seniors, disabled Americans, and their healthcare clinicians the information they need to register to vote and receive an absentee ballot. BTVH was originally developed so that Medicare home health patients (who are homebound) could fully participate in the democratic process by enabling them register to vote and obtain absentee ballots. BTVH has expanded to offer additional resources, including information about their lawmakers’ views on home health and senior polling data on the views and opinions of American seniors.

“America’s seniors dedicated their working lives to protecting and building our country,” added Berger. “That is why the Bring The Vote Home initiative is dedicated to ensuring that their voices are heard.  Through its voter registration, absentee ballot, candidate information, and monthly polling programs, Bring The Vote Home is working to enable all seniors – homebound and otherwise – to be full and equal participants in America’s democratic process.”

The BTVH survey was conducted as part of a Morning Consult Poll from October 29 to November 1, 2015. The poll surveyed 2,003 registered voters, age 65 and older, and has a margin error of two percentage points.

To view the National Seniors Poll Charts, click here.

To read the National Seniors Poll Results Memo, click here.


Bring the Vote Home is a nationwide initiative that is surveying seniors on a wide range of issues while empowering them to engage fully in America’s electoral process.  To learn more, visit bringthevotehome.org.

Top 4 Countries in the World for Muslim migrants

From the UN Dispatch last week:

What makes a country a ‘good’ country for refugee resettlement, fairly assuming their burden in the global community? Here are four countries on three continents that both quantitatively and qualitatively stand out.


Antonio Guterres

With as many refugees arriving in Europe last month than all of last year, this question of where they can and should resettle is all the more urgent.What makes a country a ‘good’ country for refugee resettlement, fairly assuming their burden in the global community? Here are four countries on three continents that both quantitatively and qualitatively stand out.

NOTE: Antonio Guterres has been the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for almost ten years. While he nags the Western world (and particularly the U.S.) to take ever greater numbers of refugees, he hasn’t been able to persuade the country he once led as its Prime Minister to take more than a handful each year. In 2014 we learn Portugal took a whole 14 refugees!

With as many refugees arriving in Europe last month than all of last year, this question of where they can and should resettle is all the more urgent.

The UN goes on to say that the top 4 countries are (drum roll!):

  1. Germany
  2. Sweden 
  3. United States 
  4. Brazil

Continue reading here to see the rationale.

The U.S. took 67% of the refugees resettled around the world in 2014!

If you haven’t yet had a chance to look at the State Department’s report on the Proposed Refugee Admissions for FY2016, I highly recommend it (as a matter of fact, I have to stop posting now so I have some time today to continue studying it).

In the report we learn that the US aims to take 50% of the refugees referred by the UN each year, but what a surprise, in calendar year 2014 (Table VIII p. 70) we took 67% which was 48,911 refugees!

Germany took 3,467 (4.7% of the total resettled)

Sweden took 1,497 (2.1%)

Brazil took 44 (.06%)

And, just for fun!  The UNHCR Antonio Guterres is the former Prime Minister of Portugal and that country took 14 refugees in 2014!  So he couldn’t convince his own home country to WELCOME more?  (Portugal has promised to take 23 Syrians!)

This post is filed in our ‘where to find information’ category.


12 Western Countries That Will Be Islamic Republics In A Few Years

U.S. taxpayer bill to resettle 35,000 Mideast refugees: $2.3 billion

Wisconsin state legislator wants state to take in 937 Syrian Muslims, with federal grant money

Wichita: School district desperate for more money due to refugee overload, appeals to Governor

Atlantic City: That crazy refugees-to-Revel story isn’t dead yet

Lies, Damn Lies, and Tax Cut Statistics

It’s a frustrating exercise constantly correcting liberals and far-left media types about tax rate cuts. One would think that, in a field where an exhaustive search for the facts should be the rule, not the exception, media figures would be interested in what the data on tax rate cuts says. Sadly, many are not only unconcerned with what the data says, but have created an entirely new line of reasoning based on nonexistent data.

The media, as evidenced by its pitiful performance in the last GOP presidential debate, is either ignorant of the tax rate cut data or is willfully misleading Americans, insisting that cutting taxes has caused exploding government deficits due to decreases in tax revenue. This is grossly inaccurate and it’s disappointing that the people who propagate these lies do so with little concern for the economic future and health of the country.

In response I’m going to issue this challenge to any media figure, liberal, politician, or anyone else interested. I’m going to post some FACTS-yes, facts-about the J.F.K, Reagan, and G.W. Bush tax cuts, and I’m challenging you to disprove the below data and show us what you’ve got.

Here is one caveat. By posting these tax-rate cut figures I am not making any statements about the causes of the tax revenue increases after tax rate cuts. As many of you remember from your high school and college statistics courses, there is a world of difference between correlation and causation. Causation states that “A” led to “B.” While correlation implies that A and B are related but that a third variable may have been involved.

To read more, click here.

What would I ask Republican Presidential candidates tonight?

Someone asked me to prepare a list of questions I might ask Republican candidates tonight in Milwaukee.  So I wrote up a quick list and thought I would share them with you.  Now mind you, there is no way that anyone would ever ask the candidates if they would scratch the whole darn Refugee Admissions Program, so that is not one of my questions.

  1. The Obama Administration has said recently that it will admit 10,000 Syrians in the fiscal year 2016 resettlement of 85,000 third world refugees to American towns and cities in 48 states, yet the Director of the FBI James Comey recently told Congress that the Syrians, coming from a failed state, could not be properly screened. In this battle between the U.S. State Department (that wants many more than 10,000), and the FBI (Homeland Security concerned with the possible infiltration of ISIS in the refugee population), how would you bring your cabinet together on this critical issue?
  2. The Center for Immigration Studies recently released a new study which finds that a Syrian family of four resettled in America will cost U.S. taxpayers over a quarter of a million dollars over five years. Would that factor figure into your decision on how many refugees America can afford because it is the President who has almost exclusive power for determining refugee numbers and makes that determination every September?
  3. Recently Senator Jeff Sessions office released data on welfare use of refugees in America and found that 90% of Middle Eastern refugees were using some form of social services—food stamps, cash assistance, Medicaid and so forth—and that rate was higher for that group than refugees from elsewhere in the world. There are also reports of widespread fraud in the welfare application process. What would you do to discourage fraud and limit welfare for all classes of immigrant?
  4. The United Nations is choosing most refugees admitted to the U.S. (over 20,000 Syrians have been referred by the UN) and 97% of the Syrians chosen thus far have been Muslims who are presently housed in UN camps. Would you go against the UN and seek out Christian and other religious minorities in need of resettlement as a first priority?
  5. In 2014, the U.S. admitted 67% of the refugees that were resettled anywhere, the next highest country was Canada with 9%. If you were President would you urge a more equitable distribution to first world countries?
  6. The world is watching in horror as Europe is being inundated with tens of thousands of migrants. Approximately 8,000 are arriving in Germany each day (originally welcomed by the government). Only about half are Syrians and the largest percentage are economic migrants, not legitimate refugees. If you, as President, had a private meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel, what would you say to her?
  7. The refugees being housed presently in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan will be there temporarily, perhaps years, but they will not be given citizenship rights. Those resettled to the U.S. and other western countries are permanent residents on a track to citizenship. What alternative would you suggest for managing, especially the Syrian flow, short of making tens of thousands of them U.S. citizens?
  8. Our present system of resettling refugees is virtually controlled by the UN, the U.S. State Department and nine federal contractors which monopolize the resettlement of refugees and even choose the towns and cities where they will go. In a ______ Administration would you seek to reform this out-of-control resettlement program and give some authority to state and local elected officials which virtually have none right now? Would your administration propose or support existing reform legislation?
  9. Non-profit organizations affiliated with some religious denominatons are being paid millions of tax dollars each year to bring refugee families to cities of their choosing and in three to six months that family is expected to be on its own and the non-profit then brings in the next group incentivized by a federal payment that is calculated by the head (per refugee). Would you pledge to reform the program to put more responsibility back on to private charity as the original act of 1980 invisioned?
  10. There have been many reports recently of school systems overloaded with needy immigrant students who require extra help with learning English and to deal with mental traumas, would your administration seek a moratorium on resettlement until officials in overloaded cities and local and state taxpayers could catch their breath?

Don’t hold your breath!  I would be blown away if there is any question relating to refugees tonight in Milwaukee, even though, as I said in my previous post this morning—immigration is THE issue for 2016!


Note to Antonio Guterres! Terrorists do use refugees as cover to get into Europe

Another South Carolina County Council says no to refugee resettlement

Obama plan to use executive amnesty for a half a million illegal aliens, blocked in 5th Circuit Appeals Court decision

Survey Says: African Americans Love School Choice by Jason Bedrick

The Black Alliance for Education Options released the results of a new survey of black voters in four states on education policy. The poll found that more than six in ten blacks in Alabama, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Tennessee support school vouchers.

BAEO Survey: Support for School Vouchers

The results are similar to Education Next’s 2015 survey, which found that 58 percent of blacks nationwide supported universal school vouchers and 66 percent supported vouchers for low-income families.

The survey also asked about black voters’ views on charter schools (about two-thirds support them), “parent choice” generally (three-quarters support it), and the importance of testing. However, it appears that BAEO is overinterpreting the findings on that last question, claiming:

The survey also indicated solid support among Black voters that believe educational standards such as Common Core and its related assessments is essential to holding education stakeholders responsible for student learning outcomes.

If the wording of the survey question was identical to how it appears on their website, then it says absolutely nothing about black support for Common Core. The question as it appears on their website is: “Do you think that testing is necessary to hold school accountable for student achievement?” The question doesn’t mention Common Core at all. For that matter, it doesn’t mention standardized testing specifically, nor explain how the testing is meant to “hold schools accountable.”

Perhaps it means publishing the score results so parents will hold schools accountable. Or perhaps it means the state government will offer financial carrots or regulatory sticks. Or maybe it means whatever the survey respondent wants it to mean.

BAEO Survey: Support for Testing

If Acme Snack Co. asked survey respondents, “Do you like snacks that are delicious and nutritious?” and then claimed “two-thirds of Americans enjoy delicious and nutritious snacks such as Acme Snack Co. snacks,” they would be guilty of false advertising. Maybe the survey respondents really do like Acme Snacks — or Common Core — but we can’t know that from that survey. Just as some people may enjoy carrots (delicious and nutritious) but find Acme Snacks revolting, lots of parents may support some measure of testing while opposing Common Core testing for any number of reasons.

BAEO’s question on vouchers was clear: “Do you support school vouchers/scholarships?” Yes, most blacks do. But its question on testing is much less clear, and therefore so are the results.

All the BAEO survey tells us is that most blacks support using some sort of testing to hold schools accountable in some undefined way. Interpreting these results as support for Common Core is irresponsible.

This post first appeared at Cato.org.

Jason Bedrick
Jason Bedrick

Jason Bedrick is a policy analyst with the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom.

Do Capitalists Manipulate, Deceive, and Cheat? Not as Much as Politicians Do by Michael Makovi

Real-world markets, according to Nobel laureate economist Robert Shiller, are all about manipulation and deception.

So he argues in a New York Times article summarizing his new book, coauthored with fellow Nobel laureate economist George Akerlof: Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception. According to Shiller, merchants and vendors regularly “phish for” ignorant consumers who they can mislead into acting less in their own interests and more in those of the phishermen.

Shiller claims that the theoretical defense of the free market depends on consumers being rational and well informed — a condition that doesn’t hold true in the real world. Drawing on behavioral economics, he argues that consumers are often possessed with cognitive biases that allow them to be systematically deceived by unsavory merchants. For this reason, Shiller argues, consumers need government regulation to protect their interests. The internal forces of the market are not sufficient.

Deux ex Nirvana

But government regulation is not an infallible deus ex machina. The question is not whether the market fails, but whether the government is more likely than the market itself to correct those failures. Economist Harold Demsetz coined the term “nirvana fallacy” to make this point: it is not enough to find flaws in the real world; one must prove that some feasible alternative is likely to be less flawed. James Buchanan, one of the fathers of public choice economics, compared advocates of government regulation to the judges of a singing contest who, after hearing an imperfect performance from the first contestant, immediately award the second contestant, reasoning that he must be better.

No, the market is not perfect, and consumers are often ignorant and manipulable. But the real question is this: Will government do any better?

Just because the first singer offered a less-than-perfect performance is no proof that the second singer will be any better. Ironically, Nudge author and former member of the Obama administration Cass Sunstein, no friend of economic freedom, accidentally makes this very point in his positive review of Shiller and Akerlof’s book.

According to Sunstein,

Bad government is itself a product of phishing and phoolishness, for “we are prone to vote for the person who makes us the most comfortable,” even when that person’s decisions are effectively bought by special interests.

So yes, people behave irrationally in their capacities as market participants, but they are no more rational in how they cast their votes than in how they spend their dollars.

Buying What You Don’t Want

The difference is that in a market, there are feedback signals, however attenuated. If a vendor cheats his customer by holding back information about his product, at least the customer will learn about the product’s faults after he purchases it, and he will buy from someone else next time. He will likely warn others, too. The consumer may have cognitive biases, but he has the opportunity to learn from his mistakes, prevent others from making them, and correct them in the future. The deceptive merchant will develop a bad reputation, and paying customers are motivated to learn about merchants’ reputations — especially as 21st-century technology develops ever-more-robust reputation markets, accessible through anyone’s smartphone.

By contrast, there are fewer feedback signals in politics and even fewer opportunities to act on that feedback. One vote barely counts, and each voter must vote not for specific policies, but for politicians with a range of policies. Electoral politics doesn’t really offer a choice so much as it imposes a bundle. A vote for a particular candidate implies endorsement of all the policies in that bundle, when the truth is more likely that the voter has selected the least bad option. In the market, customers can easily split their “dollar votes” to purchase only the specific products they want.

In Freedom and the Law, Bruno Leoni notes that we are all doubly unrepresented by politics: we vote for A, but B defeats A in the election. Then, when B is sitting in the legislature, he is outvoted on a bill by C. So in the end, a person is governed by politician C who beat B, who in turn beat the voter’s preferred choice, A.

When Phoolishness Is Rational

In such a situation, it makes sense for voters to be rationally ignorant of the effects of government policies they are helpless to affect. Politicians are free to peddle shoddy products when they know voters have few opportunities to learn from their mistakes — and even fewer opportunities to correct them.

Meanwhile, markets tend to concentrate benefits and costs on the consumers who use a specific product. This internalization of costs and benefits promotes learning and feedback. In a market, a person must bear the consequences of his or her own actions.

In politics, benefits are concentrated on those whom the politician wishes to favor — such as financial donors and special interests whose attention is narrowly focused — while costs are dispersed among those whose attention is elsewhere, including many who focus on producing wealth instead of transferring it.

The combination of rationally ignorant voters and informed and motivated special interests encourages rent seeking. Private benefit and social cost diverge as the political process encourages the creation of new externalities. While markets tend to internalize the costs, politics encourages externalities.

So yes, consumers are often “irrational” and deceived and make mistakes. But, as Sunstein himself tells us, this is true in both politics and markets. The question is, Which institutional environment is more likely to promote learning from mistakes? And which institution — the market or politics — maximizes a person’s ability to correct those mistakes? Shiller and Akerlof have failed to prove that government regulation will detect or correct mistakes better than the market itself can.

Michael Makovi
Michael Makovi

Michael Makovi recently graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans, where he majored in economics.

How to Win Hearts and Minds: From Energy Supporter to Energy Advocate

In the 2016 election I want to make energy abundance a winning issue—which means that more candidates run on and win on a platform of energy abundance, in contrast to the energy poverty policies many of today’s candidates advocate.

Chances are that if you are on this list, you do, too. But what can you do?

In the next several months out I’ll be rolling out a national energy campaign to impact the 2016 election. But in the meantime, and to prepare for that, there’s a lot you can do to make yourself, your loved ones, or your company incredibly effective at winning hearts and minds on energy.

To understand how, it’s important to understand the 3 key transformations that energy influencers can go through:

  1. From supporter to advocate
  2. From advocate to champion
  3. From champion to thought-leader

Today I’ll discuss the transformation from supporter to advocate.

From Supporter to Advocate

Energy Supporter: An individual who is generally in favor of the most important sources of energy abundance, including fossil fuels, but lacks the motivation and/or capability to persuade others in favor of energy abundance.

Energy Advocate: An individual with the clarity, confidence, and motivation to persuade others in favor of energy abundance.

To become an advocate, an energy supporter requires a) dramatically increased clarity and b) effective tactics to communicate with different audiences.

Clarity is the most important. If you are clear enough about a moral issue you will inevitably become an advocate if not a champion.

Thus, our number one recommendation is to read and/or assign The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, which clearly and systematically lays out the moral case for energy abundance in general and fossil fuel energy in particular. In addition, we produce a large amount of online content delivered via social media, email, and websites to enhance clarity on the most current controversies. (See our Facebook, Twitter, and website.)

As a supporter pursues dramatically enhanced clarity, it is important that they simultaneously learn the art of communication—particularly one-on-one communication.

For various reasons there are very, very few individuals who are effective at changing people’s minds on energy one-on-one, so I am currently developing a course called “How to talk to anyone about energy,” available in the next month. If that interests you, let me know, and I’ll prioritize it even more.

In the meantime, we have several online lectures and papers about how to reframe the debate, including “The Key to Winning Hearts and Minds” and “Arguing to 0 vs. Arguing to 100.”

For examples of what’s possible, see the Hearts and Minds section of this newsletter.

If you are a company trying to turn supporters into advocates, and I believe every company should, it is important to motivate employees to learn about the case for their industry—and how to make it. One way to do this is to hold a speech in front of a large group of employees, ideally broadcast to the entire company. Depending on what makes sense for a company, we offer several free video speeches to show, remote speeches and Q&A, or in-person speeches. This gets everyone motivated and gives a common frame of reference. Combined with employee copies of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels which, in bulk, can include a custom page with a message from your company, you are certain to empower a large percentage of your employees to go from supporters to advocates. If you haven’t read it, make sure to check out the story of how Pioneer Resources did just this.

In our next newsletter, I’ll discuss the transformation from energy advocate to energy champion—an individual with a high level of clarity, confidence, and motivation who reaches dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of others.

Power Hour: Steve Hayward on All Things Energy

On the latest episode of Power Hour, “polymath” Steve Hayward and I have a free-flowing discussing of the global energy landscape, from Russian gas to US solar.

Download Episode 118 with Steven Hayward

Subscribe to Power Hour on iTunes

As always, if you’d like to suggest a new guest for Power Hour, or have me appear on your show, you can send me an email at support@industrialprogress.net, or just reply to this one.

Swedish Kristallnacht commemoration: Jews not invited due to ‘Security Risk’

It is becoming increasingly common for cowards and trimmers to use real and imagined security risks as a fig leaf to cover up their slavish adherence to the norms dictated by authoritarian political correctness.

“Critics claim that Hägglund’s omission must be due to the crowd he invited to the event, implying that it could only be far-left or anti-Israel – thus creating the environment which justified the ‘security risk.’” But Hägglund masks his real agenda by hiding behind this security threat. And if there is a genuine security threat, this will only encourage the thugs and fascists and Jew-haters to menace more events, so as to turn public affairs to their liking.

“Scandal: Jews not invited to Swedish Kristallnacht commemoration,” by Tova Dvorin, Israel National News, November 9, 2015 (thanks to David):

The organizers of an anti-Nazi event in Sweden face controversy Monday, after declining to invite the Jewish community to the event.

“Umeå against Nazism” will run in the city of Umeå on Tuesday and Wednesday, commemorating Kirstallnacht, or the “Night of Broken Glass,” the massive 1938 pogrom against Austrian and German Jews which is seen as marking the start of the holocaust.

But, absurdly, Jews will not be invited.

The organizers claim that inviting the Jewish community presents a security risk, nt.se reports, citing anti-Semitic and anti-Israel protests present at past events.

“In previous years, we have had a lot of Palestinian flags at these rallies, and even one banner where the Israeli flag was equated with a swastika,” organizer and local Workers’ Party member Jan Hägglund told locals. “The Jewish community wasn’t invited because we assumed they might be uncomfortable around that sort of thing.”

Critics claim that Hägglund’s omission must be due to the crowd he invited to the event, implying that it could only be far-left or anti-Israel – thus creating the environment which justified the “security risk.”

Meanwhile, the event’s Facebook page appears to even downplay the Jewish community’s role in the event, instead conveying a generalized, vanilla message of tolerance – not opposition to anti-Semitism.

Some local officials are holding counter-rallies in protest – including municipal worker Anders Agren, who invited the Jewish community to a ceremony which will feature the lighting of memorial candles and a moment of silence.

RELATED ARTICLE: UK: Muslim official nixes anti-Islamic State presentation at University College London

Jordanian Muslim slaughters American and South African advisors

“In the absence of any other obvious motive for the shooting it will be assumed that the killings were intended as an act of solidarity with militant groups in the Middle East.”

“Jordan policeman kills American and South African trainers,” BBC, November 9, 2015:

A Jordanian policeman has opened fire at a police training centre outside Amman, killing two Americans, a South African and a Jordanian, officials say.

The Jordanian embassy in Washington said the assailant wounded five others, including two Americans and three Jordanians, before being shot dead.

President Barack Obama said the US was taking the attack “very seriously”.

The US-funded Jordan International Police Training Centre (JIPTC) hosts mainly Palestinian and Iraqi officers.

Civilian contractors from the US and elsewhere assist Jordanian police trainers at the facility in Muwaqqar, on the eastern outskirts of Amman.

Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed Momani told the Associated Press that an investigation had been launched into whether the motive for Monday’s shooting attack at the JIPTC was personal or political.

The assailant was a senior trainer with the rank of captain, a Jordanian security source was quoted as saying by Reuters….

BBC Middle East correspondent Kevin Connolly says the kingdom of Jordan steers a strongly pro-Western course in the turbulent waters of the Middle East.

It hosts joint military exercises with countries like the US and UK, and strongly supports the US-led coalition against Islamic State militants in Syria.

In the absence of any other obvious motive for the shooting it will be assumed that the killings were intended as an act of solidarity with militant groups in the Middle East, our correspondent adds.

The incident comes on the 10th anniversary of bombing attacks by al-Qaeda in Iraq on three hotels in Amman which killed more than 50 people.

RELATED ARTICLE: Jordanian MP’s son joins Islamic State, dies in jihad suicide attack

Canadian Magazine puts Convicted Muslim Terrorist, former Gitmo Prisoner on Cover

“It’s a disgrace that he is on the cover of a mainstream news magazine, being portrayed as a victim, and in the company of two real victims, including a victim of Islamic terrorism.” Quite so — and of a piece with the mainstream media’s avid desire to portray Muslims as victims, no matter what the facts are, and to downplay and deny the reality of jihad terrorism.

“Canadian Magazine Puts Convicted Terrorist, Former Guantanamo Inmate On November Cover,” by Andrew Husband, Mediaite, November 9, 2015:

Canadian weekly news magazine Maclean’s has stirred up controversy with the cover of its November issue, which features convicted terrorist and former Guantanamo Bay inmate Omar Khadr.

Khadr, then 15 years old, was indicted in the death of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Spee, who was killed by a grenade during a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan. The Canadian citizen was held in Guantanamo Bay for 10 years, though the U.S. military commission that oversaw Khadr’s case didn’t convene until 2010, when he finally plead guilty to war crimes charges. At the time, the case was widely criticized for its treatment of Khadr as an adult — despite his being a minor at the time of the alleged incident.

In 2012, Khadr was released and repatriated to Canada under strict conditions. In an interview with Fox News back in May, Sgt. Spee’s former colleague, Sgt. Layne Morris, criticized Khadr’s early release.

The murky nature of what happened to Sgt. Spee, and Khadr’s memory of the event, have largely cast further doubt on whether or not the former 15-year-old was responsible for the U.S. soldier’s death. After all, when he was found following the firefight, he was severely injured and buried under several feet of rubble.

According to The Enemy Within: Terror, Lies and the Whitewashing of Omar Khadrauthor Ezra Levant, however, Khadr’s being featured on the Maclean’s cover is an egregious mistake.

“It’s a disgrace that he is on the cover of a mainstream news magazine, being portrayed as a victim, and in the company of two real victims, including a victim of Islamic terrorism,” he told Fox News. “They have managed to transform a pathological murderer into a ‘victim,’ providing Al Qaeda with a great PR victory.”

RELATED ARTICLE: UK: “I’m going to come right away and blow up the shop…I’m a Muslim”