After violence in Ferguson, Missouri, spiked with the shooting of two police officers last week, Bill O’Reilly of Fox News invited CRC’s Matthew Vadum to discuss what’s behind the continued troubles. Vadum observed that Ferguson’s “Marxist mobocracy” includes many outside activist groups funded by George Soros.
These radicals, he continued on the March 12 broadcast, follow the Saul Alinsky playbook by trying to “rub raw the sores of discontent” in order to advance their political agenda. Vadum also discussed his discovery that a successor group to ACORN’s Missouri chapter is involved.
Vadum’s book, Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off Americans Taxpayers, examines the destructive role that so-called community organizers play in American life and politics. It is currently #1 in the Amazon category “Nongovernmental Organization Policy.”
[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]
There are a lot of stupid people in the world. Among the dumbest are those who believe that their expertise in one scientific field or another makes them experts in public policy.
It’s always been a mystery to me, that someone who is an expert in astrophysics or archeology or microbiology is, by virtue of that expertise, considered an expert in public policy. My experience is that the average truck driver, chicken farmer, or beauty salon manager knows at least as much about public policy as the average chemist or paleontologist. In fact, the more technical one’s field, the more likely that, to be considered a world-class expert in that field, a person has to spend virtually all of his or her time studying that subject and that subject almost exclusively. There are exceptions, of course, but, for every scientist/polymath like Ben Franklin or Thomas Jefferson, there are ten thousand scientist/dunderheads like Steven Chu, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist and expert on trapping atoms with laser light who was an embarrassment as Secretary of Energy.
I was reminded of this as I watched the profile on Sunday’s “60 Minutes” of Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist and science popularizer. In an interview with Charlie Rose, Tyson noted how it was that pictures of earth sent back from space changed our attitudes (because, I suppose, we never realized until then that we all lived on one planet) and he bragged that the resulting change in attitudes led to the ban on DDT.
That’s the ban on DDT that has killed tens of millions of people by exposing them unnecessarily to malaria. Yep. Great idea.
Sean Davis at the website The Federalist has dealt with certain aspects of Tyson’s record, including his fabrication of stories designed to smear, as scientific illiterates, people he doesn’t like (George W. Bush, for example). For example, last September, at http://thefederalist.com/2014/09/18/why-is-wikipedia-deleting-all-references-to-neil-tysons-fabrication, Davis wrote:
Neil Tyson, a prominent popularizer of science (he even has his own television show) was recently found to have repeatedly fabricated multiple quotes over several years. The fabrications were not a one-off thing. They were deliberate and calculated, crafted with one goal in mind: to elevate Tyson, and by extension his audience, at the expense of know-nothing, knuckle-dragging nutjobs who hate science. Tyson targeted journalists, members of Congress, even former President George W. Bush. And what was their crime? They were guilty of rejecting science, according to Tyson.
There’s only one problem. None of the straw man quotes that Tyson uses to tear them down are real. The quote about the numerically illiterate newspaper headline? Fabricated. The quote about a member of Congress who said he had changed his views 360 degrees? It doesn’t exist. That time a U.S. president said “Our God is the God who named the stars” as a way of dividing Judeo-Christian beliefs from Islamic beliefs? It never happened.
I’ve written in this space about the efforts by left-wing scientists and their allies to depict their political adversaries and the American public in general as ignoramuses, from the myth that ignorant religious people told Columbus the earth was flat to the current effort by Al Gore, the New York Times, Google, and their ilk to blacklist and silence critics of Global Warming myths. (FYI: Two federal agencies recently found no measurable warming since 2005.)
It’s obvious why they would smear their adversaries—to discredit them and to intimidate anyone who might speak up. Less obvious is the reason they attack the general public: that, as members of the Progressive Movement, they believe that well-credentialed elites have the right and the responsibility to run other people’s lives for them. For example, when Obamacare goons take over the writing of restaurant menus, and force some people to pay for other people’s birth control and for pseudoscientific “medicine” such as aromatherapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic, and otherwise bully the American people, they justify it on the grounds that they are smart and regular Americans are stupid.
Tyson is a major part of that effort these days. Sometimes he makes a fool of himself, as with this comment last Christmas: “On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world. Happy Birthday Isaac Newton b. Dec 25, 1642.” That was not only smarmy but stupid; Newton was born on Christmas Day, December 25, but only on the Julian calendar; his birthday on the modern calendar is January 4. Also, Newton was an outspoken Christian, which sucks the wind out of any implied contrast between an enlightened scientist and a religious figure. (See the piece by W.R. Wansley in the American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/03/the_heavens_mark_the_passing_of_sir_isaac_newton.html , and this piece by Casey Luskin at http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/01/once_again_neil092441.html .)
Throughout the past century, scientists fell for one con after another, from white supremacy to eugenics, from “scientific socialism” to the “population bomb,” from phrenology (judging personality, including intelligence and criminal proclivities, based on the shape of a person’s head) to catastrophic man-made global warming. Proponents of Nazism and Communism, which killed hundreds of millions of people, claimed that their beliefs were rooted in science.
Scientist-activists have a nearly unbroken record of being wrong about controversial issues. See, as examples, nuclear winter, action-reaction arms control theory, the existence of discrete “races” of humans, Keynesianism, the desirability of the aforementioned ban on DDT, the depiction of second-hand smoke as a major health threat, the low-fat diet craze, SETI, the supposed effectiveness of early-childhood education and of the look-say method of teaching reading, embryonic stem-cell research, Prohibition, biofuels, various elements of evolutionary theory (including gradualism, ever-increasing complexity, DNA-as-a-blueprint, and intelligent design as nonscientific), Yellow Rain and Agent Orange, the linear no-threshold dose hypothesis, whether atomic testing caused “feeblemindedness,” the dangers of sodium cyclamate sweetener, the impossibility of missile defense, the “Dugway sheep incident” of 1968, and the impossibility of biological weapons and the question of whether the Soviets had a bio-weapons program, and the classification of gun ownership, drunk driving, and obesity as matters of public health and of carbon dioxide as “carbon pollution.”
From Piltdown Man, to the canals on Mars that scientists kept “seeing” although they weren’t there, to the 1996 “life on Mars” hoax (announced by the Clinton administration just in time to knock the Republicans’ nomination of Bob Dole off some magazine covers), to the discredited-much-too-late work of Margaret Mead and Alfred Kinsey, to the disastrous “scientific” management of forests by the U.S. government, to the classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder (in the U.S. until the 1970s and around the world until 1990), to the myth that science says people are born gay and that 10 percent of the population is gay, to the scientific-but-false concept written into Constitutional law by the Supreme Court that babies cannot possibly survive until the third trimester, to the classification of subspecies and populations falsely as species for purposes of the Endangered Species Act, scientists and the “scientific community” seen in the news media have been wrong, wrong, wrong, a thousand times wrong. Heck, they didn’t even get it right when there weren’t any political implications. (No, stomach ulcers aren’t the result of stress and spicy foods and, no, dinosaurs aren’t extinct.)
President Eisenhower in his 1961 farewell address warned us of the dangers of the “military-industrial complex.” I grew up during the Vietnam War, and, for years, heard someone cite that term seemingly every day. It’s interesting that hardly anyone quotes this part of the Eisenhower speech:
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.
Scientists, as citizens, are and should be encouraged to get involved in the political process. When their views are based on logic and evidence, and their proposals are based on a respect for human rights and Constitutional principles, we should listen to them.
Just as we listen to truck drivers, and chicken farmers, and beauty shop managers. And not one iota more.
When it comes to “green” business, the “self-made man” makes his fortune with your money [PDF here.]
By Jason Mattera
Summary: Part of the American Dream was that, with talent and hard work, any person has the opportunity to achieve financial success through the free-market system. Today, however, free markets are being replaced by government regulation and favoritism, and capitalism is being replaced by “crony capitalism.” Increasingly, it’s your connections that matter. Cases in point: Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric, and Elon Musk of Tesla Motors.
Americans love capitalism. Only pot-smoking Marxists and flea-infested Occupy Wall Street types could oppose an economic system that has built the middle class and made the United States the richest nation ever to inhabit Planet Earth.
What Americans don’t love—what they, in fact, loathe—are well-connected crony capitalists who make millions by picking taxpayers’ pockets. These poseur capitalists have turned capitalism into its very opposite. Real capitalists don’t take bailouts or corporate welfare, or suck from the government contract teat. Real capitalists get rich by providing goods and services that benefit us all. That’s good for them, and good for us.
But all that good goes up in smoke when business and government become bedfellows.
Crony capitalism—I call it crapitalism—has forced us to subsidize goods and services that we don’t need or want. And it has allowed the rich and famous to become even more rich and famous at our expense. Most disturbing, it’s turned the law on its head by creating two classes of citizens: those who benefit from crony connections and those who don’t.
Apparently, most Americans agree with that assessment. In an April 2014 Rasmussen poll, 32 percent of American adults said the United States has a system of free market capitalism, while 31 percent (a statistical tie) said our present system is crony capitalism. Another Rasmussen poll, in January 2014, found 63 percent of likely U.S. voters believed most government contracts are awarded to the company with the most political connections, rather than to the one that provides the best service for the best price; only 25 percent disagree and believe most government contracts go to the company that provides the best service for the best price. When people were asked about income inequality, they said the solution was less government involvement in the economy, not more, by a margin of about two to one (59 percent versus 33 percent). In an earlier Rasmussen poll, reported in February 2011, 68 percent said government and Big Business work together against the rest of us.
I define a crony capitalist, or crapitalist, as a well-connected friend of the-powers-that-be who makes lots of money at taxpayers’ expense. From bagging millions in tax dollars for phony “green energy” companies or glitzy sports stadiums, to using little-known tax credits and loopholes to loot $1.5 billion a year for Hollywood movies, crony capitalists know every trick to enrich themselves at the expense of other Americans. Rather than playing in the rough-and-tumble world of business competition, they use government to rig the game in their favor; they stack the deck to privatize their profits and socialize their losses.
Crony capitalism is socialism’s Trojan horse. [Click HERE for the rest.]
Politicians here in Washington, D.C., don’t seem to have learned from the policy mistakes they made that caused the mortgage market collapse of 2007-8.
Conservative documentary filmmaker Cornelia Mrose and author Paul Sperry are making a movie that tries to prevent history from repeating itself. Their film exposes the true causes of the financial crisis and warns that the culprits are using it to justify policies that are leading America into the next and even greater crisis.
It’s important to understand that bad government policies are the chief cause of the subprime mortgage bubble that burst in 2007, causing widespread misery across the nation. Winning the argument about what caused the crisis will allow the victors to determine whether America unburdens itself from the crazy financial policies now in effect or doubles down and makes the regulatory environment even worse.
As Sperry wrote in The Great American Bank Robbery, “Like the Great Depression, the debate over the causes and cures of the Great Recession is a generational one that will shape the future of not only the American economy but the political landscape. Whoever wins this debate wins Washington and gets to determine the size of government.”
ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) played an outsized role in the market calamity that hurt and demoralized the American people and helped to vault the radical left-wing group’s former employee Barack Obama into the Oval Office. (I wrote a book about ACORN and Obama called Subversion Inc.)
As Edward Pinto, former chief credit officer of Fannie Mae, says in the above promotional video, “And now we found out, 20 years later, more than 20 years later, that ACORN had been behind the effort to force Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it turns out, to not do just pilots but to expand their programs tremendously, and they were working behind the scenes lobbying Congress to get changes the Fannie Mae statute.”
Mrose blames groups like ACORN and politicians like former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) who “were pursuing their delusional dream of economic justice.”
Sperry adds that “This dream turned into a financial nightmare, the worst since the Great Depression. Those they wanted to help most, African-Americans and Hispanics, were hurt the most.”
“Many of these same social engineers are back at it,” says Mrose. “Now they are calling the shots from inside the Obama administration cooking up another economic crisis which we call Subprime 2.0.”
Mrose and Sperry need your help now to make this important film called Subprime 2.0: Doubling Down on Disaster.
If you’d like to help with a donation, visit their Indiegogo page.
Supporters of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign are becoming quite tired of requests to donate to her campaign when she still hasn’t gotten around to declaring that she is actually running, Politico reports. “I’m not going to be ready for Hillary until she announces she’s running for president,” said Mary Tetreau of Londonderry, N.H., a longtime Democrat who called the early-and-often email approach of the political action committee Ready for Hillary “annoying.” Democratic activist Bill Verge adds, “I’ll be ready for Hillary when Hillary’s ready for Hillary.” He considers himself a likely Clinton supporter who is turned off by what Politico calls the “aggressive fundraising on behalf of a candidate who appears intent on postponing an official entry into the race possibly until July.”
Fundraising professionals aren’t worried about alienating potential donors. “The best practice used to be that you would only send a couple per day at max,” said Michael Whitney, an email campaigning specialist at Revolution Messaging. Although email solicitors have become increasingly aggressive in recent years the feared backlash hasn’t materialized. The new consensus is that nonstop emailing “might annoy a lot of people, but it doesn’t mean they’re going to unsubscribe and it doesn’t mean they’re not going to donate in the future.” “Three years ago, the idea of sending more than two emails a day was considered abusive,” Whitney said. “That’s gone out the window.”
[Continuing our series on deception in politics and policy.]
President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and their political allies (including racist, anti-Semitic preacher Al Sharpton) spent seven months trying to frame an innocent police officer for the execution-style killing of a young man, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri.
Now, even the Obama/Holder Justice Department has been obliged to admit the innocence of then-Officer Darren Wilson.
If you’re waiting for Obama and Holder to be held accountable, or even to apologize, don’t hold your breath.
The Justice Department report makes clear that there is literally no chance (more…)
From Facebook to Faceplant: The rise and fall of a left-wing power couple
By Barbara Joanna Lucas, Foundation Watch, March 2015 (PDF here)
Summary: Chris Hughes had the good fortune—in both senses—to be roommates with Facebook’s founders at Harvard. Next he was the 2008 Obama campaign’s social media wiz. He married a boyfriend with political ambitions, and it looked as if the power couple could parlay Hughes’ fortune into a seat in Congress, the ownership of a flagship liberal journal, and much more. The mainstream media cooed. And then it all began to fall apart.
After growing accustomed to the adoration of the liberal establishment and the fawning press coverage that inevitably accompanies it, the bubble finally burst for Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge. To paraphrase a movie title from last year, one could easily describe 2014 as the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year for the power couple.
The New York Times once heralded the duo as a “powerful combination.” Hughes is a co-founder of one of the most successful and transformational ventures in American history and now owns a legendary liberal magazine. Eldridge dumped much of Hughes’ vast fortune into a campaign for U.S. Congress in a district that President Barack Obama carried handily. So certain was Eldridge of picking up the U.S. House of Representatives seat for the Democrats, he reportedly had a consulting firm draw a roadmap for his path to being the first openly gay president.
But the power couple may have already hit the ceiling of success and influence. Eldridge was buried in the November election, after outspending his opponents by 3-to-1. For Hughes, the New Republic, a 101-year-old magazine, is in near-collapse after a staff exodus in protest of Hughes’ management.
Hughes in particular has been a golden boy of Democrats and much of the mainstream media. The co-founder of Facebook claims to believe in ideas and was hyped on the cover of Fast Company magazine as “The Kid Who Made Obama President.” That’s because he left his job at Facebook to establish My.BarackObama.com, a social network for Obama supporters in the 2008 campaign, which succeeded in revolutionizing door-knocking, fundraising, and get-out-the-vote efforts. Hughes and Eldridge were on the cover of the Advocate, a gay magazine, for its special “40 under 40” issue. Hughes ranked number 28 on the “Power List,” for OUT, another gay magazine. As gay journalist James Kirchick wrote in the Daily Beast, “they racked up favorable coverage in the mainstream press, and even more sycophantic mentions in the gay press.”
“One suspects that had this couple been heterosexual and conservative, the initial media attention would not have been quite so toadying,” Kirchick added. “We would have no doubt been treated to endless stories about how a ‘rapacious’ ‘right-wing’ millionaire, who had done nothing to earn his fortune, set out to destroy one of liberalism’s great institutions all the while enabling his power-mad spouse to ‘buy’ a seat in Congress. But everything about the Hughes-Eldridge pairing militated against such a portrayal. The prospect of a fresh-faced, conventionally liberal, gay couple hit every media sweet spot.”
Now, Hughes at least is the subject of journalistic wrath for destroying an iconic liberal-progressive institution.
Hughes had decided to use his millions to buy some journalistic influence in the nation’s capital, since a lot of other rich guys have sought to become media moguls. After acquiring the New Republic in March 2012, he named himself publisher and editor-in-chief.
The New Republic was co-founded in 1914 by progressive icons Walter Lippmann, Herbert Croly, and Walter Weyl. Though never a money maker, the magazine was very influential among policymakers and was sometimes called the “inflight magazine for Air Force One.” (The New Republic and other agenda-setting left-wing magazines were examined in the January 2015 Organization Trends.)
Hughes vowed not to go for so-called “click bait” that drives traffic for other liberal outlets like the Huffington Post, and he asserted quite sentimentally that he spent hours reading old issues on microfiche in the New York Public Library (New York Times, May 4, 2012).
Capital Research Center senior editor Matthew Vadum will appear on “The O’Reilly Factor” this evening at 8:00 Eastern (repeats at 11:00) on Fox News Channel. He’s in “Segment A” right at the beginning of the highly rated talk show.
We discuss the leftist-manufactured anarchy now plaguing Ferguson, Missouri.
M. Stanton Evans died last week at the age of 80, and the Capital Research Center mourns the loss. He was tied to CRC – and countless other conservative groups – in many ways. For example, our president, Terry Scanlon, has long served on the board of Stan’s nonprofit, the Education and Research Institute, and two of our staff, vice president Scott Walter and senior fellow Martin Morse Wooster, are graduates of the National Journalism Center that Stan founded in 1977.
Stan is a shining example of what one smart, dedicated man can accomplish in America’s rich civil society. He was a nonprofit entrepreneur many times over. Most famously, he wrote the Sharon Statement that was crafted at William F. Buckley’s estate in 1960, which launched the group Young Americans for Freedom (YAF). But Stan was also a leader at the American Conservative Union (ACU), serving as chairman of its board from 1971 to 1977. During that time he helped to invent the ACU’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), now in its fifth decade and one of the largest conservative gatherings in the country, and he also helped launch some 35 state conservative unions.
Stan’s principles kept him from being a mere partisan, as Republican President Richard Nixon discovered when Stan became one of his first critics from the right in 1970, and as Nixon’s successor, Gerald Ford, discovered when Stan and the state conservative unions supported the upstart Ronald Reagan against the Republican incumbent in 1976.
Stan’s philosophy began to develop when he was an undergraduate at Yale, which graduated him magna cum laude in 1955. He was already reading conservative and libertarian thinkers like Frank Chodorov, and he went on to do graduate work in economics at New York University under Ludwig von Mises. Throughout his career, Stan’s philosophy was “fusionist,” that is to say, he believed the traditionalist and libertarian strands of conservatism were naturally connected. As he put it,
The idea that there is some sort of huge conflict between religious values and liberty is a misstatement of the whole problem. The two are inseparable … if there are no moral axioms, why should there be any freedom?
Stan left the most thorough account of his philosophy in his classic book The Theme Is Freedom: Religion, Politics, and the American Tradition (Regnery, 1996). To the end of his life, he continued writing, and his most recent work was Stalin’s Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt’s Government (Threshold, 2012).
He was perhaps best known, however, for his endless string of witticisms, delivered in perfect deadpan. Let us conclude this tribute to his legacy with a few of his best:
“Liberals don’t care what you do, as long as it’s compulsory.”
“Tobacco is my favorite leafy vegetable.”
“I never liked Nixon until Watergate.”
“The trouble with conservatives is that too many of them come to Washington thinking they are going to drain the swamp, only to discover that Washington is a hot tub.”
[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]
In the search for examples of deception by the news media, sometimes you find a smoking gun.
See my study results, below.
You may have noticed that major media such as the New York Times sought to make Saturday’s commemoration of “Bloody Sunday” a unipartisan affair. Some say that included the selection of its image marking the event:
Former President George W. Bush was there, too, as this shows (he’s near the right):
An innocent mistake, I’m sure. Or just a choice of composition.
I’ve dealt in this space with the effort by people on the Left to scrub the record, to remove from the nation’s collective memory the critical involvement of Progressives in discrimination against African-Americans. That Woodrow Wilson segregated the federal government and legitimized the Ku Klux Klan and that Wilson’s treasury secretary and son-in-law was later the Klan’s candidate for president, that FDR helped Wilson segregate the government and that FDR’s New Deal cornerstone, the National Recovery Administration, was a racist enterprise (African-Americans called it “Negroes Ruined Again”), that Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist seeking to limit “mongrel races”—those are things you’re not supposed to talk about.
And there’s this:
Notice anything (more…)