Wednesday, August 31, 2011

In Obamacare, the President’s Disregard for Consent of the Governed

Congress and the President have low approval ratings because Congress and the President continue to ignore the will of the American people.  One reason for this disapproval is ObamaCare – the President’s signature health care “reform” law.
According to Real Clear Politics (RCP), the average approval rating for the President is 43.0% approval and 53.2% disapproval.  RCP has Congressional job approval at a dismal 12.3% approval and 84.0% disapproval.  These numbers indicate anger and rage toward federally elected politicians.
Lachlan Markay wrote on The Foundry yesterday that HHS Secretary Sebelius is voicing support for an unpopular, ineffective entitlement program with the claim that ObamaCare “is as important as the civil rights law.”
A top advisor to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently compared opposition to the administration’s new health care law to opposition to the 1960s civil rights movement, Politico Pro reported.
A rhetorical tool of desperate liberals is to avoid issues and to engage in name calling of opponents.  This rhetorical demonization of the opposition to ObamaCare is consistent with Vice President Biden’s comparison of the Tea Party to “terrorists” during the debt limit increase debate and President Obama comparing Republicans to “hostage takers” during the debate on extending tax cuts for all Americans.
Yesterday the Kaiser Family Foundation released a poll that indicates that 44% of the American people view ObamaCare unfavorably versus 39% favorably.  This same poll had the unfavorable number at 50% in July of 2010 and 50% in January of this year.  The numbers of Americans who view the law favorably has dropped below 40% for the first time since July of 2010.  These numbers do not bode well for ObamaCare.
Rasmussen’s tracking poll on ObamaCare indicates that 57% of Americans want ObamaCare repealed versus 37% who oppose repeal.  According to Rasmussen, the number of Americans who favor repeal has been over 50%, with one exception, since the bill was signed into law on March 23, 2010.  In March of this year the number of Americans supporting repeal hit 62%.  The logical conclusion to a dispassionate reading of these two polls is that ObamaCare is unpopular and most Americans support repeal.
The implication by Sebelius is that opponents to a government take-over of health care are the functional equivalent to those who opposed civil rights.  This is an outrageous statement by the Secretary of HHS and an attempted justification for the dismal approval ratings for ObamaCare.  Sebelius clearly wants to name call opponents in an effort to bully them into submission.
As I wrote for Human Event’s in June of this year:
Our nation is founded on the idea of the consent of the governed.  Participation by the American people is a continuous process, and the First Amendment to the Constitution allows them to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  Americans can’t be involved in the process when they are deliberately shut out.
The American people feel shut out of the legislative process when politicians engage in secret closed door meeting to craft legislation.  They are outraged when Congress passes, and the President signs, legislation into law that they oppose.  ObamaCare is merely one of many examples of this action by politicians that contravene the will of citizens.  An immediate repeal of ObamaCare would help politicians in our Nation’s Capitol to regain the trust and consent of the American people.

The Fast and Furious Scandal Continues

A U.S. government gun-trafficking investigation gone horribly wrong has resulted in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol officer, some 2,000 firearms in the hands of criminals, and the dismissal of a 24-year veteran law enforcement official. This is the story of Fast and Furious, and yesterday the latest chapter unfolded when two top officials associated with the operation were removed from their positions, while a third individual resigned.

The story begins in the fall of 2009, when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) office in Phoenix, Arizona, began selling weapons to small-time gun buyers in the hopes of tracing them to major weapons traffickers along the southwestern border and into Mexico. Their efforts failed, the number of arms unaccounted for numbers around 1,500 as of late July, and about two-thirds of those guns ended up in Mexico, according to congressional testimony.

Tragically, the botched operation has had serious consequences. On the night of December 15, 2010, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot and killed during an effort to catch several bandits targeting illegal immigrants in Arizona near the border. When law enforcement rushed to the scene, they discovered two of the killers' assault rifles that were among those sold as part of Operation Fast and Furious. Additionally, 57 Fast and Furious weapons have been connected to at least an additional 11 violent crimes in the U.S.

In December 2010, ATF agent Vince Cefalu spoke out about the operation before the first reports on the story appeared in February. reports that Cefalu said at the time, "Simply put, we knowingly let hundreds of guns and dozens of identified bad guys go across the border." Other agents later came forward, congressional hearings have been held, and President Barack Obama called the operation "a serious mistake." Cefalu, though, was forced to resign.

Yesterday, more Fast and Furious–related personnel changes came about when the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Kenneth Melson, the acting head of the ATF who presided over the operation, is being replaced and transferred to the Office of Legal Policy where he will serve as a senior advisor on forensic science. Heritage's Lachlan Markay reports that "Melson bucked his superiors at DOJ in July by revealing details about the operation to congressional investigators in a closed door meeting with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), who have been investigating the operation in their respective roles."

Also on Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney for Arizona, Dennis Burke, announced his resignation. The Hill reports that "Burke oversaw the legal aspects of the Fast and Furious operation, providing advice to agents involved." And The Arizona Republic reports that the lead prosecutor for Operation Fast and Furious cases in Burke's office was also reassigned Tuesday. Issa, who has led the congressional investigation into the case, said that even with yesterday's news, he will continue looking for answers:
While the reckless disregard for safety that took place in Operation Fast and Furious certainly merits changes within the Department of Justice, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee will continue its investigation to ensure that blame isn’t offloaded on just a few individuals for a matter that involved much higher levels of the Justice Department.

Meanwhile, the White House has said little about Fast and Furious. In June, President Obama said in a press conference: "My Attorney General has made clear that he wouldn’t have ordered gun running into Mexico. . . That would not be an appropriate step by the ATF." He then deflected further questions by citing an "ongoing investigation." And press secretary Jay Carney previously said that the President "did not know about or authorize this operation." But as Heritage's Rory Cooper wrote, "If that’s the case, how could neither he nor Attorney General Eric Holder not know about an operation that everyone else at the Department of Justice seemed to be actively involved in, including the Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Attorney and head of the ATF?"

And if the White House has been silent, so has the media. It has been 57 days since the press has questioned the White House on the matter, when ABC's Jake Tapper peppered press secretary Jay Carney on the issue, asking why the public knows so little about the story, what the Administration is doing to get to the bottom of it, whether the acting head of ATF would go to Capitol Hill to testify on the subject, whether it is something the White House is worried about, and if the President upset about it. Carney's reply: He referred Tapper to the Department of Justice and remarked, "I think you could assume that the President takes this very seriously."

The President should take it seriously. And so should the American people. The ATF sold guns to criminals in Mexico, a life has been taken, and crimes have been committed with the weapons that were trafficked by the federal government. And yet, shockingly, questions remain under the Administration that called itself "the most transparent in history." It's time for more answers.

The Fragile Obama Whackosystem

Another guy with nice hair and a good tan is working on the Obama job plan. He’ll be a great addition at Martha’s Vineyard.
This ought to work out as well as Geithner doing his own taxes.
This week, Obama announced his new econ czar would be Alan Krueger, a Princeton economist who figured out that if you gave billions away to the auto industry in price incentives, auto sales would go up.
OK. Sales only went up temporarily.  But he’s the only member of the Obama administration who possesses an understanding of the relationship between price and sales. Maybe that’s progress for an administration that seems to sabotage every economic plan they come up with.
However, count me as skeptical.
Krueger likes taxes.
He likes them a lot.
He likes taxes on the rich, the poor, carpools, employers, employees.
Did I say he likes taxes? He really, really does.
He proposed a national sales tax- he calls it a consumption tax- that would be a hardship on the poorest Americans and be a direct drag on the economy, as even he admits.
“The main downside of this proposal,” he said of his sales tax scheme, “is that taxes reduce economic activity. But the government must make critical trade-offs, and a consumption tax could be the most efficient means to raise revenue to finance essential government functions.”
Taxes reduce economic activity? A startling admission from an Obama administration official, especially one who is an economics professor. I never thought they’d figure that part out.
But then Krueger goes on to strain credibility by claiming we have “essential government functions.” I didn’t know we had a government that functioned at all, yet alone essentially.
They don’t work off a budget; they don’t pass bills that accomplish what they propose to do; they fight more wars even as they condemn the cost of war; they shut down energy production even as they decry our increased dependence on foreign oil; they kill jobs in industries they don’t favor, like oil even while they complain that rich people aren’t doing their fair share to help create jobs.
“That’s our money,” the government’s ketchup-stained court jester Michael Moore told us.
How about we just stop killing jobs? No?
“The Administration believes that it is no longer sufficient to address our nation's energy needs by finding more fossil fuels,” says Krueger, “instead we must take dramatic steps towards becoming a clean energy economy.”
Forget finding new oil. Can we just use the oil we have?
We are sitting on 4.3 trillion barrels of oil in the western US, enough to keep us going for 600 years without importing another drop. This is oil that would keep $400 billion in our economy every year and reduce our trade imbalance by 2/3rds. And the economics professor says no?
Did he use TurboTax to deduce this?
They strained might and main to raise taxes on the rich most of this year- which conservatives opposed- yet now, by appointing Krueger as the new czar of the Obama whackosystem, they seem to be signaling that they will be willing to compromise by agreeing to raise taxes on everyone, rich and poor alike.
“Another downside is that a consumption tax,” Krueger says as an aside, “is a greater burden for the poor, who spend a relatively high share of their income.”
But the government really needs the money so that they can help the poor, says Obama.
The poor being taxed to help the poor. Finally the Obama administration has come full circle.
Now you know what happens when socialists run out of other people’s money: They tax the poor.

Pressure Grows on Hillary to Challenge Sinking Obama

Will Hillary Clinton challenge Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination?

She says no, that she never wants to run for office again. But the pressure is growing on her to change her mind as Obama continues to slide in the polls — and as the left bloc of the party and Latino and black voters become more vocal in their disapproval of the president.

And when White House spokesman Jay Carney was asked about the possibility at a press briefing on Monday, he was less than convincing with his answer.

“You’d have to ask her,” Carney stammered after Lester Kinsolving of World Net Daily posed the question. “We’re fairly confident that we need to focus on the task at hand.

More than 1 in 4 Democrats — 27 percent — say they want someone other than Obama to run next year according to a CNN/ORC International poll. And while Obama’s job satisfaction figures have been running at 39 percent, the latest figure for the secretary of state, albeit from March, put her with a job approval rating of 66 percent.

Talk of a Clinton run started when independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said last month that Obama needed a challenge because he has drifted too far to the right.

“There are millions of Americans who are deeply disappointed in the president, who believe that with regard to Social Security and other things, he said one thing as a candidate and is doing something very much else as a president — who cannot believe how weak he has been for whatever reason in negotiating with Republicans,” Sanders said.

“It would do this country a good deal of service if people started thinking about candidates out there to begin contrasting a progressive agenda as opposed to what Obama believes he’s doing.”

Though Sanders did not mention Clinton by name, she is seen as the most viable Democratic challenger to Obama. She ran hard against him for the nomination in 2008 and generally has been viewed as the most able member of the administration.

Conservative commentator S.E. Cupp took it one step further in her column last week in the New York Daily News. “She'd be tough and liberal,” wrote Cupp. “But far more importantly, she'd be effective. She'd be focused. Whether or not she got signature legislation through the Congress, she'd get the country back on the right track.”

And on Tuesday, veteran correspondent Andrew Malcolm raised the issue in his blog for the Los Angeles Times.

“A challenge to Obama seems pretty far-fetched today, with his job approval hovering around 39%. Hard to imagine the loyal secretary of State, who'll turn 64 in October, abruptly resigning to mount a challenge to her current boss and onetime bitter rival,” wrote Malcolm.

“And she swears — well, actually, she just proclaims — that she'll never seek elective office again.

“But, say, winter nears and the Republicans are dominating the political news with Mitt Romney and Rick Perry duking it out.

“And August's 39% job-approval rating for the president has melted into 33% or 32%. And the economy shows no real signs of improving despite another couple of empty Obama jobs speeches calling for more spending on infrastructure because the first $787 billion didn't work.”

The feeling among Democrats that they backed the wrong horse in 2008 has been growing in recent weeks. They have become alarmed that Obama has appeared weak in dealing with Republicans especially over raising the debt ceiling and on spending cuts.

One joke going the rounds after last week’s east coast earthquake, was that Republicans demanded it be 5.9 on the Richter Scale while Obama wanted it to be 3.5, so the two sides compromised and ended up with a 5.9.

His poll figures among Latinos have fallen from 85 percent approval in 2009 to 49 percent now. His figures among African Americans remain in the 80s, but only this month Rep. Maxine Waters urged supporters to “unleash” her and other Congressional Black Caucus members so they could criticize him more harshly.

President Bill Clinton’s former press secretary Dee Dee Myers told the Washington Post, “The president has shown himself unwilling to dig in on a position. He’s for jobs, I’ve heard him say that. He’s for being the adult in the room. But beyond that, I’m not actually sure what his bottom line is.”

And North Carolina Democratic strategist Gary Pearce said, “Democrats are worried. He looks weak, he doesn’t say anything that grabs you and people are looking for some kind of magic.

“You see a yearning for a Bill Clinton-type approach and Hillary would reflect that. Obama is just a different political animal.”

Pollster Pat Caddell, who was working for President Jimmy Carter when Ted Kennedy tried to unseat Carter in 1980, said a challenge will become much more likely if the GOP wins the New York congressional seat formerly held by Anthony Weiner in a Sept. 13 special election.

“That seat is the darkest blue Democrat you can be,” he said, adding that a lot of Jewish voters there are unhappy with the Obama administration’s policies on Israel. “If the Democrats lost that seat on the 13th, that’s the kind of earthquake that would start shaking up people,” Caddell told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on Tuesday.

Cavuto pointed out that nearly all post-war presidents who have seen their poll numbers slip have faced challenges that have fatally weakened them: Lyndon Johnson was challenged by Eugene McCarthy and soon after said he would not run again; Gerald Ford faced off with Ronald Reagan and then lost the election to Carter, and then Kennedy challenged Carter, who subsequently lost to Reagan.

Caddell said he did not expect a challenge to come from Hillary Clinton because of her position within the administration. He also said many Democrats are leery about taking on the first African American president in a primary.

A challenge is more likely to come from the left of the party, he said, mentioning the name of former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold as a potential candidate. “If the president keeps going down, the job situation gets worse, if we have more problems this fall, at some point you are going to have people who say it’s worth showing the flag, it is worth making the case.

“The argument becomes, ‘It is time to get the president’s attention. We can’t be taken for granted and by being wishy-washy you’re going to lose anyway.’”

If Clinton does decide to run, the battle within the Democratic Party would almost certainly be even more bitterly fought than it was four years ago. During that campaign, Clinton called Obama “irresponsible and naïve,” and issued a damning campaign advertisement questioning whether he would be the right person to answer a 3 a.m. phone call alerting him to an international crisis.

Obama's Uncle — an Illegal — Arrested for Drunken Driving

The drunken driving arrest of President Barack Obama’s uncle has thrown the White House’s new immigration policies straight into the spotlight.

Now GOP politicians and immigration policy groups are vowing to keep a close eye on the case of Onyango Obama, who is being held in custody as there is a warrant already out ordering his deportation to Kenya.

Rep. Steve King, who sits on the House immigration subcommittee, said the Onyango Obama case “raises a troubling list of questions about the potential for preferential treatment.

“It is yet another reason Congress should hold hearings to expose President Obama’s executive amnesty program,” he said. "With an existing deportation order, it is not surprising to learn that 'Uncle Omar' Obama told police officers that his first call would be to his nephew in the White House. Now that the executive branch has gotten into the business of undermining the rule of law, there is little question that anyone who is connected to the president, politically or otherwise, will have an advantage.”

Steve Camarota, director of the Research Center for Immigration Studies, told Newsmax that the administration’s new policy, called Secure Communities, undermines the rule of law. “It’s all about discretion and prioritization and local circumstances and this case just shows how slipshod the whole situation has become.

“Don’t forget this guy is one of 550,000 deportation absconders who are still living in this country."

Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform  (FAIR), told Newsmax that his organization would be watching the case very closely.

“He was already under a deportation order, so it raises the question of why was he still here?”

Freshman Republican Rep. Joe Walsh said, “This is the height of irony. Just a couple of weeks after the president sends out an executive order his uncle, who shouldn’t be here in the first place, gets arrested.

“The timing is just exquisite," the Illinois congressman told Newsmax.

“They said 300,000 cases would be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Is this guy on that list and who is going to be looking at his case? I trust it is not the president. There could be a massive conflict of interest here.”

And Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert told Newsmax, “This is one more example of where the president is in a position where he can give favorable treatment to his cronies, and in this case a relative.

“It’s one more step making us look like a Third World corrupt government where it’s all about who you know.”

Onyango Obama was arrested on Aug. 24 outside the Chicken Bone Saloon in Framingham, Mass., after nearly hitting a police patrol car as he went through a stop sign. Tests showed his blood alcohol level was nearly double the legal limit. He was held in detention when police learned about the deportation order.

When told he could make one phone call, he said, “I think I should call the White House.”

The case has received little media attention in the United States, although it was widely covered in Britain and Australia.

“If it was me and I had an illegal immigrant jailed for drunk driving, it would be all over the press,” Walsh said. “But the media have protected this president from the day he announced he was running.”

The president referred to Onyango as “Uncle Omar” in his 1995 book “Dreams From My Father.” He visited members of his family in Kenya who called him “the uncle who had left for America 25 years ago and had never come back.”

The Times of London tried to find Onyango while doing research on the then-presidential candidate in 2008 but failed, although it did turn up his sister Zeituni Obama who was living as an illegal immigrant on a Boston housing estate.

Onyango and Zeituni are the children of the president’s grandfather Hussein Onyango Obama and his third wife, Sarah. Obama’s father, Barack Sr., who died in 1982, was the son of Hussein’s second wife, Akumu.

Zeituni, who moved to the United States in 2000, claimed political asylum, citing violence in Kenya. Her case was denied, but she later won the right to remain. She was represented by Cleveland attorney Margaret Wong who has also been retained by Onyango, reported the Times of London.

FAIR spokesman Mehlman said the question of whether DUIs should result in deportation orders is unclear under the new policy. A spokesman for the Bureau of Immigration Enforcement refused to tell Newsmax whether drunken driving would warrant automatic deportation.

But the case focuses attention on the new immigration policy and raises the question as to why Onyango Obama was still in the country despite the deportation order, Mehlman said . “It illustrates how our current president and some of his predecessors have turned our immigration law into a joke,” he said.

“If we don’t take immigration laws seriously in this country, why should we expect people around the world to do so?”

Outrage as Obama Names New Voter Initiative After ACORN

Government watchdogs are blasting the Obama campaign’s decision to name its 2012 voter-registration initiative “Project Vote” — the same name as a group closely linked to the discredited ACORN organization.

Members of ACORN were caught on undercover video giving two supposed clients detailed instructions on how to commit fraud, and ACORN faced a number of voter-registration fraud cases following the 2008 election.

Use of the Project Vote name by the Obama campaign is “truly astonishing,” Tom Fitton, president of the conservative Judicial Watch good-government group, tells Newsmax. “We knew President Obama was the president from ACORN. And if this isn’t an indication of it, we don’t know what is.”

ACORN-linked Project Vote is a Washington, D.C.-based 501c3 nonprofit organization that supports voter-registration drives in “historically underrepresented communities.”

But there is “no wall of separation” between Project Vote and the well-known ACORN organization, according to Matthew Vadum, the Capital Research Center editor who wrote “Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers.”

He calls Project Vote “the branch of ACORN that’s most notorious for voter fraud.”

Vadum wrote in an American Spectator piece on Monday: “On registration and mobilization campaigns, ACORN and Project Vote work together to the point where it is a difficult, if not impossible, to tell the difference. They share staff, office space, and money.”

As an example he cites Project Vote’s field director, listed on its website as Amy Busefink. In November, she pled no contest to two counts of conspiracy to commit the crime in Nevada of compensation for registration of voters. In January, she received a year of probation and a $4,000 fine. Vadum calls that incident “a major ACORN-approved voter fraud conspiracy.”

Vadum tells Newsmax that the use of the Project Vote name for Obama’s new voter-registration drive “says the Obama campaign is up to the same old tricks, that they’re not afraid of being called out by the media.

They know that they can continue to operate with impunity, encouraging voter fraud, and they’re not going to be held accountable.”

The decision to employ the Project Vote name was clear in a recent email from the Obama campaign: "Project Vote will embark on a voter registration effort to maximize voter participation. Project Vote will drive our campaign strategy — from paid media, to digital outreach, to grassroots organizing and voter registration efforts — to communicate with and engage key demographic groups."

Adopting a name so closely linked to ACORN, and President Obama’s political career, could hardly be an accident, says Fitton.

“It collapses the façade that there was any distinction between the Obama campaign and Project Vote in 2008.”

Fitton speculates adopting the “Project Vote” name is intended as a “dog-whistle” to the Democratic base.

He adds: “If the Obama campaign was intent on trying to disassociate itself from the criminal activity which took place with its vendor last time, which was ACORN, using the name of their partner seemingly would be the wrong way to do it.”

Obama has had well-documented ties with ACORN. In the 2008 race, his campaign paid $832,000 for voter-registration services in key primary states to Citizen Consulting Inc., an ACORN umbrella group that Fitton describes as “an ACORN front.” The money was initially reported to the Federal Election Commission as payments for “staging, sound, lighting.” The reports were corrected after their true nature was revealed by a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review expose.

In 1995, Obama helped represent the group in a lawsuit that forced Illinois to adopt a bill relaxing the standards for establishing voter eligibility, and he helped train ACORN’s staff in Chicago.

Obama’s 2008 campaign relied heavily on expanding the electorate and registering new voters. His political strategists have indicated it will be a key component of his re-election effort as well.

Fitton says the Project Vote name shows that the Obama campaign plans to continue running its 2008 campaign playbook, despite the fraud associated with voter-registration activities that cycle.

“It should alert people to the fact that Project Vote hasn’t gone away,” he says. “One of the big misconceptions has been that ACORN and Project Vote, which had been associated with voter registration issues in 2008, disappeared as a result of the scandals, as a result of the videos. And they haven’t disappeared — the state ACORN groups are still operational, and obviously Project Vote is still using the ACORN method to register voters.”

Vadum, whose book documents 54 voter-fraud convictions stemming from the 2008 elections, tells Newsmax that he expects ACORN to be just as active in the 2012 campaign as it was in 2008, although under a different brand. ACORN’s state chapters have reconstituted themselves under new names, he says, and its affordable housing arm is now receiving money from HUD under a new name.

The Unemployment Empty Promise

Sometime next week—we don't quite know when—President Barack Obama is due to announce his latest jobs plan designed to lift America out of its unemployment doldrums. And though we also don't know the exact details of the plan, there's a pretty good chance it will include several key components we've heard before, one of which is the extension of unemployment benefits.

Much like the President's other likely initiatives, this idea isn't a new one, and the White House has made the argument before that unemployment benefits are the best thing since sliced bread when it comes to stimulating the economy. In a White House briefing earlier this month, press secretary Jay Carney explained the rationale:
[Extending unemployment benefits] is one of the most direct ways to infuse money into the economy because people who are unemployed and obviously aren’t earning a paycheck are going to spend the money that they get. They’re not going to save it; they’re going to spend it. And unemployment insurance, that money goes directly back into the economy dollar for dollar virtually.

So it is—and when it goes back in the economy, it means that everywhere that those people—everyplace that that money is spent has added business. And that creates growth and income for businesses that then lead them to making decisions about jobs—more hiring.

But according to a report by Heritage's James Sherk and Karen A. Campbell, unemployment insurance actually leads to longer periods of unemployment and does not provide the promised stimulative effect. In their paper, they address a 2004 study which concluded that each dollar in additional unemployment insurance increased gross domestic product by $1.73. But, they say, that just isn't so. Research shows that unemployment spending does not result in workers consuming more, and workers with extended unemployment insurance benefits remain unemployed longer. "A 13-week extension of unemployment benefits results in the average worker remaining unemployed for an additional two weeks," they report.

Funnily enough, President Obama's new top economist agrees. Yesterday, the President announced that Princeton University economist Alan Krueger will replace Austan Goolsbee as the White House's chief economic adviser. And though Krueger will play a prominent role in crafting the White House's economic strategy, Heritage's Lachlan Markay reports that Krueger's past research doesn't mesh with the White House's stance on the supposed stimulative benefits of extending unemployment insurance:
Krueger co-authored a paper for the Handbook of Public Economics in 2002 that seems to undercut the economic argument for extending unemployment benefits. The paper found that those benefits tend to increase the length of unemployment by discouraging the search for a new job, and may actually encourage layoffs. Conversely, the paper also found that unemployed persons who are ineligible for benefits search harder for a job and are therefore unemployed for less time.

It's anyone's guess whether Krueger will change his tune now that he's on the President's team, but no matter. When the President launches his new jobs plan, and should he call for an extension of unemployment benefits, as expected, the reality remains the same, regardless of how Krueger addresses his earlier body of work: Unemployment benefits don't stimulate the economy.

There certainly can be other reasons for extending unemployment benefits. Under the Obama economy, the average length of unemployment hit a new record last month, surpassing 40 weeks for the first time ever. But no one—Congress, the President, or the American people—should be under the delusion that economic stimulus and new jobs will result.


America has a love affair with technology. We “can’t live without it.” So we suppose. “[A] new poll by National Public Radio, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government shows that people overwhelmingly think that computers and the Internet have made Americans' lives better” (Survey Shows Widespread Enthusiasm for High Technology.) However, according to this poll, Americans feel there are potential dangers.
But these Americans feel the dangers of technology do not include the lack of government authority or government abuse in using this technology. Just the opposite: they “would like the government to protect them from these dangers” (Ibid). The implication is clear: the people do not feel the government’s use of technology poses any dangers or risks against liberty.
With this kind of perspective, it appears technology and liberty may find themselves at war with each other—sooner rather than later. Ultimately, it will put people at war: those who want more technology to make their lives easier and those who want more liberty to live independently and freely.
The question is, “does technology—and its continual advancement—improve the natural and societal condition of mankind?” Well, perhaps the question cannot be stated so simply to obtain the true answer. Still, the subject is especially relevant because what the commercial world creates today, the government uses tomorrow and in mass. We are facing realities today that previous American generations could not have imagined.
Recall that Thomas Jefferson thought the West would not be developed for 1,000 years. No sooner had he spoken those words, the West was being developed rapidly because of the unforeseeable Industrial age. Of course, my parents’ generation could never have thought that they could transfer mega information from tiny handheld devices through satellite and laser technology. Now here we are today to prove their minds incapable of comprehending how fast technology was to advance. For certain, what future generations will have to deal with only intensifies the debate of technology verses liberty.
We have seen the movies and TV shows where computers scan the facial images or retinas of humans to identify them. This once-science-fiction has been the reality in certain contexts in the United States and other nations. It is so main-stream that commercial entities are using facial scanning technology to identify people for purposes of advertisement. As stated in a recent article found at the Drudge Report, “[o]nce the stuff of science fiction and high-tech crime fighting, facial recognition technology has become one of the newest tools in marketing.” Shan Li and David Sarno, Advertisers Start Using Facial Recognition To Tailor Pitches, August 21, 2011, Los Angeles Times).
While some attempt to minimize the malfeasant use of such technology, the truth is, creators of this kind of technology admit this technology is “widely adaptable” (Ibid). As such, it can be used for any purpose the user would prefer. In conjunction with the thousands of video cameras strategically placed in virtually every city in the United States, technology could be used to record every facial print exposed to the software’s capacity. With just one scan of your face, your unique facial identifiers (like a fingerprint or DNA) can be recorded permanently in the government’s database. It would have the same effect as people having to register their fingerprints, DNA, etc. with the government.
Most (if not all) state constitutions and laws do not authorize the government to collect fingerprint and like information from people. Only upon unique circumstances do their laws allow the government to record and store such personal information. For all others, it matters not that you receive the benefit of living in that State; enter public areas and thus “have no reasonable expectation of privacy”; or receive a license by the State to drive a vehicle. Fundamental notions of liberty prohibit the government from arbitrarily collecting personal information, such as your facial print/DNA
This begs the question, what will stop governments from utilizing this kind of increasingly-intrusive technology? After all, if they can “lawfully” use video-audio technology throughout our cities and towns without so much as a negative letter to the editor, what is to stop governments from using other technology in the name of “security and safety”?
Have we come to the point in the United States that to be a part of society means you have implicitly authorized government to use any new technology available for any alleged legitimate purpose? What about the RFID technology which is certainly in lineto be used by the federal and state governments? What about the use of satellites to pinpoint every structural location, including recording video and photography imagery of your private residence? What about the technology being used similarly without our knowledge?
These kinds of issues cut to the very core of what it means to form society and government; to be a free person; and to limit government. It reaches into the very soul of the nature of man and laws of nature. This matter will undoubtedly require the extrapolation and exposition of philosophers to articulate the rationale and reasoning which will (re)form the foundation of a freer society—where one is able to walk in a grocery store, drive down the road, or enter the county courthouse without being raped by technology. Without this kind of philosophical advocacy, it is likely that technology will triumph over liberty as its dominion increases exponentially every day, just as government does.

Obama 'Systematically Destroying Our Liberties'

President Barack Obama is the most dangerous president of modern times, intent on turning the country into a second-rate power because “he basically despises America,” conservative activist and author David Horowitz tells Newsmax.TV.

Horowitz is the founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Students for Academic Freedom. The author of the recent book, “A Point in Time: The Search for Redemption in This Life and the Next,” Horowitz said: “We are in a battle for the survival of this country.”

When he talks about the political left in America, Horowitz speaks from an experience most conservative experts lack. He was one of the founders of the New Left in the 1960s and an editor of its largest magazine, Ramparts.

He co-wrote wrote “Destructive Generation,” a chronicle of his second thoughts about the 60s that has been compared to Whittaker Chambers’ classic “Witness” and other works documenting a break from extremism. Horowitz also detailed his odyssey from “red-diaper baby” to conservative activist in the memoir “Radical Son.”

“For me when I look at it I think the outcome is uncertain,” he said. “The left, what I will call the neo-communist left, is really the Democratic Party … the vision of that party is socialist, anti-capitalist, anti-individualist and it’s got us on a course that (is) already bankrupting our country.”

Obama is a radical of his (Horowitz’s) generation and actually is a product of the worst part of the 1960s, he said. Obama was a close political ally of 1960s radical and later education professor Bill Ayers, who Horowitz knows very well given his own background as a former leader in the New Left.

“I don’t think Obama cares about this country and I think he is intent on bankrupting it and diminishing our military to the point where we are a second-rate power,” he said. “He is already the most dangerous president we’ve had in modern times.”

Horowitz charged that Obama has surrendered the Middle East to the Muslim Brotherhood.

“There will be a war there soon and he’s responsible and that’s because he basically despises America and wants us to lose in these global conflicts,” he said.

Horowitz also believes that American exceptionalism is in danger under Obama.

“We are a unique country,” he said. “The left under Obama is destroying that uniqueness. The Obamacare is not even a disguised plan to turn this into a socialist country and make everyone a dependent of the state. In history we are really unique where we have been a nation of individualists, distrustful of government, jealous of our liberty, and the Obamaites are systemically destroying our liberties.”

Horowitz said his most recent book, “A Point in Time: The Search for Redemption in This Life and the Next,” came about because he has “reached that point in life where you get to look back and see what it was.”

“I had a bout with prostate cancer about ten years ago and that focused me on my mortality,” he said. “A point in time refers to all of us that in the eye of eternity we’re not even an eye blink. We are all going to disappear and that presents us with what you might call an existential problem, which is does it all add up, is there any sense to all this. And that’s the question that the book addresses.”

The self-proclaimed agnostic said he chose to write about mortality because he “was slammed up against my own mortality. And when that happens you have to focus on it a bit . . . If you are to go about thinking every minute of every day that you’re going to disappear and be forgotten it would paralyze you.

“So we live inside stories that have no end. We say things like; I’ll never forget you, which is obviously a lie . . . You look to the future as though the future is going to remember this present. So that presents us all with a problem and we solve that problem in two different ways, which is the real heart of this book, how we solve that problem.”

Obama Is the Job Wrecker in Chief

President Barack Obama often tells us that his No. 1 focus is creating jobs, but his record makes you wonder what he might have done differently if his goal were to destroy jobs.

Those who've examined Congressional Budget Office (CBO) data have calculated that each job allegedly created by Obama's stimulus — and this is if you accept the fantastically generous guesstimates — cost between $225,000 and $600,000.

But that's not the only way in which the administration has shown its virtual contempt for efficient job creation and its callousness concerning job destruction.

In the name of compassion, Obama advocates seemingly endless extensions of unemployment benefits because his economic theology holds that by paying people not to work, you will create jobs.

It not only fails to factor in the obvious deterrent that extended benefits have on their recipients but also falsely assumes that transferring money from one pocket to the next generates more spending — by some mythical multiple factor, no less.

Back on planet Earth, studies reveal that extending unemployment benefits results in more unemployment.

But don't worry; Obama is on it. He's spent hours on the golf course meditating on job creation. In September, he is going to announce his jobs "reset" plan in some self-ballyhooed oration.

But reports of such rumination and administration powwows on jobs are as phony as Obama's insistence that he doesn't intend Obamacare to lead to a single-payer system.

In fact, Obama doesn't meditate, cogitate, contemplate, or deliberate about job creation, because he thinks he's already got it figured out. The only thing he's doing is strategizing how best to convince the people, against all their reason and instincts, that his failed policies will work if he keeps trying.

Meanwhile, he continues to wreak havoc on the market with his onerous tax, regulatory, and administrative policies.

We know better than to fall for his promise to cut $10 billion through regulatory relaxation. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the proposal was "underwhelming," and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the changes "will not have a material impact on the economy." Just more smoke and mirrors.

Obama dismissed out of hand a farmer at a town hall meeting who said he was worried about "noise pollution, dust pollution, and water runoff."

But the Environmental Protection Agency is actually considering more stringent requirements on controlling dust, which has prompted 21 senators to sign a letter of objection to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

The senators say the proposed standard would be "the most stringent and unparalleled regulation of dust in our nation's history" and "extremely burdensome for farmers and livestock producers to attain." Obama's callousness notwithstanding, the farmer's concerns about water runoff are also well grounded, as the EPA is working on new rules to tighten requirements for farms.

To get an accurate feel for Obama's attitude toward regulation, we should understand that in stark contrast to the private sector under Obama's watch, federal regulatory agency employment, as noted by columnist Ramesh Ponnuru, "has surged 13 percent." These agencies' "budgets are up 16 percent."

Consider also the EPA's new "Transport Rule," which could destroy thousands of jobs, and its ozone regulation, which Cantor suggests could cost "upward of $1 trillion and millions of jobs in the construction industry over the next decade."

Other administration gems include its "new maximum achievable control technology standards for cement," which may send thousands of jobs offshore, and the National Labor Relations Board's unconscionable action in preventing Boeing from opening a plant in South Carolina.

Big Brother is also working its paternalistic magic through the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children, whose food guidelines are billed as a voluntary program to combat childhood obesity.

By cloaking the regulations in the voluntary costume, government officials will be able to bypass the standard regulatory process. The government doubtlessly won't tell us about a study showing that these new "voluntary," innocuous regulations could destroy 74,000 jobs and cost $28.3 billion in the first year alone.

When evaluating the administration's record on jobs, we mustn't overlook the inevitably devastating impact Obamacare will have on jobs and businesses, as Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, testified to Congress last month. Puzder said his company is a "job creation machine" but fears Obamacare will be the wrench that grinds it to a halt.

As if this weren't enough — and there's so much more — the Obama-enamored New York Times has pronounced Obama's promise to create 5 million green jobs over 10 years a "pipe dream."

Capping it all off, the CBO has now lowered its projected 2011 economic growth rate from 3.1 percent to 2.3 percent, which is far below the pace needed to reduce unemployment. It projects unemployment to remain above 8 percent until 2014.

Free tuition for illegals

California Democrats push taxpayers to subsidize higher ed for aliens

Democrats will do anything to pander for Hispanic votes in 2012. They’re even in favor of amnesty and cash handouts to illegal aliens, if that’s what it takes. The latest scheme from California liberals is a move to force over-burdened taxpayers to foot the bill to put illegals through college.
On Thursday, the California Senate Appropriations Committee passed AB 131, which would allow undocumented pupils to sign up for public financial aid at state schools. At the same time, the Golden State’s dire fiscal straits have forced cutbacks in public-education spending for actual citizens.
This particular bill is one of two measures in the so-called “California Dream Act,” a package designed to call to mind the congressional Dream Act which grants citizenship for illegals who go to college.
California’s version makes illegal immigrants eligible for millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded Cal Grants and other forms of financial assistance. The only limit for applicants is that they must have attended state high schools for three years.
The same legislation has passed before, but former Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger terminated the measure. Current Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, however, has said that he would sign the bill.
State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly turned to the Web, appealing to his constituents to call the governor’s office and oppose the idea. The Twin Peaks Republican said in a video that the bill would “take your taxpayer dollars and use them to create an incentive for more people to come to our country illegally because we’re going to pay for their college education. And that just doesn’t make any sense.”
The big spenders in the state Senate don’t have a plan for getting any of the financial aid paid back. The illegals with no Social Security numbers who don’t file taxes have no reason to adhere to a repayment schedule.
Even if they wanted to repay their debt, the state’s unemployment rate of 12 percent makes it difficult even for anyone to find a job after graduation.
California is on the brink of bankruptcy, yet its politicians are more concerned with preserving their own salaries, power and perks of office than doing what it takes to avoid the looming financial collapse. Giveaways to illegals come out of the pockets of hard-working, legal families who have to struggle to pay for college for their own kin.
Mr. Brown should not sign the California Dream Act into law, but if he does, you can bet that illegals all over the country will race to the left coast to get their kids a free college degree.
Come to think of it, maybe that’s the solution for the other 49 states to get the illegals off their dole for schools and hospitals. Send them to California, where they can spend three years in high school and then four years studying fashion design or hotel management - all on the Cali taxpayers’ dime.

S&P 500 Falls to Reagan Recession Values

Investors are paying less for equities than they have during every recession since Ronald Reagan was president amid growing concern that the economy is on the edge of another recession.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has lost 13 percent in the past five weeks, sending its price-earnings ratio down to 12.9. That’s 3.5 percent less than the average multiple during the 10 contractions since 1949 and a level last reached in 1982, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Bears say valuations show the U.S. remains in the slowdown that began in 2007. Unlike under Reagan, when U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker raised borrowing costs as high as 20 percent to combat inflation, interest rates are already near zero, leaving policy makers fewer tools to boost the economy, they say. Bulls say the ratios are so low because they reflect indiscriminate selling by investors convinced that any slowdown will turn into a repeat of the 2008 credit crisis.

“There are truly some terrific values out there in companies, but it’s a question of timing,” John Massey, a Jersey City, New Jersey-based fund manager who helps oversee $13 billion at SunAmerica Asset Management, said in a telephone interview on Aug. 26. “Right now, the market is very short-term sighted. Every day the market is up or down, and it’s much more of a macro call than anything else.”

$2.3 Trillion Drop

About $2.3 trillion has been erased from the market value of U.S. equities since the S&P 500’s recent high on July 22 after reports on housing and manufacturing trailed estimates, Europe’s debt crisis worsened and S&P stripped the U.S. of its AAA credit rating. The last time stocks in the index were cheaper on average during a recession was the early 1980s, a decade when the index surged 227 percent, or 403 percent including reinvested dividends.

At 1,176.80, the S&P 500 is trading at 10.8 times analysts’ forecast for profits in the next 12 months of $109.12 a share. For the P/E ratio to reach its five-decade average of 16.4 without shares appreciating, earnings would have to fall to about $71.76 a share, 22 percent below the last 12 months, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Should companies meet analysts’ profit estimates, the S&P 500 must advance to about 1,790 to trade at the average multiple of 16.4 since 1954, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s more than 50 percent above its last close. Futures on the S&P 500 expiring next month gained 1 percent to 1,185.9 at 7:48 a.m. in London today.

Worst Performers

Energy, financial and industrial companies have performed worst out of 10 groups in the S&P 500 in the past month, falling more than 16 percent, as investors fled so-called cyclical stocks that are most tied to economic growth. Utilities and makers of household products posted the smallest losses.

The index rallied 1.5 percent on Aug. 26, for the first weekly gain since July, after Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Aug. 26 during a speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, that the economy isn’t deteriorating enough to warrant any immediate stimulus. Optimism the U.S. will avoid a recession helped offset a Commerce Department report showing gross domestic product climbed at 1 percent in the second quarter, down from a 1.3 percent estimate.

The economy grew at a 0.4 percent annual pace in the first quarter of 2011, the slowest since the second quarter of 2009, when the recession had yet to end, according to data compiled by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Reagan Inflation

Runaway inflation at the start of Reagan’s presidency in 1981 spurred Volcker to lift the Fed funds rate, pushing the U.S. economy into a recession until November 1982. The S&P 500’s multiple sank to an average of 8 times earnings as record-high interest rates and 10-year Treasury yields above 15 percent reduced the appeal of equities. Rates dropped through the decade, helping fuel the equity rally.

Bernanke has held the target rate for overnight loans between banks near zero since December 2008 and pledged this month to keep it there through mid-2013.

“The Fed’s used up a lot of their big ammunition already,” Bruce Bittles, who helps oversee $85 billion as chief investment strategist at Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co., said in an Aug. 26 phone interview. “With earnings expectations coming down, P/E ratios are likely to remain lower than anticipated as well.”

Cheaper Valuations

During the credit crisis, the world’s largest economy shrank the most in any recession since the 1930s, according to the Commerce Department. Quarterly earnings among S&P 500 companies have almost doubled since ending an eight-period decline in September 2009. Valuations declined as the stock prices advanced at a slower rate, with the index climbing 11 percent since Sept. 30, 2009, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

For TCW Group Inc.’s Komal Sri-Kumar, valuations must be lower to be attractive because the economy is stagnating. The S&P 500 has declined 10 percent since the start of June, the last month of the Fed’s second program of quantitative easing, known as QE2, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“Stocks have been at very high levels compared with a very weak economy,” Sri-Kumar, the chief global strategist at TCW, which oversees about $120 billion, said in a phone interview on Aug. 24. “When QE2 was introduced last August, you got a rally in equities prices for several months, but you didn’t get a big push up in economic growth.”

Sri-Kumar recommended defensive stocks in the consumer staples, utility and health-care industries.

Consumer Products

Procter & Gamble Co. (PG), the Cincinnati-based maker of Gillette razors, has slipped 2.6 percent since July 26, compared with a 13 percent decline by the S&P 500. This month, the world’s largest consumer-products company said 2011 revenue topped analysts’ estimates and reported a 15 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit on sales from emerging markets.

For Blackstone Group LP’s Byron Wien and Gamco Investors Inc.’s Howard Ward, the decline in valuations will prove temporary as investors buy back shares they sold in a panic after the U.S. lost its AAA credit rating at S&P.

General Electric Co. (GE) has fallen 15 percent this year even after reporting profits that topped analysts’ estimates in the first two quarters. CEO Jeff Immelt said last month that industrial earnings and sales should increase in the second half of 2011 and accelerate into 2012. While analysts estimate profit at the Fairfield, Connecticut-based company will jump 21 percent this year, shares are trading at their lowest valuation since 2009.

Market Decline

“Too much has been read into the stock market’s decline,” Ward, who helps oversee $35 million in Rye, New York, wrote in an Aug. 24 e-mail.

Corporate earnings are growing fast enough to boost equities, he said. Per-share profit at S&P 500 companies will rise 13 percent in 2012, the fourth straight year of increases, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Alcoa Inc. (AA), the country’s largest aluminum producer, and Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), the world’s biggest maker of construction and mining equipment, were among the worst performers in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the last month, falling 25 percent and 19 percent through Aug. 26, respectively. Analysts estimate earnings will jump 21 percent in 2012 at New York-based Alcoa and 33 percent at Peoria, Illinois-based Caterpillar.

“The market’s anticipating economic growth will slow and earnings estimates are going to have to come lower,” Mark Bronzo, who helps manage $26 billion at Security Global Investors in Irvington, New York, said in a telephone interview on Aug. 24. “My gut is the stock market is attractive at these levels and we won’t go into a recession. We’ll be in a sluggish growth environment and eventually stocks will do better.”

Obama 'Unable to Get A Firm Grip' on Economy

President Barack Obama just doesn't get that his lack of leadership has shaped our stalled economy, says U.S. News and World Report editor Mort Zuckerman.
"Mr. Obama seems unable to get a firm grip on the toughest issue facing his presidency and the country—the economy," Zuckerman writes in The Wall Street Journal.
"He now asserts he is going to "pivot" to jobs. Now we pivot to jobs? When there are already 25 million Americans who are either unemployed or cannot find full-time work?"
"Does this president not appreciate what is going on?"
Fewer Americans are working full-time today than when Mr. Obama took office, Zuckerman notes, more than 900,000 full-time jobs were lost in the last four months alone, and long-term unemployment is at a post-World War II high.
Since the president is the one who represents all of America and all Americans, says Zuckerman, the buck stops with him rather than with the Congress.
"It is the president's job to offer a coherent program for the twin threats of a static economy and an unsustainable explosion of our debts and deficits," Zuckerman notes. "But the only core issue on which he took a clear position in the recent debt-ceiling negotiations was that it would have to include new taxes on the wealthy—and he didn't even hold to that."
In its recently issued semiannual report, the Congressional Budget Office projected that unemployment will remain above 8 percent until 2014.

Prima Facie

Prima Facie is a legal term that translates as “on its first appearance” or “at first sight.” This also means self-evident.
In other words, if something is prima facie, no inquiry is needed to further investigate. All evidence is contained on the face of a subject.
The American people see and interpret prima facie. They do not inquire beyond that which appears as “public” information.
The reality is that most information comes to us in layers. The truth is beneath the surface and beneath the written or spoken word. Information from the public media and from official and political sources comes in layers. The first layer is what our natural senses perceive and retain as fact. This is almost 100 percent deceptive.
However, inquiring beneath the first layer, or prima facie, brings us closer to reality and truth. The more layers peeled back and the more inquiry we make, the closer we come to reality.
Some people get through several layers. A few people get to the reality that all or almost all public information, as well as public education, is false and totally misleading.
Finally, a small number of people get through enough layers of information that they come to the shocking conclusion that government is organized crime and it is every man for himself.
Most people don’t inquire enough to get to the big shock. The ones who do rush their assets out of the country.
This is why propaganda is so effective against a population. It is human nature to see, hear and translate without inquiry or without question.
The world of most Americans is a cartoon, a fantasy or a mirage. This is the product of a controlled media and “public education.”
People control is a work in progress. The system attacks the population by dumbing the people down to the point where they have no inquiry. Everything is prima facie. Everything is what the system says it is. Our lives are prescribed and defined. We do not think our own thoughts. We have a Mickey Mouse mentality, and we dwell upon frivolity.
Dr. Ron Paul (R-Texas) is the only sober voice in American politics. He repeatedly warns the American people about the evils of our monetary non-system and how fiat paper money is in the final stages of transferring the remaining savings and wealth of the American people to the money creators.
Few people are listening!
Paul has now drilled a chink in the armor of the elite’s 100-year tyranny and financial burden of the private Federal Reserve Bank. Paul teaches and explains daily about the evils of a debt money system that is in the final stages of destroying America and impoverishing its people.
How has this monster, masquerading as a central bank, survived and prospered in our midst for several generations since 1913? The answer is back to prima facie. We accept the propaganda of the Federal Reserve and its lackey banker stooges without inquiry. The Federal Reserve Bank is organized crime at its apex and perfection.
This private cartel is at this moment creating inflation and food shortages by stepped-up money printing. It is criminal but “legal.”
The American people have been well taught to trust the system, the politicians, the bankers and the bureaucrats. They are oblivious to crime at the highest levels of government and the crime of the money creators.
The United States Congress and the U.S. Presidents are scoundrels. They get elected and stay in office by promising something they don’t have. It’s made possible because of printing-press money.
President Andrew Jackson said: “If the American people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system, there would be a revolution before morning.”
“Presidents Lincoln, Jackson and Kennedy tried to stop this family of bankers by printing U.S. dollars without charging the taxpayers interest…” (Quotes from “Bulletin” Feb. 1989 and 1991 issues, P.O. Box 986, Ft. Collins, Colo. 80522).
My friends, the sole purpose of the U.S. Federal Reserve (which is neither Federal nor reserve) is to transfer wealth from savers and producers to the non-productive creators of fiat money. We are in the final stages of the greatest wealth transfer in history, and precious few Americans are aware of it. This is a testament to how crime at the highest levels can operate for a century under the cover of prima facie. The people simply believe without inquiry what the system tells them.
We are out of time because governments in their last days engage in all kinds of tyranny and oppression under high-sounding and “patriotic” terms. Be warned and beware. As confidence collapses, aggression against the population intensifies

Arizona Challenges Voting Rights Act

Arizona is suing the U.S. government, questioning the Constitutionality of a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horn said the suit, filed Thursday, challenged a part of the law that requires Arizona and other jurisdictions — mainly in the South — to get permission, or “pre-clearance,” from the Justice Department for changes to voting procedures, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“The Voting Rights Act plays a vital role in our society by ensuring that every American has the right to vote and to have that vote counted,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “The provisions challenged in this case, including the pre-clearance requirement, were reauthorized by Congress in 2006 with overwhelming and bipartisan support.”
The lawsuit was filed in Federal court in the District of Columbia.
Horne said Arizona was subject to the Justice Department procedure even though the State demonstrated fairness to racial minority voters, according to NBC News.
“Arizona is still penalized for archaic violations that were corrected with the implementation of bilingual ballots prior to the 1974 elections,” Horne said, adding Arizona, in 1974, became the second State to elect a Hispanic governor.
The lawsuit claims the Voting Rights Act is unConstitutional, “because it suspects all changes to state election law, however innocuous, until pre-clearance is given by the federal government,” Horne said.

Rep. Ron Paul Rips FEMA as Flawed Bureaucracy

As Hurricane Irene, now a tropical storm, ravaged the Eastern Seaboard, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul railed at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in charge of crisis management associated with natural disasters, according to Politico.

ron paul, FEMA, irene“It’s a system of bureaucratic central economic planning, which is a fallacy that is deeply flawed,” Paul told “Fox News Sunday.” FEMA “has one of the worst reputations for a bureaucracy ever.”

The Texas congressman acknowledged that FEMA could not be disbanded without a legitimate replacement, but he maintained that the organization, as it operates today, is wasteful. He alleged that it funnels money to contractors rather than to victims of natural disasters.

Paul insisted he would vote against the appropriation of any additional emergency funding to FEMA.

Past Alarmism and the Future of Manmade Global Warming

Polls show that roughly one person in two is concerned about manmade global warming. Why? Because vivid, alarming forecasts, even those based on weak foundations, are persuasive. For a while at least.
We’ve seen this many times before. Take the alarm over mercury in fish: in 2004, an Environmental Protection Agency employee warned that 630,000 babies per year were born at risk of brain and nervous system damage due to “unsafe” levels of mercury in their mothers’ blood. Expectant mothers were discouraged from eating fish.
Japan consumes a lot of fish, and the supposedly unsafe levels cited by the EPA are exceeded by 74% of women of childbearing age there. Yet there is no evidence that their children are mentally deficient. In fact, only benefits have been reported from high levels of fish consumption, including good brain function and improved intelligence at age four.
The alarming forecast of harm from mercury in fish was derived by extrapolating known bad effects from high doses of mercury to incorrectly predict toxic effects from even very low levels — without bothering to check for evidence. This poorly founded forecast resulted in mothers and their children avoiding a healthy food, to their detriment.
Working with Professor J. Scott Armstrong of the University of Pennsylvania and others, Dr. Kesten Green identified 26 previous alarms that are analogous to the dangerous manmade global warming scare. Besides the alarm over mercury, the 26 alarms include familiar ones like electromagnetic fields (EMF) and cancer, and DDT and cancer.
A 1979 American Journal of Epidemiology article linked exposure to weak EMF from electrical wiring with childhood leukemia. Media and scientists followed, making shrill claims of widespread and diverse harm including headaches and depression. In response, the U.S. government adopted exposure limits and other regulations that World Health Organization researchers estimated impose a $1 billion annual cost on the economy.
But the authors of the journal article that raised the alarm did not actually measure exposure to EMF. Tens of thousands of articles have been published since, and the conclusion is that there is no link between weak EMF and human health.
Rachel Carson raised alarm over the insecticide DDT in her 1962 book Silent Spring, claiming that it caused cancer. There was no good evidence for this assertion, and there still isn’t. The EPA nevertheless banned DDT in 1972, and Europe and Africa, under pressure from international agencies, followed. The main consequence of the ban is that millions of people have died needlessly from mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria.
All of the analogous 26 alarms analyzed by Green and Armstrong turned out to be false, either completely or to such an extent that actions intended to be remedial caused greater harm than the supposed problem. See for descriptions of some of the other 26 analogies: because media report alarms enthusiastically but not their demise, many readers will be surprised to find that alarms they still believe to be true have now been debunked.
When alarming forecasts are presented in the form of vivid scenarios, many people ignore the low likelihood that they will come about: they want action. This is especially so if they think the cost of action will be low (to themselves), and they can blame others.
Policy responses to environmental alarms are often promoted in terms of “caring for the planet” or “caring for our children.” This has the intended effect of deflecting questions about the substance of alarming claims, and of demonizing those who ask them.
In modern times, when we are safer than we have ever been, some activists have become rich and famous by exploiting our ready acceptance of alarming scenarios: “So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.” This statement about global warming by climatologist Professor Stephen Schneider (now deceased) serves as a warning to us all that we should always be ready to ask hard questions of alarmists.
Although the costs of trying to “stop climate change” are diffused across many people and over time, the public is gradually waking up to the fact that they are already bearing a substantial burden as a consequence of climate policies. As these costs rise, people will increasingly demand hard evidence that their sacrifices are worthwhile and are not merely based on sentimentalism and opportunism.
When people learn more about an issue, the persuasion formula that initially worked so well for alarmists breaks down. People become less persuaded by appeals to trust the authorities, less susceptible to fear, less willing to accept emotional appeals from celebrities, less gullible. Trends in polls show that this is already happening with the global warming scare.
Alarming forecasts of humans harming themselves and the environment by their actions are a common social phenomenon. They become widely believed for a time, cause unnecessary anxiety, and result in costly government policies, then fade from public attention as it becomes more difficult to maintain the alarm in the face of counter-evidence and closer public scrutiny. We hope that this phenomenon of false environmental alarms will become widely recognized so that in the future we can avoid the very real costs that they impose on the most vulnerable people, and then on all of us.

Krugman Against Science

Tedious New York Times reactionary (sorry for the redundancy) Paul Krugman is rooting for Jon Huntsman in the Republican derby in Krugman’s new column, “Republicans Against Science”:
Jon Huntsman Jr., a former Utah governor and ambassador to China, isn’t a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination. And that’s too bad, because Mr. Hunstman has been willing to say the unsayable about the G.O.P. — namely, that it is becoming the “anti-science party.” This is an enormously important development. And it should terrify us.
Krugman’s all hopped up about those yahoos Rick Perry and Mitt Romney not being on board with anthropogenic global warming. What dunces. Krugman, after all, is an economist and we all know that is the most empirical of sciences — as opposed to the methods of those parvenus at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) who just came out with a new study of cosmic rays and clouds, which is turning climate science upside down:
CERN’s 8,000 scientists may not be able to find the hypothetical Higgs boson, but they have made an important contribution to climate physics, prompting climate models to be revised.
The first results from the lab’s CLOUD (“Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets”) experiment published in Nature today confirm that cosmic rays spur the formation of clouds through ion-induced nucleation. Current thinking posits that half of the Earth’s clouds are formed through nucleation. The paper is entitled Role of sulphuric acid, ammonia and galactic cosmic rays in atmospheric aerosol nucleation.
This has significant implications for climate science because water vapour and clouds play a large role in determining global temperatures. Tiny changes in overall cloud cover can result in relatively large temperature changes.
Unsurprisingly, it’s a politically sensitive topic, as it provides support for a “heliocentric” rather than “anthropogenic” approach to climate change: the sun plays a large role in modulating the quantity of cosmic rays reaching the upper atmosphere of the Earth.
Oops. I guess Krugman hasn’t been keeping up with the latest issues of Nature.
Well, no matter. Forget CERN. They’re only the world’s largest particle physics laboratory and the world wide web began there, etc. What do they know? There are other sources like the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences. I know, it’s a little outré. But not so outré that it doesn’t have the latest article by MIT’s resident climate genius Richard Lindzen, writing with Korean scientist Yong-Sang Choi, that calls so many aspects of climate modeling to question that your head spins. The entire article is available here, not that Krugman should have to read it. He’s a busy guy.
But wait a minute. I don’t want to be unfair to Paul. He may not be up to speed on the latest findings, but he knows how you prove things scientifically. He tell us “…the scientific consensus about man-made global warming — which includes 97 percent to 98 percent of researchers in the field, according to the National Academy of Sciences — is getting stronger, not weaker, as the evidence for climate change just keeps mounting.”
I get it. The more people that believe something, the more it is true…. Oh, no. Sorry, Paul. I have to tell you you just flunked seventh grade general science. Or you forgot it. The number of people who believe something is irrelevant. What proves something to be true is that it can be replicated by experiment. If you read the Lindzen article above, you would see just how far we are from that goal.
Look, I apologize for bringing all this up. I’m not a scientist either. I’m not even an economist. I’m a screenwriter — of all fantasy-built occupations. And it’s even worse. Just because I’m skeptical of AGW, some people think I’m a racist, even though I was in the civil rights movement.
Well, that’s the way things are these days. Everybody’s accusing everybody of something. Perry and Romney are “anti-science” because they’re not convinced of man-made global warming. Who knows the truth? As I said, I’m not a scientist. But I did live around them. My father was a radiologist who worked with the Atomic Energy Commission. He treated the “Hiroshima Ladies” and I knew J. Robert Oppenheimer and Lisa Meitner when I was a kid. I idolized them. They were great minds, always searching for the truth which is ever changing. I can’t imagine them thinking anthropogenic global warming is anything remotely like settled science. But, again, what do they know? They’re just physicists. They should ask Paul Krugman. He knows.

Where Next for Obama?

I was just leafing through a Spider-Man comic book, an ethnographic foray into lowpop and an instructive transit into the more colorful regions of the cultural code. Two pages in, New York City is trembling on the verge of chaos owing to the sudden apparition of the evil sorcerer Baron Mordo, hovering in the sky and about to unleash his wraiths and goblins to wreak devastation, first upon the city and then upon the entire globe. Spidey seeks help from his old friend Doctor Strange, “Earth’s policeman against occult bad guys,” who explains: “Mordo is always seeking for more power” in his quest to destroy the world. Spidey reflects: “More power. But the world is destroyed?” To which Doctor Strange replies: “He’s not a great thinker, but he is a master magician.” The application to the Illusionist-in-Chief is irresistible.
Rush Limbaugh is convinced that Obama is “engineering the decline of the American Republic,” giving us “Obamageddon. Barackalypse Now.” Donald Trump for his part believes that the president is incompetent but not malicious, which does not offer much in the way of consolation. Incompetence is as malicious does. Dinesh D’Souza in The Roots of Obama’s Rage thinks that Obama is taking post-colonial revenge on imperial America. Mark Steyn in After America pegs the president as resembling “a snooty viceregal grandee passing through some tedious outpost,” as if the job were really “too small for him and he’s just killing time until something more commensurate with his stature comes along.” Indeed, “America has no greater purchase on him than Papua or Peru.” Obama sees himself not as an American devoted to his people but as a citizen of the world, a far nobler commitment than merely serving an unexceptional country.
Like many others, I have been studying the Obama phenomenon since he first appeared on the national scene and although I could not initially quite make him out, I knew that he spelled trouble. My suspicions deepened as his candidacy soared and by the time he gave his Denver coronation speech I knew beyond the slightest hesitation that he was as fake as the classical columns he spoke before and as artificial as the teleprompters that accompanied him everywhere. From whatever angle one examined him, the man was unmitigated bad news for a country swept up in a protracted seizure of idolatrous frenzy. The ensuing years only confirmed the fact that, in electing him to the presidency, America had done itself megaharm.
Obama is a man whose essence remains an enigma — he himself writes in The Audacity of Hope that “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.” This is why so many articles and books have been written on the president’s origins, ideas, motivation, and character, often arriving at radically different conclusions. At times, he seems humble; at others, arrogant. He proclaims himself as a peace weaver, yet his rhetoric and conduct often express a strong current of choler and resentment. He is regarded by the press and his acolytes as savvy and intellectually nimble, yet his many sophomoric gaffes and goofs (e.g., the “Austrian language,” “corpse-man,” “57 states,” constitutional principles set down “20 centuries ago,” “Mexicans” lived on the land “long before America was even an idea,” “the bomb that fell on Pearl Harbor,” etc.) prove otherwise.
But although the man himself remains something of a conundrum, his formative principles are no longer a mystery. Irrespective of his protean nature, his political identity is fixed, as the roster of his affiliations, sources, mentors, friends, associates, and appointees renders undeniable, and as his executive decisions corroborate. He is a hard-left ideologue and socialist plutocrat who is intent, as he himself vowed, to transform the country into something its Constitution never envisioned it as becoming. As Norman Podhoretz has cogently argued in the Wall Street Journal, Obama is simply “the same anti-American leftist he was before becoming our president.”
At the same time, Mark Steyn is on to something, for the man who was reluctant to wear the American flag pin on his lapel and callously observed that the United States could absorb another 9/11 gives the strong impression of being coolly indifferent to his country’s real welfare. “He’s the first president,” Steyn writes, “to give off the pronounced whiff that he’s condescending to the job.” Obama may be a study in contradictions — playboy, party-animal, dilettante, neo-Marxist zealot, multi-millionaire, and, in effect, the only child in the room — but two things are reasonably clear. He is, in the larger frame, a community disorganizer, and he probably has his sights set on what passes in his mind for a higher calling.
And that higher calling is not especially hard to discern. If the timing is right, when the insipid Ban Ki-moon vacates his seat as secretary general of the United Nations, Barack Obama will almost certainly be acclaimed to succeed him. As Limbaugh said about liberals, “Failure is a resume enhancement.” The post is tailor made for a charismatic but reprobate ex-president with Third World credentials. The UN is plainly the most corrupt institution on the face of the planet, is massively anti-Israel, and is dominated by the Organization of the Islamic Conference. It seeks to extend its influence into the sphere of transnational and perhaps even post-national governance, working in particular to supersede the purview and enactment of American law. It is flush with privilege and cash. Obama’s “reset” friends are Security Council heavyweights. And the UN secretary general commands the prestige that comes with the numinous accoutrements of supposedly beneficial authority.
This is obviously where Obama belongs, an office in which he can exercise his talent for mischief unencumbered by a restive Congress, fiscal constraints, and an increasingly fractious electorate. He would be in a position to facilitate legislation that redefines the nature of human rights, more in accordance with Islamic assumptions. He would not need to worry about having to veto Security Council resolutions against Israel so as not to alienate Middle America and Jewish campaign donors. The power he would wield might be indirect; nevertheless, with his wealthy and oligarchic friends, his (unearned) Peace Prize, his pectoral sense of self, his ideological convictions, and his gift for legerdemain and bewitchment, this caster of spells could do enormous damage. It would also permit him to exact retribution upon an ungrateful electorate — as of this writing, his approval rating languishes at 39%. He would, in short, be free to practice his specific brand of thaumaturgy.
I have no doubt that Barack Obama is an accomplished necromancer. Another way of putting it is that he is one of those “lofty barbarians,” analyzed by Lezek Kolakowski in The Presence of Myth. Such a person seeks to conjure what he conceives as “the perfection of humanity,” refusing “to admit the difference between good and evil” as something outside his circle of incantatory dominion. He controls and subsumes all distinctions of value within himself as he proceeds to work his runic will. He decides, invokes, summons, ordains, and finally implements, either in himself or through his subordinates. Whether by accident or intention, the result is always destructive. The ghouls come marching in.
“If Mordo can create enough magical chaos,” says Doctor Strange, “he can open a gate to the Eldritch Elder ones.” This seems a possible scenario and perhaps not even Spidey would be able to bring the Baron down from his hovering eminence.


In the Spring of 2010, when Arizona passed a relatively mild bill (SB1070) that mirrored already existing federal law on illegal immigration, shocked pro-amnesty groups in the neighboring state of Utah formed a coalition to devise a counter-move. These groups were frustrated with the failure of Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform (i.e., amnesty), and were terrified that the growing movement to pass laws against illegal immigration at the state level would spread across the country. The result of the coalition=s efforts was the "Utah Compact" B a masterful blend of political savvy, deception, and psychological manipulation.
On November 11, 2010, the Compact was unveiled in Salt Lake City. The date had been carefully chosen for its symbolic effect. It was the anniversary of the signing of the Mayflower Compact, the mere mention of which causes a surge of emotion to swell the hearts of freedom-loving Americans. The 21 principle sponsors of the Compact ceremoniously signed the document, subtly mimicking the signing of the Mayflower Compact and the U.S. Constitution, a nice touch that cloaked the Compact in patriotism. The Compact reads as follows:
A declaration of five principles to guide Utah=s immigration discussion
"FEDERAL SOLUTIONS: Immigration is a federal policy issue between the U.S. government and other countriesnot Utah and other countries. We urge Utah=s congressional delegation, and others, to lead efforts to strengthen federal laws and protect our national borders. We urge state leaders to adopt reasonable policies addressing immigrants in Utah.
"LAW ENFORCEMENT: We respect the rule of law and support law enforcement=s professional judgment and discretion. Local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code.
"FAMILIES: Strong families are the foundation of successful communities. We oppose policies that unnecessarily separate families. We champion policies that support families and improve the health, education and well being of all Utah children.
"ECONOMY: Utah is best served by a free market philosophy that maximizes individual freedom and opportunity. We acknowledge the economic role immigrants play as workers and taxpayers. Utah=s immigration policies must reaffirm our global reputation as a welcoming and business friendly state.

"A FREE SOCIETY: Immigrants are integrated into communities across Utah. We must adopt a humane approach to this reality, reflecting our unique culture, history and spirit of inclusion. The way we treat immigrants will say more about us as a free society and less about our immigrant neighbors. Utah should always be a place that welcomes people of goodwill."
In analyzing the Compact, it is important to note that a principle of successful salesmanship is to ask a prospective buyer questions which can only be answered "yes."
"Isn't this a beautiful car ...?"
"Wouldn't your wife love driving around in this little dream machine ...?"
"Wouldn't it be great to get gas mileage this good ...?"
With each "yes" answer, it becomes increasingly awkward for the shopper to say "no." Each "yes" strengthens the buyer=s sense of agreement and conditions him to answer "yes" again to the next question.
"Can't you just imagine this car parked in your garage ...?"
"Is this the kind of car you would like to own ...?"
Finally, after piling up the "yes" answers, a good salesman maneuvers the shopper towards the "buy."
"Let's sit down and look at what kind of a deal we can give you ...."
"Let's see if there=s a way we can help you to have this car."
Like the questions posed by the skilled car salesman, the Utah Compact is a series of statements that mostly prompt agreement. You can break it down sentence by sentence and see the flow of "yes" responses, or areas of agreement. Starting with the first statement of the first principle:
"Immigration is a federal policy issue between the U.S. government and other countries." (agreed)
"We urge Utah's congressional delegation, and others, to lead efforts to strengthen federal laws and protect our national borders." (yes, agreed)
"We urge state leaders to adopt reasonable policies addressing immigrants." (Yes. Who on earth would want UNreasonable policies!)
In the second principle of the Utah Compact (Law Enforcement), the statements become more complex, each statement proposing multiple areas of possible agreement or disagreement. But the answers, of course, are all "yes." Thus, the flow of pleasant and agreeable "yes" responses continue and start to pile up. The pace and momentum subtly increase as the "yeses" come faster now. The inclination toward agreement becomes stronger with each "yes."
"We respect the rule of law [yes] and support law enforcement=s professional judgment [yes] and discretion. [yes]
"Local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities [yes], not civil violations of federal code. [Hmmmmm]
For the first time, a statement that might elicit a "no" response appears. But the many prior agreeable statements have created an expectation that the response will be "yes" again. Someone moving quickly, caught up in the repetitive pattern and the increased momentum of the rapidly accumulating "yes" responses might easily speed right on past with another "yes." The Compact has been carefully structured to condition the reader to do just that.
Furthermore, the average person does not know the clear difference between a "criminal activity" and a "civil violation of federal code." If you asked someone to explain the difference, they might offer "murder" or "robbery" as a criminal act and a "traffic violation" as a civil [though it's not a federal] offense. And the difference between those two are immense. Murder and robbery are, in the mind of a reasonable person, much more egregious offenses than failure to use a turn signal. So, for anyone sharp enough to even pause at this statement in the Utah Compact, the most obvious answer would still be a "yes." The statement is weighted both psychologically and intellectually in favor of a "yes" response.
This statement is deceptive, however, because it implies that entering or staying in this country illegally is always a civil violation when, in fact, it is only sometimes a civil violation; at other times it is a criminal violation. The reader, however, is not given that information. Nor is he prompted to think of various alternatives. What, for example, would happen if so-called "minor" civil laws, such as traffic laws, were not enforced? We would have chaos and mayhem on our streets! That we have chaos and mayhem on our borders due to lack of enforcement would be a better comparison than the one offered in the Utah Compact but, of course, the authors of the Compact don=t want anyone making THAT comparison. So, they spin the issue with a subtle deception and plant it on the speeding train of "yes" answers, knowing that only a lawyer with specialized training who has a deeper understanding of the difference between criminal and civil law, the appropriate divisions between state and federal law, and the implied roles of state legislatures and the federal Congress in creating laws, not to mention the proper role of law enforcement in enforcing the laws, would be able to respond to this statement in a knowledgeable way.
Anyone who gets that far, however, will sense the implied "yes" at the same time that he or she also senses the manipulation. The build-up of "yes" answers has taught the reader that the answer should be "yes." An emotional expectation has been created, not through the presentation of facts but through a subtle, repetitive pattern of structured responses. Though the reader will likely not recognize the manipulation, he may feel manipulated. He will experience cognitive discomfort but, since he lacks the expertise to explain why he would answer "no," he will almost always choose to live with the discomfort and read on. His "yes" will perhaps be a begrudging, cautious "yes." Nevertheless, it will most likely be a "yes."
The psychological ingeniousness of that statement doesn't end there. Responding "yes" to the statement brings the reader into a position of agreement with the pro-amnesty, pro-open-borders camp. Removing enforcement of illegal immigration from local law enforcement and restricting it to the federal authorities is one of the most prominent arguments of the pro-amnesty crowd. A person who has been a supporter of state-level enforcement of the laws against illegal immigration will recognize this and will feel backed into a corner. He now finds himself in an awkward situation. With the heavy pressure toward a "yes" hanging over him, he feels he would almost have to justify a "no" response. But since he probably can=t, he simply feels foolish. He will feel embarrassed at the prospect of expressing support for local enforcement over federal enforcement. It now seems unreasonable to hold onto the idea of enforcement. All of these thoughts and feelings occur within seconds. Without presenting a single fact, the Utah Compact ingeniously yanks the foundations of the pro-enforcement person right out from under him.

The next principle in the Utah Compact is on families, and contains three statements that are all easily answered "yes," further strengthening the reader=s sense of agreement and his inclination to answer "yes." The statements on families are followed by the fourth principle -- economic policy. This was carefully placed in the 4th position of the list of principles, because this is the principle that would most likely generate "no" answers. The economic reasons (cheap labor and increased profits) that cause business groups to support amnesty and open borders are not appealing, to say the least. But each agreement with the statements in the 1st three principles strengthened the inclination toward agreement with the next statement. By the time he reaches the 4th principle, the reader is finding the Utah Compact to be such a pleasant document that it is now difficult to disagree with it. He will now actually want to agree with the Compact because consistency and agreement are more comfortable than disagreement. He has begun to embrace the Compact.
Many people could not actually define what a "free-market philosophy" is in the 4th principle and would not know that nowadays it embraces the concept of open borders and amnesty, but that statement sounds pretty good (after all, it has the word "free" in it). Besides, the reader will be inclined to dismiss any uncertainties that arise as he reads the 4th principle. After so many "yes" responses, he will be unconsciously seeking agreement now, not disagreement. He is already sold on the Compact and won=t want to change course at this point.
And so it goes, right on through the 5th principle which contains only agreeable, benevolent statements and brings the reader to a satisfying conclusion. The 5th principle appeals to one's sense of patriotism and charity with carefully selected words like "free society" and "humane approach" and "spirit of inclusion" and "people of good will," pulling the reader into the Compact's kindly embrace as warm feelings wash over him. The 5th principle affirms the reader's feeling that the Utah Compact is a statement of friendly principles and that he certainly cannot disagree with it. Like a fly caught in a spider's web, none will escape from the sticky, smarmy grasp of the Utah Compact, though it will leave a bad taste in the mouths of some who sense that they have been "had" but can't quite explain why.
Political movements tend to adopt words and slogans that symbolize their goals. "Peace" was one such word that, when used by the anti-war protestors of the 1960s, meant much more than the dictionary definition. It meant "Stop the war!" and "Get out of Vietnam!" In our time, "Life!" B the battle cry of anti-abortion activists -- is likewise packed with meaning. It can mean "Unborn babies are alive!" or "Stop abortions!" or "Pass the parental consent bill!"
Understanding the importance of co-opting the language and developing such symbolism, leaders of the pro-amnesty, pro-open-borders movement have taken over certain words to symbolize their side of the argument. They now own words like "compassion" and "humane" and "comprehensive" and "families." When the pro-amnesty crowd shouts "Compassion!" everyone knows that it means "Give us amnesty!" and "Pass comprehensive immigration reform!" When they yell, "Don't split up families!" it also means amnesty, even though most family splits are caused when the father leaves his family behind in the home country to illegally enter the U.S., and family reunification would more often be accomplished by sending the father back home.
The Utah Compact never mentions "compassion" although it is implied, and uses the word "humane" only once. That, however, is enough. The news conference that introduced the Utah Compact was filled with statements about "compassion," "love," "humane treatment," and "families." Editorials on the Compact in the days that followed continued the messages of compassion and humane treatment and plenty of mention of that magical word "families." Activists on both sides of the argument intuitively understood what it all meant. Humane treatment = compassion. Compassion = amnesty. The mental process required to make the translation takes a mere fraction of a second but the message is clear and strong. The Utah Compact advocates amnesty.
The beauty of the Utah Compact is that it presents not one single fact either pro or con related to the substantial and complex issues of illegal immigration. Oozing affability, reeking with Christian virtue, impossible to dispute, the Compact is congenial and smiling as it hums its siren song, takes the reader by the hand, and walks him down the path to the very conclusion that the Compact's authors wanted him to reach. The Utah Compact whispers amnesty.
Most readers will be totally unaware of the subtle psychological traps in the Utah Compact. They will read the Compact and reach a conclusion — most likely in favor of amnesty — but will be unaware that the conclusion they have reached will not be freely made. It will not be based on a truthful, straightforward presentation of facts and arguments. Their conclusion will be the result of coercive psychological tricks and subtle mental manipulation. The Utah Compact is a seductive piece of political propaganda.