Saturday, January 16, 2010

Genetics and the Jews

My father sent me this JLTV video about John Entine's book "Abraham's Children". Geneticists' findings include the following:

-Arthur Koestler's claim that Ashkenazie (eastern European) Jews are descended from the Khazarian Empire is probably false.
-75-80% of Jews on the father's line have Middle Eastern genes and 50% of Jews on the mother's line have them. The difference is due to intermarriage when Jewish males settled in foreign areas, for instance, during the Roman era.
-70-80% percent of people named "Cohen" and so claim to be descended from Moses's brother Aaron have six genetic markers that trace back 3300 years, consistent with this claim.
-the African Lemba tribe in remote southern Africa that practice a variant of ancient Judaism have the same genes. More than 50% of the Lemba priests have the same Cohen markers that trace back 3300 years. Plus, the chief of the tribe is named Hymie Horowitz (just kidding).
-Jews have IQs that average between 7 and 17 points above the world average. If looking at verbal-only, Jews average an IQ 23 points higher than average.
-Into the 1400s Ashkenazie Jewry numbered between 15,000 and 25,000 people. Today, they are 80% of world Jewry despite a large percentage having been killed in the holocaust (most American Jews are Ashkenazie).
-The same gene that causes 40 Jewish-specific diseases may also cause higher IQs. If someone has two then it can result in disease, but if someone has one then it can result in higher IQs.

I can't help but wonder if the most virulent kinds of anti-Semitism that appeared in eastern Europe and Germany are related to the rapid growth of Ashkenazie Jewery between 1400 and 1900. In 1400 there were at most 25,000 Ashkenazie Jews in eastern Europe. In 1900 there were many millions.

Friday, January 15, 2010

200th Blog on New National Association of Scholars Site

Ashley Thorne, the coordinator of the National Association of Scholars blog, to which I have been contributing, just sent this message:

>Hi Professor Langbert,

>Hope your semester is off to a good start. I just wanted to let you know that your blog entry on “The Price of Academic Integrity” was the 200th post of the NAS blog. Thanks for all your good blogging!

- Ashley

Ashley adds that:

>Since creating the blog in late September, we have posted over 200 entries and received nearly 10,000 views. We’ve been linked by Joanne Jacobs, the History News Network, Campus Reform, and Minding the Campus.

>We have touched on many different themes, from student learning outcomes to online education to Climategate. Our most frequently used categories are Diversity, Political Correctness, Sustainability, and Academic Standards. There are now 27 of us signed up as authors, with 8 or 9 contributing regularly.

If you haven't seen the NAS blog yet, please take a look. They've got a great list of contributors, including Candace de Russy. NAS is a wonderful organization.

I've reproduced my blog on "The Price of Academic Integrity".

The Price of Academic Integrity

>News Busters, the blog of the Media Research Center, reports that the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) has stated that Michael Mann, a Penn State climatological researcher involved in the recent e-mail scandal, received “$541,184 in economic stimulus funds last June to conduct climate change research.”

NCPPR has issued a press release criticizing the Obama administration “for awarding a half million dollar grant from the economic stimulus package to Penn State professor Michael Mann, a key figure in the Climategate controversy.” The release states that Professor Mann is currently under investigation by Penn State Univesity “because of activities related to a closed circle of climate scientists who appear to have been engaged in agenda-driven science.”

Republican Excitement Grows

My in-box is overflowing with messages from friends about a number of developments, bad and good. My neighbor, a life long Democrat, just sent me this message about the Democrats' and Obama's yucky health care reform courtesy of Newsmax:

>Dear Reader:

>Time is critical. Americans all over the country are fed up with the Obama administration. They don't want his radical healthcare program.

Citizens from states like Massachusetts, Nebraska, Florida and others are rising up as never before.

Even in liberal states such as Massachusetts citizens are showing their outrage over the Obama-Pelosi-Reid alliance and it's dismal record at creating jobs and inability to protect us against terrorism...

...You can help this effort by Going Here Now.

The site to which you are directed shows this video:

The famously dynamic and lovely Raquel Okyay, congressional candidate and leader of southern Ulster County, reminds us that:

>A win on Tuesday for Scott Brown, needless to say, will be a big win for the Republican party and a win for those of us fighting against healthcare "reform".

I urge you to do whatever you can to help Scott Brown win.

>Read my commentary here.

In her blog Raquel notes:

>One does not have to be a political mastermind to see what is happening in America today. Glenn Beck’s claim that the Obama administration’s goal is to transform the Nation in a way that mirrors Hugo Chavez’ take- over of Venezuela, indeed, has validity. The amount of government control and over the top spending that the Obama White house and the Democrat controlled Congress have assumed in one year is unprecedented and will take many years to salvage...

>State Senator Scott Brown is running his campaign against “wasteful government spending and higher taxes.”

>...The American people are angry that the President promised that these negotiations would be aired on C-span at least eight times on the campaign trail, and so far, nothing. No one really knows what the final bill will entail, but everyone knows it will raise health insurance costs, and it will ration care.

Phil Orenstein, up and coming party leader of Queens County, New York forwarded a link to the Go West Blog, which "proudly supports Lt. Col. Allen West's candidacy for Congress." West is running in Florida and is a wonderful candidate.

Glenda McGee attended the Kingston, NY Tea Party meeting on Monday night and George Phillips's announcement of his congressional candidacy yesterday. McGee is fighting cap and trade and keeps getting her photo on newspaper covers. One article was about the Tea Party from Oklahoma and they put her picture on the cover even though she lives in the Town of Olive!

Even President Barbara Bowen of the left wing faculty union of the City University of New York, the Professional Staff Congress, and her lieutenant Mariah Berger, have sent around e-mails urging the union's left-to-liberal college faculty membership to make calls in opposition to the bogus health care bill's tax on union benefit plans:

>Dear Professor Langbert,

>Thank you for your response. In her email yesterday President Bowen urged PSC members to take action in support of fair health care reform and in opposition to the proposal to tax “Cadillac” health plans. This position on health care reform is that of the union as a collective, after debate, discussion and a democratic vote. We understand that not all individual members share these sentiments, however, and we appreciate your comments. We respect and value your views and Barbara Bowen thanks you for taking the time to share them.


>Moriah Berger

That e-mail really tickled me. I doubt that there are more than ten unions more left wing than the Professional Staff Congress. I also doubt that there was a higher Obama-to-McCain voting ratio in any union in the country than in the Professional Staff Congress. But even the Grasmcian Marxists are complaining about Obama now.

Here is the union president's, Barbara Bowen's, e-mail:

>Dear Colleague,

Today is the labor movement’s National Call-In Blitz to demand fairness to working people in health care legislation. I am asking you to take a minute or two to call your US Representative and Senator today. The AFL-CIO’s call-in line will connect you immediately: 1-877-323-5246. Tell your representative that you support fair health care reform but that you oppose the plan for a 40 percent excise tax on so-called “Cadillac” health plans.

Taxing benefits is bad policy and bad politics. Benefit cuts and increased consumer costs are NOT health care reform.

The Senate bill would impose an excise tax paid by employers on benefit plans exceeding $23,000 for family coverage and $8,500 for individuals. CUNY faculty and staff would not be immediately affected by the proposed excise tax, as our current healthcare benefits fall below the threshold in the Senate bill. But the benefits tax is designed to apply to more plans, and more people, every year. The cap on benefits grows much more slowly than the rate of medical inflation. A plan under the cap today could easily be over the cap tomorrow and subject to a 40 percent excise tax. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 20% of employee health plans would be affected within 3 years.

The theory underlying this provision is that employers will reduce benefits to avoid paying the excise tax and presumably pay their employees the balance that would have gone to insurance. These increased wages, taxed as regular income, would be used to finance health reform. Assuming employers would voluntarily pass on savings to their workers—a long shot at best—the most likely result will be a reduction in the quality of employee health benefits.

This is a critical week for influencing the final shape of the legislation. PSC members, like millions of other Americans, hoped and fought for single-payer health reform. But this is our chance to make the current bill as fair as we can make it. Please call or email today:

We are now closer to reform than we’ve been in generations. We can’t stop now.

In solidarity,
Barbara Bowen

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

John Stuart Mill and the Origin of Secular Humanism and Social Justice Education

I am reading John Stuart Mill's short book Utilitarianism. He is not the philosopher that Henry Sidgwick was, but I believe Mill's book had a great impact on the history of ideas, both on progressive education (and the notion of social justice education) and on Progressivism aka "state activist liberalism" aka social democracy. Mill refers to Comte and I will have to read his work too. Note this quote from pages 49-50 of Utilitarianism:

"In an improving state of the human mind, the influences are constantly on the increase, which tend to generate in each individual a feeling of unity with all the rest; which feeling, if perfect, would make him never think of, or desire, any beneficial condition for himself, in the benefits of which they are not included. If we now suppose this feeling of unity to be taught as a religion, and the whole force of education, of institutions, and of opinion directed as it once was in the case of religion, to make every person grow up from infancy surrounded on all sides both by the profession and by the practice of it. I think that no one, who can realize this conception, will feel any misgiving about the sufficiency of the ultimate sanction for the Happiness morality.* To any ethical student who finds the realization difficult, I recommend as a means of facilitating it, the second of M. Comte's two principal works, the Systeme de Politique Positive. I entertain the strongest objections to the system of politics and morals set forth in that treatise; but I think it has superabundantly shown the possibility of giving to the service of humanity, even without the aid of belief in a Providence, both the physical power and the social efficacy of a religion; making it take hold of human life, and colour all thought, feeling and action in a manner of which the greatest ascendency ever exercised by any religion may be but a type and foretaste; and of which the danger is not that it should be insufficient, but that it should be so excessive as to interfere unduly with human freedom and individuality."

*By the "happiness morality" Mill means utilitarianism.

The Ineluctable Violence of New York Times Democrats

The Other McCain blog (h/t larwyn) features the above Boston Herald photograph of Democratic staffer Michael Meehan assaulting Weekly Standard reporter John McCormack. Also see the discussion on Greg Sargent's blog, Plum Line and the photo as it originally appeared in the Boston Herald.

Weekly Standard
, a corporatist, neo-conservative publication, is one of a small handful of Republican news sources. There is mostly overlap between the Democrats' progressivism and Weekly Standard's version of Republicanism. But Democrats become violent at the slightest ideological divergence. Republicans are to be hated, even when they aren't that different. Why?

Socialism, to include social democracy, is inherently violent. One cannot re-distribute wealth without violence. If anyone disputes the Times's socialist ideas when turned into law by zealous Democrats, they must comply anyway or be thrown in jail for tax evasion. The essence of socialism is that those who disagree cannot be permitted to live on their own terms. They must comply, pay and obey, or be incarcerated. It is a small step from the violent, socialist ideology of the New York Times to Michael Meehan's violence pictured above.

American conservatism in its present, non-European form (in the 18th and 19th century the term conservatism referred to supporters of monarchy, state establishment of religion and the like) began in 1908, with the election of Progressive William Howard Taft. Democratic Party style social democracy began earlier, with the Populists and with William Jennings Bryan, who first ran for president in 1896. The conservative version of Progressivism claims that because of their superior intelligence, government bureaucrats and bankers (they seem to seriously believe this, although I've never been certain) must decide for everyone else.

In contrast, social democrats believe that democracy should rule, and that the meaning of democracy is that bureaucrats and bankers should make decisions for everyone else. The difference between "conservatives" and social democrats was always small. Both ideologies grew out of Progressivism and both are opposed to libertarianism, the view of Sam (but not John) Adams, Jefferson, Jackson and Cleveland.

Main Street Republicans have scratched their heads for 100 years as to why people like Bush call themselves "conservatives" and then act like corporatist Democrats. The reason is that they were the original corporatist Democrats. The Democrats copied them and upped the rhetoric a bit by untying the hands of the Fed to give unlimited subsidies to the money center banks and Wall Street. The Democrats both out-corporatized and out-rhetorically-democratized the Republican Progressives. No wonder they hate each other. In rational language, the two are a twin headed hydra.

Michael Meehan is a good Democrat. He is violent. He is politically correct. He has a short time horizon. Let us hope that Scott Brown wins. But let us not deceive ourselves about for whom we vote. I know nothing about Scott Brown. But if we continue to allow Progressives to dominate the conservative movement, we will continue to see the same Rockefeller-Bush version of New York Times socialism.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Global Warming Fanaticism Is Junk Science

A couple of years ago I heard Al Gore on a radio program in New York City. On the program, the announcer and Gore engaged in hysteria as well as misapplication of the concept of science. The left has long claimed to represent the "educated" point of view but has consistently refused to face facts and has consistently avoided to apply the principles on which science is based to its own ideas. It is therefore accurate to say that the ideas that appear in the New York Times are not representative of the views of educated or enlightened people but rather of fanatical cranks.

Global warming well illustrates this principle, although the attitudes of the cranks toward socialism, urban renewal, centralized economic planning, economic regulation, welfare, taxation and a host of other issues on which they insist on views that contradict available evidence would serve equally well.

This morning a reader named B Van Gerven raised this question on my blog concerning global warming. I had blogged that the Al Gore/man-made global warming enthusiasts do not engage in science because they refuse to state a basis on which the claim that the world is getting warmer can be proven false. In fact, the world has not been getting warmer for the past couple of years, and a German scientist has offered a contending theory about the effects of oceanic phenomena on climate that would suggest a period of global cooling. The reader claims:

>The AGW theory is not falsifiable. Many perfectly valid scientific theories are not falsifiable, f.i. “Smoking increases the risk of getting lung cancer” is a statement that is not falsifiable, but I think few scientists – and ordinary people – will doubt that it is true.

>A scientific theory is is generally accepted by the scientific community, not because it hasn’t been falsified, but because it explains and predicts very well the phenomena that occur.

As I responded to the reader, the claim that (a) because scientists believe something then (b) they are engaging in science fails to accurately depict what science is. B Van Gerven is incorrect that the claim that smoking causes cancer is not falsifiable. It certainly is. Karl Popper's "Logic of Scientific Discovery" outlines the meaning of the term "falsifiable". Peter Blau, the famous Columbia University sociologist of the 1950s-1980s introduced me to this concept when I took his sociological theorizing course in 1988, right before he retired.

Van Gerven expresses a common misconception of how science ought to work. A scientific theory doesn't necessarily predict phenomena. For example, the astronomical theories of cosmology and cosmogony as well as archaeology and biology, anatomy and many other disciplines do not make predictions. Very little in the social sciences makes predictions. Economics, for instance, is incapable of making predictions beyond the most general and long term level. It can predict that more money will cause inflation, but it cannot predict how much inflation or when or whether given that all things are not held equal what will happen.

Popper defines falsifiability as the use of evidence to contradict theory. That is, in fact, how science works. Theories can never be proven true, they can only be proven false or falsified.

In the case of smoking, falsifiability works like this. A scientist states the hypothesis that smoking causes cancer. Data are collected. The data show that smokers, controlling for all other determinable variables, die sooner, have higher rates of heart attacks and the like. This is consistent with the hypothesis. But this evidence does not "prove" the hypothesis because the researcher may have omitted controls. Theories are never finally proven.

Let us say that a study found that if one controls for sun spots, then the significance of the smoking factor disappears. That would falsify the smoking hypothesis. Smoking-causes-cancer theorists then have to show that the sunspot factor does not dominate the smoking factor. If several studies found that sun spots dominate the smoking effect, then the smoking factor would be falsified.

As Thomas Kuhn shows in his classic "Structure of Scientific Revolutions" science moves to new paradigms not because of the absolute falsehood of the old paradigm but because of the old paradigm's inability to explain contradictions.

Knowledge in the layman's sense is not science. You know that when a sign says "Trenton" that if you take the exit you are likely to arrive at points south if you are leaving New York City. But that is not science. Aristotle believed that appearances lead to knowledge, and he was right, in my opinion, with respect to human decision making. It becomes evident as you examine data in depth that it is extraordinarily hazardous to say anything with certainty. The scientific mind is a questioning mind.

As Popper points out, science depends on falsifiability because scientists must always be open to the possibility that they are wrong. In true science, contradictions inevitability appear as data are adduced. Theories lend order to observed data, but are never complete. As contradictions accumulate, new models are proposed. If the process of academic science inhibits the introduction of new models excessively, then it is inhibiting science. It is true that "normal science" makes greater progress than revolutionary science, so it is generally the case that paradigm shifts are few and far between. But with respect to a theory like global warming that has little evidence, insisting on its accuracy without considerable review is not science.

The claim that science is "settled" is inherently anti-scientific, as a reading of Popper and Kuhn will clearly show. In the case of global warming, it is not merely anti-scientific but reflective of a displacement of science by politics. It is similar to the claim of Trofim Lysenko in the Sovient Union that acquired characteristics are inheritable. Although science has falsified this claim, the Soviet government enforced it, throwing into prison any who disagreed with it. American leftists follow a similar strategy of their Soviet role models and insist on the valididity of a theory that lacks credibility, saying that it is "settled".

The scientific community's acceptance of theory is meaningful only to a point. Unless contradictions are being reconciled to the theory, then the risk of scientism and fanaticism appears. This is the case of global warming theory, where scientists, eager for grants and political acceptance, have played to the mob, debasing their claim to legitimacy. The recent discovery of e-mails attesting to my claim made early last year, suggests that a large part of the geological community is a disgrace.

Joe Toscano's "We the People" Blog

Joe Toscano is a former currency trader from Brooklyn (a Brooklyn College alum from the 1970s) who is currently a member of the Ulster County Republican Committee and resident of the Town of Ulster. He is also a public relations expert and consultant. He has started a new blog, "We the People 4 ever". at

In one of his opening blogs, Joe notes that:

"Our elected officials are detached, the press, disengaged and 'Paid Political Pundits' are so full of useless information, (their own opinions), they make the Talking Heads look like heroes."

Well put. He adds that

"It’s nice to see the banking sector made out ok though, did any of you notice an improvement in your financial position? I read in the Wall Street Journal that Goldman Sacks had it’s best year ever! Was 2009 one of your best years financially?"

I've been wondering about that too! I am very excited about Joe's blog and am looking forward to his further work.

Frightening US Deficits

Peter Degraaf of Kitco shows the following chart of US deficits since 1900. Degraaf obtained the chart from the St. Louis Fed. It does not appear that these numbers are corrected for inflation (that is, they reflect nominal rather than real dollars) and therefore understate the debt during World War II. However, the graph paints a frightening picture. Those who have faith in the Fed's or the banking system's ability to "mop up" (whatever that rather odd phrase, which has been used by numerous Fed advocates and apologists, really means) newly created money might be able to describe precedents for the current situation and examples of how central banks performed well. There are numerous examples of how past central banks have performed badly, of course. I do not believe that there are many where central banks, including the performance of the Fed in the 1930s and the 1970s, long performed well.

Interview with Governor Gary Johnson

I will be doing an interview of Gary Johnson next week, according to his media relations director, Sue Winchester. Johnson is the former governor of New Mexico and is running for president. He was mentioned by David Brooks of the New York Times as a potential presidential candidate of the Tea Party movement.

China Now Tells You How Rich You Are

Kitco links to a Toronto Globe and Mail article that says that today's fall in the price of gold and the stock market and rise in the dollar is due to a speech by Pen Junming, who works in China Investment Corp., a sovereign asset fund. The Globe and Mail quotes Junming:

“'I think the dollar is at its bottom now. There will be very limited space for the dollar to drop further,' he told an academic forum. 'The yen is what, I think, has the worst outlook. The yen will continue to drop, unlike the dollar, which will not serve for long as a source of funding carry trades.'"

Carry trades involve hedge funds borrowing at low rates in the US and investing around the world at higher rates. Hedge funds have used much of the new money pumped into the economy by the Federal Reserve bank during the Bush and the Obama administrations in this way.

When, later that day Junming said that these views were not official and were strictly personal, the dollar gave back some of its gains. Mr. Peng added:

“'China should have the right attitude about investing in gold. There is no urgent need for China to increase gold buying for now, because prices are high.'”

Yesterday, I bragged of my coin flip method of deciding how to invest in the short term. Today I have a more substantive explanation for staying in dollars for now. Please note, however, that I do not think that Chinese bankers are particularly adept at investment (no more adept than Americans, anyway). They bought into US bonds when the dollar was far stronger than today, and rode a Cyclone roller coaster ride down. The article states that two thirds of China's sovereign assets of 2.27 trillion dollars are invested in dollars.

"Lou Jiwei, CIC's chairman, has been careful not to say much about how the fund invests its money. In October 2009, he said the fund was putting more money into commodities, real estate and infrastructure to hedge against medium- and long-term inflation and a fall in big currencies."

Thus, Pen's statement might reflect a change in position associated with last year's increase in the gold price. The article goes on to say that US asset managers continue to dominate the fluctuations in the dollar. Nevertheless, the Chinese have so entwined themselves in the dollar that their opinion matters. If the US ignores their advice, then we risk a sell off.

I have previously blogged about my fear of a major confrontation with the Chinese occurring in the next (22nd) century. I don't think the dollar will last that long. It should give Americans pause that the purchasing power of their dollars has, under the Federal Reserve Bank's and banking system's regime, become dependent upon the opinions and desires of foreign governments. Unless you idiosyncratically believe that the motives of the Chinese government coincide with your interests, you might wonder about the desirability of a system that has made you dependent on the opinions of a dictatorially and still-communist run nation with a culture very different from our own. I have always loved Chinese culture and the Chinese people, but frankly, I think the Americans have lost their minds.

Al Gore Freezes to Death Due to Global Trend

Not really, but the truth is not far off. My former student and currently third year law student at Cardozo Law School, Pini Bohm, sent me this link to David Rose's article in the UK Daily Mail about the current trend toward GLOBAL COOLING. The article states:

"According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado, Arctic summer sea ice has increased by 409,000 square miles, or 26 per cent, since 2007 – and even the most committed global warming activists do not dispute this."

Apparently, none of the political advocates of the global warming theory care whether the factual evidence supports or refutes their claims. The Mail article quotes Professor Mojib Latif, who has developed evidence that a cooling trend originating from oceanic depths will reduce temperatures. Latif finds that we are now in an incipient global cooling trend:

"Last week, as Britain froze, Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband maintained in a parliamentary answer that the science of global warming was ‘settled’...

"Prof Latif, who leads a research team at the renowned Leibniz Institute at Germany’s Kiel University, has developed new methods for measuring ocean temperatures 3,000ft beneath the surface, where the cooling and warming cycles start.

"He and his colleagues predicted the new cooling trend in a paper published in 2008 and warned of it again at an IPCC conference in Geneva last September."

As I e-mailed Pinni, I was in the parking lot of the IGA Supermarket in Boiceville, New York this afternoon and someone said aloud "Where's global warming!?#?." It was 28 degrees Farenheit.

About a year ago I blogged that the global warming advocates had not outlined a means by which their theory could be falsified. Falsifiability is the basis of all science. If a theory is not falsifiable it is not science. Ordinarily, falling temperatures as we have seen in the past two years would evidence falsification of the global warming hypothesis, but as the article notes, global warming enthusiasts deny that the presence of global cooling contradicts the claim of global warming.

Perhaps global warming advocates practice a Keynesian version of geology, whereby it can be getting hotter and getting cooler at the same time. According to Keynesian economics we become wealthier by wasting money. There are actually strange people, crackpots, who read the New York Times and believe things like this.

Whither Gold?

Gold went up today just four days after I blogged that I was mostly in cash. I just wrote a column for a popular local newspaper called the Lincoln Eagle that should come out in a few days and I suggested that there are four scenarios that might evolve: (1) bank failures/inflation; (2) deflation/inflation; (3) inflation/stagflation and (4) steady course. Jon Nadler of Kitco had suggested that we were in for a higher interest rate regime like we saw in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but I do not believe that it will be possible for the Fed to successfully execute a deflation or regime of high interest rates followed by a moderate (by 2010 standards, not by 1950 standards) re-inflation as was done under the Carter and Reagan administrations. It is likely that interest rate hikes will lead to stress on banks and additional unemployment. I do not believe that Obama is naive as was Carter to appoint a Fed chairman with the discipline to raise rates. Paul Volcker was exceptional and has not been equaled in the Fed's history. Even there, he reversed his monetarist policy by the early 1980s.

This time around the scenario is much worse. We are at zero (negative real) interest rates and ten percent unemployment. If the Fed raises interest rates then there will be additional unemployment and the Honorable Barney Frank will blow his stack as well as some other things. Moreover, with less reserves the banks will be expected to earn money like everyone else, by working for it, and that will make them unhappy, and the American public cannot allow bankers to be unhappy. It is not part of the American way.

So which way is gold going to go? In situations like this I use the coin flip test. Heads market up short term, tails market down short term. It kept coming up tails, so I'm staying put for now. But not in the long term.

The time for Obama to demand that the Fed clamp down on interest rates was this year. The Fed could have triggered a recession, higher unemployment and higher welfare payments, and the economy would have had two or three years to improve after a year or two of high rates. Instead, Bush handed the banks nearly a trillion dollars, the Fed tripled the monetary base and the money supply is growing like bamboo. Obama added additional handouts, and the likelihood of any sort of fiscal and monetary discipline is now an impossibility for the Messiah of Bloat.

Although I remain in dollars this week, I am watching this closely as my strategy is not wise for the long term.

Kingston New York Tea Party Meeting

Monday January 11. The Kingston, New York Tea Party organization headed by Tom Santopietro met to exchange ideas this evening. I had attended a previous meeting in December but was unable to stay for more than a few minutes. The meeting was productive. It was held in the Town of Ulster Town Hall in Lake Katrine, two short left turns off Route 209.

Overall, I would call the meeting a marked success. Between thirty and fifty people were present. For a cold Hudson Valley January evening that is an achievement. I drove there from the Town of Olive, about 25 miles away.

The initiatives of the Tea Party are worthwhile. Several demonstrations in Washington and elsewhere were discussed, and there was discussion of George Phillips's announcement-of-candidacy for Congress meeting this Thursday. Phillips will be initiating a second candidacy against knucklehead-incumbent Maurice Hinchey.

My chief concern about the Tea Party movement is the likelihood of its cooptation by (a) Progressive or Rockefeller Republican types and/or (b) Democratic Party infiltrators. The Republican Party in New York has so far ignored the Tea Party. In appointing Edward F. Cox chair of the state committee the party has confirmed its self-destructive commitment to the Wall Street Republicanism of Newt Gingrich, Theodore Roosevelt and Nelson Rockefeller. I have several times contacted Cox without any kind of response to my inquiries.

I would like to encourage the Tea Party movement to begin to think about concerted infiltration of the Republican Committees at the town, county and state levels. This takes time but it would seem the best way to overthrow the current commitment to special interest corruption, to the failed education system and to big government.

One of the most interesting points of the evening was the discussion of a committee to try to influence public education in a more productive direction. This is a subject of importance to me and I offered a few suggestions.