Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fed, Bernanke Cover Up Wall Street Welfare Moms' Receipts

A friend who teaches finance at a college near New York City (he doesn't want me to divulge his name because his college has threatened to fire any professor who reads my blog) has forwarded a telling Bloomberg report in response to my blog supporting the reappointment of Ben Bernanke.

Bloomberg reports that the Federal Reserve Bank required AIG to file a report four times, insisting that AIG delete more than 1,000 pieces of information concerning the bank bailouts. According to Bloomberg:

"AIG was asked to limit what the public knew about the Maiden Lane transactions. The payments have been called a “backdoor bailout” by lawmakers because banks, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Societe Generale SA, were reimbursed at 100 cents on the dollar for mortgage-linked securities that had declined in value."

The Fed, for instance, redacted the information that the price AIG paid for default swaps was nearly 100 percent of market value. The aggregate cost of the transaction, according to the article, was over $15 billion. That's alot of poor people's tax money going down the tube of Wall Street's incompetence.

Moreover, a schedule A that included sensitive information was omitted from AIG's filing with the SEC. The article states:

"the SEC said in a Dec. 30, 2008, letter that AIG was 'required to file the entire agreement, including all exhibits, schedules, appendices.' After consultation with the New York Fed, AIG requested confidential treatment for the Schedule A, and on Jan. 14, 2009, AIG amended a filing saying that the 'confidential portion of this Schedule A has been omitted' and provided to the SEC."

AIG says that they were not the ones who wanted the confidentiality. The schedule would have showed the large subsidies being paid to Wall Street. The Fed, acting on behalf of Wall Street, encouraged the SEC to cover up the identities of the bankers.

It is not news that the Fed acts on behalf of Wall Street and the money center banks. It is been providing these welfare moms on Wall and Broad with welfare slips for more than 75 years.

The question to be asked now is whether an appointee of the Democratic Party-dominated Senate would be an improvement over Chairman Bernanke. It is tempting to say that if Harry Reid and his fellow extremists appointed an even more aggressive Fed chairman, with a policy even more expansive than Bernanke's, all hell might break loose, and this could be the death knell of the Fed. But I cannot hope for ill to come to this nation. As bad as Bernanke is, the Democrats seem likely to appoint someone worse unless the group that opposes Bernanke makes their aim clear.

Ulster County Young Republicans Club

Robin Yess and I met this morning with three extraordinary young people, two recent graduates and one a current high school student. The three are eager to start a Young Republicans' Club in Ulster County. There were many, many creative ideas discussed, and I think that they are off to a good start.

Reason Blogs My Interview with Gov. Gary Johnson

Reason Magazine's Jesse Walker just e-mailed that Reason has blogged my interview with Gov. Gary Johnson that appeared on the RLC site. Reason's blog is entitled "Johnson makes some sweet, sweet sounds."

Bernanke and the Deep Blue Sea

The says that a number of senators like Inhofe (R-Okla.), Sessions (R-Ala.), Feingold (D-Wis.), Sanders (I-Vt.), Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Boxer (D-Calif) oppose Ben Bernanke's renomination to head the Fed, while Harry Reid supports his reappointment. Bernanke did what Milton Friedman said the Fed should do in the face of a banking collpase: re-inflate by creating reserves. Right before he died, Friedman wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal applauding the post 2001 re-inflation for eliminating a recession. Seven years later the banking system collapsed because of that re-inflation, and Bernanke followed the same prescription, arguing that the real problem was lack of regulation. There have been banking collapses 50 thousand times and in 50 thousand different circumstances in world history, and to claim that regulating derivatives will in the future eliminate them is a lame joke.

The choice between Bernanke and an appointment by the left-wing extremists in the Senate is a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea. I prefer Bernanke to whatever oceanic corruption the Democrats have on offer. But we need to be thinking of alternatives to the Fed, the source of the current economic problems.

The Federal Reserve Bank was established in 1913 in circumstances that are properly called veiled. Its purpose was expanded in 1932, when the gold standard was abolished, again without public discussion. Since 1913 there has been less innovation, slower growth and, since the ultimate elimination of the gold standard in 1971, a stagnant real hourly wage. The past 42 years of almost no growth in the real hourly wage, the best indicator of the welfare of American workers, contrasts with significant growth between 1800 and 1970. The economy was globalized in the 19th century, labor unions came and went (union density is at the same level now as it was early in the 20th century) but innovation proceeded apace and workers flocked here from all over the world, enjoying generations of upward mobility.

The upward mobility ended in 1970, following the final elimination of restrictions on the Fed's power to print money, the Vietnam War and the explosion of regulation in the 1960s and 1970s, LBJ's "great society". Since 1970, Wall Street's activities have considerably expanded, driving almost all other major corporations out of New York City. Hedge funds have flourished. Income inequality has grown. The S&P 500 has grown from 85.02 in 1970 to 1092 today, nearly 13-fold, while consumer prices have grown 5.5 fold. The difference is a wealth transfer from consumers to stock holders that the Fed and the banking system have facilitated. At the same time, the federal and state governments combined have tripled relative to national income. The Fed has facilitated expansion of non-value-producing sectors, banking, Wall Street, real estate speculation and government, at the expense of the value-producing private sector.

The extreme left politicians who would replace Bernanke would accelerate the Fed's destructive subsidies to the wealthy. Bernie Sanders and Barbara Boxer would like to increase the Fed's rate of monetary expansion, subsidizing destructive government programs along with the bankers they claim to detest. The average American would see their pensions, savings and wages decimated while wealthy politicians, real estate investors, corrupt political cronies and "limousine liberals" wallow in the hot loot, the savings of widows and workers' blood.

Recently, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson told me that he favors competition between monetary regimes. This would be a major improvement as those who prefer to save and receive pensions in modes other than the dollar could do so. As well, insurance companies could begin to provide the option of retirement annuities in gold if they began to lend at interest with repayment in gold.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fox, Gingrich Offer Few Solutions to Government Bloat

Newt Gingrich, the creator of the congressional earmark frenzy that led to the bridge to nowhere and the Republicans' fall from power is on Hannity right now saying that he might run for president. Following Gingrich's performance in the New York 23rd district, I'm surprised he still has the audacity to claim that he favors reduced government. I'm still far from convinced that the Brown victory represents any kind of reaction to Republicrat government. Far from convinced.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

DNC Pickpockets Whine, Plot

I just received this e-mail from the DNC's chairman, Governor Tim Kaine. Kaine claims the Democrats need time to "dissect" the Brown/Coakley race. That's because the Democrats are extremists who are divorced from reality. To anyone who is in touch, the lessons for the Democratic Party extremists are quite clear.

>It goes without saying that we are disappointed by the result of the special election in Massachusetts.

>There will be plenty of time to dissect this race and to apply the lessons learned from it in elections to come. But in the meantime, we will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of the American people, and we will redouble our efforts to lay out a clear choice for voters this November.

Does Scott Brown Matter?

Jim Crum sent me an e-mail about David Horowitz's analysis of the Obama administration, which I enjoyed and copied below. The piece makes great points. But it ignores some history that might help us consider where we ought to be going. The Republicans need to develop a coherent game plan. I am celebrating the victory in Massachusetts like everyone else, but I did not hear anyone ask exactly what it is that Scott Brown believes other than his position on the current health care bill. It seems to me that the century-old Republican approach of voting for anyone who will keep the Democrats out is still in force. Look where it got us. Does Scott Brown believe in freedom, or is he a Progressive?

The missing link in the analysis below is the economic underpinning of the thrust toward socialism and centralization of power. It is not just because of the left. The left is a tool and an ally of more powerful advocates of centralization, the Wall Street-Military-Industrial Complex.

It is in fact the Republican Party that introduced big government. This was done by Theodore Roosevelt between 1901 (the year McKinley was shot) and 1908. The Federal Trade Commission Act was a cornerstone of Roosevelt's attempt to socialize big business. He was supported in this by a significant component of Wall Street and big business, notably JP Morgan's famous associate George Perkins, president of International Harvester. TR backed William Howard Taft in 1908, and Taft betrayed him, preferring to regulate trusts through the Sherman Anti-trust Act (itself an earlier boondoggle). This enraged Roosevelt. He ran against Taft in 1912 as a third party candidate, forcing the election of Woodrow Wilson. Wilson established the federal income tax and the Fed in 1913. The Fed was largely the result of pressure from the money center banks following JP Morgan's death in 1913. There was no public outcry or crisis resulting in its passage, and the law was passed during Christmas week in 1913.

Until Wilson the Democrats had offered the counterpoint to Republican centralization. In the 18th and 19th centuries the centralizers were the party of the rich--the Federalists, Whigs and Republicans. The Republicans were the big government party from Lincoln on. You will notice the real reason for the Civil War--retaining the federal governmental structure. The Democrats (preceded by the Democratic-Republicans) were the party of decentralization and laissez-faire.

In the post civil war era the Republicans adopted the laissez-faire philosophy but with a twist. In the pre civil war Jacksonian era, the Democrats preached the gold standard and laissez-faire as policies that benefit the common man. That was President Andrew Jackson's philosophy. In contrast, in the post Civil War era the Republicans associated laissez faire with the Social Darwinism of Herbert Spencer. This fit their claim that the big businesses that were coming into existence in that era reflected a natural process. As well, the early Republican pushes toward centralization besides the Civil War included: the greenbacks used to pay for it; the legal tender law that paved the way for the Fed; the Morrill and Homestead Acts; the National Banking Act; the Pendleton Act, creating the foundation of a civil service; and the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, which aimed to establish common law remedies against unfair monopolies at the federal level.

It is debatable how natural the growth of big business was. First, virtually all of the railroads were subsidized, as was the Standard Oil Company through a wide range of corrupt deals with state governments (small change in comparison with the corruption associated with Obama and the Fed nowadays). Second, government heavily protected business through very high tariffs, well above the amount needed to entirely fund the federal government. Third, although the Sherman anti-trust Act claimed to limit unfair competition it actually encouraged big business. For a period of about 15 years, the Supreme Court held that all combinations (all big businesses) were illegal. Then, in 1911, the Court abolished Standard Oil but said that big businesses were legal as long as they behaved in a reasonable manner (that they were "good trusts"). But the Sherman Anti-trust Act is unequivocal in saying that agreements between smaller firms are illegal, it is legal for them to combine to form a single company but not legal for them to reach agreements or "collude". Hence, the past 150 years have seen unending centralization and excessively large corporations. Previously, smaller firms engaged in unstable agreements not to raise prices. The Sherman Anti-trust Act illegalized these agreements but made it legal for them to merge.

Martin J. Sklar traces this history very carefully in a monumental book, Corporate Reconstruction of American Capitalism.

The upshot of my long winded discussion is that big business was institutionalized by the Sherman Anti-trust Act, the Fed, and by the impetus to centralize business and government. The New Deal also played a significant role, as did the explosion of regulation in the 1960s and 1970s. By institution of complex regulatory requirements and other legal barriers to entry in fields like banking, insurance, health care and education (note: all failed industries) competition was limited across increasing swathes of the American economy. If you add those four fields to government you probably have between seventy and eighty percent of the economy. And that leaves out numerous other pockets of socialized business in fields like human resource management, employee benefits, pharmaceuticals and food.

The result has been a 40-year-long stagnation in the real wage and increasing income inequality. As well, the widespread, fundamental innovation of the 19th century has drawn to a close, as manufacturing executives think of financial gimmicks and plant relocation as central to their business plans.

The Republican Party not only played a role in the trend toward centralization and socialization--through TR it was the leading impetus that was only supplanted in the 1930s by FDR's even more socialistic plans. The close links between the centrally planned big business core and the Republican Party make it unlikely that the GOP will favor freedom, free markets and decentralization unless there is some kind of radical change.

The role the left has played in this is that it has been allied with the interests of the Wall Street-Military-Industrial Complex. From the beginning, both left-wing socialists and big business Progressives had parallel goals. The Progressives wanted centralization so that economies of scale could be achieved, control rationalized, competition and innovation eliminated (what David Ames Wells called "overproduction" in his 1889 Recent Economic Changes). The left-wing socialist favored socialization because they believed that public control was desirable. Both advocated innovation-stifling, reactionary ideas that in practice were the same.

The good cop/bad cop routine has been quite effective. I do not hear many Republicans considering the possibility that their policies have neatly paralleled those of left-wing socialists. Rather, there is endless chimerical competition and hatred between the "left", which claims to be altruistic and favors centralization for altruistic reasons, and the "right" which claims to favor efficiency and favors centralization for supposedly productive reasons. The two sing the same song with slightly different tunes. Which side, the left represented by Obama or the right represented by Bill Kristol opposed the bail out and TARP? Shall we say both sang the same song? When it came down to giving trillions to the Street, Paul Krugman and George Bush gave each other a nice deep kiss.

The article is right about the media. Despite decades of P/progessive domination of the news media and left-wing control of education the American people retain elements of their Lockean heritage. But the news media has done much to confuse them. They are not asking the questions that they need to. For instance:

Will Scott Brown turn out to be a fighter for freedom, or is he a Roosevelt Progressive? If the latter, does his victory really make a difference?

>Important information for conservative thinkers. I would title this piece “Digest This And Decide For Yourself What To Do”
In the past few days, watching the fiasco for the left that revealed itself in Massachusetts, and realizing that conservatives not only have an opportunity to be heard, they have an opportunity to remake their vision of the fight for the country, I finally watched the Horowitz-produced links sent by a friend (actually a number of friends sent me the same link). Watching the speakers, including Horowitz and Pat Caddell, I realized that Caddell, a “classical Democrat” has a lot to say to conservative independents like me. This is not an "opinion piece." It is a call to action. Let me say first that the Republican Party, as currently organized and in its behavior, is not the avenue to salvation. For whatever reason, Republicans are totally unconscious of the dangers currently revealing themselves from the Congress and the White House. You can't "play nice" with progressive radicals. They don't understand "dialogue." They only understand their own goals. If you don't believe it, take the time to dissect the speeches of Barack Obama, from the campaign trail through his first year as president. They are a web of lies, woven skillfully together, but lies just the same. This is why many laughingly say that any promise by Obama should come with an expiration date. But it's more than that. He believes he can say anything to advance his agenda, and his speech at the Massachusetts campaign the other night makes it clear that he doesn't always stick to either his agenda or his oratory. The "truck" comments that made it to national TV are more revealing than most would think. He has contempt for anyone who is not on his agenda track. Yes, contempt. Revealing also was how little he said about the Democrat candidate for TV, in contrast to how much he said about her opponent. I'm surprised he even got her name right. Obviously, the people of Massachusetts noted it as well.
In the past months, during which for at least nine weeks I was absent, a number of factors are becoming clear. First, the Democrat Party has been “occupied” by radical leftists and their fellow travelling “useful idiots,” who actually believe that George Soros, Barack Obama and all the “czars” are a production of American politics (they aren’t), and second, the American people (independents and Democrats who feel betrayed, mostly) are waking up. A political tsunami may well be building in the heartland against the people who today dominate Washington politics. Thanks to Republican brain-dead policies and actions in the past decade, the real fighters in American politics, the Democrats, have been subsumed by a group of sinister destroyers, operating pretty much as the Capone mob ruled Chicago. The thing to remember is that those behind this movement are deadly serious, and willing to do anything, and I mean anything to achieve their aims, which are to remake American society, economics and culture in the image of Communism. The activists are indefensible and unabashed radicals, following the Rules for Radicals concepts of Saul Alinsky. They openly and publicly admit both their source of strategy and their aims. Americans are finally listening, but it is debatable how much damage can yet be done before these radicals are actually recognized for what their objectives are.
One observation should set the tone: David Horowitz observed in a recent presentation titled “What We Are Up Against” (see link below—I urge everyone who can to watch—it is important), that Alinsky 1) learned his organizing strategies by apprenticing with Frank Nitty, the Capone mob “czar” who ran the operations while Capone went to prison, and 2) Alinsky’s book “Rules For Radicals” was Originally titled “Rules For Revolution.” The book is a Communist/crime syndicate “how-to” book that is currently in use in the White House. This transfer of Chicago-style mob-influenced politics has been carried to a national level right from the streets of Chicago to the White House.
Horowitz, a very concerned and savvy analyst of radical tactics, strategy and agendas, points out that the reason these movement members are so influential today against the rest of the “sleeping nation” is that Democrats in general and radicals especially are fighters. Conservatives, he says, are “builders,” while the radical left are “destroyers.” This explains why the radical left, funded by numerous foundations, billionaires like George Soros, et al, are holding sway. They own big media by virtue of either being influential or by being physical owners of the resource. So, the major media and major educational operations, including a lot of national education policy, are dominated by those who have fabulous sums of money to throw at them. Conservatives, on the other hand, including the Founders of our nation, were and are uncomfortable with political power. It is not for nothing that Ronald Reagan, possibly the most influential conservative of modern times, quipped that “Those who have the most to lose have done the least to prevent its happening.” Another fact that bears on the current situation is that for the most part, it is citizens, born Americans, who are bringing on this movement for change that may (God forbid) actually bring on a civil war of some kind. One quote struck me as appropriate to describe the modus operandi of current leftist progressive members of our government, including the President: “We believe in the power of persuasion, but if that doesn’t work, we also believe in the persuasion of power.” This quote was attributed to Andy Stern, founder of the Weather Underground, current Obama Advisor, and friend of Bill Ayers, who also was a founding member of the Weather Underground and who is an unrepentant sixties terrorist bomber and currently is an influential educator, and who has received more than fifty million dollars from the hard-left Annenburg legacy to promote his radical agendas in education. This is the same Bill Ayers who Obama at first denied knowing “except to recognize in the neighborhood,” but who hosted a fundraising event at his home for Obama’s senatorial campaign. Additionally, John Holdren, an Obama “czar” has echoed George Soros’ words in saying, publicly, that “we have to deconstruct capitalism.” In the context of what is being done in the Congress and from the White House by presidential order, this makes clear that exploitation of energy resources, advancing American exceptionalism in any way, or even considering that Americans have to have time to “digest” some of the radical and rushed steps being taken by a radical dominated Congress and White House, are not in the cards. These people are not going to give up easily. In view of the Massachusetts election last night, where Ted Kennedy’s seat was, literally, returned to the people of Massachusetts, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, announced that she was not concerned about it. I believe her words were “We are going to have health care, regardless.” She is probably right. The structure for forcing the immensely unpopular bill, which is getting every day more unpopular, is still intact, whether there is a sixtieth senate vote for it or not. By parliamentary procedure, it can still pass. Remember this: They don’t think they can fail. They are willing to go the whole nine yards to pass this, and other bills like cap-and-tax, and other revenue producing penalizations of the American taxpayer for the advancement of elite political agendas, whether they retain the Congress in November or not. This is the dedication of radical progressive Democrats. We the citizens of the United States have to understand the stakes. They don’t believe we do.
Let me be clear here: Were it not for Glenn Beck’s use of Horowitz’ site listed below , Van Jones would still be the “green jobs czar” with access to the White House. [An aside here: Those of us who have worked in government know about security clearances and access to classified information. During the “What We Are Up Against” broadcast, this question came up, and the answer seems to be that the FBI background checks that have been for years mandatory to have a White House Pass were summarily suspended by the Obama team. That means that all these radicals, who are advisors to the President currently in the White House, have access to both the White House and the President without ever having had their access scrutinized by any type of security procedure. Given the access from the White House to extremely classified information, we have to deduce that the Obama Team, including Barack Obama himself, has what can only be called a cavalier attitude towards both White House and national security. I consider this a grave oversight on the part of the government.] And all I can say is “Thank God for Glenn Beck. He has been a voice crying in the wilderness, but he just passed his first anniversary at Fox News, and continues his crusade on talk radio. And he’s “just an ordinary guy.” But he’s a patriot and a concerned American.
During the program, Democrat analyst and former presidential advisor Pat Caddell, who has been featured prominently on Glenn Beck’s recent analysis of the “czar” program, pointed out that the Apollo Alliance, and all “green jobs” militancy in the current administration, as well as ACORN and SEIU are a cover for radical operations. The green jobs hype is being used as a patronage system for Communists, in and out of government.
In the resources offered below, I have cited a couple of things that might help folks who read this brief attempt at warning to understand the gravity of our nation’s situation. This is not a game. These people are at war with our way of life and our economic system. They want to replace it with something else, and that something has already failed endlessly around the world in the last century. They hate American exceptionalism. Barack Obama is the first president in American history who does not believe that the United States is an exceptional occurrence in world history. He thinks we should all be part of a global “whole.” This is the Communist International talking. He is their mouthpiece—in the highest office in the land. This, to the ComIntern, is the opening campaign of a war of global conquest. They’ve been waiting for it since Stalin blew them off taking power in the USSR. It is the ideology of totalitarian communitarianism.
Conclusion: If we are going to save our country from this debacle, and if we are going to preserve any semblance of our way of life for those who come after, it now seems to me that we are going to have to get “engaged” in the process like never before. From the local to the national, concerned citizens of all parties are going to have to unite against this sinister attempt to subvert our entire nation and re-direct the largest economy in history off the precipice.
I can’t say it any stronger.
Bob B

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Johansen Alleges Town Democrats Violated His First Amendment Rights

Last fall, Chris Johansen, chair of the Town of Olive Conservative Party, raised the issue of the Town of Olive's subsidization of the Town Democratic Party Committee. The Town covered various costs of the Democratic Party fundraiser. As well, Johansen's Conservative Party backed the Republican rather than the Democratic Party candidate for the first time in many years.

I just received this message from Chris (also, h/t Glenda McGee) alleging that the Town building inspector, John Ingram, said that he was initiating an enforcement action against Chris in retaliation for Chris's complaints about the illegal Town subsidies to the Democratic Party:

>Well folks if you think you can poke the Emperor in the eye and get away with it you are wrong. Today the towns code enforcement officer ( John Ingram ) proved he wants to get down on his belly and slither in the slime with the rest of those toothless snakes. He advised me that he was starting a enforcement action against my wife's (Cindy's) business because ( "if you going to point the finger you first have to be clean yourself." )

>He must be alluding to Cindy's writing in the press or my complaint about the town of Olive supporting the Olive Dem. party.

>I've always felt the best defense is a good offence so they now have stomping my feet, they want to watch that some snakes don't get crushed.

My Interview with Governor Gary E. Johnson

My interview with Governor Gary E. Johnson is up on the Republican Liberty Caucus site at

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Brown 52% Coakley 47%...But Will Dem Crooks Cheat?

Martha Coakley just conceded. There is a breath of fresh air tonight, after less than a year of Obamanable government. I'm listening to Sean on Fox for the first time since November and felt that light relief when spring sets in and the snow melts. Actually, we're having a thaw in the Catskills this week too, so maybe we're having an early spring. There's slush all over the place, and Scott Brown won. Yay! Several Democrats in a Fox focus group voted for Brown. They are saying the reasons are health care and government overspending.

After the fact, I'm not surprised at Brown's win. Since I noticed the 2:1 Wall Street donation rate to Obama and the bailout became an issue before the 2008 election, I suspected that Obama's only purpose was to put through the bailout and TARP. He did that and then some, and has been backing Ben Bernanke and the Fed every step of the way. Thus, he has fulfilled his mission on behalf of the Wall Street-Military-Industrial Complex. I told Glenda McGee just a few weeks ago that health care and cap and trade would not pass. I still might have been wrong, but it looks like I wasn't.

Three questions for tonight, one you'll hear on Fox, the other two you won't. First, will the Democrats cheat and delay Brown's swearing in? When Kennedy was elected for the first time the swearing in took one day, according to an announcer on Fox this afternoon. Many of the Democrats in the focus group say that they oppose any delay. If the Democrats act like crooks, they will alienate even more Americans.

Second, and you won't hear this on Fox, I'm not convinced that Scott Brown represents anything other than a reassertion of the status quo, specifically, the big government stasis that has dominated America since the 1960s. I hope he'll prove me wrong. But the fundamental confusion about where the country is going may not have changed. Has it?

Third, and confirming the second point, a large percentage of the Democrats still conceptualize the status quo as "centrist". The status quo is not centrist, it is extremist and socialist. America now is a national socialist state. It is not centrist. It is extremely troubling that many Democrats think that it is.

The Democrats in Congress still may force the health care bill through. If so, they are fools. If health care passes, there will be considerable damage to the economy. Cap and trade, which hopefully will die no matter what, is like a sledge hammer to the real economy. Now it is unlikely to gain traction. The Democrats' forcing health reform will do short term damage. Longer term, though, the Democratic extremists (who call themselves centrists) would be banished for decades.

But would the health care bill be repealed under a future Republican majority? The Republicans have a consistent strike-out record with respect to repeal of failed socialist regulation and spending schemes. Does the election of Brown mean this will change, or do Progressives like Newt Gingrich and John McCain still control the GOP?

Letter to Nobel Peace Prize Commitee Suggesting Liquidation of Nobel Prize Endowment

PO Box 130
West Shokan, NY 12494, USA
January 19, 2010

Thorbjørn Jagland
Chair, Nobel Prize Committee
Secretary-general Council of Europe
Henrik Ibsens gate 51
0255 OSLO Norway

Dear Mr. Jagland:

The current tragedy in Haiti, involving the death of 200,000 human beings, calls for a new policy on the part of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee. I urge you to liquidate the Peace Prize endowment and donate it to the Haitian relief effort.

The recent awards of the Peace Prize to Barack Obama in 2009 and to Al Gore in 2007 suggest a failure of imagination. You lack the intellectual and moral competence to award a peace prize, preferring to involve yourselves in American partisan politics, concerning which you are as destructive as were the Swedes in the 1930s and 1940s, who although claiming neutrality, backed the Nazis. The Swedes' most famous intellectual, the national socialist Gunnar Myrdal, was an open backer of Hitler in the 1930s.

Last year, you awarded your prize to a cheap, socialist Chicago politician while he was escalating the war in Afghanistan and re-appointing George W. Bush's defense secretary. But this gaffe followed on the heels of an even worse absurdity: your 2007 award to Al Gore, who has been involved in corrupt self-dealing with respect to cap and trade and other environmental proposals and who has based his anti-scientific arguments on falsified research (as evidenced by internal e-mails now made public).

It is apparent from the Gore and Obama fiascoes that you lack the moral wisdom and the intellectual competence to award a peace prize.

The people of Haitia are suffering. You have used the peace prize to feather Scandinavia's reactionary, socialist self-image rather than to further peace. I urge you to liquidate the endowment and provide Haiti with meaningful aid.


Mitchell Langbert, Ph.D.

Scott Brown Call Centers

Jim Crum e-mailed this message concerning Scott Brown call centers:

Otherwise just type it in on Youtube, literally: brown vs coakley call center. Hit enter.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Academic Anti-Smoking Authoritarianism

I just received this e-mail from an anti-anti-smoking activist named Mike McFadden. According to his biography on the Smoker's Club site, over the past 20 years McFadden has:

"battled with Antismokers on computer bulletin boards, at public meetings, and in private conversations while building up his knowledge base to be able to combat the Antismokers' ever-slicker claims. Finally, just after the turn of the century (hey, c'mon, I can say that!) he settled down to write "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains" and began working with all the Free-Choice groups he could connect with.

"He continues his efforts to help people who find themselves a target of a powerful lobby against which they feel they have no defense and he continues in his belief that spreading truthful information and standing up against social injustice will win out in the end."

McFadden's e-mail is as follows:

Dear Prof. Langbert,

I am a Free-Choice activist fighting the well-funded and highly coordinated SmokeFreeCampuses (SFC) campaign. I have no connection to Big Tobacco or other such commercial interests. See my bio at:

SFC promotes total college campus smoking bans, inside, outside, and eventually even on nearby streets. Their underlying goal is to stigmatize student smokers while making smoking as difficult and uncomfortable as possible: behavioral modification. College administrators are pressured by anti-smoking groups who play the bandwagon argument ("Campuses everywhere are going smoke-free!") while making it appear that there's a strong student demand for total bans. Additionally, while I have no solid documentation to back this up, I believe that in at least some cases administrators have been "bribed" to push campus bans with promises of lucrative grants from groups such as the Robert Wood Johnson and American Legacy Foundations.

I'm writing you, as representing your campus's Libertarians, in the hope that you will see the importance of the issue in a wider framework and will be willing to help those opposed to such bans communicate and coordinate with each other. Free Choice students and faculty are often deliberately made to feel that they are all alone in their opposition and should keep quiet or suffer the consequences of the iron fist hiding within the velvet glove. The "softly, softly" approach to enforcement can quickly morph into hard rules involving suspensions, expulsions, firings, or even the invitation of police enforcement on campus. To those of us who went to college in the 60s and 70s this is nothing short of unbelievable.

I would like to see several things happen:

1) For college Libertarian groups to find at least one representative per campus who is concerned about this issue and willing to communicate with those concerned at other campuses. This sort of sharing of experience/thinking/expertise exists on the antismoking side, but campuses under attack by antismoking forces usually feel totally isolated. I'd like to see that change.

2) For college Libertarian groups to aid in education on this issue. I strongly believe in the benefit of fully informing students on the issues surrounding smoking bans. Ban-promoting sound bites and statements are based largely on lies, and when students are exposed to the facts they will be angry about how they're being manipulated. They'll also gain a better understanding of how the powers controlling the flow of information can manipulate wider political opinion and beliefs. The trick lies in getting material out to them, and that's where I hope you can help. I am attaching a .pdf document I call "The Stiletto.” It is ideal for binding in clear plastic slide-bar-grip term paper covers for reading and distribution. If your campus is presently engaged in a ban dispute and you would like to customize the Stiletto (particularly some of its beginning/ending pages) to your own situation please let me know and I'll send you a copy in .doc format.

3) For college Libertarian groups to develop policies regarding smoking bans as well as a body of educational literature about the issue. The Stiletto's facts are accurate and their presentation is honest, but it is a fairly superficial piece on its own: there is a lot more out there. I'd also be happy to work with any professor developing a course segment dealing with smoking bans: their history, their scientific/medical basis, their psychology, their economics, medical/political ethics, or the simple politics of behavioral/attitudinal manipulation. I could offer my own "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains" at discounted bulk rates, and might also be able to arrange a discount for several other books in the same area: Snowdon's "Velvet Glove, Iron Fist," King's "The War On Smokers," and White's "Smoke Screens."

"Brains" and "Glove" are both solid 400 page presentations, each with over 600 specific references backing up their material and arguments; Brains from a psychological and propaganda-analysis perspective and Glove from a historical base. "War" and "Smoke Screens" are shorter works, but also well backed with references. "War" presents sound arguments against the "Nanny State" and "Smoke Screens" presents arguments critical of the medical condemnation of smoking itself.

Please let me know if this email reached you and if there are others on your campus I should send it to. Feel free to forward it as you wish.

Many thanks and best of luck. I have been greatly distressed to see the hard-fought freedoms of students so lightly surrendered in the name of political correctness. I believe that by working together we can fight this while reminding students that allowing authorities to infringe on the liberties of some opens the door to allowing them to infringe on the liberties of all.

As Supreme Court Justice William Douglas said, “As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there is a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of darkness”.

My response:

I certainly will. As a minor point of disclosure, I served as a consultant to the Tobacco Institute concerning a labor union case against them in the late 1990s. I have a degree in labor relations and co-authored a book on Wellness Programs in Taft Hartley Plans. That said, I would be delighted to help you in any way as I agree whole heartedly that the public health people have gone overboard on this. They are authoritarians who fit a fascist mindset well. I am on Sabbatical and so not on campus this year but would be glad to help you with students' needs in the future. I am unaware of any programs at Brooklyn College although I think that there are smoking designated areas. That seems fair to me as second hand smoke does have a health effect.

There's a very good book by Stanton Peale entitled "Diseasing of America" about the nonsensical claims that things like gambling addiction are diseases. That is related to this issue as well. Let me know what I can do for you. I will put this correspondence up on my blog at

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Governor Gary Johnson

Governor Gary Earl Johnson is a candidate who might represent the Tea Party and libertarian movements in the Republican Party in 2012. Currently, the Tea Party out-polls the Republican Party, so Johnson may be nominated. Because President Obama's popularity has been waning while the Tea Party's has been waxing, Johnson may be elected president. He has had an outstanding record with respect to fiscal conservatism as governor of New Mexico.

Concerning his personal background, Wikipedia writes that "Johnson has advocated libertarian ideals of limited government and non-interventionism." He attended the University of New Mexico, where he worked as a handyman to make ends meet. After graduation, he built a construction firm, Big J Enterprises, which he sold in 1999. According to its website, Big J fabricates, installs and maintains piping, air handling systems and is a specialty mechanical contractor. Its clients include General Mills, Sandia Labs and Los Alamos National Laborartory.

In 1994 Johnson was elected governor of New Mexico at a time when New Mexico was 2 to 1 Democratic. In its 2002 ranking of governors' fiscal performances, the Cato Institute gave Johnson a "B" which means that his score was in the top 15% of the nation's governors (the report is embedded below). The report gave only two governors A's. There were 11 B's, 9 C's, 15 D's and four F's. The score is based on a numerical ranking, but the numerical ranking is likely unfair because Johnson was saddled with a left-wing legislature that he had to aggressively fight. In its qualitative discussion of Johnson's record, the Cato report says that Johnson was part of a "thin crop" of fiscal conservatives in 2002 and:

"On such issues as school vouchers and the right to bear arms, Johnson has shown two strong tendencies: a commitment to individual freedom and a willingness to take a hard look at the evidence. Looking at the facts, he concluded that crime is reduced when law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry guns and that kids would get a better education if their families had a choice of schools...Gary Johnson held off a big spending legislature with three budget votes in 2002."

While governor, Johnson vetoed 750 bills. says:

"Johnson is starting to sound like a mad-as-hell populist with an eye cast on 2012 and the building fury aimed at Washington."

Politico describes Johnson as "the next Ron Paul".

United says that Johnson "takes a far less restrictive view" on immigration than many on the populist right." The site quotes Joe Wierzbicki of the Tea Party Express:

“He championed personal liberty and a smaller, less intrusive government, and we applaud both his record and his efforts to continue his fight at the national level,”...(Johnson has)“generated a lot of excitement in the Ron Paul constitutionalist and libertarian sect, which is furious about the policies of both Bush and Obama and the Congress of the last three sessions.”

David Boaz of the Cato Institute notes that:

"On such issues as school vouchers and the right to bear arms, Johnson has shown two strong tendencies: a commitment to individual freedom and a willingness to take a hard look at the evidence. Looking at the facts, he concluded that crime is reduced when law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry guns and that kids would get a better education if their families had a choice of schools."

The Gary Johnson 2012 site notes these accomplishments:

* He didn't raise taxes as Governor once.
* He vetoed over 1,000 spending items.
* He cut taxes 14 times.
* In a state dominated 2 to 1 by Democrats he served two terms.
* He left New Mexico with a balanced budget.

The site describes the following as Johnson's "Seven Principles of Good Government":

1. Become reality driven. Don’t kid yourself or others. Find out what’s what and base your decisions and actions on that.
2. Always be honest and tell the truth. It’s extremely difficult to do any damage to anybody when you are willing to tell the truth–regardless of the consequences.
3. Always do what’s right and fair. Remember, the more you actually accomplish, the louder your critics become. You’ve got to learn to ignore your critics. You’ve got to continue to do what you think is right. You’ve got to maintain your integrity.
4. Determine your goal, develop a plan to reach that goal, and then act. Don’t procrastinate.
5. Make sure everybody who ought to know what you’re doing knows what you’re doing. Communicate.
6. Don’t hesitate to deliver bad news. There is always time to salvage things. There is always time to fix things. Henry Kissinger said that anything that can be revealed eventually should be revealed immediately.
7. Last, be willing to do whatever it takes to get your job done. If you’ve got a job that you don’t love enough to do what it takes to get your job done, then quit and get one that you do love, and then make a difference.

Some questions I have for Governor Johnson are as follows:

1. What are three things he learned from his company that could be applied to the federal government?

2. To what degree does he see it possible to cut the federal budget? How will he go about cutting?

3. What is his position on the bailout and TARP?

4. What is his position on health reform? On how to control health care costs?

5. What is his position on the Fed? On the gold standard?

6. What is his position on the Middle East?

7. What is his position on (a) Afghanistan, (b) Iraq, (c) terrorism?

8. What is his position on states' rights and state sovereignty?

9. What is his position on Social Security?

Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors: 2002, Cato Policy Analysis No. 454 ...