Friday, September 28, 2007
Would we still have fought a Civil War or the World War’s.
Would we have Social Security or Medicare? Would we be a world power or a third war, balkanized nation? Would we be a nation
More importantly, why isn’t this taught in our schools, so we have a better understanding about the founding of our nation? Are they afraid we would question the current direction of the nation?
Read the actual article
TO REALLY GET A CLEAR PICTURE OF WHAT"S GOING ON, GET LAURA INGRAHAM'S NEW BOOK:
Power To The People
Wath this video
1. George Washington “and all them dudes” that founded America “was terrorists as far as the Queen was concerned.”
2. “The Catholic Church’s stance about child molestation is a form of terrorism in and of itself.”
3. Was Osama bin Laden was behind 9/11? “Absolutely not...highly educated people in all areas of science have spoken on the fishiness around the whole 9/11 theory.” (Presumably, this includes highly educated scientists like Rosie O’Donnell.)
4. Terrorism is a natural response to murderous American imperialism. “There are valid reasons even to a lot of terrorists' arguments – quote-unquote, terrorists' arguments – about why are they frustrated with colonial presence, imperial presence. The way that this government has pursued its foreign interests has been meddlesome, murderously meddlesome."
5. The American space program is a fraud, too. “I don't believe these [maternal expletive deleted] have been to the moon either.”
This man doesn’t need a microphone. He needs medication.
Embarrassing Celebrity Pundits
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Hillary flip-flops, contradicts Bill - & herself - in N.H. debate
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
OSI [George Soros' Open Society Institute] isn't the only secretive organization that Soros funds. OSI partners with the Tides Foundation, which funnels cash from wealthy donors who may not want it known that their cash goes to fringe groups engaged in "direct action" — also known as eco-terrorism.
On the political front, Soros has a great influence in a secretive organization called "Democracy Alliance" whose idea of democracy seems to be government controlled solely of Democrats.
As with everything about the Democracy Alliance, the strangest aspect of this entire process was the incessant secrecy.
Soros' "shaping public policies," as OSI calls it, is not illegal. But it's a problem for democracy because it drives issues with cash and then only lets the public know about it after it's old news.
That means the public makes decisions about issues without understanding the special agendas of groups behind them.
Without more transparency, it amounts to political manipulation.
Read the whole thing
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Doctor magazine asked readers about rationing. Of 653 answering questions on consequences, 107 - 16% - said patients had died early as a result.
More than half - 349 - said patients had suffered as a result. This compared with one in five in a similar survey conducted nine years ago.
NHS rationing rife, say doctors
Monday, September 24, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Biometric identity system called 'success' in Iraq
Here's my article:
Before he can start his day, he must undergo an optical retinal scan and voice-print identification followed by numerous other procedures that prepare him to enter his Biosafety Level 5 laboratory. Here he will work on Project Star Flower 1 (fka "Lotus"), on Genesis Seed, and with EBE AQ-J-Rod (aka "J-Rod") who briefs him on the Convergent Time Line.
The X-Files? No, it's just one way the U.S. Government has already employed modern biometrics.
The dictionary defines biometrics in two ways:
- Statistical study of biological data: the application of statistical techniques to biological data
- Identification of somebody to electronic system: the use of measurable, biological characteristics such as fingerprints or iris patterns to identify a person to an electronic system
The English biometric school developed from the work of the polymath Francis Galton (1822-1911), cousin of Charles Darwin. This is relevant to the first definition.
As for the second, in 2002 the National Institute for Standards & Technology hosted the Biometrics Consortium Conference in Arlington, Virginia. Bruce P. Mehlman, Assistant Secretary for Technology Policy, United States Department of Commerce had this to say (taken from his address "Putting Biometrics to Work for America"):
"For many years, we have looked to biometrics as a promising, emerging technology. That calculus has now changed. At this conference over the past three days we have learned that biometrics are no longer emerging - they're here. And September 11th taught us that biometrics are more than promising - they will be essential to our future security."
Most of us would probably be surprised if we really knew just how far back in history the study of biometrics really goes...all the way back, in fact, to around 6000 B.C. with the use of fingerprints by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Japanese and Chinese.
Obviously, biometrics has progressed from traditional analysis of statistical data to the programming of a sophisticated super technology that is leading us towards a more secure but portentous "Brave New World."
After 9/11, international efforts to combat terrorism started with a rush towards this technology but ended up sparking a conflict between those concerned with protecting the civil liberties of citizens and the efforts of law enforcement in cyberspace.
Biometrics is, simply, the use of body measurements to identify people. But now, experts have started warning us about its limitations such as lack of interoperability, error rates and high costs.
The main key to implementing biometrics on a large, international scale is to create common standards--just like what happened with every other technological advancement that has widespread applications. This, of course, is inevitable.
And never underestimate the needs of the business community everywhere to look to practical ways to cut costs. Measuring people's fingerprints and other body parts is a tool for controlling "buddy-punching"--employees that have a friend clock them in early or out late--and other abuses of time-and-attendance systems. One fingerprint-reading system, for example, cost just $400.
Trust me, we're heading full force into this technological biometrical future as we speak.
Kyoko Kaneda of International Biometric Group LLC estimated that total biometrics revenue will rise from $1.2 billion in 2005 to around $4.6 billion by 2008.
I'd say it's time to call your broker!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
The MRC is rallying tens of thousands of citizens from across the nation to make a united statement calling on the media to live up to its own standards of unbiased reporting.. This petition calls on the media to establish clear internal procedures and protocols to monitor its own election coverage and to pledge to provide fair, unbiased reporting..
Sign Petition Here
Enforcement of these laws -- which can perhaps be described as Shari’a taken to the greatest extreme -- has included taking measures to brutally punish people who commit the slightest offense, from smoking, to a woman failing to cover her head in public, to a man not growing a long enough beard. The strictest social mores are to be observed and any deviation from the standard can result in a punishment consisting of torture, mutilation, or death -- including, as the western world has seen on a few occasions (though not enough to grasp the extent of its use), beheading.
Unfortunately for those who might have chosen to join this hardline Islamist faction in hopes of keeping more virtuous company, the recent apprehension of a key ISI figure showed just how hypocritical – and, as if more evidence was necessary, unspeakably inhuman -- the leadership of that movement is capable of being.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Is what People do, Not Politicians
I’m forty seven years old. Ronald Reagan was the first president I was old enough to vote for and it was an easy decision after a disastrous Jimmy Carter era. Reagan talked about solving our immigration woes, fixing a broken Social Security system, strengthening our military and national security, dealing with the evil empires of the world, which threatened our peace and prosperity, re-building traditional family values and returning America to its core principles of freedom, personal liberty and personal responsibility.
Twenty six years later, politicians have solved none of these issues and a record number of presidential candidates are once again crisscrossing the nation, promising to deal with all the same issues politicians have been promising to solve for as long as I can remember.
Since I cast my first vote for President Reagan, our immigration problems have gotten worse, Social Security has been plundered into insolvency, our national security is a shambles with terror sleeper cells living next door, and we have more evil empires taking aim at America than ever before in history.
Both Democrats and Republicans have held power, in congress and in the White House over the last twenty six years, and none of them have solved any of the problems people elected them to solve. Yet here we are again, listening to the same old campaign promises from the same old career politicians and lining up behind candidates as if we actually believe that any politician is really going to solve any problem. Fool me once, shame on you – twice, shame on me, but for twenty six years in a row, that’s got to be some kind of new record for gross ignorance, doesn’t it? This makes the people in Jones Town look like independent thinkers!
Our Republican President has about a 30% approval rating. Our Democrat congress is even worse, holding at around a 20% approval rating. We elected them… Yet American voters are brandishing campaign signs as if they really believe politicians can or will solve anything. Hope is one thing, but blind faith in politicians is not supported by their long track record of solving nothing.
The People will solve the problems
The people are responsible for the political mess we have today. We elect these politicians and then return to our daily routines as if we’ve done our part and the rest is up to the elitist intellectual do-nothings we just elected. What we see today is nothing more than the natural results of absentee management. We’ve been too busy with life to run our own country, so we’ve left it in the hands of politicians who have no track record of solving anything, other than their personal financial wellbeing.
Once Americans become convinced that a problem is severe enough to demand immediate attention, they step up and solve the problem themselves. Congress and the president recently tried to legalize illegal immigration as a means of solving the illegal immigration problem. Only when the American people became convinced that the problem demanded their immediate attention, did they step in and set Washington on the right track towards secured borders and a sane immigration policy.
The most creative productive people on earth
When it comes to getting things done, no society on earth can hold a candle to Americans. Over and over throughout history, Americans have stepped forward to solve seemingly unsolvable problems, both at home and abroad. It’s the people who get things done in America, not the politicians and its high time voters remember this…
The only problem the American people can’t solve, is the useless, lying, backstabbing politician problem (this is what politicians do)
We know that our tax system is oppressive and insane. When we get sick of it, we’ll fix it. We know that our federal government has strayed into a socialist abyss, sapping more and more resources (freedom) from the private sector by promising more and more gifts from the federal treasury. When we get sick of it, we’ll fix that too. What politician is going to fix any of it when it profits politicians both monetarily and in terms of power, to keep the problems intact?
Hillary’s Socialized Medicine – A good example of making a problem worse, just to benefit politicians alone
Hillary Clinton just rolled out her Socialized Medicine plan again. Most Americans would never knowingly vote for socialism, not in their medical system or anywhere else. So why is the Democrat front-runner so convinced that rolling out an already failed plan for socialized medicine will win her the White House in ’08?
That’s easy! She believes that enough American voters are stupid enough to vote for socialized medicine today, so long as she calls it “Universal Health Care”, that’s why. Her plan has a $110 BILLION price tag attached to it, by her own accounting, which means it will cost more like five times that amount once Washington is done with it. That’s $110 BILLION (a trillion once installed) more than the federal government is already spending and it’s been spending red ink into the future as far as the eye can see already.
Yes Hillary, let us vote for certain national bankruptcy and yes, will congress please be my doctor? Are you kidding me? If Americans will vote for this, we don’t need health care at all because we’re already brain dead!
Our health care system is something than can be fixed without replacing it with a federal socialist medical system. It requires increased free market competition, not a federal health care monopoly run by politicians. The last thing we need is the same people running health care that ran Social Security into the ground.
Fixing Social Security means Replacing Social Security
FDR’s New Deal became a Raw Deal before the ink was dry. The Social Security System was never designed to be a retirement plan. It was designed only to be a crisis security net and a supplemental paid-for entitlement that might give seniors a little added comfort and security in their golden years.
But after the fed took half of your life’s earnings in taxes, folks think they are due at least what they paid in over the years and why not? Had the federal government done a reasonable job of managing and investing the Social Security Trust Fund over the years, retirement would be secure for everyone. But surprise – surprise, the federal government, our politicians, not only failed to manage the fund well, they PLUNDERED it into insolvency. Now they want to do the same with your health care and anything else you’ll let them “manage.”
There is NO way to “fix” the existing Social Security System. Fixing it requires replacing it with a system managed by people, not politicians, that can actually work and once again, when the people have had enough, they will fix it.
Fixing it is easier than most think by the way. A fellow conservative writer has an excellent book on the subject titled “The Rise Up Theory of Economics.” Author Dick McDonald is offering readers a FREE online copy of the book here. If you think our current Social Security system is the best we can do, I encourage everyone, including Washington dimwits, to get a copy of this book and read it cover to cover.
McDonald once again proves my point, that average Americans have what it takes to solve even the biggest problems. If solving problems were as profitable to politicians as it is to tax-payers, our problems would get solved. But problems are profitable to politicians. So tax-payers will have to do the solving!
Ending the War on Terror
One way or another, the people, not the politicians, will end the war on terror. The people will end it by demanding that Washington drop its insane politically correct rules of engagement abroad, that hamstring our soldiers in battle and unleash the full power of the American military to rid the world of those who seek to kill innocent civilians in pursuit of their religious or political goals, or they will end it once the war comes home to roost, by taking up arms themselves if need be. One way or another, the people will solve this problem, not the politicians.
How much is enough?
Politicians have a long history of accomplishing. How long will the American people leave matters in the hands of failing politicians before they wake up and remember why the founders placed control of this nation in the hands of the people?
At best, government and politicians are a necessary evil
At worst, they are dangerous to every American
We must vote. We must select legislators and executive leaders. Politics has never been a practice of the perfect. It’s only an experiment in the arena of the possible. There is NO such thing as a perfect political leader because there is no such thing as a perfect politician, or even a perfect person. We work with what is possible, because there is no ideal candidate.
In this regard, we should work with politicians who understand that it is the American people who are the power in America - that the American people are the solution to every problem and that government is in large part, much of the problem.
Americans should never buy into the promise that any politician is going to solve anything. There is no track record to support such a notion and megalomaniacs who see themselves as our saviors can’t be trusted with even the simplest of tasks. They are off on the wrong foot from the start!
No More Elitist Intellectual Dictators
There are many good reasons why our founders entrusted the power over this nation in the hands of average Americans, rather than in the hands of elitist intellectuals seeking to dictate from on high. Politicians who promise to save us from ourselves are not only liars - they are dangerous.
We need to save ourselves from the politicians, not elect politicians who promise to save us from ourselves. Could any truth be any clearer at this moment in history?
The Rise Up Theory of Economics – FREE online copy of the book!
Monday, September 17, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
An excerpt from the new book
COMMON GENIUS: Guts, Grit, and Common Sense
How Ordinary People Create Prosperous Societies
and How Intellectuals Make Them Collapse
by Bill Greene
Published by Laissez Faire Books
List Price: $16.95
Common Genius: Guts, Grit, and Common Sense is the newest title published by Laissez Faire
Books. To go to our full review, or to go to purchase the book,
CLICK HERE. The excerpt, below, is
the first chapter of the book. Enjoy!
COMMON GENIUS: Guts, Grit, and Common Sense
How Ordinary People Create Prosperous Societies
and How Intellectuals Make Them Collapse
by Bill Greene
THE THEORY OF HISTORY
"The search for beginnings, no matter how far pressed, usually serves only to open more distant vistas of earlier developments."
—Alpheus Thomas Mason and Gordon E. Baker
Interpreting the broad sweep of history is a venture many have written about, and, as Niccolo Machiavelli admitted 500 years ago, I may be "deemed presumptuous, since I depart from the methods of the scholars and academics who have tried before."
But a new approach is as necessary today as it was in the day of Machiavelli, for the current crop of academics are almost universally blinded by the current winds of political correctness. They have been seduced by intellectual conceits that we will reveal in this book to be based more on emotion than on reason, and this seduction has created a demand for economic interpretations that support only prevailing notions and preconceived conclusions. This book goes against the grain, rejects current agendas, and presents a new theory of history. As Machiavelli observed, "Since my intention is to write something of use for those who understand it, it seemed more suitable to go after the effectual truth of the matter than after an imagined one."1
There is an urgency to this search for the root causes and mechanics of historic advances: the answer will show how all nations can join the modern world of freedom and prosperity. Too many people have been excluded from today's economic progress for much too long. Over half of the 161 nations ranked in the Heritage Foundation's 2005 Index of Economic Freedom are measured as mostly "un-free or repressed."2 It is no coincidence that they are also the most impoverished nations in the world. And yet all they need is Economic Freedom to gain prosperity, for only open economies can unleash the creative efforts of a broad spectrum of a population.
During the past half-century, the scholars and academics, descendants of those disparaged by Machiavelli, have failed abysmally to advance the lot of the poverty-stricken people of the Third World. They have relied mostly on handing out charity, much as they might give crumbs to beggars. And, being scholars, they have held conferences, written monographs, and given talks, none of which has helped one whit. One of the most damning records in intellectual history is this sixty-year failure to remedy the ongoing human misery in much of the world. So we must forget for a moment the abstract theories and ideologies that have failed, and seek the effectual truth. If economic history is to serve some practical purpose it must identify the fundamental lesson that has lain hidden beneath the jumble of history and academic jargon. Most of the academics who study and write about history have never been able to accept the truth, although it has always been there before their unbelieving eyes.
A major theme of these pages is that all historical progress has bubbled up from the bottom—from the actions of common men and women. A secondary theme is that most of history's evils have flowed from the top—from the intelligentsia, organized groups, and soft-science experts who arise in mature societies and are the pied pipers of their decline. In the final chapters, we will examine how the decline of free societies has often resulted from the transfer of authority and leadership from those who built the society to a destructive intelligentsia who arrive after the heavy lifting is done. The arrival of the intellectuals also marks the time when knowledge and decision-making appears to enter a steep decline. The notion that intellectuals are wise and should be listened to is a persistent, recurring, and insidious error that has doomed most past civilizations.
I do not mean to demean all people of intellect—most of them are great assets to their communities. However, there is reason to beware those with little practical experience in any field, who parade their "expertise" before the public, and operate primarily as critics rather than participants. As Richard Posner writes, many of the major contributions by such intellectuals "Are negative in the sense of combating the fallacies and follies of other public intellectuals."3 Just read The Nation, then Commentary, and you will understand how these intellectuals disagree. With such differences, they engage in constant squabbling over their labored arguments and abstract ideas—how can any sane person guess which if any of them are right? Such are the intellects that do not produce anything concrete or useful, but merely broadcast abstract ideas and critiques that are rarely born out by subsequent events. Their dismal record throughout history illustrates the maxim that ideas don't have to be sound to be influential.
Any history of mankind and its successes must begin at the beginning; and in the beginning, there were no intellectuals. However, there were people struggling to exist and improve their lot in life, and mankind made magnificent strides, advancing from harsh and primitive tribal and nomadic life to complex and prosperous civilizations. The growing influence of intellectuals in the relatively recent past has served only to confuse, divert, and subvert that progress.
A century ago, some writers saw historical progress as primarily a function of climate and geography. That "answer" to the question of why some societies do better then others was later discredited by a number of historians. Unfortunately, and against all reason, geography-based theories of history have resurfaced as part of the multi-culturist zeal to treat all societies as equally praiseworthy. Thus, Jared Diamond offers the following one-sentence summary of his 450-plus-page book Guns, Germs, and Steel: "History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples' environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves."4 This is at heart just another variation of the "nature versus nurture" question that had already been thoroughly covered by Thomas Sowell in works like Race and Culture and Conquests and Cultures. Sowell presents convincing detail to show that for thousands of years, all races of people around the world have possessed roughly comparable levels of intelligence and that societal progress arose from other causes. And yet Diamond, who cites hundreds of other historians, makes no reference to Sowell's work.
Professor Diamond reports that "to me the strongest argument for writing this book [is that] until we have some convincing, detailed, agreed-upon explanation for the broad pattern of history, most people will continue to suspect that the racist biological explanation is correct after all."5 Thus he is conforming to the current politically correct need to attack racist or biological explanations even though they have been dead in the water for many years. It would have been more praiseworthy to seek the truth—the real explanation of historical progress—for its own sake, rather than merely reengage a heated but past battle.
The crux of the matter is that there are two answers: geography and climate for Paleolithic times, and another for the past three thousand years. The most primitive societies clearly were affected by environment. But once mankind advanced sufficiently in skills to overcome "nature," environmental conditions became less important. For example, the hunter-gatherers of the Paleolithic Era had to move around to accommodate such forces as the advancing and retreating glaciers of the Ice Ages. Fertile land and waterways were of great importance. But geography cannot explain how political and economic advances occurred for at least the past three thousand years; nor why, in fact, some of the most notable advances arose in some of the least hospitable locales.
Three thousand years ago, over ten major civilizations around the world possessed the geography, climate, governmental structures, and communication systems needed to progress to current levels of prosperity—but the major progression occurred in only one area, scattered first around the Mediterranean Sea, then moving gradually into isolated enclaves in North-Western Europe, and finally across the sea to the United States. Geography may have played a part in enabling those ten civilizations to emerge. But it had little to do with the course those civilizations took over the past three millennia.
Both Sowell and Diamond are correct that there was a lower chance for technical progress in regions with great physical disadvantages, especially if isolated from other societies and functioning only as thinly populated outposts. Thus the primitive people of sub-Saharan Africa, the Inuits of the Arctic regions, the Aborigines of Australia, the cannibals in interior New Guinea, and peoples in similarly remote areas of the
South Pacific were all handicapped by geography. However, for the ten or more civilizations that reached relatively sophisticated levels around 3,000 years ago, and each of which enjoyed reasonably favorable environments, a new factor determined success and failure. The difference lay in how the large and growing populations of those societies were organized, controlled, and motivated.
When we look at the times and places where freedom and material comforts emerged most strongly we find that the main drivers of societal progress were the individuals making up the population. When free from oppressive forces, and armed with free will and initiative, these multitudes are the key in any search for historical causation.
This is the position taken by P. T. Bauer when he challenges the "prevailing notions" of established economists and academics and, instead, credits the "individual voluntary responses of millions of people."6 And Julian L. Simon documents how throughout history, sufficient natural resources have been made available by hard-working populations regardless of natural endowment. Simon contrasts "cornucopians," who believe that "natural resources are available in practically limitless abundance," with "doomsters" who declare that the end is near because we are running out of some vital resource—whether arrowheads, buggy whips, whale oil, firewood, or, now, oil. He rejects both approaches, pointing out that "human imagination and human enterprise" have always manipulated the elements to provide all the resources needed. "In short," he concludes, "our cornucopia is the human mind and heart...."7
Because the prevailing notions of the experts and intellectuals favored the doomsday scenario, Simon had to struggle for years to find a publisher for his book laying out these ideas. Academics are by nature very unlikely to give credit to the actual workers who make it happen, and prefer grandiose projections of future problems. And, of course, modern media invariably trumpet bad news and ignore good news. Simon writes of "the difficulties of espousing this unpopular point of view [and how] they were near the point of shutting me up and shutting me down."8 Such is the power of monolithic thinking in academic circles. When he published the first edition of The Ultimate Resource in 1981, Simon had the advantage that all the oil experts of 1974, who had calculated that the world would run out of oil in ten years, were being proven 100 percent wrong. (The geologists working in American oil companies hadn't been consulted—they were out finding new oil fields.) History is replete with similar examples of the best and brightest being proven wrong. Yet their influence continues and their warnings are still taken seriously.
Professors in today's colleges rarely assign Simon's books—they prefer more politically correct (i.e., Pulitzer-Prize-winning) tomes that belittle Western civilization and the role of individuals. But the "environmental" theories can't explain the fate of a single major civilization of the past 3,000 years. Equally fallacious is the approach taken by those historians who, recognizing the inadequacy of the environmental theories, merely argue that all societies are equally good—that there have been no winners or losers. George Will has pointed out the ridiculous extent to which this "nonjudgmental" fad has gone: "In 1991 Florida, in a fit of modern 'nonjudgmentalism' and 'multiculturalism' and all that, enacted a statute requiring public schools to teach that no culture 'is intrinsically superior or inferior to another.'... [T]his told Florida's immigrant communities something they knew to be preposterous—that they might as well have stayed in Cuba or Haiti or wherever."9
Such efforts to avoid moral or even rational comparisons have debased instruction at America's schools and colleges, many of which are guilty not only of bad teaching but also of purveying patently nonsensical rewrites of history. The revisionism is not about legitimate areas of scholarly debate; it seems to be designed simply to discredit America, its institutions, and Western culture in general. Too many students accept this anti-Western teaching and lose any desire to participate constructively in current affairs. Of course, the wiser ones will quickly see the illogic of their teachers and the bias of the textbooks. There is no denying the obvious and gargantuan technological, military, and economic supremacy of the West and especially the United States—not to mention the freedom and safety that is the envy of all peoples. When a constant stream of people from all over the world flows to a single destination and continues unabated for 400 years, even the dullest student should be able to connect the dots. People seek to become a part of the American civilization because of the advantages it has to offer; they're better off here than they would be elsewhere.
For those who seek to get around the obvious and incontrovertible fact that the West "won," another pathetic but politically correct answer has been to admit the "win," but argue that the West's victory was simply the result of chance—of good luck, the fates, Karma. This is the message conveyed in Kenneth Pomeranz's The Great Divergence,10 which attempts to establish that the British and Chinese were equals in 1850 when the former somehow pulled ahead by the chance discovery of coal! Lucky it was lying around. Yes, and a good thing for Muhammed Ali that his gloves kept connecting, somehow, with his opponents' chins....
Professor Pomerantz's simplistic "explanation" has been decimated by Professor Ricardo Duchesne in a technical analysis.11 But for this author, the simple exploits of one English adventurer in that same decade, Charles Gordon, provide clear enough evidence of English absolute supremacy over the Chinese. In September, 1860, the twenty-seven-year-old officer, fresh from military adventures in the Crimea, arrived in China to convince the Sun God emperor of the advantages of free trade. In the two Opium Wars of the mid-nineteenth century, the English had seized the island of Hong Kong, gained immunity for all foreigners on Chinese territory, demanded freedom to propagate the Gospel throughout the Empire, gained navigation rights on the Yangtse, and won the right to settle, trade, and maintain military forces in seventeen Treaty Ports including Shanghai.12 These "negotiated settlements" give an indication of which society was the strongest at the time.
Part of Gordon's mission was to retrieve a few British envoys who had been seized even though carrying a flag of truce. When it was discovered that some had been tortured and beheaded by the Sun God's deputies, the British troops, marching unmolested before the Grand Palace, decided to pillage and destroy the Emperor's Summer Palace. British and French gun-ships controlled the rivers of China. Meanwhile, the Chinese peasants were revolting against the Sun God, who ruled the land with a totalitarian grip. The Empress had to pay the British to defend her remaining palace from the rebels. The British and French soldiers did so and sent barrels of souvenirs home to their families. Such was the unequal status of China and the West at that time. It is unlikely that the Sun God's peasants, if they had somehow discovered some coal and learned how to use it, could have inaugurated the Industrial Revolution, founded colleges, built ocean-going vessels, colonized the globe, and outpaced the West. They were already 700 years late on universities and 400 years late on ships and colonies. And as Professor Duchesne points out, coal wasn't all that critical anyway: French mechanics and engineers, lacking coal, had simply developed water power sufficient to keep up with English industrialization. Societal cornucopias obviously lay not in natural resources as such but in the freedom, initiative and enterprise of lowly individuals.
Professor Pomerantz's theory based on coal and chance also fails to recognize that in 1850 the relevant comparison was not England versus China, but the United States versus China. The fundamental and irresistible strength of the West has been its multifaceted independent nations, so unlike the Orient. In the West, if one region failed to keep up, another led the way. The situation around 1850, and the alleged importance of coal, is well illustrated by the Carnegie family. In 1848, they left Scotland and brought their children, including twelve-year-old Andrew, to America and "settled in the former Fort Pitt at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, which had been renamed Pittsburgh."13 For reasons that will become clear in later chapters, the Carnegies did not choose to emigrate to China, nor Africa, nor South America, nor to the Islamic states of the Middle East. They were shrewd Scots and wanted to better themselves. Starting as a messenger boy, young Andrew did just that, quickly availing himself of the opportunities enjoyed by all in America. In 1873 Andrew Carnegie met Henry Bessemer during a trip to England and adapted his ideas for making better steel. In less than twenty years, by 1892, the Carnegie Steel Company, in America, was producing steel equal to half the entire production of Great Britain."14 In 1901, Carnegie sold his steel enterprises to J. P. Morgan for $480 million. Clearly, the vital factor was the common man himself, free to "vote with his feet" and, in the right environment, to exercise his genius. He didn't need a land of soft gentle breezes—he merely needed freedom from oppression, an open door to opportunity, and equal protection under the law. This was the unique empowering environment created by Western civilization alone. It is the only kind of "environment," at least since the last Ice Age that could determine where human potential flourished rather than languished.
While lady luck has played a role in history, it has never created a consistent pattern. Most men have attempted to control their destiny and "make their own luck." Historical theories based on chance are agenda-driven. As Edward Hallett Carr writes, "In a group or a nation which is riding in the trough, not on the crest, of historical events, theories that stress the role of chance or accident in history will be found to prevail."15 Carr recalls Gibbon's observation that the Greeks, "'after their country had been reduced to a province, imputed the triumphs of Rome not to merit, but to the fortune of the republic.' Tacitus, also a historian of the decay of his country, was another ancient historian to indulge in extensive reflexions on chance."16 Ironically, in our own day those who seek to deny the merits of Western civilization, but undeniably finding themselves riding on the crest of its success, are driven to attribute that success to mere chance. This is an intellectual's game to be avoided, for we can only help the poorest nations to succeed if we identify the causes of economic success. Intelligentsias more concerned with abstract ideas than with reality—who deny or recast the real causes of history just to promote pet ideologies—do harm by denying progress to millions of suffering people.
Financial Times columnist Tim Harford suggests that we still lack a good word "to describe what is missing in poor countries across the world. But we are starting to understand what it is. Some people call it 'social capital,' or maybe 'trust.' Others call it 'the rule of law,' or 'institutions.' But these are just labels."17 He talks about motivations and incentives, and comes close to the answer: What is missing in backward economies is what is present in successful societies—the common genius of ordinary people. It's not that the people in those countries aren't able to do everything the people in Western nations have done—the genius is there. It's there, but it must be unleashed to operate effectively. It can only work its magic as a self-motivated force when secure and free of excessive restraint. Such empowered common genius is the essential "social capital," the "ultimate resource" of prosperous nations.
The explanation of why the West won lies almost exclusively in how and why that empowerment of each individual came to blossom so fruitfully in only a few places. We will study its origins and growth from King Solomon, Homer, the farmers in Iceland, and the merchants of Phoenicia to the more recent miracles of Florence, Amsterdam, London, Paris, and New York, and, still more recently, Eastern Europe and some of the Less Developed Nations where entrepreneurs are at last building free lives and material well-being. We will survey a steady progression that culminates in America's pinnacle of wealth, freedom, and leisure, spread more richly and widely among its citizens than ever seen before in history.
There are many statistics to prove America's success, but more convincing than data is the fact that so few are leaving. Scholars would do well to chart the movement of people—common people—for it is obvious that the overwhelming wisdom of a multitude of enterprising individuals will choose the best social environment. And they come to America, freely and deliberately choosing the best destination available. If multiculturists were right, historical emigration trends would have shown equally large numbers of people fleeing to Samoa, Tanzania, Peru, Bulgaria, Mongolia, even the Artic lands of the Inuits and Laplanders. But the vast majority chose Western nations, and especially the United States of America.
In a brilliant exposition of the road that lies ahead for the American experiment, Thomas B. Carson describes the American Dream as "a term used to describe commonly-held beliefs, assumptions and expectations of political freedom, economic opportunity, and material progress in the U.S."18 These are the three blessings that all immigrants sought. They frequently arrived in America ragged and poor in a financial sense, but with a wealth of initiative and imagination. Once ashore, they ceased being "huddled" masses and became Americans—individuals—their new land's "ultimate resource." Carson's simple definition of the American dream neatly summarizes the goals of these immigrants, as well as the goals that most of mankind have been seeking for several thousand years.
Political and religious freedom and economic opportunity have been exceedingly rare during these millennia. Since the first stirrings of civilized society in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley and the days of King Solomon, freedom and opportunity were only a dream, out of reach of the common man. Instead, his lot was to labor under tyranny and oppression that were ever present and that in much of the world still linger malevolently. This dream of freedom, the dream that became reality in America and has endured to this day, is borne of the uniquely human characteristics of man—his ability to reason, his natural curiosity, his instinct to innovate, his independence of spirit. These qualities, sometimes summed up as "free will," distinguish man from the beasts, and they set his destiny. Only one thing has stood in his way: the lust of other men to rule and appropriate for themselves all the good things in life.
Throughout history, such leaders have made life as difficult as possible for the bulk of humanity. The expression of man's genius had to be fought for, and opportunities for its release have been restricted to a few brief moments and places in time. Such moments were the "accidents" of history, but there was nothing accidental about what subsequently happened. The achievements were never pre-ordained but arose from a long-term struggle by ordinary people to advance, one step at a time, over thousands of years. But wherever individual men and women got even a little such opportunity, freedom and prosperity followed. They built it piece by piece, not by trying to apply utopian theories, but by solving one problem at a time and moving ever forward.
It is a mistake to glorify these achievements as issuing from some kind of brilliant philosophy. They are more like the parts in a "mechanical system," and are the simple products of common workers solving problems. Thus, one can compare such empowering systems to the parts of an internal combustion engine. Just as an engine requires a fuel pump, a water coolant, an igniter, and a drive shaft, so a free governmental system requires courts, deeds to property, coinage, patents, corporate entities, juries, and representative assemblies. The availability and quality of such "parts" represent a vital aspect of economic history. They are what have allowed freedom and business activity to flourish. Many intellectuals, like Plato, have no affection for the ordinary people who developed these things; indeed they frequently oppose democratic forms of government. Needless to say, Plato and other "soft-science" intellectuals never invented a fuel pump or a spark plug; nor did they develop any essential parts of a free governmental structure; or, for that matter, anything of use in the real world. It can be argued that many of the huge advances in man's economic and social well-being over the past few thousand years were achieved more in spite of the intellectuals' ideas than because of them.
Now, this is a revolutionary idea and perhaps in a perverse way, will delight most of the average Joes out there who are pestered by those "beautiful people" who want to tell them what to do and how to do it. I know this discovery has emboldened me to set forth this hypothesis; a hypothesis passed on to me by my wife's uncle, a simple Polish immigrant named Harry Radzewicz. I suspect many of the best and brightest will scoff at my message, saying that I simplify too much, that things are much more complex than I can comprehend. But that is okay with me, for as observed earlier, it is better to seek the "effectual truth" than to build vast conceptual edifices or perpetuate grandiose theories that don't work.
An advantage of the Radzewicz Formula is its ability to simplify a complex question so that it is easily
understood. It was explained to me as follows: "History's progress," I was told, "can actually be reduced to a simple equation. It's easy, like simple algebra, or Polish notation." He put it on paper: CM + S - O = EF
"CM, the common man, with Security, minus Oppression, equals Economic Freedom, and that leads to Prosperity. It also subsequently leads to Political Freedom."
And there it was—neat and simple. A fundamental principle missed by all the intellectuals. Deliberately missed, perhaps, because there is no "I" in the formula—intellectuals have never had anything to do with progress.
In the early chapters of this book we will consider the degree of security men have enjoyed and the degree of regulatory oppression they have suffered, for these have been key determinants of historical economic progress. There is a rather fine balance required of each factor if individual opportunity is to be maximized—too much of either can be detrimental. The burden of oppression, whether in the form of an autocrat's tyranny or the weight of regulations and legal threats, has been given too little attention by classical economists.
In Conquests and Cultures, Thomas Sowell points out that "modern Western industry and commerce developed at a time when the intelligentsia were a small and relatively un-influential group."19 Fortunately, most Americans are viscerally aware of the failings of the so-called best and brightest.
Raymond Aron has extolled America and "the simple, modest ideas which it continues to cultivate," and the fact that "it is still basically hostile to authority, to the pretensions of the few to know all the answers better than the common man."20
Aron's praise for these "simple modest ideas" was penned half a century ago. We can only hope that the basic good sense of the average American has remained hostile to the bad ideas of the intellectual experts. This defensive hostility is crucial, because the intelligentsia are putting out more bad ideas than ever. As George Orwell once noted, many of their notions are "so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them." But inasmuch as the intellectuals have come to dominate the major foundations, colleges and media, it is their bad ideas that get drummed into everyone's brains.
Which is why it is so important to get to the truth of economic history. The evidence will show that it is these bad ideas that have brought on the decline of hitherto successful nations.
Footnotes for Chapter 1:
1 Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince and Other Writings (New York: Barnes & Noble Classics,
2 Marc A. Miles, Index of Economic Freedom, 2005 Edition (Washington DC: Heritage Books,
3 Richard A. Posner, Public Intellectuals (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2003), 6
4 Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (New York: W. W.
Norton, 1999), 25.
6 P.T. Bauer, Reality and Rhetoric: Studies in the Economics of Development (Boston: Harvard
University Press, 1986).
7 Julian L. Simon, The Ultimate Resource (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996), 206.
"I do not suggest that nature is limitlessly bountiful. Rather, the possibilities in the world are sufficiently great so that with the present state of knowledge—even without the additional knowledge that human imagination and human enterprise will surely develop in the future—we and our descendents can manipulate the elements in such a fashion that we can have all the raw materials that we desire at prices ever smaller relative to other goods and to our total incomes. In short, our cornucopia is the human mind and heart, not a Santa Claus natural environment."
8 Ibid, 11.
9 George F. Will, With a Happy Eye, But... (New York: The Free Press, 2002), 20.
10 Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great Divergence (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001).
11 Ricardo Duchesne, "On The Rise of The West: Researching Kenneth Pomerantz’s Great
Divergence," Review of Radical Political Economics, Winter 2004, 52-81.
12 Charles Chenevix Trench, The Road to Khartoum: A Life of General Charles Gordon (New
York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1978), 24.
13 Arthur Herman, How The Scots Invented the Modern World (New York: Three Rivers Press,
14 Ibid, 404.
15 Edward Hallett Carr, What Is History (New York: Vintage Books, 1961), 132.
16 Ibid, 130.
17 Tim Harford, "Why Poor Countries Are Poor," Reason, March 2006, 39.
18 Thomas B. Carson, Beyond the American Dream: Work and Wealth in the 21st Century
(Bloomington: First Books Library, 1998), 10.
19 Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1999), 349.
20 Raymond Aron, The Opium of the Intellectuals (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers,
To go to our full review, or to go to purchase the book, CLICK HERE.
From Common Genius: Guts, Grit, and Common Sense by Bill Greene. Copyright © 2007 by William C. Greene.
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Saturday, September 15, 2007
Is this what we want? Universal health only for those that live as government wants them to? That is one way to contain cost—make everybody pay, but only the "right" people get complete care.
Friday, September 14, 2007
McDonald, a lifelong “tax man” first as a CPA for an international accounting firm and then as a tax shelter promoter turns his focus and energies from helping the rich to helping the American worker become rich.. For ten years he prepared J. Paul Getty’s personal and trust income tax returns. His ideas warrant your attention.
McDonald explains why centuries of taking from the rich and giving to the poor has not made the poor richer. For the poorest it has merely made them a dependent class; for ordinary Americans their hard earned money ends up in the pocket of the rich or as taxes confiscated by their government. Rise Up reverses that dynamic and invites the poor and middle class to the economic party – to the American Dream.
In his book McDonald exposes why the poor and middle-class seldom have enough money to retire on. The reason he explains is that they never acquire a pool of capital to invest in the American economy and benefit by its growth and built-in inflation. In “Rise Up Theory of Economics” McDonald gets them that pool of capital and does it with their own earnings. Instead of wasting the money by giving 15.3% of their lifetime earnings to the government in the form of payroll taxes, McDonald suggests that those monies be invested during an American’s working life in a PERSONAL INVESTMENT ACOOUNT which will grow into a million-dollar nest egg OWNED by the individual worker.. Congressmen and Senators HAVE these “personal accounts.” WHY NOT ORDINARY AMERICAN TAXPAYERS?
Get Dick McDonald’s new e-book “Make the Poor Rich and America Wealthier” free by clicking www.hstrial-rmcdonald1.homestead.com/FreeBookRequest.html. It illustrates a better way for America and Americans to grow richer socially and economically.
Prior to the distribution of this press release, all candidates for President have had their campaigns alerted to the reform suggested in Dick McDonald’s book. The McLaughlin survey makes it clear that voters want entitlement reform to be a major part of the national conversation during the 2008 presidential campaign. Ninety-six percent of voters said it is important that "a candidate for President in 2008 concentrates on the present and future problems with Social Security and Medicare by discussing and demonstrating a REALISTIC PLAN to provide retirement security for current and future retirees.” Yet not one Presidential campaign website offers even the hint of such a plan.
McDonald proves that America can afford the cost to change from the present system to personal accounts. He floors the retirement benefits at their present levels so Congress can no longer reduce benefits or raise taxes and continue the farce of pay-as-you-go funding that sticks our kids with the bill.
Under Rise Up, the government would guarantee that all benefits payable to retirees under the old system would be honored. There will be no danger that pension checks or medical benefits will be cut; in fact depending on the success of Rise Up they may be raised.
Under Rise Up, the average household earning $40,000 a-year would end up with a $3.2 million nest egg at the end of a 40-year working life and a $28,000 a-month retirement check. (2007 dollars) McDonald provides detailed schedules on just how that works. Under the old Social Security there is no nest egg created – just a paltry monthly check until you die.
Rise Up proves that capitalism can solve the riddle of poverty. What could be simpler than saving 15% of your lifetime earnings invested in a proven vehicle of growth – indexed stock funds?
In 2006, Americans spent 1 ½% more than they earned. Under Rise Up 15% of their earnings will go directly into the capital markets (stocks and bonds) thereby fueling an explosive growth in the economy – the economy Americans will be investing in.
Enacting Rise Up legislation is what ordinary Americans want. Congress has made the excuse there is little discretionary room in the budget because of “mandated entitlements.” Rise Up replaces mandated entitlements. It eliminates that excuse.
Get Dick McDonald’s new e-book “Make the Poor Rich and America Wealthier” free by clicking www.riseupeconomy.com/freebookrequest.html
The Ownership Society Institute has been formed to promote the Rise Up Theory of Economics. You can help by contributing to the cause and spreading the word.
Dick McDonald., Managing Director
Ownership Society Institute
9662 Jumilla Avenue
Chatsworth, CA 91311-5610
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new analysis of peer-reviewed literature reveals that more than 500 scientists have published evidence refuting at least one element of current man-made global warming scares. More than 300 of the scientists found evidence that 1) a natural moderate 1,500-year climate cycle has produced more than a dozen global warmings similar to ours since the last Ice Age and/or that 2) our Modern Warming is linked strongly to variations in the sun's irradiance. "This data and the list of scientists make a mockery of recent claims that a scientific consensus blames humans as the primary cause of global temperature increases since 1850," said Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Dennis Avery.
Other researchers found evidence that 3) sea levels are failing to rise importantly; 4) that our storms and droughts are becoming fewer and milder with this warming as they did during previous global warmings; 5) that human deaths will be reduced with warming because cold kills twice as many people as heat; and 6) that corals, trees, birds, mammals, and butterflies are adapting well to the routine reality of changing climate.
Despite being published in such journals such as Science, Nature and Geophysical Review Letters, these scientists have gotten little media attention. "Not all of these researchers would describe themselves as global warming skeptics," said Avery, "but the evidence in their studies is there for all to see."
Read the whole thing
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The criticism came from an adviser to former Republican Sen. Fred Thompson, who chaired a Senate investigation into illegal contributions by Asian-Americans to Bill Clinton's re-election campaign and the couple's legal defense fund in the 1996 election cycle.
Thompson adviser Rich Galen said Clinton's 2008 campaign has become "the sequel" to her husband's scandal-plagued 1996 campaign.
Late Monday, Clinton announced she was returning $850,000 raised by fugitive Norman Hsu, who jumped bail in 1992 after being convicted of defrauding investors of $1 million. Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said the campaign was "unaware" of a warrant for Hsu's arrest.
Galen was unconvinced.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Failure of the Public Trust
Sunday, September 09, 2007
…[T]he violence in Anbar has gone down despite the surge, not because of the surge. The lack of protection for these tribes from al Qaeda made it clear to these tribes, “We have to fight al Qaeda ourselves.” It wasn’t that the surge brought peace here. It was that the warlords had to create a temporary peace here on their own. And that is because there was no one else there protecting them…
But according to the video of his remarks on the Senate floor Mr. Schumer said this:
…[T]he violence in Anbar has gone down despite the Surge, not because of the Surge. The inability of American soldiers to protect these tribes from Al Qaeda said to these tribes, “we have to fight al Qaeda ourselves.” It wasn’t that the surge brought peace here. It was that the warlords had to create a temporary peace here on their own. And that is because there was no one else there protecting them…
Thursday, September 06, 2007
The writer of last year's TV miniseries "The Path to 9/11" says the release of the show's DVD is being delayed in order to protect Bill Clinton's legacy and Hillary Clinton's candidacy.Read more
The Los Angeles Times reports that Cyrus Nowrasteh says he was told by ABC that the DVD would be released this past January, then April, then this summer. Now there is no release date set.
The mini-series cast a critical eye on the Clinton administration's anti-terror efforts prior to the attacks. It was a ratings success and garnered seven Emmy nominations.
Now even Hollywood liberals are upset with its apparent shelving. Oliver Stone calls it, "Censorship in the most blatant way... it's an important work and needs to be seen."
AND THAT'S NOT ALL:
The Clinton Machine is afraid of Kathleen Willey's new book:
Kathleen Willey: Clintons stole my manuscript
House burglary over weekend targeted copy of book days after details leaked to pressRead more
By the way, you won't believe the data provided here -- this is really amazing...and scary:
THE CLINTON LEGACY:
THE CLINTON SCANDALS:
Wednesday, September 05, 2007