Searching extremists 85

We prefer to write about what has happened rather than what might happen. But some probabilities, accusations, and conjectures are likely enough and interesting enough to be noticed before they’re certainties.

Which is why we’re drawing attention to a story about a trade union official’s suspected connection with terrorism both in South America and in the Middle East.

Investor’s Business Daily reports and comments:

The FBI raids the Chicago home of a local union leader looking for terrorist connections as the union’s former chief is investigated for corruption. Why are we not surprised?

Thuggery and corruption are not quite synonyms for unionism, but it gets very close when you consider the Service Employees International Union, formerly led by Andy Stern.

That’s the extreme left revolutionary Andy Stern who was reported last October, 2009, to be more often received by Obama at the White House than any other visitor.

From being involved in fraudulent voter registration in Texas to beating up Tea Party activists outside town hall meetings in Missouri, SEIU’s reputation is well-established.

Now we can possibly add a linkage to terrorism.

On Friday, the FBI searched eight addresses in Minneapolis and Chicago. Among those addresses was the North Side home of Chicago anti-war activists Joe Iosbaker and his wife, Stephanie Weiner, whose home was searched for 12 hours.

The agents said they were looking for evidence relating to terrorist activity. Warrants suggested agents were looking for links between anti-war activists and terrorist groups in Colombia and the Mideast. An FBI statement said those investigated were suspected of activities “concerning the material support of terrorism.”

The national media largely ignored the story, and the Chicago media reported it as … anti-war activists being intimidated and investigated and manhandled by oppressive law enforcement. …

Iosbaker is … the Chief Steward for SEIU Local 73. One would think that a high-ranking union official linked to support of international terrorism would be national news

But no. The mainstream media will ignore the story if they can, and if they can’t, spin it as a story of mean right-wing anti-union bias.

(We confess to anti-union bias. One of the great achievements of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was, in our opinion, her victory over the economy-wrecking British trade unions, especially the National Union of Mineworkers in 1985.)

As we all know, people of Andy Stern’s and Iosbaker’s political persuasion are not union leaders for the love of the workers: they are left revolutionaries who hope to use the unions as a means to their ends. Read about Andy Stern here.

Iosbaker and Weiner were active members, with Barack Obama, of the New Party in Chicago. Read about it here at Gulag Bound. It was formed by an alliance of three organizations:

  • The Democratic Socialists of America – the largest Marxist organization in America
  • SEIU

Also heavily involved were the Communist Party USA breakaway group Committees of Correspondence and far left ‘think tank’ the Institute for Policy Studies.

Obama “not only worked closely with these New Party candidates”, he himself was a member of it.

All of which should have been made known to the electorate by the media during the presidential campaigns of 2008, but was not.

It’s useful to bring it up now, when Obama and his Democratic hurrah-chorus are calling Constitutionalists, Republicans, and Tea Party people “extremists”. (See here and here.)

Sound the trumpet! 8

Sound the trumpet! Beat the drum! The dread and powerful Malworm Stuxnet is getting nastier!

The secret weapon deployed against Iran, an entirely new type of computer virus named Stuxnet (see our post A virus that might save us all, September 25, 2010), has done even more damage to the Iranian nuclear program and industries than they were at first willing to admit. It incapacitates vital programs, steals and transmits information to its (as yet unidentified, but almost certainly Israeli and US) creators and controllers, and it may be indestructible.

Debkafile now reports how the Iranians’ own computer experts are discovering that the harder they try to extirpate the insidious and elusive enemy, the deeper it establishes itself, and the more havoc it wreaks.

Not only have their own attempts to defeat the invading worm failed, but they made matters worse: The malworm became more aggressive and returned to the attack on parts of the systems damaged in the initial attack.

They’re frantically searching Europe (and probably Germany most persistently because Siemens is Iran’s main systems supplier) for someone who can and will save them from the devouring monster, the invisible worm that is destroying the life of their military-industrial complex. They’re offering astronomical fees to computer mercenaries, but haven’t found anyone to come to their aid. Even if some are willing to try, the Iranians put insuperable obstacles in the way. However badly they need the infidels to save them, they will not let them know what they’re doing and where they’re doing it.

Yet all the while the worm goes on revealing what and where and how.

One [European] expert said: “The Iranians have been forced to realize that they would be better off not ‘irritating’ the invader because it hits back with a bigger punch.”

Perhaps, this expert suggested, even its makers cannot stop it:

Looking beyond Iran’s predicament, he wondered whether the people responsible for planting Stuxnet in Iran – and apparently continuing to offload information from its sensitive systems – have the technology for stopping its rampage.

Some observers (presumably in the US and/or Israel) believe that the number of systems and networks struck by the worm is far greater that the Iranian figure of 30,000 or 45,000, and is more likely to be in the millions.

If that is the case, and if nobody in the world can stop it, Iran is well and truly …. let’s say, wrecked.

For the present at least, Iran is defeated. Western triumphalism is decidedly called for. So another blast of the trumpet, please, another roll on the drum!

Posted under Iran, Israel, jihad, Technology, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, September 29, 2010

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Power speaking truth 1

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey says what needs to be said, in the straight way it needs to be said, to progressive journalist Tom Moran who writes for The Star Ledger.

If only there could be just such a governor for every state in the Union!

How about Chris Christie for President?

Posted under media, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, September 29, 2010

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The dying of the light 10

The Obama administration is growing ever longer arms and ever more grasping fingers, to reach into every aspect, activity, and setting of our lives: our homes, our possessions, our habits, our tastes, our choices, our  minds; to regulate, manipulate, constrain, constrict, direct, control us. Their aim? For them,  power beyond the imaginations of all former tyrants; for us, helpless dependence, obedience, submission.

An exaggeration? Let’s see.

Among the people he has appointed to “czardom”, the unelected ideologues who have real executive power, are “behavioral scientists” and “behavioral economists”, who are actively trying to “usher in an era of profound social reform by getting us to change the way we behave, little by little, every day”, to quote an article by Christine Rosen in the July/August issue of Commentary, titled Now Behave. She names in particular Cass Sunstein, co-author of Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth,  and Happiness, whom Obama has appointed his “regulation czar”. What he and his fellow philosophers now governing the Republic are doing is, in Rosen’s words:

.. reconciling political theory with the scientific study of human behavior since, they argue, the old categories of political theory no longer apply. … Personal responsibility? Impossible in a complicated world governed by complex ‘systems’ and limitless choices.  The result is a kind of [Pavlovian] stimulus-response politics that promises to liberate citizens from having to make complicated choices in exchange for limiting their freedom.

Promises to liberate us from liberty?

It’s all for own good, of course, as every tyranny has ever been for the good of the tyrannized. But it’s not just for our own individual good. No  – as always it’s for the good of “society”.

Rosen explains:

The new behaviorism isn’t interested in protecting people’s freedom to choose. Its core principle is the idea that only by allowing an expert to limit choices can individuals learn to break their bad habits. … Contemporary behaviorists want to nudge us, but not merely to make us happier, better people. They have specific hopes for the social effects this nudging will achieve: fewer smokers, thinner Americans, higher savings rates.

Now we see the dream in  detail. It’s not exactly the same as the grand, vague, Marxist utopian dream of a proletarian paradise. It’s a more mundane, banal projection, concerned with correcting trivial behaviors that insult the puritan eye, nose, and tight fist. A largely aesthetic ideal based on parsimony, satisfying a taste for sparseness and austerity, with everyone skinny and no more unsightly fatties impeding passage through the mall. The venting of a petty and stingy enviousness that cannot endure the sight of abundance. A drive for conforming discipline, with a Spartan adulation of rude health, conjuring up images of medicine-ball, gym-slip, girls’ organizations in the early twentieth century.

The intelligentsia of the Western world, the elite that always classes itself with the rulers rather than the ruled, think all this is wonderful, great, brilliant. If you doubt it, read what distinguished critics and academics say about Cass Sunstein’s book Nudge, quoted proudly in it. Eg: “a wonderful book”; “this gem of a book”; “insightful and amusing, practical and deep … a must-read for anyone who wants to see both our minds and our society working better … it will make the world a better place“.

They see no contempt in it. No evil will. After all, it’s not a plan to force us, the masses; just to plant certain ideas in our minds so we can mull them over and come to accept them as better ideas than our own.

Not forcing us? Are they not already taking steps to regulate how much salt and fat we eat? To limit how much credit we may have so we don’t go and buy something just because we want it? The way you live in your own home will be scrutinized and corrected. Think you can cheat? They have technologies unavailable to earlier totalitarians, and they’ll use them to mold us to their heart’s desire.They are putting X-ray vans on the streets from which they can look into your house and see if you’re just lolling about when you should be working out (in either sense of the phrase). Complain about it? They’ll know. They’re working on censoring your internet communications.

Let’s look at an example of government interference in our home lives, at one way our betters are limiting the choices we can make in small and necessary things.

Ed Feulner, president of that splendid stronghold of conservative principles, the Heritage Foundation, writes today in Townhall:

So, are you ready to comply with the federal government’s ban on incandescent light bulbs? Me neither.

Starting in January 2012, a little over a year from now, the phase-out begins. Simple, inexpensive lighting will become a time-capsule item. Compact-fluorescent lights, or CFLs — the bulbs that look like a twisted ice-cream cone (and won’t fit in many light fixtures where space is tight) — will become the new norm.

Anyone who has priced CFLs knows they’re not cheap. Supposedly they’re worth the extra money because they’ll last longer. That’s cold comfort, though, given the dull, unnatural glow that these bulbs throw off.

Worse, CFLs are full of mercury. If one breaks — and who hasn’t dropped a light bulb now and then? — you have an elaborate clean-up process ahead of you. It’s on the EPA’s website, and it involves evacuating the area of all people and pets, and using duct tape and damp paper towels to get everything up. (Go to for complete details.) And no vacuuming, or you may disperse the mercury – which, after all, is a toxic substance.

So why are we making the switch? … The theory, of course, is that we’ll consume less energy. It’s all part of the green agenda. The same agenda that the president insists will produce scads of high-paying, earth-friendly “green jobs.” Tell that to the 200 workers in Winchester, Va., who are losing their jobs as General Electric closes its incandescent-bulb factory there. Or to the Americans who work in other plants that have been shuttered.

Yes, some jobs will be created, thanks to the ban. Unfortunately, those jobs won’t be here in the U.S. — they’ll be in China, where CFLs can be made cheaper. …

But at least we’ll be saving energy, right? Not according to a recent study sponsored by Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. It found that energy use under newer “efficient” lighting will actually go up rather than down.

But their will be done.

One of the most profoundly troubling things about all this is that it’s being done to us so easily. Who is crying out against it? Even those who are aware that it is happening are not raising a hullabaloo, not threatening – let alone taking – action to prevent it. Christine Rosen, though she reports, explains, and objects to it, does not  seem appalled by it. Ed Feulner, a champion of individual liberty, says of the light-bulb diktat: “This whole affair is a prime example of bad ‘unintended consequences’ resulting from well-intentioned plans — plans imposed by devotees of big-government solutions for nearly every problem.”

Well-intentioned? Can no one see that what we are being subjected to, stealthily nudged into, is a subservience more absolute than Orwell visualized, or Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, and Kim Jong Il achieved?

Or are these absurd comparisons? True, no cruel punishments, no forced starvation, no mass killings are written into the scenario. The program wears a smiley face. Its authors, the rulers, wish only the happiness of all mankind.

Didn’t they all?

Jillian Becker    September 28, 2010

‘War on Want’ and the Jewish People 28

Sam Westrop asks why John Hilary of War on Want suggests Shlomo Sand’s ‘The Invention of the Jewish People’ is suitable for ‘learning more about Palestine’. This piece was originally published at The Propagandist:

The debate regarding anti-Zionism’s anti-Semitic overtones is as ever applicable and is as ever strenuously contested. On a British University campus, I regularly experience screaming denials of bigotry from not just British Islamists and their morally anaemic far-Left supporters, but also from persons considered – or at least self-perceived – to be moderates.

For a while now, I have taken what I consider to be a reasonable and positive perspective: if one ignores the unquestionable suffering and the consequent emotional and rational incentives of the Jewish people to provide themselves with the optimism, prosperity and success of the self-reliance and security of a homeland, then one can reject Zionism – or Jewish nationalism – but only on the absolute condition that one also rejects Palestinian nationalism. To choose one over the other is a consummate hypocrisy that assumes absolutely no rational premise or a desire for peaceful resolution.

One particular NGO, which any rational yet uninformed observer would expect to take an enlightened and progressive position, would be ‘War on Want’ – a registered British charity which received just under half a million pounds from the European Commission and about £160,000 from the British Government in 2009.

The stated aims of War on Want include the promise ‘to relieve global poverty however caused through working in partnership with people throughout the world’. Such wording presupposes a forward-thinking organisation that acts in the interest of progress and prosperity; regrettably, the very opposite is true.

Read more…

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Monday, September 27, 2010

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No terrorist left behind 5

Obama wants no Muslim to feel shunned and excluded, even if he’s a known terrorist, and even if the place he’s excluded from is a top-secret government center.

What about Muslim terrorists? Must they to be let in to such places, lest they feel cruelly discriminated against?

Oh, yes! For one thing, you see, no Muslims are terrorists, and no terrorists are Muslims. There is only a “tiny minority” of “extremists” who carry out terrorism in the name of Islam and in no way represent the Religion of Peace. Indeed, the word “Muslim” should never be uttered in the same sentence as the word “terrorist”.  Such is the official and only-permissible opinion of the Obama administration.

Furthermore, in those official eyes, even Muslims  who have been proved to be dedicated supporters of active terrorist organizations are really only the maligned victims of prejudice, and they more than any need to be reassured that they are trusted and respected. How may this be done? Why, invite them into the National Counterterrorism Center, show them around, let them ask questions and give them frank, full, and honest answers. They’re Muslims, not terrorists, for godssake!

Our view is obstinately different. We say those who finance, support, applaud, and defend terrorism, are co-perpetrators of terrorism. We know that without their fans and funders, the terrorists could not operate. We have also observed that almost all acts of terrorism carried out anywhere in the world in the 21st. century have been perpetrated by Muslims in the name of Islam (today’s tally, 16115 since 9/11). But there you – our terrorist is an Obama administration’s peace-lover.

One such known co-perpetrator, who was invited to look around the country’s counter-terrorism facilities and acquire sensitive information, is an agent of Hamas named Kifah Mustapha.

What a gift to the sworn enemies of the United States! He and they must be laughing fit to burst!

Patrick Poole reports at Big Peace:

A known Hamas operative and unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in U.S. history – Kifah Mustapha – was recently escorted into the top-secret National Counterterrorism Center and other secure government facilities, including the FBI’s training center at Quantico, during a six-week “Citizen’s Academy” hosted by the FBI as part of its “outreach” to the Muslim Community. The group was accompanied by reporter Ben Bradley of WLS-Chicago (ABC), who filed a report on the trip …

“Sheik Kifah Mustapha, who runs the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, asked some of the most pointed questions during the six week FBI Citizens’ Academy and trip to Washington. He pushed agents to fully explain everything from the bureau’s use of deadly force policy to racial and ethnic profiling. ‘I saw a very interesting side of what the FBI does and I wanted to know more,’ Sheik Mustapha explained after returning from D.C. …”

Yes, I bet he wanted to know everything about the FBI’s policies.

Curiously, Bradley’s report on the Citizen’s Academy fails to make note of Mustapha’s extensive terrorist ties and support for Hamas, including his former employment with the Holy Land Foundation, which was listed as a specially designated terrorist group by the U.S. government in December 2001, and whose executives were convicted of terrorism support in 2008 and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. Mustapha was personally named unindicted co-conspirator (#31) in the case and employment records submitted by federal prosecutors during the trial showed that he received more than $154,000 for his work for the Holy Land Foundation between 1996 and 2000. In a deposition he gave in a civil trial concerned with the murder of a Chicago teenager killed by Hamas while waiting for a bus in Israel, Mustapha admitted that he was the registered agent for the Holy Land Foundation in Illinois, and also to his involvement with other Hamas front groups, including the Islamic Association for Palestine. He was later hired as an imam by the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, which the Chicago Tribune reported in 2004 has long been a hotbed of Hamas support. …

Why should terrorist operatives have to covertly case potential targets when the FBI will happily escort them and take them into areas they would never be able to reach on their own? Who’s next on the FBI’s “outreach” calendar, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his fellow GITMO detainees?

Sure, why not? After they’ve had a civil trial and been acquitted, they might be given jobs in the intelligence services. Their expertise would be of inestimable value to the state.

No terrorist left behind.

A virus that might save us all 8

Why has Israel not bombed Iranian nuclear facilities? Perhaps because it doesn’t need to. Perhaps it has found another way to destroy Iran’s nuclear capability.

Instead of risking lives and aircraft and weaponry, it seems that Israelis may be crippling Iran’s nuclear industry by using their best and most reliable resource – their brains.

One thing is certain: cyber war is being waged on Iran. Whether or not it was the Israelis who devised it, an extremely destructive computer virus called STUXNET has incapacitated some 30,000 Iranian industrial computers including at least 3,000 centrifuges.

The rumor is that Israel is hitting Iran with it, in partnership with the US.

Neither Israeli nor US confirmation has been forthcoming. But neither has Israeli or US denial.

Peripheral information helps to make the rumor plausible. Israel has been able to acquire up-to-date knowledge of Iran’s nuclear secrets for some time now. Human spies were suspected. But it seems that no one had to penetrate the secret facilities. Israel, the story goes, has Iran’s most vital computers in its hands.

Here’s part of the latest report on this interesting and heartening development:

[Mahmoud] Alyaee, secretary-general of Iran’s industrial computer servers, including its nuclear facilities control systems, confirmed Saturday, Sept. 25, that 30,000 computers belonging to classified industrial units had been infected and disabled by the malicious Stuxnet virus.

[According to] Washington and defense sources … a clandestine cyber war is being fought against Iran by the United States with elite cyber war units established by Israel. Stuxnet is believed to be the most destructive virus ever devised for attacking major industrial complexes, reactors and infrastructure. The experts say it is beyond the capabilities of private or individual hackers and could have been produced by a high-tech state like America or Israel, or its military cyber specialists.

The Iranian official said Stuxnet had been designed to strike the industrial control systems in Iran manufactured by the German Siemens and transfer classified data abroad.

The head of the Pentagon’s cyber war department, Vice Adm. Bernard McCullough said Thursday, Sept. 22, that Stuxnet had capabilities never seen before. In a briefing to the Armed Forces Committee of US Congress, he testified that it was regarded as the most advanced and sophisticated piece of Malware to date.

According to Alyaee, the virus began attacking Iranian industrial systems two months ago. He had no doubt that Iran was the victim of a cyber attack which its anti-terror computer experts had so far failed to fight. Stuxnet is powerful enough to change an entire environment, he said without elaborating. Not only has it taken control of automatic industrial systems, but has raided them for classified information and transferred the data abroad.

This admission by an Iranian official explains “how the United States and Israel intelligence agencies have been able to keep pace step by step [with] progress made in Iran’s nuclear program. Until now, Tehran attributed the leaks to Western spies using Iranian double agents.”

But if  it is true that the US is waging the cyber war, and what is more waging it in alliance with Israel, it can only be with the approval and permission of Obama – right?

Obama supporting Israel in a war against Iran? Admittedly a war without bloodshed, but still a war. This would be so plainly counter to Obama’s open-hand policy towards Iran that we remain skeptical – not of the fact that Iran is being severely hampered on its road to becoming a nuclear-armed power, nor that Israel is attacking Iran with a new kind of weapon, but that Obama wants it to happen. Sooner or later we’ll know more.

Meanwhile, all-hail great Stuxnet! – as long as the toxic terror remains in friendly hands.

Obama aids the burning youths of France 14

It seems that Obama, forever the community organizer, is having his Alinskyite methods taught to the Muslims of France who habitually riot and burn cars in the banlieues of Paris and other towns, and are commonly referred to as “Youths”.

Read about it here.

An extract:

With an annual public affairs budget of about $3 million, the Paris embassy has sponsored a variety of urban renewal projects, music festivals and conferences. Since Obama’s election, the Americans have helped organize seminars for minority politicians, coaching them in electoral strategy, fund-raising and communications.

The International Visitor Leadership Program, which sends 20 to 30 promising French entrepreneurs and politicians to America for several weeks each year, now includes more minority participants, and Muslims in particular. …

The embassy is “trying to connect with the next generation of leaders in France,” [US Ambassador to France] Rivkin said. “That includes the banlieues.”

Obama’s outreach to Muslims is global. No Muslim community anywhere left out?

When innocence is a vice 5

Considering what is done to prisoners in Iran, what American captives have had to endure at the hands of the mullahs, and how women generally are treated under Islamic law, one might say that Sarah Shourd is extraordinarily fortunate to have been let out of prison and allowed to leave that fearful country. Her half a million dollars ransom was almost certainly paid by the US State Department with tax-payers’ money, though that’s unlikely ever to be admitted for the sensible reason that if a state is known to be willing to pay for the release of its kidnapped citizens, more will be kidnapped. So rumors that the Sultan of Oman paid it out of the goodness of his generous heart have been allowed to float.

How did she come to be in Iranian hands? She and two men friends decided to go for a nice long walk somewhere abroad, for recreation, exercise and amusement. Did they look at maps and pictures of various likely resorts for walking vacations? Did they consider Scotland, Canada, New Zealand? Whether they did or not, what they chose was Iraq: a country that has barely if at all emerged from a long war, where every day people are being shot down and blown up. One of the most dangerous places on  earth. And the route they chose was along the border with Iran, another of the most dangerous countries on earth, at least for Americans. They could have picked only one region more dangerous – the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Were they excited by the idea of putting themselves at risk? Were they “playing chicken”? Did they imagine, fear, or get a frisson at the idea, that they might be taken hostage? And did they not understand that if they were, they’d be putting their families and their country over a barrel? Or are they – as many  say they are for loss of a better explanation, and the Iranian authorities insist they are – spies? Shourd denies it, but so she must, whether it’s true or not.

We don’t think the three hikers are spies. We think they’re more likely to be reckless fools. And yet – how did they get to where they were captured? What documents did they need to get into Iraq? Can anyone do it? Are crowds of tourists landing there daily now? Do coaches take parties of Americans sightseeing or bird-watching? How did they get from wherever it was they entered Iraq to the Iranian frontier? On foot? Unchallenged and unmolested? The more one thinks about it, the stranger the whole affair seems, and the more questions present themselves.

Where do Sarah Shourd’s political sympathies lie? Had she ever protested against the Iraq war? Was she trying to prove something?

Does she by character belong in that class of  “privileged, young, white” women from America, Europe and Israel (Jewish and Arab) who are going to the West Bank to protect the Palestinians from Israeli soldiers by interposing themselves between the “murderous” Jews and their hapless victims – and, Phyllis Chesler writes at FrontPage, are being kidnapped, raped, and (in the case of the Arab girls only, presumably) forced into marriage by the subjects of their selfless compassion?

According to one recent and very disturbing report, foreign (American and European) and Israeli Jewish and Arab left-feminists are being routinely harassed, raped, and even forced into marriage by the very Palestinians whom they have come to “rescue.” More shocking is the alleged pressure brought to bear on those activists who wish to press charges about being raped or abducted into marriage; their own movement presumably pressures them not to do so because the alleged Israeli “occupation” of Palestine is far more important than the violent “occupation” of any woman’s body.

The type of girl we’re talking about has been sacrificing herself for noble causes to the annoyance and inconvenience of others, and her own ultimate remorse, since the nineteenth century.

Joseph Conrad wrote about her sort in a story called The Informer:

She went to a great length. She had acquired all the appropriate gestures of revolutionary convictions – the gestures of pity, of anger, of indignation against the anti-humanitarian vices of the social classes to which she belonged herself. …She was displaying very strikingly the usual signs of severe enthusiasm, and had already written many sentimental articles with ferocious conclusions. … For all their assumption of independence, girls of that class are used to the feeling of being specially protected, as, in fact, they are. This feeling accounts for nine tenths of their audacious gestures.

Reckless adventurism and a self-righteous refusal to believe that people can intend to do evil – especially if those people have been selected as objects of pity – are not criminal but they are not blameless. Willful ingenuousness amounts to a vice. A grown-up should know better.

Jillian Becker    September 24, 2010

Posted under Arab States, Commentary, Iran, Iraq, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Palestinians by Jillian Becker on Thursday, September 23, 2010

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Keeping the economic faith 5

Larry Summers is leaving the White House where he tried to put Keynesian economic theory into practice without success. Having proved that it doesn’t work, he is returning to Harvard to continue teaching it.

Why give it up, the beloved theory? Like a theology, it depends on faith, not reason.

Investor’s Business Daily comments:

The departure of Larry Summers as President Obama’s top economic adviser says a lot about the White House these days. As one policy after another runs aground, top officials are jumping ship.

Like Christina Romer, former head of the Council of Economic Advisers, and recently departed budget chief Peter Orszag, Summers was done in by his own incompetence. …

Summers was instrumental in crafting the failed $862 billion stimulus program. With the economy barely growing more than a year after the “recovery” began, and with unemployment at 9.6% and rising, it’s safe to say the Obama-Summers “stimulus” has been a failure. …

Everyone seems to recognize Summers’ eccentric academic brilliance. As Democrats often remind us, he became — at 28 — Harvard’s youngest full professor. …

Summers, like many others in the academic economics profession, embraced outmoded ideas of Keynesian stimulus that ignore how the real world works. We’re paying for it today.

For the record, Keynesianism — the idea that a jolt of government spending can, Frankenstein-like, “stimulate” a dead economy back to life — has never worked. Not during the Great Depression. Not during the stagflationary ’70s. Not during Japan’s two lost decades. Never.

The only reason Keynesianism hasn’t been tossed on the ash heap of bad ideas is that tenured academics at the nation’s universities keep it alive. Summers now returns to Harvard to teach and defend the fallacy to a new generation of brilliant students.

Posted under Commentary, Economics, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, September 23, 2010

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