In The News: An Independence Whip, July 3, 2010

Elena Kagan: Well, That Looks Like My Handwriting On That Memo, But Gee I Don’t Know What You’re Talking About [*1] — And with this, I come to the point where I do not believe I would trust this woman to walk my dog, let alone be a justice of the Supreme Court . . .

Sen. Coburn: Kagan ‘Ignorant’ of Constitutional Principles; ‘I Wouldn’t Rule Out a Filibuster’ [*2] — Actually, the Republicans’ actually going ahead, finding some cojones, and shutting Washington down for the rest of the year would probably set off an economic boom all by itself . . . Breitbart’s big $100k

And, here’s Glenn Reynolds’ thoughts on the Breitbart bounty on the Journolist e-mails. [*3] — As Tigerhawk notes, the Instapundit has an “impish” sense of humor . . .

The perfect as the enemy of the good [*4]

CBO: Deficit To Reach 62% This Year; But Don’t Fear, It Will Stabilize At 67% [*5]

NRC Shuts Down Obama Administration’s Attempt to Close Yucca [*6] — A victory of common sense over Obama-driven “progressive” political posturing?

Shock: Sotomayor Lied In Her Confirmation To Appease Republicans [*7] — If true, wouldn’t this constitute perjury?

Is It Constitutional? Well, It’s Dumb, but That’s Not the Same Thing. All Right Then. [*8]

Video: Tony LaRussa endorses Arizona immigration effort [*9]

IRS Fails Government Audit [*10]

Confirmed: Russian spies really, really dumb [*11] — But what if (cue ominous music) these buffoons were not the real spies? (cue crescendo) . . .

Boehner Punk-slaps POTUS [*12]

Science, Sports, and Miscellany: An Independence Whip, July 3, 2010

Weather vs. Climate [*1]

The two most important boundary conditions (inputs) to seasonal forecasts are sea surface temperatures and soil moisture. No one has shown any skill at modeling either of those, so no surprise that The Met Office Seasonal forecasts were consistently wrong.

Note that the word “skill” in this context is a term of art, with a specific, technical meaning–the easiest way of understanding the term as used in statistical modeling is that a model that has “skill” if it can provably and repeatably predicting whatever it happens to be modeling better a prediction based on than random chance–i.e. flipping a coin. Models that have skill have some usefulness in understanding what may happen. Models with no skill have no value–other than, perhaps, as political totems. WAC puts expansion plans on hold [*2]

Can You Make a Snail Forget? [*3]

Zapping Titan-Like Atmosphere With UV Rays Creates Life Precursors [*4]

Virgin Olive Oil and a Mediterranean Diet Fight Heart Disease by Changing How Our Genes Function [*5]

Honey as an Antibiotic: Scientists Identify a Secret Ingredient in Honey That Kills Bacteria [*6]

Andrew Sullivan Is Not Merely Insane, But No Longer Lucid [*7] — Inside blogball . . .

Feathered Friends: Ostriches Provide Clues to Dinosaur Movement [*8]

Human-Made Global Warming Started With Ancient Hunters [*9] — *snort* *chortle* *snicker* . . . “correlation is not causation” . . .

More Fish Than Thought May Thrive in the Ocean’s Depths, Study Suggests [*10]

Cartoon: The 24 Types of Libertarian [*11] — I could personally–possibly–fit several of the depicted categories. Except it’s not that simple, is it? (heh!)

Lights Out: Cruise Ship Loses Power at Sea [*12] — We were on a cruise once when this happened–but it was still daylight, and a calm ocean, luckily . . .

Delta sells two regional airlines, wants to focus on mainline flying [*13]

Too much fructose could raise your blood pressure [*14]

NASA delays shuttle finale until 2011 [*15]

De Pasquale’s Dozen — TV’s Andy Levy [*16] — I do believe he’s an odd duck . . . we need more odd ducks . . .

Crews Accidentally Chop Down Dan Quisenberry Memorial [*17] — Oops . . .

Stereotyping People by Their Favorite Author [*18] — Apparently, I really like monkeys. Although Roger Zelazny did not make her list.

Corruption and Abuse of Power: An Independence Whip, July 2, 2010

And Justice For All [*1]

The salient thing about J. Christian Adams’s accusation that the Obama administration deliberately let off the New Black Panther Party after it engaged in voter intimidation is that, if true, it constitutes a pure exercise in the abuse of power. The other wrongs it represents — the perversion of the electoral process, the violation of civil rights — are secondary. The most serious allegation in the whole affair is that the certain officials countenanced a crime because they wanted to. The most concentrated expression of tyranny is malice in the service of caprice.

If Obama knew that this investigation got quashed–let alone ordering its suppression–I personally think it rises to the level of an impeachable offense. It’s that serious. Union official: Obama used me as a middleman to talk to Blagojevich about the Senate seat [*2]

NYPD, Stop-and-Frisk, and a Rock Star Police Chief [*3]

The SEIU Smoking Gun: Did Obama lie about Blago seat? [*4] — If you throw enough people under the bus, sooner or later you high-center yourself . . .

PBS Station Caves To Leftist Donor, Cancels Discussion Panel of ‘Surge’ Film With Liz Cheney [*5] — Remind me again why public funding of PBS is more important than, say, extending unemployment benefits?

The Trouble with Wikipedia: A Cautionary Tale [*6] — “In February, PJM published an article on German government subsidies of English-language cinema. Why is an American translator from Berlin not allowing the information to appear on Wikipedia?”

So, did you hear the one about U.S. politicians lecturing Afghans on corruption? [*7] — Ouch. That one stung.

Independence Whip, July 4, 2010

Resolved: America Ought To Be Free! [*1]

Barack Obama Is Making Me Laugh [*2]

So I listened to his speech on immigration and chuckled as he lectured us, yet again, on what America is — as if he had a clue about what America is. His contempt for us is so palpable. As if he had any respect for what makes America great – free speech, individual rights, entrepreneurship, and privacy rights. As if he had a clue as to why legal immigrants come here — to escape tyrants and would-be tyrants like him.

Wile E. Obama, Genius.

Basic economic ignorance [*3] — The left has talked themselves into believing that up is down, black is white, ignorance is strength, and foolishness is deep wisdom. They have detached themselves from reality and are floating freely in a delusion of their own creation.

More Anti-Christian Propaganda From ‘Law & Order’ [*4] — Tired agitprop from aging leftist “creative geniuses.” Illustrative of how the left has detached themselves from reality.

The Anti-Educational Effects of Public Schools [*5] — Privatize all the “public” schools–including the universities. Abolish and make illegal andy and all government money transfers of any kind to any educational institution–subsidy, grant, salary, anything. Give every person–man, woman, child–an education voucher, the value of which is determined by the sum total of all “education” spending by government, divided by the number of legal inhabitants of the country. Put the money in named, numbered accounts for the exclusive use of the individual legal inhabitant.

Let people decide where–or if–to spend their money for education–and that education can be standard academic training, learning a trade or craft, or they can use it to fund another person’s education, or fund research, if they choose not to use the money themselves.

We need to break out of the old ways of thinking. They are no longer adequate to the challenges of today. The old, 18th-century model of primary, secondary, and higher education is no longer serving us well. We need something new.

Let’s invent it. So You Want to Commit Novel: #5 Muddle In The Middle [*6]

Executive Temperament: Principles Matter [*7]

What is needed is a repeal of Obamacare; what is needed is a paring back and even a gradual elimination of the welfare state; what is needed is a constitutional amendment banning unfunded and partially-funded mandates; what is needed is a withdrawal of the federal government from spheres (such as education) left by the Constitution to individuals and the states; what is needed is a reinvigoration of local and state governments; what is need is a new spirit in Washington.

What we are likely to get, however, if we do not watch out, is more of the same.

AGW Mathematics : -30 + 5 = 0 [*8] — Which ends in a quote from my personal intellectual hero and role model:

“Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts”
– Richard Feynman

Chicago Machine Is Afraid of a… Mom! [*9]

125K jobs lost in June, unemployment goes to 9.5% [*10]

What is the Tea Party? A growing state of mind [*11] — This somehow got by the usual fact-editors and leftist spin-meisters and into print. I wonder how long it will last until it gets airbrushed or sent into the Memory Hole.

I think the Tea Party is best understood as an insurgency–against the ruling class in the Republican Party, against the general socialist drift of the nation since the late 1800’s, against the creeping, encroaching, all-embracing nanny-state.

Voter enthusiasm higher for GOP voters [*12]

Could Obama Be More Unpopular? [*13] — Oh, sure. Wile E. Obama has not hit the canyon bottom yet. He’s still enjoying the whistling tune of the wind in his ears.

Obama: Economy still headed right direction [*14] — See the wind, whistling in Wile E. Obama’s ears. “We’re headed in the right direction” he says. Genius.

“So Big Government policies are killing GE jobs that might thrive in the free market, while creating GE jobs that never would survive in a free market. Obama is replacing unsubsidized jobs with subsidized jobs.” [*15] — GENIUS! Convert jobs that don’t cost taxpayers money, to jobs that DO cost taxpayers money. What could possibly go wrong?

Democrats’ 2010 Strategy: Attack, Attack, then Attack Some More [*16] — So what else is new?

The Strategic Genius of Sarah Palin [*17] — Meanwhile, that bumbling buffoon ignoramus Caribou Barbie of Wasilla somehow keeps stumbling from political success to political success. ‘Tis a puzzlement, ’tis . . .

The IPCC consensus on climate change was phoney, says IPCC insider [*18] — Careful observers have known this for quite some time. Lefties–fat, dumb and happy in their own fantasy world–may on the other hand find this fact somewhat inconvenient . . .

How to Make an American Job Before It’s Too Late: Andy Grove [*19] — I realize it’s probably a bit of knuckledragging on my part, but I think the advice of a guy who founded Intel regarding how to create jobs is probably superior advice to a guy whose major achievement in life has been to have two “autobiographies” ghost-written for him.

Unemployment numbers “unexpectedly” rise again? Really? Unexpectedly? [*20] — Only unexpected to the lefties, fat, dumb and happy in their own fantasy world. Let’s call it Barackotopia?

Thugs From Jimmy Kimmel Show ‘Torture’ Pro-Life Activist With Hot Spotlight [*21]

Time to Go Global with Greater Economic Freedom [*22]

Hurricane GOP On The Way–Make no mistake about it: There is a wave out there, and for Democrats, the House is, at best, teetering on the edge. [*23]

Alligator takes late-night stroll through town [*24] — in Germany.

Freedom, Prosperity, and their Opponents: An Independence Whip, July 2, 2010

Sarah Palin: The Tea Party Hawk [*1] — For the record, I think the USA should be armed to the teeth, bristling with weapons that can reach out and touch anyone, any time, anywhere in the world. My favored foreign policy is: deal straight and fairly with us, and we’ll do the same with you. If not, understand that:
a) we are a nation made up of a bunch of mad, bad, and dangerous-to-know types who you REALLY do not want to piss off, and
b) no, really, REALLY, you do not want to piss us off, or we will hurt you very, very, very badly.

This foreign policy will, it is true and unfortunate, require the occasional loud, messy destruction of people who have successfully pissed us off (by, say, flying commercial airplanes into skyscrapers, or sawing off our journalists’ heads, or kidnapping our citizens and holding them on trumped up “spying” charges–or possibly even sinking one of our most valuable trading partner’s warships, or highly placed “elected” officials who consistently threaten the genocide of an entire religion, to which many of our citizens belong–things like that). This destruction will occur with our complete understanding that there will be some unfortunate collateral destruction of anyone else, guilty or innocent, who happens to be close enough to those who have pissed us off to be caught within the blast radius. What can you say? The real world is a bee-atch. This is quite cold-bloodedly intended to convince those innocent people near the guilty parties to give them up to us expeditiously to avoid any such regrettable collateral unpleasantness. (It is also, not coincidentally, almost exactly the observed foreign policy of, say, Russia–except for the “deal straight and fairly with us” part, which Russia seems to forget all to often.) Awakening From The Collective Dream [*2]

All of collectivism’s dreams are crumbling to dust before the eyes of people who spent their whole lives clinging to them out of desperation, or arrogance. The alternative to ambition and commerce is not “social justice,” but widespread poverty. The absence of growth brings collapse, not sustainability. The Constitutional rights of free people cannot exist alongside “positive rights” provided through redistribution. Abandoning the security of our borders does not produce a melting pot of happy immigrants. The government cannot repeal the laws of supply and demand. The freedom to vote does not render all other freedoms inconsequential. Prosperity for millions cannot be designed by a central committee. Social justice cannot be created by administering controlled viral doses of injustice.

Something has bothered me for a while. The only way you can conceive of the Constitution as a “charter of negative rights” as Obama does is if your entire mindset is that of a feudal lord, who is chafing under the “unfair” restrictions upon your behavior that the Constitution mandates. The only people who are told “NO” by the Constitution are those in the government.

The Constitution is a positive delegation of certain powers from where they originate–the people–to the people’s servant, the government–with the instruction that the government use those powers on behalf of the people. Obama’s view, and the view of those who think like Obama, is entirely, totally, 100% backwards. He, and they, believe that the government holds all power, and allows the people to do only certain, approved things. This is, precisely, the definition of tyranny.

Do Liberals Really Care About The ‘Human Condition’? [*3] — Yeah, they care. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all they’re intellectually capable of doing. History provides ample evidence that they SUCK at designing policy programs to actually deal with the “human condition.”

Crystal Balls [*4] — Or: Is Economics a “science?” Is any “social science” in any meaningful sense scientific?

Video: The Rahn curve and the albatross of too much government [*5]

Why Obamanomics Has Failed: Uncertainty about future taxes and regulations is enemy No. 1 of economic growth. [*6]

Two overarching reasons explain the failure of Obamanomics. First, administration economists and their outside supporters neglected the longer-term costs and consequences of their actions. Second, the administration and Congress have through their deeds and words heightened uncertainty about the economic future. High uncertainty is the enemy of investment and growth.

Why Obamanomics Has Failed – Annotated [*7] — The above, with bonus additional annotations and factual support. It doesn’t work. It’s not going to work. We need to go a different direction. We need to try a little liberty instead. Bottom-up beats top-down every time you give bottom-up a fighting chance.

No Easy Way to Fix Social Security [*8] — Well, actually, yes, there are easy ways to do it. Not politically palatable, perhaps, but it ain’t rocket science, either. Social Security is a bit like a river that’s flooded out of its banks. Return it to its proper course, and the problems diminish correspondingly. But right now what we’re trying to do is put all the houses in the flood plain up on higher stilts. (Of course, we probably shouldn’t have built the houses in the flood plain in the first place, but what’s done is done, right?)

CBO Reveals Magnitude of Reform Needed for Sustainable Fiscal Future [*9]

The Alinsky/Goldwater Axis [*10] — I wonder if Alinsky would approve of the leftists who are using his playbook to take over all of society . . .

Hayek on the Anti-Liberal Timber [*11]

“It is true, of course, that in Germany before 1933, and in Italy before 1922, communists and Nazis or Fascists clashed more frequently with each other than with other parties. They competed for the support of the same type of mind and reserved for each other the hatred of the heretic. But their practice showed how closely they are related. To both, the real enemy, the man with whom they had nothing in common and whom they could not hope to convince, is the liberal of the old type. While to the Nazi the communist, and the communist the Nazi, and to both the socialist, are potential recruits who are made of the right timber, although they have listened to false prophets, they both know that there can be no compromise between them and those who really believe in individual freedom.”

-F.A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom

Is Eating Fruits and Vegetables an Economic Activity? Does It Matter? [*12]

How did four Supreme Court justices wind up arguing against the Constitution? [*13]

Troubling COPPA Filing by Common Sense Media [*14]

Automatic Enrollment Builds Retirement Savings – Period. [*15]

What’s the Best Reading on the Founding? [*16]

Republicans Gaining Fast [*17] — Unfortunately, history shows that Republicans have this annoying habit of pissing potential political success down their collective legs . . . but if it’s actually true that Republican and Democrat party affiliations are now actually equal, then many polls are actually showing Democratic popularity as higher than it actually is. And since Obama’s popularity is under 50% already . . .

‘If You Develop A Love Of Liberty Lasting Longer Than 4 Hours, You Might Actually Be A Conservative’ [*18]

Concealed Carry on Campus? [*19] — The Constitution: Void where Prohibited (or deemed inconvenient). Is that the country you want to live in? Oh, wait, you’re not allowed to answer that question.

My Warning To The Establishment GOP [*20] — A Declaration of Independence, if you will . . .

Independence Whip, July 2, 2010

Who Pays the Taxes [*1]

Distribution of Federal Taxes [*2]

The federal tax system is progressive–that is, average tax rates generally rise with income. Households in the bottom fifth of the income distribution (with average income of $18,400, under a broad definition of income) paid 4.0 percent of their income in federal taxes. The middle quintile, with average income of $64,500, paid 14.3 percent of that income in taxes, and the highest quintile, with average income of $264,700, paid 25.1 percent.

who’s paying their fair share again?
Contrary to Democrat spin, the poor are NOT getting poorer. Their income was going up–not as fast as the wealthiest, maybe, but still going up . . .
But their proportion of the taxes paid keep going down. Yeah. Let’s talk about “fair.”

The question is always framed as “the rich aren’t paying their fair share.” Well, what’s fair? The only answer the “progressives” ever give is: “The poor pay less, and the rich pay more.” That’s an inherently unstable way to build a society–it ultimately leads to a permanent underclass–the ones without the money, and a permanent ruling class–the ones with the money. Eventually, the underclass catches onto the scam. Then you have revolutions.

Everybody needs to have some “skin in the game.” When you have 50% of the population paying no income tax at all, you’re starting to get into very, very dangerous territory, socially. That’s where we are right now.

Who’s paying their fair share again? Big 12 hoop intensity would soar if schedule were 18 games[*3]

Traduttore, Traditore: translations, languages and cultures [*4]

Palin Pipeline Project Right On Schedule : BP-ConocoPhillips Will Reportedly Join the TransCanada Project [*5]

Supreme Court nominee Kagan fends off Republican attacks [*6] — Oddly, when you enter the phrase “fends off Democratic attacks” you only get one link . . . A Byron York article from January, 2001 about the John Ashcroft hearings for his nomination as Attorney General. The phrase “fends off Democrat attacks” returns no hits at all. I guess Democrats never attack, do they?

What the Russian Sleepers Did [*7]

One of the interesting aspects of the modus operandi is that the distinction between their tasks at the behest of a foreign power and what activists might ordinarily do is pretty small. They met people and influenced options — that’s what people in policy circles do! This espionage case raises the question: if the behavior of Russian agents is outwardly no different from people who are practicing the “highest form of patriotism” what is the difference between the two? When the question: ‘whose side are you on?’ ceases to be a legitimate test of patriotism, how is treachery defined? Outwardly the sleepers did for love of the Rodina what many would do out of resentment toward their own country. Maybe the Russians will eventually return home to a medal. They knew at all events, whose side they were on.

Some people have no doubts.

Emphasis mine. It may be time to seriously–SERIOUSLY–start questioning the patriotism of many, many people on the Left–the “progressives” specifically. I’m talking about a simple question: Do you, or do you not think that traditional American freedom and liberty are in general good things, and should be defended? Any other answer than “yes, absolutely, what do I need to do?” marks you as unpatriotic.

Sorry to break that to you. But that’s what you “progressives” are pushing the rest of the country toward.

Money pledged for events center: Mayor’s five-year capital spending plan includes $1 million for planning, design [*8]

Perhaps the stupidest article I’ve ever seen [*9] — I don’t know. There is a lot of competition. But the one discussed in this article would definitely be a finalist.

What’s in the Missing Kagan Documents? [*10] — We don’t know what we don’t know . . . but we have a pretty good sneaking suspicion . . .

Investigate this [*11] — The failure of the Department of Justice to properly investigate the New Black Panthers’ voter intimidation campaign in Philadelphia in 2008 constitutes in itself a civil rights violation. The Justice Department officials, up to and including Attorney General Holder, should be charged with malfeasance and obstruction of justice. They are operating lawlessly. If Obama himself was involved in the decision not to pursue this investigation, that would constitute an impeachable offense.

Coming soon to a polling place near you. Vote wisely.

Morning Bell: The Dodd-Frank Assault on Economic Recovery [*12]

Recommended Reading From Top Hayekian Public Intellectuals [*13]

Russia is not our friend – part XVII [*14]

California university nets $200K from Palin speech [*15]

Blue Springs Man Loses Hand, Eye in Fireworks Explosion [*16] — Let’s be careful out there . . . don’t have a “Here, hold muh beer” moment.

Clarence Thomas: The Privileges and Immunities Clause Shall Rise Again [*17]

Dem Rep blasts Obama Gulf response as “incompetent” [*18]

Democrats Organize ‘Trackers,’ Seek ‘Macaca’ Moments [*19] — The politics of personal destruction are alive and well and living in Democrat campaign strategy rooms . . .

Is Kagan Really More Liberal than Justice Brennan? [*20]

Americans getting fatter, especially in the South [*21] — Judging from the photographs I’ve seen, is Elena Kagan a southerner? Oh, too catty? Sorry . . .

Awkward: Dems trying to recast Petraeus as a savior [*22]

Liberty: An Independence Whip, July 1, 2010

Libertarians write their own invitation to the party[*1]

First and foremost, libertarians like liberty, the idea that individuals have as much space as possible to make as many choices as possible (there’s a reason that Reason’s most recent anthology is called “Choice“). And unlike conservatives and liberals, who always fetishize some choices and demonize others, we’re pretty consistent. We generally like school choice and reproductive choice, for instance, and think you should have your choice of religion (including none at all) too, and drugs, and partners in life and business.

We recognize, too, that such a scheme is predicated upon tolerance and pluralism. Your right to boss me around should be as limited as my right to tell you what to do. There are legitimate areas where social consensus must be reached (defense, maybe courts, and a few other things) but since reaching that consensus is typically very expensive and ugly, those areas should be squeezed down to an absolute minimum. And if you make a mess, you’re responsible for cleaning it up.

More important, though, is the fact that libertarianism is not as rigid or programmatic as The Nolan Chart or your garden-variety Ayn Rand fan would have you believe. I like to think of it as an adjective rather than a noun. In any given situation, is your default position that people ought to have more freedom rather than less? If so, you just might be a libertarian (especially if you don’t find Rush—the band, not the bloviator—totally awful). Do you believe in decentralized, John Stuart Mill-like “experiments in living“ rather than top-down, command-and-control lifestyles (whether right-wing or left), then you might be a libertarian. Are you incredibly good-looking, witty and learned, the sort of man that women want and men want to be like (and vice versa)? Libertarian.

The only reason we have a rather clunky word like “libertarian” is that the anti-liberty forces (the “progressives”) appropriated the term “liberal” in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s to mean “socialist.” They do that a lot–take terms that people think mean one thing, and twist them to make them mean something else entirely.

Watch them. Watch how they talk. Watch what they actually mean when they say things like “fairness” and “freedom.” They don’t mean the same things that fairness and freedom mean to you.

To them, “fairness” means that people who go out and work hard and earn wealth by their sweat and wit should give some or all of that wealth to anyone who can imagine a grievance–now or any time in the past–against the person who has earned the wealth. It is not “fair” for people who work hard to have more than people who don’t work hard. “Fair” means that everybody should have the same amount of stuff. Except, of course, for that elite who decides what level of stuff is “fair” for everyone else to have. That’s “fairness.”

And “freedom” means not freedom of action–which is what most people think when they hear the word. No–in the mind of a “progressive,” freedom is a state of mind–it is a kind of nirvana–where a person’s every need and whim is met. Of course, reasonable and rational people know that it is impossible to meet any one person’s every need and whim, let alone the collective needs and whims of an entire nation. But “progressives,” for all their bluster, blather, obfuscation, and rhetoric, are not reasonable, rational people.

This is something else which is critical to understand about “progressives.” When you are discussing things with a doctrinare “progressive,” you are not talking to someone who is capable of understanding rational argument. They are totally consumed by their emotional side–their feelings–and because of that, they are impervious to any argument, because they simply know that they are right and that you are wrong–an unfeeling, heartless bastard–for not instantly and completely agreeing with them.

And this is the key to understanding why “progressive” policies fail. It is because they are emotionally-driven, knee-jerk reactions to all of the various unfortunate situations which occur in this imperfect world. “Progressive” policies are never well thought-out, and the unintended consequences of those policies–such as the inevitable bankrupting of the country because of the expansion of Social Security and Medicare–never occur to “progressives” because they are totally focused on “helping people right now.”

Don’t get me wrong: most “progressives” are not really bad people. They are useful–perhaps even necessary–to a society as a control, a check, a conscience. But they should never, ever, ever be allowed to run things. They simply don’t have the necessary intellectual tools to actually design and implement effective and truly humanitarian policies. When they are put in power, you get things like depressions, New Deals, Vietnam Wars, and Obama. Progressivism kills, but it kills in a way that it’s easy for “progressives” to point the finger elsewhere and walk away whistling happy tunes.

Progressives aren’t (usually) evil. They just can’t ever be trusted with political power.

(If we ever get to the point where I need a similar rant against “conservatives,” I’m sure I could whip one up. But conservatism hasn’t been a major problem of Western civilization since . . . well . . . maybe the Spanish Inquisition? Or the European-African slave trade, maybe? Although the human slavery question tended to work itself out over the 17th and 18th Centuries in most of Western civilization without a lot of opposition, with the notable exception of the American Civil War, where it took a very bloody, messy, nasty war to finally decide the issue in the American South. But that’s still 150 years ago now. Since then, conservatism has really not been an issue. And no, fascism is NOT a political philosophy with its origin in conservative/Christian thought. It’s a mutant offspring of 18th Century Marxism/German social democracy/progressivism. That’s just the historical fact of the matter. Go look it up.)

Thus endeth today’s lesson. Wow: Daily Kos Admits Highly Publicized Research 2000 Polling Was “Likely Bunk” [*2]

Hunting Weapon 10,000 Years Old Found in Melting Ice Patch [*3]

Krugman and the “Long Depression” Myth[*4]

Daily Kos to sue Research 2000 over polling fraud [*5]

Andrew Breitbart: I’m Offering $100,000 To Anyone Who Delivers Unto Me the JournoList Archives [*6]

Welcome to the Real World: Grim Prospects for Young Adults under Obamacare [*7]

The ‘Rahn Curve’ Shows Government Is Far too Big [*8] — Considering government is costing us as much right now as it was (as a percentage of national income) at the end of World War II, yeah, I’d say that big government’s gotten too big. For one thing, what are we going to do if we have to fight another major war? I’m not talking about Iraq or Afghanistan. I’m talking about a MAJOR war against a large, technologically and militarlly sophisticated opponent or group of opponents. What then?

History is littered with the stories of people who thought things couldn’t possibly happen to them. They seldom get to write those stories, however.

Riehl’s War on the GOP Establishment [*9]

DNC To Use Activist-Based Video Tracking Of Republicans [*10]

Twin City Tea Party candidate forum Democrats attend! [*11] — “Tea Parties” aren’t about Republicans — they’re about American liberty, and the preservation and promotion thereof . . .

Consumer confidence plunges in June [*12] — Oddly enough, so does the stock market. Although I suspect a lot of the selloff of Monday, June 29 may have been “getting out of the market while the getting was good” — or at least, while getting out still got you some of what you put in. It might be time to buy, it might not, yet. We might know by the time this note posts (as I’m writing it at 4:30 pm on June 29th . . . )

Police Blackout: Law enforcement agencies in Northern Virginia say you have no right to know what they’re doing. [*13] — Everything I’ve heard about police states leads me to believe that they are generally unpleasant places in which to live. I’d rather not turn America into one.

Discovering the Virtues of a Wandering Mind [*14]

Reward: $100,000 for Full ‘JournoList’ Archive; Source Fully Protected [*15]

Petraeus: “The commitment to Afghanistan is necessarily … an enduring one” [*16]

Stevens Calls the Right to Arms a ‘Property Right’ (for Him, the Ultimate Insult) [*17]

Video: G20 looter in Toronto taken down to the pavement [*18]

Softballs: WaPo Can’t Be Bothered To Challenge Oliver Stone’s Outrageous Statements [*19]

Obama & Biden’s “Summer of Recovery” Continues… [*20]

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to…the Daleks? [*21]

Boehner: A Republican Congress might try to raise the Social Security retirement age to 70 for some people [*22]

Independence Whip, July 1, 2010

Walter Lippmann on Progressivism [*1] — The uncomfortable truth that all too many people want to ignore–and some use Beck’s histrionics as an excuse–is that on the actual, factual grounds of history, Glenn Beck is correct.

Progressivism, a variant of the 19th Century German social democracy and political philosophy that also spawned Marxism and European 20th-Century fascism, took root in the U.S. in the late 1800’s, and with the elections of Theodore Roosevelt (R) and Woodrow Wilson (D) gained a dominant foothold in American political thinking. It simply metastasized with FDR’s “New Deal” into a peculiarly American form of socialism, which is now wheezing a death rattle, even as the “progressives” seek to give it larger and larger transfusions of our money. It will collapse–sooner or later–and that collapse will be a new birth of freedom, or the beginning of a dark age from which the world will be a long time recovering.

So, the failure of “progressivism” sooner–at the hands of the regular, common Americans who lately have called themselves “Tea Partiers,” “Patriots,” and other politically incorrect names–would be better, for everyone concerned. Everyone that is except perhaps those special interests most wedded to the existing system–large mega-corporations, labor unions, and the “intelligentsia” of government bureaucrats, university professors and think tanks, and Big Media who always seem prone to big ideas that centralize power and make power easier to grab and wield. The “progressives” aren’t offering “new” ideas at all. Their ideas are old. They’re wrongheaded, they don’t work as public policy, and they’re dangerous and corrosive to human morality and the human spirit.

Throughout the world, in the name of progress, men who call themselves communists, socialists, fascists, nationalists, progressives, and even liberals, are unanimous in holding that government with its instruments of coercion must by commanding the people how they shall live, direct the course of civilization and fix the shape of things to come. They believe in what Mr. Stuart Chase accurately describes as “the overhead planning and control of economic activity.” This is the dogma which all the prevailing dogmas presuppose. This is the mold in which are cast the thought and action of the epoch. No other approach to the regulation of human affairs is seriously considered, or is even conceived as possible. The recently enfranchised masses and the leaders of thought who supply their ideas are almost completely under the spell of this dogma. Only a handful here and there, groups without influence, isolated and disregarded thinkers, continue to challenge it. For the premises of authoritarian collectivism have become the working beliefs, the self-evident assumptions, the unquestioned axioms, not only of all the revolutionary regimes, but of nearly every effort which lays claim to being enlightened, humane, and progressive.

–Walter Lippmann, former “progressive”, after seeing clearly for the first time, in 1937, what Franklin Delano Roosevelt was doing. The words ring 100% true today. But there is another way–one that in a little over one hundred years turned a wilderness into the world’s most productive, prosperous, and powerful country. One that, when noticed at all, is either given lip service by the progressives, when it’s not being derisively laughed at and belittled. That’s why Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom is as relevant now as when it was written in 1944–He grew up in Germany, and writing the book from England, saw the exact same things happening in England–and in the United States.

“History doesn’t repeat itself. But it does rhyme.” – Mark Twain

Which reminds me of another thought I’ve had: If the concept of “linear time” is so backward and unsophisticated, why is it that a key tenet of “progressivism” is a steady, inexorable march towards better life and better men, and why do the many of the very same people who look down their noses at a perception of “linear time” simultaneously believe in it so fervently in political practice? Perhaps people with the “progressive” mindset are not quite as smart as they think they are. It wouldn’t be the first time, would it? Downsizing Detroit by means of eminent domain [*2] — Coming to a politically undesirable area near you, sooner than you think . . . so therefore you might want to think about not being politically undesirable in the New Progressive Order, ne?

Could Scott Brown Kill The Frank’n’Dodd Wall Street Reform? [*3] — The Republicans should simply say “Pass a budget, and then we’ll let other things be considered. Until you Democrats can successfully complete Item #1 in the Constitution’s list of the Enumerated Powers of Congress–to whit, “pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States”– then forget about taking on any other business in Washington.

Iran Claim: Israel Positioning Equipment In Saudia Arabia As Prelude To Attack [*4] — See, the thing is, Israel can’t afford to wait for the first punch–it’s not big enough . . .

Obama: Global recovery requires level playing field [*5] — This is pretty funny, which is strange, because I’ve never been particularly impressed with Obama’s sense of humor, timing, or delivery before now . . .

Inside the Black Panther case: Anger, ignorance and lies [*6] — Politics and race trump free and fair elections, according to the Obama Justice Department . . .

Revisiting the Pinatubo Eruption as a Test of Climate Sensitivity [*7]

How Unpopular is the Obama Administration? [*8]

Russia alarmed by CIA view of Iran’s weapons [*9] — Yeah. Right. Our good and dear friends, the Russians.

Hubris and Humility: David Weigel Comes Clean on Washington Post, the D.C. Bubble, & the ‘Journolist’ [*10]

No Secret Place [*11]

Hamas says asked by US to keep silent on talks [*12]

Protecting the Second Amendment (But Just Barely) [*13]

Science Historian Cracks the ‘Plato Code’ [*14]

OPEC to Obama: Why are you halting offshore drilling? [*15]

OKAY, having quickly skimmed the McDonald opinion, a few thoughts. [*16]

Castigating Conservative Justices in the Kagan Hearing[*17]

Some Males React to Competition Like Bonobos, Others Like Chimpanzees [*18] — Ook. “Is that a bonobo or are you just happy to see me?”

Study raises questions over wider use of statins [*19]

Big 12 coaches preparing for new format[*20]

Santelli goes nuclear: “Stop spending! Stop spending! Stop spending!” [*21] — STOP SPENDING! STOP SPENDING! STOP SPENDING! STOP SPENDING! THAT’S WHAT WE WANT! STOP SPENDING!

Breitbart Explains the Journolist ‘Cabal’ [*22] — “”The story is not Dave Weigel. The story is Journolist,” conservative Internet entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart said Monday in a brief telephone interview . . .” Exactly. This isn’t about one guy who said stupid, sarcastic things via e-mail. It’s about a secret group of reporters coordinating their stories and getting their “narrative” together, to present a slanted picture of the news to the public. For reporters who weren’t part of “Journolist” this should be a huge story–every bit as big as the General McChrystal story, if not even bigger.

Who watches the watchers?

Krugman Prophesies Doom As a Result of Government Spending Cuts and Archaic Notions of Sound Fiscal Policy [*23]

Aw: Al Franken fights to stay awake during Kagan’s remarks [*24] — Why is that buffoon even in Congress? Oh, yeah, because Democrat lawyers managed to steal another election.

North America’s First Peoples More Genetically Diverse Than Thought, Mitochondrial Genome Analysis Reveals [*25]

Martinez Ruling a “Serious Setback for Freedom of Expression” [*26] — Personally, I’m to the point where I’d rather see a Supreme Court ruling that it’s unconstitutional to provide government funding to institutions of higher education. Then this wouldn’t be an issue in the first place. Higher education, like health care, is an industry that’s been sent completely out of control due to government intervention and interference.

In Kagan Hearing, Liberals Senators Downplay the Importance of Impartiality [*27]

G-20: Obama Keeps Talking, But The World Has Stopped Listening [*28] — This will soon happen here in the USA, too (assuming it hasn’t happened already–which it may very well have) . . .

Elena Kagan: “It’s Fine If the Law Bans Books” (Video) [*29] — It really doesn’t matter. Kagan could be on video saying she fancied sexually abusing puppies, and if her ideological compass was acceptable to Democrats, she would have the votes to get onto the Supreme Court. You know I’m right . . .

Supreme Court Sarbanes-Oxley Decision: You Can’t Keep An Executive Branch Board Two Layers from the President [*30] — This sort of thing is what you get when Congress passes laws they don’t bother to read or understand–which they do with remarkable frequency nowadays . . .

Hmmm: McChrystal to retire [*31]