The Real Problem with Liberals: They’re Lower down the Evolutionary Scale

On this week’s Radio Free Delingpole podcast I discuss with Peter Foster of Canada’s Financial Post an issue which has long puzzled me: the liberal-left’s extraordinary capacity for cognitive dissonance. Or, if you want to put it more bluntly, for epic self-delusion.

I’m thinking, for example, of Ed Miliband’s proposals to introduce rent controls, despite copious historical evidence that this measure always and inevitably has exactly the opposite effect of the one intended: creating more housing scarcity; hurting the poor.

I would include in the same category several of the measures introduced by the Cameron administration: the 0.7 per cent of GDP ring-fenced for foreign aid, despite all the evidence that the billions of dollars bombarded on Africa have had the unintended consequence of leaving some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa as poor (sometimes poorer) than they were 50 years ago; the minimum wage which – as any sane economist can tell you – is a tax on jobs and therefore a disincentive to employers to hire labour; the “green jobs” the Coalition’s drive for renewables has allegedly created, even though they are in fact nothing more than Potemkin jobs, entirely dependent on taxpayer subsidy, and therefore a grotesque misallocation of scare resources which would otherwise by directed towards real, lasting jobs in areas of the economy which create genuine value.

All this, as Thomas Sowell would put it, is Basic Economics. So why do so many politicians – from the Obama left to the Cameron faux-right – not get it? And why, for that matter, do all those voters who applaud their statist measures and urge still more government intervention not get it either?

This is the question asked by Foster in his superb new book Why We Bite The Invisible Hand: The Psychology of Anti-Capitalism (Pleasaunce Press). And he comes up with some fascinating answers.

My favourite is his suggestion – though he puts more politely than I do – that people on the liberal-left are insufficiently evolved; they are too much in thrall to their “monkey brains” – monkey brains which of course those of us on the right possess too but with one crucial difference: we’re clever enough and advanced enough to allow the logical part of our brains override them.

Yes, I know. It sounds like a glib reversal of the kind of theory you see advanced at places like the HuffPo and Slate and the Guardian’s Komment Macht Frei. You know the sort of thing: “scientists” have shown that conservatives behave the way they do because their brains are wired to be more selfish/greedy/fearful/aggressive/insert appropriate pejorative here.

But Foster’s theory makes a lot of sense to me. (And if you want to pick holes in it, fine: another of the key differences between conservatives and liberal-lefties is that we on the right aren’t scared of debate).

It’s rooted in the fact that most of our mental evolution – perhaps as much as 99 per cent of it – took place in the long period when we were hunter-gatherers. This began in the Pleistocene era 1.6 million years ago and ended roughly 10,000 years ago when we made the leap from living in small, closely related tribal groups (“whose existence revolved around hunting, food gathering, sex, fighting and “local politics”‘) to the larger settlements which marked the birth of civilisation.

How does this bear on the left-liberal “mind”?

Let me give an example. One of the fundamental misconceptions of the liberal-left is that you can’t get richer without others getting poorer. This is the root cause of the widespread belief that capitalism is unfair and that government intervention is essential in order to create “social justice.” But it’s a fallacy, based on the delusion that the economy is like a pizza pie where the more one person has the less there is available for everyone else. What this popular leftist delusion ignores is that – at least in advanced capitalist nations – economies tend towards growth, which means the pizza pie gets bigger and bigger, meaning everyone (not just the One Per Cent) gets better and better off. There are mountains of evidence to show that this is so (read eg Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist). Why, then do even quite educated people on the liberal-left choose to ignore it?

Because mentally they’re still stuck in the Pleistocene era, is why. Subconsciously they’re living in the days when the hunting party has come back with, say, a scrawny warthog, or a large rat, and that’s all there is to go round their community. The economic world has grown a great deal more sophisticated since then, but the left-liberal brain – or at least the most dominant part of it – hasn’t. In the left’s head, the size of the economy is as fixed as the amount of meat on that large rat is fixed: that’s why, for them, fairness is such a life and death issue. Because in the prehistoric era their brains inhabit, it really was.




Source: Breitbart Feed

Ben Carson Hammers Former Dem Gov on Dangers of Stifled Speech

On CNN’s Wednesday broadcast of “Crossfire,” Dr. Ben Carson, author of “One Nation” went toe-to-toe with former Gov. Ted Strickland (D-OH) and former Obama campaign adviser Stephanie Cutter over remarks he made back in March likening the communication of public discourse to Nazi Germany.

Partial transcript as follows:

STRICKLAND: You know, the good doctor here compared our country to Nazi Germany, and — and that’s the kind of rhetoric that is divisive and really tears our country apart at a time — when it comes to foreign policy, we ought to be one nation and we ought to be pulling together.

GINGRICH: Do you want to explain that?

CARSON: Yes, let me address that, because what I said is that most of the people in Nazi Germany did not believe in what Hitler was doing. But did they speak up? Did they say anything? And making the analogy that that could happen anywhere where people don’t speak up, particularly when they disagree with what’s going on, No. 1 —

STRICKLAND: Doctor, you speak up —

CARSON: No. No. 2, you said that what I had said previously, all of those things occurred under George Bush. The uprising in Iran occurred in 2009. The last time I checked, Barack Obama was president in 2009. And the invasion of Georgia occurred during the transitional period. So, how can you say that those are George Bush’s fault?

CUTTER: It actually didn’t. But let me just clarify one thing.

CARSON: During the political season when we were in the process —

CUTTER: Right, we had a current president at that time. It was George W. Bush.

But let me just clarify. Are you saying that America is like Nazi Germany? I’m confused by that comment.

CARSON: No, what I am saying, and to me it doesn’t sound like a conflict statement at all. I said that people in Nazi Germany did not, most of them, believe in what Hitler was doing. But instead of protesting, instead of registering their displeasure, they simply decided to go along to get along. That is a very dangerous thing to do.

CUTTER: And is it happening —

CARSON: And I was using that as an example of how dangerous that can be. And I’m making a point to the American people that if, in fact, you feel differently about what’s going on, you should not be shut up. You need to talk about —

STRICKLAND: Doctor, no one is being shut up in America. You’re on FOX News. You write books. Newt talks, Stephanie talks, I talk.

CARSON: What is that?

STRICKLAND: I don’t engage in political correctness. Maybe you do. But, Doctor, these are your quotes. You said, “We live in a Gestapo age, and we’re” — this is a quote — “we’re very much like Nazi Germany.” And then you write a book about America the beautiful. That seems to be such a contradiction. CARSON: Did you read the book?

STRICKLAND: I have not read the book, no.

CARSON: I rest my case.

STRICKLAND: Why?

CARSON: You don’t even know what the book is about.

STRICKLAND: The fact that I haven’t read your book?

CARSON: Because you’re making these claims and then using the fact that I write a book to back up your claims and you haven’t even read the book.

STRICKLAND: I’m using the title of your book, “America the Beautiful,” and that’s a beautiful phrase.

CARSON: Did you ever hear the phrase that you can’t judge a book by its cover? Do you know why people say that? Maybe because you need to read the book.

STRICKLAND: Then maybe you can’t judge a book by the title. I don’t know.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor




Source: Breitbart Feed

Obama at West Point: The Psychology of Surrender

From the vantage point of the just-about-to-graduate cadets at West Point, it must be very cool to have the Commander-in-Chief be your commencement speaker. Perhaps the ‘wow-factor’ is diminished when the speech is one that underlines why America isn’t important and how the biggest war of the last decade is about to be lost.

For those who really must go to the source the full text is here. For those with shorter attention spans see the excellent and almost instantaneous analyses by my Breitbart colleagues Joel Pollak and Charlie Spiering​.

Here is another take.

What can I say? Bluntly: as a professor of irregular warfare and international security I cannot recall ever reading a more confused speech by a head of state, nor one that is so utterly detached from reality. From the opening passages that speak of how the world automatically looks to America when “schoolgirls are kidnapped in Nigeria, or masked men occupy a building in Ukraine,” to the president later taking credit for the fact that “more people live under elected governments today than at any time in human history” it feels as if the President is living in an alternate reality.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I agree that the world does look to us when there is a crisis or a vicious wrong to be righted. But when we respond with hashtag “assaults” via Twitter instead of actual commando raids to rescue the Christian girls captured by the jihadists of Boko Haram, or when we deploy 600 troops to Poland and the Baltic states as Russia moves 30,000 troops in their APCs and tanks to the border of Ukraine, I am at a loss at to what there is to be proud of.

Then we see the idea that an administration which sees “Climate Change” as one of the greatest threats to the nation – if not the greatest – and which labels the deaths in Benghazi as a “fake scandal” is in fact the reason that more people live in freedom today than ever, and it seems as if we are Neo from the Matrix and have popped the blue pill.

The President’s speech is full of these surreal assertions that bear no resemblance to the actual world we live in. He spoke of an America that will not allow regional aggression to go unchecked, whether “in southern Ukraine of the South China Sea, or anywhere else in the world,[!]” and then that we cannot live in a world where people are “slaughtered because of tribe or faith or political belief.” This on the same day as more than 30 people were massacred in a Catholic church in the Central African Republic.

Then there is the schizophrenic logic of the address.

The Commander-in-Chief said Wednesday, “Here’s my bottom-line: America must always lead on the world stage.” We can ignore whether this is what the administration has embodied for the last five years, because the speech itself is clear that we are not meant to understand “lead” in any classical or conventional way. For the rest of the address President Obama was clear; his definition of leading means that we should avoid the use of force or military assets. Instead it is our “partners” that will respond. Perhaps we could call this the doctrine of America Leading by Proxy. For “invading every country that harbors a terrorist network is naive” and because what this administration wants is “collective action” because it works. 

The proof the President provides that this leading without leading works? Ukraine and Iran. 

No, I am not joking.

According to President Obama, the fact that Ukraine elected a new President this weekend “without us firing a shot” is proof that the international system and America’s leadership of it works. The facts that Crimea is now part of Russia, that Tuesday saw the heaviest death-toll since the crisis began, and that now Putin seems to be making a move against Georgia are somehow not indicators of failure.

Then there is the success of Iran. The President actually stated today that his version of leadership has been vindicated by our decision to “extend the hand of diplomacy” to the mullahs. This just three days after the Supreme Leader in Iran declared that the United States must be destroyed through Jihad. (No, I am not making this up. The details are here.)

After all of the above – and more – the President calls this approach “the right way to lead.”

Most disturbing of all is the decision to leave Afghanistan. Despite closing his speech by referring to a West Pointer who lost a leg in that god-forsaken war zone, the president does not explain how what he used to call the “good war” has finally been won and why we can go home.

War is not about institutions, battle-plans, or even hardware. It is ultimately defined by the will to defeat your enemy. The enemy that killed 3,000 people in Manhattan, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania thirteen years ago now has followers fighting in Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Mali, Nigeria, Libya, to name just a few of the jihadi-infested lands around the world. How will our leaving Afghanistan be received by al Qaeda and its allies? Will they feel as if America has imposed its will upon them?

President Reagan once famously said to his future National Security Adviser, Dick Allen, that his vision of the Cold War was that “We win, they lose.” If Ayman al Zawahiri, the current leader of al Qaeda, is listening to President Obama’s speech somewhere in South Asia – and I know he is – I am sure he does not think our withdrawal from Afghanistan means that we have won and he has lost.

Sebastian Gorka PhD has recently been appointed the Major General Horner Chair of Military Theory at the Marine Corps University and is the editor of national security affairs for Breitbart.com.




Source: Breitbart Feed

‘Davos Meets Wolf of Wall Street’: ‘Showboat’ Donors Using Politics to Expand Personal Brands

Anthony Scaramucci is described as a “fast-talking hedge fund manager who stands about 5 feet 8 inches on a good day.” Though he has only given “a little more than $16,000 to candidates since 2012” and just over “$130,000 to political action committees,” he has leveraged those donations to build and expand his personal brand.

Like many in the permanent political class with the “This Town” state of mind, it’s all about him.

Before 2012, “the bulk of the cash that he did give went to Democrats,” specifically to Barack Obama, with whom he attended Harvard Law School. However, he reportedly soured on Obama once he started to push for more Wall Street regulations and, just like that, started bragging about being one of Mitt Romney’s “top” fundraisers in 2012.

According to a Politico profile of the “showboat” donor, Scaramucci is known as “The Mooch,” and since he can “steer major Wall Street money to hedge funds and super PACs alike,” Republicans like Karl Rove, Paul Ryan, and Scott Brown have been courting him.

According to the report, “The Mooch” runs the annual SALT Conference, which is reportedly named for his SkyBridge Capital fund. He is “a self-styled Davos meets Wolf of Wall Street” who attracts people from business (Ken Langone), Hollywood (Kevin Spacey), sports (Magic Johnson), and politics (Valerie Jarrett, David Petraeus, Tony Blair, David Plouffe, Larry Summers). Many of these luminaries are lured by appearance fees.

Candidates and politicos put up with the ostentatious Scaramucci, who “favors custom-made Loro Piana pinstriped suits” and has a “golden harp in his living room,” because he can get the attention of campaigns, leveraging his contacts to bundle money for them.

“He has the profile of Sheldon Adelson, but not the bank account,” one person told the outlet, meaning he can’t cut big checks but can get a lot of people to donate significant amounts.

His boasting got him in trouble in 2012, though, when he told a Bloomberg reporter about a closed-door fundraiser for Karl Rove’s Crossroads group. At that event, Rove infamously said Republicans should “sink” Todd Akin and then chillingly commented, “If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!” The Bloomberg reporter recorded it all after reportedly walking into the event.

This year’s SALT conference was not off the record, but perhaps that got lost in translation for Valerie Jarrett, who revealed that the White House had a “commitment from” House Speaker John Boehner on amnesty legislation this year. She sheepishly walked back her remarks the next morning on Twitter. Call it the “Tweet of Shame.”

“The Mooch” may have been ahead of the curve, though, no matter how unseemly his “showboating” and allegiances to the bipartisan permanent political class may be. With more ways for politicians to get money in an age when elections are becoming more expensive, there may be more “showboat donors” – and their even more unseemly mini-mes and wannabes – on the way.




Source: Breitbart Feed

HHS Document Reveals Scope of Obamacare Rollout Disaster

Type “Obamacare rollout disaster” into the Google search engine, and you get approximately 290,000 results, most of them dating back to the days immediately following the catastrophic October 2013 launch of Healthcare.gov. 

Significantly, however, the most recent results focus on the Judicial Watch release on May 19, 2014. That’s the date Judicial Watch released a 106-page document we obtained on May 1 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that reveals the shocking details of the rollout disaster. 

Though the Obama administration tried to cover up the full extent of the website failure in the days following its launch, the lengthy HHS document tells a tale of complete collapse. It was forced out of this secretive administration by our November 25, 2013, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. Judicial Watch filed suit after HHS refused to respond to our October 7, 2013, FOIA request seeking the following information: 

Any and all records concerning, regarding, or related to the number of individuals that purchased health insurance through Healthcare.gov between October 1, 2013, and October 4, 2013. 

A simple request – that was stonewalled for over six months. Now we know why. This document shows that, on its first full day of operation, October 1, 2013, Obamacare’s Healthcare.gov received only one enrollment! That’s one – out of 334 million Americans. On the second day, 48% of registrations failed to process. 

The Affordable Health Care Act website immediately encountered massive problems typical of those reported by the Chicago Tribune: “Consumers seeking more information on their new options under the Affordable Care Act were met with long delays, error messages and a largely non-working federal insurance exchange and call center Tuesday morning.” Late-night comedian Jay Leno joked that Americans were getting carpal tunnel syndrome trying to get through to register. 

Pressed for an explanation in a conference call with reporters on Obamacare’s opening day, Marilyn Tavenner, head of the HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, refused to disclose the number of people who had purchased insurance through the site saying, “We have just decided not to release that yet.”

The full extent of the failure, however, is reflected in the details provided by the Judicial Watch FOIA document revelations. They include: 

  • On October 1, there were 43,208 accounts created and 1 enrollment.

  • As of October 31, 2013, there were 1,319,425 accounts created nationwide – but only 30,512 actual enrollments in Obamacare.

  • On October 1, 2013, at the end of the first day (4:30), the Senior Advisor at Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Brigid M. Russell, sent out an email to her staff with a subject line celebrating “2 enrollments!” The body copy of the email read: “We have our second official FFM enrollment! The first two Form 834s sent out are to: 1) CareSource in Ohio, 2) BCBS of North Carolina.

  • Official figures contained in the HHS report provide conflicting figures as to the number of enrollments. FFM [Federally Facilitated Marketplace] statistics show 23,259 cumulative to-date applications submitted as of 10/2/13 and 286 completed plan selections. Earlier numbers show 356 enrollments created as of 7pm on 10/2/13 that were completed with Form 834s sent.

  • An October 2, 2013, email from HHS Special Assistant Marianne Bowen indicated serious problems with congressional enrollments: “The Congressional issue (68 attempts for Direct enrollment) was an issue stemming from incomplete applications being sent through (started, not finished, sent anyway) and the way the issuers are assigning unique numbers. Turns out there were only 4 complete Direct Enrollment applications that went through, the other 64 were not complete.” [The U.S. Congress has approximately 24,000 professional staffers.]

On October 2, 2013, the Obamacare website had 70 million page views but only 5 million were unique visitors, and 48% of registrations failed. The large number of page views may have been the result of visitors repeatedly hitting the “refresh” button due to long waiting times.

Judicial Watch was able to get information through FOIA that no one else had gotten – in this case, the specifics about the unmitigated failure of Healthcare.gov. The Obama administration tried to cover this up and Congress failed to follow through. Imagine what would have happened to Obamacare if the American people knew that only one person was able to enroll on its first day? And imagine what will happen when the full truth is finally revealed about what other Obamacare failures President Obama is hiding.

Even after it became clear that the Healthcare.gov website had failed to perform, the Obama administration continued putting out bogus figures touting its success. On April 17, Obama boasted that eight million people had signed up for health insurance on Healthcare.gov. But, that figure appears to have been massively over-inflated. According to testimony in May by the America’s Health Insurance Plans association before the House Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Oversight, “Because of the challenges that surfaced with the launch of the Exchanges in October 2013, some consumers were advised to create a new account and enroll again. As a result, insurers have many duplicate enrollments in their system for which they never received any payment.”

In addition to our FOIA lawsuit to obtain rollout enrollment figures, on March 27, 2014, we filed a FOIA lawsuit against the HHS for records regarding the testing and oversight of the Obama administration’s error-filled “834” reporting forms. Form 834 is an electronic file sent from HealthCare.gov to an insurance company after a consumer picks a health care coverage plan. An inaccurate 834 form may result in consumers either not having coverage, or being turned down for payment claims. It has been estimated that as many as 33 percent of the 834 forms for enrollees in the federal health care website may have been inaccurate, incomplete, or missing altogether.




Source: Breitbart Feed