How the Free Market and Elections Work

This excellent article recalls an economic truism from the so-long-ago bailouts, best vanished down the memory hole: the "free market" is a rhetorical tool to delude the public and provide cover for cutting education, health care, pensions, etc., while businesses run to the nanny state with one palm upturned and the other clutching a copy of "Atlas Shrugged."


"'Free market is not always the same as pro-business,' said Barney Keller, spokesman for the conservative political action committee Club for Growth."

David Brooks Invents the Time Machine and Moralitometer

...that's what readers of David Brooks' column today would be left to conclude.

Writing on the horrendous massacre of 16 Afghans by an American solider, he claims:

"But these days it’s especially hard to think through these situations because of the worldview that prevails in our culture. According to this view, most people are naturally good, because nature is good. The monstrosities of the world are caused by the few people (like Hitler or Idi Amin) who are fundamentally warped and evil. This worldview gives us an easy conscience, because we don’t have to contemplate the evil in ourselves. But when somebody who seems mostly good does something completely awful, we’re rendered mute or confused. But of course it happens all the time."

Of course, he offers no evidence, so we're only left to conclude he has discovered how to describe the worldview of citizens of Earth by inventing a Moralitometer.


"In centuries past most people would have been less shocked by the homicidal eruptions of formerly good men. That’s because people in those centuries grew up with a worldview that put sinfulness at the center of the human personality...This worldview held that people are a problem to themselves. The inner world is a battlefield between light and dark, and life is a struggle against the destructive forces inside. The worst thing you can do is, in a fit of pride, to imagine your insecurity comes from outside and to try to resolve it yourself. If you try to “fix” the other people who you think are responsible for your inner turmoil, you’ll end up trying to kill them, or maybe whole races of them."

I would like to nominate David Brooks for the Nobel Prize for his intimate knowledge of the "worldviews" of "most people" in "centuries past." I can't wait to try out his Time Machine and Moralitometer.

Forget the Gospels

"Forget all that give your money to the poor stuff. When I read the Gospels, I see that if there was one thing that Jesus wanted, if was for guys not to wear condoms when they have sex with their wives. Now let's retreat to our castles and order our armies to kill, enslave, rape and rob Africans, Jews, indigenous Americans, Muslims and anybody else we can use to make some cash."

- A bunch of assholes from the Middle Ages to today

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell Lies about His Love of Big Government and Red Tape

Virginia's governor just signed into law additional bureaucratic red tape that restricts freedom and forces big government to get between a patient and her doctor, while calling it "empowering" for women.

If politicians want to save the lives of innocent children, there are simple ways to do so: for example, by providing women with decent health care and education. Instead, Governor McDonnell ha...s magnanimously cut health and education funding during every one of his years in office.

If politicians are willing to take steps that have been demonstrated to actually save lives, then we can take them seriously when they talk about values and abortion, which is a difficult issue. If they are unwilling to take such steps, then we can and should dismiss such lies with the contempt they deserve.

Hypocrisy, Jingoism; Israel, Iran

The contention that Israel should attack Iran to disrupt its nuclear program means, of course, that Iran is justified in bombing Israel and the United States, which actually have nuclear weapons, run assassination, bombing cyberwarfare and intelligence programs against Iranian scientists and are the most bellicose nations on earth.

It is dangerous and foolish to encourage countries to bomb Israel and the United States. Similar proclamations against Iran can only occur in an environment of such hysterical jingoism that making the same arguments with respect to Israel that are incessantly made with respect to Iran (e.g., "Iran Must Bomb Israel Before It Is Too Late," "The USA Must Cease Its Nuclear Program or Face Economic Sanctions") is so far off the spectrum of reasonable discussion as to be insane.

The lies and cheerleading for America and its few allies bombing any country in the world at any time are Orwellian.

As for the cited New York Times author's lies that Israel defensively bombed Iraq's nuclear facilities at Osirak in 1981, the Chairman of the Department of Physics at Harvard, who has been at Harvard since 1955, inspected the facility and writes that he:

"discovered that the activities at the time (including the OSIRAK reactor) were peaceful, and could be monitored. He constantly reminds people that the Iraqi nuclear program before 1981 was peaceful, and the OSIRAK reactor was not only unsuited to making bombs but was under intensive international safeguards. The 1981 bombing of this reactor did not delay Iraq's nuclear bomb program. On the contrary it started it. Either the President and Congress deliberately misled the American people in 2002-3 or they stupidly ignored experts who knew. This is a lesson people must learn. It might happen again with Iran unless we speak out to stop warmongers."

As to the potential effect of a war on Iran:

"We estimate that almost 655,000 people— 2.5% of the population in the study area—have died in Iraq."

Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional cluster sample survey. Gilbert Burnham, Riyadh Lafta, Shannon Doocy, and Les Roberts. The Lancet, October 11, 2006.