Category Archive 'Conspiracy Theories'
13 Apr 2015
Michael Ferguson offers a plausible explanation for the intellectual mediocrity and conformism of our establishment elite: the establishment selects against overly high intelligence (!).
The probability of entering and remaining in an intellectually elite profession such as Physician, Judge, Professor, Scientist, Corporate Executive, etc. increases with IQ to about 133. It then falls about 1/3 by 140. By 150 IQ the probability has fallen by 97%! In other words, a significant percentage of people with IQs over 140 are being systematically and, most likely inappropriately, excluded from the population that addresses the biggest problems of our time or who are responsible for assuring the efficient operation of social, scientific, political and economic institutions. This benefits neither the excluded group nor society in general. For society, it is a horrendous waste of a very valuable resource. For the high IQ person it is a personal tragedy commonly resulting in unrealized social, educational and productive potential. …
Over an extensive range of studies and with remarkable consistency, from Physicians to Professors to CEOs, the mean IQ of intellectually elite professions is about 125 and the standard deviationn is about 6.5. For example, Gibson and Light found that 148 members of the Cambridge University faculty had a mean IQ of 126 with a standard deviation of 6.3. The highest score was 139. J.D. Matarazzo and S.G. Goldstein found that the mean IQ of 80 medical students was 125 with a standard deviation of about 6.7. There was one outlier at 149, but the next highest score was 138. This means that 95% of people in intellectually elite professions have IQs between 112 and 138 99.98% have IQs between 99 and 151.
By dividing the distribution function of the elite professions’ IQ by that of the general population, we can calculate the relative probability that a person of any given IQ will enter and remain in an intellectually elite profession. We find that the probability increases to about 133 and then begins to fall. By 140 it has fallen by about 1/3 and by 150 it has fallen by about 97%. In other words, for some reason, the 140s are really tough on one’s prospects for joining an intellectually elite profession. It seems that people with IQs over 140 are being systematically, and likely inappropriately, excluded. With the conservative assumption that, absent the exclusionary processes, IQs above 133 neither help nor hinder the achievement of elite profession membership, the excluded population is distributed as shown above. If we assume that the positive correlation seen below 133 IQ continues above 133, the excluded population would be larger and the exclusion more complete.
This is a theory which explains so very much.
Hat tip to Vanderleun.
21 Feb 2015
Natalio Alberto Nisman, 1963-2015
DEBKAfile, the Mossad mouthpiece, claims to have the inside story on the assassination last month of Argentone prosecutor Natalio Nisman by a supposed Iranian defector.
A special investigation conducted by debkafileâ€™s intelligence, Iranian and counter-terror sources has discovered that the Argentine-Jewish prosecutor Natalio Alerto Nisman, 51, was murdered on Jan. 18 by an Iranian agent, who had won his trust by posing as a defector under the assumed name of Abbas Haqiqat-Ju. His killer struck hours before Nisman showed the Argentine parliament evidence that President Cristina Kirchner and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman had covered up Iranâ€™s complicity in the countryâ€™s worst ever terrorist attack, the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish community center in which 85 people died, two years after 29 people were killed by a blast at the Israeli embassy.
Nismanâ€™s evidence had it been presented would have ultimately proved Iran’s culpability in the two terrorist attacks. …
Nisman had made the powers-that-be in Tehran jittery, because a) he was ambitious, honest and a courageous searcher after the truth; b) he was Jewish and had active connections with Israel; and c) in pursuit of his inquiry, he spread his net wide to include contacts with the Israeli Mossad and the American CIA.
Furthermore, in 2006, after three years on the job, the prosecutor had put together an intelligence file on the unbelievable scope of Iranian intelligence penetration, using Lebanese Hizballah agents, deep into the government and intelligence establishments of many Latin American countries – not only Argentina, but also Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Surinam, Trinidad-Tobago and Guyana. …
Iranâ€™s security organs are no strangers to political assassination at home and among its exile communities, in such places as France, Austria and Germany.
But at first, they tried to win the Argentinean round by bribery, which had always worked before in Buenos Aires. For $10 million, Carlos Saul Menem (Argentine president from 1989 to 1999) and his minions agreed to close the investigation of the two terrorist bombings in its tracks.
Tehran handled President Kirchner differently. She was promised economic and trade benefits for Argentina, along with financial perks for government and intelligence heads.
debkafileâ€™s Buenos Aires sources report that, at first, Kirchner feared that Nismanâ€™s sudden demise would bring her under suspicion at the cost of her presidency. But Tehran assured her through their private channels of communication that the deed would be accomplished cleanly without leaving the slightest trace.
Read the whole thing.
20 Jun 2013
Slightly used motor and transmission of C250 Mercedes Benz
Jack Baruth, at The Truth About Cars, seemed just as broken-hearted as I am, but is just a trifle more tastefully discreet at concealing his feelings.
The writing-about-writing crowd is abuzz with discussion about the rather unusual death of Buzzfeed/RollingStone/Gawker writer Michael Hastings. Mr. Hastings, whose name is never mentioned in the press without the immediate mention that he was â€œthe fearless journalist whose reporting brought down the career of General Stanley McChrystalâ€, died in a single-car accident in Los Angeles yesterday morning. This in and of itself is not unusual, but the circumstances of the crash and its aftermath wonâ€™t do anything to quiet the conspiracy theorists who are already claiming that the military-industrial complex found a way to cap the guy. …
Mercedes-Benz USA is no doubt sweating bullets over this one. An eyewitness report says that Mr. Hastings was driving at an excessive rate of speed down a suburban street when his car â€œsuddenly jackknifedâ€ and hit a tree â€œwith the force of a bombâ€. The Benzo, which by the wheels and quarter-panel appears to be the relatively prosaic but cheerfully stylish C250 four-cylinder turbo coupe, proceeded to throw its powertrain out of the engine bay, immediately catch fire in a manner typically reserved for episodes of â€œMiami Viceâ€, and burn its driver until said driver was charred beyond recognition. …
Mr. Hastingsâ€™ aggressively Democrat-friendly storytelling has the Internet already considering the idea that his death was engineered somehow. I canâ€™t say itâ€™s totally unlikely. As noted above, the reported (and videotaped) behavior of the C250 was not in line with what weâ€™d expect. On the other hand, surely itâ€™s expected that a respected, mature writer on non-automotive topics wonâ€™t be barreling through a suburb so fast that any tree he hits will cause his car to burst into flames, right? Weâ€™ll keep an eye on this to see what, if anything, develops.
Michael Yon adds:
Michael Hastings was killed in a car crash in Los Angeles. The single car accident happened at about 0425. He crashed into a tree and was burned beyond recognition. He was 33.
Mr. Hastings was the war correspondent whose Rolling Stone article led to the firing of General Stanley McChrystal, who at the time was the top General in Afghanistan.
Although Hastings was widely read, no serious war correspondents took him seriously, or at least not the ones I know. … Hastings was like an undisciplined hitman with a pen and license to kill. One of his gonzo articles damaged the career and reputation of Lieutenant General Bill Caldwell, for no cause. My sense was that he picked fights with key people mostly to draw attention. Though Hastings was not respected among war correspondents, it is sad to see a man die so young so horribly. Just why he crashed into a tree at 0425 remains unknown. No doubt the conspiracies will begin to fly.
New Joke: What do you call a metrosexual Rolling Stone attack dog journalist’s explosive collision with an LA palm tree? A good start.
31 Oct 2012
Says Theo Caldwell, what comes next are the recriminations and conspiracy theories about how we stole it from them.
This race is over, but the conspiracy theories are about to begin. And, boy howdy, are things going to get ugly.
To wit, Mitt Romney will defeat Barack Obama for the presidency on November 6, after which there will be hysterical blowback. The election result is quantifiable, with Romney consistently leading in national tracking polls, finding a level at or above 50 percent in many, and closing the necessary gaps in swing states and among demographic groups. Greater evidence can be found, however, in Obamaâ€™s sour demeanor and the conduct of his campaign. What a mess.
Opinion-peddlers have noted that the Obama re-election effort has taken on the hallmarks of failed campaigns from previous cycles: scattershot messaging, flailing narratives, ad hominem attacks and joyless mockery. This was never going to work, and Democratic political veterans like Bob Beckel and Doug Schoen will likely admit as much once the polls are closed. Incurables like Alan Colmes and Maureen Dowd, however, will never let it go. And this latter stance â€” that Obamaâ€™s defeat is somehow illegitimate â€” will take hold in many, noisy quarters.
It is not only the politically interested who will adopt this view â€” even casual observers will be sucked in. We often see leftist orthodoxy morph into popular convention. This is because, while there are some smart people on the left, it requires almost no thinking to be a liberal. Simply absorb the political sentiments you hear in almost any Hollywood film, or on most any television program or newscast and, presto, youâ€™re in. Repeat these nostrums at school or work and you will be rewarded. Augmented by the emotional satisfaction of the leftâ€™s perpetual righteous indignation, this dynamic becomes self-fulfilling and very cozy.
And itâ€™s that snorting indignation warming up in the bullpen that augurs an ugly autumn. After Obama loses, every bellyacher you know will take to the worldwide interwebs to blame the Bilderbergs, Bain Capital, Big Oil, Brigham Young â€” basically anyone but Obama himself. It will be insufferable. Theories will be all over the map, mutually contradicting one another, but advanced with furious certainty. Again, we see this often. The showerless outrage of the left knows no bounds, and it is impervious to reason.
Whether Romneyâ€™s margin of victory is large or small will matter little to the tone of these plaints. Certainly, a resounding win will foreclose the Democratsâ€™ propensity to steal close elections through after-the-fact chicanery (presented as Exhibit A: Al Franken is a senator) but, for Obama apologists, a blowout will simply evince a wider conspiracy, and darker depths of American ignorance, bigotry and credulousness.
This sort of heads-we-win-tails-youâ€™re-a-cheating-moron default is endemic to Democrats and emblematic of the international left.
Read the whole thing.
11 Aug 2011
“[Camus’] death in 1960 was felt as a personal loss by the whole literate world.” â€” Susan Sontag
Did the KGB arrange the death of Nobel Prize winning writer Albert Camus in a car accident in 1960?
An article which appeared in the Italian paper Corriere della Sera on August 1 quotes Eastern European scholar Giovanni Catelli, who discovered that the complete version of the Diary of Czech poet and translator Jan ZÃ¡brana contained a reference to the death of Albert Camus omitted from abridged French and Italian translations.
The Diary account (translated from the Corriere della Sera article by JDZ)
From a man who knows many things and is in contact with informed sources, I heard something very strange. He said the accident in which Camus died in 1960 was arranged by Soviet intelligence. They produced a blow-out, using a technical device which cut or punctured the car’s tire at high speed. The order for the action was given personally by the [Soviet Foreign] Minister [Dmitri] Shepilov, as “payback” for the article published in “Franc-tireur” in March 1957, in which Camus, in connection with events in Hungary, had attacked the minister explicitly by name.
Jan ZÃ¡brana’s contact with “informed sources” was speculated by Corriere to have been either of two relatively litle-known academics: George Gibian or Jiri Zuzanek.
The Accident (translated from the Corriere della Sera article by JDZ)
On the morning of January 4, 1960, a cold and foggy Monday, the asphalt around the village of Thoissey in central France was covered with frost. The car, being driven by Michel Gallimard (Camus’s publisher), had left the day before from the Riviera and was now four hours from Paris. In the car, besides Camus, seated in the rear were Janine, wife of the publisher, and Anne, his daughter. The previous evening, the party had celebrated Anne’s 18th birthday with toasts and good wishes at the inn Chapon Fin. They left after breakfast, between nine and ten in the morning, proceeding calmly, at moderate speed, on a straight road, nine meters wide, with almost no traffic and good visibility. They were joking about the writer’s latest romance and trying to guess the identity of the person waiting for him in Paris. Just before Petit-Villeblevin, Janine Gallimard suddenly heard her husband cry: Merde! And then the vehicle’s steering suddenly unaccountably went out of control, followed by a shock strong enough to make it seem as if “something had collapsed under the car.” Experts say that probably the seizure of wheel bearing or the rupture of a tire caused Gallimard to lose control, sending him crashing into one of the plane trees that lined the road. Camus was extracted from the wreckage already dying, his skull fractured and his neck broken.
There are chronological problems with all this.
Dmitri Shepilov was replaced as Soviet Foreign Minister 15 February 1957 by Andrei Gromyko. The article identified as offending Shepilov appeared in March. Shepilov, however, moved from the Foreign Ministry to the post of Secretary of the Central Committee, which he held until 29 June 1957 when he was removed and demoted for being part of a group which attempted to oust Nikita Krushchev from power.
It is not impossible to imagine that a Secretary of the Central Committee would be no less able than a Foreign Minister to order a KGB hit, but Shepilov was out of favor completely and in the process of descending to the level of an ordinary clerk in the State archives when Camus died in 1960.
Still, Albert Camus was an extremely prominent and widely respected and admired intellectual figure, whose prestige was particularly potent in international left-wing intellectual circles. His criticism of the Soviet invasion of Hungary and of subsequent brutalities and oppression was unquestionably particularly damaging to the Soviet Union’s prestige and reputation.
Camus subsequently offended the Soviet Union significantly again, when he championed Boris Pasternak’s novel Dr. Zhivago at the time of its publication in the West. Pasternak’s book, which rapidly acquired a major readership and became an established classic, described the violence and inhumanity of the Revolution and the Russian Civil War and its publication in Russia had been banned by Stalin.
It is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility, nor would the murder of Albert Camus have been out of character for the KGB. The Russian intelligence service has always been renowned for the assassination of prominent opponents of the Soviet regime, and has demonstrated a particular penchant for using ingenious devices.
The Bulgarian writer Georgi Markov, for instance, was assassinated using an umbrella capable of pneumatically firing a tiny projectile embedded with ricin in the victim’s body.
If the little-known Markov was worth killing in 1978, when the Cold War was simmering quietly at a low ebb late in the game, one must reflect just how much more valuable a target Camus would have been, and how much more bloodthirsty the Soviets would have been in 1960, just a few years after the revolt in Hungary, when the Soviet Union was winning the Space Race, Castro had just seized power in Cuba, and Krushchev was promising “We will bury you!”
The Czech diary account is just a thinly-sourced story, and is completely unproven, but it could be true.
Daily Star (Lebanon) article
Hat tip to John Brewer.
Galliamard’s wrecked Facel Vega FV3B
07 Mar 2011
Curt from Flopping Aces forwarded a lengthy posting by MataHarley which raises the question of whether the near financial collapse of 2008 was deliberately engineered, and whether a further stage of the same anti-American offensive remains to be completed.
MH summarizes and discusses the hypotheses advanced in a highly provocative paper on Economic Warfare written in 2009 by Kevin D. Freeman via the DOD contracting system for the Department of Defense Irregular Warfare Support Program (IWSP).
It is undeniable that if the collapse of the financial system was deliberately engineered by calculated attacks aimed at perceived vulnerabilities, those attacks were tremendously successful and resulted in enormous economic losses.
The hypothesis discussed in this paper suggests the very real possibility that financial terrorism may have cost the global economy as much as $50 trillion, roughly 1000 times greater than Bernie Madoffâ€™s fund and equal to nearly four years of American productive output.
[A]n estimated $50 trillion of global wealth virtually vanished. At least $15 trillion of that loss was experienced by Americans, as measured by the combined declines in the value of stocks, bonds, real estate, and other assets.
The Freeman paper visualizes a three-stage assault on the US economy, and the American position of military, political, and economic leadership, only two parts of which are so far completed.
The hypothesis under consideration is that a three-phased attack is underway with two of those phases completed to date.
The first phase was a speculative run-up in oil prices that generated as much as $2 trillion of excess wealth for oil-producing nations, filling the coffers of Sovereign Wealth Funds, especially those that follow Shariah Compliant Finance. This phase appears to have begun in 2007 and lasted through June 2008.
The rapid run-up in oil prices made the value of OPEC oil in the ground roughly$137 trillion (based on $125/barrel oil) virtually equal to the value of all other world financial assets, including every share of stock, every bond, every private
company, all government and corporate debt, and the entire worldâ€˜s bank deposits. That means that the proven OPEC reserves were valued at almost three times the total market capitalization of every company on the planet traded in all 27 global stock markets.
The second phase appears to have begun in 2008 with a series of bear raids targeting U.S. financial services firms that appeared to be systemically significant.
An initial bear raid against Bear Stearns was successful in forcing the firm to near bankruptcy. It was acquired by JP Morgan Chase and the systemic risk was averted briefly. Similar bear raids were conducted against various other firms during the summer, each ending in an acquisition. The attacks continued until the outright failure of Lehman Brothers in mid-September. This created a system-wide crisis, caused the collapse of the credit markets, and nearly collapsed the global financial system. The bear raids were perpetrated by naked short selling and manipulation of credit default swaps, both of which were virtually unregulated. The short selling was actually enhanced by recent regulatory changes including rescission of the uptick
rule and loopholes such as â€•the Madoff exemption.
While substantial, unusual trading activity can be identified, the source of the bear raids has not been traceable to date due to serious transparency gaps for hedge funds, trading pools, sponsored access, and sovereign wealth funds. What can be demonstrated, however, is that two relatively small broker dealers emerged virtually overnight to trade â€•trillions of dollars worth of U.S. blue chip companies. They are the number one traders in all financial companies that collapsed or are now financially supported by the U.S. government. Trading by the firms has grown exponentially while the markets have lost trillions of dollars in value.
The risk of a Phase Three has quickly emerged, suggesting a potential direct economic attack on the U.S. Treasury and U.S. dollar.
Such an event has already been discussed by finance ministers in major emerging market nations such as China and Russia as well as Iran and the Arab states. A focused effort to collapse the dollar by dumping Treasury bonds has grave implications including the possibility of a downgrading of U.S. debt forcing rapidly rising interest rates and a collapse of the American economy. In short, a bear raid against the U.S.financial system remains possible and may even be likely. Phase Two may have concluded with the brief market rebound that was supported by an emerging regulatory response calling for greater transparency across the board.
Freeman observes: “[W]e remain left with the critical unanswered questions of who and how?”
One important clue must be the bizarre and confusing story of the seizure of $134.5 billion of apparently counterfeit US Treasury bearer bonds being smuggled across the border from Italy into Switzerland in June of 2009 by two Japanese nationals.
St. Louis Adjusted Monetary Base (BASE)
Freeman says that incident “may be as significant as the Japanese radio intercepts were before December 1941.” A hundred and thirty four billion dollars worth of counterfeit treasury bonds here and a hundred and thirty four billion dollars worth of counterfeit treasury bonds there adds up to a lot of money very quickly. The Obama Administration’s expansion of the US Monetary Base already threatens major inflation and jeopardizes the role of the dollar as reserve currency, additional counterfeit-based inflation could easily constitute a tipping-point factor changing our worst fears into reality.
Freeman refers to, and quotes points made in, an anonymous, non-publicly-available 65-page paper titled Red Flags of Market Manipulation Causing a Collapse of the U.S. Economy, distributed to law enforcement agencies, members of Congress, and regulators.
This report discusses extensive research that shows significant red flagsâ€˜ of danger to the worldâ€˜s economy from what appears to be market manipulation in the global financial markets, which includes trading in common stocks, options,futures, commodities, currencies, oil, and bonds.
Two companiesâ€¦are at the heart of this trading and they consistently work in concert. These firms became, virtually overnight, the largest traders in the U.S. financial markets. These companies provide a one-stop-shop for trade execution, back office clearing and bookkeeping that cater to hedge funds and small broker dealers. To give perspective, the amount of trading executed by these two firms in October 2008 exceeded the trading of securities firms Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Merrill Lynch combined in the NASDAQ market participant reports.
1) The firms have traded trillions of dollars worth of U.S. blue chip companies. They are the number one traders in all financial companies that collapsed or are now financially supported by the U.S. government. Trading by the firms has grown exponentially while the markets have lost trillions of dollars in value.
2) These firms appear to own few or no shares of blue chip companies they are number one traders in. There is no doubt that the magnitude of their trading impacted the marketplace. Since the direction of the market place has been in a severe downward trend, the impact from the firms has been and remains, negative to the marketplace.
Some other starling findings in the report, based almost exclusively on reviewing basic trading data, include:
The two previously small broker dealers mentioned in the report are market makers for every major financial services firm under attack.
These firms have a combined 76 different symbols under which they act as market maker (by contrast a major firm such as Citigroup has just 6).
Both firms offer sponsored access.
Both firms offer access to dark pools.
From June through September 2008, the two firms appeared to concentrate on Lehman Brothers, trading 1.04 billion shares while the stock price collapsed from $33.83 to $0.21 on 15 September. This pattern seemed to repeat in every other major financial stock.
The report estimates that the two firms completed as many as 641,000 trades per hour in October 2008 (based on market participation statistics and average trade size from the last available data).
Total trading volume by month in the financial sector listed for these two firms grew from approximately 350,000 shares (less than 1% of all market participant trading) in September 2006 to approximately 600,000 shares in the sector (about 6% of all market participant trading) in September 2007, to over 8 billion shares in the sector (about 19% of all market participant trading) by September 2008. Thatâ€˜s an increase of 2.4 million percent in two years.
While both firms have been around for several decades, their rapid growth began in 2006 for one and 2007 for the other.
Both firms seem to specialize in the same stocks at the same time, appearing to work in concert.
Combined, the two firms traded 203 billion shares, mostly concentrated in major financial services companies. This compares to a total of 427 billion shares outstanding of all issues on the New York Stock Exchange.
The report estimates trading of at least $5 trillion over the 25-month period ending in November 2008.
The trading appears to represent new money to the marketplace by new participants.
From July 2008 through September 2008, the two firms â€•traded more shares of Fannie and Freddie than were issued even as the share prices were collapsing.
The firms were also the largest traders of the UltraShort funds as well as the financial spider (symbol â€•XLF) during the reporting period.
The firms also became the largest traders of energy stocks.
The two firms did not and do not hold major equity positions on their books.
The names of these two firms have been purposely withheld in this report because trading data alone is insufficient to consider any accusations against them. But, this trading data is specifically the type of red flag that should prompt further investigation. In addition, even in the event that trades were entered with the purpose of manipulating markets,there is no evidence to suggest that either of the brokerage firms discussed had any knowledge of, or in any way participated in any wrongdoing. They simply could have been conduits through which orders were placed as the laws and regulatory authorities currently allow. Nevertheless, this trading activity does lead to numerous questions:
Who had the capital to effect $5 trillion worth of trades in such a short period?
Who are the clients behind the trades? Are they foreign or domestic?
Why would two long-standing but relatively minor broker dealers be selected for such massive trading rather than the major firms? Did they have more permissive rules for sponsored access?
Why was trading concentrated in the financial firms that failed (Lehman, AIG, Bear Stearns, Fannie, Freddie) or were under threat of failing (Citigroup, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and Wachovia)?
There is obviously no definitive evidence here that the Financial Collapse of 2008 was the result of a deliberate strategic plan to bring down the US economy carried out by hostile foreign agencies, but many of the details noted, particularly the scale of bear raids on major US financial institutions, certainly do provoke suspicion. The US Government is hardly about to share what it knows, so the rest of us can only file all this away for future reference, and keep an eye out for further related coverage.
12 May 2010
Michael Filozof (recently an adjunct instructor at Niagra County Community College), at American Thinker, denounces the elite conspiracy that rules America.
If it sometimes seems that the nation is governed by an elite liberal clique of college fraternity and sorority pals who are out of touch with average Americans, that’s because it’s largely true. Every president, and almost every presidential candidate for the last two decades has been a graduate of Harvard or Yale, and if Kagan gets confirmed by the Senate every member of the Supreme Court will have been a Yale or Harvard attendee, too.
The 1988 presidential election was a contest between Harvard law grad Michael Dukakis and Yalie George H.W. Bush. Yale Law grads Bill and Hillary Clinton came to power in 1992, beating Washburn alum Bob Dole in 1996.
The election of 2000 produced an interesting result: George W. Bush, a graduate of both Yale and Harvard (but according to his leftist critics the dumbest president ever) beat another Harvard grad, Al Gore, who is supposedly so brilliant he won a Nobel Prize. And in 2004 Bush beat fellow Yale grad John Kerry, whose grades at Yale were worse than Bush’s grades.
The election of 2008 saw the ascension to the presidency of Harvard graduate Barack Obama, who beat Navy grad John McCain. According to his supporters like Michael Beschloss, David Brooks, and Colin Powell, Obama is “brilliant” and “transformational” – yet oddly, he never published anything as first black president of the Harvard Law Review, and unlike Bush, Kerry and McCain, his grades have never been released.
On the Supreme Court, Justices Alito, Sotomayor, and Thomas are Yale Law grads, while Scalia, Roberts, Breyer and Kennedy all went to Harvard Law. Justice Ginsberg graduated from Columbia Law, but she attended Harvard before transferring there. The odd man out is the retiring Justice Stevens, who got his law degree from Northwestern, soon to be replaced by Harvard’s Kagan.
What shall we make of this preponderance of Yale-Harvard grads in elite positions of our society?
It’s much more complicated that that, I’m afraid. Mr. Filozof is not wrong, of course, about liberal culture dominating at Harvard and Yale, as at all elite institutions of higher education, but both Yale and Harvard do produce some prominent conservatives. Clarence Thomas is the soundest member of the Supreme Court, and he went to Yale Law. George W. Bush was, after all, if not entirely conservative, at least decidedly anti-liberal establishment which hated him like poison.
There is a strong conservative presence at Yale. There is even some conservative presence in Cambridge. It’s just the case that conservatives are less welcome in the establishment in many areas, and successful careerists (like Elena Kagan, read David Brooks on Kagan and conformity) are much more commonly conventionally liberal.
At Volokh, David Bernstein, Yale Law ’91, graciously stands up for other schools:
The president went to Harvard, and barely defeated a primary opponent who went to Yale. His predecessor went to Yale and Harvard, and defeated opponents who went to Yale and Harvard, and Harvard, respectively. The previous two presidents also went to Yale, with Bush I defeating another Harvard grad for the presidency. And once Elena Kagan gets confirmed, every Supreme Court Justice will have attended Harvard or Yale law schools.
I know that Harvard and Yale attract a disproportionate percentage of Americaâ€™s talented youth, but still, isnâ€™t this a bit much?
I think the current Harvard-Yale monopoly is really just happenstance and coincidence. I feel sure that, if we live long enough, we’ll see people from UVA, Chicago, and even Stanford, and Columbia on the Court again.
07 Feb 2010
Jack Cashill, best-known for the Bill-Ayers-ghost-wrote-Dreams-From-My-Father theory, proposes a new explanation about why Barack Obama’s birth certificate might be worth concealing.
Ingenious, but I don’t see how anyone can invest very much in this one in the complete absence of any actual evidence.
25 Nov 2009
Barack Obama and the democrats in Congress did not turn the economy around with their massive spending stimulus package. Unemployment rates are high. They have not fixed the credit markets with bailouts. A new wave of foreclosures is underway. Home real estate prices are still in decline, nearly a quarter of American home owners are underwater on their mortgages, and the commercial real estate market is headed for complete disaster. Small businesses are experiencing a credit squeeze, which some economic authorities argue is attributable to government soaking up available credit for federal deficits.
As the US economy sinks, the democrats controlling Washington are attempting to hand it an anvil in the form of a staggering new health care entitlement. If a deficit burden reaching to the sky is not enough, we know that Congress has every intention of allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire, and proposals for new forms of taxation, a V.A.T. and even a special wartime surtax, have been floated. Coming up as well are plans for even yet another massive federal tax scheme involving mandatory purchases of carbon credits (at least for business not favored by federal exemptions) and dollar transfers to international bodies and/or Third World countries.
Most of us assumed that leftwing democrats want to do all these economically unfortunate things because they are clueless, childish, and subscribe to a worldview whose economic theories have everything backward. They are reckless, irresponsible, and just plain dumb.
But, it turns out there is a more sinister theory out there.
According to James Simpson, writing at American Thinker, democrat bad economics is deliberate. There is a conspiracy, and they have a plan.
The methodology is known as the Cloward-Piven Strategy, and we can all be grateful to David Horowitz and his Discover the Networks for originally exposing and explaining it to us. He describes it as:
The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The “Cloward-Piven Strategy” seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.
Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were two lifelong members of Democratic Socialists of America who taught sociology at Columbia University (Piven later went on to City University of New York). In a May 1966 Nation magazine article titled “The Weight of the Poor,” they outlined their strategy, proposing to use grassroots radical organizations to push ever more strident demands for public services at all levels of government.
The result, they predicted, would be “a profound financial and political crisis” that would unleash “powerful forces … for major economic reform at the national level.” …
The real goal of “health care” legislation, the real goal of “cap-and-trade,” and the real goal of the “stimulus” is to rip the guts out of our private economy and transfer wide swaths of it over to the government to control. Do not be deluded by the propaganda. These initiatives are vehicles for change. They are not goals in and of themselves except in their ability to deliver power. They and will make matters much worse, for that is their design.
This time, in addition to overwhelming the government with demands for services, Obama and the Democrats are overwhelming political opposition to their plans with a flood of apocalyptic legislation. Their ultimate goal is to leave us so discouraged, demoralized, and exhausted that we throw our hands up in defeat. As Barney Frank said, “the middle class will be too distracted to fight.”
I was smiling ironically, as I began assembling what I thought would make an amusing posting identifying a colorful and extremist line of accusation. But, as I reflect on the peculiarly self-destructive aspects of recent democrat political behavior, their strange willingness to defy the polls and ram through controversial measures in defiance of public opinion, I wonder if looking upon what they are doing as a form of the Cloward-Piven Strategy does not make sense.
It was the stock market crash that doomed Republican chances to defeat a relatively unknown, radical democrat last year. Chaos, fear, and uncertainty were precisely the reason that independent voters were willing to vote for Change, any kind of change, and took a flyer on Barack Hussein Obama. Chaos and economic bad news have been Barack Obama’s friends so far. Rahm Emanuel is famous for observing that he saw an empowering opportunity for the left in a serious crisis and was resolved not to waste that opportunity.
That Barney Frank “the middle class will be too distracted to fight” quotation may be a warning sign, though. I’ve been unable to verify it as a real statement made by the Congressman from Massachusetts. It turns up in large volume as a search result, but always from this same body of text.
27 Sep 2009
I knew it all along. Barack Obama is not a US citizen. He is a space alien, probably a robot. Eric Spiegelman has the proof. He compared 130 photos of Barack Obama posing with UN dignitaries at reception recently in this 0:21 video. Can that smile possibly be human?
19 May 2009
Our special award for responsible journalism goes to that ever popular red-rag The Nation for today’s unsigned story, which quotes an alleged interview by arch-traitor Seymour Hersh with “Arab TV.”
The story contends, in broken and infelicitous English, that Pakistan president-elect Benazir Bhutto was murdered by a US assassination squad operating under the orders of Dick Cheney (!). Supposedly, she was killed because she had revealed in an interview in 2007 with Al Jazeera that Osama bin Ladin was dead, killed by Omar Saeed Sheikh.
In this November 2, 2007 (14:38 video) interview with David Frost (at around 6:10), Bhutto refers to a “very key figure” in Pakistani security, a retired military officer, who she alleges “has had dealings” with (among others) “Omar Sheikh, the man who murdered Osama bin Ladin.”
But, as Omaron notes in this blog posting, Bhutto’s reference to bin Ladin was probably just a slip of the tongue.
While she did say what I (and now lots of others) thought she said, … both from reading the transcript and re-watching the clip, was that she simply misspoke, meaning to say â€œthe man who killed [WSJ reporter] Daniel Pearlâ€ – which Omar Sheikh is accused of – in such a matter of fact tone, because it is well known.
It appears she didnâ€™t realize what she said. Even Frost, that ever-cunning interviewer, seems to have missed it.
Speaking not for the Al Jazeera network, but for myself – as a journalist – I can say that the question should have been cleared up in the interview. But why I chose not to pursue the story: Not because of a conspiracy or a cover-up, but because it was an apparent slip of the tongue.
The Nation’s news story tells us that the US death squad is under the command of General Stanley McChrystal, just appointed by Obama as US commander in Afghanistan, and that it also killed Lebanese Prime Minister Rafique Al Hariri and the army chief of Lebanon.
One can only observe that the Nation’s news reporting fully equals its political and economic analysis in responsibility, accuracy, and quality.
Ooops! What do you know? Why, Seymour Hersch himself denies having said any such thing, and calls the Nation’s report “complete madness.”
Are they embarassed, do you suppose?
23 Feb 2009
Also from Freddie:
[I]f our scheming entrenched WASP power brokers canâ€™t steal the skulls of centuries-dead American Indian revolutionaries and display them in their inner sanctumsâ€¦ whatâ€™s the point?
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