by Tyler Cowen
on October 30, 2013 at 1:02 pm
in Uncategorized |
1. What are the roots of math genius?
2. Cass Sunstein on Alger Hiss.
3. New Brookings blog on Africa.
4. How badly are we overfishing the ocean?
5. Paul de Man was a convicted swindler, among his other failings.
On the contrary, we’re doing a great job overfishing the oceans.
I just hope the fisheries are privatized before Cod go extinct. I love cod.
How would you privatize the cod fisheries exactly?
Would you have the UN decide who owns the cod and then use the UN black helicopters and drones to blow all the cod fishing boats of pirates out of the water all across the Atlantic, North Seas, Mediterrain, and South Atlantic, given cod migrate?
Would you have the UN dictate the development of rivers on all continents to preserve the property rights of the salmon fishery owners, along with UN drones blowing up poachers in all the oceans?
Umm… with Fishing Shares. You really should start actually paying attention to the articles here, instead of immediately trolling in the comments.
We should give out Razzies for comments like this.
The global management of the oceans is creating a bumper crop in jelly fish, both by removing their predators and by increasing their feed stock by heavily fertilizing the oceans.
All that is required is making jellyfish more popular than cod, salmon, etc. to American consumers.
Notice how Sunstein can’t quite bring himself to say that Hiss was, in fact, a Communist and a spy?
Sunstein also overstates the importance of the Hiss-Chambers debate, which is but an obscure footnote in 20th century history. I once tried to read Chambers’ “Witness” and found it a bore, and could not finish it.
He doesn’t overstate it. He uses on example in the proper context of more than a century of socialist/progressive/liberal incremental encroachment.
Hiss, Rosenberg and others are examples of “liberals” who, after strident support from their fellows, got caught, red-handed. For these reasons, the people are right to suspect every liberal of socialist intentions. No other contemporary political movement has a surreptitious connection to extremist elements. The Tea Party and Christian Right are not closeted Nazis. The Libertarian Party are not secret anarchists.
There was no red scare. There was a red threat. The people named by McCarthy and others really did have communist connections and really were trying to influence popular opinion with mass media and government bureaus. They really were funded by the Soviet Union.
Sure, there were lots of spies, but did McCarthy correctly name a single one? How about funded by the Soviets?
McCarthy’s most insightful point:
“Six years ago, . . . there was within the Soviet orbit, 180,000,000 people. Lined up on the antitotalitarian side there were in the world at that time, roughly 1,625,000,000 people. Today, only six years later, there are 800,000,000 people under the absolute domination of Soviet Russia—an increase of over 400 percent. On our side, the figure has shrunk to around 500,000,000. In other words, in less than six years, the odds have changed from 9 to 1 in our favor to 8 to 5 against us.”
The US emerged the most economically, militarily and politically powerful nation on Earth, and by far the most victorious, strongest and least damaged nation out of World War II. It’s simply inconceivable that it could suffer such huge loss of global influence to its supposed mortal enemy. It’d be like Carthage getting decimated, while Rome’s unscathed, but somehow Hannibal goes on to control most of the Mediterranean in less than a decade without raising a finger.
There are many possible explanations, but there’s only one that doesn’t require numerous mental contortions and suspension of disbelief. The US government, up to the highest levels, must have been significantly influenced by policymakers who put the interest of Communism above the interest of America. The endless number of not only outright Communists, but agents with direct backchannels to the Soviet Union, are not just “isolated incidents.” There were next to no Soviet spies in the Harding, Coolidge or Hoover administrations. Yet FDR becomes president and Communists proliferate across the government, including his own vice president and treasury secretary.
Maybe FDR was just hoodwinked by progressives with seemingly good intentions, who were secret Communists. Maybe Hitler was hoodwinked by German nationalist with seemingly good intentions, who were secret genocide advocates. There’s no direct written evidence that either FDR intentionally appointed Communist agents or that Hitler ordered the Holocaust. But then again the mountains of circumstantial evidence and common sense tell us that we’d be a fool to say otherwise.
Only difference is that all sensible people have repudiated Hitler, history can dispassionately judge his record. Whereas our accounts of the FDR administration is entirely clouded by an ongoing love affair for the New Deal state by virtually all Americans. Calling it like it is would mean that the blood of tens of millions of people are on FDR, and by extension America’s hands.
“The people named by McCarthy and others really did have communist connections”
Actually, no, because McCarthy rarely named specific people who were later confirmed to have had communist connections. When he insinuated as much — as with his accusations against various Army officers — his investigations fizzled and he wound up publicly embarrassing himself. In the case of the Communists in the State Department (who he never publicly named), his claim was that these unnamed people were Communists and State’s leadership had refused to do anything about them. In fact, as far as anyone can tell, there were indeed Communists or people with Communist associations in the State Department who other investigators had turned up earlier and had been fired or pressured to resign before McCarthy ever made his speech. But McCarthy was a self-promoter who still today manages to successfully hoodwink gullible right-wingers with his myth that he — rather than the FBI and the intelligence services — was bravely investigating and exposing Communists all by himself.
“The Libertarian Party are not secret anarchists.”
Some of them are open anarchists. And Murray Rothbard — who was heavily involved in the Libertarian Party in its earlier years — endorsed anarchism at one point in his life and endorsed David Duke in another.
“No other contemporary political movement has a surreptitious connection to extremist elements. The Tea Party and Christian Right are not closeted Nazis. The Libertarian Party are not secret anarchists.”
What a load of utter nonsense.
That you can – with a straight face – associate people like Hiss and Rosenberg with today’s Democratic party and overlook the militia and anarchocapitalist movements’ ties to the Republican/Tea/Libertarian Parties is beyond comprehension. Must be nice to be so shortsighted – you’ll never need reading glasses.
It is members of the greater Democratic party, in defending these types, who associate themselves with Rosenberg, et al.
Can you name a single elected Democrat who associates him- or herself with Hiss or Rosenberg or any Communist-leaning figures?
Didn’t think so.
BTW, you can hold off on the Obama soshulizm jokes.
How’s Bill Ayers these days, anyway?
Ask your mom.
Witness is an excellent book. People forget that Chambers was a major literary figure. But that was part of the smear. Leftists are still dissembling; see Obama, Barack Hussein.
I noticed that too: pusillanimous – pitiful from a grown man.
The review on de Man dovetails neatly with Paul Johnson’s “The Intellectuals” which details some of the abhorrent personal behavior of some who are held in esteem for their ideas on how we should live.
You mean like Newt Gingrich? Though his treatment of women by Asian standards is no big deal, but in puritanical America, where POTUS cannot even have a middle age fling without fear of impeachment, Gingrich is indeed abhorrent.
No, I don’t mean Gingrich. The topic was intellectuals who privately behave in ways they publicly find contemptible in others. If you want to talk about politicians who do the same you need another book.
Derrida and de Man’s ideas are often lumped together, but I am unaware of any anecdotes about Derrida being a horrible person. So there is a (tentative) counter-example.
On the other hand, Lacan was also a part of that intellectual milieu, and I think he is widely considered to have been a sociopath. Then there is Foucault who was at least slightly crazy, but not in a particularly mean-spirited way . . .
Clinton was not impeached for a “fling.” He was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice. Aside from that, there is more concern about a POTUS with a proclivity for cavorting with or harassing subordinates. If any other person in government did the same, their security clearance would have been revoked along with their job. I’m not suggesting that the presidency is just a “job”, but it is within the power and discretion of Congress to impeach for such high crimes and misdemeanors.
Flings seem to be career enhancers for Democrats.
Wow, Ray, that’s the most blatant and ham-fisted attempt to change the subject I’ve ever seen. You know you can’t defend the moral bankruptcy of the modern intellectual liberal establishment, so you reach into your handy bag of cliches and dig up a golden oldie from the 1990s. “Look! Newt Gingrich!”
Absolutely pathetic, not to mention dishonest. How do you look yourself in the mirror every morning, knowing that you willingly tell lies? Or are you so invested in having the “correct” thoughts that the very idea that mouthing those slogans won’t make you successful and admired is a threat to your very sense of self? Hence your idiotic and clumsy lashing out.
Names you might want to Google:
- Mark Sanford – former disgraced Republican Governor, adulterer and liar, but hey, new life as a Congressman!
- Larry Craig – closeted gay Republican Senator who publicly railed against gay rights, caught in an airport men’s room soliciting male prostitution, or at least the ole reach-around – typical low-life hypocritical Republican
- Scott DesJarlais – Pro-life Republican Congressman and doctor who forced his mistress – a patient for chrissakes – to get an abortion – again, typical low-life double-standard Republican.
- Mark Foley – Republican Congressman with a taste for boys
- Mark Souder – Republican evangelical Christian Congressman and, yep, you guessed it: adulterer
#2: He leaves out a vital element in the Hiss case. Not only did Hiss lie about his activities, the Left lied for him long after it was clear he was guilty. The Left defended the Rosenbergs long after it was clear they were guilty. Cass Sustein may think it unfair to judge him and his coreligionists (the religion is liberalism, by the way) by their conduct over the years, but that’s how it works here on earth. The neo-Nazis hanging out in Idaho may be nothing like those other Nazis, but only a blockhead would assume it.
Cass Sunstein wants to avoid engaging ideas, so he comes up with a pn incredibly false conspiracy theory to attack movites.
The Tea Party is led by any number of Ivy Leaguers, eg, Harvard men and other Ivy Leaguers at Breitbart, Yale men and other Ivy Leagers at PJ Media — the Tea Party blogfather himself is a Yale Man. Any Ted Cruz and a number of other political Tea Party leaders are Ivy League.
So the “fear of Ivy Leaguers” is bullshit.
As far as can tell, the persons most influenced by Hiss’s soviet spying and by Chambers account were Democrats like Harry Truman and Arthur Schlessinger, Jr.
And the people who went after Hiss and fought the the Communists in government and the unions were New Deal Democrats and Progressive Republicans, eg Truman, Reagan, McCarthy, Nixon, and Robert Kennedy,
So Sunstein’s history is complete bullshit.
Maybe I didn’t read the piece closely enough, but my takeaway from the column was: “the right doesn’t trust the left, because, historically speaking, they have been untrustworthy”. If that’s what he’s trying to say, he is right on. But, notice how he dances around saying this outright.
Its almost as if he’s untrustworthy.
That was my read as well. John Derbyshire calls it the Cold Civil War. Northern whites hate southern whites. We are in a nasty flare up of hostilities right now, but it will pass. I think his description works as it covers more than just politics.
I don’t know if I’d identify Cass Sunstein as a northern white nationalist.
Actually I do know – I wouldn’t.
Neither would I so I have no idea what you are talking about here.
It doesn’t take long in a coffeehouse frolic, secure in the belief they are surrounded by allies, to hear liberals express hatred for America and its political ideals. Hiding just beneath the thin veneer of respectable concern for their fellow men runs deep esteem for totalitarian control of mankind.
Sunstein’s premise of Nudge is a scarcely camouflaged intent at controlling people, with people like him pulling the strings of course. The contemporary liberal seeks to clothe the wretch of socialism in the suit of a gentleman. In their own minds, they admit the failings of socialism tempered by the fervent belief that it had only failed because it had been implemented incorrectly or by the wrong people. The trustworthy people and correct way is whoever and whatever they currently offer.
Oh what a straw man you’ve constructed. Notice the elaborate design.
“the right doesn’t trust the left, because, historically speaking, they have been untrustworthy” because everyone left of … say Paul Ryan is equally a liberal, closet socialist, and traitor?
You know, in a better forum you’d be embarrassed to post such foolish generalizations.
??? I was simply paraphrasing Sunstein’s argument… I don’t really get your point here. HE was the one making the argument, so I guess your bone to pick is with him.
I thought he named one spy, Hiss, and then complained that the right generalizes from that one instance, to “the left?” That “Liberals are no longer much interested in Hiss’s conviction, yet they are puzzled, and rightly object, when they are accused of holding positions that they abhor.”
1. There were more Soviet spies than just Hiss.
2. The greater problem is the frequency with which members of the left defended Hiss, et. al., amid clear and rising evidence of their guilt. If they truly abhorred these positions, then why defend those who did hold them?
“the right doesn’t trust the left, because, historically speaking, they have been untrustworthy”
I think that that could be stated more precisely as “the right does not trust the left because, historically speaking, there has been a significant gulf between the left’s public statements and their private intentions”. More colloquially, “they have a hidden agenda”.
And, I think that distrust has a certain legitimacy. If you are the party of “change”, particularly change in the direction the left wants to take the country, it is necessary for political success to “temper” your public statements to garner electoral support from centrist voters.
President Obama is a good example and ACA an even better specific one. The rhetoric surrounding ACA during the legislative debate and thereafter, including “if you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it” were deliberately misleading. The right suspects, correctly I think, that aside from the exchange “glitches”, ACA is working as planned towards the ultimate (unstated) goal—to destroy the individual insurance market that will help pave the way for single payer.
And, I think that “inching icecap” was a great visual metaphor to explain what was happening then and continues to this day. It would have been even better had, in the meantime, actual icecaps, rather than merely the metaphorical one, expanded rather than receded.
I really wonder if the pro-ACA commentators here are really aware of how frequently Hannity, Rush, etc play the video of Senator Obama saying that an individual mandate is the path to single payer. Even if you don’t believe him when he says that, political allies need to realize just how much that damages their own credibility. This isn’t some fringe figure saying these things, nor was it really that long ago.
“So the “fear of Ivy Leaguers” is bullshit.”
Even the most cursory glance at American conservative rhetoric from low-brow (op-eds and talk radio) to high-brow (“The Closing of the American Mind”) would show that contempt and distrust toward elite universities and the professors who work there is one of the animating themes of the American right.
The fact that some right-wingers have graduated from Ivy League universities (and a few are even professors there) isn’t relevant. They frequently market themselves as renegades who are out to expose the dirty secrets of universities and how they brainwash students and stifle debate. Just as the conservative movement recruits the foreign-born to argue against immigration reform and people from Muslim background to argue that Islam poses a major threat to Western civilization, it recruits former or current Ivy League graduates and professors to bash the Ivy League and academia in general.
It is relevant.
Thomas Sowell values good economic science and good jurisprudemce and the good & talently men and women who are capable of it and humbly aware of their limitations and those of social science and the law.
So the criticism Sowell — a Harvard man — makes is of a certain class of intellectual and a certain class of the educated.
Tea Partiers deaply admire eg Milton Friedman — a Columbia man — and part of their estime from him comes feom his intellectual competence and prestige.
What is this Nazi BS about genes? Everyone knows the roots of math genius come from stereotype boosts, parents talking more to their babies, government institutions, and 10,000 hours of practice.
From another tab:
The science, apparently, is that lying to kids about some science makes them better at another science. Presumably only the priests are allowed to learn the mystery.
Find me an everyday Tea Partier quoting Chambers or with any interest in the old Soviet Union and its dead communist agents.
But there are endless — endless — Tea Partiers reading Hayek, quoting Hayek and making Hayek arguments, and endless Tea Partiers talking about the spending, bureaucratic, crony capitalist, dependency, lawlessness, debt and other pathologies of the current gov system.
And there are endless Tea Partiers who talk about the pathologies of the progressive tradition going back to Wilson, and who about the pathologies of the various incoherent neo-Marxist critical theories and victimologies and exploitation and social justice ideologies.
So Cass Sunstein is bullshittting us by saying “squirrel” and building a bullshit false narrative — a giant red herring.
The question is, why is Sunstein constructing this lie?
Because that’s what Sunstein does.
He is publicly acknowledging a legitimate deficit of trust in liberals. This is a remarkably candid admission. The statement and excuses are an internal admission that the stain still restrains them politically and that at the very least they must polish public perception on this issue if not reform policy prescriptions. In other words, liberals/progressives need another makeover.
What he actually said was that anyone merely liberal is treated as a traitor … say, do you notice any of that here?
You leave Shillitts alone. He’s just shilling for his party. You know, the Patriotic party.
#1 Shouldn’t they be collecting the Geniuses’ Mother’s DNA?
The interesting thing about Sunstein’s article is the way he obviously falls for Whittaker Chambers. The quotes from Chambers’ are splendid. I now know what I will read over Thanksgiving.
But Sunstein’s hokey theory seems to be little more than a peg to hang a human interest story on.
The most telling countervidence is the UK, where there really is no equivalent of the Tea party, despite the betrayals of the “Apostles” and other members of Britain’s Brahmin caste.
Richard Hofstadter pointed out that American distrust of intellectuals — primarily, though not exclusively, a phenomenon of the right — goes back to the era of Andrew Jackson if not even earlier and is animated by various themes in American culture like frontier mythology and tent-revival Protestantism. The Hiss case incorporated many of these passions as does the current Tea Party movement — they are two incarnations of the same phenomenon.
@#5 – Some man called “de Man”, he de man? No, but he no better than most Wall Street types seems to me. Conrad Black anybody?:
“In 1951 a judge in Belgium sentenced de Man in absentia (he had fled to the United States by then) to six years in prison for theft and fraud related to Hermès, the publication house he created and ran. De Man had looted the funds of the company to cover his own lavish expenses. In one case, Barish writes, de Man engaged in a “deliberate swindle” of a family friend, fooling him into making a loan that was never repaid. All told, more than a million Belgian francs disappeared—and, before he could face creditors and courts, so did de Man.”
At the very least, Black appeared for trial and served his sentence.
“If the projects find genetic markers for maths ability, these could be used as a basis for the selective abortion of fetuses or in choosing between embryos created through in vitro fertilization, says Curtis McMullen”
Maybe McMullen think that fetuses gifted for math will be aborted and has retrospective panic?
I think the reverse is true. He is worried that he may actually have more competition in his job if people are selected for the favorable genetic traits that he randomly won in his genetic lottery.
The guy looking for the genes for mathematical prowess should also look for the genes for sartorial taste. Damn. Either the shirt or the tie, but not both.
Both the shirt and the tie are atrocious.
In any case, it’s signaling.
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