You are Being Delphied!-Followup A Classic Delphi Technique

See here to find out what being Delphied is: https://tjcoop30.wordpress.com/2008/07/09/are-you-being-delphied/

August 2, 2008

This is a nudge in the wrong direction

It doesn’t matter whether it tries to guide us or force us, government doesn’t know best

Jamie Whyte

A few hippies aside, everyone agrees that paternalism is a good thing when practised by parents. Children do not know what is good for them. Left to their own devices they would make many bad decisions. Caring parents will threaten, bribe, cajole, trick or otherwise manipulate their foolish offspring into doing the right things.

When practised by governments, however, paternalism is more controversial. The idea that adults do not know what is best for them, and that the government should manipulate them into doing the right thing, strikes libertarians as outrageous.

Yet most politicians find the idea irresistible. The present Government aims to make us change our behaviour in all sorts of ways that libertarians would think none of its business. Among other things, they want to make us smoke less, drink less, eat less, take fewer drugs, exercise more, save more and spend more time with our families. So do David Cameron’s new Conservatives.

Treating adults like children is an idea that needs some justification, especially when it is espoused by a political party that until recently claimed to champion the individual against the State.

So you can imagine the delight with which these nannies have received Nudge, a book by the Chicago University professors Richard Thaler and Cass Sustein that claims to provide a new justification for paternalism and new ways of manipulating people that are compatible with libertarianism.

The justification for paternalism is that, like children, adults are too foolish to know what is best for them. This may not strike you as a new idea. Most of us think that other people are fools. What’s new, however, is scientific support for this common presumption.

Over the past few decades, “behavioural economists” have been studying how actual human decision making deviates from the perfectly rational ideal assumed in classical economics. Their sad, if unsurprising, conclusion is that we are systematically irrational.

We are apathetic, favouring options that require no action or that preserve the status quo. We are herd followers, doing things that are bad for us simply because others do them. We are hopeless at statistics, buying insurance and lottery tickets even when the odds make them a bad deal. And these are only a few of many irrational biases. It is no wonder that we do all those things that the Government and Mr Cameron wish we would not.

But behavioural economics does not only show that we need external guidance. It also shows how we can be guided. Our irrationality can be exploited to nudge us in the right directions. For example, we can be made to save more if joining a pension plan is the default option when we get a new job – that is, if our employers structure our choices so that we must actively opt out of the plan rather than actively opt in. The right “decision architecture”, as Thaler and Sustein call it, can use our apathy to benefit us.

Or we can be made to file our tax returns on time if the Government publishes statistics about how many of our fellow citizens have already filed theirs. Our herd mentality can be turned to serve our own good.

But here is a simple question. If the Government knows what’s best for us, why only nudge us in that direction? Why not give us a mighty shove – as the Australian Government has – by making saving compulsory? Sustein and Thaler reply that nudging is consistent with libertarianism, but shoving is not. And they are libertarians. They advocate what they call “libertarian paternalism”.

Alas, this is as incoherent as its name suggests. Libertarianism is motivated by the idea that a government cannot know what is best for individuals. That is why it is likely to harm us when it attempts to influence our behaviour. Those who favour governmental nudging must think the “central nudger” knows what is good for us. But then they have no reason to be libertarians.

Nor does behavioural economics justify paternalism, because it does not show that the Government knows better than we do what is good for us. The advantage that individuals have over central nudgers in deciding what we should do was never our perfect rationality. It is our superior knowledge of our own preferences and circumstances.

Take a simple example. Should you save more, as our would-be nudgers suggest? The answer depends on your present and likely future incomes, on how much you can expect to inherit, on how long you are likely to live and on your preferences regarding consumption now versus consumption in the future. The Government may know that you are foolish. But it cannot possibly have better information than you on all these matters.

Knowing that someone is irrational does not tell you what they should do, nor that they are at present doing the wrong things. Our would-be nudgers are like doctors who think that they can prescribe the right medicine simply because they know you are a hypochondriac.

Jamie Whyte is the author of Bad Thoughts: A Guide to Clear Thinking

Published in: on August 4, 2008 at 8:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Still Hope for America!

Ron Paul’s Forces Quietly Plot GOP Convention Revolt Against McCain

Virtually all the nation’s political attention in recent weeks has focused on the compelling state-by-state presidential nomination struggle between two Democrats and the potential for party-splitting strife over there.

But in the meantime, quietly, largely under the radar of most people, the forces of Rep. Ron Paul have been organizing across the country to stage an embarrassing public revolt against Sen. John McCain when Republicans gather for their national convention in Minnesota at the beginning of September.

Paul’s presidential candidacy has been correctly dismissed all along in terms of winning the nomination. He was even excluded as irrelevant by Fox News from a nationally-televised GOP debate in New Hampshire.

But what’s been largely overlooked is Paul’s candidacy as a reflection of a powerful lingering dissatisfaction with the Arizona senator among the party’s most conservative conservatives. As anticipated in late March in The Ticket, that situation could be exacerbated by today’s expected announcement from former Republican Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nod, a slot held by Paul in 1988.

Never mind Ralph Nader, Republican and Democratic parties both face …

… potentially damaging internal splits that could cripple their chances for victory in a narrow vote on Nov. 4.

Just take a look at recent Republican primary results, largely overlooked because McCain locked up the necessary 1,191 delegates long ago. In Indiana, McCain got 77% of the recent Republican primary vote, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, who’ve each long ago quit and endorsed McCain, still got 10% and 5% respectively, while Paul took 8%.

On the same May 6 in North Carolina, McCain received less than three-quarters of Republican votes (74%), while Huckabee got 12%, Paul 7% and Alan Keyes and No Preference took a total of 7%.

Pennsylvania was even slightly worse for the GOP’s presumptive nominee, who got only 73% to a combined 27% for Paul (16%) and Huckabee (11%).

As Politico.com‘s Jonathan Martin noted recently, at least some of these results are temporary protest votes in meaningless primaries built on lingering affection for Huckabee and suspicion of McCain.

Given the long-since settled GOP race, thousands of other Republicans in these states, who might have put up with a McCain vote, crossed over to vote in the more exciting Democratic primaries, on their own for Sen. Barack Obama or at the urging of talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, who sought to support Hillary Clinton and prolong Democratic bloodletting.

According to a recent Boston Globe tally, Paul has a grand total of 19 Republican delegates to Romney’s 260, Huckabee’s 286 and McCain’s 1,413.

In the last three months, Paul’s forces, who donated $34.5 million to his White House effort and upward of a million total votes, have, as The Ticket has noted, been fighting a series of guerrilla battles with party establishment officials at county and state conventions from Washington and Missouri to Maine and Mississippi. Their goal: to take control of local committees, boost their delegate totals and influence platform debates.

Paul, for instance, favors a drastically reduced federal government, abolishing the Federal Reserve, ending the Iraq war immediately and withdrawing U.S. troops from abroad.

They hope to demonstrate their disagreements with McCain vocally at the convention through platform fights and an attempt to get Paul a prominent speaking slot. Paul, who’s running unopposed in his home Texas district for an 11th House term, still has some $5 million in war funds and has instructed his followers that their struggle is not about a single election, but a long-term revolution for control of the Republican Party.

So eager are they to follow their leader’s words, that Paul’s supporters have driven his new book, “The Revolution: A Manifesto,” to the top of several bestseller lists.

While Paul has consistently refused a third-party bid, he has vowed not to endorse McCain, a refusal mirrored by hundreds of his supporters who have left comments on The Ticket in recent weeks. And, no doubt, they’ll flock back here today to spread the gospel below.

— Andrew Malcolm

Photos: Associated Press and RonPaul.com

Published in: on May 14, 2008 at 3:42 am  Leave a Comment  

Christianity in Eclipse

http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance141.html
by Laurence M. Vance

The Christian’s attitude toward the state, its leaders, its military, its wars, its imperialism, and its interventionism should be a no-brainer: contempt, disdain, disgust, revulsion, abhorrence, repugnance, loathing – take your pick. Yet, among Christians one continues to find some of the greatest apologists for the state, its leaders, its institutions, and its evil doings.

Biblical Christianity is becoming eclipsed by state worship. The “obey the powers that be” mantra is still recited incessantly. The state is revered by too many Protestants as a force for good or social justice instead of the criminal gang that it is. The state’s latest pronouncements about this country or that country being a threat to American interests are too often accepted by evangelicals at face value. The need for the invasion of, the bombing of, the imposing of sanctions against, or the need to take some other belligerent action toward other countries is swallowed by some Catholics like a communion wafer.

Biblical Christianity is also being eclipsed by leader worship. Instead of being viewed as a war criminal, President Bush is seen as the messiah in chief by many evangelicals, with Huckabee as his heir apparent. Any president will do, however, as long as he is a Republican, claims to be a Christian, and wants to continue killing Muslims lest they kill us first because they hate our freedoms. In spite of Bush’s horrendous violations of civil liberties, his doubling of the national debt, his debacle in Iraq, and his tremendous expansion of the power of the presidency, he is still revered by way too many Christians both in and out of the evangelical community.

Biblical Christianity has been partially eclipsed by war. Some of the greatest defenders of Bush’s war in Iraq are Christians. This was true when the United States first invaded Iraq, and it is just as true now, five years later. It doesn’t seem to matter how senseless the war, as long as it is a Republican war. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times the lies that the war was based on have been exposed, it is all just dismissed as liberal propaganda. It doesn’t seem to matter how long the war lasts, since if we quit fighting them “over there” we will end up fighting them “over here.” It doesn’t seem to matter how much the war costs, since military spending is good for the economy. It doesn’t seem to matter how many thousands of American soldiers are killed, since that number is less than the number of people killed on American highways every year. It doesn’t seem to matter how many thousands of American troops are injured, since they joined the military voluntarily. It certainly doesn’t seem to matter how many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are killed, since they all hate our freedoms. It doesn’t seem to matter how many thousands of Iraqis are injured, since they are all terrorists anyway. It doesn’t even seem to matter if the war is not in America’s best interests, since we should “obey the powers that be.” It is war that breeds state worship and leader worship. Christians that are otherwise sound in the faith become idolaters when it comes to war and its architects.

Biblical Christianity has been almost totally eclipsed by the military. Although some Christians may denounce some of the abuses of the FBI, the IRS, and the BATF, they usually hold the institution of the military in high esteem. In fact, many Christians, and especially those who consider themselves evangelicals, have a military fetish. Even Christians who oppose U.S. foreign policy in general and the war in Iraq in particular are some of the most vocal defenders of the military. Churches publicly honor veterans and praise them for defending our freedoms, not just on Veterans Day, but on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and special “military appreciation” days. Although they may decry women serving in combat roles, the feminization of the military, and the pregnancy rate of women on Navy ships, churches generally have no problem with their young men joining the military to bomb, maim, and kill for the state in some foreign war that has nothing to do with defending the United States. Because Christians are in love with the military, criticism of the military is strictly verboten, regardless of the nature of the latest U.S. foreign intervention that the troops are engaged in. Christian soldiers are expected to blindly follow their leaders when it comes to the latest country to bomb or invade. Those who question the morality of their orders, and civilian Christians who do the same, are viewed as unpatriotic, American-hating traitors who don’t appreciate their freedoms that the military protects.

It is the power of the state to wage war and engage in an aggressive, imperialistic foreign policy that ought to be eclipsed by Christianity. Instead, Christians have willingly supplied the state with cannon fodder for its wars and military interventions. They have bombed, maimed, and killed for the state without hesitation. They have showed no concern or compassion for the lives of foreigners for whom Christ also died. In the name of a career, they have given of themselves to be stationed or deployed where U.S. troops have no business in going. Those not in the military have become the military’s greatest supporters. Christians have become apologists for the state. They have deified its leaders instead of denigrating them as criminals. They have defended its actions instead of denouncing them as immoral. They have served the state instead of the Lord Christ.

Although there have always been (and will always be) men in history who have gloried in the state and its wars, Christians should not be numbered among them. After five years of seeing the lying, stealing, killing, liberty-destroying warfare state in action, one would think that Christians, of all people, would cease their support for the state, its military, and especially its wars. Unfortunately, and to the everlasting shame of Christians, I see no end to this statolatry in sight.

May 6, 2008

Laurence M. Vance [e-mail him] writes from Pensacola, FL. His latest book is a new and greatly expanded edition of Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State. Visit his website.

Laurence M. Vance Archives

Published in: on May 7, 2008 at 3:54 am  Comments (1)  

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Published in: on May 3, 2008 at 10:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Rev. Jeremiah Wright is Right about how U.S. Government Uses Blacks for Medical Experiments, Including AIDS

by Mike Adams (see all articles by this author) (NaturalNews)

Regarding the current controversy about Rev. Wright and U.S. Presidential candidate Barack Obama, Rev. Wright is actually quite correct about the U.S. government’s exploitation of black Americans for medical experiments (and worse). What Rev. Wright is saying about the way the U.S. government has treated blacks in the last 200 years is remarkably accurate to anyone who has bothered to actually study American history. For starters, I recommend you read A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn, which will give you quite a horrifying account of how the FBI sought to assassinate black leaders, how law enforcement authorities looked the other way when crimes were committed against blacks, and many other difficult-to-believe (but true) facts about the history of America. But that’s just the beginning. The real horrors become even more clear when you look at the history of blacks being used for medical experiments in the United States. The Tuskeegee experiments only scratch the surface. In reality, the history of conventional medicine in the U.S. is filled with true accounts of black women, black prisoners and black babies being openly used in extreme medical experiments where they were injected with deadly substances, denied medical treatment to see what might happen as the disease progressed, and even used in government-sanctioned experiments like the EPA’s recent experiments on toxic chemicals in low-income children, which happened just a few years ago in New York. Skeptical that any of this really happened? Maybe you just haven’t learned any of this yet. To help you out, I’ve published a list of just a few of the medical experiments conducted on blacks, minorities and prisoners in the United States. You can read the list yourself here: http://www.naturalnews.com/019189.html

Part two is here: http://www.naturalnews.com/019187.html

One account included in that list reads as follows:

1963: Chester M. Southam, who injected Ohio State Prison inmates with live cancer cells in 1952, performs the same procedure on 22 senile, African-American female patients at the Brooklyn Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital in order to watch their immunological response. Southam tells the patients that they are receiving “some cells,” but leaves out the fact that they are cancer cells. He claims he doesn’t obtain informed consent from the patients because he does not want to frighten them by telling them what he is doing, but he nevertheless temporarily loses his medical license because of it. Later, Dr. Southam becomes president of the American Cancer Society.

As you can see, not only are these human medical experimentation doctors NOT convicted of their crimes against blacks and minorities, they are promoted to top positions in the medical establishment!

It gets worse: The genocide continues even today

And yet, despite all the horrifying history of medical experimentation on blacks and minorities in the United States — much of it sponsored by the U.S. government — the situation is even worse today because conventional medicine is engaged in a deliberate effort to deny black people access to the truth about sunlight, vitamin D, cancer and skin color. As NaturalNews readers well know, the reason breast cancer and prostate cancer rates are so much higher in black women and men is because dark skin pigmentation blocks the healing UV rays that create vitamin D in the skin, thereby leaving black men and women chronically deficient in vitamin D. That deficiency, in turn, greatly boosts their rates of cancer — by nearly 500%! (The cancer industry loves this, by the way. It means lots of repeat business for cancer drugs and mammogram’s in the future.) But instead of educating black men and women about this simple connection, the modern cancer industry (and medical establishment) refuses to tell black people the truth, thereby enslaving them in a system of high-profit medical treatments, all while pretending they have no idea why breast cancer is so much more aggressive in black women. Read my article, Vitamin D Recommendation Missing From Breast Cancer Task Force Report on Black Women at http://www.naturalnews.com/022151.html Today, I’ve posted a scathing audio podcast on this topic, accusing the modern medical establishment of being engaged in crimes against blacks through its unwillingness to tell people the truth about why dark-skinned individuals need far more sunlight than white-skinned individuals. This audio podcast dares to tell the truth about the racist policies of modern medicine, and why Big Pharma wants to turn the bodies of black men and women into profit centers. You can listen to it right now at: http://www.naturalnews.com/Index-Podcasts.html Of course, this profit exploitation motive isn’t limited to blacks. Whites, Asians and everybody else are also targeted for medical profits, but blacks are disproportionately impacted by the lack of truthful information about cancer and vitamin D due to their unique skin pigmentation. In other words, the intentional censorship of factual information about sunlight, vitamin D and cancer results in far more harm to black people than anyone else!

Obama sticks his head in the sand

Barack Obama, for his part, is now pretending the U.S. government never conducted medical experiments on blacks, or that it’s “un-American” to even talk of such things. These are the typical lies you’ll hear from any politician running for office, especially when that office is in a country where 99% of the people have been kept in the dark about these matters. In reality, I say it’s un-American to treat black people in the way they’ve been treated throughout American history. I say that all of us — white, black, Hispanic, Asian, Hispanic, etc. — have the right to be treated with dignity, with respect, and with our basic human rights intact. No person, no matter what their skin color, should be used for medical experiments, and when those experiments have taken place, it is the duty of honest citizens and the few remaining honest journalists to publicize those events in order to help ensure they never happen again. Obama was quoted in the press yesterday as saying about Dr. Wright, “But when he states and then amplifies such ridiculous propositions as the U.S. government somehow being involved in AIDS. … There are no excuses. They offended me. They rightly offend all Americans and they should be denounced.” In other words, Obama is saying that anyone speaking out about the U.S. government’s exploitation of blacks and its involvement in the AIDS virus should be denounced. Note carefully that he did not say the U.S. government’s medical experiments on blacks should be denounced! Rather, the people warning others about such activities should be denounced! Or, put another way, Obama wants people to just shut up and pretend the U.S. government never committed these evils against blacks. He doesn’t want the truth to come out. He’s running for President, after all, and it’s better to just whitewash important issues than to have to deal with them honestly and openly.

It is never the wrong time to tell the truth

Some say that merely bringing up these topics is divisive and destructive to the country. To that naive criticism, I say this: As a human being, it is my responsibility to do everything in my power to stand up for those less fortunate. From the black babies injected with contagious diseases who couldn’t fend for themselves, to the foster care children who were “recruited” for the EPA’s experiments on chemical toxicity, these babies and children need people like you and me to come to their defense.

They are defenseless: The poor, the young, the children without parents… these unfortunate ones are being swept up into Big Pharma’s deadly medical experiments and the U.S. government’s dangerous experiments for military and industrial purposes. Who will defend them if not us? And how will we ever make sure we don’t repeat these true horrors of American history if we’re not even willing to admit they happened in the first place?

Rev. Wright is telling people the truth about how the government has treated blacks, and it makes Obama nervous. Obama is living in a state of denial, which is actually great practice for becoming U.S. President. Those skills will come in quite handy during future press conferences. What better way to become the first black President of the United States than to deny the history of how the U.S. treated blacks in the first place?

For the record, I don’t know for sure whether the government introduced AIDS into the population, but I’ve read a lot of books on epidemics and the AIDS virus in particular (including books by Len Horowitz, who I highly recommend as an author), and I can state with certainty that I highly suspect AIDS was, in fact, engineered by the U.S. government and intentionally introduced into the population as either a weapon of genocide or a population control measure. It all sounds quite sinister, but once you learn about what the CDC, FDA, EPA and USDA have already done to harm and kill so many people in the last few decades, it’s not a stretch of any kind to consider the possibility that the government may have also been involved in the creation and release of the AIDS virus.

My main point, however, is that regardless of what you think about AIDS and the government, at the very least we should all be able to openly discuss these ideas and debate them without being instantly denounced for merely bringing up the subject.

Remember, those who are the quickest to denounce so-called “conspiracy theories” are those who are least capable of standing up to honest debate. It’s the same for many issues: Vaccinations, fluoridation, 9/11 terror attacks, the AIDS virus, the war on Iraq and many more. Candidates like Obama don’t want the American people to actually think for themselves or question the status quo, because the minute people start questioning the status quo, the whole fragile U.S. economy and Big Brother power centers would start to crumble. The continuity of the U.S. empire depends, in large part, on the continued ignorance of the American public about what’s really true.

Recommended reading: Emerging Viruses: AIDS And Ebola : Nature, Accident or Intentional? by Leonard Horowitz

By the way, if you’re a member of a black church and you’re interested in learning more on this topic, I’d be thrilled to visit your church and present some of this information about cancer, sunlight, skin pigmentation and the conspiracy to deny black men and women access to the information they need to prevent cancer and save their own lives. Just contact me through the NaturalNews offices, and if I’m in your part of the country in the future, I’d be happy to stop by and talk to your church congregation about what’s really going on with the cancer industry and its blatant exploitation of black men and women in this country. It’s not a happy topic, I realize, but it’s one that needs to be told. And I’m not afraid to tell it like it is.

Because here’s the truth in all this: I have information right now that could prevent 90% of all cancer in black men and women. And I’d be thrilled to share that information with people. I personally find the black community to be very open to this information, probably because they are rightly skeptical about the way the medical establishment has treated them for so many decades. They know they’re being lied to, used and exploited by wealthy corporations and corrupt government officials. They know it! They just don’t know where to turn for real answers to this cancer problem.

Mother Nature has the answers, folks, and it’s time we told the truth about cancer so that we can end the pain and disease in the black community that has caused so much suffering (and generated so much money for Big Pharma and the cancer industry). It’s time to stop the genocide and start the healing. If we’re going to move forward, together, as a nation of people who truly have equal rights and equal opportunities, then we’ve got to stop the cancers, stop the censorship and start the healing. It’s the only way to move forward.

For more on Human Experiments done by the US government see here:

https://tjcoop30.wordpress.com/human-experiments-in-us-history/

Part II:

https://tjcoop30.wordpress.com/human-experiments-in-us-history/want-more-us-human-experiments-ii-1965-2005/

Published in: on May 1, 2008 at 6:01 pm  Comments (1)