Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Willis Hart Whines About Protests Concerning History Rewriting Libertarians

Lincoln was a power hungry and greedy dude who didn't give a damn about the evil of slavery. His only concern was squeezing the South for all the money he could (in the form of tariffs) to pay off his cronies... and THAT is why the Civil War was fought. Because the tyrant Lincoln would not let the Southern states leave the Union, as he should have! Slavery actually had very little to do with it.

Or, that is the rewriting of history supported by one delusional self-indoctrinated Libertarian named Willis Hart. The latest delusion? That there is a conspiracy among scholars of history to rewrite ALL OF IT in a manner that benefits the Left.

Commentary disclosing this conspiracy from Willis as follows...

Willis Hart: "On Partisan Scholarship"... The left has been peddling its wares in history for decades now (Eric Foner, James McPherson, Dean Sprague, Howard Zinn, Mark Neely, Arthur Schlesinger, Gary Wills, George Fletcher, Doris Kearns "I used to work for LBJ and vacationed with the Kennedys" Goodwin", etc.) and I have yet to hear a solitary clarion call to protest it. It was only when the libertarians started writing on historical subjects (ironic in that most of these writers has been every bit as tough on the Republicans as they've been on the Democrats) that the protesting started and it seems to be getting worse. My thoughts on the subject are clear; namely, that every damn side should be heard and what in the hell are we really worrying about here anyway? (Posted to the Contra O'Reilly blog on 7/29/2014 AT 7:48pm).

Yeah, sure, Willis. All sides should be heard. The side that believes in actual scholarship, which means accurately reporting on historical events, as well as other sides that believe rewriting history is an opportunity for them to validate their inane political beliefs. The liars, in other words.

Let both those who are reporting historical facts and those who are lying about the past be heard. Oh, wait, they ARE! This is just Willis whining about his side's rewriting of history being called out.

If you're going to lie and rewrite history, actual historians who strive for truth and accuracy have a Right, nay, an OBLIGATION to protest. But the Hartster says, "hey, shut up about the lying. How are Libertarians supposed to fool people into believing their garbage if actual historians protest these lies"?

And, just because Libertarian "historians" are peddling LIES that does not mean scholarship is "partisan". It only means the "scholarship" of the Libertarians is partisan!

This is the "both sides are equally guilty" canard that those who are WRONG have been peddling for some time now. Their bullshit is rightly met with skepticism by the public, so they attempt to muddy the waters by attempting to paint FACTS as partisan opinions.

"They present their opinions and we present ours" they'll say. That is fair, right? Except that they're LYING to further THEIR partisan agenda.

One of the latest examples of this... or one that I recently became aware of due to it's promotion on the "rAtional" nAtion blog, is the ahistorial meme that crony capitalism began with FDR. This would be the same FDR who welcomed the hatred of the economic royalists. (I refer to a blog post by the proprietor titled "Is the Republican Congress Likely To Continue New Deal Era Corporate Welfare").

So, I looked into it and found a reference to a new book by David Stockman on the Libertarian Misses website titled The Great Deformation (this lengthy tome of 770 pages is a rewriting of history that purports to expose the New Deal's "true legacy", which is "crony capitalism and fiscal demise").

As it turns out, this is another dishonest accounting of history that attempts to blame the recent economic downturn on Fannie and Freddie, etc. It was all the fault of poor people buying houses they couldn't afford, and the government forcing (via regulations) banks to make those (bad) loans. But, that is simply more history rewriting (it's utter bullplop, in other words).

Stockman even blames (among other FDR era laws) the Wagner Act, which was a law that allowed for workers more equal power with employers by allowing them to form unions. Sure, because employers not being able to screw workers is a BAD thing and is absolutely responsible for the rise of crony capitalism.

Because unions want to make sure their rights are protected and donate (in significantly lesser amounts than the plutocrats), I presume. But then the plutocrats might not have to spend so much bribing politicians if not for the dastardly unions. So Stockman's argument is that we should just let our corporate masters have their way (screw workers and poison the environment) and that will be economically beneficial? Beneficial to the plutocrats, that is.

And that is what all this history rewriting is all about, folks. Justifying policies that favor the wealthy. As far as making Lincoln out to be a tyrant, the reason behind that is so blame can be placed on a LIBERAL Republican for the sorry economic state of the (solidly Red) South today.

OST #27

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

On Willis Hart Lying About Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee Asserting that the U.S. Border With Mexico is Secure

The following post; a commentary which is complete and utter bullplop, from the blog of the liar known as "Will Take No Prisoners Hart" (AKA Willis Hart, AKA WTNPH)...

Willis Hart: "On Congresswoman, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Asserting that the U.S. Border With Mexico is Secure"... I'll take, "Just One More Pitch-Perfect Example of Why We Need to Vote Every Single One of these Cork-Soakers Out of Office", for a thousand, Alex (posted to the blog "Contra O'Reilly" on 7/10/2014 at 4:56pm).

Problem is, Congresswoman Jackson-Lee did NOT say the US/Mexico border is secure... and the following partial transcript proves it!

Via the Breitbart website...

JACKSON LEE: [T]hen on the other end, Craig, we have got to be able to deal with their care and then deal with our border. I disagree that our border is in devastating condition. Our border patrol agents are doing their job.

MELVIN: Do you think the border is secure?


JACKSON LEE: I think our border with now 21,000 border patrol agents is under control. We need to give them more resources, more equipment and they can stand to have more support as it relates to the increasing of those numbers that may come through the supplemental. There's a large amount of money for increasing numbers of border patrol and ICE officers. But I would not cry fire to suggest that our border patrol agents are not on the job. They are on the job. I have spoken to them. I have been on the border, I have been on the Rio Grande. I have been on the border at night. (Video below).

She says the border is "under control", not secure. Also notice the bit in emphasized in red (added by me)? What she said is actually far different than what the lying Willis boiled it down to. And the Breitbart (not a Leftwing site) header says "Shelia Jackson-Lee: I disagree that our border is in devastating condition".

"Not in devastating condition" is the same as saying it is "secure"??? I think not, Willis, you liar!

In any case, I AGREE with Jackson-Lee and The Economist, which says "The US-Mexico border [is] Secure enough".

The Economist: Spending billions more on fences and drones will do more harm than good. ...border enforcement costs $18 billion a year, more than all other federal criminal-law-enforcement agencies combined. ... Most of America's 2,000-mile southern border is tighter than it has ever been. Greater use of surveillance technology may reduce crossings further. Yet the growth in numbers from Central America shows how strong the "push" factors behind migration remain. America's politicians may or may not find a way to declare the border "secure". But if Mexico's economy stutters, or violent crime soars again, the magnets of high wages, jobs and security across the border will prove too powerful for many to resist (6/22/2013).

The article also notes that Republican Senator John Cornyn refuses to talk immigration reform until "the southern border is 90% secure", yet some estimates say it is already 87% secure. This "secure the border" meme is, in other words, a political ploy.

One that the Hartster has clearly fallen for. And I thought he knew better. I mean, the dude has argued for more immigration (to provide cheap labor for the plutocrat's factories, in order that they don't have to go overseas when they are desirous of exploiting workers).

The truth is, we spend way too much on border security. A much better use of these monies would be enforcement of laws that say you must be an American citizen (or have a work visa) to secure employment in the United States.

That IS the reason people cross our Southern border... for jobs. No jobs; no reason to come. But wealth-worshippers like the Hartster know that is the LAST thing the plutocrats want (to cut off their supply of cheap labor).

That is why Republicans misdirect with baloney about "securing the border". And playing to the xenophobia of their base helps them accomplish their goal of keeping illegal workers illegal.

With a path to citizenship the illegal workers could come out of the shadows; the shadows where they have no choice but to tolerate being pushed around by employers who tell them they must accept low wages and unsafe working conditions or be reported to ICE.

The "secure the borders" crowd is a part of the deception designed to keep wages low and working conditions unsafe... and WTNPH, with his dishonest commentary about Shelia Jackson-Lee aligns himself with these liars. And for that I say, shame on you, Willis!

OST #26. See also SWTD #265.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Folk Who Isn't Upset Re Willis' Ignorance of Hitler's Plans Of War With England & The West

More ignorance from the clueless Libertarian blogger Willis Hart, this time in regards to WWII and the plans of Adolf Hitler...

Willis Hart: I don't think that there's a lot of evidence that Hitler wanted a war with England and the West... Of course, by saying that, I know that I'm probably going to upset some folks. (5/23/2014 AT 7:52pm).content

Actually, Willis, there is SOME evidence...

Gerhard Weinberg: ...Hitler built up the German navy and began work on a long-range bombeer - the notorious Amerika Bomber - which would be capable of flying to New York and back without refueling. ...Hitler embarked on a crash building program of superbattleships promptly after the defeat of France. In addition, he began accumulating air and sea bases on the Atlantic coast to facilitate attacks on the United States. (excerpt from the 11/22/2006 History News Network article Hitler's Plan to Attack America).

An Amerika Bomber, huh? And, as noted by Wikipedia "the concept was raised as early as 1938". That was in the very year that Neville Chamberlain (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940) signed the Munich Agreement "conceding the German-populated Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany" (on 9/30/1938).

He did that to prevent war. War had not broken out yet (WWII lasted from 1939 to 1945). So, what we have here - in regards to the Amerika bomber and his buildup of "air and sea bases on the Atlantic coast to facilitate attacks on the United States" after the defeat of France (6/22/1940) - is Hitler at least thinking war with the United States could be a possibility. And throwing a LOT of resources into building up for that possibility.

Britian declared war on Gernmany on 9/3/1939 and American declared on 12/11/1941 when "Germany and Italy declare war on the United States" and the US reciprocates. Note that both these events took place quite awhile after Hitler thought war with these countries might happen - and made plans and took action (by expending resources) in case that happened. I suppose that doesn't mean he WANTED a war with England and the West, but it surely qualifies as some evidence that it occurred to him that it might happen.

And that his plans of European conquest might very well lead to war with England and the West. I mean, I think you could make a strong case that if he did not want war with England and the West he would have avoided actions (he could be fairly certain) would provoke England and the West... no?

Anyway, as far ignorance by Mr. Hart is concerned... he actually seems to me to be a very well read individual. This ignorance, I think, is him being ignorant in regards to things he WANTS to be ignorant on. That is, he dismisses evidence that doesn't fit into his paradigm, regardless of how strong it might be.

In regard to that - I admit it is something everyone of us is guilty of to some degree. The ironic thing being that the Hartster does not admit he's guilty of it AT ALL. As an "Independant" (small "l" Libertarian) he portrays himself (falsely) as being ABOVE such things, which, if you read his blog, you will find is really quite the LOL-able claim.

With this claim that there isn't evidence that Hitler wanted a war with England and the West, the Hartster is attempting to justify his claim that he's "anti war" (as his blog header claims), which is a claim he's SUPER serious about (with his MANY posts vilifying Abraham Lincoln and saying the Civil War shouldn't have been fought).

With the post in question, "In Defense of Neville Chamberlain", he's saying... what, I'm not exactly sure. Perhaps that if the appeasement strategy had been continued Germany would have conquered all of Europe but left Britain? Maybe he would have (conquered all of Europe but left Britain alone), but would allowing that have been a good idea?

Image: Messerschmitt Me 264 Amerika bomber, its objective: being able to strike continental USA from Germany, 1942. Photo from the website Rare Historical Photos.

OST #25

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Naive Stooge Willis Hart Endorses "Compromise" That Is Really A Plutocratic Trojan Horse

Want to concentrate wealth at the top to an even greater degree than it already is? Well, it so happens that one Libertarian "economist" has come up with just such a plan. And it is a plan he has deceptively labeled a "compromise".

And wouldn't you know it, but this "compromise" has fooled one naive stooge into raving about it on his blog.

Willis Hart: Economist, Charles Murray (a libertarian), has put forth what he considers to be a grand bargain to the progressives. He says that we, the libertarians (and, no, not every libertarian is completely on board with this), will give the left its big spending. But the left will have to give the libertarians much more economic freedom. His specific proposal (which is essentially a modified version of Friedman's negative income tax) would be to provide to every poor family a minimum monthly income (think of the Earned Income Tax Credit beefed up and spread out more) to which these folks could spend in the manner that THEY desire. The only catch here is that any help beyond this (say that a person spends their whole check in the first week on booze) would have to come from family, friends, charity, etc.

It's a pretty darn good plan, I think, in that it a) empowers the individual citizen, b) at least partially puts the private sector in charge of charity/welfare (the assertion here being that the private sector would be much more adapt at determining who deserves the assistance as opposed to a swift kick in the pants), and c) radically reduces the size of the federal bureaucracy in that the bulk of the money will be going directly to those citizens who need it. I mean, I know that this is a radical approach to some folks but maybe a radical approach is exactly what the country needs at this point just to break the damned logjam. (7/21/2014 AT 7:56pm).

Yes, this a pretty darn good plan if your goal is to increase the gulf between the rich and poor. I'm positive it would do a GREAT job of accomplishing that goal. Which is why this Libertarian economist proposed it, of course.

"Economic freedom" is code for paying workers less (you KNOW an abolition of the minimum wage would be a part of this bogus "grand compromise") and destroying American jobs via outsourcing (although, with the minimum wage gone, the outsourcing might be less than you would think).

Another goal is shifting more of the tax burden onto the backs of the middle class... this includes new taxes to make up for the low low wages employers will be able to force workers to accept (workers who have no choice).

That said, I doubt this roadmap to plutocracy will fool many Progressives. And, make no mistake - that is what this is - a Trojan horse that would (if we were so stupid as to go along with it) concentrate wealth at the top to an even GREATER degree than it is currently concentrated. We're talking 3rd world like slums. THAT is what the Libertarians truly desire.

Finally, and this is a BIGGIE... what about doing away with Corporate Welfare? That ISN'T a part of the "compromise"?? It's just the negative income tax in exchange for more "economic freedom"?

Seriously, forget it. *If* Progressives were to agree to any "compromise" eliminating Corporate Welfare would need to be a PILLAR of that compromise. Yet Willis does not mention it.

Now, I did not Google for any info and am only going by what is in Willis' post. But if eliminating Corporate Welfare HAD been a part of Charles Murray's "compromise" I think Willis would have said so. So I assume that it isn't, and that is undoubtedly proof that this "compromise" is completely bogus, given the fact that our government subsidizes Corporations to the tune of almost double what we spend on Social Welfare (59 versus 92 billion in 2006).

So, even though Libertarians rail again "crony capitalism" (a component of corporate welfare) this "economist" doesn't make it a part of his "compromise". Sorry, dude, but if that really is the case any Progressive worth his salt would laugh and tell Mr. Murray to stuff his "compromise". They would not even sit down at the negotiating table.

As for the minimum wage, there is no way in hell any Progressive would agree to eliminating it completely. Nor would they agree to reducing regulations so Corporations could slack off on workplace safety and endanger the lives of a lot of workers. Given that, I'm pretty sure this "compromise" would be a no go from the get go.

BTW, notice that Willis is upfront about Charles Murray being a Libertarian. That is because his being a Libertarian is important to the post. He is a Libertarian proposing a "compromise" to the Progressives. But you KNOW that if Willis were only presenting the "sage" words of an economist (who is also a Libertarian), Willis would absolutely NOT mention his political leanings.

I know this because he does it constantly. He presents economic or scientific ideas from "scientists" and "economists"... while NEVER revealing their biases. And, usually these ideas are presented sans links. Willis does this because he wants his readers to accept what he says at face value. He doesn't want anyone looking into what he says and discovering the STRONG biases and corporate ties of the individuals whose ideas he presents. Heck, he often even fails to tell you where (or who) the idea came from!

The Hartster is a very good stooge in that respect. A VERY good one. No doubt this guy would be an excellent propagandist for the interests of the wealthy if he had a bigger platform.

OST #24

Saturday, July 19, 2014

On The Minimum Wage Being A "Racist Law"

Yes, you read that correctly. Willis Hart of the blog Contra O'Reilly is claiming that the minimum wage is "racist".

Willis Hart: A boon to white middle-class teenagers living at home and a death knell to inner-city black youngsters who've dropped out of school. A racist law, in other words. (7/17/2014 AT 11:08pm).

My response? Completely ridiculous and almost 100 percent false. By the way, is it just me, or does anyone else notice how short most of Willis' commentaries are? The reason is because he includes ZERO supporting research (no links, no names, nada). He simply parrots Libertarian think tank authors without saying where the info came from. Most of the time. Sometimes he cites attribution, but most of the time he does not.

The reason is because doing so would make his bunk easier to debunk. And because he is intellectually lazy. All his points of view come back to what would benefit the already wealthy the most. In this case, it is underpaying Black teens by doing away with the minimum wage.

Just how much does Willis want to underpay BLACK teens (and African American male teens, specifically)? Read on for the answer...

Willis Hart: Remember when we used to have teenage kids come out and pump our gas for a couple of bucks an hour? And it wasn't just a job, either, in that when there weren't any customers these kids used to hang out with the mechanics and actually learn stuff. Now they just sit at home and play video games or worse still, get into trouble. (7/18/2014 AT 8:57am).

Only a "couple of bucks an hour"! The mentoring doesn't sound like a bad idea, but what shop owner would allow their mechanics to be distracted in this manner? Anyway, Willis refers to a bygone era. There are no kids pumping gas anymore, and certainly not in the inner cities.

And speaking of a bygone era, what does Willis want to pay, 1960's wages? Has he not heard of something called inflation? Also, another thing Willis has apparently not heard of, is the fact that there is a teen exemption to the minimum wage.

US Department of Labor Website: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires a minimum of not less than $4.25 per hour for employees under 20 years of age during their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment with an employer. After 90 days of employment, or when the worker reaches age 20 (whichever comes first), the worker must receive the minimum wage. (Link).

The exemption is 90 days because summer vacation is approximately that long. In other words, what Willis is really saying is that he wants to give young Black men the shaft; not "teens". I don't know about you, but this attitude is what smacks of racism to me, NOT the minimum wage. Opposing the minimum wage smacks of wealth worship. Willis wants to do away with the minimum wage so the plutocrats can screw employees out of decent pay... and keep that pay for themselves.

Of course the rebuttal to this argument is to bring up small business owners, but this argument is a canard. The minimum wage sets a floor. If the larger employers have to pay it then the smaller ones will be able to afford it.

In any case, this entire argument is predicated on the false assumption of the Hartster that the minimum wage is harmful. Which it is NOT. The opposite is actually true.

Center for American Progress: Raising the Minimum Wage Would Help, Not Hurt, Our Economy... A higher minimum wage not only increases workers' incomes - which is sorely needed to boost demand and get the economy going - but it also reduces turnover, cuts the costs that low-road employers impose on taxpayers, and... a significant body of academic research finds that raising the minimum wage does not result in job losses, even during periods when the unemployment rate is high. (Excerpt from a 12/3/2013 article by T. William Lester, David Madland, and Jackie Odum).

Finally, in regards to an "expert" that Willis cites to "prove" that teen unemployment goes up in states that increase the minimum wage... Willis cites Robert P Murphy... who is... wait for it... a Libertarian who is an associated scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and a research fellow with the Independent Institute (another Libertarian think tank).

Robert P Murphy also works at The Institute for Energy Research (IER), which "is a Washington, DC-based non-profit advocacy organization with strong ties to the oil industry", and a senior fellow in business and economic studies at the Pacific Research Institute.

It is worth noting Murphy's business lobby ties, as a 2011 study from economists at the University of California "demonstrates how a body of previous research – one frequently relied on by business lobbyists who oppose minimum wage increases – inaccurately attributes declines in employment to increases in the minimum wage".

Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (excerpt from an article posted by Anne Thompson to the Campaign for America's Future website, regarding a 4/2011 study)... [The study] examined every state and federal minimum wage increase over the past two decades and found that they did not lead to declines in teen employment. Their analysis included an in-depth examination of minimum wage increases during times of high unemployment - including the Great Recession of 2007-2009 - and found that even in these difficult economic periods, increases in the minimum wage did not cause job loss or slow rehiring. (Sylvia Allegretto, Arindrajit Dube, and Michael Reich. 2011. "Do Minimum Wages Really Reduce Teen Employment? Accounting for Heterogeneity and Selectivity in State Panel Data". IRLE Working Paper No. 166-08).

Wikipedia also notes that Robert P. Murphy "has presented an online video class in libertarian anarcho-capitalism [which] is a political philosophy which advocates the elimination of the state in favor of individual sovereignty, private property, and open markets".

Yeah, this dude sounds like a very rational fellow... not! What he is is an example of why Willis doesn't cite sources... because they are usually as biased and nutty as this guy!

OST #23

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

On History Books Always Agreeing With Willis Hart & People Who Disagree With Him Not Reading Them

History books always seem to agree with Willis Hart, or at least he thinks they always do...

Willis Hart: I really think that Mr. Obama needs to open a history book and study what President Hoover did in response to the depression and hopefully garner a lesson or two from it... (7/8/2014 AT 3:14pm).

To everyone who disagrees with Willis he gives the advice that they should "open a history book". Even a highly educated man like our president is a dumb-dumb in the eyes of Willis the egomaniac.

Don't believe me? Here's an example of Willis denying the root cause of the Civil War was slavery. And calling me a "total moron" for not agreeing with him that the history books say this is the case.

Willis Hart: He's a total moron... Anybody who's taken as little as an introductory history course knows that slavery wasn't the predominant reason for Lincoln's actions or even the South's... (3/22/2014 AT 2:44pm).

Wrong. Lincoln was motivated by his desire to keep the union intact, but the South absolutely did cite slavery as THE motivating factor. African slavery was the "immediate cause" of secession according to Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens.

And, by the way, the history books disagree with Willis.

Willis is wrong on slavery not being the root cause of the civil war, and also wrong on the minimum wage being economically bad (the subject of the minimum wage is what Willis is ranting ranting against in the 1st quote from his blog).

The Center For American Progress: Raising the minimum wage would be good for our economy. A higher minimum wage not only increases workers' incomes - which is sorely needed to boost demand and get the economy going - but it also reduces turnover, cuts the costs that low-road employers impose on taxpayers, and pushes businesses toward a high-road, high-human-capital model. (Excerpt from a 9/13/2013 article, "Raising the Minimum Wage Would Help, Not Hurt, Our Economy").

Putting more money into the hands of workers would increase demand because workers would spend that money back into the economy. This argument that businesses would have to fire people is false. The increased demand would pay for the wage increase.

Instead Willis wants to keep workers poor just so those at the top can get a bigger piece of the pie. And Willis' fellow stooges over at his echo chamber actually have the audacity to call those desiring a living wage "greedy"!

It is quite shameful in my opinion. And this nonsense about history books always agreeing with Willis is idiotic. I am sure our president is well read when it comes to the history of America. He probably just does not read whatever Libertarian-authored history-revising tomes that the gullible Hartster reads.

OST #22

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Kool Aide Potluck On the Blog Of Obama-Basher Willis Hart

This recent commentary from the Obama-bashing Willis Hart, followed by a Obama-bashing comment from a fellow kool aide drinkers Rusty and Dennis.

Willis Hart: "On Bush and Obama"... I'll take, "The Worst Back to Back Presidential Combination Since Hoover and FDR (Who in Turn Were the Worst Back to Back Presidential Combination Since Taft and Wilson)", for a thousand, Alex. (7/3/2014 AT 8:38pm).

Rusty Schmuckelford: This is a point well made Will. Bush's second term was an absolute cluster. Obama has to be classified as a failure... except to the Kool Aide drinkers. Look at the shape America is in... we can thank these two. (7/3/2014 AT 9:29pm).

Dennis Marks: And in terms of malaise and inflation, Ford and Carter... Time to get out your "W.I.N." button? (7/4/2014 AT 2:21am).

Looks like both Rusty and Dennis gulped down Willis' Kool Aide and then offered up some Kool Aide of their own. Must be a Kool Aide potluck.

In reality it is the obstructionist Republicans congress which has prevented Obama from doing much. They are responsible for the current situation far more than Obama... who I am not saying is perfect, by any means. But the kool aid drinkers like Rusty will continue to label him a "failure".

The game show Jeopardy, btw, deals in facts and NOT the opinions of Obama-bashers, so Willis refers to a Jeopardy question that will never be.

OST #21