Have a hug. Read Atlas Shrugged.

Author: PRODOS (Page 2 of 54)

Dr Ben Carson does a Hillary on Lenin phantom quote

Doctor, Heal Thyself. Luke 4:23

Doctor, Heal Thyself. Luke 4:23

I noted in an earlier post that Dr Ben Carson claimed to quote Lenin on socialized medicine and even bragged that:

How could anybody bring up something like that? I would say, if you know anything about history, how could you not bring it up?

But a phantom quote is not history. History is what happened. Phantom quotes never happened.

In a recent Washington Times article, Dr Carson mentions the quote but does not correct his earlier error:


Instead, he states:

A statement ascribed to Vladimir Lenin and widely disseminated in 1948 by the American Medical Association, implies that the establishment of government control over health care is foundational to the creation of the socialist state. The exact quote: “Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state.”

There is controversy as to whether Lenin used these exact words, but the larger point is that he and his followers certainly subscribed to the philosophy symbolized by these words.

Oh come on!

The even larger point is: Take responsibility for errors in scholarship. That way we can trust the next claim you make.

There is no “controversy” about whether or not Lenin used these “exact words”.

There is no record that he used those words or anything close enough to those words to make Ben Carson’s phantom quoting a reasonable paraphrasing.

To side-step the error by invoking a “larger point” — suggesting that it’s kinda true anyway, so who cares — is playing fast and loose with historical accuracy while bragging about one’s historical knowledge.

How is this different from Hillary Clinton’s “What difference does it make?




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Jeff Lord on piss-weak Establishment Right losers

Jeffrey Lord, American Spectator

Jeffrey Lord, American Spectator

A brilliant six-page article by Jeffrey Lord at American Spectator contrasting the Ronald Reagan mentality with the Establishment Right mentality.

Excerpts …

If, went the idea, Communists could somehow take control of the most powerful communications tool in all of America the Communist world movement would have scored the coup of coups.

Hollywood films had a weekly audience of half a billion people around the world. A Communist takeover of Hollywood and its filmmaking capacity would be second only to taking over the U.S. government itself.

 = = = =

So let’s return to present day America. The America where John Sununu and the GOP Establishment are out there targeting Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, the Tea Party and more.

… What is the central difference between the GOP Establishment and those (and others) named above?

 … after decades of left-wing devotion to the hijacking of America, to the idea of transforming it, there are still Republicans and even some conservatives who don’t understand the nature of either their opponents or their opponents’ objectives.

= = =

Highly recommended reading.

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Dr Ben Carson wrong about Lenin quote?


Dr Ben Carson stated recently:

… Vladimir Lenin, one of the fathers of socialism and communism, said that socialized medicine is the keystone to the establishment of a socialist state.

… some people have said, oh, come on, you’re being paranoid. How could anybody bring up something like that? I would say, if you know anything about history, how could you not bring it up?

But I haven’t been able to find any source for the alleged quote or another variation of it that is often used: “socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state”

In a 1949 or 1950 pamphlet called, The Voluntary Way is the American Way: Health Insurance Compulsory or Voluntary? 40 Questions – 40 Answers, published by Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc. I found the following:

19. Q. Would socialized medicine lead to socialization of other phases of American life?

A. Lenin thought so. According to Lawrence Sullivan in his book “The Case Against Socialized Medicine”, the founder of International revolutionary Communism Once proclaimed socialized medicine “the keystone of the arch of the Socialist State”.


"The Case Against Socialized Medicine" by Lawrence Sullivan. Is this where the Lenin misquote began?

“The Case Against Socialized Medicine” by Lawrence Sullivan. Is this where the Lenin phantom quote began?

In the book, They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, and Misleading Attributions, by Paul F. Boller John George, there is section dealing with this: That the Library of Congress was unable to find any record of Lenin ever having said what Lawrence Sullivan claims he said.







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Independent Objectivist Robert Tracinski offers script for Atlas Shrugged movie

Robert Tracinski, Ayn Rand

Robert Tracinski

Independent Objectivist — and one of my favourite writers and thinkers — Robert Tracinski, announced to his readers  today that he’s offered a script for the forthcoming movie, Atlas Shrugged (part 3).

Robert Tracinski produces The Tracinski Letter (subscription only) and — until being diverted by the script-writing project — had been writing a regular, well-researched column for RealClearPolitics, The Daily Debate (free).

He explains:

I put The Tracinski Letter on hold when I was asked to come in as a consultant on the script for the third Atlas Shrugged movie.

The consulting expanded to an extensive rewrite of the script.

My work is now mostly done, but before you get too excited, remember how these projects tend to work. I’ve now thrown my work over the wall, and I don’t really know what will happen to it from here on out.

All I can tell you is that my own best version of the script now exists, and I’m waiting to see whether they will use all of it, or some of it, or none of it.

Personally, I’ve enjoyed both Part 1 and Part 2 of the Atlas trilogy. Given the very moderate budget of the producers, they’ve done a nice job on this challenging project so far.

That they invited a fine thinker like Robert Tracinski to consult and write for them seems to confirm their commitment to getting it right.

Good on you lads.

If you’d like to contribute to Atlas Shrugged Part 3, here is their Kickstarter project …



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If Obama had an Egyptian belly-dancer she’d call him a jerk. In Arabic.

Sama El Masry tells Obama Fuck you


Sama El Masry calls Obama a jerk

William A Jacobson at Legal Insurrection blogs about a recent YouTube video featuring Egyptian belly-dancer, Sama Elmasry, singing and dancing in praise of the Egyptian military and mocking Obama’s weakness and disregard of Egyptians.

She tells Obama (through song) to F his US aid money and F himself and that he’s a jerk for siding with Islamo-fascists instead of with secular Egyptians.

Unfortunately, as well as going viral the video goes tribal and throws in a condemnation of “your (Obama’s) Israel”.

Not sure where Sama Elmasry gets the idea that Obama is pro-Israel or that Israel is against the Egyptian people.

Sama El Masry unfortunately condemns Israel


Click any of the above pics to watch the video.


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USA: Based on U6 real unemployment rate is 14 percent but what is the “real” rate?

Excerpts from latest article by Michael Snyder at TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com

The “unemployment rate” has not been going down because people are actually getting jobs.

Rather, the “unemployment rate” has been going down because the government has been pretending that millions upon millions of American workers simply do not want jobs anymore. This is extremely misleading.

We are being told that 162,000 jobs were created in July. Okay, so that is just barely enough to keep up with population growth, and most of the jobs that were created last month were part-time jobs.

… Good paying full-time jobs are rapidly being replaced by low paying part-time jobs.

And this trend has definitely accelerated this year. If you can believe it, an astounding 76.7 percent of the jobs that have been “created” in 2013 have been part-time jobs.

… When the next great wave of the economic crisis strikes, millions upon millions of Americans are going to lose their jobs and the official unemployment rate is going to soar well up into the double digits.

U6 figures provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics can be found here.

Rex Nutting at MarketWatch.com explains:

… In recent years, the unemployment rate has become one of the most politicized economic numbers. Which means it’s also become one of the most misunderstood numbers.

… In theory, the jobless rate should be noncontroversial. It’s simply the percentage of people who want a job who can’t find one.

… the official unemployment rate (known as the U-3 rate) was 7.7% in February; there were 12 million people who said they had looked for a job without success, compared with 155.5 million in the labor force.

But there were also 6.8 million people who said they wanted a job but weren’t even looking, perhaps because they were discouraged. Or maybe other hurdles, such as transportation problems or child-care duties, stood in their way. See the data on the BLS website.

In addition, 8 million people said bad economic and business conditions limited them to part-time hours even though they preferred to work full-time.

If you count those discouraged workers and involuntary part-timers as unemployed, the unemployment rate jumps to 14.3%. The government reports this number as the U-6 rate.

 …. the U-3 rate fell to 7.7% in February, in part because the labor force shrank by 130,000. The drop in the unemployment rate to a four-year low wasn’t necessarily great news.

About 40% of unemployed people have been out of work longer than six months, far more than at any time since the Great Depression.

If we really want to understand the health of the labor market, it’d be best to focus on employment and unemployment of the working-age population, 25 to 65, and leave millions of teenagers and octogenarians out of the equation.

On that basis U6 is not quite the “real” unemployment rate, but would, Rex Nutting, still be a couple of percentage points higher than U3 — the “official” unemployment rate.

Here is U6 from 1994 until 2013.:


U6 from 1994 to 2013


Here is U3 for about the same period:

U3 from 1994 and 2013

U3 from 1994 and 2013

(Both graphs created using Bureau of Labor Statistics data)

It looks to me that although U6 gives us a different figure from U3, the up and down trends of both graphs track closely.

How does Now compare with The Great Depression?

Both U3 and U6 figures only started being calculated in 1940 and 1946 respectively — in other words, after the Great Depression.

Further research needed.



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Shelby Steele: Poetic truths work by moral intimidation – not reason

Shelby Steele

Shelby Steele

Two of the many things my wife and I have in common is our keen, life-long passion about rational thinking and our great admiration for Shelby Steele.

In a recent article at Wall Street Journal Dr Steele discusses the Trayvon Martin — George Zimmerman issue and coins the term “poetic truths” (highlighting & additional paragraph breaks added by me) …

The purpose of today’s civil-rights establishment is not to seek justice, but to seek power for blacks in American life based on the presumption that they are still, in a thousand subtle ways, victimized by white racism.

This idea of victimization is an example of what I call a “poetic truth.”

Like poetic license, it bends the actual truth in order to put forward a larger and more essential truth— one that, of course, serves one’s cause.

Poetic truths succeed by casting themselves as perfectly obvious: “America is a racist nation”; “the immigration debate is driven by racism”; “Zimmerman racially stereotyped Trayvon.”

And we say, “Yes, of course,” lest we seem to be racist.

Poetic truths work by moral intimidation, not reason.

In the Zimmerman/Martin case the civil-rights establishment is fighting for the poetic truth that white animus toward blacks is still such that a black teenager— Skittles and ice tea in hand — can be shot dead simply for walking home.

But actually this establishment is fighting to maintain its authority to wield poetic truth — the authority to tell the larger society how it must think about blacks, how it must respond to them, what it owes them and, then, to brook no argument.

Perhaps the problem is even wider — applying to more than just race issues.

The “poetic truth” approach is one that can be applied to many areas in order to construct and reinforce a romanticised (if ridiculous) narrative and to repel, not just dissenter, but thinkers per se.

Shelby Steele’s term suggests not just that emotion is substituted for reason — evidence + logic, but that poetic truth constructs a falsehood which when spoken gives the speaker a heroic feeling. It’s a particular kind of emotionalism.

It has the aesthetic of melodrama. It works well on stage, in front of an audience. It creates relationships. And the relationship of the individual is not between his mind and the facts of reality. Reality is boring. Reality is for amateurs. Reality is no help at all. Life is too short to waste it on mere reality!

Poetic Truth is transcendent. The best feedback you can get from presenting the facts of reality is “Hmm … yes, that makes sense. Thanks. Have a nice day.”

Not so with Poetic Truth. There, the sky is the limit. To Infinity and Beyond!

The Zimmerman/Martin tragedy has been explosive because it triggered a fight over authority. Who gets to say what things mean …

… The civil-rights establishment’s mistake was to get ahead of itself, to be seduced by its own poetic truth even when there was no evidence to support it.

… If there is anything good to be drawn from the Zimmerman/Martin tragedy, it is only the further revelation of the corruption and irrelevance of today’s civil-rights leadership.

Greek men in tights

Greek men in tights

While I’ve been in the USA, one thing that’s struck me about the way some African-Americans (and nearly all White “liberals”) approach real and non-existent racism is how special they think they are.

They seem to think that prejudice is something abnormal and unique to them. That they are the greatest victims of racism in the annuls of history. They think their problems are the most precious problems ever. That no-one has ever suffered as they have.

Growing up in Australia in a Greek sub-culture, I found that the Greeks of my parents’ generation had a similarly inflated view of their own victimised uniqueness. As if they had been singled out for special treatment. Meanwhile they behaved (and still behave) in a far more bigoted way than any Anglo-Australian I’ve ever met.

It would be interesting to compare sores and scars.

Who is the truly the Biggest Victim? The Greeks or the African-Americans?

“My Victimhood is bigger than your Victimhood!”

I would begin by pointing out the domination of Greece by the Ottomans from the mid 1400’s until 1821. That’s 400 years of oppression. What African-American can match that?

But there’s more.

How about World War I?

Then, World War II (Nazi Occupation).

And finally, on the heels of WWII, there’s the Greek Civil War.

And as already mentioned, the migration of poor, huddled masses of Greeks to English speaking Australia.

(Aside: We won’t touch the recent self-inflicted financial troubles of Greece. That would not serve our purpose and would open us up to ridicule.)

Off to a flying start!

May your Truth wax Poetic!


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Michael Yon: Obama is a racist. Trayvon Martin old enough to join the Marines.


Michael Yon: Journalist, photographer, former Green Beret

With characteristic, devastating frankness, Michael Yon puts the Zimmerman-Martin case into context.

The article (page 1, page 2) is “Race Baiting and Lies in America“.

Here are some excerpts (emphasis added by me):

First up, Michael Yon tackles the “child” thing.

Trayvon Martin was 17 when he was shot. Many people say he was just a “child.”

Let’s look at the evidence. 17 year-olds can, and do, join the US military.

At 17, I joined the military and reported for duty when 18.

Before graduating from high school, I could bench press 300 pounds and hoist 225 pounds from the floor to over my head with arms locked, weighing less than 148 pounds.

At 17, my high school friend Scott Helvenston became a Navy SEAL. The youngest ever. Some people say this is not possible. To save embarrassment, naysayers might take a minute to Google “Youngest Navy SEAL.”

At 17, Wilfred Benitez was the world champion boxer.

Retired 4-star General Barry McCaffrey mentioned to me the other day that he joined the Army at 17.

At 19, I was a “Green Beret” and went to jail after accidentally killing someone in what amounted to hand to hand combat.

 Hands are lethal weapons. That someone is unarmed when he attacks means nothing.

We could fill the north seas with the bones of women who have died at the bare hands of men and the adults who have died at the hands of teenaged “children.”

At the time of his death, Mr. (Trayvon) Martin was a powerfully built, military aged male and drug user who referred to himself as a “gangsta,” and used racial slurs to describe Zimmerman. He was old enough to join the Marines if he could pass the tests but with his drug use behavioral issues they would not want him.

 The attack:

(Trayvon) Martin attacked (George) Zimmerman on a rainy night with lethal fists and mounted Zimmerman and smashed his head into a sidewalk. There was no way for Zimmerman to know Martin was unarmed or that his powerful attacker was 17 and old enough to join the Marines.

The President:

As we saw with the Zimmerman prosecution, lynchings still happen, only today the lynch mob leader is President Obama. For foreign readers who have not noticed, many Americans sense that President Obama is severely racist and divisive, uninterested in justice but revenge for injustices he never suffered.


There are no two ways to cut what “creepy assed cracka” means in context to the way Martin’s close friend Rachel Jeantel said he used it in relation to Zimmerman.

It was a racial slur.

Read the whole article HERE.

Thank you Michael Yon!

If I had a son he'd look like Trayvon Martin

President Obama: … if I had a son he’d look like Trayvon Martin



Update: At what age can one join the Marines?

10 USC § 505 – Regular components: qualifications, term, grade

(a) The Secretary concerned may accept original enlistments in the Regular Army, Regular Navy, Regular Air Force, Regular Marine Corps, or Regular Coast Guard, as the case may be, of qualified, effective, and able-bodied persons who are not less than seventeen years of age nor more than forty-two years of age. However, no person under eighteen years of age may be originally enlisted without the written consent of his parent or guardian, if he has a parent or guardian entitled to his custody and control.



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Larry Elder tells Piers Morgan what needs to be told


After interviewing her, Piers Morgan claims Zimmerman trial witness, Rachel Jeantel, is “one smart cookie”.

Black ConservativeLarry Elder, unconvinced, tweets back: “Would YOU hire her?”

So Piers Morgan invites him onto his show to spin some pain and play his soppy make-believe.

But things don’t go the way he planned.

If you want to see how Larry Elder thinks about things, you might also enjoy this YouTubed radio segment explaining the broad differences between Republicans and Democrats:


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Culture of Psychotherapy versus Truth and Rights

culture of psychotherapy

Australian historian, Dr Anna Blainey Warner, sent The PRODOS Blog the following insightful note, which I’d like to share:

(Links, bracketed items and emphasis added by me)

It should be realised that this points to an underlying current in trial commentary that goes beyond Jesse Jackson or the Zimmerman trial.

I’m referring to the widespread assumption that the judicial system should be primarily for the alleged victim’s retribution rather than for the rights of the accused to be presumed innocent till proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

For example, you often hear people ask why the accused has all these rights and why aren’t we concerned with the victim, or why do we interrogate the poor victims after all they’ve been through.

Not only are victims to be presumed totally honest and credible through virtue of their alleged victimhood – the idea is that justice is not first and foremost about testing the truth of allegations, or protecting the accused against unjust accusations while protecting the wider society from criminals proved guilty.

Rather, it is about retribution for the victim on behalf of the individual victim.

This idea is encouraged not only by political advocates like Jackson but also by the culture of psychotherapy which has come to present trials in terms of ‘closure’ for the victim with the victim’s feelings being the first consideration.

A good reading on this topic is ( by writer for (TheAtlantic.com and FIRE, former ACLU board member) Wendy Kaminer’s (1996, 21 page) book entitled (It’s All the Rage).

A recent article at Legal Insurrection also touches on this interpretation, quoting part of Obama’s recent speech:

When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said this could’ve been my son.

Another way of saying that is, a Trayvon Martin could’ve been me 35 years ago.

When you think about why in the African American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened.

I think it’s important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.

As Robert Tracinski at RealClearPolitics writes in response to Barrack Obama’s recent speech on the George Zimmerman trial:

But there is a whole load of crushing disappointment carried in this line:

“I think it’s important to recognize that the African-American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away.”

Shorter version: this is never going away.

The racial politics laid bare in the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case is never going to be healed. At least, not by him.

Pain and more pain. Therapy and more therapy. As far as the eye can see. For all eternity.

In contrast, here’s how “miracles are made” — A speech by Ronald Reagan — a man who never wallowed or traded in the pain-and-therapy scam.









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