Author: Tom Bethell
Science myths busted:
· America is destroying the environment and causing global warming
· Darwinian evolution is supported by overwhelming evidence
· Most Christians used to think the earth was flat
· Religion is the enemy of science
· Human cloning and embryonic stem cell research hold the key to our future health and happiness
More and more of the junk "science" is being exposed. Let me say that, regardless of whether or not you agree with the author's myriad conclusions (or implications) throughout the book, that the book does one thing of utmost importance: it exposes the bias against alternative theories. The only people that win when those biases are in place are politicians and the so-called scientists receiving their handouts.
Bethell discusses many topics throughout this book and will probably challenge what you've been told all your life about:
1. The dangers of DDT (we're probably killing well over a million people a year by NOT using it!)
2. The benefits of stem cell research (probably every cent spent on it has been wasted)
3. The African AIDS pandemic (hmmm . . . has someone been playing with the statistics to get more money?)
4. The hazards of low-level radiation (many studies indicate low levels may often be beneficial to the body and result in LOWER cancer and disease rates!)
And many other "scientific" topics.
In my opinion, the "big story" in the book is not that much of what we have learned may be untrue, but rather that the "establishment" refuses to listen to any viewpoint that contradicts what they (think they) already know.
I challenge everyone to read this book and then check out the author's sources. I myself don't know if I agree with all he wrote, but since reading his book I have taken the opportunity to read other sources and check out what he has to say.
Unfortunately, even by looking at this book's reviews I can tell there are many who'd rather badmouth the author or his work rather than address facts with facts.
THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO THE GREAT DEPRESSION AND THE NEW DEAL
Author: Robert P. Murphy, Ph.D.
You Think You Know The Depression And The New Deal. But Did You Know:
How FDR Made The Depression "Great"
Why The New Deal Was The Worst Possible "Solution" To The Depression
Why World War II Didn't Help The Economy - Or Get Us Out Of The Great Depression
How The Federal Government Fueled The Speculative Investment Boom That Led To The Crash Of '29
Why The Obama Administration Is Making The Same Mistakes That Herbert Hoover And FDR Did
Robert P. Murphy's new book makes the reader question one's own education about the U.S. Surely Social Security, abandoning the gold standard, the FDIC, are all good things! And didn't the New Deal get us out of our worst economic mess in history? Weren't we all taught that in school, indeed, perhaps by our own parents? Much like his previous work (PIG - Capitalism), Murphy's new book takes dead aim at many of the myths and outright falsehoods of that time. And he instructs us in an easy, straight-forward style. He reminds us (perhaps we never knew) of the outrages of the New Deal: the thug-like tactics of the National Recovery Administration, bank "holidays", government destruction of food, and so on. And Murphy's likening of Hoover/Roosevelt to Bush/Obama is superb.
But alas, nothing is perfect. Murphy's book is troubling in two respects: 1. the reader wants/needs more - I literally could not put the book down... I wanted to keep going - his style makes for such easy and interesting reading! 2. his analysis of the current US state of affairs vis a vis 70-80 years ago is downright scary! He certainly does not exude confidence in our current "leaders."
THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO DARWINISM AND INTELLIGENT DESIGN
Author: Jonathan Wells, Ph.D.
You Think You Know About Darwinism and Intelligent Design. But Did You Know:
The Famous "Ape To Man" Species Chart Is Based On Guesswork, Not Evidence
Intelligent Design Is Based On Scientific Evidence, Not Religious Belief
What many Public Schools Teach About Darwinism Is Based On Known Falsehoods
Scientists At Major Universities See Good Evidence For Intelligent Design
Scientists Who Question Darwinism Are Punished – By Public Institutions Using Your Tax Dollars
Recently (August 22, 2006) a short letter of mine was published in The New York Times. The letter criticized a boilerplate, straw man attack on intelligent design written by a crusading Darwinist--an all too common occurrence, sadly. I received two letters castigating my audacity in criticizing Darwin.
One letter claimed that no amount of empirical evidence could support design because design is not a physical property. Exactly. This confirmed my letter's comment that opposition to ID is based on methodological naturalism: no intelligent causes are allowed in the game. Why is this? It is because this is how they--the Darwinian priesthood--set up the rules (dogma). In other words, the question is begged. That is a fallacy.
Another letter accused ID proponents of Lysenkoism; that is, they would get their way by strong arm tactics, as did the Soviet state which shut down dissent to his ideas in the old USSR. I wrote back saying that the Darwinists are the real Lysenkoists, since they constantly censor ID from being presented in public institutions and attack ID proponents personally. (Wells gives plentiful evidence for that.) Moreover, ID people have never advocated banning the teaching of Darwinism. They only want to allow it to be challenged with scientific evidence to the contrary. (Wells also demonstrates that Lysenko, common opinion to the contrary, did not oppose Darwinism, but rather Mendelian genetics.)
These letters highlight just some of the wrongheaded responses of Darwinists against ID. Wells addresses all the rest, such as:
1. ID is religious, not scientific.
2. ID is the same as creationism.
3. ID makes no scientific predictions and is not testable.
4. ID proponents want to restrict the teaching of Darwinism.
5. No ID arguments have been published in peer review literature.
But Wells also presents the positive case for ID with clarity, logic, and ample documentation. He thoroughly and engagingly explains some of the more rarified ID concepts, such as specified complexity, with aplomb but never glibly. (Don't let the title of this book deceive you; it is never flippant lacking in appropriate argumentation.) Wells also repeatedly skewers Darwinian fallacies. My favorite fallacy is the claim that ID is not testable, but that all the evidence is against it. If it is not testable, then no evidence could be marshaled for it or against it.
Wells covers the whole spectrum of issues related to Darwinism and ID: scientific, philosophical, cultural, and political. His concluding chapter predicts the eventual ascendance of ID over Darwinism, given the strength of its evidence and the unimpressive strategies of its antagonists.
This book is ideal for the neophyte who wants to get to the bottom of the debate. However, the more seasoned reader (such as me) will also benefit from some new ideas she might have missed in her other reading as well as from the sheer pleasure of reading such a well-crafted and timely presentation.
THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO THE FOUNDING FATHERS
Author: Brion McClanahan, Ph.D.
You Think You Know About The Founding Fathers, But Did You Know:
The Founders Were Right-Wingers By Today's Standards - For Gun Rights, Limited Government, And Religion In Public Life
The Founders Waged A "War Of Independence", Not A Revolution
Is America A Democracy? The Founders Regarded The Very Idea of Democratic Government With Scorn
"A Nation of Immigrants"? Most Of The Founders Were Third - or Fourth - Generation Americans, Not Recent Arrivals
The Founders Believed In States Rights, Including The Right To Secede From The Union
Brion McClanahan has written a gem of a book with The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers. Here we get a sense of what the founding generation was really like and what they really believed and did, not the sensational, trivial and silly portrayals that we so often get from non-academic sources such as the History Channel and PBS. As for the academics who write on the Founders, far too many come to their subject with veiled, and some not so thinly veiled, agendas that it is difficult to know who exactly these men were. The great virtue of McClanahan's guide is that it is rooted in that which all good and true history is grounded, the primary sources. As McClanahan himself asserts, if you want to know what the Founders really thought, then simply read what they wrote. When you do, as McClanahan has done, you truly do find a generation of brilliant men who believed in liberty and were willing to fight to secure it.
The book is divided into two parts with the first touching on several contemporary myths about the Founders. Here you will find excellent dismissals of the myths surrounding the Founding generation's supposed egalitarianism and support for democracy. McClanahan demonstrates what any honest and knowledgeable historian of the period knows; the Founders did not believe in equality as it is presently conceived and they certainly were not unreserved advocates for democratic government. In doing this McClanahan reminds us that the Founders created a Federal Republic, not a mass, egalitarian democracy, and an appreciation of the differences between these forms of government is an essential starting point to understanding the history of the early American Republic.
Other myths exposed include Benjamin Franklin's legendary brood of illegitimate children, Alexander Hamilton's homosexuality and George Washington's alleged affair with Sally Fairfax, his neighbor's wife. And, of course, what expose' of founding myths would be complete without a discussion of Thomas Jefferson's supposed affair with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings, the evidence for which is circumstantial and inconclusive although it is often asserted as fact these days.
McClanahan also does an excellent job of demonstrating just how conservative the American Revolution actually was in that American Patriots were not asserting radical new doctrines inspired by Enlightenment philosophers but principles grounded in the traditions of English liberty and American colonial experience. This was the key feature of the American Revolution and why it differed so remarkably from that of the French.
Also on offer are brief but thought-provoking discussions of several important contemporary issues like gun control, the role of religion in American life, federalism, and monetary policy, all in relation to what the Founders would have thought about these issues if they were alive today.
As good as the first part of the book is, however, the best is probably the brief biographical sketches of the Founding Fathers themselves. The "Big Six" are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin. McClanahan delves into each man's life with an eye to expose the modern, presentistic mythology that has encased these men in the popular imagination, and we find that while the names are familiar much of who these men really were has been lost or willfully forgotten. McClanahan uncovers them for everyone to see.
In addition to the "Big Six," McClanahan rediscovers 14 "forgotten founders" that every American should know about. These include names such as Elbridge Gerry, from whom we get the term "gerrymander," the great partisan warrior Francis Marion, inspiration of Mel Gibson's The Patriot and John Taylor of Caroline. We are also treated to very iconoclastic and revealing reappraisal of John Marshall as both a member of the Founding generation and early American jurist.
In all, this is an outstanding introduction to the Founders, one that is an antidote to the indoctrination so many Americans receive in school and the popular media when the topic is the beginnings of the United States. It is highly recommended and makes for the perfect gift for yourself or someone with a yearning to know more about the Founding Fathers.
THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO CAPITALISM
Author: Robert P. Murphy, Ph.D.
You Thought You Knew About Dollars And Cents. But Did You Know:
Capitalism Defeats Racism, Improves The Environment, And Is Essential To A Free Society
Cheap Imports Don't Destroy Jobs
The "Robber Barron’s" Actually Helped The Poor (More Than The Government Has Ever Done)
The 1980's Weren't A Decade Of Greed
Athletes Deserve Their High Salaries
Capitalism Didn't Cause The Great Depression - And The New Deal Didn't Cure It
By sending your child to almost any school, but especially to a government school, your child will be deeply indoctrinated into an instinctive trust of socialist economics. In issue after issue, your child will learn that the reasonable solution to almost any human problem lies in petitioning the right, wise and altruistic politicians to expand and empower altruistic, omniscient, and omnipotent government bureaucracies with ever increasing command and control of otherwise wrong-headed, evil free people to "solve the problem" for the "benefit of all".
Chances are that your knowledge of the "old economic rationales" that formed the basis of our country (and in my opinion, the engine of American wealth) is sketchy at best. You trust that the union government bureaucrats who man the schools will give a fair and even-handed presentation of the eternal battle between economic freedom and economic coercion. Chances are that you believe the current uneasy "middle ground" of market Marxism is the best of all worlds. You're like most people -- you can't articulate economic freedom positions, explain why some people believe freedom will produce the "best for all" outcomes, or explain why some people believe freedom is the most moral position.
Even those parents who have taken economics have had only a cursory micro class and then been assured by a socialistic economics department that such rules do not apply for governments, or for when need and caring is great. Few are the parents who can talk comfortably about the different schools of economic thought and present fairly the various arguments.
I have long looked for a single book that would help the average parent provide at least one brief glimpse into the "other side" of the argument, or for a book that would explain to kids directly why our country was founded on economic freedom and what we might give up as we slide towards economic dictatorship.
This book is the best single overview of free market economics and the morality of economic freedom. Ironically, if I were dictator, every child would have to study this book and understand the underlying arguments it presents. To provide any balance to the incessant anti-freedom, anti-market propaganda from media, government, and schools, this is the best book I've found. I plan to use it with Vivian in a year or three.
However, I think it is particularly good for parents who may not be able to articulate the two sides of the discussion. Given that your child will be learning about these issues as we decide our country's future by debating these issues today, and that our decisions today will determine her future much more so than anything that she will ever do on her own, being literate in the subject can help a conscious parent offer the other side -- even if just to provide a stronger straw man to teach your child how to vilify any wrong-headed arguers for freedom.
The book has very short chapters explaining the essentials of why freedom to create, to sell, and to buy makes sense for everyone, and how central planning bureaucracies can never achieve what free people acting freely can achieve. It will help your child glimmer solutions for "unsolvable" problems that will repeatedly perplex the government-only educated adults around them:
- Why medicine regulation to protect people kills many more people than it helps
- Why "raising wages" through government dictates reduces overall worker salaries, the number of jobs available, minority opportunity, and overall societal wealth
- How governments cause "racism" and markets produce equality
- Why government production of fiat money is a dangerous, unnecessary confidence game
- Why stimulus packages make depressions worse, not better
- Why government monopolies are more to be feared than transient business monopolies
- Why markets produce safer products than government regulation can
- How environmental problems are produced by governments, and the solution is best found in private ownership
Interestingly, it doesn't discuss the one area that after schooling parents would understand best...
- Why coercive, monopoly provisioning of education undermines children's education.
You can help your child to at least become a bit more educated in the one area where the government monopolists want your child to be the least educated. Understand the perspectives in this book and present some them to your child.
THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO GLOBAL WARMING AND ENVIRONMENTALISM
Author: Christopher C. Horner
Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute
You've Heard Plenty About "Global Warming." But Did You Know:
The Earth Has Often Been Hotter Than It Is Now
Only A Tiny Portion Of Green-House Gasses are Man-Made
Most Of Antarctica is Getting Colder
The Media Only Recently Abandoned The "Global Cooling" Scare
"Global Warming" Hasn't Made Hurricanes Worse
Honestly, how you can blame Horner? People who question the science behind global warming are regularly labeled "deniers" a la the Holocaust deniers. The moniker has been used frequently enough that were there any prior misgivings about the veracity of Godwin's Law, surely that doubt has now dissipated. Further, journalists like Scott Pelley state that "striving for balance becomes irresponsible." In such extreme circumstances as these, extreme measures like Horner's rhetoric are perhaps necessary in order to secure a hearing.
The book divides into four parts. Horner deals first with the authoritarian nature of the global warming movement and the main players who seem to want to centrally plan our lives. Former French President Jacques Chirac, for example, once referred to Kyoto as "the first component of authentic global governance."
In the second part of the book, Horner deals with the "lies" of global warming such as the infamous Hockey Stick graph, the alleged consensus of scholars on the science, etc. Horner then addresses the media, big businesses, and Al Gore, all of whom he affectionately calls the "false prophets" of global warming. The book ends with a look at the cost of global warming policy in terms of money and personal liberty.
Despite the heavy rhetoric, The P.I.G. to Global Warming and Environmentalism is a well-documented contribution to the climate change debate. It is extremely well written and Horner's abilities as a trained lawyer surely don't hurt as he presents the data.
Some of the key points to take away from the book are the political aspects to global warming and the need to account for measurement artifacts. Without going into a lot of detail on the latter point, there are several areas where the evidence for global warming may simply be a function of the way things are measured.
In a word, global warming is about a scientific-government complex that exists in the world.
THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION
Author: Kevin R. C. Gutzman, J.D., Ph.D.
Separation Of Church And State Is Not In The Constitution (Some Ratifying States Had Official Religions)
Thomas Jefferson Went To War Against "Activist" Judges
Modern "Constitutional Law" Has Almost Nothing To Do With The Constitution
The Supreme Court Ruled In Favor of Slavery - And Got Other "Landmark" decisions (Like Roe v Wade) Self-Evidently Wrong
Finally someone has written a book which strikes at the core of the illegitimate (unconstitutional) present form of government in the United States. Many attempts to write a book like this have failed. (Though William Watkin's "Reclaiming the American Revolution" would be a good follow up after reading Dr. Gutzman's book as an introduction). Books written by such authors as Andrew Napolitano advocate using federal judicial power to serve "conservative" ends; such as the national "liberty of contract" doctrine the federal courts conjured during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. "Liberty of contract" was complete nonsense from a constitutional standpoint (as Dr. Gutzman makes clear). Napolitano would like to see "substantive due process" (based on the 14th amendment-- "ratified" at gunpoint) used for policy purposes he prefers. In this regard, Napolitano's policy based judicial philosophy is akin to the kind of philosophy which Gutzman shows to have destroyed our federal system of government. To my knowledge this is the first book which clearly rips apart the US Supreme Court's "incorporation doctrine," which turned a shield erected by the states against their agent, the "federal" government, into a weapon the federal courts use against the states, the people, and local self-government.
Two key things Dr. Gutzman left out of his "incorporation doctrine" discussion are (i) the preamble to the bill of rights, (ii) a discussion of the 9th amendment, and (iii) the lost history of the 9th amendment.
(i) According to the preamble to the federal bill of rights, "THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution." So essentially, the bill of rights was put in place "to prevent misconstruction or abuse" of federal power. Though Dr. Gutzman doesn't specifically mention the preamble, he does a masterful job of explaining that the bill of rights is only supposed to protect individual liberties from interference by the federal government by making clear that Congress can only pass laws pursuant to its enumerated delegation of legislative power spelled out in Article I Section VIII. The states wanted to reserve power, not to grant additional power to the fed. As Dr. Gutzman also shows, the 14th Amendment, despite not being ratified pursuant to Article V, did nothing to change the plain meaning of the bill of rights.
(ii) Dr. Gutzman focuses plenty on the 10th amendment, which Jefferson considered the "cornerstone" of the Constitution, but he seems to neglect the 9th amendment. The 9th basically says that just because certain rights have been listed in the first 8 amendments does not mean that other rights are not also protected from federal interference. To illustrate, the 2nd amendment was put in place because of what happened yesterday (June 13, 2007- the US House passed a law placing new restrictions on gun owners). This gun law is not "necessary and proper to carry into execution" any of the enumerated powers delegated to Congress. The 2nd amendment, in Lehman’s terms, says, Congress, you don't have authority to pass restrictions on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Just so that you (Congress) don't get any crazy ideas, you're explicitly barred from passing this law by the 2nd amendment. The 9th amendment would protect the right to bear arms from federal interference if the 2nd amendment didn't exist. The 9th and 10th amendments were really meant to work together to make it clear that Congress is strictly restricted to its enumerated powers. If Congress wanted more legislative power, Congress would have to ask for the power and the states would have to delegate that power (pursuant to Article V).
(iii) In brief, 12 amendments were sent out to the states in 1791, but only 10 were ratified. The 9th Amendment was originally called "Article the eleventh" since it was #11 in the list of 12. There was extensive early case law on the 9th amendment, but it was still referred to as "article the eleventh" in those days. When Gutzman discusses the destructive effect of court decisions from the 1960s, the Supreme Court couldn't find case law on the 9th amendment. Believing that there was a clean slate on 9th amendment law, the Supreme Court felt that it could create law. This sad accident of legal history isn't mentioned in Gutzman's book, but it has been studied extensively by Kurt Lash.
From the fraudulent reassurances which the so-called "Federalists" perpetrated on the state ratification conventions, to John Marshall's destructive nationalist agenda, to the War for Southern Independence, to the consolidation of all power in Washington DC during the 1930s via the destruction of the commerce clause, through the court's arbitrary decisions of the 1960s--- Dr. Gutzman puts together the most objective and historically accurate introduction available for those interested in learning why things in Washington don't seem to make sense.
After reading this excellent book, you might find yourself filled with a desire to see the Supreme Court building razed to the ground. However, the only real solution to the problem of judicial (and federal) usurpation is through the threat of secession. Jefferson warned that if the federal government was made the final judge of its own powers that the federal government, and not the constitution, would be the supreme law of the land. Jefferson was right. The Declaration of Independence explains how to fix things... but in the meantime a good initial step in righting the ship (other than repealing the 16th and 17th amendments) would be to elect Dr. Ron Paul as President. Maybe Dr. Gutzman should run as his Vice-President?