Grandma's Christmas

Newtown: And One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

Vintery, mintery, cutery, corn,
Apple seed and apple thorn;
Wire, briar, limber lock,

Three geese in a flock. 
One flew east, 
And one flew west, 
And one flew over the cuckoo's nest.
In September 1959, a recent University of Oregon graduate, Ken Kesey, enrolled in the Creative Writing program at Stanford University. To earn money he worked the night shift at a nearby mental hospital, and at the same time volunteered for the psychology department as a test subject in experiments with hallucinogenic drugs. He began to hallucinate during his shifts at the hospital, and imagined he saw an Indian sweeping the hospital floors at night. This hallucination became ‘Chief Broom’ Bromden, the narrator of his project novel, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest". Written partially under the influence of peyote and LSD, the book was an instant success among baby-boomer college students, and remains a classic to this day.
Publication of Kesey's novel in 1962 corresponded closely with John F. Kennedy's introduction of and the ultimate passage of the Community Mental Health Act of 1963. This legislation marked the beginning of the de-institutionalization of the mentally-retarded except those deemed incapable of interacting in public society. The legislation provided for establishment of facilities for dealing with mental patients on an outpatient basis and society changed forever. Asylum's were now in the past and the retarded were returned to not-quite-competent familial care.

Suddenly a whole new medical practice, expanding exponentially, drew the brightest of doctors and scientists to assist in getting psychotherapy off the ground.  America's drug companies jumped into the mix as well. Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor for the New England Journal of Medicine, tells the story of how drug therapy was developed under an argument that sounds something like "fevers are caused by too little aspirin!"
When it was found that psychoactive drugs affect neurotransmitter levels in the brain, as evidenced mainly by the levels of their breakdown products in the spinal fluid, the theory arose that the cause of mental illness is an abnormality in the brain's concentration of these chemicals that is specifically countered by the appropriate drug …
That was a great leap in logic … It was entirely possible that drugs that affected neurotransmitter levels could relieve symptoms even if neurotransmitters had nothing to do with the illness in the first place (and even possible that they relieved symptoms through some other mode of action entirely)."
Eli Lilly first presented Prozac, a selective saratonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) anti-depressant, to the FDA in 1977 and approval was obtained for the drug in 1987 - and now big problems have been recognized. Episodic depression has now been replaced by chronic depression among SSRI users and the relapse rate for the drug is 85%.

But the really bad news about the SSRI anti-depressants is summarized in one sentence:
These drugs have given rise to hundreds of legal actions following suicides and homicides, one of which the Tobin versus SmithKline case resulted in a first ever finding against a pharmaceutical company for a psychiatric side-effect of a psychotropic drug.
There is a website, ssristories.com, that has a database of some 4800 incidents of violence that most likely resulted from SSRI drugs.
66 School Shootings/Incidents Involving SSRIs: Most of the stories on this site describe events that occurred after the year 2000.  The increase in online news material and the efficiency of search engines has greatly increased the ability to track stories.  Even these 4,800+ documented stories only represent the tip of an iceberg since most stories do not make it into the media. There are 115 cases of bizarre behavior, 66 school shootings/incidents, 68 road rage tragedies, 19 air rage incidents, 101 arson cases, 70 postpartum depression cases, over 1,000 murders (homicides) or murder attempts, over 300 murder-suicides (30% committed by women) and other acts of violence including workplace violence on this site.  There are also over 100 Journal Articles and FDA reports listed in the Index.  They are at the top of the Index immediately below the 66 school shootings/incidents and the 29 "won" criminal cases. 
Scary stuff and it just happens that Adam Lanza, the Newtown, CT elementary school shooter suffered from Asperger's Syndrome which most certainly suggests that he was a regular user of SSRI drugs. There have been Senate hearings on this problem but the subject is immediately dismissed in recent media write-ups on the school shooting - simply because the media and liberal politicians want to cripple the Second Amendment which permits private gun ownership.

The Last Enemy



Above is Episode #1 of a five-part 2008 PBS series called "The Last Enemy." Amazon succinctly describes the BBC production thus: "Set in the very near future, this riveting thriller explores how technology and terror could transform civilization into a dystopian society of constant surveillance." Central to the plot is a sophisticated and powerful computer program which tracks and analyzes people's lives. All five parts of the series is available to watch on Youtube.

After having watched the first two episodes, I was shocked to read that three real-world intrusions into the lives of American citizens, seemingly in direct violation of our rights under the Fourth Amendment, are already being installed.

First comes a report that military drones are being used in the United States to spy on citizens. This technology is also finding its way into the control of local law enforcement agencies.

Next we have the installation of black box recorders into every automobile manufactured:

Automakers have been quietly tucking the devices, which automatically record the actions of drivers and the responses of their vehicles in a continuous information loop, into most new cars for years.
Finally we have the video recorders being installed in city buses to monitor passenger conversations that are being financed by the Department of Homeland Security.

Government is indeed the Last Enemy, having already destroyed the Fourth Amendment.  Can we next expect terrorism from our own government?

The Keynesian Crises Continue Unabated

Keynes did little if anything more
than use new terms for old ideas.
~ Murray Rothbard
Writing for the F. A. Hayek Institute of Canada, Shawn Fraser tells us that the Keynesian macro-economic model has always failed. John Maynard Keynes, it seems, had a background in academia and government bureaucracy and during his lifetime, was associated with avid socialists while favoring Bolshevik extremists.  Worse, he lost almost all of his wealth in the 1929 Stock Market Crash because he didn't understand economics well enough to comprehend what was happening or what would follow that event. As an aside, supply-side Austrian School economists Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises predicted the crash well in advance because interest rates had become  far too low.

The Keynesian model fails because it is designed to gain economic stimulation by providing nothing of value and it fails because it requires government bureaucrats, with no skin in the game, to make up rules that would affect decisions about how and when to interfere with natural transaction-based activity that would eventually serve to right economic downturns. Favorite government tactical tricks include:
  • Borrowing through government bond issues or directly from international sources (China).
  • Expanding the fiat money supply (we now call printing money "Quantitative Easing").
  • Increasing federal purchase activity (Obama used this gimmick to pay off political debt).
  • Putting money into the hands of taxpayers (through expanded social programs, giveaways and loans).
  • Manipulating interest rates as a stimulation or discouragement of economic activity (this is the Federal Reserve's contribution).
Since there were never treasury funds to spend, these actions resulted in either deficit spending (increasing national debt) or new currency in circulation, which naturally decreases the value of the dollar and  pushes up inflation - but does not increase business activity to the point where adequate jobs are created and new income streams occur. Recovery is a pipe-dream and dependence on the government dole is accomplished. The fallacy here is easy to understand. Government does not contribute to productive economic activity because it must access taxpayer funding first before re-inserting funds back into the economy. This action simply amounts to a redistribution of wealth.

This is not an accident or and unintended consequence.  Remember that Keynes (rhymes with "brains") was first a socialist and laissez-faire (leave it alone) capitalism is not an acceptable end result. He has been compared to Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler and Mao Zedong and was then declared to be the most destructive of the four because of the economic harm that he has wrought upon the world.  He ruined the British pound and brought socialsim to the empire before he set upon the United States and then the world to solve the Great Depression  - and he managed to shut us down until 1941 when the war began for the United States. But the harm was done and our hard roll into socialism is just about complete with the second term of the Obama regime.

Ex-ENRON adviser and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman believes that the United States did not spend enough stimulus money during the nine years of the Great Depression, else Keynesian policy would have worked. He extends that argument to the current economic failures of the Obama regime. Irrefutable logic, indeed, when it says "in all situations - we just spent too little!"

Henry Morganthau, FDR's SecTreas told the House Ways and Means Committee in May of 1939: 
"We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong ... somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises ... I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started ... and an enormous debt to boot."
Economist Henry Hazlett made a detailed review of Keynes' most famous treatise on "The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money" and rightfully concluded that the work was not that of J.F Keynes; his general conclusion identified Keynesian theory as a recycling of old, 18th century Mercantilist economic ideas.
"I have been unable to find in it a single important doctrine that is both true and original. What is original in the book is not true; and what is true is not original. In fact, as we shall find, even much that is fallacious in the book is not original, but can be found in a score of previous writers." 
Keynesian  economic socialism is rapidly driving functioning national economies into default and bankruptcy - beginning first with Greece, to be followed shortly by the weakest countries in the European Union until finally all of the EU countries are consumed.  North African nations, particularly Libya and Egypt, with new governments as a result of the "Arab Spring," are technically bankrupt already.  America, with its own problems, can no longer be the world's policeman and banker.  We can and should introduce the world to John Galt.

We need economic growth not spending growth and we need to return to the Federalism scheme that our forefathers adopted at the birth of this nation. Government rules, regulations, agencies and confiscatory taxes  need to be rescinded and control needs to be returned to local governments and the states. Unfortunately, the ruling class will never give up power and the dependency class now looks to government for its daily bread.  The catchy phrase "We are all Keynesian's now" will change to "We are all Socialists and Marxists now."

Know When To Walk Away

You got to know when to hold 'em,
know when to fold 'em,

know when to walk away
and know when to run.

You never count your money
when you're sittin' at the table.

There'll be time enough for countin'
when the dealin's done


John Podhoretz had some advice in The New York Post for House Speaker Boehner that goes something like: "If you're gonna play the game boy, ya got to learn to play it right."

It seems that the Republicans want to keep the the present tax rates for economic reasons which requires legislation to prevent the rates that resulted from President Bush's  tax cuts from expiring at 12/31/2012.  On the other hand, according to Podhoretz, Obama wants to keep the tax rates as they are for political reasons - except for those earning more than $250,000 - you know, those rich people who need to pay more taxes. The bizarre reasoning here is that the Dems will claim that they provided a tax cut for the middle class - even though the tax rates would remain the same.

The Drive By Media will spin the Democrats' plan by broadcasting the President's garbage: John Podhoretz writes:
So here’s where things stand politically, 26 days from the fiscal cliff. The president says he wants “tax cuts” for the middle class funded by a rate increase for the wealthy.
Republicans say they want benefit cuts, which will have an effect primarily on the middle and lower classes.
Obama’s claim is that he wants to give. The GOP is saying it wants to take.
No wonder the president is signaling that he’s willing to go “over the fiscal cliff.” The public is on his side on these rate increases, since for an overwhelming majority of Americans, taxes will go up on other people.
Obama is reading his polls which say that if the automatic "sequester" hits as a result of congressional inaction, the Republicans will be blamed.  Defense funds will shrink as will welfare program funding. The president doesn't care  - since the only war he thinks he is fighting is against the "loyal opposition."

It takes two to play the game, so the Republicans need to walk away and shut down the government through inaction if needed.
Now Ev'ry gambler knows that the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away and knowing what to keep.
'Cause ev'ry hand's a winner and ev'ry hand's a loser,
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.

Indiana Jones and the Lost Tenure


BACK FROM YET ANOTHER GLOBETROTTING ADVENTURE, INDIANA JONES CHECKS HIS MAIL AND DISCOVERS THAT HIS BID FOR TENURE HAS BEEN DENIED.

BY ANDY BRYAN


January 22, 1939
Assistant Professor Henry “Indiana” Jones Jr.
Department of Anthropology
Chapman Hall 227B
Marshall College

Dr. Jones:

As chairman of the Committee on Promotion and Tenure, I regret to inform you that your recent application for tenure has been denied by a vote of 6 to 1. Following past policies and procedures, proceedings from the committee’s deliberations that were pertinent to our decision have been summarized below according to the assessment criteria.

Demonstrates suitable experience and expertise in chosen field:

The committee concurred that Dr. Jones does seem to possess a nearly superhuman breadth of linguistic knowledge and an uncanny familiarity with the history and material culture of the occult. However, his understanding and practice of archaeology gave the committee the greatest cause for alarm. Criticisms of Dr. Jones ranged from “possessing a perceptible methodological deficiency” to “practicing archaeology with a complete lack of, disregard for, and colossal ignorance of current methodology, theory, and ethics” to “unabashed grave-robbing.” Given such appraisals, perhaps it isn’t surprising to learn that several Central and South American countries recently assembled to enact legislation aimed at permanently prohibiting his entry.

Moreover, no one on the committee can identify who or what instilled Dr. Jones with the belief that an archaeologist’s tool kit should consist solely of a bullwhip and a revolver.

Nationally recognized for an effectual program of scholarship or research supported by publications of high quality:

Though Dr. Jones conducts “field research” far more often than anyone else in the department, he has consistently failed to report the results of his excavations, provide any credible evidence of attending the archaeological conferences he claims to attend, or produce a single published article in any peer-reviewed journal. Someone might tell Dr. Jones that in academia “publish or perish” is the rule. Shockingly, there is little evidence to date that Dr. Jones has successfully excavated even one object since he arrived at Marshall College. Marcus Brody, curator of our natural-history museum, assured me this was not so and graciously pointed out several pieces in the collection that he claimed were procured through Dr. Jones’s efforts, but, quite frankly, we have not one shred of documentation that can demonstrate the provenance or legal ownership of these objects.

Meets professional standards of conduct in research and professional activities of the discipline:

The committee was particularly generous (and vociferous) in offering their opinions regarding this criterion. Permit me to list just a few of the more troubling accounts I was privy to during the committee’s meeting. Far more times than I would care to mention, the name “Indiana Jones” (the adopted title Dr. Jones insists on being called) has appeared in governmental reports linking him to the Nazi Party, black-market antiquities dealers, underground cults, human sacrifice, Indian child slave labor, and the Chinese mafia. There are a plethora of international criminal charges against Dr. Jones, which include but are not limited to: bringing unregistered weapons into and out of the country; property damage; desecration of national and historical landmarks; impersonating officials; arson; grand theft (automobiles, motorcycles, aircraft, and watercraft in just a one week span last year); excavating without a permit; countless antiquities violations; public endangerment; voluntary and involuntary manslaughter; and, allegedly, murder.

Dr. Jones’s interpersonal skills and relationships are no better. By Dr. Jones’s own admission, he has repeatedly employed an underage Asian boy as a driver and “personal assistant” during his Far East travels. I will refrain from making any insinuations as to the nature of this relationship, but my intuition insists that it is not a healthy one, nor one to be encouraged. Though the committee may have overstepped the boundaries of its evaluation, I find it pertinent to note that Dr. Jones has been romantically linked to countless women of questionable character, an attribute very unbecoming of a Marshall College professor. One of these women was identified as a notorious nightclub singer whose heart he attempted to extract with his hands, and whom he then tried, and failed, to lower into a lake of magma. Another was a Nazi scholar he was seen courting just last year who, I’m told, plummeted into a fathomless abyss at Dr. Jones’s hand. And, of course, no one can forget the slow decline and eventual death of Professor Abner Ravenwood after Dr. Jones’s affair with Abner’s underage daughter was made public, forcing her to emigrate to Nepal to escape the debacle.

Demonstrates successful record in undergraduate and graduate teaching:

In his nine years with the department, Dr. Jones has failed to complete even one uninterrupted semester of instruction. In fact, he hasn’t been in attendance for more than four consecutive weeks since he was hired. Departmental records indicate Dr. Jones has taken more sabbaticals, sick time, personal days, conference allotments, and temporary leaves than all the other members of the department combined.

The lone student representative on the committee wished to convey that, besides being an exceptional instructor, a compassionate mentor, and an unparalleled gentleman, Dr. Jones was extraordinarily receptive to the female student body during and after the transition to a coeducational system at the college. However, his timeliness in grading and returning assignments was a concern.

Establishment of an appropriate record of departmental and campus service:

Dr. Jones’s behavior on campus has led not only to disciplinary action but also to concerns as to the state of his mental health. In addition to multiple instances of public drunkenness, Dr. Jones, on three separate occasions, has attempted to set fire to the herpetology wing of the biology department. Perhaps most disturbing, however, are the statements that come directly from Dr. Jones’s mouth. Several faculty members maintain that Dr. Jones informed them on multiple occasions of having discovered the Ark of the Covenant, magic diamond rocks, and the Holy Grail! When asked to provide evidence for such claims, he purportedly replied that he was “kind of immortal” and/or muttered derogatory statements about the “bureaucratic fools” running the U.S. government. Given his history with the Nazi Party, I fear where his loyalty lies.
- - - -
To summarize, the committee fails to recognize any indication that Dr. Jones is even remotely proficient when it comes to archaeological scholarship and practice. His aptitude as an instructor is questionable at best, his conduct while abroad is positively deplorable, and his behavior on campus is minimally better. Marshall College has a reputation to uphold. I need not say more.

My apologies,





Prof. G.L. Stevens
Chairman

A Faustian Bargain? Or Not?


This story is about a public union and public employees who had their jobs "outsourced" by the local school district  to a private company, simply because it was cheaper to do so than to continue the outrageous costs that fell to taxpayers to support. Bloomberg's Business Week brings us the story:
Rick Thorne worked as a custodian in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, schools for 22 years, earning $20 an hour cleaning floors, cutting grass and setting up for assemblies in the community, about 30 miles ... northwest of Boston.
In March 2011, the 5,500-student system put its custodial contract out for bid. Aramark Corp., a Philadelphia-based global food-service and facility-management company, agreed to clean the town’s seven schools for $841,000 annually, $400,000 less than the custodians’ union. Aramark offered Thorne and other members their jobs back, at $8.25 to $8.75 an hour. They declined.
“I was like family. I knew all the kids,” said Thorne, 55, who’s still unemployed. “It’s brutal. It gets worse every day.”
The School Committee first sought bids from ten bidders, including  AFSCME, Local 1073.  After four meetings, the Committee rejected the union's "final and best offer."  That offer included a pay cut of $1.50 per hour, giving up a weeks vacation and the more than 1,000 days in the union's sick pay bank. But that offer would not dent the difference between the $1.3 million cost of keeping the union employees versus Aramark's contract offer.

Chelmsford's Department of Schools, acting as school districts across the country always do in protecting teacher jobs and paychecks, had been neglecting the repair and replacement of equipment needed by the custodial staff.
"The cost of replacing old equipment and staff was so considerable," [Committee Member Allen] Thomas said. "It's a sad circumstance and it's not the custodians' fault. It's the situation they were put in after a long period of time, of not having the money to upkeep equipment."
School Committee Member Nick DeSilvio looked at the big picture:
"I never knew what was offered as far as hourly rates were concerned," he said. "I had to look at the long run, and that was the impact to students. The cost savings will help the district do what we do best, and that's educate our kids."
So the Aramark deal is now done.
Firing higher-paid employees in unions and outsourcing the work to Aramark’s non-union labor let the town spend $250,000 to hire more teachers, [Committee Head Janet] Askenburg said. The school system also had $129,000 in severance and unemployment costs.
“It was a tough decision but also a bit of a no-brainer as well,” she said, adding that the committee and the superintendent were running the system like a business. “If we were to run this based on emotions and feelings, we wouldn’t have made this decision.”
Aramark employs 27 custodians in Chelmsford’s seven schools, at an average wage of $12 an hour, said Kathleen McWilliams, business manager for the schools. They receive health benefits, contributing a third of the cost, and can enroll in a 401(k) retirement-savings plan, she said.
After a choppy transition to the new custodians, “the schools have never been cleaner.” But behind the curtain, the Wizard of Oz is pulling strings on a deal with the Devil.

Recall that Rick Thorne, our 22-year custodian, has never found a job in well over a year. Incredibly, at age 55, he immediately became eligible for a retirement pension of $1,500 per month and the school district pays two-thirds of his health care premium.  It is tough, after 23 years of unskilled labor in your background to find a job. On the other hand, what is not clear is why Mr. Thorne did not apply for his old job or one of the 26 other custodial jobs filled by Aramark.  The lower paying job at $12 per hour plus the pension equals more money than he received as a school employee - with the added bonus of no union dues.  Sadly, union mentality prevailed and his lament about losing his job (see above) falls on deaf ears. Hopefully, he reports his pension income to Workforce Development when he files weekly U/C.

Pension fund administrators are responsible to invest employer contributions in order to earn a return on fund assets for the critical purpose of affording to finance the current and future pension payments..
Aramark is financially backed by the $50.8 billion Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Trust Fund, which funds Thorne’s pension. In 2006 the state invested $125 million in a pool run by Thomas H. Lee Partners, one of the four private equity funds that bought Aramark in 2007. The fund, Boston-based Lee’s Equity Partners VI, returned an annualized 2.8 percent as of March 31, according to the California public-employee pension CalPERS. “It’s a cruel irony to think that for some workers, their pension money is being invested in a manner that could ultimately strip them of their pension or drastically reduce their pension benefit,” Jim Durkin, a spokesman for AFSCME Council 93, also based in Boston, said in a statement.
The Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, which manages the state fund, is directed by legislators to get the highest return within an acceptable level of risk for all state taxpayers, says Chief Investment Officer and Executive Director Michael Trotsky. The retirement fund has stakes in almost 9,000 companies. “Even if it were appropriate to dive into each of these individual companies that our managers are invested in, to do so would be impractical, if not impossible,” Trotsky says. “PRIM hires investment managers who have full discretion.” Massachusetts has forbidden the fund from taking stakes in companies that do business in Iran or Sudan or sell tobacco. It doesn’t prohibit holding positions in those that eliminate government jobs, and such bans have few advocates among labor. “The unions have been pretty quiet, and one of the reasons is there is this conflict” between workers’ job security and retirees’ pensions, says Eileen Appelbaum, an economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington.
Pension funds obviously must tend to the investments provided by fund contributors just as private firms such as Aramark are charged with generating a return for stockholders and bondholders.  When investment motivation changes, this capitalist-based society we call America is in big trouble.

Twenty dollars per hour to sweep floors and clean rest rooms was excessive compensation.  So was a pricey pension plan that paid out 50% of final earnings to a 55 year-old ex-employee AND funded post-employment health care. Unionists got greedy and School Department negotiators had no skin in the game - so taxpayers took it on the chin for years. and will continue to do so until the last pensioner is dead - if as I suspect, the pension and health plans are underfunded.

So who is that man, dressed as the Wizard of Oz, lurking behind the curtain? Karl Marx may still be alive and well and living in Taxachusetts - but there is always hope for the reincarnation of a Federalist icon, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison or perhaps John Jay.  God forbid that we hear the words of comedian Flip Wilson chanting: "The Devil made me do it."

Which Party is Stupid?

"The Forehead, Paul Begala, he's the kid that played the banjo on the bridge in the movie Deliverance." Rush Limbaugh

Relying simply on an embarrassing performance in a Republican presidential debate by Texas Governor Rick Perry (who incredibly lost his way trying to describe three departments of the government that he would eliminate), former Bill Clinton adviser Paul Begala wrote a column for Newsweek back in November 2011 that referred to the Republicans as "the stupid party."

Adhering closely to the liberal screed, Begala believes that politics require intellectuals and Republican politicians do not pass muster. Begala's wrote a book about George W. Bush that shows how easily this Texas goat roper hailing from Sugar Land, can look down his nose at Texas Republicans. His book is called "Is Our Children Learning" (a rehash, among other things, of the National Guard myth that Dan Rather later tried to convince us - with forged documents -  was true), but it unfortunately didn't make the New York Times list. The 'liberal intellectual" writes in Newsweek:
Whatever happened to conservative intellectuals? John Stuart Mill famously dismissed mid-19th-century British conservatives as the “stupid party.” But in the America of my youth, it wasn’t true. Conservatives looked up to intellectuals. William F. Buckley set the tone with his sesquipedalian erudition. George F. Will was a must-read, and my conservative classmates at the University of Texas in the Age of Reagan could all quote Milton Friedman.
No more. Today’s conservatives are more likely to mimic Rush Limbaugh than Buckley, and they probably know more of the work of Salma Hayek than Friedrich Hayek. To be sure, Will still commands respect, and intellectuals like David Frum [??] and Bill Kristol [??] carry the torch ably. But today’s Republican Party is more the party of Sarah Palin’s defiant know-nothingness than the brainy conservatism of Bill Bennett. The GOP is a party of ideologues, not ideas.
So-called conservative intellectual Bill Kristol at first enthusiastically approved of Sarah Palin, then decided she should not be the Republican candidate for 2012 because she resigned as a result of the all-out liberal attack on her was more than the people of Alaska should endure. Notice that  Begala's description of Palin (and Limbaugh) as a non-intellectual conforms to the liberal line - which in the end is where our faux conservative intellectual  Kristol always ends up. Frum, by the way, is touted as a conservative but he no longer even  pretends to be one.

Paul Begala's "pointy-headed" analysis (his word, not mine) includes reference to a Harvard Law Record study that shows one in every four of the president's appointees went to Harvard - but, of course so did our pointy-headed president, so I am missing just how such a circumstance makes someone an intellectual - or for that matter, why being an intellectual is important at all. Begala's friend and Yale graduate Hillary Clinton, has another view of  Barack and Harvard:
Now, we have nothing against Barack Obama – he’s a talented, sincere young man. And Harvard, we hear, is a pretty decent law school, if, you know, you want to write wills or that sort of basic thing.
"No wonder", Begala writes, "my party often appears intellectually arrogant". It seems that this intellectual dominance by liberals caused the Republican Party to turn "populist anti-intellectual" way back in the '50's and '60s.  Somehow he has told us, conservatives respected William Buckley, Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek back then but we were against intellect.  Okay, Forehead, I think Rush has you covered!

From his superior intellect, garnered in "Hook-'em Horns" country, he can see that Republicans are trying to sell "economic elitism" to a populist electorate and that our candidate for President did not know that man caused global warming. I guess that means that the economic cliff that Obama sent us to is a correct policy and that the junkscience of climate change should go unquestioned to salve the small minds of the communists inside the environmental movement. That must be what intellectualism is all about.

Kathleen Parker, a columnist for WaPo who has no regrets doing a talk show with the slime ball ex-governor known as Client No. 9  on CNN  but who had no new ideas so she went to Paul Begala's anti-GOP piece to borrow some of his thoughts. Parker once was considered to be a conservative until 2008, when she joined the liberal media's unfair criticism of Sarah Palin.  True to her new pseudo-conservative calling (Steve Colbert refers to  her as a "left-handed liberal'), Parker wrote "The Palinization of the GOP" - (as if she didn't help create that ugly word).

Yes, she agrees with the Forehead that the Religious Right and Climate Deniers in the Republican party have divided the core, have torn down Reagan's big tent and have refused to recognize that global warning science is settled.
Meanwhile, the big tent fashioned by Ronald Reagan has become bilious with the hot air of religious fervor. No one was more devout than the very-Catholic Buckley, but you didn’t see him convening revivals in the public square. Nor is it likely he would have embraced fundamentalist views that increasingly have forced the party into a corner where science and religion can’t coexist.
Scientific skepticism, the engine that propels intellectual inquiry, has morphed into skepticism of science fueled by religious certitude. In this strange world, it is heresy to express concern about, for example, climate change — or even to suggest that human behavior may be a contributing factor. Jon Huntsman committed blasphemy when he told ABC’s Jake Tapper that he trusts scientists on global warming.
What Huntsman next said, though refreshing and true, ensured that his poll numbers would remain in the basement: “When we take a position that isn’t willing to embrace evolution, when we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 of 100 climate scientists have said, what the National Academy of Sciences has said about what is causing climate change and man’s contribution to it, I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science and, therefore, in a losing position.”
Of course, plenty of Republicans agree with this appraisal, including other presidential candidates. They understand that the challenge is to figure out to what extent humans contribute and what humans can reasonably do without bankrupting the planet. Nevertheless, the Republican base requires that candidates tack away from science toward the theistic position — only God controls climate. More to the point, Rush Limbaugh says that climate change is a hoax and so it must be. Huntsman may as well be a Democrat. It takes courage to swim against the tide of know-nothingness that has become de rigueur among the anti-elite, anti-intellectual Republican base. 
Indeed Kathleen is but another liberal intellectual with a degree in Spanish Literature from Florida State.  So I know that her education must qualify her to speak expertly on the subjects of religion, politics and the pseudoscience that is global warming.  I think perhaps that she needs to do a little research in these areas - starting with Climategate.

The second piece of research she should do is to go to Netflix and watch the film: "Sarah Palin: The Undefeated". There is a whole lot she can learn about Palin's talents to lead and govern- as if honesty, integrity and a steadfast belief system are somehow not enough.