Chuck Baldwin: “There is a Conspiracy”

Posted to The Liberty Crier
May 11, 2013

The title of today’s column, “There Is A Conspiracy,” is a direct quote from Ezekiel 22:25. In this passage, God instructed Ezekiel to blow the whistle on the conspiracy of Israel’s prophets to deny people truth, to devour people’s souls, to defraud people’s substance, and to destroy people’s lives. I dare say this conspiracy is still alive and well today. Many pastors and religious leaders in 2013 America are as guilty of Ezekiel’s charges as were Israel’s ancient prophets.

However, use the word “conspiracy” today and even most Christians will roll their eyes in disbelief. And, of course, the mainstream media is so paranoid of the word conspiracy that one has to speculate that the reason for this aversion to objectively dealing with the subject is simply due to the fact that they are among the co-conspirators.

But once in awhile, someone in the media has the guts to broach the subject of conspiracy. My friends at TruthAlliance.net recently covered a report written by Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone Magazine. Taibbi begins his report saying, “Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world’s largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything.”

The rest of the article can be read right here .

36 thoughts on “Chuck Baldwin: “There is a Conspiracy”

  1. bruce a smith

    As a part time atheist I like Baldwin too. Whats up with that? Oh liberty brings people together.

  2. Alan Pyeatt

    Ernest Hancock doesn’t seem to believe the Bush Administration’s 9/11 conspiracy theory, either: “Oh yeah? Soon as you can explain to me where all that molten metal came from, then we can talk about everything else.”

    His comment is at approx. 00:34:15 in his podcast at http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Media/Media-Files/001-0514100416-2013-05-14-Hours1-3-Butler-Shaffer—Anarchist—Professor-of-Law-@-Southwerstern-Law-School.mp3.

    So much for the claim that no famous libertarians think the official conspiracy theory is bogus.

  3. Brian Holtz

    May 15 12:25pm — the birth of the newest Truther factoid, concocted by none other than Alan Pyeatt himself.

    The factoid: that some 9/11 truth skeptic has made “the claim that no famous libertarians think the official conspiracy theory is bogus”.

    The truth (for those of us who actually care about truth) is that three weeks ago I wrote:

    the disbelief of nearly all famous libertarians is itself a fact — a fact that my worldview explains and that Truthers’ worldview doesn’t. Speaking of the list, it’s worse than I remembered. First of all, only one of the top 40 is a Truther. Of the 80, only four (Napolitano, Badnarik, North, and Hancock) seem to question the standard account of e.g. why the WTC collapsed, but I’m not sure than any of them say they know it was controlled demolition. One more (Raimondo) dismisses controlled demolition as “crackpot”, but apparently believes that Israel saw the attacks coming and didn’t try to stop them. Meanwhile, Higgs is a full-blown Pearl Harbor conspiracy theorist, but he says that 9/11 was blowback, and will only go as far as saying that someday we may find out that the government knew 9/11 was coming.

    So Alan is either careless with his facts, or is misleading his readers. Period.

    P.S. It’s funny that Alan trumpets Hancock (#82 on the famous libertarians list), when I already told him (as quoted above) that there is a Truther among the top 40. (Napolitano is #11, and by Google results is 10 times more famous a libertarian than Hancock.)

    P^2.S. I’ve since discovered another famous libertarian Truther: Jeff Berwick, who joins the list at #45. While Alan goes around spreading disinformation about what 9/11 skeptics claim, I actually invest my time in critiquing my own claims and research, to make sure they can withstand criticism.

  4. Brian Holtz

    Here are the Truthers from the Famous Libertarians list, along with the number of results (in thousands) found by Google when you search for their name in conjunction with the term “libertarian”:

    Andrew Napolitano 267
    Michael Badnarik 85
    Jeff Berwick 80
    Gary North 73
    Ernest Hancock 35

    And below are the rest of the libertarians from the list. Note that Alan offers no explanation for why his allegedly-compelling scientific evidence has apparently not swayed any of them:

    Ron Paul 34700
    Rand Paul 1480
    Glenn Reynolds 1150
    Gary Johnson 1090
    Gary Becker 512
    Eugene Volokh 388
    Andrew Sullivan 355
    John Stossel 352
    Steve Kubby 323
    Peter Schiff 284
    Lew Rockwell 264
    Michael Munger 262
    Bruce L. Benson 252
    Thomas Sowell 239
    George Reisman 191
    Cathy Reisenwitz 165
    David Koch 164
    Justin Amash 157
    James T. Bennett 132
    Charles Koch 127
    Vernon Smith 121
    David Weigel 126
    Nick Gillespie 114
    Daniel Drezner 114
    Richard Posner 114
    Wayne Allyn Root 112
    Matt Welch 109
    Alex Tabarrok 109
    Peter Thiel 106
    Walter Block 104
    Charles Murray 103
    Megan McArdle 99
    Jacob Sullum 93
    Walter Williams 89
    Tyler Cowen 89
    Donald Boudreaux 87
    Neal Boortz 87
    Randy Barnett 87
    David Friedman 86
    James Ostrowski 85
    Virgnia Postrel 83
    Greg Mankiw 83
    Hans-Hermann Hoppe 79
    Declan McCullagh 77
    Randal O’Toole 63
    Eric Mack 63
    Thomas DiLorenzo 63
    Justin Raimondo 62
    Bob Wallace 62
    Mary Ruwart 61
    Doug Casey 61
    Radley Balko 60
    Thomas Woods 60
    David Boaz 58
    Russ Roberts 58
    Stephen Gordon 58
    John Mackey 58
    Stephan Kinsella 58
    Roderick Long 57
    Lucy Steigerwald 57
    Randall Holcombe 56
    Douglas French 52
    Robert Stewart 51
    Tibor Machan 50
    Will Wilkinson 48
    Tom Palmer 48
    Daniel McCarthy 47
    Bryan Caplan 46
    L. Neil Smith 42
    Sheldon Richman 42
    Robert Higgs 42
    Brian Doherty 40
    Arnold Kling 40
    Richard Epstein 38
    Jeffrey Tucker 38
    Kevin Carson 37
    Jesse Walker 35
    T.J. Rodgers 33
    Marc J. Victor 33
    Peter Boettke 32
    Jeff Riggenbach 29
    Cathy Young 27
    David Henderson 27
    Jerome Tuccille 26
    Eric Garris 23

  5. Alan Pyeatt

    Something bothering your conscience, Bruce? How’s that “unique” interpretation of Rebuilding America’s Defenses going for you? :)

  6. Alan Pyeatt

    But this is what I actually popped in to post:

    “In their 2009 release, Camp FEMA, independent filmmakers William Lewis and Gary Franchi exposed the early FEMA Directives reveal methods our own FBI uses to “combat perceived threats to the existing social and political order” (FEMA Directive 3). Camp FEMA discloses that throughout four different Presidential administrations, FBI Director J Edgar Hoover ordered agents to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize” the activities of certain dissident political groups within the U.S. The FBI claimed success in preventing local chapters of some of these “targeted” groups from forming.

    “That was then, this is now. A May 10, 2013 article on the CNN Political Ticker revealed that the US Internal Revenue Service had been targeting newly forming TEA Party groups by dragging their feet to approve their requests for Tax Exempt Status. One-fourth of the applications flagged for farther scrutiny were pulled aside because “they had the names ‘tea party’ and ‘patriot,’ “ according to the IRS Director of tax exempt organizations, Lois Lerner. And, by the way, those with concerns about federal taxes were also one of the groups targeted by the infamous February 2009 MIAC Report. ”

    http://williamlewisfilms.com/articles/Conspiracy-Theorists-Right-Again.html

  7. Alan Pyeatt

    Not that anybody would attempt to “‘expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize’ the activities of certain dissident political groups” that post on IPR!

    How ironic. :)

  8. Alan Pyeatt

    “Napolitano is #11, and by Google results is 10 times more famous a libertarian than Hancock.”

    Somebody doesn’t understand the difference between ordinal and cardinal numbering systems, either.

  9. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I’m still curious as to what a “part-time atheist” is (#s 3 &4).

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    That’s a strange “famous libertarians list.”

    It claims to be a list of “living public intellectuals described as libertarian by Wikipedia.”

    “Public intellectual” seems to be broadly defined enough to include me (and in fact the list includes some people who do the same things I do, in the same places I do those thing), and Wikipedia describes me a libertarian.

    Per the list criteria, I should appear at #20, just after Justin Amash and just before James T. Bennett (a Google search on my name, “Thomas L. Knapp,” in conjunction with the word “libertarian,” returns 142,000 results).

    I have two problems with that:

    1) The list obviously does not include all people who meet its stated criteria. The first person I checked, Brian Holtz, wasn’t on it. That may be explained by the fact that he no longer has his own Wikipedia article, but he is referenced as a Libertarian political candidate in places). I was the second person I checked; my name forwards to an article which describes a libertarian political party and is categorized under two libertarian-specific topics.

    2) Anyone who thinks I’m in the top 20 most famous libertarians is seriously not hitting on all mental cylinders.

  11. Alan Pyeatt

    “The first person I checked, Brian Holtz, wasn’t on it.”

    Oh, the humanity! :)

  12. Brian Holtz

    AP @8:

    It’s “Brian”, not “Bruce”.

    No need for me to re-research my takedown of the PNAC “Pearl Harbor” meme. I stand by my original takedown from 2006: http://blog.knowinghumans.net/2006/09/fact-checking-911-truth-movement.html

    I stand by my claims that the PNAC report “was not about terrorism or Iraq or the middle east. It was about strategic missile/space/naval threats from Asian land powers.”

    I dare you to assert the grammatical negation of these two sentences. If you don’t, you’re just not competently disagreeing with me.

    the difference between ordinal and cardinal

    I explicitly said I’m measuring fame by the number of hits in Google search results. Those are cardinal numbers. Napolitano has 7.6 times more libertarian search results than Hancock has. (I originally wrote 10X when I mis-remembered Hancock’s number as 25K rather than 35K. I love how you mis-diagnose my math mistakes even when they’re right under your nose.)

    OK, what’s your next deflection from your utter lack of an explanation why all these famous libertarians aren’t Truthers?

    Or is your fear-mongoring about infiltration supposed to be your explanation, but you just don’t have the courage to say it directly? If you don’t have the guts to say whether I’m an infiltrator, can you at least give us a percentage guestimate of how many of these famous libertarians are acting as “court historians”?

  13. Brian Holtz

    For purposes of compiling the list, “described as libertarian by Wikipedia” means being listed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:American_libertarians, and thus includes being notable enough to have your own Wikipedia page.

    I would agree that both Knapp and I have an inflated number of Google search results, for obvious reasons. I would come in somewhere around #80 if I satisfied the Wikipedia notability criterion, and I’m nowhere near that famous.

    (The equivalent searches on Bing place us both well below, say, Ernest Hancock, so I’m considering adding a Bing results column and making that the default ordering.)

  14. Alan Pyeatt

    BH @ 15: “It’s “Brian”, not “Bruce”. ”

    Whoops! Freudian slip.

    “I stand by my claims that the PNAC report ‘was not about terrorism or Iraq or the middle east. It was about strategic missile/space/naval threats from Asian land powers.’”

    You also claimed that ““If 9/11 was designed to advance the policy agenda of the PNAC report, then 9/11 was clearly a monumental failure.”

    And then, I provided empirical evidence that 9/11 was clearly a monumental SUCCESS in advancing the policy agenda of the PNAC report, especially as it relates to the goal of increasing defense spending. Funny how you keep leaving that part of the PNAC report out of your discussion. I mean, you DID read the report, didn’t you?

  15. Alan Pyeatt

    BH: “I explicitly said I’m measuring fame by the number of hits in Google search results. Those are cardinal numbers. Napolitano has 7.6 times more libertarian search results than Hancock has. (I originally wrote 10X when I mis-remembered Hancock’s number as 25K rather than 35K. I love how you mis-diagnose my math mistakes even when they’re right under your nose.)”

    O.k., let me “demolish” (as you might so diplomatically put it) this fallacy. Just because Napolitano has 7.6 times more libertarian search results than Hancock has does NOT mean that Napolitano is 7.6 times more famous than Hancock is. Assuming that the Google search results are a valid measure of fame in the first place (which has not been established, but that’s beside the point), what it means is that Napolitano is more famous than Hancock. And that is ALL it means.

    By your logic, if you were willing to pay up to $2 for Item A and up to $4 for Item B, then that would mean that Item B is worth twice as much to you as Item A. That may be the case, or it may not. Your analysis fails to account for diminishing returns, among other things.

    So no, those are ordinal numbers, not cardinal ones, and algebraic manipulations are not valid.

    But that’s o.k., keep trying to convince everybody how much smarter you are than the rest of us.

  16. Brian Holtz

    Alan Pyeatt: “9/11 was clearly a monumental SUCCESS in advancing the policy agenda of the PNAC report”

    PNAC report: “the prime directive for transformation will be to design and deploy a global missile defense system”

  17. Brian Holtz

    AP: what it means is that Napolitano is more famous than Hancock. And that is ALL it means.

    And when Ron Paul tops the list with more than 20X more Google hits then the next-most-mentioned libertarian, then we have no clue how much more famous he is than #2. All we know is that he’s perhaps only slightly more famous than people with fewer hits, like me or you.

  18. Alan Pyeatt

    BH: “PNAC report: “’the prime directive for transformation will be to design and deploy a global missile defense system’”

    Seriously, Brian? That’s what you’re going with – another lame attempt to deceive people through omission? You better save that cute little Failboat for yourself, because YOU’RE the one who needs a life preserver.

    How did you put it on the other thread? Oh, yeah: “A swing and a miss.” Only I prefer football analogies, and this time, you really dropped the ball, Brian.

    For anybody who’s still following this, please go to http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf if you haven’t downloaded the document already, and turn to page 11 (page 23 of the pdf file). Notice that Brian doesn’t provide the link to the actual document, nor does he provide the page number. Guess what? He didn’t even provide the entire sentence he’s quoting from. Look at the second sentence under the heading, “Transformation Forces.” The entire sentence reads, “While the prime directive for transformation will be to design and deploy a global missile defense system, the effects of information and other advanced technologies promise to revolutionize the nature of conventional armed forces.” Hmm. I wonder why Brian left out the part about “information and other advanced technologies?” Could it be that they don’t fit into the way he described RAD on the “Crackpots” thread?

    Now look at the sentence above: “The fourth element in American force posture – and certainly the one which holds the key to any longer-term hopes to extend the current Pax Americana – is the mission to transform U.S. military forces to meet new geopolitical and technological challenges.” So, Brian wants us to believe that RAD is mostly about a global missile defense system, but it’s only “the FOURTH element in American force posture” mentioned (emphasis mine)? How likely is that? Notice that this is from Chapter II, which is titled “Four Essential Missions.” So, despite what Brian wants us to believe, “Transformation Forces” is the very last one mentioned! And Brian can’t even bring himself to mention “information and other advanced technologies.” Look at that entire sentence again: “While the prime directive for transformation will be to design and deploy a global missile defense system, the effects of information and other advanced technologies promise to revolutionize the nature of conventional armed forces.” And yet, this is supposed to convince us that RAD is basically about missile defenses, and doesn’t have anything to do with the Global War On Terror, the invasion of Iraq, or the invasion of Iran! And while transformation forces ” holds the key to any longer-term hopes to extend the current Pax Americana,” it is definitely NOT the most essential element of RAD’s plan for projecting American force around the world.

    Take a look at the 3 “essential missions” that are mentioned before transformation forces: Homeland Defense, Large Wars, and Constabulary Duties. All 4 missions are summarized in the box on page 6 of RAD. Under “Homeland Defense,” notice the last sentence: “Of all the new and current
    missions for U.S. armed forces, this must have priority.” So, despite what Brian wants us to believe, the global missile defense system is a LOWER priority than Homeland Defense! Now, this section does mention missiles, but only in the context of counteracting “the effects of the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction…” Gee, I dunno, could this be referring to a country like, oh, say, IRAN? You know, the country that the US government has been rattling sabers at since the Bush administration? The country Israel has been trying to drag us into a war with – and DID drag us into a cyber attack against – for years? So, on the top priority of RAD’s Four Essential Missions, it has NOT been a “monumental failure.” On the contrary, it is well on its way to success.

    Now for the 2nd priority mission: “LARGE WARS. Second, the United States must retain sufficient forces able to rapidly deploy and win multiple simultaneous large-scale wars and also to be able to respond to unanticipated contingencies in regions where it does not maintain forward-based forces. This resembles the ‘two-war’ standard that has been the basis of U.S. force planning over the past decade.” I don’t know about Brian’s alma mater, but where I went to school, 1 + 1 = 2. So, waging war against Iraq and Afghanistan simultaneously meets the “two-war” standard, and contrary to the bill of goods Brian is trying to sell us, this has been an unqualified success.

    The 3rd priority mission is “Constabulary Duties.” In other words, once again trying to be the World’s Policeman. Let’s see now, anybody that the president suspects of working with Al Qaeda is subject to being blown up by drone strikes, along with anyone else in the vicinity. If we don’t like how Libya is treating its rebellious citizens, we shoot over 100 cruise missiles at their military in a single day, with no Congressional authorization whatsoever. If we don’t like how the Syrian head of state is fighting rebels, we establish a line and threaten to bomb his government if he crosses it. That is clearly functioning as the World’s Policeman, and again, RAD has been an unqualified success in this area.

    But wait, there’s more. If you go to pages iv and v of the Key Findings (which is essentially an executive summary), you can also see HOW the PNAC intends for those 4 “Core Missions” to be accomplished. I’ve dealt with some of those on the “Crackpots” thread, but look at the last one: “INCREASE DEFENSE SPENDING gradually to a minimum level of 3.5 to 3.8 percent of gross domestic product, adding $15 billion to $20 billion to total defense spending annually.” As I showed on the “Crackpots” thread, “defense” spending is now almost 4.7% of GDP. And yet, Brian tells us that RAD was a “monumental failure.” Wow.

    Brian, I may not be a computer guru like you are, but I have earned a few paychecks working cattle and I know BULLSHIT when I smell it.

    So, to put it in the type of phraseology that you use, which is it, Brian? Did you intentionally try to deceive us about Rebuilding America’s Defenses, or are you just a bumbling buffoon who can’t interpret a policy document to save his life?

    Yeah, the failboat’s in all right. And your ticket’s in First Class.

  19. Brian Holtz

    AP: despite what Brian wants us to believe, the global missile defense system is a LOWER priority than Homeland Defense!

    For the “Homeland Defense” priority, you quote the last sentence, which says nothing more than that homeland defense is top priority. The previous sentence explains what the homeland is to be defended from: “While reconfiguring its nuclear force, the United States also must counteract the effects of the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction that may soon allow lesser states to deter U.S. military action by threatening U.S. allies and the American homeland itself.”

    It’s a blatant misrepresentation for you to say that missile defense was priority #4 instead of priority #1. If you check every mention of “homeland” in the text, the only specific threat discussed is ballistic missiles — and that threat to the “homeland” is mentioned half a dozen times! Nowhere in the text does “homeland defense” have the post-9/11 meaning of non-state terrorism.

    Such misrepresentations cannot obfuscate the plain truth: PNAC’s idea of “homeland defense” was ballistic missile defenses, and those defenses were its top priority, while low-tech box-cutter-style terrorism by non-state actors wasn’t on its radar screen at all.

    Yet somehow, Truthers give PNAC credit for foreseeing 9/11 so clearly that the white paper must be evidence of an inside job.

  20. Brian Holtz

    Did 9/11 help the PNAC agenda? Let’s grade the implementation of its 9 recommendations from the box on page iv-v.

    1) MAINTAIN NUCLEAR STRATEGIC SUPERIORITY. The U.S. nuclear arsenal has been cut in half since the report, and has not been noticeably restructured along the lines suggested on pp. 7-8. But we still have nuclear superiority, so despite no restructuring we’ll generously give a C.

    2) RESTORE PERSONNEL STRENGTH. Even with two wars going on, the recommended increase from 1.4M to 1.6M never came close to happening. Fail.

    3) REPOSITION U.S. FORCES by shifting permanently-based forces to Southeast Europe and Southeast Asia: Didn’t happen. Fail.

    4) MODERNIZE CURRENT U.S. FORCES SELECTIVELY. The Army got the Stryker medium combat vehicle, but the Comanche helicopter was canceled. The V-22 program limps along, but planned F-22 purchases have been cut in half since the report. Rather than “expanding submarine and surface combatant fleets”, the fleet size fell from 318 to to 285. Despite PNAC’s fetish for the Navy, we’ll generously give this one a C.

    5) CANCEL “ROADBLOCK” PROGRAMS such as the Joint Strike Fighter, CVX aircraft carrier, and Crusader howitzer. The $11B Crusader was canceled, but the $20B CVX and $>300B JSF continue. Fail.

    6) DEVELOP AND DEPLOY GLOBAL MISSILE DEFENSES. “Effective ballistic missile defenses will be the central element in the exercise of American power and the projection of U.S. military forces abroad.” Never happened. Fail.

    7) CONTROL THE NEW “INTERNATIONAL COMMONS” OF SPACE AND “CYBERSPACE” and pave the way for the creation of a new military service – U.S. Space Forces – with the mission of space control. The report makes sweeping recommendations about militarizing space, but for cyberspace it merely notes that cyber-defense is “imperative” and cyber-offense would be an “invaluable tool”. Still, we’ll upgrade from Fail to D because the Obama administration has belatedly made cyber-war a priority, even as it continues to not militarize space.

    8) EXPLOIT THE “REVOLUTION IN MILITARY AFFAIRS” to insure the long-term superiority of U.S. conventional forces. This is about a “new paradigm marked by long-range precision strikes and the proliferation of missile technologies”. The new paradigm “must be considered as pressing a mission as preparing for today’s potential theater wars or constabulary missions”. “Creating a system of global missile defenses is but the first task of transformation” — whoops! Still, the “constabulary missions” in Iraq and Afghanistan that derailed most of PNAC’s agenda actually accelerated the transition to UAVs, so we’ll pretend that PNAC called for this, and award this item a C.

    9) INCREASE DEFENSE SPENDING gradually to a minimum level of 3.5% to 3.8% of GDP. Well, it took two unplanned wars to get there, and the war spending crowded out most of PNAC’s recommendations, but we’ll generously grant this item an accidental A.

    So that’s 1 accidental A, 3 generous Cs, 1 D, and 4 Fs. That averages out to a GPA of 1.2 out of a possible 4.0.

  21. Alan Pyeatt

    Brian, you really need to stop. Anyone who bothers to download the source document can see for themselves that it’s about a lot more than a missile defense system, as you claimed. And your grading system is, to say the least, flawed. Nice try to set yourself up as the judge though, and then claim to be “generous” with your grades. I also like how you say things like “planned F-22 purchases have been cut in half since the report” as if it proves your point. I suspect that you know good and well that the reason the F-22 program was cut is because in the 13 years since RAD was published, that program has outlived its usefulness, and the military has moved on to the F-35.

    Or how “it took two unplanned wars” to get defense spending up to – and beyond – their planned goal. So, are you saying that the PNAC did not call for overthrowing Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, more than 3 years before 9/11? Because that doesn’t sound like an unplanned war to me, especially when you consider the fact that Iraq had absolutely NOTHING to do with 9/11.

    You have no authority to tell anybody on IPR to go sit anywhere. You DO have a lot of nerve calling someone a dumbass, though.

  22. Alan Pyeatt

    Speaking of “dumbasses,” let’s revisit your confusion about ordinal vs. cardinal numbers.

    BH @ 20: “And when Ron Paul tops the list with more than 20X more Google hits then the next-most-mentioned libertarian, then we have no clue how much more famous he is than #2. All we know is that he’s perhaps only slightly more famous than people with fewer hits, like me or you.”

    Brian, there comes a time when you need to cut your losses and admit your error. But since you’ve posted the GIF of a woman saying, “Yeah, right,” it’s clear that you still don’t understand that the number of Google hits provides ordinal, and not cardinal, data.

    I’m going to write this slowly, Brian, so try to keep up. :)

    The question is not whether Judge Napolitano is 7.5 times or 10 times as famous as Ernest Hancock. The question is whether Google hits provide data that can be manipulated algebraically (which a cardinal numbering system provides), or whether that data can only be used to determine what order the “famous libertarians” can be placed in (that is, an ordinal numbering system).

    As I said @ 18: ” Just because Napolitano has 7.6 times more libertarian search results than Hancock has does NOT mean that Napolitano is 7.6 times more famous than Hancock is. Assuming that the Google search results are a valid measure of fame in the first place (which has not been established, but that’s beside the point), what it means is that Napolitano is more famous than Hancock. And that is ALL it means.”

    “By your logic, if you were willing to pay up to $2 for Item A and up to $4 for Item B, then that would mean that Item B is worth twice as much to you as Item A. That may be the case, or it may not. Your analysis fails to account for diminishing returns, among other things.

    “So no, those are ordinal numbers, not cardinal ones, and algebraic manipulations are not valid.”

    Let’s use a 100 square foot house addition as an analogy to explain cardinal and ordinal systems.

    In cardinal systems, we can measure the quantity of things. For example, we know what 1,000 square feet is, and we know what 2,000 square feet is. We also know that a 2,000 square foot house is twice the size of a 1,000 square foot house.

    But this doesn’t tell us anything about marginal utility. And one of the facts of life about marginal utility is the concept of diminishing returns. So, for example, let’s look at the marginal utility of adding 100 square feet to each of the houses. If we add 100 square feet to a 1,000 square foot house, that could make a significant difference in the satisfaction we get from living in that house. On the other hand, if we add 100 square feet to a 2,000 square foot house, it still improves our satisfaction from living in that house. But does it improve our lifestyle as much as it did when we lived in the 1,000 square foot house? Probably not as much.

    So, that is the concept of diminishing returns as it applies to house additions: adding 100 square feet makes a bigger difference in your satisfaction if you start with a 1,000 square foot house than it does if you start with a 2,000 square foot house. So, the satisfaction gained from adding 100 square feet is different, depending on what you’re starting with.

    That is an ordinal numbering system. A 2,100 square foot house is better than a 2,000 square foot house, if everything else is equal (“ceteris paribus,” in economics terminology). And a 1,100 square foot house is better than a 1,000 square foot house, ceteris paribus. But is a 2,100 square foot house AS MUCH BETTER than a 2,000 square foot house as a 1,100 square foot house is better than a 1,000 square foot house? Probably not. So the marginal utility of adding 100 square feet to a 1,000 square foot house is greater than the marginal utility of adding 100 square feet to a 2,000 square foot house. The ORDER is preserved. 2,100 square feet is greater than 2,000 square feet, and 1,100 square feet is greater than 1,000 square feet. But the 100 square foot addition provides greater satisfaction – that is, greater marginal utility – when added to the 1,000 square foot house than it does when added to the 2,000 square foot house.

    It’s the same with the Google search results. IF Google search results are a valid measure of fame (and again, that has not yet been demonstrated, but it’s beside the point of this discussion), then we know what order the libertarians can be ranked in, from top to bottom. But we do NOT know how much more famous one libertarian is than another, based only on the Google search results. We may be able to find this out, but it will take more data than the Google search results to do it.

    So no, Brian, these are ordinal numbers, and not cardinal numbers. And you clearly do not know the difference. But keep posting those GIFs, because at least they’re entertaining, even if they’re not very informative.

  23. Brian Holtz

    Alan Pyeatt: it’s about a lot more than a missile defense system, as you claimed

    My claim was that missile defense was its top priority. I also claimed that it was “about strategic missile/space/naval threats”. And in the very post you responded to, I systematically listed the 8 other primary recommendations that the white paper made besides missile defense.

    [the F-22] has outlived its usefulness, and the military has moved on to the F-35

    You mean the F-35 that PNAC wanted to cancel? You use that PNAC failed recommendation as a smokescreen to quibble about the 50% cut in a program that PNAC fully backed.

    My grades were extremely generous to the PNAC conspirators. For example, they called for 3.8%-of-GDP in peacetime military spending. The PNAC report did not call for launching any pre-emptive wars, and they clearly didn’t achieve their desired spending on missile defenses, space militarization, naval expansion, nuclear force restructuring, or troop level increases. However, since their goal #9 was stated in percent-of-GDP goals, I gave them credit for hitting it, even though the spending was obviously not aligned with their recommendations.

    are you saying that the PNAC did not call for overthrowing Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, more than 3 years before 9/11?

    On the contrary, it said: After eight years of no-fly-zone operations, there is little reason to anticipate that the U.S. air presence in the region should diminish significantly as long as Saddam Hussein remains in power. Although Saudi domestic sensibilities demand that the forces based in the Kingdom nominally remain rotational forces, it has become apparent that this is now a semi-permanent mission. From an American perspective, the value of such bases would endure even should Saddam pass from the scene.

    The whole point of the PNAC report prioritizing missile defense is that it recognized that the U.S. cannot pre-emptively overthrow every regime that might develop such weapons.

    You DO have a lot of nerve calling someone a dumbass

    Huh? The GPA and duncecap was for the PNAC conspirators’ implementation of their recommendations. But it’s interesting that you made a leap from “dumbass” to yourself. And you whine “lot of nerve” about “dumbass” (aimed at PNAC, not you) while in another thread you just re-affirmed your fascinating comparison of me to murderous infiltrators.

  24. Brian Holtz

    Alan Pyeatt @25: The methodology of the famous libertarians list speaks for itself. Readers can decide for themselves whether the data support rough quantitative comparisons of fame.

    Instead, I’ll just repeat: OK, what’s your next deflection from your utter lack of an explanation why all these famous libertarians aren’t Truthers?

  25. Alan Pyeatt

    TK @ 26: A little out of your depth here, are you, Tom? :)

    Because my explanation of cardinal vs. ordinal numbers was correct. If Google hits were a valid proxy for fame, they would be able to determine the order of the list. They would NOT be able to measure the quantity of fame. But that’s o.k., I understand that math isn’t your strong point.

    And no, I didn’t work on the KC Hyatt. But I DO know why the walkways failed, and I’ll wager that I can explain it far better than you can.

  26. Alan Pyeatt

    BH @ 28: “The methodology of the famous libertarians list speaks for itself. Readers can decide for themselves whether the data support rough quantitative comparisons of fame.”

    That’s hilarious, Brian! I LOVE to see you backpedal when you’ve painted yourself into a corner! It’s harder to fool people about mathematics than interpretations of a policy document, isn’t it? Not enough fuzzy gray space for you to work with?

    But I like how the Google hits are now a ROUGH quantitative comparison of fame when before, they were able to provide precise measurements like, “Napolitano has 7.6 times more libertarian search results than Hancock has!”

    Yes, your methodology will have to speak for itself, because you aren’t very effective at speaking for it.

  27. Alan Pyeatt

    BH @ 27: “The GPA and duncecap was for the PNAC conspirators’ implementation of their recommendations.”

    Oh SURE it was, Brian! Because, after all, you made that so abundantly clear in your post. :)

    That is simply unbelievable, and I mean that in the most literal way possible.

  28. Alan Pyeatt

    O.k., I’m done here. No doubt you will continue to try to distort the truth and mislead people. But after all the straw men you’ve erected, all the innuendo about bogus disinformation “factoids,” admitting that 9/11 caused two wars and then conflating that fact with “insiderism” to continue arguing that 9/11 was not a new Pearl Harbor, the sheer fact that you’re trying to convince people to believe one of the most incredible conspiracy theories ever foisted upon mankind, and the fact that you obviously DON’T understand ordinal numbers (which is a vital part of economics, BTW)…

    Even getting the last word in won’t help you cover up the truth from those who really want to see it. And those who remain willfully blind, even if it results in the unnecessary deaths of thousands upon thousands of soldiers and civilians around the world, will continue to look away.

    “He who has eyes to see, let him see.”

    Now, back to your neocon echo chamber. Carry on.

  29. Brian Holtz

    It remains a fact that Napolitano has 7.6 times more libertarian search results than Hancock has. What that means is that 7.6 times as many web pages have a link with those search terms on one side or the other. I have not backpedaled one inch from this verifiable fact.

    There’s nothing about “diminishing returns” or “marginal utility” involved here.

    The only question is whether the number of web pages that have heard of X is linearly correlated with the number of humans that have heard of X — i.e. the (quite quantitative) famousness of X.

    Readers can decide for themselves whether, in their experience, there is such a linear correlation between the number of web pages that mention X and the number of people that have heard of X.

    These facts remain indisputable:

    • Napolitano is obviously far more famous than Hancock.
    • I had already called attention to Napolitano being a famous libertarian Truther by the time that Pyeatt trumpeted about Hancock.
    • Pyeatt expounds at length about housing square footage while continuing to evade my question of why nearly all famous libertarians are apparently not Truthers.

    Now watch: Pyeatt won’t dare dispute any of these three facts. Buckle yourself in for his next deflection.

  30. Brian Holtz

    BH @27: “The GPA and duncecap was for the PNAC conspirators’ implementation of their recommendations.”

    AP @32: Oh SURE it was, Brian!

    Let’s review.

    The PNAC report is alleged by Truthers to be a roadmap to the intentions of the insider conspirators who perpretated 9/11.

    Alan in particular has alleged that the goals laid out by the PNAC paper have been satisfied by the results of 9/11.

    So I said “Let’s grade the implementation of its 9 recommendations from the box on page iv-v.” That is, let’s give the conspirators a grade on whether they got their recommendations implemented.

    My conclusion was “a GPA of 1.2 out of a possible 4.0″, and I showed a picture of a student dunce.

    Alan just 12 days ago wrote a lengthy comment against my statement (which he quoted) that “If 9/11 was designed to advance the policy agenda of the PNAC report, then 9/11 was clearly a monumental failure.”

    Now Alan says he’s surprised to hear that I assigned the D grade above the the 9/11 conspirators.

    Sheesh.

  31. Alan Pyeatt

    “Pyeatt won’t dare dispute any of these three facts.”

    O.k., I said I was done here, but this is just too egregious! I dispute that those are “facts” at all! I don’t accept your assumption that the list of “famous libertarians” is valid for measuring libertarian opinion, nor do I take your word for it that they aren’t “Truthers.”

    And yet, after saying I was “done here,” you try to spin it as evidence in your favor if I don’t respond? Can it be any more clear that you are trying to deceive people?

    O.k., I recommit myself to ignoring your future insanity. That is NOT evidence that I concede any of your bogus, would-be “facts.”

  32. Brian Holtz

    And yet, after saying I was “done here,” you try to spin it as evidence in your favor if I don’t respond?

    Sigh. Check the timestamps, Alan. I posted my comment before seeing yours. I’m fast, but not that fast.

    your assumption that the list of “famous libertarians” is valid for measuring libertarian opinion

    I’ve made no such assumption. On the contrary, I assume that Trutherism is much more prevalent among rank-and-file libertarians (with less reputation on the line) than among famous libertarians (who can’t as easily run away from counter-arguments).

    nor do I take your word for it that they aren’t “Truthers.”

    I’ve found 5 Truthers among the 80. I dare you to try to find more.

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