I want to preserve (this Time Magazine article) as a benchmark of what Churchill called "the light of perverted science."
This is, I believe, a perfect example of that -- using behaviorialism to achieve modification of political outcomes is an abuse of science. And if this is perverted science, then these 29 members of the Consortium of Behavioral Scientists are science's perverts. The photos sprinkled through the story are of individuals mentioned in a sidebar to the magazine story with Time captions. The caption of the sidebar: "CHANGE AGENTS: The Obama Administration is swarming with practitioners and disciples of behavioral economics. They're already looking for ways to change the way we behave." -- Mike Vanderboegh, 24 April 2009.
Cass Sunstein, killer tomato.
It would take a long-time reader to recall my first post on Cass Sunstein back in April 2009, Obama's Change Agents: "Made more sinister . . . by the light of perverted science" as well as my follow-up, "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes." Later that year, Gun Owners of America issued an alert on Sunstein.
Just when you thought the news about the Obama administration couldn't get any worse, gun owners find themselves needing to rally the troops once again.
This time it's the proposed "Regulatory Czar" who will be coming to a vote this week in the U.S. Senate.
His name is Cass Sunstein, and he holds some of the kookiest views you will ever hear.
For starters, Sunstein believes in regulating hunting out of existence. He told a Harvard audience in 2007 that "we ought to ban hunting." And in The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer (2002), he said:
I think we should go further ... the law should impose further regulation on hunting, scientific experiments, entertainment, and (above all) farming to ensure against unnecessary animal suffering. It is easy to imagine a set of initiatives that would do a great deal here, and indeed European nations have moved in just this direction. There are many possibilities. (Italics are his emphasis.)
If that's all Sunstein believed, he would be dangerous and extreme, but not necessarily kooky. Unfortunately, when you look at WHY he wants to restrict hunting, this is where he goes beyond extreme.
In Sunstein's world, animals should have just as many rights as people ... and they should be able to sue humans in court!
"We could even grant animals a right to bring suit without insisting that animals are persons, or that they are not property," Sunstein said on page 11 of Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions (2004).
Well, that's a relief ... he is at least willing to concede that animals are not persons! But he would still have animals suing humans, apparently, with more enlightened humans representing the cuddly critters.
Imagine returning from a successful hunting trip ... only to find out that you've been subpoenaed for killing your prize. Who knows, maybe Sunstein would have the family of the dead animal serving as witnesses in court!
By the way, if you're wondering what he thinks about the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, you won't be surprised to know that Sunstein is a huge supporter of gun control.
In Radicals in Robes: Why Extreme Right-Wing Courts are Wrong for America (2005), Sunstein says:
Almost all gun control legislation is constitutionally fine.... [O]n the Constitution's text, fundamentalists [that is, gun rights supporters] should not be so confident in their enthusiasm for invalidating gun control legislation.
Hmm, what part of "shall not be infringed" does Sunstein not understand?
You know, right after I began working on the Gunwalker Scandal, one of my old spook friends told me, "Don't ignore Cass Sunstein in this unholy clusterfuck. I hear he had some input and this kind of 'nudging' is right up his alley."
My friend was referring to this Time magazine article, How Obama Is Using the Science of Change. Sometime later, Larry Pratt of GOA mentioned the same possibility.
I must confess I never pursued that lead on Sunstein. I was a very busy boy at the time and had many other leads to pursue and I had no other solid clue beyond that.
Until, perhaps, now.
"The five faces behind the U.S. border plan."
They are five tough cookies — three Americans and two Canadians who together have spent a year thrashing out a plan that maybe, just maybe, is going to bring big changes to a border near you.
So who are the real drivers behind the Canada-U.S. Beyond The Border initiative to be unveiled Wednesday, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets President Barack Obama at the White House?
DAN RESTREPO: His official title is western hemispheres director at the National Security Council and as such, this close adviser to Obama owns the entire Canada file. Sad, then, that this grandson of a former Colombian ambassador to Washington is routinely described in the U.S. press as “Obama’s senior adviser on Latin America.” But that doesn’t mean Restrepo, an alumni of the Democratic-leaning Center for American Progress, comes up blank on Canada. Crucially, he has the ear of the president — and top negotiation teammates neck-deep in all questions Canada.
CASS SUNSTEIN: “The toughest of the cookies” on the American side, according to several sources familiar with his style, Sunstein is a Harvard grad and head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Though he earned a reputation as a security hawk in some circles as an adviser to the U.S. Justice Department during the tumultuous aftermath of 9/11, Sunstein has more recently won the respect of U.S. industry leaders as the White House point person for streamlining “onerous” domestic regulation in search of job growth. “He’s tough and extremely thoughtful. He takes an analytical and perhaps worldly view of risk,” a senior U.S. industry source told the Star. “When it comes to the Canadian border, I would expect him not to accept at face value when someone warns about the security risks of ironing out trade barriers. He’ll demand evidence rather than accept conventional wisdom.”
PATRICIA COGSWELL: “She’s like a classic bureaucrat in reverse — she actually gets things done,” a U.S. colleague said of Cogswell, who is widely regarded as one of America’s foremost non-political experts on border screening issues. As head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Screening Coordination Office, Cogswell was integral to the introduction of biometrics as a routine part of the individual screening — all the while negotiating the ideological divides over privacy without making enemies. “Patricia would be the pleasant personality at the negotiating table,” the former colleague told the Star. “But not political or ideological — just really focused on finding common ground where others might fail. She’s the person you’d want to have looking at the nuts and bolts of how to improve borders in a time of decreasing resources.”
Of course this is northern border, not southern, but . . .
We know that Restrepo had great input into the Gunwalker Scandal by virtue of his position on the National Security Council as well as statements of sources within the U.S. intelligence community.
Given Sunstein rapidly anti-firearm rights position, is it such a stretch to think that this is Obama getting the band back together?