Saturday, March 29, 2014

#977: Andrew Napolitano

Sorry, we have to include him. Andrew Napolitano is a former Judge of the New Jersey Superior Court and current libertarian pundit on Fox Business Network. The reason one might be reluctant to include him, is that he often says intelligent stuff (especially on civil liberties). Unfortunately, he is also a conspiracy theorist and anti-Fed crank, gold standard idiot and 9/11 truther. Then there are things such as his comparison between Syria’s use of chemical weapons and “president Clinton’s murder of the Branch Davidians.” Or his attempt to claim that the Contraception Mandate forces everyone to pay for euthanasia.

Diagnosis: It’s a bit sad. Napolitano once had the power to be a voice of reason at Fox. But he failed. This is failure.


  1. Sorry, but I must disagree with your assessment of Andrew Napolitano as a “loon,” and also register surprise that you afforded him one paragraph (as opposed to extended treatments of faith-healer types hardly anyone has heard of). I have six of Judge Napolitano’s books here, and I find them— Well, never mind; since you've labeled him a "loon" and put him on your blog, the onus is on you to explain why, preferably without the namecalling. Napolitano's main themes are well known: (1) the federal government has drifted so far from its original Constitutional moorings that the country is slouching toward totalitarianism; (2) it is worthwhile making a sustained effort to go back to Constitutionally limited government, by defending Constitutional controls on government and trying to educate the “nation of sheep.” Your account is so skimpy I don't know if you agree with this or not, probably I shouldn't assume, but obviously you do dispute his being a “conspiracy theorist,” an “anti-Fed crank,” etc., etc. Now why should whatever reasoning abilities he brings to his defense of Constitutional government desert him completely when he's criticizing the government's official narratives? As someone who’s followed what’s happened very closely since 9/11, both the unprecedented growth of the military-security-surveillance complex (a lot of it clearly unconstitutional), and what’s been going on with the economy since the 2008 meltdown, it should be clear that "conspiracy theorist" is nothing more than an epithet for someone who questions one or more of these narratives; the second epithet is also nothing more than someone who draws attention to the enormous power the Federal Reserve System has over the U.S. economy, while also questioning the motives of those running it. Do you dispute that the Fed has this kind of power, or am I being a “loon” for asking? As for the Branch Davidians, have you actually studied that incident?

    It’s your blog, and you don’t have to respond—I see few critical comments in here, which suggests followers rather than free minds—but I await any response you might have.

    1. Like I mentioned, I am of two minds when it comes to Napolitano (as I am with some of the other entries) - and the reason the entry is so short is precisely because I thought he demanded at least a mention though not a thorough exposure like, say, someone like Jerry Newcombe. Indeed, I agree with most of what you say, but it is hard to deny that Napolitano's toying with trutherism has brought him well into loonyland or that his writings on the Federal Reserve range from the truly insightful to the crazy - which is really unfortunate, since much of what he says about the infringement of civil rights in the aftermath of 9/11 is good.

      Smart people sometimes have blind spots (just look at Kary Mullis, to take a recent entry). Indeed, an argument could be made that it is even more important to call out otherwise intelligent people for their lapses into paranoia and conspiracy theories than it is to call out people who are already obviously lost (the fans of the latter are unlikely to understand reason in any case). Other examples more obviously parallel to Napolitano would be Tom Harkin, Ron Paul and Dave Emory.

    2. Fair enough. But at the risk of sounding like Columbo, there's a couple things still bothering me, loose ends if you will, that just won't go away. I mentioned one in my first comment but only in passing. Is it your belief that we should just accept official pronouncements of governmental authorities (e.g., the Executive Branch) on institutions like the Federal Reserve or events like Waco and 9/11; otherwise we've "lapsed into paranoia and conspiracy theories"? If your answer is No, then I still don't understand why you see Judge Napolitano as having gone into "loonyland" (your term), because I don't recall his developing a theory; all he did was speculate that someone in government knew more than they were telling. If your answer is Yes, then I have to ask for your reasoning if you're willing to share it. It could be my having been a Watergate teenager who's read too many books, but I can't help but be curious. After all, government deception didn't start with Watergate. The Gulf of Tonkin incident didn't happen as it was initially reported, and we know that now. There really was an MK-Ultra (look it up). There really were LSD experiments on innocent people without their knowledge. Then there was Iran-Contra in the 1980s. Then came the stories of babies being taken out of incubators and left on the floor to die that were circulated prior to the first Gulf War, although in fairness I don't think the first George Bush personally endorsed those fables. All prior to President Clinton's lying under oath to a grand jury (the real reason he was impeached, not because he had "sex with that woman").

      Why should we believe our fearless leaders suddenly developed honesty with 9/11, which changed the country's direction far more fundamentally than any of those other events? Sorry for the intrusion, but my curiosity gets the best of me sometimes even if it "killed the cat."

    3. Steven,
      I couldn't agree more. I too was a Watergate teenager who actually watched damn near every minute of testimony. I also know there was much about Watergate that can be tied directly (yes w hard evidence) to Kennedy's muder. Most importantly that the burglars were members of the "40" who have kind been suspected on a series of assisinations an were anti-Castro CIA trained mercenarys. One had a lawyers name in his pocket when arrested. The same lawyer in Mexico City whose name was on a bank account that was used to pay CIA assasination teams in the 60s. See Daniel Sheehans brilliant talk on As to 911, I believe it is standard fodder to call anyone who questions ANY portion of the governments story a "truther" implying they are part of the tin foil hat crowd. Personally, after spending hours reading copious amounts of material concerning the attacks, I find the official story MUCH more conspiratorial than the so called "conspiracy" theories. I don't know exactly what happened, but there is certainly enough issues that there should be a new, impartial investigation. I think painting anyone who takes this position as a "CT" is doing a great disservice to our country. GD, I suggest you do some research yourself.