Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Couldn't happen in America... Could it?

               UC-San Diego Engineering Student, Daniel Chong 


Daniel Chong, the college student who was left in a DEA holding cell for four days without food and water in April 2012, will be payed $4.1 million by the Justice Department.

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Justice Department will pay $4.1 million to a California college student left in a Drug Enforcement Administration holding cell for four days without food or water last year, two people familiar with the case told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Daniel Chong, 23, was detained in an April 2012 drug raid in San Diego and left in the 5-by-10-foot windowless holding cell. He said he drank his own urine to stay alive and tried to write a farewell message to his mother with his own blood.
The people familiar with the case spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the settlement before it was announced Tuesday morning at a news conference.
Chong, who was an engineering student at University of California, San Diego, was at a friend's house in April 2012 when a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration raid netted 18,000 ecstasy pills, other drugs and weapons. Chong and eight others were taken into custody.
Agents told Chong he would not be charged and had him wait in the cell at DEA offices in San Diego. The door did not reopen for four days, when agents found him severely dehydrated and covered in his own feces.
Chong said he began to hallucinate on the third day. He urinated on a metal bench to drink his urine. He stacked a blanket, his pants and shoes on the bench and tried to reach an overhead fire sprinkler, futilely swatting at it with his cuffed hands to set it off.
Chong said last year that he gave up and accepted death. He bit into his eyeglasses to break them. He said he used a shard of glass to carve "Sorry Mom" onto his arm so he could leave something for her. He managed to finish an "S."
Chong was hospitalized for five days for dehydration, kidney failure, cramps and a perforated esophagus. He lost 15 pounds.
The DEA issued a rare public apology at the time.
Chong's attorney, Eugene Iredale, said Monday that he would announce "an important development" Tuesday, little more than a year after filing a $20 million claim against the federal government.
A DEA spokesman, Rusty Payne, referred questions Monday to the Justice Department, which handled settlement negotiations. A call to the Justice Department's public affairs office was not returned.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

At lest the DEA got the culprit's color right.

George W. Bush: Making Iraq Into A Democracy

Say, George!
How's that democracy thing workin' out?


"The Fall and Rise and Fall of Iraq"
Brookings Institution

Guardian Political Cartoonist, Steve Bell: How The British View American Politics

How do Brits view American politics?

"In America, they have two political parties. One of them is like The Conservative Party. And the other is like The Conservative Party."
Steve Bell


British Cartoonist Steve Bell Draws American Presidents

Cartoonist Steve Bell has been skewering British politicians since his career took off in the late 1970s. Because his obsession is politics, a good number of American presidents have come in for in his particular brand of satire. His cartoons and comic strips appear in the British newspaper The Guardian where he’s had a cartooning home since 1981.
The first US president Bell caricatured was Jimmy Carter back in 1979. In those early Bell cartoons, Carter is all teeth and what he says is phonetically spelled out in southern drawl (Bell calls it a “hillbilly” accent). Bell’s views are to the left and he admits it’s harder for him to take down Democratic American presidents than Republicans.
His cartoons of Ronald Reagan emphasize the late president’s perfectly coiffed and mysteriously still-jet-black-at-70-something hair. They also show Reagan’s political love affair with the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Bell often does send-ups of the ‘special relationship,’ the phrase coined by Winston Churchill to describe the political and historical ties between Britain and the United States. Bell doesn’t think it’s so special and describes it rather as one that’s “generally slavish on the part of the UK.”
Bell’s cartoons of Bill Clinton include saxophones and, yes, penis metaphors. It’s when he gets to George W. Bush that Bell takes the gloves off completely.
Cartoon: Steve Bell, The Guardian, United Kingdom
Cartoon: Steve Bell, The Guardian, United Kingdom
Early George W. Bush cartoons by Bell show the former president as decidedly simian, the sidekick chimp from “Bedtime for Bonzo,” a 1951 film comedy that starred Ronald Reagan. But the chimp caricatures of George W. Bush turn sinister after the US launches the war against Iraq. During that period, Bell pillories both the American president and then British Prime Minister Tony Blair for leading the charge to war.
Bell admits his own political views make it easier for him to take down Republican presidents than Democrats. But his caricatures of current President Barack Obama do display deep ambivalence about Obama’s commitment to, among other things, closing down the detention center at Guantanamo.
Carol Hills

Carol Hills

Carol Hills is a Senior Producer and the Cartoon Editor for The World.

Vehicle-Clogged Rome Turning to Bikes

Italians are buying bicycles at a faster rate than cars, propelling cities like Rome to rethink urban planning (Photo: Chris Livesay)
Italians are buying bicycles at a faster rate than cars, propelling cities like Rome to rethink urban planning (Photo: Chris Livesay)
Vespas, Fiats, and the occasional Ferrari all play a role in the traffic chaos that is modern Rome.
But if you listen carefully, there’s a small, yet persistent, voice starting to be heard.
Ding! Ding!
According to Italy’s transportation ministry, Italians bought 1.65 million bicycles last year. That’s more than the number of new cars sold in the same period. Not since the 1960s have Italians been so keen on cycling.
Rafaella De Felice thinks bicycling is perfect. She bought her bike about four months ago, for practical and personal reasons.
“It was just because I broke up with my boyfriend,” she says. “So I needed something to do during the weekend.
She says it’s working.
“Yes, absolutely, it’s perfect,” she says. “I’m not joking. You go with your bike and can see the sunsets on Sunday and it’s perfect. I’ve discovered a new city, a new city on the bike.”
The problem is that new city is still dominated by cars: 970 for every 1,000 adults. Rome is one of the most vehicle-clogged cities in the world.
This is where Ignazio Marino comes in. He’s the newly elected mayor of Rome.
“I always loved to bike,” he says. “And I have not have a car for 11 years.”
Marino takes me to his office balcony to show me something that’s clearly got his goat: right through the middle of the Imperial Forum and the Roman Forum—the same place where Marc Antony gave the funeral oration for Julius Caesar–is a modern street built by Benito Mussolini to parade his Fascist legions.
“It’s just insane,” he says. “You know, to build across this area that in my vision doesn’t even belong to Romans. This belongs to Western history. And you build in the middle of it a high-traffic street.”
Starting August 3rd, he’s kicking out private vehicles from the part of the street that rings around the side of the Colosseum.
“If you had the Colosseum in London, do you think you would use it as a roundabout? I think not,” he says. “And this is what we’re doing every day. There are thousands and thousands and thousands of vehicles going around it every day. And this is the most famous monument that Italy has.”
Eventually he wants cars out of the entire area.
So what to do with all the cars? After all, Italians for the most part still depend on them. And the mighty auto industry is a pillar of the national economy.
But as it turns out, it’s not so mighty anymore.
“There was a point in history when Alfa Romeo was thinking to buy BMW out. Can you imagine this today?” asks Roberto Vavassori, President of ANFIA, the Italian automotive association.
Vavassori says the eurozone crisis and Italy’s worst recession in decades have already forced a change in driving habits.
In 2007, Italians bought 2.5 million cars. This year, that number is projected to be down by at least 1 million.
Another factor is high-speed trains and other alternative modes of transportation. Vavassori includes the internet in this category, which allows people to travel the world at the click of a mouse.
He adds that car ownership is also losing its luster among young people who’ve been hit hardest by the economic downturn.
“I see this tendency where youngsters, people under 30, are not necessarily wanting to have a driving license,” he says. “And this is not only true in big cities such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, but also Milan or Rome. We have more than 10 percent of youngsters not getting a license because they feel it is no longer necessary to own a car or even use a car.”
He also sees parallels with the United States, where the amount of young people with licenses has been steadily declining for decades.
In Rome, the mayor knows making a large scale switch from four wheels to two isn’t going to happen overnight, especially given the city’s reputation for unruly drivers.
“At the present time with the traffic, with the aggressiveness of some of the drivers in Rome, it’s at times scary,” says Marino. “But on average I can tell you that I move by bike, while people of my staff move by car, and usually I get there first.”
But he admits that in a city famous for its seven hills, this is an uphill pedal if there ever was one.

Chris Christie and Rand Paul Rip Out Each Other's Jugular

What do you think?
Will Rand argue - with the rest of The Tea Party - that good parenting results in good children?


Congressional Pork By State
Christie's right. Rand's a pig. 

In Alaska, Sarah Palin was Miss Piggy.


Alan: Gotta love this wrestling match?

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks during the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in Chicago, Illinois,      June 14, 2013.

This verbal barrage is more than just good television, it’s a 
fight for the heart and soul of the Republican Party that is split at the seam on the proper role of the American government at home and abroad. Paul’s strain of thinking has risen unchecked within the Republican ranks over the past half-dozen years, but now the mainstream GOP is fighting back.The war of words between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is heating up, with the two potential Republican presidential contenders clashing over foreign policy and domestic spending in deeply personal attacks.
Last week Christie called Paul’s libertarian foreign policy “dangerous,” invoking the memory of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Paul fired back Sunday that Christie was only interested in government spending.
“They’re precisely the same people who are unwilling to cut the spending, and their `Gimme, gimme, gimme – give me all my Sandy money now.’” Paul said, according to the Associated Press. “Those are the people who are bankrupting the government and not letting enough money be left over for national defense.”
In a press conference Tuesday, Christie said he had no personal beef with Paul, before calling the son of former Rep. Rand Paul a preeminent pork barrel spender — which amounts to something of a personal slur against the avowed small-government lawmaker.
“So if Senator Paul wants to start looking at where he’s going to cut spending to afford defense, maybe he should start looking at cutting the pork barrel spending that he brings home to Kentucky, at $1.51 for every $1.00 and not look at New Jersey, where we get $0.61 for every $1.00,” Christie said, noting his state pays out more than every federal dollar it receives. “So maybe Senator Paul could — could, you know, deal with that when he’s trying to deal with the reduction of spending on the federal side.  But I doubt he would, because most Washington politicians only care about bringing home the bacon so that they can get reelected.”
On CNN Tuesday evening, Paul struck back, calling his potential 2016 rival the “king of bacon.”
“This is the king of bacon talking about bacon,” he said. “You know, we have two military bases in Kentucky. And is Governor Christie recommending that we shut down our military bases?”
Paul repeated his criticism over the handling of federal relief funds for Hurricane Sandy, which Republican lawmakers held up — a move which drew anger from Christie.
“He’s making a big mistake picking a fight with other Republicans, because the Republican Party is shrinking in — in New England and in the northeast part of our country,” Paul continued. “I’m the one trying to grow the party by talking about liberation ideas of privacy and the Internet.  And attacking me isn’t helping the party.  He’s hurting the party.”
“Why would he want to pick a fight with the one guy who has the chance to grow the party by appealing to the youth and appealing to people who would like to see a more moderate and less aggressive foreign policy,” he added.
The battle is on. The question for Republicans is whether they can get it over in time for the 2016 race, and what casualties it leaves behind.

Congressional Pork By State

Red State Moocher Links


Pork per Capita State Map

Sep 8th, 2008
States receive disproportionate amounts of federal money in the form of congressional earmarks, often referred to as “pork”. The Republican ticket for president represents both ends of the spectrum with Senator John McCain’s Arizona receiving $14 per person and Governor Sarah Palin’s Alaska receiving the most $555 per person.

More chocolate means better Nobel prize odds – true or false?

Success is sweet – and maybe more so than we knew. etringita
Want to win a Nobel prize? You might increase your chances by eating more chocolate, according to a letter in Nature last Thursday.
The research, which outlines a survey of chocolate consumption of 23 male Nobel laureates during their years of prizewinning work, relates that 10 (43%) report eating chocolate more than twice a week, compared to 25% of 237 educated, age-matched men.
This survey follows a 2012 analysis showing the level of national chocolate consumption correlates strongly with the per capita incidence of Nobel Prize Awards.
Flavonoids – the key chemicals claimed to boost cognitive ability – are also in red wine, but you’re unlikely to do great science if you indulge too heavily in that direction.
Of course, correlation does not necessarily equal causation. We can’t say if flavonoid consumption is directly linked to Nobel prizes; there may be a third factor (coffee?) involved.
Daniel Gasienica
Click to enlarge
Yet if the survey’s conclusion is true and chocolate indeed helps cognitive ability it may not, regrettably, have the same effect for memory. After all, the sample group for the survey was pretty small, and – as the joint recipient of the 1996 Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine – I can’t remember whether or not I actually filled in the chocolate survey form.
In addition, some awardees were excluded from the survey, as chocolate is linked to aggression (thus no Peace Prize recipients allowed) and depression (which is more prevalent in writers, so no Literature laureates either).
I also wonder a bit about the control group. Those respondents were just normal human beings. A better control group – as the authors acknowledge – would be those who’ve been awarded Ig Nobel Prizes awarded annually for research that “first makes people laugh, and then makes them think”.

Chocolate trafficking

All who attend the big Nobel Prize dinner receive gold-foil covered chocolate replica Nobel Prize medals, though the actual laureates walk away with a certificate, a “true gold” medal and cheque.
I still have a couple of the chocolate coins in the refrigerator. Maybe they date to 1996 whenRolf Zinkernagel and I got the nod from Stockholm, or perhaps to the 100th anniversaryfour years later when the Nobel Foundation invited back all the extant laureates who were still able to travel.
Over the past decade, my continued involvement in research on immunity to the influenza viruses has had me commuting between the University of Melbourne and my former place of full-time work, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
P C Doherty
Click to enlarge
Mostly I’m in Melbourne, but part of the job when I cross the Pacific to the American South is to deliver Australian dark chocolate to my much younger colleagues, the people who actually do the research.
The big demand by my young US associates is for varieties of Cadbury’s Special Dark Chocolate. Everyone is hooked on the Old Gold and the one with roasted almonds while a few, very discriminating types really go for the rum and raisin.
There is no such traffic the other way: though there are great niche chocolate makers in places such as Seattle, the mass-market US variety has, until recently, been somewhat bland.

Hershey heaven

In the Nobel list, the famous Hershey is the late American geneticist and bacteriologistAlfred Hershey, not the Pennsylvania chocolate manufacturer. To the question of what constitutes scientific happiness, Hershey famously rejoined
To have one experiment that works, and keep doing it all the time.
Click to enlarge
“Hershey heaven” is the well-known description of that desire for him to come to the laboratory every morning, knowing what question to ask and being certain that the result would be important.
The Hershey-Chase experiments of 1952 showed, using viruses that infect bacteria (bacteriophages), that DNA is indeed the material of inheritance. Bacteriophages are just great for Hershey heaven, as experiments can be set up one day and read the next.
Such rapidity and consistency is generally not the rule for science but Al’s name, at least, is yet another link between intellectual excellence and (American) chocolate.

Passing on the benefits

Some anonymous comments in last week’s survey of Nobel laureates provide insights into individual relationships with chocolate:
I can offer you a sure example of a “double dissociation” between Nobel Prize winning and chocolate consumption … I am not particularly fond of chocolate but received a Nobel Prize. My wife is crazy about chocolate and eats it almost every day but so far she has not received the phone call.
Having grown up in England after the second world war when chocolate was rationed I have been trying to make up for many years of abstinence ever since.
I am trying to consume more chocolate every day to recapture my youthful IQ.
I guess now I’ll have to update my book The Beginner’s Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize with a (very short) chapter on dark chocolate, crème de cacao, chocolate mousse and so forth, though the research so far has not had a whole lot to say on dose levels.
Anyway, and if nothing else, this particularly incisive piece of Nobel research does make me feel good about my chocolate trafficking through US customs, as one of the jobs for any successful senior scientist is to bring on the next generation.
Alan: This website, The Converstaion: Latest Ideas and Research, is managed by Australian professors.

Who Is Obama's New Republican Pal? (Video)

  1. Who is Obama's new Republican pal? - YouTube
    1 hour ago - Uploaded by CNN
    CNN's Dana Bash reports on the changing relationship between John McCain and President Obama.

    Alan: McCain does not like where young Republicans are taking the party and has taken to calling them "wacko-birds" from the Senate floor. 

Andrew Carnegie: His Outlook On Wealth And The World

On wealth

Carnegie at Skibo Castle, 1914
Stained glass window dedicated to Andrew Carnegie in the National Cathedral
As early as 1868, at age 33, he drafted a memo to himself. He wrote: "...The amassing of wealth is one of the worse species of idolatry. No idol more debasing than the worship of money."[38]In order to avoid degrading himself, he wrote in the same memo he would retire at age 35 to pursue the practice of philanthropic giving for "...the man who dies thus rich dies disgraced." However, he did not begin his philanthropic work in all earnest until 1881, with the gift of a library to his hometown of Dunfermline, Scotland.[39]
Carnegie wrote "The Gospel of Wealth",[40] an article in which he stated his belief that the rich should use their wealth to help enrich society.
The following is taken from one of Carnegie's memos to himself:
Man does not live by bread alone. I have known millionaires starving for lack of the nutriment which alone can sustain all that is human in man, and I know workmen, and many so-called poor men, who revel in luxuries beyond the power of those millionaires to reach. It is the mind that makes the body rich. There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else. Money can only be the useful drudge of things immeasurably higher than itself. Exalted beyond this, as it sometimes is, it remains Caliban still and still plays the beast. My aspirations take a higher flight. Mine be it to have contributed to the enlightenment and the joys of the mind, to the things of the spirit, to all that tends to bring into the lives of the toilers of Pittsburgh sweetness and light. I hold this the noblest possible use of wealth.[41]

The "Andrew Carnegie Dictum" was:
  • To spend the first third of one's life getting all the education one can.
  • To spend the next third making all the money one can.
  • To spend the last third giving it all away for worthwhile causes.


Early life

Birthplace of Andrew Carnegie in Dunfermline, Scotland
Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, in a typical weaver's cottage with only one main room, consisting of half the ground floor which was shared with the neighboring weaver's family.[2] The main room served as a living room, dining room and bedroom.[2] He was named after his legal grandfather.[2] In 1836, the family moved to a larger house in Edgar Street (opposite Reid's Park), following the demand for more heavy damask from which his father, William Carnegie, benefited.[2] His uncle, George Lauder, whom he referred to as "Dod", introduced him to the writings of Robert Burns and historical Scottish heroes such as Robert the BruceWilliam Wallace, and Rob Roy. Falling on very hard times as a handloom weaver and with the country in starvation, William Carnegie decided to move with his family to Allegheny, Pennsylvania in the United States in 1848 for the prospect of a better life.[3] Andrew's family had to borrow money in order to migrate. Allegheny was a very poor area. His first job at age 13 in 1848 was as a bobbin boy, changing spools of thread in a cotton mill 12 hours a day, 6 days a week in a Pittsburgh cotton factory. His starting wage was $1.20 per week.[4] Andrew's father, William Carnegie, started off working in a cotton mill but then would earn money weaving and peddling linens. His mother, Margaret Morrison Carnegie, earned money by binding shoes.

Intellectual influences

Carnegie claimed to be a champion of evolutionary thought particularly the work of Herbert Spencer, even declaring Spencer his teacher.[42] Though Carnegie claims to be a disciple of Spencer many of his actions went against the ideas espoused by Spencer.
Spencerian evolution was for individual rights and against government interference. Furthermore, Spencerian evolution held that those unfit to sustain themselves must be allowed to perish. Spencer believed that just as there were many varieties of beetles, respectively modified to existence in a particular place in nature, so too had human society “spontaneously fallen into division of labour”.[43] Individuals who survived to this, the latest and highest stage of evolutionary progress would be “those in whom the power of self-preservation is the greatest—are the select of their generation.”[44] Moreover, Spencer perceived governmental authority as borrowed from the people to perform the transitory aims of establishing social cohesion, insurance of rights, and security.[45][46] Spencerian ‘survival of the fittest’ firmly credits any provisions made to assist the weak, unskilled, poor and distressed to be an imprudent disservice to evolution.[47] Spencer insisted people should resist for the benefit of collective humanity as these severe fate singles out the weak, debauched, and disabled.[47]
Andrew Carnegie’s political and economic focus of during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century was the defense of laissez faire economics. Carnegie emphatically resisted government intrusion in commerce, as well as government-sponsored charities. Carnegie believed the concentration of capital was essential for societal progress and should be encouraged.[48] Carnegie was an ardent supporter of commercial “survival of the fittest” and sought to attain immunity from business challenges by dominating all phases of the steel manufacturing procedure.[49]Carnegie’s determination to lower costs included cutting labor expenses as well.[50] In a notably Spencerian manner, Carnegie argued that unions impeded the natural reduction of prices by pushing up costs, which blocked evolutionary progress.[51] Carnegie felt that unions represented the narrow interest of the few while his actions benefited the entire community.[49]
On the surface, Andrew Carnegie appears to be a strict laissez-faire capitalist and follower of Herbert Spencer, often referring to himself as a disciple of Spencer.[52] Conversely, Carnegie a titan of industry seems to embody all of the qualities of Spencerian survival of the fittest. The two men enjoyed a mutual respect for one another and maintained correspondence until Spencer’s death in 1903.[52] There are however, some major discrepancies between Spencer’s capitalist evolutionary conceptions and Andrew Carnegie’s capitalist practices.
Spencer wrote that in production the advantages of the superior individual is comparatively minor, and thus acceptable, yet the benefit that dominance provides those who control a large segment of production might be hazardous to competition. Spencer feared that an absence of “sympathetic self-restraint” of those with too much power could lead to the ruin of his competitors.[53] He did not think free market competition necessitated competitive warfare. Furthermore, Spencer argued that individuals with superior resources who deliberately used investment schemes to put competitor out of business were committing acts of “commercial murder”.[53] Carnegie built his wealth in the steel industry by maintaining an extensively integrated operating system. Carnegie also bought out some regional competitors, and merged with others, usually maintaining the majority shares in the companies. Over the course of twenty years, Carnegie’s steel properties grew to include the Edgar Thomson Steel Works, the Lucy Furnace Works, the Union Iron Mills, the Homestead Works, the Keystone Bridge Works, the Hartman Steel Works, the Frick Coke Company, and the Scotia ore mines among many other industry related assets.[54] Furthermore, Carnegie’s success was due to his convenient relationship with the railroad industries, which not only relied on steel for track, but were also making money from steel transport. The steel and railroad barons worked closely to negotiate prices instead of free market competition determinations.[55]
Besides Carnegie’s market manipulation, United States trade tariffs were also working in favor of the steel industry. Carnegie spent energy and resources lobbying congress for a continuation of favorable tariffs from which he earned millions of dollars a year.[56] Carnegie tried to keep this information concealed, but legal document released in 1900, during proceeding with the ex-chairman of Carnegie Steel Henry Clay Frick revealed how favorable the tariffs had been.[57] Herbert Spencer absolutely was against government interference in business in the form of regulatory limitation, taxes, and tariffs as well. Spencer saw tariffs as a form of taxation that levied against the majority in service to “the benefit of a small minority of manufacturers and artisans”.[58]
Despite Carnegie's personal dedication to Herbert Spencer as a friend, his adherence to Spencer’s political and economic ideas is more contentious. In particular, it appears Carnegie either misunderstood or intentionally misrepresented some of Spencer's principal arguments. Spencer remarked upon his first visit to Carnegie's steel mills in Pittsburgh, which Carnegie saw as the manifestation of Spencer's philosophy, "Six months' residence here would justify suicide."[59]
The conditions of human society create for this an imperious demand; the concentration of capital is a necessity for meeting the demands of our day, and as such should not be looked at askance, but be encouraged. There is nothing detrimental to human society in it, but much that is, or is bound soon to become, beneficial. It is an evolution from the heterogeneous to the homogeneous, and is clearly another step in the upward path of development.
—Carnegie, Andrew 1901 The Gospel of Wealth and Other Timely Essays[48]
On the subject of charity Andrew Carnegie's actions diverged in the most significant and complex manner from Herbert Spencer's philosophies. In his 1854 essay Manners and Fashion, Spencer referred to public education as “Old schemes”. He went on to declare that public schools and colleges, fill the heads of students with inept useless knowledge, which excludes useful knowledge. Spencer stated that he trusted no organization of any kind, “political, religious, literary, philanthropic”, and believed that as they expanded in influence so too did its regulations expand. In addition Spencer thought that as all institutions grow they become evermore corrupted by the influence of power and money. The institution eventually loses its “original spirit, and sinks into a lifeless mechanism”.[60] Spencer insisted that all forms of philanthropy uplift the poor and downtrodden were reckless and incompetent. Spencer thought any attempt to prevent “the really salutary sufferings” of the less fortunate “bequeath to posterity a continually increasing curse”.[61] Carnegie, a self-proclaimed devotee of Spencer, testified to Congress on February 5, 1915: "My business is to do as much good in the world as I can; I have retired from all other business."[62]
Carnegie held that societal progress relied on individuals who maintained moral obligations to themselves and to society.[63] Furthermore, he believed that charity supplied the means for those who wish to improve themselves to achieve their goals.[64] Carnegie urged other wealthy people to contribute to society in the form of parks, works of art, libraries and other endeavors that improve the community and contribute to the “lasting good.”[65] Carnegie also held a strong opinion against inherited wealth. Carnegie believed that the sons of prosperous businesspersons were rarely as talented as their fathers.[64] By leaving large sums of money to their children, wealthy business leaders were wasting resources that could be used to benefit society. Most notably, Carnegie believed that the future leaders of society would rise from the ranks the poor.[66] Carnegie strongly believed in this because he had risen from the bottom. He believed the poor possessed an advantage over the wealthy because they receive greater attention from their parents and are taught better work ethics.[66]

Religion and world view

Witnessing sectarianism and strife in 19th century Scotland regarding religion and philosophy, Carnegie kept his distance from organized religion and theism.[67] Carnegie instead preferred to see things through naturalistic and scientific terms stating, "Not only had I got rid of the theology and the supernatural, but I had found the truth of evolution."[68]
Later in life, Carnegie's firm opposition to religion softened. For many years he was a member of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, pastored from 1905 to 1926 by Social Gospel exponent Henry Sloane Coffin, while his wife and daughter belonged to the Brick Presbyterian Church.[69] He also prepared (but did not deliver) an address to St. Andrews in which he professed a belief in "an Infinite and Eternal Energy from which all things proceed".[70]

World peace

Influenced by his "favorite living hero in public life", the British liberal, John Bright, Carnegie started his efforts in pursuit of world peace at a young age.[71] His motto, "All is well since all grows better", served not only as a good rationalization of his successful business career but also in his view of international relations.


While Carnegie did not comment on British imperialism, he very strongly opposed the idea of American colonies. He strongly opposed the annexation of the Philippines, almost to the point of supporting William Jennings Bryan against McKinley in 1900. In 1898, Carnegie tried to arrange for independence for the Philippines. As the end of the Spanish American War neared, the United States bought the Philippines from Spain for $20 million. To counter what he perceived as imperialism on the part of the United States, Carnegie personally offered $20 million to the Philippines so that the Filipino people could buy their independence from the United States.[17] However, nothing came of the offer. Carnegie worked with other conservatives who founded the American Anti-Imperialist League, which included former presidents of the United States Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison and literary figures like Mark Twain.[18][19][20]