Liberal Fantasyland

Liberal Fantasyland

By Randall Hoven
If you listen to liberals, they are the “reality-based” people.  They contrast themselves to conservatives, who they claim are ideology-based or faith-based.

“The arguments of liberals are more often grounded in reason and fact.”  Barack Obama
“Reality has a well-known liberal bias.”  Stephen Colbert 
“The facts of life are conservative.”  Margaret Thatcher 

 

I offer here several pieces of evidence, large and small.  You can be the judge of who is right, Stephen Colbert or Maggie Thatcher.

 

Eco-Warriors

 

“A lot of environmental messages are simply not accurate. But that’s the way we sell messages in this society. We use hype. And we use those pieces of information that sustain our position. I guess all large organizations do that.”  Professor Jerry Franklin, an ecologist at the University of Washington 

 

The good ship Fleur set sail from Plymouth, England, on a 5,000 mile, “carbon emission-free” journey to Greenland.  “The expedition was followed by up to 40 schools across the UK to promote climate change awareness.”  Then reality hit in the form of weather.  Wind ripped the wind generator and solar panels from the yacht, and capsized it three times.  The crew of the Fleur was rescued by an oil tanker loaded with 680,000 barrels of crude oil .

 

The Catlin Arctic Ice Survey is giving up on its journey to the North Pole to measure arctic ice thickness.  Championed by Prince Charles and funded by an insurance company that wants to sell insurance against climate change, the Catlin team travelled 434 km in 73 days, with 490 km remaining to the pole.  Unfortunately, severe cold (to minus 40 Celsius) took out “both a radar device meant to measure the ice thickness and a satellite communications unit to relay the data.”.  Meanwhile, an airplane equipped with modern technology flew over them and discovered arctic ice was “thicker” than expected.
Electric cars were studied by a German branch of the World Wildlife Foundation .  “What surprised us was that the carbon dioxide savings were so small.”  In the best-case scenario, the savings would be 0.1 percent.  In the worst-case scenario, electric cars would be 25% worse than gasoline-powered.

 

Hybrids cars get better gas mileage than regular cars, especially SUVs, I’m told.  However, fuel to make the car go is not the only use of energy in cars.  It takes energy to make a car in the first place, for example.  When the “dust to dust” energy use is calculated on a “total energy cost per mile driven” basis, the picture is the opposite of that promoted.  “While the industry average of all vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2005 was $2.28 per mile, the Hummer H3 was only $1.949 per mile.  That figure is also lower than all currently offered hybrids and Honda Civic at $2.42 per mile.”
Plastic diapers, plastic bags and disposable coffee cups, turn out to be non-threats to the environment, according to the green Conscious Consumer and the Union of Concerned Scientists.  While the environmentally aware were quick to preach to the rest of us how our use of disposable diapers, for example, was ruining the planet, they seem slow to catch on to this news.

 

Acid Rain was once the environmental biggie, the Global Warming of the 70s and 80s.  So the government spent 10 years and $550 million to look into it.  The National Acid Precipitation Assessment Project (NAPAP) essentially concluded it is not a problem.  For example, “The NAPAP study found that among thousands of U.S. lakes, only 4 percent were somewhat acidic. One-quarter of those were acidic due to natural causes, leaving only 3 percent somewhat influenced by human activities.”  The NAPAP report came out in 1990, suspiciously about the time Global Warming became the new big thing in environmental causes.

 

Carbon credits (a) are costing a lot of money, (b) may do nothing to lower greenhouse gas emissions, and (c) incentivize the destruction of the environment and people’s homes.  Or so the Associated Press reported.  The carbon credit system “is an excessive subsidy that represents a massive waste of developed world resources,” said Stanford University’s Michael Wara.

 

Do-Gooders

 

“And how do you know when you’re doing something right? How do you know that? It feels so. What I know now is that feelings are really your GPS system for life. When you’re supposed to do something or not supposed to do something, your emotional guidance system lets you know.”  Oprah Winfrey 

 

Oprah’s feelings were touched by “A Million Little Pieces,” by James Frey.  She was so touched by this come-back-from-hard-times story that she chose it for her book club, where “more than two million copies were sold, making it the fastest-selling book in the club’s 10-year history.”  Trouble is, the supposedly non-fiction story was entirely made up; it was a hoax.

 

Oprah was also touched by “Angel at the Fence,” a story of love during the Holocaust written by Herman Rosenblat.  Lo and behold, it too was a hoax.

 

Oprah was also touched by “The Education of Little Tree,” a children’s book she put on her list of recommendations.  That book, first published in 1976, was debunked years ago asthe literary hoax of a white supremacist.”

 

The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls was supposed to be the fulfillment of Oprah’s dream.  Unfortunately, “reports of harsh discipline soon emerged, and today a dormitory matron at the facility, Tiny Makopo, appeared in court facing 13 charges including indecent assault and inducing underage girls to perform indecent acts.”

 

(Actually, I kind of like Ms. Winfrey.  But maybe you should think twice about her recommendations for books or school staff.  Didn’t she also recommend a president?)

 

Jack Henry Abbott was a convicted killer, but Norman Mailer considered himself a great judge of character when arguing for his release from prison.  Mailer “never thought Abbot was close to killing.”  Six weeks after leaving prison, Abbott stabbed to death a 22-year-old waiter, Richard Adan, in a quarrel outside a Manhattan restaurant.  Perhaps the steak was too well done.  Abbot told the judge that Adan’s life “was not worth a dime.”

 

Many considered vaccinations the way to fight disease in Africa.  Unfortunately, the African health care system is not quite up to speed when it comes to needle use.  One study estimated “that more than half the cases of Aids in Africa before 1988 were caused by unsterilised needles.” However, UN officials dispute that.  “The research estimates that about 60% of people with HIV in Africa become infected mainly through contaminated needles rather than through sexual contact, but the UNAids organisation puts the figure at nearer 5%.”

 

I don’t know who’s right or wrong, but 5% to 60% of 25 million HIV/AIDS cases in sub-Saharan Africa is 1.25 to 15 million people.  First do no harm?

 

Timothy Treadwell, Grizzly Man, thought grizzly bears in Alaska needed saving.  He would save them by calling them pet names in a high-pitched voice and taking their pictures.  But the bears did not need saving.  Who needed saving was Timothy and his girlfriend, both killed by grizzlies while camping near them.

 

Chris McCandless went Into The Wild.  He was another young fellow who trekked to Alaska.  Although we cannot be sure of his motives, he “abandoned his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska, where he went to live in the wilderness.  Four months later, he turned up dead.”  And all evidence points to a pretty miserable four months.

 

The “Peace Bride,” artist Giuseppina Pasqualino, was hitchhiking to Israel in a wedding dress “as part of her ‘Brides on Tour’ project aiming to plead for peace in conflict areas.”  She was raped and murdered in Turkey while on that peace tour.

 

(The police are only providing the suspect’s initials, MK.  Who wants to bet MK stands for Moshe Katz?  Who thinks Mohammed Khalid might be the better bet?  One can only guess at this point.)

 

Public Policy

 

“This is not Washington imposing its will and its programs on anyone.  It is a cooperative sharing of resources, talents and ideas with everyone who has something to contribute.”  Sargent Shriver in 1967 

 

From 1959 to 1964, the poverty rate dropped every single year, from 22.4% to 19.0%After that, President Lyndon Baines Johnson declared War on Poverty.  And indeed, the poverty rate continued to decline, reaching 12.8% by 1968.  But despite the War on Poverty continuing throughout, the poverty rate sort of stalled in the 12-15% range.  It would climb back above 12.8% by 1980, and stay there through 1997, when President Clinton ended Welfare.  In 2006 it was 12.3%, below where it was when Welfare ended and about where it was in 1968.

 

From 1900 to 1965, life expectancy for men in the US rose from 46 to 67 years. In 1965, health spending in the US was 5.9% of GDP.  That was the year LBJ gave us Medicare.  Life expectancy continued to go up after that, but more slowly.  Today it is about 75 years for men.  And by 2007, health spending took 16.2% of GDP.  Medicare is now about to go completely broke.  It paid out more than it took in for the first time in 2008.  The Medicare “fund” is expected to be depleted by 2017.

 

The temperance movement aimed to eliminate the evils of demon drink.  I’m sure it did discourage drinking, but it also incentivized organized crime and gangsterism.  In 1920, when Prohibition began, the murder rate was 6.8 per 100,000.  In 1933, when Prohibition ended, the murder rate peaked at 9.7 per 100,000, the highest ever up to then.

 

After Prohibition ended, the murder rate subsided.  By 1953 it fell below 5 per 100,000 and would stay below that level through 1963, reaching the lowest murder rates since 1906.  Then the criminal reform movement took over.  The Map v Ohio decision (exclusionary rule) came in 1961.  Miranda warnings were mandated in 1966.  The Gun Control Act was enacted in 1968.  The murder rate doubled between 1961 and 1972, and would hit its highest point ever, 10.7 per 100,000, in 1980, Jimmy Carter’s last year as President.

 

By 1980, Concealed Carry was getting a toehold.  Liberals were dead set against it, saying men hiding guns would come into schools and churches and kill people.  In the decade 1989-1998, CC swept most of the nation, becoming law in more than 30 states.  The murder rate dropped from 10.1 per 100,000 in 1991 to 5.9 in 2004.  If you know of any CC permit-holder convicted of murder, or of any gun related felony, please let me know, because I think the number of such persons is zero.

 

I know what some of you are thinking: the statistical evidence that Concealed Carry reduced the homicide rate is too thin.  The Center for Disease Control would agree with you.  The CDC did a study and found that CC had no effect on violent outcomes, either way.  But if you insist on believing the CDC on that, then you should believe the CDC’s conclusion on all gun control laws: “The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes.”   Do you know how much it hurt the CDC to say that?

 

Summary

 

I will end the list there, not because I’m running out of examples, but because this article is already too long.  But before signing off, I would like to offer some sense of balance.

 

First, there were some “conservative” fantasies.  But I put the word “conservative” in quotes because, in these cases, conservatives acted like liberals.

 

  • President Reagan sent US Marines to Lebanon with rubber bullets for ammunition and the Rules of Engagement being “don’t engage.”  The result was 246 dead Marines.  I love Reagan and believe him to be the best President of the 20th century, but this was right out of Jimmy Carter’s playbook.  US Marines kill people and break things.  If that’s not the mission, don’t send Marines.
  • The War On Drugs is the quintessential nanny-state policy.  Some conservatives such as William Buckley and Milton Friedman saw the serious flaws and anti-conservativeness in this Nixon initiative.  After almost 40 years, this is another un-won war, with costs including increased crime in the US and foreign policy conundrums from Latin America to Afghanistan.

 

Secondly, there is some trace evidence that not all liberals live in fantasyland.  There is a group called Beyond Good Intentions, for example, that recognizes that most international aid is not only ineffective, but also counterproductive.  The MIT Poverty Action Lab appears to be using evidence to guide global anti-poverty policy.

 

I have no idea if these groups are being effective, but it is nice to know there are at least a few liberals willing to go beyond good intentions, their own feelings, and showering problems with other people’s money.

 

My plea to liberals is this.  Think of the movie, The Matrix.  Take the red pill.  Leave the matrix created by the entertainment/education echo chamber.

 

Randall Hoven can be contacted at randall.hoven@gmail.com or  via his web site, kulak.worldbreak.com.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/liberal_fantasyland.html at May 15, 2009 – 11:32:16 AM EDT

Who “Misleads” Whom?

Who “Misleads” Whom?
By: Gregory Gethard
Friday, May 15, 2009

 


Nancy Pelosi’s desperately accuses the CIA of breaking federal law “all the time.”
“They mislead us all the time.”

That was the takeaway quote from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s Thursday press conference. The CIA, the nation’s leading intelligence agency, is the “they” in question.

If this is true, shouldn’t we do something about this immediately? Shouldn’t Congress have an investigation of all the times the CIA has “misled” Pelosi and other Congressional members? Shouldn’t Pelosi list all of the times the CIA has “misled” her for the American public to see? For CIA employees intentionally to mislead Congress is a crime of the highest order, even more so if it happens “all the time.”

One wonders, if the CIA does “mislead us all the time,” why Madam Speaker did not make this public long ago. Before Pelosi ascended to become Speaker of the House, she had a seat on the House Intelligence Committee. If Pelosi sat at countless committee meetings while government employees lied to her, she could and should have reacted immediately. Not once during her tenure there nor as Speaker of the House did she mention anything about the CIA “misleading” Congress, until her political popularity with the left-wing base of her party was threatened.

It’s a tremendous statement about the priorities of the Speaker and her party. At a time when American troops are engaged in two separate wars and al-Qaeda could launch an attack on American shores at any given moment, the work of the CIA has never been more important. Yet the leader of the House of Representatives lies about the agency in order to curry favor with the far-Left.

Americans of all stripes should ask themselves this question: If the Speaker of the House says the CIA “misleads” Congress “all the time” and cannot back up her claims (and she cannot), is she really fit to have such a position of leadership? House Minority Leader John Boehner said that he thought Pelosi’s statements were out of line. It’s hard for me to imagine that anyone in our intelligence area would ever mislead a member of Congress,” he said. If the House Democrats believe so strongly in Pelosi’s leadership, what does that say about its foreign policy and Homeland Security priorities?

The good news is Pelosi’s comments may have been too much even for members of her own party. During proceedings on the House floor on Thursday, Republican Whip Eric Cantor and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer spoke about the controversy:

    Rep. Cantor: I’d ask the gentleman [Rep. Hoyer] whether he shares this belief, that somehow the CIA or others have intentionally misled this body, because that seems to be some concern that has been raised today? And I yield.
     
    House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer: I have no idea of that, don’t have a belief of that nature because I have no basis on which to base such a belief. And I certainly hope that’s not the case. I don’t draw that conclusion.

Hoyer is no Pelosi ally; Pelosi supported John Murtha for the Majority Leader post, and Pelosi’s ouster would enhance Hoyer’s future. But for the number ranking Democrat to abandon the Speaker in this manner is significant. Other members of Pelosi’s party should also state clearly whether they agree with her charges. It would certainly be interesting to see if Democrats would risk their political capital to back Pelosi’s accusations. But indications are they will not.

They have worked with Nancy Pelosi as Speaker for two years already. They know who is misleading whom.


Gregory Gethard is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer.

Muslim Persecution of Christians

 
Muslim Persecution of Christians
By: Robert Spencer
Friday, May 15, 2009

A new video shows why Christians may have no future in the Middle East.


Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of eight books, eleven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs, is available now from Regnery Publishing. 

Christianity, born in the Middle East, is in danger of losing its two millenia-long presence there. If that notion sounds alarmist to Western ears, it is acknowledged by Middle Easterners as a growing likelihood.

“I fear the extinction of Christianity in Iraq and the Middle East,” said the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Baghdad, Jean Benjamin Sleiman, as Pope Benedict XVI visited that troubled region this week. The Lebanese Christian columnist Sarkis Naoum added: “Unless there is a turn toward secularism in the Arab world, I don’t think there is a future for Christians here.” In 1909, the Middle East was 20 percent Christian; one hundred years later, that percentage has fallen to five percent.

 
This precipitous decline is chronicled and explained in a detailed historical video entitled Muslim Persecution of Christians, produced by the Terrorism Awareness Project. The video, which is embedded below, recounts contemporary examples of anti-Christian violence, and the Islamic theology that justifies and intensifies it.
 
As the video demonstrates, the resurgence of the Islamic jihad and Islamic supremacism around the world in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries can be directly correlated with the declining Christian population. As Muslims, influenced by Salafi movements to restore the “purity” of Islamic governance, reassert traditional Islamic legal stipulations mandating and institutionalizing discrimination against and harassment of Christians, Christians all over the Islamic world are feeling the heat.
 
In Pakistan’s Swat Valley, where the Taliban has been lately implementing Shari’a law, Christians have been forced for their own safety to wear Islamic clothing and grow beards, so as to avoid attracting unwanted attention. Not all have been successful: many Christians have fled the area after the Taliban demanded from them jizya payments so large that they were beyond their means to pay. Jizya is the poll tax mandated in the Qur’an (9:29) that “People of the Book” – that is, primarily Jews and Christians – must pay for the privilege of living in an Islamic state.
 
Meanwhile, Egypt’s State Council, which advises that country’s Administrative Court, issued a report vilifying Maher El-Gohary, an Egyptian convert from Islam to Christianity, who had requested that his religion as listed on his official identification card be changed to reflect his conversion. The report denounced El-Gohary as an “apostate,” termed Christians “infidels,” and insisted (in line with the Qur’an and traditional Islamic belief) that Jesus was a Muslim prophet. It also skewered the convert’s “audacity” in making his request, which the report said threatened Egypt’s social order. Fr. Matthias Nasr Manqarious, who is helping El-Gohary take on Egypt’s legal system, explained that converts from Islam to Christianity today “can’t live as Christians in broad daylight.”
 
Converts from Islam to Christianity face similar troubles elsewhere in the Islamic world as well. Recently a Pentecostal pastor in Kenya, Abdi Welli Ahmed, who is also a convert from Islam, attempted to cross from Ethiopia into Somaliland, a breakaway Somali province. Ahmed explains: “I was beaten up for being in possession of Christian materials. They threatened to kill me if I did not renounce my faith, but I refused to their face. They were inhuman.”
 
Why do converts face such a hard time? Because Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, said, “If anyone changes his religion, kill him” – and the death penalty for apostasy is still mandated by all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence. Many Muslim countries take this very seriously. Early in May, Libyan police arrested a Coptic Christian from Egypt, Gergis Massoud Hanna, on charges of “Proselytizing Christianity in Libya” – although there are indications that a scheming business partner falsely accused Hanna. Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are likewise used to harass Christians. Around the same time Hanna was arrested, a Pakistani attorney prosecuting blasphemy charges against a Christian, Hector Aleem, came out for vigilantism: “If the judge does not punish Aleem according to the law, then [we] will kill him ourselves.”
 
Pakistan, Egypt, and Somalia have one thing in common: a resurgence of Islamic supremacism and reassertion of elements of Islamic law have not been enforced in those countries by their Western-influenced governments in the recent past. The momentum everywhere in the Islamic world lies with these Salafi movements – and Christians, as well as other non-Muslims, bear the brunt of this reassertion. Muslim persecution of Christians, built as it is into the foundations of Islamic theology and law, is not going to go away – and if movements of Islamic purity continue to gain ground in the Islamic world, it will only increase. It is long past time for human rights organizations and all free people to take notice, and say, “No more.”

Watch Muslim Persecution of Christians
http://blip.tv/file/2047965
The Terrorism Awareness Project, like FrontPage Magazine and Jihad Watch, is a project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.