The Harm Caused By Good Intentions

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog today about the harm done by environmentalists.

The article reports:

The damage done by contemporary environmentalism is a big topic. For now I want to note two important instances that are on my mind because they are fronts on which my organization, Center of the American Experiment, is battling self-interested or misguided environmentalists.

Environmentalists cause great damage by blocking needed development, including exploitation of mineral resources. This is grossly hypocritical, since the principal goal of today’s environmental movement is to replace fossil fuels by electrifying everything, while getting the bulk of our electricity from wind and solar power. Apart from being impossible, the amount of mining that would need to be done to supply the necessary electrical hardware and batteries would dwarf anything in human history. At the same time, however, environmentalists refuse to allow mining of the needed materials–copper, nickel, cobalt and others–here in the United States. In effect, they insist on massive environmental degradation, only not in their back yards.

…At GreenEnergyFails.com, you can watch videos that explain the Texas blackouts, and the site includes a lengthy and utterly definitive explanation of why those blackouts were, contrary to the desperate assertions of the environmental lobby, caused by Texas’s excessive reliance on unreliable wind and solar energy.

Like other organs of the Left, the environmental lobby is backed by an extraordinary amount of money. This is understandable, as enormous profits are being made on the “green” energy chimera by utilities and by wind and solar companies (many foreign-owned) that feed at the government trough.

Perhaps more significant is that the environmental movement, in its early stage, actually did some good. As Steve Hayward documented over a period of years, it contributed to a remarkable improvement in air and water quality across the U.S. That cleanup was a great achievement for which the environmental movement can take partial credit. Unfortunately, the good will that was created decades ago continues to boost environmentalism, even though in its current manifestations the movement is actually hurting not only public safety and our peoples’ livelihoods, but also our environment.

The search for the perpetual motion machine was alive and well during the Middle Ages. It looks like it is back with us again.

Hong Kong Has Lost Its Freedom

I am sure that the headline above is not news to anyone who has been paying attention, but there has been another nail in the coffin of freedom in Hong Kong.

The London Times reported the following today:

China’s grip on the city tightened yesterday when its parliament unanimously approved new election rules that make it almost impossible for democracy activists to run for office.

The National People’s Congress voted 2,895-0, with one abstention, for the changes that will give Beijing a veto on candidates deemed unpatriotic.

…Beijing said the changes were necessary to return Hong Kong to its constitutional order after mass protests, and that patriots would be able to stand.

…Zhang Xiaoming, from the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, said that the “chaos” of recent years showed that the city’s electoral system had “clear loopholes and shortcomings”.

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog commented on the election changes in Hong Kong:

Our electoral system had “clear loopholes and shortcomings” too, as revealed by the election of Donald Trump. The Democrats are moving to close those “loopholes” via H.R. 1 and other measures intended to assure that only those approved by them can be elected in the future.

The rest of the Times article is devoted to the ongoing exodus of freedom-loving Hong Kongers to Australia and the U.K. Here in America, I am not sure where we will flee if the Democrats succeed in curing the “loopholes and shortcomings” in our electoral system.

I am also unsure of where to flee. Does anyone know of a small island in the Caribbean that might be for sale?

Some Of The Nominees For Positions In The Biden Administration Are Troubling

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line Blog posted an article today about Merrick Garland, President Biden’s pick to lead the Justice Department.

The article notes:

I don’t consider Merrick Garland a moderate liberal, and I don’t think he came across as one during his confirmation hearing yesterday. He couldn’t even bring himself to say that illegally entering the U.S. should be a crime.

I consider Garland a front man for the radicalization and politicization of the Department of Justice. As Julie Kelly puts it, “he’ll be a figurehead [like Robert Mueller] and Weismann-type prosecutors will run the show.”

Two of those who, if confirmed, will run the show are Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke. Gupta is Joe Biden’s nominee for Associate Attorney General. Clarke is his nominee for Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.

Yesterday, Sen. Mike Lee asked Garland about these two. Garland dutifully vouched for them on the basis of having “gotten to know them.” The question is: What else could he say? Also: Whom should we believe, Merrick Garland or our lying eyes?

Please follow the link above to read the responses by Merrick Garland when asked specific questions about Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke.

The article concludes:

It’s important to note that Garland did not select either Gupta or Clarke for the positions in question. He got to “know” them only after they had been picked by Team Biden. And clearly, he had no choice but to vouch for them at his confirmation hearing.

But even if Garland was giving his honest opinions of the two based on his conversations with them, these opinions count for next to nothing.

Garland may be a decent guy and a competent court of appeals judge, but he’s not a seer. Gupta and Clarke weren’t going to confess to him their raw hatred of Republicans, their most extreme political views, or any strands of anti-Semitism and Black supremacy in their thinking.

But Gupta’s intemperate comments about her political opponents, which approach those of Neera Tanden in their venom, are there, in writing, for all to see. So is Clarke’s history of advocating Black supremacy and promoting anti-Semitism. So is her unwavering support for racial discrimination against Whites.

The Senate should confirm Merrick Garland. He’s the nominee for Attorney General one would expect in a Democratic administration — nothing better, nothing worse.

The Senate should not confirm Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke. The public record, from which Sen. Lee’s questions were drawn, shows them to be nasty extremists committed to key elements of the radical BLM agenda — whatever Garland’s true impression of them might be.

Even in a Democratic administration, we should expect, and demand, better.

There are words to describe the cabinet the Biden administration is putting together, but I can’t use them in a G-rated blog.

 

 

For everyone who believes that the Trump administration only helped the rich, here are the numbers (the chart is from Power Line Blog):

Under President Trump the percentage of poor, lower, and middle middle class people decreased. The percentage of upper middle class and rich increased. People at all economic levels prospered under the Trump administration. The Workforce Participation rate climbed to 63.4 before the coronavirus arrived. Unfortunately the Biden administration’s economic policies will reverse much of these gains.

The Obvious Question

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog titled, “Who’s Crazy?”

The article notes:

Democrats are busily trying to portray Republicans as crazy extremists and conspiracy theorists. Marjorie Greene is the latest target of this campaign, and of course the Dems continue to milk the January 6 D.C. mini-riot for all it is worth, and more. (Meanwhile, they have no interest in what would seem to be the real story, the inexplicable breakdown of security at the Capitol. And, contrary to the Democrats’ usual practice, the identity of the officer who shot and killed an unarmed woman, Ashli Babbitt, is a closely guarded secret.)

But where do we look for maximum craziness? How about Maxine Waters, who says that President Trump “should be charged with premeditated murder” (of whom?) because he was involved in “advance planning about the invasion” at the Capitol. Talk about a conspiracy theory! But Waters’ claims aren’t much crazier than those of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who asserted that Ted Cruz was trying to get her killed.

There was a time when making such reckless, extreme, and–to say the least!–unsupported claims about one’s political opponents would have been considered far out of bounds by pretty much everyone. No longer.

It’s time those Democrats who are accusing President Trump of inciting violence look in the mirror. Some of the insanity and lack of civility coming from Democrats in recent years in appalling. It’s time the Democrat party takes responsibility for the statements and actions of their member.

What We Teach Our Children Matters

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the draft publication of the Minnesota social studies standards. The standards are available for public comment. The article cites information found in an article at the Center of the American Experiment website.

The article at Power Line Blog reports:

WORLD/U.S. HISTORY

There are several key pieces of our world and nation’s history that are missing when compared with the 2011 social studies standards.

Missing Benchmarks

* World War I—benchmarks on the social, political and economic causes of the war; nations involved, major political and military figures, key battles; political impact (including formation of the League of Nations)

* World War II—benchmarks on the social, political and economic causes of the war, and main turning points; nations involved, major political and military figures, key battles; timeline of key events leading to WWII

* The Holocaust (including references to the Nazi regime and Jews)

* Rise and effects of communism and socialism; Communist Revolution

* American Revolution—benchmarks on timeline of the major events and turning points of the revolution, including the involvement of other nations and the reasons for American victory; identifying historically significant people during the period of the revolution (Examples: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Elizabeth Freeman)

* Civil War—benchmarks on timeline of the key events of the war; causes of the war; major political and military events; main ideas of the debate over slavery and states’ rights and how they resulted in major political compromises and ultimately war
***

I need someone to explain to me how you can teach WWII without teaching about the Holocaust, Nazis, and Jews.

These are just a few examples from the article. Please follow the link to read the entire article. It offers insight as to the reasons our children don’t understand the freedom and heritage they have in America and why many are willing to trade that freedom for the slavery of socialism.

Insight Into The Radical Left

Radical Son is a book by David Horowitz that I read many years ago. There is now a new edition with an updated preface by David Horowitz. Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the updated preface. Please follow the link to read the entire article. It provides a lot of insight into the thinking of the radical political left.

The article contains the entire preface. I am simply posting the last part here in the hopes that you will read it in its entirety at Power Line Blog:

In his narrative, Forbes makes clear that he regards the inconveniences he suffered as a result of his crimes as an injustice to him. He exhibits no remorse for his victims and no appreciation for the short jail time he spent for plotting the assassination of Crystal Gray or killing his friend, or for the cold-blooded, botched execution attempt which ruined the life of the ambulance driver, Nelson Malloy, who tried to help him. The fantasy of the “revolution” he served by committing violent crimes, mainly against vulnerable black people who were not political, remains for Forbes a source of inordinate pride. Equally revealing is his continuing adoration for the criminal who recruited him to the Panthers when he was sixteen, made him a gangster, murdered an eighteen-year-old black woman, and ordered him to assassinate another.

Flores Forbes’s story is emblematic of what America’s political culture has become. His title today is Associate Vice President of Strategic Planning and Program Implementation at Columbia University, where he is a pillar of the academic community. Meanwhile, those of us who worked to bring the criminal reality of the “revolutionary” charade to light are persona non-grata among administrators and faculty at Columbia, which happens to be my own alma mater.

And this travesty is not confined to one Ivy League school. There are academic tributes and shrines to Panther gangsters at UCLA, Stanford, UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley, the Smithsonian, and numerous similar institutions across the country. This is a pretty fair measure of the Left’s institutional ascendance in America in the wake of the mayhem its radical activists have created and the atrocities they have committed.

Radical Son was written as a witness to the dark undercurrents of American politics and to their enduring power in the nation’s life. It has definitely had an impact. Whether the revelations contained in its narrative can seriously affect the course of this history is unlikely. But as long as the book has open-minded readers, the possibility exists that new generations will be able to put together these lessons with others, and perhaps affect the outcome. Or maybe just one individual will have been affected by this book in such a way as to avoid experiences as painful as I had to endure. That would be sufficient reward for the ordeals of writing it.

In case you are unaware, David Horowitz grew up in New York as a ‘red diaper baby.’ That was the name given to the children of members of the Communist party in America. His parents were school teachers. Let that sink in. His indoctrination into radical political beliefs at home was probably not a lot different than the indoctrination his parents’ students received. I strongly recommend reading Radical Son to understand how the radical left thinks and what their goals are. It is eye-opening.

 

What’s Next For Iran?

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line Blog posted an article about what is happening in Iran.

The article reports:

In the mid-1980s, I asked a retired French diplomat whether he thought the Iranian regime would be overthrown within the next ten to fifteen years. It seemed plausible to me that the mullahs, who seemed to be ruining the country, would lose power by the end of the century.

The retired French diplomat had grown up in Iran, served France there among other countries, and maintained strong connections with and affection for Iranians. He knew the country and its people as well as anyone I was likely to encounter.

His view was that there would be no overthrow of the regime in the foreseeable future. He told me that Iranians tend to be passive followers, and therefore not prone to rebel.

He attributed the 1979 revolution to lack of resolve by the Shah and lack of support from the U.S. The mullahs, he was sure, would be more resolute, and thus would likely retain power for years.

More than 40 years after the revolution and at least 35 years after my conversation with the retired diplomat, the mullahs are still in power. There is talk, however, that their days are numbered.

They might well be. Whether passive or not by nature, Iranians are protesting in fairly large numbers. And even the retired French diplomat didn’t say the regime would hold power forever.

The article notes that the recent assassination of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakzhirzadeh might be a sign that the regime is losing power.

The article quotes a New York Daily News article from early December written by Ray Takeyh, an Iranian-American, who is a senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations:

First, it has often been suggested that no matter how unpopular the Islamist regime has become over the years, it is firmly in control of the country given its overlapping and omniscient intelligence services. Now, this widely accepted truism has to be called into question. In recent years, Iran’s nuclear installations have been sabotaged, its scientists killed and its secrets stolen.

Moreover, the country has been rocked by a series of demonstrations that its intelligence organs did not anticipate. To say the least, the Islamic Republic today suffers from persistent intelligence failure, an ominous sign for a regime that rules through fear.

…The second worrisome aspect for the Iranian regime has to be the probable collaboration of its own elites with a foreign power. These killings could not have taken place unless many in the system were so disenchanted with Islamist rule that they were willing to provide critical information to an adversary.

A regime is in trouble not only when its populace grows disenchanted but when important segments of its elite give up on the system. If those who are the chief beneficiaries of the system don’t believe in it, then who does? The Islamic Republic has long suffered from brain drain as its best and brightest have often chosen to leave the country, but now, it seems, even those who have stayed behind are starting to crack.

The article at Power Line Blog concludes:

Takeyh acknowledges that Iran’s current leaders are “made of tougher stuff than the Shah and his generals” and that therefore “The Islamic Republic may endure.” That’s probably how I would bet. But maybe I’m unduly influenced by the words of that retired French diplomat all those years ago.

This Is Not Good For Our Country

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog today about the lawsuit brought by the Trump campaign against the State of Pennsylvania. The law firm handling one aspect of the case has been pressured by anti-Trump types to withdraw from participation in the lawsuit.

The article reports:

A law firm representing the Trump campaign in its challenges to the Pennsylvania election results gave notice that it’s withdrawing from one of the cases.

Lawyers with Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP submitted a filing late Thursday stating they were withdrawing as counsel in a federal suit seeking to block Pennsylvania from certifying its vote. No reason was given. In a statement issued Friday, the firm confirmed the filing but did not say why it was exiting the case.

The Trump campaign issued the following statement:

“Leftist mobs descended upon some of the lawyers representing the President’s campaign and they buckled,” said Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the campaign. “If the target were anyone but Donald Trump, the media would be screaming about injustice and the fundamental right to legal representation. The President’s team is undeterred and will move forward with rock-solid attorneys to ensure free and fair elections for all Americans.”

The article concludes:

Not many years ago, every terrorist in Guantanamo Bay was represented by one of a group of America’s top law firms. For free. No one batted an eye. Now, the President of the United States is having trouble getting lawyers to represent him in asserting perfectly legitimate claims. Some dictator.

This is the latest instance of the most troubling trend in American culture, leftist bullying. Rare is the company (or, as in this case, the law firm) with the courage to stand up against it. It is a serious threat to the liberty of all Americans.

Regardless of your political leanings, you need to look at this carefully. If a law firm can be bullied into not representing someone because of political pressure, what chance do you and I have for equal justice under the law? These are mafia tactics that will only get worse if they are not stopped.

 

Those Pesky Fact-Checkers Are Driving People Away From Facebook

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article describing his recent experience with the fact-checkers on Facebook. The bottom line is that the fact-checkers need to be fact-checked.

The article includes a screenshot stating that the original post had false information. Yet when Mr. Hinderaker explored the items that the fact-checkers claimed were false, those items were not even in the article.

The article notes:

The explanation given for Facebook’s “fact check” is that “Wisconsin turnout [is] in line with past elections, didn’t jump 22%.” But my Facebook post said nothing about Wisconsin turnout jumping by 22%. Neither did my Power Line post, which I doubt anyone from USA Today or Facebook actually read. According to Wisconsin officials, that state had a record turnout in 2020, not one that was “in line with past elections,” so Facebook’s “fact check” is blatantly false. Also, obviously, it doesn’t even attempt to deal with anything I wrote in my Power Line post, which, among other things, explained why some observers have made exaggerated claims relating to Wisconsin’s 2020 turnout numbers. Nor does it try to explain why there is something wrong with what I wrote on Facebook, which was that “the numbers suggest” that there was major voter fraud in Wisconsin–a claim that, as far as I know, stands unrebutted.

So Facebook is a Democratic Party platform that will do all it can to help Joe Biden cling to his tenuous electoral lead. No surprise there. But the extent to which the internet platforms that control most avenues for the distribution of facts and opinions are willing to lie and cheat to support one political party is alarming. We live in a world that the Founders never contemplated.

Parler is looking really good right now. Please follow the link above to read the rest of the article. Facebook is no longer simply a neutral platform–it is a Democrat campaign site.