Even though Social Security and Medicare guarantee to bankrupt America, we should not lose sight of the fact that there are scores of other government programs that are both immoral and costly – and that need to be abolished.
Take unemployment benefits, for example. If Obama and progressives on both sides of the aisle continue with their never-ending extensions of unemployment benefits, we will look back on 2009 as the good old days, a time when we had only a 10-20 percent unemployment rate (depending on how one wants to calculate it). That's right, unemployment benefits make the average worker worse off, not better, because, like minimum-wage laws, they cause unemployment.
The fact is that when people say they can't find a job, what they often mean is they can't find the job they want, at the wage they want, under the working conditions they want – which means that high unemployment is, to a great extent, a result of workers simply refusing to accept low-paying jobs, preferring instead to live off of government largesse.
If compassionate politicians are really serious about lowering unemployment, the first two things they should do is eliminate unemployment benefits and abolish minimum-wage laws. Follow that with slashing the corporate tax rate to 10 percent (for starters), and unemployment would very quickly become an anachronism.
The free market really does work. It's just not the way progressives would like it to work.
Noel Sheppard, Self-Appointed Arbiter of Decency Topic: NewsBusters
In a Feb. 19 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard arrogantly appoints himself the arbiter of what is decent and what is not regarding references to Sarah Palin. Reacting to statements by Andrea Fay Friedman, the actress who voiced a woman with Down Syndrome who made a crack about Palin on an episode of "Family Guy" -- she found it funny -- Sheppard responded:
Of course, Friedman is entitled to her opinion, and is to be commended for responding to the Palins' concerns.
However, as neither she nor her family were the target of this joke, she is not the arbiter of decency; as much as she had the right to participate in this farce as an actress, the Palins have the right to be offended by it.
It's not until an update to his post that Sheppard notes that Friedman has Down Syndrome.
Sheppard's role as self-appointed moral arbiter is a bit hazy -- as we noted, he found nothing with Rush Limbaugh's use of "retard" (or any of the many other vulgarisms Limbaugh has engaged in).Meanwhile, Sheppard's fellow NewsBusters are fallingover themselves trying to ignore Palin's hypocrisy on the issue; Kyle Drennen brushed off calls for Palin to resign from Fox News in protest of "Family Guy," which airs on Fox Broadcasting, by asserting that 'Fox News has no connection" to Fox Broadcasting -- ignoring that the two are owned by the same company (as the mutual use of "Fox" would seem to imply).
But, then, who are regular, run-of-the-mill, taxpaying Americans to question Obama? He's brilliant, after all. It's not just liberals who say so, either. I keep hearing people like Bill O'Reilly saying so day after day. The problem is that I keep looking for signs of his brilliance, and looking and looking. It doesn't help that the O'Reillys of the world never point out any examples.
Still, if Obama is so brilliant, why does he parrot the words and thoughts of a bunch of schmucks like Karl Marx, Saul Alinsky, Al Gore and Michael Moore? Why does he insist that the trouble with the Constitution and the civil-rights movement is that they didn't focus on the redistribution of wealth? Why would he hand over the federal budget to a couple of morons like Pelosi and Reid? And why on earth would he put Henry Waxman in charge of his energy program? A brilliant person wouldn't trust Waxman to bring baked beans to a picnic.
When someone decides to model a health-care plan after such dismal failures as England, Canada and Cuba, while exhuming the failed economic policies of FDR, why would anyone suggest he is anything but a left-wing ignoramus?
This is an American president, for heaven's sake, who has more in common with Noam Chomsky, Hugo Chavez and some Berkeley hippie than he has with Washington, Jefferson and Adams. Except that he is now 30 years older, Obama seems to think exactly the same way he was thinking back in college, when he was a pot-smoking idiot who sought out students who were self-professed revolutionaries and professors who were communists.
Newsmax Defends Kerik One Last Time Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax's Bernard Kerik rehabilitation program ended abruptly when Kerik pleaded guilty to eight counts, including tax fraud and lying to White House officials during his ill-fated 2004 nomination to be Homeland Security secretary. Now that Kerik has been sentenced to four years in prison on those counts, Newsmax is giving Kerik a fond, if low-key, farewell.
Newsmax ran a Feb. 18 wire story on Kerik's sentencing, but it did something else on Feb. 19. It put a specially colored link in its "Inside Story" section to a Huffington Post blog post defending Kerik:
The lengthy post, by Andrew Kreig, repeats some of Newsmax's previous defenses of Kerik in claiming that he is a victim of overzealous prosecution. Kreig even cites Newsmax as a source of "positive coverage long after his state plea," and links to an item on Kerik and Newsmax we wrote for Media Matters as an example of how "some on the left have been eager to scorn the defense and its supporters, such as Newsmax."
Ilana Mercer Hates Meghan McCain (And Your Kids) Topic: WorldNetDaily
Millennials are a generation of youngsters that reveres only itself for no good reason. They have been unleashed on America by progressive families and educators (Democrat and Republican alike) who've deified their off-putting offspring and charges, and instilled in them a sense of self-worth disproportionate to their actual worth.
Even more illuminating for longstanding advocates of a traditional schooling such as this writer is how uncreative this generation of youngsters truly is.
Meghan and her peers are everywhere, loudly dispensing mind-numbing clichés as though they were Socratic sayings. The uniformity of opinion among these mediocre and frightfully monolithic minds is scarier than its uninformed nature.
Still scarier are their dangerously elevated self-esteems. Drumming up ignorance can be risky business. In a 1997 monograph (which I reviewed in 2000), Marilyn Bowman, a Canadian professor, forewarned that "there is a dark side to self-esteem. The prototype aggressor is an individual whose self-appraisal is unrealistically positive."
Needy and narcissistic, these dullards were nurtured by pedagogues, parents and politicians (again, Democrat and Republican; liberal and "conservative" alike) who were convinced that loosey-goosey schools would produce free thinkers and geniuses.
Instead, attests Alsop, the "high-maintenance rookies," dreaded by human-resource executives across America, "flounder without precise guidelines." Millennials "want loads of attention and guidance from employers," and they "break down in tears after a negative performance review."
My source in the industry tells me that the Millennial generation will be another nail in the coffin of flailing American productivity. I am told, too, that for every useless, self-important Millennial, a respectful, bright, industrious (East) Asian, with a wicked work ethic, waits in the wings.
Let the lazy American youngster look down at his superiors, and live-off his delusions and his parents. His young Asian counterpart harbors a different sensibility and skill; he is hungrily learning from his higher-ups with a view to displacing artificially fattened geese like Meghan McCain.
A Feb. 18 WorldNetDaily article repeated the claim reported by CBN News that "Five Muslim soldiers were arrested for allegedly trying to poison the food supply at Fort Jackson in South Carolina."
While WND noted an Army official stating that "there is no credible information to support the allegations," it has not yet noted other denials by military officials, as highlighted by Media Matters: form another Army spokesman and from Fort Jackson itself. Further, Fox News has since reported that "it doesn't appear there was ever any actual danger to the food supply at Fort Jackson, but there was talk about such a threat, and that's what the Criminal Investigation Division in the Army is looking into."
Kincaid Omits Parts of Study That Undermine His Support for Uganda Law Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid has another anti-gay screed up at Accuracy in Media endorsing the proposed anti-gay law in Uganda, this time going after Kathleen Parker's recent Washington Postcolumn for daring to criticize a law Kincaid has aggressively defended. Kincaid denigrates Parker by claiming she is "[l]osing complete control of her senses," doing "her best imitation of lesbian MSNBC-TV commentator Rachel Maddow " and suggests she wrote her column out of "her eagerness to please those who syndicate her column and quote her approvingly in the liberal press."
Kincaid has added more misleading claims to his arsenal. He asserts that "[t]here is a myth that AIDS in Africa has been spread exclusively through heterosexual conduct." That's a red herring - he offers no examples of anyone making the claim that HIV has been spread "exclusively through heterosexual conduct." What has been claimed (as we recently did) is the documentedfact that, historically, HIV transmission in Uganda and much of Africa has been spread mostly through heterosexual and mother-to-child conduct. Kincaid offers no evidence that this has significantly changed.
Kincaid then writes:
But the internationally acclaimed medical journal The Lancet last August published the first scientific study showing that male homosexuals are more often than not infected with HIV than the general adult population in sub-Saharan Africa. The study is titled, "Men who have sex with men and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa."
But the Lancetstudy is about a lot more than how many homosexuals in Africa have AIDS, which Kincaid curiously fails to mention -- perhaps because it undermines his anti-gay crusade. First of all, it further debunks Kincaid's suggestion that heterosexual HIV transmission is a "myth," stating: "Notwithstanding the lack of reliable population data about African MSM [men who have sex with men], the proportion of current HIV incidence attributable to MSM is estimated to be as high as 20% in some west African countries." That leaves 80 percent that is attributable to something else -- in other words, heterosexual and mother-to-child transmission.
The Lancet then points to reasons why there is a high incidence of HIV among gays in Africa:
Most African states have yet to allocate any national HIV/AIDS resource for HIV/AIDS prevention or care for MSM.
The effectiveness of national HIV prevention programmes on HIV risk behaviour in MSM is not known but is likely to be low. Safe sex for MSM implies access to condoms and lubricants that are rarely available or are prohibitively expensive. Messages about prevention targeted to heterosexual populations might seem irrelevant to MSM; African MSM might not consider same-sex encounters to be sex at all because this word can also infer reproduction. Perceptions that anal sex or sex between men pose no risk of HIV transmission, even that such behaviours might be actively sought because of this misconception, have been reported repeatedly. How widespread such misconceptions are is unclear, yet the almost complete absence of African media, health education, and counselling to challenge these beliefs is self-evident.
Important conclusions from behavioural studies of African MSM are that unprotected anal sex is commonplace, knowledge and access to appropriate risk prevention measures are inadequate, and that, in some contexts, many MSM engage in transactional sex. Stigma, violence, detention, and lack of safe social and health resources are widely reported.
The neglect of research, surveillance and HIV prevention, and treatment and care programmes for MSM cannot be separated from the influence of general, largely hostile attitudes toward homosexuality in Africa. Male-to-male sex is illegal in sub-Saharan African countries, potentially attracting the death penalty in four. In recent years, governments of several countries have strengthened laws against homosexuality, and political and religious leaders have publicly denounced MSM as immoral and not deserving attention from the state. In the most recent Pew Global Attitudes Project survey, most respondents sampled from ten sub-Saharan African countries stated that society should reject homosexuality.
MSM who disclose their orientation, through choice or necessity, report family rejection, public humiliation, harassment by authorities, and ridicule by health-care workers. The consequences of stigma on HIV risk, and access to prevention and care for African MSM are unknown. Elsewhere, low self-esteem, and loss of family and community cohesion are thought to mediate an association between social oppression and sexual risk-taking behaviour. African MSM might also be stigmatised in ways that differ from those elsewhere: Murray and Roscoe draw attention to the expectation of the production of children as a predominant social pressure on homosexual men in some African contexts.
Political, cultural, and religious hostility towards MSM thus presents the main barrier to implementing effective HIV research, policy, and health programmes for African MSM. Successes in engagement with and delivery of the few interventions to known MSM are tempered with the recognition that many, probably most, MSM conceal their behaviour for fear of repercussion and remain beyond the reach of such interventions. Although since repealed, the widely condemned sentencing and imprisonment of nine activists involved in providing HIV prevention, care, and treatment services to MSM in Senegal (one of few African countries with a national HIV programme targeting MSM) show the potential for political and religious sentiments to compete with HIV/AIDS control efforts. [footnote numbers deleted]
The study concludes that "the continued denial of MSM from effective HIV/AIDS prevention and care is harmful to national HIV/AIDS responses, the consequence of which is borne not only by MSM, but by everyone. The challenge now is to break that silence, recognise the problem, and begin to move forward in the development and implementation of the prevention and care programmes that are so urgently needed."
How does further stigmatizing homosexuality through the anti-gay law in Uganda -- where it is already highly stigmatized and illegal -- address the problem of HIV transmission via homosexual contact, especially given that the Lancet study he selectively quotes advocates outreach and not further stigma? Kincaid doesn't say.
Instead, he proudly declares, "The purpose of the Ugandan bill, quite clearly, is to keep homosexuality in the closet, where it used to be in this country." He also repeats his discredited talking point that "the death penalty in the bill is only one provision and is for 'aggravated homosexuality' or serious crimes mostly involving homosexual behavior targeting children and spreading disease and death." In fact, as we detailed, it also provides for the death penalty for merely engaging in homosexual acts, if the accused is a "serial offender."
Kincaid went on a tirade against pretty much everything gay in his column. He further attacked Maddow, asserting that her TV show "is an extension of her lesbian lifestyle. She is gay and proud and given free rein at MSNBC because of her role as the first 'out' lesbian to host a show on a national cable news network." (Kincaid has long despised Maddow.) He also lashed out at this weekend's Conservative Political Action Conference for allowing the gay-conservative group GOProud to have a table there.
Kincaid closed out his column by spewing even more hate, claiming that ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell in the military "would not only make the Armed Forces a laughingstock but would end its value as a fighting force capable of defending us against foreign threats. Indeed, a homosexualized military could itself become a threat, just like it was in the Nazi period."
Yes, Kincaid is suggesting that gays are Nazis. Bravo, Cliff.
Joseph Farah Still Doesn't Get It Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah's Feb. 18 WorldNetDaily column is yet another round of fraudulent self-aggrandizement designed to obscure the truth about him and WND. He writes:
When I started WND back in 1997, I had hoped that it would lead to a renaissance of good journalism on and off the Net. Just the opposite has happened. Traditional American journalism has all but collapsed. What stands in its place today, whether it's the New York Times, MSNBC or the Huffington Puffington Post, quite resembles the institutions known as Pravda and Izvestia back in the Cold War days – without the official government control.
Unstated by Farah: That's pretty much how WND operates. One need only go back as far as its fawning tea party convention coverage that ignored or whitewashed actual news about the convention -- after all, Farah was speaking at it and didn't want any reality to intrude.
Yet today there is still nothing like WND anywhere else – on the Internet, on TV, in print or in any other venue.
WND really is different from any other website out there. Yes, there are other news-oriented imitators. But they don't have the reporters and the editors and the professional experience and the standards WND has. That's a plain fact. Nobody, but nobody, does what we do.
Jackie Mason Tells Evan Bayh To Leave the Country Topic: WorldNetDaily
Hate-filled "comedian" Jackie Mason spent his Feb. 18 WorldNetdaily video ranting against retiring Sen. Evan Bayh for not being the moderate he claims to be:
This is the biggest lie ever told. This goes down in history together with the whole fraud that Abraham Lincoln was never a president or Hitler was never a Nazi. What, are you gonna tell me that this man is not a leftist? He went along and voted for every leftist bill that Barack Obama and every other Democrat wanted. He voted almost practically and completely and totally the Democratic Party line. He diverted once or twice for security issues, but on every other issue, he was a total Democrat with a leftist program who went along with every part of those programs while he was claiming he doesn’t believe in it, he was against it, and he voted for it. So he’s not only a leftist, but he’s a leftist hypocrite, and it was pretending he’s a moderate and he never was.
He went along with the stimulus bill, which was the biggest fake in the world, with 800, 900 billion dollars that went nowhere, which was supposed to create all kinds of employment, that created nothing but misery all over the country. Everything is 10 times worse than it was before, except for the fact that it cost us 50 times the money. Then he went along with the estate tax, they were trying to cut the estate tax and make an exemption for the estate tax, and he went along with the vote to vote against the cut in the estate tax. There’s nothing more unfair in the history of the world than the estate tax.
Why is the whole press taken in by the fraud of this man? He’s a liar and a fake, and he putting on a pretention and a posture that has nothing to do with him. And the truth of the matter is, he made a whole speech – he loves America, he loves the people, but he doesn’t love Congress because Congress is not working. The problem is Congress is working, and it’s working his way, and it’s exactly the opposite of what it claims. If it was not working, it would be a great gift to America, and we would have saved the economy and saved the country.
You are a fake, a fraud and a liar. And stop blaming anybody else. It’s your fault, and you walked out of there because you’re a hypocrite and you’re posturing as a pretention of principle. You got no principle. You’re creating a fake and a fraud for the whole company. Everybody is buying it because the rest of the country must be idiots or stupid or it serves their purpose to believe it. I know the difference. You can’t fool me, and you can’t fool anybody else who has any intelligence. So stop lying to the people and put on that fake act in another country.
Yes, he told a sitting senator to leave the country.
Wow, indeed. CNS published those articles andthreeothers from CPAC -- all of which were fawning accounts of the speeches they covered, and none of which mentioned the anything bad. Like, for instance, JasonMattera's racially tinged, sneering attack on President Obama.
Newsmax Thinks John Gibson Is Still on Fox News Topic: Newsmax
A Feb. 18 Newsmax article by Dave Eberhart on an interview with John Gibson describes him as a "Fox News anchor" and "host of Fox News's 'The Big Story." In fact, "The Big Story" was canceled in March 2008.
Meanwhile, in the accompanying video, Kathleen Parker got it right, correctly describing Gibson as a "Fox News Radio host and former Fox News anchor."
A Feb. 17 CNSNews.com article by Karen Schuberg is thelatest to attack Obama adviser Harry Knox, this time asserting that Knox "has a record of making anti-Catholic statements."
But the statements by Knox that Schuberg provides, while repeatedly critical of the Catholic Church's stance of homosexuality, are hardly "anti-Catholic." They focus on a specific issue, and Knox is not quoted as denigrating the mission and tenets of the church outside of how it pertains to homosexuality.
By the same standard, Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid -- who has been bashing Catholics for being too liberal -- is "anti-Cahtolic."
And so is Dennis Miller, who ridiculed the ashes on Vice President Joe Biden's forehead for Ash Wednesday on "The O'Reilly Factor."
Somehow, we suspect that CNS won't be dedicating an article to Miller's and Kincaid's "anti-Catholic statements."
On top of that, Schuberg failed to disclose to her readers that her boss, Brent Bozell, has signed a letter demanding that "anti-Catholic bigot" Knox lose his job.
Kupelian's New Book On Its Way Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily started promoting WND managing editor David Kupelian's new book "How Evil Works" this week, kicking off with an appearance by him on Sean Hannity's radio show. Interestingly, it's not published by WND -- he found a "real" publisher for it, the Threshold Editions imprint of Simon & Schuster (run by Mary Matalin).
It appears to be a sequel to Kupelian's last book, "The Marketing of Evil," which, as we pointed out at the time, essentially blamed everything he doesn't like on '60s hippies in general and the Clintons in particular. The book contains factual errors (such as treating anti-Kinsey activist Judith Reisman as credible), and he appeared to have partnered with the right-wing legal group Alliance Defense Fund to hype a lawsuit that tangentally involved the book in order to boost sales.
"How Evil Works" appears to be more of the same. The list of subjects in the book includes:
What's really going on in Washington, D.C., today? (The Marxist strategy of manufacturing and exploiting crises is the central operating principle of the Obama presidency.)
How does terrorism really work? (It's intended not just to frighten and intimidate, but to reprogram our beliefs, per the Stockholm Syndrome.)
Why are big lies more believable than little ones? (Everyone tells little white lies, but not big, bold, audacious ones, and so they assume others wouldn't either – an assumption world-class liars use to their great advantage. More importantly, big lies possess an inherent power to upset us – triggering a key control mechanism.)
Why do we treat mental-emotional-spiritual problems like rage and depression with drugs? (We've been seduced by secular medical "experts" who tell us what all egos love to hear: "It's not your fault.")
Regarding that last subject: We're guessing he plans to rehash the case of Andrea Yates, who killed her five children. As we detailed in 2007, when he first wrote about it, he blamed Yates' condition on the antidepressants she was taking, failing to mention the fact that she and her husband were under the sway of a fundamentalist Christian minister, under whose influence Yates home-schooled the children and who harshly judged mothers he considered to be too permissive with their children, claiming that if the mother was going to hell, her children would too.
We'll try to get a hold of the book and see if Kupelian's incomplete, factually challenged analysis still stands.