The Storm

Oregon storm.jpg

 I came from the hills with a tear in my eye
The winter closed in and the crows filled the sky
The houses were burning the flames gold and red
The people were running with eyes filled with dread
Ah my James
They didn’t have to do this
We chased them for miles I had hate in my eyes
Through forest and moors as the clouds filled the skies
The storm broke upon us with fury and flame
Both hunters and hunted washed out in the rain
I know I can never return
To the time of hope when I was born
Let the strength of peace run through my hand

When we walk away from the stone’s roar
Then I will be afraid no more
And now I’m sure of where I stand
Let the strength of peace run through this land
And nobody smiled as we took back our own
While rain beat upon us the thunder did moan
And nobody smiled when we knew what was lost
We knew well enough only time proves the cost

Big Country, The Storm

Environmentalists Lied — People Died

Here’s a reprise of some articles I wrote on the net effects of Environmental Imperialism.

Environmental Imperialism

The environmentalists and anti-war activists in this country tend to be one and the same, and their mantra of the past few years has been “Bush Lied — People Died.”

Forget for a moment your normal reaction to their theory that Sadaam had zero weapons of mass destruction – yes, centrifuges for enrichment were found, over 500 sarin and mustard gas shells have been found, terrorist training camps were found, labs were found, more sarin was found, well, you get the idea. Just forget all that for a moment, and like the left pretend that it’s not real.

Instead, travel with me if you will for awhile: put yourself into their mindset, and know their reasoning and the genesis of it. To fully understand the moral inconsistency and logical contradictions of their positions on environment, energy development, and the war you must for short periods of time think as they do. Don’t worry — you can take a shower afterwards.

This is more important than you think — most folks think of leftists as daffy or nutty, I mean they just get silly and call people names. I used to think of them as not dangerous — how can you think of someone like Jeremy Rifkin as evil? An examination of facts and history reveals that their goofiness and good intent delivers unintended consequences that lead to death, destruction and misery however.

To do this right, you are going to have to suspend some of your critical thinking ability for some sentences and paragraphs below. The operative word for this excursion will be “doomed” as in “We’re doomed — We are all DOOMED!”

To help you achieve that please go to your kitchen cabinet now, get out he Reynold’s wrap and construct a tin-foil hat. This is a necessary implement to block out intrusive things such as critical thinking, reality, and reason; alternately if you are lazy and don’t want to construct a hat you can just take a lot of drugs instead like many in the left do when faced with reality.

Be creative with your hat, there will be a contest later! You can make it look like a crown, a pirate’s hat, a baseball cap, a viking’s helmet, a French beret, or you could shape it like a donkey’s head and spray-paint it grey. I’ll wait here until you are done.

Now that you are done making your doomhat, here’s how you use it to aid your understanding of our brothers and sisters from the left (see how I’m gently easing you into left-think here?):

When you see HATS ON! in the text, put on your “we’re all doomed” tinfoil hat.

When you see Hats off in the text, take your doom hat off (warning: Never wear your “we’re all doomed” tinfoil hat in the shower or to bed.)

The birth of the left’s positions on environment and energy were in the sixties, and the seminal works on the subject were these four publications:

  • The Population Bomb by Paul Ehrlich,
  • The Limits to Growth from the Club of Rome
  • Small is Beautiful by E.F. Schumacher
  • Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson

(Note: If you want those books to make sense or to match reality you must wear your tin-foil hat full-time as you read them, if you can manage that then you too can be an environmental imperialist!)

These books were the genesis of environmental crisis-mongering in the west, which in turn led to a halt of nuclear energy expansion, a halt of new energy infrastructure, a stop to logging in the west half of our country, a stop to oil and gas drilling, neo-luddism as manifested by the likes of the Unabomber and Earth Firsters, and finally Environmental Imperialism in the form of the Kyoto Treaty, and the current “Global Warming Crisis”.

The views and philosophies generated by these seminal works also indirectly caused wars, famine, disease, and deaths by the thousands.

Ok — so it’s not as humorous an article as you thought, bear with me and I will lighten things up again in a bit.

Ok here’s where we start: the first two books used faulty computer models and malthusian projections to declare that we were doomed because world population was going to outgrow energy and natural resource production, creating massive unfed demand, tyranny, mutation, and anarchy!


Jeremy Rifkin:

What are the prospects for the future? We are facing within the next three decades, the disintegration of an unstable world of nation-states infected with growthmania….This is what underlies the sudden, seemingly mysterious shortages and the widespread inflation that have plagued the world.

In the early 1970s, the leading edge of the age of scarcity arrived. With it came a clearer look at the future, revealing more of the nature of the dark age to come.

If you face what’s coming squarely, you may be able to ride the crest of the tidal wave that will engulf society, rather than be crushed beneath it.

For instance, it is prudent, we suggest, to stash a few cases of tuna in your basement (if you’re lucky enough to have a basement and the money for the tuna) because periodic protein shortages (or at least sky-high prices) seem certain to occur within the ten-to-twenty-year shelf-life of the cans.

Hats off

These words were written by Jeremy Rifkin in the early 70’s springboarding from the infamous report, Limits to Growth by the Club of Rome. As you can see since then resources have grown at a greater pace than population, and prices in terms of real dollars for resources have dropped.

The elaborate computer models and doomsday, Malthusian theories failed to account for two driving, primal forces of modern times: Science and Capitalism. As one outcome Jeremy lost a famous wager with Julian Simon on prices for natural resources in ten years, however some of the other outcomes were worse.

During the period after his book, we had the creation of OPEC, stagflation, high unemployment, and a third world debt crisis. Survivalists were creating cabins and stashes in the woods, and foreign economic policies were driven largely by paranoia. Recycling anything and everything became paramount, and xenophobia set in as the liberals worried about those starving brown, yellow, and black people coming to take what we had. We gave up in one war, and when Iran was overun by madmen we did nothing.

Environmentalists convinced many that energy in general was bad, that we had to use less of it because the “world was too much with us”, or we were too many for the world. Searching for new energy was just harming the environment, and useless in the end anyway.


Repeat after me:

We’re doomed! We are all Doomed!

Big Oil and Walmart will kill us all!

Capitalism is exploitive — it’s destroying the rainforests!

Birds and mice and rats and slime molds are more important than development!

Great horned owls need old growth timber to nest in!

Split Wood not Atoms!

Plutonium is the most poisonous substance on the planet!

The only physics I understand is ex-lax!

We’re Doomed! We are All doomed!

Hats off.

Sorry, I had to throw that in there so you can understand where the left was coming from during that time frame.

The result of this malthusian thinking was the environmental movement, a hoarding of of natural resources created by nations and industries trying to corner the last, remaing scraps of x before inevitable shortages set in. This created huge price spikes and actual shortages in places needing the energy and natural resources the most: developing nations.

Due to high energy prices and resource shortage spikes created by speculation and the false economics of scarcity in the seventies, many people in developing countries went without refrigeration, without air conditioning, without central heating, and without water treatment. Going without those things in large populations leads to thousands of deaths. Disease from bad food storage and poor sanitation is one of the leading killers in developing nations, along with deaths from weather extremes. These dooms affect mostly the very young and the aged.

Reflect a moment on the newscasts of death tolls associated with weather that you see here every winter when cold reaches extremes and every summer when heat reaches extremes. If people are dying in the energy-rich US due to extremes of temperature, what do you think is happening in lesser-developed nations where central heat and air is not the norm?

During the stagflation stall of the 70’s and early 80’s western investment offshore stalled as well, and environmental concerns over “saving the rainforest” protecting the environment, etc. got in the way of a lot of third world development. With development comes simple things like water purification and sewage treatment, after all those exploitive sweat shop owners have to drink water too you know. Here’s what comes of poor water purification and sewage treatment from Unesco:

Globally, diarrhoeal diseases and malaria accounted for, respectively, 4% and 3% of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost, and 1.8 and 1.3 million deaths in 2002. This burden is almost entirely limited to the under-five age group.

Diarrhoeal diseases
– Every day, diarrhoeal diseases cause some 6,000 deaths, mostly among children under five.
– In 2001, 1.96 million people died from infectious diarrhoeas; 1.3 million were children under five.
– Between 1,085,000 and 2,187,000 deaths due to diarrhoeal diseases can be attributed to the ‘water, sanitation and hygiene’ risk factor, 90 percent of them among children under five.
– With simple hygiene measures such as washing hands after using the toilet or before preparing food, most of these deaths are preventable.

– Over 1 million people die from malaria every year.
– About 90% of the annual global rate of deaths from malaria occur in Africa south of the Sahara.
– Malaria causes at least 300 million cases of acute illness each year.
– Mortality due to malaria increased by 27% between 1990 and 2002, going from 926,000 people to 1,272,000.
– The disease costs Africa more than US$12 million annually and slows economic growth in African countries by 1.3% a year.
– Sleeping under mosquito nets would be one simple but effective way to prevent many cases of malaria, especially for children under five.

Africa accounts for 97% of the world’s burden of onchorocerciasis (a parasitic infection), 88% of the world’s burden of malaria, 78% of its schistosomiasis burden, and 52% of its trachoma burden.

Schistosomiasis (bilharziasis)
– More than 200 million people worldwide are infected by schistosomiasis.
– 88 million children under fifteen years are infected each year with schistosomes.
– 80% of transmission takes place in Africa south of the Sahara.

South-East Asia accounts for 62% of the world’s burden of dengue, and 56% of its burden of lymphatic filariasis.

An estimated 119 million people are infected with lymphatic filariasis globally, 40 million of whom suffer from the chronic form of the disease.

Africa accounts for 97% of the world’s burden of onchorocerciasis (a parasitic infection), 88% of the world’s burden of malaria, 78% of its schistosomiasis burden, and 52% of of its trachoma burden.

So: environmentalists lied, children in third world countries died.

You will see more in later parts of this continuing series, stay tuned for more fun facts and figures about those daffy liberals. Right now it all appears to be a stretch, but if you stick with this series liberal intentions will knit themselves together through unintended consequences into an ugly, evil scarf like your grandma used to make.

For a complete and thorough fiskage of Jeremy’s works, please stop by Classical Values where I filched the quotes, or for the full Uber-Fisk treatment, as well as a good dose of optimism for our future, pick up Julian Simon’s book, The Ultimate Resource.

More to come in part II of this series, and in part II you will get the Tin-Foil hat contest rules. Right now I am preparing for my son’s wedding, and will be taking a break for a few days, see you all after Labor Day!

The Beauty of Ballot Initiatives

In the run up to the 2006 elections I talked about Ballot initiatives on key issues in states. These are great to get your core voters out as well as to fix things locally, usually preferrable to federal methods because that behemoth bureaucracy tends to fumble a lot.

The Beauty of Ballot Initiatives

Our country is a wonderful experiment — constitutionally provisioned to allow fifty separate states and governments to work in concert, but at the same time hold separate laws. After several years of liberal constitutional interpretations, some see no purpose to state laws that differ from federal. I say pish on that. The passengers on flight 93 didn’t call out for federal help and if they had it wouldn’t have been there. We shouldn’t expect all immigration problems to be solved by the Feds either.

Well-crafted state laws hold the high ground in bulk of decided cases across our land, but the operative words are “well-crafted”.  This is clearly demonstrated by the numbers, here’s a comparison from Wikipedia:

About 91% of people in prison at any given time got there via state rather than federal court convictions, including 99% of people on death row. Federal courts disproportionately handle white collar crimes, immigration related crimes and drug offenses (these crimes make up about 70% of the federal docket, but just 19% of the state court criminal docket). A large share of the violent crimes prosecuted in federal courts arise on Indian Reservations or federal property.

The trend is similar in civil cases. For example, in Colorado, in 2002, roughly 97% of all civil cases were filed in state courts and 89% of the cases filed in federal court were bankruptcies. In Colorado, in 2002, there were 79 civil trials in federal court (41 jury and 38 non-jury), and 5950 civil trials in state court (300 jury and 5650 non-jury).

So many more than 80 percent of cases are clearly decided by the relevant state laws. Of those carried to federal courts in the greater bulk of cases the state law stands. So state and local laws are still extremely important to the functioning of our great nation. In many cases, where federal law fails, state law prevails. If the feds don’t explicity take the power then that power does belong to the various states.

With that in mind there are several issues on the table of concern to conservatives at present, and it would be great to get ballot initiatives, propositions, and proposals on the ballots across the country. These would help get disheartened conservatives to the polls this November, and help ensure that we maintain control of the Senate and House.

Here are a few suggestions, and I would wager that one or another are of import to your state:

  1. Stricter restrictions of emminent domain, better definitions of “public good”, and well crafted tightening of the takings clause of the constitution. Our property rights are under attack, and it’s time to stop that.
  2. Immigration: while many localities refuse to support federal law because there is no federal incentive to do so, in the long term they harm themselves by importing poverty. It’s time to make sure that law enforcement agencies either enforce federal legislation on immigration, or tighten legislation for your state.
  3. Maybe you are a border state or city and think you need better fences than the Feds are providing?
  4. Enabling legislation for citizen groups to assist local authorities in case of emergency, and for illegal immigration processing. The daunting task of deportation isn’t getting the illegal arrested or deported, it’s the grueling work of processing the papers that make people declare it impossible to rid ourselves of the 8-12 million illegals in country right now. The minute men would probably be willing to help with that paperwork.
  5. Civil Defense used to do a great job until Carter got rid of them. The aftermath of Katrina tells you that you better not be fully dependent on the Feds in emergencies. Community defense corps, militias, or deputized volunteer emergency aid groups might be an idea whose time has come again.

We are six months out from mid-term elections, and over the past three months we severely disheartened many of our voters. If we hope to win in November then we better get cracking with some well-crafted initiatives.

After writing all of this I popped over to Jerry Pournelle’s site to catch up on sane reading for the week, and saw that we are well in agreement: Jerry Pournelle Wednesday view for some other excellent suggestions:

We all know how to control the borders. Just Do It. Allocate $1 million/mile/year to be paid to the local county sheriff for use in border control. Add $10 million/year for each border city. Now levy a $1000 fine (not ruinous, but discouraging) for employing an illegal immigrant for more than five days, and pay half of that to whomever turned in the employer to the local sheriff. The other half goes to the sheriff’s office. Add a Federal bonus for each sheriff, interior or border, say $1000 per illegal immigrant apprehended and delivered to the Federal authorities. Local sheriffs who don’t want to catch immigrants just for being immigrants will at least have a way to deal with crime coming to their attention. The whole thing won’t cost $20 billion a year, far less than the savings in social service. The result will be that apprehension of those currently here will be adjusted to local sentiments — counties where no one much cares will not have vigorous enforcement, but will have a way to cut down on criminal and gang activities; the borders will be closed effectively; citizens hiring someone at the local Home Depot won’t face the fines; and the attractiveness of crossing the border will diminish.

Of course this won’t be done.  — Jerry Pournelle

More on why you really need to go to the polls from Right Wing Nuthouse.

In Defense of Bush

I wrote this in May 2006 in response to the populist conservative BDS that was rampant at the time. I still stand by it now – we knew who we were electing. The quibbles I would have with the Bush administration would be not starting the surge sooner, and the policy of appeasement to Fatah that we are seeing lately.

Venting never accomplishes much except to make you feel better for the moment. It’s time to stop the chorus of catcalls aimed at George W. Bush — we knew where he stood on immigration when we voted him into office in 2000, and we knew where he stood when we voted him in again in 2004. Please don’t even think to pretend that you never heard him utter the words “guest workers” in his campaign speeches. If I didn’t know better, I would think that some Republicans have lost will to persevere and and are now trying with the democrats to get our president impeached. That will be the result if we continue this much longer.

I am happy that some Republicans are finding out what the democrats knew by mid-2002 — that once George W. Bush settles on a principle he does not waver from it. You and I might not agree with his stance on immigration, nor his stance on border protection. Crabbing about it is ineffective, and has potential to impact greatly more important priorities. We are nearing the fifth year in the global war on terror, and it’s time folks remembered what priorities are. If you need a reminder, please go visit the milblogs, or counterterrorism blog awhile.

I would like better border protection, and an end to importing poverty, and other things, but crabbing at Bush doesn’t aid the cause a whit. Just as the Maginot line was a joke, so too in the end will be a fence on the border without interior enforcement. Yes, we should do what we can, but we cannot afford to be distracted from the war, unappetizing as it is, nor can we afford to lose the senate or house. [Note: Advice not followed, we lost both in 2006.]

If you want to have impact, please focus your efforts instead on the Senate. Focus your efforts on your local law enforcement agencies, your state and city legislatures. They after all are the ones who have decided that enforcing federal drug and saftey belt law is important, but that enforcing immigration law is something they can ignore. It would be a wonderful thing to have ballot initiatives in most states this November making it manditory for state, city, and county law enforcers and public agencies to enforce our federal laws – right now they are being selective.

In the states where they choose not to do this they will suffer over time, but maybe you can help fix your state.

Work on your congress critter to enhance process and funding between local agencies and ICE, if we were spending as much money there as we are on drug intervention, then over the next two to three years we could easily decrease the illegal immigrant population by several millions just leveraging the local agencies and law enforcement resources in place. No matter how many ICE agents we put in place, they are never going to be as effective as your local agencies.

Dems and Rinos Kill Offshore Drilling

At at time when energy needs to be cheap and plentiful to stop quell rising tides of want and immigration Congress is lax on clearing paths to new energy. If energy is cheap and plentiful then countries just lately out of the ditch of third world poverty and despair will not fall back in. If energy is plentiful and cheap, then birth rates fall without programs. If energy is cheap and plentiful, education increases, lifespans lengthen, and wealth for all increases. This was from May of 06, we still are not drilling in ANWR, and we are not drilling offshore.

Dems and Rinos Kill Offshore Drilling

There was good news for our energy future earlier with GE opening a nuclear power plant factory, but now the RINOs and DEMs have killed offshore drilling again. Haven’t you had enough of this? It appears Congress wants both us and our children dependent on despots and tyrants for energy.

Please take a moment to write your congress-critter and give them a piece of your mind on the topic. One note: this ammendment killed offshore drilling so a yes vote means your congress critter was against offshore drilling. One of those things our elected representatives do to obscure the truth from us.

Death and Dystopic Vision

A diatribe against the paranoid delusions of Hollywood.

Death and Dystopic Vision

Hollywood producers, directors, writers are full of fear. They are born and bred in a media environment full of fatalistic visions seething fear and paranoia. Most of them believe that no matter what, we are all doomed anyway. They completely understand M Night Shyamalan movie The Village because they live in that village.

History denies that we are doomed by any problem or conflict, since most great problems to date have been overcome, but Hollywood still holds to doom and nihilism like a dear but vampiric friend.

Jason always rises again, pinhead is indestructible, and all movies of the future are post-apocalyptic dystopic visions of anarchy and tyranny taken to extremes. (e.g. Soylent Green, Escape from New York, The Terminator, Logan’s Run, The Running Man, etc. – before you point out Star Wars I will remind you that wasn’t made in Hollywood, and Spielberg and Disney movies are not really Hollywood product either.)

Over time throughout the world everything has on average gotten better for all people. On average across all of the world today people are healthier, live longer lives, have more free time, and get better education. Yes, there are pitfalls, times and places when evil takes root and grows at times like now. Reason, liberty, technology, and common sense always overcome evil in the end and it’s not a fairy tale for it has happened time after time.

The Chechs in Prague in 1968 must have thought it was the end of all time, and for a few brave souls who loved freedom more than life it was. The remaining Chechs persisted, and over time evil wore away against the steady wash of free ideas from afar, and the evil of the Soviet Empire has since fallen to dust.

The trials of the murderous communists who created the killing fields of Cambodia had barely started when the perpetrators died. The Holocaust the Jews faced in Europe during the second world war was overcome by the might of righteous anger and freedom.

Given time and persistent opposition, not continuous appeasement, even radical and extreme Islam will fade. We must of course confront it – like the monster in the closet much of its myth will fade and the fear will go as the light of reason shines upon it.

Reason isn’t a tool Hollywood uses to light their visions, instead they illuminate their vision with inky dinks focused at the next car chase or semi-nude woman. This is a dangerous vision, one that presents a false America to the gullible across the globe, and one that savages the societal perceptions of our children. Dictators and tyrants world-wide are known for taking snippets from Hollywood movies and projecting them to their people as the “real America”.

To movie makers the exception is the rule so we have movies chock full of explosions, car chases, gunshots and murder aplenty, all set against a backdrop of bars, ghettos, gang-violence, and prisons. Parading through that are the evil protagonists, the bad guys; who almost invariably turn out to be the authorities, the government, or capitalist institutions we trust.

So when movies portray our government, our schools, our courts, and our institutions as the bad guys because Hollywood’s creative typists are too unimaginative or too fearful to use real protagonists, what’s the world to think? What do our children think?

Think on this: other than in movies and on TV, when was the last time you saw a gun drawn or pointed at someone in anger, much less fired? If you are an officer of the law or in the military then you might have, but if you are an average American it’s unlikely that you have seen such a thing in person. Think again: when have you seen a car blow up? When have you seen a car chase outside of the news or movies? When was the last time you saw a bad cop? Again, in Hollywood it’s the exception that rules.

A very long time ago I remember watching a movie that was a parody of teenage slasher horror movies. The only scenes from it that I remember are the ones where a bearded wild-eyed man would enter in from screen right and say in a sepulchral, knowing voice “We’re doomed. We are all doomed!” He makes this entrance several times in the movie, once even catching a speeding van in the rain while peddling furiously on a bicycle to utter his dire warning in a side window and each time he appeared it was ludicrously humorous.

That is how I think of the extreme left, the extreme right, and that is how I think of Hollywood. Underneath it all they think that we can’t defeat Terrorism, they believe that we are all doomed. They each want you to hide in their village, and let the evil in the woods tell us what to wear, what to think, whether that’s a color to avoid, or whether it’s a chador on all women. Underneath it all they think you have to be bad to defeat bad. They think you should worry about your own government, your neighbors, and everything else under the sun. Instead you should be enjoying life, and should be entertained with bright visions of our future rather than dark evil views of the worst case scenarios. It’s easier to write the latter, and harder to write the former – but it’s the former that is really closer to reality.

The right is exemplified by Ron Paul, he’s like that wild-eyed man peddling furiously just to tell us that no matter what we are all doomed. The left has settled down from their panicked days of 2006-2008 but even they still have their loons of doom.

It’s time to put the fear aside; we’ve had a full decade of doom and in reality the future is bright — but only if we put the fears, the wild eyes, and the hand wringing aside for reason.

Immigration Retrospective

In May of ’06 I wrote this article on the immigration bill before Congress, and some of the things I worried about did come true. Immigration reform and fiscal carelessness became the two key issues that destroyed the marriage that Karl Rove built. More to come on that later, for now the immigration article.

“The line between good and evil runs through every human heart.” –Solzhenitsyn

Now that the Immigration bill is in committee and the senate has left the house to take the heat it’s time to assess best and worst-case scenarios. It’s unlikely at all that the amnesty program or “path to citizenship” will survive through the conference, but let’s for the moment assume it could get through and call that worst-case.

 What would best-case be then? That would be the straight house bill, with stricter border enforcement, and fines for business’ hiring illegal immigrants. Somewhere in the middle would be the house bill with an inclusion of a guest worker program.

All three solutions are problematic, and like any course taken each will present fresh challenges.

The electorate’s choice according to poll indications is for strict enforcement first  — however that full, strict enforcement would take significantly greater resources and taxes than we can contribute at just the federal level over the next 20 years. If local governments contribute to the effort the task becomes much less herculean, however there are some local governments which will fight this tooth and nail.

The middle course addresses the coming shortfall in workers as the baby-boomers retire, however what will be needed are more skilled, educated workers and fewer unskilled and uneducated workers. If clear measures are not taken to ensure that, then any guest worker program could cause more pain than worth. The solution of choice should not be to import poverty and dependency but should instead be to import valued workers who contribute much more than they burden. Otherwise the proposition doesn’t make sense for the US.

The last course of amnesty would prove disastrous to Republican control of the federal legislature, and would open the gates to further immigration law abuse. The american public is firmly opposed to this course.

Now for the worst news. None of these paths are sufficient to cure the problem. None of them will prevent us from meeting back on the same subject in five to ten years. This is a clear case where the Federal government is insufficient to the cause. Without state, city, and county support of the federal law, this bill becomes worthless paper as much as the last law was.

It is clearly in the citizen’s self-interest to ensure that measures are taken at all levels of goverment if we are to truly grapple and defeat this problem. It will take time, and concerted action by city, county, and state governments to deal with the current crop of Illegals. It will take all levels of government, process, and funding mechanisms between agencies to ensure continous enforcement over time.

If you want a secure, safe, country where opportunity is open to immigrants who purposefully choose to become American, then you need to continue to focus on all levels of government with this issue for the next two years. It is a bellweather issue, it is an issue that will last beyond the ‘08 elections, and it will have defining characteristics for all political parties.

One key thing to keep in mind: All Draconian measures will backfire. If harsh measures are taken against employers across the country all at once, then it would be a large blow to the economy, and many shareholder pocketbooks. This is the larger demon behind the curtain, the elephant in the room nobody speaks of. So penalties and measures against business’ employing illegals cannot crush them, however they must be enough to sting severely.

Beyond that lies the looming birth-rate gap — we are not replacing our population fast enough to fullfill the needs of the retirees we will have in a few years. I am not talking about the specious straw-man of immigrants contributing to social security. I refer instead to the large-scale maintenance needs of our physical infrastructure, and the new infrastructure needed to care for a large population of retirees.

If penalties against business are too harsh, then you will also find local law officials and municipalities unwilling to enforce the laws — besides the potential to impact local economies, they also have potential to lessen campaign contributions. If the penalties sting without maiming then they become enforceable.

Here’s why just walling the border will not work in and of itself, and why city, county, and state police and government agencies must help.

If treatment of the illegals is too harsh this will backfire as well. Many who feel firm now will quail before the hordes of MSM and liberal deportation horror stories to come. For make no mistake, in many cases enforcing this will drive a wedge into one of conservativism’s key values: Family Unity. Some families will be torn apart. The father or mother will be deported — so whatever the outcome of the conference committee two major conservative values will clash. With that said I refer you back to the quote at the start, and remind you that in the end all problems are solvable if one factor is patience, and the other persistence.

Vacation Comes Again, Aussiegirl on Immigration

The next couple of weeks I will be on vacation, and somewhat incommunicado where I am going. So you will be getting a replay of articles that I’ve written through the time I’ve blogged, somewhat of a best of. I will be back the second or third week of January.

Here’s one of my favorite bloggers, who now is deceased. If you haven’t read Aussiegirl’s blog, I do recommend that you visit. Her friends and family keep it going as a memorial to her.

From May 2006:

Aussiegirl points out the tough new French Immigration legistlation. Will it take a thousand cars burning a night here in America before we wake up like they did? I certainly hope we aren’t as foolish as the French.

Fear and Loathing in the Media

Since I wrote this, we’ve had the TNR / Scott Beachamp scandal, the false stringer from Iraq (Jamil Hussein, Bilal Hussein, take your pick,) Randi Rhodes fake mugging, and other journo slime revealed.

Americans witness the New York Times, Reuters, and CBS news with bemused horror, leviathans trapped in the primordal ooze of last century’s worldview while the nimble furry predators of the internet savage their dieing carcasses.

Death throes are always hideous but fascinating in a macabre way – while the media leviathans seem cornered many a hunter is fond of the maxim: a beast is most dangerous when it’s cornered

In today’s world of fragmenting journalism markets and shrinking news leviathans, it pays to scare thus the saying “if it bleeds it leads.”

Fear, Yellow journalism, sloth, and political ideology have combined to the point where you can no longer trust the Mainstream. Many will argue that it’s been that way a long time, however it’s grown worse lately.

Yesterday’s example of Reuter’s doctoring photos to make the scenes of damage from Beirut appear worse than they are is only the latest example.

This is because modern reporters are lazy ideologue sheep, easy tools for propagandists who know the bars they hang out at and who are willing to buy them a drink. Yes, that’s right — I am saying that most reporters are tools: drink-sluts who can be twisted very easily to any view by party aparatchniks. They are also lazy sods who know they can spend a bit more time at the bar rather than wearing out shoe leather or researching if they just take the handout the person buying the drink is pushing.

The problem with this is that we are at war, and the guy buying the drinks doesn’t have US interests in mind, the guy buying the drinks is aligned with murdering terrorists nowadays.

Once they’ve been fed the facts, the angle, the forged document, photo, or evidence the gullible sheep run back to the pen to bleat. Meanwhile the wolves grin.

The bleating sheep starts with the framing. In the old days who, what, when, where, were usually all in the first paragraph of most news stories. Now the first three paragraphs of many pieces are set up to tell you the “why” before any facts are presented, and “why” is subjective and emminently frameable.

Old school journalist’s believed in four things: research, shoe-leather, truth, and the five W’s – who, what, when, where, why. That was called realism, facts were presented from most important to least (imagine that, realism from a news agency!) In today’s mainstream the anti-establishment radicals of the sixties are now ensconced as the establishment, and the five W’s have been pared down to four, with Why becoming predominant.

Since “why” is always subjective to any observer, the “why” reporters come up with differs greatly from the “why” that an average person would reason from the base facts of any given story. The truth is also relative to today’s reporters, after all if you can’t deconstruct the story from the viewpoint of murdering terrorists, then you just aren’t morally relativistic enough to be a reporter and you’ll never get that pulitzer until you learn how.

So we have framing – framing gets you your Pulitzer, it gets you notice from your peers, and it now takes up the first three paragraphs of most stories to the detriment of real facts.

Framing is all about shaping and influencing the reader’s take on “why” by painting a gritty, angled view before presenting bare facts. It’s putting sheep’s clothing on wolves, it’s painting the media’s harlots. Framing is the modern reporter’s raison d’ etre –framing is the silk from sow’s ears.

My first encounter with this was in the form of a yellow journalism piece from McClatchey’s Sacramento Bee back in the 80’s. The piece was written with two things in mind: to fan the flames of environmental anti-nuclear fears, and to sell more papers.

The headline screamed something like “Nuclear Device Lost in Valley.” Everyone reading it assumed the worst of course, and the writer framed the story in terms of shutting down the local nuke plant, put in some anti-nuclear false factoids, and only by paging to three “continued in section x” continuations could you get to the final paragraph in the very back of the paper. In that final paragraph you found that it was a medical X-ray machine that had fallen off the back of a truck.

A perfect example of where this road leads modern reporters is the sad tale of Jayson Blair, now in rehabilitation. Then again, he could be out of rehabilitation now that his book is out, here’s a telling paragraph from the Publisher’s Weekly review of “Burning Down My Master’s House ” by Jayson Blair:

Public relations people, Blair reports,substituted theater tickets, free meals and drinks and, sometimes, even sex for mentions. Journalists at The Times were considered to have a weak spot for sex. Most startling, though, are Blair’s accusations of shoddy journalistic practices condoned by Times management. The message was clear: getting it right was not as important as getting it fast. He contends that the Times allowed star reporters to slap their byline on stories written in part or wholly by stringers and freelancers, and he exposes what he calls “toe-touch” reporting: A toe-touch was a popular and sanctioned way at the newspaper to get a dateline on a story by reporting and writing it in one location, then flying in simply so you could put the name of the city where the news was happening at the top of the story. It is hard to imagine how many thousands of dollars are spent on “toe-touch datelines” each month at The Times. Blair also accuses the newspaper of “no-touch” reporting. 

In “toe-touch” reporting from Iraq the reporter is whisked from green-zone to stage-set by local stringer or photog who just might happen to have a gilt framed photo of Osama or Sadr hanging above his bed at home, in “no touch” reporting he never leaves the hotel bar in the green zone, but just dutifully writes down everything the stringer says.

To wrap this up, below is a paragraph from that demonstrates the struggles that modern journalists have with the concept of objectivism, and it’s the bow that should seal the framing of this opinion piece nicely:

The point has some important implications. One is that the impartial voice employed by many news organizations, that familiar, supposedly neutral style of newswriting, is not a fundamental principle of journalism. Rather, it is an often helpful device news organizations use to highlight that they are trying to produce something obtained by objective methods. The second implication is that this neutral voice, without a discipline of verification, creates a veneer covering something hollow. Journalists who select sources to express what is really their own point of view, and them use the neutral voice to make it seem objective, are engaged in a form of deception. This damages the credibility of the whole profession by making it seem unprincipled, dishonest, and biased. This is an important caution in an age when the standards of the press are so in doubt.

The real point is that framing only belongs in opinion pieces, but never in news stories. Doctored photos are good as political satire, but not as photojournalism. Fake documents are perfect for The ONION, but not for Sixty Minutes.

One day the struggling leviathans might get that figured out, but until they do there’s a nation full of fact checkers out here and in the end we are all smarter than the average journalist.