Tuesday, 06 November 2007

MEDIA BIAS AND THE NEWARK STAR-FUDGER...ER, LEDGER

Ken Berwitz

Earlier this afternoon I went to have my car serviced.  There was a newspaper for customers in the waiting room.  This being New Jersey, it happened to be the Newark Star-Ledger. 

On the first page of the "New Jersey" section I was drawn to an article which talked about how much turnover there was about to be in the state legislature.  The second paragraph started "Retirements and resignations, several of which were prompted by criminal investigations, are about to produce the largest turnover in decades".  That is the one and only reference to criminality in the article.

I admit that I automatically began to assume that all or most of the criminal investigations were among Democrats.  Why?  Because if they were Republicans, the Star-Ledger would surely have said so.

But, I reasoned,  "Be fair, you don't know that for a fact" and fought off my urge to make such an assumption. 

However, I then turned to the jump page and found a chart of who retired for what reason.  The chart taught me that, sometimes when you assume, you DON'T make an ass of u and me.

There are 30 state senators and assembly members retiring.  Of them, 17 are Democrats and 13 are Republicans.  A total of 5 among these 30 retirees are resigning either under indictment (2), because of being the target of a federal investigation (1) or because of being arrested for extortion (2).

With a 17-13 majority of Democratic retirees, this would proportionately work out to 3 Democrats and 2 Republicans.  But that wasn't the way of things.

In fact, all 5 were Democrats.  No Republicans at all.

So now I'm thinking to myself, "Hey, the article said there were several retiring due to investigations.  But 5 out of 30 is more than several.  And the article made no mention of the party affiliation of these alleged miscreants, despite the fact that every one, without exception, was a Democrat".

And then?  Then I felt completely comfortable. I was in New Jersey and this was the Newark Star-Ledger.  The story was being reported just as I would expect them to report it.  Everything was in perfect harmony.

New Jersey and media bias?  Perfect together.


WHEN OHIO VOTE-RIGGING ISN'T NEWS

Ken Berwitz

Remember when the Democratic propaganda apparatus was assuring us that John Kerry really won the presidential election of 2004, and that Ohio's vote count was rigged?  keith olbermann alone spent months reciting his mantra on this "story" virtually every day.

Maybe you don't remember that they conducted a recount, and the result was that John Kerry gained a total of 17 votes while George Bush lost 6.  That is a turnaround of 23 in a state that Bush won by over 118,000 votes.  Not what you'd call first page news.

But let's be fair;  the Democratic paranoidosphere did have a point about attempts to rig the election.  They just had the wrong party.

Here is a fun little article from Warner Todd Huston of www.newsbusters.org, which spells out the details:.

2 Convicted for Vote Fraud in Ohio: No Mention That They're Democrats

By Warner Todd Huston | November 6, 2007 - 05:02 ET

We have seen over and over again how the MSM (and the AP in particular) can't seem to force themselves to mention the party affiliation of some elected official accused and/or convicted of a crime if that official happens to be a Democrat. Now the MSM has expanded that from elected officials even to party workers. The AP reports a story on two Democrat election officials convicted of recount rigging and neglect of official duties for their actions during the 2004 elections but, for some hard to determine reason, few if any news sources are mentioning that these two are Democrats.

Jacqueline Maiden and Kathleen Dreame have pleaded guilty to the charges after an aborted conviction from last January, the original trial having been granted a retrial on grounds not connected with the pair's actions.

Their crime is a bit hard to explain, but what it come down to is that they committed fraud with the 2004 ballot recount procedures that amounted to their attempt to get out of following the proper procedure to conduct the recount.

Most of the news reports take great pains to say that the convicted operatives' actions "weren't for political purposes," but even if that were true does that make legitimate not mentioning that they are Democrat Party election officials in Cuyahoga County, one of Ohio's most Democratic counties?

Again, we have to ask, what would these news sources do if these two guilty officials were Republican election workers? Who can doubt that the party affiliation would have led the reportage of this crime?

So, no party affiliation for Maiden and Dreame from either UPI, the AP, or the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The closest we get is an oblique reference to the claim that the pair's actions didn't help John Kerry in 2004.

Special prosecutor Kevin Baxter did not claim the actions affected the outcome of the election. Democratic Sen. John Kerry Kerry gained 17 votes and President Bush lost six in the county recount.

The fact that Kerry gained 17 votes in the recount would not have been mentioned had these two not been Democrat Poll workers, the suspicion being that they fraudulently created Kerry's gain out of thin air. But surmising this point takes some thought and is not obvious on it's surface. So, even the recitation of this point does not explain in a straight forward manner that these two women were Democrats.

No, what we have here is another game of hide-the-Democrat from the readers. Another in a long list of stories that will seemingly never end..

I especially enjoy where it says that the two Democratic poll workers, both convicted of recount rigging, weren't doing it for political purposes.  Sure. And when I was 16 years old and tried to get my hand inside my date's bra, I wasn't doing it for sexual purposes either.

I have blogged over and over again about media's disinclination to mention party affiliation when the people guilty of corrupt or illegal actions are Democrats.  But this one is especially galling, given the amount of coverage media gave to the nonsensical claim that Ohio's vote was rigged against john kerry.

But listen to them squeal like pigs being poked, if you call them biased.


THE OUTING OF MSNBC

Ken Berwitz

With Chris Mouthews on twice a day - once at 5PM and again at 7PM - and keith olbermann on at 8PM, MSNBC is second to none in its dedication to the liberal left.  But the network has, until now, at least tried to create the pretense that it is neutral.

You can almost hear them saying "Look, the hard left in this country thinks Matthews is a RIGHT winger, don't they?".  And within this narrow (and I do mean narrow) context they have a point.  Mouthews is despised by the daily kos and crooksandliars crowd, because he is anti Bush only 85 - 90% of the time, not 100%.  In their strange and distant world, that makes him a right winger. 

In the real world, however, Mouthews is anything but.  He is a lifelong Democrat who worked for a number of different Democratic politicians, most notably as a senior operative for then-Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill.

By contrast, no one challenges olbermann's left wing credentials, unless there is a maoist somewhere out there who thinks he should be able to find a way to go left more than 100% of the time.

So what is MSNBC now doing to answer the skepticism that it has devolved into little other than a doctrinaire left wing venue?  Why they've decided to try and get Rosie O'Donnell into their prime time lineup, that's what.

You think I'm kidding, right?  You're saying to yourself "nah, Berwitz is off the deep end on this one, because if MSNBC adds Rosie O'Donnell to Mouthews and olbermann, there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that anyone could ever consider the network neutral.  And since MSNBC's parent company is NBC, it would reflect on them as well.  This is impossible.  I hope Ken gets back on the wagon and sobers up because he must be on some kind of a bender to write something that ridiculous"

Oh yeah?  Well read this, courtesy of the New York Times:

Rosie ODonnell in Talks to Join MSNBC

Rosie ODonnell, who abruptly left The View on ABC last spring after drawing attention and ratings for her opinions on everything from the Iraq war to her co-hosts, is in serious discussions to return to television atop a new soapbox: a prime-time show on the cable news channel MSNBC, according to executives on both sides of the negotiations who have been briefed directly.

Under one scenario, Ms. ODonnell would be given the 9 p.m. slot each weeknight on MSNBC, where she would go head-to-head with two heavyweights of cable talk: Larry King Live on CNN and Hannity & Colmes on Fox News. Her show would replace Live with Dan Abrams, a relatively low-rated program that only recently replaced Scarborough Country, which was also little-watched.

But NBC executives, speaking on condition of anonymity because the conversations are continuing, cautioned that there were many elements of a potential deal yet to be resolved. These include when such a show would appear, what Ms. ODonnell would be paid, and whether she would also be seen on the NBC broadcast network.

Ms. ODonnell alluded somewhat cryptically to a possible new job in a speech she gave at a book-signing on Sunday night in Miami, according to a report that appeared on a website, lyingonthebeach.com. A podcast on that site described Ms. ODonnell as saying that she would soon begin competing against the guy with the suspenders and the long, long face, an obvious reference to Mr. King.

NBC has been courting Ms. ODonnell in recent months for any number of jobs, including host of a possible new game show. .

NOW who's into liquor cabinet?

Let's see... if Rosie ups with MSNBC, they will have a three hour stretch from 7PM to 10PM that parodies one of olbermann's daily features.  Instead of the worst, worster and worstest person in the world (a title usually reserved for Mr. olbermann's real demons, the guys on Fox who make mincemeat of him, Mouthews and Dan Abrams in the ratings), we'll have the left, lefter and leftest show hosts.  Mouthews, olbermann and - sure to overtake him based on her lunatic comments regarding terrorists and 9/11 - O'Donnell.

Hey, why stop there?  Maybe they can exhume William Kunstler for the 10PM slot.  Not only would it finish the leftward continuum through prime time but, even though he is dead 12 years, Kunstler's corpse would probably generate more ratings than what they have on now.


THE DEMOCRATS' ACHILLES HEEL

Ken Berwitz

Here, courtesy of the Washington Times, are the data.  Read them and see why, if the numbers are accurate, Democrats are in trouble on this issue.  Big, big trouble.

 

And that includes Ah-nuld.  Even if he did veto the DREAM act.

Put another way, if Governor Schwarzenegger aspires to the presidency, it will just have to remain a DREAM.


MEDIA'S ACQUIESCENCE TO GEORGE SOROS

Ken Berwitz

The following piece from www.sweetness-light.com is long.  For that I apologize.

It is also fact-filled, eye-opening and and brilliant.  For that I do not apologize.

The folks at sweetness-light take apart the claims about  "waterboarding" as a method of torture that we have all been reading for weeks, months, even years.  It exposes a key source of this characterization and takes him apart.  By so doing, it also takes apart the media, which swallowed this BS hook. line and sinker, presumably because it came from a left wing site - one supported and nurtured by the USA hating convicted inside trader, George Soros.

Here is the piece - with bold print supplied by sweetness-light, not me:.

Media Matters Cites Soros Advocate On Torture

November 5th, 2007

From Clinton/Soros taxpayer-supported charity Media Matters:

Fox News correspondent on his on-air waterboarding: a pretty efficient mechanism to get someone to talk and then still have them alive and healthy within minutes

Summary: Fox News Steve Harrigan underwent what he described as three phase[s] of the controversial interrogation technique known as waterboarding, on camera, concluding that the technique is a pretty efficient mechanism to get someone to talk and then still have them alive and healthy within minutes.

Psychologists have asserted that such forms of near-asphyxiation can lead to long-term psychological damage.

This last sentence is touted by Media Matters (and now other media outlets) as somehow a debunking of the accuracy of Mr. Harrigans experience.

But leaving aside that Mr. Harrigan can probably judge whether he has suffered long-term psychological damage, lets look at the authority Media Matters is citing for their quote.

For while Media Matter twice claims that psychologists have asserted this technique can cause long term damage, Dr. Allen S. Keller is the only psychologist they cite.

As Media Matters goes on to report, the relevant quote is from a nearly three year old article from the New Yorker:

Outsourcing Torture

The secret history of Americas extraordinary rendition program.
by Jane Mayer February 14, 2005

According to the Times, a secret memo issued by Administration lawyers authorized the C.I.A. to use novel interrogation methodsincluding water-boarding, in which a suspect is bound and immersed in water until he nearly drowns.

Dr. Allen Keller, the director of the Bellevue/N.Y.U. Program for Survivors of Torture, told me that he had treated a number of people who had been subjected to such forms of near-asphyxiation, and he argued that it was indeed torture. Some victims were still traumatized years later, he said. One patient couldnt take showers, and panicked when it rained. The fear of being killed is a terrifying experience, he said.

Media Matters again cited Dr. Keller in an earlier (and very similar) article about waterboarding only a couple of days ago:

On CNN, West asserted waterboarding is not torture, claimed, [Y]ou wake up feeling fine the next day

Fri, Nov 2, 2007 4:57pm ET

Summary: On CNN, Washington Times columnist Diana West said: What I would like to see is people really start thinking about what is torture. If putting people into human-size shredders, as Saddam Hussein did, is torture, then waterboarding, which my senior military sources tell me you wake up feeling fine the next day it is not torture.

However, in congressional testimony, Allen S. Keller, M.D., director of the Bellevue Hospital Center/New York University Program for Survivors of Torture, stated, To think that abusive methods, including the enhanced interrogation techniques [in which Keller included waterboarding], are harmless psychological ploys is contradictory to well established medical knowledge and clinical experience. Keller stated of waterboarding specifically, Long term effects include panic attacks, depression and PTSD, and said it poses a real risk of death.

Wait, theres more.

For Media Matters has also cited the good doctor Dr. Keller as an authority on the dangers and long-term effects of water-boarding here and here and here and here.

But one has to ask exactly how many of Dr. Kellers patients have actually been waterboarded?

According to Wikipedia, besides the US in the war on terror, the Khmer Rouge would appear to be the last practitioners of this arcane art, circa 1974-1979. (Dr. Keller by his own admission only began to practice 15 years ago.)

And, lest we forget, we have now been authoritatively told by the self-same reporters who first exposed this odious practice (in a report that MM quotes) that only three Al Qaeda detainees have been waterboarded by the US during the war on terror.

And one of these three was no less a personage than Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. And it is probably a safe assumption that the other two are also still in US custody.

So who else is waterboarding people in this day and age? And how does Dr. Keller know that these miscreants used the CIAs technique?

In fact, note that the New Yorker article misrepresents water-boarding  as a practice in which a suspect is bound and immersed in water until he nearly drowns. How come the expert Dr. Keller did not correct their misunderstanding?

Moreover, has Dr. Keller made these torturers publicly known? Has he reported his tortured victims to Amnesty International or any other human rights organizations for redress?

If so, where are the records? Lets see them. If not, why not? The doctor himself seems to be very shy about producing them.

For oddly enough the doctor did not produce any water-boarding victims or even their histories when he testified before the US Senate back in September. (His opening statement can be found in this pdf file.)

Here what Dr. Keller said about water-boarding:

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Hearing on U.S. Interrogation Policy and Executive Order 13440

September 25, 2007

Water-boarding

Water-boarding or mock drowning, where a prisoner is bound to an inclined board and water is poured over their face, inducing a terrifying fear of drowning clearly can result in immediate and long-term health consequences. As the prisoner gags and chokes, the terror of imminent death is pervasive, with all of the physiologic and psychological responses expected, including an intense stress response, manifested by tachycardia, rapid heart beat and gasping for breath.

There is a real risk of death from actually drowning or suffering a heart attack or damage to the lungs from inhalation of water. Long term effects include panic attacks, depression and PTSD. I remind you of the patient I described earlier who would panic and gasp for breath whenever it rained even years after his abuse.

Here is how he described that patient four pages earlier:

One patient of mine, for example, who was repeatedly submerged in a vat of water while being interrogated, years later still felt as if he was gasping for air whenever he showered or went out in the rain.

So when testifying before Congress the only example of long-term psychological damage from water-boarding Dr. Keller could cite was a man who was afraid to shower or go out into the rain?

And, you will note, its a man who was not even water-boarded according to Dr. Kellers own definition of the term.

Finally, we come to the question of exactly who is this Dr. Keller anyway? Well, it turns out that Dr. Keller just happens to be a Soros Advocacy Fellow.

We will let the Soros flagship, the Open Society Institute, explain exactly what that entails:

Soros Advocacy Fellowship for Physicians

Between 1999 and 2004, OSI operated the Soros Advocacy Fellowship for Physicians to support a cadre of physician advocates with expertise in achieving system or policy social change at the local, state, and national level.

The program was designed both to advance advocacy as a core professional value for physicians and to enable doctors to develop or enhance skills that they could use in advocating for their patients and communities.

Thirty-two fellows in thirteen states received fellowships to implement projects in partnership with advocacy organizations addressing issues such as Medicaid coverage and enrollment, health care access, pediatric oral health, environmental hazards, and high quality educational opportunities for young children.

And and advocate he most certainly is. Indeed, this is not the first time he has held forth boldly on the subject of torture.

In fact, Dr. Keller was on-hand for the New York Times when they were addressing their favorite subject, Abu Ghraib.

Again, from the archives of the Soros flagship, the Open Society Institute:

Soros Advocacy Fellow Allen Keller Quoted in New York Times Article Once Tortured, Now Tormented by Photos

May 15, 2004

Dr. Allen Keller, an alumni of the Soros Advocacy Fellowship, was quoted in a May 15, 2004 New York Times article that discussed the impact of the pictures from Abu Ghraib on survivors of torture in the United States.

The torture survivors profiled in the article spoke of how the pictures from Iraq vividly transported them back to their own experiences of abuse. Many of the survivors are also grappling with the United States governments justification for the techniques used to extract information at Abu Ghraib.

Note how Dr. Keller also sees long-term psychological damage upon the victims of Abu Ghraib. Indeed, even on those who just saw the photos from Abu Ghraib.

This is a theme Dr. Keller espoused early and often, including in the Autumn 2006 issue of Perspectives In Biology And Medicine:

Torture in Abu Ghraib

Keller AS.

Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, USA. allen.keller@med.nyu.edu

Iraqi detainees subjected to torture and mistreatment at Abu Ghraib prison may continue to suffer from significant physical and psychological consequences of their abuse.

This article reports two cases of Iraqi individuals allegedly tortured at Abu Ghraib. Detailed forensic evaluations were conducted approximately one year after their abuse in accordance with international guidelines. The findings of these evaluations substantiate their allegations of torture and confirm the profound health consequences of torture.

Furthermore, these cases support assertions that abuse of prisoners was not limited to being perpetrated by guards, but also occurred systematically in the context of interrogations. These cases also raise concerns about inadequate medical care for Iraqi detainees.

Kind of sounds familiar, doesnt it? Mr. Soros cant say he hasnt gotten his moneys worth of advocacy from Dr. Keller.

And in case anyone was wondering, here is the official George Soros position on the confirmation of Mr. Murkasey as US Attorney General, via his Open Society Institute:

Major Human Rights Organizations Urge Senate to Reject Mukasey

November 1, 2007

Four major human rights organizations today called on the Senate to reject the nomination of Judge Michael B. Mukasey to serve as Attorney General. In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights, Human Rights First and the Open Society Policy Center said that a nominee who cannot say simply and without hesitation that waterboarding is a form of torture does not deserve to be Attorney General.

Youll note that each of the groups listed are Soros fronts. (Dr. Keller is also a member of the Physicans For Human Rights.)

But how odd that Media Matters, a group also funded by George Soros, neglected to mention Dr. Kellers similar connections to Mr. Soros and his (and their) obvious conflict of interest.

After all, Media Matters hold themselves out to be the fact-checkers of the right-wing medias echo-chamber:

Media Matters - Our Mission - Who We Are

Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

Launched in May 2004, Media Matters for America put in place, for the first time, the means to systematically monitor a cross section of print, broadcast, cable, radio, and Internet media outlets for conservative misinformation news or commentary that is not accurate, reliable, or credible and that forwards the conservative agenda every day, in real time.

Using the website www.mediamatters.org as the principal vehicle for disseminating research and information, Media Matters posts rapid-response items as well as longer research and analytic reports documenting conservative misinformation throughout the media. Additionally, Media Matters works daily to notify activists, journalists, pundits, and the general public about instances of misinformation, providing them with the resources to rebut false claims and to take direct action against offending media institutions.

Of course Media Matters is nothing more than a modern day ministry of propaganda. And quite a shabby one at that.

Worse still, they seek to silence anyone who dares to challenge their doctrines or their masters.

Suppose a Richard Mellon Scaife supported rightwing site put out a piece extolling the value of waterboarding, using the same quality of sourcing that Media Matters is using here.  Do you think media would report it, other than to attack and debunk it?  You know the answer to that and so do I.

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.

 


FAKE HATE CRIMES

Ken Berwitz

Remember that incident, weeks ago, when a noose was placed on a Black professor's door at Columbia University Teacher's College? 

Remember the outrage?  The protests?  The boiling-over level of activism it spawned?  The instant-activists, like al sharpton getting maximum TV time over it?

Remember the 56 hours of video tape - six different cameras, that could have shown who placed the noose there?  Remember that Columbia University first REFUSED to provide police with those tapes, but then did so  (pardon my cynicism) after holding them long enough to look them over and do what they wanted with them? 

Well, what happened to those tapes and why has this story been summarily buried?  Given what they were looking for, 56 hours of tape could have been gone through in less than one day***

While we are waiting (and waiting and waiting and waiting) for news about this supposed hate crime, please read the following piece, from www.littlegreenfootballs.com, and think about what it could mean to the Columbia incident:.

Another Fake 'Hate Crime' at GWU

Tue, Nov 6, 2007 at 8:14:30 am PST

The case of those mysterious swastikas that have been appearing at George Washington University has been revealed as another phony hate crime: George Washington University Student Who Complained of Swastikas Admits Drawing Them.

WASHINGTON Officials at George Washington University say a student who complained of swastikas being drawn on a dorm room door has admitted responsibility for them.

University spokeswoman Tracy Schario says campus police found out what happened at Mitchell Hall by using a hidden camera. The student admitted responsibility today.

Another student was arrested over the weekend and charged with drawing the Nazi symbols and racial slurs on the doors of different dorm rooms at New Hall. That suspect has been barred from campus.

Both students will go through GWs judicial system to determine whether any D.C. or federal laws were violated. The university is not disclosing name of either student. .

Sad to say, there have been many cases like this in recent years;  cases in which a student or faculty member has intentionally created a phony hate crime to stir racial tensions, get personal attention or for some other reason(s).

Is that what happened at Columbia?  Is that why the school held the video tapes long enough to look through them?  Is this a hoax? 

I don't know the answers to those questions.  But every day that goes by leads me to think the answers just may be "Yes", "Yes" and "Yes".

-----------------------------------------------------

***Since all they are looking for is when the noose was placed on the door, those 56 hours can easily be abbreviated.

One way is to run each tape at fast speed and stop the tape when they see the noose appear.  Another is to fast-forward halfway through the tape and note whether the noose is there.  If it is, go back.  If it isn't, fast forward some more and repeat until you find it. 

Zeke^ Hi Ken, To search through 56 continuous hours of tape to locate when the noose was placed is a trivial exercise... should take less than an hour. The technique is known as a "Binary Search", and involves a process of 'halving the data": Look at the halfway point (28 hrs). If there is no noose, then consider only the latter half of the tapes. Look at the NEW halfway point (28 +14 hrs = 42 hrs). If there is no noose, consider only the last quarter. Repeat this process 4 more times, and you have 105 minutes of tape left. Four more times, and you have less than 15 minutes of tape to examine. Placing a noose is highly offensive. No Noose is Good Noose. (11/08/07)

Ken Berwitz Zeke ---- Thanks for the comment. I have no doubt that the two ways of doing it I came up with are not the most efficient, and that there are certain to be other even quicker ways. The point, of course, is that there is absolutely no doubt the tape has already been gone through. They either found out how the noose got there or that part of the tapes was removed. Either of these two possibilities is news. But we don't see any news, do we? That, to me, means it almost certainly was a hoax. And if it was a hoax, media can't say so, because, hey, what about all that righteous outrage? We can't insult those ivy league students or al sharpton, can we? (11/08/07)


SELECTED LIBERAL DISASTERS

Ken Berwitz

As you can see below, the title is not mine, it is part of the title used by Jeffrey Lord of www.americanspectator.com, to enumerate some of the awful positions taken by liberals in this country over the years and their equally awful consequences.

There is a logical rebuttal to this - i.e. what about the conservative disasters (and they certainly exist)?  My answer to it is that, yes, they do exist, but we read about those disasters in the media every day.  When do we read about the liberal ones?  How often are liberal disasters talked about?

Well, in this blog the incidence is 100%.  Here they are, courtesy of Mr. Lord:.

A History of Liberal Disasters
By Jeffrey Lord
Published 11/6/2007 12:07:43 AM
It's a long list.

Add Hillary Clinton's endorsement of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants ("it makes sense") to a very long list.

The list? A seemingly unending series of bad policy proposals and loopy values that liberals have championed during the course of decades. What all of these subjects have in common is that they upended common sense in favor of a fit of moral superiority and emotional feel-goodism. They are a history of liberal disasters. All backfired or were proved dead wrong. Sometimes they were outright lethal. Collectively they are part and parcel of the real reason the once honorable term "liberal" has won such disdain from so many Americans when it isn't being hooted out of a serious policy discussion with laughter. And lying just under the surface of all the current crop of polls that predict a Democrat victory in the race for the White House is the lurking reality that any candidate who makes a point of flying the liberal flag stands a serious chance of being defeated outright. Why, after all, do you think Senator Clinton hemmed and hawed her way through the driver's license issue in last week's debate?

Here's just a handful of my personal favorites:

* Forced School Busing
The idea: to raise the education level of blacks by forcibly integrating urban schools with white kids who lived in "segregated" neighborhoods. The result? Disaster. School enrollment in Boston plummeted, the percentage of whites dropping from 65% to 28%. In one urban area after another across the country where forced busing was instituted amidst angry turmoil "white flight" to the suburbs took off, igniting a surge of what liberals now moan as "suburban sprawl." And education? A study by the National Institute of Education could not find a single study that showed black kids were better off as a result. Prominent liberal advocates, of course, sent their own kids to private schools. Slowly, painfully, most busing programs wound to a stop. But the damage -- to the kids, to the neighborhoods and to the cities -- was done

* Welfare
The idea: The Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) was established in 1935 with the objective to provide welfare relief for needy families and their children. The result? It wound up promoting baby bearing-for-benefits scams, smothered incentive to work, destroyed marriages and created what came to be called a "culture of dependency" that helped devastate the family structure, particularly in the black community. The election of a Republican Congress in 1994 forced the issue to the front, with Speaker Newt Gingrich making it point three of the ten-item Contract with America. Conservatives insisted on a five year lifetime limit to be on the welfare rolls, and a system that led from welfare to work. Only after vetoing the resulting bill twice, as his presidential re-election campaign loomed, did President Clinton sign the conservative reforms. The consequences were dramatic. Welfare rolls plummeted by 57%, costs fell significantly, the work requirement was a success and child poverty rates for African-American families dropped sharply. But again, the damage done before reform was considerable.

* Luxury Tax
The idea: Pushed by liberals in a 1990 tax bill, the idea was to tax big-ticket luxury items and increase government revenue. The result? Buyers of luxuries such as yachts, jewelry, furs and cars stopped buying them in the United States. Among others, American carpenters, electricians, fiberglass and metal workers lost their jobs. Boat building businesses went bankrupt. And the revenue? A projected gain of five million in taxes resulted in an actual loss of $24 million. The luxury tax was finally repealed, but not soon enough to undue the damage to hundreds of thousands who lost their jobs or businesses.

* Alternative Minimum Tax
The idea: Enacted in 1969, the AMT was to disallow deductions and exemptions in computing tax liability. Why? There were 155 -- 155! -- "rich" households who were deemed by liberals to have too many tax breaks, thus meaning they paid little or no income tax. The AMT would supposedly cure this. The result? The Congressional Budget Office now says that 34% of taxpayers earning between $50,000 and $100,000 will have to pay the tax -- which is another way of saying that liberals believe if you earn $50,000 you are rich. That 155 taxpayers has now expanded to 11% of all taxpayers. The CBO also says that if this is not changed by 2010, nearly every married taxpayer earning between $100,000 and $500,000 will be forced to pay the AMT. Predictably, after all the unintended consequences have kicked in once again, liberals in Congress are now frantically calling for repeal to avoid the wrath of their constituents.

* Bringing Peace to Vietnam and Cambodia
The idea: Withdrawing from Southeast Asia completely in 1975 would bring "peace" to the people of Vietnam and Cambodia. The result? A tsunami of murder, concentration camps and desperate "boat people" engulfed the area, not only not bringing peace to the region but resulting in what is now recorded as "the killing fields." The subject usually brings forth a deafening if not embarrassed silence from liberals when they are not busy, in face of massive evidence to the contrary, in denying the result of their idea altogether.

* Free Love
The idea: If it feels good, went this old idea that was dusted off at the end of the 1960's do it. Promiscuity? No problem. Result? The AIDS epidemic, a stunning rise in sexually transmitted diseases. Oops.

* Drugs
The idea: Turn on and drop out. Glamorized by the media, hey man, this was supposed to be great stuff! Let's party! The result: when the party was over for all those cool white kids from the sixties America woke up to a generation of drug addicts who had either died of overdoses or gotten hooked for a lifetime on any number of drugs. It drove up crime rates and the cost of health care, ruining families and wreaking havoc in the black community. Way to go.


TOO SUM UP: Whether it was education policy, welfare policy, economic policy, foreign policy or social policy, time after time after time what became the guiding lights of modern American liberalism proved to be utter disasters. Obvious consequences were ignored and unintended consequences were rampant. All too frequently people who were supposed to be helped -- African-Americans, the poor, the Vietnamese and Cambodians, women, the young -- were severely harmed. Most disturbingly, the proponents of these policies seemed to simply shrug their shoulders at the results and move straight on the next disaster.

This time? The idea is to provide a driver's license to illegal aliens. In other words, an official government photo ID that can be used to facilitate everything from voting to travel to obtaining government benefits for people who aren't American citizens. Smart, no?

Liberalism today as a philosophy is burning up faster than Southern California. Bereft of common sense, wreaking havoc on whole sections of the American and global population, it is still being championed by followers utterly oblivious to the consequences already long on the record.

"I have a million ideas," Senator Clinton said recently, thoughtfully adding that "the country can't afford them all."

No kidding.
.

Let me again say that it would be just as easy to put together a list of conservative embarrassments.  But you don't need one with our "neutral" media happy to provide it for you. 

Articles like this don't come along every day, so you should see them when they do.


Buy Our Book Here!


Return to Current Blog
We're Hopelessly Partisan

hopelesslypartisan.com, is a web site which is dedicated to honest, blunt, debate on the issues of our time.


About Us



Privacy Notice: In conjunction with the ads on this site, third parties may be placing and reading cookies on your browser, or using web beacons to collect information.


At “Hopelessly Partisan” we discuss all issues, big and small. In here, nothing is sacred and nothing is out of bounds.

So settle back, preferably after laughing your way through a copy of “The Hopelessly Partisan Guide To American Politics”, and let the battle begin. In this blog, your opinion counts every bit as much as anyone else's, maybe even more.

And to show that my willingness to provide all sides of the issues is sincere, here are links to a variety of web sites, from the left, the middle (more or less) and the right. Read them and either smile in agreement or gnash your teeth in anger!!