Friday, June 05, 2015
The Media's Worst Liberal Brain Cramps
Journalists are supposed to be the most informed members of society. Nothing is supposed to get past the iron traps in their brains. So which one of these concepts sounds more like a brain cramp?
1. Why would Hillary Clinton avoid taking questions from the press now that she's running for president? She's fantastic at defending herself when the scandals mount.
2. President Obama has run an administration amazingly free of scandal. Not just the president, but also everyone he has chosen to serve has been a pillar of integrity.
These are actual concepts forwarded on television in the last few days.
The first concept came from New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters on June 2 on MSNBC — a channel that warmly welcomes Democratic delusions. "She's really good at answering questions. Like, Hillary is no slouch when it comes to putting her on the defensive. ... I don't understand why the campaign isn't allowing her to showcase her strengths."
USA Today reporter Susan Page espoused the same nonsense, also on MSNBC, on May 19. "She can handle any question you throw at her. It's a mystery to me why she doesn't want to take a couple questions every day so that this is isn't a story, and so she has a chance to respond to negative stories that are out there and to make her case, because she does it very well."
Former Republican press aide Nicolle Wallace quickly underlined for Peters that Hillary's answers weren't always brilliant, like when she told Diane Sawyer that she and Bill were "dead broke" after leaving the White House. "You don't have to explain to anybody how troubling it is for Hillary Clinton — who hasn't driven herself in her own vehicle in 20 years — to call herself flat broke."
There are Hillary's politically inept answers ... and then there are Hillary's smear answers, like a "vast right-wing conspiracy" somehow made Monica Lewinsky tempt her husband into adultery, and then have him lie under oath.
What Peters and Page might be implying in code is: "Why wouldn't you talk to us? We love you. We voted for you. We'll explain away any criticism of your answers."
Hillary has every reason to avoid questions. She might be forced to provide real answers. Bill and Hillary's complete evisceration of weak State Department rules of disclosure about their foundation donors? The bumbling of Benghazi? Both issues are political TNT.
The second concept has been around a long time, and it only gets more delusional as the Obama presidency elapses. David Brooks, the so-called conservative or Republican "leaner" on the "PBS NewsHour," responded to the indictment of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert by claiming "President Obama has run an amazingly scandal-free administration, not only he himself, but the people around him. He's chosen people who have been pretty scandal-free."
So forget Operation Fast and Furious and Solyndra, the IRS targeting conservatives and the Veteran Administration's lies and treatment delays. Forget about all the false Obamacare promises, Benghazi and the Bowe Bergdahl-terrorist swap. Delusional journalists still pretend on national television that Obama & Co. have succeeded in the boast that they're the most ethical and transparent administration in our history.
Perhaps the most embarrassing scandal avoidance for journalists is avoiding the scandal of the Obama administration's treatment of reporters — utter contempt, along with more leak investigations than any other in history. For a journalist to call the man "scandal-free" is to surrender his own professional self-respect. But this is nothing new for most journalists. They've done it for years.
Protestors demand “social justice.” I hate their chant. If I oppose their cause, then I’m for social “injustice”? Nonsense.
The protesters usually want to punish capitalism. “Spread those resources,” says Hillary Clinton.
Even capitalists often make the mistake of talking about “social justice” as if it’s the opposite of free markets or a reason to rein in markets with more regulations or redistribution of wealth. But there’s nothing “just” about the leftist protesters' claimed solution: more big government.
Oliver Stone, Sean Penn and Harry Belafonte praised Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez for his socialist revolution. Chavez then proceeded to destroy much of his country.
Even after his death, his portrait remains on walls everywhere and his policies live on. They haven’t produced social justice, unless your idea of “justice” is privileges for government officials and shortages of basics like food and toilet paper for ordinary people.
Only socialism could take an oil-rich nation and turn it into one where people wait in line for hours for survival rations.
The left-wing Guardian newspaper quotes a Venezuelan farmer saying that Chavez’s policies left Venezuela with “no one to explain why a rich country has no food.”
Not many people in Venezuela give such explanations — the government censors its critics — but free-market economists can explain.
Goods don’t get matched to consumer needs by anyone’s burning desire for justice. The amazing coordination of the marketplace happens because sellers and buyers are free. Sellers can sell whatever they choose at prices they choose. Buyers decide whether to pay. That flexibility — and chance to make a profit — is what persuades people to create what customers want and risk their own money and safety to stock it in a store.
Without the free market setting prices and allocating resources, all the cries of “justice” in the world don’t help anyone. You can’t eat justice. You can’t use it as toilet paper.
Intellectuals, activists and government alike love it when politicians take “tough,” decisive action — usually meaning sudden interference in the marketplace. A year and a half ago, Venezuelan government used the military to seize control of Daka, one of the country’s largest retailers, in order to force the chain to charge “fair” prices. Punish those rich, greedy store-owners!
Surprise! That didn’t work. The chain is now collapsing as looters take what they want.
Socialists say capitalists just want to make a quick buck, but it’s government that can’t plan for the long haul.
Instead of thinking in terms of returns on investment and sustainable business models, socialists think only of today: They see people who need stuff and stores full of stuff. Take the stuff and give it to people, and then tomorrow — well, those capitalists will always bring in more stuff, I guess.
Calling it “social justice” doesn’t make it work.
Sometimes activists admit they aren’t very interested in economics. What they really want is a more “tolerant” world with less sexism and racism. They act as if capitalism is an obstacle to that.
But it isn’t. Capitalist societies are less racist and less sexist than non-capitalist ones.
In America, white people often take for granted the advantages that being white sometimes provides. But compare America to China, where one ethnic group, the Han, dominates politics and openly looks down on minorities — and where even scientists have tried to show that the Han are a distinctive race that does not trace its ancestry to Africa like the rest of us.
The autocratic nation of Saudi Arabia doesn’t let women drive cars or open their own bank accounts.
Markets, in which individuals, not just rulers, have property rights, give people options. Businesses have an incentive to serve as many people as possible, regardless of gender or ethnic group. They also have an incentive to be nice — customers are more likely to trade with people who treat them fairly. Everyone gets to choose his own path. That’s what I call justice.
Injustice is telling people that they must wait to see what their rulers decide is fair.
The Intellectual Dishonesty of Barack H. Obama
By Walter E. Williams
President Barack Obama's stance, expressed in his 2014 State of the Union address, is that the debate is settled and climate change is a fact. Obama is by no means unique in that view. Former Vice President Al Gore declared that "the science is settled." This "settled science" vision about climate is held by many, including those in academia.
To call any science settled is sheer idiocy. Had mankind acted as though any science could possibly be settled, we'd be living in caves, as opposed to having the standard of living we enjoy today. That higher standard of living stems from challenges to what might have been seen as "scientific fact."
According to mathematician Samuel Arbesman's book, "The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date," many ideas taken as facts today will be shown to be wrong as early as five years from now. Arbesman argues that a study published in a physics journal will lose half its value in 10 years.
Many academics know that to call any science settled is nonsense. But their leftist political sentiments and lack of academic integrity prevent them from criticizing public officials and the media for misleading a gullible public about global warming.
The concept of white privilege, along with diversity and multiculturalism, is part of today's campus craze. Millions of dollars are spent on conferences and other forums teaching students about the horrors of white privilege. A Vanderbilt University sociology professor said white privilege is to blame for the Baltimore riots and looting.
I wonder how one goes about determining whether a person is privileged. White privilege can't be based on median income. Why? It turns out that Asian-American households had the highest median income ($68,636) in 2012. Median income for white households was $57,000. Maybe our academic elite should condemn Asian privilege instead of white privilege. But there's another problem. My income puts me in America's top 5 percent.
If those who condemn white privilege could not see my dark brown skin color, they would also condemn me for white privilege. The bottom line to this campus nonsense is that "privilege" has become the new word for "personal achievement."
President Obama has often said the wealthiest Americans must make sacrifices to better the lives of poor people. At Georgetown University's May 12 poverty summit, Obama said, "If we can't ask from society's lottery winners to just make that modest investment, then really this conversation is for show." Let's look at this "lottery winner" nonsense.
A lottery is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as "a process or thing whose success or outcome is governed by chance." The question before us is whether wealth is something that is obtained by chance. Did Bill Gates acquire his wealth by luck or chance? Or did he produce something that benefited his fellow man, causing people to voluntarily reach in their pockets to pay?
Gayle Cook and her late husband, William Cook, founded a medical device company using a spare bedroom in their apartment as a factory. Their company specializes in stents and antibiotic catheters. Now Gayle Cook has a net worth in the billions of dollars. Was she a winner in the lottery of life, or did she have to do something like serve her fellow man?
Are those who work hard, take risks, make life better for others and become wealthy in the process the people who should be held up to ridicule and scorn? And should we make mascots out of social parasites?
Obama talked about asking "from society's lottery winners to just make that modest investment." Congress doesn't ask people for money. Through intimidation, threats and coercion, it takes people's earnings. If people don't comply, the agents of Congress will imprison them.
Most instructive for us is that Obama's remarks were made at a university. Not a single professor has said anything about his suggestion that people accumulate great wealth by winning life's lottery. That is just more evidence about the level of corruption among today's academics.
An important Difference Between Left and Right
The Left believes that the way to a better world is almost always through doing battle with society’s moral defects (real and/or as perceived by the Left). Thus, in America, the Left defines the good person as the one who fights the sexism, racism, intolerance, xenophobia, homophobia, Islamophobia and other evils that the Left believes permeate American society.
Conservatives not only have no interest in fundamentally transforming the United States, but they are passionately opposed to doing so. Fundamentally transforming any but the worst society — not to mention transforming what is probably the most decent society in history — can only make the society worse. Of course, conservatives believe that America can be improved, but not transformed, let alone fundamentally transformed.
The Founders all understood that the transformation that every generation must work on is the moral transformation of each citizen. Thus, character development was at the core of both childrearing and of young people’s education at school.
As John Adams said: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” And in the words of Benjamin Franklin: “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.”
Why is that? Because freedom requires self-control. Otherwise, external controls — which means an ever more powerful government — would have to be imposed.
At the same time, as a professor of philosophy wrote in The New York Times, fewer and fewer young Americans believe there are any moral truths.
Meanwhile, at home, fathers and religion, historically the two primary conveyors of moral truths and moral self-discipline, are often nonexistent.
As a result of all this, we are producing — indeed, we have produced since World War II — vast numbers of Americans who are passionate about carbon emissions and fighting sexism and “white privilege” who are also cheating on tests at unprecedentedly high levels.
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Posted by JR at 12:34 AM