» The Assault On Reason

Ed Driscoll

The Assault On Reason

CNN Enters New Round of Climate Panic

April 26th, 2015 - 12:37 pm

“Sounds like the folks over at CNN are upping the ante over climate change,” Melissa Mullins writes at NewsBusters:

In addition to climate change being blamed for cute and cuddly polar bears becoming endangered (which has been debunked) and giving children nightmares, they are now trying their hand at scare tactics, specifically, frightening people into believing in climate change by focusing on a mere two degrees Celsius.

By embracing the “Two Degrees Celsius” initiative, CNN has given its reporter and recipient of an award by the American Society of News Editors for public service journalism, John Sutter, the next eight months to report on the insurmountable destruction that could occur because of these two little degrees. (Here’s where scare tactics come into play.) Sutter writes:

“If we humans warm the world more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), we greatly up the odds of climate catastrophes. Think super droughts, rising seas, mass extinctions and acidifying oceans. We don’t want to cross that mark.”

I’m not sure if this is a “new round” of climate panic, since “global warming” was introduced into the American vernacular by Al Gore and the New York Times comparing it to Kristallnacht in 1989. In other words, the media overculture has spent the last quarter century predicting a new Holocaust was right around the corner if we don’t take action. But didn’t we take decisive action back in 2008? After all, Barack Obama promised his supporters, in his usual campy melodramatic style, that his merely winning the Democrat primaries was “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow, and our planet began to heal!”

And in any case, why does CNN want to simultaneously scare the bejesus out of its more gullible viewers (other than those poor souls trapped in airport departure lounges, is there any other kind of CNN viewer?) and mock those who take such warnings seriously and have started preparing for the apocalypse?

But then, as Mullins writes: “Showing that it’s for political purposes only, CNN neglected to say that the planet hasn’t warmed in over 15 years, or that the ‘science’ surrounding global-warming panic isn’t turning out to be the impending catastrophe that liberals have predicted for more than 25 years.”

“Rick Austin, a best-selling author, survival expert, sought after speaker and television personality, turned down what many looking for publicity would have considered the opportunity of a lifetime — to be featured in a CNN special television series,” the Inquisitr Website notes. And judging from their description of a CNN show as “the opportunity of a lifetime,” perhaps we can tell which direction that Website’s biases point. In any case, Austin, a former TV producer himself, certainly knows the direction of CNN’s biases:

Aside from his own appearances as a regular featured guest about homesteading and preparedness in the media, Austin is certainly no stranger to the inner workings of TV and the media, since prior to his off grid living career, Austin also spent several decades working in the media business, including as both a director and a producer for TV shows from his offices at Universal Studios.

As such, Austin is no stranger to the many ways that on-camera comments can be spun and edited, if an interviewer or producer has a personal or biased agenda. Because of his popularity in the preparedness arena, Austin was approached for the CNN project through the Bright Roads Productions company that is working on a new series entitled United Shades of America.

Austin said it took him just a few moments to become “extremely suspect” about the new series, which is to be hosted by liberal comedian, W. Kamau Bell. In fact the online promotional material for the TV show notes that “comedian W. Kamau Bell will explore the far corners of our country and its ‘subcultures’ and make people laugh in United Shades of America.” Bell is also the host of the FXX Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell late-night comedy sho. On United Shades of America, Bell will “dissect” a vast array of topics which will reportedly include “politics, pop culture, race, religion, and the media,” promotional material for the series revealed.

The Website quotes Austin replying:

“CNN, quite honestly, is a left wing biased network, so I don’t see much potential in their giving right wing conservative people in the preparedness community anything close to ‘fair and balanced’ coverage. Frankly, having spent 30 years in the media business, and much of it as television producer, I know that editors can turn anything someone says into something it is not. The fact that you have a comedian as the show’s host leads me to believe that the networks’ view is already skewed toward painting this as a story about ‘kooks’ and people who think the sky is falling.”

CNN’s goal of sneering at preppers such as Austin illustrates the hypocrisy of the MSM in general, which for 60 years, has hyped the news with one doomsday scenario after another, but mocks anyone who takes them seriously. Starting in the mid-to-late 1950s, the liberal TV news media routinely described the apocalyptic horrors to come if the Soviets used their nuclear weapons against America, culminating in the Kennedy administration’s “duck and cover” preparedness warnings and the brinksmanship of the Cuban missile crisis. But anyone who took the Democrat warnings seriously by building a bomb shelter was viewed by the MSM and Hollywood as a reactionary crank. (See also, Dr. Strangelove and the “Gift of the Magi”-style Twilight Zone episode where Burgess Meredith’s bookworm character emerges from the post-apocalyptic bomb shelter only to break his glasses.) More recently in a 2011 Atlantic article, PJM’s own Glenn Reynolds noted that Obama administration was dusting off Cold War-style nuclear preparedness plans. “I note that the feds seem to be highly interested in an experimental new drug for treating radiation sickness. That’s not encouraging,” he insta-deadpanned.

Starting with the first “Earth Day” in 1970, it became a cliché for radical environmentalists to tell nonplussed TV interviewers that “we only have five years/ten years/ 12 years, 300 days, 12 hours and 32 minutes” to save the earth from global cooling/warming/climate change/climate chaos. Since the eco-apocalypse and nuclear war dueled for headline space, during the 1970s and early 1980s, it was hard to tell where the threatened New Ice Age ended and the Nuclear Winter began.

Ted Turner, the founder of CNN, spent much of the 1990s hectoring viewers with his “Captain Planet” cartoon series on his sister network, TBS, As recently as 2008, he told Charlie Rose:

If steps aren’t taken to stem global warming, “We’ll be eight degrees hotter in 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow,” Turner said during a wide-ranging, hour-long interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose that aired Tuesday.

“Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals,” said Turner, 69. “Civilization will have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state — like Somalia or Sudan — and living conditions will be intolerable.”

As Mark Hemingway quipped at the Corner back then, “If [Turner is] so afraid of global warming brought on by overpopulation, the better question is, which of his five children does he want to eat?”

So here’s someone who takes this sort of doomsday thinking seriously – and of course, for CNN, he’s merely a prop to be savaged and discarded as an object of ridicule. Good for Rick Austin for not being used by the most busted name in news.

“There is something to be said for the warm cocoon of academia, and its ability to draw out the true thoughts of radicals,” Jorge Bonilla writes at NewsBusters. “Univision News President and Fusion CEO Isaac Lee’s recent presentation at the University of Texas at Austin was certainly no exception:”

Lee’s eye-popping remarks should serve as a timely reality check for conservatives looking at how to factor in Univision as part of their Hispanic outreach/inclusion strategies. During a Q&A with NYU professor Jay Rosen, Lee was asked about Univision’s “theory of trust” as related to the network’s impartiality and news coverage. Here is the crux of the Univision News President’s answer in all its glory.

“I think if you are an American journalist covering the Second World War, it’s not a problem for you to want the Nazis to lose. And I don’t think you need to be saying ‘Well, you know, the Allied Expeditionary Force Commander says this, and on the other hand the Fuhrer says that.’ I think it’s ok to understand that sometimes you have to be on the right side of the issues in history,” said Lee.

Strangely enough, I find that Lee’s reductio ad Hitlerum of those who are ideologically opposed to Univision’s agenda is both horrifying and refreshingly honest. Conservatives should know exactly where they stand in terms of what coverage to expect on the issues — immigration and beyond — and should conduct themselves accordingly.

Click over to see the video of Lee’s paranoid style* in all its glory, and his non-sequitur of a reply — you can deem yourself as being “on the right side of history” — no matter how big a cliche that phrase is — and still report to the best of your ability both sides of a story, as most American news agencies did during WWII. But sadly, Lee’s far from the only prominent socialist at a national TV network who paradoxically views his opponents as National Socialists. In 1964, Walter Cronkite and Daniel Schorr infamously smeared Barry Goldwater, descended from Russian-Jewish immigrants, as a crypto-Nazi,  a disgusting slur magnified by the power of midcentury mass media, a period when CBS represented well over a third of TV news coverage, given ABC’s comparatively anemic ratings at the time. In 1996, Ted Turner, likely terrified of the potential ratings success of Fox News (and justifiably so in retrospect), described the network to the L.A. Times by saying that “The late Führer, the first thing he did, like all dictators, was take over the press and use it to further his agenda. Basically, that is what Rupert Murdoch does with his media.”

More recently, the host of the CBS Evening News, picking up where Uncle Walter left off, when asked why he didn’t feature both sides of the global warming debate in his presentation responded,  “If I do an interview with [Holocaust survivor] Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?” (Wow, what a terrible thing to imply about Barack Obama!)

And just today, MSNBC* ran the photo on the right-hand side of this tweet to smear Scott Walker:

You stay classy, old media.

* And don’t get Jay Rosen started on news media figures he disagrees with, of course.

** And speaking of MSNBC

Shot:

That critical thinking plays a role in falling birthrates is backed up by a study conducted at Kansas State University, in which researchers found that “people’s desire to have children is most influenced by the positive and negative interactions, and the trade-offs.” These are detailed elegantly in an essay by Lionel Shriver, the author of We Need to Talk About Kevin, a book in which a mother’s life is ruined by her psychopathic son. “I could have afforded children, financially,” Shriver writes. “I just didn’t want them. They are untidy, they would have messed up my apartment. In the main, they are ungrateful. They would have siphoned away too much time from my precious books.”

Shriver acknowledges that this attitude could be interpreted as selfish. But, it seems, her feelings are indicative of “a larger transformation in Western culture no less profound than our collective consensus on what life is for.” In other words, she’s saying, an existential shift in the way educated humans approach living—a switch from living for the (possibly celestial) future to enjoying the present—has led humans to think much more carefully about having children, since the drawbacks tend to outweigh the benefits. “As we age,” she writes, “we are apt to look back on our pasts and question, not, did I serve family, God, and country, but did I ever get to Cuba, or run a marathon? Did I take up landscape painting? Was I fat? We will assess the success of our lives in accordance not with whether they were righteous, but whether they were interesting and fun.”*

“Why Women Aren’t Having Children,”** The Atlantic, Friday.

Chaser:

Of course, the liberals’ answer is to fight the numbers with amnesty, importing what they hope will be fertile new recruits for their grim ideology in from the Third World. But the problem is that once here, those immigrants who share liberal values eventually stop having babies too. It seems abortion and reproduction don’t mix. The black community has already suffered depredations from the abortion laws Democrats love, a Democrat crime that dwarfs the crime that was Jim Crow. Now immigrant women seem to be taking a cue from liberal women and doing the same. In the meantime, red states like Utah and Texas grow and grow while blue states California and New York gray and shrivel.

Conservatives, it is not enough to merely produce children or, as so many do, adopt those already here. We must nurture them and teach them properly because liberal society is determined to corrupt them and convert them into eager drones for the Borg Collective that is progressivism. Fight back. If you are religious, teach your children about God. If not, teach them to respect and understand those who are. Teach them about our country and our history – there’s no better way to demonstrate to them, as opposed to indoctrinate them, why America deserves their patriotism. My earliest memory is of standing on a Gettysburg battlefield, not far from where my family’s hometown had been burned by Confederate raiders. There really was never much question that someday I would help defend our country as I aspired to be like the heroes who died on those fields.

And teach your kids skills that will help them survive. Teach them to fight, and to shoot. Teach them to be steadfast in the defense of their rights, and to stand up for those being oppressed. My kids have a standing offer – if their school suspends them for justifiably punching a bully they get taken out for ice cream. And demand that your school teaches your kids properly – as Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds often says, sending your kids to public schools is almost parental malpractice.

Not all conservatives will choose to have kids. Some can’t, and some have personal reasons not to – as grown men and women, none of them owe us any explanation. But by and large, we conservatives will outbreed our opponents if we just keep at it. So get some cabernet poured and some Barry White on and get busy, conservatives. Get busy…for America.

“Sexy Conservatives Will Out-Breed Barren Liberals,” Kurt Schlichter, Townhall, today.

Hangover:

* Let’s return to this line from the Atlantic article: “We are apt to look back on our pasts and question, not, did I serve family, God, and country, but did I ever get to Cuba, or run a marathon? Did I take up landscape painting? Was I fat? We will assess the success of our lives in accordance not with whether they were righteous, but whether they were interesting and fun.”

Did Tom Wolfe call this 40 years ago in “The ‘Me’ Decade and the Third Great Awakening,” or what?

Whatever the Third Great Awakening amounts to, for better or for worse, will have to do with this unprecedented post-World War II American development: the luxury, enjoyed by so many millions of middling folk, of dwelling upon the self. At first glance, Shirley Polykoff’s [advertising] slogan—“If I’ve only one life, let me live it as a blonde!”—seems like merely another example of a superficial and irritating rhetorical trope (antanaclasis) that now happens to be fashionable among advertising copywriters. But in fact the notion of “If I’ve only one life” challenges one of those assumptions of society that are so deep-rooted and ancient, they have no name—they are simply lived by. In this case: man’s age-old belief in serial immortality.

The husband and wife who sacrifice their own ambitions and their material assets in order to provide “a better future” for their children . . . the soldier who risks his life, or perhaps consciously sacrifices it, in battle . . . the man who devotes his life to some struggle for “his people” that cannot possibly be won in his lifetime . . . people (or most of them) who buy life insurance or leave wills . . . and, for that matter, most women upon becoming pregnant for the first time . . . are people who conceive of themselves, however unconsciously, as part of a great biological stream. Just as something of their ancestors lives on in them, so will something of them live on in their children . . . or in their people, their race, their community—for childless people, too, conduct their lives and try to arrange their postmortem affairs with concern for how the great stream is going to flow on. Most people, historically, have not lived their lives as if thinking, “I have only one life to live.” Instead they have lived as if they are living their ancestors’ lives and their offspring’s lives and perhaps their neighbors’ lives as well. They have seen themselves as inseparable from the great tide of chromosomes of which they are created and which they pass on. The mere fact that you were only going to be here a short time and would be dead soon enough did not give you the license to try to climb out of the stream and change the natural order of things. The Chinese, in ancestor worship, have literally worshiped the great tide itself, and not any god or gods. For anyone to renounce the notion of serial immortality, in the West or the East, has been to defy what seems like a law of Nature. Hence the wicked feeling—the excitement!—of “If I’ve only one life, let me live it as a ———!” Fill in the blank, if you dare.

And now many dare it! In Democracy in America, Tocqueville (the inevitable and ubiquitous Tocqueville) saw the American sense of equality itself as disrupting the stream, which he called “time’s pattern”: “Not only does democracy make each man forget his ancestors, it hides his descendants from him, and divides him from his contemporaries; it continually turns him back into himself, and threatens, at last, to enclose him entirely in the solitude of his own heart.” A grim prospect to the good Alexis de T.—but what did he know about . . . Let’s talk about Me!

** I blame global warming. No seriously; if you’ve truly internalized the crazed prophesies the warm-mongers have been shouting since the first Earth Day 45 years ago that “We only have five/ten/12 years, 362 days, 35 minutes and 22 seconds” to save the Earth, why would you want to inflict that vision of a barren future world on a kid?

talk_to_kids_climate_change_6-7-13

Jerry Brown’s Oedipal Struggle

April 19th, 2015 - 3:41 pm

Joel Kotkin gets to the core of what’s driving California’s water woes, writing a rare must-read voice of sanity in the otherwise mentally arid wasteland that is the Daily Beast:

Indeed, if you look at California’s greatest achievements as a society, the Pat Brown legacy stands at the core. The California Aqueduct turned vast stretches of the Central Valley into one of the most productive farming regions in the world. The freeway system, now in often shocking disrepair, allowed for the construction of mass suburbia that offered millions a quality of life never experienced by previous generations. At the same time the development of energy resources—California still boasts the nation’s third-largest oil production—helped create a huge industrial base that included aerospace, semiconductors, and a host of specialized industries, from logistics to garment manufacturing.

In contrast, Jerry Brown has waged a kind of Oedipal struggle against his father’s legacy. Like many Californians, he recoiled against the sometimes haphazard and even ugly form of development that plowed through much of the state. Cutting off water is arguably the most effective way to stop all development, and promote Brown’s stated goal of eliminating suburban “sprawl.” It is typical that his first target for cutbacks this year has been the “lawns” of the middle-class suburbanite, a species for which he has shown little interest or tolerance.

But it’s not just water that exemplifies the current “era of limits” psychology. Energy development has always been in green crosshairs and their harassment has all but succeeded in helping drive much of the oil and gas industry, including corporate headquarters, out of the state. Not building roads—arguably to be replaced by trains—has not exactly reduced traffic but given California the honor of having eight of the top 20 cities nationally with poor roads; the percentage of Los Angeles-area residents who take transit has, if anything, declined slightly since train-building began. All we are left with are impossible freeways, crumbling streets, and ever more difficulty doing anything that requires traveling.

It isn’t just Jerry Brown; since the mid-1960s, the entire new left versus old, New Deal-era left struggle has been driven by an Oedipal Boomer-era hatred of their parents; as this telling anecdote from from former leftist turned pioneering neoconservative Norman Podhoretz highlighted, in an article titled “America the Ugly” at the Wall Street Journal in 2007:

It was of an evening in the year 1960, when I went to address a meeting of left-wing radicals on a subject that had then barely begun to show the whites of its eyes: the possibility of American military involvement in a faraway place called Vietnam and the need to begin mobilizing opposition to it. Accompanying me that evening was the late Marion Magid, a member of my staff at Commentary, of which I had recently become the editor. As we entered the drafty old hall on Union Square in Manhattan, Marion surveyed the 50 or so people in the audience and whispered to me: “Do you realize that every young person in this room is a tragedy to some family or other?”

The memory of this quip brought back to life some sense of how unpromising the future had then appeared to be for that bedraggled-looking assemblage. No one would have dreamed that these young people, and the generation about to descend from them politically and culturally, would within the blink of a historical eye come to be hailed by many members of the very “Establishment” they were trying to topple as (in the representative words of Prof. Archibald Cox of Harvard Law School) “the best informed, the most intelligent, and the most idealistic this country has ever known.”

More incredible yet, in a mere decade the ideas and attitudes of the new movement, cleaned up but essentially unchanged, would turn one of our two major parties upside down and inside out.

The following year, James Lileks explored the midcentury America the boomers were handed by their parents and how violently they’ve been trying to smash it, ever since:

I blame the boomers, of course. ;) If you’re going to make a fetish out of the Authentic Values of Adolescence, with its withering critiques of humanity, then you’re going to value the slouch and the sneer as signs of a Deep and Serious Person.  The Boomers were handed a Utopian ideal – practical, technocratic, rational, with silver wheels in the sky tended over by engineers and scientists — and they abandoned it for a Dionysian version based on wrecking and remaking the world they’d inherited. Their patron saint: Holy St. Caulfield, who identified the greatest sin in the human soul: being a phoney. Better to be an authentic bastard than someone who cannot successfully convince a teenager that some ideas have an importance that transcend the ability of the individual to manifest them 24/7.

Of course they got sour; if you believe a Utopia is possible if we just retinker human behavior to eliminate greed and dress codes and football and anything else that reminds us of Dad, be it the specific one or the unseen National Dad that rules the boardrooms and bedrooms and cloakrooms of DC, then the failure of this world makes it a dystopia, the worst of all possible worlds.

Some suggest that the great disenchantment began with the assassination of JFK, and I see the point. But it’s strange that it led to a loss of faith in us, given who shot the President. (Yes, I’m one of those lone-gunman wackos. I’m a freethinker! I refuse to accept concensus!) If Oswald had been a card-carrying Kluxer or a dead-ender Bircher or some sort of far-right-wing nutcase, I wonder if we would have accepted the Warren Commission and moved along. But no, he was a Communist. Well obviously there has to be more to it, then. Same with Sirhan Sirhan: his motivation will forever be a mystery, won’t it?

Once you start to believe in the dark shadowy forces, you’re done with the world. You’re done engaging it, you’re done enjoying it. There’s no point. It’s a sham, a shell, a shiny façade erected by the Jews / Bilderburgers / Trilateral Commission/ Council on Foreign Relations /  Project for a New American Century / Masons / Knights Templar / Illuminati / Federal Reserve / Rockefeller-Royal Family Nexus / Bush Crime Syndicate / League of Grim Intent, and all you can do is post on the internet and call talk radio to argue with the hosts who think we’re free people.

And choose the fate of the Delta Smelt over the quality of life of your fellow citizens. Who have been voting with their feet for several years, since their voices haven’t been heard in Sacramento for at least two decades.  As Moe Lane writes, “at the rate things are going” vis-a-vis the state’s man-made drought, “California is going to start out-migrating within the next three years. Just in time for the next Census… and won’t that cause a ruckus.”

“A Project to Turn Corpses Into Compost,” the New York Times reports in chillingly straitlaced fashion:

The body of the tiny 78-year-old woman, gray hair falling over stiffened shoulders, was brought to a hillside at Western Carolina University still clad in a blue hospital gown and chartreuse socks.

She was laid on a bed of wood chips, and then more were heaped atop her. If all goes as hoped, the body will turn into compost.

It is a startling next step in the natural burial movement. Even as more people opt for interment in simple shrouds or biodegradable caskets, urban cemeteries continue to fill up. For the environmentally conscious, cremation is a problematic option, as the process releases greenhouse gases.

Armed with a prestigious environmental fellowship, Katrina Spade, a 37-year-old Seattle resident with a degree in architecture, has proposed an alternative: a facility for human composting.

The idea is attracting interest from environmental advocates and scientists. The woman laid to rest in wood chips is a first step in testing how it would work.

The article was written by someone at the Times named Catrin Einhorn. I assume she’s absolutely no relation to “Earth Day” co-founder Ira Einhorn, and the bad luck of the New York Times strikes the snake-bitten paper once again. This is after all, the publication that praised Bill Ayers the morning of September 11th, before the Islamofascist terrorist attacks took place. Once again, a macabre bit of synchronicity strikes the Gray Lady, when the journalist reporting on a story about human composting shares a last name with Ira Einhorn, who name equated radical environmentalism with the disposal of dead bodies decades ago, as Michelle Malkin wrote in 2001:

The facts are sickeningly familiar to Philly residents, but not to the rest of the nation. In the ’70s, Einhorn made a name for himself as a radical environmentalist and “counter-cultural” peacenik. He grew a ratty beard, stopped bathing, dubbed himself a “planetary enzyme,” spouted Marxism, and hogged the spotlight during the nation’s first Earth Day. Poets, scientists, hippies, New Agers, billionaire benefactors, and young women caught up in the haze of free love and free-flowing drugs all flocked to Einhorn.

One of those women, former Texas cheerleader and artist Holly Maddux, lived with Einhorn in the City of Brotherly Love. In the fall of 1978, she disappeared. Einhorn said she walked out and never came back. Few dared challenge the Flower Power guru who hobnobbed with the rich and powerful, lectured at Harvard, and traveled the world.

It took a year before cops opened a missing persons file on Maddux. Her family pressured law enforcement to investigate Einhorn. His neighbors complained of a foul stench and brown ooze seeping from his residence. Eighteen months after she went missing, detectives discovered her body stuffed and mummified inside a black steamer trunk hidden in Einhorn’s closet.

Maddux’s skull had multiple fractures and she had shrunk to less than 40 pounds. Experts say she was alive when she was forced into the trunk. Author Steven Levy wrote that when horrified cops informed Einhorn, who was waiting in his kitchen during the search, that the corpse looked like Maddux’s body, Einhorn coolly replied: “You found what you found.”

The peaceniks rushed to Einhorn’s side and insisted he was incapable of violence — let alone the monstrous evil that befell Maddux. A parade of liberal aristocrats lavished praise on the accused murderer at his bail hearing. And Einhorn had the best legal representative in town – former district attorney and soon-to-be-U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, who won an obscenely reduced bail for Einhorn of $40,000. Wealthy socialite Barbara Bronfman of the Seagram’s liquor empire put up the measly $4,000 bond needed to spring Einhorn out of jail in 1981 before trial.

Einhorn fled. While Maddux’s family grieved, he traipsed around Europe for 20 years (partly subsidized by Bronfman). Meanwhile, two former girlfriends came forward and testified that Einhorn had nearly killed them in separate, savage attacks. A Pennsylvania jury convicted Einhorn in abstentia for Maddux’s murder in 1993.

And of course, the notion of composting bodies instantly brings to mind the first radical environmentalists as well.

By the way, to return to our headline, isn’t everything so, so, problematic these days?

Remember when the DNC-MSM was bored back in February immediately before Brian Williams blew himself up, and tried to make this a rightwing issue?

“Robert Kennedy Jr apologizes for comparing vaccinated children to victims of a ‘holocaust’” the London Daily Mail reports. Though of course they, and he mean The Holocaust:

● Nephew of JFK, and son for former Attorney General, opposes vaccines
● He believes a chemical called thimerosal causes autism in children
● Promoting protest film, he likened vaccinated kids to holocaust victims
● On Monday, he apologized for the comment after widespread criticism

Besides, doesn’t RFK Jr. know that Al Gore has claimed the lock on that particular Godwin’s Law violation for radical environmentalism since 1989 before cashing in his chips at the start of 2013 to Big Oil?

Of course, given the state of American education, it won’t be long before most impressionable young lefties scratch their head and ask, “what is a Holocaust, anyhow?”

“You know, I believe people knew this was likely in the 1970s, but enviros stopped the necessary water projects,” Glenn Reynolds wrote as an aside in September while linking to an article titled “American Southwest has 80% chance of decade-long drought this century.” Today at City Journal, Victor Davis Hanson flashes back to when California enviro-leftists began the countdown on the state’s existence:

Brown and other Democratic leaders will never concede that their own opposition in the 1970s (when California had about half its present population) to the completion of state and federal water projects, along with their more recent allowance of massive water diversions for fish and river enhancement, left no margin for error in a state now home to 40 million people. Second, the mandated restrictions will bring home another truth as lawns die, pools empty, and boutique gardens shrivel in the coastal corridor from La Jolla to Berkeley: the very idea of a 20-million-person corridor along the narrow, scenic Pacific Ocean and adjoining foothills is just as unnatural as “big” agriculture’s Westside farming. The weather, climate, lifestyle, views, and culture of coastal living may all be spectacular, but the arid Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay-area megalopolises must rely on massive water transfers from the Sierra Nevada, Northern California, or out-of-state sources to support their unnatural ecosystems.

Now that no more reservoir water remains to divert to the Pacific Ocean, the exasperated Left is damning “corporate” agriculture (“Big Ag”) for “wasting” water on things like hundreds of thousands of acres of almonds and non-wine grapes. But the truth is that corporate giants like “Big Apple,” “Big Google,” and “Big Facebook” assume that their multimillion-person landscapes sit atop an aquifer. They don’t—at least, not one large enough to service their growing populations. Our California ancestors understood this; they saw, after the 1906 earthquake, that the dry hills of San Francisco and the adjoining peninsula could never rebuild without grabbing all the water possible from the distant Hetch Hetchy watershed. I have never met a Bay Area environmentalist or Silicon Valley grandee who didn’t drink or shower with water imported from a far distant water project.

The Bay Area remains almost completely reliant on ancient Hetch Hetchy water supplies from the distant Sierra Nevada, given the inability of groundwater pumping to service the Bay Area’s huge industrial and consumer demand for water. But after four years of drought, even Hetch Hetchy’s huge Sierra supplies have only about a year left, at best. Again, the California paradox: those who did the most to cancel water projects and divert reservoir water to pursue their reactionary nineteenth-century dreams of a scenic, depopulated, and fish-friendly environment enjoy lifestyles predicated entirely on the fragile early twentieth-century water projects of the sort they now condemn.

Read the whole thing, including VDH’s depressing but accurate conclusion, which dovetails well with Moe Lane’s take yesterday: “Across the board water restrictions come to California. Across the board attempts to evade them to follow.” As Moe writes, “Yup, there’s going to be screaming. And a lot of attempts at evasion. Man, it would purely be a shame if various liberal orgs and locales got caught trying to steal more than their fair share of the water…”

Related: Investor’s Business Daily adds that when it comes to the California drought, “What’s Scarce Is Wisdom, Not Water.” Wisdom is a commodity that’s long been depleted in Sacramento.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. In the wake of the January 2011 shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and over a dozen others, which the MSM immediately and erroneously blamed on Sarah Palin’s clip art, the MSM rushed in lockstep to condemn violent rhetoric, and demanded that both politicians and the media censor themselves. One contributor to the left-leaning publication National Journal insisted that violent rhetoric should be treated in the same fashion “that we’ve stopped using certain epithets like the ‘n’-word public forums:”

National Journal’s Michael Hirsh wants to raise the bar on decorum to an entirely new level. On Thursday’s MSNBC airing of “Hardball,” Hirsh told host Chris Matthews certain “gun” terms should be stricken from political discourse…His proposal? Make such language inappropriate in the same racial slurs are inappropriate.

“That’s the kind of language I think we got to have a hard think about now,” Hirsh said. “Do we really want to continue to use that kind of language at these levels? Or, should there be kind of a social sanction, not a legal one, but a moral sanction in the way that we’ve stopped using certain epithets like the ‘n’-word public forums. Stop using that kind of language, those kinds of metaphors.”

Certainly, many would view comparing someone to a Holocaust denier a slur that’s in the same league with violent, eliminationist rhetoric. Which makes this passage in a new National Journal article written by a young socialist justice warrior posing as a journalist highly problematic, in a piece titled “Scientists Tell Smithsonian to Ditch Koch Money.” (Link safe, goes to Twitchy):

The push arrives amid revelations that Smithsonian scientist and climate-denier Wei-Hock Soon raked in roughly $1.2 million dollars from the fossil-fuel industry while failing to disclose a conflict of interest. One of the founders of Soon’s research was the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.

Does Mr. Soon deny that the climate exists? Now that would be news! In the interim, we await the layers and layers of editors and fact checkers at National Journal to condemn the use of a metaphor freighted with such a violent subtext. But we won’t hold our breath:

Related: “Reporters Explain Why Balance Isn’t Needed On Global Warming.”

Since the MSM long ago exited the profession of journalism in order to be Democrat operatives with bylines, are there any topics still left in which the MSM wishes to be fair and balanced (to coin a slogan) when discussing?

Ted Cruz today? No, try Bobby Kennedy in 1968.

That’s how old the left’s doomsday rhetoric is; the actual causes come and go — pollution, acid rain, global cooling, global warming, generic climate change, whatever. The end result is that the world will soon come to end — unless we elect socialist politicians who pretend to be a cross between scientists, mystical clerics and slide rule technocrats. Or as I wrote a couple of years ago, linking to Bobby’s speech in ’68, Carter’s malaise speech a decade later, and Obama’s Dr. Strangelove-esque “science” “czar” John Holdren, “Welcome Back My Friends to the Malaise that Never Ends.”

Regarding Cruz, as Allahpundit writes at Hot Air, “Today’s top story: Three-year-old hears Ted Cruz say that the world is on fire:”

To cleanse the palate, I’m not joking with that headline. Thanks to lefty boredom on a slow news day, the fake outrage over this has propelled it to the toppermost of the poppermost on Memeorandum. (Sample hed via Dave Weigel: “Ted Cruz Shouts Insane Rhetoric At Terrified Little Girl In New Hampshire.”) Which is funny, because the only thing distinguishing Cruz’s line from something you or your three-year-old might hear in a stock Democratic speech about climate change is the hopeful note Cruz sounds at the end. Hopenchange will come and go but melting glaciers are forever. Put away the jumprope and start thinking about boat designs, Janie.

Someday the left will realize that it scaremongers as much as the right does, frequently about much sillier things, but today is not that day.

When does that reckoning ever arrive? With Al Gore muttering lunatics pronouncements such his goal to “Punish Climate-Change Deniers,” while pocketing $100 mil from Big Oil, a little reflection is long overdue.

Mr. Obama really was the ultimate troll in 2008, wasn’t he?

Insert the Professor’s reminder that he doesn’t want to hear another g*dd*mn word about his carbon footprint here.

The Undersea World of Wernher Von Braun

March 13th, 2015 - 10:50 am

“Y2Kyoto: Great Moments In Rocket Surgery,” as spotted by Kate of Small Dead Animals:

“In your judgment, what is the core mission of NASA?” Cruz asked.

“Our core mission from the very beginning has been to investigate, explore space and the Earth environment, and to help us make this place a better place,” Bolden said. NASA studies everything from the depths of the oceans to the solar energy coming into the Earth’s atmosphere.

Cruz pushed back against the “Earth” part of NASA’s mission. “Almost any American would agree that the core function of NASA is to explore space,” he said. “That’s what inspires little boys and little girls across this country.”

“I am concerned that NASA in the current environment has lost its full focus on that core mission.”

Bolden defended spending more money on Earth science activities, saying he is “proud” of it since it’s led to a greater understanding of the planet.

“We can’t go anywhere if the Kennedy Space Center goes underwater and we don’t know it — and that’s understanding our environment,” Bolden said, in a clear reference to global warming-related sea level rise.

Damn budget cutbacks; I remember when NASA used to receive better telemetry from their rockets. I’d like to think in the old days, if a Saturn V or Space Shuttle suddenly went underwater, NASA would know about it. Perhaps it’s finally time to disband the sclerotic, elderly agency and put it out of its misery and ours. Wouldn’t that also help reduce global warming?

Besides, isn’t all of NASA’s “global warming” “research” all for naught these days, anyhow? As Steve Goddard noted on January 10, 2013:

On January 17, 2009 – NASA’s James Hansen told us that Obama had only four years to save the planet. The clock is ticking, as Obama only has seven days remaining to rescue the Earth.

Of course, Goddard made his observation the same week that Al Gore declared Mission Accomplished on the decades old global warming project anyhow, by cashing in his chips to the oil rich, terrorist-funding state of Qatar.

We’ll get to the above 1972 video of Walter Cronkite in just a moment, but first, let’s set the stage. Return with us now to the end of the 1960s and the dawning of the craptacular ’70s. As Power Line’s Steve Hayward wrote in the first volume of The Age of Reagan, environmentalism — then simply called “ecology” — became an obsession of the left shortly after President Nixon took office, eclipsing both anti-Vietnam war and pro-civil rights protests:

Writing in Science magazine, Amitai Etzioni of Columbia University dismissed ecology as a “fad,” and thought that “the newly found environmental dangers are being vastly exaggerated.” Even if not exaggerated, Etzioni thought the environment was the wrong priority: “Fighting hunger, malnutrition, and rats should be given priority over saving wildlife, and improving our schools over constructing waste disposal systems.”

This criticism was mild compared to the blasts that came from black civil rights leaders. The most bitter attack came from Richard Hatcher, the black mayor of Gary, Indiana: “The nation’s concern for the environment has done what George Wallace was unable to do—distract the nation from the human problems of black and brown Americans.” Whitney Young of the National Urban League was equally distressed: “The war on pollution is one that should be waged after the war on poverty is won. Common sense calls for reasonable national priorities and not for inventing new causes whose main appeal seems to be in their potential for copping out and ignoring the most dangerous and pressing of our problems.”

And being a good doctrinaire liberal, CBS’s Walter Cronkite was quick to move with the times and ride the fad. As left-leaning historian Douglas Brinkley noted in his 2012 biography of Cronkite:

A CBS Reports segment in September 1962 had Eric Sevareid famously interviewing the literary biologist Rachel Carson about the perils of the insecticide DDT at her home in Silver Spring, Maryland. Cronkite, at the time, had been focused on the Earth-orbiting flight of the second Mercury launch. But now that Neil Armstrong had walked on the Moon, Cronkite sensed that ecology would soon replace space exploration as the national obsession. CBS News producer Ron Bonn recalled precisely when Cronkite put the network on the front line of the fight. “ It was New Year’s Day, 1970, and Walter walked into the Broadcast Center and said, ‘God damn it, we’ve got to get on this environmental story,’ ” Bonn recalled. “When Walter said ‘God damn it,’ things happened.”

What could go wrong?

Cronkite pulled Bonn from nearly all other CBS duties for eight weeks so he could investigate environmental degradation. He wanted a whole new regular series on the CBS Evening News—inspired by Silent Spring, the philosophy of René Dubos, and those amazing photos of Earth taken by the Apollo 8 astronauts. The CBS Evening News segments were to be called “Can the World Be Saved?” “We wanted to grapple first with air pollution, the unbreathable air,” Bonn recalled. “But then we wanted to deal with the primary underlying problem, which was overpopulation.”

So, eugenics, then. And then a quick detour into global cooling. As Julia Seymour writes today at NewsBusters, “And That’s the Way It Was: In 1972, Cronkite Warned of ‘New Ice Age:’”

The late Cronkite is considered a “legendary journalist” and a pioneer in the field, which is why Marc Morano, publisher of Climate Depot, said this footage was so important. Morano is a former staff member of U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee and producer of the upcoming global warming documentary Climate Hustle, set for release later in 2015.

“Global warming activists have claimed for years that the 1970s global cooling scare never existed. They have tried to erase the inconvenient history which ironically blamed extreme weather like tornadoes, droughts, record cold and blizzards on global cooling,” said Morano.

Morano told MRC Business, “But now — unearthed from bowels of media archives — comes none other than Walter Cronkite reporting on fears of a coming ice age in 1972. Having Cronkite’s image and face discussing global cooling fears reveals the fickleness of the climate change claims.”

“Climate fear promoters switched effortlessly from global cooling fears in the 1970s to global warming fears in the 1980s. In the present day, the phrase ‘global warming’ has lost favor in favor of ‘climate change’ or ‘global climate disruption’ or even ‘global weirding,’ Morano added. “’Settled science’ has never seemed so unsettled.”

By the way, let’s end with this inadvertently telling paragraph from Brinkley (his book, meant to celebrate Cronkite, raised many questions about the man who spent much of his career posing as Mr. Objective):

In January 1970, the promise of a new environmentalism brought about the end of [Cronkite’s future-themed series] The Twenty-First Century (which had succeeded The Twentieth Century in June 1967). No longer would Cronkite tolerate Union Carbide (a major polluter) as a sponsor. The Texas-based Fortune 500 company was the enemy of “Earthrise,” he told Bonn. At Cronkite’s insistence, CBS canceled The Twenty-First Century to coincide with the debut of the “Can the World Be Saved?” segments.

Yes, the crank science of the 1970s brought an end to the heroic phase of Kennedy and Johnson’s space program and its dalliance with embracing the 21st century a few decades early. And along with the collapse of the Great Society, which disillusioned the left when it tried to be all things to all voters, the optimism of the postwar 1950s and the first half of the 1960s would fade away, replaced by a grim nihilistic permanent malaise.

Exit question: Scott Pelley, the current incarnation of Cronkite on CBS has publicly likened those who question the “settled science” of global warming to Holocaust deniers, asking, “If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?”

What would he say if he ran into the 1972 iteration of Walter Cronkite?

mother_jones_food_racist_3-4-15-1

But then, isn’t everything? First up, Mother Jones declares your mother’s advice that you eat three healthy meals a day to be totally racist, you guys. As Tom Blumer writes at NewsBusters, “Leave it to a writer at Mother Jones to dispense condescending healthy eating advice while serving up a side dish of alleged historical racism with a tincture of capitalism bashing”:

Kiera Butler, a senior editor there, didn’t have to engage in either exercise to make her nutritional points, which may have some validity. She must have felt that her primary headline (“Why You Should Stop Eating Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner”) was too boring, and that she needed to provide an attention-grabbing subheadline to get people to start reading her piece.

“Dogmatic adherence to mealtimes is anti-science, racist, and might actually be making you sick,” Butler’s article screams in its subhead. “Here is her reasoning,” Katherine Timpf responds at National Review:

When the Europeans came over to the United States, they ate three meals a day whereas the Native Americans ate in a less restricted fashion — a practice which Butler claims the Europeans considered to be unrefined. Butler offered excerpts of an email interview with Abigail Carroll, author of the book Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal, as proof of this point.

“The eating schedule of the native tribes was less rigid … the Europeans took this as ‘evidence that natives were uncivilized,’ Carroll explained to me in an email,” Butler wrote.

There may have been other clues as well, of course.

Meanwhile, in her own efforts at reprimitivization, a Social Justice Warrior asks “Cui bono?” when it comes to employing that quaint form of communication formerly known as the English language. Or as Patricia L. Dickson quips at the American Thinker in response, “Proper English Grammar Is Now Racist”:

It seems like not a day goes by without my reading about some new absurdity. I ran across an article written by some left-wing lunatic who purports to be an English teacher and who is part of what she calls the “social justice movement”. She writes for a blog called Everyday Feminist. She claims that demanding that everyone speak proper English grammar is “grammar snobbery” and is oppressive and racist. Why is it oppressive and racist? Because the dictionary was written by a white supremacist, heteropatriarchal system:

“As educated (and – okay – snarky) activists, we’re quick to respond to “According to the dictionary” arguments with “Who wrote the dictionary, though?”

“We understand that a reference guide created by a white supremacist, heteropatriarchal system does nothing but uphold that status quo.”

“Similarly, we have to use that line of thinking when talking about the English language: Who created the rules? And who benefits from them?”

You won’t be surprised to learn that “grammar snobbery comes down to an intersection of multiple privileges,” which include, “Educational Privilege, Class Privilege, Race Privilege, Native Language Privilege, and Ability Privilege.” All of which boils down to — of course! — raaaaaacism.

Al Gore long ago declared global warming to be racist (when he wasn’t comparing it to the Nazis); Australia’s Tim Blair stands ready to assist you through the difficult and painful “Climate Grieving Process”:

Celeste Young – “a sustainability/climate change professional who works as a communication and operational specialist with a particular interest in innovation and the use of creative and business processes” – asks:

How can we help people and communities work through the climate grieving process?

One of Celeste’s excellent grief-coping suggestions:

Another way to help people accept these changes is through cultural activities that support the expression of grief. In Australia, local government, community, and the arts sector have led in this area. Storytelling is often used as it provides a structured and often empowering way of expressing difficult emotions.

Storytelling? And possibly even sharing of meals as well? Check your multiple privileges!

(Since everything is now racist and causes global warming, someone really should do a mash-up of these two great Websites.)

Update: Backwards ran the “Progressives” until reeled the mind. Where it all ends knows ISIS:

Snowfalls Are Now Just a Thing of the Past

March 2nd, 2015 - 10:37 am


Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

Good Morning America anchors and reporters effusively lauded Al Gore on Friday after he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming. Diane Sawyer opened the program by breathlessly declaring, “Former Vice President Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize for helping awaken the world to global warming. Now is it time to run for president again?” In her introduction to a piece on the subject, Sawyer gushed that the ex-VP is receiving the award for “for educating the world.”

“ABC Gushes Over Al Gore Nobel Win; He’s ‘Educating the World,’” the Media Research Center, October 15, 2007.

Good Morning America news reader Amy Robach on Friday mocked Republican James Inhofe as “bizarre” for a global warming speech he gave on the Senate floor. Robach described, “And a bizarre scene in Washington. One senator used the recent snow to bolster his argument about climate change.”

Inhofe held up a snowball to note the unusually cold February that the east cost has suffered through. Tossing the snowball, he joked, “Here, Mr. President. Catch this.” ABC has a history with condescending coverage on this issue. On April 23, 2012, reporter Bill Blakemore derided climate change skeptics as “denialists” and called for more alarmist advocacy.

“ABC Hits Senator Inhofe’s Climate Speech as ‘Bizarre,’” NewsBusters, February 27, 2015.

(Headline via the London Independent in 2000. The New York Times was running similar headlines as recently as last year; anti-vaccine crank Bobby Kennedy Jr. was specifically warning of no more snow in DC in 2008.)

Update: “Continue to Remind the Alarmists that It’s Cold Out. They Deserve It,” Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon writes, in-between digging his car out from seven degree weather. We’re doing our part!

Gaia and Man at the UN

February 24th, 2015 - 4:11 pm

Shot:

Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute tells a story about Julian Simon, the late and great economist.He was at some environmental forum, and he said, “How many people here believe that the earth is increasingly polluted and that our natural resources are being exhausted?” Naturally, every hand shot up. He said, “Is there any evidence that could dissuade you?” Nothing. Again: “Is there any evidence I could give you — anything at all — that would lead you to reconsider these assumptions?” Not a stir. Simon then said, “Well, excuse me, I’m not dressed for church.”

I love that story, for what it says about the fixity of these beliefs, immune to evidence, reason, or anything else.

—Jay Nordlinger, National Review Online, 2002, as quoted here in 2011, in a post titled “Episcopal Church Replaces God with Gaia on Good Friday.”

Chaser:

The head of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change panel Rajendra Pachauri, 74, has resigned amid charges that he sexually harassed a 29-year-old woman working in his office in Delhi. In his resignation letter to UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, Pachauri wrote,

“For me, the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems, is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma.”

I know nothing of the charges against Pachauri, whose tenure has not been without controversy. In 2007 he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore and other IPCC scientists. In 2010, he withstood criticism after the IPCC had to change its fourth climate assessment’s over-hyped findings about glacial melt in the Himalayas.

“Top climate scientist says global warming is his religion,” Debra Saunders, the San Francisco Chronicle, today.

Much more from Mark Steyn on Pachauri and his allegedly “Wandering Hockey Stick.”

And Speaking of Obama and Religion!

February 10th, 2015 - 1:57 pm

“Earnest: Not sure if Jews are terror targets, and climate change is a bigger threat anyway,” writes Noah Rothman at (appropriately enough for this topic) Hot Air: 

When asked by Karl if Obama really, truly believed that climate change is a greater threat to life and liberty than terrorism, Earnest remained composed. “I think, Jon, that the point that the president was making,” Earnest began, “was that there are many more people on an annual basis who have to confront the impact – the direct impact on their lives – of climate change, or of the spread of a disease than on terrorism.”

Probed as to whether he would definitively assert that Obama thinks terrorism is not as great a cause for alarm as is the weather, Earnest did not disappoint. In a rambling response about the struggles climate change imposes on Americans, “particularly Americans living in this country,” Earnest confirmed in not so many words that the president views global warming as a valid national security challenge on par with, if not more significant than, climate change.

Further proof that belief in global warming really is an alternative religion, one with its own alternative bible.

Ride the Michael Moore Mobius Loop!

February 3rd, 2015 - 1:23 pm

The “American ISIS” — that’s what NewsBusters spots Michael Moore dubbing his critics in a lengthy interview in Vice magazine:

This past week or so of hysterical attacks on me only proves that the American lovers of violence and the issuers of fatwas in OUR society haven’t gone away. They are our American Isis — “Criticize or mock those whom we deify, like our sainted sniper, and we will harm you most assuredly.”

But a decade ago, Michael was pretty darn keen on ISIS’ forerunners in Iraq, likening them to America’s Minutemen:

Could it simply be that Moore changes his position when it comes to terrorists in Iraq based on who is in office in the White House at the time? He’s very large* so I’m sure he contains multiples of opinions to suit the moment:

Related: At Townhall, Katie Pavlich spots “Good News: American Eco-Fascists Now Praising Saudis As Their “Best Ally” in Fight Against Keystone.”

Not at all surprising, since Al Gore kissed off his environmentalist obsessions at the beginning of 2013 by getting into bed with petroleum-rich Qatar, only three years after the Washington Post noted that “Osama bin Laden embraces his inner Al Gore,” shortly before OBL’s death by a massive overdose of lead poisoning. (Speaking of Mobius Loops.)

* Though not career-wise for over a decade, hence Moore’s current efforts to grab Eastwood’s coattails and hang on for another 15 minutes of fame.

Yeah. You know how else it looks? Very much like this:

And the giant Buddha statues destroyed by the Taliban in early 2001. But then, the religious zealotry of radical Islam, radical socialism, and radical environmentalism do tend to echo other very strongly. Just ask Mohamed Atta, Socialist Critic of Capitalism, or this pair of fervent environmentalists, whose doom-laden ideas for the future of mankind intersect surprisingly well:

osama_gore_post_10-1-10-1

On the other hand, at least Greenpeace has raised awareness that they’re still around, so they’ve got that going for them, as Sonny Bunch writes in the Washington Free Beacon:

The best—and by best, I mean absolutely the worst—part of this story? Greenpeace’s “apology.” Here’s Reuters:

The group said it was sorry if the protest at the historical site on Monday caused any “moral offense” to the people of Peru.

“Moral offense.” As if they were only guilty of hurting the feelings of the Peruvian people. And didn’t, you know, tromp all over a giant, incredibly fragile piece of art.

Amazing. Just amazing. But hey: At least now we know that the future is renewables, or some such. Greenpeace for the win!

As I’ve joked before, the vengeful Goracle didn’t title one of his tomes “The Assault on Reason” for nothing.

“How it is that we once again find ourselves rooting out sin, shunning heretics, and heralding the end times,” asks Joseph Bottum in the Weekly Standard, exploring “The Spiritual Shape of Political Ideas:”

Just as, for Paul in Romans, “the law entered, that the offence might abound,” so our awareness of our own racism massively increases when we realize that we are utterly formed as racists in America. And just as, for Paul, “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound,” so it is that only from this overwhelming awareness of racism can we hope to escape racism.

The doctrine of original sin is probably incoherent, and certainly gloomy, in the absence of its pairing with the concept of a divine savior—and so Paul concludes Romans 5 with a turn to the Redeemer and the possibility of hope: “As sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Think of it as a car’s engine or transmission scattered in pieces around a junkyard: The individual bits of Christian theology don’t actually work all that well when they’re broken apart from one another.

Which is why it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that an infinite sadness often haunts expressions of the white-privilege notion that we must become more aware of race in order to end the inherited sin of being aware of race. If we cannot escape it, then how can we escape it? When Prof. Jensen cries out in his chiliastic pain, “I will carry this privilege with me until the day white supremacy is erased,” he’s speaking in tones once reserved for the moral solution that only the Second Coming could provide. The strangeness of the isolated concept can be discerned in its unendingness, its never-satisfied ratchet. Discerned as well, I would suggest, in some of the disturbingly salvific terms with which President Obama’s campaign and election were first greeted.

Of course, however Christian the idea of white privilege may have been in origin, it emerged in contemporary America stripped of Christ and his church, making it available even for post- and non-Christians. For that matter, an explicit anti-Christianity is often heard alongside rejections of white privilege. At Radersma’s race conference, a fellow presenter named Paul Kivel defined white privilege as “the everyday pervasive, deep-seated and institutionalized dominance of Christian values, Christian institutions, leaders and Christians as a group, primarily for the benefit of Christian ruling elites.”

But that, too, is typical of much post-mainline moral discussion in America: the Church of Christ Without Christ, as Flannery O’Connor might have called it (to use a phrase from her 1952 novel Wise Blood). The mainline congregations may be gone as significant factors in the nation’s public life, but their collapse released a religious logic and set of spiritual anxieties that are still with us—still demanding that we see our nation and ourselves in the patterns cast by their old theological lights.

As Umberto Eco wrote in 2005, “God Isn’t Big Enough For Some People:”

It is the role of religion to provide that justification. Religions are systems of belief that enable human beings to justify their existence and which reconcile us to death. We in Europe have faced a fading of organised religion in recent years. Faith in the Christian churches has been declining.

The ideologies such as communism that promised to supplant religion have failed in spectacular and very public fashion. So we’re all still looking for something that will reconcile each of us to the inevitability of our own death.

G K Chesterton is often credited* with observing: “When a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn’t believe in nothing. He believes in anything.” Whoever said it – he was right. We are supposed to live in a sceptical age. In fact, we live in an age of outrageous credulity.

And finally, as Kate quips today at Small Dead Animals, “You Clever Matchmaker, Gaia!”, spotting someone who really red-lines the phrase “outrageous credulity:”

Afton Burton left her parents’ home in Illinois at age 19 to move to California, where she could be closer to Manson, Burton said.

It was Manson’s work as an environmentalist that drew her daughter into him, according to Burton.

“He’s an environmentalist, and she’s involved in his environmentalist program,” Burton said.

Say what you will about Charles Manson, but he took the “warrior” aspect of the phrase “Social Justice Warrior,” not to mention the quasi-religious doomsday implications of that strange mindset, seriously.

* The Chesterton Society traced the complex history of this brilliant aphorism, and concluded, “we must point out the irony that critics have chastised Chesterton for misquoting other writers, while he is the most misquoted writer of all. No one would be more pleased than G.K. Chesterton.”

Related: “Professor says she can no longer give common-sense advice for fear of being accused of victim-blaming.”

More: “Funniest Paragraph of the Day, Courtesy of the NY Times:”

“Unitarian Universalism is not a theologically grounded religion,” Ms. Brock said. “If we mess up our principles and values, we don’t have a theology to fall back on. We’re not Catholic — we can’t just keep giving communion until we figure it out. If we don’t have our values figured out, our institutions become pointless bureaucracies.”

And finally, William Voegeli writes that “MSNBC Shrill Is No Accident. It’s How Liberals Really Think:”

Convinced that no intelligent, decent person could take conservatism seriously, liberals believe it is not necessary or even possible, when engaging conservative ideas, to go beyond diagnosing the psychological, moral or mental defects that cause people to espouse them. Liberals claim to understand conservatives better than they understand themselves on the basis of seeing through the cynical self-interest of conservative leaders (and funders), and the fanaticism or stupid docility of conservative followers. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, scourge of the Koch brothers, went on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show in 2010 to deny that the Tea Party movement was “a spontaneous uprising that came from nowhere.” In fact, Maddow explained, many of those attending its demonstrations “were essentially instructed to rally against things like climate change by billionaire oil tycoons.”

This condescension has always been part of the liberal outlook. In 1972, eight weeks after George McGovern suffered a historically massive defeat against Richard Nixon, film critic Pauline Kael told the professors at a Modern Language Association conference, “I know only one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.”

The evil sinners are out there, I can feel them! Don’t get too close or their demonic ideas and/or cooties will rub off on you, too!