Liberals would like to reduce such cuteness in the world. Photo by Avsar Aras
NPR has a case study in liberal hypocrisy in its story Should We Be Having Kids in the Age of Climate Change? They feature Travis Rieder, “a philosopher with the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University,” who tells everyone they shouldn’t have children because of climate change.
He’s at James Madison University in southwest Virginia to talk about a “small-family ethic” — to question the assumptions of a society that sees having children as good, throws parties for expecting parents, and in which parents then pressure their kids to “give them grandchildren.”
Like a good liberal, he wants to shame you into not even having baby showers, because baby showers will cause the destruction of the Earth when carried to their end goal, celebrating the addition of a new human life to the planet. Heaven forbid friends and family reward new parents with a cake and a cute little onesie for the little one.
Actually, heaven doesn’t have to forbid it. Rieder wants the government to forbid it–or at least go as far as acceptable in forbidding before appearing completely totalitarian. He wants all tax credits for children stopped, and tax penalties instead imposed. It’s somewhat surprising he didn’t also suggest tax credits for aborting babies. In his world, it could become a real badge of honor to abort a baby to show all your friends your dedication to the climate.
The story then goes on to tell how his wife had wanted lots of children, and despite her husband making his living, his morality, his reputation off of telling others not to have children, they decided to have a child, who’s now two years old.
That doesn’t deter him from trying to terrify his youthful audience into doing what he himself refused to do:
He asks how old they will be in 2036, and, if they are thinking of having kids, how old their kids will be.
“Dangerous climate change is going to be happening by then,” he says. “Very, very soon.”
He’s predicating a climate catastrophe in 2036. Let’s see. His lovely little daughter will be about 22 then. Aw, how sweet. Just graduating from college to float off into the ocean that will rise up and sweep away anyone not consumed by the Earth-bound fires and damnation.
If he’s willing to assure such a tragic future for his daughter, whom he proclaims to be “the most amazing thing we’ve ever done with our lives,” then he cannot truly believe the Chicken-Little alarmism he is selling.
For others, he’s not willing to moderate his “children will destroy the planet” hype.
Rieder’s audience seems to want an easier way. A student asks about the carbon savings from not eating meat.
Excellent idea, Rieder says. But no amount of conservation gives you a pass. Oregon State University researchers have calculated the savings from all kinds of conservation measures: driving a hybrid, driving less, recycling, using energy-efficient appliances, windows and light bulbs.
For an American, the total metric tons of carbon dioxide saved by all of those measures over an entire lifetime of 80 years: 488. By contrast, the metric tons saved when a person chooses to have one fewer child: 9,441.
Another student asks: “What happens if that kid you decided not to have would have been the person who grew up and essentially cured this?”
Again, great question, says Rieder, but the answer is still no. First, the chances are slim. More to the point, he says, valuing children as a means to an end — be it to cure climate change or, say, provide soldiers for the state — is ethically problematic.
With all that’s at stake, he says, we need to shift our cultural attitudes. “It’s not the childless who must justify their lifestyle. It’s the rest of us.”
And that includes Rieder.
Rieder absolves himself of not following the morals he preaches like a modern-day Jim and Tammy Faye Baker by saying he won’t have additional children. No, no, no. They are “one and done,” in the cutesy liberal phraseology. His wife just needed that one to satisfy her extreme human urge she could not control. (She’s the sinner. He was saintly in permitting her to destroy the planet for all the rest of us.)
The story ends with a pair of frightening quotes from Rieder:
“‘The situation is bleak, it’s just dark,’ he says. ‘Population engineering, maybe it’s an extreme move. But it gives us a chance.'”
And then the last line of the story:
“‘We know exactly how to make fewer babies,’ he says.” To which the NPR reporter sums up “And it’s something people can start doing today.”
Tax credits for abortion doesn’t seem such an exaggeration after all, does it?
In a media kit for Kira Kazantsev, the beauty pageant organization lists a variety of her achievements. A special highlight is “Leadership Roles.” It says she was the “Alpha Phi Sorority New Member Educator and Recruitment Committee President.” The only problem is that she was fired from that role and banned from further participation with that sorority in April 2013.
…neither the national Alpha Phi organization nor the Hofstra branch of Alpha Phi (Theta Mu) publicly acknowledged that one of their own had just won the most prestigious beauty pageant in the world; nor did the local chapter and national organization recognize Kazantsev’s considerable achievement. The organization’s affiliated foundation was also silent, despite the fact that pictures of Kazantsev participating in Alpha Phi events are all over Facebook.
Jezebel’s investigation found:
After returning from her fall 2012 study abroad semester in Spain, Kazantsev began her term as Alpha Phi’s Recruitment Committee President for the incoming pledges. Kazantsev and her best friend (another Alpha Phi sister who was also her roommate), our source says, were exceptionally harsh toward the pledges. (In the tipster’s words, they made the recruits’ lives “a living hell.”) Under Kira’s supervision, according to the source, pledges in the incoming class were called names, berated for their perceived physical flaws and imperfections, and made to perform physical tasks to the point of bruising and exhaustion—standard sorority pledge stuff paid forward by a person who our source says was herself brutally hazed upon entry into Alpha Phi.
There are a couple points that Jezebel seems to have gotten wrong in their reporting. First, they say Kazantsev did a fall 2012 study abroad semester. But Kazantsev’s old, now deleted blog seems to indicate it was in the early months of 2012 that she was in Spain, not in the late ones. (See the archived screenshot below.)
Second, Jezebel also continues on in the article to describe fantastical scenes of sorority hazing that their informants claim occurred at Hofstra, though not necessarily in the sorority that Kazantsev joined. But the hazing they describe sounds like wild urban legend, with tales of rejecting pledges deemed to be lesbians and then forcing all the remaining pledges to perform oral sex on the sorority members. I mean, come on. That’s just ludicrous, even if Jezebel says they have more than one source for that story. It calls into question the truthfulness of those sources, but it’s hard to determine if they were the ones also giving information about Kazantsev or if they were only speaking about the Greek system at Hofstra during that time.
But Jezebel did get the dismissal from the sorority right. They report:
When someone reported Kazantsev and her friend for “dirty pledging,” Hofstra didn’t turn a blind eye. After a months-long investigation into their actions, our source says, the pair was expelled from Alpha Phi in late 2013 and told they could no longer participate in any sorority activities, including the end-of-year formal. Kira and her bestie attended the formal, anyway, but had to sneak in with their dates.
The Miss America Organization fully admits that Kazantsev was “terminated” from her sorority, but then instead of addressing it, they weirdly try to draw the Wizard of Oz curtain closed by blaming the scandal on the people reporting what the pageant has tried to hide (if they even knew about her expulsion before they crowned her). In a statement that they released to numerous news organizations picking up on the Jezebel scoop, the pageant said:
Kira has been very open and candid about her termination from the Alpha Phi sorority. It’s unfortunate that this incident has been exploited to create a storyline that distracts from what we should be focusing on: Kira’s impressive academic achievements at Hofstra University, including earning a triple major from the Honors College and her commitment to serving her community. Kira is an exceptional ambassador for the MissAmerica Organization, and we are excited to be a part of her journey as a force for good across our nation, promoting education and service and working to empower young women.
The sorority Alpha Phi itself has remained silent, neither confirming the incident nor coming to the defense of Kazantsev. They did cancel their “Yoga on the Quad” event that was scheduled for tomorrow. They did not reply to an inquiry of whether the cancellation was related to the Kazantsev expulsion news, perhaps out of fear the media would swarm the event.
Kazantsev herself has now come out to publicly admit her expulsion from the sisterhood. But she claims she is really the victim here, clumsily attempting to tie the scandal into her anti-domestic violence platform. Using the occasion to launch her new Miss America blog kirakazantsev.com, Kazantsev wrote late last night in a post she titles “The Reality of Miss America“:
I was one of those girls who fell victim not only to the abuse of an intimate partner but the abuse of people who I thought were my friends. In response, I imposed that attitude unto others because I thought it was right.
So because she was “abused” by “people who I thought were my friends,” she went on to become an abuser. That sounds like a standard claim of abusers. But Kazantsev doesn’t seem so sure that it was ever abuse. She calls it “so-called hazing.”
When I entered the sorority recruitment process at Hofstra University in Spring 2010, I decided to join a sorority for the social life but I also thought that I was joining a legacy of success and philanthropy. My friends were joining, and for fear of being left out, I joined too. To be completely honest, I didn’t know what I was signing up for.
The worst of the so-called hazing was standing in a line reciting information, a few sleepless nights, and crafting. I was yelled at a few times. That year, the sorority got in trouble for those actions and was disciplined by both Hofstra and the national organization. However, after being brought up through that process, my class thought the only way to gain respect in the sorority was to go through it or be seen as weak.
She blames her expulsion not on hazing, but on a little email joke that some snitch forwarded to the national headquarters:
When I was a senior, as one of the older sisters in the sorority, I was asked by a new member educator at the time to send an email to alumni asking them to attend an event. In the email, I joked that we could make the evening scary for the pledges. That statement was a joke – we never intended to actually engage in the wrongful behavior that I have been accused of – and the alumni event I spoke of never came to fruition anyway. But this is when I learned a very important communications lesson that will stick with me for life.
The email was forwarded by someone to the national organization. Based on that information, the national office summoned me for a judiciary hearing. At the time, it was the end of the school year. Finals, graduation, and moving to New York City were at the forefront of my concerns. Based on the fact that I did not attend this hearing that was the official reason given for my termination.
I was never involved with any name-calling or use of profanity toward a girl during my time with the sorority. I was never involved in any physical hazing or any degradation of physical appearance of any kind. This has all been immensely taken out of context and manipulated purposefully because I am now in a public position.
The nameless source that is saying these things is doing exactly what it is that I was wrongfully accused of.
It’s odd that she claims she was banished only because she didn’t show up for the hearing. (Isn’t that a little arrogant to dismiss such a proceeding? If you were innocent, wouldn’t you want to plead your case? If the sisterhood that you proudly list on your resume as your number one leadership role is even vaguely important to you, wouldn’t you want to fight to stay in and, more importantly, want to clear your name?) So the only lesson she notes that she learned from the incident—and “that will stick with me for life”—is don’t put something in an email that a snitch could use against you. Note she yet again concludes that she is the victim here.
It’s hard to know whose story about the cause of the banishment is true: the Jezebel one or hers. Both contain elements that seem untrue. Kazantsev does herself no favors in the overly prepared canned phrases she uses, nor in her donning the victim mantle.
In an softball “exclusive” interview this morning with ABC (the broadcasters of the Miss America pageant), Kazantsev began her defense with “These allegations are not true. I’m incredibly hurt that someone has said these things. Under the broad definition of hazing, yes, I was involved with some of those activities while I was at Hofstra. I came in as an impressionable freshman. And I was hazed.”
See, she’s just a victim.
In a follow-up to ABC’s interview, the writer of the Jezebel scoop, Erin Gloria Ryan, notes that if Kazantsev was expelled solely due to an email joke she made, it “doesn’t explain why an email she sent would result in both her and her best friend/roommate/fellow Alpha Phi senior getting the heave-ho.”
It should also be noted that in “reporting” on this story, GMA did not reach out to me or anyone at Jezebel for comment or clarification; they just had Kazantsev on to deliver her talking points to a sympathetic anchor on the TV home of Miss America. If ABC had reached out, they would have known that since the story ran, we’ve learned more, and that things are still developing on our end. It would have been a tougher interview. But that’s clearly not what GMA wanted.
Let me paraphrase Planned Parenthood’s three points of opposition:
1) The expanded access to birth control is being offered by icky Republicans, such as Colorado Senate candidate Cory Gardner. Republicans hate women. Ergo, vote for Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO).
Planned Parenthood claims that GOP efforts to expand birth control access is “an empty gesture,” because (get ready for non sequiturs) Republicans want to repeal Obamacare and support the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom.
What the leading abortion provider’s press release does not mention is that OTC contraceptives would free many women from having to go to (and pay) its offices to get a prescription for the drugs. If birth control pills were easy to get over-the-counter, it would lose a tremendous revenue stream. It benefits when the government forces women to go to its prescription-writing centers. It benefits by restricting a woman’s access to birth control.
No wonder its leaders say women should be insulted. The women in its accounting department will sure be. Those Republican plots are nefarious indeed.
2) The Republicans plan to make birth control cheaply and easily available to all women on store shelves everywhere. But Republicans do not plan to fill store aisles with IUDs and other contraceptive methods that require a medical procedure. Therefore, no birth control (except the already available condoms, spermicides and “Plan B” pill) should ever be sold OTC.
This is like claiming that because grocery stores can’t offer open heart surgery in the pharmacy aisle, they shouldn’t be able to sell aspirin either.
Planned Parenthood is afraid that if birth control pills are put outside of the pharmacist’s cupboard, then insurance companies won’t have to cover them with no co-pay, and therefore somehow any medically provided contraception would also not be covered.
But there’s no one pushing for that. Instead of allowing tens of millions of women to easily obtain contraception, Planned Parenthood wants to ensure it remains the gatekeeper, and restrict a woman’s access to birth control.
3) Since OTC drugs don’t require a prescription, some women may pay for their own birth control instead of having an insurance company do it. Therefore, no women should be able to have access to OTC birth control pills.
This is comparable to arguing that because Nexium is now available as an OTC drug (at a significantly reduced price), I can’t get a prescription for it and have the insurance company pay. That’s not true.
Granted, the insurance company may prefer that I buy it for myself off the shelf, but while insurance companies may change their formularies for prescription coverage all the time without much public clamor, there’s no way they can change their coverage of birth control pills without clothes-rending and wailing from groups like Planned Parenthood and government intervention from HHS.
Planned Parenthood also sides with pharmaceutical companies as it notes in underlined text in their press release: “there is not a single manufacturer that has submitted an application to the FDA to [sell its product over-the-counter].”
That same press release says “In 2013, 56 percent of women paid no out-of-pocket costs for prescription birth control, up from 14 percent in 2012.” This means that 44 percent of women did pay out-of-pocket costs. At the very least, those 44 percent are being needlessly inconvenienced by OTC access opponents such as Planned Parenthood.
All in all, the fears that Planned Parenthood expresses as an effort to stop the Republican plan to give women greater access to contraception belies its true agenda: protecting Democrats, precription writers, Big Pharma and its 156 million dollar pot of birth control pills.
UPDATE: Ok, so Barack Obama has finally come out and told the world what we knew he has been hiding all along: he supports gay marriage. Guess his team did some flash polling and focus grouping over the past couple days to find he can apparently live without the homophobic black vote in November—or they will have no where else to go.
But according to an MSNBC contributor, you’re racist if you think blacks are homophobic. See her rant here.
On NBC political director Chuck Todd’s show, The Daily Rundown, his panel briefly discussed the oddity of having Joe Biden come out over the weekend in favor of gay marriage and then having the White House scramble to make it clear that is Biden’s opinion, not Obama’s position. (Todd and his panel didn’t mention the coming out of Obama’s Secretary of Education Arne Duncan this morning, thus setting up the Obama campaign strategy of surrounding himself with pro-gay marriage personnel while he can claim to be sympathetic to the issue but yet “still evolving.” What a coward!)
Todd asks his panelists (Celinda Lake, Democratic pollster; Michael Steele, former GOP Party Chairman; and Dan Balz, Washington Post liberal) why Obama won’t just come out in favor of gay marriage. The unified panel opinion may surprise you—or at least seem racist to you, even though they don’t blink an eye in saying it:
While these same people and their peers frequently deem anyone who opposes gay marriage to be “homophobic,” they apparently have absolutely no problem accepting the widespread opposition to gay marriage in the black community.
To not even elaborate on the reason why the black community is the primary cause for Obama’s phony posturing smacks of…paternalism. While they bash religious communities and redneck regions for disapproving of gay marriage, they give the black community a complete pass. It’s as if they think the black community is simply not ready to be held to the same standards as whites. Do they think the black community just doesn’t know any better, is incapable of meeting their elite requirements, so it’s okay to appease them? Better to pat them on the head and get their vote than to offend their homophobic sensitivities?
Why the double standard? Seems fairly racist to me.
As Congress has cut Barack Obama out of the debt ceiling negotiations, he’s had to try to find other ways to keep his perpetual reelection campaign on track. Jake Tapper at ABCNews reports in his “Obama Campaign Takin’ It To the Tweets” story, his latest campaign tactic is being conducted in 140 characters or less at a time:
The president earlier today tweeted a message on his campaign account @BarackObama: “The time for putting party first is over. If you want to see a bipartisan #compromise, let Congress know. Call. Email. Tweet. —BO”
(You can tell it’s “from him” because he signed it.)
That was followed by Obama 2012 staffers tweeting:
“You heard the President. So here’s what we’re doing: throughout the day we’ll post the Twitter handles of GOP lawmakers in each state.”
“Tweet at your Republican legislators and urge them to support a bipartisan compromise to the debt crisis.”
Presumably the Obama campaign is going in some kind of alphabetical order (ish) by state since staffers began with Alaska and have moved on to Alabama.
“Alaska voters: Tweet @lisamurkowski and ask her to compromise on a balanced deficit solution.
“Live in AK? Have a Republican representative? Tweet them and ask them to support a bipartisan compromise to deficit reduction.
“AK Republican rep on Twitter: @repdonyoung”…
The campaign’s digital team is spear-heading the campaign.
First, Obama’s tweet is utterly laughable. How can he bear to tweet about putting partisanship aside without giving in to the irresistible urge to add “ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!” to it? If he weren’t so adamant in putting party first, this whole “crisis” would have been over weeks ago.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. He doesn’t put party first. He puts himself first. What’s good for Barack Obama is mandatory for America. He has repeatedly said he is willing to send the government into “default” unless the GOP agrees not to mess with his reelection efforts. His bottom line: Sweep the issue of his massive, exploding debts under the rug by giving him plenty of debt ceiling cushion for budget-busting spending in 2012, or he’s gonna make us all sorry.
Second, is his campaign putting party aside? How come the compromise only deals with Republicans? The Republicans have compromised in all of their bills. Why not call the Democrats and ask them to compromise their positions and vote for one of the GOP bills?
Michelle Malkin called attention to the genius effect of Obama’s #compromise Twitter campaign: tweeting his followers with the Twitter addresses of every Republican member of Congress amounted to little more than flooding the tweetstreams of over 9 million users with hours of spam.
Not only were Obama’s actions hypocritical and motivated entirely out of self-interest, but they also fell under the law of unintended consequences, as National Journal found that “Republican Senators, in total, added about 6,500 new followers throughout the afternoon.
Rachel Maddow is a lefty elitist who thinks she knows better than everyone. So in the latest Spike Lee-directed commercial for her strident, ranting MSNBC show, she stands before the Hoover Dam and proclaims that it takes a nation, not a man or a village, to build such a feat. (Hey, Rachel, the vision starts with one man, generally.) She says we’ve got a lot of other such feats ready to go, but asks whether we as a nation have the guts to go forward with them.
Well, Rachel, why don’t you ask your buddies that question? Their answer would be a resounding NO! In fact, they are devoted to ripping down the dams. To hell with any energy or industrial or recreational purpose they provide to HUMANS. In the land of Rachel Maddow’s friends, humans are less than the other creatures of the earth.
If Rachel had just bothered to check the internet corner of MSNBC, she would have found a lovely 2007 story of GE, an energy contractor and owner (now part-owner) of MSNBC, heralding the demolishing of some of the grandest dams in the Northeast.
Because they had created new forms of energy? No. Because it would benefit humans? No. Because it would let the fish swim free (and not have to go over “human made” ladders to get from one side of the dam to the other)? Bingo! The MSNBC story even came complete with a smarmy left-enviro headline: “Ka-bye to dam that had blocked fish runs.” [Note to MSNBC copyeditor: The dismissive phonetic spelling of “Okay, bye” is “Kay-bye” to denote the long “a.”]
The largest dam removal in the Pacific Northwest in 40 years is under way, with 4,000 pounds of explosives used Tuesday to blast the top level of one structure into oblivion.
When the two dams are fully removed, one this summer and the other next summer, the Sandy River will be a free-flowing river for the first time in nearly a century — and no longer a hindrance to steelhead and salmon returning to spawn.
Odd how wind farm photos never show blurred spinning blades.
There went a whopping $17 million in demolition costs to destroy many more millions of dollars in human engineering efforts.
So what if the demolition of just one dam eliminates nearly 5% of the energy resources for the area. Part of the energy of a giant wind farm (which apparently doesn’t look as spectacular as a prop for Maddow to stand in front of) will be diverted to make up for it—instead of making up for fossil fuel energy:
PGE officials said the 22 megawatt capacity dam system, built in 1913, was too costly to maintain, particularly considering new environmental protections for endangered salmon and steelhead. The utility is building a 126 megawatt wind farm in southern Oregon that is expected to go online by December.
The $10 million project calls for the 22-foot-high dam to be removed by February 2006.
Residents began arriving before dawn to watch. For many, the demolition was sentimental, recalling an industrial era when the riverbanks were dotted with textile and grain mills.
“It’s sort of out of respect for the dam,” Bob Wallace said. “It’s done its job well. It’s a landmark.”
The demolition will make the Rappahannock the longest free-flowing river in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and should also open up hundreds of miles of river to migratory fish — including American shad, hickory shad and blueback herring — for the first time since 1854, when a wooden crib dam was built to power mills.
The Embrey Dam has not produced power since the 1960s.
Yet, the final paragraph seems to belie that the residents and the owners of the dam were not happy with the removal:
In 1999, the Edwards Dam on Maine’s Kennebec River was torn down to let fish swim upstream again, becoming the first hydroelectric dam in the country removed by the U.S. government against its owners’ wishes.
How odd they bring up a forcible dam removal a thousand miles and years away when it comes as a non sequitur to their feel-good fish story.
Build dams, Rachel? Looks like we’re mainly tearing them down:
By 2001, after losing every lawsuit and spending more than $1 million on legal fees, the district agreed to remove the dam. The next year the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board pledged $3 million, and a year later Congress started approving funding that would eventually cover the rest of the $39.3 million cost.
“One reason this project took so long is people had to adjust their notions of what progress was,” said John DeVoe of Portland, executive director of WaterWatch. “There was a lot of opposition to removing the dam because it was viewed as a symbol of progress.”
That’s right, we have to adjust our notions to fit the opinions of environmentalists, or we’ll get the heck sued out of us and end up sticking Congress (the American people) with the tab.
These are just the ones I found in a quick internet search—with most of the coverage coming, unintended, from MSNBC’s own website. A conservation group, American Rivers, says on their website that over 600 dams have been removed in the past 50 years, and they surmise that we will never return to dam building again (that is one of their goals).
Collectivists have been BLOCKING projects like the Hoover Dam for decades for snail darters and other nitty little reasons! Collectivists have been PREVENTING projects like the Hoover Dam because human beings don’t deserve to live on Mother Earth and rape her resources. Do you have amnesia, or are you out of your mind?
This ad is entirely inconsistent and stupid. I want my philosophical opponents to be better than this, and Maddow used to be better than this. I am thoroughly disappointed. It’s no wonder that the damned dam thing has only 478 views since being uploaded over a week ago on NBC’s channel.
And in a post titled “MSNBC’s Nostalgia is Dam Inconvenient for President Obama,” Ed Driscoll of PajamasMedia notes a very interesting tidbit in answer to Maddow’s question of whether we can still think as big as the Hoover Dam:
And the answer from the Obama administration, as Joel Kotkin noted at the Politico last fall is…No We Can’t!
When FDR commissioned projects such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, he literally brought light to darkened regions. The loyalty created by FDR and Truman built a base of support for liberalism that lasted for nearly a half-century.
Today’s liberals don’t show enthusiasm for airports or dams — or anything that may kick up some dirt. Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior Deanna Archuleta, for example, promised a Las Vegas audience: “You will never see another federal dam.”
Well, Rachel, I guess you got your answer, from one of your guys. Yes, we can think that big, but y’all do everything you can to tear it down.
By the way, Rachel, your ad says we’ve got a lot of other national projects as massive and significant as the Hoover Dam “on the menu.” That smacks of blowing smoke to me. What public works projects do we have ready to go—or even proposed—that come close to the size and grandeur of the Hoover Dam? Can you name a few? One? Are any of them dams?
We squandered one trillion dollars on picayune and non-essential (and even non-existent) projects with the stimulus debacle. Maybe back then was the time to talk about doing something real with that money if it had to be spent.