Oh, the horrors! Not only does Mars need women, but apparently it also needs Al Gore and his eco-tripe An Inconvenient Truth, too. Here is the tragedy as reported by the UK’s Times Online article:

Mars is being hit by rapid climate change and it is happening so fast that the red planet could lose its southern ice cap, writes Jonathan Leake.

Scientists from NASA say that Mars has warmed by about 0.5C since the 1970s. This is similar to the warming experienced on Earth over approximately the same period.

Since there is no known life on Mars it suggests rapid changes in planetary climates could be natural phenomena.

So, will signing the Kyoto Treaty fix the Red Planet’s global warming problems? Or will Martian global warming be fixed as soon as the Martians give up their love of SUVs? If you think either of these solutions will fix the warming of Mars, you need to go back to school and pay attention in science class this time. It has already been reported that the sun has been more active in the past few decades than in any previous time human beings have documented, and this is not the first report of Mars heating up. So could it be the sun causing the warming trend? The Times Online article doesn’t think so:

The mechanism at work on Mars appears, however, to be different from that on Earth. One of the researchers, Lori Fenton, believes variations in radiation and temperature across the surface of the Red Planet are generating strong winds.

It’s not the sun that’s doing it, researcher Lori Fenton says, it’s variations in radiation and temperature. Well, other than volcanic activity, where else would “variations in radiation and temperature” come from? Martian surface temperatures ultimately come from solar energy, and radiation is the Martian surface giving back the heat it’s absorbed from the sun. But Fenton says it’s not the sun, and she’s a researcher, so you can believe her. It’s not the sun. Nope, not the sun. Can’t be the sun.

Think about this: you are happily playing on your Xbox 360 when the power goes out. You look out the window and see the power is out all down the street. Is it more likely that there is a single cause behind the loss of power, such as a blown transformer, or is it the result of a multitude of different causes, like shutting off the main breakers in the house, cutting into the power line with a backhoe, or failing to pay the electric bill? I’ll leave the answer as an exercise to the reader.

It’s a shame this report didn’t come out on Earth Day, but as ironic as that timing would have been, I believe that no amount of contradictory evidence will make die-hard environmentalists change their stand on anthropogenic global warming. It’s become far too lucrative to give up.

Senator Barack Obama recently gave a speech about foreign policy, and the Junior Senator from Illinois outlined things he would do if he were President. If you have the stomach for it, you should read the whole thing, but I’ll excerpt a few parts:

We have heard much over the last six years about how America’s larger purpose in the world is to promote the spread of freedom — that it is the yearning of all who live in the shadow of tyranny and despair.

I agree. But this yearning is not satisfied by simply deposing a dictator and setting up a ballot box. The true desire of all mankind is not only to live free lives, but lives marked by dignity and opportunity; by security and simple justice.

And how exactly do we accomplish this lofty and laudable goal? The Senator from Illinois explains:

Delivering on these universal aspirations requires basic sustenance like food and clean water; medicine and shelter. It also requires a society that is supported by the pillars of a sustainable democracy — a strong legislature, an independent judiciary, the rule of law, a vibrant civil society, a free press, and an honest police force. It requires building the capacity of the world’s weakest states and providing them what they need to reduce poverty, build healthy and educated communities, develop markets, and generate wealth. And it requires states that have the capacity to fight terrorism, halt the proliferation of deadly weapons, and build the health care infrastructure needed to prevent and treat such deadly diseases as HIV/AIDS and malaria.

And how is this laundry list of actions unlike the work we are already doing in Iraq? Contrary to the snide comment of “simply deposing a dictator and setting up a ballot box,” the U.S. has been doing a very commendable job of rebuilding the infrastructure and quality of life in Iraq. Not that we’d hear that from the news, since they are only interested in reporting bad news.

Sen. Obama also said, “Our interests are best served when people and governments from Jerusalem and Amman to Damascus and Tehran understand that America will stand with our friends, work hard to build a peaceful Middle East, and refuse to cede the future of the region to those who seek perpetual conflict and instability.” Please tell Speaker Pelosi and other Democrat wanna-be Secretaries of State to stop sending mixed messages abroad. Then Sen. Obama explained that he would pay other nations to like us more:

As President, I will double our annual investments in meeting these challenges to $50 billion by 2012 and ensure that those new resources are directed towards these strategic goals.

The problem is that paying people to like us has not worked in the past. The Heritage Foundation recently released an analysis of U.N. votes by nations and aid money we give them. Of the top ten nations receiving foreign aid from the U.S., only Israel consistently casts its votes with the U.S. All the rest vote more times against our interests than for them. Imagine giving money to your out-of-work brother, only to have him rail against you at every family gathering. It would be obvious that your payments hadn’t succeeded in gaining you any good will. And since you couldn’t control how he spent the money, he chose to buy cases of beer for himself rather than food for his family. Do you really expect giving money to a dictator would have any better results than money given to your ingrate bum brother?

Jim Quinn of the Warroom recently brought up an interesting parallel. Back when the Barbary Pirates were seizing American ships and taking the sailors and passengers as slaves, the U.S. and other countries tried to buy the pirates off with tribute money. Payment didn’t keep the seas free of pirates, but the second Barbary War succeeded in doing just that. It appears to me that Sen. Obama believes paying off the pirates will have a better result this time. What is that phrase about people who are ignorant of history?

Since we are talking about historical parallels, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, then serving as ambassadors to France and Britain respectively, met with the then-ambassador from Tripoli to Britain, Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja. When they asked Adja why Tripoli was so hostile to Americans, they got a response that could have recently fallen from Osama’s lips:

That it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.

I can only come away with one opinion after reading Sen. Obama’s address: this foreign policy neophyte should never become President.

Well, both the House and the Senate have voted for defeat in Iraq, calling for our troops to leave October 1st. Make no mistake, if we pull out because of some arbitrary time limit, we will have lost in Iraq. Then the thousands of lives lost there really would have been lost in vain. President Bush has promised to veto the bill when it reaches his desk, and I believe that would make it the second veto of his Presidency. I am dismayed at how much the Democratic party leadership is mirroring the desires of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. Here is a quick breakdown of what these three groups want:

What do these groups want?
Republicans Democrats Terrorists
U.S. to win in Iraq U.S. to lose in Iraq U.S. to lose in Iraq
Troops to stay Troops to leave Troops to leave
Fight terrorism Negotiate with terrorism Islam to take over U.S.

There is a common phrase that says, “American politics end at the water’s edge.” We can argue and debate our issues and goals within the U.S., but when we go overseas, we ought to be united. But this doesn’t hold true for the Democrats. Speaker Pelosi wanders overseas and actively undermines our sitting President. And now we see that the Democrats are ready to surrender Iraq to the very terrorists who explode IEDs in public markets. Way to stand on your principles, Dems!

I have a dream of an alternate reality in which Democrats support our war on terror. I imagine the Democratic party leadership standing next to President Bush and telling the world in word and deed that all America stands firmly behind our President and our soldiers fighting terrorists around the world. In this imaginary world, I see the terrorists realizing that they cannot succeed against a united America, they lose their morale, and they disband and go away. But in the world in which we live, every time a Democrat demands we leave Iraq or claims we have already lost, the terrorists’ morale improves and the morale of our own soldiers sinks. I would define that as aiding and abetting our enemies, wouldn’t you?

As Rush Limbaugh says, the Democrats own defeat.

The right of freedom of speech is protected in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and it’s pretty easy to understand. Nestled in with the rest of the rights explained in the First Amendment is the following: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.” U.S. citizens aren’t alone in this right. Chinese citizens also have freedom of speech, as outlined in Article 35 of the Chinese constitution: “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.” I would say that the hundreds dead at Tiananmen Square reveal the truth about Chinese freedom of speech, assembly, and demonstration. But that’s what you get when you have a “living Constitution” that means whatever the current government says it means. In the Constitution of the European Union, freedom of speech is covered by Article II, 71: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression.”

Well, not any more:

European Union on Thursday made inciting racism and xenophobia crimes throughout its 27 member states in a landmark decision tempered by caveats to appease free speech concerns.

The new deal specifies one- to three-year prison terms be available for incitement to violence or hatred “against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin”.

That could include the sending of “tracts, pictures or other material.”

Germany has long held a tight rein on free speech. After World War II, it became illegal to publicly display the swastika or deny the Holocaust. I can understand the Germans’ loathing of Nazism, but I have a stronger love of free speech than my loathing of mass-murdering Nazi poopheads. I prefer to allow neo-Nazis to spout their hate and let people clearly see them for the wild-eyed fruitbars that they truly are. As I see it, once we start to block the political speech of people we dislike, how long will it be until our own political speech is blocked because someone else doesn’t like it? But the new rule in the EU goes even further than limiting incitement of violence or hatred:

The text also notes that “member states may choose to punish only conduct which is either carried out in a manner likely to disturb public order or which is threatening, abusive or insulting.”

Did you catch that last bit? It is now illegal to insult someone in the EU. No more Triumph the Insult Comic Dog in the EU. And for that matter, no more Jay Leno, Dave Letterman, or any other comedian who might make other people feel bad. I think a case could be made that just watching Rosie O’Donnell on “The View” is abusive and insulting, but since she doesn’t live in the EU, Rosie is safe for now.

Do you think I’m making a mountain out of a molehill over the phrase “threatening, abusive or insulting”? Take a look at this relevant tidbit from Denmark:

Three Danish lawmakers, all members of the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party, have been reported to police for making remarks comparing Muslim women’s headscarves with swastikas.

The three were reported by the Documentation and Advisory Center on Racial Discrimination, Line Boegsted, spokeswoman of the Copenhagen-based non-governmental organization, said today in a telephone interview.

“The comments they’ve made were deeply unpleasant,” Boegsted said. “The question is now if they also were illegal.”

Parliament member Soeren Krarup was cited in daily Politiken and other Danish media on April 18 as saying that Muslim women’s headscarves, like Nazi Germany’s swastikas, symbolized totalitarian repression.

Welcome to the new, progressive European Union, where freedom of speech is a thing of the past.

There are moments of moral clarity in life when the obscuring fog of confusion and doubt are blown away by a blast of information that brings everything into sharp detail. One of these occurred last night as I read the following from a FrontPage Magazine article about the actions of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) (hat tip to Little Green Footballs):

Seven years earlier in November 1999, two Saudi students on an America West flight from Phoenix to Columbus were detained after landing because they had made repeated attempts to enter the cockpit area of the plane during the flight.

In both cases, CAIR rose up to defend the offenders in question and engaged in their now standard grievance theater protest politics. In the most recent case, CAIR has tried to capitalize on the publicity surrounding the incident by backing the “Flying Imams” and supporting their lawsuit against the airlines and passengers for responding to their bizarre behavior. The lawsuit is being handled by a Muslim attorney associated with CAIR.

When it comes to the November 1999 incident, any mention of CAIR’s involvement or defense of the Saudi students has been scrubbed from the organization’s website. It’s no wonder, as the 9/11 Commission Report (page 521, footnote 60) explains that the FBI now considers the incident as a “dry run” for the 9/11 hijackings. And the two men involved? As the 9/11 Commission Report explains, Hamdan al-Shalawi was in Afghanistan in November 2000 training at an Al-Qaeda camp to launch “Khobar Tower”-type attacks against the US in Saudi Arabia, and Mohammad Al-Qadhaieen was arrested in June 2003 as a material witness in the 9/11 attacks. Both men were friends of Al-Qaeda recruiter, Zakaria Mustapha Soubra, who drove them to the airport that day in Qadhaieen’s car. Another friend of Shalawi is Ghassan al-Sharbi, another Al-Qaeda operative that would later be captured in Pakistan with high-level Al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida.

There is a connection between these two incidents, as the leader of the six “Flying Imams” this past November is none other than Omar Shahin, the former imam of the Islamic Center of Tucson, where the two Saudi students from the November 1999 incident attended. Counterterrorism expert Rita Katz told the Washington Post in September 2002 that the mosque served as “basically the first cell of Al-Qaeda in the United States; that is where it all started”. (Len Sherman’s Arizona Monthly November 2004 article, “Al Qaeda among Us”, provides greater detail about the connections between the Saudi pair involved in the November 1999 event and the Al-Qaeda cell that operated in Tucson and Phoenix.)

These links helped me to understand with clarity something I had long suspected: CAIR is an organization of quislings, willingly assisting the Islamic terrorists who labor to kill Americans and overthrow our nation’s rule of law to replace it with Shari’a. CAIR is actively using civil rights lawsuits as a smoke screen for terrorists. Groups like CAIR insist on the current insanity at airports that requires 80-year-old grandmas and a former Vice President to pull off their shoes and receive pat-downs. We mustn’t profile, because that would get airport security sued for racism. But Islam is a religion, not a race.

I refuse to listen to any further grievances voiced by terrorism-tainted CAIR, or by any other group that functions as a support system for those who seek the Islamist overthrow of these United States and the world.

The shooting at Virginia Tech is a horror, and my sympathies go out to everyone affected by this gruesome event. I am appalled to discover that there are ghouls eager to use this tragedy to further their own agenda. Michelle Malkin reports that the New York Times has already posted an editorial calling for more gun control. As my wife put it, “Because when gun control doesn’t work, it’s time for more gun control.” Yeah, it’s gonna work this time, really.

But some of the agenda-pushing can be more subtle. Here is an interesting quote from page three of an ABC news story:

It is unknown at this time if [Cho's] guns had standard or extended clips, which, depending on the weapon, can fire as many as 30 shots before the gun has to be reloaded.

Since the information is unknown, what is the point of reporting this?

Here’s what is known: Cho bought chains to block off the building where the killing spree took place, making it difficult or impossible for anyone to enter or leave, so that he could shoot and kill at his leisure. He also chose to kill people in a school environment, where he would be highly unlikely to face armed response from his would-be victims; in most states, it is now illegal to carry a firearm onto a school campus unless one is an officer engaged in a police action. (The illegality of the act doesn’t seem to have deterred any of the school shooters, though. Hmm.) Further, the Virginia Tech administration was slow to respond to the initial shooting, choosing to keep campus open even though two people were already dead. All these variables led to a “perfect storm” environment where Cho was able to kill as many people as he liked for an extended period of time; the questioned size of his gun clips had little or nothing to do with the extent of the slaughter he perpetrated on the Virginia Tech faculty and students.

But since gun control advocates are focusing on the size of gun clips as the next attack on Second Amendment rights, the reporters wanted to be sure readers would associate the use of extended clips with the murders at Virginia Tech. I can easily imagine what the news might look like if more journalists were to report pure speculation as news:

It is unknown at this time if Ken Jennings is human or a Martian, which, depending on the Martian, can mind-meld as far as 50 feet away from a game show host.

Martian Ken

That’s entertainment. But it surely isn’t journalism.

UPDATE: Apparently the original ABC News story was even more speculative than it is now. Unbelievable.

Two news stories intrigued me today. The first was a news report from bonnie Scotland (hat tip to LittleGreenFootballs), where local officials are expanding what is considered Islamophobia:

PUPILS and teachers have been told by an official body not to stare at Muslims for fear of causing offence.

A document intended to educate against religious intolerance and sectarianism urges teachers to “make pupils aware of the various forms of Islamophobia, ie stares, verbal abuse, physical abuse”.

But Learning Teaching Scotland (LTS), which issued the advice to schools north of the border, has been criticised by politicians and Muslim leaders for going “over the top”.

The document states: “Some Muslims may choose to wear clothing or display their faith in a way that makes them visible. For example, women may be wearing a headscarf, and men might be wearing a skullcap. Staring or looking is a form of discrimination as it makes the other person feel uncomfortable, or as though they are not normal.”

Osama Saeed, a spokesman for the Muslim Association of Britain, accused officials of going too far. “There are far more serious elements of Islamophobia. People look at all sorts of things — that can just be a glance. A glance and a stare are two different things — glances happen naturally when all sorts of things catch your eye whereas a stare is probably gawking at something.

“Personally I have not encountered much of a problem with people staring. I don’t know how you legislate for that.”

Murdo Fraser, deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives, said: “In a multicultural society like ours there are people with all different forms of dress and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect children in particular to look at those who are differently dressed from them. To describe this as a form of discrimination seems to go completely over the top.” [emphasis mine - CM]

Staring or looking is now a form of discrimination, thanks to LTS. But Osama Saeed makes a great point when he asks how to legislate for looking. Do we need cops armed with stopwatches following Muslims around the schools, timing how long people are allowed to look at them? “You looked at her for 3.5 seconds, and that is .5 seconds over the allowed time limit! I’m taking you downtown for questioning to see what other Islamophobic tendencies you have.”

Sound farfetched? But just follow the logic: if there is a rule against staring, then there must be a way to judge between a look and a stare, and there must be a punishment for looking too long. All of these actions would be needed to combat Islamophobia. Now let me take a moment to rant at people who twist the known meanings of words. A phobia is an irrational fear of something. It does not mean disagreement with or hatred of something. But people started using the term “homophobia” to mean anyone who doesn’t agree with gay and lesbian agendas, not just someone with an irrational fear of same-sex attraction. Now expect to see more people use “Islamophobia” as a verbal cudgel to beat anyone who doesn’t automatically accept the superiority of Islam. You can’t look at that Muslim, you infidel! Avert your eyes and accept your status as a dhimmi.

The second news story comes from the Katherine Kersten article in the Star Tribune (hat tip to Power Line Blog):

The [Muslim Accommodations Task Force]‘s eventual objectives on American campuses include the following, according to the website: permanent Muslim prayer spaces, ritual washing facilities, separate food and housing for Muslim students, separate hours at athletic facilities for Muslim women, paid imams or religious counselors, and campus observance of Muslim holidays. The task force is already hailing “pioneering” successes. At Syracuse University in New York, for example, “Eid al Fitr is now an official university holiday,” says an article featured on the website. “The entire university campus shuts down to mark the end of Ramadan.” At Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Mich., “halal” food — ritually slaughtered and permissible under Islamic law — is marked by green stickers in the cafeteria and “staff are well-trained in handling practices.”

At Georgetown University, Muslim women can live apart in housing that enables them to “sleep in an Islamic setting,” as the website puts it. According to a student at the time the policy was adopted, the university housing office initially opposed the idea, on grounds that all freshman should have the experience of “living in dorms and dealing with different kinds of people.” That might sound appealing, Muslim students told a reporter in an article featured on the website. But in their view, the reporter wrote, “learning to live with ‘different kinds of people’ ” actually “causes more harm than good” for Muslims, because it requires them to live in an environment that “distracts them from their desire to become better Muslims, and even draw[s] weaker Muslims away from Islam.”

Where is this happening? Why, Minnesota, of course! I am not all that surprised. I don’t have a problem with people wanting to eat their own permissible foods; schools with large Jewish student bodies have served kosher meals for years, and just try buying beer — or even caffeinated soda — on the Brigham Young University campus. But when people start demanding “separate but equal” accommodations, I see a problem. I find it interesting that the same people who claim to champion diversity will also agree to a plan that removes diversity from Muslim lives. Did you notice at the end of the second paragraph that Islam is so fragile its followers must be sheltered from anything and anyone who isn’t Muslim? I have observed before that religious proselyting is strictly forbidden in most Muslim countries, and I have to believe this is so because Islam is too fragile a religion to survive scrutiny. This is why Muslims claim a need for separate-but-equal dorms, and people had better not stare at them.

Orson Scott Card has weighed in on the Presidential candidacy of fellow Mormon Mitt Romney. Card’s article addresses six fears that are being raised about Romney becoming President. The first four are answered well:

  • Will Salt Lake City Tell Him What To Do As President?
  • Will Mitt Romney As President Make Mormonism Seem More Legitimate?
  • Mormons Aren’t Christians, Are They? Aren’t They a Cult?
  • What About Polygamy?

And then comes the next objection: Only Dumb and Crazy People Believe Those Doctrines! Yeah, I’ve already seen that charge leveled against Romney, and Card does a great job of addressing it. Here’s part of his response:

Ah. Here’s where we come to the ugly part.

This is what that article about Mormon beliefs in The Week was really about — making Mitt Romney seem like an idiot for believing in Mormon doctrine.

In his book, Hugh Hewitt recounts some really offensive, outrageous attempts by opponents of Mitt Romney to try to force him, in press conferences, to answer questions about Mormon belief.

“Do you, personally, really believe in [insert wacko-sounding doctrine here]?”

Sometimes the people asking that question will be evangelical Christians out to “expose” how false and ridiculous Mormon doctrines are.

But when the press picks it up, it’ll be anti-religious people using a man’s religious faith as a reason to ridicule him so he can’t be elected President.

Do you think Mormons are the only people who can be treated that way?

If you’re a Catholic, would you appreciate some reporter asking a Catholic presidential candidate, “Do you really believe that when you take the communion wafer, it literally turns into human flesh in your mouth? Isn’t that cannibalism?”

If you’re a Baptist, would you think it was legitimate for a heckler at a press conference to ask a Baptist presidential candidate, “So you think that when Jesus comes again, you’re going to just rise right up into the air, no airplane, no jet pack, you’ll just fly? Or aren’t you a good enough Baptist to be in the Rapture?”

Everybody’s religious beliefs sound crazy when you talk about them scornfully.

The next time someone brings that complaint up online, I’ll quote that section of Card’s essay as a response and be done with it. Anti-Mormon bigots who choose to mock Mormons for their religious beliefs have already made up their minds, and nothing I could say — or quote — will change that, so I refuse to waste any more time with them.

But it is the final question Card poses that is the crux of the matter: Is Mitt Romney the Best Candidate? Card doesn’t know, and neither do I, but I can easily say that I’d rather have Romney for President than any Democrat I could name, other than Zell Miller.

Now do yourself a favor and go read the whole thing.

The media dogs have been barking around Don Imus for some insulting comments he made about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. The negative attention has been sufficient to cause Imus to lose his job at CBS. I’ve not written anything about it so far because I neither listen to Imus nor look to him for information, so normally I wouldn’t care what he said in any case. But his comments have garnered nation-wide attention, and that in itself makes the situation newsworthy.

The First Amendment says the following about free speech: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” As I read it, Congress is forbidden from telling people what they can or cannot say — and that includes over the airways. A strict Constitutional interpretation of the freedom of speech would prohibit Congress from forbidding or fining people for saying @#$% or &^%$ or even *@%! on the radio or TV, making the old Monty Python song potentially acceptable for airplay. Speaking of what constitutes “permitted speech,” I heard the following sound bite by Al Sharpton on the radio this morning:

It is our feeling that this is only the beginning. We must have a broad discussion on what is permitted and not permitted in terms of the airwaves.

That quote is on the Drudge Report, but interestingly enough, a search for this quote isn’t currently pulling up much. But I find this comment of greater concern to Americans than Imus’ obnoxious comments were. You may say that Imus’ comments were bigoted and inexcusable, and I will agree with you wholeheartedly. But his comments are the act of one man embarrassing himself on the national airwaves by sharing his bigoted feelings with the world. It is his right to say what he wants, even if those words end up getting him in trouble. Sharpton’s comment, by comparison, is frightening in that it represents the thoughts of a single man who believes it is his privilege to dictate to all Americans which thoughts and opinions can and cannot be voiced in public. That is not his role. As much as I am disgusted by comments of the kind that put Imus in such hot water, I’d rather allow him the protections of free speech — even if it means he abuses that protection by spouting inanities — than live in Sharpton’s world of “permitted and not permitted” speech.

The thing I find most interesting about this story is that the media is nipping around Imus’ ankles and barking about his statement, while at the same time giving a pass to others who continue to make far more hateful, misogynistic and racist statements than Imus did. Since Al Sharpton has insisted on inserting himself into this fray, I’ll mention one example of his own race-baiting rhetoric: Tawana Brawley. Where is the media’s condemnation of Sharpton? Where is their outrage at the bigoted statements of Jesse “Hymietown” Jackson? People like Sharpton, Jackson, and numerous rap artists receive a pass from the media, but that same media will continue to bark around Imus for days if not weeks. When I see the media act this way, I am reminded of a particular conversation between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson:

“Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

“To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”

“The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

“That was the curious incident,” remarked Sherlock Holmes.

The point of this conversation was that guard dogs don’t bark when their master is about. Who, then, is the media’s master?

We have basic cable at home — a first — and I admit that I love watching shows on the Discovery Channel and AMC. Mythbusters and Dirty Jobs are by far my favorites. [By contrast, I'm getting sick of the TV constantly yammering away in the background. --TPK]

One of the channels is a public access forum, and all sorts of random stuff appears there. Sturgeon’s Law is in full force. One morning I was treated to a choice nugget of nonsense in the form of “Liberty News TV.” While waiting for my carpool to arrive, I watched a cartoon explaining why people are unhappy, and purporting to show how government can make them happier.

If you want to experience the… uh, thrill, of Liberty News TV “education,” you can view the same cartoon online here (forward to about 17:30). The three cartoon characters — Bingo, Trudy, and Nigel — chat and stroke the host, Daniel Noel, until about 19:10 when the following gem of economic silliness is given:

Daniel: Why do so many Americans feel unhappy? Let’s start with a big one: the gap between rich and poor. It’s a gap that grows a little every day, thanks to tax cuts for the rich, corporate welfare, and war.

Bingo: I’m poor, and he’s rich. And that stinks. I’m unhappy!

Daniel: A progressive tax system asks more from the rich and increases overall happiness because it spreads the wealth around.

Bingo: Look, Trudy! Nigel’s learning to share.

Trudy: Brilliant! Taxing the rich will help the Yanks pay for health care and improve education. Maybe some of them will learn to pronounce “nuclear.”

Bingo/Trudy: I feel happier already.

Nigel: I’m snuckered. I can’t afford to buy as much stock in Halliburton this year.

Trudy: Sorry, Nigel. Remember the cardinal rule: create the most happiness for the most people.

Nigel: That takes it! My bloody watch has stopped.

Bingo: Don’t worry. I called him a “Wambulance.”

Oh, where to begin? First, the good folk at Liberal Noise Liberty News TV postulate that rich people get richer and poor people get poorer because of tax cuts to the rich, corporate welfare, and war. Nowhere in their calculations does work, differing natural abilities, or education appear. A highly-trained heart surgeon working 60 hours a week will earn far more money than an Oprah-watching couch potato waiting for his welfare check; this growing gap of wealth has nothing to do with tax cuts, corporate welfare, or war. Bill Whittle does an excellent job of explaining away the “growing gap” myth in his two-part essay titled, “Trinity.” I highly recommend you visit his site if you haven’t already done so.

Anyway, Bingo says he’s unhappy because he’s poor and Nigel is rich. A more accurate term to describe the cause of his unhappiness is envy — or as the Bible calls it, “covetousness.” And as long as someone on Earth is richer than Bingo, and as long as he remains envious of that wealth, he will always be unhappy. There is a wise reason why the 10th Commandment basically tells people to stop envying their neighbor’s plasma TV.

Daniel goes on to explain that more people are happy when the wealthy have their pocketbooks forcibly vacuumed to redistribute the money to the poor Bingos of the world. Never you mind that the majority of wealthy people in the United States made that money themselves, and should have as much right as the poor and middle-class to spend their own profits as they see fit. Ignore the fact that these caring and thoughtful lefties have zero sympathy for Nigel, openly mocking his misfortune when he dares to complain that he’s taking it in the shorts. As long as there are people who are getting vacuumed goodies from the world’s Nigels, they will continue to demand that the government apply the suction by way of punitive taxation. The phrase goes, “He who robs Peter to pay Paul will always have the support of Paul.”

But if spreading the money around makes people happy, why aren’t welfare recipients the happiest people on the planet? Well, that’s because they’re having babies. Yes, you read that right. One of the “truths” espoused on this shallow show is that having children does not make us happy. And that’s probably true if you don’t want children in the first place — or if you see every child as yet another mouth to feed and another useless drain on the world’s fragile resources. But if you see a child as a precious gift from God — a unique individual whose personal contributions to the world might include cures for cancer and AIDS, inspiring and beautiful music and literature, or a life given in service to God and man — then each child is a joy, not a burden.

I’ll finish with the cardinal rule that Trudy gives us: “create the most happiness for the most people.” Another way of stating this rule is, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” That little gem comes from the Left’s good buddy, Karl Marx. By this light, I see that Liberty News TV believes happiness comes from Marxist economic theory. I’ll give Communism a pass, thanks. I prefer an economic system that, well, actually works.

You can watch the rest of the program if you have the stomach for it. I found the brief moments I watched to be filled with similarly wrongheaded ideas that seem to be common fodder for the Left today. While I will occasionally watch and read the Left’s ideas, there’s only so much I can take in one sitting.

Friggin’ Commies.