Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Best And The Brightest

As you've probably seen by now, the great journalist and author David Halberstam died the other day, the victim of a car accident in California at the age of 73.

I've been a bit surprised to find that even the tributes by his friends and admirers (not to mention his non-admirers) make him sound like an insufferable schmuck.

My experience with Halberstam was different. In 1994, he was on a tour promoting his book October 1964 about the Yankees/Cardinals World Series. I was working at the all-sports radio station in St. Louis at the time, and wound up being his escort for his visit to the studio to appear on our airwaves. When it was over, as I was walking him out to catch his ride, I mentioned to him that I had really appreciated his book The Best and the Brightest, which we'd been required to read in a college course I'd had on the Vietnam War. I figured this was the kind of he probably heard everyday, but he seemed genuinely astonished.

"Really?" he asked. "What college?" I told him it was tiny Fontbonne College, just down the street from where we were standing.

"What was the teacher's name?" he asked, having now stopped walking and fully focused on me. I told him, and he enthusiastically replied, "That's great!" He pumped me for a few more tidbits. Halberstam is not usually described by anyone as a humble man. But his reaction that day struck me as one of humility. This legendary journalist was thrilled that our little college class of 15 people had read his best-known book.

For the few minutes I was with him, he seemed like a nice, even down-to-earth, man. I certainly didn't agree with most of his politics. But I enjoyed his writing and was saddened to hear of his violent death. I don't know why, but I would have been far less distressed had he simply keeled over of a heart attack. This somehow seems less dignified or fair.

Among others, Al Mohler offers a nice appreciation of David Halberstam today.

Friday, April 20, 2007

How Quickly They Turn

The relentlessly clueless Dahlia Lithwick, who covers the Supreme Court for Slate, has weighed in on the Carhart partial-birth abortion ruling the Court handed down the other day. And she's not happy.

She directs particular venom at Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority that upheld the federal ban on partial-birth abortion:
What hasn't changed is that Anthony Kennedy finds partial-birth abortion really disgusting. We saw that in his dissent in Stenberg. That's what animates and drives his decision. His opinion blossoms from the premise that if all women were as sensitive as he is about the fundamental awfulness of this procedure, they'd all refuse to undergo it. Since they aren't, he'll decide for them.

....It's hard to fathom why Kennedy has so much more sympathy for the women who changed their minds about abortions than for those who did not. His concern for Inconstant Females might be patronizing in any other jurist. Coming from him, it's brilliantly ironic. Kennedy is, after all, America's Hamlet. The man who famously worried that "sometimes you don't know if you're Caesar about to cross the Rubicon or Captain Queeg cutting your own tow line," will long be remembered as the living incarnation of agony and indecision, and today he seamlessly rewrites his Stenberg dissent as a majority opinion that blasts his earlier Casey vote to its core.

I'm no psychologist but in light of today's Gonzales opinion one has to wonder: Is all of Kennedy's tender concern over those flip-flopping women really just some kind of weird misplaced justification for his flip-flopping self?
What's wonderfully amusing about this, though, is that it was only eight months ago when we caught the dunderheaded Dahlia planting the literary equivalent of a full-mouthed kiss on Justice Kennedy right there in the very e-pages of Slate. Back then, she cooed:
He describes the American conception of law as a "liberating force, a covenant, a promise." And in spite of the lofty intellectualism and the big words, this speech captures my imagination and that of the assembled crowd for its two quintessential Kennedy traits. The first is the vast sprawl of his imaginative world. He travels the planet and reads widely and he attends lectures on water purification. Then he applies all that knowledge to his conception of the law. And whether you like that expansive scope, listening to him is still a tonic to the smallness and smug certainty that has characterized our political leadership in this country for the past six years. It offers a welcome break from the hermetically sealed constitutional worldview of some of his detractors. Kennedy is a legendary agonizer. But his comments here reveal the extent to which that agony is not an end in itself. His sense of justice and equality is a work in progress, informed by what he learns from people all over the planet who know more than he does. There's something reassuring in his sense that the world is a fluid place.
What a difference a few months make, huh? Only last year, Lithwick was writing paeans to Kennedy's muddle-headed indecisiveness, and now she blasts him for being a flip-flopper who is the incarnation of agony and indecision. It turns out she didn't like fluidity quite as much as she thought she did.

There's only way liberals can shift that quickly from love to hate: you have to threaten their abortions. Whatever else they like, they love baby-killin', and they identify their friends by the same trait. If you turn on them even a little bit at that point, they're done with you. They love mushy thinking until your mushy thinking accidentally threatens their consequence-free sexual escapades. Then it's war.

Sorry, Justice Kennedy. Maybe if you write an opinion soon praising transvestite adoption or child prostitution, you can win Dahlia Lithwick (herself quite the flip-flopper) back to your team.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Scratched Off The List

We had another one drop off our "Can't Believe They're Still Alive" list this week.

Kitty Carlisle-Hart was 97 years old, which makes sense, considering she seemed like an old lady even years ago when I used to see her on "To Tell the Truth." Yet she was evidently quite active. It was a couple of years ago when I put her on the list, but only last September when I was in St. Louis, they were actually preparing for her arrival in some one-woman stage show she was doing. This is a woman who co-starred in "A Night at the Opera" with the Marx Brothers in 1935.

It's been a busy time. In the last 14 months, we've seen Glenn Ford, Buck O'Neill, Jack Warden, and now Kitty Carlisle drop off the list. Carlisle was the oldest, I believe. That honor now belongs to Karl Malden. Here are the remaining "I Can't Believe They're Still Alive" contestants:

  • Joey Bishop
  • Doris Day
  • Harry Morgan
  • James Arness
  • Conrad Bain
  • Jack LaLanne
  • Ingmar Bergman
  • John Forsythe
  • Rose Marie
  • Al Molinaro
  • Barbara Billingsley
  • Karl Malden
  • Jane Wyman
  • Larry Storch

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Moral Order In The Court?

Because the Virginia Tech shooting is understandably overshadowing everything else right now, it would be easy to miss the fact that the United States Supreme Court today upheld the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, after years of various federal courts (no less than six of them) attempting to thwart the overwhelming (and repeatedly expressed) will of the American people.

It's a relatively small victory, but a very important one. Though the majority opinion (written by "moderate" Justice Anthony Kennedy) still seems to affirm the basic "right" to an abortion invented by Roe v. Wade and reasserted by Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Court for the first time in the abortion era takes seriously Casey's fig leaf claim that "the State has legitimate interests from the outset of the pregnancy in protecting the health of the woman and the life of the fetus that may become a child."

Yes, the decision gives too much deference to Casey and Roe, and no, it doesn't go far enough--probably because this was the only opinion the slim majority could've gotten Kennedy to sign off on (and indeed Kennedy was assigned to write the opinion, which has long been a strategy of Chief Justices in getting their weakest vote on board). But sometimes a strong wall has to come down brick by brick, and a pretty serious brick was removed today. For the first time in memory, the Court took back the right of the State to protect some unborn lives.

Even if we could merely get Anthony Kennedy's opinion to be read aloud in every public school with its cool, clinical and precise (and absolutely stomach-churning) discussion of abortion procedures, a major victory would've been won. For instance, as Kennedy (again, one of the swing votes on the court and by no means a conservative (and who voted for Planned Parenthood in Casey) describes it, the still perfectly legal "D&C" method goes something like this:
The woman is placed under general anesthesia or conscious sedation. The doctor, often guided by ultrasound, inserts grasping forceps through the woman's cervix and into the uterus to grab the fetus. The doctor grips a fetal part with the forceps and pulls it back through the cervix and vagina, continuing to pull even after meeting resistance from the cervix. The friction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the woman. The process of evacuating the fetus piece by piece continues until it has been completely removed. A doctor may make 10 to 15 passes with the forceps to evacuate the fetus in its entirety, though sometimes removal is completed with fewer passes. Once the fetus has been evacuated, the placenta and any remaining fetal material are suctioned or scraped out of the uterus. The doctor examines the different parts to ensure the entire fetal body has been removed.
Let's hear the Democratic presidential nominess read that aloud and then say, "Yup, I'm for it."

All the right people are furious, which is a great sign that something good has happened here.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

The Quislings Awaken

A new, hilarious sidelight to the never-ending Imus story is the frantic backpedaling by the scores of journalists and politicians who regularly used to appear on his show.

It's possible that these people have been so beaten with the P.C. stick that they really do believe that they've unwittingly participated in some horrific atrocity from which they are only now awakening. A more likely explanation is that they considered the "edgy humor" (I use both terms advisedly) of the program to be no big deal until the sudden tsunami last week made it necessary to pretend that they've hated Imus's show all along and were somehow forced onto it at gunpoint.

From what I understand, Imus was in the habit of calling people weasels. He'd certainly know one when he saw it, because they were on his show regularly. Listen to these little worms being quoted in a Newsweek cover story this week:
Imus had a talent for coaxing his guests into saying what they really thought, often in salty language they'd never use on more "respectable" shows. "I wanted to be where the action was on my beat," says NEWSWEEK's Howard Fineman, an Imus regular. "The show, however unsavory it could be, was one of those places. I thought, or perhaps only imagined, that being on the show gave me more clout on the beat." NEWSWEEK's Evan Thomas, another regular guest on the show, sometimes wondered if Imus went too far. "But I rationalized my appearances by pointing to other prominent journalists and politicians who did it, too," he says. "I was eager to sell books, and I liked being in the in crowd."
Fortunately the deprogramming has begun, freeing these heroic journalists from the cult they'd been kidnapped by. Teevee journalists are also joining in the self-flagellation:
"He occasionally accused me of being drunk or being queer," says NBC chief White House correspondent David Gregory, a frequent guest on the show. "Imus was living in two worlds. There was the risqué, sexually offensive, sometimes racially offensive, satire, and then there was this political salon about politics and books. Some of us tuned in to one part and tuned out the other ... Whether I was numb to the humor that offended people or in denial, I don't know."
Last year, I remember reading one prominent social thinker (I wish I could remember who it was now) who pointed out that almost all public scandals are actually caused by a suddenly-shifting standard of behavior rather than the behavior itself. That's certainly the case here; Imus has been doing the same thing for years, but suddenly it became arbitrarily unacceptable. Nonetheless, it's funny to see the cockroaches that used to slavishly appear on his program now scurrying under the P.C. floorboards, as if he were a great guy a year ago but suddenly evil now.

Incidentally, Jason Whitlock (an African-American columnist with the Kansas City Star) pinpoints Imus's biggest mistake, making the point that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are political terrorists--and you don't negotiate with terrorists. This video of Whitlock on MSNBC is the sanest thing I've seen on this whole issue.

(HT: Cindy at Dominion Family)

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Why Ann Coulter Is Necessary

Imus, not surprisingly, has finally gotten the axe. It seems that all the bowing and scraping did him no good in the end, except to provoke his attackers like a wounded zebra provokes the lions.

I touched on a point yesterday that I want to amplify on today, because Imus' firing shows how important it is. First, let me reiterate something: I couldn't care less about Imus himself. As I alluded to yesterday, I think he's an unfunny, no-talent, egomaniacal hack whose main contribution to the history of radio broadcasting is a lousy western wardrobe, truly awful hair, and gum-chewing on the air. (And the last thing a marble-mouth like Imus needed was to jam something else into his mouth to make him unintelligible.) It means nothing to me whether he ever works again, because he's a crummy broadcaster.

But Imus didn't get fired because he's a bad broadcaster. Nor did he get fired because he said something far beyond the normal bounds of his show. He got fired because a lot of people in this country are frightened of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and are willing to pay them protection money. And Sharpton and company decided it was time to nail somebody. But Sharpton and Jackson are not the only ones in on the racket. Wherever the forces of political correctness are at work to punish heretics, the same same tactics are on display, allowing hucksters like Sharpton, Jackson, Abe Foxman, the ACLU, GLAAD, and a million other interest groups to cash in and build the fear factor.

Which is why we need Ann Coulter and a thousand more like her. As you may recall, Coulter ended up in the middle of a scrum last month by using the word "faggot" in relationship to John Edwards. Needless to say, she was pilloried by the Left as an intolerant bigot. But when conservatives also turned around and dogpiled on Coulter in an effort to show how golly-gee sincere and open-minded and tolerant they really are, they may have padded their benevolence cred with liberals (and a lot of good that will do them), but they did so at the expense of the far larger, more important battle. Unfortunately, by making the issue only the (admittedly offensive) content of what Coulter said and agreeing that nobody must ever utter (gasp) that word, they short-sightedly agreed to play the game on the liberal field using the liberal ball and liberal rulebook, while hoping to merely scratch together a few runs of their own. Sadly, that's a huge mistake, and they miss the bigger picture.

Listen, here's the deal. Hate crimes laws are coming in this country. They are coming. Another bill is already being seriously considered in Congress. Our country might be months away from making certain viewpoints illegal. And make no mistake, it will be mainstream conservative and Christian viewpoints that will be outlawed when it happens. Think I'm exaggerating? In Canada, which already has such laws, people are being prosecuted for merely criticizing homosexuality. Every time a conservative jumps on the political correctness bandwagon in setting fire to the effigy du jour (even if the effigy was dead wrong, like Imus), they bring this agenda one step closer to reality.

There's only one way I see out of this, and so far Coulter's about the only one who seems to get it. In order to preserve true freedom for normal people to have even civil conversations about controversial matters, the boundary lines are going to have to be moved back out to somewhere approaching sanity. Those who jump out front in pushing the markers back will take a lot of hits, and will say a lot of offensive things in the process. Some of them will say repugnant things. Even hateful things. Things we don't agree with. Things we don't like. Many will have to go well beyond what is proper in order for that which is proper (though controversial) and mainstream to have a comfortable place on the playing field again.

There was a time when people actually understood that things like the First Amendment protected the right to be offensive, and in order to get back to that ideal, a lot of people are going to have to be offended again and just learn to deal with it. People who care about freedom and have public platforms--lots of them--are going to have to start jamming some sharp sticks into these politically correct beehives and poking them around. The anger-mongers and thought police need to be stripped of their power. What is needed is for "politically incorrect" people to start, in large numbers, saying politically incorrect things and then asking, "So what are you gonna do about it?" One by one, the shock troops of tolerance (to borrow my friend Jerry Newcombe's phrase) can nibble away all dissension. But if they're made to face a gale of political incorrectness, they will prove utterly ineffective and lose their power.

When Coulter got hammered for making her statements, she hammered back. It's the only way to disarm these people. It's the only way to restore some semblance of free speech to this country. Did I like what she said about John Edwards? No. Would I have said it? No. I didn't think it was one of her greater moments. But so far only Ann seems to get what this battle is all about, why it's important--nay, imperative, and how to face it. She survived her controversy with her career completely intact--as opposed to Imus who pleaded and apologized and now is as done as a burnt steak. She knows what she's doing, and she knows what she's dealing with.

I know this idea is impractical, but it encapsulates the gist of what I'm getting at: I think every talk show host in the country ought to band together and each week agree on one horrific, politically incorrect thing they're all going to say on their shows. They can't all be fined, boycotted or fired. Every week, they need to trot out another fire-starter in unison and just let everybody be offended. After it's been going on long enough, we'll see that the republic has survived even after the horrible viewpoint was voiced. And we'll see that the republic has survived without the Perennially Indignant class being able to enforce their orthodoxy at sword point.

Don't kid yourselves. This is an organized effort to take control of what you think. We don't need less Ann Coulters. We need thousands more of them. For the sake of freedom, political correctness must be destroyed--from every side, liberal and conservative. And that's only going to come through a tsunami of political incorrectness that the grievance-peddlers are utterly unequipped to deal with.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Imus Confused As You Are

I've never gotten Don Imus.

I'm a radio guy, and I've spent a good portion of my life studying broadcasters. Even back when I was a bleeding-heart liberal, I admired Rush Limbaugh's ability to command a microphone. I developed an appreciation Art Bell's talent for creating a late-night atmosphere, even though I think he's a kook. Even the execrable Howard Stern, as un-entertaining as I find him, has real broadcasting talent (underused though it may be).

But I've tried for years to figure out Don Imus' success, to no avail. He's a mushmouth. He says almost nothing; his cast of characters do most of the speaking while "the I-Man" merely grunts and mutters. He un-ironcally uses a "quack-quack" duck sound effect that sounds like something out of 1950's radio. I've never understood how this guy has been able to put together a nearly 40-year radio career at the pinnacle of the business.

That said, this latest controversy is utterly mystifying to me, to say the least. In case you've somehow missed it (although even Ted Kaczynski, were he free, would know about it by now), Imus is teetering on the edge of career ruin for comments he made about the Rutgers women basketball team. Today, a member of CBS's board of directors even said, "His remarks are so significant that I believe that the right outcome is for him to be terminated."

Wow. When I first heard the furor (in which his comments were described as "explosive," "racially charged," and "hateful"), I wondered what Imus must've said that had everyone so revved up. Did he make some kind of joke about slavery? Did he advocate lynching? Whatever it was, it had to be awful, judging by the fact that it was endlessly and heatedly being talked about on every program from Sean Hannity to ESPN Radio. And then I found out: he referred to the team as "nappy headed hos" during an on-air conversation.

This is the entirety of the earth-shattering exchange:
IMUS: That's some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos ...

BERNARD MCGURK (Producer): Some hardcore hos.

IMUS: That's some nappy headed hos there, I'm going to tell you that.
Was it stupid or insensitive? I dunno. Kind of, I guess (though no more than anything else the guy's said in the last 40 years). If anything, it sounded lame to me, like making jokes about rich people named Biff and Buffy at the country club or something. I mean, forget hateful; how tired and uncreative is this exchange? (Incidentally, to be fair, we ought to ask where Imus got this phrase to begin with, since it's not as if he coined it himself. If we were to investigate that question, I think we would find that he actually picked up the phrase from the black community itself. This is not exactly lingo that was popularized by Bull Connor or the Klan. Who's to blame if there's confusion about what can and cannot be repeated?)

But what I (and probably Imus himself) find confusing is that what Imus said probably wasn't even the tenth most offensive thing said that hour on morning radio in this country. The outrage seems purely arbitrary and manufactured, and I suspect it is. Whenever the time clock hits a certain point, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have to generate some anger in order to maintain their position as co-emperors of black America.

Not surprisingly, after a week of gasoline being poured on the fire, the Rutgers basketball team finally became persuaded that, yes, they have been mortally wounded and scarred by the comments and may never fully recover. (Said Rutgers' coach: "We have all been physically, mentally and emotionally spent--so hurt by the remarks that were uttered by Mr. Imus." All of this anguish over an addled old DJ uttering the phrase "nappy-headed hos.") How predictable was that? How shocking would it have been if one of these ladies had instead spoken up at the press conference and said, "Well, as a woman I wasn't too thrilled about it because nobody likes to be made to sound unattractive. But other than that, it just sounded like a guy spouting off because he didn't have anything better to say on some stupid radio show, and I just don't see it as that big a deal." And how empowering would it have been for whoever said it?

But instead, of course, everyone immediately went into deeply aggrieved mode, handing grizzled old Don Imus the power to ruin their lives with an offhand comment. Imus foolishly decided to subject himself to the death-by-ten-thousand-cuts of endless apologies, sit-downs, confrontations, sensitivity orientations, and excuses. I'll bet that the guy has no idea what hit him. He's thinking, "I've been saying this same stupid stuff for years--what happened all of a sudden?"

What he doesn't understand (but Ann Coulter does, despite her pantywaist critics even on the conservative side) is that apologies and explanations don't satisfy the perennially aggrieved because political correctness is about power. It's an attempt to dominate through the use of force. When someone like Imus or Michael Richards submits to the process, it's like blood in the shark tank. Ironically, the more Imus apologizes, the more wildly out of perspective the denunciations get. Far from satisfying the rage, it actually stirs it further. Indeed, the remarks actually were made early last week on Imus' program; only since his first abject apology on Friday did the story go nuclear. On the other hand, when someone like Coulter doesn't submit to this process and instead brushes it off with a dismissive wave, the aggrieved eventually get tired and move on to try to exert their power on a weaker target.

Is Imus an unfunny fossil? There's no doubt about it. Will this end his career? Who cares? Is he a racist? Maybe he is, maybe he isn't (though it would be pure idiocy to believe one could make such a judgement based on an incidental use of the well-worn rap phrase "nappy-headed hos"). But anyone who thinks this is the most degrading thing to happen to the African-American community even this week has never watched ten minutes of rap videos on BET. Anyone who thinks this is the most shocking thing said on talk radio this week has never listened to ten minutes of talk radio. And anyone who thinks this is about anything more than Sharpton and Jackson consolodating more power is ten chips short of a nacho platter.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Cross Purposes

For whatever it's worth, you can kick off your Easter weekend with an hourlong documentary I co-wrote and co-produced examining the cross of Christ called Cross Purposes, which airs on Good Friday at 7pm Eastern (4pm Pacific) on the TBN network.

Among the guests are Dr. Paul Maier, Michael Youssef, Anthony Carter, Gwenfair Walters Adams, and Sam Lamerson.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

One Shining Moment

Wow, the Tennessee Lady Vols, led by legendary coach Pat Summitt, captured their seventh national championship in basketball last night.

Let me put this amazing accomplishment in some historical perspective. They've been playing the Women's Final Four since 1982. That makes this the 26th straight season that I couldn't care less.

If I wanted to watch slow, masculine women missing point after point, I'd turn on "The View."

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bloody Sock Blog

The new Major League Baseball season is now underway. (Your defending champions? Why, the St. Louis Cardinals, of course, who will receive their World Series bling before the game this evening.)

This year brings a true gift for any baseball fan: Boston Red Sox starter (and possible future Hall of Famer) Curt Schilling now has his own blog. And it's a real blog, not one of these fake-o celebrity deals where the guy posts something once a week (through a ghostwriter) and there are no comments. Schilling posts almost compulsively, and interacts in the comments with the fans. Oh, and he's actually honest in the thing too. Check out yesterday's entry, after he got shelled in his first start:
Not sure where to even start. Two words sum it up best, no command. Can’t remember a game where I couldn’t make adjustments but today was certainly one of those. Not so much the secondary pitches but no fastball command is not something that happens much, if at all, over an entire game (even if the ‘game’ for me only lasts 4 innings).

...Not the start I was hoping for. Walking off the mound I knew my FB command was crap, and that I’d need to get it right fast.
It's already the best "insider" blog ever, and it could truly revolutionize the way that sports journalism is done (if it's even done for much longer) in this country. Once the players can go directly to the fans, there's little need for fat, drunken sportswriters to act as go-betweens anymore.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Warm And Fuzzy

This week's copy of (the increasingly unreadable) TIME magazine arrived in the mail on Saturday, hysterically pooping its global warming panties.

The issue kicks off by informing us that, "Our feverish planet badly needs a cure." (Of course, TIME also famously predicted that our "feverish" planet was about to freeze to death a few decades ago.)

They then offer a "Global Warming Survival Guide," listing "51 Things We Can Do" (number 26: "Plant a bamboo fence"). One of the more ridiculous solutions (and that's saying something here) involves (and I kid not) launching trillions of tiny mirrors into space to try to block out some of sunlight that reaches our planet. Proving that this really is one of those 51 things I can personally do to help, TIME adds:
Implementing this plan would be no mean feat: the mirrors would collectively weigh 20 million tons and cost trillions of dollars. And to get all those lenses into orbit, we'd have to launch rockets every five minutes for 10 years.
I'm on it. The guy down Sidewinders Fireworks Mart looked at me a little funny when I bought three million bottle rockets, but hey, this is science, and the Earth hangs in the Balance. Incidentally, I wonder how much carbon, say, ten thousand rocket launches would release? Of course, even TIME blushes as it proposes this nonsense, adding, "That these far-out ideas are getting a serious hearing in mainstream science is a measure of how desperate the battle against climate change is becoming." Either that or it's a measure of how utterly unhinged "mainstream science" has come.

Anyway, since the "just do anything!" juggernaut is in full swing, I thought it would be as good a time as any to link you to an article from Reason magazine from a few years ago. It shows with tragic clarity that doing something isn't necessarily better than doing nothing.

In the late 60's and early '70's, rabid environmentalists pushed for (and got) a worldwide moratorium on the pesticide DDT based on spurious claims that it was cancer-causing and dangerous to bird species. As a result, mosquito-borne malaria, which had been nearly eradicated in every country employing DDT, has killed tens of millions in the Third World since the ban. The World Health Organization estimates that malaria kills as many as 2.7 million people per year. The American Council on Science and Health gives an example of the direct correlation:
In what is now Sri Lanka, malaria cases went from 2,800,000 in 1948, before the introduction of DDT, down to 17 in 1964 — then, tragically, back up to 2,500,000 by 1969, five years after DDT use was discontinued there.
So while it's tempting to chuckle at the environmental movement and their every-decade flights of fancy, make sure to remember as they're giving their advice that this is a movement whose policy initiatives have been directly responsible for more deaths than Hitler.

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