Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tropical forests recovering

Now that Obama is in office, it's safe for The New York Times to write about the apparently improving situation in tropical forests:

These new “secondary” forests are emerging in Latin America, Asia and other tropical regions at such a fast pace that the trend has set off a serious debate about whether saving primeval rain forest — an iconic environmental cause — may be less urgent than once thought. By one estimate, for every acre of rain forest cut down each year, more than 50 acres of new forest are growing in the tropics on land that was once farmed, logged or ravaged by natural disaster.

Remember? There was a "moment when...our planet began to heal."

Friday, January 30, 2009

Nationalized health care in House "stimulus" bill

How's this for a few giant steps toward nationalized health care? In the House "stimulus" bill, there appear to be a few increases in taxpayer subsidies for health care benefits.

Can anyone explain how this would "stimulate" the national economy?

Worst recession since when?

Some "news" reporters are already making (up) history by claiming that this recession is "the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s."

Note the dates in this Reuters report about the latest statistical data on the economy. See if any of them go back as far as 1942. (Hint: None go back that far.)

There's a difference between saying this is "the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression" and saying this is "the worst recession since the Great Depression."

Things are bad enough without false reports making it appear they are even worse. Surely even journalists have heard of these words: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Obama's abortion policy is neither inflammatory nor contentious -- it's so because the AP says so

Notice how biased the reporting of Obama’s abortion policy is.

Bush’s policy was the opposite of Obama’s.

Bush’s policy was “inflammatory” and “contentious”:

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama on Friday struck down the Bush administration's ban on giving federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide abortion information — an inflammatory policy that has bounced in and out of law for the past quarter-century. Obama's executive order, the latest in an aggressive first week reversing contentious Bush policies, was warmly welcomed by liberal groups and denounced by abortion rights foes.

What adjective was used to describe Obama’s policy? I didn’t notice one.

When Obama declared that he has “no desire to continue this stale and fruitless debate,” it isn’t worth an adjective to describe his statement.

Very odd.

“Inflammatory” – likely to rouse anger or violence.

“Contentious” – likely to provoke controversy.

What is it about Bush’s policy that is inflammatory or contentious, while Obama’s policy is neither?

Obviously, the reporters and editors agree with Obama and disagree with Bush -- and their disagreement makes them likely to be roused to anger by Bush's policy.

Either policy may provoke controversy, since people have strong beliefs about the topic of abortion and government funding that may promote abortion -- but only Bush's policy is contentious, because the reporters and editors disagree with him.

Yet, the reporters and editors declare that their news reports are unbiased. They couldn't possibly believe that their declarations are true.