Democrat and Hollywood Hypocrisy – Harvey Weinstein

Larry Elder takes us on a Democrat infested mine-field courtesy of Harvey Weinstein. For more on the mentioned “Nuts or Sluts defense,” see Larry’s detailed explanation HERE. And more anti-woman positions by Hillary, see HERE.

Gay Patriot grabs this excerpt to point to how good of a progressive Weinstein was….

In 2015, [Weinstein’s] company distributed “The Hunting Ground,” a documentary about campus sexual assault. A longtime Democratic donor, he hosted a fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton in his Manhattan home last year. He employed Malia Obama, the oldest daughter of former President Barack Obama, as an intern this year, and recently helped endow a faculty chair at Rutgers University in Gloria Steinem’s name. During the Sundance Film Festival in January, when Park City, Utah, held its version of nationwide women’s marches, Mr. Weinstein joined the parade.

ALSO…

Dispelling the “CIA Trained-Funded Bin Laden/Taliban” Myth/Mantra

Politicians and leaders from both sides of the aisle make mention of this myth that we funded/created Al Qaeda via weapons, training, and money to the likes of Osama Bin Laden. The Daily Caller in 2013 notes some of the positions:

…in just a one-month span, Sen. Paul has — not once, but twice — advanced a conspiracy theory that says that during the Reagan era, the U.S. funded Osama bin Laden.

During John Kerry’s secretary of state confirmation hearing, Paul said ”We funded bin Laden” — a statement that prompted Foreign Policy magazine’s managing editor, Blake Hounshell, to fire off a tweet saying: “Rand Paul tells a complete falsehood: ‘We funded Bin Laden.’ This man is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”

But that didn’t discourage Paul. During a much anticipated foreign policy speech at the Heritage Foundation today, Paul doubled down, saying: “In the 1980’s the war caucus in Congress armed bin Laden and the mujaheddin in their fight with the Soviet Union.”

The only problem is that this is, at best, highly speculative — and, at worst, the perpetuation of an outright myth.

This also puts Paul in the same camp as Michael Moore, who said: ““WE created the monster known as Osama bin Laden! Where did he go to terrorist school? At the CIA!”….

…read it all…

And, this is the crux of the matter: truthers took Michael Moore’s non-evidential presentations and statements and ran with them.

Another example that shows this myth isn’t necessarily one owned by strictly by politicians, as, this conversation on a friends FaceBook shows:

Antony: failed foreign policy means today’s buddies are tomorrows boogiemen.

Hunlsy: I just love the fact they’re fighting us with the weapons and training that we gave them.

Antony: Oh where oh where did Iran get those P3s and F-14 Tomcats?

Antony: it was the US – we used to be buddies with Iranians too. We played both sides of the Iran/Iraq war, which predicated Gulf I.

Hunsly: Likely from the Russians. Regardless, we’re fighting a group, not a country. This group makes all of its IEDs & buys all of their weapons with the money that we gave them.

Here is my short intercept of the above conversation. More info will follow it:

Weapons
This is somewhat of a myth — that we sold the majority of weapons to the Taliban, to Iraq, and the like. For instance, in the following graph you can see that (in the instance of Iraq, which I was told over-and-over-again was weaponized by the U.S.) you have to combine the U.K. and the U.S. to equal 1%.

Iraqi Weapons

Moral Position
Much like us supporting Stalin in defeating Hitler, we were aligned with people whom we didn’t see eye-to-eye with in order to beat the USSR during the Cold War (WWIII)… a war that was fought from 1947–1991.

History
And thirdly, the Taliban didn’t exist when Reagan said this:

Reagan didn’t say that about the Taliban because the Taliban didn’t exist yet. He said that of the Mujahedin, the same men who would later go on to fight the Taliban under the name “Northern Alliance”

The Afghan Northern Alliance, officially known as the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (Persian: ‏جبهه متحد اسلامی ملی برای نجات افغانستان‎ Jabha-yi Muttahid-i Islāmi-yi Millī barā-yi Nijāt-i Afghānistān), was a military front that came to formation in late 1996 after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) took over Kabul. The United Front was assembled by key leaders of the Islamic State of Afghanistan, particularly president in exile Burhanuddin Rabbani and former Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud. Initially it included mostly Tajiks but by 2000, leaders of other ethnic groups had joined the Northern Alliance. This included Abdul Rashid Dostum, Mohammad Mohaqiq, Abdul Qadir, Sayed Hussein Anwari and others.

The Northern Alliance fought a defensive war against the Taliban government. They received support from Iran, Russia, India, Tajikistan and others, while the Taliban were backed by al-Qaeda. The Northern Alliance was mostly made up of ethnic Tajiks, but later included Uzbeks, Hazaras, and Pashtuns. The Taliban government was dominated by Pashtuns with other groups being the minority. After the US-led invasion and establishment of the Karzai administration in late 2001, the Northern Alliance broke apart and different political parties were formed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Alliance

The mujaheddin fighters who had previously defeated the communist government and formed the Islamic State of Afghanistan (ISA) came under attack and in 1996 lost the capital to the Taliban. At this juncture the Mujahedin resorted to the creation of UIF because Rashid Dostum and other warlords who belonged to various tribes but to no specific political party did not want to recognize the ISA as a legal entity, so the defeated government devised a military strategy to utilize these forces while not offending their political sensibilities.

In October 1996 in Khinjan, Ahmed Shah Massoud and Dostum came to an agreement to form the anti-Taliban coalition that outside Afghanistan became known as the Northern Alliance.

CNN was doing a special on Afghanistan and Peter Bergen asked for questions from viewers that he would answer. One of the questions is as follows:

  • “If it’s true that bin Laden once worked for the CIA, what makes you so sure that he isn’t still?” ~ Anne Busigin, Toronto, Canada

Peter Bergen responds:

This is one of those things where you cannot put it out of its misery.

The story about bin Laden and the CIA — that the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden — is simply a folk myth. There’s no evidence of this. In fact, there are very few things that bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the U.S. government agree on. They all agree that they didn’t have a relationship in the 1980s. And they wouldn’t have needed to. Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently.

The real story here is the CIA didn’t really have a clue about who this guy was until 1996 when they set up a unit to really start tracking him.

One person in a forum that was similarly challenged pointed out that this surely wasn’t the Taliban because they hated women in any position of authority — look at the pic at the top again.

As you read on, keep in mind Mr. Bergen was not a fan of conservatives, or Republicans. With that in mind, enjoy the rest, it is posted here so it will never disappear on me:

U.S. government officials and a number of other parties maintain that the U.S. supported only the indigenous Afghan mujahideen. They deny that the CIA or other American officials had contact with the Afghan Arabs (foreign mujahideen) or Bin Laden, let alone armed, trained, coached or indoctrinated them. Scholars and reporters have called the idea of CIA-backed Afghan Arabs (foreign mujahideen) “nonsense”,[6] “sheer fantasy”, and “simply a folk myth.”

They argue that:

  • with a quarter of a million local Afghans willing to fight there was no need to recruit foreigners unfamiliar with the local language, customs or lay of the land
  • with several hundred million dollars a year in funding from non-American, Muslim sources, Arab Afghans themselves would have no need for American funds
  • Americans could not train mujahideen because Pakistani officials would not allow more than a handful of U.S. agents to operate in Pakistan and none in Afghanistan;
  • the Afghan Arabs were militant Islamists, reflexively hostile to Westerners, and prone to threaten or attack Westerners even though they knew the Westerners were helping the mujahideen.

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri says much the same thing in his book Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner.

Bin Laden himself once said “the collapse of the Soviet Union … goes to God and the mujahideen in Afghanistan … the US had no mentionable role,” but “collapse made the US more haughty and arrogant.”

According to CNN journalist Peter Bergen, known for conducting the first television interview with Osama bin Laden in 1997,

The story about bin Laden and the CIA — that the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden — is simply a folk myth. There’s no evidence of this. In fact, there are very few things that bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the U.S. government agree on. They all agree that they didn’t have a relationship in the 1980s. And they wouldn’t have needed to. Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently. The real story here is the CIA did not understand who Osama was until 1996, when they set up a unit to really start tracking him.

Bergen quotes Pakistani Brigadier Mohammad Yousaf, who ran the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Afghan operation between 1983 and 1987:

It was always galling to the Americans, and I can understand their point of view, that although they paid the piper they could not call the tune. The CIA supported the mujahideen by spending the taxpayers’ money, billions of dollars of it over the years, on buying arms, ammunition, and equipment. It was their secret arms procurement branch that was kept busy. It was, however, a cardinal rule of Pakistan’s policy that no Americans ever become involved with the distribution of funds or arms once they arrived in the country. No Americans ever trained or had direct contact with the mujahideen, and no American official ever went inside Afghanistan.

Marc Sageman, a Foreign Service Officer who was based in Islamabad from 1987–1989, and worked closely with Afghanistan’s Mujahideen, argues that no American money went to the foreign volunteers.

Sageman also says:

Contemporaneous accounts of the war do not even mention [the Afghan Arabs]. Many were not serious about the war. … Very few were involved in actual fighting. For most of the war, they were scattered among the Afghan groups associated with the four Afghan fundamentalist parties.

No U.S. official ever came in contact with the foreign volunteers. They simply traveled in different circles and never crossed U.S. radar screens. They had their own sources of money and their own contacts with the Pakistanis, official Saudis, and other Muslim supporters, and they made their own deals with the various Afghan resistance leaders.”[14]

Vincent Cannistraro, who led the Reagan administration’s Afghan Working Group from 1985 to 1987, puts it,

The CIA was very reluctant to be involved at all. They thought it would end up with them being blamed, like in Guatemala.” So the Agency tried to avoid direct involvement in the war, … the skittish CIA, Cannistraro estimates, had less than ten operatives acting as America’s eyes and ears in the region. Milton Bearden, the Agency’s chief field operative in the war effort, has insisted that “[T]he CIA had nothing to do with” bin Laden. Cannistraro says that when he coordinated Afghan policy from Washington, he never once heard bin Laden’s name.

Fox News reporter Richard Miniter wrote that in interviews with the two men who “oversaw the disbursement for all American funds to the anti-Soviet resistance, Bill Peikney – CIA station chief in Islamabad from 1984 to 1986 – and Milt Bearden – CIA station chief from 1986 to 1989 – he found,

Both flatly denied that any CIA funds ever went to bin Laden. They felt so strongly about this point that they agreed to go on the record, an unusual move by normally reticent intelligence officers. Mr. Peikney added in an e-mail to me: “I don’t even recall UBL [bin Laden] coming across my screen when I was there.

Other reasons advanced for a lack of a CIA-Afghan Arab connection of “pivotal importance,” (or even any connection at all), was that the Afghan Arabs themselves were not important in the war but were a “curious sideshow to the real fighting.”

One estimate of the number of combatants in the war is that 250,000 Afghans fought 125,000 Soviet troops, but only 2000 Arab Afghans fought “at any one time”.

According to Milton Bearden the CIA did not recruit Arabs because there were hundreds of thousands of Afghans all too willing to fight. The Arab Afghans were not only superfluous but “disruptive,” angering local Afghans with their more-Muslim-than-thou attitude, according to Peter Jouvenal. Veteran Afghan cameraman Peter Jouvenal quotes an Afghan mujahideen as saying “whenever we had a problem with one of them [foreign mujahideen], we just shot them. They thought they were kings.”

Many who traveled in Afghanistan, including Olivier Roy[20] and Peter Jouvenal, reported of the Arab Afghans’ visceral hostility to Westerners in Afghanistan to aid Afghans or report on their plight. BBC reporter John Simpson tells the story of running into Osama bin Laden in 1989, and with neither knowing who the other was, bin Laden attempting to bribe Simpson’s Afghan driver $500 — a large sum in a poor country — to kill the infidel Simpson. When the driver declined, Bin Laden retired to his “camp bed” and wept “in frustration.”

According to Steve Coll, author of “Ghost Wars”, the primary contact for the CIA and ISI in Afghanistan was Ahmed Shah Massoud a poppy farmer and militia leader known as the “Lion of the Panjeer”. During the Afghan Civil War which erupted once the Soviets had left, Massoud’s army was routed by the Taliban (who were being helped by Pakistan’s ISI) and restricted to the northern region of the country. A loose entente was formed with several other native tribal militias which became known as the Northern Alliance who operated in opposition to the Taliban. On September 10, 2001 a camera crew was granted access to Massoud under the premise they were interviewing him for a documentary about the Mujahadeen. The crew members were actually Al Qaeda operatives who detonated a bomb killing themselves and Massoud. The purpose of the assassination was to eliminate a key ally for the US in anticipation of an invasion in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks which were to take place the following day.

(Northern Alliance ~ WIKI)

And here is another great post responding to the non-evidential/conspiratorial [leftists] on the subject:

“Osama bin Laden was trained and funded by the CIA” – you’ll read the claim everywhere, and it’s rarely opposed: everyone just seems to accept that it’s true. But why? How much evidence have you ever seen presented to support this?

The reality is that there are many people who say this is simply a myth. And we’re not just talking about neo-con friendly journalists, either.

Take Jason Burke, for instance, a major contributor to the BBC documentary “The Power of Nightmares”. In his book “Al Qaeda”, he wrote the following:

It is often said that bin Ladin was funded by the CIA. This is not true, and indeed it would have been impossible given the structure of funding that General Zia ul-Haq, who had taken power in Pakistan in 1977, had set up. A condition of Zia’s cooperation with the American plan to turn Afghanistan into the Soviet’s ‘Vietnam’ was that all American funding to the Afghan resistance had to be channeled through the Pakistani government, which effectively meant the Afghan bureau of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), the military spy agency. The American funding, which went exclusively to the Afghan mujahideen groups, not the Arab volunteers [bin Ladin’s groups], was supplemented by Saudi government money and huge funds raised from mosques, non-governmental charitable institutions and private donors throughout the Islamic world. Most of the major Gulf-based charities operating today were founded at this time to raise money or channel government funds to the Afghans, civilians and fighters. In fact, as little as 25 per cent of the monet for the Afghan jihad was actually supplied directly by states.

Page 59, Al Qaeda: The true story of radical Islam, Jason Burke

Steve Coll, former Managing Editor of the Washington Post, also suggests bin Ladin passed largely unnoticed by the CIA, in his book “Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001”:

…According to [Ahemd] Badeeb, on bin Ladin’s first trip to Pakistan he brought donations to the Lahore offices of Jamaat-e-Islami, Zia’s political shock force. Jamaat was the Pakistani offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood; its students had sacked the US embassy in Islamabad in 1979. bin Ladin did not trust the official Pakistan intelligence service, Badeeb recalled, and preferred to fund his initial charity through private religious and political networks.From the beginning of the Afghan jihad, Saudi intelligence used religious charities to support its own unilateral operations. This mainly involved funneling money and equipment to favoured Afghan commanders outisde ISI or CIA control… “The humanitarian aid-that was completely separate from the Americans”, Badeeb recalled. “And we insist[ed] that the Americans will not get to that, get involved–especially in the beginning,” in part because some of the Islamist mujahedin objected to direct contact with Western infidels…

In spy lexicon, each of the major intelligence agencies began working the Afghan jihad–GID [General Intelligence Department, Saudi Arabia], ISI and the CIA– began to “compartment” their work, even as all three collaborated with one another through formal liasons…

bin Ladin moved within Saudi intelligence’s compartmented operations, outside of CIA eyesight…

Page 86/ 87, Ghost Wars, Stevel Coll

In a Q&A session following the release of his book, Coll said:

Wheaton, Md.: There have been accusations from the left that have directly accused the CIA of funding and training bin Laden. Is there any truth to this ? Steve Coll: I did not discover any evidence of direct contact between CIA officers and bin Laden during the 1980s, when they were working more or less in common cause against the Soviets. CIA officials, including Tenet, have denied under oath that such contact took place. The CIA was certainly aware of bin Laden’s activities, beginning in the mid- to late-1980s, and they generally looked favorably on what he was doing at that time. But bin Laden’s direct contacts were with Saudi intelligence and to some extent Pakistani intelligence, not with the Americans.

Missouri EDU

Peter Bergen expanded on the supposed CIA/ bin Ladin links in his book, Holy War Inc:

But were the CIA and the Afghan Arabs in cahoots, as recent studies have suggested? One author charges: “The CIA had funded and trained the Afghan Arabs during the war”. Another refers to “the central role of the CIA’s Muslim mercenaries, including upwards of 2,000 mercenaries in the Afghanistan war”. Both authors present these claims as axioms, but provide no real corroboration.Other commentators have reported that bin Ladin himself was aided by the CIA. A report in the respected British newspaper The Guardian states: “In 1986 the CIA even helped him [bin Ladin] build an underground camp at Khost [Afghanistan] where he was to train recruits from across the Islamic world in the revolutionary art of jihad”…Bin Ladin, meanwhile, had expoused anti-American positions since 1982, and thanks to the fortune derived from his family’s giant construction business had little need of CIA money. In fact, the underground camp at Khost was built in 1982 by an Afghan commander, with Arab funding.

A source familiar with bin Ladin’s organisation explains that bin Ladin “never had any relations with America or American officials… He was saying very early in the 1980’s that the next battle is going to be with America… No aid or training or other support have ever been given to bin Ladin from Americans.” A senior offical unequivocally says that “bin Ladin never met with the CIA.”

While the charges that the CIA was responsible for the rise of the Afghan Arabs might make good copy, they don’t make good history. The truth is more complicated, tinged with varying shades of grey. The United States wanted to be able to deny that the CIA was funding the Afghan war, so its support was funneled through Pakistan’s military intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI). ISI in turn made the decisions about which Afghan factions to arm and train, tending to fund the most Islamist and pro-Pakistan. The Afghan Arabs generally fought alongside those factions, which is how the charge arose that they were creatures of the CIA.

Former CIA officer Milt Bearden, who ran the Agency’s Afghan operation in the late 1980’s, says: “The CIA did not recruit Arabs,” as there was no need to do so. There were hundreds of thousands of Afghans all too willing to fight…

Moreover, the Afghan Arabs demonstrated a pathological dislike of Westerners. Jouvenal says: “I always kept away from Arabs [in Afghanistan]. They were very hostile. They would ask, ‘What are you doing in an Islamic country?” The BBC reporter John Simpson had a close call with bin Ladin himself outside Jalalabad in 1989. Travelling with a group of Arab mujahideen, Simpson and his television crew bumped into an Arab man beautifully dressed in spotless white robes; the man began shouting at Simpson’s escorts to kill the infidels, then offered a truck driver the not unreasonable sum of five hundred dollars to do the job. Simpson’s Afghan escort turned down the request, and bin Ladin was to be found later on a camp bed, weeping in frustration. Only when bin Ladin became a public figure, almost a decade later, did Simpson realise who the mysterious Arab was who had wanted him dead.

Page 67/68, Holy War Inc, Peter Bergen

This level of hostility to Westerners doesn’t suggest a warm working relationship with the US, and there’s some confirmation in a story retold by Richard Miniter:

…the handful of Americans who had heard of bin Ladin in the 1980’s knew him mainly for his violently anti-American views. Dana Rohrabacher, now a Republican congressman from Orange County, California, told me about a trip he took with the mujihideen in 1987. At the time, Rohrabacher was a Reagan aide who delighted in taking long overland trips inside Afghanistan with anti-Communist forces. On one such trek, his guide told him not to speak English for the next few hours because they were passing by bin Ladin’s encampment. Rohrabacher was told, “If he hears an American, he will kill you.” 

Page 16, Disinformation, Richard Miniter

Bin Ladin was himself asked about US funding by Robert Fisk:

Fisk: …what of the Arab mujahedin he took to Afghanistan – members of a guerilla army who were also encouraged and armed by the United States – and who were forgotten when that war was over? bin Ladin: “Personally neither I nor my brothers saw evidence of American help…

Fisk interview, 1996

And Ayman al-Zawahiri, second-in-command of al Qaeda, explains more in his text “Knights under the Prophet’s Banner”. Here he claims the “Afghan Arabs” had plenty of funding from various Arab sources, and points to other indications that they never supported the US:

“While the United States backed Pakistan and the mujahidin factions with money and equipment, the young Arab mujahidin’s relationship with the United States was totally different.”Indeed the presence of those young Arab Afghans in Afghanistan and their increasing numbers represented a failure of US policy and new proof of the famous US political stupidity. The financing of the activities of the Arab mujahidin in Afghanistan came from aid sent to Afghanistan by popular organizations. It was substantial aid. “The Arab mujahidin did not confine themselves to financing their own jihad but also carried Muslim donations to the Afghan mujahidin themselves. Usama Bin Ladin has apprised me of the size of the popular Arab support for the Afghan mujahidin that amounted, according to his sources, to $200 million in the form of military aid alone in 10 years.

Imagine how much aid was sent by popular Arab organizations in the non-military fields such as medicine and health, education and vocational training, food, and social assistance (including sponsorship of orphans, widows, and the war handicapped. Add to all this the donations that were sent on special occasions such as Id al-Fitr and Id al-Adha feasts and during the month of Ramadan.”

“Through this unofficial popular support, the Arab mujahidin established training centers and centers for the call to the faith. They formed fronts that trained and equipped thousands of Arab mujahidin and provided them with living expenses, housing, travel, and organization.”

Changing Bin Ladin’s Guard

About the Afghan Arabs’ relationship with the United States, Al-Zawahiri says in his book: “If the Arab mujahidin are mercenaries of the United States who rebelled against it as it alleges, why is it unable to buy them back now? Are they not counted now-with Usama Bin Ladin at their head-as the primary threat to US interests? Is not buying them more economical and less costly that the astronomical budgets that the United States is allotting for security and defense?”

“The Americans, in their usual custom of exaggeration and superficiality, are trying to sell off illusions to the people and are ignoring the most basic facts. Is it possible that Usama Bin Ladin who, in his lectures in the year 1987, called for boycotting US goods as a form of support for the intifadah in Palestine, a US agent in Afghanistan?….

“Furthermore, is it possible that the martyr-as we regard him-Abdallah Azzam was a US collaborator when in fact he never stopped inciting young men against the United States and used to back HAMAS with all the resources at his disposal?

“Is it possible that the jihadist movement in Egypt can be a collaborator movement for the United States when Khalid al-Islambuli and his comrades killed Anwar al-Sadat, even before the phenomenon of the Arab mujahidin in Afghanistan emerged?”

“Is it possible that the jihadist movement in Egypt can be a US collaborator movement when in fact it brought up its children, ever since the movement started, to reject Israel and all the agreements of capitulation to it and to consider making peace with Israel as a contravention of Islamic Shari’ah?”

Book, His Own Words: A Translation of the Writings of Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri

Richard Miniter has a little more on this in “Dispelling the CIA-Bin Ladin Myth“, and while you may not exactly trust the source, there were further comments worth at least a look on the US State Departments “Identifying Misinformation” site.

(Via 9/11 Myths)

“Father” of Canadian Health Care Admits its a Failure

See Also:

Claude Castonguay, the father of the Canadian Health Care system, and a model adopted by the NHS in Britain, has said his model is failing:

Just yesterday, I wrote about how unpopular the British healthcare system has become. Today comes news that the man largely responsible for Canada’s conversion to a single-payer health care system has admitted the system’s failure:

“Back in the 1960s, (Claude) Castonguay chaired a Canadian government committee studying health reform and recommended that his home province of Quebec — then the largest and most affluent in the country — adopt government-administered health care, covering all citizens through tax levies.

The government followed his advice, leading to his modern-day moniker: “the father of Quebec medicare.” Even this title seems modest; Castonguay’s work triggered a domino effect across the country, until eventually his ideas were implemented from coast to coast.”

Four decades later, as the chairman of a government committee reviewing Quebec health care this year, Castonguay concluded that the system is in “crisis.”

“We thought we could resolve the system’s problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it,” says Castonguay. But now he prescribes a radical overhaul: “We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice.”

As more and more nations throughout the world seek to infuse more private, market-based solutions into their government-controlled healthcare systems, for some reason lefties in this country want to make the same mistake that countries like Canada made decades ago…

(CR Online)

One person eventually wrote a book about their experience, noting in a CITY JOURNAL article:

was once a believer in socialized medicine. I don’t want to overstate my case: growing up in Canada, I didn’t spend much time contemplating the nuances of health economics. I wanted to get into medical school—my mind brimmed with statistics on MCAT scores and admissions rates, not health spending. But as a Canadian, I had soaked up three things from my environment: a love of ice hockey; an ability to convert Celsius into Fahrenheit in my head; and the belief that government-run health care was truly compassionate. What I knew about American health care was unappealing: high expenses and lots of uninsured people. When HillaryCare shook Washington, I remember thinking that the Clintonistas were right.

My health-care prejudices crumbled not in the classroom but on the way to one. On a subzero Winnipeg morning in 1997, I cut across the hospital emergency room to shave a few minutes off my frigid commute. Swinging open the door, I stepped into a nightmare: the ER overflowed with elderly people on stretchers, waiting for admission. Some, it turned out, had waited five days. The air stank with sweat and urine. Right then, I began to reconsider everything that I thought I knew about Canadian health care. I soon discovered that the problems went well beyond overcrowded ERs. Patients had to wait for practically any diagnostic test or procedure, such as the man with persistent pain from a hernia operation whom we referred to a pain clinic—with a three-year wait list; or the woman needing a sleep study to diagnose what seemed like sleep apnea, who faced a two-year delay; or the woman with breast cancer who needed to wait four months for radiation therapy, when the standard of care was four weeks….

One of David Gratzer’s books opened my eyes to what was going on up in Canada and gave me ammunition to respond to silly liberal emotive arguments. The book is “Code Blue: Reviving Canada’s Health Care System.” But, many people believe the Michael Moore’s of the World:

Michael Moore Explains To Us Why Trump Will Win

Michael Moore explains to us why TRUMP will win. Keep in mind Moore is a Hillary guy, but this is his capitulation of sorts — even if to say he predicted it if Trump wins:

I think this is an aspect of what the pollsters aren’t catching. This “steel” and “factory” country of the Midwest. Life-long union members, voting for their best interests. This is why blacks may be voting for Trump in numbers not seen for a Republican candidate since the 1960s — via GATEWAY PUNDIT:

In the past month the number of black voters for Donald Trump has increased significantly.

At the beginning of October 9% of African Americans supported Trump.

Black Likely Voters for TRUMP @Rasmussen_Poll
Oct 3 – 9%
Oct 6 – 12%
Oct 7 – 13%
Oct 10 – 14%
Oct 11 – 19%
Oct 12 – 19%
Oct 13 – 24% !

— Ted Carroll (@mediainvestors) October 13, 2016

The number doubled and has leveled off at 16% support for Donald Trump.

Black Likely Voters for TRUMP @Rasmussen_Poll
Oct 17 – 17%
Oct 18 – 19%
Oct 19 – 18%
Oct 20 – 15%
Oct 21 – 16%
Oct 24 – 15%
Oct 25 – 16%

— Ted Carroll (@mediainvestors) October 25, 2016

This ought to keep Democrats up late at night.

Blacks today make up 22% of the Democratic vote.

November 8th will be a nail biter for sure!

Newsroom’s Anti-America Scene Bitch Slapped!

  • This television tirade would be of no matter had it stayed in the dystopic universe that is Hollywood, but alas, the [I]nternet has pushed the statement across borders and time. The temptation to go line by line and deconstruct this outburst will be resisted, and would do little but add credence to the inanity. It is, naturally, what is not said that is more important, more enlightening, and more reasonable. (U.S. News & World Report)

(See more at Louder with Crowder)

A thorough slap down and rebuttal to Jeff Daniels’ viral anti-America Newsroom scene, in which he claims that America is not the greatest country in the world. Here are a few examples of the “bait-n-switch” associated with the Newsroom rant:

TWO QUICK EXAMPLES

“Seventh in literacy”

The CIA’s World Factbook has literacy estimates for the nations of the world.  Wikipedia presents those statistics in a form that allows for easy interpretation.  The literacy estimates actually put the U.S. back in the pack numerically, but taking ties into account allows for putting the U.S. at No. 7.  The nations in the top 40 are all pretty close, well above 95 percent literate.  Andorra, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg all report 100 percent literacy.

In other words, we are statistically tied for the front spot. Here is another great example:

“Twenty-second in science”

McAvoy’s speech offers few clues about what measure backed this claim.  Scimago Lab ranks the U.S. a clear No. 1 in peer-reviewed science publishing.  A study released in 2010 dealing with 15-year-old students from 65 nations placed the U.S. at No. 22 in scholastic science achievement.

SAT2015bench

We are, as a country, leading the way in science for the world. Now, I agree that public schools are part of the problem, as the stat used for the Newsroom rant suggests. And just as a note, many “independent” schools that are in the top percentile are not “religious” strictly, but are the fruition of religious people in the community following a classical educational (Trivium) philosophy from the Middle-Ages via the Catholic Church. So, for instance, Trinity Classical Academy in our valley is following a Trivium model founded by religious people… but the school would not be considered “religious” like a baptist school.

But when these independent or even “Baptist” students take their SATs, they do well abover the public school child, often times with less money spent per pupil. In fact, a direct correlation can be made since the founding of the Dept of Education… and it is as more money is spent on education in the public arena, the worse the outcome. Again, to be clear, money is not the issue. ANother myth is that we spend more on the military than education… also not true. It is philosophy.

STARTING POINTS

The right approach

Statistically judging the greatest nation ought to involve looking for a nation that ranks consistently high in favorable categories and consistently low in unfavorable categories, with each category weighted as to relative importance.  Important categories might include the size of the economy, worker productivity, quality of the education system, contributions to scientific research, charitable contributions, economic freedom and median income.

The U.S. ranks highly in each of those categories, even ones mentioned by McAvoy.  And the U.S. ranks No. 1 in another category that speaks to the U.S. standing among the nations:  net migration.  More people come to the U.S. than to any other country.

We won’t seek to make the case that the U.S. is the greatest nation in the world.  But McAvoy said, among other things, that no evidence supports the claim that the U.S. is the greatest nation in the world.  To the contrary, the U.S. consistently ranks high in desirable national statistics and consistently low in undesirable ones.  One can easily make a reasonable case for ranking the United States No. 1.

(Zebra Fact Check)

TWO MORE QUICK EXAMPLES

Here are a couple of “Deconstructions” via In the Margins:

Assertion #2: “We lead the world in only three categories. Number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults to believe angels are real, and defense spending.”

False. The U.S. leads the world in a number of categories. Here are a few:

  1. GDP. The U.S. has the largest economy in the world.
  2. Military capability. As McAvoy points out, the U.S. spends a lot of money on its military. What he fails to mention is that those dollars haven’t been completed wasted, and that the country does possess considerable military might. One can easily argue that this isn’t a measure of a nation’s greatness (it’s obviously not on Zack’s list of criteria) but this isn’t what McAvoy is claiming. He’s asserting that the U.S. is only number one in those categories he lists. Now, if Sorkin wanted us to look upon McAvoy as a moron, it would be fine for the character to make a claim that’s so obviously false, but this doesn’t seem to be the intent.
  3. Nobel laureates. The U.S. has the greatest number of Nobel laureates by far (350). Only a few countries mage to break the 100 mark.
  4. Number of patents. At nearly 160,000, the U.S. leads the pack. It has almost as many patents as the #2 and #3 countries (Japan and Germany) put together.
  5. Number of immigrants. At 46 million, the U.S. has almost four times as many foreign-born citizens as the next country on the list (Russia).
  6. Number of Olympic medals. The U.S. has twice as many (about 2700) as the runner-up (Russia).
  7. Foreign aid donations. The U.S. gives $24 billion, almost twice as much as the runner-up (the UK).

Assertion #4: We No Longer Explore the Universe

This part of McAvoy’s rant is perhaps the most nonsensical. The character seems to hearkening to the day when millions of Americans spent the evening glued to their TV sets, watching U.S. astronauts set foot on terrain never before traversed by humankind. While it’s true that those days are gone—for the time being, anyway—the country continues to explore the universe as aggressively as ever. A few examples:

  1. Mars. Of the nine successful Mars missions this century, seven were launched by the U.S. Several are ongoing.
  2. The Solar System. The NEAR spacecraft explored the asteroid Eros. The Cassini-Huygens mission has performed over one hundred flybys of Saturn and Titan, returning specular photos and massive amounts of data.
  3. The Universe. The James Webb Space Telescope, Hubble’s successor, will be able to observe the formation of the first galaxies.

The fact that the general public knows little of these accomplishments makes them no less remarkable, and the notion of McAvoy being ignorant of them—given the manner in which the character is otherwise portrayed—simply makes no sense.

I partly agree with this one in the sense that our current administration has changed the philosophy of NASA:

…One of the more notorious of the administration’s outreach attempts was the failed NASA-Muslim outreach initiative. In July of 2010, NASA chief Charles Bolden said in an interview with Al-Jazeera,  

“When I became the NASA administrator, (President Obama) charged me with three things. One, he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math and engineering.”

Former NASA chief Michael Griffin, who headed the space agency during George W. Bush’s second term, called the Muslim outreach initiative a “perversion” of the mission of NASA:

“NASA was chartered by the 1958 Space Act to develop the arts and sciences of flight in the atmosphere and in space and to go where those technologies will allow us to go,” Griffin said. “That’s what NASA does for the country. It is a perversion of NASA’s purpose to conduct activities in order to make the Muslim world feel good about its contributions to science and mathematics.”…

(Truth Revolt)

And really this circles back around to public education as well. Since the teachers unions and the Dept. of Education are increasingly worried about aspects of education that have more to do with art and social engineering rather than reading, writing, math, science, of course they will fall from scholastic grace.

STATS IN MOVIE SICKO

This is nothing new mind you… this “bait-n-switch.” For instance in Michael Moore’s Sicko he talked up Cuba’s infant mortality rate as better than most countries in the world and attributed that [laughably] to their great health care. But here we notice some number fudging:

…Although Cuba claims to have low infant mortality rates, doctors have said the data is misleading because when there might be indications of problems with the fetus, there is a widespread practice of forced abortions.

Julio Alfonso said, “We personally used to do 70 to 80 abortions a day.” Yanet Sanchez, a Cuban exile, said she was simply told to submit to an abortion. “They told me I should end the pregnancy,” said Sanchez. “It was my very first pregnancy. I wanted to have the child.”

Other doctors have said that if a child dies a few hours after birth, they don’t count it as ever having lived, which ultimately makes infant mortality in Cuba look better than that of the United States…

(ABC News)

The same can be said of dental care.

WAR ON THE POOR?

This small statement by Restoring Liberty on the poverty example from the Newsroom rant is another example of how the “War-on-Poverty” is a sort of “War-on-the-Poor,” like the minimum wage is:

…“War on Poor People,” that’s what we have? If so, blame the class warfare and welfare state created by those that Sorkin supports and adores as heroes on the left.  You want to start a “War on Poverty,” then deregulate, and reduce the tax burden on those doing the work and those starting the businesses that employ people.  Make a competitive environment for business, instead of casting them as the enemy, and you will have jobs and prosperity, and sense of self worth instilled in your citizenry.

You don’t “fight” poverty anyway, you increase prosperity…

Yep, that is a distinction leftist Democrats do not get:

(Above video) Larry Elder gets the Lo-Down of where we stand after we spent 22-trilion on fighting poverty from Robert Rector, a leading authority on poverty, welfare programs and immigration in America for three decades, is The Heritage Foundation’s senior research fellow in domestic policy. See his article on this.

WAGE GAPS

I will end with another example of how gender equality at the World Economic Forum is misused to make a political point rather than a factual point:

The “Global Index of Peace” works in similar fashion to the Global Gender Gap Study sponsored by the World Economic Forum. Professor, scholar, and feminist, Christina Hoff Sommers explains where such endeavors go wrong:

We can see that the idea that women are payed less than men (.76-cents for every man’s dollar) is a false stat misused by the like of Hollywood AND Democrats.

Dispelling The “CIA Trained-Funded Bin Laden/Taliban” Myth/Mantra

Politicians and leaders from both sides of the aisle make mention of this myth that we funded/created Al Qaeda via weapons, training, and money to the likes of Osama Bin Laden. The Daily Caller in 2013 notes:

…in just a one-month span, Sen. Paul has — not once, but twice — advanced a conspiracy theory that says that during the Reagan era, the U.S. funded Osama bin Laden.

During John Kerry’s secretary of state confirmation hearing, Paul said ”We funded bin Laden” — a statement that prompted Foreign Policy magazine’s managing editor, Blake Hounshell, to fire off a tweet saying: “Rand Paul tells a complete falsehood: ‘We funded Bin Laden.’ This man is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”

But that didn’t discourage Paul. During a much anticipated foreign policy speech at the Heritage Foundation today, Paul doubled down, saying: “In the 1980’s the war caucus in Congress armed bin Laden and the mujaheddin in their fight with the Soviet Union.”

The only problem is that this is, at best, highly speculative — and, at worst, the perpetuation of an outright myth.

This also puts Paul in the same camp as Michael Moore, who said: ““WE created the monster known as Osama bin Laden! Where did he go to terrorist school? At the CIA!”….

…read it all…

And this is the crux of the matter.

Truthers took Michael Moore’s non-evidential presentations and statements and ran with themAnother example that shows this myth isn’t necessarily one owned by strictly by politicians, as, this conversation on a friends FaceBook shows:

Antony: failed foreign policy means today’s buddies are tomorrows boogiemen.

Hunlsy: I just love the fact they’re fighting us with the weapons and training that we gave them.

Antony: Oh where oh where did Iran get those P3s and F-14 Tomcats?

Antony: it was the US – we used to be buddies with Iranians too. We played both sides of the Iran/Iraq war, which predicated Gulf I.

Hunsly: Likely from the Russians. Regardless, we’re fighting a group, not a country. This group makes all of its IEDs & buys all of their weapons with the money that we gave them.

Here is my short intercept of the above conversation. More info will follow it:


Weapons

This is somewhat of a myth — that we sold the majority of weapons to the Taliban, to Iraq, and the like. For instance, in the following graph you can see that (in the instance of Iraq, which I was told over-and-over-again was weaponized by the U.S.) you have to combine the U.K. and the U.S. to equal 1%.

Iraqi Weapons

Moral Position

Much like us supporting Stalin in defeating Hitler, we were aligned with people whom we didn’t see eye-to-eye with in order to beat the USSR during the Cold War (WWIII)… a war that was fought from 1947–1991.

History

And thirdly, the Taliban didn’t exist when Reagan said this:

Reagan didn’t say that about the Taliban because the Taliban didn’t exist yet. He said that of the Mujahedin, the same men who would later go on to fight the Taliban under the name “Northern Alliance”

The Afghan Northern Alliance, officially known as the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (Persian: ‏جبهه متحد اسلامی ملی برای نجات افغانستانJabha-yi Muttahid-i Islāmi-yi Millī barā-yi Nijāt-i Afghānistān), was a military front that came to formation in late 1996 after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) took over Kabul. The United Front was assembled by key leaders of the Islamic State of Afghanistan, particularly president in exile Burhanuddin Rabbani and former Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud. Initially it included mostly Tajiks but by 2000, leaders of other ethnic groups had joined the Northern Alliance. This included Abdul Rashid Dostum, Mohammad Mohaqiq, Abdul Qadir, Sayed Hussein Anwari and others.

The Northern Alliance fought a defensive war against the Taliban government. They received support from Iran, Russia, India, Tajikistan and others, while the Taliban were backed by al-Qaeda. The Northern Alliance was mostly made up of ethnic Tajiks, but later included Uzbeks, Hazaras, and Pashtuns. The Taliban government was dominated by Pashtuns with other groups being the minority. After the US-led invasion and establishment of the Karzai administration in late 2001, the Northern Alliance broke apart and different political parties were formed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Alliance

The mujaheddin fighters who had previously defeated the communist government and formed the Islamic State of Afghanistan (ISA) came under attack and in 1996 lost the capital to the Taliban. At this juncture the Mujahedin resorted to the creation of UIF because Rashid Dostum and other warlords who belonged to various tribes but to no specific political party did not want to recognize the ISA as a legal entity, so the defeated government devised a military strategy to utilize these forces while not offending their political sensibilities.

In October 1996 in Khinjan, Ahmed Shah Massoud and Dostum came to an agreement to form the anti-Taliban coalition that outside Afghanistan became known as the Northern Alliance.


CNN was doing a special on Afghanistan and Peter Bergen asked for questions from viewers that he would answer. One of the questions is as follows: “If it’s true that bin Laden once worked for the CIA, what makes you so sure that he isn’t still?”~ Anne Busigin, Toronto, Canada

Peter Bergen responds:

This is one of those things where you cannot put it out of its misery.

The story about bin Laden and the CIA — that the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden — is simply a folk myth. There’s no evidence of this. In fact, there are very few things that bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the U.S. government agree on. They all agree that they didn’t have a relationship in the 1980s. And they wouldn’t have needed to. Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently.

The real story here is the CIA didn’t really have a clue about who this guy was until 1996 when they set up a unit to really start tracking him.

One person in a forum that was similarly challenged pointed out that this surely wasn’t the Taliban because they hated women in any position of authority — look at the pic at the top again.

As you read on, keep in mind Mr. Bergen was not a fan of conservatives, or Republicans. With that in mind, enjoy the rest, it is posted here so it will never disappear on me:

Northern Alliance (WIKI)

U.S. government officials and a number of other parties maintain that the U.S. supported only the indigenous Afghan mujahideen. They deny that the CIA or other American officials had contact with the Afghan Arabs (foreign mujahideen) or Bin Laden, let alone armed, trained, coached or indoctrinated them. Scholars and reporters have called the idea of CIA-backed Afghan Arabs (foreign mujahideen) “nonsense”,[6] “sheer fantasy”,[7] and “simply a folk myth.”[8]

They argue that:

  • with a quarter of a million local Afghans willing to fight there was no need to recruit foreigners unfamiliar with the local language, customs or lay of the land
  • with several hundred million dollars a year in funding from non-American, Muslim sources, Arab Afghans themselves would have no need for American funds
  • Americans could not train mujahideen because Pakistani officials would not allow more than a handful of U.S. agents to operate in Pakistan and none in Afghanistan;[9]
  • the Afghan Arabs were militant Islamists, reflexively hostile to Westerners, and prone to threaten or attack Westerners even though they knew the Westerners were helping the mujahideen.

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri says much the same thing in his book Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner.[10]

Bin Laden himself once said “the collapse of the Soviet Union … goes to God and the mujahideen in Afghanistan … the US had no mentionable role,” but “collapse made the US more haughty and arrogant.” [11]

According to CNN journalist Peter Bergen, known for conducting the first television interview with Osama bin Laden in 1997,

The story about bin Laden and the CIA — that the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden — is simply a folk myth. There’s no evidence of this. In fact, there are very few things that bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the U.S. government agree on. They all agree that they didn’t have a relationship in the 1980s. And they wouldn’t have needed to. Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently. The real story here is the CIA did not understand who Osama was until 1996, when they set up a unit to really start tracking him.[8]

Bergen quotes Pakistani Brigadier Mohammad Yousaf, who ran the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Afghan operation between 1983 and 1987:

It was always galling to the Americans, and I can understand their point of view, that although they paid the piper they could not call the tune. The CIA supported the mujahideen by spending the taxpayers’ money, billions of dollars of it over the years, on buying arms, ammunition, and equipment. It was their secret arms procurement branch that was kept busy. It was, however, a cardinal rule of Pakistan’s policy that no Americans ever become involved with the distribution of funds or arms once they arrived in the country. No Americans ever trained or had direct contact with the mujahideen, and no American official ever went inside Afghanistan.[12]

Marc Sageman, a Foreign Service Officer who was based in Islamabad from 1987–1989, and worked closely with Afghanistan’s Mujahideen, argues that no American money went to the foreign volunteers.

Sageman also says:[13]

Contemporaneous accounts of the war do not even mention [the Afghan Arabs]. Many were not serious about the war. … Very few were involved in actual fighting. For most of the war, they were scattered among the Afghan groups associated with the four Afghan fundamentalist parties.

No U.S. official ever came in contact with the foreign volunteers. They simply traveled in different circles and never crossed U.S. radar screens. They had their own sources of money and their own contacts with the Pakistanis, official Saudis, and other Muslim supporters, and they made their own deals with the various Afghan resistance leaders.”[14]

Vincent Cannistraro, who led the Reagan administration’s Afghan Working Group from 1985 to 1987, puts it,

The CIA was very reluctant to be involved at all. They thought it would end up with them being blamed, like in Guatemala.” So the Agency tried to avoid direct involvement in the war, … the skittish CIA, Cannistraro estimates, had less than ten operatives acting as America’s eyes and ears in the region. Milton Bearden, the Agency’s chief field operative in the war effort, has insisted that “[T]he CIA had nothing to do with” bin Laden. Cannistraro says that when he coordinated Afghan policy from Washington, he never once heard bin Laden’s name.[15]

Fox News reporter Richard Miniter wrote that in interviews with the two men who “oversaw the disbursement for all American funds to the anti-Soviet resistance, Bill Peikney – CIA station chief in Islamabad from 1984 to 1986 – and Milt Bearden – CIA station chief from 1986 to 1989 – he found,

Both flatly denied that any CIA funds ever went to bin Laden. They felt so strongly about this point that they agreed to go on the record, an unusual move by normally reticent intelligence officers. Mr. Peikney added in an e-mail to me: “I don’t even recall UBL [bin Laden] coming across my screen when I was there.[16]

Other reasons advanced for a lack of a CIA-Afghan Arab connection of “pivotal importance,” (or even any connection at all), was that the Afghan Arabs themselves were not important in the war but were a “curious sideshow to the real fighting.”[17]

One estimate of the number of combatants in the war is that 250,000 Afghans fought 125,000 Soviet troops, but only 2000 Arab Afghans fought “at any one time”.[18]

According to Milton Bearden the CIA did not recruit Arabs because there were hundreds of thousands of Afghans all too willing to fight. The Arab Afghans were not only superfluous but “disruptive,” angering local Afghans with their more-Muslim-than-thou attitude, according to Peter Jouvenal.[19] Veteran Afghan cameraman Peter Jouvenal quotes an Afghan mujahideen as saying “whenever we had a problem with one of them [foreign mujahideen], we just shot them. They thought they were kings.”

Many who traveled in Afghanistan, including Olivier Roy[20] and Peter Jouvenal,[21] reported of the Arab Afghans’ visceral hostility to Westerners in Afghanistan to aid Afghans or report on their plight. BBC reporter John Simpson tells the story of running into Osama bin Laden in 1989, and with neither knowing who the other was, bin Laden attempting to bribe Simpson’s Afghan driver $500 — a large sum in a poor country — to kill the infidel Simpson. When the driver declined, Bin Laden retired to his “camp bed” and wept “in frustration.” [22]

According to Steve Coll, author of “Ghost Wars”, the primary contact for the CIA and ISI in Afghanistan was Ahmed Shah Massoud a poppy farmer and militia leader known as the “Lion of the Panjeer”. During the Afghan Civil War which erupted once the Soviets had left, Massoud’s army was routed by the Taliban (who were being helped by Pakistan’s ISI) and restricted to the northern region of the country. A loose entente was formed with several other native tribal militias which became known as the Northern Alliance who operated in opposition to the Taliban. On September 10, 2001 a camera crew was granted access to Massoud under the premise they were interviewing him for a documentary about the Mujahadeen. The crew members were actually Al Qaeda operatives who detonated a bomb killing themselves and Massoud. The purpose of the assassination was to eliminate a key ally for the US in anticipation of an invasion in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks which were to take place the following day.

And here is another great post responding to the non-evidential/conspiratorial [leftists] on the subject:

Bin Laden trained and funded by the CIA

“Osama bin Laden was trained and funded by the CIA” – you’ll read the claim everywhere, and it’s rarely opposed: everyone just seems to accept that it’s true. But why? How much evidence have you ever seen presented to support this?

The reality is that there are many people who say this is simply a myth. And we’re not just talking about neo-con friendly journalists, either.

Take Jason Burke, for instance, a major contributor to the BBC documentary “The Power of Nightmares”. In his book “Al Qaeda”, he wrote the following:

It is often said that bin Ladin was funded by the CIA. This is not true, and indeed it would have been impossible given the structure of funding that General Zia ul-Haq, who had taken power in Pakistan in 1977, had set up. A condition of Zia’s cooperation with the American plan to turn Afghanistan into the Soviet’s ‘Vietnam’ was that all American funding to the Afghan resistance had to be channeled through the Pakistani government, which effectively meant the Afghan bureau of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), the military spy agency. The American funding, which went exclusively to the Afghan mujahideen groups, not the Arab volunteers [bin Ladin’s groups], was supplemented by Saudi government money and huge funds raised from mosques, non-governmental charitable institutions and private donors throughout the Islamic world. Most of the major Gulf-based charities operating today were founded at this time to raise money or channel government funds to the Afghans, civilians and fighters. In fact, as little as 25 per cent of the monet for the Afghan jihad was actually supplied directly by states.

Page 59, Al Qaeda: The true story of radical Islam, Jason Burke

Steve Coll, former Managing Editor of the Washington Post, also suggests bin Ladin passed largely unnoticed by the CIA, in his book “Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001”:

…According to [Ahemd] Badeeb, on bin Ladin’s first trip to Pakistan he brought donations to the Lahore offices of Jamaat-e-Islami, Zia’s political shock force. Jamaat was the Pakistani offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood; its students had sacked the US embassy in Islamabad in 1979. bin Ladin did not trust the official Pakistan intelligence service, Badeeb recalled, and preferred to fund his initial charity through private religious and political networks.From the beginning of the Afghan jihad, Saudi intelligence used religious charities to support its own unilateral operations. This mainly involved funneling money and equipment to favoured Afghan commanders outisde ISI or CIA control… “The humanitarian aid-that was completely separate from the Americans”, Badeeb recalled. “And we insist[ed] that the Americans will not get to that, get involved–especially in the beginning,” in part because some of the Islamist mujahedin objected to direct contact with Western infidels…

In spy lexicon, each of the major intelligence agencies began working the Afghan jihad–GID [General Intelligence Department, Saudi Arabia], ISI and the CIA– began to “compartment” their work, even as all three collaborated with one another through formal liasons…

bin Ladin moved within Saudi intelligence’s compartmented operations, outside of CIA eyesight…

Page 86/ 87, Ghost Wars, Stevel Coll

In a Q&A session following the release of his book, Coll said:

Wheaton, Md.: There have been accusations from the left that have directly accused the CIA of funding and training bin Laden. Is there any truth to this ? Steve Coll: I did not discover any evidence of direct contact between CIA officers and bin Laden during the 1980s, when they were working more or less in common cause against the Soviets. CIA officials, including Tenet, have denied under oath that such contact took place. The CIA was certainly aware of bin Laden’s activities, beginning in the mid- to late-1980s, and they generally looked favorably on what he was doing at that time. But bin Laden’s direct contacts were with Saudi intelligence and to some extent Pakistani intelligence, not with the Americans.

Missouri EDU

Peter Bergen expanded on the supposed CIA/ bin Ladin links in his book, Holy War Inc:

But were the CIA and the Afghan Arabs in cahoots, as recent studies have suggested? One author charges: “The CIA had funded and trained the Afghan Arabs during the war”. Another refers to “the central role of the CIA’s Muslim mercenaries, including upwards of 2,000 mercenaries in the Afghanistan war”. Both authors present these claims as axioms, but provide no real corroboration.Other commentators have reported that bin Ladin himself was aided by the CIA. A report in the respected British newspaper The Guardian states: “In 1986 the CIA even helped him [bin Ladin] build an underground camp at Khost [Afghanistan] where he was to train recruits from across the Islamic world in the revolutionary art of jihad”…Bin Ladin, meanwhile, had expoused anti-American positions since 1982, and thanks to the fortune derived from his family’s giant construction business had little need of CIA money. In fact, the underground camp at Khost was built in 1982 by an Afghan commander, with Arab funding.

A source familiar with bin Ladin’s organisation explains that bin Ladin “never had any relations with America or American officials… He was saying very early in the 1980’s that the next battle is going to be with America… No aid or training or other support have ever been given to bin Ladin from Americans.” A senior offical unequivocally says that “bin Ladin never met with the CIA.”

While the charges that the CIA was responsible for the rise of the Afghan Arabs might make good copy, they don’t make good history. The truth is more complicated, tinged with varying shades of grey. The United States wanted to be able to deny that the CIA was funding the Afghan war, so its support was funneled through Pakistan’s military intelligence agency, Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI). ISI in turn made the decisions about which Afghan factions to arm and train, tending to fund the most Islamist and pro-Pakistan. The Afghan Arabs generally fought alongside those factions, which is how the charge arose that they were creatures of the CIA.

Former CIA officer Milt Bearden, who ran the Agency’s Afghan operation in the late 1980’s, says: “The CIA did not recruit Arabs,” as there was no need to do so. There were hundreds of thousands of Afghans all too willing to fight…

Moreover, the Afghan Arabs demonstrated a pathological dislike of Westerners. Jouvenal says: “I always kept away from Arabs [in Afghanistan]. They were very hostile. They would ask, ‘What are you doing in an Islamic country?” The BBC reporter John Simpson had a close call with bin Ladin himself outside Jalalabad in 1989. Travelling with a group of Arab mujahideen, Simpson and his television crew bumped into an Arab man beautifully dressed in spotless white robes; the man began shouting at Simpson’s escorts to kill the infidels, then offered a truck driver the not unreasonable sum of five hundred dollars to do the job. Simpson’s Afghan escort turned down the request, and bin Ladin was to be found later on a camp bed, weeping in frustration. Only when bin Ladin became a public figure, almost a decade later, did Simpson realise who the mysterious Arab was who had wanted him dead.

Page 67/68, Holy War Inc, Peter Bergen

This level of hostility to Westerners doesn’t suggest a warm working relationship with the US, and there’s some confirmation in a story retold by Richard Miniter:

…the handful of Americans who had heard of bin Ladin in the 1980’s knew him mainly for his violently anti-American views. Dana Rohrabacher, now a Republican congressman from Orange County, California, told me about a trip he took with the mujihideen in 1987. At the time, Rohrabacher was a Reagan aide who delighted in taking long overland trips inside Afghanistan with anti-Communist forces. On one such trek, his guide told him not to speak English for the next few hours because they were passing by bin Ladin’s encampment. Rohrabacher was told, “If he hears an American, he will kill you.” 

Page 16, Disinformation, Richard Miniter

Bin Ladin was himself asked about US funding by Robert Fisk:

Fisk: …what of the Arab mujahedin he took to Afghanistan – members of a guerilla army who were also encouraged and armed by the United States – and who were forgotten when that war was over? bin Ladin: “Personally neither I nor my brothers saw evidence of American help…

Fisk interview, 1996

And Ayman al-Zawahiri, second-in-command of al Qaeda, explains more in his text “Knights under the Prophet’s Banner”. Here he claims the “Afghan Arabs” had plenty of funding from various Arab sources, and points to other indications that they never supported the US:

“While the United States backed Pakistan and the mujahidin factions with money and equipment, the young Arab mujahidin’s relationship with the United States was totally different.”Indeed the presence of those young Arab Afghans in Afghanistan and their increasing numbers represented a failure of US policy and new proof of the famous US political stupidity. The financing of the activities of the Arab mujahidin in Afghanistan came from aid sent to Afghanistan by popular organizations. It was substantial aid. “The Arab mujahidin did not confine themselves to financing their own jihad but also carried Muslim donations to the Afghan mujahidin themselves. Usama Bin Ladin has apprised me of the size of the popular Arab support for the Afghan mujahidin that amounted, according to his sources, to $200 million in the form of military aid alone in 10 years.

Imagine how much aid was sent by popular Arab organizations in the non-military fields such as medicine and health, education and vocational training, food, and social assistance (including sponsorship of orphans, widows, and the war handicapped. Add to all this the donations that were sent on special occasions such as Id al-Fitr and Id al-Adha feasts and during the month of Ramadan.”

“Through this unofficial popular support, the Arab mujahidin established training centers and centers for the call to the faith. They formed fronts that trained and equipped thousands of Arab mujahidin and provided them with living expenses, housing, travel, and organization.”

Changing Bin Ladin’s Guard

About the Afghan Arabs’ relationship with the United States, Al-Zawahiri says in his book: “If the Arab mujahidin are mercenaries of the United States who rebelled against it as it alleges, why is it unable to buy them back now? Are they not counted now-with Usama Bin Ladin at their head-as the primary threat to US interests? Is not buying them more economical and less costly that the astronomical budgets that the United States is allotting for security and defense?”

“The Americans, in their usual custom of exaggeration and superficiality, are trying to sell off illusions to the people and are ignoring the most basic facts. Is it possible that Usama Bin Ladin who, in his lectures in the year 1987, called for boycotting US goods as a form of support for the intifadah in Palestine, a US agent in Afghanistan?….

“Furthermore, is it possible that the martyr-as we regard him-Abdallah Azzam was a US collaborator when in fact he never stopped inciting young men against the United States and used to back HAMAS with all the resources at his disposal?

“Is it possible that the jihadist movement in Egypt can be a collaborator movement for the United States when Khalid al-Islambuli and his comrades killed Anwar al-Sadat, even before the phenomenon of the Arab mujahidin in Afghanistan emerged?”

“Is it possible that the jihadist movement in Egypt can be a US collaborator movement when in fact it brought up its children, ever since the movement started, to reject Israel and all the agreements of capitulation to it and to consider making peace with Israel as a contravention of Islamic Shari’ah?”

Book, His Own Words: A Translation of the Writings of Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri

Richard Miniter has a little more on this in “Dispelling the CIA-Bin Ladin Myth“, and while you may not exactly trust the source, there were further comments worth at least a look on the US State Departments “Identifying Misinformation” site.

Thin-Skinned Over the Redskins ~ Warnings of Government Overreach

I am going to start this post with a very STRONGLY WORDED rant on the asinine political correctness found on the professional Left. Again, language warning, but you should be just as flabbergasted as these men (via The Blaze):

Jonathan Turley (via The Washington Post) gets into the mix in his now patented warning from the left about the excesses of government size, growth, and overreach. Some of which I have noted in the past here. But here is the column from which Dennis Prager touches on, and Goldberg’s will follow:

…It didn’t matter to the patent office that polls show substantial majorities of the public and the Native American community do not find the name offensive. A 2004 Annenberg Public Policy Center poll found that 90 percent of Native Americans said the name didn’t bother them. Instead, the board focused on a 1993 resolution adopted by the National Congress of American Indians denouncing the name. The board simply extrapolated that, since the National Congress represented about 30 percent of Native Americans, one out of every three Native Americans found it offensive. “Thirty percent is without doubt a substantial composite,” the board wrote.

Politicians rejoiced in the government intervention, which had an immediate symbolic impact. As Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said Wednesday: “You want to ignore millions of Native Americans? Well, it’s pretty hard to say the federal government doesn’t know what they’re talking about when they say it’s disparaging.”

For the Washington Redskins, there may be years of appeals, and pending a final decision, the trademarks will remain enforceable. But if the ruling stands, it will threaten billions of dollars in merchandizing and sponsorship profits for NFL teams, which share revenue. Redskins owner Dan Snyder would have to yield or slowly succumb to death by a thousand infringement paper cuts.

The patent office opinion also seems to leave the future of trademarks largely dependent on whether groups file challenges. Currently trademarked slogans such as “Uppity Negro” and “You Can’t Make A Housewife Out Of A Whore” could lose their protections, despite the social and political meaning they hold for their creators. We could see organizations struggle to recast themselves so they are less likely to attract the ire of litigious groups — the way Carthage College changed its sports teams’ nickname from Redmen to Red Men and the California State University at Stanislaus Warriors dropped their Native American mascot and logo in favor of the Roman warrior Titus. It appears Fighting Romans are not offensive, but Fighting Sioux are.

As federal agencies have grown in size and scope, they have increasingly viewed their regulatory functions as powers to reward or punish citizens and groups. The Internal Revenue Service offers another good example. Like the patent office, it was created for a relatively narrow function: tax collection. Yet the agency also determines which groups don’t have to pay taxes. Historically, the IRS adopted a neutral rule that avoided not-for-profit determinations based on the content of organizations’ beliefs and practices. Then, in 1970, came the Bob Jones University case. The IRS withdrew the tax-exempt status from the religious institution because of its rule against interracial dating on campus. The Supreme Court affirmed in 1983 that the IRS could yank tax exemption whenever it decided that an organization is behaving “contrary to established public policy” — whatever that public policy may be. Bob Jones had to choose between financial ruin and conforming its religious practices. It did the latter.

There is an obvious problem when the sanctioning of free exercise of religion or speech becomes a matter of discretionary agency action. And it goes beyond trademarks and taxes. Consider the Federal Election Commission’s claim of authority to sit in judgment of whether a film is a prohibited “electioneering communication.” While the anti-George W. Bush film “Fahrenheit 9/11” was not treated as such in 2004, the anti-Clinton “Hillary: The Movie” was barred by the FEC in 2008. The agency appeared Caesar-like in its approval and disapproval — authority that was curtailed in 2010 by the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United.

Even water has become a vehicle for federal agency overreach. Recently, the Obama administration took punitive agency action against Washington state and Colorado for legalizing marijuana possession and sales. While the administration said it would not enforce criminal drug laws against marijuana growers — gaining points among the increasing number of citizens who support legalization and the right of states to pass such laws — it used a little-known agency, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, to cut off water to those farms. The Bureau of Reclamation was created as a neutral supplier of water and a manager of water projects out West, not an agency that would open or close a valve to punish noncompliant states….

…read it all…

Here is the article from The National Review — in part — that has Jonah Goldberg likewise raising alarm about the bureaucracy that Turley speaks to in the above article.

…Now, I don’t believe we are becoming anything like 1930s Russia, never mind a real-life 1984. But this idea that bureaucrats — very broadly defined — can become their own class bent on protecting their interests at the expense of the public seems not only plausible but obviously true.

The evidence is everywhere. Every day it seems there’s another story about teachers’ unions using their stranglehold on public schools to reward themselves at the expense of children. School-choice programs and even public charter schools are under vicious attack, not because they are bad at educating children but because they’re good at it. Specifically, they are good at it because they don’t have to abide by rules aimed at protecting government workers at the expense of students.

The Veterans Affairs scandal can be boiled down to the fact that VA employees are the agency’s most important constituency. The Phoenix VA health-care system created secret waiting lists where patients languished and even died, while the administrator paid out almost $10 million in bonuses to VA employees over the last three years.

Working for the federal government simply isn’t like working for the private sector. Government employees are essentially unfireable. In the private sector, people lose their jobs for incompetence, redundancy, or obsolescence all the time. In government, these concepts are virtually meaningless. From a 2011 USA Today article: “Death — rather than poor performance, misconduct or layoffs — is the primary threat to job security at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Management and Budget and a dozen other federal operations.”

In 2010, the 168,000 federal workers in Washington, D.C. — who are quite well compensated — had a job-security rate of 99.74 percent. A HUD spokesman told USA Today that “his department’s low dismissal rate — providing a 99.85 percent job security rate for employees — shows a skilled and committed workforce.”

Uh huh.

Obviously, economic self-interest isn’t the only motivation. Bureaucrats no doubt sincerely believe that government is a wonderful thing and that it should be empowered to do ever more wonderful things. No doubt that is why the EPA has taken it upon itself to rewrite American energy policy without so much as a “by your leave” to Congress.

The Democratic party today is, quite simply, the party of government and the natural home of the managerial class. It is no accident, as the Marxists say, that the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents the IRS, gave 94 percent of its political donations during the 2012 election cycle to Democratic candidates openly at war with the Tea Party — the same group singled out by Lois Lerner. The American Federation of Government Employees, which represents the VA, gave 97 percent of its donations to Democrats at the national level and 100 percent to Democrats at the state level…

…read it all…

Dental Care in Europe Compared to America (Health-Care Mantras)

I have to get an implant to my #8 tooth… well, I could get a bridge, but that would ruin the teeth surrounding the removed #8 tooth. This procedure will take about 7-8-months (bone graft, healing, stud insert, healing, tooth) and cost me almost $4,000 dollars. An acquaintance my wife and I know said we should go to Europe to have the procedure done to save money. So I am taking this opportunity to explain why the American dental plans and payment options are still superior to the National Health Care options of Europe.

Some use to plane for vacations around such surgical options. Obviously I cannot afford either a ticket or being in Europe for the 7-months for all the steps to be completed. But there are other reasons behind this no longer being an option:

A few years back, the “hottest” trend in medical tourism was bargain-priced dental treatments in Eastern Europe—notably the Czech Republic and Hungary. But that was when the dollar was stronger; now that it’s really weak; those prices no longer look so good.

Instead, most focus has shifted to Latin America and Asia where, according to reports, medical and dental practitioners operate modern, well-equipped clinics and centers, many of which are attached to or affiliated with resort and hotel complexes. I checked the websites for several Asian and Latin American dental complexes that cater to American visitors, and found typical prices for dental services around $350 to $500 for a crown, $700 to $1,000 for a full denture, and $2,000 to $3,000 for an implant. Those prices are about half of what I pay locally.

(source)

$3,000 down south of America is not too far off from my $3,800 I will pay here. But in Europe, the NHS [for instance in the UK] typically settles on the cheaper of the options, which is filling down the teeth on either side of the affected area and making a bridge. Not to mention the cost of a plane ticket!

All treatment that is, in your dentist’s opinion, clinically necessary to protect and maintain good oral health is available on the NHS. This means the NHS provides any treatment that you need to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy and free of pain, including:

  • dentures
  • crowns
  • bridges

Dental implants and orthodontic treatment, such as braces, are available on the NHS, but only if there’s a medical need for the treatment.

(source)

Why the “settling” for the cheaper option? The Guardian newspaper answers this us for us, and it goes a long way to explain the end-result of the reality of what are called “death-panels” here in the States:

Waiting times for treatment and the rationing of care have worsened and will get worse still because of the NHS‘s £20bn savings drive, health service bosses have warned.

Seven in 10 chief executives and chairs of hospital trusts, clinical commissioning groups and other NHS care providers fear that the length of time patients have to wait for treatment and their ability to obtain it will be hit hard in the coming year.

A report by the NHS Confederation says half of health service bosses think the two politically vital areas of NHS provision have already been affected over the last year as the service has sought to make £20bn of “efficiency savings” demanded by Whitehall.

A survey of leaders of 185 NHS organisations shows that 64% also believe that patients’ experience of the NHS will suffer, while 27% expect the availability of particular treatments or drugs will be hit and 16% fear patient safety will be compromised.

This gloomy view of the NHS’s prospects is compounded by 62% describing the financial situation confronting them as “very serious” (40%) or “the worst I have ever experienced” (22%).

Gloomy indeed. In one chat-room in the United Kingdom we see some exchanges about a dental emergency:

  • My poor boy was assaulted on Wednesday, leaving him with a broken nose and his front tooth was knocked clean out His other front tooth is also badly damaged and needs root canal work to save it. The dentist said they can make him a little plate or he could have a bridge. The other option would be an implant but at a cost of £2000 and not until he is 21 (he’s 15). She said that implants are extremely hard to get on the NHS.

One practicing dentist in the UK responded:

  • He would have no chance of getting an implant on the NHS I’m afraid. On the plus side, you’ve got 6 yrs to save up. Adhesive (Maryland) bridges are a very good alternative though, and I have many patients that have been happy with these long-term.

Another person chimed in:

  • Be aware that if he was assaulted you may be able to put in a claim for criminal injuries compensation for him. This takes a long time to come through and will not pay for an implant but will go a way towards the cost. Ask when he makes statement to police. Only cancer patients, thosecongenitally (born without) missing 6 teeth or more , or major trauma patients may get implants. I’m afraid your son won’t qualify.

(source) Hidden waiting lists seem to be one way government health-care deals with controlling costs. Recently in our country this has come to light with the VA, and is not foreign to other European countries (Scotland, England, Canada, UK, etc.).

 In yet another chat room this question was asked:

  • i am 26years old and my teeth are in a bit of a state my canine teeth have not moved into place and there is not enough space for one to move in place. i am on income support and i have been ill since i was a teenager . 

The two top responses are these:

  1. nhs dentists are only obliged to maintain your oral health. anything else they can quote u private that’s if ur dental surgeon has orthodontic skill and your mouth is kept immaculately clean .so unfortunately u’ll have to start saving.
  2. Hi you CAN get braces on the NHS considering how bad your teeth are and if you are willing to wait 1-2 years to get seen. There is a waiting list for adult ortho on the NHS and its very difficult to get on the list but its worth a try…..see you dentist! Failing that you will have to pay roughly £2000 for them as income support does not make you exempt.       

Another answer to a similar question is found on a blog dealing with dental issues:

  • Hi no unfortunately implants and cosmetic treatments are not covered by the NHS just as boob jobs are rarely given on the NHS etc. You would probably need to go private and if you want implants your talking £2000 a tooth! ask your dentist what you can do as you are not happy with the appearance of your teeth.

I think there is a misconception here about health-care abroad, and those that tout such systems as superior to our health care system. Many procedures here can be done for close to the same cost, without years of waiting, and often times, much more reliably performed. Why? Because unlike government positions, the American dentist relies on the free market. The free-market makes the dentist accountable to the customer and can be run out of business if doing a sub-par job. It is near impossible to hold government programs to any standard that truly threatens it “integrity.”

Language as a Barometer of Influence (Critique of Food Inc.)

I will, in the future, post something on Big Pharma. But for now, this will deal with Big Ag.

I got to see a friend I haven’t in a long time. We hung out for a few hours, had a couple of beers, I made some burgers on the grill, enjoyed our 80[+] degree weather we had in SoCal. During our time together, he mentioned a documentary, Food Inc., then mentioned another about “Big Pharma.” I was surprised he didn’t refer to “Big Ag,” for corporate agriculture, but I digress. I mentioned that he was using LANGUAGE only someone who was liberal would use (no conservative that knows his/her hill o’ beans talks like that… to wit… he denied being political at all. Which is an interesting point. I mentioned to him that while HE may not be “political,” he was using POLITICAL language encapsulated by the left.

It doesn’t matter that he considers himself a-political, he is using the lenses supplied him by pop-culture to view the world, and it is one that is modeled after liberalism. He is jaundiced, whether he realizes it or not. While the following deals with specifically the Christian worldview, it can be imported into the political realm:

A personal philosophy/religious belief determines one’s world view. That world view influences their actions, actions create habits; habits establish traditions and those traditions eventually become a culture. Have you wondered how that two different scientists with identical credentials can look at the same empirical data and have two very different conclusions? Here’s why. A scientist that does not believe in a creator-God (Atheist) looks at the similarities of humans and monkeys, and concludes that one must have evolved from the other, while a scientist that does believe in a creator-God (Theist) sees those same similarities and concludes that they must have had the same creator. Why? It’s all about their world views! (via The Christian Post)

R & D Costs for “Big Pharma”

This comes via ChEMBL-og:

Came across a link on Google+ to a post to a Forbes article (via Greg Landrum) and thought I would post a link here. It’s a simple economic analysis of the costs of Large Pharma drug discovery. Very simple, money in vs. drugs out. There is however a lot of complexity behind the numbers, for example – quite a few of the drugs will have been licensed in, the transaction costs for these in-licensing events have probably been factored in, but what about all the other burnt capital in the biotech companies that supplied the in-licensed compounds – this will inflate the numbers further. Of course the majority of these costs are incurred on the failed projects, the wrong targets, the wrong compounds, or the wrong trials.

To put the AstraZeneca number of $11.8 billion per drug in some national context (equivalent to £7.5 billion) – this is almost 17 years of the entire BBRSC budget (£445 million in 2011), or only two drugs from the entire investment portfolio of the mighty assets of the Wellcome Trust (~£14 billion in 2011) – that’s right, not two drugs from their annual research budget, but two drugs by shutting down the investment fund and putting it all into drug discovery and development (at Astra Zeneca ROI levels).

Scary numbers, eh? Are public funding agencies up to the task? Do we really know what to do differently? There’s also a post on the same Forbes article on the In The Pipeline blog.

(An updated Forbes article is HERE)

The problem is, that often times the person in question doesn’t realize they are wearing colored filters over their eyes. Francis Schaeffer, the indelible Christian philosopher of a generation ago, says this about the “low-info ‘voter'”:

“People have presuppositions, and they will live more consistently on the basis of these presuppositions than even they themselves may realize. By ‘presuppositions’ we mean the basic way an individual looks at life, his basic worldview, the grid through which he sees the world. Presuppositions rest upon that which a person considers to be the truth of what exists. People’s presuppositions lay a grid for all they bring forth into the external world. Their presuppositions also provide the basis for their values and therefore the basis for their decisions. ‘As a man thinketh, so he is,’ is really profound. An individual is not just the product of the forces around him. He has a mind, an inner world. Then, having thought, a person can bring forth actions into the external world and thus influence it. People are apt to look at the outer theater of action, forgetting the actor who “lives in the mind” and who therefore is the true actor in the external world. The inner thought world determines the outward action. Most people catch their presuppositions from their family and surrounding society the way a child catches measles. But people with more understanding realize that their presuppositions should be chosen after a careful consideration of what worldview is true. When all is done, when all the alternatives have been explored, ‘not many men are in the room’ — that is, although worldviews have many variations, there are not many basic worldviews or presuppositions.”

Francis A. Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, pp. 19-20

The origins of his starting point ~ a self-perceived neutrality in political thought for instance ~ makes no difference. It is the outcome that matters! That points to the presupposition held, perceived [known] or not. And the outcome that puts thoughts into containers that produce language point to a view which is decidedly liberal. Perceived or not. My friend just does not have the tools at his disposal to see the “rose colored glasses” he wears.

And it comes from crappy documentaries about pop-culture has fallen in love with and HBO [a decidely leftist org] and others push on us. Documentaries about McDonalds, Wal-Mart, fracking, water bottles, health-care, Columbine, global warming, and yes, food.

Years of documentaries that people watch — WITHOUT watching documentaries or finding information to counter the [often times] lies and twisted facts that accompany such “films,” drive this societal influence. Really, they are modern day horror films, for the mushy mind. One reviewer puts it in “campy horror flick” terms:

I unlock this door with the key of trepidation. Beyond it is another dimension. A dimension of underground. A dimension of fright. A dimension of rewind. I’m moving into a land of shadow and more shadow, of bewilderingly dumb ideas. I just crossed over into the Leawood Theatre.

We each have our personal Twilight Zone. Mine is here. In the basement theater of a half-century old strip mall in suburban Kansas City. Once well-attended, then abandoned to the wasteland of discount theater of the 80s, it suffered the final indignity of becoming a storage vault, only to be completely gutted and resurrected today to cinema status. As the double glass doors hiss shut behind me for the first time in 25 years, my soles suction one-by-one to a laminate floor, ashen as a corpse, decorated in accents the color of dirty snow to camouflage cracks, dirt, cockroaches and time. Past an old letter board, the mall tenants’ names leering like a toothless grin, errant and neglected grey letters drifted inevitably to the bottom like a neglected pile of autumn leaves. A hesitant descent down an open stairwell of gum-spotted teal ceramic tile and wood paneling of ebony contact paper dispels me at last into an echoing cavern of desolate shopfronts, save a solitary manned theatre ticket window.

The attendant slides forward my credit card and $6.50 receipt from the pool of shadow inside, in the process exposing the pale flesh of his forearm. His skin is a canvas, tattooed in a leering blue-green visage of a hunched vampire – Nosferatu, 1922’s first film fiend (who was eventually banished to the cinematic undead by the simple misfortune of being cast as the unpronounceable German counterpart when the studio couldn’t afford rights to the real Dracula of Bram Stoker.) Past the fraying scarlet rope and down a low-ceilinged hallway so narrow I have to turn sideways to maneuver past an exiting patron, I step finally into the cavernous blackness of 72 seats minus five occupied. And sit. Turns out, Leawood Theatre is the perfect place for me to see Food Inc.

A great article by the way, entitled, The Horror Show that Just Won’t Die. I find his encapsulating the masses as bright eyed, bubble gum chewing teenyboppers seeing for the first time the giant machine of the food industry, and being, surprised by it… but for all the wrong reasons:

The audience may take a bite, and because there is so much icing of factual inaccuracy, so many empty calories of cinematic wizadry, they won’t taste the unpalatable that lies beneath.

Agriculture’s response to those factual inaccuracies and open prejudice in Food Inc. has been predictable. Some of it’s been measured, calm and to the point. Some has been ham-handed, laggard and obscured by PR-eze. Typical of the fact-based response, the website SafeFoodInc.org, posted by an alliance of associations that represent the livestock, meat and poultry industries, complained “the makers of “Food, Inc.” and the subjects they interview seek to paint our industries as big, bad and mechanized. They seek to prove their point through a selective use of the facts. While the makers of “Food, Inc.” have the right to state their opinions, consumers and the media have the right to the facts.”

But the point Big Ag’s defenders appear to have missed, hiding behind the closet door as they rush like giggling teens into their factual defense of farming, is that Kenner et al’s attack on the factual integrity of agriculture is ultimately irrelevant. We’ve all been there, done that, lived to plow another day. What pass unnoticed are the deeper messages lying beneath Kenner’s factual surface, smooth and calm as an impending Camp Crystal Lake murder. It’s both fashionable and highly effective to position the food system as hopelessly and irretrievable broken, thus in need of complete reform and overhaul. And because consumers react with a guttural fear to an issue as personal as their food, it works—factual or not. But carried along in that message are the deeper fears Kenner’s selling—phobia of industrialization, consolidation, specialization, big corporations, even freedom and free-enterprise capitalism itself. It’s a story that comes, stake and hammer in hand, pretending to be hunting the lowly hunchback Igor of an unhealthy food system while in fact hoping to catch the Demon Prince of a heartless capitalist U.S. in a vulnerable slumber.

Food Inc. succeeds not by pulling back the veil on its own unpopular political inclinations, but by obscuring them behind the gee-whiz….

[….]

….Kenner and his servants deploy the shock of seeing the food system for the first time–shocking and amazing the innocents who don’t make it their job to think about it daily. It capitalizes on the modern urban pet owner’s inability to grasp the living scale of a 100,000-head capacity beef feedyard. It flash-frames the ungraspable idea of compressing the genetic manipulation of plants and animals farmers have pursued for centuries down into a week’s worth of laboratory work. It all makes for great show. But, ultimately robbed of any true underlying evil, it becomes Freddie vs. Jason or Alien vs. Predator …all gore and no fear, what Lady Gaga is to erotic cinema—overly costumed, predictable, empty, passionless and, finally, boring.

I use to go out of my way to see documentaries like this… but I noticed a “‘Moorian’ formula,” if-you-will. For instance, in Farenheit 9/11, one reviewer, Doc Farmer, talks about this:

A half-truth is the worst kind of lie…

…Michael Moore spends two tortuous hours spinning half-truths, supposition, perverted imaginings, and out-and-out lies across the screen, polluting the celluloid it inhabits, and the theater it pervades. Moore apparently was upset that his movie didn’t get a PG-13 rating so that kids could see it. Considering the ”liberal” use of the F-word in one segment of the film, and the horrific images of war interspersed with film of the high government officials in tie and tails, I would have given it an X.

Moore is a modern-day Leni Riefenstahl, with all the evil politics but without the talent. It is propaganda, (im)pure and simple(istic). Moore tugs at the heartstrings, makes racist comments about the enlistment practices of the military, and stands at a street corner like a Harkonnen baron without the suspensor units, accosting congressmen to have their children enlist and volunteer for Iraq. He posits his own form of neo-fascism, supporting his lib/dem/soc/commie brethren (who are far closer to the Nazi political structure than are the rep/cons), and dares to quote George Orwell in reference to George Bush, when it is Moore himself who is far more representative of the communist body politic.

And this is it, half-truths that “tug at heart-strings,” making these twisted views seem like they are the case, when they are not. So lets deal with some views that counter the outcome wanted from Food Inc.

Farming Land

The film goes far beyond even propaganda by making intentional misrepresentations, lies and distortions. The first example is a logical conclusion of an option presented in the film to raising chickens to sell on the market. The farming techniques of Joel Salatin, highlighted below… and their logical outcome:

“Food, Inc.” features Joel Salatin and his Polyface Farm in Virginia as a model of animal and crop production. Although Mr. Salatin’s methods are charming and offer a platform for his speaking business, they are not very practical when it comes to feeding several hundred of million people.

Mr. Salatin practices “pastured poultry.” He uses 50 portable wooden pens that hold about 70 chickens each, and his helpers move them ten feet each day – by hand — to a new patch of grass, for the 56 days it takes to grow them to market weight. The chickens nibble on grass and eat insects, although they still get commercial feed because chickens have limited ability to metabolize nutrients from grass. Their manure fertilizes the pasture. Nothing wrong with that. But this system produces only 10,000 broilers a year on 100 acres, in flocks of 3,500 birds. If the mainstream commercial chicken industry tried to raise its annual production of nine billion birds in a similar fashion, it would need 45 million acres! That’s more than all the farmland in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas – combined.

(Safe Food Inc)

To wit, Dennis Avery talks about percentage of farmland vs. population and “High Yield Conservation” (HYC) vs. what organic farming can yield. It (HYC) conserves space and protects wildlife:

Continuing, Safe Food inc makes the point about the movement to return to older farming methods and how that will harm the land and ultimately starve the population:

Technical advances in genetics, production and processing have helped create a meat and poultry production system that today requires less feed to produce a pound of meat.

Advocates of the “slow food” model argue for a return to older and less efficient methods of production, believing that this food ultimately is healthier for people and the environment. Others disagree.

According to a 2008 Time Magazine article “a worldwide Slow Food initiative might lead to turning more forests into farmland. (To feed the U.S. alone with organic food, we’d need 40 million farmers, up from 1 million today.) In a recent editorial, FAO director-general Jacques Diouf pointed out that the world will need to double food production by 2050 and that to suggest organics can solve the challenge is ‘dangerously irresponsible.'”

Starvation, Death

Safe Food Inc quotes a source for the above, but I wanted to expand on what the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said:

“We should use organic agriculture and promote it,” Dr. Diouf said. “It produces wholesome, nutritious food and represents a growing source of income for developed and developing countries. But you cannot feed six billion people today and nine billion in 2050 without judicious use of chemical fertilizers.”

Now you see where the horror is misplaced that earlier, Truth in Food said Food Inc “follows in the footsteps of other modern campy horror flicks: Splashy, escapist and horrifying for all the wrong reasons

Similarly, like environmentalists terrifying the masses about DDT, what was truly terrifying was that they killed millions of Africans with their unfounded fears. While environmentalists view their own concerns as noble, well-placed, wrought with good intentions. The outcome is what i am concerned with:

These are the people who coerced nations worldwide into banning DDT. It is generally estimated this ban has led to the deaths of about 50 million human beings, overwhelmingly African children, from malaria. DDT kills the mosquito that spreads malaria to human beings.

US News and World Report writer Carrie Lukas reported in 2010, “Fortunately, in September 2006, the World Health Organization announced a change in policy: It now recommends DDT for indoor use to fight malaria. The organization’s Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah explained, ‘The scientific and programmatic evidence clearly supports this reassessment. Indoor residual spraying (IRS) is useful to quickly reduce the number of infections caused by malaria-carrying mosquitoes. IRS has proven to be just as cost effective as other malaria prevention measures and DDT presents no health risk when used properly.'”

Though Lukas blames environmentalists for tens of millions of deaths, she nevertheless describes environmentalists as “undoubtedly well-intentioned.”

(Prager)

This kind of helpful hand from “Big-Eco” or “Big-Gov”is what caused Reagan to say that the “nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'” C.S. Lewis years earlier said it more forcefully:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock, p. 292.

Another misconception in the documentary is that chickens are genetically modified. They are not. Breeding is done the ol’ fashion way, by intelligent selection.

E.coli

Another issue I have with Food Inc. is the portrayal of Pigs grown indoors versus outdoors.

Some of these concerns I have are a twisting of the facts, and really, downright lies. The film mentioned that E. coli O157:H7 could be eliminated or reduced by feeding cattle grass instead of grain. The next question the viewer should have, is, “is this a true statement?” No, it is not. A large veterinary study shows that it exists naturally in the environment, and that hay- or frade-fed cattle have it as well. Studies do show some feeding regimens increase the risk, but these facilities spend multiple millions to excise their cattle of it.

Global Warming

Greenhouse gases are not the contributing factor to global warming. The major greenhouse gas that is demonized is CO2, and as we know, yes know, global warming gas ceased during the time of the biggest increase in this major greenhouse gas:

Obviously, Then, CO2 and Climate Are Not Connected…

Even the IPCC and British Meteorological Office now recognize that average global temperatures haven’t budged in almost 17 years. Little evidence suggests that sea level rise, storms, droughts, polar ice and temperatures or other weather and climate events and trends display any statistically significant difference from what Earth and mankind have experienced over the last 100-plus years…

~Via, John Kerry vs. the World (as in earth)

It is unfortunate that people cannot connect the dots in this regards, that sunspots, and its energy is the driving force of climate.

Outdoor vs Indoor

Another glaring misrepresentation of facts by tugging on heart-strings in the documentary are the indoor facilities of to-market pig. Modern advancements has made safer, cleaner, and more humane conditions for these animals that are meant for going to market. One farmer explains his issue with Food Inc:

Another myth is that these ways of raising pigs is not healthy. For instance, Safe Food Inc points out that it has been proven that pigs produced in outdoor systems are in fact, carriers of serious disease causing organisms:

…particularly those raised antibiotic-free for niche markets may harbor parasites (such as Trichinella and Toxoplasma) that are not found in pigs produced in indoor systems. Likewise, the incidence of Salmonella infection in pigs produced in outdoor systems is shown to be higher. Researchers from Ohio State University have stated that these systems carry risks that “may lead to persistence of bacterial (Salmonella) pathogens and reemergence of parasites (such as Trichinella) of historical significance.”

More

Of course more can be said about this topic, but above are the beginnings of allowing a rational person to start a search, to “hold fast that which is good.”

“…don’t be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what’s good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, The Message)

Last I checked, God can’t stomach liars (Proverbs 12:22a). It’s just that our culture doesn’t teach the masses to distinguish between something that is true, a lie, or somewhere in the middle. So people are walking around like “little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit” (Ephesians 4:14, HCSB). Fulfilling in some way what G.K. Chesterton said: “When a Man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything.” Likewise, people

Raising one’s self-consciousness [awareness] about worldviews is an essential part of intellectual maturity…. The right eyeglasses can put the world into clearer focus, and the correct worldview can function in much the same way. When someone looks at the world from the perspective of the wrong worldview, the world won’t make much sense to him. Or what he thinks makes sense will, in fact, be wrong in important respects. Putting on the right conceptual scheme, that is, viewing the world through the correct worldview, can have important repercussions for the rest of the person’s understanding of events and ideas…. Instead of thinking of Christianity as a collection of theological bits and pieces to be believed or debated, we should approach our faith as a conceptual system, as a total world-and-life view.

Ronald H. Nash, Worldviews in Conflict: Choosing Christianity in a World of Ideas (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992), 9, 17-18, 19.

Our total worldview requires us to be thoughtful about all we undertake… even inane documentaries that surely cause those who mention them and recommend them in general conversation who do not know about worldviews to respond with (after reading this), it doesn’t matter anyways. Ahhh, but it does. Are you being molded by society, or are you affecting society?

Bill Maher`s Common Sense vs. Michael Moore, Al Sharpton, and Valerie Plame ~ Dennis Prager Dissects

Video Description;

In this great dissection of the above named people by Dennis Prager, you get to hear how the left thinks. (Posted by: http://religiopoliticaltalk.com/)

———————–
(Fox News) Bill Maher, Michael Moore, Reverend Al Sharpton, and Richard Dawkins all got together to debate religion and… well, need I say more? Sharpton argued every religion has “zealots,” but Maher insisted it’s not the same and called the comparison “bullshit.” Valerie Plame and Moore also pushed back against Maher, making the point that there are plenty of Christian radicals all over the world. But both Maher and Dawkins argued that unlike Islamic extremists, Christian extremists don’t casually throw out fatwas and death threats when their faith is attacked.
———————–

For the readers information on what I noticed in uploading this to YouTube:

  • YouTube would not let me save my above description with the word I-S-L-A-M-I-C extremists. So I put the word “Muslim” in the text instead. But YouTube is fine with the phrase “Christian extremist.” YouTube is making the point Prager is making.

A current example of this thinking in the Department of Homeland Security, via Gateway Pundit:

World Net Daily reported, via Religion of Peace:

Department of Homeland Security adviser Mohamed Elibiary has penned yet another controversial tweet, this time likening the Muslim Brotherhood to evangelical Christians and comparing the Brotherhood’s indoctrination to Bible study groups.

WND found that Elibiary tweeted: “Ignorant #Islamophobes (redundant I know) protested my saying #MB like #Evangelicals. Usra like Bible study grp.”

The “MB,” or Muslim Brotherhood, seeks a worldwide Islamic caliphate ruled by Shariah, or Islamic law, and teaches followers to help establish an Islamic state wherever they live.

A Politically Correct Intel Gathering

What Do You Expect When Carter & Moore Are DNC VIP's

When the Democratic Party views Tea Party events as racist, violent gatherings (when they are neither), and invites dweebs like Carter and plunks Michael Moore right next to him (mouse over above pic)… you get chaos like this!

In my “Differences are Important” post, I mention the PC nature of how the Left fights threats to our well-being… which endangers us more-so: “We do not need more surveillance, but tener cojones (“have the balls to”) fight a war on ideas that is not politically correct, as E.T. Williams points out so well!” This story confirms the ineffective nature of being politically correct, or, culturally sensitive (accepting cultural relativism as a reality), in the face of REAL threats. Which the next story points out, via Gateway Pundit:

(Investors Daily) The White House assures that tracking our every phone call and keystroke is to stop terrorists, and yet it won’t snoop in mosques, where the terrorists are.

That’s right, the government’s sweeping surveillance of our most private communications excludes the jihad factories where homegrown terrorists are radicalized.

Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.

Who makes up this body, and how do they decide requests? Nobody knows; the names of the chairman, members and staff are kept secret.

We do know the panel was set up under pressure from Islamist groups who complained about FBI stings at mosques. Just months before the panel’s formation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations teamed up with the ACLU to sue the FBI for allegedly violating the civil rights of Muslims in Los Angeles by hiring an undercover agent to infiltrate and monitor mosques there.

Before mosques were excluded from the otherwise wide domestic spy net the administration has cast, the FBI launched dozens of successful sting operations against homegrown jihadists — inside mosques — and disrupted dozens of plots against the homeland.

If only they were allowed to continue, perhaps the many victims of the Boston Marathon bombings would not have lost their lives and limbs. The FBI never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15 attacks, and it did not check out the radical Boston mosque where the Muslim bombers worshipped.

The bureau didn’t even contact mosque leaders for help in identifying their images after those images were captured on closed-circuit TV cameras and cellphones.

One of the Muslim bombers made extremist outbursts during worship, yet because the mosque wasn’t monitored, red flags didn’t go off inside the FBI about his increasing radicalization before the attacks.

This is particularly disturbing in light of recent independent surveys of American mosques, which reveal some 80% of them preach violent jihad or distribute violent literature to worshippers.

What other five-alarm jihadists are counterterrorism officials missing right now, thanks to restrictions on monitoring the one area they should be monitoring?

Breitbart speaks to the IBD article:

The piece explains that “Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.” 

(Here is the unclassified version of the FBI Domestic Investigation and Operations Guide, head over to page 171ff )

Who is this review committee? “Nobody knows; the names of the chairman, members and staff are kept secret.”

Apparently, these limitations were set up from pressure by Islamic groups. 

We do know the panel was set up under pressure from Islamist groups who complained about FBI stings at mosques. Just months before the panel’s formation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations teamed up with the ACLU to sue the FBI for allegedly violating the civil rights of Muslims in Los Angeles by hiring an undercover agent to infiltrate and monitor mosques there.

IBD goes on to describe that “the FBI never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15 attacks, and it did not check out the radical Boston mosque (see below) where the Muslim bombers worshipped. The bureau didn’t even contact mosque leaders for help in identifying their images after those images were captured on closed-circuit TV cameras and cellphones.”…

…read more…


Americans for Peace and Tolerance June 25 2009 Press Conference

On June 26, Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino will be honored guests at the grand opening of the Islamic Society of Boston’s Cultural Center in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Americans for Peace and Tolerance wish the Boston Muslim community well in their new cultural and religious center, and we celebrate the growing religious diversity it represents. We are deeply concerned, however, about the extremist leadership of this new institution. This video is from a press conference held to discuss our concerns.


Moonbattery has some GREAT commentary as well:

In case anyone is naive enough to believe that the outrageously intrusive domestic spying our government has been illicitly engaging in is for the purpose of defending us from the overwhelmingly dominant security threat, Islamic terrorism…

Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.

Who makes up this body, and how do they decide requests? Nobody knows; the names of the chairman, members and staff are kept secret.

…read more…