“You’re Fired” | McCabe Will Face Charges

(BTW, they were saying McCabe would be fired, later in the day he was.) Sean Hannity has some guests on the show that are on the leading edge of breaking the illegalities open regarding the Trump witch hunt.

Stuff to read, watch, listen to:

New Text Msgs Reveal FBI Agent was Friends with Judge in Flynn Case;
FBI supervisor warned Comey in 2014 that warrantless surveillance program was ineffective;
Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice – book;
FBI’s Andrew McCabe Fired Just Two Days Before Official Retirement;
Judge [Who] Recused From Michael Flynn Case Is Friends With Peter Strzok;
British Court Orders Christopher Steele To Appear For Deposition In Dossier Lawsuit;
The Obamagate Files;
2nd Dossier | 2nd Memo | More Shoes Dropping;
When Lying To The FBI Wasn’t A Crime;
OBAMAGATE (Part II) – audio;
Probe Into Clinton’s “Uranium Deal” With Russians Opens.

Myth #5: The Rich Get Richer, The Poor Get Poorer

A series of 5-myths via Daniel Flynn’s excellent book — Machiavelli said, “One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.”

  • Daniel J. Flynn, Why the Left Hates America: Exposing the Lies That Have Obscured Our Nation’s Greatness (Roseville, CA: Prima Publishing, 2002), 138-143.

MYTH #5: THE RICH GET RICHER, THE POOR GET POORER

WRITER JAMES L0EWEN laments the fact that publishers re­frain from printing “a textbook that would enable readers to understand why children of working-class families do not be­come president or vice-president, the mythical Abraham Lin­coln to the contrary.” Without a hint of irony, the author penned these words when the occupant of the Oval Office was a man abandoned by his father and raised in poverty by his strug­gling mother in Hope, Arkansas. The writer’s ideological my­opia regarding class and success in America is a central tenet of leftist philosophy. The Left’s propaganda campaign has been so effective that a majority of Americans now believe that the American system benefits the rich at the expense of the poor. A December 2001 Harris poll, for instance, revealed just how the belief in class rigidity remains entrenched in the collective consciousness. Sixty-nine percent of Americans agreed with the assertion that, in their country, “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” The facts do not support this popular belief. Nor do they buttress the idea that the system is set up to bene­fit the rich.

The burden of taxation overwhelmingly falls on the rich. The federal government relieves the poor of paying even a nominal amount of income taxes. The Internal Revenue Ser­vice reports that in 1999, the richest 1% paid more than a third of all income taxes it received. The richest 5% paid well over half of all federal income taxes. Only $1 out of every $25 collected by the IRS came from taxpayers on the bottom half of the economic ladder. To state that such a system unfairly ben­efits the rich, as many politicians perennially do, requires an abandonment of the facts as well as common sense.

The poor’s share of the economic pie has undeniably shrunk, however slightly, in recent decades. But the size of the entire pie has grown larger. Every economic class now receives a larger piece because they feast on a larger pie. From 1967 through 2000, the household income of the poorest tenth of the population increased by more than 33% in inflation-adjusted dollars. Surely it is better to have a smaller piece of a massive pie than it is to have a larger piece of a small pie. Countries exist, of course, where income equality is more pronounced among the masses. Economic equality for the populace (but not the leadership) is far more evident in China, Cuba, and Libya than it is in the United States. But what good is equality if it results in making everyone equally poor? Only one consumed by envy prefers equality of condition to increased prosperity for all.

A $9 trillion economy hardly leaves much room for what the rest of humanity considers true poverty. In more than 100 countries, America’s poor would be considered the moneyed elite. To its critics, the obscenity of our free-enterprise system is that some still go poor in a nation that houses Bill Gates and Leona Helmsley. Strangely, the system where everyone shares financial degradation equally earns higher marks from such critics. Such utopians fail to realize that only the system that keeps in place the natural rewards for hard work and ingenuity realizes the desired widespread prosperity. Government schemes that remove incentives seal the degraded fate of their own citizenry.

The United States is a free country. Any country that values liberty necessarily shuns the socialist’s conception of equality. The two ideals are incongruous. Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek astutely observed in The Constitution of Liberty,

From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their ac­tual position, and the only way to place them in an equal posi­tion would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either the one or the other, but not both at the same time.

A variety of income levels usually reflects the health of free­dom in a nation. What truly would frighten would be no differ­ences in income.

Ignoring the absolute gains of the lowest economic class while stressing their relative losses serves as one example of the mathematical legerdemain the Left plays in the service of class warfare. A second trick involves the portrayal of “the poor” as a static group of individuals rather than as an economic class whose membership constantly rotates. The people we refer to as “the poor” today are not at all likely to be the people we refer to as “the poor” a few years from now. This reality alone rebuts the notion that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. Today’s rich are often yesterday’s poor.

Hard statistics demonstrate that economic mobility is widespread. A Treasury Department study tracking class move­ment from 1979 to 1988 discovered that 86% of 1979’s poor no longer remained in the lowest income quintile in 1988. More of 1979’s poorest quintile actually found themselves in the richest 20% of Americans in 1988 than were still mired in the poorest 20%. Considering that the bulk of the survey focused on the Reagan years, the very time the Left describes as an era of un­precedented misery for the poor, the numbers are quite devas­tating to any claim of a static class structure.

An Urban Institute study at around the same time yielded similar results. The group found that the greatest proportional income gainers from 1977 to 1986 were 1977’s poorest quintile. This bottom fifth of the economic ladder saw their incomes climb 77% during the time period. By way of comparison, the average income gain during the 10-year period was 18%. Con­spicuously, 1977’s richest quintile experienced an anemic 5% increase in their earnings. In many ways, the Urban Institute’s findings merely confirm common sense. Poor people, having nowhere to go but up, experience more rapid proportional gains in income than the rich. To advance an ideology that ig­nores this reality flies in the face of common sense.

Over the past two decades, the U.S. Census Bureau has tracked individual income fluctuation from one year to the next on seven occasions. Even over a period as short as two years, the studies reveal a startling fluidity in the economy. In each of the Census Bureau’s seven two-year studies, at least three-fourths of all individual incomes fluctuated up or down by 5% or more. The studies affirm that the average American sees his earnings change significantly from year to year. A similar Census Bureau study of poor people in the mid-1990s found that nearly one-quarter of impoverished citizens in the first year of the study es­caped poverty by the end of the next. Again, the poor are not a fixed group of people. Poverty is a condition that different people find themselves in at different times. Students, the young, and newly arrived immigrants may constitute “the poor” during one still frame but live quite comfortably once we fast-forward their lives.

Just as the extremely poor are not typically chronically im­poverished, the extremely rich usually were not born into afflu­ence. Historians generally regard John Jacob Astor as the first man to be worth $10 million, Cornelius Vanderbilt, $100 mil­lion, and John D. Rockefeller, $1 billion. Significantly, each of these men earned his own wealth and rose from a fairly modest background. When we look at the rich today, the tradition of self-made wealth still holds true.

The self-made rich constitute the majority of wealthy people. Someone born into wealth stands a far greater chance of dying wealthy, of course, than someone born into poverty. But this hardly supports the claim that “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” Nor does it indict the American system. The advantages of inherited wealth occur not just in the United States but everywhere else in the world as well. In viewing the Forbes 400, the annual ranking of America’s superrich, one finds quite a few spots on the list that, like the publisher’s chair of the magazine compiling the report, are occupied by the inheritors of great wealth. Sam Walton’s wife and children constitute half of the Forbes top 10. A brood of Rockefellers populate the list. Five generations after the launch of Johnson & Johnson, nu­merous members of Forbes’s exclusive club bear the genes of the company’s founders. Old money has its advantages.

Yet these people are the exception. A perusal of the most recent list of the 400 richest Americans yields a count of 252 men and women, 63% of the total, described by Forbes as “self-made.”74 Their stories are truly amazing.

Texan Red McCombs (ranked at 158), the son of an auto mechanic, made billions selling the cars his dad was paid a few dollars to fix. Equaling McCombs in wealth is Kenny Troutt (158), a man who grew up in a housing project, only to establish one of the most successful communications companies in the United States. Andrew McKelvey (172), founder of Monster .com, got his start selling eggs. He later graduated to peddling ad space in the Yellow Pages, which undoubtedly planted the seeds in his mind for his successful Internet classified-ad com­pany. Both Marcus Bernard (60) and Arthur Blank (136) grew up in dilapidated tenement housing in and around New York City. After Bernard and Blank were fired by the Handy Dan home improvement store, they decided to launch their own venture. Handy Dan is out of business. Home Depot is one of the most successful stores in history. West Coast financier Leslie Gonda (136) escaped the Holocaust. The odds do not get much worse than that. Yet he made it. The lives of Mississippi sharecropper’s daughter Oprah Winfrey (280), college dropout Steve Jobs (158), and paperboy, horse breaker, and greeting card salesman H. Ross Perot (47) all serve as testimony to the reality of the American Dream.

These aren’t Horatio Alger stories. The rags-to-riches tales found in the Forbes 400 really happened. If the American Dream can become real for a Jew fleeing from under the jack­boot of Nazism, whom can’t it become real for?

Myth #4: The United States Is An Imperial Power

A series of 5-myths via Daniel Flynn’s excellent book — Machiavelli said, “One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.”

  • Daniel J. Flynn, Why the Left Hates America: Exposing the Lies That Have Obscured Our Nation’s Greatness (Roseville, CA: Prima Publishing, 2002), 132-138.

MYTH #4: THE UNITED STATES IS AN IMPERIAL POWER

ON APRIL 20, 2002, nearly 50,000 people converged on the Mall in Washington, D.C., to protest. The diverse targets of the activists included Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the School of the Americas, the World Bank, and the War on Ter­rorism. The inhabitants of the government buildings sur­rounding the protestors received the blame for many of the international ills that the activists sought to cure.

The protestors’ chants, signs, and rhetoric targeted the United States. Kenneth Stewart, a Vietnam veteran from Maine, bluntly opined, “We are a terrorist nation.” A North Carolina college student remarked, “I think the United States of America is a culturally and emotionally diseased country.” “Who’s the real Axis of Evil?” State University of New York—Brockport student Chris Powers rhetorically asked. “If any country’s really an Axis of Evil, it’s us.”

Their nation, the activists uniformly contended, seeks to conquer the world through empire. Imperialism is the most threatening manifestation of the evil that they see inherent in America. As sign-carrying New Yorker Charles Freed ex­pressed, “The United States, being the one lone superpower, thinks its manifest destiny is to rule the world.”

If the United States is an imperial power, where is our em­pire? What are the names of the colonies we possess? What wars of conquest did we fight to gain this territory?

The British Empire ruled Ireland, India, Arabia, Rhodesia, and numerous other locales. The French Empire cast its domin­ion over Vietnam, Algeria, and Lebanon, among other places. The Roman Empire claimed Britain, Judea, Gaul, Macedonia, and points beyond. The American “empire” rules no one.

American imperialism, the Left maintains, is not necessarily characterized by stealth fighters, M-16s, or navy destroyers. It is more nuanced than that. The corporate logos of Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and The Gap are the images evoked by American empire. These seemingly benign symbols suggest just how threatening American “imperialism” really is to the rest of humanity. Some­thing is obviously amiss when the same word used to describe a McDonald’s opening up in a Third World country is also used to describe the horrors that occurred in the Belgian Congo.

In the lexicon of the Left, the term “empire” possesses an amazing elasticity. “An empire does not only necessarily consist of actual colonial countries that one owns,” Charles Freed in­sisted. “The real empire is owning all these countries in terms of dollars.” Beverley Anderson, who traveled to the Washing­ton rally from California, maintained that America’s foreign policy is “imperialism disguised as human rights, and build­ing economies, and wiping out poverty.” Student Rachel Garskof-Leiberman sees American imperialism as “much more dangerous because if you see someone taking over with a gun . . . and you see traditional imperialism it has negative connota­tions that are obvious. But an economic imperialization is so much worse because you look at Starbucks and Starbucks isn’t threatening. [Third World people] don’t think of imperialism. They think of comfort.”

Where did these activists get their ideas? “No country is exempt from [the brutal force of the U.S. military], no matter how unimportant,” famed Massachusetts Institute of Technol­ogy linguist Noam Chomsky writes in the popular pamphlet What Uncle Sam Really Wants. A possible socialist success story, Chomsky alleges, threatens the economic order and sparks the capitalist states to crush even tiny rebellions against free enter­prise. “If you want a global system that’s subordinated to the needs of U.S. investors, you can’t let little pieces of it wander off.” Howard Zinn labels the recent relationship between U.S. corporations and the Third World “a classical imperial sit­uation, where the places with natural wealth became victims of more powerful nations whose power came from that seized wealth.” Gore Vidal tags his homeland “a seedy imperial state.” The aging literary crank advances the theory that the military retaliation against Afghanistan for the 9-11 attacks had nothing to do with stopping terrorism but was in fact “a great coup on the part of the United States to grab all of the oil and natural gas of central Asia.”

By now, the reader is perhaps familiar with the Left’s re­sponse to military action around the globe. Radicals inevitably hypothesize that the United States is pulling the strings behind the scenes, usually through the Central Intelligence Agency, even in the cases where no evidence links the United States to the conflict. The non-Americans engaged in the actual fight­ing, they suggest, serve as our proxies. Far from casting doubt on their analysis, the absence of proof linking the United States to, say, a coup in the Third World merely confirms the Left’s view of the CIA’s cunning and conspiratorial acumen. Similarly predictable is the Mandan analysis attributing financial motives to all military actions by free-market democracies. The finan­cial motivation usually takes the form of oil, even when the enemy in question—such as the Taliban’s Afghanistan—boasts no great oil reserves. If one gets feelings of déjà vu after speak­ing with leftists about America’s role in global affairs, it is be­cause activists lower on the information food chain devour the party line of Zinn, Chomsky, and others.

A problem for the “American Empire” school of thought is that the masses in developing countries enthusiastically wel­come what the Left describes as imperialism. When a clothing line sets up a factory in Central America, no one forces anyone at gunpoint to work the jobs. In fact, the opposite scenario oc­curs. The people flock to work there. Coca-Cola’s omnipres­ence around the world similarly stems from voluntary choice, not force. For better or worse, Third World people embrace both the production and the consumption components of cor­poratism. How do leftists explain the enthusiasm of the masses for what they describe as imperialism? “The masses,” explained one young man, “are uneducated.”

The Left’s contention that the United States holds a dispro­portionate share of military power certainly is valid. It does not follow, however, that great military power necessarily translates into imperial designs. If the United States sought to impose its will on other nations, it certainly could have a great deal of suc­cess. It chooses, however, not to do so. This is a conspicuous de­viation from the historical pattern. Nations holding power vis-a-vis other nations have traditionally used that power to claim dominion over others. America refrains from this course of action. In fact, the major wars involving the United States since it became the world’s preeminent military power have been fought to prevent empires—Nazi imperialism, Japanese imperialism, Communist imperialism, and Iraq’s attempt at an oil empire. After all these wars, America’s territory remained es­sentially the same.

The rise of American hegemony notably coincided with the decline of colonialism. The American Century witnessed the fall of, among others, the British, French, and Soviet Empires. Normally, the ascendant power fills the vacuum left by the falling powers. We defeated the Soviet Union, but we do not rule over it. We helped liberate Eastern Europe from its Soviet overlords, but, unlike with the Soviets’ rule replacing the van­quished Nazis’ rule, we declined to exert our will in governing the affairs of these nations. America’s example is a historical anomaly.

The fallacy that one nation’s fortune causes another’s mis­fortune inspires much of the hatred of U.S. foreign policy. America’s wealth did not come at the expense of other nations. On the contrary, the economies of other nations benefit from Western wealth. The theory behind the false notion of Ameri­can imperialism posits that U.S. policy aims to transfer the wealth of the rest of the world to the elites of this country. This has not happened. The United States has certainly grown wealthier during the past century. The rest of the world has, too, and at a more dramatic pace. In relative terms, the wealth shift has been away from the West and toward the rest of hu­manity. Samuel Huntington guesses in The Clash of Civilizations that the West’s portion of the economic pie reached a high of around 70% after World War I and will decline to the 30% mark by 2020. More important, this time period witnessed re­markable economic progress for non-Western countries in ab­solute terms as well.

The idea that the United States obtained its wealth by bleeding the rest of humanity dry is a gross inversion of reality for another reason. From the close of World War II until today, the United States has given more than $500 billion in aid to the rest of the world. This figure is roughly $500 billion more than the aid the rest of the world has given the United States. If ad­justed for inflation, the $500 billion figure would be quite larger. A survey by the Congressional Research Service esti­mates that the actual cost to the taxpayer for foreign aid (as a result of interest payments on the borrowing that finances it) stands at over $2 trillion during this period. Again, this massive amount of money is in non-inflation-adjusted dollars. The foreign appropriations budget for fiscal year 2002 lays out more than $15 billion for foreign countries and international pro­grams. The $15 billion, which represents about two-thirds of government spending on foreign governments and interna­tional programs, includes money for more than 130 countries. One might logically argue that the federal government milks its own citizens for the benefit of foreigners. Holding that the fed­eral government milks foreigners for its own citizens’ benefit belies the objective numbers.

The Left’s ideology presumes that the drive for profits from capitalist countries results in attempts at political, economic, and military domination. The facts resist this theory. Preferring ideology to reality, the Left persists in claiming that the dictates of their theories are reality—even when everything around them says otherwise.


Myth #3: America Is A Racist Nation

A series of 5-myths via Daniel Flynn’s excellent book — Machiavelli said, “One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.”

  • Daniel J. Flynn, Why the Left Hates America: Exposing the Lies That Have Obscured Our Nation’s Greatness (Roseville, CA: Prima Publishing, 2002), 126-132.

MYTH #3: AMERICA IS A RACIST NATION

MANY AMERICANS BELIEVE that their country invented racism. That is the bad news. The good news is that this notion is built on a series of myths. The Left charges bigotry not from a longing to stem racism but out of a desire to use it as an issue to discredit the country they hate. The Left’s cynical and de­ceptive depiction of historical events validates this hypothesis.

The Left points to the fact that the Constitution counted each slave as three-fifths of a free person as proof of the malig­nant nature of America’s founding. This bespeaks a complete ig­norance of what was at stake in counting slaves equally alongside free men. The proponents of slavery sought to classify each slave as a full person to enhance their representation in the House of Representatives and the electoral college, thereby en­suring the survival of their inhumane institution. It was the op­ponents of slavery who sought not to count slaves at all. The three-fifths rule was the result of a compromise between the two sides. The irony of all this is that certainly the slaves them­selves would have preferred that they not be counted at all or that they be counted as three-fifths of a free man rather than be counted whole to enhance the political power of their masters. All this is ignored because the “three-fifths” myth makes for good propaganda. These critics similarly point to the Declara tion of Independence’s lofty words that “all men are created equal” to indict the American system for hypocrisy. Yet the Declaration’s ideal served as the basis for most antislavery rhet­oric for the four score and seven years that followed. By appeal­ing to the American tradition and invoking the nation’s most-quoted document, abolitionists gained converts and ulti­mately found success. The Declaration of Independence’s ideal of equality, which contradicted the actual legal condition of slaves in 1776, actually paved the way for emancipation. Had the slaveholder Jefferson made his words consistent with his practices, African Americans certainly would have been en­slaved for an even longer period of time.

Just as the Left deliberately mischaracterizes the American founding, sins of commission and omission mark their presenta­tion of the history of slavery as well. With slaves singularly por­trayed as black, many have the mistaken impression that the global institution targeted one race. We forget that the term “slave” derives from the name for the widely enslaved “Slavic” people. A parochial view of slavery likewise portrays the United States as the world’s greatest purveyor of slavery. David Horowitz writes,

In the years between 650 and 1600, before any Western in­volvement, somewhere between 3 million and 10 million Africans were bought by Muslim slavers for use in Saharan so­cieties and in the trade in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. By contrast, the enslavement of blacks in the United States lasted 89 years, from 1776 until 1865. The combined slave trade to the British colonies in North America and later to the United States accounted for less than 3 percent of the global trade in African slaves. The total number of slaves imported to North America was 800,000, less than the slave trade to the island of Cuba alone. If the internal African slave trade—which began in the seventh century and persists to this day in the Sudan, Mauritania and other sub-Saharan states—is taken into account, the responsibility of American traders shrinks to a fraction of 1 percent of the slavery problem.

What is truly peculiar about America’s “peculiar institution” is that a great number of people found it peculiar. Outside Western civilization, slavery was considered part of the natural order of things. Only westerners (besides the slaves themselves) questioned this order. “Never in the history of the world, out­side of the West, has a group of people eligible to be slave-owners mobilized against the institution of slavery,” Dinesh D’Souza points out; later, he adds, “In numerous civilizations both Western and non-Western, slavery needed no defenders because it had no critics.”

Anti-American hatred motivates lies on more recent occur­rences as well. A typical myth forwarded by racial demagogues is the story of Charles Drew’s death. Drew, who pioneered the ef­fective use of blood banks, was critically injured in a 1950 car wreck. “Yet tragically,” a too widely used Afrocentric teacher’s guide maintains, “he encountered white racism at its ugliest—not one of several nearby white hospitals would provide the blood transfusions he so desperately needed, and on the way to the hospital that treated black people, he died. It is so ironic that the very process he developed, which had been saving thousands of human lives—was made unavailable to save his life.” Arthur Schlesinger observes, “It’s a hell of a story—the inventor of blood-plasma storage dead because racist whites denied him his own invention. Only it is not true.” No hospital turned Drew away; several white surgeons tried in vain to save his life. The graphic tale is a complete concoction. What else but base hatred for America motivated the architect of this canard?

The Left slanders America by claiming that the country sent members of minority groups to fight the Vietnam War while whites avoided the fray. This myth is so widely accepted that it even finds its way into mainstream pop culture refer­ences. One thinks of the hilarious scene in the movie South Park, for instance, when the cartoon soldiers directed to do the actual fighting are conspicuously all black. The commanding officer directs the other troops, who just happen to be all white, to stay in the rear. The humor works because it relies on a grievance that many believe to be justified. Yet there is no truth to support the claim that minorities disproportionately died in the Vietnam War. No significant statistical deviation exists be­tween the percentage of blacks in the general population dur­ing the Vietnam War era and the number of blacks who died in Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, blacks made up more than 13% of the draft-age population but constituted 12.5% of the servicemen who perished in the war. Blacks served admirably in the Vietnam War, just as they have in other wars. The asser­tion that generals sent them to their deaths to save whites, how­ever, is pure calumny.

If racism in America is so bad, why are self-described an-tiracist activists compelled to lie to make their point?

Such rhetoric and inventive stories serve neither truth nor the common good. Racial propaganda inevitably results in en­gendering animosity. Susan Sontag, no doubt having imbibed a steady stream of the fiery racial rhetoric of the times, wrote in the 1960s, “The white race is the cancer of human history.” The University of Massachusetts—Amherst’s Radical Student Union held an event in the spring of 2002 titled “Abolish the White Race.” Amongst self-styled intellectuals, a new field called “whiteness studies,” dedicated to denigrating Caucasians, has emerged. A recently launched journal in the field, Race Traitor, boasts the motto “Treason to whiteness is loyalty to hu­manity.” It does not require a great deal of imagination to ask the inevitable question: What might the reaction be if one sub­stituted “black” or some other racial or ethnic category for the word “white” in any of these examples?

As racial discrimination has abated, more than one observer has noted, public discussion of racism has paradoxically reached unprecedented levels. “Conditions are worse—much worse—for the masses of black people,” maintained activist Frank Kel­lum at a reunion of the Black Panthers, “than they were 35 years ago. And from the way it looks, they’re going to get worse.” In some key areas (e.g., crime, illegitimacy, and drug use), Kellum’s statement is valid. For the most part, however, blacks are much better off than they were a generation ago. This is especially true in areas where racism had traditionally affected opportunities in a major way. With discrimination marginalized culturally and, in some instances, outlawed legally, previously locked doors are now open. An objective look at economics, political rights, law, and education shows the remarkable progress that blacks and all Americans have made in just a few short decades.

President Timothy Jenkins of the University of the District of Columbia, a predominantly black college, recently pointed out that not a single African American was registered to vote in Alabama’s overwhelmingly black Lowndes County in 1965. Jenkins’s story, unfortunately, stopped in 1965. Today a black man, Congressman Earl Hilliard, represents the people of Lowndes County in Washington, D.C. According to cynics, nothing has changed. Yet would even a handful of blacks living in Lowndes County prefer residing there in 1952 instead of 2002? Times have changed. No person in Lowndes County, Al­abama, or anywhere else in America is any longer denied the right to vote on account of skin color. With unrestricted access to the ballot comes political power. Today, African Americans serve as the secretary of state and the national security adviser. A black sits on the U.S. Supreme Court. And African Americans, including Earl Hilliard, occupy 37 seats in Congress as well.

Educational opportunities have increased. Apart from the obvious departure from separate but unequal schools in various parts of the country as a result of 1954’s Brown v. Board of Educa­tion decision, educational opportunities abound. In 1967, a mere 13% of college-age African Americans attended college. Today, more than 30% do. No other ethnic group has experienced as dramatic a rise in college enrollment over the same period.

Black economic gains have been dramatic as well. African Americans have the fastest economic growth for any major group in the United States over the course of the past three decades. In inflation-adjusted terms, black per capita income has more than doubled since 1970. Blacks still lag behind whites and Asians (though not Hispanics), but the income gap is getting smaller, not larger.

Black people in the United States are wealthier than black people anywhere else. Per capita income for blacks in America is 30 to 40 times higher than per capita income for blacks in Africa. The income gap between the inhabitants of the poorest countries on the African continent and black Americans differs by a factor of 100. There is no country in which blacks find more success than in the United States.

Nonblack minorities, such as Vietnamese, Cubans, and South Asian Indians, continue to achieve success in America as well. The incessant waves of non-European immigrants that have reached our shores for almost four decades find greater tolerance and acceptance than some European immigrants, such as the Irish, experienced 100 years ago. America, always a melting pot of various ethnicities and hues, has never been so welcoming.

Like every diverse nation, America has its share of racial problems. Considering ethnic wars in Sudan, Yugoslavia, and Rwanda; race-based expropriation in Zimbabwe; government-enforced discrimination against minority groups in China, Iran, and Ethiopia; and vestiges of the caste system in India, things could be a lot worse.

Myth #2: America Is The World’s Leading Threat To The Environment

A series of 5-myths via Daniel Flynn’s excellent book — Machiavelli said, “One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.”


MYTH #2: AMERICA IS THE WORLD’S LEADING THREAT TO THE ENVIRONMENT

INVENTING “FACTS” TO promote one’s political objectives is certainly not a phenomenon confined to feminists. Radical en vironmentalists also willingly twist the facts when attempting to promote a political agenda. The more politicized the agenda, the deeper their belief seems to become.

  • Environmentalists claim that humans have depleted the forests for their own selfish motives. Some of the more extreme green activists implant steel spikes in trees to injure loggers or place themselves in trees to prevent timber harvesting. Reforestation and advances in *­fighting technology, however, have ensured that Amer­ica has more trees now than at any point in over 100 years. As John Tierney points out in a New York Times Magazine article, “Yes, a lot of trees have been cut down to make today’s newspaper. But even more trees will probably be planted in their place. America’s supply of timber has been increasing for decades, and the nation’s forests have three times the amount of wood today than in 1920.”
  • In his best-selling book Earth in the Balance, then senator Al Gore commented, “We now know that [automobiles’] cumulative impact on the global environment is posing a mortal threat to the security of every nation that is more deadly than that of any military enemy we are ever again likely to confront.” Do we really “know” this? Cars av­eraged around 14 miles to the gallon in the mid-1970s. Today, they average more than 30 miles to the gallon. Automobiles rolling off the assembly line today emit 99% fewer hydrocarbons, 96% less carbon monoxide, and 90% less nitrogen oxide than cars hitting the street 30 years ago. Things are getting better, not worse.
  • “The battle to feed humanity is over,” Paul Ehrlich’s Population Bomb famously proclaimed in 1968. “In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines—hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.” The Population Bomb prophesied that “a minimum of ten mil­lion people, most of them children, will starve to death during each year of the 1970s. But this is a mere handful compared to the number that will be starving before the end of the century. And it is now too late to take action to save many of those people.” Needless to say, this modern-day Malthus erred. Since intellectuals and jour­nalists deemed Ehrlich’s ideology correct and cared less about his incorrect facts, the Stanford professor has be­come a media darling, and his book has gone on to sell millions of copies.

Perhaps the greatest myth advanced by environmentalists posits that the primary villain responsible for the planet’s eco­logical problems is the United States. An anticapitalist protes­tor curiously described the September 11 terrorists as “lashing out against the American foreign policy, which is basically to protect the American lifestyle, which is an unsustainable life­style…. We will never have peace until everybody basically lives the same way.” Apart from the disingenuousness of pro­jecting one’s personal ideology on the terrorists, does the rest of the world demand that we adopt their standard of living, or do they instead envy our prosperous position? “Economically, we can only hope that other nations will never achieve our stan­dard of living, for if they did, the earth would become a desert,” author James Loewen opines, proposing that nations regress to “zero economic growth” even if it takes an international body to enforce the goal.

Yet it is not technology or the United States that threatens the environment. Americans breathe cleaner air and drink cleaner water than almost anyone. The World Resources Insti­tute’s rankings of the world’s most polluted cities list no U.S. metropolises in its top tier. In fact, China boasts 9 out of the 10 most polluted cities. An Asian magazine’s study listed Beijing, Mexico City, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and Hong Kong as the globe’s most environmentally inhospitable cities. Pollution in many other countries is far worse than it is in the United States. An inconvenient fact confronts environmentalists who are quick to blame America for ecological ills: It is not the United States that pollutes Lanzhou, New Delhi, or Mexico City.

The United States is a more environmentally considerate nation than it was just a few decades ago. The air is cleaner. Of the six air pollutants that the Environmental Protection Agency began tracking in 1975, all six are down significantly today. Some of the pollutants measure a mere fraction of their former presence. Lead stands at less than a tenth of its 1975 level, while carbon monoxide has slipped to less than half its 1975 level. The amount of forest acreage has risen dramatically. The U.S. Forest Service reports that the number of new trees has ex­ceeded the number of trees cut down in every year since 1952. The water is cleaner. Scenes such as the Cuyahoga River aflame are a distant memory. Now people actually fish in the Cuya­hoga. The United States compares favorably to other indus­trialized nations in the cleanliness of its waterways. The Mississippi, for instance, is cleaner than the Seine, the Rhine, and the Thames. Would anyone prefer drinking from the Ganges or the Volga than from the Colorado?

New Republic writer Gregg Easterbrook points out that we have much to cheer about regarding the environment. Indus­trial toxic emissions declined by nearly half from 1988 to 1996, several formerly endangered species now thrive, the govern­ment and the private sector cleaned up a third of all Superfund toxic waste sites, and forest area continues to expand. He fur­ther states,

Twenty-five years ago, only one-third of America’s lakes and rivers were safe for fishing and swimming; today two-thirds are, and the proportion continues to rise. Annual wetlands loss has fallen by 80 percent in the same period, while soil losses to agricultural runoff have been almost cut in half. Total Ameri­can water consumption has declined nine percent in the past 15 years, even as population expands, especially in the arid South­west. Since 1970, smog has declined by about a third, even as the number of cars has increased by half; acid rain has fallen by 40 percent; airborne soot particles are down 69 percent, which is why big cities have blue skies again; carbon monoxide or “winter smog” is down 31 percent; airborne lead, a poison, is down 98 percent. Emissions of CFCs, which deplete strato­spheric ozone, have all but ended.

Technological innovation has at times harmed the environ­ment. Today, technology serves the environment. Pesticides and genetic engineering have increased crop yields, feeding the millions of people the environmentalists warned would surely starve by now. Sewage treatment is so advanced that the same water some Californians flush down their toilets eventually re­cycles back clean through their faucets. Energy now burns cleaner, with technological advances allowing some alternative energy sources to cause no pollution at all. Yet the naysayers persist. Doomsday prophet Paul Ehrlich and his wife, Anne, maintain, “Most people do not recognize that, at least in rich nations, economic growth is the disease, not the cure.” – The facts vindicate the very opposite view. The growth in the U.S. economy over the past quarter century coincided with and resulted in a health­ier environment.

As implied by the “ism” affixed to it, environmentalism sometimes acts as a surrogate religion for its followers. The zeal of the committed environmentalist is based on faith—and faith in something false, at that. Logic and reason play next to no role in swaying the radical environmentalist’s devotion to his creed’s sacred tenets, such as the belief that economically ad­vanced nations threaten Mother Nature. Since many environ­mentalists believe that they’ve received an enlightenment that passed the rest of us by, they rationalize their use of deception to achieve their desired ends. When you’re saving the world, what’s the harm in telling a few lies to achieve your objective?

The problem is that, although environmentalists may cava­lierly think that they are saving the world, they are not doing anything of the sort. Their more misguided crusades have in­flicted pain on a great number of people. Victims include log­gers harmed by “tree sitters” and other activists, apple growers put out of business by the phony Alar scare, and Africans placed at greater risk for malaria because of the ban on DDT While a need for a movement that safeguards the health of the environ­ment clearly exists, we could do without the kind of environ­mentalism that relies on deception, dogmatically forgoes cost-benefit analyses of its policy prescriptions, and seeks laws whose results frequently betray their intentions.

In the wake of 1992’s Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, a group of scientists released a document decrying “the emergence of an irrational ideology that is opposed to scientific and indus­trial progress and impedes economic and social development.” The Heidelberg Appeal, as the statement became known, even­tually bore the signatures of 3,000 scientists, including more than 70 Nobel Prize winners. “The greatest evils which stalk our earth are ignorance and oppression, not science, technology, and industry,” concluded the document. Environmentalists blaming American technology and energy use for the world’s ecological maladies would be wise to heed the message of these men of science.

Myth #1: American Women Live Under A Patriarchy

A series of 5-myths via Daniel Flynn’s excellent book — Machiavelli said, “One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.”


MYTH #1: AMERICAN WOMEN LIVE UNDER A PATRIARCHY

ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE wrote of the United States, “I have nowhere seen woman occupying a loftier position.” More than 170 years later, his observations remain applicable. Opportunities open to all women in America are unknown to most women outside Western civilization.

A more jaundiced view of the status of women emanates from domestic feminists. Angry Andrea Dworkin labels Western women “the ultimate house-niggers, ass-licking, bowing, scraping, shuffling fools.” Women’s “minds are aborted in their development by sexist education,” the feminist academic writes. “[O]ur bodies are violated by oppressive grooming imperatives,” the disheveled Dworkin complains, and “the police function against us in cases of rape and assault.” Her rant continues, “the media, schools, and churches conspire to deny us dignity and freedom… the nuclear family and ritualized sexual behavior imprison us in roles… which are degrading to us.”

One would be hard-pressed to find many feminists willing to defend Tocqueville’s perspective. It would not be very diffi­cult to find large numbers of feminists, both inside and outside the academy, who agree with the substance of Dworkin’s tirade. This speaks volumes about contemporary feminists. Feminist theory posits that an ambiguous force known as “patriarchy” keeps women down. With key components (e.g., religion, fam­ily, and capitalism) of the patriarchy warmly encouraged by American culture, feminists vent special ire toward the United States. Ironically, the country that feminists denounce in the harshest of terms stands as the greatest ally in equality of op­portunity for women.

It is telling that the feminists most vociferously decrying America as the dreaded “patriarchy” are notoriously prone to overstatement and issuing baseless claims. In her book Who Stole Feminism?, Christina Hoff Sommers documents such dis­honesty among women’s issues activists. For example; several years ago the presidents of the National Organization for Women and the National Women’s Studies Association declared domestic violence the leading cause of birth defects. Media outlets such as Time, the Chicago Tribune, and the Ari­zona Republic repeated the claim, citing a nonexistent March of Dimes report as evidence. Like the March of Dimes study, the idea that domestic violence causes a large proportion of birth defects is a feminist-generated hoax. Another widely believed fraud posits that a national anorexia epidemic kills tens of thou­sands of young women annually. If these figures on anorexia put forward by the likes of Gloria Steinem and Naomi Wolf were true, one might quite logically conclude that our culture inflicts tremendous harm on young women. But the figures promiscuously bandied about have little relation to the truth. In reality, the approximate number of deaths per year from anorexia in the United States is a more modest but still tragic 100. Accuracy, one concludes, is not a strong suit of feminists.

Some feminists are actually quite honest about their dishon­esty. Feminist scholar Kelly Oliver writes, “in order to be revolu­tionary, feminist theory cannot claim to describe what exists, or, `natural facts.’ Rather, feminist theories should be political tools, strategies for overcoming oppression in specific concrete situa­tions. The goal, then, of feminist theory, should be to develop strategic theories—not true theories, not false theories, but strategic theories.” Other feminists avouch that all truth is so­cially constructed. Feminists deride the conventional tools used to arrive at truth, such as logic, reasoning, and science. Thinking About Women, a leading women’s studies textbook, imparts, “de­spite the strong claims of neutrality and objectivity by scientists, the fact is that science is closely tied to the centers of power in this society and interwoven with capitalist and patriarchal insti­tutions.” When we come to grips with the fact that for feminists “strategic” interests trump ridiculed concepts such as science and truth, we are better equipped to understand the rationale for feminism’s wild claims, particularly its closely guarded tenet that the patriarchy governs our affairs in the West.

If women in the United States live under “patriarchy,” what term could accurately describe the situation faced by women in other parts of the world?

Are the problems that preoccupy American feminists—the lack of taxpayer-funded abortions, low self-esteem for school­girls, an unequal number of sports teams for women—in any way comparable to something like clitorectomy, a culturally ingrained practice that has mutilated the genitals of more than 100 million living African women? Is the patriarchy that forces women to abort their unborn children in China the same “patri­archy” that “oppresses” women in America? What is there to compare between the status of women in the West and the sta­tus of women in the Arab world? Is it honest to use the term “patriarchy” to describe both the Western form of marriage, where women are free to choose their husbands, and arranged marriages in India, which sometimes lead to the bride’s death because her family provided an “insufficient” dowry?

“Patriarchy,” a term that adequately describes societies in many parts of the world, loses its currency when applied to the West. The effect of mislabeling America a “patriarchy” is as likely to endear people to the patriarchy as it is to repel them from America. The feminists abuse language by freely hurling about terms without regard for their meanings.

Think of any major problem affecting our society. Chances are, that problem disproportionately affects males. Males are both the victims of most crimes and their perpetrators. The population behind bars is an, overwhelmingly male population. Almost 19 out of every 20 prisoners are men. Homelessness is predominantly a male problem. Men constitute 70% of the adult homeless population. Men abuse alcohol and other drugs in far greater numbers than women. The suicide rate for men is more than four times greater than the rate for women. More males lack health insurance than females.

Girls get better grades, are more likely to be enrolled in ad­vanced placement courses, and are involved to a greater extent in all major extracurricular activities save sports. Boys, on the other hand, are suspended from school more, are three times more likely to be enrolled in special education, and constitute the vast majority of high school dropouts. Knowing this, should we be taken aback when we learn that the majority of students who have enrolled in college for each of the past 24 years have been women?

Women in the United States tend to live nearly seven years longer than their male counterparts. Cancer, heart disease, and the remaining 15 leading causes of death all victimize men in greater numbers than women. In the United States, AIDS is an overwhelmingly male disease. Men make up 54% of the workforce yet fall victim to 92% of all deaths in the workplace.

Of course, there are many areas where women generally find themselves on less than equal ground with men. To name just two: The average woman earns less money than the aver­age man, and women occupy fewer political offices than men. Just as no institutional force compels men to commit crimes or abuse drugs, no governmental or societal force keeps women from seeking greater wealth or political power. Unlike in other nations, economic and political opportunities are completely open to women here.

Women in the West lead better lives than women in the Third World. More important, according to numerous statisti­cal indicators, American women are healthier, better educated, and less susceptible to various cultural pathologies than are American men.

If American men conspire to oppress women, as theories of “patriarchy” assert, they are not doing a particularly effective job of carrying out their plot.