Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Posts Tagged ‘hypocrisy’

Hypocrisy: Politicians suddenly so outspoken about the Confederate flag in South Carolina

Posted by sanityinjection on June 22, 2015

In the wake of the Charleston church shooting, politicians both inside and outside South Carolina are calling for an end to the display of the Confederate flag in that state.

To be clear, I don’t like the Confederate flag. I think that with the exception of specific uses in a historical context, it is generally used as a banner of white supremacy. When I see someone wearing it or having it on a bumper sticker on their car, I assume they are either racist or extremely ignorant. However, I also believe it is for the people of South Carolina to decide this.

But my purpose today is to point out that most of the politicans who are suddenly so vocal on this question are the worst kind of hypocrites. Why? Because when they were actually running for office in South Carolina, none of them had the guts to be so vocal about the issue. Take Mitt Romney, for example. He was quick to take to Twitter to call for South Carolina to take down the flag.

However, Mitt Romney competed in two Presidential primary contests in South Carolina in 2008 and 2012. During neither of those did he ever make such a clear and forceful statement about the Confederate flag. I guess it’s easy to have political courage when there’s nothing on the line.

So forgive me if I’m less than impressed by all the pols jumping on the bandwagon on this issue, because they figure the shooting makes it safe for them to do so.

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Carbonhagen

Posted by sanityinjection on December 7, 2009

hy-poc-ri-sy /hɪˈpɒkrəsi [hi-pok-ruh-see]

–noun, plural -sies.

 

 1. a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.

2.  The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness. (Thanks to dictionary.com)

 And so we have the theme for the international climate summit taking place this week in the Danish city of Copenhagen. You may recall that this is supposed to be the moment when all the world’s countries agree to abide by severe restrictions on carbon emissions in order to save the world from its complete and imminent destruction at the hands of ManBearPig, er, I mean global warming. Of course, anyone who has been following the news leading up to the conference knows that major nations have already refused to do anything of the kind, so much like its infamous predecessor, the Kyoto treaty, the Copenhagen conference has failed even before it began.

Nevertheless, you might think the event might at least have some propaganda value in showing all the world’s leaders being green and earth-friendly for a week. Right? Wrong. Consider the following:

  • “We haven’t got enough limos in the country to fulfil the demand. We’re having to drive them in hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden…We don’t have any hybrids in Denmark, unfortunately, due to the extreme taxes on those cars.” – Majken Friss Jorgensen, managing director of Copenhagen’s biggest limousine company

 

  • The airport says it is expecting up to 140 extra private jets during the peak period alone, so far over its capacity that the planes will have to fly off to regional airports – or to Sweden – to park, returning to Copenhagen to pick up their VIP passengers…According to the organisers, the eleven-day conference, including the participants’ travel, will create a total of 41,000 tonnes of “carbon dioxide equivalent”, equal to the amount produced over the same period by a city the size of Middlesbrough.” – Andrew Gilligan, The Telegraph

 

  • “That is the amount of carbon dioxide produced by more than 60 of the world’s smaller countries in an entire year — combined.” – Charles Hurt, New York Post 

The great irony of Copenhagen is that any agreement (most likely, an “interim statement” full of sound and fury and signifying nothing) could be achieved through the modern technology of teleconferencing, or simply handled through the UN in New York where all nations are already represented. Either way the carbon footprint would be exponentially lower. But surely, the value of having climate activists, world leaders, and self-righteous celebrities all coming together to backslap each other in front of the cameras justifies generating enough carbon to sink an island nation – doesn’t it?

And therein lies the point. While we are being told that everyone is going to have to make changes in order to fight global warming, the truth is that it will only be us normal folk who will actually have to sacrifice anything, while our wealthy celebrity betters continue to jetset around the world drumming up “publicity for the cause”. Their true creed is not that all emissions must be lowered, but rather that they get to decide who is worthy of permission to emit. And by their criteria, celebrity TV appearances are much more worthy than say, jobs for working families or being able to commute to those jobs.

Thus, I return you to the definition at the beginning of this post.

Posted in Current Events, Foreign Affairs, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Democrats: Don’t kill D.C. school vouchers

Posted by sanityinjection on March 12, 2009

CNN talking head Roland Martin has a very good piece up imploring President Obama and the Democrats not to kill the school voucher program that allows economically disadvantaged students in Washington D.C. (primarily black) to attend private schools. Martin points out that many of the Democratic politicans who oppose vouchers, including Obama, send their children to private schools.

Like Martin, I am a product of the public schools (though I attended a private college) and a believer in public education. Nevertheless, until cities like D.C. can offer a decent public education, it is not fair to allow a generation of kids to be failed by the public system when alternatives exist. Yet that is precisely what the teachers’ unions would have us do.

Democrats have long claimed to be the champions of underprivileged minorities. Here’s their chance to prove it or be exposed as hypocrites.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Battle over carbon dioxide moves to EPA

Posted by sanityinjection on February 19, 2009

The next development in the controversy over carbon dioxide and its role in climate change is likely to come from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The agency is under a Supreme Court order to make a determination as to whether carbon dioxide qualifies as a dangerous pollutant under the Clean Air Act:

http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/02/19/healthscience/19epa.php

The Bush Administration ignored this order on plausible constitutional and practical grounds. The Supreme Court’s role is to determine whether a law is constitutional; it has no power to order an executive branch agency such as EPA to do anything. Further, the Bush Administration knew that a finding either way would agitate a lot of people on one side or the other of the climate change debate, and preferred to avoid this.

Under the new management of the Obama Administration, however, the EPA has signaled its intent to comply with the Court order in the next few months, which it certainly can choose to do. The Clean Air Act is one of the more complex pieces of federal legislation ever written, so there is considerable room for interpretation. However, given the leanings of the Administration, it is expected that the EPA will decide that carbon dioxide is in fact a dangerous pollutant  properly subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act.  This would give the Administration regulatory power to enforce carbon emission reductions without the need for (or in addition to) action by Congress, which could certainly help them further their goals regarding climate change.

Nevertheless, one wonders whether basic common sense should be taken into account:

Even some who favor an aggressive approach to climate change said they were wary of the agency’s asserting exclusive authority over carbon emissions. They say that the Clean Air Act, now more than 40 years old, was not designed to regulate ubiquitous substances like carbon dioxide.

In fact, carbon dioxide is the fourth most common ingredient in the air that we breathe, after nitrogen, oxygen, and argon, though far less abundant than all three. To suggest that a natural component of the earth’s atmosphere constitutes a “pollutant that endangers public health and welfare”, seems like a ludicrous stretch of the intent of the law. And the consequences could be very significant:

Under the clean air law any source emitting more than 250 tons of a declared pollutant would be subject to regulation, potentially including schools, hospitals, shopping centers, even bakeries, which has prompted some critics to call it the “Dunkin’ Donuts rule.”

Of course, EPA claims that they could write the regulations so as not to be draconian.

What disturbs me is that there seems to be more concern about whether a ruling would be practical or useful in combatting global warming than in the more fundamental question of whether it would be scientifically correct or in conformance with the enabling legislation. If the rationale for labeling CO2 a dangerous pollutant relies on the theory of global warming, then I would argue that the science is insufficient, and should not be whitewashed out of a political desire to do an end-run around Congress.

I have long held that the ideas that the ends always justify the means, and that the law is a convenience to be set aside when it suits the purposes of those with noble motives, are inherently destructive to our democracy. The Left cited this view in its justifiable criticism of the Bush Administration in areas such as waterboarding and “signing statements”. To reverse course now and embrace these arguments simply because it now benefits the Left politically to do so would be the essence of hypocrisy.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

European hypocrisy on Guantanamo knows no bounds

Posted by sanityinjection on January 26, 2009

I am sure my readers will recall the drumbeat of voices from our “friends” in Europe urging the US to close our prison complex at Guantanamo Bay. A truly enlightened society, they explained to us, would treat terrorists more humanely. Besides, they reminded us, we probably scooped up some innocent people by mistake who now can’t exonerate themselves because they don’t have access to the US judicial system.

President Bush’s standard answer to our European betters was to point to the giant smoking hole that now sits where the World Trade Center used to be and imply wordlessly that if terrorists had reduced the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben to ashes, there would almost certainly be grim interrogations quietly going on at Diego Garcia and Reunion. (OK, that’s poetic license. I’m sure Dubya doesn’t actually know where Reunion is.)

But now, since last week, we live in a kinder, gentler, Obamiffier America. The new President’s first act was to order that Guantanamo be closed within 1 year’s time, delighting our European allies. And, to be fair, Gitmo has become such a lightning rod for criticism, that he’s probably right to do so.

Of course, closing Gitmo creates a new problem: What do we do with the detainees? Our civilian jails are not secure enough, and our other military prisons not spacious enough to hold them. One solution is to repatriate them to the countries they came from. But some of those countries have pretty sorry human rights records themselves, and the detainees from those countries can legitimately claim that they could face real abuse if we send ’em back.

So the US said to our European “friends”: OK, if you think we are abusing our detainees, why don’t *you* take them in as refugees? At least the ones from 7 countries that can’t be repatriated.

Do you want to guess how Europe reacted? That’s right. They paid lip service to the idea, waited until Obama actually signed the order to close Gitmo, then started saying things like:

“Yes, of course this is risky. So we have to think about each case, and not to accept anything or anyone easily. It will be a long process. [France will take detainees] under extreme, precise conditions only. Legally this is difficult. Each of the 27 nations, they have different positions and different legal frameworks to accept or to refuse such people.” – Bernard Kouchner, French Foreign Minister

“Nobody is hot about it, that’s perfectly true.” – Czech Foreign Minister

Basically, what the European countries are now saying is that they will only take detainees that aren’t terrorists:

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=6729823

Oh good, yeah, ’cause we got so many of those. Thanks a heap. If they weren’t terrorists, we wouldn’t still be keeping them at Guantanamo! See how that works now?

It remains the sad truth that Europe’s habitual nature is to prefer sniping at US solutions to problems over contributing to better solutions. We’re not perfect over here in America, God knows, but at least we don’t stick our heads in the sand and hope that problems will resolve themselves if we just ignore them hard enough.Well, OK, when we listen to what our European friends say, we do. You want to know what happens when the US doesn’t “act unilaterally” and relies on European diplomacy to solve problems? Rwanda. Darfur. Somalia. Congo. Not a track record to be proud of.

I hope that Secretary of State Clinton is having the phrase “Put up or shut up” translated into French.

Posted in Foreign Affairs, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Inaugural hypocrisy

Posted by sanityinjection on January 14, 2009

Matt Drudge reminds us that before both George W. Bush’s inaugurals, there was much criticism and discussion in the media about the cost of the celebrations and whether it was appropriate, even though mostly privately funded.

Where, he asks, are these same critics today as Barack Obama’s inaugural shapes up to be the most expensive in history in the midst of a severe economic crisis? Strangely silent.

In 2005, the Washington Post commissioned a poll which showed that 66 percent of Americans thought the inaugural should be a smaller affair. Has any such poll been commissioned this year? I’m betting the answer is no, because the media is no longer interested in asking the question. (And if a poll is taken, and the answer turns out to be the same, they’ll try to make sure you don’t hear about it.)

I am not troubled by Obama’s inaugural plans, but then again I took the same view with Bush. For our friends in the liberal media, however, the rules of the game are apparently different depending on who the contestant is.

Rich Noyes has the embarrassing details here:

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/rich-noyes/2009/01/14/ap-slammed-bush-s-extravagant-inaugural-05-now-it-s-spend-baby-spend

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »