Liberal Archives

Smashing the Charity Stereotypes

The New York Times asked, “Are we cheap?” Liberals give their opinions on that.

“Yes,” they say. Former President Carter recently said the rich states “don’t give a damn” about people in poor countries. And when it comes to helping the needy in poor countries, U2 singer Bono says, “It’s the crumbs off our tables that we offer these countries.”

Crumbs because many other countries, such as Norway, Portugal and Japan, give a larger share of their wealth to needy countries.

The United States gave out $20 billion in foreign aid last year, but as a percentage of our wealth, we rank 21st out of the 22 major donor countries.

Actress Angelina Jolie is horrified by it.

“It’s disgusting. It really is disgusting,” she said. “I think most American people, you know, really do think we give more. And I know that they would if they could understand how little they give and how much more we can afford to give, absolutely, without even noticing it.”

But what these folks are ignoring is that America is one of the most generous countries in the world when you look at how we take personal responsibility for our charity. As much as the general consensus has inched more and more towards the idea that it’s the government’s job, a very large segment of our population understands that “rugged individualism” not only means being personally independent but also means taking personal responsibility for the needy, and not shoving it off onto some other group or institution. Predictably however, those who do gauge things by institutional or governmental charity are blind to the reality of the generous America.
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The Only Issue

Orson Scott Card, Mormon and well-known science fiction writer and (former) Democrat voter, has a (rather lengthy) column as to why he’ll be voting Republican tomorrow. He calls it “The Only Issue This Election Day”.

There is only one issue in this election that will matter five or ten years from now, and that’s the War on Terror.

And the success of the War on Terror now teeters on the fulcrum of this election.

If control of the House passes into Democratic hands, there are enough withdraw-on-a-timetable Democrats in positions of prominence that it will not only seem to be a victory for our enemies, it will be one.

Unfortunately, the opposite is not the case — if the Republican Party remains in control of both houses of Congress there is no guarantee that the outcome of the present war will be favorable for us or anyone else.

But at least there will be a chance.

I say this as a Democrat, for whom the Republican domination of government threatens many values that I hold to be important to America’s role as a light among nations.

But there are no values that matter to me that will not be gravely endangered if we lose this war. And since the Democratic Party seems hellbent on losing it — and in the most damaging possible way — I have no choice but to advocate that my party be kept from getting its hands on the reins of national power, until it proves itself once again to be capable of recognizing our core national interests instead of its own temporary partisan advantages.

To all intents and purposes, when the Democratic Party jettisoned Joseph Lieberman over the issue of his support of this war, they kicked me out as well. The party of Harry Truman and Daniel Patrick Moynihan — the party I joined back in the 1970s — is dead. Of suicide.

Personally, I have a number of other issues that I agree with the Republicans on, and hence my predilections to vote for them anyway. But this is worth noting, coming from someone of the religious Left (and while I and others may have some doctrinal and theological differences, we’re not going to debate the LDS religion in the comment thread; violations will be cheerfully deleted).

Card hits many topics–nation building, the hope of democracy, the Sunni/Shi’ite dynamic, historical blunders that Democrats are willing to repeat, the anti-American media, the questions of Iran and North Korea, Bush’s conduct of the War on Terror–to make the point that Bush is indeed playing his cards quite right in the Middle East and the world, and that, in spite of obvious problems in the short term, the long term strategy should continue, and America shouldn’t bail out on people whom we’ve helped liberate until they are ready to pick up the mantle themselves.

Card knows who he’s going to vote for, and he makes quite the case for his decision. This is one article really worth reading before you step into the voting booth.

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First we had Walter Cronkite and Sen. Edward Kennedy come out against wind power in their backyard of Nantucket Sound. Now the Left is protesting clean-burning natural gas.

Former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan and other celebrities gathered Sunday to protest a natural gas facility proposed for a site 14 miles off the Malibu coast.

“We have to use our voices and band together and stop this,” said Oscar winner Halle Berry.

The gathering _ also attended by Cindy Crawford, Jane Seymour, Dick Van Dyke and Tea Leoni _ was intended to raise awareness about how the energy industry has invested billions to liquefy and ship natural gas across oceans.

There are five facilities proposed for California, with three along the Southern California coastline. One of the world’s largest energy companies, Australian-based BHP Billiton, is seeking to build the terminal off the coast of Malibu and Oxnard. A decision is expected next year.

BHP officials say the terminals would provide a reliable source of low-polluting energy. Opponents, however, say the terminals would not meet clean air requirements and could be terrorist targets.

“Could be terrorist targets”? Hey, let’s stop building high-rise buildings, or shopping malls, or theaters to watch your movies in. They could be terrorist targets, too. And this natural gas plant would be 14 miles away from shore, not in the middle of a crowded suburbia.

This isn’t just a NIMBY issue–Not In My Back Yard–it’s an attempt to keep this clean fuel it out of anyone’s backyard.

Brosnan, who hosted the protest, said his opposition to the terminals extends beyond the beach in his backyard. He plans to oppose other proposed terminals, including one in Long Beach and one in Port Hueneme.

Where do these liberals elites expect clean energy to come from? You have to build wind farms, or solar farms, or natural gas plants or geothermal plants or something. If you’re serious about caring about global warming, why be against something like this? As soon as they come up with some sort of energy that will replace all our energy needs, not take up space, not ruin views, and not be a terrorist target, then let’s talk. Until then, this is simply actions that belie their words.

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Air America Deflates

When the news of an impending bankruptcy for Air America hit the blogosphere, AA issued a sort-of denial. Spokesperson Jaime Horn said, “No decision has been taken to make any filing of any kind.” At the time, I noted that this begged the question. They may not have made a decision, but they didn’t answer the question of whether or not they were considering it.

Apparently, they were.

Air America Radio, a liberal talk and news radio network that features the comedian Al Franken, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a network official told The AP.

The network had denied rumors just a month ago that it would file for bankruptcy. On Friday, Air America spokeswoman Jaime Horn told The Associated Press that the filing became necessary only recently after negotiations with a creditor from the company’s early days broke down.

This won’t take AA off the air. It just highlights how much artificial life support is required to prop up a talk show network that people just aren’t interested in listening to. And since this is a creditor “from the company’s early days”, this has been an issue from the very beginning. Other conservative talk shows that have been around just a long as Al Franken’s have grown substantially in that time period.

It’s not a case of big-money backers; AA most certainly has its share. It’s a case of the lack of a market in the marketplace of ideas.

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The Clinton Meltdown

I watched most of the Fox News Sunday interview by Chris Wallace of Bill Clinton. A couple of observations.

1. Clinton could have easily parried any perceived attack on his administration with a calm, to the point defense of what he did and why he did it. Instead, he spent most of his time getting downright accusatory of Chris Wallace and Fox News and blowing the whole thing out of proportion. Methinks he doth protest too much. Not what you’d expect from the type of politician he’s been in the past.

2. When Clinton asserted that Wallace hadn’t asked these questions of Republicans, I just knew the blogosphere’s fact checking machine was going to kick in to high gear. Patterico’s got the goods. Does the “evil” Rumsfeld count? That should quell any argument about the interview being some sort of right-wing hit piece, but of course many on the left will not be deterred from that pre-conceived notion.

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A Darling of the Left Makes Them Proud

Hugo Chavez, a man embraced by Cindy Sheehan and Harry Belafonte, and who gives free PR to Noam Chomsky, spoke before the United Nations yesterday. His words, both then and later, ought to give pause to those who make common cause with him. They also ought to give pause to those who vote for people who have made common cause with Chavez.

“The devil came here yesterday,” Chavez said, gesturing to where Bush had stood during his speech on Tuesday. “He came here talking as if he were the owner of the world.” He later said he was referring to President Bush when he spoke of the devil.

Chavez said it still smelled like sulfur. Well, as James Taranto notes, he who smelt it….

Chavez then made the sign of the cross and appeared to pray for a moment. Where is the American Left on this? If Bush had some something like this, even in jest, they would be outraged over it. Either they would decry his outward religiosity, or complain that he was using it to make a joke. As far as I know, though, this little demonstration has passed without serious comment by Chavez supporters here.

Rep. Charlie Rangel did come out against Chavez’s remarks in general when he said,

You don’t come into my country, you don’t come into my congressional district, and you don’t condemn my president. If there’s any criticism of President Bush, it should be restricted to Americans – whether we voted for him or not.

That was great of him to say, and I’m glad to hear this come from across the aisle. I don’t think Rangel would have said he was a “supporter” of Chavez before this.

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Think Progress has retracted its story on rumors that Air American Radio was going to file for bankruptcy. Now, TP is most definitely on the left side of the political spectrum, but check out their quote from Al Franken.

Despite reports the liberal talk network would file for bankruptcy protection by week’s end — that apparently isn’t happening. Franken tells listeners “we’re not in Chapter 11? and pokes at conservative talk hosts and websites for getting it wrong with quips like “who’s gloating now Bill O’Reilly?”

Um, ‘scuse me, but who got it wrong? The liberal website. But Al’s not going to let facts get in the way of a good gloat. If anything goes wrong in the liberal universe, it must be a conservative’s fault.

There’s that wonderful “reality-based community” at work again.

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Air America’s Life Support Cut

Brian Maloney covers the Think Progress announcement of the bankruptcy of Air America. (We’re speaking of cash this time, in addition to that of ideas.)

Cash- starved Air America Radio is broke and up for sale, the Radio Equalizer has learned exclusively.

In addition, a liberal website is reporting that the so- called “progressive” radio network will announce a bankruptcy filing on Friday.

What our own sources are telling the Radio Equalizer is that two potential buyers have recently been looking to scoop up Air America’s assets. But internal board squabbling has created a disunited front, with some members looking to hand the network back to eccentric co- founder Sheldon Drobny, while the rest shop for buyers.

When Air America first started, I went on the record predicting that the Franken show wouldn’t last 2 years. This past April, after those 2 years had gone by, I noted that I was wrong, that indeed Franken had outlasted my prediction. I also pointed out at the time that sans the huge infusions of cash, the network would never have made it that far. It was not ratings that was keeping it alive. It was on life-support.

And now the insurance payments have stopped. Someone else might start taking care of the patient, but it looks to me like a lost cause.

And as Michelle Malkin notes, maybe, just maybe, the NY Times will get around to covering all the financial troubles and scandals that have plagued the network. Yeah, well hold not thy breath.

Update: Thanks to the trackback from, we find out that AAR is denying that it has filed for bankruptcy. They say that no decision of any kind has been made on such a move. This, of course, begs the question; are they considering it? Rumor-mongering being what it is, place no bets. But stay tuned.

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