October 14, 2006


NDP: Afghanistan is not worth it, but Sudan is?

From: [Name Withheld]
Sent: October 6, 2006 12:45:59 AM
Subject: Re: (cyf-talk) Sudan

During the take-note debate in the Commons on Tuesday re: Sudan, I found it quite interesting how the Liberals were sounding a lot like the White House during the run-up to the war in Iraq in terms of dealing with the situation in Sudan by using soundbites such as "diplomacy has failed and the time has come to take action." Sound familiar? As for the NDP, they want Canadian troops out of Afghanistan and placed right in the middle of a civil war in Sudan. I hope they realize they might not be handing out coffee and Timbits in refugee camps which is the image the NDP have of our troops.


Perspectives on the Mark Foley scandal...

From: [Name Withheld]
Sent: October 6, 2006 12:36:52 AM
Subject: (cyf-talk) Re: Standing Up for Congressman Foley

Although Foley might end up dodging a bullet if the "kid" is indeed 18 instead of 16, Foley does have a reputation for coming on to other male pages who might have been 16 or 17 at the time, and if that proves to be true then his legal problems have just begun.

As for the hypocrisy from the left, the Democrats weren't nearly as outraged at former Rep. Gerry Studds of Massachussetts who had sex with a 17 year old page and was re-elected FIVE times after the incident(s) happened, even given 2 or 3 standing ovations by his Democratic colleagues after being selected chairman of a House committee. So for Democrats wanting to score cheap political points off this is quite rich. Talk about chutzpah.

Having said that, that doesn't let Foley off the hook and if it turns out he did something illegal in this regard then he should have the book thrown at him by the very law he helped to write while in Congress dealing with child predators. How's that for irony? With regards to how the GOP leadership has dealt with this issue, we really don't know what happened since nobody can get their stories straight, which just contributes to all of the confusion about who knew what and when. If it turns out they were engaged in a cover-up, then they deserve the wrath of the voters.

From: [Name Withheld]
Sent: October 5, 2006 10:30:54 PM
Subject: (cyf-talk) Re: Standing Up for Congressman Foley

I won't be "standing up" for a guy who knew damn well himself that he did something wrong and has admitted as much in his actions and communications. If he is found guilty of any charges, they should throw the book at him.

The weird coverage of this story is what bothers me. There has been an inflation of what the Republican leadership knew and when they knew it. It has become, unfairly, a partisan political issue.

The truth is, if Americans are concerned about young people being approached inappropriately by somebody in a position like Foley's, then they have more reason than ever to vote Republican and elect as many legislators as possible who will actually vote for tough penalties for this stuff. Ironically, Foley may yet be affected by one of the bills that he himself passed. GOOD.

Before any single Canadian who has ever voted Liberal, NDP, or Bloc (or even Tory) decides to treat this as another reason to hate those bogey-man Republicans, and gets too disgusted with Foley, they should remember that Canadians elected successive governments of both stripes who allowed the age of consent in this country to sit at 14 years.

While it remains unclear if Foley was out of line in his conduct in his jurisdiction, it is much less likely that he'd be in much, if any, trouble at all if this had happened in Canada. The only exception might be if he was in a postion of trust over the pages... even then, if he ever got convicted of anything, the sentence in Canada would be a joke.

It's wrong for media to portray this, at this stage, as some sort of massive "Republican" scandal.

It's also wrong for anyone to be standing up for, or acting as an apologist for, a man whose actions were found to be wrong using his own standards. He's going to have to take responsibility for that.

October 10, 2006


European "conservatives" are definitely losing their direction...

From: The New York Sun

A Farewell to Figaro

October 5, 2006

When Senator McCain agreed to give the keynote speech to the British Conservatives at their convention in Bournemouth this week, his hosts reckoned it was quite a coup. Despite the anti-American tone of British politics — including, lately, even the Tories — it seems that a prerequisite for anybody who hopes to be prime minister is to gain the endorsement of an Uncle Sam figure from across the Atlantic.

Last week the Labor Party had been wowed by Bill Clinton, who poured a barrelful of schmalz over Gordon Brown, the man who is determined to succeed Tony Blair next year. But Mr. Clinton is yesterday's man, whereas Mr. McCain's presidential ambition belies the fact that, as he told the Tories, "I am older than dirt and have more scars than Frankenstein."

In most respects, the senator played his part well. Interviewed in the London Times, he compared David Cameron, the Conservative leader, to FDR and JFK — both sufficiently remote in history to be uncontroversial here and, as Democrats, appropriate role models for a self-styled "liberal conservative."

Mind you, I do wonder what Mr. McCain really thought of Mr. Cameron's speech to an American audience on last month's anniversary of 9/11. Asked about it, he chose his words carefully: "I was not troubled by it when I read the whole speech." Mr. McCain would have enjoyed hearing himself quoted calling for "European leadership" and would have agreed with Mr. Cameron that Guantanamo Bay is "illiberal" or that American "unilateralism" has failed to defeat terrorism. He might have been less comfortable with Mr. Cameron's criticism of Israel's "disproportionate bombing of Lebanon," let alone the implication that anti-Americanism was America's own fault.

I doubt, though, that any Republican presidential candidate would say, as the Tory leader did, that the West must address "the perception by many Muslims that Islam is under attack … and the belief that the West deliberately fails to resolve issues of crucial concern to Muslims, like Palestine." This scarcely coded plea for appeasement would be electoral suicide in America — and rightly so.

When it came to Mr. McCain's own speech, it was his turn to make the Tories feel uncomfortable. For this was one of the few conservative speeches that the Conservatives have heard this week.

He began by praising Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, two ghosts from the past that Mr. Cameron would rather lay to rest. Both are associated with what Mr. McCain called "a short-list of self-evident truths: love of country; the importance of strong national defense; steadfast opposition to threats against our security and values that matches resources to ends wisely; the integrity of the rights of individuals and the values of families and local communities; the wonders of free markets; encouraging entrepreneurship and small business; low taxes; fiscal discipline; and generally, the government that governs best governs least."

The trouble is that the Tories were unwilling to trumpet any of these principles this week. Instead, they had a very different shortlist of self-evidently insincere untruths: that the right response to climate change is new carbon taxes; that tax cuts threaten "stability," and that the public does not want a smaller state or less government. Mr. Cameron has no time for President Bush, but he goes into raptures about Al Gore's campaign against global warming. He castigates Mr. Blair for supporting Israel against Hezbollah and thereby alienating the "moderate Muslim world," but his only policy proposal yesterday was to open more state-subsidized Muslim schools. A teacher friend tells me that many of her Muslim pupils, like their parents, are Holocaust-deniers — and this is at a non-Muslim school. Yet Mr. Cameron wants Muslim children to have teachers who may share their parents' prejudices.

Mr. McCain is probably as liberal a Republican as any in the Senate — but he is still much more conservative than Mr. Cameron on any issue you care to name. That gulf may reflect a deep cultural difference between Europe and America, but as the example of Mrs. Thatcher reminds us, it ain't necessarily so.

Despite his criticisms of the Pentagon, Mr. McCain was wearing a "Support Our Troops" wristband. The Tories have rightly demanded that the meager pay of British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan should not be taxed so heavily. But Mr. Cameron is eager to woo the "moderate" Muslim vote. He has yet to mention the soldier who was wounded in Afghanistan and woke up in a Birmingham hospital to find a fanatic threatening him for having "killed our Muslim brothers." British military hospitals no longer exist, so wounded servicemen and women feel vulnerable at home and prefer to be treated at American facilities in Germany. This is shameful.

Mr. McCain told the Tories in no uncertain terms that "we will not be vanquished by forces that scorn the dignity of Man, and the laws and ideals that protect us." This is an uncongenial message for many Tory voters, a third of whom want us to admit defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan. And we haven't heard a peep out of the Conservative Party leadership about threats to free speech here in the West, either.

The case that has been exercising me is that of the philosophy teacher in France who has been driven into hiding after writing an op-ed for le Figaro, the leading conservative newspaper, in which he supported Pope Benedict XVI. Robert Redeker denounced Muhammad as "a merciless warlord, a looter, a mass murderer of Jews and a polygamist." He argued that, in contrast to Judaism and Christianity, "Islam exalts violence in its everyday rites and sacred book." This is strong language, but well within the bounds of fair comment.

Mr. Redeker was instantly threatened with murder, and the publication of his address and photograph on the Internet forced him to go underground. In a letter to his friend, the philosopher André Glucksmann, he pleaded for help: "So the Islamists have succeeded in punishing me on the territory of the Republic as if I were guilty of a thought crime." Most of the leading thinkers in France, including Bernard-Henri Lévy and Alain Finkielkraut, have called on the government to help Mr. Redeker.

So far, however, ministers have been singularly reluctant to condemn the campaign of intimidation unequivocally. You can almost hear Prime Minister de Villepin squirming in this comment: "Everyone has the right to express his views freely — while respecting others, of course." Of course. What Mr. de Villepin means is that in France you are free to criticize anything — except Islam.

Most disgraceful of all has been the conduct of le Figaro, the editor, Pierre Rousselin, appeared on Al Jazeera to apologize for publishing an "Islamophobic and heinous article." Having met Mr. Rousselin, I am shocked but not surprised. There has been a sad decline at that once-great newspaper since the days of Raymond Aron, the cold warrior whose columns adorned le Figaro from 1947 until 1977. He wrote once: "A love of truth and a horror of falsehood — this, I believe, lies at the very heart of my way of being and thinking. And in order to be able to express the truth, one must be free." I cannot imagine Aron grovelling to Islamists, any more than he did to Nazis or Communists. His successors at le Figaro should hang their heads in shame.

Copyright 2006 - The New York Sun
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More news that Roy Romanow doesn't want to hear...

From: The Wall Street Journal

Markets and Medicare
October 4, 2006; Page A14

If you're looking for some good news from Washington, consider this semi-miracle: The Medicare prescription drug benefit is so far costing less than anticipated, while seniors are getting more insurance options at lower prices. Lesson: Maybe private competition works.

This doesn't mean we're changing our minds that the new drug entitlement was a policy mistake at an estimated long-term cost of $8 trillion, give or take a trillion. But now that the program exists, it matters whether it turns into another price-controlled, one-size-fits-all federal entitlement, or whether the seeds of market competition planted in the bill are allowed to grow.

The early returns are encouraging, on both price and choice. Over the weekend insurers began marketing their 2007 Medicare drug plans, and all states except Hawaii and Alaska have more than 50 private options available -- up from an average of about 40 in 2006. Seventeen insurers are selling nationwide plans, up from nine this year. That compares with the one or two that critics of including private plans predicted would be available in many markets.

The average monthly premium that seniors pay is again $24, far lower than the $37 originally estimated by government actuaries. And while Democrats have hammered away at the idea that having seniors choose among competing drug plans is too "confusing," recent polls show satisfaction with the benefit in the 80% range.

All of this would also seem to rebut the current Democratic campaign theme that having drug prices "negotiated," - i.e. dictated - by government is an urgent priority. Democrats point to the drug coverage provided by the Veteran's Administration as a model. But the VA usually keeps costs down by refusing to pay for newer, more effective medicines. The VA drug formulary includes only 19% of the medicines approved by the FDA since 2000.

One of our fears about the drug program is that it will devolve into price controls, thus destroying incentives for research and development as European governments have done. It would be a cruel irony if the Medicare drug benefit were to have the effect of delaying the cure for, say, Alzheimer's. Yet this is where Democrats seem to want to go.

Which brings us to the private delivery of Medicare as a whole. For the moment, the bulk of such Medicare services as doctor and hospital visits are covered by a price-fixing bureaucracy no more efficient than any other system of socialized medicine. At some $600 billion, the Medicare budget is larger than the GDP of all but a few nations.

The better option is a so-called premium support model, in which the government would simply help seniors buy private insurance. Our main disappointment with the 2003 bill was the Republican failure to use the drug benefit carrot to reform Medicare along these lines. But at least the law did strengthen the existing private options in Medicare.

The old Medicare Plus Choice program has been renamed Medicare Advantage and is growing impressively. As of July about 17% of Medicare beneficiaries were choosing a comprehensive private insurance program under Medicare Advantage (rather than pay the hodgepodge of premiums for Parts A, B and D) -- up from about 14% late last year. Medicare Advantage also isn't merely an HMO program anymore; a growing number of plans offer see-any-doctor, out-of-network benefits.

Ideally, a future Medicare program would offer premium support so retirees can take the private insurance they have during their working years into retirement and through old age. A successful Medicare Advantage program will do a lot to help people understand why that's an attractive option.

However, this is also the reason that many Democrats hate Medicare Advantage. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi accuses it, inaccurately, of "catering to the HMOs," and the Clinton Administration tried to strangle its private predecessor in the crib by squeezing government payments. The government already pays for about half the health care delivered in the U.S., and those who favor European-style health care have been counting on the demographics of an aging population and an unreformed Medicare program to move America further toward that goal.

Mark McClellan, the Bush appointee who has done so well in supervising the Medicare drug launch, is about to step down, so the choice of his successor will be crucial to keeping this market momentum. All the more so if Democrats take the House or Senate, where Henry Waxman, Pete Stark and others wait to do whatever it takes to show that the free market can't work in health care.

We'd have thought Republicans would be trumpeting the success of market competition in producing more choices and lower prices in Medicare, but instead most of them are merely advertising the new entitlement. Even they seem not to understand the stakes in making competition in Medicare work.

Copyright 2006 - The Wall Street Journal


Some cold-hard facts about the Canadian pharmaceutical "advantage..."

From: The New York Post


The AARP recently launched an ad campaign urging Congress to legalize the importation of prescription drugs from Canada, where brand-name pharmaceuticals are about 5 percent below the international median. Unfortunately, legalizing importation wouldn't make drugs cheaper for Americans.

First, prices in Canada wouldn't remain at their current levels; instead, the two national markets would merge, and prices would equalize. And, since the U.S. market is 10 times larger, prices in America wouldn't drop much - Canada's prices would simply rise to U.S. levels.

If Americans truly want "Canadian" drug prices, then we must first understand the market and government forces that create the lower prices.

Most people attribute Canada's cheaper drugs to the fact that the government imposes price controls on patented medicines. In fact, they're not the primary cause.

Canada doesn't control the retail price of drugs - only what drug manufacturers can charge wholesalers. Wholesale and retail mark-ups are left to the market. Anyway, many drug makers don't even charge the full price permitted under federal rules.

In fact, research shows that most of the price differential on patented pharmaceuticals can be explained by two factors other than price controls: 1) differences between each country's standard of living and 2) legal liability issues.

While our respective standards of living used to be quite comparable, Canada's has been steadily falling; the average Canadian's standard of living is 20 percent to 30 percent lower than the average American's.

That affects drug prices because of what economists call "price discrimination:" When a firm sells its product in two different markets, it will calculate a profit-maximizing price for each market. Generally, will be higher in markets where consumers are less sensitive to price and lower where consumers are more price-sensitive. That's why Budweiser is cheaper in rural New Mexico than it is in Beverly Hills. And it's also why drugs like Lipitor and Nexium are cheaper in Canada - because Canadians can't afford to pay as much as their American counterparts.

The second big factor that explains cross-border price differentials is the U.S. legal system, which heavily distorts the U.S. pharmaceutical market. Like the rest of America's health sector, drug companies are favorite targets for American trial lawyers.

Although civil lawsuits exist in Canada, they are less common. Moreover, damages are almost never decided by juries - and Canadian judges are less willing to give huge awards to sympathetic plaintiffs just because drug or insurance companies have deep pockets.

As a result, the U.S. legal system effectively imposes a tax on pharmaceuticals that Canadians do not have to pay.

In a representative 1997 study in the "Journal of Law and Economics," Brigham Young professor Richard Manning determined that America's liability costs account for a third to and a half of the U.S.-Canadian price difference.

Yes, price controls play a role. But these extreme restrictions on what drugs government will pay for, and other measures to try and hold down prices are harmful - they have completely stifled Canada's pharmaceutical industry.

Canada produces pharmaceutical inventions at half the rate of the U.S. industry. And per capita investment in pharmaceutical research and development is one of the lowest in the developed world.

If America truly wants a "Canadian-style" drug market, the steps to follow are clear. Cut living standards by a third; reform the U.S. liability laws - and impose price controls and other restrictions, thereby putting a stop to cutting-edge medicine.

For those of us who live north of the border, that sounds like an awfully bad prescription.

Brian Lee Crowley is president of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, a public policy think tank in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Screw Kyoto, we can take responsibility for our own actions...

Dinning proposes domestic greenhouse gas plan
Updated Mon. Oct. 2 2006 11:06 PM ET
Canadian Press

CALGARY -- Alberta needs to deal with greenhouse gas emissions and can do so without jeopardizing its booming economy, a businessman running for the leadership of the province's Conservatives said Monday.

"We are one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in all of North America," Jim Dinning said as he announced his environmental plan in Calgary.

"We can do something about that here in this province. Right here, in Alberta, we can own the plan to arrest that growth."

Dinning, a former provincial finance minister and one of nine candidates to replace retiring Premier Ralph Klein, said it doesn't need to be a choice between saving the environment and sustaining the economy.

"Protecting Alberta's environment isn't just the right thing to do, it's also smart economics," said Dinning, who added the province could lead the way in developing new technologies and adjusting attitudes.

The province doesn't have to wait for Ottawa to impose environmental rules or be told what to do, he suggested.

"It's our backyard. It's our responsibility and we will take the lead here in Alberta."

Dinning said that if he wins the leadership vote late this year, he wants to set "aggressive targets" within 18 months for reducing emissions and develop incentives and regulations to ensure those targets are met.

Oil-rich Alberta was one of the loudest critics of the previous Liberal federal government when it signed onto the Kyoto accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions six per cent below 1990 levels by 2012.

The province argued its energy industry needed a longer timeline to develop improved pollution-control technology and increase conservation.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives have backed away from Kyoto, but Environment Minister Rona Ambrose said late last week that she will soon announce new national targets for cutting air pollution.

Ambrose said Ottawa will no longer rely on voluntary efforts to curb emissions that contribute to smog and climate change and will regulate the oil and gas sector to ensure targets are met.

Ambrose has summoned Canada's big car manufacturers to a meeting Tuesday, where she says she'll lay out plans for Ottawa's first stab at regulating car emissions.

Dinning said he hopes the federal government would support any Alberta initiatives.

His plans also include establishing a research foundation to discover the next big breakthrough in clean energy.

Marlo Raynolds, executive director for the Pembina Institute, an environmental think-tank, said Dinning has identified the key areas that require attention in Alberta.

But Raynolds suggested more details are needed.

"It's so difficult to assess these things when we talk about aggressive targets for greenhouse gas emissions," he said. "What in his mind are aggressive targets?"

Raynolds said the province needs to "err on the side of action, not process," after 10 years of little action on environmental policies.

"In my mind, I don't think we need another 18 months to set targets."

Dinning also said Monday that he would make sure part of the province's resource revenues went towards permanent funding for its sustainable water-use strategy, especially in the northern oilsands region.

He would also develop a land-use strategy aimed at slowing urban sprawl and issue an immediate moratorium on new projects and mineral leases on the environmentally sensitive southeast slopes of the Rockies.


A lesson for Tory parents out there...

From: The Wall Street Journal

All in the Family

October 3, 2006; Page A26

Parents have just sent their kids off to college, full of hope that the knowledge and enlightenment they acquire will prepare them for the rigors of the modern economy. But a worrying possibility is keeping some of these parents - especially the conservative ones - up at night: the prospect that their children will be hopelessly corrupted by the faculty.

In one popular book about campus politics, the author writes, "We all know that left-wing radicals from the 1960s have hung around academia and hired people like themselves... They spew violent anti-Americanism, preach anti-Semitism, and cheer on the killing of American soldiers and civilians -- all the while collecting tax dollars and tuition fees to indoctrinate our children." If the author is right, then the fears about the minds of our children might seem like a lot more than just right-wing paranoia.

Most studies of the subject have indicated that, indeed, upward of 90% of college professors at many universities hold liberal political views. In some schools and departments, faculties are virtually 100% left-wing. It is one thing to lament this ideological lopsidedness in the academy. But it is quite another to assume that professors actually bend the little minds in their care toward a liberal point of view, or even a radical one. Imagine a student with God-fearing Republican parents exposed to the depredations of an English professor aiming to use his class as a Bolshevik training camp. Will the professor succeed in turning the kid into a Red? The evidence says, probably not: When it comes to politics, people from conservative families follow their parents, not their professors.

The most recent evidence on this subject comes from the mid-1990s, in the University of Michigan's National Election Studies. These survey data uncover two facts. First, people who go to college are more likely to vote Republican than those who don't go to college. Adults 25 and under from Republican homes are, for example, 11 percentage points more likely to vote Republican if they attended college than if they didn't. And young adults from Democratic households are 11 percentage points less likely to vote Democrat if they've gone to college than if not.

Second, nearly everybody grows more likely to vote Republican as they age -- but especially college graduates. It is no shock that the vast majority of people of all educational backgrounds from Republican homes vote Republican by age 40. It may come as more of a surprise that 40-year-olds with Democrat parents are far less likely to vote Democrat if they've gone to college than if they haven't. In fact, while three-quarters of the uneducated group still vote Democrat, the odds are only about 50-50 that the college graduates vote this way. And they've not all become skeptical political independents: Fully a third are registered Republicans.

Obviously, some kids turn left in college -- but this appears to be the exception, not the rule. Does all this mean that our colleges and universities are actually breeding grounds for conservatism? Hardly. What the statistics really show is that higher education by itself doesn't affect political views very much. Rather, in addition to the strong influence of parents, it is higher incomes -- which typically reward a college education in America -- that push people to the right politically. In Republican families, the income effect reinforces parents' influence on their kids. In Democratic families, the two effects work against each other.

To fearful Republican parents, then: Sleep tight. When it comes to politics, your kids are in good hands -- yours.

Mr. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Public Affairs, is the author of "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism," forthcoming in November from Basic Books.

Copyright 2006 - The Wall Street Journal


Wait, maybe global "warming" hasn't always been the trend after all?

Yeah, right. Thirty years ago, all the enviro-hippies were trying to tell us that the planet's average temperature was falling at a dangerous pace in their pathetic quest to stifle capitalism. Check out this beauty...


...Maybe this whole climate change thing isn't as factual as the leftists would love for us to believe, hmm?


Millions dead after listening to environmental activist assholes...

From: FOXNews.com

Day of Reckoning for DDT Foes?
Thursday, September 21, 2006
By: Steven Milloy

Last week’s announcement that the World Health Organization lifted its nearly 30-year ban on the insecticide DDT is perhaps the most promising development in global public health since… well, 1943 when DDT was first used to combat insect-borne diseases like typhus and malaria.

Overlooked in all the hoopla over the announcement, however, is the terrible toll in human lives (tens of millions dead — mostly pregnant women and children under the age of 5), illness (billions sickened) and poverty (more than $1 trillion dollars in lost GDP in sub-Saharan Africa alone) caused by the tragic, decades-long ban.

Much of this human catastrophe was preventable, so why did it happen? Who is responsible? Should the individuals and activist groups who caused the DDT ban be held accountable in some way?

Rachel Carson kicked-off DDT hysteria with her pseudo-scientific 1962 book, “Silent Spring.” Carson materially misrepresented DDT science in order to advance her anti-pesticide agenda. Today she is hailed as having launched the global environmental movement. A Pennsylvania state office building, Maryland elementary school, Pittsburgh bridge and a Maryland state park are named for her. The Smithsonian Institution commemorates her work against DDT. She was even honored with a 1981 U.S. postage stamp. Next year will be the 100th anniversary of her birth. Many celebrations are being planned.

It’s quite a tribute for someone who was so dead wrong. At the very least, her name should be removed from public property and there should be no government-sponsored honors of Carson.

The Audubon Society was a leader in the attack on DDT, including falsely accusing DDT defenders (who subsequently won a libel suit) of lying. Not wanting to jeopardize its non-profit tax status, the Audubon Society formed the Environmental Defense Fund (now simply known as Environmental Defense) in 1967 to spearhead its anti-DDT efforts. Today the National Audubon Society takes in more than $100 million per year and has assets worth more than $200 million. Environmental Defense takes in more than $65 million per year with a net worth exceeding $73 million.

In a February 25, 1971, media release, the president of the Sierra Club stated that his organization wanted “a ban, not just a curb” on DDT, “even in the tropical countries where DDT has kept malaria under control." Today the Sierra Club rakes in more than $90 million per year and has more than $50 million in assets.

Business are often held liable and forced to pay monetary damages for defective products and false statements. Why shouldn’t the National Audubon Society, Environmental Defense, Sierra Club and other anti-DDT activist groups be held liable for the harm caused by their recklessly defective activism?

It was, of course, then-Environmental Protection Agency administrator William Ruckelshaus who actually banned DDT after ignoring an EPA administrative law judge’s ruling that there was no evidence indicating that DDT posed any sort of threat to human health or the environment. Ruckleshaus never attended any of the agency’s hearings on DDT. He didn’t read the hearing transcripts and refused to explain his decision.

None of this is surprising given that, in a May 22, 1971, speech before the Wisconsin Audubon Society, Ruckleshaus said that EPA procedures had been streamlined so that DDT could be banned. Ruckleshaus was also a member of — and wrote fundraising letters for — the EDF.

The DDT ban solidified Ruckelshaus’ environmental credentials, which he has surfed to great success in business, including stints as CEO of Browning Ferris Industries and as a director of a number of other companies including Cummins Engine, Nordstrom, and Weyerhaeuser Company. Ruckelshaus currently is a principal in a Seattle, Wash., - based investment group called Madrona Venture Group.

Corporate wrongdoers — like WorldCom’s Bernie Ebbers and Tyco’s Dennis Kozlowski — were sentenced to prison for crimes against mere property. But what should the punishment be for government wrongdoers like Ruckleshaus who, apparently for the sake of his personal environmental interests, abused his power and affirmatively deprived billions of poor, helpless people of the only practical weapon against malaria?

Finally, there is the question of the World Health Organization itself. What’s the WHO been doing for all these years? There are no new facts on DDT — all the relevant science about DDT safety has been available since the 1960s. Moreover, the WHO’s strategy of mosquito bednets and malaria vaccine development has been a dismal failure. While the death toll in malarial regions has mounted, the WHO has been distracted by such dubious issues as whether cell phones and French fries cause cancer.

It’s a relief that the WHO has finally come to its senses, but on the other hand, the organization has done too little, too late. The ranks of the WHO’s leadership need to be purged of those who place the agenda of environmental elitists over the basic survival of the world’s needy.

In addition to the day of reckoning and societal rebuke that DDT-ban advocates should face, we should all learn from the DDT tragedy.

With the exception of Rachel Carson (who died in 1964), all of the groups and individuals above mentioned also promote global warming alarmism. If they and others could be so wrong about DDT, why should we trust them now? Should we really put the global economy and the welfare of billions at risk based on their track record?

Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and CSRWatch.com. He is a junk science expert, an advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute

Related Column Archive: Full-page Junk Science Archive

Copyright 2006 - Fox News


News from the Calgary Conference

From: [Name Withheld]
Reply-To: cyf-talk@yahoogroups.com
Sent: October 2, 2006 6:07:32 PM
Subject: (cyf-talk) Re: Calgary Congress Review

I attended the Calgary Congress for the Saturday only. I went in true Alberta style, got up at 4 AM for the 3 hour drive south, made the city before sunrise. There were numerous U of C youth there, but no one I recognized. Danielle Smith looks better in person, her promo images do not do her justice. My partner in crime was Ryan Warawa, President of the BC Conservative Party.

Met Ted Byfield, had him autograph his recent column in the Western Standard, but I didn't see Ezra Levant.

Jason Kenny arrived in the morning and gave greetings on behalf of the Government of Canada and the Prime Minister. Jason is like scotch - he's gotten better with age :)

Heard Jason Clemens of the Fraser Institute talk about the economic opportunities of the west and how BC, AB, and even SK are dancing to the same tune on tax policy.

Peter Holle of the Frontier Institute in talked about how equalization harms Manitoba (shame - MB subsidizes hydro rates!)

Brian Crowley of the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies talked about the retardation of the Maritime and Newfoundland economies and how UIC (EI) was that tool, but also gave a caveat that in 8 years the unemployment rate in NS looks to be like 3% because of the demographic shift. He also set the cat among the pigeons with regards to the equality provision on Senate Reform. The grey hairs in the room were stunned as he had just defied them. It was a cautionary "be careful what you wish for, this new Senate might just go and try to dominate your provinces." Crowley was by far the best!

Vincent Pouliot of the Libertarian Party of Canada talked about Senate Reform, took a lesson out of Baldwin-Lafontain, and advocated for a co-prime minsiter (Chancellor, in my words) in the Senate, as this would be a chamber of local (provincial) issues and as a way to curb the powers of the PM.

Bert Brown talked of Senate Reform as well. Much less time on equality than on election was discussed. Bert thinks provincial political parties should only be in the Senate.

Preston Manning talked at lunch about communications and the language to be used to get these ideas across out East. (TOne the rhetoric down)

Tasha Kheirridin and Dr. Barry Cooper talked about the federal spending power. Tasha was excellent, very humourous, and both talked on the history of the centralization of power in Ottawa.

Dr. Ted Morton was up next to talk about reforming the courts. BTW - our courts lost their political virginity a long time ago :) Some good questions were asked about the Human Rights Commissions.

Dr. Morton and Dr. Oberg then took questions as they were the only two PC Alberta candidates to show up. Both performed well.

Premier Klein gave the dinner speech and he was good. He even gave the Trudeau Salute to make a point about improved relations. It was classic Ralph at his best.

I enjoyed the talks presented, but felt there could have been more time given to the speakers. Could have had more U of C students get up and ask smart questions during the QPs.

All procedings were recorded by CPAC for air. Audio will be available on the Citizens Centre for Freedom and Democracy website soon.

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