Mass Murderers and Radical Environmentalists

If we were to compile a list of history’s most prolific mass murderers, who would we put on our list? Attila the Hun ravaged the Roman Empire during the 5th Century, killing and maiming all who stood in his way.  In the 13th Century, Ghengis Khan and his Mongol hordes roamed far and wide, creating a bloody empire that stretched from China and the Korean peninsula all the way to Iraq and Eastern Europe.

From 1921 to 1959, Josef Stalin ruled the Soviet Union with a cruelty unprecedented in human history, killing some 60 million of his own countrymen.  In the 1930’s and 40’s, Adolph Hitler murdered some 6 million people – mostly Jews, Gypsies, and others who were deemed ineligible for membership in the “master race.”  And from 1975 to 1979, the Khmer Rouge, under the leadership of Pol Pot, murdered nearly 4 million in a wanton political “cleansing” of the Cambodian countryside.

But who would we select as the greatest mass murderer of all time? The leading candidate for that title would be American marine biologist Rachel Carson, the author of Silent Spring, the principal force behind the banning of the pesticide DDT and the godmother of radical today’s radical environmentalists of the political left.

DDT is an odorless chemical pesticide used to control disease-carrying and crop-eating insects. Developed in Germany in 1874, it did not come into common usage until World War II when it was effectively used for pre-invasion spraying of jungles and marshes.  Following the war, it was widely used throughout the world as a means of combating yellow fever, typhoid fever, malaria, and other diseases carried by insects.

Not only was DDT a major boon to the life expectancy of people throughout the world, it could be purchased for just pennies a pound. In India alone, the number of cases of malaria was reduced from 75 million to less than 5 million in just ten years.

But then, in 1962, Rachel Carson published her book, Silent Spring, and environmental activism quickly became a leading fad among American liberals. Carson charged that, as DDT entered the food chain, certain reproductive dysfunctions, such as thin eggs shells in some species of birds, might occur.

In late 1971, the Environmental Protection Agency initiated a series of hearings on the potential dangers of DDT. After seven months of exhaustive hearings, the EPA’s Administrative Law Judge, Edmund Sweeney, ruled that, “DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man… The uses of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds, or other wildlife… The evidence in this proceeding supports the conclusion that there is a present need for the essential uses of DDT.”

Nevertheless, in spite of all of the scientific testimony to the contrary, pressure by radical environmentalists caused EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus, a wealthy member of the Environmental Defense Fund, to reverse Judge Sweeney’s ruling, declaring that DDT was a “potential human carcinogen” and banning its use for virtually all applications.

Although reliable statistics are hard to find, it is estimated that, in the forty-five years since the banning of DDT, more than 9 billion cases of malaria have been reported, most of them in developing countries. At the rate of 700,000 to 800,000 malaria-related deaths per year, more than 36 million people have lost their lives to malaria in the past forty-five years… 90% of them pregnant women and children under age 5.

By comparison, the Great Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 26, 2004, killed more than 227,900 people in 14 countries, and 125,000 more were seriously injured. But the loss of life and the injuries due to drowning and the collapse of buildings may have been exceeded by those who would die as a result of starvation and the spread of disease, such as typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, and malaria.

Typhoid fever, dysentery, and cholera can be treated with a combination of drugs and/or oral rehydration, but malaria is another matter. Malaria is best controlled through the application of DDT in mosquito-infested areas.  But DDT is no longer an alternative.  Its use has been banned since the early ‘70s as a result of pressure by radical environmentalists in the United States and Europe.

But now, in the early months of 2016, epidemiologists are confronted with yet another incurable disease related to mosquito infestation. According to a February 5, 2016 report by Investor’s Business Daily, “The Zika virus is spreading and some public health officials seem to be near panic.  Whatever happens, don’t blame the mosquitoes.  This is a man-made problem.”

The report goes on to say, “Maybe the Zika outbreak will fade without having become too widespread, the way the Ebola scare never lived up to the hype. But for now, Zika is apparently on the move and government health officials believe it will spread throughout the Americas, except for Canada and Chile.”

A January 2016 report by the World Health Organization (WHO) tells us that, “Zika virus disease outbreaks were reported for the first time from the Pacific in 2007 and 2013 (Yap and French Polynesia, respectively), and in 2015 from the Americas (Brazil and Colombia) and Africa (Cape Verde). In addition, more than 13 countries in the Americas have reported sporadic Zika virus infections indicating rapid geographic expansion of Zika virus.”

Although generally not fatal in either adults or infants, the normal symptoms of Zika virus infection include mild headaches, skin rash, fever, malaise, pink eye, and joint pain. With symptoms lasting only a few days in adults, Zika fever has been a relatively mild disease of limited scope, with only one in five persons developing symptoms and with no fatalities.  As of 2016[update], no vaccine or preventative drug is available. However, the WHO recommends that symptoms can be treated with rest, fluids, and acetaminophen.

However, the WHO reports that, “During large outbreaks in French Polynesia and Brazil in 2013 and 2015, respectively, national health authorities reported potential neurological and auto-immune complications of Zika virus disease. Recently, in Brazil, local health authorities have observed an increase in Zika virus infections in the general public as well as an increase in babies born with microcephaly in northeast Brazil.  Agencies investigating the Zika outbreaks are finding an increasing body of evidence about the link between Zika virus and microcephaly.”

Microcephaly is a birth defect in which a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to healthy babies of the same sex and age.  Babies with microcephaly often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly.

Zika virus is a member of the virus family Flaviviridae (genus Flavivirus), transmitted by the sting of the Aedes mosquito.  Under normal circumstances, since DDT poses no threat to humans or to the environment when properly used, the mosquito populations could be controlled through the use of DDT.  However, controlling the spread of deadly diseases through the use of DDT is not a part of the radical environmentalist agenda.  As Investor’s Business Daily correctly points out, “(T)he eco-activists would rather tolerate tens of millions of Third World deaths for the sake of a political agenda.  That’s the cruel and inhuman way of the environmentalist.  He will trade lives – and jobs, and economic liberty, and others’ wealth – in exchange for making the world… worse.”

So who wins the title of the greatest mass murderer of all time? If we count all of the lives that would have been saved in the past forty-five years through the application of DDT, that number would exceed the total number of people murdered by Attila, Ghengis Khan, Stalin, Hitler, and Pol Pot, combined.

To allow all of those lives to be lost in the name of “environmental protection” and “animal rights,” using junk science as a basis, is not just inhumane, it is genocide on a grand scale. The title of “Greatest Mass Murderer of all Time” goes to the late Rachel Carson and all of her radical environmentalist followers.

Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College. He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.

 

 

 

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What Every American Should Know

Every American should already be familiar with Rule No. 1 in the Democrat Party playbook, a rule that tells Democrats that whenever they are caught doing something that is either illegal or unethical… or whenever party policies or favored programs result in unpleasant consequences for the American people… they should always begin by blaming Republicans. At the very least, they should complain that Republicans are guilty of the same offense.  But there is much more that every American needs to understand about Democrats, especially now that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are left to defend what has been a disastrous economic performance, grossly mismanaged by the most incompetent president in U.S. history.

This column is a rewrite of a column published in January 2012 which attempted to explain the 2008 recession and the anemic Obama recovery in simple but understandable terms. It is being republished because, as we prepare to elect a president to clean up the Obama mess, Democrats continue to lay blame for the nation’s economic ills at the feet of George W. Bush.  So if we are to avoid a Hillary Clinton presidency in 2016, we must all have a good basic understanding of our economic morass… one that even rank-and-file Democrats can understand.

First, it must be understood that the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (CRA), a Carter administration initiative, was a laudable and timely idea. It encouraged lenders to make home loans to qualified borrowers who had previously been denied solely on the basis of the color of their skin.   The CRA was intended to reduce or eliminate a practice known as “redlining,” in which lenders discriminated against potential buyers, approving home loans for lower-income whites but not for middle or upper-income blacks.

Throughout the Reagan and Bush (41) years, between 1981 and 1993, the CRA was enforced in an even-handed and straightforward manner. Lenders were required to abandon “redlining” and to meet the credit needs of all members of the community, consistent with sound lending criteria. However, no sooner had the Clintons occupied the White House in 1993, than Democrats began to act like Democrats.  They decided that the CRA, if strategically enforced with a political end in mind, provided a unique opportunity to solidify the votes of the poor, especially minorities.

Under the Clinton administration, regulators paid particularly close attention to the lending practices of banks and savings & loan associations. In other words, were lenders meeting the credit needs of all borrowers in their local communities, regardless of borrowers’ ability to repay their loans?  Accordingly, they began to use the results of those examinations to decide whether or not to approve bank mergers and acquisitions, and whether or not to approve applications for new branch banks. Mortgage lenders soon found that the CRA was more stick than carrot.

As a result, lenders abandoned traditional lending criteria and made mortgage loans to almost anyone who applied, regardless of their income level or credit worthiness. Under normal circumstances, no prudent lender would ever lend money to those with little or no ability to repay the loans, but these were not normal circumstances.  Two of the Democratic Party’s favorite patronage cesspools… Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac… were standing ready to buy up any and all mortgages.  And why should Fannie and Freddie worry about the quality of the mortgages they acquired?  They had no reason to worry because, as quasi-public institutions, they had the entire cash assets of the American taxpayer… the U.S. Treasury… at their disposal.

Here’s how it worked. When a home buyer took out a home loan from a bank or a savings & loan association, the mortgage was then sold to what was known as a Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE), i.e. Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.  Fannie and Freddie then bundled the loan with other sub-prime mortgages and sold the bundles to private investors… promising not only attractive returns, but a high degree of security as well.  By year end 2010, Fannie and Freddie had acquired more than half of the $11 trillion mortgage loan market in the United States.

However, the sale of mortgages to private investors was not a totally arms-length proposition because, even though Fannie and Freddie had sold the bundled mortgages to private investors, they continued to have a financial interest in them. They guaranteed the securities for the investors, promising to continue making payments on mortgages even if homeowners stopped making payments. In 2008, when the overheated real estate market collapsed and a great many homeowners stopped paying all at once, the cash reserves of Fannie and Freddie were soon depleted, forcing them to default on their guarantees and precipitating a major economic crisis.

One might ask, how could something like this happen directly under the noses of our political leaders without anyone taking notice? The fact is, shortly after taking office in 2001, the Bush administration did notice and took steps to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  What they apparently failed to understand was that Fannie and Freddie existed in a world of their own, a world in which Democrats who were either owed big favors, or who were being paid to keep their mouths shut for one reason or another, were well taken care of.

Among these was Franklin Raines, former Clinton White House budget director, who served as chairman and chief executive officer of Fannie Mae. Raines took “early retirement” from Fannie Mae on December 21, 2004 after the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) accused him of participating in widespread accounting irregularities, including the shifting of losses so that senior Fannie Mae executives could earn large bonuses.  Some $90 million was paid to Raines based on overstated earnings… earnings initially reported at $9 billion but later found to be in the neighborhood of $6.3 billion.

Tim Howard, Chief Financial Officer under Raines, was a former Senior Economic Advisor to Barack Obama.  When Howard was terminated at Fannie Mae he walked away with a “golden parachute” reported to be worth approximately $20 million.  Jim Johnson, a former Lehman Brothers executive who headed Obama’s vice presidential search committee, was also a former Fannie Mae CEO who was forced to resign.  Johnson’s 1998 Fannie Mae compensation was reported at between $6-7 million.  In truth, it was $21 million. And last, but not least, we have former Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton administration, Jamie Gorelick, the woman who erected the infamous “Gorelick Wall” which prevented the CIA and the FBI from sharing intelligence that could have prevented the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  After leaving the Justice Department under fire, Gorelick resurfaced as Vice Chairman of Fannie Mae from 1997 to 2003.  And although she had no training or experience in finance, whatsoever, during the six years she worked at Fannie Mae she earned over $26 million.  Even in Democratic circles, that seems to be an excessive amount of “hush” money.

While serving as Vice Chairman of Fannie Mae, Gorelick participated in the development of an accounting scheme which allowed Fannie’s Mae’s top executives – whose bonuses were tied to earnings-per-share – to meet the target for maximum bonus payouts. For example, in 1998, the target earnings for maximum bonus payout at Fannie Mae was $3.23 per share.  Fannie Mae reported earnings of exactly $3.2309.  (Don’t you just hate it when that happens?)

So how was this arranged? When Fannie Mae found itself facing an extraordinary expense in 1998, estimated at $400 million, Johnson, Franklin, and Gorelick decided to recognize only $200 million of the $400 million expense, deferring the remainder to the next fiscal year.  This fortuitous “coincidence” resulted in maximum bonus payouts: $1.932 million to then-CEO Jim Johnson, $1.19 million to CEO-designate Franklin Raines, and $779,625 to accounting whiz Jamie Gorelick. Democrats do have an uncanny way of taking care of their own.

In the seven years that Barack Obama has been in office, Democrats have waged an unrelenting attack on George W. Bush, insisting that he did nothing to forestall the Fannie and Freddie disasters that still weigh like a wet blanket on our economy. However, the facts are these: the record shows that the Bush administration warned Congress of impending insolvency at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in April 2001, May 2002, November 2003, February 2004, August 2007, December 2007, March 2008, April 2008, May 2008, and June 2008.  In addition, officials of the Bush administration testified before Congress, calling for reform of Fannie and Freddie, in September 2003, June 2004, April 2005, and February 2008.

In each instance, their warnings were either ignored or were subjected to strong push-back from leading Democrats, who charged Republicans with opposing home ownership by the poor and minorities. In each instance, the principal push-back came from former Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), a subcommittee chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, the recipient of “sweetheart” loans from now-defunct Countrywide Financial Corporation; and former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), Ranking Member of a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee.  Not surprisingly, one of Frank’s homosexual partners, Herb Moses, was a high-ranking official of Fannie Mae at a time when he and Frank played house together on Capitol Hill.

In short, the financial crisis that our country has faced since 2008 is exclusively the product of Democratic political excess. It is further proof that, when government interferes in the private economy in order to guarantee what liberals and Democrats see as “fairness” and “equal outcomes,” the unintended consequences are always predictable, but never pretty.  What would be pretty would be to see Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, Franklin Raines, Jim Johnson, Jamie Gorelick, and other Obama cronies being led away in handcuffs.

As Obama enters his final year in office he continues to blame the nation’s financial difficulties on George W. Bush. If we all understand the root causes of the crisis and how it was engineered by Democrats, we will have all the ammunition we need to defeat them at the polls in November.

Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College. He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.

 

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The Death of America?

In more than twelve years of writing a weekly essay on some of the most critical problems of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, I’ve never been short of subject matter and I’ve never been at a loss for words… until now. For more than two months I have tried to find a way to address the question of what must be done to prosecute the war on radical Islam, while being fully aware that a committed communist, who may also be a “closet” Muslim jihadist, serves as commander in chief of U.S. military forces.  Although I have never hesitated to go “out on a limb” to propose solutions that others may see as radical or “outside the box,” I have attempted to stay as close as possible to what I hope others would judge to be at least within the realm of possibility.

Having said that, and being aware that essentially everyone else in the western world remains wedded to the notion that the long term future of western civilization depends on our ability to find a way to peacefully coexist with Islamists… both radicals and moderates… I find myself of a different opinion. In order to be persuaded otherwise, I would have to see conclusive proof that somewhere… at some time in history… Muslims have set aside their goal of total world dominion in the interest of harmony and peaceful coexistence with non-Muslims.  That proof simply does not exist.  Instead, the so-called “moderate” Muslims appear to be nothing but a silent cheering section for radical jihadists.

Reading the history of Islam, it is tempting to believe that, for periods of years since the death of Mohammed in 632 A.D., Muslims throughout the world had finally decided to live as civilized human beings when, in fact, they were merely resting, re-arming, and preparing for the next major assault on Christianity, Judaism, and the rest of western culture.

According to an April 13, 2015, report by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), during calendar year 2011, for the third year in a row, Sunni Muslims accounted for the greatest number of terrorist attacks and fatalities. Of the more than 5,700 terror incidents during that year, some 56 percent were committed by Sunnis.  As such, they were responsible for 12,533 fatalities, or 70 percent of all terrorist fatalities.

The report tells us that, while Sunni Muslims were responsible for 70 percent of the terrorist fatalities, worldwide, another 24 percent of the fatalities were attributable to Shiites. Taken together, the two largest Muslim sects were responsible for 94 percent of all terror fatalities during calendar year 2011.  Since 2011, with ISIS making a major contribution, the number of fatalities attributable to Muslim terrorism, worldwide, has grown to nearly 100 percent of the total terror-related deaths.

According to the NCTC report, a total of 9,707 terror attacks occurred worldwide during calendar year 2013, resulting in more than 17,800 deaths and more than 32,500 injuries. In addition, more than 2,990 individuals were kidnapped or taken hostage.  The identities of the responsible terror groups were reported in only 3,100 (32 percent) of the 9,707 attacks recorded in 2013.  However, of the 17,800 fatalities attributable to those 3,100 terror attacks, 5,655 were attributable to only three of the more than 50 known terror organizations: the Taliban, ISIS, and Boko Haram.

And while we in the United States appear to be frozen in fear of radical Islam, afraid to do what is necessary to protect ourselves, there are positive signs in other parts of the world. For example, according to an April 17, 2015 article by Y.K. Cherson in The Counter Jihad Report, Japan is “practically closed” to Muslims.

A leader of the Japanese Muslim community, Nur Ad-Din Mori, was asked what percentage of Japan’s total population are Muslims. He estimated the number to be one out of a hundred thousand.  With a total population of 130 million people, the Muslim population of Japan would be about 1,300.  Nevertheless, those Muslims who obtained immigration permits and have lived in the country for many years have little expectation of ever becoming Japanese citizens.

Clearly, the Japanese make things very difficult for Muslims. As impediments to the spread if Islam, Japan officially forbids proselytizing people to adopt Islam as their religion, and anyone who is found actively encouraging conversion to Islam faces deportation and possibly jail time.  Japan is the only nation that does not give citizenship to Muslims, it does not allow Muslims to take up permanent residence, Japanese universities do not teach Arabic or other Islamic languages, and it is not permitted to import a Quran published in Arabic.  There is no Sharia law in Japan and even today, in the age of technology, visas are not granted to Muslim doctors, engineers, or managers sent by foreign corporations.  Most Japanese companies have policies stating that job applications prepared by Muslim applicants will not be considered. .

In China, Muslim prayers are banned in government buildings and schools in Xinjiang Province (Western China) and, in some regions of the country, burqas and long beards are banned and Muslim bars and restaurants are required to sell alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, both of which are banned in Islam.

In England, the parliament has passed legislation which allows the government to strip terror suspects of their citizenship… even if it renders them stateless. Britain has been one of the few Western countries that can revoke citizenship and its associated rights from dual citizens, even those who are native-born, if they are suspected or convicted of acts of terrorism or disloyalty.

In Germany, 78 attacks targeting mosques have been carried out between 2012 and 2014. During calendar year 2015, alone, there were 81 violent attacks on mosques.

Since New Year’s Eve, when nearly 1,000 Muslim immigrants engaged in the mass rape and sexual assaults of German women and girls in the square near the Cologne Cathedral, it appears that Germans are finally beginning to awaken to the dangers posed by unrestricted Muslim immigration. In the early days of January, crowds of outraged Germans rioted in the streets in major cities across the country, attacking Muslim immigrants and ransacking and burning Muslim-owned businesses.

In Norway, more than 2,000 Muslims have been deported in a major crime-fighting program. Since those individuals left the country, crime has fallen by 72%.  Prison officials are reporting that nearly half of their jail cells are now vacant and courtrooms are nearly empty.  The Pakistani imam of a Norwegian mosque, where a pig’s head was delivered to his front door, was injured in an axe attack in June.

In Poland, an anti-immigrant group has published its manifesto, saying, “In Poland, there will be NO sharia law. NO head-banging or shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ in the streets.  NO insulting our religion and our culture.  NO burning cars like in France.  NO burning down police stations.  NO imposing your ways on us.  NO calling us the sons of apes and pigs.  If you do, we will be the ones waging jihad…on YOU!  Remember that, in your lands, you can do what you want, but not in Poland.”

In Cuba, a delegation sent by the Muslim World League (MWL) requested permission to build a mosque in Havana. They were sent home empty-handed.  The Castro government responded by saying, “This is impossible because, once the Cuban government agrees to the setting up of an Islamic organization, it has also to agree to the setting up of similar organizations by other religious denominations, such as the Christians, whose Catholic denomination make up 90 percent of the population.  We are not religious-minded because we are socialists and do not allow any religious societies in our midst.”

The March 2015 edition of The Atlantic Magazine describes ISIS in very stark terms, saying, “Our ignorance of the Islamic State is in some ways understandable: It is a hermit kingdom; few have gone there and returned.  (ISIS leader Abu Bakr) al-Baghdadi has spoken on camera only once.  But his address and the Islamic State’s countless other propaganda videos and encyclicals are online, and the caliphate’s supporters have toiled mightily to make their project knowable.  We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of… and headline player in… the imminent end of the world.”

That is how radical Islamists see the future. Unfortunately, a great many American politicians and opinion leaders have convinced themselves that Muslims and Hispanics come to America with the same hopes and aspirations.  They refuse to acknowledge that most Hispanics come to America to improve their lives, while far too many Muslims come to America to deprive us of ours.

If we fail to convince our political leaders that Islam is incompatible with our culture and our constitutional principles and cannot be tolerated, and if we fail to insulate our advanced civilization from the brutal seventh century incivility of modern day Islam, then we can have little hope for our long term future; the end of America is at hand. Our fate is sealed.

Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College. He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.

 

 

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