The blind cruelty of Greenpeace 4

We enraged a Greenpeace supporter with our posts The evil that Greenpeace does (1/16/2010) and The vast left-wing conspiracy (1/18/2010).

May this post horrify as many people of common sense as it can reach, even if it infuriates Greenpeace supporters to the point of apoplexy, exposing as it does the persistent, atrocious evil that Greenpeace continues to do, motivated by sheer doctrinaire bigotry, through decade after decade, in conspiracy with governments.

Denis Avery, who is Director for Global Food Issues with the Hudson Institute, and was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State, writes here:

We do know how to prevent 500,000 kids from going blind every year—and even dying—due to severe Vitamin A deficiency (VAD). But we’re not preventing the blindness or the deaths. Instead, we’re accepting the tragedy of millions of blind kids, plus the deaths of hundreds of thousands of pregnant women who die from needless birth complications, also due to VAD. …

We started trying to cure Vitamin A deficiency 20 years ago, after a Swiss government researcher bioengineered “golden rice”. The new rice contained a gene from the daffodil that codes for beta-carotene. The human body can then make Vitamin A out of the beta carotene. Kids in rich countries get most of their Vitamin A from meat, milk and eggs, but poor-country kids live mainly on such plant foods as rice, cassava and sweet potatoes. None provide much bio-available Vitamin A.

But Greenpeace and its eco-allies claimed — without evidence — that such genetic engineering is a “danger to the planet”.

Even after Syngenta developed a corn-based “golden rice II” with vastly more beta carotene — and offered it free to the Third World — Greenpeace still said no.

Only now, after 20 years of blockade and delay, are we finally seeing the dramatic benefits of growing Vitamin A crops in the local fields. In the Mukono District of Uganda, they’re growing bio-fortified sweet potatoes. Here, about 25 percent of the children used to be wan and sickly, prone to severe diarrhea, pneumonia, eye inflammations and blindness. Most of the kids are now healthy and vigorous. Pregnant women are thriving, along with their babies.

The difference? Orange-colored sweet potatoes, supplied by Uganda’s national agricultural research organization. They’re rich in beta-carotene, and they produce high yields because they resist local crop diseases. The germ plasm for the new sweet potatoes originated at HarvestPlus — Norman Borlaug’s international farm research organization that saved a billion people from starving in the Green Revolution of the 1960s.

“A danger to the plane”, of course, is what Greenpeace has called virtually every recent advance in global food production. At the same time, they claim the earth cannot sustainably feed the people already here. The European Union, to its shame, has backed up Greenpeace with threats to boycott the farm exports of any country which allows biotech plantings. In India, rice farmers protested plantings of the new rice, for fear the EU’s ban on biotech foods would block their exports of high-value basmati rice.

HarvestPlus finally decided to breed around the Greenpeace blockade. It took more than a decade of laborious test plots and back-crossing, but now cross-bred beta-carotene is being planted in farmers’ fields—and the Mukono mothers say their kids have become remarkably healthier. All it cost was 20 more years, 10 million more blindings, and millions of maternal deaths.

Crime pays 1

Would you like to have free health care and a pension? Here’s a way to get them simply by sitting for three years in a secure environment. Oh – and by hurting some Norwegians.

They’ll pay you to do it.

That’s right. Go to Norway and commit a serious crime. The rest is gravy.

The story by Rita Karlsen comes from FrontPageMag:

Criminal foreigners who serve more than a year in jail will henceforth automatically qualify for welfare. After three years in prison, they will have a right to a government pension and to health coverage. This will be the case even if they have come to Norway illegally. In other words, it pays for foreigners to come to Norway and commit serious crimes – and the more serious the crime, the greater the reward.

The word ”shocking” is hardly sufficient. Indeed, some news is so shocking that one hardly believes what one is hearing. This new development falls under the category of things that you just can’t imagine a country’s leaders ever coming up with. But I am not making this up. You can read all about it on the website of the newspaper Aftenposten: in order to qualify for welfare, foreign criminals will have to commit crimes that are serious enough to put them behind bars for a year or more. But if they are found guilty of even more serious offenses, so that they are sentenced to at least three years, they will also have the right to a basic government pension starting at age 67.

According to Aftenposten, a person who has spent three years in the can will receive a so-called 3/40 basic pension, which amounts to 455 kroner ($80) a month. I assume this means that somebody who has served seven years will get a 7/40 basic pension, and so forth. It is impossible to imagine a policy that would more clearly reward people for breaking the law. And unfortunately, this isn’t all. Because if the same criminal foreigners are citizens of countries belonging to the EU or the European Economic Area, such as Lithuania, Poland, or Bulgaria, they will also have a right to Norwegian pensions even if they have moved out of Norway. We can thus expect that in the years to come, the Norwegian welfare system will find itself paying out considerable amounts in health and pension benefits to felons living abroad.

We can also expect that the Norwegian “goodness industry,” as I like to call it, will soon be telling us that this new policy is discriminatory: why shouldn’t criminals from countries outside the EU or EEA have the same rights as criminals from Europe? For under Norwegian law, citizenship is not predicated on one’s land of birth: if a man is a Norwegian citizen, all of his children have the right to Norwegian citizenship as well, regardless of whether they are born in Norway, Lithuania, Pakistan, or Somalia, and regardless of whether their mother is wife #1 or wife #33. As Human Rights Service has noted repeatedly, if this is called equality under the law, there is something wrong with the law.

There is also something wrong with a law that encourages people to pursue lives of crime, and that in fact amounts to a gilt-edged invitation to come to Norway to commit serious crime. …  As of January 2010, 1,001 foreign citizens are in Norwegian prisons….

Don’t be surprised, Norway, if before long there are millions. Better start building more prisons. You may soon be recognized as the most attractive little country in the world. And the least safe. And one of the poorest.

We do so enjoy the idiocy of the left. Can’t help laughing as we cry.

Posted under Commentary, Economics, Europe, Socialism by Jillian Becker on Friday, January 8, 2010

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The graying of America 8

Why are demographic statistics  left out of political calculation? We find them fascinating in themselves. (Fact: The ‘country’ that has the lowest fertility rate in the world also has the highest life expectancy in the world. It is  Macao, the peninsula city. Fertility rate: 0.9. Life expectancy: 84.3 years. That’s a very old population.)

If demographic trends were taken into account by American policy-makers, foreign policies would probably be very different.

For example – George Will writes:

Today, in a world bristling with new threats, the president suggests addressing an old one – Russia’s nuclear arsenal. It remains potentially dangerous, particularly if a portion of it falls into nonstate hands. But what is the future of the backward and backsliding kleptocratic thugocracy that is Vladimir Putin’s Russia?  Putin must be amazed and amused that America’s president wants to treat Russia as a great power. Obama should instead study pertinent demographic trends.

Russia, he goes on to explain, is rapidly becoming depopulated.  It certainly is. While a country needs a fertility rate of 2.1 minimum for stabilization, Russia’s is 1.4. Its life expectancy is a mere 65.87. For a male it is as low as 59.12, for a female 73.03. Compare that to the American rates: fertility, 2.1, life expectancy 78.06: for a male, 75.15, a female 80.97.

The Russians are an extreme example of a dying nation.  But every European country has a shrinking population.  The fertility rate of the European Union as a whole is 1.5.   (Mark Steyn discusses the implications of all this at length in his important book America Alone .)

Compared to European countries, ‘which face demographic catastrophe, America’s position seems relatively strong,’ writes David P Goldman at First Things.  Read the whole article here.

But, he goes on to say, ‘the declining demographics of the traditional American family’ is a serious threat to future prosperity.

In place of traditional two-parent families with children, America has seen enormous growth in one-parent families and childless families. The number of one-parent families with children has tripled. Dependent children formed half the U.S. population in 1960, and they add up to only 30 percent today. The dependent elderly doubled as a proportion of the population, from 15 percent in 1960 to 30 percent today. If capital markets derive from the cycle of human life, what happens if the cycle goes wrong? … What if there really is something wrong with our future—if the next generation fails to appear in sufficient numbers? The answer is that we get poorer. … Perhaps the world is poorer now because the present generation did not bother to rear a new generation. All else is bookkeeping and ultimately trivial. This unwelcome and unprecedented change underlies the present global economic crisis. We are grayer, and less fecund, and as a result we are poorer, and will get poorer still—no matter what economic policies we put in place…

During the past half century America has changed from a nation in which most households had two parents with young children. We are now a mélange of alternative arrangements in which the nuclear family is merely a niche phenomenon. By 2025, single-person households may outnumber families with children. The collapse of home prices and the knock-on effects on the banking system stem from the shrinking count of families that require houses. It is no accident that the housing market—the economic sector most sensitive to demographics—was the epicenter of the economic crisis… [It is] due to the demographics of diminishing demand…  Our children are our wealth. Too few of them are seated around America’s common table, and it is their absence that makes us poor. Not only the absolute count of children, to be sure, but also the shrinking proportion of children raised with the moral material advantages of two-parent families diminishes our prospects… There are ways to ameliorate the financial crisis, but none of them will replace the lives that should have been part of America and now are missed.

This suggests that nothing economic policy can do will entirely reverse the great wave of wealth destruction… Unless we restore the traditional family to a central position in American life, we cannot expect to return to the kind of wealth accumulation that characterized the 1980s and 1990s… Wealth depends ultimately on the natural order of human life. Failing to rear a new  generation in sufficient numbers to replace the present one violates that order, and it has consequences for wealth, among many other things.

Americans who rejected the mild yoke of family responsibility in pursuit of atavistic enjoyment will find at last that this is not to  be theirs, either…

Today, less than a third of American households constitute a two-parent nuclear family with children. Housing prices are collapsing in part because single-person households are replacing families with children… [By 2025] the demand of Americans will be urban apartments for empty nesters… We are going to be poorer for a generation and perhaps longer. We will drive smaller cars and live in smaller homes, vacation in cabins by the lake rather than at Disney World, and send our children to public universities rather than private liberal-arts colleges. The baby boomers on average will work five or ten years longer before retiring on less income than they had planned, and young people will work for less money at duller jobs than they had hoped…

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Sunday, April 19, 2009

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A change to hope for 0

 It looks as if the undemocratic and corrupt European Union may break up soon. An eventuality devoutly to be wished. This from the International Herald Tribune:

The European Union is not a country, and the deep global contraction is stimulating nationalism, not consensus.

With uncertain leadership and few powerful collective institutions, the union is struggling with the strains this economic crisis has inevitably produced among 27 different countries with different economic histories. The traditional concept of "solidarity," of one for all, is being undermined by protectionist pressures from political leaders with national constituencies and agendas. 

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Monday, March 2, 2009

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