Friday, September 26, 2014

Hoaxers, Hucksters & Hooey

Idon't know if you’re aware of it, and until I checked it out I certainly wasn’t, but 17 states are represented by one Democrat and one Republican in the U.S. Senate. How can that be? How is it that in a nation as divided as America is today, that a third of the states have seen fit to split its vote this way?

Frankly, I can better understand California’s electing a pair of liberal dingbats like Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer than I can grasp why it is that, say, Alaska, Florida, New Hampshire and Wisconsin, wound up with one dingbat and one Republican.

While I’m at it, why do Maine’s Sen. Angus King and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders get away with claiming to be Independents when neither of them has ever been anything but a rubberstamp for Barack Obama and Harry Reid? How is it that the folks who offer cookies, cars and clothing for sale aren’t allowed to get away with false labeling, but politicians and movies get to do it all the time?

One of my readers, Sam Marx, has suggested that the Republicans running for office this November should take advantage of Obama’s dithering when it comes to confronting Islamic devils by adopting the slogan “Democrats Are Soft on Terrorism” just as they used to be accused of being soft on communism in the midst of the Cold War, when they foolishly pushed for unilateral disarmament.

Liberals, by and large, prefer slogans to policies. Even after ISIS had gobbled up huge parcels of Syria and Iraq, we had Obama confess he had no strategy for defeating them. But that should have come as no surprise to those of us who have lived through half a century of liberals pretending that Lorraine Schneider’s “War Is Not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things” and Jerry Rubin’s “Make Love, Not War” constituted a coherent foreign policy.

While watching TV the other night, I saw a Penn & Teller’s show devoted to the global-warming hoax. One of the participants was a woman who claimed to be a licensed therapist whose specialty was dealing with the disorders of those deeply troubled by something called ecological anxiety.

Among the symptoms she listed were stomach aches; headaches; feelings of just being nervous, but not really knowing why; inattention or inability to focus and concentrate. Granted I’m not a medical professional, but it sure sounded a lot like a hangover.

The takeaway for me is that Al Gore isn’t the only toad in the world cashing in on the global warming con game, although he remains the biggest and most repulsive toad in the swamp, and surely the only one who’s been able to hop away with an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Nobel Peace Prize.

This therapist works out of her home in New Mexico, a state that is apparently the natural habitat for every aging hippie who believes crystals and chanting cure cancer.

We got to see her working with six people claiming to be suffering from eco-anxiety. Apparently, a centerpiece of her treatment is to collect rocks from her driveway and give one to each of her subjects. They were told to keep it in their pocket to remind them that they were one with nature, although I suspect it was to reassure them that there were things in the world even dumber than themselves, although, to be fair, the rocks hadn’t spent good money flying to New Mexico.

The lesson I came away with is that it’s better to have rocks in your driveway than rocks in your head.

Part of the show was devoted to carbon credit offsets. Apparently these work on the honor system; people are expected to fine themselves for such criminal acts as using air conditioners or driving SUVs. They then pay for their sins by donating money that can be used to build wind farms, manufacture solar panels or pay for Al Gore’s suntan lotion.

For me, the most shocking segment of the show was devoted to man and woman-on-the-street interviews, as one seemingly sane person after another described Gore as a hero, a prophet and a living saint. Not even one of them referred to him as a hypocrite, a con man or even a horse’s patootie.

But Penn and Teller are nobody’s patsies and they disclosed that Gore, who makes a habit of flying around on private jets, only got around to putting solar panels on his own Tennessee mansion when it was disclosed that, based on his utility bills, he used more than 17 times as much electricity as the average person in the Volunteer State.

But, to be fair, the guys did admit that he pays for his own ecological sins by writing a check every so often to a carbon credit company, Generation Investment Management.

And when you get right down to it, is it really anyone’s business that Gore owns Generation Investment Management?

©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?