November 12, 2006

Idiocy and Loathing at Investor's Business Daily

The Investor's Business Daily Friday editorial page asks, Can the Democrats (Mc)Govern:

... The Democrats seem to have a fondness for party leaders and presidents whose policies and positions, when followed, result in the expansion of tyranny, the subjugation and even death of millions, and added threats to U.S. safety and security.

... President Bush has spelled out what Iraq might look like if the party of Pelosi, Murtha and McGovern force a premature withdrawal that would effectively abandon the Iraqi people like the Democratic "Watergate babies" of 1974 did to the people of Laos, Cambodia and South Vietnam when they cut off American aid and support.

Bush said: "One way for the American people to understand what Iraq would look like is what Afghanistan looked like under the Taliban . . . a place where women were taken into the public square and beaten if they did not adhere to the strict, intolerant guidelines of the Taliban, a place where thousands trained to attack America and our allies." ...

American aid and support to Laos, Cambodia and South Vietnam came mainly in the form of napalm and bombs dropped on their heads. The governments of Laos and Cambodia were destabilized, which did lead to tyranny and massacres, though I don't know that there's a convincing case to be made that this would have happened if we hadn't bombed their countries or that it could have been stopped if we'd bombed them some more.

As to Bush's claim that, were we to leave, Iraq would look like Afghanistan under the Taliban, that's really sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Iraq didn't look like that before, having been under the rule of a secular dictator, without the Sharia law that contains strict female dress codes and being entirely hostile to organized, non-governmental militia organizations, with the notable exception of the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK.) The MEK is an Iranian group included on the State Dept.'s terrorist organizations list that's long been in contact with U.S. intelligence services, and according to former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter, Israeli intelligence as well. The MEK defected to Iraq in order to act against Iran, which they've been doing with every means at their disposal for some years now.

Whereas now, as noted by the Iraqi blogger Riverbend, Iraq is looking more like Afghanistan every day. Iraqi women, even Christians, will no longer go outside without wearing some form of hijab because they don't feel safe and don't want to draw attention to themselves from members of hardline religious groups who have begun harassing women in public. Non-governmental militias have proliferated, no one knows about all such activity and it can no longer all be monitored. The country is in chaos with formerly pacified provinces dissolving into sectarian violence and new bombings in the capital every day. I could provide links for the previous assertion, but I think it's fair to say that I could have written that sentence every day for the past month and been able to back it up with a fresh story or two.

How much worse do these people think it could get? It's spiralling out of control now that we are there and we're powerless to stop it. Shiites with a bent towards institutionalized Sharia are already in control of the government. No one is safe and no American security measures thus far seem to have really made any improvement. Rep. Murtha was right, Bush has already lost this war. Our only choice at this point concerns how many more Americans will die in it and how many more Iraqis will die at American hands.

But the fun doesn't stop there. In a piece entitled, Scrambled Eggs: The Politics of Stem Cells, the IBD brain trust takes on matters scientific. Would they like some hash with those eggs?

... About the same time actor Michael J. Fox, former star of the appropriately named sitcom "Spin City," was appearing in ads claiming Republican candidates were against "life-saving" stem cell research, British scientists announced a breakthrough in stem cell technology. They grew the world's first artificial human liver in a lab using stem cells obtained from umbilical cord blood.

Remember, you read it here first. In fact, this might be the only place you've read it, given the mainstream media blackout of any successes resulting from the nonembryonic stem cell research that losing GOP candidates Michael Steele in Maryland and Jim Talent in Missouri, both targets of the Fox ads, supported enthusiastically. ...

It gets worse from there and, as they say ... the stupid, it burns. First, the experts:

Pharyngula refutes the claim that adult stem cell therapies are in wide use or that there isn't enough material for embryonic stem cell research. Darksyde's stem cell primer goes into the dishonesty of attacking embryonic stem cell research without making the same charges about IVF. Afarensis posts the Missouri Amendment, Ed Brayton notes that the lying starts with Karl Rove, Chris Mooney and friends take on the implication that all stem cell research is equivalent and that therefore one type should be abandoned for another.

Further, the breakthrough they speak of was novel but hasn't been formally published yet and after many false starts, it's unsurprising to see mainstream media outlets refusing to blare out front page headlines over research that hasn't passed the peer review process or been proven to be significant. It's also cool that they managed to make umbilical stem cells form a small mass of liver-like cells, but this is a long way from being either therapeutically useful or resembling an actual liver. Additionally, the initial research in turning stem cells from cord blood into liver cells was reported over a year ago, which would seem to indicate that this new experiment isn't one of the first-of-kind stories that tend normally to captivate the limited attention of the media for science news. Arguing malice from such an 'omission' seems to spring purely from the author's belief that there must be such an attitude towards non-embryonic stem cell research, a stance for which there is no evidence among even the scientific community.

More resources at this brief Bio Blog post on stem cell research institutions and a debunking of common stem cell myths courtesy of Mother Jones.

I sure hope the people who write this junk aren't the same people making IBD's investment analyses, just saying.

Posted by natasha at November 12, 2006 12:35 PM | Media | Technorati links |

IBD seems to have missed the part where GWB & Republicans have busily gutted the Constitution, BOR, and geeze, The Magna Carta which would seem to be promoting tyrrany that affects US security and around 300,000,000 people. But then, we'll sleep better - I guess.

I don't suppose this would be a good time to mention previous efforts to gut the 2nd A of BOR? Certain kinds of behavior make archaic ideas like an armed populous look more reasonable.

Posted by: Chuck Butcher at November 12, 2006 08:06 PM

I think we can safely say that the list of things they've missed is quite long, indeed. Never underestimate the power of stupidity, as they say.

Posted by: natasha at November 12, 2006 11:21 PM