Ivan  Parkins

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American Politics

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©Ivan W. Parkins 2008,  All articles, text, web pages property of Ivan W. Parkins.  Use of any material requires permission of the author and can be obtained by contacting info@americanpoliticalcommentary.com

About Ivan W. Parkins:

Dr. Parkins is a retired professor of Political Science from Central Michigan University.  He received his PhD from the University of Chicago and is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy.  Dr. Parkins served as a naval officer during WWII aboard the battleship Alabama.  He is a recent widower with three daughters, 3 grand children and 2 great grand children.  Dr. Parkins has written extensively, having authored 3 books and a newspaper opinion column for many years. 

Front Page

Inside This Issue

Front Page Archive 2008 Archive 2009

Page 2, Disassemble the House

Page 3, Media Bias

Page 4, Book Reviews

Page 5, War and Their Costs

Page 6, Broken Congress

Page 7, Dividing America

Page 8, Dividing America, Part two

Page 9, Disinformation, Liberal Ideology

Page 10, The Supreme Court and Judiciary

Page 11, Environmentalism

American Politics, Archives

COMMENTS

  MY ENVIRONMENTS:

1939-2008

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

   The tiny conservation organization that I helped to establish, and headed, in my pre-WWII high school caused me no grief.  We were only cooperating with an adult group to maintain game bird and fish populations in our part of Indiana.  Hungry “sportsmen” in the 1930s had decimated those populations.

   Following the war, my initiation into college teaching was different.  I came to it with some background from Professor Rex Tugwell, who had been prominent as a New Deal environmental planner.  Also, I read RESOURCES FOR THE FUTURE, the report of President Truman’s commission on that subject.  It appeared to me that beginning students, as part of an introduction to social sciences, should be made aware of how technological and industrial advances had altered, but not eliminated, man’s dependence on his environment.  That produced no complaints from students or administration.  But, in the small and informal faculty discussion group, to which I had been admitted as the junior member, better established “intellectuals” informed me that such stuff belonged in high school civics.  As the university’s leading classicist put it, “Nature leaves me cold.”

    By the time that I retreated from teaching, I was unhappy with the growing “environmentalism movement.”  It seemed to me that it was becoming, primarily, another of those avenues by which higher education was “coaching” college students, not how to be more thoughtful and responsible individuals, but how to win over and direct the larger American public.

    In nearly every matter of great public interest today the total information available is so complex and voluminous as to require severe selection before any practical use can be made of it.  That is what makes disinformation so dangerous.  And environmentalism has become a frightening channel of disinformation. I.W.Parkins 7/2008

                                 GREAT AWAKENING?

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

   Is environmentalism a third manifestation of the Great Awakening phenomenon that American historians have identified?  The first, in the eighteenth century, was mainly religious and educationally focused, a wave of enthusiasm that contributed to America’s sense of identity and desire for independence.  The second, in the nineteenth century, was religious and academic, and it contributed to the anti-slavery movement.  Now, Iain Murray contends,” . . environmentalism [has] begun to replace liberal Christianity as the Left’s motivating religious force.” He further asserts that environmentalism, in the fashion of Martin Luther, values “faith” more than good works.

 

   Murray’s book, “The Really Inconvenient Truths,” carries the subtitle “Seven Environmental Catastrophes Liberals Don’t Want You To Know About—Because They Helped Cause Them.”  The first and most gross catastrophe is the ban on DDT, with its huge, and continuing, toll of human lives, especially among Earth’s poorest people.

 

   I had not remembered that a DDT ban was enacted in Michigan the year that I moved here.  That preceded the international ban by five years.  And, Dutch elm disease is a continuing problem.

 

   Murray refers to research that shows sexually mutilated and declining fish populations suffer far more from the traces of birth-control chemicals in urban sewage than they do from industrial wastes.  Environmentalists remain much more interested in attacking industry than in the real problem.

 

   One especially interesting passage in the book describes the history of a natural wonder, identified, purchased, and preserved (with public access) for more than two centuries.  It is Natural Bridge in Virginia, and its original “warden” was Thomas Jefferson.

 

   Not only is environmentalism now highly organized, its top organizations pay their CEOs annual salaries ranging from $125,000 to $700,000.  Murray cites ten such organizations with recently reported top salaries averaging just over $200,000.

 

   Most significant of his criticisms is the contention that environmentalist work and money is focused, not directly upon protection of the environment, but indirectly, into lobbying and law suits directing governments to behave in ways that the environmentalists favor, largely towards socialism.

 

   Is environmentalism, today, a third Great Awakening, or is it a larger edition of THE BIG SLEEP—confusing, corrupt, and deadly?

 

ENVIRONMENTALISM

THE NEW RELIGION OF THE LEFT

The following series of articles have been compiled to illustrate how the left has used environmentalism through disinformation.

Part Two

PARKINS POINTS TO PONDER:

 

The First Amendment to our Constitution is not what the First Congress proposed for that spot.

 

Partisan divisions of Congress and the Presidency in the second half of the twentieth century differed extremely from those in the first half.

 

Since 1930, no Republican President has enjoyed a partisan congressional division as favorable as Clinton’s was in 1993-1994, but all other Democrat Presidents have fared better than Clinton.

 

If the average Representative were to spend 1000 hours per year meeting face-to-face with individual constituents, it would not be possible to spend 10 seconds with each constituent.

 

In just 5 weeks of 2006, Israel lost approximately twice (as a percentage of its population) as many soldiers in Lebanon as our military fatalities in five years of the “War on Terror”.

 

Just the increase of violent deaths domestically, among American youths in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, exceeded our combat fatalities in Vietnam.

 

According to the World Health Organization’s calculations of increased malaria deaths following the ban on DDT, that policy has already been more deadly than Hitler’s “final solution”.

 

The pension funds held by state and local governments, and by corporations, for their employees exceed the “National Debt”.

 

None of the above is a secret, but none is emphasized in the mass media.

 See attached link for more  information.  American Politics

ENERGY—DRILLING—CONGRESS

By Ivan W. Parkins

 

   The price of energy is a secondary problem, the real problem is how to assure an adequate supply.  And, while prices may change suddenly and substantially, due to reductions or increases of the supplies available in the world, the supply upon which we can depend will only decline until we produce more.  Finally, there is no painless and certain way to produce more and distribute it quickly.

 

   Meanwhile, and in spite of our great national wealth, we cannot afford to continue sending hundreds of billions of dollars abroad to pay for something vital to our economy that we could produce at home.  Other countries, although they may value us as customers, are not unreasonable to resent depleting their resources so that we can save ours.

 

    Conservation is necessary, and will help, but our industries have been doing more with less energy for years; it’s essential to their profitable operation.  The greatest conservation measures now available have to do with less individual travel, and at lower speeds.  But less non-essential travel carries with it an implication of reduced business for travel and tourist types of enterprise.  And, population growth is also a factor.

 

   The chief way that we can get large additional amounts of energy relatively quickly, using existing technology and infrastructure, is additional drilling for gas and oil.  For instance, the multi-billion dollar Alaska pipeline is already being underused because of bans on additional drilling.

 

   In this, as in other matters such as school vouchers and various security issues, the positions that our “liberals” take are actually reactionary.  They serve special interests  such as unions, predatory lawyers, and ideological cliques, rather than the very evident and empirical interests of the United States.  Such political factions are able to compete in our politics, mostly as Democrats, because they have dominated our public information system, academic and artistic as well as journalistic.  They do not serve the justice, tranquility, security, or economic welfare of America.

 

   The recent adjournment of Congress while critical legislation is pending points to where in our government our phony “liberals” have been especially successful.  And to why a major up-dating of our Constitution has become essential.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR, The Morning Sun, 10/11/92

 

    Much noise, but not much light, is being focused upon the American economy. 

    Slogans and epithets, such as “trickle-down economics,” are more likely to mislead than to inform voters.

     Those who ridicule “trickle-down economics” advocate that government tax the wealthy more heavily and redistribute the money to likely consumers.  That approach has now had several trials in America, plus numerous and more extreme applications abroad.

       Its chief beneficiaries have been the politicians and bureaucrats who managed the redistribution systems.

       There is evidence that American wealth is not moving rapidly enough into productive capital investments, i.e. that it is not trickling down.  But, that seems to be due largely to government interferences, e.g. punitive threats against lenders (sparked by the S & L crisis), taxes on capital gains, and excessive environmental and product liabilities.

        The above impediments to productive capital investments within the United States are the work (chiefly) of the same political elements who ridicule “trickle-down economics.”

       The slack economic conditions abroad also inhibit economic growth in America (Japan’s stock market hovers below 50 percent of its high, while ours is above 90 percent).  But a lack of confidence, and reluctance to spend the money they do have, among American consumers is probably the largest contributor to stagnation in this country.

       Opinion polls show that most Americans are more confident about their own futures than about America’s.  Why?  How many of them know anything about national economic trends other than what a few television celebrities and politicians tell them?

       The greatest trickle-down in our economic system may be an information rather than a money problem.

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