July 3, 2005

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

I finally understand now how to understand what President Bush (fils) is saying. Whenever he says "X," the truth really is "anti-X." It's so simple! (Of course, I've been coming to this conclusion for a long time. ;) )

For example: "Kyoto would have wrecked our economy." Right? Wrong!

"Newly released data show that Portland, America's environmental laboratory, has achieved stunning reductions in carbon emissions. It has reduced emissions below the levels of 1990, the benchmark for the Kyoto accord, while booming economically.

"What's more, officials in Portland insist that the campaign to cut carbon emissions has entailed no significant economic price, and on the contrary has brought the city huge benefits: less tax money spent on energy, more convenient transportation, a greener city, and expertise in energy efficiency that is helping local businesses win contracts worldwide.

"'People have looked at it the wrong way, as a drain,' said Mayor Tom Potter, who himself drives a Prius hybrid. 'Actually it's something that attracts people. ... It's economical; it makes sense in dollars.'


"'Portland's efforts refute the thesis that you can't make progress without huge economic harm,' says Erik Sten, a city commissioner. 'It actually goes all the other way - to the extent Portland has been successful, the things that we were doing that happened to reduce emissions were the things that made our city livable and hence desirable.'"

Source: Nicholas Kristof's A Livable Shade of Green

Another example:

"The president pledged to 'prevent Al Qaeda and other foreign terrorists from turning Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taliban' a full week after Newsweek and The New York Times reported on a new C.I.A. assessment that the war may be turning Iraq into an even more effective magnet and training ground for Islamic militants than Afghanistan was for Al Qaeda in the 1980's and 90's.


"The president has no one to blame but himself. The color-coded terror alerts, the repeated John Ashcroft press conferences announcing imminent Armageddon during election season, the endless exploitation of 9/11 have all taken their numbing toll. Fear itself is the emotional card Mr. Bush chose to overplay, and when he plays it now, he is the boy who cried wolf. That's why a film director engaging in utter fantasy can arouse more anxiety about a possible attack on America than our actual commander in chief hitting us with the supposed truth."

Source: Frank Rich's The Two Wars of the Worlds

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