WikiLeaks Threatens Its Own Leakers With $20 Million Penalty

Huh?

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange now makes his associates sign a draconian nondisclosure agreement that, among other things, asserts that the organization’s huge trove of leaked material is “solely the property of WikiLeaks,” according to a report Wednesday.

“You accept and agree that the information disclosed, or to be disclosed to you pursuant to this agreement is, by its nature, valuable proprietary commercial information,” the agreement reads, “the misuse or unauthorized disclosure of which would be likely to cause us considerable damage.”

But its okay for him to leak other people’s secrets.

My Environmentalist Wacko Class

I generally take a rather dim view of the environmentalist movement. This was not always the case. Long, long ago, when I was very young, I actually considered myself an environmentalist. I followed the environmental party line and wanted to save the planet. I worried about overpopulation, pollution, extinctions, and everything else. If global warming had been in fashion back then, I would have worried about that too.

Two things changed my mind. The first was the simple fact that none of the doom and gloom predictions ever happened. As I grew up, I couldn’t help but notice that we were not all starving to death because of overpopulation. The air and water were getting cleaner, not filthier. There has not been a new ice age, or catastrophic flooding caused by global warming. The empirical evidence seems to disprove Green alarmism.

The second thing that turned me against the environmentalists was the knowledge and insights I gained of their methods and motives when I took an environmental studies class in my senior year at Indiana University. The class was actually called something like “Sustainable Living”. I wasn’t sure what that meant. I thought, vaguely, that it might have something to do with recycling. I was wrong.

“Sustainable Living” was, in fact, a sort of seminar on the subject of “Bioregionalism“. Bioregionalism, in the likely event you have never heard of it, is the idea that everyone should live in small, self-sufficient, semi-tribal communities; that conform to ecological boundaries, and using only appropriate, non-industrial technology.  In effect, Bioregionalism would require a return to the customs and technology of the Neolithic.

Now, the problem with this idea is that most people have not shown much enthusiasm for turning the clock back. They would rather live in AD 2000 than in 10,000 BC. But, then, the people in the “Sustainable Living” class did not intend to ask people what they wanted. More than once, the topic of a day’s class was on how the bioregional way of life could be imposed on the world.

The consensus was that, barring a complete societal collapse, which they rather hoped for, a complete bioregional society, would not be possible within the lifetime of this generation. Nevertheless, some intermediate steps could be taken to prepare the way.

A drastic reduction in population would be essential for a more ecologically sound world. No one was quite willing to come out in favor of mass murder, but it was generally agreed that the fewer people in the world, the better. Therefore, the number of children people should have should be limited. The impact each person has on the earth should be lessened so there should be restrictions on the appliances people could own. Public transportation was preferable to private automobiles, less pollution and all. Meat eating was not only cruel but also wasteful, so everyone would have to be vegans. Travelling about harms the earth, so most people would have to learn to be content to stay in one place.

None of the above actually applied to the Bioregional thinkers and an author of the books and articles on the class’s reading lit. They had no problem living affluent lives themselves and jetting around the world to promoting their theories.

Sitting in a classroom full of Pol Pot wannabes was an illuminating and rather disturbing experience. It left a sour taste in my mouth that has lasted to this day. I have never liked or trusted the Greens ever since and nothing I have read or seen has changed my conclusion that the extreme environmental movement and ideology are profoundly anti-American, anti-capitalist, anti-technology, and ultimately anti-human.

Frank J. Fleming Gets It

Frank J. Fleming writes political humor at his blog IMAO. He’s really good at it. His piece in Pajamas Media “The Idle Rich vs. the Working Rich” is funny but is also profoundly true in ways that are not usually spoken of. What I mean is that he has mentioned the obvious, but somehow little noted fact that there are not really any poor people in contemporary America, only degrees of the wealthy.

Let’s get one thing straight: We label people in the U.S. as poor, middle class, and rich, but that is all utter bull. I mean, look at what we call poor in this country. Poor people have cars, cell phones, TV with hundreds of channels, the internet, electricity, running water — these are riches even the wealthiest of a hundred years or so ago couldn’t even dream of having. And look at our poor compared to actual poor people in other countries — not poor in the sense that they have to buy store brand soda but poor in that they could easily starve to death in the streets.

When you look at other countries and the history of the world in general, we are all just amazingly, unbelievably wealthy in this country. We have technology and opportunities that are insane; we can’t even comprehend how well off we are compared to people who used to have to live in huts and fight for every meal. When you look at it objectively, every one of us in this country is a billionaire. And what did we do to earn all this incredible wealth? For most of us, the answer is: absolutely nothing. We were just born with it. So we take it for granted. And we demand even more.

I actually figured this out some years ago when I happened to be reading a newspaper story on the wretched poor of  the eastern mountains of Kentucky. I stopped reading when I came across a description of the awful trailer someone was living in, that included a satellite dish. I didn’t have satellite television. I did not consider myself to be particularly poor, and it occurred to me that these people couldn’t be considered poor in any reasonable sense of the term if they could afford to have a satellite dish.

But Frank Fleming gets better when he discusses the reasons for this amazing wealth.

There is another type of rich person, though — the working rich. The people who create. These are the people who made all the benefits we enjoy in society today. Thanks to their creativity and initiative, we have all the technological marvels we enjoy today. Because of their hard work, we have all these companies that give us cushy 9-to-5 jobs where we earn sums of money most of the world couldn’t even imagine possessing. And are we thankful? Do we say, “Thank you, rich people, for making all these things so we can benefit from them. I can’t even believe how simple and easy my life is because of you”? No, we demand more from them, because we’re the idle rich, and we think the working rich owe us everything.

He’s right. I don’t mean to start sounding like Ayn Rand, but we all are incredibly ungrateful to the people who have built our society. Instead of praising them, we condemn them as being greedy and demand that they pay their “fair share”.

Frank Fleming’s solution is elegant, and I think, doable. Deport all the whiners. If you are not going to contribute and you won’t shut up and be grateful, than go elsewhere.

Dennis Prager is Wrong, for Once

Dennis Prager is usually right on target with his columns and radio show, but I happen to disagree with some things he said in his latest column,  How Leftism Poisoned a Psychiatrist’s Mind. The column concerns one Richard Klitzman, whose sister was killed on 9/11. Writing in the New York Times, Klitzman stated that although he was glad Osama bin Laden was killed, we need to understand what policies and acts we have done to cause people like Osama bin Laden to hate us so much he wanted to attack us.

Prager is rightly indignant at this attitude, comparing to asking what the Jews did to inspire the Nazis to hate them, or what Blacks did to cause whites to lynch them, and several other examples. but then Prager writes:

I suspect that Klitzman is a morally better man than his thesis suggests. But at some point, perhaps in college, he assimilated the leftist worldview with the dogmatic but meaningless phrases that appeared in his column: “underlying forces of greed and hate,” “American imperialism,” “corporate avarice” and “abuses of our power abroad.”

Most people who hold left-wing views when they are young abandon those views as they get older and wiser. But for those who never abandon leftism, the dogma is so powerful, it functions as a fundamentalist — secular — religion. Just as the Orthodox Jew, the evangelical Christian and the traditionalist Catholic views the world through his respective religion’s eyes, so the leftist views the world and everything in it through leftist eyes.

That is how a man whose profession is dedicated to the elimination of psychological pain through the study of the infinitely complex human mind and psyche can have such a simplistic and morally convoluted view of America that he uses his sister’s murder as an occasion to reflect on the evil — of America.

One more example of how leftism makes decent people do indecent things.

I don’t agree. A person is what he does and what he thinks. If Richard Klitzman’s mind is full of these sorts of thoughts, than he is not a decent person, whatever he may appear to be on the outside. On the inside he is vile.