Sometimes even I get tired of politics, so my wife and I went to a mall for lunch. I was successful in having lunch, but unsuccessful in avoiding politics.
First I paid a visit to the men’s room. The mall is in upscale Century City, a liberal enclave in already liberal Los Angeles. The mall is “environmentally friendly.” That’s where the trouble started.
The mall installed new sinks with electronically controlled faucets and soap dispensers. The idea is to reduce water use by shutting off the faucets automatically. But at least one-fourth of the faucets and soap dispensers don’t work. How’s that for conservation?
Then I tried to dry my hands. The paper towels were replaced with hot-air blowers. They featured narrow slots into which one inserts his hands, and the hot air then blows for a few seconds. This left my hands still wet, so I tried to reinsert them, but the machine insisted on a waiting period to prevent reuse. I had to insert my hands in a second machine.
The slot is so narrow that I couldn’t avoid touching the edges. They had been touched by the hands of prior users − which I hope weren’t carrying intestinal parasites or other contents of their bowels. I resolved to stuff my pocket with paper napkins and use them to dry my hands in the future.
So there you have a “green” restroom: a quarter of the faucets and soap dispensers unusable, and unhygienic hand-driers. And all these use electricity − in the case of the hand driers, a great deal of electricity. How is this “green”? It seems much more wasteful than a conventional bathroom.
But it does provide “green” jobs. People are employed making ineffective, needlessly complex, electricity-consuming devices that nobody wants. I wonder whether those employees are in America or China, though I am probably happier not knowing. This restroom is an example of the “green” world we will be forced to inhabit. Perhaps “green” refers not to how the environment will benefit, but to how much money will go into some people’s pockets.
Some time ago, a storm caused a power failure at the Minneapolis Airport. About 500 people were stranded overnight. But the restrooms were “green,” so neither the water faucets nor the toilets worked. Some “green” toilets and faucets will work if you hit them, and some have a manual bypass button, but others don’t. Here we cross the line from useless to potentially dangerous.
After my detour into “greenness,” I rejoined my wife for lunch. We sat at a long table, at the other end of which was an older man and a younger couple. I tried to engage my wife in conversation, but their discussion was so loud that I finally gave up and listened.
The conversation involved the notion that opposition to President Obama’s policies is based on racism. All three agreed that this is obviously true. None recognized that this might be a projection of their own subconscious racism.
None of the three recalled that just as conservatives oppose ObamaCare, we also opposed HillaryCare, and she is white. They deny the obvious − that many people fear an oppressive and incompetent government making life-and-death decisions for them and their loved ones.
Of course, if conservatives oppose something Obama does, it’s because of racism; and if we oppose something Hillary does, it’s because we are anti-woman. But if liberals oppose Dr. Ben Carson, it’s not racism; and if they oppose Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, it’s not because they are anti-Latino; and if they shamelessly ridicule Sarah Palin, it’s not because of misogyny – it’s merely because they disagree. How convenient. But how utterly lacking in self-awareness.
The older man declared that those, like him, on Medicare should be the first to cheer for ObamaCare. He appeared not to have heard that Obama plans to pay for his plan, in part, by eliminating $500 million in “waste, fraud, and abuse” from Medicare. If there really is that much “waste, fraud, and abuse,” why hasn’t Obama already eliminated it?
But do the “waste, fraud, and abuse” include expensive medicines or operations for anyone over 65 or 70? Might that include medicines the elderly man is taking to keep him active − or even alive? That thought hadn’t occurred to him.
No doubt our three table-mates would applaud Obama, as did the menagerie of world leaders at the U.N., when our president condemned Israel for building apartments in “occupied territory.” But there was no condemnation of Arabs for launching rockets into Israel. As residents of the American Southwest, our three table-mates know something about homes built in “occupied territory” − they live in such homes. In fact, there is hardly a nation that does not include land captured from others. But somehow, what is permissible for other nations is forbidden to Israel.
The three appeared to be competing with one another to see who could express the most liberal slogans in the shortest time. Regrettably, this is a frequent occurrence at lunch and dinner tables in liberal areas. There seems to be anxiety to assure those present that the speaker is one of them, with all the “correct” beliefs. This is the first step on the long, sad road to thought control, a necessary tool of totalitarianism.
Conservatives cannot escape exposure to liberal views. The overwhelmingly liberal media immerse conservatives in a sea of liberal opinions, so we sharpen our own arguments.
Liberals, on the contrary, can go all week without reading or hearing one conservative commentator. They can go all week without eating lunch, much less dinner, with a conservative. They read the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and most papers in between. They watch ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN, and listen to National Public Radio. So to them, conservative ideas seem strange, even threatening. Surely, they believe, people who hold such bizarre ideas must be racists or lunatics, or both.
As a result, some liberals develop a fear of not appearing liberal enough. They fear rejection by their family, friends, and co-workers. So they teach schoolchildren to praise Obama. The object is enforced conformity. Why has this become a “liberal” value?
Perhaps the saddest example was the Soviet Union, where delegates to Communist Party congresses stood and clapped during speeches by Stalin − and clapped, and clapped − and no one dared to be the first to stop clapping and sit down. So they clapped endlessly, till their hands were raw. And the dictator just stood on the podium and enjoyed the adulation − and the fear.
Have a half-century of Democratic city government and liberal policies left inner cities poorer and more crime-ridden? Has “liberalism” come to mean a powerful central government with control over more and more aspects of daily life? Are many “green” programs both ineffective and expensive? Has “environmentalism” come to mean a powerful central government with control over more and more aspects of daily life?
No matter. Adherents believe that liberalism and environmentalism are intrinsically good, regardless of the actual results they produce.
As we left the mall, I realized that besides lunch, I had an educational experience. I learned that “green” programs are likely to be “green” only in what they cost, not in what they produce. And I learned that liberalism and environmentalism are pseudo-religions that do not tolerate dissent, and that encourage adherents to express increasingly extreme views in order to prove their devotion and zeal.
I felt the need to wash my hands of the whole affair. But that would have required another visit to the “green” restroom, so I refrained.
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