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Environmentalist Laments Introduction of Electricity
CNSNEWS.com ^ | 8/26/02 | Marc Morano

Posted on 08/26/2002 5:02:28 AM PDT by kattracks

(CNSNews.com) - "There is a lot of quality to be had in poverty," and the introduction of electricity is "destroying" the cultures of the world's poor, according to a U.S. environmentalist, who commented on the eve of the United Nations Earth Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

But a pioneer of the environmental movement who left it because he viewed it as too radical, called the anti-electricity views an example of the "eco-imperialism" of the white upper-middle class who think it's "neat to have Africans with no electricity."

Gar Smith, editor of the Earth Island Institute's online magazine The Edge, spoke about what he considers the virtues of poverty during an interview with CNSNews.com.

Earth Island Institute, the San Francisco-based environmental group, once popular with millions of school children for its efforts to save Keiko, the killer whale that starred in the movie Free Willy, sent representatives to this week's Earth Summit.

"The idea that people are poor doesn't mean that they are not living good lives," Smith said.

Smith called the developing world's poverty "relative" and explained "you can't really have poverty unless you have wealthy people on the scene."

Smith decried the introduction of electricity to the poor residents of the developing world.

"I don't think a lot of electricity is a good thing. It is the fuel that powers a lot of multi-national imagery," Smith said.

According to Smith, electricity can wreak havoc on cultures. "I have seen villages in Africa that had vibrant culture and great communities that were disrupted and destroyed by the introduction of electricity," he said.

With the introduction of electricity, the African villagers spent too much time watching television and listening to the radio, allowing their more primitive traditional ways to fade away, according to Smith.

Smith lamented that "people who used to spend their days and evenings in the streets playing music on their own instruments and sewing clothing for their neighbors on foot peddle powered sewing machines" lost their culture with the advent of electricity.

"If there is going to be electricity, I would like it to be decentralized, small, solar-powered," Smith said.

Smith challenged Americans to give up their own modern conveniences.

"The real question is what personal conveniences and self indulgences are you willing to give up in order to stop destroying the planet?" he asked rhetorically.

The U.S. is not a model for the rest of the world to follow because "the level at which Americans consume is unsustainable," according to Smith. He projected that if the rest of the world consumed at rates similar to the U.S., the environmental degradation would require "three extra planets to exploit."

He called the notion that the U.S. needs to export the "American way" of life nothing more than "myth making" and revealed that many of his friends have already voluntarily given up automobiles in favor of bicycles and mass transit.

Smith used the collapse of communism in the former Soviet Union as an example of how to solve ecological problems.

"There is a solution to climate change and pollution. We saw it happen to Russia when their economy collapsed. Their industrial plants closed down, the skies got clear. Their air is a lot cleaner now," Smith said.
'Eco-Imperialism at its Worst'

Patrick Moore, head of the environmental advocacy group Greenspirit, and a former founding member of Greenpeace, called Smith's views "eco-imperialism at its worst."

Moore left Greenpeace in the 1980s after becoming disillusioned with what he considered the group's radical approach to environmental concerns.

"It's that kind of arrogance that is coming from a movement that is basically white upper-middle class and is saying that it's neat to have Africans with no electricity," Moore told CNSNews.com.

"It is the same tendency that has caused Europeans to conquer the whole planet in the first place," explained Moore.

Moore said Smith's views represent a "naive vision of returning to some kind of Garden of Eden, which was actually not that great because the average life span was 35."

"What a terrible thing to say. It's just so obviously stupid -- this romanticization of poverty, where people can't afford to fix their teeth, can't afford decent nutrition, can't afford proper health care, can't afford education," stated Moore.

"What does he think -- that some illiterate with her teeth falling out in the mountains is a good thing?" asked Moore.

The dire poverty that exists in the developing countries, especially in Africa and Latin America are a "kind of poverty that no one would wish on anyone," according to Moore.

But Moore said many of the poverty stricken residents of the developing world do seem optimistic despite their conditions.

"It is amazing that hope springs eternal and people with their teeth falling out who are dying of malnutrition, still laugh during the day. But that doesn't mean it's good," Moore said.

Moore now views the environmental movement as having lost its original mission of ecological protection and is now occupied with encouraging class envy and anti-capitalist rhetoric.

"The environmentalists try to inject guilt into people for consuming, as if consuming by itself causes destruction to the environment. There is no truth to that. You have the wealthiest countries on earth with the best looked after environment" he explained.

Poverty, not wealth, is one of the biggest threats to the Earth's ecological health, according to Moore. "Look at the environmental destruction caused by poverty. They have no money left to reforest, they have no money left to prevent soil erosion, there is no money to clean their water after they make it dirty," he said.

Moore does not have much regard for the environmentalists attending the Earth Summit.

"They are mainly political activists with not very much actual science background who are using the rhetoric of environmentalism to push agendas that are more political than they are ecological," Moore said.

See Related Stories:
Earth Summit: 'Historic Milestone' or 'Big Circus'? (Aug. 23, 2002)
Environmentalists Link West Nile Virus to Global Warming (Aug. 19, 2002)


E-mail a news tip to Marc Morano.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.


 

 



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ecoshateafricans; ecoterrorism; enviroaareracist; enviroshatehumans; garsmitheconazi; globalwarminghoax; greenpeace; greenspirit; noddtkills; noelectricitykills; patrickmoore; racistenvirals; ruralcleansing; stopecoterrorism
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1 posted on 08/26/2002 5:02:28 AM PDT by kattracks
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To: kattracks
But a pioneer of the environmental movement who left it because he viewed it as too radical, called the anti-electricity views an example of the "eco-imperialism" of the white upper-middle class who think it's "neat to have Africans with no electricity."

And they wonder why Bush did not attend their little racist KKK gathering?

2 posted on 08/26/2002 5:12:04 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: kattracks
One more example of just how perverse the thought processes of the "environmentalist" left are. (As if anyone needed another example)
3 posted on 08/26/2002 5:12:57 AM PDT by from occupied ga
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To: kattracks
"I have seen villages in Africa that had vibrant culture and great communities ...

I am laughing out loud as I read this...

4 posted on 08/26/2002 5:19:15 AM PDT by martin gibson
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To: kattracks
"I have seen villages in Africa that had vibrant culture and great communities ...

I am laughing out loud as I read this...

I am laughing out loud as I close out my tags, too.

5 posted on 08/26/2002 5:20:08 AM PDT by martin gibson
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To: kattracks; Grampa Dave
Memo to Gar Smith:
Keep talking. Spout off on CNN and Fox News.

PLEASE!!!!
6 posted on 08/26/2002 5:21:49 AM PDT by hchutch
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To: kattracks
According to Smith, electricity can wreak havoc on cultures. "I have seen villages in Africa that had vibrant culture and great communities that were disrupted and destroyed by the introduction of electricity," he said.

I guess he is saying that they should go back to eating grubs and tubers while living in huts made from cattle dung.

With the introduction of electricity, the African villagers spent too much time watching television and listening to the radio, allowing their more primitive traditional ways to fade away, according to Smith.

I thought that was called ADVANCEMENT.  

Smith lamented that "people who used to spend their days and evenings in the streets playing music on their own instruments and sewing clothing for their neighbors on foot peddle powered sewing machines" lost their culture with the advent of electricity.

With all of that said, Smith returned to his air conditioned hotel room, turned on the television and started to read some old National Geographic magazines showing naked villagers somewhere in deepest Africa.

7 posted on 08/26/2002 5:23:16 AM PDT by DH
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To: kattracks
Have these guys ever been correct about any of their predictions?

If you follow their logic, the world would be almost perfect if there were less people, and it would be perfect with no people (except them).

8 posted on 08/26/2002 5:25:42 AM PDT by CIB-173RDABN
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To: CIB-173RDABN
This guy needs his head examined.
9 posted on 08/26/2002 5:29:52 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: kattracks
This idiot can't even identify what he considers to be a culture killer.

Hey dumbass it was TV & radio if anything, NOT electricity. Remember genius, you can use electricity for all kinds of good things besides TV & radio.

Yeah, why don't you describe some of those wonderful PRIMITIVE cultures that you have personally seen 'destroyed'. You ain't old enough to begin with punk, so nothing you say has any credibility.

For the record the preceding rant was directed at this Smith character.

10 posted on 08/26/2002 5:35:37 AM PDT by Looking4Truth
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
This guy needs his head examined.

You are assuming of course that he HAS a head, no? It is apparent to me that it is planted firmly up his posterior.

11 posted on 08/26/2002 5:36:33 AM PDT by el_texicano
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To: kattracks
Every environmentalist is a socialist thug.
12 posted on 08/26/2002 5:44:36 AM PDT by moyden
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To: kattracks; hchutch; madfly; BOBTHENAILER
Enviro Nazis like Gar Smith are racist elitists, who hate humans, who are not the elite and often lilly white enviralists. They work 24/7 to destroy the human life they detest on this planet.

First, they ban DDT. As a result the daily human devastation in the third world is equal to about 5-6 huge jumbo jets crashing and killing everyone on board each day. That was/is nothing but pure racism.

They try to limit and stop the production of food in the US and other food exporters to starve the people who have to import food to feed their families and babie. How many people are starving to death today due to these Criminally Insane Eco Nazis?

They have pushed unlimited and government financed abortion to kill innocent babies before they are born. The death toll here has exceeded the total death tolls of the Commies when they devasted their own countrymen. The death toll from millions of aborted innocent babies is looked upon as a good thing for the enviroment by the sheeple of the world.

Now they want to ban electricity to third world countries. Next they will be banning modern medicine.

The Eco Nazis like Gar Smith, hate all humans but the few eco nazi elites like themselves. Their racism and hatred of others makes the original Nazis seem like pikers.
13 posted on 08/26/2002 5:49:58 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: kattracks
you can't really have poverty unless you have wealthy people on the scene

Yeah, poor people don't suffer from a low standard of living unless there are rich people around to show them what they can achieve if the socialists don't keep them down.

Just one more example of Rush's theory that liberalism seeks to "spread the misery equally" instead of trying to raise the standard of living for everyone.

14 posted on 08/26/2002 5:53:07 AM PDT by MrB
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To: MrB
you can't really have poverty unless you have wealthy people on the scene

Ignorance is Bliss

15 posted on 08/26/2002 5:57:08 AM PDT by kaboom
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To: kattracks
"The real question is what personal conveniences and self indulgences are you willing to give up in order to stop destroying the planet?" he asked rhetorically.

I'll look for this guy to give up all of his clothes(except those that he makes himself from reeds and other, non-animal products) and go live in a mud hut that he built with his own hands. He can grow his own food, and swear off all medical care, electricity, sanitary water, and climate control - other than fires, built and maintained without matches.

As soon as he does all this, I'll give up my SUV. But not until then.

Sheesh. Environmentalism is wonderful for everyone but the environmentalists.

16 posted on 08/26/2002 6:16:08 AM PDT by wbill
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To: kattracks
""I have seen villages in Africa that had vibrant culture and great communities that were disrupted and destroyed by the introduction of electricity," he said."

Culture? Right! What culture?

I want to see this commie give up his western life style to go into the bush and chuck spears for a living. The brown and black leaders around the world have declared war on the white race. It is an economic war and they depend upon liberal white guilt to support their stupid positions.

The biggest problem is too few Alan Keyes and way too many Jessie Jackasses.

Notice to the brown and black leadership: there are not enough smart, productive, motivated, people in the world to pull you lazy bastards along if you are all going to sit on your butts in the cart.

17 posted on 08/26/2002 6:17:58 AM PDT by Wurlitzer
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To: kattracks
"Smith challenged Americans to give up their own modern conveniences."

I challenge Smith to set an example by doing so first.

For example, he should give up jet aircraft transport, which might prevent him from flying to remote locales to utter stupidities.

Electricity, too; and the television and radio he hates. PA systems, modern printing presses, communications satellites, modern medical technology, etc.

In fact, he should move into the village of one of the primitive tribes still unspoiled and immerse himself in the "quality" life.

--Boris

18 posted on 08/26/2002 6:52:48 AM PDT by boris
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To: kattracks
Bjorn Lomborg's article at NY Times
19 posted on 08/26/2002 6:56:34 AM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: martin gibson
The old "noble savage" thing.
20 posted on 08/26/2002 7:02:42 AM PDT by Conservative til I die
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To: kattracks
"The idea that people are poor doesn't mean that they are not living good lives," Smith said.
Smith called the developing world's poverty "relative" and explained "you can't really have poverty unless you have wealthy people on the scene."
Smith decried the introduction of electricity to the poor residents of the developing world.
"I don't think a lot of electricity is a good thing. It is the fuel that powers a lot of multi-national imagery," Smith said.

Holy crap. I'm having an Atlas Shrugged moment:

"The importance of industry to a civilization has been grossly overemphasized," said Dr. Ferris dreamily. "What is now known as the People's State of India has existed for centuries without any industrial development whatever."

"People could do with fewer material gadgets and a sterner discipline of privations," said Eugene Lawson eagerly. "It would be good for them."

...She saw what they wanted and to what goal their "instincts", which they called unaccountable, were leading them. She saw that Eugene Lawson, the humanitarian, took pleasure at the prospect of human starvation--and Dr. Ferris, the scientist, was dreaming of the day when men would return to the hand-plow.

21 posted on 08/26/2002 7:14:31 AM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: kattracks
Wonder how he got to the conference? Walked, perhaps?

Here's a case when I wish we had a real time machine; I'd like to send this nutcase back to, say, 15th-century France, and make him a peasant. He'd love it!
22 posted on 08/26/2002 7:21:57 AM PDT by OldPossum
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To: All
(Link to the exciting and upcoming Freeper Bulletin Board to get the truth out re the Watermelon Green Jihadists)

This is a unique way that Freepers will be fighting the half truths an outright insane lies of the Green Jihadists in Oregon. If you want to see how the truth will get out, please go to this thread. If you want to contribute, let Ebuck know. We will soon have a group formed to help collect money to keep this ground breaking bulletin board up until at least past the elections.

23 posted on 08/26/2002 7:46:09 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: Free the USA; Libertarianize the GOP; Stand Watch Listen; freefly; expose; Fish out of Water; ...
ping
24 posted on 08/26/2002 7:57:14 AM PDT by madfly
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To: kattracks

"The real question is what personal conveniences and self indulgences are you willing to give up in order to stop destroying the planet?" he asked rhetorically.

I pledge to stop selling any and all goods and services to unscientific/irrational environmentalists. Let them go live among nature void of man's intervention as many peasants did during the Dark Ages. They must remember to not start any fires. Thus, if they want a hot meal they'll have to wait for lightning to start a forest fire.

25 posted on 08/26/2002 9:15:45 AM PDT by Zon
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To: Always Right
I think you missed the context of Moore's comment. He is on the opposite side of the moron who wants to deprive the Africans of electricity.

Moore's a "reformed" environmentalist. No longer a radical.

26 posted on 08/26/2002 9:21:58 AM PDT by hattend
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To: Grampa Dave
Well said Gramps, well said! BTTT
27 posted on 08/26/2002 9:25:39 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Black Agnes
Thanks, these racist enviralists sound worse than the old KKKers in their stands about how good the slaves had it before they were freed.

If a white or black conservative got up and said that the Introduction of Electricity was bad for the third world people, hell would break out for years in the left wing media.
28 posted on 08/26/2002 9:29:34 AM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: kattracks
The Onion could parody this, but they wouldn't need to change a word.
29 posted on 08/26/2002 9:32:24 AM PDT by RightWhale
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
This guy needs his head examined.

By a proctologist.

30 posted on 08/26/2002 9:34:11 AM PDT by N. Theknow
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To: madfly
Jeepers! Thanks for the heads up!
31 posted on 08/26/2002 9:38:01 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: kattracks
Those friends mentioned in the article, who have given up their automobiles for, walking, biking or riding their brooms, probably had no choice-it's hard to keep a drivers license while following a diet of psychedelic mushrooms.
32 posted on 08/26/2002 9:52:11 AM PDT by F.J. Mitchell
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To: hellinahandcart
Holy crap. I'm having an Atlas Shrugged moment.

So it wasn't just me?. Thanks for the quotes- I had the same experience while reading this tripe. It does make you wonder, though: maybe this creep just wants an excuse for not having to take a shower once in a while. These enviro-weenies all appear to avoid work, responsibility, and soap at all costs.

33 posted on 08/26/2002 9:53:00 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh
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According to Smith, electricity can wreak havoc on cultures. "I have seen villages in Africa that had vibrant culture and great communities that were disrupted and destroyed by the introduction of electricity," he said.

These people are no more than zoo exhibits to him. He doesn't seem to care that maybe the PEOPLE he's talking about might rather NOT have to work themselves to death putting food in their mouths, roofs over their heads and clothing on their backs. Without electricity, the above three goals require every moment of one's brief and miserable life to accomplish.

34 posted on 08/26/2002 9:53:59 AM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: Lit-O-Lady
ping
35 posted on 08/26/2002 9:56:19 AM PDT by Free Vulcan
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To: kattracks
"Gar Smith, editor of the Earth Island Institute's online magazine The Edge, spoke about what he considers the virtues of poverty during an interview with CNSNews.com."

When hearing and seeing people like this, I think there's sometimes a need for abortion, afterall...... : )

36 posted on 08/26/2002 10:03:45 AM PDT by jmax
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To: kattracks
Poverty is not relative. Death by parasites, infections, and in childbirth isn't merely a point of view. Anyone who thinks that is a happy lifestyle should volunteer to trade - he or she'd find plenty of takers.
37 posted on 08/26/2002 10:05:06 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: hellinahandcart
Ayn had a sure eye for villains. She captured these socialist archetypes in their own intellectual amber.

Her chief fault was her over-optimistic view of big business people. In my experience, they are as eager as liberals for government handouts.

These enviral pukes are merely useful idiots. Follow the money to the real power. ;^)
38 posted on 08/26/2002 10:29:36 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: kattracks
"There is a lot of quality to be had in poverty"

The creedo of the Demorat party as long as you vote for them.
39 posted on 08/26/2002 10:49:51 AM PDT by Nuke'm Glowing
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To: kattracks
"There is a lot of quality to be had in poverty"

The creedo of the Demorat party as long as you vote for them.
40 posted on 08/26/2002 10:50:29 AM PDT by Nuke'm Glowing
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To: kattracks
This man does not need electricity?

This gentleman was attacked by chimpanzees when he was very young

What a great culture that needs to be preserved indeed.

41 posted on 08/26/2002 11:23:47 AM PDT by lavaroise
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To: Nuke'm Glowing
Quality in poverty? I'd like to see quality with poor dems bashed up by chimps like the guy above. (Bunch of sick Fisk wannabes insulting the intelligence of people(hint:only dems can read and be rich and have electricity))
42 posted on 08/26/2002 11:25:34 AM PDT by lavaroise
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To: Always Right
That does it!! I'm going to unplug my computer and tell my boss I've given up electricity.
43 posted on 08/26/2002 11:28:22 AM PDT by jjm2111
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To: lavaroise
He's probably a speech writer for Comissar Daschle already.
44 posted on 08/26/2002 11:50:52 AM PDT by Nuke'm Glowing
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To: kattracks
Earth Island Institute, the San Francisco-based environmental group, once popular with millions of school children for its efforts to save Keiko, the killer whale that starred in the movie Free Willy, sent representatives to this week's Earth Summit.

Did they walk, canoe, or ride horses to the summit?

45 posted on 08/26/2002 12:08:21 PM PDT by operation clinton cleanup
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To: Always Right
Once you realize that this type of leftism--condoms instead of abstinence for AIDS in Africa, banning of DDT, implacable support for abortion--is concerned only with killing as many people as possible in the shortest possible time do you begin to understand where this guy is coming from.

Leftism is about power. Killing people is what leftism is about, because killing someone without any consequences is the ultimate expression of power.

46 posted on 08/26/2002 1:59:57 PM PDT by HumanaeVitae
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To: Grampa Dave
They Love humanity but Hate mankind.
47 posted on 08/26/2002 2:10:59 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: HumanaeVitae; Eric in the Ozarks
HV posted this very scary and very truthful statement about these leftists:

Leftism is about power. Killing people is what leftism is about, because killing someone without any consequences is the ultimate expression of power.

48 posted on 08/26/2002 2:31:47 PM PDT by Grampa Dave
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To: Eric in the Ozarks; HumanaeVitae; operation clinton cleanup; Nuke'm Glowing; jjm2111; lavaroise; ...
The whole environmentalism movement is an assault on the United States from the International Left.

Scientist blames failure of monsoon on US warplanes

Radical Environmentalists Cut Army Down To Size


49 posted on 08/26/2002 2:33:43 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe
BUMP
50 posted on 08/26/2002 2:40:33 PM PDT by Publius6961
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