Tuesday, 20 March 2007


Ken Berwitz

You can't make this stuff up.  Read it and see for yourself:-

Edwards Claims His Mega-Mansion is Carbon Neutral

Presidential candidate promotes carbon caps for business, but carbon 'offsets' for himself. 

By Dan Gainor
The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow
Business & Media Institute
3/20/2007 12:57:22 PM

     Call it Dancing with the Stars: Global Warming Edition. Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards showed his best dance moves trying to avoid questions about how energy efficient his 28,000-square-foot mansion really is and how much the power bill costs each month.


     The March 20 edition of CNNs American Morning showed Edwards hyping global warming, promoting his energy plan that mandates carbon caps and claiming that his new mega-McMansion was actually being operated in a carbon-neutral way. He has recently declared his campaign carbon neutral.


     Edwards also avoided how he holds himself to one standard but wants to hold businesses to another. As anchor Miles OBrien put it: One of the keys to your plan is the so-called cap plan which would institute, as it suggests, caps on the amount of carbon dioxide industry can put into the environment.


     But when it comes to Edwards own life, he doesnt cap his carbon efforts, preferring instead carbon offsets. We have committed to operate this house in a carbon-neutral way, which means in addition to using energy saving devices in the house itself, to the extent that doesnt cover it, were going to purchase carbon credits on the market, said Edwards.


     Such offsets have been big news lately as even the Oscars claimed they were carbon neutral. The March 26 issue of BusinessWeek questioned the nature of such offsets and said some deals amount to little more than feel good hype.


     Former Vice President Al Gore has received criticism for his own carbon offsets, though the media have been supportive. If more people do it over time, its a good thing, said reporter Russ Mitchell during the Early Show on CBS February 22.


     During the CNN preview of his new energy plan, Edwards called for both a cap on current carbon dioxide emissions and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050, which is aggressive but achievable.


     When OBrien asked him about jobs going overseas instead of new jobs being created in the United States, Edwards danced again. Well, the reason first of all is the planet has to survive. So we have a pretty simple question to begin with. His second point merely asked How do we deal with this issue in a smart way and moved into boilerplate about creating jobs.


     OBrien asked about Edwards getting Americans to conserve more. Edwards responded with talk of conservation and then requirements. One of the things thats going to be required is for Americans to be willing to drive more fuel-efficient vehicles and to be willing to conserve and we want to help them do that.


     When OBrien asked specifically about his house, Edwards turned into a dancing king. Asked about the cost of energy for the home, Edwards tried several answers:


  • Its actually not bad. And followed that up with talk of how energy efficient the home was.
  • Im not telling you. Its actually, its actually not bad. Its about three or four hundred dollars, the last one I saw.
  • Following that claim, Edwards backed off a bit and said the power bill is several hundred dollars a month.-

For a moment, let's forget that Edwards has no qualifications to be the president of the United States (unless you consider one term in the senate as a member of the minority party without any legislative successes and an abysmal attendance record at committee hearings to be good enough, that is). 

Would you vote for anyone, even someone with a decent presidential resum, who lectures voters on the inequity of "two Americas" while he builds a home that is 10-15 times the size of a normal home and features its own pool, and basketball court, and soccer field?

Through laughing now?  Good.

I would have thought it almost impossible for Edwards to make himself even more comical than he already has, but this article proves me wrong.

A few more performances like this, and maybe Edwards can convince his former running mate John Kerry to quit politics and form a comedy act.  They could do a "botched jokes" tour.  Hey, maybe they could even get that nice John O'Neill to open for them.....


Ken Berwitz

The next time someone tells you that the anti-war left supports the troops, you might want to show him or her the pictures below, which were taken at an anti-war rally in Portland, Oregon on Sunday (thanks to www.littlegreenfootballs.com for presenting them). 

I do not claim that every leftist feels this way or condones the kind of hatred displayed here.  But plenty of them do, and don't con yourself into thinking otherwise.

Take special note of that sign in the first photograph, attacking "Israel apartheid".  When you read it, try to remember that 20% of Israel's population is palestinian Arabs who have full rights as citizens, while palestinian Arabs in the west bank and Gaza demand all Jews must leave, regardless of how they came to be on the land. 

Also, I apologize for the language you will see in the last photograph.  My only explanation is that if they weren't emblazoning it on their signs I wouldn't have it to show to you.

Leftists Supporting the Troops

Discovered by a reader at Indymedia, this was the scene yesterday in Portland, Oregon, as anti-war demonstrators burned not only a US flag, but a US soldier in effigy.

Discovered by a reader at Indymedia, this was the scene yesterday in Portland, Oregon, as anti-war demonstrators burned not only a US flag, but a US soldier in effigy.

NOTE:  The pictures may or may not be visible to you.  They were originally on the blog but, hours later, mysteriously disappeared (not my doing, I don't know what happened).  I'll try to repost them but if they aren't here please go to www.littlegreenfootballs.com and you can see them on their March 19th blog.  I highly recommend littlegreenfootballs EVERY day, by the way.  It is a wonderful site.


Ken Berwitz

The New York Times never fails to amaze me.

Here is an editorial from today's edition, titled "The Disastrous Mr. Mugabe"; one whose central theme, the situation in Zimbabwe, I agree with completely.  So what's my problem?  Please read the editorial in its entirety below and then we'll talk:

The Disastrous Mr. Mugabe

Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, has spent much of his 26-plus years in power suppressing all opposition, persecuting defenseless minorities and destroying a once-promising economy.  He has shamelessly tried to deflect all blame for the disastrous consequences - including a man-made famine and a catastrophically mishandled H.I.V./AIDS epidemic - onto international scapegoats, chiefly Britain and the United States.

Now, the 83-year old Mr. Mugabe seems to have descended into total power-madness.  He has barred opponents from leaving the country, ordered his thugs to literally crack the skulls of opposition leaders, accused his own party's youth group of plotting against him, and told Western critics to "go hang".  Last week, he threatened to run again in 2008 for another 6 year term.

With hyperinflation making its currency almost worthless, Zimbabwe is running short of basic commodities like milk, cooking oil and gasoline.  Fewer than one in four Zimbabweans have jobs, and life expectancy, nearly 60 in 1990, has plunged into the 30's. 

Will no one rescue Zimbabwe?  The United States and Europe have limited influence, and risk playing into Mr. Mugabe's racist rhetoric when they try to use it.  But President Theo Mbeki of neighboring South Africa - the region's most prestigious political leader - has enormous leverage, and he should be using it.  South Africa is Zimbabwe's main trade partner, a big investor and the source of more than 40 percent of its electricity.

Unfortunately Mr. Mbeki has done nothing, apparently out of a misplaced sense of liberation-struggle solidarity.  Zimbabwe is struggling to liberate itself from Mr. Mugabe's deadly misrule.  Its people desperately need all Zimbabweans, and the influential Mr. Mbeki, to show real-life solidarity with them- and not with their rampaging dictator.

First off, let me give the Times credit for detailing at least some of the national devastation that is Zimbabwe (but be sure to read my blog about Mugabe from over three months ago - December 10th to be exact - and see that the situation is even worse than they describe).

Now let's think about what is said here.  The Times indicates that Zimbabwe's head of state, Robert Mugabe, is an embarrassment to the human race who commits countless crimes against his people, including starvation and murder.  It also indicates that the west probably can't do much about Zimbabwe because, grotesque though it might seem, we would somehow be characterized as "racist" if we did. 

So who does "the paper of record" put the onus for reversing this horror show on?  Theo Mbeki of South Africa;  a man who, by their own admission, is almost certainly not going to do a thing about it.

Thus The New York Times is telling you in so many words that nothing can or will be done about Zimbabwe.  It is telling you that Zimbabwe is hopelessly doomed to the utter devastation of its economy, to the dismantling of its people's quality of life right down to basic existence, and to an ongoing national genocide.

Now:  how do you feel about the editorial's position on what the United Nations should do about Zimbabwe?  Did you agree or disagree with what they expected of this international organization, which exists specifically to act upon the kinds of situations the editorial so horrifically described?

Are you scurrying back to the editorial now, figuring you somehow glossed over the Times' references to the United Nations?  Are you wondering why you don't recall this part of their commentary?  Well, stop scurrying.  You didn't gloss over a thing.  The United Nations is not so much as mentioned there.

That's right. The New York Times, which has spent four years relentlessly attacking President Bush because he didn't "let the UN do its work" in Iraq, which has repeatedly assured its readers that it should be given authority over Iraq and the middle east among other places, does not so much as mention the UN when it comes to Zimbabwe.

You have to ask yourself why.  Why would the Times not insist, not demand, that the United Nations "do its work" in Zimbabwe?  And, unfortunately, there is an obvious answer.  The answer is that they know good and damn well that the United Nations will NEVER do a thing in Zimbabwe, any more than they would ever do a thing in Iraq, or the middle east, let alone Sudan or Rwanda or any other center of human misery. 

The Times knows that, despite propping it up every chance they get, the United Nations is not some altruistic coming-together of the international community to promote peace and prosperity for all mankind.  The Times knows that the United Nations is a series of blocs of nations, interested in little other than their own interests and happy to achieve them at the expense of other countries. 

The Times knows that, until just a year ago, Zimbabwe actually had a seat on the UN's human rights commission .  The Times knows that there is a bloc of so-called third world nations, largely African but non-African as well, which will never ever take action against Mugabe's sick ravaging of his country any more than they did in Sudan or Rwanda. 

And the Times knows that a key reason they do nothing is because many of those countries are ruled by their own despicable tyrants, who fear Zimbabwe being put on center stage because it could mean the light of day might eventually shine on their actions as well.

In other words, the Times is tossing Zimbabwe's population to the wolves, so as not to give its readers the embarrassing truth about the United Nations.

"Let the UN do its work"?  This IS the UN's work.  And the UN will not lift a finger to do a thing about it.  Just as it didn't lift a finger through 16 different resolutions passed against saddam hussein, all of which were ignored.  The greatest effect the UN had on saddam hussein was keeping him in hard currency by accepting his oil for fraud bribes.

The more events unfold, the more the west may someday realize what President Bush realized years ago, and has taken brutal, unceasing punishment for acting on.  The USA, and western civilization in general, are increasingly alone.  The non-democratic, non-free world smells blood.  And by leading their readers to look the other way, news sources like The New York Times are aiding and abetting them.

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