Sunday, 09 December 2007

MAKING GLOBAL WARMING UNANIMOUS

Ken Berwitz

I'll bet you didn't know that the verdict on global warming is unanimous. 

You might have thought it was close, because media don't present people with more than one set of conclusions about it.  But you probably assumed that somewhere - maybe in a dingy laboratory at a small unaccredited college, there must be someone whose limited knowledge of the subject causes him or her to think otherwise.

Well if so, congratulations.  Belief in global warming is not unanimous.  It only seems that way. 

In fact there are many scientists - not in dingy laboratories at unaccredited colleges but in highly respected positions at major universities - who disagree with the Goreosians.  I've blogged about a number of them here in the past.   

So why does it seem unanimous?   Please read this article, courtesy of  www.heartland.org.  It will help you to understand:


U.N. Blackballs International Scientists from Climate Change Conference

Voice of dissent excluded from participation in Bali
Written By: Tom Swiss
Published In: News Releases
Publication Date: December 4, 2007
Publisher: The Heartland Institute
(CHICAGO, Illinois - December 5, 2007) -- The United Nations has rejected all attempts by a group of dissenting scientists seeking to present information at the climate change conference taking place in Bali, Indonesia.

The International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) has been denied the opportunity to present at panel discussions, side events, and exhibits; its members were denied press credentials. The group consists of distinguished scientists from Africa, Australia, India, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The scientists, citing pivotal evidence on climate change published in peer-reviewed journals, have expressed their opposition to the UN's alarmist theory of anthropogenic global warming. As the debate on man-made global warming has been heating up, the UN has tried to freeze out the scientists and new evidence, summarily dismissing them with the claim "the science is settled."

James M. Taylor, senior fellow for The Heartland Institute explained, "It is not surprising the UN has completely rejected dissenting voices. They have been doing this for years. The censorship of scientists is necessary to promote their political agenda. After the science reversed on the alarmist crowd, they claimed 'the debate is over' to serve their wealth redistribution agenda."

Taylor continued, "For example, ICSC scientist Dr. Vincent Gray recently published Unsound Science by the IPCC, which proves the main claims by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are scientifically unsound. Dr. Gray is an expert reviewer for the IPCC and has submitted more than 1,800 comments on IPCC reports. He is an expert on the IPCC methodology and published Spinning the Climate.

"Dr. Gray is the last person the politicized UN wants speaking," Taylor noted. "He single-handedly debunks the entire alarmist theory. And there are more than 600 Dr. Grays trying to be the voice of reason and science. All are being censored."

Tayor said, "The ICSC scientists don't agree with the pre-determined 'Bali Mandate,' so instead of discussion and debate, we get censorship. Until the UN rejects the politicization of climate change, their reports, protocols, and mandates aren't worth reading--much less ratifying."

The ICSC scientists will be available for advice and counsel in Bali, but they expect scientists to be ignored at the Bali conference..

Now I'm no scientist.  I don't know much about, or vouch for, Dr. Vincent Gray.  Ditto for the Heartland Institute.  But I do know that the UN hears what it wants to hear and gives voice to what it wants to give voice to.  The UN does this on many issues, not just global warming.

I also know that, based on the half dozen or so blogs I've already written, some major league all-star climatologists have spoken up in dissent regarding global warming and are effectively drowned out by the "approved" voices" which are so welcome at the UN.

There may be man-induced global warming and there may not be.  Just as there might have been a coming new ice age 30 years ago, when the "scientific community" (the segment media were reporting on, that is) were assuring us that in no time flat there would be a glacier in our back yards.

But I don't like being railroaded on global warming or anything else.  If the science is that good and that clear, why are they shutting up everyone else?  

Could it be all that grant money?  All those products and services that will help stave off our impending doom? 

And who is profitting by this Chicken-littleism?  Certainly not Al Gore with an oscar in one hand, the nobel prize in another and his carbon offset company raking in the dough.  Nope, nothing in this for him.....


NBC DOES AN ABOUT-FACE

Ken Berwitz

A couple of days ago I blogged about the outrageous decision by NBC not to air an ad thanking our troops during the Christmas season. 

NBC's rationale was that the ad was "political" (it had the web address of the organization which bought air time, www.freedomswatch.com --- just like the ads NBC airs for countless other companies and organizations.). 

I suggested that, if the issue was that the ad is political (as opposed to just rejecting it because it had a good word to say about our troops), NBC should forswear all the other political ads that come its way too.  In other words, leave networks like CNN and Fox (both of which accepted the ad in question) with all that ad money from the presidential, senate ,congressional and local candidates. 

I'm still waiting for their response to my idea. I suspect, however, that it could not be stated on their shows because of the FCC's language code.

In any event, NBC's slap in the face to the people who keep this nation secure wasn't the end of the story. Now we find out the network was just fine with accepting ads from the hard-left anti-war group www.moveon.org , which is largely funded by george soros.  soros is the convicted inside trader who  hates just about everything the USA stands for and everything we do in our own interests

Here, courtesy of www.newsbusters.org, are the details:.

NBC Double Standard: Today Show Aired Antiwar Ad by MoveOn.org

By Noel Sheppard | December 8, 2007 - 12:59 ET

As NewsBusters reported Friday, television network NBC has decided not to run ads thanking and supporting America's troops stationed overseas during the holidays.

*****Update: Drudge is reporting that NBC has capitulated due to "pressure from outraged viewers." Stay tuned...

The sticking point according to NBC's head of standards and policies Alan Wurtzel was that Freedom's Watch "insisted that the spot contain the URL address of its Web site."

Yet, such didn't seem to be a problem a few years ago when MoveOn.org created an antiwar ad entitled "How Many More" that, according to the organization's website, ran during NBC's "Today" show (video available here, h/t NB reader Blair Lovern):

When we gave the media our new TV ad, they ran it during the news segments on Good Morning America and The Today Show-those shows are viewed by millions. Now, in order to make sure this moment isn't forgotten, we need to repeatedly play the ad on TV screens across America. Will you make a contribution to help make that happen? This is a critical time to be getting the message out about Iraq and MoveOn.org Political Action is entirely member funded. Together we can make a big difference.

Now, this ad in question doesn't show the URL for MoveOn per se. However, as it addresses IN WRITING the organization as MoveOn.org, that INDEED IS the group's URL.

Convenient loophole or double standard? .

Don't you just love that update inserted in the article?  The one that says NBC has capitulated due to the extent of public outcry over their disgustingly offensive decision?

Remember what NBC really wanted to do when it when you see this ad on their network.  Remember that they didn't WANT to allow it to air, they HAD to.

And remember that three times over when you watch their news reportage.  This is the mindset which creates it.


DEMOCRATIC BS ON WATERBOARDING

Ken Berwitz

I'll let today's excerpted article in the Washington Post (helped along by the parts I've put in bold print) tell the story:.

Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002
In Meetings, Spy Panels' Chiefs Did Not Protest, Officials Say

By Joby Warrick and Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, December 9, 2007; A01

In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.

Congressional leaders from both parties would later seize on waterboarding as a symbol of the worst excesses of the Bush administration's counterterrorism effort. The CIA last week admitted that videotape of an interrogation of one of the waterboarded detainees was destroyed in 2005 against the advice of Justice Department and White House officials, provoking allegations that its actions were illegal and the destruction was a coverup.

Yet long before "waterboarding" entered the public discourse, the CIA gave key legislative overseers about 30 private briefings, some of which included descriptions of that technique and other harsh interrogation methods, according to interviews with multiple U.S. officials with firsthand knowledge.

With one known exception, no formal objections were raised by the lawmakers briefed about the harsh methods during the two years in which waterboarding was employed, from 2002 to 2003, said Democrats and Republicans with direct knowledge of the matter. The lawmakers who held oversight roles during the period included Pelosi and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), as well as Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan).

Individual lawmakers' recollections of the early briefings varied dramatically, but officials present during the meetings described the reaction as mostly quiet acquiescence, if not outright support. "Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing," said Goss, who chaired the House intelligence committee from 1997 to 2004 and then served as CIA director from 2004 to 2006. "And the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement."

"In fairness, the environment was different then because we were closer to Sept. 11 and people were still in a panic," said one U.S. official present during the early briefings. "But there was no objecting, no hand-wringing. The attitude was, 'We don't care what you do to those guys as long as you get the information you need to protect the American people.' "

Only after information about the practice began to leak in news accounts in 2005 -- by which time the CIA had already abandoned waterboarding -- did doubts about its legality among individual lawmakers evolve into more widespread dissent.

In September 2006, the CIA for the first time briefed all members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, producing some heated exchanges with CIA officials, including Director Michael V. Hayden. The CIA director said during a television interview two months ago that he had informed congressional overseers of "all aspects of the detention and interrogation program." He said the "rich dialogue" with Congress led him to propose a new interrogation program that President Bush formally announced over the summer

"I can't describe that program to you," Hayden said. "But I would suggest to you that it would be wrong to assume that the program of the past is necessarily the program moving forward into the future.".

My compliments to the Washington Post for telling the truth about this issue.

Now, will the New York Times, which has spent the better part of this week attacking the Bush administration over waterboarding, like to do a sentence or two on the Democratic agreement with it?

Don't hold your breath.


BAD WEEKEND FOR THE ANTI-RELIGIONISTS

Ken Berwitz

It seems that when Hollywood isn't pumping out anti-Iraq war films, all of which are losing money, they are pumping out anti Christmas/anti-religion films.

The Gold Compass, released this weekend, just in time for the Christmas season, is a prime example.  Want to know how it made out?  Well, here's your answer, courtesy of  www.slashfilm.com:..

The Golden Compass

There was no Saturday miracle surge for New Line. The Golden Compass, an effects-laden family film starring Nicole Kidman with a reported budget of $200M, received a modest 16% increase from its opening day, posting an estimated $10.2M on Saturday. Assuming a Sunday drop of 33%, Compass will finish its opening weekend with a disastrous $25.84M. .

It has been said that money is all that drives Hollywood.  Yet there seems to be a pro bono attitude about films that crap on our war effort and/or our traditional religious beliefs. 

The people have spoken.  Loudly.  Maybe one day Hollywood will hear them.  Losing your shirt on a $200 million budget film certainly could be a start.


ANDREW YOUNG, RACISM, AND WHO CAN SAY WHAT

Ken Berwitz

First let me post this Associated Press story which details what former UN ambassador and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young said while comparing Bill Clinton to Barack Obama.  Then, after you stop rubbing your eyes because you can't believe he said it, we'll talk:.

Civl Rights Icon Calls Obama Too Young

Dec 8, 5:52 PM (ET)

By ERRIN HAINES

ATLANTA (AP) - Civil rights icon Andrew Young says Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is too young and lacks the support network to ascend to the White House.

In a media interview posted online, Young also quipped that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton has her husband behind her, and that "Bill is every bit as black as Barack."

"He's probably gone with more black women than Barack," Young said of former President Clinton, drawing laughter from a live television audience. Young, 75, was quick to follow his comment on Bill Clinton with the disclaimer, "I'm clowning."

Young, a former United Nations ambassador and lieutenant of Martin Luther King, Jr., made the comments at an appearance at "Newsmakers Live," an urban media forum that interviews prominent Atlanta personalities and political figures.

Excerpts of the interview were posted on Newsmakers Journal, the Newsmakers' Web site, though the date of the appearance was not included with the video posting. Young was scheduled to appear on "Newsmakers Live" on Sept. 5, according to a press release.

Repeated efforts by The Associated Press to reach Young were unsuccessful.

Young's comments were prompted by a member of the audience who inquired about his opinion on Obama's candidacy.

"I want Barack Obama to be president," Young said, pausing for effect, "in 2016."

"It's not a matter of being inexperienced. It's a matter of being young," Young said. "There's a certain level of maturity ... you've got to learn to take a certain amount of (expletive)."

Young went on to say that Obama needs a protective network that he currently lacks - a quality that could hurt him if he were to be elected. He said Hillary Clinton already has that kind of network, including her husband to back her up.

"There are more black people that Bill and Hillary lean on," Young said. "You cannot be president alone. ... To put a brother in there by himself is to set him up for crucifixion. His time will come and the world will be ready for a visionary leadership." .

I don't know about you, but I read this commentary and wondered if Young has become non compos mentis.

I have three questions for the former UN Ambassador and Mayor:

-What did Young mean when he said that Bill Clinton is "every bit as Black as Barack?"  Could he possibly have been more imbecilic?

-What did Young mean when he said that "He's probably gone with more black women than Barack"?   Was he saying that Bill Clinton has done lots of Black women?  That Barack Obama is some kind of Oreo cookie?  Both?  What was the point of this idiotic statement?

-Why is this all about race to Young?  Isn't he someone who has, ostensibly at least, spent a career assuring us that we should look beyond race?  Well,  what part of his comments don't feature it?

And, finally, I have a question for you:  what would media reaction have been if a former Republican UN Ambassador had said something comparable about a Black candidate?  What do you think they'd have done with, say, former President George Bush if he had claimed that "Mike Huckabee has been with more Black women than Barack"?

I'll leave you to ponder that...and to ponder why Andrew Young wasn't absolutely reamed for his lunatic asylum-quality ravings.

 

Zeke No, No, No, Ken. You are wrong. Andrew YOUNG is certainly the arbiter of who is OLD enough. Of course, Mr. Obama is OLDER than Andy Young was, when the latter became US Ambassador to the UN. And Mr. Obama is OLDER than JFK was, on Election Day. (12/10/07)


THE HOLLYWOOD WRITERS' STRIKE: DO YOU FEEL DIFFERENT?

Ken Berwitz

My wife and I often drive through the Lincoln Tunnel to get from New Jersey to New York,.   At about the halfway point there is a vertical line on the side of the tunnel, with "New Jersey" noted on one side of it and "New York" on the other.  When we pass it, I sometimes joke that "We're in New York now.  Do you feel any different?"  She usually just ignores the comment (and I don't blame her a bit).

For the past five weeks there has been a writer's strike in Hollywood - the land where people think you are on tenterhooks waiting for every new episode of this series or every new monologue from that late night host or ....well, you get the idea.  

Are you? 

Here is the latest news about this strike, excerpted from the Los Angeles Times:.

In Hollywood, the fade to black begins

By Rachel Abramowitz, Maria Elena Fernandez and Meg James
Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

December 9, 2007

Like a rolling blackout, Hollywood is shutting down.

Fallout from Friday's collapse of negotiations for a new contract between writers and studios will in the weeks and months ahead leave audiences with dwindling entertainment choices.

If the five-week-long strike by the Writers Guild of America continues, it's also poised to affect the awards season, the annual ritual of self-congratulation and promotion that runs through the winter.

And in short order, both the television networks and the movie studios will begin to suffer financial pain as the lack of original content prompts viewers to flee -- with advertisers not far behind.

Both sides left the table Friday with a lot of rancor, and no new talks are scheduled. Further complicating any resolution is the looming prospect that the Directors Guild of America, whose contract expires in June, could reach an early agreement with the studios.

Although the studios are banking that they can hold out for at least six months, the long-term effect could be enormous not only for the entertainment industry but also for the region. Hollywood's stream of products contributes nearly 7% -- an estimated $30 billion annually -- to L.A. County's $442-billion economy, according to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. If the strike continues into next year, which seems possible now, it will result in the loss of $1 billion to the local economy, the development group estimates.

After the talks broke off Friday, Jon Robin Baitz, creator and executive producer of ABC's "Brothers and Sisters," put it this way: "There's a humanistic tragedy in how we are all being forced to follow scripts that have tragic implications for both sides and the end of very good relationships."

First to disappear were new episodes of Letterman, Leno, Stewart and Colbert. Then scripted shows, including "The Office" and "Desperate Housewives," stopped shooting new episodes.

Over the last several weeks, the Writers Guild walkout also has forced the postponement -- and in one case, recasting -- of several prominent motion pictures. Because their producers did not think their screenplays were ready for filming, Ron Howard's "Angels & Demons," starring Tom Hanks; Oliver Stone's "Pinkville"; and Mira Nair's "Shantaram," starring Johnny Depp, all have been forced to postpone production, and filming of the next installment of the highly profitable James Bond franchise could be in jeopardy.

Brad Pitt left the movie "State of Play" because he felt the script needed revisions that, because of the strike, could not be made; Universal Studios last week recast his role with Russell Crowe.

More immediately, the strike leaves such televised events as the Golden Globes, the Grammys, the People's Choice Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards and, of course, the Oscars in limbo.

No one expects the shows to be canceled, but anxiety is rife as the various organizations try to figure out how to put on essentially a comedy-and-variety show . . . without writers. And soon, all of the writers and other talent will have to decide for themselves whether they want to attend the shows, cross a picket line or attend galas with hard-line studio executives.

But without getting a waiver, such shows as the Golden Globes would be treated as any other "struck company," said WGA spokesman Gregg Mitchell, adding that any member working on it would be considered to be crossing the line. The red carpets could also be potential targets for picketing, leading to unpleasant scenarios of stars discussing their Prada and Escada gowns to chants of "Peter Chernin, what ya earnin'?" (Chernin is president of News Corp., which owns the Fox studio and Fox network.)

Still, awards strategists believe that the only shows that might be able to get waivers are the Academy Awards and perhaps the SAG Awards, because the Screen Actors Guild is perceived to be an ally of the Writers Guild. The Golden Globes will certainly be the first major awards show to face this hurdle. The nominees will be announced Dec. 13, and the show will air a month later. 
.

I have no doubt that this strike is affecting Hollywood.  Obviously it is.  But as someone whose involvement with Hollywood begins and ends at personal entertainment, I find this a good time to reflect on how utterly meaningless it is to me.

Even if she barely endures my jokes, my wife is still the beautiful, inside and out.  Our children are still great, our grandson is still amazing.  Our friends are still just as much our friends.  We still live in the same house with the same furniture and the same cars in the garage.  

And when we turn on a TV set, every station has something on.  If we like what we see, we watch.,  If we don't, we change channels or turn the TV off and do something else.  Just like before the strike.

My conclusion, after reflecting on this?  It is that nothing has changed for us.  And I'll bet that nothing has changed for you.

So if the writers want to strike, let them.  We'll somehow live without Jack Bauer's latest bad day and Jay Leno's latest joke about President Bush.  Life will go on just fine. 

It would be good for Hollywood - writers, performers, executives, etc. - all of them - to reflect on that a bit themselves.


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