Thursday, 10 July 2008


Ken Berwitz

Earlier this week President Bush agreed to some of the emission reduction standards that were in the original Kyoto agreement.

Media have spent years telling us that President Bush prevented passage of this agreement, which certainly fits its ongoing model of Bush as the devil.  But in reality, when a non-binding resolution on the Kyoto parameters was put to a vote during the Clinton administration (in 1997),  the U.S. Senate rejected it unanimously, 95 - 0.  (If you want to see just how dishonest the reporting was, click here - and be sure to keep smelling salts handy).

Now, in an apparent effort to continue telling us only half the story, most media have either buried or ignored the fact that President Bush has agreed to the new accords only because they were changed to force China, India and other major polluters in the third world, to reduce emissions along with the USA.

But is even this version of the accord meaningful?  Well, here is an article from Canada's National Post that should give you some insight:

Why we'll keep burning carbon

National Post  Published: Thursday, July 10, 2008

Environmental activists are complaining that G8 leaders rejected binding, short-term greenhouse gas strictures at their summit in Japan this week, opting instead for a 50% reduction target in the science-fiction future of 2050. The leaders of developing nations also aren't happy: They claim it is unfair for G8 leaders to insist that they, too, accept emission caps under any post-Kyoto global climate treaty.

But if anything, the G8 leaders promised too much in Japan. Indeed, we suspect that they and their successors will simply ignore their 50-by-2050 pledge when the time comes to ante up the billions that would be required to wean our society off carbon-based power sources.

In any case, without commitments from developing nations -- whose emissions are increasing much faster than those in the developed world -- caps of any type would be useless in combating climate change.

Consider that even the comparatively modest limits agreed to under the 1990s-era Kyoto Protocol aren't being met. Canada is over its carbon quota by 30% or more, with most of the increase coming under the purportedly pro-Kyoto Liberals. Japan is over by at least 12%, despite having suffered an economic depression for many of the intervening years. Russia is non-compliant. So is Australia. Even the EU--for all its sanctimoniously touted environmental bona fides --is likely to exceed its Kyoto limit by 12%-15% by the time the agreement expires in 2012. If the world has been unable to abide by average cuts of 15% to 25% under Kyoto, what makes Stephen Harper et al. think the G8 can achieve a halving of the world's emissions?

Kyoto placed no limits on emissions from developing countries. And developing countries like it that way. The fastest-growing economies in the world --China, India, Indonesia, Brazil and South Africa -- are all powered by cheap energy, largely coal. Burning coal, even "cleanly," produces a lot of carbon dioxide. Cleaning up the emissions from coal or switching to other energy sources would be expensive and mean slow growth.

As pressure has grown for developing nations to cut emissions, their leaders have played on West-ern guilt. Since climate change is largely the result of emissions from 20th-century industrial processes whose benefits went almost exclusively to Western nations, they argue, today's developing nations shouldn't have to pay to fix the problem -- until they have made themselves rich by the same carbon-fuelled methods.

We have to admit that there is a certain moral logic to this position: Western nations have been polluting to their heart's content since the Industrial Revolution. Now, suddenly, having become rich enough to focus on trendy environmental causes, their elites have found eco-Jesus, and insist that everyone else convert to the same religion. We don't really blame folks in, say, China or Vietnam-- which, for all their glittering progress in urban areas, remain mostly growth-starved nations of peasants -- for telling the G8 where they can stick their emission targets.

But the fact remains that 85% of the annual increase in worldwide carbon emissions now comes from developing nations. China is the largest emitter in the world, exceeding the United States by at least 15%. It and India are scheduled to bring a new coal-fired power plant online every three weeks from now until at least 2015, and each of those plants will have an average working life of 40 years. Carbon emissions are expected to rise by about 50% over the next quarter century, with nearly all the increase coming from the so-called G5 ("Group of Five") nations -- China, India, Mexico, Brazil and South Africa -- and the rest of the developing world.

In other words, even if G8 nations hit their just-announced 50% target 42 years from now --an accomplishment that likely would entail millions of job losses and an appreciable reduction in our standard of living -- the Earth's atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide will remain high.

This is why the United States Senate long ago unanimously voted down any climate change agreement that exempts developing nations: Western voters will rise up in revolt if they see their own industries being crippled while China and other non-carbon-tethered nations get rich.

Until a critical mass of developing nations become wealthy enough to adopt the West's green fixation, a global plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will remain the stuff of environmentalists dreams and G8 press releases.

Is it not clear that this is a scam?  Is it not clear that Kyoto is a photo op, a headline to make people think something is happening when it is not? 

In the 19th century, Marx called religion the opiate of the masses.  If he were alive today, he would have used that same description for the fantasy called Kyoto.


Ken Berwitz

By now you are almost certainly aware of the fact that, prior to an interview on Fox, Jesse Jackson made some highly offensive comments about Barack Obama which were caught on an open mike. 

The part we have heard, so far, is Mr. Jackson saying Barack Obama was talking down to Black people and "I want to cut his nuts off".  We have been told that the tape is longer and there are worse comments than this one.

Let me start by getting a couple of things out of the way:

-Was the microphone intentionally or unintentionally on?  We'll never know.  But I'm sure there will be a lot of speculation about this and, because it was Fox, a lot of condemnation as well.

-Why is the rest of the tape being withheld?  I have zero doubt we will find out its full contents in the very near future, maybe even today - hell, maybe it already is out there.  Holding it back doesn't make much sense.

-Bill O'Reilly, one of the Fox hosts who played the partial tape, said the rest was withheld so as not to embarrass Jesse Jackson.  He said that if embarrassing Jackson was the goal there was even more damaging material on the tape that he and other Fox hosts could have played but were withholding.

That is classic paralepsis. 

Paralepsis is a debating trick.  It is when someone says something while pretending not to do so ( e.g. "I do not believe Mr. Johnson's history of cheating on his taxes has any place in this campaign").  By assuring us there is even worse material on the tape, Mr. O'Reilly did not have to play it;  his viewers now know it exists.  That, to me, is not ethical journalism.  Either play the tape in full, or play a part of the tape without making damning insinuations.  Put another way, when you say "We report, you decide", mean it.

Ok.  With those points made, let me give you my opinion of Mr. Jackson's comments

I, and everyone I have ever met (I'm guessing you too), often say things in private that we would not say, or at any rate would not frame the same way, in public.  If  I did that (as I do) and my comments became public, I would be highly embarrassed.  

Can we agree Jesse Jackson does not want to cut Barack Obama's nuts off?  I hope so.  

Mr. Jackson did not like some things that Mr. Obama said and his comments, made to someone he clearly had a comfort level with, were exaggerated for effect.  If he were talking to someone he didn't have such a comfort level with he would never have said what he did the same way, because it would not have been taken the same way.

That is precisely the kind of thing we all do in private.  I give him a complete pass on this.

The only thing that really intrigues me  (I can't say it surprises me) is that, in private, Jesse Jackson talks about "Blacks", not "African Americans".  That makes Jesse Jackson a hypocrite for demanding that we use this term, which he himself concocted, when he doesn't even use it. 

But, then again, aren't we all hypocrites to one extent or another?  Maybe even that isn't such a big deal.

Lee ALOHA LITTLE KAHONIES We should all chip in to buy Jesse a small pair of clippers ... after which, he'd have a couple of little items to raffle off in the next Obama fund raiser. We need a President with BIG KAHONIES ... elect Senator John McCain President in November. (07/10/08)

steve schneider i don't give him a pass. one would think that jesse had learned about not assuming a mike is off after his himeytown comments. steve (07/10/08)


Ken Berwitz

The AFL-CIO has put out an ad that falsely accuses John McCain of voting against veterans' benefits.  Here is the proof, via Newsweek (surprisingly) and


AFL-CIO Falsely Attacks McCain

It runs an ad claiming McCain voted "against increasing health care benefits for veterans," when he actually voted repeatedly to increase them.

The labor federation points to McCain's votes against Democratic proposals to increase funding. Those were defeated along party lines, and then quickly followed by alternative measures to increase benefits by smaller amounts, all of which passed unanimously or with near-unanimous majorities. McCain supported all of them.

 The AFL-CIO also points to a McCain vote against a war spending supplemental appropriations measure from 2007 that included additional funding for veterans' health care, along with much else. The measure passed the Senate along partisan lines but was vetoed by President Bush. But McCain voted for a later version of the supplemental that ultimately passed into law and actually included slightly more funding for veterans' benefits.

The AFL-CIO attack ad against
John McCain starting airing today and is the first ad the labor federation has run in the 2008 presidential campaign. It will run in Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin for the next three weeks, according to a report in the Washington Post.

We find the ad, narrated by Vietnam Veteran Jim Wasser, to be unduly harsh on McCain's voting record on veterans' health benefits.

McCain's Votes
The ad says that McCain "took Bush's side against increasing health care benefits for veterans." But he actually voted to increase veterans' health care benefits, though not by as much as Democrats proposed.

The AFL-CIO, in documentation it provided to, cites four specific votes as support for this allegation. Three of them were against Democratic amendments  to the annual budget bill in 2004, 2005 and 2006. And all of them failed along party lines in a Republican-controlled Senate. But in each case, McCain later supported different amendments to increase veterans' health benefits, either on the same day or the following day.

Specifically, in 2004 McCain voted against an increase of $1.8 billion, but an increase of $1.2 billion passed by unanimous consent. In 2005 he voted against an increase of $2.8 billion, then voted for a $410 million increase. And in 2006, he voted against a $1.5 billion increase, then voted for an $823 million increase.

There was no dissent for the 2004 amendment, and the 2006 amendment passed unanimously. In 2005, the alternative spending increase passed with a healthy 96-to-4 bipartisan stamp of approval. Also, it's worth mentioning that the president does not express an opinion on every amendment offered in the Senate. So it is not accurate to say McCain "took Bush's side" on these votes.

The union group also cites a fourth vote, a March 2007 vote by McCain against a war spending supplemental that passed the Senate but was vetoed by the president. The bill did include $1.77 billion in additional funding for veterans' health care benefits. However, McCain voted for an alternative version of the supplemental that was quickly introduced, passed and signed into law. And it actually included slightly more money for veterans' health benefits, $1.79 billion.

$10 Billion a Month?
The ad also says that McCain "wants us to keep spending ten billion dollars a month in Iraq, just like Bush." It is true that the U.S. is spending $10 billion or more per month in Iraq, according to most estimates. And McCain has certainly resisted any "retreat" from Iraq, and he has even said U.S. troops could remain for decades. But strictly speaking, McCain has never said that he wants to spend $10 billion per month in Iraq. Quite the contrary.

In fact, McCain says he's counting on reduced spending for military operations to help him balance the federal budget. In his "Jobs for America" plan released July 9, the McCain campaign said:

McCain campaign: The McCain administration would reserve all savings from victory in the Iraq and Afghanistan operations in the fight against Islamic extremists for reducing the deficit. Since all their costs were financed with deficit spending, all their savings must go to deficit reduction.

We can't predict whether McCain, or for that matter, Obama, will actually be able to cut spending in Iraq. But it's simply wrong to say McCain "wants" to continue spending at the current level, when he's said he wants to reduce it.

Reprinted with permission from

Cillizza, Chris, "AFL-CIO Goes After McCain in Battleground States," Washington Post. 9 July 2008.

The ad, as you can plainly see, is a lie that defames John McCain.  Now let's see if you get to plainly see news reportage of what a lie it is from our "neutral" media.

Want to take bets?



Ken Berwitz

On Tuesday I posted a blog titled "Racial Idiocy", in which I detailed the incredibly ignorant complaints of two Black Dallas officials - one a commissioner and the other a judge (!), that a White commissioner had used the term "black hole".  His crime was saying that...

" seemed that central collections "has become a black hole" because paperwork reportedly has become lost in the office."

Obviously the quote had exactly no racial context.  But the two ignoramuses in question went nuts and demanded an apology.  Is that idiotic enough for you?

I thought the incident ended right there, because it was about as idiotic as it could be.  But I was wrong.

Read this follow-up, from Michelle Malkin:

Black hole brouhaha, continued: Official says devils food cake is racist, too!

By Michelle Malkin    July 10, 2008 11:44 AM

Yesterday morning, I marveled at the p.c. idiocy of Dallas County (TX) commissioner John Wiley Price, who protested when his colleague Kenneth Mayfield used the term black hole to refer to lost paperwork.

The local Fox station in Dallas-Fort Worth has the video of the exchange.

The ignorance and sanctimony of John Wiley Price are something to behold.

Partial transcript:

Price: Can I get an apology, from this day and time (pounding his fist on the table), you dont sit at a table, where you have diversity, and refer to a black hole!

Mayfield: Well, sure I do. Its terminology. Its a science term!

And it gets worse. Price is not only defending his black hole/white hole protest, hes gone further and proclaimed angels food cake and devils food cake racist terms, too. Oh, and black sheep is out as well.


This is what the culture of victimhood and racial hypersensitivity has wrought.


Amos 'n Andy was a TV show about Black people living in Harlem.  It was broadcast on CBS from 1951 to 1953.  The NAACP - quite correctly - pressured CBS to terminate the show because it stereotyped the major characters as ignorant buffoons with little in the way of mental capabilities.

I thought we had seen the end of those characters....until I read about this incident.  Now I'm not so sure.


Ken Berwitz

Earlier this year Barack Obama told an elite gathering in San Francisco that the people in small town America cling to guns or religion because they are bitter about their economic status.  I'm sure all of small town America felt terrible that Mr. Obama saw them as so deficient

But now he has expanded his universe of embarrassment to all of us....whoops, not all of us, just those of us who are not bilingual....whoops, not all of us who are not bilingual, immigrants who are not bilingual are just fine.  It is just native-born USA citizens who are below standard.

Does that sound a little bizarre to you?  If so, I don't blame you, but it's true.  Here are the particulars, via excerpts from Michael Graham's article in the Boston Herald.- please pay special attention to the last part, which I have put in bold print:

Hold your (native) tongue!
English embarrasses Obama

By Michael Graham  |   Thursday, July 10, 2008  |  |  Op-Ed

Embarrassed again.

First it was Michelle Obama, who had never been proud of American democracy until her husbands electoral success.

Now Sen. Barack Obama says his fellow Americans are embarrassing him. Why? Because we dont speak enough French.

Its embarrassing when Europeans come over here, they all speak English, they speak French, they speak German. And then we go over to Europe, and all we can say is, merci beaucoup, Obama told supporters on Tuesday.

Americas language gap isnt French, German or Swahili (currently being offered by Wellesley College). Its English. Most Americans are annoyed by how many people living here cant - or wont - use it.

Obama disagrees:

I dont understand when people say We want English only. Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English - theyll learn English - you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish!

If Obama just wants more American toddlers watching Plaza Sesamo, thats fine. But thats not what hes saying. Like his open-borders allies at the MIRA (Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy) Coalition, Obama is rejecting the idea of a single, national language. Forget English Only. All we need, according to Obama, is English Maybe.

As it happens, Obama is wrong on the facts. He may say dismissively that all immigrants will learn English, but the left-leaning Pew Hispanic Center reports that only half of all Hispanic immigrants who have achieved citizenship speak English well, or even somewhat well.

And thats the number for citizens.

As anyone who shops at home improvement stores or has tried to order a McBurger can tell you, the English skills of the larger immigrant community are even worse. According to some estimates, 40 percent of all Hispanics in America live in linguistic enclaves, where English is unheard and unnecessary.

Obamas reaction? Have American kids learn Spanish. After they finish their French For Liberals Who Want To Impress Euroweenie Tourists class, of course.

There are many legal immigrants who know how fortunate they are to live in America. They are happy to learn our language and obey our laws for a chance to be part of this great country.

One key ingredient to that greatness is a common language for our common civic business - elections, schools and the courts. Obama says non. Another is the rule of law, also rejected by amnesty supporter Obama.

For the record, Obama speaks English and a passable Bahasa, according to the Indonesian ambassador. But in whatever language, Obamas feelings about us typical Americans are coming through loud and clear.

Call me a pessimist, but if Mr. Obama keeps nailing voters on how deficient he thinks they are, sooner or later they just might have a problem with him.

And how about the stereotypes?  How about his comment that Europeans (not some or most, but "Europeans" in total) are superior to us in this regard and we (not some or most of us, but "we" as in all of us) are incapable of anything beyond "merci beaucoup"?  Or the all-encompassing generality that immigrants - not some or most, but all of them - will learn English? 

Both of these stereotypes are unfair.  Both of them are untrue.  And, taken along with Barack Obama's comments about small town America, they bespeak an air of condescension that seems too deeply ingrained for him to be able to hide it.

If John McCain made overtly stereotyped generalities about entire groups, it would be the end of his viability as a candidate.  But evidently Barack Obama can do so to his heart's content, without being challenged.

Thank you to our "neutral" media.  Thanks a bunch.

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