Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Nickelodeon is trying to brainwash your children in the morning, or a leftist primer.I caught a very similar segment with Ellerby and her “news for Kids,” it had to do with a young teenager who was “protesting against war” without any moral foundation or reference to actual wrong or evil. No place for Just War in Ellerby’s Nickelodeon-Land, only a presumption that if our country is at war, we’re wrong.
My Husband sent me this link this morning. Please watch this, in its entirety. It is imperative that you SEE what Nickelodeon is showing at 5:00am.NICKELODEON IS BRAINWASHING YOUR CHILD
Linda Ellerby is the host, that should be enough said. Pay particular attention to the second and fourth stories.
This Nickeldeon "news program", is not a news program. It is a leftist primer on how to be a "left-wing radical REBEL". I am not a blind follower of our Government, and I also think that Government should be watched by its citizens. It is our civic duty. However this program led by Ellerby, is anti-war, anti- GWOT, anti-military.
This "news program" is not about people changing the World around them. Ms. Ellerby uses leftist propaganda buzz words like "taking on the establishment". She shows a group of "tweenagers" walking around in orange jumpsuits, hooded and yelling from a bullhorn. "We are not ok, with people being tortured by American soldiers!" "Are cooperation's priority over human lives?"
There is also a call for the impeachment of the President in the second segment of the video, "democracy is at stake because of the President violating the Constitution". The fourth segment of video shows another tweenager, who has put together a video of wounded Iraqi children, with the song Jesus Loves Me playing over it. This teenager blames America, the military, for what is happening in Iraq. This young girl says "she finds, videos and facts on the Internet" to show what is REALLY happening in Iraq. I am guessing she is getting these images from Al Jazeera.
Nickelodeon is the new training ground for leftist propaganda. Amazing. You really must watch this video. My guess is, you will no longer want your children watching Nickelodeon. I am also guessing Nickelodeon paying sponsors, e.g. of 2 I saw while watching this clip, Nerf gun.
Hey Nerf, Nickelodeon thinks guns are evil. Oh and The Little Pet Shop, which we all know Nickelodeon thinks is a sort of animal factory, (not caring of animal's needs, only out to make a buck out of mass breeding of cats and dogs, only to be euthanized later) might want to hear from you the consumer of children's toys.
You can drop a line to the folks at Nickelodeon here I would love for you to write a note to Viacom HEREAnd PLEASE contact Hasbro here, make sure they know what Nickelodeon really thinks of corporations and Nerf guns.UPDATE: spoke with Hasbro, and they are shocked that this was children’s programming. We will see what they do with the advertisements...
It was obvious in the program I saw that Ellerby’s whole intent was in fact to radicalize children and encourage an anti-government bias (as a prior assumption, in fact). I was watching along with Little Manly that day, and he himself started to verbally challenge the statements of fact that were allowed to air. (He seeks out political argument with adults as a hobby, so I’m not worried about him. But think of how many impressionable kids get plopped in front of this garbage.
This is like letting some ex-hippie drug addict on Meth babysit your children.
I’m doing as AWTM suggests, contacting Nickelodeon, Viacom and Hasbro. You should too.
Hat tip: Blackfive and Andi via MILBLOGS.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Good News from Bad
Bill Roggio, writing at the Worldwide Standard, reports a on a surprising development in the recent story of the kidnapping by Mahdi Army elements of 11 Sunni and Shia pro-coalition tribal leaders: the Iraqi Army has rescued 8 of the 11 sheiks, killed 4 of the kidnappers, and identified the former Mahdi Army Brigade Commander as the officer responsible for orchestrating the kidnapping.
Sometimes the anti-war agitators among the politicians and press can’t catch an even break. Even the bad news now gives way to encouraging updates within days.
More to come, you can be sure.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Here’s a very worthy cause I can whole-heartedly encourage my readers to support (early and often):
Free laptops for wounded Vets, voice activated and/or otherwise modified based on disability, 100% of funds go towards the equipment. Sponsored by one of the finest Vet-help agencies out there today.
UPDATE: Easy to use Army Team donation in the upper left hand corner!
Friday, October 26, 2007
The Ends of Anti-Americanism
Francis Fukuyama concludes that
I fully admit that I have not read
Many of us know of
His first error lies in stating that the “doctrine of US ‘preemption’” was “inappropriately broadened to include
To be sure, preemption is fully justified vis-a-vis stateless terrorists wielding such weapons.
The US did not adopt a policy of preemption towards particular states, merely because those states sought WMD capability, but because those intents were held by despots with demonstrated willingness (even eagerness) to sponsor and support global terrorism. If all the
If this be hegemony, what weak thing this hegemony be.
Fukuyama buttresses his argument that US operates unilaterally by pointing to what he views as an inevitable byproduct of US unilateralism, the demonstrated “lack of reciprocity” shown “even to America’s closest allies.”
That’s an interesting assertion. I have no doubt that elites in the countries who are among our closest allies think we demonstrate appalling lack of reciprocity. No doubt our refusal to yield sovereignty through ill-considered international treaties and agreements, or International kangaroo courts, give them that idea.
In terms of actual international diplomacy among allies, however, there are few allies as accommodating as the
There’s a lack of reciprocity, to be sure, but it fails any comparison to
Even if one grants Fukuyama the dubious claim that while “structural anti-Americanism” derives from Clinton era globalization after-effects, such animus was exacerbated by Bush Administration “‘in-your-face’ disregard” of international institutions. Whatever statistical method could be used to measure such animus, I sincerely doubt that an objective student of geopolitics could maintain, without agenda or with a straight face, that anti-Americanism is demonstrably any stronger now than it’s been anytime in the last 50 years.
I suppose all those international elites –
But nostalgia has led both states to misinterpret the challenges they now face, whether by linking al-Qaida to Saddam Hussein's
We should have worked with Baathists and kept the Iraqi Army intact. We should have invaded and imposed absolute control with a minimum 500,000 troops. We should have imposed a friendly dictator. We should have been more ruthless. We should have treated Iraqis with more respect. We should have allowed UN control. We shouldn’t have waited for greater UN involvement. We should have allowed regional players to carve up their own pieces of
And what does
Why, a yielding of US sovereignty within some International check on US power, like some grand extra-constitutional system of International Checks and Balances:
Such a system does not exist on a global scale today, which may explain how
The only problem with
Just a guess, he’d find no takers. Even among those who agree with him that History has come to an end.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
The New York Times has published a pathetic science report that ought to be included in the Religion section of the Times. Here’s the basis of their report:
In January 1955, Homer Jacobson, a chemistry professor at Brooklyn College, published a paper called “Information, Reproduction and the Origin of Life” in American Scientist, the journal of Sigma Xi, the scientific honor society.
In it, Dr. Jacobson speculated on the chemical qualities of earth in Hadean time, billions of years ago when the planet was beginning to cool down to the point where, as Dr. Jacobson put it, “one could imagine a few hardy compounds could survive.”
Nobody paid much attention to the paper at the time, he said in a telephone interview from his home in
So after 52 years, he has retracted it.
Dr. Jacobson referred to those citing his paper as refuting aspects of Darwinism “hideous.” He evidently hated what these skeptics of Darwinism were able to do with this little bit of science he created, so he decided to do something about it.
He re-read his paper, straining to find some rationale for retracting the paper. He found it. He made a couple of misstatements, in essence drawing some of the same preliminary conclusions that those who doubt classic Darwinism as a logical explanation of the creation of life. Not that any of the actual science in his paper was wrong. It’s just that in light of today’s scientific orthodoxy, it’s unpleasant to acknowledge the obvious problems with a theory that doesn’t adequately explain the real hows behind the how life developed.
American Scientist Editor Rosalind Reid defends the retraction:
His letter shows, Ms. Reid wrote, “the distinction between a scientist who cannot let error stand, no matter the embarrassment of public correction,” and people who “cling to dogma.”
Or, it shows the orthodoxy of those who hold that Darwinism can never be challenged on the basis of science, but must always be accepted as “gospel.”
Since creationists were able to use the actual science contained in Dr. Jacobson’s original paper, it was better to erase the science than allow any challenge to the orthodoxy.
Talk about people who cling to dogma, they can’t even let the old dogmas lie. Pathetic.
Someone yesterday leaked documents of interviews between “Shock Troops” diarist Scott Thomas Beauchamp, editorial and legal representatives of The New Republic (TNR), as well as excerpts from the official Army investigation into Beauchamp’s conduct in publishing his “stories” at TNR.
As soon as these leaked documents appeared at the Drudge Report, conservative bloggers with long-time interest in the controversy and scandal jumped all over the story. Many bloggers on the right echoed Matt Drudge’s claim – apparently since retracted – that the documents constituted evidence of a complete retraction by Beauchamp, and included an admission by Beauchamp that he had fabricated the hoariest details of his discredited accounts.
Left leaning bloggers, either supportive of TNR or highly suspicious that MILBLOGGER and other objections to the original diary entries were unfounded or politically motivated, likewise either assailed the new leak of documents or dismissed them as either forgeries or not containing what Drudge and other critics claimed.
No and yes, yes and no. From both sides of the argument.
First, some observations about the original piece from Drudge. The headline exaggerated the significance of these documents, which are damning in their own right and most probably authentic. The text of Drudge’s report suggested that the leaked documents show evidence that Beauchamp completely retracted or disowned his reports, which they do not. They suggest, on the other hand, a lot of things, far more damning of the behavior and conduct of Foer and TNR than the hapless Beauchamp.
I think it entirely likely that upon complaint and objection, and possibly an Army request, Matt Drudge pulled the documents. I think he now knows that whatever else the documents might show, whatever their provenance or authenticity, they aren’t quite the “smoking gun” or the final story to tell on this story about story telling.
Now about those documents. For one thing, the documents purport to be of a particular origin, but headings, dates, and a recurrent footer on the documents don’t jibe. I don’t suggest that this means there inauthentic, but I do think they need explaining if one is going to draw meaningful conclusions.
Each page of the leaked documents contains a footer, “Misconduct_4/1ID_Beauchamp_17 Jul 07.” This appears to be a footer entry, apparently auto-inserted into the PDF file when the documents were scanned. I suppose if an HQ or admin or legal section were tracking disciplinary paperwork, and saving scanned copies, they might include a “date of offense” in the filename. July 17, 2007 was the date TNR published “Shock Troops.”
They appear to be separate documents that have been scanned together, and if the dates on the documents are accurate, the interview pages from September are scanned along with selected pages from documents produced in July.
The Memorandum pages appear authentic, properly formatted, without any obvious discrepancy. I do wonder why all of the referenced exhibits – including two statements from Beauchamp – weren’t included when the documents were scanned. They would certainly be the more conclusive or explosive of the contents, rather than the more formulaic officer prose of the Investigative AR 15-6 Report. If the individual(s) leaking these documents sought to offer up “convincing” proof that Beauchamp had lied or admitted fabricating his stories, why have these particular segments of the report been leaked, with all the really damning evidence withheld?
Sure, I want to see what the investigating officer has to say, but I’d really want to see those exhibits.
Included in the back of the scanned pages is a “Memorandum of Concern’ from 1/18th Battalion Commander LTC George Glaze, and constituting an “administrative action,” but formal counseling, versus “punishment.” (The distinction is perhaps only significant to those in the military, but is one of those gray areas of discipline between a “stiff talking to” and real punishment like extra duty, confinement, or forfeiture of pay. Again, this reads as authentic.
If authentic, a Memorandum of Record shows a signed acknowledgment from Beauchamp that he received the Memorandum of Concern and counseling from LTC Glaze on September 1, 2007. It clearly does NOT show, as some have suggested and perhaps Drudge mistakenly assumed, that Beauchamp in any way acknowledged or admitted the findings of the AR 15-6 investigation. Again, what I’d really want to see are his sworn statements, DA forms 2823.
There would be no way to tell whether the “interview transcripts” are authentic, as they don’t contain headers or footers (other than the footer apparently from the scanner), or even page numbers, nor are they self identified as to source or scribe.
There us an entry at the top of the first page, “Transcript of Conversation,” with a second line reading “Scott Thomas Beauchamp and The New Republic, 061945SEP07.” This is to mean that the interview took place at 7:45 pm (unknown time zone), September 6, 2007, for those unfamiliar with a military style date-time group.
The next few lines identify the participants in the interview as Beauchamp, Foer, and Peter Scoblic, TNR Executive Editor, and “Gene,” a lawyer engaged for Beauchamp by TNR. Also present are SSG Preiszler, Beauchamp’s squad leader, SPC Ben Washburn, a soldier of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) Public Affairs Office.
The documents themselves show very little formatting, the first lines are indented but with no bolding or raised fonts. The transcripts, if they are authentic, give the appearance of somebody’s best guess at how to document such an interview. They suggest a verbatim transcript, rather than hand scribed meeting notes. There are occasional tags of “unintelligible,” which suggests that a clerk may have been handed a recording and asked to transcribe.
What the documents do show is that the Army investigation gathered a rather full and incriminating collection of evidence that Beauchamp fabricated the warp and woof of his accounts. He spun elaborate war stories out of shreds of experience, and manufactured the grittier and more outrageous elements of his accounts – in particular, the ones that have so infuriated his critics in and of the military.
The interviews in particular reveal some clues that may explain why this scandal occurred, and why it continues to play out the way it has. Beauchamp’s Squad Leader sits in on the interview with Foer and Scoblic. Rather than intimidating Beauchamp, as Juan Cole and others are suggesting, it seems a lot more likely that Beauchamp really is trying to make amends for his fable-telling, following his Commander’s instructions to seek approval from his immediate supervisor, and just trying to concentrate on doing his job.
For one thing, Foer and Scoblic give Beauchamp all kinds of opportunity to throw them a bone and back up his stories, which he refuses to do. They also put a lot of pressure on him to give them cover, and even use the emotional (and perhaps financial) pressure implied in suggesting that Beauchamp’s wife, still a TNR employee, really wants him to back TNR up.
By my admittedly jaundiced reading, I think Foer and Scoblic are a lot more intimidating in these interviews than Beauchamp’s squad leader (only a Staff Sergeant E-6) and a Specialist from the PAO. If Beauchamp’s unit wanted intimidation, Beauchamp’s Command Sergeant Major (CSM), First Sergeant, or at least Platoon Sergeant would be there, along with the actual PAO, a Major or thereabouts, not a junior enlisted soldier. (Was he the one who would later scribe the interview?)
I think Beauchamp, being a kid with dreams beyond his (at least current) capabilities, screwed up in something he thought he could play at, not reaizing the immediate and explosive effect it would have on his immediate unit and fellow soldiers. I think he knows now. I think he sincerely wants to get away from the whole mess, salvage what honor and respect he can from his comrades by concentrating on the job at hand. Oh, and staying away from the media, or any attempt to revisit his daydreams of being a writer.
For another, deeper insight into this assessment of Beauchamp and his fate, see some serendipitous reporting from Michael Yon.
Yon describes a chance meeting with Beauchamp’s unit and former commander:
I was at a reconciliation meeting between Sunni and Shia in the
At the reconciliation meeting, Beauchamp’s battalion commander, LTC George Glaze, politely introduced himself and asked who I wrote for. When I replied that I just have a little blog, the word caught his ears and he mentioned Beauchamp, who I acknowledged having heard something about. LTC Glaze seemed protective of Beauchamp, despite how the young soldier had maligned his fellow soldiers. In fact, the commander said Beauchamp, having learned his lesson, was given the chance to leave or stay.
The reality of war is hellish enough: the IED that left this massive crater in the road in Mosul also killed five soldiers.
It can be pretty tough over here. The soldiers in Beauchamp’s unit have seen a lot of combat. Often times soldiers are working in long stretches of urban guerrilla combat dogged by fatigue and sleep deprivation. This is likely one of the most stressful jobs in the world, especially when millions of people are screaming at you for failures that happened three years or more ago, and for decisions to invade Iraq that were made when you were still a teenager. Just as bad is the silence from the untold millions who have already written off your effort as hopeless. Add that to the fact that buddies are getting killed in front of you. (More than 70 killed in Beauchamp’s brigade.) I see what these young men and women go through, and the extraordinary professionalism they nearly always manage to exude awes me on a daily basis.
Lapses of judgment are bound to happen, and accountability is critical, but that’s not the same thing as pulling out the hanging rope every time a soldier makes a mistake.
Beauchamp is young; under pressure he made a dumb mistake. In fact, he has not always been an ideal soldier. But to his credit, the young soldier decided to stay, and he is serving tonight in a dangerous part of
So much depends on soldiers who are sometimes all too human.
The commander said I was welcome to talk with Beauchamp, but clearly he did not want anyone else coming at his soldier. LTC Glaze told me that at least one blog had even called for Beauchamp to be killed, which seems rather extreme even on a very bad day. LTC Glaze wants to keep Beauchamp, and hopes folks will let it rest. I’m with LTC Glaze on this: it’s time to let Beauchamp get back to the war. The young soldier learned his lessons. He paid enough to earn his second chance that he must know he will never get a third.
(Yon via an excerpt at National Review Online.)
I think that reads right, and I hope this controversy rightly focuses on Foer and his obstreperous fellow editors at TNR, rather than Beauchamp. Hopefully, he can find himself another kind of story to tell from his unfortunate experiences (however much self-inflicted).
Unless of course, he turns back to the dark side, as suggested by Allah Pundit at Hot Air:
The irony of all this is that it won’t change anyone’s mind. The left will dismiss the statements as coerced, even the circumstantial evidence re: the dog-killing. And then, in a year or two, when Beauchamp’s out of the service he’ll write a new piece for TNR or Vanity Fair or whoever claiming that it’s all true and he was “silenced” and you’ll just have to take his golden word for it, and then they’ll turn him into a free speech martyr.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Associated Press reporters Estes Thompson and Mike Baker undertake a comparative analysis between
American troops killed their own commanders so often during the Vietnam War that the crime earned its own name - "fragging."
But since the start of the wars in
The headline of AP’s version of disappointing news from
Rare? How about non-existent? Were it not for two questionable exceptions -- a fundamentalist (and mentally unstable) Muslim, and a soldier whose alleged act of multiple homicide may have resulted from criminal activity -- there have been no “fragging” incidents in
Why write the story at all? How rare does rare have to be without falling below any reasonable criteria for recognition?
Only when it stands athwart mainstream media (MSM) efforts to portray our military’s efforts as hopeless, and our military as increasingly opposed to the war, of course.
Story via Memeorandum. Also commenting:
Wretchard at the Belmont Club:
While morale is determined by many physical things it is also driven by intangibles such as leadership, the perception of victory and the "justness" of the struggle the combatants are engaged in. Soldiers in
On April 23, 1971 John Kerry and other veterans threw their medals, ribbons, discharge papers, photographs, citations and articles of their uniforms over a fence at the Capitol building at
That demoralization may have played a role in fragging. And therefore if fraggings are so rare as to be almost nonexistent in Iraq and Afghanistan it maybe due in part to a perception by men serving there that their cause is meaningful, just and ultimately destined to be victorious. It's a possibility at least.
Yes, imagine that: People who are forced to be in the military resent the hell out of the military. Perhaps this is why so many lefties support the draft. They hate the military and want to recruit more military-bashers.
After a slow start, the all-volunteer Army has been a huge success. As witnessed by the end of fragging.
Estes Thompson and Mike Baker of the Associated Press note that
You can almost feel their pain.
Kim Priestap at Wizbang:
When you read the report, you can't help but feel as if the reporter is disappointed with this trend.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Senior General blasts media, Congress, two party political partisanship, and the Bush Administration’s management of the war, and only the last gets reported. Would you have expected any more from mainstream media (MSM)?
Soldier’s Dad at MILBLOGS provides a rough transcript of Sanchez’s recent speech. His criticisms are withering, but lo and behold, Sanchez’s indictment of the media makes his criticism of the war effort seem almost collegial.
Here’s an extended excerpt of what didn’t get reported by the MSM:
Given the near instantaneous ability to report actions on the ground, the responsibility to accurately and truthfully report takes on an unprecedented importance. The speculative and often uninformed initial reporting that characterizes our media appears to be rapidly becoming the standard of the industry. An Arab proverb states - "four things come not back: the spoken word, the spent arrow, the past, the neglected opportunity." once reported, your assessments become conventional wisdom and nearly impossible to change. Other major challenges are your willingness to be manipulated by "high level officials" who leak stories and by lawyers who use hyperbole to strengthen their arguments. Your unwillingness to accurately and prominently correct your mistakes and your agenda driven biases contribute to this corrosive environment.
All of these challenges combined create a media environment that does a tremendous disservice to
I do not believe that this is what our forefathers intended. The code of ethics for the society of professional journalists states:
...public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility
The basic ethics of a journalist that calls for:
1. Seeking truth,
2. Providing fair and comprehensive account of events and issues
3. Thoroughness and honesty
All are victims of the massive agenda driven competition for economic or political supremacy. The death knell of your ethics has been enabled by your parent organizations who have chosen to align themselves with political agendas. What is clear to me is that you are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our service members who are at war.
My assessment is that your profession, to some extent, has strayed from these ethical standards and allowed external agendas to manipulate what the American public sees on TV, what they read in our newspapers and what they see on the web. For some of you, just like some of our politicians, the truth is of little to no value if it does not fit your own preconceived notions, biases and agendas.
It is astounding to me when I hear the vehement disagreement with the military's forays into information operations that seek to disseminate the truth and inform the Iraqi people in order to counter our enemy's blatant propaganda. As I assess various media entities, some are unquestionably engaged in political propaganda that is uncontrolled. There is no question in my mind that the strength our democracy and our freedoms remain linked to your ability to exercise freedom of the press - I adamantly support this basic foundation of our democracy and completely supported the embedding of media into our formations up until my last day in uniform. The issue is one of maintaining professional ethics and standards from within your institution. Military leaders must accept that these injustices will happen and whether they like what you print or not they must deal with you and enable you, if you are an ethical journalist.
Finally, I will leave this subject with a question that we must ask ourselves--who is responsible for maintaining the ethical standards of the profession in order to ensure that our democracy does not continue to be threatened by this dangerous shift away from your sacred duty of public enlightenment?
Ethics in Journalism? What’s the General thinking?
No matter. The MSM showed him who’s boss. None of the comments above got mentioned anywhere except on conservative blogs.
Friday, October 12, 2007
The AP report quotes Gore as Prophet:
"We face a true planetary emergency. ... It is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity," he said. "It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level."
Amazingly, the AP finds sources with rhetorical effusion in excess of the grandiloquent Gore:
Kenneth Sherrill, a political scientist at
"He seems happier and liberated in the years since his loss in 2000. Perhaps winning the Nobel and being viewed as a prophet in his own time will be sufficient," says Sherrill.
Two Gore advisers, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to share his thinking, said the award will not make it more likely that he will seek the presidency.
Conservatives may enjoy lampooning Gore as Prophet-at-Large, but when progressives use the term, they apparently intend a fair amount of reverence. This could be due to an over-secularization of Western elites, who can no longer recognize any true spirituality, or the public’s appalling lack of basic scientific understanding, or both.
Either way, to the religiously inclined but scientifically challenged among world elites, Gore’s the leading Citizen of the World:
In its citation, the committed lauded Gore's "strong commitment, reflected in political activity, lectures, films and books, has strengthened the struggle against climate change. He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted."
Ole Danbolt Mjoes, chairman of the prize committee, said the award should not be seen as singling out the Bush administration for criticism.
"A peace prize is never a criticism of anything. A peace prize is a positive message and support to all those champions of peace in the world."
How could anyone consider the work of the Nobel Committee political? They consider candidates on how well they champion specific policy goals and political outcomes, they laud those who value International norms above National interests, and they honor most those candidates who can best help achieve a specific legislative agenda. That’s political? That’s beneath the dignity of the Nobel Committee to even consider, tut tut.
The AP should be credited for a better characterization of the
Bush abandoned the Kyoto Protocol because he said it would harm the
The U.S. Senate voted against mandatory carbon reductions before the
"Al Gore has fought the environment battle even as vice president," Mjoes said. "Many did not listen ... but he carried on."
Still, the AP has been more forthright than usual. Perhaps with the possibility of another Clinton Administration, and another renegotiation of
The joint award for Gore and the IPCC also acknowledges how like-minded are Gore and the board members of the Nobel Committee. Apparently, they both share the same rather loose criteria for what scientific disciplines are relevant to scientific consensus and “certainty” regarding hypotheses of anthropogenic climate change:
Gore called the award meaningful because of his co-winner, calling the IPCC the "world's pre-eminent scientific body devoted to improving our understanding of the climate crisis."
The committee cited the IPCC for its two decades of scientific reports that have "created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming. Thousands of scientists and officials from over 100 countries have collaborated to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of the warming."
It seems almost pointless to add that whether human activity causes global warming is a different consideration altogether, than whether global climates are actually warming. And, despite the conviction of UN panels and the Nobel Prize Committee, there is no scientific consensus as to measures to “control” the climate “before it’s too late.”
Just as global warming activists seek consensus from scientists outside the field of climatology, they likewise ignore economists who make persuasive arguments against draconian and likely counterproductive measures to “control” climate change, if that’s even possible.
Mona Charen, writing at National Review, takes positive note of Bjorn Lomborg and his new book, Cool It: A Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming:
Lomborg’s book focuses on trade-offs. If we’re going to spend a fixed amount of money to improve the world, what makes the most sense? Or to put it another way, which dollar spent produces the greatest benefit? According to a group of economists (including four Nobel Prize winners) who examined this question in 2004, the answer was clear. One dollar spent fighting HIV/AIDS produced $40 in social benefits. One dollar spent on fighting malnutrition yields about $30 in social benefits. Other efforts, like ending agricultural subsidies in the wealthy countries and ensuring worldwide free trade, would net a $15 benefit for a one-dollar cost. Cutting CO2 emissions, by contrast, yields between 2 and 25 cents per dollar invested.
Not that any such economic considerations will deter the new fundamentalists.
Think about it. When was the last time the UN had the right answer for any pressing global problem, whether geopolitical or environmental? This is the same body that considers
In recent years, the Norwegian committee has broadened its interpretation of peacemaking and disarmament efforts outlined by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in creating the prize with his 1895 will. The prize now often also recognizes human rights, democracy, elimination of poverty, sharing resources and the environment.
"We believe that the Nobel Committee has shown great courage by so clearly connecting the climate problems with peace," said Truls Gulowsen, head of environmental group Greenpeace
In some far away past, there were lauded examples of great courage. Somehow pandering to hysteria and an international socialist agenda – driven by an ethos that regards human industrial and economic activity as an offense against “nature” – doesn’t strike me as particularly courageous. And surely not when exercised by a sycophant like Gore.
Two other observations about what had to be an inevitable Nobel outcome. This award effectively elevates Gore to environmental Pope-ship, and spawns renewed interest and attention to another possible Gore Presidential campaign. That the Nobel Prize committee saw fit to jointly award the Peace Prize to Gore and the equally alarmist and fact-challenged UN IPCC seems particularly apt.
Nobel science prizes arguably remain non-political, if sufficiently demonstrated by the recent awards to a Russian scientist showing causal relationship between solar activity and global warming, in contrast to the Nobel’s hallowed “informed consensus” that recent warming can be attributed to human activity. Not so the Peace Prize, at least not in the past several decades.
It goes way beyond the outrages of Yassar Arafat’s award, for what, exactly? Public posturing for international media, while simultaneously directing the killing of innocent civilians, and calls in Arabic for the annihilation of
Has any peace resulted from the “efforts” by Carter or Arafat, or are the same evils and lack of peace prevalent in the
Think about how meaningless has become the Nobel. Gorbachov received one, for not resisting the collapse of the Soviet Empire, “allowing” the liberation of first Eastern Europe, then the long suffering Republics involuntarily comprising the
One can imagine that Bono or Sean Penn can reasonably hope for a Nobel some day.
That’s if they can stay above water, come the deluge predicted by Gore and his UN accomplices.
Now what was that I read about the record setting growth of the ice sheets in
Friday, October 05, 2007
Thoughts on China
I read the Investor’s Business Daily editorial on the
Politics And Money: Remember the rolling disclosures of the last presidency, when the
Only this time, they are telegraphing that they will keep certain things altogether secret should they return to the White House as co-presidents. And you thought they couldn't be more brazen.
And the following occurs to me.
- Trade superiority over the
- Covert and de facto immunity from any investigation or punishment for theft of national security, weapons, and industrial technologies;
- Undue political influence over the Majority Party in the
- Undue political influence over a former President; and
- Undue political influence over a future President.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
The incoming Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) notified subordinate commands of a top priority of the CJCS as he assumes command, according to John Donovan, posting at Castle Argghhh!.
Fighting the Global War on Terror (GWOT)? In a fashion, yes:
Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2007 6:10 PM
Subject: *****REMOVE ANY REFERENCE TO GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR" OR "WAR ON TERROR" FROM ALL CORRESPONDENCE*****
Today, we have received clear direction from Adm Mullen (incoming CJCS) regarding the phrase "Global War on Terror". He does not like this reference and we are not to use this in any future correspondence. Review your letters, orders, JSAPs, and presentations to ensure this reference is removed.
Ensure strict compliance.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
I thought we'd put this nonsense behind us, well the really reality-based world that is.
Sure the NYT has to include a paragraph worth of political commentary masked as caveat, every time they have to report of AQ misdeeds and misadventures in
But that's the Times under current ownership.
The new CJCS doesn't like the Global War on Terror, how it sounds? What, he gets a lot of crap from his fellow country clubbers? He's jockeying for a key appointment in what he expects will be an incoming Dem administration?
Or is it the idea that we're fighting terrorists and their terror, instead of discrete enemies that can be named and have letterhead with an official organizational address?
"I'm sorry, you can't be an Official Enemy of the
Or maybe it's the idea that the war is global, like we're fighting the whole world? I am sure our would-be Jihadi enemies would like to think so.
Hey maybe that's the strategy here! If we keep ignoring who and what our enemies are and how they operate, maybe they'll get all jealous and jump up and say, "hey, what about us?! Why can't we be in an axis of evil or something? What are we, chopped liver?!" That’ll make them easier to spot!
We lose when we buy into the arguments of the opposition, that somehow we bring violence upon ourselves by being overly "aggressive," insensitive, "cowboyish," and all such drivel.
PC taken to its logical extreme, where resolve drains away and nations die.
Also linked at MILBLOGS.
Labels: war on terror
Monday, October 01, 2007
New Yorker luminary Seymour Hersh documents a purported “shift in targeting” by the President amid heightened tensions between the
In a series of public statements in recent months, President Bush and members of his Administration have redefined the war in
The President’s position, and its corollary—that, if many of America’s problems in Iraq are the responsibility of Tehran, then the solution to them is to confront the Iranians—have taken firm hold in the Administration. This summer, the White House, pushed by the office of Vice-President Dick Cheney, requested that the Joint Chiefs of Staff redraw long-standing plans for a possible attack on
As always, the bluff of Hersh’s assertions greatly exceeds the bluster of his reporting.
Hersh can always be counted on to tell a complex story with skill and dexterity, just as he can always be counted on to embellish his references with carefully targeted rhetorical excesses. Of course, Hersh maintains the disciplined appearance of objectivity, finding among unnamed sources in Federal bureaucracies, useful co-conspirators with ready anti-Administration gossip and other sound bites.
No doubt these are driven currently by anti-Bush animus, as in days of yore, when Hersh attacked prior Republican administrations.
None of which necessarily speaks to the accuracy of his reporting, but rather to the obviousness of his biases.
Hersh wants his readers to believe that the President has decided he must scapegoat
- The failure of a “campaign” to convince the public that
- Consensus within the Intelligence Community (IC) that Iran is at least 5 years away from developing nuclear weapons; and
- Recognition that
The first purported “development,” of course, highlights how Bush and his advisors want to “do
The second “development” suggests a parallel between
The problem here is that there is anything but consensus on how far
No doubt, the League of Former Senior Intelligence and CIA Officials who Oppose Bush have reached a firm consensus that everything he does is wrong and always for the wrong reasons, whereas everything They Think is Right and always in the Interest of National Security -- never petty politics or bureaucratic turf battle or in-fighting. Surely the same can be said of Hersh, who’s never met an unnamed official he couldn’t find compelling and convincing, provided the official gave him anti-Administration quotes.
The third “development,” that
If one could portray the President’s heightened focus on
It’s almost humorous how critics of this administration manage to slam the President on both sides of these kinds of issues: negligence and not seeing the real threats; then paying too much attention or “hyping” those same threats.
Hersh favors the rhetorical device of mixing in military and political commentary when quoting his unnamed sources. I do not suggest that Hersh manufactures quotes. Rather, he regularly quotes presumed experts in one area who Hersh oddly calls upon to draw conclusions outside their areas of expertise.
As Hersh does here, quoting a “former intelligence official”:
“There is a desperate effort by Cheney et al. to bring military action to
That’s highly speculative. And highly suspect. I seriously doubt many Republicans think this might be true, although one hears this kind of thing quite often from liberal Democrats. I’m also not sure there are many former intelligence officials who can or should be quoted authoritatively on matters of politics, or of organizational psychology, but then I’m no Seymour Hersh.
Hersh, as many foul weather critics of this Administration, points to heightened or increased operation analysis and planning as evidence of intent or mission selection. Hersh points to increased “tempo of attack planning” and increased staffing, and draws another helpful (unnamed) CIA source to compare these efforts to pre-war preparations for
There are a few other possibilities, as any military commander or Intelligence Analyst could tell you, even without remaining anonymous.
One very strong possibility is that the
The majority of Hersh’s readership remains largely ignorant or ill-informed on military matters (no thanks to Hersh). The military plans on a continuous basis for all conceivable threats and multiple areas of operations. Intelligence assets anticipate potential hot spots and operational requirements, and seek to build understanding, fill gaps, and expand intelligence holdings. We certainly should be concentrating on
There is also the possibility that prior operational planning over-emphasized targeting of nuclear sites. For a variety of reasons, planning may now be including detailed threat assessments and potential target preparation for so called surgical strikes.
Not that any of this needs to detract from Hersh’s depiction of a White House on the march to war. This matches the conclusion drawn by former Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and
Of course Ahmadinejad blames the state of relations between the
“A lot depends on how stupid the Iranians will be,” Brzezinski told me. “Will they cool off Ahmadinejad and tone down their language?” The Bush Administration, by charging that
Brzezinski suggests that vile anti-Americanism is somehow more threatening or angering to the
Hersh attempts to refute recent
Kay believes General Petraeus and other military officials misstate the degree of current Iranian culpability, but his specific objections reveal a bias towards the “
“I thought Petraeus went way beyond what
Iranian apologetics flourish among the UN intelligentsia like Kay and El Baradei, and such prove useful to Hersh’s contention that the
A senior European diplomat, who works closely with American intelligence, told me that there is evidence that
All to make the argument in advance that whatever happens, the
Hersh presents contrasting views of the root causes of violence against coalition forces. Hersh contrasts the
Hersh’s international sources also quite rightly observe that corrupt Iraqi politicians often use accusatiosn of foreign intrigue as a way of diverting attention from corruption and outright criminality.
Hersh, as other critics, aligns himself with Shiite apologia that consistently evaluates every coalition strategy in the zero sum game of tribal politics: anything benefiting Sunnis is necessarily cause for Shiite concern.
“The American policy of supporting the Sunnis in western
Nasr went on, “The United States is trying to fight on all sides—Sunni and Shia—and be friends with all sides.” In the Shiite view, “It’s clear that the
It is no small coincidence that this line of Shiite-oriented, tribal analysis always points towards closer diplomacy with
Hersh juices up his critique with highly detailed speculations (or intelligence leaks) from more of those un-named officials, detailing the form surgical strikes would take, and the almost single-minded desire of Vice President Cheney to have them carried out.
In framing the case that the
A senior European official told me, “The British perception is that the Iranians are not making the progress they want to see in their nuclear-enrichment processing. All the intelligence community agree that
There were four possible responses to this Iranian activity, the European official said: to do nothing (“There would be no retaliation to the Iranians for their attacks; this would be sending the wrong signal”); to publicize the Iranian actions (“There is one great difficulty with this option—the widespread lack of faith in American intelligence assessments”); to attack the Iranians operating inside Iraq (“We’ve been taking action since last December, and it does have an effect”); or, finally, to attack inside Iran.
The European official continued, “A major air strike against
The logic here is hard to follow. A big attack against
Yet another unnamed European diplomat – don’t these gentlemen have work to do in
Many in the French government have concluded that the Bush Administration has exaggerated the extent of Iranian meddling inside
A European intelligence official made a similar point. “If you attack
Assuming one can correctly interpret what “make the Islamic air in the
Hersh makes sure to include commentary by Mohamed El Baradei and the IAEA:
The director general of the I.A.E.A., Mohamed ElBaradei, has for years been in an often bitter public dispute with the Bush Administration; the agency’s most recent report found that
The diplomat expressed the bitterness that has marked the I.A.E.A.’s dealings with the Bush Administration since the buildup to the 2003 invasion of
Hans Blix, a former head of the I.A.E.A., questioned the Bush Administration’s commitment to diplomacy. “There are important cards that
When a commentator quotes El Baradei or Hans Blix in support of an argument, more thoughtful readers should know what’s coming.
That members of the IAEA continue to insist that US accusations about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, programs for WMD, intentions, and known and documented violations of UNSC resolutions were “all a pack of lies,” that tells you everything you need to know about the IAEA. El Baradei and the IAEA carried water for Saddam Hussein, and now they carry water for
That’s as much as I can stomach for one outing.
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