NBC’s gone “Green”

NBC is launching a program next week, the week of Nov 4th, which they call “Green is Universal”. This “Green Week” will feature programming “aimed at entertaining, informing and empowering Americans to lead greener lives.”

You can be sure which network my TV will not be tuned to. The “Green” movement is based on the claim of environmentalism that nature is an entity, even a deity, to which we owe our lives and prosperity. To “live green” means to “respect” nature, which in practice requires sacrificing the benefits of technology to a “pristine” environment (i.e. one untouched by man). Environmentalists, crusading for nature and the “green” lifestyle, have used the power of government to seize private property, to prevent human development of the wilderness, and to prevent the use of technology that would improve the human condition at the cost of animal and plant life.

Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, wrote that DDT hurt bird populations and that it would lead to cancer in humans. Neither claim has been substantiated. In fact, an EPA judge ruled after 7 months of testimony that “DDT is not a carcinogenic hazard to man. … The uses of DDT under the regulations involved here do not have a deleterious effect on freshwater fish, estuarine organisms, wild birds, or other wildlife. … The evidence in this proceeding supports the conclusion that there is a present need for the essential uses of DDT.”* However, William Ruckelshaus, then head of the EPA who had not attended the meetings, overruled his judge’s findings and banned the pesticide.

Although malaria had ceased to be a problem in the US, this ban influenced other countries to stop using DDT and there incidents of malaria soared where they had been virtually stamped out. Millions of lives have been lost to the fraudulent claims of one “green” advocate. The devastation caused by such disregard for human life is what the environmental movement promises for the future. This ideology should be denounced as the anti-human crusade that it is. Instead, NBC is helping to serve as a vehicle of this medievalism, as a marketing tool riding on the “chic” new trend.

I would encourage anyone who is as disgusted as I am by a campaign driven by such ideas, not to watch NBC during the week of Nov 4th, and to let them know you aren’t and why. Unfortunately, I’ve looked through the nbc.com website, but I am at a loss how to give direct feedback. If anyone can find a directemail or physical address to submit programming feedback, please let me know and I’ll post it here.

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“Big Oil” funding in perspective

The most repeated accusation is that organizations skeptical of man-made climate fears have received $19 Million from an oil corporation over the past two decades. This was the subject of a letter by two U.S. Senators in 2006 (See Senators letter of October 30, 2006 noting the $19 Million from Exxon-Mobil to groups skeptical of man-made global warming – LINK )

To put this $19 Million over two decades into perspective, consider:

One 2007 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant of $20 million to study how “farm odors” contribute to global warming exceeded all of the money that skeptics reportedly received from an oil giant in the past two decades. To repeat: One USDA grant to study the role of “farm odors” in global warming exceeded ALL the money skeptics have been accused of receiving from an oil giant over the past two decades.

I would add that the 19 million – if the figure is accurate – was private money, rather than the 20 million at the tax payer’s expense.

Read the full article on Newsweek’s smears against skeptics here.

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The Inhofe EPW Press Blog

Senator James Inhofe of the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works has an excellent blog on the Minority Page. Posts now include:

Breaking: Less Than Half of all Published Scientists Endorse Global Warming Theory

Scientific Smackdown: Skeptics Voted The Clear Winners Against Global Warming Believers in Heated NYC Debate

Global Warming on Mars & Cosmic Ray Research Are Shattering Media Driven “Consensus’

and my personal favorites:

Hollywood Celebrities Challenged To Take The “Gore Pledge”

Gore Refuses Pledge

During the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on March 21, 2007, “Vice President Al Gore’s Perspective on Global Warming,” former Vice President Al Gore refused to take a “Personal Energy Ethics Pledge” to consume no more energy than the average American household

The pledge was presented to Gore by Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. At the hearing, Senator Inhofe showed Gore a frame from Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth” where Gore asks viewers:

“Are you ready to change the way you live?”


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Justice vs. Being “Humane”

Thomas Sowell wrote a great article on the consequences avoiding “trade-offs” because of squeamishness, and of likening this squeamishness to being humane. For example, he cites the consequences of risking further life to rescue the victims of the Utah mine cave-in. The tragedy of the second cave-in, killing rescuers, was completely avoidable, but only by recognizing the trade-offs involved and being willing to let the first die in order to prevent further loss of life. He also talks about the question of organ sales. Because our government is squeamish about a market for organs, the practice is illegal, but at the price of lives. Everyone knows we have a shortage of organs for transplants, yet we allow the government to consign those to death who cannot find a donor in time. Why? Because the idea of selling organs leaves people with a bad taste.

I would go further and say that this squeamishness, this bad taste is the result of a particular morality, one that says that the individual’s life has value only in the service of society or of his neighbor. This morality says that the individual has no right to his own life and happiness, and that these values are for society to demand at any time. That morality is, of course, altruism. Even if it means your own death, it is right, says altruism, to sacrifice for strangers – and even if it does not benefit them! Likewise, your body, like your life, is not yours, but belongs to society. It is not yours to sell. The “squeamishness” is a symptom of a culture built on individualism and selfishness, but plagued by the preaching of altruists. Sacrifice is the code of altruism, and no life is so important that it should not be sacrificed for another. That’s why there is no talk of trade-offs in today’s society, it’s why people are so squeamish about lives treated as personal values; they have been taught all their lives that they do not matter, that their loved ones do not matter, and to give up ones values is the highest virtue one can aspire to.

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Rules of Engagement are killing Americans

The military’s self-sacrificial Rules of Engagement are costing American lives andthreatening the success of the war against Islamic Fundamentalism. This is not to say that the rules present a potential threat,but a real and concrete one. When you send your military to war, but do not allow them to safeguard their own lives, you make a mockery of the principles upon which that war is being fought. How can you claim to fight for individual rights,yet sacrifice the livesofthose who defend our liberties in the name of those who threaten them?

Yet that’s what the rules do. Marcus Luttrell, the only survivorin a group ofNavy SEALS fighting in Afghanistan in 2005 recounts the events in Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of Seal Team 10. Diana West of The Washington Times summarizes:

Dropped behind enemy lines to kill or capture a Taliban kingpin who commanded between 150-200 fighters, the SEAL team was unexpectedly discovered in the early stages of a mission whose success, of course, depended on secrecy. Three unarmed Afghan goatherds, one a teenager, had stumbled across the Americans’ position.

This presented the soldiers with an urgent dilemma: What should they do? If they let the Afghans go, they would probably alert the Taliban to the their whereabouts. This would mean a battle in which the Americans were outnumbered by at least 35 to 1…If the Americans didn’t let the goatherds go — if they killed them, there being no way to hold them — the Americans would avoid detection and, most likely, leave the area safely. On a treeless mountainscape far from home, four of our bravest patriots came to the ghastly conclusion that the only way to save themselves was forbidden by the rules of engagement. Such an action would set off a media firestorm, and lead to murder charges for all.

The SEALs sent the goatherds on their way. One hour later, a sizeable Taliban force attacked, beginning a horrendous battle that resulted not only in the deaths of Mr. Luttrell’s three SEAL teammates, but also the deaths of 16 would-be rescuers — eight additional SEALS and eight Army special operations soldiers whose helicopter was shot down by a Taliban rocket-propelled grenade.

The first chapter of Luttrell’s book can be found here. Of the Rules of Engagement (ROE), he says:

[From] the standpoint of the U.S. combat soldier, Ranger, SEAL, Green Beret, or whatever, those ROE represent a very serious conundrum. We understand we must obey them because they happen to come under the laws of the country we are sworn to serve. But they represent a danger to us; they undermine our confidence on the battlefield in the fight against world terror. Worse yet, they make us concerned, disheartened, and sometimes hesitant.

I can say from firsthand experience that those rules of engagement cost the lives of three of the finest U.S. Navy SEALs who have ever served.

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Follow-up: Bird dino fossil fake

Remember the bird dinosaur? Yeah. Fake. I mentioned the find to a friend of mine, and she said she thought she heard it was a hoax, and sure enough it was.

Recently, while examining a dromaeosaurid dinosaur in a private collection in China, Xu decided that the Archaeoraptor fossil is a chimera. The tail of that dinosaur is identical to the Archaeoraptor tail, he told Science News.

The two tails are mirror images of each other, derived from the same individual, says Xu. When rocks containing fossils are split, they often break into two fossils. Currie suspects that someone sought to enhance the value of Archaeoraptor by pasting one part of the dinosaur’s tail to a bird fossil. Read the rest.

Oh well!

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President Putin, we don’t really care what you think

As I covered last month, Vladamir Putin of Russia has expressed his concerns about Bush’s plan to install a missile defense system in Europe to protect against possible attacks from Iran, accusing Bush of resuming the Cold War.

However according to a press release from the Missile Defense Advocacy AllianceBush isn’t the only one in this country who doesn’t give a hoot what Russia thinks about our right to self-defense:

The United States Senate passed an amendment yesterday 90-5 declaring the threat from Iran both in ballistic missiles and nuclear proliferation and put forward a policy to develop and deploy missile defense as soon as technically feasible to defend NATO, our deployed forces and the United States from Iran.

As grim as the war is, and as grim as the political climate is for launching a real military offensive to secure a victory against Islamists, it is comforting to know that there are some lows we have not reached.

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Lieberman leads the charge, however weak.

To follow-up on a previous post, Sen Joe Lieberman is continuing to outdo his Republican comrades by taking a stand against Islamic Totalitarianism in all its forms, and not merely Al Qaeda. The Senate approved his amendment proposing to confront Iran on its attacks on American soldiers in Iraq.

This is the beginning of a longer conversation that I hope we will have here in Washington about Iran and the deadly and destabilizing role it is playing in Iraq, the Middle East, and the world,” said Senator Lieberman. “The threat posed by Iran to our soldiers, to our allies, and to our national security is a truth that cannot be wished or waved away. Congress today began the process of confronting it.

Read the news release here.

The question I pose to Democrats and Republicans alike is this: We know what ideology and what people threaten our nation’s security. The time of denial anddiplomacy has passed. After decades of half-measures and compromise, our enemy has not been disuaded, and their resolve to kill us is as strong as ever. Now what are you going to do about it?

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Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day! This is the one day of the year when Americans excuse themselves to be patriotic, to be proud of our ideological heritage. Although perhaps sad that they need an excuse, it’s still a day of celebration. This great nation was founded on the principle of natural rights, the idea that the individual is born with certain unalienable rights that it is the duty of the government to defend and uphold. The pride in our independence is not some nationalistic tribal bias, but a passion for the political innovation called America. The history of the world before America was wrought with conflict, between barbarism and pseudo-freedoms, between coercion and freedom by permission. America was the first in history to establish freedoms by right.

As Michael Berliner writes in “Put the Independence Back in Independence Day”:

“Independence Day” is a critically important title. It signifies the fundamental meaning of this nation, not just of the holiday. The American Revolution remains unique in human history: a revolution–and a nation–founded on a moral principle, the principle of individual rights. Jefferson at Philadelphia, and Washington at Valley Forge, pledged their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.” For what? Not for mere separation from England, not–like most rebels–for the “freedom” to set up their own tyranny. In fact, Britain’s tyranny over the colonists was mild compared to what most current governments do to their citizens.

This is the meaning of the American Revolution. In the past, a naton’s greatness was measured by its conquests. A nation was great if it controlled lands across the globe, as Britain did; it was great if it wielded power. America teaches us that the power of coercion is illegitimate, and that the only power that creates belongs to the individual. It is the individual that thinks, that innovates, and trades values. There is no such thing as a “nation’s wealth”. Nations do not produce. Wealth and success in a culture is the product of individuals purusing their self-interest. The measure of a country’s greatness is the respect it shows toward man’s needs as a rational animal. The independence of America does not only mean its independence from Britain, but the independence of the individual from tyranny, whatever the source.

I am currently reading Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo. There is a particular scene that strikes me now, that I want to share, and I will leave the post with Hugo’s words. Those who’ve read the book will understand the context, and those who haven’t will have to forgive my limited introduction. The novel of course is set in France in the early to mid 19th century. There is a character by the name of Marius who was raised by his grandfather and estranged from his father by the family’s political rivalry. When he learned of his father’s past following his death, of his loving devotion to his son and to his country, he developed a love for him and for his service in the military. It was through his research into his father’s past that he developed a mistaken passion for the conquests of Napolean. At this time in the story, many years had past since Napolean’s defeat at Waterloo, and the country was still alive with revolution, still finding its direction. Marius stumbled upon a group of student revolutionaries after being kicked out of his home by his grandfather for his political views. In a lively debate, a quiet Marius found his Napolean attacked by his new friends and felt obligated to defend him. In an eloquent speech he argues for Napolean’s greatness and his passion at being a citizen in a country transformed by that greatness.

Everyone was silent, and Enjolras looked down. Silence always has a slight effect of acquiescence or in some way a backing a person to the wall. Marius, almost without taking breath, continued in a burst of enthusiasm: “Be fair, my friends! To be the empire of such an emperor, what a splendid destiny for a nation, when that nation is France, and when it adds its genius to the genius of such a man! To appear and to reign, to march and to triumph, to have every capital for a staging area, to take his grenadiers and make kings of them, to decree the downfall of dynasties, to transfigure Europe at a double quickstep, so men feel, when you threaten, that you are laying your hands on the hilt of God’s sword, to follow in one man Hannibal, Caesar, and Charlemagne, to be in the people of a man who mingles with your every dawn the glorious announcement of a battle won, to be wakened in the morning by the cannon of the Invalides, to hurl into the vault of day mighty words that blaze forever, Marengo, Arcola, Austerlitz, Ièna, Wagram! To repeatedly call forth constellations of victories at the zenith of the centuries, to make the French Empire the succeessor of the Roman Empire, to be the grand nation and to bring forth the Grand Army, to send your legions flying across the whole earth as a mountain sends out its eagles, to vanquish, to rule, to strike thunder, to be for Europe a kind of golden people through glory, to sound through history a Titan’s fanfare, to conquer the world twice, by conquest and by resplendence, that is sublime. What could be greater?”

“To be free,” said Combeferre.

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Jim Manzi and Conservative Fraud

Recently, Prodos reviewed a plan by Jim Manzi, the CEO of an applied-artificial-intelligence software company, to combat the Global Warming movement of the Left not by exposing its pseudoscience and anti-man ideology for what it is, but by embracing its claims and beating the Liberals at their own game. In March, Manzi wrote in National Review:

The available evidence indicates that it is probable (though not strictly scientifically proven) that human activities have increased global temperatures to date and will likely continue to do so. But in spite of all the table-pounding, nobody can reliably quantify the size of these future impacts, or even bound them sufficiently to guide action. The total impact of global temperatures over the next century could plausibly range from negligible to severe. Long-term climate prediction is in its infancy, and improved forecast reliability is crucial to enable useful guidance for policymakers. Better science could give us what is most need in this debate: more light and less heat.

In June, he restated that predictions “range from negligible to severe”, and yet made the astounding claim that,

It is no longer possible, scientifically or politically, to deny that human activities have very likely increased global temperatures

In other words, Manzi changed his “gameplan”. Now he proposes to “manage” this movement, rather than fight it; to wrestle control of the movement away from the Left by accepting its claims and competing to be the ones to implement them. Science is no longer the answer to fighting this movement that lusts for power over our market, according to his latest article. The answer is to harness that power-lust to benefit the Conservatives.

Prodos referred to Jim Manzi, justifiably, as a pansy, a coward, a shyster, a conman. This is not a defender of Capitalism, but a sellout and a fraud. Apparently this drew the attention of its target, and Manzi posted a comment to the blog entry, protesting that Prodos had falsely claimed a contradiction in his writing. Just today Prodos dealt a devastating and humiliating attack on Manzi’s argument. He wrote,

The whole point of my post was to highlight and condemn Jim Manzi’s progression from challenging some of the dubious science of global warming scaremongers to now start proposing political solutions.

Political solutions which I find unwarranted, cowardly, and destructive. And based on an undemocratic premise.

Read the whole post here.

This example illustrates perfectly my disillusionment and contempt for the Republican Party. They are to be the defenders of the free market, of American values and Individualism? They are the opponents of the socialists and would-be communists of the Left? The Right doesn’t know what it stands for; it knows it should be standing for something but it doesn’t know what. That uncertainty has opened the party to the influence of charlatans and fakes, who would claim to stand for one thing while destroying its very meaning. These are men like Congressman and Presidential candidate Ron Paul, who say they believe in Liberty but would sacrifice the liberty of our citizens to benefit savages and terrorists. These are men like Jim Manzi, who propose we fight irrationalism by becoming its advocates. Until Republicans learn what it is they’ve promised to defend, they will be victims of ideas such as these. Blinded by partisan conflict, they will compete for America’s destruction, rather than its protection.

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