masthead-highres

Saturday, January 31, 2004

Additional funding for the National Endowment for the Arts?

National Center Executive Director David Almasi has this warning for President Bush regarding the President's proposal to expand the budget of the National Endowment of the Arts.
I figure you probably want to bolster your reputation as a "compassionate conservative," but you can't forget your base. If there's one message that came out of the Conservative Political Action Conference last weekend loud and clear, it was that conservatives are very concerned about the current spending spree on the part of the White House and congressional leaders. Additionally, giving money to an agency that has long been the ire of conservatives is no way to mend fences.

In times of war, successful administrations have curtailed domestic spending. That's not happening now, and it can't be swept under the rug. In truth, it could be the thing that will turn enough voters off -- especially conservative ones -- come the November elections to send you back to Texas.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:29 PM

Friday, January 30, 2004

Call Me a Bigot

In his blog today, under the title "Confronting Bigots," Andrew Sullivan applauds this paragraph from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
The very idea that gay people are trying to tear down marriage is nonsense; heterosexual people are doing quite fine on their own in that regard and hardly need the assistance of others. Gay people have not caused the divorce rate to soar. Gay people haven't caused the rise in single-parent families.
Tell that to the Episcopal Bishop who left his wife and little children so he could shack up with a man, and the interest groups that tell us that what he did is peachy-keen.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 4:52 PM

Maybe the Sun Warms the Earth

Another valuable essay, Earth's Temperature History: Putting the 20th Century in Proper Perspective, from the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. Its concluding paragraph:
The compatibility of these findings with those of several studies that have identified similar solar forcing signals caused Loehle to thus conclude that "solar forcing (and/or other natural cycles) is plausibly responsible for some portion of 20th century warming" or, as he indicates in his abstract, maybe even all of it.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 4:26 PM

Cannibal Murders Aren't Evil, German Court Rules

A German court has ruled that a cannibal murderer only gets an eight year sentence because he had no "base motives" in the murder and isn't evil.

By killing and eating the guy, you see, he was just (as the judge put it) trying to "make another man part of himself."

Europe, by the way, still feels entitled to lecture us on morality.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:01 PM

Castro: 'I Will Die Fighting' if U.S. Invades Cuba

Castro: 'I Will Die Fighting' if U.S. Invades Cuba, reads a Washington Post headline today.

Good argument for invasion.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:48 PM

Thursday, January 29, 2004

MoveOn's Baseless Insinuation of Bias

MoveOn.org is whining that CBS will not sell them ad space to run an ad during the Super Bowl.

I don't recall them complaining when we unsuccessfully tried to buy ad space on major radio stations and TV cable networks to run an ad against sexual harassment during the Lewinsky controversy. We were turned down by all the TV and most of the radio stations, including ABC's Washington DC affiliate, WMAL.

If I ran a TV or radio network, I would have accepted our ad, and theirs, but I am skeptical of MoveOn's insinuation that it is being singled for censorship because its ad is critical of President Bush.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:11 PM

Hypocritical Al

Fun quotes in a new piece by Steve Hayward of the Pacific Research Institute about Al Gore's speech on global warming. An excerpt:
...in 1998 the National Environmental Trust blasted the Clinton administration for its "intransigence," for "abandoning the core principles of the [Kyoto] global warming treaty" and for "abandoning any pretence of living up to its rhetoric about cutting global warming pollution."

And in a speech in April 2002 Eileen Claussen of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, one of the leading advocacy groups for urgent action on the issue, had harsh words for the Clinton administration: "Finally, I'd like to offer a special posthumous award to the Clinton administration. For talking big about climate change on the international stage but doing next to nothing about it at home, I present the Clinton White House with the award for best costumes."

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:42 AM

If You Say You're Lying, Should I Believe You?

I don't get this trend on the left to give their publications names, such as Big Lies and Daily Mislead, that undermine the likelihood that we'll believe anything they say.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:32 AM

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Whiny Actor Wants To Change Movie for PC Reasons

Project 21 member Michael King sent over a comment, which also appears in his own blog:
Actor Erik Todd Dellums (son of former U.S. Congresscritter Ron Dellums) has fired off an insulting screed to the San Francisco Chronicle begging people to boycott the Academy Award-nominated flick Cold Mountain over the lack of attention paid to slavery in the film.

The movie, based on Charles Frazier's award-winning novel, deals with mountain folk (i.e., poor hillbillies, for lack of a better term) during the Civil War in an area where people could not afford slaves.

In other words, Dellums wants to ignore that aspect of the novel in order to have the movie make a political statement.

Dellums, who has appeared in a number of television and motion picture roles (and most widely known for his role as "Luther Mahoney" from TV's Homicide: Life on the Street), needs to stick to acting, and leave the politicizing to his dad. If he's so gung ho over making a statement, perhaps he should pull together 30 or 40 million dollars and make his own movie.

After all, when Mel Gibson couldn't get The Passion made by someone else, he put his money where his mouth is.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:28 AM

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Speedy Worm

The Washington Post isn't kidding about this being a speedy computer worm. I estimate that I've been sent at least 400 e-mails containing it today.

Happily, I run on a Mac, and the worm doesn't afect Macs. But just deleting all these stupid e-mails is getting a little boring.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:36 AM

Monday, January 26, 2004

Should Government Make Sure Women are Paid as Much as Men?

A thoughtful response to our latest What Conservatives Think. This edition was on the topic of alleged pay disparity between the genders.
I am an adjunct faculty member of a local community college, and I discussed this subject in a Human Resource Management course that I recently taught.

A major factor in "apparent" discrepancies in pay is the pay scales themselves. It isn't so much that women are not being promoted as rapidly or paid the same as men. On the contrary, from recent information women are, by virtue of emphasis, promoted a little quicker than men (on average). However, in a number of places, civil service among them, the pay scales of higher grades overlap pay scales of the grade immediately below. If a person, in this case a woman, gets promoted quickly, she jumps up to the pay scale that overlaps. Consequently, she may show up earning the same or possibly even less in her new job than a man who has spent nine years or so in the grade below her.

I don't pretend that this is the sum total of apparent disparity, but it is a large portion of the perception of inequity. Adding this information to that which you have provided, the pay disparity in a number of cases is probably reversed.

Nevertheless, I don't take issue with the pay process itself. As long as there is no built-in gender bias, then leave it alone for the moment. There is variation in all processes, and this is no different. If there is a way to improve the process so there is less variation, then do it, but don't interfere with it. That is, don't inject a factor that favors gender bias of the woman (or man) because of the perception of pay disparity.

PERSONAL NOTE: In my observation, liberals will "whine" no matter what you do, and the pay process is no different. Even when they wind up getting their way, if something goes wrong, it's usually the conservatives' fault. I realize this last statement is somewhat opinionated on my part; nevertheless,viewing life through a filter that has unalterable principles makes for a much better view of real inequities than the confusion of social liberalism that observes few if any stable principles.

Regards,

[Name Withheld By Request]

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 8:52 PM

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Whiny Leftists Use Bad Language, Then Complain That Others Send "Ugly" E-Mail in Response

This article reports some leftists from the "entertainment" community are complaining about another leftist receiving "dozens" of ugly e-mails after she attacked President Bush in a profanity-laced tirade.

The logic of this perplexes me. If one attacks others using four-letter words, hasn't one begun a conversation in an ugly manner? So if one gets ugly replies back, why be surprised?

I think I should set up a page on our website reprinting some of the ugly e-mails we get from the left. They are definitely more ugly than the ones the left complains about in this article.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:07 AM

Friday, January 23, 2004

Mailbag

Another e-mail responding to our comments about global warming:
I'm afraid this is a very simplistic response. Conservatives who have done more than read the leftist newspapers and watch leftist TV news know that the environmental movement is -- and has been since 1947 -- aimed at gaining control over ALL land use, by government. You do a diservice to EVERYONE when you make limp-wristed attempts to address what, in nearly every case, claims that are flat out lies.
 
Michael Oberndorf
Silver City, NM

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:19 PM

Mailbag

An e-mail responding to our comments about global warming:
I am a conservative and a recent college graduate. In the civil engineering program that I was in, students are required to take environmental classes. In one such class, I was required to research and develop an opinion and argument on the Kyoto accords. Through my research, I came to the conclusion that we DO NOT have enough FACTUAL information to support the idea that human are causing global warming. Humans have only been tracking global temperatures for about one hundred years. Now, if the world is some 4.6 million (or more) years old and has undergone numerous cycles of glacial and warming periods before humans ever existed OR developed technologies that depend on coal burning, how can they attruibute a seemingly natural occurance on humans. I believe that Earth is simply undergoing a process of warming and cooling that has occured since the beginning of time and will continue after the extinction of humans.

It is also worth noting that volcanic eruptions (which undoubtably cannot be human caused) put out way more CO2 (the supposed source of global warming) than humans have or ever will.

It is through my personal research that I will never support the United States agreeing to the Kyoto Accords. Only the fools that do not find the facts out THEMSELVES are the ones that will go along with the acceptance of the ridiculous human induced global warming nonsense. Maybe after we track Earth's temperatures for more than 100 out of 4.6 million years will I begin to look again at the research for the FACTS.

It is easy to always blame the US for the world's problems instead of looking at reality for what it is.

Sincerely,
Krista Peterson

PS - I will also never accept Hillary Clinton until she comes forward to set an example for young women saying that it is NOT acceptable to be pubicly humiliated by a philandering husband. I would have much different feelings about her if she had dumped that idiot (Bill) right then and there. If she can turn the other cheek to a man that is supposed to be faithful to her until death do them part, I wonder what other facts (liberal nonsense) she can accept without question.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:15 PM

Are Conservatives "Un-American" on Global Warming?

Hillary Clinton thinks so.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:40 AM

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Los Angeles Times: Cold Facts on Global Warming

Ni e article today in the Los Angeles Times on global warming. Not a long piece, but it covers the issue clearly and well. Author is James Schlesinger, who served in Cabinets for Nixon, Ford and Carter.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:21 AM

How Come They're Allowed to Say This? Rush Limbaugh Wasn't

The Washington Post comments favorably on how well the NFL is doing in its efforts to hire minority coaches.

Is the media desirous that black coaches do well?

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:15 AM

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Websites Worth a Look

Two groups I really like, the National Legal and Policy Center and the Heartland Institute, have re-designed/updated websites.

NLPC has had major success recently in its efforts to curtail corporate support for Jesse Jackson, and its work to make labor unions more accountable to their memberships is really worth a look. Heartland has what it calls a "PolicyBot," which lets you research the work of 350 think tanks in one convenient spot. It's organized by topic and has over 12,000 papers. It is a great research tool.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 5:05 PM

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

France in Uproar over Cloth Strips

Despite public support, French legislators are beginning to reappraise the idea that Jews should not wear yarmulkes, Christians should not wear crosses, and Muslims should not wear veils in French public schools.

According to the Guardian, most French people support the ban, because they want to "defend" the republic against the demands of Islam.

(Regrettably, defending the right to wear yarmulkes is not so great an issue, although it should be, since men who wear them in France tend to get beaten up.)

Wake up, French folks. You can't defeat something with nothing. If you don't want France to become Muslim, get yourself (and your kids if you have them) to church or synagogue.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:29 AM

Interesting,Though Probably Useless, Information

A Gallup poll reports that Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to report that they are "very happy" with their lives.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:17 AM

Monday, January 19, 2004

Black Conservatives Repudiate Jesse Jackson at MLK Day Rally

CNSNews.com has a nice article on Project 21's involvement in a protest of Jesse Jackson's activities outside of Jackson's Los Angeles office today.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:17 PM

Changing France: That is Impossible

Britain's Prospect Magazine has an article in the January 2004 edition exposing just how corrupt the French government is.

Worth a read, unless you already know how bad it is over there, which I didn't.

Thanks to David Frum's Diary on National Review Online for pointing this article out.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:38 AM

Sunday, January 18, 2004

MoveOn.Org: Confused Again?

Went to the MoveOn.org website this evening and viewed some of the winners of their vaunted ad contest.

To my great surprise, the winning ad, called "Child's Play," has a conservative theme. It has one message: opposition to deficit spending. Every conservative group I can think of could have run it.

Who would've thunk?

Congrats to them, by the way, for having such a successful contest. They not only got people to volunteer to create ads for them, but got loads of free media coverage from the mainstream press for doing something that's not really all that remarkable: creating and reviewing political ads.

Too bad, though, that MoveOn.org's true agenda isn't fiscal conservatism. Maybe they thought their real agenda wouldn't sell.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 9:27 PM

The Strong, Silent Type

A nice profile of Dick Cheney in the Washington Post today.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:52 PM

Stop Presses: Left Thinks Bush Lies, While NBC Blows Off Objectivity

Here is an unintentionally funny story claiming liberal reporters try really, really hard to be objective, while conservative reporters don't even bother.

If you don't feel like reading the link 'cause it sounds like the story might be idiotic, I'll save you the effort and confirm what most of you expect: The guy who thinks this is a leftie. He's written a book about Bush called "Fraud: The Strategy Behind the Bush Lies and Why the Media Didn't Tell You." (Original theme, guy. Haven't heard of anyone writing a book about Bush lying before.)

Meanwhile, catch this report from the Media Research Center about how the hyper-objective guys at NBC News covered Al Gore's January 15 speech on the topics of global warming, how evil and corrupt George Bush and conservative think tanks are, and the need for all of us to be more kind to one another. NBC news fawned over it, and then quoted other people fawning over it. That's it. Not even a pretense of objectivity.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:08 AM

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Enron of the Left?

While reading this Washington Post story, IRS to Audit Nature Conservancy From Inside, it was hard not to think of Enron.

Will be interesting to see how it all turns out.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:55 PM

Friday, January 16, 2004

Some People Don't Know Evil Even When It Stares Them in the Face

Catch the wording on this news story, Mom Accused Of Injecting Human Waste Into Daughter: "Woman may suffer from Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, a disorder in which people harm their own children in an attempt to get attention."

No, assuming the facts are borne out, the mom doesn't suffer from it, the child does. The mom's just evil. How idiotic!

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 10:42 PM

E-Mail About Al Gore's Speech on Bush & the Environment, Part II

An e-mail worth sharing on the subject of our comments on Al Gore's speech. We're getting a lot; some of it very thoughtful. We'll share several over the next few days. In my opinion, the American people are a lot smarter than Al Gore gives them credit for.
Thank you for your strong position. I am a retired research electrical engineer, and a life long devotee to astronomy. The data they are using to champion global warming is fraudulent. Cyclic temperature changes sometime exceed 400 years in period length. There is evidence to support the theory that the great flood of Biblical Times is believed to have been a period of global cooling, as evidence shows that the polar ice cap extended into Northern Europe, about 700 years BC. I am 80 years old, but as a young man I, and other young men, read the weather bureau gauges for the elderly guards on top our building, as getting to the weather station was dangerous for them. It was about a 30 foot wall-ladder climb to the roof, and another 12 or 14 foot climb to the weather station atop a quadrapod on our 11-story office building. Although the thermometers had Veniers for accuracy, we read them from the roof, and in rain from a slit in the hatch cover, probably thirty feet away. These data for the Weather Bureau downtown temperatures in St. Louis, MO, are undoubtedly being used as scientific evidence of global warming, by the uninformed pseudo-scientists trying to validate global warming.

Mercury and spirit thermometers are accurate at only two points, at freezing and at the temperature of boiling water, at sea-level. Even barometric pressure impacts these data. Glass, and now plastic tubes are drawn from a tubular extrusion of molten plastic state, to create the tubular shape of a mercury thermometer. The internal diameter of the tube is determined by the temperature of the material being drawn, during the drawing process. Temperature variations, cause diameter changes, resulting in inaccuracies of readings. Due to the variation of tube size, a calibration chart is used with all mercury laboratory thermometers to correct data to probably +/- 1/10th degree accuracy.

Data prior to the invention of the mercury thermometer by Fahrenheit in 1714 is highly questionable, but is sometimes used in justifying weather phenomena. Data from 400 years ago probably used the Galilean water thermometer. Thermistors were developed in the late 1950's, which could be used to calibrate mercury thermometers, leading to the proliferation of correction charts. Prior to that time, laboratory thermometers were calibrated, using a copper wire's changing resistance with temperature, measuring resistance with a Wheatstone Bridge. The data in our Weather Department archives, is of shotgun accuracy, and cannot be used for serious scientific work. Just imagine the accuracy of third world data which is often used in critical analysis. As the manager of R & D, I often pointed to the plaque on my office wall, saying; "Show Me The Data."

Thank you for keeping the single digit IQ guys at bay. You hit my hot button.

Respectfully,

Edward Kitsch

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 4:15 PM

The U.N. Doesn't Like Us, Boo Hoo Hoo

A guy with an email address from the "United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime" wrote to whine. We haven't so far posted any of the many whine notes we received after we tried to hold Al Gore to an accuracy standard a self-respecting junior high-schooler could meet (we might later), but I thought I'd make an exception for a missive from the U.N.

Remember, folks, a quarter of this guy's salary comes from you the taxpayer.
From: John Doyle, [email protected]
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 15:13:29 +0700
To: [email protected]
Subject: disgusted

Very rare that I find the time or initiative to respond in writing to something I hear or read but ran across the below and cannot quite fathom how extreme and vile the tone is. All I can think of is that you very, very partisan boys and girls in Washington need to take a good, hard look at yourselves and what you are actually doing with your lives ... does it really need to be so disgusting?

Al Gore's Speech on Bush and the Environment is Demagoguery, Says National Center for Public Policy Research

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:58 PM

MoveOn.Org: Out With It, Guys

So is MoveOn.org in favor of going to Mars because there are potential military benefits to the U.S., or opposed? If opposed, why would the organization be opposed to American military dominance?

They must have an opinion one way or another, since they brought the topic up.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:28 PM

The Anti-Clarity Washington Post

The Washingtomn Post has an odd formulation in a story today about Gore's speech. It calls the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute the "anti-regulatory Competitive Enterprise Institute."

Wierd grammar, but also a wierd thing to say. What does the author expect the reader to conclude about CEI?

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:10 AM

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Al Gore's Speech on Bush and the Environment: Demagoguery

I didn't like Gore's speech. You can tell, here.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:42 PM

A Bilious, Thoughtless Reiteration of Threadbare Charges

Another timely e-mail from Mike Catanzaro over at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, this time on the subject of Al Gore's scheduled January 15 speech for MoveOn.org and Environment2004:
On Thursday, former Vice President Al Gore, in a speech sponsored by MoveOn.Org, will attack President Bush's record on the environment. Undoubtedly, Gore's speech will be a bilious, thoughtless reiteration of the threadbare charges, most exhaustively crafted by radical environmental groups, leveled against the Administration: it is "Orwellian," it has the "worst environmental record in history," it is "censoring science for political ends," etc. In other words, it will be an exemplary, Gore-like exercise in factless, baseless demagoguery of the worst kind.

The following are some of the expected lines of attack from Mr. Gore:

GORE: President Bush recklessly walked away from the Kyoto Protocol, and because of the lack of U.S. involvement, effectively put the international treaty on life support.

FACT: First, EVEN HOWARD DEAN, AS HE ANNOUNCED LAST WEEK, OPPOSES KYOTO.

Second, EVEN THE WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL PAGE THINKS KYOTO IS A BAD IDEA, AND THAT PRESIDENT BUSH MADE THE RIGHT DECISION BY REJECTING IT: "The Bush administration may have been right to abandon the treaty, given its unrealistic targets and its failure to include developing nations such as China." [December 5, 2003]

Third, a bit of history: Mr. Gore never submitted Kyoto to the U.S. Senate, probably because he knew the treaty could never overcome the 95 to 0 vote on the Byrd-Hagel resolution that rejected Kyoto. The Senate spoke again last October, when the McCain-Lieberman bill -- a bill that resembles Kyoto in many key respects -- failed by a vote of 55 to 43. Simply put, even if President Bush supported Kyoto, it would never be ratified by the U.S. Senate.

Further, much of the failure to commence Kyoto was placed squarely on the Europeans. As the Vancouver Sun reported on April 9, 2001: "European intransigence, and not U.S. President George W. Bush, is behind the 'fallen down' Kyoto accord on reducing greenhouse gases, [Canadian] Environment Minister David Anderson said Thursday. 'This Kyoto (deal) had fallen down, had ceased to functioning effectively in November... Nothing that Mr. Bush has done since has altered that fact.'"

The Europeans, before President Bush came into office, pointed fingers at each other, as the BBC reported on November 26, 2000: "[British] Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has blamed the French for the failure of the global warming summit to agree on curbing greenhouse gas emissions." Prescott "attacked European colleagues for failing to back a deal on emissions which he had brokered with the United States."

The Europeans are now valiantly pressing ahead, pushing for reductions that, according to the EU Environment Ministry, they cannot, and will not, achieve. All but two EU countries will not meet their Kyoto targets. And now Canada, which ratified Kyoto last year, is expressing serious doubts that they can achieve their targets by 2010. Prime Minister Paul Martin, according to the Canadian Business Journal, points out that no clear framework exists to ensure that Canada meets its goal of cutting annual emissions by 240-million tons by 2010. Not to mention Russia, which has lambasted the treaty's scientific basis and its negative impact on the Russian economy.

So even now, in the face of overwhelming evidence of Kyoto's utter failure, Mr. Gore thinks this is a good idea?

GORE: We should be very afraid of global warming because, as the IPCC says, temperatures could increase by as much as 10 degrees F by 2100, unleashing a torrent of extreme weather events that pose catastrophic consequences for generations to come.

FACT: The IPCC's work has been systematically dismantled over the past year. Pursuant to a new study undermining the IPCC's temperature assumptions, the Economist accused the UN body of "dangerous incompetence."

As the Economist wrote: "Disaggregated projections published by the IPCC say that -- even in the lowest-emission scenarios-growth in poor countries will be so fast that by the end of the century Americans will be poorer on average than South Africans, Algerians, Argentines, Libyans, Turks, and North Koreans. Mr. Castles and Mr. Henderson can hardly be alone in finding that odd."

Dr. James Hansen of NASA recently threw cold water on extreme temperature scenarios. "Future global warming can be predicted much more accurately then is generally realized... we predict additional warming in the next 50 years of 0.75 ºC [plus or minus] 0.25ºC, a warming rate of 0.15ºC [plus or minus] 0.05ºC per decade." This warming rate is approximately 4 times less than the lurid top figure widely trumpeted by the IPCC, and, indeed, not a cause of concern.

GORE: The White House is ignoring the science of climate change, as there is a very clear consensus in the scientific community, reflected by the 2001 NAS study requested by the Administration, that man-made emissions are largely to blame for global warming.

FACT: Gore will most likely cite the now infamous line from the report's summary: "Temperatures are, in fact, rising. The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule out that a significant part of these changes is also a reflection of natural variability."

To cite this is misleading and disingenuous, for on page 1 of the report the uncertainty surrounding climate change and global warming becomes clear: "Because there is considerable uncertainty in current understanding of how the climate system varies naturally and reacts to emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols, current estimates of the magnitude of future warming should be regarded as tentative and subject to future adjustments upward or downward."

The report states further: "A causal linkage between the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the observed climate changes during the 20th century cannot be unequivocally established."

GORE: The White House censored and suppressed climate change science from the EPA's "State of the Environment Report" for political ends.

FACT: This is nonsense. Nothing was censored. The report includes references to the Administration's 10-year strategic plan on climate change policy -- which, incidentally, was crafted pursuant to a 2001 National Academy of Sciences study on climate change -- and a statutorily required document called "Our Changing Planet."

Question: how can there be suppression of climate change when the Administration has put out hundreds of pages of documents on climate change research, including the Climate Action Report, released last summer?

GORE: A recent study in Nature shows that global warming, clearly a man-made phenomenon, will cause thousands of species to go extinct by 2050.

FACT: Iain Murray of the Competitive Enterprise Institute penned a devastating critique of this study. Here's an excerpt: "[Researchers] have extrapolated to all species a model that looked at only 1,103 species in certain areas (243 of those species were South African proteaceae, a family of evergreen shrubs and trees). For one thing, we don't know how many species there are-estimates vary from 2 million to 80 million-and have only documented 1.6 million. However, assuming the 14 million figure widely used in the press reports is anywhere near accurate, the sample size is a mere 0.008 percent of the total species population of the planet, with certain species vastly over-represented (there are only 1,000 species of proteaceae on the planet). All the researchers have demonstrated is that, if their model is correct, certain species in certain habitats will run a risk of extinction."

GORE: President Bush is recklessly rolling back environmental protections in the Clean Air Act to pay back his corporate contributors. In December, he announced yet another rollback of reductions for mercury.

FACT: Greg Easterbrook, a senior editor with The New Republic, put it this way last year: "[N]othing you hear about worsening air quality is true. Air pollution is declining under President Bush, just as it declined under President Clinton." If you don't believe Easterbrook, just look at the most recent EPA data on air quality.

Question: did Gore, or former President Clinton, ever propose a 70 percent reduction in NOx, SO2, and mercury? No.

Did Gore, or former President Clinton, ever go forward with regulations to reduce off-road diesel emissions? No. NRDC called President Bush's proposal to reduce diesel emissions from off-road vehicles "the biggest public health step since lead was removed from gasoline more than two decades ago." According to the Washington Post, an NRDC official referred to the emissions plan as "the biggest health advance in a generation."

How about anything like President Bush's Interstate Transport Rule, largely modeled on Clear Skies, to reduce NOx and SO2 by 70 percent by 2018? No.

Did Gore, or former President Clinton, ever address mercury emissions? No. In fact, the Clinton Administration did nothing until, of all dates, December 15, 2000, two days after Gore conceded the election. On that day, after doing nothing for 8 years, EPA miraculously announced a settlement agreement with NRDC to regulate mercury. The Bush Administration went forward with a regulation that will reduce mercury emissions, using a proven market-based approach, by nearly 70 percent by 2018.

What about New Source Review? Yes, Carol Browner's EPA crafted a proposal in 1996 to reform it, but never followed through. President Bush did.

GORE: The Administration, at the behest of the White House, lied to New Yorkers about air quality after September 11.

FACT: On this issue, the New York Times editorial page said it best, dismissing the entire controversy as "retrospective nitpicking." The Times, no friend of the Bush Administration, also agrees with the most recent scientific findings about air quality since September 11: "The broader public faced little or no risk from breathing the outdoor air once the initial cloud settled."

The EPA IG report, the source of the controversy, was unequivocal about the Administration's intentions: "In regard to the monitoring data, we found no evidence that EPA attempted to conceal data results from the public." In a September 4 NBC interview with EPA IG Nikki Tinsley, Lisa Myers reported that Tinsley "stopped short of accusing anyone of lying or of knowingly providing false information." And EPA IG staff told aides from the Senate EPW Committee that there was no conspiracy or attempt to suppress information.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:57 AM

Damned If He Does, Damned If He Doesn't

A note from Project 21 member Michael King in Atlanta:
In the January 14 Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia state representative (and professional whiner) Tyrone Brooks wrings his hands and cries over the security arrangements for President Bush's visit to the Martin Luther King National Historic Site.

The President will lay a wreath at Dr. Martin Luther King's gravesite. Due to security arrangements for the President, some of the planned activities in the area may have to be altered.

"He has the right to come, but there should have been some consideration on what's going on locally," Brooks said in the AJC piece. "That's quite insulting. This is not the appropriate way to honor Dr. King."

Brooks and many of the same whiners have had natural conniption fits because the President has not attended the services the past three years. Now, when Bush decides to come, they can't stomach the security.

Well, Tyrone, which way do you want it?

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:23 AM

Words Mean Things

The following comes from Project 21 member Michael King, and an earlier version can also be found on his blog:
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, when introducing former VP Al Gore in New York, had the nerve and audacity to claim that the young girls that were killed 40 years ago in the bombing of a Birmingham, Alabama church "gave their lives" for the cause of civil rights.

What a load of used food! Those little girls did not "give" their lives! They went to church to worship the Lord.

They became symbols for the cause, certainly. But to say that they "gave" their lives -- as if to say that they willingly went to their deaths -- is insulting at best, and pandering to the primarily black audience that Dean seeks to court at it's very worst.

None of the mainstream media caught this insult. They are conforming to the pandering.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:20 AM

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Has George Bush Abandoned Global Leadership?

Our latest edition of What Conservatives Think answers the question posed by Walter Cronkite: Has George Bush abandoned global leadership?

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:11 AM

Monday, January 12, 2004

Gore, Clinton & Co: Using Arsenic to Kill the Truth

I've been working this weekend on a new edition of our popular email newsletter Ten Second Response in preparation for Al Gore's planned January 15 speech in which he plans to "indict" President Bush for Bush's record on the environment and national security and, as MoveOn.org and Environment2004 put it, “explore the [Bush] Administration’s deliberate attempts to mislead the public on environmental laws and protection.”

I was up late Friday night explaining in my text that Gore lies on environmental issues. One example is Gore's ridiculous lie that Bush "tried to increase the amount of arsenic in our water." (To read the newsletter, which will be published on our website in advance of the speech, monitor the Ten Second Response main page, or, better yet, subscribe .

Anyway, tonight I was gratified to receive an email from the folks at Spinsanity, a web outfit that provides accuracy checks on political speech and writing on all sides of the aisle. Although Spinsanity tilts left on environmental issues, its position on Gore's comment about Bush and arsenic ratifies my own. Spinsanity even went further and condemned Bill Clinton and Dick Gephardt for telling the same lie about Bush and arsenic. I'd only looked at Gore.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:54 AM

Friday, January 09, 2004

Maybe Jefferson Was No Democrat

The Insults Unpunished blog headlinines a quotation from Thomas Jefferson I've never seen before: "I think it is in our interest to punish the first insult; because an insult unpunished is the parent of many others."

Bet no one will include that quote any any speeches at one of the many annual Jefferson Day Dinners sponsored by local Democrat parties this year. In fact, there are a lot of Jefferson quotes no modern day Democrat would ever utter.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:13 AM

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Were the 1980s the Decade of Greed?

Today's installment of What Conservatives Think tackles the question: were the 1980s the decade of greed?

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 4:35 PM

Tightening CAFE Standards Would Increase Congestion

More useful information from Mike Catanzaro at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee:
It's difficult to gainsay the intensity of feeling among environmental groups over CAFÉ. "The auto industry and their friends in Congress should stop holding fuel efficiency hostage. It's time to fix our gas guzzlers," roared the always dyspeptic US PIRG. "The U.S. auto industry remains stuck in a CAFE pit stop that has lasted for more than two decades," according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. For such groups, raising CAFÉ to a uniform 40-mile-per-gallon standard (up from 20.7 mpg for light trucks and 27.5 mpg for passenger cars) is an urgent necessity; indeed, as they see it, a 40 mpg standard will eradicate America's most pernicious social and environmental ill: the SUV. Of course, because many Americans own and prefer SUVs, this goal is never explicitly stated. Instead, huge increases in CAFÉ are touted as consumer friendly and economically beneficial. Thus the Natural Resources Defense Council: "Raising CAFÉ standards [to 40 mpg] can save Americans money." There's more: "Failing to do so will needlessly harm the health and lighten the wallets of everyone who breathes and everyone who drives." This is, the group assures the world, "the best choice for America and Americans."

FACT: CAFÉ levels advocated by extremist groups will cost Americans more money, not less, and will result in greater congestion, according to a new study by the Congressional Budget Office. Interestingly, CBO's conclusion is predicated on CAFÉ increases that are much lower than those preferred by green groups: Raising fuel economy standards to 31.3 mpg for cars and 24.5 mpg for light trucks, CBO found, would cost an additional $3.6 billion, or $228 to the price of every new vehicle sold. CBO also found that fuel economy increases--again, those that are less stringent than what green groups support -- could worsen social welfare by increasing traffic congestion and accidents (for more data on the latter, read the 2001 NAS study on CAFÉ and traffic fatalities). "Higher CAFE standards would lower the per-mile cost of driving, providing owners of new vehicles with an incentive to drive more," CBO said. "While the increase in driving associated with higher CAFE standards might be relatively small, some studies suggest that the resulting costs of the increased congestion and traffic accidents may nevertheless be large."

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:56 PM

The American Enterprise: The Eight Myths of Recycling

A fascinating article, The Eight Myths of Recycling, from the American Enterprise Institute (written by Daniel Benjamin of PERC).

I particularly liked "Myth 6: Recycling Always Protects the Environment." Part of it says: "Los Angeles has estimated that due to curbside recycling, its fleet of trucks is twice as large as it otherwise would be -- 800 vs. 400 trucks. This means more iron ore and coal mining, more steel and rubber manufacturing, more petroleum extracted and refined for fuel -- and of course all that extra air pollution in the Los Angeles basin as the 400 added trucks cruise the streets."

Will anyone from the environmentalist movement comment usefully upon this? Probably not.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:54 PM

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

We're Not Green at All -- Just White

Executive director David W. Almasi notes that green groups are being accused of being monochromatic:
Our friends at the African-American Environmental Association just released the results of a survey they conducted on the diversity of establishment environmental organizations. Well, they tried to do a survey. Of the 25 groups they contacted, only two responded. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation outright refused to participate. Survey results can be found here.

According to AAEA president Norris McDonald: "Having observed the environmental movement for the past 25 years, it is my opinion that traditional environmentalists are proud of their elitism. They voice support for diversity only as a cover for discriminatory practices."

Shortly after 9-11, The National Center asked some of the same groups AAEA contacted whether they would stand against the domestic terrorism of environmental fringe groups such as the Animal Liberation Front and Environmental Liberation Front. We got the same stony silence from more than a few, and wishy-washy responses from others.

These groups are four-square against the Bush environmental agenda and loud in their criticism, but they seem surprising silent when it comes to their own affairs.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:00 PM

"Everybody Knows" Disappearing Snow is America's Fault

Interesting stats from the Guardian via the Daily Ablution blog regarding the number of nations in Europe that are meeting their mandated emissions-reductions targets under the Kyoto global warming treaty.

Two, Britain and Sweden, are meeting the target, so far. Thirteen others are not.

Remember this the next time you read or see a European who isn't Swedish or British complain that the U.S. hasn't adopted the Kyoto treaty. Anybody can sign a treaty and break it.

Have to feel sorry for the Swedes and the British, though. They are hurting their economies for nothing. Even if the global warming theory were to turn out to be real, Kyoto wouldn't so enough even if the treaty signers kept their word -- and they clearly aren't.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:04 AM

Assuming the Global Warming Theory Turns Out to Be True, What Would It Take to Stop It?

Mike Catanzaro at the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has, as usual, an informative insight on the global warming debate:
Just what exactly is "dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system"? And at what level should we "stabilize" greenhouse gas emissions to prevent it? These, of course, are the fundamental questions of the global warming debate. Not surprisingly, champions of Kyoto and similar energy suppression policies believe they know the answers to both. Indeed, those answers, at least in theory, provide the roadmap -- of which Kyoto and McCain-Lieberman are part -- for averting future catastrophic climate change. "If we can just get to stabilization," the alarmists chant, "no more droughts, no Biblical flooding, no terrifying heat waves!" To some, a 50 to 60 percent reduction in global emissions by 2050 (or about 550 parts per million) is sufficient to achieve the goal (Kyoto, notably, achieves a 2 percent reduction). Recently, Margot Wallstrom, the European Union's Environment Minister, said stabilization would occur with a 70 percent reduction in global emissions by 2050. To others, well, they're just not sure, positing the answer as somewhere between a "safe" range of 350 ppm and 600 ppm.

FACT: In its December statement titled "Human Impacts on Climate," the American Geophysical Union effectively defenestrated the idea that stabilization, at least at this point, is knowable or quantifiable. "AGU believes that no single threshold level of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere exists at which the beginning of dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system can be defined." To put it mildly, this is devastating to supporters of Kyotoesque "solutions" to global warming. For, if stabilization cannot be defined, then it would seem that targets under Kyoto and McCain-Lieberman are totally arbitrary (not to mention economically destructive and environmentally useless). Why, for example, do we need to reduce emissions to 2000 levels, or 1990 levels, or to 550 ppm? What is the scientific foundation underlying these targets? Alarmists ignored this, stressing instead vague statements from the AGU -- "Human activities are increasingly altering the Earth's climate" -- in the increasingly desperate attempt to keep climate alarmism alive.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:49 AM

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Center for American Progress Sees Increased Holiday Spending as Evidence that Economic Recovery Hasn't Happened

The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman needs a logic lesson. Here's the lead from his December 30 column, which the left-wing Center for American Progress crowed about in its January 5 daily missive of mischief, the Progress Report: "It was a merry Christmas for Sharper Image and Neiman Marcus, which reported big sales increases over last year's holiday season. It was considerably less cheery at Wal-Mart and other low-priced chains. We don't know the final sales figures yet, but it's clear that high-end stores did very well, while stores catering to middle- and low-income families achieved only modest gains. Based on these reports, you may be tempted to speculate that the economic recovery is an exclusive party, and most people weren't invited. You'd be right."

No, if you drew his conclusion from that scant amount of information, you'd need a logic lesson, because low sales figures at discount stores may mean their usual shoppers are shopping less -- or it may simply mean that they are shopping elsewhere.

Besides, note the word "gains." Every store chain Krugman mentioned posted gains -- which the Center for American Progress (somewhat desperately) claims is proof that "so far the economic recovery hasn't extended to average employees."

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:26 AM

What Conservatives Think - Tort Reform

Our new newsletter rebutting unfair left-wing descriptions of conservatives and conservatism debuts today. The first edition, What Conservatives Think - Tort Reform: Was Bush Wrong to Say It Would Benefit the Economy? answers this comment made by MoveOn.org in its "Daily Mislead" newsletter: "Arguing that his economic policies consist of more than tax cuts geared to the wealthy, President Bush maintained last week in his year-end press conference that tort reform is a key part of his 'pro-growth' agenda, saying that it, 'would have made a difference' to benefit the economy. Earlier this year, the president went further, saying that the proliferation of medical malpractice lawsuits are 'a national problem that needs a national solution.' But a recent study by the National Center for State Courts found that medical malpractice lawsuits per capita actually decreased in the most recent ten-year period examined."

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:16 AM

For the First Time, Gallup Finds GOP is Most Popular Political Party in U.S.

The Gallup organization has posted an interesting article on its paid-subscription website today. I suspect it will make news.

It begins: “... 45.5% of Americans identify as Republicans or say they lean toward the Republican Party, and 45.2% identify as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party. The remaining 9% identify themselves as independents.... These results... are similar to what Gallup found in 2002, when 45.4% of Americans identified or leaned toward the Democratic Party and 45.3% did so toward the Republican Party. But the results from the last two years represent a major shift in American politics -- the Democratic Party long held a consistent advantage in overall partisan identification in the United States. Ten years ago, Democrats enjoyed a nine-percentage-point advantage over Republicans, 49% to 40%. Historical Gallup data suggest the Democratic margin was even larger before then.”

It goes on with state-by-state analyses. America's top five most GOP states are Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota and Nebraska; the top five most Democrat states are Vermont, Arkansas, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. DC, however, has more Democrats than any state.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:09 AM

Monday, January 05, 2004

Smart Growth Policies Apparently Hurt the Rich, Too

In 2002, The National Center released a "report (PDF link) showing how "smart growth" restrictions on land development could become an impediment to homeownership for minorities, the poor and young families. National Center Executive Director David W. Almasi found indications that the affluent are being similarly affected:
The Washington Post published a front-page article, "Dream Homes Come With Rural Wake-Up Call," finding a downside of being rich in the D.C. area. Those who have the money to buy big houses are finding that smart growth regulations mandating big lots are forcing them to buy property they can't afford or don't want to maintain.

The formerly-rural Virginia counties nearest to Washington (that, by the way, like recruiting high-tech firms) instituted development restrictions limiting new homes to lots between three and 50 acres. While this initially seems like a dream come true for many rich Washingtonians, some are finding it wasn't so bad stuck inside the Beltway. Not only do they not see their friends as much since they moved to the country, but they are also finding yards they can't manage and long driveways find difficult to shovel. One couple found landscaping and maintenance costs for their well hovered near $60,000 (they sold out within a year). The article quotes E.M. Risse, president of Synergy/Planning Inc.: "It's the American daydream. [People] wander out there on a Saturday and never figure out what the real consequences are. Most of them don't have the slightest idea what they're going to do with 10 acres."

By restricting homes to such large, undesirable lots, even the more affluent are going to be forced across smart growth "rural crescents" and into communities even further out that give prospective buyers what they are looking for. Already, a developer is building a community in Pennsylvania with the intention of marketing it to people willing to commute into D.C. As was found when minorities, the poor and young families were studied, this long commute to affordable housing lessens "quality time" with the family, increases automobile emissions and traffic congestion and essentially creates a new segregation that keeps people in their own price-based communities.

The article quotes Robert Farr, a chili-pepper farmer, sauce-maker and beneficiary of the high-tech bubble who cashed out at the right time to pursue his passion on ten acres in Round Hill, Virginia. He predicts easing development restrictions will make it so he won't be able to see the Big Dipper at night due to light pollution. I've been to Farr's farm. He's got nothing to worry about. I live literally within shouting distance of the Beltway, and I can see the Big Dipper just fine on clear nights. I even bought a telescope last week with my Christmas money so I could see it better.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:23 PM

Smart Growth Policies Apparently Hurt the Rich, Too

In 2002, The National Center released a report (PDF link) showing how "smart growth" restrictions on land development could become an impediment to homeownership for minorities, the poor and young families. National Center Executive Director David W. Almasi found indications that the affluent are being similarly affected:
The Washington Post published a front-page article, "Dream Homes Come With Rural Wake-Up Call," finding a downside of being rich in the D.C. area. Those who have the money to buy big houses are finding that smart growth regulations mandating big lots are forcing them to buy property they can't afford or don't want to maintain.

The formerly-rural Virginia counties nearest to Washington (that, by the way, like recruiting high-tech firms) instituted development restrictions limiting new homes to lots between three and 50 acres. While this initially seems like a dream come true for many rich Washingtonians, some are finding it wasn't so bad stuck inside the Beltway. Not only do they not see their friends as much since they moved to the country, but they are also finding yards they can't manage and long driveways find difficult to shovel. One couple found landscaping and maintenance costs for their well hovered near $60,000 (they sold out within a year). The article quotes E.M. Risse, president of Synergy/Planning Inc.: "It's the American daydream. [People] wander out there on a Saturday and never figure out what the real consequences are. Most of them don't have the slightest idea what they're going to do with 10 acres."

By restricting homes to such large, undesirable lots, even the more affluent are going to be forced across smart growth "rural crescents" and into communities even further out that give prospective buyers what they are looking for. Already, a developer is building a community in Pennsylvania with the intention of marketing it to people willing to commute into D.C. As was found when minorities, the poor and young families were studied, this long commute to affordable housing lessens "quality time" with the family, increases automobile emissions and traffic congestion and essentially creates a new segregation that keeps people in their own price-based communities.

The article quotes Robert Farr, a chili-pepper farmer, sauce-maker and beneficiary of the high-tech bubble who cashed out at the right time to pursue his passion on ten acres in Round Hill, Virginia. He predicts easing development restrictions will make it so he won't be able to see the Big Dipper at night due to light pollution. I've been to Farr's farm. He's got nothing to worry about. I live literally within shouting distance of the Beltway, and I can see the Big Dipper just fine on clear nights. I even bought a telescope last week with my Christmas money so I could see it better.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:23 PM

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Black Votes -- No GOP Fantasy

Interesting article in today's Washington Post on a big jump in the percentage of African-Americans self-identifying as conservative and/or Republican.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 3:17 AM

What Conservatives Think: Coming to An E-Mail Box Near You

Faced with what seems to be an increasing level of misleading rhetoric about conservative positions on public policy issues, The National Center has resolved to help bridge the gap between rhetoric and reality.

To do so, we've begun a new newsletter, What Conservatives Think. It's succinct. We quote someone on the left saying something about a timely public policy issue, and then we explain the conservative perspective on it as best we can.

I invite those who are interested to subscribe. If you hate it, or just disagree with us, feel free to drop us a line. Unless you tell us not to, we may even share it with others in the blog.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:21 AM

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Gee, Who Would've Thunk It?

Anybody else noticing that the spammers don't seem to care about the new federal anti-spam law?

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 9:44 PM

Judge, May I Walk My Dog?

A federal judge has blocked the new federal rules requiring unions to report on the use of members' dues, says the AP. Judge Gladys Kessler says the Labor Department "has simply failed to offer any reasonable justification for requiring such far-reaching changes to take place in a period of seven weeks."

I can't think of any reason why it is up to a judge to decide when a regulation takes place or any other of thousands of things judges these days seem to think are their business to decide. Of course, I may be confused by the fact that I once was told the Constitution granted different powers to different branches of government. This is no longer true. The judiciary runs whatever it wants, authority be damned, and expects you to say "your honor" while it does so.

Reminds me of the scene in the Animal House movie in which frat pledges are struck and, after each blow, are supposed to say, "Thank you, sir, may I have another?"

The regulations in question were to have gone into effect January 1, 2004, but unions weren't required to issue any reports under it until March of 2005! Gladys says that's unreasonable...

What, if anything, is outside the authority of a federal judge?

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 9:34 PM

Friday, January 02, 2004

Top 10 Lowlights of The New York Times in 2003

I read this report from the Media Research Center to see if my personal pet peeve about the New York Times -- some particulars about its environmental coverage -- made the list. It didn't, but I see from the list that competition was steep. Pity the poor souls who actually trust that newspaper, and those of us who live in a nation in which they vote.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 2:05 PM

Washington Post Slams Bush Global Warming Policy

The Washington Post ran a front page article slamming President Bush's global warming policies. I dissect the assumptions underlying it here.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:42 AM

Fighting Lawsuit Abuse

We've got a new edition of our Legal Briefs newsletter posted today. Feature article is on lawsuits against makers of drugs designed to fight the effects of schizophrenia. As usual, we include a brief story about a silly lawsuit.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:40 AM

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