Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

Isn’t government collusion with science bad too?

In light of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico we’ve been inundated with calls to deal with the collusion of business and government. But for some reason we tend to treat the vast amounts of government money invested in the sciences as immune to this problem. Or are we content to pretend that money and agenda are not part of the situation?

CLIMATE CHANGE LIES ARE EXPOSED
August 31, 2010 by Donna Bowater

THE world’s leading climate change body has been accused of losing credibility after a damning report into its research practices.

A high-level inquiry into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found there was “little evidence” for its claims about global warming.

It also said the panel had emphasised the negative impacts of climate change and made “substantive findings” based on little proof.

The review by the InterAcademy Council (IAC) was launched after the IPCC’s hugely embarrassing 2007 benchmark climate change report, which contained exaggerated and false claims that Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035.

The panel was forced to admit its key claim in support of global warming was lifted from a 1999 magazine article. The report was based on an interview with a little-known Indian scientist who has since said his views were “speculation” and not backed by research.

Independent climate scientist Peter Taylor said last night: “The IPCC’s credibility has been deeply dented and something has to be done. It can’t just be a matter of adjusting the practices. They have got to look at what are the consequences of having got it wrong in terms of what the public think is going on. Admitting that it needs to reform means something has gone wrong and they really do need to look at the science.”

Climate change sceptic David Holland, who challenged leading climate change scientists at the University of East Anglia to disclose their research, said: “The panel is definitely not fit for purpose. What the IAC has said is substantial changes need to be made.”

What About the Destructive Influence of U.S. Government Funding on Science?
August 28, 2010 by Roger F. Gay

Many people have come to understand that the climate scam involves collusion between corrupt politicians and dishonest scientists. The problem however, is much broader even than Al Gore. Science is critical to our modern existence. Large amounts of public money are spent on a wide range of scientific activities each year; a practice that has become the heart of the problem. Yet, precious little focus has been placed on developing reforms to undo the ongoing damage.

The climate change example has demonstrated that scientific integrity can be compromised with money. This doesn’t mean that all scientists are dishonest. But experience shows that these kinds of problems, involving insufficiently safeguarded access to money, tend to grow. Indeed, as more money was offered to a broader group of scientists during Al Gore’s political tenure, we discovered that many scientists are willing to compromise at least a little. When funding was offered to virtually any scientist who was willing to include an untested support phrase for man-made global warming in final reports and articles, propagandists got the result they wanted; a large number of published papers containing a gratuitous statement of support. (Publishing scientists cited reports that claimed that man-made global warming is really bad and destined to get worse without containing any research to test the claims.)

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The Myth of an Anti-Muslim Backlash

Liberals and the Myth of an Anti-Muslim Backlash
August 25, 2010 by Jonah Goldberg

Here’s a thought: The 70% of Americans who oppose what amounts to an Islamic Niketown two blocks from ground zero are the real victims of a climate of hate, and anti-Muslim backlash is mostly a myth.

Let’s start with some data.

According to the FBI, hate crimes against Muslims increased by a staggering 1,600% in 2001. That sounds serious! But wait, the increase is a math mirage. There were 28 anti-Islamic incidents in 2000. That number climbed to 481 the year a bunch of Muslim terrorists murdered 3,000 Americans in the name of Islam on Sept. 11.

Now, that was a hate crime.

Regardless, 2001 was the zenith or, looked at through the prism of our national shame, the nadir of the much-discussed anti-Muslim backlash in the United States. The following year, the number of anti-Islamic hate-crime incidents (overwhelmingly, nonviolent vandalism and nasty words) dropped to 155. In 2003, there were 149 such incidents. And the number has hovered around the mid-100s or lower ever since.

Sure, even one hate crime is too many. But does that sound like a anti-Muslim backlash to you?

Let’s put this in even sharper focus. America is, outside of Israel, probably the most receptive and tolerant country in the world to Jews. And yet, in every year since 9/11, more Jews have been hate-crime victims than Muslims. A lot more.

In 2001, there were twice as many anti-Jewish incidents as there were anti-Muslim, again according to the FBI. In 2002 and pretty much every year since, anti-Jewish incidents have outstripped anti-Muslim ones by at least 6 to 1. Why aren’t we talking about the anti-Jewish climate in America?

Because there isn’t one. And there isn’t an anti-Muslim climate either. Yes, there’s a lot of heated rhetoric on the Internet. Absolutely, some Americans don’t like Muslims. But if you watch TV or movies or read, say, the op-ed page of the New York Times – never mind left-wing blogs – you’ll hear much more open bigotry toward evangelical Christians (in blogspeak, the “Taliban wing of the Republican Party”) than you will toward Muslims.

No doubt some American Muslims – particularly young Muslim men with ties to the Middle East and South Asia – have been scrutinized at airports more than elderly women of Norwegian extraction, but does that really amount to Islamophobia, given the dangers and complexities of the war on terror?

For 10 years we’ve been subjected to news stories about the Muslim backlash that’s always around the corner. It didn’t start with President Obama or with the “ground zero mosque.” President George W. Bush was his most condescending when he explained, in the cadences of a guest reader at kindergarten story time, that “Islam is peace.”

But he was right to emphasize America’s tolerance and to draw a sharp line between Muslim terrorists and their law-abiding co-religionists.

Meanwhile, to listen to Obama – say in his famous Cairo address – you’d think America has been at war with Islam for 30 years and only now, thanks to him, can we heal the rift. It’s an odd argument given that Americans have shed a lot of blood for Muslims over the last three decades: to end the slaughter of Muslims in the Balkans, to feed Somalis and to liberate Kuwaitis, Iraqis and Afghans. Millions of Muslims around the world would desperately like to move to the U.S., this supposed land of intolerance.

Conversely, nowhere is there more open, honest and intentional intolerance – in words and deeds – than from certain prominent Muslim leaders around the world. And yet, Americans are the bigots.

And when Muslim fanatics kill Americans – after, say, the Ft. Hood slaughter – a reflexive response from the Obama administration is to fret over an anti-Islamic backlash. It’s fine to avoid negative stereotypes of Muslims, but why the rush to embrace them when it comes to Americans?

And now, thanks to the “ground zero mosque” story, we are again discussing America’s Islamophobia, which, according to Time magazine, is just another chapter in America’s history of intolerance.

When, pray tell, will Time magazine devote an issue to its, and this administration’s, intolerance of the American people?

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AP just can’t manage an impartial story if Beck or Palin are involved

In case you wanted to know something about a extreme left wing pet issue you don’t have far to go; there are stories a plenty. You might not know about any dissenters or protests, and hardly any public criticism because such stories typically “aren’t about them”. And what do we get in news stories about right wing pet issues? Well, we must hear both sides, right?

The AP’s Philip Elliott was certainly interested in presenting Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally and the competing rally hosted by Al Sharpton in equal measure, just not so much on material details. For starters, in his report titled Beck says US has `wandered in darkness’ too long, Elliott somehow got the notion Beck “spoke from the very spot where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech 47 years ago.” Except Beck purposefully stood several steps down from that spot. Now, if Beck chose to speak from several steps above where the Rev. Dr. King actually stood, wouldn’t that be construed as Beck trying to symbolically show he was “above” King or somehow superior to him? Of course it would; that detail would matter a great deal in the latter scenario. But in the unbiased world of AP the fact that Beck stood lower than King is reduced to an over-simplified “over there on the steps” attitude.

This detail was omitted for a later report in Elliott’s Beck: Help us restore traditional American values. But both reports attempt to down play the size of the crowd, as “tens of thousands”. Of course the National Park Service doesn’t offer official attendance accounts of these public rallies any more (thanks to the Million Man March, which was hardly half a million people) but Beck’s rally had easily 500,000 people attend. See some photos for yourself:
Glenn Beck Rally Picture Guaranteed to Drive Media Crazy
August 28, 2010 by Noel Sheppard

But in the second Philip Elliott piece we get a new detail right up front: the fact that it was a “predominantly white crowd”…, which of course is supposed to mean they’re just a bunch of racists. Of all the speakers who joined Beck, Elliott tells only about Sarah Palin in the first story, and he’s sure to mention her again in later reports. Buried near the end of the second report is a scant mention of Dr. Alveda King’s (Martin Luther King, Jr.’s niece) comments at the event, which was not included at all in the earlier story. Neither story mentions any other speaker at the Beck rally.

But we sure get a lot of information about Al Sharpton in a news story about Glenn Beck’s rally. And what do other news outlets have to report on the event?

CBS to Black Beck Rally Attendees: ‘I’m Noticing that There Aren’t a Lot of Minorities Here Today’
August 28, 2010 by Brent Baker

Amateur Hour at CNN: Error-Filled Chyron During Beck Rally
August 28, 2010 by Jeff Poor

Chris Matthews’ ‘Nightmare’: ‘Right-wing Boys and Girls Singing Praise for Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin’
August 28, 2010 by Noel Sheppard

(UPDATE): originally, this blog post estimated some 200,000 attenders at the Restoring Honor rally.

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ABC News tries to manufacture story

Speaker at GZM Rally Witnesses Provocative Behavior from ABC News Staffer
August 24, 2010 by Andrea S. Lafferty

On Sunday I was honored to be a speaker at the rally against building the mosque at ground zero put on by the Coalition to Honor Ground Zero. As the rally concluded, thousands of the participants marched the one block from the rally site to the actual site of Ground Zero.

I noticed a man in black shirt with a phone camera aggressively questioning and haranguing a gentleman with the sign, “No Sharia Here.” He was very aggressive, disrespectful and condescending; apparently, he did not like the gentlemen’s answers about Shariah and pushed the point: “Why do you feel threatened? What are you afraid of? Why can’t you answer my questions?”

My instincts told me to document the scene, and I took out my camera. I originally thought he was a supporter of the mosque (they’d gathered in much smaller numbers a few blocks away), or some kind of fringe reporter for a small, even fringier leftist paper. When I challenged the man in the black shirt, asking him to tell me what media outlet he worked for, he refused to answer. He walked away.

But there was cameraman was standing nearby, watching the scene play out. When I asked, he said he worked for ABC News. I then asked if the man in the black shirt was with him. The ABC cameraman said, “yes.”

Sure enough, a few blocks away, I observed the man in the black shirt getting into an ABC News truck and putting on the sound equipment. When he saw me with my camera, he attempted to hide. At that time it became clear the man in the black shirt was an employee of ABC News. The ABC cameraman also witnessed his colleague’s aggressive behavior–and did nothing to stop him.

Clearly, the ABC employee’s role at the rally was to provoke a confrontation with participants so ABC News cameras could record it and then use the footage. The ABC employee was literally making news.

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From speculation to clueless – media on NYC Muslim stabbing

A left wing narrative permeates the news reporting of the stabbing of a Muslim cab driver in New York City. Driven by speculation, there is an obvious attempt to tie the hate crime to the current debate over the Ground Zero mosque, with no effort to treat the crime as an isolated incident.

CNN Joins Media Speculation on NYC Stabbing’s Connection to Mosque Debate
August 26, 2010 by Matthew Balan

ABC Confounded Stabber Not Right-Winger, Still Exploits ‘Knife Attack That’s Cut Deep Into National Debate Over Faith and Fear’
August 26, 2010 by Brent Baker

ABC, CBS: Did ‘Heightened Fear and Prejudice’ of Ground Zero Mosque Prompt NYC Violence?
August 26, 2010 by Scott Whitlock

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Can you guess journalist opinions on stem cell research?

CBS, NBC Mourn Loss of Funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Research
August 25, 2010 by Nathan Burchfiel

A recent court ruling found that federal funding for embryonic stem cell research violates laws prohibiting the government from using taxpayer money for research that destroys an embryo. The ruling has sent the evening network news broadcasts reeling.

While ABC’s “World News” briefly reported on the ruling Aug. 23, the NBC “Nightly News” and CBS “Evening News” have both aired reports suggesting that the ruling would end life-saving research – in spite of the fact the embryonic research can continue if privately funded, and federal funding of adult stem cell research is unaffected.

NBC’s Robert Bazell reported Aug. 24 that the ruling “left a lot of researchers fairly stunned.” CBS’s Wyatt Andrews called the ruling “a shock.” But was it really? Neither report mentioned that federal funding for embryonic stem cell research was severely restricted under the Bush administration, and was only widened by the Obama administration in July 2009.

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Schlessinger Sherroded by left wing media

Bozell Column: The Real Radio Hatemongers
August 25, 2010 by Brent Bozell

Last week, Dr. Laura Schlessinger announced on CNN that she was hanging up her headphones at the end of the year. If she could not exercise her freedom of speech, she said, she was not interested in the job.

Watchdogs on the left had pounced on a conversation she had with a black woman in which she proclaimed something that everyone with cable TV knows is true. The N-word is acceptable vernacular for black comedians on HBO, but it’s not something you can ever, ever say if you’re not black.

While making this point, Dr. Laura purposely said the N-word repeatedly during this proclamation, and that was all the Left needed to start contacting sponsors, suggesting they shouldn’t want their products associated with this viciously racist talk show. It didn’t matter that even liberal editorialists in The Washington Post declared that there was nothing at all racist in what the doctor said.

The Left had found their to chance to silence her, and they pounced. All they needed to do was distort the context completely, and they did so masterfully.

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Holocaust Survivor Cursed Out By Ground Zero Mosque Supporter

Video: Holocaust Survivor Cursed Out By Ground Zero Mosque Supporter
August 25, 2010 by EyeBlast.tv

In a stunning display at a protest over the Ground Zero mosque, a Holocaust survivor was berated by a mosque supporter. The mosque supporter spews vulgarities at the holocaust survivor and at one point even says he “didn’t learn his lesson”. Content warning, we did not bleep out the profanities.

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Open minded and civil discourse: call Palin Nazi

Roger Ebert: Palin Uses ‘Coded’ Tweets, Employs ‘Mein Kampf’ Tactics on Twitter
August 24, 2010 by Alana Goodman

n a passionate and politically-charged post on his blog, Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert wrote that Glenn Beck is a “zealot” who makes “daily insinuations” that President Obama is a secret Muslim and that Sarah Palin uses “Mein Kampf” tactics and “coded words” on Twitter.
“One buried motive for the attacks on Park51 is exploitation of the insane belief of 20% of Americans that President Obama is a Muslim,” wrote Ebert in the Aug. 19 blog post. “Zealots like Glenn Beck, with his almost daily insinuations about the Muslim grandfather Obama never knew and the father he met only once, are encouraging this mistaken belief.”

Ebert also slammed Sarah Palin, writing that “her tweets are mine fields of coded words; for her, ‘patriot’ is defined as, ‘those who agree with me.’ When she says ‘Americans,’ it is not inclusive.”

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Bloomberg’s ‘tolerance’ hypocrisy: Why does the mayor welcome the mosque and fight small churches?

Bloomberg’s ‘tolerance’ hypocrisy: Why does the mayor welcome the mosque and fight small churches?
August 23, 2010 by TOM MINNERY

Mayor Bloomberg was eloquent in his defense of religious freedom when he spoke up for the mosque near the World Trade Center site. We wish his fervor extended to the small church congregations that only want to rent vacant public school auditoriums in New York City for Sunday services.

For 15 years now, the city has been fighting the tiny Bronx Household of Faith, a small Christian congregation that has been having a difficult time finding a place to meet. It wants, consistent with its reading of the U.S. Constitution – and mine – to meet in a vacant public school space on weekends, just as all other community groups are allowed to.

The city flatly says no. It keeps losing this battle in court, but it won’t quit. This is an astonishing situation given the mayor’s declaration that “Political controversies come and go, but our values and our traditions endure, and there is no neighborhood in this city that is off-limits to God’s love and mercy, as the religious leaders here with us can attest.”

Granted, the facts are different. The mosque is to be built with private funds on private property. The church wants to use public school property, and that triggers some difficult questions. But five times now, starting in 1981, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the government cannot exclude religious groups from public facilities when government has opened them to other community organizations.

It is difficult to conclude that anything but anti-religious bigotry underlies the city’s intransigence.

The Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York

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