Thursday, December 17, 2009

NY Times stoops to new low … lobbied unnamed journalistic prize committee against awards to WSJ

This incredible revelation came to light in a letter Monday from Wall Street Journal managing editor Robert Thompson to a number of news organizations. It was a response to a NY Times article by David Carr entitled “Under Murdoch, Tilting Rightward at the Journal.”

Carr's somewhat snarky article accused the Journal of tainting its reputation as “one of the crown jewels of journalism” into a more mundane conservative newspaper and that it was assuming a pro-business, anti government stance. The Times accusing the Journal of sullying its reputation with biased journalism??? What chutzpah! The Journal’s response was quoted in Editor and Publisher which was a recipient of the letter.

It contained the incendiary allegation that Bill Keller, executive editor of the Times lobbied against the Journal’s “journalists and journalism” with a prize committee. 

"The news column by a Mr David Carr today is yet more evidence that The New York Times is uncomfortable about the rise of an increasingly successful rival while its own circulation and credibility are in retreat. The usual practice of quoting ex-employees was supplemented by a succession of anonymous quotes and unsubstantiated assertions. The attack follows the extraordinary actions of Mr Bill Keller, the Executive Editor, who, among other things, last year wrote personally and at length to a prize committee casting aspersions on Journal journalists and journalism. Whether it be in the quest for prizes or in the disparagement of competitors, principle is but a bystander at The New York Times."

What’s behind this? Probably more than the increased competition between the two papers. The Times’ decision whether to run a story or not has very often been followed by the rest of the media, especially when it involves something detrimental to Democrats. Whether this comes from “like mindedness” or persuasion is subject to debate. My feelings are it comes from both and the latter is almost surely present much of the time.

The Times leadership is now being challenged by the Journal. They are publishing “no go” stories the Times and others are holding back on. The recent ClimateGate coverage is an example. The Journal did not follow the Times’ lead. It covered the story and covered it well.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

“Social Justice” (Socialism) is what warmists yearn for … not global cooling

The forebodings the Jews of Europe had as they were herded onto cattle cars to an unknown destination are the same feelings of helplessness I have as the Copenhagen Climate Summit reaches its conclusion. It is the concern that unaccountable, unelected and unresponsive individuals will seal my fate and squander my assets to bring “social justice” to the world.

Make no mistake, global warmists are more interested in achieving an agenda of undoing Westernism than cooling the planet. It is Westernism that has brought unbridled prosperity to most of the world, and where it doesn’t exist (North Korea, Cuba, Myanmar for instance) it leads to abject poverty and suffering. Yet it is our very prosperity they seek to destroy.

I’m not sure what “social justice” is precisely, other than it is preached from the pulpit of the likes of the Reverend Wright when he attacks “rich white people.” And it is being preached from the pulpits of liberal newspapers. I think it is what Joe the plumber objected to. But most of all I don’t understand how transferring the world’s treasure to corrupt regimes will ever alleviate poverty in those countries. It hasn’t before and there is no reason to believe it will in the future.

But read a sample of the misguided logic from the liberal Guardian:

Social justice demands that the industrialized world digs deep into its pockets and pledges cash to help poorer countries adapt to climate change, and clean technologies to enable them to grow economically without growing their emissions. The architecture of a future treaty must also be pinned down – with rigorous multilateral monitoring, fair rewards for protecting forests, and the credible assessment of "exported emissions" so that the burden can eventually be more equitably shared between those who produce polluting products and those who consume them.

When Zimbabwe, once the breadbasket of Africa, found it couldn’t feed itself because Mugabe’s racist policies forced productive white farmers off their farms, the UN came to the rescue. It provided free maize (corn) to the government to feed its people. But then the government of Zimbabwe sold this gift to acquire foreign exchange. When the UN insisted its personnel oversee the distribution of its largesse to the hungry, Mugabe kicked them out. All efforts to alleviate misery were stymied unless it enriched the corrupt regime.

Haiti’s population has so denuded its countryside to find kindling to cook with, they face destructive mudslides when any tropical storm passes by. Countless foreign aid teams have addressed the problem. And millions of dollars in financial assistance, both private and governmental, have not been able to stop it. The government has been run by a series of corrupt strong men. It is unreasonable to expect money will solve the problem. It will just add to some Swiss bank account’s balance.

The folks who run the UN’s IPCC (located in Switzerland) simply want to establish and maintain control over our lives. Their “social justice” is no more than a form of government imposed on unwilling East Europeans over 60 yeas ago. Global Warming is only a pretext for doing it.

I have always been a believer that the thirst for freedom is universal, that it can never be quenched. Those who have had it stolen from them will forever seek to have it returned. My generation grew up watching Soviet Socialism take over large chunks of the world. The first of the rebellions against it occurred in East Germany in June 1953, a workers protest against the heavy handedness of the newly imposed Communist government. A photo of two men facing off against a tank (above) electrified the world. It appeared on the cover most news and pictorial magazines of the day.

It has lived in my memory. It is a reminder that those who want freedom should never give up.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Amazing! From the NY Times … a positive review of Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue

Stanley Fish in his NY Times blog Opinionator reviews Sarah Palin’s book Going Rogue. It is a very satisfying analysis for those who admire her, of which I am one. But it is totally out of character for the Times. Read it. It finishes with these words:

But run she does (and falls, but so what?), and when it is all over and she has lost the vice presidency and resigned the governorship, she goes on a long run and rehearses in her mind the eventful year she has chronicled. And as she runs, she achieves equilibrium and hope: “We’ve been through amazing days, and really, there wasn’t one thing to complain about. I feel such freedom, such hope, such thankfulness for our country, a place where nothing is hopeless.” The message is clear. America can’t be stopped. I can’t be stopped. I’ve stumbled and fallen, but I always get up and run again. Her political opponents, especially those who dismissed Ronald Reagan before he was elected, should take note. Wherever you are, you better watch out. Sarah Palin is coming to town.

The comments are in many ways more interesting read than the review itself. They paint a picture of total intolerance from the left for any reasonable discussion of Sarah Palin. They attack the messenger and spout talking points a year’s worth of biased drivel they have read in the Times. It’s a revealing look at the mindset of the Time’s readers. Here are some:

Mr. Fish, you do realize that as an educated and thoughtful person you would not be welcomed in Sarah Palin's Republican party? Scalia, Roberts, Atillo, [sic] Reagan etc would also be unwelcome. When you sleep with the dogs the GOP has the last few decades you are going to pick up the fleas. Mr. Fish is one of the most stupid smart people ever to take a pen to paper. For those that don't know this piece forms part of Fish's new monograph "Surprised by Simpleton," wherein an "authentic" voice leads her unwitting audience's to support blithe ignorance and cheery demagoguery. This column is disgusting for many reasons. Here’s one: We just endured eight disastrous years of an ignorant, unqualified lightweight as president. As a result of The Decider’s abysmal job performance, hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives and millions lost their life savings. Now Sarah Palin aspires to become the leader of the free world, and Stanley Fish has written a love note to her in the New York Times. Do you have any sense of responsibility, Dr. Fish? I have absolutely no respect left for you. i'm really surprised to read a deconstructionist former professor of literature opine confidently about what an author actually "believes". isn't it obvious that sarah palin believes most in her own entitlement?

On the other hand there are a few supporters.

What an amazing article to find published in the NYT. An article about Sarah Palin that actually avoids descending into the sexist vile and misogynist hate that one has come to expect as de rigueur in any piece about Sarah Palin in the NYT. As much as Palin has made some decisions and statements that irk and bewilder me, she also has gotten a patently unfair treatment from the media who pounced upon her as soon as they heard a utterly false allegation about her family going on a high-priced clothing shopping spree. As far as I know, no reporter has yet apologized for completely failing to fact check the allegation, and it was only a year or more after the event, as Palin's book was readying for release, that the stylist who had done all of the shopping on the RNC tab without much RNC oversight and with no knowledge of the Palin's fessed up to the real story. A good reporter could have dismissed the rumor with three or four phone calls, but none bothered to do so, and instead launched into maligning Palin every chance they got. And it worked. Palin quickly became laughingstock among all liberals. So it's nice to hear a fair treatment of Palin in the media, even if in a blog, or at least one that openly admits the biases against her and tries to judge her outside of those tired political tropes. This isn't to say that Palin's own political tropes are better, but the bulk of the media judging Palin's every move through the same colored lens is a gross miscarriage of journalistic integrity.

 One thing to note, this is a blog and did not appear on the sacrosanct print pages of the Times. But it still has the leftists screaming.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Does Spanx mean the end of the sexual revolution?

When I was in college in 1958 my dad made a comment that my generation was the worst generation ever, meaning primarily morals and music. It’s a statement most dads have probably made to sons over the millennia. My retort was, “well what about the Roaring Twenties, bathtub gin and petting parties?” After denials of his involvement in any of that, this line of conversation ceased.

Those who came of age in the fifties lived through what is now considered one of the tamest times since the Victorian era. It was the age of Doris Day, hula hoops, and dancing the jitterbug. It was the heyday of the Catholic Legion of Decency, and airbrushed body parts in Playboy center spreads.

But most of all it was the age of the girdle. Young women with great shapes felt they had to improve on Mother Nature’s perfection. The ultimate development of the girdle was the panty girdle, the modern day equivalent of the chastity belt. A gentleman caller knew instantly from a gentle pat on the fanny that the best he could hope for was a gentle kiss goodnight.

All that changed in the sixties and seventies. The boomers burned their bras and shed their girdles. Bras had a revival simply because of gravity and inevitable natural aging but the girdle went the way of the buggy whip. However the lady boomers who thought modern diets and Jane Fonda workouts would keep them forever looking 18, found fat deposits still wanted to migrate from their top parts to their tummies and rear ends.

In 2000 the mother of necessity answered the need and Spanx was invented. Now you can’t call it a girdle, it wouldn’t sell. It is a development of panty hose with a super duty fabric. And it is spreading to a younger generation. But it has its drawbacks as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

Before Jessica Kraus put on a tight-fitting frock one recent evening, she wriggled into a $76 piece of flesh-toned underwear that extended from the bottom of her bra to mid-thigh. She felt confident and svelte as she left her apartment to meet friends for cocktails. Then a few hours later, the 25-year-old Boston event planner was faced with what she says was a "horrific situation." As she was embracing a man she had met that night, Ms. Kraus got to thinking about what lurked beneath her sleek exterior. "There's no graceful way of taking the thing off," she says.

The world has come full circle. Will this dampen the sexual revolution? It’s doubtful anything can. And I hope not.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

UK Met Office to reexamine temperature data around the world … a victory for truth

Today’s Times of London reveals the UK Met (Meteorological) Office will go through the painstaking job of reassembling all of the original temperature data that was recently discovered to have been destroyed by the CRU, reportedly in the 1980s. This earth shattering news was discovered by the University of East Anglia shortly after it announced all source data and code used in the CRU’s reports would be made public. Two days after the revelation of the destroyed data, it was announced Phil Jones, CRU’s director would temporarily step down, pending an independent investigation.

The Met Office plans to re-examine 160 years of temperature data after admitting that public confidence in the science on man-made global warming has been shattered by leaked e-mails. The new analysis of the data will take three years, meaning that the Met Office will not be able to state with absolute confidence the extent of the warming trend until the end of 2012. Since the stolen e-mails were published, the chief executive of the Met Office has written to national meteorological offices in 188 countries asking their permission to release the raw data that they collected from their weather stations.

This is a necessary task for any future climate research to be credible. Not only will this provide verifiable baseline data, but it will also determine to what extent Jones et al fudged the data. Many of us are waiting for that. I would love to have been a fly on the wall when the university had its meeting with Jones, to question why all the difficulty in releasing data and source code, only to discover it didn’t even exist. Now for a university to find it’s most highly publicized and respected department continued to publish papers for at least 20 years, papers that had a major influence on all the economies of the world and not have the data to back them up, must have had those in the room dumbstruck.

The real question is why nobody was ever told. And another question is why none of the peer reviewers ever picked it up. Well we do know the answer to that from reading the emails. They could be counted on “without being nudged.” My guess is the question wasn’t whether or not Jones should be sacked, it was a matter of when.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

NY Times is finally forced to write a substantive but incomplete and biased story on ClimateGate

The “temporary” step down of Phil Jones finally forced the NY Times to do some print coverage of the scandal. Missing from the story are any quotes from the incendiary emails and very little about reaction of other scientists over this growing scandal.

Phil Jones, the director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England, said that he would leave his post while the university conducted a review of the release of the e-mail messages. The university has called the release and publication of the messages a “criminal breach” of the school’s computer systems. The e-mail exchanges among several prominent American and British climate-change scientists appear to reveal efforts to keep the work of skeptical scientists out of major journals and the possible hoarding and manipulation of data to overstate the case for human-caused climate change.

The Times’ emphasis on the criminal aspect of the email release is more than somewhat laughable in light of some of its rather questionable publication of highly classified comint information. But the important point here is the Times has simply played the same old game of attempting to suppress an unpalatable story that has been burning up the internet. It is a repetition of the Giles/O’Keefe/Breitbart story on ACORN. They tried to make that one look like they were caught napping, but the world knows it was more to keep the story from “getting legs.”

The Times and its Public Editor Clark Hoyt are easy targets because they keep doing the same thing and keep getting caught at it. I wrote Clark twice on ClimateGate, once Saturday evening and the other yesterday shortly after the Phil Jones step down was announced. This from 11/28/2009:

It has been 10 days since the “hacked” … emails made it into the public domain and in that time the NY Times has reported on it only once in print…. And its conclusion was that it was no great shakes…. Since then the internet has been burning up with analyses from highly respected statistical experts whose writings paint a widespread and extremely damaging picture of data manipulation. This is in addition to playing games with the peer review process and suppressing free access to source data as well as violating the FOI acts in both the US and the UK. 

So serious is the breach of integrity, green activist writer for the Guardian, George Monbiot, has called for the resignation of Dr Philip Jones (CRU’s director). Dr. Eduardo Zorita (a prominent climate scientist at Hamburg’s GKSS) has called for Drs Mann (of the now discredited hockey stick thesis) and Jones to be barred from any further participation with the UN’s IPCC.

Today the University of East Anglia (home of the CRU) has ordered the release of all climate source data into the public domain. After your paper was admittedly “slow off the mark” in reporting the ACORN scandals in September, your editors promised you would have an editor keep track of the hot stories on the internet. So far he or she is doing a terrible job. …You will not be the newspaper of record on this story, just as you weren’t when you ignored so many others. The UK’s Telegraph is where students of history will go for the CRU story, sadly not the NY Times.

And this from yesterday:

I wrote you earlier that the Times is certainly not the "Newspaper of Record" on the ClimateGate issue. Again you are "slow off the mark" and lacking "tunedinness." What happened to your internet monitoring editor? The above story passed over the AP wire a short time ago. It's the same as if Einstein were stepping down pending an investigation of his work. It is earth shaking, especially on the eve of the Copenhagen conference. Again the Times is well behind the curve on this story. While you tried to marginalize the AGW critics, your editors only succeeded in marginalizing themselves. Good luck explaining this away in next Sunday's column. (Emphasis added)

Clark Hoyt should stop being an apologist for the Times. He should man up and do what a readers’ representative should. Criticize the editors in no uncertain terms for failing to report the news. Don’t ask them for their rationale for not covering the story, go to Jay Rosen or some other impartial media critic for their opinion. But he won’t do that. Hoyt is only there as window dressing.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Phil Jones, CRU director “temporarily” steps down pending an investigation

The following just passed over the AP wire. CRU director and author of many of the damning “hacked” emails, Phil Jones, has temporarily stepped down pending an independent investigation. This is only the beginning of his problems. East Anglia University holds all the emails and source data (what’s left of it), on its computers. They should be able ascertain the scope of the fraud he perpetrated. If data has been recently destroyed, they should be able to find out who did it. Happy hunting guys!

UK climate scientist to temporarily step down (AP) – 1 hour ago

LONDON — Britain's University of East Anglia says the director of its prestigious Climatic Research Unit is stepping down pending an investigation into allegations that he overstated the case for man-made climate change.The university says Phil Jones will relinquish his position until the completion of an independent review into allegations that he worked to alter the way in which global temperature data was presented. The allegations were made after more than a decade of correspondence between leading British and U.S. scientists were posted to the Web following the security breach last month. The e-mails were seized upon by some skeptics of man-made climate change as proof that scientists are manipulating the data about its extent.

It is doubtful the media can contain this, though as of this moment (3:20 pm EST) it has not been posted by the NY Times.