Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

May 15, 2009



David Zinn, Nation
- When NFL player-turned-Army Ranger Pat Tillman died at the hands of US troops in a case of "friendly fire," the spin machine at the Pentagon went into overdrive. Rumsfeld and company couldn't have their most high- profile soldier dying in such an inelegant fashion, especially with the release of those pesky photos from Abu Ghraib hitting the airwaves. So an obscene lie was told to Tillman's family, his friends and the American public. The chicken-hawks in charge, whose only exposure to war was watching John Wayne movies, claimed that he died charging a hill and was cut down by the radical Islamic enemies of freedom. In the weeks preceding his death, Tillman was beginning to question what exactly he was fighting for, telling friends that he believed the war in Iraq was " [expletive] illegal." He may not have known what he was fighting for, but it's now clear what he died for: public relations. Today, after five years, six investigations and two Congressional hearings, questions still linger about how Tillman died and why it was covered up. Now the man who greased the chain of command that orchestrated this great deception is prepared to assume total control of US operations in Afghanistan: Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal. It was McChrystal who approved Tillman's posthumous Silver Star, a medal given explicitly for combat, even though he later testified that he "suspected" friendly fire.

LA Times
- The Obama administration will announce plans today to revive the Bush-era military commission system for prosecuting terrorism suspects, current and former officials said, reversing a campaign pledge to rely instead on federal courts and the traditional military justice system.

Word of the decision infuriated human rights groups, which argued that any trials under the system created by President George W. Bush would be widely viewed as tainted. They said President Obama was duplicating Bush's mistakes.


Wall Street Journal
- For more than 80 years, Yankee Stadium was the most revered sports venue on the planet. The new Yankee Stadium's fate is yet to be determined. Since it opened in April, scads of empty seats in prime locations have compelled the team to cut prices. Tickets to a recent Boston Red Sox game, usually a hot item, were selling for $8 on Stub Hub, the online reseller. Home runs are flying out of the place at an alarming rate (the park's average of 3.62 per game led the majors). The Yankees absorbed a 10-2 loss in the park's first regular-season game and allowed a stunning 22 runs in its third. . .


NY Times - Despite complaints that banks and credit card companies are gouging customers by charging outrageous interest rates, the Senate on Wednesday turned back an effort to cap interest rates at 15 percent. The proposal by Senator Bernard Sanders, the Vermont independent, drew only 33 votes and needed 60. A bipartisan group of 60 senators opposed it, though the Senate pushed ahead with other restrictions on credit cards. . . . . . . "When banks are charging 30 percent interest rates, they are not making credit available," said Mr. Sanders. "They are engaged in loan sharking.


Seattle Times
- Andrew King got a text message in his third-period class: There's gonna be a food fight at lunch. Other Jackson High School students heard the rumors in the halls. So when first lunch period began around 11 a.m. Thursday, students at the Mill Creek school say, tension filled the air, teenagers looked from one to another and wondered if the famous scene from National Lampoon's "Animal House" would be re-enacted in their own cafeteria.

Then a carton of milk flew through the air and splattered on the floor. Fight on. Before it was over, a package of Cup Noodles had been launched, along with fruit, chocolate milk, Tater Tots, sandwiches and coffee cake. One student emptied a condiment tray of relish over another student's head, according to one witness. "Once food started flying, it was all over the ceiling and floor," said King, a junior, who estimated that more than 100 kids took part. "It was pretty great." After the melee, 14 students, including King, were expelled. Administrators also suspended the May 23 senior prom.


NY Times
- Census data from the Mexican government indicate an extraordinary decline in the number of Mexican immigrants going to the United States. The recently released data show that about 226,000 fewer people emigrated from Mexico to other countries during the year that ended in August 2008 than during the previous year, a decline of 25 percent. All but a very small fraction of emigration, both legal and illegal, from Mexico is to the United States.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW - the sea will rise 20 feet because of man-made global warming? Grandma, head for the hills; your oceanfront home will soon be inundated! Isn't this article scientific validation of the biblical/Torah commentary on Noah's flood?

So the same "scientists" that laugh at those who believe in the Biblical flood want us wholeheartly glom onto these unproven climate model predictions and believe in the upcoming global warming catastrophic flood! Ironic, isn't it?

Didn't our Treasury head, tax-cheat Timothy Geithner screw up his taxes because of a "bad" computer model, Turbotax? Garbage In = Garbage out! Can we REALLY trust the unproven IPCC model?

These global warming charlatans want us to believe the earth is in a state of never-ending stasis; but that is the argument of propagandist/con-men like al gore and NASA's hansen!

All plant life is dependant upon CO2 as a food source. Global warming fanatics are unable to explain how plants discern the difference between "good", naturally occurring CO2 and the evil manmade CO2 "pollution". It's simple: more CO2, more plants, more biodiversity! Less CO2, less plants, less biodiversity.

If CO2 is truly a "pollutant" then it is incumbent upon us as caretakers of the environment to scrub ALL CO2 from the atmosphere; not just a small portion of
it. If a little bit of manmade CO2 is pollution, then ALL CO2 is pollution!

Is now the time for a government sponsored CO2 SUPERFUND to eliminate the scourge that is CO2 from our environment??


May 15, 2009 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

That is a truly asinine post.

Homeostasis requires that consumption equal production. To posterise it for you: trees consume co2. If you produce more co2, more trees will grow. BUT IF YOU ALSO CUT DOWN THE TREES, the excess co2 has no trees to consume it. So it hangs around and produces greenhousing.

Surely you can understand that?

May 16, 2009 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Occidental Petroleum Al Gore said...

The IPCC based their findings on data that was fudged, and liar Al Gore's movie contains 35 errors in fact.

co2 doesn't cause warming: warming planet causes rising co2.

do we have enviro problems that must be addressed? yes.

are we being mislead about the problems, causes, and solutions? yes.

will a few somebodies make huge profits off the deceptions?

yes - if people keep falling sucker to the lies told by lying liars.

May 17, 2009 7:30 AM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

Gore is a rather dull, self-satisfied love-me-I'm-a-liberal politician. I wouldn't trust him to tell me whether it's raining if he were standing in the street looking up. I damned sure wouldn't trust him to understand, let alone report honestly, any scientific findings.

If you truly believe that planetary overheating is the cause of co2 overproduction, then you badly need to get an education. There's no excuse for that level of ignorance in someone living in the USA, and able to use a computer and traverse the internet. There just isn't!

May 17, 2009 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Occidental Al said...

watch Bob Carter 4 parts then talk to me again please Mairead...because I have checked out BOTH sides of this issue for myself, and cannot find anything to dispute Bob Carter's findings. And note he is NOT saying we don't have big problems, please.

Do people think we're being lied to and carefully manipulated about everything BUT human-caused co2??? Really??

May 17, 2009 8:40 PM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

There's a big difference: we can see the climate changes for ourselves, if we look.

And we can even do the numbers at a gross level of granularity, if we want to, by looking at world forestation before the beginning of industrialisation compared to forestation today. We can get a 0th-order approximation of how much carbon a tree captures and compare that to the co2 output during pre-industrial days when we still had something resembling homeostasis.

Plus we have thousands of well-qualified scientists --not politicians!-- who have done that work, and have the historical data from a number of credible proxy sources to back up their consensus that we humans are screwing all life on Earth.

More to the point, perhaps, the "climate skeptics" won't put their money where their mouths are.

Dr James Annan has been trying to get the "skeptics" to bet a significant amount of money with him. One of them, Linzen at MIT, wanted 50:1 odds!! Which of course means that he doesn't think the probability is IPCC's published 95%, but rather 98%! His published stance has been that the whole thing is a fraud...but his money says there's only a 2% (not the "official" 5%) chance that it's NOT real and caused by humans.

UK journo George Monbiot tried to get a £5K bet going with Myron Ebell at the "Competitive Enterprise Institute" in DC - apparently a professional denier/lobbyist/shill for "industry". Ebell turned him down flat. He said he couldn't afford to take the risk! But in public he claims that there is no risk.

That's what should tell you what reality looks like. When a scientist is willing to bet serious money, but the "skeptics" run away, that should tell you everything you need to know.

May 18, 2009 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Oxy Al said...

Who's betting or not betting who what: this is your science?

Please - do you have verifiable information that shows Bob Carter's data is wrong? Because I can't find any!

The issue is not whether climate is changing; that's what climate does. The issue is whether or not a human-caused co2 increase is causing warming. After researching, I no longer believe anything like that has been shown to be the case.

May 19, 2009 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

There are two ways to test reality.

One is by using sophisticated statistical instruments on collected data. You can find very, very small factors that way. Often so small that they're unimportant.

The other way is by winning "bar bets" about what the future will look like. If you can bet and win, you obviously have a good grip on the important factors.

"Bar bets" are what Annan and Monbiot are doing. They're saying "put your money where your mouth is". And the "skeptics" are running away. Now, why would the skeptics run away if they truly believe their own claims? That's an easy one: they're not really skeptics, they just play them on tv. They know very well what the reality is, they just don't want to own up because the pay is better on the corporate side.

May 19, 2009 3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mairead, my-red confused friend: which of the following statement is more asinine?

1). The earth's temperature is unchanging, has always been unchanging and should be maintained in stasis, whatever the cost! (this is the algore/hansen propaganda line)


2). The earth's temperature and climate are in constant change, due to naturally occurring events such as solar variance, cloud cover, air currents, volcanic activity and major global warming gases such as WATER VAPOR.

The modern day Luddites enriching themselves in the global warming scheme want us to fall for option 1, which you obviously believe to be true!

But is not the earth constantly evolving as volcanoes build land mass, ocean currents change, the axis wobbles? What impact is due to subtle variance in earth's orbit and solar output? It seems a rigid fundamentalist religious belief of the manmade global warmers that the earth's temperature should remain CONSTANT (some would call that "stasis"), no matter what happens naturally to drive the so-called "global" temperature up or down.

Our planet has been in a constant state of evolution; temperatures have changed since it was first formed, billions of years ago. The earth "global" temperature has evolved over time. Surely you understand a simple concept like evolution? Are you arrogant enough to think that your petty CO2 exhalations are now destroying the planet? Didn't the planet CREATE you and all of your fellow men, the builders of the evil SUV and coal fired power plants? Yet now the spawn of planet earth are out to destroy her with CO2! What a farce! Methinks you watch too many godzilla movies!

I wonder what the dinosaurs and wolly mammoth (all now extinct with the help of global cooling) would think about this global warming foolishness? My guess is they would clamour for MORE global warming!

By the way, you could cut down EVERY tree on earth and the level of CO2 in the atmosphere would only rise trivially. Don't forget - the oceans consume in excess of 50% of the minor trace gas that is CO2; grasses and a variety of plant matter also consume CO2. Yes trees may consume the remaining 30% or more; but what impact would 30% of nothing (the trace element factor of CO2) actually get you? Sadly, not much!

As a final note; if the Earth truly "has a fever" as the now suddenly multi-millionaire (coincidence?) global warming acolyte al gore claims, can you tell me what the "ideal" global temperature is? Remember; thermodynamically speaking, the earth's atmosphere is an open system (not closed as in the childish "greenhouse" model). The earth gains heat externally from the sun (solar radiation, which is variable) as well as internally from volcanic activity; and loses heat to space (variable, due to air currents, cloud cover and atmospheric WATER VAPOR, the major global warming gas). Only fools, charlatans and con men (al gore, please stand up!) would think that the earths' temperature wouldn't go UP and Down under these circumstances. Or does gore think we should be heading into an ice age, and that would be a good thing?

Be sure you can prove that whatever temperature you claim as the "ideal" global temperature can be shown to be so; my guess is you will not be able to prove anything and will have to resort to trite phrases from some hollywood global warming movie frightfest - NOT written by any scientists, I might add.

May 19, 2009 9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no real debate in the scientific community about climat change being caused by humans. It's like evolution; it's rock solid. This guy sounds like someone screaming about how evolution is statistically impossible or how einstein was wrong.

There isn't any money in climate science compared to auto and coal money. If scientists didn't have to beg for cash from idiot businessmen the studies and evidence would be even more glaring.

May 20, 2009 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Al just looves youse certaintoids said...

what a load, 3-oh-6

you go on ahead pretending out loud that there is nothing to debate and no debate; REAL people are suffering REAL consequences of your having swallowed and championed the "consensus" koolaid.

the green party is headed for self-destruction by having succumbed hook, line, and sinker to this big fat lie.

May 21, 2009 9:37 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home