“ClimateGate” and the Biased Conservative Media

Have you heard the latest right-wing, anti-environmentalist talking point?

ClimateGate

Tony Hake of The San Francisco Examiner was one of the first to break the real story on the web:

Britain’s Climate Research Unit, University of East Anglia, suffered a data breach in recent days when a hacker apparently broke into their system and made away with thousands of emails and documents. The stolen data was then posted to a Russian server and has quickly made the rounds among climate skeptics.

The electronic break in itself has been verified by the director of the research unit, Professor Phil Jones. He told Britain’s Investigate magazine’s TGIF Edition “It was a hacker. We were aware of this about three or four days ago that someone had hacked into our system and taken and copied loads of data files and emails.”

Update, 3:45pm MDT: In regards to the authenticity, not one report disputing the veracity of the emails has come out. Many sources have talked to some of the email authors and they have not disputed the messages.

Megan McArdle commented on the matter under pressure from her readers at The Atlantic:

I’d say that the charge that climate skeptics “are not published in peer reviewed journals” just lost most of its power as an argument against the skeptics. But I don’t see any reason to think that the AGW scientists have actually falsified data to create a consensus reality which is known to be false-to-fact. What I see is that the people who are the custodians of the currently dominant paradigm have an unhealthy ability to exclude people who might challenge that paradigm from expressing those views in important forums. Powerful scientists using their power to marginalize anyone who might challenge the authority of them, or their views, is sadly not uncommon in the history of science.

That doesn’t mean their paradigm is wrong; rather, it means we need to be less romantic about the practice of science. No scientific consensus is ever as powerful as its proponents claim, because no scientists are ever as perfect as we’d like to imagine.

Wired.com has covered the issue from mainly an internet-based perspective:

The stolen cache includes more than 1,000 e-mails and more than 3,000 documents, some containing code. They were posted anonymously to an FTP server in Russia. The hacker then posted a link to the 61-MB file of data on the blog Air Vent.

The hacker’s message that accompanied the link read: “We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps. We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code and documents.”

The e-mails, which cover a decade of correspondence, are getting a lot of attention among bloggers who point to statements in them that they say suggest the scientists colluded and manipulated data to support their global warming viewpoints.

Bloggers allege that an e-mail from Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, suggests that reality contradicts scientific claims about global warming.

But Trenberth, who acknowledged the e-mail is genuine, says bloggers are missing the point he’s making in the e-mail by not reading the article cited in it. That article – An Imperative for Climate Change Planning — actually says that global warming is continuing, despite random temperature variations that would seem to suggest otherwise.

The right-wing biased media sources and persons were sure to spread this around as solid truth, and most likely have no interest in considering the source of these emails as well the entirely of the body of science rather than a single entity.

To wrap a bow on the bias dripping over every inch of conservative-media from Fox News to Real Clear Politics here is a real-time political polling statistic from RCP:

Direction of Country — RCP Average

Right Direction

37.7

Wrong Track

57.2

Spread -19.5

The “wrong track” is getting more and more obvious to more and more Americans by the day to be the conservative ideology, and these numbers they reluctantly post are growing proof that I am right about this assertion.

When it comes to rushing to interpret the facts without any level of rational approach and spreading self-superior biased media they are still the all time champions.

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Afghanistan; Operation Enduring Freedom Continues

President Barack Obama West Point Speech

During the 2008 Presidential Campaign then-candidate Barack Obama promised the mother a fallen American soldier to not only end the war in Iraq, but the war in Afghanistan as well. I am of the mind that now-president Barack Obama has not forgotten that promise. Many of my fellow Democrats are feeling disenfranchised by the recent official announcement of the decision to increase planned combat-troop levels to 30,000+ in Afghanistan I believe many in the party are taking a dangerously narrow view of militaristic policy.

I’ll simply cut the chase: you break a nation, you bought a nation.

The consequences of immediate withdrawal, in my view, far outweighs the alternative. Should we abandon this nation at this critical stage, after invading and attempting to remove the native opium crops, would be a tragic mistake that would incur even greater wrath upon the U.S. than this “end-game” measure of increased combat-troop involvement. We must not be blinded by political partisanship nor by strong personal feelings against war, that I personally share in this decision to prolong the war. This troop “surge” is accompanied with a clear strategy for withdrawal as well as some long since needed pressure upon the Karzai government in the form of this planned 2011 draw-down / transition of security responsibilities.

President Obama rebuked me in my comparison of Afghanistan and Vietnam. I agree with his statements that it is a “false reading of history,” upon review. But I disagree that what we are fighting in Afghanistan as being “not a popular insurgency.” The radical Taliban and their al-Qaeda allies are indeed a “popular insurgency” in some regions, while not in others. Afghanistan is a highly complex power structure and in every way different from the recent conflict in Iraq or the situation during the Vietnam War, but this is all the more reason to set attainable goals and prepare an exit strategy. We cannot allow ourselves to fall into the trap of counter-insurgency fighting endlessly in the Southern Provinces. We must shift to a counter-terrorism methods in Afghanistan and in order to this it is indeed true that “space” is required, bought with combat-troops of course. The ultimate goal being to seek a similar situation to what exists of involvement in Iraq as of today; a complete withdrawal of all combat-troops.

The sooner it is seen that no nation can “win,” or “lose,” in Afghanistan the sooner we can conduct sound policies in regards to our involvement therein. This is not the no-man’s-land that some make it out to be, much can be achieved with hard work, but we also should not delude ourselves into thinking we can remain troop committed indefinitely to a nation with practically no central government and huge population that is 80% illiterate.

Our humanitarian and intelligence-gathering operations must be secured for the time being and the politically unpopular troop surge is a means to this end. This is a changing in the “face” of this war and I personally hope that we can meet this 2011 time line for beginning combat-troop withdrawal and more importantly that is not simply an arbitrary line in the sand.

I urge people on the left against rush to judgments all is for naught in Afghanistan by value of the nation’s long history of failed attempts at conquering it. This new strategy is not “conquest” but rather supporting existing efforts and expanding upon the model of political solutions with regional leaders. An opportunity will be created in the next two years for Afghanistan to stabilize, but in the end the stand against terrorist tactics must come of the people. That much is out of our hands, it is true.

From GlobalSecurity.org:

Along with protecting local Afghans and reducing violence, new efforts are focused on cutting off the funding of the Taliban and other Afghan insurgents. US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke spoke of a new thinking on the issue during a June 2009 visit to Pakistan. Holbrooke said the long-held notion that Afghanistan’s illicit opium trade is the main source of funding for the insurgency is simply not true. And, he says US policy is going to reflect that reality. “If the drugs ended tomorrow, it would not have a major effect on the Taliban source of funding,” said Holbrooke. “And, that’s one of the reasons the United States is going to downgrade crop eradication as part of its policies in Afghanistan. We’re going to upgrade interdiction. We’re going to upgrade our efforts to go after the main drug traffickers. But we want to focus on where the money really comes from.”

According to PBS & independent news media this is indeed true, but mainly because the Taliban has moved toward kidnapping, extortion and money-laundering as opposed to opium-running.

I do not support actions that only needlessly escalate war, but this change in strategy is likely the only course of action that will bring our major operations inside Afghanistan to a timely close. The president spoke of “muddling through” in reference to the former policy and I would say the same of those promoting this policy of rapid withdrawal. It appears to me that many in my party and that I agree with on a host of other issues propose “muddling through” the careful process of timely and permanent withdrawal from these costly foreign incursions brought about under the George W. Bush Presidency.

Regardless of progress on the ground the generals will always ask for more troops and the person we charged with the responsibility over such matters has decided that the 30,000 troops in Afghanistan for the elections is going to stay and more will be deployed in months to come. Provided agencies like the UN are included more directly in solution-seeking and the model of focusing on political solutions as opposed to only military solutions to bring an end to the conflict there is no reason to scoff at the 2011 deadline for strategy review.

This was a mishandled war left by the previous president and one does not clean up a rotten pile of eggs by screaming at it; you get a shovel.

My heart still cries out: “Come home, America!”

But this is very similar to my views on the aftermath of the U.S.-Iraq Invasion: rapid withdrawal has serious consequences not to be ignored but it is equally important to note that keeping the pressure on our representatives to set clear goals and bring the U.S. involvement to an eventual close as quickly as humanly possible is the responsibility of citizens that fund these conflicts.

To leave now is folly.

This was a predictable “middle-option” and under the current circumstances I believe it was the best possible choice available to the president and the true value of this decision is yet to be seen.

Post 9/11

In October 2001, in response to the Taliban regime’s protection of al Qaeda terrorists who attacked the United States, coalition forces forcibly removed the regime from Afghanistan.

Since the Taliban’s ouster in late 2001, remnants of the regime have sheltered in remote reaches of Afghanistan’s mountains, mainly in the south. While they stood little chance of retaking power while the US-led coalition remains in Afghanistan, rogue Taliban members appeared to be regrouping.

Evidence mounted by early 2003 in the southern regions of Afghanistan that the Taliban was reorganizing and has found an ally in rebel commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, labeled a terrorist and hunted by US troops,” the Associated Press reported in early April. The evidence included the discovery by coalition forces of around 60 Taliban fighters holed up near the village of Sikai Lashki, 25 miles north of the southeastern village of Spinboldak. Further indication came from the killings in southern Afghanistan of a Red Cross worker and, separately, of two U.S. troops in an ambush, as well as allegations that Taliban leaders had found safe havens in private homes in neighboring Pakistan’s Quetta province.

While no reliable estimates existed of the number of Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan, the Associated Press said in late March that it is believed that “many” Taliban are holed up in the southern mountains.

While a multinational force helped keep the peace in Kabul and surrounding areas, contributing countries have declined to extend the force’s mandate to other parts of the country. Remnants of the Taliban and rogue warlords sometimes threatened, robbed, attacked, and occasionally killed local villagers, political opponents, and prisoners.

This is what I spoke of before on this blog.

Our target was al-Qaeda and we should have handled the matter as a militaristic police force instead of “forcibly removing” this Taliban regime in 2001. This is the very nature of the trap of nation-building and these recent changes in war policy are a reflection of the situation as it is now and how to combat the elements are indeed a threat to national security while avoiding the pitfalls of unilateral nation-building. This is a policy that will hopefully provide enough security to focus on counter-terrorism efforts along with regional stabilization so that our exit from the region does not serve to only further destabilize a volatile situation.

Kudos to LiberalViewer of YouTube

Have you ever seen this YouTube Channel called “LiberalViewer“?

I personally would aspire toward having a blog more to the nature of the work of LiberalViewer in days to come.

See for yourself.

Mad as Hell about Health Care!

Mad as Hell Doctors

“This Fall, the rubber gloves meet the road.”

Find the MAHD on:

(Facebook)+(Twitter)+(YouTube)

_________________________________________________

Dr. Paul Hochfeld on Ed Schultz.

Quoting from MadAsHellDoctors.com:

You CAN handle the Truth
There’s no nice way to say it. The financial cost of health care is killing our citizens, hobbling our economy, crushing small business, and threatening the solvency of our government.
In the meantime, the Health Care Industry is spending almost two million dollars a day lobbying Congress and manipulating public opinion to accept “reform” legislation that leaves a vicious, for-profit system intact. The “public option” is a trap. We need real reform that finds immediate savings, controls costs, and accomplishes the moral imperative of true Universal Access.
A Single Payer plan is the only real path to a Health Care System that is socially, ethically and fiscally responsible. And yet, our elected officials refuse to even discuss the possibility of a Single Payer plan!
If that doesn’t make you mad, we recommend checking your pulse.

The “public option” is doomed.
First: we will still have a dysfunctional health care system designed around insurance companies.
Second: it will be impossible to cover everyone without raising taxes.
The Obama administration is already saying it is acceptable to leave out 15 million people. Which 15 million? Will you be one of them? Who gets to decide?
Third: in a “post-option” environment you can bet that the health insurance industry will manipulate the rules so that the sickest, most expensive patients will gravitate toward the public plan, which will cause it to fail. When it does, the opponents of real reform will point to the “public option” and scream: “See! Single Payer won’t work!”

There is a time for compromise – this isn’t one of them.
We believe there is only one way to control costs.
________________________________________________________

This issue and it’s seriousness is severely under-reported or completely propagandized in some media outlets.

This is a map of the uninsured Americans and the percentage of those in your state who are uninsured.

Quoting Dr. Hochfeld from a radio interview with Alan Colmes of Fox News:

“60% of doctors are in favor of government health insurance. The vast majority of primary care providers are in favor of it.”

“We are down to about 30% primary care providers in this country, we should be at about 50%. The more primary care providers you have, and the more resources you put into primary care, the better your health care outcomes and at a lower cost.”

“We are wasting 20% of our dollars on health care costs. It’s a threat to our security. We can’t afford to throw money at health care.”

“Once we get rid of the insurance companies we can have a health care system run by health care professionals.”

“The way ‘single-payer’ works is we take the money we are now spending on health care .. 60% of this 2.4 trillion dollars is already going through the government .. instead of calling it ‘insurance premiums’ it’s just called ‘health tax’. It’s not more money, it’s the same money. Because we cut out the insurance companies, we actually get more for our health care dollars.”

“I’m mad as hell about the political process.”

“I think he [Obama] learned that the industry is far more powerful than he could ever imagine and our political process is far more corrupt than he could ever have predicted.”

____________________________________

This last quote is vital for me to point out.

I find it disturbing those on the left would find it easy to throw the man we elected to change things for the better down the stairs just because the system is broken.

That’s why we elected him.

Let the man work!

This is called “incrementalism” and in my view President Obama should have just gone for the whole-nine-yards of single-payer but it’s looking like that’s not going to happen. Mostly because they are all corrupt in Congress and hyper-corrupt in the GOP so it’s just plain outside of the list of options before Obama.

Or at least that’s my take.

I support Mad as Hell Doctors and all those fighting for Universal Health Care.

My heart is with you. Let’s keep making this case until the establishment will finally listen.

Jimmy Carter And The Race Card

1.carter.nbc

I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African-American,” Carter told NBC News. “I live in the South, and I’ve seen the South come a long way, and I’ve seen the rest of the country that shares the South’s attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African-Americans.

That racism inclination still exists, and I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of belief among many white people — not just in the South but around the country — that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It’s an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply,Carter said.

The oldest son of U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, Alan Wilson, has come to his father’s defense in regards to a racial motivation to the uncouth interruption of President Obama during an address to a Joint-Session of Congress.

There is not a racist bone in my dad’s body,” said Alan Wilson, an Iraq veteran who is running for state attorney general in South Carolina. “He doesn’t even laugh at distasteful jokes. I won’t comment on former President Carter, because I don’t know President Carter. But I know my dad, and it’s just not in him.

It’s unfortunate people make that jump. People can disagree — and appropriately disagree — on issues of substance, but when they make the jump to race it’s absolutely ludicrous. My brothers and I were raised by our parents to respect everyone regardless of background or race.

I personally believe that former President Carter’s words were the absolute truth. I doubt that Rep. Wilson was motivated by a direct, personal hatred for Barack Obama based on his skin color but rather that he chose to be so disrespectful and chose to insult the nation in the way he did because of the exact principals that Carter touched on in the above quote.

The notion that Obama is not qualified to state facts as a President addressing the Congress and that one must not even hear out his entire address before rebuking him, is so outrageous and unheard of up until this point, that few other explanations remain. Joe Wilson continues to defend his un-American slander and claim that he was truthful in his statements when in fact he was, and is, completely misguided.

The notion that all strong resistance to Obama coming from the middle and the right is pure racism is also inaccurate, in my view.

However, the people who constantly use the argument that not everyone opposed to Obama is a racist are very often the same people who fail to point out the racists on the right and fail to be honest about the reasons for their outrage. Or they fail to give any rational explanation that makes any kind of sense for their intense fear and willingness to believe wild claims about Barack Obama.