August 30, 2009

Boston Globe: Now That Ted’s Out of the Way, Hurry Up With That Cape Cod Wind Farm

KennedyopposingCapeWindOn the very day Ted Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery near his two brothers, a Boston Globe editorial argued to undo part of his legacy.

The pertinent portion of Mr. Kennedy’s legacy has to do with his strident opposition, despite a career of enthusiastically imposing environmental initiatives and costs on others, to the building of a wind farm on Cape Cod (the graphic at top right is from a 2006 post at a Greenpeace web site).

The ever-opportunistic Globe wrote a 450-word editorial virtually demanding that President Barack Obama get work started on Nantucket Sound right now, this very instant (HT to an e-mailer):

…. Neither Obama nor his administration has yet weighed in on Cape Wind, the controversial 130-turbine wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound that could supply the electricity needs of more than 300,000 homes on the Cape and Islands. If Obama’s pledges for a greener economy are to be kept, his administration should not delay any longer the arduous process that began in 2001 to develop this clean energy source.

The proposed offshore wind project has sustained more than seven years of heated debate; political maneuvering, including some by the late Senator Edward Kennedy, a project opponent; and environmental review. It now awaits a decision from the Department of the Interior — the last major regulatory hurdle its developers must clear for the project to move forward. As the country’s first proposed commercial offshore wind farm, and the only project of its kind this far along in the approval process, Cape Wind could open the door for developers to harness the vast wind energy resource along the nation’s eastern seaboard. The approval could make Massachusetts the trailblazer of a power source that is an essential part of the country’s strategy to address global warming and to achieve energy security.

In January, Interior’s Minerals Management Service, the federal agency charged with assessing Cape Wind’s potential impacts on the environment, published a detailed report that found the wind farm would pose little harm to fisheries, birds, and other wildlife. The agency also concluded that developers could readily address any navigational concerns for ships and planes posed by the 440-foot turbines.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar is now responsible for issuing a decision on the project. ….

Certain commenters at the Globe are not amused. In the process, they smash the Globe’s contention that Cape Wind is a truly “commercial” project, berate the paper for its tasteless timing, and remind it that there is another Massachusetts Senator whose name begins with a “K” who is apparently also not a fan of Cape Wind:

“The wind farm is a boondoggle with more public money going into it than private and at sea to save the money it would have to pay on land. Wind-wise, it doesn’t even make sense in the location they want for it. It won’t benefit any of the homeowners on the Cape and Island. It will be a constant environmental risk for the Nantucket Sound.”

“Once again the Boston Globe leaves out the facts. Hopefully, the Obama’s now know the ugly truth about this project that the Globe is afraid to print. First, according to the MMS, it will double electric rates. This is after over $70,000,000 a year in federal and state subsidies.”

“It’s a disservice to the country when articles like this don’t mention that wind farms only produce at a 25% ‘capacity factor’ and that they are usually backed up by fossil fuel generation.”

“The Globe would never said this to the face of Ted Kennedy. He has not has his funeral, and they put this in the paper today. Cape Wind is another big dig.”

“It is utterly repugnant, disgraceful and disrespectful to the memory of Senator Kennedy that the editors have chosen this day to pitch Cape Wind.”

“Now there is only one Senator from our state blocking the building of wind turbines…”

The most recent evidence I could find about John Kerry’s position on Cape Wind is that he opposed it six years ago.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Video: The Government Can…

Filed under: Activism,Economy,Taxes & Government,Wide Open — Rose @ 1:05 pm

From my favorite parody writer, Tim Hawkins (direct YouTube link):

There Are Two Types of Boycotts: The Elite-Supported, and the Invisible

NoToGMandChrysler0109glenn-beckNoWholeFoodsGuess which ones usually get results?

__________________________

Note: This item originally appeared at Pajamas Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Friday.

__________________________

As we enter the eighth month of our Punk Presidency, the Left’s desperation to enact the slow but sure evolution to statist health care favored in reality by Barack Obama has reached a fever pitch.

Not coincidentally, boycott fever seems to be sweeping the nation. Two of them, assisted heavily by establishment media coverage, are quite visible. One that is perhaps as effective is largely unrecognized in elite circles. Finally, the most effective one may be a totally unorganized refusal to buy largely lurking behind the scenes.

First, there is the situation with Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFMI). In an August 11 Wall Street Journal op-ed entitled “The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare; Eight things we can do to improve health care without adding to the deficit,” company CEO John Mackey enraged single-payer partisans when he argued that:

…. the last thing our country needs is a massive new health-care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health-care system. Instead, we should be trying to achieve reforms by moving in the opposite direction — toward less government control and more individual empowerment.

He then identified eight things that could be done to reduce government involvement and empower individuals, in the process citing several steps his company has taken in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. that are in sync with his ideas.

In a company blog post three days later, Mackey noted that he had not included his company’s name in his originally submitted title (“Health Care Reform”), was speaking for himself and not as Whole Foods CEO, and observed that he was responding to “President Obama’s invitation to all Americans to put forward constructive ideas for reforming our health care system.”

By that time, the founder of singlepayeraction.org had called for a boycott of WFMI. (Aside: If the various health care plans floating around Washington really won’t lead to single-payer, why aren’t these organizations directing their fire at the president and Congress?) On August 20, the official WFMI boycott site “boasted” (you’ll see later why that word is in quotes) of having 23,000 participants.

Since the company’s next set of financials won’t come out until early November, whether the boycott will have any real effect will be unclear for quite a while. That hasn’t stopped establishment media outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and ABC News, and even the BBC from generating glowing boycott write-ups. Opportunists at the United Food and Commercial Workers union, at which at least ten executives “earn” at least $250,000 a year, are at least partially funding a coalition of “activists, consumers and labor groups around the country” who don’t like a company that has been named one of the 25 Best Companies to Work For, and where Mackey more than earns his annual salary of a whole dollar.

The WFMI boycott seems not to have harmed the company’s stock, which rose from $27.10 on August 17 to $29.52 nine days later, and was very close to its 52-week high at the time this column was finished Wednesday afternoon. NASDAQ.com’s WFMI Company Headlines section is devoid of any mention of the boycott’s existence, indicating that at least for now the markets could care less.

Then there’s Glenn Beck. The radio talker and Fox News show host drove the nutroots crazy in late July by expressing his belief that the president is a racist. Barack Obama’s attendance at and support of an objectively racist church run by an objectively racist pastor for 20 years, his characterization of his grandmother as a “typical white person,” and his more recent knee-jerk criticism of a white Cambridge police officer’s arrest of a black friend — while admitting to all that he didn’t even know the facts of the situation – apparently aren’t germane to the accuracy of Beck’s characterization.

The Associated Press’s David Bauder copied a press release — er, pretended to run a news story — claiming that 33 Fox News advertisers had directed that their commercials not air during Beck’s show. Bauder at least partially relied on information from colorofchange.org, “a group that promotes political action among blacks and launched a campaign to get advertisers to abandon him.” That group happens to have been founded by current “green jobs czar” Van Jones. Imagine that.

On Wednesday afternoon, I could not find a list of the companies Color of Change claims will not advertise on Beck’s show. Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey reported on August 19 that at least some of the companies supposedly moving their ads from Beck hadn’t been advertising on the show in the first place. It’s possible that Fox News won’t even lose even a dime in all of the hubbub. Meanwhile, Beck’s audience continues to be greater than competing shows at MSNBC, CNN, and CNN Headline — combined. His Monday show’s audience nearly doubled the total of the other three. As with Whole Foods, the media coverage parade has been heavy, including the New York TimesReuters, and a host of business news outlets.

Those same business news outlets and others “somehow” have entirely missed a boycott with at least 15 times more supporters than Whole Foods claimed above. That would be the American Family Association’s boycott of PepsiCo over what it claims is that company’s support of “the homosexual agenda,” homosexual publications, and corporate diversity training that borders on brainwashing.

The AFA’s boycott site claims over 350,000 signed-up supporters, about the same number as successfully boycotted the Ford Motor Company for over two years (BizzyBlog August 30 Update/Clarification: AFA’s current total is about the same as the Ford boycott total at the same stage. By the time the boycott ended, AFA had over 750,000 signed-up Ford boycott supporters). Yet a Google News search on “Pepsi boycott” and a Google News Archive search from January 2008 to July 2009 on “Pepsi boycott American Family Association” (each string entered without quotes) show that there has been virtually no meaningful coverage of the AFA’s boycott since it began.

Luckily for Ford, it did what it had to in order to end their AFA boycott in early 2008 — just in time for it to refocus on its business while rivals General Motors and Chrysler slid into bankruptcy and government bailouts. The press also ignored that boycott. Although orchestrating an effective boycott of a company selling one-time big-ticket items is easier than doing it to a diverse corporate consumer-products conglomerate, Pepsi management would be well advised not to be complacent.

That leads me to cite the boycott that no one has organized, but which clearly exists.

It becomes more obvious with each passing month that General/Government Motors and Chrysler have permanently lost a large percentage of consumers who won’t buy a vehicle from a bailed-out and/or state-run company. Recent proof: Neither maker had an entry in the top 10 list of most purchased vehicles under the Cash for Clunkers program (Toyota and Honda had three each, while Ford had two). GM’s share of sales from Clunker trade-ins was only 17.6%, well below its already declining market share. (Update: From Japan Today on August 27, Chrysler’s share was an abysmal 6.6%.

The press probably won’t recognize the informal GM-Chrysler boycott unless and until the doors shut for the final time at these companies, if even then. They’re too busy promoting usually ineffective boycotts with which they agree.

AP Robert Schindler Obit Misrepresents Terri Schiavo Autopsy Results, Ignores Subsequent PVS Awakenings and Research

terri22

Robert Schindler, father of Terri Schindler Schiavo, has passed away. Condolences to his courageous family and friends.

Associated Press writer Kelli Kennedy’s coverage of Mr. Schindler’s death, and her recounting of the Terri Schiavo story, is a mixed bag.

On the one hand, she writes that “the feeding tube that had nourished her for years was removed according to her husband’s wishes.” I would expect that Michael Schiavo, who consistently said for years that withdrawing nourishment is what Terri would have wanted, and that he pursued that end “purely based on her wishes,” will be miffed at Kennedy’s assertion. Too bad, so sad, Mike. Your own words in the legal record say otherwise; Ms. Kennedy is correct.

But Ms. Kennedy erred in her single paragraph about Terri’s autopsy, continuing an incorrect media meme that has persisted for years:

An autopsy supported Michael Schiavo’s contention that she was in a persistent vegetative state with no consciousness and no hope of recovery.

It’s as if there was no support for contrary contentions. That implied assertion is patently false.

Michelle Malkin wrote a scathing June 16, 2005 critique of the developing Terri Schiavo media mythology. That critique stands up very well four years later:

You do not need a medical examiner’s license to see that the (autopsy) report raises many more questions than it answers, though from the (once again) misleading media coverage, we are led to believe that the matters of Terri’s life and murder are resolved. They are not.

(A BBC report states that) “An autopsy report on a brain-damaged woman at the centre of a long legal battle in the US has shown that she suffered no trauma before her collapse.”

But on page 4 of the M.E.’s summary, what the report actually says with regard to possible strangulation is this: ”Autopsy examination of her neck structures 15 years after her initial collapse did not detect any signs of remote trauma, but, with such a delay, the exam was unlikely to show any residual neck findings.”

….. in countless newspaper articles over the past 15 years, and during his successful malpractice trial against Terri’s primary care physician, Michael Schiavo stressed his wife’s bulimia-related low potassium level as the cause of her initial collapse. Schiavo won $1 million in damages on the grounds that Schiavo’s obstetrician had failed to diagnose bulimia.

Unquestioning journalists ran dozens of stories echoing the claim: “Eating disorder is real issue in Schiavo case.”

….. The autopsy report spends three-and-a-half pages debunking Schiavo’s claim, as well as the related claim that she had a heart attack (or, more medically precise, myocardial infarction). But if mentioned at all, the news reports I have seen have downplayed and buried these astonishing revelations (revelations which bear directly on Schiavo’s credibility regarding his claim that Terri would have wanted to die).

In Michael Schiavo’s favor, the autopsy report also casts doubt on the Schindler family’s long-held view that a 1991 bone scan indicated traumatic injury.

….. However, the report notes this caveat: “Without the orginal bone scan and radiographs from that period, no other conclusions can [be] reasonably made.”

Michelle went on to note the establishment media’s dogged insistence that the autopsy results supported the idea that Terri was in a “persistent vegetative state” (PVS).

But before Terri’s death, at least two prominent neurologists insisted that Terri was not in that condition. Additionally, the final sentence of Chief Medical Examiner Stephen J. Nelson’s report to the 10th Judicial Circuit of Florida (at Page 20 of the 39-page PDF) cautioned that:

Neuropathological examination of the decedent’s brain — or any brain, for that matter — cannot prove or disprove a diagnosis of persistent vegetative state or minimally conscious state.

Since Terri’s death, TerrisFight.org, the web site of the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, has compiled a list of 14 people who have emerged from PVS. It also cites four sources of subsequently published information contending that PVS is often misdiagnosed, and that in any event recovery from it is more than a long-shot possibility. One of them from June 2007 leads with these two paragraphs:

New studies underline the importance of extreme caution in any decision to limit the life chances of patients during the acute phase of a vegetative state.

Around a quarter of patients in an acute vegetative state when they are first admitted to hospital have a good chance of recovering a significant proportion of their faculties, and up to a half will regain some level of consciousness, researchers from Belgium found out. Another study shows that around 40% of patients were wrongly diagnosed as in a vegetative state, when they in fact registered the awareness levels of minimal consciousness. Comparing past studies on this issue shows that the level of misdiagnosis has not decreased in the last 15 years. These studies should foster debate about appropriate standards of care for these patients, and about end of life limitations, experts said ….

It should also never be forgotten that Terri’s condition at the time of her death might have been very different had her care been adequate during the years after Michael Schiavo won his malpractice lawsuit. There’s more than a little bit of evidence that her care was far, far less than perfect.

Michelle Malkin’s bottom line is the real takeaway:

Terri Schiavo, a profoundly disabled woman who was not terminally ill and who had an army of family members ready to care for her for the rest of her natural life, succumbed to forced dehydration at the hands of her spouse-in-name-only.

Out of respect for Mr. Schindler, who would surely and correctly have disputed her write-up, the AP’s Kennedy would have been better off not mentioning the autopsy at all. Whether deliberate or not, its insertion and characterization come off as “let’s get one last dig in while we can” opportunism that at least used to be considered unbecoming of an alleged professional journalist writing an obituary.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Positivity: RIP, Robert Schindler

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:59 am

From St. Petersburg, Florida via Life News — We are blessed with another chance, following the passing of Cincinnati legend William J. Williams this past week, to read about and ponder the life of another exemplary person who is going to a better place:

Robert Schindler, the father of Terri Schiavo, whose former husband subjected her to a painful 13-day starvation and dehydration death, died overnight. Schindler, 72, had been battling health issues and he died of apparent heart failure.

In the aftermath of Terri’s euthanasia death, Robert Schindler started a foundation with the rest of his family to help other disabled patients.

The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation would connect patients or their families to legal help, physicians and pro-life groups who would speak out on their behalf to obtain basic medical care or lifesaving medical treatment denied to them by the government, hospitals or family members.

In February, Schindler pleaded with the father of Eluana Englaro not to give up on his daughter’s recovery.

“Although we come from two different continents with different cultures, we do have many things in common. We both are fathers and we both have been gifted by the same God with children,” Schindler wrote to Beppino Englaro.

“We both have a child that suffered severe brain injuries. I know very well the profound effect this type of injury can have on our loved one and their families. We both have experienced the same misfortune and hardships,” he added.

Schindler’s heart figuratively broke when both state and federal courts denied his family’s attempts to provide care for his daughter as her estranged husband Michael Schiavo sought her death.

Bioethics watchdog Wesley J. Smith noted that in his remarks upon hearing the news.

“His health was broken by the ordeal of trying to save his daughter’s life and he never fully recovered from the horror of watching her dehydrate to death,” Smith said. “The family is grieving.”

The National Right to Life Committee, which worked very closely with the Schindler family to save their daughter and which continues to support their work, sent a statement to LifeNews.com after learning of Schindler’s death.

Wanda Franz, the president of the pro-life group called Schindler a good friend and said it “joined with pro-lifers nationwide in mourning the passing of our dear friend Robert Schindler.”

“Bob Schindler was an extraordinary father, husband and friend,” Franz said. “His death is a profound loss for all of us in the pro-life movement. Today, our thoughts and prayers are with his loving wife, Mary and their children, Bobby and Suzanne.”

“Despite facing legal setbacks at virtually every turn, the Schindlers, with their children at their side, fought unceasingly to defend the right of their daughter, Terri Schindler Schiavo, to receive food and fluids,” Franz explained. ….

Go here for the rest of the story.