October 11, 2009

‘Honey, They Gave Away the Internet’

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:00 pm

America’s potentially ominous sovereignty sellout.
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Note: This item went up at Pajamas Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Friday. I’m going to keep it at the top most of Sunday because it addresses an under-reported development.

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You may have missed it, because there wasn’t much news coverage.

Yes, there have been a lot of competing stories, some of them indeed quite important. There’s the frightening erosion of our military position in Afghanistan (which withers, while our commander-in-chief dithers), the health care tug of war, and of course, the ongoing job-killing, deficit-exploding POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy, which the nation has endured since the summer of 2008.

But a few relatively and quite obviously unimportant stories have consumed way too much of the available oxygen. Yes, Chicago’s Olympic bid smackdown did expose Barack Obama and his handlers as over-proud, naive, or both. And yes, it was quite unusual for Saturday Night Live to openly mock a hard-left president after only eight months in office. Establishment media’s obsession with playing presidential defense in these two matters has exposed their hypocrisy to many casual news consumers who may finally understand that they can’t automatically trust what they see out of the Big Three networks, CNN, and others.

But meanwhile, you may not have noticed that our government gave away control of the Internet. Here’s how the UK Guardian reported it:

US relinquishes control of the internet
• Icann ends agreement with the US government
• Move will give other countries a prominent internet role
(more…)

Conveniently Incomplete: Gore Claims British Court Vindicated School Showing of Movie, ‘Forgets’ It ‘Violated Laws’

GlobalWarmingThanks to Drudge, the Internet will likely be abuzz with the news and video about Irish filmmaker Phelim McAleer’s challenge to former Vice President Al Gore over correcting the nine errors found by a British judge in Gore’s Oscar-winning “An Inconvenient Truth” documentary.

McAleer is co-producer of Not Evil, Just Wrong, a film challenging the content of Gore’s film, that according to Wiki will be premiering on October 18.

When organizers of the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference tired of McAleer’s refusal to back down and acquiesce to Gore’s conveniently incomplete answer, they cut off his microphone. The video also shows a meeting official scolding McAleer afterwards for attempting to “monopolize” the floor, telling him that “you got as much as you’re going to get.”

Gore’s answers to McAleer’s challenges are so disingenuous that they deserve their own Oscar for dissembling.

Here is a transcript of the exchange, which begins at about the 0:40 mark of the video:

McAleer: The judge in the British High Court after a lengthy hearing found that there were nine significant errors (in the movie). This has been shown to children. Do you accept those findings, and have you done anything to correct those errors?

Gore: Well I’m not going to go through, uh, uh, a-all of those. Eh-th-th-the ruling was in favor of the movie, by the way, and the ruling was in favor of showing the movie in schools. And th-th-that’s really th-th-the uh-uh-uh bottom line on that. There’s been such a long discussion of each one of those, uh, specific things, um, one of them for example was the polar bears. If I remember correctly, it’s been a long time ago, that polar bears really aren’t endangered. Well, polar bears didn’t get that word, heh, so uh (Audience chuckles.) ….

McAleer: Well the number of polar bears have increased, actually, and are now increasing ….

Gore: You don’t think they’re endangered, do you?

McAleer: Well the number of polar bears have increased.

Gore: Do you think they’re endangered?

McAleer: The number of polar bears have increased. (Audience laughs). If the number of polar bears increased, surely they’re not endangered.

At this point, organizers began to move to stop the McAleer’s questioning, eventually cutting him off.

McAleer may or may not be right in his final assertion (bald eagle populations had to increase for a while before they become both officially and in reality not endangered). But Gore’s in-essence claim of vindication by the British high court is a risible misrepresentation of the actual October 2007 result, as described at the time in coverage at ABC News. The network even indicated in the report’s sub-headline that the ruling “resurrects the global warming debate.” You’ll also note that Gore’s peeps began spinning the ruling a some kind of victory from the moment the ruling came down:

An Inconvenient Verdict for Al Gore

British Court Ruling on Errors in ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ Resurrects Global Warming Debate

The verdict couldn’t have come at a less convenient time for Al Gore.

One day before Friday’s announcement that he was a co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, a British High Court judge ruled that Gore’s global warming film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” while “broadly accurate,” contained nine significant errors.

The ruling came on a challenge from a UK school official who did not want to show the film to students. High Court Judge Michael Burton said that the film is “substantially founded upon scientific research and fact” but that the errors were made in “the context of alarmism and exaggeration.”

Burton found that screening the film in British secondary schools violated laws barring the promotion of partisan political views in the classroom. But he allowed the film to be shown on the condition that it is accompanied by guidance notes to balance Gore’s “one-sided” views, saying that the film’s “apocalyptic vision” was not an impartial analysis of climate change.

The claim was originally filed by truck driver Stewart Dimmock, whose two children have not yet seen the film.

“I got finished watching the documentary and felt I had watched a science fiction film,” he told ABC News’ Joseph J. Simonetti. “The court ruled nine inaccuracies. How many more exist?”

Dimmock criticized the British government’s use of the film in schools, saying, “It was about time someone got off their backside and say, ‘Oh, you’re wrong.’” Yet he admitted, “I’m not an expert on global warming, then or now. I’m just a lorry driver.”

The ruling resurrected the heated debate over the film’s arguments between Gore’s supporters and climate change skeptics.

His spokeswoman Kalee Kreider said that Gore was “deeply gratified that the court upheld the fundamental thesis of the film” and “affirmed it as a valid educational tool.”

The bolded sentence in the excerpt makes mincemeat of Gorebot Kreider’s claim in the excerpt’s final sentence.

At the end of the video, which was produced by the MacIver Institute for Public Policy, which describes itself as “a Wisconsin based think tank that believes in free markets, individual freedom and responsible government,” McAleer makes a crucial point about journalists’ dereliction of duty throughout their coverage of environmental issues over the years (link within added by me):

McAleer: At the Society for Environmental Journalists, the reaction of the journalists, the reaction of Andrew Revkin of the New York Times, the reaction of the journalists, was to shut down the journalists and protect the politicians.

….What I would like of environmental journalists like myself is that you treat Big Environment the same way as you treat Big Politics, and Big Government, and Big Business. Y’know, treat Big Environment the way you treat Big Business. Where does the money come? Who’s channeling it? …. Where is the independent verification of those claims? But they don’t. If an environmentalist organizer says something, it’s accepted as gospel.

Well said, sir. And well done.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Positivity: Mother Angelica awarded top honor by Pope Benedict XVI

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:50 am

From Irondale, Alabama:

Oct 5, 2009 / 05:12 pm

Pope Benedict XVI has awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal to Mother Angelica, founder of the Eternal Word Television Network and also EWTN executive Deacon Bill Steltemeier. The medal is the highest honor the Pope can bestow upon laity and religious.

Bishop of Birmingham Robert J. Baker conferred the awards in a brief ceremony following Sunday benediction at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama.

Noting that yesterday was the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Bishop Baker recalled the lasting impact that the Italian saint made on the renewal of the Church. He then remarked that “We also have the privilege of acknowledging the contributions to our Church of another person in the great Franciscan tradition, whose link to St. Francis is through St. Clare … Mother Angelica.”

Mother Mary Angelica, 86, is a Poor Clare Nun of Perpetual Adoration who founded Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Irondale, Alabama in 1961. She began EWTN in a garage on the monastery property in 1981. In 1999 she relocated the monastery to the grounds of the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville.

Deacon R. William Steltemeier, 80, is a former Nashville, Tenn. attorney who left his law practice to join Mother Angelica’s fledgling television network. He served as EWTN’s president and now serves as chairman of the network’s Board of Governors.

Commenting in his homily at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery on Sunday, Bishop Baker said that the medal is “a significant acknowledgement by our Holy Father, of Mother’s labors of love in support of our Church.”

“By giving awards the Church is not saying people or institutions are perfect, but we are saying that Mother Angelica, through this network, has made a significant contribution to the new evangelization heralded and promoted by recent Popes,” the Bishop of Birmingham said. ….

Go here for the rest of the story.