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On global warming, “The science is settled . . .

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:54 pm - November 29, 2009.
Filed under: Climate Change (Global Warming),Science

 . . . er, at the bottom of that dumpster.”  

So, sayeth Jim Treacher (via Instapundit).

(His trenchant commentary on this piece of news: “SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.“)

MSM’s masquerade of objectivity

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:38 pm - November 29, 2009.
Filed under: Blogging,Media Bias,New Media

As per this post, the problem with the way Katie Couric interviewed the vice presidential candidates last fall was not that she asked tough question of the Republican while tossing softballs to the Democrat, it was that she did so while masquerading as a non-partisan purveyor of news.

If she acknowledged her bias, she might lose some audience share, but would gain in integrity.  She and others in what we’ve called the mainstream media, but which others identify by its more partisan inclinations, still engage in their masquerade of objectivity.  As my friend John Nolte observes:

A non-partisan, unbiased news media simply doesn’t exist anymore. All that remains of this once somewhat respectable profession are two kinds of media: those who lie about their agenda and those who don’t – and Mr. Gerson’s employer* is one of the liars. Whether it’s Glenn Beck, Arianna Huffington, National Review or MSNBC, tell me your biases upfront and we can at least start a dialogue from an honest foundation. On the other hand, the Washington Post, New York Times, Newsweek, Time, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS and the like, have spent years making jerks out of us – lying to our faces. We knew this, there just wasn’t any alternative. But now that there is, their time is just about up.

Of the supposed unbiased news sources listed above, only Newsweek even makes noises about acknowledging its biases.  And to be sure, there are numerous reporters working for some of those outlets (even the Times) who had demonstrated a considerable degree of objectivity in their research and even-handedness in their reporting.

For others, however, the notion of objectivity is a mask to conceal their prejudices.  They just want us to believe that the way they see things is the way things are.


*John penned his post in response to Michael Gerson’s lament for the decline of the MSM in the Washington Post.

Tea Parties: Where the Energy is on the Right

With 4,000 tea party patriots rallying against big government and higher taxation in St. Louis yesterday, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this phenomenon is here to stay.  

This is not some flash in the pan movement.  Americans have been protesting the Administration’s spendthrift policies at least since February.  And the roots of this movement may even go back to the fall of 2007 when people started flocking to the libertarian Ron Paul’s quixotic campaign for the GOP presidential nomination.

Tea party protests certainly belong on any list of the top 10, if not top 5, phenomena of 2009.  If Time magazine took conservative ideas seriously, they would consider these protestors as candidates for People of the Year.

As a gay conservative, it’s reassuring to see the rise of these protests.  It shows that the energy on the right is not among the social conservatives seeking to stymie the growing acceptance of gay people in America today.  Instead, the energy is among those of us who seek to reduce the size of government, thus increasing individual freedom.

Watching the increasing number of Americans rallying to the cause of freedom reminds me of the relief I felt back in 1994 when I first read the Contract with America.  After it appeared to some that Republicans were moving in the direction of social conservatism in 1992, the Contract showed the GOP returning to its small government principles.  We’re seeing the same thing today.

And as Republican officials and candidates recognize the resilience of the Reaganite ideas embodied in these protests, seeing them as a legitimate expression of the sentiment of a growing number of Americans (confirmed by a recent Gallup poll), they’re beginning to realize to win back to congressional majorities, they need focus on cutting government spending and reducing federal regulation.   And oppose the Obama Democrats’ big government solutions to our nation’s problems. 

So, don’t be deceived about the direction of American conservatism in the post-George W. Bush era.  You can see it on the streets of cities across the nation.  And read it in the polls.  The tea parties may not yet have succeeded in returning America to its small government ideas, but they have galvanized a large segment of the American people.  And showed that the principles Ronald Reagan so eloquently articulated still resonate far and wide across the fruited plain.

Ronald Reagan’s Reading* List

While I have long compared Sarah Palin’s communication skills as well as her ability to connect with Americans to those of Ronald Reagan, I have also long noted that she lacks his (self-)education in the ideas of conservatism and free markets.  To achieve his status as a leader of the right, she needs study the ideas which undergirded his political philosophy.

In her book, that accomplished Alaskan repeatedly references the Gipper and his ideas, pointing to them as the guiding principles for post GOP successes and future Republican governance.  Now, she needs improve her understanding of those ideas.  To that end, she would do well to read the books he read (adding into the mix various conservative “classics,” like Charles Murray’s Losing Ground, appearing since (and, to some degree, in response to) his rise).

Perhaps, some Reagan scholar — or intrepid blogger with a lot of time on his hands — could start reviewing his diaries and letter and other information about the Gipper to identify the books he read in the 1950s and 1960s as he began his move away from his longstanding affiliation with the Democratic Party and toward the GOP.  (Maybe that list has already been compiled.)

I’d just love to see what he read.

As an aside, let me indicate another presidential reading list I’d like to see, the list of books that Thomas Jefferson sent to James Madison in the late 1780s while the former was in France and the latter was drafting the Constitution.

* (more…)