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Archive for May 2nd, 2009

A role model for conservatives

Posted by Charles II on May 2, 2009

Guy Adams, Independent on the as-yet undivorced Mel Gibson:

Mel Gibson’s suddenly turbulent private life took another step towards summer blockbuster status last week, when he pitched up at the Los Angeles premiere of the new X-Men movie showing off a glamorous new girlfriend: a singer and former employee called Oksana Grigorieva….

Others speculated that Gibson may be softening up his public for a bombshell announcement. The US TV show Access Hollywood has reported that he’s actually been with Ms Grigorieva for three years, and the musician is reported to have informed friends that she is pregnant…

Further speculation surrounds what Gibson’s church will make of the relationship. The actor is a member of a conservative Catholic sect [Catholic Traditionalist] that does not recognise the authority of the Pope and follows an antiquated ideology dating back to the 16th century.

An anti-Semitic, schismatic, alcoholic, soon-to-be-divorced adulterer: a perfect role model for today’s conservatives.

Posted in conservativism, eedjits, religion | 1 Comment »

Robert Parry Speaks. You Listen.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 2, 2009

Journalism didn’t just go downhill when FOX News was started, and Rupert Murdoch’s not the only villain in the media, as former Newsweek journalist Robert Parry reminds us:

For instance, during the 1980s, when I was with the Associated Press and Newsweek, I witnessed extraordinary demands for airtight evidence regarding the real problem of cocaine trafficking by the U.S.-backed Nicaraguan contras, compared with easy acceptance of flimsy evidence about similar accusations against Nicaragua’s Sandinista government.

After all, President Ronald Reagan had hailed the contras as “the moral equivalent of the Founding Fathers” and had denounced Sandinista-ruled Nicaragua as “a totalitarian dungeon.” Truly objective U.S. journalism would have tossed out Reagan’s characterizations and simply evaluated the cocaine-smuggling evidence, but that was not how it worked.

Even years later, in 1998 when the CIA’s inspector general concluded that scores of contra figures and groups were implicated in cocaine smuggling, the mainstream U.S. news media ignored or downplayed those findings, while continuing to pummel journalist Gary Webb for flaws in his multi-part investigative series that had revived the contra-cocaine issue in 1996.

The journalistic blacklisting of Webb – carried out by the leading lights of U.S. newspapers (the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times) – contributed to Webb’s suicide in 2004. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com’s “We All Failed Gary Webb.”]

While the Webb tragedy may have been an extreme case of the mainstream news media tailoring its coverage of a controversial issue to fit acceptable political parameters, the constraints that applied to the contra-cocaine issue were part of a long-running pattern.

Indeed, several  years after ganging up on Gary Webb – and protecting Reagan’s beloved contras – many of the same newspapers got in line behind President George W. Bush’s case for war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Claims about Hussein’s supposed WMD stockpiles were trumpeted while contrary evidence was muted.

You’d think that the US press would have learned their lesson, but nooooo. They continued to faithfully report the storyline most pleasing to the people who signed their paychecks (and the buddies of those people) even when it was violently at odds with the known reality, as shown by their handling of the February 2005 assassination of Rafik Hariri, billionaire Lebanese real estate mogul and former Lebanese Prime Minister:

Because Syria was then on President Bush’s hit list for “regime change,” speculative evidence of Syrian guilt was widely accepted by the U.S. news media, which demonstrated very little skepticism toward a preliminary United Nations report implicating Syrian leaders and their Lebanese allies.

“There is probable cause to believe that the decision to assassinate former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri could not have been taken without the approval of top-ranked Syrian security officials and could not have been further organized without the collusion of their counterparts in the Lebanese security services,” declared the U.N.’s first interim report on Oct. 20, 2005.


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Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Sparing birds from T. Boone’s turbines

Posted by Charles II on May 2, 2009

Actually, it’s the Spanish company Iberdrola Renewables that’s pioneering this new, radar-based system. Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian:

It could be considered an air traffic control system for birds who have flown perilously off course. A wind farm in southern Texas, situated on a flight path used by millions of birds each autumn and spring, is pioneering the use of radar technology to avoid deadly collisions between a 2,500lb rotating blade and bird.

US wind farms kill about 7,000 birds a year, according to a recent study. Other studies of individual wind farms suggest a higher toll on bats and birds

it is claimed that radar technology now in use at the Penascal wind farm in Texas has found a balance between competing environmental concerns ….

The 202 megawatt farm, operated by the Spanish firm Iberdrola Renewables, is the first in the world to use radar systems to enable it to shut down automatically if bad weather hits in peak migration times.

…The system spots the birds and assesses their altitude, numbers and the visibility. “With all these pieces coming together properly … the turbines will shut down,” said Andrews.

Posted in energy, environment, global warming, Good Things, wind power | 2 Comments »

 
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