Sunday, October 31, 2004

Junk Science

Great post here on the FOX News pseudo-scientist Steve Milloy. I've had encounters with him before and he fared badly. Tim Lambert skewers him thoroughly here. Unfortunately, junk science is Bush fare. For two more days that is.

A Charge to Pay

“He [Bush] told me that as a leader, you can never admit to a mistake,” Herskowitz said. “That was one of the keys to being a leader.”

Payback time W. You can run but you can't hide.

Friday, October 29, 2004


I fail to see how hearing from bin Laden does anything for Bush. I mean isn't what Kerry has been saying is that the biggest failure was to run off to chase Hussein? This just reinforces that fact. The whole complaint with these islamo nuts is that we meddle in the Middle East. Again bin Laden spells this out. Now we don't take orders from the likes of him, but this isn't about the hatred of our freedom. It's about foreign policy and a presence in Saudi Arabia. I fail to see how this doesn't help Kerry immensely. This is what he's been saying all along. Correctly so.

Thursday, October 28, 2004


Kerry by three points in the election and I will say right now I'm proud of Sen. Kerry and how he stood fast in the face of an unprecedented assault of out-and-out lies and ad hominem attacks. Reason will win.

The Final Nail

How many lies did Bush et al tell on this one? The Washington Times and Gordon Liddy claiming the Russians did it a priori to the invasion. Unreal. Way to go Martha Raddatz.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Explosive Spin

Unbelievable, but Kerry and the NY Times information takes the lead in the search for truth. Do eye witnessess count? Well, not if your side has the swiftboat pretzel logic as the main stream of thought. I mean, they believe in doubt when it suits them.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

"The town of Hope, where I was born, has very good feng shui."

The title quote comes from a butchered Chinese propaganda version of Bill Clinton's "My Life"editorialzed today in the NY Times. Apparently in the Chinese culture infringement is a good thing? They are attempting to create a ethnic cultural false reality. It fails. Last week I was assaulted by a panel of foreign students as part of a class where us Americans were exposed to other views of us in the world. They too argued for this false reality. It's theirs and hence is real even if facts say it isn't; the old perception problem. It wasn't pretty. The class is made up of diverse backgrounds from Iran, Bellarus, Armenia, Mexico and all are US citizens.

The discussion quickly descended into a food fight over whose culture is the best and Americans are stupid because we don't speak Swahili according to the Kenyan journalist on the panel. "Why are you free," said the Polish student. "Kenyans are the best runners and no one in the West can figure out why," she said. I didn't elaborate but evolution comes to mind. Not in that culture. The gist is that cultural relativism rules the day and we don't get it. All they had was fallacies about our propagandistic ethnocentric media and a general lack of concern for other countries' cultures. She lamented having to resort to English to compete here and that in itself is prejudicial. Since the young Graduate student teaching assistant is Japanese, bias against English first students is evident from the thesis. They resent having us dictate the language here, but refuse to accept the fact that we are English. That's where the country's founders came from. Nothing can change that or should.

People concentrate on what affects them. I would and did argue that Africans do the same, and no apology for ethnic cleansing that isn't found here will equivocate the cultural differences. It doesn't happen here. There's a reason and that's because the American system despite the flaws works. Take that message home to Kenya and publish it.

Friday, October 22, 2004

The Choice is Kerry

In case readers haven't gotten the message Environment II suppports John F. Kerry for president. No better candidate can be found and his vision of reality will serve the country much better than the disastrous ideological wrong-headedness of the last four years. I was a Kerry proponent before he remerged as the winner. I made the same prediction with Bill Clinton in 1991. I think this will turn out the same way with Kerry in the White House.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Covering Iraq

Compared to Iraq Afghanistan is a tourist resort for journalists. Rolling Stone reports. "Editorial writers might like to compare Iraq to Vietnam, but reporters on the ground say there's no comparison. In Vietnam, journalists rode Hondas to the front. In Iraq, they rarely venture into the streets. When they do, they hide behind the smoked windows of their armored vehicles, called 'hard cars.'"

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


Krugman paints a dismal picture in the last debate and I saw much the same thing: Bush when questioned about "stop-loss" a defacto back door draft outlined by John Kerry in the debate. As Krugman says, Bush hurriedly cuts off Charles Gibson and switches the debate to honoring Poland: a classic Bait and switch. It's dangerous getting too close to the king's reasoning, or lack thereof.

Sunday, October 17, 2004


I've avoided this assertion that's more common with foreign born citizens and students. But when Bush says it, well, I think he means it.

"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors....and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do," Bush said in the Times Magazine piece by Ron Suskind.

''I've never lived around poor people,'' Wallis remembers Bush saying. ''I don't know what they think. I really don't know what they think. I'm a white Republican guy who doesn't get it. How do I get it?''

FCC and Sinclair

“I’m against the ongoing push for reducing restrictions on media concentration,” Kerry said, echoing the question by Forbes Senior Editor Brett Pulley. “It’s contrary to the greater goals of democracy for the country.”
John Kerry

That's the correct choice given what we know now as opposed to the conceptual model in 1998. To those with their thinking caps still on that would indicative adapting to new information on the ground based on trends that are measurable. Novel concept for an absolutist to comprehend but critical to leadership.

Failing his way to the top

Bush is only American that can claim this strategy and it continues in all of his failed policies and Todd Gitlin chastises the NY Times for biased timid coverage of this fact.

"Consider the disproportion between The Times's attention to Mr. Kerry's Vietnam battles and its inattention to Mr. Bush's business career of failing upward: improving his fortunes while his companies failed. How did he succeed in making big money when his oil company, Harken Energy, nearly collapsed? Too often, as the president himself might say, Mr. Bush can run, and The Times lets him hide."

Couple that with the Sinclair proaganda syndrome for network news and you see the problem facing us in this election and beyond.

Watergate Redux

As Frank Rich notes, "The current president has seen to it that even future historians won't get access to papers he wants to hide; he quietly gutted the Presidential Records Act of 1978, the very reform enacted by Congress as a post-Watergate antidote to pathological Nixonian secrecy."

I'll go farther as does Rich that this is really a re-run of Nixon. They never really beleived that anything was wrong with the tactics of Watergate and the cover-up. And the same people (Nixon-Ford) are back in charge. What a surprise.

Californians to vote on stem-cell research funding

My stem-cell story was badly botched by the editors at the school paper who can't determine what to leave in to get the intended effect. Apparently to them it's just words on a page all of equal value.

Prop 71


Mark A. York

California could lead the nation in a first of its kind state-funded stem-cell research program that would circumvent the restrictive policy set in place by the Bush administration in 2001 if voters pass Proposition 71 on this year’s Nov. 2nd ballot.

The bill is known as the “California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative.” According to the group “Yes on 71, Cures for California,” a coalition of disease and advocacy organizations; medical groups and hospitals, and 23 Nobel Prize winners, including Harold Varmus former head of the National Institutes of Health now president and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, in their public statement, Prop 71 is necessary to break the political logjam that has created a research gap. It will support research at California’s medical schools, hospitals and universities so scientists working there can find new stem cell cures that could save millions of lives.

As the bill and the scientific literature states, stem cells are “unspecialized” cells that can generate new cells, tissues and organs. “A stem cell is a cell that has the potential to differentiate into other cell types and stem cell biology investigates the processes by which this differentiation is controlled,” writes A. Murdoch of the Reproductive Medicine, Bioscience Centre, International Centre for Life, Newcastle upon Tyne, England in paper for Cambridge University in Nov. 2002. “Some cells from adults have this potential, but it is only cells from very early embryos that have been shown to differentiate into all cell types. For this reason, interest has been focused on embryonic stem cells.”

Sponsors of the bill, including State Controller Steve Westly, believe this research has the potential to lead to new breakthroughs in disease like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, ALS, and spinal cord injuries, while providing economic benefits to the state. According to the bill, reproductive cloning is banned. It is strictly a medical cure bill. It will, according to the proposed law, authorize $3 billion in state tax-exempt bonds with $295 million per year allocated to the research facilities over ten years. Repayment will be deferred for five years to protect the current economic recovery period from an extra burden. “We’ve been swamped with media requests,” said Fiona Hutton, spokesperson for Cures For California:

The federal plan signed by President Bush in the summer of 2001, just prior to 9-11 allowed federal funding for research only on 63 existing embryonic stem cell lines with a ban on new research for any other lines, and prohibited new cell lines from being harvested from embryos created by fertility clinics worldwide. The California bill allows both adult and embryonic stem-cell research. Private biotechnology research facilities could fund their own research without regard for the federal ban.

Organizations like the “Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research” (CAMR) who the late Christopher Reeve helped found have worked tirelessly to promote embryonic stem-cell research and support all efforts at the national, and state levels. In a public statement, the group reiterates that there are not enough stem-cell lines available for federal funding to proceed at full pace, and turn research into cures.

As the bill notes, embryonic and adult stem cell research is not currently prohibited in California. But the issue at both the state and federal levels is about public funding. The bill would create and fund the “California Institute For Regenerative Medicine” to disburse the funds in the form of grants and loans to the research facilities.

Opponents such as “Doctors, Patients & Taxpayers For Fiscal Responsibility” oppose the bill for financial and ethical reasons. According to their public talking papers they consider the bill to be a “cloning act,” even though no human reproductive cloning is allowed in the bill. The group’s website links to articles opposed to embryonic stem-cell research, including one in National Review magazine highly critical of this type of stem-cell research, by Eric Cohen an advisor on ethics to the president, who consulted on the 2001 Bush plan.

“We object to the bill largely because of the financial cost of the bond, and a lack of oversight,” said Tim Rosales, spokesman of the group. “There is no legislative oversight from those who don’t benefit financially from the funding of the program. It is without legislative review and governor can’t address it either.”
Rosales said private biotechnology companies and venture capitalists who back the bill should “fund it themselves if they are so sure of the merits of the research, without tapping into the public funds to subsidize the research.”
When asked about the reproductive cloning aspect banned in the bill, Rosales referred to his group being sued by proponents over the language of “cloning” in the bill. “The judge ruled that cloning is the issue and the reference should be included,” Rosales said. When questioned on whether he and the group thought that stem-cell research is valuable in general, he said, “It’s an open question.”
“That’s just political rhetoric,” Hutton said. “Scare tactics. The Initiative prohibits human cloning, and a 25-member Independent Oversight Committee would review all grants in public open meetings before any funds are awarded to anyone.” Moreover, Hutton said that non-profit researchers take precedence over private for profit companies and the patents remain in public hands.

“That’s why the American Medical Association and people like former Secretary of State George Schultz support the proposition,” Hutton said.
In their public documents the opponents argue for adult stem-cell research where only a little success has occurred. The group calls embryonic stem-cell research “highly speculative.”

“The primary reasons we oppose Prop 71 are fiscal in combination with unproven science and some really bad provisions in the measure, “Richard Deem Researcher/Specialist Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center said. “The most egregious part of the measure is a failure to fund all manner of stem cell research.” But according to the bill it will fund both types of stem-cell research.

“The proponents of Prop 71 would like you to think that little of no research has been done using embryonic stem cells,” Deem said. “The reality is that mouse embryonic stem cell studies have been going on since 1981! This embryonic stem cell research has been plagued by problems.” According to NIH (National Institutes of Health) in their literature, human embryonic stem-cell research has only been underway since 1998 and scientists are still intensively studying the basics of stem-cell properties.

Deem claims everything that can be done with embryonic stem cells, can be done with adult-derived stem cells taken from umbilical cord blood, “Without destroying embryos,” he said. But proponents of embryonic stem-cell research say the embryos are destroyed by the fertility clinics that create them anyway, and according to the bill that’s where the researchers will obtain embryos for the program. The bill leans toward research of embryonic lines because the NIH funds adult stem-cell research from the federal 2001 proposal.
There were no federal funds expended in 2000 for research on human embryonic stem cells, “ said Don Ralbosky Office of Communications & Public Liaison for NIH. “The President's policy was announced on August 2001 and NIH funded its first hESC grant in the spring of 2002. Fiscal Year 2004 figures not yet avail.”

“National Institutes of Health (NIH) Support for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research:

FY 2002 = $10.7 million
FY 2003 = $24.8 million

Adult (human & nonhuman) stem cell research funding by NIH:

FY01 - $265.5M
FY02 - $305M
FY03 - $382.9M”

As the California bill states, it seeks to fund new areas of research particularly embryonic lines that aren’t currently funded in order not to “duplicate or supplant existing funding.” Supporters say the bill has the potential make California the center for biotech research and leader in this growing field.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Bush Science

This kind of thing just kills me. This is an example of how Bush's creationist faith-based views are replacing science in the government he commands. It's really scary.

Mary Cheney

Fact meets ideology.

The Cheneys are opportunistic hypocrits. They are part of an administration that has proposed a marriage amendment that would prevent Mary from legally marrying based on her sexual orientation. It is unclear if they are even for civil unions. There is little doubt they think she's chosen that lifestyle and it's not genetic. That's a flat-earth thought. I would not have used the term lesbian, but that's it.

The question was is this a choice? Kerry doesn't think it is and neither do thinking people anywhere. The exchange meant as supportive to the gay situation, was turned into an ad hominem to Kerry for speaking the truth about the issue. To the Cheneys this is just another fact they don't want to acknowledge or be reminded of.


Apparently Taranto got the message.

Swiftboat Lies

Ted Koppel went on scene in Viet Nam to dig up the truth about John Kerry's Silver Star battle and the truth is on his side not the deliberate lies of John O'Neill and company. A swiftboater and a camerman visited the village six-months ago and interviewed the witnesses in the village. So the lies were deliberate to smear Kerry. These crooks should be convicted of blood libel.

The Vision Thing

I wrote this on Opinionjournal today for their lead editorial but the editors there under James Taranto rarely post contrary arguments, hence I'll do the publishing just in case.

Unfortunately for Americans, and the radical changes Mr. Bush has bestowed on us are the wrong ones in the wrong direction: backward to the 1890s. Irresponsible head-in-the-sand ideological myopia doesn't lead one anywhere but down a hole. And we're in a one bigtime.Where does the healthcare savings account come from? From the job they don't have and can't get? Meanial trade and service work? Outsourced work?

How about Social security? Adjustments? Sometime in the future as Mr. Kerry said in his trouncing of the president. You bet, how about this: Payroll taxes are only paid on wages up to $76,000 (possibly 86)yet the top still collects the maximim benefits, forever. How is that not a welfare program for the unneedy? Maybe we should raise payroll tax cap to the sky based on income? That's the way to provide for solvency, if in fact we are insolvent and need privatized accounts for the latest generations. To this liberal that strikes me like the school vouchers: a two-foot rope in the 20-foot hole. Abandonment. If you want money you have to get it where it is. Hint: the servants don't have Mr. Scrooge. John Kerry knows this and although he's wealthy his philosphy turns on the novel concept of creating an atmosphere where folks at the bottom and middle can move up without being gobbled up by opportunistic "Pacmen" in charge of the vital services. This is not monopoly. This is life.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Pit Bull

"It was crummy behavior for a president of the United States, the kind of thing better left to lap-dog pit bulls such as vice presidents." Tom Shales

With the Bush team there's no difference.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Debate 3.

Bush is wrong on Pell Grants. I get $4050 a year. If Bush proposed $5100 I didn't hear about. Kerry is correct more people are poor and thus qualify for the grant. You need to be impoversihed to qualify. I know this from experience all too well. Bush doesn't.

Bush continues to babble about non accomplishments and a machine-gun-effect of ad hominem cliched attacks on Kerry's record. Kerry corrects the skewed numbers which of course are wrong. He's providing details which makes Bush cringe.

News organizations aren't credible Bush says, to a Kerry reference on his health care plan as if everything you read is fabricated. That's an overgeneralization media bias fallacy all conservatives hold.

Kerry nails him on the assault weapons ban. Bush's reason? The Congress didn't want it.

Bad selection of questions, very softball. Kerry still won though having painted a scary picture of Bush as an ideologue detached from reality. Mission accomplished.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


I remember this Mark Hyman VP of Sinclair Broadcasting Corp while watching late night TV out of Bangor, Maine when I was home this summer. He delivered a hard right conservative editorial at the end of the 11 p.m. news. I remember thinking who the hell is this on network news delivering a right-wing POV? Network affiliation is not a conservative talk show. These people are in violation of FCC rules of fairness and objectivity. What is this Russia? Mini-FOX? Throw the damn book at em. Despite the conservative conspiracy against the networks and ties to liberalism, which is unfounded and felt by those with extreme bias only, we don't need a government propaganda machine on the public airwaves. Issues are issues, but liars and character assassination is another thing all together.

Monday, October 11, 2004


From Today's Sundial piece.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Smears R' Us?

I don't see a designation in John Kerry's after action records, that indicates in Navy code who wrote the report on scene in March 13, 1969. Again, with help from the news organizations this innuendo marches on. I suspect, as we've heard this week from Sinclair Communications (97% Republican donations) this tactic will now move into "fictional film as news" as well. Hey, it's all relative right? News, smooze, we report the story we want. That's show biz.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Epistemological Relativism

As Josh Marshall calls it is the notion taught in journalism schools including mine that we must present both sides as if they are two separate realities with equal value and grasp of the truth from the information i.e. facts on the ground. It is never this simple and the job of journalists is to find the truth wherever it is regardless of the messenger. Bush is commandeering the media outlets with this they both do it cliche and it has to stop.

There's two sides alright and usually one is more wrong than the other. This time it's Bush. He did it not the journalists. Don't enable liars. Call them on it. Mark Helperin wants to. Good for him.

Big Government

One million new government jobs under Bush. I was one of the first at least temporarily. I thought he was against big government? Reality check: up is down buddy.

Slight of Hand Businessman

Unbelievable From

Bush & Cheney as "Small Business Owners."

"To find examples of this we need look no farther than the top of the Bush-Cheney ticket: He reported $84 of business income from his part ownership of a timber-growing enterprise. So, Bush does own part interest in a tree-growing company, but the $84 came from an oil and gas company.For the purpose of the production of trees for commercial sales."

Friday, October 08, 2004

"He's living in his own Private Idaho

apparently reading things on his own private Internet." Paul Begala assesses the self-inflicted damage. Oooh yeah. Up is down, and I'm large and in charge, for less than a month that is.

Town Hall

"They were deceiving the inspectors!" Bush says. About what? The fact that didn't have any weapons? I guess so. Your's in irony.

"I heard there's rumors [about a draft] on the internets." Bush.

Kerry is delivering punishing blows with great flair. Bush is oblivious. "He's solved medicare and reformed the health system. Oh Nero take up thy fiddle!

Bush called him Kennedy, I think.

He did. Bad answer on environment, or incomplete I sould say, but Bush lied through his teeth.

Bush is pro-life in stem-cells. He sees the embryonic clusters as viable life. It isn't. Kerry did well, not playing God, instead relying on logic and scientific opinion.

Kit Seeyle of the NY Times is channeling my thoughts about the woman in the gray suit being unhappy with Bush's rambling about leadership.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Deconstructiong Bush's Latest

Ad hominem attack of lies and misinformation. Washington Post reporter Jim VandeHei nails his hide to the wall. Good work as Jack Shafer points out in Slate today. Great journalism from both.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

No Plan in Iraq?

Not on John Kerry's end as my presentation today illustrated, David Brooks: No Plan? Bush has no plan.

Here's Kerry's: John Kerry's Iraq Plan

Clips Away

An academic newspaper "clip."

Wildlife Fog

More shenanigans from Bush to wipe clean the rules that mandate wildlife protection. This is what we've come to expect from the dark side and we get it. They never disappoint.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

VP Debate

Cheney is on the attack and playing the grim reaper role. Oh the dark side. Edwards is sharp and vollying well, but facts are tough when up against parroted propaganda. So far ad hominem for Cheney, coupled with the typical dodge and weave we've come to expect from his side of the Wyoming fence. One denial of claiming a connection with Saddam and 9-11. They call that a lie where I come from.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

The Lesson for Vigilante Bloggers

David Neiwart aka Orcinus delivers a powerful lesson in true online journalism here. Right-wing bloggers attack Utah State professor David Hailey over a memogate hypothesis. I had such an ultimatum posed to me and although I thought it heavy-handed and unjust, I complied to make sure.

Unfriendly Fire

Great profile on Roy Hoffman the patriarch of the Swiftboat vets in the Washington Post. It's a tough piece, and eerily accurate. Attack and smear, against truths you don't, and can't accept is the motto of this group. They will fail.

Political Jihad

That's what Tom Brokaw said about the blogger vigilante effort to get Dan Rather yesterday in a panel with Ken Auletta. I agree. Bloggers aren't anything but partisan so they only see things in those terms. One side the right-wing bloggers only operate on shoring up assumptions they hold dear: liberal media bias and the plot against middle America. How Bush became a symbol for that class is beyond me. After the debate, "Let them eat cake," rings true.

As Dan Rather said, "Not asking tougher questions was the mistake leading up to the war," not asking them in the first place as his critics seem to wish for. I don't know what kind of journalism those fools want. Lap dogs?

Friday, October 01, 2004

Debate Victory

"Bush countered that he had increased spending on "nuclear nonproliferation" by 35%.

But Kenneth Luongo, director of nuclear nonproliferation programs in the Clinton administration who now serves as executive director of the Russian-American Nuclear Security Advisory Council, said the president must be counting programs other than the core nuclear nonproliferation efforts known as the Nunn-Lugar programs.

Bush campaign officials said the president's claim that spending on nonproliferation had increased by 35% referred to an increase in the budget for the National Nuclear Security Administration, part of the Department of Energy, whose primary responsibilities include safeguarding nuclear sites and reducing stockpiles in the United States."
LA Times

This is an example of how Bush conflates things to his own advantage; classic misinformation. He doesn't know the difference.

Bush looked really bad. I'd be worried if I were a supporter. I'm encouraged as an opponent.
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