Friday, August 04, 2006

Friday Wrap-up

Not by any plan, I found myself listening to Paul Harvey on the radio the other day. Because of a rain-out the previous day, the D-backs and Cubs were playing a doubleheader. Between the games, the local affiliate of the D-backs put on Paul Harvey's sindicated program. Growing up in the midwest and having two parents that had liked Paul Harvey, I was well-acquainted with his program from my youth. Either through my not being politically active then or by Paul Harvey being different then, I was greatly surprised by how out-of-touch he is. I would feel better if it was just senility that taints his views. But a little research indicates that he has always been like this. From listening to his show for only 5 minutes (sad, I know ... kinda like watching a car crash scene), I learned the following:

- the economy is doing great
- patience in Iraq is important (comparing our fight there to the Cold War)
- Donald Rumsfeld is a great man and doing a stand up job
- global warming is not important because the government says it isn't

He caught his breath long enough to break for a commercial and to shill for Wal-Mart and a pharmaceutical company. It's scary how many millions of people listen to him. But then again, they listen to James Dobson and Sean Hannity also. It does not give you a lot of faith in the sanity or judgement of some of us.

GWB has documented some of Harvey's nuttier statements in the past: SO WHAT DO THESE GUYS HAVE IN COMMON?

I'm not sure which is weirder: the fact that I don't agree with a single thing that Paul Harvey says or that I agree with something that Pat Robertson says:

Heat makes Pat Robertson a global warming "convert"

So, I'm faced with the unenviable position of criticizing someone my parents considered iconic or being on the same side of an issue with someone that I consider to be one of the most unhinged public figures of the last 20 years. It's a weird world we live in.

That Robertson has come to this conclusion (of which I'm not completely convinced he will hold to) is not as surprising as you may think. A large percentage of evangelicals have been leaning this way for awhile:

The Greening of Evangelicals

Many see the stewardship of the Earth as a sacred responsibility. Unfortunately, too many others will ignore the issue because they cannot stomach being on the same side of any issue with left-leaning environmentalists. For a nice refutation of the evangelical global warming doubters, see Calling a Bluff.

That is the problem for both sides. On these issues that affect all of us, we need to get away from the politics as much as we can.

Then you have the following brain surgeons leading our country:

The current energy panel chairman, Texas Republican Joe Barton -- "I cannot imagine any objective finding that CO2 is a pollutant," he said. "If that's true, God is a polluter." -- Congress and global warming

God's a polluter alright. He polluted this Earth with the likes of Barton and Roy Blunt:
Today in Energy and Environment Daily (sub. req’d), House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) said that if he remains in power after the November elections, there will be no action on global warming for the entire 110th Congress:

Continued Republican House and Senate majorities would likely mean more of the same on climate. House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said he would oppose global warming mandates if Republicans control the 110th Congress. “I think the information is not adequate yet for us to do anything meaningful,” he said.

Or that bastion of accuracy and open-mindedness, FOX News:

Summary: On Fox News' The Beltway Boys, Fred Barnes again denied the broad scientific consensus that human activity is contributing to global warming.


One of Mr. Harvey's heroes, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, was in the limelight this week. It's hard to decide whether he is just an incredible idiot or the most pompous ass ever. Donald Rumsfeld's performance at the Senate hearings on Iraq this week showed incredible gall. From Think Progress:

Testifying before the Senate today, Donald Rumsfeld told Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) that he has “never painted a rosy picture” about Iraq. Rumsfeld insisted that he has been “very measured” and told Clinton “you would have a dickens of a time trying to find instances where I have been overly optimistic.”

Here’s just a few of the “overly optimistic” comments made by Rumsfeld (and no, we did not have a “dickens of a time” finding them):

Dec. 18, 2002: KING: What’s the current situation in Afghanistan? RUMSFELD: It is encouraging. They have elected a government through the Loya Jirga process. The Taliban are gone. The al Qaeda are gone.

Feb. 7, 2003: “It is unknowable how long that conflict [the war in Iraq] will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.”

Feb. 20 2003: “‘Do you expect the invasion, if it comes, to be welcomed by the majority of the civilian population of Iraq?’ Jim Lehrer asked the defense secretary on PBS’ The News Hour. ‘There is no question but that they would be welcomed,’ Rumsfeld replied, referring to American forces.”

Mar. 30, 2003: “It happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed. We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.”


And finally, a recent law in Arizona, House Bill 2583, requires that every room in every community college display an American flag:

Maricopa Community Colleges has to come up with as many as 1,220 American flags made in the United States to comply with a new state law by next July.

The cost would be $18,300 if early cost estimates of $15 are accurate, the district's spokeswoman, Nicole Greason, said.
... The Bill of Rights and the Constitution also must be posted alongside the flag in every classroom, according to House Bill 2583, recently passed by the Legislature.

With more than 280,000 students, 10 colleges and two skill centers, the district is one of the largest in the nation and makes up about half of the community college classrooms in the state ..."

If the goal is education, it would be an admirable goal. But from the history of our local legislature who feels it's an inalienable right to carry a concealed weapon whereever you want, one gets the feeling it's more about indoctrination. And from many of the legislators' stances on current issues, you could probably assume that they have never actually read the Constitution or Bill of Rights. If people really loved their country, they would fight for the rights that are inherent in those documents instead of making bullshit token gestures that look good on the frontpage of their local papers.


CyberKitten said...

As to your Rumsfeld question:

Pompous ass or idiot...?

Now that is a tough call... I mean a REALLY tough call.

Maybe there's a word to describe him... Or maybe we'll just have to make one up....

Sadie Lou said...

The thing I try to remember is that people with a huge, public voice are never going to be on the exact same page we are 100% of the time. Also, people we NEVER listen to might surprise us once in awhile.
I think the main reason opinionated radio/TV personalities are so obnoxious or extreme is because their listeners stroke their egos too much by agreeing with every single thought that comes out of their mouths--

dbackdad said...

Well said, Sadie.