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Al Gorevara and the Global Warming Super Fad

Filed under:D. Sirmize, Media, Guest, Web Log (Blog), Politics, Opinion — posted by D. Sirmize on June 12, 2007 @ 11:17 am

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Do you know who Che Guevara is? Probably not. But you know what he looks like. You know, the t-shirt. The one you see at night clubs, college campuses, and leftist protests across the country. The famous posterized image was even recently spotted on the streets of Baghdad. But I’m willing to bet 300 carbon offsets that outside of Latin America, nobody knows anything about the guy gracing their $30 t-shirts. I’m not going to waste space on the guy. Google him if you care. Better yet, Wikipedia him.

The only thing that bugs me worse than political stupidity is fads. The Atkins diet, beanie babies, Survivor. They hit the pop culture scene, drive hordes to obsession, then disappear as quickly as they came. Ok, so Survivor hasn’t yet been voted off the island, but when was the last time you heard “Sorry, I can’t tonight. Survivor’s on.”

Today it’s myspace, organic food, and “going green.” Of course if I were smart and would have been the guy who invented these things, I’d be on sitting on some beach counting my stacks of green.

Today’s Che Guevara is Al Gore. Who’da thought? Some turds just don’t flush. Seven years ago I would never have believed that Al Gore would lead pop culture’s pantheon of idols. Of course Gore would be nothing if his pet cause hadn’t taken the world by storm. Al Gore has become the face of Global Warming. And he’s recruited quite a cabinet of indoctrination pros- Hollywood, national news media, academia, and education. Musicians like Pearl Jam croon about green living while distinguished climate experts like Sheryl Crow and Leonardo DiCaprio preach about conserving toilet paper and living “carbon neutral” lifestyles. Network news reporters poo-poo even the most intellectual challenges to Global Warming theory and college professors teach it as gospel. Even red state elementary schools have made “An Inconvenient Truth” a curriculum staple (never mind that the premise of this Gore flick is shaky and packed with exaggerations and stretched truths).

Global warming will go down in history as the super fad of modern times. I’m constantly amazed at how it has gripped the country. I recently attended a large educational conference whose keynote speaker was Bill Nye (the Science Guy). The subject of his speech, as stated in the conference program, was “promoting educational technology.” After a few self-serving stories about his various inventions, the lovable geek we all grew up watching on PBS launched a tirade on Global Warming (known nowadays by it’s current fad name, “climate change”). Nye told the several thousand educators present that their main goal should be to raise awareness of the dangers of global warming. He ended with the following:

“We are facing a serious business here on Earth; we are facing a very serious future unless we get on it,” he warned. “This is where we, as educators, must change the world.”

I think I was the only one that didn’t give him a standing ovation. So much for educational technology. Can I get a refund?

Come on, you say. Climate change isn’t a fad. It’s science. Al Gore says so. Well there’s plenty about this “science” that doesn’t sit right with me, which I’ll discuss in subsequent posts. Even if the science is sound and humans are indeed affecting global climate, today’s climate change chic is still a fad. And like all other fads, most of the people wearing the t-shirts don’t have a clue what’s behind the graphic. And also like all other fads, it will be gone once the hype dries up.

Now I consider myself an environmentalist. I love nature and I contribute annually to several conservation organizations. I drive a fuel efficient vehicle, recycle, and actively oppose unwise land development in my county. I believe humans should be good and wise stewards of the earth. Climate change I can believe, but I’m not so quick to believe the change is caused by humans. But even if any of the hype pans out, there are a few things about the hysteria that bug the hell out of me:

1. Al Gore. Ok, you must realize by now that I think Al Gore is a lying, hypocritical, steaming pile. I couldn’t stand him during the Clinton years and I can’t stand him now. The man has no credibility and I’ve never understood his appeal. The best way to convince me of something’s falsity is to have Al Gore promote it.

2. Celebrity activists. First of all, to think your average celebrity has any sense of reality is ridiculous. How much in common with the everyday Joe do actors and musicians have? And they’re telling me how to live my life? Shut up and sing.

3. Carbon offsets. Nothing like buying off guilt.

4. Indoctrination. Despite what Al Gore and Bill Nye say, global warming science is not set in stone. There is a difference between scientific hypothesis and scientific law. I’m no scientist but I’ve read enough to know that there are many, many climate experts who seriously doubt the theory of human-caused global warming. But you’ll never hear them on the news and your kids will never read their side of the story in school. On the other hand, Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” is required viewing in many American schools. It is widely shown in elementary schools. Some students have reported seeing the movie several times in several classes. I do not pay thousands of dollars in taxes for the government to ram these things down my kids’ throat.

5. Purging dissidents. Scientists who have doubts about Global Warming theory face a modern-day witch hunt. Just ask Oregon state climatologist George Taylor, who faces possible removal by Governor Ted Kulongoski because his views aren’t in line with “the consensus.” John Christie, Alabama state climatologist, told Cybercast News Service “It seems if scientists don’t express the views of the political establishment, they will be threatened and that is a discomforting thought.” Read the New York Times or watch a network newscast. Anybody skeptical of man-made global warming is painted as a marginal hack funded by Big Oil, while the fact that global warming alarmists are openly paid by environmentalist groups and far-left foundations goes unscrutinized. I’m no expert on Democracy, but since when was silencing critics a democratic value?

Global warming alarmists may be able to indoctrinate a sizable portion of our kids, but as long as they promote their agenda by fad, they’ll never reach adults with half a brain. I anxiously await the day when celebrities and scientists alike will lament the fact that they tarnished their names with the global warming fad- like an old lady regrets getting that huge tatoo on her back in her younger, more ignorant days. Environmental problems can only be tackled with true open debate, exhaustive peer review, and politics-free analysis.

Thanks to Glenn Beck for the awesome Al Gorevara graphic! Somebody should put that on a t-shirt…

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Rocky Rally II: Give Mercedes Benz a Chance!

Filed under:Media, D. Sirmize, Guest, Politics, Opinion — posted by D. Sirmize on March 19, 2007 @ 1:29 pm

My Pal Rocky’s at it again, bravely leading the charge to impeach President Bush, and Tyler and I were there to snap some pictures. The crowd was notably smaller than at Rocky’s last protest and it seemed not quite as peppy as last year’s party. But it was amusing nonetheless. We recognized the troubled youth bucket brigade from last time, but no sign of the paper mache Bush. There was a nice flag-draped homemade coffin that really impressed. And what would a good left-wing protest be without an abundance of Mercedes Benz peace signs? Enjoy.

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al Quaida?

Confusing Messages

Not to mention the many mixed messages that were shared through various conflicting or misspelled signs; some beautifully decorated (such as another Mercedes Benz peace sign), others a mere scribbling.

I’ve said before that I think protests are just plain stupid. I wonder what a protest rally would be like, sans the press. It seems the only people there are the speakers, the sign-holders, and people like Tyler and I who are simply there for the entertainment value. Then there are the press, who seem to flock to the City-County Building like paparazzi every time Rocky passes gas. Today’s rally will be followed up with a silent candlelight march this evening. Won’t that be special!

UPDATE:  Couldn’t resist popping over for the candlelight march.  There were maybe 50 people in all marching from the Federal Building to City Creek Park.  A lot less yelling, but more colorful protestors.  I snapped a few shots with my phone.

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See also: Death to Israel Rally in Salt Lake City, Let’s Talk Some Smack, Shall We?

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Utah Media Blinded By Political Correctness, Paints Salt Lake Mall Shooter as Victim

Filed under:Media, D. Sirmize, Religion, Politics, Opinion — posted by D. Sirmize on February 15, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

Let me give a little disclaimer right out of the chute. My rantings on this blog do not by any means reflect the political and/or philosophical views of this blog’s owner. The title of this blog is Desultory Thoughts (thoughts jumping from one subject to another without any logical connection to each other). Reading through the recent post list, it’s obvious that Tyler and I discuss a myriad of topics- some light-hearted, some very heavy. Unfortunately, my thoughts lately have been anything but desultory as my mind has turned almost indivertibly to the very real threat of radical Islam. It is not my intention to turn this mostly light-hearted forum solely into a discussion about that subject. To those of you aren’t interested into this, I apologize. Second only to my hate for radicalism is my disgust for political correctness.

I’m absolutely amazed at the Utah media’s reaction to Monday’s shooting rampage. To be fair, there have appropriately been many tributes to the off-duty Ogden police officer who led the charge that ended the violence. I believe he was inspired 1) to be there that night, and 2) to have brought his firearm, which he didn’t originally plan to do. Perhaps if Officer Hammond had not been the soul person in that complex with a gun, the fatality count might have even been lower, but that’s a rant for a different post.

In the days following, Utah and national media have attempted to whitewash the incident by ignoring the Muslim connection and painting Sulejman Talovic as a victim.

The LDS-owned Deseret News leads today’s paper with an arguably sympathetic article:

The atrocities of war and “ethnic cleansing,” and the pressures of daily life in a new country after he immigrated to the United States, could have created immense pressure on Talovic, according to Greg Jurkovic, a psychology professor at Georgia State University who has studied Bosnian teenagers in both Atlanta and Sarajevo.

“What we’re finding is that so many of these kids are suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder),” he said. “What seems to be most important is what they were exposed to, their war exposure.” Jurkovic said it is not being a victim of violence that automatically causes some people to perpetrate it. Instead, he said it is the constant “everyday stressors” — including poverty and the effects of losing ties to family back home in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Now I’m all about getting to the roots of a problem, and I don’t doubt Malovic’s traumatic childhood played a role in his actions Monday. What bothers me about the Deseret News’ reporting is that it borders on rationalizing the rampage. The News follows this article with an editorial (formatted as a news article) decrying anybody even daring to wonder if Malovic’s religion was a factor.

On ultraconservative Web sites like littlegreenfootballs.com, the story of Monday’s shooting rampage at Trolley Square has been reduced to one fact: “Salt Lake City Killer Was a Muslim.”

There is no record that Talovic attended any of the mosques in the Salt Lake area, according to both Tarek Nosseir, a spokesman for the Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake, or Bobby Darvish of Muslim Forum. Nosseir noted that many Bosnian Muslims are more secular than religious.

The authors of the article then utterly destroy their credibility by quoting CAIR, Islamofacism’s PR arm here in the U.S.

“Welcome to my world,” said Ibrahim Hopper (sic), communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington, D.C., about the angry e-mails. “I get tons of it every day.”

Had the Deseret News not been so eager to dismiss any religious influence on Malovic’s killing spree, they might have discovered that Mr. Hooper is no stranger to radical Islam. They might have also spelled his name correctly in the article.

While I’m sure many reasonable people sent reasonably-worded emails scolding the News for avoiding reporting Malovic’s religion, the authors focus only on the most vitriolic. Nobody reasonable is outright accusing Malovic of killing people under the banner of Islam. But what floors me is the widespread effort to unequivocally deny that his Muslim faith played any role in the motive.

All week, SLPD has claimed they know very little about Malovic. And if SLPD knows very little about him, rest assured the public knows even less. Yet KSL, the Deseret News, and Rocky Anderson know without doubt that Malovic’s religion had nothing to do with it.

To use a Glenn Beckism, blood’s about ready to shoot out of my eyes.

What’s worse is a staggering effort to turn any discussion of Islam into a racist issue. Keith Roderick has an excellent piece in Tuesday’s American Thinker that addresses this point:

“Islamophobia,” coined as a term to describe prejudice and fear against Muslims and Islam, has gained institutional legitimacy. It is now used to fend off criticism of anything negative arising from Muslims or Islam. Less a psychological state of irrational fear, it creates a pseudo-racial classification for Muslims and Islam that allows criticism of, or opposition to it, to be defined as racist.

Understandably, Salt Lake City officials are looking to avoid a backlash against the estimated 10,000 Bosnians living here. But SLPD Chief Chris Burbank’s comments this morning on KNRS AM make Roderick’s point precisely:

“I really hate to see some of the rhetoric that’s going around and the bias and the prejudice and really, outright hatred towards another race, towards another group of people, based solely on an individual’s actions.”

Ok, hold it right there, Chief. I eat, sleep, and breathe Salt Lake City and I haven’t heard so much as a word against Bosnians or their race. But let’s assume for a moment that you really don’t mean to equate suspicions about Malovic’s religion with discrimination against Bosnians. If you are detecting an anti-Muslim prejudice, it’s not based solely on one individual’s actions, sir. Who’s responsible for most mass slayings these days? Sure, “every religion has its extremists.” But then again you don’t read a lot of news stories about scientologists mowing down innocents in crowded marketplaces these days, do you?

Of course it must be noted that Chief Burbank was personally chosen for his position by uber-liberal Mayor Rocky Anderson. While Burbank (and Rocky for that matter) should be praised for SLPD’s flawless response to the incident, the man is drunk with Rocky’s PC Kool-Aid. It’s a bit alarming when the chief of police rules out any religious connection before the evidence comes in.

So who is more unreasonable here- those of us who refuse to rule Islam out as a potential factor until the evidence is in, or those who are already just certain it wasn’t?

I’ll reiterate what I say on a daily basis- the road to America’s downfall is paved with political correctness. Especially as it relates to radical Islam. Political correctness originates in the former Soviet Union, where citizens who dared voice a disagreement with communism were sent away to re-education camps until those views were corrected. In an America where anybody who questions Islam’s “peaceful” role in the world is condemned as a racist bigot, one wonders if our collective ideology is closer to that of Washington’s or Lenin’s.

UPDATE: One more thing about the media’s hypocrisy in not mentioning Malovic’s religion. Newsbusters’ Warner Todd Huston remembers:

Remember how Timothy McVeigh was immediately called a Christian, a White Separatist, or that he was part of a militia, etc.? There was little waiting for facts to emerge with McVeigh.

Yep, but Christianity and Judaism have always been exempt from the graces afforded by political correctness. Sucks to be us, huh?

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Salt Lake Mall Shooting: Home Grown Jihad?

Filed under:Media, D. Sirmize, Opinion — posted by D. Sirmize on February 13, 2007 @ 11:18 pm

I was walking downtown Monday evening when a police cruiser waiting to turn into the SLPD HQ parking lot on 200 South suddenly turned on its lights and sirens and sped eastbound.  Within seconds, at least ten more cruisers pulled out of the station following the first, joined by a fleet of ambulances and fire trucks along the way.  I knew whatever happened must have been big, but I had no idea it would be the bloodiest day in this sleepy city’s history.

A teenage gunman opens fire in a crowded mall full of families buying Valentine gifts and enjoying Family Night.  It hits close to home.  Literally.  Reports started streaming in as soon as I got home, and I’ve been glued to the TV/Internet/AM radio waiting to find out how this could have happened here.

So far, nobody seems to have a clue what the killer’s motive was.  Not a clue.  But of the 24+ hours of continuous coverage so far, there is one minor detail absent in any of the reports- the fact that Sulejmen Talovic is a Muslim.  KNRS AM’s Bob Lonsberry opines in his daily column (emphasis mine):

He was an 18-year-old Muslim. A high school dropout who lived with his mother and brought two guns, a bandoleer and a backpack full of ammo. He got up and went to work on Monday, completely normal, and then he drove over to the mall and killed two people before he was 10 feet from his car.

Is it relevant that he is Muslim? Absolutely. Is it a factor in his crime? It’s too early to tell. But in this day and age, when a young man named for a Muslim sultan who delighted in killing Christians ends up killing some Christians of his own, it’s not out of line to ask.

Why is his religion relevant?  First, had he been a Mormon, the headlines would have read “Mormon Madmen on Killing Spree,” or “Mormon Shoots Nine- More Trouble for Mitt Romney?”  If he were LDS, his religion would have been front and center.  And since his religion has been conveniently ignored, the rest of the nation who saw the headline on Drudge last night probably assumed it was ”just another crazy Mormon.”

But young Sulejmen was a Muslim.  Which means the news media walks on eggshells.  Just like the reports of “youths” torching cars in France and the UNC “student” gone wild, no mention has yet been made about his religion.  It’s just too politically dangerous to do so.  The PC media won’t touch the M-word with a 40 foot pole.  I’m not saying his religion played a role in the terror he wrought in my backyard last night.  But I’ll go ahead and stick my neck out and say what everybody else is thinking-

You have to wonder, don’t you?

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Thoughts on Saddam Hussein's Execution (Part 2)

Filed under:D. Sirmize, Media, Guest, Web Log (Blog), Politics, Opinion — posted by D. Sirmize on January 11, 2007 @ 10:41 am

“They’re very effective if people don’t wear masks.”

“You mean they will kill thousands?”

“Yes, they will kill thousands,”

No, this is not Michael Moore bragging to Al Franken about his flatulence.

“If you arrest any of them, cut off their heads. Show no mercy. They only joined the security to avoid having to join the army and fight Iran.”

The voice is Saddam Hussein’s. It’s an excerpt from several recently revealed recordings of the former dictator in conversation with his subordinates, in this case telling them to execute internal security officials for “incompetance.”

Oh, there’s more.

“Some commanders who abandoned their positions when they found themselves in an awkward situation, who deserved to have their necks cut, and did.”

The most disturbing dialogue discusses the effectiveness of chemical weapons (from Tuesday’s NY Times):

On one recording, Mr. Hussein presses the merits of chemical weapons on Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, his vice-president, and now, the Americans believe, the fugitive leader of the Sunni insurgency that has tied down thousands of American troops. Mr. Douri, a notorious hard-liner, asks whether chemical attacks will be effective against civilian populations, and suggests that they might stir an international outcry.

“Yes, they’re very effective if people don’t wear masks,” Mr. Hussein replies.

“You mean they will kill thousands?” Mr. Douri asks.

“Yes, they will kill thousands,” Mr. Hussein says.

Mr. Hussein sounds matter of fact as he describes what chemical weapons will do. “They will prevent people eating and drinking the local water, and they won’t be able to sleep in their beds,” he says. “They will force people to leave their homes and make them uninhabitable until they have been decontaminated.”

As for the concern about international reaction, he assures Mr. Douri that only he will order the attacks. “I don’t know if you know this, Comrade Izzat, but chemical weapons are not used unless I personally give the orders,” he says.

The tapes, made a decade ago and played at the continuing trials of his cohorts, reveal Saddam as the calculating, evil incarnate rat bastard that we knew he was.

Well, not all of us, I guess. CNN censored their own reporting of Saddam’s terrors in order to retain access in Baghdad. Leading up to the coalition’s 2003 invasion, foreign media painted Saddam as an enlightened moderate. The UN (including Kofi Anon’s own son) privately sucked millions from the Oil For Food program while publicly turning a blind eye to Saddam’s tyranny. Russia and France were dead set against taking any action against Saddam’s regime that amounted to anything more than empty rhetoric. The Angry Left defended Saddam and and sent human shields to Baghdad to protect him. Jaded politicos still bark that Iraq was better off under Saddam’s rule.

The New York Times, until Tuesday’s article, seemed convinced of Saddam’s innocence, accusing Iran of gassing the Kurds.

In reality, Saddam was a devil that murdered millions of his own people. There were the Kurds (the victims of Saddam’s “very effective” gas), the mass executions following the Shi’ite uprising, the revenge killings, and the random beheadings of his own security forces. I could go on and on.

Say what you want about the Bush. Say what you want about the war. But I admire a country and an administration with the juevos to actually look evil in the eye and send it to hell.

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