Monday, January 24, 2005

Farewell, Johnny

In my mind the last of the Late Night hosts with class. Thank you for the laughs and tears, Johnny Carson. He was 79.

Carson writes jokes for Letterman
Funny Carson quotes

Bush judicial nominees could shake the environment

"Sitting Supreme Court Associate Justice David Souter has long warned against the judicial use of constitutional arguments to invalidate Congress's authority to regulate commerce -- a tactic that could negate environmental, public-health, labor, minority, and women's civil-rights protections in one massive strike. New Federalism is not new, he contends, but will march America back to the Lochner era of the courts, which lasted from the post-Civil War period until Roosevelt's New Deal.

Joseph Lochner was a New York baker whose corporate right to force employees to work 60-hour weeks was upheld by the Supreme Court. For seven decades, the courts maintained a laissez-faire attitude about business practices, ruling that the economic sphere was off-limits to congressional regulation, and that private property, especially corporate private property, was sacrosanct. That era's policies spurred political and corporate corruption, spawning the Robber Baron industrialists, a yawning gap between rich and poor, civil unrest, labor strikes and riots, bomb-throwing anarchists, two presidential assassinations, fierce government repression, genocide against the American Indians, and the near extinction of the American buffalo. It was an era whose gross human injustices were only reversed by New Deal reforms.

In the face of a kind of Lochner-era redux, environmental groups have little recourse, Feinman fears. "Other than opposing judicial nominations, we have a real problem here. We can't just wait for the next election, or defeat a bill in Congress. With the judiciary, we are dealing with a matter of constitutional law. Once high courts rule in an area, there is nothing that can be done by executive action, or by legislation, to change things. That's the end of the story. We could see a rollback of environmental law as part of a much broader rollback of government protection of the public interest. Once again, what is good for General Motors is good for the U.S.A."

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Does the press build up ordinary men?

"He's no ordinary man. George Bush is our President!"

Yes, but why must the press carry a man, whose strength isn't in giving eloquent speeches, suddenly hailed as a great voice after his inauguration speech?

Conservative host Michael Medved stated, "Ronald Reagan was a great speaker. President Bush is a great clarifier." This all comes from the same President whose misspeaks is amongst top selling desk calendars. A man who I can appreciate for his southern cowboy ruggedness and in the Administration's execution of carrying out policy. But certainly not one whose speeches *resonate* like a Ronald Reagan or the smoothness of Bill Clinton.

Michael Medved also stated earlier that "Bush's speech will go down as one of the six most remembered." I have a hard enough time believing other Republicans will believe this let alone what the general public believes. On the other hand, the President's speech could well coincide with Medved's imagination given the message is rather a sign of the Iraqian times, and not because he has a particular vocal talent that exudes a loyalty as Reagan's speeches had.

If there are any areas to pick out, Bush's one good quality is in his ability to speak sternly and with certainty, some of the time. This quality may well be enough for some, but my emphasis is in comparison to past presidents? I don't hear too much about the belief or devotion in our Commander-in-Chief's words. I only hear about how he looks "lost" or fumbles his words, and to accuse me otherwise is missing the point because actions speak louder than words. Even conservative supporter Dennis Prager admitted Bush "isn't a strong speaker."

My aim was to focus on the conservative media's need to advertise goals that are a little out of reach given Bush's speech record has been documented and made money off in comical fashion. A need that involves archiving a supposed great speech from an ordinary speaker for the sake of preservation in the history books.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Just how bad is the Bush Administration on the Environment?

Pretty awful.

When I sit here and look at Robert Devine's "Bush Versus the Environment," I have to control my anger, and at the same time, sadness, to see the Administration's crimes against the Environment. I use the word "crimes" because Devine's volume of illustration in his book shows the Administration's tactic of "sue-and-settle" to adjust current environmental policy. The more and more I read this, the more I realize the Wise Use crowd, in general, has no great understanding that Nature and "the environment" are intrinsical to our well-being. In fact, as conservative radio host Dennis Prager puts it, "the world is backwards." But what Dennis unknowingly misses is urban peoples outlook is backwards considering the metropolitan geograph values are entertained with bigness and loudness, not the calm meditative appreciation of the outdoors. The abundance of pollution retards ones ability to feel and remember the overwhelming relaxing sensation of taking in a deep breath of fresh air. Many of the urban Wise Use population only knows entertainment to be an overabundance of technology. The general principle of wanting to conserve our national treasures has been ridiculed for of its extemist positions while barely being celebrated for its merits. I stated before on another blog that the bad extremist examples are only highlighted while many environmentalists are laughed at for their committed activism. After all, John Denver was called "corny" in the '70s for his childrens program, music and Muppet Show acts. Local host, Joe Soucheray (and sidekick), laughed at a woman's paper on reusing plastic bags. Actor Woody Harrelson was laughed at for the hemp clothing he wears. And "tree-huggers" is not a word I associate with respecting green activism.

These are not wise examples coming from the Wise Use crowd. These are examples of 'doing nothing is better than doing something'. I applaude these good efforts, and frown to the extemism that exists. But it should be known that the good efforts of these are paramount. And the conservative Wise Use administration sees fit to undue the positive aspects of its activism.

What I believe is not all that far-reaching an example is the respected Dennis Prager. He cannot acknowledge the positive causes being worked by environmentalists because he well knows the Republican Party is in debt to nonenvironmental special interests. This is the man who talks of "clear thinking" and "common sense" being central to his core values, yet Mr. Prager can only muster a "the environment is not all that important to me" when confronted on the Bush Administrations logging policies. A man who cites Frank Sinatra as one of the all-time great singers because of his 'spoken word' vocals that bring "clarity" to his message and music. I wonder if he could acknowledge the clarity, spaciousness, and tranquility of John Denver's environmentally-aware music? To ask this would likely (not certainly) get a passing acknowledgment from Prager as though he appreciates the sentiment.

I use John Denver's music as an example of the spiritual impact the environment has on the human senses. Despite being surrounded by classic rock's popular height of the early to mid '70s, Denver's solo career flourished. The answer why is because environmental music is as broad as the wind, and is not grounded, unlike most of rock's sound. I believe this is yet another powerful example of why the environment isn't merely here for human use, but to bring a calmness and spiritual understanding that human existence performs best under a simple way of life.

"Bush Versus the Environment" has many examples of our current administration's steam rolling process disguised as carrying out legal political policies. I will attempt to cite a few:

Author's Note:

"While reading this book you may at times comes across information or comments critical of the Bush Administration's environmental policies and wish there were a response from the Administration. I, too, wish there were more such responses. Though a few of the President's appointees either granted me an interview or answered my e-mailed questions, nearly all of them remained out of reach, surrounded by a wall of staffers. Given the importance of the book's subject, I had hoped to speak with more of the people who develop the Administration's environmental agenda, but these secretaries, assistant secretaries, and other high-level officials are poweful and busy people, and perhaps they simply couldn't spare the time. Fair enough. I would have been content to speak to members of their staffs. But for the most part they, too, remained behind a wall, an outer bulwark of media relations people. As it turned out, the media relations people often didn't provide any information, either; sometimes they didn't even return calls or answer e-mails. This was especially suprising when I simply was trying to double-check my facts. I had heard about the secretive nature of the Bush administration, but I hadn't expected it to be so extreme in shutting out the public.

Perhaps members of the Administration were uncommunicative because they realized that many of their environmental policies would be hard to defend. This makes me think of an internal Agency Administrator Christine Whitman sent to Vice President Dick Cheney on May 4, 2001. Whitman was responding to a draft of the energy plan that Cheney and a group of energy company executives and lobbyists had created in closed-door meetings. Referring to an element of the plan that would undercut enforcement of the Clean Air Act, she wrote, "It will be hard to refute the charge that we are deciding not to enforce the Clean Air Act." Indeed, it would be hard for the President of his officials to refute many such charges of mistreating the environment.

One other quick note: In the book I often refer to "industry" and "business," as in, "Industry pushed for weaker rules regulating discharges into rivers," or "Business supported the Administration's undermining of endangered species protections." Such use of "industry" and "business" is a rhetorical convenience, albeit one based on the reality that in the industrial sectors that inflict the greatest environmental harm most of the players do try to evade regulation and responsibility. Nevertheless, I realize that not all businesses are the same in their attitudes toward the environment and that some members of industry are exemplary environmental citizens."


"Even my Republican eyes can see that President Bush has a long way to go before conservation record can hold a candle to TR's. Consider the following: Roosevelt established national forests, parks, monuments and wildlife refuges to prevent special interests from squandering the nation's natural bounty. Bush has appointed a stable of industry lobbyists to open up more of those lands to the same kind of special interests Roosevelt fought throughout his presidency. Roosevelt established the first national wildlife refuge to stop poachers from destroying a public resource for private gain. Bush wants to open America's largest national wildlife refuge so oil companies can compromise a public resource for private gain. Roosevelt founded the Boone and Crockett Club, which successfully compaigned to protect Yellowstone from exploitation by railroad and mining interests. Bush wants to roll back protections against snowmobile pollution [in Yellowstone], catering to off-road vehicle interests. I am a lifelong Republican and have served as an elected Republican officeholder in Illinois for 10 years. The GOP's conservation tradition was one reason I became Republican. Over the past 20 years, however, the Republican Party seems to have lost its way on conservation."

Martha Marks, Republicans for Environmental Protection


"Perhaps more than any other issue, the designation of wilderness is being profoundly altered by the Administration's sue-and-settle machinations. This comes as no suprise when you consider the pro-development resumes of Bush himself, Vice President Cheney, and many of the President's appointees. Timber companies, real estate developers, and the other business interests may chafe under regulations that restrict their activities, but they particularly abhor wilderness. These industries need land, and a wilderness designation goes beyond restricting them to shut them out almost entirely. Energy companies, ever popular with this Administration, have an especially big stake in preventing the establishment of additional wilderness. Oil and gas outfits covet BLM (Bureau of Land Management) lands, and of the BLM's 264 million acres only about 6.5 million acres--about 2.5 percent--currently are protected as wilderness. But millions of additional acres have been identified as potential wilderness, and some of the White House's most problematic sue-and-settle actions have been aimed at not realizing that potential."


"Many advocates of unfettered development insist that we already have enough wilderness in America. After all, Congress already has designated 662 wilderness areas encompassing 106 million acres. But a closer look at the numbers reveals a different story. A bit more than half of those protected wild acres sprawl across Alaska; only about 2 percent of the lower 48 has been designated wilderness. According to the Wilderness Society, 75 percent of the lower 48's 2 percent is scenic but often harsh and relatively unproductive desert and mountain country. And that 75 percent is not diverse, representing only a small portion of the nation's regions. In terms of both quantity and quality, then, America doesn't have much land left, especially biologically diverse land, that hasn't felt the touch of industrial society. The Wilderness Society calculates that only 200 million or fewer acres remain that may be suitable for wilderness, and that number is constantly dwindling. And the untamed amount of land will shrink rapidly if the Bush Administration succeeds in its anti-wilderness sue-and-settle campaign."


"William G. Myers III personifies the anti-federal-regulation nominees that Bush is shepherding towards lifetime positions as federal judges, though he's more rabid than most. Nominated in 2002 to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which decides many important environmental cases, Myers's confirmation seemed far from assured as this book went to press. But his record indicates that the Ninth Circuit will be getting an extreme ideologue if the Senate does confirm him. For most of his career he has been an attorney and lobbyist for the livestock and mining industries. He is renowned for his inflammatory remarks, such as equating the federal government's management of public lands with "the tyrannical actions of King George in levying taxes [against the colonies]" and "the biggest disaster now facing ranchers is not nature, but a flood of regulations designed to rurn the West into little more than a theme park." Appointed by Bush to his vurrent position as the senior solicitor for the Interior Department, Myers has used his time there to try to implement his antiregulatory rhetoric, working to ease grazing restrictions on public lands, facilitate mountaintop mining, keep snowmobiles in Yellowstone, and lift the ban on importing endangered wild animals--dead or alive--as hunting trophies or commercial products. At the time of this writing, Myers had just emerged from one ethics investigation by the Interior Department's Inspector General and was still entangled in another. The Inspector General's office cleared Myers on charges that he'd violated his recusal agreement, though the investigation revealed that he had indeed met repeatedly with his former industry clients. The pending investigation involves charges that Myers gave special treatment to a high-profile rancher who allegedly is a chronic violator of federal grazing regulations.

Speaking of the pending nominees who have made dubious remarks, William Haynes II deserves special mention. Picked by Bush to sit on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Haynes currently serves as the Defense Department's top lawyer. In a 2002 case in which conservationists sued the Defense Department over the bombing of an island important to nesting migratory birds, Haynes and his defense team argued that nature lovers actually benefit when bombs kill birds because it makes the surviving birds less common and "bird watchers get more enjoyment spotting a rare bird than they do spotting a common one." Does it suprise you Haynes lost this case?"

Interview with Robert Devine.

Scatheing indictment of the Bush administration, by Paul Tognetti:

"I tend to go along with Republicans on quite a few issues but I definitely part company with them on the environment. If you listen to the likes of Rush Limbaugh there is absolutely nothing to be concerned about. Just go ahead and live your life and do whatever you want and to hell with everyone else. Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, has written a very convincing and well documented book that portrays George W. Bush as perhaps the most anti-environmental President in our history. He points out that the Bush administration will use every means available to short circuit environmental programs and regulations. Are you aware that the Superfund that was created by Congress two decades ago to clean up toxic waste sites has all but been eliminated? Perhaps you do not know that various officials in this administration are trying to privatize the National Parks! And would it upset you that the Bush administration supports policies that encourage the building of gas guzzing vehicles while at the same time cutting R&D on hybrid vehicles that if mass produced would significantly cut our dependence on foreign oil? Carl Pope introduces us to the key players in the administration and sheds light on how they go about their business. Most of them come from the very industries they are supposed to be regulating! Given his position at the Sierra Club, Pope clearly has an agenda and ordinarily I might dismiss much of what he has to say. But I found his arguments to be for the most part quite sound and as such I would recommend this book to anyone interested in environmental issues."

Thursday, January 13, 2005

I have to correct myself

Thanks to an internet friend a long while ago on the loss of millions of lives due Rachel Carson's Ecological Genocide with her 1962 book, "Silent Spring." It's painful enough having to acknowledge this to the general public, but one that is necessary because I try to be balanced, even when it means exposing the harmful truth from my own values.

The correction being even though it is the human race that is most dependent on the environments future, it was Rachel Carson's fabrications that undid the green message some 30-40 years ago.

Other green news:

Looks like the old advice on water conservation is true afterall.

Much of the problems stem from current methods of irrigation. Sprinkler systems lose much of their water through leaks and much of the water applied by that method or flood irrigation ends up as runoff.

Farmers should turn to drip irrigation, a system that pipes water directly to plants, or better sprinklers that can cut water use by 50 to 80 percent, Postel said. In the Texas high plains, more efficient systems are now easing the strain on the Ogallala aquifer, she said.

But drip systems could be at least 30 percent more expensive, may require more energy to run and require clean water to prevent clogging.

Then it would appear drip irrigation isn't going to be the answer if it requires more energy and clean water.

Pimentel suggests consumers can help reduce water usage by buying locally produced crops instead of those grown far away and by switching the types of foods they eat.

For the Northeast, that means eating cabbage instead of lettuce grown in California or choosing chicken and pork over beef. It takes 3,500 liters of water to produce one kilogram of chicken, but 43,000 liters for the same amount of beef, he said. Rice needs about 1,600 liters of water per kilogram, but corn requires just 650 liters.

The beef industry won't like this. But it doubly makes sense for those concerned about more mad cow news as another is found to contain the deadly disease.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Health care expense rate slows

But Washington Bureau's Tony Pugh suggests it is an aberration.


St. Paul Pioneer Press' Edward Lotterman on mad cow disease.

A link from Random Thoughts on why Democrats keep choosing consultants who have a proven record of losing races.

The Imminent Demise of the Republican Party isn't something I'm buying, but thought was worth reporting.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Rush's venom

During the closing seconds of Friday's program, Rush Limbaugh stated in so many words that environmental wacks are happy the tsunami destroyed civilian property. The level of hate in his voice to this either makes me believe he truly does have such venom for greens, or he is continuing to push an agenda of making out environmentalists to be the cancer to the general public. Maybe both.

The oddness of this is Rush used this during the closing seconds of his program and had followed a completely different topic before the commercial break. From this, I've decided to fight back. I see no alternative since given the frequency of this and what appears to be a fabrication of truth (he did not cite a source). I encourage anyone reading this to pass the last two columns of mine on to people who have a interest in this subject.

One of the areas I've come to realize on why the general public doesn't recognize the importance of the environment is in Dennis Prager's comment on war: "Those who do not acknowledge evil do so because it would mean they would have to do something about it." This is denial. Relating to the environment, those who do not acknowledge the environments attention do so because of urban geograph. The downplaying comes from a resistance to change, and ignoring the problem is easier.

Dennis Prager once stated on air that the environment "isn't all that important to me." I do not want to take this out of context since he was answering a call-in on Bush's logging policies. Like most, Dennis takes issues on terrorism more seriously. I agree. What I disagree with is the right's denial. The right merely need to downplay the environment in order to focus attention away from Bush's undercutting of existing laws with fuzzy math and a general disregard for scientific evidence.

Rush Limbaugh's false accusations follow similar patterns the right is using to attack the greens. Grist Magazine has two columns with examples on what appears to be the right's methodical attempt to snub environmentalists: (1) and (2).

Robert Devine's Bush Versus the Environment has two paragraphs describing the Bush administration. My own personal thoughts are much better represented in his writings:

"To the extent that Administration officials are ignorant rather than uncaring, they can be forgiven for their damaging behavior--and many do seem profoundly ignorant about the environment and the natural world. Most Bush officials have at least one foot in the Wise Use culture, a culture that knows so little of nature that, for example, its adherents mock efforts to save plants and insects and fungi rather than just game animals and maybe some eagles. The Wise Users don't seem to realize that the web of life that supports them and the rest of creation would fall apart with out those "little things that run the world," as E. O. Wilson famously said of ants. Allan Fitzsimmons, shosen to head the Interior Department's wildfire program--a job that requires an appreciation of the complexity of ecosystems--has stated that he doesn't believe there is any such thing as an ecosystem and that "pulic recreational benefit is the principal reason for conserving natural features." The President's budgets have cut funding for all sorts of environmental research, which will only deepen the Administration's ignorance. The Bush Administration, like the Wise Use crowd, seems to take nature for granted. It acts as if it doesn't realize that excessive development is impairing nature's ability to provide flood control, water purification, a decent climate, pest control, new soil, and all those other essential ecosystem services. Not to mention the intangible but nonetheless very real spiritual need we humans have to sometimes get away from malls, television, traffic, computers, machinary, and walls and spend some time in the natural world.

In the end, balance is the key. You may recall from the early part of the chapter that "balance" is one of those feel-good words that the Luntz memo advises the President and others in his party to use to make their efforts seem more environmentally friendly. But don't let the marketing gurus' cynical deployment of the word spoil the idea. Environmental policy really is all about balance. We do need raw materials. We do need industry. We do need places upon which to build homes and human communities. We do need to live with some pollution. And, as noted, we need nature. So the trick is to find ways to meet the needs on both sides of the equation in a manner that can be sustained indefinitely. No one would advocate clear-cutting every forest in America and no one would advocate never cutting another tree in America. Assuming there is no technological answer (such as a cheap and environmentally benign substitute for wood), the debate is about the balance, about how many trees, what age of trees, how often to cut, how to log less destructively, and so on. I contend that President George W. Bush and his Administration are pushing the fulcrum too far to one side so that the interests of industry far outweigh the interests of the environment and, by extension, the public. Once you've read this book you'll be better able to decide if you agree that this President's view is unbalanced."

And from the cover of the book:

"It is unfortunate that a book like this needed to be written, but it truly did; I wish it were not so. I recommend it to all those who believe, as I do, that protecting this beautiful planet we call home should not be a partisan affair."

--Marth Marks, President, REP America (Republicans for Environmental Protection

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Why Rush Limbaugh and conservative media is not the answer for the environment

The environmental issue has a hard enough time being heard without further negativity. Alone such deeply misguided organization as ELF (Earth Liberation Front) could stop its message of conservation in its tracks. The main and continual problem is trying to strike a balance between human progress and green conservation. The latter doesn't bode well when it's number one dependance on survival is putting up so much resistance -- that being humanity. (In future posts I will attempt to show why much of humanity doesn't have an overly high regard for nature.)

I need to make it clear that there is a certain amount of inevitable environmental degradation to occur for the sake of human progress. But politics and power (the "greed" factor) are consuming the Earth's resources faster than what environmentalists and conservationists consider healty. (It should be noted as a clarification to the "wackos" tag many environmentalists are branded, there are some striking differences between environmentalists and conservationists. In relation to the supposed "wacko" label, todays environmentalists want to protect and place restrictions on human land involvement without any bargaining. Conservationists tend to want to use what land is necessary for human benefit while maintaining as much of its original existence. Of course there are variations to this, and not all members of each category should be lumped into what I'm about to talk about.)

I was listening to the independent conservative radio host Michael Savage Show one day, and right off the bat he was talking about listening to Rush Limbaugh's program. After about four minutes of listening, Savage turned the station, saying he couldn't handle listening to the "Spokesman for the Republican National Party." I too have started to feel this way with conservative hosts in general. That if a host is never wrong than they have their own agenda. It's the most basic and literally only criteria I can use to gauge political talk show hosts by. I generally listen to all the syndicated conservative hosts to get varying points. But by no means can I wholeheartedly trust any one of them because of their agendas. I allow myself to listen providing I know conservatives, too, have egos, ideology, and 'an investment to protect'.

Anyhow, the point on the environment I'm finally trying to make is Rush is using the same basic tactic from 10 years ago, which is to lump all the environmental greens in to the "wackos" department. His first book, "The Way Things Ought To Be," has been refutted in several instances here. To say this or any other examples I will use is enough to convict of course is not sufficient. Otherwise by now Rush would have confessed to the public. The point is to ask conspiracly: Why do conservative radio hosts hardly, if ever, shed some positive light on the good environmental causes taking place? I believe I've found that answer by accident from Frontpage Mag, a conservative news source:

Elder: "This is a political question, and you may not want to answer it. Why do you suppose the Republicans have such a black eye about the environment?"

Singer: "I think it has to do with the fact that the green organizations tend to be oriented toward the Democratic Party. It's as simple as that. It's been this way now for many, many years. They have been strong supporters of Al Gore, and they simply haven't forgiven George Bush for beating Al Gore."

In essence; as the Left will continually denounce Bush's war on terrorism for the sake of the DNP's agenda (and risk the peoples national security), so will conservatives on environmental issues because the subject largely sits within the DNP. The issue has very little to do with what's best for the environment. Rather, to acknowledge the other party is to give in and say they are right.

Conservative radio host Dennis Prager once said, "That in order to brainwash, one must be isolated." What Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives of the medium have achieved is trumping conservations message by pushing their listeners with the continual message of green "wackos." If you repeat over and over an ideology enough, one will start to believe in it. Just look at the abominable acts in the name of a la, or in Korea where anti-Americanism speeches are broadcasted through speakers in town squares. Many places in the Middle East and Korea have only one source of news information for the purpose of pushing an ideology. Radio does the same, but with a different subject.

Even local Twin Cities "Garage logic" host, Joe Soucheray, sounds like one continual blanket of environmental bad mouthing. Nearly everyday he is pulling up negative stories on the environmentalists (and rightly so in many instances.) The problem is so much of it comes from the same conservative machine that hinders the positive, logical elements of environmentalism. Essentially making the topic an after thought to the listeners. And this is precisely why conservation in general will continue to lose to America's capitalism. (The three C's: consumer>consumption>capitalism.) It is in direct conflict with America's capitalistic system of 'use and throwaway', 'supply and demand'.

The main way to make environmental issues recognized by the mainstream is not to force laws on to people (who have a long history of taking change slowly), but by making the principles beneficial and practical to the business market by way of financial credits to those companies who choose environmentally sound practices. This is the friendly green handshake to the market world to encourage more participation. Unfortunately even some of these ideas do not seem to be overly welcome to conservative media because of the war between them and the "wackos."

Dennis Prager aired his program on the 2005 Electronics Show from the Las Vegas Convention Center. Dennis was pleasantly enjoyable in a bubbly kid way over the new technology being displayed. It' was also interesting to hear for the 'hungry minds' crowd. But my inner being tells me, without trying to shed the "doom & gloom" of environmentalism, that while technology itself is important and useful on one level, it is also impractical and wasteful on another.

Dennis was beside himself over a nifty new electronic notepad that can translate ones handwriting in to readable text for those who cannot type. (Whatever happened to a pencil and paper?) This is the same person who talks of television as one of the great moral wastelands in our technology age and then openly supports video game electronics because this will keep children away from the boob tubes harmful rays. (Are video games not empty calories, too?) Yet, mysteriously, this isn't mentioned as one of Dennis' unconstructive activities.

The only conclusion I can come to with these conflicting examples is conservative media has a vested interest in exposing the bad environmental efforts while not reporting the positive efforts. (I have a feeling there are not going to be many hosts who are willing to tally the "+/-" ratio from their environmental talk archives.) And my personal assumption is while Dennis Prager is not necessarily "the voice" for the Republican Party (Rush Limbaugh's ratings taking that honor), he is one of the voices for America's consumerism. Unless politicians suddenly favor the peoples interests before special interests, I have a hard time believing Mr. Prager speaks in front of a Senate Committee free from hidden obligations.

His article on the commercialization of Christmas is a powerful defense for preserving the holiday while still not satisfying my understanding that 'the more standards are commercialized, the less significant they become'. It is common understanding in the arts that the more "pop" the art, the less affecting it becomes over the long haul. So while Dennis is correct in preserving Christmas for the sake of memory, it also could be argued that the holiday needs to be recreated to its original religious tone, first, and gift giving, second. This strikes me as a powerful case for the holiday from a Jewish host, and less powerful from the same host who doesn't celebrate the holiday to begin with.

How consumerism has trained us in our thinking is in order to feel better about ourselves, we must continually buy a fresh supply of products. Not change the inner being of ourselves and chose practical products while living simply within ones means without the excess (not none) of

"Conservation" and "conservative" are two words that not only sound alike but have similar values. Conservative ideology is based in the preservation of our Constitution. Conservation is based in the preservation of our natural heritage. Yet it is the conservative media who is continually reporting the bad while environmental organizations are supported by liberals. Even Dennis Prager has said openly he is liberal outside his core conservative/religious values. It is because conservatives are heavy pro-capitalists, and even any mild opposition to this is labeled with "wackos" or "anti-people." This would seem to further suggest that environmental principles take a back seat to partisan agenda's of ideology and the mighty dollar.

Two of the great losses of our time is reading and exploring nature (aka "nature walks"). Reading's loss is attributed to the advent of television, and nature partly because of technology, and partly because 80-90 percent of America's population resides in the metropolitan area. The further away populations are from nature, the further their appreciation for it becomes.

The other concern is ideological: The general population lives for today. Environmentalists tend to live for tomorrow. I'm for the latter because we might need our Earth a little later. The beauty, though, is whether you're for, against, or in between, America offers you the freedom and right to decide for yourself.

Rush on the Environment

Debunking Rush:
The Way Things Really Are
RL: 10 of clubs
Rush Limbaugh is wrong as usual

Rush responds to the debunking/FAIR's counter response to Rush

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Better to not eat red meat

Organic Consumers

Denver Post
"U.S. officials have balked at blanket testing of all cattle, saying it's too expensive and unnecessary. In addition, they say the tests are reliable only on cattle 30 months old or older.

Japan, however, has reported finding BSE in two younger animals - one 21 months old and the other 23 months old.

Most U.S. fed cattle are slaughtered before they reach 21 months, according to industry officials. They acknowledge that for exports to Japan to resume, the two governments would have to agree on measures to assure that beef bound for Japan is from cattle no older than 20 months.

The Agriculture Department's beef grading system is focused on meat quality, not age, said William Sessions, deputy administrator of the department's Agricultural Marketing Service."