Tag Archives: Media Bias

Is waterboarding really torture? Does it enhance our national security?

The Wall Street Journal has an editorial by Representative Pete Hoekstra, regarding Barack Obama’s decision to inform our enemies about the details of the interrogation techniques we would be using against them to protect America:

Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair got it right last week when he noted how easy it is to condemn the enhanced interrogation program “on a bright sunny day in April 2009.” Reactions to this former CIA program, which was used against senior al Qaeda suspects in 2002 and 2003, are demonstrating how little President Barack Obama and some Democratic members of Congress understand the dire threats to our nation.

George Tenet, who served as CIA director under Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, believes the enhanced interrogations program saved lives. He told CBS’s “60 Minutes” in April 2007: “I know this program alone is worth more than the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us.”

Last week, Mr. Blair made a similar statement in an internal memo to his staff when he wrote that “[h]igh value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country.”

Yet last week Mr. Obama overruled the advice of his CIA director, Leon Panetta, and four prior CIA directors by releasing the details of the enhanced interrogation program. Former CIA director Michael Hayden has stated clearly that declassifying the memos will make it more difficult for the CIA to defend the nation.

It was not necessary to release details of the enhanced interrogation techniques, because members of Congress from both parties have been fully aware of them since the program began in 2002. We believed it was something that had to be done in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to keep our nation safe. After many long and contentious debates, Congress repeatedly approved and funded this program on a bipartisan basis in both Republican and Democratic Congresses.

I previously wrote about how Obama had opened the door to prosecutions of those who, from the bottom to the top, defended the United States from terrorist threats. Even if no one is convicted, this witch-hunt undermines our vigilance, and will create incentives that will make our counter-terrorism personnel hesitate in the performance of their duty to defend us.

But now I want to ask a different question. Is waterboarding really torture? Take a look at this MSNBC video linked at Hot Air, featuring a debate between an ignorant, unqualified, left-wing journalist and Liz Cheney.

And here is some of the transcript from Hotline:

O’DONNELL: Well Liz, we’ll get to that argument in a minute, about do the means justify the ends. Whether torture justifies…

L. CHENEY: Well, it wasn’t torture, Norah, so that’s not the right way to lay out the argument.

O’DONNELL: OK.

L. CHENEY: Everything done in this program, as has been laid out and described before, are tactics that our own people go through in SEER training and that our own people have gone through for many years. So it’s really – does a fundamental disservice to those professionals who are conducting this very effective program and to those people who approved the program in order to keep this nation safe and prevent attacks through the program to call it torture.

O’DONNELL: Liz, the CIA, on its own after 2005, stopped waterboarding on its own. The U.S. prosecuted people for waterboarding after World War II.
So to suggest there’s a consensus out there that waterboarding is not torture is not in fact accurate.

L. CHENEY: No, I think it is accurate. There were three people who were waterboarded. And two of those people are people who gave us incredibly important and useful information, information that saved American lives after they were waterboarded. Both Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah.

And I would just refer your viewers to the really important op-ed piece that Mike Hayden and Attorney General Mukasey wrote laying out why this program worked, why it was effective and what damage has now been done to our national security by releasing the tactics of this program

The impression I get is that the left-wingers in the Democrat party and the mainstream media is more concerned about the rights of terrorists than protecting American lives. They have a right to hold and express those opinions – it’s a free country. But should we really reward them by voting for them or watching their silly biased television broadcasts?

RELATED: Hot Air notes that a new Rasmussen poll finds that 58% think Obama endangered national security.

Why is critical evaluation of Darwinism not permitted in the public square?

UPDATE: Welcome Post-Darwinist readers! Thanks for the link Denyse!

UPDATE: Welcome visitors from 4Simpsons! Thanks for the link!

No one doubts what can be proved in the lab or in the fossil record about the ability of organisms to adapt to their environment. Finch beak sizes can change, bacteria can become resistant, etc. Perhaps even some limited “speciation” between ancestors due to geographic isolation. But that isn’t what Darwinism-skeptics object to. We object to naturalistic accounts of the origin of life and to macro-evolution.

But Darwinism, like global warming, is one of those beliefs that is long on faith and short on evidence. And the way you can tell that you’re being sold a pig in a poke is by taking a look at how welcoming Darwinists are to debate. Do they organize public debates and publish books with their opponents? Or do they simply have them fired and black-listed from the academy? Let’s talk a look at the data.

The case of NPR media bias

Here is an interesting article from Evolution News by ID proponent Casey Luskin. Casey was interviewed by the government-run, taxpayer-funded National Public Radio, regarding the recent decision favoring critical thinking in science by the Texas Board of Education.

Casey writes:

Last week I did an interview with an NPR reporter, Bob Garfield, for his NPR show “On the Media” about the recent Texas decision…

The interview started with benign questions about the recent decision of the Texas State Board of Education to welcome scientific critique of evolution into the curriculum. This quickly descended into various “how dare you” type questions, about whether this was all a plot by the “Religious Right” to insert religion into public schools, and why I rejected all the fossil and cosmological evidence that shows the universe isn’t 10,000 years old. “Huh?,” I replied. I quickly informed Mr. Garfield that not only do we oppose advocating religion in science classrooms, but that I’m not a young earth creationist, and that the debate in Texas has never been about young earth creationism. The new Texas Science Standards only require scientific critical analysis of evolution, and in no way shape or form invited biblical creationism or religion into the classroom.

Mr. Garfield was also reminded that many of the 13 members of the Texas State Board of Education who voted for the new science standards both professed to accept evolution and stridently opposed the teaching of creationism, and thus it would seem highly unlikely that the new Texas standards were a “Trojan horse” for teaching religion. Nonetheless, the final story favorably quoted members of the evolution lobby saying this is all a ruse for creationism.

How familiar is the left-wing elite media with the 700+ scientists who dissent from Darwinism? Not so much:

But during our interview, having lost his argument that the new Texas Science Standards were a conspiracy to bring religion into the curriculum, Garfield shifted our conversation to the science. Again, he asked various “How dare you?” type questions, making assertions like virtually “100%” of scientists accept evolution, or that evolution comprised the unchallengeable “consensus,” or that there is no fossil evidence that challenges evolution. I reminded him that a critical mass of well-credentialed scientists in fact don’t support neo-Darwinian evolution, and that a number of Ph.D. biologists testified in Texas about scientific weaknesses in evolution. He then accused me of cherry-picking data because, outside of the Texas hearings, he asserted that essentially the “universe” of scientists support evolution. Not true, I told him. I replied that while surely majority of scientists do support evolution, there are credible scientists who dissent from it–hundreds of Ph.D.s in fact–and that there are plenty of discussions of doubts about core claims of neo-Darwinism in the scientific literature. I also discussed some of the reasons for these doubts-ranging from the inability of empirical evidence of natural selection to be extrapolated to bolster the grand claims of neo-Darwinism to the lack of confirming fossil evidence.

And the result of this cloistered, close-minded, intolerant, bigoted, echo-chamber caricature of evolution critics?

Mr. Garfield’s reply to my discussion of the science was that we were getting outside of his field, and he cut all of my discussions of the scientific weaknesses in neo-Darwinism from the final story. There’s no shame in him not knowing much about science, but it’s troubling that despite his self-professed ignorance on the science, he acted like he knew for a fact that skeptics of Darwinian evolution had no scientific basis should be treated like crazy religious fanatics.

But isn’t the left-wing elite media right to think that opposition to evolution is entirely from Bible-thumping, snake-handling, shotgun-toting, pick-up-truck driving rednecks?

As a last ditch attempt to discredit Darwin-doubters, Garfield compared teaching critique of evolution to teaching Holocaust denial. I replied that not only is there a world of difference between the two (hundreds of serious Ph.D. scientists doubt neo-Darwinism, and one cannot find such credibility supporting something as pernicious as Holocaust denial!), but I also told him that given that I (as well as many other Darwin-skeptics) am Jewish and had close friends impacted by the Holocaust, his comparison was not just fallacious, but out-of-line. I mentioned that even more scientists would come out of the closet to express their doubts about evolution were it not for the intolerance in the scientific community towards dissent from Darwinism. His reply was to twist my position into allegedly arguing that scientists don’t really believe in evolution, they’re just forced to pledge allegiance to it due to pressure.

I replied that this was not at all what I was saying, because of course a great many scientists harbor purely bona fide scientific support for evolution. My point was that were it not for the climate of intolerance, we’d see far more doubters and skeptics breaking their silence. However, in the final story, Garfield apparently sliced and diced my response so that it sounded like I affirmed his assertion that any “consensus” over evolution is the result of intimidation, when that is not at all how I responded to his question and false characterization of my views.

The article goes to explain how NPR cited a well-known critic Ken Miller of intelligent as an authority on intelligent design, despite the fact that he elementary errors on obvious details about the ID research program. I recommend reading the entire article, as it explains a lot about leftism and their propensity for group-think, censorship and fascism.

When he isn’t misleading his readers about historical facts, even Richard Dawkins allows that the first living system may have been intelligently designed by aliens. But those aliens must have evolved. How does Dawkins know that? Even without looking at the evidence, they must evolved, because of Dawkins’ anti-science faith in materialism. Evidence is irrelevant once you pre-suppose materialism, on faith.

So how did the Darwinists win then?

The same way that they’ve been winning on global warming alarmism. By avoiding a fair, open debate on the merits!

First, by intimidation, censorship and ridicule of anyone who opposes them. To say that their treatment of skeptics is like McCarthyism would be a tremendous insult to McCarthy. These are fact-averse fideistic fascists, plain and simple. If they had the evidence, they wouldn’t be firing peope left, right and center in the academy – they would be welcoming public debates.

Consider the case of Caroline Crocker. Here is video clip 1 of 6:

Second, by deliberate deception. Jonathan Wells’ book “Icons of Evolution”, showed multiple serious inaccuracies in the way that Darwinism is presented in textbooks. To take just one, the images of Haeckel’s embryos used in textbooks are fraudulent and have known to be so for decades! And this fraud is debunked in the highest research journals, like Science and Nature.

Consider this one example from Science: (Science 5 September 1997: Vol. 277. no. 5331, p. 1435)

[Abstract:] Using modern techniques, a British researcher has photographed embryos like those pictured in the famous, century-old drawings by Ernst Haeckel–proving that Haeckel’s images were falsified. Haeckel once admitted to his peers that he doctored the drawings, but that confession was forgotten.

Third, by judicial activism. Since Darwinists cannot win a debate on the evidence, in the public square, the next best thing is to win by judicial fiat. Judges typically have no relevant qualifications, either in science or in philosophy of science. They can also be intimidated by peer-pressure to conform to the opinions of the elite, regardless of the evidence.

Conclusion

The reason why critical evaluation of Darwinism is not permitted in the public square by Darwinists is because they would lose the debate. I will be posting a few of the debates that have occurred between faith-based Darwinists and their fact-based critics later in the week, and you will be able to see how well their case for naturalistic evolution holds up.

Further study

Here are posts on cosmological argument and the fine-tuning argument.

UPDATE: How well do Darwinists do in debates: Michael Shermer vs Steven Meyer.

Are polar ice caps really melting due to global warming?

This post is old, please take a look at some of my newer posts

Are global warming alarmists wrong?

Consider this article from The Australian: (H/T Watts Up With That)

ICE is expanding in much of Antarctica, contrary to the widespread public belief that global warming is melting the continental ice cap.

The results of ice-core drilling and sea ice monitoring indicate there is no large-scale melting of ice over most of Antarctica, although experts are concerned at ice losses on the continent’s western coast.

Antarctica has 90 per cent of the Earth’s ice and 80 per cent of its fresh water. Extensive melting of Antarctic ice sheets would be required to raise sea levels substantially, and ice is melting in parts of west Antarctica. The destabilisation of the Wilkins ice shelf generated international headlines this month.

However, the picture is very different in east Antarctica, which includes the territory claimed by Australia.

East Antarctica is four times the size of west Antarctica and parts of it are cooling. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research report prepared for last week’s meeting of Antarctic Treaty nations in Washington noted the South Pole had shown “significant cooling in recent decades”.

And here’s the graph that goes with the findings:

Source: Cryosphere Today
Source: Cryosphere Today

Why are global warming alarmists wrong?

Now we know that they’re wrong. Why are they wrong? Well, maybe I should start by showing that the media is cherry-picking data in order to delude the public. This post by Anthony Watts which explains how the media deliberately recycles the images and stories about imminent climate catastrophes. This time, it’s about a vast antarctic shelf that’s about to collapse.

Only one problem. It was just about to collapse last year, but the media is re-using the the same scary stock photo and story again this year and telling us again that it’s just about to collapse.

Excerpt:

Those masters of disaster are at it again, and it appears our friendly scientists at that National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) help this story along each year.

…It seems that not only is the photography recycled, so is the storyline. It seems to happen every year, about this time. Note the photos show shear failure and cracks, not melted ice. Shear failure is mostly mechanical-stress related, though ice does tend to be more brittle at colder temperatures.

National Geographic reported this story headline last year, March 25th 2008.

…From the Nat Geo story:

“[It’s] an event we don’t get to see very often,” Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, said in a press statement.

Now, how is it that an ice shelf breaks up in the spring of 2008 and again in the spring of 2009 and it’s “not very often”? Hmmm.

Watts goes on in his post to take a look at how much the ice shelf has really changed over the years (it hasn’t) and whether the air temperatures have gotten warmer (theyhaven’t) such that the air would be causing cracks. So all we really have is a scary re-used photo and a lot of propaganda.

What are the economic effects of policies based on global warming alarmism

Well, to start with, we’re going to lose a lot of jobs, due to increase taxation and regulation of “the rich” and “greedy corporations”. And, the EPA is going to raise consumer energy prices and put American money in the pockets of terrorists, by curtailing domestic energy production. And, we’re going to waste tons and tons of taxpayer money subsidizing corporations to be “green”.

The good news: public opinion is shifting away from global warming alarmism

A recent Rasmussen Reports poll shows that there is hope. (H/T The Chilling Effect)

Global Warming is Primarily Caused By…
Date Human activity Planetary Trends Other Reason
Apr 09 34% 48% 7%
Mar 09 41% 43% 7%
Feb 09 38% 45% 7%
Jan 09 44% 41% 7%
Dec 08 43% 43% 6%
Apr 08 47% 34% 8%

So at least we’re slowly winning the battle for truth. Unfortunately, Obama has got until 2010 until he can be challenged in the mid-term elections.

r.

CNN media bias exposed by slanted tea party coverage

Here is a video clip to get us started from CNN. (H/T Hot Air and Heritage Foundation)

This is not at all unusual for CNN. Notice how those on the left cannot even bear to hear the words of those they disagree with. That is telling, and it foreshadows the oncoming fascism that I predicted earlier based on the leaked Department of Homeland Security report that portrays Republicans as potential terrorists because they are not secular socialists.

Michelle Malkin, (who I think is very pretty and funny and smart), was interviewed on Fox News at the Sacramento Tea Party. She explains exactly why these protests are happening: fiscal irresponsibility, including high taxes, huge spending, massive deficits, corruption, fraud and government waste. And these protests are as much against big spending Republicans, as Democrats.

And Glenn Beck is even more explicit. (H/T The Heritage Foundation). This is not about Democrats or Republicans. It is about economic policy. Period.

There were 225,481 attendees, according to PJTV. Over 800 protests occurred, across all 50 states! But Gateway Pundit reports that Obama is unaware of the protests. Yes, he’s unaware of many things, I’m sure. In fact, that’s his specialty. (UPDATE: The Campaign Spot says 337,682 on Thursday April 16th)

In her related post entitled The word of the week is “crazy”, The Anchoress has a funny caption over the graph showing the budget deficit projections under Obama’s plan. Her caption is: If you do not like this chart and think something should be done about it, you are “crazy. Yes, according to socialists, everyone who objects to socialism is crazy!

Obama's projected deficits
If you do not like this chart and think something should be done about it, you are "crazy" (H/T The Anchoress)

And here is a bit more of her post: (go read the whole thing!)

From the LA Times: Anti-Obama Taxpayer Tea Parties steeped in insanity

Here is a crazy lady?

That headline is interesting, not only are the Tea Party folk “insane” but they are also “anti-Obama.” Recall, back in the day, if you were any sort of opponent to Clinton policies or if you donated to a candidate other than a Clinton, you were “anti-Clinton” or, as I liked to say, an “anti-Clintite”. Of course for the last 8 years, protesters were just reasonable people with reasonable, moderate and patriotic concerns. They were not “anti-Bush” and they were not “crazy” or “insane.” Those protesters, originating from the left, were smart, and deserving of respect and respectful media coverage. Hell, when the DHS wrote about “leftwing extremism”, they felt no need to even mention them as part of a vague “suspect ‘em all” strategy. Imagine that.

But now if you are protesting, you’re just a crazy “anti-Obamite.”

Gateway Pundit has pictures of the St. Louis rally, which drew 10,000 protesters! And more pictures are linked here.

Remember, these grass-roots protests of the tax-and-spend policies of the Democrats, which have been adopted in response to a crisis caused by the Democrats (videos showing Democrats are linked there). If you still believe that Democrats are fiscally conservative, check out this video of Obama giving a serious economic policy speech during the election campaign.

Also, did you know that Obama made 2.7 million dollars in income last year? At least it’s less than the 4.2 million he made in 2007. Somehow, I don’t think he’ll donate it all to charity like Dick Cheney did.

Pictures and stuff

More Tea Party at the Heritage Foundation, including pictures and videos!

I have to link to the pictures, as everyone I talk to seems to be interested in what the signs say. Laura at Pursuing Holiness, whom I just blogrolled, has a post up with a video of the New Orleans Tea Party protest.

Mark Sanford stands tall against left-wing media bias

27-minute Video below. (H/T The Maritime Sentry)

The interviewer appears to be working from Democrat talking points, and Sanford has to correct obvious deceptions several times during the speech. The questioners are all predictably representing Democrat special interest groups, such as teacher unions. Why do these left-wing activists ask for money when private and charter schools can educate students better for half the price of failing public schools?

Remember, the DNC had plenty of money to run ads against Sanford to pressure him into compliance, too.

Other posts on Mark Sanford:

Sanford’s opponents seem to be concerned about education and health care, but I don’t see why we should be having government solve these problems by throwing money at them, instead of my introducing competition using vouchers and de-regulation. Customers do better when service providers, like schools and health care providers compete.