Sunday, January 29, 2006

We’re All Going to Hell in a Handbasket……

If only Americans who continue to support Pres. Bush knew of the shenanigans that go on every day in the administration.

Every day, a new outrage.

To illustrate, the New York Times reports this morning that administration officials are busy silencing critics on the subject of global warning.

James E. Hansen, a “longtime director of the agency's Goddard Institute for Space Studies” recently gave an interview to the Times in which he expressed his grave concern over the condition of our planet and official attempts to keep him quiet.

A career with NASA that began in 1967, Hansen “has been issuing public warnings about the long-term threat from heat-trapping emissions, dominated by carbon dioxide, that are an unavoidable byproduct of burning coal, oil and other fossil fuels.”

With 2005 already recorded as the warmest year in over a century, global warming from burning fossil fuels can no longer be denied, although right-wing wackos prefer for the world to not to dwell too much on the subject, hence the latest muzzling.

Be that as it may, today’s outrage isn’t about the administration’s total failure to come up with a plan to stop the inevitable course of the planet’s destruction. No, it's about their single-minded obsession to prevent civil servants from speaking the horrifying ghastly truth about the matter to the public.

The fresh efforts to quiet him, Dr. Hansen said, began in a series of calls after a lecture he gave on Dec. 6 at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. In the talk, he said that significant emission cuts could be achieved with existing technologies, particularly in the case of motor vehicles, and that without leadership by the United States, climate change would eventually leave the earth "a different planet."
From the beginning of the Bush administration, including Cheney’s secret energy meeting, the K Street project, the Pentagon Group, FISA directives, Medicare Prescription bill actuaries, Katrina, and now even the weather, the Bush administration is like an addict on crack, high on its unimpeded power. So the campaign to silence every critic moves forward.

In one call, George Deutsch, a recently appointed public affairs officer at NASA headquarters, rejected a request from a producer at National Public Radio to interview Dr. Hansen, said Leslie McCarthy, a public affairs officer responsible for the Goddard Institute.

Citing handwritten notes taken during the conversation, Ms. McCarthy said Mr. Deutsch called N.P.R. "the most liberal" media outlet in the country. She said that in that call and others, Mr. Deutsch said his job was "to make the president look good" and that as a White House appointee that might be Mr. Deutsch's priority.

Apparently the mission for NASA has changed from one of “gurantee[ing] freedom, promoting prosperity, and of our nation" to making the president "look good."

Hey, now there's some real hard work.

The Times reports that the latest scuttle between Hansen and administration officials merely “echoes other recent disputes. At climate laboratories of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for example, many scientists who routinely took calls from reporters five years ago can now do so only if the interview is approved by administration officials in Washington, and then only if a public affairs officer is present or on the phone.”

Print media is at least reporting the news; but as polls show, the majority of people get their news from television; and with one new outrage nearly every day, it's hard to fit them all in 60-second micro news segments.

Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia should make global warming and the administration's heavy-handed, oppresive way of silencing critics two of his talking points in his Democratic response to the president's State of the Union address.

Speak the truth to the American people, governor. The American public need to finally wake up from their self induced apathy and smell the rancid, rotting roses.

I can hardly wait for Tim's rebuttal.
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