Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Movie Review:: An Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore's famous lecture on the perils of global warming finally made it to our living room yesterday to mixed reviews. The polemic, divisive flick earnestly attempts to make the scientific case for both the existence of and causation of global warming. Surprisingly humorous and thoughtful Al Gore compellingly demonstrated the former, but his dramatic tactics in support of the latter left something to be intellectually desired.

Powerful images of receded glaciers, disappearing icecaps and higher water lines bear witness to the profound changes happening on our planet. The icecaps of Kilimanjaro that now look like light sugar frosting on a cake, the ice shelf in Antarctica that has fallen off, thereby the shrinking the continent and dead coral reefs that no longer serve the pivotal role of supporting vibrant ecosystems are a testament to what is in store.

The analysis in the film then shifts to the shakier ground of explaining "why" the earth is warming. As the argument goes, the byproduct of industry and human consumption is increased CO2, which thickens the atmosphere and traps the sun's radiation that would otherwise be released back into space.

To illustrate the point, Gore points to a graph that documents the earth's temperature and corresponding CO2 levels for the past 650,000 years.
The top line, representing CO2 levels, erraticly but progressively ascends as it approaches the present, paralleled by a white line representing temperature. This, Al Gore tells us, is the smoking gun evidence that proves that CO2 levels are causing the temperature increases and wacky weather in many parts of the world.

It is on this point where skepticism set in. The age-old blurring of the line between correlation and causation is an intellectual pitfall that understandably ensnares the unwitting observer. Correlation, on the one hand, means "the degree to which two or more attributes or measurements on the same group of elements show a tendency to vary together." On the other hand, causation is "anything that produces an effect". Racial profiling is a good example of this intellectual fallacy. It may be true that there is a correlation between members of a certain race and commission of specified crimes, but it does not mean that the race of the person caused the person to commit the crime. Many other variables influence each result.

That CO2 levels and temperature levels correlate does not mean that CO2 increases cause temperature rise. Indeed, it could be the opposite.

All in all, however, it was a thought-provoking flick. Those who otherwise care about a healthy environment, clean water and breathable air do not need armageddon scenarious to scare them into moderating their consumption. One need only visit Beijing or Cairo to experience the destructive effects of unfettered pollution. And, for those who refuse to believe that the wastes generated by our society's ravenous consumption will ultimately be our downfall, no amount of reason will change their minds.

People should conserve resources, recycle and not be wasteful. Not because Al Gore peddled an end-of-the-world prophecy, but because it makes sense.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Gypsy Media

Another stunning example of the unceasing guillibility of Americans is the media shell game over Don Imus and his half-brained antics. Let us recap the past week's events and see what lessons jump out -

1. Don Imus calls the Rutgers women's basketball team a bunch of "nappy headed hos".
2. CBS and NBC, with the other media propagandists in tow, in choosing what to present and call "news", decide to make the comments front page news. Perhaps it was an attempt to drum up ratings for the juvenile, Animal house throwback or a purposeful way to distract the American sheeple from real news like war and the bankruptcy of subprime lenders. Either way, we would not have known about it if they did not shove it in our faces.
3. The story wouldn't be complete without the antagonists, however, so in come Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, neither of whom would be remotely relevant or even known if the corporate propaganda machine didn't appoint them as spokespeople for the Black community (irrespective of what the Black community happens to think about that). Each gets his two minutes of fame and is presented to White America as the example of what all Black people in America think. With minimal effort, the media have reinforced division of the races. Divide and conquer works like a charm every time.
4. MSNBC, followed by CBS, drops Imus. Front page news again.
5. The conclusion is that pressure from Sharpton and Jackson left Les Moonves at CBS no option but to fire Imus. Those who have worked with Les Moonves, who is known in the television industry as a tyrant, find this suggestion more than laughable. Sharpton and Jackson do not dictate terms to Moonves. It's the other way around my friends.
6. The "free speech" crowd gets mad because the p.c. movement (code name for Black people) allegedly instituted thought control on America and debate this non-issue vigorously. Not a peep about thought control when the Israeli lobby effectively shut down discussion on the Israeli bombing of the USS Liberty or the pressure put on the Polish consulate to deny an audience to a Jewish scholar who dared discuss the Lobby. Appalling silence from the "free speech" crowd when Phil Donahue was fired from MSNBC because he refused to act as a mere stenographer for the White House when discussing the war. How about the conspicuous absence of any presidential candidates besides those carefully screened and approved by the corporate media? Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul anyone?

In the meantime, with the populace thoroughly enthralled with the important, crucial national debate over whether rappers' use of the term "hos" excuses Imus' diarrhea of the mouth, the Toddler In Chief is still threatening to play cowboys and Indians in Iran, the contestants on Presidential Idol unanimously agree with Bush and the neofascists that the use of nuclear weapons to stop the making of a nuclear weapon will save the world from chaos, the resistance has penetrated the Green Zone in Baghdad, subprime lenders are going bankrupt and the price of gold is on the rise again.

The gypsy pick-pockets who roam the streets of Rome and St. Petersburg have well-known, tried and tested, tactics for stealing the wallet right out of your pocket. One group is sent across the street to create a commotion and, while the suckers are engrossed in the action, the second group stealthily creeps from behind, snatches wallets and cameras and surreptitiously departs without anyone realizing they were there. Likewise, when the media create a distraction over the paternity of the daughter of a cheap, $2 whore and the job status of a 60-year-old who has the intelligence and maturity of a 15-year-old, you better watch your wallets because the pick-pockets are distracting you.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Who Would Jesus Let Starve?

He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their maker,
but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.
Proverbs 14:31
He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
and he will reward him for what he has done.
Proverbs 19:17

In yet another example of the hatred of the Lord exhibited by the inhabitants of the so-called Bible Belt, the State of Florida, which brought America fraudulent voter rolls and George W. Bush, has used the force of the State to arrest a man for feeding the homeless in Orlando.

Because feeding the homeless makes you a criminal in Christian America, Food Not Bombs charity group spokesman Eric Montanez was charged with violating a controversial law against feeding large groups of destitute people in the city centre.

"The Orlando law, which is supported by local business owners who say the homeless drive away customers...allows charities to feed more than 25 people at a time within 3.2 kilometres of the Orlando City Hall only if they have a special permit. " They are able to receive two permits a year.

As funny as it is tragic, Christianity in America is only tolerated by Christians when it begets hate of gays and abortion. Otherwise, keep your Jesus-like conduct to a minimum; that is, only twice a year. It might scare away the customers.

If Jesus returned today, America's Christians would be the first to denounce the renegade, hooligan, unpatriotic, liberal, law-breaker who hangs out with prostitutes and lepers and who does not respect the free market right of the money-changers to set up shop in the temple. Can you picture it now - Bill O'Reilly will invite the Son of God to his show to berate him for being a terrorist lover for his defeatocrat philosophy of turning the other cheek.