Sunday, February 19, 2006

NYT: Chrichton reads to Bully Boy, Scientists speak out

Michele St. Martin, a spokeswoman for the Council on Environmental Quality, a White House advisory agency, pointed to several speeches in which Mr. Bush had acknowledged the impact of global warming and the need to confront it, even if he questioned the degree to which humans contribute to it.

Quite true, it's those pesky polar bears who refuse to give up their three wheelers that are 'contributing' to global warming. When will the polar bears learn? When? The excerpt above is from Michael Janofksy's "Bush's Chat With Novelist Alarms Environmentalists" which details when Bully Boy met Michael Crichton (who's called a "novelist" in this article -- the Times wasn't always so generous in the use of the term). Chrichton met Bully Boy because printed text can be scary and why buy books on tape when you can get the writer to read it to you?

From Cornelia Dean's "At a Scientific Gathering, U.S. Policies Are Lamented:"

David Baltimore, the Nobel Prize-winning biologist and president of the California Institute of Technology, is used to the Bush administration misrepresenting scientific findings to support its policy aims, he told an audience of fellow researchers Saturday. Each time it happens, he said, "I shrug and say, 'What do you expect?' "

Someone needs to introduce Baltimore to Nancy Pelosi. (See "No Spine on No Spying.")

Back to Dean's article:

Dr. Baltimore spoke at a session here at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Though it was organized too late for inclusion in the overall meeting catalogue, the session drew hundreds of scientists who crowded a large meeting room and applauded enthusiastically as speakers denounced administration policies they said threatened not just sound science but also the nation's research pre-eminence.
The session was organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit organization that has been highly critical of the Bush administration.

A scientific conference and it's covered by the Times? Almost reason to hope. (I'm minimizing my hope, not the fact that Dean's covering something the paper should be covering but frequently doesn't.)

We'll note the following from Alan Cowell's otherwise tepid "Blair Calls Camp in Cuba an 'Anomaly':"

Asked in a radio interview about the Guantanamo Bay detainees, Britain's attorney general, Lord Peter Goldsmith, said Friday that he believed "that the way one needs to deal with allegations that people have been involved in criminal activity -- and that includes terrorist activity -- is fair trial."
But he said he did not view the military tribunals proposed by the United States for some of the estimated 500 Guantanamo Bay detainees as "a fair trial by standards we would accept."
The chorus of demands for closing the camp intensified Friday when Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a longtime opponent of apartheid rule in South Africa, said in a British radio interview: "I never imagined I would live to see the day when the United States and its satellites would use precisely the same arguments that the apartheid government used for detention without trial. It is disgraceful."
He added, "One cannot find strong enough words to condemn what Britain and the United States and some of their allies have accepted."

Why does Blair have to make noises that he hopes calms the waters? Because they're boiling in England over this. People are outraged. Here? A large number of the population seems surprisingly uninterested.

Iraq? We'll pick that up tonight. For newer members (especially Heath) who have asked, "What was the Joan Crawford pose Lawrence Summers struck?" -- the paper reruns that photograph on A18 today. It's a smaller version. But just as frightening. Note the shadows cast by the venitian blinds -- very Flamingo Road.

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