Sunday, June 4, 2017

Some Reflections on Kathy Griffin and Other News

Somehow, comedienne Kathy Griffin thought it would be funny to hold up (a la ISIS) a fake head of Donald Trump dripping with fake blood. Nobody laughed; although the Secret Service did open an investigation into the matter. After receiving blowback from all sides of the political spectrum, Ms. Griffin apologized. Not directly to Trump and his family. But she did acknowledge that she crossed the line, and begged for forgiveness.

No surprise, but the President and his family were not amused. They Tweeted their disgust, with Trump calling it "sick." In the time of ISIS, whose members have held up the severed heads of "infidels," I cannot imagine where she saw the humor. Her apology was not accepted by everyone. She lost her endorsement contract with Squatty Potty, and was fired by CNN, where she has cohosted the New Year's Eve program with Anderson Cooper for the last 10 years. She was also told by certain entertainment venues that some of her scheduled appearances had been canceled. Admittedly pretty rough for one bad mistake.

But, the next day Griffin appeared with attorney Lisa Bloom, giving a press conference, in which she blamed Trump and his family for her misfortunes. Griffin: "I'm not afraid of Donald Trump. I've dealt with older white guys trying to keep me down my whole life, my whole career." What is she talking about? How does Trump being an older white guy have anything to do with her poor decision to hold up what looked like Trump's bloody, severed head? This is a perfect example of what the left often does - they make the perpetrator the victim. We saw it in the mainstream media after the 9/11 attacks. Somehow, Muslims became the victims. We saw it after Michael Brown attacked officer Darren Wilson. The media made him a victim - of his own actions.

The best line by Ms. Griffin was this one: "...what's happening to me has never happened - ever - in the history of this country." Where has she been living? Oh, that's right, she resides in the liberal, entertainment world where only conservatives are supposed to be the bad guys. Does she even know about all the attacks and threats against conservatives, especially those who try to speak on college campuses? Has she ever spoken up in favor of the speech rights of conservatives? Clearly, if she is getting death threats, those people should be caught and prosecuted.

Actually, maybe the best line she said was this one: "It's quite clear to me they're trying to use me as a distraction. I'm not going to be collateral damage for this fool." Hmmm. That sounds suspiciously like a left-wing anti-Trump talking point. Do I think she came up with that on her own? I do not. On the other hand, her attorney is Lisa Bloom, who just happens to be the daughter of Democrat-supporter Gloria Allred. Coincidence? You tell me.

Evergreen State College is a liberal school in Washington State. Since the 1970s, they have had a yearly "Day of Absence," when faculty and students of color meet off campus. The idea, apparently, is to make whites realize the significance of the minority community. This year, however, the minority students decided to "invite" whites to leave the campus for a day. One white, liberal professor was apparently offended by the idea, and was not treated respectfully.

I'm offended by the whole thing. I'm offended by the incessant need of the left to always draw distinctions between the races. How is that supposed to create racial harmony? It does not. But if you want to know all you need to know about "higher" education today, consider this - the school has a position with the title of "Director of First Peoples Multicultural Advising Services." I'd like to say that I'm just kidding, but no, I'm not.

Having terminated Kathy Griffin's New Year's Eve cohosting duties, I wonder what, if anything, CNN will do Reza Aslan. Aslan on Trump: "This piece of sh.. is not just an embarrassment to America and a stain on the presidency. He's an embarrassment to humankind." Let me say that Aslan is an embarrassment to journalism and intellectual discourse everywhere.

Every once in a while I get to agree with the LA Times. From today's lead editorial: "The drumbeat of hatred, incivility and intolerance threatens our political system in ways big and small. It demeans individuals, disrupts discourse and exacerbates divisions. It weakens our claim to be a culture that values a free and open exchange of ideas. And at worst, it devolves into violence, which is unacceptable." Maybe the Times can lead the way and stop with the name-calling of conservatives, and the use of other derogatory terms we see in so many mainstream editorials.

The Sky is Falling, The Sky is Falling!

After President Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accords, one might reasonably conclude that the end is near. After all, the LA Times 6/2/17 lead editorial told us that Trump "put the world on a path - potentially, but increasingly inevitably - to irreversible catastrophe." Let's put aside for a moment that in the 1970s, some scientists were warning of a coming ice age as increasing amounts of particulate matter in the atmosphere would block the sun's rays and lower global temperatures. Let's take an honest and calm look at what the President has done.

It turns out that in 2014, diplomats of the world were unable to come together and reach a binding agreement about how to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Hardly surprising, especially given the need of developing countries to use plentiful and relatively cheap carbon-based fuels to grow their economies. That would include countries such as China and India, who together have over 2.6 billion of the world's estimated 7.5 billion people. That is over 1/3 of the world's population in just those two still developing countries.

So, if the countries of the world were unable to reach a binding agreement, what does the Paris Accord actually do? It requires each signatory to submit an "Intended Nationally Determined Contribution," or INDC.

Here are two important quotes. "In truth, the agreement does not require any country to do anything; after the failure of the 1997 Kyoto Accord, the United Nations, which oversees climate change negotiations, decided that it simply did not have the authority to force a legally binding agreement." That quote is not from a conservative commentator; rather, it is from the 6/2/17 editorial in the New York Times. Here is another quote from that editorial: "Partly because of investments in cleaner fuels, partly because of revolutionary improvements in efficiency standards for appliances and buildings, carbon dioxide emissions in this country actually fell nearly 12 percent in the last decade."

The Times continues: "Market forces all seem to be headed in the right direction. Technologies are improving." Yes, conservative ideals carry the day again - market forces and technological breakthroughs in the private sector.

Before the international conference in Kyoto, the US Senate voted 95-0 against participating in any protocol that required a reduction in greenhouse-gases in the US - unless developing countries were also mandated to do so. Hence, there was no point in submitting the Kyoto protocol for ratification by the Senate, the Senate having already unanimously rejected the one-sided proposal. But here is another conservative idea. If the Paris Accord is of such significance, then why shouldn't there be compliance with the Constitutional requirements for approval of treaties? Obama did not submit it to the Senate when he signed off. But Article II, Section 2 reads as follows: "He (the President) shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur."

Meanwhile, while my liberal friends worry about what the Europeans are saying about the US, the 6/1/17 lead editorial in the Wall Street Journal tells us: "...Germany's emissions have increased in the last two years as more coal is burned to compensate for reduced nuclear energy and unreliable solar and wind power." And they are lecturing us? The 6/2/17 Journal editorial tells us that "over the past five years U.S. emissions have fallen by 270 million tons, while China-the No. 1 CO2 emitter-added 1.1 billion tons."

I understand that my liberal friends worry about the US being the odd country out. That does not bother me at all. We are already leading the developed world with substantially reduced carbon-based emissions. The Paris Accord would require the US to give away billions of dollars to developing countries in order to assist them with their energy needs - green energy needs. And why not? The first page of the 6/1/17 New York Times tells us "The United States, with its love of big cars, big houses and blasting air conditioners, has contributed more than any other country to the atmospheric carbon dioxide that is scorching the planet."

So, I ask the editors at the New York Times and other liberal papers, and I ask my liberal friends, how small a car do you drive? How small a house do you live in? Are you willing to give up air conditioning? Are you willing to walk or bike to your job and when you run errands? Of course, if we all stopped exhaling that should significantly reduce CO2 emissions, but I think we can agree that is not a feasible option.