NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

John Allen's disapointment

John Allen is still upset over the November Election and is calling for readers to Impeach Bush in the December 30, 2004 Letters to the Editor. Let's look at his made up quotes and his unsupported arguments.
Another bought election has come and gone, with predicted results. Our little dictator said, "He would win, one way or another.
Is this a real quote? A real quote should be “I will win...” The Democrats outspent the GOP, it's just the voters did not buy the message. So, who was trying to buy the election?
It was said he won on "moral values." This is the most immoral president we have had. Even he admits to drugs and alcohol.
The President, admits to past use of too much alcohol, and is a recovering alcoholic, as are millions of Americans. Drug use has been claimed, but not proven. When and where did the President admit to drug use?
Like it or not, we are slowing being told what we can see, read and hear.
Please give us one proven example of how a citizen in Nevada County has been “told what they can see, read or hear under the “Patriot Act.”
Bill Clinton was impeached for lying. Bush has lied from day one.
Bill Clinton lied under oath. When did President Bush lie under oath?

Mr. Allen needs to get over his disapointment, the American people have spoken.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Tony Rohl writes about Ancient warming in the December 29, 2004 Union Letters to the Editor. The information he provides supports the idea that global warming has occured in the distant past and could occure again.
The current edition of Nature magazine has a fascinating story about an ancient Peruvian site that may contain as many as 20 cities with massive pyramids and sunken circular plazas sprawled over three river valleys. It has been determined that construction started about 5,000 years ago.

Andean society was built primarily on cotton farming and trade, supported by a network of fishing villages along the Peruvian coast. But beginning about 3100 BC, the climate turned much drier, eliminating the naturally growing fruits and vegetables that villagers relied on to supplement their diet of anchovies and fish. They tried diverting rivers to desert land to grow crops, but by 1800 BC the soil began to lose productivity, leading to the eventual decline of and fall of this large city complex.

Put another way, almost 5,000 years before the industrial revolution there was a period of global warming that lasted for over 1,100 years. Further exploration continues, but to date, archaeologists have yet to uncover the remains of a single Ford Expedition or Cadillac Escalade.

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Dan Rather suggested on the CBS Evening News that the tsunami could have been caused by to global warming, as sea levels rise due to melting glaciers. In fact, Navy satelites show the sea levels are droping in the region. Pick up a copy of Meltdown, at a local book store and look at the color charts in the back. Big media is distorting the news again.

More details on Yahoo, Scientist Decries Moral Audacity of Environmentalists Linking Tsunami and Global Warming

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Monday, December 27, 2004


From a Mercury News Editorial, 24 December 2004.
So the Public Utilities Commission is planning for the not-so-distant day when fossil fuels will be penalized for the carbon dioxide they add to the atmosphere. The long-term plans it just approved will guide electric utilities away from the use of those fuels. The PUC is following the lead of the Air Resources Board, which has enacted first-in-the-nation limits on greenhouse gases emitted by vehicles. Sooner or later, the nation will follow. In the new rules for utilities, the PUC assumed that limits on greenhouse gas emissions are likely to be imposed, making electricity from fossil fuels more expensive. So it told utilities that for their fossil fuels -- coal, oil and natural gas -- they need to calculate a ``carbon adder,'' an estimate of fees or taxes that will be added to the price in proportion to the amount of carbon dioxide a fuel releases when burned.
First it was the Air Resources Board who is increasing the cost of each new car by $1,200 to $1,500, now the PUC is going to raise your energy bills, all for a problem we cannot control. When are you going to wake up and do your own research on global warming and decide if you want to spend your hard earned dollars on problems generated by a computer and promoted with religious fervor by people who want to shut down economic prosperity.

Read the full editorial here.

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Bill Murdock is looking for a Consistent story? in the December 17, 2004 Union Letters to the Editor.
When asked why U.S. soldiers in Iraq had to scrounge for makeshift armor, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld replied, "We have to go to war with the army we have, not the army we want."

Rumsfeld makes it sound like we suddenly found ourselves faced with a war in Iraq. This statement is contrary to what Bush has been trying to sell us for two years: The decision to go to war in Iraq was not a knee-jerk reaction but took painstaking soul-searching and was well planned for.
Right, the war was planned for two years, but Congress was slow to respond with the money needed. Plus they have made the procurement cycle five plus years, with competitive bids, restrictive environmental regulations, and pork barrel demands that weapon systems be built in powerful committee member states.

The troop know who is to blame for the problem of missing body armor.
The majority of U.S. soldiers do not blame President Bush or Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for a shortage of body armor in Iraq, but instead say Congress should be held responsible - according to a new poll by the Military Times.

Sixty percent blame Congress for the shortage of body armor in the combat zone, reports USA Today in its coverage of the Times survey.
Full details here.

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Sunday, December 26, 2004


Michael Schwalm is worrying needlessly about a Potential catastrophe?, in the December 25, 2004 Union letters to the editor.
In the last hundred years, man has extracted and burned enormous amounts of hydrocarbons which took millions of years to form. This has resulted in a trillion tons of "abnormal" CO2 introduced into our atmosphere. Carbon dioxide levels have risen 30 percent during this short time.

However, the process is accelerating and predicted to reach 130 percent in next 90 years.
This is out right bunk. The growth of CO is not accelerating. It peaked at about 1.2 metric tons per capita in 1979 and has been declining slightly ever since. If measured against global GDP, the CO2 emission per unit of growth has dropped 30 percent. The more prosperous the world becomes the the less CO2 we produce per unit of economic growth. An acceleration slope would have an upward curve. CO2 increased from 294 parts per million in 1900 to 364 ppm in 1998 on a relatively linear slope. No acceleration in growth!
That could raise the earth's temperature 9 degrees F. with disastrous results.
More bunk science, the 9 degrees is based on a computer model that cannot be validated by scientific analysis. From 1979 to 1996 balloon carried radiosonde show a minus 0.06 degree C per decade slope in temperature decline. Satellite Microwave Sounding Units measure the lower troposphers temperature, from 1979 to 1997 and show a minus 0.07 degree C per decade decline. Science measurements trump computer guesses in my book.
Most atmospheric scientists are sounding serious warnings about catastrophic long-term effects from rising CO2 levels.
About 2000 scientist worked on the UN Climate Change project, and many of them disputed the final product, which was extensively edited by nonscientists, who removed the paragraphs expressing scientific concern over the uncertainty in the forecasted temperature changes. On the other hand 17,000 US scientists, half of whom are trained in the fields of physics, geophysics, climate science, meteorology, oceanography, chemistry, biology, or biochemistry signed a petition which in the abstract states there is no basis for believing:
That atmospheric CO2 is causing a dangerous climb in global temperatures,

That greater concentrations of CO2 would be harmful, or

That human activity leads to global warming in the first place.
You can find all 17,000 signers listed here.

Michael Schwalm is worked up about a problem that does not exist, except in the mind of those who want to stop economic progress and return us to a pre-industrial world.


Global Mean Temperature Variance From Average, Lower Troposphere, December 2004: +0.102 °C (Northern Hemisphere: +0.146 °C , Southern Hemisphere: +0.010 °C )
Peak recorded: +0.746 °C April 1998. Current change relative to peak recorded: -0.644 °C

GISTEMP Anomaly November 2004 +0.72 °C .
Peak recorded: +0.97 °C February 1998. Current change relative to peak recorded: -0.25 °C

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Thursday, December 23, 2004

Responces to my Other Voices on Udall's Utopia

In responding to my Other Voices [see below] on 17 December, Tom Davisson offers a Bottom line in December 22, 2004 letter to the editor, citing a National Geographic magazine series on "Global Warning"

He quotes from the article:
The atmosphere's level of CO2 now is higher than it has been for hundreds of thousands of years ... The 20th century has seen the greatest warming in at least a thousand years, and natural forces can't account for it all."
Really, the earth's temperature and CO2 levels today have reached levels similar to a previous interglacial cycle of 120,000 - 140,000 years ago. From beginning to end this cycle lasted about 20,000 years. This is known as the Eemian Interglacial Period and the earth returned to a full-fledged ice age immediately afterward. There were no humans to generate this CO2, unless it was camp fires.

Yes, CO2 is increasing, yet the only temperture increases are occuring in urbanized areas. Globally, orbiting satellites show no increases. Just because it appears in the National Geographic does not make it true. Enviromentialist writers often cherry pick the data to fit their point of view. Why only look at the last 1,000 years, why not 10,000 or 100,000. Global warming and cooling cycles are much longer than a 1,000 years.

Brad Croul in responding to my Other Voices [see below] changes the subject in Global warning, December 22, 2004
If Americans are concerned about paying taxes for dubious government projects, consider this: Israel receives $2 billion in direct military subsidies while Bush awards seniors $400 million for prescription drug benefits. Of course, Israel turns around and buys a lot of weapons from American arms manufacturers controlled by Bush family cronies. Then again, seniors go out and buy prescription drugs from American drug makers.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Another View on Global Warming by the Marshal Institute
The influence of the sun on global climate – new studies indicate that changes in the Sun’s magnetic field may be responsible for shorter-term changes in climate, including for much of the 20th century.
Whether global warming over the past century is unique to the past 1000 years or longer – the [UN] IPCC Third Assessment Report conclusion that the warming of the 20 th century is unique to at least the past 1000 years was based on a study (by Mann, et al.) that has been shown to be incorrect by three studies recently published in peer-reviewed literature. These studies show that many parts of the world have experienced warmer temperatures at some time during the last 1000 years than they did during the later part on the 20 th century.
The full report can be found at the George C. Marshal website. The George C. Marshall Institute, a non-profit research group founded in 1984, is dedicated to fostering and preserving the integrity of science in the policy process. The Institute conducts technical assessments of scientific developments with a major impact on public policy and communicates the results of its analyses to the press, Congress and the public.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Jim Hurley wants bias in the news in , Let's get a different bias, December 21, 2004 letters to the editor.
With Somerville leaving The Union, I suggest that an effort be made to find a replacement with an avowed bias toward quality-of-life planning.
Let’s just have the news, we do not need biased reporting in our newspapers, we get enough of that on the evening TV news. Just give us the facts folks, and we can decide.

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Friday, December 17, 2004


Peruvian Plants Debunk Kyoto, By Steven Milloy, Friday, December 17, 2004, FOX news on the web. Be sure to scroll down to the story.
Despite the anxiety-fest in Buenos Aires, the real global warming news this week comes from the Peruvian glaciers.

Ohio State University glaciologist Lonnie Thompson reported at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union that he found two prehistoric plant beds dating back 5,000 and 50,000 years, respectively, near a high Andean glacier. The plants' ages were pinpointed through carbon dating; until recently, the plants had been covered by ice.

Climate clamor-ers, upon hearing such news, will likely jump to the conclusion that the receding glaciers, which revealed the plants after covering them for thousands of years, are simply more evidence of manmade global warming.

But a more thoughtful person might point out the plant find is a strong indication that, thousands of years ago, the high Andean climate must have been warm enough to cause the glacier to be recessed and to allow for the plants to grow in the first place — a time frame that obviously predates oil and gas companies, the internal combustion engine, the industrial revolution, and recorded history.

So neither the warm climate that sustained high Andean plant growth 5,000 years ago, nor the subsequent frigid climate that caused the glacierization, could possibly have been caused by human activity.

So if natural forces caused those climate changes, isn’t it reasonable to conclude that perhaps natural forces might also be largely responsible for whatever climate changes may be occurring now?
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Check out my Other Voices, The science behind global warming, December 17, 2004. It is my answer to Stewart Udall’s utopia dream for solving global warming, a scientific fraud.

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Meteorologist Likens Fear of Global Warming to 'Religious Belief'
Washington (, by Marc Morano) - An MIT meteorologist Wednesday dismissed alarmist fears about human induced global warming as nothing more than 'religious beliefs.'

"Do you believe in global warming? That is a religious question. So is the second part: Are you a skeptic or a believer?" said Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Richard Lindzen, in a speech to about 100 people at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Read full article by clicking here.

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Thursday, December 16, 2004

Things You Should Know

The Global Positioning System, called GPS, is a broadcast only satellite. It does not receive any information from the user. The users location can be displayed, recorded, or sent by cellphone, or other radio means to a tracking facility, or even through another satellite, but not through the GPS satellite. Yet, reporters and columnist when writing about the GPS assign capabilities that it does not have. It is not a big eye in the sky capable of tracking people or vehicles, it is an electronic navigation aid. Remeber that when reading stories about evil GPS tracking devices.

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Mike MacKenzie is worried about Dump 'n' run at the local park and ride lot in a letter to the editor, December 15, 2004
I've used the Park and Ride at South Auburn Street and Colfax Highway for 21 years. It used to require a permit from the Grass Valley Police Department. It had landscaping, garbage cans, and was kept clean.

If you've used this lot in the last several years to commute, go to church, or an event in town, you've seen a significant change. The landscaping is gone, the garbage is in the lot (the cans were removed), and the parking lines are barely visible under the dirt, debris and broken glass. The lot turns to mud when it rains, even though it's paved. Commercial businesses store their vehicles here (illegal), and it's a haven for abandon cars and trucks.

Numerous calls to Grass Valley PD (and a personal visit), CHP and Caltrans have yielded no results as yet, in cleaning up the lot, stopping businesses from operating here, or hauling away the abandon vehicles. Getting the job done takes more than lip service.
Well Mike, we brought the issue up at the Nevada County Transportation Commission meeting on Wednesday. Tom Brannon, Caltrans Project Manager for Nevada County, promised to look in to the problem. I will follow up at our meeting in January, to see if we have made any progress. I agree with you, if we keep our town clean, it sends a message to visitors that we care. Thanks for taking the time to write a letter to the Union expressing your concern. Well Done.

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Sunday, December 12, 2004

Things You Might Want to Know:

Dan Gilmore the San Jose Mercury New Technology Columnist, and, author of We the Media is leaving the paper. It was after reading We the Media that I started this weblog to become a citizen journalist. I met Dan several years ago at KVMR, we had been invited to discuss the future impact of the Internet.
I'll be leaving the San Jose Mercury News next month to work on a citizen-journalism project.
I hope to pull together something useful that helps enable -- and demonstrates -- the emerging grassroots journalism that I wrote about in my recent book. Something powerful is happening, it's in the early stages and I have a chance to help figure this out.
We will keep track of Dan and his new venture.

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Saturday, December 11, 2004

Things You Should Know:

If you own a late model car, build in the late 1990s, or after 2000, you most likely have a recorder under the front seat or under the dash. This recorder monitors the vehicle braking, acceleration, seat belt status, and the g-forces of any crash. This recorder also controls the cars airbag and records the time of activation after initial impact. The data on the recorder belongs to the vehicle owner, according to the federal government, unless the courts or your insurance company asks for it in a legal action. Just thought your should know. More info here.

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Friday, December 10, 2004

The Economic Resource Council is working on a community vision. Visit the ERC new Web Log and submit your comments on the ERC Vision.

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Thursday, December 09, 2004

Stan Thomas-Rose writes in Inconsistent ethics, 9 December 2004 Letters to the Editor
It takes some real chutzpah to pretend to such a concern for ethics just weeks after successfully completing a "whisper" campaign against one of the most honorable and hard-working politicians we've seen in our county.
Mr Thomas-Rose, it was not a whisper campaign, the facts were on front page of the paper, the opinions are were on the editorial page. Mr. Conklin was given space to express his own views, letters to the editor supporting Mr. Conklin were published on the opinion page. It seems to me the Union was fair to all involved.

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Jack L. Sanchez writes that Osama still a threat, and President Bush is a failure, in 7 December 2004 Letter to the Editor.
In every facet of life, George W. Bush has been a failure - from his college days through his oil businesses, his baseball period and his presidency - with addictions to alcohol, drugs and now religion.
For some one that beat Ann Richards a very tough opponent for the governorship of Texas, who won a Presidential election in 2000, and then again 2004 with a 3 million popular vote margin is hardly a failure. Success in politics is perhaps a “facet of life” that Mr. Sanchez over looked. Succeeding as a F-102 Pilot, a very difficult plane to fly, is not a sign of failure.

President Bush admits to past problems with alcohol. Multiple investigations by liberal newspapers and TV stations have failed to prove any drug use. Calling religion an addiction insults millions of people. It is time for Mr. Sanchez to accept reality, the Republican candidate won the election and will be President for 4 more years. Get a life sir!

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Sunday, December 05, 2004

Nevada County Citizens for Responsible Journalism

The single purpose of this web site is the removal of Jeff Ackerman as the Union Publisher. For all their claims of responsible journalism, the site leaves some thing to be desired as responsible journalists.

First: They fail to identify themselves. Who are these anonymous attackers? Why are they hiding?

Second: They claim the all letters to the editor are not published, yet fail to provide any convincing proof.

Third: They make circulation claims without considering the real world facts, all newspaper circulation is declining as people use cable TV, talk radio, and the Internet for realtime news. Newspapers publish old news.

The anonymous attackers claim that Jeff is bad for circulation here:
Circulation rose modestly but steadily through the late 1990s while Walker and Starren were publishers. In 2000-2001, at the end of Starren's tenure, circulation reached a plateau of just over 16,400 "total paid and/or requested" copies daily, averaged over the year. With Mr. Ackerman's arrival in 2002, circulation dropped, reaching a nadir of less than 15,800 in 2003. Somehow, Ackerman boosted the numbers just released for 2004 to a little more than 16,000, but this number is still below the high point reached in 2000 and 2001.

These numbers should also be put in the context of the county's population growth. Throughout this entire period, the population was growing at about 1000 to 1500 people per year. Looked at this way, circulation growth matched or exceeded population growth until 1999, and then failed to keep up with population growth after that. The decline in circulation under Mr. Ackerman's leadership becomes a significant drop-off when expressed as a percentage of the county's population, as you can see in the graph below.
The authors who fail to identify themselves, fail to mention that newspaper circulation is falling across the county, about one half percent a year since 1964. Since 2000 it has accelerated to 2-4 percent a year. This acceleration is attributed to Internet use, according to Pew Foundation research. For newspapers smaller than 25,000, about 65 percent showed circulation losses last year. Even in Arizona where the population continues to grow, newspapers readership continues to drop, In the last six months the Arizona Republic readership dropped 4.4 percent. The Union’s readership only dropped 3.6 percent in 4 years.

Under Jeff leadership The Union web site has been expanded, and as a result the online readership continues to rise, as more people read the paper online. This also needs to be factored in to the circulation discussion. The real measure of Jeff's value, is the paper profitable?

The argument that Ackerman caused a drop in Union circulation is faults! Falling circulation is happening to most newspaper across the county, accelerating after 2000, with rapid growth in Internet usage. It seems to me that responsible journalist could do a better job of circulation analysis if they were not so intent on attacking Jeff Ackerman.

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Thursday, December 02, 2004

Phyllis Campanello writes about Too much violence in December 2, 2004 Letters to Editor
Despite countless studies that demonstrate a direct correlation between our "desensitized" youth in the U.S. and violence; where thousands more murders kill innocent victims per capita in the U.S. . . . these horrific statistics increase daily, and still, violent toys are being purchased as Christmas gifts for children.
According to the FBI the percent change rate per 100,000 inhabitants from 1994 to 2003: violent crime is down 33.4 percent, murders down 36.7 percent. Violent crimes and murders are not increasing daily, as Ms. Campanello suggests. You can find more declining crime statistic at the FBI Uniform Crime Reports. In my opinion crime is declining because three strikes laws are locking up violent criminals, and the 18 to 24 population is declining in the US.

Are violent toys responsible this decline?

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