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Los Angeles: City of Dreams

Los Angeles: City of Dreams

By Bill Boyarsky

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Eye-Roller in Chief

Posted on Sep 29, 2007

Leave it to George W. Bush to disappoint already low expectations. The president unveiled his dud of a plan to combat the climate crisis at a highly publicized meeting Friday of the world’s 16 biggest polluters.

His big idea? Nations should set their own voluntary goals for reducing emissions. Although some delegates seemed impressed that Bush managed to discuss the topic without flinching or giggling, the consensus is that his plan is so 10 years ago.

Britain’s climate delegate put it bluntly: “I think that the argument that we can do this through voluntary approaches is now pretty much discredited internationally.”


The British climate envoy, John Ashton, said the US seemed isolated on the issue of fighting climate change.

“I think that the argument that we can do this through voluntary approaches is now pretty much discredited internationally,” he told the Reuters news agency.

The BBC’s environment correspondent Matt McGrath, in Washington, said Mr Bush’s plan did not sit well with the majority of delegates.

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New York Times:

Mr. Bush quickly left the auditorium after delivering his remarks, which ended 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Some of the delegates, representing the major industrialized nations plus Brazil, China, India and South Africa, said they were less than impressed.

“The president made his speech,” said the chief Brazilian delegate to the talks, Everton Vargas. “We took note of his speech.”

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Click here for background on the Kyoto Protocol.

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By Douglas Chalmers, October 3, 2007 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

#104361 by Stephen Smoliar on 10/03 at 7:14 am….

Resistance, yes, but at some stage that will bring you into “opposition” if not actual conflict with the problem and the individuals you are “resisting”. Nelson Mandela learnt this at the cost of 27 years of his life. So too has Aung San Suu Kyi.

Still, they have held to the Path of Truth and have triumphed in the end. Even if Ms. Suu Kyi dies in captivity, she will still have won. Its up to others to carry on the FIGHT and finish it successfully in the best way possible.

Even the Dalai Lama has already essentially won his battles despite still being an exile. China has been forced one way or another to re-accept Buddhism and Daoism and their PRC years of Mao have become an evrlasting embarrassment to the current forward-thinking leadeship in BeiJing.

You have just demonstrated the fallacy of Western philosophy, Stephen. Truth IS - whether you accept it or not, whether you believe it or in it or not. The idea that Truth is somehow external to oneself or that one can live apart from It is ludicrous.

One can certainly exist in denial or refusal but, inexorably, one will become forced to confront Truth in Life again and again in many different ways. Chronic denial is insanity and that is what happens to one as a result of such waywardness in thought or action.

Regardless of the rubbish about GWB, though, “wisdom of the heart” is Truth in itself. But only those with such true wisdom can either explain it or sincerely vouch for the fact. Thus, it becomes proof of the “possibility of attaining Truth” - otherwise known as Enlightenment. Nothing in life is more important than that.

It is thus disappointing, Stephen, that you have misled yourself to believe that the diabollically manipulative illusion in which the American people and their followers elsewhere now live is in any way a kind of “socially constructed reality”. It is DELUSION and has been achieved by the intentional use of various layers of fear (by threat and implication) and deception.

Welcome to the American dream! The new world order will shake these people. It is now becoming the century of Asia and of China in particular. Unless the mad ones decide on a wholesale use of nuclear weapons now, nothing can stop it. The hegemony of the USA is waning. “The emperor has no clothes!” to the rest of the world and its $$$ are seen as worthless.

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By Stephen Smoliar, October 3, 2007 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

Douglas (#104339), I have been doing some background reading in THE HANDBOOK OF ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION while working on a paper I have been trying to write (for over a year);  and, in the chapter on organizational culture, I came across one of the best characterizations of the postmodern condition that I have seen for some time:

Postmodernism is RESISTANCE, not opposition.  Opposition substitutes one notion of “truth” with an incompatible alternative—for example, advocating one paradigm over another.  The postmodern notion of resistance, in contrast, SUSPECTS and DEFERS acceptance of ANY notion of “truth.”  Resistance means questioning the possibility of attaining truth with the view that the “possibility of attaining truth” is itself an idea, which results from an historical event where “truth or falsity” became a dominant style of thinking (Foucault, 1976;  Hacking, 1982;  Rorty, 1979).  It involves DECONSTRUCTION (Derrida, 1974), as in suspecting, taking apart, or deferring resolution (not as in DESTRUCTION) of our taken-for-granted modes of thinking.

If we try to interpret this in a political context, then it would be fair to say that Bill Clinton was our first postmodern President (demonstrated best when he tried to fend off a question about Lewinsky by invoking the semantics of “is”);  but, in the grand scheme of things, George W. Bush has revealed himself as a master of resistance.  I doubt that any of us will ever know his true mental acuity and the extent to which his persona is a well-crafted act (the postmodern triumph of rhetoric over logic);  but he has built up a flock of faithful followers (too much talk about literature makes me alliterative) around this idea that the wisdom of the heart is more important than that “possibility of attaining truth.”  Bush seems to appreciate (even if only intuitively) the power of the socially constructed reality;  and he and his cronies have mastered the art of getting our society to construct that reality in the image they want.  Like it or not, that image has nothing to do with eliminating ignorance.  Welcome to the twenty-first century!

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By Douglas Chalmers, October 3, 2007 at 6:53 am Link to this comment

#104234 by Goffredo on 10/02 at 8:54 pm: “...As someone once said, “He had the power to convince a whole population less intelligent than he to vote for him, and, that he is, in fact, very intelligent.” .....An education in humanities eliminates ignorance….”

Actually, this is the obvious failure of Western philosophy and thought. Only TRUTH “eliminates ignorance”. The REALITY is that Americans are living in a fantsay…....

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By cyrena, October 3, 2007 at 12:46 am Link to this comment

#103768 by Stephen Smoliar


Thanks for your lesson/knowledge, (complete with the documented history).

You are absolutely correct that I’m old enough to remember the Regan regime, and I’m not the least bit offended. (actually, it’s a compliment, that I actually survived it…same to us all, eh?)

HOWEVER, I wasn’t aware of the Watts statement of the same, and I’ve never really comprehended the mentality of the “near enders” or the fundamentalists, though admittedly, because it is so totally bizarre based on my own ideology, that I haven’t taken the time to trace it back, or even attempt to understand it from a neutral perspective. (which is the norm for me, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes just shake my head, and move on to something less outrageous). Kinda like I wouldn’t try to do anything with calculus or trigonometry, because I struggled with algebra, and at this point, I’m not interested in going back to the beginning of it, if only as a matter of time priorities.

So, you’ve saved me some work, and you’ve also helped illuminate the questions that at least Debra and I had been pondering. It’s like having my own team of specialty professors on board. Put out the question, and a kind teacher will put the answers out there for us, or at least provide the clue to how to check it ourselves.

I love it!! And, I thank you.

PS, Fundamentalists scare the shit out of me, and I don’t think any of them are “joking”.

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By Goffredo, October 2, 2007 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

As someone once said, “He had the power to convince a whole population less intelligent than he to vote for him, and, that he is, in fact, very intelligent.” 

An education in humanities eliminates ignorance.

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By boggs, October 1, 2007 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

Every time we think he has shown the ultimate in incompetence, he proves us wrong….
We were duped again!

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By nikolai, October 1, 2007 at 10:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Douglas Chalmers you wrote:

“China, Japan and the EU could sell out of $US tomorrow and the US currency would be worth just so many zeros. The only thing propping it up has been forcing (yes, FORCING them at the point of a Cruise missile!) countries like Iran, Iraq and S.Arabia to sell their oil in $US.”

Actually, Iran has asked Japan to pay for Iranian oil in YEN. This is one reason the neocons want war. Back in 1973 they wanted war with Iran, and it was about OIL then as well. Some things never change…

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By Stephen Smoliar, October 1, 2007 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

cyrena (#103724), I pegged you as old enough to remember the Reagan years;  but, if I am mistaken, please do not be offended!  Actually, it is not the memory of Reagan that I wish to invoke but that of his Secretary of the Interior, James Watt.  Parallel to the remark you attributed to our current President, Watt once told the press that there was no need to worry about conversation because Armageddon would come before we had exhausted the earth’s resources!  He may have meant this to be a joke or a jab at the press;  but he was always very up-front about his Fundamentalist religious convictions.  Even if Armageddon did not come with the new millennium (or did it?), the Fundamentalists have not seen any reason to change their game plan.  As reported in analysis pieces in places like THE NEW YORK REVIEW, the current “party line” is that, when the earth can no longer sustain its people, God will take care of those who believe in him (meaning, of course, that the rest will have to fend for themselves)!  My guess is that this is what Bush believes when he looks into his heart (sort of like the way he looked into Putin’s heart at their first meeting).

As to Debra’s question (#103708) of how we should respond to those what-happened questions that hit us when we travel abroad, Günter Grass addressed that question in his recent (and rather controversial) appearance at the New York Public Library with Norman Mailer:

Grass asserted that, following the Second World War, Europe looked to the United States for INSPIRATION.  They had to wait a bit for us to get out from under the shadow of McCarthy;  but, once we got our butt kicked by Sputnik, we began to rise to Europe’s expectations.  The corollary to Grass’ assertion was that Europe no longer finds the United States inspiring, to which I would add that our attitude towards the electoral process is but one drop in a very large bucket!  Ogden Nash put it best in his “Kind of an Ode to Duty:”  “When Duty whispers low, Thou must, this erstwhile youth replies, I just can’t.”

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By cyrena, October 1, 2007 at 1:23 am Link to this comment

#103708 by Debra Istvanik-Strotman

•  Bush is either to ignorant to believe there is such a thing as global warming or he just doesn’t give a damn.

•  It’s sad to think this man is not even concerned for his daughters’ and future grandchildren’s future on this planet. As long as the planet sustains itself self in Bush’s life time he will evidently remain happy as a pig in mud.

You nailed it here, in just these short words. (I wish I could be so efficient). The truth to the first part is BOTH. And, I’m not exaggerating or guessing, or speculating. I speak from memory of an article/interview that I read some time back, and I’m going to try to find it, though it could take awhile. But it stands out in my mind so clearly, because I remember that it was my first real live –from his own mouth- indication, or exactly what you’ve said here.

The question was obviously on the climate issue, and in the nutshell, GWB actually said that the climate issue was not important….BECAUSE….


I will never forget it. It sent the worst kind of chills down my spine, and now that it’s coming back to me, I remember that he said this BEFORE his last “election” of 2004.

I was stunned, and so I thought exactly what you have said, does he not care about his own children? I mean, I know he doesn’t give a damn about the rest of us, but one would think he’d at least care about his OWN. Apparently he doesn’t think they will be “exposed”? So, does that make him ignorant to the real dangers? Maybe. I think it’s more that he just doesn’t give a damn. Even though he said, “We’ll ALL be dead anyway, I’ve decided that he means himself. Nothing after that matters, including his own.

Meantime though, his lack of cooperation about it, and the refusal to acknowledge it (out loud, even if he does know the consequences) is the same as it’s always been for the dynasty…it’s about the money. His dynasty, and which includes Cheney in the front position now, would suffer the loss of some of their enormous wealth, if they had to invest in climate control issues, as they are the greatest abusers. Corporate America would take a huge hit in profits, if it had to be responsible for stopping the disaster by regulation. We can look at decades of them doing exactly that…avoiding regulation and the cost of safety at every single turn.

So, it’s all of those things, which is of course what makes it so much more frightening, because we know that it will take more than just his eventual departure from the spotlight, to change the course.

The mentality is guided by more than just this one psychopath.

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By Debra Istvanik-Strotman, September 30, 2007 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

Bush evidently believes the saying “Any press, even bad press is better than none.” Is it no wonder we can go to ‘no’ country on earth without people asking where we come from, and when we say United States we get a lecture on what an ignoramous our president is. People ask: “What has happened to the United States we have admired so much until the day Bush took office?” It is not pleasant to have people ask what is wrong with the American people, for which I can only say we are not all for the things this man stands for.

What can you say to the people of a country you are visiting. People who are polite, gracious, intelligent and articulate until the subject of Bush comes into the conversation. One can only keep quiet and shrug.

Bush is either to ignorant to believe there is such a thing as global warming or he just doesn’t give a damn.

It’s sad to think this man is not even concerned for his daughters’ and future grandchildren’s future on this planet. As long as the planet sustains itself self in Bush’s life time he will evidently remain happy as a pig in mud.

Bush’s actions speak for themselves, he is a loser in the people department!

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By PACRAT, September 30, 2007 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


In the case of almost self-evident climate change, he does what his corporate handlers tell him - make sounds like you care about the environment, but don’t be a fanatic and expect us to change anything!

It isn’t that he is intellectually challenged, he just doesn’t care! He knows what is happening but it doesn’t make good political sense to him to admit it. As a result, no one really expects him to change any regulations that might ameliorate global warming, and he doesn’t disappoint.

He believes that business takes care of itself - and if that fails, there’s always daddy to bail one out!

We don’t need any regulations. Just like in his war in Iraq, who needs generals to tell him what he doesn’t want to hear!

He can always go back to sawing the same tree on his “ranch” that we have watched for almost seven years already - improperly, of course!

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By Enemy of State, September 30, 2007 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

Stefan Smoliar: actually these other leaders of Most Polluting Nations, do acknowledge that there is a serious problem, and that something considerably stronger than nothing is needed. The only thing surprising is that they had enough naive hope that GWB might have wanted to change his spots, to attend.  The folks out at sci-blogs for whom climate is an important topic gave GWBs summit the amount of attention it deserved, exactly none.

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By Stephen Smoliar, September 30, 2007 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

purplewolf (#103562), Bush was talking to representatives of the world’s biggest polluters and telling them exactly what they wanted to hear;  why should they walk out on him?

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By Goffredo, September 30, 2007 at 7:32 am Link to this comment

Hey, we all know that human beings and fish can coexist…isn’t that enough?

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By purplewolf, September 30, 2007 at 12:04 am Link to this comment

Well maybe if G.W. and all his cronies just shut the hell up and quite flying their asses all over the world for nothing it would cut down on a lot of the hot air(about 90 %) coming just out of America.

On a more serious side,several years ago this very same idiot in the white house had his “scientific experts” undermine the worlds top scientist on the climate problems.  Much in the same way this administration does to anyone telling the truth, George refuses to hear it and finds others to twist the truth 180 degrees until it is in total opposition from the real facts. Then George said he would take the advice from the leaders of other countries and said he would listen to the person who was chosen as most knowledgable on the topic and guess who these foreign leaders picked? The very same person Bush and his group of liars has attacked earlier and tried to discredit. There are five people in the world who are considered the best when it comes to the climate control problem and this president did his best to disrespect and discredit him. This is the very same president who has allowed arsenic to be raised to higher levels than before and also has allowed big corporations to expand their manufacturing companies without also expanding the pollution controls (this was in his first term).

To bad some of the other people at this meeting didn’t walk out on his outdated,say nothing,take no responsibility and pass it off to someone else speech.But I doubt it would even register to Bush if they had walked out. He waste the time and lives of everyone in the world.

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By Thomas Billis, September 29, 2007 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I saw one of the comments indicating Karl Rove may be gone.Karl Rove left to lessen the Congressional heat on the President.He is only gone from the White House.He is still running the show just not in an official capacity.The ruse works.Where are the democrats pushing to get Rove to testify?Challenging Executive Privilege in court?The heat is off and Karl Rove is doing what he always did plotting the morons every move.

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By cyrena, September 29, 2007 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

103452 by Don Knutsen

•  With K. Rove gone, he may be forced to inject some of his own views from that vacuum between his ears.


You’re on-spot as usual, except that I’m not so sure K. Rove is really gone. Even if he is though, there’s still Condi The Rice, and the entirety of Cheney’s secret legal staff. They come up with everything that comes out of The Boy’s mouth. The Boy couldn’t squeeze a view of his own from that vacuum between his ears if his life depended on it.

Even if he did, it would be as worthless as he is…. as we see. I’m actually surprised he even showed up. Bet he was pitching a hissy-fit when Condi was trying to get him dressed.
    “I don’t wanna go, and you can’t make me” (foot stomps, arms flailing)

      “Here Buttercup, have a drink and a couple of snorts, you’ll be fine. You can leave     as soon as you’ve read our speech…you don’t have to stay for the whole thing. You can have another drink as soon as you’re done.”

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By Thomas Billis, September 29, 2007 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What a surprise an oil man involved in a war to steal oil making a speech that that is not overwhelmingly positive on the environment.To paraphrase the President.Childrens do learn but the American people never.

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By ocjim, September 29, 2007 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

Words mean nothing to Bush except to politicize, lie, deceive, or promote a bankrupt agenda. There is ample evidence that Bush policy is to utilized propaganda to promote a plutocratic agenda to the detriment of everyone else.

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By DennisD, September 29, 2007 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bu$h’s plan is the same for every problem - stall and then pass it on to the next President.

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By Douglas Chalmers, September 29, 2007 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

I think Bush is waiting for everyone to buy US foreign debt - Treasury bonds, that is. Having failed in war and having failed in trade, there is nothing else left! He’s holding out his sticky hand - by holding out, ha ha.

China, Japan and the EU could sell out of $US tomorrow and the US currency would be worth just so many zeros. The only thing propping it up has been forcing (yes, FORCING them at the point of a Cruise missile!) countries like Iran, Iraq and S.Arabia to sell their oil in $US.

No-one is interested in US gunboat diplomacy any longer. It makes oil far too expensive. Neither are they really interested in US debt since the sub-prime mortgage crisis came along (no, its NOT China’s fault!). That means blackmailing the world’s trading nations with USA’s POLLUTION!!!

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By Don Knutsen, September 29, 2007 at 11:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I doubt there was an air of real dissapointment. Unless you’ve spent the last 7 years in a deep dark cave you’d have to expect nothing of any consequence dribbling out of our chimp-in-chief. Especially when it comes to our enviroment. This idiot and his GOP enablers has done nothing but turn back the clock on caring for the enviroment since stealing the white house. With K. Rove gone, he may be forced to inject some of his own views from that vacuum between his ears. Industry will fight any restrictions put on them as long as they can and this president is nothing but an extension of whats best for the corporations, especially big oil. The most we can expect out of this administration is another pile of lies because that is all we’ve gotten so far.

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By dale Headley, September 29, 2007 at 11:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Does George Bush really believe that these educated men from all over the world really believe a word he says?  He doesn’t really care, though, as long as the polluting corporations in the U.S. are satisfied.

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By Stephen Smoliar, September 29, 2007 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

I wrote about this on my own blog yesterday:

What troubles me most that is that this whole voluntary stance is in the interest of economic growth, along with the presumption that economic growth will then lead to new technologies that will “solve everything” (then providing further economic growth).  The blog post is a more extended argument that counting on technology to “solve everything” is likely to have consequences beyond environmental crises.  (The one I pursue is that “we may find ourselves cultivating a new population grounded in norms of autistic behavior.”)

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By yankeeinpacnw, September 29, 2007 at 7:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Something to add to the above—an excerpt from today’s Guardian:

“Europeans angry after Bush climate speech ‘charade’”

“It was a total charade and has been exposed as a charade,” the diplomat said. “I have never heard a more humiliating speech by a major leader. He [Mr Bush] was trying to present himself as a leader while showing no sign of leadership. It was a total failure.”

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By weather, September 29, 2007 at 2:48 am Link to this comment

George Bush Memorial Library

A 24hr. Video Peep Show of arrogance and base deceit. An Oil spill of indeliable Ugliness.

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