Saturday, June 26, 2010

McCartney, in Interview, Compares Global Warming Skeptics to Holocaust Deniers


June 24, 2010

Sir Paul McCartney just can't let it be.

The former Beatle predicted in an interview that the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico might expedite a move to cleaner, renewable energy sources in the world.

Sir Paul could have stopped while he was ahead, but McCartney went on to compare people who don't believe in global warming to "those who don't believe there was a Holocaust."

"Sadly we need disasters like this to show people," McCartney said in an exclusive interview with The Sun. "Some people don't believe in climate warning -- like those who don't believe there was a Holocaust."

McCartney continued, "But the facts indicate that there's something going on and we've got to be aware of it if we want our kids to inherit a decent world, not a complete nightmare of a planet -- clean, renewable energy is for starters."

McCartney also defended President Obama's handling of the two-month-old crisis.

"I don't accept the criticism of Barack over the oil spill," said McCartney, who met the president for the first time earlier this month.

"I think he's been great. It's tough if we Brits whinge that he's whingeing at us. Tough, then don't spill oil."

A representative for McCartney in London said the singer would have no further comment.

Chris Horner, a senior fellow at Competitive Enterprise Institute and author of two books on environmental policy, blasted McCartney's comments.

"Was Posh Spice unavailable? I've seen quite a few reasons to look elsewhere than actors and crooners for deep thoughts on weighty policy matters," Horner wrote in an e-mail to "And this is certainly one of them."

Horner's message continued: "They've got computer model projections, Leonardo [DiCaprio] and the Cute Beatle. In the other corner are observations proving the models wrong, ClimateGate, NASA-Gate and the host of IPCC-Gates.

"I'm comfortable with the balance of authorities here."

Click here to read more on this story from The Sun.'s Joshua Rhett Miller contributed to this report.

Paul McCartney refuses to apologise for Bush gag


June 26, 2010

London: Sir Paul McCartney has refused to apologise for a joke he cracked on former president George W Bush during an appearance at the White House earlier this month.

The Beatles legend poked fun at the ex-leader's intellect as he became the first non-American to collect the Gershwin Prize for 'Popular Song' from Bush's successor, president Barack Obama.

"After the last eight years, it's great to have a President who knows where the library is," Macca said.

This comment by McCartney infuriated top US politician John Boehner, who demanded McCartney make a public apology for the gag.

But the singer has insisted that his comments shouldn't be taken so seriously - as it was just "a joke".

"I said that on purpose. And now all this (criticism), like I'm going to care? It was a joke. Hello, anybody there? It's a joke," the Daily Express quoted him as saying.

"Has anyone ever watched Saturday Night Live? They joke about Bush all the time. As for a public apology, are they kidding?

"I was in two minds whether to say it and I actually waited until the President had gone because I didn't want to embarrass him or his family. But hey, come on, it's rock and roll. It wasn't a religious meeting and I'm allowed to make jokes," he added.

Rumsfeld Says America is Servicemembers’ Gift to Future By Jim Garamone


June 25, 2010

America exists and prospers because members of the U.S. armed forces step forward and protect it, former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said here today. "In a very real sense,” he said, “America is their gift to the future."

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, right, addresses the audience while former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld looks on during Rumsfeld's portrait unveiling ceremony at the Pentagon, June 25, 2010. DoD photo by Cherie Cullen

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Rumsfeld was at the Pentagon for the unveiling of his official portrait at a ceremony hosted by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

“This country – which has treated me so well – exists and prospers because the members of the United States armed forces have volunteered to step forward and protect it,” Rumsfeld said.

Rumsfeld served as the 13th defense secretary from 1975 to 1977 and as the 21st secretary from 2001 to 2006. He is both the youngest and oldest man to serve as defense secretary.

Both of his official portraits will hang in the Pentagon. The newest, painted by Steven Polson and unveiled today, shows Rumsfeld at his stand-up desk with a picture of first-responders and soldiers unfurling the flag over the still-burning Pentagon on Sept. 12, 2001.

The unveiling ceremony was a veritable who’s who. Former defense secretaries William Cohen and Frank Carlucci attended. Retired Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers and retired Marine Gen. Peter Pace – who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff alongside Rumsfeld - were there with their wives. Former deputy secretaries Paul Wolfowitz and Gordon England, retired Air Force Gen. Joe Ralston, retired Navy Adm. Vern Clark, retired Navy Adm. Ed Giambastiani, former senior Pentagon correspondent Charlie Aldinger, and many more friends attended the event.

Gates noted that the Defense Department is one place in Washington where there is a degree of consistency and continuity, even as administrations and political parties change. The men who have served as defense secretary have experiences in common including “the challenges we face; the obstacles we have to overcome within this building and across the river; the changes we pursue to better-protect this country and do right by its men and women in uniform,” Gates said.

The secretary pointed out that Rumsfeld began his second stint as defense secretary on Jan. 20, 2001, with a mandate to transform the U.S. defense establishment from its Cold War posture, attitudes and moorings to a force ready to confront the threats of the 21st century.

“On a bright Tuesday morning in September, eight months into President [George W.] Bush’s first term, a decade of slumber in a holiday from history came to a crashing halt,” Gates said. “This country and this military learned how dangerous and unpredictable this new era could be, and saw in the starkest terms how necessary was the task of transforming this department to meet these challenges.”

Rumsfeld inspired, educated and often charmed a wounded nation, the secretary said. Rumsfeld’s first action on 9/11 was to rush to the aid of those killed and wounded in the attack. In the days and months after the attack, Americans heard straight talk from the podium about how the military really was going to “kill” America’s enemies – “jarring stuff for a country grown accustomed to euphemisms and political correctness,” Gates said.

And the world saw the rapid removal of two odious regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In addition to fighting America’s enemies, Rumsfeld “simultaneously and doggedly pursued an agenda of institutional transformation and reform – grappling with inertia and vested interests like the champion wrestler he once was,” Gates said. “The result is an American military that has become more agile, lethal, and prepared to deal with the full spectrum of conflict.”

Rumsfeld famously brought his own unique and bracing style of personal management to the Pentagon bureaucracy, Gates noted, citing Rumsfeld’s habit of sending handwritten memos to his aides, who called them “snowflakes.”

Military and civilian employees “soon discovered that snowflakes really could fall from above in the middle of August,” Gates said. “Self-described as ‘genetically impatient,’ [Rumsfeld] did not brook much nonsense or suffer fools gladly – as many an unprepared briefer would find out the hard way.”

Rumsfeld, who will be 78 next week, joked that he has been alive for almost a third of the existence of the republic.

“I’ve seen our country in times of depression, prosperity, peace and turmoil, [through] exhilarating triumphs and agonizing wars,” he said. “In my lifetime, our national leaders have had to tackle the worst economic depression, order troops into combat against the longest of odds on islands in the Pacific and battlefields in Europe, win legislative struggles that belatedly but finally brought equality to millions of Americans, right our battered ship of state after the Vietnam War and Watergate and win a 50-year struggle against a communist empire of boundless ambition an ideology of discredited lies.

“And we’ve seen this great nation take the offense after a devastating terrorist attack – one that shook the foundation of this building now almost nine years ago,” he added.

America has survived all these crises “because we are a free people, blessed with a free economic system, a free political system,” Rumsfeld said. “We’re free to think and to act, to believe and to protest, to vote and petition, and yes, free to succeed, free to fail and free to start again.”

The former defense secretary spoke about his favorite photo that brightly illustrates what freedom can accomplish: it is a satellite photo of the Korean peninsula taken at night. The free South Korea is bathed in light. In the communist North, a small glimmer of light is seen around the capital city of Pyongyang – otherwise the country is dark.

“They are exactly the same people north and south, exactly the same resources north and south, but those millions of Koreans who labor in the north work not for their families, but for a regime that enslaves them,” Rumsfeld said.

The United States is free and the people of America are free to make their own choices, he pointed out.

“We can choose to engage the world and strengthen alliances with our friends and our trading relations, deter potential foes and to take the fight to them when necessary,” Rumsfeld said. “Or we can retreat and make the tragic mistake of modeling our country after failing systems. If we choose the latter, let there be no doubt, we are certain to fail the generations that follow.”

Rumsfeld said it was important to him and his wife, Joyce, that his second official portrait includes the photo of the Pentagon workers unfurling the American flag.

“It shows that the traits of resilience and perseverance – while remarkable – are not uncommon in those in this department,” he said. “Those traits are what sustained this country, and what I saw every day in the men and women I served alongside months and years after the worst terrorist attack in our country’s history.”