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Miami Vise

I could not agree with you more on the premises of this article. It is all so true. It never sees to amaze me, how the so call "Cuban Old Guard" living here en el exilio (in exile), preaches about and touts democracy, but they truly do not practice it, either you are with them or you are against them--sounds familiar, doesn't it? And yes, they are very powerful and accordingly they have a strong voting platform--it is also changing.

As an individual who grew up in this Country of Ours, in Miami for most of my life, I am considered a lefty, a liberal, etc., and grew up exposed to the ideology that if you are a democrat (liberal, lefty, etc.) you have pink leanings. As I grew up into adulthood, I started thinking that these people (my people), contradict themselves in regard to the actual definition of Democracy, which is one of the reasons why they left Cuba and came to live here in the first place.

I could go on depicting why I so agree with the views on such a well written article, but instead I like to recommend an article written about two weeks ago, by Vivien Lesnik Weisman's (the link is below), that made feel like I was walking down memory lane.

Ana L. Riera

Miami, FL

Apr 29 2007 - 5:55am

Is Global Warming a Sin?

"The two lines on that graph proclaim that a whopping 30 per cent cut in man-made CO2 emissions didn't even cause a 1 ppm drop in the atmosphere's CO2. Thus it is impossible to assert that the increase in atmospheric CO2 stems from human burning of fossil fuels."

Well, no, it doesn't neccessarily mean that, it could mean (somewhat more disturbingly) that when mankind's CO2 emissions dropped for a few years, the naturally occuring system that filters CO2 didn't get to them (deforestation?) or any of several other options. The fact that a simple time-based link doesn't work doesn't invalidate the argument. Though industrial emissions of CO2 in 1932 might have been less than in 1928 while the ppm of co2 in the atmopshere was greater, you are assuming that the CO2 measured in 1932 necessarily is the CO2 emitted in 1932. How long does it take for emitted CO2 to enter the atmopshere? Also industrial CO2, the type emitted from cars and factories, has a different structure than the CO2 emitted from other sources, hence identifying it as the predominant gas in the atmopshere isn't terribly hard. Lastly, while CO2 build ups were occurring throughout the twentieth century, don't forget that sulpher dioxide buildup (the global cooling scare) was also occurring. Hence, we were emitting gases that both trap heat and release it. Also, while water vapor is building up in the atmosphere, further speeding global warming, it is concentrated over Europe and water vapor does dissipate as rain, after all. Finally:

"As Hertzberg says, water in the form of oceans, snow, ice cover, clouds and vapor 'is overwhelming in the radiative and energy balance between the Earth and the sun.... Carbon dioxide and the greenhouse gases are, by comparison, the equivalent of a few farts in a hurricane.' And water is exactly that component of the Earth's heat balance that the global warming computer models fail to account for." Yet global warming models have included water vapor for years--in fact, in 2004 it was found that they were overestimating the effect of water vapor on the atmopshere: A NASA-funded study found some climate models might be overestimating the amount of water vapor entering the atmosphere as the Earth warms. Since water vapor is the most important heat-trapping greenhouse gas in our atmosphere, some climate forecasts may be overestimating future temperature increases.

"It's a notorious inconvenience for the Greenhousers that data also show CO2 concentrations from the Eocene period, 20 million years before Henry Ford trundled out his first Model T, 300 to 400 percent higher than current concentrations. " Yes, the Eocene peroid had a higher concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, but it also marked one of the largest peroids of extinction in history, which might have been caused by a meteor hitting the earth. Hence, if we're already over half-way to a climate that possibly killed off billions of life forms, that's hardly reassuring.

"...like the medieval warming period's higher-than-today temperatures, by straightforward chicanery, misrepresenting tree ring data (themselves an unreliable guide) and claiming the warming was a local European affair." I was under the impression that fluctuations in the Atlantic salt pump caused this.

Andrew Jones

, Thailand

Apr 29 2007 - 4:38am

Is Global Warming a Sin?

Well, I like and respect Alexander Cockburn, but he can't be right all the time, and this time he's wrong, I think. The fact that one cannot draw conclusions from the tonnage of CO2 and the percentage of CO2 in the air means that one can't draw conclusions from that data, and the IPCC people, far as I can tell, don't use only those facts to make their case. The other dark plots mentioned in his article, I suspect, are true, and it goes to show you that even when he's wrong, Mr. Cockburn is still an invaluable reporter. I trust him always.

Jim Ricker

San Diego, Calif.

Apr 29 2007 - 2:45am

The Democrats' Depressing Debate

Not a hint of any candidate saying; "Vote for me and I'll get rid of the foaming at the mouth maddog Israel-first influence on the homicidal and suicidal US policy in the Middle East." Really depressing. How could you miss it?

Gerald Spezio

Willits, CA

Apr 28 2007 - 1:50pm

The Democrats' Depressing Debate

The most depressing thing Moser illustrates is the fact that Kucinich, who has been "right" (correct) all along about the big issues, is described as "not worth transcribing." There are a lot of Pete Hendersons out there who share my feelings. That's what these candidates need to realize. We are in a mess and I'm mad as hell.

Dan Havely

Athens, AL

Apr 28 2007 - 12:50pm

The Democrats' Depressing Debate

I think what Mr. Moser may have missed what was I thought was the most amazing thing of the debate: Governor Bill Richardson and Congressman Dennis Kucinich, two people whose views on foreign policy come from widely different directions, both articulated effectively the same plan for how we get out of Iraq: removing the occupying force as soon as possible; and through aggressive diplomacy, rebuilding our relationships with the EU and the UN, reaching out to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran for help; building a true international peacekeeping force to help Iraq rebuild their country and prevent an escalated civil war. For the most part, the Democratic consensus has finally caught up with the people.

It's the same strategy, with modifications to reflect the conditions on the ground today, that Dennis Kucinich ran on in 2004, and that Green Party candidate David Cobb ran on in 2004, which is why I voted for both of then that year. I am today a volunteer for Obama for America, and though I think the Senator has become too cautious the past two years, especially the past two months, it would be wrong to say he doesn't have the same basic vision for success in ending the occupation and building a stable Iraq.

Alexander Williamson

Waltham, MA

Apr 28 2007 - 12:06pm

A New Stance Toward Havana

Thank you, Julia, for this excellent motivational piece on Cuba!

Everything you say is so true: The US embargo on Cuba has been more than a dark Goliath to the North, it has been responsible for immense suffering and loss of life for the people of Cuba for half a century.

Amazing to think that Congress and voters alike would rather keep the status quo on the political security of Florida than to save lives in Cuba.

The Miami Cuban militia will never have their way in the end. It's really quite a pathetic battle, waiting for an old man to die in the hope that one day you might get your land back, once more rule vast swathes of property and put the common folk back to work on the sugar plantations.

The Bacardi family's dream for revenge has resulted in so much misery for such a petty cause célèbre. History will one day reveal their influence in US politics and even one most notorious assassination!

Regime change is not a forte of the USA. This we are witnessing every day. The fall of the Iron Curtain brought an end to communism but the resulting anarchy in Russia today is evidence that the US model for democracy is hardly an ideal to be followed too closely!

The sweet taste of America is turning sour and we know in our guts it is not good for the world.

I do hope people with influence are moved by your excellent article. Thanks again.

Tim Perceval

Goult, France

Apr 28 2007 - 7:00am

The Democrats' Depressing Debate

Very intersting that the CNN stenographers take naps when Kucinich talks. Very interesting indeed. What a mess this all is....

Dennis Dalesandro

Bellmawr, NJ

Apr 28 2007 - 12:20am

Story Lines at Virginia Tech

Why doesn't The Nation do something on the recent arrest of a teenage kid for writing a "disturbing" essay in his high school English class? An Asian American kid. It's outrageous,racist post-Va Tech hysteria and a violation of the First Amendment. Why nothing in The Nation? See http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ local/chi-070426essay-update,1,1939754.story?coll=chi-news- hed

Rob Riley

Chicago, IL

Apr 27 2007 - 10:24pm

The Democrats' Depressing Debate

To a large extent I agree with Bob. The two most pressing issues of this election should be Iraq and the economy. The problem is that the candidates either do not have any real ideas as to how to solve these problems or they have been coached to not take a stand because that would cost them votes.

Notice that the candidates who clearly staked out a position on the issues were the ones who were “not viable." I wonder which is the cause--Do they feel the need to stake out a position because they are not viable, or are they not viable because they have taken a position?

I sincerely hope that we are able to get to a point where they cannot duck the issues. It would be wonderful to know where each one stands on the war, terrorism, the economy, jobs leaving our country, illegal immigration, taxes, education etc. And what would be most refreshing would be if one of them would have an original idea as to how we could address any of these issues.

Doug Wing

Coloma, MI

Apr 27 2007 - 4:37pm