Monday, September 17, 2007

Beast of the Month - August 2007

Beast of the Month - August 2007
James Inhofe, Oklahoma Senator

"I yam an anti-Christ... "
John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of The Sex Pistols, "Anarchy in the UK"

Granted, the Live Earth concert didn't have a single defining moment, like a Pink Floyd reunion or Sir Paul McCartney singing "Sgt. Pepper" with U2 (much less Freddie Mercury rocking Wembley in 1985.) And it's true (as Matt Drudge would mince with joy over on his Website) that the Al Gore founded concert didn't do well in the TV markets of either the US or UK. And it's also true the concert had its share of critics who slammed the event for lacking concrete goals (although the main promulgator of this criticism, Bob Geldof of Live Aid and Live 8 fame, may just be moaning because both Gore and Bono have passed him in the Nobel Peace Prize sweepstakes.)

Still, with all due respect to Elvis, 2 billion Live Earth viewers in the world can't be wrong. And while the English-market TV ratings may have been a flop, it was even a huger hit on the Net than Live 8, becoming the most viewed event in Web history. Besides, its hard to knock any concert that could unite the following talents: The Beastie Boys, The Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi, Kelly Clarkson, Chris Cornell, Duran Duran, The Foo Fighters, Genesis, Macy Gray, Enrique Iglesias, Keane, Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz, Ludacris, Dave Matthews, MIA, The Police, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Shakira, The Smashing Pumpkins, Snoop Dogg, Spinal Tap, Cat Stevens, Joss Stone, KT Tunstall, Keith Urban and Kanye West (as well as The Pussycat Dolls, Xuxa and, from the Antartic, the climate researching indie rock band Nunatak.)

Some may say the big winner in the Live Earth sweepstakes was Al Gore, who appears ready for a political comeback that would put Tricky Dick in '68 to shame. For once, that may be a little too cynical for The Konformist. As far as we're concerned, the big winner of the Live Earth concert is the Earth itself. Because for all the hype and all the criticisms of Live Earth, it did succeed at its one main goal: making climatic change issues a central focus of the world population. This was no more evident than in the USA, where global warming is now a mainstream issue that can't be ignored or mocked by politicians seeking the White House.

Right about now The Konformist can hear the clicking of keyboards as throngs of angry emails are being written. No doubt we'll get letters accusing us of buying into the NWO communist conspiracy and declaring that "Global Warming is a hoax!" Fair enough, it comes with the territory. And it’s true that there are some who dispute the evidence of global warming that we can't ignore or dismiss (most notably the fine folks at Besides, The Konformist has long been a promoter of dissident science, most notably with the cold fusion controversy, AIDS-HIV claims and even the debates surrounding evolution (even if we doubt that the universe was created 6,000 years ago in six days by a silver-haired god-man.) We encourage debates about scientific issues, and global warming and climatic change should be no different.

The problem is, the vast majority of supposed "science" challenging climatic change theories is nothing more than pseudo-science of the worst kind, namely korporate financed propaganda to promote their own business. In this case, we're referring to the oil industry (with ExxonMobil front and center) peddling fraudulence to cover their own culpability.

It doesn't help that the leading proponents of "global-warming denial" in the political sphere are such blatantly self-discrediting asses. Leading the charge is Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma senator and The Konformist Beast of the Month. A right-wing buffoon of the worst sort, he once declared that global warming was "the second-largest hoax ever played on the American people, after the separation of church and state." He has compared environmentalists to Nazis, the EPA to the Gestapo, and linked the "global warming hoax" to a conspiracy involving the Weather Channel as part of the plot to increase viewers. Despite these statements and viewpoints, he was incredibly the Senate Environment Committee Chairman before the GOP got their ass kicked in the 2006 election.

Unsurprisingly, the environment isn't the only area where Inhofe is a first-rate jackass. Though he cites the Bible as the source for most of his political stances, he has defended the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and was one of only nine senators to vote against an amendment banning torture on individuals in US Government custody. (So much for turn the other cheek.) As for gay marriages, he declared a group photo of his family "the most important prop we’ll have" in the debate over the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment to the US Constitution, bizarrely adding: "My wife and I have been married 47 years. We have 20 kids and grandkids. I'm really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we've never had a divorce or any kind of homosexual relationship."

Still, Inhofe seems even more obsessed about Global Warming than fags getting married. Perhaps that's because oil companies are more plentiful in Oklahoma than gay bars. In his last campaign in 2002, the only senate nominee who received more oil company funding than Inhofe was John Cornyn of, unsurprisingly, Texas.

In his defense, though, The Konformist suspects that Inhofe may be such a fool he actually believes his pronouncements. The same can't be said for Dick Cheney, who deceptively declared in February about climatic change: "We're going to see a big debate on it going forward... the extent to which it is part of a normal cycle versus the extent to which it's caused by man." He added it's "not enough to just sort of run out and try to slap together some policy that's going to 'solve' the problem." (Too bad such statements were never applied to "The War on Terror.") Thanks to Donkey Dick, the Bush Administration has filled the EPA and other agencies with hacks serving the oil industry bottom line and repeating lies as though they are truth. In the end, such deceits may lead to more damage than the lies leading to the Iraq Quagmire.

Fortunately, barring a blatantly dictatorial coup in 2008 (which The Konformist can't rule out the possibility of at this point) Cheney and his minions will be out of power very soon. As for Inhofe, though he appears safe for reelection in 2008, he has become an increasingly marginalized figure. This was shown powerfully last March, during Senate hearings featuring Al Gore. After Inhofe had repeatedly cutting off Gore from answering questions that he had asked, California Senator Barbara Boxer (one of the few Democrats in the senate with any guts) finally cut him off, pointing out she was now chair of the Environment Committee, not him. As Boxer put it: "You’re not making the rules. You used to when you did this. Elections have consequences. So I make the rules.” The audience responded by applauding loudly.

Even after being put in his place by Ms. Boxer, Inhofe tried to get his petty revenge on Gore, using parliamentary tricks to block the North American leg of the Live Earth concert from taking place at the National Mall in DC. He succeeded, to a degree, as the main North American concert took place at Giants Stadium in New Jersey instead. However, in a last minute deal, a special set featuring country superstar Garth Brooks and his wife Trisha Yearwood was presented at the Washington Mall after all, courtesy of the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian. As Gore put it, "Some who don't understand what is now at stake tried to stop this event on the Mall, but here we are. And it wasn't the cavalry who came to our rescue, it was the American Indians." The Konformist couldn't put it any better. And frankly, when it comes to the issue of climate change, we think a side that includes Al Gore, Barbara Boxer, Garth Brooks and Tonto is a winner over one featuring Inhofe, Donkey Dick and ExxonMobil. A winner, that is, in honesty, morality and, hopefully, politically.

In any case, we salute James Inhofe as Beast of the Month. Congratulations, and keep up the great work, Jimmy!!!

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