- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 1, 2007

Recycled Oscar

It’s a good thing National Geographic News waited until after the Oscars were presented in Hollywood on Sunday night before publishing its story on global warming, or else Al Gore might have flown home empty-handed.

Three days after “An Inconvenient Truth,” Mr. Gore’s global warming show, took home an Oscar, National Geographic’s Kate Ravilious reports that it’s not just Earth, but Mars too, that “appears to be enjoying more mild and balmy temperatures.”

She cites 2005 data from NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey missions, revealing that the carbon dioxide “ice caps” near Mars’ south pole are diminishing, “evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun.”

Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of the St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory, is quoted in the article as saying the Mars data is evidence that the “long-term increase in solar irradiance is heating both Earth and Mars.”

The question now is whether Mr. Gore’s coveted Oscar can be recycled?

Pray tell

King Abdullah II of Jordan will address a joint session of Congress next Wednesday, becoming the first world leader to address such a meeting under the new Democratic-led Congress.

Merissa Khurma, spokeswoman for the Jordanian government in Washington, tells us the king’s speech will partly address the crisis in neighboring Iraq and ways to restore security and stability there. Congress, no doubt, will be all ears.

Defining courage

There’s been a great deal of reaction to yesterday’s item about the new film “Silent Wings,” which praises heroic glider pilots who fought during World War II, described by one general as the “the most uninhibited individuals ever to wear an American uniform.”

Most were interested in our mention that Walter Cronkite and Andy Rooney, each of whom appear in the film, were among eight civilian and military combat journalists known as “The Writing 69th.” Many did not realize that Sgt. Rooney wrote for Stars and Stripes, while Mr. Cronkite reported for United Press.

Indeed, in June 1973, Mr. Cronkite, the trusted news anchor for CBS, spoke personally of his wartime reporting during an interview with Playboy magazine.

“I’m embarrassed when I’m introduced for speeches and somebody takes a CBS handout and reads it, because it makes me sound like some sort of hero: The battle of the North Atlantic, the landing in Africa, the beachhead on D-Day, dropping with the 101st Airborne, the Battle of the Bulge.

“Personally, I feel I was an overweening coward in the war,” Mr. Cronkite said. “I was scared to death all the time. I did everything possible to avoid getting into combat. Except the ultimate thing of not doing it. I did it. But the truth is that I did everything only once. It didn’t take any great courage to do it once. If you go back and do it a second time — knowing how bad it is — that’s courage.”

Yield to Mexico

Round up the children and dogs; the trucks are coming, the trucks are coming.

“The next sound you hear will be the rumble of thousands of Mexican trucks streaming across our southern border,” warns Rep. Ted Poe, Texas Republican, referring to the U.S. government agreeing to allow 100 Mexican trucking companies to send trucks, as he calls it, on the highways and byways of America.

“Presently, Mexican trucks may only go 20 miles inside the U.S. border. The U.S. government says they will inspect the trucks for safety and inspect the drivers as well. Yeah, right,” the congressman states. “There are already 6,000 trucks a day crossing in each direction just between Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and only a fraction of these are inspected.”

Even worse, the congressman fears the “low paid, unqualified drivers that may not even be able to read highway signs.”

That we do

“CORRECTION: In the e-mail we sent you earlier this morning, regarding the Waxman-Davis ‘Executive Branch Reform Act’ (H.R. 984), there was a typo that identified [Henry A.] Waxman as ‘R-Ca.’ Mr. Waxman, as we all know, is a Democrat.”

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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