Hollywood in Congress

April 22nd, 2010

By Tom Carter

Actress Sigourney Weaver testified today before the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard on the subject of ocean acidification.

She’s done this testifying gig before, employing her in-depth education and experience in science and climatology … no, wait … that’s acting and literature.  Sorry for my confusion; I just assumed that Congress would focus on consulting experts before passing hugely expensive energy legislation.  Who knew?

Here’s a sample of Warrant Officer Ripley’s wisdom:

I hope that Congress comes together and sets aside their differences to try to create a real dialogue. Saying climate change doesn’t exist is not going to help us. I think we have to face a lot of the facts.

Now why didn’t anyone else think of that?  All the politicians can just put aside their differences, admit that things are as she says they are, and face the facts.

And along the lines of being helpful, Weaver recently went to Brazil and demanded, on behalf of the natives, that construction on a dam be halted because “the dam will destroy parts of the rain forest and displace its indigenous communities.”  The Brazilian government, however, says the dam “will provide necessary clean energy for the country.”  What a bunch of dummies in that government — how many movies have they acted in, anyway?

There are good and bad aspects of having Democrats in control in Washington.  One of the decidedly bad things is the prominence they give to doofus Hollywood glitterati.  They’re among the worst informed but most vocal of limousine liberals.  Along with professional athletes, they’re also the most overpaid people in America.  Oh, wait … sorry … I forgot.  As a liberal, I’m supposed to hate those greedy, unproductive pigs in business for the money they make, not actors and athletes.

Don’t get me wrong; I liked Alien and The Year of Living Dangerously as much as anyone.  (Well, the young Mel Gibson and Linda Hunt were the most interesting actors in The Year, but Sigourney Weaver was pretty good, too, even though she was a lot taller everybody else.)

However, I really don’t want those folks out in Hollywood making national policy.  Let them stay out there on “the coast” and make movies, go to parties, and attend rehab regularly.  I have to agree with David Boaz, who wrote today:

Now let me just say that I’m not arguing that ocean acidification isn’t an important topic. … I’m just questioning whether Sigourney Weaver, Sissy Spacek, Jeff Daniels, Nick Jonas, and the Backstreet Boys have the kind of expertise that Congress ought to draw on in deciding how to run my life. Or then again, maybe planning the economy and running other people’s lives is farce at best, and Congress should just hold hearings with Will Ferrell and John Cleese.

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19 Responses to “Hollywood in Congress”

  1. d |

    Oh,but everyone thought Reagan was the best thing since sliced bread. He was just an actor. I disliked him because we were out of work for the first time ever,and sitting in gas lines,but he was supposedly a great president. Please tell me you are not saying that to have a cause, you must be a scientist? To be passionate and learn about climate,you must be a climatologist?
    Actors have money,we pay them because we love them,so what is wrong with them,studying,learning and caring about our environment,and using this money and status to make their point?
    If I were rich,scarey thought,I’d use that wealth to help animals and children,how is that wrong? Do I have to now get a degree in child psychology or become a veterinarian, to qualify to have a loud opinion,and use my status and power to try and change injustice and cruelty to them? We can all spout our opinions,loudly,but if we are rich and powerful,we are heard by everyone. If we believe in a cause strongly enough,we learn the facts and try to change things,actors are no different,they are not all just pretty faces. I admire them for being a little deeper than they appear,and for their causes.

  2. Brianna |

    “To be passionate and learn about climate,you must be a climatologist?”

    No, but in order to testify as an expert to Congress, being an expert would normally be considered a prerequisite.

    “Actors have money,we pay them because we love them,so what is wrong with them,studying,learning and caring about our environment,and using this money and status to make their point?”

    Nothing, if they want to advocate privately and use their money to fund private organizations, in places where we can shut them off if we choose and usually we do. Everything, if they expect us to treat their opinions as though they are coming from the mouths of scientists.

    “If we believe in a cause strongly enough,we learn the facts and try to change things,actors are no different,they are not all just pretty faces.”

    Sigorney Weaver testifing in Congress on ocean acidification would be like a shuttle enthusiast testifying about the Challenger disaster. He may know lots of cool stuff about the shuttle, but would you honestly expect him to be able to pinpoint the cause of the explosion?

  3. d |

    No,but Congress will listen to actors. I just saw a program on channel 8 ,about ocean acidification. Oysters were not making larvae,therefore no baby oysters,this all due to acid,caused by pollution. Surely you guys are not denying pollution of our oceans? When I worked at a huge chemical plant,all product waste was eventually placed into the oceans,prettied up a bit,but not exactly rain runoff. All the blinders big business folk are wearing and convincing smart people of,will eventually be the total ruin of our environment. You guys need to open your eyes,and see the light,or lack thereof.It is so nice that you write everything I say back to me,I love being quoted.
    Chemical plants stand to lose a fortune if made to think up some other way to dispose of waste. To satisfy E.P.A.,they added steam to the smoke stacks,making the pollution into smaller parts per million,a smoke screen,if you will. The release of particulates was exactly the same,just made to seem less,and take longer to eleminate. During a shutdown,all bets were off,the stacks poured out the chemicals,one of many being benzene,a known cancer causer. E.P.A.looks the other way,during a problem or a shutdown,giving the plant a time limit to pour out carcenogens and other killer chemicals. This goes on daily,and guess what,you don’t have to be a scientist to have seen it.

  4. Brianna |

    “No,but Congress will listen to actors.”

    Yeah, and what does that say about Congress?

    “Surely you guys are not denying pollution of our oceans?”

    At what point did anyone here deny that pollution was an issue? What we are denying is that Sigorney Weaver or any other hollywood moron is qualified to influence government policy on pollution, not that the problem of pollution exists. I hate to break it to you, but playing a role in a piece of lefty propaganda on how evil industrialists, capitalists and the military are (Avatar) is not a qualification to influence pollution legislation.

    “All the blinders big business folk are wearing and convincing smart people of,will eventually be the total ruin of our environment. You guys need to open your eyes,and see the light,or lack thereof.”

    Yes, and all of you, “Save the earth whatever the economic cost” people ought to realize that the only thing that allows us to support six billion people on this planet is that evil, polluting, modern technology. You can decry the environmental costs of DDT, fossil fuels, and pollutants all you want, but no amount of screaming about how much you love humanity can evade the fact that your environmental protests have costs measured in corpses.

    “E.P.A.looks the other way,during a problem or a shutdown,giving the plant a time limit to pour out carcenogens and other killer chemicals. ”

    Well if the EPA is corrupt and looks the other way anyway, why bother with it or trust it to honestly implement carbon legislation? Why not just dump it and save the money from the budget?

    “This goes on daily,and guess what,you don’t have to be a scientist to have seen it.”

    I’ll tell you what, Doris? How about we raise a fund on opinion-forum for you to travel to D.C. and testify before Congress. Since you seem to know so much about it, I’m sure that once you’ve simply explained the problem to Obama correctly, he will be able to wave a magic legislative wand (or if Congress refuses to play, an executive order) and all of the problems with ocean pollution will magically disappear. Since I consider this more likely than Sigorney Weaver or any other Hollywood nitwit actually having some idea of how to solve complex environmental and economic problems (a possibility I view as only slightly more likely than the one-in-an-quadrillion chance that all of the air molecules in the room will move to the other wall and leave me to suffocate), I figure it’s at least worth a shot.

    “It is so nice that you write everything I say back to me,I love being quoted.”

    Glad to provide you with an ego boost :rolleyes:

  5. d |

    L.O.L.,really.How will I get there,Washington,all forms of travel are pollutants. Plus,I can’t walk that far.Why must one be a nitwit if one is from an actor? Duh,Reagan.My ego needs no boosting,I rock,and so do you.
    I am not a lefty fool,and do not want to save the environment,at all costs. I love my truck,and my stuff.I just want the naysayers to see that global warming, acidicic oceans,and environmental ruin,is going on at a tremendous pace. Looking the other way is not working,and attacking a woman just because she is an actress,is ludicrus. Quite possibly,she is intelligent and informed,not possible? Congress only listens to powerful people,and what is wrong with all actors trying to use their power and money to change the world? Maybe she is not an expert,but I assume,she has expert information,just like you or I would,if we testified. I think it would be fine if anyone testified on behalf of the environment,if they are well informed and have the facts right,even me,you or,Tom.:rolleyes2:

  6. Tom |

    The fact is, Doris, you are far better qualified by training and practical experience to testify before Congress on these issues than Sigourney Weaver will ever be. But they don’t invite you, do they? No, they would prefer to rub shoulders (or whatever else they can) with famous Hollywood babes while they prattle on about whatever. This is just another indicator of the lack of seriousness among many members of Congress (of both parties).

    There are a few celebrities who really do know a lot on a specific subject, and they lend their celebrity to worthwhile causes, usually in conjunction with real experts. Examples are Angelina Jolie and her work with the UN on refugees. Despite all those stupid tattoos, she’s shown dedication and a willingness to work that few celebrities can muster. Princess Diana on landmines is another good example. She took a lot of flak about her activism on the subject, but I know from first-hand experience how effective she was because of my experience in Angola, which is landmine hell. I was there when she visited to highlight the problem, and she did a lot of good.

    As far as Ronald Reagan is concerned, all I can say is you need to get over it. Once someone is elected to office, high or low, he or she becomes a public official, and that puts them into a completely different category. While I didn’t agree with Reagan on many things, I have to go way back into the last century to find a president that even arguably equals him. And here’s something else to chew on — compare the experience and qualifications of Reagan and Obama at the time they ran for office. No contest — Reagan wins hands-down.

  7. d |

    Got me there,about Reagan,but you are saying Sigourney is a babe? Really,I always thought of her as too tall,too thin,and flatchested to be a babe.Good actress,though. Yeah,as an gas chromotography,analyzer tech,supposedly for quality control, I was qualified on what is released by the plant,and it ain’t pretty. Real scarey,but necessary for our fuel consuming vehicles. I just want someone smart to come up with a better idea,that consumers will buy,even if it were Sigourney or another actor. I loved Reagan as an actor,but can’t get over being hungry and pregnant,and waiting in lines, for the oh so abundant, oil product scam. Nope,he was not my favorite president,the ever so colorful,Clinton was.:)I know,all of you are rolling your eyes.

  8. Brianna |

    Reagan may have been a public official, but that doesn’t mean I would have taken his word for it on environmental policy any more than I would have Weaver’s. Considering some of the dumb things I’ve heard politicians say (such as “Guam might capsize”)


    I wouldn’t trust any politician to write accurate environmental policy. Y’know, sort of like how I wouldn’t trust any typical hollywood actor to do it, either.

  9. Tom |

    Doris, you keep referring to waiting in lines for gas, etc, during the Reagan presidency. That was during the 70s, and it was caused by Middle East politics and conflict, the resulting Arab oil embargo, etc. The price of gasoline fell throughout Reagan’s presidency and the lines were over.

  10. d |

    I did not say the price was high,I lived it and I am telling you in Cleveland and Houston,Tx. we sat in lines and could only get gas on alternate days,in 1982. My husband was out of work and could not get work,he always had a job before that, in 1982 and 1983. I remember specifically because I was pregnant with my son,born in 1983.Sorry,but your dates are wrong.

  11. d |

    I was not suggesting,that a politician was an environmental scientist,but merely using Reagan as an example of brilliance in actors,they are not all dim-witted,pretty faces. Some of them actually have brains and can listen and learn from experts. Maybe, they can even be taught to read an experts or a scientist, writing in front of congress. Quite possibly,they might even get facts and figures right,occassionally. I was trying to say don’t judge a book by it’s cover,there might just be a brain inside a babe.

  12. Brianna |

    OK Doris, I officially relent. Any hollywood actor who goes and gets a doctorate in environmental science now has my approval to go and testify in Congress on environmetal policy.

  13. d |

    I guess that means I can’t go.Darn.

  14. d |

    For the record,Sigourney, graduated from Stanford with a degree in English Literature and then went on to Yale for drama.Not such a dim wit,huh?

  15. Brianna |

    I didn’t say she was stupid. I said she was ignorant. I’m less than a year away from a masters degree in engineering, and I don’t consider myself adequately informed about climate change to testify before congress, so why would I trust an english lit major to do it?

  16. d |

    No,actually you said she was a moron and a nitwit,a far cry from what she really is,don’t ya think?

  17. Brianna |

    OK, I called her a moron. I didn’t call her a nitwit. My apologies. Most hollywood layabouts are morons though, and just because she’s smart doesn’t make her a climate expert.

  18. d |

    Where you said rolleyes,you did call her a nitwit,and so I guess she can’t have an opinion,just because Congress are nitwits and listen to actors more than scientists,is not her or their fault,huh? She just gave her opinion and tried to get them to listen to the facts.

  19. d |

    I guess I am getting nit picky, sorry, but I love to be right. Guess I can’t convince you, so I think I’ll give up. Dr.Phil said “In marriage, do you want to be right or happy?” I think my answer,is always gonna be: right,my character flaw.

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