Home / Culture and Society / Who Really Gives a Rat’s Patootie – Conservatives or Liberals? Let’s Find Out!

Who Really Gives a Rat’s Patootie – Conservatives or Liberals? Let’s Find Out!

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On this page of a previous BC article, I gave what I feel is an accurate description of the liberal view of freedom:

That’s what so many conservatives don’t get – we liberals really don’t give a rat’s patootie what you do as long as it doesn’t adversely affect us. We have ALWAYS supported your right to do as you will…but your right to do as you will ENDS when you use your right in a way that is harmful to other people! Or, to put it more succinctly, your freedom ends where mine begins. YOUR freedom shall NOT infringe upon MY freedom to live, to love, to thrive, to pursue my happiness as I will. And my freedom likewise ends where yours begins. And therein lay my argument: without security from those who care little how their actions adversely affect others, we have NO freedom.

Cannonshop had this to say about my definition:

So here’s where I’m looking, Glenn-your words in reply to my challenge are good, but…I don’t think you actually believe them-either that, or you have an enormous blind-spot called “Party Loyalty” that exceeds your personal ethics.

And Dave Nalle followed with this:

This is a fine statement, Glenn. The problem is that this is what most of the more conservative posters here believe and it is demonstrably not what the political left in this country practices or believes in. Welcome to the GOP.

Ah. So one believes that I’m either lying or stupid, and the other believes that my statement is “demonstrably not what the political left…believes in”. So let’s take a look NOT at the words of the conservatives and the liberals, but at the ACTIONS:

Equal Rights for LGBT’s
Yes, there’s the ‘Log Cabin Republicans’ and there are many Republicans who really believe that LGBT’s should have all the rights of ‘normal’ straight people…but who is it that comes out strongly against the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ despite the fact that Bush appointee General Petraeus came out very strongly for the repeal of DADT and seventy percent of the military personnel surveyed either supported the repeal or had no opinion either way? Who is it that has fought tooth-and-nail against gay marriage across the country? Who is it that supported the ‘Defense of Marriage Act’? The REPUBLICANS.

Look again at what I said: YOUR freedom shall NOT infringe upon MY freedom to live, to love, to thrive, to pursue my happiness as I will. And my freedom likewise ends where yours begins.

Equal Rights for Women
I think it’s safe to say that when asked, most Republicans would say that they see women as fully deserving of equal rights to men…and most of them would be truthful about what they really believe. In the first forty years of attempts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment since it was first proposed, both Republicans and Democrats officially supported the amendment…but in July of 1980, “During platform hearings, the Republican Party reverses its 40 year tradition of support for ERA. NOW organizes 12,000 to march in Detroit at the Republican Convention. The final Republican Platform officially takes no position on ERA, but candidate Ronald Reagan and newly elected right-wing party officials actively oppose the amendment“.

This opposition to protection for women against discrimination did not end with Reagan. Most of us are familiar with the Lilly Ledbetter Act, a key provision of which “makes it clear that discrimination occurs not just when the decision to discriminate is made, but also when someone becomes subject to that discriminatory decision, and when they are affected by that discriminatory decision, including each time they are issued a discriminatory paycheck“. The REPUBLICANS (and the Chamber of Commerce) strongly opposed the bill…and President Obama’s first act as president was to sign the bill into law.

Look again at what I said: We have ALWAYS supported your right to do as you will…but your right to do as you will ENDS when you use your right in a way that is harmful to other people!

Marijuana – Medical and Otherwise:
Despite the apparent fact that Republicans try marijuana at a higher rate than do Democrats, who is it that came out most strongly against decriminalization of marijuana in California? And who was it that attacked President Obama for promising to stop federal raids against clinics that dispense medical marijuana? Really, who is it that wants to tell America “thou shalt not do marijuana”? The REPUBLICANS…even though their members apparently do more weed than do the Democrats.

Look again at what I said: YOUR freedom shall NOT infringe upon MY freedom to live, to love, to thrive, to pursue my happiness as I will.

Regulation of Commerce:
Like any teenager, no business likes to be regulated. Just as any teenager just knows he can Do Just Fine without a parent breathing over his shoulder, every business owner is absolutely positive that Uncle Sam’s regulatory efforts are akin to throwing grit in the lubricating oil of the engine of commerce. But what happens when Big Business operates without proper oversight? Remember when Republican president Teddy Roosevelt went after monopolies with the Sherman Anti-Trust Act? Maybe not.

But how about the Exxon Valdez oil spill? Nearly every one of the nine causes identified are directly related to Exxon’s insistence on profit over adherence to existing safety regulations.

There’s the Upper Big Branch mining disaster from earlier this year wherein twenty-nine miners lost their lives. Independent investigations are focusing on the possibility of an overabundance of airborne coal dust, but mine owner Massey Energy Co. is claiming that the cause was naturally-occurring methane. In either case, technology to prevent either problem exists and is already in operational use at many U.S. coal mines. But Massey Energy Co. apparently decided that the risk to the mine workers didn’t warrant the additional protection. The Obama administration tried passing legislation to increase oversight and penalties against errant mine owners, but the Republicans successfully stopped the legislation in its tracks a few days ago. Which was more important – the safety of the mine workers, or cheap coal? I guess we now know the answer.

A rather unpopular film among right-wingers is Gasland, a film that documents communities in the United States impacted by natural gas drilling and, specifically, a stimulation method known as hydraulic fracturing in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Texas. [The filmmaker] spoke with residents who have experienced a variety of chronic health problems as well as contamination of their air, water wells or surface water. In some instances, gas companies are replacing the affected water supplies with potable water or water purification kits. Throughout the documentary, [NPR reporter Josh] Fox reached out to scientists, politicians and gas industry executives and ultimately found himself in the halls of Congress as a subcommittee was discussing the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act, “a bill to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to repeal a certain exemption for hydraulic fracturing.” Hydraulic fracturing was exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

And let’s not forget this year’s Gulf Spill, brought to you by the fine folks at Halliburton, BP, and Transocean Ltd. Fox News published a scathing account of the missteps that led to the disaster. The article states BP’s internal investigation, released earlier this month, accused subcontractor Halliburton of improperly cementing the well. It blamed rig owner Transocean Ltd. for problems with the blowout preventer on the seafloor a mile down. It even pointed at itself, acknowledging that if the results of a critical pressure test had been correctly interpreted, workers would have known something was horribly wrong in time to do something about it. (It was a BP engineer who once described Macondo as a “nightmare well.”) In what most liberals would be shocked to see published by Fox News, the article had this to say about the lasting effects of the Gulf spill: …the effects of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska and the 1979 Ixtoc disaster off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula are still unfolding, so only time will tell. Remember how the Obama administration wanted to remove the $75 million liability cap on oil companies following an oil spill? Who quickly stood up against removing that cap? The Republican senator from Alaska, Lisa Murkowski!

Look again at what I said: We have ALWAYS supported your right to do as you will…but your right to do as you will ENDS when you use your right in a way that is harmful to other people!

Gun Control:
Here, perhaps, is the only area in which the Republicans would win this particular debate — for while most gun-control advocates would claim with a real measure of accuracy and truth that the Republicans’ victory earlier this year is a testament to the political activism of the current Supreme Court and power of the NRA, I feel this is more a matter of pragmatism. Why? Because guns are everywhere in America — Pandora’s already out of the box and she ain’t a-gonna get back in; any conservative who thinks that the liberals would actually try to come get their guns (and the continually-diminishing numbers of liberals who actually keep dreaming this particular pipe dream) is living in a fantasy. The conservatives have won this contest, and the Democrats are for the most part letting this one go for the foreseeable future…we’ve largely accepted that Pandora’s pointing a loaded assault rifle at anyone who thinks she’s going to get back into the box. Thanks to the lack of gun control, thousands of innocent Americans (and thousands of Mexican citizens caught in the crossfire of the drug war enabled by OUR guns smuggled across the border (2,000 guns per day)) will die every year…but there’s nothing we can do about it. So we’ll have to deal with it.

For the conservatives who still think that President Obama’s going to take their guns away, they should consider the following: at a September 2008 campaign rally in rural Virginia, Obama declared unequivocally, “I believe in the Second Amendment. I believe in people’s lawful right to bear arms. I will not take your shotgun away. I will not take your rifle away. I won’t take your handgun away. … There are some common-sense gun safety laws that I believe in. But I am not going to take your guns away.” Has he done anything truly significant to indicate otherwise? No.

Freedom of Religion:
“I got into politics to put Christian conservatives into office. They’re the people that do the best jobs over all.” Who said that? Texas state Republican Executive Committee member John Cook. So what’s the big deal? Well, for those who pay attention to Texas Republican Party politics, it’s Very Important to make sure that only “Real Christians” hold the most important posts in the Party. Cook says it’s not ‘about Jews’ because he counts two Jews among his closest friends…but Jews just can’t do the jobs as well as “Real Christians” can.

You see, right now the Texas House Speaker is a man by the name of Joe Straus – who happens to be Jewish – and he’s being challenged for the position by fellow Republican David Barton…and check out some of the e-mails concerning the contest by Barton’s supporters:

“Straus is going down in Jesus name.”

“[W]e finally found a Christian conservative who decided not to be pushed around by the Joe Straus thugs.”

Another e-mail calls for replacing Straus as Texas House Speaker so

“…that our nation will again prosper and hold to values that the Christians and Republicans hold so dear in their souls.”

But wait — that’s not all! The president of Conservative Republicans of Texas, Steven Hotze, states “Gentlemen, it seems that the real problem we face is the Muslim immigration invasion of America. The [Christian and family-oriented] Hispanics are our natural allies against the Democrats and Muslims.” One can’t help but note the great inroads the Republican Party didn’t make with the Hispanic community in this last election after the ‘papers, please’ law was passed in Arizona….

The rise of the Religious Right has led to Oklahoma voter approval (and a VERY sensible injunction against implementation) of a ban on consideration of Islamic (or international (!)) law in judicial proceedings. This was Really Important because those Evil Muslims are taking over the world. No, really! Nevada Republican senatorial candidate Sharron Angle said, “I keep hearing about Muslims wanting to take over the United States … on a TV program just last night, I saw that they are taking over a city in Michigan and the residents of the city, they want them out.”

Yes, the Republicans have doubled-down on their ‘War on Islam’. In fact, in Colorado, an influential long-time Republican, Muhammad Ali Hasan, who founded the organization “Muslims for Bush” and was a regular on Fox News, is fed up with the fetid racism of the GOP and is switching parties.

And those godless Democrats, they’re not just bad…they’re secular! As Bill O’Reilly stated in an interview with Fox News host John Gibson concerning the Democrats’ much-decried ‘War on Christmas’, “See, I think it’s all part of the secular progressive agenda…to get Christianity and spirituality and Judaism out of the public square. Because if you look at what happened in Western Europe and Canada, if you can get religion out, then you can pass secular progressive programs like legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage, because the objection to those things is religious-based, usually.”

I guess Republicans really do believe in freedom of religion, in our rights to worship as we will…as long as said worship is done in the way THEY think is right.

Look again at what I said: YOUR freedom shall NOT infringe upon MY freedom to live, to love, to thrive, to pursue my happiness as I will.

…and Abortion
Most Republicans either want to end (or at least severely curtail) the woman’s right to abortion. A significant number of Republicans – including candidates in the 2010 cycle – want to outlaw abortion even in cases of rape or incest. They believe that humanity begins at conception, and that abortion is therefore murder. Of course, we didn’t see any protests by Republicans against the wholesale slaughter – ahem, “collateral damage” – of women and children in our patently illegal invasion of Iraq….

Look again at what I said: YOUR freedom shall NOT infringe upon MY freedom to live, to love, to thrive, to pursue my happiness as I will. And my freedom likewise ends where yours begins.

IN EVERY INSTANCE ABOVE save perhaps the gun-control issue, I find the Republicans’ claims of ‘freedom’ wanting. I see the Republicans believing in freedom to do and think as THEY think we ought…but little real respect by Republican politicians and pundits for those who do not believe as they do. Displaying flag pins and flag decals and bumper stickers with eagles isn’t Freedom. Allowing continued discrimination against LGBT’s, women, and people of other religions is certainly not Freedom. Allowing Big Business to do as it will even when their reckless actions bring financial ruin, injury, or even death to innocent people isn’t Freedom. In other words, Republicans have largely forgotten what ‘Freedom’ really means.

I noted comments by two BC conservatives at the beginning of this article. My reply to them is that, given the many examples I’ve listed in this article of Republican opposition to protection of freedom and basic human rights, they really don’t understand why they believe that Democrats somehow don’t believe in real freedom. They’ve been indoctrinated by the echo chamber of right-wing media for so long that they simply cannot conceive that a liberal such as myself might be more strongly for liberty than they themselves are. Worst of all, they refuse to question their own beliefs, their own assumptions.

I see no solution to this Gordian knot of mass psychology other than time itself and the patience of those liberals who stand the Long Watch in defense of real freedom against the agents of intolerance, those conservative ‘Real Americans’ who dare to call themselves Defenders of Freedom while never recognizing their base hypocrisy, the yawning gulf that lay between their words and their deeds.

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About Glenn Contrarian

White. Male. Raised in the deepest of the Deep South. Retired Navy. Strong Christian. Proud Liberal. Thus, Contrarian!
  • wouldn’t hold out …

  • Well, Christopher, sorry to disenchant you but I oouldn’t hold out much hope if I were you. And if it makes you happy, I’ll gladly take my assumptions back. The point still remains that this conversation has reached its natural end; and yes, I find it neither profitable nor worth the effort to engage with you any longer, though I still wish you the best.

    Have a nice day!

  • zingzing

    “Where then this mental discipline you prize so highly?”

    if roger doesn’t like things, roger doesn’t stick around. even he must admit this is true. how do you bow, roger? by the hip or by the brow?

  • Roger, to correct only the most glaring of your latest faulty assumptions…

    Your latest invention is the curious notion that we both knew that the conversation would go nowhere. That was never my expectation and if it was I wouldn’t have entered into dialogue with you in the first place…

    My remark that it came as a surprise to learn that you “don’t have patience for somewhat who lacks mental discipline” wasn’t a jab so much as an honest statement as you aren’t really known for your mental discipline.

    There is no relationship between that view and the opinion that philosophy isn’t what it used to be nor your extension of that claiming that I also have disdain for other social sciences, which is pure fabrication on your part.

    You then continue to try and characterise our exchanges as merely “expressing what we think of one another”, which is not my interest or intention, but nice try at diversion there.

    I could go on about the presumably unintentional comedy of your “Verbal arguments are not my cup of tea” line, the coldness of looking to engage in subject matter not personalities whilst simultaneously only wanting to engage with people you select, and on your own terms too, but I doubt it would serve much purpose.

    Where then this mental discipline you prize so highly?

  • That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

  • Clavos


  • Christopher, this is going nowhere as we both well knew it would. I responded to your jab, and connected it to your well-documented disdain for philosophy and things unrelated to hard sciences. (Don’t ask me now to look it all up, it’s not worth my effort.) Now you deny it and say that your disdain is only for some of the modern practices and the practitioners, including myself: you do refer to my behavior as posturing. I really don’t care what you think of me, and I’m just as certain the feeling is mutual. I don’t see therefore that under the circumstances we should continue this discussion which, at rock bottom, amounts to nothing else but expressing what we think of one another. There is simply no point. I don’t fancy spending an extraordinary amount of time and energy trying to justify myself in your or anybody else’s eyes, and I’m certain you, too, have better things to do. Verbal arguments are not my cup of tea.

    You speak of “becoming engaged.” First off, the original context in which I used the phrase referred not to personalities but subject matter. And speaking of personalities, true, I’m far from being “engaged” with most everyone – you do speak of “us,” don’t you? – except for the select persons, Cindy, Mark Eden, Silas Kain, Les Slater – in short, people I regard as having sufficient integrity. So yes, on that score I do plead guilty as charge.

  • Roger, why you leap to the assumption that philosophy is something that I have not yet learned to appreciate only you can possibly know.

    In reality, my attitude to it is that what once was originally a powerful tool has now become quite debased to the point that a whole bunch of people just like to word wank rather than use it to determine truth.

    As such is my opinion, based in part on my experience of reading so many diverse perspectives on a daily basis, I tend to discount the views of those who rely too extensively on a corrupted process.

    That is why I dump on “philosophers”, not that I have noticed a genuine philosophical participation on this or any other thread in which you have been participating.

    Finally, I reject utterly – actually, that is being polite, I just think it is utter bollocks, your notion that I refuse to become engaged.

    I am present on this site for many hours every day and always try to respond to any comments when time permits and I feel I have something to say.

    Furthermore, as you have already observed, I am speaking in ordinary language and quite openly stating my thoughts, unlike, say, yourself, who presents quite differently…

    I believe in openness and honesty as preferred modus operandi; as such I consider that my direct response to specific comments is the epitome of engagement, in stark contrast to either the often pointless posturing for effect or the dogmatic circle jerking of some.

    As such, I don’t think it is me that refuses to become engaged, rather that you are too wedded to posturing and affect and routinely fail to be who you are, to put your mouth where your money is, to reverse the expression, to become engaged with us.

  • I’m sorry to hear, Christopher, that philosophy is of no interest to you. I would have thought that given enough time, anyone would have learned to appreciate it, just like good food, music and art.

    Be that as it may, however, why then dump on philosophers for quality of their thinking, especially since you yourself, for good or bad reasons, refuse to become engaged

  • Oh yes, you also said I had something against you, was prejudiced against you, that we have history, all of which I categorically deny. Wasn’t true then, isn’t true now.

  • Roger, there you go again with that loose keyboard of yours.

    I have never expressed any disdain for social sciences, only philosophy in particular, especially as it is practised in general these days and most especially in comments, where it seems even more ineffective, irrelevant, possibly even inappropriate. In my opinion.

    I’m glad you’ve noticed that my thoughts are expressed in ordinary language. I do that because I’m not a physicist or a mathematician…

    I don’t consider my words to be free of bias, nor do I want them to be. I do, however, hope they are free of prejudice, as I find that quality offensive and try not to let it in to my thinking.

    In principle and in general I don’t think that what I have to say is more valid than what anybody else has to say, although there are obviously times when it is and, indeed, times when it isn’t.

    I do indeed remember the “dumb Pollack” incident, including who made that misspelled remark; all the debate that followed in the comments space, a debate you participated in; the other people – such as yourself – who also made personal attacks; and your eventual request to do something about it, which I did.

    You then also expressed some unhappiness that I didn’t edit that remark earlier, to which I responded that if I had all of the follow on remarks, including your own, would also have to be edited or deleted, which is what ultimately happened.

  • The invitation to a debate wasn’t intended to succeed, Christopher And if my ear for English still serves me, the phrase in its noun form includes a “teaser” as one of its meanings. But then again, I shouldn’t be lecturing you on the nuances of your native tongue. I’m just a dumb Pollack, remember?

  • Of course, Christopher, what would you expect? You show open disdain for such fields of study as philosophy and social sciences, the hard science being your only sacred cow, that you can’t possibly allow for even a modicum of rigor or discipline in the fields you so despise. All the while you’re forgetting, of course, Christopher, that all your arguments pro or con are necessarily couched in terms of ordinary language, not physics or mathematics.

    Which poses the following question: on what basis, then, do you regard your ordinary language talk – and let’s face it, most of us here on BC, unless we’re specialists in one field of study or another – as being in anyway free of the kind of biases and prejudices, and not subject to the kind of debunking that you so readily reserve for kinds of discourse, such as philosophical discourse (to name but one)? How is anyone, Christopher, to draw a distinction between your talk and any other kind of talk, a distinction that could stand and pass the muster, a distinction that would show your kind of talk a valid kind of talk to the exclusion of any other?

    At the very least, you ought to introduce the relevant criteria. Thus far, however, you’ve done nothing of the kind. And your argument reduces to saying that philosophy is bunk, Christopher Rose’s expositions are right.

  • Roger, I wasn’t aware the feeling was mutual, although it comes as no surprise. The difference is that only one of us is actually right.

    I’ve no idea how you consider your invitation to debate as any kind of a come on, but whatever it was, it failed.

  • The feeling is mutual, Chris, as no doubt you’re well aware. The invitation to an open debate, just in case you happen to entertain any illusion as to my motive, was only a come on.

  • zingzing

    “Are you running a school for manners?”

    did you do that on purpose? or do you really have that hard of a time figuring out what people mean?

  • zingzing

    “Who the fuck are you to tell me what’s my strong suit?”

    you suck at psychology, roger. don’t get upset. it’s just true.

    “Do you have a degree in the field other than on the subject of acme?”


    “And come to think of it, I can’t even recollect having a meaningful discussion with you on any subject whatever.”

    ah, memories are short when egos are bruised. we used to have nice conversations until you decided i wasn’t radical enough for you. you’ve changed dramatically. sorry if i didn’t do the same.

    “Who the fuck are you to tell me my response to your comments is proper or improper?”

    don’t get all wrapped up in a word. i can tell you if i think a response is proper in my view. it’s my view, so get over it. the point was what happened between 90 and 91 to get you all fucking mad? you were fine, then you weren’t. maybe you had just figured out that i’d said you’ve been a rather lousy judge of people lately. you have been. but it’s hard to tell if that’s what set you off. it’s pretty specific if you are calling it a “generality.” so maybe not. you just kinda blew up there. i’m not one to arbitrarily decide why that is, so i’ll call it a mystery.

    “Write an article on politics and make a liar out of me, demonstrate the quality of your thought.”

    i have. just not around here. and not under the name zingzing.

    “It’s always a tit-for-tat with you, zingo, schematic thoughts at best, never a full-blown development.”

    that’s as much you fault as it is mine. but i’ll grant you the point in the case of our conversations as of late. you’re the one sputtering like a child at this point.

  • Roger, re your #86, I was making the specific point I made, that I was surprised that you are impatient with people who lack mental discipline as that is a quality I associate with you.

    I wouldn’t care for an extended debate with you for that very reason…

  • [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

    Who the fuck are you to tell me what’s my strong suit? Do you have a degree in the field other than on the subject of acme?

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • Who the fuck are you to tell me my response to your comments is proper or improper? Are you running a school for manners? It’d seem you’re suffering from a delusion, zingo, as to your own intellectual infallibility. Well, sorry to disappoint you, nut I’m not as impressed as you’d like me to be. And come to think of it, I can’t even recollect having a meaningful discussion with you on any subject whatever. It’s always a tit-for-tat with you, zingo, schematic thoughts at best, never a full-blown development. Write an article on politics and make a liar out of me, demonstrate the quality of your thought. Sorry, but one-liners don’t cut it for me. So yes, I’ll live too.

  • zingzing

    running off like a coward, however, is.

    if not, answer me how “It’s not [glenn’s] views which are necessarily off, it’s how he argues for them” really, really (at your core) offends you? and why would you reject and negate them? and why would you take the time to call him out?

    if i were to make your dreams come true with a gun, would you argue? (glenn only has words.)

  • zingzing

    “Is your assessment any better? One wouldn’t know of course because you never provide one.”

    yeah, mine’s better, if you’re talking about “underlying psychology.” yours is off. you’ve missed nearly everyone around here by a mile time after time. high time you either get better at it or stop trying. it’s pretty damn easy stuff.

    “For a while I thought we were going to have decent conversation, but I see you’re in your argumentative mode.”

    congratulations. we were well into an argument, not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, well before you realized it. i wonder how you missed it. psychology is definitely not your strong suit.

  • zingzing

    whatever, roger. you responded properly to my comments then made up some phantom post where i offended your sensibilities. sorry for my non-me. i’ll live.

    i think glenn is a godsend around here. he’s willing to do extensive research and produce data that backs up his positions, and even if the (hyper)links between that data and his positions can get a bit tenuous, at least he’s trying.

    and that’s more than most others (including me) can say.

    if someone wants to effectively refute glenn’s points, you’re not going to do it by being a logic-fiend or a “heart” magician. fucking refute him with your own data. do it. if you can.

  • Bye, zingo.

  • zingzing

    “There you go again speaking in generalities.”

    sorry, you’ll have to be more specific. no idea what you’re talking about. i have no idea what you are referring to with the entirety of #91.

  • zingzing

    “It’s not his views which are necessarily off, it’s how he argues for them.”

    well who gives a fuck? a point is a point is a point.

    “they speak against his religion.

    it’s not a religion. it’s a point of view. is he praying to it? does he sacrifice goats? does he go somewhere on sundays? does he do anything that signifies religion? no. so fuck off with the nonsense.

    “this perverted sense”

    no more perverted than yours.

    “I only suggested he take a look at the forces which move him.”

    fair enough; we all should. don’t go thinking you’re the only person investigating such things.

  • There you go again speaking in generalities. Is your assessment any better? One wouldn’t know of course because you never provide one. For a while I thought we were going to have decent conversation, but I see you’re in your argumentative mode. Sorry, have no time for that. Catch me some other time.

  • Well, I just noticed it. If that’s Chris’s form of greeting, then I apologize profusely.

  • It’s not his views which are necessarily off, it’s how he argues for them.

    Sure he gets more fuel from anyone who disagrees with him on anything, for they speak against his religion. So if you’re calling me the enabler in this perverted sense, so be it. I only suggested he take a look at the forces which move him. And this preempts my interest on the subject.

  • zingzing

    that was 4 hours ago, roger, and a specific jab. he just came by to say “allo.”

  • zingzing

    “Well, am I attacking his character when I hint at the underlying psychology?”

    hard to tell. if your criticism is well-placed, i’d say no, as it’s constructive. if it isn’t, and that’s very possible, then i’d say you are. your idea of an individual’s underlying psychology has been rather shaky as of late. although you might disagree.

  • Are you just butting in, Rose, for no other reason than to be butting in, or do you care for an extended debate on the issues?

  • zingzing

    “I’d rather be a thorn in his flesh rather than an enabler, which role you so readily and happily assume.”

    i agree with what he has to say in general. usually. i don’t think he takes my agreement and runs with it. in fact, i think he takes disagreement and runs with that, if you’ll notice the timing of his retorts. and that’s what they are.

    glenn can disagree if he wants, but i think he gets more fuel from people disagreeing with him than he does from the likes of me.

    so you’re the enabler. how do you like that?

  • Well, am I attacking his character when I hint at the underlying psychology? Talk to me.

  • zingzing

    “Lazy with what? My words?”

    no, your thought. you’re dismissing someone because you don’t like how they say things, but you’re missing the substance of their words. that’s lazy.

  • And if I’m erratic now and then, I fucking know when and where and for what it is – an emotional response. And I’ll always own up to it. Glenn, however, is living a life of unreality every waking moment of his life and refuses to look at the forces which drive him. So no, thanks. I’d rather be a thorn in his flesh rather than an enabler, which role you so readily and happily assume.

  • zingzing

    “Glenn’s obstinacy is really annoying at times.”

    i can see that, although i think he’s on the right track a majority of the time.

    “you’re doing him disservice by fending for him.”

    dunno about that. disagree with his methods all you want, but i think the points he makes are ok.

    “It’s not his character that’s being attacked, for chrissake.”

    maybe not by you. maybe.

  • Lazy with what? My words? You’d be more correct to argue that I should have kept my mouth shut, but Glenn’s obstinacy is really annoying at times. And you’re doing him disservice by fending for him. You’re only encouraging his delinquency. It’s not his character that’s being attacked, for chrissake.

  • zingzing

    come on, roger. you’ve shown yourself to be rather erratic at times. we all are. in fact, i think you’re being rather lazy right now.

  • Which comes as a bit of a surprise…

  • Sorry, but I don’t have patience for somewhat who lacks mental discipline.

  • zingzing

    you say that, but i really don’t understand why. it’s not completely provable that glenn’s evil “facts” are necessarily followed by what he says they are, but it’s very easily possible. maybe even probable.

  • Whatever the case, zing, Glenn’s tropes of thought are indefensible. Pick up a worthier target.

  • zingzing

    baby and bathwater. even if the baby did poop the bathwater.

    “unless the point can be supported by other, more pertinent, data.”

    well, it’s a pretty strong coincidence, so it probably can be. then again, i don’t think anything could be “pertinent” enough for you on this issue.

  • Clavos

    of course, nor does it negate the entire point.

    When it invalidates the conclusion, it does, unless the point can be supported by other, more pertinent, data.

  • Probably he’d be truer then to self. But no, I don’t wish that.

  • zingzing

    “once again correlation does not imply causation.”

    of course, nor does it negate the entire point.

  • Clavos

    whereas every single one of the correlations I point out are related.

    As I have pointed out to you numerous times in the past, Glenn, they are related only in that they are correlated. ALL the other “related” factors to which you allude are mere figments of your overactive imagination and you have yet to prove (as opposed to merely asserting) otherwise, once again correlation does not imply causation.

  • zingzing

    would it be better if glenn had embraced conservatism, roger? i don’t know why, but i’m beginning to suspect you might think so…

  • Glenn is a fanatic, Cannon and he gives liberalism a bad name. He embraced his new religion without reservation. I suppose his Southern upbringing and racist culture – by his own admission now, not mine – had him completely turned around. The ugliness of it had him so shook up that he took to running in the opposite direction and never looked back. It’s like a child of an alcoholic father. They vow to themselves never to touch a drop.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    C-shop –


    Ah. So since YOU (and the rest of conservativedom) believe that we “can’t do anything about it” (despite what those same scientists are telling you), let’s all just throw our hands up in the air and give up. That’s real good, guy.

    Climate-models have yet to produce consistent, repeatable, accurate results.


    (1) Climate models consistently show a significant rise in the overall temperature of the world. The only thing that could be called an inconsistency is the degree of that rise…and that’s because every one of the models don’t show an EXACT prediction, but a RANGE of probability…and even the low end of the models show a rise that will adversely affect the planet.

    (2) They ARE repeatable…and they have REPEATEDLY shown the same range of results. Apparently you’re expecting an absolutely exact result, and since the scientists are showing a range of results with the vast majority of those results being a dangerous rise in temperature and sea level, you’re assuming that they must be wrong.

    Next time there’s a hurricane, look at where the weatherman says the hurricane is likely to hit. When it’s two days away from landfall, does he say the hurricane will hit EXACTLY at one geographical point? No. He gives a RANGE.

    (3) And that brings us to accuracy…and when the observed results fall within the RANGE of prediction, then the prediction is accurate. Unfortunately for humankind, over the past decade the observed results of worldwide climate change have fallen on the HIGH half of the bell curve of predictions.

    So NO, C-shop, your mind is obviously not of a scientific bent – otherwise you wouldn’t come up with this frankly lame excuse – and all you’re doing is parroting the song-and-dance that Big Oil and Fox News are feeding you.

    AND LOOK AT YOUR LAST ‘POINT’ – that 94% of scientists are backing this because they can’t come up with another way to ‘redistribute wealth’. SO THAT’S THEIR EVIL PLAN, HUH?

    Lemme see here – scientists from thousands of universities based in scores of different countries ALL GOT TOGETHER and said, “Hey, let’s all do ‘wealth distribution’! Let’s make all this up and all those Real American Conservatives will NEVER be able to discover our Evil Plan! Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk….”

    SO IF YOU IGNORE THE REST OF THE COMMENT, C-shop, I’D LIKE YOU TO ANSWER THIS ONE QUESTION – if Climate Change is a ‘boogeyman’ and has been since it was first became understood by mainstream science back in the early 90’s, then was it just an incredible streak of blind luck that nine of the past ten years have consecutively been the highest on record? Or are the scientists from all these different countries somehow all getting together and changing the data so that they can go forward with Their Evil Plan?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Bullshit, Glenn. You’re the one committing the errors. The logical fallacies you employ are not of my making, I merely point them out.

    Go back and read up on the causation-correlation logical fallacy. That fallacy applies to two factors that are wholly unrelated…whereas every single one of the correlations I point out are related.

    It’s just like when on the one hand you tried to use that logical fallacy claim to show that the much higher tax rates of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s had nothing to do with the economy we had then, yet on the other hand you try to say that if Obama raises taxes, well, there goes the economy!

    You can’t have things both ways, Clavos – and you can’t use the causation correlation fallacy against observations of factors that ARE closely related.

  • Clavos

    Well said, Cannonshop…

  • Cannonshop

    wow, this gets personal fast…or got personal fast, less than fifty comments, and people are calling each other names.

    NOT a record, just…surprising. Science is supposed to be dispassionate-separate the result you WANT in favour of the result you GET, and don’t throw out evidence unless it is contaminated by the experimentor.

    IS CO2 a greenhouse gas? yes. so is water-vapour, methane, and a host of other non-solid-non-liquids. The better question is, are levels increasing beyond the ability of the CO2 to O2 conversion process (That’d be Photosynthesis) to compensate, and if so, is the change temporary, or long-term, and finally, is it man-made? which all lead to the same question: “Can WE DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT?”

    Climate-models have yet to produce consistent, repeatable, accurate results. Mann’s Hockeystick peaks on random-numbers at the same point (or within a few degrees of the same point) as it does with actual observations-this makes it NOT an accurate model or predictor-yet it is the basis of everyone else’s research (at least, all of it that reaches down to us neanaderthals via media sources).

    It takes direct experimentor interference via number-theory games (“Tricking” the data) for the current generation of theoretical models to begin to resemble reality-and that’s if you’re looking to model past performance-if it needs human interference, then it’s not observational anymore, if you need to change the process mid-experiment, it’s not good science.

    any ninth grader from ten years ago (or more) could tell you that, it’s called cheating when done in academic circles, and can get you fired if you do it in the commercial world (or on the hook for fraud, depending on the industry-hair-tonic sellers certianly want ‘studies’ to back their claims, but if your data is risking several hundered lives in a go on a product, maybe tricking the data to get a desired result for publication isn’t so swift an idea.)

    Making LAW based on questionable science isn’t too smart-Yes, people SHOULD use less energy and resources, people SHOULD seek renewable resources whenever they can, people SHOULD seek means to avoid burning fuels if there are viable options, and it IS a good idea to get off the Petroleum Addiction. Getting “Off the Grid” is a personal goal of mine, and the most likely means are all in the alternative energy sectors-but that does not translate into it being a good idea to use bogeymen and bad science to force people to do what they SHOULD do-at gun-point, with massive profits for the unscrupulous who know how to game the system without actually fixing or reforming anything.

    I’m rather noting that the 94% of scientists who back this boogeyman, can’t come up with a means OTHER than curtailing freedoms and redistributing wealth, to fix the problem. Maybe I’m wrong, but it sure smells like Ideology overcoming ethics to me.

  • Clavos

    And that’s a hallmark of your ‘refutations’, Clavos – you erroneously throw out logical fallacies in a manner that is not appropriate to their use.

    Bullshit, Glenn. You’re the one committing the errors. The logical fallacies you employ are not of my making, I merely point them out.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    you insinuate that I am insecure in my opinions…but you are basing this insinuation on your own (and Clavos’) faulty reasoning. Remember, Roger – I’m not like most other people. I’m sincerely GRATEFUL when someone’s able to prove me wrong…as you yourself should know from experience.

    To simplify my explanation, try to understand my mind. If I get a math problem wrong and someone’s able to prove my error, then I’m grateful for it. When it comes to climate change or any other scientific issue, if someone’s able to prove my error, then I’m grateful for it.

    In other words, Roger, PRIDE does not enter into my arguments for or against any particular subject…whereas most other people who debate certainly DO allow their pride to color their reasoning, and DO allow their pride to prevent them from being able to accept that they are in error.

    No, Roger – I’m probably one of the least insecure people you’ll ever meet when it comes to my knowledge on any particular subject.

    Now – you mentioned it’s the heart that’s on trial. When it comes to presenting an argument, sure, I’m not that effective – not because of any insecurity on my part, but because many of those in my audience are themselves insecure when it comes to fact.

    Roger, I’d make a lousy politician – I know that. But you yourself should beware of relying too much on listening to your own heart when it comes to matters that can be solved mathematically or scientifically. Truly, if Joe Everyman is unable to accept scientific data and observation, is it the fault of those presenting the data and observation? Or is it the fault of Joe Everyman?

    Think about it – if your supposition were true, then every doggone scientist who EVER based his opinions on scientific fact and observation would automatically be labeled insecure when he tried to present his findings to the Great Unwashed.

    No, Roger – you’re falling into the same trap where Clavos dwells, unable to accept scientific data and observation by those best qualified to interpret it. The problem isn’t mine – it’s yours.

    Unless you or someone else here is able to prove me wrong, in which case I’ll be happy, sincerely grateful and I’ll publicly eat crow just like I’ve done before…because I refuse to let my pride lead me around by the nose.

    Have you seen others here do that? No. There’s not many people like me, Roger – because when it comes to debates over important matters, most people refuse to admit error…or when they do, it’s only on minor points. Such people, Roger, are truly insecure.

    P.S. I really, really hope that the scientists are all somehow wrong when it comes to global warming. I don’t want to see all the chaos and cultural upheaval that will happen as a result. I’d LOVE to be able to say that the scientists are wrong.

    And you know what? The scientists feel the same way. They WANT to be wrong…but that’s not what the data show. Who then, truly, is insecure when it comes to this issue?

  • Glenn,

    Clavos is right and I’d look at it if I were you. Your constant reliance on “facts” to the exclusion of thinking, your willful or inadvertent misinterpretation of facts to support your favorite positions. I don’t have to reach any further than the latest episode of misinterpreting the relationship simply because it suits your beliefs.

    You do cut a picture, Glenn, of someone who needs to convince himself of the viability of their position/stance by overreaching – as though you weren’t confident enough that it is viable enough without mustering all possible “evidence” in support of it.

    If you truly believe that liberal positions are more enlightened and viable than conservative ones, you should argue for those positions in terms of principles, yes, moral principles or principles based on love, concern and charity. But your constant appeal to “facts” in order to keep on validating your positions only tells me that you’re less secure in your beliefs than you’d like to be, that the one person you want to convince the most is yourself.

    Again, I’d think on that if I were you. Ultimately, it’s not logic that’s on trial here but the heart. You should know that. Stand by your heart and let logic take care of itself.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And that’s a hallmark of your ‘refutations’, Clavos – you erroneously throw out logical fallacies in a manner that is not appropriate to their use.

    And Roger – you’re falling into the conservatives’ habit of using throwaway arguments (excuses, really) to throw doubt on hard data. Maybe this, maybe that…but with NO HARD DATA to back up your suppositions. Without hard data, your suppositions are on that – suppositions. You should step back and ask yourself if maybe, just maybe the problem is exactly what the hard data shows it to be, rather than trying to hem-haw around the issue.

    For example, take another look at my references showing how Fox News deliberately manipulated their newscast to throw doubt on the issue of warming.

    Really, Roger – is it wise to assume the word of Fox News, Big Oil, and conservative pundits is somehow of equal standing with the word of 98% of the world’s climatologists and nearly all of the world’s respected scientific institutions?

    What is the motive of the scientists? Do the scientists want to be right about impending catastrophe? No. They’d MUCH rather be wrong…but that’s not what the data show.

    I suggest you not be so quick assume that one side of any argument is of equal standing with the other side of the same argument. Hard data versus frankly nebulous suppositions – one side is NOT equivalent to the other.

  • Clavos

    That’s a hallmark of Glenn’s arguments, Roger and Doc. He consistently quotes a series of indisputable facts, then takes an unwarranted (and usually illogical) leap in his interpretation of the meaning of those facts.


  • Missing the point, Glenn. Your suggestion was that conservative thinkers are less predisposed to become scientists, and that, plainly, is not substantiated by your appeal to “statistics.” As to why those who have become scientists exhibit leanings towards liberal thought, that’s a wholly different matter. And if that’s what you want to argue about, fine with me. But as to your presentation of the subject matter, it was confounding as usual.

  • Glenn: you’re right, it is an assumption, but it is based on the general science community pulse I’ve picked up from blogs etc.

    You have to admit that the statistic is sufficiently dramatic as to make one curious. I don’t think it’s simply that most scientists don’t pay attention to politics, or simply that conservative Republicans have expressed hostility to science, or simply that scientists move in a predominantly liberal academic environment. It’s likely an outcome of all those factors and others.

  • Sarah – don’t get us started! 🙂

  • Sarah

    You really need a print link or a “view on a singe page” link. No one should have to page through 7 different pages.

  • Glenn,

    You know, The same people that want small ineffectual government without any social net, are the same people that will scream and yell the LOUDEST for rescue after a climate change disaster happens to them!

    😀 I’m reading rest of your article in morning. Nite Glenn.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jeannie – thanks. But for some reason I think I should expect that #49 is going to get either attacked or ignored, but not seriously debated.

    Deja vu all over again….

  • Before I continue reading this article,I want to address Dave and all other NEO-CONs, Conserves, Tea, Libertarians, & Anarchists.

    Stop professing to know what Liberals believe. You don’t speak for all of us.

  • Glenn,

    Bookmarked this one.

    😀 I’m sure I will enjoy this article, written by my liberal friend. bbl

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    Good point, Dreadful. What Glenn assumes as as a pre-selection bias, you rightly expose as a possible consequence.

    ‘Expose’? Such a consequence would only apply if his ASSUMPTION were true that scientists are ‘too busy’ to pay attention to politics. Talk about sweeping assumptions and painting with a broad brush!

    There were several scientists in the early 1930’s who did pay attention to politics in Germany. They were all Jewish…and they came to America and – after Einstein personally wrote FDR and convinced him to support the scientists – began the Manhattan Project.

    It’s a serious error to make an assumption such as the one Doc posited. If he’s got PROOF or EVIDENCE of the verity of his assumption, then that’s another matter…but until then it remains just as much an assumption (and as erroneous) as that of many conservatives who claim that scientists are only agreeing about climate change because the other scientists would ostracize them for disagreeing.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Okay, y’all are Real Sure that global warming won’t be that bad. So let me make a quick, small list of organizations here that y’all think are either flat wrong or blowing things WAY out of proportion:

    – National Academies of Science
    – International Food Policy Research Institute
    – Rutgers University
    – Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS)
    – EPA
    – NOAA
    – USGS

    Now I realize that the Koch brothers, Big Oil, Glenn Beck, and Fox News are all quite fair and balanced and FAR more qualified to speak on the issue of climate change than any of these organizations (which is why Dubya censored government scientists from speaking about global warming and even manipulated their data) – but here’s what these organizations said, anyway.

    In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesthe first major climate change victim in America will be the Southwest. Conditions there are similar to the conditions at the beginning of a 60-year drought that occurred sometime in the twelfth century.

    According to Lonnie Thompson, distinguished university professor in the School of Earth Sciences at Ohio State University, “…virtually all climate researchers are now convinced that global warming poses a clear and present danger to civilization.” (boldface mine – and you really should read the article)

    According to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), climate change will worsen global food security. Surging prices for staple foods in 2008 and 2010 may be just a foretaste of the future as the impacts of climate change and population growth combine, a report issued at the UN talks in Cancun said Wednesday. Between 2010 and 2050, the price of corn, also called maize, could rise by 42-131 percent, that of rice by 11-78 percent, and that of wheat by 17-67 percent.

    Please note that these estimates are in 2010 dollars.

    Two scientists from Rutgers tried to explain to Gov. Christie that yes, Virginia, global warming does exist. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels that had been around 280 parts per million until 1850 started rising with the industrial use of coal and petroleum, pushing toward 400 ppm and possibly 600 ppm or more under present global growth projections. “We have not seen those carbon dioxide concentrations in 55 million years,” since a last atmospheric peak that scientists cannot fully explain, one of the scientists pointed out.

    Doug, do you really think that if we double the amount of CO2 in the air worldwide, that it’s not going to have serious consequences? Here’s a simplified explanation by NOAA that illustrates quite well the problem with having so much additional CO2 in the atmosphere.

    AUSTRALIA’s top intelligence agency believes south-east Asia will be the region worst affected by climate change by 2030, with decreased water flows from the Himalayan glaciers triggering a “cascade of economic, social and political consequences”. The factors in the article included a likelihood of conflicts due to significantly lessened water flowing through the Indus and Mekong rivers, the former being so important to India and Pakistan, and the latter to China and southeast Asia.

    And how high are the sea levels going to rise while we’re going through such great changes on land?

    Possibly as much as three feet worldwide, according to the EPA

    According to NOAA, historical records show that sea level in San Francisco Bay has risen seven inches over the past 150 years, and it is predicted to rise an additional 9.4 to 18.9 inches by the end of the 21st century. Models indicate that an 11.8 inch rise in sea level would shift the 100-year storm surge-induced flood event to once every 10 years. With each flood event, the Bay Area stands to lose valuable real estate, critical public infrastructure, and natural resources.

    The site includes information showing how the sea level rise would affect other metropolitan areas in other states as well. BUT the site’s estimates are based on the belief that the West Antarctic ice sheet is in no danger of breaking off and melting. The USGS sees it a little differently:

    “The West Antarctic ice sheet is especially vulnerable, because much of it is grounded below sea level. Small changes in global sea level or a rise in ocean temperatures could cause a breakup of the two buttressing ice shelves (Ronne/Filchner and Ross). The resulting surge of the West Antarctic ice sheet would lead to a rapid rise in global sea level.

    Reduction of the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets similar to past reductions would cause sea level to rise 10 or more meters. A sea-level rise of 10 meters would flood about 25 percent of the U.S. population, with the major impact being mostly on the people and infrastructures in the Gulf and East Coast States.

    (note – the West Antarctic ice shelf by itself would ‘only’ raise the sea level by 3.5 meters – but try to imagine what will happen to ALL our coastal cities if and when the seas rise by over ten feet!)

    Lastly, Here’s a NASA site with measurements, charts, graphs, and trends enough to satisfy most scientifically-inclined minds (which is why the vast majority of scientists are in strong agreement about the reality of and dangers posed by global warming).

    But who am I kidding! These are merely facts and figures published by nogoodnik brainiacs who hate America and only want to bring socialism to the masses, right? So y’all keep on listening to Fox News, ’cause they surely know better than any of these guys!

  • Good point, Dreadful. What Glenn assumes as as a pre-selection bias, you rightly expose as a possible consequence.

    You had better be more careful with the way you posit relationships, Glenn, or Clavos’s charge is liable to stick.

  • the fact remains that only six percent of scientists are Republicans.

    There are a lot of possible reasons for that. There was a related survey, I believe, which showed that only 23% of the general public self-identified as Republicans (compared to 30-something per cent who said they were Democrats). The additional bias may have somewhat to do with the general liberal climate of academia, but personally I think it has more to do with the general perception of scientists that a Democratic-controlled government is likely to give them more money. As Dr Tyson pointed out, this perception is erroneous, but most scientists are too busy scientificating to pay much attention to politics, so if all they hear is the loud obnoxious noises coming from the religious-conservative wing of the GOP, one can hardly blame them for turning away from the party.

    This chap has some interesting thoughts on the question, and some nice stats to go with it.

  • after which I remind them of Pet Rocks.

    Bottled water is a way better example.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Doug, no arguments here.

    Cap and trade does more harm than good and probably doesn’t delay the effect at all. It’s rightly called a “scheme.”

    Any sort of tax structure would continue to wound those who are already bleeding and would continue to let the major polluters off the hook.

    In terms of carbon based technology, that’s a tricky area too. We know that clean coal is a complete fabrication and we know that ethanol can lead to more problems as well (like trouble with shipping, the land we’d have to give up to farm it, and the fact that ethanol actually burns 19% more CO2 than gasoline for the same energy). Other proposed solutions are just as slippery and their only benefits are to the corporations managing the resources.

    Doug is right to suggest a revolution in energy as a solution, but wholesale system change is the most powerful solution available to us. The damage done to the environment by individuals driving cars or mowing their lawns or using standard lightbulbs pales in comparison to the damage done by corporations like the enormous Smithfield Farms (with their disgusting pig shit holding ponds, etc.) and Monsanto, yet our governments insist on telling us to make “minor adjustments” while letting these bastards “trade” credits.

    This, to me, seems like the “middle ground.”

  • Doug Hunter

    Here’s an article on the Chinese gaming of carbon markets

    Some relevant quotes

    “The submission provides evidence that manufacturers are ‘gaming the CDM system and undermining carbon markets by producing more potent greenhouse gases just so they can get paid to destroy them,’ according to the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency, which worked with CDM Watch to expose the misuse.”

    “‘The insistence that developed countries must continue to squander billions on fake offsets that actually increase production of greenhouse gases is irrational,’ said Fionnuala Walravens, with Environmental Investigation Agency.”

  • Doug Hunter


    No particular disagreement. I don’t argue with the underlying science, I argue politics. The solutions presented thusfar I consider lacking. Cap and trade and carbon taxes just delay the effect slightly at great cost to society and create opportunities for corruption in the artificial marketplace. China is creating excess greenhouse gases then destroying them with no purpose but to earn credits which can then be sold to other countries who use these exchanges all the while opening coal fired power plants on the order of 2 a week. Giving the UN the power to tax is just something that’s been on their wish list forever and is more likely to result in them expanding their bureacracy and reach than in any meaningful change. The most recent accord pledges $100 Billion wealth transfer from rich to poor countries, it seems like it’s more about the money than an actual solution. We are not closer to a carbon free economy and now we have less resources to pursue it with.

    I laid out my opinion on what I would support and what I think is truly the only long term solution in #33.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Goodnight Irene. (Always wanted to say that!)

  • Well I’ve got to get to bed. Have a good evening or morning, or whatever you’re having now, Jordan.

  • Yeah, I know you quoted him, those weren’t your words. I should’ve said that.

  • Just the same, there are enough OTHER good reasons, besides global warming, to start making lifestyle changes en masse. Probably best to take all our quibbling energy and redirect it to the effort of finding new ways of doing things.

  • Jordan Richardson

    You’d have to take that up with Professor Beddington, I’m afraid. 🙂

  • Jordan just to point out a statistical subtlety here, but a 90 percent Confidence Interval (“90 percent certain”) regarding one’s statistical analysis of the likelihood of event X is NOT the same as saying there’s a 10% chance X will happen.

    For instance, a study could conclude with a CI of 90 that event X had a 1% chance of happening.

    Sorry for being a stat Nazi 😉

  • Jordan Richardson

    The problem is that many don’t understand that it’s irrational to throw out the actual evidence of climate change when a few overstatements leak out to the press. Discarding the gallons of actual proof of climate change over “Climategate” or other such incidents is just silly, but the public’s understanding of how the scientific community actually works has always been rife with trouble.

    From the article Doug provided on Beddington, for example, there is still little doubt about the problem we’re facing:

    “It’s unchallengeable that CO2 traps heat and warms the Earth and that burning fossil fuels shoves billions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. But where you can get challenges is on the speed of change.”

    And further down the page:

    “Some people ask why we should act when scientists say they are only 90 per cent certain about the problem. But would you get on a plane that had a 10 per cent chance of landing?”

    Again, the problem is clear. The details are not. There are reasons to “emotionalize” the issue because that’s how many people respond. And while we’re quibbling over the details, the very clear concept of climate change roars on unchecked.

  • Doug Hunter


    We exploit fear we don’t participate in it, you can’t turn our own tactics on us! I apologize for not appropriately salivating fear at the ringing of the global warming bell as I’m supposed to.


    Good on someone to try and put a little balance to the situation. There are alot of people exaggerating the problems out there, part of it is the nature of news. No one wants to hear a story of modest warming or effects, it’s dangerous apocalypse that makes the front page. Activists groups are pushing it openly to “emotionalize the issue” according to the Greenpeace founder for example (when pressed on why he was publishing exaggerated stories or — as I like to call them — lies).

    Here are a couple of articles on the issue.

    Science chief John Beddington calls for honesty on climate change

    Exaggerated claims undermine drive to cut emissions, scientists warn

    Someone is indeed ‘exploiting fear’ and ’emotionalizing the issue’ for gain here. It’s a shame you can’t understand who that is.

  • Doug Hunter


    What exactly did I disagree with climatologists on. You pulled the same old switcheroo that I described in my post. I oppose the political agenda and quixotic non-solutions to a problem I don’t believe is apocalyptic and you repeat that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. No shit.

    You’re talking past me and quite smug about it, but continue to beat the strawman all you want as it is good fun and I have a go at it sometimes as well.

  • Doug Hunter


    Yes, absolutely. I think there’s a huge middle ground ready to be taken, call it green energy independence. People want to dream of America saving the world and solving the energy crisis not allowing the UN to tax and grow like a cancer or transfering money to developing countries or paying a carbon tax lowering our standard of living. Frankly, I don’t think those things will do anything but slightly delay CO2 growth anyway, I remember reading the estimated slowdown from the recent cap and trade bill and the effects were minimal. Even if you believe the worst case scenarios we’re not going to avoid them by conserving and efficiency we’re going to have to have a revolution in energy technology to something not carbon based.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    It’s sorta like what I tell my sons every time they want to buy something and find out it wasn’t worth buying – “It’s not what you sell, but how you sell it”…after which I remind them of Pet Rocks.

    But I was always a lousy salesman….

  • zingzing

    yeah, glenn, now you’re getting it, but don’t call it “greed.” too many christians on their side. alienating them by calling them sinners might not work. let’s call it a “sense of opportunity.” or if you can think of something more pithy, that will do as well. conservatives love doom. it creates new markets. like in south america during the 70s and 80s, russia during the 90s, and the middle east today. i can’t see why they’re not latching onto worldwide doom harder right now, but they’re stupid that way. they miss their own best opportunities.

    if there’s one thing that rich white fucks are good at doing, it’s getting richer. yet they fuck this one up? come on, now, you rich white fucks… get some green on you. you know you like it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    zing –

    Ah – appeal to their greed! It worked to get Idi Amin out of power – might work here, too….

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And speaking of who’s deliberately trying to influence people by warping the news, read how the Fox News Washington managing editor e-mailed his staff and ordered his staff to downplay the importance of climate science that showed the world was getting warmer.

    So…all those conservatives who are SO cynical about global warming – WHEN are they going to apply that SAME cynicism to those who are DELIBERATELY trying to warp the news?

  • zingzing

    glenn–to appeal to the doubter (invariably of the conservative/republican stripe for some reason i can’t figure out), don’t tell him of impending doom. tell him of a new markets, money to be made, spoils to get, new ways to exploit fear. even if global warming is one big hoax, it’s an economic opportunity if a person realizes that fossil fuels won’t last forever. and they won’t. and we’re coming close to realizing that that’s the case. get in while the getting’s good, you fucking disaster capitalists! invest! don’t wait til it’s too late! either the end of fossil fuels or the end of the world is coming! now’s the time! green is the new black that was the old gold! money!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Mr. Hunter –

    Please excuse me if I’m more inclined to take the word of 98% of America’s climatologists instead of yours.

  • zingzing

    well, not “this week,” but they published the results.

  • zingzing

    well, mr. hunter, don’t you think that investing in green tech will benefit us all? it could make this “impending” disaster not so “impending,” even if the disaster isn’t “impending” at all. and it could also open up a whole new market. god knows a new tech market would be nice.

    there’s no downside to green tech, unless it doesn’t work. it does work, although there’s the possibility that we’ll fuck it up. all i know is that the federal gov’t has approved 4,603 offshore oil and gas leases since 2005, and approved all of 1 offshore wind projects in the same time. something has to change, and i hope it’s not going to continue being the climate.

    i say as it’s freezing in brooklyn.

    i think we can all agree that green’s the way to go for r&d. (also, they cured a guy of hiv this week using stem cells, so let’s go for that as well.)

  • Doug Hunter


    Because most people don’t have time to research or fully understand issues they hear bits and pieces and that some are opposing carbon taxes so global warming must be bunk. I don’t think alot of knowledgable people argue with the idea that CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas by blocking a portion of the outgoing radiation spectrum, as you said that’s well established science. There are alot of steps between that simple fact and deciding we need to transfer massive wealth to the developing world or institute a tax that will make energy costs soar. Many oppose the latter but there’s often a subtle switch to the former which I’m not arguing with. It’s possible to believe that CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas (which it is) and not support the expensive and quixotic political solutions being put forward. Surveys can show that much of the public is ill informed on lots of things.

    After reading reasonably extensively on the subject I see little evidence of any impending catastrophe due to warming for 100’s of years. Now, you’re going to say that such and such scientist disagrees. I don’t know how to explain that, perhaps the shrillest voices get the most media attention, perhaps there’s a bias in grant giving to those who make their problem out to be the most acute, perhaps it’s the precautionary principle run amok, perhaps it’s herd mentality or a cultural issue or a reason for people to feel superiority that they can sense catastrophe others can’t… I simply don’t know. What I see when I read the science is much different from the sensational scare stories I hear in the news. It’s is a few inches sea level rise just like the last century and in line with the average since coming out of the last ice age coupled with a modest increase in temperatures much as we’ve already had. Winter is still winter, snow is still snow from our current warming and so it will be in 100 years.

    Is it smart to simply burn fossil fuels indefinitely? Probably not, although the planet will survive either way. On the other hand I don’t think it’s wise to spend $trillions, empower the UN, and reduce our standard of living because a model said in 100 years of burning CO2 the developing world will be facing famine and starvation, especially in light of the fact that the developing world is facing famine and starvation right now sans CO2.

    I’d love to have a crystal ball and take a look at the future on this. I think one of two things will happen, either we will develop a cheap alternative energy source which will make the entire exercise pointless or we will take some symbolic to moderate action and as the catastrophes-that-never-were fail to materialize we’ll pat ourselves on the back for staving off disaster and move on to the next crisis du jour. Unfortunately, because of the time scales involved there’s little chance for an ‘I told you so’ moment. Sort of an unfulfilling debate.

  • zingzing

    doc: “Neil deGrasse Tyson (one of my favourite contemporary thinkers and speakers)…”

    that man is one of the most affable and entertaining motherfuckers on the planet, and for a scientist, he’s a goddamn miracle. i’ll watch him any time he’s around, which is always, because this is the internet, and i’m going to watch some of his stuff right the fuck now. i love him.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    Be that as it may, the fact remains that only six percent of scientists are Republicans.

    The fact remains that the majority of Republicans think Global Warming is a myth, or at any rate unaffected at all by human activity despite what the National Academies of Science says quite plainly with a wealth of evidence to back it up.

    The fact remains that most Republicans oppose expanding the stem-cell research to the level of other countries…never mind that there is some indication that a man has been cured of AIDS – yes, cured – by stem cell therapy.

    There are Democrats who are every bit as guilty of Luddism – such as the ones who oppose nuclear power – but next to nuclear war, an errant asteroid, or other comparable world-ending catastrophes, global warming is likely the greatest threat facing human civilization.

    The scientists know it’s real and they have a mountain of evidence to back it up. Think about it, Doc – scientific peer review is so strict that even gravity is still ‘just’ a theory…but global warming is an established scientific fact.

    Yet the Republicans refuse accept it – some saying that it’s all a big conspiracy, others claiming that the world is too big for humanity to have so great an influence, and some even claim that global warming doesn’t exist “because God won’t let it happen”.

    Why is this, Doc? Is the willful ignorance of the global-warming-ain’t-real Republicans truly deserving of equal consideration alongside the word of 98% of the world’s climatologists and America’s National Academies of Science?

    What does it take for a conservative to abandon fantastic dogma in the face of so much solid evidence?

    And why is it that Big Oil is the world’s biggest single funding of opposition to what the world’s best and brightest have been telling us for two decades? When, Doc, should we start being applying the same cynicism to the motives of Big Oil that the Republicans apply to any scientific evidence of global warming?

    How about right. freaking. now?!?!?

  • Jordan Richardson

    I know Hedges and his work well, Roger.

    He’s also the author of I Don’t Believe in Atheists and American Fascists, two books that assert his Christian perspective quite clearly.

  • it’s not worth being associated with the right who is currently caricatured as anti-science knuckle dragging redneck racists.

    That reminds me of a video I saw some time ago in which the celebrated astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (one of my favourite contemporary thinkers and speakers) was asked whether he thought Democrats or Republicans were more pro-science.

    His answer, which surprised me and a lot of his audience, is that funding for science tends to be higher under Republican administrations. The general rationale, according to Tyson, is that science drives innovation, which in turn drives investment, which is definitely Republicans’ cup of tea (or would be if they hadn’t thrown it all into Boston Harbor…) 🙂

  • Doug Hunter

    We need to break the chain that holds social conservatives with the true fiscal liberals in the Republican party. Some of the minority groups, blacks in particular, are very church oriented already we just need to get the rest of the religious types over there then pick up the mantle on social issues and let the cool kids and college professors come back where they belong.

    Libertarian ideals of liberty and limited government appeal to many, but the issues are split right now between parties and for alot it’s not worth being associated with the right who is currently caricatured as anti-science knuckle dragging redneck racists. That doesn’t describe me, or Dave Nalle, or anybody to the right on the site really but the drumbeat (thanks you Glenn, et al) is so heavy and the idea so ingrained that it keeps alot of people who otherwise share similiar ideals away.

  • Truth is, when you have a political system dominated by just two huge parties it’s difficult to say that one or other of them is “the party of” anything. Both the Democrats and the Republicans are, of necessity, very broad churches.

    If anything, the Republicans are a conservative party, which in general terms means they tend to resist change. It’s that philosophy which has been at the back of conservative opposition to most modern social rights initiatives.

    Dave’s right that you can selectively cite just about anything and anyone in order to characterize one or the other party in a desired way, but his own portrayal of the Republicans as a party of social freedom, broadmindedness and tolerance is just as much a caricature. One only has to look at the way red states and GOP legislators invariably vote on social issues to see that. Noting the voices of hundreds of Republican politicians and millions of Republican voters isn’t “cherry-picking”.

  • It’s the cult of the state. People who worship institutions and bureaucracy and believe in using their power to impose a particular morL vision on e regime, just like the religious right.

    And it’s just like the cult of Libertarianism/Capitalism/’gov’t of the size WE want club’ (which turns out to be enough to maintain their wealth while). This religion worships the founding fathers and supports anti-freedom, and anti-liberty–except for the personal liberty of those already sitting in the musical economic chairs game. This is evidenced by the cult members, who consist entirely of people who have benefited by the economic system in place. Oh, and it worships corporations and businesses OVER people.

    And THAT particular cult is the reason for the existence of the liberal cult of which you speak.

    Two cults wrestling for power to control the illegitimate gov’t. That is how it will forever be until members of both learn to do something new–or until you kill us all off.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Paul –

    I don’t think I ever said that anyone here on BC is strictly liberal or conservative. As liberal as I certainly am, I am against total firearm bans, am for nuclear power, am for a strong nuclear arsenal, and consider Reagan one of the five greatest presidents we’ve ever had (despite the incredible damage that Reaganomics has done and continues to do to America’s economy).

    I make my decisions based on provable fact – but fact, I’ve found, means little to many…particularly on the right. Perhaps that’s why only six percent of scientists are Republicans, fifty-five percent are Democrats, and the rest are independent/undecided. I strongly feel that the more conservative a particular person is, the more resistant that person is to new concepts and ideas. Thus, the political disparity among scientists…and the refusal of so many among the Right to accept the reality of human-caused (or at least human-accelerated) Global Warming.

  • Apropos Hedges, Jordan, he is a regular contributor to truthdig.

  • Paul


    The majority of people’s political beliefs are a little more nuanced than just being strictly liberal or conservative in every aspect. I am a fiscal conservative who believes that our government must abide by the constitution, but I am also an atheist, who could care less if gays serve in the military or get married, and thinks pot should be legalized , among other things. I simply believe in a very limited government that doesn’t want to take 50% of what I make and distribute it amongst the ever growing smorgasbord of social programs.

  • Cochise

    The ‘religious left’ is not the handful of Christian hippies. It’s the cult of the state. People who worship institutions and bureaucracy and believe in using their power to impose a particular morL vision on e regime, just like the religious right.

  • Cochise

    Doug M. It’s not a problem with the title as much as a problem with the assumptions behind the title.

  • doug m.

    If there’s a problem with the title, how did it get published?

  • Baronius

    Jordan, I just posted something on the same subject under Cotto’s thread.

  • Jordan Richardson

    There is indeed a religious Left in America: Jim Wallis and the Sojourners movement or peace churches or the progressive Christians or the pro-choice Catholics for Choice or intellectuals like Chris Hedges.

    There’s quite a few more and quite a few movements as well. Their level of power within the Democratic party varies, although in the case of thinkers like Hedges I’d say he’s a little “too far left” to even register.

  • Arch Conservative

    “Is there a “Religious Left”? No”

    Bzzz…….wrong as usual Glenn.

    There is indeed a religious left.

    They worship at the altar of big brother.

  • Doug Hunter

    Back from dropping off kids. Apparently I touched a nerve with you and I apologize and felt I should elaborate further. As I stated, I support legalization of Marijuana as it doesn’t have most of the effects I listed. I have smoked marijuana on and off for years, more off lately than not as my friends don’t use it. I have nothing against it and would love to see it legalized. I live in a relatively rural area and we have been warned that Mexican drug cartels have moved in and are using remote areas to grow crops. I want it legalized so I don’t have to worry about getting shot if I decide to take my kids camping or hiking and stumble across one of these places at the wrong time. The point was to show how your seemingly personal decisions effect me in society. Of course I used an extreme example of a hardcore drug user, but those same principles apply to lots of other situations and the question becomes where to draw the line.

  • Doug Hunter

    zing, I almost put a disclaimer in there regarding Marijuana because I knew someone would jump on that. I know a few potheads who are on disability for mental disorder but it’s likely they actually have a mental disorder and cope using drugs. I’ve seen other drugs such as meth take fairly functional people and create wards of the state. The point is your decisions effect me.

  • zingzing

    you crackhead republicans sure do know how to fucking legislate morality when you put your fucking crackhead republican minds to it.

  • zingzing

    “For example, a drug user choosing to use drugs may not effect me directly, but when he runs out of money and robs my house or car it I’m the one paying for his habit.”


    “When he gets caught and put in prison at the cost of $60K a year I’m the one who’s taxes are funding it.”

    that’s the point. get it?

    “When he out and into rehab at the nonprofit funded with a government grant I know where they send the bill. When he repeatedly falls off the wagon and can’t hold a job and has to go on SS disability due to his unemployability I’m the one who gets stuck with the tab. When during one of his binges he impregnates a fellow user and they have a premature crack baby at the cost of several hundred thousand dollars of intensive care followed by a lifetime of assistance and food stamps and head start and section 8, etc., etc., etc. I’m the one who has to work the extra hours to take care of my family as well as his. That same idea fuels some of the family value morality that gets pushed (single parent children often cost society alot to raise) as well as immigration.”

    funny. marijuana is now crack. and immigration. you sure you’re not confused? because you’re obviously tripping on something whacked.

    seriously, doug, you need your head adjusted. fucking chill out. marijuana does not produce crack babies. current marijuana laws produce taxes for you to pay. if marijuana was legalized, it would pay its own taxes. understand? see the light?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    Which party supports equal rights for LGBT’s?

    Which party supports equal pay for equal work for women?

    Is there a “Religious Left”? No. But is there a “Religious Right? Yes…and it is very powerful within the Republican party and you know it.

    Is it ‘cherry-picking’ to point out the Republican party’s determination in lockstep to ‘protect’ Big Business from regulation even when the operations of said Big Business has led to death and suffering? Oh, I forgot – pointing out the Exxon Valdez spill, the Big Branch Creek mine disaster, and the Gulf oil spill was wrong because that was all just ‘cherry-picking’. It MUST ‘cherry-picking’. Why? Because Dave Said So, that’s why!

    No, Dave – you’re simply figuring that if you pooh-pooh the facts I presented, that you won’t have to reach so deep to try to answer for your party’s failings.

    And that’s the difference between you and me – I am not afraid to defend what Democrats and liberals believe and do AND I am not afraid to point out their failings, too…and I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong.

    You, on the other hand, IMO are afraid to defend what your party believes and does – for much of what they do is quite indefensible. You do sometimes point out their failings…but when you do, regardless of how egregious any particular failing of your party, you address it with a MUCH softer tone than what you use for your attacks on the Democrats. And you very, very rarely admit error – which is more than I can say for most of your compatriots.

  • Doug Hunter

    I don’t have as much energy as Glenn to go point by point. The only areas where I think he has a legitimate claim is gay marriage, a minor benefits issue effecting a small percentage of the population, and drug legalization (both of which I support)

    Even with the drug issue, the original premise is of ‘what you do not effecting me’ and vice versa does not stand up in view the social system the author favors. For example, a drug user choosing to use drugs may not effect me directly, but when he runs out of money and robs my house or car it I’m the one paying for his habit. When he gets caught and put in prison at the cost of $60K a year I’m the one who’s taxes are funding it. When he out and into rehab at the nonprofit funded with a government grant I know where they send the bill. When he repeatedly falls off the wagon and can’t hold a job and has to go on SS disability due to his unemployability I’m the one who gets stuck with the tab. When during one of his binges he impregnates a fellow user and they have a premature crack baby at the cost of several hundred thousand dollars of intensive care followed by a lifetime of assistance and food stamps and head start and section 8, etc., etc., etc. I’m the one who has to work the extra hours to take care of my family as well as his. That same idea fuels some of the family value morality that gets pushed (single parent children often cost society alot to raise) as well as immigration.

  • Ah Glenn. The same old canards? Cherrypick the craziest people on the political right and then pretend they’re the standard? So utterly predictable.

    Henceforth we’ll just assume that you and all other Democrats believe every crazy thing to come out of the mouths of Joy Behar, Michael Moore and Harry Belafonte? And of course I have to assume you support forced abortion for black teenagers, mass sterilization in the third world, mandatory euthenasia, confiscatory taxation, a 100% estate tax, guaranteed employment, mandatory unionization, free speech restrictions on journalists and the internet, banning fast food, etc…

    Even your title makes no sense. In the title you contrast liberals and conservatives, but in the article you talk primarily about Republicans. The first two aren’t opposites and Republican and Conservative are not synonyms, much though you might like them to be.