Thankfully, these are the waning days of the awful, incompetent, no-good Bush/Cheney presidency, years we will try to forget in the decades to come. What will help is that we don’t have a good name for this decade — The Oughties? Bleh — and we’re just going to have to refer to them as the years with a couple of zeroes in the middle.
This odious administration is not going out gracefully, however, but is instead leaving with a flurry of last-minute knifings of our country. Some are exploitive efforts to pay back interests to whom the conservatives are beholden, such as the stripping of environmental protection laws (which the next administration may be disinclined to roll back). Others just seem inexplicably arbitrary and petty, the work of small-minded tyrants who want to get in one last poke while they can.
Here’s one such example: the Department of Justice is redefining “service animal”. They’ve redefined “animal” to mean “dog”! I’ve got nothing against dogs, but there are people who use non-canine animals as service animals, and suddenly they are going to be stripped of the legal rights associated with service animal use.
Don’t ask me why. I think it’s just because they can.
I think “the noughties” is more correct.
I refer to them as the naughties.
More Shoes!!! Launch the loafers!!!
Edgewise> I’m fresh out of loafers… would you care for a 10 year old pair of combat boots?
I think “The years of two zeros” is actually pretty good, especially if you are an American – how better to describe Bush and Cheney succinctly?
Levi in NY says
I rather like “the Zeroes” myself. For the decade as well as the Bush administration.
I believe I’ve heard them referred to as the ‘oughts. Certainly there’s a good deal we ought to have done.
True Bob says
I think this could have been predicted when they moved IN. Remember all the bogus assertions about the Clintons? The “missing” w keys, keyvboards glued, yanked out phone lines, etc, which were all lies? It was like Koran Envy – it was projection of their own natures, and now it’s playing out in the final countdown.
Rev. BigDumbChimp says
I think it’s highly likely that Bush et al. have a group set up purely to find what things he hasn’t fucked up yet and then find ways to fuck them up.
Random Shoe-throwing Chimp says
Where are the Shoe-throwing Journalists when we really need them?
The obvious solution is for everyone with a service monkey to sic them on the White House. Fly, monkeys, fly!
They’ve long been known in the UK as the noughties/naughties.
I have to admit that I’d never considered that animals other than dogs could be service animals. The most common alternatives are apparently monkeys, miniature horses and cats. The first two I can understand, but cats? In my experience, cats think of humans as service animals, and are very good at training them. I didn’t think it could work the other way round.
Oh well, live and learn (which is probably why I’m not qualified to be a Republican).
The Bush administration probably limited service animals in order to reduce unfunded mandates. Making these “legal rights” is a euphamism for Congress thinking something is not important enough to compete with other priorities for funding, but deciding they will be generous with other people’s money.
The daemonizing hyperbole was probably misplaced in this circumstance.
Random Anagram-loving Chimp says
Ever notice how anagrams tend to be very (somewhat) appropriate to a given situation.
Still not as good a Catholicism, but decent.
The name I have heard most often is “the oh’s,” which I guess is as good, or bad, as any. “Noughts” is a Britishism which I doubt will catch on here.
But what about the first decade of the twentieth century?- we still don’t have a good name for that one.
Also, I hope it won’t be much longer before we start saying “twenty twelve” instead of “two thousand twelve.”
Elwood Herring says
#15: Certainly have.
P.Z. Myers Pharyngula = Zany Phylum Grasper.
Well, to be fair, there is at least ONE (or two, depending how you count) good thing you can say bush has done. He protected a pretty big amount of ocean.
of course, it doesn’t help much to just slap a “no fishing” sign on a beach, such measures are worthless unless it’s enforced… and enforced correctly. What’s more, it doesn’t do much if you don’t protect the life against global warming and other threats, so I guess only time will tell just how good (or pointless) this was.
Matt Heath says
Maybe this is another UK vs [wherever you meant by “here”, the United States?] thing but is the former already more normal? I’m pretty sure it was always referred to as the “twenty twelve London Olympics”?
Eww.. creepy visual.
These years are the “Oh-Ohs,” which can also be pronounced, “Uh-Oh.”
jack lecou says
So much for the “helper squid”, eh?
Somnolent Aphid says
Throw more loafers at the loafers.
And yes, @#18, bush did not only protect a large area of ocean, but in doing so protected the largest area of the earth ever protected by anyone, ever. Quite a legacy.
mus, Life has been through warmer periods, even in the current interglacial and possibly as recently as the Medieval Warm Period. Loss of habitat to human encroachment is far more of a concern at this time than the speculative attribution of the recent warming to human GHG emmissions.
Goodness, I hope not. I hope people remember these years all too vividly before they even entertain the vague notion of pulling a lever for a Republican.
Is this like when Indiana redefined pi to equal 3.0? Certainly meets the Bush administration’s quotas of “pointlessly nasty” and “appallingly ignorant of science”.
Tomorrow’s headline: all other animals to be defined as “meat.”
Elwood Herring says
Regarding the naming of the years, I’ve noticed that there is a growing trend now to say “twenty-oh-nine” etc. (and about time too), but I still don’t understand why “the year 2000” still gets called that.
1999 is “Nineteen ninety-nine”, fair enough. Can’t really shorten that. 2001 is “Two thousand and one” or sometimes “twenty-oh-one” (which I prefer). But 2000 nearly always is preceded by “The year…” as if “2000” on its own might conceivably be mistaken for a reference to something else – the temperature perhaps?
Every time you hear someone trot out “The Year Two Thousand” like a vocally capitalised mantra, please kick them on the shins for me. Ta.
#22- “in doing so protected the largest area of the earth ever protected by anyone, ever.”
Oh really? I’d only read that it was the largest area of the ocean, I didn’t know it was the largest area of the whole earth.
#23- Oh c’mon, don’t give me that BS. It’s not “life” (I’m pretty sure plenty of bacteria, roaches, and other stuff will make it through), it’s TODAY’S life I’m worried about. Like, you know, corals. which don’t like warmer and more acidic conditions.
Making these “legal rights” is a euphamism for Congress thinking something is not important enough to compete with other priorities for funding, but deciding they will be generous with other people’s money.
Actually, I’m pretty sure “legal rights” in this case means things like having the, uh, legal right to bring your service animal with you into a venue that otherwise doesn’t allow animals, and to have the right to have reasonable accommodations made for your service animal while you’re in public, and the legal right to keep your service animal in your home in jurisdictions where bylaws otherwise don’t allow those kinds of animals within the jurisdiction’s limits.
In other words, they weren’t content to settle for taking major civil rights away from ordinary people, they had to attempt to strip basic human rights from disabled people.
On the upside, I can now say that the equivalent law in my jurisdiction is better than the ADA…
Andrés Diplotti says
A wild guess: Many in the current administration will be in the job market after January 20 and they don’t want competition.
#26, the coral’s survived the earlier warming periods also.
#27, the owners of the establishments have rights too. Overriding them is a “taking”, and in this unfunded mandate case, is without the compensation and legal standards of emminent domain. Perhaps those using other service animals than dogs, will be at the mercy of the good will of proprieters. But certainly this is something that reasonable atheists can agree to disagree about.
Somnolent Aphid says
Quite a legacy for a loafer is what I meant to say.
Woody Tanaka says
“the owners of the establishments have rights too.”
So? If they don’t like the rules they have to live by, they can close their shops and do something else with their property. But, so long as they open their business to the public, the public has a say in how the business in operated.
#31, Bush has just moderated the requirements imposed by the public. Change does not have to always be in the direction of more central planning. Sometimes people can just be allowed to live together on more voluntary terms.
it’s like a simpsons episode
I thought they’d redefine service animal as “Cheney.”
I think you meant Bush.
What I want to know is, what has Bush actually done over the past eight years to help OB/GYNs “practice their love?”
Seriously. This seemed very important to him. So at the end of his two terms, where are we at with that? Anyone?
The name for this decade of Dumbya is simply Criminal.
the speculative attribution of the recent warming to human GHG emmissions. – africangenesis
Oh no, another “libertarian” AGW denialist. Go and edicate yourself. The overwhelming majority of relevant experts (climate scientists) agree that AGW is happening, and requires urgent action. IPCC WG I’s 2007 report surveys the literature up to 2005. Naomi Oreskes published a survey in Science in 2004, available online, showing the same. The national scientific associations of all leading science-producing countries, plus all the relevant US disciplinary associations, agree. Just because it doesn’t fit with your political preferences, does not mean it is “speculative”.
#37, What are you talking about? More substance please,or were you just being … clever?
My family runs the Guide Horse Foundation (www.guidehorse.com) and this news is not good for us. Please Check out the site and spread the word on these keen, intelligent and lovable service animals.
So what do we call the next decade? The tensies?
#39, I’ve reviewed the evidence and the IPCC reports. The direct effects of GHGs explain less than 30% of the recent warming. I’m open minded about AGW, but the models are not yet up to the task of attributing the recent warming. They have 10s of watts/m^2 of errors, and the energy imbalance per Hansen, even at the peak of the warming in 1998 was only 0.8 W/m^2 globally and annually averaged. It is possibly not just a coincidence that for the latter half of the 20th century solar activity was one of the highest levels in the last 8000 years (per Solanki 2005 in Nature).
The AR4 models have correlated positive albedo biases (per Roesch), correlated deficiency in simulating the Arctic melting, correlated deficiencies in precipitation increases due to the recent warming, etc.
Give the models another decade or so, to improve. In the meantime, if the next solar cycles are as weak as some predict them to be, we will learn more about solar variation and its coupling to the climate, which as you probably already know, the IPCC has admitted is poorly understood.
Orieskes reviewed abstracts. I wasn’t impressed.
They probably changed it because somebody’s service monkey threw poo at a campaign contributor or because one of the contributors didn’t want to have to accommodate someone’s non-canine service animal.
Steve LaBonne says
Unfortunately “the decades to come” is about the timescale that will be needed to clean up the mess these criminals are leaving behind.
Molly, NYC says
Or they decided that only a disabled hippie would use something other than a dog.
c-serpent #44 wrote “They probably changed it because somebody’s service monkey threw poo at a campaign contributor…”
If I had a service monkey, I’d train it to throw poos (or indeed shoes) at Republicans.
at the peak of the warming in 1998 – africangenesis
This single phrase tells me either you don’t know what you’re talking about, or you’re being deliberately deceitful. Taking a single year, at the height of an El Nino and calling it “the peak of the warming” is ridiculous. Look at ten-year or even five-year running averages – they show that warming has continued to as recently as we can measure with even minimal reliability. The basic physics of greenhouse gases is well-understood, as is the main short-term feedback, from increased water vapour content of warmer air (so your “direct effects” comment is similarly either ignorant or mendacious). Given the well-understood physics of greenhouse gases, how could it not be that increasing their atmospheric concentration would not raise temperatures? There has been no significant change in solar output in recent decades, so we do know that is nothing to do with the warming during those decades. The major uncertainties concern aerosols (where a decline in sulphates may indeed have contributed to warming), and clouds. What, specifically, do you quarrel with in Oreskes’ survey, or in IPCC WGI’s survey of the literature? Why should anyone believe you, with your very obvious axe to grind, rather than the vast majority of relevant experts?
And speaking of oriental dinosaurs ;-) … chinese ceratopsids.
Tim Fuller says
Some Humans ain’t human. (John Prine)
Some humans ain’t human
Though they walk like we do
They live and they breathe
Just to turn the old screw
They screw you when you’re sleeping
They try to screw you blind
Some humans ain’t human
Some people ain’t kind
Damon B. says
The right to use a service animal (any kind of animal) is protected by the ADA, which begs the question: why in the pale blue hell does the DOJ care about defining the term? Is it some sort of wacky Homeland Security BS?
Hank Fox says
Something that happened recently really caught my attention. Bush reversed a pardon he’d granted to Brooklyn developer Isaac R. Toussie.
I’m sure we’ve all been assuming that Bush, on his last day in office, would grant blanket pardons to every one of his little gang of liars, thieves and killers, and the lot of them would transition comfortably into retirements of wealth and power.
But if President Bush can reverse pardons, why can’t President Obama?
It would be cool if, during his first week in office, he issued a stay on all pardons granted by Bush. He could appoint a Congressional study group to examine the pardons for partisan shenanigans, and then fully reverse all those that were nothing more than Get Out of Jail Free cards for Bush cronies.
And those evil bastards might actually be punished for some of what they did.
Alan Kellogg says
Shorter PZ Myers
“I’m ticked and I’m telling the world about it.”
I’m ticked too, and I think the DOJ is being stupid. Contact the twits and tell them how dumb you think they’re being.
My suspicion is that the DOJ has gotten complaints from homeland security personnel who just can’t believe there are all those different kinds of service animals out there.
In case you’re wondering, cats are great at helping you chill. When you’re prone to freaking out under stress it’s a great help.
For clarity and consistency across nations and the century, decades should be named after Bill Cosby movies.
2000s = “Leonard, Part 6”
2010s = “Ghost Dad”
2020s = “Mother, Jugs, and Speed”
You have my permission to borrow the term “The Ominous Decade” from us spaniards. We apply to the 8 year long reign of King Ferdinand VII, who was hailed as a forward- thinking liberal reformer when brought into power, and turned out to be a petty useless tyrant.
#48, Personal attacks? I was lead to believe that this blog was more rational than that. Do apologies at least follow when you are shown to be wrong?
1998 was the warmest year in the recent warming, and 2008 appears to be the coolest in over a decade. The type of smoothing you are probably referring to has termination problems.
Yes, water vapor is a positive feedback to warming, but there are also negative feedbacks such as low level clouds that are one of the largest sources of errors in climate models, polar amplification of heat loss and precipitation are also negative feedbacks, etc. It is the net climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling that we are concerned with and the correlated errors in the climate models and their failure to be able to represent the amplitude of the signature of the solar cycle found in the observations (per Camp and Tung) is cause for concern that the AR4 models don’t even bracket the actual cliamte sensitivity. There are arguments that it may be as small as 0.5C.
Yes, solar activity has been essentially flat over the last half of the 20th century, but if you are familiar with the climate commitment studies, you know that the oceans take decades to centuries to adjust to a new level of forcing. The water in a pot doesn’t stop warming because the burner isn’t constantly being turned up. CO2 doesn’t correlate well with the temperature curve either, with poorly understood aerosols probably contributing to the mid-century cooling and the steepness of the recent warming.
Orieskes methodology was to just look at abstracts screened for “climate change”, “global warming” and such, and to tabulate whether AGW was disputed in the abstract. Implications for the AGW hypothesis and the scientists opinion are likely to be in the discussion. In the current religiously hostile environment, they are unlikely to go out of their way to dispute it in the abstract. And even good evidence against the “evidence” for the AGW hypothesis may be put forward by scientists who don’t bother to dispute the hypothesis at all. Consider Camp and Tung’s statement:
“Currently no GCM has succeeded in simulating a solar-cycle response of the observed amplitude near the surface. Clearly a correct simulation of a global-scale warming on decadal time scale is needed before predictions into the future on multi-decadal scale can be accepted with confidence.”
The abstract however, would not have been found by Orieskes screen, not that she missed it, it was published later, but there are problems with her methodology. You can read the full text here:
Service animals are generally thought of as animals that DO stuff for humans — ie, see or hear or smell. But that’s not all that service animals provide. They also provide companionship. There is a reason that bringing dogs, cats, and other animals to hospitals and hospices is so common — they can go a LONG way in helping with the treatment of people, even if it’s just to make them happy for 15 minutes while they cuddle with the cute kitty cat.
James F says
Carlie wrote @#11:
Service monkeys are awesome.
I’m all for the Zero Years.
Tim Fuller says
That’s spot on, though I prefer a “three dog night” myself.
Those heartless bastards better not take away my service sheep.
Damn you, PZ. I should have caught a bus ten minutes ago but instead I’m still in front your blog.
One more name suggestion: The Double-O Decade. It’s alliterative and evocative of James Bond. Thus, it is good.
True Bob says
The Null Years
The Decade That Dare Not Share It’s Shame
The Imperial Age
The Gelded Age
1998 was the warmest year in the recent warming, and 2008 appears to be the coolest in over a decade. – africangenesis
2008 was warmer than either 1999 or 2000 according to GISTEMP and NCDC, and as warm according to HadCRUT3. According to at leat one of these (can’t recall which) 2005 was warmer than 1998. In any case, as I said, you need to look at longer-term running averages.
Yes, water vapor is a positive feedback to warming, but there are also negative feedbacks such as low level clouds that are one of the largest sources of errors in climate models, polar amplification of heat loss and precipitation are also negative feedbacks, etc.
Clouds are by no means clearly a negative feedback, and there are other positive feedbacks, such as albedo changes, and release of additional greenhouse gases from both land and sea.
There are arguments that it may be as small as 0.5C.
Which the vast majority of relevant experts reject. Sensitivity – particularly in the longer term – may also be higher than the models indicate; any uncertainly in the models cuts both ways.
The water in a pot doesn’t stop warming because the burner isn’t constantly being turned up.
That’s because heat is being conducted through the pot. What are you saying corresponds to the pot?
CO2 doesn’t correlate well with the temperature curve either, with poorly understood aerosols probably contributing to the mid-century cooling and the steepness of the recent warming.
Since no-one claims CO2 is the only influence on climate, what is your point here? The fact is, climate models which take greenhouse gas levels into account match the observations well; no model that does not, or has such a low sensitivity as you suggest, does so.
In the current religiously hostile environment, they are unlikely to go out of their way to dispute it in the abstract.
Typical creobot/denialist tactic: accuse the scientific mainstream of a religious commitment. You think reviewers only look at the abstract?
Camp and Tung is an interesting paper, and does indeed indicate understanding of climate is not complete. However I note they say at the end of the main text of their paper:
“Since the equilibrium response should be larger than the periodic response measured, the periodic solar-cycle response measurements yields a lower bound on the equilibrium climate sensitivity that is equivalent to a global warming of 2.3 °K at doubled CO2. A 95% confidence interval is estimated to be 2.3-4.1 °K. This range is established independent of models.”
I am therefore puzzled as to why you think it sheds doubt on the mainstream consensus that AGW is real and serious, or think that the fact that Oreskes’ approach would not have picked it up as questioning AGW reflects badly on that approach.
The last 8 years should be simply, “The lost years.”
Even that doesn’t describe them adequately. Bushco and his christofascists really wrecked the country and it has now spread to the entire world.
PS I see we have an AGW troll again. Sure some of the corals survived previous warming periods. So what. Life has survived 5 major mass extinctions. But not all of it. Somewhere between 99 and 99.9% of all species are extinct. If the dinosaurs could talk, they would have something to say about what good it did them that life survived the Chixulub asteroid impact.
True Bob says
True Bob says
Dang, I could’ve sworn I had africangenesis’ silly remark about pots of water at the top of my #66! Danged intertoobz.
Blah, blah, blah.. Because, you know.. like.. lighting a fire in your living room in the middle of summer, with your air conditioning turned off *won’t* at all contribute to death from heat exhaustion, when the temp “outside” is 120 degrees. Its not relevant how much “natural” heating is going on, if you are then adding “more” heat on top of it. Or… do you *honestly* think that 30% is “insignificant”, if a few degrees can screw up the environment? I mean, what if it takes only 3 degrees, and by the time we are done *normal* increases would have only been *2* degrees? Is being 1/3rd of the problem significant at that point?
Fact is, some cycles are fairly sensitive, it took very little change to break the flow pattern in the Atlantic before the last ice age, and once broken the water and air flows that kept things normal got totally messed up. In fact, in that particular case the patterns fell apart and generated one ice age, it warmed, then cold water from the great lakes unfreezing, triggered *another* pattern failure, which produced a “second” ice age, almost immediately after the first one. So, are we lucky or screwed if it mixes “too fast”? How about if the ice caps break off enough big chunks to derail the mixing and flow patterns, like after the first of those ice ages, leading to a “mini-age”, like happened last time? Is 50 years of -10 degree weather in most of the US going to “make up” for 2 degree increases we are currently worried about? And, if instead it just gets hotter, do we really want to deal with what “that” will cause too?
But, gee, since its only less than 30%…
#65, Corals survived higher temperatures within the last 9000 years. Since evolution isn’t as fast as creation, very few new species were generated over that time frame. Humans are definitely an extinction event, but probably though means other than AGW.
not completely useless says
Name? It can only be …
The Bush Panic Years
*Sigh*. Africangenesis, the problem is not absolute values of temperature, but speed of change; and it lies largely if not entirely in the AGW yet to come, not that which has already occurred. Moreover, it will of course act synergistically with other stressors such as habitat loss through direct encroachment.
#64, More personal attacks and namecalling. Hmmm.
Hadley has 2008 as the tenth warmest.
“Low” level clouds are considered a negative feedback and especially in the tropics the models appear to have the relative impact wrong. Yes, albedo through the melting of the Arctic cap and the temperate snow cover is a positive feedback contributing to the recent warming. The model failures to represent this well is why ALL the AR4 models had a positive surface albedo bias. Scambos declared that the models were 30 years behind the climate in melting the Arctic ice cap. So if the models “match” the recent warming (and they do”), without this heat, they must have “matched” it incorrectly. They will get the positive feedback later as they continue to warm their simulated climates. This may explain the temperature excursions that they project in a few decades.
You are wrong about the uncertainty in the models cutting “both ways”. Since the IPCC case is highly dependent upon the models, it only works for those who think there is more than one competing hypothesis.
The “pot” is the coupling of the solar to the oceans. Solar activity increased to one of the highest levels in the last 8000 years per Solanki. The increase occured in the latter part of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th. You should read the climate commitment studies of Wigley, et al and Meehl, et al, for an explanation of how even a continuation of an already achieved level of new forcing can take decades for most of the land temperature adjustment and sea level will continue to rise as heat is stored into the oceans for perhaps a millenia or more.
Just about every model independent estimation of climate sensitivity is based on aerosols or solar. Camp and Tung’s is no exception. In the nonlinear climate system these different forcings are coupled to the climate quite differently. Solar forcing and its coupling to the climate is poorly understood. Camp and Tung assume that the solar variation over the climate cycle observations is just the irradiance differences measured. You are not entitled in a nonlinear system to assume that the different forcings can be combined linearly or that the null hypothesis be that they are equivilent. What Camp and Tung directly call into question is the models representation of the impact of solar variation. How do you get from a 30% or so direct effect to attributing nearly all the recent warming without models and without properly representing a competing hypothesis for some of the warming that was “coincidently” at its highest level in 8000 years, namely solar?
Patricia, OM says
Amen Hank Fox!
#66, One thing the climate commitment studies make clear is that the climate is never in equilibrium, since that takes over 1000 years. Solar and orbital variation assure that equilibrium never happens.
True Bob says
And thus the mystery and alarm over the geologically recent disturbances in the force.
This whole subject is just making me mad. And what subject would that be? That Bush is doing things “because he can.”
Another example: Bush is lifting the ban on carrying weapons into national parks. Okay, what’s a gun owner going to do with a gun inside a national park? Hunt?
Someone needs to explain to me why this is a good thing, because I do not see it.
I think Bush is doing this only to inflict as much damage as possible on Obama.
NPR had a brief piece on this morning about how presidents have their notable mottos by which people remember them: FDR had, for example, “To Every Man a Square Deal”, and JFK had “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,” and so forth.
What will Bush’s be?
How about, “Mission: Accomplished”?
I think it would be…unwise to forget “The Bush Years” (or whatever you want to call ’em. Will Durant once said (I’m paraphrasing here) that the only thing one ever learns from studying history is that no one ever learns anything from studying history. There is no Divine (oops, sorry) Mandate that places Democrats on some exalted plane where we’re immune to temptation (and so on). WASHINGTON is broken, and I seriously doubt that there is sufficient ooomph in the Dems larder to fix it (I sound like an anarchist, don’t I?). If we forget the past 8 yrs, it becomes that much easier to repeat those mistakes, and you can be sure that we’ll make plenty of new ones all on our own. For example, take Obama’s proposal to detail some of the military for civilian security duties. This is disturbingly similar to Hitler’s actions immediately after his election. I don’t know what disturbs me more – the proposal itself, or the lack of reaction to it.
#68, If the GHG contribution is only less than 30%, then the model sensitivities and projections are wrong. Well, we already know they are wrong for other reasons.
Something else that may not be monotonically increase, such as solar, may be responsible for the other 70%. The trillions of dollars of economic growth that the progressives want us to sacrifice could instead be put to better use on a myriad of higher priorities, and we will have more time to come up with a more affordable solution.
Solar is poorly understood, although the next cycle looks like it might be extreme enough to shead some light on the issue. I don’t know where the relative attribution will come up. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some net positive feedback to CO2, but I also can’t rule out that net negative feedback that diminishes the direct effects.
I heard that W has a legacy team at the White House. This is a laugh.
There is one thing that “the decider” cannot decide and that is history. I doubt that history will be kind to him as no amount of whitewashing can cover his inepitude.
As far as what to call the 200* years, I am with the poster who suggested “the zeros” as this country has been run by a couple of zeros (Bush/Chaney) for the last eight years. Good riddance!
Well, I’m stickin’ with “The Mission: Accomplished Years.”
It’s a reference everyone will immediately understand.
In this case, bonus points for being extremely unoriginal. It simply fits.
If the Foo Shits, wear it.
More personal attacks and namecalling.
And what exactly was “religiously hostile environment”? AS I said, this is exactly the same bilge as creobots come out with.
You are wrong about the uncertainty in the models cutting “both ways”.
I meant, sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 could be higher as well as lower than the models suggest.
Rey Fox says
I think “So what?” fits perfectly.
#82, Yes, the sensitivity could be higher if the climate changes modes. The mode change we are obviously have been near to and crossed over several times in the last several million years, is between the interglacials and ice ages. We are in the interglacial mode and linear thinking would argue that warming moves us farther from the mode. Of course, with a nonlinear system this complex, we can’t be sure. The climate has been quite warmer during both this interglacial and in past interglacials so that may reassure us some about modes on the warming side. There has been some recent published analyses that addressed Hansen’s fears of the melting of the greenland ice cap. It pretty much ruled out enough melting for a 2 meter sea level rise, since that would require continuous glacier movement for the next 90 years beginning already, at rates that we have only seen rarely and then only for hours or days. I don’t have the cite handy, but I can find it if you are interested.
I only mentioned the religiously hostile environment after the ad hominem attacks,namecalling and labeling. I considered it “religious” because people unfamiliar with the literature were expressing strong opinions on the subject, presumably based on argument from authority or just heresay. In any case, it did not advance the civility of the discourse, so I apologize.
I don’t even have any energy left to argue with the AGW-deniers. all I can say is: if they’re wrong, humankind is toast. If we’re wrong, we’d still end up with a cleaner environment, more diversified sources of energy, sustainable development etc. which in the long term will prevent economic collapses due to exhaused resources.
I know which side I’d rather err on.
#77, I suspect that Bush’s legacy may be more tied to the economic crisis than to Iraq, which appears to have been successful despite taking 3 or 4 years long than Bush probably hoped. I suspect that part of how Iraq will be percieved will depend on how long the discrediting of al Qaeda in the middle east lasts. The middle east saw Iraqi’s reject al Qaeda’s violence against muslims and attempts to incide sectarian violence between shia and sunni.
The assessment might be “Mission Accomplished: Belatedly”
But Bush may get the blame for the economic crisis despite perhaps a larger role for the Democratic congress. The federal reserve has failed miserably to prevent the deflation, despite being led by the depression scholar. How hard is it to print money? Bernanke lacked a “helicopter”, so he tried to get everyone to leverage up through the fractional reserve banking system, just like the mess that got us here. Sorry, with fears of a recession, people don’t want to borrow and banks don’t want to lend, but 4 to 7 trillion dollars have been allowed to disappear causing a reverse “wealth effect”. Give everyone a debit card account and deposit the **** money into it. There is no excuse for letting this financial crisis expand beyond the housing and financial markets. Give the people the money and the consumers and investors, not the government will decide the winners, and the economy will come out with much less leverage, and less prone to deep business cycles.
#85, You posit a false dichotomy. Even the IPCC has ruled out any kind of humankind is toast runaway warming scenerio. Even the melting of greenland can’t happen in a century. Research towards sustainable development is fine, but some proposals will forgo trillions of dollars in economic growth. We should do the things that make economic sense, such as efficiency with prices guiding our behavior. CFLs should be in high use areas, but in closets or sheds where annual usage is measured in minutes, incandescent lights represent far more efficient usage of resources. Look at the unreasonable things that are already happening, such as converting food to ethanol or banning incandescents.
Why argue with AGW skeptics, just make a convincing case based upon the evidence. If you can’t then perhaps we should wait for more evidence and better models.
Re: Global Warming
At this point, arguing over the cause of global warming is almost irrelevant: even if it is almost entirely due to man-made pollutants (which I think is likely), cutting them to zero production won’t actually reverse the trend.
The source of this situation will become clearer as time goes on, but I doubt our reaction (attempts to fix it or adapt to it) will have anything to do with the source of the problem.
And, um, africangenesis: namecalling is usually permitted in my circles, so long as the arguments are strong. I don’t know what prissy little debate clubs you’ve sipped tea with, but my sort of people tend to show teeth when they argue.
This is not an argument. If you meant it as an argument, it’s a very stupid one.
#88, A commentary in the 18/25 Dec 2008 journal Nature agreed that the response to GW shouldn’t have something to do with the source. It posited “Three Rules for Technological Fixes”, and then showed how most proposals being considered didn’t meet them. They argued that only something less disruptive such as technology that removed CO2 from the air rather than preventing its production has a chance of working. I reserve judgement on their ideas. I can’t rule out the possibility of some less disruptive options on the supply side.
I guess I don’t see namecalling as toothy as evidence.
#89, I didn’t intend it as a rigorously conclusive argument. Sometimes all you have to do is show that there is another perspective, and different possible assumptions and that other reasonable balancings of competing interests are possible. There seemed to be an unquestioning acceptance of the proposition that Bush did something wrong in redrawing the line where he did. After all, PZ Myers labeled Bushes action inscrutible. After this discussion, you should see that was a hyperbolic characterization, perhaps to the point of being wrong. I didn’t see anyone else pointing out arguments that PZ might not have considered.
Georgie heard that ocean levels are rising, and figured it was time to invest.
Unfortunately, this is not one of those instances.
OF COURSE owners have rights. It’s a tautological statement. You’ve not added much to it.
Be interesting. Add some meat to it and argue how any accomodation for animals other than dogs would be unreasonable for such owners. Because if accomodation for animals other than dogs would be trivial, then your argument is indeed stupid, no matter how you look at it, and you’re just jerking your knee for no reason other than to be contrary.
You made the assertion. YOU should support it.
Kerry’s Wager*? I’ll admit I always look askance at that argument in Atheist communities, because of the amount of scorn heaped on Pascal’s Wager.
That said, the literature shows a strong likelihood of AGW. I think it is better to focus on that (and scientifically refine our understanding of climate issues) instead of resorting to logical fallacy.
*I recall Kerry making the same argument, although I’ll admit I do not know if he cribbed it from somewhere else.
The war in Iraq was a success?
Well, I guess maybe – depending on what you see the objective of the war as.
it’s only a false dichotomy because i simplified it in the extreme. but since AGW-denial is usually part of two package deals, it’s the whole concept that will result in us getting fucked (regardless of whether you’re a creationist or a libertarian; different starting-points, same result: we’re toast).
And since you can’t debate with people who make up their own facts, arguing is the only thing left. and I’m too exhausted to even bother. You’re welcome to blame that and my current pessimism on the survival of humankind on being stuck in a depressive phase at the moment, if it makes you feel better.
Oh look, Bush found yet another way to be incredibly small and petty n his way out the door:
What a little creep. So long, you miserable toad.
#93, I agree that I haven’t added much to it. Property rights don’t succumb to your “trivial” exception. Even a trivial trespass, is still a trespass for instance. The theft of a pen or a cactus is a theft. Values are subjective, rights are conventional perhaps different subcultures or political parties disagree regarding their nature and extent. It is possible for things to be scrutible even if you disagree with them. PZ didn’t present a rigorous argument, perhaps he will find Bush more scrutible if he tries to understand his perspective.
Hopefully, we can agree that the burden of any proof on the one who supports more coercive means, and if things are reasonably workable without coercion there is less justification for it. So, your hypothetical case where accomodating other animals is trivial, it perhaps the very reason coercive regulation is unnecessary. Many proprieters may willingly provide trivial accomodation, the few that don’t would lose business. If the accomadation is really trivial, the disabled person could provide it themselves.
AG, you useless sack of crap, go scuttle back under whatever rotting corpse you came from and leave us the fuck alone.
#97, You should view the video report critically. Margaret Carlson, only had a “feeling” that the former prime minister was invited afterwards. Just because there were no foreign diplomats booked at the time of the announcement doesn’t meant that Bush wasn’t intended to host a respected collegue, and schedule other events there.
OK, apology accepted and reciprocated – no more name-calling. You obviously do know the literature well – indeed, probably better than I do – but I still see no reason to accept your conclusions over those of the consensus of relevant scientific experts; and the use of “speculative” in your first comment is unjustified; as you must be aware, in a scientific context this means much more than “could possibly be wrong” – it’s meaning is more like “unsupported”. Incidentally, it is quite proper for laypersons to accept such a consensus at least provisionally. If you want to call this an “argument from authority” OK, but it’s an argument from legitimate authority.
On Solanki et al (2004), I believe (I haven’t rechecked) that they, like Camp and Tung, explicitly state that their findings do not cast doubt on strong greenhouse warming in the last few decades. You are picking those parts of papers that you can fit into your sceptical view, yet rejecting their conclusions.
Moreover, at least according to Did the Sun hit record highs over the last few decades?:
“the conclusions by Usoskin et al. (2003) and Solanki et al. (2004) cannot be confirmed by the analysis of the 14C records (Muscheler et al., 2005). The 14C tree ring records indicate that today’s solar activity is high but not exceptional during the last 1000 years.”
They also refer to differences in the beryllium records as between Greenland (which Solanki relies on) and Antarctica. As you’ll be aware, these isotopic records are not directly relevant to the amount of solar radiation reaching Earth, but to the extent to which the sun’s magnetic field shields the Earth from cosmic rays. You can’t postulate hypothetical nonlinearities causing a long delay in the warming effect of increases in solar radiation – but not in that of increased greenhouse gas concentrations, then turn round and assume we understand the sun and the interplanetary medium well enough to assume that correlations between magnetic field and solar radiation observed over recent solar cycles hold over 8000 years. In addition, why should increased solar radiation cool the stratosphere? It is very well understood how greenhouse gases do so.
The evidence that the sun is at an 8000-year maximum is therefore very much weaker than the evidence that human activity has been increasing the greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.
Another point, on albedo: almost all the albedo effect so far will have been in the last two years, with the greatly increased summer melting of Arctic sea-ice: we would not expect to have seen the results yet in terms of increased warming.
Incidentally, your “30% direct effect of CO2” is a red herring: the direct sensitivity of CO2 is estimated, IIRC, at 1.1C for a doubling, but the best-understood feedback is increased water vapour, and it is largely this that pushes the estimated medium-term sensitivity to 2.5-4.5. Other, less-understood feedbacks could as easily push this up as down.
On your #87, the IPCC AR4 is now seen, by many experts and notably Hansen, as having been over-conservative in its worst-case estimates. Of course “runaway warming” isn’t going to happen in the sense that it is thought to have done on Venus; but release of CO2 and methane currently held in the land and ocean, particularly in permafrost and clathrates, could take the warming out of our control, and raise it to 5-6 C, with the possibility of severe slowing of ocean currents and consequent widespread deep ocean anoxia as the equator-pole temperature gradient is reduced. Far short of that, glacial melting in the Himalayas and Andes will put hundreds of millions at risk of crop failure; and the likely geopolitical effects around the Himalayas particularly are hair-raising, with desperate competition for food supplies and possible war involving nuclear-armed states.
It would indeed be lovely to have effective ways of removing CO2 from the atmosphere, but as of now, we don’t even have any realistic prospect of such. It is therefore essential that we cut greenhouse gas emissions as fast as possible – and in particular, avoid a switch to coal or tar sands as major sources of fuel as conventional oil runs short. It is absurd to put “economic sense” above the need to avoid such potential global catastrophe. It is, after all, that same short-termist “economic sense” that has led to the wider resource and pollution crisis of which AGW is only the most alarming part. Turning corn into ethanol, of course, had nothing whatever to do with mitigating AGW – the savings in emissions are negligible, possibly even negative, becasue coal is often used to extract the ethanol: its purpose was to put money in the pockets of agribusiness.
Finally, your supposition that the invasion of Iraq was anything to do with al-Qaeda is absurd: it was pure imperialism, aimed at control of oil supplies and permanent military bases, and the need to go into Afghanistan delayed a long-planned invasion. Those aims may indeed be achieved, but at immense cost, even if you discount the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis and the 4 million displaced – as Bush certainly does. Had the US concentrated its resources on Afghanistan, the Taliban would have found it much harder to regroup, and the financial crash could have been (I don’t say would have been) avoided: trying to fight two medium-sized wars while cutting tax rates for the rich and not raising them elsewhere made an asset-credit bubble essential – and every such bubble bursts. It was Bush’s and McCain’s bad luck it happened before the election.
Eric TF Bat says
Can’t paste the image here directly, so you’ll have to follow the link to the User Friendly cartoon for 1 Jan 1998 wherein the name of the decade first came to my attention.
Chris Crocker says
LEAVE AFRICANGENESIS ALONE!!!! LEAVE HIM ALONE!!! You’re mean! He made up important facts ALL BY HIMSELF!!! DID YOU DO THAT???? WAAAAAH!
#101, Thanx Knockgoats. Based on what you said, I think you will agree that the variation in solar activity is poorly understood. By the way, Solanki, in later publications agreed that although the proxies show the recent activity was the highest in the last 8000 years, the error bars are such that some other periods may have been comparable.
I know Solanki had a paper where he put upper limits on the possible solar contribution. But that was based on a correlation analysis that did not include the type of delays due to the thermal inertia of the ocean that were investigated in the climate commitment studies of Meehl, et al, and Wigley, et al. BTW, the long delays in warming from solar forcing, are not due to hypothetical nonlinearities, but due to the well understood thermal capacity of ocean water and the coupling of the oceans to the climate. The same thermal inertia applies to GHG forcing, and in fact the climate commitment papers were focused on GHG forcing not solar.
The nonlinearities in Solar variation and coupling I was referring to are not totally hypothetical, and they are possible mechanisms for solar influence not captured by a linear radiative forcing figure. It is known that UV varies by several percent over the course of the observed solar cycles and that this has chemical effects such as increasing ozone (another greenhouse gas) in the stratosphere. How strongly this effects the climate is uncertain, but high-top models that include the stratosphere, mainly to simulate gravity waves and vorticies, perform better, and most models have yet to add this other effect.
Nothing in the hypothesis of a significant, perhaps even larger solar contribution to the recent warming requires it to change stratospheric temperature during the latter half of the 20th century. The increase in solar activity occurred earlier. The increasing GHGs can explain the stratosphere cooling over the modern record, and can be considered diagnostic of a GHG contribution.
Yes, the arctic sea ice negative feed back was most dramatic over the last couple years, but was having some impact earlier, because the report on which Scambos was a co-author, I forget the primary author for now, documented a trend. However, it was understood that models had large discrepencies at the higher lattitudes, because they had a delayed spring snow melt and thus more extensive snow cover compared to the climate. Andreas Roesch in an IPCC diagnostic subproject and paper submitted to AR4, quantified this discrepancy with the observations in snow cover fraction, snow water equivilent and snow cover area at temperate lattitudes over the decade of the 90s. The positive albedo bias he found in all the models averaged an equivilent of over 3 watts/m^2 when globally and annually averaged. He considered and characterized this as “small”, but it was a few times larger than the 0.8W/m^2 energy imbalance that we hope the models can attribute. He doesn’t dispute the AGW hypothesis but he does write “These substantial deviations are still far too high to meet the required accuracy of surface albedos in GCMs.” and “Annual global mean surface albedo values in AR4 models for the period 1960-1999 and the remote-sensed climatologies PINKER/ISCCP-FD are presented in Fig. 10. The mean annual surface albedo of the 15 AR4 models amounts to 0.140 with a standard deviation of 0.013. All AR4 models are slightly above the mean of PINKER (0.124) and ISCCP-FD (0.121). However, on a global scale, differences among the models, as well as the biases between the models and the remote-sensed climatologies, are small.” and “This is clearly above the absolute accuracy requirements of 0.02 that have been proposed for land surface albedo in climate models (Henderson-Sellers and Wilson, 1983, Sellers, 1995).”
The models do eventually achieve spring snow melt and will catch up with the climate in the future. However, they supposedly “match” the warming now, even though they reflect more the 3W/m^2 solar radiation from the surface than the climate does. Eventually they will (incorrectly) add this missing solar energy in their future projections. This is correlated bias that can’t be eliminated by averaging over ensembles. Other things must be wrong in them models, probably different errors in different models, but they all match the warming although with sensitivities that very by more than a factor of two, so they don’t “match” each other.
Only a small percentage of the experts participating in the “consensus” are modelers, so the bulk of the experts, like the rest of us are relying upon them. In a sense the “consensus” is artificially magnified. They are the ones asking you to accept a conclusion, I am merely pointing out that there is a big piece of their required argument that is missing or based upon questionable assumptions. So I guess my conclusion is, that there is not good reason to accept their conclusion. The burden of proof really should be on those who claim to know that a hypothesis is “very likely” (90%). I’ll grant them the plausibility of a significant contribution from GHGs. By the way, you could substitute 50% for the 90%, and they could not distinguish the conclusions based on their evidence. It is purely a judgement call, a hunch based on faith in models that have had considerable qualitative success, but are nowhere near ready to be accurate to say 0.1W/m^2 resolution to apportion a 0.8W/m^2 energy imbalance. BTW, estimates of cloud errors are as high as 40W/m^2.
BTW, I agree that a connection with al Qaeda was tenuous, and not the reason for the invasion. The invasion was because the oil gave a person of low and unreliable character the resources to acquire WMD. He could not be trusted not to pass these to enemies of the US like al Qaeda if he thought he could get away with it. And it was an opportunity for democracy building! It was al Qaeda that chose to make Iraq a battleground, and damaged its reputation in the process. Perhaps grabbing the oil should have been the goal instead of nation building. After all, that is how Saddam got it, we are bigger. I don’t find the “civilian” casualty estimates much less accept US responsibility for them. al Qaeda and the insurgents are not “forces of nature”. They are responsible for their own actions and most of the casualties. It should be pointed out that while the US had just as much right to the oil as Saddam did, which was no right at all, the US did not take the oil, but has subsidized the Iraqi rebuilding and economy.
As long as we’re bringing up stupid, irrelevant crap, I would like to argue that the Holocaust never happened.
'Tis Himself says
Along the same lines, I’d like to argue that Civ4 is the best computer game ever.
Naked Bunny with a Whip says
It’s been done. That’s why there’s an overwhelming consensus among climatologists.
Can’t what? Convince every single skeptic? There’ll always be people who aren’t convinced no matter how much evidence and logic you throw at them, as we see on this site every day. Given the possible impact on human society, how long do you think people should sit on their thumbs and do nothing?
The invasion was because the oil gave a person of low and unreliable character the resources to acquire WMD. He could not be trusted not to pass these to enemies of the US like al Qaeda if he thought he could get away with it. And it was an opportunity for democracy building! It was al Qaeda that chose to make Iraq a battleground, and damaged its reputation in the process. Perhaps grabbing the oil should have been the goal instead of nation building. After all, that is how Saddam got it, we are bigger. I don’t find the “civilian” casualty estimates much less accept US responsibility for them. al Qaeda and the insurgents are not “forces of nature”. They are responsible for their own actions and most of the casualties. It should be pointed out that while the US had just as much right to the oil as Saddam did, which was no right at all, the US did not take the oil, but has subsidized the Iraqi rebuilding and economy. – africangenesis
What a bunch of crap. Saddam had no WMDs, had scrapped the programmes aimed at getting them, and had admitted UN inspectors. The invasion was launched before these could complete their work, despite their pleas. He was a deadly enemy of al-Qaeda, which wasn’t in Iraq: “al-Qaeda in Iraq” was at the time an entirely separate group.
If Bush wanted an Arab democracy, all he had to do was tell Mubarak to release political prisoners, free the press and hold free elections. For that matter, he could have accepted the results of Palestinian democratic elections. The US has consistently ignored the wishes of the Iraqi people for the invaders to get out. The excess death estimates are well-researched, the displacement of 4 million even more certain, and if you launch an illegal war of aggression, you are responsible for all its consequences, whoever else may also be responsible.
Perhaps grabbing the oil should have been the goal instead of nation building. After all, that is how Saddam got it, we are bigger.
This tells us all we need to know about you. You’re an imperialist scumbag – and I make absolutely no apology for this name-calling. You’re a piece of shit.
I second your #108. The only part of your #101 I’m not so sure about is this:
We’ve always been told that the sun has another 5 billion years or so before entering its red giant phase, so life on earth has that long to live. Recent estimates, though, taking into account the sun’s steady increase in luminosity since it settled down on the main sequence 4.5 billion years ago, say that a thermal runaway, a la Venus, is inevitable in .5-1 billion years even if all the carbon dioxide could be scrubbed from the atmosphere.
There is no particular reason to be sure that the current massive increase in greenhouse gasses hasn’t put us over that tipping point already.
Yes, I’ve read that such a runaway will happen on the timescale you mention, but I’m assured by those who understand the physics that however much in the way of CO2 you pump into the atmosphere, there’s just not enough incoming energy to cause a Venus-style runaway (boiling the oceans) at present. Whether you could do it with any combination of greenhouse gases (CFCs are way more effective for example, but each gas only has a limited range of wavelengths it traps), I don’t know. The worst case I’ve seen suggested is that extensive deep ocean anoxia caused by slowing turnover could cause anaerobic bacteria to flourish and produce huge clouds of hydrogen sulphide, killing most other life. Whether this is really possible, I don’t know.
Unlike most denialists, africangenesis does know the literature, but is obviously determined to find grounds to reject the mainstream view, however far-fetched. The models, of course, are not arbitrary: they are based on the best available physics and there are many independently constructed models. They could all be missing something, but it’s as likely to be on the bad as the good side. For example if he’s right about long delays in warming due to the ocean’s thermal inertia (I’m pretty sure he isn’t, but this is based on the consensus view), this might well increase the estimate of temperature rise from a doubling of CO2. Again, the fact that Arctic sea-ice is vanishing faster than predicted means – if it continues – that the albedo positive feedback will kick in faster, and could also bring in other feedbacks from greenhouse gases currently trapped in the permafrost on land and under the Arctic ocean. It’s appalling irresponsibility to say “we shouldn’t do anything expensive because the models might be wrong”.
Thanks, KG. The reports I read were a little preliminary, so I’ll take your word for it.
Gotta love the attitude that if all life on earth won’t be wiped out, there’s nothing to worry about, though.
Calton Bolick says
For Christ’s sake (pardon the expression), doesn’t anybody here, especially PZ, read the goddamn New York Times? Reading this story from last Sunday will tell you it’s not as simple as PZ’s Rush Limbaughesque knee-jerk reaction makes it out to be.
C’mon, Professor Myers, you’re smarter than that.
#108, A return to form I see.
What you are interpretting as “imperialism”, is actually a rejection of “nationalism”, socialist or otherwise. Even Lenin considered nationalism a prejudice.
The extreme nationalist progressives were united in defense of Saddam’s sovereignty, as if all sovereignty no matter how acquired or exercised was worthy of respect. The UN is just as bad, governments of the world united to assert and protect each others sovereign rights, while paying only lip service to individual rights.
Your immediate retreat to a misapplication of the pejorative term “imperialism” to US actions mere name calling. You know that the US had no territorial ambitions or intent to take the oil. My proposition that the US might have just taken the oil is a reductio ad absurdem of your idea that somehow Saddam had some right to use it for whatever purposes he wanted that we didn’t.
The marxist/leninist anti-imperialism and anti-colonialism rheteric and daemonization can now be seen for what it was, little more than a defense of the rights of the few to oppress others as long as those others are their own ethnic or geographically local kind.
There is no right to oppress, although I can certainly understand why the few could want to assert it.
Democracy requires a commitment to the rule of law and the acceptance of the results of elections. But more than that it requires a culture that is commited to limited government. It is anethema to large amounts of central planning. Consider how the left kept pushing for federal involvement in education, they were kept at bay by limited and local government conservatives (where did they go?), until finally in a centrist move, Bush caved in with “No Child Left Behind”, and the left started frothing at the mouth. The problem with expecting government to solve all your problems, is that you might lose the next election, and then someone you disagree with will get to exercise all that power. Democracy and elections will only work, if victory by one of the parties doesn’t mean that is the last competitive election that will be allowed. Once the radicals get control in Egypt or Palestine, they are unlikely to yield control of the media or to the results of an election.
Consider the hypocrisy of the situation in Pakistan. The UN and probably the US left assert they have sovereignty that should be respected over the tribal lands that the taliban controls. Yet that sovereignty is a fiction without any responsibility to prevent attacks from being launched into Afghanistan from its territory. Pakistan sent its military into the tribal lands and eventually had to retreat from the quagmire. Yet is the UN considering stipping Pakistan of its sovereignty over those terroritories? NO! And Pakistan has the hypocrital gall to seek to extend its sovereignty to Kashmir.
You have to decide whether you believe in the sovereignty of the individuals or in the right of the few to oppress. “Nationalism” is just a religion or prejudice. Sovereignty should only be “respected” to the extent that it protects rather than violates the rights of individuals. I know the multi-culturalists will be aghast, they will argue these oppressive cultures are quaint and need to be preserved and are morally equivilent to cultures which protect individuals. Bunk! There should be no respect for international law and sovereignty that considers dictatorships as equal to limited government democracies, and even has totalitarian regimes sitting on “human rights” governing bodies.
Gwangung @ 93: “Be interesting. Add some meat to it and argue how any accomodation for animals other than dogs would be unreasonable for such owners. Because if accomodation for animals other than dogs would be trivial, then your argument is indeed stupid”
I agree with you that his argument is stupid. However you’ve brought up an important point if you look at the competing interests of different patrons of establishments. Let me give you a scenario: My partner and I go to dinner at Chez Whatever, a small French restaurant. A woman with a service cat comes to eat and within 5 minutes, my partner who has a severe cat allergy begins wheezing and coughing. Since its such a a small venue escaping the allergen is near impossible. If the lady who needs her cat to help her phobia can bring the cat in that infringes on my partner’s right to enjoy the establishment without an asthma flare.
So there is a notion of competing disabilities and needs. However convenience of the owner of the establishment is not part of that equation. Though the Bush rule I am certain also isn’t motivated by these issues, but that doesn’t mean that they are not important to examine.
And certainly when you take this to the ends of teh stupid, you get some really weird requests for accommodations A group of kooks in Santa Fe wants to ban WiFi because they feel they have ‘sensitivity’ and get symptoms due to WiFi signals: http://kob.com/article/stories/S451152.shtml?cat=517
Of course that concept is complete and utter bullshit… but think for a minute if they weren’t just neurotic idiots and truly were being made sick by WiFi. At what point does the benefit to the many outweigh the benefit to the few?
#107, Convince every single skeptic? Science is not about consensus or convincing, it is about evidence and sometimes systems like the climate or biological systems are extremely complex. You have to go with the evidence, but insist upon rigor so that you avoid mistakes.
You don’t respond to questions about models of a nonlinear system with large documented errors, yes admitted even by the consensus, with a mere assertion that you believe in them anyway. You make them better and wait until they are. It is embarrassing the see the politics in this scientific process, the fiction of peer review by the IPCC, when then authors were free to ignore or dismiss criticisms without addressing them.
Yes, thinking is hard, and agreeing with others is easy. Perhaps we escaped from evolution with our brains only half formed, but we have to do our best with what we’ve got.
Dr Brian says
Maybe this was a way of cocking a snook at Muslims, who consider dogs unclean. Or maybe because his mother’s spaniel wrote a book.
For your delight, a collection of bloopers from GWB.
You’re either a liar or a fool; and you haven’t the first idea of my politics. Read the PNAC report Rebuilding America’s Defences, then tell me this invasion wasn’t imperialism.
Naked Bunny with a Whip says
Evidence leads to consensus once there’s enough of it, and that’s what people outside the field have to rely on, just as you and I do every day. I didn’t try to refute you because I know that I’m not one of those experts. I’ll leave the refutations to people who are familiar with the material.
You seem very knowledgeable, but your nonsensical comments about the invasion of Iraq demonstrate that you’re quite willing to put your political views above the evidence.
True Bob says
Demonstration of an enormously distorted understanding of what the UN is and how it functions. All in an attempt to justify an unjustifiable invasion. eyeroll here
It’s only a democracy if I say it is.
#118, Knockgoat, I read that PNAC document some time ago. It was about more effectively deploying US military resources, and probably would even have saved some money. If I recall correctly, the strategy for the Persian gulf was to find a way to enforce the no fly zones less expensively with land based rather than carrier based aircraft, and to continue the Clinton policy of regime change. Is your assessment of the report something different?
It doesn’t represent any change in an imperialistic direction. Perhaps we need to know how you define imperialistic, to make sure you are using the standard definition. It will lose its pejorative content if redefined too broadly.
#120, excuse me TrueBob. I know the UN doesn’t strip nations or dictatorships of their sovereignty, even when their sovereignty is a fiction. That is the point. I know perfectly well how the UN works, remember when Libya was on the human rights commission?
True Bob says
I remember lots of things, ag. Why do you toss in such a lame canard, then? It doesn’t work as a rhetorical device. It seems you want to justify the US stripping Iraq of its sovereignty (or engaging in a shrubco vendetta).
#124, TrueBob, No I don’t want to justify the US stripping Iraq of sovereignty. With such a sovereignty, no justification is necessary. What has to be justified is the risk and expense of taking him out. With N. Korea, Seoul was held hostage by the largest concentration of artillery in the world. Just how much respect did you have for Saddam? When some thug gets control of a nation, it is supposed to command respect, and be honored by international law?
True Bob says
About as much as I now have for shrubco. Personally, I liked Saddams’s proposal of a duel between he and shrubco. It would have saved us a lot of trouble and lucre, but then we’d have President Darth Cheney.
So do we have $2T and 4000 soldiers’ lives (plus 4M displaced Iraqis, tens to hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, plus lost international reputation, plus tens of thousands of wounded soldiers and civilians, plus plus plus) worth in benefits yet? I don’t see it.
Thanks for mentioning NK. When do we invade there, since Kim is part of the Axis. Or does containment only work where there’s no oil?
#126, As wars go, and as a percentage of GDP, this war fairs rather well. The US suffered over 50,000 casualties in the battle of Okinawa alone, in WWII, those were conscript/slaves, and these were volunteers. The Iraqi civilian deaths are regrettable, but more the responsibility of the feydaeen, the insurgents, the Shiite militia’s and al Qaeda. You have to consider whether their purposes and means met just war criteria in order to apportion blame. They had nothing but oppression of others or 72 virgins in mind. Much like the vietcong who were duped into fighting for reeducation camps and an oppresive oligarchy, their violence was unjustified.
#126 continued. Containment isn’t as necessary when there are no resources such as oil, that should be obvious. If the US could successfully invade NK with little risk, it would be doing the N Korean people a favor. But if ever a country didn’t need nukes for deterence, it is N. Korea. Their concentration of hardened conventional artillery within range of Seoul is tremendous, the risk to Seouls millions is too great.
True Bob says
I find it somewhat callous to consider a commitment to war as a cost-benefit analysis. If you insist on that (why would a pacifist even consider justifying war on a cost-benefit basis? Inner CPA?), do you think we’ve gotten the benefit from the costs I mentioned? I have yet to see benefit 1 from all those costs. Can you even describe a qualitative benefit? Maybe “Saddam’s gone”, but that isn’t worth it, in my view.
PS We aren’t talking about WWII, we’re talking about the invasion of Iraq. Numbers cannot be compared, as weaponry has evolved significantly (consider bomber aircraft – a raid in WWII took hundreds of aircraft, crewed with perhaps 10 aircrew each, and had enormous collateral damage. Now we can achieve the same or better success with cruise missiles, or a handful of aircraft, each with a crew of one or two, and significantly less collateral damage).
PPS I find it more plausible that indigenous Iraqis resisted/resist us because we are a foreign conquering army than an opportunity for Allah’s brownie-points. I also find it more plausible that jihadists flocked to Iraq in angry vengeance against the US’ illegal invasion than to oppress others or gain houris.
#129, TrueBob, yes I think we’ve gotten benefits from our expenditure: a potential democratic example for the Arab region and the discrediting of al Qaeda in the region. The others have learned by watching the sunni’s learn the negatives of association with al Qaeda. al Qaeda’s tactics were a tremedous gift to our hopes for the region. However, no I don’t think it was worth the cost, that is a tremendous amount of money, that could have done a lot more good spent in other ways. The mention of WWI and WWII is for perspective. Bush compares well with FDR and Wilson both in justification, means and in civil rights at home. The current maliciously manufactured daemonization will fade with historical perspective.
True Bob says
How can you have these consistent? Civil rights actually lost at home equates to malifcious manufacture?
#110, KG, I see you are still skeptical of the long delays due to the thermal inertia of the oceans. It isn’t controversial at all, you can assess the thermal capacity of the oceans with back of the envelope calculations. Even wikipedia, whose climate articles are in the control of a cadre is matter of fact about it:
You will see the Wigley and Meehl references at the bottom.
On the other topic, there are no “good” errors in the models, so good errors are not just as likely as bad errrors.
If a model matches the recent warming for the wrong reasons, the errors will only magnify in the future, in the sense that they are errors, even if the projected warming is lower than reality. However, since several of the documented and correlated in the models are biases against solar, such as the failure to represent the amplitude of the response to the solar cycle, and such as having higher surface albedo’s than the climate, some of the missing solar response is being made up elsewhere, and although there are other possibilities, since GHGs are increasing with the warming that the models are being tuned to, some of that make-up error will likely be in increased responsiveness to GHG and increased attribution of the warming to it.
In every other field, scientists are dutifully humbled by the difficulties posed by even simple nonlinear equations. In climate science, even though they admit they would like to better understand and represent the solar influence and they would like to better model albedo and cloud feedback and they would like to better model the biosphere response, they would like to be able to predict ENSO and PDO behavior and they admit to reproducing only one third of the precipitation increase associated with the recent warming, then have the intellectual dishonesty to proclaim 90% confidence (very likely). The models are a massive kludge of parameterizations of the physics (not the actual physics) connected by mass balance, fluid flow and radiative transfer equations, and perhaps even they think it is a miracle that they work and produce climate-like behavior. Perhaps that miracle has them thinking that providence is guiding the models to correct answers despite the errors. The models are already productive for hypothesis generation and understanding gross climate modes like the ice ages and interglacials and yes, quantifying climate commitment is one of their successes.
#131, because the civil rights lost at home were relatively minor by historical standards. There was no conscription. Habeus corpus was suspended for only a few. There was no censorship or wage and price controls, no alien and sedition act, etc.
Of course any civil rights loss is a concern, but my argument was with those who lionize FDR, Wilson and Lincoln while deamonizing Bush. If you are consistent, I’ve no problem with it. They are all war criminals in my book, Bush just less than most.
Apologies for the duplicate post.
AG, if you think Bush is a war criminal, why do you list him as one of your heroes on your MySpace page?
True Bob says
Nice find, Ben. Revelatory, even. Both raygun and shrubco, explains a lot.
I contend that there is a pro-shrubco variant of Bush Derangement Syndrome, and ag is infected.
I’ve been contending with AG on another blog, and I sent him over here with the hopes that he might actually learn a few things. Obviously it hasn’t worked. Please don’t excommunicate me for my lapse in judgment. However, there is some entertainment value…I hope.
#136, Ben, it is because I personally like Bush, although I never voted for him. He stood on principle in areas where even Reagan didn’t, particularly impressive was the way he faced down the class warfar rhetoric and tried to eliminate and managed to reduce the double tax on dividends. Part of why I admire him is he stuck to his principles despite the daemonization.
How can I admire someone I think is a war criminal, part of it is historical perspective such as I have been discussing, and part of it is humility. You see, I am a mass-murderer and suspect you probably are too. In the past I have knowingly voted for politicians who supported the FDA. The delays in access to potentially life saving drugs has cost hundreds of thousands of lives. My own father was denied access to thalidomide and matrix-metalloprotease inhibitors when he had stage IV colon cancer. It turns out these particular ones might have helped some, but wouldn’t have saved his life. So I resolved to never vote for a mass-murder again. You see, I have examined the mechanism of the secret ballot to see if if relieves one of moral responsiblity for what one does in there. It doesn’t. Hope that explains it.
True Bob says
Anyone have suggestions for a Libertarian version of Poe? I mean besides “africangenesis”.
I’m not sceptical of delays due to thermal inertia in general, I’m sceptical – as are practically all relevant experts (of whom I’m not one), that these delays could mean that the increase in solar radiation 1850-1950 could account for accelerating warming from 1970 on. If this is so, however, it would also mean much more of the warming due to rising GHG levels up to the present is still “in the pipeline” than generally believed. I did not talk of “good errors”, I said “They could all be missing something, but it’s as likely to be on the bad as the good side.” Pretty obvious, unless one is determined to misunderstand, that I meant the models could as well be underestimating as overestimating the effects of increased GHG levels. Your claim that all the non-modeller experts just accept what the modellers tell them without question is ludicrous. You have still provided no reason why you, with your very obvious “libertarian” axe to grind, should be trusted to be right over the vast majority of relevant experts. There is currently, on RealClimate, a live thread on modelling, which I am following. I suggest you take your concerns there – but it would mean debating with real experts, so maybe you’re not up for that.
Definition of “imperialism” from Answers.com (my emphasis):
1. The policy of extending a nation’s authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations.
2. The system, policies, or practices of such a government.
That definition is good enough for me.
Bush compares well with FDR and Wilson both in justification – africangensis
Clear evidence that “libertarianism” is actually a form of insanity. You appear to have forgotten that in WWII the USA was attacked by Japan (remember Pearl Harbor?), and that Hitler then declared war on the USA, not vice versa. Or do you think that a prompt surrender to the Axis was the correct policy? Even in WWI, the US declaration of war came after the German resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare, and German attempts to persuade Mexico to attack the US if war came. Saddam, by contrast, was not a current threat.
#141 KG, I see that you understand the issues involved with the delay now. THe midcentury cooling is thought to be due to aerosols, although the sun took a slight dip also. The global-dimming and global brightening literature particularly emphasizes this. I find the period correlates particularly well with the time of greatest use and then the elimination of leaded gasoline. But there was also acid rain that was being cleaned up at the same time.
Frankly, I didn’t come here to discuss the climate but the evo-atheism issues. I do think humans need these faiths, and it appears that the progressives have latched onto AGW, and get that consensus feeling here and elsewhere. I hope it isn’t too disturbing to them, if it ends up dying by a thousand evidentiary cuts. There also seems to be a daemonize Bush (and anyone who disagrees) consensus feeling that is particularly vitriolic.
#143, KG, Are you saying those issues justified the much greater civil rights abuses here in the US?
Wilson’s government has been argued to be the first fascist government of the 20th century. The alien and sedition acts had people locked up for speech. The censorship covered up the influenza epidemics. And then there was conscription, the worst violation of all.
FDR had conscription, censorship, wage and price controls, internment camps for the Japanese americans. He allied himself with Stalin, ceded eastern Europe to him including Poland which was the reason the west went to war with Hitler, when Stalin had attacked Poland as well. He approved area and firebombing, he allowed the british to assassinate German/American citizens here on US soil who were thought to be collaborators. FDR also may have pushed Japan into war with the oil embargo.
A just war must also be fought by just means.
apologies again for the double post, ****, how is that happening. I don’t even feel like I double clicked.
Frankly, I didn’t come here to discuss the climate but the evo-atheism issues.
I’ve suggested you discuss them with real experts, but evidently you know your case is too weak.
#147, KG, the experts don’t do any better than you have, that is just the state of the field. If you want to see where the crux of the kernel of faith for the climate experts is, see this discussion I had with the Texas state climatologist. We don’t get to the crux of the issue until the last two responses on the first page. Do a find on “car” or “throttle” and then go back to the beginning of that text and read.
I’ve had the same argument from other published scientists in the field, but this text clarifies it the best. In essense they argue that the fact that the absolute errors in the model in matching the climate don’t matter, because if they get the slope right, they can still project small quantities.
I concede this point to them, but then point out that because of the errors, they don’t KNOW they got the slope right, because for their projections they need the slope for CO2 forcing, yet all their validation is against a climate and with models that entangle the CO2, solar and aerosol forcings (focusing on the main ones), but that solar forcing is poorly understood and the model errors are biased against solar.
They really don’t have an response yet to this issue, except confidence and consensus. The car/fuel mixture analogy is the best I’ve found so far for simplifying the issues, most other analogies, by the time they are made to capture most of the complexity, it is easier to think in terms of the climate directly instead.
The other analogy I like is the waking up particularly warm and finding you have a thin blanket over you and an unusually warm honey next to you. The models tell us that it is the warm blanket, but there is evidence that the warm honey is poorly understood and that the models underrepresent her influence. It doesn’t capture as much of the essense as the car/throttle/fuel mixture analogy.
#147, KG, Another comment on your discuss with the expert suggestions. It is very similar to the initial response I get from the 7th Day Adventists neophytes when they come to the door. They know they are “right” but find out they can’t respond, but assume that their experts/mentors that they have confidence in, will have the answers. Invariably, when they bring their mentors back, the mentors come in confident, but then rush to leave with the neophytes, so that the neophytes don’t see that they don’t have all the answers.
Knock Goats says
Crap. Show me a model that reproduces the 20th century record without attributing most of the warming to the direct and indirect effects of increased GHG concentrations. No sceptic or denialist has been able to produce such a thing.
Your comparison with the 7th Day Adventists just exposes your own moral cowardice. I’ve pointed you to where you can argue this publicly with real experts, and you won’t. Why on Earth should I take your word that an discussion you have picked get to the root of the issue? Fact is, you prefer your own religious convictions to the expertise of an entire scientific community.
Wilson’s government has been argued to be the first fascist government of the 20th century. – africangenesis
What a surprise. There is nothing so stupid that someone will not argue it.
FDR had conscription, censorship, wage and price controls, internment camps for the Japanese americans. He allied himself with Stalin, ceded eastern Europe to him including Poland which was the reason the west went to war with Hitler, when Stalin had attacked Poland as well. He approved area and firebombing, he allowed the british to assassinate German/American citizens here on US soil who were thought to be collaborators. FDR also may have pushed Japan into war with the oil embargo. africangenesis
“Pushed Japan into war”? Were not the Japanese leaders free agents? They could have complied with the conditions for the ending of the embargo – basically, getting out of China.
Let’s take WWII, as WWI is a much more ambiguous case. Conscription and the alliance with Stalin were indeed great evils. Now, grant for the sake of argument that without these, the war would have been won by the Axis, and that FDR believed this to be true. Are you contending that he should rather have avoided them, and lost the war?
The most obvious contrast between Bush and FDR is that the former started a war of choice against an enemy that was not a current threat, the latter responded to an attack by powers that posed an existential threat to that “limited government” you are so fond of. However, I do understand that your “libertarian” religious convictions require that FDR be demonised in every possible way.
I read that PNAC document some time ago. It was about more effectively deploying US military resources – africangenesis
But evidently managed not to notice, or to recall, its central purpose, although this is quite clearly stated:
“the Project for the New American Century is a nonprofit,
educational organization whose goal is to promote American global leadership.”
“At present, the United States faces no global rival. America’s grand strategy should aim to preserve and extend this advantageous position as far into the future as possible.”
“Preserving the desirable strategic
situation in which the United States now
finds itself requires a globally preeminent
military capability both today and in the
future. But years of cuts in defense
spending have eroded the American
military’s combat readiness, and put in
jeopardy the Pentagon’s plans for
maintaining military superiority in the years
“This report proceeds from the belief that
America should seek to preserve and extend
its position of global leadership by
maintaining the preeminence of U.S.
“Over the next several decades, the
United States must field a global system of
missile defenses, divine ways to control the
new “international commons” of space and
cyberspace, and build new kinds of
conventional forces for different strategic
challenges and a new technological
“If the United States
is to have a nuclear deterrent that is both
effective and safe, it will need to test.”
be a need to develop a new family of nuclear
weapons designed to address new sets of
military requirements, such as would be
required in targeting the very deep underground,
hardened bunkers that are being
built by many of our potential adversaries.”
“what should finally
drive the size and character of our nuclear
forces is not numerical parity with Russian
capabilities but maintaining American
“effective ballistic missile defenses will be
the central element in the exercise of
American power and the projection of U.S.
military forces abroad.”
“To preserve and enhance the ability to
project naval power ashore and to conduct
strike operations – as well as assume a large
role in the network of ballistic missile
defense systems – the Navy must accelerate
the process of near-term transformation. It
must also addressing the longer-term
challenge of the revolution in military
Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century affairs, to ensure that the America rules the
waves in the future as it does today.”
Summing up: the authors intend the USA to dominate the world militarily for the indefinite future, including militarising space and the internet, ceasing to abide by the CTBT, and developing tactical first-strike nuclear weapons. It also called for the growth in US military spending that has actually occurred under the Bush administration. You have claimed to be an anti-nationalist and a pacifist, yet somehow you find nothing disturbing about this document. Hypocrite.
#152 KG, when I read the PNAC document, it was because of certain conspiracy theories about 9/11 pointed to it. Upon review, although I prefer less defense spending, the document is not imperialism by the usual definition, which is something like this, at dictionary.reference.com:
“the policy of extending the rule or authority of an empire or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies”
Now, I agree that by the second part of the definition that you found, it was imperialism. But we should not give in to those who are weakening the definition of imperialism in order to piggyback on its pejorative usage. That is deceit.
Disturbing is a relative assessment, yes it is a bit disturbing, but is it as disturbing as John Kerry’s advocacy of mandatory public service for graduation from high school and for college aid? No. Is it as disturbing as Putin’s recent behavior? No. Is it as disturbing as a Kyoto treaty extended to the United States? No. Is it as disturbing as the drug war? No. It is probably about as disturbing as public schools without freedom of choice programs such as vouchers. It is probably about as disturbing as the prospect of elimination of the Bush tax cuts.
#151, Technically Bush did not start the Iraq war, since there was no armistace from the first Gulf War, and there were violations of the no fly zone, and the disclosure requirements. It is comparable to if Europe took action against Hitler, when he started rearming in violation of the treaty of Versailles. Saddam did have WMD by my definition, since conscription has caused more deaths than any other WMD. Perhaps it should be successfully banned before the US does any disarming. Germany, Israel, N. Korea, Egypt, Russia, all still practice it. Nations don’t OWN individuals.
If FDR couldn’t win without conscription then too bad. A conscript “fighting for freedom” should make sure he is fighting the right government. How could the US have lost WWII? Recall the incredible logistics involved in the D-day invasion and the English Channel was only 20 miles wide. What was Hitler or Stalin going to do across the Atlantic? It was immoral to ally with Stalin, he was as much an aggressor as Hitler and he also used conscripts, with incredible disregard for their lives or for the lives of innocent civilians. By the time lend/lease started providing significant assistance to Stalin, the tide had already turned on the eastern front at the battle of Kursk. All lend/lease did was speed up Stalin’s ability to sieze eastern Europe.
Of course, the seeds for WWII were planted at the end of WWI. The US should never have gotten involved and upset the stalemate, and should not have acquiesed in the harsh treaty.
#151,Wilson the fascist. Is it so stupid?
I had a dog as a service animal. I now have a mini horse as a service animal and I would never go back to a dog. My service horse will live many more years, and be able to work many more years than a dog.
No matter what the federal government says, Earl, my mini horse, will continue to be my service animal.
But we should not give in to those who are weakening the definition of imperialism in order to piggyback on its pejorative usage. That is
deceitpolitically inconvenient to an American nationalist and imperialist who wants to pretend he isn’t one, like me.
Fixed for you. No thanks necessary.
Yes, describing Wilson as a fascist is amazingly stupid: He did not attempt to establish a dictatorship, nor a one-party state. The crap you link to simultaneously describes him as a Marxist!
Saddam did have WMD by my definition, since conscription has caused more deaths than any other WMD.
What pathetic wriggling: evidently you feel permitted to redefine any word in any way that you find convenient in the service of your religion.
If FDR couldn’t win without conscription then too bad.
Right, now we know – you’d have willingly handed the world to the Nazis. Good luck with persuading people of the morality and good sense of that.
It was immoral to ally with Stalin
It did, of course, at the very least save enormous numbers of American, British, Russian, occupied-state and even German and Japanese lives by shortening the war.
Of course, the seeds for WWII were planted at the end of WWI. The US should never have gotten involved and upset the stalemate, and should not have acquiesed in the harsh treaty.
Your historical ignorance is astonishing. By the time of the US entry, all the main belligerent states were nearing exhaustion and breakdown – it was a question of which collapsed first. Thus there was no stalemate: months after the US entry to the war Russia collapsed. The Germans nearly broke through on the western front in May-June 1918; without US financial and logistic support for the Allies, they would almost certainly have done so, forcing Britain to withdraw the BEF and France to sue for peace; if they had not, the Allies themselves would have won, although it would have taken longer, as Austria-Hungary was on the point of disintegration. The Versailles Treaty was not unduly harsh, with the exception of the reparations clause; it was unduly lenient. This is shown by the fact that Germany was willing and able to launch a war of aggression a mere 20 years after the end of WWI.
#157, I recommend further reading “Liberal Fascism” and “No Simple Victory: World War II in Europe, 1939-1945”.
You dismiss the site detailing Wilson’s fascist character, but do you dispute any of its facts? Yes, fascists at first were the darlings of the left w/marxist influence. It was Stalin that labeled them right wing when they refused to acknowledge his leadership of international socialism. The “Liberal Fascism” book makes the more complete case against Wilson, but it is clear that he was far worse than GW.
The Norman Davies “No Simple Victory…” book points out that Stalin was winning without US help, the tide had already turned. So it is most likely Stalin we would have to face, and we ended up having to face him anyway. I also was mistaken in thinking that the belated western front was a big factor in the war. You will learn that it is dwarfed by the eastern front.
Your argument is that just because I don’t see Bush as negatively as FDR, Wilson and Lincoln, and that I don’t accept your definition of “imperialism” that I am a nationalist. It looks like your attempting to redefine that term as well, in order to piggyback on its pejorative content. I oppose nations, I just choose to oppose those that conscript first.
#157, You can get the gist of the two books from the booktv talks.
“Yes, fascists at first were the darlings of the left w/marxist influence.”
A bare-faced lie. Fascism was from the first an explicitly anti-Marxist and anti-socialist movement. Mussolini’s early governments were coalitions including nationalists, members of the Catholic Popular Party, and right-wing liberals. He was supported by the military, the business class and the political right. While a few figures from the left like H.G.Wells made pro-fascist statements at various times, the main supporters of both fascism and nazism in other countries always came from the right. The central doctrine of the right is anti-egalitarianism: this covers the fascist, traditionalist-conservative, and “libertarian” variants. Even where the left betrays egalitarianism in practice (as most notably in Leninism), it maintains a theoretical commitment to it.
So it is most likely Stalin we would have to face, and we ended up having to face him anyway. I also was mistaken in thinking that the belated western front was a big factor in the war. You will learn that it is dwarfed by the eastern front. – africangenesis
Of course I know the eastern front was far larger. Let’s forget that Hitler declared war on the USA not the other way round (something you appear to be invincibly ignorant of), and assume you are correct that Stalin would have defeated Hitler without US help (note that any help to Britain also helped Stalin, so the US would have had to stop helping Britain too, as indeed it would have done to avoid war with Hitler). Then Stalin’s forces would have ended their advance in control of the whole of German-occupied Europe, since there is no possibility Britain, even if it survived without US aid, could have launched any sort of invasion without the US. So your determination not to ally with Stalin would have condemned a couple of hundred million people to live under Stalinism, and the US would have faced a USSR with enormous material and geostrategic advantages compared to those it had in 1945. Oh, that idiot FDR! (Or was he a fascist too? I forget.)
Hitler declared war on the US. The US would not have had to stop helping Britain, unless the naval escorts could not be maintained without conscription. Hitler and Stalin would have been engaged for a longer time. But these counterfactuals don’t alter the immorality of the way that FDR chose to wage war, even if you think the conscription was justified, you have to admit it is a civil rights violations more severe than any by GW. How do you justify conscription and the torture in the boot camps that accompanies it? Do you think nations own individuals? Do you think nations have rights? Who is the nationalist here? Chanllenge yourself!
The US would not have had to stop helping Britain, unless the naval escorts could not be maintained without conscription.
First, Britain was already sending aid to Stalin, so any aid to Britain freed resources to be sent to Stalin. For that matter, any fighting against Hitler anywhere aided Stalin, by drawing off Axis troops from the eastern front. That’s the nature of reality – although I recognise that that is something that you don’t have the slightest interest in when it conflicts with your religion.
Hitler and Stalin would have been engaged for a longer time.
Leading to even greater death and destruction, and in particular giving the Nazis time to complete the genocide of Jews, gypsies, gays, etc.
I’m not interested in defending everything the Allies did in WWII, nor am I interested in your stupid religion, and I have no intention of being drawn into discussion of the latter. I will simply say that “X has rights” is never a statement of fact, unless in the context of a specified moral or legal code.
The same is true of “X owns Y”, of course.
KG, You are quite correct that there were also moral issues in any aid to Britain, I forgot for a moment that they conscripted. I oppose aid to any government which conscripts, including GW’s aid to Israel, I hope Obama stops all non-humanitarian aid. FDR should have allowed more jews in, I believe in open immigration. He has been suspected of some anti-semitism. Isn’t there an inconsistency, if you daemonize Bush but not FDR and Wilson and Lincoln, who were far worse?
AG, I don’t mean this to sound flip, but there’s no way around it, so I’ll just ask: Have you ever been diagnosed with OCD? I’m not trying to be glib.
I copied this from an interesting website:
“Rigid Thinking – a person who is unable to adopt a new perspective or switch sets becoming argumentative. In OCD, the rigid thinking is associated with dread or uncertainty.”
You are quite correct that there were also moral issues in any aid to Britain, I forgot for a moment that they conscripted. africangenesis
So, either Hitler or Stalin would have ended up in control of Britain, north Africa, and the Middle East as well as continental Europe.
I’m not interested in your stupid comparisons between POTUSes acting under completely different historical circumstances any more than in your stupid religion.
Ben, If you weren’t intending to be flip, you would address substance rather engaging in a personal attack. You fit right in here don’t you.
Let me answer you. Did you see Max Stirner listed on my myspace page? Do you know who he is? I very seldom experience existential dread, at least haven’t in awhile.
Perhaps you should note, that I am far more familiar with your perspective than you seem to be with mine. You sent me here, because you felt over your head discussing with me alone. Do I need to quote you? I challenge you to challenge yourself.
You could be right – there does seem to be some correlation between OCD and religious fundamentalism. AG is a religious fundamentalist whose object of worship happens to be “the individual” (nothing to do with actual living people of course), but demonstrating exactly the same moral absolutism and indifference to real-world consequences as Abrahamic fundamentalists show. Like most religious fundamentalists, he’s not completely consistent – as demonstrated by his obvious partiality for Bush and the neocons – but finds justifications for this inconsistency.
AG’s reference to himself as a “mass-murderer” on the basis of voting for candidates who supported the FDA would, if seriously meant, support a psychopathological diagnosis.
Good grief – are you a Stirnerite? How quaint.
I’ll freely quote myself:
“I’m not nearly as well-read or knowledgeable on these topics as the nice people at Pharyngula. They will give you a much better debate, if you want one.”
I was hoping you might want to come here to learn something.
“If you weren’t intending to be flip, you would address substance rather engaging in a personal attack.”
I’m not INTENDING to address substance re: any of the topics you’ve been discussing. I’m making an honesty inquiry into the state of your mental health. You seem totally obsessed with conflict, regardless of what issue is on the table. Has anyone mentioned that to you before?
It seems that ag wants all the benefits of belonging to a society without any of the obligations.
Ben, No one has, and if they had the would be as mistaken as you. Why don’t you review my posts at this site. You will see some that are not all in conflict, that is if you care to examine the evidence before reaching conclusions.
Do you know what you believe and why, or are you just conforming to your subculture here, feeling washed in the shared vitriolic, daemonizing and mocking smugness?
Just a little concerned about you.
“Do you know what you believe and why”
Not always, and I’m trying to learn. Hence my reading here and other places. I try to keep an open mind.
Let me ask a question: Regarding your opinion on AGW, do you think there’s a chance you might be wrong? Please answer with one word.
Ben, Thanx for the question, it got me thinking, because trying to figure out what you meant by “your opinion on AGW”, made me try to figure out what I would think my opinion is. I know what you are trying to imply by the “chance you might be wrong”, and I’m also supicious of whatever game you are playing by insisting on a one word answer. What would be the point of a one word answer, when the question is ambiguous and the answer should be qualified?
I don’t have just one “opinion” on AGW, and some of what you might call “opinions” are just assessments of the evidence, aualified by the known and perhaps unknown uncertainties.
“Yes”, I have a feeling or hunch about the AGW and solar hypotheses that very well might be wrong. I think the high level of solar forcing over the second half of the 20th century is unlikely to be a coincidence, and that that the solar contribution to the recent warming may ultimately be as much as 50% or higher. I could be wrong and the AGW component could be much stronger than that. I don’t have a high level of confidence in this opinion. I am excited about the science and the possibility that an extreme solar cycle might be coming which would clarify the issues, even if I am proven wrong.
“No”, I couldn’t be wrong about my opinion of AGW, because asked in isolation what I think about AGW, my opinion is that AGW is a plausible and interesting hypothesis. How could I be wrong in that?
“No”, I don’t think I can be wrong about my assessment of the evidence that the IPCC put forward for their 90% very likely conclusion. I’ve reviewed the evidence and they couldn’t make the case for that conclusion, largely because they were so dependent upon the models, and the models are years away from being up to the task, based up the literature that was available to the 4th assessment authors. The literature published since the 4th assessment only makes the doubts about the models stronger.
“Yes”, I could be wrong that there is not good evidence that would make one 90% confident that nearly all of the recent warming is due to AGW. There could be literature that I haven’t read, that the IPCC didn’t mention or wasn’t aware of. In a complex nonlinear system, I don’t know how this could be resolved without the models, and there couldn’t be such a strong modeling effort going on without the community being aware of it. But perhaps someone has an argument that I haven’t seen yet, that if I reviewed it, I would find conclusive, but the IPCC didn’t reference it. It would probably be a thing of beauty, I wonder what innovative form it could take.
When you are conservative and skeptical in your opinions it is harder to be outright wrong. The IPCC AR4 report is wrong, of that there is no doubt. Even if the science eventually shows that nearly all the recent warming was due to AGW just as the concluded, claiming the level of confidence they claimed based on the available evidence is unjustified and will forever be wrong.
Just as I don’t think my opinion that we don’t yet know what “dark matter” is could be wrong (unless it hasn’t been published yet). Analogously to that, I don’t think my opinion that we don’t yet know what the relative attributions of the recent warming should be between greenhouse gasses and solar is, could be wrong. But with the climate, we are down to quantitative issues, so the possibilily I could be wrong is perhaps a little higher. The IPCC authors out there are confusing their beliefs or hunches, with the evidence, if they presume to think they “know”.
“Yes”, I admit that I think they models can eventually get good enough to resolve the issue, and I could be wrong about this. There are strong doubts out there that complex, chaotic nonlinear systems can be predicted, and the bulk of the evidence is with them. However, I don’t think we are trying to predict the climate, I think and arguments can be made that the different climate modes are the attractors of a complex system, and what we can hope to achieve is not prediction of the climate, but an understanding of how the shape and positions of these attracters are perturbed by the different forcings, an understanding which can reach quantitative as well as qualitative levels.
Now what about the “precautionary principle”, if the AGW hypothesis is “plausible” isn’t that enough to sacrifice trillions of dollars of economic growth and the aspirations for a better life of billions of people in the third world? No. It is not even clear yet, that the AGW won’t be a net benefit, with higher agricultural productivity through less evaporative losses and more drought resistance and longer growing seasons. We can only justify what makes current economic sense, efficiency and research. Humans can undervalue future savings, so perhaps there should be some subidizations of efficiency technology that is being under utilized such as CFLs, LEDs, but only to the extent that there are positive economic returns. Could I be “wrong” about this? “Yes”, I could be wrong about which strategies have a chance of making economic sense, that involves a technological and economic assessment. Could I be “wrong” about the values I apply in my assessment? Perhaps if you read Max Stirner, you will see how I can be sure that YOUR values aren’t right.
#172, Spurge, I know I don’t want “all” the “benefits” of society. What are the obligations and how do you propose to justify and extract them? Are your societies geographicaly based, is that the source of the obligation? Are they racially or ethnically based? Are your societies organic entities with “rights” of their own, much like an ant hive, or a nake mole rat colony? Why do you believe this, do you have evidence for it?
If you read Max Stirner, you’ll see why africangenesis likes him – the two have the same astonishing arrogance. I’ll point out once more that africangenesis is unwilling to debate his charges against climate models with real experts who have a current thread going on climate models at
FAQ on climate models: Part II. I do urge you to follow ag’s link @148: contrary to his delusions, the climatologist he is debating there answers his objections satisfactorily. Hilariously, ag links to an article by that well known climate expert, Viscount Christopher Monckton, who believes that changes in the temperature on Pluto refute the AGW theory.
Now what about the “precautionary principle”, if the AGW hypothesis is “plausible” isn’t that enough to sacrifice trillions of dollars of economic growth and the aspirations for a better life of billions of people in the third world? No. It is not even clear yet, that the AGW won’t be a net benefit, with higher agricultural productivity through less evaporative losses and more drought resistance and longer growing seasons. – africangenesis
It is precisely the poor (“third world” is a vacuous, lazy euphemism) who will suffer first and worst from AGW. While agricultural yields are likely to increase in temperate regions up to about 2C above pre-industrial levels, they will fall in the tropics and subtropics. Moreover, the melting of glaciers that supply water at the right time of year will put hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, at risk from crop failure. More broadly, it’s clear you know little if anything about agriculture: farmers cannot just switch crop as temperatures and rainfall patterns change and get good yields: these factors together with soil, topography, coping with pests and diseases, equipment, labour requirements, management skills, fertilisers, land tenure systems, transport, marketing, etc. form one of those complex systems you’re so fond of talking about. As I’ve pointed out before, absolute temperatures are much less important than the speed of change. Poor farmers, of course, will find this far more difficult to cope with than rich farmers.
What is as certain as anything can be is that rapid climate change will hit some regions of the world, and their populations, extremely hard – and these regions will be poor ones. What the poor need is a more equitable global economic system, and assistance with developing low-carbon energy sources.
Tsk. I’m forgetting. You not only know more than all the climate scientists – you know more than all the farmers and sgriculturalists as well.
KG, Evidently you haven’t heard of polar amplification. Lower lattitude climates will be much less impacted, and with the current population pressures on fresh water, the extra precipitation associated with the warming will be welcome.
You also appear to forget the robust adaptability of human intelligence. Dams and swamp, canal and pier cultures can address the the other concerns you raise at far less cost.
And this alarmism all assumes that the next centuries warming will exceed the last centuries 0.6 degrees C my a multiple of 3 or 4. Sorry, the model projections that have already been run have significant sources of heat from finally catching up with the Actic melting and the spring melt albedo reductions, that are ALREADY present in the climate. Somehow “matching” the recent warming without heat present in the climate and larger than the energy imbalance, and then adding that heat in later decades quite likely accounts for the temperature excursions the model projections start taking in the middle of the century.
I would be interested in what you find convincing about Dr. N-G’s responses that address the fuel mixture analogy?
Don’t feel bad, the “experts” don’t do any better. Keep in mind, it is a multidisciplinary field, there are not really any experts who understand the whole thing. It is the modelers that are expected to bring it all together with parameterizations of physics and data that others are expert in.
KG, Reductio ad absurdem’s like Stirner’s often seem like evidence, especially when done a bit poetically and playfully. He does anticipate Nietzsche by several decades.
Stirner’s achievement was to show that Hegelian criticism terminated in nihilism, just like the Cartesian branch of western philosophy.
If you consider “arrogance” a compelling criticism, then perhaps you should contrast Stirner with Marx, Lenin and the leaders of the 20th century conscript militaries, who had far more arrogance, the arrogance to presume to run the lives of others. Yes, there is a certain comfort in knowing that they aren’t “right”, even if it comes at the expense of knowing they aren’t “wrong” either.
I am willing to accept “arrogance” as a pejorative standard that we can agree upon. It is better than nothing. Can we get others to go along?
Darn, In #179 above, for “evidence” read “arrogance”. Apologies.
Of course I know about polar amplification. The projections for the effects on agriculture take this into account. Himalayan and Andean glaciers are already showing the effects of the relatively small amount of warming we’ve had. Precipitation is useless or worse if it’s in the wrong place or at the wrong time: human societies and productive practices are adapted to current distributions.
The fuel mixture analogy simply wasn’t relevant to the argument about errors in absolute temperatures versus those in temperature changes (absolute road speed vs changes due to depressing the throttle in the analogy). I imagine John Nielsen-Gammon had realised by this point that you were beyond rational argument. Just because you got the last word, doesn’t mean he was without an answer.
You really think that building the vast dams that would be needed in the Himalayas, an earthquake zone, is a good idea, even if it were feasible?
Keep in mind, it is a multidisciplinary field, there are not really any experts who understand the whole thing.
Except you, of course.
#181, KG, you will find no evidence in that exchange with the good doctor, that I was anything other than civil. He appreciated my serious consideration and feedback on his attempt at a model/analogy. In such a situation, it would have been uncivil of him not to respond, if he felt there was a good answer.
I am no exception to the lack of climate expertise. The good thing about a multidisciplinary field is that the authors need to be aware that researchers in other disciplines will be using their data and results. Most of the climatologists are physicists, mathmaticians, geophysicists and geologists, yes even the “modelers”, but there are ecologists, meterologists, statisticians, computer scientists, botanists,oceanographers, chemists and etc as well. Ideally this results in better writing with a general scientific audience in mind. I admit they often fall short of the ideal, but with a little work a scientifically literate person can meet them half way.
Don’t be afraid to be responsible for your own opinions.
Don’t be afraid to be responsible for your own opinions.
Knock off the sophomoric preaching, it doesn’t impress.
I’m sure Nielsen-Gammon had come across many of your sort before, and knew that whatever his response, you would respond, determined to get the last word and so claim to have won the argument.
#183, “sophomoric”, “your sort”. I thought we’d agreed to the “contempt is bad” standard distilled from your use of it to criticize Rand. Are we now modifying it to “contempt of the many is bad, but of the minority or one is OK” standard?
In other entries at that same blog, Dr. NG, admitted unfamiliarity with and interest in some of the results I cited. Since my “sort” discusses the substance, hopefully has encountered us before.
@177, AG, my question wasn’t really about AGW; I was trying to determine if you’re the type of person who will NEVER admit he might be wrong.
If you think you are being treating poorly around here, I suspect it has more to do with your attitude and the way you present yourself than with the substance of your arguments. Yes, I realize you don’t really care about that, but that means you should quit whining about the way you’re being treated.
I thought we’d agreed to the “contempt is bad” standard distilled from your use of it to criticize Rand. – ag
Why did you think that? I never said or implied that contempt in general is bad, so I’m not modifying anything – are you incapable of understanding what others say, or just dishonest?
Just to clarify, AG, I do indeed have considerable contempt for you: you insist on following your religion when it means allowing female genital mutilation and doing nothing about fathers raping their daughters, yet abandon it to defend US imperialism. Yuk.
Are you implying that you didn’t consider your statement about Rand’s contempt for most of humanity to be a criticism, was it praise or just neutral or what?
What makes you think I defend US imperialism? Seeing where GW stands in historical perspective vis’a’vis FDR and Wilson is not defending imperialism. Having no respect for Saddam’s sovereignty is not defending imperialism, it was his imperialism over his “own” country that engendered that lack of respect for his sovereignty. He grabbed his place by force, and raped young women in his rape room, and gassed the Kurds, and drained the swamp Arab culture. Why do you defend his sovereignty? Why do you emphasize fathers raping their daughters, rare enough in modern humans, and accept a dictator raping far more daughters of other fathers than any father could reasonably have? I just don’t have these geographical and collective prejudices. If I had the trillion+ dollars, I would not have invaded Iraq, yet you want to call that same state in if your son rapes his younger sister. Bill Gates appears to be doing a much better job with his money than the state is.
'Tis Himself says
Just because other people were or are arrogant doesn’t excuse either Stirner’s or your arrogance.
I find it amusing that you consider conscription is a WMD. But then you’re a libertarian, an evangelical believer in a mythical “individual.” No, conscription is not slavery, rather it’s a cost of belonging to society. It’s a form of taxation (yeah, I know, another libertarian boogyman). The government owns rights to govern its territory. (These rights are a form of property, much as mineral rights are a form of property. Let’s not confuse them with rights of individuals.) Thus, payment for use of the territory can be required by the territorial property holder: the government.
Are you implying that you didn’t consider your statement about Rand’s contempt for most of humanity to be a criticism – ag
Of course not you fuckwit. I consider contempt for most of humanity to be wrong, but contempt for contemptible individuals to be right.
What makes you think I defend US imperialism?
Your defence of US imperialism: believing (or pretending to believe) the neocon lies about the reasons for invading Iraq, in the face of abundant evidence; seeing little problem with PNAC’s Rebuilding America’s Defences.
Why do you emphasize fathers raping their daughters, rare enough in modern humans
Where the hell have you been the last 20 years?
What makes you think I defend US imperialism? – ag
Oh, and defending the cornering of contracts in Iraq for US firms, dismissing the Iraqi majority who want the invaders out as “ungrateful”, arguing that because the US prefers not to impose direct rule but simply to impose political and economic hegemony it can’t be imperialist.
KG, I haven’t seen any evidence of lies by the Bush administration. They apparently believed their representations to be true. The decision to emphasize WMD was only a strategy decision for persuasive purposes, but please recall that Secretary Powell also mentioned Saddam’s record of human rights violations.
Please have the intellectual honesty to admit that Bush is far less fascist than either FDR or Wilson.
I see you still insist on a new expansive definition of imperialism. After the US military was stretched to the limits of exhaustion by minor conflicts and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, I’m sure the rest of the world is quaking in its boots, and Eastern europe is wondering if they should just surrender to Russia.
Tis’, I am not surprised that progressives consider individuals property of society, and are willing to impose involuntary servitude. But I appreciate your intellectual honesty in admitting it. I must acknowledge the propaganda victory of the left in succeeding in labeling fascism “right wing” when as you make so clear, it is the left which subscribes to the hegelian fascist notion of the state as an “organic entity” with “a moral integrity and higher collective purpose” (per the Encyclopedia of Philosphy)
I haven’t seen any evidence of lies by the Bush administration. They apparently believed their representations to be true.
You can’t be serious. What do you think the motive was for outing Valerie Plane? Why did Cheney’s office withold documents from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 2004 investigation of the misrepresentation of intelligence in the run-up to war?
So CJO, rather then actually mention an untrue statement that you think that Bush didn’t actually believe, you engage in innuendo?
Haven’t you kept up with news (well it may be history now), Plame was not outed by Cheney’s office, but inadvertently by someone in the Dept. of State.
rather then actually mention an untrue statement that you think that Bush didn’t actually believe, you engage in innuendo?
No one in the upper levels of the Bush Administration, the intelligence community, or the Departments of State and Defense believed
Innuendo, my ass. The actions I cited are sufficient to show that the Administration was not duped, but that they knowingly made false statements, and took steps to distract from it at the crucial time (leading up to the vote) and to cover it up later.
Here is an extensive report on the numerous (“at least 935”) false statements and intentional misrepresentations made in 2002 and 2003 by the administration.
1) I don’t think Bush ever said there were close ties.
2) Bush knew there was WMD that wasn’t accounted for as documented by the UN and thought there might be stockpiles.
3) This is the one I wonder about the most, but there was an inquirey from Saddam’s government.
1) I don’t think Bush ever said there were close ties.
Rumsfeld certainly did, but fine. Let me be more precise. It was absurd on the face of it to say that there was any degree of collusion or even an ideological alignment between Al Qaeda and what amounted to an apostate regime in the eyes of Jihadists. This was well understood in the intelligence community. It is therefore not tenable to say that the administration believed what they said about Al Qaeda and Iraq, because they had no grounds on which to so believe. It was a transparent appeal to fear in the post-9/11 climate, and the allegation was decisive in swaying the opinion of an ill-informed public.
“Mr Bush did however repeat his belief that the former Iraqi president had ties to al-Qaeda – the group widely regarded as responsible for the attacks on New York and Washington.”
It was just the CIA that knew of the al Qaeda antipathy and rhetoric for Saddam and other regimes in the region, it was a topic of news reports even before 9/11. But keep in mind that after the 1st Gulf war, Saddam started trying to use Islamic rhetoric, and supporting palestinian suicide bombers families, and there were some contacts with al Qaeda. It wasn’t beyond the limits of Saddam’s character to try to ingratiate himself with al Qaeda with some kind of assistance. al Qaeda used similar rhetoric against the Saudi regime, that didn’t keep the Saudi’s from making payments either as tribute or protection money. Face it, Saddam was just not the kind of guy you could trust with WMD and he only cooperated with UN inspectors when troops were massing on his borders. The UN threats of serious consequences occasionally have to be backed up if they are to be useful at all. Why don’t you admit that Saddam just made a stupid mistake. He could still be living a life of luxury now, if he had understood the west a little better. Some say it was the French that gave him bad advice however.
Why don’t you admit that Saddam just made a stupid mistake.
I could do that and it would have no bearing on whether I believed that the Bush administration knowingly and deliberately made false statements in 2002 and 2003 for the purpose of swaying public opinion toward favoring their illegal and mercenary war. And my opinion that the Bush administration acted unethically and illegally in prosecuting the war does not in any way compel me to apologize for Saddam’s regime.
As far as it goes, I think the primary “stupid mistake” made by Saddam was simply to have remained standing after Bush Sr.’s adventure. W entered office commited to invading Iraq and toppling Saddam. This, too, is well documented, and the revelations on that score have only begun. History will not be kind.
KG, I haven’t seen any evidence of lies by the Bush administration. ag
You’re a liar. I posted the evidence on the “The stupid, it burns” thread, and you did not dispute it. I see others have now posted far more extensive evidence, and you still won’t admit the truth.
I see you still insist on a new expansive definition of imperialism.
Another lie. It is by no means new.
Eastern europe is wondering if they should just surrender to Russia.
When exactly did Russia demand that surrender?
I must acknowledge the propaganda victory of the left in succeeding in labeling fascism “right wing”
Another lie, and an exceptionally stupid one, since it is so easily shown to be false. Fascism has been quite clearly of the right since its inception, as I pointed out. Both Mussolini and Hitler came to power with the support of the right and of big business in their own states, and were supported from abroad by the right. Both crushed parties of the left and free trades unions. Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany supported Franco’s right-wing revolt against the elected moderate socialist government in Spain, which was defended by the left nationally and internationally. Fascism, like all strands of the right, is anti-egalitarian. Attitudes to the state vary orthogonally to the left-right axis: the right includes fascists, traditional conservatives “libertarians”, the left Leninists, democratic socialists, and anarchist communists.
The UN threats of serious consequences occasionally have to be backed up if they are to be useful at all.
You stinking hypocrite. The UN inspectors were in Iraq, begging the US to give them the time they needed to complete their work. The UNSC explicitly refused to authorise military action. Nothing has done more damage to the UN’s authority than the contempt shown for it by the Bush administration and its apologists, such as yourself.
Please have the intellectual honesty to admit that Bush is far less fascist than either FDR or Wilson.
More dishonesty: I have never said or implied that Bush is a fascist, since he clearly isn’t. I’ve already told you i’m not going to be drawn into your stupid comparisons between political figures acting in totally different histroical circumstances.
KG, I apologize for assuming that you were like the others in calling W a fascist.
I don’t consider emphasizing the points other countries would find most persuasive to be lying or even mischaracterizing. Even the points, not chosen for emphasis were argued at one time or another, and Congress and the leaders of these other countries are adults and also had access to intelligence.
Yes, the inspectors were begging for more time, but none of the other countries were stepping up to contribute to the expensive military force required to maintain inspector access, and garner even obstructive cooperation from Saddam. In fact the other countries were complicit in allowing Saddam to believe he could continue stalling and obstructing. He had agreed to account for his weapons 10 years earlier and still hadn’t.
The fascists were at least as egalitarian in their rhetoric as the socialists, as documented in the “Liberal Fascism” book and booktv talk I referenced. Of course the one dimensional, left-right scale has a different meaning in the US than in Europe. In the US the right is the classical liberal, for limited government and individual rights. But a two dimensional scale with the level government involvement in separate economic and social spheres is much more expressive. With totalitarianism on the left and freedom/anarchy on the right of both scales. You can plot them as axes if you like.
I forgot that we had also discussed Iraq in the “stupid” entry. Any advocacy for invading Iraq inferred in the “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” document is imaginary, it just isn’t there. I don’t doubt that people at the PNAC, including perhaps these authors, thought that Saddam had been pulling the US chain for too long. That frustration was quite generally felt on the right. It wasn’t a secret, it was a persistent criticism of Clinton that the weakness he showed was encouraging Saddam. Why is there a conspiracy theory about this?
You act as if the invasion of Iraq was made inevitible by this? There is plenty that Saddam could have done to avoid the invasion, all it would have taken is a simple recognition, such as the Iranians had in the hostage crisis before Reagan took office, that the US leadership had changed and the games were over. 9/11 only increased the seriousness of the Saddam problem in the eyes of the leadership, and one can see the reasons that they thought that way. In fact, the weakness of resolve the US had displayed against Saddam and after other incidents was thought to have encouraged bin Laden and the Taliban.
The US was not that hard for Europe or Saddam to understand, there wasn’t a secret determination, there was an open determination (just not in the Rebuilding Americas Defenses document), and Europe was complicit in making Saddam think he could keep stalling and obstructing. The UN inspectors also encouraged Saddam by overstating their case and arguing that they could still eventually prove their were no WMD stockpiles, despite Saddam’s obstruction. Frankly, noone was going to believe that Saddam couldn’t have some WMD secreted away someplace, without open and transparent access to sites and personell. The UN inspectors reports of confidence were fictions even less convincing than the case for AGW. A little less gullibility is in order here.
The weapons inspectors were in Iraq, reporting that they were getting access. You have been pointed repeatedly to the Bush administration’s lies about the links between Saddam and al-Qaeda, about the reasons for the war, about Niger. You make a great pretence of being an independent thinker, and anti-nationalist, and claim not to support US imperialism, yet you regurgitate neocon lies and rhetoric at every turn.
The fascists were at least as egalitarian in their rhetoric as the socialists
Another barefaced lie. Fascist rhetoric extolled:
The “leader principle” and the rule of the strong, in opposition to the egalitarianism of democracy.
Racial and ethnic hierarchy.
War and struggle for their own sake.
Patriarchy within the family.
In practice, fascists always sided with big business against the rights of workers, and, as I’ve pointed out repeatedly, received ideological support from the right, not the left, abroad. Just drop this particular lie, OK?
But a two dimensional scale with the level government involvement in separate economic and social spheres is much more expressive.
This of course leaves out the issue of socioeconomic equality, which has long been recognised as what divides right from left. Anarchism – I mean real anarchism, not the phony “anarcho-capitalism” – has always been regarded as a movement of the left, because of its stress on this.
Any advocacy for invading Iraq inferred in the “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” document is imaginary, it just isn’t there.
I never said that document did explicitly advocate it. I pointed to it as clear evidence that the neocons sought military bases and the control of oil supplies in that area. The PNAC document is, quite openly and explicitly, a call for permanent US global domination. I’m just taking them at their word.
In fact, the weakness of resolve the US had displayed against Saddam and after other incidents was thought to have encouraged bin Laden and the Taliban.
“Was thought” by whom, on what evidence? This sort of vague rubbish is typical of people who intedn to deceive.
The US was not that hard for Europe or Saddam to understand, there wasn’t a secret determination, there was an open determination (just not in the Rebuilding Americas Defenses document)
Indeed there was: an open determination to dominate the world, of which you evidently approve.
A little less gullibility is in order here.
Refusing to believe neocon lies, and yours, is not gullibility.
Since when did the left have problems with leaders, Stalin, Castro, Chavez, Mao, Che Guevara. It is not exactly evidence against egalitarianism. The Liberal Fascism argument is an eye opener. There is a lot more substance than just H.G. Wells to it.
Since when did the left have problems with leaders, Stalin, Castro, Chavez, Mao, Che Guevara.
That depends on what part of the left you’re talking about, moron. Talk to a (real) anarchist or democratic socialist about them. It also depends on which of the above you are talking about: Stalin and Mao were utterly loathsome dictators, Castro and Guevara dictators who nevertheless brought significant benefits to the Cuban people, Chavez is a democratically elected left-populist with a huge ego and worrying authoritarian tendencies. The fact that you are unable to make these distinctions just demonstrates (at best), your absysmal ignorance.
It is not exactly evidence against egalitarianism.
Eh? This sentence simply doesn’t follow from the last.
The “Liberal Fascist argument” is clearly a pile of shit. You have read it and have evidently remained totally ignorant about the nature of fascism. You have not even attempted to answer my points about where Mussolini and Hitler got support, and who they in turn supported. Both received support and funding from big business, both made compacts with the Vatican, both suppressed trades unions, both were assisted into power by politicians of the right, both extolled the “rights of the strong”, and hierarchies of power and privilege, both were explicit in their hatred of equality, both supported the military-clerical-business rising against the moderate-left, democratically-elected government of Spain.
For those who are interested, there is a telling review at
Jonah Goldberg’s Bizarro History
I quote a few paragraphs:
The title alone is enough to indicate its thoroughgoing incoherence: Of all the things we know about fascism and the traits that comprise it, one of the few things that historians will readily agree upon is its overwhelming anti-liberalism. One might as well write about anti-Semitic neoconservatism, or Ptolemaic quantum theory, or strength in ignorance. Goldberg isn’t content to simply create an oxymoron; this entire enterprise, in fact, is classic Newspeak.
Indeed, Goldberg even makes some use of Orwell, noting that the author of 1984 once dismissed the misuse of “fascism” as meaning “something not desirable.” Of course, Orwell was railing against the loss of the word’s meaning, while Goldberg, conversely, revels in it — he refers to Orwell’s critique as his “definition of fascism.”
And then Goldberg proceeds to define everything that he himself considers undesirable as “fascist.” This is just about everything even remotely and vaguely thought of as “liberal”: vegetarianism, Social Security, multiculturalism, the “war on poverty,” “the politics of meaning.” The figures he labels as fascist range from Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt to Lyndon B. Johnson and Hillary Clinton. Goldberg’s primary achievement is to rob the word of all meaning — Newspeak incarnate.
So when Goldberg proclaims early on: “This is the monumental fact of the Nazi rise to power that has been slowly airbrushed from our collective memories: the Nazis campaigned as socialists,” more thorough observers of history might instead just shake their heads. After all, the facts of Mussolini’s utopian/socialist origins and the Nazis’ similar appeals to socialism by incorporating the name are already quite well known to the same historians who consistently describe fascism as a right-wing enterprise.
What these historians record — but Goldberg variously ignores or minimizes — is that the “socialism” of “National Socialism” was in fact purely a kind of ethnic economic nationalism, which offered “socialist” support to purely “Aryan” German business entities, and that the larger Nazi cultural appeal was built directly around an open antipathy to all things liberal or leftist. Indeed, whole chapters of Mein Kampf are devoted to vicious smears and declarations of war against “the Left,” and not merely the Marxism that Goldberg acknowledges was a major focus of Hitler’s animus.
This became manifest in the Italian fascist and German Nazi transformations from a faction of street thugs into an actual political power that seized the reins of government, when fascists gradually shed all pretensions or appeals to socialism and became violently anti-socialist and anti-communist. But it was present all along; “the Left” were the people who were beaten and murdered in the 1920s by the squadristi and the Brownshirts; and the first Germans sent off to Nazi concentration camps like Dachau were not Jews but socialists, communists, and other left-wing political prisoners, including “liberal” priests and clerics.
Liberal Fascism is like a number of other recent attempts at historical revisionism by popular right-wing pundits — including, notably, Michelle Malkin’s attempt to justify the Japanese-American internment in her book In Defense of Internment, and Ann Coulter’s attempt to rehabilitate McCarthy’s reputation in her book Treason — in that it employs the same historical methodology used by Holocaust deniers and other right-wing revanchists: namely, it selects a narrow band of often unrepresentative facts, distorts their meaning, and simultaneously elides and ignores whole mountains of contravening evidence and broader context. [Note: exactly as africangenesis does with respect to AGW] These are simply theses in search of support, not anything like serious history.
What goes missing from Goldberg’s account of fascism is that, while he describes nearly every kind of liberal enterprise or ideology as representing American fascism, he wipes from the pages of history the fact that there have been fascists operating within the nation’s culture for the better part of the past century. Robert O. Paxton, in his book The Anatomy of Fascism, identifies the Ku Klux Klan as the first genuine fascist organization, a suggestion that Goldberg airily dismisses with the dumb explanation that the Klan of the 1920s disliked Mussolini and his adherents because they were Italian (somewhat true for a time but irrelevant in terms of their ideological affinities, which were substantial enough that by the 1930s, historians have noted, there were frequent operative associations between Klan leaders and European fascists).
Beyond the Klan, completely missing from the pages of Goldberg’s book is any mention of the Silver Shirts, the American Nazi Party, the Posse Comitatus, the Aryan Nations, or the National Alliance — all of them openly fascist organizations, many of them involved in some of the nation’s most horrific historical events. (The Oklahoma City bombing, for instance, was the product of a blueprint drawn up by the National Alliance’s William Pierce.) Goldberg sees fit to declare people like Wilson, FDR, LBJ, and Hillary Clinton “American fascists,” but he makes no mention of William Dudley Pelley, Gerald L.K. Smith, George Lincoln Rockwell, William Potter Gale, Richard Butler, or David Duke — all of them bona fide fascists: the real thing.
This is a telling omission, because the continuing existence of these groups makes clear what an absurd and nakedly self-serving thing Goldberg’s alternate version of reality is. Why dream up fascists on the left when the reality is that real American fascists have been lurking in the right’s closet for lo these many years? Well, maybe because it’s a handy way of getting everyone to forget that fact.
You are indeed a worthy follower of Goldberg: a liar and hypocrite of the far right. You have claimed to be a pacifist, yet you support the invasion of Iraq. You have claimed to be an anti-nationalist, yet you have no criticism of the neocon aim of world domination. You claim to be concerned with individuals, yet you are willing to allow parents to mutiliate their daughters, and are unwilling for the state to intervene to stop child rape because that would violate your claimed anti-statism; yet somehow this anti-statism does not stop you mouthing neocon propaganda, and systematically attempting to divert attention from neocon crimes with tu quoque arguments.
I know it may seem elitist or intellectual or me, but there are subtle distinctions to be made. I don’t support the invasion of Iraq, but see it in historical perspective, and realize that it is hypocritical to trash Bush and still be able to admire nearly any past US wartime president. Frankly, if I disliked everyone who I thought was a massmurderer, I would be isolated from much of society, and would lack historical and even current perspective.
As to parents raping children, of course the state should step in if it is taking place in the open. What I oppose is a state that can invade privacy enough to prevent it. Much like liberals oppose eavesdropping on the phone calls that terrorists place to the US, because the invasion of privacy and bypassing of constitutional safeguards is too much to trust government with. It is far more important to prevent terrorism that to prevent within the family rape, but the state that could prevent the rape, would be far more dangerous and intrusive than the state which could prevent the terrorism.
You and the criticism of Goldberg is focused on a few select facts. It should come as no suprise that businessmen cooperated with facsists. The US has openly leftist businessmen even today. During fascist regimes however, businessmen were REQUIRED to cooperate. Perhaps the fascists were a little smarter than the communists and socialists in exercising their control of industry through existing structures rather than destroying middle and executive classes with expertise that communists found they had to repeated reproduce and execute. The Soviet Union also banned trade unions, and strikes against the government have also been banned in the US and other western nations. Of course, labor could have no grievances against the leaders of their revolutions who have their best interests at heart, so states tend to exempt themselves from unions and strikes.
I don’t support the invasion of Iraq, but see it in historical perspective, and realize that it is hypocritical to trash Bush and still be able to admire nearly any past US wartime president. – ag
Liar: you have made numerous statements supporting it, and repeating the lies of the neocons justifying it. And you repeatedly sidestep the point that Bush chose this war. I certainly don’t admire Wilson, but the charge that he was a fascist is simply stupid. I don’t admire FDR, or almost any other politician, but he was right to take steps such as conscription and alliance with Stalin, necessary to defeat Hitler. Bush has no such excuse, as Saddam Hussein was not a current danger, and he knew it.
As to parents raping children, of course the state should step in if it is taking place in the open. What I oppose is a state that can invade privacy enough to prevent it. – ag
Well it never does take place in the open does it? So your position is that child rape should continue unchecked as long as it is done in private. And you still favour allowing parents to have their daughters subjected to clitoridectomy and infibulation.
It should come as no suprise that businessmen cooperated with facsists. The US has openly leftist businessmen even today. During fascist regimes however, businessmen were REQUIRED to cooperate. – ag
These were not leftist businessman, and both Mussolini and Hitler received funding from big business before they came to power – often, the same businesses were also funding other right-wing parties. You have not, and cannot, answer the rest of my points, or the points of the review, because the plain fact is the book is a sack of lying crap and you know it: you just wave it around so you can pretend all evil comes from the left. You will notice that I do not make the contrary pretence that it all comes from the right – because I actually care about the truth, unlike you.
Perhaps the fascists were a little smarter than the communists and socialists in exercising their control of industry through existing structures rather than destroying middle and executive classes with expertise that communists found they had to repeated reproduce and execute. – ag
In other words, the fascists largely retained existing socio-economic hierarchies, as right-wing movements in power do, and left-wing movements do not. At most, they expelled some elements from high positions (e.g. Jewish businessmen in Germany), and exerted a degree of political control. Once in power, they dropped the elements of their rhetoric designed to appeal to those at the bottom of these hierarchies. Hitler is recorded as saying:
“The capitalists have worked their way to the top through their capacity, and on the basis of this selection, which again only proves their higher race, they have a right to lead.”
This is quoted by Otto Strasser, who was driven out of the Nazi Party (his brother Gregor was murdered) because he took the elements of leftist rhetoric used to attract working-class support seriously.
That fascism was and is a movement of the left is the Big Lie of the “libertarian” wing of the right. Its purposes are to smear the entire left as totalitarian (as with your lie that the left never had “problems with Stalin, Mao…”); and to change the traditional meaning of the left/right distinction from egalitarian/anti-egalitarian to authoritarian/libertarian – ignoring not only the strong-state anti-egalitarian ideologies (fadcism, tradiitonal conservatism, neoconservatism), but the strong libertarian traditions in large parts of the left (anarchism, democratic socialism). The functions of this attempted realignment are to seize the idea of freedom for the “libertarian” right, and to distract from the fact that implementing their nostrums – weakening the state without instituting any other means of curbing the power of corporations and rich individuals – would lead to an enormous, self-reinforcing steepening of the existing hierarchies of wealth and power.
What do you mean “without … means of curbing the power of the corporations”? Corporations are artificial legal beings, existing at the mercy of the state. Any state, libertarians or otherwise can curb them. Corporations can be thought of as branches of government.
Corporations can be thought of as branches of government.
Don’t. Be. Silly.
Powerful modern corporations do not depend on the “mercy” of any state. They shift the bulk of their assets to where they will make the most profit; any state that attempts to revoke any of their privileges finds itself under immediate financial attack. A capitalist state that legislated to abolish limited liability would face economic collapse within weeks; but of course the situation would never arise in the core capitalist states, where corporations exercise an effective veto over legislation. We have seen clearly enough that the state is the servant of corporations in the recent bailouts.
Caveat to #212: in those states with reasonably democratic political systems, there is a countervailing pressure to corporate power, because those in government have an interest in being re-elected. Hence they have to pay some attention to public opinion. Moreover corporations do not always agree among themselves, which also serves as a limitation on their power. However over the past few decades, corporate power and that of rich individuals has greatly increased with globalisation, privatisation, and the fall in tax rates for the rich. We see the outcome in the crash of 2008.
KG, You are behind the times, “assets” are only important to the manufacturing sector. “Return on capital” is such an important metric and leverage is so important to the prospects of growing profits, that the corporations in todays information economy are lean. They usually even sold all their real estate and lease it back. The inventories are “just in time”, they have outsourced their “IT”, and so they end up owning practically nothing but intellectual property, which also exists at the mercy of the states.
Globalization has greatly increased the power of poor people as they join rising middle classes in India, China and the Asian Tigers.
Yes, limited liability corporations have proven to be an efficient mechanism for raising equity capital and failing to recognize one or two may cost a nation some business opportunities. But the stock of those corporations will be significantly impacted by the loss of a market, and corporations have again and again been fleeced by minor third world countries, through nationalizations, taxation and imposed contracts and regulations.
I was inexact: by “assets” I meant everything they own, including the strings of numbers that constitute financial capital. As we have seen, even the most powerful states cannot afford to let belief in these strings of numbers fail. The Chinese and (to a lesser extent) Indian middle classes have certainly expanded, but within both China and India (as within almost all countries), inequality has increased enormously, and many hundreds of millions of the real poor have benefited not at all. We’ll see how well these new middle classes do in the oncoming slump – my prediction is that they will suffer even more than their counterparts in rich countries, while the really wealthy will retain most of the vast gains from the last 30 years – unless there is a recrudescence of socialism in some form.
corporations have again and again been fleeced by minor third world countries, through nationalizations, taxation and imposed contracts and regulations. – africangenesis
As ever, you side with the rich and powerful. Over the past three decades, of course, most poor countries (interestingly, China and India are exceptions because of their size) have been subject to the dictates of the IMF, World Bank and WTO, forcing them to privatise, slash spending on health and education, etc.
I state some facts, and you state I am siding with the rich and powerful. If the facts are against your agenda, you should side with the facts. The IMF and World Bank are involved in loans, if the “poor” countries don’t want the money they aren’t subject at all. Presumably, the modern humans in these societies are smart enough to know whether they prefer their successful traditional culture (by evolutionary standards) or want to try what the world community has to offer. Unless they borrowed from Russia or China, they can always reneg on their loans, in which case they, unless they complete blew the money, they would still be better off than before.