Saturday, November 28, 2015

Political Sense and Nonsense


Donald Trump puts his name on everything and coats his homes with gold. Ben Carson's homes are plastered with paintings of himself (some of them selfies with Jesus) and blowups of press clippings, even in the baths. Carly Fiorina touts friendships with people who openly loathe her. Ted Cruz brags about burning bridges with every person he would have to work-with, if he became president.  

What's with the frail egos of these GOP front-runners?  Trump's blaring solipsism and Carson's relentless humble-brags say a lot about their followers - our neighbors who would foist such people on us.

Hate-government propaganda has reached a point where having a scintilla of experience at public governance is death to a GOP candidate. Our parents in the Greatest Generation (whose favorite living person was FDR) would be appalled. But ah well. At least Fiorina and Trump don't avow to praying daily (as Carson and Cruz do) for the world to end. Nothing less than that.

Ah then this note on the hate-government one-upmanship! Ben Carson says he does not want to shut down the Department of Education; he would prefer to turn it into an investigatory body which would "monitor our institutions of higher education for extreme political bias." Carson says our tax system should be based upon the Bible... he clearly hasn't read it closely.

== Truth telling and fact-checking ==

Crime rates have been at historic lows during the Obama administration, and police deaths have also dropped to their lowest level in a lifetime.  So how does New Jersey governor Chris Christie get away with saying the diametric opposite, in railing against Obama during the recent debate?  Simple.  There is no longer even a figleaf correlation between dogma and actual fact on the American right.  

Any attempt to set up or refer to a Fact Check site soon devolves, because no matter how sincerely non-partisan the group's original intentions, they will soon be dismissed as "partisan," for one simple reason.  Because there is no longer even a figleaf correlation between dogma and actual fact on the American right. It is the basic reason for the War on Science… and against every other American clade of skill and knowledge, from medical doctors to teachers, civil servants, law professionals, economists, journalists. 


See Fact-checking the Republican debate on FactCheck.org.


Now logically, there is a solution. Ask each candidate to nominate a notoriously nitpicking-honest person from his/her home district -- a supporter, certainly but above all known for being  scrupulously meticulous and truthful.  If they pick a partisan shill, then that fact becomes a blatant stain.  If they pick someone of decent repute for savvy honesty, then all of the candidates' selections might gather to choose members of a new fact-checking organization!  Hey, it could happen, and our politics would improve.

But then again, it won't happen.  Because half of America has been taught to actively hate facts.  And all of the professions (only starting with scientists) who work with and live by facts. 

And nothing makes this clearer than their reaction to the huge disparity of positive vs negative outcomes from democratic and republican administrations. Any sane and sapient and patriotic US citizen would look at outcomes as a principal determination of which party to trust with power.

== Oh but the scion speaks! ==

In his desperation to stand out from the GOP front-runners -- Trump, Carson, FIorina, Cruz -- Jeb Bush has decided to put forward something original for a Republican politician, these days… substance.  He has offered a proposal for entitlement reform -- saving Social Security and Medicare from insolvency -- that contains actually plausible proposals that might contribute to solving the problem. 


Are you surprised that I would say anything nice about a member of the horrifically harmful Bush Clan?  Did I mention he's being reasonable as an act of desperation?

Oh but here's the capper.  Every single one of his proposals comes from the entitlement reform deal that had been worked out long ago, near the end of the last Clinton Administration! Only Jeb has stripped away any mention of that... along with all the compromises that Newt Gingrich and others had agreed to, in exchange for raising the retirement age, etc. 

 What were those compromises? For starters, cutting back the awesome-failures known as the Bush tax cuts for the super rich, which never delivered any economic benefits… any at all.  But Jeb can't include any of THAT in his grand plan. Those pullbacks of supply side (voodoo) idiocy were why the masters of the GOP betrayed Newt and common sense and torpedoed entitlement reform twenty years ago.

No, Jeb's plan is to take only the parts Rupert Murdoch liked, declare that he invented them, and preen that he's the reasonable "policy guy" in contrast to his rivals. And sure, at one level, he's the grownup in the room (leaving out hopeless leprechauns Kasich and Pataki) by talking plausible policy.


But no, sorry, Jeb. Once more, we'll judge you and your entire clan by the OUTCOMES of past Bushite rule. Outcomes that were universally and across-the-board disastrous for the United States of America. 

== Ah... justice... ==

Just above, I alluded to a watershed event in American political life, when it shifted from normal acrimonious negotiation (punctuated by bouts of lunacy) all the way to outright re-ignition of the American Civil War.  Now comes news that should cheer any patriot.

Newly selected House Speaker Paul Ryan’s first official act was removing a portrait of Dennis Hastert from the Speaker's lobby outside the House floor. Hastert, who served in the same position - second in line to the presidency - from 1999-2007, pleaded guilty in a $3.5 million hush money case last week.  “Two sources with knowledge of the federal investigation told CNN in June that Hastert was paying a former student to stay quiet about allegations of sexual abuse from when he was a wrestling coach and teacher in Yorkville, Illinois.” The plea bargain means that none of the details will come out in open trial.

You’re kidding me, right?  The same Dennis Hastert who called the Clintons the “most-corrupt” politicians of our lifetime? (When not one Clintonite wound up even indicted for malfeasance of office.) The Dennis Hastert who screeched at Bill Clinton’s immorality for some adult-consensual, hetero-rubbing in a hallway? Who denounced previous speaker Newt Gingrich for the twin sins of divorce and actually negotiating (shudder) with democrats to pass legislation for the good of the nation?

The Dennis Hastert whose “Hastert Rule” (to punish any republican who ever works with a democrat to craft compromise legislation) did more than even Fox News to destroy politics as a problem solving methodology in the U.S?  Thus wreaking more harm on the republic than anyone since Josef Stalin? In other words, Dennis Hastert the deliberate traitor… and now exposed as perjurer, briber, pervert and hypocrite?

Oh… could not have happened to a more apropos guy. Only note.  The ratio of Republicans to Democrats caught in sexual peccadilloes is at least two-to-one. (Keep track, over the years!) But the ratio of those involving under-age victims is simply enormous.


== Miscellaneous items ==

A new browser plug-in will highlight the names of U.S. politicians in news articles, letting you hover over them, creating a pop-out that informs you who their major donors are.  A great way to verify that their pronouncements and stances are - yes - bought and paid for.  Says the 16 year old designer of the App: “It is my hope that providing increased transparency around the amount and source of funding of our elected representatives may play a small role in educating citizens and promoting change. If you use the extension when reading about a Congressional vote on energy policy, for example, maybe you’ll discover that a sponsor of a bill has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the oil and gas industry. Or maybe you’ll learn that the top donors to a member of Congress who opposes tort reform are lawyers and law firms.” The motto of Greenhouse is: “Some are red. Some are blue. All are green.” As in the color of cash. 


Ukraine has banned all relic Soviet or Russian-Imperial symbols, so the remaining Lenin statues had to go… or else… be transformed!  This one has become -- Darth Vader! Also "hey were planning to install a Wi-fi router on the statue's head so that he can "communicate with the other Siths."  


An interesting article shows that thousands of locales in the U.S. still have place-names that are racist or otherwise offensive by modern and evolving standards.  Most must have been offensive - deliberately so - in their own time and context… though some may have been genuine homages. No matter.  Standards do evolve and we should use names to suit our needs and times. And our time needs to to care. 


The Cybersecurity Podcast runs a series of timely and provocative interviews with figures who are prominent in our transitions era, from White House security czars to sic fi authors and privacy pundits (I overlap, though I've not been on ;-) ) to John MacAfee the anti-virus company owner who is running for President under the Cyber Party banner. 

Phew, interesting times.
  

91 comments:

Tony Fisk said...

Suggests that the GOP candidates (apart from Trump) are little more than 'finger puppets'. Kocheads? Rupes?

Q: have there actually been any primaries yet?

David Brin said...

Iowa has their caucuses in January, I think. Dumb and irrelevant. Iowans are weird. Their conservatives are darn near fascists and their liberals are almost pinkos. The first real primary is New Hampshire, where the GOP establishment will try to hold a line. But then S Carolina will pretty much decide things for the GOP.

locumranch said...


David is, in fact, correct about the sad state of US conservative party candidates in regard to over-statement, truth-telling, a fact-checking deficit and the omnipresent hate-mongering, yet the sad fact is that these despicable foibles demonstrate bipartisan penetrance.

So, for every Ben Carson who tries to use his personal friendship with JC to self-justify, we have a President Obama who uses his Christianity to justify murderous carpet-bombings & anti-Christian social doctrines; and, for every Chris Christie who perceives that the job of police officer has become increasingly dangerous (as evidenced by the mandatory use of body armour) & condemns inappropriate social policies, we have a Hilary Clinton who perceives an erroneous 'rape crisis' in which "1 in 5 College Women" are raped (even though actual US Justice stats put this 'epidemic' at less than 1%) & declares that "Women have always been the primary victims of war" (despite all those male corpse piles that say otherwise); and, for every Donald Trump who supports Muslim registration & the mass deportation of illegals, we have a 'heroic' FDR who effected the forced relocation & mass incarceration of over 100,000 Japanese-American citizens during WW2; and, for every Jeb Bush who repackages Clinton-era entitlement reform as his own, we have a progressive figurehead who waters down & repackages Governor Romney's healthcare reforms as Obamacare.

In a country where over 2/3rds of the voting polity possesses either average or below-average intelligence, this is the kind of political system with which we are left because people as a mob or 'en masse' are exceptionally stupid as evidenced by declining public acceptance of climate change argument.*


Best

* http://www.msn.com/en-ca/weather/topstories/support-for-climate-deal-declines/ar-AAfHIbA

dominictemple said...

The problem of dealing with the crazies on the right isn't the crazies themselves, it's the enablers like David Brooks that say "both sides" and "politicians" are to blame. It's the escape hatch that networks and newspapers give when pressed on the outright crazy lies that republicans spout, they can always say "both sides are equally to blame."

That way they avoid any issue of blame or responsibility for past deeds, keep an eye or ear out for "both sides" or "extremists on the left and right" and you'll surprised how often it comes on news reports.

Paul SB said...

"In a country where over 2/3rds of the voting polity possesses either average or below-average intelligence"

That one's so bad it's funny, but the old joke went: "He was shocked to find out that half the people have only average intelligence or less." This joke goes around each election cycle, attributed to which ever candidate someone doesn't like. But now it's 2/3rds? Good one!

Laurent Weppe said...

"In a country where over 2/3rds of the voting polity possesses either average or below-average intelligence"

The "everybody but me is a fucking moron who deserves to be beaten into submission" school of thoughts shows no sign of waning in popularity, alas.

Tacitus2 said...

My opinions, which like most of yours are worth exactly one vote.

The only current GOP candidate who could win a general election is Rubio. He would likely pick a female VP candidate. I am not just thrilled about another young and inexperienced Senator, but that's how it is.

Only a serious smack down by the FBI on the email stuff could deny Hillary the Dem nomination. I have no personal animus towards her but think her record is at best mediocre. You may of course hold other opinions on this.

It might come down to a brokered Republican convention. That would be a fascinating civic exercise. I have no idea who would emerge from it or whether a compressed campaign could even be mounted in that time frame.

Fact Checks often have bias. So does damn near everything else you read.

The discrepancy David suggests regards infidelity among politicians might be superficially correct. If you tally up D and R you might find more of the latter. I don't consider this a productive use of my time.

An entire cohort of Democratic political office holders was clobbered by the high handed manner in which the Affordable Care Act was pushed through. Long time posters will recall that at the time I described it as the political equivalent of Pickett's Charge. Look at the numbers of R controlled statehouses, state legislatures, etc. It's not all gerrymandering.

Oh, and I suspect but certainly cannot prove that our D friends get a bit of helpful looking the other way from the press, ala John Edwards.

I am happy to discuss Conservative politics but don't find Republican politics to be the same thing.

I suppose it would be too much to hope for TWO brokered conventions. sigh. Too tired for vitriol today.

Tacitus

Hollister David said...

My top priority is ditching carbon based energy sources. I'd love to hear politicians say "A solar array on every roof." or "More nuclear power plants."

But I'm not hearing much about energy policy from either party.

Fracking is giving us cheap energy which is having a positive effect on the economy. But I believe it is only postponing an inevitable transition. In the mean time I've been watching my stock in Tesla and Solar City decline.

Glancing my neighbor's direction is good for a chuckle. Half of his car's bumper is covered with Obama stickers. The other half is covered with anti-fracking stickers.

Instead of real issues it's about personalities and sex scandals. Yes, it is all noise. Including the above post by David Brin.

Paul451 said...

Tacitus2,
Re: D vs R rates of perversion.
"Oh, and I suspect but certainly cannot prove that our D friends get a bit of helpful looking the other way from the press, ala John Edwards."

Really? With Fox News, Breitbart, Drudge, Murdoch's newspapers like The NY Post, etc etc, that there aren't enough people actively digging for any trace of dirt on Democrats? That if there was even a hint that a Dem was fiddling kiddies they wouldn't scream it from every rooftop?

Tacitus2 said...

Paul 451

Public figures of all stripes do seem to get away with a lot and for a long time. Fear of lawsuits keeps most stuff at the nasty rumor stage. I don't have time to waste on Fox News either, but seems what I have picked up in my peripheral awareness they don't go in for that sort of attack so much. And I was speaking more generally of the spousal infidelity issue that David raised first. By raising "rates of perversion" you are upping the game past where I choose to play.

T

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

I am happy to discuss Conservative politics but don't find Republican politics to be the same thing.


Agreed, but right now, it's all you've got, isn't it? I mean, if I'm wrong, tell me how.


Oh, and I suspect but certainly cannot prove that our D friends get a bit of helpful looking the other way from the press, ala John Edwards.


I can't prove what went on before Edwards's infidelity went public, but as soon as it did, he was out. No triumphant return a la Vitter or Sanford.

On the "Cerebus" comics forum I used to frequent, a conservative there liked to argue that Democrats were hypocrites for liking Edwards. His proof of this involved pointing out how many Democrats voted for Edwards in the primaries, before the infidelity story broke. The guy I'm talking about used to be a rational conservative who I could have meaningful conversations with, but something about Obama's election drove him over the edge. I stopped conversing with him entirely when he began insisting that my political attitudes were a threat to my ability to raise a young daughter. Life's too short.

LME said...

David, I find myself in agreement with almost all of your description of the current situation. I think it is finally clear that a substantial portion of the populace has been manipulated via relentless media exposure into a delusional state that is likely to end badly. I realize that this is the mantra from BOTH sides, and although facts will demonstrate their reality in the end this does not guarantee anyone will be around to say "I told you so." Just writing to let you know (as I"m sure you already do) that at least one guy out here in the American cultural maelstrom thinks you see it like it truly is.

Paul451 said...

David,
Re: Social Security and Medicare
"Jeb Bush [...] has offered a proposal for entitlement reform -- saving Social Security and Medicare from insolvency -- that contains actually plausible proposals that might contribute to solving the problem."

Raising the retirement age won't help Medicare, it will make things worse.

Firstly, most of the cost an individual accrues to Medicare occurs at the end of their lives. Costs increase over time. Raising the qualifying age merely removes the people who currently cost the least.

Secondly, by definition the people who accrue large costs to Medicare in those first two years of their retirement are people with low incomes who are sick/injured. Those people are not going to be able to afford to cover their medical costs, and so the costs will simply be passed to another scheme like Medicaid, or will destroy any retirement savings (probably both).

Thirdly, and most importantly, seniors who need Social Security and Medicare the most are generally those who held low paying and blue collar jobs. Physical jobs. The stuff that just wrecks your body. While the damage is cumulative, occurring over decades, it is also exponential. New injuries build on prior injuries, with the body healing less and less between major injuries. The last year before retirement causes more damage than the year before, and so on. I saw this with my parents. Those last two or three years seemed to cause more damage than the rest of their working lives put together. So every year you delay retirement increases the damage to your health. Thus if you raise the retirement age for Social Security, you merely increase the long term costs for Medicare.

However, there is another way: Eliminate the wage cap.

That's it.

Eliminate the wage cap and SSTF stays in the black. (Hell even just raise the cap to you capture the original 90% of wage income, instead of 82% it's currently dropped to, and you'll add 20-30 years.)

Alternatively, raise the contribution by 1.4% and the Fund also stays in the black.

Paul451 said...


cont.

Both of those options are supported by over 70% of those polled, including a clear majority of Republicans. (8 to 1 support for eliminating the cap. 6 to 1 support for raising the rate.)

https://www.nasi.org/sites/default/files/research/What_Do_Americans_Want.pdf

So where is the crisis when you have two really simple options that actually work and a clear majority support?

(Speaking of "crisis", see Table 17, page 26, in that PDF.)

Hey, why not do both. And then go further and capture more currently excluded income by extending the SSTF and Medicare contribution to all forms of income, including capital gains, dividends and corporate profits, and you not only secure both programs forever, you can lower the retirement age for the first time since 1961 and turn social security into a universal pension scheme. By essentially turning the Social Security/Medicare contributions into a "flat tax" so beloved of the Right, you not only solve the problem, you create a better society!

In the linked CNN article:
"Bush says, 'If we do not have an honest conversation about what it will take to protect Medicare and Social Security, we fail seniors and we will fail the next generation of Americans.' "

True words, dishonestly spoken. Bush doesn't want an honest conversation.

He won't even discuss the idea of simply asking people who can afford it to chip in a little more. Somehow it's considered more acceptable to hurt America's working-poor grandparents instead.

It's a crisis, you've been told, and everything is on the table.... Everything....

Except the things that would actually help.

David Brin said...

Tacitus and locum typify the range among “shrug” conservatives. Those who admit that their side has gone insane, but to varying degrees make excuses. (Put aside for now the vast majority of republicans, who guzzle Murdoch-Saudi koolaid from a firehose..)

Locum avows that all the gopper candidates are horrid… then waves his arms and casts made-up “facts” to emit the last-refuge incantation of intelligent folks on the right — “… but…but… democrats are just as bad or worse!” Sorry, not one of the anecdotes you cited are true… even remotely or glancingly true. It’s made-up stuff.

Tacitus is smarter. He comments that dems brought the problem on TACTICALLY. For instance by ramming through Obamacare without a single GOP vote. Well, given that the ACA was the republicans' OWN PLAN, dems were shocked to find no one at the negotiating table as they offered to change it. (And whose fault is it, that it wasn't thus-improved?)

There were no GOP votes - for their OWN PLAN — simply because of the Hastert Rule. Rupert made it clear that any republican who even entered the negotiating rooms would be toast. And the threat was public!

But yes, then the dems rammed it through, knowing they had little time. So? Cheating played a role in the subsequent GOP wins. But where cheating really focused was on RETAINING those statehouses, which would normally swing back and forth a bit, in the cycle of politics. Once they control a statehouse, goppers pass every act they can to lock it in, forever.

Are fact-checkers biased? Sure. Especially after they spend a year or two discovering that one side ALWAYS lies about EVERYTHING. But I offered a suggestion… a council to supervise a fact-checking service that’s appointed by the most reputably wise folks in every district.

What? are you saying we must be satisfied with today’s total lack of accountability for spewing tsunamis of lies?

Tacitus2 said...

LarryHart

As usual you raise some interesting questions.

I guess we have to decide where we apportion our compassion and forgiveness. Not all men and women who stray and/or get divorced are awful. Some are, sure. But in some settings a fall from grace and a redemption have to be accepted. Edwards got more than the usual crap about his situation because his wife was dying of cancer and he took up with such an utter lunatic. Having a child and pretty much not accepting responsibility was also tacky.

I would put Trump in a similar status. He talks about a lot of things but who knows what he actually believes in other than himself. His ideas are in many cases anti-conservative and show a lack of respect for precedent and tradition. He is part of the whole culturally rotting phenomena of "Reality". I will vote for Clinton if he were the Republican nominee.

You have me thinking about Edwards now, not something I was expecting. He always gave me a sort of weird vibe. For all the Wag the Dog ability of modern communication to build up or tear down public images I think we still retain an innate ability to detect falsehood. The perfect hair, the blindingly white teeth, there was something - and I don't mean just physical appearance - that made the revelations about him no surprise.

We trust some individuals. Walter Cronkheit. Colin Powell. Nelson Mandella. We have an instant suspicion of others. That list is a long one.

Nap time now. Night shift in the world of Medical System Dysfunction.

Tacitus

David Brin said...

"Instead of real issues it's about personalities and sex scandals. Yes, it is all noise. Including the above post by David Brin."

Feh, armwave away! But show me anyone else who has compared actual OUTCOMES as I have here:
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/06/so-do-outcomes-matter-more-than-rhetoric.html

Answer my challenge in comparing actual outcomes from spans of demmie vs gopper administrations, Then tell me I am not talking about real issues of substance, Mr. Hollister.

===
Tacitus, when it comes to consensual-adult adultery, the wife has some say in whether it is any of our business. Perverted child-molestation is another matter. In any event, Bush Jr. diverted scores of agents from other duties (including anti-terror) as soon as he entered office, sifting for Clintonian smoking guns on anything at all. He failed. Utterly. Top to bottom, leaving the Clintonites the ONLY two term administration in US history without a single high or medium official even indicted for malfeasance of office.

And not for want of trying! You think Murdoch hasn't tried? For offered rewards! As the Kochs have offered huge "grants" for any climate scientist who will defect to them. All to no avail.

Deuxglass said...

I am sorry to inform you but locumranch is right.

He said:
In a country, where over 2/3rds of the voting polity possesses either average OR below-average intelligence,

Average intelligence is defined as between 90 and 110 IQ. If we add those below we come to close to 66% of people are of average or below-average intelligence. His math is correct.

David Brin said...

Paul I agree with eliminating the wage cap. Though in which case we'd best just admit it is another part of income tax, and simplify.

My age-rise suggestion was mostly about social security.

Thanks LME.

LarryHart said...

Deuxglass:

If we add those below we come to close to 66% of people are of average or below-average intelligence. His math is correct.


The point is that this is hardly a cause for shock or dismay.

"99% of the population is below the top percentile" would be just as true and just as irrelevant a statement.

Deuxglass said...

LarryHart,

I understand. You were just making fun of him as in "does a bear shit in the woods" type. So you cheery-picked something he said and instead of thinking about it you made it into a joke. I thought we were better than that here but I guess I was wrong.

Paul SB said...

Deuxglass, it's pure solipsism. Anyone who has had a statistics class knows that average IQ is one deviation either side of the mean, so the 66% figure is pure No Duh! to anyone with an adequate education. It is rhetoric meant to give a false impression of stupidity by lumping average (which is not stupid by definition) with below-average, giving the impression that the world is coming to an end on this ship of fools steered by morons ®.

Dr. Brin already dealt with the other aspects of loci's content - there really is nothing there to think about, except that this is pure solipsism based on strings of false assumptions, distortions and non-sequiturs, which is his usual modus operandi.

Hollister David said...

"Feh, armwave away (snipping a wall of text that has nothing to do with energy policy)."

You make my point. Neither side is talking about energy policy.

At the moment we're seeing a boost in the economy from cheaper carbon based energy. Obama deserves credit for fracking.

Cruz would allow fracking while expressing skepticism on global warming. Obama will acknowledge global warming but allow fracking because a Dow Jones upturn will help the next Dem candidate. Sorry, they both smell the same.

In the mean time efforts to develop solar energy & electric cars are taking a dive. No one is even thinking of building new nuclear power plants.

Deuxglass said...

Yes I know all about that. What I wanted to say is that it turned to pure petty meaness. Locun says a lot of stupid things but I try to figure out what is behind his words and to see his thought processes while some people here love to jump on the least thing he says. You say it is evident what he said and it is but have you not yourself said evident things here also? And did everyone jump on you? If you want to change his views then you must use his logic and his reasoning to refute his arguments because he already rejects yours. If he says something logical then encourage him otherwise you are no different from a gang of schoolyard bullies. We talk about morality in this forum so maybe we should apply it to ourselves.

Jumper said...

I've had three concussions in my life; one caused amnesia, one knocked me unconscious, and one had me leaking cerebrospinal fluid out my ears for weeks (I lost 20 lbs after that one, but I wasn't trying to). No obvious problems after recovery each time. Now I'm in my 60s and my memory is getting annoying. No problem for me, but people assume I'm a dolt sometimes, which I suppose I am! Now, though, I can't sleep well, for the common old-guy reason; waking up several times a night. That's rapidly heading me towards a limited employment scenario. I do my job quite well now, and it exhausts me. I can't promise I'd perform as needed soon enough for many who might employ me were I to need a new job.
I don't think my case is unusual. To make someone like me wait to 70 (I won't have to) is harsh, especially someone who hasn't the backup I do. When I say harsh, I'm downplaying how furious this cruel proposal makes me. It's basically defaulting on a debt, much to the glee of the anti-tax, anti-government types.

David Brin said...

The only large bloc of voters to cling to the GOP is non-college, working class whites. This article uses ststistics to tease out why and it is not pretty.

http://www.salon.com/2015/11/29/the_truth_about_the_white_working_class_why_its_really_allergic_to_voting_for_democrats/

In fact, the picture changes when you pull out the 11 state former confederacy. Then the hostility is not so bald-faced and raging. Interesting.

David Brin said...

Mr. Hollister your proclamation is refuted by this posting of mine from a couple of hours ago:

"Peter Thiel offers up an appeal for the resurrection of nuclear power as a way to reduce carbon-fuel use in the nearer term, getting us across the fairly long gap before sustainables truly take over. Thiel isn’t alone. Techno-modernists with deep liberal connections, like Stewart Brand, have been pointing out how vastly-better the newest reactor designs are, safe from the catastrophic failure modes like coolant failure meltdown. Thiel's appeal is cogent and - yes - a little right-of-center, but giving a respectful nod to the can-do New Dealers of the 1940s, Thiel calls for an alliance of adults to get this bridge to the 2050s built in time to help.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/28/opinion/the-new-atomic-age-we-need.html?smid=tw-nytopinion&smtyp=cur&_r=1

“Both the right’s fear of government and the left’s fear of technology have jointly stunted our nuclear energy policy, but on this issue liberals hold the balance of power. Speaking about climate change in 2013, President Obama said that our grandchildren will ask whether we did “all that we could when we had the chance to deal with this problem.”

Alas, it is precisely in order to prevent this kind of negotiation that cynical traitors have plunged us into phase 8 of the American Civil War, ensuring that politics — the art of building consensus/compromise/pragmatic attempts to solve problems — has been killed, and will stay dead in the U.S., until one side or another suffers a defeat deep enough to re-evaluate obstinacy."

Tacitus2 said...

Jumper

I had you pegged as considerably younger. Your postings are always neurologically cogent. If we see time stamps in the middle of the night we will now know why.

Having my "morning" caffeine load I decided to actually look at a few questions. I started out wondering how many state officials were R vs D but got side tracked. (I think its about 60/40 but depends on how you define the category). But I did find an interesting list on Wiki of state and local politicians convicted of criminal acts while in office.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_state_and_local_politicians_convicted_of_crimes

Looking at the 2010 to 2015 numbers my quick tally was 80 Democrats and 30 Republicans. Oh, and one Green.

The usual things of course, money and corruption predominated. But if we are charged by our genial host with keeping track of such things there were a few jerks who committed crimes further out on the turpitude scale. Let's name 'n shame, shall we?

Mayor of Racine WI, Gary Becker (D) attempted child seduction.
State Assemblyman Chris Orlloft (R) of New York online enticement
WI State Rep Bill Kramer (R) sexual assault
IL State Sen Keith Farnham (D) child pornography
ID State Sen John McGee (R) sexual harassment.
NJ Assemblyman Alberto Coutinho (D) child pornography.

of course there are probably lots of others like David's own Mayor Filner who were convicted of other things but were morally deficient on a broad scale.

There are lists going further back if you can stomach them. The kinds of things pols got caught doing change a little over time, as our society changes. Various states tend to have the occasional bumper crop due to focused sting operations.

Holding my nose and doing the research so you don't have to:

Tacitus
* the Federal list is lots shorter. Since 2009 3 R and 2 D. 4 and 2 if you consider Petraeus to be a Republican.

LarryHart said...

Deuxglass:

I understand. You were just making fun of him as in "does a bear shit in the woods" type. So you cheery-picked something he said and instead of thinking about it you made it into a joke.


Ex-squeeze me?

What did I say except to explain why, even if his statement was true, it wasn't the cause for alarm being presented. "Made it into a joke"? What joke?


I thought we were better than that here but I guess I was wrong.


Now, that, I could make into a joke.

Paul SB said...

Deuxglass, there are people in this world who are amenable to change, people who are willing to listen to other people's views and not dismiss anything that does not exactly match their own ideas. This is not one of them.

As a general rule, I am all in favor of courtesy. But when someone has declared himself to be an enemy of the vast majority of humankind, courtesy becomes cowardice.

When I first started contributing to this blog, there were quite a few people who jumped down my throat. After a couple months they mostly discovered that I am, for the most part, reasonable and willing to take people seriously. The same goes for most of the people who regularly contribute here. We often disagree, but we mostly disagree respectfully. This one does not, with great consistency.

Courtesy expended on playground bullies is not rewarded by them, it is generally met with jeers and kicks to the pants. Why bother? You only facilitate him by taking him seriously, and feed his ego by demanding the same courtesy for him that he gives to no one.

LarryHart said...

Deuxglass:

What I wanted to say is that it turned to pure petty meaness. Locun says a lot of stupid things but I try to figure out what is behind his words and to see his thought processes while some people here love to jump on the least thing he says.


I've translated for him many times when I thought I knew what he was saying and that others did not. And I never once "defended" the guy by calling him stupid.


We talk about morality in this forum so maybe we should apply it to ourselves.


Maybe we should.

Paul SB said...

"... ensuring that politics — the art of building consensus/compromise/pragmatic attempts to solve problems — has been killed, and will stay dead in the U.S., until one side or another suffers a defeat deep enough to re-evaluate obstinacy."

I came across an interesting thought from Machiavelli today (I am listening to him on CD in my car, so I don't have page #s handy). He was discussing division & factionalism within a nation and suggested that the common-sense notion that the best time to invade is when factionalism is at its most rancorous is ill-conceived. He points out that as soon as an invader from outside steps in, the warring factions unite. This is an unsurprising statement of the Law of Segmentary Opposition, but what he wrote next was interesting. He gave an example of how to take advantage of a society that is highly factional. The city-state of Pistoia had two major factions in its leadership, and had been an enemy of Florence for most of the 15th Century. But instead of invading, the Florentines did something more clever. They kept helping out and propping up the weaker faction, perpetuating the conflict between the two groups. Eventually the people got so fed up with their inept leadership that they actually invited Florence to take over, figuring that they would be better off ruled by Florence than their own leaders.

Now Florence and Pistoia were peers, of roughly the same size and status. I'm not sure the US exactly has peers that could be Florence to our Pistoia, though both Russia and China may be close. Gloom and doom, I know, but an interesting thought on where our political rancor could end up taking us.

Robert said...

I find it amusing that Dr. Brin didn't consider me a conservative.

But then, I probably aren't one. Social libertarianism is a far cry these days from Republican conservatism.

Locum's claims about 2/3rds of the people being of average intelligence or below (which has already been called out by several people) also forgets an important fact: even the people in that 1/3rd percentile who are below average intelligence are likely better educated than people 100 years ago... and if you compare their intelligence to the intelligence of people in that 1/3rd percentile from 100 years ago, you would likely find they are more intelligent. After all, intelligence scores are dumbed down when the average intelligence goes up so that the percentile remains the same.

As for Dr. Brin's continued dismissal of Sanders... well, I see it as akin to people dismissing Libertarian candidates. "You're just throwing your vote away. You should vote Republican because at least they espouse some of your views!" (Except that Democrats also espouse some Libertarian views in such areas as abortion and marijuana legalization.) If every person who held their nose and voted Republican instead of the Libertarian candidate who was "going to lose" instead voted Libertarian, we'd have fewer Republicans in office. And we may very well have some Libertarians in office.

Likewise, Sanders is generating tremendous enthusiasm. He's done enough that Hillary is pivoting to the Left to try and keep Sanders from completely undermining her as a DINO, much like Obama (ie, both would have made excellent Republicans around 30 years ago). If Democratic and Independent voters voted who they wanted instead of being afraid of "wasting their vote" then you'd probably see Sanders win the Democratic nomination.

It's an interesting blind spot with Dr. Brin that he refuses to seriously consider this. Then again, he's probably loyal to the Clintons and thus refuses to undermine Hillary's coronation.

Rob H.

LarryHart said...

Paul SB:

The city-state of Pistoia had two major factions in its leadership, and had been an enemy of Florence for most of the 15th Century. But instead of invading, the Florentines did something more clever. They kept helping out and propping up the weaker faction, perpetuating the conflict between the two groups. Eventually the people got so fed up with their inept leadership that they actually invited Florence to take over, figuring that they would be better off ruled by Florence than their own leaders.


Is that why, in 2008, the news media kept propping up either Obama or Hillary, whoever was behind in the polls at the time until that person caught back up? And then the same thing with Obama and McCain? And then the same thing with Obama and Romney in 2012?

LarryHart said...

Robert:

If Democratic and Independent voters voted who they wanted instead of being afraid of "wasting their vote" then you'd probably see Sanders win the Democratic nomination.


If I thought for a moment that Bernie Sanders could win the general election in November, I'd vote for him in the primary.

Primary voters picking "who I like best" rather than "who on our side can best win the election" is part of the problem, not the solution. That way lies Donald Trump.

Robert said...

That's funny seeing that the polls show Sanders winning more readily against the Republican candidates than Hillary.

David Brin said...

Rob H you know very well that I tried to come up with some gurerilla online theater to ridicule the "dynasty" aspect of Reagan-Bush, Reagan-Bush, Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush... punctuated by Obama, Obama... then Clinton, Clinton?

I am not thrilled. But I do know that if she is elected she will appoint top-skilled people who will try hard to DO THEIR ^%$#! JOBS. And if she gets a decent Congress, some reforms will pass and the IRS will be funded well enough to deliver decent service and actually go after rich cheaters. And the deficits will continue to decline.

And yes, all of that is likely under Pres. Sanders. Indeed, where else will he go, to get appointees? There'd be huge overlap... though I guess he'll bring in some socialists from Sweden. Yawn.

Dig this I do not so much oppose Sanders as find him mildly problematic. His radicalism toward the parasite caste is called for and I am glad someone is saying these things! But I do not envision him getting along with Congress, even a democratic one.

And he reminds me of my dad.

LarryHart said...

Robert:

That's funny seeing that the polls show Sanders winning more readily against the Republican candidates than Hillary.


Polls this far in advance are almost meaningless. One early match-up between Obama and McCain (long before either party had settled on a nominee) showed Obama winning Illinois and losing 49 states.

The polls also show something like 50% of voters will never vote for a socialist. And you can also say that's too far in advance, but that's not the sort of thing that changes over a few months.

I love Bernie Sanders on the issues, but I doubt that he's electable. If he were the Democratic nominee, I'd be a nervous wreck all the way to November. That's why I'd rather his effect on the cycle is to force Hillary to espouse his kind of platform.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

And he reminds me of my dad.


Funny, when my dad was still alive but suffering dementia, McCain reminded me of him.

Paul SB said...

Larry, I wouldn't suggest that there is some kind of conspiracy in the media here. It's more that our society is making a mistake that is somewhat predictable.

Robert, your comment on the 1/3rd lowest intelligence and how I.Q. tests are norm-referenced is right on the mark. It also points to a key flaw in the thinking of those who insist we are all a bunch of sheeple doomed to extinction and/or the fires of Hell. I.Q. scores have been going up since the end of WW II. We are actually improving, even though huge numbers of people have exactly to opposite impression (Machiavelli pointed this out, too - not the IQ thing but about how people are easily duped into believing that it was so much better in the "old days" even though we actually don't know the details of the "old days" nearly as well as the times in which we live).

As far as Bernie Sanders goes, I'm just not ready to commit to anyone yet. I'm not thrilled by any of our choices, and I haven't been since before I was old enough to vote. That probably says more about me than Sanders or any of the others, though...

LarryHart said...

Paul SB:

Larry, I wouldn't suggest that there is some kind of conspiracy in the media here. It's more that our society is making a mistake that is somewhat predictable.


I was only suggesting that the media coverage is designed to maximize ratings. If one candidate is an obvious winner months in advance, no one is watching the election coverage on television. The media have their own agenda in how they portray the race.

What's even worse for democracy is that the debates are now managed by the TV stations, whose goal is not dissemination of information, but rather of maximizing ad revenue. The whole election coverage motif is now one huge conflict of interest.

Jon S. said...

Re: Carson's tax proposal -

His studies are even weaker than that. After all, Carson purports to be a devout Christian, even has a selfie-painting with Jesus in his house. Check out the "tax proposals" in the Gospels and the Book of Acts. The Apostles were communists! :-)

Deuxglass said...

LarryHart,

Locum said “ In a country where over 2/3rds of the voting polity possesses either average or below-average intelligence, this is the kind of political system with which we are left because people as a mob or 'en masse' are exceptionally stupid as evidenced by declining public acceptance of climate change argument.”

The interesting thing as I see it is that he is implying that he believes in global warming and laments the fact that the electorate can’t keep focused on an issue he considers very important. He is posing a question. Is a democratic form of government capable of making the immediate and wide-sweeping reforms necessary to avoid a global disaster that he sees coming or would another form of government be better? It is a legitimate query.

As for “Ex-squeeze me?”, do you really see that as wit? It is puerile high school humor. You need seriously to raise your standards.

Deuxglass said...

Dr. Brin,

You said:
I am not thrilled. But I do know that if she is elected she will appoint top-skilled people who will try hard to DO THEIR ^%$#! JOBS.

I think she will end up being president but I am not impressed by her. Still I will end up voting for her considering what the republicans are trying to serve us up with but that’s ok. We can survive her being a mediocre president as long as she chooses a good cabinet and listens to them. If her election is almost a given then we should try to anticipate what her cabinet would look like. Do you have any nominations you would like to see her make?

Paul SB,

I have given up hope on locum several times but I do read what he says sometimes. He is one of those who see the world in black and white and when it is not up to his standards, he rejects all of it. However, he represents a part of the population and if we want progress then we must learn about his thought processes in order to be able to counter his arguments. I would like to ignore him but I think that may be unwise because then I would be falling into the trap of talking only to those who confirm my own beliefs. I disagree on just about all he says and he can be tiresome nevertheless he does serve an important function in that he is an example of the ideas we are fighting.

Tom said...

The Cybersecurity podcast is a broken link, correction please. Thanks

Paul SB said...

Deuxglass,

I noticed the sudden apparent support for climate change in his latest rant, too, but he has done that before. It's an old tactic. I had a roommate back in my very right-wing home town (who actually ran bake sales for Rush Limbaugh) who did this very thing. The idea is to try to find inconsistencies in the "enemy" to pick apart their credibility. I have been to churches where they did this evolution (and in one, Martin Luther King - I got the Hell away from those people pretty quickly). It's just demagoguery. You might not have been on this blog when he openly stated, more than once, that he wants to see an end to civilization, with all the carnage that would entail. It's exactly the type of rhetoric he repeats (it's not his own) that encourages domestic terrorists.

As a general rule I agree that it is always a danger to surround ourselves too closely with those who share our own beliefs. That way lies confirmation bias and groupthink. It's a serious lesson you get defending a graduate-level thesis that can be a major smack in the face for a lot of people, but a good smack in the face.

On a different subject, when you asked about cabinet appointees (I would also suggest thinking about the Supreme Court), I had a funny idea. What might happen if Hillary tried to appoint her husband to a position? There are many who fondly remember the days when Bill balanced the budget, but then, it would look very much like nepotism, wouldn't it? Would people think to compare that to having Bush business partner Cheney for VP, and all the obvious corruption that entailed? It could make for amusing political theater.

Andy said...

Found this list of political sex scandals. Depending on the time range there are sometimes more Democrats and sometimes more Republicans. Scanning through there do seem to be more Republicans, though not at a 2:1 ratio. And Hastert doesn't seem to have made the list yet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federal_political_sex_scandals_in_the_United_States

Deuxglass said...

Paul SB,

We will see if he flip-flops again then.

If Hillary tries to appoint her husband to the cabinet I think she would have a fight in the Congress. It would be nepotism and considered highly irregular at the least but why not? JFK appointed his brother Attorney General so it is not unprecedented so he could become Secretary of State for example. I myself would find it very weird and a hard sell.

Catfish N. Cod said...

Deux, Paul: Hillary is as likely to appoint Bill to an official cabinet level job as any First Lady as to be appointed (I include Hillary herself in this). Quite aside from being the first First Gentleman and setting new protocols on the behavior expected in that office.... Bill is too useful as a free-floating investigator, the core of a troubleshooting squad. He can talk to anyone, work on, negotiate, or investigate anything, and wield both the dual powers of being the First Spouse as well as being an ex-President. This is a devastating combination. It's as if the gender roles in chess were reversed: Hillary the King is hemmed in by the requirements of her office, but Bill the Queen can range over the whole board and take any piece required. I am sure the two of them worked out plans for this in advance.

Deuxglass said...

Catfish N. Cod,

You said "Bill is too useful as a free-floating investigator, the core of a troubleshooting squad. He can talk to anyone, work on, negotiate, or investigate anything, and wield both the dual powers of being the First Spouse as well as being an ex-President."

You are proposing a special statute for him that does not exist in our government. How will Hillary get round that and if possible wouldn't this concentration of executive power without oversight by Congress something dangerous?

Alfred Differ said...

@Paul451 & Paul SB: I’ll drop the ‘market’ topic for now. David will talk about it again someday and we can revive it. What is still relevant to a political thread, though, is the redefinition of terms issue. I stand accused of redefining ‘market’ to suit my argument. The meaning of ‘liberal’ has changed so much in the US that one cannot use it to mean the same thing in central Europe. Is a US ‘conservative’ really conserving our traditions or trying to overturn a number of social trends? Who is a rebel and who is a reactionary? 8)

In my own defense, I’m not redefining ‘market’. I’m using a wider version a few of you don’t like. English is slippery this way and I am intentionally making use of it, but not to win a pointless argument. I do so to point out self-imposed limits on traditional viewpoints. I have an example to offer that comes straight out of Hofstadter’s latest book. What do we mean by ‘coffee’? Is it the bean? Is it the drink? Is it a set of closely related drinks? Is it the event that occurs as one of the later courses during a large dinner party? Is it the flavor? A good dictionary will relate all of that and point to related terms. That should be enough to define the term, right? That’s pretty much how Locumranch starts many of his posts. Define the term then follow a trail of thought to a conclusion. It’s not even close, though. The dictionary definition of ‘coffee’ is just the tip of an iceberg. What it means depends on how fluent a person is in the language and the related culture. To see this, note that the coffee event at dinner need not involve the serving of the coffee drink. There is also the fact that there is more than one kind of coffee bean and more than one way to prepare the drinks. How far does one have to deviate from the drink recipes before one isn’t serving coffee? Word meanings are analogical webs and there is no way to write them down. Try it and you’ll wind up with partial webs and interesting tricks you can play. The Platonic Chains David mentions in his Transparency book are snippets of these webs. Once one recognizes them for what they are, the paradoxes vanish. It should be obvious that an analogical web for a thing is going to contain that thing’s contradiction. Dark is partially defined by the absence of Light. Good as the absence of Evil makes sense to a lot of people.

So… what is a ‘market’? What is a ‘liberal’? Progressive?

Knowing each other’s analogical webs is important. Knowing how one’s own web for a term limits what one can comprehend is important. I’m suggesting that people who use too tight a definition for ‘market’ are missing something important about humanity. David makes an analogical point when he tries to describe what liberals actually think.

LarryHart said...

Deuxglass:

As for “Ex-squeeze me?”, do you really see that as wit? It is puerile high school humor. You need seriously to raise your standards.


That was to show my utter incredulity at the image you have of me. I thought you might be exaggerating for effect, but now I know better, that you despise me as the bad guy in this situation. I can live with that.


The interesting thing as I see it is that he [locumranch] is implying that he believes in global warming and laments the fact that the electorate can’t keep focused on an issue he considers very important.


You think so? Maybe you weren't around when he routinely posted about how he knows the climate is changing, but refuses to believe in climate hysteria, or something like that. I'm paraphrasing. But the last position I'd expect from locum is that the populace isn't focused enough on climate change.

David Brin said...

Deuxglass, Catfish is right that Bill could essentially walk into any door and demand that folks talk to him. Except maybe the Pentagon, Jawboning and armtwisting were how LBJ got things done and Bill could do that full time. He'd probably have to give up his foundation and only do the speaking fee thing very, very scrupulously, so there'd be an income drop. Big deal. Maybe a professorship thrown in.

The Supreme Court would chafe him.

If he gets Ambassador to Sweden, we'll know the marriage is rocky but she still wants him to be happy. If it's ambassador to Zimbabwe... well...

Deuxglass said...

LarryHart,

I don't despise you but frankly if you want to show incredulity there are much better ways of doing it instead of bullshit phrases like "Ex-squeeze me". You lower the dialogue to a base level and unless you are a fan of Wayne's World it means absolutely nothing so why use it?

You also said about locum: "But the last position I'd expect from locum is that the populace isn't focused enough on climate change."

That is what surprised me about him. Has his opinions started to change and have we contributed to this change or is it just a passing whim? Time will tell.

Deuxglass said...

Dr. Brin,

I see your point. He could be someone like FDR's Harry Hopkins. That could work.

LarryHart said...

Deuxglass:

...frankly if you want to show incredulity there are much better ways of doing it instead of bullshit phrases like "Ex-squeeze me". You lower the dialogue to a base level and unless you are a fan of Wayne's World it means absolutely nothing so why use it?


I don't know...why do you choose to lower the dialogue with phrases like "bullshit phrases"? Why defend locumranch by calling him stupid against someone who has never done likewise? The plain fact is we're somehow getting under each other's skin on a personal level, and I don't exactly understand why. For that reason, I'm not going to comment on this subject with you any more. Feel free to have the last word.

Anonymous said...

I thought I might correct an assertion made by our host concerning the motivations and intellectual curiosity of the ignorant hicks in America. They haven't been taught to avoid "fact based reality" by their Foxy indoctrination. For a scientist (or the scientifically minded) FACT is associated with data and must always be viewed through relatively. For the magic minded TEA Party Patriot, there is TRUTH, what he knows is right and what the liberals have done wrong to make Jehova angry with our Republic. It can be very difficult for a smaller mind to have the level of self-awareness to admit that important truths are dependent on facts that above their awareness. I barely survived Differential Equations in college, so I could not begin to check all the data amassed on the state of Earth's Climate. But I understand the process enough to trust the institution of Science.
Same goes for the lies of Supply-side Economics and White Supremacy. Simple addition: that minority/refugee/dirthippy over there got a job that should have been given to me. For them, the Zero-Sum is just Common Sense.

-AtomicZeppelinMan

LarryHart said...

On the subject we were actually discussing, this is what locumranch said above:

In a country where over 2/3rds of the voting polity possesses either average or below-average intelligence, this is the kind of political system with which we are left because people as a mob or 'en masse' are exceptionally stupid as evidenced by declining public acceptance of climate change argument.


Ok, maybe I'm wrong, but I took this to mean "as evidenced by the fact that public support for anything disappears over time." Not that he personally wished the public was more engaged on climate change, but that even on a subject that all the "sheeple" seem to agree on, they don't pay attention very long.

I'm trying to paraphrase someone else, so of course, I might be mistaken. I do think this interpretation is more consistent with loc's other assertions than the way you took his words.

I expect he will cast a definitive vote soon.

Paul451 said...

David,
Re: Sanders
"But I do not envision him getting along with Congress, even a democratic one."

I see the opposite. Hillary makes it easier for the Republicans to continue the block-everything strategy they've used against Obama because they have already trained their own base for two decades to utterly, mindlessly despise Hillary. It doesn't matter how bad the Republicans make things, Hillary will always get the blame amongst Republican voters. Blocking Hillary is a can't-lose scenario for the Republicans.

But Sanders says things that most of the Republican base agrees with. They are the ones I keep hearing say things like, "I don't agree with everything he says, but at least he..." That makes it hard for Republicans in Congress to play the current game with him, especially if they risk losing the Senate. It messes with their game.

Even his embracing of the word "socialism" is a judo move, to take the incessant vilification of "Liberal" and step inside their blow. (I chuckle when I hear Rusted-On Republicans say, "I know he calls himself a 'socialist', but most of the things he says are just what ordinary Americans believe.") He's playing the Foxites' Overton Window game right back at them.

Republican voters believe Sanders is being honest. That is a worth diamonds.

Aside: He has run as an independent in every election he's won over the last three decades. He's had to work with both Republicans and Democrats at the City/State and now Federal level in order to do his various jobs.

Paul451 said...

Deuxglass,
Re: Locumranch
"The interesting thing as I see it is that he is implying that he believes in global warming and laments the fact that the electorate can't keep focused on an issue he considers very important."

If you'd read his previous comments, you'd know that he considers climate change to be a fraud or hoax by progressives, and a classic example of the weak feminised controlled society progressives have created.

Given that, read his comment again. It was an (obviously failed) attempt at a sarcastic snipe aimed at... someone. He often does that, project his own contempt for the masses onto his imaginary image of "what progressives believe".

He was not expressing his own opinion, not even a temporary one. He was being a dick. (He's always being a dick.)

As for "learning" from Locumranch, you can take any random page of comments on a "Sovereign Men" neo-reactionary forum and you'll get the entirety of his philosophy. The rest is just sophomoric masturbation. What else would you have people learn?

Speaking of sophomoric...

"As for "Ex-squeeze me?", do you really see that as wit? It is puerile high school humor. You need seriously to raise your standards."

....that is cheap, and certainly beneath you. I suggest you take a hard look in the mirror before sniping at Larry's standards.

Alfred Differ,
"I'm using a wider version a few of you don't like. English is slippery this way and I am intentionally making use of it, but not to win a pointless argument. I do so to point out self-imposed limits on traditional viewpoints."

Interesting after you made such a fuss over the rest of us using a "wider version" of the word "coercion" than you liked.

Irony and so on and such.

Paul451 said...

AZM,
"For a scientist (or the scientifically minded) FACT is associated with data and must always be viewed through relatively. For the magic minded TEA Party Patriot, there is TRUTH, what he knows is right and what the liberals have done wrong to make Jehova angry with our Republic. It can be very difficult for a smaller mind to have the level of self-awareness to admit that important truths are dependent on facts that above their awareness."

The "smaller mind" nastiness is not necessary. Trusting "truthiness" is human, not "magic minded Tea Part Patriot". Science is really unnatural for humans. It's why science works, it is specifically designed around the flaws in how humans think. That's pretty unique in philosophies. (It assumes we are wrong, limited, biased, and tried to design systems that treat "objective reality" as the ultimate test of differences in interpretations of that reality.)

The political difference is that moderates have been trained to trust the "truthiness" of science, the rightwing base have been trained (especially recently) to distrust science (or any field of specialised knowledge.) Both groups are equally prone to "magical thinking"; we all are.

Like you, I can't judge the entirety of climate science research. Instead I rely on what I know about how science works. Climate science has been beaten on. If there was a weakness, it'd be exposed by now. Further, actual working climate scientists are not "researching global warming". Rather they are digging into fiddly little systems many layers further down. That's usually a good sign of a science that describes, to some extent, objective reality. Ie, people who really do understand their stuff. By contrast, self-described "climate skeptics" are still on page-one, trying to find any excuse to continue to shout "Is Not!" They haven't taken a single step beyond their "Is Not!" campaigns. There's nothing being produced that others can build on. That's usually a good sign of non-science or anti-science.

But I'm a science nerd. I've immersed myself in that culture. I "grok it".

You can't expect the average person to do that, left, right, or centre. It makes them vulnerable to liars trying to undermine the concept of science. Whether it's AGW-deniers or anti-vaxxers. It's got nothing to do with "smaller minds" or religious beliefs. It's just normal people not being specially trained to understand the very weird and unnatural way science works.

Robert said...

Dr. Brin isn't going to accept that Sanders is the better candidate than Hillary because he has long sung the praises of the Clintons. For all his dismissal of the Bush/Clinton exchange of the White House, he refuses to admit Hillary isn't a good candidate. People don't trust her. They trust Sanders.

But that's not why I'm here.

Low-lying fruit, Dr. Brin? We may have a medication allowing people to live to 120+ years... healthily. Interestingly enough, it's a diabetes drug... and has allowed diabetics to outlive the controls.

Rob H.

Jumper said...

I always differentiate between climate scientists and non-scientists when it comes to the issue of consensus. Obvious (to us) that climate scientists don't use "consensus" to understand the field; they do the science themselves. Consensus is for the non-scientist, and it's pretty useful. If you know nothing of a subject, whom do you believe? Occam's razor, and playing the odds, says go by the consensus. It's a probability analysis. Not an attempt to hold a view of "absolute truth" which is not a pragmatic goal anyway. The reason I note all this is because deniers/contrarians deliberately confuse the different use of consensus by the two groups.

Of course, for the moderately capable person, there's another alternative: statistical sampling. Pick at random one small corner of a crucial foundation of human-caused greenhouse warming, and prove or disprove that one small factor. Repeat a few times and do a Bayesian analysis of your results.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Re Science for the non-scientist

A quote from Bill Clinton

I think with regard to science we have to at least get those people who have no interest in it to adopt what is now my mode of thinking—the grandparent test. That is, you name me one other risk-related decision, where if 95 percent of the experts were here and one to five percent of the experts were there, any grandparent would stake his or her grandchild’s future on the five percent. So how about this—suppose one guy wrote one article in one journal and said, You know, I’ve been thinking about these child-restraint seats and I think you know there’s a one-in-a-million chance a kid could snap his neck so I recommend just throwing the kid in the backseat and letting him roll around. And ninety-nine percent of you would say, Oh my God, you can’t do that. These are working—look at how much the fatalities have gone down.

Name me one grandparent that would choose the one percent? Not one.



Personally I'm an engineer - not a scientist - but I can "tool up" to follow most arguments so I can read and understand enough not to have to use "the consensus"
for basic stuff
And Global warming is at root "basic stuff" as is vaccination

You get into modern physics - and I'm back to following the consensus
But I do know enough to ask if an idea has already been falsified by existing work

locumranch said...



I would like to offer the following clarifications:

First. I do accept the CO2-mediated theory of climate change (most specifically that CO2 is a 'warming gas'); however, I must categorically reject the current long-range climate change projections as preposterous because (1) they conflate relative CO2 data from ice core samples with absolute CO2 data and (2) they mistakenly assume that the biological process responsible for CO2 fixation must necessarily follow non-inducible zero-order kinetics when the main characteristic of biological system kinetics is inducibility.

Second, I do NOT wish for the destruction of (all) civilisation, but rather the destruction & reformation of the increasingly dysfunctional & self-parodic society that the West has become. Our host comes to similar conclusions & reveals similar sentiment, the only difference being that David longs for a partisan progressive triumph over 'regressive' conservatives (by their destruction) whereas I desire that "both sides lose" (as expressed by the elderly arms dealer in the film 'Lord of War'), so that the surviving moderates can recreate a functional government based on mutual interest & compromise.

And, third, yes, I do occasionally enjoy being facetious (aka 'a dick'), especially when many of you choose to base your arguments on facile & unexamined cultural assumptions, much like Queen Hillary did when she declared that "Women are the PRIMARY victims of War" (despite all the numerical evidence to the contrary), the sad truth being that enlightened minority rule by a meritorious 'intellectual elite' is incompatible with a democracy populated by a stupid 2/3 majority.


Best

Alfred Differ said...

@Paul451: A reasonable observation. I AM being fussy about words. I'm one of the believers in the notion that we embed social knowledge into our evolving language structures. The analogy web around 'coffee' has to be taught to children and ESL students. The difference between 'to peel' and 'to undress' gets taught early too, even though adults who get to watch surfers extract themselves from wetsuits will learn another link later.

I don't expect to win arguments over what words mean. What I hope to do is embed what I've learned into the language so others can use it. I'm strongly inclined to believe that the stricter definition of 'market' is creating an unnecessary misunderstanding of human nature. If we abstract the term enough to include exchanges (barter, gift, gift with expectations, and commodity mediated) between non-blood related humans (people married into a family count as blood relatives in this sense) I think we get to avoid giving ourselves the equivalent of an intellectual wedgie. I'm strongly inclined to believe that a tighter meaning for 'coercion' is useful at times to distinguish negative from positive freedom and related courses of action for defending them. I'm NOT trying to wipe out other meanings though. They must remain, but in context.

If our analogy webs are too dissimilar, we aren't going to get very far in discussions. Learning the differences and adopting/adapting what others have learned into our own is a critical social skill. Offering such knowledge here makes this a market too, right?

Alfred Differ said...

@jumper: Any properly trained scientist is well aware of the consensus of their community. They have to know in order to reference their work properly. If one doesn't reference supportive AND unsupportive work, one isn't being honest. Where the debate rages is where communities experience schism. I don't have to reference THEM because they aren't US.

A better trick to try than statistical sampling is to form a reference web. Pick any journal article and follow reference to it and from it for a while. The social graph you produce will tell you how connected the author is and to which community they belong. It will also tell you a great deal about their intellectual honesty. If few are referencing them, be suspicious of their content and move to a part of the graph that is better connected.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Locum
20 years ago you would have been correct to doubt the climate models
as they had not at that point been proven

We now have 20+ years of the real world behaving as predicted, the models have been optimized a wee bit but the original models have actually done an amazing job of prediction

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/01/2010-updates-to-model-data-comparisons/

So 20+ years of the models working well
How much do you need before the models are not "preposterous" ??

Paul SB said...

Deuexglass, do you see what loci has done here? He gives an answer that superficially appears to be in agreement, then denies the argument any practical implications. It makes him appear reasonable - even sage - while laughing behind his teeth at any dupe who falls for it. He is claiming that biological systems will negate any serious climate change by absorbing the excess CO2 industry and transportation create. But we have been over this one before. Earth has only two ways of absorbing all that CO2 - by absorbing it into bodies of water and by photosynthesis. Photosynthesis isn't happening in sufficient quantities to offset our CO2 because humans have cut down and burned most of the world's forests, replacing it with asphalt and concrete so very little can grow back. Without trees to absorb the CO2, the ocean absorbs more, rapidly becoming too acidic for much of ocean life to adapt, causing mass extinction. on top of that, bodies of water do not act like sponges and suck it all up, they absorb proportionately to the body from which the CO2 is coming.

These issues have all been discussed here before, but he keeps insisting on the same flawed arguments. Likewise his elitist "stupid 2/3 majority." It is nothing more than Argument by Assertion.
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argument_by_assertion
http://changingminds.org/disciplines/argument/fallacies/assertion.htm

Paul SB said...

Alfred, the concern I have about using the term /market/ in a very loose sense is that, by giving it paramount importance you give what would appear to be ammo for those who have more Randian/exploitative notions. They will take your argument out of context and use it to support their own agenda, which revolves around the more specific, economic meaning of the word. If by market you mean any context in which anything can be exchanged, then yeah, but not all markets are the kind of hands-off let us exploit people any way we can markets that many big money social darwinists advocate. It is more useful to draw distinctions and be more clear. The kind of exchange that took place between members of band-level cultures was not THAT kind of exchange, it was regulated by some very specific norms and social obligations. Other people will bring their assumptions to your words, and will use them in ways you might not be too happy about.

David Brin said...

I see improvement. locum has the guts now to actually state what he is for, not just blaring that hates a strawman of his own erection that bears no relation to anything his "host" ever espoused. Of course what is is for is crazy. Collapses always lead to death, suffering and then takeover by brutes who soon re-establish feudalism -- a dreary cycle that has repeated often enough to be almost sociological law. And those pyramids of power were always, to varying degrees, Stooopid at statecraft.

Our revolution is the one significant exception and it has accomplished more in a few generations than all the feudal hegemonies combined. Moreover no amount of weird hand-waving is going to evade the simple fact that the choices are enlightenment positive sum, reciprocally accountable and open -egalitarian scientific civilization... or return to pyramidal feudal hedgemonies.

Sure there may be third choices in theory! But ironically, the only way we will get to try them is if the enlightenment experiment prevails... and then does what it does... encouraging spinoff experiments because groups of dissidents whill have the freedom to try stuff.

As for his climate handwavings, they are pure blather. He forgets that I am a physicist and his incantations are hogwash. Moreover, they assume he knows more about climate modeling than the actual geniuses who are doing it now, in real time, with fantastic accuracy and success. And who have modeled climate successfully on SIX other planets....

...using methods that transformed the old joke of a 4 hour weather "report" into a 14 day miracle.

But above all there is simply this. Even if all the smart people prove to be wrong, there is one word for assholes who have cut science budgets, sabotaged satellites, refused to invest in clean energy and blocked every just-in-case measure.

Traitors.

agaricpro said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jerry Emanuelson said...

One very important concept is central to nearly everything being discussed in this thread. That is Alfred Korzybski's dictum that The map is not the territory. Words are merely models of the thing or attribute that they represent, and maps are merely representations (used by our brains) of the territory.

Our politicians, as well as millions of others who are infected by their ideoviruses, have become infatuated with maps inside of their heads that they find to be aesthetically pleasing. Increasingly, though, those maps do not accurately represent reality.

Many people become easily addicted to certain types of fanciful maps (models of reality) because they have an appealing internal consistency and are much easier to understand than an accurate map of reality.

The Wikipedia article on Korzybski says, "He argued that human knowledge of the world is limited both by the human nervous system and the languages humans have developed, and thus no one can have direct access to reality, given that the most we can know is that which is filtered through the brain's responses to reality."

This is why Alfred Differ is right in defining "markets" more broadly than is common today and in defining "coercion" more narrowly. Alfred's definitions of "markets" and "coercion" are nothing new. Some scholars have been arguing for these definitions for many decades, if not centuries. They have made that argument on the grounds that (especially in the case of "markets") those definitions enable better predictions and general descriptions of reality than other definitions.

Definitions of words are not arbitrary. Some definitions of words are objectively better than others when they enable better predictions and descriptions of reality. It is vital that the map accurately represents the territory.

Paul SB said...

Paul 451,

I haven't heard of this Sovereign Men group. Are they related to Promise Keepers in any way? I had a friend who had a run-in with that group. His marriage went south after his daughter died of Leukemia at 3. They did not deal with the stress at all well, not especially the wife, who ended up spending some time in a mental ward on suicide watch. Later she divorced and immediately hooked up with decades older man who was in this group. Colorado being a rather conservative place, the wife got custody of their younger daughter, in spite of her mental instability. A few years later she was divorced again and had to get a restraining order on her Promise Keeping husband.

locumranch said...



Same tired old lemming-like responses:

(1) Photosynthetic CO2 fixation ONLY happens in 'twees and fowests', they say, even though every reputable biology text identifies phytoplankton (algae) as the main producer of 70 to 90% of the globe's oxygen, and never a mention about CO2 sequestration by bivalves (Purisma formation) or mineral deposition (limestone & chalk);

(2) "Collapses ALWAYS lead to death (and) suffering", they swear, cause history always ENDS WITH US, even though the Renaissance (literally "a REBIRTH") followed the European Black DEATH and almost every documented civilisation (including ours) is built on the ruins of yet an older civilisation; and

(3) Accepting the pronouncements of our priests & prophets as articles of faith, even the weather on "SIX other planets" to which we have never been, only to label the disbeliever as "Traitors" & heretics.

I grant you that CO2 data derived from Ice Cores may reflect a relative change in atmospheric CO2 concentration -- how much is a matter of dispute -- but it is pure sophistry to take those relative values as a baseline absolute, anymore than IQ test relativism can claim to measure 'absolute intelligence'.

To paraphrase Korzybski: Your 'theory' is not the territory.


Best
_____
P.S. I am NOT a member the Sovereign Citizen movement

Laurent Weppe said...

* "Courtesy expended on playground bullies is not rewarded by them, it is generally met with jeers and kicks to the pants."

The fact that part of the adult population retains the temper of schoolyard bullies is one of the worst impediment faced by Mankind: negotiations, even the most basic form of horse trading doesn't work because they view everything in terms of dominance: negotiation isn't an attempt to establish dominance, therefore it is a submissive act, therefore those who prefer negotiations are potential preys to be striken at their weakest.

On the other hand giving them a bloody nose carries the risk of pushing erstwhile victims into another bully's arms: in its early stage, Daesh was attracting members by promising to give a bloody nose to the bully Assad, before revealing itself to be essentially the same type of regime (except with religious instead of nationalistic trappings, more beheadings and less chemical weapons). And even when giving the bully a bloody nose didn't backfire horribly, it proves to be at best a temporary solution: both the Planter principalities and Nazi Germany were militarily crushed by much more powerful opponents, yet their political legacy lives on.

***

* "Is a democratic form of government capable of making the immediate and wide-sweeping reforms necessary to avoid a global disaster that he sees coming or would another form of government be better?"

The thing is, we already know the answer to another question: "Is an autocratic form of government capable of making the immediate and wide-sweeping reforms necessary to avoid a global disaster"

The answer is Syria.

Or, if you want the long form answer, it is "Since non-democratic form of governments will always within a single generation devolve into parasitic institutions devoted to the preservation of the privileges and material comforts of an increasingly inept caste of dynasts, autocracies are intrinsically incapable of avoiding civilization-ending disasters, even when they are announced decades in advance"

***

* "I see the opposite. Hillary makes it easier for the Republicans to continue the block-everything strategy they've used against Obama because they have already trained their own base for two decades to utterly, mindlessly despise Hillary. [...] But Sanders says things that most of the Republican base agrees with. They are the ones I keep hearing say things like, "I don't agree with everything he says, but at least he...""

The same was said about Obama eight years ago: always at War with Eastasia, and on friendly terms with Eurasia, always at war with Eurasia, and on friendly terms with Eastasia...

David Brin said...

Drivel. Everyone knows about the involvement of phytoplankton. Nothing could display the ravings of an amateur than the stuff he's ranting. And we have been to the six other planets and the models match them perfectly and the models are good, designed by people vastly, vastly smarter than you, fellah.

And the "traitors" is aimed not at people for disagreeing, but for deliberately serving coal barons who want to delay our inevitable development of technologies that could spare us disaster. Those who sabotaged the satellites and instruments and fiverted the science and suppressed research and impeded simple measures to improve efficiency and save our citizens billions while maybe-- just maybe -- also saving the Earth. Yes, those traitors.

Traitor is not the word I use for people who wave and rave polysyllabic, sciencey-sounding incantations to pretend they know enough to justify ignoring the real folks who really know stuff. For those folks, a compound word is better.

Jibbering loonies.

Tony Fisk said...

"...and never a mention about CO2 sequestration..."

Oh please. These sinks have been in equilibrium with natural CO2 sources, but are now overwhelmed by the man-made ones.

Deuxglass said...

Laurent Weppe,

You turned around the question and asked, “Is an autocratic form of government capable of making the immediate and wide-sweeping reforms necessary to avoid a global disaster"

I agree with you that an authoritarian government, even if it can move much faster than a democracy, would not necessarily move in the right direction with the right projects. I know some people in the green movement and they are not democrats. They are so tied up in their “religion” that they want an autocratic government to force the people to do what they deem necessary to “save the planet”. Their attitude alarms me almost as much as climate change does.

By the way, do you feel as I do that the press in France has been “muzzled”? I still don’t see any dissenting views in the press and virtually no discussion of the extent of the new powers of the president.

Deuxglass said...

Paul SB,

locum seems to have dropped for the moment his erratic philosophical wanderings and is now proposing his arguments in a more constructed manner and I for one welcome that. I am not agreeing to the content of his arguments but at least now I have a clearer idea about what he says. He has made progress.

Deuxglass said...

locum,

Some people may take comfort in the fact that civilizations are built on the ruins of previous ones but if you are in the middle of a civilization collapse, I doubt you would have the same view. I would prefer to prevent the collapse rather than accepting it and saying things will be better in two hundred years or so. Taking the long view of history will not put food on the table.

Tim H. said...

Something interesting over at the BBC...
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34900474
Concerns declining support for strong action on climate.
Seems to me that some folks tend to favor Jeremiads on the subject, when many climate remedies should have upsides in addition to minimizing our carbon impact. Time to accentuate the positive.

Paul451 said...

Rob H,
"Dr. Brin isn't going to accept that Sanders is the better candidate than Hillary because he has long sung the praises of the Clintons. For all his dismissal of the Bush/Clinton exchange of the White House, he refuses to admit Hillary isn't a good candidate."

David has said he's more of a conservative, a spiritual Republican forced to vote Dem because... you know... crazy town over there.

In that context it makes sense that he'd prefer Hillary. She's the best Republican candidate currently on offer. Centre-right, competent, intelligent, strong-willed but willing to negotiate to get the job done. She just happens to be running for the Dems, because the Dems are trying to be both sides of politics while the Republicans are having their little break with reality.

His disappointment would be that you have to resort to a nepotistic-seeming legacy (*) to find such a person.

(* Husband and wife isn't really a "legacy". It just seems that way because of the overlap with the Bush dynasty.)

Paul451 said...

Paul SB,
"Are they related to Promise Keepers in any way?"

No connection, AFAIK.

On the MRA - neo-reactionary - white-supremacist triangle, they are somewhere between MRA's and neo-reo's. Essentially, creepy weirdos who've graduated from believing that everything wrong with their lives is caused by women to believing that everything wrong with society is caused by feminism and feminisation and the men who go along with it.

A subset includes the very sad "MGTOW" movement (a faction Locumranch apparently belongs to, judging by some of the terminology he's used in previous threads), who swear off women entirely... Except for seeming to spend their entire lives obsessing about women, judging by the content they produce.

Laurent Weppe said...

* "I know some people in the green movement and they are not democrats. They are so tied up in their “religion” that they want an autocratic government to force the people to do what they deem necessary to “save the planet”."

I'm not afraid of ecologists turning fascist overnight. What I do fear is actual fascists starting to use the ecologists' jargon to make their autocratic ambitions look principled. But maybe it's a matter of temperament: I've always been more wary of impostors hiding behind a pretense of idealism than of idealists turning bad.

***

* "By the way, do you feel as I do that the press in France has been “muzzled”?"

If the press has been muzzled it's by own pusillanimity. still, some journalists, lawyers and academics have been critical of the government's recent demagogic choices as well as the abuses and blunders of law enforcement and as far as I know haven't been bothered by the authorities.

http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2015/12/01/il-ne-faut-pas-constitutionnaliser-l-etat-d-urgence_4821030_3232.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_Isup7Y-GE&feature=youtu.be

http://www.lepoint.fr/politique/c-est-officiel-il-n-y-a-plus-de-gauche-en-france-28-11-2015-1985505_20.php

http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/societe/etat-d-urgence/20151127.OBS0323/carte-etat-d-urgence-panorama-des-abus-et-mesures-controversees.html

http://www.letemps.ch/monde/2015/11/26/gilles-kepel-13-novembre-resultat-une-faillite-elites-politiques-francaises

locumranch said...


Along with a tendency to overestimate their own biological importance, humans tend to forget that phytoplankton not only produce 70 to 90% of the globe's oxygen (fixating an equivalent amount of CO2), they also forget that (1) global wet phytoplankton biomass exceeds "a thousand million metric tonnes" by conservative estimate and, assuming adequate resources, (2) possesses exponetial growth capabilities & a doubling time of as little as 21 hours.

(1) http://sbsc.wr.usgs.gov/products/pdfs/GarciaPichel_et_al_2003_Estimates_of_global_cyanobacterial.pdf

(2) http://www.marine.csiro.au/microalgae/methods/Growth%20rate.htm

So, please, tell me more about how minor human technological improvements are going to save us from both Climate Change & a CO2-mediated Heat Death. It is to laugh. Ha ha. And once you are all done laughing (ha ha), I am willing to discuss appropriate human-mediated CO2 fixation technologies in detail, including the possibility of turning the Mediterranean Sea in a vast Iron-fertilized Phytoplankton Farm, devoid of vertebrate life, which (btw) is something that Nature has already started to do on its own accord.

As you all seem willing to put up with ANY level of sociopolitical dysfunction in order to feed your tacky technological dependencies --- much like any abused spouse, junkie or drug addict --- I wish you all well, even though your expectation of a different outcome from the perpetuation of dysfunction is tantamount to insanity.

Go now: The Cylical History Model is calling you all to our doom.


Best

David Brin said...

woof... more cogent and clear... and therefore the counter-factual blithering nonsense is all the clearer.

"So, please, tell me more about how minor human technological improvements are going to save us"

1) It was earlier human technological improvements that gave us the mess and new human technological improvements can remove those huge effects.

2) Whether or not newhuman technological improvements actually can moderate the trends and make them milder, so we can cope... we have been actively prevented from trying new human technological improvements. That prevention has been active, deliberate, relentless and determined. And the money spent by the people who have stymied new human technological improvements has been immense... so THEY think they are having big effects.

And without a scintilla of doubt, those bastards who have actively and deliberately thwarted new human technological improvements... they are traitors and now they know that we know. And they know everything they own will go to refugees.


onward



onward.


LarryHart said...

Paul451:

A subset includes the very sad "MGTOW" movement (a faction Locumranch apparently belongs to, judging by some of the terminology he's used in previous threads), who swear off women entirely... Except for seeming to spend their entire lives obsessing about women, judging by the content they produce.


I don't think the Canadian comics writer/artist Dave Sim had actually heard of that movement when he was writing, but it's amazing/scary how accurately it describes his later writings. He even wrote his own prayer to God, in which (among other things) he swears never again to traffic with womankind.

David Brin said...

onward


onward

RG said...

You state that my project to restore the ocean pastures in 2012 was a rogue effort. Why do you promote this lie when the fact is that the project worked for many years with 9 government ministries in Canada who over those years carefully vetted the project. The government of Canada even took an active and financial position in the work by offering international guarantees, directly subsidizing the salaries of science employees whom they vetted and approved to be hired, provided state of the art satellite resources and training, and many other elements of support to the project. You seem to have swallowed hook, line, and sinker the lies promoted against me and that project, the question is why?

Further the project science plan was cloned from a plan endorsed and promoted by leading oceanographic institutes from around the world as being the appropriate next step in 25 years of R&D on restoring ocean plant life. Why do you continue to foment lies and misinformation about this work. Could it be that you, like so many profits of doom and gloom, feel threatened by work that has now proven that by caring for Mother Nature billions of tonnes of CO2, the lions share of the climate change crisis, can be effectively, immediately, safely, and sustainably managed at a cost of mere millions of dollars per year as opposed to the trillion dollars per year in new climate taxes being proposed at the Paris COP21 meeting. Or is it the billions of additional fish that will swim into our nets and onto the plates of hungry people the world around helping to end world hunger that worries you, again at a cost of a fraction of 1% of the funds being spent not solving that problem today. http://russgeorge.net/2015/11/16/a-practical-solution-to-world-hunger/

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