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Remember when right-wingers didn't trust Pravda?

Right-wingers now take Pravda as gospel truth because it prints nonsensical stories about an impeding Ice Age.

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Tim Lambert Tim Lambert (deltoidblog AT gmail.com) is a computer scientist at the University of New South Wales.

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« ScienceBlogs upgrade | Main | More Guns, Less Crime hypothesis: still dead »

Remember when right-wingers didn't trust Pravda?

Category: Global Warming
Posted on: January 12, 2009 7:59 AM, by Tim Lambert

John Quiggin suggests some reasons why the anti-science position on climate change has become an orthodoxy on the Right:

There are many explanations, perhaps so many that the outcome was overdetermined - powerful economic interests such as ExxonMobil, the hubris associated with victories in economic policy and in the Cold War, tribal dislike of environmentalists which translated easily to scientists as a group, and the immunisation to unwelcome evidence associated with the construction of the rightwing intellectual apparatus of thinktanks, talk-radio, Fox News, blogs and so on.

aliens! And currently getting a run on right-wing blogs is this Drudge-promoted article from Pravda (yes, Pravda -- and note the story in the sidebar next to the article) about how Earth is on the brink of an Ice Age. he only evidence the story offers for this is Ice Ages occur regularly so we are due for one. Which I guess we are, provided we assume that greenhouse gases have no effect on warming.

Hume's Ghost points out that the article's author is also a 9/11 truther. Mind you, this doesn't bother NewsBusters' Noel Shepherd one little bit:

How delicious that an America-hating Truther who contributes to Pravda has a firmer grasp of climatology than Nobel Laureate Al Gore, James Hansen, Gavin Schmidt, and most of the folks at the IPCC.

Comments

#1

Google 'Gregory F. Fegel' and you get some interesting results. Including a rant about 9/11 being caused by the US government and that they should all be shot.

What nationality is this person? He claims to be American, but i wonder.

Posted by: Paul | January 12, 2009 8:26 AM

#2

During the 1970s the famous American astronomer Carl Sagan and other scientists began promoting the theory that ‘greenhouse gasses’ such as carbon dioxide, or CO2, produced by human industries could lead to catastrophic global warming. Since the 1970s the theory of ‘anthropogenic global warming’ (AGW) has gradually become accepted as fact by most of the academic establishment, and their acceptance of AGW has inspired a global movement to encourage governments to make pivotal changes to prevent the worsening of AGW.

The central piece of evidence that is cited in support of the AGW theory is the famous 'hockey stick' graph which was presented by Al Gore in his 2006 film "An Inconvenient Truth."

For some reason, Fegel decides to credit ALGORE!!!!!!!!!!!! for the hockey stick instead of the actual authors. Also, Fegel says that the hockey stick as presented by ALGORE!!!!!!!!!!!! is "the central piece of evidence" for AGW.

But we can at least be grateful that Fegel isn't peddling the "scientists predicted global cooling in the 1970s" meme. :)

Posted by: bi -- IJI | January 12, 2009 8:40 AM

#3

It looks like someone has read the excellent "Ice Ages: Solving the Mystery" by Imbrie and Imbrie. That's the problem with telling people to read a book - at most they read one book.

The irony here is that it was the establishment of Milankovich theory about 1970 (a paper by Brocker and Van Donk, among others) that gave at least some emphasis to the "new ice age" story. The average duration of interglacials became apparent, as did the fact that our own interglacial is long in the tooth.

But it was immediately obvious that from a human perspective, any new ice age would begin in the far future. Two thousand years is a geological instant, but two thousand years ago Augustus still ruled in Rome.

So here we see a denialist using a rejected idea of the early 1970s, which other people in his camp use as an example of bad climate science, as good science which "refutes" AGW.

As it turns out this interglacial looks more like the anomalous stage eleven interglacial, which was of approximately double normal length. By one calculation the "on ramp" for the next ice age occurred 800 years ago, and we missed it. The next one isn't for eleven thousand years.

Come to think of it, that was also discussed in Imbrie and Imbrie. Guess he didn't get to the last chapter.

William Hyde

Posted by: William Hyde | January 12, 2009 12:10 PM

#4

Speaking of right-wing/left-wing, I like the definition here better:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DioQooFIcgE&eurl

When and how exactly did the notions that the US is a democracy, or that democracy is the desired form of government come to be?

Posted by: ben | January 12, 2009 1:52 PM

#5

How delicious that an America-hating Truther who contributes to Pravda has a firmer grasp of climatology than...most of the folks at the IPCC.

If you ever find yourself writing a sentence like this, you should probably stop and reconsider your assumptions.

Or else it's only a few steps to, "How delicious that Bat Boy should begin his musical theater career by playing the Elephant Man."

Posted by: theo | January 12, 2009 2:47 PM

#6

Speaking of right-wing/left-wing, I like the definition here better:

you are free to define your own terms. (i know that right-wingers love to define the world their own way)

or you could use the definitions, that everybody else uses. those, who have a connection between the word and its meaning...

so the term "right winger" originates from the French Revolution when liberal deputies from the Third Estate generally sat to the left of the president's chair, a habit which began in the Estates General of 1789. The nobility, members of the Second Estate, generally sat to the right. In the successive legislative assemblies, monarchists who supported the Ancien Régime were commonly referred to as rightists because they sat on the right side.

the term "republic" describes a form of state. the most common definition is a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch

while a "democracy" describes a form of government. it is a government by the people

the terms (most obviously) don t contradict each other.

ben, for a start you might want to look into a book occasionally. right wing videos on youtube might not always be the best source for your education.

Posted by: sod | January 12, 2009 2:54 PM

#7

ben,

Expand your linear political universe by one additional dimension and we can get on the same page:

http://www.politicalcompass.org/

Take the test and let's compare. I'm about -7,-7

Posted by: luminous beauty | January 12, 2009 3:34 PM

#8

As I wrote, I like the definitions in the video better. They are more useful, in my opinion.

Here's my score for what it's worth: 4.25/-1.54

That test statements suck. The test does not provide a broad enough spectrum of answers to their stupid statements. Let's have a look at the first question:

If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations.

With the possible answers:

1. strongly disagree 2. disagree 3. agree 4. strongly disagree

My answer to that (obviously loaded) question is: What the hell are you talking about? Define "humanity." How exactly will "economic globalisation" serve this "humanity"? Do "corporations" have interests? I thought only humans had interests.

At the very least they should provide for a fifth answer of "in the middle" or "no opinion" or "it depends" or "your crapstick questions sucks and I neither agree nor disagree".

I guess if you agree with their economic globalisation statement then I pose the follow up statement: If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity by producing slinkies for every man, woman, child and boy, rather than the interests of trans-national corporations.

See, producing nothing but slinkies for everyone serves humanities rather than the interests of blah blah blah, but so what? Who the hell gets to decide how exactly this serving of humanity will be carried out? This biased question is just loaded crap.

Here's another stupid statement:

People are ultimately divided more by class than by nationality.

I neither agree nor disagree with that statement. My answer is: It depends. People in Canada are less divided by class than by nationality, but people in India are much more divided by class than by nationality.

Here's a statement that needs re-wording.

Those with the ability to pay should have the right to higher standards of medical care .

This is not a question of rights. My statement would read: That some people can afford higher standards of medical care than others is acceptable. Answer = agree.

Posted by: ben | January 12, 2009 4:14 PM

#9

Take the test and let's compare. I'm about -7,-7

That's surprisingly extreme.

Posted by: ben | January 12, 2009 4:19 PM

#10

I think I'll change my name to Jimmy Mahatma Nightingale - I scored a -5.50/-3.33.

Posted by: Jimmy Nightingale | January 12, 2009 4:58 PM

#11

As I wrote, I like the definitions in the video better. They are more useful, in my opinion.

well, like Bush has decided that 4000 soldiers dying isn t a war. i can t force you to use a useful and accepted definition of a term. just don t make wild claims from your wrong definitions. like the USA not being a democracy. that is simply stupid!

At the very least they should provide for a fifth answer of "in the middle" or "no opinion" or "it depends" or "your crapstick questions sucks and I neither agree nor disagree".

it is classic test theory to NOT provide an 2in the middle" answer. people will avoid making a choice and vote "neutral" too often.

Posted by: sod | January 12, 2009 5:25 PM

#12

As I wrote, I like the definitions in the video better. They are more useful, in my opinion.

well, like Bush has decided that 4000 soldiers dying isn t a war. i can t force you to use a useful and accepted definition of a term. just don t make wild claims from your wrong definitions. like the USA not being a democracy. that is simply stupid!

At the very least they should provide for a fifth answer of "in the middle" or "no opinion" or "it depends" or "your crapstick questions sucks and I neither agree nor disagree".

it is classic test theory to NOT provide an 2in the middle" answer. people will avoid making a choice and vote "neutral" too often.

ps: -7/-7 as well. and i don t consider myself extreme...

Posted by: sod | January 12, 2009 5:32 PM

#13

-9.25, -5.85

Posted by: Aureola Nominee, FCD | January 12, 2009 5:41 PM

#14

Economic Left/Right: -4.50 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.49

Which would appear to put me right next to the Dalai Lama.

Posted by: James Haughton | January 12, 2009 6:02 PM

#15

I've long been a supporter of the Political Compass concept of expressing ideology, and I should mention that Sod's point is exactly why they avoid putting a 2 down there. You're expected to respond naturally to such statements. All of the "it depends" ones get responses based on the person's motivation. (The only area that I find unclear is whether they expect you to vote in line with what you see the world as, or what you think the world should be. That said, I've taken the test several times, answering with one of those two paradigms consistently through, and the results weren't significantly different.)

For the record, I'm about -8 / -7. Others consider me more heavily opinionated than most, but not 'extreme'. I have a friend who rates about -9.5 / -9, and he's far more heavily motivated to speak out about these things and get involved politically than I am. (He also argues the "religious axis" between theocratic and secular should be present. I don't disagree, but I don't think that can be as objectively measured as economic or social stances, especially across different religions, mostly because it doesn't appear to be truly orthogonal.)

Posted by: Brian D | January 12, 2009 6:10 PM

#16

ben,

My egalitarian social libertarian idealism is tempered by pragmatic realism. AFAICT, your elitist and autistic economic beliefs are inflamed by irrational self interest.

Posted by: luminous beauty | January 12, 2009 6:20 PM

#17

The most interesting treatment I've read of the long-term (from our mayfly's perspective) human impact on climate is William Ruddiman's Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate. (h/t John Mashey for the recommendation).

And if the "scientists predicted an ice age in the 1970s" baloney does come up in discussion, don't forget to cite Peterson, Connelley and Fleck's THE MYTH OF THE 1970S GLOBAL COOLING SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS.

Posted by: jre | January 12, 2009 7:16 PM

#18

...irrational self interest.

What's irrational about it? How many of you -7/-7 and beyond types have ever tried to run a small business and support your family by the skin of your teeth?

Posted by: ben | January 12, 2009 7:28 PM

#19

ben - it's irrational to try to support your family by selling the skin of your teeth.

Posted by: Gaz | January 12, 2009 7:38 PM

#20

ben,

...irrational self interest.

What's irrational about it?

When you're all wrapped up in self, you make a very small package.

Self interest becomes irrational to the extent it wallows in solipsism and/or narcissism. You score high in these categories AFAICT, amigo.

How many of you -7/-7 and beyond types have ever tried to run a small business and support your family by the skin of your teeth?

Yes, I have. Both successfully and not so much.

Posted by: luminous beauty | January 12, 2009 7:57 PM

#21

" support your family by the skin of your teeth? "

flying wallendas?

Posted by: z | January 12, 2009 8:09 PM

#22

-7.25,-5.28 i wonder what the standard error is

Posted by: z | January 12, 2009 8:17 PM

#23

LB, I don't think you can tell much over the internet. It is unwise for you to assume differently. Because I prefer the idea of individual liberty to whatever it is that you prefer I'm all wrapped up in self? I don't want to spend other people's money. You do. That makes me wrapped up in self? What does it make you?

Posted by: ben | January 12, 2009 8:18 PM

#24

No, ben, you can't tell much over the internet.

What it is, I prefer cultivating the reality of individual liberty infinitely greater than clinging to any singularly defined idea of it.

The idea is simply grasped and of little value. The reality is subtle, elusive and difficult to grasp. No value can be placed upon it.

Posted by: luminous beauty | January 12, 2009 8:53 PM

#25

I recall receipts

Rare as hen's teeth.

Feeding two kids

Government cheese.

Posted by: luminous beauty | January 12, 2009 9:11 PM

#26

I read the book "Why We Are Liberals" not long ago. The author talks about how the term Liberal has been turned into a dirty word by people like Ronald Reagan. The folksy way Reagan would crack a joke about it did wonders for the conservative cause. The book cites a study that was done, where people were asked if they were Liberals, Conservative or undecided. There were much fewer people willing to call themselves liberal than those willing to call themselves conservative. But when asked their opinion on different issues, well over 60% took liberal positions. This would fly in the face of the current frequent claim that Americans are right of center. In fact the study showed that the public was usually more liberal than their representatives in congress or senate.

I find it amusing in an odd sort of way, that conservatives who so often speak of protecting our freedoms are the same people who fought against them, while liberals supported them. Women's suffrage, civil rights, women's right's, gay's rights, you name it.

The book makes the case that we Americans have traditionally been pretty liberal. Read the words on the statue of liberty.

The book is not afraid to say how liberals have gone off the track at times and how and why they lost much of the support of the working class by focusing too much on minority issues. The Vietnam War didn't help. But of course that leaves the working class out in the cold, because the alternative is no support whatsoever.

What rubs me the wrong way is the continued red baiting that should have died out in the 1950s. The labels socialism and communism are applied to anything that even suggests cooperation or sharing of interests. What happened to the idea of commons in this country? Why they think liberals want socialism or communism is beyond me. A mixed economy like the U.S. and every other successful economy in the world, yes. Unless there is a better suggestion of how to adjust for the natural tendency for capitalism to concentrate wealth in few hands. Last time that happened to the extreme was just before the Great Depression. Similar in many ways to today.

If Dwight Eisenhower were around today, I would bet that conservatives would be calling him a socialist for speaking out for the interests of the working class, and unpatriotic for speaking out about the dangers of a too powerful military industrial complex. Remember Ike? Former Republican President and Allied Commander in Chief of Europe in WW2? That's what I meant(above)about Americans being pretty liberal.

Now they are trying to rewrite hisory with their false claims about Roosevelt.

Posted by: Richard Mercer | January 12, 2009 10:01 PM

#27

De-lurking: -5.38/-8.00

And I have (and do) run a small business, which has usually been the sole income provider for my family.

Posted by: brettc | January 12, 2009 11:18 PM

#28

".... outcome was overdetermined - powerful economic interests such as ExxonMobil, the hubris associated with victories in economic policy and in the Cold War, tribal dislike of [greenies] which translated easily to scientists as a group, and the [blinkering] associated ..... the rightwing [swamp] of "thinktanks", talk-radio, Fox News, blogs and so on." In any causal system you have to ask "what are its main drivers?". In this conspiracy of crack pots the main driver is ExxonMobil and correspondingly in Australia the coal industry , and these should be the main focus of attack for all those concerned with correct public policy. With any luck the Obama administration will bring its attention to bear on ExxonMobil , so far Rudd has paid little attention to the long term planning for the reduction of the coal industry.

Posted by: Bill O"Slatter | January 12, 2009 11:22 PM

#29

Economic Left/Right: -9.25 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.87

There is a problem with the test.

Many of the questions were not questions of opinion they were questions of fact.

It turns out that you have to be a twit to be a wing nut.

Suddenly the world makes much more sense.

Posted by: elspi | January 13, 2009 12:37 AM

#30

Rule 29: If you can't refute the blog post, you can always change the subject of the comment thread.

Posted by: jade | January 13, 2009 6:00 AM

#31

Well, I consider myself right of center, and this post was something about what it is to be right of center, so not a complete change of topic. I just don't care about global warming. As to the origin:

In the successive legislative assemblies, monarchists who supported the Ancien Régime were commonly referred to as rightists because they sat on the right side.

That's all very nice, but has about zero bearing on the left/right political spectrum in the US today. Republicans loathe monarchies and the Republican party is supposed to be the party of small government. Not working out so well, but then neither is the Democrat party. You guys don't really feel like you're getting your money's worth out of those idiots do you?

the term "republic" describes a form of state. the most common definition is a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch

while a "democracy" describes a form of government. it is a government by the people.

Meh. Those terms can be used in more refined ways to achieve more precise meaning. Canada is certainly a democracy, and closer as such to mob rule than the United States. Eastern Canada runs rough-shod over the west and there's not a damn thing the folks in BC, Alberta and Sask. can do about it. As dictionary.com says:

Democracy: 1. government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

2. a state having such a form of government: The United States and Canada are democracies.

As for Republic, dictionary.com gives

Republic: 1. a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them. 2. any body of persons viewed as a commonwealth. 3. a state in which the head of government is not a monarch or other hereditary head of state.

So what term would you use in place of "Democracy" to describe a system in which 1 person = 1 vote and where there are no other constraints on the government once they are elected? There does seem to be a lot of overlap, and based on the history of the terms it does seem that the United States is some sort of representative democracy or democratic republic. Here's what the wiki page says about the Founding Fathers views:

The Founding Fathers of the United States rarely praised and often criticized democracy, which in their time tended to specifically mean direct democracy; James Madison argued, especially in The Federalist No. 10, that what distinguished a democracy from a republic was that the former became weaker as it got larger and suffered more violently from the effects of faction, whereas a republic could get stronger as it got larger and combats faction by its very structure. What was critical to American values, John Adams insisted,[65] was that the government be "bound by fixed laws, which the people have a voice in making, and a right to defend." Also, as Benjamin Franklin was exiting after writing the U.S. constitution, a woman asked him Sir, what have you given us?. He replied A republic ma'am, if you can keep it[66]

Posted by: ben | January 13, 2009 11:48 AM

#32

I'm -4.00 / -7.59.

and ben, I'm currently running a small business and supporting my family from it.

Posted by: Lee | January 13, 2009 12:13 PM

#33

Wow, so many business owners, that's great! Now how about you guys stop trying to vote your hands into other person's pockets. Wouldn't it be nice if you were free to spend your hard-earned money any way you like? I'd sure like it to be that way. See, that way, GWB would have had less of your money to spend on war mongering and massive bail-outs, and Obama would have less money to spend on massive bail-outs.

Here's where I know the political compass test is pure bullshit. You guys all score high as non-authoritarian, which I claim is bullshit, since you are very comfortable with pointing a gun at other folk's heads in order to make sure they comply with your lefty dreams of wealth re-distribution. None of you ever saw a tax you didn't like. None of you ever saw a gun you didn't want to ban. You want to outlaw self-defense and to vest the authority to use force in order to fight crime purely with the government.

That bottom left corner of the map is for Quakers or persons in an internal state of conflict. Left-libertarians are a strange bunch. You want sexual freedom, freedom of expression (i.e. to be able to call a turd in a jar "art" and to get government funding for it), and all those minor freedoms, but you don't want a life of personal responsibility, at least not for others, what with all the "safety nets" you demand. You "think" you're Nelson Mandela, but in practice you're really on the authoritarian side of the spectrum.

Posted by: ben | January 13, 2009 12:42 PM

#34

If folk think progressively, Ben wants to see business owners. When those turn up, he wants to see regressive thinking. I love the smell of running goalposts in the morning.

Left-leaning libertarians, known where I'm from as social democrats, have a long history of actually working. The Netherlands and Sweden are perhaps the most well-known examples.

On the flipside, I have yet to see even a single libertarian, anywhere in the world, acknowledge the concept of economic externalities, let alone propose a method of how to deal with them.

Posted by: Brian D | January 13, 2009 1:12 PM

#35

Here's a much simpler political quiz:

http://www.theadvocates.org/quizp/index.html

Posted by: nanny_govt_sucks | January 13, 2009 1:36 PM

#36

Funny how ben's "life of personal responsibility" doesn't include "caring" about global warming.

Posted by: Neil | January 13, 2009 1:38 PM

#37

33

So much simplistic straw man stereotyping in so few words.

I suppose that is a skill of sorts.

Posted by: WotWot | January 13, 2009 2:36 PM

#38

ben,

We all believe what you believe we believe, eh?

As I said, solipsism and narcissism.

'Internal state of conflict'.

Need I add projection.

Posted by: luminous beauty | January 13, 2009 2:43 PM

#39

"life of personal responsibility" doesn't include "caring" about global warming.

Hey, as long as it doesn't affect him "personally", it's all good.

Best,

D

Posted by: Dano | January 13, 2009 2:55 PM

#40

How did I guess the quiz Nanny cites would come up?

Note how it includes "maybes" (see Sod's comment) and frames every question in terms of personal freedoms instead of consequences of their choices. Note how it would respond the same way to a libertarian as it would to an anarchist. Note how the descriptions of each of the political "axes" contains terms from the other axis. It's a wonderful example of framing, but doesn't do as good a job in the impartiality department (the fact that the source is an advocacy group for libertarian ideology should be the dead giveaway).

I'm still waiting for any libertarian to acknowledge externalities or suggest methods of dealing with destructive ones. Anyone?

Posted by: Brian D | January 13, 2009 3:07 PM

#41

ben,

I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe--"That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which the will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.

Assuming we both agree with the gist of the above statement would suggest our disagreement, for all practical purposes, is in what constitutes expedient and inexpedient government.

Unless, your position really is as extreme as you project, and absolutely believe any and all government is always and everywhere inexpedient.

Posted by: luminous beauty | January 13, 2009 3:38 PM

#42

ben, having perhaps sniffed a bit too much blow in the '90s, raves:

You guys all score high as non-authoritarian, which I claim is bullshit, since you are very comfortable with pointing a gun at other folk's heads in order to make sure they comply with your lefty dreams of wealth re-distribution. None of you ever saw a tax you didn't like. None of you ever saw a gun you didn't want to ban. You want to outlaw self-defense and to vest the authority to use force in order to fight crime purely with the government.

Ad hominem crap. You know nothing about me.

  1. Tell me, ben, did you ever see a tax you DID like? Should the government get along without taxing anybody for anything? How do you fund a government that way? I have news for you -- it takes funds to operate an organization, any organization. Being against taxes is being for anarchy, period. Not all taxes are good, and not all taxes are bad. That's the sane way of looking at it.

  2. I'm not for banning guns. I'm for licensing them.

  3. As for outlawing self-defense -- see #2.

Posted by: Barton Paul Levenson | January 13, 2009 3:39 PM

#43

Dano I'm with you on Libertarians, but am not sure I understand what you are referring to, when you say they don't acknowledge economic externalities.

My take is that Libertarians think we are still living in the 1700s when life was about a million times less complex. I can understand wanting smaller government to some extent, but the idea that govt always does things badly is just not true. Medicare comes to mind, with it's low overhead cost, much much lower than the private sector.

They have the idea that govt is circumscibed by the Constitution to a few simple tasks, like defense. They seem to have missed the very first sentence of the Preamble which says "to further the public welfare". That is open to wide interpretation.

The free market they dream of would create the same concentration of wealth in few hands that is inherent in a capitalist system, and then regulations and adjustments would be implemented again to correct the problem. We've already been there, done that. and in their utopian free market, corporations wouldn't be regulated, which belies any chance of a free market. The whole thing makes no sense.

Also, Jefferson, who was a strict constructionist, and the inspiration for much of the thinking, also was against heavy concentration of wealth. This is a point they seem to miss. Were Jefferson alive today I believe he would favor regulations that put a damper on this. It wasn't until the railroads that we saw huge concentrations of wealth in this country. What followed was the robber barron era, which had to be corrected with regulations and worker protections etc.
Now it is popular to use the term "redistribution of wealth" in place of the usual red baiting with "communist" or "socialist". I want them to incorporate a new word in their vocabulary, "concentration of wealth" but I suppose that's OK with them because that benefits the "individual"

Todays conservatives are so far to the right that everything else seems like socialism to them.

They have turned the idea of personal responsibility into every man for himself and damn the group. They forget that the whole point of civilization is mutual benefit. For me responsibility has a deeper meaning. Being responsible means being accountable for all your actions, with all their ramifications. karma comes to mind.

Posted by: Richard Mercer | January 13, 2009 4:07 PM

#44

My point about responsibility is that being successful does not necessarily equate with responsibility.

In the mind of conservatives, if you aren't "successful" you must not be responsible. This assumes, for instance, that Charles Hurwitz the corporate raider who's holding company took over Pacific Redwood in California is a responsible person because he is successful. It matters not that he was worth $3 billion when he had his new lumber company proceed to cut down old growth redwood trees at double the rate as previously, so he could pay off the junk bonds that financed his takeover of Pacific Lumber. To a conservative, this is an upstanding responsible example of humanity. To me he is a criminal, who has no idea what responsibility means.

Posted by: Richard Mercer | January 13, 2009 4:33 PM

#45

Startribune Minneapolis responds to Pravda article with an interview with Erik Brown, a professor of geological sciences at the University of Minnesota, Duluth:

http://www.startribune.com/world/37498924.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUsZ

Was it worth the professors efforts?

Posted by: Paul | January 13, 2009 5:12 PM

#46

-6.5, -3.5, but I had a lot of trouble with "The only social responsibility of a company should be to deliver a profit to its shareholders."

I think that depends on whether the law is in place to enforce other social responsibilities. "The only social responsibility of a company should be to deliver the maximum profit to its shareholders consistent with the law" is what I believe.

This does not rely on the perfectibility of the corporation but does rely on the perfectibility of the law. I think my opinion on this score should pull up my authoritarian score, but it was unclear what to answer and they wouldn't let me abstain. I couldn't really agree with the statement as written, since that would allow corporate caret blanche, but I couldn't disagree because that seems unrealistically idealistic. I feel strongly that the most sensible answer was not permitted.

Mu.

Posted by: Michael Tobis | January 13, 2009 5:39 PM

#47

Michael Tobis proposes "The only social responsibility of a company should be to deliver the maximum profit to its shareholders consistent with the law".

Actually, that's its legal responsibility.

It's social responsibility is to deliver massive bonuses to its executives and fund right-wing think tanks.

Meanwhile, ben the anarchist: Are you planning to travel to Somalia to see what happens when the people decide government is "inexpedient"?

Posted by: Gaz | January 13, 2009 5:56 PM

#48

That's "ben the pirate," gaz.

Posted by: Steve Bloom | January 13, 2009 7:15 PM

#49

Tim, for a truly surreal experience check out the current lead opinion piece (not by Figel) on Pravda Online.

Regarding Figel himself, a few minutes on the 'toobs finds that he apparently received a degree from a Portland OR community college in 1986, is employed at an area hospital and is very grateful that Pravda Online doesn't edit the material he submits.

Posted by: Steve Bloom | January 13, 2009 7:23 PM

#50

Unless, your position really is as extreme as you project, and absolutely believe any and all government is always and everywhere inexpedient.

I'm no libertarian, and certainly not an anarchist. I'd like the American government to do what the constitution tells it to do and nothing more.

Tell me, ben, did you ever see a tax you DID like?

Yes! I'd like to see either a flat income tax on every penny earned above some minimum level. And I'd like to see that tax levied on individuals, not corporations. This would dramatically lower the cost of COMPLIANCE and the associated waste due to the inefficient bureaucracy and all the lawyers and accountants who could go do more productive things. And don't give me any crap about how people would evade the personal income taxes blah blah, the government would need to re-write the rules to cover any such loopholes.

I'm not for banning guns. I'm for licensing them.

Why? What good would that do? Please be explicit? Would all gun types that are legal now be legal forever, or would we ban the nebulous and sinister "assault weapons"?

Posted by: ben | January 13, 2009 7:28 PM

#51

Also, if the flat tax is not liked, then I'd go for a national sales tax on all non-necessities (food, shelter, basic clothing, school supplies). That way savings are not penalized, but rather encouraged.

Posted by: ben | January 13, 2009 7:30 PM

#52

ben:

I'd like to see either a flat income tax on every penny earned above some minimum level.

Sounds great. Just let us know where it's written what "earned" means.

Posted by: Chris O'Neill | January 13, 2009 8:23 PM

#53

ben: "And don't give me any crap about how people would evade the personal income taxes blah blah, the government would need to re-write the rules to cover any such loopholes."

...but, umm, wouldn't it be the same government that's failed to do just that year after year?

For someone with such an aversion to government you sure have a utopian vision of its potential to be, shall we say, expedient.

Posted by: Gaz | January 13, 2009 9:12 PM

#54

Well, I consider myself right of center, and this post was something about what it is to be right of center, so not a complete change of topic.

The fact that Drudge is promoting a Pravda article is hilarious and I don't blame Ben for desperately trying to turn this into an argument about anything else, no matter what.

Posted by: jade | January 13, 2009 9:20 PM

#55
I'm not for banning guns. I'm for licensing them.

A license is the same as a ban if you can't get a license.

Posted by: nanny_govt_sucks | January 13, 2009 10:11 PM

#56
Should the government get along without taxing anybody for anything?

If I may, I like the idea of a flat tariff (to fund the functions of a constitutionally limited government). A tariff is self-limiting as if it is set too high, imports decline and the tariff income reduces. A flat tariff nationwide ends special protectionism for politically favored industries.

Posted by: nanny_govt_sucks | January 13, 2009 10:17 PM

#57

ngs:

A license is the same as a ban if you can't get a license.

You know, I think it's useful to have a licensing requirement for certain activities, like surgery and flying aircraft.

And holding lethal weapons, too.

Posted by: bi -- IJI | January 13, 2009 11:24 PM

#58

Steve Bloom:

Tim, for a truly surreal experience check out the current lead opinion piece (not by Figel) on Pravda Online.

KKK was good. Aliens and spaceships. Global cooling.

w00t.

Posted by: bi -- IJI | January 13, 2009 11:36 PM

#59
You know, I think it's useful to have a licensing requirement for certain activities, like surgery and flying aircraft.

Well, hopefully you are looking for much more than just a valid license when you are faced with major surgery or a flight on an airplane. The existence of a government approved license doesn't mean you are safe by any means. In the meantime, the government can simply deny licenses to enact a de facto ban.

Posted by: nanny_govt_sucks | January 13, 2009 11:42 PM

#60

nannygovtsucks: "Well, hopefully you are looking for much more than just a valid license when you are faced with major surgery or a flight on an airplane."

On the other hand, I would be reluctant to get in a plane flown by someone who's license had been cancelled. A license typically has some information content.

Licensing is a way of overcoming one of the fundamental problems with markets - imperfect or asymmetric information, eg the doctor knows how many patients he has killed but I don't.

So it is often evidence of market failure rather than government intervention in an otherwise well-functioning market.

This is not to say that the intervention is always succcessful in correcting the market failure, as Queensladers know only too well, or that it is not open to corruption, but we can't say that government intervention always or even usually makes things worse.

Akerlof surely deserved his Nobel Prize for Economics.

"The Market For Lemons" was a classic.

Posted by: Gaz | January 14, 2009 1:51 AM

#61
Take the test and let's compare. I'm about -7,-7

That's surprisingly extreme.

Bloody hell, really? I'm at -7.25, -8.67 and that's far from the most extreme result I've seen.

Though, to be fair, I am British.

Posted by: MartinM Author Profile Page | January 14, 2009 4:42 AM

#62

The Open Thread 18 seems to have become a Closed Thread, so... I'll just mention here that CO2Science is totally misrepresenting the findings of a recent research paper by Fan and Liu.

(The International Climate 'Science' Coalition parroted the CO2Science story, and then decided to include a link to the actual paper so that we can tell that they're parroting nonsense. Hah.)

Posted by: bi -- IJI | January 14, 2009 4:44 AM

#63

I'm at -8.38 / -8.82 and it feels great.

But yeah, taking a Pravda article serious really disqualifies somebody from being taken serious itself.

Posted by: student_b | January 14, 2009 5:10 AM

#64

ben writes:

I'm not for banning guns. I'm for licensing them.
Why? What good would that do? Please be explicit?

Allow the authorities to withhold them from persons with paranoid disorders or a history of antisocial violence.

Would all gun types that are legal now be legal forever, or would we ban the nebulous and sinister "assault weapons"?

I would have no problem with a ban on assault weapons for private individuals. You don't need a machine gun to defend your person on the street or your home from invaders. Those are military weapons and the military needs to have them. We don't.

Posted by: Barton Paul Levenson | January 14, 2009 7:15 AM

#65

nanny writes:

I'm not for banning guns. I'm for licensing them.
A license is the same as a ban if you can't get a license.

Very good, nanny! And if you're sent to jail, that's the same as being in prison. What's more, if you're arrested by the police, you're not free to roam about the streets any more, at least not while you're in custody.

The whole point of licensing is so that you can deny a license to people who shouldn't have the thing being licensed. We deny driver's licenses to children and people who can't pass a driver's test. We should deny gun licenses to people with dangerous mental illnesses and/or a history of criminal violence. For them it would be the same as a ban, yes. For the rest of us it wouldn't be.

Posted by: Barton Paul Levenson | January 14, 2009 7:18 AM

#66

nanny writes:

Should the government get along without taxing anybody for anything?
If I may, I like the idea of a flat tariff (to fund the functions of a constitutionally limited government). A tariff is self-limiting as if it is set too high, imports decline and the tariff income reduces. A flat tariff nationwide ends special protectionism for politically favored industries.

Then you're for a tax, nanny. A tariff is a tax.

Posted by: Barton Paul Levenson | January 14, 2009 7:21 AM

#67

No thread hi-jacking allowed at Eli's place. Tim tho needs to hire a bouncer.

Posted by: Eli Rabett | January 14, 2009 7:53 AM

#68

Now there's a thought:

A license is the same as a ban if you can't get a license.

Now here's a thought:

Time to start issuing blog-commenter licences I think.

Posted by: P. Lewis | January 14, 2009 11:28 AM

#69

Allow the authorities to withhold them from persons with paranoid disorders or a history of antisocial violence.

The law already bans those persons from owning guns, and they have to pass a background check in order to buy one from the store. So the license doesn't do squat.

I would have no problem with a ban on assault weapons for private individuals. You don't need a machine gun to defend your person on the street or your home from invaders.

BPL, you are confused. "Assault Weapons" are not "Assault Rifles." "Assault Weapons" are NOT machine guns. The term "Assault Weapon" was made up by the gun-ban crowd to refer to semi-auto rifles that look like real assault rifles. There are plenty of semi-auto hunting rifles and shotguns by the way, and they never made the ban list because they don't look like military weapons. The previous "ban" in the US was a farce anyway. Have a look here to see the difference between what was banned and what was not.

Note also that the Bradys and their ilk try to claim that "assault weapons" are the weapons of choice for criminals and blood in the streets will result from an end to the ban. They are LIARS. No blood in the street resulted from the expiration of the phony "ban" and so-called "assault weapons" are NOT the weapons of choice for criminals and gang bangers, much as lame Hollywood movies would have you guess otherwise.

As for ACTUAL machine guns, they are legal in the USA, sort of. No new machine guns have been allowed in the civilian market since 1986, so their supply is fixed and it costs about $15,000 or more for a real M16 assault rifle. Even so, there are many many (over 100,000) real machine guns legally owned in the USA. One (that's 1) of them was used during a crime, and by a cop at that.

For example, this was an "assault weapon" during the 1994-2004 "ban" http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v665/hautlipz/AR.gif

This was not http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v665/hautlipz/pcr.jpg

can you tell me the difference? Neither are machine guns. In fact, the ONLY differences are effectively cosmetic. Your government at work :)

And, lastly, since Tim might be interested in this: It appears that more guns = less crime after all. Lott may be a dip, and his results may be bogus, but someone else took Ayers' and Donohue's analysis and extended it and found that concealed carry laws do seem to correlate with reduction in crime. I hope it's true.

The questions still stand: what good does licensing do? Why should the nebulous "assault weapons" be banned? For the record, I have a license, but it's not for gun ownership, it's for the carrying of a concealed handgun. Two states in the Union have no such licensing requirements, and blood doesn't run in the streets: Alaska and Vermont.

Posted by: ben | January 14, 2009 11:52 AM

#70
We should deny gun licenses to people with dangerous mental illnesses and/or a history of criminal violence.

... or to the "degenerate races", perhaps?

The thing is, if you allow licensing, there's no telling how far dangerous mentally ill politicians or politicians with a history of political criminal violence will take it. Or a politician of any kind, for that matter. "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" to paraphrase Lord Acton.

An armed population is a good deterrent to a few mentally ill or people with a history of violence who happen to be carrying. And no ones rights need be infringed.

Are there risks? Yes. But the risks are greater when you give power to politicians. "Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” P. J. O’Rourke

Posted by: nanny_govt_sucks | January 14, 2009 11:55 AM

#71

Ah, but nanny, if I'm reading you correctly, instead of whiskey and car keys, you'd rather give the teenage boys guns.

Just as a person who wants to drive in public needs a driver's license that requires them to illustrate familiarity with laws, conventions, and safety protocols on the road, a gun license of any sort should require the bearer to demonstrate familiarity with gun laws, safety, and similar measures of responsibility appropriate to the license (i.e. concealed-carry requirements are stricter than hunting rifle requirements). If you're carrying for self-defense, then this shouldn't be a problem; if you're shooting all willy-nilly to get the guv'mint offa yer lawn, less so.

Yes, I'm about -8 / -7 and I'm not in favor of gun banning either, flying in the face of Ben's caricature. I am in favor of licensing. I also think that ammunition (particularly the rounds frequently used in crime, less so for hunting rounds) should be more expensive, as folk carrying for self-defense are unlikely to fire often anyway while criminals tend to go through them more rapidly. If this increase is done through taxation, relax it for law enforcement and military purchases, which already have measures in place to control their supplies. (I recall a comedian taking this to the extreme: If one bullet costs $5000, you'll think long and hard about shooting anybody. "I gonna cap yo' ass, soon as I can afford it! I gonna get a second job and save and in a few months I can cap ya!") I will admit that I have not given much thought to the details of this arrangement, since to be honest I'm not all that motivated one way or the other on guns (I live in Canada, which doesn't have the Second Amendment, but also had a massive gun registry boondoggle. Note that registration of guns and licensing owners are different propositions).

There is, however, some pretty severe memetic mutation going on in this thread, perpetuated mostly by Ben (as noted by Jade in #54) and, more recently, by NGS. Care to help shift this back to Pravda and the right's evident lack of source standards when it comes to information they agree with?

Posted by: Brian D | January 14, 2009 1:01 PM

#72

Just as a person who wants to drive in public needs a driver's license ... a gun license of any sort should require the bearer to demonstrate familiarity with gun laws...

Why don't they just teach this stuff universally in schools? Nearly everyone is taught how to drive. And knowing how a gun works and how to use one is a step in the right direction for gun safety.

(i.e. concealed-carry requirements are stricter than hunting rifle requirements).

Not so! In Washington State, the hunting license requirements are much stricter. You have to pass a hunter safety course (if you were born 1972 or later) and report all hunting activity. For the CCW permit, all that is required is a set of finger prints.

I also think that ammunition (particularly the rounds frequently used in crime, less so for hunting rounds) should be more expensive, as folk carrying for self-defense are unlikely to fire often anyway while criminals tend to go through them more rapidly.

Also not true! People who carry for self-defense usually practice. Often a lot. Just like the police. I've gone through thousands of rounds of pistol ammunition in order to practice. It's the wise thing to do if you plan to carry for self defense. Carrying a weapon you are not very experienced with is a bad idea.

Brian, I appreciate your position on firearms rights. It is a much better starting point than many.

There is, however, some pretty severe memetic mutation going on in this thread, perpetuated mostly by Ben (as noted by Jade in #54) and, more recently, by NGS. Care to help shift this back to Pravda and the right's evident lack of source standards when it comes to information they agree with?

Really? Boring. Who gives a rats ass about Pravda, now or then?

Posted by: ben | January 14, 2009 1:37 PM

#73

Ok, no more about guns on this this thread, please. I've just put up a post on guns that should keep you all happy.

Posted by: Tim Lambert | January 14, 2009 1:43 PM

#74

Fine. But really, Pravda? Who cares? How many right wingers are singing the praises of Pravda exactly? Probably the same as the number of idiot lefty's touting bunk from Lyndon LaRouche.

And Drudge a right-winger? Hardly. He seems to be in the middle to me. Does he even write any of his own news? He just posts links to other crap as far as I can tell. That's what the researchers at UCLA found anyway, and you guys love your researchers:

While the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal is conservative, the newspaper's news pages are liberal, even more liberal than The New York Times. The Drudge Report may have a right-wing reputation, but it leans left. Coverage by public television and radio is conservative compared to the rest of the mainstream media. Meanwhile, almost all major media outlets tilt to the left.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v665/hautlipz/ucla-bias-study.png

Posted by: ben | January 14, 2009 2:07 PM

#75

Well, you didn't see this RWDB referencing anything printed in Pravda...

There were two papers in the days of the Soviet Union - Pravda (truth) and Izvetsia (news).

As they used to say in the days of the Soviet Union, "There's no Pravda in Isvetsia, and no Isvetsia in Pravda."

Posted by: Jack Lacton | January 14, 2009 4:24 PM

#76

Wall Street Journal's news pages are liberal?

Isn't that proof that reality has a liberal bias?

ben,

you are so funny, in the olfactory sense.

http://mediamatters.org/items/200512220003

Posted by: luminous beauty | January 14, 2009 6:41 PM

#77

ben wrote:

That's what the researchers at UCLA found anyway

Ah. The infamous Groseclose and Milyo paper that concluded RAND is more liberal than the ACLU. That was a hilarious paper.

Posted by: Robert | January 14, 2009 8:56 PM

#78

Really? Boring. Who gives a rats ass about Pravda, now or then?

Rule 12: When something disturbs you, assert that it is not interesting.

Fine. But really, Pravda? Who cares? How many right wingers are singing the praises of Pravda exactly?

Matt Drudge (who has linked to Pravda before, in 2007, in order to spread a rumour), Noel Sheppard (NewsBusters), Doug Ross, Don Surber (blogger for the Daily Mail), MaggiesFarm, Jammie Wearing Fool, LawHawk...

Posted by: jade | January 14, 2009 11:09 PM

#79

1) The WSJ's news pages are really pretty objective, as we've disucssed here before, see especially Ed Darrell's knowledgable comment #8. I hope they are able to keep being so.

2) Of course, if one considers the WSJ OpEd as balanced, middle-of-the-road, then the news are indeed off the scale to the liberal side, but that seems less likely than the reverse. of course, there are people who consider The Economist to be an awful leftist rag these days...

3) I doubt Pravda is amenable to the suggestions in that post though.

Posted by: John Mashey | January 14, 2009 11:35 PM

#80

nanny writes:

"We should deny gun licenses to people with dangerous mental illnesses and/or a history of criminal violence." ... or to the "degenerate races", perhaps?

Jesus, you're an asshole, nanny.

Posted by: Barton Paul Levenson | January 15, 2009 9:02 AM

#81

Rule 12: When something disturbs you, assert that it is not interesting.

So what should I do when I find something that is actually not interesting? Do I have to feign interest in order to prove that I'm not interested?

Noel Sheppard (NewsBusters), Doug Ross, Don Surber (blogger for the Daily Mail), MaggiesFarm, Jammie Wearing Fool, LawHawk...

Never heard of any of them.

As for the study, its supposed measure was against the leanings of the population of the US, not against any other political left/right scale. It's just saying that the WSJ and Drudge are to the left of the average American. I have no idea if the study is correct or not.

Jesus, you're an asshole, nanny.

All ngs is trying to point out is that when the rules become subjective, then the government can deny anything to anyone. That's why most states have "shall issue" for concealed weapons permits. You jump through the hoops, pay the fee, sign the papers, pass the exam and you're done. No desk-jockey anywhere gets to think up some stupid reason why you should be denied.

Posted by: ben | January 15, 2009 10:58 AM

#82
"We should deny gun licenses to people with dangerous mental illnesses and/or a history of criminal violence." ... or to the "degenerate races", perhaps?

Jesus, you're an asshole, nanny.

Jesus, you're obviously ignorant of the racist roots of gun control:

http://www.firearmsandliberty.com/cramer.racism.html

It all starts with "licensing".

Posted by: nanny_govt_sucks | January 15, 2009 11:36 AM

#83

Shorter ngs:

THE WHITE MAN IS THE JEW OF LIBERAL FASCISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: bi -- IJI | January 15, 2009 11:55 AM

#84

I don't understand gun nuts and their paranoid fetishizing. Surely its just me being an appeaser.

Best,

D

Posted by: Dano | January 15, 2009 1:09 PM

#85

ben wrote:

. It's just saying that the WSJ and Drudge are to the left of the average American. I have no idea if the study is correct or not.

Yet you quoted the study in defense of your position?

Posted by: Robert | January 15, 2009 1:24 PM

#86

As a general rule, any whiny little putz who talks about the "nanny state" is not worth the time to even acknowledge. I'm much more afraid of the corporate state they worship, or the fascist daddy state they implicitly push towards.

Posted by: Blue Fielder Author Profile Page | January 15, 2009 1:29 PM

#87
I'm much more afraid of the corporate state they worship, or the fascist daddy state they implicitly push towards.

?

The nannies come from the left and right. Whether they are telling you how to spend your money, what is appropriate to say, what individuals or corporations or foreign people you can associate with, or what you can do with your body it's all nanny-statism and it sucks.

Posted by: nanny_govt_sucks | January 15, 2009 1:55 PM

#88
I don't understand gun nuts and their paranoid fetishizing. Surely its just me being an appeaser.

In a certain respect, yes. I'm sure you're familiar with the "First they came for the communists ..." poem. There's a front in the battle to preserve our civil rights. The gun owners, fringe religions, privacy advocates, and even the hated defense attorneys are out there fighting it. If they fall, it will be something you care about that is taken away next.

Posted by: nanny_govt_sucks | January 15, 2009 2:10 PM

#89

People following this debate might find the free e-book by Dean Baker, "The Conservative Nanny State", an interesting read: http://www.conservativenannystate.org/

Posted by: James Haughton | January 15, 2009 8:08 PM

#90

So what should I do when I find something that is actually not interesting?

Refrain from commenting on the thread.

Never heard of any of them.

They are major right-wing blogs.

Posted by: jade | January 16, 2009 2:53 AM

#91

I'm sure you're familiar with the "First they came for the communists ..." poem.

First they came for Osama bin Laden, but I was not Osama bin Laden, ...

Posted by: bi -- IJI | January 16, 2009 6:39 AM

#92

You're still an asshole, nanny. You weren't just talking about a slippery slope, you were saying that denying a gun license to violent mental patients was the same as denying it to Jews. That's an argument only an asshole would make. Ditto the clear implication that I favored licensing guns for similar reasons.

Has licensing cars resulted in only white people being allowed to own cars?

Has licensing doctors resulted in only Aryans being allowed to practice medicine?

Posted by: Barton Paul Levenson | January 16, 2009 10:12 AM

#93

Good link J Haughton. You may also want to read Lapham's thunderous similar thesis in the latest Harpers.

In a certain respect, yes. I'm sure you're familiar with the "First they came for the communists ..." poem. There's a front in the battle to preserve our civil rights.

Yes, we distract the gun nuts so that wealth redistribution, privacy invasion, weakening civil rights are effected under their noses by kleptocrats uttering dog-whistle code phrases to pacify.

IOW: they aren't dumb enough to take them directly by force - they do it by lulling you to sleep with op-eds by FUD purveyors in Pravda.

Best,

D

Posted by: Dano | January 16, 2009 11:30 AM

#94

Barton, your aim at those strawmen is excellent. Keep knocking them down!

Has licensing cars resulted in only white people being allowed to own cars?

I assume you mean driver licenses, yes? Well, it is a little easier to get a license if you don't have brown skin:

http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/texas/civilrightsgroupsuesdpsoverrule

Has licensing doctors resulted in only Aryans being allowed to practice medicine?

Not that I'm aware, but it has resulted in unconventional practices (midwifery, homeopathy, etc...) being marginalized, and is just another example of a group (the AMA) using the power of government (state medical licenses) to oust competition.

Licensing leads (down a slippery slope, yes) to bans. History is replete with examples.

Licensing is a power that we hand over to fallible, sometimes paranoid, sometimes racist human politicians. So either we replace the fallible humans with angelic, benign, benevolent saints (not possible), or we take away the power that is ripe for abuse: Licensing.

Posted by: nanny_govt_sucks | January 16, 2009 7:48 PM

#95

Oh, my God. Homeopathy has been marginalized? How awful. And it could have saved so many lives.

Why am I arguing with this idiot?

Posted by: Barton Paul Levenson | January 17, 2009 1:03 PM

#96

So what does it mean?

Faith healing is the Marinus van der Lubbe of Liberal Fascism?

Posted by: bi -- IJI | January 17, 2009 1:23 PM

#97

"An armed population is a good deterrent to a few mentally ill "

if they're mentally ill, they're not likely to be deterred. i still haven't heard a good argument as to why the risk of getting shot is a deterrent for those types who shoot up their exwife's family or some random group of strangers, then shoot themselves.

Posted by: z | January 17, 2009 5:10 PM

#98

"First they came for the communists ..." poem

oh yeah, i know that one:

First they came to put the Japanese Americans in detention camps
And the gun owners mostly approved of that.
They they came to shoot up the families of striking coal miners
And the gun owners mostly approved of that.
Then they came to lynch the civil rights workers
And the gun owners thought that was what they deserved, bunch of troublemakers.
Then they came to haul all the Arab Americans in for questioning and indeterminate detention without charges
And the gun owners thought that was really a good idea.
Then they came for the communists,
And you never heard the gun owners cheer so loudly in your life.
Then they came to take away the guns
And the gun owners got really upset, as their armed vigilance was the only thing preserving American liberty against the excesses of the government.

Posted by: z | January 17, 2009 5:19 PM

#99

I assume you mean driver licenses, yes? Well, it is a little easier to get a license if you don't have brown skin:

It's entirely too easy to get a driver's license, whether you're white or not.

Not that I'm aware, but it has resulted in unconventional practices (midwifery, homeopathy, etc...) being marginalized,

Are you a troll, a loon or a dunce? Homeopathy marginalized? Not nearly enough! It remains perfectly legal to sell little vials of water and call them medicine.

and is just another example of a group (the AMA) using the power of government (state medical licenses) to oust competition.

Well, lessee, you got your homeopaths and naturopaths and God alone knows what else. Yeah, evidence-based medicine has such a monopoly.

Posted by: Ray C. | January 17, 2009 8:51 PM

#100

z @ 98. That is outstanding, as good as it gets.

Posted by: WotWot | January 17, 2009 10:38 PM

#101
First they came to put the Japanese Americans in detention camps

... well, they had to disarm the Japanese Americans first!

Posted by: nanny_govt_sucks | January 18, 2009 2:39 AM

#102

Re: Homeopathy. Even if it is only a placebo effect and that works for some people, why knock it? Anyway we don't need politicians telling us (regardless of whom they get their advice from) what medicines or treatments are best for us. That should be up to the doctor that you trust.

Posted by: nanny_govt_sucks | January 18, 2009 2:59 AM

#103

Anyway we don't need politicians telling us (regardless of whom they get their advice from) what medicines or treatments are best for us. That should be up to the doctor that you trust.

Who was it that said that "you [yourself] are the easiest person to fool"?

Posted by: bi -- IJI | January 18, 2009 4:47 AM

#104

Who wants to bet nanny supports selling Laetrile to cancer patients?

Posted by: Barton Paul Levenson | January 18, 2009 6:02 AM

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