Thursday, December 15, 2011

Denying "Climate Change"

Gene Lyons asks "Why Do People Still Deny Climate Change?"

Look at the rhetorical sleight of hand here. The title "Why do people still deny climate change?" Then basically, there's been bad weather so it's high time we take "global warming" 'seriously'.   And then a litany of bad weather events to "support" the idea that man is causing all of this.  Yeah.  There's never been floods and plagues and droughts before the industrial revolution.  And the climate ran on a Honeywell thermostat.  Ask the dinosaurs.  And Europe in the Middle Ages vs the Dark Ages.

The charge here is that "Climate Change" (which nobody denies, climate always has and always will change) = bad weather = global warming ... and implied here is ... that man has something significant to do with it.  Talk about moving the goalposts all over the place.   But that's the point.   They can't win the argument on facts, so they need a shifting "argument".

All the so-called "deniers" are denying is that the Chicken Little's have shown that man's activity has had any significant impact on climate -- if it can be discerned from natural variations. And the real scientific answer to that is an emphatic "no"

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Wild Horses

Like a lot of my posts in the last year, that last one fell out of a friend's or friend of friend's facebook post and the ensuing discussion.  And my last post grew out of one of my comments.

And as sometimes happens, I kept thinking about it even afterward.  I mean, my last post was not meant to be an endorsement of Newt.   It was a defense against what a particular author was arguing in a particular article.   It just didn't hold water for me.

And I think what it comes down to is that people keep talking about who "the right guy" (or gal) is (it would be more accurate to describe it as who isn't the "wrong" guy for this or that reason until the campaigns run out of time and the election comes and they can't throw out any more dirt before the vote is cast).  But people seem to latch on to the idea that if we just elect this guy or that guy this one important time, the country will change for the better.

But that isn't the case.  Because We are The Country.

Yes, we're like a chariot being dragged by wild horses careening toward a cliff, and yes, electing one driver or another will likely speed up or slow our rate of speed toward the cliff, but it's high time we admit something.

The politicians are the drivers.   We.  Us.  We are the wild horses.  We, as a group -- we're pullin'.

Now all the horses aren't of the same mind.   There are some who think if we run fast enough we'll just keep going and land on the other side safely.   There are some who think it will all be ok as long as it's "not their fault" (directly) that we went over the cliff, as if that will exempt them from the accelleration due to gravity and the rapid de-accelleration when they hit rocks at the bottom.   There are a lot of people who are just running to keep from getting trampled, hoping the other horses or the driver will stop in time.   And there are those digging their hooves in, but are just being overwhelmed by the momentum of the rest of the team.  And there are even some who actively want to go over the cliff.

But no matter what the speed, where we're headed isn't going to change until enough of we, the horses ... We, the People -- change direction.

Herman Cain is not going to fix it.  Michelle Bachmann is not going to fix it.  Newt Gingrich is not going to fix it. 

Ron Paul is not going to fix it, either.

Look around you.  Your brother.  Your friend.  Your co-worker.   That's where the work has to happen.   Don't wait for a driver, who likely has a parachute anyway, to change our course.   Yes, work hard to get a slower driver to hopefully give us the time we need to change hearts and minds, but when you are fighting, arguing -- argue passionately but rationally -- the principles.   Not the latest headlines and scandals (but I repeat myself).  Or even the people themselves, directly.

Bill touches on that here when he talks about our failures and their fruits -- such as the OWS crowd.  This is where we've allowed ourselves, over a long period of time, to be steered.  It was predictable. And predicted.

"Outrageous" Newt

Roger Simon (not to be confused with PJTV's Roger L. Simon) thinks Newt says a lot of outrageous things.  The sole example in the article follows:
“Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works,” Newt said recently in Iowa. “So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash,’ unless it’s illegal.”
I don't see what's so outrageous about Mr. Simon's example. He may not agree, and of course it isn't literally true in every case on the individual level -- but like most libs, Mr. Simon doesn't even come close to directly addressing what Newt said, he just calls it "outrageous" or "scandalous" and expects everyone to nod in agreement. Of course, the same libs will argue for spending millions or billions on programs for role models and government job programs to specifically address the exact same problem Newt is talking about (and perhaps even Newt himself has been for them in the past) -- and that's all perfectly ok. It's just not ok for a conservative, real or perceived, to point it out. Because, as we all know (because libs keep telling us), conservatives are a bunch of heartless a**holes for not agreeing that more government is the solution.

Newt wouldn't be my first or second or third choice. But we could do a lot worse than Newt. Case and point, take a look at who's in the White House... when the current president isn't on vacation, that is. (No, I'm not talking about Lady Gaga.)  A bonafide Alinsky radical.  I'm not pretending Newt is ideal or even awesome. But if this is the worst Mr. Simon can come up with for an "outrageous" comment, they have a lot to be afraid of.

Simon points out a piece written about Gingrich he uses to ridicule and put Newt's comments on "habits of working" because he didn't want to work through college and got his family to help.  Well, you know, family can say "no" if they don't think their money is well spent, and they didn't.  Not so with Government.  And people do grow and learn between college age and 50.  It is possible.  Simon quotes the writer
“Dolores Adamson, Gingrich’s district administrator from 1978 to 1983, remembers, ‘Jackie [Jackie Battley, Newt’s high school geometry teacher and first wife] put him all the way through school. All the way through the Ph.D. … He didn’t work.”
and goes on to skewer:
Early on, Newt found a secret: Get family to pay your way. Then get taxpayers to pay your way, then charge $60,000 a speech, and then get corporations to give you large sums of money. And ultimately, of course, there’s the presidency with its comfortable salary, free housing and that big plane where you can choose any seat you want.

So his family paid his way through school, he became an elected official ("get taxpayers to pay your way", a point of view that I have SOME sympathy with - but let's remember Newt was largely responsible for keeping Clinton reigned in) -- and dudes, you can't live on charging $60,000 a speech if people don't want to pay $60,000 to have you come speak. You're offering a product. They can take it or leave it. Free market. Same with "get corporations to pay you large sums of money." They won't pay you large sums of money if you aren't worth it to them. I'm not saying (because I don't know) that he didn't do things for corporations I'd disagree with -- but this is not evidence of not having a "habit of working".

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Again With the "Capitalism"

Reading some of the comments on Facebook about the recent Daniel Hannan article on what we Evil Capitalist Pigs really believe.

You know, like "Capitalism isn't bad in and of itself. Just like any other tool or structure it is only good or bad depending on the use people put it to"  or  they say they hate "Capitalism" but can they show me WHERE capitalism is being practiced in the U.S.? I only see Mercantilism

We've mentioned before -- on this blog and other webulous places, that Capitalism isn't a "system" in the sense that some person or persons sat down and said "here's how it should work" ... like, say, Karl Marx et. al. did.

It is the Tao of Economics.  The Way of Things.  It falls directly out of human nature.   It's basic structure is I have A, you have B.  You want A, I want B.   And we work out some sort of deal on how we swap A for B that is acceptable to the both of us.  That's the essence of a Free Market.

I can't remember who it was I was talking to, but this person mentioned that the word "Capitalism" didn't show up until the middle 1800's ... right around the time Marx et. al. were formalizing their forced wealth redistribution systems.  Which are incompatible with a Free Market.  But something called a Free Market is hard to demonize.  However, another "ism", a counter-ism, a word to use to put some distance between the concept of a Free Market and the connotation of the new "ism", and then demonize the new word by assigning it abuses of trust associated with market fraud --- much easier.

So I don't like arguing about "Capitalism".   It's a misrepresentation of what we are really for, and that is Free Markets.

Daniel Hannan on What We Believe

Pretty "spot on", as he might say.
Chatting to some Occupy protesters this morning, I was struck by how wide of the mark were the beliefs they attributed to me as a Right-winger. In the interests of deeper understanding, here are ten things which – trust me – most of the Tory scum I hang around with think. Obviously, I don’t expect to turn my Leftie readers in a single post; still, they might get a clearer idea of what we actually believe.