Archive for compare contrast

Look at everything but the data

In a paper published in Climatic Change, the scientists suggest looking at business interests, partisan predispositions and political ideology for the hurdles to policy action.

“Action on climate change requires courage to face the facts by acknowledging, incorporating and legitimizing the supermajority scientists’ views on the issue while recognizing different opinions beyond science,” says Liu.

At PhysOrg: Hurdles to US climate change action are in economics and politics, not divided science

The question is about the ‘facts’ and how they connect to the conclusions being drawn. It is not only the facts about climate change at concern here, it is the facts about the opinions of ‘scientists’ and the supposed ‘consensus’ being claimed.

Perhaps the key is the focus on “business interests, partisan predispositions and political ideology” rather than on issues, rationale for opinions, and sources of disagreement. It is a diversion that shows flailing for efforts to rationalize ideologies when villains are brought in to substitute for actual matters of measurement and reality.

The task of those seeking massive governmental controls beyond what already exists is that of educating the ignorant. Calling them names and avoiding the questions they ask is not usually a good avenue for achieving that task.

(for a comparison and contrast, see Jennifer Marohasy on a Survey Denying My Position on Climate Change)

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Adding up the numbers

This is a textbook example of projection, but not the type produced by the Urban Institute or the CBO. The irony is that Krugman’s own lies, combined with the clumsy misrepresentations of math-challenged people like Cohn, have contributed heavily to the skepticism that most Americans feel about Obamacare. Most voters intuitively understand that the numbers don’t add up. Sadly, the same cannot be said about most of the law’s media cheerleaders.

There are those who just can’t handle numbers and then there are those who can but only in ways to support their foregone conclusions. See David Catron: The Right Prescription – Math Is Hard For Obamacarians – The numbers are not their friends.

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BMV, the Blowhard, and reality. Because: racism, of course.

Colin Flaherty says Spring Break Violence is a Black College Thing. What got him started was an episode of Juan Williams trying to school Bill O’Reilly.

Williams reminded O’Reilly of Freaknik, the annual celebration of black violence and anarchy that got so bad that even the Chocolate City of Atlanta had to pull the welcome mat. Then he mentioned Urban Beach Week in Miami Beach — only reporters call it anything but Black Beach Week — and how that was a celebration of chaos and violence as well.

The annual mayhem continued until 2013, when city officials ran out of ways to describe the “living hell” that 400,000 black people created in Miami Beach. So they turned that small town into a large armed camp.

Today, lots of attendees complain how the cops, the towers, the dogs, the drones, the license plate scanners, the lights, the Homeland Security and the cameras are all killing their buzz. And attendance is down.

large-scale and persistent mob violence during Spring Break is a black thing. Or as the t-shirts say: A Black College Thing.

This is a very long list of black parties that wore out their welcome after several years — and angry city officials determined to never allow that to happen in their towns again.

Most of these large gatherings of black people were cancelled or discouraged after repeated and long-term violence, property damage, lawlessness, fights with police and trash. Always mountains of trash.

There is a problem. Whether it is the mob violence or the blind eye towards seeing it for what it is, there is a problem. It isn’t getting better. Black Mob Violence (BMV) is a perpetrator in a privileged class trying to pretend it is a victim. There is a lot of sympathy for the claim. One can wonder why, but not out loud.

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Don’t debate. Demonize!

It’s Ed Feulner on Muzzling the marketplace of ideas — “Leftists pounce on those who question their worldview” with a few examples.

““Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.” The words of the First Amendment couldn’t be plainer. Yet more than two centuries after the Bill of Rights was written, they remain the subject of fierce debate.

Actually, I should amend that (no pun intended). These words would be the subject of debate — if debate were permitted. But these days, apparently, we’re all so thin-skinned that we can’t bear to hear an opinion that challenges our worldview.”

“Part of the problem, surely, is rooted in basic ignorance of American history and our founding documents. That’s why I opened by quoting the First Amendment. It may strike some readers as too basic to even mention, but numerous surveys show an alarming degree of ignorance and illiteracy.”

“More and more, this is our world. We don’t debate, we demonize. ”

“You don’t communicate with anyone purely on the rational facts or ethics of an issue,” wrote Saul Alinsky in “Rules for Radicals,” the bible of the so-called progressive left. “Pick a target, freeze it, personalize it, and popularize it.”

Some will try to tell you ‘both sides do it’ but that only gets interesting in seeing what they can offer to support the conclusion. Trying to be nice by pretending such things is a part of the problem, not a step towards a solution. It’s kinda’ like pretending the alcoholic doesn’t really drink any more than anyone else.

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The difference

See William Connolley at Stoat for an example of the difference between sides in the climate argument.

“All right-thinking people will obviously agree that the top one is better; WUWT is denialism, and AW is primarily known as a blogger, not a meteorologist.”

The topic and entire content is ad hominem buttressed by the vox populi logical fallacy and a straw man thrown in for good measure. There is no discussion of the issues. Opinion is offered as judgment. Anyone who raises a question in the comments about the premise is taken to the woodshed with ‘reduce to the absurd’ type counters.

If you want to learn about climatology and meteorology, look to WUWT. If you want to see the ugly side of human discourse, maybe try Stoat.

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Fact Checking

Some media outlets started ‘fact checking’ columns to determine whether statements of politicians were true or false. In part, this effort was an outcome of the Left being caught in so many lies and distortions of fact that ‘balance’ was needed by ‘proving’ both sides do it. David Rutz illustrates just how this fact checking effort is severely biased by describing 5 Times the Washington Post Failed At Fact-Checking. What makes the field ripe for ‘interpretation’ is that the expression of opinion can use allegory, example, satire, and other rhetorical methods to make a point. Trying to determine the veracity of this expression can be a matter of opinion and interpretation about what is critical to the argument and what is not and even what the argument really is.

“Goldfarb got super-serious and dissected such details as executive orders versus executive actions and the constitutionality of Obama’s endeavor. He didn’t get into how Obama had said for years that his executive amnesty actions were outside his authority.

Also, it doesn’t appear the Washington Post ever checked for sure that Will Ferrell’s Bush wanted to put Germany, the economy and math into his “Axis of Evil.” That, of course, would have been absurd since this was a silly comedy show. They did get around, four years later, to debunking the idea that Sarah Palin had actually said “I can see Russia from my house,” as made famous by Tina Fey’s impersonation.

We give these blunders double double Pinocchios.”

There are many ways to avoid intellectual integrity. Sometimes, observing behavior yields better results – if intellectual integrity has any value – in determining veracity and truthfulness.

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Does not compute

Some things don’t make sense, don’t ‘compute’ and become the source of dissonance. Christopher Chantrill describes to of these things for him as The Democrats’ Thugocracy.

“There are a couple things about the Obama years that have registered “does not compute” for me. The first was the complete powder taken by the media. Yes, I know that they are all ruling-class liberals that believe in all the received liberal notions and still swoon today at the thought of a First Black President. But you would have thought that, here and there, a liberal journalist would have popped his head above the parapet to take a potshot at the president. Because fame and celebrity. But really there was nothing for six long years until after the 2014 midterms.

“The other thing that did not compute has been the extraordinary discipline of the Democrats in Congress. … You tell me that none of them saw the 2014 wave coming, and none of them had the self-preservation instinct to break out of the pack and save themselves from the GOP onslaught?”

Trying to resolve this cognitive dissonance leads to hypothesis formation or the attempt to propose different views of reality to one’s self in order to make some sense of the world.

“I think we are coming to understand the other “does not compute” now that the Justice Department has decided to prosecute Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ). The Dem officeholders have been kept in line because someone is keeping a little list of all their little foibles. It’s a delightful system. The Obama administration does nothing about corrupt acts by its supporters until the day that a supporter breaks ranks. Then it’s: Nice little political career you got here. Pity that something should happen to it.”

“I wonder what the Democratic Party would look like if everyone weren’t looking over their shoulder wondering what California Nance or Bugsy Harry or Big Ears Barry had got on them?”

Of course, there are two ways to go with this reconstruction of reality perceptions. One is illustrated by the climate alarmists who remain in stubborn denial. The other is to accept testing of the new hypothesis and adaptation of perceptions yielding to intellectual growth. 

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Which way do you want it? BOTH ways, say the greens

The story is a Look At The Endless Sprawl Of Greenhouses That Cover Spain’s Desert — “Over $1 billion in cheap, low-quality produce is grown in the middle of the desert each year thanks to environmentally destructive greenhouses.”

Meanwhile, birds fry when desert land is covered with mirrors in an attempt to make solar energy competitive.

On the one hand, it is feeding people inexpensive vegetables. On the other, it is about raising energy costs for those people to limit their abilities in comfort and transport.

Just what is the actual target here?

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Secret massive governmental industry takeover: Internet edition

It is just like the previous, massive, partisan forced, regulation of an industry where you are told you won’t know what is in it until after it gets past. The Register has two items on the topic: Net neutrality secrecy: No one knows what the FCC approved (but Google has a good idea) and Net neutrality: The world speaks its brains on secret ‘open’ ‘net rules. On the secrecy:

“Analysis US watchdog the FCC formally approved new net neutrality rules on Thursday for America. But you’re out of luck if you want to know exactly how your access to the internet will be now be governed.

Despite getting the green light, the exact rules have not been revealed and will remain a mystery for some unspecified length of time.”

“In fact, the chairs of both Congressional committees that deal with telecoms issues requested that the rules be put out for public review, as did two of Wheeler’s four commissioners, who complained they wanted to publish the documents but were barred from doing so.”

“But that’s not all. Both commissioners expect changes to be made to the document after it has been formally approved by them, with the “OGC” – office of general counsel – given extraordinary leeway to edit and revise the rules even following formal approval.”

The second item is a bit whimsical

“Comment Look at this photo of FCC chairman Tom Wheeler holding hands and smiling with the two Democrat commissioners who backed his “open internet” regulations, the pair wearing vivid blue outfits. It sums all that was both good and worrying about the decisions today to pass secretive net neutrality rules.

Here, we see a historic debate on internet access in America, a crucial complex technology, jump the tracks and career into a quagmire of politics. Jubilant Dems on one side, the Republican commissioners who voted against the net neutrality rules on the other.”

“What do mean “once it’s released”? This is all done and dusted. We’ve got net neutrality, baby! The internet is free again! Rejoice!”

deja vu all over again.

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An Alinski Jam

Neo Neocon asks What can the Republican Congress do?.

“As soon as the Democrats ended the filibuster for judicial appointments, arguments for Republicans to retain it became weak, because the reason for keeping it was always to protect one’s own minority rights when the time came. This required that both parties support the rule, knowing that someday it would be their turn to benefit from it (when they were in the minority) and another day it would be their turn to be stymied by it (when they were in the majority but not the supermajority). Respect for the rule also required a modicum of compromise from whatever the minority party du jour might be if Congress wanted to get any work done at all. But that sort of thing ended a while ago, too.

So there is no longer any reason to uphold something I always had defended. Now the situation is such that Republicans are fighting a battle where the implicit rules of the game have changed. As “Harold” puts it, they are in an Alinsky jam here. And they better study up on their Alinsky or they’re going to be in huge trouble (they already are in trouble, actually). But I don’t think most of them have the temperament, or perhaps even the interest, to go bold.”

“To recap: they can impeach but not convict. They can pass bills in the House that can’t get through the Senate, or that can get through the Senate but not get past the veto. They can…they can…what? They can decline to fund important parts of government, and try to bully the Democrats and Obama into blinking, but Obama rests secure in the fact that the public will be manipulated by the press into blaming Republican “obstructionism” for any lack of funding. That doesn’t mean the Republicans shouldn’t do it anyway, but it does mean they run an excellent chance of taking the hit for it rather than Obama and the Democrats.”

It is much like the terrorism problem. Just what does it take and just how much does it matter to prevent disaster? When you are up against opponents who do not care about anything but winning at any cost, there is no deal making. There is no effort to resolve issues. That approach is either broken by absolute defeat or you get what you see in Cuba or Venezuela or the many other examples where opposition to the Left decided it wasn’t worth the effort. 

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Witch Hunts

Seven academics who had the audacity to speak to Congress about climate change are targets of US Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) who is the ranking member of the House of Representatives Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. Roger Pielke, Jr. is one who says I am Under “Investigation”. Stephen Hayward is another target who see it as asking Are you now or have you ever been a climate skeptic?. Here is what Pielke says:

“The incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues. I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject. I am a full professor with tenure, so no one need worry about me — I’ll be just fine as there are plenty of interesting, research-able policy issues to occupy my time. But I can’t imagine the message being sent to younger scientists. Actually, I can: “when people are producing work in line with the scientific consensus there’s no reason to go on a witch hunt.”

When “witch hunts” are deemed legitimate in the context of popular causes, we will have fully turned science into just another arena for the exercise of power politics. The result is a big loss for both science and politics.”

This inquiry makes McCarthyism look tame. Climate scientists are not the only game in this sort of hunt either. 

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Irrational patterns on rational issues

David Harsanyi provides a good summary of politicized science based issues in describing When Liberals Ignore Science — “Media are largely silent about their fear of vaccination and their belief in astrology and UFOs“.

“How do we deal with the false perception that liberals are more inclined to trust science than conservatives? Also, how do we approach the media’s fondness for focusing on the unscientific views of some conservatives but ignoring the irrational — and oftentimes more consequential — beliefs of their fellow liberals?”

“if you walk around believing that pesticides are killing your children or that fracking will ignite your drinking water, or if you hyperventilate about the threat of the ocean’s consuming your city, you have a viewpoint that not only conflicts with science but undermines progress. So how do we approach matters that have been settled among scientists but are not widely accepted by liberals?”

“The perception that one political group is less science-savvy than another is predominately driven by the unwillingness of many conservatives to accept alarmism about global warming and the policies purportedly meant to mitigate it. But when it comes to climate change, volumes could be written about the ill-conceived, unscientific, over-the-top predictions made by activists and politicians. We could start with our own Malthusian science czar, John Holdren, who once predicted that climate change would cause the deaths of a billion people by 2020 and that sea levels would rise by 13 feet.”

“It doesn’t end there. What are we to make of people who mock religion as imaginary but believe an astrological sign should determine whom you date or are concerned that they will be whisked away in a flying saucer?”

The political bifurcation is right in front of your face – consider the Californication meme, for instance. But that doesn’t phase most media reporters whose reports ignore the obvious evidence. For any paying attention, that is a serious issue of cognitive dissonance.

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On that ‘white privilege’ thing …

Selwyn Duke on The Real White Privilege and My Radio Race War

“accepting white privilege as supposition is prejudice itself. If someone wishes to claim this phenomenon exists, the burden is on him to prove it; it is not on those who would have to prove a negative.

This proof is never forthcoming. The only argument offered is that whites are more prosperous and healthier socially than are blacks, which proves white privilege as much as blacks’ numerical dominance in the NBA proves black privilege. After all, Hindus (exclusively non-white) are the highest-earning religious group in the U.S., and Jews are number two, yet no one today takes this as proof of Hindu or Jewish privilege. In fact, in a radio debate some years ago I challenged a different guest — who cited whites’ higher incomes as proof of privilege — to be true to his rationale and speak of Jewish privilege (which he wouldn’t dare do). His response?”

“Of course, this is circular reasoning. Higher incomes were proof of his ideology — except when his ideology said that higher incomes weren’t.

But that’s the left-reason Left for you. They don’t need facts or logic. They know white privilege exists. They know whites discriminate. It’s just a matter of accepting the terms of surrender and your place in the re-education camp. Because they know.”

“This brings us to the fact that there is black privilege as well. It’s not enjoyed by most black people, who live in Africa often in misery and under despotism. But in the U.S. it means benefitting from quotas, affirmative-action, set-asides, immunity from many kinds of criticism, and the latitude to make racial remarks and jokes that would destroy whites’ careers.”

“This returns us to my opening Lincoln line. If you focus on a person’s sins to the exclusion of his good deeds, you can make him appear the Devil incarnate. It’s fashionable today to look for the worst in whites, and because of this people are sure to find it. And the result is that we will hear things such as, to quote the late leftist writer Susan Sontag, “The white race is the cancer of human history.”

The modern era where people find something to hate and fail to think about their own envy and greed. Or is it just the modern era?

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Increasing the heat

With the lack of results of various Congressional inquiries over the last few years, one could wonder if either there was no substance to investigate or if there was something else going on. It is beginning to appear to be the latter. Frontpage Mag says Gowdy Comes Out Swinging. It appears that obstructions to fruitful investigation are being called.

“Rep. Trey Gowdy came out swinging at Tuesday’s hearing of his Select Committee, laying into Democrats for playing political games and blasting the State Department for refusing to produce documents and for preventing witnesses from testifying before the committee.”

“By putting up a website called “Asked and Answered” before the Select Committee had even held its first hearing, the Democrats “instantly prejudged facts that are not yet in evidence,” Gowdy wrote.”

“Many of the so-called answers the Democrats provide to nagging questions on Benghazi answer nothing at all.”

“In a classic straw man argument, the Democrats accuse Republicans of claiming that Secretary of State Clinton personally “ordered” Defense Secretary Panetta to “stand down” an ongoing rescue attempt. That obviously didn’t happen; and no credible source has alleged that.”

There is a lot of defense going on and that means that the offense needs to use more force to clear the way. That can be painful but it must be done else: Argentina (for example). The new Congress is showing some indications that the tolerance shenanigans might be reduced.

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Hate

Consider Stowe Boyd:

“What the Scandinavians know: high taxes and generous social benefits do not lead to higher unemployment. On the contrary. But try to tell that to wackazoid conservatives who simply won’t look at the data.”

Then the implications from An Academic’s Shocking View: “I Hate Republicans” which concerns Professor Susan J. Douglas’ expressed hatred of Republicans.

“It’s possible to confront a “single-minded, uncomplicated, good-vs.-evil worldview” and respond with something besides hate. That, in fact, is what I am doing in this very post — and it’s something Republicans (and Democrats less hateful than Ms. Douglas) do all the time in this country.”

“I have not read the “studies” Douglas cites, but it’s clear that the qualities she describes are derisive terms for a world view that Thomas Sowell describes as “constrained.” “Dogmatism, rigidity and intolerance
 of ambiguity” as well as “a need to avoid uncertainty” represent a philosophy that recognizes the importance of incentives, and favors order even if it potentially raises the chances of individual instances of injustice. “Resistance to change” represents a support for traditions that reflect common wisdom over ages. “Support for inequality” is a nasty and unfair slur against a philosophy that prizes equality of opportunity over equality of result — and recognizes that efforts to equalize results often result in government creating power imbalances among groups, and in unintended consequences that decrease the quality of life for everyone, including the least fortunate.

In short, Ms. Douglas, there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy. While I don’t hate you, and I try not to hate even your ugly thoughts — because hate is a negative emotion that corrodes the soul — I certainly reject your hatred. I feel sorry for those who have to deal with someone so hateful. I feel sorry for your students, for your colleagues, for your neighbors, and everyone else who crosses your path and feels the sting of your nasty worldview.

And ultimately, I feel sorry for you — because you’re clearly proud of your hatred, which means you are unlikely to change. Which means you’re trapped — you have trapped yourself, that is — in a situation I don’t envy: a life driven by negative emotions and ugliness.”

Hate distorts. It leads people to defensiveness and that to a lack of intellectual integrity that can be seen in logical fallacies such as Boyd’s conclusion.

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Uber and the taxi wars of the 60’s continue

You may have heard of Uber. It is a modern take on taxi service that is encountering resistance from the established business model. The Las Vegas Review Journal describes a bit of the history of this struggle: Taxi wars’ of ’60s predate today’s stand-off with Uber.

“Taxi regulations are overseen by the Nevada Taxicab Authority, which was established in 1969 after more than a decade of confrontations among cabdrivers that casino executives feared were getting so violent that they would discourage tourists from coming to Las Vegas.”

“Many of the “taxi wars” battles were waged between union drivers represented by the Teamsters Local 881 and nonunion drivers for companies such as Checker Cab”

“Over the years, statutes were modified and the five-member Nevada Taxicab Authority remains in place and only regulates taxis in Clark County. Cabs that operate in other counties are administered by the Nevada Transportation Authority, which also regulates buses, limousines, towing and moving van companies.”

“The authority board’s top objective is to best serve the riding public. But state statutes have other criteria that the public has been quick to criticize as anticompetitive and protectionist.”

Of course, the usual pattern: Union violence stimulates anti-competitive regulation that is promoted under the banner of public safety and order in commerce. What has changed? 

personal accountability via capitalist incentives.

The taxi companies primary service, that of dispatch, now no longer needs to be centralized as an app on the cell phone can do most of the work. Instead of having to depend upon the reputation of the taxi company, potential riders can now investigate the reputation of a particular driver. The scene is changing and it will take time to determine the implications and work them out to acceptable solutions. Once again, it is those playing by the old rules up against those who want to make new rules. Let’s hope it doesn’t repeat the violence from past taxi-wars.

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Race relations

The Ferguson Fracas has not helped in promoting sympathy for the minority. The administration has had to backtrack from his promotion of violence that has escalated out of a false story used to foment unrest. As one said, it was rather unnerving to see the President talking about ‘understanding’ the need for protest while the split screen news showed black thugs and rioters gleefully hauling booty out of a liquor store.

The problems in the black family are also being put on parade. M. Catharine Evans describes Michael Brown Parents’ Bad Influence Plays Out on the National Stage

“As bad as Sybrina Fulton’s neglect and financial exploitation of little angel Trayvon Martin was, Lesley McSpadden’s profanity-laced rant after the grand jury decided not to indict Officer Wilson makes Fulton look like Mother of the Year.

Take a listen to Mama McSpadden and Michael Brown’s convicted felon stepdad, Louis Head. Yes, the same pair, along with twenty others who allegedly tried to crack a few skulls after they caught granny and a cousin selling Michael Brown merchandise in Ferguson a month ago.”

“These poor excuses for parents are as much to blame for Michael’s death as Michael himself, so why isn’t the media blaming them instead of the cops? Maybe we’ll all worry about police accountability when issues of accountability are resolved with respect to the sperm donors and baby mamas raising or not raising these scourges of society.

Holding these two accountable won’t be easy. After the McSpadden-Head video went viral, McSpadden’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump, tried to quell the criticism. Crump suggested that McSpadden and Head were overcome with “raw emotion.””

As for the media, headlines still list it as cop vs ‘unarmed teenager’ rather than 300 lb 18 year old caught on video abusing a store clear bullrushing a cop.

The awakening is noted by Colin Flaherty who says Black Mob Violence Now a Sickness

“And no one is sicker than the reporters who ignore, condone, excuse, and even encourage it, as we learned from the latest riot.

For reporters, Mike Brown has always been a moving target: At first the Gentle Giant was cut down for no reason whatsoever. Reporters ate it up and black mob violence followed.

When that fairy tale evaporated, they replaced it — with ease.”

“I learned from a black reporter that because the district attorney of St. Louis took 25 minutes to explain the grand jury decision that was proof positive the cop should have gone to trial. And reason enough to riot.”

“I learned the rioters did not like the tone of the District Attorney’s remarks. And that is why they did it.”

I learned black mob violence is “understandable,” or so quoth the President of the United States.

“Megyn Kellly — the devotee of the damages of white privilege — agreed with a black guest who said the rioters threw molotov cocktails because St. Michael was left in the street for four and half hours.”

“a former Republican White House staffer said it was all about police-community relations. Roughly translated that means too many black people were breaking the law. And too many white cops were catching them.”

“I learned that cops in riot gear cause riots.”

“I learned that black mob violence is no big deal because white people do it too.”

“No one mentioned Louisville, and how last Spring 200 black people rampaged through that downtown, beating grandparents in front of their grandkids, destroying property, stealing, looting, and creating mayhem.”

“PBS was kind enough to report that all of that black mob violence was the result of “white racism.””

“Violent crime in America is a black thing. Like the T-Shirt says, I don’t understand it. But this I do know: as bad as black crime rates appear to be (compared with non-black rates) in reality they are even worse.

And here are four reasons why: stitches for snitches, witness tampering, Bronx juries, cutting arrests in half, for starters.”

The list of behaviors should be stimulating research papers in psychology and social studies as it fits a pattern of known illness. Denial runs deep. It is not healthy, either for its victims or its observers.

UPDATE: see also Trayvon and Mike at Powerline.

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Delusion and denial observed

Tammy Bruce is rather harsh about Democratic delirium and denial; post-election ‘analysis’ spins every name but Obama.

“One thing is clear: At least at this point, most liberal commentators, writers and “influencers” are refusing, or unable, to grasp what happened on Tuesday night. This is a bad sign for their party and agenda. We know the Democrats have always been out of touch with reality, but the degree of denial since the election has been stunning.

“Watching this meltdown is also instructive for Americans in general, who must ask the question: How did we let such a disconnected and dumb bunch of people gain so much power? We are romantics, but the midterms remind us if you scratch the surface of any smug, arrogant liberal, you’ll find a clueless, malevolent and incompetent harpy.”

The sad thing is, it’s not only about the results of the mid-term elections but also about positions on major issues. It is instructive to observe behavior, but even that is subject to denial from people who do not like their own behavior. 

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Another ten reasons

Danusha V. Goska describes Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist with experiences and examples. It is worth careful reading and consideration. The ten reasons often show up in observations elsewhere but this list provides context and is powerful in the compilation. The top reason: “If hate were the only reason, I’d stop being a leftist for this reason alone.” can be easily seen by anyone and is perhaps a base for the other nine.

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Quackademic

persistence, redefinition of words, anti Western Culture, … It’s quackademic! At Respectful Insolence, it’s  Tooth Fairy science about traditional Chinese medicine, promoted in the Wall Street Journal.

“There’s a term that I wish I had coined but do frequently use to describe this infiltration: Quackademic medicine. Over the last 30 years or so, what was once quackery, rightly dismissed in a famous 1983 editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine as a “pabulum of common sense and nonsense offered by cranks and quacks and failed pedants who share an attachment to magic and an animosity toward reason” has become mainstream, evolving from quackery to “alternative medicine” to “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) and finally to “integrative medicine.”

“At each stage, the idea was to rebrand medicine based on pseudoscientific, mystical, and/or prescientific beliefs as somehow being co-equal with “Western” or “scientific” medicine through the clever use of language, whose latest term, “integrative” medicine is a near perfect Orwellian twisting of language meant to imply that what is happening is the “integration” of what advocates of integrative medicine like to call the “best of both worlds.”

“If you want to see just how successful quackademic medicine has been at not only infiltrating itself into what should be bastions of science-based medicine but at changing the very terms and language under which it is considered, just look at this article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal yesterday by Shirley S. Wang entitled A Push to Back Traditional Chinese Medicine With More Data: Researchers Marry Modern Analytical Techniques to Centuries-Old Theories on What Makes People Sick

“In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at the article. It’s based entirely on the very hubris behind “integrative medicine,” namely that medicine based on prescientific and religious beliefs, like traditional Chinese medicine, is at least nearly co-equal with medicine based on science and rigorous clinical trials. Or, at least, it would be equal to scientific medicine if there were actually some evidence for it, which these brave maverick doctors and scientists are furiously searching for, no matter how much they have to torture modern systems biology and molecular biology techniques to shoehorn TCM’s fantasy-based “networks” into networks of gene activity being increasingly understood by modern molecular biology.”

“Lots and lots of research money is being wasted studying prescientific superstition such as qi, yin and yang, and “hot” and “cold” applied to human disease, and universities are embracing such twaddle with both arms.”

“It should anger you. It should anger anyone who cares about science and medicine. Sadly, the reaction of the vast majority of physicians is a shrug.”

That shrug seems to be common to many ideas being pushed that threaten who we are and what we have gained over the last two centuries. Do read the shrug link. Some are indeed getting worried.

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