Archive for compare contrast

Do they refuse to see?

An IBT editorial: Venezuela Is Socialist, Senator Sanders. Any Questions? — it appears that some are beginning to wonder about learning from history, especially among those who are supposedly educated.

That reality of socialism and its horrific results is mocked by Sanders himself, who denies it has anything to do with his own ideas. “I myself don’t use the word socialism,” he told a University of Vermont student publication in 1976 “because people have been brainwashed into thinking socialism automatically means slave-labor camps, dictatorship and lack of freedom of speech.”

Brainwashed? The very word comes from socialist indoctrination practices. Sanders’ flip dismissal of those realities reminds us of a quote from Nobel Prize winner and author of “The Gulag Archipelago” Aleksander Solzhenitsyn: “Or do they refuse to see?” Yes, Sanders and his followers refuse.

That’s the part of socialism Bernie Sanders doesn’t want to talk about. It’s the same wherever it’s tried. Voters fall for it over and over, and all it brings is failure. Sanders is only continuing the con. When is he going to be called on it?

It’s about trying to say it will be different this time, over and over and over again. The forces of deceit and illusion are strong. Reality seems weak but it does eventually surface. The path may be slow but that only drags the pain out over time.

But that’s Venezuela and Cuba and … How about Columbia? Marco Rubio says The U.S and Colombia Will Lead the Americas Forward in the 21st Century.

Over the past 15 years, Plan Colombia and other U.S. assistance have helped transform Colombia from a country ravaged by drug cartels and terrorist insurgents to the more prosperous and secure society it is today. … It has helped turn a country with a corrupt and unreliable judiciary into a place with growing confidence that justice will be served for those who violate laws.

Although these realities today may seem like they were inevitable all along, we should never take them for granted nor should we allow these hard-fought gains to be eroded.

Colombia’s achievements to date in overcoming the damage done by the FARC have been extraordinary, but the toughest work lies ahead.

The question is why is it so difficult? Nearly every country south of the U.S. suffers from this plague in one way or another. We even see its effects in the U.S. not only in the rhetoric and pledges of some candidates but also in the many scandals involving departments such as the IRS, the EPA, the DOJ,, and State. 

It does seem ‘they’ refuse to see. 

Worried, yet?

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Evolving stories

There are two political stories in the air at the moment that illustrate significant distortion and potential collusion. One is about Cruz distributing a CNN report as a political trick in Iowa and the other is the U.S. State Department mounting a Clinton defense with the ‘everybody does it’ approach. Ed Morrissey explains the State IG: Classified info went to Powell, Rice aides on personal e-mail accounts story.

Hillary’s defenders will claim, this was done all the time! It’s no big deal! Reuters reports that the IG’s findings were made public by the “top Dem on oversight panel,”

the fact that others have violated a law does not make other violations hunky-dory.

Secretaries of State and their aides have no authority to change classification on information originating in other agencies,

Let’s compare the situations of the three Secretaries of State. All three served four years; Powell and Rice to a lesser extent served at a time when State’s e-mail systems were in flux. Yet the IG can only find two instances of spillage involving Powell’s private e-mail account, and none involving Rice (all ten involved her aides). Hillary didn’t bother getting an official State Department account, but instead hid her communications from Congress and the courts for more than five years to thwart legitimate, constitutional oversight on State. The system she owned and kept at her house was used to retain and transmit classified information on more than one thousand, three hundred occasions. And most importantly, the information that got exposed in this system was intelligence data derived from other agencies, some of which was classified at the highest levels and put sources, methods, and agents at risk.

This story is nothing more than an attempt to misdirect Americans from the egregiously corrupt and likely criminal activities of Hillary Clinton in her efforts to cover up her activities at State.

As Ace of Spades puts it

The interesting thing here is that State can classify, or declassify, information originating with State. But they cannot classify, nor declassify, information originating with another service, like the CIA or NSA.

The issue is that the government is now engaged in an illegal conspiracy against the country. The entire government is in under the control of a gang.

Wonder why people are getting concerned about corruption in government?

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Acceptable standards

A retired lawyer is wondering about Federal Bureaucracies: Incompetent, Corrupt, or Both?. Consider the IRS …

And yet, time after time, the IRS has either inadvertently or intentionally destroyed hard drives that courts have ordered them to preserve. In the private sector, this is unthinkable. Private companies obey court orders. They know that if they don’t, millions of dollars in sanctions are likely to result, and executives will lose their jobs. Only in government agencies do we see this kind of irresponsible scofflaw behavior. This is because most bureaucrats have a deep loyalty to the left-wing cause, and there is no accountability.

This is a new development in our democracy. Until now, we have never experienced an extra-legal administration like that of Barack Obama. Will the rule of law survive the 2016 presidential election? I don’t know. That wheel is still spinning.

And then there’s the EPA on its river spill, the State Department on the handling of classified material, … Look at all of the FOIA requests that have ended up in the courts due to intransigence of federal agencies.

Worried, yet? Or still making excuses?

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One funeral at a time

The death of Bob Carter provides an insight into how different people see things. From Stoat and William M. Connolley: Science advances one funeral at a time

Actually A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it, but I’m allowed to paraphrase in titles. And anyway he said it in German, naturally. Today brings us news of another such advancement in science, with the reported death of Robert Carter.

As far as I can recall, he was a minor figure in the Great Climate Wars; at least, I don’t seem to have been very interested in him. He gets those usual suspects Robert M. Carter, C. R. de Freitas, Indur M. Goklany, David Holland & Richard S. Lindzen wrote in 2007; a throwaway line ($1,667 per month) from Heartland in 2012. That seems to be it. It’s a bit of a sad end when even I couldn’t be bothered to attack him. Sou was a bit more interested; or Deltoid back in the day.

Compare and contrast that to Steve McIntyre

I will not attempt to comment on his work as that is covered elsewhere, but do wish to mention something personal. In 2003, when I was unknown to anyone other than my friends and family, I had been posting comments on climate reconstructions at a chatline. Bob emailed me out of the blue with encouragement, saying that I was looking at the data differently than anyone else and that I should definitely follow it through. Without his specific encouragement, it is not for sure that I ever would have bothered trying to write up what became McIntyre and McKitrick (2003) or anything else.

We’ve met personally on a number of occasions over the years – at AGU in 2004 or 2005, and on several occasions at Erice, most recently last summer. He was always full of good cheer, despite continuing provocations, and unfailingly encouraging.

So, For Connolley learning and teaching is out and death to remove unpleasant questions is the way to go. For McIntyre, mentors and investigation and learning and growth are the way to go. Where is the hate? Where is the love? Where is the humanity, intellectual integrity, and respect? Who is talking about “triumph” and winning and losing; war and conquest; destruction of the enemy (even after death)? Who is talking about the loss from death and destruction and valuing growth?

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New York Values

The Cruz item about “New York Values” is providing a good example of tactics, behavior patterns, and counter-tactics. The issue came up as a way for Cruz to highlight values differences between himself and the leading candidate for the Republican nomination for president. Instapundit cites two essays that illustrate this. Alex Griswold says To All Those New York City Journalists Horrified By Cruz’s Jab: Get Over Yourselves. The other is Todd J. Gillman saying Cruz sorry/not sorry for ‘New York values’ barb. First, from Griswold:

First of all– and most importantly– note that Cruz points out that Trump himself said once he had different “values” than Iowans simply because he was from New York City. That alone ought to make the attack against Trump a legitimate one; the notion that all New Yorkers think the same is a vast oversimplification, but that is how Trump framed the issue sixteen years ago.

Two tactics are noted here. The first is the attempt to delegitimize the argument and the second is using the all-or-none fallacy to impugn the assertion. Griswold also notes the lack of consistency, lack of honesty, in the outrage.

The notion that it’s somehow outrageous to say New York has different values than the rest of the country is, to put it bluntly, stupid. No less than the public editor of The New York Times recognized this fact a decade ago, when Daniel Okrent said in a column that “of course” the paper had a liberal bias. He argued that the bias didn’t derive from any vast left wing conspiracy or intentional malice. Instead, he noted that the paper’s editors, reporters, and columnists were all New Yorkers, and they simply have a different “value system” than the rest of the country.

Countless polls have proven the truth of his and Cruz’s words. Generally speaking, New Yorkers’ political and cultural views– read: their “values”– do not resemble those of America at large. That’s not a good or bad thing (the same could be said of Liberty University), it’s just a fact.

What is also interesting is that Griswold is going to great lengths to join the equality brigade in asserting ‘neither good nor bad, just different’ mantra. The key item with values is that there are good ones and bad ones and much of the ‘rage’ in current politics is exactly about which values are good and which are bad. His description illustrates this. Folks in New York think they have good values and the rest of the country don’t — and vice versa.

Southerners and Westerners and Midwesterners have spent their entire lives shrugging off these affronts. But as soon as one person insinuates that something’s rotten in the Big Apple, the same people who guffawed along to all those NASCAR and country music jokes are aghast. Please.

Gillman describes the Cruz response to the hubub. It serves as an illustration about how to handle manufactured outrage based on a false premise (a.k.a a straw man).

Ted Cruz is sorry. He’s so sorry about taking a shot at Donald Trump’s “New York values” that he apologized six times on Friday — kind of.

This wasn’t the apology Trump and others demanded. But it did neatly lump Cruz’s main rival for the GOP nomination with the leading Democratic candidate, and the governor and mayor of a state and city Cruz depicts as a font of social and cultural corruption. It was Cruz’s way to finesse the fallout from Thursday night’s debate, which featured a running battle with Trump over whether someone born in Canada can become the U.S. president.

“I apologize to the hard working men and women of the state of New York who’ve been denied jobs because Gov. Cuomo won’t allow fracking,” Cruz continued. “I apologize to all the pro-life and pro-marriage and pro-Second Amendment New Yorkers who were told by Gov. Cuomo that they have no place in New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”

He went on in that vein for two more minutes, apologizing no fewer than six times to New Yorkers for Mayor de Blasio’s antagonism toward charter schools and police, and for the “crushing taxes and regulations” in New York City.

Cruz, in his lengthy faux apology, promised “good news to the good people of New York” — an election in which “people are waking up, and just like millions of New Yorkers, they’re fed up with policies that don’t fight for the working men and women of this country but instead further the elite liberal views that have taken this country down a path that is not working.”

In other words, treat the demand for apology with an illustration of its absurdity by providing a like response and, in the process, clarifying and emphasizing just what the debate is all about.

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Martyrs

There are political martyrs – right here in the U.S.A. and it seems the number of them is growing. Scooter Libby can be seen in this light if ‘this light’ is a comparison and contrast with those on the other side of the political isle such as Hillary Clinton. Richard Kirk provides another example in Stealing America: What My Experience with Criminal Gangs Taught Me About Obama, Hillary, and the Democratic Party. The subject in this case is Dinesh D’Souza and a review of his book about his experiences with the machine of the left.

“no person who had done what I did had even been prosecuted, let alone sentenced.”

During his eight months of overnight confinement with “more than a hundred rapists, armed robbers, drug smugglers, and murderers,” D’Souza began to see prisoners and a flawed justice system in a different light. He also began to understand “the psychology of crookedness” — a “system of larceny, corruption, and terror” that’s “been adopted and perfected by modern progressivism and the Democratic Party.”

Instead of accusing Progressives of ignorance or naiveté, as most conservatives do, D’Souza focuses on corrupt motives that can be boiled down, a la Nietzsche, to envy and the will to power.

To carry out their grand political heist, Democrats must marshal the emotions and votes of an army of envious underlings … Cultural indoctrination in the unfair-society pitch of progressive politicians is accomplished by inundating Americans with television programs, news stories, and Hollywood films that feature crooked businessmen, victimized minorities, oppressed workers, heartless millionaires, and hypocritical ministers. These professional propagandists promulgate their ideas out of envy, seeing themselves as members of the rightful ruling class based on their superior intellects and abilities.

At the very least D’Souza’s experience with the legal system provides one excellent example of the overlap between the “psychology of crookedness” and the motives and methods of progressive politics. His poignant analyses of the Clintons, the two Obamas, and Saul Alinsky, however, provide considerably more fodder for an audacious thesis.

Consider also the John Doe investigations in Wisconsin, the trial of policemen in Baltimore, the decision not to pursue potential corruption and illegal activities by parties ranging from the Black Panthers to Louis Lerner.  Fit the gun control fight into this and maybe you will gain some clarity about the implications and possibilities.

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Tactics and the consequences of escalation

When you escalate your tactics, you best be prepared for the consequences. In a civilized country, uncivilized tactics may take a while to generate a response but when they do, it is likely to be significant. One of the reasons for Trump’s popularity may be that extreme tactics of the left are being handled well and amusing his fans. Those who attempt to disrupt and distract are being called out and the state propaganda machine (i.e. mainstream media) attempting to canonize the disrupters are both being shamed. Terresa Monroe-Hamilton provides an example in GET OUT! Muslim Woman Wearing Hijab and Yellow Star of David Removed from Trump Rally.

Yesterday, it was Bernie Sanders’ plants who were forcibly evicted from a Trump rally. Today, two Muslims strategically sat behind Donald Trump in order to disrupt his rally when he started speaking out against the refugee resettlement program.

Hamid claims that Trump’s supporters had probably never met a Muslim and that she came in peace. Except of course, she didn’t. ‘There is hatred against us that is unbelievable,” Trump told the audience as Hamid was being removed. “It’s their hatred, it’s not our hatred.”

“The ugliness really came out fast and that’s really scary,” Hamid told CNN. It came out because she poked the badger and wore that hateful symbol on her person. We only have her word that someone said that to her by the way. She was there to push a political agenda, not listen to Trump. It was staged and shows how manipulative the media and organized Islam can be. This woman is a liar and a provocateur.

Just who is it that is preaching hate? Who is it that is creating scenarios to express hate? Who is assaulting whom? Who is calling others names and engaging in deceit and dishonesty?

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doubleplusungood crimethink

That’s what Ed Driscoll says in describing the left’s war on science at Instapundit. The stimulus is Toby Young at the Spectator.

The witch hunt against Napoleon Chagnon shows us what happens if scientists challenge the core beliefs of ‘progressives’

How much longer can the liberal left survive in the face of growing scientific evidence that many of its core beliefs are false? I’m thinking in particular of the conviction that all human beings are born with the same capacities, particularly the capacity for good, and that all mankind’s sins can be laid at the door of the capitalist societies of the West. For the sake of brevity, let’s call this the myth of the noble savage.

This gets back to research by an anthropologist (Chagnon) that offended the fantasies of the left about pre-capitalist, pre-white man, ‘indigenous’ cultures. What happens when you confront an ideologue with reality? It isn’t pretty.

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Let them eat cake

Steve McCann: The American Left and the Death of Political Discourse

Much has been made of the precipitous decline and near death of political discourse in the United States. Many attribute this to the coarsening of the language. However, this factor is a symptom of a current underlying and foundational dilemma: the inability of not only the general public but nearly all of the so-called societal leaders and opinion makers to generate an original thought, as well as a stubborn refusal, because of a rapidly evolving totalitarian mindset on the Left and their total domination of the Democratic Party, to use reason and logic when confronted with irrefutable facts and arguments.

Whenever these same proponents appear with the conservative opposition, a pre-programmed recording is switched on. It consists of: 1) Barack Obama and the Democrats are doing a great job considering how much the Republicans and Conservatives have done in the past to foster inequality, destroy the environment and oppose any and all lifestyle choices; 2) the nation needs to spend more money to solve all problems while raising taxes on the evil rich as punishment for exploiting the masses; 3) conservatives are callous, avaricious and care little for minorities, women and children; and 4) any overt criticism of President Obama and the good intentions of the Democratic Party is a not so subtle expression of racism. When called out on these points and confronted with irrefutable facts, the recording is switched on again and repeated as often as necessary.

Lauri B. Regan: Obama and the Insanity of the Liberal Mind

Whether blinded by ideology, motivated by egocentrism and nihilism, or solely focused on their goals of destroying America’s exceptionalism (while ensuring that Democrats rule forever), liberals are incapable of scientific inquiry, common sense analyses, and reason. Their irrationality is best illustrated by examining some of the faux wars they have chosen to fight and the real ones in which they have surrendered.

Unlike Paine, liberals are intolerant and unwilling to reason let alone debate their positions, shutting down all civil discourse and opposing views. Years of Democratic rule have resulted in division, chaos, violence, and a decline in civilized and societal norms. Would that a modern-day Paine write Common Sense, Part II to inspire a new revolution in the country; one in which Americans once again rise up to gain their independence against an oppressive government.

These “faux wars” cited include global warming, Islamic terrorism, gun control, Iran, poverty and unemployment, racism, enemies, and the Constitution. All suffer from the same opportunities for distracted argument, A case study by Brian Doherty illustrates the problem. He says You Know Less Than You Think About Guns — “The misleading uses, flagrant abuses, and shoddy statistics of social science about gun violence.”

Obama tidily listed the major questions bedeviling social science research about guns—while also embodying the biggest problem with the way we process and apply that research. The president’s ironclad confidence in the conclusiveness of the science, and therefore the desirability of “common-sense gun safety laws,” is echoed widely with every new mass shooting, from academia to the popular press to that guy you knew from high school on Facebook.

What we really know about the costs and benefits of private gun ownership and the efficacy of gun laws is far more fragile than what Hemenway and the president would have us believe.

Finding good science is hard enough; finding good social science on a topic so fraught with politics is nigh impossible. The facts then become even more muddled as the conclusions of those less-than-ironclad academic studies cycle through the press and social media in a massive game of telephone.

This case study of one “faux war” illustrates just how a debate slips into the weeds and loses sight of the real issue at hand. People get so involved in ambiguities of social studies that they forget that the real issue involves such things as property rights and matters of self defense. The reference point for evaluating costs and benefits gets buried.

So many examples, no wonder both authors think that the sleeping giant will awaken and take notice and then take action. It is so easy at this time to wonder if that may ever happen.

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As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.

Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American, cites proverbs in describing Samuel L. Jackson’s America-Bashing: a Huge Disservice.

Far too many Hollywood celebs are self-aggrandizing idiots when it comes to politics and culture. Their worldview makes them feel superior to the rest us. Neither facts nor common sense will change their minds. Ronald Reagan nailed it when he said, “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”

There was a headline this morning saying the “Pope calls for end to ‘arrogance of powerful’” but his idea of the powerful is probably not the same as the one Marcus is describing (indeed, the Pope seems to be one of those “self-aggrandizing idiots when it comes to politics and culture”).

How are we supposed to deal with the fact that practically every terrorist attack resulting in the maiming and murder of Americans has been by Muslims? Also, though underreported, black youth flash mob attacks, the knock-out game and polar bear hunting attacks on innocent whites are frequent.

What is up with Jackson and other mega-rich black celebs constantly trashing white Americans whose patronage made them ga-zillionaires?

Samuel L. Jackson, Oprah, and other black celebs relentlessly bashing America is a huge disservice to all Americans, particularly black youths. Rather than saying their success is “because” of America, most black celebs promote the liberal spin, saying their success is “in spite of” America. The truth is America is the greatest land of opportunity on the planet for all who choose to go for it. The Left is relentless in its efforts to insidiously hide the blessing of America from minorities.

The Reagan cite from nearly 30 years ago emphasizes the long term nature of the problem that stems from knowing so many things that aren’t so. What can you do when society seems driven by people based in fantasy rather than reality? “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” and he can drag the rest of us away from true witness if we are weak. Marcus is calling for strength.

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Cognitive Dissonance Explained. With Examples.

Deborah C. Tyler gets into Why People Can’t Face the Truth about Obama with some rather inflammatory examples. The key element in these examples is a concept of racist America as the foundation of American Guilt(™).

In the 1950s the psychologist Leon Festinger theorized that the mind spontaneously, continuously reduces cognitive dissonance to enable goal-directed functioning in a paradoxical, inconsistent, deceptive world. Festinger’s discovery founded a rich tradition of research which has demonstrated how the mind resolves contradictions. It provides a powerful way to understand why people can’t face what President Obama is doing to America.

Research has demonstrated countless times that cognitions do not have to be true to create dissonance, they just have to be believed.

The antecedents of Barack Obama’s hatred of America are now well understood.

America is Barack Obama’s prey. He is tearing America apart and feeding the pieces of her life to his foreign and domestic fellow travelers. He is not transforming the nation but terminating it.

The immensity of Obama’s disloyalty is key to why people cannot face the truth about him.

Before the mass denial of Obama’s hatred is explained by dissonance theory, let’s mention subdissonant Americans. Subdissonant Americans have no discomfort whether America is about freedom or racism because they are too intellectually limited, dumbed-down, or drugged out to care.

Festinger’s induced-compliance paradigm of dissonance theory explains why black Americans may be the last group to face Obama’s destructiveness … The induced-compliance paradigm found that people paid only $1 to lie convinced themselves they were telling the truth more than people paid $20 to tell the same lie! This counterintuitive effect has been replicated many times. People who received minimal external motivation for managing dissonance — those paid the least — produced stronger internal justifications to deny their actual experience.

The social psychologist Elliot Aronson advanced cognitive dissonance theory, further explaining why people can’t face Obama’s hatred and destruction. Aronson’s self-concept model theorized the central purpose of dissonance reduction is to preserve positive self-image (I am a good person) and self-justification (I was right all along).

The loss of opportunities and the diminishing of hopes which Obama’s policies have inflicted create a monumental need for self-justification among his supporters.

The reality is there and it is staring down those who want to believe in something else. The reality is that racism is an inherent part of personal identity and only becomes a social issue when it drives social behaviors. What one can see is that the personal identity part is being used to drive victim beliefs that feed the idea that social racism is endemic. The meme is a common one. The reality with race is evident in the rise of the middle class black population and other ‘individually beneficial’ arenas as well as the ruckus about “diversity” as being something beneficial to the point of mandating it rather than earning it.

The takeaway is that the discussion is becoming more visible. This is the discussion about the underlying psychology that drives humans into destructive beliefs and behaviors. More are starting to wonder why people do crazy things or why people ignore reality and that is a first step towards improving emotional health in the population.

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An illustration of why it’s not debatable

The site is named Reason.com and you’d think that it’d present reasonable material. Steve Chapman illustrates otherwise in Ted Cruz’s Climate Change Festival of Fraud
Response to global warming evidence mischaracterizes the truth
. Sounds good but only if you don’t consider what is being offered.

Consider the start: “You have to feel sorry for Ted Cruz.” This is called ad hominem and illustrates that the issue at hand is attacking the person and not climate change.

Then there is “The topic was global warming. Every major scientific body has confirmed its existence, but as “the son of two mathematicians and computer programmers and scientists,” he feels particularly qualified to debunk it.” This is an appeal to authority citing appeal to authority – double whammy. Do remember that Mann’s hockey stick debunking was done by a statistician.

Then considered this discovery of the victim’s flaws: “The second is that the satellite data don’t refute global warming. NASA says that based on surface temperatures.” There seems to be some conflict between satellite and surface measures. Choosing one or the other to suit one’s desires doesn’t instill confidence that truth is being sought. Keep in mind that the surface data record is subject to continuous “adjustments” while the satellite data is not. The most recent brouhaha deals with decisions about ship cooling water inlet temperatures being considered more reliable than buoy data. 

This same sort of confusion is evident in “The same data indicate that of the 14 hottest years ever, 13 occurred in this century. When Cruz says there has been “no significant warming” since 1997, he’s engaging in brazen deception.” The problem here is that rate of change is being confused with actual position. There is also a problem in asserting extremes without considering the facts that the measures are within margins of error and the reference period chosen is usually just recent history and quite limited.

Then there’s the money corruption angle: “Which scenario is more plausible, thousands of scientists pretending to believe in global warming to get government grants or Cruz denying it to get campaign donations?” Perhaps Chapman forgets Climategate from a few years back? In one case there is blatant evidence of corruption. In the other, only allegation. Sliming with a perceived taint of money is a phenomena that deserves proper attention as an escape from “reason.” 

The debate deserves better than this.

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Tactics: demonizing the opposition

Guy Benson describes one tactic used to degrade debate to argument: Planned Parenthood: Shame on these zealots for their violence…and legislation.

It’s cynical enough to casually conflate actual violence with “incendiary rhetoric” that creates a “climate of disrespect.” But that’s End of Discussion 101; it’s depressingly commonplace on the Left these days. Planned Parenthood’s meme takes the slander a step further, lumping in perpetrators of (exceedingly rare and virtually universally-condemned) anti-abortion violence with pro-life Americans seeking to increase legal protections for the unborn through peaceful, democratic means. The abortion lobby is intentionally erasing distinctions between speech, legislative efforts, and physical violence.

The climate issue provides another clear cut example. Disagree with the idea of catastrophic human caused climate change and you are called a denier, accused of violating RICO laws, and told you are out to do evil. 

The real question is why such disreputable tactics get the credibility they do.

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The engineering standard?

Herchel Smith takes note of some commentary stimulated by the pending Paris Climate Conference in Global Warming Fraud? Say It Ain’t So!. There are two problems. One is that claims about extreme often depend upon differences in measure that are well under the noise threshold. The other is the lack of accountability in research.

give me an engineering report on the field measurements, and instrumentation used, calibration data sheets, and a data mean, prove to me that you meet the central limit theorem with the ten or so statistical tests used for Monte Carlo calculations, get it peer reviewed, and most of all, have it all done by a registered PE who can be taken to court and lose everything (including his livelihood) if he’s wrong, and then maybe I’ll take it seriously.

Otherwise, the AGW advocates are just wasting my time. But they won’t do that, because they want to write papers in the echo chamber that is AGW “science.”

The standard used is that of the role of a registered professional engineer. An application for a special use permit to build a million square foot warehousing facility near here was peppered with the seals of PE’s who signed off on various reports and findings. While legal culpability might be a bit much for research findings, the means and methods should not be. The problem with much research about climate is that the usual substitute for legal culpability is under assault. Rather than attempting to enhance duplication of results, any who question are told to shut up or even threatened with unemployment or legal prosecution. There is a smell coming from the climate research community and it is beginning to be noticed.

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PC BLM and why no solution is in sight

Colin Flaherty provides examples of Cops Fired For Telling the Truth about Black Violence.

“President Obama is proud of his support for Black Lives Matter. He calls stories of elevated black crime and violence “anecdotal” and says a history of racism in America justifies whatever Black Lives Matter says or does.

It matters to Chief Halstead.

After he was fired this month, Chief Halstead broke it down on Fox and Friends: Black Lives Matter is “a terrorist group if you can march down the streets and call for the deaths of police officers,” he said, pointing to videos showing protesters chanting, “pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon” and chanting about “dead cops.”

Both of those officers knew the risks to themselves their careers before speaking out about the threat of black violence and Black Lives Matter. Both knew the people they were sworn to serve needed to know what reporters and public officials most often try to ignore, deny, condone, excuse, encourage and even lie about: that black crime is wildly out of proportion.

They took the risk. They paid the price. That is what heroes do.

Why are blacks over-represented in jail populations? They are arrested, tried, and convicted more often than other racial groups. Why is that? Perhaps the reason is related to why inner city violence tends to be concentrated in black communities. But, for the left, reality doesn’t matter. The presumption is ‘white privilege’ so blacks become a ‘protected minority’ – isn’t protected a form of privilege? – and jails are emptied because it is obvious to the left that that is the only way to correct an injustice.

Meanwhile, crime rates go up with repeat offenders, black on white crime escalates, and denial runs rampant trying to pretend that what they eye sees isn’t what is really there. Problems get worse, not better. How long will that continue? Why are lessons from history ignored?

Update: HEATHER MAC DONALD Heather Mac Donald in Testimony before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, October 19, 2015 regarding The Myth of Criminal-Justice Racism.

The most dangerous misconception about our criminal justice system is that it is pervaded by racial bias. For decades, criminologists have tried to find evidence proving that the overrepresentation of blacks in prison is due to systemic racial inequity. That effort has always come up short. In fact, racial differences in offending account for the disproportionate representation of blacks in prison. A 1994 Justice Department survey of felony cases from the country’s 75 largest urban areas found that blacks actually had a lower chance of prosecution following a felony than whites. Following conviction, blacks were more likely to be sentenced to prison, however, due to their more extensive criminal histories and the gravity of their current offense.

Violent crime is currently shooting up again in cities across the country. Police officers are backing away from proactive enforcement in response to the yearlong campaign that holds that police are the greatest threat facing young black men today. Officers encounter increasing hostility and resistance when they make a lawful arrest.

Some are taking note, others look away. Same ol’ story. What will it take for reality to intrude such that it can’t be ignored?

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The nature of argument

John Hinderaker provides an example of one of the differences quite evident between sides in current political arguments. A Liberal Scrapes the Bottom of the Barrel.

Liberals pursue many policies that cause people to die. They release felons from prison, or never incarcerate them in the first place; they make war on the police, causing murder rates to spike; they impede the ability of pharmaceutical companies to bring life-saving drugs to market; they drive up the cost of energy, exposing the poor to dangerous temperature extremes; they promote gun-free zones that turn innocent people into sitting ducks; they pursue weak foreign policies that cause many thousands to be killed by tyrants and terrorists.

These are just a few obvious examples. Yet conservatives don’t call liberals murderers. We extend them the presumption of good faith. We debate policy, we don’t assert that liberals are pro-death. But liberals are not similarly fair-minded. The latest case in point is Josh Marshall, proprietor of TPM, who tweeted:

The example provided is a Tweet from Josh Marshall that proclaims that anyone against gun control is “pro-massacre.” This is right in line with anyone questioning climate change alarmism as being a science denier or nearly any of the accusations about being a racist. It is ad hominem and it cannot be excused as “both sides do it” because the pattern in its use is quite lopsided. The question is: how can you solve any social issue when up against such a lack of intellectual integrity?

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Prosecute the deniers!

Russell Cook provides an example for comparison and contrast in methods of ‘debate’ when concluding that Those scientists who want to use RICO to prosecute AGW ‘deniers’ have a big problem. Names are listed with specific behaviors and citations. Detail is provided sufficient to make your eyes water.

At least it can be said I’ve never been accused of begging anyone to trust the assertions I make. Legions of pro-global warming people, including Pope Francis, President Obama, and nearly all of the mainstream media essentially beg us to trust them about the settled science, despite the existence of highly detailed climate assessments compiled by skeptic climate scientists. The egregious tragedy of this situation is that so many pro-global warming people have been blatantly misled about immoral “corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change” when no such evidence proving it exists, and when evidence is so easily found on how the accusation stems from one highly questionable source.

Begging for ‘trust me’ or an implicit assumption of a false reality abound on the other side of the argument. See for example Smart Grid Technology and Applications by Ekanayake et al that cites “Electric power systems throughout the world are facing radical change stimulated by the pressing need to decarbonise electricity supply” and uses a “consensus” to support its views. When alleging criminal activity, as in the RICO charges raises it to a whole ‘nother level.

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Is the smoke clearing?

Perhaps the behavior is being noticed in the arguments about important political issues. For example. Kurt Schlichter says Gun Rights Advocates Have A Devastating New Argument Against Gun Control. Here It Is.

The fact is that there is no point in arguing with liberal gun-control advocates because their argument is never in good faith. They slander gun owners as murderers. They lie about their ultimate aim, which is to ban and confiscate all privately owned weapons. And they adopt a pose of reasonability, yet their position is not susceptible to change because of evidence, facts or law. None of those matter – they already have their conclusion. This has to do with power – their power.

You can’t argue with someone who is lying about his position or whose position is not based upon reason. You can talk all day about how crime has diminished where concealed carry is allowed, while it flourishes in Democrat blue cities where gun control is tightest. You can point to statistics showing that law-abiding citizens who carry legally are exponentially less likely to commit gun crimes than other people. You can cite examples of armed citizens protecting themselves and their communities with guns. You can offer government statistics showing how the typical American is at many times greater risk of death from an automobile crash, a fall, or poisoning than from murder by gun.

But none of that matters, because this debate is not about facts. It’s about power. The liberal anti-gun narrative is not aimed at creating the best public policy but at disarming citizens the liberal elite looks down upon – and for whom weapons represent their last-ditch ability to respond to liberal overreach.

In light of this sort of opposition, there is very little one can do as far as any debate goes. That means the argument proceeds to the next level and that is where the situation gets worrisome.-

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Manufacturing data: climate alarmists

Fist up is John Cook on Manufacturing doubt about climate consensus.

Scientists have observed distinctive greenhouse patterns such as winters warming faster than summers and a cooling upper
atmosphere. This consilience of evidence has resulted in overwhelming agreement among experts — 97 per cent of climate scientists
agree that humans are causing global warming. But where does the 97 per cent figure come from?

Then there’s Ross McKitrick answering the question that the Claim that 97% of scientists support climate alarm cannot be supported.

In my column I pointed out that people who invoke the 97 per cent consensus often leave vague what is actually being agreed upon.
John Cook does this too: Note that his wording is consistent with a range of interpretations, including that greenhouse gases
definitely cause only a tiny bit of global warming.

He cannot claim that 97 per cent of scientists believe greenhouse gases cause a lot of warming and that this is a big problem, since the surveys either didn’t ask this, or did but didn’t find 97 per cent support.

Who is it that is going psych by putting up the issue of denial as an item of interest? Who is carefully defining terms and issues? Who is alleging “cherry picking” without specification or rebuttal?

Yes behavior is an important factor to consider. But rather than label that behavior in derisive terms (e.g. “denier”), look for choices of words and manner of reasoning. There is a good comparison here.

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More on the nature of man and the implications of different beliefs

Dennis Prager starts with underlying beliefs about the nature of man in looking at the Differences Between Left and Right: Part I.

Left-of-center doctrines hold that people are basically good. On the other side, conservative doctrines hold that man is born morally flawed — not necessarily born evil, but surely not born good. … To those who argue that we all have goodness within us, two responses: First, no religion or ideology denies that we have goodness within us; the problem is with denying that we have badness within us. Second, it is often very challenging to express that goodness. Human goodness is like gold. It needs to be mined — and like gold mining, mining for our goodness can be very difficult.

This so important to understanding the left-right divide because so many fundamental left-right differences emanate from this divide.

Material poverty doesn’t cause murder, rape or terror. Moral poverty does. That’s one of the great divides between left and right. And it largely emanates from their differing views about whether human nature is innately good.

One of they key understandings in looking at this is that the belief starts at home. The belief that all people are basically good means a belief that the self is intrinsically good as well. That mean’s one motives must be good ones and the impulse to control the behaviors and thoughts of others must also have ‘good’ motivations. That also leads to the idea that ‘since I an basically good then those who don’t agree with me must be bad.’

The striving to overcome one’s own evil tendencies leads to introspection of one’s motivations and to skepticism about one’s conclusions. That is one reason why science and reason has flourished in a Christian environment as science requires taking a close look at reality and weighing one’s observations against a greater whole.

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