Archive for November, 2013

Another green money hole

“It’s not just when Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is followed by the government that taxpayers bear its brunt, though. The program gets you coming and going.”

“Not only does LEED-certification not lead to more energy-efficient buildings, the standards are also detrimental to local businesses who are shut out of government contracts because their products don’t meet the program’s arbitrary product approval.”

““Going green” is making the government ledger go red. This order of waste and taxpayer abuse is a feat even for the Obama White House, and it’s high time it ended.

WILLIAMS: ‘Eco-friendly’ rules fail, except to skyrocket costs — Ineffective new ‘green’ building standards have taxpayers, builders seeing red.

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Just who has the purse strings here?

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce asked officials at 14 agencies to testify at a hearing about spending on global warming. Eleven declined to testify or provide written information on the issue. Michal Conger has the story at the Washington Examiner.

“all but the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency refused to provide a witness, citing scheduling conflicts.

The other agencies invited were the departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Interior and State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Export-Import Bank, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and NASA.

Together those agencies have spent at least $70 billion on global warming activities since 2005, according to the Congressional Research Service.

The committee sent an Oct. 24 letter asking the agencies to answer its questions in writing, as an alternative to sending someone to testify.

The committee requested information on global warming-related climate research; climate-related regulations proposed, issued or in process; climate-related grant programs agencies participated in; cooperation between agencies; and spending on these activities.

Spending money doesn’t seem to be any problem. Explaining the spending to those who allocate the funds appears to be a rather low priority. This starts to look like a case where bureaucrats believe they have a right to their money and Congress (and the people) have no right to object or complain or direct. That is the behavior of a government run wild.

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The Republicans made it necessary!

The changes in long standing Senate rules need defense. John Hinderaker cites an example that is Exposing the Democrats’ Lies on the Filibuster.

“Liberal apologists have sprung into action to defend Harry Reid’s sudden turnabout on the filibuster. While the details vary, their theme is that the Democrats’ action wasn’t nakedly hypocritical; rather, the Republicans brought it on through unprecedented and unwholesome use of the filibuster. That the claim is nonsense hasn’t deterred liberal commentators like E.J. Dionne.

So: sit back and enjoy Ed Whelan’s deconstruction of Dionne’s column. These are excerpts; do read it all”

“The Democrats are utterly shameless in their falsification and manipulation of data. I don’t think Dionne is very bright, but he has been a Post columnist since around the time of the Biblical Flood, so I assume he has some idea what goes on in Washington, and his misrepresentations are intentional rather than negligent.”

The deceit starts with confusing cloture and filibuster and ends with a re-writing of history. Statistical misrepresentations pile on those pilars to make a plausible sounding lie that defends the fantasy.  At least observation, notice, and deconstruction are becoming more common. That tends to enhance the defense which, in turn, makes it more obvious. Perhaps, one day, it will be so obvious as to sink in that, no, both sides are not the same and, yes, there are options that have better intellectual integrity.

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A structure to inhibit partisanship being destroyed one bit at a time

The real problem with the Senate’s new way of doing things is explained by Fred Bauer as The Senate Loses Its Tradition of Consensus.

“The precedent established by Senator Harry Reid’s use of the nuclear option is that the U.S. Senate will not be an institution of consensus and (albeit often feigned) comity. Instead, like the House, it will be run by a partisan majority.”

“The Senate has many institutional incentives for bipartisan negotiation and the empowerment of individual senators. Unlike the House, where the majority leadership can often bend the chamber to its desires, the Senate has proven harder to govern in a top-down manner. A web of rules and traditions protects the individual prerogatives of senators. That fact that these rules can traditionally only be changed (at least supposedly) by a supermajority of senators helps protect those individually empowering rules. In addition to other rules and traditions, the existence of the filibuster has often encouraged bipartisan cooperation. Because individual parties rarely have filibuster-proof majorities, working across the aisle has often been crucial for getting legislation passed. The need for cross-factional collaboration helped transform the Senate into a legislative body full of shifting coalitions, where each individual senator could play kingmaker on a given issue.”

The passing of the ACA (a.k.a. Obamacare) without any Republican support was an example of running roughshod over the minority. The results of that behavior are being seen. There is good reason to have procedures that stimulate a need for bipartisan support, for the majority party to find ways to obtain some support of the minority party, in getting laws passed. The Senate was structured as a means to provide that stimulus and its role has been weakened over time. The Reid nuclear option gambit is yet another weaking of that structure.

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Reid’s radicalism

The Senate has changed its rules for procedure. The change was considered in the past but it is the current Senate, with advocacy by its majority leader, that bit the bullet. The outrage at the change comes from many quarters. First up is Patrick Caddell, a Democratic pollster:

“The role of the Senate is to be a deliberative body. The rule of filibuster was overthrown Thursday by a change in the rules. It’s a change which could never have even been conceived of before in our history, even in those periods when we’ve had total one party rule.”

As you might expect from a Democrat, there is much effort to show ‘both sides did it’ and it was Bush’s fault. That tends to ignore that fact that talking is one thing, doing is another, and there is a difference between parties and the tactics they use. Senate Rules for Radicals at the Wall Street Journal picks up on this:

“Today’s Democrats have grown up in the Saul Alinsky tradition, and on Thursday they proved it with a partisan vote to break the Senate filibuster rule for confirming judges and executive-branch nominees. The new rules will empower the party’s liberals for as long as they control the White House and Senate, but they will also set a precedent for conservatives to exploit in the future.

Majority Leader Harry Reid broke a GOP filibuster of a judicial nominee on a 52-48 vote. He was prodded by the Democratic Senate classes of 2006-2012, younger liberals in a hurry like Al Franken (Minnesota), Jeff Merkley (Oregon) and Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire). These are the same liberals who enjoyed a rare 60-vote supermajority in 2009-2010 when they rammed through ObamaCare without a single Republican vote. They view the minority as an inconvenience to be rolled.”

“The move shows how foolish Republicans like John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Orrin Hatch were to worry that if they broke the filibuster, Democrats would then do it too. Democrats did it anyway. The only way to deter bloody-minded Democratic behavior is to treat Democrats as they treat Republicans. Democrats sicced special prosecutors on GOP Presidents for years, but they gave up the independent-counsel statute only after Ken Starr investigated Bill Clinton.

The immediate result of Harry Reid’s power play will be that President Obama has a freer hand to pursue his agenda through regulation and the courts. Democrats will now rush to pack the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in particular, adding three new judges over GOP objection to a court that is already underworked.”

Then there’s how Harry Reid Smashes History.

“To put things in perspective, our friend Dan McCarthy at the American Conservative estimates this is the “biggest change to the institutional character of the Senate since the ratification of the 17th Amendment.” That might be an understatement. The conversations I’ve had with friends and colleagues on the Hill imply that this is the single greatest revocation of the minority party’s deliberative rights in American history.

Yet for all the atomic analogies, the issue that prompted Reid’s decision may appear banal.” … “Senator Reid has drastically increased the president’s legal leverage, while fortifying a lifetime legacy of judicial activism on this nation’s second most powerful court.”

It is another step on the road, another stick in the fire slowly boiling the water with the frog, another wearing away at what was to make a fantasy that denies reality. “The minority as an inconvenience to be rolled” rather than a voice to be heard is not a path towards unity and successful outcomes.

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Race war hidden by propaganda for political correctness

The “Knockout Game” has finally surfaced in the news. It has been popular for a while. SOWELL: Media is playing a very dangerous game — Suppression of news about racial attacks allows the violence to fester describes the phenomena and its history. It appears that this is another racial violence thing that the top of the political heap is trying to sweep under the rug.

“What is politically expedient is to do what Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is doing — launching campaigns against schools that discipline a “disproportionate” number of black male students. New York City’s newly elected liberal mayor is expected to put a stop to police “stop and frisk” policies that have reduced the murder rate to one-fourth of what it was under liberal mayors of the past.

Apparently, political correctness trumps human lives.

Providing cover for hoodlums is a disservice to everybody, including members of every race, and even the hoodlums themselves. Better that they should be suppressed and punished now rather than continue on a path that is likely to lead to prison, or even to the execution chamber.”

People do get tired of being beaten and their patience tends to wear thin after a while. “The way to prevent a race war, though, is by stopping these attacks, not trying to sanitize them.” Sanitizing is what you see in the Martin/Zimmerman case as well that netted the parents of the mugger a nice reward. It is what you see on commentary and interview shows when someone comes up with the ‘bored teen’ meme or other rationalizations. It is a very dangerous game trying to hide a race war with psychological denial functioning as propaganda.

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Cookin’ the books, stealing an election?

The Census Bureau is being added to the list of government agencies involved in election tilting. KUHNER: The tainting of the 2012 election
The Census Bureau stands accused of faking unemployment numbers
picks up on a New York Times story.

“Liberal pundits vilified Mr. Welch as a kook, a crazy conspiracy theorist. He is the very opposite: a successful businessman who, understanding the private sector and basic economics, realized that such numbers could only be generated by a Reagan-style expansion. The economy — as should have been evident to any sane person — was not booming in 2012 (or any other time during the Obama presidency). Hence, such figures were not only improbable. They were impossible.”

Back in 2000, it was outrage in Florida with allegations about using the courts to swing an election. The problem there was that the outrage was a distraction effort to avoid looking at the real abuse of the courts as well as to overlook the actual outcome of the election results. In 2012, things were quieter. It is only as the scandals build that questions about the legitimacy of the election start to rise. Note that, once again, there is vitriol and outrage and denial from the same folks as in 2000. And, once again, it is in defense of corruption and deceit.

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Exposing the dissonance

Via Meadia provides another example of the dissonance encountered between those on the left when reality strikes. The reality is that DC Residents Clamor for Walmart Jobs. The ideology goes like this:

“By any honest account there is much to dislike about Walmart. By skimping on employee health care, Walmart forces employees onto taxpayer-funded public health programs.”

“Honest account” for a feeling? That’s not honest. And then there is the “forcing employees” when the employee can always go someplace else.

The dissonance goes like this:

“But it’s worth pondering why elite, often left-leaning opinions about Walmart seem to have little in common with those of the people who actually shop there and want to work there.” … “The DC Walmarts will provide employment and affordable goods to people who need them, and that’s a good thing.”

What is it that those “elite, often left-leaning” have their opinions? Why do they want to tell Walmart what it should pay its employees, what benefits it should offer, what sort of profit it should make, and on and on? The key, perhaps is that they want all of the perogatives of running the business without the costs and risks undertaken by the real entrepreneurs who actually do so. That’s the ‘forcing’ here as those “elite, often left-leaning” sorts want to force reality into their fantasies. When reality bites back, it creates dissonance and that creates strange and irrational behavior.

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An economist remembers his history classes

Bryan Caplan says he enjoyed his 11th grade AP History. It wasn’t until later his outrage arose. The Economic Illiteracy of High School History describes what he found.

Once I started studying economics, however, I was outraged by the economic illiteracy of my history textbooks.  Mainstream historians barely mentioned the unprecedented miracle of sustained economic growth.  Instead, they focused on distribution: How poor workers used labor unions and regulation to pry their fair share from the heartless capitalists who employed them.  These historians never mentioned the negative side effects of unionization and labor market regulation – or even the view that such negative side effects existed.  My historical miseducation eventually inspired my lecture on “Why the Standard History of Labor Is Wrong.”

The Big Picture: Industrialization was the greatest event in human history.  Critics then and now were foolishly looking a gift horse in the mouth.  Until every student knows these truths by heart, history teachers have not done their job.

It is this sort of thing that causes outrage about Common Core and other academic elite biased education goals as well as support for vouchers, charter schools, and home schooling. The focus is on the victim rather than the achievement, ideology trumps reality, historical context is replaced with propaganda. The sad part is that it takes very little examination to see just how off base some of the teaching about the industrial revolution really is.

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The secret police

This story is about The Persecution of Wisconsin Conservatives and falls into the idea that the left knows, absolutely, that all voter fraud is by conservatives.

“Conservative political entities who supported Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker are being subjected to a secret investigation. Special Prosecutor Francis Schmitz has issued a series of subpoenas to 29 conservative groups, demanding that they submit all documentation related to the recall campaigns mounted by unions and their supporters against Walker in 2011 and 2012. The investigation is being conducted under the auspices of the state’s John Doe law, which forbids the targets of subpoenas from revealing the contents of those subpoenas to anyone other than their lawyers.”

After the Attorney General’s dropping of the Black Panther case, the IRS scandals, and other revelations about policital use of the government, this sort of behavior should stimulate fear in all. Couldn’t happen here? Only if you are blind to what has already happened and is still in progress.

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Is achievment a privilege?

Professor Sowell notes an inspiring story to underline his description of The war against achievement where “Self-reliance is out, victimhood is in.”

“The very word “achievement” has been replaced by the word “privilege” in many writings of our times. Individuals or groups who have achieved more than others are called “privileged” individuals or groups, who are to be resented rather than emulated.”

“If the concept of achievement threatens the prevailing ideology, the reality of achievement despite having obstacles to overcome is a deadly threat. That is why the achievements of Asians in general — and of people like the young black man with no arms — make those on the left uneasy. It’s why the achievements of people who created their own businesses have to be undermined by the president of the United States.?

What would happen if Americans in general, or blacks in particular, started celebrating people like this armless young man, instead of trying to make heroes out of hoodlums? Many of us would find that promising and inspiring. It would be a political disaster for the left, though, which is why it is not likely to happen.”

Then there’s the George Zimmerman obsession – all over the media about his latest legal troubles. His prosecution was all about the false sanctification of a victim. Now it is about Zimmerman himself being a victim. Achievement in defending a neighborhood is the stuff for old time westerns. Now-a-days, the Lone Ranger is an oppressor of minorities and a brutal bully. Anyone who dares to build a business and create wealth is a target for venality. Who da’ hero?

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A confused assault on ‘military culture’

OWENS: The feminist campaign to make weaklings of America’s warriors — Timid generals seem afraid to challenge efforts to emasculate our fighting men and objectify our women.

“For two decades, these wings of feminist ideology have worked in tandem to sustain an attack on the culture of the U.S. military,” … “The charge of rampant sexual assault is only the latest campaign in a war on military culture. The opening shots for the most part were fired by feminist academics who decried a “masculinist military construct” that favored the “hypermasculine male.”” … “One of the ironies of the focus on sexual assault in the military is that it serves to objectify women, not as sexual objects but as weaklings who have no place in the military. It diminishes the significant contributions that women have made to the nation’s defense, serving honorably, competently and bravely during both peace and war.” … “If the United States insists on opening infantry and special operations forces to women, the focus should be on upholding high standards, no matter the outcome. Instead, those who want to open these heretofore restricted military specialties to women insist on stigmatizing males as sexual predators and women as childlike victims whose only protection is to charge sexual assault. The result will be a less effective military, rent by dissension.”

Weak and must be protected from even the slighted innuendo or strong and able to do anything a man can do (but better)? Trying to have it both ways is a confused, albiet typical, assault on the military culture or culture in general.

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Anthony Watts was watching The Challenger Disaster movie on the Discovery channel last night and was inspired by the Professor Feynmann presentation. The quote from Faynmann’s 1974 Cargo Cult Science address appeared in his Challenger appendix report. Here are selections worth reflection.

“In summary, the idea is to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgement in one particular direction or another.

The easiest way to explain this idea is to contrast it, for example, with advertising. Last night I heard that Wesson oil doesn’t soak through food. Well, that’s true. It’s not dishonest; but the thing I’m talking about is not just a matter of not being dishonest; it’s a matter of scientific integrity, which is another level. The fact that should be added to that advertising statement is that no oils soak through food, if operated at a certain temperature. If operated at another temperature, they all will–including Wesson oil. So it’s the implication which has been conveyed, not the fact, which is true, and the difference is what we have to deal with.

We’ve learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind of work. And it’s this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in cargo cult science.”

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself–and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.”

“So I have just one wish for you–the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described, and where you do not feel forced by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support, or so on, to lose your integrity. May you have that freedom.”

The behavior noted here is human and can be observed in ideological or political contexts where a lack of integrity or a bit of sliding of the truth is often used to ‘fool one’s self’ and maintain composure. The advice to ‘be very careful’ seems often ignored.

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The illiteracy to most fear

This example is from Via Meadia: A Closer Look at New Nuclear. Nuclear power has been a bogey man starting with the rise of that 60’s phenomena. It is another technology burdened by the ‘reduce to the absurd’ logical fallacy where the overall implications are ignored in order to feed hysteria and hyperbole.

“Nuclear power is a forbidding energy source, both for its spectacular failures in places like Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Fukushima, and for its general incomprehensibility. It’s (relatively) easy to understand how burning oil, gas, or coal produce energy, but most of us can’t fathom what goes on inside those monolithic concrete cooling towers and the facilities they lie within.”

“It would be nice to know more about this phenomenon without enrolling in a physics course.”

From a scientific standpoint, combustion is a much more complicated phenomena than fission. Anyone who has tried to start a fire or keep down the smoke from a campfire gets a good acquaintance with this.

As for “spectacular failures” … two were management issues and one a natural disaster. Two of the cited examples have injury and death risks so low that they are not detectable in the noise of normal health statistics. The only thing that makes them spectacular is the hyperbole of the ignorant feeding their fears.

“If you’re like us, much of this will still make you go cross-eyed, but it’s worth reading the whole thing to get a better idea of the options ahead for nuclear energy. The West has already invested in the LWR reactors to help supply its baseload power, and won’t be making the massive investments necessary for a new kind of nuclear power mix any time soon. But as we’ve said before, the developing world doesn’t need to make the same mistakes as the the developed has.”

The issue here is that technology always develops and it is the capitalism related philosophies behind Western Culture that distinguish if from the “developing world.” What prevents the advance of nuclear power technology is the “developed” world has regressed to third world ideologies and stunted the adoption of newer technologies. Consider computing as if regulations, laws, fears, and hyperbole make development of devices any more sophisticated than an 1980’s computer nearly impossible and extraordinarily expensive.

Two phenomena need to be addressed in order for civilization to advance. One is the idea that understanding even simple technological concepts is acceptable and the other is that the fundamental requirement of science – that testable reality rules over fantasy and ideology – gets a priority in decision making. Nuclear power, climate change, vaccinations, and evolution are just a few of the social issues where these two phenomena take a beating.

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It must be the devil that did this! (then to identify the devil …)

Thousands dead and a loving God would not allow this. There must be a Satan to blame. Climate Change, The Philippines and The Problem of Pain takes a look at why “Scientism Does Not Explain Why Evil Things Happen To Decent People.”

“Bad theology and inaccurate science can both lead to adverse, sub-optimal consequences. Decisions made in grief-laden haste are often the most wrong ones we make. The unfortunate error Sano commits is to lapse into Scientism. He does so in believing that a set of scientific data gives a logical explanation to life’s tragedies that offers him a systematic plan of action that will outlaw the repetition of bad things. Sadly for Sano, and for anyone that accepts his heartfelt and emotional appeal, his thesis is not strongly supported by real-world data”

Any time there is a natural catastrophe, the tendency is to find some one or some thing to blame. Envy and resentment tend to flavor the effort. Intellectual integrity is often lost in the soup. “Evil like this makes any thinking human being search for answers. Sadly none better exist than what is offered in verses 4 and 5 of Book I Ecclesiastes.” Things happen and we complicate our lives by trying to find excuses rather than answers.

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Strongest ever … and man caused global warming’s fault?

The headlines on Typhoon Haiyan’s landfall in the Phillipines are hyperbolic about it being the biggest ever with massive, unprecedented casualties and so on. Luboš Motl takes a look at the numbers — Typhoon Haiyan: similar unspectacular cyclones arrive every 2-3 years

“All the mistakes are completely obvious and demonstrable, as I will argue below, but it is impossible to even fix basic errors on the Wikipedia page, or elsewhere. Such pages are being controlled by obsessed hardcore climate alarmist trolls and crackpots. They are just completely blind and deaf to any evidence and they revert any edit that would try to fix the basic mistakes.”

“The casualties depend on the trajectory and the good or bad luck (and the population density and the resilience of the buildings in the relevant places, and so on). The physical strength of the strongest tropical cyclones is most naturally measured by the minimum central pressure.”

“If you focus on the table for that basin, you will see than Haiyan is between 21st and 35th strongest cyclone in that region since the 1950s or so. In 60 years or so, one gets 21-35 cyclones just in that region that are equally strong or stronger. In other words, every 2-3 years, one gets a cyclone of the equivalent or greater magnitude. The Pacific Ocean has already witnessed something like 1-3 billion of similar or stronger typhoons.”

Then there is that ‘climate warming’ thing. One sample does not a confirmation make, especially if that sample is misrepresented.

It is a terrible tragedy and things need to be done. Those ‘things’ are not about abstract anti-capitalist environmentalism but rather about lifestyle and preparedness for natural disasters that can be anticipated as normal occurrances.

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Cost of energy

Energy is one of those things that raises the standard of living and whose price makes a significant impact on poverty. Jerry Graf takes a look at the California Valley Solar Ranch: What for $1.24 Taxpayer Billion?

“One acre or 1,500 acres? 88 percent capacity factor or 22 percent? Less than $1,500,000 per megawatt of capacity or $6,400,000 per megawatt? Location near the customer load or remote? Highly dispatchable electricity or non-dispatchable?”

These are questions raised by the ‘alternative’ energy legislation that pays people to build non-economic power plants and requires utility companies to buy their output at exagerated prices. It is a very costly effort that may ‘feel good’ to some but has a drastic negative impact.

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Beyond tolerance to acceptance and approval

“Homosexual and transgender activists have long since moved beyond “tolerance” as a goal of their movement. Instead, they seek to force the federal government to create a world in which no one, ever, anywhere, expresses the slightest reservations about whether homosexual conduct or sex changes are either physically or morally healthy. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is a key step toward fulfilling this extreme vision and undermining true tolerance.”

PERKINS: A high-minded threat to personal liberty.

It is a part and parcel of the modern phenomena of forcing one’s personal lifestyle choices on others. Tolerance is no longer sufficient – the leave me alone thing. Now it is acceptance and even approval in the form of setting up a special group status that allows going after those who do or say anything that might be considered offensive to the group.

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Deconstructing modern propaganda

A resident of the eastern block from back when the cold war was the major conflict talks about propaganda in the modern era. Luboš Motl deconstructs an example in Boston Globe: hit piece on Willie Soon.

“My country has gone through 50 years of the Nazi and communist propaganda so articles such as the article above are nothing new for me. I’ve seen tons of them. The inkspillers behind similar junk are morally reprehensible jerks. Their clearly visible desire is to hurt ideologically inconvenient people personally.

I could tell you about so many similar articles about the Czechoslovak patriots during the Nazi era, about Havel (and alcohol, his family, and Nazis) during communism, and about lots of similar articles about people whom you don’t know but who still suffered.”

“The people who publish and endorse similar hit pieces usually tend to think that they’re better than the Nazis and than the communists, too. And better than the Inquisition. Except that the differences only affect the details. The point in all these cases is that whoever becomes a “heretic” who questions some ideological theses worshiped by the group in charge has to be hurt personally. The debate or research that would pose a threat for the basic ideology has to be fought against.

“There are just so many fundamentally wrong things about the integrity and morality of the likes of Christopher Rowland that it is impossible to negotiate with them. They have to be treated as what they are, the enemies of science and the human civilization. Scum.”

As the news this morning emphasizes: The president disclaims saying what he said despite several dozen recorded speeches. How can you discuss anything with someone who expresses such a lack of intellectual integrity?

The real worry is about what people do to resolve conflicts and disagreements when they are not able to talk honestly about differences and grievances to find solution and settlement.

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Careful thought before taking your property

The fortieth anniversary of the Endangered Species Act is the occasion for Theodore Hadzi-Antich to describe why he thinks Bureaucrats run free.

“The extent of government intrusion is exacerbated by the government’s misinterpretation of the Endangered Species Act. For example, the act requires that, before critical habitat can be designated, economic impacts must be considered. How did the federal government “consider” economic impacts before designating critical habitat for the green sturgeon? Based on a legal opinion issued by a federal lawyer in Washington, the federal government decided that all it had to do was to “carefully think” about economic impacts, and that it could do so without quantifying those impacts. In other words, staring out the window and musing constitutes a sufficient economic analysis under the act. Could there be a competent economist on Earth who seriously thinks that economic impacts can be analyzed without using numbers?”

And the news this morning is that the administration is convening a task force of (mostly) Democrat governors to handle human caused catastrophic global warming effects. Those effects, too, are interpreted such as to fit the agenda of the ideology rather than the facts of the matter.

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