Archive for July, 2015

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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Careless language

Bruce Thornton gets into the The Truth About Western “Colonialism” amd “How the misuse of a term legitimizes the jihadist myth of Western guilt.” It’s about displacing blame as a propaganda tool.

This leftist interpretation of words like colonialism and imperialism transforms them into ideologically loaded terms that ultimately distort the tragic truths of history. They imply that Europe’s explorations and conquests constituted a new order of evil. In reality, the movements of peoples in search of resources, as well as the destruction of those already in possession of them, is the perennial dynamic of history.

Whether it was the Romans in Gaul, the Arabs throughout the Mediterranean and Southern Asia, the Huns in Eastern Europe, the Mongols in China, the Turks in the Middle East and the Balkans, the Bantu in southern Africa, the Khmer in East Asia, the Aztecs in Mexico, the Iroquois in the Northeast, or the Sioux throughout the Great Plains, human history has been stained by man’s continual use of brutal violence to acquire land and resources and destroy or replace those possessing them. Scholars may find subtle nuances of evil in the European version of this ubiquitous aggression, but for the victims such fine discriminations are irrelevant.

Yet this ideologically loaded and historically challenged use of words like “colonial” and “colonialist” remains rife in analyses of the century-long disorder in the Middle East. Both Islamists and Arab nationalists, with sympathy from the Western left, have blamed the European “colonialists” for the lack of development, political thuggery, and endemic violence whose roots lie mainly in tribal culture, illiberal shari’a law, and sectarian conflicts.

Colonialism and Imperialism were efforts to create a global community out of tribal cultures. In some places, the tribal ethos struggles to exist and that can create much strife. The mid-east provides the current example.

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GMO and FUD

William Saletan calls it an Unhealthy Fixation, that is “The war against genetically modified organisms is full of fearmongering, errors, and fraud. Labeling them will not make you safer.”

I’ve spent much of the past year digging into the evidence. Here’s what I’ve learned. First, it’s true that the issue is complicated. But the deeper you dig, the more fraud you find in the case against GMOs. It’s full of errors, fallacies, misconceptions, misrepresentations, and lies. The people who tell you that Monsanto is hiding the truth are themselves hiding evidence that their own allegations about GMOs are false. They’re counting on you to feel overwhelmed by the science and to accept, as a gut presumption, their message of distrust.

Some people, to this day, believe GE papayas are dangerous. They want more studies. They’ll always want more studies. They call themselves skeptics. But when you cling to an unsubstantiated belief, even after two decades of research and experience, that’s not skepticism. It’s dogma.

That’s the fundamental flaw in the anti-GMO movement. It only pretends to inform you. When you push past its dogmas and examine the evidence, you realize that the movement’s fixation on genetic engineering has been an enormous mistake. The principles it claims to stand for—environmental protection, public health, community agriculture—are better served by considering the facts of each case than by treating GMOs, categorically, as a proxy for all that’s wrong with the world. That’s the truth, in all its messy complexity. Too bad it won’t fit on a label.

One thing we’ve learned is that fear of GMOs is unfalsifiable. … Another thing we’ve learned is that it makes no sense to avoid GMOs based on standards that nobody applies to non-GMO food. … A third lesson is that GMO segregation, in the form of labels or GMO-free restaurants, is misguided. … The people who push GMO labels and GMO-free shopping aren’t informing you or protecting you. They’re using you.

That’s what genetic engineering can do for health and for our planet. The reason it hasn’t is that we’ve been stuck in a stupid, wasteful fight over GMOs. On one side is an army of quacks and pseudo-environmentalists waging a leftist war on science. On the other side are corporate cowards who would rather stick to profitable weed-killing than invest in products that might offend a suspicious public. The only way to end this fight is to educate ourselves and make it clear to everyone—European governments, trend-setting grocers, fad-hopping restaurant chains, research universities, and biotechnology investors—that we’re ready, as voters and consumers, to embrace nutritious, environmentally friendly food, no matter where it got its genes. We want our GMOs. Now, show us what you can do.

The behavior is the same as with climate change alarmists. The results with both false ideologies are to burden the less fortunate. In one case with an increased cost of food and in the other with an increased cost of energy. The advocates think they are doing “God’s work” but don’t seem to consider the implications of what they advocate nor to realize the depths to which they have sunk trying to rationalize and excuse their ideologies.

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The new religion

We have a Pope who, it seems, loves the poor to such an extent that he wants many more of them. Dennis Prager discusses the implications of The Pope and the Hammer and Sickle.

Last week the Marxist quasi-dictator of Bolivia, Evo Morales, presented Pope Francis with a gift: a carved wooden hammer and sickle cross on which the figure of Christ is crucified.

The pope’s acceptance of Morales’ gift — along with his attacks on capitalism during his Latin American tour — further confirms one of the most troubling moral developments of our time: The Roman Catholic Church is currently led by a man whose social, political and economic views have been shaped by Leftism more than by any other religious or moral system.

It also reconfirms what is probably the single most important development one needs to understand in order to make sense of the contemporary world: The most dynamic religion of the past hundred years has been Leftism — not Christianity or Islam or any other traditional religion. Indeed, regarding traditional religions, Leftism has influenced them — particularly Christianity and Judaism — far more than they have influenced the Left.

There could not have been a gift that more accurately represents this pope’s value system than Christ crucified on a hammer and sickle. First, in a literal sense, that is exactly what Communists have done wherever they have assumed power: crucified Christ by working to violently to destroy Christianity and murder Christians. Second, in a figurative sense, the gift represents the melange of Christianity and Marxism, precisely what much of the church, again especially in Latin America, and especially this pope stand for.

Tragically, we cannot turn to the contemporary Catholic Church. When the pope keeps a hammer and sickle crucifix; when the pope declares free market capitalism, the one economic system that has lifted masses of people out of poverty, to be largely evil (“the dung of the devil”); when Cuba’s Cardinal Jaime Ortega declares that there are no political prisoners in Cuba; and when the pope issues an encyclical on global warming while the oldest Christian communities in the world are exterminated, it is clear that while one can still turn to individual Catholic priests and lay leaders for moral guidance, one cannot turn to the Catholic Church and its pope for moral guidance.

On this same topic, David Robertson suggests that Pope Francis needs a PR person and a speech writer. [Post Updated]. “If Pope Francis wants to promote a Third Way, as opposed to promoting Communism or unfettered capitalism, then he needs to improve the way that he delivers his message.

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How it’s done: a towfer

Steve Tetreault reports that the New national monument blocks rail route to Yucca.

Besides preserving desert valleys and buffering a massive piece of modern sculpture, a new federal conservation area in rural Nevada carries another impact: It blocks a priority shipping route to Yucca Mountain.

So, first, is the ‘national monument’ route which doesn’t require any Congressional or public approval to implement then you block off a chunk of land to assert power and control for PC purposes and then choose that land so as to obstruct another problem.

Rather than turn Yucca Mountain into a nuclear reprocessing facility and energy resource, the effort is to kill it to cause constipation in the entire nuclear energy sector. That, in turn, makes the non-polluting energy source more expensive and that then helps the PC energy sources become more competitive as well as eliminating a vital resource for those most in need. 

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Character assasination

After the mob has moved on, we learn Nobel scientist Tim Hunt isn’t a sexist monster says Mary Katherine Ham.

Sir Tim Hunt, a scientist rather renowned for his skills, as his title suggests, in the United Kingdom before he spoke to a room full of scientists in Seoul, South Korea at the World Conference of Science Journalists in June. During a short speech or toast, Hunt made comments about women in science that perfectly fit into the left-leaning cultural critique of the scientific community as plagued by institutional sexism fueling underrepresentation of women.

A leaked report from an EU official’s investigation into the incident suggests there was much more to his comments and they bear out Hunt’s version of events and that he prefaced them by self-deprecatingly calling himself a “chauvinist monster” and rounded them out with a commendation of women scientists

The outrage industry made a stand, claimed a reputation, and moved on. End of Discussion. Someone should write a book about it.

The problem with such a smear is the same as the problem with climate change and many other issues: people accept the charges with no questions and do not consider the implications, sources, or evidence. Then they become attached to their alternate reality in such a way they must defend it at any cost. The result is tragic on all fronts.

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