Some of the debate this morning

There was an investigation that started after the 2006 elections and resulting in a report just released. Scott Bloch feels he is being unjustly lambasted and defends the effort in Some Bushies had it coming. The title is a pretty good indicator but the real story is that of a bureaucrat’s mindset. He starts off with the founders and governmental accountability for credibility via authority.

For the Founders, the guiding star of our structure of government was checks and balances on power. … We knew that it would take thousands of hours and involve hundreds of interviews and would likely go well beyond the end of my five-year term. That is why I obtained a special appropriation from Congress in early 2008 to fund this investigation. … It gave me no pleasure … But as a watchdog … there were voices of praise and blame, even from within our agency. The mob likes to ascribe all sorts of motives that are not there. I did not listen to those voices. … I think this report is important for what it shows about the willingness of our government to check itself … We would do well to remember the public servants throughout our government who are trying to overcome their own tendency toward partisanship, to bring about better government with integrity and to provide an example of what is possible even when mobs will blame everybody or overpraise in an effort to satisfy their own factions.

That meme about the mob and ‘vicious Republican attacks’ is an approach quite similar to what Ryan Maue reported about Trenberth’s speech at the AMS meeting regarding climate change.

Trenberth described the ClimateGate incident as an “illegal email hacking” that spawned viral attacks on scientists. … The term “ClimateGate” should have been replaced by “swiftboating”. … It was just a cherry-picked email anyways. … Deniers: in the AMS preprint, which Trenberth described as garnering plenty of “nasty email responses” the term is heavily used.

And, from there, we can take up on the “Denier” idea and head over to the Jewish Press on blood libel. Caroling Glick takes on the aim of blood libels and why that term hit a nerve.

Palin’s characterization of the Left’s appalling assault on her and her fellow conservatives as a “blood libel” was entirely accurate. Moreover, as her previous use of the term “death panels” in the healthcare debate brought clarity to an issue the Left sought to obscure, so her use of the term “blood libel” exposed the nature of the Left’s behavior and highlighted its intentions. … By criminalizing the entire community based on false allegations regarding a never-committed crime, anti-Semites made it impossible for Jews to go on about our lives. If we sought to deny the charges, we gave them credibility. If we ignored the charges, our silence was interpreted as an admission of guilt. And so no matter what we did, the blood libel firmly attached the stench of murder to a completely innocent Jewish community.

All three of these episodes involve an ideological war. The first is an attempt to criminalize political opponents. The second is to rationalize top down, socialistic, government via environmental FUD mongering. The third is to castigate political opponents as instigating anti-social behavior. There are questions reasonable people should raise about all three. Have we created regulations and laws to the point that, with sufficient investigation, anyone can be found guilty of something? Are we paying billions of dollars for research that is not based on sound and established empirical principles in order to generate fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) to drive ideologically driven policy? Do we seek civility from those who accuse or those who are accused?

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