Global Warming by Dummies

climatehappensyinyangNP

So much for the integrity of the Right over the Left in regards to self-serving negative characterization of the opposition and paranoid, reactionary delusions. Too bad that American Thinker has chosen to pander to partisans and religious zealots instead of sensible, moderate patriotic ideologues.

Climate Change or Global Warming is rather easy to debate once you take the time to learn a few basic facts and comprehend some elementary geophysics. Unfortunately the author of this piece seems to have skipped those steps and leaped directly into making an ass of his entire party. Instead of a rallying cry he has provided aid and comfort to the enemy. Maybe someone can persuade him to to change to the other party?

Criminalizing Weather-related Fatalities

Deaths from natural disasters are traditionally considered “acts of God,” or “acts of nature,” beyond human control. This view is being challenged in a French trial where prosecutors have charged a small-town mayor with manslaughter for deaths caused by storm flooding. The precedent of criminalizing weather-related deaths would delight climate-change activists who increasingly call for criminal trials of anyone skeptical of their agenda.

Right up front we see that the author is hunting snark; the entire piece is a poster-child for projecting thoughts and intentions into someone’s mind for the sole purpose of declaring those thoughts dangerous and threatening. With that said the other obvious point should be made: it’s the FRENCH! The only time the French do anything sensible is when you least expect it; the rest of the time, “ONLY the French!” seems to be a fairly common reaction to their antics, foreign and domestic. U. N. debates and Resolutions are one thing, the three-ring circus of French jurisprudence are quite another.

The mayor, Réné Marratier, was arrested after Cyclone Xynthia hit the French Atlantic coast in February 2010. The French State is seeking a four-year jail sentence for the drowning deaths of twenty-nine people in his town of La Faute-sur-Mer. The mayor’s lawyers describe the proposed sentence as “unprecedented and disproportionate.” After Hurricane Katrina, in comparison, no one suggested that Mayor Ray Nagin was criminally responsible for 1,800 deaths.

Mr. Wilson, I survived Hurricane Katrina. I knew Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Katrina changed my life. Mr. Wilson, you’re no Katrina survivor. There actually were a few criminal investigations and prosecutions relating to outrageous misbehavior by city and parish officials. A strong case could be made for the same at the State AND Federal levels.

In the early 1990s, Mayor Marratier approved building permits for housing developments on a spit of sand between the Atlantic Ocean and the Lay River Estuary. The area is at or below sea level, protected by dunes and sea walls. According to a report from the Storm Surges Congress, the region historically had “low frequencies of storm surge related floods… and low levels of mortality.”

More evidence that the author has trouble relating to the idea of a flood zone. The problem that he fails to see is with modern, rather than pre-1950, residential construction.  A city like Miami planned and built today would be a criminal enterprise by any sensible standard. The entire core of the city sits on an artificial “island” that is a few feet above high tide, (some peripheral gutters flood twice a day.), at best. Eventually, Global Warming or no, a hurricane of at least force 3 will run right over that glorified sand-bar and Miami will simply cease to exist as a human habitation. If those hypothetical modern developers were still living afterwards I think that a criminal dock is the best place they could hope to wind up.

Vesuvius is always smoking, and the people never want to move. How does that make it a bad idea to use our understanding of the effects of weather and geology in preventing an endless succession of Pompeis and Herculaneums? If a Southern Californian Mayor approved an expansion of his town onto a hillside with “low” probability of a land-slip in “normal” extremes of weather said Mayor should be prosecuted if she is still around when the inevitable happens and a couple blocks of housing vanishes; even if the residents have time to evacuate, which is a game of Russian Roulette with 2 empty barrels in a seven shot revolver.

Furthermore, although the mayor had initial jurisdiction over building permits, the final stamp of approval was given by the Direction Départementale de l’équipement (DDE) in Paris. At the trial, the mayor’s lawyer asked indignantly how the prosecution could reproach his client, a small-town mayor with no expertise in coastal defense engineering, “for not having reviewed the work of specialists who have made it their career.”

Once again, please be patient; they’re FRENCH.

The fact that the houses were built in a low-lying area does not prove that the mayor showed disregard for the life and safety of the residents. 26% of the Netherlands is below sea level, land that is home to 60% of the population. The Dutch government constantly monitors dikes with high-tech equipment and satellites, repairing and improving them as needed.

In contrast, the dikes in La Faute-sur-Mer have been poorly maintained since Napoleon built them two centuries ago. The French government was aware of the weakness of their coastal defenses and after a smaller 1999 flood, funds were allocated to modernize and raise all dikes by one meter. Eleven years later only half the money had been spent, and 1,000 kilometers of dikes were known to be unsafe. The parallel to Hurricane Katrina, when the Army Corps of Engineers never performed work funded by Congress to improve levies in New Orleans, is striking.

Really? The facts say that the dikes and locks were stopped by continuous legal resistance by environmentalists.

Another factor that led to the high death count was the inappropriate design of the houses in the development. Until 1980, houses on the French coast had their living areas elevated by a few meters, as is common in many beach communities. The builders in La Faute-sur-mer, however, constructed single-story houses at ground level, responding to the needs of their clients, who preferred living on a single level without staircases. As flood waters rose, residents were unable to escape to upper floors.

It gets even more macabre: insurance companies offered rebates for the installation of metal shutters on the windows and doors to protect from wind damage. The elderly residents preferred shutters with electric motors over manual shutters. Apparently it didn’t occur to anyone that electric shutters don’t work during a power outage. When the flooding from Xynthia cut off power, people were trapped in their homes as water rose to the ceilings.

Finally, Meteo France, the equivalent of the National Weather Service, broadcast high wind warnings as Xynthia approached, encouraging residents to close the deadly shutters. The broadcast indicated potential flood danger with a small symbol on the television screen, which most viewers did not notice. Despite this flood warning, national and regional authorities did not issue an order to evacuate, leaving the decision to local officials.

In the aftermath of the storm, a proposal from the French State to bulldoze 674 homes in flood-prone areas was met with strong local resistance, evidence of support for the mayor’s pro-development stance.

Re-read the section above and try to be gentle. Remember, they’re French.

In sum, Mayor Marratier had opportunities to prevent the 29 deaths, but many other parties share responsibility. The prosecution, however, argues that the mayor’s failure to take appropriate action constitutes the crime of “involuntary manslaughter by criminal negligence,” defined in American law as follows:

Criminally negligent manslaughter occurs where there is an omission to act when there is a duty to do so… which leads to a death. The existence of the duty is essential because the law does not impose criminal liability for a failure to act unless a specific duty is owed to the victim.

How about the text of the FRENCH law? That seems to me to be a tad more relevant to this issue.

A duty to act was established when “authorities” warned the mayor about flooding danger. France 24 summarizes: The mayor “is accused of ignoring warnings from the regional authorities by allowing construction in the low-lying area.” As we hear repeatedly, the science is settled; global warming causes rising sea levels, more extreme weather events and increased flooding.

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, this whole screed was just so the author could ring in his theory about the ultimately nefarious intentions the Global Warming forces have furthered by way of the French being inimitably French.

In this case, the “regional authorities” acted correctly. Adaptation measures like improving dikes and rewriting building codes are entirely sensible, and should have been done. But this does not mitigate the danger of making it a crime to ignore the warnings of mid-level bureaucrats and climate activists. The potential for abuse is enormous. Warnings about global warming are often motivated by anti-capitalism and utopianism. If “authorities” warn that burning fossil fuels will lead to millions of deaths, will it be a crime to oppose a solar energy mandate? Even questioning the science of “anthropogenic climate disruption”, as it is now called, could be a criminal act since it influences politicians to vote against climate legislation.

If this sounds farfetched, consider a small sample of the totalitarian invective coming from mainstream climate-change figures:

  • George Mason University Professor Robert Nadeau writes in his essay, “Crimes Against Humanity: The Genocidal Campaign of the Climate Change Contrarians”: “There is no doubt that the Big Lies told by the contrarians about climate science constitute a ‘widespread and systematic attack against’ all of humanity.”
  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: “Those who contend that global warming ‘does not exist… are guilty of ‘a criminal offense — and they ought to be serving time for it.’”
  • David Suzuki wants climate skeptics to be “thrown in the slammer.”
  • James Hansen wants to put oil executives on trial for “high crimes against humanity.”
  • David Roberts wrote at Grist, “we should have war crimes trials for these bastards — some sort of climate Nuremberg.”

(Note the ratcheting up of the vilifications: skeptics are no longer simply “deniers” of the climate Holocaust, but active participants in a Nazi-like genocide.)

The “Call out the Climate Change Deniers” campaign created by Barack Obama’s Organizing for Action identifies 141 members of Congress who made public statements questioning global warming. If climate zealots adapt Xynthia tactics, these statements could become evidence for the prosecution.

Peter, Peter, they’re French, and your list of tin-hat wearers fails to justify your own aluminum headgear.

How Dumb are Creationists?

Whose Side Were You On Again?

Just when it seems that the Right is getting its act together by nominating a truly original candidate for president, one that has a chance of moving our republic in more healthful direction, we get a resurgence of conservative-embarrassing silliness from their theocratic fringe.

Why is it so much trouble for the Republican party to step back from one of their more idiotic platform positions? Is it all merely the result of decades of defending traditional ideals against the worst idiotic of the ideas of non-Republicans, and not a few good ideas just because they come from “liberals”? Is tribalistic partisanship the only culprit?

Personally I doubt this; the Right has too many of its own people caught up in ‘magical thinking’. Case in point would be this article, or sermon I should say, targeting Bill Nye for having the temerity to lecture parents about programing their children to believe nonsense instead of science.

‘Creationists’ run the gamut from ‘theistic evolution’ believers so “unitarian” about the subject that they might as well be Deists, their God does not interfere once the Big Bang has the ball rolling, to full on Young Earth Creationists who believe that the Earth, and the entire universe for that matter are barely more than 6,000 years old!

The anti-evolution brand of Creationists have been a long time in building their base, God knows no-one else will give them the time of day once the theistic underpinnings of their “science” is exposed. Unfortunately they have long tuned their message to appeal to uninformed ears. Using “common-sense” arguments and misrepresenting real science the peddlers of YECH (Young Earth Creationist Hokum) depend on the complexity of the subject to prevent anyone in their audience from being able to refute them convincingly.

Creationist presentations are aimed at their target audience’s emotional and religious prejudices, and tailored to the blind spots in their understanding of science and mathematics. There is nothing random about biological evolution when you look at the species level; there is certainly nothing random in the progression of gene-evolution resulting from natural processes!

I could not pass up this opportunity to high-light the manipulative lack of real reason or real science in the apologetics of the creationist creed, this time it is the Right that is in the hot seat. Get your pencil and be ready to take notes Virginia!

Bill Nye the Pseudoscience Guy

By Terry L. Mirll

In a recent YouTube video, former children’s TV host Bill Nye weighs in on evolutionary biology by telling the rest of us how to raise our children.  If we want to deny evolution, he says, that’s our business, “but don’t make your kids do it.”  Presuming that what we teach our children is any of his business, a more fundamental question presents itself: how do we presume to teach our kids something that may or may not be true, particularly when we don’t really seem to understand it?”

I sometimes wonder if Creationist writers moonlight as speech-writers for radical Leftists or Islamist apologists; those are the only people I know of that use this blatantly disingenuous style of bull crap. It is all there – from the insulting headline to the bending and twisting of other people’s words, to the all-pervading unfounded assumptions that are meant to lull the ignorant into accepting, instead of questioning, the outrageous.

Let us be charitable and Leave aside the idea that someone who has long been thought of as “America’s Science Teacher” is not the person to publically call out parents for deliberately programing their kids to believe theistic creationism is a science and that tools used every day are unreal simply because those kids parents’ pastors fail to understand BS level science.

No offense but, the conservative Protestant sects have not been known for producing cutting edge biological scientists; for that matter no heavily partisan sect or nation has done well in that regard – think Lysenkoism under the political religion of Stalin.

But what about the last bit? Does our outraged Mr. Mirll have a point here:

“how do we presume to teach our kids something that may or may not be true, particularly when we don’t really seem to understand it?”

Nope, not even close! If it were a valid argument then it would be wrong to teach psychology, sociology, neurology, micro-biology, quantum physics, electronics, climatology (as a SCIENCE, not just the politicized version), metallurgy, all meditation, relaxation or visualization techniques… the list is endless. Being unable to explain in detail all aspects of a phenomena is hardly uncontestable evidence of fallacy; that is why testing is part of the process.

There is a tendency in the economy of belief to oversimplify.  Generally speaking, this is a good thing — or if not good, at least practical.  One hardly needs to understand how an internal combustion engine works in order to drive a car.

However, oversimplification is anathema to maintaining a robust and rigorous science.  As Einstein famously put it, make it simple, but not simpler.  He meant that any theory, if it is to be a scientific one, needs to be reduced to its fundamental elements, without omitting any elements necessary to make the theory workable.”

That last bit was apparently included so that the author could have a nice, high pseudo-scientific platform from which to pronounce the next bit of data-free character assassination.

In Nye’s mindset, there are two basic positions concerning evolution: 1. You believe in it, or 2. You’re just a big fat doody-head.

This, I would argue, is an oversimplification.”

Without a doubt I agree; Mr. Mirll’s characterization of Dr. Nye’s inner mental functions as supposedly revealed in his video is an oversimplification; after having viewed the video in question, rather than an article about it, I also think it is an insult.

The pattern of demagoguery continues with three paragraphs showing supposed objectivity in the “Science vs. God” debate followed with a flat-out declaration that science, in the person of Dr. Nye, is simply wrong.

“What is most remarkable is that Nye is hardly alone in his asseveration.  In fact, the vast majority of people — among those who believe in evolution wholeheartedly, as well as those who see evolution as just so much nonsense — seem to hold the same view.  Either we believe in evolution, or we believe in God.

Unfortunately, however, those who hold this view fail to understand what it implies about science and religion, setting up what philosophers of science call the Conflict Thesis — that science and religion are mutually exclusive domains (that is, with no overlap) and are thus at odds with each other.  But the Conflict Thesis is incorrect, offering up a false choice: science or religion.  What, then, are we to make of Stephen C. Meyer’s claim that “[s]cience, done right, leads to God”?

Additionally, this already overly simplistic notion is further exacerbated by another oversimplification — that science is a rational proposition based on reason, while religion is a spiritual proposition based on faith.  Thus, scientific formulations are reliable, based as they are on the Scientific Method of observation, hypothesis, theorization, testing, and reformulation; religion, in contrast, is antithetical to the Scientific Method, akin to fairy tales and superstition.  Framed in this way, we can understand the essence of Nye’s concern for what we teach our children: assuming that evolution is scientific, for any parent to teach his child to deny evolution is thus to teach him to deny reason.

And Nye would be right but for the inconvenient fact that he is wholly and utterly wrong, in his basic assumptions as well as his understanding of evolution.””

Now, our defender of parental dignity-in-ignorance marshals his forces of misstatement, misdirection and mischaracterization to defeat the forces of evil reality!

“When we examine the underlying assumptions of Nye’s position, we find:

§ Science is not “based” on reason,

§ Religion is not “based” on faith,

§ There’s no such thing as “the” Scientific Method,

§ Religion is no fairy tale, and

§ Evolution is not what Nye thinks it is.””

Now then, stop giggling Virginia, show respect to older people, even if their heads are spinning slowly widdershins; I am sure Mr. Mirll will “explain” his “logic” in each case.

“First, though reason is certainly a component of scientific inquiry, it is not the only component.”

That was slick; he says ‘not ‘”based in reason”’, then refutes a totally different concept –  the idea of reason as the only component of science!

“There are, for instance, any number of scientific assumptions that cannot be proved and thus must be accepted on faith.  First and foremost among these is the assumption of uniformity — that what applies to our corner of the universe applies to all corners.  (This, after all, is what makes a universe a universe and not, say, a polyverse.)  Imagine the caterwauling among physicists if we discover that light travels at a uniform speed within the confines of the Milky Way, but at a variable speed in the galaxy Andromeda.”

This is a willful distortion of science, the assumptions science makes are ones for which we have virtually no negative evidence; if solid evidence of variance is found the assumption is abandoned; such as the very idea that the speed of light can be exceeded by material particles.

To address the non-proof above: if the speed of light were different in Andromeda we would either a. see the difference or b. there would have to be mechanisms built into the universe essentially ‘reformatting’ the light as it traveled to us so that we would see only effects compatible with our speed of light… sounds dumb doesn’t it?

“Nor is reason relegated only to science.  Religion, too, has its rational component, with pronouncements based on observation and empirical knowledge.  The Buddhist considers the Buddha, studies his life, hears his message of compassion and service to others, and makes the rational decision to emulate him.  The Christian hears the story of the resurrected Christ, an event that is claimed to have occurred in real time and witnessed by some five hundred, and chooses to follow him.  These are not simply matters of faith.”

He now doubles down on the same strategy with religion; he states one thing then refutes something else but, the fact remains – ‘based in’  is not the same as ‘excluding everything else’

“Instead of “the” scientific method, we find any number of methodologies that share various features but which cannot be said to demonstrate anything akin to a single, uniform method.  Consider, for instance, the notion that science is based on observation.  If this is a necessary prerequisite to a scientific theory, what are we to make of the claim that our universe may be only one of a series of universes?  Has anyone ever observed one of these extra universes?  How can such an observation be possible, even in theory?  There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever for the multiverse.  And what do we call “the evidence of things not seen”?”

The above armchair physics comes courtesy of someone who obviously never bothered to incorporate quantum physics into their version of reality; isn’t this the guy who was so concerned about over-simplification a while back in this very same piece?

All he does is make all of science’s shades of color into a 320dpi black and white line-scan, and then complain that it does not represent the real world accurately. If he bothered to learn the subject he would find that it was the evidence, the results of observation and experiment, that made people see the cracks in the classical view of reality!

The multiverse theories Mr. Mirll disparages are based solely in observational science. To put it succinctly, quantum physics is the most un-refuted theory/world-view in the history of science. It has been held valid in its most bizarre predictions every time those predictions have been tested; I am sorry you don’t understand it, the entire industry involving things we call ‘electronic’ from can-diodes to micro chips is nothing but quantum physics-based engineering.

And the entirety of micro-biology is based in evolution, not as a theory, but, as a tool!

“Those who equate religion with fairy tales fail to understand what the word means.  “Religion” comes from the Latin religio, which means “to bind or constrict” and thus entails a twofold meaning.  First, it identifies a body of adherents to the religion itself.  These need not be adherents of any particular religion; it is sufficient that they identify themselves as members of the group, whatever the group.  Second, it is in some way normative; that is, it prescribes what the members of the group ought to believe, though it does not necessarily imply that the members will adhere to their beliefs at all times.  In other words, though a Christian will on occasion do things that are demonstrably un-Christian, this does not stop him from being a Christian altogether.  Neither aspect of religio has anything to do with fairy tales.”

That is nice. What does this have to do with the myths that form the foundation of almost all religions so adhered to? How does it prove that any religion’s myths that cannot be substantiated by objective historians are on a par with ‘fairy-tales’?

Answer: Nothing, and it doesn’t; moving on…

“In fact, Nye’s own understanding of evolution is itself a kind of fairy tale.  For him, it is akin to biological magic, to be believed for its own sake.  (Woe unto you, ye unbelievers!)  Evolution, he says, “is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology.  It’s like, it’s very much analogous to trying to do geology without believing in tectonic plates.”

Other than a handful of multi-doctorate polymath geniuses who understand first-hand and in detail more than a simplified, cartoon version of what really happens in any of the sciences? That is why science demands theories be testable, and the test be repeatable.

Actually, it’s like, it’s not like that.  For one, geologists operated for centuries without believing in tectonic plates.  As nifty as plate theory may be, it’s hardly fundamental to the idea of geology; rather, it’s derived from geology, based on current scientific understanding of the earth’s structure. 

Virginia, it is not attractive when you cross your eyes like that; stop pretending to be a zombie columnist stalking the brains of gummi-republican.!

I do see your point though; it is hard to know where to begin deconstructing that mass of congealed steer-residue!

Unless you are reading your history while standing on your head the early geologists’ whole purpose in “operating” was to learn what was happening in the way of a dynamic Earth; what exactly does he mean saying that they “operated” in ignorance of most of the how’s, what’s and why’s of the Earth’s structure? Is this how doctors “operated” in medicine before the advent of germ theory?

Did they find gold? Yes, sometimes. Did they know why it formed and where it might be found absent surface clues? Error, faulty, faulty!

And please take note of the lovely all-but-lying way he claims plate tectonics is a nifty theory when the basic notion that the plates exists and move in certain ways is an observed fact. The plates move, have moved and still move.

Young Earth creationists believe that The Flood produced virtually all of the erosion and sedimentation etc. that science understands to be the result of uniform processes over time. They have to go to all sorts of lengths to deny reality though refuting evidence is everywhere to see.

In Southern California is a desert park that has often been used by the movie and TV folks for interesting outdoor locations because of its unique rock formations and convenient distance from Hollywood. It is called Vasquez Rocks and has formations familiar to the entire movie and TV watching world. I mention it because there are several places within the area of a suburban lot that give lie to every Young Earth fairy tale ever told.

There you will find pebbles of metamorphic rock  made by sedimentary rock being compressed and distorted and then rounded by water mixed into a sedimentary sandstone, and the whole mess folded over with igneous formations from volcanic eruptions from AFTER the formation of all of the above, AND major water and wind worn patterns in all of the above that are continuous over the different materials; explain to me, Virginia, how all that happened in a forty day flood!

That the movement of the plates explains events organically and phenomena that the creationists have to pretend are still mysteries surely produces the most amazing mental gymnastics given that lasers from satellites in space have for a long time watched and measured the motion of the plates; which in no way deviate from the expectations of the “theory” that Mr. Pseudo-Reason finds so controversial.

Evolution, likewise, is deduced from two primary observations: the fossil record, which, so it is claimed, shows evidence that life represents a continuum of biological forms expressing a progression from the simple to the more complex; and the similarity of hypothetically related species, such as human beings and apes.

We should not be surprised by now I suppose to see this author seeming to tell outright lies, it is part of his faith apparently but, that does not mean I have to respect the lies.

Those two observations are not honestly complete, let alone the only basis for the modern understanding of evolution or for when the theory was being formulated; many different observations and types of evidence went into the mix that produced the first evolutionary theories.

But these are mere claims, not scientifically, independently verified facts.  The fossil record is stubbornly discontinuous, and human beings ultimately may only look like apes — a 1972 Chevy Malibu looks an awful lot like a 1971 Chevy Malibu, but this does not mean that the ’72 Malibu is biologically descended from the ’71 model.

It is not nice to stare at crazy people Virginia. Yes, I know that on a biological level, from micro-biology to forensic anthropology there is no genus Homo, and that humans are of the genus Pan, like our only living ‘species’ cousins, the chimps.

Someone hurry and go tell the zoo vets that all the apes in their care are really humans under the fur; think of the money saved in simplifying simian care across the board; not to mention using simian vets to fill the gap in qualified pediatricians!!

Think about it, imagine calling something a ‘canine’ when no other ‘canine’ cousins exist and it is 98% identical in its genes to the lion family of genus feline. Is that a ‘canine’ or just another feline? The pan genus has several species of chimp and we are 98% the same but, we are our own genus? Ri-i-i-ight!

Welcome to Pan Sapiens, Homo Sapiens was a fairy tale!

As far as the “incomplete fossil record” goes I do not expect that any number of ‘missing links’ will satisfy the creationists. They have been making this objection since the fossil record resembled an etch-a-sketch more than an oil painting but, today the record for many species, like birds and horses, looks more like a time-lapse YouTube video and they still  make the same objection!

“Nye’s position, then, is no acquiescence to scientific truth; it is merely a component of his belief system.  He may as well tell us not to raise our kids as Presbyterians.

And Bill Nye the Pseudoscience Guy can keep his beliefs to himself.”

Sorry, this guy is not making any points at all, now he wants to steal the credibility of the Presbyterians when most of them are comfortable with billions of years and a god that uses evolution; Jesus wept.

Back in the Saddle, Almost…

IMG_21

This has been a time of reflection on Life, Death, Family and all that makes us Human…  A sudden, but not unexpected, death in the immediate family has reminded me of my own mortality and the impermanence of all that we are and do in life. But, it has also renewed my commitment to cherishing all the moments of my own life, and the lives of those I love.

There have been changes, moves, and family re-alignments, but now the time has come for me to get back to work; please bear with me as I re-focus on the world of politics and society amidst the aroma of baking bread and a pile of ongoing family/house projects – writer/house-husband requires some serious multi-tasking skills!

We just had an election didn’t we? Smile I usually try to avoid writing about local politics, but this election was an all time record for electoral disconnect, simply voting was a huge challenge. I have also decided that I do NOT like this new keyboard! It is simply too small for my hands and does not have a positive click in the mechanism to indicate the key-sent… I type to fast for the more “subtle” keyboards.

This election has shown me one thing though, the country is ripe to abandon the entire party concept and start voting for candidates based on ideology and positions and voting records, NOT arty affiliation.  Politics has become Patronage once again; it is past time to return the power of the vote to the people – Corporations have NO rights of Free Speech as “individuals” under the Constitution! Supreme Court decisions saying otherwise rival Dred Scott in their inanity!

No to Parties, No to ALL Campaign Finance!

Real Reform, RIGHT NOW!

Why are Conservatives are just plain BORING?

There is a debate in the internet land of Punditia about just what is the “counterculture” and why do Leftists dominate it.  The conservative side is pretty well summed up by this quote from one Samuel, a commenter at NewsReal Blog: 

 “A Conservative, be s/he a Christian Conservative, Deist Conservative or an Atheist Conservative, all live by fundamental principles. At the top of the list would be, that individual freedom is unlimited under the level that it remains below the infringement of others freedom.” 

What so many Conservatives don’t seem to get, is that the counter culturist types describe themselves essentially the same way!!! They seek to maximize  individual freedoms that do not infringe upon other’s freedoms. 

Isn’t that JUST what most (non-politically active) people of a counter culture bent are all about? They are drawn Left simply because there they have more opportunity to express their creativity, whether it is art, music or writing. 

Why must pundits and leaders on the Right and Left equate artistic creativity with POLITICAL movements that seek to REMOVE traditional elements from society rather than make SOME of them more optional? Things like how you dress or what you can do for a living as a man or woman or minority, and what kind of art you can produce. 

It is the FAULT of the Conservatives as well as the progressives if Leftists dominate the creative world! Conservatism is a FACET of thought, not a religion that needs to be kept pure and un-tainted. 

The political progressives seek to change entire societal systems to THEIR model; not just allow more elbow room for expression and differences in style and tone; they seek to LIMIT other’s ability to express themselves, JUST LIKE THE CONSERVATIVE EXTREMISTS. 

Why else does David Horowitz so often make the point that he is a CLASSIC LIBERAL, not a classic Conservative?!? 

A pure Leftist or pure Conservative cannot form a healthy government. NEITHER ONE! 

Just look at one of history’s examples of a truly conservative group: The Catholic Church. 

Just when in the history of the Church can it be said that there were no Liberal influences moderating the harshness of the Conservative ones? Are those times you would want to live in? As I read history the less influence classic Liberal thought had the more corruption and evil the Church did to the societies it held under its authority. 

Can progressive expression of Liberal ideas go too far in shedding traditions? Of course they can, just like Conservative ideas can go too far when unmediated by LIBERAL thought. 

On the Left we have seen the brutality of the Protestants against Catholics in the wars of religion, the horrific acts by Communist inspired groups abetted by modern technology in the 20th, and The Terror after the French Revolution. On the Right we have the Spanish Inquisition and that whole mentality which extended all across Europe at one time or another including Conservative Catholic family outings like the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. Arguments can be made that Nazi Germany had elements of BOTH Left and Right; explain THAT one in black and white partisan terms if you can!!! 

The accident of history that gave the Nazis, Japanese and Communists modern weaponry and transportation to abet their crimes does not in any way alleviate the intimate similarities between Right extremists and Left extremists; it is hypocritical to claim that as an excuse to not be critical of your “allies’s” actions. 

The simple truth is that pure conservatism is not just boring, it is stagnant. The most purely conservative group in American history that I can think of off hand were the Puritans. Does anyone on the political Right really WANT to live in a society like that? Is that really your goal? Do not forget, to protect their “Godly” society these wonderful CONSERVATIVES had no trouble hanging a couple sisters for the crime of being Quaker. They also drove one preacher right out of their colony for the truly heinous crime of insisting that a forced faith was not true faith! If the colonies had not united in the U.S. how far do you think they would have gone? Are you all unaware that it was this very Conservative extremism that prompted the majority of colonies to endorse the whole freedom of religion ideal? 

IS. THIS. REALLY. WHAT. YOU. WANT? Is THAT the America that those Liberal bastards Franklin and Paine and Jefferson and yes, even Washington wanted? 

Frankly, one of the biggest reasons it is so hard for many moderates to embrace their Conservative side publically is just how BORING most True Blue Republicans are! Why do you think Huckabee got so much attention? He actually had NUANCE to his lifestyle. 

It may come as a surprise to a lot of culturaly isolated Conservatives but, the majority of people are not content with re-runs of I Love Lucy and a stack of Frank Sinatra records. 

Heck, if you eliminated all art produced by those Limbaugh woukd CALL “Leftist” and that produced by “active” homosexuals and “drug” users, just WHAT would you have left? 

No: 

Dickens, Twain, Melville, Shakepeare, Dumas, Wilde, Elvis, Judy Garland, Ella, Billie Holiday, oh, why bother with a list; almost ALL literature, music, art, plays, blah, blah, blah, is produced by those that the True Blue Conservative ™ would ELIMINATE FROM PARTICIPATION in society!!! 

The fact that LEFTISTS in total control would destroy the balance of society just as surely does NOT excuse the partisanship of the Right. 

It comes as a constant surpise to me that people actually try to defend the idea of eliminating the influence of Liberals(or Conservatives) from politics. Can anyone truly be that ignorant, to believe that that “victory” would end up in anything but a horrific tyranny of one sort or another? 

The label of Conservative is not a shield against immorality or abuse of power, nor is Progressive. Deal with it folks! 

Oh, and while I am on a rant, if Conservative Principals are what Republicans say they are, WHO are these people who are registered as Republicans and call themselves Christians who do not seem to GET the whole free speech and freedom of religion thing, not to mention the whole “if you allow one religion to use a public platform ALL must be allowed” thing that the Supreme Court has been so adamant about? 

It seems to ME, a MODERATE, that BOTH side’s partisans just love to supress others when they get a chance. Free speech for me but not for thee. 

Whether you call yourself Democrat or Republican, THAT ISNT ABOUT FREEDOM AND THAT ISN”T WHAT AMERICA’S CONSTITUTION IS ABOUT! 

(Pure Leftist Mind) “Things are not the way we THINK they should be so, we must tear down everything to make it as it should be. Those who stand in the way fully support ALL evil, real and imagined, done by the current system. We are not responsible for ANY evil commited in this noble pursuit.” 

(Pure Conservative Mind)”It Ain’t the way Daddy did it so it ain’t the way I gonna do it! It must be immoral and against God; it aint’ NATURAL! IT is a slippery slope. Those who seek ANY changes fully support ALL evil Our Party must not be charged with any evil commited by the status quo.” 

Get riled if you want, but that is JUST what most Conservative arguments against change come down to! 

This attitude has saturated the Conservative stance in debates ranging from slavery to child labor, women’s votes, black votes, EVERY new form of music and ALL new styles of dress and undress. 

The Leftist attitude has successfully co-opted much of the “Liberal” world due to the Conservatives opposing ANY creative changes to society, no matter WHAT the motivation for them may be. 

Is there a single creative change that can be listed that did NOT receive immediate opposition from the “Conservative” elements of society? 

It is not often that you get a “Liberal” change that does not find support even in the bastions of Conservatism. (Abolition, child labor, minority religious rights, minority racial rights, etc. etc. ad nauseum), and the truly immoral and heinous ideals, like NAMBLA’s agenda, unites Conservatives with people across the spectrum in defense of, not tradition, but life, children and the things that matter to a harmonious society. 

Counter culture is nothing more or less than a label for CREATIVE people who seek to express themselves in ways not allowed by the straight-jacket of strict Conservatism. 

At certain times politics can intertwine with these people but, do not forget that Leftists are just as authoritarian and CONSERVATIVE about THEIR principals as “real” Conservatives” are and usualy wll offend the most creative after a while. 

How do you tell the difference from the inside between a strict Stalinist society and a strict “conservative” one in terms of how the freedom of the individual and their families differ? 

Look at a “proper” Puritan household and see how they self edit and apply double-think, and are IN NO WAY SIGNIFICANTLY different from the 1950’s Russian family watching every word and action lest they “sin” and bring down the punishment of God (The State)

One extreme wants to tear down the Constitution and replace it with Marx, the other side wants to tear down the Constitution and replace it with THEIR interpretation of what the Bible says.

Neither side should be allowed to run a society alone without adult supervision.

Damn the People, Full Speed Ahead!

What GOOD do political parties, Left or Right do today? For that matter what good have they EVER done? All parties from the beginning of politics seem to have existed for the sole purpose of taking political power from those who own it and those who have been assigned it and consolidating it into as few hands as possible.  Political parties allow a few to harness the power of many followers and apply pressure to the political process out of the sight and control of the very citizens whose power that party uses.  I fail to see that this is a good thing, especially in today’s interconnected world where everyone’s voice can carry equal weight.

Time and time again politicians will act and vote by the direction of their Party instead of their constituents. Simply put, under the present campaign finance system to be elected they HAVE to allow the party leaders to put a ring in their nose like a bull led to stud.  Parties and political donations are the rocks on which the ships of state have foundered all over the world, all through history.

Parties seem to be nothing more than a political expression of Tribalism.  A group of self interested people gather together a herd of citizens wishing for a leader and use them to not support, but subvert the political process in promotion of Me and Mine over Thee and Thine. The votes of Party politicians becomes not about following the collective will within a Constitutional framework but a zero-sum game of You-Win-I-Lose.

We see the result of this winner take all attitude in the willingness of too many politicians to give up their voters’ ideals when faced with a party issue.  This was demonstrated recently when 10 Republican Senators voted against an amendment to a bill (all the other Senators, including 30 Republicans voted Yes) that restricts the Federal government from contracting with a company that requires it’s employees to give up the right to sue or pursue criminal cases against other employees even in the case of rape and kidnapping. This amendment had been inspired by an actual case of the raping and kidnapping by Haliburton employees of another Haliburton contractee and the company’s subsequent refusal to allow civil or criminal proceedings (as per contract).

The 10 Senators felt that since the measure had been proposed by far-Left Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. that it had to be a “ploy” (it was) and so might damage the party. It is sad that it DID damage the Parry a bit simply BECAUSE the 10 feel for it and voted by Party and not common sense. But the saddest part by far is that the 10 Senators, after being beaten up by the press, and the Party, feel that THEY are the injured party due to the Democratic “slurs” against them for voting the Party Line. The quote that seems most representative of their attitude comes from Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas:

“Trying to tap into the natural sympathy that we have for this victim of this rape —and use that as a justification to frankly misrepresent and embarrass his colleagues, I don’t think it’s a very constructive thing.”

In case you missed his point, the good Senator is upset that AFTER he and the other nine voted against the amendment Senator Franken used their pro-Party/pro-Haliburton vote to ridicule them for being of all things…party hacks!!! Senator Cornyn considers it to be dirty pool for Mr. Franken to have put him in the position of having to balance morals against The Party.  It is just not cricket, you know! That is how far the party system has taken us from reality! Unfortunately, this is hardly an isolated incident of partisanship.  Other examples abound from any and all parties be they past or present.

But, in this Digital Age for the first time, Humanity has the chance to apply constitutional democracy in a pure form. Let us abolish parties! They are nothing but a bad solution to the problems of pre-industrial communications. Let our politicians stand on their own platforms to campaign and by their voting record once elected, NOTHING ELSE! Let campaign donations of ALL SORTS be eliminated and instead, every candidate that qualifies for a given ballot receive the same “war chest”. Further, let no one be paid for their time working in a campaign other than contracted services such as catering, printing costs, air time or other non-creative, non-campaigning related services. In this new world direct campaign workers of all types would be solely volunteers!

Just imagine it Virginia! Politicians set apart from the influence of small groups of the self interested and forced to follow the consensus of all their constituents! Imagine politicians that have NO other forces influencing their votes than what their constituents feel should or should not be done within the limits of The Constitution. I don’t know about you Virginia, but that sends a shiver down MY leg! How about a change that actually gives us hope?