The Future Must Belong to Those Who Question

And even those who mock, joke and deride, particularly those who do so to an almost-universally held faith in their region/time/place.   People must be free to hold dissenting opinions without risking death.

Why do I say that?

There was that climate march in NYC and people tried, by means of slogans and shouting to insist that we must all change the way we live; that we must go back to a way of life that would necessitate the demise of 80% of human population, in order to… stop the planet warming up.

This despite the fact that we have no idea how much the planet is really warming up or why (corrupt data, corrupt data-keeping, corrupt… everything – the result of science done to government specifications.), the fact that most of the world couldn’t care less what these marchers do and say and that the ecological disaster that is China will offset any sacrifices we attempt to make, and the fact that the celebrity marchers all produce enough carbon in a month to offset any reductions I could make in my lifestyle over a lifetime, even if I went to the loony point of living as we did in the village where I grew up: a lightbulb per room and early hours to bed; no labor saving devices; a radio as the only electrical form of entertainment, etc.

Let’s leave that aside for a moment though, and concentrate on the truly appalling spectacle of Robert Kennedy Jr. demanding that those who don’t agree with him about what is causing the climate problems (?) be put in jail or killed.

The United States government, Kennedy lamented in an interview with Climate Depot, is not permitted by law to “punish” or to imprison those who disagree with him — and this, he proposed, is a problem of existential proportions. Were he to have his way, Kennedy admitted, he would cheer the prosecution of a host of “treasonous” figures — among them a number of unspecified “politicians”; those bêtes noires of the global Left, Kansas’s own Koch Brothers; “the oil industry and the Republican echo chamber”; and, for good measure, anybody else whose estimation of the threat posed by fossil fuels has provoked them into “selling out the public trust.” Those who contend that global warming “does not exist,” Kennedy claimed, are guilty of “a criminal offense — and they ought to be serving time for it.”

Let’s suppose that everything Mr. Kennedy thinks about the climate is true. Why would he want to silence anyone who disagrees with him?

If everything he says is true, surely he has proof. More importantly, surely he has ways to explain/get around the fact that without modern technology 80% of the people in the world would die, due to problems of transportation and growing enough food in enough places. Surely he has ways to convince China. I mean, if his science is that iron clad, they wouldn’t want to die any more than we do? Surely he has ways to convince all the rest of the world, which has nothing to do with the (Libertarian, and for all I know AGW supporting,) Koch brothers or the Republicans.

Unless he thinks the rest of the world hangs suspended from those peoples’ lips? And even a trust-fund-baby celebrity can’t be that stupid.

In other words, if he’s really concerned about AGW, he should be talking to the rest of the world, particularly the emerging nations, not just the US public. To pretend otherwise is a cop out, and a dishonest one.

Instead, the power he wants is the power to kill or imprison – to silence – anyone he disagrees with.

Note that people like me, who think that proponents of AGW demonstrate they don’t believe in it with their lives, don’t wish to stop them talking. On the contrary. The more they parade and berate, and show their allegiance to communist causes, the less credible they are. We want them to keep talking.

This extends all across the pet causes of the left. Feminism? Oh, please, do keep talking about how you want to kill all but 10% of males.

The lack of women and minorities in science fiction? Do keep talking. We have books going back to the fricking fifties that give you the lie and you just expose your crass ignorance.

The War on Women, in the group with the most pampered, indulged women in the world? Please, even some of the kids no longer buy it.

White privilege, which is screamed in the faces of Hispanic and even Black males who disagree with the narrative? Please, oh, insane mind, speak thyself.

However, from their side all we hear is that they want us to shut up and (in sff where they’re soft) “hurry up and die. Or in the rest of the world “be killed.”

Whence this recoil from opposing opinions, this desire to shut us up?

I have joked in the past that militant Islam with its demands that anyone who says anything about the prophet should be killed betrays a fundamental insecurity. Those of us who truly believe G-d exists don’t believe He needs US to defend his honor.

We figure if He’s really upset, He’ll take care of it in his own good time.

But this effect of having to defend something so much bigger than you that if you’re sure it exists, surely it doesn’t need YOUR efforts to defend it, seems to be an effect of theocracies, where people of not very strong beliefs are afraid of hearing opinions/ideas that contradict what they must believe in to remain in the fold and in the good with the society around them.

Hence, medieval Christianity and most of Islam today.

Hence, the left.

The progressive project that, in various forms, consumed most of the twentieth century, ran out of ideological justification with the fall of the Soviet Union and the transformation of China into… something more approaching Nazi Germany than the Communist Project.

This has taken the certainty from under the followers of the left. The smarter ones, surely, know their ideology is rubbish and there isn’t a working example of a top-down socialist/communist society in the world that is self-sustaining, let alone competes with the US in innovation and creation at any level.

Even the not so smart ones have to have an inkling. They can no longer point to the USSR and tell us if only we knew its wonders we’d convert.

Their leaders are old, their ideas are depleted. They, in the parlance of my kids generation “got nothing.”

So instead of real belief they have the desperate clutching at the appearance of belief and conformity, the appearance of being right.

They’ve done so much for the cause, most of these celebrities and ideologues, that to backtrack now would be unthinkable. They’d have to face themselves in the morning and realize that they supported causes and movements that killed a hundred million people worldwide and held far more in abject squalor.

They can’t do that. Courage was never their strong suit, otherwise they wouldn’t have gone along with the crowd after the fall of the USSR.

So they just want us to “shut up already” and “die” so that in their totalitarian version of reality no little voice shall mar their self image.

They are like MacBeth, trying to silence his conscience. They are in fact

“in blood

Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,

Returning were as tedious as go o’er.

Strange things I have in head, that will to hand,

Which must be acted ere they may be scanned.”

And our only hope is to keep speaking, to keep making them scan their strange things in head before they come to hand.

Because the other way is unthinkable.

Obama once said (after arresting a film maker for making a movie about Islam, which did not after all spark the murder of our ambassador) that the future must not belong to those who insult Islam.

On the contrary, Mr. President. Insofar as “insult” is questioning and pointing out contradictions and, yes, even joking, the future MUST belong to those who insult Islam, to those who insult Christianity, to those rare souls that bother insulting Hinduism and the other more exotic beliefs, and even to those who insult the Marxist religion of the left yay and verily, even its Global Warming branch.

That is because any belief, religious, scientific, economic, ANY BELIEF that would claim the allegiance of the whole of humanity must be tested and tested and tested. It must be able to withstand jokes and knocks and above all argument.

Remember at one time Incan human sacrifice and Nazism commanded a large group of believers. This didn’t make them right.

It’s only hypocrites and cowards who demand the silence of others, afraid their own weakness be exposed and they’ll be forced to look at themselves in a true mirror and recoil in fear and error at what they see there.

612 responses to “The Future Must Belong to Those Who Question

  1. “Why does God need a starship.” Kirk asked a good question. If omnipotence is an attribute, mere space and interstellar distances won’t contain Him.

    And these puny little motes of carbon dust speckling this living planet? At most they can create minor, localized disturbances.

    Who suffers today from Krakatoa, that world-shaking volcano whose eruption was noted around the world? Didn’t take long for that to settle down.

    And Mt. St. Helens, spewing ash for thousands of miles high in the atmosphere. Earth scientists were convinced another ice age would result from the reduced sunlight reaching the Earth. Didn’t happen.

    And the Kuwaiti fires set by Iraqi soldiers as they were pushed out of Kuwait, back into Iraq. The smoke billowed blackly into the air, and so many were convinced this would be the straw breaking out planetary ecology’s back. Didn’t happen.

    The fact is, the worst disasters humanity has suffered (or caused) results in a mere blip in our planets attention. Barely noticeable. Hardly insufferable.

    A closed system (for the sake of the argument) can be affected by interference from outside the system. But everything inside the system is PART OF THE SYSTEM. NUclear boms are constructed from minerals found within the system, localized and iignited, then once again diffused throughout the system. Net losses or gains? Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nyet.

    That’s why I hold these protesters in ridicule. They don’t have a brain to stand on.

    • I’ll have you know that I suffer severely from Mt. St. Helens ash. It got into the bark and every crack of the wood on the trees around here. It dulls chainsaws and makes me suffer through sharpening them at least three times as often as when they are used in other areas with non-ash impregnated wood.

    • Our world is a remarkably robust thing. Could we wipe ourselves out? sure. It’s happened to species before. Do damage/change things? Yup. Wipe out species? Sure. Competing species do it all the time with varying degrees of side effects, geologically/paleontology speaking. Break the planet? Not likely.

      When I was still in college there was a very interesting paper presented. The lady presenting it was a paleontologist who specialized in mass extinction. She discovered that the biome recovered roughly 3-5 million years faster after a truely massive extinction event than after more minor ones. She defined ‘recovered’ as ‘achieved similar levels of bio diversity.’ The recovery time was usually around 10 million years for a mass extinction. Given that the planet is 4.5 billion years old that’s less than a day in the ‘year’ of the planet’s life.

      • Then you get the “Help Keep It Going Around” things with the picture of Earth — as if the extermination of life on Earth (which, as you observe, is not happening) would change the Earth’s rotation.

        • The planet would keep chugging. It doesn’t care (sorry Gaia types… the earth and universe really don’t care they keep doing their own thing no matter what we thing, feel, want, or do). I doubt we could even eliminate all life no matter how crazy we got. One of the cited events had a 98% destruction of all species on earth (including those in the sea as far as they can tell) it was an impact that made the K/T one look like chump change, and life still chugged on and recovered. Mind you this was back when there weren’t as many big things about with as many pieces that fossilized so there’s some attenuation for age. More famously the K/T extinction did massive amounts of damage to the extant system, though the seas were much less impacted, yet life is still here on the planet. So yeah. We are but wee puny little creatures in the grand scheme of things. The planet and the universe don’t really care and will do their thing with or without us… and I wonder if that is the realization that some of these people are fighting so hard. They seem not to want to admit that they are rather unimportant in the grand scheme of creation.

          • Ironically, the bewailing over AGW is most pronounced on the side of the political spectrum which denies the idea of human exceptionalism.

            Mean, suspicious, cynical people might suggest that they already have a solution in hand (rule by the anointed) and are desperately plugging in problems (AGW, inequality, fill-in-the-blank-ism, bad hair days) trying to find one that lights up.

          • Indeed, without the K/T extinction, humans probably wouldn’t exist.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Back in the day, there was a website called Geocide which studied the different physically possible ways the planet could be caused to cease to be a planet. There wasn’t any that I recall as particularly feasible.

    • Forget Krakatoa, it was a popcorn fart when compared with the 1815 Tambora eruption. So much material was ejected into the upper atmosphere that for all of the northern hemisphere 1816 became known as the year without a summer. Huge crop loss, terrible suffering, massive hunger.
      And in 1817 it was business as usual.
      I haven’t actually run the numbers, but I’d say ten to twenty surface detonated nukes would certainly be enough to counter any global warming concerns the greenies have. Of course you’d have to do them every year since the stable system always reverts to stability.
      And one of my pet fears is that sometime real soon we may have the opportunity to empirically test my theory. Perhaps not, can’t be sure whether smaller tactical nukes would have the same effect, but it is looking more and more likely that we will get a chance to find out.

      • I used to boggle at the possibility that the first true nuclear war might not involve either ourselves or Russia. I figured Pakistan and India, or possibly a Middle East war where Israel was desperate enough to push the button.

        I don’t figure we’ll be allowed to just be a spectator, any more.

    • William O. B'Livion

      Little quibble:

      NUclear boms are constructed from minerals found within the system, localized and iignited, then once again diffused throughout the system. Net losses or gains? Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nyet.

      Not arguing with the rest of it, but this isn’t quite right. Coal, NG, etc. are mostly formed from the stuff in the “closed system”. Uranium (and other heavier elements) are only formed in larger stars or when larger stars go nova/supernova.

      Splitting these is a one way function, and releases energy functionally from, depending on perspective, “outside” the system, or “from the larger system”.

      • But those minerals are present in the Earth’s crust. we just concentrate them and persuade them to give up their energy all at once, rather than spread out over centuries. This is an anomalous blip of energy, but in such small numbers, and affecting so little of the Earth’s surface, that it doesn’t shift the whole system.

        • I believe there is strong evidence of a natually occuring reactor-type nuclear reaction buried in some African strata. Don’t recall details, and searchess are really CRAWLING where I am now.

        • William O. B'Livion

          It’s not just an “anomalous blip of energy”.

          As the saying goes “sometimes quantity has a quality all it’s own”–nuclear explosions (fission/fusion) release that energy in a much more concentrated form, both in space and time (but I repeat myself) and create conditions that aren’t mimic’d elsewhere on the planet.

          This isn’t “world destroying” but it’s not part of a natural cycle like carbon release/redeposition.

          In the carbon cycle molecules are rearranged, but remain fairly constant, while. Even when you look at the mercury and other heavy & radio active metals embedded in coal, it is, as the OP noted, just push the problem around.

          When you touch off a nuke you wind up with new stuff down at the element level, and much of that stuff is inimical to life as we know it.

          Threat to “the world”? No. To “The world as we know it”? Hells yeah, especially in the case of a large number of events.

          • The planet has lots and lots of years to dilute down what humans concentrated.
            Life survived the natural nuke reactor mentioned, and it survived the Yellowstone caldera explosion as well.
            You can also make the case that politicians are a threat to the world as we know it.

          • “The world as we know it” is evanescent, ephemeral, temporary, a blip in the Universe’s time stream. Those striving to preserve its present state are fighting the forces of History.

            • 1) Whatever we do there will be an environment, so long as the planet continues to exist. It just may not be an hospitable environment.

              2) If we are to look to the same science the AGWs believe in, the climate on the planet went through change before homo erectus ever started messing with two sticks and a pile of tinder to help it along. Why should it have stopped?

      • When I was teaching college, I used to talk about scientific scams. The point I was trying to make to my students was that anytime scientists made claims that were more than 10 years out, they was a good chance they were trying to snow you by predicting bad things happening close enough to make people worry and give them funding, but far enough out that their predictions would not be remembered by the next funding cycle. If someone tells you, “We can do X in five years, and you will see working proofs of concept of X in two years,” then I am inclined to listen to them. Threre is a good chance they have a strong handle on their stuff, and they are ready and willing to demonstrate it. The “climate is changings”omologists lose out on this. “Things are going to be exactly the same for 15 years, then ZOMGWTFBBQ! DISASTER!” fails this test miserably.

        In a different vein, and frankly, because I am jealous that FrankJ thought of NUKE THE MOON! before I did, I used to tell people that I wasn’t afraid of the climate scientists predictions. I had a solution. It was NUCLEAR WINTER VS GLOBAL WARMING!

        See, my thought was that anytime someplace got too hot because of global warming, we (the United States, I mean), being the caring, sensitive, sharing people that we are, could demonstrate our concern for Mother Earth and regard for our fellow human beings by lowering the temperature in the affected area by detonating a fusion weapon in an airburst pattern in their vicinity. Nuclear Winter would then help balance global warming. Problem solved.

        This actually has many aspects to it that are not immediately apparent at first blush. Let us say that we are having some difficulties with a country, who we don’t seem to be able to get along with. Posit this mythical country is called “Miran.” Say their capital city is called “Deheran,” Now, we could unilaterally demonstrate our kindness and good will to them by not waiting for global warming to strike their country by applying a prophylactic strike of oh, say five 20 megaton airbursts directly over Deheran, therefore staving off the threat of global warming for the foreseeable future. I am certain that the people of Miran would be so overcome at our generous gesture, that they would demand that their government come to immediate terms with ours, thereby preventing any more ill-feeling or conflict between our nations.

        It would also add an entirely new dimension to our own celebrations here in this country. It is well known that the inclusion of small amounts of trace elements into things like fires or explosions can actually have a profound effect on the visual manifestation of the energy of these items. Most people know that if you add eg copper to a flame, it burns with a bright green. I am certain that the same principle holds for thermonuclear weapons. Can anyone deny the fact that having 10 or 12 low space detonations of red, white, and blue 150 megaton thermonuclear devices would be the BEST.JULY.4TH.EVER? I thought not. And can anyone think of a better way to celebrate the season than with some festive green and blue nuclear devices around Christmas? The answer is obvious. I think that this modest proposal deserves serious consideration, and I hope that all of you will join me in urging our legislators to adopt it.

    • The point I meant to make was those who decried this as a world devastating event were wrong. As they were in the other cases.

  2. I think you give these guys too much credit when you credit their fanatacism to insecurity or conscience. They certainly don’t come across that way when they’re yelling at me, or if you read any of their stuff from their own ends of the internet.

    I think, far from being insecure, they are flush with a sense of power. History is going their way. They have captured the state in pretty much the entire world, and the culture everywhere outside of the middle east. They can do whatever the hell they want to their hated enemies, at long last, and the only penalty is making the right wing news for a day or two.

    They are just blissfully and incurably unaware of the internal contradictions of seeing themselves as loving tolerant people and advocating the punishment and ruin of their ‘enemies’. They don’t understand moral principles, and they’re tired of your rights getting in the way of what they want. They are tired of people wanting them to be right, whatever that is supposed to mean. They just want to win. And now, from the top of their Panopticon police state, they can.

    • Ever pull off a spoiling attack with a leftist? Call the animal rights protester heartless and cruel as they are drawing breath in to shout at you and you’ll see one confused person stop and not really know what to do with themselves. I was at a human rights counterprotest the first time I pulled that off. It really was fun watching the lady stop, not say a word, and just wander back to the other side of the street.

      They know the secret. If they’re the second to launch insults, they lose. Get there first with better facts to back you and the entire dynamic changes.

      • And RFK Jr. is such an easy target to pull that on. I was hoping some troll had the idea to get within earshot and begin the same ‘people who disagree with me deserve to be imprisoned because they’re evil’ speech, and then at the end it turns out he’s talking about the ‘vaccine causes autism’ crowd. The argument is just as valid. Given the purpose of the march itself, a group that went and protested that opposition to GMOs or Nuclear Power was ‘selling out the Earth’ and therefore treason would also have been fun.

      • Yep. They know it.
        Also, they might “be on top” but it’s slipping through their fingers. They know that too. They just can’t understand HOW. Not the most elastic minds around.

        One of the secrets a friend gave me in the run up to 2004 holds true “the louder they scream, the more they know they’re losing.”

        Looking around from climate to gamer gate, they see their bluff being called. So they scream.

        • This is off the subject, but here’s some…probably…bad news. A pair of Australian twins who directed two (from what little I’ve seen of them) fairly amusing horror movies under the work name The Speirig Brothers, have written and directed a movie based on Heinlein’s “All You Zombies.” “Predestination”, trailer now on the front page at IMDB. The blurb doesn’t describe the short story at all.

          • To start with, they dropped one of the greatest titles of all time. “Predestination”?

            • Wayne Blackburn

              I saw a comment that it’s “Based on and Inspired by(emphasis mine) “All You Zombies”, which, when we’re talking about movie scripts, means that someone skimmed over the story and went, “Hey, I have an idea for a story!”

            • Well, if they used it, they’d get savaged for not having actual Zombies in it.

              • That reminds me of one of my favorite neglected, chopped up movies, “Exorcist III.” “But there aren’t any exorcisms in it,” writer-director Blatty said. “My novel was called ‘Legion'” “But it’s a sequel to the two previous Exorcist movies,” executives said. Ok, it was released as “Exorcist III.” Movie executives chopped the movie up and added sequences of exorcisms, because people were complaining, “It’s called ‘Exorcist III’ and there aren’t any exorcisms in it!” Writer-director bangs head on table.

    • Wayne Blackburn

      I think it’s kind of a little of both. Those who have worked hard to develop that kind of power are both jealous and insecure about it. Anyone who dissents threatens their self-image; makes them wonder if they are really as powerful as they think they are, and so they must destroy the dissenters in order to maintain their self-image. Because, in their minds, if they are right, then it’s impossible for anyone to disagree, so if anyone does, then they don’t really disagree, they are trying to attack the person and pull them down from their lofty perch.

    • Insecurity, conscience, or how about just plain bag-of-rocks level stupidity?

      See: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/09/the-profound-stupidity-of-liberalism-on-display.php

      Obama is bombing Syria for the oil????? For the olive oil, maybe.

    • Much as I wish it weren’t so, I think MRS’s thesis is better than Hoyt’s. Almost everyone I know leans left, and my sense is that they believe their position to be unassailable. It’s not, as Hoyt suggests, that they deep-down know the weaknesses of the arguments behind their opinions and so are terrified of having them questioned. To the contrary, they are mostly ignorant of the arguments behind their opinions because they are so confident in the rightness of those opinions that they judge it a waste of time to even investigate them. Only right wing troglodytes would even consider doing that.

      • It depends on who you look at.

        For example a member of the elite who practices law in Bos-Wash will read the NYT and listen to a few members of the scientific community they meet at various fundraisers (not all political). This means they are hanging out in an echo chamber. No they wouldn’t see the need to question what the ‘experts’ tell them, nor would their life give them much time to pursue it anyway.

        On the other hand the members of the scientific community who do know the ground they have to stand upon apparently attempted a suppression of their working data. If they were confident with their research why would they have done so?

  3. I used to say about these people that they won’t believe AGW is wrong until the glaciers come down the Hudson river.

    Now i realize they will just say that is anthropogenic, too.

    • Of course. The beauty of AGW is that no matter what happens, you can always say it’s proof of AGW. Really, it’s an impressive scam they’ve got going here. 😉

      • been saying it for years, Everything is caused by AGW, and everything proves AGW. They have no science in their “science”. If every data point is proof, and nothing can prove it false, it isn’t science, now is it?

        Then you get the monthly or so claims that a previous month was “Warmest Ever” … last one I saw was for April claiming the world wide average was the highest ever for an April … Where was it record hot?? Almost all the northern hemisphere was cooler than the last few decades, where it wasn’t, it was not record warm, only on the warm side of average, and much of the southern was also at or just slightly below what they claim to be the norm. So somewhere it was screamingly hot to make our average into a record …. but nowhere was listed, and now the story is just gone form those places it was….no correction, no links to proof that can be verified.
        Big part of the reason Burt Rutan is so rabidly anti-AGW is he took a good look, because being Burt, he though maybe he could find a solution … what he found was fraud, false numbers, and models that will not work … ever.
        If he built planes that sloppily people would die.
        Maybe he can build one for RFK Jr that way.

        • Burt Rutan did exactly what I did. He looked at the facts and saw they didn’t support what was being said. That’s exactly what I did.

          And, for the record, I actually believed in AGW for a long time. Watched “An Inconvenient Truth” and bought it hook, line, and sinker. Then I started looking deeper into it and realized that something wasn’t right.

          • I believed it till the early nineties, when Scientific American did a full issue on it, and it was full of contradictions.

            • Wayne Blackburn

              Somehow, I never even heard about it until the 2000 election cycle.

              • I didn’t dismiss it until I noticed none of them were pushing for nuclear power plants or telecommuting.

                The Penn State Scandal (Michael Mann one, not the Jerry Sandusky one) just made me nod and say told ya so.

            • Yeah, well…I was still a gullible lefty back then.

            • I was never sold on AGW for I had read The Cooling back in the 1970s. And in the ’80s I noticed that real scientists don’t pre-release their results in a Sunday newspaper supplement like Parade. So I concluded that Carl Sagan was a sham.

          • having looked into the “hole in the ozone” and seeing the false carp spread about that, I was certainly sceptical about AGW especially when AlGore was its self professed champion.

            • Yeah, but like I just told Sarah, I was a a gullible lefty back in those days.

              Hell, for a long time, I was a libertarian who actually bought into AGW. Until I looked at the evidence for myself.

              • was selling Freon and Aircon parts for cars at the time.
                Things that never got mentioned during the Hole Panic legislation:
                They had one just learned how to see the Hole, and had no idea if that was a common occurrence or something new.
                It had never been observed long enough to see if it grew and shrunk on it’s own.
                The ozone eating actives are heavier than air so very little actually get up there.

                Then these fun facts about the “safer” replacements from DuPont:
                Its long term health effects are unknown, but they do know that if it burns it is a nerve agent (car accident anyone?)
                DuPont had lost the patent right to R12 and R22 so no longer was making as much money (iirc they stuff had dropped to near $20 a case of cans … often cheaper … after the “ban” it was $100 a case and climbing).
                The replacements are greater greenhouse agents than Freon (This was when I started noting the whole AGW stuff as several were also involved in the Hole).
                The workers in the plant all wear exposure monitors in case they kick off … but are constantly assured it is perfectly safe.
                AlGore, who helped push through the legislation was closely connected to DuPont (iirc through his wife) who made out like a bandit as they were the ones owning the patent rights to the replacements.

                After seeing the pack of nonsense they were pushing there, I certainly wasn’t taking the AGW stuff at face value when I looked into it. Knowing some rather smart folks who were big number physicists and just plain brainiacs who actually saw some of the models before they were limited as to who could really access them and the data said they just plain do not work. (one was still on the ice age is a comin’ rant, but he thought 1000 years was an instant … frames of reference)

                • Have you noticed the patent on the replacement HFCs is apparently up? The Krony Kapitalists at the EPA are preparing another ban.

                  • ***does some mental math … smoke emanates from ears***
                    Yeah, it is about that time again, huh?
                    I work in surfactants, and we are still dealing with the last ban.
                    Watch for fire fighting foams to be less effective in the future as we are forced to use different stuff. The best Fluorocarbon chains for the job are in the C8 to C12 range but we are being forced into C6 only chains.
                    Fun fact…they demand we make stuff a certain way, then give a a deadline to do it, then demand we must send them the product for approval, then take too long to approve it so you cannot sell it by the deadline, so you keep applying for extensions.

          • I’ve been told that Burt Rutan’s ‘not a climate scientist.’. No, he’s not – he’s someone who’s models actually have to hold up in a real-world environment, or people die.

            And the man knows how to crunch numbers – because he DOESN’T want people to die because of a flaw in his models.

            But the old ‘appeal to authority’ is strong – they’ll go for the nebulous ‘climate scientist’ who says we’re all gonna DIEEE!!11!! over someone who says that the data’s flawed and there’s really no problem.

            (And why some people cling desperately to the apocalyptic fantasy of AGW when faced with contrary evidence is beyond me…)

            • No, Burt Rutan isn’t a climate scientist. Neither is Al Gore, but they flocked to see “An Inconvenient Truth” and quoted the hell out of it.

              Remember, one’s status as a climate scientist only matters if they agree with what you’re saying.

              • The game played about being a “Certified Climate Scientist” is that the certification bodies are in the bag. As with other fields not rigorously locked into facts in evidence (e.g., Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology) refusal to accept certain core premises of the field are sufficient to preclude certification.

                Okay, to be fair, the same fundamental theorem problem occurs in the hard sciences, too, (see what happens to a mathematician PHd candidate who insists that we can, too, divide by zero) but there are rational work-arounds for that sort of challenge (e.g., non-Euclidian geometry.)

                But becoming certified as a climate scientist without accepting AGW is far more difficult than becoming head of a major Christian denomination while denying the divinity of Jesus.

                  • Thankfully, the church she supposedly represents did NOT agree that her “feeling” it was compatible was enough:
                    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2008961581_webdefrocked01m.html

                    • G-D save the Church from what is done in His name. eh? In case that insult to two faiths* were insufficient to boggle your mind, check this from the NY Post:
                      These Christian swingers like sharing Bible verses, sex partners
                      [SNIP]
                      “I don’t think God would be mad at what we are doing,” Cristy said. “At first I was conflicted, but the more we looked at it, the more it makes sense to us.”

                      The 44-year-old added that she felt mankind had been created to frolic and fornicate with one another.

                      “God put people on the Earth to breed and enjoy each other,” she told Barcroft. “I feel God is always with me and he has put us here for a reason.”

                      *Insult to both, I say, because if you accept salvation through Christ you cannot consecrate through Mohammed, and to follow Mohammed you must reject Jesus as Christ. People who treat theology as fashion statements, to be mixed and matched in combination as pleases the believer, strip their religion of Faith, of meaning, and thus render it void.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      It sometimes appears that many Liberal (theologically) Christians see the Christ as “only a Good Teacher” not as the Savior. [Frown]

                      Also C. S. Lewis talked about people wanting an easy religion. IE a religion that doesn’t put demands on your behavior.

                      IMO that’s the “religion” that many Social Liberals want. Instead of striving to live lives as God may want them to live, they talk about a “God of Love” that excuses all of their behavior. [Sad Smile]

                      Who wants this soapbox? I didn’t want it. It just appeared under me. [Very Big Grin]

                    • Soap-box? Here … I’ll take a turn on it. I have always supposed that the hardest thing for a certain type of person to accept is that which is outlined in the Lutheran rite of confession of sins: “… we confess that we are by nature sinful and unclean. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone…”
                      It is a hard and difficult thing to look into your own self, into your soul, and to know that you – that essential YOU – has the capacity within you for great wickedness. And more-ever, it is so terribly easy to slide into doing that wickedness without even seeing that you are doing it, and rationalizing all the way down. That way is the road to hell; easy and well-let at first, then darker and darker, until one is trapped.
                      Accepting that we are human, that we are capable all at once of horrible or noble deeds, or even one and the other … that is very often difficult to come to grips with. Sometimes, people look to hard, and are overwhelmed with their own guilt for having that capacity, but I think that most normal, well-adjusted people with some kind of ethical framework, accept it. But it does require a certain degree of self-knowledge and acceptance. And if you are at least aware of the seductive trap, and of your own natural impulse to step into it, then you are at least prepared.

                      I was raised as a traditional high-church Lutheran; we live for this kind of theological wrangling. OK – now who wants the soap-box?

                    • Ooooo, a soap box!

                      Right now culture sees man as the measure. Consider the example given in the green movement. A significant part of society is acting under the presumption that we can understand the depth and breath of the subject, are able to comprehend the full ramifications of all the factors at play and then properly adjust the necessary human actions to bring the climate of the entire planet under optimal conditions.

                      They are human. Scripture has a repeated phrase, ‘…every man did that which was right in his own eyes.’ Most sins seem very pleasant. Our judgement is clouded by our own limitations. So if feeling or seeming good to oneself at the given time is our measure of what is good then we will continue to fall short.

                      Christian theology teaches that all fall fatally short of the mark. The Gospel or ‘good news’ is that by grace we can be forgiven and through grace we are empowered to change. To receive that grace we must acknowledge our judgement is not perfect, that we are not in control — we are sinners in need of saving. That God is who He says He is in scripture. He is sovereign. And the rest of it. All of it.* It is not a Chinese menu offering the choice of two from column A and one from column B, at your liking, for today’s portion of obedience.

                      I would actually argue that C. S. Lewis was not exactly correct about people wanting a religion that doesn’t put demands on their behavior. They want one that only puts the demands they are ready to try to somehow meet. Liberal Christians as a group do latch on to some of the scripture, but not all. They are likely to point to the various caring works of Jesus thereby, in part, justifying their support of government run programs. When I read Jesus’ command that we should go and do likewise I do not believe that He is speaking of government agency, but maybe I am wrong.

                      *Side note, given as I step down: Some commands were limited to particular situations (contrary to the way some attackers of scripture try to argue). It is quite clear, for example, that only Jericho would be conquered by marching quietly around it for a week, then blowing trumpets and cheering…so I would not advise this tactic for, say, Damascus.

                    • ““Ann is one of the finest preachers I’ve ever heard,” Catherine Kovell of St. Andrew’s told us. “Her spirituality transcends organized religion and can appeal to just about anyone.”

                      Is that supposed to be mockery, or is it just me?

                      “The event flier reads:

                      If both Muslim and Christian can co-exist within one person, then Ann’s experience suggests human beings are able not merely to exist together, but to cooperate and thrive. We can join together to become the beloved community and work together to cherish our shared home. Though our human communion is broken into pieces, because God is one, we are all one. We can make the decision to act as one, working to unravel the lies that tell us the contrary. We must search our traditions for the pieces of that truth and bring those pieces together–our pieces of the peace.”

                      Note that she is speaking at an Episcopalian church, and I don’t see any references in the article to appearances in Sunni mosques.

              • Patrick Chester

                Yeah, had a troll over at the Breitbart sites try that. Demanded my credentials for disagreeing with AGW, but got pissy when I asked his credentials for agreeing with it.

            • Burt Rutan is NOT a climate scientist, he’s better. He’s into Aerospace, so he MUST understand how climate actually works. Also, he had to spend a good chunk of his life studying complex systems, which is a good start to understanding that making the broad predictions that AGW supporters do is likely not possible until we develop better computers for dealing with chaos. Scientific theory in these areas have to make a major breakthrough before we can crack it.

              Or…so I’m told

          • I didn’t care until about 2008, when I blogged for a few months about Barky and the AGW claims, and spent a lot of time reading everything I could find on related matters. Everything I found about both was cooked books …

        • Ooh, I see what you did there. Funny and horrifying at the same time. My kind of joke/reference.

        • I did the same thing in the mid 1990’s when it really started going strong. I found the same thing, falsified data, lies to cover up the bad data and computer models that were GIGO. One model reproduced past climate data by having the data put in it. One set of data, then it was considered good and was used to project planetary temperature out for 100 years.

          I work in the nuclear power business and I told a co-worker that if I had submitted a technical brief to the NRC in the same way the warmistas presented their briefs to COngress, I’d be facing prison time for attempting to defraud a government agency.

          • as I posted a few minutes ago, I was dealing with several folks like you, who said pretty much the same thing. “If I did work like that, I’d get fired/Failed/arrested!” was a common theme

    • Ahem. To cover all sorts of issues may I remind you that it is now Anthropogenic Climate Change. That way whatever happens we can jolly well continue to put the blame on ourselves.

  4. Josh A. Kruschke

    Present!

  5. I believe every disparaging thing you have ever heard about the mental capacity of dynasties, is true of the Kennedys.

    • The only truly smart Kennedy was the old man Joe. The rest of them coasted on what he had built. If any one of them had the drive and skills he had, they’d be a family of multi billionaires by now.

      • I’ve often wondered if Old Joe did something perfectly despicable to an old Gypsy woman way back in the earlies, and she landed him with a horrific curse, from root to branch, yeah even down to the fourth and fifth generations. The whole family story is like one of those amazingly convoluted South American telenovelas, full of madness, betrayal, infidelity, murder, addiction to a wide variety of substances … the whole battery of operatic woes, every one of which is broadcast to a fascinated audience.

        • It really does look like that, doesn’t it?

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          That is entirely unnecessary.

          We already have a perfectly sufficient explanation in how he raised his kids.

          When the second and third generation are dead, there may be enough variation in influences that some of the kids born then may turn out okay.

        • Rich+ powerful+ Mafia ties seems to cover it from where I stand…..

          (I’m aware the Kennedy Mafia thing is a “conspiracy theory.” It’s got a major advantage over most conspiracy theories in that it involves not one but two different groups that are known for actually conspiring with some kind of success.)

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            a) Papa Joe was an organized crime figure
            b) Okay, maybe the Mafia is a specific type of organized crime
            c) The Kennedys have staff and cronies. These may well have some organizational continuity with Joe’s criminal conspiracy life, and have some institutional memory from that. Not to mention the various crimes involved in the management of the outcomes of the Kennedys being Kennedys.
            d) Democrats will be Democrats.

            • I figure that “Mafia” has become “Kleenex”– if you do a search for “Irish Mafia,” “Japanese Mafia,” “Mexican Mafia,” etc, then you get a specific type of organized crime. I don’t know enough about foreign politics to see if a similar rule holds for groups with the word “Democrat.”*

              I’ll point that this is totally inside of the good English tradition of taking a word, keeping the way it’s said mostly intact, and warping the meaning to our own ends.

              *And that is mockery– it’s halfway a joke, and halfway because I’m aware that things that feel the need to tell everyone they’re “democratic” tend to be nasty

              • Back in the day, my 2nd or 3rd grade social studies teacher told us wee sprogs that if the country included People’s Republic or Democratic Republic in the official name, it wasn’t.

                • Pretty much anything that has “people’s” in it for the last century plus is guaranteed to have a card-carrying communist, or the next best thing, behind it.

              • The term “Democratic” was fully destroyed by the communists who conscripted it into the title of their form of government: “The Democratic People’s Republic of XXXXXXXXXXX”. That was a dead give-away that the government wasn’t of/by/for the people, wasn’t democratic, and wasn’t a republic.

        • I got that feeling with the book The Kennedys and the Fitzgeralds, but could not quite put my finger upoon the right larger than soapy image. Thank you for that.

          And with ‘Old Joe’ — it is not hard to believe that he might well have had a chorus of people place curses upon him and his…

          • The funny thing there is that the book’s author clearly adores the Kennedy Myth, even while acknowledging the warts. Sometimes a person can’t see the trees for the forest.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      The Kennedys: proof that greatness is not genetic.

      • never got how a family that got its money from lawlessness was supposed to be our “royalty”

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          I suspect that’s the origin of most royal families, if you go back far enough. 😉

          • Sic Semper Tyrannis, and they all tend to be tyrants of one sort or another

          • Surely not from lawlessness. After all, the “power of the law” is that “he who has the power makes the law”, so nothing they did was lawless AFTER the fact.

            • The whole idea that the law should be the same and consistently applied from top to bottom of society is relatively new — and still rather the exception as the world goes. Hell, where it is the law it is still often more honored in the breach than in the practice.

        • JFK looked so GOOD. He was photogenic, charismatic, and his wife weren’t no slouch neither. This really appealed to the particular strain of US political thought that wants an elite ruling class, said class being determined by how photogenic and charismatic they are, not how competent and capable.

          You saw it with Obama. It didn’t matter he hadn’t done anything of note (and the few things he did do were inconsequential at best) – what mattered was that he looked good and was charismatic. (We won’t talk about his wife – the puff pieces that tried to paint her as the second coming of the elegance of Jackie Kennedy couldn’t get past reality and those angry eyebrows of hers.)

          Those who went all in on Obama, despite any indications of competence or leadership in the man, seem to positively crave an elite class they can look up to, charismatic rulers to make the decisions for them, to run their life, a ‘royal class’ in everything but the name.

          And if they’ve got the choice between competence in ruling or charisma they can fawn over, it’s charisma every time.

          • they want royals? Then they need to move to where they run things … like the land of Saud. I’m sure they will just love it.

          • But remember. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr was the one being groomed for the presidency. JFK was a backup. And was elected due to stolen votes in Texas and Chicago. And if it weren’t for a compliant media covering up his known womanizing and medical problems, ….

            Read an interesting article once speculating on how a Japanese destroyer managed to slice a much more manuverable PT boat in half. It pretty much came to the conclusion the only waey it could be done is if the crew was asleep. Literally. In the aftermath of th PT-109s sinking, all the crew had exactly the same story. If you have ever done an investigation, no two people tell the same story.

        • And now we have Drudge with “Royalty Watch” as header for Chelsea Clinton pregnancy stories. And they got their money, well, you know how.

        • Well, that IS how Royalty usually rises; banditry.

      • Excuse me? Greatness? Kennedys? The two have nothing to do with each-other. The smartest thing JFK ever did was get assassinated, so we have trouble remembering what a truly mediocre President he was.

        I’m halfway convinced that the smartest of the tribe was Teddy; he (or his subconscious) concluded that running for President was a death sentence for a Kennedy brother, and developed a reputation for vice that ensured he’d never get elected, while not quite being bad enough that he’d have to get a real job,

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          And yet, still, a better leader than the current Occupant.

          • William O. B'Livion

            There’s evidence that no, that’s not true. Obama didn’t get corn-holed by Russia until his second term. Kennedy managed it in less than 2 years.

            • But then again, the USSR was much more aggressive at the time. It took Putin 5-6 years to get enough reconstituted in Russia to start thinking about knocking off the neighbors and recreating the old glory days.

              (And all along he was going “I can’t believe this idiot! He’s not doing ANYTHING sensible on the world stage! How far can I push this before he wakes up?”)

          • True. Also true of, say, Andrew Johnson.

            *spit*

        • Mediocre is entirely to complimentary of JFK’s Presidency.

          • Let’s be fair; he wasn’t awful. He was principally good teeth, nice hair, and a first rate political machine his Daddy bought him. The problem is the Cult of St. Kennedy the Martyr that has grown up around his memory. Among other things, it causes the Democrats to keep trying to elect third rate Kennedy Clones like Clinton and Kerry. Both of whom had approximately two thirds of his charm, half his intelligence, and maybe a tenth of his ethical standards (and he didn’t score high on those last two, frankly).

            • I’m somewhat fuzzy on his domestic policy, but Obama took notes on his foreign policy, and frankly Obama’s is more coherent.*

              *Not better, just more coherent, we can generally guess which way he is going to leap.

            • Christopher M. Chupik

              Yeah, it’s strange to see the Left worship the ground Kennedy walked on, when he was the one who got the US into Vietnam.

    • I remember hearing the news of the President’s assassination in school, watched the funeral on TV. I really did not want to find out that John John was a bastard and Caroline is a moron.

  6. Several of us either participated or witnessed a discussion on Facebook where an AGW proponent simply refused to look at any information that contradicted her belief in AGW. Facts aplenty were provided that showed scientists had cooked the book, but she clung to those scientists as if they were a lifeboat belonging to the post iceberg Titanic.

    She had no real facts to offer, just “a bunch of scientists say it”. I likened it to someone with their fingers in their ears, spouting “LA LA LA LA. I’M NOT LISTENING!”

    If these “scientists” know so much, why are their models so universally wrong? Their claims are all based on these models, yet time shows they’re horribly wrong. So, they build new models, make more predictions…that turn out to be wrong again.

    If their models can’t predict the climate, then it shows-at best-a fundamental lack of understanding in the processes involved. They’re missing something. There is something at work that they either don’t know about, or simply haven’t accounted for. Again, this is if they’re actually trying to be accurate. I’m not convinced that this is the case in reality.

    So, these people hang onto their beliefs. They lash out at anyone who dares to disagree as some form of evil. “What are we going to do if you’re wrong?” they ask. Well, what about if you are wrong? We would destroy the world’s economy, kill millions of people, and shift ourselves back at least a century all for something that didn’t exist in the first place. To make matters worse, we know that this will happen. The Left doesn’t even seem to disagree with that.

    So, they expect us to take their faulty models as gospel, arguing that the effects are too horrendous to risk. Personally, I’d rather skip out on the millions of deaths we know are going to happen on the off chance that some model of theirs actually does pan out for a change.

    • Wayne Blackburn

      I have a friend who I used to work with who we FINALLY convinced was wrong that “AGW has had 40 years of peer-reviewed research” (incidentally denying any memory of the “global ice age” scare-mongering of the 70s). He finally at least admitted that AGW had only been a thing for 26 years.

      But yes, he’s one of those who doesn’t listen to any dissenting information, insisting that all the things that have been pointed out as flawed have been peer reviewed and declared valid, and even going so far as to say that the badly sited weather stations and the correctly sited ones show the same results. I pointed out to him that if they did, then NONE of the data is reliable, to which he did not respond.

      He’s gotten even more crazy lately, claiming that the climate models predict everything just fine.

    • It’s impossible for the models to be wrong. They’re a sort of voodoo doll, they don’t simply reflect the world, through the principle of similarity they are the world. What you actually observe in the physical world is irrelevant.

    • Yes, this is a matter of trust and not of science. The pause alone should make people less trusting of climate science and the ClimateGate emails should show that climate science is not a bit trustworthy at this point. Furthermore, leftists would be screaming if it had been conservative scientists who had been caught in a similar scandal. Finally, as someone who suffered through twenty years of bad experiences with peer review, I can honestly tell any leftist that I would be as likely to trust peer review as blacks would be to trust the account of the police when they have shot an unarmed black. To put it in other words, they trust peer review because they are listening to those at the top only, even though they claim to listen to those of us at the bottom.

    • I’ve thought for a long time now that the true controller of the climate is water vapor, not CO2 or any other “greenhouse gas”. When the sun pours more heat into the system, more water vapor enters the atmosphere, and it warms up even a bit more, until equilibrium is reached between the warming of sunlight and the cooling from clouds, more reflection of solar energy, and the cooling from condensation and precipitation. If the sun provides too little energy, more of the water vapor is squeezed out of the air, it gets even cooler, and we end up with an ice age. CO2 is at trace element, and a trace player. Water vapor is responsible for 96% of the “greenhouse” effect, and with our huge oceans (67% of the surface area), a major player, both as a controlling factor and as a causative agent.

    • Q. If these “scientists” know so much, why are their models so universally wrong?
      –T.L. Knighton

      A. Models are not experiments within empirical science. Models have no experimental control. Models are not evaluated in double-blind studies.
      __________
      Question Authority (Ask me anything.)

  7. (Disclaimer: I don’t trust my math yet, since I fudged the surface albedo and didn’t get the average temperature of the Earth right (something quite a bit colder than Earth actually is). I intend to revisit this someday with better data for absorptivity and a better surface albedo – maybe the HITRAN database for gas absorptivity)

    Anyway, I set out to actually do the math myself on what you should expect from playing with CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. Of the gasses in Earth’s atmosphere, the majority gasses, nitrogen, oxygen, and argon, don’t absorb anywhere in the wavelengths emitted thermally by the surface of the Earth. CO2 and H20 are the two main gasses which do have absorption peaks. CO2 has two narrow absorption peaks in the infrared. H2O has a very broad absorption band in the infrared. Things that I learned: Whenever there is any moisture or humidity in the air, the presence of water vapor overwhelms that of CO2 – the atmosphere is already opaque to the wavelengths that CO2 blocks wherever there is atmospheric water vapor. So, only the upper atmosphere would be effected.

    I was getting extremely low changes in the amount of energy radiated to space with changes in CO2. Things that shouldn’t even be detectable.

    2. Beyond a certain point of CO2 concentration, adding additional CO2 to the air shouldn’t change the atmospheric absorptivity at all. The atmosphere becomes opaque in the narrow bands that CO2 absorbs. It can’t get “more opaque”. In the limit of trace concentrations (which is where we are at) there is a logarithmic dependence on atmospheric absorption and CO2 concentration, not a linear one as is assumed in IPCC models.

    On skimming into one of the IPCC reports, apparently what is being done with the atmospheric models isn’t tied to the physics of gas absorptivity at all. What they are doing is proposing that the warming sensitivity to CO2 concentrations is *something* (degrees C/ppm) (and they assume linearity here), and then curve fitting that something to temperature data to explain the warming. :/

    Also – there is absolutely no way that Earth will ever “look like Venus”. Venus’s atmosphere is dozens of times thicker than Earth’s atmopshere, with vastly different composition (a lot of SO2 in addition to CO2 and N2). In addition, the gasses in Venuses atmosphere, on account of being extremely hot *already*, have doppler broadened absorption lines. Venus’s greenhouse effect is intense in part *because* it is far hotter than Earth will ever be.

    • They don’t seem to have accounted for the difference in orbital distances and the effect of dispersion on the sun’s energy from Venus to Earth. Then again they don’t understand rocks either, as much as they like talking about them.

      I will say, that I believe it arrogant to believe we humans are having no affect at all on the climate, we are part of the system therefore we input to the system, therefore we have some impact. I’m just not sure what kind of a blip we are on the planet’s radar, it could be anywhere from negligible to noticeable, I’m still sifting the data on my own.

      • I find figure 1 in this paper pretty convincing.

        The increase in atmospheric methane just happened to increase when humanity started agriculture. Without it, we’d be in the depths of an ice age at this point.

        http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/Ruddiman2003.pdf

        (Of course, we really wouldn’t know about it, because human civilization as we know it wouldn’t exist. You’d have people fighting polar bears for penguins at the equator…)

        • Remember there was also a decrease in methane when we exterminated the megafauna of North America. So we were just counterbalancing.

        • This is from memory, so not real dependable, but: as I recall the temperature record from the Greenland ice cores over several ice-age / rewarming cycles, this rewarming cycle isn’t all that remarkable (i.e. not all that noticeably affected by agriculture or megafauna) compared to previous, and yes, we’re more-or-less due for another ice age.
          Oh sure, there are likely some anthro effects, but they’re not really all that important.
          Civilizational resilience vs. the major expected cyclic climatic changes seems like a much more important thing to be worrying about than the small / short term changes from AGW or AGC or Yellowstone megavolcano or whatever. Do that, you cover the other.

          • …and yes, we’re more-or-less due for another ice age.
            –Alan

            “Throw another log on the fire!”

          • We’re actually about 8000 years overdue… but I’m not going to complain about the delay, myself.

            Civilizational resilience is going to boil down to (a) – do we have a way to keep warm and (b) do we have the tech to adapt. I swear that some of the eco-fanatics would do what they could to prevent both a and b, in some misguided quest to save Mother Gaia.

            • What I’d hope for, in my more wildly optimistic moments, is to find a way to co-opt the statists’ desire to spend money on climate-related “stuff” from useless anti-carbon campaigns to instead build dual-use (cooling as well as the more sellable warming) “robust civilization” policies and technologies.

      • Wayne Blackburn

        Then again they don’t understand rocks either…

        Which is strange, since they seem to have plenty of them in their heads.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Depends on if we phrase it ‘average temperature of the Earth’ or not.

        If we do not, if we are picking a rational system volume to study, I couldn’t say.

        If we do, I feel reasonably confident, if short of humble, in saying I think humans are likely fairly trivial.

        If we are talking the whole of the Earth, we can look at it in two sections.

        What we humans can directly touch is mostly atmosphere. The whole of the atmosphere, plus water, and a bit of the ground, is less volume, and a lot less mass than the rest.

        The interior, given the mass, will have most of the thermal energy. It will have the most extreme temperature differences.

        In comparison, it seems unlikely that minor changes in atmospheric temperature would have all that much effect on the whole.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          Average temperature? Considering the large number of ice ages Earth has suffered, I’m not sure I want the planet reverting to “normal”.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            I was trying to make a point that I think you missed.

            I was talking about average temperature of the earth taken over the full volume, not over time. There is a more extreme case for you point, taking the average surface temperature of the earth today, and some day long ago when the surface was lavel.

            Draw a cross section of the earth as it is right now.

            This can be a series of more or less concentric more or less circles.

            Going off memory, this might be a circle of about six units radius inside a circle of about .2 radius larger. In this cross section, the inner is surface, and the outer circle is maybe a bit beyond the outer limits of the atmosphere.

            What does average mean? Is it all points on the surface circle? All between the inner and outer circles? Everything inside the bigger circle? Everything inside the smaller circle?

            Humans in general are only interested in the smaller portion. If you don’t specify, I often am willing to assume that you are talking about the whole volume.

            • Christopher M. Chupik

              I stand corrected.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                The volume nitpick seems to have a fairly solid scientific grounding.

                ‘Boilers never explode’ is an absolute falsehood. ‘If that boiler isn’t defective, and the inspection and maintenance records have not been falsified, it should not explode at that pressure under normal conditions’ is specific enough that it may be true.

                The term ‘AWG’ does not seem to include enough caveats to avoid this.

                This is my favorite approach when I haven’t the mood or the venue for something deeper and more thoughtful.

    • Josh A. Kruschke

      When I was in the 8th grade mid 80’s I had biology teacher point to several studies that had beem conducted that showed the higher the CO2 content of the Atmosphere the thicker the algae the thicker becomes. 80% of the O2 you breath comes from this algae layer. There are biological mechanisms for pulling Carbon out of the Air and storing it. There called plants.

      CO2 just doesn’t sit in the atmo it get’s collected and put to work.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Don’t forget the radioactive heating of the earth. Remember? That was what screwed up Kelvin’s effort.

      Defining the system is part of solving a thermo problem. As far as human impact on human living conditions is concerned, we are probably talking about a shell, more or less irregularly spherical.

      The thing used to be molten. It has a solid crust now. Which means on some time scale it is cooling. Which means that the thermal flux across the inner surface of the shell might well be positive into the system.

      In all the talk of what is supposed to be happening, I don’t think I’ve seen numbers for that flux.

    • Before he passed away, John Daly did a lot of this kind of analysis on his website.

  8. Jordan S. Bassior

    The lack of women and minorities in science fiction? Do keep talking. We have books going back to the fricking fifties that give you the lie and you just expose your crass ignorance.

    Forties, even. Eric Frank Russell’s tales of the android Jay Score and the multi-ethnic survey ship on which he served. The SJW’s are deeply, and proudly, ignorant of the history of the genre they claim the right to control.

    • Wayne Blackburn

      I think she meant authors, not characters.

      • Jordan S. Bassior

        There is absolutely no way to increase the number of black science fiction writers, save by blacks trying and succeeding in writing good science fiction.

        • I dunno — we could always try redefining the term “black science-fiction” writers to make it more inclusive. For example, “African-American SF writers” allows inclusion of Arab and Boer writers.

          I can also recall several writers of SF that was decidedly black-humoured, such as Robert Sheckley, which suggests an additional route of expansion of the term.

        • We are aware of this. And yet…

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Starship Troopers has a very diverse cast of characters. Not that you’d know that watching the dumbass movie . . .

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      I was amused by a recent Tor.com piece on Scalzi’s latest. (Minor spoilers) Apparently one of the main characters is black, and this isn’t revealed until late in the narrative. One of the first comments was someone saying how blown away they were by this. My thought was “What is this, 1955?” And I guess it is, for some people. They need to believe the West is still a hotbed of racism/sexism/homophobia, and that the Left is still the victim of the Blacklist, and not it’s chief perpetrators.

      • So Scalzi is stealing ideas from Heinlein … again …

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          But it’s good when Scalzi does it, and evil bad reactionary when Heinlein did it.

        • More likely he forgot to go through his checklist until the end of the story and then tacked it on.

        • Joel Rosenberg did the same with Chak in his “Guardians of the Flame” books. Bonus — revealed the character was black in a discussion about racism in our world (most of the main characters were Americans shot into a dark fantasy world); Chak couldn’t getting upset over skin color, not when the are dwarves and elves and the like…

      • My husband recently had a “Mind=>blown” conversation with a guy who’d just found out that Rush Limbaugh’s “call screener” is black.

        One, pretty sure that Snerdly is the producer and a quick search says he’s the sound engineer as well, and two… how is this surprising? I “found out” when there was a picture of Limbaugh next to a HUGE black guy, both in tuxes, but the main impression I got was “wow, Limbaugh looks tiny*,” not “Zomga, black guy!”

        I suppose there’s a roughly one in five to ten chance that he’d be another racial group, but good grief.

        *IMDB** says he’s 5’11, so dude’s gotta be well into six foot and they’ve got similar builds.
        ** not only is there a place to find how tall folks are, but I knew one to check off the top of my head. Yay, modern times!

        • Snerdly’s real name is James Golden. He had his own radio program for a while when Rush was in NYC. Great guy and program. He’s had a working relation with Rush since Sacramento. Which isn’t unusual on Rush’s program. I think that most of the staff has been with him for well over ten years.
          http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2014/09/21/Limbaughs-Snerdly-For-Most-of-Black-People-Good-Ol-Days-Were-Under-Segregation/
          As far as I can tell Mr. Golden’s opinions are his own and not just because he works for Rush.

          • No way he’d be able to have worked with Satan Rush for that long if he was an orthodox liberal. Probably has some liberal views, but then I’m sure Rush does, too. *shrug*

            • I think that all of us are stuck with some liberal views. We have all been victims of so much indoctrination masquerading as history and reality. It’s hard to let go of patterns of thought. How often do you have to say to yourself, “every thing you believe might be wrong?” But that’s what you have to do to deal with liberalism.

              • How often do you have to say to yourself, “every thing you believe might be wrong?”

                Too big; “wrong” has too many options.

                Break it into “alright, what if this is wrong? What things depend on it, what thing have been tested? How many ways can it be wrong and still fit the observed facts, and how high of quality are those facts?”

                For that… I do it pretty often. Part of why I drive myself nuts, and part of the “someone online is WRONG” impulse.
                (Also why I get upset at people who assume that whoever they’re talking to is just spouting off without thinking, or that failing to change their mind means they haven’t “thought about it.” SOME people don’t say something unless they’re pretty dang sure, so you just don’t see them being wrong because they didn’t waste your time… bad phrasing can be a problem, though….)

                Argh. Need more coffee. Need less sick. And more sleep.

      • Rishathra. Any sufficiently advanced fen knows of it. And anyone who understands the term really doesn’t see any significant difference between the various fooms of human currently living on Earth. We’re all just one species after all..

    • Remember, writers, editors and publishers in the Forties & Fifties labored under a terrible handicap: they were limited to producing tales that readers were willing to trade money to read.

      BTW: does anybody know what was the representation of “other than white male” characters in mainstream literature in that era? I suspect that, outside specifically female targeted genres and certain mystery sub-genres, the representation of characters was not significantly different from what was found in SF of that era.

  9. ah leftists.

    Ask what sort of carbon footprint that parade had. . . .

    It’s as ridiculous as the man who maintained that Holocaust survivors had “white privilege” compared to blacks, because having your great-great-grandfather be a slave is far more damaging than actually having been a slave yourself.

    • have you seen the “After” shots of the trash they left behind?

      • To the left “caring” is all that counts, and will excuse any personal abuse you want to participate in.

      • Saw one comment on the San Fran march where they were leaving the trash for the homeless to recycle and make some money on.

        (facepalm)

        Yeah, they MIGHT pick up cans and bottles, but everything else? Food wrappers? Empty drink cups? Discarded flyers? Nope.

        They really have no connection to the ‘real world’.

        • yeah, picking up after oneself and turning in the recyclables then giving the homeless the money is just too darned involved and very much like icky work

        • ” Only a few of their windows are boarded up. Certainly by comparison with housing for the poor in Bombay, Madras, or Manila they are spacious and luxurious indeed. Each has a little front yard of grass, surrounded by a hedge, and a much larger back yard; about half have satellite dishes. Unfortunately, the yards are almost as full of litter as municipal garbage dumps.

          “I tell my doctors that in nearly nine years of taking this walk four times a week, I have never seen a single instance of anyone attempting to clean his yard. But I have seen much litter dropped; on a good day, I can even watch someone standing at the bus stop dropping something on the ground no farther than two feet from the bin.

          “‘Why don’t they tidy up their gardens?’ asks a doctor from Bombay.

          “A good question: after all, most of the houses contain at least one person with time on his or her hands. Whenever I have been able to ask the question, however, the answer has always been the same: I’ve told the council [the local government] about it, but they haven’t come. As tenants, they feel it is the landlord’s responsibility to keep their yards clean, and they are not prepared to do the council’s work for it, even if it means wading through garbage—as it quite literally does. ”

          http://www.city-journal.org/html/9_2_oh_to_be.html

        • “They really have no connection to the ‘real world’.”

          Not too surprising; they’ve never lived there.

        • I think the Oakland parade dropped all pretenses and came out full Communist/Socialist. Didn’t make any more sense than anything else the Looney Left has done. Top-down management, which socialism is, is the most wasteful form of government on earth. Even flat-out tyranny is better managed. Some people have been over-indoctrinated and under-educated — or they’re just plain stoopid.

      • I saw an article mocking the people who mocked the march for the trash they left behind. I guess they had the right to make the mess because it was All For Mother Gaia!

        • One of those articles said that it was the city’s responsibility to deal with the trash and thus it wasn’t the activist’s fault. The thing is that the day before, at maker faire, the organizers made a point to provide recycling bins and make sure that people kept them empty. But to the climate crowd dealing with the trash was somebody else’s responsibility.

          • It’s always ‘someone else’s responsibility’. The trustafarians have never learned that ‘someone else’ will be, on occasion, them.

            • Their role in modern society is to hold others accountable, not to be held accountable themselves — that would interfere with their ability to hold The Man accountable.

      • Twitchy had a bit about that. Someone pointed out the trash after the event and the excuse was raised that “somebody would clean it up.”

        That, right there, is the Left in a nutshell.

        • And I myself recall, as a local Tea Party board member for a huge downtown event, how careful we were to clean up after a massive rally in Alamo Plaza. We had a whole cadre of volunteers picking up and bagging trash afterwards.
          The big Tea Party rally on the Washington Mall later that year left the place cleaner afterwards.
          I read about the disgusting messes left in NYC Zucotti Park after Occupy, and I just shook my head.

          • Those scenes were highlights of the whole difference between Tea Party, and the Left rallies that were held.

            Tells you exactly who’s going to be taking care of the nation and it’s people for real, not just blab about it.

          • One of the tea party rallies I went to was so quickly amassed that they frankly forgot to ask for volunteers for trash management ahead of time. Somebody smart realized this, and passed a word of mouth request. About 1/4 of the people spent an extra hour making sure the place was better than they found it.

        • eyup.
          Someone, will clean it
          someone will pay for it
          someone will do it
          it’s just that the someone had best never be them … makes on want to break their knees.

  10. And even those who mock, joke and deride, particularly those who do so to an almost-universally held faith in their region/time/place.

    The future most belong to those who question? I think the proper phrasing is “the future most belong to those who think”.

    I certain opposing subjecting the mockers to death or criminal sanctions, but if the future belongs to the David Letterman’s and Jon Stewart’s it is going to be pretty bleak.

    It should be noted that almost universally the mockers mock those who question.

    • Maybe in popular entertainment. The Evil League of Evil seems to do a pretty good job at mockery and questions. Vox Day can be absolutely brutal.

      • The Evil League of Evil seems to do a pretty good job at mockery and questions. Vox Day can be absolutely brutal.

        Telling the truth is not mocking and exposing hypocrisy is especially not mocking.

        But think about it, how much of what we do is attacking an idea and not those who hold it versus saying if you hold an idea you are not fit to be human?

        I’ll grant that I’m fairly newbie here but I don’t see things on this site much beyond what one would expect at a family dinner and that includes personal attacks at the other side on other sites.

        When I debate an AGW, for instance, they are the ones who end up calling me names. I just shrug and ask what their problem is with nuclear power and why do they want to rip down hydro-electric dams if that is their concern.

        • No. It IS mocking. My most successful post was the gif one, and it WAS mocking. Pointing and making duck noises.
          They’ll never UNDERSTAND they’re not all that unless we make fun of their ideas. Just battling the ideas is not enough. That accords them seriousness they don’t deserve.

          • OK dictionary Mock: to attack or treat with ridicule, contempt, or derision.

            I missed the gif post (I think). I suspect it would have have met the definition above and if you say it did I’m not going to dispute it.

            Then you got the Bible definition which is described here: http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-scoffers.html

            I suspect it doesn’t fall into that category.

            Regardless, why mock? Just tell the truth, try to make them think, take amusement when the try but sputter, and, most importantly, praise them when they succeed.

            • Wayne Blackburn

              Hmph. Was commenting below at the same time.

              Why mock? Because it lowers my blood pressure and raises theirs.

              • Wayne, I disagree.

                I feel I’ve succeeded when I get someone to actually listen to me and start questioning the premises they’ve been holding.

                If they truly can’t question (i.e. attempt to understand) the foundation of their beliefs, I just dismiss them. Why mock? It’s like making fun of someone who is retarded. I can’t do it.

                Now, one might respond by saying the above paragraph’s penultimate sentence is mocking. I would not it is but an honest description.

                • Wayne Blackburn

                  I always try to convince with evidence. But when they start the name calling, then they become fair game. If that’s not your style, fine, I’m not going to tell you that you should do the same as me, but when someone treats me like a moron just because I disagree with them, it’s ON.

                • Because, again, leftism is a positional good. Until you devalue it as such, it will get adherents who want to be seen as “smart” by the status quo, no matter how stupid the beliefs. It’s a fashion, and fashion doesn’t die from being stupid or wrong. It dies from being made fun of.

                • Mockery does serve a purpose, if I may invoke the purpose of a court fool. One of them was to make light of serious things, to get a point across that rarely sank in when more seriously presented. (wasn’t always safe, but job Hazzard just like being a Bard wasn’t always safe)

                  • Aye. I knew this when I came out of the political closet. OTOH weirdly, I think it lessens the chances of a shot to the back of the head in the middle of the night. I’m now too well known, and uncomfortable questions would be asked.
                    If things were to get that bad (I don’t think they will) I’m more likely to be “reeducated” now.

                    • I rather pity anyone who is assigned to “reeducate” you!

                    • They might decide to re-educate her by force. Y’know beatings, torture, electroshock, threats to her family etc. All tried and true examples of the Soviet method.

                  • Alinsky thought it effective, but unless you are without a soul I don’t think you can take it to the point where it really works, and even then it hurts your cause in the long run.

                    Ask yourself, you are facing someone sincerely espousing a remarkably stupid idea.What’s more effective, to laugh at him or ask him a lot of questions, and then demand bystanders hold him accountable for his answers?

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      But mockery can more fully bring out the hateful, maniacal side for all to see.

                    • Wayne, there are nuances here. Saying “Ha Ha Ha look at that stupid person” never works for what I think we want.

                      Satire, however, when properly done, is beautiful.

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      You’re still confusing mockery with name calling.

                      Taking that into consideration, you’re right. “You’re stupid,” isn’t all that effective.

                      On the other hand, saying, in the Baghdad, during the first significant snowfall in 100 years, while making a snowball, “Hey, Al Gore! i’ve got your Global Warming right here!” is pretty effective.

                    • On the other hand, saying, in the Baghdad, during the first significant snowfall in 100 years, while making a snowball, “Hey, Al Gore! i’ve got your Global Warming right here!” is pretty effective.

                      I guess the line for me would be ridiculing an idea or hypocrisy versus ridiculing a person just for holding an idea.

                      ManBearPig was funny but the goal wasn’t to make people think Al Gore was stupid but that the idea he was behind wasn’t, maybe, fully thought out.

                      I’ll grant that he looked stupid but only in a situational rather than inherent way as opposed to the attacks on Sarah Palin, Dubya etc.

                      As per the definition I posted somewhere, mocking would require attack i.e. an intent to destroy. If the intent is to reveal another side or some avoided truth, I would not call it mocking.

                    • Ah, but the skill of the Fool is in the invitation, through mockery to invite the target to laugh at themselves. There’s a line in there that many modern mockers cross. They invite others to laugh at the target, rather than include the target in the laughter. I’ve seen a skilled Fool bring up a delicate issue before a large crowd and succeed, through mocking the situation, in diffusing it. It takes skill and it is NOT a skill I have managed to develop personally. The fine line between mockery and complete derision is a difficult one to walk.

                    • Ah, but the skill of the Fool is in the invitation, through mockery to invite the target to laugh at themselves.

                      You got a point there, but we do have to take care of avoiding being fools with the lower-case f.

                    • Consider Marc Anthony’s oration at Caesar’s funeral. Mockery so pointed it pierced to the heart.

                    • I concur. Alas mockery that well placed is not a commonly found skill.

                    • When it’s worn as a fashion and clung to as a marker of the in-group? Absolutely mockery, not facts.

                      After all, “Don’t buy / wear / smoke that when going out with your friends / to the movies. It looks ridiculous / has health effects / will be cold for the weather.” Has almost never worked in generations of dealing with teenagers.

                      “Oh, wow. Honey, come look at what the kids are calling fashion! Do you remember when we were that young and stupid? Hah! She’s so determined to look cool her skin’s turning blue – and you can see every tawdry inch! Even the hookers on the next block have better sense when it gets this cold – they wear leggings!” …works really, really well compared to mere facts.

                    • I believe that Sarah wants to mock the fad, and make it unpopular. I agree with many of you, that applying facts to some individuals works. The faceless SJW’s online? Nope. Mock their models. Shown to be wrong, but still worshiped as a god.

                    • Josh A. Kruschke

                      Bill L.

                      This is not either or, or mutually exclusive. You can do both.

                      Mock while educating.

                      You are laughable and this is why.

                    • You mock me!!

                      Hence I dismiss you 🙂

                      Seriously, mocking is a pointless waste of time and all it does is burn bridges.

                    • Josh A. Kruschke

                      😉

                    • You mock me!!

                      Hence I dismiss you 🙂

                      If you’re worthy of mockery you’re going to dismiss me anyway.

                      It’s not you the mockery is aimed at.

                    • No. it’s the undecided others who would follow because “All the smart people do this.”

                    • As Larry Correia is fond of saying, argument is a spectator sport. It’s not the “true believer” you’re arguing with that you’re going to argue. Instead, your target is two groups: those who haven’t made up their minds, and those on your side (to show them they are not alone–a trap folk can fall into, or could back when the Left had a complete lock on the media).

                • Scroll up to the initial premise of Sarah’s post. When confronted by those who not only refuse to engage in reasoned argument but want to suppress opposition viewpoints, the remaining option is to mock such people, to strip them of the last veneer of legitimacy so that they become embarrassed to advocate such views. Mockery is the only tool sufficiently pointed to pierce their bubble.

                  Not all trolls are restricted to the online realm.

                  • refuse to engage in reasoned argument but want to suppress opposition viewpoints, the remaining option is to mock such people,

                    Again, I disagree. The action to take is not to let them suppress your viewpoint. It might be appropriate to point out their hypocrisy but even that isn’t as important or necessary than continuing to express the viewpoint they fear.

                    And fear is what they feel because what they believe is lies and truth upsets them far more than mocking.

                    So mocking remains a waste of time in my view.

                    If someone has the gift of satire great. But this means making people laugh at absurdity not hate someone.

                    • Your definition of mock is strange; not the one that you post, but the one that you seem to follow that says anything that is satire, amusing, or most of all effective; is de facto NOT mockery.

                    • that you seem to follow that says anything that is satire, amusing, or most of all effective; is de facto NOT mockery.

                      David Letterman mocks. In fact, that’s just about all he does. Does it meet your approval? If it were one of our side doing it one of theirs would it?

                      And mockery can be amusing and effective. Humor is not bad. And telling the truth about something ridiculous is obviously not bad. I guess I am trying to find the point to draw the line. How about if it makes you laugh at yourself it’s not mockery?

                    • Oh, bullsh*t. Pardon me, Bill, but you’re far afield. Yes, Letterman mocks. Do you know why he does it? Because it’s effective in selling an otherwise bankrupt philosophy.
                      What you’re saying is “we can’t use it because we’re better than that.” And you’re wrong. Not doing it because we hold ourselves to a standard they don’t is fighting with your foot in a bucket.
                      Now should we stoop to lying and personality destruction? No. But guess what? We don’t have to. They have enough that’s true and mockable. Why would you say “this we shall not do”? Do you perhaps enjoy “losing with honor”? I don’t. Not when it’s my kids’ future at stake.

                    • What you’re saying is “we can’t use it because we’re better than that.” And you’re wrong.

                      As I have said from time to time, the Marquis of Queensbury Rules are fine in a venue where you have narrow weight divisions to keep the competitors on relative parity and a referee who makes sure that both sides obey the rules. In a knife fight in an alley, they are a quick route to suicide.

                      Let this be a parable unto you.

                    • They have enough that’s true and mockable.

                      If it’s true, you don’t have to mock. And if you do mock it doesn’t help you get the truth out.

                      Do you perhaps enjoy “losing with honor”?

                      What you do is tell the truth. And when they mock you, you stand up again and tell the truth again. If you do that and don’t stop doing that are you ultimately going to win or are you going to lose?

                    • What you do is tell the truth. And when they mock you, you stand up again and tell the truth again. If you do that and don’t stop doing that are you ultimately going to win or are you going to lose?

                      With a public who is already primed to accept the other side’s arguments and hear your side only with skepticism, you will lose. You MUST knock them out of their comfort zone, or you are wasting your time.

                      You cannot rely on the rationality of the public. You must find a lever with which to pry them loose from their preconceptions, and simple truth will not do that, because people are not taught how to separate (frequently uncomfortable) truth from (usually comfortable-sounding) fiction.

                    • With a public who is already primed to accept the other side’s arguments and hear your side only with skepticism, you will lose. You MUST knock them out of their comfort zone, or you are wasting your time.

                      OK, why do you think mocking is the best way to do it?

                    • Bill, go back and read the blog post. Ignoring the many times your question has already been answered is trollish.

                    • It’s after 1 a.m. and this discussion has went in several directions from the OP.

                      But I don’t believe you have answered the question. Why do you, RES, think mocking is best way?

                    • Bill, I have no interest in reiterating my points for somebody who has refused to acknowledge them in the first place. I suggest you view Glenn Reynolds’ most recent Instavision video interview with Joel Kotkin and that you ponder the effect of what Kotkin terms the Cleresy.
                      http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=mpg&mpid=86&load=10292

                      I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding.”
                      — Samuel Johnson, Boswell’s “Life of Johnson”

                    • Josh A. Kruschke

                      Bill L., RES,

                      There is no right answer to this question. Mocking is only one of many rhetorical devices for getting our points across.

                      We can use what ever fits our style, and that we feel will work best in the different situations we find ourselves in.

                      I’m going to link this here:

                      http://macyoungsmusings.blogspot.com/2014/08/bleacher-thinking-yay-us-boo-them.html

                      It’s a thought experiment and part of it is reading it, work through it and pass it on to those who might needed it.

                      Our own blindspots they’re a bitch to get a look at and a handle on.

                      Some questions:

                      What is the Goal? – What do I want to achieve?

                      Is what I’m doing working? – Am I getting the results I desire?

                      Plans do not survive contact with the opposition, so I wouldn’t fall in love with the plan to the point of being inflexible (IMO).

                    • Because once you make people laugh, they are more likely to remember and think about what you’ve said, especially if it made the premise that the other person was talking about appear foolish.

                    • OK by mocking you mean holding someone up to laughing derision and contempt for having an idea.

                      Now, I think it appropriate to hold people in derision and contempt for having certain ideas but they should never be laughed at. I don’t say that because I’m trying to be a nice guy. It’s that those who hold such ideas should be taken seriously like snakes and scorpions. If you are laughing at them you are not taking them that way.

                    • The Truth mocks lies. It mocks them with a sharp edge you are trying to dull. You already conceded my point that a Fool’s job, which you agreed was MOCKERY, was to invite the mocked to laugh at themselves and see the truth that they would not otherwise have seen without the mockery of the lies, delusions, illusions, and other baggage they otherwise brought with them. You keep redefining mockery in it’s usage. You have been given several examples, with which you agreed, yet you still claim mockery is not effective. Mockery can sharpen the truth even as legends and myths make it more palatable to swallow. Which tool you use depends on your personal skill and the situation. If you, yourself, cannot effectively use mockery, but do not deny others the use of a well sharpened saw simply because your wrists gave out and you can’t hold it.

                    • The Truth mocks lies. It mocks them with a sharp edge you are trying to dull.

                      We are talking about different things. Is sarcasm mocking? Irony? Is showing something to be conclusively false to the point where the one holding the view looks ridiculous mockery?

                      You seem to be saying that every means of pointing out flaws in an argument is mockery or alll use of humor (or sarcasm or irony) to do so is mockery. If you think I’m objecting to the use of humor etc. of course you are going tot think I’m wrong.

                      Now, is holding someone up to derision for taking a political position — which I think you can distill my view to — effective.

                      For our side which seeks a unified, proud nation with maximum freedom, I don’t think so.

                      For the other side, which wants division and shame, maybe.

                      If you want to take a utilitarian position, how do you feel about lies? Lies are very effective. A lot more so than mockery. I don’t think Letterman, the mocker, has been anywhere near as useful to the cause of progressivism as Cronkite the liar.

                      So should we start telling lies about our enemies?

                      And to further clarify and so we stop talking past each other regarding definitions, do you find it acceptable to for the use of organized derision against someone for taking a political position?

                    • I think the organized derision of the position can be very effective. Which is a distinction you have refused to make. You have rejected every single specific example of mockery, especially the effective ones, because it didn’t cross your threshold of cruelty. Mockery is not inherently vicious. It is pointed. It is a tool. Like all tools, if you use it wrongly it us ineffective. It is priceless for getting through to the unthinking and kick starting thought so that facts can take hold.

                      Lies are not the same as mockery. Mockery is at its strongest when it is grounded in truth. The two are not analogous. Mockery is a delivery method lies are content. Cronkite was respected, his methods serious. Had lies he told been mocked publicly, consistently, and efficiently they would have been less effective and so would he

                    • Mockery is a tool. Like all tools, it can be used for good or ill. To highlight truth, or obscure it.

                    • Oh, indeed, and it can be used effectively or ineffectively. It doesn’t have to be overt. Subtle mockery can be devastatingly effective.

                    • I think the organized derision of the position can be very effective. Which is a distinction you have refused to make.

                      But you misread me. I didn’t say position and I didn’t say it was ineffective for someone wanting to create division and shame.

                      Regarding debating a position, organized derision is lazy hence far less effective than knowing facts and standing up for them. Further, there is a great danger in backfire as while you are laughing you could find out that you are wrong, or even worse, they could be quietly working to solidify their hold on the high ground.

                      You were in the military. Was that what you were trained to do, laugh at the enemy?

                      And how do you feel about organized derision at “someones”?

                      You have rejected every single specific example of mockery, especially the effective ones,

                      I noted that those disputing me are calling just about every effective means of dispute mockery.

                      Lies are not the same as mockery.

                      But what if they both work?

                      Mockery is at its strongest when it is grounded in truth.

                      If you have to organize the derision you better triple check that you have the truth because there is a good chance you don’t, else you could simply tell it.

                      Cronkite was respected, his methods serious. Had lies he told been mocked publicly, consistently, and efficiently they would have been less effective and so would he

                      He was immune to mocking just as Reagan was. Now, if rather than laugh derisively at Cronkite, you coldly and definitively exposed his lies, that would have had an effect.

                    • You were in the military. Was that what you were trained to do, laugh at the enemy?

                      Bill – you really want to look a lot deeper into this.

                      Actually, yes we were, it’s something that’s been part of military culture since before Leonidas. Football players talking crap to each other across the line is just carrying on the same tradition.

                      And we certainly were not taught to rationally debate – after all, “a rational army would run away”.

                      War is perhaps one of the most bizarre alloys of reason and raw emotion you will ever find. Our job is to not so much to kill the enemy as it is to destroy his will to fight. To induce blood and pissing fear into him (preferably before anyone’s shooting, but sadly even Sun Tzu rarely had a chance to win a war before it was actually fought…). To make him give up by inducing pain and suffering upon him, his land, his people, his family, by burning his fields and his homes.

                      ………


                      You have rejected every single specific example of mockery, especially the effective ones,

                      I noted that those disputing me are calling just about every effective means of dispute mockery.

                      Just because the majority says you’re wrong doesn’t make them right – but if you think this is a pattern, you may want to evaluate your definition of mockery, rhetoric, and dialectic…..

                    • Just because the majority says you’re wrong doesn’t make them right – but if you think this is a pattern, you may want to evaluate your definition of mockery, rhetoric, and dialectic…..

                      Should we adopt a policy of organized personal derision?

                    • Look -you’ve already displayed vast, vast ignorance on a couple topics here, and then you sidestepped one or more points that undercut your argument.

                      I’ll grant you credit and consider that you may have missed my other reply which, lightly edited, was:

                      I think you’re failing to distinguish/parse between “making a policy of using mockery when appropriate” and “making a policy of mockery (organized personal derision)”

                      I have a policy that some people deserve to be shot – in that vein I have a policy of shooting people. It doesn’t mean that’s my first or only tool.

                      And please – If you haven’t served, if you haven’t grown up listening to veterans tales, please for gods sake read Starship Troopers and the entirety of Kratmans Carerra series, and sit and really THINK about all of it. Read “On Killing” – Grossman is out to lunch on a couple aspects but there’s still a lot to pay attention to. Read “Gates of Fire.”

                    • I’ll grant you credit and consider that you may have missed my other reply which, lightly edited, was: . . .I think you’re failing to distinguish/parse between “making a policy of using mockery when appropriate” and “making a policy of mockery (organized personal derision)”

                      Well thank you granting me credit as I was in the process of writing a response to that post in which I actually was going to concede a point.

                      You’re saying that organized personal derision is effective in war. Should we do that in policy debates? I’m guessing you are saying when appropriate. As this is supposed to be organized what would be the parameters?

                      How about mocking people behind their backs? Are you OK with that. Should we adopt battlefield conditions for civilian disputes? Lies are OK in war, right?

                    • You’re welcome.

                      I was once at a stage in my life where I thought it was possible to define a set of rules that everybody could peaceably and agreeably live under. Reality intruded, and I realized that Utopias were just a fantasy. Some sets of rules – those based around “leave people alone” – tend to work better than others, but there still has to be enforcement, and the distributed nature of the problems and crimes then requires the enforcement be distributed as well, down to the individual, moral level.

                      Violence, including verbal and psychological, is a fact of life. Mockery, guns, and hay scythes are tools that can be misused.

                      The problem is that in the realm of emotions, people don’t rationally follow laws. Instinct, baseline personality, etc. rule the day. Fighting at that level, people’s feelings DO get hurt. Civilized people avoid it when possible, are ruthless when necessary, and magnanimous and forgiving when its over. But you don’t help yourself or anyone else by taking the easy path and not offending, just as it’s easy for a bully to cause drama by taking offense at everything by playing the victim. The latter is also psychological violence – and as his or her supporters gather round, will not be stopped by sweet reason.

                      So no – I’m not going to lay out any rules for exactly when and where. I believe in civility and decency, and I believe in the iterated prisoners dilemma – where the best move is to punish those who transgress until they stop, even if it means personal hardship. Being a doormat is worse.

                      I’m going to refer to ESR twice more here.

                      One – read “Ethics from the barrel of a gun” . Going about consciously armed and prepared to do violence also engenders an awareness of how easily that violence can be done to you. People describe a state called “The Zen of Carry” where stuff that would have pissed them off is simply shrugged off, because they now walk with a talisman reminding them of where they can lead, and their line for “mud the dealt with with counterforce” shifts – and so we see one of many examples where being prepared to fight leads to LESS violence, because both parties are less likely to engage.

                      The second is the term “Kafkatrap” (another essay by him). It’s one of the more evil rhetorical devices. THAT and its ilk are deserving of nothing but mockery and contempt, for its employment demonstrates an unwillingness or inability to accept reason.

                    • Standards are necessary.

                      You said this: I have a policy that some people deserve to be shot – in that vein I have a policy of shooting people. It doesn’t mean that’s my first or only tool.

                      You are comparing lethal force to destructive derision. I agree.

                      Lethal force is nothing to be celebrated. It’s not be encouraged, in fact it is something to be strongly encouraged to avoid.

                      I grant, though, that sometimes it is necessary.

                      If you say the same thing about destructive derision, we are simpatico.

                      Simpatico?

                    • Good heavens in the love of holy…
                      Bill — no one said anything about DESTRUCTIVE derision. In fact, the thing on being able to mock was a side-step to being able to “disrespect”. My whole point was “A cat can look at a king.”
                      You went on a side tangent about mocking being evil, which it f*cking well isn’t. It’s a tool. How you apply it is good or bad, but it’s not anything IN ITSELF.

                      You seem unable to distinguish irony and juxtaposing of irrational ideas (which I do a LOT in this blog) from schoolyard name calling.

                      And now you want people to admit that “destructive” mockery (by whose saying? Yours?) is off the table.

                      If you hadn’t been commenting here a long time you’d have been banned 14 posts ago, for obvious trollish obsessive behavior and trying to make people feel bad about even considering laughing at the left.

                      I mean conflating mocking the left with the scoffers of the Bible is classic — who is the god whose works we should not mock? Obama?

                      You have brought me to the swearing point which people who’ve been here longer than you know is very, very rare to non-trolls.

                      Because you’ve been here a while and been well behaved, (relatively) I’m going to assume you simply lack a sense of humor (you don’t seem to get RES’s) and therefore want humor banned, period.

                      Don’t like it, don’t use it. Now drop the subject, because you’re engaging in concern trolldom and demoralizing those who need all their courage to continue fighting.

                    • Thank you, Sarah. I’ve been chewing on my tongue and being very restrained and the strain was getting to me. 😉

                    • Thank you, I think. I feel so bad whenever I lose my cool, that I was already angsting about it.

                    • One minor point of order, if I may be permitted.

                      Sarah has implied I have a sense of humour. This is not true. I used to have a sense of humour but it long ago got sick and died. I now have but the ghost of a sense of humour. (Okay, three ghosts, actually: the ghost of humour past, the ghost of humour present, and the ghost of humour yet to come.)

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Well my Sense Of Humor is evidence for “Resurrection of the Dead”. It was murdered before I reached High School but has gotten better. [Smile]

                    • No wonder I find myself shrieking (with glee? terror? Can we tell the difference?) at some of your posts.

                    • Bill — no one said anything about DESTRUCTIVE derision. In fact, the thing on being able to mock was a side-step to being able to “disrespect”. My whole point was “A cat can look at a king.”

                      Sarah it is a whole long way from the OP.

                      trying to make people feel bad about even considering laughing at the left.

                      And that is unfair.

                    • I prefer a policy of ad hoc derision — it better fosters inventiveness.

                      As for the issue of it being “personal” — because those we deride are prone to conflate the personal and ideational, it is difficult to do otherwise. The goal is delegitimization of certain stances, such as the proposal that the science is settled (that’s what they told Pasteur) or any dissent from Orthodoxy must be crushed (that’s what they told Martin Luther.)

                    • As for the issue of it being “personal” — because those we deride are prone to conflate the personal and ideational, it is difficult to do otherwise. The goal is delegitimization of certain stances, such as the proposal that the science is settled (that’s what they told Pasteur) or any dissent from Orthodoxy must be crushed (that’s what they told Martin Luther.)

                      It was deeds and reason not mocking that caused Pasteur and Luther to triumph. In the process Luther did a bit of mocking — in fact, if he weren’t a protestant you could call him the patron saint of it — and I would suspect that Pasteur did the same as human nature is human nature, but any mocking they did was irrelevant to their success.

                      The Ninety-Five Theses is reason not mocking.

                    • The casual way in which you misread the point engenders despair of your comprehension. The examples of Pasteur and Luther were not illustrative of the effect of mockery. They were demonstration of methods of mocking the illustrated theses: that science is settled or that dissent is impermissible.

                      Derision, organized and ad hoc, has a long noble history in warfare.

                    • but any mocking they did was irrelevant to their success.

                      Because you say so?

                    • Was that what you were trained to do, laugh at the enemy?

                      Consider:
                      “When the fuhrer says we is the master race
                      We’ll heil pthpthptht heil pthpthptht
                      Right in the fuhrer’s face.”

                      And many more.

                      Mocking the enemy, both in the military and on the homefront has a long and hallowed tradition.

                    • I don’t have a sense of humor, I have humours.

                  • Where’d the reply links go? Guess they disappear at a certain level of replies. Anyway, this is for dgarsys:
                    “Some sets of rules – those based around “leave people alone” – tend to work better than others, but there still has to be enforcement, and the distributed nature of the problems and crimes then requires the enforcement be distributed as well, down to the individual, moral level.”

                    Great (and concise) explanation, and one I plan to memorize so I can internalize it. (My explanations generally end up overly detailed and with the listener’s eyes glazing over.) Thanks, dgarsys.

            • Because Leftism is a positional good. If you prove it wrong but don’t ridicule it, they will still use it as a positional good. They must be abashed.

              Scoff and mock are not the same. I will not be held to Shakespeare’s translation mistakes.

              • They must be abashed.

                Which is impossible for the hardcore to be. It’s the bystanders you are fighting for.

                Rush Limbaugh, who I like, does a lot of mocking. I think it’s backfired on him.

                • Exactly so!
                  You’re not after the true believer ™, what you want is to cause a meltdown in their argument that will expose their true nature to the undecided observers.
                  Regarding the Kennedy incident, he and his security team actually laid hands on a female reporter for simply asking the wrong questions. Of course she was a PJTV reporter, so I guess they figured she had it coming to her.

                  • BINGO.

                    The reporter looked great. Kennedy looked like we’d expect to look (and ditto for Bernie Sanders)

                    Progressive followers are either young or very stupid (and that’s not mocking)

                    The leaders are greedy, power-hungry and filled with hate and they laugh at the dupes behind them.

                • Nope. He’d be crucified no matter what.

                • Wayne Blackburn

                  I think that Rush’s mocking is mostly NOT backfiring on him. Where he gets into trouble is when he does these multi-day hoax claims that are only funny if you’re a dedicated listener. And when he spouts off about science articles before he has someone explain them to him, because he frequently gets his understanding of them so wrong it’s painful.

                  The rest of any “backfiring” is at the behest of the attack dogs of the Left, who can’t stand him being so popular, but he’s laughing all the way to the bank at them.

                  • He is doing great money wise and he is generally effective.

                    However, his effectiveness isn’t the mocking but because he is accurate, provides reliable information, and, most importantly, not afraid “to speak truth to power”.

                    And I do think he has lost a step, which is understandable after 20 years.

                  • Mostly what is “backfiring” on Limbaugh are things he has never actually said, things his enemies (enemies, not foes) have taken out of context and deliberately contorted and misquoted.

                    Just as with Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin, who have not so much said stupid things as others have made up stupid sayings and attributed those sayings to them.

                    • The latest attempt is this “stop Rush” campaign using social media. I think that Rush’s people killed that by pointing out that the attacks on the small businesses were just ten people operating out of their basements being paid by Media Matters. Now it doesn’t matter even if a real grassroots campaign were to happen(not likely) because Rush can legitimately say that it’s just a couple people in their basements.

            • Blessed are they who point and make duck noises, for they shall humble the unthinking left.

        • Wayne Blackburn

          Unless I’m misunderstanding you (highly possible), then I think you’re misunderstanding what mocking is. It can be a bit of a slippery definition, but seldom is calling names mockery. Mockery is things like repeating someone’s words in an overly dramatic way, or repeating their words as a question, then laughing uproariously, in order to show how foolish you think their statements are. Or taking their statements and projecting them out to insane lengths (“Global warming? Oh, my, we’ll all be walking around in short pants with no shirts. I really don’t want to see Mr. Jenkins like that.”)

          Calling names just shows that you’ve gotten them flustered and angry. Mockery is when you’re having fun with them.

          • Yes. Mockery is making a note of an unusually cold winter and spring, and then asking “where’s that global warming they promised us?”

            • My favorite “I should have voted for Al Gore. He PROMISED global warming.”

            • No, that’s not mockery.

              Mockery is turning someone into a punchline for a joke.

              Q. What do you call a stupid person?
              A. Sarah Palin
              HAHAHAHA

              Q. What you call a really stupid person.
              A. A Sarah Palin supporter.
              HAHAAHAHA

              That’s mockery. That’s bad. I can’t do it.

              • Bill, you’re using a idiosyncratic version of mockery that doesn’t accord with reality.
                That’s not mockery or joke or witticism. It’s not even pointing and making duck noises. It’s naked social signaling. And it should be mocked.

                • Sarah, that is exactly mockery: i.e. to attack or treat with ridicule, contempt, or derision http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/mock

                  I’d even go so far as to say wit is an indication that mockery is absent as it is usually most apparent in defense than the attack.

                  • There may be a difference between attacking/ridiculing an IDEA or expression thereof, vs. attacking/ridiculing a PERSON. Mid-mock, it’s sometimes hard to differentiate…

                    • As the debate unfolds, I think I’m sticking with my original point. Mocking is at worst counter-productive and at best a unwise allocation of resources, and always the lazy way out.

                      I’ve noted ManBearPig, which I though was hilarious. What happened? Global warmers kept marching and winning. Do they mock? No, they take this garbage with deadly, boring seriousness.

                      Instead of mocking, take what the say seriously and call them on it on there terms. They can’t back it up. They are wrong. And then attack, but not with mocking but by applying the consequences of they having discredited themselves to the arena of power and influence.

                      Don’t mock them, just pat them on the head, say, quite seriously, that they are children and it is adults that must run things.

                    • Wayne Blackburn

                      OK, in order to head off a notice from Sarah that it’s gone on long enough, I’m going to stop here. We’re clearly never going to reach a meeting of minds on definitions.

                    • The strategy you advocate fails when the enemy controls the high ground. The MSM ensures that Adherents of the Church of AGW will not be held accountable, will not have to answer questions, will bear no cost for not answering questions and, when their answers make no sense will not have their nonsense pointed out. Recall the treatment of Mitt Romney by supposedly neutral debate moderator Candy Crowley. Heck, consider the number of political debates you’ve seen where the questions asked only made sense if you accepted an invalid premise.

                    • Recall the treatment of Mitt Romney by supposedly neutral debate moderator Candy Crowley.

                      How would mocking Candy Crowley be a better strategy than coldly rejecting her in the first place?

                    • She doesn’t care if you coldly reject it. She expects it. But if you make fun of her “save” it will get the people about to go over to that side because “they’re so competent.”

                    • She doesn’t care if you coldly reject it. She expects it

                      You think if the Romney campaign rejected her as a mod, she wouldn’t care? You think if the GOP power brokers said they wanted nothing to do with her she wouldn’t care?

                      Actually, if our leaders coldly rejected her and her ilk, it wouldn’t matter whether she cared or not because she would have never been the mod.

                    • Had the esteemed and respected veteran journalist Candy Crowlry been denied the opportunity granted so many men it would have been proof of Romney’s anti-woman agenda, a demonstration of his hostility to women’s success and grounds for the president, committed to the advancement of women in all areas of modern life, to refuse a debate that he needed far less than did Romney.

                      Or they would have brought in another moderator candidate equally corrupt if more adroit.

                    • You think if the Romney campaign rejected her as a mod, she wouldn’t care? You think if the GOP power brokers said they wanted nothing to do with her she wouldn’t care?

                      Talk about backfiring, the ad copy just writes itself: “Romney runs away from debate.” “Romney afraid of debate with neutral moderator Cathey Crowley.” And so on.

                      The fix was in. There was no way Romney was going to get a truly impartial moderator. Wasn’t going to happen. So short of refusing to debate entirely (who do you think would benefit from a lack of debates, an incumbent with a compliant media or a challenger?) what’s left?

                      Getting the best deal one could for debate terms and then fiercely mocking the partisanship of the “moderator” was the best that one could pull out of that situation.

                      Again, Crowley wasn’t the target, not the one intended to be influenced. It was people _watching_.

                    • a) I think we can agree that the term “mock” is sufficiently broadly defined that this discussion could be extended ad infinitum. I trust we can agree that mockery targeted at bad ideas is far more effective than mockery targeted at the people promoting those bad ideas.

                      b) One reason the Left and the MSM (but I repeat myself) so hated Ronald Reagan was his ability to let them stack the deck, deal him marked cards and still he would win.

                      c) One reason Bill Clinton (and now Obama) so infuriates conservatives is the refusal to engage conservative ideas/arguments seriously but instead to misrepresent those in order to dismiss them.

                    • b) One reason the Left and the MSM (but I repeat myself) so hated Ronald Reagan was his ability to let them stack the deck, deal him marked cards and still he would win.

                      c) One reason Bill Clinton (and now Obama) so infuriates conservatives is the refusal to engage conservative ideas/arguments seriously but instead to misrepresent those in order to dismiss them.

                      Mocking didn’t work against Reagan, Clinton or Obama, and none of those guys used mocking to succeed. I sure wish someone though asked James Carville when he made his remark about the $100 bill through the trailer park if he was calling Paula Jones a prostitute. Or if he was saying that he was definitively calling her a liar. Or if he felt that the federal sexual harassment laws should be repealed. It would have been real interesting to watch his response.

                      Regarding Obama, I wish someone would come along and explain how knocking a dollar a gallon off the cost of gasoline means you don’t have to worry about having to figure out how your are going to replace your refrigerator or that you can rent that house for a week at the shore.

                      We don’t need David Letterman. We need Milton Friedman.

                    • Had anyone asked that question of Carville it would have disappeared down the memory hole faster than you could say lese majeste. That’s the beauty of controlling the terms of engagement.

                      It is too late in the game to attempt to arbitrate the coin toss.

                    • That’s the beauty of controlling the terms of engagement.

                      So why do you think mocking would work? If a mocker mocks in the forest and nobody hears it does it make a sound.

                      If Carville definitely called Paula Jones a prostitute or liar, he would have been subject to legal action and personal grief from which the media could not protect him.

                    • Mocking didn’t work against Reagan, Clinton or Obama, and none of those guys used mocking to succeed.

                      “There you go again.”

                      And can you honestly say that the incessant mockery of Dan Quayle in 1992 and Sarah Palin in 2008, or Chevy Chase’s mockery of Gerald Ford for that matter, were not factors in the respective elections?

                    • And Obama didn’t use mockery? Since when? It was crude and stupid, but I’ll remind you of the finger to the face.

                    • You think Obama’s finger on the cheek helped him?

                      Okaaay. Imagine if the Republican did that. Would the media have covered it up like it did for 0 or put it on every front page?

                      Obama won because he promised hope and change and the media backed the narrative.

                    • And can you honestly say that the incessant mockery of Dan Quayle in 1992 and Sarah Palin in 2008, or Chevy Chase’s mockery of Gerald Ford for that matter, were not factors in the respective elections?

                      I think I can say with confidence that if the mocking didn’t happen the results would have been the same. Ford almost lost the primary, for Pete’s sake.

                      I will grant you that media propaganda is a big influence but the problem isn’t the mocking but lies of commission and omission it does.

                    • Indeed. “I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” – Reagan again, talking about Walter Mondale.

                      There are ideas and modes of thinking that are worthy of mockery. Not to respond appropriately to them gives them respect they do not deserve.

                      I can tell this is a sore subject for Bill. I’d suggest that if it’s not a talent he has, he shouldn’t try to use it. It used to be a talent of mine, until I quashed it good and hard for reasons I thought good and sufficient, and it’s one I don’t use any more. But there is a time and a place for laughing at silly, dangerous, inconsistent, ludicrous, unreal ideas, and boy howdy, we should have been doing this YEARS ago. Enthusiastically. Loudly. In public. And without fear.

                      Once again, I feel compelled to go back to C. S. Lewis’ Learning in Wartime. (Dagnabit. I am so shaking my fist right now. I hate the sense of obligation I get every time I read it. And yet…) And while the context is perhaps a little different, the principle stands.

                      But, as it is, a cultural life will exist outside the Church whether it exists inside or not. To be ignorant and simple now — not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground — would be to throw down our weapons, and the(sic) betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen.

                      It’s all fine and good to determine the terms under which you yourself will wage your war on error, and I wish us all good luck in that fight. I hope that no one’s offended if I or anyone else elects not to let others dictate our tactics. We all have different ways of reaching people, and my way may reach people that you cannot, and vice versa.

                      I love listening to Jonah Goldberg, because he mocks things that I agree are worthy of mockery. Humorous criticism is effective. If it wasn’t the other side wouldn’t be using it.

                      If some think this approach is unworthy, or not Christian, or mean, or something like that, you may have a point. It can sometimes be mean. But I’m reminded of the example of Elijah the prophet at Mount Carmel. And immediately after mocking the priests of Baal, (yell louder! Maybe he’s sleeping!) he called down fire from Heaven.

                      So there’s that.

                    • Look, I’ve been asked not to comment but I’m going to say this:

                      When I hear “mock” I think Jon Stewart, David Letterman and high school bullies.

                      Others maybe think of witty repartee from the Gipper or Ben Franklin.

                      I have no problem with humor or barbed responses. I have a big problem with destroying my political opponents albeit even then someone can probably find me an exception.

                      So I’ll leave it at that.

                    • If you think Reagan didn’t mock his opponents, you weren’t paying attention. The thing is that he was so smooth about it that it sounded so gentle no one complained too loudly, but then it would bite in after people chewed on it a while.

                      As for Clinton and Obama, they don’t need to do the mocking. They have legions to do it for them, so they can claim to have their hands clean.

                    • And in 08 no one could mock Obama and be heard. The media clamped down shut. In 12 it worked somewhat, but the main guys wouldn’t do it, so it wasn’t that reported.

                    • If you think Reagan didn’t mock his opponents, you weren’t paying attention. The thing is that he was so smooth about it that it sounded so gentle no one complained too loudly, but then it would bite in after people chewed on it a while.

                      Telling the truth about things that are ridiculous is not the same as ridicule (i.e. mocking).

                      Definition for ridicule: the subjection of someone or something to contemptuous and dismissive language or behavior.

                      Did Reagan ever subject anyone to contemptuous or dismissive language?

                    • Did Reagan ever subject anyone to contemptuous or dismissive language?

                      There you go again.

                    • There you go again.

                      I think you need to put a finer point on it for Bill.

                      Bill: That line above is a quote from Reagan during a debate. It is, indeed, contemptuous and dismissive. But it is, as I said, a subtle one which gets in the head and rattles around later. This is why Reagan was called, “The Great Communicator”, because he had the skill to use insults that didn’t come to full fruition in the mind of the listener until after they had thought about it for a while.

                    • It is, indeed, contemptuous and dismissive.

                      it sounded so gentle no one complained

                      You cannot be gentle and contemptuous. Dismissive? OK, but are we really talking about an off-the-cuff one-liner made during battle. Would you really say Reagan was a mocker? He treated his adversaries with charity.

                      You want to take the position we can mock with charity? I’ll go with that.

                    • Bill, there you go again …

                    • I’m not the only one it seems.

                    • Tsk, Bill. Mockery? From you?

                    • RES, I’m not mocking you but I seem to be the one getting under your skin so I’m going to bed.

                      So until tomorrow.

                    • Under my skin?

                      No wonder you don’t understand the effectiveness of mockery; you don’t recognise it when your arguments receive it.

                    • No wonder you don’t understand the effectiveness of mockery; you don’t recognise it when your arguments receive it

                      I understand you got upset 🙂

                      And I wasn’t mocking you.

                    • If you “understand” I got upset then you understand me not at all.

                      And if you were not mocking me then I pity the fool.

                    • Mocking didn’t work against Reagan, Clinton or Obama, and none of those guys used mocking to succeed.

                    • The leaders WON’T reject her. And the Republicans had already accepted her as a moderator. She’d already done her thing.

                    • Crowley is an example of forced choice, the technique whereby a prestidigitator predetermines what card the victim will draw. If not Crowley there would have been somebody equally biased. That is why the Left’s MSM hammerlock needs to be ended. And that is why the technique of asking questions fails. The authority to ask questions is reserved by the Left, and any effort by conservatives to demand answers is denounced (as young Kennedy demonstrates) as illegitimate.

                      You are not asking questions, you are challenging settled science, attempting to derail efforts to preserve the environment and must be silenced lest the volcano god get angry.

                    • The authority to ask questions is reserved by the Left

                      Don’t you think it’s about time we rejected that premise?

                    • Our rejection of that premise is not sufficient.

                    • We have to make THEM reject it, by making the premiss and the authority RIDICULOUS. Which is all we can do from our position of LACK of media power.

                    • I was under the impression that the entire premise of today’s blog post is that they believe we deserve to be mprisoned or slain for rejecting that premise about who gets to ask questions.

                      Bill: Where’s your data on that?
                      Mann: Shut up, you’re a hatey hate h8er.
                      Audience: Yeah, shut up you bad person.

                    • I was under the impression that the entire premise of today’s blog post is that they believe we deserve to be mprisoned or slain for rejecting that premise about who gets to ask questions.

                      Bill: Where’s your data on that?
                      Mann: Shut up, you’re a hatey hate h8er.
                      Audience: Yeah, shut up you bad person.

                      Could it work this way:

                      Mann: Those who disagree with me should be slain or imprisoned.
                      Me: Did you really just say those who disagree with you should be slain or imprisoned?
                      Mann: YES I DID!!
                      Audience: Whooa. You are a whackjob.

                    • No, Bill, that it wouldn’t work like that is the entire premise of the arguments challenging your position. More likely it would work like:

                      Mann: Those who disagree with me should be slain or imprisoned.
                      Me: Did you really just say those who disagree with you should be slain or imprisoned?
                      Mann: What ought we do about people whose denial of a clear and imminent threat to the entire planet and whose obstruction of reasonable precautions risks the death and destruction of us all?
                      Audience: Stone the heretic!!!

                    • No, Bill, that it wouldn’t work like that is the entire premise of the arguments challenging your position. More likely it would work like:

                      Mann: Those who disagree with me should be slain or imprisoned.
                      Me: Did you really just say those who disagree with you should be slain or imprisoned?
                      Mann: What ought we do about people whose denial of a clear and imminent threat to the entire planet and whose obstruction of reasonable precautions risks the death and destruction of us all?
                      Audience: Stone the heretic!!!

                      In that case it would be:

                      Mann: Those who disagree with me should be slain or imprisoned.
                      Me: Did you really just say those who disagree with you should be slain or imprisoned?
                      Mann: What ought we do about people whose denial of a clear and imminent threat to the entire planet and whose obstruction of reasonable precautions risks the death and destruction of us all?
                      Me: Did you really just say those who disagree with you should be slain or imprisoned?

                      And then the audience gets to make their choice.

                      Hey, better men than me have gotten stoned for speaking out, so if we have reached that point we’ve reached that point.

                      But how does mocking help?

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      IMO people are “talking past each other”.

                    • Well, our “leaders” rejection of it.

                    • What pissed me off the most about that debate actually wasn’t the debate, but how clearly Jon Stewart flushed any sense of integrity down the memory hole.

                      Not a week or two before, he’d roundly mocked Obama for never admitting the Benghazi affair was terrorism related, for not admitting it for WEEKS.

                      After that debate, Stewart was all about how Obama schooled Romney, because Obama actually DID use the word terror…. once… in the context of “act causing fear / etc.” – made clear by the constant stream of official statements that terrorism had nothing to do with it – despite Romney clearly using it in the context of “didn’t admit it was an act of terrorism as political and bloody warfare…”

                    • @Bill Lawrence – there’s an ESR post somewhere where he comes to the realization that the only way to break through to someone was mockery, related to gun control.

                    • dgarsys –there’s an ESR post somewhere where he comes to the realization that the only way to break through to someone was mockery, related to gun control.

                      Oh, I reject that totally. What turned the tide on gun control was hard facts via diligent research by Gray Kleck and John Lott.

                    • Bill – when you’re at the point of rejecting first person testimony of what worked -mockery, not reasoned debate – from a reputable source, plus a lot of other anecdotal and collected wisdom, I think you need to recalibrate your definitions.

                      I agree that mockery in the sense that Jon Stewart and Colbert do it – look at those stupid people – is bad. They don’t even mock them for what they truly think, but for straw man representations. It’s mean and spiteful, and does not reveal truth by exposing something truly ridiculous for what it is.

                      But using ridicule to expose truth? That is indeed different.

                    • Dgarby’s what is ESR? I do not reject the claim that someone won a debate on a website about gun control via mocking.

                      I’m saying the national debate turned on research.

                    • ESR, etc…..

                      ESR is Eric S Raymond – open source programmer, and very well known in those circles.

                      Found the article, but first, some info for understanding: There are two main modes of debate – Dialectic, and Rhetoric. Dialectic is logic and reason, but its weakness is that for it to be effective, the other person has to be honestly engaging you on the rational level.

                      If not, you have to get through at the level of emotion. To open him up to listening to reason. You cannot successfully engage a person operating in rhetoric (which “progressives” often think is logical by making references to so called authority, etc..) or convince the audience without engaging in rhetoric yourself. Emotion runs at a deeper level than reason.

                      One of the tools to do this is indeed mockery.

                      From “We are not sheep”: http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=1029

                      I listened to the others on the channel offer polite, reasoned, factually correct counterarguments to this guy, and get nowhere. And suddenly…suddenly, I understood why. It was because the beliefs the ignoramus was spouting were only surface structure; refuting them one-by-one could do no good without directly confronting the substructure, the emotional underpinnings that made ignoramus unable to consider or evaluate counter-evidence.

                      The need, here, was to undermine that substructure. And I saw the way to do it. This is what I said:

                      “You speak, but I hear only the bleating of a sheep. Your fear gives power to your enemies.”

                      Ignoramus typed another sentence of historical ignorance. My reply was “Baa! Baa! Baaaaa!”

                      And another. My reply was more sheep noises, more deliberate mockery. And you know what? A few rounds of this actually worked. Ignoramus protested that he wasn’t a sheep. At which point I asked him “Then why are you disarmed?”

                      *CRACK*

                      The conversation afterwards was completely different, and ended up with ignoramus speculating about meeting with one of our regulars in his area to do things with firearms.

                      I learned a valuable lesson last night. I’m not normally a fan of mockery and attacks on a man’s character over reasoned argument. But when the real issue is in fact the man’s character – specifically, when the issue is where he fits in terms of Dave Grossman’s seminal essay on sheep, wolves and sheepdogs – then that’s the level on which the argument has to be conducted.

                      For what it’s worth – one should also consider the value of pain. I too used to think laughing at people was inherently mean and causing people emotional pain could never be justified ( how I squared that with willing to apply violence for self defense? Well… I didn’t).

                      Pain is a tool. We use distress to learn. Hot stoves teach us to be wary of fire. Falls and bruises and even broken bones on old-style playgrounds teach us both our limits, and how to push and expand them. Breaking down a recruit is done so he can be part of the team.

                      Mocking someone may cause them pain. is it in service of the truth and highlighting it? To bring them into the fold? Or is it to exclude and say “look how stupid they are you don’t want to be with them.”?

                    • dgarsys, good post and good example. I’m still going to hold that making a policy of mockery, as per Alinsky, is unwise and should be avoided.

                      The fellow who wrote that post didn’t seem to plan his response, and I don’t think he did something wrong. I think he did something right, in fact.

                      But if we adopt a policy of organized derision, I think we are going to become people we don’t like very much and just as damningly we are going to lose.

                      The NRA is a great model for victory. How much mocking do they do?

                    • dgarsys, good post and good example. I’m still going to hold that making a policy of mockery, as per Alinsky, is unwise and should be avoided.

                      The fellow who wrote that post didn’t seem to plan his response, and I don’t think he did something wrong. I think he did something right, in fact.

                      But if we adopt a policy of organized derision, I think we are going to become people we don’t like very much and just as damningly we are going to lose.

                      The NRA is a great model for victory. How much mocking do they do?

                      I think you’re failing to distinguish between “making a policy of using mockery when appropriate” and “making a policy of mockery”

                      Again. Dialectic only works when the other person is willing to engage at that level. Rhetoric includes mockery as one tool in the kit to appeal to emotion. Painting something ridiculous as ridiculous is to use emotion to hi light the truth – Alinsky uses mockery to obscure the truth.

                    • The NRA is a great model for victory.

                      Actually, for most of the 20th century, the NRA was a great model for a holding action to attempt to slow down the rate of losing. By the time the tide had turned the NRA was far from the only player in the field.

              • Christopher M. Chupik

                Have you considered a career writing for leftie comedians? 😉

              • But some people really deserve mockery. For instance Al Gore, Micheal Mann or the newest clown of the year, Leonardo DiCaprio:
                http://pc.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-science-is-settled-says-leo.html
                I mean it takes a lot of emptyheadedness to go up in front of a bunch world leaders and say “I pretend for a living, take me seriously.”

            • For the record I’m a Sarah Palin supporter.

    • They don’t question. They are reinforcing the status quo.

  11. I say bring it on. The truth will endure.

  12. Wayne Blackburn

    Ok, normally, while my mind may be a tad dirty (stop laughing), I don’t think this way, but after reading what Robert Kennedy, Jr. said, the first thing that came to mind was, “Heh. He’s trying to be a Koch block”.

    Gah! Carp me now!

  13. Wayne Blackburn

    Their leaders are old, their ideas are depleted. They, in the parlance of my kids generation “got nothing.”

    And in another uncharacteristic moment: “That’s what she said.”

  14. OT
    So I’m doing my morning routine and this pops up today, and I decided for whatever reason I should leave it here:
    http://www.gocomics.com/frazz/2014/09/25
    Have a good day y’all

  15. Isn’t that Kennedy character the one who peddles oil from Venezuela’s dictators Chavez and Maduro? And HE has the nerve to speak the words “big oil”? Then again, given that background, his terrorist notions are just what you would expect.
    Yes, free speech is free only if it applies to ideas you don’t like. In fact, it is only valuable in that case. And that precisely is why it is specifically called out for protection in the Bill of Rights.
    In most other countries this does not apply. Europe does not have free speech, no matter what people may have been told to believe about “liberal democracies”. For example, in Holland the government explicitly stated that “the right of free speech does NOT include the right to offend”. That isn’t the reason why I left, but it certainly is one good reason why I am glad I did.

  16. Recently here in Jefferson County we elected a school board that is Very Conservative. These Conservative board members recently decided that maybe the way the new AP History curriculum has been shaped isn’t ideal and that a committee should be formed to review it paying special attention to the ideas of patriotism and rule of law and de-emphasizing civil disobedience and revisionist anti-American teaching. As a result, two high schools were shut down when their teachers held an illegal sick out and there have been walk outs by high school students protesting “censorship”. One of the slogans I heard was “There is nothing more Patriotic than Protests!” These people are afraid that the school board is going to censor them.
    Funny how when it’s their ox being gored, they don’t want to be “censored” and that Speaking Truth To Power is Patriotism but when it’s one of their demons, it’s “Shut Up, Sit Down and Die Already You Dinosaurs!”
    Thanks for the post, Sarah. They aren’t going to shut us up.
    Oh, and I keep telling people who are mad about what the school board is doing “I guess elections have consequences.”

    • The big headline in the regional newspaper down here was the Texas Education Committee (or whatever they call it this year) reviewing the AP stuff and finding it wanting. But then I’m steamed about the new format as well as the contents. “You will teach the Zinn-version of US history and you will do it THIS way using THESE topic headers and students will write THESE essays” (OK, almost that bad on the last but not quite, yet).

    • The thing is, these imbeciles think that the Dayton Monkey Trial ended with a victory for the teacher.

      It didn’t. And he lost on appeal. All his appeals.

      Mencken, writing at the time and later, made it clear (to anyone paying attention) that Scopes was as guilty as a cat in a goldfish bowl. There was never any hope of getting him off, not because the trial was in any way unfair, but because he had no more right to teach something other than the curriculum he was hire to teach than a housepainter has a right to paint your house a color other than the ones you specify.

      The school board should tell the teachers “Get back to work, or you’re fired. You are hirelings. You will bloody well teach what we tell you to teach.”

      Now, your school board may end up getting mocked for what they hire teachers to teach. That’s only fair.

      • Ed schools have spent a lot of time telling them they are professionals, who should be independent of administrative weenies & school boards & parents. Quite a few believe it.

      • The district got wind of the sick out the night before and sent a letter to all the teachers saying “This is against Colorado State Law.” They did it any way. IMAO, if they can’t produce a doctors note, they should be prosecuted under whatever labor law it is then fired. But that’s me. I’m sure the district is just going to look the other way.
        The day after the election of the conservative majority, the Superintendent announced that would be her last year. After the next school board meeting, she moved that up to “effective immediately”. I’m pretty sure that the admins are probably left leaning as well. We’ll see how it all shakes out.

      • My recollection of the book is that he only lost at trial because his attourny reminded the jury that they wanted to loose in order to have the law overturned on appeal and that the conviction was reversed on appeal on a technicallity (the state missed a filing deadline). Also, apperently, he was innocent in fact. He had been too busy coaching football and had missed that segement of the course. He later made up for it by coaching the procecustion’s witness in evolution.

        Of course that was just one book read many years ago and could have been wrong.

    • The Jeffco sickout was only about the proposed curriculum change (a change that had already been tabled, and had no specifics anyway) as an excuse. Its really about the Teachers union in Colorado fighting against merit pay proposals in Jefferson county and Douglas county.

  17. … even if I went to the loony point of living as we did in the village where I grew up: a lightbulb per room and early hours to bed; no labor saving devices; a radio as the only electrical form of entertainment, etc.

    God forbid. Thou shalt not give up thy computer, Internet and blog. Its a commandment. I’m sure it is. It must be.

    • Last week I was so depressed I looked for shutters for the blog. But the novel is flowing, and as long as I have no more than three, by Sarah, posts a week, it doesn’t seem to impinge on the writing.

  18. Its true the left doesn’t deal well with push back. But I wouldn’t underestimate them. I certainly wouldn’t buy into the thought that they think they’re losing. Maybe getting some resistance they didn’t expect, but not losing.

    If you visit the right places on the I-net, they’re on the “right side of history”, and the world is swinging in their direction.

    On this election cycle, they’re spending wicked amounts of money on some leftist causes. Here in this state {WA}, the amount of money coming into the gun control coffers is sickening. And it’s working, I was out at dinner with a couple last night that started writing where and when I did, and they’ve bought into I-594. She has a conceal carry permit, and doesn’t understand that she’s undermining her own rights with a vote for I-594. They also have bought into the AGW narrative, and I got bombarded with all of the bs, like 97% of the world’s scientists having bought too. My response was “really?”. Can you prove it?

    There are a lot of gullible people out there. They still win with them. Obama won twice, even though he showed his true colors in the first four years and showed how incompetent he is. The left is in control of much of the press, the Senate, the Justice Department, the IRS, and God knows how many other government organs.

    My message is don’t underestimate them. They still can convince the gullible, and Kennedy’s words should tell you that some of them are thinking in terms of bloodshed.

    Just some less than positive thoughts on a migraine Thursday.

    • I think you are wrong. Look, I’ve seen this elsewhere. They thought they’d be grasping ultimate victory now, and it’s all falling apart. The economic theory doesn’t work. Despite their control of the press everyone laughs at “Summer of Recovery” and no one bought that Michelle O was the most beautiful woman ever. (Yes, they tried that.) And Obama’s numbers rival Bush’s for low. DESPITE all their help.
      I’m afraid WA is lost. And OR and maybe CA. I’m still fighting for CO. Not lost forever, mind. the tide has started turning. The ripples are small and disorganized.
      They’ve ALWAYS said they’re the future. After a hundred years it’s worn thin. They are the establishment and their thinkers are OLD.
      We might not see the turn, but our kids will for sure. And then again we might. I think they’re more of a paper tiger than even they know.
      Clean the elections, and I think they have 25% at most. The crazies, and the radical losers we shall always have with us.

      • I wouldn’t mind being wrong. And I have to admit I don’t intend to give up on WA without a struggle, even if it’s only the ballot box.

        It’s impossible to tell from my small part of the world which way the election is going to go. Last night probably influenced how I saw things earlier this morning.

        I will also tell you that an awful lot of folks are offended by the raw attempts of Bloomsberg and Gates and their ilk to buy our election, and really our legislature. Seattle tends left {and the couple I was with are Seattle residents}, the rest of the state tends either moderate or right. The moderates {the rest of the western part of the state} will decide the votes. How many of them buy into what they’re seeing on their TV screens.

        I hope your right, Sarah.

        • I’m not telling you how the election is going to go either. I saw the massive fraud in 2012. I’ve been depressed since, because you know what happens when they block the ballot box.

          • I saw the massive fraud in 2012.

            You’d be amazed at the leftists I know who saw NOTHING out of place when precincts had more than 120% turnouts. I guess that since those extra votes went to their candidate(s) of choice, nothing was wrong.

            Oh, and I foresee fraud on a massive scale this election year, dwarfing anything we’ve seen in the past, due in large part to how close a lot of the elections are going to be. Here in Virginia, when the Republican AG candidate won in a squeaker, I said to a friend in Charlottesville that “Well, the race was too close. Expect ‘uncounted’ ballots to magically appear in the next few days.” She replied that she personally knew some of the recanvassers and that they were people of high integrity, so this was unlikely. A few days later and presto, magic ballots appeared which just happened to be for the Democrat candidate. See also Franken, Minnesota.

            When Gore attempted to steal the election back in 2000, he did so in large part by having his lawyers illegally block the counting of military ballots in Florida. Most of them were carried by transport and didn’t have Postal Service markings. By law, such markings were not required for military stationed overseas. And yet Gore’s lawyers were able to get judges who (I assume) didn’t know any better to disallow those votes. Dem pollster Pat Caddell said that this action by the Democrats to disenfranchise the military would hurt them for a generation. He was obviously-and sadly- wrong.

            The time will come when it will dawn on most people that their votes are being counted in much the same way that they are in Cuba and the former Soviet Union. The time immediately following that realization will not be a good time for this country.

            • Christopher M. Chupik

              Silly man. Don’t you know that only evil Rethuglicans practice voter fraud?

              • I have actually been told this, in slightly less stupid terms. I immediately asked if the speaker could think of a single political Machine that had been Republican at base.

                *crickets*

                (I know that there was a Republican machine in Philadelphia from the Civil War to the Depression. But nobody remembers its name. Tammany Hall, Pendergast, Long, Daley; all Democrats.)

            • So what was your friend’s response to the ‘found’ votes?

            • With states passing laws to make voter fraud more difficult — and the courts’ inability to do more than delay their implementation — they can see their house of cards in danger of tumbling. This may be the last election where they can commit such massive fraud without fear, so of course they are desperate to win conquer.

              Their problem stems from their insistence on building bricks without straw. The longer their construction is unchecked, the greater the disaster when comes the deluge.

        • King and Pierce county can carry the rest of the state, and have. But without corruption they would struggle to, clean up the corruption and you have a chance. I just don’t see it being cleaned up any time soon, I find it more likely that the East Side splits off than that the corruption gets cleaned up or Seattlites get a brain.

        • When they have to talk about “stopping gun confiscation without due process” like it’s a current huge problem, while misrepresenting themselves as being for gun rights, they’re in trouble.

      • We call it the Left Coast for good and sufficient reason.
        CO on the other hand seems to be on the right track. Voted two of the worst offenders out of office, convinced a third to retire, and old Hickenlooper looks to be on very shaky ground his own self.
        Now if a new more conservative legislature would just repeal those onerous and ultimately counterproductive gun laws, you’d be good to go.
        For those who don’t follow the subject closely, those newly passed laws have already cost Colorado several shooting sports related businesses, not to mention a general boycott by out of state hunters. Total damage probably well into the multiple millions of dollars between lost taxes and tourism revenues.

    • Now Europe? Europe will take a century to clean up. And for them it’s not “there might be blood.” There WILL be blood. And it won’t be pretty.

      • The results of last week’s state elections in Germany sent shivers through Brussels. You could smile charitably at the Free Democrats, but the Alternative for Germany (AfD) is doing far too well, and they want to bring back the Mark and to quit propping up the PIGS with German money. And I suspect to get serious about immigration/refugee reform. And a few weeks ago the Austrian religion ministry ordered the Muslims to rewrite the Koran to bring it in line with Western ideas and values (i.e. toss the “kill the unbelievers” and “beat your wife if she doesn’t please you” sorts of verses.) Which may be related to why I saw burkas all over Munich’s old city, but only a few women in Vienna wearing a head scarf and long-ish coat.

        • “And a few weeks ago the Austrian religion ministry ordered the Muslims to rewrite the Koran to bring it in line with Western ideas and values ”

          Gulp – I missed this — is there a good reference you could point to?

          • Here’s the primary English-language source: http://www.haaretz.com/news/world/1.616878 I can pull up some of the German-language sources as well if you want.

            I should note that the German-language source I first read (a Lower Austrian regional news page) implied that the bill had already become law and that this approved version would be the only version permitted in mosques in Austria. Haaretz doesn’t go that far and says it’s still a bill, which makes me wonder if there’s some “You can do this voluntarily or we’ll make it law” pressure being applied. A large proportion of the children in Vienna’s schools are Muslim, and this may be related to that fact as well. *shrug* It could also be a political play of some kind. Austrian politics can be kinda strange, and I have not updated my score card (so to speak) recently.

    • They can acquire skills. Notice how the feminists managed to advance from “false consciousness” to actually admitting that some of us females are such evil monsters that we actually oppose them.

  19. Let’s suppose that everything Mr. Kennedy thinks about the climate is true. Why would he want to silence anyone who disagrees with him?

    No, dissentiention causes discomfort and disruption. As any good student of proper history will tell you, what you need is re-education camps, and, for those who will not be re-educated, insane asylums. Those in these institutions will need hard work for no compensation other than what the state provides for it will be good for clearing their minds of silly notions. Meanwhile it will be understood if we have to go light on rations and other care for these benighted souls, as this sacrifice will allow those enlightened and productive citizens of the nation who deserve the best the nation can provide — particularly the ones who sacrifice so much by taking on the burdens of leadership.

    Mind you, as the climate alarmists do want a reduction in population it might seem a most advantageous to them to use denial as a means of sorting out the extraneous bad apples …

  20. dissentiention? Dang! Dissension. What was I thinking?

  21. Unless he thinks the rest of the world hangs suspended from those peoples’ lips? And even a trust-fund-baby celebrity can’t be that stupid.

    I appreciate your optimism, but I do not share it. I’ve seen enough of these types in my life to realize that they do indeed think that they are the equivalent of E.F. Hutton, where everyone shuts up so as to hear the Words of Wisdom.

  22. Christopher M. Chupik

    And of course, if we did get thrown back into a pre-industrial state, all the things the Lefties love would be toast. Female equality? Gone. Gay rights? Unlikely. Fair treatment of workers? Don’t make me laugh. I honestly believe that they think they could throw out the modern world and keep their lattes and smart phones and social justice tumblr pages.

    • and, as a pragmatic concern, it never occurs to them that IF the government would allow them to kill the people they disagree with, another government might allow the people they disagree with to kill THEM. Because government is Good, praise be its Name!

      • What we’re dealing with is a profound lack of imagination, which is why the arts have suffered in the long march.

        • Two things I like to use a lot:
          “Anything government can do for you, it can do to you.”
          “Imagine your worst political enemies come to power. How would they abuse the power you are giving to government.”

          Usually I get a “that would never happen” but once in a while the lightbulb goes off.

          • I’ve had a certain amount of luck with saying “The problem isn’t that any government powerful enough to give you everything you want is powerful enough to take everything you have. It’s that any government BIG enough to give you everything you want is big enough to crush you like a bug without even noticing”. I’ve noticed that all but the most deranged State worshippers are willing to admit that Big Government tends to be clumsy.

  23. Here’s the loud noise from a fool, and my response:
    http://www.upworthy.com/leonardo-dicaprio-asks-everyone-in-the-world-to-stop-pretending-like-facts-dont-exist?c=slt1
    There isn’t a logical fallacy he doesn’t use which is typical for fools.
    This requires a response, so here it is.:
    I am a mechanical engineer, not a celebrity actor like Mr. DiCaprio. He comes to NY on his private jet and Chauffeured limousine. I come to NY on the 8:13 out of Norwalk and the #6 train. He talks about the need for immediate and aggressive government action against climate change but is demonstrably unwilling to make changes in his own lavish lifestyle. Mr. DiCaprio makes an empassioned plea for action against the climate crisis, but as he says, he pretends for a living. I make what people imagine real for a living. Mr. DiCaprio has made a variety of claims, but you know what, he doesn’t seem to relate very well to the realities that face the world today.
    If you look at the world from space you see two worlds. The world of light and the world of the dark. Looking at the planet from space at night you can see the march of lights and civilization across the land. But you can also see the places without any lights. Many of those places are dark because nobody lives there. But others are dark because the people living there do not have access to light and all that that means. These are the people I make a plea for. The people, who for whatever reason do not have access to the basic standards of living that many of us take for granted. I want to grow the light.
    Unfortunately the path that Mr. DiCaprio would have us take will only spread the dark and misery. I think that he thinks that the real world is like a movie set where the only consequences for wrong decision and actions is CUT! and short walk back to his air conditioned trailer. Unfortunately in the real world there is no such thing as another take and the consequences of a wrong decision can have titanic impacts on lives and prosperity.
    I am an engineer and not to use my expertise in such matters, the energy path Mr. DiCaprio would like to force the rest of us to take does not work. This is not conjecture at this point. A recent report on the experiment in Spain shows clearly that renewables do not have the energy density to support a prosperous civilization. Most knowledgeable engineers will tell you this. This is the real world where you don’t get something for nothing. before you advocate for a course of action consider the consequence for you and your children. We have a choice of the kind of future we want, choose wisely.

    • Most unfortunately for Mr. DiCaprio, in the world he wishes to promulgate, no one could afford to watch him pretending. He would have no living, unless he has other skills having to do with icky, sweaty, hard work.

      • I get depressed by how many fairly good actors seem to have the political sense of a concussed bee. I’m not a huge fan of de Caprio, but what I’ve seen of his work is decent.

        • Don’t be depressed. Being a good actor has nothing to do with being either politically or scientifically sensible. Like a lot of people who become famous for doing one thing well, they begin to believe they are therefore of the elite and therefore should use their notoriety to “do good”. Despite the fact that what is “good” is outside their area of expertise to judge.

          • Oh, hell. Being a good actor is, basically, being able to emote on demand. The modern emphasis on “method” acting means they keep very little distance from those emotions. So they tend to be more oriented to what “feels” right than what actually works after analysis.

            I decided long ago not to boycott actors because of their political stupidities. My Father wouldn’t watch Jane Fonda films because of her politics. I decline to watch Ms. Fonda because, frankly, she’s a moderately awful actress.

        • There need to be laws limiting the amount of electricity that can be used for theatrical, cinematic and broadcast entertainment. All set lighting must be generated through renewable energy, preferably people paid a living wage to peddle bicycle-style generators. Stage productions should use only ambient natural light to avoid environmental degradation.

          All concerts should be acoustic — arena rock burns unconscionable amounts of energy and encourages too many people to travel significant distances to attend. Musicians should return to the old ways, playing acoustic instruments at street corners for tips — that is the true artist’s way of reaching the people.

          No more laser light shows, either. They use up electricity and endanger birds flying overhead.

  24. If the probability of predicting tomorrow’s weather is 90% the probability of predicting the weather in 12 years is a very small number.
    What really blew it for me was the model they were using to generate the “Hockey Stick” did not fit the past data. then to say the past data was flawed. Nonsense.

    • AFAIK, they have yet to come up with a model that can retrocast correctly when you plug in the actual data points. The closest may be the guys at WeatherBell, who use historical weather patterns and then work from there, but they don’t do “X years from now” forecasts, either.

      • Every time I’ve heard folks say that they’ve finally made a model that can accurately predict the past, it turns out that they have to tweak it in process.

        I don’t think I’m being very clear, so to rephrase: the car steers itself, as long as they turn the wheel every time it goes off course.

        • I do computer modeling of power plants for a living. Admittedly they are much simpler and less chaotic than a planetary weather system, but the principles are the same. Build a model to first principles physics, run it with the best estimates of the boundary conditions for a past set of data, and then compare the data. Tweak the model to get the predictions of past data closer to reality, and then run it with current boundary conditions. If it cannot get within 10% on predicting current conditions, it is worthless.

          • The current climate models don’t seem to get within 95% – but they’re still held as an infallible standard, not to be questioned.

            So I’ve started mocking models. “They look so good, with those lovely lines… until you realize they’re professionally photographed, with expert make-up, coture clothing, and lighting adjusted to make them look as good as possible, then they’re Photoshopped all to hell … oh, you meant mathematical models? Well, same thing, really. How do they stack up against reality? THAT is the only real determination of how ‘good’ they really are.”

  25. The whole loud noise of the protest last week was just to ensure that the bad news the Progressives doesn’t have to be heard by them. it’s like the firecrackers and bells the Mandarins used to ensure that the real world never intruded on the serenity of the Forbidden Palace.:
    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/like-speaks-unto-like-but-says-nothing-new-as-it-never-hears-it/
    But the real world has a way of intruding whether we like it or not.

  26. I think the Chicoms are more like the WWII era Italian fascists rather than the German national socialists… all the way down to using the desire to get the ancient empire back together as a way to encourage nationalism.

    • well, the Italians were also fascists…

    • The Chinese government is like most other Chinese governments throughout history; a bureaucracy calcified to a horrendous degree, which treats common people like farm animals, and is severely out of touch with reality. China has (so far as I can see) almost always like that. One of the great failings of understanding of the 20th Century was the failure to see that both Communist China and Communist Russia were in great part continuations of what was wrong with Chinese and Russian society under new banners.

  27. Like gun control activists, the AGW activists primary motivation is not an intellectual curiousity about the world’s climate. No, their primary motivation is a hatred of those with whom they do not agree. So the AGW banner is raised to identify themselves as being of those with correct-think. And the other can then be identified and hated.

    That’s why you see AGW activists throw so much ad hominem about while skeptics what to discuss data, methodology and observations.

    So of course, discussing facts and science is futile.

    • Like gun control activists, the AGW activists primary motivation is not an intellectual curiousity about the world’s climate. No, their primary motivation is a hatred of those with whom they do not agree.

      They are not motivated by truth or science but by a desire to belong.

  28. Wayne Blackburn

    OT, but has everyone heard yet that Eric Holder is resigning?

  29. How much reason do we have to believe that “feminism” wants to reduce the male population by 90% as opposed to one colorful individual who recently got a lot of attention on the internet because she is colorful? Granted; it’s an easy notion to believe given what some feminists do write. I’m reminded of those who want to characterize the entire Tea Party by the people with the signs depicting the president with a Hitler mustache.

    • Somewhere here there’s an article by Cedar about the respected voices of feminism (and they are respected) that’s frankly more alarming than the chick on the net.
      Hold on. http://wp.me/p1aM4T-1sO
      And having heard the same from feminists in the field, including a member of my original writers’ group who wrote about a plague that killed all the men in the world, thereby instituting utopia, I’m somewhat skeptical of the “no true Scotsman” argument of feminists in relation to their crazies.

  30. Note that people like me, who think that proponents of AGW demonstrate they don’t believe in it with their lives, don’t wish to stop them talking.

    One of Yul Brynner’s lines from The Ten Commandments (he had a lot of them. That man could act.): “Let him speak, that men may know him mad.”

  31. OT, but say, is there a setting to make the Recent Comments bar on the side longer?

  32. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    On Mockery. To me Mockery and Ridicule are basically the same thing which generally I dislike. Mainly because they are “disguised” as humor. IMO the favorite phrase of a sadistic person is “Can’t you take a joke?”.

    While I agree that there can be a difference between mocking/ridiculing a position and mocking/ridiculing a person, the difference can be very thin.

    On the other hand, while I dislike mockery/ridicule, I’ll admit that a person/group that consistently uses them as a weapon deserves to have that weapon used against them.

    Personally, I prefer to use “sarcastic statements” (properly labeled as such) because I suspect any attempts by me to use mockery/ridicule will rightly seen as mean spirited.

    Hey! Where did this soapbox come from!!! [Very Big Grin]

    • Jeez, Paul, can’t you take a joke? 🙂

    • “…while I dislike mockery/ridicule, I’ll admit that a person/group that consistently uses them as a weapon deserves to have that weapon used against them.”
      — so, to be effective, we need to be good at (i.e. practice) a rhetorical weapon which we’ll use rarely, in special cases, where the other party has already escalated the philosophical violence to that point? I kinda agree, actually – those who use mockery al lot seem frequently to evolve their style toward freely using the mean-spirited personal kind, possibly because it’s actually easier to vanquish a foe that way than be reasoned discourse. And I’d rather not evolve my style of argument in that direction. As an unfortunate result, I’m not good at the middle ground of argument – I can try rational, and I can go vicious. Insufficient skill at gentle ridicule.

  33. OK. So the thing that is causing AGCC is CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels. And the fossil fuels came from plants (coal) and micro organisms (oil) that breathed CO2, did the photosynthesis thing and died. So basically, the CO2 we’re releasing was there to begin with, right? It’s not like suddenly all this new CO2 is here. And back in the carboniferous era, was the world coming to an end? Or did Mother Earth deal with the lowering temperatures? (If I understand it correctly, things were warmer then. But I could be wrong.) This is one of my issues with all of this. As has been pointed out elsewhere in these comments, all we’re really doing is moving things around.

    Or am I missing something?

    • Depends on where and when… Coal was from marshy places usually locally warm. Modern pete bogs have a chance in a million years or two or ten of becoming new coal beds, depending on what happens in the interim. Diatoms and foramanifera (the little single celled beggars that became oil) like warm shallow water. To make oil they have to get burried reasonably quickly, but not so quickly they don’t ‘collect’. In both cases there is burying then slow cooking for a million years or so.

      • The biggest carbon sink is probably limestone. A bit gets baked out when we make cement, but it’s otherwise locked up for millions (and in some cases, billions) of years

        • It’s also great for neutralizing acid mine drainage. (There’s a mine in Colorado whose drainage starts at a PH of 2 and is almost basic by the time it hits the water supply because there’s so much limestone between it and the water.) Limestone is amazing stuff. 🙂 Dolostone is cool too. /geology geek out.

      • However before the evolution of photosynthesis, all of that CO2 was in the atmosphere. All of it. There was a time when all the CO2 that could possibly be released by burning all the fossil fuels on Earth were in the atmosphere.

  34. Doesn’t hurt your point, but I seem to remember the issue with “different views” in medieval Christianity was not a matter of challenging faith, but of folks who are justifying killing you changing some important point of theology to justify it. Stuff just didn’t get to a boil without the whole “kill people and take their stuff” aspect, so from this POV we don’t hear much about it unless one has a “theological speculation” hobby, or if it comes up in the course of tracking down a different theological theory.

    So, when these climate loons start acting on the “kill people and take their stuff” talk, then it’ll be all medieval, with a good chance of going all Godwin on folks who talk similar nonsense while things still hurt.

  35. Mostly off topic, but related to several recent posts on not despairing – I present Bill Whittle:

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  37. “They’ve done so much for the cause, most of these celebrities and ideologues, that to backtrack now would be unthinkable.”

    Really? Look how Obama backtracked on “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” They’ll just say “What we REALLY meant was…”.

  38. I’ve been busy so I’ve been quiet, but I had to laugh myself silly when I read that the Communists are now espousing ‘being against colonizing the atmosphere.’

    I used to find so many four leaf clovers in the few stretches of grass at my school in East Germany, they stopped being special. I once brought home a bouquet of the things, and my father was rather horrified. He told me to stop playing in the grass at school, saying that whatever was in the soil was mutating the clover.

    (And that’s how I got curious about genetics and mutations!)

    • Wayne Blackburn

      (Gives Shadowdancer the stink-eye) I have YET to find a 4-leaf clover. I’ve seen ones that other people have found, but never been the one to find one.

      • <.<;;;;;;;; Then the environment in which you live is MUCH MUCH cleaner and less mutagen-soaked than the one I was in as a kid.

        (I mean, geez. I didn't get any awesome powers. How gypped is that?!)

      • Josh A. Kruschke

        Wayne,

        I thinking I see a patter forming..

        Her name?

        Her phisical size not matching her larger than life presence.

        Her, dare I say magical, ability to find Four Leaf Clover.

        I think… never mind. I’m just glade it wasn’t me that gave her the stink eye.

        • So you’re saying that she might enjoy this breakfast cereal?

          • Stop picking on Shadow Dancer. you won’t like her when she’s Hungry. No, seriously!

            • Plus, she’s a CZ fan. Anyone who likes CZ pistols can’t be bad at all. 🙂

              • I love CZs coz of how they fit so nicely into my weeny little palms. We’re still looking at the SP-01 Shadow series, since they’re especially for competition shooting, and have a much lighter spring. Also that .22 mod kit is ❤ – we can buy .22 ammo by the freaking bucket for just plinking things for giggles. I'd need a rifle stock that fits my arms though, to go hunting for bunnies – up to deer, perhaps. *sigh* Someday. The ferals are a real infestation 'round Australia.

                Be fun to try hunt down the feral camels too though, but they're closer to central Oz and it's HOT there.

                The Jerichos also fit nicely, but were a touch heavy for me. I'd have to handle more pistols (and somehow test-fire 'em).

                • I was going to recommend a Crickett http://www.crickett.com/ but I see they don’t ship outside the US. I’m sure it is small enough to fit you, but may not be legal for deer (have no idea how Oz caliber rules work, other than it is legal to use .22’s for depredation kangaroos). If you are looking for a centerfire, I don’t usually recommend Remington, because I think they are overpriced for the accuracy they deliver (yes I know there are a billion super accurate custom rifles out there built on a Remington 700 action, but the key words there are CUSTOM and BUILT ON. Sako, Tikka, Savage, Browning, etc. all make more accurate models out of the box, for less money. Some of them like Tikka and Sako even offer accuracy guarantees.) but they make a Model 7 that I absolutely despise for the shortness of its stock. It would probably fit you very nicely.

                  • I’ll point Rhys at this comment when he gets back from outside, mowing the lawn. He wants me to sit outside for a little bit every day, in the hopes of acclimatizing me to the sudden broiling summer that decided to murder spring, because ‘straya, damnit.

          • Wayne Blackburn

            Congratulations! You have contributed the second image to go on the wall of my cube since I started here 5 years ago. That’s great.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Like

          • … *wistful* Shame that’s not real.

        • Wayne Blackburn

          Ooh, I hadn’t thought of that. They can be mischievous (often in a painful way), can’t they? Hmm… maybe I’ll just stroll innocently over here…

          • *grins up at you*

            During the formal dinner a few weeks ago, one of the folks from the workshop got very drunk, and in the midst of teasing and ribbing said drunk fellow told Rhys to call his gnome off. I laughed, because wow, he was so seriously drunk. Rhys pointed out that I was the perfect height to punch him in the nuts. Other guy replied that’s why he wears his pants low, for camouflage. I said “You’re thinking I’ll do a straight punch though…”

            At the end of the evening, when we were walking out to go, I heard “Wow, that’s CUTE!” behind me. I looked over my shoulder to see one of the other (very drunk) soldiers looking me up and down, as if ‘holy crap, I’m not seeing things am I? She’s really that short!’ I smiled and said “I’m even shorter without the heels.”

            The guy goes “Oooh. Oooooh! Rhys, you’re in trouble man, she’s psychic! You’re so in trouble! You’ll never get away with anything!”

            Rhys says “I know she knows that I know!”

            “Mate, psychic.

            (Drunk Aussies can be so funny!)

            Rhys told me later on that week that the first guy who called me a gnome asked him if “he’d been rude to your missus.” Rhys, being the man he is, delivered the bloke’s frantic, panicked apologies to me, voice acting and gestures, hangdog kicked puppy expression and all, rendering me helpless and in tears with laughter. Rhys said that he would deliver the news that I was crying, with just the barest hint of a wicked twinkle in his eyes.

            It was fun, that evening. XD

            • LOL!

              Gasp! snigger…snigger…. sigh! 🙂

            • Shadowdancer – Since you’re obviously in the Land Down Under, I would suggest you have your guy ask around and find you a nice little Martini Cadet rifle. They can be re-stocked and re-chambered/barreled to meet almost any requirement of fit and use. Since they are single shot you learn to be very good with them, heh, heh.. I’ve got six or seven in anything from .22LR to .577/.450. A good choice might be .222 – either rimmed or rimless. That would let you shoot .22LR with an adapter.
              Oh, and if you really have a plentitude of.22LR down there, I’d be happy to pay your cost and the shipping for 25-50K rounds to the States, heh, heh, heh. They’re apparently still having trouble finding sources for the unobtainium they make it out of up here.

              • *note to self: point hubby at this in the daylight hours*

                I got to play around with someone’s little .22 rifle some months back (A CZ of some type I think) and that was fun, even if I really had to pull the stock tight into my shoulder just to see into the scope.

                We’ll have to figure out the bits about the rifle stock but there’s an adjustable one that passes the legal laws here in Australia. It’s preeeeeeetty darned expensive though, so I’ll keep the suggestions in mind. I want a rifle of my own primarily for small feral game hunting, and bunny fur is nice and soft.

                I have no idea what the bits are about sending ammo, but I think they have to be done by a licensed dealer from here to there. That’s my guess though (since that’s what we have to do in order to buy firearms and such.)

                • The ammo thing was a bit of a joke, although I have an affiliation with a Class II/VII/SOT licensee over here in the States{that means he can build/move anything up to small nuclear devices(just kidding about that but pretty much anything else)}. Just have to deal with ITAR and such. Last ammo buy we did was for ~400,000 rounds in various calibers.

                  What I meant was that you buy a small-action Martini(they haven’t been built in a very long time – most pre-date WWII) and have it rebuilt to your specifications. If you can find somebody over there who knows what they are doing and knows Martinis, stocks and barrels, the whole thing shouldn’t run much over buying a factory-built bolt-gun and when you are done you have something to pass along. Might be less if you find good price on the base rifle. Google up Martini Cadet when you run out of things to do…

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  40. Bill Lawrence said, “The 95 theses are reason, not mocking.”

    Really?
    11. Those tares of changing the canonical penalty to the penalty of purgatory were evidently sown while the bishops slept (Mt 13:25).
    28. It is certain that when money clinks in the money chest, greed and avarice can be increased; but when the church intercedes, the result is in the hands of God alone.

    And 81 through 91 are *very* mocking (but too long to copy here). Here they are, in English:
    http://www.luther.de/en/95thesen.html

  41. Because it hasn’t been quoted here in some time … and because I cannot find the scene on youtube.

    Dr. Benjamin Franklin: Please Mr. Dickinson, but must you start banging? How is a man to sleep?
    [laughter from Congress]
    John Dickinson: Forgive me, Dr. Franklin, but must YOU start speaking? How is a man to stay awake?
    [More laughter]
    John Dickinson: We’ll promise to be quiet – I’m sure everyone prefers that you remained asleep.
    Dr. Benjamin Franklin: If I’m to hear myself called an Englishman, sir, I assure you I prefer I’d remained asleep.
    John Dickinson: What’s so terrible about being called an Englishman? The English don’t seem to mind.
    Dr. Benjamin Franklin: Nor would I, were I given the full rights of an Englishman. But to call me one without those rights is like calling an ox a bull. He’s thankful for the honor, but he’d much rather have restored what’s rightfully his.
    [laughter]
    John Dickinson: When did you first notice they were missing, sir?
    [laughter]

    AND:

    Dr. Benjamin Franklin: A rebellion is always legal in the first person, such as “our rebellion.” It is only in the third person – “their rebellion” – that it becomes illegal.

    It is an error to mistake movies (and television and theatre) for History, but one cannot help but notice that Franklin was a more effective proponent of Independence than was Mr. Adams (who should leave me alone.)

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  43. Shadowdancer – Since you’re obviously in the Land Down Under, I would suggest you have your guy ask around and find you a nice little Martini Cadet rifle. They can be re-stocked and re-chambered/barreled to meet almost any requirement of fit and use. Since they are single shot you learn to be very good with them, heh, heh.. I’ve got six or seven in anything from .22LR to .577/.450. A good choice might be .222 – either rimmed or rimless. That would let you shoot .22LR with an adapter.
    Oh, and if you really have a plentitude of.22LR down there, I’d be happy to pay your cost and the shipping for 25-50K rounds to the States, heh, heh, heh. They’re apparently still having trouble finding sources for the unobtainium they make it out of up here.

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