Saturday, April 2, 2011

"Sound Science"

If you believe the Earth is 6,000 years old and can ignore geology, paleontology and other science that prove the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, chances are pretty good you are a Republican voter.

If you can ignore archeological studies and carbon-14 testing showing hominid life has been present on earth for millions of years, and insist Adam and Eve were the actual “first couple”, chances are pretty good you are a Republican voter.

If you can ignore the fact that the ten warmest years on record have been since 1998, the world’s glaciers are receding, Arctic permafrost is thawing, the Arctic Sea’s Winter ice cover is shrinking, vast Antarctic ice shelves are detaching into the sea, and the overwhelming scientific consensus is we are facing real climate change, chances are pretty good you are a Republican voter.

In fact, the more you distrust science and dislike scientists, the more likely you are a Republican voter.

So what’s the deal here? Does science have a liberal bias? Or do the non-liberal opponents of scientific research have a political and financial interest in suppressing the results of scientific studies. We remember the Bush Administration muzzled NASA climate studies.

Let’s ask renowned climate scientist Rush Limbaugh for the real truth. “Climate change is a liberal hoax”. Well, there you go. This is all that some people really need to believe, and no more attention is required for such nonsense. Just go vote for Republicans and everything will be alright.

Or not. Now let’s be fair. Republicans have their own favorite kind of science. They love the science that gives us more spectacular ways to kill our fellow human beings. They love all the new high tech surveillance tools the Bushies praised and utilized in their war on the Bill of Rights.

Maybe Stephen Colbert was right when he said, “Reality has a well known liberal bias”. Maybe that means science must share in that bias, right?

Indeed, the Right has a strong bias against any science that might cost them financially or politically. And they are not ashamed of it. Remember, by the typical Right Wing tactic of re-definition, they label research and studies they don’t like as not being “sound science”. They attack both the message and the messenger. Credit must be given to their organized assault on science, and education in general. Remember colleges and journalism, like science, are also full of liberal bias, according to the Right. But is the Right... right? That doesn’t matter. Only their bottom line matters.

Here’s where this discussion gets interesting. It turns out Americans on the whole still like and respect science. Sixty percent of the public supports government investment in research.

As far as the climate change issue goes, Limbaugh and the Right have done a heck of a job misleading the American public. Now only 49% of Americans, down from a majority, think the Earth is getting warmer due to human activity. The great majority of scientists, 84% think this is true. I guess this would indicate the percentage of scientists who work for Big Energy and other major polluters.

The effectiveness of the Right Wing propaganda machine can also be seen in these: “Just 40% of scientists agree that “when something is run by the government, it is usually inefficient and wasteful”; a majority of the public (57%) agrees with this statement.” And: “Most scientists had heard at least a little about claims that government scientists were not allowed to report research findings that conflicted with the Bush administration’s point of view. And the vast majority (77%) says that these claims are true. By contrast, these claims barely registered with the public – more than half heard nothing at all about this issue. Only about a quarter of the public (28%) said they thought the claims were true.”

Damn know-it-all liberals, no doubt.

The Religious Right has been effective in denying evolution: “Most notably, 87% of scientists say that humans and other living things have evolved over time and that evolution is the result of natural processes such as natural selection. Just 32% of the public accepts this as true.”

I’m quoting a Pew research poll that also tells us only six percent of American scientists admit to being Republicans. Fifty-five percent identify themselves as Democrats. No wonder the Right hates scientists. And no wonder they want to suppress research that disagrees with their agenda.

This information goes far in explaining the Right’s hostility towards science, and by extension, public education, college professors, journalism and any other sources of knowledge and information that threatens their power and sacrosanct bottom line.

Although none of this is really news. Galileo’s persecution by the Pope almost 400 years ago was the classic lesson on institutionalized conservative power’s war on science. The Vatican has since apologized for the suppression. What do you think the chances are of the American radical Right apologizing for their suppression over the next 400 years?

156 comments:

Jerry Critter said...

No wonder republicans always seem to get it wrong. Just wait. Their solution to the energy crisis will be to repeal the law a gravity and then we can just float from place to place.

S.W. Anderson said...

It's becoming more and more clear the wealthy few and their Republican minions in government and politics hate anything they can't control. Unions get in their way both financially and politically, so unions have to be destroyed.

They've harnessed the MSM to a great extent. I can remember when the big-three networks had completely independent news and documentary operations. The entertainment division and advertising weren't allowed to influence or interfere with them at all. They produced eye-opening, factual reports about America's lesser aspects, things like the misery of migrant workers, segregation, unsafe vehicles, factories sneakily polluting rivers, developers cutting corners so buildings were unsafe and more. It doesn't take three guesses as to why those are long gone.

Now, we get talking-heads shows, where for the sake of sacred "balance" you get a serious, well-educated scientist being shouted down by an ignorant right-wing yahoo or political hack. We're supposed to grin and bear it because, after all, everyone has a right to their own opinion, and supposedly the ignorant yahoo's opinion is just as valid as the well-educated scientist's.

I have a warning for the religious right: you live by the controlling, near-fascist Republicans and tea baggers, don't be surprised if you one day die by them as well, figuratively speaking. There will come a time — bet on it — when they decide you're too beyond their control too.

Watch out for that.

Beach Bum said...

Now only 49% of Americans, down from a majority, think the Earth is getting warmer...

I suspect that will change once the warming pattern becomes more apparent. For the most part science is fighting a serious uphill battle, climate change is an abstract concept for many of the morons living blissfully in their ignorance and delusional dreams of "American Exceptionalism."

Also, Americans have never had a long attention span and the sad examples that are running around now caught up in the banal meanderings that flow from the news channels only makes matters worse.

But all things change and its only a matter of time before the effects become an unconvenient truth.

John Myste said...

Mr. Dave,

I am going to play Devil’s Advocate and defend republicans. I am Friend ‘o the Republican’s as any of them will tell you. As for evolution polls, they are almost always unfair, thus invalid. Let me give you an example: I do not believe humans evolved from a protein ball. They could have, but there is no scientific evidence that says they did and I do not believe things just because they are the best solution I can devise. When asked if I believe in the theory of evolution, I have to respond: no. I don’t know if the theory of evolution is ultimately the answer but my best guess is that the real answer is nothing we have yet imagined.

However, at the same time, I KNOW evolution is real, not the theory, but real evolution. I KNOW the earth is billions of years old. I KNOW that prehistoric humans existed. I KNOW that natural selection happens. I KNOW that species evolve. None of these things are rationally questioned. They are things science knows as well as it can know anything. If I were polled, I would be labeled one who rejects the science. However, I am certain of the science and I embrace it fully. It is the conclusion at the very end that I reject as unproven. It is the wording in the polls that is flawed. I reject faith as an explanation of how humans came to exist. I reject faith in Creationism and I reject faith in Evolution as the ultimate answer. I believe in the science of evolution completely, but that is not the question, now is it?

As for global warming, I am quite certain it is real, but I acknowledge the certainty requires a measure of faith. Some scientists talk of temperature cycles and say that eventually we would have a period of greater warming, without the influence of mankind. Others say the warming is not even happening to the degree that we think. Still others claim the concept was invented for political purposes. I don’t buy it. I think global warming is real and is caused by mankind. I have no scientific data. I believe the data of others, and the other data is in dispute. The nutty conservative view could be right, even though it is clearly nutty as an assumption. As I said before, I doubt that it is right, but stranger things have happened. Look at the walrus, for example.

You quote statistics where scientists embrace science more certainly than conservatives. Well, conservatives tend to embrace religion more than science, so there! Religion is based on faith. Science is based on observation and reason. Faith and reason have always been at war, and faith claims faith is more valid and reason claims reason is more valid. It is an axiomatic disconnect, and one that cannot be solved, as each advocate rejects the others methodology as its primary tool.

My defense of republicans is now complete.

John Myste said...

Beach,

The number will hover around 49%. About half the country will remain republicans and they are not going to admit that this phenomenon exists until they earth is boils enough of them off the surface that they become a minority.

Tom Harper said...

Or as Sarah Palin said, "Global warming? It's just God hugging us closer."

OK, so it was Tina Fey who said it, not Sarah Palin. But that line always cracked me up because it sounds exactly like what millions of useful idiots are thinking.

Dave Dubya said...

Jerry,
Repubublicans are doing their best to pass laws with or without quorums, a Senate or executive signatures. Say, wasn't Isaac Newton a Socialist?

SW,
Good points. Eventually the Religious Right will learn they are not needed. I think the same holds true for the NRA and gun culture. When they start screaming about their lost rights, we liberals can only say, you should have read this:

“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out.

Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out.

Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out.

And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”



Beach,
Americans have always been easily duped by the Right. Before the pre-Iraq War propaganda campaign 70% were against the invasion. By the time of Operation Iraqi Liberation, 70% thought Saddam had something to do with 9-11. Things will have to get very ugly for the population to wake up. By then it could be too late.

Tom,
I owe Sarah a debt of gratitude. If not for her I may never have become such a Tina Fey fan.

John,
I hope our conservative Republican friends appreciate your kind defense.

Of course wording is important in polls and choices are limited. I would prefer the questions included the most likely answer to human evolution. We are, almost certainly, an Alien genetic experiment on Neanderthals, producing the Homo sapiens hybrid with self destruction written into our DNA. Since outright extermination by military style conquest violates the Aliens’ Prime Directive, they needed to plant the seeds for our self-inflicted demise in a subtle and discreet way that allows them to wait in suspended animation until humans vacate the premises for their new colonies.

Now we are seeing evidence that many modern humans may be carrying a small percentage of Neanderthal genes. This may prove to be our salvation, and we must learn to thank our fellow conservative Republicans for this final hope for our species...Provided they don’t precipitate our self destruction through totalitarianism, crusades, endless war, pollution and human-induced climate change.

However, I remain faithful...for no reason whatsoever.

John Myste said...

Dave,

I was heartened to read this confirmation that my life policy is the correct one.

"And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”

It would appear that the man giving the testimony out-lived everyone else. If anyone was to survive, it was this man.

As I always say, to hell with everyone else!

T. Paine said...

Myste, I don't know whether to be thankful to you for your defense or annoyed that you stole some of my thunder, sir.

Dubya, I hope you know that I do respect you and indeed there are some key issues upon which we find common ground, my friend. That being said, you make a wonderful propagandist for the progressive fascism that you would have counter that of the conservatives’.

I agree that suppression of scientific studies by any administration or body whatsoever is abhorrent, especially when that scientific evidence comes from within certain scientific bodies that doesn’t like to have their own “findings” brought into question or doubt. There are plenty of exceptionally knowledgeable scientists that have more than reasonable doubt regarding anthropogenic global warming, and yet they are subjected to Saul Alinsky tactics of scorn and ridicule in order to shut them up.

Even the former head of NASA was severely criticized for having had such gall as to question all of those altruistic global warming scientists. Never mind that these same scientists have by their own emails and occasional candid statements proclaimed that their scientific methods are sometimes quite questionable, their data is cherry picked or even outright fabricated as per the East Anglia emails etc.

Well why would all of these university supported studies be wrong, you ask? Why indeed? Perhaps if their studies are found lacking in their science and the earth is warming despite anything related to humanity’s influence, well then it would be far tougher to get private and government grants for them to continue their research, wouldn’t it? And by the way, there are plenty of contrary findings that are not supported by the oil industry. Further, even if some of the studies are oil industry funded, if the scientific findings of fact are good and not able to be challenged, does it matter the source of the funding, sir?

As for evolution, it is indeed a proven scientific fact… on the micro-evolution scale. There is no scientific data supporting macro-evolution where all species sprang forth from some primeval muck and mire. Where are the those pesky transitional fossils otherwise? Indeed science has done a far better job of disproving that theory. It might surprise you to know that even Charles Darwin believed in a creator, by the way.

I am very much pro-science, and yet find that TRUE science often strengthens my faith in God. You state the typical liberal dichotomy of science and faith being incompatible where if you were to be open-minded like a good scientist, you would find many cases where science and faith are indeed a duality that are complimentary to each other, my friend. Of course that would negate the premise of this otherwise excellent post of yours, Dubya. Cheers! 

Dave Dubya said...

TP,

Thank you for your comment. I understand you are pro-science, but you seem even more pro-Rightist in your beliefs.

“Progressive fascism”. Ha. That was funny. There’s no such thing, of course. But now that is one of my favorite Right Wing neologisms. If you don’t mind, I’d like to expound on this matter. As we know Progressives are pro-democracy, pro-freedom, pro-equality, pro- peace, pro-union, and pro-justice. On the other hand we know Republicans have a clear disdain and contempt for democracy and are doing their best to make sure many who legally voted last election will be denied their rights in the next one. The Right is joined with Communists, Fascists, and other dictators in their ruthless efforts to crush unions and workers’ rights. The Right is clearly anti-democracy by design and authoritarian in nature. Their ideology is the incubator of real fascism. Don't take my word for it and heed the words of the enemies of democracy:

"I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of the people. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.” – Heritage Foundation co-founder Paul Weyrich

The radical Right also emulates fascism with their use of the Big Lie.

When half of all Republican voters believe Obama is a foreign born Marxist Muslim, the Big Lie is in effect. When Beck accuses Obama of being a racist who hates white people and still keeps his multimillion dollar job as propagandist and fear-monger, the Big Lie is in effect. When Limbaugh claims that the Left, not the Right is racist, the Big Lie is in effect. When a hundred thousand pro-union demonstrators peacefully protest a governor’s stripping of their rights, but are constantly called “union thugs” anyway, the Big Lie is in effect. When liberals must be portrayed as communists, and accused of destroying America, this is fascist scapegoating, exactly in the pattern of early Nazi propaganda.

Dave Dubya said...

(Continue)

On to climate.

Of the thousands of scientists studying climate, the Right’s cherry picked few are all they need to debunk the rest, I suppose. True to form, Right Wing extremist thugs went to work. Climate scientists at East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, the CRU, and elsewhere received numerous threatening and abusive e-mails in the wake of the initial incidents. Like I said, they attack both the message and the messenger.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group I, The American Meteorological Society, The American Geophysical Union, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, among many other organizations, all concur with the British House of Commons’ Science and Technology Select Committee, that "the scientific reputation of Professor Jones and East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit remains intact". Even Popular Mechanics had a sensible perspective on the issue.

You, however, may freely side with renowned climate scientist Rush Limbaugh, and take everything out of context to suit the Right’s agenda.

Yes, I do wonder, “why would all of these university supported studies be wrong”, and why would all corporate-funded studies be correct. Hmm. So conflict of interest only exists in public-funded science, and we can trust corporations to tell us the truth. Thanks. That’s good to know. You seem to prefer to have it both ways. I like that about you.

I’m not sure where you deduced that I present a “typical liberal dichotomy of science and faith being incompatible”. I never made that argument. I said conservative power is behind the forces against science, education, and journalism. The free exchange of information is always regarded as a threat by power, and most power is by nature conservative. They want to keep that power and status quo right?

Personally I have no problem with the idea that evolution is all part of God’s Creation.

There are numerous examples of transitional forms in the fossil record, providing an abundance of evidence for change over time.

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/lines/IAtransitional.shtml


Cheers!

T. Paine said...

Dubya, yes indeed there is such a thing as progressive fascism. In fact in the 1930’s, Germany’s national socialist party developed (yes, the Nazi’s) initially by harnessing the power of the unions. Instead of “workers of the world, unite!” , Hitler proclaimed “workers of Germany unite!”.

Today, we have progressive rent-a-mobs and professional protesters to attack any legislation they dislike, regardless if it is popular and democratically passed. Indeed, your beloved protestors in Wisconsin were supportive of the Democrat legislators that read the writing on the wall and knew their position would fail so instead they thwarted the will of the people in their democratically elected legislature and fled so as to prevent a quorum from voting on a bill they abhorred. Yeah, that sounds like pro-democracy to me!

As for the rest of your list, pro-freedom seems to only come into play when someone’s right to abortion or gay marriage is challenged. If someone wants to pray in public or not buy health insurance, those freedoms are wanting to be stripped by the left. Heck, the left even wants to install the “fairness doctrine” as they know it will severely harm opposing conservative talk shows’ free speech.

Pro-equality… when narrowly defined through identity politics, you may be correct. If equality is defined as giving certain people of faith or a conservative ideology an equal standing, then they are against this.

Pro-peace… perhaps, but this is also via a tortured definition. Often the left defines peace simply as the absence of war, never mind if people are oppressed or vital national interests are harmed by not fighting.

Pro-union… okay! I will give you this one.

Pro-justice… some leftists are indeed pro-justice, and others seek to have their agenda instituted through judicial activism because they are unable to get it passed at the ballot box, which also goes back to violating your pro-democracy position.

Next, I cannot stop laughing at your comment that the right has joined with communists… please do give me an example, sir. I’ll give you one showing that the leftist protestors in Wisconsin had Communists on their side fomenting revolution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-nxSRQNmjs

As for your repeated “Big Lie” scenario, I do admit that some of what you say is true. Most of it is hyperbole. Further, do you acknowledge that the “Big Lie” was also in effect from the left during George W. Bush’s presidency? How about starting out with “Bush stole the election!” to Dan Rather trying to pass off faked documents showing Bush avoided combat during Vietnam? And then there is your favorite lie of “Bush lied us into war in Iraq!” Never mind his reason of WMD intelligence from multiple U.S. and international sources. Never mind that a BIPARTISAN majority agreed with Bush in his foray into enforcing the UN resolution against Saddam. You may have very valid reasons against the war, but saying Bush lied to get us into it is sheer propaganda.

T. Paine said...

cont.

As for your statements regarding the East Anglia emails, well I don’t feel any better as these emails were never satisfactorily explained by the “scientists”.

The fact that the various entities that signed off on them that you mentioned only makes me question THEIR credibility. Funny how the left discounts myriads of scientists that dispute this and indeed doesn’t even want their side of the debate heard.

Perhaps you can explain how some of those hundreds of emails were ALL just taken out of context. Here are just a few examples:

From: Phil Jones. To: Many. Nov 16, 1999
"I've just completed Mike's Nature [the science journal] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e., from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline."

From: Kevin Trenberth (US National Center for Atmospheric Research). To: Michael Mann. Oct 12, 2009
"The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't... Our observing system is inadequate"

From Phil Jones To: Michael Mann (Pennsylvania State University). July 8, 2004
"I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"

From: Phil Jones. To: Many. March 11, 2003
“I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.”

Prof Jones appears to be lobbying for the dismissal of the editor of Climate Research, a scientific journal that published papers downplaying climate change.

From Phil Jones. To: Michael Mann. Date: May 29, 2008
"Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise."

Climate change skeptics tried to use Freedom of Information laws to obtain raw climate data submitted to an IPCC report known as AR4. The scientists did not want their email exchanges about the data to be made public. Yeah, these guys were all on the up and up and had nothing to hide, obviously.

Finally, the link you provided for transitional fossils comes up with a “page not found” error. I am sincerely disappointed here, because I was curious to see what was said there.
Cheers!

Weaseldog said...

John Myste says, "I do not believe humans evolved from a protein ball."

That's good. Because scientists don't believe that either.

The current theories revolve around lipids and nucleic acids.

Evolution of RNA (as primitive life) has been demonstrated in the laboratory. It's being investigated as a means of solving complex problems as a form of organic computer.

"I don’t know if the theory of evolution is ultimately the answer but my best guess is that the real answer is nothing we have yet imagined."

At least evolution is observable and repeatable. The stuff we haven't imagined, isn't even imagination yet. It's imaginary imagination.

Weaseldog said...

John Myste says, "Never mind that these same scientists have by their own emails and occasional candid statements proclaimed that their scientific methods are sometimes quite questionable, their data is cherry picked or even outright fabricated as per the East Anglia emails etc."

And that's how science works. Models aren't just developed by using data collected in the field, but also by using manufactured data sets in order to construct 'what if' scenarios.

Scientists commonly disagree with each other.

These things are acceptable when it leads to advances that give us Tupperware and Nascar races. But unacceptable when science provides information that people don't want to hear.

If Republicans weren't ignorant hypocrites, they'd reject all of the products of science and live naked in caves without fire or tools.

Dave nails it. In our society, the voice of the ignorant and poorly educated, carries the same weight as people who are the top of their field. Every FOX news correspondent can speak with the same authority on biological processes as the top geneticists. and of course every 300lb drunk in a lazyboy, is equal in expertise to a top NFL Quarterback.

It's all about feelings and emotional intelligence. How people feel about a topic is more important than their expertise.

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine said, "Dubya, yes indeed there is such a thing as progressive fascism. In fact in the 1930’s, Germany’s national socialist party developed (yes, the Nazi’s) initially by harnessing the power of the unions. Instead of “workers of the world, unite!” , Hitler proclaimed “workers of Germany unite!”. "

I know you've made it clear in the past that you put a lot of trust and faith in the words of Adolph Hitler.

But let me tell you a secret. The man was liar. He lied often.

I know that's hard to believe, and it shatters your faith in the man, but it's true. He was lying to the socialists.

I know that because Hitler was a right winger, it's in your DNA to believe in him and to trust everything he said, but really, he was a pathological liar.

Not every right winger tells the truth T. Paine. Especially not Adolph Hitler. You've been duped.

T. Paine said...

Weasel, the difference is that when you have more assumptions than data and you must FALSIFY existing data to make your hypothesis seem accurate, that is NOT good science.

Furthermore, when you insist that billions of dollars be spent and sway public policy based on results that are highly questionable, that is outright fraud! There is a reason why Al Gore's carbon exchange scam disintegrated.

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine said, "Never mind his reason of WMD intelligence from multiple U.S. and international sources."

Yup, the Iraqi con men on the run for financial fraud, who then stole many $billions from the US taxpayer, definitely had good intel on a program they knew little about.

Donald Rumsfield had the best intel. He set up the sales in the 1980s, to and advised Saddam in his war against Iran.

So why is it that we still can't find the WMD factories and missile silos with the nuclear tipped ballistic missiles.

Oh that's right, a convoy of hundreds of thousands of tractor trailer rigs, dismantled those facilities in a few hours and shipped them to Syria, rather than use them in war. Our troops were unable to see these massive convoys, because we have a low tech incompetent military. Further Saddam was using Romulan Stealth technology, that even our satellites can's see through.

Right?

Isn't that the gist of the current working theory on how massive stockpiles of WMDs and factories vanished into thin air as the most technologically advanced and trained military moved in?

T. Paine said...

Weasel, pick up an un-revised history book and see that I am not falling for lies and have not been "dumped".

I have no intention of debating you as you resort to ad hominem attacks and are evidently a partisan hack on the scale of charlatans like Michael Moore.

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine said..., "Weasel, the difference is that when you have more assumptions than data and you must FALSIFY existing data to make your hypothesis seem accurate, that is NOT good science."

Are you talking about politics or science here?

This falsification of data you're talking about is like adjusting the throttle on a motor to listen to it run at different speeds.

Ignorant people interpret the idea of running experimental data sets through a model to see the outcomes under different conditions as falsification. In science this is called experimentation.

"Furthermore, when you insist that billions of dollars be spent and sway public policy based on results that are highly questionable, that is outright fraud! There is a reason why Al Gore's carbon exchange scam disintegrated."

Why do you have to keep lying? Every time you respond to me, you do so as a liar and make up crap.

T. Paine, you don't need to be a liar. You don't need to keep telling lies about my position. i have to assume if you're going to keep telling lies about me, that you're lying about everything else too.

You know for a fact that I've never advocated any government response to global Warming. Yet, you keep lying about stuff like this.

Just to be clear, and to counter any additional lies you might spread about what I think... In my current understanding of Global Warming, anything we do now, won't have a measurable effect for hundreds of years. I also believe that the GW scientists are making a common mistake in assuming that carbon emissions will keep increasing.

I believe that fossil fuels are not infinite. They don't exceed the mass and volume of the universe. We don't pump and mine them out of extra-dimensional spaces. And now we're at the cusp of maximum extraction. Soon we'll be in a permanent decline. that decline is not going into the current climate models.

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine said..., "Weasel, pick up an un-revised history book and see that I am not falling for lies and have not been "dumped". "

Adolph Hitler use the Worker's Party as a platform to propel the Nazi Party into the political arena. He did not keep any of his promises, and as his power grew, he replaced all of the party members with Nazis.

Eventually he dropped all pretense of alignment with the Worker's Party and went full Nazi.

Feel free to show historical demonstrations of significant union reform, enacted by Adolph Hitler. I would be fascinated to learn of the progressive and humanitarian efforts that you suggesting that he undertook as party of his liberal policies. I don't believe you're going to find anything any real significance int he history books regarding this.

You should easily find many instances of Adolph Hitler telling lies.

I'm not surprised that you would argue with me on whether he was was a liar.

Do you really need me to demonstrate to you, that he told some really big lies?

John Myste said...

Weasel,

The only science magazine to which I subscribe is Scientific American, which had a fairly recent article about this, so I will assume that it or something like it is your source. If this is the case, Life WAS NOT created in a test tube. Some form of replication did happen, meaning something was caused to replicate an ingredient of life into another ingredient of life. I am too lazy to research the details, but I remember enough, assuming this is what you are talking about, to see your mistake. If I am thinking of something else, then I am sure you will correct me and we can go from there. This puts the onerous research on you, as I am not that passionate about the topic, which to me seems kind of obvious to me.

You can be scientific minded and still not be an apologist for a cause. I believe in the non-faith based premise of evolution. I simply don’t have faith in the theoretical part as the answer. Worry not: I know creationism to be an even more absurd answer. I don’t have to have the answer at all.

RNA, DNA, Protein, etc. equals life. You are trying to use sophistry and semantics and rhetorical strategy to “win” your argument. There is no toddler species of RNA running around, as you apparently think.

There are rumors of this:

John Myste says, "Never mind that these same scientists have by their own emails and occasional candid statements proclaimed that their scientific methods are sometimes quite questionable, their data is cherry picked or even outright fabricated as per the East Anglia emails etc."

It turns out that John Myste has no memory of such a statement. I know some studies are biased, but I have not read any of the personal emails of scientists and I am quite certain that the vast majority of scientist believe evolution is the answer, and I would not argue otherwise, as to do so would be a strategic rhetorical effort and I choose to stick with shared reason, thus far. I know evolution happens and most of the tale is proven. Like everyone who is intellectually honest, however, I don’t know how life on earth happened.

Dave Dubya said...

TP,

No, there is no such thing as “progressive fascism”. This a lie manufactured by the Right. One that you must feel compelled to believe.

Hitler used slave labor, not union labor. Wease is right that you seem to believe Hitler’s words over his actions. Limbaugh and you love to say Hitler was a liberal because “socialist” is in the Nazi Party name. I suppose by your reasoning the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea is a democracy ruled by Democrats. Duped seems to be a very fair word in this case.

Name me one liberal who wants to discourage someone’s right to pray in public, other than Jesus, who saw that as fitting of hypocrites. You dishonestly claim victimhood when the real issue opposed by liberals is state-sanctioned public prayer. Move to Iran if you want government sanctioned prayer.

Rent-a-mobs?? Professional protestors?? Sure, Rush, whatever you say. I see three people passing out pamphlets are the base of your Red Scare. You act like they were invited by the union. Pathetic.

The fact is this: Stripping union rights is the agenda of the economic elite minority. It is also plain fact that the Right sides with dictators, fascists and Soviet and Chinese Communists in their hatred for unions. You cannot show otherwise. Every poll shows popular support of the workers over the Koch-sucking politicians who lied about disclosing their union busting agenda. You completely ignore the mandate for Obama to reform health care. Yes the majority wanted reform. What we got was corporate friendly non-reform. Mandates of “Romneycare” originated with Republicans. You cannot admit this, I’m sure. Again that democratic mandate was real and it was crushed by corporate owned senators.

I’m talking about freedoms written in our Bill of Rights. You want to make some kind of religious jihad out of this. Liberals and Libertarians alike opposed Bush’s Patriot Act and FISA Amendment. Obama supported the latter, proving he is no liberal, but a corporatist as Ron Paul acknowledges.

There is no fairness doctrine. There is no liberal conspiracy, no secret push to enact it. Talk radio and other Right Wing corporate media have dominated our public airwaves because Big Money rules this country. The fairness doctrine is a non issue, but one of your favorite straw men nonetheless. Your Mammonites are free to lie and tell their dupes of the Right Wing base what to think. The Mammonites are winning, you know. That should make you happy.

Dave Dubya said...

(Continue)
TP,
There you go again with the “judicial activism” nonsense. Just what do you think it was when Supreme Court cronies, yes, cronies, as in friends of Cheney with family members working for the Bush campaign, overruled democracy and gave the White House to Bush? What do you think giving away our elections to Big Money through the CU v. FEC ruling is called, judicial restraint? The first real Big Lie is Bush WON the election. It is also no lie that Bush evaded combat and shirked his National Guard duties. He and Cheney are Chicken Hawks. Buk buk bukawww.

Propaganda is what Bush and his chicken hawks pushed. “We know where the weapons are at.” “He’s got connections to al-Qaeda.” And the infamous “Nukular aluminum tubes” are only a few or the hundreds of lies. Saying a politician is lying because he said things that were not true is not propaganda. Nope, not in any sense of the word. I marvel at your complete reversal of reality. Really, if Bush had said, “We believe there are WMD’s and ties to al-Qaeda” then they would not have been lies, provided they actually believed it. But that is not what they said. They lied. Your twisted rationalizations cannot change the facts. The rigidity of your belief system is remarkable, though.

I think it’s good that you admit to some of the Big Lies used by the Right. If only you were to be open-minded like a good scientist, you would know what I am saying is true. But I understand it violates your belief system.

You have the right to believe, and say, what you want to believe. I appreciate your input. But your right to misinform us ends here.

Dave Dubya said...

I’m sorry that link won’t work. Here’s the correct link and what’s there.

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/lines/IAtransitional.shtml

Transitional Forms:

Fossils or organisms that show the intermediate states between an ancestral form and that of its descendants are referred to as transitional forms. There are numerous examples of transitional forms in the fossil record, providing an abundance of evidence for change over time.
Pakicetus (below left), is described as an early ancestor to modern whales. Although pakicetids were land mammals, it is clear that they are related to whales and dolphins based on a number of specializations of the ear, relating to hearing. The skull shown here displays nostrils at the front of the skull.
A skull of the gray whale that roams the seas today (below right) has its nostrils placed at the top of its skull. It would appear from these two specimens that the position of the nostril has changed over time and thus we would expect to see intermediate forms.
Note that the nostril placement in Aetiocetus is intermediate between the ancestral form Pakicetus and the modern gray whale — an excellent example of a transitional form in the fossil record!
Our understanding of the evolution of horse feet, so often depicted in textbooks, is derived from a scattered sampling of horse fossils within the multi-branched horse evolutionary tree. These fossil organisms represent branches on the tree and not a direct line of descent leading to modern horses.
But, the standard diagram does clearly show transitional stages whereby the four-toed foot of Hyracotherium, otherwise known as Eohippus, became the single-toed foot of Equus. Fossils show that the transitional forms predicted by evolution did indeed exist.

Weaseldog said...

John Myste says, "The only science magazine to which I subscribe is Scientific American, which had a fairly recent article about this, so I will assume that it or something like it is your source."

No. Scientific American has once again become a Technological Pulp Rag. It started out that way. Then after the space race started, became a real scientific magazine until the 1980s. I believe it was picked up by Rodale Press, which is in the business of printing magazine sized advertisements with some basic informational text embedded, to give it extra weight. I haven't bothered to read it in many years. I don't know who owns it now.

I got information that from a different rag, called 'Nature'. And it was back in the 1980s when I read about it.

I am too lazy to research the details, but I remember enough, assuming this is what you are talking about, to see your mistake.

That's an interesting way to phrase your counter argument.

RNA, DNA, Protein, etc. equals life. You are trying to use sophistry and semantics and rhetorical strategy to “win” your argument. There is no toddler species of RNA running around, as you apparently think.

It's a shame that you were too lazy to research this topic.

A virus is a strand of RNA or DNA, that hijacks cellular machinery to reproduce itself. It can be found naked or bound in protective proteins, depending on how complex it is.

It is thought by evolutionary microbiologists, that they may be the evolutionary descendants of the first molecules to self replicate and evolve.

Whether they constitute life or not, is up to debate. They do encode genes and they do evolve. Our own cells also contain DNA and RNA as our genetic material.

Weaseldog said...

John Myste says, "RNA, DNA, Protein, etc. equals life. You are trying to use sophistry and semantics and rhetorical strategy to “win” your argument. There is no toddler species of RNA running around, as you apparently think."

If I take a different meaning to your statement, then right. Many forms of life have become extinct because either newer forms out competed them, or the environment they thrived in, no longer exists.

In the case of free floating complex molecules, protozoan gobble them up as fast as they can find them.

I remember as a kid watching pond water under a microscope. When I'd first put the slide over a drop of water, it would be teaming with protozoa of all sizes. Then a curious thing happened. Because I didn't properly prepare the slide and smear a circle of Vaseline around the edge of the cover slip the water evaporated from the edges, and the cover slip would compress onto the slide.

The largest protozoa would become crushed and burst open. I could see the cellular materials spill out. Tinier protozoan would zoom to the location, and swim through the spilled cytoplasm, eating it all up. At least until the slide crushed them also.

In our current environment, long free floating strands of RNA wouldn't have a chance.

John Myste said...

Firstly Weasledog says: "Never mind that these same scientists have by their own emails and occasional candid statements proclaimed that their scientific methods are sometimes quite questionable, their data is cherry picked or even outright fabricated as per the East Anglia emails etc."

You seem to trying to support T. Paine’s argument with this statement. You confuse me, sir.

Secondly, let me correct my initial statement: the only Technological Pulp Rag I read regularly is Scientific American. When that fails, I consult Weasledog for the rest of my science, and if I still find no answers, I ask the guy who picks up my trash on Thursday.

Secondly, it would seem you have conceded. You no longer seem to be suggesting that life was produced in a test tube where no life existed before. I think you previously thought that RNA either was alive or it wasn’t and it either did or did not replicate. Not sure, as there is some confusion on the matter. It would seem you are now deferring to the pulp rag. Don’t feel bad. I do it all the time.

You then go onto to conversation about whether things evolve. I thought I had convinced you of that with my initial statements. For me, of course, the fact was never in question. I have a pulp rag that speaks of it frequently and scientists generally agree about this. I have not clarified my position on this with Weasledog, but once I do, I will get back to you with a definitive answer. I also never disputed the fact that humans almost certainly evolved from non human species. I think I said that, but I am too lazy to scroll up to the previous post and check. Either way, we are making progress. I am zeroing in on the exact parents of the non protein people. It would seem they are either little baby RNA fetuses or viruses.

I will take on faith your assumption that humans may have evolved from viruses. I really see no point in debating it, as my source is better respected in the scientific community than Scientific American, or at least that is what he tells me.

One more thing: those non protein people you mentioned earlier, were you perhaps thinking of some progenitors of something other than humanity, such as maybe one of the stupid viruses you mentioned earlier? How did they replicate from a non living source again?

T. Paine said...

I realize the futility of this but I will try one more time. Weasel, I fully understand the difference between tuning a model or a motor and the fabrication of data. I understand further that one can change variables to observe what a given result might be and if it supports one’s initial hypothesis. That is not what I am talking about, and I suspect you know this too. I recall reading in one circumstance that there were instances of data collection from temperature stations that didn’t even exist, and other such cases where the extreme temperatures were taken rather than the mean temperature if it better supported the agenda. There was not a fully consistent scientific collection of data. It had nothing to do with model tuning, although that too is a HUGE problem for these scientists. Indeed Dr. Singer created the satellite technology with which some of the climate data was taken and he has brought huge issues to the forefront about the inaccuracies and the lack of accounting for specific variables in some of these models used.

Weasel, my apologies to you in your assumption that “your position on spending” meant you specifically. I meant the left’s position in general and should have been more clear. I had no intention of lying about any personal position of yours on this topic. In fact I find myself to be in agreement with your other statements regarding any solution we might devise as having minimal effect on the problem of GW.

Next, I am well aware that Hitler was a liar and a madman, as was Lenin when he hoped to form his workers’ paradise. All of these evil tyrants were of course liars and their desire to create some utopia where everyone delighted in equal outcomes as comrades was all a myth. But, it was those myths that brought Hitler and Lenin and many other such communist tyrants to power. It was the leftist myth of a society where everybody was equal and nobody was lorded over by another.

Dubya, you are missing my point on public prayer. It has gotten where a cross on the side of the road is an affront to some people and a call to action by the ACLU. One cannot say a prayer anymore at a high school baccalaureate and there are those that seethe when the President concludes a speech with “God bless America!” Instead of having any sign of a Judeo-Christian culture, which a VAST majority of our nation’s population supports, the minority that are offended by any mention of any God are trying mightily to ensure that such a mention is absolutely taboo.

And resorting to a marginal Republican such as Romney, who was governor of a deep blue state and was trying to appease his constituents accordingly, is ridiculous. No serious conservative ever supported Romneycare and now as it’s problems have become ever more apparent, one can see exactly why.

As for the Left’s big lie, thank you for proving my point, sir. Evidently you buy into all of the falsehoods that the left propagated then and now.

Lastly, I have read plenty of information that has proven to my limited intellect that micro-evolution within species is undeniable. I still have not seen any conclusive evidence to support that all species started out as an amino acid that formed a protein and then eventually became a T-Rex and a bracken fern and Isaac Newton though. The Cambrian explosion of species suggest a bush of life rather than a tree. The information you listed here will take some more research on my part, but it definitely doesn’t strike me as being fully accurate, sir.

John Myste said...

Many comments lost. Much damage done.

Dave Dubya said...

Sorry about the over-sensitive spam filter.

Weaseldog said...

john, I like the way you attribute T. Paine's comments to me, and then make up a bunch of crap and argue it's my position so that you have easy strawman to box with.

You're dishonest. That makes you a great Republican. further your reading comprehension is very poor. You'd be great as a political pundit. 'Misunderstanding all you read', to paraphrase John Lennon.

You should take your non-protein human theories to a scientific forum. You're a Republican. You feelings and beliefs are as valid as anyone else's. I bet the professionals would love to hear about them. Especially if you start claiming that these theories belong to them, and then start challenging them to defend them. Strawman debating is always the best way to prove you're a great Republican. And you sure are a fine strawman debater!

I think they are silly, but then I'm just college educated in the topic. I'm not a professional. I ended up writing software.

I salute you John Myste! you are a great Republican Strawman Butt Kicker!

Weaseldog said...

Thank you for your well reasoned response T. Paine.

In every human endeavor, there have been cheaters and frauds. This should not be a general indictment that field of endeavor.

I'll make you a deal. I'll drop the defense of climate science if you'll admit that like some Christian Crusaders in the Middle Ages, all Christians like to chop up screaming babies with axes.

Or we can both agree that there some rotten apples in every group.

Science has certainly has had it's share of frauds. Scientists actually write books about it. just as Christians have written damning accounts about the Crusades.

Should science and Christianity then be rejected?

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine said, "Lastly, I have read plenty of information that has proven to my limited intellect that micro-evolution within species is undeniable. I still have not seen any conclusive evidence to support that all species started out as an amino acid that formed a protein and then eventually became a T-Rex and a bracken fern and Isaac Newton though. The Cambrian explosion of species suggest a bush of life rather than a tree. The information you listed here will take some more research on my part, but it definitely doesn’t strike me as being fully accurate, sir.

Only John Myste has suggested such a preposterous argument. I won't defend it.

What I will argue is that every step from the evolution of simple molecules to complex life have been demonstrated, in the laboratory or in nature. Demonstrating the evolution of life from molecules to animal life, would require another pristine planet and a very long lifespan.

One of the fundamental principles of the evolution of life is that it works on vast time scales and with enormous experimental sets.

If we simplify it to the mode in which the lottery functions... Each ticket has an extremely small chance of winning. So small that it would seem reasonable to assume no one could ever win. Yet, because so many tickets are sold, and the lottery is repeated, the odds are overwhelming that there will be a winner. If not one week, then in some short span of weeks, on the outside.

Given: An evolutionary step is a trillion to one shot, and you have 10^14 mutations a year and millions of years to work with. Odds are so close to 100% that it will happen, that there's little point in arguing it won't.

Dave Dubya said...

TP,
Well at least you concede evolution is not a myth.

The "liberal Big Lie", on the other hand. Wow.

It must be comforting to believe Bush and Cheney told the truth.

Dave Dubya said...

Here is the ACLU position:

The ACLU is a strong defender of the right of religious organizations and individuals to express their religious beliefs in public. The ACLU is opposed, however, to the government sponsoring, endorsing, promoting, or financing religious symbols. The government has no right or authority to decide whose religious symbols should be promoted and whose should be ignored.

T. Paine said...

"The ACLU is a strong defender of the right of religious organizations and individuals to express their religious beliefs in public."

THAT right there is a lie. The ACLU was fighting to have crosses on the side of the road in my state removed that were placed there by the loved ones of accident victims. They do not want to see any religious symbols in public, unless they are on a church, temple, synagogue etc.

Weaseldog said...

While cutting funding for public education, the Federal Gov continues to fund and promote private religious education.

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/04/05/liberty_university_federal_money/index.html?source=rss&aim=%2Fpolitics%2Fwar_room

Weaseldog said...

Is this what you're referring to T. Paine?

ACLU Sues Federal Government Over Christian Cross in Mojave National Preserve

http://www.aclu.org/religion-belief/aclu-sues-federal-government-over-christian-cross-mojave-national-preserve

I have to agree when it comes the National Preserves, I don't want Starbucks Billboards there either.

Dave Dubya said...

TP,
Would you please provide documentaion of this case? I sympathize with the mourners, but those highway memorials are on public roads and may possibly have an effect on traffic.

A roadside memorial on the northbound side of Route 287 in Parsippany that attracted scores of mourners and was blamed for traffic jams has been removed because of safety concerns, according to a report in the Daily Record.

The memorial was set up in honor of Serhan Okuyan, 24, of Montville, who died after losing control of his car on Oct. 5. Relatives and friends had been gathering by the dozens to place flowers and photos and mourn at the site.

However, the memorial created traffic delays, including a 10-mile backup on Monday night. Erin Phalon, a state Department of Transportation spokeswoman, said her agency received at least one complaint and decided Friday to relocate the memorial to the Hanover maintenance yard.


Most of us don't need a reminder of a fatal accident every day we pass them. Maybe there could be a compromise on how long they stay up, or something.

John Myste said...

WeaselDog,

Holy Crap! I am a republican! There was an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, where the Jewish Larry David learns, or thinks he learns, that he is a “Gentile.” He dons folksy dress, starts working on cars; he repairs his newly discovered Gentile parents’ roof himself. He goes to church and proudly sings hymns and he is suddenly happy. I am going to have to learn how to be a republican now that I know what I am. I hope there are classes somewhere.

I attributed the T. Paine argument to you, because you assigned that argument to me a few comments up. I simply cut and pasted your words and replaced “John Myste” with “Weasledog.” I know it was an honest mistake, but I could not resist the subtlety, which swooped past you in a puff of irony.

I don’t think you should fault me for my poor reading comprehension. See former paragraph.

In my presentation, I was, of course, finishing your theories. I know that science has not produced life from scratch in a test tube. You attacked my assumption of “evolution from a protein,” with an absurd semantic rebuttal, so I thought it was only fair to respond in kind. If that offends you, you have my sincerest apologies, as there is nothing more repugnant to me than offending a fellow republican.

As for the “real” science, there is no disagreement between your position and mine (and everyone else’s). You simply interpret the results to an extreme philosophy that I reject as unproven. That offends you. You have decided that if I do not embrace your best guess, then I am unscientific and you seemed to have become angry, as if it is you personally got rejected. I only disagreed with your best guess. It was the guess itself I questioned, not you. I would like to point out that this kind of emotion is one that I typically see liberals claim is owned by conservatives. Not embracing someone else’s guess does not make one unscientific. In fact, a true scientific mind will never assume his best guess is fact. Religions do.

God, I hope no conservatives see this thread.

As for your comment that I am a fine debater, I thank you sir. That was very generous considering the tone of our discussion thus far.

As for your assertion that I am dishonest, I think I typically only respond to insincerity with insincerity. I am not sure why you even engaged me. I merely said that I reject the philosophical conclusion that often follows an assessment of the facts of evolution. There was really nothing to debate, but you came out, arms flailing, so I had fun with it.

By the way, I do not claim for a minute that the scientific community embraces your fetal RNA theories. I was attributing those solely to you. I am sure you realize that, as your reading comprehension is pretty good. If I in any way implied that the scientific community has any theories other than the ones I represented as theirs, because they did before me, then I sincerely apologize to the scientific community. In case the scientific community does not read this blog, please pass my apology along when you attend the next meeting. Also, can you please tell Fred that I have two garbage bins, not one, and last Thursday he only emptied the first one? There was a single bag of trash in the bottom of the second one and it is still there.

[To Be Continued …]

John Myste said...

[Part II - Continuation …]

You said you think our discussion was silly. On that we completely agree. That evolution happens and did happen is now axiomatic, as we all agree on that with no further evidence needed. Any more “knowledge” than that exceeds the known facts and becomes theory. There is nothing wrong with theory until we start calling it truth and then questioning the science of anyone who does not accept the theory. You once said “the current theories revolve around lipids and nucleic acids.” You wisely chose the words “revolve” and “current.” Notice they are not facts and they are not static. You suggested (and somewhat erroneously) that the protein theory has been supplanted. You did that, of course, for satirical effect and for no other reason, as you know that we are a protein people and that the idea that there was little more than this protein mass is not in question by those embracing the theory of evolution. I accepted your satirical approach and decided to run with it instead of focusing heavily on the flawed semantic rhetoric, which genuinely amused me. Challenging satire with anything less than satire does not make sense to me. I gave you the benefit of the doubt and assumed that your point was humor. To your credit, it was humorous. I mumbled a profane word and laughed. I was genuinely entertained. If the discussion becomes silly, I always decide to hop on the silliness and ride. I only mention this now to help mend fences.

I accept your salutation and return it to you. As for the Republican accusation, I would consider it a grave insult if it was based on any position I hold. You based your charge on my use of satire in answer to your deserving response to my original post. “Republican” is not defined as anyone who doesn’t agree with Weaseldog.”

“If I know your sect, I anticipate your argument,” said Emerson of Weasledog. Just realize that you have accused me of being a republican because I do not fit this mold. I am an atheist; I am virtually a socialist and unafraid of the term; I support the FDA, the EPA; I advocate the New Deal; I favor Keynesian economics over supply side economics; I support gay marriage; I support gun control; I want more legislation for animal rights; I want universal healthcare; I want the government to better support stem cell research; I support the Dream Act; I support aide to the homeless; I am against the Patriot Act, the Intelligence Surveillance Act, Defense of Marriage Act, and Acts in the New Testament; most wars; almost everything Bush ever did; tax cuts on a flat tax basis (or any basis that is not highly marginalized).

[To Be Continued …]

John Myste said...

[Part III - Continuation …]


So, my basic philosophy, which I mistook for liberal, is what I described above. You seem to feel that I am a republican. I must assume that you think nothing like a republican. I now know that you are likely against everything I am for and for everything I am against. Noted.

It could be that we actually agree on some things and I am a republican for reasons other than my party affiliation and ideology. If I am a republican because I satirize your pointless confrontation on a topic where our only disagreement was one of complete opinion, then there are far more republicans than you know. This would include all liberals who don’t strictly adhere to the doctrine of Weasledog, that is to say, anyone who can think without you anticipating their argument; moreover, since I have never voted for a republican in my life, I need to correct that. I am thinking Huckabee, perhaps. I like the way his mind works. He is one who is NOT afraid to stand by a religious idea without having to busy himself with enough data to answer a question before proclaiming truth as his personal possession. Mr. Huckabee always has the answer. He is certain, self-assured, and knows. The less scientific minded candidates stutter and waver and are never sure, but not Mr. Huckabee. He has but to defer to his religious intuition of choice and facts coming pouring off it like a scientific avalanche. Mr. Huckabee knows that my lack of an opinion about some things is tantamount to idiocy.

Like all religious people, he rejects the idea that there are questions that humankind has not yet answered and that this is ok. He is way too scientific to find himself without an answer.

The beginning of scientific wisdom, my friend, is not presenting your best theory as truth. Faith falls under the purview of religion, not science. The beginning of wisdom is saying “I don’t know.”

[The End]

John Myste said...

WeaselDog,

There are three parts to the comment. Without parts II and III, you may get annoyed, so don't read part I until the other two parts show up.

John Myste said...

Mr. Paine,

I have to agree with Weasledog on this one. The argument is preposterous. Weasledog taught me the T-Rex is a grown up strand of RNA.

He may have said something about a baby T-Rex procreating in a test tube, but he can explain it.

The Heathen Republican said...

"I don't want everybody to vote"

Dave that's not a definition of fascism. I, too, don't want everybody to vote. News reporters, college professors, and children still living with their parents come immediately to mind.

Fascism would be not wanting ANYBODY to vote. You might want to stop recycling that Heritage quote; you're undermining your own argument.

John, you've always said you can make liberals just as mad as you can conservatives, but I never believed it until I saw Weasel call you a Republican.

John Myste said...

Heathen,

I know! Can you believe that? He thought of the worst thing one human being can call another and used it! It is the nuclear missile of rhetoric and should never be used for any reason.

Damn, Weasel! Now I see why they call you Weasel.

Dave Dubya said...

John,
This is all your fault, you know.

I couldn't help but start to slide the slippery slope of silliness after your defense of republicans. That Aliens and Neanderthals bit was just silly...or maybe true... I don't know if it's not true. I mean, if there are death panels,* then aren't they in effect by now? Are you on their list? You do realize your defense of republicans could bump you to the top of the list for Social Engineering by Death Panel, right? Why do you think we liberals wanted them so much?



*Death panels are the Liberals' diabolical Socialist Revenge by Big Government, to punish the Republicans for leaving us peace, freedom, and prosperity for all, brought to us by tax cuts for the rich.

John Myste said...

Mr. Dubya,

I am not sure which aspect is all my fault, but I don't really care. This is a proud day in the Myste home. Finally, finally, finally, some recognition!!!

Dave Dubya said...

HR,

Thanks. You're correct. That was not the definition of fascism.

However, not wanting "news reporters and college professors" to vote is a clear preference of fascists and...ah, yes, Republicans.

As we know, authoritarian power is always threatened by the spread of information. Curiously, democracy needs to have information to function.

At least you have no problem with people who vote for the Right side. That's very fas,..I mean, Republican of you.

Thanks for the advice on keeping that silly quote, that only undermines my own argument, out of discussions. I'll think about that.

John Myste said...

Heathen,

By the way, after an innocent little comment on another site, a liberal hero of mine posted in response:

"Am I seeing neo-cons behind every curtain?"

I had to have therapy after that one and my therapist wept with me.

It is so funny. On conservative sites I am accused of being a liberal idiot and on liberal sites I am accused of being a conservative, and idiot is understood.

I mean that with all due respect, of course. I am, friend o’ republicans, as you know.

When I list my stance on specific issues, it is obvious that am I a complete progressive in ideology. I think my vote is in the right place, but I just don't talk right. I ain't had no formal training, though. I do the best I can.

T. Paine said...

"As we know, authoritarian power is always threatened by the spread of information. Curiously, democracy needs to have information to function," writes Mr. Dubya.

Yes, Dubya, and even more often authoritarian power is helped to spread by DISinformation, as is the case with most of the corporatist and statist media these days.

Ironically, that same media more often than not typically displays either subtle or overt bias in favor of the very political positions which you yourself espouse, my friend.

I was always taught and was under the evidently mistaken impression that the press was there to be that "fourth branch of government" as a watch dog to alert us citizens to government malfeasance. Instead, they have jumped in bed with government, particularly with this current administration.

As for you, Mr. Myste, have I told you that you are my favorite liberal Republican of all time? You truly crack me up, sir! :)

The Heathen Republican said...

"I, too, don't want everybody to vote. News reporters, college professors, and children still living with their parents come immediately to mind"

Dave, more seriously, I'm personally against institutionalized felons, illegal immigrants, and dead people voting. So no, I don't want everybody to vote. I would think you would support the same, but I realize all three of those constituent groups vote Democrat.

The other operative word was "want". Not wanting some people to vote and actually enforcing it are very different. Enforcement would be a definition for fascism and dictatorial rule. I'm not aware of Republicans trying to implement this so-called fascism by actually preventing people from voting. Perhaps you could enlighten me.

[Cue Democrat projection... I mean talking points about Republican voter suppression and/or voter ID laws.]

Weaseldog said...

Ahh, you got me John! I did mis-attribute T. Paine's statement to you!

Weaseldog said...

John Myste says, "Not embracing someone else’s guess does not make one unscientific. In fact, a true scientific mind will never assume his best guess is fact. Religions do. "

That's my point, you feel that your guesses have the same validity as peer articles and repeatable experiments.

You feel that stuff you make up, is just as valid as the opinion of experts and professionals in the field.

Weaseldog said...

John, Myste says, "Challenging satire with anything less than satire does not make sense to me."

I honestly thought that you were writing from the heart and expressing your beliefs. It didn't occur to me for a moment that you were making a joke. I've known so many people that honestly believe these kinds of things, that I no longer assume that people are trying to be funny.

I believed your were being honest and straightforward in the expressions of what you believe in, though you seemed to be dishonest in expressing what you want me to believe.

Weaseldog said...

I apologize John, for not realizing that your entire commentary about evolution and life was satire.

I made a mistake in assuming that you were being serious and expressing those things that you actually believe in.

Now that I realize that all of your commentary was a joke, I suppose the joke is on me.

Jack Dingler

Weaseldog said...

The Heathen Republican said..."Fascism would be not wanting ANYBODY to vote. You might want to stop recycling that Heritage quote; you're undermining your own argument."

I would think they'd still want corporations to vote.

Fascism is after all a Corporate State, wrapped in a flag of Nationalism.

Weaseldog said...

John Myste said... "When I list my stance on specific issues, it is obvious that am I a complete progressive in ideology. I think my vote is in the right place, but I just don't talk right. I ain't had no formal training, though. I do the best I can."

Is that satire again?

Weaseldog said...

The Heathen Republican said... "The other operative word was "want". Not wanting some people to vote and actually enforcing it are very different. Enforcement would be a definition for fascism and dictatorial rule. I'm not aware of Republicans trying to implement this so-called fascism by actually preventing people from voting. Perhaps you could enlighten me."

I understand the real world distinction between wanting something to happen, and making it happen. But I think we're also defined by what we think, and believe. Someone that wants and wishes for fascism, but does doesn't work to make it happen, is still fascist, aren't they?

After all, isn't Fascism as much an an ideology as an action?

The Heathen Republican said...

Weasel, you're throwing around the word Fascism waaaayyy too much. Most of us can agree that both Republican/conservative and Democrat/progressive views are mainstream, they're just opposed to each other. Fascism is quite extreme, and neither party is trying to implement Fascism.

If you can't even agree to a moderate statement like that, you're the one who's extreme.

I've even drawn a pretty picture describing why we like to call each other's views extreme, but we never recognize our own views as extreme. Check it out if you're interested in discussion rather than name-calling.

To be clear, neither party is dictatorial or Fascist, but on a scale of state power versus individual freedom, Republicans are on the opposite end of the scale from Fascism.

Weaseldog said...

The Heathen Republican said... "Weasel, you're throwing around the word Fascism waaaayyy too much. Most of us can agree that both Republican/conservative and Democrat/progressive views are mainstream, they're just opposed to each other. Fascism is quite extreme, and neither party is trying to implement Fascism."

I'll accept that I'm extremist in this.

But I see the following traits about our government as a given.

1. International corporations have the dominant say in what our government does. This has only been reinforced by the fairly recent Supreme Court decision that money is free speech. This makes bribery a fundamental part of the functioning of our pretend democracy.

2. It is extremely pro-war and pro-military. Our government has quit all pretenses of being anti-empire. Afghanistan and Iraq are essentially slave states now. Our government has no intention of every leaving these countries. Now we're adding Libya, and quite probably Yemen to our list of unofficial colony states.

3. Almost every aspect of our government, law enforcement agencies and media, is focused on nationalism and patriotism as being at the core of our ethical and moral identity. People that wish our government to adhere to the US Constitution as a legally binding framework are now considered to be suspected terrorists.

4. Our government, and it's leadership is largely above the law.

5. The White House now issues assassination orders for US Citizens.

6. Our government no longer even denies that it keeps dissidents in political prisons and engages in torture. Nor does it even bother to cover up the fact that it has killed quite a few people in it's state sponsored torture programs. it simply redefines the words that describe torture, in much the same way that the KGB and Stazi did.

Continued...

Weaseldog said...

I don't see the two political parties as being distinct in any way that matters. Both have the same goals and are run by the same people.

The only difference between the two parties are:

1. Rhetoric
2. Shirt Colors
3. Mascots

All the other other difference are make believe.

Sure there are politicians jockeying for power, saying different things, but when they vote, they demonstrate an amazing air of solidarity. Before the votes, they hem and haw, holding out for bribes. Once they get paid off, they shut up and press the buttons they way they are told by their benefactors to press them.

Most governments are as corrupt as ours. It's not like you can move somewhere else and get a different deal. All that's really different here is that the people are real suckers and don't want to see the man behind the curtain.

We are divided by shirt color, and trained to blame each other for what 3rd parties inflict upon us. We are taught from an early age to hate and fear the Americans that wear a different shirt color.

It's all bullshit. What you and I believe or want, doesn't matter unless we have the cash to spend our days bribing the politicians in DC. But day in and day, the media continues to feed us the illusion that we are in control and have control.

Yeah, I'm an extremist. I don't swallow the bullshit anymore.

Both parties are in the service of fascism. It's plain as day to anyone who has the strength of will to discard the ingrained crap that isn't consistent with the things that actually happen.

We live in a fairy tale, within a fairy tale. And it's a very dark story.

Dave Dubya said...

TP,
You’re beginning to see the sycophantic relationship between corporate media and power. Very good. How the extremely partisan FOX(R) escapes that assessment is a mystery.

You seem ignorant of the history of NY Times parroting of WMD Bush/Cheney war propaganda and their withholding warrantless surveillance stories until after the ’04 election at the Bush Administration’s request.

Apparently you were so busy watching FOX(R) during the Bush Administration that you didn’t see them in bed with the Bush Administration. FOX(R) even went on to hire them, you know. And apparently you were so busy watching FOX(R) during the Bush Administration that you didn’t notice the famous “We’re all Neo-cons now!” insanity. I would like you to show us a parallel of corporate media cancelling a program because of dissenting voices against Obama. Phil Donahue could tell you about what happens despite high ratings for such a network. Again no equivalency.

There is no liberal corporate media, son. Five MSNBC hosts do not constitute a vast overarching liberal TV media. Don’t you folks love to say “nobody watches MSNBC” anyway? Radio alone is so heavily tilted to the Right there’s no balance at all.

Everywhere on corporate media I hear about “Obamacare” and never a word about the Affordable Care Act. It’s not named Obamacare and it is not “liberal media” that allows the Right their own terminology in media propaganda. It the media were so liberal why do we always have to hear what The Twittering Twit of the Tundra has to say? She holds no national or state office.

Contrary to your assumption, it is entirely untrue the corporate media espouses my political positions. .I would know, wouldn’t I? Unless you know more what my positions are than I do. Almost nowhere in corporate media do we hear voices for Medicare for all, 50% cut in military expenses, withdrawal from military occupations, public funded elections, negation of corporate personhood, and restoring previous tax rates for the wealthy . Corporate media reap huge profits from most of these issues, and by their remaining as the status quo.

Dave Dubya said...

HR,
I appreciate your reasonable assessment that most Americans are mainstream. This is true of the people. Government, however, tends toward certain extremes as Wease pointed out. Government is power, after all. The Bush Administration’s embrace of the unitary executive theory led to abuses of power that were inarguably fascistic. Anti-war liberals were labeled unpatriotic for their dissent and peace groups were regarded as threats. Torture, warrantless surveillance of citizens, indefinite detention without charges, and unprovoked war of aggression are hallmarks of fascism.

None of these Republican-initiated policies are on the opposite end of the scale from Fascism. It is also our national shame that Obama has retained many of the Bush policies that align more closely with fascism than our Constitutional values.

Fascism has a history of insidious and incremental growth within power structures. This is the kind of fascism we must be aware of, in its incipient stages.

So rather than accuse individuals of being fascist we need to be alert to the creeping institutionalized characteristics of fascism. Neither Republicans nor Democrats are immune to this affliction. In fact, our present Corporatism nurtures it. I suggest reading up on Inverted Totalitarianism. Here is a review and a short article on the book: Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism by Sheldon S. Wolin

http://www.alternet.org/news/85728/

And:

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20030519/wolin

As I noted, democracy is not a Republican value. Their power is in inverse ratio to voter turnout, and they have been busy working on the “problem”. In fact there is a dark history of conservatives’ efforts to suppress voters, from poll taxes and “literacy tests” for targeted groups to purged voter rolls, misleading flyers and leaflets distributed in Black neighborhoods, and restrictive ID requirements. Remember Bush fired a US Attorney for not prosecuting a groundless case of voter fraud. Their ideology is very clear on this.

You either misunderstand the meaning of the defense mechanism term called projection, or you are deliberately using the common Rightist tactic of re-defining words.

Here’s a good link on voter suppression:

http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/voter_suppression_incidents/

Democracy is being gutted, and we better damn sure be wary of the rise of fascism. To assume it can’t happen here is foolish.

Oh, and public health care is fascism only to teabaggers.

John Myste said...

Weaseldog,

My representation of my position is not satire. My representation of yours as more extreme than it was is satirical, although I am now thinking it was an accurate representation.

That's my point, you feel that your guesses have the same validity as peer articles and repeatable experiments.

I have no guesses, remember? That is my whole point. There is no repeatable experiment, again my point. Self-replication in a test tube is not an example of creation of life from non living sources.

Again, I am completely baffled as to why you came out, arms flailing in the first place. I truly don’t see the relevant point you disagree with, except that you believe the theoretical part of evolution must explain everything. I did not challenge your right to this faith. I simply expressed my agnostic skepticism.


You feel that stuff you make up, is just as valid as the opinion of experts and professionals in the field.

I made nothing up, remember. You did. Like all scientists, I don’t know how life began on earth. Only you and Creationists know that. I do not believe in God or faith based arguments of any kind. They are only opinion.

Lastly, I am a progressive and my beliefs listed are pretty much me. I can now think of two cases where I am not fully liberal. One is on abortion, where I ultimately support pro-choice, but do so because I find it to be the lesser of two evils, and the other is the faith based side of the theory of evolution. Ironically, it is also the faith based side of the liberal abortion argument that I reject, while still embracing the practical conclusion.

It occurs to me that it is the choice of faith over science that I reject universally, no matter the topic: no satire involved.

Weaseldog said...

That's cool John.

I've read scholarly articles detailing repeatable experiments detailing each step. I believe they make a good case.

But you've argued that you're too lazy to look stuff up and learn more about things. I can see how there can be some comfort in believing that you know everything about everything. For myself, I continue to thirst for more knowledge, more books to read and more song to sing.

That's cool. I imagine you're happy in your static sessile state. After all your education isn't really my responsibility.

I thank you for your time and sarcasm.

John Myste said...

Weasledog,

Your tolerance is greatly appreciated. You are a scholar and gentlemen. You did, however, misunderstand. I am a lifetime student and I have no problem with research. Generally, the burden of proof is on the fellow making the assertion. As I am sure you are trained in critical thinking, so you must realize this already.

As I have pointed out a number of times, I still fail to see where either of us disagree on any point that is germane to the discussion. You simply draw faith-based conclusions that I deny as evident. You are too scientific to not see your best guess as “the facts,” and I lack that form of scientific training. As for my “static sessile state,” you just described someone Emerson also described when he said “if I know your sect, I anticipate your argument.” The fact that you consider me a republican even though I embrace liberal ideology shows that this state more applies to than me. You seem to be a liberal apologist. I am a liberal thinker.

Like you, I have grown tired of the discussion, as it has become circular.

You are most gracious in your acknowledgement of my sarcastic gift to you, which also took some of my time. Sending sarcasm your way, however, is not the chore you imagine it to be. Therefore, though I am probably not worthy of such gratitude, I do truly appreciate it. I am always happy to help.

T. Paine said...

Weasel, so can you honestly tell me that you “want” Republicans to vote, sir? I guarantee you that most Democrats/Progressives don’t want Republicans to vote any more than I want far left extremists to do so. So does their ideology make them fascists also, in your opinion?

Dubya, The New York Times did far more damage to America and its interests and probably helped to get troops killed with some of its reporting than it ever was as a cheerleader for Bush. The whole idea is preposterous. The supposed “news” stories it printed from the dangerous Wikileaks crap that has the potential to seriously undermine our interests and put our diplomatic corps and military personnel at risk is unforgivable. The fact that they were always printing stories during the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars in the beginning that spoke of troop movements and timetables only served as intelligence for the enemy. There is a reason why this rag is hemorrhaging readers.

And you are kidding yourself if you think that the alphabet news shows commentators aren’t in the tank for the left. You would never have seen all sorts of gotcha questions asked of Obama that you saw asked of Bush, McCain, and Palin, especially by anchors like Katie Couric.

“Almost nowhere in corporate media do we hear voices for Medicare for all, 50% cut in military expenses, withdrawal from military occupations, public funded elections, negation of corporate personhood, and restoring previous tax rates for the wealthy,” writes Dubya.

On the contrary, I think most of the statist media was absolutely for a single payer health care system, especially in the editorial pages. You are right that I have not heard any of them specifically espouse a 50% cut in military spending. They would probably be all for that, but realize that would harm their credibility even amongst many left wing consumers of their crap. By the way, why don’t we institute a 50% cut in government spending on all other programs, since defense is one of the few functions that is actually constitutionally authorized, Dubya? At this point, I could probably be convinced for the need for careful military withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan. Libya we should have never gotten involved with from the start. I absolutely agree with negating corporate personhood, assuming you do the same to unions and PAC’s of any sort. I don’t think raising tax rates on anybody right now is a good idea though. Far better to CUT SPENDING rather than punish taxpayers, even through class warfare rhetoric.

Next, while I agree with some of your sentiments regarding the Patriot Act, you do realize that the warrantless surveillance of which you speak only occurs when one is communicating with a known terrorist, right? I still am against this as it violates constitutional protections, but I have less sympathy here if one is actually speaking with a known terrorist.

T. Paine said...

continued...

As for your unprovoked war of aggression statement, I assume you are speaking of Iraq again. Do you realize that after the cease fire from the first Gulf War that we established UN supported no-fly zones in the north of Iraq to protect the Kurds and in the south of Iraq to protect the people that had tried to rise up against Saddam and he consequently gassed? Do you further realize that Saddam on many occasions fired missiles at our aircraft that were patrolling and monitoring those no-fly zones. Do you realize that this alone was reason to rescind the cease fire and restart aggressions during both Bush Sr. and Clinton’s administrations? If the US had done so then, perhaps the need for the second Iraq war would never have been necessary. From a legal and a moral standpoint, we should have finished the job during the first war and removed Saddam then. HE was the aggressor, Dave.

Next, regarding indefinite detentions, if you are referring to the enemy combatants at Gitmo that refuse to abide by the Geneva Conventions of War, they are where they deserve to be and are being cared for in a far better manner than what they deserve, and certainly better than what they give to our captured troops. If you are referring to the singular case of the domestic American citizen terrorist, Joseph Padilla, then I absolutely agree that this was egregious behavior and his constitutional rights were violated.

Continuing, poll taxes are constitutionally illegal under the 24th amendment. There are also laws against literacy tests. As for ID requirements, I understand where this can be a hassle for Democrats to actually have to prove their identity to make sure they are valid and lawful voters. It probably really annoys ACORN and other “non-partisan” groups out there registering people that are illegal immigrants, dead people, or felons. Yep, that ID thing is rather pernicious too, huh?

Lastly, you stated that, “public healthcare is fascism only to teabaggers”. First, when the government mandates that I, simply by the fact that I draw breath, must purchase insurance from a company, that is indeed fascism. Next, I’ll tell you what, Dubya, I won’t use the term “Obamacare” anymore if you don’t use the term “teabagger”. While I certainly don’t mean any disrespect to Obama or anyone else in using the generic term for the egregiously misnamed Affordable Health Care Act, the term teabagger by its disgusting definition and implication is absolutely meant to show disrespect. I typically have used the term Obamacare simply because it is easier to use and everybody knows to what I am referring. Besides, this was the illegal law that President Obama championed, so I don’t see how the term has become a pejorative to the left.

Mr. Myste, I sincerely mean it when I say God bless you, my friend! 

Weaseldog said...

John Myste says, "You simply draw faith-based conclusions that I deny as evident. You are too scientific to not see your best guess as “the facts,” and I lack that form of scientific training."

Ok, so you're lifelong scholar, and you're too lazy to look things up.

Or everything you post is satire.

I'm flattered that you attribute the work of a number of stellar scientists and their conclusions to me as 'my personal guesses'. But i have to admit right now, that I didn't invent any of the ideas on molecular evolution that I've presented here.

Some of these concepts I learned in college coursework, and later in reading scientific rags like 'Cell' and 'Nature'. These ideas are not mine at all. We haven't touched on anything in this conversation that I thought up independently.

As to providing you with proof, why? Don't you know how to use The Google? Aren't you a lifelong scholar of molecular biology? You're saying now you're bored with this. You said you're too lazy to look things up. What would be the point of me, doing the work to dig up things that bore you?

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine, I remember Gulf War I.

Kuwait was horizontally drilling into Iraq. Saddam came before the UN multiple times, seeking redress. He finally had a talk with our ambassador about it. When he told her that he felt his last option was to invade Kuwait, she made it clear that the USA would stand down.

It was a good sucker punch.

After that war, we were able to get Halliburton installed to pump their oil. Since it was illegal for a US corporation to do this, Halliburton had to start a new division in Libya.

Bush later extolled the people of Iraq to stand up to Saddam and promised that if they did, US troops would come to their aid. They did, and Bush watched them die without sending in the promised troops.

The Kurds were funded by Iran. Donald Rumsfield understood the importance of keeping Iran out of Iraq, so he set up deals to help Saddam buy nerve gas from Germany, and arranged for the training of Iraqi soldiers so that the Kurds could be gassed.

Weaseldog said...

We patrolled Iraqi skies, because we had to protect Halliburton's oil interest. Our embargoes and air strikes killed over one million Iraqi children.

whne asked about the death toll, Madeline Albright said, "It was worth it."

So we killed 1,000,0000+ children to pay back Saddam back, for killing 15,000 traitors?

Since then we've killed more than a million more civilians and created four million refugees.

So now, as payback for killing 15,000 rebels, we've slaughtered more than 2,000,000 innocents and drove more than 4,000,000 people out of Iraq.

Perhaps this logic makes sense to people that enjoy slaughtering human beings for pleasure. Not to me.

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine said, "If the US had done so then, perhaps the need for the second Iraq war would never have been necessary. From a legal and a moral standpoint, we should have finished the job during the first war and removed Saddam then. HE was the aggressor, Dave."

Really? Did he invade Texas?

Can you clarify this statement please?

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine said, "Lastly, you stated that, “public healthcare is fascism only to teabaggers”."

Public Healthcare is actually socialism. The Tea Party calls it fascism, because they don't know the difference.

ObamaCare is fascism. It's a bailout for Republicans that own the Insurance Corporations. Well actually, those people don't belong to any real ideology, they'll bribe Democrats too.

i noticed that a lot of Republicans that spoke out against it, changed their tune and voted for it, after they had negotiated their bribes to their liking.

Clearly Republicans and Democrats love ObamaCare when the price is right.

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine, Acorn doesn't manage the registration process. That's done by the government. If Acorn can get the government to register voters that don't exist, then Republicans can too.

You got rid of Acorn, but the crooks that you think let Republicans and Democrats register fake identities without IDs, are still there.

Heck our voting machines still keep coming up crazy results, like showing more voters than exist in the precinct.

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine said... "Weasel, so can you honestly tell me that you “want” Republicans to vote, sir? I guarantee you that most Democrats/Progressives don’t want Republicans to vote any more than I want far left extremists to do so. So does their ideology make them fascists also, in your opinion?"

Sure let them vote. I'm still a registered Republican, I may want to vote again too.

I just don't think the vote matters anymore.

Vote all you want, the candidates are preselected. You can pick hair color and gender, but the rest is decided by folks with more money than you and I.

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine said, "Next, while I agree with some of your sentiments regarding the Patriot Act, you do realize that the warrantless surveillance of which you speak only occurs when one is communicating with a known terrorist, right? I still am against this as it violates constitutional protections, but I have less sympathy here if one is actually speaking with a known terrorist."

That is false. It pertains to anyone that the law enforcement officer suspect could be linked to terrorism. the officer has to write down on the form that the suspect might have some tie to terrorist activities. The scope of activities included under the terrorism umbrella is expanding.

For instance, it's been expanded to include anyone who is suspected of using, or selling drugs.

As to your torture comments...

You make the argument that if someone breaks a law, then our government is no longer bound by laws. You make this case in reference to your comment about the Geneva Convention.

So if someone in Iraq violates the Geneva Convention, then our prison guards are allowed to torture prisoners to death? That's what you're arguing?

In most of the cases of torture, we ended up releasing the prisoners that we didn't kill. Clearly they weren't actually guilty.

This is easy to explain as we offer a one million dollar reward for terrorists in Afghanistan. So our troops go into a town, tell the folks about the reward, and Ak'Bar, 'the goat thief', gets trotted out for the reward. when he arrives in Guantanamo he's simply labeled a terrorist. No one actually knows what he's guilty of. So we torture the goat thief for months, and he accidently dies while being tortured. No big deal, right? A political quota has been satisfied.

Dave Dubya said...

TP,
My points about the NY Times are verifiable and true. Yours are undocumented claims. Do you have the names of anyone killed or harmed by the Times Wikileaks story? They and the Guardian UK redacted or didn’t print the most sensitive info. Apart from their aiding and abetting the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of Americans killed in Bush’s war for domestic power, re-election, and profits for Cheney and other cronies, please tell us who was “probably” killed by the Times? Your assertion is empty until you prove the damage was real and not just political embarrassment.

So you believe the shrinking number of Times print readers is due to their providing intelligence to the enemy? And here I thought this was due to the “internets”.

“I think most of the statist media...” You “think” therefore it is so? Show us, please. I’ll tell you what I know, and it is documented. Most newspapers endorsed Bush over Gore. Some “liberal” media, eh? Don’t take my word for it, see for yourself.
http://www.wheretodoresearch.com/Political.htm

It is well and fine for your opinion to claim the military is one of the “few functions that is actually constitutionally authorized”. You make such an assertion while completely disregarding the Constitutional provision to promote and provide for the general welfare. This leaves your opinion as a very narrow and exclusive interpretation.

Saddam never attacked us. He didn’t have the WMD’s, the “nukular” aluminum tubes, or friendly relations with al-Qaeda. None of the reasons for war were proven true.

In fact, Israel killed more Americans deliberately than Saddam did. On June 8, 1967 Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats killed 34 and wounded 173 American sailors on the USS Liberty. They never even apologized. It was not an accident. The flag was clearly visible. Our ship was not welcome to monitor Israeli radio transmissions.

No Americans were killed by Saddam between Desert Storm and Bush’s war for power and profit. None. And you claim no-fly violations and radar painting are justification for the massive slaughter of all out war. Now there’s a case of moral relativism.

I’m happy you understand the Bush Administration violated the Constitution with their treatment of Padilla. Where was the accountability for the Bush Administration’s treatment of Padilla? Where was the accountability for the torture in Abu Graib, and in Afghanistan? I thought you believed in accountability.

Your belief that every warrantless wiretap is only on those communicating with “known terrorists” is also false. See:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/01/us/01nsa.html

As for the other detainees, I have no problem with locking up killers with blood on their hands, but why can’t we prove their guilt? If we cannot prove their guilt but still lock them away, then what does that make us?

The signs said, “Teabag Obama”. Who, if not a teabagger, would do such a thing? The name is a karmic backlash at the idiots who first embraced it. Have you notice how their popularity is slipping? Feel free to say “Obamacare”. I think teabagger is perfect for them.

Dave Dubya said...

The Great Voter Fraud non-crisis:

TP,
Your defense of voter disenfranchisement as fair compensation for the Great Voter Fraud non-crisis is interesting. How many cases of voter fraud were prosecuted, showing the need for Republican-instigated purges and restrictions that deny a fundamental right of Americans to vote? A matter of dozens at most in the past decade; 95 indicted and 70 convicted for federal election related crimes from Oct. 2002 through Sept. 2005.

So that justifies stripping the rights of thousands? Republicans hate democracy. Their power is an inverse ratio to the number of voters. So they deny the rights of thousands of qualified voters and that’s OK. But requiring insurance purchases, as promoted by Republicans but implemented by Democrats, is fascism. Yeah, that makes perfect sense. You are making up definitions again, unless you can show me a dictionary that agrees to your definition.

Here is some truth about The Great Voter Fraud non-crisis and what voter ID laws would accomplish in stopping it.

http://www.truthaboutfraud.org/case_studies_by_state/

An analysis of more than 250 claims of fraud in the Supreme Court's photo ID case finds not one proven case of a fraudulent vote that the challenged law could prevent. Such photo ID laws are effective only in preventing individuals from impersonating other voters at the polls — an occurrence more rare than getting struck by lightning.

Royal Masset, the former political director for the Republican Party of Texas, concisely tied all of these strands together in a 2007 Houston Chronicle article concerning a highly controversial battle over photo identification legislation in Texas. Masset connected the inflated furor over voter fraud to photo identification laws and their expected impact on legitimate voters: Among Republicans it is an “article of religious faith that voter fraud is causing us to lose elections,” Masset said. He doesn’t agree with that, but does believe that requiring photo IDs could cause enough of a dropoff in legitimate Democratic voting to add 3 percent to the Republican vote.17

We examined each of the allegations of fraud by voters to uncover the truth behind the assertions. None of these problems could have been resolved by requiring photo ID at the polls.

Missouri, 2000: There were 6 substantiated cases of Missouri votes cast by ineligible voters, knowingly or unknowingly, except for those votes permitted by court order. These six cases were double votes by four voters – two across state lines and two within Missouri. This amounts to a rate of 0.0003%. None of these problems could have been resolved by requiring photo ID at the polls.

New Jersey, 2004: There were eight substantiated cases of individuals knowingly casting invalid votes—eight voters voting twice. This amounts to a rate of 0.0004%. None of these problems could have been resolved by requiring
photo ID at the polls.

Wisconsin, 2004: There were 7 substantiated cases of individuals knowingly casting invalid votes—all persons with felony convictions.This amounts to a rate of 0.0025% within Milwaukee and 0.0002% within the state as a whole.
None of these problems could have been resolved by requiring photo ID at the polls.


So what was the great voter fraud crisis the Bush Administration was obsessed about? 95 indicted and 70 convicted for federal election related crimes from Oct. 2002 through Sept. 2005.

Just admit that you, or at least Republicans, oppose democracy and be done with the pretensions, OK?

John Myste said...

Weasledog,

[Conclusion Part I]

I am about to post a two part comment. Please do not read the first part until the second part escapes the spam filter, lest you be annoyed. My concession is near the end.

Let’s review, so we can conclude:

I do not disagree with the scientific data you have presented, nor have I claimed to, so how can I look something up something to disprove it. You want me to disprove your theory you attach to it. How do you look up something to disprove a theory? You cannot. You continue to try to prove something that is not in dispute. You started a one man debate and you think you are winning it, without questioning who loses a one man debate. You have offered elementary science, which you think is advanced, to prove the theory of evolution. However, it only corroborates what my very first comment said, that evolution is a fact and that natural selection is a fact and that the earth is billions of years old (and by the way, far older than human kind). You then used the semantic discussion of protein vs. RNA (and seemed to discount DNA) to suggest that we did not evolve from a protein source, but from perhaps an RNA source. This was a comical ruse, but after a few jokes, I let it stand as irrelevant.

You keep trying to prove that evolution happens in order to prove your case that mankind ultimately sprang from an evolutionary chain that began without life, and from this, evolved it. I now genuinely believe you don’t understand the fallacy of your position. I could keep explaining my understanding of how photosynthesis works to prove live evolved on planet earth from a lifeless source. If I could emulate some aspects of photosynthesis synthetically in my home laboratory, would it prove that life on earth is explained by evolution? If you say it would not, should I keep reiterating how photosynthesis works and ask you to research it for yourself? The burden of proof would be on me, not you. I was too lazy to research the details of a specific article because it was completely irrelevant unless you were arguing that almost miraculous event of evolution was repeated in a laboratory, in which case you and I would both know you were lying, so it was still pointless. I wanted to be civil, so I spun it as laziness rather than accusing you of something. I will generally choose self-deprecation over accusation in a civil discussion.

I genuinely think that you think most your philosophy is science. I think maybe you cannot distinguish philosophy from science. You embrace evolution as a fact, as I do (as I stated in the very first comment). You are unable to differentiate the process of evolution and natural selection from your faith in your philosophy concerning the theoretical result of evolution on planet earth. Scientists, of course, call it the Theory of Evolution, and you say, “What, to what theory do they refer?” They KNOW evolution happens, just as I stated that I did, in the first comment. They KNOW natural selection happens. They KNOW the earth is billions of years old. These are not theories. They are science. Scientists do not KNOW if Evolution explains life on earth, but it is the best they have to offer today. Real scientists, not the ones who attend your club, admit this. It’s also one of the best guesses I have to offer. Oh, and you KNOW it explains everything. You are way ahead of science in this matter.

[TO BE CONTINUED …]

John Myste said...

Dave,

I think two comments are in the spam filter in a sec.

John Myste said...

[CONCLUSION CONCLUSION]

You became angry when I satirized your misunderstanding. You and I continue to go in circles where you try to convince me of your elementary science to substantiate your philosophical position. That is why the discussion should end. Your guess is one of my guesses also, and you knew this from the beginning, but were still ready to fight. You needed to be right about something. I suspect it is very possible that our guesses are not the real answer, but it also very possible that they are. You are ashamed to admit that you could be without an answer. You are a very religious man. I have offended your religion and now I seem to be unable to back away from it. I never intended to be an iconoclast.

I respect your intelligence and I have seen you demonstrate it many times on this site. Your mistakes in logic are not a lack of intelligence. There is a tragic flaw that the vast majority of human beings, in fact probably all of them, suffer to one degree or another, and that is the need to be right. The person who admits that he does not have enough data to definitively answer questions, accepts that his best guess is not necessarily the answer. In other words, he admits he may be wrong. You have to learn to do this or you become the man of whom Emerson in Self-Reliance spoke when he said “if I know your sect, I anticipate your argument.” You use your intelligence for rhetoric, in hopes of constantly validating your self-perception of the owner of truth. It is not its best use. You could be a broad thinker instead, but broad thinkers seek answers more than they supply them. Or they suggest solutions, instead of dictating them. They do not claim to own truth. They seek truth.

Self-Reliance is a very beneficial essay for most thinkers. I think you would like it. Embrace not having the answer, when you don’t. Embrace being wrong in that your answer is perhaps the wrong answer and you cannot know otherwise. Again, this is the beginning of scientific wisdom, not the end.

My desire to withdraw from the discussion is strong because both our arguments are repetitive and circular. Each of us is unwilling to accept the other’s position, or mostly, even to acknowledge it, and thus far, neither of us has been unwilling to grant the other one the last word. That is why I take this very honest conciliatory tone now. Without even hearing your complete honest scientific explanation of evolution, I can say this: When you are genuine I accept on faith that your explanation of the facts of evolution are 100% accurate. I do not believe you know how accurate the theoretical part is, as that is not knowable. I do believe that you believe you know, and I do believe that you believe you stand with the scientific community and not ahead of it. I also concede that my position on the matter is one that you find egregious and pathetic, not for the scientific reasons you need to think, but because you feel that if I am right in not having then answer, then your philosophy is wrong, and that possibility is not something you are not mentally prepared to endure.

[THE END]

T. Paine said...

Weasel, you have some exceptionally interesting takes on Saddam, Iraq, and the first Gulf War. I am rather curious from where you got this information as its credibility sounds suspect, to say the least. It sounds like a Daily Kos rant, frankly. I am a veteran and was in-country during the first Gulf War. Further, I have some friends and sources that are quite knowledgeable on the specifics leading up to, during, and after the war and I have never heard of the accusations which you made regarding Kuwait’s horizontal oil drilling, America’s wink and nod to Saddam to invade, and Rumsfeld’s desire for Saddam to gas the Iranian-sympathetic Kurds. If you had proof of these atrocities, I would be seriously inclined to agree with your sentiments though accordingly.

I am especially curious how we evidently conducted seemingly surgical strikes that killed only 1 million Iraqi children, or were you not including the Iraqi adults intentionally as they are only collateral damage? Further, there were many mass graves found in Iraq that provided evidence of Saddam torturing and killing hundreds of thousands more than the 15,000 “traitors” you claim. http://www.usaid.gov/iraq/legacyofterror.html Perhaps it is just my perception of your wording, but you almost come across as a Saddam apologist. I am sure I am erroneously reading into your writing though.

As for Bush Sr. and finishing the first Gulf War by removing Saddam then, I must say that obviously Saddam did not invade us. He invaded a sovereign nation and intelligence suggested that Saudi Arabia was next on his agenda. The disruption to the world’s oil supply and our national interests were indeed put at risk accordingly. Further, despite Dubya’s claims to the contrary, there were loose ties between Iraq and al Qaeda. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/10/01/attack/main523963.shtml Further, Saddam was fomenting and sponsoring terrorism, particularly towards our ally Israel. He paid “bounties” to the families of “martyred” homicide bombers that killed Israelis. If we had not stopped when we kicked Saddam out of Kuwait, and actually gone in and toppled that regime then, how many more lives, blood, and treasure could we have saved instead of waiting while Saddam had Chemical Ali gas the Shiite Iraqis that rose up in the south and elsewhere in country? If we had done so then, I suspect far less life would have been lost and things would not have festered for a decade for us to have to go back.

Excerpt from the following link: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/527uwabl.asp?page=1
From "Hardball with Chris Matthews." Said Lieberman: "I want to be real clear about the connection with terrorists. I've seen a lot of evidence on this. There are extensive contacts between Saddam Hussein's government and al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. I never could reach the conclusion that [Saddam] was part of September 11. Don't get me wrong about that. But there was so much smoke there that it made me worry. And you know, some people say with a great facility, al Qaeda and Saddam could never get together. He is secular and they're theological. But there's something that tied them together. It's their hatred of us."

T. Paine said...

Part II

Next, America has acted within the Geneva Conventions as far as treatment of prisoners. Your assertion that the ones we didn’t torture and kill, we ended up releasing is ludicrous. Again, I am exceptionally curious as to your source here, Weasel. Other than water-boarding which I would agree could probably be defined as torture, America has not done so. Now I am sure that torture has been done in other countries through rendition policies and I have serious qualms about some of these things for sure. That said, sleep deprivation or temperature control of a room does not constitute torture in my mind, and evidently to most legal scholars too. These prisoners are clothed, fed their hallal meals, given Qur’ans etc. They are not tortured. Further, Dubya, what happened in Abu Grahib was also NOT torture. It was stupid and was abusive, but not torture. It basically rose to fraternity house level hazing. Unfortunately the subordinates were primarily the only ones punished for this, but there was indeed accountability.

Next, Julian Assange claims that Wikileaks swung the Kenyan 2007 elections. There was much bloodshed: “1,300 people were eventually killed, and 350,000 were displaced. That was a result of our leak.” Dec 7, 2010

As for the relevant leaks affecting America, the documents reveal “names of State Department officials, U.S. military officials, Afghans, and the cities where they live,” Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., told Politico. So WikiLeaks has “served up a target list and an enemies list to the Taliban” that will get people killed, said Harman, chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Committee on Intelligence.
“Real people die when sources and methods are revealed,” Harman said. Former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden agreed, telling Politico that people will be killed as a result of this disclosure, and the damage to the nation’s intelligence gathering capabilities could be devastating. The disclosures also could make it more difficult for the United States and its NATO allies to recruit Afghans to fight the Taliban. The bottom line is that we don’t know how many people have been killed or may be killed yet do to this information-terrorist’s actions. And the New York Times probably wouldn’t print the story, at least not on the front page, if it did learn of such deaths as a result of this terrorist’s actions. He should be tried and jailed for life.

Dubya, next I would suggest it is you that is taking liberties with your interpretation of our Constitution. It is clearly stated that the Constitution allows for the funding and raising of an army and navy. You and your progressive brethren have bastardized the general welfare clause to mean that the constitution gives them authorization to fund any pet social project that they deem as a good idea. This was never the intent or purpose of the clause, and even most liberals are aware of this. They simply would rather not torture themselves with such introspection on the topic as that would cause guilt in their broad and egregious definition of that clause.

T. Paine said...

Part III (end)

Also, there was not simply “radar painting” by Saddam as we enforced the no-fly zones. It was reported that, “American and British aircraft continuously maintained the integrity of the NFZ, receiving anti-aircraft fire from Iraqi forces almost daily.” Further, I did not say that this was the justification for the second war, but that it is a legal point that certainly could be argued very effectively for resumption of hostilities in the war.

Again, I agree with you regarding the terrorist Padilla. Although he is guilty by his own admission and should remain in solitary confinement to the very end of his days, this does not excuse the Bush administration in not availing him of his constitutional rights as a U.S. citizen. Whomever was responsible for this denial should be held legally responsible accordingly for this, regardless of how high up the chain that responsible party is.

Lastly, I never advocated voter disenfranchisement, Dubya. My own personal desires would be to see people that are ignorant of the issues and candidates to not vote, but I would not restrict any LEGAL voter from doing so nor advocate intentionally making it more difficult than necessary to carry out this right. That doesn’t mean that those that are illegal immigrants, felons, or otherwise ineligible voters should not be prevented from doing so. Requiring a valid ID is one way to ensure that the citizen voting is who they say they are and that they are legally able to do so. Hell, the Democrats in particular have been so pernicious in their behavior with illegal voting in the decades past that the phrase, “vote early, vote often” was coined. See the following link regarding voter registration fraud just from ACORN alone: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-complete-guide-to-acorn-voter-fraud/

Burr deming said...

As an active, committed Christian, I think I speak for many of my brethren when I express impatience with some science deniers.

The conflict today, as I see it, is not between science and religion. It is between the science of today and the science of several thousand years ago.

Thank you for an angry, but fact based, presentation.

Dave Dubya said...

Burr,
Thanks for making it this far.

The science/religion and science/science struggles, or even Left/Right conflict, are only fronts on the great class war waged by some of the economic elites in order to seize and retain power while maximizing wealth.

Dave Dubya said...

TP,
I must say I admire your tenacity and dedication to your beliefs.

Still holding onto the Saddam WMD/ties to al-Qaeda delusion (an idiosyncratic false belief that is firmly maintained in spite of incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary.)? Fine. Bush himself finally said there were no WMD’s and no Iraq ties to 9-11, but you know better.

Your “Loose ties” is from Bush pre-war propaganda. Note the question mark in the CBS headline of your pre-war propaganda piece.

BS from LIE-bermann, the pro-war-against-almost-any-Islamic-country Jew only supports his neocon warmongering, not reality. “It's their hatred of us” that tied them together. Now there’s some concrete evidence.
Wikileaks induced fatalities is best described in your first few words after “The bottom line”. “The bottom line is that we don’t know”. All you present are assertions and no documented facts.

According to the Guardian: “The leak exposed massive corruption by Daniel Arap Moi, and the Kenyan people sat up and took notice. In the ensuing elections, in which corruption became a major issue, violence swept the country.”

Two questions must be asked. Would violence have happened without the leaks? And: What is the real cause of the violence, the corruption exposed, or the message of its existence? Since you’re the expert on torture and African election related violence, we await your analysis.

I never said you advocated voter disenfranchisement, only that Republicans do so for political gain because of the fact that higher voter turnouts mean less Republican power. The party of the economic elite cannot win in an active democracy. You are either for democracy or against it. We know Republicans and Right Wingers are against it and have amply shown us through history.

No Americans died in “No fly” Iraq, and that was still reason for all out war? OK, but, man that’s pretty harsh, not to mention very selective.

“Surgical strikes” kill innocents when launched under false intelligence. Or was all our targeting done by perfect intelligence? Come on; don’t even try to minimize the “collateral damage” by a brutal illegal war. In fact, the very first strike, before the invasion, was one such attempt to assassinate Saddam. Instead innocents were killed. Remember?

Nobody wants illegal immigrants and felons to vote. Show me your numbers of actual vote fraud, not ACORN employee “Mickey Mouse” registrations that defrauded ACORN. My, those ACORN resentments still run deep. We know you hate them. They’re gone. Show us the real harm or let it go.

I’ll need to address torture in another segment.

Dave Dubya said...

Ok, Here we go.

I’m comforted that you oppose torture and have inclinations that waterboarding is torture. But you seem to shroud your thinking in the idea that “it’s not torture if we do it”.

“America has acted within the Geneva Conventions as far as treatment of prisoners.” Tell that to the victims in Abu Ghraib. Remember “ice man”? He was killed in custody of US soldiers. Or was that simply a fatal case of “fraternity house level hazing”. Straight from Rush “Who Died?” Limbaugh’s mouth to your keypad, and be thankful nobody is clamping electrodes to your genitals, forcing you into stress positions as the deprive you of sleep, all while confined behind bars without charges by a foreign occupation force. Only to the truly cruel and deranged is that a hazing. But to that mentality, union members are the “thugs”. And you wonder why I see the threat of fascism from within. If you don’t believe torture happened there, you do not know the facts. I hope that is your case.

On February 7, 2002, President George W. Bush made a written determination that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which would have afforded minimum standards for humane treatment, did not apply to al Qaeda or Taliban detainees.

“Sleep deprivation or temperature control of a room does not constitute torture in my mind.” Show us the “legal scholars” other than Yoo, Bybee and other Bush lackeys. I suppose Right Wing lawyers know more about human pathology than doctors. How about a couple dictionary definitions, the Geneva Convention, The US Army Field Manual and some medical opinion?


http://www.thefreedictionary.com/sleep+deprivation

sleep deprivation - a form of psychological torture inflicted by depriving the victim of sleep


Websters-online-dictionary:

Sleep deprivation is a general lack of the necessary amount of sleep. This may occur as a result of sleep disorders, active choice or deliberate inducement such as in interrogation or for torture.

http://www.slate.com/features/whatistorture/Taxonomy.html

Mock Executions: This tactic clearly violates the law. FM 34-52 categorizes "mock executions" as a form of "mental torture."

Sexual humiliation tactics violate the Geneva Conventions.

Quran desecration and “smearing of mock menstrual blood”: Under The Hague and Geneva Conventions, "the personal convictions and religious practices of the detained must be respected," subject to reasonable regulation designed to maintain military "order and discipline."

The Geneva Conventions surely prohibit water boarding as torture and as a form of cruel or degrading treatment. The ICCPR and CAT also forbid water boarding because it inflicts severe mental suffering, as does the UCMJ and federal criminal law.

Dave Dubya said...

On Torture: (Continued)

Article 1 of the convention states:
Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat [unable to fight] by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) taking of hostages;
(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

http://www.livescience.com/9209-study-torture-techniques-unethical-ineffective.html

Doctors obligated to care for detainees also violated international standards for documenting the adverse consequences of torture, Allen said.

He has worked with colleagues at Physicians for Human Rights to evaluate 11 detainees released without charge. "They show very high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, and the anxiety has destroyed their lives," he said. "This really puts a black eye on both the profession and the country."


From the “When THEY do it it’s torture department”:

http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RL32567.pdf

Congressional Research Service:

Physical Torture. The U.S. Army Field Manual (FM) 34-52, Intelligence Interrogation29 (“FM 34-52”) lists the following as examples of physical torture:
electric shock; infliction of pain through chemicals or bondage (other than legitimate use of restraints to prevent escape); forcing an individual to stand, sit, or kneel in abnormal positions for prolonged periods of time; food deprivation; and any form of beating.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found that U.S. POWs during the First Gulf War were tortured in Iraq:
The torture inflicted included severe beatings, mock executions, threatened castration, and threatened dismemberment. The POWs were systematically starved, denied sleep, and exposed to freezing cold. They were denied medical care and their existing injuries were intentionally aggravated. They were shocked with electrical devices and confined in dark, filthy conditions exposing them to contagion and infection. The POWs suffered serious physical injuries, including broken bones, perforated eardrums, nerve damage, infections, nausea, severe weight loss, massive bruises, and other injuries.

Mental Torture. According to FM 34-52, examples of mental torture include mock executions, abnormal sleep deprivation, and chemically induced psychosis.


One more item. Since it is obvious only the Right may correctly interpret the Constitution, would you please share your Constitutional expertise with us and explain what exactly “promote and provide for the general welfare” means?

Thank you.

free0352 said...

I happen to think the Earth is several billion years old, that while we haven't got all the particulars of evolution figured out that certainly adam and eve weren't the first two human, that there is likely no god, that there is no supernatural, no spirituality, and that those that buy into religion are flat wrong.

But I still think global warming is a hoax and life begins at conception. Data says so. Believing is in fact just that, a faith belief, and doing so is anti science, not the other way around.

free0352 said...

Also, Hitler was aq social democrat. A murderous, insane, anti semetic social democrat, but a social democrat "progressive" none the less.

He was for single payer heatlh care

He was for government stimulus

He was for socialization of industry

He was for strong central government and weak state government

He was for increased taxation on "the rich"

He was for gun control

He nationalized chruches in order to secularize Germany.

I know these things, not only because I studied them, but lived in Germany for three years. Now ask yourself, is a politician who supports the things Hitler did above, sound like a Conservative to you?

free0352 said...

Let me clarify here, a person who supports the above policy isn't a Nazi... but lets be honest... Hitler wasn't a Conservative. Not by the European definition of that term (which are quite different than the American version) or the American. Basically, you take away the antisemitism, and militarism and you get a pretty run of the mill democrat who wanted to use war as stimulus. That doesn't make today's american progressives nazis, but it doesn't make him "right wing" either.

free0352 said...

As for torture, we all know what that is. It's obvious, and arguing the obvious is pointless.

Is pouring water down a very bad guy's throat to save lives torture? I don't care if it is or isn't. Why do you?

free0352 said...

As for why we invaded Iraq, the answer is simple... for all the same reasons we attacked Libya last month and still are.

That, and several Al'Queda operatives happend to travel to Iraq from Afghanistan in 2002 and we were worried Saddam was going to give them nerve gas.

Be for it or against it, but at least get the reaons we did it right guys. We may have not found any WMD, but time has told... and we didn't steal any oil for BusHitlerBurton either. I think the fact we gave Iraq control of it's oil industry from day one pretty clearly proves that little point.

John Myste said...

Free,

Thank you for teaching me stuff about Hitler that I did not know. All these many years I have been operating under the mistaken assumption that he was a dictator, not a democrat, and that he advocated his dictatorship, his state and the power of the "Aryan race," (and even the removal of other races) over democracy and even over his socialist doctrine.

Thank you for correcting the historical record, sir.

John Myste said...

Free (and everyone else),

Let's be honest, whether Hitler was a conservative is such an irrelevant question it need not even be considered. What non insane philosophies an insane man held really doesn't do anything to validate or invalidate our philosophies. Hitler loved his dog and was very concerned about his dog's fate near the end. I still think it’s OK to love your dog. Of course, Free already knows about Hitler’s concern for his dog because Free used to be in Germany. I am just telling the rest of you.

Bush, by the way, was a conservative. I do not consider conservatives automatic violators of human and constitutional rights because of this.

Oh, and if someone lived in Germany, that does not lend credibility to their argument. Herodotus tells us that the Gods were jealous of man. He knows because he heard if from some Delphians townspeople.

And Free, if someone accused you of being a republican just because they perceived you share some much of their ideology, wouldn’t that just be horrible? Oh, yeah, I did that, didn’t I? Well, I cannot go back on my claim now. You republican!

Beekeepers Apprentice said...

Great Googly. I'd add a comment, but what would be the point? So I'll just say this:

Nice post, Dave :)

Dave Dubya said...

Free,
Thank you for your insight and perspective.

I have no quarrel with life beginning at conception. In fact two living cells join at that point so it can be argued that life was there before conception. At what point we call that life an actual functioning human being is open to debate. If the Right were not so hypocritical they would understand Planned Parenthood offers free contraception that prevents the issue of abortion form arising in the first place. But that issue is about Right Wing ideology more than the debt and deficit.

Global warming is a hoax if you ignore the shrinking Arctic Sea ice, massive ice shelves breaking off Antarctica, disappearing mountain glaciers, thawing permafrost and record high temperatures of the last decade, but all you need is the real expert Rush Limbaugh to propagate and validate your “beliefs”. Something tells me if global warming didn’t threaten Big Money’s perception of their bottom line, there would be near universal consensus. But this is Amerika where money is free speech and Big Money talks the loudest.

Did you live in Nazi Germany and speak from firsthand knowledge? Do Germans consider Hitler a “social democrat”? No? No?

You Righties love the fact that “socialist” is a word within the Nazi Party name, and therefore it must be true to your idea of what socialism is. Yes, and the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea is a democracy run by North Korean Democrats. Why do you Righties take the dictators’ words as truth? Is it simply in your authoritarian nature?

“Flight Tax” on fleeing Jews sounds right out of progressive thinking. Union busting and slave labor for corporations and economic elite cronies are also very progressive concepts, right? Hitler didn’t need to worry about taxes because he could steal from those he had politically and militarily dominated. Sort of like the concept of “shared sacrifice” that only applies to the unrepresented middle class and poor over here in post Bush Amerika. The elites are doing better than ever and have no interest in any kind of sacrifice whatsoever. That is for the little people.

Instead of the “Party” we have the top one tenth of the one percent wealth holders buying and controlling our politicians. It sure ain’t democracy and it sure aint a representative republic when Big Money decides who runs in the sham elections. The Koch Brothers are close to buying more “representation” with their billions of dollars than all the union workers combined in this country. It is Plutocracy that the Right wants, not democracy.

According to the well sourced Wikipedia piece, the top income tax rate in 1941 was 13.7%. Sounds a little steep for most GOP greedheads, but more than fair for most people.

Ever wonder why taxes would have gone up in Nazi Germany? You don’t suppose it would be due to Hitler’s “unitary executive” policy of military domination and pre-emptive wars, do you?

Your blind belief system may not be theological religion, but it is definitely of a Right Wing political cult belief system, complete with its own neologisms to control their authoritarian followers’ ideology. Hence, Death tax, Death panels, Real Americans, Obamacare, America-hating liberals, and all the other terms found in Right Wing propaganda. In fact, the very terms of debate must be unilaterally defined by the Right for them to “win” any debate. The bottom line is their Republican Party represents almost exclusively the economic elite. They are skilled at pandering to the ignorant fundamentalist Right for the leverage they need in overriding that pesky Constitutional obstacle of citizens voting rights. As we have seen they have been working on that for some time now. Poll taxes, “literacy tests” exclusively for minorities, selective voter roll purges, rigged Diebold voting machines, limited numbers of available voting machines for precincts that vote don’t “right”, and the Great Vote Fraud Hoax all follow their pattern of undermining our democracy.

T. Paine said...

Dubya, I found your list of comments and definitions regarding toture to be fascinating and agree that what the Iraqi's did to American prisoners definitely constitutes torture. Or did I miss your point?

Now if you are claiming that America actuallly committed all of those atrocities on captured enemy combatants, I would be curious from what objective source you got this information.

Indeed, even waterboarding was used on only three people for the purpose of extracting information, one of which was Kahlid Sheik Mohammed. Our own service members and interogators were water-boarded as a means of training on the technique.

I doubt that electrodes were attached to the genitalia of terrorists by us though, let alone done to our own people for training purposes.

I am sure you will correct any wrongly perceived notions I have via your credible sources though.

Dave Dubya said...

TP,
Try google and check out the photos from Abu Ghraib.

free0352 said...

Dubya,

"Functional" human being is irrelevant. I don't care if a human can contemplate their own navel or not. Why do you? As for funding rubbers with tax dollars, I'm not for that either and it has nothing to do with religion. But that's another debate.

As for Hitler, I have a bachelors degree in political science and I studied in my spare time national socialism IN GERMANY, including speaking with people who were indeed there for it. I think that counts for something. I'm sitting on a paper I wrote there for if I ever go to graduate school that talks about how the 30 Years War influenced the NAZI movement. Now offense here guys, but how does your experience stack up to that? Like I said before, if you take away the militarism, and antisemitism a Nazi looks a lot like a social democrat on policy, for example the Labor Party in England, or the Democrat party in America. My point however, is that American (or even European) conservatives have nothing in common with Nazism (except perhaps an opposition to gay marriage), and even though modern social democrats do it doesn't make them Nazis. But history does show, that like the Communists when a "workers" party runs amok, you get problems.

Though when you say "The Jew Joe Liberman" I start thinking twice.

You call American Conservatives authoritarian, but I'll bet you 100 bucks you'll find in the last 30 years it's been almost exclusively Democrats that have proposed new laws, restrictions, and regulations which represent the naked force of the state. The only thing off the top of my head I can think of the Conservatives wish to regulate are abortion, illegal immigration and gay marriage. Liberals seem to want to regulate everything else.

As for the fallacy of "the top 1%" I have a question. Since we don't have a gold standard, wealth is obviously tied to value and value is infinite; How does one hold any percentage of infinity?

As for Germany's tax rate- if you look it up you'll quickly see FDR's mean rate was lower. In fact, in 1930 the US rate was less than 2%.

As for supposed Conservative participation in Jim Crow you mentioned... um bad news friend but those were Democrats... and no... they didn't all join the Republicans. George Wallace for example died a Democrat, endorsing Jimmy Carter.

I would suggest Dave, you put aside the right wing characature you've constucted in your mind and start using to logic to aruge with the real live humans on your blog.

You might do better at debate.

Dave Dubya said...

Free,

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify my positions.

And thank you for your suggestion about the perceived “caricature in my mind”. I confess to being somewhat imaginative at times. However every word I used is taken from Right Wing personalities, real ones. I do not make this stuff up, they do.

"Functional" human being is irrelevant I guess if you consider a zygote, that is neither male nor female, a person. This is beside the point.

You oppose government funded birth control and public health as a whole. Fine. To some of us, a government’s function is more than to simply arrest, torture and kill people that you determine are “bad guys”. Some of us prefer a fair judicial process before your fun and games begin. You are welcome to your beliefs. In a way, Hitler and Japan only tortured “bad guys” too. They were their enemies, right?

You have a point that “conservatives have nothing in common with Nazism”, as long as those “conservatives” are not Nazis or fascists. You see, there are real Nazis and similar like-minded fascists in America and they hate progressives, so where does that put them? To the Right. On the other hand there are many conservative people who are Amish, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and of other Christian and non-Christian faiths who don’t participate in, and even oppose, the Right’s wars for profit and political power.

While you are free to pontificate on the “real” reasons for invading Iraq, I can only point to what Bush said, “One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief. My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it. If I have a chance to invade…, if I had that much capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I'm going to have a successful presidency.” – George W. Bush 1999

That “capital” was used to demonize dissent, accrue political power, and pass unconstitutional legislation and executive orders. That capital was also billions of our tax dollars transferred to cronies at Halliburton/KBR, Blackwater and other loyal Republicans, much of it fraudulently. Sorry it didn’t turn out the way Dick and his buddies had drawn up on their maps of Iraq. Somehow I don’t think they lost any money.

Thank you for pointing out that Southern Democrats were also conservatives and racists. We know about that. They were called Dixiecrats before Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” gathered most of them over to the Republican side.

As George Wallace said in1966, "I am an Alabama Democrat, not a national Democrat. I’m not kin to those folks. The difference between a national Democrat and an Alabama Democrat is like the difference between a Communist and a non-Communist." Now there’s a real liberal progressive type, eh?

More to follow...

Dave Dubya said...

Free,

I appreciate you offer of a wager, but that would require an independent judgment of the factors at play. However I do share your justified concern for the “naked force of the state”. I agree the power of the state needs to be constitutionally regulated. Good thing we have a Constitution, despite what the “war on terror” has wrought. Both the Left and Right manipulate state power. Don’t tell me only the Left wants to control our behavior and limit our freedom. The Right imposes warrantless surveillance, “pre-emptive war” on terror for power and profit, and the ever failing war on drugs. The Left wants medicinal cannabis and government funded public health care.

Oh and the Left wants regulation of Wall Street.

Wonder why? It is because of this. There’s state power and there’s economic power. In fact, enough money can buy politicians to force the state to work for the interests of Big Money. Now THAT is power. And it is becoming less and less regulated and more influential in public policy. Look who has gained the most wealth and power in these past 30 years despite your so-called onslaught of regulations. Yes it is Big Money.

So we see the Left and the Right have influence in state power. However, only the Right has a lock on the power of Big Money, or is it vice-versa? If the Right has all the state power and all the economic power, then that, my friend, is fascism. Ask the Germans. At the very least it would be a kind of neo-feudalism of economic elite Lords ruling the working class serfs.

No need to think twice about what I said about Liebermann. Jew was in the context of his Neocon, anti-Islam, war mongering, and loyalty to the Israeli Right, not his religion, culture, or people.

So tell me again, do Germans call Hitler a social Democrat? Is it because of this kind of thing he said?

"The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life." - Adolph Hitler "My New World Order," - Proclamation to the German Nation, Berlin, February 1, 1933

Or what about this?

“Our country has suffered the trauma... and indignity of a dark day. A day that has changed everything! We face a new kind of enemy now... one who will stop at nothing to destroy our sacred way of life! We must prepare ourselves for this gathering threat. We must take the fight to our enemies now. And we must strike them down pre-emptively! We must listen to their hidden conversations... without hindrance of our quaint laws! And we must capture these fiends... and interrogate them with new techniques... until they confess their despicable plans to us. These shall be our greatest weapons... in our war against evil.”

Sure sounds like a Republican to me.

You may be a poli-sci major, my friend, but you are certainly not a history major. FDR was not president in 1930. It was a Republican. They had the White House when the Great Depression started. Kinda like what Bush left us.

You’re going have to teach me of this wondrous thing you call logic. “As for the fallacy of "the top 1%" I have a question. Since we don't have a gold standard, wealth is obviously tied to value and value is infinite; How does one hold any percentage of infinity?”

Well, whadaya know? I’ve been illogical. How could I be so stupid to claim the elites have all that wealth and political “free speech” to use for their agenda?

Dave Dubya said...

Hi, Bee!
Thank you.

John Myste said...

God I love this blog!

free0352 said...

"Functional" human being is irrelevant I guess if you consider a zygote, that is neither male nor female, a person.

I thought I made it clear that both I and any reasonable scientific definition say that life begins at conception. Surely the egg and sperm are clearly "alive" but they are parts of the mother and father quite obviously. If you don't think a zygote is alive, when exactly do you think life begins? Further, since 99.9% of Abortions happen well after this stage in a fetus' development, I'd be happy to ban all abortions once the baby takes on a sex. Wouldn't you agree?

As for whom we should torture and kill, are you really saying you don't know who the bad guys are? I doubt that lol. Everyone knows who they are. The question, is since they don't follow the Geneva Convention is why should we? After all, the only reason we entered into it was to ensure our POWs were treated well, and it would be impossible for you to make the argument that "the bad guys" treat them well, OR follow the convention in any way.

”, as long as those “conservatives” are not Nazis or fascists.

Oh my, now we're into conspiracy theory. You sound kinda like Glen Beck here. NO I DON'T WANT TO BUY GOLD IT'S A HORRIBLE INVESTMENT.

While you are free to pontificate on the “real” reasons for invading Iraq,

The reasons we invaded Iraq (and congress approve it) is history, you can go back and look if you want. George Bush was afraid Saddam Hussein was going to give Al'Queda WMD. The End. Now as it turns out the AQ in Iraq weren't all that close to Saddam, and he didn't have the WMD. Both are true- and if you want to be against the war for those reasons that's fine. But conspiracy BusHilterBurton stuff? Really? I thought you'd be smarter than to throw out the mindless cliches.

They were called Dixiecrat's before Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” gathered most of them over to the Republican side.

A full 100% of Dixiecrat -Including my example George Wallace- went back to the Democrats. That's just a fact. George Wallace worked on Jimmy Carters campaign!

I appreciate you offer of a wager

But of course you don't want to take it ;)

Don’t tell me only the Left wants to control our behavior and limit our freedom.

I'm saying they want to a WHOLE LOT MORE.

Just look at all the legislation. Kelo vs New London SCOTUS ruling perhaps?

And as for "BIG MONEY" you can see BIG MONEY and BIG UNION MONEY right behind every democrat. Sorry, you just need that to get elected, and that will never change. Campaigns aren't free.

free0352 said...

But as for Hitler quotes, here's one of my faves.

National Socialism is first and foremost a worker's party! Until we came the Conservatives were beholden to capital interest which betrayed the blood of the German worker, and used collectivism to insure it's monopoly on industry. The Center Party [Headed by what is today the CDU, then and now the conservative party of Germany] has betrayed the German worker! National Socialism seeks to return the power of the state to the rightful holder of the German birthright! The workers and the farmers!

Adolph Hitler, eve of 1930 election.

Capital interest? Sounds like "wealthiest 1%" to me. Hell, this guy should write Obama speeches. You can almost hear Hitler belt out a "YES WE CAN!"

But the fact is, Germans (because they live there... duh) understand that Hitler was certainly no member of the CDU (conservative) OR the Social Democrats (liberal). He was... a Nazi. Kind of it's own thing. That's my point too btw.

As for who was President in 1930, I'm well aware it was Hoover. Um, in fact I think you missed my point all together and got confused. My point was, our pal Adolph you said liked low taxes. My counter point was old Adolph was a full 11% higher than our pal Hoover. Sorry I didn't make that Christal clear.

And lastly, I'll respond to this one-

Jew was in the context of his Neocon, anti-Islam, war mongering, and loyalty to the Israeli Right, not his religion, culture, or people.

That's funny, Hitler said pretty much the EXACT SAME THING in Mien Kampf. Of course there was no Israel back then, but Hitler sure fumed about the creation of one.

That makes ya think, huh?

free0352 said...

Also, just thought I'd throw it out there that the Koch brothers are Libertarians... NOT... Conservatives.

We Libertarians are just so happy to finally have a billionaire on our team, we don't like it when people won't let us claim them.

After all, you guys got Soros, Gates, pretty much all of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan/Chase not to mention Warren Buffet to name a few... and well I don't have to tell you who Conservatives have.

This is like our one little victory.

John Myste said...

The text of the article plus the comments is currently at roughly 26,000 words. The sweet spot for the "most marketable" novel is 80,000.00 words.

I am glad I finally contributed something!

Dave Dubya said...

John,
Wow. Such a waste of energy. All that hot air could have saved a ton of coal fumes.

T. Paine said...

Dubya, the first Hitler quotation you presented does indeed sound like something that could have easily come from a modern-day family values conservative.

The problem is that Hitler's actions did not back up his rhetoric in this instance, especially concerning Christian values.

As Weasel noted, Hitler was a liar! Look at the reason for his lies and the acts he did accordingly, Dubya.

Dave Dubya said...

TP,
You're right. Hitler was simply using the tried and true family/Christian rhetoric to dupe religious or otherwise conservative people. My point is it seems to always work.

Hitler was also adept at pitching progressive oriented lies as well. This is what the Right tends to believe also. We know he tossed liberals and clergy alike into camps if they dared to dissent.

He was a socialist as much as Kim Jong Il is a Democrat. Dictators never get into power by being honest. One could say the same for US politicians, but to a somewhat lesser degree generally.

John Myste said...

26,019!

Dave Dubya said...

Free,

First I agree with you that Big Money gives to both D’s and R’s. They have partial ownership of the Democratic Party and complete ownership of the Republican Party. This is known as corruption to most of us. We also know corporate money heavily outweighs union money.

It is amusing to hear Republicans talk about serving the “will of the American people” knowing they really mean their economic elite benefactors. The real will of the people, by significant majorities in numerous polls, is for the rich to pay more taxes. But those are just the “little people” so we know how much the politicians listen to them.

You’re ignoring history again. “The question, is since they don't follow the Geneva Convention is why should we?” The Japanese committed atrocities on US POW’s didn’t they? I like this answer to your question: Because as McCain said, “It is about who we are and not who they are.”

I quote Bush’s own words on war and the falsehoods he used, and you call that “mindless clich├ęs”. I guess it would be OK with you if Obama invades Libya as long as he is “worried Gaddafi will arm al-Qaeda”. Or is that rationale only good for Republicans? It is clear whose statements are mindless.

Why don’t you show me the “Exact same thing” Hitler wrote about Joe Liebermann and his anti-Islamic neocon war-mongering. Please, I’d love to see it. And, like me, Hitler would exclude Al Franken and the large majority of Jews in that assessment as well, right?

No, on second thought, never mind. You are now resorting to outright falsehoods anyway and I grow weary of correcting them.

Dave Dubya said...

I may grow a bit weary, but to be a sport, let’s have a look at a few anyway.

Like this doozy: “A full 100% of Dixiecrat -Including my example George Wallace- went back to the Democrats.” Your buddy Strom Thurman is turning in his grave. Show some respect.

And this doozy: “Koch brothers are Libertarians... NOT... Conservatives.” So since 2008 the $40 million Koch Industries spent on lobbying against “change” and to keep their cozy status quo is not conservative. OK, since you guys like to change the meanings of words to suit your views. When it comes to pro-corporatocracy, anti-democracy, and anti-workers rights, I’m afraid we need you to educate us on how Libertarians are not exactly like conservatives.
This reminds me of something. You claim to be what, a Libertarian? I thought Libertarians didn’t go for military adventurism. What does Ayn say about that? Or are you a conservative Libertarian? This gets confusing.

And doozy number three about “You guys”. (Well not me,) “got pretty much all of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan/Chase” Your grasp of current events is as tenuous as your grasp on history. Check what your favorite Murdoch Rag has to say:

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/04/27/wall-street-rules-help-gop-fill-campaign-coffers/

For the first time since 2004, the biggest Wall Street firms are now giving most of their campaign donations to Republicans.
A Wall Street Journal analysis of 12 large financial services companies, including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. shows that they have collectively made $1.4 million in political donations, with 52% going to Republicans so far this year. That’s a reversal from last year, according to the most recent round of fund-raising reports covering January, February and March.
Last year, J.P. Morgan’s political action committee gave about 60% of its $100,000 in donations to Democratic candidates. But in the first three months of 2010, the company’s PAC has reversed that trend, sending about 60% of its donations to Republicans.
Morgan Stanley has also reversed course. Last year, the company’s PAC gave $77,500 to Democratic candidates and $63,500 to Republicans. Through the first months of this year, Republicans have received 80% of its $40,000 in donations, according to the analysis.
But campaign records show that even Goldman Sachs has given more – 52% — of its PAC donations to Republicans in the first three months of the year. Few companies have been more reliable supporters of the Democratic Party than Goldman Sachs.


The Right Wing’s Marvelous March to Truth continues:

Jon Kyl states on the Senate floor that abortion is “well over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does”. Well, the actual number is 3%, and it’s against the law for federal money to fund abortions. His office releases a statement that “his remark was not intended to be a factual statement”. Such is the relationship between GOP words and the truth.

Here’s something that should cheer you up.

According to the Financial Times, there are now more people living in poverty in the US than at any time in the last 50 years.

That should teach them to worship Ayn Rand.

free0352 said...

This is known as corruption to most of us.

It's not corrupt, it's just "the system."

The only thing I can think or that would be worse is publicly funding campaigns and letting the government decide who can be a part of it. In a choice between the two, I pick special interest.

...and like it or now, the "will" of the people right now this minute is to cut spending. In fact, latest CNN poll shows 69% of Americans do not favor raising the debt ceiling AFTER they were told what the consequences would be. So I suppose you'll be down with the people's will when it comes time to vote against that one ;)

AS for Japanese POWs, mostly we didn't take them as prisoner. We just shot them surrendering or not. As for McCain, I don't give a fuck, about him, or what other countries think. If they want a vote in how we fight wars, then they can do more to help us. Shit, I only wish we'd treat detainees like the Foreign Legion does (hot box and a bamboo stick)

I guess it would be OK with you if Obama invades Libya as long as he is “worried Gaddafi will arm al-Qaeda”.

You know, I probably would support this Libya thing a lot more if that were the case... but it's not. In fact, quite the other way around.

As for Hitler's stance on Jews... um... well everyone knows that. Read Mien Kampf where he goes all Mell Gibsion and blames all the wars in history on Jews and calls them war mongers... sounding oddly like yourself -or Mel Gibson- or the President of Iran...

As for the Koch brothers, this might come as a bit of a shocker to you- but we Libertarians aren't a big fan of Barry O.

I know, blows your mind right? We even will give money away to a lesser of two evils to stop his agenda. This must be a revelation to you.

AS for JP Morgan and Goldman... they happen to be some of Obama's top contributors. In fact Goldman is #2. Goldman employees gave 80% more to Obama than McCain in 08. Harsh, I know. You see, those big banks actually LOVE the banking restrictions (in fact, they wrote them) Obama put in, because it helps them establish a monopoly against smaller competition.

So I hate to break it to you, if Banks were supporting Republicans as of 2004, why were Citibank, Goldman, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley all in the top 10 of Obama contributors in 2008 a full four years later.

I think your source is stupid, and wrong.

Go see for yourself.

As for adventurism, I was against our activities in the Balkans, Somalia, as well as you know Libya. I think we should pull out of Europe, NATO, and South Korea and Japan.

However, when it comes to Islamic Extremist Terrorism- I don't have much sympathy. In fact, I'm pretty much about killing them all because we can't coexist with them.

As for what Ayn Rand thought of the middle east, you can hear her in her own words. I happen to agree with her.

As for poverty, LOL.

Our "poor" almost universally have televisions, cars, a house or apartment to themselves, and their leading cause of death is heart disease from eating too much. Our "poor" live better than nearly all other humans on earth.

In the country club of billionaires the millionaire is the schmuck... your definition of poverty is laughable. Perhaps they should read Ayn Rand and get a real job. I'd venture to say- and I grew up in Detroit mind you... and not the good parts- that we have no poor in America. Just whiny assholes.

free0352 said...

Oh, almost forgot-

Jon Kyl states on the Senate floor that abortion is “well over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does”. Well, the actual number is 3%, and it’s against the law for federal money to fund abortions. His office releases a statement that “his remark was not intended to be a factual statement”. Such is the relationship between GOP words and the truth.

I don't care if they didn't fund 1% of abortions with public/private money or if abortionists fell from the sky. Its not the government's job to do family planning be it birth control, pap smears or whatever. If people want rubbers, go to the damn gas station and buy them... stop leeching taxdollars! Truth be told, I can't stand planned parenthood no matter what they do because of Margarete Sanger... go look up some of her Hitlerian ideas!

Dave Dubya said...

Free,
It is corrupt. It's just "the corrupt system." We all know that. But to the ones blinded and seduced by the glint of gold, the Golden Rule prevails. Those with the gold make the rules.

Funny how the “will of the people” is only acted on when it conforms to the Right, isn’t it? Like when the public went from 70% against the invasion of Iraq to 70% believing Saddam was connected to 9-11. Ah, the miracle or Right Wing propaganda...in the “liberal media” no less.

Now I sound just like Mel Gibson, huh? The more you go on with that nonsense, the more detached you become.

The “revelation” to me is your idea of the “lesser of two evils” tells the greater lies. You apparently missed the subtlety of the Kyl quote.

You may be surprised at this, but I agree with you on extremist terrorism, whether Islamic, Christian, or Jew. That includes your Aryan Brothers, or is it Aryan Brotherhood? You know the bomb brothers of Idaho.

I’m sure they share your feelings about those “whiny assholes”. I see you are also a health and nutrition expert about them as well. You undoubtedly know the cheapest foods, all they can afford, are very high in fat and cholesterol and those on such diets also receive inadequate health care. You clearly understand your “Untermensch”.

You send a link about 2008 to refute the recent article I kindly provided; proving once again your grasp of current events is as tenuous as your grasp on history. Or maybe you are compulsively dishonest. No wonder you vote for Republicans as the “lesser of evils”.

One more question. Where ARE those jobs, Ayn? Please don’t tell me Galt sent them to Asia because Galt hates Americans.

free0352 said...

Like when the public went from 70% against the invasion of Iraq to 70% believing Saddam was connected to 9-11.

It was 70% of people polled thought that, and my guess is they polled down syndrome babies. Everyone knows Al Qaeda was based out of Afghanistan at the time. They didn't move into Iraq in force till 2003... though there were a lot of them there as of 2002. However, they nor Saddam had anything to do with 9-11 I agree.

I’m sure they share your feelings about those “whiny assholes”. I see you are also a health and nutrition expert about them as well. You undoubtedly know the cheapest foods, all they can afford, are very high in fat and cholesterol and those on such diets also receive inadequate health care. You clearly understand your “Untermensch”.

I'm not a nutritionist, but I can google. Also, I'm a body builder so I understand fat really well since I spend a lot of time cutting it. But that's besides the point, you seem to be complaining that "the poor" eat high concentrations of carbohydrates. If only Ethiopians, North Koreans or rural Chinese had that problem? Ah shucks, of only they could afford to eat calorically inefficient foods from the Whole Foods store!

AS for your article, it said as of 2004 bankers supported Republicans supported banks. I showed you where in 2008 they were supporting Obama, refuting your article pretty clearly... they supported Obama 80% more than McCain. Then again it's hard to blame them since McCain sucks.

As for where the jobs are- they are in China since the Progressives drove them all way with the taxes! Their answer? More taxes yay!

free0352 said...

As for Mel Gibson, you're the one who said the thing about Liberman being a jewish warmonger.

It's creey dude, I can't help that. I'm not saying you're a Nazi... just telling you who you sound like!

Dave Dubya said...

Free,
Thank you. This is a good one.

“Progressives drove them all way with the taxes!” Ah, one of the favorite lies of the Right. Well, you obviously can’t admit the off shoring of jobs was done through corporate-written trade agreements. You also couldn’t admit they did so out of greed and utter lack of loyalty to the American people who helped them rise to the level where they could influence government policy at the expense of the nation’s working class. As we know there have been nothing but tax CUTS for the corporate and economic elites over that past decade, and we have still lost millions of jobs. Tell us again how those tax cuts have provided more jobs. I like that lie as much as the one about us Progressives driving the poor corporations out of the country. After all, it justifies Galt’s hatred for the American working man.

I have to acknowledge your dedication to the belief system of your cult, and the special courage of your devotion to the radical Right Neocon wing in the Randview Compound. Your loyalty shall be rewarded. Since Bush and Cheney were allowed to walk free, (well maybe not in some countries or near the Hague), for their blood crimes and theft from our present and future, the next batch of Republicans in the White House shall surely finish the war on the middle class, the poor, democracy and our Bill of Rights. I’m sure your disdain and contempt for the masses will be reinforced and rewarded when authoritarian puppets of Big Money are back in power. It will most certainly be time for those whiny underachievers to make further sacrifices so the elites can get more tax breaks.

“You guy got pretty much all of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan/Chase.” Again, I almost admire your tenacity in clinging to the lie even with the proof of your dishonesty plainly in view in black and white for all to see. The beauty of the statement is, even if it were correct, it provides proof of the corporatist nature of both parties.

I want to thank you for your comments and helping us understand the cult-like nature of the Radical Right true believer.

Jerry Critter said...

Oh, yes. Those oppressive corporate taxes like on these poor broke companies.

free0352 said...

Well, you obviously can’t admit the off shoring of jobs was done through corporate-written trade agreements.

Yes... to escape high taxes and excessive wages, especially in the automotive and manufacturing industry. My questing is why you can accept these guys wrote NAFTA and its cousins but can't accept the wrote the banking regulations that just came out?

You also couldn’t admit they did so out of greed

So? What's wrong with that. They're in business to make money, not pay taxes.

As we know there have been nothing but tax CUTS for the corporate and economic elites over that past decade,

Yes, I suppose it beats paying the 90% many liberals would like them to pay like it was 1948 again. However, most people rich or not are paying over 50% of their net earnings to the government and that is super excessive. Admittedly some companies can but their way into loopholes... but to combat that I guess you join me in supporting a flat tax rate (or at least a flat graduated rate) to stop that right?

Tell us again how those tax cuts have provided more jobs.

Explain to me how tax raises provide jobs?

That includes your Aryan Brothers, or is it Aryan Brotherhood?

I'm not white. I'm half Hispanic, not to mention I have Black and Arab relatives. I don't think they'd let me in, not that I'd want to join. This might shock you there dude, but I grew up with a single working mother, we were minorities, we lived near the projects. That of course, is when we weren't constantly moving around because we were broke and getting evicted. My mom worked four jobs. I didn't whine, and my mom never took welfare even when she got so sick she almost died. People should follow our example. Today my mom makes great money in the legal profession and I've done pretty well. You don't need government, just brains and a work ethic. That's the beauty of America unlike where my ancestors came from.

The beauty of the statement is, even if it were correct, it provides proof of the corporatist nature of both parties

You're under the impression I'm refuting that? Um... I thought I made that clear when I talked about banks supporting the DNC, the Kochs supporting the Libertarians, and I didn't get into the Republicans because I figured you knew they're shills for the energy industry. Both parties are HUGE shills for the Defense industry. Everyone knows that. Again my point is, so what? Corporations aren't alien intelligences from outer space, they're groups of people. Groups of people have a right to be represented. Even rich ones. If you think it's unfair, then start orginizing like the Tea Party did and quite waiting for THE STATE to solve your problems for you.

You're ranting about a loss of freedom, but ask yourself- how does one oppress people? You're worried about authoritarians? Okay, fine. Me too. That's why I advocate reducing the funding and power of the State, which is the vehicle anyone interested in oppression or exploitation is going to have to use. By taking away the tool, you ensure freedom- not by turning it into a monster.

T. Paine said...

Free, as usual, makes excellent points.

The fact is that we have now surpassed Japan as the country with the highest national corporate tax rate in the world. The fact also remains that the largest of our corporations have so many loopholes in the tax code that they pay little or no taxes. (Take a look at GE paying no corporate taxes this year.)

Therefore, the burden of those corporate taxes are paid by the medium-size and small mom & pop businesses... the ones that both right and left ironically claim to want to help.

Well then, let’s do it. Lets help them and reduce the corporate tax rate for all businesses and remove the loopholes that the biggest companies take advantage of, accordingly.

Let’s cut all of the unnecessary regulation and simplify the corporate tax code. (and while we’re at it, the personal tax code too.) If we make it less expensive to do business here where regulation is comprised of only what is necessary to protect intellectual properties, prevent monopolies, and ensure worker rights and corporate protections, then you will see more of those small and medium size businesses flourish and expand.

Remember too though, that the more you wish to raise corporate taxes, the more you just punish the end consumer. Corporations will simply pass through the taxes they pay as the cost of doing business on to us customers.

Free is right though, Dubya. You don’t further punish business by strengthening the power of the state to control it. That only feeds the monster and creates the potential of the very tools of authoritarianism that you claim to fear, Dubya.

Jerry Critter said...

"Corporations will simply pass through the taxes they pay as the cost of doing business on to us customers."

Wrong TP. They do not.

In simplistic terms, the price a business charges for its products is set by the demand for the product, not the cost to produce that product. An increase in taxes will reduce profits, not raise prices.

The Heathen Republican said...

Jerry, respectfully, that's a very shallow understanding of economics. There are many factors that determine price, and supply and demand are only one theory.

Supply and demand may place limits on the price that a company may charge (on the high or low end), but they are not the only factors. Companies pass along all costs to their customers, by definition.

If taxes go up, the additional taxes are eventually passed-through to customers. And when taxes are increased for an entire industry, you can't claim that competitors, who are assessed the same new taxes, will somehow keep their prices low. The entire industry will be affected.

Jerry Critter said...

Heathen,
You are wrong too.

Taxes are on profits. If a company does not make a profit, they pay ZERO taxes.

Again, taxes reduce profit. They do not increase prices.

The Heathen Republican said...

Critter, I'm a little annoyed that you're making me pull out the old text books. I'm the one who is supposedly in the pocket of Big Business, so why can't you just take my word? (that's a joke, of course)

Anyway, again respectfully, you're being very shallow in your understanding of corporate taxes. Your statements that "taxes are on profits" and that "taxes reduce profits" are accurate, but they are not sufficient. For a small business that buys stuff at wholesale and sells stuff at retail, your surface-level statements hold true.

I'm now curious what you do for a living. Someday, when you get promoted into a decision-making role at a Fortune 500 corporation, you will learn about budgeting and strategic financial management processes. Let me first speak generally: taxes are a cost to companies, regardless of whether or not they come before or after profits have been calculated. Knowing the corporate tax rate is 35% is a key factor in deciding whether a venture will benefit the company in the long run.

More specifically, companies pay close attention to certain measures, like cost of capital and market risk premiums. These measures help a company determine if a project will earn enough money -- after taxes -- than if they left their money in the bank. You cannot, for example, calculate the weighted average cost of capital without knowing the current rate at which profits will be taxed.

Frankly, you're out of your depth on this one and you should simply concede and choose something else to argue about from the comments above.

Jerry Critter said...

Small businesses are the engine of our economy. Virtually no Fortune 500 company pays 35% corporate tax. In fact, they employ hundreds of people to avoid paying 35% and in many cases NO taxes at all.

Again you just confirm the fact that republicans are only interested in the large corporations and are willing to stick to the average American and average small business to the benefit of large corporations.

The Heathen Republican said...

You've violated the rules for rational debate: "Do not introduce new arguments while another argument has yet to be resolved."

Your original argument was that companies do not pass along tax expenses to customers. That taxes do not impact prices. That taxes are only a factor after profit has been calculated.

I demonstrated that in fact, some companies, large companies, do factor in tax rates in very early stage decision making. This frequently impacts customer prices. My response directly rebuts your charge.

Because you cannot refute my argument, you ignored my direct rebuttal and started discussing small businesses, the engine of our economy. Your focus on small businesses does not change the fact that large businesses pay attention to, and are impacted by, tax rates.

As the rules stipulate: "You cheated. The discussion is terminated. You are deemed to have conceded all opposing arguments up to this point. You forfeit any right to complain about the discussion."

Maybe we'll finally conclude this chain of comments. As if.

Jerry Critter said...

My, my Heathen. Aren't we touchy. If you look back at your comment, you will see that you introduced the subject of small businesses.

T. Paine said...

Jerry, I would kindly submit to you that you are the one who is wrong.

Small businesses, in particular, are the ones most impacted by corporate taxes. While most of what you stated was correct, you ended up drawing the wrong conclusion, sir.

A business (especially a small business) does not aim to just "break even". If the government raises taxes on a given industry, then you are technically correct that the business can choose not to pass that cost on to its consumers; however, if that profit is taxed less, then the small business can use that money to re-invest in the company or perhaps to hire an additional person.

You are dead wrong though if you don't think that taxes paid by corporations, particularly the small and medium size ones, aren't passed right back to the consumer in order that those companies can continue and hopefully grow. Supply and demand is only a part of the equation, sir.

Heathen did an excellent job of clarifying this.

Dave Dubya said...

TP,
I know you mean well when you say, “You don’t further punish business by strengthening the power of the state to control it.”

On the surface we would all agree to this.

So I’m not going to argue with this statement. I only want to analyze it and note the terms and phrases that are code for the Right.

“Punish” as we know, along with “tyranny”, “oppression” and “burden”, is what the Right calls constitutionally imposed taxes. Emotional trigger words are far more effective for the Right than mutually defined terms, thus we see them use “death tax” and “death panels" instead of Inheritance Tax and end of life treatment counseling.

“Strengthening the power of the state” is what we can assume to mean the proper role of government, which is to tax and impose regulatory oversight in the interests of the law and protection of the public.

And the last and best part is “to control it”. This, my friends is code for implying Marxism or socialism, for the purpose of overturning what we know as regulated capitalism, derived from the Constitutional provision for government to regulate commerce.

Liberals of course do not want to drive small businesses out of existence by taxing them beyond their ability to function. To listen to the Right, taxes are what drive them out of business. The fact is, most, if not all of them fail because of other factors. The Right attempts to divert and distract from the real Progressive interest in restoring fair tax rates on Big Business and their multimillionaire and billionaire owners. We all know they can easily afford it. History has shown us clearly the falsehood of their claim that lower taxes for the economic elites and corporations create jobs in America. Thus they construct the straw man of liberal attacks on small business.

This is a good illustration of the difficulty and near futility of reasoned debate or discussion between the Left and Right. The Right must twist language and definitions, and ignore Constitutional words like “Promote the general welfare” to suit their arguments.

free0352 said...

are code for the Right.

This has got to be my all time favorite D-bag move from the left. When arguing fails... simply pretend what the opponent is saying really means something else.

We say death panels Dubya because when the government rations, and with government health care it will, someone will have to decide that. There will be no other choice when resources become limited due to state service and price controls. When you're all out for that cancer surgery because the bureaucrat assigned it to someone else (as it happens everywhere else there is socialist health care) you'll call it a Death Panel too. It is what it is, we don't speak in code. We don't have to hide our agenda like progressives do.

As for small business, if you don't want to kill them with taxes I suppose you'd support lowering the tax rate for their owners from 35% down to say... 11%? And of course you must know our small business face the highest tax rate on the planet? That's not an exaggeration, they literally pay the highest rates on the planet- higher than all other countries. I'm sure you'd be all for cutting that down to the world average of 12% right?

Yeah, didn't think so.

Jerry Critter said...

How about big business paying their share?

Beside, don't you always say businesses don't pay taxes? If that's the case, the rate does matter. Right?

Which way do you want it because you can't have it both ways. Either they pay or they don't pay.

Get you story straight!

T. Paine said...

Free already stole some of my thunder, but here is my response nonetheless.

Dubya, I would submit to you that it is the left generally that twists the definition of words from their true meaning and creates gentle euphemisms to soften the blow, as it were. What is an inheritance tax but the taxes paid upon the death of a person for their estate? And of course, end of life counseling sounds a lot more benign than death panels, but if it resorts to the rationing of care to extend or improve the quality of one’s life, isn’t death the ultimate result of that “counseling”?

Next, I can assure you that taxes and excessive regulation have destroyed many a small business. I know by first-hand account, as I helped my friend run an initially successful engineering business in California for several years, that is until the burdens of a small business trying to grow was overwhelmed with all of the regulations and additional “fees” assessed and taxes imposed. There is a damned good reason why many businesses have failed or left California accordingly. It is a very difficult place to do business precisely because of the taxes and regulations, sir.

Further, if you will look back a few comments, you will recall that I advocated closing those tax loopholes on the large corporations that allow companies such as GE to get away with paying no taxes last year. I am not totally in disagreement with you on this issue, Dave.

You are correct though that it is exceptionally hard to have a debate. The left wants to use euphemisms to soften their tyranny and control, and decries the right for their “hateful rhetoric” when they call a spade, a spade.

Case in point, the left has twisted the constitutional phrase of “promote the general welfare” to mean anything they wish is acceptable to fund from the treasury. Never mind that much of what they want to fund is indeed against original intent, tradition, precedent, and even otherwise negated by the constitution itself. I seem to recall that those “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the People.” The left always seems to forget that part though.

Dave Dubya said...

Free,
I’m honored that you join with TP in challenging my positions. I’m amused at the great lengths you stretch in order to justify your “death panel” nonsense. Why wouldn’t the corporate denial of benefits also be a death panel? Your keen distinction eludes me. What also eludes me is this death panel scourge happening “everywhere else there is socialist health care”. Do you mean Medicare and the VA? Or do you mean Canada? You offer nothing, but accuse me of hiding an agenda.

How can this be? I’ve always been open about my views. I prefer democracy and a government of, by and for the people, not a corporatist oligarchy of, by and for Big Money. If you believe this is all a diabolical cover for a secret Communist takeover, then your paranoia is the problem.

I’ve paid a 35% tax rate, Small business owner friends pay that rate. Nobody likes it, but only the Righties are such crybabies about it. And there are such things as deductions. According to the “Journal of Small Business Management” over half of small businesses fail in their first year. Taxes have nothing to do with that. They also report 9 out of 10 small businesses fail due to “lack of general business management skills and planning”. I wonder if you and TP can imagine failures due to management inadequacy being conveniently blamed on taxes and regulations. Probably not. It doesn’t fit your belief system. It’s more comforting and self-righteous to blame “tyranny”.

If a small business was gaining traction and hiring, I’d be happy to reduce their tax rate, especially if that led to greater revenue. Instead of the myth that tax cuts create jobs, I would allow for more jobs to create tax cuts. Does that make sense? I have no fealty to 35%. Corporations are supposed to be taxed that rate, but hardly ever pay it. I agree with you on closing corporate loopholes, ALL of them, not just the usual “to-be-determined” hypothetical ones that would remain after a tax cut. And we know that is how the Right really wants it, both ways.

Dave Dubya said...

TP,

I’m afraid I have bad news for you. Sorry, death is not the result of counseling. I’m no doctor, but I can say in fact, death is the result of life. And I’m glad you understand the “death tax” is not really a tax on dying. It is the tax on the millionaire beneficiaries of unearned wealth. I’m very impressed with your deep compassion for those poor wretches. They need to buy their “free speech” somehow, don’t they? Otherwise they’d be unrepresented like the rest of us. And we all know the likelihood of which party much of that money would be donated to, don’t we?

You haven’t told me what general welfare means yet. I’m waiting for your expertise to enlighten us. The Left does not forget the fact that state and local government have powers constitutionally reserved for them. You love to go on about “original intent” but this is nothing other than your opinion. Since only the Right has the authority and insight to interpret the Constitution, you should be a happy camper with the Bush/Cheney cronies dominating the Supreme Court.

John Adams felt the Constitution allowed for taxation for health care, and you don’t. Hmm.

We’re waiting for your wisdom to set us straight.

I was going to ask you to clarify the statement I analyzed, but there’s no need for that now. You proceeded to show us another perfect example of my assessment with your whining about “tyranny and control” again.

free0352 said...

Jerry,

Those that pay (mostly small and medium business) pay well over their fair share. In fact, they pay the highest rate in the world. Seriously, when is enough, enough? When they've borrowed 28 trillion dollars in your name?

I suppose you too would be for a flat 17% rate across the board corporate tax with zero deductions then eh?

Dubya

Why wouldn't the corporate denial of benefits also be a death panel?

It is. Of course you have many insurance companies and charity when that happens, and one government. I'm for not monopolizing the death panel.

Do you mean Medicare and the VA? Or do you mean Canada? You offer nothing, but accuse me of hiding an agenda

Yes, yes and yes. I've currently been on a waiting list for two years for a surgery with our wonderful military health care. Had I had my old Blue Cross insurance, I'd have been done and recovered by now. That's one example for you. I can of course give you 16,000 more but that will make this post too long. That's not even counting Canada.

I prefer democracy and a government of, by and for the people, not a corporatist oligarchy of, by and for Big Money.

But we indeed have special interest controlling government. You admit it. The more government we have, the more special interest control there is over you. As long as government has the power to control people there always will be groups that use it for bad ends - hence my support of limiting the power of the State, which is always to tool of oppression. The less government you have, the more freedom you have. The government is like tequila... it sounds like a good idea till you get the hang over and the vomiting that always results... unless you drink it in strict moderation.

I’ve paid a 35% tax rate, Small business owner friends pay that rate. Nobody likes it, but only the Righties are such crybabies about it

Well I'm glad you like laying your chicken at the feet of the master, but I don't. It's very simple. The less money the government takes away from people, the more of it they have. That should be the goal. Not taking away money from the people who carry the water and giving it to those who just drink the water in exchage for votes, privilage and power.

Dave Dubya said...

Free,
So, then, it’s “the more death panels, the merrier” for you? And you are now a victim of a government death panel because that “free market thingy” isn’t working for you? At least you are on a list showing socialism works where the market fails. Now we know why Canadians and Europeans are not out in the streets demanding insurance companies take over their health care.

I’d like to know how corporate control of government gives us more freedom. You see, this is why I advocate for more democracy, so the voters have the power, not Big Money.

T. Paine said...

Dubya, you make the typical assumption that many progressives do. Someone that inherits “unearned wealth” should have to give 50% of it to the damned government. Never mind if that wealth is in the guise of the family farm that has been passed down for generations and must now be sold off to some huge corporate farming conglomerate so that the kids can pay the DEATH tax on the family farm. The same is often true for a small family business of many sorts too. For that matter, I frankly don’t care if the money is passed down to some spoiled ass trust fund kid. The government needs to learn to spend ONLY what it is constitutionally authorized to spend on and not provide perqs for corporations, unions, and other special interest groups.

I don’t understand why the left wants to punish those that are producing and contributing to the federal tax revenues in order to benefit those that are being paid “too much” on unemployment to accept another job. Or especially those that would rather take welfare instead of working….

If you keep de-incentivizing the producers in order to provide a life-style to those that are only consumers, eventually you will get more of the latter and less of the former. Do you remember the story about the ant and the grasshopper?

I heard it reported yesterday that 47% of Americans think the “rich” don’t pay enough in taxes. It was also reported that 47% of Americans pay no net federal tax and indeed many receive entitlement payments in one form or the other. Do you suppose this is a coincidence?

Lastly, in answer to your question, the general welfare statement refers to THOSE POWERS ONLY that are delineated within the Constitution. It is not meant to be an escape clause for progressives to provide universal health care, public subsidized homes, and cash for clunkers to whomever it deems worthy.

The Heathen Republican said...

Dave and T.Paine, you're approaching the question from opposite philosophical premises, if you'll allow me to translate:

Progressives believe the U.S. money supply belongs to the government and not to us individually, therefore a tax cut is called a "cost to government" and, when you die, the government decides what percentage your next of kin is allowed to keep.

Conservatives believe our money is our own, therefore government spending is a "cost to taxpayers" and inheritance taxes tax dollars that were already taxed when they were earned, so the government has no right to tax them again when we die.

You may proceed with the debate...

Dave Dubya said...

TP,
That 50% is the only assumption I see here. Your “family farm and small family business” line is deceptive and dishonest. This applies to multi-millionaires and you know it.

Now there you go again with that “punish” bit. Thank you.

(Hey everyone, I told ya’ll so.)

You have a very lowball figure on Americans who want the tax rates of the rich restored. Some go as high as 70%. Your Mammonites love your devotion and reverence, though. Not to mention your vote for their guys.

Thank you for your narrow Right Wing reading of the Constitution. “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty” sure looks like in addition to, not a modifier of, the other provisions. Where do see how that refers to the other provisions?

General welfare is also brought up in Section 8 and clearly is listed in addition to the other provisions: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States...” I say “in addition to” because they authors clearly used the word “and”. Does “and” mean something different to conservatives and refer to the other delineated powers? You are confusing us.

I suppose if you want to get really narrow, the Constitution does not provide for an FBI, but we could allow that under to “establish justice”, though they specifically refer to courts. Neither does the Constitution call for a CIA, or NSA that have histories, along with the FBI, of violating the Bill of Rights. But we allow them because it can be claimed they provide for the common defense, not that we are allowed to see how or where they may do so.

So maybe the reasoning is just as sound for the establishment of a public health service to deal with epidemics and health issues that affect the nation’s general welfare. Maybe the reasoning is just as sound that the government may establish worker safety regulations, Medicare and Social Security as well. Those fall under the general welfare. And most people agree with me.

Do you insist all of these I mention are unconstitutional?

If so, then fine. This is not the America you want, so please leave if you don’t like it. That’s what Righties tell me all the time for my interpretation of the Constitution. I’ve even been called an America-hating socialist for saying we were lied into a war and should have public health care.

I see the words “Power To lay and collect Taxes” and “to regulate commerce” right there as well. Those are the parts you really hate, right?

HR,
Thank you. You are certainly correct that we are from different philosophical, as well as semantic, premises.

However I happen to agree that our money is our money. It is a given that the government has a right to some of our money, like it or not. The primary philosophical difference is what I see as constitutional taxation and regulation, TP calls punishment and tyranny.

Go figure.

If TP is correct and I am wrong, then at least I have the benefit of not having a paranoid sense of persecution.

free0352 said...

And you are now a victim of a government death panel because that “free market thingy” isn't working for you? At least you are on a list showing socialism works where the market fails

Well, I'm pretty sure no one has ever died of a herniated disk but it sure is miserable. Didn't you miss the part where I said had this happened on my private insurance I'd be fixed by now? Ah well, two years and counting. I'm actually saving up my own money to pay for a disk replacement surgery. You know, like people in Canada do.

I’d like to know how corporate control of government gives us more freedom.

Dubya, what are you talking about. What I'm telling you is simple. If government is weak, and can't hurt you - who cares who controls it? What incentive to the "eeeevil corporations" have to control it when it doesn't hardly do anything. That's kinda the heart and should of Libertarianism. Government that doesn't do a whole lot, but today it's pretty powerful and it doesn't help most people anyway. At least when it's weak you keep more of your own money and don't have to live by too many stupid rules.

T. Paine said...

Dubya, it is typically not conservatives that have a problem with the English language. More often than not, this is an issue progressives have. It starts with redefining unpleasant things with softer euphemisms, as I have already pointed out, and ends with presidents under oath debating what the meaning of “is” is.

While your implied accusation of me that I would want an overly narrow reading of the Constitution has merit from your perspective, I would submit to you that you want the Constitution to have seemingly no constraints on government whatsoever. When you look at “and promote the general welfare”, you assume this is blanket permission for government to do everything and anything.

I would submit to you further that the government on the federal level does meet a constitutional threshold in establishing a Center for Disease Control for the nation, but that hardly gives them authority to set up a mandatory Affordable Health Care law. (Mandatory that is except for certain massive corporations and unions which have already received waivers from having to comply with Obamacare.)

The conservative/libertarian principle that the progressives seem to loathe is this: Government should only do those functions that the private industry and people cannot reasonable do themselves, AND for which they are constitutionally authorized. In other words, the federal government should be responsible for the military, foreign affairs/diplomacy, regulating interstate commerce and providing anti-monopoly and intellectual property protections, creating and maintaining the interstate highway system, coining our increasingly worthless currency and other such specifically delineated duties. It has no business giving tax payer dollars to “artists” to fund projects like placing a crucifix into a jar of urine. It has no place in telling me what kind of light bulb I should buy or how many gallons per flush my toilet should use. It has no place “making us save for our retirement” through Social Security etc.

Now I understand that since a promise has been made and millions of people are now dependent upon Social Security that we certainly cannot eradicate it; however, we do need to revamp it to maintain its solvency and to ensure that it still can help those folks for which it was intended. Medicare is in the same boat. These are functions that people could/should have provided for themselves though. The progressive mindset of looking to the government for answers to each and every one of an individual’s personal problems is the very reason why it has expanded to the monstrosity it has. It is your tortured definition of the words, intent, and original precedents of “promoting the general welfare” that has propelled our president and congress to spend another $4 Trillion in his first two years in office.

T. Paine said...

As for me leaving, well the problem is that I have no other place to go where freedom and self reliance are cherished. On the other hand, progressives can choose from many countries to move to and live in their socialist utopias. The need to eradicate the one remaining free nation evidently is their goal however.

I want to live in a nation where individuals and free market capitalism rule. I do not want to live in a country where their idea of regulating commerce means that they can federalize private companies, fire their executives, put their own cronies in place, and then tell them what products they specifically will produce. THAT is outright Stalinism! The fact that this doesn’t scare the crap out of you and most Americans is a very sad and telling sign that we have already lost hold of some vital qualities of “American-ness”.

Dubya, you seem to think that I don’t want any government. That is absolutely not true, as this would bring about anarchy. What I want is LIMITED government that does only those functions that private industry and state government cannot do, and for which it is constitutionally authorized. And yes, apparently most conservatives do have a better understanding of what the Constitution says and means accordingly.

T. Paine said...

Dave, the first part of my comment evidently went to your spam filter. I really hate blogger...

Dave Dubya said...

Free,
I wish you luck on your back. I have been having sciatic problems lately myself and it’s no fun. A herniated disc is one of the possible reasons. I don’t understand why you don’t have private insurance, if that is what you need. Now I suppose you could be rejected because of “previous condition”, especially if the Affordable Health Care Act is completely demolished.

I think a waiting period is recommended for back pain because of the high possibility of complications of surgery, here and in Canada. I assume you’ve had non-surgical decompression treatment.

Are you sure weak government is the answer? In a power vacuum something else would rise. And we know who has the money for such power. We at least have a Bill of Rights that is supposed to limit that power of government. Bush and his appeasing R’s and D’s have done near irreparable damage in the War on Terror fiction. Imagine the abuses of our rights by power even less constrained regarding our rights. Imagine Blackwater patrolling out streets. If you want your war on terror, then you don’t want weak government. It seems you just want one that abdicates is constitutional responsibility to levy taxes and regulate commerce.

I hate stupid rules too and they are not all liberal ideas. The entire drug war debacle is one huge example. Nixon commissioned a study that urged de-criminalizing cannabis. He ignored it. The pressure from corporate lobbying by Big Pharma, tobacco, and alcohol are major factors in the supposed government of the people deciding what they can do with their own bodies.

A weaker government means more corporate control of public policy. This is GOP Republicanism in a nutshell.

I think the question of strong v. weak government is moot. We have a military industrial congressional complex. It is going to be powerful no matter what. The issue then becomes where and how that power should be applied.

Liberals want a government that works for the people. And that’s what we’re here to bicker about.

What a dilemma.

TP,
Don’t accuse me of wanting no restraint on government. I fully support all of our Bill of Rights. I am very conservative that way. Also don’t assume I “assume this is blanket permission for government to do everything and anything”. I oppose government overreach in personal lives too. You fail to see my position on limited government. Wiretaps and searches without court orders violate the Bill of Rights far more egregiously than public health and retirement safety nets. You are free to disagree with this, but you are not free to define my assumptions without correction.

I have to wonder why auto bailouts and health care scare you more than outright violations of the Bill of Rights.

Believe it or not, I’m ok with not subsidizing urine art, and I like the old light bulbs. And don’t forget I strongly dislike the mandates in the Affordable Care Act because that only gives more to the Insurance companies. It is very corporatist legislation. I’d much rather see a Medicare for all program with private caregivers. This would be less socialist than Britain because money trickles back to the private health care sector, like in Canada.

True Stalinism would be more like the permanent takeover of a healthy auto company, not temporarily bailing out a failed one. Stalinism would also send you, and me, to a camp for saying what we say. You are re-defining again.

We’re the only “one remaining free nation” now? Many would disagree. If you are correct, then Operation Iraqi Freedom was indeed a tragic failure. But I guess freedom is whatever you define at any given moment, like tyranny and punishment.

free0352 said...

I don’t understand why you don’t have private insurance

Um... I'm in the Army, and I'm sure you know there are limits to which private companies will insure you. Professionally getting shot at is one reason (among many) they won't cover us.

you’ve had non-surgical decompression treatment.

Sort of, but the standard of care in military medicine is much less than civilian medicine and you can't sue the doctor when he screws up when he violates it. A biproduct of the socialism. In fact Soldiers view our health care system as some what of a joke.

But I've also got to experience first hand the German, Canadian and French healt care systems. Wouldn't trade them... ever.

Are you sure weak government is the answer? In a power vacuum something else would rise.

I'm not an anarchist, I'm a Libertarian. We of course think we should have some level of law enforcement to protect peope... though not against drug abuse lol. However, I've yet to see any real violations of anything in the 4th ammendment... though my right to property (not in any founding document) is pretty well trashed come tax time.

I think the question of strong v. weak government is moot. We have a military industrial congressional complex.

And the Tea Party and Libertarian Republicans are undoing it. Why don't you jump on board?

Dave Dubya said...

Free,
I've yet to see any real violations of anything in the 4th ammendment.

Just poke around and you can easily find them. There have been lawsuits, both successful and unsuccessful, over the violations. Warrentles wiretaps, gag orders and National Security Letters are a few.

I see Florida Republicans want safety net recipients to take drug tests now, at their cost too. Seems the AHCA may not be the only mandate for people to give their money to businesses. And this is for those who can least afford it. The libertarian side of me strongly dislikes both mandates.

"And the Tea Party and Libertarian Republicans are undoing it. Why don't you jump on board?"

Show me where they really are taking on the MIC, and I would.

free0352 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
free0352 said...

...though I would love to educate you, unfortunately it's a felony.

Dave Dubya said...

OK, Free, you may go on defending our freedom by keeping us in the dark.

I'd hate for you to have to kill us for knowing too much. ;-)

free0352 said...

I could tell you, but I wouldn't have to kill you. I'd be too busy watching my ass in Army jail.

But never fear, Obama just extended the program for a lot more years. I guess he saw it's benefits too.