Of Paranoid Plots and Ponzi Fantasies

By Keith Kloor | September 10, 2010 11:28 pm

We all know rational, intelligent people that honestly believe the most absurd things. I know someone who thinks she was abducted by aliens. On a related note, I also know someone who swears he saw a UFO in Miami Beach. And he was with his mother, who saw it too. I know another person who insists that 9/11 was an inside job, sanctioned by the U.S. government.

I never know what to say to people who utter such things. So the best thing I can think to say about this Jeff Id post (of a separate article) is that he sincerely believes it. Jeff really believes that Obama is deliberately trying to destroy capitalism so that a Marxist/socialist system can eventually be installed in the U.S.

Actually, the best thing that could be said about this comes via a comment left at Jeff’s site:

This sounds like right-wing pot-head paranoia.

And just for kicks, here’s a recent post by Joe Romm that blames Obama for the ruination of civilization, or something like that, for not tackling climate legislation before the health care bill. What’s delicious about this post, though, is Romm’s particular citation from his favorite op-ed columnist:

As Tom Friedman wrote last year in “The Inflection is Near?” [Emphasis is by Romm]

“We created a way of raising standards of living that we can’t possibly pass on to our children,” said Joe Romm, a physicist and climate expert who writes the indispensable blog Climateprogress.org. We have been getting rich by depleting all our natural stocks “” water, hydrocarbons, forests, rivers, fish and arable land “” and not by generating renewable flows.

“You can get this burst of wealth that we have created from this rapacious behavior,” added Romm. “But it has to collapse, unless adults stand up and say, “˜This is a Ponzi scheme. We have not generated real wealth, and we are destroying a livable climate “¦’ Real wealth is something you can pass on in a way that others can enjoy.”

I suppose this is Joe’s way of letting his readers know that what he says’s here about our rapacious behavior is extra noteworthy because Thomas Friedman quotes it.

Anyway, Joe’s Ponzi scheme musings is the stuff of Jeff Id’s paranoid nightmares.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: climate change, ideology
  • jeff id

    I thought it was you lefties that smoked the pot?

  • jeff id

    Sorry just snip the comment,  I don’t mind your post.
    What makes me different from Romm is that I’m honest WRT science. I will post the worst global warming doom article ever printed if it is correct.   I again will point out that I posted a math technique that will always increase warming trend from warming data – because it’s more correct.
    So addressing the point of my post, I definitely do believe that Obama likes the crisis mode of our economy very very much.  It’s a means to an end in his view.  What I haven’t seen on my post is anyone with the ability to explain the policies in a different light.  Give it a crack, I’ll listen and maybe you can convince me.  Until then, this is just name calling.

     

  • Barry Woods

    No need for a conspiracy, a small group of activists sceintists got all concerned about CO2, the IPCC gets created, lots of people jump on the bandwagon…

    Check out Futerra, a nice little earner for this media group, specialising in all things green, since 2001.  No doubt, they do not question/check the science, they are creative pr types after all, they are just selling the ‘product’ in the best way the can.. No doubt they are all probably very nice people.

     - Rules of the Game – was one of the  Climategate files
    From Futerra.

    Futerra and The UK Department for Environment published the Rules of the Game on 7 March 2005. The game is communicating climate change; the Rules will help us win it. The document was created as part of the UK Climate Change Communications Strategy.”

    They have released, New Rules;New Game, as a follow up, about how to change peoples behaviour with respect to climate change.

    One of Futerra’s latest is:

    Sell the Sizzle” ““ Futerra. http://www.futerra.co.uk/downloads/Sellthesizzle.pdf
    CHOICE
    Introduce hell
    You’ve sold the sizzle so now show the alternative. If you lead with a positive vision, you don’t then have to pull your punches on climate chaos. The choice is now Make clear that change won’t wait, and that the decision moment is now
    “””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””“
    Personal hell
    Climate change doesn’t just affect weather patterns and polar bears. Lay out the impacts on hospitals, schools, and the local environment.  Hit lifestyles and aspirations. The more powerful and compelling your vision, the more hard-hitting
    you can make the threat of climate chaos.
    “”””””””””””-
    Sounds funny, take a long look at their client list”¦.. (BBC, UK government,UN Environment Program, Greenpeace, etc
    http://www.futerra.co.uk/clients/
    “sell the Sizzle” ““ Futerra
    Climate Change Deniers
    Unfortunately, these guys are back (if they ever went away). The edge of this group are the conspiracy theorists who are sure that climate science is an excuse for either (a) the
    environmentalists to curtail consumption or undermine our way of life, or (b) for the developed world to hold back the developing world.
    “””””””””””””””””””””””“
    http://www.futerra.co.uk/revolution/leading_thinking interesting browsing there website

    http://www.futerra.co.uk

    Check out their courses, all paid for by quango’s taxpayers, energy companies… Very
    A nice little earner, if you have capture the ‘climate change’ media niche’….

    Have a look at “Words That Sell”

    They were focus grouping ‘ Carbon Footprint’ a few years ago…

    Biodiversity, has appeared recently as the latest ‘green’ them, even a new UN body proposed…..

    In at the beginning advicing, Un Environmental Program, UK Government and GreenPeace.
    http://www.futerra.co.uk/downloads/Branding_Biodiversity.pdf

    Isn’t marketing fun….

  • Barry Woods

    A gem of a quote from Branding Biodiversity above:

    “Our audiences are
    emotional rather
    than rational.”  – Futerra

  • Richard J

    It is however prudent to ponder on the fragility of freedom and democracy, particularly if one comes from Europe. And reflect on the enduring message, rather than the specifics, of Eisenhower’s farewell address.

  • Keith Kloor

    Jeff,

    It’s really hard to take that article you posted seriously; like Bart said in another comment at your site, I thought it was satire at first.

    I suspect that’s why people aren’t engaging it to your satisfaction.

  • jeff id

    I find it amazing that otherwise intelligent people can’t see the common sense truth of these leftist policies, but then again we have created a culture which can’t recognize the superior lifestyles created by capitalism any more either.
    Even if the intent weren’t there (which it is) the policies which have been enacted to date will have the same effect.  Each one incrementally stepping in the same direction.
    When the population is beholden to the government, freedom will be lost.  Nearly every formative constitutional writing which founded America warned against these acts and policies but no we should marginalize those who point out the danger.
    I guess that means America’s founders were stupid conservative pot heads too so I’m in good company.










     

  • http://collide-a-scape.com Keith Kloor

    Jeff,

    I assume that GWB and the Republican majority for six of his eight years were impersonating leftists when they hugely expanded government spending, including the cynical Medicare expansion, and created new byzantine levels of bureaucracy and unnecessary government with the Homeland Security Dept.

  • http://www.examiner.com/x-9111-SF-Environmental-Policy-Examiner Tom Fuller

    Hiya Jeff! I suppose you knew that I’d show up and get in your face on this one. Obama is no more a lefty than you are, and saying he is don’t make it so.

    Just like warmists try and define us as deniers, so the Tea Party tries to define Obama as a socialist. But why would a socialist bend over backwards to save Wall Street? Why would a socialist give back General Motors to the private sector? Why has Obama been so cool towards Venezuela and Cuba? Equally as interesting, why have they (and China) been so cool in return?

    There isn’t one of his policies, successful or not, that has not been a plank of a Republican candidate for President.

    Obama is a street-smart centrist urban politician. He’s left, all right–left of you. Which could put him squarely in the middle of mainstream Democratic thought.
     

  • kdk33

    Tom:  “Obama is no more a lefty… ”

    To quote a well known lefty: “on which planet do you spend most of your time”.  Not that noone is to Obama’s left, but he’s left of most (unless your in the fiscally exemplary state of Ca.).

    But there’s no conspiracy.  Obama prefers semi-socialism:  single payer health care and skyrocketing utility prices, for example.  It’s not a secret.  Anyway, He’s destroying the economy by introducing these policies, but I think he honestly believes them better.  Likewise Reid and Pelosi. 

    And Keith, many conservatives weren’t too thrilled with the domestic policies of GWB and the republicans of those years.  Ergo the TeaParty.  As one of my (bible-thumpin’, gun-totin’, tobacco-chewin’, Tea-Partyin’) acquaintances said after BHO’s election:  Republicans earned this.

    Hopefully they’ve learned their lesson.

  • Ed Forbes

    As one of my (bible-thumpin’, gun-totin’, tobacco-chewin’, Tea-Partyin’) acquaintances said after BHO’s election:  Republicans earned this.

    As a long time Dem voter, I can say that the Dem’s have earned what they are going to receive this Nov also. I am going to hold my nose and vote a straight Republican ticket to help try and slap some sense into them.

    Both parties have been like a drunk who has been given the keys to the liquor cabinet.

  • GaryM

    GW and Congressional Republicans weren’t impersonating anything when they adopted progressive policies.  The Republican party has always had bunches of leftist progressives.  We call them RINOs, Rockefeller Republicans, Olympia Snowe….  Nixon gave us wage and price controls and the EPA; Gerald Ford was a Bob Michel, go along to get along tax collector for the welfare state; both Bushes favored government action on economic issues, expanding entitlements, etc.  That is one reason I view the vitriol hurled at Bush from the left with such amusement.

    Everybody pretends to be conservative to get elected, just read many of Obama’s speeches.  But if you want to know how to tell which Republicans are actually conservatives…look at what they suggest as policy initiatives.  If a Republican essentially believes that our central planners are better then their (Democrats’) central planners (ala David Brooks, John McCain and a multitude of others)…he ain’t a conservative.

    The problem with trying to discuss “socialism” is that it usually becomes a futile exercise.  If you want to know if anyone is a “socialist,” you first have to define the term, without the emotion.  It’s the same with “conservative,” “fascist,” “libertarian.”  Without an agreed frame of reference, it inevitably becomes an exercise in name calling.  Just look at the prior thread on this blog.

    If you ask does Obama want a Marxist revolution with the overthrow of the government and nationalization of all property, there is no evidence of that.  If you ask does he want government central planners managing the energy, banking, auto, and health care (and virtually any other) industries, how can there be any doubt?  Hell, all too many Republicans do too.

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    Well, it just wouldn’t be a genuine kkloor post if he didn’t “balance” pointing out the denialist conspiracy theories with a completely unrelated attack on Joe Romm. I guess that means it’s almost  time for another mash note to Judith Curry.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com Keith Kloor

    kdk33 (10):
    So it was Bush and the Repubs that kickstarted the teaparty? Funny, I don’t recall seeing them during his two terms? Seems like they got all up in arms after Obama came into office.
    TB (13):
    How do I “attack” Romm in this post? I was amused by his self-referential quote from Friedman’s quote and merely pointed that out. That’s an attack?

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    kkloor:
    How do I “attack” Romm in this post? I was amused by his self-referential quote from Friedman’s quote and merely pointed that out. That’s an attack?

    No, this is an attack- specifically an appeal to ridicule. The self-reference dig was in the same vein, but at least it was amusing and deserved.
    here’s a recent post by Joe Romm that blames Obama for the ruination of civilization

    If you’d like to pretend that it’s completely normal for someone to be as obsessed with making fun of Romm as you are, don’t let me stand in the way of the rationalization. But also don’t pretend that it’s not what you’re doing.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > The problem with trying to discuss “socialism” is that it usually becomes a futile exercise.  If you want to know if anyone is a “socialist,” you first have to define the term, without the emotion.  It’s the same with “conservative,” “fascist,” “libertarian.”  Without an agreed frame of reference, it inevitably becomes an exercise in name calling.  Just look at the prior thread on this blog.

    I agree wholeheartedly.

  • Chris S.

    Ed Forbes: Do you wanna buy a t-shirt? http://imvotingteaparty.com/

  • Richard J

    Keith- And if Gore had had a few more votes? 

  • jeff id

    #8 No time to play today either, but one of the things you lefties miss all the time about our last election is that conservatives were ticked off at the Republicans. IMO, the main reason that Obama got elected over McCain was that the Bush Republicans did exactly what you said.  They went for the power instead of the budget slashing limitation of federal government we so desperately needed.  McCain showed zero sign of limiting government any time in his past or future so nobody cared to vote for him.  I sure didn’t, but he still got my vote because of the evil Obama represents.
    ——–
    Tom,
    I have a very hard time understanding how writing a huge payoff bill to unions and special intrest groups across the country would fit into a Republican platform.   I’m also having difficulty with the takeover of banks, healthcare and GM as a conservative view.
    I am most certain that the banks are involved in very heavy corruption at the federal level, I’m also certain that they had undue influence over Obama’s and Bush’s policies.   It’s like Acorn, an organization which just finished illegally corrupting a US election, get’s a huge payoff straight from the federal government, an obvious payoff,  and we see near zero discussion of that in the MSM.
    The influence of the federal government over the media is another serious corruption in our country these days.  Piece by piece America is being destroyed, but the Kloor’s of the world want to silence the critics through marginalization.  Unfortunately for him, I don’t care if I’m not considered PC, the issue is too big and like climategate, too obvious to sweep under the rug.
    Hide the decline meant exactly what it said.



     

  • Shub

    So these tea partying people,…do they drink tea and party? Or are they just old rebellious Medicare dudes and dudettes?

    things break:
    The global warming theory and its solutions sound like a terrifying conspiracy because the policy wonks and their bosses took very little time convincing themselves that the problem was real – there has been no *transmittance*. There have been attempts at transmittance, but for various reasons, these wont work. So you have the observers, like Jeff and the rest (of us), watching Romm, Friedman and the top echelon moving agitatedly towards ‘action’ against global warming with the rest of the political spectrum, including the lefty proles only being dragged along.

    Why wont it look like a conspiracy?

    The anthropogenic global warming theory was birthed in the political left. Its solutions are framed and packaged in the themes of the political left. The lefties will not give up ownership of the original idea – they want it implemented in its virgin form, in the way it was born. There is no inclusiveness, no welcoming attitude. Take your average ‘warmist’ attitude towards the skeptics – the prototypical example. The skeptics are that segment of the population, encompassing the entire intellectual spectrum from scientist to commoner, who actually bother to come and interact with the warmists.  I have never seen a single expression, acknowledging this fact, amongst the warmists. Dont get me wrong here. The skeptics do not need the appreciation; the warmists need to acknowledge to one another, appreciating this fact. But no, that will not happen – at the same rate.

    You want your theory, you don’t want to throw it out there and let it mutate, divide and multiply, you turn your back and close your circles, and and you wonder so sincerely, why global warming is thought of as a massive tax for the global government?

    As long as the skeptics *know* that the idea of global warming is more precious to the lefties than the sense of impending danger from it, they’ll have enough reason to laugh at the whole thing.

  • kdk33

    Keith:  So it was Bush and the Repubs that kickstarted the teaparty?

    Hmmm, yep.  That’s pretty much it.  A movement to change the R’s so they stop doing what GWB and R’s did in those years.
    Did you have something else in mind? 

  • http://collide-a-scape.com Keith Kloor

    Jeff (19):

    It’s hard to take you seriously even though I know you’re serious. Obama represents some sort of evil? Wow.

    Then there’s this gem from you: “Piece by piece America is being destroyed, but the Kloor’s of the world want to silence the critics through marginalization.”

    As I’ve pointed out to you several times before, this is just doomsday political rhetoric from the Right. Amazing that you can see it from the climate concerned but not from yourself. That’s why you and a certain fulminator who thinks civilization is headed for the dustbin are two sides of the same coin.

    And how do you get that I’m trying to marginalize you? It’s not my fault you marginalize yourself with your irrational, wacky fears of a Marxist takeover of America.

  • Ed Forbes

    Chris S. Says:
    September 12th, 2010 at 5:08 am
    Ed Forbes: Do you wanna buy a t-shirt?

    Naaa……I still consider myself a liberal who would happily vote for Bill Clinton again. It is time for some blood letting in the Dem party though. If they get slapped up side the head hard enough they might get the message.

     BO was brought up as a Chicago pol and all of the baggage that brings along. Chicago has its own way of doing things. Some of them might not even get you indited by the DA. 

    I have always found clear similarities between BO and Woodrow Wilson. Another failure from an Ivory Tower who was a disaster for the country. WW and his “He kept us out of the war”  has direct parallels with BO and the current  war in Iraq. The US had no business getting into WWI and no business going into Iraq. BO moved the  party into a war party, same as had WW.

  • Pascvaks

    BHO is as much a democrat as GWB is a republican.  Maybe it’s closer to the mark to say both are/were extremes.
    Tea Parties are formed by malcontents in or near the mighty middle not the faithful of the left or right persuasions (though some of these may read the tea leaves and join).
    The older you get the more you think like a child.  Human bodies are made of a lot of water and some very wierd chemicals – anything can happen, at any time, anywhere, to anywho; don’t laugh too hard, it may happen to you.
    There is far more that is unknown than is known –except, of course, in Climatology where, I understand, everything important has been discovered and there really is nothing new.
    Life’s a beach.  If you live long enough, you’re liable to see, say, do, taste, feel, and smell anything.
     

  • Barry Woods

    Would it be ok to say, he s not a great leader, and has failed to live up to expectations, albeit unrealistically high ones at that

  • http://www.hopkinson.net SimonH

    Viewing the US from Europe, as I do, having lived for a few years in the US, I’m hugely entertained by the fears expressed that the US could ever be turned remotely “socialist” in nature. It’s far less of a generalisation than it appears when I say that American cultural thinking is so far removed from that of other western cultures that it is simply inconceivable to me.

    Folks, not gonna happen. Ever. Seriously.

  • http://letsget.small.org PDA

    I was amused by his self-referential quote from Friedman’s quote and merely pointed that out.

    No, you didn’t “merely” point that out. You pointed that out, and as thingsbreak noted you held him up to ridicule, and you also claimed his “musings” were “paranoid.”

    I understand that otherwise, you think he is a paranoid when it comes to climate issues, but it’s hard to see how that’s exhibited in this quote. What is ‘paranoid’ about the idea that “We have been getting rich by depleting all our natural stocks “” water, hydrocarbons, forests, rivers, fish and arable land “” and not by generating renewable flows?”

    It’s almost as if you set yourself a quota for Joe Romm posts.

  • http://bensix.wordpress.com BenSix

    Man, whenever you link to Romm I have to check to see if you’ve been fair (and you haven’t here, for all that it’s darned unimportant). Takes me half an hour just to read through the headlines.

  • http://collide-a-scape.com Keith Kloor

    PDA,

    The Paranoid plots part of the headline was directed at the Jeff Id section of my post. As for Romm, what can I say, he gives me boundless material. Also, reread the last sentence of my post and you’ll see you got everything twisted around.

  • kdk33

    Simon:  “I’m hugely entertained by the fears expressed that the US could ever be turned remotely “socialist” in nature.”

    Well, just for example:

    We’ve a president that openly advocates for single payer healthcare.  Socialism is granting government control over the means of production (paraphrased from dictionary.com).  Healthcare is 1/6 (or so) of the economy.  If government is the only payer, then they pretty much have… control.

    On the other hand, I hope you are correct.  Elections in November.

  • http://letsget.small.org PDA

    Ahh, sorry Keith, I thought you were equating the two.

    As I’ve said here before, I really don’t think there’s any problem with snark. I do wish you’d embrace it, rather than who-meing – e.g. ‘I merely pointed that out’ – but that’s a style thing.

  • jeff id

    #22,
    <b>And how do you get that I’m trying to marginalize you?</b>

    Well Keith by your comment addressed to me:
    <b>This sounds like right-wing pot-head paranoia.</b>

    Let’s not play games, you’re a lefty who enjoys the government’s expansion and our governments dramatic overspending on unions, health care, GM, GE green programs.  Pretend all you want but you enjoy what he’s doing.
    You probably see the pending economic slowdown caused by these draconian policies (hopefully not collapse) as a necessity for reduction of emissions or some stupid thing, either that or you don’t see it coming.

    You prolly see widespread unemployment as something we should just all live with as we continue to destroy evil big-business, all in favor of the benevolent government.  You prolly didn’t notice that we’ve got people who aren’t even trying to get jobs because they’ve had two year long free vacations courtesy of the working man.  Working in ‘real’ industry, I’ve seen the pressures created by the governments corruption.   It ain’t good.

    The economic bail out program was nothing but a payoff to unions, if you want to stimulate an economy, building a road where a road already exists is about as useless a thing as you can do.

    Some serious time with constitutional history is in order for you, but your views on what should be obvious are so distorted, there isn’t much hope.  Obama has supported the most dramatic government expansion we’ve ever experienced, he’s taken over businesses for no reason and he’s paid off big unions repeatedly while calling it stimulus.  He wants the Mexicans to vote without responsibility for democrats.  He pushes every policy which expands the power of central government, tell me one which he didn’t.  Just one.  The bigger the government, the less free we all are – and that IS evil.  A recipe for suffering and pain on a massive scale.

    But I’m the pot head?  And that comment is not an attempt to marginalize.  Then you pretend you can’t figure out where you attempted to marginalize my view!  What kind of game are you playing captain chaos?

    I suppose that in the circus, it is critical to remember you can’t argue with a clown.   Perhaps I’ll do a post on the weird position you’ve taken and send you some readers, maybe not though.





     

  • Smoking Frog

    I completely fail to see how believing that one has seen a UFO can be called one of  “the most absurd things.”  I myself along with my wife and small children saw one in the early or middle 1990s.  It was large, flying at low altitude (certainly lower than 10,000 ft., probably a good deal lower than 5,000) directly overhead, and absolutely silent, even though it was moving at airplane speed.   Since then,  I’ve asked several aviators about it, but not one could explain it as an airplane or glider.  (It clearly was not a blimp or anything of that sort.)
    It should not be necessary to say, “This is not to say that it was an extraterrestrial vehicle,” but unfortunately it is necessary when speaking to someone like you.  So I say it.
    An old friend of mine saw an equally baffling UFO of another kind, at low altitude,  in the 1950s.
    The history of UFO sightings, and the characters of scientists and others who have been interested in them,  are completely incompatible with your remark.

  • jeff id

    #26,  it is happening, and it is scary.  Seriously.

    The media is supportive of it and covering up what is going on.  They don’t report the incremental steps or the difficulties we are experiencing regularly, i also hope you are right.  As soon as you stop resisting, the government moves in.  With a constant supply of brainwashing leftist media, they trick the public into thinking it’s a good idea.


     

  • http://collide-a-scape.com Keith Kloor

    Jeff (32, 34):

    Seriously, you’re doing a fine job of marginalizing yourself with these comments. But what the hell, let’s continue the fun and unpack #32.

    My reference to the pot-head paranoia is a reference to something one of your commenters said at your site. (Can you send him over? I thought that was pretty funny and spot-on.) Anyway, by having some fun with that in my post–that’s marginalizing you? Please. You need a thicker skin, dude.

    As for much of the rest of your comment, ascribing to me what I believe in, well, thanks for the mind scan. I had no idea I was a lefty who enjoyed all those things. You mind citing some evidence, or did you just close your eyes and imagine any old stereotypical “lefty” in your feverish imagination?

    “A recipe for pain and suffering on a massive scale.” Hmm, I could swear I keep reading that phrase at climate concerned blogs. You ever come across that phrase, too, Jeff?

    Like I said, two sides of the same coin.

    I never said you were a pot head. Your issue there is with your own commenter. Anyway, stop being so literal. At least give the commenter points for being funny, even if you disagree with him.

    The thing I seriously cannot figure out is what world you are living in.

    I welcome a post from you expounding on the views you have set forth here.  And why should you worry about sending any readers here? If any of them hold the same cockeyed world views as you (and judging by that thread, you have some readers who are willing to overlook your politically zany posts), they’ll feel more comfortable staying close to the mothership.

     

     

  • http://collide-a-scape.com Keith Kloor

    Smoking Frog, let me be the first to ask: what the hell are you smoking?

    Yes, there is a UFO cottage industry and I am aware that there are many folks such as yourself who believe they saw a UFO. There’s also lots and lots of people who believe in reincarnation, many who are highly intelligent. I think belief in reincarnation is pretty absurd too.

  • Barry Woods

    u in ufo just means unidentified not automatically aliens! ;)

  • http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com Bart Verheggen

    Jeff, you’re giving me a good laugh. I think Keith in 22 is spot on.

  • Smoking Frog

    @36 Keith
    This has nothing to do with believing in reincarnation.  You don’t know what you’re talking about.  For example, take a look at the report of the panel organized by Stanford physics prof Peter Sturrock.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_A._Sturrock
    http://www.amazon.com/UFO-Enigma-Review-Physical-Evidence/dp/0446677094
    http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_12_2_sturrock.pdf



     

  • http://www.hopkinson.net SimonH

    kdk #30: Good example, really. You perceive (and thus react negatively to) socialised health insurance as a clear marker of a shift towards a socialist society.

    Yet you don’t perceive the US Navy as a marker of socialism, nor the US Army or Coast Guard, and yet these are clearly nationally funded “insurance policies” and should, reasonably, be perceived as socialist in all ways parallel with a national health insurance system.

    The move to a national health system is no more a shift towards socialism as was a national defence system. The only difference is the scale of the enemy or insurgent, its means of attack and its weapon of choice. A national health system is simply a marker of an advanced, developed and caring society, and it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the advance of Socialism in the US.

  • Vinny Burgoo

    Smoking Frog: ‘I myself along with my wife and small children saw one in the early or middle 1990s.  It was large, flying at low altitude (certainly lower than 10,000 ft., probably a good deal lower than 5,000) directly overhead, and absolutely silent, even though it was moving at airplane speed.’
    A neighbour was camping by a lake in Canada in the 1980s when three of those flew overhead in formation – three large silvery UFOs flying very fast, very low and in total silence. As she tells it, moments later she heard, but couldn’t see, the Canadian airforce in hot pursuit. She says she couldn’t see the pursuers because they were over the ridge in the next valley, probably trying to cut a corner. That this encounter wasn’t mentioned in the local newspaper is proof that UFO incursions have been so frequent for so long that the censorship mechanism now extends to the press in even the smallest, most out-of-the-way places.

    (I managed not to stare for too long before changing the subject. You’ve got to get on with your neighbours.)

  • Pascvaks

    KK Says:
    September 13th, 2010 at 12:34 am
    “… I think belief in reincarnation is pretty absurd too.”

    Shhhhhh.. you’re going to bring up a gaggle of geese with things like that.  People (99.9999%) MUST have things to believe in.  It’s a paradigm thing.

  • Lazar

    “There is far more that is unknown than is known ““except, of course, in Climatology where, I understand, everything important has been discovered and there really is nothing new.”

    <a href=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_FOIrYyQawGI/TC0thVs0DoI/AAAAAAAAC3w/AfRWy2zTqPo/s1600/StrawMan.jpg”>For Pascvaks</a>.

  • Jeff Id

    I see you still don’t deny any of the points I made.  I realize in your close group of friends that everyone lives in a happy circle of delusion about the government’s role in our lives but seriously, you again compare my views to those of a pot head and tell me you’re not marginalizing me and then say get a  thicker skin ‘dude’.  You’ll note I didn’t take the original comment down at tAV.
    You are being deceitful and one of the things I hate about bloggers is those who would LIE to make a point.  RC and climate progress are perfect examples.  You can have your happy leftist views, I don’t care, pretending you are not intentionally marginalizing a view you disagree with in this case is a lie -(a false statement made with intent to deceive).  It is quite transparent but the lack of admission regarding your own actions shows a lack of class all too common in some circles.
    You see Bart there disagrees, but I doubt he would put up some post like this and pretend it is anything but what it is.  That’s why I read there and not here.
    Honesty first.



     

  • http://collide-a-scape.com Keith Kloor

    Jeff (44).

    I never said I disagreed with you; I said you’re saying the most absurd things and, incredibly, each new comment here outdoes the last. It appears to me that you’re now foaming at the mouth.

    I can’t even make sense of your latest diatribe. You say I’m being deceitful; simply saying it doesn’t make it so. Please explain.

    Again, I’m not pretending to marginalize you; you hardly need my help anyway; you’re doing such a marvelous job all on your own.

    As for Bart, he’s welcome to chime in, but as I noted upthread, it appears he’s already slackjawed by the same post I’m ridiculing here. He asked you in a comment at your place if it was satire. He also said in a comment on this thread that you’re providing him a good laugh.

    As for me, I’m perfectly fine with continuing this conversation. I feel like I’m in some Fellini-like scene. It’s hugely entertaining. I can hardly wait for you to do a full-throated riff on it at your site.

    My advice: stick to the technical climate stuff in your posts if you want to be taken seriously by others that don’t drink from the same paranoid punch bowl. But by all means, don’t let lil’ ol me stop you. The big bad govt hasn’t taken control over the intertubes yet, so please feel free to continue sharing your fears of world domination by leftists/marxists/boogeymen.

  • Jeff Id

    ” if you want to be taken seriously by others that don’t drink from the same paranoid punch bowl.”
    Frankly, I’ve been told that since I started the Air Vent two years ago.  It’s worked out ok so far.
    I don’t much care if you take me seriously, you should though because we are going in the wrong direction very very quickly.

     

  • Bernie

    Food for thought:
    http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0927/politics-socialism-capitalism-private-enterprises-obama-business-problem.html

    I am trying to locate a copy of Obama’s dad’s original article – “Problems Facing Our Socialism” in the East Africa Journal.  Please post a link if you find it.

  • http://collide-a-scape.com Keith Kloor

    Well, jeez, if you’ve been told that for two years and running, why so sensitive? I mean, I read your other stuff and it sounds quite sane and levelheaded, even if the other side disgrees. But when it comes to political discussion, it’s like you’re a different person and you lose all sense of proportion. But hey, more power to you if people dig it.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Keith,

    After seeing others call you out for needlessly putting in a dig on Romm, I’m reminded of your oft voiced complaint to Steve Bloom that he just can’t resist adding snark to the end of his posts.

    Methinks what’s good for the goose…

    And for what it’s worth there is is an entire branch of economics that is founded on Romm’s assertion that the ne0-liberal conception of economic growth is fundamentally flawed.  Care to take a guess what it’s called :) ?

  • http://collide-a-scape.com Keith Kloor

    Marlowe,

    I’m well aware of that branch of economics. Sorry, I just have a hard time taking Romm seriously on it, for every other post is a variation of the going to hell in a handbasket theme. It’s got be alternately fatiguing and depressing for his readers, who nontheless continue egging him on.

    As for my jousting with Jeff here, yeah, I’m guily as charged of excessive snark. But I just can’t resist in this case. I can’t even read his comments with a straight face. Maybe I should do open threads where I can vent my inner snark and everyone else can vent theirs too (on me, of course!).

    Either that, or I’ll just have to continue alienating every reader and retire.

    Can you tell my patience is wearing thin with all sides…?

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Keith you misunderstand.  I’m not talking about your snark with Jeff.  I think you’re being much more delicate than I would be at this point.  I was referring to your behaviour wrt Romm….

    I do agree that there is something tacky about the shameless self-promotion in using the friedman quote rather than just making the point directly…but what you’re doing is insunuating that he’s substantively wrong in the same way that Jeff iD is…

    IMO he’s absolutely correct. History will judge political leaders on the basis of what they accomplished in terms of climate policy far more tahn other issues like health care or GDP growth.

  • RB

    Extracted from here.  America must have irretrievably died in 1935 when it became a Communist state. plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

    ——-

    The “First” New Deal’s Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reflected the future liberal methods of the “Second” New Deal. The TVA (1933) provided millions of dollars to transform the economies of seven depressed, rural Southern states along the Tennessee River.  The program included dam-building, electric power-generation, flood and erosion control.   It provided relatively high-wage jobs in construction in a region the president called “the nation’s number one economic problem.”  Critics saw creeping socialism in this venture;  liberals saw it as a successful example of government solving social and economic problems.


    The right-wing of American politics convinced Roosevelt he had nothing to lose on that end of the spectrum.  Chief among his critics on the right was the Liberty League, a speaker’s bureau funded by the Du Pont family and other business interests.  The League leadership sought to fuse a partnership between the segregationist governor of Georgia Eugene Talmadge and other conservative leaders to create a grassroots opposition to the New Deal.  Liberty League speakers toured the country accusing Roosevelt of instituting creeping socialism.
    Right-wing radio personality Father Charles Coughlin denounced recipients of government assistance and claimed the New Deal led the country toward a Communist dictatorship.  He suggested Nazi Germany would prove to be America’s correct model and blamed the Depression on a Jewish conspiracy.  At the height of his popularity millions of Americans listened to his radio sermons each week.

  • Bernie

    Marlowe:
    Water is cleaner and safer, forests area is expanding, fish farming is replacing open seas fishing, air is cleaner – at least in the West, … Why not celebrate that which has been accomplished.
    Note that all the above have been accomplished largely because GDP has grown.  (See Ridley, The Rational Optimist)

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Bernie,

    GDP is useful for many things but measuring  well-being isn’t one of them.

    But lets go through a couple on your list.

    fish farming — this ones a mixed bag if you care about certain toxins and I’d be very surprised if you could find many fish ecologists who think that global fish stocks are headed anywhere but down (very quickly) in the next 50 years.  But in any case what does GDP have to do with farm vs wild fish?  If anything wouldn’t a richer population be able to afford the more expensive wild stuff?

    air is cleaner — in the west this is because of environmental regulations not increasing wealth.  I suppose you could argue that increasing wealth has made people more accepting of environmental regulations (true after about $5,000 GDP/capita).  But in the context of the West we passed that threshold a long time ago and still have plenty of coal plants.

     

  • http://letsget.small.org PDA

    Bernie, for what it’s worth: http://www.politico.com/static/PPM41_eastafrica.html

    D’Souza doesn’t waste a lot of time defending the thesis of his Forbes piece, he just begs the question – “the anticolonial ideology of Barack Obama Sr. is espoused by his son, the President of the United States” and rolls on to denounce Obama’s governing philosophy as “Kenyan anti-colonialism.” (What a “Kenyan anti-colonialist” would be doing bombing Pakistan from robot planes is curiously left out of the analysis.)

    D’Souza’s formulation “Kenyan anti-colonialism” is pure dog whistle. I don’t know what “thought” you feel it is “food for,” and I shudder even to ask.

  • RickA

    Keith and JeffId:
    Boring.
    Lets get back to real issues.

  • Bernie

    PDA:
    I think you are grossly mischaracterizing D’Souza’s Forbes article.  If it is in any way incomplete my guess is that it is because it is a teaser for his forthcoming book.   I am not sure that Kenyan is material – but anti-colonialism may certainly be a key perspective that guides domestic and foreign policies.

    The use of drones in Pakistan is neither here nor there. 

  • Bernie

    Marlowe:
    You say:
    “GDP is useful for many things but measuring  well-being isn’t one of them.”

    Well it is probably true that GDP is not a perfect measure of well being.  Do you have a better single indicator well being?

    As for fish farming and GDP, effective fish farming requires significant capital and significant scientific resources.  I am “optimistic” that issues with feed, run-off, contamination, etc., will be fixed as they have been elsewhere in our food chain.
    Your view of consumer tastes is interesting.  Personally I prefer the idea of wild salmon but my price point is probably about $10 per pound.  The average consumer in the US still has to buy according to a price point – sirloin instead of filet,  , previously frozen (farm raised) shrimp over fresh shrimp.

  • http://letsget.small.org PDA

    <i>but anti-colonialism may certainly be a key perspective that guides domestic and foreign policies”¦ the use of drones in Pakistan is neither here nor there. </i>

    You’re going to have to explain that one to me. Is the war in AfPak <i>not</i> foreign policy, and if it is, how on earth does that square with the assertion that Obama believes “[t]oday’s neocolonial leader is not Europe but America?”

    It’s absurd on its face.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Bernie,

    yup.  It’s called life expectancy :)

  • Bernie

    PDA:
    I do not understand your point or question.  What do drones as opposed to manned planes have to do with anything, except a tactical decision of how to kill terrorists?  A better litmus test will be attitudes and policies towards Venezuela under Chavez, Cuba under Castro, the PLO, Iran, China and Taiwan.  Policies of acquiescence and accommodation would support D’Souza’s thesis.

  • http://letsget.small.org PDA

    Drones versus other planes wasn’t the point. The fact that he’s pursuing two aggressive wars in Asia was the point. Do you want to explain how that makes him an “anti-colonialist?”

    I’d also be interested in what you view as “policies of acquiescence and accommodation” vis á vis Venezuela, Cuba etc., and how those differ from the previous Administration. Unless you think Bush was anti-colonialist as well.

    Also: “the PLO?” Have you opened a newspaper in the past, like, 20 years?

  • Bernie

    PDA:
    Sorry, I meant Palestinian Authority.  And yes, I have opened a newspaper in the past 20 years.

    Two aggressive wars in Asia?  Against whom are we currently fighting these wars?  The pursuit of these two military operations is simply not a reasonable litmus test of Obama’s mindset.  His degrees of freedom are too limited.

    Let’s wait and see on Venezuela and Cuba for more definitive actions. 

  • http://letsget.small.org PDA

    The pursuit of these two military operations is simply not a reasonable litmus test of Obama’s mindset.  His degrees of freedom are too limited.

    There was huge public support for ending those wars. Obama continued the Bush trajectory on Iraq and escalated in Afghanistan. It is simply ludicrous to suggest that the President’s “degrees of freedom” are supposed to be limited in terms of the war on terror: the one area where the Presidency exercises almost unchecked power. How long should we “wait and see” in your estimation, before acknowledging that this is silly? The thesis that the President is in the thrall of some dead 60s ideology fails without a single positive example in the realm of foreign policy.

    D”Souza incoherently asserts that Obama “seeks to decolonize” the financial and health care industries by “bringing them under the government’s leash.” This is a meaningless formulation: by tying Obama’s policies to African nationalism all that’s accomplished is bringing the fiscal-conservative and nativist wings of his opponents together without talking about birth certificates.

    This is gross dog-whistling. Gingrich picked up on it immediately, with his statement that you can only understand Obama if you “understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior.”

  • http://bensix.wordpress.com BenSix

    To add to PDA’s examples, how about his government’s attempts to stifle cases torture victims have been bringing? Maintaining the unaccounted imperial state would be the wackiest thing a socialist has done since Che Guevara took a shit on some poor dude’s fruit salad.
    ‘Sides, D’Souza doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The reason that Obama might be pleased with Megrahi’s release is that it meant he didn’t take the appeal which may have shown that his conviction was unjust.

  • Alex Heyworth

    The thing about Obama (and Bush, and all the rest of them) is that he is a politician. To quote P J O’Rourke “Politics is the business of getting power and privilege without possessing merit. A politician is anyone who asks individuals to surrender part of their liberty”” their power and privilege”” to State, Masses, Mankind, Planet Earth, or whatever. This state, those masses, that mankind, and the planet will then be run by … politicians.”
    These politicians are supported by bureaucrats. Again, to quote P J O’Rourke “Bureaucrats want bigger bureaus. Special interests are interested in whatever’s special to them. These two groups bring great pressure to bear upon politicians who have another agenda yet: to cater to the temporary whims and fads of the public and the press.” (Both quotes from All The Trouble in The World [1994]).
    A pox on all their houses.
     

  • Kan

    I wonder how many here who do not think Obama is incrementally expanding the creep of Government into our lives have ever filled out a 1099 form.
    If you haven’t, better bone up, cause they are a coming your way.

  • jeff id

    KK – Jeff the world ain’t coming to an end
    Jeff Id – I didn’t say it was, I said we are loosing our freedom rapidly in favor of an evil socialist power center.
    KK – You’re paranoid, hit a bowl.
    Jeff Id – I’m not paranoid, I see the intent and no thanks that stuff is illegal.
    KK – People don’t ever intend harm for their own benefit.  Only big business does.  BTW, Republicans made this stuff illegal and Obama is in office so don’t worry man.
    Jeff Id – The politicians of both parties taken in bulk average to power and control.  Our current government is doing everything they can to corrupt the system further –Um thanks anyway, I’m pretty sure that stuff is still illegal.
    KK – Democratically placed politicians don’t want power and control, they are elected and therefore inoculated from corrupt and selfish thinking.  You are paranoid, take this, it will give you vision.
    Jeff Id – They said exactly what they are going to do?!  And no thanks dude.
    KK – No, no, they said what people wanted to hear, ignore the extreme stuff, elected politicians are benevolent and you are paranoid.  This will relax you..
    Jeff Id – But they are doing exactly what they said.
    KK – Jeff, Jeff, you make me laugh, don’t worry man, be happy.  You shouldn’t blog on this stuff anymore, it is not good for your credibility.
    Jeff Id – Fine, pass the bowl and the pizza, I’ll close the blog tomorrow.




     

  • Keith Kloor

    Jeff, as I was reading today’s column by renowned lefty columnist Maureen Dowd in a certain leftist publication, I thought of you when she quoted this Newt Gingrich gem from 1994 (my emphasis):

    “People like me are what stand between us and Auschwitz. I see evil all around me every day.“

     

  • Steven Sullivan

    “Well, it just wouldn’t be a genuine kkloor post if he didn’t “balance” pointing out the denialist conspiracy theories with a completely unrelated attack on Joe Romm. I guess that means it’s almost  time for another mash note to Judith Curry.”

    Indeed.

    Equating Jeff Id’s paranoid, ahistorical wingnuttery about Barack Obama to Romm’s rather mainstream view that our civilization’s current rate of resource depletion is unsustainable, is beyond ridiculous, Keith.

    Why don’t you arrange for a real-life cage match with Romm and get this tedious polemical tic out of your system once and for all?





     

  • Steven Sullivan

    I wonder how many here so fearful of the
    ‘incremental creep’ of the Government (capital G!) into our lives have  come up with a plausible way to get a country out of its second deepest economic collapse, that does not involve expanded government spending…or global war.

    I also wonder where their public gnashing of teeth and dark mutterings were were during the last Government’s  ‘creeping’:
    “Federal spending is outstripping economic growth at a rate unseen in more than half a century, provoking some conservatives to complain that government under Republican control has gotten too big.”
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-04-02-federal-spending_x.htm

    Oh, I remember now, back then a *white Christian conservative* was in the Oval Office, not a black Muslim commie/socialist.  So THAT government creep wasn’t nearly as  threatening to our precious bodily fluids.  Never mind!


     

  • Kan

    #71 Steve Sullivan,
    “…where was the gnashing of teeth and dark mutterings…”
    Evidently you only have access to a limited number of resources. Perhaps, you might want to take a detour from  USA Today, and the New York Times and visit places like the Wall Street Journal, National Review or the American Spectator  to view the gnashing of teeth and dark mutterings that occurred. And yes, this occurred well before 2006.
    W. was only called a conservative by those who thought it was not enough.
    Oh and please explain how this period is truly the second deepest economic collapse? Its a nice sound bite, but to economic historians, it is only barking.
    Never Mind indeed.

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Collide-a-Scape

Collide-a-Scape is a wide-ranging blog forum that explores issues at the nexus of science, culture and society.

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, a senior editor at Cosmos magazine, and adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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