Crosspatch ripping…

So here I was, minding my own business, looking up lunar cycle stuff and somehow that lead to a link at Steven Goddard’s place where I started grazing the articles on the right (hey, it happens ;-) and I hit this one that’s all of a sentence, soaking wet…

http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/why-do-libs-believe-in-global-warming/

Reproduced here in its entirety:

Why Do Libs Believe In Global Warming?
Posted on January 23, 2013 by stevengoddard

Simple.

It fits in perfectly with their core psychosis of self-hate, and allows them to externalize it as hatred against others.

Well, I’m about half way into my usual self explanation of “things left out” ( or “what does not fit”) and muttering things like “it isn’t just liberals” and “many liberals are skeptics” and hearing the echo of “and it depends on which liberal definition” the Classical Liberal (think Libertarian in America) or the American Social Liberal (think Progressive leaning toward Fascism) and “stereotyping like that does not build a bigger tent” and “what about MY social liberal / libertarian beliefs like on drugs and abortion and spouse choice?” and so it goes…

When down in comments I ran into a truly spectacular expository rant by none other than Crosspatch. I’m going to reproduce it below, too, since I think there are several valuable insights in it. While, in general, I hold to the “spectrum” idea that people and their beliefs do not fit neatly in buckets on each end of a dipole, but are instead spread as a spectrum on many axises, there are a large body of folks who “adopt an ideology wholesale” ( IMHO as it takes less thinking, self analysis, and argument with others – i.e. sloth). IFF one narrows the application of both the above question, and the “rant” below, to “the more extreme end of American Social Liberal / Progressives, (who happen to dominate the Democrats and thus government right now, and most of the ‘Liberal’ NGOs and Not For Profits) there’s much here that does fit.

So, as a reminder, I do want folks to stay polite. This is not an invitation to “rip a new one” and in crude terms. Still, it is quite possible to say “My esteemed college has dined too long at the wrong end of a male bovine” while avoiding saying someone flat out is full of Bull Shit. ;-) So “polite creative” is OK ;-)

crosspatch says:
January 23, 2013

They don’t “believe in” global warming at all, at least not the ones at the top. They know full well that the whole reason for “global warming” is to get people to buy into redistribution of wealth on a global scale. I will break it down: You can equate BTU of energy per dollar of GDP. If I want to increase my production of apples, I need to pick more, wash more, ship more, store more in cold storage. In other words, to increase my production of anything, I need to consume more energy. If I can throttle the CO2 production by a country, I am actually throttling the energy production by proxy and if I can throttle the energy production, I can throttle the economy. If I place tight restrictions on some countries yet place no restrictions on others, I can force industry to move to the places that have no such restrictions. When you start hearing things like “climate justice”, what you are actually hearing is the global socialist chanting from the UN. What they are doing is stealing money from our children to give to those children and using “global warming” as a boogeyman so you will buy into it out of fear.

This isn’t REALLY about CO2. If this were REALLY about CO2 and if things were so dire, they would embark on a multi-hundred billion dollar international engineering effort to put out coal seam fires which produce more CO2 than all the automotive traffic in the US. If this were REALLY about CO2, they would have used the money spent on setting up the European carbon exchange to modernize their generation infrastructure reducing CO2 emissions by some 40%. This has nothing really to do about CO2, it is about money and using CO2 and the fear of it to get people to go along with the distribution of that money.

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
– H. L. Mencken

crosspatch says:
January 23, 2013

There is also a strategic military angle here, too. Without steel mills and coal mines, the US can never engage in real combat on the scale we were prepared for during the Cold War. Our military equipment, the M1 tanks and the Bradley Fighting Vehicles were built during the Cold War. The factories that built them no longer exist. The FMC plant in San Jose, California is currently a flat vacant tract slated for multi-tennent housing. The plant in Long Beach, CA that built the C-17 is a park. If we were ever in a real combat situation with a *real* opponent capable of doing significant damage, we would not be able to replace combat losses. First of all we don’t have the steel. We would have to buy it from China. We don’t have the steel mills to make the steel anymore. If we found ourselves in a scrape with China, we are pretty much stuck. If we wanted to place an order for 100 ships, it would take us at least 5 years to build the infrastructure required to start production on any serious scale. We would need to reopen miles, repair railroads, build power plants, build steel mills, build shipyards from scratch, etc.

There is a lot more to this than just “CO2″. This is about neutering the military powers of the West while Russia and China go about their business unmolested.

crosspatch says:
January 23, 2013

People point to our numbers of military gear and say we have so much more. True, we do. But we can’t sustain losses. You need to look at how much you have left after 6 months of combat and what your replacement rate is. How many tanks, ships, planes, and rifles are coming off the assembly line. I would be willing to guess that 6 months into combat, Russia and China could produce a lot more per day than we could. We wouldn’t have the steel to even begin production and no mills to make it. Our initial steel production would need to go into building more mills and factories before it could be put into actual war materiel.

Book recommendation:

Keep from all thoughtful men: How economists won World War II

crosspatch says:
January 23, 2013

I believe there are three main factions to that group and two of them have basically taken over academia and the distribution of information by the various media and they work in a sort of synergistic (or maybe even symbiotic) way with each other. There is the narcissistic self-loather which might sound like an oxymoron but it isn’t. They hate themselves but they don’t cast the blame on THEMSELVES. They hate everything that they are but don’t focus that hate on themselves personally. For example, they are American so they hate American nationalism. They came from a Judeo-Christian background so they despise Judeo-Christian values and any institution that exposes those values and champion any cause that mocks or is in any way in conflict with those values and institutions. They are white so they are all for discrimination against whites because whites are evil. And it goes on to basically every aspect of their being but they hate their attributes, not their self. These people have a serious personality disorder, in my opinion, but tend to gravitate to the political left because they find validation there for these feelings.

Then there are the non-judgementalists. These are the ones who can not bring themselves to say that one economic system or one value system or one government or one religion is actually better than another. “They aren’t better than one another, they are different from one another” is their mantra. This is absolute complete and total baloney and it needs to be confronted whenever it is seen. I am sorry but a religion that preaches that it is ok to kill people of a different religion and burns little girls alive for going to school IS WORSE than out religion. An economic system such as socialism that can only exist by force which has killed tens of millions of people over the years IS WORSE than capitalism. We have just had a terrorist take the workers of a gas facility in Algeria captive, announce that he has arrived to show what Islam is about and proceeds to kill five workers immediately after making that statement. I’m sorry, they do have a bad religion. It is evil. It has been taken over by Satan or something. This is a religion where it is perfectly acceptable to not only kill anyone who doesn’t share their religion but to also kill different sects of their own religion? What kind of crap is that? Why are we allowing that evil to exist on this planet? We have a religion that has basically allowed individuals to take it upon themselves to play the role of God. No. It isn’t “different”. It is freaking WRONG. And yet these same fools in academia who call mankind a plague on the planet and would want to see us all exterminated have a problem with us killing them? Those people should be rejoicing with each death because that “plague” has been somewhat diminished but no, they expose their hypocrisy and it becomes obvious that their self-loathing holds sway and it is only US who must die as they align themselves with any cause that is against Western values and the non-judgementalists look on and say “well, at least they aren’t touting our side as being ‘better’ so I guess that’s ok with me”.

Then finally there are the parrot-chameleons. These are the ones who wish to be seen as aligned with the various celebrities of the left and so they spout all the right shibboleths and repeat the talking point of the day or week. They explain their position word for word as they read it when it was spoon fed to them by Daily Kos or Huffington Post or Daily Beast or MSNBC. Why do we tolerate these brainless idiots? Why do WE hold our tongues when they spout off with their chapter and verse from the book of Krugman? These people are brainless mushminded zombies who haven’t had an original thought in ages and are engaging in nothing more than groupthink. The political left has taken George Orwell and applied his writings to the point where we are all living in his 1984. It’s just insane, these people are insane, why are we allowing them to make important decisions? They’re nuts.

Another book suggestion: Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans — Ben Shapiro

THEY are the bullies. THEY are the ones who are the “Uncle Toms” in political office rising to high office while passing programs and regulations that keep their people trapped in dependence and close off every possible avenue of escaping poverty and yet they have managed to turn it completely around 180 degrees with the rhetoric. They are mean. They are vile, they are evil. People are in poverty because the political left KEEPS them impoverished across generations. If they want school choice, NO! They must not have school choice. They might “leak” out of the cycle of dependence that way.

The whole thing is just crazy. We need to stop putting up with it. We need to stop holding our tongues in public and very calmly, very politely, explain to them that they are full of crap. Read Shapiro’s book.

crosspatch says:
January 23, 2013

It isn’t just CO2. How much state and federal money have we poured into Detroit schools? For what?

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/05/04/report-nearly-half-of-detroiters-cant-read/

Education is the only industry in America where you have a direct financial incentive to fail. The worse you do, the more money they pour in. The teachers can not be fired, the kids can not choose a different school. The ONLY program we had that addressed that very problem was No Child Left Behind which has been completely demonized by the left because it stops funding bad schools and forces them to compete for funding based on merit, not “feelings”.

If a school is performing poorly, the first reaction of the political class is to throw more money at it. This approach has NEVER worked in history but we keep doing it. It is as if the entire system is set up to subsidize failure and inefficiency to the maximum possible extent. It is cultural sabotage.

crosspatch says:
January 23, 2013

Meanwhile a new cold war starting between the US and Russia? John Batchelor show audio from tonight (my favorite radio show, period). http://johnbatchelorshow.com/podcasts/2013/01/22/third-hour

That there is a well funded and organized assault on traditional America is not in doubt (the folks behind it have openly said so, the funders have funded agencies with those duties (see the Soros funding list), and the UN has a published agenda).

Maybe it is time to no long depend on America to “just happen right”… and perhaps start building some counter structures. (And removing the parasites and leeches from the present organizations and government).

I’m pretty sure it will end with the collapse of the US Government a la Greece / Zimbabwe… but I’d like to find a way to end the parasitism without the death of the host…

Subscribe to feed

About these ads

About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Political Current Events and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

114 Responses to Crosspatch ripping…

  1. Shout out “I’ve had enough and I can’t take any more”.

  2. crosspatch says:

    It is even more horrible than that. Look at what we have going on today in Mali. To hear the news tell it, it is “imperative” that the US have a “small” footprint, that French troops quickly turn over the operation to UN troops who will be moving some 3,000 troops in there maybe by September. Now why is that so “imperative”? Because we must not actually be allowed to solve the problem by going in with overwhelming force, ripping out the corrupt government that sowed the seeds of that unrest in the first place, educating a younger generation and gradually turning over the reins of power as that generation comes of age. No. We must keep the corrupt locals in power at all costs and we must keep the place right on the edge of perpetual unrest because that creates a gold mine for “UN officials” and NGOs to collect billions of dollars in “aid” for as long as there is a crisis. They aren’t “peacekeepers”. The UN has never once kept a peace since after Korea. They are “crisis perpetuators” and a perfect example is DR Congo. From a comment I made in a different venue today:

    Wait a minute. The UN has had 19,000 men in DR Congo costing $1.4 billion per year for how many years now? What have they accomplished aside for ensuring their presence and another $1.4 billion will be required next year? (Been there since 1999, or going on 14 years now). If you are a UN “official” or a member of an NGO, you get on average about $200,000 in annual salary tax free on assignment there, a car that would cost $75,000 and lodging that would cost $5,000 a month if you paid for it yourself.

    That war began in 1998 and has so far resulted in about 5.4 million deaths, many from starvation as the land can not be farmed due to the fighting. It is the second deadliest conflict since WWII. Meanwhile, in the 12 years since 2000, there have been a grand total of 47 casualties among MONUC-Monusco.

    So, why the hell is the UN getting involved here? That basically simply guarantees a perpetual conflict that is nothing more than a massive gravy train for “officials” and NGOs while the people will bear the brunt of the violence.

    We would be a lot better off keeping the UN out of this.

    The UN aren’t “good guys”. Just the opposite. They are in business to “manage” problems forever but being very keen on seeing to it that they are never actually solved because that would end the gravy train. EVERY single problem these left wing idiots touch is turned into the same thing. Education? Fine. Hire crappy teachers and put a system in place where they can not be fired. Eliminate real discipline, surround the school with fences, allow the kids to rule the classroom and intimidate the teachers and make sure there is an atmosphere in the school where no learning can be done. Then declare a “crisis” in education and demand millions more in cash be lavished onto the very same people who created the problem in the first place.

    People, you are being played for suckers and it is working.

  3. crosspatch says:

    Look at the UN in Lebanon after the 2006 war. Their mission is to ensure that the conditions that keep the region constantly on the edge of war are never changed and that it always stay on the edge of war so that they have their lucrative jobs paid for by the taxpayers of the world forever. Why do we put up with that crap?

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    @Crosspatch:

    Perhaps because for a long time, for me until the Global Warming fiasco shoved it into my face, many of us thought the UN a toothless thing that was were we sent failed politicians to get them out of causing domestic trouble. ( It had that reputation back about the ’70s when I visited them).

    Now it looks like the clods have worked out a way to turn it from dead end into money machine.

    Perhaps the Muslims will get tired enough of it to ‘deal with it’ for the rest of us…

  5. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Crosspatch; Wow! nice set of rants.
    A part of the prophecies for this period is that the “Blue Helmets” are a curse on mankind. The only successful military operations of the UN were carried out by the American Military.
    What is needed is solutions, just blowing things up and starting over never works. The “Pigs” always take over, (Animal Farm). The US Republic was created by thinking men that wanted to improve not replace something that was not working well. How can WE fix this thing, because only WE can fix it. It will not fix its’ self. pg

  6. Ian W says:

    p.g.sharrow says:
    24 January 2013 at 2:02 am

    …………How can WE fix this thing, because only WE can fix it. It will not fix its’ self.

    The most important question.
    There is no ‘fix’ in just correcting ‘the science’ of AGW it was never about that in the first place.
    The infiltration into education started in the early 1930’s in UK; I am sure it was similar in the USA. Similar take overs have been made in the media and in the legal world. Trying to change the direction currently being taken will be like trying to turn a supertanker .
    One has to look for seeds… seeds of destruction.


    “You see, evil always contains the seeds of its own destruction. It is ultimately negative, and therefore encompasses its downfall even at its moments of apparent triumph. No matter how grandiose, how well-planned, how apparently foolproof of an evil plan, the inherent sinfulness will by definition rebound upon its instigators. No matter how apparently successful it may seem upon the way, at the end it will wreck itself. It will founder upon the rocks of iniquity and sink headfirst to vanish without trace into the seas of oblivion.”

    ― Neil Gaiman, Good Omens

    But “Hope is not a strategy” (tm E.M.Smith) So those seeds have to be found and planted.

  7. p.g.sharrow says:

    The seeds are already planted. They must be discovered and nurtured. All of us were exposed to the disease but some of us were immune and others became cured after escape from the “Brain Washers” institutions.
    Wonderful promises made are giving way to Reality, The Great Rainbowed Rockcandy Mountain” is a cold snow covered pile of stone.
    The “Obama nation” is surfing the wave but the sharks below are getting hungry and the surfer is tiring.
    Solutions must be at hand when the opportunity presents its’ self. The Constitution writers did not start with a blank slate. They had generations of preparation and thought on how a governance system should work. We need to improve on their work, discover and fix the failed parts. Free men can rule themselves, we do not need despots to order our lives. pg

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    Cameron suggesting UK have referendum on leaving the EU. Perhaps a seed starting to sprout?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/jun/30/david-cameron-referendum-eu

  9. crosspatch says:

    This should be a higher priority for the UN and for national governments than “global warming” but there isn’t nearly as much cash in it for them, probably:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/23/antibiotic-resistant-diseases-apocalyptic-threat

  10. crosspatch says:

    How can WE fix this thing, because only WE can fix it. It will not fix its’ self.

    The first step is in taking responsibility and recognizing that WE need to fix it and not leave it to “someone” to “do something”. WE need to take responsibility. WE need to give rebirth to the notion that in this country the government is subordinate to us, not the other way around.

    Get on YouTube and watch Ronald Reagan’s 1981 inaugural address. In that speech is where the answers lie, in my opinion. Government never has the answers, government is out for the benefit of those governing more often than for the governed, though they will try to convince you that the opposite is the case.

  11. crosspatch says:

    “I will not rest until this debate is won”.

    It is rare that I see statements like this that seem to imply some great frenzy of activity but fail to state a goal. I am sure the debate will be “won” but by whom is the question that is left unanswered. It is like saying “I will not rest until the sun rises”. We know it is going to rise and we know that this debate will be won — by someone.

  12. crosspatch says:

    If this were REALLY about CO2 and if the consequences of CO2 were all that dire, we would be on a binge of building nuclear power and recycling the fuel rather than burying it (burying it was the brilliant idea of another leftist, Jimmy Carter, because our idea all along before Carter was to reprocess the fuel). But this isn’t *REALLY* about CO2. It is about developing thousands of acres of otherwise useless desert and mountain land into solar and wind power farms using government money and raking in the cash. It is imperative that nuclear not be an option as one nuclear power plant would be able to produce much more power day in and day out than all the “renewables” in a given region. Meanwhile, what is China doing? They currently have 30 nuclear power stations in various stages of construction with well over 100 more in the works.

    This is about choking the US economy for power, creating phoney-baloney power sources that do nothing but shovel money to political allies and are very fragile requiring rebuilding after the first major hurricane to come through a region. It’s just crazy and the people are buying into it. It’s insane and it is a severe economic security risk for the country.

    We have our entire energy future resting on some magic beans Obama bought in the market.

  13. John F. Hultquist says:

    In the context of the USA and using the imperial “We”:

    We have been failing to operate in a responsible manner. We have agreed to bankrupt the Nation. An individual becomes bankrupt when debts exceed whatever potential exists for repayment. Then one walks away from the lenders and some collateral damage may also drive some others to bankruptcy. Bad things happen at individual and smallish levels but everyone moves on. This process does not scale up well.
    The massive system that is the USA cannot easily unwind or back out of the parts it has created. Many don’t agree the bankruptcy has occurred. So we stumble on. Many of the leaders are so out of touch with the truth they do not comprehend how badly things will likely end. Witness the failure to even recognize the problems facing Social Security. It is quite funny that one of the new buzz-words is sustainability (of the environment) while the massive USA system is unsustainable.
    With a little luck on their part the Democrats will muddle through the next four years. They even hope to gain in the House of Representatives in two years and further the destruction they cannot yet see. Regardless of the outcome, the big systems are going to be in place. If enough bad things do not happen in the next 3+ years then we will continue on our selected path. This seems most plausible. Too much intellectual firepower is being wasted while the big issues heat up.
    Economists and investment professionals meet daily to try to determine when and where this train will go when it comes off of the rails (“polite” but not “creative”). So far they have no answer.

  14. John Robertson says:

    Quite the picture when you put it all together, thanks Crosspatch great clarity.
    The seeds of sanity always exist, the nourishment of hard times and poverty are coming.
    The nonproductive, who would be gods, seem to always overreach, the Democrats in the US right now seem swelled to exploding, with self importance.
    As Afganistan has taught empires, you can invade, win battles, but can not rule.
    Our current state of affairs is obvious, those who have begged, lied and stolen for the opportunity to lead us, are not up to the task and will not be followed far.
    These are people who mistake silence for agreement.
    Americans are not stupid, the current gun sales say it all.
    I take these planet saviours at their word, they seek to collapse civilization and eliminate lots of people.
    They also lack balance, grace and familiarity with murphy’s law.

  15. crosspatch says:

    I sincerely doubt that the Democrats will make any significant inroads into the US House in 2014 and will likely lose several seats and that really isn’t so much about politics as it is demographics. There are many Democrat Senators up for re-election in 2014 whose states have veered to the right since they were last elected. The race in West Virginia is one example and the Senator from that state has already announced he is “retiring” rather than run for election there.

    The Republicans could have had 5 more seats than they have now because they had over the past two elections 5 candidates who were polling in the lead but the “true conservatives” managed to oust them in primaries and run batcrap crazy candidates who lost (Delaware, Nevada, Colorado, Indiana, and Missouri). Sometimes I could swear the “Tea Party” is a George Soros operation designed to run candidates that ensure Democrats get elected.

    I would like to see us run more engineers and fewer lawyers for office, though.

  16. DirkH says:

    Crosspatch, very interesting, but you are missing one thing:

    a) Marxist followers will follow ANY movement that helps to bring down the West; their goal is global equality in a peaceful socialist one world government state (since Trotzky, HG Welles et al the same), so a superior West is harmful to that goal and must be destroyed/cut down to size
    b) So they follow Warmism because as you say it is about cutting down the economies of the West, not about CO2.
    c) These hordes of followers can be engaged by the right leader – so, for instance Big Oil can write a check and create an NGO that then amasses Marxist followers from the available pool and has them protest against… BIG COAL!

    Follow the money. The Marxist believers are useful idiots and tactical shocktroops in a war between energy market providers and socialist billionaire investors like Soros and Buffet. Most of them don’t realize this. E.g. Buffet and his rail operation vs. KeyStone XL.

  17. Ben says:

    This is something I posted on a previous thread that got lost in the shuffle and I think is applicable in this conversation.
    The major points that would quickly and easily resolve the US issues are simple but hard to enact.

    1. Limit all federal elected positions to 2 terms. In theory some could still be “career” politicians but federal service would be capped at 24 years 12 in senate 4 in house and 8 as president and how often would that actually happen.
    2. Return the senate to how it was originally established with state legislatures choosing the state representatives this will severely restrict lobbying and any lobbying that does happen would likely be electronic and thus more easily recorded and tracked.
    3. Take away federal authority to directly tax individuals return to the federal government billing the states on a per capita basis and force each state to raise its funds in what ever means the voters accept. This will enable people to vote with their feet as well as ballots quickly eliminating systems that are imbalanced and making mistakes and test runs more fluid and less costly.
    4. I would also like to limit the authority of all unelected positions and would push for a 3 term limit at the state level.
    5. Of course leaving the UN and kicking them out of NY is a very important step.

    I can see no way to force those in power to reliquish that power and allow these reforms with out revolution. I have fought for this country before and will need to again I fear.

  18. philjourdan says:

    Very well put Crosspatch. I wish I had been so succinct (even though some would say you were long winded, it was needed to convey the total concept).

  19. Mike Mangan says:

    Crosspatch: Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and my boy Justin Amash would beg to differ with your opinion of the Tea Party. I prefer their ideology versus the “Democrat Lite” version of Republicans that gave us the oh-so-effective campaigns of Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney.

  20. crosspatch says:

    1. Limit all federal elected positions to 2 terms.

    Actually a very bad idea. Better to just stop voting for them after two terms unless they are doing an outstanding job and you want to keep them.

    Term limits have been a disaster in California. Two things end up happening. First they vote for very bad legislation that will blow up 10 years down the road because they know they won’t be around in 10 years, they will be forgotten and not be held to blame for it with whoever is office at that time getting the blame for it. Secondly they end up creating a bunch of commissions, boards, and bureaus staffed by term-limited legislators with what amounts to lifetime appointments with ability to regulate with the force of law. So a legislator with some interest in an area (say agriculture) is on the take from powerful interests in that sector. Creates some board or commission responsible for regulating some aspect of that sector. After being term-limited is appointed to head that commission. Term limits SOUND good, but they suck because the moment you impose them, they figure out ways around them.

  21. crosspatch says:

    Bad form to quote myself but there’s a reason:

    . But this isn’t *REALLY* about CO2. It is about developing thousands of acres of otherwise useless desert and mountain land into solar and wind power farms using government money and raking in the cash.

    To wit: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/24/how-green-was-my-bankruptcy-u-s-army-edition/

    Why is the Army the most fragile possible energy generation at a missile test base? One explosion above the array takes the whole thing out and it needs to be replaced. Heck, a saboteur with a single rocket propelled grenade set to explode over the array would take it out. Dumb … but lucrative!

  22. p.g.sharrow says:

    All military installations have large local backup generator units with fuel. Operating generation is equipment is costly in man power and is avoided when possible. pg

  23. philjourdan says:

    One only has to look at Congressional District 4 in Georgia to realize how term limits work. They got rid of McKinney – and got “tipsy” Johnson.

    Stupid people will continue to elect stupid representatives.

  24. Ben says:

    Crosspatch your rebuttal to term limits leads into my number 4 the need to seriously limit the regulating power of unelected positions. Unelected positions administrate regulations and laws they do not create regulations and laws at least that is how they should be. No czars dictating rules with not elective over site.
    Kinda like no regulation with out representation.

    On a separate note.
    It would be kinda nice if our elected officials had to sacrifice to serve us maybe a 100% tax rate on all income except for the salary of their position. I am sick of politicians some how tripling their net worth in one term of congress. Kinda like before being a politician was a profession and craftsmen had to walk away from their trade to serve as a representative at least for the first 50-75 years in the house of reps many actually had to sacrifice to do what they thought was a worthy service.

  25. crosspatch says:

    Operating generation is equipment is costly in man power and is avoided when possible. pg

    But that PV field is very likely much more expensive per watt than a diesel generator.

  26. p.g.sharrow says:

    My experience in the body politic is that term limits on membership in bodies of council or legislation is not a good idea. It causes loss of wise members and empowers non elected staff and bureaucrats.
    Limits on executive positions is a very good idea. Good leaders will move over to other positions and without limits poor ones just gather power for themselves and their friends.
    Unelected positions of regulation should never be able to create law. Only enforce it.
    Officials should never have standing in court to bring charges against citizens, only citizens can file charges. Allowing the enforcers to bring charges is an open invitation to corruption and misuse of power.
    Like locks, laws are just going to keep honest people honest. You can not depend on honor to limit the over reach of the dishonest. You must limit over reach with real teeth and those teeth need to be walled off from the power/money side of politics. Just a “small” added requirement. Depending directly on the voter to vote the bastards out, for this, just adds to the need for more corruption. It used to be elected independent Judges were the limiters, but they have become part of the problem. pg

  27. Jason Bradsteet says:

    Please translate with Google Translate, MUST READ
    Corporate Green robs the West, 14 billion USD for the climate

    http://climategate.nl/2013/01/22/corporate-green-berooft-westen-van-14-biljoen-dollar-voor-het-klimaat/

  28. intrepid_wanders says:

    But, crosspatch, it’s simples, especially for California… pension funds.

    California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS)
    California State Controller’s Office
    California State Treasurer
    California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS)

    Just a little known “investment” group called Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC). They are the go to for the BBC, California and any other odd pushers of this nonsense. Check the signatories against all the major players in pursuing this junk investment (triple A, I am sure). It appears the bureaucrats are worried it will be like Greece when they retire..

    http://www.iigcc.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/15281/2011-Investor-Global-Statement-FINAL-NOT-EMBARGOED.pdf

    P.S. Check out all the “religious” groups “invested”. It sheds a lot of light on the subject.

  29. Mark Miller says:

    I’ve liked this video, “Global Warming or Global Governance?”

    There is a small part of it that wanders off into conspiracy theory (which I don’t like), but overall I thought it explains itself pretty well. Its proposition is that AGW is a political means of handing more power and money over to NGOs and international governance organizations, with the idea of eventually merging our gov’t into a global system of governance. We’ll continue to elect politicians to office, as we’ve always done, but they will increasingly have little power. They’re just the show to distract us and legitimize what’s going on.

    Dissecting AGW politically, it seems like it’s a synthesis of Marxist and Malthusian thought. The Marxist aspect will be familiar from what E.M.Smith has written about re. Marxism. If I remember correctly, it’s that the wealth of the rich needs to be distributed to the oppressed poor. We’ve seen that in the attempts to create carbon trading schemes. More recently they’ve tried it with an “international travel tax.”

    There are definitely those involved who are over-population zealots, who see that modern economics and industrial civilization are creating an unsustainable society and biosphere, using up energy and food stocks, creating an incentive for the use of more land and more chemicals, harming natural habitat. E.M.Smith has written about this before WRT The Club of Rome. They seem to be the center of this sort of thinking. They seriously think that population needs to be “managed” somehow. One way might be economic. Make it too expensive for the population to expand much in the developed nations, and so people will reproduce less (once again, static models dominate their thinking). Demographers have noticed a drop-off in fertility in the U.S., they think as a result of our current economic climate.

    Another factor that Crosspatch pointed out matches a lot with what Evan Sayet has written about recently, and what Allan Bloom talked about 26 years ago, in his book, “The Closing of the American Mind.” Bloom wrote in 1987 that his students of that era believed that “indiscriminateness is a moral imperative,” because it was believed (he said this belief began to be promulgated in the schools going all the way back to the 1930s) that all forms of discrimination–the attempts to elevate humanity–have in fact been the source of human suffering. So to be rational, to be logical, to think that one thing or action is better than another, to think that one culture is better than another–to think at all is to perpetuate the “lie” that has caused our suffering.

    Sayet recently sat down for an interview with Bill Whittle where he talked about this. Note that Sayet’s book is titled “The Kindergarden of Eden”:

    I’ve been reading Bloom’s book. I recommend it. He goes into great depth talking about the social and political consequences of this culture of indiscriminateness. He makes some predictions about the future, from his time, and I’d say he was spot on. It’s been illuminating to read him, because I’ve wondered for many years about what I’ve seen go on around me culturally. I’ve wondered about it, because I’ve been deeply troubled by it at times. Something didn’t seem right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I think he identifies it. Perhaps there’s more to it, because he only writes from the perspective of a political philosopher, but he’s a good starting point.

  30. Jeff Alberts says:

    The political left has taken George Orwell and applied his writings to the point where we are all living in his 1984. It’s just insane, these people are insane, why are we allowing them to make important decisions? They’re nuts.

    I feel the same way about those who believe anything told them by ANY religion. I’m not talking about the sensible things, like “Do unto others…”, I’m talking about hating gays because it says so in Leviticus (never mind that they don’t adhere to ANYTHING else in Leviticus). These people are delusional AND nuts.

  31. PG Sharrow says:

    People with very strong opinions often are ignorant or very selective of the facts.
    ” Don’t confuse me with the facts. I already have my mind made up.”
    Not logical to me, but, I guess it makes life more simple for them. Maybe thinking about things is too much work for them. I entertain myself by reexamining and up date my beliefs to add new facts. Trolling the internet is one way I garner new facts and more points of view. pg

  32. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. Those at the top….perfectly know that it is BIG BUSINESS for them: To get at US$3 per year one hectare of amazon jungle as carbon credit and sell it as carbon share at US$127,500……Though it is easier to just print money and make the fools pay for it with their work.

  33. DirkH says:

    Jeff Alberts says:
    25 January 2013 at 3:53 pm
    “I’m talking about hating gays because it says so in Leviticus (never mind that they don’t adhere to ANYTHING else in Leviticus).”

    It doesn’t say “Thou shalt hate gays.” It says “”Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”.
    You’re right with the rest. I like bacon.

  34. DirkH says:

    Oh I see, Leviticus also says “If a man lie with a man, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”.

    On the other hand, it is overridden:
    “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us. (Galatians 3:13)”

    So Leviticus is officially outdated anyway. Since the days of Paul.

    http://biblethumpingliberal.com/2011/05/19/you-can%E2%80%99t-quote-leviticus-to-prove-god-hates-homosexuality/

  35. John Robertson says:

    Perhaps the only effective way to deal with the entitled ones, is to starve them of money.
    If we reverse the tax structure, so we pay only a local tax at council or county level, say 10%.
    Each county, town or city pays the state 10% of what they collect.
    The States pay 10% of their take to the Feds.
    With rules and regulation we obey 10% of 10% of 10%.Or start from scratch.
    Beauty of this is it can be organized at local level,implemented and forced upon the state and feds. And the leverage remains local,cities have real income,State power is enhanced.
    A genuine we the people.(Course being Canadian I would substitute Provinces.)
    The feds choice becomes, like it or imprison the taxpayers.(effectively lose it)

    After all the absurdity of central govt, is their justification for high taxes being, about them helping at the local level. Which of course they can’t and don’t help in any useful manner.
    Just watched Hannity on Fox, Washington is booming, about time some light was shone on cockroach central.

  36. Mark Miller says:

    @John Robertson:

    My understanding is what you describe is more or less the way our country worked when it was founded. The federal gov’t’s main tax revenue was from import duties. It’s been able to impose a “head tax” on the states, but in that case it can only put a burden on each one in proportion to its population. This mechanism hasn’t been used since 1802.

    I also watched the “Boomtown” special. It was really good. It looked like it was produced for FNC, and was not a preview of a new documentary by Steve Bannon. Peter Schweizer hosted the special. He’s the author of “Throw Them All Out,” the book on politicians’ insider trading on Wall Street under the influence of their own legislation.

    You can see a preview of “Boomtown” here:

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/01/25/New-York-Times-Highlights-Hannity-Boomtown-Cronyism-Special

    This special confirms what I’d heard a couple years ago, that the smart people looking to get rich have not been going to Wall Street, but to Washington, D.C. to plan out our lives. One of the amazing facts revealed in this special is that per capita income in Wash., D.C. is now higher than in Silicon Valley! After seeing this I’m thinking the Wall Street crash of ’08 is the best thing that could’ve ever happened to Wash., D.C. It used to be known as a swanky town that couldn’t get any respect. Now it’s at the top of the heap for the first time in a long time.

    A little factoid that was revealed on the show is this has happened before in Washington, but never on this scale. Bannon said that the federal gov’t now operates according to a business model whose goal is to rake in more money, and grow itself ever bigger. He also said flat out that while there are genuine differences of beliefs and philosophy between the Democrats and Republicans, the jousting between them at the federal level has a lot of similarities to the WWF: It’s all for show, and the game is rigged. The purpose is to keep expanding the slush fund while making it look like one side is opposed to it. I’m not that cynical, but he may be right.

  37. DirkH says:

    Mark Miller says:
    26 January 2013 at 7:55 am
    “This special confirms what I’d heard a couple years ago, that the smart people looking to get rich have not been going to Wall Street, but to Washington, D.C. to plan out our lives. One of the amazing facts revealed in this special is that per capita income in Wash., D.C. is now higher than in Silicon Valley!”

    This is what one trillion fresh Bernanke Dollars a year buys you, and this is the way that new money makes its way into the system.
    (and WILL drive up inflation from there.)

  38. adolfogiurfa says:

    @DirkH But….which will be the break liners to stop inflation?….You guess it right!: We, the people! :-)

  39. Jeff Alberts says:

    DirkH says:
    25 January 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Oh I see, Leviticus also says “If a man lie with a man, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”.

    On the other hand, it is overridden:
    “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us. (Galatians 3:13)”

    So Leviticus is officially outdated anyway. Since the days of Paul.

    http://biblethumpingliberal.com/2011/05/19/you-can%E2%80%99t-quote-leviticus-to-prove-god-hates-homosexuality/

    I’m not the one who needs to get the message.

    So you’re saying that god cursed the jews with all his laws?

  40. Richard Ilfeld says:

    “Follow the Money”
    If you starve the beast, only the zealots remain, as the rent-seekers must move elsewhere to seek rent (or work for a living, gasp). Zealots can be, and often are, very nasty in trying to hold power, so it is risky to expose them this way. Collectivist economics involving industrial economies haven’t done well. This is what happens when the beast starves due to natural causes, as the foraging area (private economy) disppears. The beast species in question becomes quite nasty, often to the extent of fouling its own nest.

    A proactive starving can probably only be achieved by a massive growth of the private economy, while restraining the growth of leviathan. A fortunate gift of industrial creativity has given us the possibility of an energy boom in an energy based economy. Whoopee. Throw enough bones to the beasts to mollify them as most non-zealots have already proven they can be bought. They are already beginning to self segregate in geographically small blue prefectures where their primary activity is extracting money from diminishing resources, while 30 odd other states recoil in horror, and a dozen more teter on the brink. ( Didja ever think you’d see right-to-work seriously considered in Pennslynvana???)

    One wonders if we can now summon the will to stand athwart history and Yell Stop! to the collectivists. By this logic Obstructionism is a policy directive of high morality and plausable prospects — which is why it so upsets the left. Re-upping a discredited slogan to a higher cause:
    “Just Say NO”.

  41. DirkH says:

    Jeff Alberts says:
    26 January 2013 at 4:54 pm
    “I’m not the one who needs to get the message.”

    I wasn’t criticizing you; just followed the trail. Having not read a lot of the Old Testament myself by now.

    “So you’re saying that god cursed the jews with all his laws?”

    Looks like a certain Paul said that.

  42. Jeff Alberts says:

    I wasn’t criticizing you; just followed the trail. Having not read a lot of the Old Testament myself by now.

    Roger that, sorry.

  43. John Robertson says:

    @Richard Ilfeld, I may be miss-understanding you, but isn’t our problem the fact the zealots have control of both the legislature and regulatory arms of government?
    Zealots are power mad, even starving the beast to convince the pragmatists to get a real job, will not deter the true believers in perfection thro government.
    What is the practical method to remove the elected and appointed royalty, at least damage to ourselves and civilization?
    Right now money is power, can we limit the money ? And so the power ?
    Is the first project of Obama’s next stimulus package, a fence around Washington DC?
    For their protection of course.

  44. R. de Haan says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    24 January 2013 at 3:14 am
    “Cameron suggesting UK have referendum on leaving the EU. Perhaps a seed starting to sprout?”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/jun/30/david-cameron-referendum-eu

    No, expect absolutely nothong from Cameron, nothing but a pathetic attempt tot save his sorry political ass. Cameron was elected the first time on his promise of an in-out referendum on Europe. He didn’t deliver. Cameron is a cloaked Eurphile channeling the rising anti Europeans sentiments which will end in the same way it happened in the Netherlands: cheating the people
    How long we are going to accept leaders like this is written in the stars but hpefully people make up their mind soon because the EU is handing out it’s powers more quickly by the day.

    Forget about Brussels now we are ruled by the giants of Geneva http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/9828433/Forget-Brussels-now-we-are-ruled-by-the-giants-of-Geneva.html

  45. BobN says:

    To me the problems today all revolve around things like character, self reliance and doing the right thing. I see society from my short time on earth, but its what I know. I believe the 60’s generation is to blame for much of what is going on. The attempted to change things, but did not have the wisdom to understand what they were doing.
    The sex revolution changed things, big time, but look at the state of families – what was gained.
    Civil rights, a great stride and way over due for setting things right. But the methodology made it worse. We have created an Urban plantation where family breakups are encouraged and welfare has replaced the family. need more money, have another kid and don’t worry about who the father is, the state doesn’t care. The fathers just play musical houses staying short times at each, with no responsibility. Education, just drop out, the government will pay. We have 50% to 80% drop out rates in the inner city and people wonder why they can’t find jobs. The rice farmers in Asia are better educated to assume many jobs.
    Education, dumb it down, everyone is the same, no competition. Whats important is the social agendas and there are many that should not even be addressed in school.

    The 60’s generation radicals set out to change the world and are still working at it today. The radicals concentrated on becoming teachers, lawyers and politicians. I know as the radicals I new in college said that is what they were going to do and they are working at it today. Bill Ayers, Burnadet Dornin (sp), Angela Davis – its a long list. the progressives we fight today are these same radicals that have dedicated their lives to change. The rest of us grew up and got jobs and went on with life. Even in that we didn’t do well. Dr. Spock – let the kid do what he wants. Most people are happy to let the kid watch TV as it requires little from them, just give them what they want, but leave me alone. We now have a generation of kids that can’t think and can’t o a lot, but they have great self esteem and think the world owes them.

    Everyone complains about everything and says someone should do something, but I can’t lead the charge, there are consequences I’m not prepared for. What is left is a bunch of people that are angry and frustrated, yet they sit and watch the radicals of the 60’s keep shoving the progressive down their throats and changing the foundation of society.

    I’m guilty of everything I hate and complain about. I vacillate between thinking there is no hope and it will all crash, so why try to having thoughts that don’t set well with government control. I keep waiting for the spark to get people to react, is there a tipping point, I’m just not sure any more.

  46. Gail Combs says:

    crosspatch says:
    24 January 2013 at 7:09 am
    ….I would like to see us run more engineers and fewer lawyers for office, though.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    AMEN! I think lawyers should be barred from running from office due to conflict of interest (GRIN)

    As far as Engineers go do not forget Wilson was an engineer. He supposedly had ties with Cecil Rhodes.

    I traced the traitors in our government (and they are very much traitors) to the UK Fabian Society and the London School of Economics.

    If you look at WIKI’s “Alumni of the London School of Economics” you find the likes of David Rockefeller, the Kennedy brothers, George Soros and princes and politicians from all over the world.

    A good example of an Alumni of LSE is Robert J. Shapiro. He was principal economic adviser to Bill Clinton, co-founder of the Progressive Policy Institute, and an associate editor of U.S. News & World report. Shapiro currently serves as an adviser to the International Monetary Fund, the Director of the Globalization Initiative of NDN, and Chair of the Climate Task Force.

    If you want the root of the evil follow the Rhodes/Milner/Fabian/London School of Economics leads. The Fabian Shield from the Fabian Stain Glass window now hung with ceremony by Tony Blair in the London School of Economics. Bill Clinton attended. LSE Press Release

    Global Warming, Eugenics and the Fabians: http://fgservices1947.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/global-warming-eugenics-and-the-fabians/

    John Dewey, Father of the US education system belonged to the American Fabian society:
    Dumbing Down America by Dr. Samuel Blumenfeld: http://www.ordination.org/dumbing_down.htm

    The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America: http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/pages/book.htm

    A good places to start looking are:
    From Carroll Quigley to the UN Millennium Summit: Thoughts on the New World Order:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/yates/yates14.html

    Excerpts from the book Tragedy and Hope A History of the World in Our Time
    by Carroll Quigley, 1966: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Banks/Tragedy_Hope_excerpt.html

    The Anglo-American Establishment by Carroll Quigley: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/New_World_Order/Anglo_American_Estab.html

    Excerpts from the book The Naked Capitalist, a review and commentary on Carroll Quigley’s book Tragedy and Hope by W. Cleon Skousen http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/New_World_Order/Naked_Capitalist.html

    FDR: My Exploited Father-in-Law, Col. Curtis B. Dall: http://www.gnosticliberationfront.com/dall.pdf

    President Wilson, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Colonel House: http://modernhistoryproject.org/mhp?Article=FedReserveCon

    link to book by Colonel House “Philip Dru – Administrator” free ebook: http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext04/8phlp10.txt

    Full text of “Fabian tract”: http://www.archive.org/stream/fabiantract1947a48fabiuoft/fabiantract1947a48fabiuoft_djvu.txt

    The COLLECTIVIST’S Flow Chart: http://www.bill-wink.com/FABIANS.htm

    And the Modern History Project: http://modernhistoryproject.org/mhp?Article=FinalWarning&C=7.3

    Freedom Force International: http://www.freedomforceinternational.org/

    https://centurean2.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/the-history-of-the-fabian-society/

    http://centurean2.wordpress.com/2011/11/12/beware-the-fabian-society/

    http://centurean2.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/fabian-john-maynard-keynes-the-stealthy-enemy-of-human-freedom/

    http://centurean2.wordpress.com/2010/10/31/the-city-of-london-and-the-fabian-society-2/

    How truthful these links are I do not know but there is a lot of info that makes sense when you string it together. All of a sudden the reasons why every step the politicians take seems to makes matters worse here in the USA suddenly makes sense.

  47. crosspatch says:

    To me the problems today all revolve around things like character, self reliance and doing the right thing.

    True. But our children are being indoctrinated by a group of people who believe there is no such thing really as “right” and “wrong”. Once you lose that aspect, everything else falls apart. That is the key thread that holds the rest of the culture together. This is a very clearly organized assassination of our culture. My recommendation would be to get your children out of public schools immediately or engage in a vigorous program of counter-programming. If you are not one of these lunatic leftists up to your neck in the brainless groupthink, I would consider a career in education. This is too important of an issue to leave to the government and to these absolute lunatics (who actually believe they are somehow intellectually superior, by the way).

  48. Mark Miller says:

    @BobN:

    I’m guilty of everything I hate and complain about.

    I should say this more often, because it’s true for me sometimes. I don’t voice my criticisms to be a hypocrite, rather as realizations that the error I see around me I see in myself as well, and I need to work with myself to correct it. It’s good to see this, as you can use it for your personal growth.

    I vacillate between thinking there is no hope and it will all crash, so why try to having thoughts that don’t set well with government control. I keep waiting for the spark to get people to react, is there a tipping point, I’m just not sure any more.

    I agree with this sentiment as well. I’ve tried talking with people who advocate gov’t policies I see as destructive. I’ve thought for several years that perhaps by showing evidence, and reasoning with them about their sloppy thinking that some of them might realize for themselves that if they shape up, and becoming interested in understanding the world they live in, they don’t have to feel at the victim of circumstances. They can deal with some of them. Sadly, I’ve realized that many of them are what Mark Levin calls “drones.” They’re gone mentally. You cannot reason with them, so I’ve learned, because they’ve been taught that reason, the ambition to better one’s self, is tantamount to racism. They think it’s bad. Better to just feel compassion, and share of yourself indiscriminately, and to tear down those who try to better themselves. As Allan Bloom said, this allows “monsters to issue from these foul waters” (something to that effect). As I learned from Bloom, it’s not just the schools. It’s their parents as well. Whatever made them susceptible to this way of non-thinking began in the home. The schools just finished the job. It’s been a conscious effort on the part of the schools (says Bloom), but when it comes to the parents it’s not so clear.

    In any case, as I learn to deal with the world I live in, I am seeing more and more that I need to take different avenues to try to influence those I can to better perception, perhaps avoiding those who are already “gone.” That’s the best I can do for now, but there may be other ways of reaching them that I have not yet explored. My main method is to use the tools of reason, which clearly doesn’t work with the “lost.” I need to explore other means of inspiring learning. I got a tip from a mentor a while back that I should study anthropology in relation to this question. If there are pathways open to the minds of people, even though their ways are murky, maybe some well crafted hints will capture the attention of some of the “lost,” and they can begin to climb out of the “cave” to the light. It’s probably best to focus on the children. By the time they get to be adults, for most of them their path is set, and they can only recover by a proverbial “12-step” program. The first step in that is recognizing they have a problem (we all do, in a sense. It’s a matter of a degrees). Easier said than done, as there must first be receptivity, and they have to open the door. What I suggest is that perhaps what I’ve been doing is banging on the “front door,” yelling at times. This scares them off, or they already know what I have in store for them, so they ignore it. Something I haven’t tried yet is presenting something interesting out some “window” that I haven’t found, which they might catch a glimpse of, and find enticing.

  49. BobN says:

    @ Mark Miller – Thanks for your thoughts and insights. I suspect there are many of us, all choking on the same issues.

  50. Tim Clark says:

    Most of the names on chiefio I recognize from other places, and believe most are intelligent, educated, thoughtful folks. However, I work in a governmental agency and associate with the public (unwashed masses) on a daily basis. Most of these people are incapable of using the restroom without written directions, so to contemplate that as a nation those of us who can think above the level of a third grader will be able to reorganize our government without force or deprivation are in lala land. That’s why I have recently purchased land in the boon-toonies of the Ozarks.
    Sorry, although I fear for my children (both accountants with parentally paid MBA’s and recognize the coming shtf scenario), that’s my opinion.

  51. Tim Clark says:

    Recently purchased some serious weaponry also.

  52. Jason Calley says:

    @ Tim Clark “That’s why I have recently purchased land in the boon-toonies of the Ozarks.”

    Good choice — for a lot of different reasons. Some really pretty places there, too.

  53. crosspatch says:

    Most of these people are incapable of using the restroom without written directions

    Because they don’t have to do so without someone holding their hands. They are being “helped” to death. If we would stop holding their hands, they would learn to do more on their own and the entire community around them would be much better off. They are so damned helpless because they can get by just fine that way. It’s time they spread their wings and learned how to be responsible for themselves and just like a bird learning to fly, they are going to bump their ass a few times along the way. That’s ok. You learn lessons that you don’t forget that way.

  54. Tim Clark says:

    [ crosspatch says:
    31 January 2013 at 8:37 pm
    Because they don’t have to do so without someone holding their hands. ]

    And with ever increasing stipulations mandated by the government covering discrimination and workplace performance, it will get worse.

    It’s possible now in certain situations to claim discrimination based on the need to wear eyeglasses.

  55. crosspatch says:

    And that brings up another point. The government has gone beyond patronizing. It is now like one huge omnipotent helicopter parent. You literally can not go to the bathroom or take a shower without complying with government regulations. Government has regulated the most intimate details of our daily life. And to make matters worse, having a public that acts like infants causes government employees to treat everyone that way and when someone who interacts with government is actually capable of managing themselves it can be very frustrating. It feels patronizing and condescending and results in a bit of shortening of the temper. The government employee can’t tell who is and who isn’t a functional adult and so must operate on a least common denominator basis. It’s too big, it is too “helpful”, it needs to go.

  56. adolfogiurfa says:

    @crosspatch: Have to remember them that they are your employees, however those employees have rigged the personnel department….so personnel choosing is really faked.

  57. Mark Miller says:

    @Tim Clark:

    I live in a town that boasts of having the highest number of college degrees per capita in the country (something like that), and most of the people I talk to where I live can’t or won’t understand the debt issue. They’ve been taken by the propaganda, and are in love with Obama. One weakness is this town is doing as well as it is economically *because* of gov’t largesse. We have two federal science labs here, and another that’s privately owned but gets a significant amount of funding from the gov’t. We also have a university here, which gets a lot of federal grant money. So even though many of us here (though probably not most) are capable of understanding the problem, we have a big incentive not to.

  58. E.M.Smith says:

    @Mark Miller:

    Most folks, no matter how bright, are pig-ignorant of economics. Just look at the national credit card debt levels and that is clear. Add in that things like Fed Discount Rate and Fractional Reserve Banking are not exactly simple… It is simply that case that nearly everyone chooses to believe they understand economics because they can spend their paycheck…

  59. crosspatch says:

    There are also those who believe they can somehow become “intelligent” by associating with and adopting the positions of those who they see as “intelligent”. The political left likes to portray the political right as somehow less intelligent. This would lead people of low intelligence to want to appear to be associated with the left as to “prove” they aren’t stupid.

  60. crosspatch says:

    And since when is a college degree an indication of “intelligence”? I know some pretty intelligent people who have never had a day in college and I know some people with college degrees that are dumber than a box of hair. I would say the US bartender staff has more college degrees than ever before in history. I don’t think they are any more or less intelligent than they have ever been.

  61. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Crosspatch; I remember newly minted teachers in the late 1950s insist that the mark of intelligence was progressive liberal thought! Anyone that espoused more conventional thinking was not capable of independent thought. They could not believe someone, not even a teenager, would argue about their superior thinking abilities. :-)
    They were even more displeased when I would correct them on errors, in fact, in science and history, during classes that they were teaching. Glad I was not considered college material. Saved me from more attempted brainwashing. pg

  62. E.M.Smith says:

    @Crosspatch:

    Now were did I see someone say something along those lines….

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/08/12/educated-idiots-and-uneducated-wise-ones/

    I was blessed with a family of two very intelligent parents. Neither one finished high school….

    Of their kids, all 4 have college degrees. 3 of us (not sure about the 4th) have some mix of Masters and Teaching Credentials and more. ( I’ve got a D.D., CDP, and now M.of.D along with some other stuff) Looking at my siblings, and myself, I’m pretty sure my parents were smarter than we are. They didn’t have as much time wasted in school and as much ‘education’ to overcome.

    @P.G.:

    You have no idea…

    At University I made the mistake of taking a Sociology class (thinking it would be like Cultural Anthropology maybe). It was substantially “Why white men are evil and communism is good” class. I made the mistake of trying to be logical… My final exam was given back with a D- on it (such that I would fail the class. The original grade had been erased and the new, lower, grade written on, but you could still read the dent in the paper). Except even with that (by their point rules) I passed. So I was just assigned a failing grade overall anyway. (An appeal to the ‘process’ outside the department had me told that, basically, “Rules and formulas were nice and all but the professors can do what they (damn) well please.”)

    One could take up to 12 units of ‘do over’ and expunge an old grade, so I got to sit through the crap twice. ( It was a 6 unit class… or I would likely have just blown it off and taken the grade hit). So I’d get 1/2 drunk ( or more) and “enter bull shit mode” and spout complete crap on our “Intellectual journal”. ( Lucky for me, with a name like Smith, it isn’t possible to stand out in a class of 4,000 …) Got a B+ and lots of kudos and “Original Work!” and all. It was complete and utter tripe and nonsense that I spouted (but all wrapped in hateful ‘whites and men are evil’ context, implication, or tone). That was the moment I came to understand it was a Political Correctness Grade and the class was all about indoctrination.

    Only later did I look into the history of Sociology and find it had roots in Socialism / Communism and the Progressive movement (and forms the underpinning for some of their ‘theories’…)

    Of my time at University, I rank that 2/3 of a year ( 18 unit year ) as a complete and utter waste of my life. Added to a couple of similar “aw shit” discoveries in some other classes, I’d put it at about, all told, 50% wasted time. ( The time in calculus and chemistry were about 1/2 wasted as I’d already had the first 1/2 in high school – my high school teachers seem to have been better than most… Computers and geology were most new / interesting, especially the “Geology of the Solar System” class that was way ahead of its time. Econ put structure to what I seem to have intuited in many cases, and added much about national economics and banking. Oddly, acting class was very useful… learning to ‘enter a role’ helps in meetings ;-)

    Overall, I don’t regret the time, much. But I could have learned twice as much, in 1/2 the time, if not wasting it listening to drones at a blackboard… Part of why I blew off the idea of a Ph.D. (though well able). Just didn’t want to waste another 3 or 4 years of my life… And looking at what most of them did for a living at University, well, it didn’t look that valuable… Spending an awful lot of time becoming an expert in a subset of irrelevancy… ( “A treatise on the specificity of color rendition of azure tint implicit in wing size of angels on pins”… somehow not appealing).

    IMHO, there’s a sea change underway in education. (REAL education, not the brain numbing thing done to kids in colleges…) Several schools are putting classes ‘on line’. Some for free. (MIT & Harvard, IIRC). So now folks can “try before they buy”. Also, folks like me, can ‘graze’ a class (I can suck down a class in one weekend, if they let me crank up the baud rate…) and know it’s a 6 month waste to take it….

    ( In upper division genetics, they were trying an ‘experimental’ system with “slides”. I’d rack a projector full of slides (that projected onto a screen in front of the student) and ‘speed soak’ them. About 2 seconds / slide; twice through. IIRC got A and B+ in 100a 100b (at the time the whole DNA thing was new and they had just worked it out. I was speed absorbing the codon structure and molecular structure of Adenine, Thymine et. al. in minutes; while they wanted to spend hours in lecture… )

    So more of “that kind of stuff” is going to happen.

    I think it will lead to a couple of outcomes:

    1) Idiot Topics, like Sociology, will have a drop in “folks like me” as we will know what they are and not sign up. (Grazing 10 minutes would have saved me 2/3 of a year). Some areas will wither and die; others become little (obvious) cesspools.

    2) “Fast” people can get out of the system with the minimum of damage and maximum benefit.

    3) The less BS afflicted offerings will come to dominate. Folks will start to “assemble a menu” of things like “Cultural Anthro” from one school (that does it especially well) and “Econ 1A, B, C” from another that does it well (and without the PC crap layers…)

    When I was at school, there was the beginnings of an informal “ratings” board where students could put up ‘votes’ for a class / teacher. It was very crude, and only partially used / available. Now I can web search and likely get ‘the full skinny’ even as a non-student. Shortly, we will have “Skip those bozos. Plato’s Republic is best from FOO at LINK.” And a few hours later, have “audited” most or all of the material. THEN choose to sign up for a formal grade / work version and add those units to “my school” curriculum.

    In short: The Folks are going to rip control of education out of the hands of individual political school structures and professors and DIY assemble a degree from the stuff that works well and isn’t crap laden.

    (Heck, I’ve looked at it enough I’m thinking of doing it to pick up an advanced degree that interests me… Forget all that “acceptance to a school” and “residence” and all. It is just “what do I want and who gets it to me most efficiently and at least costs in time and money.”)

    Want an MIT degree? Here you go: http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm

    That “ocw” is “open course ware”…

    Now tell me again why I need to take Integral Calculus from a guy with an Indian Accent so thick I could not understand a thing he said? ( I just took the book home and figured it out. Only went to class for assignment pick up / hand in. I think the guy knew his stuff, but frankly, a bunch of non-tracking sing-song semi-foreign language was driving me nuts and he could not teach worth a damn.) Tell me again why I need to take Econ International Finance from a Little Hitler who thinks his job is to assign volume enough to crush, but mindless enough you don’t learn much?

    Now I’ve had some crappy CBT (Computer Based Training) where you can’t ‘look ahead’ and must get 100% Proficient Parroting Of Crap to see the next chapter, so it isn’t all perfect yet. But that kind of thing, too, will be short survival. “Stuff” where you can “work ahead” and back will gain followers… Folks will start wanting to see the “book”, sample tests, flow chart of material, expected outcomes, etc. prior to wasting time signing up. Folks who provide an open book will dominate.

    The “end game” will be “School at home” where you might decide “I want to pick up Roman History”, you spend a couple of hours reading reviews and skimming their offerings, and the best done one that’s most open gets your sign-up. A couple of months later, it’s on your “official transcript”.

    At that point I’m not seeing “The Old Crap Peddlers” lasting long…

  63. philjourdan says:

    @E.M. – Re: your Sociology class. We have all had to endure the stupidity of professors and some courses that were better designed for morons. The trick is in not wasting too much time on them and getting a good education in spite of them. You seem to have overcome that handicap well.

  64. Tim Clark says:

    E.M.
    Your Sociology course experience sounds a lot like my E-203, Technical Journalism. Required. It’s goal was to devlop skills for those who would write in Journals, etc. I signed up my soph year. When I turned in the first paper on some current topic of the day I don’t recall, I got a D because I failed to concur with the left thesis. I dropped the class thinking I’ll just take it next quarter (before semesters). Every professor I was assigned over the next two plus years was the same. I signed up for that course 13 times. I still think it is a record at CSU. Finally in my senior+ year I was assigned a new, young italian woman that was HOT. I did a little extracurricular overtime and got an A for the course.

    ” Part of why I blew off the idea of a Ph.D. (though well able). Just didn’t want to waste another 3 or 4 years of my life… And looking at what most of them did for a living at University, well, it didn’t look that valuable… Spending an awful lot of time becoming an expert in a subset of irrelevancy…”

    I have 80 Doctoral Level (A’s) course hours and 3/4 of a finished dissertation. I had a large fund in the University reserve account reserved from 6 years of field research. The Agronomy Department was running low on money because they had a bunch of WWII vet-bill GI Phd deadword hangers-on. The University arbitrarily decided that because these people couldn’t support their “research” with grant money, that their slice of the pie was going from 20% to 40% adminstrative overhead, effectively retroactively and applied to all previous grants. They took $60 G’s out of 80. I was also finishng up a study with the Soybean Promotion Board and that didn’t leave me enough money to finish. I got fed up arguing with the utopian, desk hugging, conehead political mucky-mucks and said y’all can all kiss my everlovin A. What’s funny, no one else wanted to finish that study and the University had to refund $45Gs. Served them right.

    Except, I really have lived to regret that decision.

  65. Tim Clark says:

    I feel I must qualify a description in my previous post regarding WWII vets……

    My dad was one. By and large the ones at the U were generous, honest, hard-working, ethical people. But between their graduation circa 1950s and 1980s, significant progress was made in computer technology, field design, statistics, etc….. I believe at their age they were in pre-retirement glide mode, much like me know. They were a hoot at parties.

    I still have deep seated animosity towards the mucky-mucks……
    Tim

  66. crosspatch says:

    I wish every single Democrat in the US would read and understand this. They are *still* attempting to institute the sort of system that Sweden pioneered and scrapped as unworkable. If you read this article from The Economist, it looks like Sweden has implemented every single program the Republicans have been trying to implement in the US and the results have been extremely positive.

    http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21570840-nordic-countries-are-reinventing-their-model-capitalism-says-adrian

  67. E.M.Smith says:

    @Tim Clark:

    I know what you mean. Had a “security guy” once who was doing a fine job of what we wanted done. (Basically, all the ‘turn the crank’ systems admin work and organizational coordination duties to keep our supercomputer site and facility secure.) We got moved to a different V.P. and after about a month, he tells me to fire the guy. Why? He wants the headcount for something else… OK, no problem. Boss wants a headcount, fine, its his org. Except… he didn’t want a layoff, he wanted me to fire the guy… ( I did more of a ‘layoff’ anyway. Later I left the company as I couldn’t stand the boss.)

    @Crosspatch:

    A signature behaviour of the Loony Left is that they firmly believe their ideology and will look at nothing which does not support it. So they will continue to cite Sweden of old, but never mention Sweden of now. They will push the same direction always, only stopping after it blows up in their collective faces. Don’t know why. “It is just what they do”… Don’t know if it is from stupidity, from inability to learn, from ulterior motives, from …

  68. Mark Miller says:

    @E.M.Smith:

    I’ve had this feeling for a while that some of what’s going on on the left is smart people who think they’re smarter than their predecessors, who came to conclusions that displease them. They take a default attitude of, “I don’t have to listen to *those* people. I can listen to people who share my values,” no matter whether the knowledge they have to convey actually maps well to the real world.

    I heard Dr. Alan Kay talk about this once, though without the politics. He said that Leonardo Da Vinci was very smart, and could come up with lots of ideas for machines that he couldn’t make work, whereas Henry Ford, who was not on Da Vinci’s level, made machines that worked. Da Vinci had lots of interesting ideas, but he was at a big disadvantage. He didn’t have prior knowledge to support them, derived from an outlook that tries to map ideas to reality, and rejects those that don’t fit. Science hadn’t been developed yet. Ford had the advantage of having prior scientific knowledge, which was developed before he came along.

    Kay said, using metals as symbols of value: “Knowledge is silver. Outlook is gold. IQ is lead.” I’m using his argument about something else to make a broader point. Paraphrasing, he said that cleverness is no substitute for knowledge and outlook, yet in our society we have people who are very clever who think they don’t need prior knowledge. They become filled with hubris, because they’ve been told their whole lives how smart they are.

    To further drive the point home, he said something to the effect of, “Imagine the smartest person you know (and imagine them without the advantage of knowledge) being back in the days of cavemen. How far are they going to get?”

  69. BobN says:

    What I find disturbing is the lack of common sense I see in society. Education doesn’t give you common sense, but some where along the line, we as a society are losing that ability.

    Most of my fathers generation had little education, but they made very good life decisions and could be counted on to step up and fix things when necessary. I don’t think anyone can be counted on today. With all the education and supposedly free thinking people are more sheeple than ever.

    I worked in high tech most of my life and tried an experiment once. Instead of managing things as normal I called the people together and said your now in charge, I want you all to get together as a group and manage this project. What a disaster! Immediately some tried to exert their will and take control, most just sat silent and did not express themselves and went along with things they didn’t agree with. What amazed me the most was the poor decisions that were put forth by the group, no common sense at all. It was not a critical project so I let it go for a while just to observe.

    Out of the whole thing it was obvious that about 20% of the people were getting things done and doing it mostly on their own outside the politics, the rest were just putting in time doing things of little consequence. I now have a much lower opinion of people and their ability to step up and take charge, most don’t get the basics and these were quite educated people.

    The number of people that are capable of reasoning and sound judgement is way smaller than I once thought. Give people free things and good sound bits and its very hard to get the people to see and understand what the proper course is. Most don’t want to know as long as their world is working.

  70. Mark Miller says:

    Almost every time I reflect on my own educational experience, I think of this question I remember a teacher asked us, I think in Jr. high school: “What’s the difference between our civilization and a tribe?” I don’t *think* he asked it rhetorically, but he might have. It was a provocative question. I think most students in that room knew there was *something* different, because there was an obvious difference in the way we lived, what we did with our lives, the kind of dialogue we had in society, and how our gov’t functioned. A bunch of us tried to put forward differences, but our teacher pointed out, “Tribes have that, too,” and he explained the similarity. Every time he explained it, it seemed to make sense. We finally ran out of things we could think of, and our teacher didn’t put forward any differences either, leaving us with the conclusion that there is *no* difference between our civilization and a tribal society! I remember feeling frustrated after that, that there was some sort of disconnect between what we were able to see and what was really going on, but none of us could explain what that disconnect was. Now, I think I could answer that question more intelligently, but what’s telling to me is that up to that point none of our experience in school pointed out what made our civilization what it was, as compared to what prior humans knew, and how they thought. The lack of that understanding devalues the whole experience, IMO, because one is tempted to think, “What’s the point of it all, besides our parents trying to make us into copies of themselves?” Regardless of the merits of that concept, if it were true, that’s a disquieting thought for kids that age.

  71. Mark Miller says:

    @crosspatch:

    The admiration seems to go both ways. The left likes associating with “smart people,” but there are smart people who like associating with the left as well. The most obvious incentive I can make out is that there are many smart people who are atheists, and they like the secular orientation of the left. Likewise, the left has tended to value what scientists have to say on certain topics, using it as material for justifying their stances. So the admiration is sometimes mutual.

    I’ve wished that more people on the right would become familiar with science and engineering, because I think it would help inform some of their stances on issues. My understanding is scientists and engineers tend to be conservative, but they’re a minority in the world of conservatism. G.W. Bush was good about being aware of the importance of science and engineering, IMO, increasing funding for those areas, though some bash him for forbidding federal funding of new stem cell lines. He also cut funding for NIH and LLNL. Obama reversed that, almost literally, from what I understand, reducing funding where Bush increased it, and increased it where Bush reduced it, though it seems the lion’s share of the scientific funding in the ’09 “stimulus” went to AGW stuff. My point being that I’ve often observed conservatives being totally ignorant about what’s going on the worlds of science and technology. They’re aware of the fruits of those fields, but not the background, whereas liberals tend to be a little more clued in on those areas. They may have misperceptions about them, but they’re at least aware of the ideas that issue out of those fields.

  72. Mark Miller says:

    @BobN:

    The premise of this video is historically accurate. Our public education system is a derivative of the 19th century Prussian model. It may be accurate in saying that since the Prussian system led to the acceptance of Hitler as an all-powerful dictator, it will likewise lead us more and more to a totalitarian system in ours. At the end it shares some provocative (and some wise) observations about education, a couple of which echo your sentiments.

  73. BobN says:

    @ Mark Miller – interesting video.
    I see indoctrination everywhere, here is an example that just happened. I have a 6 year old granddaughter that freaked out in the car while driving with her mother. She started screaming to slow down and my daughter asked, are you scared because I’m going too fast and she replied, No, you’re wasting energy and I don’t want to have to turn you into the police for that. Upon questioning, that is what she was told in school was the thing to do. I live in cowboy country, I can’t imagine what kids are told in the more progressive areas.
    Time for Home Schooling!

  74. crosspatch says:

    The compulsory education in the US came from two different pressures:

    1. The War Department. It became obvious that the world was headed for technological war. We had to have a base of recruits who could be trained on such things as aircraft and mechanized warfare machinery even if they had never seen one. We needed a base of population with at least an 8th grade education to train in case of war. World War I highlighted this need. But yes, we were competing with the Prussian schooled kids in WWI

    2. The “Progressives” of turn of the century vintage who were absolutely beside themselves that the best educated were people going through parochial school systems. They wanted a national school system that would get these kids out of religious schools and into politically correct educations.

  75. crosspatch says:

    As for admiration going both ways, I am not convinced. I find people of the ilk of Milton Friedman to be the most intelligent. They understand that self interest actually benefits everyone. The “collective” is a myth in that collective good does nobody any good except those running the collective and those whose self-esteem is low and need to be told what to do.

  76. Ralph B says:

    http://www.aei-ideas.org/2013/01/college-class-of-2011-by-academic-discipline-and-gender-the-selective-concern-about-gender-imbalances-is-imbalanced/#comments

    This just shows how good intentions are screwing the female population. The worst part is they don’t even realize it.

  77. Mark Miller says:

    @BobN:

    I have occasionally heard about children being so scared that we’re ruining the environment for them that they’re having nightmares, though mostly in the UK. I agree with you about the home schooling. It used to be something that I heard was a fundamentalist Christian thing to do, because they didn’t like they’re children being taught evolution as if it contradicted the Bible. Now, I think it’s a quite reasonable thing for lots of people to contemplate. I remember about 6 years ago hearing about how English teachers were showing their students “An Inconvenient Truth,” and how math teachers were making sex jokes cavalierly in class. The inmates have taken over the asylum…

    I know this is just one more thing to add to the pile, but I’ve heard recently that environmentalism has even entered into computer science a little bit. There’s now a movement afoot, though it doesn’t seem to be taking hold too much, to promote “energy-efficient programming”…for the environment. You see, with all these mobile devices, people charging their batteries, it’s using so much energy. Why? Because software is coded inefficiently. To reduce our carbon footprint we need to program in languages like Assembler and C to reduce the energy usage…to save the planet… I heard about this a couple years ago and just thought…”This is nuts.” I mean, we used to hear the admonition to use these tools to make our software *usable*, so it was not so slow that the user could go off and eat lunch while your program updated the screen, for example. It was mercy on the user. Now it’s “for the planet.” Makes me want to gag. Hey, how about we program efficiently so that people don’t have to spend so much money upgrading their hardware just so they could do the same stuff they did 10 years ago! NO! We don’t want to talk about thaaat….

  78. Eric Barnes says:

    Mark Miller says:
    2 February 2013 at 11:40 pm

    “It used to be something that I heard was a fundamentalist Christian thing to do, because they didn’t like they’re children being taught evolution as if it contradicted the Bible. Now, I think it’s a quite reasonable thing for lots of people to contemplate.”


    Agreed Mark. I’m agnostic, but have a hard time thinking public schools haven’t veered *way* off track.
    Recently (OK, maybe 10 years ago), I mentored a child at a local grade-school. What was shocking to me was the complete lack of an outlet for physical activity at recess. Not only was football verboten, but “Freeze Tag” was also banned because it involved physical contact?
    My own experience was that grade-school was nearly intolerable and the recess was it’s saving grace. A day without a few bruises was a total loss. I wasn’t subjected to classroom content and I’m guessing it was straight out of the progressive/neurotic/nanny-state playbook.

    Today’s public school children have it more difficult than my generation I’m afraid.

    I’m not sure I’m up to home-schooling my own, but religious school looks like a good alternative.

  79. crosspatch says:

    Or find a private school whose basic principles align with yours. 25% of all union members in the US belong to the NEA and the AFT, the two largest teachers’ unions. They funnel a lot of money to one particular political party. That is a rather hefty kickback of tax dollars to one party. That really needs to stop as that is what is enabling the corruption of our education system.

  80. Mark Miller says:

    @crosspatch:

    I wanted to address a point you made earlier:

    As for admiration going both ways, I am not convinced. I find people of the ilk of Milton Friedman to be the most intelligent. They understand that self interest actually benefits everyone. The “collective” is a myth in that collective good does nobody any good except those running the collective and those whose self-esteem is low and need to be told what to do.

    Well, it pays to have a variety of experiences in life. Friedman had that. He held many jobs as a teenager, and worked with some entrepreneurs as an adult. He got to see how the real economy works from the inside. That’s an education in itself, and I think it can be legitimately argued that that’s more valuable than what we learn in school, because it’s knowledge derived from activities that produce value for real people.

    Just as there are politicians who have never held a private sector job in their life, there are professors in universities who are the same way. They went right from high school into college, and never left. They are smart people. I don’t think they could do what they do if they weren’t, many of them, but they can be provincial, isolating themselves; not understanding the world on which they pass judgment. Thomas Sowell wrote about this in his book, “Intellectuals and Society.”

    I heard a scientist who works in the private sector talk about the difference between the private sector and academia, because they are two different cultures. He spoke about it on 60 Minutes. I can’t remember his name, but what I remember about him was that he was the one who discovered the location of the Titanic. He said that in the private sector he has to market himself, and in doing so, he talks a lot about himself. He said, “I use the word ‘I’ a lot.” He said that academics usually don’t choose to associate with him, because, he said, “Their culture is all about ‘we’. ‘We did this together.’ They don’t go around saying ‘*i* accomplished this’.” So built into the academic culture is a sense of collectiveness. I can see where that would come from, because it’s expected that you’re going to do research, which means you’re going to be spending part of your time looking at other people’s work, and learning from it. Secondly, once you get into academic research, you often collaborate with other academics who are doing something that you see relates to your work. And when you publish your own research, you’re expected to be careful to include ideas derived from your other sources, and cite them. At the end of the day, there is the contribution from yourself, but a significant part of what you publish is going to include ideas from other people. So it’s there in black and white that what you put forward is not “I did this.” Yes, you gathered together the information, but the final corpus is made up of what you did, plus what other people did.

    The only possibility I see in breaking up that collective culture a little is changing the nature of university research. I’ve heard some academics complain about this, that research funding is project-oriented. It’s not really research in the best sense of the word. It’s more problem-solving. It revolves around patronage as well. Academics hoping to make tenure have to do work that contributes to the work that’s already been done by other tenured academics, or else they won’t get funding.

    There used to be some institutions where basic research was funded, which really allowed scientists to follow their curiosity, and take big risks that might fail to produce anything substantial. Sometimes they’d come up with a lot of new knowledge on their own. This would be more in line with what you’re talking about. In those cases they really could say, “I did this,” because they went into a totally unknown area, where no one had explored before. Einstein’s theory of General Relativity was like this. It stood totally alone. Einstein didn’t cite anyone else, because it was a totally original idea.

    The big problem, from what I’ve heard, is the expectations of research funders. They do not want to be associated with failures. They are risk-averse. This has stunted the advancement of scientific research, because the advances that are made are miniscule. If academia, or even gov’t, could change the dynamic in this area, that would be beneficial, not just to advancing research, but also changing the academic culture somewhat.

  81. BobN says:

    @ Mark Miller – This is a subject that is strangling this country. People doing research are afraid to take chances, they pretty much tow the party line on group think. This is evident in the way scientific papers get published, they must be Peer Revued, before they are accepted for publication. The Peer Revue group holds the keys to success for these people. Up until recently and its basically still true, try and get a paper on Cold Fusion (LENR) published or a paper refuting Global warming, they won’t hear of it as the committee already knows the answer.

    To a great extent the internet is changing that, in that people can publish and get their ideas out there. This will take longer than being in accepted journals, but if the ideas and data have value it will get accepted. I see online teaching cutting greatly into academia and being a force to break up the idea monopoly that now is prevalent.

    Everyone keeps asking where did innovation go, its our school system in what and how they teach and how they control the funds and gates to success. What are schools are doing is flat wrong, but I’m sure they would just laugh and say he has no idea what he is talking about, poor chap.

  82. crosspatch says:

    In academia and politics you advance based on your verbal skills. The real world isn’t like that. I don’t care how articulate and well spoken you are, if you don’t produce in a real world job, you are fired and you must go work in politics or academia. These people are confused because they got good grades and praise in school, then went out into the real world and failed to produce anything. So they sit around worshiping each others’ verbal skills. I heard it just the other day someone on the radio talking about why Hillary should be President in 2016 and it basically boiled down to the fact that she was well-spoken and articulate with words.

    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/337181.php

  83. Zeke says:

    May I suggest a different outlook on education and the nature of true intelligence:

    “Today is Memorial Day, but the larger season is one of graduations, from college and high school and even lower grades. It’s fitting, then, to take a step back and consider the philanthropy of Peter Thiel, who is working on a different course.

    Thiel, PayPal co-founder and early Facebook investor, made headlines last year as he began his anti-scholarship program, “20 Under 20.” He is giving $100,000 to 20 young people under 21, but on one condition — that they not go to college.

    Instead, his bequests amount to angel seed money for young go-getters to do something original, entrepreneurial.

    Now, Thiel has announced his first 20 recipients. An AP story by Marcus Wohlsen leads with the circumstances of one recipient, Nick Cammarata, a young genius programmer. Cammarata wasn’t one of those grade A students. Instead of studying hard, he did what he liked, including reading books on subjects he was interested in. And programming, which got him attention outside his school and town.”
    ~Paul Jacob

    continue reading here: http://thisiscommonsense.com/2011/05/30/entree-%E2%80%9Cpreneurial%E2%80%9D/

    Homeschooling is imparting an affection for learning an early age, and an opportunity you give them to find out their own gifts and talents, through self-organized and self-motivated learning, among other things. They also will remind you how to learn and grow, because many of us have forgotten what that means.

  84. crosspatch says:

    One of the problems I had in school was that a class can only go as quickly as probably the 30th percentile. If they go too fast, they leave too many behind. I got bored with school after about the 7th grade. I could read the text, go to class on Monday and Tuesday and then ditch on Wednesday and Thursday and pass the test at the end of the week. I got into a “self paced” form of school in 11th and 12th grades and was able to blow through both years in one school year. My son is currently having the same problem. He’s bored.

  85. Mark Miller says:

    @BobN:

    I’ve been watching a show on the History Channel called “America Unearthed,” and I heard a guest on it say something that spoke volumes about the situation: “Science changes one death at a time.” That isn’t what science is supposed to be, in my mind anyway. I guess it goes along with what I’ve heard a couple people talk about in books, that “the scientific establishment,” if you will, has created a fiction about itself, that it is the fount of life’s answers, replacing the Bible, or whatever religious text people might believe in. That isn’t the point of science.

    Richard Lindzen talked about the problems within science from the perspective of climatology in a paper called, “Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?” His main topic was the politicization of science, but he starts off talking about how after the 1960s science has gotten increasingly more expensive to carry out, since it’s required advancement in R&D of technology to further its reach. The Establishment was at a loss to explain this increase in cost to a society that doesn’t value science as much. So it settled on emotional manipulation, creating a sense of fear to continue its funding. Careers are at stake. If the problem is ever really solved, or an answer is found, then they lose their leverage. There is a certain logic to it that I can understand, but this approach is at odds with what the real answer is: Teach our society what real science is about–not this fiction, and why it’s important. That’s the crux of the matter. It’s to society’s benefit anyway. It’s not just so scientists can keep their jobs. Instead the Establishment has taken the “easy out,” and has chosen to deliberately mislead the public. This is not a long-term solution. It will likely backfire, if it hasn’t already.

    @crosspatch:

    Re. Nozik, and students achieving success through their verbal skills

    I can see this applying to Obama. I’ve heard a couple black academics, Sowell and Shelby Steele, who were alarmed by the fact that he’s achieved his success purely through his verbal skills.

    If all I had to get through secondary school was my verbal skills, I think I would’ve been at best a B- or C student, and I doubt I would be admitted to the most prestigious universities (not that I ever was anyway). There’s also science and math classes to get through. Verbal skills don’t count for squat there, at least in the classes I had. But maybe these wordsmiths Nozik spoke of don’t need to go to prestigious universities to get where they ended up.

    I don’t agree that “in academia you advance based on your verbal skills.” I think what you said would’ve been better constructed as, “You *can* advance in academia based on your verbal skills.” It depends on your major, or degree you’re pursuing. I got a degree in computer science. I can tell you, if I didn’t turn in computer programs that worked, but simply described how they *would* have worked, I would’ve gotten straight D’s and F’s, and the university would’ve eventually refused to re-admit me, unless I changed majors! In politics, *yes*, you are quite right. Verbal skills are very important there.

    There are plenty of fields of study in academia where verbal skills are not important. You should’ve met some of my university math teachers! I was so thankful that as I got into sophomore level math courses, I got teachers who could speak English clearly. :)

    I heard it just the other day someone on the radio talking about why Hillary should be President in 2016 and it basically boiled down to the fact that she was well-spoken and articulate with words.

    That’s what they said about Obama, too. I’ve seen this for many years. Liberals equate eloquentness with leadership qualities. Anytime a conservative stumbles over their words, their first response is, “Look how stupid they are.” To me it’s just these people illustrating their own naivete. Just because someone can speak clearly doesn’t mean they know how to lead.

  86. BobN says:

    Here is a chilling article from the Canadian Free Press

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/52923

    Normally I consider them to be pretty reputable in reporting, maybe a bit over the top, but if any of this id true the SHTF is close.

  87. E.M.Smith says:

    @BobN:

    And interesting, if a bit paranoid, article. The idea of a cyber team out to collect identities and disrupt / attack is not at all in doubt. I’ve seen clear evidence of folks doing just that. (Part of why I’m a bit “tight” on tossing folks into ‘moderation’ if they seem a bit artificial / posing…. It might be hard for some folks to ‘get it’, but I really don’t care if someone wishes to embrace strange or IMHO broken ideas; but one whiff of “artifice for effect” and it’s all defensive… I’ve been in the cyber wars for a few decades, mostly protecting sites, and I’ve just got no tolerance for folks trolling.)

    The idea of a grand conspiracy to ‘take down’ the USA is a bit much, IMHO. Much more likely is a minor conspiracy. Soros is known to want to add the US $ to his list of currencies he has broken (and made $Billions in the process). Doesn’t take much for someone with his bucks and connections to build a web of organizations all working to that end… and he clearly has done so. Now if my job is “Director of Soros Organization to Promote Welfare” is that a ‘conspiracy’? Or do I just really believe there ought to be more welfare state and Soros is the guy who knows that will result in eventual dollar collapse?

    So yes, there IS a major effort to convert the USA into a Socialist State. (In the ‘3rd Way’ Corporatist / Fascist / Socialist form. We have Bill Clinton on tape saying he is a ‘3rd Way’ guy.) We’ve had some pressures in this direction since FDR, only briefly interrupted by W.W.II and the whole “Progressive 3rd Way” folks getting severely spanked via the bad examples of Italian Fascism and the German Nazi “National State Socialists”… So the ’50s were a bit of a rebound against it. Then the ’60s transition and, under Nixon, the return to the Progressive Way…

    So does it take some grand conspiracy and subterfuge to think that trend / push continues? Not at all…

    The basic problem is just that The People will vote for anyone who offers them more goodies and the Left / Progressives / Socialists offer lots of goodies and hide the tyranny that follows.

    So we periodically need a “Good bad example” by having each generation learn anew how this movie ends. Stalin / Mao / Hitler / etc. were too long ago for most folks alive today to remember them. FDR has been whitewashed into a positive icon (ignoring that his actions prolonged the depression and deepened it).

    Right now we have Argentina auguring in (hyperinflation / riots starting) and Greece close behind. Much of Europe on the edge. Will that be enough ‘example’? Or will we need California to collapse while Texas thrives? Or will none of it be ‘enough’ as those at the top have learned to manufacture crisis for effect? “Never let a crisis go to waste” leads rapidly to “Make crisis when needed”…

    In the end, it comes to down to “Will stupid win?”

    Unfortunately, there’s a whole lot of stupid in the world…

  88. BobN says:

    @ EM Smith – Thanks for your prospective, it helps ground me. I have been very successful my entire life reading the tea leaves and benefiting from them. I sure see a lot of things these days and am really struggling with the weighting of the data. I think you have framed things very well. I posted for comments to get others opinions, yours is valued and appreciated.

  89. Zeke says:

    What I observe is hardline communists infiltrating genuine movements. There was a slinking witch daeva on WUWT once, with a plan to get people to join digital meeting groups locally. She claimed this would bring safety when there is a breakdown of society. The communists in China used small local groups to root out and humiliate those who resisted the government’s plan to leave their private property. Joining local groups with thought leaders is a trap.

    Our loyalty is to one another, and to God, and to our chosen purposes and duties. If this virtue still exists in the heart of Americans, many of the schemes will come to nothing, waste, vanity, void. Remember spiritual law exists, and that those who wish to impoverish others may themselves come to utter destitution.

  90. E.M.Smith says:

    @BobN:

    THE big problem is that with a guy, like Obama, who has been raised from the get go immersed in the Left Progressive Agenda is a “true believer”. So is it a ‘conspiracy’ if he acts on that indoctrination? Furthermore, he was elected. Now he feels that America has endorsed his view of the world. So is it a conspiracy for him to pack agencies with “folks like him” and push “his agenda”?

    So for me I’m seeing a lot of room for “natural behaviours” and only a small role for “manufactured” (and that via the precursor efforts to take over religions, education, organizations, etc. With Soros organizations as a prime, but not the only, example.)

    Now, even worse for my “conservative” credentials: I can make a decent case for unbridled capitalism being Evil. It is. Yet we also have many ‘existence proofs’ of “Regulation gone wild” being worse, and of “Central Planning” being worse still. The only thing worse than several Evil Bastards running private empires (competing with each other) is ONE Evil Bastard with the power of government and no competition… or countervailing force. (or even worse, coordinating all those other ‘private’ Evil Bastards in the “3rd Way” fascist / socialist model). So I don’t actually have a solution. We need an ill defined and somewhat unstable balance point between those two sets of Evil Bastards. (Or some completely new system that’s never been tried…)

    All this is an essential result of basic human failures. Lust for power. Greed. Ambition.

    As long as those are with us, we will have folks like Stalin, Hitler, Soros, Pol Pot, Mao, Maurice Strong, Nixon, Obama, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, etc. etc. (Note that I’ve deliberately made a list with both “good” and “bad” folks on it… all of whom wanted to ‘change the world’ and wield power). Some will do it via private companies ( Gates ) crushing others. Some will do it via direct force and tyranny of a Dear Leader ( Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot ), and some will do it via a ‘3rd Way’ collection of the “private company” Evil Bastards working in coordination with a Central Planning and Central Control government ( Mussolini, Hitler, Obama – as a wanabe, Current China Leadership, Current Russia, Peron, Salvador Allende, etc. etc.) but the results are the same.

    FWIW, looking at Peronism can give an insight into what kind of things are likely to come.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peronism

    The pillars of the Peronist ideal, known as the “three flags”, are social justice, economic independence, and political sovereignty. Peronism can be described as a third position ideology, as it rejects the extremes of capitalism and communism. Peronism espouses corporatism and thus aims to mediate tensions between the classes of society, with the state responsible for negotiating compromise in conflicts between managers and workers.

    It is, however, a generally ill-defined ideology; different, and sometimes contradictory sentiments are expressed in the name of Peronism. Today, the legacy and thought of Perón have transcended the confines of any single political party and bled into the broader political landscape of Argentina, therefore Peronists are usually described as a ‘movement’. Traditionally the Peronist movement has drawn its strongest support from the working class and sympathetic unions, and has been characterized as proletarian in nature

    So it basically ‘went underground’ after the coup deposed it, and Argentina is still auguring in. From a leading light headed to the height of modernity and real economic wealth prior to Peron, to a collapse into a “3rd way cesspool” and now just a mess. All due to where that ideology leads.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1989_riots_in_Argentina

    The 1989 food riots were a series of riots and related episodes of looting in stores and supermarkets in Argentina, during the last part of the presidency of Raúl Alfonsín, between May and June 1989. The riots were caused by the rampant hyperinflation and food shortage, and were associated with legal protests and demonstrations.

    The first riots started in Rosario, the third-largest city in the country, when people demanded supermarkets to give away food; they quickly spread to other cities, including Greater Buenos Aires. The national government established a state of emergency. More than 40 people were arrested, and there were 14 dead (20 according to unofficial reports). Eventually President Alfonsín resigned, and president elect Carlos Menem took office six months in advance, in July

    http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/argentina/looting.htm

    CNN
    December 19, 2001

    Looting, rioting in Argentina

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) –Police stormed a city hall in western Argentina Wednesday where rioting workers had trashed their offices, smashing and overturning furniture. The frenzy was the latest as anger over a deep economic crisis boiled over around the country.

    Earlier Wednesday, police firing tear gas quelled a looting rampage by some 2,000 people in a commercial district near the capital, Buenos Aires.

    Wednesday’s unrest came after a weekend of scattered supermarket lootings in cities across the country. Argentines are desperate after four years of recession that has pushed unemployment above 18 percent. The government has partially frozen accounts to halt a run on the banks.

    http://www.dw.de/rioting-spreads-in-argentina/a-16474821

    Date: 12.22.2012

    Two people were killed in Argentina on Friday as looters broke into supermarkets in several cities. Clashes with police have stirred memories of the country’s devastating economic crisis 11 years ago.

    Police fired teargas and rubber bullets to stop dozens of stone-throwing youths from looting a supermarket owned by French retailer Carrefour near the capital, Buenos Aires, a day after the unrest erupted in the Patagonian ski resort of Bariloche.

    Government officials condemned the violence and sent 400 military police to the southern city, where raiders stormed a supermarket owned by the local unit of Wal-Mart and made off with flat-screen televisions and other goods.

    Officials said looters were apparently venting anger over a blackout that had left much of surrounding Neuquen province without power on Wednesday.

    The violence also spread to the central city of Rosario, a hub for industry and farm exports, where the two people were killed, and to the northern province of Chaco.

    And so it goes…

    So we’ve got a clear set of “existence proofs” of how this movie ends.

    1) War and complete collapse. W.W.II as a stellar example.
    2) Festering economic under performance or ongoing grinding down to “Central Planned Poverty”. (Soviet Union, Maoist China, Argentina – ongoing, USA – to come).

    Yet for some reason I really do not ken, folks keep rushing off to see that movie… again and again and again and again…

    The only “good news” out of it, IMHO, is that it is very predictable, so you can make money by knowing the future. WHY Soros is pushing it, IMHO. When he ‘broke The Bank Of England’ he was railing against the unsustainable welfare state while betting it would fail. I think he’s just given up on stupid being overcome and is just willing to ‘promote and bet on stupid’ as it’s an easy win. At what point can you call that “evil” vs “reasonable learned behaviour”? Frankly, had I his money I don’t know that I’d not be doing the same thing… I’d hope not, but then again, for a few $Billion…. So am I really any different when I “short US Stocks” and go long gold? Really? I’m seeing his organization and what it does and taking advantage of it. Is my only difference really just saying “but I don’t like it” ?

    At any rate, Argentina is full of folks of Italian, English, German and a broad swath of European backgrounds. It was seen as a Latin model of The USA at the heyday. I hope it isn’t a model of what is to come, but I see nothing to prevent it. I suggest a study of Argentine history…

  91. Zeke says:

    And here is Sec of State H R C on “internet freedom.” Using “connection technologies” supplied by the US in order to implement climate change and sustainability policies, and eliminating “information assymetry” is her idea of “internet freedom.” So don’t join any local groups, they are plants.

    Now, ultimately, this issue isn’t just about information freedom; it is about what kind of world we want and what kind of world we will inhabit. It’s about whether we live on a planet with one internet, one global community, and a common body of knowledge that benefits and unites us all, or a fragmented planet in which access to information and opportunity is dependent on where you live and the whims of censors.

    Information freedom supports the peace and security that provides a foundation for global progress. Historically, asymmetrical access to information is one of the leading causes of interstate conflict. When we face serious disputes or dangerous incidents, it’s critical that people on both sides of the problem have access to the same set of facts and opinions.

    We are also supporting the development of new tools that enable citizens to exercise their rights of free expression by circumventing politically motivated censorship. We are providing funds to groups around the world to make sure that those tools get to the people who need them in local languages, and with the training they need to access the internet safely. The United States has been assisting in these efforts for some time, with a focus on implementing these programs as efficiently and effectively as possible. Both the American people and nations that censor the internet should understand that our government is committed to helping promote internet freedom.

    We want to put these tools in the hands of people who will use them to advance democracy and human rights, to fight climate change and epidemics, to build global support for President Obama’s goal of a world without nuclear weapons, to encourage sustainable economic development that lifts the people at the bottom up.

    That’s why today I’m announcing that over the next year, we will work with partners in industry, academia, and nongovernmental organizations to establish a standing effort that will harness the power of connection technologies and apply them to our diplomatic goals. By relying on mobile phones, mapping applications, and other new tools, we can empower citizens and leverage our traditional diplomacy. We can address deficiencies in the current market for innovation.

  92. Zeke says:

    And read this post by EMSmith, which I did not intend to bury (:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/crosspatch-ripping/#comment-46254

  93. BobN says:

    @ EM Smith – My problem is that I am a student of history and what I see is bad, doesn’t make logical sense and just seems to be progressing down the road a bit more every day. Agenda 21, I know its real as I have had issues with it already. I live in Oregon and the progressives are everywhere, so much of the socialist thinking is here to see. Drones in the sky that can take out citizens, what happened to Habeas Corpus? Whats with all the military training in the cities, Florida and Houston where Helicopters came in blasting with fake ammo, it scared the citizens pretty well.
    Tanks were doing maneuvers in Saint Louis, the list is long.
    These are all dots that by themselves mean nothing, but put together a picture is forming that looks ugly. The clincher for me is all the ammunition the government is buying, not for the military and much of it 22 hollow points. I know I’m out there a bit too far, but caution on big things means surviving.

    I see a lot of trolling on the internet and am very concerned about the social media collecting information. Here is a link to a new encryption that looks interesting.

    http://libertycrier.com/tech/groundbreaking-new-encryption-app-set-to-revolutionize-privacy-and-freak-out-the-feds/?utm_source=The+Liberty+Crier&utm_campaign=29d62c6dc9-The_Liberty_Crier_Daily_News_2_6_2013&utm_medium=email

    It will be interesting to see the government response.

    I truly hope the end game is more as you describe.

  94. E.M.Smith says:

    @BobN:

    Maybe I’m just more circumspect about things. I think I could be happy under a Soviet, or under a Facism, or under a strict Free Market System. All of them “have issues”. The ‘trick’ is not to mind.(tm) To find times, places, ways to be happy in any case.

    It think most folks are like that. The typical person mounting tires on cars or baking bread doesn’t see much difference working for The Evil Bastard Capitalist Slave Driver or the Soviet Commissar Slave Driver, or the Fascist Union Government Combine. Go to work, do the work, go home. Mostly the cage changes and the ration is a bit different.

    So you find ways to enjoy life. Maybe it’s plotting the overthrow of the Evil Bastards. Maybe it is just roasting your own coffee beans at home ( either as it is cheaper and better than Herr Commissar Special or to impress your neighbors with your skill). Or maybe it is growing the perfect petunia.

    In short, I think maybe I’m just more jaded about it all.

    So what would change in my life after a Military Coup and The U.S.Soviet was formed? Well, most likely I’d have an easier time getting a job, but it would be one I would like less. My dream of ‘making it big’ writing that ‘killer book’ would likely end; but I’ve not done it in the last 30 years so it’s likely going to die soon anyway. We already live in a functional police state with oppressive laws, so that doesn’t change. We already have near zero functional privacy. I’d not be ‘in favor’ with those in power, but I’m already in that camp.

    In short: As a peon, it just doesn’t change much.

    Do I really care who is “winning” at levels of social life I will never reach? Do I really care if Bill Gates vs Steve Jobs vs The Koch Brothers vs Soros vs Kerry & The Ketchup Queen vs AlGore vs Coors win / lose more? I’m simply not in the game at all anyway…

    What will they do? Confiscate my 20 year old car that needs repair? Kick me out of my too small house that needs a new roof? If “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose”, then I’m free; no matter what “they” do, from any side.

    I’d grieve a bit for the America that had been, and that could have been. But that America is already gone. It just no longer exists.

    So maybe that’s why I’m just not worked up about it all much.

    Now, look back at how the Soviet Union ended. “The Folks” just decided they were tired of it. Whole armies just changed sides. THE big problem facing anyone wanting to do a “coup” is simply that “The Folks” would largely be eyeballing it saying “This ain’t American…” and no amount of military “stuff” can get past that. Again, look at Argentina. Peron was deposed from within by a collection of Generals:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peron

    On September 16, 1955, a nationalist Catholic group from both the Army and Navy, led by General Eduardo Lonardi, General Pedro E. Aramburu, and Admiral Isaac Rojas, led a revolt from Córdoba. Taking power in a coup three days later, which they named Revolución Libertadora (the “Liberating Revolution”). Perón barely escaped with his life, leaving Nelly Rivas behind, and fleeing on the gunboat ARP Paraguay provided by Paraguayan leader Alfredo Stroessner, up the Paraná River.

    Now I’d much rather live in the USA of the 1950s to 1990s than in the Argentina of Peron or the aftermath; and the country has still not recovered and still spends its days admiring the Socialism Shiny Thing, so still has food riots and worse.

    Yet I’d wager that the average folks in Argentina still find ways to enjoy a day at the beach, catch some fish, have the occasional BBQ, watch TV etc. etc.

    So, from my point of view, the whole thing of Socialism -> collapse -> tyrants -> eventual rebirth is more interesting as an intellectual thing than as anything really threatening. Maybe I’m naive about it all. But I just can’t see where it really matters much to those of us “in the bottom half of the ‘advantaged’ curve” just who all is in “the other half”…

    Maybe it’s just the cultural baggage of history. Celts living under the thumb of the English. Celts living under the thumb of the Romans. Celts living under the thumb of Napoleon, or Hitler, or Charlemagne or the EU. Sure, I’d like a traditional old meritocracy with personal responsibility and liberty of the old Celtic world. But it’s been a few thousand years now and I’m not going to hold my breath that it’s coming back any time soon…

    So what’s one thumb vs another?

    So I”m more than happy to just watch the “Free Market Evil Bastard Monopolist Wanabes” fight with the “Social Justice Via Government Tyrant Wannabes” for who gets to pick my pocket and how. As there isn’t much of interest in said pocket, well, to quote Gomer: “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!” The only thing I have of value, really, is my intellectual insights. Those have nearly no monetary value ( all told, I think I’ve got about $500 of non-contract income from intellectual insights… over several years). So mostly those are of worth to me. Given that, well, I can “think for me” just fine no mater what the government structure is that I find I am trapped inside.

    As Adolfo puts it: “Buy more popcorn”.

    Essentially, it’s pretty much all just a “Stupid Show” put on by folks too stupid to realize the folly of grasping after the illusion of power and the fantasy of historical importance. In 500 years they won’t even be foot notes in whatever comes next.

    Or, more practically: This Century is the Chinese Century. They are doing everything more right than anyone else right now. So as they become THE dominant superpower, does anyone really think that President H. Clinton can do jack shit about it in 2020? Does anyone really think a bunch of “20 Something” and “30 Something” new Hispanic Citizens from her latest “Social Justice Amnesty” will then be lining up to go Die For America against the Chinese in a fight over fishing rights in the South China Sea or liberty for Taiwan? Or protect EU oil routes from OPEC? Sorry, just not going to happen.

    So we will get to watch The Stupid Show as China takes over Asia / Pacific / Africa / Indian Ocean. The USA becomes Argentina in 1945-1950, and Russia and the EU posture over who picks what pocket the best.

    Somewhere in there things will “blow up”. Exactly where / when is a bit murky. Right now it’s a bit of a tossup from Israel / Muslims on one end to N.Korea / everyone on the other. Honorable mention for China vs Russia and China vs India vs Pakistan as possibles. But I think China is too smart for that.

    When that happens, it will be nuclear and it will spread. Iran and N. Korea will try to drag us into it and we will likely lose a city or two in the process. In the end, the EU will be a shambles, Asia will glow in the dark in some large parts, and the USA will have some level of livable damage. Russia will survive though with ‘issues’ and China could lose a few dozen million people and not notice…

    Given all that as “likely”, that some fools are playing for who gets to wear the Shiny Hat and Badge and Carry The Baton at the head of the parade just makes them look pityable… dogs about to sink their teeth into a tire doing 40 mph…

    So who wins in that? South America (which would be great but for their ongoing playing with the Socialism Shiny Thing… so they avoid the war damage and continue to suffer dysfunctional governments…), Canada (that ‘only’ has to deal with freezing for 20 years… then an ice age glacial onset..), Australia & New Zealand (that get to deal with 3 Billion people just north of them looking for somewhere to escape the troubles), and parts of Sub-Shara Africa (that are so backwards anyway it is hard to call that ‘winning’)

    Frankly, the only place that looks like it gets a ‘skate’ is the Pacific Islands, but even then only those far enough from China to not be caught up in a USA / China / Japan fight over Pacific Domination.

    Now The Powers That Be in the UN / Bilderbergers / et.al. think they have control of all this. They think that they have ‘deals’ with folks like the House of Saud and China Central Committee. They are fools. Such deals only last as long as each group thinks they are winning. That is easy to do when splitting up a growing pie. BUT “the folks” have little incentive to make the pie grow, and even less as we move to a more Central Planning 3rd Way system. The pie is going to shrink, not grow, and possibly with some speed.

    WHEN that happens, the deals start to unravel and systems start to break down. The self centered “natural agendas” dominate and the “co-opetition” turns into competition for dominance. (It is just how we are wired… so very unlikely to change.)

    Will Russia “go quietly into that dark night” of Chinese domination? Will India let China have Kashmir? Pakistan? Will Japan feel comfortable with a dominant China and a retreating USA? Nope. Will Islam embrace Israel? Will Sunni and Shia ‘agree to disagree’ as some of them have their oil run out?

    Frankly, what I see is that the USA of “Post W.W.II” was the military glue keeping this whole thing from blowing up. We are now in rapid industrial and financial decline in a non-recoverable spiral. Sure, fixating on the internal issues of Social Promises that can never be met and a Budget Catastrophe about to explode are interesting; but IMHO the “real issue” is the removal of the USA as global power that will inevitably result from that.

    The P.T.Be think they become the inheritors of a world government and global / UN military. In reality that will never happen. The only effective military in the UN bucket has been the USA (and then often when standing next to it, but not wearing blue hats). NATO in large part too. The EU is one big Aw Shit away from a return to dozens of squabbling countries and with worse internal financial dynamics than the USA / California. Russia knows this and is rebuilding. China knows this and it is building fast. Islam knows this and is trying to build a new Caliphate (and already ‘has the bomb’ in Pakistan, with Iran ‘soon’ and nothing stopping them).

    So they have ‘played footsy’ as long as they had the US Military in their face. But that military is unsustainable. ( It would be sustainable with a mixed market economy ala 1950-70 but not under a Central Planning Regulation Nation of 2000-2020) So it WILL retreat from the world stage. (Only questions are how fast and how orderly. Already cutting carrier groups in the Persian Gulf in half and the crisis hasn’t even started yet.)

    Any guesses on what happens to “One World Order” when that happens and when Russia and China both want to run the show? When Germany finally gets tired of carrying Greece and Spain on its back AND the Greeks and Spaniards get tired of German Rules? Folks are always for a bigger pot as long as they think their cards might win; but once they think the game is rigged, or they have a nice pile of chips to cash out; well, “things can get ugly”… and if The Enforcer is seen as getting drunk in the corner and asking to borrow some bullets for his gun… well, watch the knives come out…

    In that context, I find it hard to get worked up about a Petty Socialist Wanabe putting bananas and condoms in school or demanding we all eat our vegetables or even getting pissy about gun owners. That doesn’t even rise to the level of noise in the bigger picture.

    Sure, I’ll complain about the stupidity of it in the particulars. But really, will I care? Does it really change the risks of life if bullets are banned in California? When the largest risks are a N. Korean nuke dropping from the sky, a China buyout of state lands, or an Iranian Nut Job launching nukes at us too? Do I care about a Federal Farm Strangling Regulation burden when China will own the farms in 20 years anyway? (Then lose them in the following wars…)

    In short: IMHO the stable world of post W.W.II US domination has ended, and the result of that makes all the rest a bit irrelevant. Even the binary world of USSR vs USA had a curious stability that is now gone. That some damn fool or other thinks they can control that mess makes for a classic Greek Tragedy / Comedy… Hubris. Vanity. Pride. Sorrow. and all. But one where I’m watching, not on stage.

  95. EM – reminds me of the old man in the Italian whorehouse in “Catch-22″.

  96. BobN says:

    @ EM Smith

    Indeed, you are way more circumspect than almost all. That is a great ability and attribute to have.
    I try and read the tea leaves whenever possible and anticipate most events and use them to my advantage. The difference being I love the concept of the Republic which our country is based on. Other forms of government that tell me what to do, I want no part of. As things stand today, one can make a good argument that we are no better than any of the others, we just have veiled allusions of freedom. I grew up in a country that is way different than the last 10 years, I don’t like what is happening and will do everything in my power to reverse this dreadful slide.

    The picture you paint of the world is quite close to my beliefs of where things are headed, but with proper leadership much of this can be altered, there in lies the problem, getting people to wake up and vote for sane policies that care more about the future of their children and grandchildren, than weather they get free cell phones or a government stipend. Americas problem is more a failure of character than it is of other things. Corrupt bankers, politicians and power mad folks than want to be the puppet masters all come from a society that allows this type of rot to fester in its society.

    We are in rapid decline and the rest of the world will miss us once we are gone. We have been the country they all loved to hate, but without the super power intervention it will cause power shifts and emergence of evil bastards throughout the world. Most people see China on the Horizon as the next big power, I feel this will not turn out as people expect as China has serious internal problems that can erupt at any time and I expect it to.

    The US needs to retrench and start doing things that help the economy become strong. Stop spending on all the crazy things, balance the Budget, Educate the people and that means breaking the stranglehold of the teaches union. Take advantage of our natural resources and become energy independent. I’m not ready to throw in the towel, we just need to quit deferring to other countries on all business deals. Redo NAFTA to not give other countries advantages over ours. Our economic policies are insane, we drive jobs off shore, we allow Unions to ruin our competitive edge. We are literally doing everything wrong to become or to stay and economic power, we just need to turn the economic ship around with sound policies, I’m convinced we are our own worst enemy.

    We live in an evil world and the only way to live in that world is to be militarily strong so no one will mess with you. By that, I don’t believe in policing the world. We need to shut down our bases in Europe and most of Asia. Get out of the Middle East, period. Push technology so that oil becomes obsolete and when the money leaves the middle east, it will once again look like a bunch of camel herders, not a world threat.

    Russia and China both are renewing the Nuclear arsenal and building new weapon systems, at the same time our government wants unilateral disarmament, an insane policy that only invites other to become bullies. It is expensive to have a good military, but if we don’t go fight the oil wars and police the world, but instead build high tech weapons that make Fortress America a reality, it will not be that expensive and it will foster an internal business infrastructure. We need World class fighters and bombers, with hyper speed missiles and missile defense systems. We don’t need big standing armies ready to go bail out Saudi Arabia when the caliphate gets to their door.

    If I was King for a day I would radically change the direction of this country, as I feel all is not lost and our better days are ahead of us, or at least can be, if we stop the insanity of our present policies.

    I grew up dirt poor, but with the freedom offered by our system I was able to make a small fortune. I trusted too much in a rogue manager and have lost much of that fortune due to my own carelessness, but at least it was my decisions, my efforts, not some bureaucrat. I am not about to toss in the towel as my kids and grand kids lives are too important. I want them to have the same opportunity to succeed or fail based on their efforts and not some bureaucrat telling them what the must do and how they will live. To this end, I will not give in to what appears to be happening. Maybe I end up cannon fodder, but to preserve what I hold dear one can not go along to get along and roll with the punches. Life is all about the struggle and contributing to the betterment of mankind, that being Science, Agriculture or Politics, we weren’t put on this earth to let a few dictate our lives and determine our values. Once more into the breach.

    Having said the above, your scenario is way more likely to evolve than what I hope for this country and the world, but I believe one must try to make a better life, if not for me but those that follow. I’m sure there was a lot of despair as to the world situation before World War II, but I believe our fathers efforts were worth the price. Now its our turn to make the right decisions.

  97. Wayne Job says:

    EM fear not ” Americans always do the right thing after exhausting all other possibilities” Winston Churchill. I have great faith that America shall awaken to the reality of the bad dream you have been living, and adults with logical thought processes will once more rule the land.

  98. Pingback: Online Non-Government School | Musings from the Chiefio

  99. Jason Calley says:

    Well, anyone with their eyes open can look around and make a pretty good case that the world is going to perdition in a hand basket, and yet there may be more hope than we think. Consider this. Every major technological advance in the last millennium or so has be a step that increased the power of the individual. Gunpowder, the printing press, Newtonian physics, the steam engine, electric lights, internal combustion engines, etc. Each of these has given the average person more defensive capability, more information, more insight, more access to physical power, more mobility. Each of these advances has also been accompanied by major upheavals in the social and governmental structures. The natural reaction of the Powers That Be to each of these advances was a desperate attempt to maintain the old order. Look at the Protestant Revolution, the upheavals of the Age of Enlightenment, the shifting political and economic structures produced by the steam propulsion, the effect of mass automobiles on family structures, etc.
    We are in the middle of another shift, this one brought about by digital information. The average person now — for the first time in history — has access to massive amount of information from other individuals around the globe. This is an EXTRAORDINARY advance in the capability of the individual, and The Powers That Be are desperately trying to maintain their control over the minds and wallets of their huge herds of tax slaves. The world is in an uproar because the old belief system is falling apart.
    I do not mean to sound too stary eyed; we will most likely see enormous economic hardship and blood in the streets before things stabilize. We will never see the old America back; the Constitution is pretty well a dead letter. Still, the ideas of the old America are more widely diffused than ever; right now, there are young men and women around the world being exposed to Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine for the first time. That is enormously good for us all. So, large scale and long term, expect the world of 30 years from now to be a better place. Expect the massive exchange of postings and emails and LOL cats to erase some of the old fear of one nation for another. Expect the increased availability of 3D printers to facilitate decentralized production of open source hardware. Expect increasing availability of user friendly encryption to allow some regain of lost privacy. Expect (and I hope P.G. is right about this one!) some new source of small scale decentralized power generation. Expect telepresence and virtual reality to open up experience new to humans.
    The world is a scary place right now, and the fact is, we really are living in dangerous times. On the other hand childbirth is a dangerous process, and painful as well. That is (metaphorically) what we are experiencing right now. It is painful, but a new child is always a source of hope.

  100. philjourdan says:

    @E.M.Smith says: 7 February 2013 at 7:51 am

    You seem to be on a journey similar to Albert Camus – The post referenced is eerily like the Stranger.

  101. Zeke says:

    I’ll be glad when EM feels better. I felt the same way a couple of weeks ago. Here, read this.

    http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html

    That’ll sort ya out, mate.

  102. E.M.Smith says:

    @Philjourdan:

    Ah yes, Camus. I keep thinking I ought to read his works, then never get around to it. “Cliff Notes” is about as far as I get. Somehow, works that spend lots of energy to get you to emote about the absurdity of emoting have, um, “issues” for me ;-)

    But generally, yes, I have an admiration for The Absurd as an insight into the “meaning” of life, and yes, I’m somewhat “unmoved” by a lot of it. That Albert Camus discovered that before me is interesting ( in a ‘why should I care – I do not live life through others’ kind of way).

    So from what I’ve read about him and his works, we are somewhat “Fellow Travelers” on some issues. (Not so much on others, like Socialism.) But things like the absurdity of a legal system that puts weight on emotional aspects. That says being un-emotive about a crime is somehow itself criminal. Is it really “worse” somehow If I were to shoot an attacker and not care (since he is a scum bag for attacking me) v.s. if I care and agonize over it (as I am emotionally unprepared for reality)? The guy is still dead. I still killed him. It was either justifiable self defense, or not. Beyond that is farce. And an Absurd Farce at that.

    So maybe I’m just too much like Meursault to really get wound up in a book about someone like Meursault and how they contend (or fail to contend) with those more “normal” and emotive. It is something I already “know”, so reading someone exploring it isn’t all that interesting to me…

    Or maybe it’s just that The French like to agonize so over such points of philosophy and I’m more interested in shows with more action and less pondering ;-) Just accept that it is absurd and meaningless and fire up the action! (Now that’s more American ;-)

    Then again… It did sound a lot like Camus… and does have the French Noir Malaise…

    @Jason Calley:

    One hopes so… but I know that with present technology I could make systems such that “revolt” would be impossible. Some of that is also being built right now. As partial evidence (a bit short of proof) there is simply the fact that there has been no significant terrorist attack on American soil since 9-11. We have an unrelenting attacker who likes working via underground cells and can clearly self-identify folks of their cultural / genetic background. About as hard a group to infiltrate and co-opt as you could define. Yet it has been disrupted.

    So that argues that “The System” is already working very well against one of the hardest resistance groups. In that context, what hope is there for a “minor resistance” that is more open? Essentially, any such “movement for change” exists only at the pleasure of the “The System”… so is no different from being a part of it…

    Already with a few key strokes “agencies” can find out most all of what you buy, where you go, with whom you communicate, and bring down loads of hurt on you on a whim. It takes a lot of effort just to not leave an endless stream of records about you with everything you do. In that context, having a classical ‘resistance cell’ is darned near impossible. So that added “empowerment” of the individual comes with a very short leash to a choke collar… Think if you by a load of black powder and short pipes / end caps that some record isn’t going to be found “interesting” by some scanning system? Think if your cell phone and the cell phone of a ‘person of interest’ are in the same cell every Tuesday that will not be picked up “right quick”? Heck, I won’t even check some kinds of books out of the library any more (as we now monitor that…). So were I doing research for a novel on Arab Terrorists, there is some stuff I’d only read “in place” and not checked out (and then likely only with a wide brimmed hat and big shades on… and the cell phone left at home…)

    So not to ‘rain on your parade’ of positive vibes… but I think tech moves us closer to “effective police state” and further from “a million revolutionaries”. The real “hope” is just that the guy at the keyboard likes the movie Brazil…

    @Wayne Job:

    One Hopes… but you know what I think about hope…

    @Zeke:

    OK, but later…

    That someone else went through the same absurd cycle does not seem to educate the masses to prevent going through it again… so I’m not sure how it applies (other than as solace that it’s all been done before…)

  103. philjourdan says:

    @E.M. – re: Camus – actually the reference was into his nihilistic beginnings (The Stranger is the beginning of Camus’ journey through his self awakening). Basically the hero (if you can call any of his characters that) comes to the conclusion that whether you do X or Y does not matter.

  104. philjourdan says:

    BTW: That is not an endorsement to read him. He is very dry and boring. And really is not worth the effort. I had to (40 years ago), but it did have a lasting impact on an adolescent mind.

  105. E.M.Smith says:

    @PhilJourdan:

    OK, I can see how it looks kind of nihilistic. Except I’m not saying so much that “nobody” matters as I’m saying that I don’t matter. (Though with overtones of ‘the leadership of fools’ doesn’t matter as they are foolish…and time will forget them…)

    I do think there are key ‘hinge points’ of history and key people at those moments. One, IMHO, just past. The re-election of Obama says that the USA has changed in a fundamental way and for the worse. We, collectively, just want more “free stuff”…

    Similarly, the war in Syria and the near re-revolution in Egypt are ‘hinge points’. How they end will determine much. Also how Obama handles the Iran Nuclear Quest will make a big difference to history. IFF we had the right guy in that position right now, the entire future would be much better, but we don’t.

    So I’m not quite “nihilistic” in that I’m not for anarchy and do not believe that “nobody matters”. Rather I believe that “most of us don’t matter”… That’s different ;-)

  106. Mark Miller says:

    @E.M.Smith:

    In the end, it comes to down to “Will stupid win?”

    Unfortunately, there’s a whole lot of stupid in the world…

    I have had this notion in my mind since Obama got elected that we are “rhyming” history. A couple knowledgeable conservatives, going back to about ’06, hinted that we might be doing that, in the sense that the “first round” of the GWOT was rather like WW I. We’re now in the process of “winding that down” without really resolving anything, as WW I didn’t. The problem festers, with dumb decisions on foreign policy, economics, and finance, eschewing risk, with “smarts” deployed in unproductive directions, which some benefit from. Things begin to collapse, but actions are not taken to correct the underlying problems, just paper them over, because looking at the real problems steps on too many toes who would have real power to rebel. So the problems mount up, more stupid decisions are made, making things worse. The existing regime gets blamed, and discredited, and then authoritarians start taking over, because, “The masses are stupid,” and the people with power either don’t understand enough about what’s really going on, or have no interest in solving the real problems, because they benefit much more by doing other things, until another big conflagration occurs, like WW II.

    Another idea I throw into the mix is something Carl Sagan warned about in the mid-90s: “We have built a society on science and technology in which nobody knows anything about science and technology, and sooner or later this mixture of power and ignorance is going to blow up in our faces.” What I take this to mean is that more things become possible, to a greater effect, than existed 30 years ago, but many do not have the capacity to understand the implications of those effects, and so short-term decisions end up having widespread devastating consequences. As a result, people will look to *somebody* to exercise more control over decisions and actions, because they will feel more and more threatened by what they can’t understand and control on their own.

    Something I’ve been becoming more conscious of is that as our society has advanced technologically, we as a society have used those advancements not as platforms to stand on to create more advancement, but rather as crutches, making life easier and more care-free. We come to expect this same effect from our society. We gain a false confidence that since this was possible in the past, it will continue into the future. We feel confident that we will think less and less about what we do, because it’s just expected that society with technology, with “smarts deployed on it,” will handle our problems for us, and we eschew responsibility for them. “Stupid” has gotten by for so long it expects to continue to get by in the future, because society keeps coming up with ways of picking up after it.

    “Smart” is further encouraged, through economics and politics, to handle problems created by “stupid,” or better yet to devise ways to stop people from making stupid decisions, without giving them the intellectual foundation so that they don’t make those decisions in the future by themselves. This creates more work for “smart” (job security!) This can be called “problem solving.” Meanwhile no one looks at basic assumptions that underly our actions, and questions them, because we’re too busy looking at the symptoms. Stopping to consider the foundations is too threatening. Too many people are used to them, and the way we’ve solved problems with them. Perhaps the only way the existing order gets challenged is by circumstances destroying it, with a little help from people who are not that interested in creating some order that allows some harmony, don’t particularly like the existing order, and welcome the destruction.

    @BobN:

    I agree with E.M.’s comments. As I think entrepreneurs know, if your competitors are having their way with you, it’s not all their fault. A big part of it is your problem. Buck up! Whether there’s a grand conspiracy against us or not, I think that’s what we’re being called to do. It’s a matter of whether we’re listening, and part of that is being able to understand what the “message” is. There are indications all around for us to see, if we would but look. First we have to have “eyes to see, and ears to hear.”

  107. E.M.Smith says:

    @Mark Miller:

    I think you will like:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/11/26/small-tyrants-large-tyrannies/

    which looks at “The tyranny of small decisions”… Now ask what happens when ‘stupid’ is making many of those small decisions and “smart” it trying to fix things by patching on a few more…

  108. Mark Miller says:

    This kind of dovetails with my last comment. You may remember seeing this ad a few years ago for Glenn Beck’s book “The Overton Window”

    He explained that it was from Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “The Gods of the Copybook Headings.” He read the full thing on his show, but by the end of it, I still couldn’t quite get what he was talking about, except to say that civilization goes through this cycle of forgetting what sustains it, but I thought it was because of people who told you what to believe, and expected no questions.

    Bill Whittle did a better job explaining it, IMO, explaining the terms Kipling used.

    So what he was really saying is that civilization goes through this cycle over and over again of rising to some height, and then falling, because society always falls for false notions, and destroys itself, only to be reborn again when people return to some immutable principles.

  109. Mark Miller says:

    @E.M.Smith:

    most of us don’t matter

    I’ve been coming around to that idea. I find that my political actions are more “optional” now than I once thought. There’s also a sense of having “paid at the office.” Back in the ’90s I worked my heart out supporting Perot for president, and the institutions he tried (and failed) to set up and maintain, advocating for fiscal conservatism and entitlement reform. He got a brief audience with the public on those issues in 1992, but afterwards he was largely ignored. Still, we had an impact, for a time. One reason the Republican Revolution of the ’90s worked to reduce the rate of gov’t spending was because they catered to the “Perot vote.” We were, as a constituency, just a bargaining chip for the two parties to fight over, at least until the 2000 election, when we destroyed ourselves. The net effect of that experience is that anytime someone comes along and asks me to get involved in advocating for fiscal responsibility/entitlement reform, my response is, “Been there, done that.” I still do it with whoever will listen, but I think I’m done being part of a widespread campaign trying to convince people to be on the gov’t dole less. Rock meet immovable object. Knock yourselves out. They call it “the third rail of politics” for a reason. I’m more than willing to see someone else come along who can do a better job than we did on those issues.

    As you were describing your attitude towards living under different regimes, it reminded me of the attitude I once heard about with the British peasantry during the Middle Ages. Each fief under feudalism had its local lord. British lords fought and conquered each other regularly. British kings were overthrown on a regular basis as well, sometimes by a foreign prince. To the peasant it made no difference. They knew full well what was going on, but they knew that they weren’t going to be that affected. The kingdom still needed their produce. All that changed was who they delivered the lord’s share to, and to whom they paid taxes. The lords and kings didn’t get into their daily lives. The only exception I can think of was there was that time when Britain separated from the Catholic Church… I don’t know how that filtered down to the peasant’s personal beliefs.

  110. crosspatch says:

    To the peasant it made no difference. They knew full well what was going on, but they knew that they weren’t going to be that affected.

    It depends on what part of history you are looking at. When England was under attack from different cultures, say it was the Vikings against the Saxons, it mattered a great deal. The people were slaughtered or run off their land. There is this story of Alfred the Great that you might want to read about, for example. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_the_Great

  111. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. “So not to ‘rain on your parade’ of positive vibes… but I think tech moves us closer to “effective police state” and further from “a million revolutionaries”. The real “hope” is just that the guy at the keyboard likes the movie Brazil… ”

    By all means, rain away! You can’t even get flowers without a little rain. :) As for the parade, yes, I am predicting a parade, but let me emphasize that I am speaking long term. As I said, “we will most likely see enormous economic hardship and blood in the streets before things stabilize.” Based on past historical episodes of cultural reformation, I doubt that either you or I will live long enough to see the band march past — but your children may see it, and if you are so lucky as to get grandkids, I think that they are quite likely to see it. As far as optimism goes, my hoped for scenario is that we (the USA) pass through the next decade as gracefully as the USSR did during the 1990s — and trust me, that was NOT a period of sweetness and rainbows, just much more survivable than I would have expected. You and I may not get to see the parade, but I do hope to last long enough to at least hear the music coming up the road.

    I do disagree, however, with the premise that the lack of major terrorist attacks on US soil indicates that a pervasive intelligence system has prevented such events. Yes, that is certainly one possible reason for the lack of attack, but I am sure that either of us could think of a half dozen other plausible reasons for such a non-recurrence. Which is not to say that library books are not monitored; they are. I just assume that all of my emails, my phone calls and my cell GPS readings are 100% recorded. In fact, I assume that my private conversations are monitored if anyone present has a cell phone with them. No, I am not paranoid, but I assume such monitoring for exactly the same reason that my default assumption is that all firearms are loaded; it is safer to start that way and then change my mind as new facts become available.

    Oh, by the way, re Brazil — great movie! I’ll never look at rogue plumbers the same way again. :)

  112. philjourdan says:

    @E.M. – The analogy was not perfect. I was referring more to your view of the Political/Economic systems and how you would fare. That was the parallel. In other words, it matters not whether A or B wins the election. It matters not if we move toward or away from freedom. In the end, there is not much difference in how your life is lived (to paraphrase).

    But enough of Camus – I have sidetracked your article too much as it is.

  113. Mark Miller says:

    @E.M.Smith:

    As I read about the TSD in climate science it sounded more and more like a not-well-developed engineering discipline, though the alarmists aren’t conscious of it. What I’ve seen again and again around AGW is an intolerance for precision re. their own theory, as though, “We’re dealing with something so big and massive, the ‘small things’ don’t matter. It all comes out in the wash.” However, if some scientist comes along and claims their alarmism is without merit, well then they’ll nit pick their results to death. Bill Whittle’s analogy of the model maker in the basement comes to mind. “Don’t disturb my model. I love it so.”

    I can kind of relate to this. I told you before about a gravitational particle system I developed on a computer years ago to look at the idea of the Solar System forming out of a random collection of elements. Due to limitations of my knowledge of how to model it graphically, I stuck to a 2D system, and I kept the entire system to the size of my screen. Two things that made my model unrealistic right off the bat. Another limitation I noticed right away was that I could not precisely model gravitational interactions between bodies (using Newton’s formula), because of the discreteness of values in a digital computer. Newton’s formula is a continuous function, but I had to model it on the basis of time slices. I suppose I could’ve used a curve smoothing function to interpolate the influence of gravity between “moves” of particles, but I didn’t know how to do that. So I just acknowledged to myself that there would be “gaps” in space where particles would be “free” of gravity’s influence.

    Then I noticed that if I let the system run au natural I’d eventually get a blank screen, because the particles would drift “out of range.” In terms of 3D graphics terminology, I had a “fixed camera view.” I didn’t think to calculate center of gravity, and move the origin of the “camera” and such at the time. So, to compensate, anytime a particle would drift off-screen, I would reposition it to the center of the screen, just to “keep things interesting.”

    One time while letting the model run for a few hours, I noticed it developed into a self-sustaining orbital system. Interesting, but I had the presence of mind to acknowledge to myself that it was not a realistic result, because I had “jimmy’d” it so it would be “interesting,” and easy to program. I just enjoyed watching it go sometimes, but I wasn’t going to sell it and say, “Here’s proof!”

    I did notice, however, that people might buy it as a legitimate model, even if I explained its shortcomings. I had dinner one evening with a retired engineer who used to work for AT&T. I told him about my model, and what motivated me to build it. I told him about what I did to it to “keep it interesting,” and I told him about this one result I got. Even though I had told him about the ways I had limited and manipulated it, he still got this far off fascinated look in his eyes. Maybe he was able to picture as I did what a beautiful and interesting result that was in its own right, even if it was a totally abstract model, but I wondered after that if he had somehow glossed over the shortcomings in his own mind to try to reach a conclusion that this was somehow “evidence” for the theory.

    What I saw with that was that trying to accurately model a gravitational environment with a computer is not as easy as I thought it would be (“Just apply Newton’s formula”). I mean, after all, there’s also Einstein’s General Relativity as it applies to warped space-time, which is a better model anyway. Something we heard about in high school physics, but never really learned, and which we didn’t cover at all in freshman physics in college. Everything I did was a way of compensating for my own shortcomings in modeling skill, creating something that to the uninitiated observer resembled what the theory said, and provided validation for it. I was creating my own “Primrose path” to what was perhaps an inevitable conclusion.

    I don’t mean to make an analogy here to climate models, though I think there are some legitimate analogies that can be made from my experience. What I’m getting at is I looked for ways to stay within the constraints of the limitations of my knowledge, yet get something that looked convincing. That’s what I saw going on with your example of the TSD with AGW. Each step was taken as a way to waive the limitations of knowledge, to get past the limitations and weaknesses of the instrumentation, in favor of “making progress” on the research, ignoring potential phenomena out of convenience.

    What jumped out at me in particular was the notion that error could be ignored. Once you ignore error, you’ve left science altogether. Even if one acknowledged that there was a kind of engineering going on, one would have to say that it wasn’t that good, because modern engineering acknowledges the existence of tolerances, that even though you may buy a lot of 5″ bolts, they’re going to be 5″ +/- 0.05″, that can withstand a certain amount of stress, plus/minus some amount.

    I remember back when I studied AGW in some depth finding an old video that was made around 1991 which talked about how the issue of growing metropolitan areas was impacting fixed thermometer sites. The producers went around and asked a few in the alarmist camp about this and they’d say, “We’ve compensated for that.” When they’d go to some skeptics about it they’d say, “What they did was say, ‘Eh, we’ll guess and subtract from the temperature by some factor and call it a day’.” They went back to the alarmists about this, and they acknowledged that’s what they did, and called it “accurate.” When they were asked why they didn’t study the impact, measuring how different materials in different quantities in different settings impacted ambient temperature, the alarmists just chuckled and basically said, “We don’t need to do that. This is good enough.” We’re just quibbling over small details. Even if the made up factor tended to favor the skeptic position, how is this good practice? If it’s acceptable to just guess that some ambient heat is being added to the temperature reading, and to subtract that amount, then why not “guess” and add some factor in some other circumstance that makes the temperature look warmer? It creates an atmosphere of *arbitrary* decisions, not just small decisions. “Whatever we think is going *is* what’s going on. We’re fine, because we’re smart, educated people. We won’t do anything outrageous, because we know what’s realistic.” They set up a dynamic within the discipline that preferences their biases, maybe not towards the conclusion that AGW is real (though it’s hard to dismiss evidence that that’s going on, too), but towards a sense that small details don’t matter, and worse that there’s no need to challenge assumptions, to get the error as small as possible, and to ask the question, “How are we seeing this, and is that good enough?”

    The worst part about it is even if one looks at it as engineering, it’s not engineering towards anything that can prove their theories wrong. For example, it’s my understanding that when the first suspension bridges were built, the engineers didn’t take harmonic motion into account. Then there was the famous case of a suspension bridge that began to gyrate when struck by wind of a certain speed, and fell apart. Engineers had a case of failure which they couldn’t ignore. If the alarmists get it wrong, it doesn’t cost them anything. They can quickly revise their models so “they now work” (matches prior data). They can maintain their publicly stated position, and march on. Even if a tremendous snow storm comes along they can call it AGW, because there’s nothing that most people can point to and say, “It fell apart. You were wrong.” The reason being that the atmosphere is still so little understood. That gives deluded people lots of room to “play” in.

    Trenberth made the most revealing comment re. the state of climate science when he said re. geoengineering that it was “tragic” that they had no way of measuring whether attempts to cool the atmosphere would have the desired effect. Just applying logic to that, one could say as well that it’s “tragic” they have no way of measuring if human activity is having an effect on the atmosphere’s temperature generally.

Comments are closed.