Thanksgiving Open Thread

For years our Progs have been telling us that Thanksgiving is just the memorial of the racist, white Europeans who invaded the Americas and deliberately with malice aforethought committed genocide against the native peoples. Now that we’ve got to get Obama’s refugees into America, the Progs are all about how if we don’t allow the refugees in, we’re betraying the very idea of Thanksgiving…which, per the Progs, is the idea of invading and massacring. I don’t think our Progs ever think things through.

But what is Thanksgiving, really? Just what it says – giving thanks. To God, boys and girls. For all that we have. And for the overwhelming majority of us, that is quite a lot.

Here ends another day, during which I have had eyes, ears, hands and the great world around me. Tomorrow begins another day. Why am I allowed two? – G K Chesterton

To be given two days of life is something astounding. And most of us are given many decades of it – and, indeed, an eternity of it, if we want. Be thankful on Thanksgiving – if you are, then you’re doing it right.

That Iran deal thingy? State Department says it isn’t legally binding. At the end of the day, the only legally-binding thing of the Obama Era is ObamaCare – and that only because the Supreme Court re-wrote it for him, twice. The good news here is that the next President is simply not bound by most of what Obama has accomplished.

Rubio might have actually killed off ObamaCare, by the way.

In polling, Trump is still running away with it – but keep in mind that at around this time in 2003, Howard Dean was at 23% and Kerry was at 4%. Things can change massively in a very short time.

76 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Open Thread

  1. Retired Spook November 26, 2015 / 10:52 am

    On vacation at my daughter’s in Kansas since late last week, but just wanted to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. Typing one-fingered on a tablet prevents me from going into a long analysis of events of the last week. Besides, Cluster and Amazona covered it pretty well in the previous thread.

  2. Cluster November 26, 2015 / 5:03 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving y’all. Next year will mark my 10th anniversary here at B4V with you goof balls. Hard to believe. If climate change doesn’t wipe us out, I may make another 10.

  3. Amazona November 28, 2015 / 12:16 am

    We have a new entry in the “Just How Disgusting Can Some People Be?” category.

    After the shooting today in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at a Planned Parenthood clinic, this gem of ham-handed politicizing of a tragedy to smear opponents and gain political advantage appeared.

    Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said in a written statement. “We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country. We will never back away from providing care in a safe, supportive environment that millions of people rely on and trust.”

    Yeah, Vicki, caring about the brutal butchery of tiny defenseless human beings IS, to someone like you, the territory of “extremists”. And publishing the horrible, disgusting truth about what goes on in the slaughterhouses of abortion clinics is really, to someone like her, nothing more than the “creation” of a “poisonous environment”. And, of course, she goes all Pelosi on us, referring to “domestic terrorism”. (Note that to her, being responsible for the totally unnecessary deaths of millions of children is not terrorism.)

    And then she falls back on the claim that PP is really just about “providing care in a safe, supportive environment”. Well, for those millions of babies, not so safe, and not so caring.

    Going nuts and shooting abortionists is not only not acceptable behavior, it is not condoned by people who find abortion an abomination and a crime against humanity. It is a crime and a sign of severe mental illness and is condemned as such. That will not deter the deathmongers from bleating about how many abortionists have been killed, in their effort to present themselves as victims, though the total number of killed abortionists in the last two decades is probably less than the death count on an average Chicago or Los Angeles weekend.

    The above effort to tie in those who decry abortion as “extremists” and tar them with the “domestic terrorist” brush is despicable—but then what else can you expect from someone whose job is killing babies? This woman is beneath contempt.

    • Bob Eisenhower November 28, 2015 / 1:52 pm


      You know where I stand about abortion but you also know my committment to “to thine self be true.” Shooting up an office in America – even a horrid PP office – is terrorism. Whether done by a muslim shooting up a military base or a pro-life zealot, it is terrorism.

      • Cluster November 28, 2015 / 4:05 pm

        I am not sure we know the motive of this crime yet, do we? Was PP his target, or was a PP office simply a convenient hide out? Earlier this week a 9 year old boy was executed in Chicago because his Dad has gang ties. I wish people would be more vocal about these crimes

      • Bob Eisenhower November 28, 2015 / 9:03 pm


        That is a good point, we do not know the motives involved. However, Amazona appeared to be justifying the shooting due to the horror that is PP, but I do not see such horrors as an excuse for more horror. If the shooter was not about abortion, he is a monster. If the shooter is about abortion, he is a monster. No matter what, he is a monster, a terrorist of sorts.

        As to the boy killed in Chicago, I lived in LA where drive-by shootings claimed hundreds, maybe thousands, of innocents. Gang warfare is a hideous thing to behold.

  4. Cluster November 28, 2015 / 9:20 am

    Speaking of someone beneath contempt. Every now and then you read something that articulates exactly what you have been thinking and I found that today at American Thinker:

    How dare Barack Obama scold me or anyone else for demanding we do everything in our power to ensure our nation is secure? How dare he raise the idea of a religious test in the face of genocide sweeping across the Middle East as individuals and families are wiped out because the religious test was put to them? How dare this man stand upon the world stage and utter a single word on a single matter with a fake air of authority when he is, among so many things (and none of them good) a hypocrite of epic proportions?

    I dare Barack Obama or anyone who supports admitting “Syrian refugees,” to speak about the Islamic religious test that is blanketing the globe in darkness and death.

    Islamic scripture is a doctrine of war and anyone who is talking about other matters while circumventing this is a dangerous fool and has no business being in a position of power or having access to the bull horn.

    I just have one message for Obama – you are not, who we are.

  5. Cluster November 28, 2015 / 9:28 am

    And this just in from Ezra Klein – ISIS can only succeed if America over reacts and by over reacting he means putting boots on the ground or denying the Syrian refugees. In other words, the only way to defeat ISIS is to not fight them and to open our borders to all Muslim refugees. I am also sure that Ezra believes, as does our moron President, that climate change is the root cause of terrorism. Honestly I think progressives like Ezra have lost their F**ING minds. Hard to believe they still give this guy a microphone. He should be wearing a straight jacket.

    • Stuart_F November 28, 2015 / 12:58 pm

      I think he was drawing on the parallel that Al Qaeda benefited from decision to invade Iraq. This took the focus and resources off of Afghanistan and potentially let Bin Laden lives more years to lead AQ. It also cost us $2 trillion (up to $6 trillion if you count the interest we’ll pay on that debt) which weakens us.

      ISIS isn’t in a position to invade and occupy American territory, but it can benefit by creating another Iraq where we lose thousands of troops and trillions of dollars – leaving us weaker.

      I think you’re exaggerating Ezra Klein’s position. He’s not saying we shouldn’t fight ISIS at all – just that we shouldn’t go overboard like we did when we invaded Iraq. He’s also never said we should accept all Muslim refugees.

      I think it’s unhelpful when we attack strawman positions rather than engage in the other person’s actual argument.

      • Cluster November 28, 2015 / 1:19 pm

        Hi Stuart, welcome to the group. Glad to have you here. I take exception with a couple of your comments. First of all, noting that the $2 trillion we spent in Iraq weakens us as a country, completely ignores the $10 trillion in domestic debt that Obama and Congress has spent over the last 7 years. I could argue that the $2 trillion spent fighting jihadism has kept us much safer than the trillions Obama has spent on entitlements.

        Secondly, Obama has admitted that he doesn’t have a strategy to combat ISIS so Klein is simply echoing the progressive narrative of what we can’t do, which is dubious at best. Had we kept a stabilizing force in Iraq rather than abandoning them, ISIS may have never gained as strong of a foot hold as they have. In order to win a war, we actually have to fight it, and that means we can’t worry about collateral damage or what the jihadists don’t like. We will fight and in on our terms not theirs. And speaking of winning, Obama has said that that is just “sloganeering”.

        And just one question – as a “prog”, do you believe that climate change is the root cause of terrorism?

      • Stuart_F November 28, 2015 / 1:38 pm

        Thanks for the welcome. I really do enjoy talking to people with different views than with people I agree on most things with.

        Yes, I concede my criticism of the Iraq war spending ignored domestic spending. My critique and your response also ignored state budgets, climate change, non-Iraq defense spending, the Catholic church, the best TV shows, – etc. When I’m critiquing one issue, I’m by definition ignoring every other issue.

        But I’ll gladly address your argument that domestic spending weakens us more than Iraq. First, I’d note that Social Security and Medicare are not “entitlements”. If you never work, you will not receive the benefits of those programs, because they are “earned benefits” and not entitlements like other social programs.

        You said $2 trillion spent on fighting jihadism makes us safer than spending money here at home. But we didn’t invade Iraq to fight jihadism at all. Saddam Hussein was a secular regime that jihadists hated. By overthrowing his regime, we created the conditions for jihadism (among other things) to flourish in an unstable Iraq.

        During the Bush years, we imported and then lost track of $12 billion in cash and over 200,000 weapons. You can take a stable country like Switzerland, and if you lose track of billions in cash and hundreds of thousands of weapons, it will become a very dangerous, unstable place.

        Iraq was a terrible dictatorship under Saddam, but it posed no threat to America. It was not exporting jihad. So how can say spending billions to invade that country, losing thousand of U.S. loves, and creating an unstable mess where jihadism flourishes, made us safer? If you could go back to 2002, would you think invading Iraq is still a good idea?

        I see you think if Obama had maintained a presence in Iraq you think we could keep that country stable – which we had never done even with 150,000 troops on the ground. First, I’d note that it was Bush who signed the agreement for us to leave. But more importantly, how many U.S. troops would it take to pacify the entire nation of Iraq and how many decades would we be there? How many U.S. troop deaths would be worth that project?

        As a “prog”, no, I don’t believe climate change is the root of all evil. I’ve never heard any progressive say they think it’s the root of evil either. I basically agree with scientists like Stephen Hawking – that’s it’s happening and we should be concerned about it, and continue to study it.

        Do you believe climate change science is a giant hoax?

      • Cluster November 28, 2015 / 3:57 pm

        My point about the spending, and this is for Bob too, is that in my opinion, progressives who support Obama really have no right to criticize spending of any sort considering the massive spending Democrats have embarked on since 2009. Actually 2007 when Pelosi and Reid took over. The financial irresponsibility of Democrats and progressives is off the charts. Secondly, combatting terrorism is actually one of the enumerated duties prescribed to the federal government by the Constitution, so yes while I agree that we spent too much in Iraq and did not reimburse ourselves by using their oil which we should have done, that $2 trillion spent on fighting in Iraq was better spent than say throwing a few hundred billion towards a larger government and crony capitalism, or the $500 million spent training 5 Syrian fighter.

        Re: a presence in Iraq, every General I have heard is that a force of about 10,000 would have been sufficient to stabilize Iraq. And I will mention that Libya was also not an imminent threat to us, yet that didn’t stop Obama and Clinton from deposing Ghaddafi and leaving behind another void of leadership and today, Libya is a terrorist haven.

        Re: climate change. The climate always changes and this is an issue that is, in my opinion, simply a giant slush fund for the powers to be.

      • Bob Eisenhower November 28, 2015 / 1:45 pm


        I don’t think comparing Iraq costs to Obama’s extraordinary debt is fair. Saying the war cost is nothing because other costs exist is like saying a heart attack means nothing to a cancer patient. Both things are damaging.

      • Stuart_F November 28, 2015 / 7:30 pm


        First, you can support a politician without supporting everything they have ever done. Second, if Obama supporters have no right to criticize any spending, how do any former George Bush supporters have any right to be critical of spending? He inherited a budget surplus from Clinton and turned it into an exploding deficit. He increased social spending, defense spending, and slashed revenue – he put everything on a credit card for future generations to deal with his debt. He left Obama a flaming pile of tires as an economy to deal with.

        So by this logic, virtually no one American be critical of any government spending, and I of course think that is absurd.

        And going back to 2002 – you still would have invaded Iraq? You just would have taken more of their oil money? What would we have accomplished with that invasion that is worth the lives of several thousand American soldiers?

        Please show me one U.S. general who says they can stabilize Iraq with 10,000 troops. That’s such an outlandish assertion, in my opinion, because we couldn’t stabilize Iraq with 170,000 troops and we were paying militants cash not to fight us or each other. We’ve had 20,000 troops in Afghanistan for over 10 years and haven’t come close to stabilizing that country.

        We had over 10,000 troops in Iraq for many years under Bush, if 10,000 could create stability, why didn’t it happen then?

        Re: Climate change. So I’m curious – do you think Stephen Hawking is dumb or is somehow complicit in some conspiracy? Do you care what peer-reviewed scientific evidence says about the matter, or have you already made up your mind on a matter of science?

      • Cluster November 28, 2015 / 8:17 pm

        Iraq was stabilized, elections were held and it relatively peaceful when Bush left office. You will need to do some homework but you will find that many Generals have said that a residual force of about 10,000 troops would have been sufficient. In re: to Bush spending, you are right, and that is a big reason why the GOP lost Congress in 2006 because conservatives like myself could not stomach the spending. Progressives are silent on Obama’s spending after he promised in his 2008 campaign to be fiscally responsible and accused Bush of what you just did. They have lost all credibility. You will also need to do some homework on the 1979 economy as it relates to the 2008 economy and how different prescribed policies had dramatically different results.

        So if I don’t agree with climate change I think Hawking is stupid? Interesting. First of all, consensus is not science, and how many times has science been wrong? Shutting down debate on climate change due to a “consensus” is offensive to true scientists.

      • Stuart_F November 28, 2015 / 8:50 pm

        From 2002-2006, somewhere between 150,000 to 600,000 Iraqis died due to violence. We also lost over three thousand U.S. troops. If you consider that relatively stable and peaceful, then we just have different definitions of those words.

      • Stuart_F November 28, 2015 / 8:58 pm

        Re: Climate Change. I agree scientific beliefs are (and should be) constantly challenged and never fixed. We all believe in gravity, but the forces behind it are just a *theory* of science. But what makes you disagree with the scientific consensus on their general position climate change? Obviously we don’t know the exact extent of the problem or the exact causes, but we have a good idea, and it’s not that it’s a giant hoax. Every other conservative party in the developed world follows the scientific community, but not ours.

      • Stuart_F November 28, 2015 / 9:22 pm

        From 2002-2006, somewhere between 150,000 to 600,000 Iraqis died due to violence. We also lost over three thousand U.S. troops. If you consider that relatively stable and peaceful, then we just have different definitions of those words.

        *This was meant for a reply to Cluster but think it got lost in the comments, so posting again.

      • Amazona November 28, 2015 / 7:49 pm

        “Iraq was a terrible dictatorship under Saddam, but it posed no threat to America. It was not exporting jihad.

        Iraq was financing jihad, it was supporting it in every way. It was home to at least one terrorist training camp, it advertised large cash payments to families of homicide bombers, and it was working on its WMD as well as on developing nuclear weapons, with a strong possibility of at the very least being able to provide material for a dirty bomb that would poison many thousands beyond those actually killed instantly by the bombs.

        So I am not quite sure what actions on the part of Saddam’s Iraq could legitimately and accurately be described as”no threat to America” and “not exporting jihad”.

        “ISIS isn’t in a position to invade and occupy American territory”

        I suggest you look up the meaning of “asymmetrical warfare”. Hint: It means a kind of warfare that differs from prior types, as it has nothing to do with invading and occupying a country. If you are going to scold people for setting up straw men, you need to take a look at this statement of yours. I once saw a video of a Pentagon briefing, back at the beginning of this “War On Terror” that described this very well, and it came down to the fact that while wars USED to be about conquest and occupation, this kind of war is about preturbation. That is, they want to dart in, do as much damage as they can, and dart out. It terrifies people, it damages the economies of target nations, it creates uncertainty, it takes many many innocent lives, and it demands the ability to understand that the rules have changed.

      • Amazona November 28, 2015 / 7:59 pm

        “If you could go back to 2002, would you think invading Iraq is still a good idea?”

        Absolutely. But I wouldn’t have farted around for a year, while our satellites photographed WMD being moved in semi truck convoys into Syria, in the naive belief that if the Left were to agree, in writing, to invade Iraq, they wouldn’t be able to come back later and complain about invading Iraq.

        That belief was based on the belief that the Left is capable of shame, and that its followers are rational. What did happen is that Congress approved the invasion, over and over, and the U.N.approved it, over and over, and they all did this because they knew full well that millions of Lefties would simply ignore this and claim that it was BUSHBUSHBUSH!!!!!!!!!!!!! and carry on as we have seen them ever since.

        Saddam Hussein was a secular regime that jihadists hated.

        Oh, dear. Is that silly old meme still alive? Saddam Hussein SUPPORTED jihad, Saddam Hussein FINANCED jihad, Saddam Hussein set up jihadi training camps in Iraq, Saddam Hussein paid jihadis’ families if they killed themselves in the pursuit of jihad. PLEASE don’t tell us that old story about how because Saddam Hussein did not base his rule on the Koran those who use the Koran would not work with him or take his help or his money.

        By overthrowing his regime, we created the conditions for jihadism (among other things) to flourish in an unstable Iraq.

        Well, not so much. It was leaving the country in a state of flux that created those conditions. It was telling the Iraqis who supported us, who were foolish enough to believe that we would stand by them and then abandoning them, that “created the conditions”—not for jihadism as such, as that had been going on for quite some time, but for its explosive development. Nothing encourages this kind of thing as much as the growing realization that there is no opposition to it because the nation that used to be a threat to it has become feeble and willfully impotent.

      • Amazona November 28, 2015 / 8:09 pm

        Claiming that if a Republican spent too much money then Republicans have lost the right to complain that anyone else spends too much money is so absurd I am surprised to see anyone still trying to float that sinker.

        Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it, and conservatives complained AT THE TIME about the Republican adoption of Dem spending practices.

        Also, I can’t believe you still buy into that silly claim that Bush “inherited” a surplus, blah blah blah blah blah. It has been proved so many times, in so many places, that the purported surplus never existed, was a paper surplus wholly dependent on bizarre twisting of facts, that I didn’t think there was Left left who could refer to it with a straight face.

        Now if you are still stuck in BDS and intent on fighting the Bush Wars, please find another place to do it. We have done this for far too long, and are tired of it. It has, thankfully, been a long long time since anyone dropped in here to plop any of this crap on the blog, every time it has happened it has been thoroughly debunked, disproved, shamed and put to sleep—but you Progs are so dependent on it, you just can’t stop bringing it back up and wallowing in it again.

        Here is a hint: If you can, and will, discuss actual facts, current events, from an analytical point of view and not just a hissy-bomb-throwing fit, we will be happy to chat with you. But in one day you have regurgitated so many outdated, tiresome, disproved, emotion-based, Lefty lies that it, at this point, really hard to take you seriously.

        Like, really really hard.

      • Amazona November 28, 2015 / 8:22 pm

        I see the old Post Placement Gremlin is back—my responses are being posted ahead of the posts to which I am responding, which is pretty confusing.

        Re: Climate change. So I’m curious – do you think Stephen Hawking is dumb or is somehow complicit in some conspiracy? Do you care what peer-reviewed scientific evidence says about the matter, or have you already made up your mind on a matter of science?

        Hawking is not “dumb”. You don’t have to be stupid to be wrong. He is not part of a conspiracy. That is a particularly silly straw man effort. I don’t know how much time Hawking has spent looking into the AGW claims, nor do I know on what he has based his beliefs. For that matter, I don’t know what he DOES believe, and I would have to read his comments in their entirety to know that, and not some cherry-picked out of context fragments.

        As for this much-vaunted “peer review” claim constantly made by AGW belief system adherents, you all seem pretty dismissive of all the peer reviews that discount the so-called “science” of the AGW theory. We have gone into this in extensive detail here, with abundant links to abundant sites with many many MANY articles, we have printed disclaimers from scientists who deplore the sloppy “science” upon which these purported peer reviews are based (GIGO) and we have printed and referenced many many reports on faked data. So this is not a good place to try that smug assertion that anyone who rejects the dogma of AGW is just DENYING SCIENCE !!!!!!

        You people act as if every credible scientists agrees with the AGW proponents, when this is simply not true. In fact, the AGW proponents are losing ground daily, as their “scientists” are proved to have faked outcomes to experiments, hidden data that does not support their pre-determined conclusions, etc.

        Reading your posts is kind of like opening up a time capsule, full of outdated, debunked, disproved and dismissed nonsense that, once upon a time, impressed some people.

        But I will leave you with one question, regarding the AGW claims. If you believe the Earth is becoming “too warm” will you please tell us the CORRECT temperature, or temperature range, of the Earth. Cite references, please.

      • Stuart_F November 28, 2015 / 9:07 pm

        I don’t say there is 100% agreement on climate change or that any scientists knows precisely what is happening. We can’t say that about any area of science. But there is an overwhelmingly consensus on what is broadly happening to the climate and why it is happening now.

        Every conservative party in the developed world agrees with the vast majority of scientists on this issue.
        Do you think there is a chance the majority of scientific community is right on this? Or do you have absolute certainty they are wrong?

      • Amazona November 28, 2015 / 8:24 pm

        Bob, I don’t think anyone has ever said the Iraq war “cost nothing”.

        Today’s posts are starting to look like the 2015 Straw Man Convention

      • Amazona November 28, 2015 / 9:14 pm

        Since there is no way to connect any response to the post that prompted it, I’ll do a little quoting:

        “From 2002-2006, somewhere between 150,000 to 600,000 Iraqis died due to violence. We also lost over three thousand U.S. troops. If you consider that relatively stable and peaceful, then we just have different definitions of those words.”

        Answer: Duh. of course that was not ” ..relatively stable and peaceful..” and it is disingenuous to try to claim I said it was. Now you are spinning and grabbing at any silly thing you can, to try to win a point, instead of having a rational discussion. You are also quoting an amazingly wide range of alleged Iraqi deaths, and the wild claims by the Left of the death toll of Iraqis due to our military action have already been proved to be wrong.

        Get a grip. I said we left before the job was done, not that the job was done. Really, Stu, you have to tread lightly here, as we have had our fill of trolls and this kind of flailing does tend to put you in troll territory.

        How about no more fighting the Iraq war or the Bush wars. There is so much to talk about, the obsession with “proving” that Clinton was good and Bush was bad is simply, to put it bluntly, stupid.

        You do need to realize that WE realize that you are stuck in this past because the present is a very sad and scary time for Progressives. Your economic theories have thrust this nation into a long-term economic death spiral that is being ignored by the Complicit Agenda Media, but even some of the media acolytes are starting to realize that we CAN’T raise interest rates because that would raise the debt service by many billions of dollars. Our spineless international presence and stunning lack of a coherent international policy has made us weak and vulnerable as well as a worldwide laughing stock. People like you saddled us with the most inept, incompetent Commander in Chief in the nation’s history as well as a president who rather intensely dislikes this country and has openly admitted he thinks we need to be brought down a few notches. Our entitlement programs are vote-buying disgraces with the intention of creating a massive Dependent Class that will vote in more handouts until the economy fully collapses. Nearly every advance we have made in race relations has been dismantled, intentionally, by the most openly racist administration in our history. Our very Constitution has been dismissed as a new branch of government, the Agencies, has taken over much of the authority of governance, and it is composed of political appointees who can’t realistically be fired or replaced. Our Executive Branch not only announces its intention to continue, and increase, its incursions into legislation, ignoring the Legislative Branch, millions of morons approve.

        And you are stuck in the first decade of this century, flailing away at ghosts.

      • Stuart_F November 28, 2015 / 9:21 pm

        The reply about Iraq being stable was meant for Cluster, who argued that Iraq WAS stable and relatively peaceful.

        You wrote that America is becoming “a worldwide laughing stock” – actually if you look at polls asking foreigners whether they view America favorably, those numbers – in general – drastically declined under Bush and have risen under Obama’s tenure.

    • Amazona November 28, 2015 / 7:37 pm

      There is, of course, the Liberal narrative that our invasion of Iraq encouraged the development of A-Q. However, there is also the belief that it was not the invasion that left Iraq politically unbalanced and vulnerable to the explosive development of brutal tyranny, it was the spinelessness of American politicians following the invasion who lacked the intelligence and fortitude to finish the job—that is, to stay onsite, in the country, with a large enough military presence to impose stability and relative safety while the country got its feet under itself, had time to establish a firm government with ample support, to to make it safe to belong to and support that new government, to rebuild schools and hospitals and general infrastructure.

      There was a callous decision on the Left that can be summed up as “To hell with Iraq and the Iraqis, we don’t care what happens to them, all we want to do is create a narrative that will make Bush, and by extension “neocons” look toxic to the uneducated American public.” So buzzwords were created that would appeal to that massive demographic, such as “exit strategy”, and it didn’t take long to convince people that the whole thing was a mistake from beginning to end. Every tactic, every strategy, was nitpicked and critiqued, and truth had no place in the rapidly expanding Leftist fantasy of “Iraq”.

      One of the strategies of the Left was to elevate Bin Laden to the status of superhero/demigod. The adults in the room understood the difficulty of tracking down and killing just one man, and especially the danger of making that man a martyr and a powerful symbol to radical Islam. They understood that making him appear impotent, or nearly so, falling from the position of hero to that of a feeble old man in hiding, was far more effective. They dismissed him, ridiculed him, and this would have been a very good way to reduce his status and force A-Q to spread its leadership among several people, removing the imagery of an incredibly powerful man who could terrify the West, but they could not overcome the Left’s campaign to feed into the Myth of Bin Laden. That was amazingly effective, as millions of the uber-gullible fell prey to the odd belief that if we could just kill this one man, the whole shebang would fall apart.

      • Stuart_F November 28, 2015 / 8:04 pm

        I have to admit, I’m surprised by small, limited government conservatives who are very skeptical of government solving problems say confidently that an outside military force, with little to no understanding of the local language, culture and history, can quickly provide a stable, democratic government for a people comprised of violently divided religious factions (with borders drawn arbitrarily by colonizers) that have never had a stable democracy before. That’s such an unbelievable faith in the ability of government to do magical things. I’m a progressive that loves what can government do, but I am very skeptical that any government has ever been that wildly successful.

        Of course, this open-ended nation building requires the enormous sacrifice of our military men and women, and lots of money. 1) Do you think building a democracy is more important than building up America? Even if you don’t want that money to go to government programs, shouldn’t it go back to American taxpayers, or should they foot the bill for nationbuilding?

        2) Why did we invade Iraq of all places? What threat did it pose to us that North Korea or Iran didn’t pose?

      • Amazona November 28, 2015 / 8:49 pm

        I have to admit, I’m surprised by small, limited government conservatives who are very skeptical of government solving problems say confidently that an outside military force, with little to no understanding of the local language, culture and history, can quickly provide a stable, democratic government for a people comprised of violently divided religious factions (with borders drawn arbitrarily by colonizers) that have never had a stable democracy before.

        First of all, it might help for you to understand what “limited government conservatives” mean when they refer to “limited government”. Start with the Constitution of the United States of America, pay a lot of attention to the 10th Amendment, then go back into the original body of the Constitution to see if you can figure out what is, and what is not, allowed to the federal government in its governing document. Then spend some time on the idea that much, if not most, of what “conservatives” object to, regarding “big government”, is about federal government, not state government. The subject is not as simple as just “limited government”. It actually takes some study and some thinking.

        Second, study the culture and government of Japan, pre and post WW II, and how the United States basically created the government and economy of modern Japan. An “… outside military force, with little to no understanding of the local language, culture and history,…” DID quickly provide a stable, democratic government…..” Of course, at the time we had a government with an attention span longer than that of today’s instant gratification agenda-driven bureaucracy.

      • Stuart_F November 28, 2015 / 9:18 pm

        Japan had a history of democracy unlike Iraq – it had the first parliament in Asia. They had a unifying culture, language and religion. They had one person, the Emperor, who was like a god to the entire country who they listened to devoutly. Is there anyone in Iraq like that? Japan was also an island, and didn’t directly border volatile states that wanted to interfere with Japanese internal affairs.

        Japan also largely created its country on its term – it didn’t have it’s borders drawn for it by a former colonizer that grouped opposing nationalities together under an artificial flag. This is incredibly different than Iraq.

  6. Stuart_F November 28, 2015 / 12:54 pm

    I do think it’s difficult to detach Thanksgiving from its historical roots. Just look at when we celebrate – it’s only on the 4th Thursday because FDR and Congress decided we never it want it to be on Nov 29 or 30 since that would hurt the economy due to the less time for Americans to do holiday shopping.

    I’m a “prog” and probably like most people, I just try to follow the best historical accounts we have of Thanksgiving’s historical roots, and I know that history will never be unambiguous or uncontested.

    • Bob Eisenhower November 28, 2015 / 1:49 pm

      Hi, Stuart

      Nice to have a new voice here. Welcome.

      Mark was just being funny by massively overstating some progressives’ views of how America was colonized. Obviously bad stuff happened to Indians at the hands of settlers, but some would label it as preconceived genocide rather than what it was, a combination of natural caused and just a smattering of genocide (that was a joke, Mark).

    • Amazona November 28, 2015 / 7:23 pm

      Welcome, Stuart. I hope you are a “prog” who is a Progressive because of a coherent political philosophy and not just because of a strident emotion-based bias against the Liberal invention of “conservatives”.

      The historical roots of Thanksgiving as a concept are quite simple: There is a historical record of the earliest European settlers being treated well by the Native Americans they encountered, who helped them adapt to their new home. It is and always has been a celebration of acceptance and cooperation among different races with no significance given to skin color or spiritual orientation, a symbol of the innate goodness to which Man has aspired and should continue to aspire, a symbol of hope and kindness and generosity. And it has been a formal recognition of the fact that we all have much to be thankful for.

      While it is true that some Europeans did, later, take the view that they had a right to conquer this land, it is also true that some Native Americans thought they had the right to kill anyone who wanted to live on, or even travel across, their land. This was, by the way, an attitude not specific to Europeans, as many Native American tribes were intensely territorial and saw any incursion into territory they thought of as “theirs” as all they needed to justify killing and the taking of slaves. However, the first settlers tended to be Quakers, who were dedicated to being non violent, and they were fortunate that the first natives they encountered were not particularly warlike, so it is sheer lunacy based on sheer hatred to claim that Thanksgiving, which is a celebration of the cooperation of these two groups, represents “genocide”.

      The political reasons for choosing a date for this holiday are irrelevant.

      • Stuart_F November 28, 2015 / 7:51 pm

        Thanks for the welcome. I’ll say again, I genuinely enjoy talking with people with different views.

        As for being a “prog” – I don’t feel a strong connection to any label. I have diverse views on a lot of things. But since I believe in modern science (i.e. evolution, climate change) and support civil rights issues like gay marriage, it’s easiest to say I’m politically progressive to help people quickly get a vague idea of my beliefs rather than spelling everything out.

        But I don’t think I’m dogmatic – I try to follow evidence. If you could show me a country or state where they have used the free market to deliver an excellent health care system – I’d gladly support that. For example, I think we have strong evidence that restrictive zoning regulations in America’s blue cities creates high housing prices, and they should be greatly loosened. That’s a ‘conservative’ position I take because I think there’s good evidence for it.

        For Thanksgiving – yes, I think there are all kinds of indigenous people and Europeans so that you can’t easily stick one label on either group. And that includes saying that Europeans were more technologically advanced – as that often gets misrepresented by school textbooks.

        I don’t think the first Thanksgiving is an inherently bad thing to celebrate. But obviously, many Americans have added to this holiday a large amount of brash consumerism and materialism. That’s fine, they’re free to do so. I don’t think capitalism is inherently bad at all. But for me, personally, I would prefer that we take this time to reflect on the atrocious treatment of the U.S. government toward indigenous Americans. And no, this doesn’t mean I think all native Americans were saints and all Americans were evildoers. But in the aggregate, the United States government treated native Americans very poorly (such as the trail of tears, or how our policy toward Hawaii). A lot of Americans prefer not to learn about this history, but I think it’s important. I would also like more emphasis on Giving Tuesday than on Black Friday. I think it would make our society a better place. But that’s just my two cents.

      • Cluster November 28, 2015 / 8:21 pm

        If you could show me a country or state where they have used the free market to deliver an excellent health care system – I’d gladly support that.

        See: The United States of America, circa 1776 to 2009. When the ACA went effect, 83% of Americans had health insurance and were happy with their coverage. The left effectively destroyed a system that satisfied 83% of it’s customers to accommodate the 17%. The tyranny of the minority.

      • Stuart_F November 28, 2015 / 9:02 pm

        Actually, in 1790, the first Congress, which was packed with framers, required all ship owners to provide medical insurance for seamen; in 1798, Congress also required seamen to buy hospital insurance for themselves. That doesn’t sound like a free market.

        Also, health insurance we awful before 2009. We had tens of millions of people who couldn’t afford insurance, we literally had 1,000 children dying each year due to not having access to health insurance (according to a Johns Hopkins study), and we were paying a fortune for this miserable result. We had people who would commit crimes so they could get health insurance in jail.

        Every other developed country was able to finds way to give universal health care at a lower cost and deliver better results. If you’re arguing we had the best health care system in the world in 2008, then you definitely have not convinced me.

      • Amazona November 28, 2015 / 8:43 pm

        I don’t think it is particularly helpful to focus on the “bad” things in the past, unless this focus leads us to make things better now. The fact is, civilization is in a constant state of evolution, so what was common and accepted even a couple of hundred years ago (slavery, bear baiting, colonizing conquered nations, not allowing women to vote, our treatment of Indians, etc.) and as long as a practice is no longer allowed or accepted then I see no use in constantly dragging it into a conversation about current events. Yes, it happened. Yes, it was wrong. No, we don’t do it any more.

        I predict the same thing will happen with abortion, and that in the not to distant future the very idea that females willingly slaughtered their unborn babies will be looked at with even more abhorrence than any other archaic practice.

        So learn what happened, but learn an objective truth about what happened, not a bizarre reinvention of history designed to further a political agenda, as the idiotic position that Columbus went looking for some people who didn’t look like him so he could slaughter them all and destroy their entire race.

        It will also help to further rational discourse if we can not lump various unrelated things together, such as the Leftist claim that Thanksgiving is just glorifying genocide with the increasing consumerism of our holidays. Two different things.

      • Stuart_F November 28, 2015 / 9:11 pm

        I predict the same things will happen with eating animals. It will be viewed as a barbaric practice humans practiced for many years, despite knowing that animals suffer pain and have interests.

        I think the past can always inform us of how to improve our current and future actions. Often, just changing the laws doesn’t provide justice. Say your grandparents robbed your friends grandparents. Your family became rich, and passed that on to you, while your friend’s family never recovered.

        You could say “Hey, I had nothing to do with that robbery, it was years ago! And besides, our country outlawed that kind of robberty, so everything is good now.”

        Does that sound like a fair and moral resolution to deal with the past robbery?

      • Bob Eisenhower November 28, 2015 / 9:26 pm


        I don’t think the state of US health insurance was perfect pre-ACA, but it was better than post-ACA.

        I disagree with the statement “ACA destroyed what was enjoyed by 83% to help the 17%” in that the 17% were uninsured. The thing is, there’s still a solid percentage uninsured. So the good coverage for 83% was tossed for more expensive, worse coverage for 90% (a made up statistic because I am too lazy to Google) with 10% still uninsured.

        If ACA provided decent and affordable care for 100% there would likely be l4ess of an argument against it.

      • Stuart_F November 28, 2015 / 9:35 pm

        they vehemently disagree with the solution?

        Some of his aides, like Rahm, knew kicking the can down the road was bad for America, but knew Obama could be a lot more popular if he never touched health care and let the problems just get worse like Clinton and Bush.

        I’d disagree that people who were insured had good health insurance. Look people with insurance that maxed out when they had big health problems. Like the AZ grad student who had “insurance” – but when he got colon cancer, his insurance maxed out early on and wouldn’t pay for his chemo so he went bankrupt. That kind of “insurance” no longer exists, and I don’t miss it.

        Most importantly, a Johns Hopkins study said that we had 1,000 children dying each year as a result of not having access to health insurance. Why doesn’t that bother the GOP?​​

        Other countries have many different types of system, and I think they are all superior to America’s. Taiwan, Japan, Israel, Switzerland, Netherlands – they all achieve better results for far less money. Do you think in 2008, before the ACA, would you have traded our system for another country’s- or do you think ours was best?

      • M. Noonan November 29, 2015 / 12:59 am

        Hey, look at the Netherlands! They do it well. Why don’t we do it just like they do? Oh, I don’t know maybe, though, things done in a nation of 17 million don’t translate perfectly well to a nation of 317 million? With an indigent immigrant population probably equal to the total population of the Netherlands? Spread out over 3 million square miles rather than being tightly packed into 16,000 square miles? Maybe there’s just some differences there?

        The problem with health insurance is that it exists – and it should always be noted that it exists because power-mad liberals set up our compensation system during WWII to have no pay increases…so, in order to attract workers, companies had to offer something on the side. What they offered was health insurance. After a while, more and more people wanted it – and got it; and then they wanted to pay less and less for it, and have more and more things covered.

        Insurance, properly understood, is things like life insurance and automobile insurance – insurance for things that will likely never happen, at all (car accidents) or will only happen once and then likely long in the future (death). You buy insurance not to cover you against the normal costs of life, but to cover the freakishly bizarre things that happen rarely. Getting a check up is a normal part of life – you should pay that. Getting a quadruple bypass is freakishly bizarre and you’ll probably never need it…but you’d be wise to buy insurance to cover it, just in case…and such insurance would probably only cost you a couple dollars a month.

        But, liberals have already messed it all up – and you can’t talk anyone into understanding that the reason health insurance costs a bundle is because it isn’t acting like insurance. So, we have to do something – but having corrupt political hacks like Pelosi and Reid write an insurance bill at the behest of trial lawyers and insurance companies certain isn’t the something we needed done. And only someone as boneheaded as Obama would have signed off on that and then defended it fiercely in the face of the facts.

      • Stuart_F November 29, 2015 / 4:21 am

        Okay, fair enough – you think Netherlands is too small to be a valid comparison. What about Germany, the UK, or Japan?

        Or even look at our states – MA, RI, and HI have 5% or fewer with no health insurance. GA, OK, and TX have more than 16% uninsured.

      • M. Noonan November 30, 2015 / 12:07 am

        Still all vastly smaller than the United States – though Germany is taking a shot at having a vast number of indigent immigrants, and we’ll see how that will work out for them (answer: badly). But, also, taking a look at the whole issue – the Germans, the Japanese and the British are dying out. Japan’s population peaked a few years back and has been dropping by more than 200,000 a year since then – if trends continue, Japan will drop from about 127 million today to about 45 million in 2100. Germany isn’t quite so bad, but all over the eastern region of Germany small towns are emptying out (and some are having to re-engineer their sewage system to handle the vastly decreased load…an oddity of human history, to be sure). Perhaps there is something fundamentally poisonous in a society which purports to provide cradle to grave care for all? Maybe it weakens a nation fatally?

        The problem, as I said, is that insurance was never meant to cover your regular check ups – and unless we start to reform our health care system to get to that, nothing will ever work in the long term.

      • Amazona November 28, 2015 / 9:47 pm

        Oh, Stu, give it a rest. No one was turned away from health care. The numbers of uninsured included students covered under family polices and/or student fees, and large numbers of young people who simply made the decision to spend money on other things more important to them.

        Only the Left would look at a specific problem—that is, those who truly wanted insurance and could not afford it—and decide that it made more sense not to address that specific problem but to dismantle the entire system, which worked for the vast majority of people, and replace it with a system that costs EVERYONE more while offering less. As I have said, I have a nice car. It’s 9 years old, with more than 100,000 miles on it, but it’s a great car and while not perfect it runs well and does what I want it to do. I bought it used, and have loved its engineering, handling, safety and comfort. Using the same logic the Left used when it destroyed a functional (though not perfect) system because one small part of it did not work, when my tires are worn out I shouldn’t just buy tires, but have the Mercedes S500 taken to the crusher and replace it with a beige used Kia that feels like it is falling apart at 55 MPH, that costs twice as much as I paid for the Merc. and is far less safe or comfortable.

        First of all, insurance is not in the purview of the federal government. Second, if the Left wants to expand the size, scope and power of the federal government to pay for insurance, it would have been FAR more effective and economical to just figure out a way to subsidize the more expensive policies for the few who could not afford specialized policies.

        There has been plenty written about how the few flaws in the old system could have been, should have been, addressed. But the Left wanted a HUGE expansion of the size, scope and power of the federal government and used the buzzwords “affordable health care” as a stalking horse to get it. There has been plenty written about the damage done to millions upon millions of Americans who used to be able to afford health care who can’t any more because they lost their old plans, the new ones cost so much more and offer so much less.

        The Dems voted it in, the Dems own it, and denying its stink as it rots is not going to change anything.

      • Stuart_F November 28, 2015 / 10:38 pm

        “No one was turned away from health care.” Are you familiar with customers who were denied health insurance based on pre-existing conditions?

  7. Amazona November 28, 2015 / 9:34 pm

    I’m bailing out of the chaotic post placement to sum up my attitude toward Stu’s obsession with Bush. Aside from the Been There Done That aspect, maybe it will help to explain my take on his inability to move on from a rancher’s perspective.

    That is, from the perspective of seeing cows and other ruminants chew cud. They do not fully digest what they eat, the first time around, so later they bring up chunks or balls of the partially digested food and chew it up again. They seem to have a reflective, pondering appearance as they rechew what they already chewed up, and Libs like Stu remind me of nothing more than cud-chewing.

    It’s not just that what he swallowed so eagerly back in the day was too hard to digest—on the contrary, it was predigested before being fed to him. But he still brings it back up, over and over. to reflect on how good it tasted the first time and to relive those glory days, chomping away in blissful remembrance.

    Move on, Stu. I’m sorry you weren’t around when we went over all these beloved memes of yours, carefully dismantling them with fact after fact after fact. But I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have mattered, because you like the taste of that whole period of Leftist fodder for the uncritical masses and you just won’t give it up.

    • Stuart_F November 28, 2015 / 10:34 pm

      Oddly, I was a Republican during the Bush years. I attended a George W. Bush rally as a primary voter. In 1996 I was rooting for Steve Forbes.

      I originally brought up the Bush years because someone said that I couldn’t critique any spending if I liked Obama. I wondered if that meant that Bush supporters should also be disqualified from weighing in on spending.

      I also responded to a post about ISIS and Iraq without mentioning Bush, but as we get into the history of the Iraq war, it’s quite challenging not to talk about the Bush years. Those were quite formative times in terms of invading Iraq.

      • Amazona November 28, 2015 / 10:48 pm

        Why were you a Republican? What was the political basis for being a Republican?

        What changed? What is the political basis for being whatever you are now?

        Do you base your political identity on a political philosophy of how best to govern the nation, or on people?

      • Stuart_F November 29, 2015 / 3:33 am

        In my response on why I was registered Republican, I have to talk about Bush. It’s not because that’s what I want to talk about, but because I was asked.

        I liked Steve Forbes flat tax plan. He was persuasive to me about how it helped the poor and middle class families. I liked what he said about a strong national defense, but later I realized how much he manipulated and distorted Clinton’s defense cuts, it made me not trust him to offer reliable facts.

        George W. Bush said he would have a humble foreign policy. He said he would be a uniter not a divider. I thought it was impressive he was the first MBA president – although later I realized what an awful business career he had and how he was propped up by his family name and connections.

        Watching his presidency unfold, and how the GOP used their majority, was awful. They spoke about fiscal conservatism, but they did the opposite of what fiscal conservatives would do. After 9/11, he basically asked my generation not to make any sacrifice, but just to go shopping.

        The Patriot ACT, the special interest bill giving legal immunity to the gun lobby, the ineptitude of Iraq, alienating our allies – it was terrible.

        His appointees were awful. Michael Brown at FEMA and the response to Katrina. Gale Norton at interior. Government agencies are large and they will always have some problems, regardless of whose in office, so I don’t blame Bush for certain scandals. But when the people you appoint are incompetent, or beholden to the industry and don’t do their job, then I have a problem.

        The GOP moved away from Eisenhower’s emphasis on believing in and promoting science and replaced it with being captive to the religious right.

        I liked Obama’s bipartisanship when he was in the Senate. He worked with Coburn to pass a strong ethics bill. I liked what he accomplished in the state senate of Illinois. Unlike some Senators, he showed up to work, worked with the GOP, and got some legislation passed.

        I also realized the GOP says they are fiscally responsible, but they spend just as much as Democrats. The difference is, they just don’t want to pay for it because that’s unpopular, and because many hate government and won’t be sad to see it crumble financially. That’s not an inspiring duplicity I care to get behind.

        The GOP used to support disability rights (Bob Dole). The GOP used to support sensible gun control and wasn’t afraid to stand up to the gun lobby. They used to support ideas for near universal health insurance. They used to protect the environment rather than let polluters dictate regulations. During Ike’s time, they were strong supporters of civil rights, science, and smart defense spending. They used to be leaders on women’s empowerment and rights.

        I see none of that anymore in the GOP. They’ve gone in the opposite direction on all these issues I care about.

        Can anyone tell me why Republicans voted for the DREAM Act in 2007 when Bush was president, but in 2009 they voted against it under Obama? Same for supporting the individual mandate. They flipped because they wanted to make Obama look bad, not because they didn’t support the legislation. I see no integrity in that.

  8. Amazona November 28, 2015 / 10:46 pm

    Stuart is clearly not here to discuss what is going on in this country or how to solve problems that face us today. He is here to try to convince us that we are wrong. Wrong about AGW, wrong about the bizarrely named Affordable Care Act that is not affordable and is not about care but about forcing people to enter into contracts for services, wrong about Iraq, wrong about Bush, wrong about Clinton, just wrongwrongwrongwrongWRONG. He’ll go back to Clinton, to Bush, to the Iraqi invasion, to 1798, but he sure as hell won’t talk about what is going on TODAY.

    These efforts involve endless regurgitations of tired old Left talking points, which have been discussed, argued and debunked over and over again. They are worn out and even when less tattered they convinced only a few who were predisposed to swallow anything they were fed by selected elites.

    He is not here to discuss the best way to govern the nation. I have a feeling that, just like his “arguments”, he too is a recycled troll who can’t post here under his own name or any of the other names he has used. I doubt that he will ever be willing to engage in a discussion in which he is asked some questions that are actually pertinent to the state of our nation today.

    “Stuart” seems quite complacent about the current constitutional crisis, with the Executive Branch simply running roughshod over the Constitution, assuming duties and responsibilities of the Legislative Branch, making and/or ignoring laws at will depending on personal political agendas, openly fomenting racial distrust and discord, openly fomenting class warfare, openly striving not to unite us as Americans but to divide us into demographics and then pit one against another. No problem, he doesn’t have to find any of this important or worth discussing, but he also doesn’t need to try to drag us back more than a decade to an era where he thinks he can get some traction with his Identity Politics ranting.

    On one hand he is quite agitated about the claim of a thousand children a year dying “because they didn’t have access to health insurance” yet so far we have not heard a peep about the hundreds of thousands of children dying while the federal government helps pay people to make it happen. Hmmmm. What if the PP funding provided by the feds had been applied, instead, to health insurance for those thousand children every year? Too EXTREME ???????

    What would it have cost to provide health insurance to that thousand children every year? I’m betting it would have been a small fraction of the billion dollars or so handed out to old buddies of Michelle’s to slap together a dog’s dinner of a website, non functional and created without any of the normal oversights and tests used by other website designers. (Money not refunded, by the way, when it was proved that they did not earn it.)

    What about having an open border policy that encourages people to risk their lives to cross unforgiving deserts with their young children, to risk their lives and those of their children in packed cargo containers or semi trailers or on flimsy rafts? Not a lot of concern about DE CHILDRENS there!

    What about the number of children killed every year in gang violence? Can’t touch that because to do so would be sooooooo RACIST!!!

    There are a lot of questions Stu will tap dance around, while constantly circling the Bush/Clinton/Irag nexus. Some are big, some are small, but all are relevant, unlike his choice of discourse.

    Are there government agencies that can be eliminated?
    Should we be able to fire government employees?
    Should agencies be able to make laws, rules and regulations without Congressional oversight and/or legislation?
    Should we have drug testing as a qualifier for government entitlement programs?
    Should people be given the CHOICE of having all or part of their payroll deductions invested in selected stocks, bonds, etc?
    Should we be able to get rid of an Attorney General who refuses to prosecute lawbreakers because of their race?
    Should the federal government subsidize abortions?
    Should the federal government be severely restricted as to size, scope and power with most authority reserved to the states or the people, or
    Should the federal government be expandable beyond the limits of the Constitution, with little power or authority left to the states or the people?
    Should all government employees be held to the oaths they swear, including to preserve and uphold the Constitution, or be fired without further cause?
    Is authority for border control up to the states, or the federal government?
    Should we take additional steps to try to avoid letting terrorists into the country?
    Is helping another nation defend itself against a terrorist takeover part of our own national security and therefore justified?

    This is probably less than 10% of what we should be talking about. Sorry, Stu. There won’t be time for you to check in to find out what you think on all of these.

    • Bob Eisenhower November 28, 2015 / 11:39 pm


      I think it is too early to consider Stuart a troll. He seems informed and specific (he cited insurance from 1790 for chrissake), he is not calling names or using baiting language. He simply disagrees with us, and honest disagreement is what I think we need.

      Compared to people like Rusty, Stuart (so far) is awesome. For all I know,Stuart IS Rusty under a different handle, and I don’t care so long as he makes effective arguments.

      I know I’m the new guy here but I, for one, hope Stuart continues to post.

      • Amazona November 29, 2015 / 12:04 am

        I wouldn’t go so far as to call Stuart “awesome” though you did qualify that by pointing out it is in comparison to Rusty. And hey, let’s face it, pretty much everyone is awesome compared to Rusty. I’m fine with Stu posting if he can pull his head out of his…….past…….and talk about what is going on now. I understand that there is a lot of passion in Lefties, and it is important to them to have a forum to express what they think they know. It’s just that they know so much that is not true, and they seem to find it necessary to convince us that they are right and, even more important to them, that we are WRONG.

        As a little background, like Cluster I’ve been here ten years or so, and have seen the Sock Puppet Brigade over and over again. One troll would get bounced and pretty soon would be back with a different name.

        As for “effective arguments” I’m still waiting. So far it is just the Same Old Same Old, same old claims “backed” by the same old sources, such as The Guardian and CNN. Same old terminology, like “peer review”, same old claims of the benefits of the CACA.

        I would love to have a real discussion with a real ideologue about the two basic political models, but in ten years of questioning I have only had ONE truthful answer to my question about a political philosophy, and that was from someone who was an avowed Marxist who had at least done the reading. Otherwise it has been a mixture of complaining about the question or insistence that passion for a cause is the same thing as a coherent philosophy about the best way to govern. I am hoping that once Stuart flushes the nonsense out of his system he will be willing to be the one who has a coherent political philosophy and wants to defend it. It would be a great change from the hyperemotional Identity Politics rehashing of why one PERSON was so bad and another PERSON was so wonderful blah blah blah.

      • Amazona November 29, 2015 / 12:11 am

        BTW, that reference to the insurance requirements from the 1700s is from one of the Liberal handbooks on how to argue with conservatives who advocate small federal government. It has come up several times, and I don’t think Stuart did his own research. In context, there were some who immediately started to try to expand the size, scope and power of the federal government, and many who fought it. It is an old battle and utterly foolish to try to claim that an expansion here and there means we should scuttle the whole idea. Just because some of the early Constitutionalists got outvoted every now and then hardly means they were not consistently dedicated to the cause.

        I did do my own research and have often cited multiple quotes from Founders, particularly Madison and Jefferson, on their arguments against expanding the size, scope and power of the Constitution.

      • M. Noonan November 29, 2015 / 12:44 am

        Yep – and then, at times, turning around and doing just that – such as Jefferson’s purchase of Louisiana. Which was a good thing to do.

        Its why I think we need a re-write: we can all identify a dozen gaps in the document and I think we can present a re-write is such a manner that it does actually restrict government more than the Founders ever did while still garnering popular support.

      • Stuart_F November 29, 2015 / 4:27 am

        Was John Adams not a founding father and Constitutionalist in your opinion? Because he signed the bill mandating the purchase of health insurance for sailors.

    • Stuart_F November 29, 2015 / 3:06 am

      I’ll say this again, I originally brought up the Bush years because someone said that I couldn’t critique any spending if I liked Obama. I wondered if that meant that Bush supporters should also be disqualified from weighing in on spending. Was that an unreasonable or irrelevant response?

      I also responded to a post about ISIS and Iraq without mentioning Bush, but as we get into the history of the Iraq war, it’s quite challenging not to talk about the Bush years. Those were quite formative times in terms of invading Iraq. What that unreasonable or irrelevant?

      I’d be happy to answer your questions directly. I think that’s a smart format to get to the matters we care about rather than caught up in subsidiary issues.

      Are there government agencies that can be eliminated? Yes.

      Should we be able to fire government employees? Yes, and we are able to fire govt employee right now, but not as easily as you or I would hope.

      Should agencies be able to make laws, rules and regulations without Congressional oversight
      and/or legislation? No. I’m curious what agency doesn’t have Congressional oversight right now?

      Should we have drug testing as a qualifier for government entitlement programs? No. I don’t think that type of paternalism is wise or effective to achieve the goals of the programs.

      Should people be given the CHOICE of having all or part of their payroll deductions invested in selected stocks, bonds, etc? Well, what do you means “selected” stocks? Who is doing the selecting, and on what basis?

      Should we be able to get rid of an Attorney General who refuses to prosecute lawbreakers because of their race? Yes, and the President is able to fire the AG at anytime, and Congress can impeach him/her.

      Should the federal government subsidize abortions? Yes. To give an example, if a Peace Corps volunteer or U.S. Marine gets raped, her government provided health care plan should pay for an abortion, should she choose to have one.

      Should the federal government be severely restricted as to size, scope and power with most authority reserved to the states or the people, or
      Should the federal government be expandable beyond the limits of the Constitution, with little power or authority left to the states or the people?

      Well, I don’t think the federal government should be structured the way it is, so I don’t know how to answer this. I guess I’d say no to the second one; with the coda that there is no objective definition of the limits of the Constitution. It was written by a large number of authors who didn’t agree on what the limits of the Constitution were.

      Should all government employees be held to the oaths they swear, including to preserve and uphold the Constitution, or be fired without further cause? No, I think oaths are generally hollow patriotism forced upon people. You can have them fed employee sign an affidavit under penalty of perjury and enact the same legal consequences if they violate what they promised.

      Is authority for border control up to the states, or the federal government? I don’t have an opinion on this in all honesty – I’d be making one up just to give you an answer. I hope you appreciate the honesty.

      Should we take additional steps to try to avoid letting terrorists into the country? Well, it depends on what they are. If the additional steps are extreme and unreasonable, I’d say no. If they were reasonable, I’d say of course.

      Is helping another nation defend itself against a terrorist takeover part of our own national security and therefore justified?

      What counts as a terrorist takeover? And again, I’d say it depends. Reagan considered Nelson Mandela a terrorist. His ANC group was getting closer to taking over South Africa despite being branded as terrorists by some. Would I have supported helping prop up the Apartheid regime and defend them against Mandela? No.

      I’m happy to answer other question since you said that was less than 10% of the important issues. Here are a few questions in case you care to respond:

      1. Do you think it’s fiscally responsible to cut taxes, increase social spending, and increase defense spending?

      2. Do you think Eisenhower was right about an American military-industrial complex and do you think it exists today?

      3. Why do you think most mass shootings in America are done by white men?

      4. Why do you think Canada has such a lower gun homicide rate than the U.S.?

      5. Do you think the Americans making over $100k/year who receive over $40 billion per year in benefits from the home mortgage interest deduction should be drug tested to get their benefit?

      6. Do you believe gay marriage should be legal?

      7. Do you believe that DC citizens should have taxation without full representation in Congress?

      8. Does the bill of rights only apply to the federal government? Could states curtail freedom of the press and freedom of religion?

      9. Should the U.S. limit the right of its citizens to travel abroad (such as Cuba)?

      I’m genuinely interested in your responses.

  9. Amazona November 28, 2015 / 10:59 pm

    ““No one was turned away from health care.” Are you familiar with customers who were denied health insurance based on pre-existing conditions?”

    I am very familiar with that. I had family members denied standard health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. That is, however, not the same as being denied HEALTH CARE. One of the successes of the demagogues has been in conflating “health care” with “insurance”. Insurance is a legal contract between a buyer and a company, in which one party agrees to pay a premium and the other party agrees to pay for covered medical costs.

    No one going to a hospital can be denied health care. For chronic conditions, etc. there have been myriad plans subsidized by faith based organizations, states, schools, charities, etc.

    But back to being denied coverage. In Colorado, if you were denied by two or three (I don’t remember which) insurance companies, you qualified for an insurance plan partially subsidized by the state. Yes, it cost more than standard insurance, but it was not an outrageous amount more, and it cost the state far less to subsidize plans for people who had first taken the initiative to try to get insurance for themselves than it would have to just scrap all the plans for all Coloradans and then try to cobble together some cockamamie plan and make everyone go along with it.

    One reason this worked is because it was not a One Size Fits All, it was a state plan and it was designed for the state and administered by the state and funded by the state. This made it relevant to more Coloradans, and more affordable because money didn’t have to filter through a massive federal agency, with large numbers of dollars sticking to the fingers of every level passed through.

    Surely with all your vast knowledge of insurance issues you are aware of this and other plans to help provide coverage to people who have been denied standard health insurance coverage.

    • Stuart_F November 29, 2015 / 3:36 am

      “No one going to a hospital can be denied health care.”

      This isn’t true. People get denied health care all the time. They just can’t be denied **emergency** medical care as defined under EMTALA – the legislation Reagan signed that actually did create socialized medicine. But if you need chemo, and your insurance won’t cover it, you can’t go to the hospital to get that health care. It doesn’t count as an emergency. Same for many other conditions that don’t qualify under EMTALA. Otherwise, if no one was ever denied health care, why would anyone pay for health care?

  10. Amazona November 28, 2015 / 11:18 pm

    I think the past can always inform us of how to improve our current and future actions. Often, just changing the laws doesn’t provide justice. Say your grandparents robbed your friends grandparents. Your family became rich, and passed that on to you, while your friend’s family never recovered.

    You could say “Hey, I had nothing to do with that robbery, it was years ago! And besides, our country outlawed that kind of robberty, (sic) so everything is good now.”

    Does that sound like a fair and moral resolution to deal with the past robbery?

    Just why do you think it is POSSIBLE to “deal with a past robbery”? If the robber is dead, if the robbery victim is dead, if the proceeds of the robbery are no longer available to be given to the descendants of the victim, then there IS no way to “.. deal with the past robbery.” That’s the thing about the past—you can’t change it. You can change the circumstances that allowed a wrong to happen, but you can’t unring the bell, and you are a fool if you try to play God and decide what WOULD have happened if THIS had happened and this had NOT happened, and so on.

    This is just silly. It’s like the Straw Man Festival.

    You show absolutely no evidence that the success of one family is dependent on, or even related to, its taking of the property of the other family. There seems to be an implication that the victim family was so damaged by the theft (“never recovered”) that they were permanently incapable of achieving success. This flies in the face of the decades/centuries of stories of people who suffered great losses, whether economic or physical or emotional, and went on to be successful.

    An example is the large number of descendants of black slaves, who went on to achieve great success. Certainly there is no absolute correlation between ancestry of slavery and success in future generations, so there has to be another reason why so many black people are not successful. Read about Thomas Sowell for some insight into that.

    You seem to be saying that in your mind justice demands that the sins of the fathers be visited upon the sons. You seem to be saying that we not only can but should work our way backwards to try to compensate people who were not personally harmed, by people who personally did no harm, in the pursuit of someone’s personal concept of justice. There are sure a lot of suppositions in that superficially noble goal.

    How to prove that an injury took place? How to evaluate the extent of the injury? How to prove that it was responsible for later failures? How to justify imposing harm on someone who did nothing wrong? How far back to you go? Some of my ancestors were from villages looted, raped and pillaged by Cossacks—who owes me what, and how do I prove that these old actions had a negative impact on ME? Some of my ancestors came to this country and nearly starved because of racial bigotry—in this case, signs saying “No Irish Need Apply”. Who owes me what?

    You would be a lot better off if you could figure out how to be in the here and now and solve what is in front of you. To quote a TV character, “Only a fool trips over what is behind him”.

    • Amazona November 28, 2015 / 11:30 pm

      It is a uniquely Leftist theory that it is possible to achieve absolute justice. Your example involves imposing an injustice on an innocent person in the name of retroactively achieving justice for a past sin.

      Again, I recommend Sowell, He has a brilliant book called Conflict of Visions. He posits that some people believe that some people can be just so damned wonderful, so smart and so insightful and so noble, that they should be allowed vast amounts of power over others due to their specialness. Other people believe that all human beings are vulnerable to temptation, to excess, to the abuse of power, and therefore it is important to have processes, to mitigate the ability of any one person to exercise extreme power.

      After reading several chapters, I realized he was explaining how some people can follow Liberalism, because they just believe that there CAN be a Utopia, there CAN be absolute fairness and justice, and there ARE some people who can be trusted to make decisions for the rest of us and have great power just because of who they are, while others distrust the idea of perfection or perfectability and think we need processes, checks and balances, to spread power and keep it from being concentrated in one person. That is really the most basic definition of who ends up on the Left and who is on the Right.

      • Stuart_F November 29, 2015 / 4:03 am

        I just concerns I may be a troll. I don’t believe I am nor do I want to give that impression. I am trying to engage in a respectful dialogue with an open mind. I always learn a lot learning from people I disagree with and enjoy the exchange.

        I try not to misrepresent anyone’s position or purposefully upset anyone.

        Amazona – to clarify – I do not believe in utopia or absolute justice. I would imagine Christians do believe in both of those things, so I doubt it’s a “uniquely Leftist theory” as you say. I’ve never met anyone on the left (or right) who believe those things, again except for religious people perhaps.

        I also am not interested in identity politics or partisanship for the sake of partisanship. People are complicated and nuanced – Presidents make so many decisions that I don’t think you can call any one of them all awful or all wonderful.

        I’ll happily discuss the areas I admire the GOP and where I disagree with the Democratic party. I think Bush’s PEPFAR was historic and laudable. I this he’s a skilled politician. I don’t think he’s evil, I think he genuinely believes in his religion and his policies. I love that Rand Paul returns hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Treasury each year because he doesn’t use all of the bloated Senate expense money.

        I’m unhappy with Democrats most of all in regards to local zoning. They are complicit in exclusionary zoning (restrictive regulations) that increase the cost of housing in cities like SF and DC. I wish Obama would be more liberal with his use of pardons. I dislike how hawkish his foreign policy is, I think he should have supported gay marriage earlier, etc.

    • Bob Eisenhower November 28, 2015 / 11:46 pm


      Stuart’s robbery example echoes many historic examples, but your rebuttal neatly rebuffs it. Good job.

      Let’s take Japanese-American internment. A bad thing happened and, decades later, reparations were paid. Those reparations did nothing to undo the wrong and were inadequate to really help the descenants.

      American slavery is, of course, the gold standard. Now, if former slaves had been given their 40 acres and a mule, it would have helped them not become sharecroppers. But now, almost two centuries later, reparations would be useless, both to the recipients and to society.

    • Stuart_F November 29, 2015 / 3:48 am

      Do you think that the black community stopped facing serious disadvantages once slavery formally ended? I think that seems to be where we may differ.

      I’ve read enough Sowell to not find him persuasive. I’ve yet to see him address how the New Deal helped but the white middle class but purposefully exclude racial minorities.

      Let me give an example. My grandfather was able to go to law school after WWII because of the GI bill. Black Americans were nearly all denied GI bill benefits, and even the few that got them couldn’t go to elite schools which excluded them. That law degree helped my grandfather his whole life, and the wealth he built with it enormously helped me. The federal government invented the 30-year mortgage loan, which is a crucial way middle-class Americans build wealth. My grandfather was able to get a mortgage because he was white, unlike black Americans could for many decades. That helped him his entire life. Those financial advantages didn’t end right after he left law school or closed on his mortgage, it still helps his family to this day.

      This isn’t to say no racial minorities could achieve success. CJ Walker became the first female black millionaire in 1912, but that didn’t mean Jim Crow and rampant racial terrorism didn’t exist and harm black people at that time.

      What I am saying is that the millions of white families that were able to build wealth thanks to the GI bill, FHA mortgages – those impacts continue to this day. It created an unbalanced playing field. The same is true for social security and minimum wage laws, which were initially written so that most black laborers couldn’t benefit from them.

      Let’s forget about any kind of remedy or plan to deal with this history. (I don’t believe any perfect justice or utopia can be achieved). But would you agree that there was an unfair playing field for many years, and that the benefits accrued continue to have an impact to this day?

      If you think black people don’t face any significant disadvantages compared to white people, what year do you think this happened? Why do you think the black-white wealth gap exists?

      • Bob Eisenhower November 29, 2015 / 1:22 pm


        I think this is the type of argument Amazona will not foster. When did this become a discussion of a level playing field for blacks? And even going down that trail, Amazona pointed out the uneven playing field her Irish ancestors surmounted.

        Of course slavery echoes still in an uneven playing field. But the fact is there never was, nor never will be, a level playing field for anyone, black or white. Good people rise above their playing field. Look at Peter Dinklage, if you want a non-racial example.

      • Stuart_F November 29, 2015 / 1:34 pm

        If everyone thinks this is an issue they don’t care to discuss, they are free to ignore. I won’t be unhappy with anyone for not discussing something they’re not interested in.

        Someone pushed back that remembering America’s treatment against native Americans was worthwhile. I’m making this connection because I think we need to really understand not only the ugly history many people don’t want to look at, but also how it shapes our society today. That’s why I think reflecting on America’s treatment of Indians is more worthwhile on Thanksgiving than frenzied consumerism. That is why I brought it up.

        Was everyone here aware that FDR and his New Deal excluded racial minorities from the GI bill, Social Security, the new minimum wage laws, and that for many decades after FDR left office racial minorities could not get 30-year mortgages to build wealth?

        Virtually every liberal I know isn’t aware of this – which is why they still look back at FDR as the good old days, when it really wasn’t good for everyone.

        Your example of Peter Dinklage – yes, individuals can overcome hardships and be successful. I’ve never said they couldn’t. I’ll note again – Madam CJ Walker was the first black millionaire in 1912. But does her success mean we shouldn’t have been concerned about all the terrorism black people faced at that time, segregation, Jim Crow violence and exclusion from politics, discrimination by the govt and private sector – just because some individuals were able to be successful?

      • Bob Eisenhower November 29, 2015 / 4:13 pm


        I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a nation without black marks in their history. Everyone loves Canada and Australia, and they killed their native populations same as us.

        OK, so let’s list America’s bad points: Indians, slavery and Jim Crow, Hiroshima, the last season of Friends.

        Does remembering them on Thanksgiving (or today) make a lick of difference?

        How’s about remembering the good of America: spread of democracy, massive worldwide food/money support, moon landing/leading science/tech/medicine since 1900, Breaking Bad.

        Now THAT’s a national holiday!

  11. tiredoflibbs November 29, 2015 / 12:08 pm

    Stuart, the “97% climate scientists agree” and “peer reviewed” talking points are all based on a “study” or survey by Australian global-warming activist John Cook.

    When you look at the actual “study” (in this case a term used very loosely), 11944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’, one would find 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position (there’s that word again) that humans are causing global warming. So of 11944 climate science abstracts, only 3894 abstracts gave mention to AGW and 97% of those were endorsed by their authors. Yes that’s right – the “peer review” was a SELF review and not independent climate scientists.

    Cook actually “cooked the books” on AGW. Another big name in climate science actually analyzed Cooks “data”. Professor Richard S. J. Tol. Dr. Tol is a professor of the economics of climate change at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and a professor of economics at the University of Sussex, England. He has also served on the UN’s IPCC.

    If you look at Cook’s study (who is not a climatologist by the way), you will see cherry-picked science, cherry picked climatologists who “peer-review” their own papers, cherry-picked data and all scientific opposition and opposition data dismissed by AGW or climate disruption or climate change proponents. If the science is truly sound, then it should stand on its own, face the opposition and be prepared to defend itself to scrutiny. The truth is that is something the left is opposed to and will demonize all opposition rather than have the scientific debate.

    We conservative will welcome the debate, welcome the scientific process while the left runs from it.

    • Stuart_F November 29, 2015 / 1:22 pm

      Okay, let’s say I agree with the economics professor you cited. It seems he believes climate change is happening – it’s just not quite as dramatic as other scientists have stated. He says that “we only need a carbon tax, and a carbon tax only”

      If conservatives are willing to follow the advice of scientists, why don’t they support the recommendation of this econ professor you cited?

      • tiredoflibbs November 29, 2015 / 2:26 pm

        Nobody denies that the climate is changing. What is denied is the cause that the left states. What is denied are the solutions that the left states will halt or slow climate change. What is denied is that a tax on carbon will slow or halt the change. What is denied is that the “science is settled” and the “debate is over” as the left claims.

        The evidence, we open minded people see, is that countries like China and India who are the largest polluters on the planet are not subject to the “solutions” proposed by the leftist, no growth types” of the IPCC and warmist politicians. To them, they want to punish “deniers” (of all types – physicists, climate scientists, meteorologists, etc) regardless of the evidence to the contrary.

        “If conservatives are willing to follow the advice of scientists, why don’t they support the recommendation of this econ professor you cited?”

        If the left will not listen to the recommendations of scientists who are not “climate scientists”.. Why should we? Tol ran the numbers and debunked the study as well at the idiotic talking points that came from its conclusion. Just because I cited him as a reference does not mean I agree with him on everything else. A carbon tax will do nothing to stop climate change, especially when the cause is no way related to it. Man made climate change is a fantasy – the climate has been changing long before man, long before the industrial revolution and long before the internal combustion engines.

      • Stuart_F November 29, 2015 / 2:35 pm

        Okay, so you trust this academic (Tol) when he’s disagreeing with other scientists on climate change, but you don’t trust the same academic’s own findings on climate change.

        So who in the scientific community do you trust? If we don’t listen to scientists on scientific matter, who should we listen to?

      • Cluster November 29, 2015 / 2:50 pm

        Stuart, do you think there is any connection between the amount of money governments are handing out to scientists who study climate change and the conclusions they reach?

      • tiredoflibbs November 29, 2015 / 3:39 pm

        Nice deflection there Stuart….

        The point is, the “97% climate scientists agree….” talking point and the “peer review” talking point are lies based on a contrived study using cherry picked data and cherry picked scientists. It doesn’t take a genius to read a study and see how faulty and biased it is. These individuals had a pre-conceived conclusion and they needed “data”, a “study” to back it up.

        What better proof of how faulty and fraudulent a study is than to have a person with similar thinking to point it out?

        You say nothing of the one-sided study. You say nothing of the process that ignores any scientist, data or paper that disagrees with the pre-conceived conclusion.

        Show me a scientist or organization that does not ignore, massage, change, cherry pick or edit data. Show me a scientist or organization that does not use faulty climate models to prove their pre-conceived conclusion on climate change. Show me a scientist or organization that does not dismiss data or scientists who disagree with them.

        Again, I call for the debate the left refuses to have. Now stay on topic and try not to deflect.

  12. tiredoflibbs November 29, 2015 / 3:44 pm

    Stuart, another post from the archives….

    IPCC Admits Its Past Reports Were Junk

    The InterAcademy Council (IAC) conducted an independent review of the processes and procedures of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Based on this review, the IAC issued a report with recommended measures and actions to strengthen IPCC’s processes and procedures so as to be better able to respond to future challenges and ensure the ongoing
    quality of its reports.IAC findings:

    The IAC reported that IPCC lead authors fail to give “due consideration … to properly documented alternative views” (p. 20), fail to “provide detailed written responses to the most significant review issues identified by the Review Editors” (p. 21), and are not “consider[ing] review comments carefully and document[ing] their responses” (p. 22).

    In plain English: the IPCC reports are NOT PEER-REVIEWED.

    The IAC found that “the IPCC has no formal process or criteria for selecting authors” and “the selection criteria seemed arbitrary to many respondents” (p. 18). Government officials appoint scientists from their countries and “do not always nominate the best scientists from among those who volunteer, either because they do not know who these scientists are or because political considerations are given more weight than scientific qualifications” (p. 18).

    Again in plain English: authors are selected from a “club” of scientists and nonscientists who agree with the alarmist perspective favored by politicians.

    The rewriting of the Summary for Policy Makers by politicians and environmental activists — a problem called out by global warming realists for many years, but with little apparent notice by the media or policymakers — was plainly admitted, perhaps for the first time by an organization in the “mainstream” of alarmist climate change thinking. “[M]any were concerned that reinterpretations of the assessment’s findings, suggested in the final Plenary, might BE POLITICALLY MOTIVATED,” the IAC auditors wrote. The scientists they interviewed commonly found the Synthesis Report “TOO POLITICAL” (p. 25).

    Really? Too political? We were told by everyone — environmentalists, reporters, politicians, even celebrities — that the IPCC reports were science, not politics. Now we are told that even the scientists involved in writing the reports — remember, they are all true believers in man-made global warming themselves — felt the summaries were “too political.”

    Here is how the IAC described how the IPCC arrives at the “consensus of scientists”:
    Plenary sessions to approve a Summary for Policy Makers last for several days and commonly end with an all-night meeting. Thus, the individuals with the most endurance or the countries that have large delegations can end up having the most influence on the report (p. 25).

    How can such a process possibly be said to capture or represent the “true consensus of scientists”?

    Read more:
    As the GOD_FATHER OF GLOBAL WARMING LOVELOCK HAS ACCURATELY STATED the DOOM AND GLOOM PREDICTIONS WERE “INNACURATE” and the SCIENCE was far from “SETTLED”. It is factual that a true PEER-REVIEW of IPCC’s process found that their process was flawed, politically motivated, forced consensus and its conclusions complete crap.

  13. tiredoflibbs November 29, 2015 / 3:46 pm

    Stuart, another from the archives….

    IPCC report criticized by one of its lead authors
    June 1, 2001

    The Third Assessment Report (TAR) of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), expected to be released sometime in 2001, is already coming under heavy criticism from various directions. But none has been more devastating than the one delivered on March 1 by one of the report’s lead authors.

    Dr. Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of the world’s leading atmospheric scientists, told a standing-room only audience at a briefing sponsored by the Cooler Heads Coalition in the U.S. Senate Environment Committee Room, that the IPCC process is driven by politics rather than science.
    What are some of the problems with the IPCC process, according to Lindzen? It uses summaries to misrepresent what scientists say. It uses language that means different things to scientists and laymen. It exploits public ignorance over quantitative matters. It exploits what scientists can agree on, while ignoring disagreements, to support the global warming agenda. And it exaggerates scientific accuracy and certainty and the authority of undistinguished scientists.


No consensus here

    The “most egregious” problem with the IPCC’s forthcoming report, said Lindzen, “is that it is presented as a consensus that involves hundreds, perhaps thousands, of scientists . . . and none of them was asked if they agreed with anything in the report except for the one or two pages they worked on.”

    Indeed, most press accounts covering the January release of the TAR’s “Summary for Policymakers” characterized the report as the work of 2,000 (3,000 in some instances) of the world’s leading climate scientists. IPCC’s emphasis, however, isn’t on getting qualified scientists, but on getting representatives from over 100 countries, said Lindzen. The truth is only a handful of countries do quality climate research. Most of the so-called experts served merely to pad the numbers.

    “It is no small matter,” said Lindzen, “that routine weather service functionaries from New Zealand to Tanzania are referred to as ‘the world’s leading climate scientists.’ It should come as no surprise that they will be determinedly supportive of the process.”

    The IPCC clearly uses the Summary for Policymakers to misrepresent what is in the report, said Lindzen. He gave an example from the chapter he worked on, chapter 7, addressing physical processes.

    The 35-page chapter, said Lindzen, pointed out many problems with the way climate computer models treat specific physical processes, such as water vapor, clouds, ocean currents, and so on. Clouds and water vapor in clouds, for example, are badly misrepresented in the models. The physics are all wrong, he said. Those things the models do well are irrelevant to the all-important feedback effects.

    “The treatment of water vapor in clouds is crucial to models producing a lot of warming,” explained Lindzen. “Without them [positive feedbacks], no model would produce much warming.”
    The IPCC summarizes the 35-page chapter in one sentence: “Understanding of climate processes and their incorporation in climate models have improved, including water vapor, sea dynamics and ocean heat transport.”

    That, said Lindzen, does not summarize the chapter at all. “That is why a lot of us have said that the document itself is informative; the summary is not.”
    Lindzen briefly discussed a paper he published in the March 2001 issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, clarifying the water vapor feedback issue. Using detailed daily measurements, Lindzen and his coauthors from NASA showed that cloud cover in the tropics diminishes as temperatures rise, cooling the planet by allowing more heat to escape.

    “The effect observed,” said Lindzen, “is sufficient such that if current models are absolutely correct, except for missing this, models that predict between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees warming go down to about .4 to 1.2 degrees warming.”


Not the way science is done

    The IPCC claims its report is peer-reviewed, which simply isn’t true, Lindzen said. Under true peer-review, he explained, a panel of reviewers must accept a study before it can be published in a scientific journal. If the reviewers have objections, the author must answer them or change the article to take reviewers’ objections into account.

    Under the IPCC review process, by contrast, the authors are at liberty to ignore criticisms. After having his review comments ignored by the IPCC in 1990 and 1995, Lindzen asked to have his name removed from the list of reviewers. The group refused.

    The IPCC has resorted to using scenario-building in its policymakers’ summary to paint a frightening picture not supported by the science, Lindzen charged. Ignoring the science allows the IPCC to build a scenario, for example, that assumes man will burn 300 years’ worth of coal in 100 years. They plug that into the most sensitive climate model available and arrive at a truly frightening global warming scenario.

    “People wouldn’t normally take that very seriously,” said Lindzen, “but I think the IPCC understands the media will report the top number. I don’t think, any longer, that this is unintentional.”

    The IPCC also exploits what scientists do agree on to support its agenda, according to Lindzen. For example, Lindzen said, scientists can more-or-less live with the idea conveyed in the IPCC report that everything is connected to everything else, and everything is uncertain.
    Lindzen himself doesn’t think these ideas are particularly reasonable. But politicians and environmentalists take this minimal area of agreement, and then claim that anything can cause anything and we must act to stop it.

    Scientists agree, for example, that atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased over the last 100 years. They also generally agree the climate has warmed slightly. Uncertainties remain, however, regarding even those basic propositions. Contrary to the impression given by the IPCC, there is no widespread agreement on what these two “facts” mean for mankind. Yet they are deemed by the IPCC sufficient to justify precipitous action.


Fun with numbers

    Perhaps Lindzen’s most devastating critique is aimed at the IPCC’s use of statistics.
    The IPCC’s infamous hockey stick graph, for example, shows global temperatures have been stable or falling over the last 1,000 years, and that only in the industrial age has there been an unnatural warming of the planet. But if you look at the margin of error in that graph, “You can no longer maintain that statement,” said Lindzen.

    Lindzen also noted the margin of error used in the IPCC report is much smaller, a 60 percent confidence level, than traditionally used by scientists, who generally report results at the 95 or even 99 percent confidence level. The IPCC is thus publicizing results much less likely to be correct than scientific research is generally expected to be.

    To illustrate his point, Lindzen showed estimates of some of the most precise numbers in physics with their error bars. He showed different measurements of the speed of light, for instance, from 1929 to the 1980s. The error bars for the estimated speed of light in 1932 and 1940 do not even include the value we think is the correct speed of light today. “Error bars should not be taken lightly,” warned Lindzen. “There is genuine uncertainty in them.”


Incentives matter

    “Scientists are human beings,” Lindzen concluded, “subject to normal instincts and weaknesses.” They respond to incentives just like everyone else. “Current government funding creates incentives to behave poorly by maintaining the relevance of the subject,” he said, noting that on some issues financial support for science depends on “alarming the world.”
    Indeed, Lindzen noted, Mario Molina and Sherwood Rowland were awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work on ozone depletion–not for alerting the world, but for “alarming” it. “You don’t want scientists to get hooked on this as the key to fame and glory,” he warned.
    There’s little doubt, Lindzen said, that the IPCC process has become politicized to the point of uselessness. He advised U.S. policymakers simply to ignore it.

  14. canadianobserver11 November 29, 2015 / 7:02 pm

    I think Stuart_F has brought forth some valid points and interesting commentary. Y’all might not agree with his political views but he certainly has upgraded the level of discourse usually found on this blog. Hopefully, he will continue to post his opinions in the same respectful manner and not resort to sarcasm and personal attacks that other commentators here seem to find necessary when presenting their arguments.

Comments are closed.