Democrats & Liberals Archives

Smearing Gore Again

Smearing Gore was one of the best techniques used by Republicans in 2000 to get George W. Bush “elected.” While Gore stayed on the sidelines, Republicans felt there was no need to smear him. Now that Gore is returning to the limelight with his new movie about global warming, leading some to speculate about another Gore presidential candidacy, the smearing has returned. The smearers do not care if what Gore says is true or not. They label it false and then smear Gore’s reputation.

We know ExxonMobil says that global warming is a hoax. To prove its point it hires shills to smear people like Gore. From Think Progress, we learn:

"Sterling Burnett is a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, an organization that has received over $390,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. This afternoon on Fox, Burnett compared watching Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth, to watching a movie by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels to learn about Nazi Germany."

Then there is the hurricane expert Bill Gray, who claims:

"I am of the opinion that this is one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated on the American people."

This applies to all the scientists that tell us global warming is real and caused by humans. This is what Gray said about Gore:

"Gore believed in global warming almost as much as Hitler believed there was something wrong with the Jews."

I ask you, is this the type of statement you would expect from a scientist? This is almost as bad as the statement by Burnett - yet, Burnett is merely a shill for ExxonMobil.

A hoax? Like Goebbels? Like Hitler? Nothing but smears. This is all the anti-global warming crowd can do, because there is a consensus among scientists who study these things. There is remarkable agreement, as Think Progress reports:

"Science Magazine analyzed 928 peer-reviewed scientific papers on global warming published between 1993 and 2003. Not a single one challenged the scientific consensus the earth’s temperature is rising due to human activity."

The smearers spread falsehoods about Gore before: he never said he invented the Internet, and he is probably the most honest guy in politics. Now the smearers are at it again. Their motto is: "Never mind the facts; smearing works." However, when so many smears are debunked, smearers lose their power. People are catching on. They are asking for facts.

Smearing Gore again will not work.

Posted by Paul Siegel at May 30, 2006 3:56 PM
Comments
Comment #152712

Paul

It is not a smear to disagree with Gore’s conclusions. Even if you believe (as I do) that the preponderance of the evidence points to warming and the humans may have a role, his solutions do not follow, IMO, and some of his statements are hyperbole.

And some of his problems are of his own making. He did make a dubious comment re the Internet. “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.” It takes a few times reading it carefully to see what he “meant.” I also heard him give a speech talking about his hard work growing up on a farm in Tennessee. He may have visited the place, but he grew up in NW Washington DC, where I don’t think he did much plowin’ and cuttin’ wood.

Posted by: Jack at May 30, 2006 4:32 PM
Comment #152714

Jack,

Comparing Gore to Hilter is not a smear? That’s more than just disagreeing on conclusions. Come on.

I also heard him give a speech talking about his hard work growing up on a farm in Tennessee. He may have visited the place, but he grew up in NW Washington DC, where I don’t think he did much plowin’ and cuttin’ wood.

During the school year, he lived in DC. However, he spent his summers in Tennessee doing just what he claimed he did.

Why are you so quick to call him a liar for something he knows a hell of a lot more about than you do?

Posted by: LawnBoy at May 30, 2006 4:36 PM
Comment #152731

Pick and choose, pick and choose.
Disagree with al gore and make Nazi comparisons and you are “smearing” him?
Disagree with President Bush and make Nazi comparisons and your only speaking the truth?
How about some Puff’s Plus.

Man, I sure hope you guys pick a Democrat to run in 08, because if al gore is the best you got, we got more of the same coming.

al gore? LMAO!

Posted by: kctim at May 30, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #152734

Lawnboy

I didn’t call him a liar re global warming. I just questioned his conclusions. Is that not allowed.

I would not have guessed they still used mules back in 1960, but maybe so.

There is a difference between doing it as the summer camp experience and doing it for real. I don’t mean to denigrate the work. I own a tree farm, but as in Gore’s case, it is not my primary income source. I make my kids stack rocks etc. It is hard work, but I don’t think they can really lay claim to knowing what it is like to depend on the sweat of their brows for their daily bread.

Posted by: Jack at May 30, 2006 5:13 PM
Comment #152739

Where did mules enter the conversation? Did I miss it?

I didn’t call him a liar re global warming. I just questioned his conclusions. Is that not allowed.

Yes, it’s allowed, but it’s irrelevant to your criticism of Paul’s article. Paul quoted people who compared Gore to Hilter. You said “It is not a smear to disagree with Gore’s conclusions.” The smear is not the disagreement; the smear is the comparison to Hitler.

There is a difference between doing it as the summer camp experience and doing it for real.

Why do you assume he just came in for a “summer camp experience”? He lived on the farm for three months a year, working. How on earth do you get off denigrating that as you do?

He lived on a farm and did hard work in Tennessee while he was growing up. It takes quite a partisan spin to call him a liar for a speech about “his hard work growing up on a farm in Tennessee” when those are the facts.

Posted by: LawnBoy at May 30, 2006 5:32 PM
Comment #152746

Paul

Sorry for Righties smearing Gore…but he’s…gosh…just so smearable….. :)

Posted by: sicilianeagle at May 30, 2006 5:42 PM
Comment #152763

I suppose we should be grateful Al Gore did not father a Black Baby, eh SE?

Posted by: Aldous at May 30, 2006 6:13 PM
Comment #152768

Lawnboy

He mentioned mules and a two headed ax that he used to clear land. I guess his pa couldn’t afford a chain saw or a tractor.

I get off denigrating it because I do the same sort of thing. It is kind of a hobby thing.

If my kids run for office they can talk about the hard time tossing rocks. I don’t have a two headed ax, but I have several ordinary ones. That can give my city kids the 19th century farm experience all right.

Posted by: Jack at May 30, 2006 6:44 PM
Comment #152772
It is kind of a hobby thing.

For you it’s a hobby. Why do you assume it was the same for him?

Posted by: LawnBoy at May 30, 2006 6:47 PM
Comment #152777

I saw a speech on Cspan A while Back, where Al gore and Bob dole, were talking to the audience and a question was asked to mr Gore about the election, mr gore, gave a Quick and angry Answer, and was almost booed off the stage, then out of the blue, old broken down and mean ol’ Bob dole saved his bacon, then Al gore said thanks Bob. and then they had a wonderful time.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 30, 2006 7:02 PM
Comment #152779

S.E.

Amen. Preach on, Bro’.


Posted by: Jim T at May 30, 2006 7:03 PM
Comment #152786

Paul,

While skimming through the Think Progress link I stumbled onto this:
The Halliburton SurvivaBall
http://www.halliburtoncontracts.com/

If you haven’t seen it take just a minute to do so. I laughed so hard I nearly cried.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at May 30, 2006 7:29 PM
Comment #152810

Paul,
This does not suprise me that the controllers of the Republicans, the ultra right wing, are smeering V.P. Gore. It is what acting President Rove has determined would do. These people are unprincipled and many times just LIERS. There are enough people who will believe anyone when they have a post with something like the Heritage Foundation, etc.

Well written article, Paul.

Posted by: C.T. Rich at May 30, 2006 9:02 PM
Comment #152830

An analogy is an argument from similarity in known respects to similarity in other respects. That is what your examples are.
A smear is a lie intended to defame the character of or discredit a person or group. American Pundit’s blog “Republicans Dishonor Our Fallen Heroes” is an example of a smear.
While it can be argued that invoking the Nazis is disingenuous, the analogies have some validity.
Gore’s movie IS slickly produced propaganda and he DOES have a fanatical belief in his cause.
Bill Gray’s statement that global warming is a hoax is disagreement, and cause for reasoned argument, not condemnation.

“Science Magazine analyzed 928 peer-reviewed scientific papers on global warming published between 1993 and 2003. Not a single one challenged the scientific consensus the earth’s temperature is rising due to human activity.”

Peer review concerning global warming is almost meaningless. Global warming has become a religion and any scientist who commits the heresy of challenging it will end his career.

Posted by: traveller at May 30, 2006 10:04 PM
Comment #152837

Traveller,
So you would agree that since comparing Gore to Hitler is not a smear that it’s ALSO valid to compare Bush to Hitler? To compare Karl Rove to Joseph Goebbels? To compare Dick Cheney with Himmler? To compare Rumsfeld with Goering?

Posted by: ElliottBay at May 30, 2006 10:33 PM
Comment #152838

Man, I sure hope you guys pick a Democrat to run in 08, because if al gore is the best you got, we got more of the same coming.

al gore? LMAO!

Posted by: kctim at May 30, 2006 05:11 PM

And this from one who supports Bush.

What brillance, ugh?

No wonder America has found the slippery slope that leads to fascism.

Posted by: expatUSA_Indonesia at May 30, 2006 10:38 PM
Comment #152839

Lawnboy

Because it is a hobby thing. GW Bush does a lot more work around the farm and even RR chopped more wood. And both those guys actually lived on their land most of the time. I think you can safely call their forays into farming hobbies.

How much of Gore’s wealth or income was derived from all that farmin’?

Frankly, I don’t know why he even makes a big thing about it. It just does not fit in well with his personality. And I don’t know why you buy it. A guy who actually runs a farm cannot spend his time doing much else. It is a hobby for him.

Posted by: Jack at May 30, 2006 10:40 PM
Comment #152843

“Sorry for Righties smearing Gore…but he’s…gosh…just so smearable….. :)”

Only because you guys start believing your own BS and it snowballs from there.
Go google “al gore, internet” and you can read some testimonials by leading internet “creators” that say Gore’s comittee is largly responsible for the Internet becoming widely used and available to the general public.
Yet you guys can’t stop snearing long enough when his name is mentioned to actually read and consider facts.
PS, name one thing bush has ever done that has had a positive impact on large groups of people (hint: billionaires are not large groups)

Posted by: Norby at May 30, 2006 10:49 PM
Comment #152844

Norby

name one thing bush has ever done that has had a positive impact on large groups of people
It may not be a large group, but Bush certainly made it easier for Islamic extremists to recruit more people.

Posted by: ElliottBay at May 30, 2006 10:52 PM
Comment #152845

“Gore’s movie IS slickly produced propaganda and he DOES have a fanatical belief in his cause”

Propadanda implies something that isn’t true.
Fanatical implies devotion beyond reason.
How bout we switch that to “slickly produced scientific message” and “a inspired belief in his cause”?
If he’s wrong, no big harm, maybe we get off the mideast oil teat and become a strong independant nation again.
If he’s right, and we don’t act, mankind is in for some very dark times.

“Peer review concerning global warming is almost meaningless.” Global warming has become a religion and any scientist who commits the heresy of challenging it will end his career.”

OR, PERHAPS, every real scientist that explores the issue comes to similar conclusions? Ever give that half a seconds thought?

Posted by: norby at May 30, 2006 10:54 PM
Comment #152846

“It may not be a large group, but Bush certainly made it easier for Islamic extremists to recruit more people.”

I stand corrected (actually I’m sitting)

Posted by: norby at May 30, 2006 10:55 PM
Comment #152847

How much of GW’s wealth was derived from farmin’?

BTW Gore really said: I’ll be offering my vision when my campaign begins. And it will be comprehensive and sweeping. And I hope that it will be compelling enough to draw people toward it. I feel that it will be.
But it will emerge from my dialogue with the American people. I’ve traveled to every part of this country during the last six years. During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.

Study on Gore and the creation of the internet here
Very interesting read

Posted by: MyPetGoat at May 30, 2006 11:04 PM
Comment #152850
Global warming has become a religion and any scientist who commits the heresy of challenging it will end his career.

This betrays a complete misunderstanding of science. Science grows and develops by disproving old ideas. A scientist gains recognition, fame, and prestige by showing that commonly held beliefs are incorrect. If a scientist can prove that the conventional wisdom is wrong, that scientist becomes the top dog.

Your statement is an example of the same kind of conspiracy mongering that supports the laughable notion that Intelligent Design is just being kept down by the man, instead of the truth that Intelligent Design has been shown not to be valid or useful scientifically.

norby is right - when the world of science reaches a consensus, the best explanation is that the evidence is overwhelming.

Posted by: LawnBoy at May 30, 2006 11:09 PM
Comment #152851
Because it is a hobby thing.

And you know that the Gore family farm on which he worked in the 1950s and 60s was only a hobby farm? On what is this knowledge based? The fact that you have a hobby farm? The fact that another politician has a hobby farm?

How much more irrelevant can the basis of your argument be?

Here’s an excerpt from a Gore biography:

To make certain his son would be more than a product of Embassy Row, Al, Sr., insisted the boy spend a fair chunk of his childhood on the family’s 250-acre farm…Young Al would spend long weekends, summers, holidays, and his entire seventh year on the Carthage property. The senior Gore said it would build his character to live with the plain people who raised crops and livestock.

There’s absolutely nothing here that contradicts what Gore said in his speech:

My father taught me how to clear out hog waste with a shovel and a hoe. He taught me how to clear land with a double-headed axe. How to plow a steep hillside with a team of mules.

The only thing you have to contradict this is that his experience is different than yours and Mr. Bush’s. That’s so irrelevent it’s ridiculous.

Basically, you’ve said that Al Gore come across as dubious because of two things: his claim to have invented the internet, and his claim to have grown up on a family farm. In both, your ridicule parrots standard laugh lines for Jay Leno and standard insults from the GOP. In neither case was Gore actually lying; it’s just that people have gotten very good at lying about him.

And you use those lies about him as a basis for assuming the rest of his words are lies.

Posted by: LawnBoy at May 30, 2006 11:21 PM
Comment #152853
Frankly, I don’t know why he even makes a big thing about it. It just does not fit in well with his personality. And I don’t know why you buy it. A guy who actually runs a farm cannot spend his time doing much else. It is a hobby for him.

Because he’s talking about his past and how he learned his life (that’s a big deal in politics). He’s not talking about his present occupation. So, your distractions that he doesn’t make his money that way or that it’s a hobby for him now are irrelevant.

Face it, you have no logical reason not to believe that his words were completely true as they were spoken. The only thing you have is a willingness to accept misinterpretations that cast your political opposition in a negative light.

And then you use those willful misinterpretations as the basis for disbelieving him on other issues.

Posted by: LawnBoy at May 30, 2006 11:26 PM
Comment #152861

Right on, Norby. It’s always best to err on the side of safety. It won’t hurt to take the precautions now as opposed to waiting until we have a “Day After Tomorrow” type of situation. I know it’s a fictious film, but a dozen Katrinas slamming into our coastline is not out of the realm of possibility.

Posted by: sk at May 31, 2006 12:14 AM
Comment #152863

Paul:

There is no reason to smear Al Gore. He has no power. He is way far to the radical left, and no chance of running the country. He is a classic liberal that has to remake himself in order to appear what he is not, (moderate) in order to try to configure a scheme to get elected. Basically when he stands up and says exactly what he believes, very few in the country would support him.

One of the things that the democrats need to consider is that the same thing is true of Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean. Liberals have a hard time winning national elections. This election this fall, is a long way from over. I think Democrats have a huge problem in trying to nationalize the election because of the left wing speech of the last few years. They have spoken clearly of their opinions because they have been out of power. The Democrats best shot might be to not run at all.

If they stand up and fight with an agenda, they are likely to loose. If they say what they believe, the country wont back them. IF they say what the people want to hear they will come across like Al Gore and John Kerry, and be labeled as hypocrits and flip floppers.

It was Al Gores trying to be something he wasn’t that caused the smearing. The bottom line is that there just are not as many liberals in our country as conservatives.

I am not predicting victory in the fall for republicans, but I am saying it is going to be tough. Just remember Dukakis and how far ahead he was, and then look at the face of the Democratic party, (Pelosi and Dean). You have a northeastern liberal and a San Francisco Liberal leading the way. It’s going to be a barnburner, with Republican ineptness in governing, and Left wing liberals leading the democratic side. It will be like watching the two lowest ranking teams in the country competing for the championship. Whoever wins will probably win ugly.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at May 31, 2006 12:22 AM
Comment #152864

my pet goat,

Try this one;

http://www.perkel.com/politics/gore/internet.htm

Posted by: Rocky at May 31, 2006 12:23 AM
Comment #152882
While it can be argued that invoking the Nazis is disingenuous, the analogies have some validity. Gore’s movie IS slickly produced propaganda and he DOES have a fanatical belief in his cause.

And Republicans want to kill all the gays, they’re killing our babies and grandparents, and they all badmouth the troops as well.

I suppose you could argue that those claims are disingenuous, but they have some validity.

Oh, and where’s bin Laden? Did Republicans ever get around to rebuilding New Orleans? Boy, I hope my town can count on foreign aid for help after a disaster or terrorist attack, ‘cause we sure won’t get squat in the way of help from our own Republican government.

BTW, after acknowledging that Americans have a dangerous addiction to oil (as if the complete lack of an energy policy had nothing to do with it), what did President Bush ever do about it?

Posted by: American Pundit at May 31, 2006 2:48 AM
Comment #152883
ame one thing bush has ever done that has had a positive impact on large groups of people

He’s done more for Africa than any previous president, even Bob Geldof will admit to this and I doubt that he is Bush’s biggest supporter. Is there much of a larger group of people than the millions dying from AIDS in Africa?

He’s also trying to stop the genocide in Dufar (though not as strongly as I would like) against the wishes of many on the left who agree with the United Nations that there is no genocide occurring there (as I detailed over a year ago here on this blog,

The most prominent example of this disparity is in the funding of the fight against AIDS. Mr. Bush recently pushed a $15 billion AIDS bill through Congress.

“His $15 billion commitment is unparalleled,” said Melvin Foote, executive director of the nonpartisan Constituency for Africa. “Clinton offered $300 million, parking-meter money, even though he knew it was a tremendous challenge.”

Even liberals have credited Mr. Bush with doing more than his predecessor to help Africa. In May, Live Aid founder Bob Geldof said Mr. Bush is far more committed than Mr. Clinton to fighting AIDS and famine on the continent.

“Clinton talked the talk and did diddly squat, whereas Bush doesn’t talk but does deliver,” said Mr. Geldof, an Irish musician and activist who in 1985 staged the world’s largest rock concert to combat starvation in Africa.

“You’ll think I’m off my trolley when I say this, but the Bush administration is the most radical, in a positive sense, in the approach to Africa since Kennedy,” he said.

Posted by: Rhinehold at May 31, 2006 3:17 AM
Comment #152890

HUH??????

Gore has been ~relentlessly smearing Bush to the best of his ability for 5+ years. Now his movie is in part to further put down Bush.

I have not heard in the mainstream media even one single anti-Gore comment from any Republican, but let’s say there are some now that actually get widely reported. WHY ARE YOU COMPLAINING FOR THE RIGHT’S RESPONSE TO GORE?

So… You are shocked, SHOCKED, to hear that politics are being played in DC, since Al is apparently running for Pres. again?? Shocked of a response after ~5yrs of unilateral attacks??

Hmmm, maybe Gore should have responded to Al Quaeda after their 5+ yrs of attack when he was in office.

P.S. Sorry I am not also talking about mules & farms, which maybe are more in theme with the original posting…

P.P.S. Re prev. post: No one ever said Gore was lying about claiming to invent the Internet, personally Discovering Love Canal, or being the inspiration for the movie Love Story. But being an INCREDIBLY SELF IMPORTANT WEENIE WHO OFTEN COMPLETELY LOSES TOUCH WITH REALITY is something he is guilty of in spades.

Posted by: Brian at May 31, 2006 5:22 AM
Comment #152892

I don’t think I will see his movie, but I STRONGLY DO THINK WE SHOULD INSURE WE DON’T SCREW UP THE PLANET (or society, or…).

SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT — I think Conservatives should be more conservative / conservationist re the environment.

And Gore was right that the Congress (both parties) will steal (or borrow against — same thing) every $$ of SSecurity surpluses … which makes the problem of balancing the budget (SS + everything else) all the harder ~2017 and on, the higher are the SS taxes now.

There is only one ‘Lock Box’ that can even theoretically work (of which I am aware) — Individual Retirement Accts that the gov’t can neither take nor borrow against, since they won’t have/control them.

Posted by: Brian at May 31, 2006 5:33 AM
Comment #152897

ElliotBay,
The examples Paul used weren’t comparing Gore to Hitler. Apparently the concept of analogy went over your head.

norby,
We’re supposed to ignore all the many factors that determine and control climate and their complex interactions and believe that one possible minor factor, to the exclusion of all else, will catastrophically disrupt the earth’s climate and end life as we know it. Meteorological predictions 1 week in advance are notoriously inaccurate yet we’re supposed to accept climatological predictions for the next century without question. I’m skeptical.

LawnBoy,
I have a very good understanding of science. When a field becomes utterly politicized it ceases to be science. The claim that man is causing the climate to heat up is an assumption. There is nothing to support such a definitive statement.

sk,
I won’t be holding my breath waiting for an ice age caused by warmer temperatures to happen overnight. A dozen Katrinas slamming into the coast is an absurd scenario. Even pro global warming scientists say that it isn’t a factor in the observed strength of hurricanes. They form in a cycle that has existed for thousands of years. (just one of the many factors that determine and control climate)

AP,
“And Republicans want to kill all the gays, they’re killing our babies and grandparents, and they all badmouth the troops as well.
I suppose you could argue that those claims are disingenuous, but they have some validity.”

No, those are outright lies, not disingenuous. You of all people should know the difference.


Posted by: traveller at May 31, 2006 7:06 AM
Comment #152900

While Dr. Gray’s statements are unfortunate, he is not a politician and perhaps not too savvy about selecting his words well. He didn’t compare Gore to Hitler, or Naziism, he compared enviromentalist fervor with Nazi fervor. Blind faith doesn’t belong in science.

I respect Dr. Gray’s meteorologic opinions and am myself skeptical of some of the conclusions of this movement.

Posted by: gergle at May 31, 2006 7:14 AM
Comment #152919

Smearing political personalities is a way of life…deal with it. It’s wrong and takes away from an intelligent debate on important issues, but that’s the way it is. I don’t expect either party to stop, so I just take all comments with alot of salt.

I believe some of the Global Warning claims are true and some aren’t. Since we can’t trust antone anymore to be honest, we just need to do our own research and draw our own conclusions.

Posted by: mac6115cd at May 31, 2006 9:28 AM
Comment #152922
No one ever said Gore was lying about claiming to invent the Internet, personally Discovering Love Canal, or being the inspiration for the movie Love Story.

Actually, many people have claimed that those statements were lies.

“Here’s the guy who said he was the character Ryan O’Neal was based on in ‘Love Story.’ … It seems to me … he’s now the guy who created the Love Canal [case]. I mean, isn’t this getting ridiculous? … Isn’t it getting to be delusionary?”
- Chris Matthews
“The man who mistakenly claimed to have inspired the movie ‘Love Story’ and to have invented the Internet says he didn’t quite mean to say he discovered a toxic waste site.”
- Washington Post
“Again, Al Gore has told a whopper, Again, he’s been caught red-handed and again, he has been left sputtering and apologizing. This time, he falsely took credit for breaking the Love Canal story. … Yep, another Al Gore bold-faced lie.”
- New York Post
“a politician who not only manufactures gross, obvious lies about himself and his achievements but appears to actually believe these confabulations.”
- Washington Times

There are many other examples in this article that shows how the meme of the lying Al Gore took on a life of its own, and it shows how Gore was telling the truth.

Posted by: LawnBoy at May 31, 2006 9:36 AM
Comment #152925
I have a very good understanding of science.

That’s a very easy thing to claim. Unfortunately, your other words betray you.

When a field becomes utterly politicized it ceases to be science.

No. When a field becomes politicized, it means that more people are paying attention to it, and that there are people who have a vesting non-scientific interest in distorting science the way you are. It does not mean that the near-unanimous results of scientific inquiry are false.

Your smokescreen is lame.

The claim that man is causing the climate to heat up is an assumption. There is nothing to support such a definitive statement.

No, it’s not. It’s based on decades of work and evidence. It’s a hypothesis that was originally a contrary view, but now has been validated by experiment after experiment and has become the prevailing view.

Does that mean that it’s been proven to the level of Plate Tectonics or Evolution? No, not yet. However, your attacks on Global Warming, that it’s a hoax, etc., are completely without scientific basis.

Posted by: LawnBoy at May 31, 2006 9:44 AM
Comment #152928

American Pundit,

“BTW, after acknowledging that Americans have a dangerous addiction to oil (as if the complete lack of an energy policy had nothing to do with it), what did President Bush ever do about it?”

The difference between conservatives and liberals can be summed up with your statement.
You seem to believe it is the responsibilty of our government(and Bush in particular) to change peoples behavior. Who taught you this nonesense.
That is why most of liberal policies find much contempt from conservatives and likely most Americans

Keith

Posted by: keith at May 31, 2006 10:00 AM
Comment #152929

Lawnboy

We see this differently.

It is good the Gore SR sent his son to the farm to get a taste of farm life. It doesn’t make him a farmer. I do the same thing with my kids. They work. I send my daughter to do Habitat for Humanity. She is not a builder. My sons are building roads, they are not construction engineers.

When I was young I really worked 12 hour days in a factory loading cement because I needed the money. My boss send his son to work with us. To the kid’s credit, he worked hard and did a good job. But his perspective was very different. He didn’t NEED to do the work. The experience was good for him, but I would reject it if he claimed too much from it.

I think Gore made too big a deal of this. He was not lying, but he opened himself to ridicule and now has to take it. He is essentially an urban rich kid. There is nothing wrong with that. Everybody would be a rich kid if he could. That background gave him many privleges. His speech made it sound like he was something different.

Posted by: Jack at May 31, 2006 10:01 AM
Comment #152932
We see this differently.

Yes, you’re choosing to disparage someone for saying something factual that you don’t want to hear, and I’m not.

It is good the Gore SR sent his son to the farm to get a taste of farm life. It doesn’t make him a farmer.

He never claimed to be a farmer. That’s your straw man, not his. He said “My father taught me how to clear out hog waste with a shovel and a hoe. He taught me how to clear land with a double-headed axe. How to plow a steep hillside with a team of mules.” At what point there does he claim to be a farmer? At what point does he say anything other than what we know to be true? At what point does his telling the truth about himself become an opening for ridicule?

I think Gore made too big a deal of this. He was not lying, but he opened himself to ridicule and now has to take it.

Opened himself up by commenting factually about something in his past in a speech? What on earth is the standard that you hold political figures to? Not only do they have to be factual, but they also have to have personal histories that fit squarely into neat little boxes?

Yes, he was a rich little kid, but he also worked hard on a farm. For some reason, you can’t accept that dichotomy, so you use that as a basis to call him a liar on other things.

Posted by: LawnBoy at May 31, 2006 10:10 AM
Comment #152936

Jack,

“When I was young I really worked 12 hour days in a factory loading cement because I needed the money. My boss send his son to work with us. To the kid’s credit, he worked hard and did a good job. But his perspective was very different.”

Just because he didn’t have to, didn’t mean he didn’t know how to.
Many in this country view the rich and privileged as pansies, that wouldn’t know hard work if it bit them on the ass.
Gore’s father appears to have been responsible enough as a parent to instill the same values as your boss did.
Just because Gore didn’t make farming his life’s work, doesn’t mean he didn’t know how hard it was, or the value of that hard work.
Anybody can take anything anyone has ever said out of context and throw it back as an insult, or to make that person look bad.

And if it is repeated enough, it takes on a life of it’s own, and people will believe it even if it is a lie.

Posted by: Rocky at May 31, 2006 10:27 AM
Comment #152945

who cares really if or how long Al Gore worked on his family farm? the interesting and sad part of this conversation is that the farsightedness of Al Gore, which is finally being observed and credited, is what is now being distracted (here as well) because people do not want to hear and really talk about what he is saying.

Sadly, he was a man ahead of his times (his interest and knowledge of the internet and its major place in our world and his interest and focus not just on global warming itself, but how we live on the earth). He has been saying, since his first book, Earth in the Balance, that what we are doing re: pollution, CO, nuclear and non-bio waste, is hurting the earth and hurting our lives. I am amazed that this argument about global warming is even being discussed by intelligent people.

Can’t we all agree that the pollution of our air and water and soil is hurting us and our children? Is anyone else alarmed by the incredible rates of increase of adult and child asthma, allergies, cancers traced to pollution, food with additives, water that is not fit for drinking, etc? Isn’t that enough reason to look for clean, alternative energy sources. Do we really have to “prove” that the earth will die right away to convince anyone in this country that we would all be better off not polluting, using clean energy, recycling, etc? This level of discourse amazes me. Why do we only act or respond to a crisis? Why cannot we all agree that working with the rest of the world to decrease EVERYONE’s dependence on dirty energy and finding ways to have re-usable energy and non-pollutants is good for everyone. We have already noticed that most humans believe that the earth is theirs for the using and taking and almost no country sees itself as a stewart of the earth. No country and only the rare society cares about the earth per se, other than how they can use it economically. So how about make the arguement that all this pollution and raping of the earth and killing our water supply and air and soil is just bad for our children and ourselves?

Posted by: judye at May 31, 2006 10:53 AM
Comment #152951

Rocky

I am just being more venal than you think. It is fun to ridicule him on this. And it is made possible by his generally uptight personna. It is like when the fat society woman gets hit in face with a pie in the “Three Stooges.”

Dems do the same thing making fun of Bush the rancher or Cheney the hunter.

Re Internet - that is another one too much fun to let alone. Even when you do something really good, it is smart to qualify your bragging. You didn’t hear Reagan bragging that he almost single handly brought down the evil empire. Every big success has lots of fathers.

And - to repeat - it is all made possible by Gore’s stiff personality. Even when he is telling a joke, he seems to be preaching.

No, I don’t think I will let this one go. I was just watching “My Favorite Year” on DVD. In the movie, a commedian is pressured to cut an offensive skit. He says. “We are going to leave it in because it is funny. And in my business you don’t cut funny.”

Posted by: Jack at May 31, 2006 11:06 AM
Comment #152956

Jack,

In that movie, Peter O’Toole also says, “I’m not an actor, I’m a movie star”

Big difference.

Posted by: Rocky at May 31, 2006 11:19 AM
Comment #152962

It is a good movie, full of ground truths told in a funny way.

Maybe Gore is no longer a politician, but a movie star.

I think Dems have more to fear from Gore than Republicans if he starts to make a real comback. He is an easy target for us. We know how to attack him. He has learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

Besides, if he looks like he is gaining momentum, the Clinton machine will take him out w/o even leaving any finger prints.

Posted by: Jack at May 31, 2006 11:32 AM
Comment #152963

In my opinion, based upon his comments and policy stances since the election of 2000, Al Gore is by far the best candidate for President from either party.

There is an old adage that when you can’t make sense make sarcasm. To those who can’t or don’t think clearly this will fool one every time.

Yes, of course you can disagree with Mr. Gore’s positions, that is your right. But to denigrated the man, by comparing him to Hitler, confuses the issue about whether or not there is global warming. You can disagree with the former without saying the latter.

As I understand it, the preponderance of evidence indicates, clearly, that there is global warming. To what extent this warming is due to human activity is still somewhat unclear, but there probably is sufficient evidence to say that human activity does contribute to the phenomenon. The question we face is a choice between what kind of error do we wish to make? If we error on the side of caution and do what we can to reduce global warming what are the consequences? If we don’t take steps to reduce factors that contribute to global warming what are the probable consequences? If we wish to error, what error do we wish to make?

For me the answer is pretty clear. What does most of the scientific evidence say about global warming? (Thank you, but I prefer to rely on science and not superstition in this particular case.) I would conclude that the probability of doing something about global warming is the preferred answer.

I believe that Mr. Gore is trying to tell us something like that as are a majority of scientists. Why not listen to them? Would that not be the logical and hopefully adult approach?

Peace, cml

Posted by: cml at May 31, 2006 11:35 AM
Comment #152970
When a field becomes politicized, it means that more people are paying attention to it, and that there are people who have a vesting non-scientific interest in distorting science the way you are.

Yes. It’s revealing that ExxonMobil and other oil companies will spend millions of dollars trying to disprove the conclusions of the climate science research. There’s now outrageous advertizing about how scientists are treating CO2 as a “bad chemical.” The Oil Companies have a deep, vested financial interest in NOT doing anything about global warming, but you never hear Republicans say anything about that! Only the BS line that the scientsist must be “politicized.”

Posted by: bobo at May 31, 2006 12:06 PM
Comment #152972

I agree that Gore is being smeared. No suprise there. But I absolutely disagree with you when you say “it won’t work this time”. It will because Gore for all his excellent qualities will let it.

You see, Gore suffers from what I like to call the ‘Dukakis Syndrome’. I’m sure the disease predates the 1988 elections, but that is the first time that I ever observed it. It’s principal symptom is dignified silence; the fatal delusion that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Like Gore, Dukakis was the target of vicious, ridiculous, playground-style smears and lies. His response was…does anyone remember? All of his supporters, like myself watched in horror as his poll numbers took a lone steady course due south while he just grinned and beared it and kept talking the issues. By the time his figured out that when crap hits the wall it tends to stick, it was too late.

Contrast that style and that failure with Bill Clinton. Need I say more?

The last presidential primaries was full of Dukakis sydrome suffers. Wesley Clark? Joe Lieberman? KERRY? Wise men all, who somehow thought talent, experience and ideas would make fighting in the trenches unnecessary.

I like Gore, but I will never support him for office again. And I swear that Kerry is the last Dukakis syndrome sufferer I will EVER vote for. It’s more than just painful watching these men of talent and intelligence prefer to lose honorably than deign to respond to smears; it’s a betrayal! I expect the politicians I support to want to win as much as I want them to win. If they’re not going to fight, why should I?

That’s why I am supporting Hillary in the next elections. Her chances of iffy at best. But you know she is not going to go down silent. And I strongly urge any Democrat out there who thinks Mark Warner has a better resume and a greater list of accomplishments to consider that. I can already see the early symptoms of Dukakis syndrome there…

Posted by: Mike Cooper at May 31, 2006 12:08 PM
Comment #152974

RE Global warming and Gore

You can believe global warming is happening and the humans play a role w/o endorsing the big government solutions like Kyoto. They don’t work and even their propoents admit that they will have little effect. It is not a good thing to go in the wrong direction.

Posted by: Jack at May 31, 2006 12:17 PM
Comment #152977

I’m a bit amazed at the “trolling”, er, uh, well yes “trolling” in an attempt to change the focus of Paul’s article. It’s not about Love Story or farming or Love Canal, it’s about Gore’s commitment to the environment and the low-life, underhanded attempts by the repuglicans to attack Gore “the man” rather than present any evidence to debunk his undeniable logic.

In an odd twist, who else do you suppose has a strong commitment to the environment?

No one other than Henry M. Paulson Jr. Yep, that’s right, Bush’s new Treasury Secretary. I quote from newsobserver.com:
“Paulson was known on Wall Street for his dedicated support of environmental causes. Earlier this year, he made a gift of $100 million in Goldman stock to a family foundation dedicated to conservation and environmental education. Even after that gift, Paulson has a net worth estimated at more than $500 million.”

“Paulson, who was known to favor bird-watching in New York’s Central Park to playing golf, is chairman of the Nature Conservancy and the chairman emeritus of the Peregrine Fund.”

“Last year Goldman Sachs donated 680,000 acres in Chile to the Wildlife Conservation Society.”

http://dwb.newsobserver.com/24hour/politics/story/3298688p-12155394c.html

It’s also interesting to note that Goldman Sachs had a less than stellar opinion of the Bush Social Security Privatization plan. Quote: “Privatization is no free lunch”.
The full 36 page 2005 report is available in pdf:
http://www.epinet.org/issueguides/socialsecurity/portal.gs.com.gl.ppr.120.pdf#search=’Goldman%20Sachs%20%20%20social%20security’

Geez I wish someone could ask Paulson if he’s seen Gore’s movie and if so what he thought of it.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at May 31, 2006 12:23 PM
Comment #152980

LawnBoy,
In the scientific method one begins with observation. Based on observation a hypothesis is formed. The hypothesis is tested through experimentation. From the conclusions thus arrived at a theory is developed.
Theory is refined or altered through continuous observation and experimentation.
That isn’t how the global warming scenario came into being.
Originally in the 70’s cooling temperatures prompted a global cooling scare and doomsday warnings of an impending ice age. That didn’t get far before things warmed back up and a slight increase in atmospheric CO2 was measured. A computer model was developed to project increasing CO2 effects into the future. This model is fatally flawed because it uses the planet Venus as a baseline. Venus has a very dense CO2 atmosphere and a runaway greenhouse. The data from Venus was extrapolated to develop the global warming scenario.
This model is flawed because Venus is millions of miles closer to the sun than the earth, its atmosphere is several orders of magnitude denser than the earth’s and it has no life.
The global warming scenario started with the conclusion that man is causing the earth to heat up and all observation since is purported to support it. No matter what happens, it’s human induced global warming.
My attacks on the global warming religion are based entirely on science.

Posted by: traveller at May 31, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #152994

Can you think of any one better to smear well maybe john kerry or teddy kennedy?This guy is a born putz!A true liberal hero!

Posted by: lookingout at May 31, 2006 1:18 PM
Comment #153028

There is a good discussion of climate change and Gore on Dianne Rehm. Dianne is a defintite lefty, but she always balances her guests and there are people from left and right. They generally agree that global warming is a problem, but they disagree about the precise steps to fix it. A Bush Administration spokesman explains many of the things they are doing to address the problem. You all should listen carefully to that part. The idea that they are doing nothing is incorrect.

Posted by: Jack at May 31, 2006 2:48 PM
Comment #153033

I write an article claiming that Gore is being smeared by people on the Right. And then I hear about all sorts of things, but very little about the smearing. Why can’t conservatives accept the truth? Why do they always beat around the Bush?

Posted by: Paul Siegel at May 31, 2006 3:02 PM
Comment #153040

Because your definition of smear is both too broad and too specific.

Nobody should say Gore is Hitler. Just like nobody should say Bush is Hitler. I am willing to deplore anybody who says such things. Not many are doing it.

There are 16 million hits in Google Bush Hitler and only 4 million for Gore. AND they are different. The leading ones about Gore complain that someone is comparing Gore to Hitler. The ones about Bush compare him directly.

So, yes Paul, let’s condemn those all who do such things.

The other is specific. It is not a smear to question what Gore says, his methods or his solutions. That is what most of the “attack” has been. That is not smear; it is debate.

Posted by: Jack at May 31, 2006 3:18 PM
Comment #153071

Gore isn’t a candidate for anything and already the mud flies. Repubs must be very, very, very, very, very worried that Gore may run in 2008 if they’re already pulling out their Rove playbooks and revving up the swiftboat chainsaws.

I heard Gore on NPR’s “Fresh Air” yesterday and kept marvelling at the difference between him and Bush: Gore correctly used and pronounced four-syllable words right and left in complex sentences! His arguments were coherent! He sounded educated, as if he had read books frequently!

Fancy that.

Posted by: pianofan at May 31, 2006 4:20 PM
Comment #153075
Gore correctly used and pronounced four-syllable words right and left in complex sentences! His arguments were coherent! He sounded educated, as if he had read books frequently!

And as he himself has admitted, our President doesn’t even read a newspaper.

Posted by: bobo at May 31, 2006 4:24 PM
Comment #153098

“Why can’t conservatives accept the truth? Why do they always beat around the Bush?”

Paul,

Some have “smelled the coffee”:

Ex-Republican Dem’s running mate in Kansas:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060531/ap_on_el_gu/kansas_governor_s_race;_ylt=AuoUVIcc8DGx5jcHFoGIBA6yFz4D;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJvMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA—

Ex-Reagan official runs as Democrat,
Distaste for Bush propels Senate race:
http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/news/nation/politics/14697906.htm?source=rss&channel=journalgazette_politics

And many more are wondering about the future:

Moderate Republicans an Endangered Breed:
http://www.startribune.com/587/story/464326.html

Only the true Neo-Cons and the toothless, mindless, hillbilly Nascar and WWE folks remain loyal to what the Republican Party has now become.

Only time will tell how powerful the GOOP really is!

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at May 31, 2006 5:19 PM
Comment #153104
Re Internet - that is another one too much fun to let alone. Even when you do something really good, it is smart to qualify your bragging. You didn’t hear Reagan bragging that he almost single handly brought down the evil empire. Every big success has lots of fathers.

And that’s the ironic thing - he did qualify his statement. If you read a full transcript of what he said, it’s apparent that he wasn’t claiming credit for the technical innovations that led to the internet - he’s claiming (accurately) that he was the early legislative champion for the efforts which led the to the evolution of ARPANET into the public internet.

He did exactly what you ask of him, but then you ridicule him for how a single sentence is taken out of context.

Posted by: LawnBoy at May 31, 2006 5:32 PM
Comment #153114
In the scientific method one begins with observation…

So far, you’re on solid ground

That isn’t how the global warming scenario came into being.

Yes, in fact, it was.

Sure, there was a computer model done years ago, but that doesn’t mean that all research since has assumed Global Warming as a conclusion and forced the evidence to fit.

Are there problems with a Venus-based model? Sure. Does that mean that’s the only evidence? Of course not. In fact, the evidence is overwhelming from many different sources.

I’m not sure where you get your information, but it’s pretty bad. I’d suggest starting with something like the Wikipedia article on the topic and reading some of the related links. You’ll find pretty quickly that your alternate history is a gross distortion.

My attacks on the global warming religion are based entirely on science.

No, it’s not science. But it’s certainly not accurate history, either. I’m not sure what it is.

Posted by: LawnBoy at May 31, 2006 5:51 PM
Comment #153158

I am so sick and tired of the negatives in politics. People are supposed to campaign to win our votes. They should be giving us a reason why we should vote for them. Instead, they take the easy way out and try to tell us why we shouldn’t vote for the other guy. The bottom line is that all politicians smear each other. And by the way, a tree farm doesn’t constitute working on a farm.

Posted by: Illini Guy at May 31, 2006 8:06 PM
Comment #153167

” You didn⦣x20AC;™t hear Reagan bragging that he almost single handly brought down the evil empire. Every big success has lots of fathers.”

Oh please. Where do I start?
First, the SU collapsed after Reagan was out of office and already under the ravaging effects of Alzheimers.
Second, “single handedly”? Hogwash. Yes, he hastened their decline by spending them to death and challenging them publicly. What collapsed them was their own flawed system and it’s economic constraints.
What about Pope JP? Lech Walesa and his Solidarity movement? The dissidents in their own country?
Reagan did some good. And he also did a lot of harm. Ignoring Aids. Iran/Contra. Defecits. The 80’s culture of greed. S & L scandal.
I’d take him in a heartbeat, however, over this moron in charge now.

Posted by: Norby at May 31, 2006 8:41 PM
Comment #153184

Reagon didn’t have to brag about bringing down the evil empire, the Red machine(Republicans) did it for him creating one of their super myths(like they are the only ones to care about family values or only they can make this country secure).

Posted by: mark at May 31, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #153188

Why can’t the right own up to smearing Gore (the messenger) rather than addressing what Gore is championing (global warming)? If Gore is stiff he certainly has had a good time at his own expense mocking himself. If you count a politician’s ability to laugh at perceived smears as more warmly human as I do, Gore is imminently more likable than ‘W’ whose sense of humor is more often than not pervaded with the notion of putting other people in their place. Kudos to Lawnboy for pointing out the facts of Gore’s statements and the parroting of the spin created during an election.

Repeatedly refering to Gore’s championing of doing something about global warming as serious as it is as something akin to Nazi extremism or Goebels’ propoganda is a smear, not a disagreement. A coordinated effort to repeat these smears has only just begun. Republicans are willing to do this more than Democrats to their shame (although I have to agree with Mike Cooper that Dems will continue to lose if they ignore the smears or don’t play the same game). How many of our fellow Americans thought Iraq was directly responsible for 911? Simply by repeating “911” and “Iraq” over and over in speech after speech this administration was able to convince the American people to support the Iraq war. Such is the power of association and fear. Shame on Jack and Traveller to try and find fault with the consensus of scientists everywhere with pseudo-science and with Al Gore’s character when real crimes against the planet and humanity are happening before our very eyes.

Posted by: Chris2x at May 31, 2006 9:41 PM
Comment #153196

“He is an easy target for us. We know how to attack him. “

Jack, nice to hear you guys admit how you do business.

“He’s done more for Africa than any previous president”

Rhine,
He’s PROMISED more, what has he actually delivered??
Of course, tying our aid packages in with the stipulation about not being allowed to promote condom use will net a negative as far as reducing aids.
Here’s some reading for you: http://www.africaaction.org/docs03/us0307.htm

“I think Gore made too big a deal of this. He was not lying, but he opened himself to ridicule and now has to take it.”

Jack,
He’s running for president. People are asking him why he should be elected. That’s not bragging. It’s campaigning.
The boasts bush made about his programs in Texas were pure lies. Yet virtually NOTHING was said about them.

“Gore has been ~relentlessly smearing Bush to the best of his ability for 5+ years. Now his movie is in part to further put down Bush. “

Bri,
How is Gore trying to make his case for Global Warming an attack on bush?? Paranoia?
Perhaps the fact our own Pentagon has aknowledged the problem should figure into the rights maniacal denials that it exists. They are hardly a liberal bastion.

Posted by: norby at May 31, 2006 10:07 PM
Comment #153220

No, Al Gore is not running for President. I take him at his word. And if I am correct, the smearing will not work because he will have transcended to a level that is impossible for politicians to aspire to and attain. Repugnicans have been smearing this man since 2000 because they know that is the only way they can defeat people of superior intellect.
Face it, 99% of republicans are intellect deficient.
Democrats are certainly far from perfect but some of them actually are more than just low-life, demagogic, political hacks.

Posted by: tim at May 31, 2006 11:17 PM
Comment #153221

Global Cooling Kills Thousands - Center for Global Food Issues (CGFI)

The New American - Hot and Cold Running Alarmism - December 8, 1997

Russian Expert Predicts Global Cooling from 2012 - NEWS - MOSNEWS.COM

Global Warming:A Chilling Perspective

Beware of Global Cooling

Global warming or global cooling?- The Times of India

National Policy Analysis #203: Sun to Blame for Global Warming - June 1998

Global Cooling?

Global Cooling: Fear the Ice by Bill Walker

REMEMBERING GLOBAL COOLING Most

Global Cooling

Dr. Dewpoint Article - June 1st Storm Looked More Like A Winter Storm

Newsweek on the cooling world

WorldNetDaily: Coldest December since late 1800s?

Thoughts on Global Warming

Global warming can cause global cooling

Environmentalist’s Warning of Coming Ice Age Labeled ‘Bunk’ — 10/09/2002

National Policy Analysis #388: New Research Indicates the Earth May Be Cooling

What’s Worse? Global Warming or Global Cooling? — 08/08/2001

Exposing the villains of environmental hysterics - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Global Warming - Prepare for the Big Chill

SOLAR WIND NEAR EARTH: INDICATOR OF VARIATIONS IN GLOBAL TEMPERATURE

Should We Worry About Global Warming or Global Cooling Trends?

Posted by: traveller at May 31, 2006 11:25 PM
Comment #153224

traveller,

Gray compared Gore to Hitler. Scroll back up and look. You defended that, saying “the analogies have some validity.” So you apparently think that comparing a politician to Hitler is valid.

Posted by: ElliottBay at May 31, 2006 11:35 PM
Comment #153284

ElliotBay,
He did not. You don’t understand the concept of analogy. Gray said that Gore holds his belief in global warming almost as strongly as Hitler held his belief that there was something wrong with the Jews. Using an analogy to make a statement about the strength of someone’s beliefs is not a comparison of the two people.

Posted by: traveller at June 1, 2006 7:49 AM
Comment #153292

traveller,

What was that? Were those legitimate headlines? Were they quotes from weekly world news? Were they inventions of your own mind? What do you think they mean?

Yes, “Global Warming” can cause cooling in some places. That’s because “Global Warming” is a misnomer. The theory should really be called “Human-Caused Global Climate Change” because it causes an overall warming, but localized cooling.

Posted by: LawnBoy at June 1, 2006 8:39 AM
Comment #153309

Norby

I said it was like Reagan bragging about the fall of the evil empire. Many people were involved but Reagan certainly had as much to do with that as Gore did with Internet. My point was that you often cannot brag about the really big things you think you did. Nobody believes you. You are probably exagerating your role. And it is bad manners anyway to be so boastful.

Re how we do business, that is how everyone does business in politics. I really do not believe Gore would make a good president. Some of the little things are tactics. I guess the difference might be that I know the little things are tactics. You guys really believe most of the BS you say about Bush. It is probably worse to mislead yourself than just to be cynical about politics.

Lawnboy

Gore goes over the top. That is the problem. He makes it sound so dire that there is nothing we can really do except radical command and control. This is a general problem for leftist environmentalists. They cannot seem to accept that we can make progress using different means and that we are not just ten minutes from the end of the world. We did a wonderful job of cleaning up SO2, NOX etc. Our water quality is fantastically improved since the 1970s. Nobody focused on CO2 until recently because it was not considered a pollutant. It was an engineering goal to make machines that would produce “no pollution, only harmless CO2”.

The evidence is in. We must address global warming. And we will. And we are. Listen to that Dianne Rehm show I mentioned above.

Another thing we have to avoid is hysteria. The problem with weather is that it is unstable. If we start blaming every weather event on climate change, we will be unable to address real problems.

Scientists generally agree that global warming is real. They also generally agree that the hurricanes we are seeing now are NOT related to this. Neither are the current droughts, heavy rains etc. These are FUTURE effects. It is easy to take the truth about one thing and extend it too far.

Posted by: Jack at June 1, 2006 9:55 AM
Comment #153320

Jack,

I have no problem with what you wrote at 9:55 AM. But why did you address it at me? I was responding to your approval to ridiculing Gore for things he truthfully said.

Posted by: LawnBoy at June 1, 2006 10:22 AM
Comment #153344

LawnBoy,
Paste them into your browser and see where they lead.

Posted by: traveller at June 1, 2006 11:31 AM
Comment #153351

traveller, You’re right. I apologize. 12 Katrina’s is an absurd scenario. I suppose 2 or 3 would be much more acceptable. sk

Posted by: sk at June 1, 2006 12:00 PM
Comment #153353
Paste them into your browser and see where they lead.

No, I’m not going to do your work for you. Besides, no amount of pasting on my part will answer my question “What do you think they mean?”

Posted by: LawnBoy at June 1, 2006 12:03 PM
Comment #153356

Jack,
It’s easy to make fun of lots of things. School kids make fun of the “special ed” students. Personally even when I was a kid I thought it made the ones making fun look rather moronic and loutish. I made it my mission to wait and purposefully embarrass the louts at an appropiate time.

I always thought humor was good for bursting phoney bubbles rather than simple pot shots meant to inflate the ego of the one making the pot shots.One is humor, the other is boorishness.

I don’t think global warming is occurring as defined by some. Is there a fluctuation in climatologic temperature? Always. Which way is it trending long term? I don’t think anyone knows. The problem with a lot of these predictions is that they depend on models that are imperfect. Measuring global temperature is a whole different bag of tricks. Interpreting historical data is again a shaky foundation.

I don’t quite buy the chicken little theory of global warming being currently pushed. I don’t find it very useful to ridicule Al Gore to make these points, and a bit of reaching to the past to do so. Old tired jokes.

A much more convincing argument, for a chicken little moment, is the threat of middle east war for a diminishing oil supply.

Posted by: gergle at June 1, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #153363

LawnBoy,
If you will read them you will see what they mean. A little intellectual honesty goes a long way.

Posted by: traveller at June 1, 2006 12:44 PM
Comment #153369

traveller,

I’m waiting for intellectual honesty from you. I asked you where you get your information. You didn’t reply. I asked you what you thought a scattershot of headlines meant. You told me to go on a wild goose chase.

I’m waiting.

Posted by: LawnBoy at June 1, 2006 12:53 PM
Comment #153375

Traveller,

I think we understand the concept of analogy just fine. However saying Gore’s feelings about global warming are akin to “Hitler’s feelings about the Jews” is just pure poison and you should know better. It’s such an over-the-top guilt by association it should raise a red flag for everyone about who is fanatical on this topic.

Posted by: Chris2x at June 1, 2006 1:08 PM
Comment #153381

LawnBoy,
Those are the titles of articles from many different sources. Looking at specific information is hardly a wild goose chase.
If you had the intellectual honesty to look you would know that. Or is it fear that stops you?

Posted by: traveller at June 1, 2006 1:13 PM
Comment #153385
Those are the titles of articles from many different sources. Looking at specific information is hardly a wild goose chase. If you had the intellectual honesty to look you would know that. Or is it fear that stops you?

Nope. It’s recognition that no amount of pasting on my part will answer my question “What do you (traveller) think they mean?”

You’ve proposed that the entire theory of Global Warming change is a hoax, that the science is so politicized that scientists are falsifying conclusions to match the preferred outcome. That’s a serious charge, and you need to have a lot more than some words that could lead me anywhere on a Google search.

And even if I found the sites you meant, I suspect they’d show nothing other than the well-known fact that there are still unanswered questions in the theory. That’s a long stretch from your claim of a hoax.

The burden is on you, and you wimped out. If you had the intellectual honesty to provide links you would. Or is it fear that stops you?

Posted by: LawnBoy at June 1, 2006 1:21 PM
Comment #153387

Chris2x,
If you recall my original post on this subject you’ll see that I said that it could be argued that invoking the Nazis was disingenuous and I believe it is.
No, you don’t understand analogy. To say that one thing is akin to another is to use a metaphor. That isn’t what Gray did.

Posted by: traveller at June 1, 2006 1:33 PM
Comment #153393

Well, we’re at an impasse. You’ve made a radical claim, and I’ve asked you to defend it. You then asked me to provide your defense.

I’ll move on.

Posted by: LawnBoy at June 1, 2006 1:47 PM
Comment #153399

traveller,

Why do you hang on to splitting hairs over analogies and metaphors? Gray could have used a lot of analogies but the one he chose made it a smear. Hitler’s hatred (feelings?) of the Jews and the Nazi’s final solution is such a poisonous analogy it is meant to smear Gore’s position rather than debunk it. Are you purposely missing the forest for some rhetorical weeds? Does trying to legitimize such a statement make you feel superior?

Posted by: Chris2x at June 1, 2006 1:57 PM
Comment #153411

“However saying Gore’s feelings about global warming are akin to “Hitler’s feelings about the Jews” is just pure poison “

Stupid statements like this are why I don’t take traveller seriously.
If it was accurate, then Gore would be blowing up oil refineries or kidnapping energy Co. executives.
The fact he’s passionate about the subject is a plus in my book. It’s not popular, isn’t making him tons of money, thus, I believe he’s sincere.
That speaks to character.

Posted by: norby at June 1, 2006 2:25 PM
Comment #153415

norby,

I can’t wait for someone to start a chorus of “911” or compare Gore’s championing of doing something about climate change to the fanaticism of Al Qaeda or Taliban.

Posted by: Chris2x at June 1, 2006 2:31 PM
Comment #153416

“You guys really believe most of the BS you say about Bush.”

I don’t believe anything about bush that hasn’t been made clear by his actual actions, or lack thereof. You actually think he’s doing a good job??

” but Reagan certainly had as much to do with that as Gore did with Internet. My point was that you often cannot brag about the really big things you think you did. Nobody believes you. You are probably exagerating your role. And it is bad manners anyway to be so boastful.”

Bad manners?????
HE WAS ANSWERING A QUESTION!
Are you NOT supposed to tell people the things you had a hand in accomplishing when running for the highest office??
This conversation is just plain stupid.

Posted by: norby at June 1, 2006 2:32 PM
Comment #153419

While I believe “some” aspects of the “global warming” trend, and the main cause being the use of fossil fuels, I think the biggest criticism of Gore during Clinton/Gore Administration’s eight years of so called “unparalleled prosperity”, is WHAT WAS HIS ENERGY POLICY??? I never heard any real agenda on lessening America’s dependence on fossil fuel (or Mideast oil), didn’t see or hear him brainstorming with Detroit about alternative cars, either 1/2 gas/electric, dirty oil, or ethanol.

Posted by: Xristen007 at June 1, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #153441

LawnBoy,
If you paste one of those titles I provided onto your browser it will take you to a page on a search engine. That page will have a link to the article I referenced as well as links to several related articles, some of which argue in favor of the global warming religion. That’s a small example of intellectual honesty.

Chris2x,
Analogy and metaphor are two completely different rhetorical devices. Distinguishing between them isn’t splitting hairs, it’s using the language. Do you know what disingenuous means?

norby,
That wasn’t me you quoted.

Posted by: traveller at June 1, 2006 3:07 PM
Comment #153443

traveller,

Thanks for agreeing that we’re at an impasse. I refuse to do your work for you. You refuse to defend yourself besides telling me to do your work for you.

Good luck with conspiracy mongering in the future. I hope that your insistence that science is a hoax doesn’t prevent you from using the benefits of science.

Posted by: LawnBoy at June 1, 2006 3:09 PM
Comment #153451

LawnBoy,
I’ve agreed to nothing of the kind. I’ve supplied information and you refuse to look at it. Would you feel better if I provided links directly to the articles I referenced so you could go directly to them with one click, bypassing the articles that argue against my position? You’re blinded and crippled by dogma.
I also haven’t said that science is a hoax. It’s that unscientific, alarmist fear mongering you cling so tenaciously to that’s a hoax.

Posted by: traveller at June 1, 2006 3:31 PM
Comment #153453

traveller,

Disingenuous means not being genuinely sincere or withholding information. I haven’t disputed or asserted Gray’s comment is disingenuous. You have, however, asserted that Gray may be disingenuous but his comment is not a smear.

I don’t understand how you can continue to try and legitimize a “disingenuous” analogy involving Hitler and the Holocaust when it’s only purpose could be an inflammatory attack on the messenger (Gore). I’m asking you, how can that statement be an insincere reference to Hitler’s beliefs about Jews and not be a smear?

For the record, references to the loaded Nazis is not the pure domain of the right. The same article with the Gray quote also says,

“Somehow Hitler keeps popping into the discussion. Gore draws a parallel between fighting global warming and fighting the Nazis. Novelist Michael Crichton, in State of Fear , ends with an appendix comparing the theory of global warming to the theory of eugenics.”

Making an analogy of Gore’s beliefs to Hitler’s beliefs about the Jews is so outrages as to be a smear, through guilt-by-association, on his character. It is more than disingenuous so let’s please stop defending using terms so loaded and poisonous.

Posted by: Chris2x at June 1, 2006 3:46 PM
Comment #153454

traveller,

I’ve supplied information and you refuse to look at it.

No, you’ve supplied me headlines, but no reason to think that the headlines mean whatever you think they mean.

Would you feel better if I provided links directly to the articles I referenced so you could go directly to them with one click

Since that’s what I’ve explicitly asked for, I’ll let you answer the question yourself.

I also haven’t said that science is a hoax.

Actually, you have. In another thread on WB, you’ve called the entire theory of Global Warming a hoax. In this thread, you’ve said that the conclusion is determined first and the evidence is coerced to support it. That means you think the science behind Global Warming is a hoax. Since the science behind Global Warming isn’t really different than science in general, I have to conclude that you think science itself is a hoax.

It’s that unscientific, alarmist fear mongering you cling so tenaciously to that’s a hoax.

I’m sorry that you find the nearly-unanimous concensus of educated and informed scientists to be unscientific. Next you’ll tell me the Pop is atheist.

Oh well.

Posted by: LawnBoy at June 1, 2006 3:46 PM
Comment #153458

Ummm… “the Pope”, not “the Pop”

Posted by: LawnBoy at June 1, 2006 3:49 PM
Comment #153467

“Exposing the villains of environmental hysterics - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review”

Traveller - just in case your not from Pittsburgh and didn’t know - this is a very conservative republican newspaper.

If yourself and LawnBoy are arguing about scientific theory, maybe you guys should start with actual scientific articles, not newspapers slanted liberal or conservative?

Posted by: Lisa C. at June 1, 2006 4:23 PM
Comment #153489

I personally don’t want Al Gore to run again. However, many of you who are speaking of Al Gore as too far to the left don’t seem to get it.

Al is a left of center politician. He also lost the electorial college to Bush in 2000 (not the popular vote.) Don’t count Gore out. He got more votes than Bush did after all. Depending on who the Repubs put up in 2008, Gore may have a chance. If the Repubs go too far to the right, Gore may very well be able to win. Gore will still win the usuall states, Cal, Wash, OR, NY, Penn, Mich ect. The only thing he will need is to win his own state (which he couldn’t do in 2000) or turn Ohio. It isn’t out of the relm of possibility. Same thing will be true for any Dem that runs in 2008.

The Repubs will have to hold on to every state they won in 2004 in oreder to hold on to the White House. If they can’t, then the Dems will win. It isn’t that tough of a prediction. The marign of win/loss has been so close in the last two elections that the dems only need one more state/or the Repubs can’t afford to lose one state.

Talking about Gore’s comment about farming as a young man. Who cares? I believe him and don’t really care if anyone else does or not. As for gobal warming. I agree with the idea that it is better safe than sorry. My dad used to tell me about being a christian, or going to church when I was a kid. I asked him “dad, what if Jesus isn’t real.” He told me, “even if Jesus isn’t true, what harm is there in believing.” Nobody hurt… Same thing with global warming. Take the precations, nobody hurt.

Posted by: Rusty at June 1, 2006 5:25 PM
Comment #153493

I think the more debatable portion of Paul’s post is his last statement,

“Now the smearers are at it again. Their motto is: “Never mind the facts; smearing works.” However, when so many smears are debunked, smearers lose their power. People are catching on. They are asking for facts.

Smearing Gore again will not work.”

I think the motto has been proven correct while the rest is probably wishful thinking. Just look at the relentless attacks on the consensus that humans are inducing climate change. The article Paul quoted seems to say most everyone arguing about climate change including scientists are talking more like lawyers than scientists. If this is where our discourse leads how do the facts stand much of a chance?

Why did such a huge percentage of the American population think Iraq had a role, any role, in 911? Why did the Swift Boat adds work? It wasn’t because of the facts. Look at the current negative ad campaign for the democratic nominee for governor of California for what the pros think work and tell me people are wisening up to gross distortion of facts if not outright lies.

I don’t want to believe climate change is because of human activity (depressing) or even more so that it is up to us to stop human induced climate change (very depressing). But if the consensus of scientists is we are heading in that direction and consequences can be very dire then why would I ignore the consensus of people actually trained to look at and explore facts?

However, more often than not, when it comes to the voters, fear and smear seem to triumph, not the facts.

Posted by: Chris2x at June 1, 2006 5:32 PM
Comment #153498

Rhinehold,

Bush has done more for Africa than any president in history. Funny, I haven’t heard that from to many people. And you spoke of Aids…

Here is the fact to Africa. Aids is 50% higher today than in 2000 when Bush took office. I will argue that Clinton was far better for Africa than Bush has been. Since Bush took office he has moved our policy in Africa away from sex education and condoms, to no sex education and no condoms. They are preaching abstenence only as the only way to curb the spread of AIDS.

The proff is in the pudding. Since 2000 the AIDS epidemic has gone up 50% in Africa… Bush’s experiment has been a total failure. I have been to two African countries since 2002. My chuch has been working hard in Botswana now for 10 years. I can tell you personally that the AIDS decease has increased under Bush. 36% of the adult population is infected. That is up a whopping 50% since 2000.

From 1994 thru 2000 we saw the number of infected people drop each year. As a church group when Bush took over we were at first very happy with his program. However, we have seen first hand that is doesn’t work… You can’t convience us that Bush’s policies have been better for the people of Africa. They haven’t. At least not as far as AIDS is concerned. Clinton’s numbers were much better. For more info on AIDS in Africa, go to google and type in AIDS in AFRICA. Hit the first search topic. There you will find all the info you need on the AIDS epidemic in Africa…

Rusty

Posted by: Rusty at June 1, 2006 5:48 PM
Comment #153517

Jack,

You said:

There is a difference between doing it as the summer camp experience and doing it for real.

…and yet the whole purpose behind sumer vacation from school in this country was for allowing the kids to help with the farm during the hardest time of the year: HARVEST TIME.

Why do you republicans CREATE honesty issue where there are none? We just had a viriolic blog about Murtha only to discover he was RIGHT! We had another about fight tickets to some democrat I didn’t recofnize only to discover sicilianeagle was WRONG.

…is it the midterm elections that are making you guys so desparate to sling mud?

Posted by: RGF at June 1, 2006 6:33 PM
Comment #153569

RGF

Okay

You guys lay off Bush for the pre war intelligence and I will lay off Gore.

The smear is standard Dem policy. I always say, just take the posts on this blog. Where someone says Bush, substitute Gore or Kerry and the reverse. Where someone say liberal substitute conservative and the reverse. etc. Try it and tell me what you think

Posted by: Jak at June 1, 2006 9:15 PM
Comment #153570

traveller,

What amazes me is that you try to defend the indefensible. Using “Gore” and “Hitler” in the same sentence is a DELIBERATE attempt to make people associate the two. It’s a smear attempt and you know it as well as I.

Definition of analogy (noun)
similarity; correlation; parallelism

Roget’s Thesaurus:
Main Entry: analogy
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: similarity
Synonyms: affinity, alikeness, comparison, correlation, correspondence, equivalence, homology, likeness, metaphor, parallel, relation, resemblance, semblance, simile, similitude

Since you’re being so careful at parsing words, maybe you can tell us all what the meaning of the word “is” is.

Posted by: ElliottBay at June 1, 2006 9:18 PM
Comment #153575

Chris2x,
You have a point. I was looking at the analogy dispassionately as a simple rhetorical device. I suppose it is unrealistic to expect people whose ideology is emotion driven to look at something like that objectively.

Lawnboy,
What I presented wasn’t headlines. It was the actual titles to the articles. I’m new to word processing and don’t yet know how to insert hyperlinks. I know that by copying and pasting the articles can be linked through the search engine. When I tried it out and saw how it worked I thought it was a great way to link to the info I was trying present because by doing it the way I did I provided quick, efficient links to a lot more information than I had originally intended to present. I’m fair minded and objective enough not to be bothered by the fact that I was also providing links to articles that argue against my position. I didn’t expect someone to refuse to see. Stupid me.
You must use some kind of circular reasoning that I don’t understand. It doesn’t follow logically that rejection of one theory is rejection of all science.
The truth of an idea is not determined by the number of people who believe it. At one time the scientific consensus was that the earth was flat and flies generated spontaneously from rotting meat. It was opposition to consensus that brought the truth to light. Louis Pasteur’s germ theory is a perfect example of opposition to scientific consensus.

Lisa c.,
The articles I referenced are from a wide variety of sources, some right, some left, some neutral. One citation is from the Socialist magazine “The Nation”. The articles run the gamut from scientific papers to editorials to papers by knowledgable laymen. Some reject the basic premise of the global warming religion as I do; some accept the basic premise but take issue with various particulars. Some of the articles argue against my position. Some address the motives behind the fear mongering.
I find surfing through the subject fascinating. It often leads me to places I don’t expect.

Posted by: traveller at June 1, 2006 9:50 PM
Comment #153578

ElliottBay,
It’s the height of hypocrisy for leftists to object to that analogy. It isn’t unusual to see conservatives and Republicans called Hitler, Nazi or fascist, both metaphorically and directly, right here on WB.

Posted by: traveller at June 1, 2006 10:04 PM
Comment #153582

Jack,

NOBODY, least of all ME, is going to LAY OFF BUSH! The danger he continues to represent to the long term health and safety of Americans is too important to ignore.

…Now, if that means you want to disregard that and continue take the same kind of easily disproven shots you guys have been taking on GORE, MURTHA, KERRY et al…so be it. You only hurt yourselves! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the desparation in the tone of your mud-slinging. I hope any and all voters still the least bit undecided about this November read every shot you take. Seriously, I do.

RGF

Posted by: RGF at June 1, 2006 10:18 PM
Comment #153583

yeah like gore really cares his family farm in carthage was filled with used tires! no one smears gore better than gore gore is a complete idiot! as far as the smearing dems will smear just as bad as reps will! dems are the worst ones doing it to usally it takes someone with a little common sense but democrats have nonesense

Posted by: Barry at June 1, 2006 10:18 PM
Comment #153584

RGF

Just take my test and do the substitution and see which you like better. You get indignant about my relatively mild criticsm of Gore. I PERSONALLY have been called a lot worse on this blog.

You guys are so self rightous you don’t even see it.

BTW Don’t count too much on November. Dems have failed to show any vision except the hate Republicans thing.

Posted by: Jack at June 1, 2006 10:23 PM
Comment #153590
BTW Don’t count too much on November. Dems Republicans have failed to show any vision except the hate Republicans Democrats thing.
Thanks for the tip; it makes more sense this way.
Posted by: Introspective at June 1, 2006 10:52 PM
Comment #153601

During 2000 I volunteered on the Gore campaign in Northern California. Every weekend,rain or shine, an elderly couple would show up to do anything they could,make phone calls,pricnt walk,place signd etc. You could tell it was hard for them but they kept comming. Finally some one asked them why they were so committed. Here is their story.
Their only son was in the military. He was involved in a helecopter crash and was horribly and permanently disabled. They would not say much about this.It was too painful. I forget the name of the base but Al and Tipper gore met with them,grieved with them,prayed with them and just talked with them for around an hour. Al Gore gave them his direct phone number to call if they or there son had any problems with the VA. There was no press there. Never a news realese. Volunteering on his campaign was the couples way of paying him back for helping them through a terrible time in their lives.
Go ahead. Smear this great American all you want too but you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Posted by: BillS at June 1, 2006 11:51 PM
Comment #153620
The truth of an idea is not determined by the number of people who believe it. At one time the scientific consensus was that the earth was flat and flies generated spontaneously from rotting meat. It was opposition to consensus that brought the truth to light. Louis Pasteur’s germ theory is a perfect example of opposition to scientific consensus.

You do realize, don’t you, that this is the exact same argument heard from people who deny the moon landing and an earth older than 6000 years, etc. This is why I lump you in with conspiracy theorists; you keep acting like one, over and over.

You’re right, the correctness of a scientific idea isn’t determined by a popularity contest. It’s determined through the scientific method, which so far provides much too much evidence for Global Warming for it to be a hoax.

I still don’t know where you get your information or what your motivation is for claiming as false a scientific theory that has more and more evidence on a daily basis.

I don’t claim that Global Warming is fully understood at this point. However, the arguments against it these days are weak - a few anomalous readings that are overblown into conspiracy theories.

Posted by: LawnBoy at June 2, 2006 1:33 AM
Comment #153625

There are a few things we DO know about climate change:

It has happened before. The last time the average global temp climbed to near what it is today, the Earth entered an ice age. That is what we are facing. Yes, that means that this cycle is nothing new. It has happened before. The difference is that we are now contributing to it. The problem is that we are not in a position to be able to deal with the results of triggering another ice-age. We’ve all seen the movie and we can all agree that was a good drama that was mostly fictional. …but not entirely. The idea that melting ice-caps and glaciers in the North Atlantic might trigger a shut down of the Gulf Stream warm water climate conveyor that keeps Europe alive is not new. WE don’t know how fast it will happen. Probably not as fast as the movie suggests, but if it takes 50 years, we won’t be any better prepared for it. We are struggling to meet energy needs right now. What will that be like in a world that is deep frozen?

We all know that our activities are only speeding the process up.

What more needs to be known before this threat is considered worthy of being adressed by you righties? Playing ostrich isn’t going to cut it. The scientist who’se statistics are being used in the right wing anti-GORE propaganda ad being aired to dispute Gore’s documentary has since recanted and is now stating that the glaciers in Greenland ARE melting off at 2 1/2 times the rate previously thought. The threat is real. Why is a response to this considered so unimportant to you righties?

It is as though someone you didn’t like was shouting at you that your house was on fire and all you can do is scream “Shut up, I don’t believe you!”

It is silly and irresponible. It’s kind of like the Y2K thing. Sure, Y2K turned out to be nothing, but would you have wanted to bet your business, your home, your water, your job your everything…on Y2K being nothing to worry about in the fall of 1999? …That would have been dumb! VERY dumb!!!

Posted by: RGF at June 2, 2006 2:32 AM
Comment #153638

LawnBoy,
People who deny the moon landings wear tinfoil hats and panic about global warming. People who think the earth is only 6000 years old are fundamentalists who think everything in the bible is literally true. I don’t fit in either category.
The evidence for climate change is incontrovertible. The evidence for Global Warming is very much in dispute, except in the press. Looking at the statists pushing the socialistic”solutions” being offered one must examine their motivation. Fear is a great motivator and it’s being used to good effect. People are easier to control if you can get them to voluntarily surrender their liberty.
Go ahead and call me a conspiracy theorist. You’re the fool putting your faith in politicians.

Posted by: traveller at June 2, 2006 7:20 AM
Comment #153650
You’re the fool putting your faith in politicians.

The Pew Center are politicians?

The Union of Concerned Scientists are politicians?

The 928 peer-reviewed scientific articles that agreed unanimously that humans are a fcator in Global Warming were written by Scientists?

This is just getting silly. I know I have no hope of convincing you that you’re making up the hoax claim, because you’ll just dismiss any of the compelling evidence because you think it was faked to arrive at the desired goal.

Now, you’re pretending that the side of the debate that isn’t currently supported by science is really the scientific side, and the side supported by science is just politics.

Posted by: LawnBoy at June 2, 2006 8:45 AM
Comment #153658

I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.

In addition, let me remind you that the track record of the consensus is nothing to be proud of.

Posted by: Michael at June 2, 2006 9:43 AM
Comment #153662

Nobody believes a weather prediction twelve hours ahead. Now we’re asked to believe a prediction that goes out 100 years into the future? And make financial investments based on that prediction? Has everybody lost their minds?

Stepping back, I have to say the arrogance is breathtaking. There have been, in every century, scientists who say they know it all. Since climate may be a chaotic system-no one is sure-these predictions are inherently doubtful, to be polite. But more to the point, even if the models get the science spot-on, they can never get the sociology. To predict anything about the world a hundred years from now is simply absurd.

Look: If I was selling stock in a company that I told you would be profitable in 2100, would you buy it? Or would you think the idea was so crazy that it must be a scam?

Let’s think back to people in 1900 in, say, New York. If they worried about people in 2000, what would they worry about? Probably: Where would people get enough horses? And what would they do about all the horseshit? Horse pollution was bad in 1900, think how much worse it would be a century later, with so many more people riding horses?

But of course, within a few years, nobody rode horses except for sport. And in 2000, France was getting 80% its power from an energy source that was unknown in 1900. Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Japan were getting more than 30% from this source, unknown in 1900. Remember, people in 1900 didn’t know what an atom was. They didn’t know its structure. They also didn’t know what a radio was, or an airport, or a movie, or a television, or a computer, or a cell phone, or a jet, an antibiotic, a rocket, a satellite, an MRI, ICU, IUD, IBM, IRA, ERA, EEG, EPA, IRS, DOD, PCP, HTML, internet. interferon, instant replay, remote sensing, remote control, speed dialing, gene therapy, gene splicing, genes, spot welding, heat-seeking, bipolar, prozac, leotards, lap dancing, email, tape recorder, CDs, airbags, plastic explosive, plastic, robots, cars, liposuction, transduction, superconduction, dish antennas, step aerobics, smoothies, twelve-step, ultrasound, nylon, rayon, teflon, fiber optics, carpal tunnel, laser surgery, laparoscopy, corneal transplant, kidney transplant, AIDS… None of this would have meant anything to a person in the year 1900. They wouldn’t know what you are talking about.

Now. You tell me you can predict the world of 2100. Tell me it’s even worth thinking about. Our models just carry the present into the future. They’re bound to be wrong. Everybody who gives a moment’s thought knows it.

I remind you that in the lifetime of most scientists now living, we have already had an example of dire predictions set aside by new technology. I refer to the green revolution. In 1960, Paul Ehrlich said, “The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines-hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.” Ten years later, he predicted four billion people would die during the 1980s, including 65 million Americans. The mass starvation that was predicted never occurred, and it now seems it isn’t ever going to happen. Nor is the population explosion going to reach the numbers predicted even ten years ago. In 1990, climate modelers anticipated a world population of 11 billion by 2100. Today, some people think the correct number will be 7 billion and falling. But nobody knows for sure.

What is clear, however, is that on this issue, science and policy have become inextricably mixed to the point where it will be difficult, if not impossible, to separate them out. It is possible for an outside observer to ask serious questions about the conduct of investigations into global warming, such as whether we are taking appropriate steps to improve the quality of our observational data records, whether we are systematically obtaining the information that will clarify existing uncertainties, whether we have any organized disinterested mechanism to direct research in this contentious area.

The answer to all these questions is no. We don’t.

Posted by: Michael at June 2, 2006 10:10 AM
Comment #153753

Michael,

While I don’t disagree about the medical discoveries in the last century, and I don’t necessarily intend to poke a hole in your balloon;

Jules Verne wrote “From the Earth to the Moon”, in 1866.

H.G. Wells wrote “War of the Worlds”, in 1898.

Marconi demonstrated the transmission and reception of “Morse Code” over radio in 1896.

Asians have been using the “Abacus” for centuries.

The first human hot air balloon ride occurred in 1783.

Da Vinci designed a glider in the 1400’s

Most of what we now have are refinements and adaptations of principles that were discovered and demonstrated long ago.

Posted by: Rocky at June 2, 2006 2:28 PM
Comment #153817

“What more needs to be known before this threat is considered worthy of being adressed by you righties? Playing ostrich isn’t going to cut it”

Why won’t it? You guys seem to think it will work with socialist security.
Why don’t we just give “human induced global-warming” another 42 years or so and then make a decision?

And again, al gore? God, do you guys really believe this jackass would win? I know you all want to keep throwing liberal after liberal into the voters faces in hope that one will stick again, but sheesh.
Wouldn’t it be just as easy to choose a candidate who the American people could at least respect?

Choose a Democrat and win or keep throwing up liberals and hope you can win in close elections.

Posted by: kctim at June 2, 2006 4:59 PM
Comment #153827
Choose a Democrat and win or keep throwing up liberals and hope you can win in close elections.
You don’t mean a Democrat, you mean a DINO. How about this—the Democrats will put up a DINO to run if the Republicans choose a RINO. Personally, I think Gore is better respected, more honest, and has a better chance than Hillary. I’m liking Hillary less and less the more “centrist” she becomes just to appeal to those on the fence. If the electorate wants to elect a conservative, then they can vote for a Republican. If they want a liberal, then they can vote for a Democrat. I don’t see the advantage to offering up a conservative from both parties. I don’t want to vote for a conservative, so I don’t want the Democrats picking one.
Posted by: Introspective at June 2, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #153857

traveller,

Thanks for conceding I have an important point, I think if it wasn’t tongue-in-cheek. It just seems plain sense to me if someone makes a less than sincere statement you have to ask yourself “to what purpose”.
I for one have learned a little from you about the importance of language.

Michael,

Your post about “consensus” science doesn’t make much sense. No one is arguing about trying to create a consensus in the political sense. I take the theory of evolution for granted right now because nearly all scientists say that it agrees with observation, not consensus. Although climate change is not on par with that theory it is agreeing more and more with observation and the models say IF this is true, it could very well be devastating. What is wrong with treating it as a real threat?

Posted by: Chris2x at June 2, 2006 7:03 PM
Comment #153863

kctim,

Excuse me? “Liberal?” “Jackass?” Al Gore actually got more votes than W in the presidential election. Remember? I suppose the American people do not respect good ol’ George as much as Al which makes Mr. Bush what in your opinion?

Sheesh! I’m sick and tired of those who claim to represent what the American people think. Talk about Jackasses.

Posted by: Chris2x at June 2, 2006 7:36 PM
Comment #153875

Michael,

I appreciate many of your points about predicting the future. There are too many chicken littles out there. But is your point to ignore science no matter what it says about the future because guess what, it will take care of itself?

I may not know how much I am going to weigh in 2 years much less 20 years but I still know that calories in minus calories out will be a big part of it.

Posted by: Chris2x at June 2, 2006 8:22 PM
Comment #153888

traveller,

height of hypocrisy for leftists to object to that analogy. It isn’t unusual to see conservatives and Republicans called Hitler, Nazi or fascist, both metaphorically and directly, right here on WB
Two responses:

1. I agree that comparing Bush to Hitler is invalid. I’ve never done so. Unlike you, I also think that comparing Gore to Hitler is EQUALLY invalid. I’m right smack in the middle of the spectrum. And when the political middle of the spectrum thinks the extreme right has gone too far, you guys are in deep shit.

2. You’re trying the “they started it” defense, huh? If that wouldn’t work for a child, why should you think it would work for you?


You just can’t resist name-calling, can you?

the Socialist magazine “The Nation”.
“The Nation” is to Socialism as “The Weekly Standard” is to the Nazi Party.

Posted by: ElliottBay at June 2, 2006 9:26 PM
Comment #153962

We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we’re told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears.

Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Why do I say it’s a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.

There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.

Eden, the fall of man, the loss of grace, the coming doomsday—-these are deeply held mythic structures. They are profoundly conservative beliefs. They may even be hard-wired in the brain, for all I know. I know that I can’t talk anybody out of them. These are not facts that can be argued. These are issues of faith.

And so it is, sadly, with environmentalism. Increasingly it seems facts aren’t necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It’s about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them.

In short, the romantic view of the natural world as a blissful Eden is only held by people who have no actual experience of nature. People who live in nature are not romantic about it at all. They may hold spiritual beliefs about the world around them, they may have a sense of the unity of nature or the aliveness of all things, but they still kill the animals and uproot the plants in order to eat, to live. If they don’t, they will die.

The television generation expects nature to act the way they want it to be. They think all life experiences can be tivo-ed. The notion that the natural world obeys its own rules and doesn’t give a damn about your expectations comes as a massive shock. Well-to-do, educated people in an urban environment experience the ability to fashion their daily lives as they wish. They buy clothes that suit their taste, and decorate their apartments as they wish. Within limits, they can contrive a daily urban world that pleases them.

But the natural world is not so malleable. On the contrary, it will demand that you adapt to it-and if you don’t, you die. It is a harsh, powerful, and unforgiving world, that most urban westerners have never experienced.

With so many past failures, you might think that environmental predictions would become more cautious. But not if it’s a religion. Remember, the nut on the sidewalk carrying the placard that predicts the end of the world doesn’t quit when the world doesn’t end on the day he expects. He just changes his placard, sets a new doomsday date, and goes back to walking the streets. One of the defining features of religion is that your beliefs are not troubled by facts, because they have nothing to do with facts.

So I can tell you some facts. I know you haven’t read any of what I am about to tell you in the newspaper, because newspapers literally don’t report them. I can tell you that DDT is not a carcinogen and did not cause birds to die and should never have been banned. I can tell you that the people who banned it knew that it wasn’t carcinogenic and banned it anyway. I can tell you that the DDT ban has caused the deaths of tens of millions of poor people, mostly children, whose deaths are directly attributable to a callous, technologically advanced western society that promoted the new cause of environmentalism by pushing a fantasy about a pesticide, and thus irrevocably harmed the third world. Banning DDT is one of the most disgraceful episodes in the twentieth century history of America. We knew better, and we did it anyway, and we let people around the world die and didn’t give a damn.

I can tell you that the evidence for global warming is far weaker than its proponents would ever admit. I can tell you the percentage the US land area that is taken by urbanization, including cities and roads, is 5%. I can tell you that the Sahara desert is shrinking, and the total ice of Antarctica is increasing. I can tell you that a blue-ribbon panel in Science magazine concluded that there is no known technology that will enable us to halt the rise of carbon dioxide in the 21st century. Not wind, not solar, not even nuclear. The panel concluded a totally new technology-like nuclear fusion-was necessary, otherwise nothing could be done and in the meantime all efforts would be a waste of time. They said that when the UN IPCC reports stated alternative technologies existed that could control greenhouse gases, the UN was wrong.

But such references probably won’t impact more than a handful of you, because the beliefs of a religion are not dependent on facts, but rather are matters of faith. Unshakeable belief.

Most of us have had some experience interacting with religious fundamentalists, and we understand that one of the problems with fundamentalists is that they have no perspective on themselves. They never recognize that their way of thinking is just one of many other possible ways of thinking, which may be equally useful or good. On the contrary, they believe their way is the right way, everyone else is wrong; they are in the business of salvation, and they want to help you to see things the right way. They want to help you be saved. They are totally rigid and totally uninterested in opposing points of view. In our modern complex world, fundamentalism is dangerous because of its rigidity and its imperviousness to other ideas.


Posted by: Michael at June 3, 2006 8:51 AM
Comment #153968

Imagine that there is a new scientific theory that warns of an impending crisis, and points to a way out.

This theory quickly draws support from leading scientists, politicians and celebrities around the world. Research is funded by distinguished philanthropies, and carried out at prestigious universities. The crisis is reported frequently in the media. The science is taught in college and high school classrooms.

I don’t mean global warming. I’m talking about another theory, which rose to prominence a century ago.

Its supporters included Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Winston Churchill. It was approved by Supreme Court justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis Brandeis, who ruled in its favor. The famous names who supported it included Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone; activist Margaret Sanger; botanist Luther Burbank; Leland Stanford, founder of Stanford University; the novelist H. G. Wells; the playwright George Bernard Shaw; and hundreds of others. Nobel Prize winners gave support. Research was backed by the Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations. The Cold Springs Harbor Institute was built to carry out this research, but important work was also done at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford and Johns Hopkins. Legislation to address the crisis was passed in states from New York to California.

These efforts had the support of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, and the National Research Council. It was said that if Jesus were alive, he would have supported this effort.

All in all, the research, legislation and molding of public opinion surrounding the theory went on for almost half a century. Those who opposed the theory were shouted down and called reactionary, blind to reality, or just plain ignorant. But in hindsight, what is surprising is that so few people objected.

Today, we know that this famous theory that gained so much support was actually pseudoscience. The crisis it claimed was nonexistent. And the actions taken in the name of theory were morally and criminally wrong. Ultimately, they led to the deaths of millions of people.

The theory was eugenics, and its history is so dreadful —- and, to those who were caught up in it, so embarrassing —- that it is now rarely discussed. But it is a story that should be well know to every citizen, so that its horrors are not repeated.

The theory of eugenics postulated a crisis of the gene pool leading to the deterioration of the human race. The best human beings were not breeding as rapidly as the inferior ones —- the foreigners, immigrants, Jews, degenerates, the unfit, and the “feeble minded.” Francis Galton, a respected British scientist, first speculated about this area, but his ideas were taken far beyond anything he intended. They were adopted by science-minded Americans, as well as those who had no interest in science but who were worried about the immigration of inferior races early in the twentieth century —- “dangerous human pests” who represented “the rising tide of imbeciles” and who were polluting the best of the human race.

The eugenicists and the immigrationists joined forces to put a stop to this. The plan was to identify individuals who were feeble-minded —- Jews were agreed to be largely feeble-minded, but so were many foreigners, as well as blacks —- and stop them from breeding by isolation in institutions or by sterilization.

As Margaret Sanger said, “Fostering the good-for-nothing at the expense of the good is an extreme cruelty … there is not greater curse to posterity than that of bequeathing them an increasing population of imbeciles.” She spoke of the burden of caring for “this dead weight of human waste.”

Such views were widely shared. H.G. Wells spoke against “ill-trained swarms of inferior citizens.” Theodore Roosevelt said that “Society has no business to permit degenerates to reproduce their kind.” Luther Burbank” “Stop permitting criminals and weaklings to reproduce.” George Bernard Shaw said that only eugenics could save mankind.

There was overt racism in this movement, exemplified by texts such as “The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy” by American author Lothrop Stoddard. But, at the time, racism was considered an unremarkable aspect of the effort to attain a marvelous goal —- the improvement of humankind in the future. It was this avant-garde notion that attracted the most liberal and progressive minds of a generation. California was one of twenty-nine American states to pass laws allowing sterilization, but it proved the most-forward-looking and enthusiastic —- more sterilizations were carried out in California than anywhere else in America.

Eugenics research was funded by the Carnegie Foundation, and later by the Rockefeller Foundation. The latter was so enthusiastic that even after the center of the eugenics effort moved to Germany, and involved the gassing of individuals from mental institutions, the Rockefeller Foundation continued to finance German researchers at a very high level. (The foundation was quiet about it, but they were still funding research in 1939, only months before the onset of World War II.)

Since the 1920s, American eugenicists had been jealous because the Germans had taken leadership of the movement away from them. The Germans were admirably progressive. They set up ordinary-looking houses where “mental defectives” were brought and interviewed one at a time, before being led into a back room, which was, in fact, a gas chamber. There, they were gassed with carbon monoxide, and their bodies disposed of in a crematorium located on the property.

Eventually, this program was expanded into a vast network of concentration camps located near railroad lines, enabling the efficient transport and of killing ten million undesirables.

After World War II, nobody was a eugenicist, and nobody had ever been a eugenicist. Biographers of the celebrated and the powerful did not dwell on the attractions of this philosophy to their subjects, and sometimes did not mention it at all. Eugenics ceased to be a subject for college classrooms, although some argue that its ideas continue to have currency in disguised form.

But in retrospect, three points stand out. First, despite the construction of Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory, despite the efforts of universities and the pleadings of lawyers, there was no scientific basis for eugenics. In fact, nobody at that time knew what a gene really was. The movement was able to proceed because it employed vague terms never rigorously defined. “Feeble-mindedness” could mean anything from poverty to illiteracy to epilepsy. Similarly, there was no clear definition of “degenerate” or “unfit.”

Second, the eugenics movement was really a social program masquerading as a scientific one. What drove it was concern about immigration and racism and undesirable people moving into one’s neighborhood or country. Once again, vague terminology helped conceal what was really going on.

Third, and most distressing, the scientific establishment in both the United States and Germany did not mount any sustained protest. Quite the contrary. In Germany scientists quickly fell into line with the program. Modern German researchers have gone back to review Nazi documents from the 1930s. They expected to find directives telling scientists what research should be done. But none were necessary. In the words of Ute Deichman, “Scientists, including those who were not members of the [Nazi] party, helped to get funding for their work through their modified behavior and direct cooperation with the state.” Deichman speaks of the “active role of scientists themselves in regard to Nazi race policy … where [research] was aimed at confirming the racial doctrine … no external pressure can be documented.” German scientists adjusted their research interests to the new policies. And those few who did not adjust disappeared.

Now we are engaged in a great new theory that once again has drawn the support of politicians, scientists, and celebrities around the world. Once again, the theory is promoted by major foundations. Once again, the research is carried out at prestigious universities. Once again, legislation is passed and social programs are urged in its name. Once again, critics are few and harshly dealt with.

Once again, the measures being urged have little basis in fact or science. Once again, groups with other agendas are hiding behind a movement that appears high-minded. Once again, claims of moral superiority are used to justify extreme actions. Once again, the fact that some people are hurt is shrugged off because an abstract cause is said to be greater than any human consequences. Once again, vague terms like sustainability and generational justice —- terms that have no agreed definition —- are employed in the service of a new crisis.

I am not arguing that global warming is the same as eugenics. But the similarities are not superficial. And I do claim that open and frank discussion of the data, and of the issues, is being suppressed. Leading scientific journals have taken strong editorial positions of the side of global warming, which, I argue, they have no business doing. Under the circumstances, any scientist who has doubts understands clearly that they will be wise to mute their expression.

One proof of this suppression is the fact that so many of the outspoken critics of global warming are retired professors. These individuals are not longer seeking grants, and no longer have to face colleagues whose grant applications and career advancement may be jeopardized by their criticisms.

In science, the old men are usually wrong. But in politics, the old men are wise, counsel caution, and in the end are often right.

The past history of human belief is a cautionary tale. We have killed thousands of our fellow human beings because we believed they had signed a contract with the devil, and had become witches. We still kill more than a thousand people each year for witchcraft. In my view, there is only one hope for humankind to emerge from what Carl Sagan called “the demon-haunted world” of our past. That hope is science.

But as Alston Chase put it, “when the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power.”

That is the danger we now face. And this is why the intermixing of science and politics is a bad combination, with a bad history. We must remember the history, and be certain that what we present to the world as knowledge is disinterested and honest.

Posted by: Michael at June 3, 2006 9:21 AM
Comment #154061
One of the defining features of religion is that your beliefs are not troubled by facts, because they have nothing to do with facts.
Religion is what I think of when reading two really long posts filled with “facts”, but not a single link to a source to back up those “facts”.
So I can tell you some facts. … I can tell you that DDT is not a carcinogen and did not cause birds to die and should never have been banned.
Can you provide a source…or a link…or anything to back up your claims about DDT or anything else? Otherwise you’re starting to look a lot like that nut standing on the corner with a placard. Without sources, you’re certainly no more convincing than that nut.
Posted by: Introspective at June 3, 2006 3:59 PM
Comment #154130

Michael,

While many of the points you made here are quite salient, I’m afraid that your claims about DDT are somewhat misinformed. While it is true that there is some controversy regarding increased cancer rates in the human population as a result of DDT exposure, the basic idea you proposed that DDT is not a carcinogen at all is downright false.

DDT has been shown conclusively to be highly toxic to many forms of life, but across the board interspecies toxicity has yet to be fully quantified. It is currently labeled as a ‘probable human carcinogen’ based on the observed carcinogenicity in animals. Most scientific bodies agree that, given this potential, it is imperative to adopt a ‘better safe than sorry’ attitude regarding its use. Any other approach merely degrades human populations into lab rats. A ‘wait and see if it kills people’ approach, IMO, is simply not acceptable.

DDT persists in the environment for up to 15 years, it also bioaccumulates up the food chain, with higher concentrations found in the tissues of apex predators. Human blood and tissue samples taken during the 1970’s showed traces of DDT in every sample tested in the United States.

While it’s true that malaria is a terrible problem for societies around the globe, immediately jumping to the conclusion that DDT is the answer and that it’s use will automatically save the lives of millions of people is more than a little naive. The resistance to DDT in insect populations that was engendered by it’s indiscriminant use has actually created situations where the instances of malarial infections has actually gone up after the pesticide was introduced (El Salvador is a perfect example of this).

All of this information can found in this Wikipedia Article on DDT, and by clicking the links provided within that article.

DDT is yet another example of why humans must conduct thorough testing of the safety and efficacy of chemicals before introducing them into our environment and our bodies. Our current approach of ingest first, ask questions later, has led to the destruction of countless lives over the last century (look at DES, fluoroquinolone antibiotics (click on my name to read about these horrors), silicofluorides, or even Vioxx).

The recent spate of people trying to create controversy where it is not warrented or ethically sound is naive at best, and downright dangerous at its worst.

Posted by: Liberal Demon at June 3, 2006 8:24 PM
Comment #154431

Chris2x
“Excuse me? “Liberal?” “Jackass?” Al Gore actually got more votes than W in the presidential election. Remember?”

Uh, yeah.

“I suppose the American people do not respect good ol’ George as much as Al which makes Mr. Bush what in your opinion?”

Also a jackass.

“Sheesh! I’m sick and tired of those who claim to represent what the American people think. Talk about Jackasses.”

Tis better to CLAIM to represent what the American people think, then to believe it is ok to tell them HOW to think.

Posted by: kctim at June 5, 2006 9:43 AM
Comment #154449

kctim,

“Tis better to CLAIM to represent what the American people think, then to believe it is ok to tell them HOW to think.”

True, but not mutually exclusive. Good post.

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