Democrats & Liberals Archives

Talonic Law and Vengeful Injustice

So, let me get this straight: The reason why Obama doesn’t get to nominate Scalia’s replacement, is that he once temporarily blocked a justice who got on the court anyways? I think it’s time to review an often misunderstood notion of ancient law, the one that goes, “An eye for an eye…”

If we go by precedent, by the simple evidence of what was done before, then the most that Republicans can claim as their due is making Obama wait until after the nominees of both parties have determined his successor. The so-called Biden Doctrine only covered having to wait to replace justices until the day of the election. After that, in the real lame duck session (lamed because the successor to the current president is setting more of the tone in the transition than the current occupant) Biden agreed that a moderate candidate would be permitted through.

So, why not propose this: to safisfy your lust for revenge, why don't we all wait until after election day, despite the damage and uncertainty in our system months worth of potential split verdicts would generate, and then let Obama nominate his choice, and give him a fair hearing.

No? Or perhaps, give his first choice a fair hearing, an up and down vote, then choose not to confirm him, and then let him choose another guy who will sail to a unanimous vote. Fair is fair, right?

An Eye for an Eye, filibuster for filibuster, block for block. Right? The Talonic Law of ancient times was to repay one evil for another, but this wasn't simply about indulging vengeance. In all actuality, it was about limiting it. It was about saying, well, this guy put out your eye, no you don't get to kill him for that, you only get to put out his eye. One way or another, the notion was to keep vengeance from getting out of control.

A subject, perhaps, that Mitch McConnell would do well to consider. By a Talonic standard, Democrats are now entitled to absolutely wipe out any legislative agenda that Trump and the Republican Congress could potentially offer, all while talking about the rights of the minority to prevent bad laws from being made, and other lovely rationalizations. We would put holds on all different levels of nominations by Trump or whoever gets nominated. And if he wants to nominate a replacement justice to the bench in the last year of his term? Tough luck.

The only thing that would prevent that is Democrats believing that it would impact the function of government, or not being so hardline as the Republicans in their Partisanship. McConnell's revenge has been so utterly disproportional, and I imagine there are plenty of Democrats who want revenge for what was done to them.

Even if Democrats only partially avenge themselves for what McConnell did, they could make an absolute trainwreck of the Republican President or the Republican Senate's agenda. By McConnell's logic, they might not even been avenging themselves enough if they do that.

Sounds dysfunctional? It is. The man was handed a responsibility, a weighty one, and he put his personal politics and spite above doing that job. He swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution, which, when it says advise and consent, means hold hearings and bring up a vote. That was the original meaning of that.

Why is McConnell not even letting a successor be discussed? Because then we'd get into individual qualifications, and it would no longer be about some abstract principle, which could be satisfied with simplistic, partisan action, but instead would be about whether the candidate was right for the job or not.

Same thing with all the laws. He didn't want them considered one by one, with people on record as being for or against. He wanted utter conformity in the voting, one statement: a Senate where the Democrats have taken the vast majority of seats, he says, doesn't get to pass laws. Why? Because it's a Democratic Senate, and by his logic, what was done to the Republicans gets done to the Democrats. But as I've pointed out before, he almost doubled the previous record.

He's escalating! This is taking out the guy who took out your eye, rather than simply taking their eye and being done with it. He's taken this kind of feuding logic to it's illogical extreme. He's denied America the full, functional government it deserves because he thinks he deserves revenge above and beyond any injury he made.

Which is not to say this cycle of retaliation does anybody any good. It inspires a philosophy of sore losership, where the people who lost the elections undermine those who won them, defeating the point of the elections, which is to express the will of the electorate. It gets people focused on doing what benefits their party and screws the other one, instead of finding the kind of non-partisan consensus that would result in things getting done in a way that is at least relatively acceptable to everybody.

It's time to break the cycle. It won't help my side, it won't help your side. Using the filibuster in a tactical sense, like Obama did, is one thing. Using your power to utterly stifle the process is another. Delay is one thing. Denial is another.

It's time for Mitch McConnell to quit abusing the Constitutional order in the name of his petty little quests of revenge. If he can't lead like a grown adult, if he has to avenge every slight with a scorched earth level of vengeance, then he doesn't deserve to be the leader of one of the most powerful bodies in our government.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at March 17, 2016 8:18 AM
Comments
Comment #403671

Look back on your party Stephen and what they did while Reid and Pelosi ran the show. Now your BOO HOOING about the Republicans. Pay back hurts don’t it.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at March 17, 2016 10:24 AM
Comment #403672

The Rpblcns are sore losers even when they win, because they are the party of losers, the punk party that throws tantrums when they don’t get what they want. They even get rid of their own leadership when they’re in a tantrum, not because the person is a drunk or a crook, but just because they didn’t get what they want all the time.

I don’t think it matters that there are only 8 justices on the SCOTUS. It might be good for them to figure out how to deal with that for a while. Maybe they can do their jobs, instead of worrying about partisanship.

Congratulations on a post with very little of your usual blarney in it, and happy St. Paddy’s Day to all the descendants of the good people of the emerald isle.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 17, 2016 10:25 AM
Comment #403679

President Obama did get to nominate Scalia’s replacement, he chose Merrick Garland.

These threats and doom and gloom scenarios are nothing more than the same political game that the Republicans are playing.

Posted by: kctim at March 17, 2016 10:52 AM
Comment #403682

The GOP has shut down the federal government, threatened to default on the national debt. caused a rating agency to downgrade US bonds, sent a letter to the mullahs of Iran warning them the US was not a reliable negotiating partner, and set records for filibusters and obstructions of court nominees.

This is NOT “the same political game.” Not even close. This is NOT what Pelosi and Reid did. Not even close.

About the only consolation is seeing how badly these choices have boomeranged on the GOP. One snarky tweet sums it up:

“The Republican plan to let Clinton choose the next Supreme Court Justice with a Democratic Senate is going better than they ever hoped.”

The GOP has done everything in its power to block efforts to address Global Warming, to the point of insisting the whole thing is a hoax. Meanwhile, 2015 crushed the previous records for the warmest year, January 12106 was the warmest January on record, and February crushed it with a record of its own- not just warmest, but largest deviation from the average temperature on record.

Posted by: phx8 at March 17, 2016 11:41 AM
Comment #403685

We are discussing Supreme Court justices and to “prove” this is ‘NOT the same political game,’ you have to deflect to your opinions on everything else?
Weak sauce, Phx8.

Politicians have been playing politics with nominations to the Supreme Court for a loooooooooong time.

Posted by: kctim at March 17, 2016 12:09 PM
Comment #403693

Politicians playing politics? Well, pass me my fainting pearls! I feel a case of the vapors coming on!

But seriously, this is NOT the same political game, and my comment is in no way a deflection. This is the same game plan the GOP has used on a number of different issues. In this case, the GOP is establishing a new precedent: a sitting president cannot put a new judge on the SC in the last year of office. This is the kind of obstruction that has turned the GOP into a party without ideas. It has become bankrupt. It opposes for the sake of opposition without standing for anything. The nominee, Garland, should be a no-brainer for approval, yet the GOP will not even hold a hearing! That is unheard of.

This is the kind of approach that led to Trump. I’ve said it many times over the years- the GOP needs to stand for something, then compromise. Instead, it stands for virtually nothing, and refuses to compromise; indeed, Republicans in primaries with a history of compromising are primaried and defeated. GOP Congressmen pride themselves on their refusal to work with the opposition and compromise.

The result? Trump. A candidate who gives speeches at a fourth grade reading level, and speaks in monosyllables and incomplete sentences. Ideas are absent. Rudeness, bullying, and crass behavior are the new standard. Conspiracy theories about the economy and Global Warming abound. Over half of Trump supporters believe Obama is a Muslim and that he is not an American. Anger, fear, and especially fear of foreigners- Xenophobia- are now the primary motivator.

Blocking this SC nominee is a symptom of the disease. This where obstruction for its own sake ultimately leads. Trump.

Posted by: phx8 at March 17, 2016 1:49 PM
Comment #403697

I wasn’t born yesterday. I understand the give and take of politics. I am aware enough of the consequences of the Constitution that I don’t expect a Bernie Sanders level progressive judge when a Republican Senate is in charge.

I expect some negotiation, imperfect results. I don’t like it personally, but intellectually I get that there is a stakeholder issue at work; if I cut others out, it reduces their stake in keeping things together.

Today’s Republicans and Conservatives, though, have developed an entitlement complex that tells them that no matter how lacking their numbers are, how incompetent they are at generating consensus, that they deserve to see their outcomes, that their outcomes are the only ones that satisfy the Constitution, satisfy the traditions of the framers and the patriots.

You can hang as many tea-bags from your hat as you care to, but that doesn’t mean that you’re some kind of infallible authority I have to listen to. You can declare yourselves the only true patriots, but that neither makes it true, nor takes from others the right to seek, through the political process, their own satisfaction.

I believe the Republican interpretations of the Constitution are wrong. You can throw all the garbled jargon you want at me, but you can’t force me to agree with it. It’s arrogance to believe that your notion of how the law works is the only possible notion, and the Framers essentially designed the system so that as the fortunes of different political movements waxed and waned, they would leave their mark on the courts.

The Constitution provides for both short-term and long term change in the nature of our government in response to the wishes of the public. It provides both release for the public’s short term impulses, and expressions of it’s long-term interests.

I’m sorry if you’re distressed that Obama gets another choice for the Supreme Court. But you know, I’ve had to deal with Bush getting a couple of picks himself, so I know how that feels. That said, I pretty much said to myself, you know what? That’s the way the cookie crumbles. I didn’t say that out of weakness. No, I said that because I am loyal to the Constitution and its intent.

By winning the elections Bush did, Bush earned the right to make those appointments. The Democrats had the right to protest the worst of them, force change in who he considered, but they did not have the right to block them.

Of course, you have government in principle, and government in practice, and that’s the problem the Republicans are running into. They’re slapdash improvising all kinds of new, unbreakable principles they have to be loyal to, and not giving one damn momment’s thought to the consequences of what customs and traditions they’re creating.

I really don’t like the idea of what happens if the Democrats follow suit with what the Republicans did. I really wish Republicans would take five seconds to think about their future beyond the next election, rather than just swerve back and forth on the highway of politics trying to pass them up.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 17, 2016 2:33 PM
Comment #403700

The way you guys are acting, it seems you are way beyond the vapors and are already needlessly clutching those pearls pretty hard.

Your failure to acknowledge the game plan does not mean one does not exist. The GOPs game plan has been what their voters have demanded: to slow or stop the leftist march on our country. From huge government programs to government mandates to excessive taxation to the continuing loss of individual rights to the divisive social justice war, the goal has been to preserve what once made us the greatest nation on earth. And guess what? A liberal activist Supreme Court means game over for them.

Leftist policy has created more false sense of entitlement and government dependency than ever before, and the Republicans backs are against the wall. Their ONLY options are to obstruct and hope for the best, or to compromise their principles and embrace a huge nanny state government.

You guys aren’t mad because you’re not getting what you want, you’re mad because you’re not getting it as quick as you want. For God’s sake man, Trumps positions are basically what Democrats used to run on, but you guys feel the need to destroy him with lies and hyperbole.

Liberalism is the disease and blocking this SC nominee is nothing more than a last minute hail Mary.

Posted by: kctim at March 17, 2016 3:07 PM
Comment #403707

kctim,

There are a few problems with your thesis. Firstly, none of the policies pushed by Obama and his Democratic allies are unprecedented like you claim. Republicans have compromised to let government expand greatly throughout the 20th century. Why do they now have the sudden change of heart?

Secondly, the Republican obstruction began in January 2009, long before they received any sort of mandate from the electorate. They later got that mandate by working to delay the recovery from the Great Recession, thereby souring Americans’ opinion of Obama’s performance on the economy.

Thirdly, Merrick Garland’s ascension to the Supreme Court would be hardly the first time a liberal majority existed on the court. It wasn’t game over last time and there is no reason to think things are different enough to warrant a belief that it will be game over this time.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 17, 2016 3:41 PM
Comment #403710

The fact that people see judges as ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ truly frightens me… I think you are all whacked in the head. The Supreme Court is supposed to be an unbiased interpreter of the constitutionality of the law. Yes, we have had courts in the past that have obliterated the meaning of certain phrases of the constitution even though we have good documentation of what the framers meant when they wrote them, but eventually that gets or will get fixed.

It’s almost like everyone needs a Snickers bar and calm down for pete’s sake.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 17, 2016 3:53 PM
Comment #403714

kctim-
There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution that doesn’t give Obama the right to appoint Scalia’s successor. To deny that right, no meetings, no hearings, no debate, no votes… where’s the advise and consent in that? It seems more like McConnell’s hitting a pause button where none exists in the Constitution.

If people aren’t all talk when it comes to the Constitution and it’s precedence over tradition and custom in the Chambers of Congress, then they would conclude that it is the GOP’s bad luck that Scalia didn’t linger on longer in this world. Would have, could have. Sorry. Maybe if you win the election, you get the next choice. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is no spring chicken, and neither are a number of others. It isn’t like you have five liberals already. There are four. Just one future appointment could change matters.

Let’s just reduce this to the practical here: If you elect the next President, you want all the ability to appoint and nominate that you want. It doesn’t benefit your people anything to lose one out of the four years for this function in every Presidential term after this one. That could be the one that tilts the court back to the left! That could be the one a Democratic Senate refuses to hear, thanks to your new tradition.

You talk of mandates? This President was given that mandate twice in a row. You could argue the midterms took it back, but then that really just lands us in the middle, with both of us arguing that we have the mandate from the voters. And really, is it a realistic mandate? Is it one that supersedes the authority of the Constitution in these matters?

Liberalism isn’t a disease, it’s a set of opinions that you’ve limited your own options in the name of fighting. You’ve decided that the moderating role that the Constitution gives you isn’t enough, that you have to essentially shut the door on the President, even though there’s almost a year left in his administration, and no sign that the need of unambiguous Supreme Court Decisions has gone away.

The real rot here is in the politics. It makes it easy to promise what no-one under the Constitution can deliver.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 17, 2016 4:25 PM
Comment #403722

Warren,

I absolutely agree that none of the policies Obama ran on were really anything new. More government control, more mandates, more redistribution of wealth, more gun control, etc… And yes, Republican representatives compromised their principles on every one of those and are just as guilty for today’s massive government and it’s intrusion into our lives. In fact, I don’t believe those Republicans have had any change of heart whatsoever.

What I think is happening though is that right-wing voters have had enough of those politicians compromising away their principles. Their backs are against the wall, they have been pushed back as far as they are willing to go without a fight and are now taking a stand.

Republican obstruction would have began the minute any liberal won the election. IMO, the degree of obstruction was based on the ‘establishment’ politicians finally seeing what was happening and trying to protect their jobs.

“Merrick Garland’s ascension to the Supreme Court would be hardly the first time a liberal majority existed on the court.”

True, but it would be the first time a liberal majority existed on the court with leftist policy being the norm and it’s supporters doubling down on it.
History has show that there is absolutely no doubt that a liberal majority would be a very activist court and that liberals would take advantage of that on every issue that matters to people.

If you have accepted that something like abortion is going to be legal, wouldn’t being forced to pay for it seem like ‘game over?’

Posted by: kctim at March 17, 2016 5:05 PM
Comment #403724

BTW, what I mean is… we should be looking at candidates as whether they do a good job interpreting the constitution in a way that matches what the founding fathers meant as well as how the constitution has changed via amendments. Appointing people who are just going to rule on cases as a means to push political agendas? My god, how stupid can people be?

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 17, 2016 5:12 PM
Comment #403726

Stephen,

IF the President had some right to determine the next justice, he would have already done it and this whole thing would be moot.
The Constitution gives the President the duty to nominate someone. You covered this in one of your earlier posts man.

Not having hearings on his nomination until after the election IS, IMO, taking advantage of their duty to advise and consent. I don’t agree with it and believe Obama and Garland should have a hearing.
It’s politics though, not unconstitutional.

In the future, the dems will do the exact same thing the Republicans are doing now. You will defend it, Republican will jeer it, and it will still be politics to me.

“You talk of mandates? This President was given that mandate twice in a row.”

Actually, I was answering Warren’s question and giving my opinion on what I believe is behind the voters ‘change of heart’ when it comes to our ever expanding government.

Liberalism is a set of opinions that people must use government to force upon others. It strips away individual rights and is dependent on destroying limited government.
What I have decided is that our individual rights are more important than your desires.

“The real rot here is in the politics. It makes it easy to promise what no-one under the Constitution can deliver.”

You need to be telling that to Clinton and Sanders, not me.

Posted by: kctim at March 17, 2016 5:30 PM
Comment #403727

Rhinehold-
I’ll tell you this: from my point of view, and that of many others, the Republicans on the bench pushed their own political agendas through their rulings. Particularly Scalia.

So, when you use that argument against Democrats, they’re going to look at you funny. They’re going to say, “Republicans get to push their favorite interpretations through their justices, why aren’t we allowed to do the same things through ours?”

From our point of view, it’s our people who are pushing the proper constitutional interpretation, who do a good job interpreting the document. The judges you would prefer just look like people pushing an agenda we don’t like to us.

I don’t think the Framers were ignorant of this. What they did is that they set it so that, as the judges retired or died, the successive office-holders in the Presidency would choose folks who suited their politics, and who could get past the Senate. There would not be any certainty in the eyes of the nonpartisan Framers, as to who would be running the Senate, so they believed that the wise old heads of that body would temper the more short-term focused President.

I think they believed that future Senators would realize something: that if they used their faction, their influence to scuttle any and all appointments for their rivals, their rivals would do the same in return.

Only problem is, some people are so convinced that they’re the only ones who really know how to govern that they’re immune from all such practical political considerations.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 17, 2016 5:34 PM
Comment #403730

Would it be fair to say that Stephen’s ‘people’ would be pushing a constitutional interpretation that they favor, and Rhinehold’s ‘people’ would be supporting a constitutional interpretation that already is?

Posted by: kctim at March 17, 2016 5:54 PM
Comment #403731
What I think is happening though is that right-wing voters have had enough of those politicians compromising away their principles. Their backs are against the wall, they have been pushed back as far as they are willing to go without a fight and are now taking a stand.

I note that decades of leftist policy being advanced by white males never engendered these feelings, but as soon as a nonwhite President appears, people feel like their back is against the wall. I don’t think this a symptom of conscience racism, but it is an interesting phenomenon.

Also, note that right-wing voters not only condoned compromise between Republicans and Democrats, but many openly supported liberal Democrats of years past. Look at how white male Democratic Presidential candidates performed much better in regions such as Appalachia than Obama does today.

Lastly consider that the man currently rallying support from the right-wing, Donald Trump, is hardly an orthodox conservative. In fact, his apostasies are numerous, the only consistent ideology of Trump is his nationalism. By coincidence, this brand of nationalism is deeply skeptical of the cosmopolitanism represented in Barack Obama’s skin color.

Republican obstruction would have began the minute any liberal won the election. IMO, the degree of obstruction was based on the ‘establishment’ politicians finally seeing what was happening and trying to protect their jobs.
A year ago, I was apt to agree with you. However, recent events lead me to believe that the ascension to the Presidency of a white male liberal rather than Barack Obama would lead to a different outcome. Again the issue isn’t conscious racism like that from a generation ago, but a general skepticism of the patriotism and loyalty of the “other”.
“Merrick Garland’s ascension to the Supreme Court would be hardly the first time a liberal majority existed on the court.”

True, but it would be the first time a liberal majority existed on the court with leftist policy being the norm and it’s supporters doubling down on it.
History has show that there is absolutely no doubt that a liberal majority would be a very activist court and that liberals would take advantage of that on every issue that matters to people.

What norms exist today regarding leftist policy that did not exist during the Warren court?

If you have accepted that something like abortion is going to be legal, wouldn’t being forced to pay for it seem like ‘game over?’
Courts interpret the Constitution. They don’t legislate laws. This is a political question that can only be handled by Congress.

RH,
I agree that activism has no place on the Court, which is why I disagreed with the decision in DC v. Heller, which crafted a new right to bear firearms that did not reflect the original intention of the 2nd amendment.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 17, 2016 5:58 PM
Comment #403732

My god, how stupid can people be?
Posted by: Rhinehold at March 17, 2016 5:12 PM

Einstein believed only two things were infinite…the Universe and man’s stupidity.

Let’s imagine for a moment that the Constitution called for the general election of Supreme Court justices. In today’s environment, would we have liberals running for the court openly advocating banning private ownership of guns?
Would they be elected?

How would liberal candidates for the SC fare in an election if they had to proclaim their position and how they would vote on all the most pressing issues of the day that come before them if elected?

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 17, 2016 6:08 PM
Comment #403734

kctim-
It never occurs to you that our interpretation is as natural to us as yours is to you.

Royal Flush-
Can you tell me why the Second Amendment is the only one you really ever mention. I mean, seriously, there are a wealth of concepts out there, and your people seem to understand few of them. If you want to boss other people around on the Constitution, it might be useful to have a grasp yourself.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 17, 2016 6:46 PM
Comment #403735

Thank you very much Mr. Daugherty for your question. I have mentioned freedom of speech, religion, presidential unconstitutional acts and treaties in the recent past. To bad you missed my opinions.

Now, can you answer my questions in comment #403732?

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 17, 2016 6:57 PM
Comment #403738

warren

“I agree that activism has no place on the Court, which is why I disagreed with the decision in DC v. Heller, which crafted a new right to bear firearms that did not reflect the original intention of the 2nd amendment.”


“The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”
- Samuel Adams, Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, 1788

But go ahead and keep beating that drum.

Posted by: dbs at March 18, 2016 5:09 AM
Comment #403741

Royal Flush-
Do me a favor: find the decision where Merrick Garland actually issued a dramatically anti-gun decision.

As for the rest? I didn’t feel like dignifying your obviously leading questions with an answer. They’re hackwork. They’re transparently about pushing the propaganda point that Liberals are united in getting your guns. Judges aren’t elected in our system, they’re appointed by the President, who is elected, and confirmed by the Senate. A Senate that’s decided to take a precedent NOBODY ELSE in recent history has been stupid enough to set.

See, here’s the problem. Once you declare the last year off limits on principle, where does it stop? I’m certain many of you would have stopped any appointments by Barack Obama to the courts, and in fact plenty of the hundreds of held-up appointments to government posts were held up in the Federal Courts. Despite the fact that caused a crisis of function there.

It doesn’t occur to you that if Obama can be denied his appointments by a recalcitrant Republican Senate, then any Republican President can see the same happen to them about their appointments before a Democratic Senate. Imagine Trump wins, and Democrats decide, no, he doesn’t get a Supreme Court appointment.

Unless you can appeal to a precedent that says that Supreme Court nominations should be considered in a timely fashion, that there shouldn’t be these blanket lock-outs, then Democrats can take your standard and run with it.

It’s two kids fighting over an ice cream cone, and during the fight, it gets dropped to the ground. Nobody wins. What one party can do, so can the other. The Democrats can decide that Trump doesn’t get to decide who goes on the court.

Quit playing chicken with the Constitution. I know your holier than thou attitude makes you think that you’re entitled to do this, to preserve its sanctity, but what your efforts amount to is trying to force your judicial and constitutional views on everybody else. You want to win the debate by not having one, win the court cases by packing the courts with only your conservative judges, no matter what the sentiments of the people they’re judging are. What you want is tyranny. Tyranny you like, but tyranny nonetheless.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 18, 2016 8:28 AM
Comment #403743

Warren,

I believe you do a severe disservice to yourself by using ‘racism’ to dismiss everything. It is the lazy way of explaining away disagreement and can never lead to the positive results we all want.

“What norms exist today regarding leftist policy that did not exist during the Warren court?”

Government restrictions on individual rights have greatly expanded since the 50s and 60s. From our bodies to warrants, government has used its ever increasing power to dictate what it wants to do, and what it will permit us to do.

The pro-abortion side won the abortion debate. It is and has been a legal viable option and most people support it being so. The activists are now doubling down and demanding it be paid for with tax dollars.

The anti religion side have basically won their debate and religious things are now pretty much verboten on public property. The activists have doubled down and are now targeting graves, private property and speech.

The gun control side won their debate. We have tens of thousands of laws for gun control. The activists have doubled down and are demanding more laws that will severely restrict, outright ban and even confiscate arms.

Racism and sexism is no longer a fight for equality, it is now a fight for special treatment.

Ever increasing taxes are no longer about giving a hand up to the unfortunate and unable, it’s now to provide and sustain a way of life.

There are examples on almost every issue and I could go on and on.

Posted by: kctim at March 18, 2016 9:39 AM
Comment #403744

Stephen-

“It never occurs to you that our interpretation is as natural to us as yours is to you.”

Nonsense. I totally understand you guys really do believe it is living document and that it can and should be changed at will through your reinterpretation of it. Not because you all are a bunch of little Marxists, but because you honestly believe it is better for our country than what our founders gave us.

The difference isn’t how much passion we have, but that the interpretation I support is found in our history and continuing it is what is best for us as a nation, while what you support is reinterpreting that history to create a future you think is best.

You really do need to focus on the issue and stop seeing every disagreement as some kind of personal attack.

Posted by: kctim at March 18, 2016 10:13 AM
Comment #403745

I will attempt to be understanding regarding yet another turn towards a gun discussion that has little to do with discussing the constitutional obligation of advising and either consenting or denying a President’s ability to nominate an SC Justice. I am able to understand that the nominated Justice could very well cast a deciding vote that could change gun legislation and I also understand the great fear that resides in some of our citizens in that respect. Just as that Justice could cast a deciding vote that could change a woman’s right to choose and limit her rights, and the fear that instills in some. But these are hypothetical views on different subjects.

I have yet to understand who among us has ever, ever held a position to take guns away from private citizens. I have made my position clear in that I have some disagreement in the interpretation of the wording of the 2nd Amendment but have always supported the ability of a citizen to own a gun with responsibility and respect. I guess I would just like to make sure that Royal Flush, kctim, dbs, George in SC, Rich KAPtan, Rhinehold, Roy Ellis, Weary Willie, Yukon Jake and any other proponent of the sanctity of gun ownership I may have missed, understands that there has never ever been any suggestion by any liberal here on WB, that I am aware of, to confiscate guns, never ever. And, furthermore, even a liberal like myself would support your right to gun ownership and defend that right. Please correct me if I missed something.

It sometimes seems that this gun discussion only surfaces when there is an attempt to discuss other unrelated topics that in my view is meant to obfuscate the original discussion. I will admit that my personal belief of the unimportance of gun ownership contributes to that opinion however it is never meant to belittle a contention that it is important to another, I just don’t get it and would ask for your understanding in that respect just as I attempt to understand yours. I realize that I have referred to some of these proponents as “gun fetishists”, “gun nuts” and other derogatory terms. I apologize for doing so as I am certain that it diminishes my argument and any of yours as well.

In no way is this comment meant as a reprimand to anyone, it’s just that I do tire of having to defend something that has never ever been proposed. Gun confiscation.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 18, 2016 10:20 AM
Comment #403746

kctim,

I believe you do a severe disservice to yourself by using ‘racism’ to dismiss everything. It is the lazy way of explaining away disagreement and can never lead to the positive results we all want.

I truly would prefer to live in a world where you are right, that Obama’s skin color has nothing to do with the sudden feeling among conservatives of being “against the wall”. Unfortunately, the Republican base in recent months has completely rejected several conservative Presidential candidates in favor of a man who promises nothing but greater government control over everyday life.

I think you suffer because you are projecting your own beliefs upon other Republican voters. While you may not be racist, many other people who vote like you do are. There are no remaining explanation other than racism that explain the following:

1. Right wing complicity and cooperation with Leftist Democratic Presidents who happen to be white males.
2. Unprecedented intransigence and opposition to the first Leftist Democratic President who is not a white male.
3. The rise of critiques against Barack Obama that cast him as a dangerous “other”. This includes the popularity of conspiracies regarding his birth, his upbringing in Indonesia and questions regarding his Academic performance in college.
4. The subsequent shift of Tea Party supporters from backing conservative candidates to backing a nationalist candidate for President.

You can repeat your belief that the above would have played out the same way if a White Man won the 2008 election and governed with the same ideology as Obama, but at this point, I am very skeptical towards that argument. At the risk of repeating myself, I believe that if that argument was true, the leading 2016 Presidential candidate wouldn’t be the emphatic supporter of the entitlement state that Donald Trump is.

Government restrictions on individual rights have greatly expanded since the 50s and 60s. From our bodies to warrants, government has used its ever increasing power to dictate what it wants to do, and what it will permit us to do.
Huh? I believe precisely the opposite. Before the Warren Court, the government had:

—The power to restrict individuals’ access to birth control
—The power to restrict women’s access to abortion services
—The power to convict a criminal without notifying him or her of his or her rights
—The power to convict a criminal without providing him or her with publicly financed counsel
—The power to segregate government services upon color of people’s skin
—The power to execute someone for a nonlethal crime
—The power to restrict marriage on account of people’s race
—The power to establish an official state religion by compelling schoolchildren to pray in a prescribed manner
—The power to establish an official state religion by compelling schoolchildren to read text from a particular religion’s holy text
—The power to convict a criminal after withholding exculpatory evidence from the defense
—The power to convict a criminal with evidence obtained without a warrant
—The power to wiretap a public phone-booth without a warrant
—The power to censor obscene or lewd material
—The power to prohibit school children from wearing an armband symbolizing opposition to the Vietnam War

And the list goes on. On the whole, the Warren Court greatly curtailed governmental power and expanded individual liberty. In some cases, some things were already prohibited for the Federal government, but that prohibition has now expanded to include state governments as well.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 18, 2016 11:25 AM
Comment #403747

The GOP has shut down the federal government, threatened to default on the national debt. caused a rating agency to downgrade US bonds, sent a letter to the mullahs of Iran warning them the US was not a reliable negotiating partner, and set records for filibusters and obstructions of court nominees.

phx8, this is so much garbage. I can’t let you get away with this any longer.

The GOP did not shut down the government. Harry Reid did. He also held up many of the bills passed by the Republican house. They can get the media to go along with that lie but the truth is out there. It was Harry Reid and the Democratics who shut down the government.

There was no chance the U.S. was going to default on the debt. That’s a lie, a scare tactic the howling Democratics use to get their way.

The letter sent to Iran simply spelled out the way our government works toward foreign treaties. There was no threats or warnings. Simply definitions.

Democratics are not as clean as the wind driven snow as far as filibusters go, phx8. You really should cease with the embellishments/lies. They’re thinner than the pixels they’re written on.

And by the way, Janet Yellin put a damper on your crowing about the economy, didn’t she?

Whew! Now that that’s taken care of I’ll continue to read the rest of the comments.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 18, 2016 11:28 AM
Comment #403748

WW,

“Whew!” is right. Let us know when you are done with your spinning spree.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 18, 2016 12:19 PM
Comment #403750

Warren, well done in your Comment #403746.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 18, 2016 1:28 PM
Comment #403751

I don’t think Obama’s race has as much to do with the opposition as Warren Porter thinks. Anyone else would probably have gotten the same kind of treatment from the right wing media who control the thoughts of so many weak minded people. The Congress plays along because they either get benefits from it or are afraid of it. They’ll be focusing on Hillary soon, probably claiming she’s an alien from outer space, and the weak minds will believe whatever they say.

I’m wondering if Obama is staying in Washington next year because he expects Hillary to appoint him to the Supreme Court. He says he’s staying for Sasha to graduate from Sidwell, but I wonder if there’s been some kind of a deal.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 18, 2016 1:36 PM
Comment #403752

Ohrealy,

Up until the last month or so, I would have agreed with you. However, the rise of Donald Trump completely discredits the theory that the backlash against Obama was rooted in principled conservatism. Instead, we discover that the Republican party is all too eager to embrace a campaign prefaced upon division between “us” and “them” with nothing but lip service paid to conservative principles.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 18, 2016 1:50 PM
Comment #403753

Warren,

Using race to dismiss valid concerns, values and beliefs has nothing but create the division we have today. Especially when the opinion is based on how people vote and lumping the majority in with an extreme few.

President Clinton faced much of the same opposition from the voters as President Obama faces today. HillaryCare, higher taxes, redistributing wealth, abortion, gun control, religion - President Clinton faced fierce opposition on all of it. The so-called ‘militia’ movement increased drastically. He11, I threw away almost ten years of military service because of President Clinton.
Then, after another eight years of irresponsible spending by a so-called fiscal Republican or whatever, we get a guy stating his support for even more reckless spending, government health care, anti 2nd Amendment policies, redistributing wealth etc…
Under Clinton, it was called selfishness, religious differences and UN conspiracy. Under Obama, it’s called racism, sexism, hatred and fascism.

“There are no remaining explanation other than racism that explain the following:”

Hogwash.
President Obama is forcing an agenda much further left of what Clinton or Carter did, and he has had success. Such overreach will lead to such opposition.
The Obama conspiracies can’t hold a candle to what Clinton endured.

“On the whole, the Warren Court greatly curtailed governmental power and expanded individual liberty.”

Mostly on issues that had no direct impact on the majority or alter their way of life in any meaningful way. That’s not to say those things aren’t deserving (other than the establishing an official state religion nonsense), but most of those things are the people’s fault for giving government the power over them in the first place.

Posted by: kctim at March 18, 2016 2:04 PM
Comment #403754

RF,

Thanks.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 18, 2016 2:21 PM
Comment #403755
Republican party is all too eager to embrace a campaign prefaced upon division between “us” and “them”

Trump is appealing to many people who have never voted for a Rpblcn before in their lives, and many Rpblcns don’t want to have anything to do with Trump. He is a megalomaniac who clashes with other people who seek some of the same supporters. The Rpblcn convention could be a complete disaster, but media predictions are like weather predictions, almost always worse than what actually happens.

Back on the SCOTUS seat, Obama could have a deal that he gets the seat if the Rplcns won’t confirm, or that he gets Ginsberg’s seat in the near future. I think he might do well there.

I went to school with this guy, Kmiec, formerly a voice of the right wing, who supported Obama, writes for HuffPo sometimes, and seems to be supporting Hillary now. There’s hope for people who are capable of logical thought.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 18, 2016 2:57 PM
Comment #403756

Sorry, I haven’t done html coding in a while. The stuff next to the second vertical line is my writing.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 18, 2016 2:59 PM
Comment #403757

ohrealy,

If the GOP establishment refuses to support Trump after the convention is over, then perhaps you may be right. However, I think most Republicans will talk themselves into supporting him over this summer.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 18, 2016 3:01 PM
Comment #403758
Republicans will talk themselves into supporting him over this summer.
Then he will be a formidable candidate. He could get the votes of the “poorly educated” from both parties. In Chicago, functional illiteracy is very high. It was in a recent newspaper article. I forgot the exact number, but it was shockingly unbelievably high. Posted by: ohrealy at March 18, 2016 3:10 PM
Comment #403759

The question of how much racism plays a part in opposition to Obama is not that cut and dried. Conservatives and the GOP are not a monolithic group. They include a small percentage of libertarians and a corporatist establishment wing which cares very little about race or social issues in general. In addition, there are the Neocons. Some are motivated by a genuine desire to see the US use military might to spread its ideals. Others are motivated by a deep hatred of Muslims. Groups overlap. However, it goes beyond examples of partisanship.

There are conclusions we can reach about racism and the GOP. As was said some time ago, Not all Republicans are racists, but most racists are Republican. Historically, we saw this in the Southern Strategy. Today we see the roots of racism in Birtherism and the hatred of Muslims. While roughly half of the GOP believes Obama is a Muslim and a foreigner, over 60% of Trump supporters believe it. The numbers are sky high when it comes to blocking all Muslims from entering the US. While Trump may not have asked for the endorsements of people like David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the KKK, he certainly received it. Trump has also received the endorsements of the largest White Supremacist group, Stormfront.

Here are some specific individuals:

Richard Spencer, director of the National Policy Institute, which promotes the “heritage, identity, and future of European people…”

“Jared Taylor, editor of American Renaissance, a Virginia-based white nationalist magazine…”

“Michael Hill, head of the League of the South, an Alabama-based white supremacist secessionist group…”

“Brad Griffin, a member of Hill’s League of the South and author of the popular white supremacist blog Hunter Wallace…”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-white-supremacists_us_55dce43ee4b08cd3359dc41a

These kinds of people support Trump. Remarks about illegal immigrants being criminals and rapists, re-tweets from white supremacists promoting false statistics about blacks murdering whites- the list goes on and on. It is not a coincidence that blacks vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, and large minorities of Hispanics, Asians, and the LGBT community do the same.

Posted by: phx8 at March 18, 2016 3:16 PM
Comment #403760

It could be argued that race plays a part in the lack of criticism of Obama from people who would criticize almost anyone else in his position.

If we’re going to talk about individual cases, I know an LGBT (T) who thinks Trump is just wonderful.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 18, 2016 3:30 PM
Comment #403761

phx8 writes; ” It is not a coincidence that blacks vote overwhelmingly for Democrats…”

No, I guess it isn’t. The neolibs continue to make promises to black people and they don’t seem to mind that it is just empty election talk.

Please tell us how much better off our black population is under Obama. Use facts please.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 18, 2016 3:54 PM
Comment #403763

I just read a story about Hillbilly getting endorsed by a KKK Grand Dragon. phx8 will undoubtedly change his position on the racist Hillbilly now that this Grand Dragon has shown us her true colors.

I have a question.

If phx8 and Warren Porter believe criticism of Obama is racist in nature why did Hillbilly get criticized when she was defeated in her efforts to get Universal Healthcare passed? She isn’t black. Why was there so many against her healthcare proposal as were there against Obama’s ACA?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 18, 2016 5:46 PM
Comment #403764

WW,

To be clear, I don’t think criticism of Obama is racist. I don’t know where you got that from.

Regarding William Quigg, his pathetic attempt at reverse psychology doesn’t mean anything.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 18, 2016 6:07 PM
Comment #403765

You personally, or your party?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 18, 2016 6:17 PM
Comment #403766

If not you personally then I don’t understand where this came from.

There are no remaining explanation other than racism that explain the following:

http://www.watchblog.com/democrats/archives/009340.html#403746

and this..

I note that decades of leftist policy being advanced by white males never engendered these feelings, but as soon as a nonwhite President appears, people feel like their back is against the wall. I don’t think this a symptom of conscience racism, but it is an interesting phenomenon.

In fact, I think you were the one who injected racism into this conversation.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 18, 2016 6:24 PM
Comment #403767

“Today, there is a contest between Trumpism and Republicanism. Through the calculated statements of its leader, Trumpism has become associated with racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity and, most recently, threats and violence.”
Mitt Romney

Ahem. Mitt? May I just point out that Trump is on the verge of winning the Republican nomination. This is the same guy you were “delighted” to have endorse you in 2012, even though Trump promoted Birtherism. Time for a little self-reflection. How did that happen, and did you contribute? How did racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, and vulgarity take over?

WP,
Thanks for posting that bit about William Quigg from the KKK pretending to back HRC. I heard about that. Pretty funny. What a dumbass. It never fails to amaze me how many people forget what they posted on twitter and elsewhere, or maybe just hoped no one will notice. If that guy is at the top of the CA clan food chain, just imagine the rest of the organization…

Wonder how many conservatives fell for it?

Posted by: phx8 at March 18, 2016 6:33 PM
Comment #403768

I see WW fell for it. Sigh.

Posted by: phx8 at March 18, 2016 6:45 PM
Comment #403769

Look at the hypocrisy!

It’s an affront to civilization if a KKK guy endorses a Republican but when they back a Democratic it’s a joke being played on Republicans.

Gawd, I don’t know what bothers me more. You thinking we’re that dumb, or you thinking you’re getting away with it.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 18, 2016 6:47 PM
Comment #403770

Not all criticism of Obama is racist in nature. Only the continued attempt to cast the man as an “other” is racist.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 18, 2016 7:11 PM
Comment #403771

WW,

Stop acting stupid.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 18, 2016 7:17 PM
Comment #403773

Dragging ancient history into the limelight?

He endorsed Hillbilly a few weeks ago!
Where’s Hillbilly’s rapid response team? Or did she just ignore him and his 42 followers, like Trump did?

C’mon. You’re making a huge deal out of some has been endorsing Donald Trump, but when the same exact thing happens to Hillbilly it’s a joke that should be ignored.

It’s astounding what you will expect people to put up with. Really.

I don’t give a crap if the devil himself endorsed Hillbilly. It’s when you guys defend her and brush it off while lambasting the other side for the same type of endorsement, that’s hypocrisy.


Posted by: Weary Willie at March 18, 2016 8:13 PM
Comment #403774

Hey Warren Porter! Where’s your support for Quigg’s right to speak out when that gang of black guys beat the shit out of him?

I thought you said you would defend everyone’s right to speak.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 18, 2016 8:15 PM
Comment #403776

WW,your bigotry slip is showing.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 18, 2016 8:48 PM
Comment #403778

What do you mean, Speak4all? How was I being a bigot? Are you painting with the slander brush like a good Democratic?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 18, 2016 9:36 PM
Comment #403781

WW,

Quigg has the right to say whatever he wants. “Black guys” should never “beat the shit out of him”

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 18, 2016 10:33 PM
Comment #403782

Why is Speak4all calling me a bigot?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 18, 2016 10:57 PM
Comment #403784
The gun control side won their debate. We have tens of thousands of laws for gun control. The activists have doubled down and are demanding more laws that will severely restrict, outright ban and even confiscate arms.

kctim, be specific with your claims of outright ban and confiscate arms please or admit your exaggeration. We have people walking the streets of major cities carrying semi automatic rifles, which we didn’t have just 8 short year ago.

Conservatives claimed Obama was declaring martial law on Texas this pass summer yet here we are no martial law no sharia law when do your guys stop with the delusions?

Posted by: j2t2 at March 19, 2016 12:29 AM
Comment #403791

New York has a gun confiscation law.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 19, 2016 9:50 AM
Comment #403796

Look Weary I don’t want to change the subject of this thread as you guys did in the last one but here is the story on your “confiscation” law.
http://bearingarms.com/gun-confiscation-begun-new-york/


As I said the country has more open carry laws than mental illness laws.

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

But riddle me this, if you guys throw out the Constitution when it comes to the Senates responsibilities to advise and consent with a moronic “no time frame” argument can’t you see the writing on the wall when it comes to protecting your 2nd amendment rights? Tell your Senator to do their jobs.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 19, 2016 10:55 AM
Comment #403797

Meanwhile, 2015 crushed the previous records for the warmest year, January 12106 was the warmest January on record, and February crushed it with a record of its own- not just warmest, but largest deviation from the average temperature on record.

Yeah but…. it snowed yesterday here in Colorado. (Just wanted to get this nonsense out of the way.) Actually my electric bill for Feb was about half of the bill for last Feb. Just saying.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 19, 2016 11:02 AM
Comment #403798

Have you ever heard of the slippery slope? Only Democratics could use the argument that is only happens a few times to insist it isn’t happening at all.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 19, 2016 11:03 AM
Comment #403799

Let me know when the globe is covered in rain forests and alligators are as big as houses and I will give man made global warming a passing thought.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 19, 2016 11:06 AM
Comment #403802
Let me know when the globe is covered in rain forests and alligators are as big as houses and I will give man made global warming a passing thought.

It is just this type of conservative logic Weary that inspires such foolish comments as “The GOP did not shut down the government. Harry Reid did. He also held up many of the bills passed by the Republican house. They can get the media to go along with that lie but the truth is out there. It was Harry Reid and the Democratics who shut down the government.”

The simple fact is the repubs have a group of conservatives, with the ironic name of “Freedom Caucus” that refuse to do their job they led us to believe it has to be there way or nothing. Extremist who refuse to acknowledge the will of the people using a failed ideology to justify their goals.

For all those who find it necessary to use the gun control argument to suppress the anti constitution position on advise and consent here is another diversion worthy of discussion, the 1st amendment right to freedom of the press.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mary-moore-journalist-ferguson_us_56ccda2ce4b0928f5a6d99fc

Posted by: j2t2 at March 19, 2016 11:48 AM
Comment #403803

Shouldn’t everyone obey the law during a riot, j2t2?

Don’t answer that. It was a hypothetical question with a dose of sarcasm added for humor.

Harry Reid had bills on his desk to fund individual agencies and he refused to even consider them.
Remember the kids he denied cancer treatment to? “Why would we do that?”, he said.

Harry Reid dug in his heals and shut down the government when the house gave him options.

New York has a gun confiscation law on the books and it has been used to confiscate people’s weapons. That’s a fact.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 19, 2016 12:13 PM
Comment #403805

Weary Willie-

Let me know when the globe is covered in rain forests and alligators are as big as houses and I will give man made global warming a passing thought.

So, the effects have to be so extreme that the whole world is tropical… Right. Do you know how many degrees temperatures would have to rise in order to make the north and south of the world that hot? It’s sort of like saying, I’ll decide the Jacuzzi’s too hot when it starts scalding me to death. Sure, that’ll tell you it’s going on, but by that time, the condition will have been met long ago.

Look, the one thing that seems to strike me about most of the arguments is that they’re made in such profound ignorance of all the questions already raised and already answered by the scientists themselves! If you’re suggesting increased sunlight did it… well, Scientists looked at that. If you’re saying it might be the orbital mechanics, the Milankovic cycles… scientists looked at that. Carbon from other sources? Scientists looked at that. Carbon from volcanoes? Looked at that, too. You don’t think climate scientists looked at climate cycles? At a certain point, the premise seems to be reliant on the climate scientist not doing all the things they’ve been doing for the last century!

Most of the arguments that aren’t “raising questions” about nature are raising questions about the scientists. I could get into all the rhetorical technical terms for those kinds of arguments, but they all amount to one thing: changing the subject. We want to talk about how the oceans are warming up, becoming more acidic? You want to accuse the scientist of being in a Marxist conspiracies, a move that does ****-all to change whatever’s true about nature.

It’s all a bunch of social engineering, industry think-tanks hacking your brains with irrelevant arguments to keep their profits high.

As far as racism goes?

The people don’t have to be racist if the arguments are racist. Sure there are some dyed in the wool racists in both parties. That said, the GOP seems to think accusing a black man, without evidence, of being the beneficiary of white guilt, white pity, rather than a man who worked for what he got with his own intelligence isn’t a racially tinged argument.

I mean, it’s not as if racist memes emphasized black people as particularly stupid, lazy, deceptive, or overly aggressive, right? Republicans need to realize just how much of their rhetoric plays on these hateful prejudices, and just how much of the Southern Strategy, Willie Horton, black hands taking from white came almost directly from, and appealed rather strongly to, the prejudices that many older Americans grew up with.

Sometimes we need to back up and break down exactly why our parties promote the ideas they do, and where they come from. Otherwise we get situations like we have with the Speaker of the House, a man who is at once a devout Catholic, and a follower of a philosopher who militantly proclaimed atheism (and that after his family benefited from Social Security).

The Republican Party needs to clean some of the cobwebs out of the attic, throw away some of the junk that’s just lying around not doing much good for it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 19, 2016 12:18 PM
Comment #403806

kctim-
You scoff at the notion of a Living Constitution. I don’t think it means to disregard the meaning of the Constitution, I think it means to constantly revisit and reconsider the meaning of what is being said, to constantly keep pace with the changes in society so we can make sure that the laws and their interpretations are properly applied.

Wisdom isn’t “I read this from a book, believe it to be true, then apply it.” Wisdom is, “I read from a book, consider the world beyond, apply logic and reasoning to examining both, and do my best to make a good judgment, leaving room to reconsider and correct myself later.”

It is ARROGANCE to believe that you understand the world so fully that you can just learn some set of dogmas, and act wisely and soundly within it.

I think that process of reasoning and feedback IS what the framers gave us, and the Constitution outlines many of the processes and the institutions that allow us to use that gift on our own behalf. They handed us the tools with which to participate in a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. They handed us a living system, not a dead one. They handed us the ability to decide many things for ourselves, not the obligation to continue to decide things according to what they thought wise.

And that’s for the best. America has remained adaptable, managing to survive much longer than most governments that were in existence at the time. We adapted to the end of slavery. We adapted to the Industrial revolution, to not just one, but many waves of immigration. We are not this fragile little flower, we are a tough and robust nation that can learn from its mistakes, that can redeem its past.

Your interpretation… I don’t even think it’s historically accurate. I think it’s people today projecting their beliefs back on a generation whose ideas and beliefs were very different from ours, and by that, I mean your beliefs as well as mine.

You need to realize just how modern you are, just how much a part of the living process you really are. You also need to realize that if you do not address the issues and the necessities of today, they won’t simply go away for your having ignored them. The world won’t suddenly become perfect because we adopted the ideas and beliefs of Washington’s time. They were a rural, agrarian, frontier society. We’re pretty much a very urban, very complex society, with infrastructural needs that would boggle the minds of these people.

My experience have been that many of the extensions of government have come about in response to the unfolding of the consequences of different technologies. When it became possible and feasible to ship meat cross country, the quality of that meat became more important. When it became possible to design medicines on a chemical basis, medicines that could have profound effects on people, that’s when you got regulation of drugs, and all that stuff. The advances in finances prompted advances in the way finance was regulated.

This is what was meant to happen. Now, can we streamline this, take out some of the unnecessary bureaucracy, reduce some of the regulatory overhead, make compliance simpler and easier? Yes.

But what Republicans want us to believe is that if we just let everything act on its own, the market will prevent bad things from happening, that emergent forces will come to our rescue. My experience is that emergent forces are often the things that prompt the laws in the first place. People realized, for example, that if we let everybody broadcast on the limited airspace without any regulation, it would make those airwaves useless. Thus, the FCC and its licensing.

My perspective is not just about looking towards the future. In fact much of it is about not forgetting the past. Too often, your people will get something deregulated, and the exact sort of events that originally led to regulation will happen again. Overall, I guess my perspective is one of not forgetting the lessons of the past, not thinking yourself immune to the issues that people before dealt with. We aren’t the first iteration of America to trade civil liberties for the promise of greater security. We aren’t the first to see a brand new network of communication change the way we view the world. History doesn’t always repeat, but it often rhymes.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 19, 2016 12:57 PM
Comment #403807

The Freedumb Caucus is screwing their own party. Good for them.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 19, 2016 1:01 PM
Comment #403808

Stephen Daugherty, why are Republicans always to blame and Democratics faultless? What makes Democratics as clean as the wind driven snow in your eyes? How is it possible the country is in such bad shape and Democratics are completely void of complicity?

When Global Warming enthusiasts quit lying to us I’ll entertain the idea of a transition to renewable energy from fossil fuels. However, I don’t think they can stop lying. Al Gore went out of his way to blame GWHBush for the hole in the ozone layer above Kennebunkport, Maine. He thought we were stupid. Man has been blamed for the ice sheets melting in Antarctica when it’s cause is geothermal activity. The sun IS a major cause of climate fluctuations, but it should be ignored for the sake of the MMGW argument.

I’m all for a transition to renewable resources. If you were also you would concentrate your efforts in the marketplace instead of the government. Why won’t you go that route, Stephen Daugherty? Is it because the marketplace won’t give the government the power the MMGW activists crave?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 19, 2016 1:36 PM
Comment #403810

Greenpeace Co-Founder Tells U.S. Senate: Earth’s Geologic History ‘fundamentally contradicts’ CO2 Climate Fears: ‘We had both higher temps and an ice age at a time when CO2 emissions were 10 times higher than they are today’

“Earth’s Geologic History Fails CO2 Fears: ‘When modern life evolved over 500 million years ago, CO2 was more than 10 times higher than today, yet life flourished at this time. Then an Ice Age occurred 450 million years ago when CO2 was 10 times higher than today. There is some correlation, but little evidence, to support a direct causal relationship between CO2 and global temperature through the millennia. The fact that we had both higher temperatures and an ice age at a time when CO2 emissions were 10 times higher than they are today fundamentally contradicts the certainty that human-caused CO2 emissions are the main cause of global warming.’”

http://www.climatedepot.com/2014/02/25/greenpeace-co-founder-tells-u-s-senate-earths-geologic-history-fundamentally-contradicts-co2-climate-fears-we-had-both-higher-temps-and-an-ice-age-at-a-time-when-co2-emissions-were-10-times/

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 19, 2016 2:22 PM
Comment #403812

Mr. Daugherty comments on the Constitution, and the men who wrote and adopted it, are very cleverly designed.

It is false to claim politicians today know more abut good governance that did our Founders. The fundamental order and construction of government as found in the Constitution has not changed. Wisely, our Founders gave the people power over government to the end that freedom and liberty should not perish.

All of Daugherty’s words about the Constitution being a “living document” are merely obfuscation. To confuse the uninformed he suggests the impossibility of the Founders to know about modern times.

He writes about; “the extensions of government have come about in response to the unfolding of the consequences of different technologies.”

The Constitution was never intended to be a manual for “meat processing” or “designing medicine”. It is not, and was never intended to be; a technical document.

The Constitution is inflexible, except by amendment, in the demand that people are paramount, not government. Anything that takes liberty and freedom from the individual is Unconstitutional. Anything that devolves power from the State to the National government is Unconstitutional.

Mr. Daugherty would like the uninformed to forget how the National Government was formed. It was by the consent, and under the specific power of the individual States.

While Mr. Daugherty sees no tyranny in this “living Constitution” he envisions, we were warned by those who gave us a country to beware of these insidious interpretations.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 19, 2016 2:54 PM
Comment #403813
Shouldn’t everyone obey the law during a riot, j2t2?

Don’t answer that. It was a hypothetical question with a dose of sarcasm added for humor.

If it violates the freedom of the press Weary? No they shouldn’t.

Harry Reid had bills on his desk to fund individual agencies and he refused to even consider them. Remember the kids he denied cancer treatment to? “Why would we do that?”, he said.

Weary, do you actually believe this drivel? The conservatives want only to fund a few hot issues and screw the rest so they do this crap instead of their jobs and it becomes the Senates fault! I’m amazed at the lengths you go to justify the conservatives actions.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 19, 2016 3:57 PM
Comment #403814

Democratics are trying to recapture the power and revenue generated by the environmental hazard referred to as Acid Rain, a pollutant byproduct of the steel industries of the Midwest captured and spread to the northeast by rainfall.

The method to control this byproduct and to tax it was called Cap and Trade. The method involved a cap on the pollutant and the trading of credits purchased to and from the various polluters. It was a successful solution to the transition from the Acid Rain producing process to a less harmful, cleaner process.

Much to the Chagrin of the Democratics it was too successful as it actually solved the problem and was no longer needed.

Seeing this method as a successful government program, Democratics wish to emulate it with a more permanent revenue generating scheme. They wish to use CO2 as the pollutant knowing there is no endgame toward it’s elimination. CO2 is a natural product of life itself and it is impossible to get rid of it.

Democratics considered CO2 the perfect vehicle to base their new, unending Cap and Trade scheme on. To implement this scheme a “crisis” must exist and that crisis is referred to as Man Made Global Warming.


Posted by: Weary Willie at March 19, 2016 4:00 PM
Comment #403815

j2t2, why didn’t Harry Reid put those “hot issues” to a vote and get the funding to keep the non-essential government functioning? Hmmm? Did he want to make a point? Did he want to create an issue?

Didn’t he want to make sure the non-essential government continued to function?

He answered that question when he said, “Why would we do that?”


Posted by: Weary Willie at March 19, 2016 4:06 PM
Comment #403819

RF and WW,
You are really on a roll with the conspiracy theories.

RF, nice link courtesy of Doctor Patrick Moore. He has not been with Greeenpeace in decades, and the organization specifically repudiates what he says. Moore argues that C02 was higher in the past. Well, that’s true. It was higher when there were no land plants. It was also higher when much of the United States was covered by an inland sea. This guy Moore is a real piece of work.

WW,
It’s hard to know where to start, because you’re tossing out so many whack job statements at a time. The GOP, led by Ted Cruz, shut down the federal government. They held the government ransom over Obamacare because they could not repeal it in the traditional manner we practice in a democracy with a divided government. The GOP threatened to default on the national debt, and no, WW, they were not ‘just kidding.’

You wrote: “The letter sent to Iran simply spelled out the way our government works toward foreign treaties. There was no threats or warnings. Simply definitions.”

LOLOLOLOLOLOL. Cotton didn’t even get the ratification process right in the letter. F****** idiot. The next day he held a closed door meeting with defense contractors. The day after that he took to the Senate floor and demanded huge increases in defense spending. They don’t get worse than Cotton.

“CO2 is a natural product of life itself and it is impossible to get rid of it.”

C02 is also a byproduct of burning fossil fuels. It is a greenhouse gas which persists in the atmosphere for @ 80 years. Burning fossil fuels ADDS to the amount already in the atmosphere. What part of this do you not understand?


Posted by: phx8 at March 19, 2016 5:29 PM
Comment #403820

The part where you believe it’s going to suffocate all of us if we don’t return to the stone age.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 19, 2016 5:57 PM
Comment #403822

WW,
Spoken like a true supporter of the Tea Party.

No one has ever suggested we would suffocate because of too much atmospheric C02. No one has ever suggested cutting C02 would return us to the stone age. Just the opposite. Replacing fossil fuels with alternative energies means using new and more advanced technologies, or taking advantage of natural resources that were always there.

Posted by: phx8 at March 19, 2016 6:45 PM
Comment #403823

As usual, phx8 attacks the author rather than what is written. That proves nothing Mr. MMGW. Can you refute what he wrote? Nope.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 19, 2016 7:08 PM
Comment #403824

How does that square with what Obama is doing with his EPA? He’s just regulating existing energy sources out of business. Where’s the replacement, phx8? Oh! That’s right. They’re bankrupt!

We’re already starving half the world by using corn for gasoline. That’s a process that uses twice the energy the same process with sugarcane would use. We’re paying people not to grow sugarcane.

There’s nothing beneficial in forcing alternative energies down the market’s throat before they’re ready. Global Warming scare tactics isn’t getting us there any faster. It’s retarding the process by siphoning resources away from a natural evolution of renewable resources. Artificially increasing the cost of current energy is stupid.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 19, 2016 7:20 PM
Comment #403825

“To conclude, carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels is the stuff of life, the staff of life, the currency of life, indeed the backbone of life on Earth.”

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/15/greenpeace-founder-delivers-powerful-annual-lecture-praises-carbon-dioxide-full-text/

Great article. Destroys the carbon haters.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 19, 2016 7:56 PM
Comment #403828
j2t2, why didn’t Harry Reid put those “hot issues” to a vote and get the funding to keep the non-essential government functioning? Hmmm? Did he want to make a point? Did he want to create an issue?

While I don’t have any special knowledge of what Reid was thinking I can venture a guess Weary. IMHO I would suggest “non-essential” government is more essential than you would allow. Second playing this foolish game with the Freedom Caucus would be counterproductive to running a good government. While that might be the goal of the freedom caucus it isn’t the goal of most others. Playing the silly games you suggest would have prolonged the issue.

I know you think this makes Reid complicit in shutting the government down but then conservative logic is an oxymoron. You see the job is more complex than funding certain parts that you deem essential it is to fund the whole government. Making government small is what the freedom caucus does when it should be making government efficient.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 19, 2016 9:25 PM
Comment #403830

j2t2, can you point to the “good government” you’re referring to, please. I don’t see one. Also, since you have no special knowledge why do you think you know so much? Why do you think everything is hunky-dory in government land except for those pesky Republicans?

Reid is complicit and insults won’t change that. Thinking the federal government is efficient is a trait that proves not only you don’t know what Reid is thinking, you don’t know anything about this government.

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 19, 2016 9:44 PM
Comment #403831

Weary look at the lack of government.Prior to the EPA we had rivers catching on fire and air we couldn’t breathe. While this may be a conservative utopia or libertarian land I find breathing air and water we can drink to be more desirable than your right to pollute the air I breathe. This is one example of gthe good government I refer to.

Perhaps you don’t sere good government because you have been misled to believe government is the problem Weary. Now our government isn’t perfect by any stretch but what can you bring to the table Weary. The influence of extremist billionaires who would want to pollute the air and water we breathe because they can afford to live above it?

Why do I think I know so much! Well probably because I only drink old vine Zinfandel Weary, The nectar of the Gods which graces me with above average intelligence. Either that or I pay attention and think about things rather than fall for the gibberish of the propagandist.

Reid is complicit and insults won’t change that.

So Weary using this logic the bank teller who is shot by the bank robber because the teller saw the robbers face is at fault for looking? I don’t mean to insult you personally I do want to slap you upside the head with words that will cause you to think logically.So when you try to use these silly arguments that Reid is at fault because he didn’t fall for the freedom caucus and their lame ass attempts to screw the pooch I can only attempt to bring clarity to the confusion you wrestle with.

Yes Weary the government of the United States has been corrupted. Perhaps it started to be corrupted more so than the general population about the same time many Americans started believing government is the problem. This happens to coincide with the Powell doctrine and the rise of the conservative movement. What we do know is the Reagan administration was the most corrupt in modern history.

What we also see is we have fallen from grace as we have embraced conservatism as practiced. Corporations embedded in positions of trust in the government! Corporate lackeys regulating corporations! The list gores on of course but when we stop to look around the world we see we aren’t as bad as many second and third world countries but we lack the scruples of many first world country. Dog eat Dog conservatism has had its effect on the government and we have suffered the effects of extreme conservatism .

The crazy thing is you think more hair of the dog that but us is the answer.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 19, 2016 11:22 PM
Comment #403832

oops hair of the dog that bit us, not but us…

Posted by: j2t2 at March 19, 2016 11:26 PM
Comment #403834

RF,

You do realize that affirming carbon dioxide’s importance to life on Earth doesn’t disprove its potential for influencing climate? One could just as easily call the sun, “the backbone to all life on Earth”, yet it would be awfully worrisome if mankind somehow increased solar isolation by 40%

I’m not sure why you fixate on the string of non sequitur mentioned by Dr. Patrick Moore, who has repudiated environmentalism. Moore presents us with some facts about paleoclimate, which indeed contained periods much more extreme than anything experienced today. Unfortunately for Dr. Moore, the extreme variability in natural climate does nothing to refute the well-tested theory of anthropogenic global warming. In fact, nary a sentence of Moore’s diatribe even mentions the greenhouse effect, which is surprising considering that its role in controlling Earth’s climate is second only to solar insolation.

Instead, Moore presents us with a strawman. He seeks to demonstrate that carbon dioxide is “good” based upon the false premise that advocates for mitigating global warming argue that carbon dioxide is “bad”. This is incomprehensibly flawed thinking for someone with Dr. Moore’s training in ecology. There’s no such thing as a “good” or “bad” chemical. Biology requires many nutrients for survival, even substances commonly understood to be poisonous. The same law of toxicology applies to ecology just as well. It isn’t a question of whether CO2 is harmful or beneficial. It is just a question of what our tolerance is for changes in its concentration.

It is a fundamental misunderstanding to consider advocates of mitigating climate change as “carbon haters”. If human activity threatened to decrease CO2 levels far below 280 ppm, I would be just as vigorous in my advocacy in favor of increasing CO2 emissions.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 20, 2016 1:01 AM
Comment #403847

WP,
Thank you for taking the time to reply to RF & comment on his link. I read the article and I was thinking about what to say, but this article makes it difficult. The speaker wanders all over the place. Perhaps he was making off-the-cuff remarks at a convention, or working from the briefest of notes. In any case, the argument was incoherent. He would present a logical fact, such as this, yet reach an illogical conclusion:

“… we have learned from Antarctic ice cores that for the past 800,000 years there have been regular periods of major glaciation followed by interglacial periods in 100,000 year-cycles. These cycles coincide with the Milankovitch cycles that are tied to the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit and its axial tilt. It is highly plausible that these cycles are related to solar intensity and the seasonal distribution of solar heat on the Earth’s surface. There is a strong correlation between temperature and the level of atmospheric CO2 during these successive glaciations, indicating a possible cause-effect relationship between the two. CO2 lags temperature by an average of 800 years during the most recent 400,000-year period, indicating that temperature is the cause, as the cause never comes after the effect.”

This ignores the nature of the feedback loop between temperature and C02. That is what makes the current situation so worrisome. As far as solar forcings and astronomical factors go, we are currently in a neutral period. There should not be noticeable warming or cooling. However, we are introducing C02 into the atmosphere and reversing what happened in the past. We are introducing C02 into the atmosphere first, which then sets off temperature increases. This represents uncharted ground. We already know C02 is a greenhouse gas. What kind of feedback loops will this create? Of course, we can make a good estimate, and the results do not look good.

The speaker intentionally attempts to confuse the definition of “pollutant” in the minds of the listeners. There is a scientific definition and there is the one commonly used in everyday language.

“The optimum level of CO2 for plant growth is about 5 times higher, 2000 ppm, yet the alarmists warn it is already too high. They must be challenged every day by every person who knows the truth in this matter. CO2 is the giver of life and we should celebrate CO2 rather than denigrate it as is the fashion today.”

Hoo boy. The temperatures that would result from an atmospheric C02 level of 2000 ppm would result in growing zones moving dramatically northward. It would be too hot at the equator for plants to grow. The Amazon would become a desert of baked hardpan in short order.

In addition, the high temperatures would result in mass extinctions.

The speaker completely ignores the evil twin of Global Warming, namely, the acidification of the oceans. The seas have already been absorbing C02 and it is measureably changing the PH. When it gets high enough, this acidification will prevent small sea life from creating shells. It is simple chemistry. This is what will happen. And the food chains in the ocean would completely collapse.

RF,
If you want me to spend time on this kind of thing, please choose stronger, more coherent articles.

Posted by: phx8 at March 20, 2016 1:11 PM
Comment #403850

phx8, I appreciate your comments on the article linked. The point is; knowledgeable people can disagree with opinion…but not with facts.

The carbon dioxide haters base their opinion on computer models…hardly facts.

The biomass of the earth did very well indeed with much higher levels of Co2 in the atmosphere.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 20, 2016 1:39 PM
Comment #403853

Global Warming is obviously real, but the movement of the earth’s magnetic poles is much more serious, and we can’t do anything about it. The north magnetic pole is moving out of Canada towards Siberia, and the south magnetic pole has already moved off the continent of Antarctica. The North Geomagnetic pole is also moving from Greenland towards Siberia. The South Geomagnetic pole is still on the continent of Antarctica. Climate change is occurring and will only increase. The one thing that I don’t believe is that there is enough ice on Antarctica and Greenland to raise ocean levels as much as some people claim.

Posted by: ohrealy at March 20, 2016 2:46 PM
Comment #403865

Weary Willie-
Ah, yes. You think I haven’t heard the one about Geothermal activity in Antarctica? Trouble with that notion is that the geothermal activity’s been going on for tens of millions of years, during which Antarctica has mostly been covered in ice.

There is also a difference between saying a cause can result something and saying it must be involved. Yes, increase sunlight can logically be part of a climate change event. In fact, over the next few million years, the sun is going to burn brighter and brighter, and that’s going to cause climate change. Over the next few hundred million years of course.

So will rearrangements of the continents. So will changes in the orbit and rotation of the earth that take place over tens of thousands of years.

There are also short term variations in all these things, in the brightness of the sun, the configuration of climate oscillations, etc. Nature is fully capable of changing climate on its own. No scientist, I repeat, no scientist has been assigning responsibility to mankind at the expense of being able to say that nature can change climate on its own.

There is a huge depth of study and research that’s gone into the question of separating naturally caused warming and CO2 release, from that which results from mankind’s release of CO2, and the follow-on feedbacks. You guys haven’t even bothered to figure out what’s going on, you just throw **** at the wall of public opinion and hope to see whether it sticks to people.

Your trouble is that over the last couple decades, the trend of solar irradiation has been downward. This, despite the warmest years we’ve seen on record. If it is something natural, then it’s not the sun. You don’t see a fall in sunshine and a rise in temperature, and blame the rise on temperature on sunshine. The sun isn’t driving the increase in temperature.

As for cap and trade being successful at dealing with acid rain and other things… no, it’s you folks who are troubled by that success. You know it could work, and you know who that wouldn’t benefit. Besides, the whole point of a cap and trade policy is to make itself obsolete. It’s not a money-making enterprise. You insist otherwise because you need to portray us as greedy, in the face of far more obvious evidence that your friends in the energy industry have huge vested interests in things not changing.

And really, why do you say, “Democratics?” When we talk about nobles in England, we don’t talk about Aristocratics, we talk about Aristocrats. Republican and Democratic are words of two different derivations. Republican is from Latin, Democratic from Greek. That’s why they don’t inflect the same. I don’t see why you keep making yourself sound stupid by using it.

As far as sugarcane goes, we don’t have the climate Brazil has to grow that much sugarcane.

As far as Carbon Dioxide goes?

Okay. Too many people are using the words as their rhetorical playthings. Things to understand: 1) It’s a question of rate. You and I breathe CO2, animals doing it, plants taking it in, dying, releasing it, etc., that’s been going on for quite a while. But apart from some highly anomalous events, nature doesn’t tend to release CO2 from where it’s been stored that efficiently. 2)We do. One thing to understand is that our fossil fuel reserves represent a deep reserve of fossil carbon that was accumulated over millions of years. All that coal and all that oil didn’t come into being all at once. This represents creatures absorbing carbon from the environment extending all the way back to the days of the Carboniferous, hundreds of millions of years ago.

And we, with our industrialized, efficient technology are just going through all the hundreds of millions of years worth of absorbed carbon in just a dozen or so decades.

Millions of years, dozen of decades. That is where you get our profound effect on the climate: We are much better than nature at this, at least on short time scales.

As for basing things on computer models? Well, if we wanted to be so crass as to use facts alone for our argument, we could just say “We’re pumping Gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.” We could just say, it’s getting warmer, CO2 makes things warmer, coincidence?

If we wanted to be as absolutely irresponsible in our reasoning as the conservatives here on this site and elsewhere, we could just belt you with that.

The deal is, you need models to separate out other possible causes. We can’t experiment on the Earth’s atmosphere, taking the planet into a lab, much less find another planet and use it as a control. We have to use the data we have, the scientific understanding we have, and find some way to play things out so the unexpected and unforeseen consequences of the way physical laws interact could be glimpsed.

That’s why we model things

Oh, by the way, Royal Flush: The sun was dimmer in previous epochs of the Earth’s natural history, so more Carbon Dioxide then meant less of a warming then that it would now.

You guys claim to be knowledgeable the same way Trump claims to be, based on your own assessment of yourselves. It’s a sense of knowledge based on narcissism. You didn’t have to study, you didn’t have to do the hard work of getting the concepts straight, nor did you have to deny yourself belief in things that you’d otherwise be naturally inclined to believe.

Science tells you that what you might assume can be wrong. We’d like to believe climate changes gradually. We found out that climate shifts can happen in the space of a few centuries, even decades. Look at the Sahara: two hundred years to go from grassland to wasteland. One Ice age took nine years between its cause and its onset.

You want to believe humans are a minor force on the face of the planet, look at the rivers. Look at the rate of deforestation. Look at Mesopotamia. We’re not all powerful, but we can create profound ecological effects when we put our minds to it. We ought to be learning some responsibility, but instead, people like you are just calling the rest of us hypocrites and scolds for telling you that the fun can’t last forever.

I believe that when you engage the sciences, it’s best not to rely on politics to guide your beliefs. Politics often distorts, flattens, tears little pieces of information off without letting you have the full overview of matters. As such, you don’t know the things that would pop up as red flags to anybody else. You act as if you know better than people, but you’re just demonstrating your ignorance, your captured condition to those whose understanding doesn’t begin in taking some thinktank’s word for it on a subject.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 20, 2016 4:31 PM
Comment #403866

You act as if you know better than people, but you’re just demonstrating your ignorance, your captured condition to those whose understanding doesn’t begin in taking some thinktank’s word for it on a subject.
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 20, 2016 4:31 PM

What an arrogant blowhard you are Stephen. I cite information from valid sources and you tell us that your source is the only one that is true. Being blind and deaf to contrary scientific inquiry is forbidden by “people” like you.

What is the source of the carbon-haters science certainty?

It is models that can’t predict, but only calculate from faulty human input. The carbon-hating, income dependent, agenda driven community who declares with unscientific resolve that only they are correct. How juvenile; how ignorant.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 20, 2016 5:10 PM
Comment #403867
What an arrogant blowhard you are Stephen. I cite information from valid sources and you tell us that your source is the only one that is true. Being blind and deaf to contrary scientific inquiry is forbidden by “people” like you.

Excuse me? For years you have peddled propaganda created by people with zero respect for the scientific method. These are hardly “valid” sources. I usually try to be charitable and engage the claims head on, but to try to equivocate the garbage produced by these people is simply ridiculous.

What is the source of the carbon-haters science certainty?

I don’t think there is a soul here who “hates carbon”, so please cut the hyperbole.

My confidence in the role anthropogenic co2 plays in global warming is derived from spectroscopy. The equations of quantum mechanics allow us to predict the wavelengths that atmospheric gases (including CO2) absorb radiation. We can confirm those theoretical calculations by measuring spectra with a satellite. Needless to say, there are no deviations between observations and predictions here.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 20, 2016 6:20 PM
Comment #403868

Warren writes; “I don’t think there is a soul here who “hates carbon”, so please cut the hyperbole.”

I don’t think there is a soul here who doesn’t believe that climate changes. Cut the hyperbole in calling us “climate change deniers”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 20, 2016 6:40 PM
Comment #403869

You haven’t answered my question, Stephen Daugherty.

Why won’t you let the marketplace develop alternative energy? Why must the government play kingmaker without results? You seem to be supporting the position that is to eliminate the current situation before there is a reliable substitute to fill the void. That’s unacceptable. Why aren’t you supporting a market based solution?

Posted by: Weary Willie at March 20, 2016 7:13 PM
Comment #403870

Quote by Will Harper, Princeton University physicist, former Director of Energy Research at the Department of Energy: “I had the privilege of being fired by Al Gore, since I refused to go along with his alarmism….I have spent a long research career studying physics that is closely related to the greenhouse effect….Fears about man-made global warming are unwarranted and are not based on good science. The earth’s climate is changing now, as it always has. There is no evidence that the changes differ in any qualitative way from those of the past.”

Quote by James Spann, American Meteorological Society-certified meteorologist: “Billions of dollars of grant money [over $50 billion] are flowing into the pockets of those on the man-made global warming bandwagon. No man-made global warming, the money dries up. This is big money, make no mistake about it. Always follow the money trail and it tells a story.”

Quote by Claude Culross, organic chemistry: “Dire predictions of catastrophe from that bottomless pit of disasters du jour, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, are based solely on computer models that amount to poorly crafted mathematical opinions, not experimental proof….There is no proof that man-made carbon dioxide causes additional warming, or that carbon-dioxide reduction would reduce warming.”

Quote by Ian McQueen, chemical engineer: “Carbon dioxide is not the bogeyman - there are other causes that are much more likely to be causing climate change, to the extent that it has changed….Carbon dioxide does have a small warming effect, McQueen said, but 32 per cent of the first few molecules do the majority of the warming. The carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere, he said, is currently at 380 parts per million; if that were upped to 560 parts per million, Earth’s temperature would only rise about 0.3 degrees.”

Quote by Dennis Hollars, astrophysicist: “What I’d do with the IPCC report is to put it in the trash can because that’s all it’s worth….carbon dioxide was an insignificant component of the earth’s atmosphere and that, rather than being the purveyor of doom it is currently viewed as today, it is needed in order for plants to grow….’Mars’ atmosphere is about 95 percent CO2 and has no global warming.”

Quote by Larry Bell, University of Houston,one of designers of International Space Station, has forthcoming book, “Climate
Hysteria”: “Cause and effect relationships between atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations from all sources and global temperatures are inconclusive. Although carbon dioxide levels have generally been observed to increase during warm periods and fall during colder ones, the temperature changes typically lead rather than follow carbon dioxide changes.”

Quote by Roger W. Cohen, physics, American Physical Society fellow: “I retired four years ago, and at the time of my retirement I was well convinced, as were most technically trained people, that the IPCC’s case for Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is very tight. However, upon taking the time to get into the details of the science, I was appalled at how flimsy the case really is….I was also appalled at the behavior of many of those who helped produce the IPCC reports and by many of those who promote it. In particular I am referring to the arrogance; the activities aimed at shutting down debate; the outright fabrications; the mindless defense of bogus science, and the politicization of the IPCC process and the science process itself.”

Quote by Michael J. Myers, analytical chemist, specializes in spectroscopy and atmospheric sensing: “I am troubled by the lack of common sense regarding carbon dioxide emissions. Our greatest greenhouse gas is water. Atmospheric spectroscopy reveals why water has a 95 percent and CO2 a 3.6 percent contribution to the ‘greenhouse effect.’ Carbon dioxide emissions worldwide each year total 3.2 billion tons. That equals about 0.0168 percent of the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration of about 19 trillion tons. This results in a 0.00064 percent increase in the absorption of the sun’s radiation. This is an insignificantly small number.”

Quote by Robert A. Perkins, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Alaska, registered civil engineer has 30 years work in arctic and sub-arctic: “All the ‘science’ that you read about global warming is based on models, not observed facts. Here are some reasons to doubt the models: Expert statistician Akaike proved that the more parameters a model needs to fit the historical data, the less certain the model will predict the future….All the climate models are incredibly complex, hence ‘over-parameterized.’ The climate models, however, do not even fit the present data, at least in the Arctic….Finally, none of the published models that ‘blame’ human activity for the warming trend account for the known historical variations in global climate.”

For more quotes, go here:

http://www.c3headlines.com/quotes-from-global-warming-critics-skeptics-sceptics.html

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 20, 2016 7:32 PM
Comment #403872

Instead of outsourcing your thinking to contrarians. Why don’t you use your brain for a change? Many of those quotes show a complete ignorance of how climate operates such as completely disregarding the influence of feedback loops in the climate system as well as a false comparison with the Martian atmosphere, where the atmosphere is far thinner than Earth’s. Ask yourself, why trust these people? They make up a small proportion of all climate scientists and their assertions get proven wrong all the time. Surely, one shouldn’t believe them just because they affirm one’s political ideology?

I am troubled by the lack of common sense regarding carbon dioxide emissions. Our greatest greenhouse gas is water. Atmospheric spectroscopy reveals why water has a 95 percent and CO2 a 3.6 percent contribution to the ‘greenhouse effect.’ Carbon dioxide emissions worldwide each year total 3.2 billion tons. That equals about 0.0168 percent of the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration of about 19 trillion tons. This results in a 0.00064 percent increase in the absorption of the sun’s radiation. This is an insignificantly small number.

Sure, the natural greenhouse effect is many many times larger than mankind’s contributions. But that doesn’t mean that the observed warming over the past 150 years has a natural cause.

All the ‘science’ that you read about global warming is based on models, not observed facts. Here are some reasons to doubt the models: Expert statistician Akaike proved that the more parameters a model needs to fit the historical data, the less certain the model will predict the future….All the climate models are incredibly complex, hence ‘over-parameterized.’ The climate models, however, do not even fit the present data, at least in the Arctic….Finally, none of the published models that ‘blame’ human activity for the warming trend account for the known historical variations in global climate.

This completely ignores two things: One, the theory of man-made global warming was developed long before computers began modelling climate. Two, there is a no distinction made between various computer models. There are simple models that have no parameterizations whatsoever and there are incredibly complex models with dubious predictive power. Compare and contrast integrated earth system models, general circulation models, radiative transfer models and simple statistical models. All of these are used in various parts of climate science to learn about various parts of the climate system. While there is undoubtedly abuse of models in many scientific papers, particularly ones that attempt to forecast regional climate, the general hypothesis that mankind’s GHG emissions are responsible for warming the Earth is far more assured.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 20, 2016 9:10 PM
Comment #403879

Warren writes; “Many of those quotes show a complete ignorance of how climate operates…”

Warren, if you ever achieve the prominence of these authors in the sciences let us know. I will certainly give your first published original scientific research a read using the same “brain” you claim to be in storage.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 21, 2016 2:54 PM
Comment #403880

So far, all you have done is fallaciously appeal to authority. Never mind the fact that the authorities to which you appeal make up a minuscule fraction of all scientists and have no published articles justifying their skepticism. All they do is pontificate, supplying soundbites to conservative media for you to parrot.

Even Dr. Roy Spencer, a scientist who denies mankind’s role in global warming has spoken out against his peers who deny the very existence of the greenhouse effect. It is these wrongheaded scientists who you continue to cite over and over without any regard to what they are actually claiming. In the words of Dr. Spencer:

The greenhouse effect is supported by laboratory measurements of the radiative absorption properties of different gases, which when put into a radiative transfer model that conserves energy, and combined with convective overturning of the atmosphere in response to solar heating, results in a vertical temperature profile that looks very much like the one we observe in nature.

So, until someone comes along with another quantitative model that uses different physics to get as good a simulation of the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere, I consider objections to the existence of the ‘greenhouse effect’ to be little more than hand waving.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 21, 2016 3:48 PM
Comment #403881

That last sentence should have been included in the blockquote as those are Dr. Spencer’s words, not mine.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 21, 2016 3:59 PM
Comment #403883

Thanks Warren for the link to Dr. Roy Spencer.

Dr. Spencer wrote; “I’ve said before: Al Gore might be right. Maybe we are headed for global warming Armageddon. No one knows…this is science, not truth.

But what I try to do is to show the evidence that supports the case that he is wrong. Because very few mainstream scientists are willing to do that. They risk losing their government funding, which is justified based upon the threat of global warming not the non-threat (Congress wouldn’t fund that).

The result is that the science on climate change has a decidedly alarmist bias.

If “fixing it” was relatively easy, then fine. Spend a little more as an insurance policy.

But it won’t cost “a little more”. It will destroy huge amounts of wealth, hurting the poor the most, potentially killing millions of people since poverty is the leading cause of death in the world.

http://www.drroyspencer.com/

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 21, 2016 4:24 PM
Comment #403884

Sorry to interrupt this SC nomination posting turned climate change but it appears that most Americans favor Judge Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

That is about average approval for an SC nominee. Of course Republican leadership will ignore this and attempt to placate the 29% that don’t favor the nomination. Maybe the epitaph on the GOP gravestone can read, “We supported the 29%, to bad we didn’t understand math”.

Posted by: Speak4all at March 21, 2016 4:48 PM
Comment #403885

Ten days before Scalia died, Chief Justice Roberts said, “Look at my more recent colleagues, all extremely well qualified for the court,and the votes were, I think, strictly on party lines for the last three of them, or close to it, and that doesn’t make any sense. That suggests to me that the process is being used for something other than ensuring the qualifications of the nominees.”

Posted by: ohrealy at March 21, 2016 5:29 PM
Comment #403886

“Earth’s climate is an enormously complex system with thousands of variables in constant flux. Natural cycles of warming and cooling have existed as long as earth has had a climate. We only began to make large-scale measurements in the last 100 years, so this system is poorly understood.

Attempts to manipulate climate are limited by the complexity and inertia of the system. Dr. James Hansen of NASA, the father of the global warming theory, estimates the Kyoto protocol would only affect temperatures by .13°C by 2100, and it would take 30 Kyotos to have an “acceptable” impact on climate change. “Should a catastrophic scenario prove correct”, states Dr. Richard Lindzen, an MIT climate expert, “Kyoto will not prevent it.”

http://oneminute.rationalmind.net/global-warming/

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 21, 2016 5:43 PM
Comment #403887

Here is a list of confirmation votes for SC justices:

http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/reference/nominations/Nominations.htm

The only really contentious votes surrounded Bork and Thomas. In his book published after his death, Bork admitted he was offered a seat on the court for his role in the Saturday Night Massacre. He should never have been nominated. Thomas has demonstrated a lack of moral character time and again. A judge at any other level in the judiciary would have been forced to resign, or impeached.

One GOP nomination during the Reagan era was withdrawn when it was discovered he had smoked pot. Seriously. It is hard to fathom, but that was Reagan and the ‘just say no’ crowd.

George W Bush was forced to withdraw Harriet Miers from consideration after she met with Senators. Her interviews went very, very badly. She was an idiot and had no business even being in that position, and Republicans made it clear Bush needed to nominate someone qualified.

Speak,
From a political point of view I am happy about the way the Garland nomination has gone. The GOP made a bad mistake by declaring that they would not vote or even meet with him. Obama nominated a middle-of-the-road judge and former prosecutor that under ordinary circumstances should have pleased conservatives. Instead, they established a precedent that will be useful for Democrats in the future, and according to polls, made themselves look bad to a majority of Americans for their intransigence. They gained virtually nothing. The SCOTUS will be 4-4 for a year and be more liberal. The next president is very likely to be a Democrat with a Senate majority, and she will choose her own, hopefully more liberal nomination.

McConnell and others are banking on a Republican winning the White House. Not a good bet. This was just badly played. And while it benefits Democrats, it really is not good for the country.

Posted by: phx8 at March 21, 2016 5:59 PM
Comment #403888

RF,

I acknowledge that Dr. Spencer has the opinion that the positive forcing from anthropogenic CO2 is mitigated by negative feedbacks involving clouds. This opinion is a minority opinion because observations demonstrate that the feedback from clouds is positive.

Contrary to Dr. Spencer’s claims, there is widespread eagerness in the scientific community for research that contradicts the consensus provided that the research is well-founded. Sometimes, that eagerness even gets out of hand such as when the journal Remote Sensing published a paper coauthored by Spencer that purported to demonstrate Spencer’s views regarding climate sensitivity. Regrettably, the peer-review process failed to catch serious flaws in the paper and it went to press anyway. After the ensuing scandal, the editor of Remote Sensing decided to resign his position. Yes, the paper was that bad.

Given this, I do not adhere to Dr. Spencer’s opinion that the costs to mitigate global warming are greater than the costs of inaction.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 21, 2016 6:26 PM
Comment #403889

“Earth’s climate is an enormously complex system with thousands of variables in constant flux. Natural cycles of warming and cooling have existed as long as earth has had a climate. We only began to make large-scale measurements in the last 100 years, so this system is poorly understood.”

No. That is wrong. While the official record goes back 122 years, there are a number of ways of measuring the climate and the atmospheric make-up going back millions of years. In the past, most of the natural climate cycles have matched changes in the shape of the Earth’s orbit, its tilt, and its precession.

Currently we are seeing warming with no natural explanation for it. In terms of the natural cycle, we are in a neutral place. Changes in solar forcings have been investigated and that does not explain it either. Gamma rays and all sorts of things have been considered and discarded.

The evidence clearly points to Anthropogenic Global Warming. Every major credible scientific institution in the world agrees on this.

Posted by: phx8 at March 21, 2016 6:30 PM
Comment #403967

Royal Flush-
No, what I tell you is this: your sources… well, to make an analogy, you buy your meatloaf as a TV dinner, while others make it fresh. You have no control over the ingredients, while others can pick the best, most fresh ingredients. It’s not as cheap, it’s more work, but it ends up creating a better product at the end.

You want us to agree with you out of pity or guilt for having maligned your position. Your position, though, deserves to be maligned. You want to pretend that most of the climate scientists are wrong or corrupt. You knock computer modeling, despite its improvements, despite the fact that the answers they give seem to be converging.

If you want to say, oh, they’re too unreliable, I’d ask you, what’s more reliable? Where are you getting your certainty that people aren’t causing global warming?

You don’t produce any counter-theory. You just push a bunch of free-floating doubt into the picture, raising questions already answered so you can look like you’re challenging a hoax, rather than perpetrating the hoax yourselves.

That’s what it is, really. A hoax. A con game used by the oil and coal companies to keep the profits rolling in. It also lets people like you pretend to know better than the people who actually study the subject seriously, which is always a thrill to you pseudo-populists.

You want a cheap sense of being the smartest, most knowledgeable people in the room. You want to believe that you can, with just your own counsel alone, overwhelm those snooty scientists with just your common sense alone. You want to think of them as scaredy-cats, as chicken littles, running around with their head cut off. Or you want to believe that somehow this is a conspiracy to make money off of green technology or turn the world towards socialism, and you’re just putting those jokers in their place.

But you’re the arrogant ones. You profess understanding you haven’t earned by the sweat of your brow. You call them wrong, but you don’t even have a clear idea of what being right might look like. You don’t account for what they’ve accounted for, and however you bash their track record, you haven’t any track record to pit against theirs. You’re honorary junior amateur fossil fuel salesmen, deputized by people who happily sit back and watch as their future competitors are hamstrung politically.

As for models as opposed to observed facts? Models tell you where to look. And tell me, where have the observed facts been taking us. We seem to be observing a hell of a lot of melting, a hell of a lot of warming, and in ways that the models have been telling scientists would occur if CO2 were responsible.

But hey, you have doubts. Wonderful. Problem is, you don’t pay attention to where those doubts have been already answered, you don’t give credit to longstanding scientific tools like scientific modelling, especially where there aren’t really alternative methods available, and when the results do knock down particular arguments, you dont’ retire those arguments, the way most scientists or scientifically minded people would. Your doubts aren’t constrained by any accountability to the facts, to observation much less any simple working out of the basic thermodynamics.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 26, 2016 5:19 PM
Comment #403968

My goodness Mr. Daugherty, I never realized I was such a stupid hateful person.

I have found that many times such screeds as yours are merely a reflection of the writer’s own character. I won’t go further as I understand you have problems and I do not wish to aggravate them and cause you any additional mental grief and conflict.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 26, 2016 5:33 PM
Comment #403969

RF,

I think the crucial error in your thinking stems from the fact that you don’t understand what computer models do, how they are used or what they are. While it is true that models’ predictions of short-term climate variability are terrible, this has little bearing on their ability forecast long-term climate. The goal of a GCM is to predict a mean value for entire decades at a time, not to predict the seasonal variations of individual years. The tendency of natural variability to mask the anthropogenic signal diminishes when we look at longer and longer time periods. On such scales, there are only three significant forcings: Volcanic activity, solar variability and anthropogenic factors.

Climate models sometimes receive much criticism because they are ultimately beholden to the people who create them and the inputs they receive. “Garbage in, garbage out” as the saying goes. Fortunately, the result is not garbage.

Finally, always remember that there are zero, I repeat zero, general circulation models that reproduce the warming detected in the last 150 years without an enhanced greenhouse effect. Drs. Lindzen, Curry, Spencer, Christy could end all the controversy tomorrow simply by producing such a model. The problem is they can’t and the reason why the can’t is that they are wrong. Despite the protests of a small handful of otherwise respected scientists, anthropogenic global warming is real phenomenon with consequences that we must reckon with.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 26, 2016 10:37 PM
Comment #403970

Royal Flush-
Your style of argumentation is meant to do one thing: shut down accountability for both the character and the thrust of your argument.

Problem with that? You aren’t infallible enough to dictate terms. You act as if your people are just telling it like it is. In fact, you really lack a lot of familiarity with the subject. I mean, I read about the disparity between the intensity of the sunshine and the warming in a book that was published back in 1998. Nearly twenty years ago. That’s the minimum of how far you’re behind.

You post quotes from scientists, but you don’t bother to check their credentials. Authority doesn’t come from having the title of scientist, it comes from doing the research and familiarizing yourself with the information in the field. That’s what separates science practice from science philosophy. It’s knowing how to properly draw out important, meaningful information from the mess that the real world typically is, to unconfused the causality, and learn how to weight each factor properly.

You folks are great at playing games with science philosophy, talking about the role of doubt, using Thomas Kuhn’s Paradigm shift argument, talking about how Galileo was disbelieved, but you shrink away from some of the basic undergirding principles of science in practice.

You also have a tendency to change the subject. I believe we started out on the subject of the sort of tit-for-tat in politics, and yet it’s evolved all the way over to this. We have a stop over in NRA land, along the way. Even here, you’d rather discuss who’s a Marxist, or who’s hurting your feelings than bluntly confront just how much of your notions of Global Warming are dependent on showing liberals like me who’s boss.

Problem is, even if you do succeed, and you win all the political battles, the success of your policy, the effects of that policy, won’t be dependent on whether you beat us. They’ll be dependent on how things actually lay out in the real world, and no amount of overweening self-confidence in that will change that. At best, you’ll be able to lead people that much further onto the thin ice.

Long story short, I think you need to take off the lenses of politics, and open yourself to a world that doesn’t depend on one party’s dogma or one set of opinions about religion, science, or anything else to operate.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 26, 2016 11:37 PM
Comment #403971

Please advise when you receive your doctorate in climatology Stephen. Us “people” would like to attend the “mail order” degree ceremony.

Mr. Daugherty doesn’t find it odd that many noted scientists disagree with the current thinking on MMGW. He discounts them as frauds, sell-outs or ignoramuses. Only he and Warren seem to know who to believe. And…believe they do. Both are absolutely convinced that they have found the only answer to changing climate. And, they are convinced that we will all perish unless trillions are spent on…well…something.

Frankly, I am bewildered as to what they believe will be gained. Is mankind capable of preventing changes in global climate?

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 27, 2016 4:30 PM
Comment #403972


“Professor Myles Allen, the director of Oxford University’s Climate Research Network, has said that people should not look to the IPCC for a “bible” on climate change.

Professor Allen, who admits “we need to look very carefully about what the IPCC does in future”, said that he could not comment on the report as it was still considered to be in its draft stages.

However, he added: “It is a complete fantasy to think that you can compile an infallible or approximately infallible report, that is just not how science works.

“It is not a bible, it is a scientific review, an assessment of the literature. Frankly both sides are seriously confused on how science works - the critics of the IPCC and the environmentalists who credit the IPCC as if it is the gospel.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/climatechange/10310712/Top-climate-scientists-admit-global-warming-forecasts-were-wrong.html

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 27, 2016 4:49 PM
Comment #403975

I will readily agree with Dr. Allen. No model can accurately simulate all the processes that take place on the Earth. All a model can do is test a hypothesis against the things we already know (basic physics including Newton’s laws, the laws of thermodynamics and chemistry). I have more confidence in some model results than I do of others and I definitely have a lot more confidence in simulations of past climate than I do of future ones.

If you want a more nuanced discussion, I can easily observe many activists abuse the model results in order to portray things as much dire terms. Most famous are those images of what the Earth would look like if all the ice sheets melted. While such an even would certainly be a catastrophe for civilization, it is an extremely unlikely outcome give our knowledge of the stability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS).

But that isn’t what we are talking about. On this very website, you have commented that you do not even believe the greenhouse effect even has the capacity to influence. Instead, you’ve dismissed CO2 as plant food far too sparse to be of any importance. However, this view misses the bigger picture. The Earth is a system. That is, it is the sum of many self-regulating processes that maintain an equilibrium. Indeed, it has been observed that climate and other processes exhibit homeostasis akin to that found in an organism.

Small perturbations to this state have negligible impact so long as negative feedback loops automatically work to reestablish the equilibrium. This can be seen in the adjustment made in the carbon cycle whereby half of anthropogenic CO2 is absorbed by either the biosphere or the oceans. However, the day will come when the negative feedbacks seek to function and the positive feedbacks will spring into action. The ocean will be too warm to absorb any more CO2, the ground too dry to support vegetation growth. At that point, the Earth will shift to a new equilibrium. Adapting to the new equilibrium will be many times more costly than the price to maintain what we’ve already got.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 28, 2016 1:47 PM
Comment #403977
The Earth is a system. That is, it is the sum of many self-regulating processes that maintain an equilibrium.
You’re making sense, and will be attacked for it soon. Posted by: ohrealy at March 28, 2016 4:07 PM
Comment #403978

However, the day will come when the negative feedbacks seek to function and the positive feedbacks will spring into action. The ocean will be too warm to absorb any more CO2, the ground too dry to support vegetation growth. At that point, the Earth will shift to a new equilibrium. Adapting to the new equilibrium will be many times more costly than the price to maintain what we’ve already got.
Posted by: Warren Porter at March 28, 2016 1:47 PM

Professor Allen wrote; ““It is a complete fantasy to think that you can compile an infallible or approximately infallible report, that is just not how science works.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 28, 2016 4:44 PM
Comment #403979

ohrealy,

Sorry, this is standard fare from any introductory climatology course. In fact, my admissions essay for graduate school was prefaced upon exactly this theme.

RF

Dr. Allen speaks of the chaotic nature of the atmosphere and ocean. It would behoove you to understand the context of those remarks.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 28, 2016 6:27 PM
Comment #403980

LOL…Warren, I was “behooved” many years ago with studies in physics and astronomy.

As the speaker in your film link stated…”There is a whole world between theory and facts.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 28, 2016 7:27 PM
Comment #403981

Apparently, the film went above your head. The point wasn’t to teach you basic physics. The purpose was to begin with fundamentals of physics in order to derive the grandeur of chaotic systems. Whereas it is impossible to predict the trajectory of any individual object, the systems are well understood and their behavior can be readily described.

In practice, this means any particular model of the atmosphere is destined to be quite fallible. Imprecise understanding of the initial state of the Earth system means we will never be able to perfectly predict its future state. However, the laws guiding the evolution of the system are well-known. As such, we can much more easily determine the boundaries of the states. This is analogous to determining the shape of a Lorenz butterfly, the strange attractor. Knowing the shape of the Lorenz attractor is sufficient for understanding how the atmosphere operates.

Posted by: Warren Porter at March 28, 2016 10:28 PM
Comment #403989

Warren…Apparently, the film went “to” your head.

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 29, 2016 3:00 PM
Comment #403991

Here’s some light reading for you Warren.

http://principia-scientific.org/michael-mann-faces-bankruptcy-as-his-courtroom-climate-capers-collapse.html/

Posted by: Royal Flush at March 29, 2016 6:56 PM
Comment #403992

I see, a diversion from our discussion of chaos theory. I really could care less about Mann’s lawsuit. Whether or not Steyn and Ball defamed him or not doesn’t really tell us anything about how the climate system works.

Apparently, the film went “to” your head.
Obviously. I have devoted my life to the study of this topic. Posted by: Warren Porter at March 29, 2016 8:22 PM
Comment #404071

Royal Flush-
Why do you care whether I have a degree or not? You certainly don’t respect the scientific authority of anybody who has one, but disagrees with you.

Let’s start with your headline. What’s the difference?

The “summary for policymakers” of the report, seen by the Mail on Sunday, states that the world is warming at a rate of 0.12C per decade since 1951, compared to a prediction of 0.13C per decade in their last assessment published in 2007.

A hundredth of a degree Celsius difference in the warming. That’s what you’re pouncing on. Additionally, you forget a number of nuances to things like the Antarctic Ice extent: it’s not so much that the winter seas are colder, but that circumpolar winds, winds driven by the contrast between cold Antarctica and the warmer reaches of the Southern Hemisphere, have weakened. Weaker winds don’t break up ice as efficiently.

You’re playing a game of factual tennis, rather than doing real study of the subject. You’re saying “there’s geothermal warming causing melting under the Antarctic Ice Sheet. You miss that this geothermal influence has been there about as long as the ice sheet. Logically speaking, if a proposed cause is there both when the effect is there and when it is not, Something else has to be responsible for the difference. If the ice sheet has survived this long with those geothermal formations underneath them, why the change now?

As for what we prevent? Well, we can stop pushing the snowball down the hill. If we’re lucky, that means that when the warming that’s in the pipeline works itself out, we’ll be settled at a less severe level of change than we were heading for. A new normal, not as bad.

As for why we should do it?

Society requires a certain level of water supply to grow crops, sustain populations, transport goods up and down rivers. It builds systems for carrying off and draining water from its towns and cities so they don’t flood and experience water damage. They build levees and dams for similar reasons. In some cases, we might see too little water, in some cases, too much.

Sea level change will mean that cities and towns at the oceans edge will get marched back, ports, tourism facilities, refineries, etc. all needing to be relocated, abandoned, or retrofitted to handle the rising water.

Energy needs will change as higher latitudes end up needing to deal with higher temperatures.

The storms, the instability in the upper-level circulation will cause more property damage, reach locations not hardened against the severe weather in question.

The long and the short of it is that we plan the way we put our civilization together based on how the climate tends to behave. Violation of those expectations, economically speaking, are extremely expensive. Plans that would have been valid and sensible a few decades ago now become unreliable, and that will force adaptation that otherwise wouldn’t be necessary.

That’s to say nothing about the consequences of climate change for national security, the people displaced, the nations going hungry, the instability and chaos that would create.

You act as if we’re privileged as human beings from having to worry about how the world works around us. We’re not. We and our economy are integrated into this system that we’re provoking into greater and greater change. I’d say stop provoking that system. Stop damaging your own economic interests.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 4, 2016 1:17 PM
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