Thursday, September 10, 2015

Understanding the Wingnet: The DDT Conspiracy

Via Powerline Blogger Hayward:
Yesterday Google disdained offering a special banner for Memorial Day.  Today they compound this insult with a banner marking the birthday of Rachel Carson, author of the deeply wrong Silent Spring.  Few books since Das Kapital have done more damage to humans—especially poor children in Africa—than Silent Spring, and yet she—and her dreadful book—continues to be honored by the Left.
Here's the Translation from Wingnutspeak to English.
The Carson book Silent Spring drew attention to the risks to the eco-system posed by over-use of pesticides such as DDT.  Within right wing counter culture, an elaborate conspiracy within the United States Environmental Protection Agency suppressed the facts about the awesomeness of DDT and instead only disclosed so-called facts about the harmful effects of DDT on the environment. 
Through unspecified means, this conspiracy went global as other nations also banned the use of this chemical within that respective country.  In turn this lead to the eventual phase out of DDT globally for use in all but routine circumstances. Because the EPA initiated DDT-conspiracy spread globally, all deaths in the third world due to insect-spread diseases like malaria qualify as a form of "mass murder" or "genocide" due to the influence of this book and the actions of the conspirators all which lead to the phase out of the chemical.
Lesson Right Wingers take from the DDT Conspiracy.
The DDT conspiracy proves that the EPA is connected to a dark shadowy international conspiracy. As to so-called "Climate Change" this episode further demonstrates why the EPA should not be trusted to regulate green house gas emissions.  Because if past is prelude, the resulting regulations will probably spread globally just like non-existent global warming, causing great unintended harm. The result undoubtedly will be sustainable living, hobbit-sized homes and the very end of freedom. 
This has been a public service post.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Laws of the Internet: Sowell's Rule

One of the recurrent themes found on the internet within movement conservatism is a comparison of the issue of the moment to the events of 1938 - that one moment when perhaps Hitler's plans could have been stopped and world war two prevented. 

The same is also true with regard to 1914. What if, somehow, the leaders of the democracies of the North Atlantic possessed perfect knowledge about the consequences of am apparently isolated event in the Baltics.  Perhaps in that event, these nations could have collaborated in a dramatic way to prevent the first world war. 

If only something could have been done at the time of peril, these calamities needn't have happened. This type of comparison to modern events happens all the time of the wingnet.

The Fallacy goes like this: things don't seem too far out of control now, but things also seemed to be under control in 1914 and 1938 and then all hell broke loose.  Consequently we better take some dramatic action now or hell could break loose just as it did in 1914 and. or 1938. Life as we know it could suddenly come collapsing down just like it did back then. That's why we must create and lead a coalition of the willing to defeat Saddam Hussein immediately or to bomb this county or that country. The list is inexhaustible. 

For one rigid right wing ideologue, Hoover Institute's Thomas Sowell, every year since there has been an internet has seemed pretty much to be like 1938 or 1914.  Maybe that's an exaggeration, but not by much.

So why to these right wingers do it so often? One reason could be fear, as the conservatives base has been shown to react more strongly to rhetoric based on appeals to fear.  However, Daniel Larison (probably) has a better answer:
What tells us even more about a person’s foreign policy assumptions is how often he falls back on historical analogies and how varied those analogies are. For instance, when a neoconservative or hawk invokes 1938 in response to every single crisis or major event overseas, that mostly tells us that he probably has a very superficial grasp on the particulars of current events. If everything can be reduced to a comparison to the Munich conference and its aftermath, there is no need to make the effort to understand the present-day crisis on its own terms. It also suggests that the person making this comparison is more concerned to score ideological points rather than he is interested in offering relevant analysis. By the same token, citing 1914 as a cautionary tale is potentially just as misleading. While there are tensions between major powers, there is much less danger of a a war between them today than there was a hundred years ago. Invoking the start of WWI can be just as lazy and reflexive as shouting, “Munich!” We should always want our government to be careful “about extending treaty commitments to client states,” and we should always want it to exercise caution and not overreact to foreign crises, but most of the “lessons” they draw from 1914 don’t need the example of 1914 to make sense to us.
Basically, the 1938 /1914 fallacy is crutch to lean on when one is not interesting in thinking about the complexities that exist today.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Understanding the Wingnet: The Benghazi Conspiracy Explained

Phrase of the Day: The Benghazi Conspiracy Theory

During an attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012, four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, died in the hours that followed. At the height of 2012 presidential campaign, GOP insiders decided to use the attack as a political tactic against the incumbent president during the campaign by insinuating lack of competence, dishonesty and malfeasance on the part of the Obama Administration.

Though there was not evidence supporting these allegations, rank and file republicans gave party insiders the benefit of the doubt and took the allegations to be true. Thereafter fueled by Conservative Media, conspiracy theories took hold of the party as party members attempted to piece together facts into a narrative that would besmirch the Obama Administration.

Initially, the GOP charged the Obama Administration of whitewashing a terrorist attack, these allegations morphed into even more outlandish claims of a stand-down of military aid to the besieged facility, claims that the CIA was using Benghazi for running guns to Syrian Rebels and even that the attack was allowed to happen in order to murder the US Ambassador.

As the 2012 election ended in defeat for the GOP, Party Insiders kept the allegations alive as a ploy to be used against a potential 2016 presidential campaign by Hillary Clinton who was the Secretary of State during the attack. As a result, disinformation about the Benghazi consulate attack has been routinely disseminated through conservative media such as Fox News with such disinformation expected to continue on in effect for the duration of the 2016 presidential campaign  - if Hillary Clinton runs as a candidate for the democratic party.

Despite having been dispelled by 7 different investigations, the Benghazi Conspiracy continues to hold the attention of the hard right in America due to three basic components. First. There was an actual attack on a consulate and due to the "Fog of War" the sequence of events was not immediately apparent.

Next insiders within the GOP decided to use the attack on the consulate as tool to reinforce previously held views within the GOP base about the Obama Administration's approach to Islamic Terrorism.

And finally, understanding what caused the consulate attack and the events surrounding the attack required reliance upon "Elites" as the ordinary person lacks the capability and knowledge to make a determination on his/her own.  This reliance on Elites and in particular reliance upon partisan or dishonest Elites makes the ordinary individual particularly susceptible to disinformation and manipulation.  In the parlance of the right wing media, rank and file republicans were "Gruberized" or deliberately manipulated by GOP Elites in order to achieve a larger objective - defeating the incumbent party and returning to power.

Link to House Intelligence Committee Benghazi Investigation Report.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

University of Alabama Professors Explain "Advanced Stage Climate Denial" and other Adventures in Wingnutology

According to these (right wing) Professors, Climate Change is real but the ALL the real scientists operate in bad faith [wsj-paywall maybe]:
The two fundamental facts are that carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere have increased due to the burning of fossil fuels, and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a greenhouse gas, trapping heat before it can escape into space.
What is not a known fact is by how much the Earth's atmosphere will warm in response to this added carbon dioxide. The warming numbers most commonly advanced are created by climate computer models built almost entirely by scientists who believe in catastrophic global warming. The rate of warming forecast by these models depends on many assumptions and engineering to replicate a complex world in tractable terms, such as how water vapor and clouds will react to the direct heat added by carbon dioxide or the rate of heat uptake, or absorption, by the oceans.
We might forgive these modelers if their forecasts had not been so consistently and spectacularly wrong. From the beginning of climate modeling in the 1980s, these forecasts have, on average, always overstated the degree to which the Earth is warming compared with what we see in the real climate....
- Messrs. McNider and Christy are professors of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and fellows of the American Meteorological Society.
So that's it. It is not that increases in man-made greenhouse Gases  fuel the greenhouse effect and trap more heat in the  atmosphere, Oceans and into ice sheets. This is real - the theory is valid. More heat is being trapped.

The complaint of these right wing professors seems to be that people are mean (See Kerry, John), computers are imperfect - especially the commodore 64s that were once used (never mind that computing power has increased by a factor of a bazillion) and that the scientists cannot be trusted to produce good science.

This is feature of Advanced Stage Denial. It allows the speaker to pull a bait and switch from Global Warming to "catastrophic global warming."  This is clever.

In doing so, the trickiest of speakers is able to conflate the theory behind Anthropogenic Global Warming with the computer models that demonstrate worst case scenario for warming. If the worst case scenario seems "ridiculous," all computer models are inherently suspect along with the theory itself.

This method allows the speaker to state in good faith his belief that "Catastrophic" Global Warming is false - leaving unsaid that "Really Bad and Dangerous" Global Warming is likely true, however. This second part always-always goes unsaid.

Its how the game is played.

The thing about right wing science professors, or skeptics of the settled consensus, is that they are by training, education and expertise, science professionals who (probably  at least in part have been trained and educated at Government expense), have the ability to clearly and cogently present their counter - theories to the world and add to the public discourse. They should have, by experience, the ability to take complicated subjects and present them in the way that an average teenager should be able to understand.

Accordingly these types of professionals should be ideally placed and having been educated at (least partially) government expense have a DUTY to educate and engage the public in a positive manner on why their views are more persuasive.  But none of these "Skeptics" ever steps up to the challenge.  It is not like such a person wouldn't have a built in audience - an overwhelming majority of Reality Based Folks would be happy to learn that the Scientists made a big mistake about global warming. It won't cause large scale extinction, rising seas, food shortages in some parts of the world, increased international armed conflicts, acidification of the ocean - it was all just a big mistake.  But that is not how they play the game.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Word of the Day - Santorumnesia

This is an important one because it appears that Santorumnesia is highly contagious among the Party Elite

Santorumnesia is the inability to remember the 2012 candidacy of Rick Santorum. It affects various GOP insiders disproportionately to the general population.

Lamestream Media Figure: Who do you think will be on stage at the first GOP 2016 primary debate now that Christie has melted down.
GOP Insider: Well there's Rand Paul and Joe Scarborough and Rubio, Walker, Jeb Bush, Cruz and maybe some New Reagan type candidate that nobody's head of yet but will be pretty cool for about 2-3 weeks and then crash spectacularly. Hell, maybe even Huckabee will run but that's about that's it.
Lamestream Media Figure: What about Santorum? He came in second last time and is running again.
GOP Insider: Who??? Never heard of him.
This is a classic example of Santorumnesia. Poor Santo.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Lessons in Wingnutlology - Words of the Day

Words found on the Wingnet today and translated into English.


Context: Using the word "Obama" in context of immigration reform may cause some Republicans to disassociate themselves from supporting comprehensive immigration reform. This is because the word "Obama" scares good conservatives  as in Obamacare or Obamaphones.

Used in a sentence: If you want to be a good conservative you cannot oppose scary Obamacare while supporting Obamigration Reform....because both are scary and are basically the same.


Context:  Same as above. The word "Obama" is scary.

Used in a sentence: Like Chris Christie, the President also causes traffic jams when he travels to distant places because of his secret security detail. He does this to be mean. These traffic jams, which hurt some peoples feelings, are called "Obamajams."

This has been a public service.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Wingnut Dictionary - CAGW

Term of the Day
Related Terms: Alarmist, Warmist, Climateer, Climatista, Warmunist, Thermogeddonite
CAGW is a term used by right wing activists to conflate the reality of greenhouse gas emission driven global warming (AGW) with spectacular or "catastrophic" projections of damage that may arise due to climate change (CAGW).  The term is used to redirect discussion of the causes of global warming away from the potential remedies. Often times the right wing activist will mock "CAGW", using it as a strawman to avoid discussing the science behind AGW.
Don't take the scientists, too seriously. They are just crying wolf again when they talk about catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. They try to make Climate Change seem like a bad disaster movie like Sharknado - that movie about tornadoes that carrying sharks. Like that could ever happen. The earth's climate has always changed in the past.  It will change again and things will be fine.  Sharknado is never going to happen! Man those scientists should really tone it down. CAGW is clearly ridiculous. 
The goal of using the term "CAGW" is to redirect the conversation away from limiting CO2 emissions and greenhouse gas emission as a means of reducing harm to the environment and on to a discussion of how unlikely that a Sharknado-like event could ever happen. This allows the activist to avoid discussion of the merits of AGW Theory while knocking down a strawman.
The fallacy is diagrammed like this:
If P then Q
P is clearly absurd
Therefore not Q
If climate change causes "Sharknado," then climate change is dangerous
Sharknado is clearly absurd
Therefore climate change is not dangerous.
Use of the Term CAGW sometimes implies a tacit acknowledgement on the part of the speaker that the climate is changing and that greenhouse gas emissions are to blame for it.  Usage is associated with an advanced stage of climate denial. Typically it is associated with Late Stage 2 to Stage 3 of Climate Denial.

Stage 1 - It is all a hoax
Stage 2 - It is not (mostly) from CO2
Stage 3 - It is not bad
Stage 4 - There is nothing we can do about it
Stage 5 - It is too late to try to do anything about it.

This has been another episode of wingnut dictionary, a public service to translate right wing-nut-speak into English.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wingnut Dictionary - Sour Grapes

Helping you understand Wingnutspeak (words and phrases found on the wingnet) and how these terms translate into good ol' American english

Today's phrase:
\ˈsau̇(-ə)r   \   ˈgrāps\
disparagement of something that has proven unattainable
More disturbingly, Washington's level of political corruption is on a par with ancien régime France. Like the doomed Bourbons, today's insulated, self-reproducing Washington elite lavishes itself with astronomical salaries (whether making over $100,000 as a civil servant in the White House or millions on K Street), luxurious vacations, numerous privileges (from business-class air travel to junkets abroad), and exclusive neighborhoods. In order to do so, they extract more and more money from the productive sectors of the economy, and particularly from those who cannot protect themselves through preferential tax treatment. If the elite doesn't take those gains for themselves, they redistribute them to the electoral groups that ensure their permanent hold on power.
Translation into English
I wish Romney had won, so I could move to DC, get a job in the new administration, a lavish salary, travel and start the  K-street ladder climb so I too could move into an exclusive neighborhood like so many GOP activists before me.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Wingnut Dictionary - Low Information Voter

Another post in a series translating rhetoric found in the right wing media into good 'ol American English.

Phrase of the Day:  
Low Information Voter(s)
ˈlō\  in-fər-ˈmā-shən\ ˈvō-tər\
Definition (1) Voters who do not vote in line with the speaker's preferences (2) voters who do not have time, energy or desire to commit to a governing ideology.

Example of use in ordinary conversation:
We lost the election and a big reason we lost is because so many Low Information Voters did not understand what was at stake. If these Low Information Voters really understood the issues  (i.e., understood and agreed with our ideology), we would have won the election fairly easily. A great deal of the blame for this goes to the Liberal Media. In the next election, we need to do a better job educating the voters about the issues (i.e., we need to turn non-ideological voters into dedicated partisans).
Example of from Right Wing Blog. Obama is dying to say this, according to this Powerline Blogger:
Perhaps in the Bulworth mode Obama would tell us what fools we were to believe his fake opposition to gay marriage, or his fake support for Israel. He would tell us friendship with Bill Ayers and his support for late term abortion/infanticide.

He would explain the virtues of the Muslim Brotherhood. He would unburden himself of the shame he felt having to disown Jeremiah Wright. He would tell us at long last of his profound feelings for the wisdom of Rashid Khalidi!

He would have a few choice words about Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, but he would also express his contempt for the Republican members of the Gang of Eight. He would express his deep gratitude to low information voters and the members of the media who kept them in that condition.

Whatever Obama would have to say in Bulworth mode might come as a slight surprise to low information voters, but for anyone who has been paying attention it would amount to an utterly superfluous postscript. The only thing close to humorous about it is Obama’s conceit that he has concealed his inner light.
In this regard, Low information Voters can be contrasted with high information voters, and compare favorably. High Information Voters can be classified into several groups. Powerline Blog readers, Foxnews viewers and AM radio listeners are another example of high information voters.  In the case of this group, these voters tend to rely on high amounts information but of a dubious quality (i.e., its really shitty information). This works to the detriment of this group of highly misinformed voters.

This is what the Derangement Syndrome and the Conservative Echo Chamber can do to voters. These voters, such as the right wing blogger above, is unable to view the world outside of terms of his ideology - and so is unable to compete in the marketplace of ideas for the Low Information Voter. This in turn makes leaves him powerless to convince Low Information Voters to join the fight against his imaginary version of Obama. 

Given the choice between Low Information Voters and misinformed and hopelessly confused High Information Voters, it is pretty obvious which group contributes more to our civic life.
If only there was a government program to help poor misinformed devils like this.  Maybe someday.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Phrase of the Day

Word of the Day:  
Limited Government
"Limited government" is the phrase that big-government conservatives use to paper over the fact that they favor a powerful and activist federal government, albeit one with different spending priorities for the benefit of different interest groups.
In other words, limited government is essential when a Democrat is living in the White House.  When a Republican is president it is not really important.

Wingnut Dictionary Word of the Day - EcoFascism

Another in a series seeking to translate Wingnutspeak into red blooded American English

Today's word [h/t Powerline Blog]:
noun \ e-kō-fa-shi-zəm
ECOFASCISM (1) an environmental conservation authoritarian movement seeking  clearly unconstitutional control of the economy and personal liberty in the name of a hypothetically omnipotent government; (2) A subject that right wingers talk about on Earth Day; (3) an adherent of authoritarian environmental conservationism is an Ecofascist.
Within right wing counter culture it is a commonly held belief  most people with environmental sympathies aren’t fascistic authoritarians by nature, however the activists on the margin who drive policies and regulation are fascist authoritarians.   Moreover, most environmental conservation efforts actually have contrary effects than the stated intentions, which suggests that the real agenda (eco-fascism) is something different than the stated agenda (environmentalism).
Policy makers at the head of government in the United States and elsewhere apparently want to believe, and to have others believe, that human use of fossil fuels accelerates global warming. [These Ecofascists] pursue this quest in order to impose ever greater and clearly unconstitutional control on the economy and personal liberty in the name of a hypothetically omnipotent government. There exists no true concern by the President or Congressional Leadership about the true effects of climate change - only a poorly concealed, ideologically driven attempt to use conjured up threats of catastrophic consequences as a lever to gain authoritarian control of society.
The real agenda [of the ecofascists], I suppose, is to force the rest of us to be vegetarians. The hoaxers and bureaucrats who stir up global warming hysteria would no more stop eating filet mignon than they would give up their private jets. They just want power over the rest of us. Thankfully, hardly anyone is silly enough to believe that humanity can regulate the Earth’s climate by eating tofu instead of bacon. Still, next time you are in a restaurant, it might be fun to order a 32-ounce Porterhouse. In addition to all the usual reasons, you will be defying some of the world’s most obnoxious busybodies.
Another Usage outside of right wing counter culture:
As an Ecofascist, I think it would be fun to build a community of underground hobbit sized houses as a model of what America will look like after the international bureaucrats confiscate everyone's guns and enact Agenda 21. Ideally, such a community could be built in Michele Bachmann's congressional district and would be funded by stimulus money employing local construction workers.  And just because I am mean, it would be labeled a "shovel ready project." Which of course it would be, because Ecofascism is part of an existing UN Plot.
Other "shovel ready projects" include Chattanooga's new bicycle sharing program modeled after Denver's bicycle sharing program which as every right winger knows is part of a UN plot to takeover America and is the first step in imposing Agenda 21.  And before too long there will be no more cows. And then everyone will live in a hobbit sized home without a gun.
And when that day comes, picture poor Powerline Blogger Hinderaker sitting in a rocking chair on his ridiculously small front porch grumbling that if only people would have listened to his warnings back in the old days, America would still be free like it was back before we had Medicare.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wingnutology 101 - The Althouse Fallacy

A new Conspiracy arises…..Obama to take away your Guns…..all wingers beware...

SURE LOOKS LIKE IT: John Hinderaker: Was Fast And Furious All About Gun Control? “We certainly want to be fair to the Obama administration officials who were involved in Fast and Furious. But a fundamental question has never been answered: why in the world did the Obama administration not just allow AK-47s and other weapons to be shipped across the border to Mexican drug gangs, but encourage and even finance such transactions, over the objections of jittery gun shop owners and its own veteran agents? If the Obama administration wasn’t trying to set up an argument for more gun control, then what was it trying to do?”

UPDATE: Ann Althouse: “If Hinderaker’s conclusion seems extreme, consider that it could be easily refuted by a clear statement from the Obama administration disclosing the true and legitimate purpose. The absence of such a statement propels us toward the extreme conclusion.”
CONTEXT: Within Right Wing Counter Culture there is deep suspicion that the Federal Government will eventually enact gun control limitations and then be able to limit gun ownership. So when a gun walking program begun under the Bush Administration to crack down on Mexican drug cartel derailed this year, some right wingers, predictably started to see dark conspiratorial forces behind the program. It -  the program - became a deliberate attempt to arm criminals who would then in turn kill Americans in large numbers. An outraged public would demand tighter gun laws.  This would in turn would lead to UN Weapons Checkpoints on every street corner.

DIAGRAM: If P then a very remote chance of Q. If no denial of Q, then Q is likely to exist.

THE FALLACY: If there is a slight chance that a dark conspiracy exists, then the fact that Government Officials have not denied the existence of the dark conspiracy, indicates that the dark conspiracy is likely to exist. This is typical of conspiracy theory found of the wingnet.  It is not as good as (NRO) Ed Whelan's claim that the Obama administration planned to implement Effete European Law and Sharia Law at the same time, making it possible for the Gay Folks to get married one day under Effete European Law and Executed under Sharia Law the next day. But still, it is not bad.

RESOLUTION: Each of the speakers first quoted above are right wing lawyers (Reynolds, Althouse and Hinderaker) and in theory each possesses the requisite intelligence and training to see the falsity of the rhetoric.  Yet each persists in playing along in the conspiracy game.  

 In a vacuum this would cause little concern, however by use of modern communication, this fallacy will reach multitudes of the unwashed tea party masses. These readers, lacking education and training, will be susceptible to concluded that this fallacy, The Althouse Fallacy, is correct. Short of FEMA-run Anti-Obama Dissident Camps, there is little that can be done to prevent this type of rhetoric from permeating through right wing counter culture.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Wingnut Dictionary- Warmist

(1) a scientist; (2) when used in the context of global warming, a befuddled scientist; (3) a stooge of the international global warming conspiracy
GODDAMN IT! Warmist Berkeley University Professor Richard A. Muller is a very confused man. Muller, now a "warmist," is claiming in a October 21, 2011 OPED that skeptics of man-made global warming fears no longer have any basis to doubt “global warming” because his new study confirms that the Earth has warmed since the 1950s! Son of a Bitch!
Muller seems to imply that the terms “global warming” and man-made global warming are interchangeable and any warming is somehow "proof" of human causation. Muller is being described by many in the media -- including NYT's Andrew Revkin – as being a climate “skeptic.” But clearly, the Warmist Muller must not have gotten the memo, as he is lustily referring to skeptics as “deniers” in his lamestream media blitz. Clearly Muller is a very befuddled man.
Current Wingnut mythology holds that the theory known as Anthropogenic Global Warming is a hoax being perpetrated by a cadre of tricksy scientists and evil one world government types. Warmists, within this context, aid the global warming conspiracy by publishing or endorsing the findings of so-called scientific studies which support the so-called scientific consensus that the earth is warming due to human activity. This warmist behavior then lends credibility to efforts to impose global socialism through climate change legislation and/or treaties.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wingnut Dictionary - Klimate Khange Kool-Aid

Word of the Day:
Klimate Khange Kool-Aid
(1) Term used by right wing bloggers and other right wing fringe groups in the USA to describe the discipline within scientific study referred to as "Climate Science" (2) a clever inference to imply that Climate Scientists are similar to the racist right wing populist, anti-immigrant, anti-government, anti-science and anti-religious minority rights group of the same initials, i.e., the Ku Klu Klan, which was popular during the 1920's. (3) Phrase used by old men seen yelling at clouds for no apparent reason.
(1) Goddamn it! A small Cabal of Uber-scientists are using Klimate Khange Kool-Aid to perpetrate the great hoax known to mankind in order to implement global socialism, bicycle sharing programs in Denver and the UN's Agenda 21 which will force patriotic real americans to live in "hobbit homes" in designated "human habitation zones". Goddamn Klimate Khange Kool-Aid!

(2) The Economist is a schizophrenic magazine, but that’s one reason to read it. It is so obviously superior to Time and Newsweek in its erudition and depth, which is all the more impressive as most of its stories are written anonymously, a welcome contrast to the stuffed-up ego bylines of the American journalists who parade themselves on TV and the high paid lecture circuit.

One glaring flaw is that The Economist does seem at times to have had an extra helping of the Klimate Khange Kool-Aid. I was told once by one of their Washington correspondents that this stemmed from an edict from the owners and senior editors in charge back in London. (And their U.S. coverage sometimes partakes of an “oh those silly colonials” tone. We’ll save that for another time.)
Context of Klimate Khange Kool-Aid within American Politics:
Within Right Wing Mythology, i.e., wingnut mythology, it is generally believed as fact that Anthropogenic Global Warming is a hoax and is being perpetrated by an international conspiracy made up of the lowliest bureaucrats and researchers to the highest world leaders and super tricksy Scientists. Yet despite all the protests by leading Right Wingers, Sean Hannity Foxnews Specials and blog posts, the Global-Global Warming Conspiracy just keeps growing larger. This creates a condition of helplessness felt by right wingers thereby leading to evermore strident and shrill rhetoric such as comparing Scientists to the Klan to combat the "Hoax."
Solutions to Klimate Khange Kool-Aid Delusion Syndrome:
There is no known solution to address the role of conspiracy theory infecting fringe groups in American Politics. Such is the case with Klimate Khange Kool-Aid delusion syndrome. However it is thought by a growing consensus that FEMA run re-education camps offer the best approach to treat those afflicted with this syndrome.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wingnut Dictionary – Libertine

Translating Wingnutspeak into good ol' American English.

Word of the Day:

Libertine or Libertines

\li-bər-tēn\ or \li-bər-tēnz\


Within Right Wing counter culture the term is attributed to self identified Libertarians who are deemed insufficiently deferential to the historical values, customs, and traditions passed from one generation to the next, that establish a perception of society’s cultural identity. Instead, Libertines believe that custom and laws based upon historical cultural norms have a tendency to impinge on individual liberty, especially freedom of thought and action. Libertines, like a majority of libertarians tend to view individual liberty through a narrow prism of individual rights while de-emphasizing individual responsibility to community or society. Opposition to Taxation and Government Regulation occupy approximately 99% of Libertine ideology.
Used in every day Right Wing conservation:
Maybe had the libertarians done a better job of preventing their party from being overrun with Libertines — a group of people who couldn’t care less about the size and scope of government as long as their desires for one night stands with a bag of weed and a tranny from 7th and Broadway are unimpeded by government — we wouldn’t be having these issues within the conservative movement.


There is a natural dissonance between Utopian Libertine Ideology and so-called social Conservatism. Early American Political Philosophy developed a correlation between rights and responsibilities. For example: a White Male Citizen had the right to bear arms, because he also had a corresponding duty to service in the community Militia. Understandings of Rights and Duties were interrelated. Current Libertine Ideology, however, emphasizes individual liberty while largely rejecting corresponding duties owed to society. Within so-called Social Conservatism, historical values, customs, and traditions that establish the majority’s perception of society’s cultural identity are seen as absolute and citizens have a duty to act within those norms – even if such action infringes upon individual liberty.

In the example provided above, the speaker, is critical of allowing the participation of a same sex advocacy group at a conservative gathering. Even though the advocacy group largely shares the Speakers political ideology, it does desire some policy outcomes which increase individual liberty (equality under the law for members of the GLBT community) but conflict with normative perceptions of society’s cultural identity (a prejudice against members of this community). Thus the advocacy group is labeled “Libertine.”

[h/t] –RedState Blog

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Marc Thiessen adopts Marxist view of History

Translation of the day - Wingnutspeak to English.

Why should a Wingnutopian argue in favor of increasing the difficulties in the lives of ordinary Americans? Marc Thiessen has an answer for you.

He’s a Neoconservative after all, and they evolved from Karl Marx’s family tree. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that this apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Here is Thiessen explaining why Republicans should not work with Democrats to make the Affordable Care Act more user friendly for their constituents:

Obama made what appeared to be a stunning admission in his State of the Union address, when he acknowledged that his sainted health-care law needs a little work. […] "Instead of re-fighting the battles of the last two years, let's fix what needs fixing and let's move forward."

It was a brilliant political maneuver. The president knows that his health-care law remains unpopular and that it was a driving force behind the historic losses Democrats suffered in the 2010 elections. So to protect vulnerable Democrats in 2012 (including himself) and blunt the GOP's push toward full repeal, the president is seeking to enlist the Republicans in helping him "fix" the flaws in Obamacare.

Senate Republicans have seized on his offer. Last week, they helped Democrats pass legislation repealing the provision Obama mentioned - a mandate that businesses file "1099" reports to IRS for all transactions of more than $600 in a given year. This provision had small businesses across the country up in arms. But instead of harnessing that anger to push for full repeal, Republicans instead helped Democrats lift this source of pressure from the business community.

Like all good utopian revolutionaries, in Thiessen’s case, a wingnutopian revolutionary, Thiessen knows that the coming revolution will only occur when Real Americans (the wingnuttariat) realize their true class cultural interest lies with Free Market Fundamentalism, the unfettered Free Market. Once Class Cultural Consciousness is achieved, the wingnuttariat will rise up and dismantle the federal government and the social safety net creating a free market paradise. In short, the wingnuttariat needs to be really outraged by the government and the social safety net in order to understand that its true class cultural interest lies with the free and unfettered market almighty and not with the National government. Anything that softens the effects of the social safety net and the effect of government regulation of the health insurance sector is counterrevolutionary, i.e., it impedes the revolution, delaying it indefinitely.

As a good disciple of his intellectual father Marx, Thiessen know this and bemoans the fact that Republicans have agreed to make the new health insurance law more user friendly. This is counterrevolutionary. This Republican action delays the revolution. Thiessen understands and continues in softer tones:

Republicans need to understand that there is no path to repealing Obamacare "plank by plank." Here is why: First, while Democrats will agree to peripheral changes, they will never allow the GOP to repeal the core provisions that make Obamacare such a monstrosity - such as the individual mandate, insurance mandates and employer mandates. All Republicans will end up doing is helping Democrats sweeten the hemlock, thus undermining their case for full repeal.

Second, Republicans will hand the Democrats a huge public relations victory. As more "fixes" like the 1099 repeal are adopted, the president and Democratic leaders will portray themselves as the reasonable ones who have acknowledged flaws in their law and are working to address them in bipartisan manner. Meanwhile Republicans who continue to push for full repeal will be portrayed as strident hard-liners who care more about delivering a political blow to the president than helping Americans get better health care.

Third, Republicans will inadvertently help vulnerable Democrats get reelected. Sixteen Senate Democrats up for reelection this year voted for the 1099 repeal - and endangered Democratic incumbents are almost certain to support other similar measures in the period ahead. This will allow them to claim on the campaign trail that they are working to "repeal" the worst parts of Obamacare while keeping the parts of the law that Americans support.

In this manner, Thiessen explains that while doing what is in their constituents’ immediate interest, Republicans are actually doing more harm than good. Helping constituents is undesirable, if the net effect is to make the health insurance law more user friendly. When the needs of their constituents are served, the revolution of the wingnuttariat is delayed. If the people are not angry they will not achieve class cultural consciousness. And without the class cultural consciousness of the Wingnuttariat, the creation of a free market paradise based on big business, bullets, banjos, and the bible (certain portions only) may never be achieved.

In Thiessen’s view, it would never be good to help Americans, at the expense of a greater good.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lessons in Wingnutology - Negotiating with the Terrorists or the Communists

Which is it - or perhaps is it neither?

Is negotiating with the GOP like negotiating with Terrorists or Communists or Worse if there could be such a thing?  

The Middle Class Tax Cuts are set to expire, yet the GOP is blocking an extension of a tax cut extension which will affect100% of all voters - in a bad economy. There is no compromise. According to the GOP, taxes must be permanently cut for Millionaires or no one else shall receive any. Those are the conditions. The Middle Class, in a sense, is a hostage, a bargaining chip, held for ransom.

Here is how one frustrated but sympathetic Lamestream Media Figure Puts it:
"[M]y problem with the Republican Party right now, including Paul, is that if you offered them 80-20, they say no. If you offered them 90-10, they'd say no. If you offered them 99-1 they'd say no. And that's because we've substituted governance for brokerism, for rigidity that Ronald Regan didn't have."
This is an interesting question. Are they like the Terrorists or perhaps the Communists? It has been discussed in length on the Blogosphere Here, Here, and Here. And it has also been dicussed Here with regards to Chairman Paul Ryan’s rejection (referred to above) of the Deficit Commission Report:
Ryan [A Wisconsin Republican], like many conservatives, prefers to reside in an alternate universe in which the Affordable Care Act is not a budget saver but a massive drain on the federal budget (like, say, the prescription drug entitlement he supported.) The Bowles-Simpson commission examined the issue and sensibly concluded that building up the cost-saving devices in the PPACA would save money, and tearing them down would cost money. Ryan can't accept that. You can negotiate with somebody who has different preferences than you do. But negotiating with somebody who inhabits a different reality is very difficult.
This is an astute observation but incomplete answer.

Ryan, a so-called deficit hawk, refuses to take a hawkish stance on reducing the deficit. Sure he’d have to compromise some, but why not if you could get a 75-25 split or better on deficit reduction? You are a deficit hawk after all – take it, it’d be rational, right? Yes in a reality based world, you’d have to take that offer. But we are not talking about the World as it is, but rather what it could be transformed into being.
The best answer, in my opinion lies with Andrew Sullivan’s observation of the obstructionist utopianism that infects so much of the GOP these days. Yes, this is closer to the point. Ryan and many Republicans are Right Wing Utopians or Wingnutopians to be more precise.

Utopians, like Ryan, seek to create an economic and cultural paradise based upon Free Market Fundamentalism, big business, bullets, bibles and banjos. This Utopia, which is to be the next stage of history, can only exist after the Wingnuttariat (Real Americans) obtains Class Cultural Consciousness and then casts off the Chains of Moderation (modern welfare state) creating a Perfected Society built on the natural laws of the Free Market and the aforementioned big business, bullets, bibles and banjos.
For Ryan, the decision to negotiate with a doomed regime, a regime about to be swept aside by revolutionary forces (as he may see it), is a practical question. If he believes that conditions are near for a counter-revolution, he has very little incentive to negotiate. In this instance a 75-25 split in his favor is counterproductive when the alternative is to wait for the revolutionary forces of the Free and Almighty Market to sweep away the current order making way for the Creation of Wingnutopia on Earth. When this occurs Ryan will receive 100% of his preferred objectives – so why not wait a little while longer. Q.E.D. Ryan’s conduct really is quite logical, when you look at it from his perspective.

Some may observer that Soviet Leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin faced a similar dilemma in 1919 during the Paris Peace Conference held after World War One. Faced with overtures from the Peace Conference, Lenin had to decide whether to negotiate with the doomed capitalist powers (as he saw them to be) concerning the post war world - to get what he could or play one capitalist off another, etc or to remain on the side lines and wait for the revolutionary forces of communism to sweep capitalism into the dust bin of history. If conditions for revolution were right, why negotiate. If conditions had yet to materialize, negotiation was a more attractive option. Eventually Lenin determined that the conditions for revolution were just not quite right yet (as was commonly the case in such debates from yesteryear) and he acted accordingly.

What many do not realize, is that this is the situation that Chairman Ryan and many Republicans see themselves in today. And many appear, Ryan included, to have made the decision that the Revolution of the Wingnuttariat is near. With this being the case, there is no need to negotiate on matters affecting the Free Market such as Taxation and Government Spending. The Revolutionary forces of the Market will settle those questions in due time – so why not wait a little longer.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

On Waterboarding and Wingnutology – Translating Wingnutspeak to English

Everyone knows that drowning and reviving and drowning and reviving a prisoner, ad infinitum, is torture. At least pretty much every American agreed that it was before pictures of Abu Ghraib hit the internet. After this occurred, all of a sudden Americans supporting the Political Party in Power reversed course and abandoned their opposition to torture, and instead offered an ignoble defense of the vile practice.

However, despite the passionate defense of Waterboarding, it is still hard to follow the logic behind the defense of Waterboarding by various GOP operatives. What follows is my attempt to interpret this Wingnutspeak into English. Here goes.

Presumably Right Wingers believe that the Government has the requisite expertise to administer the Waterboarding in a SAFE non-lethal manner. While Waterboarding is torture when committed by some (the goddamned commies for instance), it ain’t when we do it, according to these Wingers. Presumably this belief is based upon the superior expertise, procedures, and institutional knowledge of the US Government.

Accordingly, to waterboard somebody SAFELY, one would have to believe in the existence of a “Waterboarding Program.” Waterboarding on an ad hoc basis would not provide the consistency of results (information) desired by torture advocates. Therefore a formal “Waterboarding Program” would be required.

Such a “Waterboarding Program” would have to consist of at least the following:

  • A long and detailed written procedure describing the steps and “safeguards” involved during the waterboarding, i.e., a “Waterboarding Manual.”

  • Extensive training on “proper” waterboarding techniques contained in the “Waterboarding Manual.”

  • Independent quality reviews of the “Waterboarding Manual” and waterboarding in practice to ensure the written procedures in the “Waterboarding Manual” are being followed and do in fact work as designed.

  • Medical Monitoring in place during the Waterboarding to monitor the victim’s pulse and all vital signs to prevent heart attack or other stress induced conditions and be able to stabilize the Victim’s condition instantaneously.

  • Doctors on hand during the Waterboarding in case something goes wrong because you don't want too many people to die.

Further Right Wing Torture advocates must also believe that the Government can do all these things and still be able to effectively interrogate the victim so that he does not say whatever it is that he thinks he needs to say to stop the Waterboarding. And before the government waterboarded anyone, you must also believe that it has:

  • Stone Cold Actionable Intelligence that the alleged terrorist is in fact a dangerous terrorist with actionable information.

As to this last element of the Waterboarding program, one must believe that only dangerous known terrorists with actionable intelligence would be waterboarded. However, unfortunately prominent Right WIngers have been calling for a much more intensive use of waterboarding – extending the “Waterboarding Program” to suspected “terrorists” and known low-level terrorists without ticking time bomb intelligence. In this instance the “Waterboarding Program” would need to include:

  • A method to compensate those who were incorrectly suspected of terrorism and Waterboarded anyway.

It would seem that a believer in waterboarding must maintain a great deal of faith in all the elements of the "Waterboarding Program" to safeguard the life of the terrorist (or suspected terrorist) while avoiding the Constitution's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment and complying with international conventions against torture.

This faith in Government's ability to Waterboard People SAFELY is truly remarkable when you think about it. More so when you realize, that Right Wingers have absolutely no faith in the Government to merely administer the Clean Air Act much less implement Health Insurance Reform in this country without trampling of the Property Rights (to pollute at will or a mandate health insurance at a fair price for all) of the people. These Right Wingers (and other Waterboarding enthusiasts), however must have absolute faith in the Government and the Bureaucrats that make it function (in this situation) to accomplish all these things because we are talking about the most sacrosanct right – of liberty of self.

Anyway, when you hear a Right Winger state that Waterboarding isn’t torture if we do it – this is probably why.