September 28, 2009
10. You’re always telling people not to believe their lying eyes. What they call ‘facts’ or ‘proof’ is just an attempt to elicit a confession, to get you to give up the fight. You will never confess, never surrender! They will pry the truth from your cold, dead hands.
9. You love mankind, it’s people you can’t stand: especially when they try to be funny. Or worse, ironic. You know that ‘jokes’ are a subversive way of tearing down everything you believe in. Comedians used to be funny before you found the one true, pure way, but now they’re all subversive, propogandistic hacks.
8. You save money by boycotting everything – You shop along political lines, boycotting supermarkets, newspapers, and fruits and vegetables that offend your ideological sensibilities. You haven’t seen any movies for years. You don’t like music or art either, since most artists are deluded, self involved hypocritical puppets who can’t keep their wrongheaded opinions to themselves. Even the weatherman has an agenda.
7. You’re surrounded by frenemies – Your thoroughly vetted friends appear to be following the one, true way, but what are they really up to? They could be splitters, or ‘concern trolls’, operatives for the enemies, trying to gather evidence to destroy your reputation and discredit your movement. You never let down your guard – you keep your friends close and your enemies closer – especially the enemy of your enemy, who is your friend. And this all makes perfect sense to you.
6. You know that two wrongs make a right – Your enemies and their evil minions have done bad things, and that gives you the right to be badder. Why limit yourself to two wrongs? Many wrongs = even more rights. That’s what your enemies do, and it works for them!
5. No publicity is bad publicity: If all of your comrades jumped off of a bridge, would you jump too? Yes, if the media were there and if it would force people to get their heads out of the sand and fight the real fight! You’re willing to create any sock/paper mache puppet, compare anyone to Hitler or Osama bin Laden, carry any weapon and/or sign, shout any nonsense at the top of your lungs, trash anyone’s reputation or appear nude at any time or place just to make them see the truth. Which is out there.
4. You told them so! – Every tragic, disastrous, odd or mundane event is the fault of your enemies and therefore proof that you’ve been right all along. You never miss a chance to say “I told you so”. So why are they still not listening? Where is the outrage??
3. Cui bono? You know there are no sneak attacks, no accidents, no goof ups and no enemies other than your own. You never stop asking ‘who benefits?’ because you know it’s always THEM.
2. The Underpants gnomes were right! You firmly believe in the underpants gnome theory of political action:
A. make extreme statements and attack anyone who disagrees with you
Your plan should work – but you can never figure out what step B should be.
Anyone who has ever been politically involved in currently hyper-partisan political action has probably held one or two of the attitudes listed above. If you find yourself agreeing with most of these attitudes, and if you’re not being paid large sums of money for your ‘activism’, it’s probably best for your and everyone’s sanity to find something better to do with your free time.
If you are a highly paid political pundit, please don’t take it personally if I cross the street, turn off the tv and radio, never hit your website and cross the street to avoid you.
And now, last but definitely not least, the long-awaited number one sign that you may be the lunatic fringe…
1. You’ve organized a large-scale campaign to threaten someone’s life or livelihood because they said something that you don’t agree with.
This does not fall into the category of normal political lunacy. This is the kind of fringe behavior that demands immediate treatment and/or jail time – even if you are being paid to do it.
September 12, 2009
Ok, I’ve kind of abandoned this blog, and I probably shouldn’t just jump directly into a rant, but really, this Ralph Peters bit is just too egregious.
In Betraying our Dead Peters says:
Instead of acknowledging that radical Islam is the problem, we elected a president who blames America, whose idea of freedom is the right for women to suffer in silence behind a veil — and who counts among his mentors and friends those who damn our country or believe that our own government staged the tragedy of September 11, 2001.
No, Bush counts among his closest friends Saudi Prince Bandar, (Bandar Bush) whose wife contributed thousands of dollars to two of the 9/11 hijackers. According to later spin, she did this out of the goodness of her heart. She thought one of them had a cold or something.
And another one of Bush’s closest friends, James “fuck the Jews” Baker’s law firm helped the Saudis who sponsored the attacks from being sued by the victims’ families. The Saudis were able to weasel out of even the slightest wrist slapping through diplomatic immunity. That’s how the Republican government sought justice for the murder of thousands of Americans.
Ralph goes on…
Instead of confronting Saudi hate-mongers, our president bows down to the Saudi king.
Instead of recognizing the Saudi-sponsored Wahhabi cult as the core of the problem, our president blames Israel.
Excuse me Ralph, but when did President Bush ever recognize the Saudi sponsored Wahhabi cult as the core of the problem?
…and, instead of bowing to the Saudi king, Bush hugged and kissed him in Crawford, Texas. Meanwhile, back at the Wahhabi ranch, Saudi chief justice Sheik Saleh Al Luhaidan was appearing on Saudi TV, demanding that all young Saudi men go to Iraq to wage jihad against the Iraqis and the Americans. As a result of this (and as a result of King Abdullah’s quiet support of al Luhaidan) thousands of Americans and Iraqis were murdered by Saudi suicide bombers. (the majority of suicide bombers and foreign fighters in Iraq were Saudis)
How did Bush punish the Saudi king, or any Saudis, for their involvement in the war in Iraq? Was there any investigation? No.
Oh, and let’s not forget Bush’s coverup of certain pages from a congressional investigation into Saudi involvement in 9/11. The Bush-redacted section apparently laid out a money trail between Saudi Arabia and al Qaeda, including information about Omar al-Bayoumi, who gave financial assistance to 9-11 hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Midhar.
The American government’s toadying attitude towards the Saudis who carried out and celebrated the 9/11 attacks is left and right issue. That’s why I’m a ‘moderate’ in the red vs. blue war. Both sides are worthless, both sides are more interested in promoting their own interests (and in tearing down the ‘opposition’) than they are in improving the lives of any Americans. But at least the left is honest about the fact that they’re willing to kiss anyone’s butt in the interests of ‘diplomacy.’
The right likes to pretend its nose isn’t brown. To those on the right who have been singing ‘the left is letting the terrorists win’ song for years, please stop insulting our intelligence. You’re not fooling anyone.
August 19, 2009
I agree with him on many points – green tech is great, cleaning up the planet is a fantastic idea, but carbon credits? Bad idea
My study is NOT as a climatologist, but from a completely different prospective in which I am an expert.
Complex data from disparate sources can be processed and presented in very different ways, and to “prove” many different theories.
For decades, as a professional experimental test engineer, I have analyzed experimental data and watched others massage and present data. I became a cynic; My conclusion – “if someone is aggressively selling a technical product who’s merits are dependent on complex experimental data, he is likely lying”. That is true whether the product is an airplane or a Carbon Credit.
August 19, 2009
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A New Jersey blogger facing charges in two states for allegedly making threats against lawmakers and judges was trained by the FBI on how to be deliberately provocative, his attorney said Tuesday.
Hal Turner worked for the FBI from 2002 to 2007 as an “agent provocateur” and was taught by the agency “what he could say that wouldn’t be crossing the line,” defense attorney Michael Orozco said.
“His job was basically to publish information which would cause other parties to act in a manner which would lead to their arrest,” Orozco said.
Prosecutors have acknowledged that Turner was an informant who spied on radical right-wing organizations, but the defense has said Turner was not working for the FBI when he allegedly made threats against Connecticut legislators and wrote that three federal judges in Illinois deserved to die.
“But if you compare anything that he did say when he was operating, there was no difference. No difference whatsoever,” Orozco said.
Special Agent Ross Rice, a spokesman for the FBI in Chicago, said he would not comment on or even confirm Turner’s relationship with the FBI.
I’ve often assumed that local jihadi hatemongers like “The Islamic Thinkers Society” were informants for the FBI. The cops are always watching their protests, but they also protect them from New Yorkers who are justifiably angry about their jihadi rants.
The Feds seemed to tolerate Turner too, but apparently he went a bit too far. I wonder if they pay enough attention to the jihadis.
In any case, I wish they’d stop calling this idiot a blogger. He was more of a radio shock jock.
August 18, 2009
We are living in an age of catastrophic thinking. Our social and cultural discourse on any number of subjects—the environment, the economy, public health, technology—is defined by a vocabulary and a worldview that can only be described as apocalyptic. The world, we are constantly told, is in a state of mortal crisis, and unless we act fast enough to stop it, we are all facing disaster and oblivion. Everything, it seems, is swiftly accelerating toward a terrible end….
…While technology has almost ceased to be regarded as a means of engineering a better future for mankind, it has certainly not lost its capacity to terrify us. Scientific and medical breakthroughs that would once have inspired the human imagination are now routinely met with suspicion and even outright, unreasoning terror. A striking case of this occurred with the construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a massive particle accelerator built on the Swiss-French border. The scientific community greeted the event with unreserved enthusiasm. Indeed, many physicists claimed that the LHC would lead to major scientific breakthroughs that might grant them unprecedented insight into the origins of the cosmos. As the world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking explained,
“The LHC will increase the energy at which we can study particle interactions by a factor of four. According to present thinking, this should be enough to discover the Higgs particle, the particle that gives mass to all the other particles…. Their existence would be a key confirmation of string theory, and they could make up the mysterious dark matter that holds galaxies together. Whatever the LHC finds, or fails to find, the results will tell us a lot about the structure of the universe.”
A great many people, however, were convinced—or convinced themselves—that the LHC would, upon ignition, destroy the Earth. MSNBC correspondent Alan Boyle reported “fears that the experiment might create globe-gobbling black holes or never-before-seen strains of matter that would destroy the planet.” One opponent referred to the device as “a cosmological bomb billions of times more powerful than the atomic bomb.” The assurances of noted physicists that the LHC was perfectly safe did little to assuage the sense of dread, which spread through the media and quickly took on a life of its own…
…Certainly, fear of impending disaster is usually seen as a negative emotion. In fact, however, it has unquestionably positive aspects. First and perhaps foremost, it is exciting. In a world given over to comfort and entertainment, in which we are more and more interconnected while having less and less to say, fear provides a profound antidote to boredom and stasis. It motivates people and convinces them that their lives are important and meaningful. This is especially true if catastrophic thinking is combined—as it almost always is—with the belief that the disaster can be averted. All of today’s popular apocalyptic scenarios make the claim that if we act now, and above all act together, there is a chance of preventing the end. The task of prevention, in turn, provides a sense of purpose, however misguided it may be. Moreover, it gives people the feeling that they have power over their surroundings, that they can influence the world around them for the better through conscious action. In many ways, this bears a strong resemblance to the religious impulse, especially in its need to proselytize.
It also serves to ameliorate another universal source of distress: the sense of alienation that haunts the modern world. Indeed, Dr. Chan reflected this malaise when she spoke of potential disaster as “an opportunity for global solidarity.” As she correctly perceived, the fear of a worldwide calamity unites us by putting us all under the same threat and, thus, in the same boat. It provides a very real sense of global brotherhood and the feeling that one really is a part of all humanity. And, it must be said, this feeling is not entirely an illusion. People who join activist groups, political parties, and religious organizations usually do exhibit a communal spirit that is lacking in other aspects of their lives. Even in the face of calamity—perhaps especially so—comradeship can be forged between strangers. Indeed, apocalyptic trepidation may well be the only way that many people today can even conceive of a single destiny for all of mankind.
It is difficult, however, to be entirely sanguine about the phenomenon as it exists today. Panic is not only a cheap and somewhat dishonorable way of motivating people. It is also a dangerous one. Fear, especially irrational fear, can be easily harnessed for nefarious purposes, as the history of the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century amply demonstrates. People in the grip of apocalyptic terror are quite often willing to take extreme measures in order to prevent or even hasten the end they are certain is coming. The enthusiasm generated by catastrophic thinking can motivate people to do good, but it can just as easily give license to evil.
The most harmful aspect of all this, however, is that, while such thinking may bring us closer, in certain ways, to other people, it also fundamentally cuts us off from life. A life lived in fear, after all, is a wretched thing…
I wonder if this mass neurosis is responsible for the lunatic red vs. blue partisanship we’ve been seeing lately? Many Democrats and Republicans believe that when their side loses an election, it’s the end of the world as we know it. From 2000 ’till 2008, the left believed that Bush was a proto-Hitler. Now it’s Obama’s turn. Republican political pundits, who are paid to obsess about these things, can immediately predict the ripple of evil that will result from the continued existence of Democrats. Democrats do the same, encouraging a sectarian divide that makes Lebanon look united in comparison.
In any case, a quick look at Fox News or MSNBC confirms that living in fear is indeed a wretched thing.
August 16, 2009
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.. and he’s not going to take it anymore
But now we have to listen to self-appointed experts on airplanes frightening their seatmates about the profession I have practiced for more than 30 years. I’d had enough. I turned around and politely told the lecturer that he ought not believe everything he reads. He quieted and asked me what kind of farming I do. I told him, and when he asked if I used organic farming, I said no, and left it at that. I didn’t answer with the first thought that came to mind, which is simply this: I deal in the real world, not superstitions, and unless the consumer absolutely forces my hand, I am about as likely to adopt organic methods as the Wall Street Journal is to publish their next edition by setting the type by hand…
…Critics of “industrial farming” spend most of their time concerned with the processes by which food is raised. This is because the results of organic production are so, well, troublesome. With the subtraction of every “unnatural” additive, molds, fungus, and bugs increase. Since it is difficult to sell a religion with so many readily quantifiable bad results, the trusty family farmer has to be thrown into the breach, saving the whole organic movement by his saintly presence, chewing on his straw, plodding along, at one with his environment, his community, his neighborhood. Except that some of the largest farms in the country are organic—and are giant organizations dependent upon lots of hired stoop labor doing the most backbreaking of tasks in order to save the sensitive conscience of my fellow passenger the merest whiff of pesticide contamination. They do not spend much time talking about that at the Whole Foods store.
The most delicious irony is this: the parts of farming that are the most “industrial” are the most likely to be owned by the kind of family farmers that elicit such a positive response from the consumer. Corn farms are almost all owned and managed by small family farmers. But corn farmers salivate at the thought of one more biotech breakthrough, use vast amounts of energy to increase production, and raise large quantities of an indistinguishable commodity to sell to huge corporations that turn that corn into thousands of industrial products…