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Christine Korenthal: Free speech on life support

Posted: May 23, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 23, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

I have watched helplessly in recent weeks and months with a growing sense of alarm, fearing that our generation is witnessing the death of one of the most vital pillars of liberty: the freedom of individual thought and the free exchange of ideas. While it’s true that the First Amendment only protects people from government reprisals for speaking freely, social media and mass media lynch mobs are just as much a danger in a free society as any oppressive government.

By selectively descending upon anyone who dares say anything that might offend any particular group of people and pounding relentlessly upon their name and reputation until they are rendered jobless and/or shunned by society, freedom of speech is no more free than it would be if the government were to throw them in prison or sentence perceived enemies of the state to exile.

It’s sad that in a free country, we can’t have an honest conversation anymore about anything that involves any individual, group, or issue that has protected status in our country, no matter how badly the conversation is needed.

People can’t ask common sense questions about the risks in changing longtime policies, casting away long held traditions, or the wisdom of state or federal power crushing local leadership and individual liberties with more laws and regulations without receiving a dreaded label of hater, racist, sexist, homophobe, bigot, American Taliban, and worse.

Even simple things like the names of fish such as the Asian carp, telling someone to “man up,” or college fundraisers for charity using fun wordplay like the Pi Phiesta aren’t safe from outrage and criticism in this day and age of endless politically correct newspeak. What used to be fodder for satire sites such as The Onion have now become serious stories distributed by the mainstream media, which reports them breathlessly non-stop, as though there is nothing more pressing going on in the country than one person’s statement revealing ignorance or an unpopular viewpoint or a handful of people offended over a relatively benign, completely accidental perceived slight of some kind.

Honestly, at what point did people become so thin skinned and easy to offend? Whatever happened to giving someone who said or did something seemingly insensitive or hurtful the benefit of the doubt that they weren’t deliberately attempting to harm or insult anyone? Is it too much to ask for to have a rational, honest conversation between political opponents, without the debate devolving into juvenile and inflammatory name calling, accusations of hating a particular group or engaging in a war on an entire caucus, or otherwise attempting to shame adversaries into silence using tactics and pejoratives better suited to a bully on a school playground?

The truth is, in a world of hypersensitivity to every possible comment, action, and viewpoint, saying anything at all becomes a risky proposition and it gets to the point that much of the joy, innovation, and personal expression is lost in the fool’s errand of trying in vain not to offend anyone, ever.

Being offended is unavoidable. Something somewhere always offends someone, but how one reacts to it is a choice. You can choose to scream and rail against someone who had the audacity to insult your sensibilities and demand that they be unemployed and shunned by society or you can simply choose to not take part, change the station/channel, vote accordingly, etc. It’s really that easy and if liberty is to survive, we must make the decision to resolve our differences in that manner and with some semblance of civility. Otherwise, some politician somewhere might get the idea that they can, in fact, ban “offensive” speech and receive popular support. Then we’ll all be in trouble and liberty will have truly gasped its last breath.

Christine Korenthal is a Santa Clarita resident.

 

Comments

ricketzz: Posted: May 23, 2014 6:44 a.m.

The bigots are finding out that what they do and say and think is not acceptable in the modern interconnected world. Just like it has always been in the proper worlds of business, government, education, etc., where being polite is pretty much required.

It wasn't just a "Phiesta", it was on a Mexican holiday that American breweries are trying to steal. Instead of getting all huffy and indignant, try to put yourself in the other guy's shoes. Would you like the clueless mocking your heritage?


BrianBaker: Posted: May 23, 2014 7:07 a.m.

Well, judging by ricketzz's opening comment, are we now going to have to repeat all the comments from Lunetta's column and my own LTE that were on the same subject?

As of right now, there are 226 comments on Lunetta's column, and 154 on my LTE.

We can just copy them in, or maybe stipulate to them. That way we don't have to waste time or energy just repeating the same old verbiage.

Let's face it. What new thing can possibly be said that hasn't already been covered in 380 comments, ricketzz's opener being a fine example of that redundancy.


17trillion: Posted: May 23, 2014 8:03 a.m.

I don't care anymore if I offend anybody. Being offended is just another way of saying I'm too stupid and too weak to ignore that which I find offensive. Naturally, my status as a white male gives me the advantage to feel the way I do.


CaptGene: Posted: May 23, 2014 8:14 a.m.

So stipulated BB.

The only thing to add is that ricketzz is a tool, anyone care to second that?


BrianBaker: Posted: May 23, 2014 8:17 a.m.

I second that emotion.


17trillion: Posted: May 23, 2014 8:44 a.m.

3rd


projalice11: Posted: May 23, 2014 9:12 a.m.

Quote:
Try to put yourself in the other guy's shoes. Would you like to be mocked about your heritage?"


BrianBaker: Posted: May 23, 2014 9:24 a.m.

Projalice, I'm a white conservative Christian guy.

Hell, I'm mocked ALL THE TIME.

I don't get my knickers in a knot about it.


OldReliable: Posted: May 23, 2014 10:04 a.m.

The proliferation of political correctness equates to the "Wimping of America".


PinkSister: Posted: May 23, 2014 10:13 a.m.

Feel free to be offensive. But don't expect zero consequences for it. Simple as that. Freedom isn't free.


BrianBaker: Posted: May 23, 2014 10:21 a.m.

"Feel free to be offensive. But don't expect zero consequences for it. Simple as that. Freedom isn't free."

Truer words were never spoken (or written).

Because the "perpetually offended" class will try to hunt you down like a crazed stalker in an effort to make your life miserable should you stray beyond the bounds of the Plantation Of Political Correctness!


BrianBaker: Posted: May 23, 2014 10:25 a.m.

And oh yeah...

"Freedom isn't free."

If freedom isn't "free", how can it be "freedom"? Isn't that an oxymoron?

That's the problem with lame leftist slogans; they never make any sense.


philellis: Posted: May 23, 2014 10:28 a.m.

We all know that the true liberals like ricketzz and WIndy only listen to or see that which they choose. If something doesn't fit into their viewpoints, it just doesn't exist.


CaptGene: Posted: May 23, 2014 10:30 a.m.

PinkSister: "Freedom isn't free"

You got that right Bucko,

"Freedom isn't free
It costs folks like you and me
And if we don't all chip in
We'll never pay that bill
Freedom isn't free
No, there's a hefty in' fee.
And if you don't throw in your buck 'o five
Who will?"

"Freedom Isn't Free"
Trey Parker Lyrics
Team America: World Police Soundtrack Movie, 2004

What a dork.


17trillion: Posted: May 23, 2014 10:36 a.m.

"But don't expect zero consequences for it."

Only if I choose to let you have any power over me, which I reject firmly. Thus, I will feel free to make fun of people of all colors, people of all genders, people who want to do all manner of strange things with their genitals and especially the perpetually aggrieved.


PinkSister: Posted: May 23, 2014 10:38 a.m.

yeah, they never make any sense until it's time for you to utter them. uh huh.


Lotus8: Posted: May 23, 2014 10:45 a.m.

Ricketzz: Are you so weak that the words of others can harm you? You question whether someone would like their heritage mocked. I'm part Irish (but 100% human). Do you see me going nuts about St. Patrick's Day, with everyone getting sloshed and wearing green? No, because it is fun. Maybe if we all just lightened up and had an ounce of self confidence, the words of others wouldn't harm us. As the author of this piece conveys, when did everyone become such pushovers that around every corner offense is found and taken?

If everyone quit with all of this "heritage" junk and just acted like human beings, the world would be a better place. It is the hanging on to heritage, religion, ethnicity, culture, tribalism, etc. as the ultimate support pillars of one's being that causes most of the conflict in the world. All of these things serve to segregate us from each other, not bring us together. It is behind every Hatfield and McCoy, any other religion and Muslim, Israeli and Palestinian, and thousands of other similar rivalries going on in the world today and throughout history.

Why do the people who claim the moral high ground on social matters always point out our differences rather than celebrate our similarities, which easily outweigh the differences? We have groups of legislators organized by skin type, we have social activism groups called "The Race." I just saw in the news today that a Muslim Pakistani man who recently moved to New York beat and killed his wife because she served him the wrong dinner. His defense is that this is acceptable in his home country and under his religion. The Catholic church hid child molesting priests because they didn't want the faithful to lose hope in the church, and wanted to protect their assets.

When we celebrate religion, heritage and culture as being who we are and make such things unassailable, what we are really doing is providing refuge for inhumane behavior. We all have worth simply as human beings. We need to stop with all of the categorization and just see each other through a more loving and understanding set of eyes. None of us are perfect. None.


BrianBaker: Posted: May 23, 2014 10:56 a.m.

I wrote: "That's the problem with lame leftist slogans; they never make any sense."


Then a few comments down PinkSister wrote (presumably in response): "yeah, they never make any sense until it's time for you to utter them. uh huh."


Hmmmm.....

What would give you the idea that I'd ever utter ANY kind of leftist slogan, particularly anything so inane?


philellis: Posted: May 23, 2014 1:09 p.m.

Lotus, don't worry about St. Patrick's Day - he wasn't even Irish.


Indy: Posted: May 23, 2014 3:09 p.m.

Lotus8 wrote: When we celebrate religion, heritage and culture as being who we are and make such things unassailable, what we are really doing is providing refuge for inhumane behavior. We all have worth simply as human beings. We need to stop with all of the categorization and just see each other through a more loving and understanding set of eyes. None of us are perfect. None.

Indy: Overall, I agree.

But we’re still going to use ‘labels’ if for no other reason to ‘categorize’ things . . . including political points of view.

As for ‘celebrating’ ‘religion, heritage, and culture’, I’m not sure that would be the word I would use.

Today, most of the harm being inflicted to people are from ‘ancient beliefs’ that no longer map or work in the ‘modern world’.

These ‘beliefs’ include religion, heritage, and cultural norms.

For me, religious beliefs are the most important since many who are ‘true blievers’ if you will can’t see beyond their religious beliefs, even ones that don’t work. But they ‘stand on them’ since they were told at a young age, their beliefs are ‘perfect’, are without reproach, and thus even today we see religious conservative in congress citing ‘biblical scripture’ to without food stamps from the poor, or deny the ‘working poor’ increases in the ‘minimum wage’ based on beliefs about ‘hard work’ that ignore the basic economics in play.

And as you noted with your example of a guy beating his wife to death, something ‘OK’ in ‘his’ culture, it should have been noted to this guy that he’s not living in his ‘nation’ but hopefully one that addressed the ‘cultural’ norms that disregard human dignity and liberty.

In any event, I used to be a bit upset since people like ‘Rush’ ‘bastardized’ the word ‘liberal’ . . . today, I use that term to describe myself including the new label ‘progressive’.

I likewise classify conservatives that wish to overstep the ‘separation of church and state’ and promote religious beliefs as part of public policy as ‘religious conservatives’ to separate other conservatives that argue policy apart from their ‘private and personal’ religious beliefs.

In any event, politics will never be a ‘clean’ system where people ‘rationally’ debate issues . . .


Indy: Posted: May 23, 2014 3:10 p.m.

Humans are far too emotional and in many cases, short sighted, not wanting to believe they don’t know everything . . . including coming to the realization that ‘religious beliefs’ aren’t perfect.

But I do agree that we should concentrate on the ‘things that unite us’ . . . but to some Americans, that simply won’t satisfy them . . . as we saw with Gingrich, the House Majority Leader who ‘proudly’ pronounced that ‘compromise is failure’. What type of a ‘leader’ in a government where the Founding Fathers encouraged ‘debate’ and resolution of our ‘common problems’ would say such a thing?

In any event, I have more trust in ‘common’ Americans than the more outspoken ones that inhabit a forum such as this . . . and feel that politicians of either party, that pander to ‘ignorance’ versus ‘educating’ the public, are the true problem today . . . and sadly, the media parades these ‘clowns’ around making them ‘celebrities’ when in fact, they are the most ignorant and without honor.


Indy: Posted: May 23, 2014 3:17 p.m.

Christine,

I think your goal of ‘the freedom of individual thought and the free exchange of ideas’ to be a good one.

Sadly, I don’t see this in our current politics that has become so ‘partisanized’, mainly for ‘funding reasons’, that much of what you wrote will not be realizable at least in the short run.

Americans seem to have to let things ‘crash’ before they wake up and do something.

In any event, ‘free speech’ will never be ‘painless’ . . . people will get offended as their deeply held beliefs are shown not to work.

One that that would help, however, is stop using ‘out of context’ remarks and not ‘distorting’ the discourse for political gain.

And the other major factor in all of this is the ‘media’ that likes the ‘if it bleeds it leads’ approach to ‘news’ where even here at the Signal, they print Op-eds from ‘flame throwers’ of either side that just throws more ‘gas’ on the partisan fires and solves nothing.

When the media realizes that the public is looking for more than just ‘infotainment’ based on political theater, we might get a more rational line of political discourse.

Anyway, I appreciate your intentions . . . and encourage you to promote same within your political party and those that say they represent same . . . I’m sure you know who they are . . .


ricketzz: Posted: May 24, 2014 7:00 a.m.

Somebody touched a nerve. Brian, who mocks white Christians besides Bill Maher? I noticed "American" was not included in your self-identity, above.


BrianBaker: Posted: May 24, 2014 8:17 a.m.

Ricketzz, Christianity is mocked regularly. All you have to do is read the news.

Remember the "bitter Americans, clinging to their guns, God and guitars"? Remember who said it? The ObaMessiah.

(I also left out the words "gun owning" AND I can play the guitar. OMG! Maybe I should edit my comment!)

How about the statue of Christ suspended in a jar of urine, or the Madonna made out of cow dung? Remember those? Those fabulous pieces of "art"?

How about the Dept of Homeland Security study that named some Christian groups as "potential terrorists"?

Want me to go on?



emheilbrun: Posted: May 24, 2014 8:27 a.m.

Indy writes, "Today, most of the harm being inflicted to people are from ‘ancient beliefs’ that no longer map or work in the ‘modern world’."

Really Indy? You mean ancient beliefs like the ten commmandments? Or Jesus' commandments to love your neighbor, love God, and love your enemy?


stevehw: Posted: May 24, 2014 9:31 a.m.

"How about the Dept of Homeland Security study that named some Christian groups as "potential terrorists"?"

Try not to play the victim card *too* much...the report was about *right-wing* groups, not Christian ones.

And it was correct, but because of political correctness and attacks from conservatives, it got pulled back.


CaptGene: Posted: May 24, 2014 10:13 a.m.

If you doubt that freedom of speech is under attack, talk to Dinesh D'Souza.


jmessina: Posted: May 24, 2014 12:17 p.m.

Great Piece Christine!, ignore the haters you cant change them, Christ said they would hate you for HIS sake... The thought police are out in force, but most are just hypocrites!


Indy: Posted: May 24, 2014 4:25 p.m.

Emheilbrun wrote: Indy writes, "Today, most of the harm being inflicted to people are from ‘ancient beliefs’ that no longer map or work in the ‘modern world’."

Really Indy? You mean ancient beliefs like the ten commmandments? Or Jesus' commandments to love your neighbor, love God, and love your enemy?

Indy: As expected, you take the ‘all or nothing’ approach and that’s really too bad . . .

We know that some biblical scripture no longer ‘works’ in the real world . . . but the ‘all or nothing’ approach you suggest allows religious conservatives to stubbornly hold on to some ‘beliefs’ that no longer work and now hurt people in the ‘modern world’.

Was that your point?

As far as ‘all’ of the 10C’s:

“I am the Lord thy God, ... Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images.”
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

Indy: These doesn’t apply to me . . . since I’m not a believer per se.

The rest of them are reasonable enough . . . but many such parables were developed by many people in many religions or not, and all have similar ideas.

For me, the key is that the US is a nation ‘under law’ not religion.


Indy: Posted: May 24, 2014 4:34 p.m.

Jmessina wrote: Great Piece Christine!, ignore the haters you cant change them, Christ said they would hate you for HIS sake... The thought police are out in force, but most are just hypocrites!

Indy: Interesting in a response to an Op-ed on ‘tolerance’ we get this from a Christian: ‘ignore the haters you cant change them’.

Most if not any folks that are ‘non-believers’ doesn’t ‘hate’ Christians . . . but that distortion is propagated by people like ‘you’. Criticize religious beliefs and your quickly termed a ‘hater’ by many outspoken religious conservative Christians as you did here.

You’re free to express, however, your thoughts and so forth but keep in mind, the Founding Fathers ‘separated church and state’ so any religious conservative can’t use ‘our’ government to promote their religion.

Unfortunately, as we saw recently with religious conservatives citing ‘biblical scripture’ in the House to deny poor people ‘food stamps’ by ignoring basic economics, no one stopped these religious conservatives from ‘arguing’ their beliefs . . . and indeed, the House passed the food stamp cuts to poor people.

In any event, criticizing that is not ‘hating’ . . . but attempting to deal with ‘economic reality’.

If you want to be taken seriously, you might try not practicing what you accuse others here . . . ‘hypocrisy’.

When religious conservatives expose their ‘private and personal’ religious beliefs in our political discourse, those beliefs are subject to debate. Free speech includes criticizing any ‘views’ religious or not.

I find this current attempt by religious conservatives crying about those Americans that challenge their beliefs in political discourse to be sadly ‘self-serving’ and without honor.


BrianBaker: Posted: May 24, 2014 5:25 p.m.

Sorry, steve. Look up the study, as I did, and you'll see it specifically names those groups as being "Christian".

DHS also named veterans (which I am) and people who believe in small government (which I do), as well as gun owners (me again!), as being "potential terrorists".

Kind of a broad brush, that seems to be trying to sweep up conservatives, essentially.

Looks like the IRS then got into the action... LOL!


And let me reassure you, steve. No victim card. This is the kind of foolishness I expect as SOP from the Left. Like I wrote earlier, I don't get my knickers in a knot about this stuff. It's expected.

HOWEVER, I won't pass up an opportunity to point out someone's hypocrisy, in this case projalice's and ricketzz's.


ricketzz: Posted: May 25, 2014 6:45 a.m.

You have to bring up Mapplethorpe and [urine] Christ to illustrate that Christians are persecuted?

Obama was spot on when describing the Scots and N. Irish who dominate rural thinking in the Eastern mountains. They were xenophobic and superstitious in Great Britain and they did not change when they emigrated here. Obama did not write "Deliverance".

I try to be careful to not assail people who live in Christ merely for being faithful. I assail stupidity cloaked as religion. I don't trust people who put the Bible above the Constitution or the Cross above the Flag.

Like it or not, most domestic terrorists are right wing military adjacent self proclaimed patriots. If you are a suspect I am too. I manage, one day at at time.


CaptGene: Posted: May 25, 2014 9:03 a.m.

Upon the motion of Capt. Gene, seconded by Mr. Baker, motion carried; ricketzz is a tool.


stevehw: Posted: May 25, 2014 10:27 a.m.

"Sorry, steve. Look up the study, as I did, and you'll see it specifically names those groups as being "Christian"."

There's ONE reference in the entire document...

"Antigovernment conspiracy theories and end-time prophecies could motivate extremist individuals and groups to stockpile food, ammunition and weapons. These teachings have also been linked with the radicalization of domestic extremist individuals and groups in the past, such as violent Christian identity organizations and extremist members of the militia movement."

Oooooooh...scary. They're calling Christians "extremists". Well, no, not really, but if you want to twist the words around to try and make that claim, have at it.

BTW, do you *deny* that there is such as thing as right-wing extremism, possibly (or even actually, in the past) capable of violence? Are we supposed to just pretend it doesn't exist, or ignore it? Is the government supposed to only look for *left-wing* extremism?


stevehw: Posted: May 25, 2014 10:34 a.m.

"DHS also named veterans (which I am) and people who believe in small government (which I do), as well as gun owners (me again!), as being "potential terrorists".

Kind of a broad brush, that seems to be trying to sweep up conservatives, essentially."

Nonsense. Why can't you at least honestly represent what the report said?

It didn't say "veterans", as if every vet (or even some large number of them) were suspected of becoming extremists. Here's what it said:

The willingness of a *****small percentage**** of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s...is being replicated today."

(emphasis added)

http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/rightwing.pdf, p. 7

Why didn't you tell the truth about what the report said?


BrianBaker: Posted: May 25, 2014 11:51 a.m.

Dude, try to spin it all you want, it's still exactly what I said it was.

Funny how you conveniently left out the part about people "who believe in small government", and also ignore the results of lumping groups of AMERICANS into such a broad categorization. "Potential terrorists"... nice.

There's a HUGE difference between ACTUAL terrorist groups -- of which we've seen the existence on BOTH ends of political spectrum -- and "POTENTIAL' terrorists. What the hell is a "potential" terrorist, and who gets to define that? Is that based on some more of someone's mind-reading ability? Is that some defining lefty characteristic, or what?

What if I said that all people who believe in paternalistic big government and who were secularists were "potential terrorists"? You guys would light all your collective hair on fire.

Further, we've seen the result of this kind of hyperbole acted out, in the national and state-level political discourse as well as right here in the columns, LTEs, and comment threads.

Horton, Kraut and Vignola all calling Repubs "Taliban; econo-terrorists; holding the economy hostage" and other inflammatory drivel like it.

Christian gun-owning veterans who believe in small government = "potential terrorists". I guess that means most of the Founding Fathers were "potential terrorists", too. And in the eyes of King George, they were "terrorists" in fact, I'd bet.

It's repugnant and un-American.


BrianBaker: Posted: May 25, 2014 11:58 a.m.

BTW, that report you linked isn't the only official document out there, and in fact isn't the one I read, though it makes some of same points.

Even that page you referenced supports my own contention, and you skipped over a whole BUNCH of other stuff in there that supports exactly my contention.

Further, that's a 2009 document, and the one I read was dated later, as I recall. Like to cherry-pick, do ya?

Anyway, I'm not going to waste time sitting here and parsing the language of a document. The points I made in my immediately-preceding comment are what count.
.
.
. --edited.


stevehw: Posted: May 26, 2014 10:38 p.m.

Oh, right...you're not going to "parse" a document, because if you were to do so, *it wouldn't support your assertions".

It's okay...I posted the link, and others can go read it for themselves and see that your statements are nothing but hyperbolic misrepresentations of what the document *actually said*.


ricketzz: Posted: May 26, 2014 6:55 a.m.

Terrorists are always right wing conservatives. When has a left leaning progressive blown anything up since Vietnam, when Bill Ayers blew up a latrine in the Pentagon? Jihadists are all religious conservatives. Tim McVey was a "patriot". The guys who blow up clinics and shoot doctors are all righties. The company that levelled West, Texas is Republican. The company that poisoned the drinking water for half a million West Virginians is Republican.

I am not, nor have I ever been a Democrat. I rarely vote for Democrats (only if there is no Green or Libertarian choice). Neither side of the Duopoly offers any real answers.


BrianBaker: Posted: May 26, 2014 7:08 a.m.

NOT the only document, steve. Look further, as I already said.

Jeeez, dude....


stevehw: Posted: May 26, 2014 10:05 a.m.

" the one I read was dated later, as I recall. "

So where is it? Did this document to which you refer specifically say that "Christian gun-owning veterans who love small government" are terrorists, or is that merely what you "recall"?

Just provide a link, so we can judge for ourselves whether you've practiced more of your exaggeration and misrepresentation or not.


tech: Posted: May 26, 2014 2:36 p.m.

"Terrorists are always right wing conservatives. When has a left leaning progressive blown anything up since Vietnam, when Bill Ayers blew up a latrine in the Pentagon?" - ricketzz

More of your poor research skills on parade, ricketzz.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/eco-terror2.htm


CaptGene: Posted: May 26, 2014 3:51 p.m.

Expect some top notch response from reeketzz like this:

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=why+ricketzz+thinks+he%27s+right


Indy: Posted: May 26, 2014 4:22 p.m.

BrianBaker wrote: What if I said that all people who believe in paternalistic big government . . .

Indy: Conservatives keep asserting that Americans want some ‘paternalistic big government’.

This if false and misleading . . .

The Founding Fathers created our government to help Americans manage their affairs.

Understandably, many conservative anarchist like this poster like to keep using this meaningless term ‘big government’ which generally revolves around the ‘tax issue’ . . .

In any event, to be repetitive, let’s see what the Founding Fathers wrote about our ‘government’s’ mission:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,[note 1] promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Do you see the ‘term’ big government in this? Nope . . . but we do see the ‘intent’ of the Founding Fathers.

We don’t collect any taxes unless they are ‘approved’ by ‘majority vote’. Today, Tea Party ideology based republicans want to govern by ‘minority rule’ . . . as their last 6 years or so of ‘obstructionism’ has played out in the House and Senate.

And now republicans are trying to use ‘voter suppression’ against minorities as well as gerrymandering ‘minorities’ out of the voting process as well.

So I advise caution when reading this poster as he used the ‘focus group tested’ slogans like ‘big government’ that is useless, meaningless and ignores the intent of those that died to create this nation.


tech: Posted: May 26, 2014 5:57 p.m.

"So I advise caution when reading this poster as he used the ‘focus group tested’ slogans like ‘big government’ that is useless, meaningless and ignores the intent of those that died to create this nation." - Indy

To be ignored as useless "left-right" polemics from the last century. Time to move on as this ideology dies out with its advocates.


ricketzz: Posted: May 27, 2014 6:32 a.m.

"Eco Terrorists" aren't real "terrorists". They are "vandals". I have done a little monkeywrenching myself, back in my reckless youth.

Using "small government" is quaint, until you realize the government has been assimilated by the forces of banking and commerce and religious zealotry, and is irreversibly corrupt from top to bottom. When the Federal Court is in on the con the only hope the People have is Revolution. The right libertarians and the left libertarians are uniting to force the nation to confront the corruption, before it's too late. "If you're not with us, you are the enemy." -George Walker Bush around the time the current AUMF was signed. The AUMF makes Nixon correct at last: "If the President does something, that makes it legal". Until this is undone Bin Ladin wins.


tech: Posted: May 27, 2014 8:34 a.m.

An amusing dodge, ricektzz. You'll have to excuse me for preferring the FBI definition and testimony. Your participation in such acts makes your objectivity rather questionable. The assertion that "Terrorists are always right wing conservatives", therefore, remains incorrect.

http://www.fbi.gov/news/testimony/the-threat-of-eco-terrorism


stevehw: Posted: May 27, 2014 9:26 a.m.

Guess Baker can't back up his ridiculous claims about DHS calling "christian gun-owning veterans terrorists". Looks like he's taken his toys and run home.


BrianBaker: Posted: May 27, 2014 10:25 a.m.

Steve, you've got to be the absolute laziest dude around.

I usually don't bother with your childish drivel like this, mainly because you carry on beyond the point of boredom, like now -- but I have some time this morning, so I think I'll actually help you out.

Here's just ONE of the various things out there that you're too lazy to look up:

http://www.start.umd.edu/sites/default/files/files/publications/research_briefs/LaFree_Bersani_HotSpotsOfUSTerrorism.pdf

In which they write: "Extreme Right-Wing: groups that believe that one’s personal and/or national 'way of life' is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent (for some the threat is from a specific
ethnic, racial, or religious group), and believe in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in paramilitary preparations and training or survivalism. Groups may also be fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation), anti-global, suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty, and believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty."

So, "Fiercly nationalistic" is defined as "opposed to universal and international in orientation"; "suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty" -- Oooohhh, terrible!; "... believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty" -- would the UN Arms Treaty be a "conspiracy theory"?; then you're a "potential terrorist".

Guess that would be me, and a whole lotta other people. But let's journey on, shall we?

"Religious: groups that seek to ... forcibly insert religion into the political sphere (e.g., those who seek to politicize religion, such as Christian Reconstructionists and Islamists)..."

Uh-oh... People exercising their First Amendment right to religion, in plain English. Christians.

Then: "Single Issue: groups or individuals that obsessively focus on very specific or narrowly-defined causes (e.g., anti-abortion...)"

Pro-lifers, in other words. A very mainstream group in the real world.

You even cherry-picked your own "source", leaving out some things:

"(U//FOUO) DHS/I&A assesses that the combination of environmental factors that echo the 1990s, including heightened interest in legislation for tighter firearms restrictions and returning military veterans, as well as several new trends, including an uncertain economy and a perceived rising influence of other countries, may be invigorating rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements. To the extent that these factors persist, rightwing extremism is likely to grow in strength."

Yeah, DAMN those "returning military veterans".

(Continued)


BrianBaker: Posted: May 27, 2014 10:25 a.m.

Like I said, I'm not going to waste my time or energy debating this nonsense or parsing it, ESPECIALLY as all you do is waste time editing what you even quote. This is just the usual lefty tactic that you guys reliably fall back on to bore people into no longer responding to you so that you can childishly get in the "last word" and claim your juvenile victory lap.

Well, lap away, bubba.


stevehw: Posted: May 27, 2014 11:03 a.m.

LOL...that's pretty funny, coming from the guy who claimed that some DHS report said

"Christian gun-owning veterans who believe in small government = "potential terrorists"

when in fact, neither the DHS report not this study did (which, yes, I did find and read, thank you...it doesn't support your claim, either).

The only mention of "christians" in the DHS study was about "Christian Identity" groups, which, if you did your research, ARE violent and racist.

But we get it...you don't think there are such things as right-wing terrorists, or that returning veterans ever have mental health problems that may cause them to become violent or join violent groups, etc. Because *they all think like you do*, and since you can never be wrong, well...neither can they. Christians, veterans, right-wingers...nope, none of THEM would ever be a terrorist or mass murderer. How DARE the government even mention *studying* the issue! It's an outrage! Obama is out to get veterans!

Do you ever listen to yourself when you get to defending the far right like this?


stevehw: Posted: May 27, 2014 11:08 a.m.

And here's some prefatory material from the author of the study you cited:

"The report is based on the key premise that the groups and individuals analyzed have actually carried out or attempted to carry out violent attacks in the United States for any political, social, religious, or economic goal. This is what qualifies them as terrorists, not their ideological orientation."

"...at no point has any START study defined persons "suspicious of centralized federal authority" and "reverent of individual liberty" as terrorists. Instead, we assigned ideological classifications only to groups that have already carried out completed or attempted terrorist attacks."


stevehw: Posted: May 27, 2014 11:12 a.m.

Your quotation:

Religious: groups that seek to ... forcibly insert religion into the political sphere (e.g., those who seek to politicize religion, such as Christian Reconstructionists and Islamists)..."

What the report actually said:

Religious: groups that seek to smite the purported enemies of God and other evildoers, impose strict religious tenets or laws on society (fundamentalists), forcibly insert religion into the political sphere (e.g., those who seek to politicize religion, such as Christian Reconstructionists and Islamists), and/or bring about Armageddon (apocalyptic millenarian cults; 2010: 17). For example, Jewish Direct Action, Mormon extremist, Jamaat-al-Fuqra, and Covenant, Sword and the Arm of the Lord (CSA) are included in this category.

I don't know about you, but I think people using violence to try to bring about Armageddon might just fall into anyone's reasonable definition of "terrorist", don't you?

Of course, you strategically edited the report to try to support your claim that the government (I'm sure in your mind it's "Obama") is out to "get" the peace-loving, freedom-worshipping "christian gun-owning veterans who believe in small government".


stevehw: Posted: May 27, 2014 11:13 a.m.

Again. You quoted:

"Single Issue: groups or individuals that obsessively focus on very specific or narrowly-defined causes (e.g., anti-abortion...)"

What the report ACTUALLY said:

"Single Issue: groups or individuals that obsessively focus on very specific or narrowly-defined causes (e.g., anti-abortion, anti-Catholic, anti-nuclear, anti-Castro). This category includes groups from all sides of the political spectrum."

A worse job of misrepresentation has rarely been seen. That's about as academically dishonest as one can get, short of outright making up quotes.


BrianBaker: Posted: May 27, 2014 11:18 a.m.

Hahahahahahaha!

As predicted.

Don't get winded. Keep yourself hydrated.


stevehw: Posted: May 27, 2014 11:49 a.m.

At least you don't dispute the assessment of your, ahem, character.


Indy: Posted: May 27, 2014 5:29 p.m.

BrianBaker wrote: Steve, you've got to be the absolute laziest dude around.

Indy: LOL . . . he provides his links more than most conservatives here by a huge margin . . . . try actually reading what he writes before sounding ignorant and uninformed.

BrianBaker wrote: I usually don't bother with your childish drivel like this, mainly because you carry on beyond the point of boredom, like now -- but I have some time this morning, so I think I'll actually help you out.

Indy: Yes, when you can’t rebuff the points . . . better to admit failure like you did here . . . I get it pal.

BrianBaker wrote: Here's just ONE of the various things out there that you're too lazy to look up:

http://www.start.umd.edu/sites/default/files/files/publications/research_briefs/LaFree_Bersani_HotSpotsOfUSTerrorism.pdf

In which they write: "Extreme Right-Wing: groups that believe that one’s personal and/or national 'way of life' is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent (for some the threat is from a specific ethnic, racial, or religious group), and believe in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in paramilitary preparations and training or survivalism. Groups may also be fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation), anti-global, suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty, and believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty."

Indy: Yep, you’ve got the white supremacy group militias down pat here . . . just utter the initials ‘UN’ and these folks yell out ‘lock and load’!!!!

BrianBaker wrote: So, "Fiercly nationalistic" is defined as "opposed to universal and international in orientation"; "suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty" -- Oooohhh, terrible!; "... believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty" -- would the UN Arms Treaty be a "conspiracy theory"?; then you're a "potential terrorist".

Indy: The biggest blunder by these groups is their ‘selective’ reading of the Constitution and the effort to ‘expand’ it beyond its original intent.

BrianBaker wrote: Guess that would be me, and a whole lotta other people. But let's journey on, shall we?

"Religious: groups that seek to ... forcibly insert religion into the political sphere (e.g., those who seek to politicize religion, such as Christian Reconstructionists and Islamists)..."

Uh-oh... People exercising their First Amendment right to religion, in plain English. Christians.

Indy: Nobody prohibits any religious believers from speaking their mind in the ‘public square’ . . . it’s just that you can’t use government to enforce your ‘private and personal’ religious beliefs . . . most of which are not reproducible. . .


Indy: Posted: May 27, 2014 5:32 p.m.

BrianBaker wrote: Then: "Single Issue: groups or individuals that obsessively focus on very specific or narrowly-defined causes (e.g., anti-abortion...)"

Pro-lifers, in other words. A very mainstream group in the real world.

Indy: I believe that very soon, the ‘pro-life’ movement is going to have to change their slogan to ‘pro-death’ . . . . since they fight against sex education and non-abortive family planning birth control that is going to slow down world population growth . . . hopefully so less than the 15,000 or so ‘humans’ that ‘starve’ or die from lack of ‘clean water and santitation’.

BrianBaker wrote: You even cherry-picked your own "source", leaving out some things:

"(U//FOUO) DHS/I&A assesses that the combination of environmental factors that echo the 1990s, including heightened interest in legislation for tighter firearms restrictions and returning military veterans, as well as several new trends, including an uncertain economy and a perceived rising influence of other countries, may be invigorating rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements. To the extent that these factors persist, rightwing extremism is likely to grow in strength."

Yeah, DAMN those "returning military veterans".

Indy: Yes, ignorance is our greatest enemy . . .


BrianBaker wrote: Like I said, I'm not going to waste my time or energy debating this nonsense or parsing it, ESPECIALLY as all you do is waste time editing what you even quote. This is just the usual lefty tactic that you guys reliably fall back on to bore people into no longer responding to you so that you can childishly get in the "last word" and claim your juvenile victory lap. Well, lap away, bubba.

Indy: Yes, it’s true . . . reciting conservative ideology positions that don’t work isn’t a productive use of your time . . . so we agree . . .


Indy: Posted: May 27, 2014 5:36 p.m.

Stevehw wrote: Of course, you (Brian Baker) strategically edited the report to try to support your claim that the government (I'm sure in your mind it's "Obama") is out to "get" the peace-loving, freedom-worshipping "christian gun-owning veterans who believe in small government".

Indy: Yes, he does the same thing with the Constitution . . . ignoring the parts he doesn’t like by not mentioning them . . .

I’m sure the opening three words of the 2nd Amendment (‘A well regulated’) sends this guy into convulsions . . .


Indy: Posted: May 27, 2014 5:40 p.m.

Stevehw wrote: Again. You (Brian Baker) quoted:

"Single Issue: groups or individuals that obsessively focus on very specific or narrowly-defined causes (e.g., anti-abortion...)"

What the report ACTUALLY said:

"Single Issue: groups or individuals that obsessively focus on very specific or narrowly-defined causes (e.g., anti-abortion, anti-Catholic, anti-nuclear, anti-Castro). This category includes groups from all sides of the political spectrum."

A worse job of misrepresentation has rarely been seen. That's about as academically dishonest as one can get, short of outright making up quotes.

Indy: It’s good to note in Brian’s defense that many conservatives here go to conservative websites that have already ‘cherry picked’ their quotes, phrases, and slogans, many of which have been either ‘altered’ or ‘cut’ in order to get the maximum political conservative bang for their buck . . .

As scary as this may seem . . . this guy may not even know that full texts of which you quoted.

But it appears he’s only interested in supporting conservative ideology positions even if they are based on incomplete information . . . that’s the read key here for the guest readers.

Be sure to check these ‘quotes’ out . . . and if the poster can’t provide the link, you can probably be sure it’s a conservative website that is full of such misrepresentations.

And to think conservatives like this want to lead us into the future on such tactics . . . that’s really frightening.


ricketzz: Posted: May 28, 2014 7:32 a.m.

"Eco-terrorism" is vandalism unless publicized. The fat cats see environmentalists as a threat to their future profitability and have loosed their FBI stooges upon them. Greens do not wish to instill fear in civilians.

The biggest threats to the ecology are of course extraction industries and mindless consumers who blindly buy any shiny bauble dangled in front of them. If anybody is Eco-terrorists it Amazon (ironic name) dot com, Big Oil and the mass media that makes you covet.

The thoroughly corrupt Supreme Court turned corporations into amoral alien beings with a series of puzzling decisions. The Corporation is the biggest terrorist organization of all. The Corporation is the Devil that made us start the war with Iran in 1953. The Corporation is why government has stopped serving the People. If Corporations are people [my friend] and they can outlive their founders they must be Vampires. Is driving a wooden stake an act of terrorism? Is moving a wooden stake (and a hundred others) 3 inches over an act of terrorism?

I take great solace in noting the righties have passed "conservative" in their rightward lurch and are now solidly in Mussolini territory. "Il Duce!"


Indy: Posted: May 28, 2014 12:58 p.m.

Ricketzz wrote: "Eco-terrorism" is vandalism unless publicized. The fat cats see environmentalists as a threat to their future profitability and have loosed their FBI stooges upon them. Greens do not wish to instill fear in civilians.

The biggest threats to the ecology are of course extraction industries and mindless consumers who blindly buy any shiny bauble dangled in front of them. If anybody is Eco-terrorists it Amazon (ironic name) dot com, Big Oil and the mass media that makes you covet.

Indy: If you wish to have a very readable discussion about the economy, environment, resources, and energy, pick up this book: The Unsustainable Future Of Our Economy, Energy, And Environment by Chris Martenson.

It’s a real eye opener on the resources and ecology issues that are dismissed by industrialist that seek ‘short run’ gains at the expense of our long run prosperity.

Chris also set up a website to support this: www.peakprosperity.com

I like Chris’s strategy in that he’s sees the issues as being ‘manageable’ but with consequences – many of which the public is unaware since our current leaders of both parties are unwilling to address them.

Until you hear the words ‘sustainable growth’, politicians including Obama promise ‘unlimited’ growth which is impossible on a ‘fixed rock in space’.


ricketzz: Posted: May 29, 2014 7:27 a.m.

Why is the idea that the party must some day be over so foreign to some people? The band has played all their tunes, twice. Anybody still standing can help us out a bunch by cleaning up the immediate area around them. This is for charity people!

A lot of things are on "life support" including life as we know it. The sooner we engage the more of us will live. It is that simple. You want "political correctness" stifling free speech; look no further than how the commercial newscasters ignore Global Warming.


CaptGene: Posted: May 29, 2014 11:48 a.m.

racketzz: "You want "political correctness" stifling free speech; look no further than how the commercial newscasters ignore Global Warming"

Can we all agree that racketzz lives in an alternate universe?


ricketzz: Posted: May 30, 2014 6:21 a.m.

[crickets]

You wish I am wrong. I wish I am wrong. Facts are facts. Insurance companies are suing the government for ignoring the problem; is that real enough?

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=insurance+sues+global+warming&t=lm


17trillion: Posted: May 30, 2014 8:36 a.m.

Ricketzz, you need help. Let me see if I have this correct. You are claiming that because somebody is suing somebody that makes it "facts are facts"? That is a bar that is set so low that only the gallactically ignorant can cite it as a basis of fact.

Here ya go ricketzz, more "facts are facts".

"In 1995, Robert Lee Brock sued himself for $5 million. He claimed that he had violated his own civil rights and religious beliefs by allowing himself to get drunk and commit crimes which landed him in the Indian Creek Correctional Center in Virginia, serving a 23 year sentence for grand larceny and breaking and entering. What could he possibly have to gain by suing himself? Since being in prison prevented him from having an income, he expected the state to pay. This case was thrown out."

This is right up your alley. Is it real enough for you?


CaptGene: Posted: May 30, 2014 10:03 a.m.

What always cracks me up about racketzz "evidence" to prove his point is that he provides a link to a page of search engine results instead of any specifics. Sloppy research followed by sloppy analysis.

It reminds me of this guy that posed two sides of an argument to Google, and whichever one got the most hits must be right.


tech: Posted: May 31, 2014 12:52 a.m.

Observers should note that Indy and ricketzz are neo-Malthusians that are suffering from collapse anxiety. Rather than being "progressive", they advocate retrograde "de-growth" policies. They are true believers in "peak everything".


ricketzz: Posted: May 31, 2014 8:27 a.m.

Not generic somebody suing somebody, insurers suing people responsible for infrastructure for ignoring reality regarding Global Warming. If you doubt there is danger search no further than the reinsurance industry's own statements.

http://www.swissre.com/rethinking/climate_and_natural_disaster_risk/


CaptGene: Posted: May 31, 2014 8:58 a.m.

You do realize you linked an insurance company's sales pitch as proof of AGW, don't you?


Indy: Posted: May 31, 2014 3:38 p.m.

Tech wrote: Observers should note that Indy and ricketzz are neo-Malthusians that are suffering from collapse anxiety. Rather than being "progressive", they advocate retrograde "de-growth" policies. They are true believers in "peak everything".

Indy: I can only suggest that guest readers ‘look beyond’ the ideology based remarks from a libertarian market fundamentalist that ignores reality and basic economic scarcity.

I’m currently completing reading: The Crash Course: The Unsustainable Future Of Our Economy, Energy, And Environment [Kindle Edition]
Chris Martenson

The author set up this website: http://www.peakprosperity.com/

When you see the ‘actual data’ the mumblings of the above poster go away quickly . . .

I found the sections on resources most informative and the author clearly indicates why we will be facing higher and higher resource costs as the resources that we’ve extracted first, were the easiest and of greatest concentration. Today, after almost a century of extraction many resources including many of the ‘rare earth minerals’ are nearing exhaustion . . .

In any event, knowledge is key here over ideology based assertions.

Finally, another excellent site is: http://www.worldwatch.org/

This organization publishes books each year entitled: State of the World.

The last several books starting in 2010 and forward, have been directed at sustainability:

State of the World 2014: Governing for Sustainability

State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible?

State of the World 2012: Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity

State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures

The reading in the above is OK for the layman . . .


tech: Posted: May 31, 2014 5:34 p.m.

Indy: I can only suggest that guest readers ‘look beyond’ the ideology based remarks from a libertarian market fundamentalist that ignores reality and basic economic scarcity.

In 1929, the economic historian Abbott Payson Usher wrote: “The limitations of resources are relative to the position of our knowledge and of our technique.” He continued, explaining that the perceived limits of available resources “recede as we advance, at rates that are proportionate to the advance in our knowledge.”

I suggest you look at empirical data vs. predictions of disaster. Examples:

We're Running Out of Oil…

In 1914, a US government agency, the Bureau of Mines, predicted that
world oil supplies would be depleted within ten years.

In 1939, the US Department of the Interior looked at the world's oil
reserves and predicted that global oil supplies would be fully depleted
in thirteen years.

In 1946, the US State Department predicted that America would be
facing an oil shortage in 20 years and that it would have no choice but
to rely on increased oil imports from the Middle East.

In 1951, the Interior Department said that global oil resources
would be depleted within thirteen years.

In 1972, the Club of Rome published The Limits To Growth, which
predicted that the world would be out of oil by 1992 and out of natural
gas by 1993.

In 1974, population scientist Paul Ehrlich and his wife, Anne, predicted
that "within the next quarter of a century mankind will be looking
elsewhere than in oil wells for its main source of energy.”

Reality check: in 1980, the world had about 683 billion barrels of
proved reserves. Between 1980 and 2011, residents of the planet consumed
about 800 billion barrels of oil. Yet in 2011, global proved oil
reserves stood at 1.6 trillion barrels, an increase of 130 percent over
the level recorded in 1980.

(cont.)


tech: Posted: May 31, 2014 5:35 p.m.

We're Also Running Out of Natural Gas…

In 1922, the US Coal Commission, an entity created by President Warren
Harding, warned that the output of [natural) gas has begun to
wane.

In 1956, M. King Hubbert, a Shell geophysicist who became famous
for his forecast known as Hubbert's Peak, predicted that gas production
in the United States would peak at about 38 billion cubic feet per day
in 1970.

In 1977, John O'Leary, the administrator of the Federal Energy Administration,
told Congress that “it must be assumed that domestic
natural gas supplies will continue to decline" and that the United
States should convert to other fuels just as rapidly as we can.

In 2003, Matthew Simmons, a Houston-based investment banker
for the energy industry who was among the leaders of the peak oil
crowd, predicted that natural gas supplies were about to falloff a
“cliff”.

In 2005, Lee Raymond, the famously combative former CEO of
ExxonMobil, declared that gas production has peaked in North America.

Reality check: in 2012, US natural gas production averaged 69 billion
cubic feet per day, a record, and a 33 percent increase over the levels
achieved in 2005, when Raymond claimed North American production
had peaked.

Excerpts From: Robert Bryce. “Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/VFtEV.l --edited.


Indy: Posted: May 31, 2014 7:28 p.m.

Most of what the poster wrote is antidotal to the issue or resources.

Libertarian market fundamentalist accept no limits . . . they have been told that ‘technology’ (think of the poster’s handle . . . ) will somehow ‘replace’ expiring resources with something else.

The only issue they contend with is prior economist have predicted shortages but based on the circumstances of their time.

Malthus was an economist back in the last 1700s that predicted problems with food shortage based on overpopulation that exhausted same. In his world of ‘horseback’ transportation, his observations were correct. Local exhaustion of resources let to starvation.

Today, we have expanded our ability to ‘move things around’ but nothing has increased the ‘fixed’ supply of things like fossil fuels which are ‘fixed’ in quantity and are being reduced through current consumption.

Thus, much of which the poster presented isn’t relevant ‘today’ and doesn’t address the over consumption.

Consider also that when Malthus was alive, there were perhaps 1 billion people on this ‘fixed rock in space’. Today there is more than 7 billion.

Today, as many as 30,000 people will die each day from lack of food, sanitization and clean water . . . that sadly bodes back to Malthus basic reality that too many people for limited resources create the starvation issue.

I’ve given reference to an excellent book that go through all the resources from energy to food to minerals that all are in decline and who extraction cost are rising due to the degraded nature of the resources.

I’ll do some searching on the author’s site and see if he’s made available the data.


tech: Posted: May 31, 2014 8:36 p.m.

The excerpt is fully cited, of course.

Thanks for confirming my commentary on the perspective of you and ricketzz, Indy. Fortunately, human progress won't be held back by the absurdly inaccurate predictions of neo-Malthusians.


tech: Posted: June 1, 2014 10:48 a.m.

"Today, we have expanded our ability to ‘move things around’ but nothing has increased the ‘fixed’ supply of things like fossil fuels which are ‘fixed’ in quantity and are being reduced through current consumption." - Indy

Here's the key principle, again:

In 1929, the economic historian Abbott Payson Usher wrote: “The limitations of resources are relative to the position of our knowledge and of our technique.” He continued, explaining that the perceived limits of available resources “recede as we advance, at rates that are proportionate to the advance in our knowledge.”


Indy: Posted: June 1, 2014 5:52 p.m.

Tech wrote: The excerpt is fully cited, of course.

Indy: Good to cite but doing so doesn’t infer accuracy.

Tech wrote: Thanks for confirming my commentary on the perspective of you and ricketzz, Indy. Fortunately, human progress won't be held back by the absurdly inaccurate predictions of neo-Malthusians.

Indy: The problem with libertarian ideologues like yourself is that you IGNORE the reality around you . . . stay married to ideology . . . and they ‘pat yourself on the back’! Priceless . . .

In any event, suggest guest readers take a look at the peak prosperity site . . . and definitely the Worldwatch books.

These organizations are not ‘politically’ focused . . .

In any event, Chris Martenson’s book addresses the type of ‘recap’ that Robert Bryce that sadly ignores that the ‘past’ isn’t going to look like the ‘future’.

We saw this during the Bush W administration where his neoclassical economists (some of those this poster has cited before . . .) on his Council of Economic Advisors, were predicting ‘growth’ in 2007 not a total financial collapse.

Why? They just look at ‘trending’ . . . from the past and doesn’t assess the foundation for ‘future growth’.

And Robert Bryce did the same thing . . . and suggest that “ Manhattan Institute senior fellow Bryce (Power Hungry) asserts that for centuries we have been making goods and services smaller, faster, lighter, denser, and cheaper, and that due to these innovations, we “never have so many lived so well.” But he poses the question: “Will we continue innovating, embracing technology, and getting richer, or will we listen to those who are advocating degrowth?”

Note: The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (renamed in 1981 from the International Center for Economic Policy Studies) is a conservative American think tank established in New York City in 1978 by Antony Fisher and William J. Casey. The organization describes its mission as to "develop and disseminate new ideas that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility". Its message is communicated through books, articles, interviews, speeches, op-eds, and through the institute's quarterly publication City Journal.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhattan_Institute

In any event, I just purchased this book and will read it as I finish Chris Martenson’s book . . . and I’ll report back as the discussion permits.


Indy: Posted: June 1, 2014 6:02 p.m.

Tech wrote: "Today, we have expanded our ability to ‘move things around’ but nothing has increased the ‘fixed’ supply of things like fossil fuels which are ‘fixed’ in quantity and are being reduced through current consumption." - Indy

Here's the key principle, again:

In 1929, the economic historian Abbott Payson Usher wrote: “The limitations of resources are relative to the position of our knowledge and of our technique.” He continued, explaining that the perceived limits of available resources “recede as we advance, at rates that are proportionate to the advance in our knowledge.”

Indy: One of the important factors we need to consider is beyond the ‘principle’ . . . but actually see the ‘data’ as it actually exists.

I’ll have more to present but consider that for the last 100 years, we have taken the ‘easiest’ stores of resources and now find that the one’s left are more costly.

We see this most easily in the extraction of oil that used to provide a EROEI (energy returned over energy invested) of 100 but now is around 8 . . .

This is similar to most other mineral ores that now require more energy to extract and more to process as the ‘quality’ of same falls (remember, easiest first, toughest last principle to use the poster’s context).

It’s unfortunate the ‘media’ doesn’t have the quality of reporters that can actually see the back story here versus just reciting the ‘press releases’.

Even the LA Times was grandstanding the recent gains in oil production noting that the US was going to ‘export more oil’ and be the ‘world’s leading producer’.

It’s true that the US will produce more this year than even Saudi Arabia . . . but the US only has about 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves, about 33 billion barrels while we use about 7 billion barrels each year. . . what 7 into 33? (http://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/crudeoilreserves/ )


Finally, another website that has a very good graphic for oil both production and discovery: http://www.planetforlife.com/oilcrisis/oilsituation.html

One reason I just brought Bryce’s book is to see if or how he addresses this oil reality . . .


ricketzz: Posted: June 2, 2014 7:29 a.m.

tech, which power source can best be called "unlimited"?

Fossil fuel (old sunlight)

Solar (present sunlight)

By definition, fossil fuel is finite. Every time the sun shines on my skin I am reminded that there is enough free nuclear energy hitting this rock from a nearby star to power a civilization.

Using a polluting local Stone Age technology (fire) to charge our lifestyles can't continue. We are trashing the weather now.


tech: Posted: June 2, 2014 10:51 a.m.

"tech, which power source can best be called "unlimited"?"

That can practically be deployed for baseline grid power? Nuclear. Future possibility? Hydrogen.

The problem with solar and wind is energy density. They require too much land in grid scale deployments.

I'm a proponent of solar dual land use. Solar energy is low density but when added to existing land use, i.e. a household/multi-family roof or our local school parking lots, it's a fiscally sound energy application.

I know I've mentioned it in other threads that I've had a solar generating facility on my home since 2012. It's been an excellent cost/benefit decision.


ricketzz: Posted: June 4, 2014 7:08 a.m.

The Grid is obsolete. Centralized power generation is too inefficient. If we can't power civilization on clean energy then civilization is too inefficient. We can get a long way toward rescuing the future by increasing our efficiency, starting with common sense things like reducing architectural lighting after Midnight, not lighting freeways (period), moving people closer to farms (or vice versa), etc. This effort is limited only by the imagination and the nay-sayers.


tech: Posted: June 4, 2014 4:43 p.m.

It's readily apparent that you've done little research in power generation and delivery, ricketzz.

To suggest that "clean energy", a euphemism for "renewables", could power any advanced economy by a high percentage or that we should return to an agrarian lifestyle of the 19th Century is ludicrously unrealistic.

You need to understand the concept of energy density.

Obviously, you support a de-growth policy that's entirely unacceptable. We need *more* cheap energy to fuel human adaptation ingenuity, not less.

What you advocate will *never* be adopted.


ricketzz: Posted: June 5, 2014 7:00 a.m.

The energy from the sun is better than cheap, it is free. Every existing steam power plant (except 1) uses polluting fuel and every day they operate is a day off the back end of our civilization.

What is "readily apparent" is that you lack the imagination and the courage to grasp the problem.

I am a proponent of high density housing, as envisioned by the late Paolo Soleiri. This is a radical utopian approach that could be tried in India or China.

Here in the USA, industrial operations and power plants (if necessary) should be co-located. Photovoltaics and methane digester/piped natgas fuel cells, big enough for a couple dozen homes, could be located in every neighborhood. Power and sewage treatment are disguised as a little park. All waste is captured and piped to central treatment. Water produced is used locally.

This is just one thing we can do that will create a bunch of jobs and be part of the solution. How many people does the coal industry employ?


ricketzz: Posted: June 5, 2014 7:44 a.m.

This is the architecture that makes sense going forward. All off the shelf; it's just a matter of scaling up, hiring people. I will not return any insults.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-keep-the-lights-on-after-a-superstorm/


tech: Posted: June 5, 2014 1:37 p.m.

"The energy from the sun is better than cheap, it is free." - ricketzz

No, it's not. The Ivanpah Solar Generating Facility cost upwards of $2.2B.

A giant solar-power project officially opening this week in the California desert is the first of its kind, and may be among the last, in part because of growing evidence that the technology it uses is killing birds.

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is scheduled to speak Thursday at an opening ceremony for the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station, which received a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee.

The $2.2 billion solar farm, which spans over five square miles of federal land southwest of Las Vegas, includes three towers as tall as 40-story buildings. Nearly 350,000 mirrors, each the size of a garage door, reflect sunlight onto boilers atop the towers, creating steam that drives power generators.

The owners of the project— NRG Energy Inc., NRG +1.14% Google Inc. GOOG +1.70% and BrightSource Energy Inc., the company that developed the "tower power" solar technology—call the plant a major feat of engineering that can light up about 140,000 homes a year.

Temperatures around the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System's towers can hit 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Zuma Press

Ivanpah is among the biggest in a spate of power-plant-sized solar projects that have begun operating in the past two years, spurred in part by a hefty investment tax credit that expires at the end of 2016. Most of them are in California, where state law requires utilities to use renewable sources for a third of the electricity they sell by 2020.

Utilities owned by PG&E Corp. and Edison International have agreed to buy electricity generated from the Ivanpah plant under 25-year contracts, according to NRG.

Utility-scale solar plants have come under fire for their costs–Ivanpah costs about four times as much as a conventional natural gas-fired plant but will produce far less electricity—and also for the amount of land they require.

That makes for expensive power. Experts have estimated that electricity from giant solar projects will cost at least twice as much as electricity from conventional sources. But neither the utilities that have contracted to buy the power nor state regulators have disclosed what the price will be, only that it will be passed on to electricity customers.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304703804579379230641329484


tech: Posted: June 5, 2014 1:39 p.m.

"I am a proponent of high density housing, as envisioned by the late Paolo Soleiri. This is a radical utopian approach that could be tried in India or China." - ricketzz

Why not here, with you as the 1st tenant/squatter?


ricketzz: Posted: June 6, 2014 6:57 a.m.

The energy from the sun is free. Nobody is paying a fuel surcharge. The plant, once built, will start paying for itself as soon as it comes online. We do not have to battle Jihadists (or Canadian First Peoples) for sunlight.

Arcology is a grand concept, probably a little too lofty for some people. Vertical cities are built to house 500,000 people or more in a single structure, leaving the earth for growing food, parks, etc. The models at Cosanti are breathtaking. When we start abandoning existing coastal cities we should maybe think about radical architecture, while we're at it. What do we have to lose?

Again, I must tell you that the current "economy" is probably not going to work without some tweaking. We are all going to have to rethink "money" and "priorities". This is like an asteroid heading straight for us, and we are tasked with deflecting it. I think something like global warming, that unites everybody on Earth, is just what humans needed; an existential threat that forces us to get along. Something that shows how petty wars and religion are, and how meaningless and powerless we really are, unless united to achieve lofty goals.

We have an epic task in front of us; shall we rise to the occasion or shirk in fear?


CaptGene: Posted: June 6, 2014 8:33 a.m.

http://americanthinker.com/2014/06/the_national_climate_assessment_nca_doubles_down_on_doom.html


tech: Posted: June 7, 2014 9:19 p.m.

"The energy from the sun is free. Nobody is paying a fuel surcharge. The plant, once built, will start paying for itself as soon as it comes online. We do not have to battle Jihadists (or Canadian First Peoples) for sunlight." - ricketzz

Risible. That plant will be funded by ratepayers at multiples of fossil fuel generation, mandated by state bureaucrats who care as little as you do about the less affluent who are fodder for utopian fantasies.

I'm escaping rate schemes with solar on my home now. But only because I'm affluent and have a high FICO score.

Nothing is free. You're simple if you believe otherwise.


ricketzz: Posted: June 7, 2014 6:46 a.m.

For someone who claims to support Libertarian principles to claim "Nothing is free" is to admit impotence.

That plant costs a fortune and by itself is an economic failure. But the next one won't cost half as much, etc. Do I need to explain economies of scale? As I have said, centralized generation is inefficient, but if all we are doing is boiling water the sun is the obvious choice, at least within a few hours of high noon, and doesn't add more to the inefficiency of the grid.

Are you taking any government incentives, or are you paying cash for your PV? Do you worry about hailstones? How about PV and a Methane Fuel Cell for at night? Disconnect Edison altogether?


ricketzz: Posted: June 7, 2014 6:58 a.m.

I don't use enough juice to qualify for subsidized panels but I am going DIY to take one room at a time off the grid, rewire house for 14Vdc. Keep the AC and the electric stove on shore power for the foreseeable future. If people would just make a kill switch for all the wall warts around their computers we'd save millions of barrels of oil.


tech: Posted: June 7, 2014 9:08 a.m.

"For someone who claims to support Libertarian principles to claim "Nothing is free" is to admit impotence." - ricketzz

With that statement, you reveal you have a non-reality based concept of free markets and exchange. No doubt you'll understand why I decline your economic advice. As you've now admitted, solar generated electrical power isn't free.

It's a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) and I don't own the equipment. My contract includes service and insurance.

Nice try on the subsidies angle.


ricketzz: Posted: June 8, 2014 6:48 a.m.

"Free Markets" don't exist, except in theory. If you don't believe me ask Milton Friedman. The markets are completely rigged and everyone knows it. The fact you constantly defend corrupt institutions is a red flag; you are still in a propaganda bubble.

More important than affluence and high FICO, re PPAs, is good Southern exposure. I congratulate you. For renewables to work they have to be cheaper, and they are. They have to provide net job gains and they do. As soon as we get the Fossil Fuel people to pay for their environmental destruction the superiority of renewables will be undeniable, even to the Faith Based Community.


tech: Posted: June 8, 2014 12:02 p.m.

"As soon as we get the Fossil Fuel people to pay for their environmental destruction…" - ricketzz

Translation: As soon as a CO2 (trace atmospheric gas) tax is imposed, one that will impact every facet of economic activity in an advanced economy, a defacto de-growth policy will be dictated to the masses by skyrocketing energy prices. This will entail energy use permits to obtain subsidies, packing into high density housing where the population can be controlled more readily, reproduction allocation, etc.

The politically connected elites, as always, will enjoy a rather different lifestyle.

We get the end game, ricketzz. That's why your dystopian future won't happen.


tech: Posted: June 9, 2014 1:11 p.m.

An example of this class of "thinking":

Obama's Thankfully 'Dictatorial' Approach to Climate Change

http://www.nationaljournal.com/domesticpolicy/obama-s-thankfully-dictatorial-approach-to-climate-change-20140606


Indy: Posted: June 9, 2014 6:15 p.m.

Tech wrote: "tech, which power source can best be called "unlimited"?"

That can practically be deployed for baseline grid power? Nuclear.

Indy: Here we are, what, some 60+ years from the first nuclear plant and no long term storage facility . . . does that sound like anyone either in the utility area or government is willing to properly ‘afford’ the cost of nuclear waste disposal that stays ‘hot’ thousands of years?

Tech wrote: Future possibility? Hydrogen.

Indy: Hydrogen will always have a EROEI less than 1 . . . compare to oil that is around 8 and used to be 100 when oil first discovered in the US.

Tech wrote: The problem with solar and wind is energy density. They require too much land in grid scale deployments.

Indy: No question that wind and solar will no way meet current energy being captured by fossil fuels . . . but fossil fuels are limited and as we see, burning them creates climate changes that are threatening human civilization.

Tech wrote: I'm a proponent of solar dual land use. Solar energy is low density but when added to existing land use, i.e. a household/multi-family roof or our local school parking lots, it's a fiscally sound energy application.

Indy: What’s puzzling to me is why our ‘leaders’ haven’t make solar panels mandatory on new residential construction . . .

Tech wrote: I know I've mentioned it in other threads that I've had a solar generating facility on my home since 2012. It's been an excellent cost/benefit decision.

Indy: Absolutely the way to go . . .


Indy: Posted: June 9, 2014 6:31 p.m.

Tech wrote: "As soon as we get the Fossil Fuel people to pay for their environmental destruction…" - ricketzz

Translation: As soon as a CO2 (trace atmospheric gas) tax is imposed, one that will impact every facet of economic activity in an advanced economy, a defacto de-growth policy will be dictated to the masses by skyrocketing energy prices. This will entail energy use permits to obtain subsidies, packing into high density housing where the population can be controlled more readily, reproduction allocation, etc.

Indy: Sadly, the fossil fuel industry has delayed our transition to sustainable energy sources.

This of course helps the poster’s position since the time and effort to go to renewables is much harder today that if we started decades ago.

Likewise, dismissing the effects of climate change is one reason the fossil fuel industry, like the tobacco industry decades ago, fought hard by distorting the evidence for short term corporate profits while creating the ‘de-growth’ scenario suggested by the poster.

In any event, the nation needs to address ‘sustainable growth’ to understand all the trade offs that we’re facing . . . simply ‘assuming’ the ‘free market’ will solve our problems is why we’re in them to begin with.


ricketzz: Posted: June 10, 2014 7:42 a.m.

There is a carbon exchange where a company's pollution is offset by rainforest preservation, etc.

Letting Big Oil spew harmful exhaust is the equivalent (more harmful actually) of letting raw sewage flow into a river. Since Big Oil (the most profitable business ever) refuses to self-police, refuses to abide by the laws of mere sovereign nations, and is a clear and present danger to civilization going forward, needs to be nationalized as part of the War on Terror.

Paolo Soleiri was advocating Arcology in the 1950s, way before "Agenda 21", (which was an outline for some seminars.) It's a fact that people believe absurd conspiracy theories more readily the farther people get removed from basic reality.

Sustainability first. Then growth.


tech: Posted: June 10, 2014 9:59 a.m.

"Sustainability first. Then growth." - ricketzz

Non sequitur. "Sustainability" is a euphemism for de-growth advocated by multinational "green" organizations that are collectively funded in the hundreds of millions annually. Their allies are rent seekers dependent on government subsidies. Only rich nation states with growing economies can afford responsible environmental policies.

Your conspiracy theories about "Big Oil" are amusing. Apple and Microsoft margins are far higher than the energy industry.


ricketzz: Posted: June 11, 2014 7:20 a.m.

Apple and Microsoft clean up after themselves. Oil executives think they are chosen by God to power civilization, and that they can do no wrong. Everything they say is a lie. Your conspiracy theory is a lie.

Sustainability means living in balance with the environment in a manner that doesn't require plunder or conquest. If we can't power civilization with cleaner energy going forward most, if not all, humans are goners.

You are defending greedy amoral corporations and condemning people trying to help with vile aspersions. You sir, are quite a mess. "Hung upside down" is how Buffalo Springfield put it.


tech: Posted: June 11, 2014 12:31 p.m.

"Since Big Oil (the most profitable business ever)…"

Incorrect and no admission when rebutted.

Your "vile aspersions" ad hominem is quite a revealing bit of projection. Why do you attack when your non-factual assertions are exposed?

Deep Green: Why De-Growth? An interview

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/deep-green-why-de-growth-an-interview/blog/35467/


ricketzz: Posted: June 12, 2014 6:58 a.m.

To ascribe bad intent to people who have dedicated their lives to saving your sorry butt would be unforgivable, but then again you know not what you derp. Growth past the point of sustainability is malignant growth that kills the host.


tech: Posted: June 12, 2014 10:40 a.m.

No one at Greenpeace, et al is "saving" me. Their values are inimical to my own and to anyone who supports individual freedom and self-determination. Like you, they wish to align themselves with the state to dictate how people live.


ricketzz: Posted: June 16, 2014 7:07 a.m.

You may be denser than I thought. Statelessness is the heart of Left Libertarianism. That's why we are sometimes referred to as "anarchists". Take the word apart. No hierarchy. Horizontal organization with distributed executive authority. Real democracy.

Greenpeace (and most people) you to stop wrecking the place for everybody. If you aren't with us you are with the petro-terrorists. Your self-awareness (or startling lack thereof) is not a factor.


tech: Posted: June 16, 2014 8:24 a.m.

"Greenpeace (and most people)…" - ricketzz

Nope. Just Greenpeace, et al and their fellow travelers.

Climate Change Not a Top Worry in U.S.
U.S. concerns with the quality of the environment dropped in 2014

http://www.gallup.com/poll/167843/climate-change-not-top-worry.aspx


ricketzz: Posted: June 24, 2014 6:30 a.m.

Tech junk may have higher margins but Big Oil has volume and a monopoly and a thousand accountant-attorneys to make it appear they run on razor thin margins and that they are basically providing a public service furnishing us with push-water. I know these people. They are smarter than anyone else and can mess you up in a dozen different ways you never heard of. They control the government, the armies, the media and most important Big Oil controls you. You, being the faithful servant of Big Oil, defend, Big Oil's honor like a true gentleman.

Do you really believe the "fellow travelers" nonsense? Do you really have no respect for your political foes? Who poisoned your Grape Nuts?


tech: Posted: June 24, 2014 10:14 a.m.

Your ad hominem attacks are amusing, ricketzz. Fellow travelers is a reference to rent-seeking cronyism that seeks to extract taxpayer subsidies.

Conspiracy theories about "Big Oil" are used to rationalize support for "Big Green". Greenpeace annual revenues amount to more than $400M and that doesn't account for other large environmental multinational NGOs.

Revenues of energy companies are far larger. However, they actually produce and deliver products we all use.

Greenpeace executive flies 250 miles to work
Environmental group campaigns to curb growth in air travel but defends paying a senior executive to commute 250 miles to work by plane

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/10920198/Greenpeace-executive-flies-250-miles-to-work.html

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” - Eric Hoffer



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