Friday, December 11, 2009

Lord Monckton

Love this guy and his many videos. The linked comment is far superior to the article he is responding to. The video is great and anyone that finds this to be damning evidence that he can't even debate a child clearly was unable to understand anything he was saying.

When I was in elementary school I was told by my teacher that if we didn't turn off the lights when we left the room that green house gases that reflected light away from the earth was going to cause the next ice age and everyone was going to freeze to death, but that it wasn't just us, we needed to tell everyone to turn off the lights and use less energy if we were to save the planet. It was scary, right up until I was told it was all still true, that the green house gases were making the planet hot, and we were all going to die because food would stop growing. The proof was that a glacier had broken somewhere and glaciers aren't supposed to break.

Why is it so "radical" or "extreme" to believe that we are all fine, the earth is fine, and people just need to calm the fuck down? Pollution is real and everyone can take responsibility for local pollution. But there is no global crisis that demands a world government to control the planets CO2 emissions. CO2? Really? There is more credibility to the Dihydrogen Monoxide crysis.

Pray for Obama

To me, the most terrifying thing Obama ever said was that the founding fathers / Constitution lacked the insight to empower the President / Federal Government to bring peace and equality to the American people. He doesn't just lack an understanding of the principles of limited government, but seems to measure the greatness of a country by the size of its bureaucracy. This also seems to be his practice. Not that I would set him too far aside from some past presidents, but he really brings attention to it like never before.

You say that he would never be a Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, or Mao, but for what we can look back upon as having been so terrible, they were not so greatly criticized while in power. Most of them achieved the level of power they did because they were beloved by their people, devoted to their ideology. To my understanding, the principle of conservative values is government should only be powerful enough to enable people to take responsibility for their own lives and collectively for each individual to protect their own private property. People can be rational when it comes to decisions that will affect their own lives because they alone bare the responsibility. When others are granted the power to make decisions for other people and their lives, it is only well intended without consequences for the decision maker. None of those "monsters" of history would be who they were if not for the idealists that empowered and enabled them. So I don't think it is a question of whether or not Obama is any of those people so much as whether or not he is being enabled and empowered by an ideology only all too similar of a history we were asked to "never forget".

(note: I will post a link to the video when I find it)

Monday, December 07, 2009

Stealing great titles: War is Peace (Too bad the author couldn't steal something else better)

I love crap like this about how our democracy is threatened by the free exercise of speech and the press. It is fun to compare pro censorship literature of the past 100 years to today and see how their tactics have improved, but always coming back to how people need to be protected from themselves, and from their own ignorance. The best part is that of course they are never talking about the reader; the reader is smart because they are reading their article. It is all those other people out there that don't read or can't understand the brilliance that is Lawrence M. Krauss that are the idiots out there we could help so much if they would just do what we say, and read what we write. After all, this is Scientific American.

My Health Care is fine. I like my doctor, and I don't think under any condition I will ever "like" hospitals (oh well). In my experience, government is just the biggest corporation around, and like many monopolies once powerful enough rarely needs to listen to the customer to keep conducting business as it pleases. Academia tells us that government is the voice of the people, but the reality of which person is being heard leaves a lot to be desired.

I think there is a lot that could be done to improve health care in the United States and the world for that matter. In my understanding of the bills as I have read them and listening to the range of opinions on specific issues, I do not like any of the proposals getting serious attention. I am very skeptical that this congress will be able to produce a decent bill. I would be more open minded if congress would at least begin by looking at some of the many social welfare programs and regulations concerning health care that have not been as effective as intended.

The fanaticism in this debate, as the author likes to put it, is the idea that something must hurriedly be passed, whatever it is. "Death Panel" is a buzz word no matter who says it that relates to actual fear (rational or otherwise) some can't easily dismiss, and controversies over how specific provisions of the various bill provisions will actually be interpreted and executed (no pun intended).

And if the scientific method as a whole is going to be brought into this debate, let us consider some principles of engineering. Great designs, in reality, are only as good as they can be explained. If a majority of people can not be more greatly persuaded by truth than by lies, maybe some of the burden lies on you to improve your documentation if not also the design itself. Blaming the reader, investor, or customer for simply not understanding your brilliance is a cop out. And if there really is an emergency, all the more reason for due diligence, not blind faith.

In response to some of the comments made by readers of the article:

"Where is the proof?"

I believe, at least, he is regurgitating quotes by right wing extremists have taken from Congressional Research Services Health Care Reform: An Introduction by Bob Lyke, April 2009 (, you know, the one and only AUTHORITY Congress uses to determine the cost and impact of bills. I would hope and am fairly certain that someone in congress uses other sources for information in the debate. But simply going by my understanding of the above article, if CRS says more people will be left without coverage, costs will go up, and there is no reason to believe quality will improve, should not we all just take them at their word? Despite the fact that I would agree with their position, I do not support centralization of information dispensation. It is worth pointing out, but no justification for censorship of less authoritative opposition.