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-   -   God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury) (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=7028)

kezboard 09-12-2011 02:53 PM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
I think he's rounding up late 1989 to 1990, meaning that he's accusing liberals of being communists.

Sulla the Dictator 09-12-2011 03:04 PM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 225466)
By definition, likeminded groups don't argue about (their) first principles.

I think that this statement is illuminating.

Quote:

And, as you note, it's kind of pointless to argue with someone who disagrees with you about them.
Also illuminating. This is why the left conceives of political discourse as revolving around mockery rather than debating the issues of the day; it is "pointless" to argue over first principles.

Quote:

My only point was to demonstrate that Sulla is wrong in claiming that conservatives are arguing about first principles and liberals aren't. Conservatives are arguing about some liberal first principles (e.g., social safety net); they are NOT arguing about conservative first principles (e.g., the market is always right, lower taxes are always better).
You are incorrect. Kevin Williamson, for example, takes exception with Club for Growth attitudes towards people like Coburn. I recommend you read NRO more often to get a better idea of Conservative internal debates. Also, even liberals, even the most modest consumer of political news, notices that there are intense debates within the GOP about the future and scale of foreign intervention. There are also debates about federalism within the party; especially on social issues.

Democrats just seem to argue about how much they can get done without paying catastrophic political costs. They do not discuss the ethical issues of a 30 year use of entitlements in an age of modern medicine. They do not even cede the failures of the 1970s welfare state.

Sulla the Dictator 09-12-2011 03:08 PM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 225450)
But the bottom line on this thread is that people post stuff and draw conclusions that are inaccurate, and then even use sarcasm against those who get it right. It's been quite sickening in this forum, and in this thread you had an example of that.

I assume that you have never made an issue out of Michelle Bachmann saying she wanted people to be "Armed and dangerous" with information about global warming, and that you consider anyone who did use that phrase to attack her or suggest she's contributing to a "climate of hate" (Or whatever) to be a sickening partisan hack.

Sulla the Dictator 09-12-2011 03:16 PM

Re: Collective Madness
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 225461)

Ron Paul may be an idiot on economic matters, but I think his "isolationist fantasies" are preferable to the fantasies of G. W. Bush, which so far have added about 1 or 2? trillion dollars to the American national debt.

I wonder if you'll consider Ron Paul "to be an idiot" when the value of the neo-Franc is tied to bundles of useless Spanish paper. I suspect we'll find the Florians of the world taking hammer and chisel to the dome of Les Invalides. :p

laura 09-12-2011 03:35 PM

Re: Evolution theory has Gaps
 
Why did Glenn launch into this diatribe here?

One wonders if it is an attempt to rehabilitate John after his fawning over Behe. If it was, it was fairly effective. John was pretty reasonable throughout. It would have been nice to have had a further examination of how John feels about his misadventure, if he thinks it a misadventure.

stephanie 09-12-2011 03:38 PM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 225480)
I think that this statement is illuminating.

I think that you think so it either odd or, more likely, shows a very different use of "first principles" than I'm familiar with. (I think an incorrect use of the term, but whatever.)

But why keep talking in generalities? What "first principles" are debated on the right? What do you think are "first principles" that aren't debated on the left?*

Quote:

Also illuminating. This is why the left conceives of political discourse as revolving around mockery rather than debating the issues of the day; it is "pointless" to argue over first principles.
I think the first statement is rather ironic given the discourse on this site, but not worth debating. It adds nothing to the conversation. I will stipulate that I do not think political discourse revolves around mockery and from his contributions am certain miceelf also does not. We are the members of the "left" you are talking about this with.

However, by definition, a first principle is something that's not really arguable. It's your foundational assumption.

*Ah, I see you tried to give a couple. The Kevin Williamson/Club for Growth thing is too vague and I don't see how it implicates "first principles" even in the broader sense in which you are using the term, but feel free to elaborate.

As for the other:

Quote:

They do not discuss the ethical issues of a 30 year use of entitlements in an age of modern medicine. They do not even cede the failures of the 1970s welfare state.
First "cede" seems a different thing than "debate" -- if we "ceded" something, we wouldn't be debating it, we'd simply have changed our view (which is not a foundational assumption). Assuming for the sake of discussion that you meant that there's no dissent about the 1970s style welfare state, both of these are false, even in the rather biased way you phrased them.

Instead, there is a great deal of discussion on the left about how to deal with entitlements, and many believe that welfare reform was a good idea (I favored it at the time), because the way the welfare state was set up and in some cases continues to be set up is not effective at achieving the desired goals.

Ah, but with the acknowledgement of goals I move into the more fundamental critique -- views about how one structures entitlements or the number of years they should cover or the specifics of welfare delivery cannot be called first principles. They are pragmatic arguments.

The more fundamental principles --- on which I, like miceelf, see no particular disagreement nor any great benefit to having any -- is that we should have a safety net, that it was a good idea to provide for a government guarantee of retirement benefits and health care for seniors, and that poor kids (and their caretaking families, since there's no real alternative) should receive some form of support. Note: I still wouldn't call them first principles, but one could link them to first principles rather easily, I suspect. I'm not assuming the principles I'm thinking of wouldn't be shared by the right, but am no longer as certain that they would be as I was at one time.

ohreally 09-12-2011 03:43 PM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 225448)
If you want proof, just look at how intelligent people like commenters here, fail to use quote functions correctly in this forum and keep misquoting their interlocutors. ;) It's complex, man.


Touch'e :-)

miceelf 09-12-2011 03:44 PM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 225480)
You are incorrect. Kevin Williamson, for example, takes exception with Club for Growth attitudes towards people like Coburn. I recommend you read NRO more often to get a better idea of Conservative internal debates. Also, even liberals, even the most modest consumer of political news, notices that there are intense debates within the GOP about the future and scale of foreign intervention. There are also debates about federalism within the party; especially on social issues.

Democrats just seem to argue about how much they can get done without paying catastrophic political costs. They do not discuss the ethical issues of a 30 year use of entitlements in an age of modern medicine. They do not even cede the failures of the 1970s welfare state.

Right. Sure. I don't think any of the above are actually first principles, and you are also ignoring the internal debates among democrats about the welfare state. Remember that Clinton, mr welfare reform, was a democrat.

I have pointed out what I think are the republican first principles. Can you point me to the place where there is a debate among republicans about whether taxes should be raised, or about whether the market is the best solution to our problems.

Florian 09-12-2011 04:02 PM

Re: Collective Madness
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 225482)
I wonder if you'll consider Ron Paul "to be an idiot" when the value of the neo-Franc is tied to bundles of useless Spanish paper. I suspect we'll find the Florians of the world taking hammer and chisel to the dome of Les Invalides. :p

The euro is overvalued in relation to the dollar, and has been for some time. I hope it continues to plunge. Spain is irrelevant. Whatever happens, the florians of the world will profit

I expect that the dome of the Invalides will outlast tawdry Las Vegas by several centuries. That is where you "live," isn't it? :D

Starwatcher162536 09-12-2011 04:03 PM

Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.
 
Responding in no particular order;

Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 225359)
This why those who truly take an alarmist view of climate change will NOT see people like Perry as the biggest threat to their cause. They will see people who use climate change as a political issue to paint Republicans as idiots, anti-science, etc. as the biggest threat to their cause.

The implicit assumption above is that Conservatives would act reasonable, from the point of view of an Alarmist or Lukewarmer, in the absence of scorn from Liberals regarding Conservatives stance on Climate Change and other sustainability issues. I don't agree with this assumption. Nor do I agree that it is primarily alarmists and leftists that have made this a culture war issue. Finally; Depending on the relative likelihood one reasons for the Democrats gaining control of the House, Presidency, & a Filibuster proofed Senate and Conservatives acting reasonably in the absence of Liberal scorn, it can make sense for Alarmists and Lukewarmers, when proposing legislation regarding Climate Change, to use Climate Change as a bludgeon against Conservatives. Even at the expense of making Conservatives less reasonable.

You've stated before one reason you're skeptical is that the above strategy is being pursued. That if it was a serious problem people sincere in that there is a problem here would not use this aforementioned strategy. As I laid out above, this is not a good reason to be skeptical.

I don't agree with this strategy, but this doesn't make me skeptical of my interlocutors good-faith. I just don't want the prestige of science to be so linked to a few contentious fields.

Quote:

Glenns exposition on experts versus the masses is excellent. This depth of thinking is the reason I come to this site.
I found that whole section to be "meh". Both regarding my original post in this thread and also his point about the reliability of experts to groups that don't share those experts values. If a group doesn't like the findings of some experts that group doesn't get to opt out of that field and then question that group of experts based on that they don't have representation among the experts. Regardless, absent data, I'm not predisposed to admit that scientists are skewed towards Liberalism anyways.

Responding more specifically to your post once again ...

Quote:

I want to make a point that is a little bit beside the point Glenn was making, but I think it's still connected. The point he does make is excellent and I have no further comment on it except to say he is right on target. Except I think he is a little off when he juxtaposes the expert community against the masses. Actually, the masses respect experts and do not regard them with suspicion. The only people they regard with suspicion are those who come to them saying "I'm right, you're wrong, and I have the experts on my side".
I guess I don't see your point here. I don't see what's wrong with saying "I'm right, you're wrong, & I have the experts on my side.". Assuming the experts are on their side.

Getting into a conversation related to exactly what can be said about the weight of support amongst various groups for various things is potentially interesting. BadHatHarry seems to have been focusing on this lately, though perhaps she weights the perceived deficiencies in a particular study's importance to the overall question too highly. I myself haven't looked very closely at this issue. The wikipedia consensus post is, for now, good enough for me. Link found here.

Quote:

This is why Perry doesn't say "The experts (Scientists) are wrong about this". He knows this wouldn't fly with anyone. What he says is "We have some experts on our side as well". Thats all he needs. For the other side to say "But we have more experts on our side" only makes the experts on Perry's side more interesting, perhaps underdogs even. Everyone likes underdogs, particularly if they are perceived to be subject to unfair treatment by the refs in the MSM who act as if what they have to say doesn't matter.
As a matter of political analysis may be correct. On the matter of substance ...

Quote:

This dilemma is compounded when Perry and others are treated with contempt because they don't go with the 'consensus'. Americans may be stupid in some ways--but in some ways they aren't; they know those minority of scientists who aren't part of the consensus are experts as well. They figure if an expert can go against the consensus and still be an expert then surely a non-expert shouldn't feel any shame in doing so as well. To call them stupid is to call the experts on their side stupid -- and only an idiot would call an expert stupid instead of simply disagreeing with them. Particularly when the idiot calling the expert stupid is not themselves an expert.
... this is sophistry. Liberals, Conservatives, Alarmists, Self-Proclaimed Skeptics, Peakers, Cornucopians, Libertarians, & Authoritarians ... Almost none of these people take any experts side. They can't. They don't understand the disagreements between different experts. Nor can they judge the relative reliability of different experts. Enter; Consensus. The only real way for people who can't parse the relevant knowledge to weight the support for alternating hypothesis.

Some backstory and a point; Since the very beginning physicians when treating cancer have used a mixture of surgery and chemotherapy. A few decades ago the mixture pursued by most physicians when treating breast cancer was far more weighted towards surgery. Something called "radical mastectomy" was very popular. This is where the knife is viewed as the main treatment option. As time passed and knowledge accrued this treatment fell out of popularity. Imagine you or your wife has breast cancer and you get 20 oncologists opinions. 19 of them favor something called the "modified radical mastectomy" and a vigorous chemotherapy regiment. 1 of them, because of peculiarities specific to the patient opts for a radical mastectomy instead. What do you do?

These philosophical arguments against consensus itself are bunk. Totally so.

The only interesting question here is how society measures different groups of experts reliability, which it must do. Most people will probably say you if you have a group of Engineers telling you something, you probably should weight what they are telling you about something within their domain of expertise more then what a group of Economists are telling you about something within their domain of expertise. Most people will probably say you if you have a group of Economists telling you something, you probably should weight what they are telling you about something within their domain of expertise more then what a group of Astrologists are telling you about something within their domain of expertise. Where should Climatologists fall on this spectrum? This isn't an easy question.

Don Zeko 09-12-2011 05:27 PM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 225425)
This fixation on Krugman's effigy remarks seems to be pretty off topic to his politicized op ed today.

You mean this blog post, right? I suppose you're right that he's making a partisan point, but it's hardly hackery. In fact, it's absolutely correct. Looking back on 9/11, the ways in which we responded badly are almost as tragic as the attacks themselves. If someone had been able to put the dots together and keep those planes from hitting the towers, it wouldn't just have saved 3000 innocent lives. It would have meant no catastrophic invasion of Iraq, no torture in secret prisons, no ill-advised proxy wars in Somalia or Yemen. Maher Arar wouldn't have been kidnapped and tortured, Dilawar of Yakubi would not have been murdered....And on the less important but still significant side, it would also have meant no "noun, verb, 9/11" Rudy Guiliani, no Bernie Kerik nomination for Secretary of Homeland Security, and no sliming of triple-amputee veterans in Senate races...I could go on and on.

There's an open and shut case that 9/11 had a poisonous effect on our political culture and decision-making for several years afterward, and that a few cynics and ideologues led the charge with a flag in their hand and 9/11 on their lips. So it's downright hilarious to see the likes of Donald Rumsfeld get all hot and bothered about it now. To put it as politely as is appropriate, fuck him and the horse he rode in on.

whburgess 09-12-2011 06:45 PM

Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 (Post 225490)
The implicit assumption above is that Conservatives would act reasonable, from the point of view of an Alarmist or Lukewarmer, in the absence of scorn from Liberals regarding Conservatives stance on Climate Change and other sustainability issues. I don't agree with this assumption.

Ask yourself this question. Who is more likely to get climate change legislation passed in a closely divided congress, Mitt Romney or Barak Obama?

I think the answer is obviously Mitt Romney. Obama has largely been reduced to rhetoric on the issue, and he's had to tone that down because he's been on shaky political ground. Obama, in a decision completely his own has, for what seems to me political reasons, gone against, and infuriated, environmentalists on the recent smog standards issue. A President McCain, who does believe in AGW, would not have had to consider politics in this. A president McCain would have had much more leverage to pursue some sort of real action on AGW.

A good historical example is Clinton's welfare reform act--which a Republican could have never gotten passed because of the lack of trust toward Republicans on the issue.


Quote:

Nor do I agree that it is primarily alarmists and leftists that have made this a culture war issue.
Of course not. Right wingers are as guilty as leftists in this. This is how politics work. My point is that alarmists, to the degree that this is their primary concern, should be working hard to not be perceived as either left or right wing, Dem or Rep.

Quote:

Finally; Depending on the relative likelihood one reasons for the Democrats gaining control of the House, Presidency, & a Filibuster proofed Senate and Conservatives acting reasonably in the absence of Liberal scorn, it can make sense for Alarmists and Lukewarmers, when proposing legislation regarding Climate Change, to use Climate Change as a bludgeon against Conservatives. Even at the expense of making Conservatives less reasonable.
Even if, on rare occasion when a president is so unpopular that his successors party takes power, they exercise their power to pass something bitterly divisive, it can be overturned as soon as power shifts. Obamacare is a good example of this. If the economy continues to tank, Republicans will gain enough power to repeal it, and they will.

It seems common sense to me that the primary goal of the alarmist community would be not to ask, "How can we help make Dems a permanent majority?" , but the question is "How can we make the AGW cause non-political to the degree that issues like free market capitalism, law and order, safety net welfarism like medicare and SS, and hugely disproportionate military spending, have become non-political."?


Quote:

You've stated before one reason you're skeptical is that the above strategy is being pursued. That if it was a serious problem people sincere in that there is a problem here would not use this aforementioned strategy. As I laid out above, this is not a good reason to be skeptical.
I think many alarmists, who are well informed on the issue of AGW, are either not political thinkers or they are stupid if they pursue the strategy of allying with one party in hopes of helping to make that party a permanent majority. On the other hand, I do think a lot of lefties are less concerned with global warming then they are in having another partisan weapon in their arsenal.

Quote:

I found that whole section to be "meh". Both regarding my original post in this thread and also his point about the reliability of experts to groups that don't share those experts values. If a group doesn't like the findings of some experts that group doesn't get to opt out of that field and then question that group of experts based on that they don't have representation among the experts. Regardless, absent data, I'm not predisposed to admit that scientists are skewed towards Liberalism anyways.
I don't think scientists are predisposed toward liberalism either. Certainly science itself is not predisposed toward liberalism, and right wingers are as likely as lefties to believe that science supports their positions.

People believe their political views are based in reality. This is why they hold them. They also believe science is based in reality, whether they are left or right wingers. So when one side is giving the impression that scientists are liberals, the reaction is not, well ok then, science isn't based in reality. The reaction is that scientists are human and to the degree that they are liberal have let liberal politics corrupt either the practice or the presentation of their science. And equally important, there remain scientists who, being either conservative or non-political, have not allowed this to happen.

Quote:

I guess I don't see your point here. I don't see what's wrong with saying "I'm right, you're wrong, & I have the experts on my side.". Assuming the experts are on their side.
If this states the case accurately it is certainly not factually or morally wrong. Its just a very bad way to get anything done. This is human relations 101. If you want to get something done in a group, you can either divide and conquer or you can make most people in the group also feel ownership in your project. Our political system is not set up to make dividing and conquering easy; it is set up for building consensus.

Quote:


... this is sophistry. Liberals, Conservatives, Alarmists, Self-Proclaimed Skeptics, Peakers, Cornucopians, Libertarians, & Authoritarians ... Almost none of these people take any experts side. They can't. They don't understand the disagreements between different experts. Nor can they judge the relative reliability of different experts. Enter; Consensus. The only real way for people who can't parse the relevant knowledge to weight the support for alternating hypothesis.

Here I was describing what I believe to be peoples thought processes. You can call those thought processes whatever you like.

If you expect the body politic to be rational, you're simply expecting too much. If you are an alarmist on AGW, you're not going to wait around for everyone to get rational. You're going to start doing what you can to build a consensus on both sides by whatever means necessary.

Quote:

Some backstory and a point; Since the very beginning physicians when treating cancer have used a mixture of surgery and chemotherapy. A few decades ago the mixture pursued by most physicians when treating breast cancer was far more weighted towards surgery. Something called "radical mastectomy" was very popular. This is where the knife is viewed as the main treatment option. As time passed and knowledge accrued this treatment fell out of popularity. Imagine you or your wife has breast cancer and you get 20 oncologists opinions. 19 of them favor something called the "modified radical mastectomy" and a vigorous chemotherapy regiment. 1 of them, because of peculiarities specific to the patient opts for a radical mastectomy instead. What do you do?

These philosophical arguments against consensus itself are bunk. Totally so.

YOu are asking of course, what would most people do, not what would *I* do. I'm not sure what most people would do. Some people think the whole medical industry is involved in getting rich selling unneeded drugs and procedures and that the clerk down at the local vitamin store is more to be trusted. A lot of people are more easily convinced by persuasive words or personalities then a 'consensus', so if the one doctor is more charismatic in his presentation, his methods will be an easy choice for them. People cannot be depended on to employ the same rational methods for making decisions that you think they should.

Quote:

The only interesting question here is how society measures different groups of experts reliability, which it must do. Most people will probably say you if you have a group of Engineers telling you something, you probably should weight what they are telling you about something within their domain of expertise more then what a group of Economists are telling you about something within their domain of expertise. Most people will probably say you if you have a group of Economists telling you something, you probably should weight what they are telling you about something within their domain of expertise more then what a group of Astrologists are telling you about something within their domain of expertise. Where should Climatologists fall on this spectrum? This isn't an easy question.
My post, (and I think Glenn's comments) were not meant as a proscription for optimizing rational decision making. I'm talking about how people think, not how the should think. Anyone who wants and needs political action on an issue, will immediately drop the whole question of how people should think, and will ask how they actually do think.

Ocean 09-12-2011 07:58 PM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 225481)
I assume that you have never made an issue out of Michelle Bachmann saying she wanted people to be "Armed and dangerous" with information about global warming, and that you consider anyone who did use that phrase to attack her or suggest she's contributing to a "climate of hate" (Or whatever) to be a sickening partisan hack.

Sorry, but I missed that comment from Bachmann. I really don't listen much to her.

But to the general topic, there are degrees of hostility and of incitement to violence. The receptive or even captive audience also is relevant in terms of measuring the consequences. Is it the same to write an angry essay for in a librarians' board than giving an incendiary speech to a mob? Are you addressing a group of pacifists or an NRA delegation(with the premise that pro-gun advocates are more likely to own guns and perhaps more likely to use them)?

In the previous discussion on this topic I supported the idea that a general environment with repeated references to violence, references to carrying guns, targeting certain political figures, creating the impression of some illegitimate political process that would justify a revolt, and directed to a large number of people, is a climate of hate and it encourages violence. Who are going to be likely to take that violent speech to action? Well, most likely people who aren't balanced due to acute stress or mental illness or other individual pressures. Most people wouldn't resort to violence but some will.

So, without having to repeat an entire discussion I just wanted to make sure that we take in consideration degree of hatred in the rhetoric, and the audience to whom is it directed (small group or large numbers and how likely they may be to engage in violent acts).

Ocean 09-12-2011 08:24 PM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 225430)
How silly. I mean, I can't believe liberals actually believe this stuff when they say it. Andre Carson just claimed that the Tea Party Caucus wants to be hanging blacks from trees, and Democrat Union partisans marched through the streets of Madison claiming Scott Walker was Adolf Hitler.

Seriously man; to pretend that one side has some sort of monopoly on hyperbole is just ridiculous.

Also, I like how you imply some sort of "missing nuance" regarding GOP attitudes towards muslims (Ridiculous) and then just casually smear "Sunday schools" writ large. Christianity raises all sorts of dangerous terrorists....who work day jobs, have families, and instill fear by exercising their democratic rights. The horror.....the horror.....

Don't get too carried away with that line of thinking.

My comment was in response to badhat's extremely unpleasant and biased video.

The large majority of Christians, same as the majority of Muslims, are people like any of us, trying to make ends meet, have a decent life, raise their children, feed them and educate them the best they can, and hopefully do all that in a safe environment.

But the core of my comment had to do with the politics of fear. There are many fears that are promoted. You seem to say that there's symmetry. I say there is not. Can those tactics be conducted by both parties? Yes. But the asymmetry is quantitative. Fear is a powerful agent to mobilize people. I find by far more topics that engender fear in the right of the political spectrum than in the left. I guess that lacking an exact way of measuring you will say that's a question of perspective. I don't think it is.

Quote:

Willful ignorance being like the notion that electing a President will be the catalytic moment when the oceans stop rising and children start learning and love exists without the taint of Martian Republicans? And fear mongering being Tea Party Christianists seeking to hang blacks from trees, evidenced by the fact that they cut a measly $7 billion dollars from FY 2012?
No, that's not it.

Willful ignorance is when people take pride in their ignorance, they make fun of those who are more informed and more educated, insist that facts and opinions are the same, or that science-based knowledge of the physical world is the same as faith-based legend. That's what we were discussing as far as I know.

whburgess 09-12-2011 08:39 PM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Parallax (Post 225439)
Finally a non-economic issue to disagree about.


2. The people who attacked the WTC on 9/11 were evil and the US had to find them and kill them. Obama should be proud that was on his orders that Bin Laden is dead. This idea that they killed us, we killed them we are all killers is disgusting and masochistic. Again Glen can compare his views on this matter with the average American and see again why Liberals are doing badly.

Disgusting is exactly the right word for it.

I think the mentality that enables this type of thinking is a deep line of division between most Americans and the left. It's as apparent as it is incomprehensible to most Americans, for example, that only a leftist would find this an offensive reaction to the killing of OBL


Quote:

3. John says if US had not invaded Iraq Saddam would be still in power and Glen disputes that. If I recall correctly this was Bob's position in a diavlog with Mickey a while back. But since then the idea that Saddam might have fallen by now had US not attacked has been proven wrong. The most important lesson of Arab spring has been that if the army is willing to kill scores of innocent people the dictator will stay. And Qaddafi was a soft eccentric compared to Saddam when it came to brutality. Qaddafi did not commit any genocides, he did not start two major wars with his neighbors and he certainly never used actual WMDs on civilian population.
The idea that Iraqis could have achieved regime change in Iraq any time soon is ludicrous. I also believe that with the democracy agenda in Iraq, the US committed itself to a position that prevented Mubarak from even considering the type of action that could have quashed the 'Arab spring' in Egypt in its nascency.

History still has to play out the good, the bad, and the ugly, in the Arab spring. But I think any honest historian will give the democracy agenda and regime change in Iraq its critical historical role.

Peter Twieg 09-12-2011 09:26 PM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
It seems somewhat remiss of Glenn to not mention the fact that one reason why we don't have government make-work programs is because even left-wing economists would be reluctant to see that as an effective use of resources, at least compared to alternative stimulative measures such as payroll tax breaks. But maybe expert opinion really isn't worth very much..

graz 09-12-2011 10:19 PM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 225491)
You mean this blog post, right? I suppose you're right that he's making a partisan point, but it's hardly hackery. In fact, it's absolutely correct. Looking back on 9/11, the ways in which we responded badly are almost as tragic as the attacks themselves. If someone had been able to put the dots together and keep those planes from hitting the towers, it wouldn't just have saved 3000 innocent lives. It would have meant no catastrophic invasion of Iraq, no torture in secret prisons, no ill-advised proxy wars in Somalia or Yemen. Maher Arar wouldn't have been kidnapped and tortured, Dilawar of Yakubi would not have been murdered....And on the less important but still significant side, it would also have meant no "noun, verb, 9/11" Rudy Guiliani, no Bernie Kerik nomination for Secretary of Homeland Security, and no sliming of triple-amputee veterans in Senate races...I could go on and on.

There's an open and shut case that 9/11 had a poisonous effect on our political culture and decision-making for several years afterward, and that a few cynics and ideologues led the charge with a flag in their hand and 9/11 on their lips. So it's downright hilarious to see the likes of Donald Rumsfeld get all hot and bothered about it now. To put it as politely as is appropriate, fuck him and the horse he rode in on.

Indeed!

chiwhisoxx 09-12-2011 10:48 PM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 225491)
You mean this blog post, right? I suppose you're right that he's making a partisan point, but it's hardly hackery. In fact, it's absolutely correct. Looking back on 9/11, the ways in which we responded badly are almost as tragic as the attacks themselves. If someone had been able to put the dots together and keep those planes from hitting the towers, it wouldn't just have saved 3000 innocent lives. It would have meant no catastrophic invasion of Iraq, no torture in secret prisons, no ill-advised proxy wars in Somalia or Yemen. Maher Arar wouldn't have been kidnapped and tortured, Dilawar of Yakubi would not have been murdered....And on the less important but still significant side, it would also have meant no "noun, verb, 9/11" Rudy Guiliani, no Bernie Kerik nomination for Secretary of Homeland Security, and no sliming of triple-amputee veterans in Senate races...I could go on and on.

There's an open and shut case that 9/11 had a poisonous effect on our political culture and decision-making for several years afterward, and that a few cynics and ideologues led the charge with a flag in their hand and 9/11 on their lips. So it's downright hilarious to see the likes of Donald Rumsfeld get all hot and bothered about it now. To put it as politely as is appropriate, fuck him and the horse he rode in on.

it's sheer and utter hackery (as krugman is wont to do when he strays from the topics he actually knows things about) and I'm surprised that you're defending it. he says the atrocity "should have been a unifying event." by almost every bit of anecdotal evidence, it was absolutely was a unifying event. it obviously didn't last forever, but a few months of nationwide solidarity seems pretty damn good considering the fractured, isolated and cynical lives we lead in the modern united states. the phrase "cash in on the horror" is pretty horrifying in and of itself. talk about incompetence, talk about mismanagement, and talk about bad decisions. do all of that. it's part of health discourse. but when you start questioning motives to this extent, and imply things this sinister without any actual proof, that goes way too far.

going through the brass tacks of the post is actually pointless. the larger point is that nothing krugman says actually matters, at least in the context of september 11th. the point is that the 10th anniversary (more cliches incoming!) was supposed to simply be a day to honor and remember the people who lost their lives that day. krugman is complaining about the politicization of the event by politicizing it himself. if you can't disentangle the events of the day itself with the response and political fallout that ensued, then i'm sorry, but you're a fucking moron. krugman has said that everything in this post is something he's said before. I'm sure that's true. but it's not the fucking point. september 11th isn't the day to share those thoughts. if you really can't just spend 24 hours honoring the people who died and those who tried to save them without veering into politics, then I really don't know what to say. hand wave about donald rumself all you want. he's not the point, nothing he did is the point.

edit: ok, after reading this it was more heated than I intended. my main point: we should be able to separate 9/11 from the events following it.

Diane1976 09-12-2011 11:05 PM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Unit (Post 225395)
Glenn plays devil's advocate masterfully when it come to elitist hubris. But one thing seemed to unite both in this discussion, the idea that 'elites' and 'liberal' are somewhat synonymous. Actually, data shows that more education is correlated with a better appreciation for free-markets, free trade etc...

As an aside I was puzzled that Glenn was able to articulate skepticism for govt action when it comes to foreign policy, worrying about the war becoming permanent and the abuses on civil liberties becoming commonplace, and yet he cannot make the same argument when it comes to invoking temporary interventionism of the govt into the economy, with outright govt employment of million of unemployed. John asked Glenn directly what he thought about this "as an economist" expecting to hear Glenn's usual devil's advocate broadside on some policy's good intentions and instead what we got was Glenn saying that it's just politically unfeasible, so he never put his economist hat on, no exploration of unintended consequences here....

Most liberals I know appreciate free markets and free trade. They just don't follow free market ideology like a religion. Some attack free trade but I think they're wrong. They should be arguing for a fair distribution of the benefits, and for appropriate regulations.

I thought Glenn would address the question of the government directly creating employment from an economist's perspective too, but he didn't. He left us to assume he didn't see anything wrong with it, and focussed on the political objections.

Worrying about war becoming permanent or civil liberties abuses isn't inconsistent with expecting the government to take direct action to address unemployment, or whatever else, IMO. Neither Glenn, nor any liberals I know, are making the argument that all government involvement is always good, and the bigger the government the better. Libertarians are making the converse argument but they are usually consistent in arguing against aggressive war policies and civil liberties abuses as well as less government in every aspect. Those conservatives who latch onto the small government rhetoric and then simply starve the programs they don't like while expanding the ones they do, even while creating deficits, are the inconsistent.

Sulla the Dictator 09-12-2011 11:57 PM

Re: Collective Madness
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 225489)
The euro is overvalued in relation to the dollar, and has been for some time. I hope it continues to plunge. Spain is irrelevant. Whatever happens, the florians of the world will profit

Now that was spoken like a proper European technocrat. Presumably you've attended all the correct French private schools necessary to get you a berth on the lifeboats.

Quote:

I expect that the dome of the Invalides will outlast tawdry Las Vegas by several centuries. That is where you "live," isn't it? :D
Oh, I would certainly hope so. It is a fitting tribute to the Emperor. Unfortunately, I think that the rapacious hunger for gold in a post Southern European collapse might overwhelm your French addiction to aesthetics. :p

My town? Its name is writ in water. But of course, we're not stuck here. :p

whburgess 09-13-2011 12:21 AM

Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by popcorn_karate (Post 225468)
if we are not paying them for doing their job, then why doesn't every patriotic american get the exact same pay and benefits from their patriotism? socialism for all self-identified patriots? "we pay them because they need food..."

There is a substantial difference between simply being patriotic and actually serving in the military. I'm a little surprised that would have to be pointed out to anyone.

Quote:

why? you just said above that we don't have to subsidize preferential hiring. If service is about becoming a "first class citizen" that has all the opportunities while the dregs are left for the rest of the country, then yes, service will have been uncoupled from honor and patriotism.
Subsidizing the preferential hiring of combat vets does not make them a first class citizen, their service to their country did that; risking their lives in combat is what makes them first class citizens. This program would simply recognize their status and is another way we say 'Thanks'.

Recognizing that we can say thanks without doing this does not make doing it inappropriate.

eeeeeeeli 09-13-2011 12:39 AM

Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 225359)
Arrogant experts versus ignorant masses

This is some kind of 3 dimensional academic guilt thing.

The problem has nothing to do with experts. Quick, average voter - name five experts!

No, I think it's what John said, and goes back I don't know how far. I grew up with very hippy/liberal parents and the sense of antiauthoritarianism and anti-science was palpable. To this day, my mother is convinced diet soda causes cancer. But get this: she'll drink diet Hansens (old all-natural soda) made with splenda.

It's completely cultural and reactionary. You either understand and respect the scientific process or you don't. You realize that peer-reviewed consensus isn't law, but it is as good as it gets, unless you have the expert chops yourself to disprove it. Otherwise you're out there blowing in the wind with whatever the latest charismatic pundit is peddling to your ideological fashion.

John is right: in a modern civilization you simply can't know everything. Most of us aren't experts in much, let alone anything at all. But when culture ties itself to something that is at all an empirical question, accepting uneasy truths can feel awfully disconcerting.

Who knows where this fragility comes from. Maybe the angst of modern life. Maybe the increasing feeling that life is just too complicated. I wonder if there hasn't been a grand totaling of sixties counterculture (the "man") and rural American malaise ("real" Americans) that's essentially become a rot at the core of institutional trust and objectivity.

whburgess 09-13-2011 01:08 AM

Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli (Post 225505)
This is some kind of 3 dimensional academic guilt thing.

The problem has nothing to do with experts. Quick, average voter - name five experts!

No, I think it's what John said, and goes back I don't know how far. I grew up with very hippy/liberal parents and the sense of antiauthoritarianism and anti-science was palpable. To this day, my mother is convinced diet soda causes cancer. But get this: she'll drink diet Hansens (old all-natural soda) made with splenda.

It's completely cultural and reactionary. You either understand and respect the scientific process or you don't. You realize that peer-reviewed consensus isn't law, but it is as good as it gets, unless you have the expert chops yourself to disprove it. Otherwise you're out there blowing in the wind with whatever the latest charismatic pundit is peddling to your ideological fashion.

John is right: in a modern civilization you simply can't know everything. Most of us aren't experts in much, let alone anything at all. But when culture ties itself to something that is at all an empirical question, accepting uneasy truths can feel awfully disconcerting.

Who knows where this fragility comes from. Maybe the angst of modern life. Maybe the increasing feeling that life is just too complicated. I wonder if there hasn't been a grand totaling of sixties counterculture (the "man") and rural American malaise ("real" Americans) that's essentially become a rot at the core of institutional trust and objectivity.

I think you've isolated a very real phenomena both on left and right side of the spectrum. A paranoia that authorities can't be trusted. I think your mother fits my description, she thinks she has a correct version of the science. I'd bet she thinks there are honest scientists out there who have studied the issue and know that diet soda causes cancer and that those scientists who disagree either haven't studied the issue closely enough or are in the tank for Coca Cola. So it isn't scientists as such that she distrusts, it is corrupt scientists, corrupt authorities, and corrupt media who are distrusted.

A certain level of skepticism regarding the authorities and conventional wisdom is a good thing, but too much of it can lead to paranoia. There is a broad spectrum from such skepticism to paranoia that exists on the left, with genetically modified foods, for example, and on the right with AGW. I think to the degree that there are respected, articulate, intelligent, experts in the field who hold a minority view, the less you can ascribe paranoia to the non-experts who hold them forth as supporting their own view, or accuse them of not believing in experts.

Believing in 2% of qualified experts, recognized as such by their peers, as opposed to 98% of them does not make one less of a believer in experts. Does it?

Don Zeko 09-13-2011 01:13 AM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx (Post 225501)
it's sheer and utter hackery (as krugman is wont to do when he strays from the topics he actually knows things about) and I'm surprised that you're defending it. he says the atrocity "should have been a unifying event." by almost every bit of anecdotal evidence, it was absolutely was a unifying event. it obviously didn't last forever, but a few months of nationwide solidarity seems pretty damn good considering the fractured, isolated and cynical lives we lead in the modern united states.

You must be defining hackery differently that I am, in that as far as I can tell Krugman is guilty of having a strong opinion and expressing it at a time that you don't approve of and very little else. And while the average American may well have found 9/11 to be unifying, many of the most horrifying and damaging decisions of Bush's first term were being made before the rubble stopped smoking.

If I had to define it, I'd say that "hackery" refers to intellectual dishonesty in service of a partisan or ideological end. Where is that in Krugman's post? If you disagree with my definition, then define it yourself. I'm getting that you disagree with the point Krugman's making, or perhaps the manner in which he's making it. That doesn't make him a hack, it makes him someone who disagrees with you.

Quote:

Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx (Post 225501)
the phrase "cash in on the horror" is pretty horrifying in and of itself. talk about incompetence, talk about mismanagement, and talk about bad decisions. do all of that. it's part of health discourse. but when you start questioning motives to this extent, and imply things this sinister without any actual proof, that goes way too far.

Come on now, are you really going to argue that no bad faith was at work anywhere in Bush's Administration, in Guiliani's promotion of Bernie Kerik, or in Guiliani's attempt to convert his 9/11 fame into a presidential bid? That none of the folks in the Office of Special Plans were using the attacks to advance their pre-existing goal of invading Iraq? That Karl Rove didn't make a career out of exploiting fears of terrorism? Just because a general indictment of every Republican (which Krugman isn't making) would be outrageous doesn't mean that what Krugman's describing didn't happen in some quarters.

Quote:

Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx (Post 225501)
going through the brass tacks of the post is actually pointless. the larger point is that nothing krugman says actually matters, at least in the context of september 11th. the point is that the 10th anniversary (more cliches incoming!) was supposed to simply be a day to honor and remember the people who lost their lives that day. krugman is complaining about the politicization of the event by politicizing it himself. if you can't disentangle the events of the day itself with the response and political fallout that ensued, then i'm sorry, but you're a fucking moron. krugman has said that everything in this post is something he's said before. I'm sure that's true. but it's not the fucking point. september 11th isn't the day to share those thoughts. if you really can't just spend 24 hours honoring the people who died and those who tried to save them without veering into politics, then I really don't know what to say. hand wave about donald rumself all you want. he's not the point, nothing he did is the point.

edit: ok, after reading this it was more heated than I intended. my main point: we should be able to separate 9/11 from the events following it.

Why should our remembrance of 9/11 ignore its effect upon what came after? Is that a normal way to remember what comes before? Do we not mention the conduct of the World War II when we remember Pearl Harbor? Would you expect a monument at Fort Sumpter not to mention abolition? How our leaders responded to 9/11 is absolutely a part of the story, and the only reason I can think to minimize that is a desire to paper over the ugly but true parts of that history.

Unit 09-13-2011 01:16 AM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Diane1976 (Post 225502)
Most liberals I know appreciate free markets and free trade. They just don't follow free market ideology like a religion. Some attack free trade but I think they're wrong. They should be arguing for a fair distribution of the benefits, and for appropriate regulations.

Sure. As I said appreciation for free-markets is correlated with the degree of education.

Quote:

I thought Glenn would address the question of the government directly creating employment from an economist's perspective too, but he didn't. He left us to assume he didn't see anything wrong with it, and focussed on the political objections.
Maybe the back-and-forth was too fast and it just didn't occur to him that that was the question.

Quote:

Worrying about war becoming permanent or civil liberties abuses isn't inconsistent with expecting the government to take direct action to address unemployment, or whatever else, IMO.
I'm just saying it's inconsistent with *not worrying* about govt encroachment into free-market practices becoming permanent or affecting other liberties.

Quote:

Neither Glenn, nor any liberals I know, are making the argument that all government involvement is always good, and the bigger the government the better. Libertarians are making the converse argument but they are usually consistent in arguing against aggressive war policies and civil liberties abuses as well as less government in every aspect. Those conservatives who latch onto the small government rhetoric and then simply starve the programs they don't like while expanding the ones they do, even while creating deficits, are the inconsistent.
Agreed.

Sulla the Dictator 09-13-2011 03:21 AM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 225488)
Right. Sure. I don't think any of the above are actually first principles,

Hold on a second. The Republican party has been hawkish for longer than it has been a vocal defender of markets and business; it has been hawkish for much longer than it has been supply side.

So would you please explain how Eisenhower-Nixon-Reagan-Bush foreign policy attitudes aren't default GOP positions again? And how there isn't a debate on this issue within the party now?

Quote:

and you are also ignoring the internal debates among democrats about the welfare state. Remember that Clinton, mr welfare reform, was a democrat.
I remember Clinton being pilloried for this move. I remember this bill being passed mostly with GOP votes, and I remember this vote being used by the left as evidence that Bill Clinton wasn't actually liberal.

You remember any of these facts differently? Hasn't Obama been reversing this bill since he came into office?

Quote:

I have pointed out what I think are the republican first principles. Can you point me to the place where there is a debate among republicans about whether taxes should be raised, or about whether the market is the best solution to our problems.
I don't think that adopting liberal positions is the same as questioning first principles. I think reevaluating that the value of the market is, or what that means is what we're talking about here. And within the GOP, you have many people discussing the differences between being pro-market, and being pro-business.

Sulla the Dictator 09-13-2011 03:32 AM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 225494)
But the core of my comment had to do with the politics of fear. There are many fears that are promoted. You seem to say that there's symmetry. I say there is not. Can those tactics be conducted by both parties? Yes. But the asymmetry is quantitative.

Ok. So how about this, why don't you quantify the asymmetry? Rather than simply assert that is the case, why don't you demonstrate the unique fear-mongering on the right with some sort of graph?

Quote:

Fear is a powerful agent to mobilize people. I find by far more topics that engender fear in the right of the political spectrum than in the left. I guess that lacking an exact way of measuring you will say that's a question of perspective. I don't think it is.
Do you believe global warming/climate change represents an existential threat to the American Republic and its citizenry?

Do you believe that the Republican party is trying to rob minorities of the franchise?

Do you believe that the Republican Party is trying to turn females into second class citizens by preventing them from having abortions?

Do you believe the Republican party is engaged in mass murder in other parts of the globe in order to secure oil autarky?

Do you believe that the Conservative wing of the Republican party is fundamentally racist?

I suspect plenty of your answers are yes. And even where they are not, I suspect that you know plenty of people who would answer yes. What you cannot see is that these are memes pushed by your side of the aisle to engender fear in you and others. Powerful, motivating, fear which gets you folks out of your campus housing and communes and into the streets to get out the vote. It is why you folks suggest the Tea Party is the Army of Northern Virginia, resurrected with some dark Evangelical theurgy. It is why Unionists march through Madison calling Scott Walker Adolf Hitler for moderating the power of public unions.

The left is bathed in a pungent mixture of fear and resentment. You are unable to see it because you are in it; it is clear from outside the cave.

Quote:

No, that's not it.

Willful ignorance is when people take pride in their ignorance, they make fun of those who are more informed and more educated, insist that facts and opinions are the same, or that science-based knowledge of the physical world is the same as faith-based legend. That's what we were discussing as far as I know.
Am I to assume you are talking about climate change?

chiwhisoxx 09-13-2011 03:51 AM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 225507)
You must be defining hackery differently that I am, in that as far as I can tell Krugman is guilty of having a strong opinion and expressing it at a time that you don't approve of and very little else. And while the average American may well have found 9/11 to be unifying, many of the most horrifying and damaging decisions of Bush's first term were being made before the rubble stopped smoking.

If I had to define it, I'd say that "hackery" refers to intellectual dishonesty in service of a partisan or ideological end. Where is that in Krugman's post? If you disagree with my definition, then define it yourself. I'm getting that you disagree with the point Krugman's making, or perhaps the manner in which he's making it. That doesn't make him a hack, it makes him someone who disagrees with you.



Come on now, are you really going to argue that no bad faith was at work anywhere in Bush's Administration, in Guiliani's promotion of Bernie Kerik, or in Guiliani's attempt to convert his 9/11 fame into a presidential bid? That none of the folks in the Office of Special Plans were using the attacks to advance their pre-existing goal of invading Iraq? That Karl Rove didn't make a career out of exploiting fears of terrorism? Just because a general indictment of every Republican (which Krugman isn't making) would be outrageous doesn't mean that what Krugman's describing didn't happen in some quarters.



Why should our remembrance of 9/11 ignore its effect upon what came after? Is that a normal way to remember what comes before? Do we not mention the conduct of the World War II when we remember Pearl Harbor? Would you expect a monument at Fort Sumpter not to mention abolition? How our leaders responded to 9/11 is absolutely a part of the story, and the only reason I can think to minimize that is a desire to paper over the ugly but true parts of that history.

the bad decisions you list don't disprove my point. I never said people didn't fuck up; they did, in extraordinary ways. but I already gave that caveat. krugman seems to think there was widespread lying for the sake of lying. I don't think that's true, or even a provable assertion. but this is besides the point, and so is krugman's potential hackery. I think his hackery lies in posting misleading graphs/stats/numbers/assertions that leave out obvious intervening variables. but I don't want this or "bush lies" to overtake everything else, because they're pretty tired and old debates. I'm sure you disagree, and you can state your case, but I'm not interested in a long debate.

as per the last part, we don't have to ignore what happened after 9/11. it would be weird to ignore that. but we talk about that all the time! 364 days of the year! it'd be hard to argue we haven't grappled with the fallout of 9/11 in terms of the decisions that followed. but why can't we shut up about for *one* day of the year? I don't see that as "papering" over anything. I see that as respect for people who lost loved ones on that today. I'm guessing they're not terribly interested in rehashing vicious political debates on that day. and to them (not speaking in abstractions anymore, for the record) they see the endless bickering as "papering over" the loss and tragedy.

Florian 09-13-2011 04:20 AM

Re: Collective Madness
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 225503)
Now that was spoken like a proper European technocrat. Presumably you've attended all the correct French private schools necessary to get you a berth on the lifeboats.


I am neither a European technocrat nor a product of French private schools, just a contemptible petit rentier who lives on the fringes. By "profit" I only meant that it is always possible to make money in the markets, whether they go up or down.

American conservatives have been predicting the demise of the euro ever since it was introduced. It is certainly possible, but I have confidence that the above-mentioned technocrats will do their best to save the common currency. All they have to do, after all, is authorize the European Central Bank to create eurobonds and buy up the worthless paper of the PIGS. Isn't that what the FED has done so well in the US over the past several years? Admittedly, the Germans aren't terribly fond of this idea.

Quote:

Oh, I would certainly hope so. It is a fitting tribute to the Emperor. Unfortunately, I think that the rapacious hunger for gold in a post Southern European collapse might overwhelm your French addiction to aesthetics. :p

My town? Its name is writ in water. But of course, we're not stuck here. :p
Gold is a barbaric relic, at best a speculative hedge against other assets. The spirit of the Emperor will save Europe from collapse.

Parallax 09-13-2011 04:43 AM

Re: Collective Madness
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 225461)
I see..... That explains why I am a "liberal douchebag" for saying that whburgess is not as mad as he thinks I think he is. If calling someone a liberal douchebag isn't an example of populist rhetoric, what is? Do try to be less abrasive.

Ron Paul may be an idiot on economic matters, but I think his "isolationist fantasies" are preferable to the fantasies of G. W. Bush, which so far have added about 1 or 2? trillion dollars to the American national debt.

I said you were not one of those liberals.

But joking aside it seems to me you have taken this to heart which was not my intention. I am abrasive but it serves a purpose, it is not my habit to go around and insult people for fun. At any rate I took "everyone who disagrees with me is mad" as a joke and I thought I post one in return. Regrettably you did not find it funny.

The idea that if we don't meddle in other countries they will leave us alone does not work anymore, here are 3 reasons:

1. We have been living in a global village for nearly 50 years and "I'm gonna wash my hands and walk away" is simply not possible. Further integration of markets, security apparatus, ... will turn this idea from impossible to unthinkable in the near future.

2. US has already meddled in other countries, so to materialize Paul's fantasy, US has to curtail most of its endeavors worldwide and for the next 20 years do nothing on the international scene even when threatened or attacked because that would start the whole cycle again. You can see the problems with this approach for the starters domestically this will be hugely unpopular.

3. US will get blowback for things it can't control: a US paper publishing a cartoon or a US corporation screwing up a small third world country.

What Bush did is closer to reality than Ron Paul's fantasy. The problem is that it required extremely bold actions he was not willing to do. If he followed his own logic to the end in 2005 he should have dismissed friends like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan and pressured old ally Israel. It was possible but it required a great deal of courage that he and his administration lacked.

miceelf 09-13-2011 07:41 AM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 225510)
Hold on a second. The Republican party has been hawkish for longer than it has been a vocal defender of markets and business; it has been hawkish for much longer than it has been supply side.

Meh, it's also had strong isolationist currents since Pat Buchanan.

And if you want to point to foreign policy as an indicator of diversity, then the Dems are ALSO pretty diverse.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 225510)
I remember Clinton being pilloried for this move. I remember this bill being passed mostly with GOP votes, and I remember this vote being used by the left as evidence that Bill Clinton wasn't actually liberal.

So, you're saying there was a debate among the Dems? And, in fact, HALF of congressional Dems voted for welfare reform. A 50-50 split strikes me as the very definition of diversity, it would seem. For a recap of the actual debate:

http://www.brookings.edu/interviews/...e_haskins.aspx


Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 225510)
I don't think that adopting liberal positions is the same as questioning first principles.

Of course you don't. And yet, you seem to assume that adopting conservative positions is the only way that liberals could question first principles.

Florian 09-13-2011 08:07 AM

Re: Collective Madness
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Parallax (Post 225514)
I said you were not one of those liberals.

But joking aside it seems to me you have taken this to heart which was not my intention. I am abrasive but it serves a purpose, it is not my habit to go around and insult people for fun. At any rate I took "everyone who disagrees with me is mad" as a joke and I thought I post one in return. Regrettably you did not find it funny.

Sorry, I misunderstood that you were joking because I thought you had misunderstood that I was joking...

Quote:

The idea that if we don't meddle in other countries they will leave us alone does not work anymore, here are 3 reasons:

1. We have been living in a global village for nearly 50 years and "I'm gonna wash my hands and walk away" is simply not possible. Further integration of markets, security apparatus, ... will turn this idea from impossible to unthinkable in the near future.

2. US has already meddled in other countries, so to materialize Paul's fantasy, US has to curtail most of its endeavors worldwide and for the next 20 years do nothing on the international scene even when threatened or attacked because that would start the whole cycle again. You can see the problems with this approach for the starters domestically this will be hugely unpopular.

3. US will get blowback for things it can't control: a US paper publishing a cartoon or a US corporation screwing up a small third world country.

What Bush did is closer to reality than Ron Paul's fantasy. The problem is that it required extremely bold actions he was not willing to do. If he followed his own logic to the end in 2005 he should have dismissed friends like Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan and pressured old ally Israel. It was possible but it required a great deal of courage that he and his administration lacked.
Of course I agree that isolationism is impossible, indeed absurd. Ron Paul seems to belong to another era in thinking that the US can isolate itself from the rest of the world, as it did after WW I. But the alternative you are proposing is equally unrealistic. The American response to 9/11 was misguided and based on false assumptions. The threat of terrorism should not have been treated as if it were the equivalent of a declaration of war against the US. It was also extravagantly expensive for the little it accomplished, even if the invasion of Iraq did get rid of Saddam Hussein. (Need I remind you that the actual casus belli---the supposed weapons of mass destruction--- was trumped up?)

Here are some pertinent reflections of a British journalist on the 10th anniversary of September 11:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...ptember-11-era

Ocean 09-13-2011 09:19 AM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 225511)
Ok. So how about this, why don't you quantify the asymmetry? Rather than simply assert that is the case, why don't you demonstrate the unique fear-mongering on the right with some sort of graph?

As I predicted, you're asking for some measurement and graphs. Sorry, I don't have them.

Quote:

Do you believe global warming/climate change represents an existential threat to the American Republic and its citizenry?
I believe that global warming/climate change is a threat to our entire civilization, which can occur in a not so far future, and we should all be working together to see what needs to be done regardless of what's causing it. And we should look at the causes to stop doing something that makes the problem worse.

Quote:

Do you believe that the Republican party is trying to rob minorities of the franchise?
I believe there are lots of people, and yes, many of them within the ranks of the Republican party that think that this country would be much better off without minorities, feel threatened by the growth of minorities, and would like to take steps to retain power within the white majority.

Quote:

Do you believe that the Republican Party is trying to turn females into second class citizens by preventing them from having abortions?
I don't think the Republican Party has a specific interest in turning females into second class citizens. I do think that those that call themselves pro-life (antichoice), think that protecting an embryo (mostly for some religious belief in souls) is more important than a woman's right to decide what to do with her body. So, in that case the woman's right gets subordinated to the imputed embryo's right.

Quote:

Do you believe the Republican party is engaged in mass murder in other parts of the globe in order to secure oil autarky?
I believe that there are people, companies, and governments that will do whatever it takes to protect their economic interests. That includes engaging in wars. We have some recent examples of messy situations stemming from pacts with interested parties and geographically strategic nations in order to maintain political influence in a region of the world that famously happens to be rich in oil. Some of those people are famously represented in the Republican Party, but most definitely not exclusive to it. Does that answer the question?

Quote:

Do you believe that the Conservative wing of the Republican party is fundamentally racist?
I think there's still quite a bit of racism in this country. Some representatives from the Republican Party seem to use that racism to promote antipathy against our current President.

Quote:

I suspect plenty of your answers are yes. And even where they are not, I suspect that you know plenty of people who would answer yes. What you cannot see is that these are memes pushed by your side of the aisle to engender fear in you and others. Powerful, motivating, fear which gets you folks out of your campus housing and communes and into the streets to get out the vote. It is why you folks suggest the Tea Party is the Army of Northern Virginia, resurrected with some dark Evangelical theurgy. It is why Unionists march through Madison calling Scott Walker Adolf Hitler for moderating the power of public unions.

The left is bathed in a pungent mixture of fear and resentment. You are unable to see it because you are in it; it is clear from outside the cave.
I don't think those are memes, in the sense of empty, false beliefs. I don't think that those ideas engender the degree of existential threat fear that you seem to suggest.

It's normal to have some degree of concern and resentment when a political party holds ideas and plans that go counter your own because there are practical tangible implications to their policies. I resent the wars that were started under Bush and the many thousands of deaths that followed and the trillions of dollars that were thrown there. But that's not irrational fear or resentment. Irrational is to think that Obama and his administration are trying to turn this country into a socialist regime, or that we're about to be under Sharia law.

Quote:

Am I to assume you are talking about climate change?
No, I'm talking about a whole variety of topics for which willful ignorance isn't just tolerated but promoted by some groups.

PS: no time to edit my comment. Sorry if it's too messy.

badhatharry 09-13-2011 09:58 AM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 225519)
As I predicted, you're asking for some measurement and graphs. Sorry, I don't have them.

Then how can you assert that the asymmetry is quantitative?

As Sulla pointed out, you can't be trusted to make that assessment. Everyone has his bias and yet you continue to insist that your bias must be taken seriously.

badhatharry 09-13-2011 10:11 AM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 225410)
No, that fear tactic takes place mostly in Sunday schools where they brainwash kids to believe in the rupture,

It would be nice if you were able to say something meaningful instead of posting nasty right wing propaganda.

are you kidding? the rupture?

And just a clue, that wasn't nasty right wing propaganda, Ocean. That came from the side which wants everyone to believe that the world is going to end unless we do what they say. Those were out-takes from ads airing in the UK. It would be nice if you could admit that you have a very one sided view of society. Instead, you insist that fear tactics come more from the right no matter what evidence is presented to you.

miceelf 09-13-2011 10:36 AM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 225520)
Then how can you assert that the asymmetry is quantitative?

As Sulla pointed out, you can't be trusted to make that assessment. Everyone has his bias and yet you continue to insist that your bias must be taken seriously.

!!!!

If true, a graph wouldn't disprove it. You would just claim whoever produced the graph was themselves biased.

And there's a lot of things we all agree are true for which there is no easy graph available.

badhatharry 09-13-2011 10:48 AM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 225519)
I believe that global warming/climate change is a threat to our entire civilization, which can occur in a not so far future, and we should all be working together to see what needs to be done regardless of what's causing it. And we should look at the causes to stop doing something that makes the problem worse.

Climate change is happening. It has always happened and will continue to happen. Do you know how much it has changed in the past and is changing now?

Quote:

I believe that there are people, companies, and governments that will do whatever it takes to protect their economic interests. That includes engaging in wars. We have some recent examples of messy situations stemming from pacts with interested parties and geographically strategic nations in order to maintain political influence in a region of the world that famously happens to be rich in oil. Some of those people are famously represented in the Republican Party, but most definitely not exclusive to it. Does that answer the question?
When in the history of civilization have there not been interested parties making pacts with geographically strategic nations in order to maintain political influence?

Quote:

I think there's still quite a bit of racism in this country. Some representatives from the Republican Party seem to use that racism to promote antipathy against our current President.
And absolutely no one one the other side plays the race card, ever?

Quote:

It's normal to have some degree of concern and resentment when a political party holds ideas and plans that go counter your own because there are practical tangible implications to their policies. I resent the wars that were started under Bush and the many thousands of deaths that followed and the trillions of dollars that were thrown there. But that's not irrational fear or resentment. Irrational is to think that Obama and his administration are trying to turn this country into a socialist regime, or that we're about to be under Sharia law.
Many rational people think that the bill which was passed under the Obama administration, the ACA has tangible implications and they are not at all good.

Quote:

No, I'm talking about a whole variety of topics for which willful ignorance isn't just tolerated but promoted by some groups.
groups very much in evidence on the Democratic side as well.

eeeeeeeli 09-13-2011 10:51 AM

Re: The real problem sneerers, Experts vs. Masses, and subsidizing hiring Vets.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 225506)

Believing in 2% of qualified experts, recognized as such by their peers, as opposed to 98% of them does not make one less of a believer in experts. Does it?

That's a good point. They are being claimed as experts. But this still seems to miss a key aspect of what expertise means. And I think you're right that the distrust is not of individual expertise, but of institutional expertise, and its legitimacy.

What worries me is that institutional authority is all we really have to go on. By discounting its structural integrity, you're essentially opening the door for factual relativism. To use another lefty example, "alternative medicine" is a direct outgrowth of this. You can literally sell snake oil in a natural foods store, find some quack doctor to recommend it, and people will buy it. Why? Because they no longer have a factual compass - a way of objectively squaring science with reality. It simply "feels" right. One of the favorite buzzwords among these folks is "toxins", and there are myriad "treatments" which claims to remove "toxins". But what that word really represents is a sense of the unclean, impure, artificial. There's almost a religious aspect to its embrace.

And much of its strength comes from the feeling that institutions - "Western Medicine" - have failed. So entire alternative institutions of supposed "expertise" have arisen - doctors of naturopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, etc. Yet these institutions have none of the legitimacy of traditional institutions - clinical trials, peer review, biology, etc. So maybe it isn't expertise so much as its meaning - in what context does expertise arise and become substantive?

badhatharry 09-13-2011 10:52 AM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 225522)
!!!!

If true, a graph wouldn't disprove it. You would just claim whoever produced the graph was themselves biased.

And there's a lot of things we all agree are true for which there is no easy graph available.

You all agree, that's certain.

I just get weary when someone says there is a quantitative difference, is shown examples of symmetry and continues to insist on asymmetry...just because you all agree.

miceelf 09-13-2011 11:09 AM

Re: God Bless America (John McWhorter & Glenn Loury)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 225525)
You all agree, that's certain.

I just get weary when someone says there is a quantitative difference, is shown examples of symmetry and continues to insist on asymmetry...just because you all agree.

And I (and I suspect others as well) get weary with the post modern three step:

1. you haven't proved that "grass is green."

(proof supplied)

2. Oh yeah, well here's an expert who says grass is blue.

(pointed out that said expert is the only one out of several thousand who says so and has schizophrenia/is paid by the Bluegrass Consortium)

3. Well, expertise is subjective and who's to say? We can't trust experts anyway.


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