Balkinization  

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The stench of fascism

Sandy Levinson

[The New York Times reports that Glenn Beck, in his closing speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference described "progressivism" as a cancer, "the disease in America." Let there be no doubt that this is nothing more than the stench of fascism, which relies on treating one's political opponents as what Carl Schmitt, the great (I use that word advisedly) Weimar political theorist (who ended up supporting Hitler's takeover in 1933), termed "enemies" who were viewed ultimately as subhuman (as "cancers" are), ulutimately fit to be eradicated "by any means necessary. Forget Newt Gingrich, who also spoke, and who, by contemporary standards, is almost a reasonable elder statesman of the GOP, actually willing to work, on occasion, with Hillary Clinton. The voice of way too much of contemporary "conservatism" (the scare quotes are also deliberate, because it is an insult to "conservatives" to say that they are necessarily fascists, is fascistic.

Beck and his ilk feel free to call on Democrats to denounce anyone who strays from a quite narrow "political correctness." Jessie Jackson is still being criticized, after his many apologies, for his "hymietown" remark of 1984. God help us if Barack Obama were ever discovered to have written a term paper at Occidental in which he argued that there might be something to be said for "socialism." But Republicans say nothing. They are truly "useful idiots," who are counting on their ability to rein in Glenn Beck (and Sarah Palin) before they destroy the country. It is past time for Republicans to be called on whether or not they tolerate millions of their fellow citizens being called "cancers" and "diseases." We are indeed in a true moment of cultural and political warfare, in which Glenn Beck has made very clear that he has no regard whatsoever for the most basic notions of civility (which begin by granting the possibility that one's opponents simply disagree rather than are "cancers" to be ripped out of the body politic).

What "Beckism" presages is more terrorist violence like that conducted in Austin, Texas, where a demented citizen flew into an IRS building and killed a true American "hero" a/k/a known as a public servant who had dedicated his life to tax collection. One might remember that Justice Holmes called taxes "the price we pay for civilization." Part of our move toward fascism is to view as "heroes" only those who carry guns and are prepared to risk their lives while preparing to inflict fatal violence on others. We must recognize that all public servants are, in their own ways, "heroes." The Republican Party for the past generation has systematically viewed all public servants, save for the military, as chumps, who if they had any real talent, would be working in the private sector (perhaps in Goldman Sachs, etc.). I truly fear for our country.




Comments:

When will those fascist teabagger Rethuglicans stop with all the name-callling?
 

It's not just fascism. It's communism: A quick read of Homage to Catalonia, or of a good history of immediate post-October Revolution Russia, shows that the various fascist movements were just copying from the masters.

Yep. The Heffalump Party is copying its tactics and rhetoric from pinkos.
 

The IRS worker killed was not just a figurative hero, working as a public servant in the tax collecting function, but was, in his prior career, a literal hero of the sort that even "conservatives" (framed in quotes for the same reason you noted) used to recognize, a career military man who served two combat tours in Vietnam.
 

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For a thorough picture of how an advanced Western state can descend into a fascist abyss as did Weimar Germany, I highly recommend The Nazi Voter (Chapel Hill, 1983), The Formation of the Nazi Constituency, (London, 1987) , Thos. Childers. While post World War I Germany had a different political and cultural legacy than the United States, the rise of the far right parties, among which the National socialists were one of three, is very instructive, and Childers makes a technical review of the political changes in Weimar Germany between 1923 and 1933 very accessible to the lay reader. The Tea Baggers , Glenn Beck, and their ilk use language very much like the far right German parties did then, and the several schisms and conditions exist in our society today which we would underestimate at out peril. One is the highly regressive shift in wealth from the middle class to a small segment of rich persons; another is the concentration of economic and political power in the a relatively few corporate entities, who cannot be relied upon to act in the public interest- that is, the interests of the largest number of citizens; the other, also a legacy of the the rightward shift of the Republican party after the civil rights advances of the 1960's, is the racial split in the country, which is intensified by the actual demographic changes and the powerful symbolism attendant on the election of the first black president. Regressive taxation, the power of the special interests, and a racial schism in the body politic. The recent SCOTUS decision in Citizens United v. FEC will certainly aggravate the situation, as will the increasing polarization in the country, attendant on the regionalization and likely marginalization of the Republican party. That last factor has an analogue in Weimar Germany where the Nazi party eventually, and quite suddenly, superseded that dominant rightist parties in 1932. I don't believe we faced a political dislocation from the Perot voters twenty years ago that we will if the Tea Baggers and their ilk can coalesce into a coherent political movement, nor do I think Ross Perot would have attempted to destabilize the US. government. I firmly believe this is a different and dangerous time. Things may get out of hand. When we look back on this time, assuming we get through it intact, we may look at the radical Reagan era as one of the most dangerous and destructive times in living memory.
 

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Sandy:

Did you even listen to Beck's speech or did your intellectual curiosity begin and end with a NYT hit piece? (BTW, the link does not work)

Beck analogized progressivism to the disease of cancer because it is eating away at our Constitution. Apart from the provocative language, is there any doubt whatsoever that Beck is correct?

Have not all judicially imposed removals of the Constitution's checks and balances on federal power over the past century been done to advance progressive goals?

Our host Jack Balkin has been dedicating his last few years to the proposition that the definitions of the words in the Constitution should be broadened to the point where they accommodate any progressive expansion of government that has and will come before the courts. Indeed, Jack has recently redefined commerce from the regulation of interstate trade in goods to the control over any form of "intercourse" between the American people.

You of all people would have appreciated Beck's reading from a 1938 communist pamphlet entitled Progress and Democracy for Rhode Island calling for an alliance with the FDR progressive movement to remove the Constitution as an obstacle to democracy.

Beck goes on to argue that progressivism must be cut out of our political system because it cannot coexist with the individual liberty protected by our Constitution. Again, apart from the provocative metaphor, it is hard to argue with the point.

Progressivism is simply a spin word in America for the continuum between statism and socialism. Every progressive policy outside of criminal law enacted over the past century has subjugated individual liberty to increased government power. Only criminals and terrorists have enjoyed added freedoms under progressivism. Thus, anyone who believes in the guarantee of individual liberty for the law abiding must by definition see progressivism as a threat to that liberty and something to be defeated and reversed, not accommodated or even tolerated.

I find it ironic that you compare opposition to progressivism to fascism given that fascism is economically indistinguishable from progressivism. Additionally, progressivism in its more virulent forms (Chavism along with SEIU and ACORN death threats to executives and assaults on Tea Party folks at Dem town hall meetings) shares fascism's thuggishness.

Beck never called for violence of any sort against progressives and is in no way a fascist as that term is normally meant outside of its use as a non-descriptive pejorative by progressives against libertarians and conservatives. Instead, Beck spent the vast majority of his CPAC speech taking the GOP to task for its on and off again flirtation with progressivism.

I join Beck in calling for a war on progressivism on the battlefield of ideas and at the ballot box. Freedom and not fascism demands nothing less.
 

I distinctly remember the Italian fascists calling for federalism, the end of central banking and tax cuts. Don't get me started on the Nazis and their anti-abortion stance, their anti-racial quota stance and, dear God, their separation of powers bull.

Damn those fascists and their small government views!
 

If it's perfectly acceptable for right-wing zealots to compare "progressivism" (which is the modern name for "liberalism") with "cancer", then I guess they'd have no trouble with someone pointing out that, if disease comparisons are acceptable, the only one that fits modern "conservativism" is Altzheimer's disease -- and it fits "conservatism" far better, symptom by symptom, than cancer fits "progressivism".
 

Jordan:

In which alternative universe does this fascist Italy exist? The real Italian fascism far more closely resembles American progressivism than its libertarian conservative antithesis.

In the 20s, Mussolini systematically dismantled the restraints on the government imposed by the Italian constitution and replaced it with a centralized police state, not federalism. Sound familiar?

In the 30s, Mussolini's economic policy would be very familiar to Obama - borrow enormous sums of money to spend on the government's pet projects.

Italian fascism departs from American progressivism in that it employed black shirt thugs. Then again, SEIU purple shirts occasionally offer a pretty good imitation.
 

In the 20s, Mussolini systematically dismantled the restraints on the government imposed by the Italian constitution and replaced it with a centralized police state, not federalism. Sound familiar?

Yes, that sounds like Bush/Cheney, you fascist piece of shit.
 

Such pathetic bias! If you'd get off of your knees in front of your Barack Obama altar and turn on the TV to view the man you're so blatantly vandalizing, you'd have seen Glen Beck, the oh-so-horrible totalitarian monster, decrying the man who flew into the Austin IRS building. Beck called the man a terrorist, on par with Osama bin Laden. If you'd cut through the propaganda and bothered to form your own opinions, you'd hear Beck's words vilifying radicals on both sides of the spectrum and calling for a Centrist solution. But no, like the rest of the mass media, your blog exists only to garner more readers and maximize your popularity via the dirtiest means possible--scandal, libel, and mudslinging.
 

Bart DePalma argues that Glenn Beck was only saying that "progressivism" was a cancer, not "progressives." Well, that's entirely different, then.

Really, of course, it is a distinction without a difference.

One could as well say,"The commetariat at Balkinization needs to be cleansed of the rot of Bart DePalmaism, but Bart DePalma may stay."
 

Steven:

That is a pretty good definition of tolerance. I hate your beliefs, but I will defend your right to hold the beliefs that you choose.
 

Nobody here actually read the guys manifesto, did they? He wasn't libertarian, or even conservative, but was pretty darn liberal. (He was pretty strongly for universal health care, and against big business, both hallmarks of a liberal agenda).
 

Oooh, he was a liberal? Well, that changes everything! I suppose we should all applaud our liberal hero in his heroic attempt to dismantle the restraints on government--one building at a time--and replace it with a centralized police state.

Seriously, one shouldn't defend a monster just because he/she shares similar beliefs. That goes for the guy who attacked the IRS in Austin as much as it goes for Glenn Beck.
 

"That is a pretty good definition of tolerance."

Somehow, I just didn't feel all that tolerated. Maybe I'm just sensitive.
 

Beck isn't a liberal. Beck is a clown. He will say, or do, anything that will get attention and make money.
 

If anybody wants me to read anything, they can damn well post a link to it.

As for listening to or watching Glenn Beck drivel for an hour about how his personal struggles, ... I have better things to do, and too little time to do them. I've looked for a transcript, but there doesn't seem to be one.

Even Hot Air is quoting the "progressivism is cancer" equation as the take-away.
 

Beck never called for violence of any sort against progressives

Eliminationism is a common motif among far-right pundits (see Savage, Coulter, Limbaugh, etc.) and Beck is no exception.

Glenn Beck sez:

"I’m thinking about killing [filmmaker] Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it."

Depending on context, it might be "funny" until you realize someone in his audience may not be as restrained as he is.

You can threaten my life often if you like, but at some point I'm going to take you seriously. Why a cultural war (over what?) should lead to a real one is still beyond me.
 

Ah, Sandy, your like an old friend of mine who kept telling me the second coming was nigh and the rapture was upon us based on whatever world event happened. This was in 1994; needless to say, we're still here.

You "truly fear for our country." From reading your posts the last several years, best I can tell you have "truly feared for our country" since about 2000 and the magnitude of your fear has been roughly inverse to democratic electoral success or failure. But because some marginal right-wing TV host makes a mildly hyperbolic dig at progressives, we are on the verge of a fascist revolution or military coup. Just like we've been for the last 10 years or whenever the political winds don't blow the way you'd like them to. And the rapture is just around the corner, you wait . . .

You say: "It is past time for Republicans to be called on whether or not they tolerate millions of their fellow citizens being called "cancers" and "diseases." We are indeed in a true moment of cultural and political warfare, in which Glenn Beck has made very clear that he has no regard whatsoever for the most basic notions of civility (which begin by granting the possibility that one's opponents simply disagree rather than are "cancers" to be ripped out of the body politic)."

Hmmm. Glenn Beck who has done nothing but run his mouth must be immediately denounced. How about Barry's old buddy Bill Ayers? He did quite a bit more than call people names (although he did a good bit of that too) but actually was complicit in actually killing actual people. Or his lively wife Bernadine, who was also complicit and felt Charles Manson was a really cool dude? But she's still a law professor, right? Could Glenn Beck be a law professor too? Do all law professors have a duty now to disown Dohrn and Ayers?
Keith Olberman (from what I hear anyway) repeatedly mocks and dehumanizes his political opponents, should I worry about leftist thugs taking to the street? (I don't, realizing he is just a twit and does not merit a response and no one should take him seriously).

But by all means have another one of your histrionic hissy-fits about the grave danger to the republic because Glen Beck said something mean about his opponents. And we'll have a military coup if Palin were to become president. And on and on. One day, the rapture may come, and you'll be there to say I told you so.
 

As someone who writes about fascism I'm generally pretty skeptical about efforts to employ the term in contemporary political discourse (by either side). A more interesting, if related parallel might be the demonization of Leon Blum (a Jew and avowed socialist) by the French Right into the Third Republic, which has many parallels (outsider, intellectual, not a real Frenchman, American, etc.) to the personal treatment of Obama. Blum survived the war and was, more or less, vindicated: will the same happen to Obama?
 

PMS_CC said...

BD: Beck never called for violence of any sort against progressives

Eliminationism is a common motif among far-right pundits (see Savage, Coulter, Limbaugh, etc.) and Beck is no exception.


History has proven certain ideologies to be failures and/or antithetical to human liberty and thus per se unacceptable in American political discourse. (See monarchy, communism and fascism). Progressivism belongs in this group.

This does not mean that we should sanction progressives for their beliefs, simply that we should banish progressivism from the political discourse as a failure and antithetical to human liberty.
 

History has proven certain ideologies to be failures and/or antithetical to human liberty and thus per se unacceptable in American political discourse. (See monarchy, communism and fascism). Progressivism belongs in this group.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 1:10 PM


Was that before of after the Bush/Cheney disaster added "conservatism" to your little list?
 

Bart,

I'll say the same thing to you that I say to every subscriber to the road to serfdom theory. We've been on that road (by Beck's and, I assume, your estimate) for over 100 years now without arriving at that destination. it's time to recheck your map.

More seriously, you argue that excessive economic regulation is the way that democracies lose their freedom. Offer me some examples of that actually happening. And no, I don't mean that fascists were not free market libertarians. I grant that point. My point is that huge numbers of democratic countries that are not fascist do not practice strict free market libertarianism either. Yet democracy survives.

Again, I freely acknowledge that heavily regulated economics often produces disappointing economic results. But the economic regulation does not undermine politicial liberty, so anti-regulatory movements, Reagans and Thatchers arise to push for more free market policies.

If you look at the real world, rather than libertarian theory, the way democracies fail is not by insufficiently libertarian economic policies. They fail by out of control political polarization. Such was that pattern Hamilton and Madison warn against in the Federalist Papers in ancient Greece and Rome. Such was the pattern in modern German and Italy. And Spain. And Portugal. And Chile. And Czechoslovakia. And Lebanon. and even the United States. (When the democratic process fails to resolve the leading issue of the day, leading to a civil war with 600,000 dead, them democracy has to be said to have failed, even though both sides in the war maintained their commitment to democracy throughout).

And while I have no fears of fascism or military coup or civil war in this country, I do nonetheless find the degree of political polarization today troubling.
 

Oh, and what if Glen Beck had said something like this:

Would that [a military coup] really be worse than a Barack Obama presidency? Unfortunately, this is a serious question. Might there rise a Caesar tempted to cross the Rubicon if the alternative is someone so patently unsuitable and, indeed, absolutely frightening, by any serious criteria, to be President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of the military?

NY Times headline would be "Beck Calls for Military Coup if Obama Elected!"

Levinson says same thing and then a week later cries about how uncivil the debate has gotten. Just a little inconsistent?
 

I'm surprised that leading conservatives (and their troll sponsors) are prepared so freely to admit that their agenda is regressive. But the honesty is a refreshing change of pace.
 

Enlightened Layperson said...

Bart, I'll say the same thing to you that I say to every subscriber to the road to serfdom theory... you argue that excessive economic regulation is the way that democracies lose their freedom. Offer me some examples of that actually happening.

OK, I would be pleased to do so. This is by no means a comprehensive list. You could fill several books with the losses of our freedom, but here is a thumbnail sketch to make the point.

Let's go cradle to grave...

As a child, you almost always must attend a government school K-12. The government takes the money you could otherwise spend on alternative education and then assigns you to the government school of its choice. You may attend another school, but you will not get your tax money back, which means all but the upper middle class and wealthy are stuck in the government school. If you are a poor inner city child in a dangerous, failing government school, you are economically crippled for life for lack of education.

Now you are looking for that first job. You need work skills and are willing to work for $5 an hour to get those skills, but the government minimum wage laws prohibit you from doing so. Thus, you join the 50 plus percent unemployment rate among entry level job seekers. If you do not find gainful work during your formative years, you are again economically crippled.

Now say you live in a closed shop state. The government is again telling you that you may not work without belonging to a union.

Now let's go shopping. Say you want to buy a product made by a foreign country. Under progressive fair trade laws, the government decides whether you can buy that product depending upon whether the country of origin is following the rules the US government set. Admittedly, the recent free trade treaties have made this comparatively rare, but such laws are on the hit list.

Now let's go buy insurance. You are young and healthy and do not need comprehensive insurance. Rather, it only makes economic sense to buy catastrophic health insurance. However, nearly every state in the union has outlawed the catastrophic insurance you need by imposing mandated minimum coverage. So you are forced to go without health insurance.

Now let's go driving. You have a constitutional right to travel, but the progressive courts have held that the government can make driving a privilege instead of a right. You have not paid an alimony payment because you have lost you job. Guess what? You cannot drive anymore until you pay the alimony payment, which places you in the Catch-22 of not being able to work because you can't drive, preventing you from paying your alimony.

Let's say you live in Chicago and want to exercise your right to keep and bear arms. Ooops! The progressive government and courts have written that right out of the constitution. Hopefully, this progressive legal travesty is in the process of being reversed.
 

Now you want to start your own business in a progressive state like CA. Check the library of federal, state and local regs with which you must comply before you can even get out of the gate.

You have navigated the progressive obstacle course, started your own business and still have enough money left after the progressive tax code to buy your dream house along the coast. However, mother nature is eroding your beach front and you need to build a sea wall to keep you house from falling into the sea. Sorry charlie, the government says you can't because it would mar the beach front. So your house falls into the sea and you seek compensation for this regulatory taking. Sorry charlie, the progressive courts have determined that this really isn't a taking because there is some value left in your property because you can stand there and look down into the ocean where the remnants of your home are submerged.

OK, so you were smart enough to skip the ocean front home and instead invested in an apartment building in NYC. You want to fix the building up to make it habitable, however, the government rent control board tells you that you cannot raise the rent to do so.

Damn, now I have come down with cancer and my doctor has prescribed some locally grown pot to relieve the nausea of chemo as permitted under state law. Ooops, the progressive courts have ruled that the feds may chuck you in prison in the prosecution of their war on drugs. While the progressives may or may not support the drug laws under which you are prosecuted, they have removed the federalism checks to keep them from being enforced.

The chemo is not working and you are fast completing your bucket list. On that list, you want to devise your small business to your kids so they can run it. Ooops, the progressives do not want you to give your wealth to your kids and have imposed a death tax which requires the business to be sold off to pay the IRS.

I could go on and on and on, but two posts is enough. And we haven't even talked about the Obama agenda yet.
 

As a child, you almost always must attend a government school K-12. The government takes the money you could otherwise spend on alternative education and then assigns you to the government school of its choice. You may attend another school, but you will not get your tax money back, which means all but the upper middle class and wealthy are stuck in the government school.

How terrible for them. Of course, they're still better off than if they are poor in Bartworld, because poor people in Bartworld are screwed.
 

What a remarkable universe of delusions you occupy.

"As a child, you almost always must attend a government school K-12."

Yes, public education has nothing to do with our standard of living whatsoever. Mass literacy has no connection to mass prosperity. Uh huh.

"Now you are looking for that first job. You need work skills and are willing to work for $5 an hour to get those skills, but the government minimum wage laws prohibit you from doing so."

LOL. Yes, that's why Mexican immigrants flock here: to not work undocumentedly for US business owners. What planet do you live on and what color is the sky there?

"The government is again telling you that you may not work without belonging to a union"

Oh, hey, good point, except for the fact that you can't find any single case of any person ever forced into unemployment by the government ever.

"Under progressive fair trade laws, the government decides whether you can buy that product depending upon whether the country of origin is following the rules the US government set."

Right, because there's a cop in the supermarket checking what you buy for legal compliance. Oh wait, no there isn't, you dreamed that.

There IS plenty of monitoring of shoppers of course - by the store owners who sell your grocery purchase history to insurance companies so they can jack up your coverage based on the health effects of your food intake. I guess that kind of loss of freedom is invisible to pro-fascist geniuses like you.

This is like explaining clouds to a toddler. I'm done.
 

Baghdad, given your contempt for public education, it seems odd that you attended Florida Atlantic University and Florida State University College of Law. Aren't those state schools?
 

Bob:

BD: "As a child, you almost always must attend a government school K-12."

Yes, public education has nothing to do with our standard of living whatsoever...


Strawman.

There is a difference between providing a public subsidy to educate our children and compelling them under penalty of law to attend a government school of the government's choice with a government curriculum. The former provides opportunity while the latter abridges your liberty.

BD: "The government is again telling you that you may not work without belonging to a union"

Oh, hey, good point, except for the fact that you can't find any single case of any person ever forced into unemployment by the government ever.


That is exactly your option if you work for a union shop in a closed shop state and do not wish to be a union member or pay union dues.

BD: "Under progressive fair trade laws, the government decides whether you can buy that product depending upon whether the country of origin is following the rules the US government set."

Right, because there's a cop in the supermarket checking what you buy for legal compliance.


No, the good simply would not be allowed in the country or would be taxed to the point where no US retailer could afford to buy it.
 

So I'm curious Bart. By your standards, does any free country exist anywhere in the world? I admit I would have to do more historical research to determine if the United States has ever been free by your standards, except to say that certainly the authority to ban the import of a certain product or impose a prohibitive tax did not begin in the Progressive Era. It is inherent in the federal government's authority to regulate foreign trade.
 

What did progressivism bring about? There was the abolition movement long in the works pre-Civil War. There was the movement for women's rights both pre- and post-Civil War. There were the child labor laws. There was a pure food law. There were the 1960s Civil Rights laws. Work safety laws. National Parks. Should these and other results of progressivism over the past 200+ years be reversed? Let's ask our resident libertarian.
 

Mr. DePalma brings up some terrifying, 1984-type scenarios. I'd just like to add a few to the showcase of horrors:

1)then you can be imprisoned, without charges or trial, because on individual has declared you an enemy combatant!
2)You are not entitled to a hearing, or an unbiased third-party to review the evidence against you
3)you cannot review the evidence against you
4)you can be “enhancedly interrogated” to determine what you know
5)you could end up in a “black prison” site, where no one knows you exist
6)Your phones are tapped, and the companies helping the government tap them cannot be prosecuted (yeah, maybe the blame is broader on this one)
7)you get kicked out of rallies of elected leaders (paid for by the taxpayers) because you may not support said leader
8)the press secretary tells the people they should “watch what they say” when discussing the leader or his policies

Phew – thankfully conservatism will protect us from this nightmare scenario of progessivism run amok.

Does anyone else have some "hypothetical" things a progressive government may bring down upon good, red-blooded Americans?
 

There is a difference between providing a public subsidy to educate our children and compelling them under penalty of law to attend a government school of the government's choice with a government curriculum.

Of course, the progressive courts used some penumbras and emanations to declare "compelling them under penalty of law to attend a government school of the government's choice with a government curriculum" as unconstitutional more than 80 years ago. Of course it was judicial activism but hey.
 

Enlightened Layperson said...

So I'm curious Bart. By your standards, does any free country exist anywhere in the world?

There is of course a continuum between freedom and slavery. There is no perfectly free nation nor is there a nation of slaves.

The modern United States is still one of the freer countries in the world, but it was even freer in the past for full citizens. America over the 20th Century offered the cross currents of greater freedom for women and racial minorities even as freedom for the population at large gave way to government power.

My ideal political economy would be 19th Century classical liberalism for all citizens regardless of race or gender. This has been the most successful political economy in the history of man at preserving individual liberty.

...certainly the authority to ban the import of a certain product or impose a prohibitive tax did not begin in the Progressive Era.

Agreed. However, protectionism has shifted from a foundation of conservatism through Hoover to one of progressivism today.

It is inherent in the federal government's authority to regulate foreign trade.

Agreed again. However, this power like all other government powers needs limits, checks and balances.
 

Shag:

Progressivism started out as an industrial era ideology which offered incremental rather than revolutionary socialism. The difference today between progressivism and socialism is more in means than in ends.

Socialists will affirmatively tell you what to do while progressives will permit you to do what you like so long as it happens to be what the progressives want you to do.

Theodore Roosevelt pretty much summarized the progressive viewpoint:

“We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used. It is not even enough that it should have been gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community. This, I know, implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had, but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in governmental control is now necessary.”

Both are a direct assault upon human liberty.
 

Nerp:

Classical liberalism recognizes the distinction between the People and a foreign enemy warring against the People. The former enjoy freedoms while the latter are killed or detained until the war is over.

While it makes good sense to guarantee a right to silence of the People, it is madness to extend the same to a foreign enemy.
 

While it makes good sense to guarantee a right to silence of the People, it is madness to extend the same to a foreign enemy.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 8:49 PM


So the Geneva Conventions are "madness"?
 

Prof. Levinson, if we cry wolf too many times, no one will listen to us when a real fascist movement starts to grow. I certainly don't rule that out, but I don't think it's happening yet.

Comparing the likes of Beck, Limbaugh, et al. to Hitler or Mussolini reminds me of Marx's comment that history repeats itself -- the first time as tragedy, then as farce.

Keep your powder dry. We may need it.
 

Writers like Dave Neiwert (the "Eliminationists") might call Glenn Beck and the tea baggers "proto fascists." That's what I would call them, too. Not the real thing, but certainly headed in that direction.

The prospect for them becoming the real things grows the more that the economy stumbles.
 

Writers like Dave Neiwert (the "Eliminationists") might call Glenn Beck and the tea baggers "proto fascists." That's what I would call them, too. Not the real thing, but certainly headed in that direction.

A clear example of "the first time is tragedy, the second time is farce".
 

Fascism is as much an economic system, as political: A system under which production nominally remains in private hands, while the government in reality takes it over, appointing corporate management in some cases, nationalizing industry in others, simply heavily regulating in other cases.

I really don't think Democrats are in a position to be throwing the word "fascism" around after the events and aspirations of the last year.

I am, BTW, about a third of the way through Sandy's book, paperback edition. I should have some relevant comments by the end of the week.
 

If you want a serious definition of fascism, I like the one offered by this conservative historian, "a paramilitary party that has taken over the state and claimed an effective monopoly of political activity." (Or, I would add, a paramilitary party that aspires to take over the state and claim an effective monopoly on political activity). I would describe the Ku Klux Klan as proto-fascist. That label does not properly belong to any party in the US today.

That being said, flagrant lies ("death panels") and near-insinuations to flagrant lies (FEMA concentration camps) cannot be healthy for our political discourse.

As for those of you who see all economic regulation as one step on the road to serfdom, and the difference between Progressivism and fascism as one of degree and not of kind, I can only say that you are repeating (in your own way) Stalin's "Social Fascist" theory. In the rough an tumble of US politics, you need a thick hide, so we can take it. But to every brave German Social Democrat who stood up to the Nazis when German conservatives and classical liberals bent before him, you owe an apology.
 

The best part of Beck's assault on progressivism? When he pointed out that he educated himself at the local public library.
 

Mr. DePalma,

As always, we get to that one little problem - who has determined the person is a "foreign enemy warring against the People." Some "classic liberals" like to see "checks and balances" and "due process" before a person's right to life or liberty is taken away by the state. One would think libertarians would be sympathetic to limiting the state's power to do so.

I see "socialism" came out to describe "[e]very progressive policy outside of criminal law enacted over the past century".
Way to keep strong with that commitment to retaining the meaning of words, as we discussed previously.
 

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Note that our intrepid former backpacker fails to challenge what was a limited list of progressive actions going back a couple of hundred years that have produced results here in America. Rather, he harkens upon a quote from Theodore Roosevelt. But many of us "Remember the Maine" of TR fame. Many of the successes of the progressive movement took place after TR's remarks. Let's ask our yodeler for a critique of the abolitionist movement, who might point to the originalist decision of CJ Taney in Dred Scott. Let's ask our yodeler about muckraker Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (1906) and its impact on labor laws and food. In fact, let's ask our yodeler to look at all the things currently available to Americans as a result of progressives and ask him what he would eliminate. By the way, because of the government involvement in development of the Internet, might our yodeler do away with the Internet? Or just child labor laws? Alas, our yodeler has laryngitis.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Shag from Brookline said...

In fact, let's ask our yodeler to look at all the things currently available to Americans as a result of progressives and ask him what he would eliminate.

How many weeks do you have? ;^)

Some of the lowlights off the top of my head:

> The delegation of legislative and judicial power to the executive bureaucracy.

> Executive agencies independent of the elective branches.

> The endangered species act, making CO2 a pollutant, and at least half of the current regulations.

> Living constitutionalism

> All assumptions of federal power which are not enumerated in the Constitution.

> Federal regulation of purely intrastate activities

> Treating commerce as anything but the trade in goods and services.

> The fictions that the second amendment guarantees states rights and does not apply to the states.

> The progressive income tax

> Regulatory takings without compensation

> Treating business speech as less protected
 

Gee, our yodeler neglected to mention his hero (for certain purposes) TR's trustbusting that was sooo progressive. Nor did he mention Social Security and Medicare. As for so-called regulatory takings, even SCOTUS conservatives finally realized that this was becoming absurd. One thing is clear, our yodeler is prepared to vote against his own interests, bogged down in the mediocrity of his legal specialty. Like the snakes in Boston's Franklin Park Zoo, he lacks a pit to hiss in - except perhaps at this Blog.

As to our yodeler's commerce clause rant, I plan to start Jack Balkin's "Commerce" article today. Where or where would the American economy be if our yodeler's view of commerce were to be "restored"? And does originalism support that commerce includes trade in services? If so, would legal services rendered interstate be subject to regulation by Congress? We know our yodeler shares justice Thomas' (and Brett's) view that agriculture is not included in the original meaning of commerce (that Justice Scalia is not prepared to buy into). Let' see what Jack has to say about that in his article that can be thrown back at our yodeler. Off the top of his head! A veritable constitutional Etna! But there's no lava there; he's still shooting blanks.
 

While I agree with EL that no party in this country fits the classical profile of a fascist organization, the "tea party" and movement conservatives (as represented at CPAC) aren't that far away.

A one-sentence definition of "fascism" is hopelessly inadequate, of course, but can be useful as a first-order approximation. Here's what Robert Paxton (see here, for example) says: "Fascism – a political latecomer that adapted anti-socialism to a mass electorate, using means that often owed nothing to conservatism – drew on both right and left, and tried to transcend that bitter division in a purified, invigorated, expansionist national community."

Let's examine that in the light of the current political framework, shall we? Anti-socialism? Check (even when, except in the eyes of the deranged, there is no significant socialism involved.)

Often owing nothing to conservatism? Check.

Expansionist? Check. Their adoration for the military is reserved for that portion of the military that supports their empire-building wishes.

A couple of elements left out, such as a hearkening back to a mythical golden age, when men were men, etc, we also see (please note Mr. DePalma's inane pieces of fiction above, for an example, if an only marginally coherent one.)

Another element of fascism is the identification of an "internal enemy", whose existence is poisoning the society, although this is common to all kinds of anti-democratic movements as a useful means of diverting the attention of the intellectually challenged from the fact that they are acting against their own long-term self-interests.

I agree with Professor Levinson. There's a strong whiff of fascism in the confluence of the "tea party" movement and the movement conservatives who cheered the speakers, including Beck, at CPAC.

Perhaps the only saving grace at present is that the enemy they've chosen, "progressives", are a bit too numerous, as a proportion of the population, relative to their own numbers, to make the usual methods work.

That's perhaps why, consciously or unconsciously, they claim not to support outright elimination -- merely silencing the opposition to prevent their numbers from growing, so that they can achieve the numerical superiority needed before the pogrom can succeed.
 

Sandy,

If there is a danger to this country it doesn't come from the presence of extremists like Beck-Bart. It comes from a finely drawn but rigid dividing line we allow them to draw. The more we in the middle mainstream hurl at either side villainous characterizations, even when those characterizations seem to one side or another to fit, the more we strengthen the dividing line by feeding it validation and giving it visibility. Its a careful walk, but dynamic balance is by definition a careful process.

It is not ideas that threaten the country, for the nation has the strength to withstand the extemist fringes. It is the dividing line itself. Both sides must recognize that neither will ever be gone, nor should ever be gone, as both belong here. Those who wish to strengthen the country can be spotted by how they seek to create middle ground. Those who work to weaken the country can be known by whether or not they call for war within its borders.
 

Shag from Brookline said...

Gee, our yodeler neglected to mention his hero (for certain purposes) TR's trustbusting that was sooo progressive.

Bork and others reformed anti-trust to something acceptable.

Nor did he mention Social Security and Medicare.

Good point. Both intergenerational ponzi schemes will be insolvent within a decade under current trends. While the folks I am paying SS are able to retire at 62, by the time the next generation pays me, it will not start until 70. Madoff would be so proud.
 

Our yodeler confesses to favoring judicial activism in certain instances with this:

"Bork and others reformed anti-trust to something acceptable."

Maybe eliminating the insurance exemption from antitrust laws would be appropriate - and acceptable.

With regard to our yodeler's lament about a Social Security age increase to 70, he fails to appreciate that the actions of the progressive movement have contributed significantly to extending healthy lives. Why our yodeler should be able to practice his non-heavy lifting legal specialty well into and past his 70s, provided he stops inhaling the fumes that seem to cause him to explode off the top of his head. A means test might not harm our yodeler based upon his professed good fortune in the stock market honed by his economics skills.
 

BDP:
As a child, you almost always must attend a government school K-12. The government takes the money you could otherwise spend on alternative education and then assigns you to the government school of its choice.You may attend another school, but you will not get your tax money back, which means all but the upper middle class and wealthy are stuck in the government school.

Okay. My family wants me to go to a good non-sectarian private school. The cost for elementary education is a measly $12K per year. (Source)

If my family convinces the federal government to give them their income taxes back, we can afford the private school if my family makes at least $99,700 per year. That would mean my family is in the top 20% of households by income.

In short, in order for taxes to meet the cost of private education, I already have to be in the upper middle or wealthy class.

But I think you're speaking in code. It's not about having waivers to buy a private education. Rather, you don't want to have to pay for someone else's education. You'd rather they stay in a failing school than soak up anymore of your hard-earned money. Right?

This sort of "none for all, all for none" thinking might be wonderful in some abstract economic theory, but in practice, it's a recipe for disaster.

My ideal political economy would be 19th Century classical liberalism for all citizens regardless of race or gender.

Yes, that exact kind of disaster! Why should anyone be attracted to the economics of the 19th century? Frequent depressions, rioting, and child labor doesn't appeal at all to me, but perhaps I lack the sensibility to see how all that is desirable.
 

Yes, that exact kind of disaster! Why should anyone be attracted to the economics of the 19th century? Frequent depressions, rioting, and child labor doesn't appeal at all to me, but perhaps I lack the sensibility to see how all that is desirable.

# posted by PMS_CC : 12:10 PM


Given his boasting about his mad stock guessing skills, Baghdad Bart probably sees himself as a modern day robber baron. If only those evil progressives would get out of his way...
 

My ideal political economy would be 19th Century classical liberalism for all citizens regardless of race or gender. This has been the most successful political economy in the history of man at preserving individual liberty.

Interesting forensics, Bart. (excuse me for piling on)

Debating Bart is tiresome indeed. Hell, I'm 51 years old and my fighting weight is 160. I'll spot you 6 years and 10 pounds and fight you in an octagon, UFC rules.

What do you say, Bart?
 

Shag from Brookline said...

With regard to our yodeler's lament about a Social Security age increase to 70, he fails to appreciate that the actions of the progressive movement have contributed significantly to extending healthy lives.

Average life expectancy rose at a faster rate in the 80 years prior to SS than in the 80 years afterward. However, I will not play the correlation without causation game so loved by the AGW faithful and blame progressivism for this slowing. Medical advances and sanitation are the primary drivers here.
 

mattski said...

Debating Bart is tiresome indeed. Hell, I'm 51 years old and my fighting weight is 160. I'll spot you 6 years and 10 pounds and fight you in an octagon, UFC rules. What do you say, Bart?

LoL!

I will be 49 in a couple months, so age is a wash.

However, you will be spotting me 40 pounds,only 10 of which are fat. That does not seem fair.

On the other hand, size is not everything. You could be a ringer. Are you a martial artist, boxer or wrestler in a prior incarnation? If so, you would probably kick my long out of practice ass.

I haven't been in a fight - practice or otherwise - during the (OMG) 17 years since I was in charge of an infantry platoon. Damn, now you are making me feel old!

;^)
 

PMS_CC said...

Okay. My family wants me to go to a good non-sectarian private school. The cost for elementary education is a measly $12K per year. (Source)

You need to broaden your horizons to include all good schools - sectarian or no, shop around or move.

If my family convinces the federal government to give them their income taxes back...

You would get the per capita revenues spent per student in that state. If that did not entirely pay for the private school, the school at least becomes far more affordable.

But I think you're speaking in code. It's not about having waivers to buy a private education. Rather, you don't want to have to pay for someone else's education.

Not at all. There is nothing progressive about looking at education as a universal public good and asking the community as a whole to fund it because the community as a whole would receive the educational benefit.

My parting with the progressives is limiting the delivery of that education to government schools run by progressives.
 

Folks, here's what's happening. As long as I have been following the news, conservatives have demonized the word "liberal" and used it as a sneer and an insult. Liberals were too weak kneed to stand up and defend the term, and instead used the term "progressive." Now conservatives are hard at work demonizing progressive until no one will dare claim the label. Abandon "progressive" for "moderate" and conservatives will demonize "moderate." Abandon "moderate" for "sane" and conservatives will demonize "sane." Retreat all the way to "not a Neanderthal" and conservatives will demonize anyone who doesn't proudly wear the label "Neanderthal." Let that be a lesson. When demonized, stand up and fight!
 

Our yodeler fails to realize that this:

"Medical advances and sanitation are the primary drivers here."

resulted from progressive actions. Or do libertarians fund their own medical advances and sanitation?

Our yodeler must have had quite a bit of facial plastic surgery [or does that explain the beard?] if he indeed became so accomplished by lifting himself by his own bootstraps.
 

My parting with the progressives is limiting the delivery of that education to government schools run by progressives.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 2:00 PM


If you're not happy that the schools are run by progressives, you should have become a teacher. If you think we should use our tax money to send your kids to Praise Jesus U, you're delusional.
 

EL:

You on the left have been attacking the term conservative and our policies with equal vigor, but we have not even thought about running away from our self identification.

The difference I think is that a majority or plurality of voters self identify as we do and share our POV. You on the left keep changing labels because your brand is not popular, not because we conservatives are mean.
 

Shag from Brookline said...

Progressives hardly have a corner on public sanitation and the vast majority of medical advances occur in the free market with the exception of wars. If you progressives want to take credit for our nation's wars as a mechanism to create medical advances, be my guest.
 

As an American Libertarian, I applaud the action of my country in invading
a foreign land to wipe out socialism in all its forms. Every time we invade one
of these foreign lands, a few terrorists, misguided as they are, who look upon
themselves as patriots confronting a foreign army, will try to revolt against
their own welfare (I hate that word) and cause problems for our troops and
then when the troops defend themselves by calling in a strike from a drone
aircraft, they complain because a few babies are accidentally killed.

Socialism (another word for liberalism) has influenced the government of my
beloved country to the point that a capitalist can not pollute his very own air
and water without having some socialist blogger cast aspersion upon him
and interfere with the conduct of his business by passing silly legislation that
cause such a bad effect on his bottom line and lifestyle that one is tempted to
fund a teabagger.

I believe that conservatives seek to maintain a society in which each man receives
the things that are suited to his nature. Social equality, conservatives think, is
contrary to the real nature of man and is basically unjust. (Brittannica)
 

And just how have libertarians contributed to public sanitation? Do they have private systems for their crapola? (Was Sir Thomas Crapper a libertarian?)

And our yodeler ignores the extensive governmental subsidies that have enhanced medical progress following which the "free market" cashes in, especially in pharma. Isn't it the "free market" that tries to limit the role of the FDA in monitoring drugs and devices?
 

If my family convinces the federal government to give them their income taxes back...

You would get the per capita revenues spent per student in that state.


So redistributing wealth to allow for universal health care is something the commies would do, but redistributing wealth to allow for universal education is the ideal system? This will require some elaboration!
 

Shag:

For the most part, libertarians are simply classical liberals, not anarchists. They believe in public works within reason.
 

Steve M said...

So redistributing wealth to allow for universal health care is something the commies would do, but redistributing wealth to allow for universal education is the ideal system? This will require some elaboration!

Education is a general public good in that everyone pays for it and everyone will enjoy it. There is no intent to or effect of redistributing wealth. I prefer that everyone is provided with education vouchers to go to the public or private school of their choice in competition with other students as is essentially the case with our university system.

Medical care can be a general public good for the same reasons. I have posted here previously that a flat tax on everyone to finance vouchers to buy health insurance would be a good idea. If the government wants to create a completely unsubsidized GSE to provide health insurance where the private sector cannot efficiently do so, then that is fine as well.

What I vehemently opposed is progressive government telling me what coverage I am must buy at what price and then, to add injury to insult, attempt to use the system to redistribute wealth from the wealthy, the owners of full coverage insurance policies and providers of various medical services and implements disfavored by the government to provide an income based subsidy.
 

On the other hand, size is not everything. You could be a ringer. Are you a martial artist, boxer or wrestler in a prior incarnation?

I'm just an athletic, pugnacious lefty. But it occurred to me, the loser could agree to abstain from commenting here for 5 years or so.

:^)
 

Bart: You're a riot when you try to talk about labor law. The closed shop has been illegal since the NLRA was passed, and the union shop has been illegal since the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act. The fact that you use the terms interchangably show you don't know what they mean. Nobdy can be required to "join" a union. Google "agency shop" and come back when you know what you're talking about.

Beyond that, however, you do realize you are in a tiny minority re the list of supposed progressive horribles you listed, right? The vast majority of Americans think we should have a public school system, a minimum wage, the right to form unions and collectively bargain per the NLRA or something like it, etc. Not even on the table to get rid of that stuff. And of course Beck doesn't mention that. Even if you don't like, say, the minimum wage, it's hard to argue it's not a matter of interstate commerce and thus Constitutional.

Oh, and progressives in the last century also brought you the women's right to vote, the effective right to vote for blacks, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and many other things which right wingers usually opposed which now would be political suicide to oppose. So, of course, Beck doesn't. Oh, and opposition to some questionable wars (Viet Nam and Iraq). Although I'll note that a significant amount of opposition to our involvement in WWII came from the right.

Finally, you isunderstand "facism." It's not "big government." It's "big government in service of certain goals, with certain types of militaristic / nationalistic / romaniticizing the volk of the past" stuff thrown in. The Nazis persecuted the social democrats, you know. Both of those groups understood the difference between the political right and the political left.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

mattski said...

I'm just an athletic, pugnacious lefty. But it occurred to me, the loser could agree to abstain from commenting here for 5 years or so.

Reminds me of the "American History X" basketball game scene where the loser between two gangs cannot come back to the court.

So are there any rules or refs?
 

jslater:

The progressive closed shop was indeed outlawed. I stand corrected.

I also realize that some, but not all, of progressive infringements on individual liberty have majority popular support. Envy and coveting your neighbor's property are powerful emotions.

Progressives cannot take credit for either emancipation or women's suffrage.

Progressives could not have enacted the civil rights laws without heavy GOP support because half of their Dem party were racist.

Finally, you [m]isunderstand "facism." It's not "big government." It's "big government in service of certain goals...

All ideologies which worship the state - progressivism included - do so to impose their will on others.
 

I also realize that some, but not all, of progressive infringements on individual liberty have majority popular support. Envy and coveting your neighbor's property are powerful emotions.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 8:54 PM


Wow. So, when progressive government stops big business from raping the enviroment and killing whatever wildlife gets in their way, that's really just progressives conveting the rights of the wealthy and powerful? Who knew?
 

All ideologies which worship the state - progressivism included - do so to impose their will on others.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 8:54 PM


What about your worship of military force? What does that say about your ideology?
 

Bart,

I'm going to have to ask you for proof that progressivism is a form of statism. Or you can point out where the altars are set up.

Otherwise, we're going to have to conclude that you are, as usual, lying through your teeth.

It isn't worship to believe that government can protect the rights and dignity of the individual by providing a social safety net.

Here's another thing that progressivism has produced in spite of the efforts by conservatives to prevent it: the elimination of the county poor house, or poor farm. No doubt you would like to bring it back.
 

Education is a general public good in that everyone pays for it and everyone will enjoy it. There is no intent to or effect of redistributing wealth.

If there were no redistribution of wealth, then getting rid of government education would simply mean that everyone gets their own tax dollars back. Those who don't pay taxes would get nothing back, and so forth.

Instead, you proposed that each individual would receive an amount equal to "the per capita revenues spent per student in that state." People who didn't pay any taxes at all would receive the same amount from the state to pay for their kids' education as millionaires in the highest tax bracket. This is redistribution of wealth, plain and simple.

It just seems like an odd prescription from someone who has been railing so vehemently against progressivism. We can't collectively fund health care or old-age pensions - that would be socialism! - but we should totally handle education that way. Strange.
 

Bart:

Of course progressives, along with feminist allies, can take credit for women's suffrage. Do you think the right wing conservatives of the time backed it? Emancipation was before the "progressive" movement, but it was certainly a liberal, not a conservative, cause. As has the cause of black civil rights since then.

And the lame dodge that the "GOP helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964" of course changes the question. It was the progressives and liberals in the Democratic and Republican Party together that passed the CRA of 1964, and the conservative / anti-progresives in both parties, including conservative Southern Dems, who opposed it. But most conservative voices did do (e.g., Buckley). So while it's not a pure victory for Dems and Dems only, it is a progressive victory.

By the way, are you on record as saying that the Civil Rights Act of 1964, minimum wage laws, and National Labor Relations Act are bad and/or unconstitutional things? Because it would be great if folks like you, Beck, and the other tea partiers/baggers could be more explicit about that. Because again, those are some of the progressives' accomplishments.
 

C2H50H said...

Bart, I'm going to have to ask you for proof that progressivism is a form of statism.

Statism is the government direction of the economy using methods ranging from nationalization to industrial planning regulation. Routledge Encyclopedia of International Political Economy. Taylor & Francis p. 1475 (2001). It is difficult to note any progressive economic policy which does not advance statism.
 

Bart,

The "unitary executive" theory also advances statism, and most modern conservatives, including yourself, were seriously enamored of that, until recently.

Just because something might, somehow, make government a little more powerful, doesn't mean those pushing it "worship" the state. I notice you didn't give any proof that progressive policies involve anything approaching statism, you just did your usual twisting of the meaning to try and make it fit your argument.

You could, of course, admit that you got carried away and back off from your deliberately incendiary slur -- but I doubt you will. You'd rather play word games than admit you were wrong ... again.
 

Watch Jon Stewart's take on Glen Beck's recent rant that progressivism equals communism, while considering our intrepid former backpacker's attacks on progessivism on this thread. Our yodeler is a mini-version of Beck.

Also take a look at Michael C. Dorf's FindLaw article 2/24/10 at:

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dorf/20100224.html

titled "Nullification, Secession, and Guns Show Constitutional Meaning is Never Settled."

I made a lot of progress on Jack Balkin's "Commerce" which runs 63 pages. I'll finish up this morning. Right now I'm at page 49, at a section that addresses "Lopez and Limits." I don't know if our dyslex-sick! constitutional originalists duo of Brat and Bert have read Jack's article; but it would surely give them heartburn (I'm making an assumption). But progressives should give it a read as the article addresses our yodeler's warbling in his imitation of mini-Beck. Jack makes the case that constitutional originalism is progressive.
 

So are there any rules or refs?

It's moot since I can't spot you 40 lbs. :^( But, yes, I suggested UFC rules.

OK, let's go back to rhetoric.

"BACK TO THE NINETEENTH CENTURY"

Has a nice ring to it.
 

"BACK TO THE NINETEENTH CENTURY"

Where would your respective forbears have been back then?

By the way, Michael C. Dorf's article may be relevant with his closing paragraphs:

"Whether nullification, secessionism, or any other currently-radical idea succeeds in moving from the nutty fringe to the mainstream will ultimately depend on how appealing the idea is to contemporary audiences. The Tea-Partiers cluttering my inbox with angry emails may be woefully ill-informed about constitutional law, but if they succeed in persuading enough people to join their ranks, then in the end, their views will become constitutional law.

That thought is more than a little chilling in calling to mind a scene in George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Under torture, Winston Smith is made to repeat the following slogan: 'Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.'"

Fortunately, there is very little our yodeler is in control of.
 

C2H50H said...

I notice you didn't give any proof that progressive policies involve anything approaching statism, you just did your usual twisting of the meaning to try and make it fit your argument.

Please. Just in the past year - nationalization of Chrysler and GM, setting executive salaries, the House banking regulation bill, the Porkulus green jobs programs, Obamacare, the Obama mortgage plan, and Cap & Tax. All of these actions seek to direct the economy by means ranging from nationalization to industrial planning regs. Indeed, much of this reaches the socialism end of the statism spectrum.
 

mattski said...

OK, let's go back to rhetoric.: "BACK TO THE NINETEENTH CENTURY" Has a nice ring to it.

Let me suggest instead "Up from progressive serfdom." It is progressivism which returned to the bad old days of government tyranny.
 

Shag:

Dorf is mischaracterizing the argument being put forth to support the proposed state constitutional amendments instructing the states to disregard an Obamacare individual mandate. The proponents are not arguing for nullification of a proper exercise of an enumerated Article I power, but rather arguing that Congress is exceeding its powers and that the Tenth Amendment reserves this power to the states.

Dorf characterizes this idea as "radical" and its proponents as the "nutty fringe." Interestingly, Sandy and other progressives here are not detecting "the stench of fascism" wafting up from this name calling. In any case, contrary to the good professor's suggestion, George Washington and the early 19th Century courts would be perfectly comfortable with the argument that an individual mandate exceeded Congress' powers because they would have applied the plain meaning of "commerce" rather than the radical 20th Century redefinition of that term.
 

Our mini-Beck continues to menstruate politically.

As to George Washington, Jack Balkin's article "Commerce" has a nice take on the former's Farewell Address on commerce at page 21 in part "II. The Original Meaning of 'Commerce'" (that begins at page 17).

It seems our yodeler is not even in control of himself, never mind the past or the future.
 

So Cap & Trade (which of course is a market based system) represents statism? Without environmental and pollution controls, Polluters would get a free ride - they take what should be a cost of business, and make it an externality borne by the public at large. If your neighbor starting dumping sludge on your property, would you simply say "that's okay, he has to do his business, and I wouldn't want the government to interfere with that?" Environmental legislation is perhaps the best example of libertarian legislation. It's a prohibition on harming others in society by polluting the shared environment. Isn't that part of libertarianism?

Also, for progressive victories, we've forgotten the '33 and '34 Securities Exchange acts - legislation which, perhaps more than any other, is responsible for the steady growth and prosperity of the US markets.
 

Shag:

Washington was not addressing the meaning of the Commerce Clause in his farewell address.

Randy Barrett offered a comprehensive review of the original meaning of the Commerce Clause as it was discussed in the records of the Constitutional Convention, the ratification debates, and the Federalist Papers. Not once is commerce given a meaning anywhere nearly as broad as Jack's proposal.

The Original Meaning of the Commerce Clause, University of Chicago Law Review. http://lawreview.uchicago.edu/issues/archive/v68/winter/commerce.html
 

Critics of the PTB are always useful, but former morning zoo talking heads like Beck don't quite do the trick.

They also taint the conversation, since so much time is spent answering him, which sets things off on the the wrong foot right away.

Not that anything of this nature would occur perhaps on a blog.
 

nerpzillicus said...

So Cap & Trade (which of course is a market based system) represents statism?

A free market consists of private citizens offering goods, services and capital to others at freely agreed upon price.

Cap & Tax is the government attempting to destroy the fossil fuel industry and all industries which rely upon it through arbitrary and punitive taxes, the liability for which may be traded.

There is a second act to this horror show which moves statism (government direction of the economy) to socialism (government direction of the economy to redistribute wealth from those who create it to those the government favors).

Over the prior decade, labor and the greens came upon a plan called the blue green alliance where labor would agree to cap and tax if the money would be redistributed to create government subsidized and preferably union "green jobs." In sum, green socialism.

The two organizations pushing this plan were the Apollo Alliance and the Blue Green Alliance. The Dem House enacted the blue green alliance plan with Cap & Tax and adopting Apollo's "green jobs" plan nearly verbatim in the Porkulus Bill. The latter went through the Senate, but thankfully the former was slowed by Climategate. Obama appointed Apollo board member and self described revolutionary Marxist Van Jones as his "green jobs" czar to implement this plan, until he resigned after Beck revealed his radical background.

Without environmental and pollution controls, Polluters would get a free ride - they take what should be a cost of business, and make it an externality borne by the public at large.

Cap & Tax has nothing to do with pollution. CO2 is a naturally occurring element of the atmosphere and plant nutrient. The theory of AGW used to support Cap & Tax is rapidly falling apart as one claim after another is being revealed as a fraud or propaganda.
 

Bart, you still don't get it. There's a large difference between calling someone the nutty fringe and suggesting they should be killed. Just look at the things the celebrities of the conservative movement say:

Limbaugh: "I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus — living fossils — so we will never forget what these people stood for."

Coulter: "Some liberals have become even too crazy for Texas to execute, which is a damn shame. They’re always saying — we’re oppressed, we’re oppressed so let’s do it. Let’s oppress them."

Coulter: "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens’ creme brulee. … That’s just a joke, for you in the media."

Beck recently made the same hilarious joke about Pelosi.

Melanie Morgan: "A great deal of good could be done by arresting [NY Times editor] Bill Keller having him lined up against the wall and shot."

Bill O'Reilly: "They ought to hang this Soros guy."

Dinesh D'Souza: "There is no way to restore the culture without winning the war on terror. Conversely, the only way to win the war on terror is to win the culture war. Thus we arrive at a sobering truth. In order to crush the Islamic radicals abroad, we must defeat the enemy at home."

John Carlson: "[Senator Durbin] is simply a piece of excrement, a piece of waste that needs to be scraped off the sidewalk and eliminated."

And these are just the celebrities! Many forums where civil discourse has collapsed are rife with detailed descriptions of how liberals should be rounded up, put in camps, and shot.

Yes, it's clearly over-the-top rhetoric designed to stoke the fires of the culture war, but if every "conservative" channel is broadcasting a message of hate and murder, I don't think it's unreasonable to be worried that at some point "provocative metaphors" will turn into marching orders.
 

I finished Jack Balkin's "Commerce" draft article and recommend it highly. I can better appreciate progressive, living originalism. On pages 17-37 Jack lays out Part II: "The Original Meaning of 'Commerce'" that challenges Randy "The Constitution is Lost!" Barnett's history. (Has Barnett responded as yet to Jack's article?)

Part III (pages 37-57) "'Among the Several States'" applies this to many progressive actions taken by Congress under the Commerce Clause, including: labor, Wickard [Brett, please do not get ill], the environment [Cap & Trade for our mini-Beck to gasp over], federalism, Lopez and the HRC individual mandate.

This is a draft article and I look forward to it in final form. (I noted minor typos, etc, at pages 15, 34, 38, 40 and 52.) I'm sure some critiques may surface before Jack puts the article in final form so that a re-read may be even more enjoyable.
 

Mr. DePalma,

First, I note you did not refute my basic premise vis-a-vis libertarianism and pollution legislation (a progressive achievement).

But your basic premise is that CO2 is a naturally occurring element [sic- it's a molecule]. However Arsenic, Lead, Mercury, and other heavy metals are naturally occurring elements. Yet you bet your bottom dollar we consider them pollutants. If your argument is that the "naturalness" of C02 makes it non-regulatable, then you must also decide that these other naturally occurring elements should not be regulated.

Next, the Supreme Court has ruled that CO2 is a pollutant, so at least as the law stands, you are wrong.

Cap & Trade attempts to place a cost to pollution (which you also did not refute is an externality shifted from the polluter to society) so that it is incorporated into the cost of business. Logically, those who push the least cost of doing business onto the public will receive the biggest competitive advantage, while those who have been shifting their costs now have to bear them, and evolve or lose in the market. Seems pretty good and capitalist to me.

(another way to think of it is as subsidy that Adam Smith hated so much - the public is currently subsidizing polluters by allowing them to not absorb their costs, so there is no incentive for other businesses to create models where they actually account for the costs of business, and those competitors that do not have those subsidized costs are at a competitive disadvantage).
 

Free market is a large corporation building a chemical plant in Bhopal
and allowing poison to escape into the air that sickens and kills thousands.
This is happening as we speak on a reduced scale in Louisiana. But, if
government were to step in to keep this from happening, that would
be socialism.
 

Congradulations, Shaq; You've correctly identified JB's position as "living constitutionalism". Which is why I object to him calling himself an "originalist". Whatever you may think of the relative merits of the two positions, neither side should attempt to expropriate the other's name.
 

Farris, they didn't allow posion gas to escape. The plant was subject to sabotoge by a disgruntled employee. Who, we hope, wasn't quite aware of the consequences of what he was doing.
 

Farris, they didn't allow posion gas to escape. The plant was subject to sabotoge by a disgruntled employee. Who, we hope, wasn't quite aware of the consequences of what he was doing.

# posted by Brett : 12:44 PM


I can't find any info on the trial of this "disgruntled employee". Do you have a link?
 

nerpzillicus said...

But your basic premise is that CO2 is a naturally occurring element [sic- it's a molecule]. However Arsenic, Lead, Mercury, and other heavy metals are naturally occurring elements.

The latter are not naturally occurring elements in the atmosphere, at least in any significant amounts.

If your argument is that the "naturalness" of C02 makes it non-regulatable, then you must also decide that these other naturally occurring elements should not be regulated.

Theoretically, Congress can regulate CO2, but did not do so in the Clean Air Act.

Next, the Supreme Court has ruled that CO2 is a pollutant, so at least as the law stands, you are wrong.

The five Supremes in this case made no such finding nor could they because there was no trial or fact record. The majority did base in part their decision to kick this back to EPA for analysis upon "well respected science" which has largely since been discredited. Several plaintiffs are going to court to challenge this "science" in contesting the EPA's political endangerment finding in which they have performed no independent science at all.
 

Brett,

There's no proof of the "disgruntled employee" theory, and not even any significant evidence. That there were safety problems with the plant, both before and after the accident, and that UCC treated the population like an infestation of rats, cannot be denied.

But we can't allow government to regulate or correct the large corporations -- to do so would be equivalent to "worship of the state", you know.
 

Farris, they didn't allow posion gas to escape. The plant was subject to sabotoge by a disgruntled employee.

A quick search reveals that this was Union Carbide's theory, but the evidence doesn't seem to support it. Do you have an independent source for this?
 

PMS_CC said...

Bart, you still don't get it. There's a large difference between calling someone the nutty fringe and suggesting they should be killed.

Beck made no such suggestion. Beck compared progressivism to the disease of cancer because it is eating away at the Constitution. You may not like the rather apt analogy, but there is no implication that progressives should be killed.
 

Bart says that the comparison of progressivism to cancer is an "apt analogy", but "there is no implication that progressives should be killed"

Right, because as we all know, when somebody has cancer, the thing to do is treat it with nourishing soups, massage, and aromatherapy.
 

I guess "living originalism" is akin to "jumbo shrimp" to some people, a contradiction in terms.

OTOH, there are small and there are large shrimp. The animal would be both "large" and a "shrimp."

And, "original understanding" could easily have included a realization the specific applications of the terms would develop over time.

Thus, someone can be an "originalist" and a "living constitutionalist."
 

C2H50H said...

Bart says that the comparison of progressivism to cancer is an "apt analogy", but "there is no implication that progressives should be killed"

Right, because as we all know, when somebody has cancer, the thing to do is treat it with nourishing soups, massage, and aromatherapy.


No, you remove progressivism from the list of acceptable political economies along with monarchy, fascism and communism. It doesn't mean that you kill off the folks who supported progressivism any more than you killed off the Tories after the revolution, the fascists after WWI and the communists after the Cold War.
 

Brett, this is what I said:

"I can better appreciate progressive, living originalism."

The originalism espoused by Jack Balkin is that the Constitution was designed to be progressive so that over time the living "We the People" can function as circumstances change that may differ from the expectations of the founders/framers/ratifiers. Your version of originalism ignores events, changes, that have to be addressed by the modern state. Perhaps you would have us continue with non-investment stocks and bonds as a norm. Take a look at the complete paragraph at page 4. You and our yodeler and silent Thomas rely upon simplicity in a complex world for reasons that are perhaps simple, too simple for a modern world.

I had hoped you would take the bait and attempt to critique Balkin's Part II "The Original Meaning of 'Commerce'" in an effort to demonstrate that Balkin cannot be an originalist. I recognize a problem with originalism as there is not unanimity among originalists as to the original meaning/understanding, whatever, of the Constitution.
 

along with monarchy, fascism and communism.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 1:22 PM


Don't forget conservatism!
 

Mr. DePalma,


The latter are not naturally occurring elements in the atmosphere, at least in any significant amounts.


So? Then Congress can regulate naturally occurring pollutants only if they are not airborne? How do you make a distinction? If the atomosphere is the distinction, what about naturally occurring Ammonia, Ozone, CO, and Nitrogen Oxides, all of which are airborne and regulated by EPA? Please explain the distinction.


The five Supremes in this case made no such finding nor could they because there was no trial or fact record. The majority did base in part their decision to kick this back to EPA for analysis upon "well respected science" which has largely since been discredited. Several plaintiffs are going to court to challenge this "science" in contesting the EPA's political endangerment finding in which they have performed no independent science at all.


This is what I don't get about you. You make a statement like this, apparently thinking I won't just go and pull up Mass v. EPA. So, here's the money quote:

"Because greenhouse gases fit well within the Clean Air Act’s capacious definition of “air pollutant,”we hold that EPA has the statutory authority to regulate the emission of such gases from new motor vehicles."
Mass v EPA, slip opinion, pg 29-30.

So, when I say - "Next, the Supreme Court has ruled that CO2 is a pollutant, so at least as the law stands, you are wrong," I am correct, and the Supremes so held. I do not understand why you challenge facts that are so simple to check. Whatever some deniers are doing does not change the fact that under the law, CO2 is an air pollutant.


Theoretically, Congress can regulate CO2, but did not do so in the Clean Air Act.

See above. Do you even take a moment to think through what you are saying?
 

If we are to take the meaning of what Beck said in the sense that you mean, Bart, that "progressivism" should be eliminated from the public discourse, then clearly what Beck and you really should be using as a disease analog is "measles" or perhaps "smallpox".

So, even if we are to allow your interpretation, which would mean granting that you are the spokesperson for, well, anybody -- it's a terrible, grotesque analogy, not an apt one, and one for which an apology is due all progressives.

I think we can all see through this subterfuge, however. Cancer is what was said, and cancer is what was meant, with the implication that elimination, through surgery (IOW force) is an appropriate treatment. This is what Beck wanted his followers to hear and to understand.

That you pretend this is anything but what it clearly was is the height of dishonesty and doesn't reflect well on you
 

BD: Theoretically, Congress can regulate CO2, but did not do so in the Clean Air Act

"Because greenhouse gases fit well within the Clean Air Act’s capacious definition of “air pollutant,”we hold that EPA has the statutory authority to regulate the emission of such gases from new motor vehicles." Mass v EPA, slip opinion, pg 29-30.

See above. Do you even take a moment to think through what you are saying?


The CAA regulates pollutants. CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a natural part of the atmosphere that you add to every time you exhale.

Five Supremes claimed that the computer model hypotheses of AGW were established scientific fact when in fact they all failed to predict the current climate and were thus at best disproven hypotheses. This was a blatantly political decision in the finest progressive tradition.

Lisa Jackson, Obama's singularly unqualified EPA head, told the Senate yesterday that the fact that the world has not experienced any statistically significant warming for the past 15 years, as conceded recently by the CRU fraud ringleader Dr, Phil Jones, does not mean that the world is not warming. This pretty much sums up the view of the five Supremes in the EPA case.
 

C2H50H said...

I think we can all see through this subterfuge, however. Cancer is what was said, and cancer is what was meant, with the implication that elimination, through surgery (IOW force) is an appropriate treatment. This is what Beck wanted his followers to hear and to understand.

Like Sandy and nearly everyone else here, you have not bothered to listen to Beck's speech and have no idea what the man actually said. Yet, you make ignorant slanders.

I listened to the speech to reply to Sandy's uninformed slander of Beck and posted precisely what Beck stated. Still, you continue to make intentional slanders.

This is what all too commonly passes for debate among progressives and is yet another reason why this ideology should be tossed onto the ash heap of history.
 

This is what I don't get about you.

Oy, and Amen. (And I praise the Uncreated every time I get the privilege of reading one of Nerpzillicus' learned comments.)

Every time I get a tiny inkling of fondness for Bart I'm snapped back to reality by more rude revelations. (See PMS @ 11:05 am)

...nationalization of Chrysler and GM, setting executive salaries, the House banking regulation bill, the Porkulus green jobs programs, Obamacare, the Obama mortgage plan, and Cap & Tax. All of these actions seek to direct the economy by means ranging from nationalization to industrial planning regs.

Debating Bart is futile because he isn't constrained by any factual reality. That's why I advocate for the ban-hammer. Sorry about that, Bart.

You know, Obama has consistently stopped short of measures which could be characterized as too socialistic. Instead of nationalizing the banks--which would have been a temporary move anyway--he compromised and ended up pleasing no one. The IMF, had it been in a position to do so, would have nationalized our banks in a heartbeat because from a strictly pragmatic point of view that is what was called for.

The "socialistic" responses to the economic crisis are remedial actions made necessary by poorly regulated financial capitalism. The alternative, which we don't have to endure because THANK GOD the Tea Baggers don't control the government, would have been sheer hell. (Reminiscent, perhaps, of the 19th Century...) The mind boggles at the ignorance of the right-wing.

When your ideas are incoherent, a mere veneer over a confused, animal rage, then you don't really have much beneficial to offer the rest of us. But let's give props where they're due: Bart is a notch or two more articulate than your average foamer.

:^)
 

Bart,

We have to ask: what does "statistically significant" mean in this sense? Because what the scientist meant is that the null hypothesis (that there has been no warming in the last XX years) has probability .06 of occurring. (See here, for example.)

Of course, I understand you never read past the point where you catch something that underpins your bias, so this may prove unsuccessful, but it does represent a "teachable moment".
 

This is what all too commonly passes for debate among progressives and is yet another reason why this ideology should be tossed onto the ash heap of history.

Forgive me, but an ideology of "decency" doesn't belong in the dumpster.

And to me, decency means "think about the welfare of others, don't be a selfish bastard."
 

Bart,

I read several reports, including one from Hot Air, on Beck's speech. I haven't seen a definitive transcript yet, but if one appears, I may check it out.

I don't see any reason I should accept your interpretation over the interpretations of, for example, the NYT, and many examples from past observation (including the last half hour) that I should not accept your statement as fact.
 

C2H50H said...

Bart, We have to ask: what does "statistically significant" mean in this sense?

That is a good question. Jones never provided his basis in the BBC interview.

Given the way CRU fraudulently transformed the raw temperature data from weather stations around the world showing little or no warming over the 20th Century into an "adjusted" or "harmonized" temperature record showing a sharp warming trend by eliminating stations showing cooling, keeping stations which showed warming, changing the temperature record of individual stations to show warming, duplicating actual stations and adding completely fictional stations, I will not hazard a guess what Jones means by statistically significant.

I would note that NASA/GISS long delayed FOIA disclosure of its emails discusses how the US temperature record is essentially flat and there is no discernible warming trend outside of the natural variation of temperatures or "temperature noise." This is in complete contradiction to Hansen's published charts.
 

Bart,

Cut the blather, answer the question. Scientists don't need to define "statistical significance", because anybody who has had a statistics course understands it.

It's pretty obvious that you don't understand what you spew, it's worth precisely nothing.
 

Mr. DePalma,

The CAA regulates pollutants. CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a natural part of the atmosphere that you add to every time you exhale.

Are you adding another distinction - that it must be emitted by people - to escape regulation? Because Methane is also a naturally occurring gas in the atmosphere, is a regulated pollutant, and... well, we all know where this is going...

Please tell me what makes CO2 not a pollutant, but other natural gases and elements can be regulated as pollutants. Or are you arguing that something like Mercury (which is also naturally in the atmosphere from volcanic eruption) is not regulatable?


Five Supremes claimed that the computer model hypotheses of AGW were established scientific fact when in fact they all failed to predict the current climate and were thus at best disproven hypotheses. This was a blatantly political decision in the finest progressive tradition.

Name calling does not strengthen your argument. The Court did not rely upon computer models that have been disproven, Roberts in dissent chose one computer model that had a margin of error he thought suspect, yadda, yadda, yadda. All of this is a red herring. The question we are currently addressing is whether CO2 fits the statutory definition of "air pollutant." This denier gobbledegook is immaterial to that analysis.



Lisa Jackson, Obama's singularly unqualified EPA head,


People would take you more seriously if you didn't make ridiculous pot-shots when making your points. Lisa Jackson was valedictorian from Saint Mary's Dominican High School in New Orleans, graduated summa cum laude from the School of Chemical Engineering at Tulane University, and earned a master's degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University. She then worked at EPA for 16 years at Superfund sites and hazardous waste cleanups. She was deputy director and acting director for the region later. She was NJ's Commissioner of Environmental Protection.

Did you even take an environmental law course in law school? I try not to disparage anyone for their personal decisions and choice of professions, but perhaps you should attempt to determine if you are qualified to claim someone else is unqualified before you say it. I would match Ms. Jackson's resume against yours any day. If she's not qualified to be EPA head, how is Palin qualified to be President? Square that circle for me.

I don't want to get into a debate on the actual merits of global warming, because it is not germane to the statutory analysis of whether EPA has the power to regulate CO2 as an air pollutant, and because the science is overwhelming. So, getting back to the case - the Court determined CO2 meets the statute's definition of air pollutant, and is therefore regulatable by EPA. It did not rely on any computer modeling, or Lisa Jackson testimony. It looked at the statute, and said it met the definition. Now, Scalia makes a decent argument that it isn't regulatable under Chevron deference, but his conclusion unwittingly runs into the same problem you do with all of the other regulated chemicals (even citing in opposition as an example methane - for the the same reason I didn't mention above), and the fact that his analysis would leave tons of pollutants unregulated, or more likely at the whim of the agency. But it is a defensible argument.

P.S. I hope you do not wish to represent insurance companies on coverage matters - your very narrow reading of "pollution" would render certain exclusions useless in policies. Just sayin'.
 

P.S.

Lisa Jackson, Obama's singularly unqualified EPA head, told the Senate yesterday that the fact that the world has not experienced any statistically significant warming for the past 15 years, as conceded recently by the CRU fraud ringleader Dr, Phil Jones, does not mean that the world is not warming. This pretty much sums up the view of the five Supremes in the EPA case.


Tracked this one down. First, she didn't "tell the Senate" this yesterday. CNSNews asked:

Transcript:

CNSNews.com: Do you agree with Dr. Phil Jones, the former head of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia that there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995?

Lisa Jackson, EPA administrator: I believe all the new information we have doesn’t lead to any different conclusion than what we reached in the Endangerment Finding. And that is that climate is changing and that mankind is responsible in part for that change and that we need to move aggressively. We need to move clean energy legislation. We need to move to addressing carbon and putting a price on carbon emissions.


http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/61804

So, she answered a question about an assertion from one scientist, and did not even agree with the premise of the question. Don't put words into people's mouths. Now, this did take me 15 minutes to track down, but I understand you cannot be bothered to actually fact check your claims. But, a la the boy who cried wolf, you'll understand why no one can accept any of your "facts" at face value without a thorough confirmation check.
 

Professor Levinson,

I beg you, put this one out of its misery.
 

Beck made no such suggestion. Beck compared progressivism to the disease of cancer because it is eating away at the Constitution. You may not like the rather apt analogy, but there is no implication that progressives should be killed.

No, but he and other so-called conservatives have stated that progressives should be killed elsewhere. That was my point.

If I make a sequence of statements in the following order...

1. Bart DePalma should be hung along with all the other conservative traitors infesting our country.

2. Bart DePalma's delight when our government fails makes him no better than our enemies, and he should be shot alongside them.

3. Conservatives like Bart DePalma should be put in reeducation camps where they learn to respect American freedoms or be shot.

4. I can't wait until the day conservatives wake up, see their friends getting on the trains, and then understand what cause they've been supporting.

5. Conservativism is like a cancer, and we need to remove this disease before it destroys what's left of America's liberties.

...do you see how people aren't listening to the subtle distinction of conservativism vs. conservative by the time you get to number 5? It's a (very) thinly veiled threat, and you (and said commentators) must really think we're stupid to not notice the trend enough to pick up on what the coded message here is.

This isn't about name-calling. "Demoncrat," "Teabagger," and "Rethuglican" and such things are childish and idiotic, but they don't advocate (or play with advocating a la Beck's "poisoning" of Pelosi) murder.
 

nerp:

The CAA authorizes EPA to regulate hazardous air pollutants which serious health or environmental hazards.

CO2 is the antithesis of a hazardous air pollutant in that its absence would kill off all plant life and all animal life would die if it could not emit CO2. In short, CO2 is a necessary element for life to exist on Earth.

The only way CO2 could be considered a hazardous air pollutant is under the AGW hypothesis. The AGW hypothesis can only meet the EPA's own science guidelines if it is tested against the actual climate and successfully predicts it - which it has repeatedly failed to do.

Let's have some fun to illustrate the nonsensical decision by five Supremes that CO2 is a pollutant.

Under the EPA's new endangerment ruling, it now has the power to regulate your breathing to limit the amount of hazardous air pollutants you emit into the atmosphere. Thus, athletes must buy CO2 permits if they plan to exercise strenuously. In order to reduce breathing to the bare minimum, Congress will subsidize transcendental meditation classes.

Then there are farts. EPA will either ban or limit the consumption of beans and nearly half of all vegetables. We can no longer have meat because livestock farts a great deal.

It is fitting that Tim Burton's new "Alice in Wonderland" movie is coming out just as Lisa Jackson attempts to defend her baseless endangerment finding against CO2.
 

Bart,

Wow. That's an argument suitable for 4th grade science -- and not the class for the "gifted".

Until you can discuss statistics with at least minimal understanding, you aren't capable of discussing climate. You simply lack the mathematical capacity to understand the available data.

You should also avoid any subject where the data is inherently noisy, such as economics, stocks, or polls, for example, in order to avoid looking like a dunce.
 

Our intrepid former backpacker in desperation now relies upon the "pull my finger" Blazing Saddles argument of his famous namesake. Unfortunately our yodeler is not breathless. I repeat: Unfortunately our yodeler is not breathless.
 

This does not mean that we should sanction progressives for their beliefs, simply that we should banish progressivism from the political discourse as a failure and antithetical to human liberty.

Curses on TR for ushering in the 20th century!

Someone here is all about "liberty", um, except when it comes to political speech. Thankfully, the Constitution doesn't bother itself with freedoms of this sort.

Professor Levinson, I beg you, put this one out of its misery.

Man's got a point.
 

To follow up on Mattski's quote from our yodeler:

"This does not mean that we should sanction progressives for their beliefs, simply that we should banish progressivism from the political discourse as a failure and antithetical to human liberty."

the Preamble to the Constitution includes the goal of "a more perfect union" which cannot come about without progressivism. As I pointed out in an earlier comment on Jack Balkin's "Commerce" draft article, the Constitution had built into it progressivism that current day originalists should recognize. In contrast, our yodeler views America through a rear view mirror or the wrong end of a telescope.
 

Sandy:

What "Beckism" presages is more terrorist violence like that conducted in Austin, Texas, where a demented citizen flew into an IRS building and killed a true American "hero" a/k/a known as a public servant who had dedicated his life to tax collection.

On what basis do you claim Beck or his current libertarian pitch played any role in instigating Joseph Stack to burn his house down and fly is airplane into some IRA offices?

Have you read Joseph Stack's "manifesto"? The man is a raving progressive:

Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours?

Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies.

Yet, the political “representatives” (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the “terrible health care problem”. It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in...

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.


So, should we now assume that MSNBC, Air America or the left net roots drove him to murder the IRS employee?

This is the second unfounded slander against Beck and libertarians/conservatives in this post. Do your homework Sandy.

BTW, IYHO, what on earth makes an IRS employee "heroic?"
 

Our mini-Beck has suddenly shifted gears as he has reached another dead end, reverting after 137 comments to the original post to come to a lame defense of maxi-Beck.

With respect to mini-Beck's inquiry of Sandy as to "what on earth makes an IRS employee 'heroic'" apparently mini-Beck failed to read with care what Sandy said:

"What 'Beckism' presages is more terrorist violence like that conducted in Austin, Texas, where a demented citizen flew into an IRS building and killed a true American 'hero' a/k/a known as a public servant who had dedicated his life to tax collection. One might remember that Justice Holmes called taxes 'the price we pay for civilization.' Part of our move toward fascism is to view as 'heroes' only those who carry guns and are prepared to risk their lives while preparing to inflict fatal violence on others. We must recognize that all public servants are, in their own ways, 'heroes.' The Republican Party for the past generation has systematically viewed all public servants, save for the military, as chumps, who if they had any real talent, would be working in the private sector (perhaps in Goldman Sachs, etc.). I truly fear for our country."

Once again, mini-Beck has to be reminded of context. Perhaps our mini-Beck considers the "demented citizen" to be a patriotic libertarian rather than a pathetic terrorist.
 

shag:

1) Noting Sandy's slander of "Beckism" leading to terrorist attacks is not a defense of Beck because Beck never encouraged terror attacks in his CPAC speech, but rather taking our host to task for his baseless slander.

2) Joe Stack was a progressive who also happened to be murderously pissed off at the IRS. He is not a libertarian or a conservative nor acting from those philosophies.
 

Bart,

Beck's ideology is hopelessly confused. The only part of it that is consistent is his anti-government stance (as long as the government is led by a Democrat). In that anti-government position, Beck and Stack (and the tea party folks) appear to have a lot in common.

Speaking of confused, how is it possible for you to claim he is a progressive, who, according to you, "worships" the government, to be simultaneously virulently anti-government?

Of course, it's quite possible for people to be very confused, but that would be bit too far over the line.
 

C2H50H said...

Speaking of confused, how is it possible for you to claim he is a progressive, who, according to you, "worships" the government, to be simultaneously virulently anti-government?

Are you claiming a progressive who believes that others should pay for his government services and payments cannot become pissed off when the IRS tells him to pay $40,000 of his own money?

The unions took Obama to the woodshed when he proposed to tax their cadillac health insurance plans to pay for Obamacare rather than taxing someone else. Thankfully, they did not get pissed off enough to fly an airplane into the White House.
 

Bart,

So "pissed off" is the same as "willing to kill oneself and others"?

Good to know.

Weren't you one of the people claiming, not long ago, that words mean particular things and aren't subjective in their meanings?
 

Are you claiming a progressive who believes that others should pay for his government services and payments cannot become pissed off when the IRS tells him to pay $40,000 of his own money?

# posted by Bart DePalma : 3:02 PM


Baghdad, if he believes that others should pay for his government services, that makes him a conservative. See the link provided by C2H50H.
 

Mr. DePalma,

sigh.

The CAA authorizes EPA to regulate hazardous air pollutants which serious health or environmental hazards.
No. The CAA defines the term “hazardous air pollutants” which “means any air pollutant listed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section,” (42 USC 7412(a)(6)) which is followed by a list of nasties in the statute. On the other hand,

The term “air pollutant” means any air pollution agent or combination of such agents, including any physical, chemical, biological, radioactive (including source material, special nuclear material, and byproduct material) substance or matter which is emitted into or otherwise enters the ambient air. Such term includes any precursors to the formation of any air pollutant, to the extent the Administrator has identified such precursor or precursors for the particular purpose for which the term “air pollutant” is used.

42 USC 7602(g)

and “The Administrator shall by regulation prescribe (and from time to time revise) in accordance with the provisions of this section, standards applicable to the emission of any air pollutant from any class or classes of new motor vehicles or new motor vehicle engines, which in his judgment cause, or contribute to, air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.”
42 USC 7521(a)(1).

Note the power to regulate “any air pollutant” not “hazardous air pollutants.” Also note there is nothing about “serious health or environmental hazards,” but simply “may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.”

(This harkens back to that whole “protect the meaning of words” thing you and I have been discussing).

Since they are both defined, a very standard rule of statutory construction mandates “hazardous air pollutants” and “air pollutants” do not mean the same thing. (Further, “hazardous ait pollutants” is clearly a subset of a larger set of “air pollutants,” so... yeah...)As always, for a textualist, it is strange you seem to avoid the statute when trying to make your points. Therefore, CO2 is an ait pollutant under the statute. Sorry.
 


CO2 is the antithesis of a hazardous air pollutant in that its absence would kill off all plant life and all animal life would die if it could not emit CO2. In short, CO2 is a necessary element for life to exist on Earth.

Ohhh, Ohhh – I don't get to say this very often, but you're right! CO2 is nota “hazardous air pollutant” (since it is not included on the list of “hazardous air pollutants in 7412(b)), but is merely a “air pollutants.” See Congress wanted EPA to get right to work on “hazardous air pollutants” when they passed the CAA, so they made a list of stuff they thought was really important to get to work on. But, they left the administrator the responsibility to regulate “air pollutants” after taking care of “hazardous air pollutants.”

And many chemicals and compounds and elements are important for life – Iodine, for instance, which is necessary for life, but in large amounts is poisonous and fatal. Sort of like how CO2 is good in the right amounts, but too much of it will cause global warming, and would be bad for the planet. EPA regulates Iodine in the air. Phosphorous is a biological necessity and a “hazardous air pollutant”, as is Chloride (compounds of which are “hazardous air pollutants,” since Chloride is so reactive), Manganese (“hazardous air pollutant”), and Selenium (“hazardous air pollutant). So, just cause something is good, or even “necessary for life,” doesn't mean it isn't also a pollutant. Sorry, again.


The only way CO2 could be considered a hazardous air pollutant is under the AGW hypothesis. The AGW hypothesis can only meet the EPA's own science guidelines if it is tested against the actual climate and successfully predicts it - which it has repeatedly failed to do.

Climate change has already met EPA's standards, and again, we are discussing if CO2 is an “air pollutant,” not a “hazardous air pollutant.”
 


It is fitting that Tim Burton's new "Alice in Wonderland" movie is coming out just as Lisa Jackson attempts to defend her baseless endangerment finding against CO2.


I'll admit, I thought Satire and Irony have been dead for a while. Most recently when Sarah Palin raised holy hell about Rahm Emmanuel using the word “retard” “inappropriately”; then it was used by Limbagh, but that was okay cause it was “satire”; then when a real satire – Family Guy – uses it, she gets all holier-than-thou again. But...

When Bart DePalma cites the masterpiece of Lewis Carroll – an exploration in math, logic and reason – in support of some contention of his, well, I find myself almost speechless. Irony and Satire are not just dead, they've been poisoned, stabbed, strangled, smothered, shot, and buried. A funeral service has been held, after which Irony and Satire's bodies are exhumed, stabbed some more, get put through the whole “Weekend at Bernie's” ordeal, kidnapped, rediscovered, mummified, and reburied. Another funeral service is held. Then, they are exhumed again - bodies and jars of internal organs - placed in a car, driven off a cliff, crashing into a raging inferno, in an attempt to collect the insurance money. Then, the ashes are recovered, at which point they are interred, yet another funeral service is held, until someone breaks in, steals the ashes, stuffs them into mannequins, at which point the mannequins are then kicked and beaten, stabbed, strangled, and shot, until they too are buried in a mausoleum, a funeral service held, and then the mausoleum is then subsequently burned down to the ground. What I am getting at is that Irony and Satire are most certainly dead, but, on the other hand, BRA-VO, good sir! After years of addressing the factual errors and logical fallacies contained in your arguments, you have played the ultimate trump card, the coup de grace, the piece de resistance, your opus magnum – acting like its everyone else who is lost in Wonderland, where reason and logic don't work. I've never felt like Alice more in my life – where is that White Rabbit?

Lastly, slander is spoken, libel is written.
 

Baghdad, that beatdown by nerpzillicus is your cue to flee this thread.
 

nerp:

I would assume that most folks would call an "air pollutant" which "may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare" a hazardous air pollutant. I am using the term generally, not citing to the exact statutory language for the list of statutorily forbidden pollutants. You understood what I was saying, but felt the need to score on a terminology point. OK, nerp 1, BD 0. Good for you.

And many chemicals and compounds and elements are important for life – Iodine, for instance, which is necessary for life, but in large amounts is poisonous and fatal.

No one is alleging that the statistically insignificant change in atmospheric CO2 levels since 1850 are poisoning the public. Wolfgang Knorr of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol in England reanalyzed the atmospheric carbon dioxide and emissions data since 1850 and expressly retained the "uncertainties. When the uncertainties are retained, Professor Knorr cannot find any statistically significant increase in the percentage of CO2 in our atmosphere. Knorr's paper can be found here: Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions increasing?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L21710, doi:10.1029/2009GL040613 (2009).

BD: The only way CO2 could be considered a hazardous air pollutant is under the AGW hypothesis. The AGW hypothesis can only meet the EPA's own science guidelines if it is tested against the actual climate and successfully predicts it - which it has repeatedly failed to do.

Climate change has already met EPA's standards.


Not even close. Stephen McIntyre, the man who debunked Mann's hockey stick graph and from whom CRU was hiding data, filed a lengthy public comment on the EPA's political endangerment finding listing in detail the violations of its own standards.
 

Mr. DePalma,

I would assume that most folks would call an "air pollutant" which "may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare" a hazardous air pollutant. I am using the term generally, not citing to the exact statutory language for the list of statutorily forbidden pollutants. You understood what I was saying, but felt the need to score on a terminology point. OK, nerp 1, BD 0. Good for you.

Uh, no. We were discussing whether CO2 is an air pollutant under the law, and whether EPA can regulate it. If you want to concede a point, concede that. You said:

The CAA authorizes EPA to regulate hazardous air pollutants which serious health or environmental hazards.

So you were not using “hazardous air pollutants” as some kind of “aw, schucks” layman's lingo – you were trying to convince me what EPA could regulate under the Clean Air Act. Typically, when a lawyer wants to make an assertion of what an agency created under a statute can do, that attorney tends to look at the actual statute. Not doing so would be akin to advising a tax filer “income” only means “wages from your job,” like some “folks” would think. As happens whenever I take the time to do an analysis, you are wrong. EPA has the authority to regulate more than what you claim.

You're wrong. What is so damn hard about admitting it? And I'm not going to let you weasel out by claiming I'm just being technical – you made a false claim about Mass v. EPA, and I have thoroughly debunked it. You know that. I felt the need to score on the only point I was arguing – CO2 is a pollutant under the CAA as interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States, and EPA has the power to regulate it. Period.

On the other, hand, I know who to pray for as an opponent if I ever have a case in your area of practice involving a “technical” (read “looking at a statute”) case.


No one is alleging that the statistically insignificant change in atmospheric CO2 levels since 1850 are poisoning the public.

Nope, but tens of thousands of scientists are saying adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere has the potential to really eff-up “public welfare.”


Wolfgang Knorr of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol in England reanalyzed the atmospheric carbon dioxide and emissions data since 1850 and expressly retained the "uncertainties. When the uncertainties are retained, Professor Knorr cannot find any statistically significant increase in the percentage of CO2 in our atmosphere. Knorr's paper can be found here: Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions increasing?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L21710, doi:10.1029/2009GL040613 (2009).

I don't know if you get this stuff from a source, or just type in google to find something to cite to, but you really need to read for comprehension. Knorr's paper is about whether the oceans and the land have reached a maximum absorption point for human created CO2, such that it can only go out into the atmosphere. He doesn't claim there is no climate change – it's just a debate as to what stage of climate change we are at. This doesn't prove your point that CO2 emissions cannot be reasonably anticipated to endanger public welfare.

Climate change has already met EPA's standards.

Not even close. Stephen McIntyre, the man who debunked Mann's hockey stick graph and from whom CRU was hiding data, filed a lengthy public comment on the EPA's political endangerment finding listing in detail the violations of its own standards.

So, under this logic, if I made a public comment on the Warrantless Wiretapping authority of the President, you would concede that it's “not even close” that the President has such authority? Who appointed Stephen McIntyre director of the EPA? Is there some known equivalence I'm unaware of where “Stephen McIntyre > all of the scientists in the world”? Let me know.
 

nerp:

1) Dr. Knorr found that the percentage of the atmosphere made up of CO2 has not increased by a statistically significant amount since 1850. This finding pretty much guts the AGW hypothesis theorizes that an increase in atmospheric CO2 led the atmosphere to warm by 0.6 degrees Celsius over the 20th Century.

2) The mere fact that McIntyre filed a public comment makes no difference at all. However, the evidence and argument McIntye makes in the comment pretty much put the lie to your claim that EPA followed its own rules. Read the comment.
 

Bart,

You were warned about blogging about climate while ignorant. As for the hockey stick, see here for a complete demolition of your copy-and-paste BS. I especially recommend the one for "dummies" in your case. For the Knorr paper, see here. Short version, since we already know you won't understand the long one: we already knew (and everyone agreed) that there are Carbon sinks that moderate the CO2 in the atmosphere that humanity pours into the atmosphere. The Knorr paper, if its results hold up, would indicate that the Carbon sinks haven't as yet been overloaded and thrown us into unknown territory, as of the date of its data -- a few years ago.

The problem here is that we're talking about inherently noisy data, so any individual result, with a particular start and end, may show nothing or dramatic results -- or even, occasionally, the opposite results.

This has nothing to do with the long-term results, as you would understand, if you understood statistics.
 

Our mini-Beck seems lost in a maze of dead-ends. Will he find a way out before his own exhaled CO2 does him in?

By the way, was Timothy McVeigh a progressive along the same reasoning our mini-Beck provides for Stack or a patriotic libertarian?
 

C2H50H said...

As for the hockey stick, see here for a complete demolition of your copy-and-paste BS.

What did I cut and paste concerning Mann's hockey stick fraud? I do not have the time to educate you with more links. Go to Climate Audit and search for "mann hockey stick" for several detailed breakdowns of how Mann's hockey stick was fudged, especially by the elimination of the medieval warming period, which was warmer than today.

For the Knorr paper, see here. Short version, since we already know you won't understand the long one: we already knew (and everyone agreed) that there are Carbon sinks that moderate the CO2 in the atmosphere that humanity pours into the atmosphere. The Knorr paper, if its results hold up, would indicate that the Carbon sinks haven't as yet been overloaded and thrown us into unknown territory, as of the date of its data -- a few years ago.

What happened to the CO2 is irrelevant so long as it is not in the atmosphere. Let us assume for the sake of argument that carbon sinks have absorbed 100% of the manmade CO2 since 1850. This means that man has not increased the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere to create the hypothesized green house effect over the 20th Century. Without the prerequisite CO2 increase, the entire AGW theory collapsed.

The problem here is that we're talking about inherently noisy data, so any individual result, with a particular start and end, may show nothing or dramatic results -- or even, occasionally, the opposite results.

BINGO! This is the major problem with the temperature record.

A world climate model divides the atmosphere over the planet into equal cells. To calculate an hypothetical annual world temperature, the model simply averages the predicted temperatures in each cell.

The real world is hardly this efficient.

To start, the real world does not have an even distribution of weather stations across the planet and not all of the available stations were active over the entire period. Indeed, several thousand weather stations in Russia alone were constructed over the middle of the 20th Century only to be abandoned for lack of funds after the fall of the USSR. Consequently, we do not have constant temperature records for large sections of the Earths surface.

Moreover, the historical temperature record we do possess is internally incompatible. The temperature readings across the world are not recorded at the same times during the day and night. Given that temperatures can vary by over 20 degrees Celsius during a 24 hour period in many parts of the world, recording temperatures even an hour apart can skew the samples by well over a degree.

Finally, urban and suburban growth over the 20th century has engulfed a substantial percentage of the world’s weather stations and placed artificial heat sources into close proximity to station thermometers. For example, a recent study in the United States found that 89% of surveyed weather stations failed to meet the National Weather Service’s own siting requirements that stations must be 30 meters or more away from an artificial heating or radiating/reflecting heat source.

The combination of inadequate weather station coverage, inconsistent temperature measurements and urban encroachment on weather stations creates a measurement error large enough to render a calculation of an average annual world temperature as little more than speculation.

The raw temperatures we do possess are largely flat over the past century.
 

I'm curious, Nerp. What is your background?
 

Bart,

Since you cannot, apparently, define "statistically significant", you are hardly in a position to "educate" anybody.

If you were to follow the links I gave, you might, on the other hand, educate yourself.

You won't, of course. You prefer to remain invested in your ignorance.
 

C2H50H:

I do not claim to be a statistical expert. I have a basic knowledge only. However, I am citing statistical experts, including some of your AGW coreligionists.

There is very little to sustain the AGW hypothesis any longer except for the inane retort that: "The science remains solid."

>There is no measurable atmospheric CO2 increase.

> The raw temperature data is incomplete and inconsistent. The resulting variability is the equivalent of a presidential horse race poll with a +/- 10% margin of error. What we do have shows no appreciable warming.

> The adjusted temperature data hacked from CRU appears to be substantially fraudulent, reducing the already insufficient raw temperature record to only warming stations while leaving 40% of Russia and 25% of Australia nearly completely uncovered.

> Even after gaming the "adjusted" temperature record, CRU now admits that there has been no statistically significant warning in the world for 15 years and NASA/GISS emails admit that there has been none in the United States over the 20th Century.

> The IPCC is nearly weekly admitting that another of its apocalyptic predictions was not peer reviewed, was not based upon science and was simply a lie. The scientist in charge of releasing the prediction that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 actually told a paper that he was aware that the claim had no basis in science, but admitted that he published it anyway to overcome Indian opposition to the AGW theory.

This worst scientific scandal of my lifetime is the entire basis of the EPA endangerment finding. The plaintiffs challenging this finding in Court need to use their discovery powers to obtain all the data, emails and programming from The Global Historical Climate Network (NOAA/GHCN), the British Climate Research Unit (CRU), NASA/GISS and IPCC, depose all of the researchers under oath and then put them all on the stand to challenge the "science." The plaintiffs need to release all of their findings for public review. Do not accept any settlement with EPA to cover this up.
 

When I grow up I want to be nerpzillicus.
 

Bart,

I decline to participate any further in this thread-jacking. I've followed the discussions on the science blogs for years, and this endless refutation of your half-truths would be more humorous there. Go, and be educated. Try deltoid, for starters.

If you actually engage in honest questions, you won't be banned in the first 30 seconds.
 

Hey, Sandy, I've been reading your book, and actually have a few comments. Are you going to post something that would be a suitable place to share them?
 

As a follow up to C2H5OH's last comment, take a look at:

http://www.tomdispatch.com/

"Tomgram: Bill McKibben, Climate Changes O.J. Simpson Moment" in considering the "half truths" (which are "half lies") uttered by our own Simpson Moment. Remember what George Costanza told Jerry Seinfeld: "It's not a lie if you believe it." So our own Simpson Moment yodels on.
 

As a further follow up, check out:

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/02/ta022510.html

for Eric Alterman's 2/25/10 "Think Again: Conservative? Bad? How About Both? The Problem(s) with the Washington Post Op-Ed Page" article which focuses upon George Will (climate change), David Broder (Sarah Palin) and newby Mark Thiessen (torture), subjects near and dear to this Blog.
 

Folks:

Here are a selection of relevant end notes from the chapter my book draft on the climategate and other scandals which forced Cap & Tax to a screeching halt. This is just a sample of the dozens of sources out there for those who demand something more than Lisa Jackson's unresponsive, "The science is sound" non response. Some of you may be forgiven your ignorance because the US Dem media has been studiously ignoring the scandal which has gripped the UK and much of the rest of the world and scuttled Copenhagen.

GISS Surface Temperature Analysis – Station Data. http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data/

Anthony Watt, “Is the United States Surface Tempterature Record Reliable?” The Heartland Institute (2009). http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/surfacestationsreport_spring09.pdf

Jonathan Leake, “World may not be warming, say scientists,” UK Sunday Times (February 14, 2010). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7026317.ece

IPCC Third Assessment Report – Climate Change 2001: Working Group I: The Scientific Basis. http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc%5Ftar/?src=/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/figspm-4.htm

Andrew Orlowski, “Global Warming ate my data,” The Register (August 13, 2009). http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/13/cru_missing/ (noting CRU’s various responses to FOIA requests, including not possessing the raw temperature data sets which were hacked from CRU three months later).

Ben Webster, “Scientists in stolen e-mail scandal hid climate data,” London Times (January 28, 2010). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7004936.ece

Christopher Booker, “Climate change: This is the worst scientific scandal of our generation,” Telegraph.co.uk (November 28, 2009). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/6679082/Climate-change-this-is-the-worst-scientific-scandal-of-our-generation.html

A.J. Strata, “How to Hide Global Cooling: Delete the ‘1940’s Blip,’” Strata-Sphere blog (November 24, 2009). http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/11466

Willis Eschenbach, “The Smoking Gun At Darwin Zero,” Watts Up With That? blog (December 8, 2009). http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/08/the-smoking-gun-at-darwin-zero/

Warwick Jones, “Warwick Jones shows how Jones selections put bias in Australian Temperatures,” Watts Up With That? blog (November 26, 2009). http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/26/warwick-hughes-shows-how-jones-put-bias-in-australian-temperatures/

James Delingpole, “Climategate goes SERIAL,” Telegraph.co.uk (December 16, 2009). http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100020126/climategate-goes-serial-now-the-russians-confirm-that-uk-climate-scientists-manipulated-data-to-exaggerate-global-warming/

Declan McCullagh, “Congress May Probe Leaked Global Warming E-Mails,” CBS News Taking Liberties blog (November 24, 2009). http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/11/24/taking_liberties/entry5761180.shtml
 

Andie Brownlow, “Climategates’ Harry_Read_Me.txt: We All Really Should,” Pajamas Media.com (December 11, 2009). http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/climategates-harry_read_me-txt-we-all-really-should/?singlepage=true

Jean S, “Mike’s Nature Trick,” Climate Audit blog (November 20, 2009). http://climateaudit.org/2009/11/20/mike’s-nature-trick/

“NZ’s NIWA accused of CRU-style temperature faking,” Investigate Magazine (November 26, 2009). http://briefingroom.typepad.com/the_briefing_room/2009/11/breaking-nzs-niwa-accused-of-cru-style-temperature-faking.html

“NIWA confirms temperature rise,” NIWA press release (November 26, 2010). http://www.niwa.co.nz/our-science/climate/news/all/niwa-confirms-temperature-rise

“NIWA Unable To Justify Official Temperature Record,” Scoop Independent News (February 1, 2010). http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC1002/S00004.htm

Stephan Dinan, “Researcher: NASA hiding climate data,” The Washington Times (December 3, 2009). http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/dec/03/researcher-says-nasa-hiding-climate-data/
http://www.judicialwatch.org/files/documents/2010/783_NASA_docs.pdf

Richard Black, “Climate body admits ‘mistake’ on Himalayan glaciers,” BBC News (January 19, 2010). http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8468358.stm

David Rose, “Glacier scientist: I knew data hadn’t been verified,” The UK Daily Mail (January 24, 2010). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1245636/Glacier-scientists-says-knew-data-verified.html#

Jonathan Leake, “UN wrongly linked global warming to natural disasters,” The UK Sunday Times (January 24, 2010). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7000063.ece

Jonathan Leake, “UN climate panel shamed by bogus rainforest claim,” The UK Sunday Times (January 31, 2010). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7009705.ece

Jonathan Leake, “Africagate: top British scientist sasy UN panel is losing credibility,” The UK Sunday Times (February 7, 2010). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7017907.ece

See “The IPCC’s questionable citations list,” ClimateQuotes.com blog for a representative sample of non-peer-reviewed citations from the IPCC 2007 assessment report. http://climatequotes.com/scientists/the-ipccs-questionable-citations/
 

Baghdad, do any of those "sources" explain why all the glaciers on the planet are melting even as they try to claim that global warming is fiction?
 

My, my, our mini-Beck provides links. Alas, our mini-Beck is himself the missing link of reality. With our mini-Beck's past and recent history of half-truths and out and out lies, who in his right mind would be prepared to check out his "relevant end notes." Now this is an example of our yodeler putting the cart before the horse. Our yodeler seems reluctant to show us his chapter. Perhaps our mini-Beck's endnotes approach explains his myopia of reality, looking through the wrong end of the telescope. It's like a debater listing books, etc, that he/she relies upon without providing content.

Our mini-Beck may be in awe of maxi-Beck's "success" with publications and may be seeking to emulate him. But our mini-Beck's efforts clearly will result in a work of fiction, perhaps even more fictional than those of maxi-Beck.
 

Just a quick comment on Prof. Balkin's latest post.

While I agree that the US system won't work if the parties operate Parliament-style (i.e., in lockstep support or opposition), I think he's wrong about one important fact. Only one party is now operating like that, the Republicans. The Democrats haven't reached that point yet and are still trying to govern under the old paradigm.

This leaves open 3 potential outcomes:

1. The Dems shift to the Republican model, in which case Prof. Balkin is correct.

2. The Republican party-centric model fails (either because of tensions within the coalition or some other reason). In this case there may be some preservation of the pre-1994 system.

3. The Dems fail to adopt the Republican model, but the Republicans keep it. In this case the Dems will be unable to govern but the Republicans will, meaning a ratchet to the right for American politics.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

It is interesting that Jack and Sandy, like most Dems, did not think the Republic was in danger when the Dems blocked GOP initiatives in the Senate during the Bush Administration.

Hypocrisies aside, I am unaware of any legislation which had substantive majority support among voters being blocked in the Senate by a minority party filibuster. See, for example, the recent Senate jobs bill vote. The GOP sure didn't let the fact that the jobs bill is not likely to create any permanent private sector jobs prevent them from voting for it. The reason is that the bill is popular with voters.

The problem for the progressive wing of the Dem party and its progressive President is that their signature policies only draw minority support among voters. If Obamacare actually had majority support among voters, it would have passed last summer.

NOTE: The key word here is voters. Please do not offer in rebuttal polls of adults or even worse the incredibly skewed Kaiser poll which has about 19% more folks under the poverty line and 15% more without full time employment than the population at large according to the census.
 

To follow up on Mark's comment, if the Democrats are unable to govern, while the Republicans can govern but cannot (as is perfectly obvious -- they're not even trying to produce solutions to the problems this nation faces), then in about 2016 we'll face the same kind of situation that faced the Weimar Republic.

I'm thinking this is going to be a dangerous period.
 

I find it very sad -- no, very infuriating -- that relevant, intelligent discussion like the notes just posted by Mark Field and C2H50H are drowning in an ocean of drivel.

Bart DePalma spends his time trolling these waters only because he knows that several fish will always rise to his bait.
 

Folks sure do get worked up about what an entertainer thinks.
 

As to Beck's original point that progressivism is gradually eating away at our constitutional protections, CNN released an interesting poll of adults finding that nearly 70% of those who self identify GOP, 63% of Indis and 35% of Dems believe that "the federal government's become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens."

How much larger would those numbers be if CNN narrowed the focus to voters?
 

I didn't read the post, following nerp.'s lead, but Mark Field's reasoning is sound.

It comes to me that Balkin not allowing comments because of abuse of the system can in some fashion be seen as a metaphor of some kind. As I noted above, those who don't want to govern (but hypocritically claim to be the true small 'r' republicans) are dragging us down.

It is depressing and yeah a bit scary to examine the effects. Thus, I had a debate with someone who seems fairly reasonable that Stack uh is not really comparable to the revolutionaries of '76.

The need to even do that underlines the depth of things. We can't even worry about deciding, e.g., if Yoo really violated professional ethics. We have to convince people he supposed to even have some beyond "promoting the cause."

Anyway, let me thank nerp. et. al. for educating us. Truth in collision with error, to paraphrase Mill.
 

As to Beck's original point that progressivism is gradually eating away at our constitutional protections

# posted by Bart DePalma : 11:24 AM


If you think the government is too powerful, why didn't you complain when Bush/Cheney started spying on us?
 

BB:

Unless you include yourself among al Qeada and its supporters, the TSA did not spy on you or anyone else here.
 

Unless you include yourself among al Qeada and its supporters, the TSA did not spy on you or anyone else here.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 11:49 AM


Says who? The government? I thought you didn't trust the government?
 

BB:

I don't trust the government. However, I do trust the base partisan instincts of the Dems and GOP and their leakers inside the intelligence community. If either Bush or Obama had been spying on innocent Americans, it would have been disclosed along with the flood of other information published over the past 8 years.
 

I don't trust the government. However, I do trust the base partisan instincts of the Dems and GOP and their leakers inside the intelligence community.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 12:37 PM


That is a pretty blatant lie. There have been plenty of leaks about the torture of innocent "terrorist" detainees, and you're still denying that any such thing has happened.
 

For those interested, here is a 2003 article by Jack Balkin that summarizes Levinson's work.
 

I think he's wrong about one important fact. Only one party is now operating like that, the Republicans. The Democrats haven't reached that point yet and are still trying to govern under the old paradigm.

I think this is indeed the critical difference. Democrats face the necessity to band together to accomplish their goals, but they are a group constituted of subgroups, unlike the Republicans which continue to have a "with us or against us" homogeneity of thought.

One hopes that some sort of evolutionary force will begin to select against the rigid thought trait--I think it did play a part in the 2008 elections. How might we encourage Congressmen to vote in support of the interests of their constituents, rather than the interests of their party?
A balanced budget amendment? Proportional constituent-based voting on the floors of Congress?
 

Following up on PMS_CC, consider the following:

1. Democratic voters are far less likely, today, to simply give money to the party. They tend instead to support individual candidates.

2. This weakens the party, preventing it from being in a position to reward or punish those who break party ranks.

3. The perception of the many potential donors, myself included, and the many advocacy organizations that raise money for the Democratic party, becomes informed by the defections, so that people view the national party as powerless.

Rinse, cycle, repeat.

This has been going on for a long time. Why should it stop?

Meanwhile, the Republican party, which has for decades relied on moneyed backers and brainless, fearful, or bigoted voters, operates in a "hang together or we'll hang separately" mode. Since those who will unthinkingly vote GOP are aging and dying off (statistically speaking), so that the GOP is "concentrating" rather than diffusing, this trend can be expected to continue.

This will not render the GOP more capable of governing, as, if they attempt to make a bigger tent, they'll lose either their moneyed backers or the bigots, and the real independents they are attracting today are anything but reliable.

In summary: there is no reason, short of a national catastrophe, that will change these trends soon.

Expect things to go on as they are, getting worse year on year.
 

How might we encourage Congressmen to vote in support of the interests of their constituents, rather than the interests of their party?
A balanced budget amendment? Proportional constituent-based voting on the floors of Congress?


I believe that eliminating the filibuster would move us in that direction. If the Republicans couldn't succeed by banding together, they'd be forced to bid for Dem support.

Also, changing the Senate to proportional representation would most likely solve much of the problem, but the effects of that are harder to predict because it's such a drastic change.
 

Replace elections with selection by lot. The fundamental flaw of all elective democracies is that only people who want power end up with it, and that's exactly who shouldn't end up with it.

Holding office should be like jury duty, an occasional obligation of citizenship, but something you can't seek for yourself.
 

There remains local Republicans that do not act like the hive collective congressional party.

Is there any chance that some of these will join the House or Senate (or one could imagine, become President) without in effect being sucked into the hive?

Some change of the filibuster is conceivable, less so a proportional Senate. Still, on that, I was thinking of an idea where each state has at least one vote (ala House) while the remaining 50 are split by population.
 

An obligation to serve in public service might work on some level, but I don't see how it would work to simply pick people by lot. Jurors are limited roles. Not the same thing.
 

It would be problematic for the executive branch, but it could work for the legislature, because the law of averages protects you there; A few really lousy legislators would be no big deal. Obviously so, it's not like we lack today for lousy legislators.

I'll grant you that it might lower the average qualifications of legislators, but the trade off is that it would sort out the power freaks.

My primary suggestion, though, for that constitutional convention Sandy wants, would be to amend Article V. I'd change it so any amendment, no matter how it originated, would become part of the Constitution on being ratified by the necessary number of states.

You see, I think Sandy has mis-identified the real reason the Constitution isn't being amended more often: It isn't that the states don't ratify, it's that Congress won't originate.

Why should Congress originate amendments? Ever since the New Deal, the courts have been very willing to let Congress have any new power it feels in the mood to claim. Congress gets what it wants without amendment, and won't submit amendments to the states because that gives the states the chance to say "No!", which they have no way to do in the case of informal "amendment" by reinterpretation.

The amendment process is all downside as far as Congress is concerned, because it lets the states have some say in a process that's otherwise entirely at the federal level.

In fact, it is my expectation that, should the necessary number of states call for a constitutional convention, Congress will either ignore the call, or find some way to sabotage it, perhaps by declaring that they themselves are the ideal delegates. After all, with 'interpretation' giving Congress anything it wants, a convention can only result in amendments Congress doesn't want.

Should that happen, I propose that the states ratify the amendment to Article V by the procedure called out in the amendment itself, much as the Constitution was adopted by it's own procedure, not the one called out in the Articles of Confederation. True, it would be a real confrontation, but if Congress won't permit a real convention, such a confrontation would be needed.
 

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PMS_CC said...

"I think he's wrong about one important fact. Only one party is now operating like that, the Republicans. The Democrats haven't reached that point yet and are still trying to govern under the old paradigm."

I think this is indeed the critical difference. Democrats face the necessity to band together to accomplish their goals, but they are a group constituted of subgroups, unlike the Republicans which continue to have a "with us or against us" homogeneity of thought.


To start, the core of the Dem Party is no less homogeneous than the core of the GOP. They both vote as a block on each side of the ideological issues of the moment. This homogeneity arises from our cultural divide, not some failure of process caused by a flaw in the Constitution or parliamentary rules.

The middle ground is where the discrepancies arise. The electorate is center-right. To be elected, those representatives who are the balance of power for a majority must also at least campaign and should govern center-right. Thus, when the Dems are in a majority, they will inevitably be divided between their left base and their center-right wing. This is less the case with the GOP in a majority because there is less ideological space between their right base and their center-right wing.

This begs the question of whether the Dems can effectively govern until they shift the electorate left.
 

I need to elaborate on my comment that ending the filibuster would help move both parties away from the Parliamentary-style system the Republicans have adopted. My comment was based on the assumption that the Dems control the Senate; given that assumption, my previous comment was right, I believe.

However, things get more interesting if we assume that that the Republicans take over the Senate (as they eventually will).

If the Dems remain in their current condition, just with fewer members in the Senate, then the filibuster rule has a slight tendency to force the Republicans to compromise. It's not a terribly difficult task for them to get a few Dem cross-overs, but it may require a little work. Thus, in this particular case, the presence of a filibuster rule would actually weaken the trend towards unified parties. In this circumstance, my previous comment was too limited.

Now let's suppose the Dems actually put together a core of 41 Senators who are as united as the Republicans are today. This would prevent the Republicans from passing their preferred legislation.

The first reaction might be that the Republicans will therefore eliminate the filibuster. However, I don't think this is true so long as the Dems control either the House or the Presidency or both. If that's the case, the Republicans don't need to pass legislation, they just need to block it and they can leave the filibuster rule alone and continue to disrupt Dem legislation when the Republicans are in the minority.

The dramatic change comes if and when the Republicans control both branches of Congress and the Presidency. If the Dems were to filibuster legislation which was politically important to the Republicans under those circumstances, then I believe the Republicans would abolish the filibuster (perhaps in stages).

The same reasoning would hold true if the Dems ever reach the level of unification the Republicans have achieved.
 

"A few really lousy legislators"

Since on the whole, most people (who will I guess be forced to do so ala jurors), are pretty qualified? Not to belittle myself, but I really am not qualified to be a U.S. senator. But, I appreciate the voice of support.

"Why should Congress originate amendments?"

Art. V. does allow the states to on their own ask the Congress to call a convention and then they "shall" do so. The necessary number of states never so asked -- it's a lot easier to have one body originate then separate states to together do so.

But, Brett -- why I'm not sure -- thinks Congress would somewhat sabotage the process. That is, representatives voted in by the same states that were so serious about change that they decided a convention was necessary to amend the Constitution would decide to ignore the will of their state legislatures.

He then moves to his usual complaint about open-ended "interpretation" which has been dealt with before.

His solution is for the states to ratify on their own. Why the federal government would accept the amendment is unclear.

Anyway, suffice to say, it doesn't seem to be proven that members of Congress are that much unconcerned about the will of the people. But, when the states have the votes to call a convention, maybe we can see who is right.
 

"But, Brett -- why I'm not sure -- thinks Congress would somewhat sabotage the process."

I have no idea why you're not sure: I explained why I think that, after all. Since Congress is perfectly capable of originating any amendments THEY want, a constitutional convention can only end up originating amendments Congress doesn't want.

It's not exactly a secret that the purpose of the constitutional convention clause is exactly that: To provide the states with a way to bypass Congress. But who says Congress wants to be bypassed?
 

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Various things that people "want" aren't done for various reasons, not just because they don't "want" to do them. There is also levels of opposition.

So, not passing an amendment does not mean Congress doesn't want it. For one thing, a supermajority is required. 60% of Congress may want it, but not be able, since 2/3 is the test. That Congress in that case would necessarily block the will of the states is unclear.

Likewise, just because Congress rather not pass something (whatever the level of opposition), it is a leap again that they will refuse to call a convention if the necessary number of states decide it is necessary.

The government does lots of things it doesn't like to do, including letting dangerous people out of prison, because the law requires them to do so. Why this specifically will be different is unclear. Though obviously it's hard to predict what never happened yet.
 

Brett says in his most recent comment::

"It's not exactly a secret that the purpose of the constitutional convention clause is exactly that: To provide the states with a way to bypass Congress. But who says Congress wants to be bypassed?"

Assuming that Congress (majority? supermajority?) does not want to be bypassed, how exactly can Congress accomplish this? Here's what Brett said in an earlier comment:

"In fact, it is my expectation that, should the necessary number of states call for a constitutional convention, Congress will either ignore the call, or find some way to sabotage it, perhaps by declaring that they themselves are the ideal delegates. After all, with 'interpretation' giving Congress anything it wants, a convention can only result in amendments Congress doesn't want."

I think Brett's expectation is sheer speculation. By the way, who would do the "interpretation," the Executive, Legislative or Judicial branch?
 

Typically, Congress or the President usurp some new power, and then the Court "interprets" the Constitution so as to ratify the usurpation. "Living" constitutionalism essentially enables the legislature and executive branches to operate as permanent constitutional conventions, with ratification by a 5/4 vote of a body they jointly control the composition of.

Granted, this doesn't give them the ability to make structural changes, but they're not interested in that. About the only 'amendments' they're interested in are occasional extensions of their power.

The only time Congress has real interest in amending the Constitution is when the Supreme court tells them they can't do something they want to do. That's damned rare, CU being the latest occasion.

I suspect if they really get pissed, though, they'd pack the Court instead; They don't need state ratification for that.
 

And, yes, of course it's speculation. We'll have to wait until enough states call for a convention, to see if I'm right, or whether Congress will supinely roll over, and let the states originate all manner of amendments Congress doesn't want.
 

As to Glenn Beck, I just read George Packer's coverage at The New Yorker Blog posted 2/23/10 on Beck's speech, describing him as "Resentment's Cheerleader." Of course, we have our own mini-Beck here with his pom-poms of half-truths and out and out lies.
 

Shag:

Packer's 2/23 blog on Beck did not use the term resentment, which would be a queer term to apply to Beck or any other libertarian conservative.

Resentment is the commerce of the left. The wealthy, corporations, robber barons, big oil, big pharma, health insurance companies and [fill in the blank] are greedy predators who are robbing us.

On the other hand, we libertarian conservatives are the proponents of laissez faire, live free or die, and how can I get rich too.
 

Our mini-Beck believes in the laissez fairy, and the pixie dust of a NH license plate. Now that's queer. But then again, our mini-Beck may just get rich with his work of friction [sick!] to bail him out of his dead-end resentful professional endeavors. Dream on. (But I made you look. And how about Shays Rebellion?]
 

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