Continuing the discussion about left versus right

We’ve been having a great discussion on another thread about the left and the right, thanks largely to a visit from Zachriel.  I’m not sure how much we taught each other.  We got a bit sidetracked into discussions about whether Pelosi is a socialist, although Zachriel couldn’t come up with a single example of a time she voted to decrease government power and increase individual freedom in the economic sphere (or any other sphere, for that matter).  But one comment struck me as, perhaps, illustrating the difference between liberals and conservatives.

Zachriel said, apparently in support of Obamacare, “Those in low-income households were three times as likely to be uninsured as those with incomes above $75,000.”  My gut reaction was “Yes, so?”  But I think I know the answer.  As a conservative I reject the notion that need = entitlement.  I do not believe that just because I need something, like health care, I have a right to use the coercive power of government to reach into your pocket to pay for it.  Zachriel, I suppose, and most liberals, for certain, would disagree.

Don’t misunderstand. I believe that everyone who wants to contribute their own money to help me afford health care is welcome to do so.  If I need the help and people provide it I will be very appreciative.  I just don’t believe that they should be able to force anyone else to do so. 

Does anyone else, especially those who participated in the earlier discussion, have any response to this or any other insights to share?

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Comments

  1. MacG says

    Mike D #50

    Seems like the antithesis to a Government for the People, By the People and of the People.  No wonder they think the Constitution ought to be flushed, er,uh, that’d be ”changed” – yeah, that’s it.  They can keep hopin’.

  2. SADIE says

    Call them or us whatever.
    Bottom line questions:
    What  federal programs have been successful?
    Who did they benefit? Were they cost effective?
    Did everyone participate (politicians included)?
    Who benefited? Who didn’t  benefit?
     
     

  3. stanley says

    T. Jefferson was way ahead of his time in predicting our future (now present). The socialists among us must have read this quotation and said “yeah, that’s what we want to do”, and have done it for the past 70 or so years:
    “Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematical plan of reducing us to slavery.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

  4. Oldflyer says

    Zach, (I guess that is what we are calling him now; feel free to call me Old) says the hue and cry was raised over raising the tax rate on the wealthiest Americans by just 3 points when the deficit is already out of control.
    Right out of the Pelosi/Reid/Obama talking points memo.  In the first place, Zach we are not talking about the wealthiest Americans.  As you should know the wealthiest, that is the Oprahs, Buffets, Gates, Pelosis,  and such, don’t take  most of their income in taxable $$. Thanks to the convoluted tax laws, largely enacted by Democrats, they are sheltered in a myriad of ways. That is why Accountants, tax Lawyers and money manipulators live large, and have so much clout with the Democrat Congress. You know very well that there are two primary issues: 1. more taxes fuels larger, more intrusive government.  2.  The Democrat tax proposals impact the very entrepreneurs and small businesses needed to fuel the economy.  It really is that simple when you cut away the nonsense.
    Zach, your point gets lost.  You are obsessed with revolution.  There is no revolt in the U.S.  The Tea Party movement is an attempt to gain the attention of the government.  I believe it has been successful in the short-term.  Although we all know that the elected portion of  government will forget as soon as they think it is safe to do so.  The bureaucratic part really doesn’t give a damn. So far they are beyond reach.  The Democrats and their media accomplices have worked very hard to make the Tea Party seem to be all about taxes, and alone about taxes.  That is simply not true.  The Tea Party is very much about  regaining control of government growth–out of control growth.  The TP has been remarkably civil, peaceful and persistent.  One might say is is a model for citizens petitioning government in a Representative Republic.
    .

  5. says

    Just because government enforces laws against child labor, or taxes people to build roads, doesn’t necessarily mean that the government will control the entire economy.

    Government is made out of individuals. And it is these individuals that have their own personal motivations. It’s why PillowC was brought up as one topic of import.
    The government does what the PillowCs tell them to do and the PillowCs want government power to be extended over social and economic spheres involving people in America.

    The proof is already there. Some of it out of their own mouths. Maybe you just weren’t listening, Zach.

  6. says

    Stanley, nice quote
     
    Old, I see the TP as analogous to Jefferson and Franklein on negotiating with Britain on a political solution. Some of the FOunding Fathers didn’t go for war until they decided there was no hope of a peaceful resolution with Britain on taxes and control of the colonies. In furtherance of the chance for a deal, the Founding Fathers used diplomacy and courtesy, much as you see with the Tea Party.
     
    But once the efforts failed, beyond all reasonable doubt, then you saw something a little bit fiery. There were the Patric Henrys and other firebrands that were calling for war and violence before hand, but they weren’t backed by the mainstream leaders. Until Britain overstepped themselves permanently.
     
    Same with TP. They will only tolerate federal abuses for so long, before they realize that they must either act or lose their freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and freedom of self defense.
     
     

  7. Danny Lemieux says

    Oldflyer, you wrote “As you should know the wealthiest, that is the Oprahs, Buffets, Gates, Pelosis,  and such, don’t take  most of their income in taxable $$.”
    Funny that…I remember when Jean Francois Kerry decided to run and (partially) revealed he and Teresa Kerry’s tax statements, I researched what was known about their asset holdings and calculated that they probably paid taxes at a rate of less-than 5%, based on very conservative estimates of what their incomes were generating. Plus, let’s not forget Kerry’s “boat” in Rhode Island. I understand the Kennedy fortune is safely sequestered in Fiji Trusts.
    Taxes are for the little people.
     

  8. Oldflyer says

    Well, I meant to delete that previous post, but got confused and couldn’t stop it.  Oh, for an edit/cancel button.  I was going to delete it because I thought this had gone on long enough and on reflection my post didn’t add anything that hasn’t been hashed over.
    This is what I would have added instead.  It is hard to believe that there have been something like a hundred posts now on two threads, and the argument still revolves around semantics; and  for the most part out-dated theory and philosophy.  I say outdated, because the folks who are running the country do not have any philosophy whatsoever, nor do they adhere to any theory.  All they know is more government, more control and more intrusion into  the lives of the citizens.  Call it what  you will; I, for one, don’t care.  I just want it brought under control.
    But, if there is to be a continued argument about terms, I do stand by the one I used earlier.  Statism is certainly no more nebulous than any other term of reference.  The terms Liberal, or Progressive for instance, have become so nebulous as to be meaningless.  The meaning of Statism should be just about self-evident, and  perfectly describes for me what is going on today–far advanced in Europe and the Totalitarian regimes of Asia, etc; but gaining ground in the U.S.

  9. Danny Lemieux says

    One of the reasons that Zachriel and I were talking past one another is that he has very different definitions for terms like “socialism”, “fascism”, “naziism”, “communism” that most of us do, as evidenced on his/her/their blog.
    I see the spectrum very differently, with free, individual libertarian government (defined by minimum government and maximum individual responsibility) on one end and controlled, collective authoritarian government (defined by minimum individual responsibility and maximum government intrusion) on the other.
    The terms “socialist”, “statist”, “progressive”, “communist”, and “fascist” all belong well towards one end of that spectrum and really don’t differ that much from one another.
    Same thugs, different gang colors.

  10. says

    Danny, let’s be honest. Zach’s entire world view is 180 degrees from yours.
     
    It’s not just a “few definitions”.
     
    Lol “their”. The Leftist Utopia will be engendered on Earth with Hive Mind 2.0.
     
    WE Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For
     
    Get it, ‘we’?
     
     

  11. says

    Taxes are for the little people.

    You know me. I’m fine with high taxes. First people I’ll tax are the politicians and federal bureaucrats. 90% of their total assets. Not income. Total assets. Including their private property, their jewels, their land, and the air they use up every day.

    They want high taxes? I’ll give them high taxes. They want to tax the rich, I’ll show them what it truly means to “tax the rich’.

  12. says

    jj: The lack of representation annoyed the educated firebrands, sure – Adams, Jefferson, Rutledge, et al – but the average nascent American didn’t care about the philosophical issues any more then than he does now: having to pay is what pissed off the masses. 
     
    Cool. An anarchist. Do you really think the people risked rebellion thinking that the new government wouldn’t have taxes?
     
    Gringo: What percentage of federal income taxes are paid by the highest 1% of earners?
     
    To determine the federal tax burden, the correct measure should include income tax, tax credits, and payroll taxes. Here is the federal tax burden for a few ranges, in thousands of dollars per year (2005): 
     
    30-40, 13.6%
    50-75, 17.4%
    200-500, 21.5%
     
    Please note that the distribution is only somewhat progressive, and all but the lowest income groups are contributing.
    http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/numbers/displayatab.cfm?Docid=1024&DocTypeID=1
     
    suek: They’re only comparable if you’re one of the ones who survives. 
     
    In the U.S., fifty million people don’t have access to primary medical care. That means problems can’t be checked early.
     
    suek: Costs are much higher in the US because the care is better – that is, the survival rate is higher, due to early diagnosis, treatment, and medications available.
     
    In most cases, care in the U.S. is only marginally better. However, the U.S. does excel in certain areas. 
     

  13. says

    esurio: The U.S. universal education system is a good analogy to universal health care because it is what the Left would like health care to become; a government monopoly. ‘

    The U.S. has had public education for over a century. They have grown to be the most technologically advanced nation in the world. Perhaps you could argue that the old model of education no longer works, but the history doesn’t go away just because you ignore it. If you don’t understand why public education worked for so long, it’s doubtful you will understand how to change it to meet modern challenges.

  14. says

    Oldflyer: You are obsessed with revolution. 

    Have no idea what you’re talking about. 

    Oldflyer: we are not talking about the wealthiest Americans. 

    People making over $250,000 are in the top 5% of the population. Even then, the tax rate is margin, so it only increases 3 points on the income over $250,000.

  15. Danny Lemieux says

    Zachriel says:
    In the U.S., fifty million people don’t have access to primary medical care. That means problems can’t be checked early.
    In most cases, care in the U.S. is only marginally better. However, the U.S. does excel in certain areas.
    Care to elaborate, Zachriel? These are flippant kerchief-waves, not answers.
    Nobody in the United States is denied primary care…all they have to do is walk into an emergency room. They don’t even have to be legal immigrants. The issue has been, who pays for it?
    A statement like “in most cases, care in the U.S. is only marginally better” is so vague and unsubstantiated…and plain flat wrong!
    As you have already been challenged to address, look at the survivability rates for life-threatening disease states like cancer, stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, the wait times for major surgeries in the U.S. versus other countries, the rates of in-hospital infections (esp. look at Quebec and the UK), the amounts of advanced equipment available in respective countries, like PET and MIR scanning equipment, kidney dialysis machines, etc. Look at emergency room statistics for the U.S. versus other countries. Look at how the elderly are treated in hospitals (you might want to scan the UK news sites or Google [France heat wave deaths].

    There is no “marginally better”. Zachriel, I’ve asked you a number of times to tell me how long you have lived in Europe or any other country for that matter. I am assuming that you have not and that all your mental perambulations on the subject of how life is in Europe are based upon a few odd statistics here and there and dreams of Shangri-La. Believe me, it is not what you think it is. Not even close. Don’t worry, though. You are not alone. I know many Liberal /Lefties (some in my wife’s family) who harbor similar delusions about Europe. They are quite comfortable living in their dream castles but it just ain’t real.

  16. says

    Ymarsakar: There were the Patric Henrys and other firebrands that were calling for war and violence before hand, but they weren’t backed by the mainstream leaders. Until Britain overstepped themselves permanently.

    Just like the British. Except for having your own parliament legislature. So, it really comes down to if you can’t win at the ballot box, you’ll support violence.

  17. says

    Oldflyer: It is hard to believe that there have been something like a hundred posts now on two threads, and the argument still revolves around semantics; 

    “There’s glory for you!”
    “I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said.
    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”
    “But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument,’ ” Alice objected.
    “When
    I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    “The question is, ” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty. “which is to be master—that’s all.”

  18. says

    Danny Lemieux: I see the spectrum very differently, with free, individual libertarian government (defined by minimum government and maximum individual responsibility) on one end and controlled, collective authoritarian government (defined by minimum individual responsibility and maximum government intrusion) on the other.

    Then you should use the term authoritarian. Most European socialists, for instance, are not authoritarian, but democratic.

    Danny Lemieux: Nobody in the United States is denied primary care…all they have to do is walk into an emergency room.

    Sorry, that is not true. Most U.S. hospitals will not see patients for primary care visits without some method of payment. Hospitals are required by law only to treat them until stabilized, and will often discharge people with very serious illnesses.

    Danny Lemieux: There is no “marginally better”. 

    Measuring Overall Health System Performance for 191 Countries: The World Health Organization has carried out the first ever analysis of the world’s health systems. Using five performance indicators to measure health systems in 191 member states, it finds that France provides the best overall health care followed among major countries by Italy, Spain, Oman, Austria and Japan.

    World’s Best Medicine?
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/opinion/12sun1.html

  19. suek says

    >>So, it really comes down to if you can’t win at the ballot box, you’ll support violence.>>
     
    If it really comes down to “you can’t win at the ballot box”, and if the reason we can’t win at the ballot box is due to illegal actions by those who wish to pervert our form of government, then yes…I’d support violence.  If the reason we can’t win at the ballot box is because the majority of people _choose_ a government which will destroy the capitalistic base of the nation, then so be it.   The end will come soon enough.
     
    The question, of course, is whether we’ll know the difference or not.
     
    In the very long run, whether by hook or by crook, or whether by choice, I doubt that violence will be avoided.  When the producers no longer produce, who will feed the masses?  Even food that grows on trees has to be picked and transported.

  20. esurio says

    The U.S. has had public education for over a century. They have grown to be the most technologically advanced nation in the world. Perhaps you could argue that the old model of education no longer works, but the history doesn’t go away just because you ignore it. If you don’t understand why public education worked for so long, it’s doubtful you will understand how to change it to meet modern challenges.
    Zachriel you are typical of a leftist who cannot comment with out being condescending. You do not know me to say what I know and don’t know.  I said it is the parents responsibility to educate their children, not the governments, is that so hard for you to understand?
     
    Over the past century our country has been blessed with an abundance of highly (most likely privately) educated European immigrants from the WWII generation, the brain drain from the Asian immigrants, a vibrant Catholic k-12 school system (which is being squeezed dried by the subsidies of public schools) and private higher education universities all of which up until now have contributed to our countries progress in technology. Government k-12 education is not what you claim it to be; it is has always been a barely function system and now a failing system gasping for it’s last breath because its crutches have been removed. You can bet with the retirement of our older generation the technological advancement of the U.S. will now decline in 3,2,1.. years.
    Again….. and again…like education, government  will not be able to support a vibrant health care system in the U.S.. A universal health care system controlled by the government  will stifle innovation and suck the life(literally) out of our country. Obamacare must be repealed.

  21. suek says

    esurio…
     
    Do you happen to have any links to the efficacy of the public education system of 50 years ago compared to the same system today??
     
    I seen references to them, but haven’t seen them…

  22. says

    esurio: you are typical of a leftist who cannot comment with out being condescending. You do not know me to say what I know and don’t know.  I said it is the parents responsibility to educate their children, not the governments, is that so hard for you to understand?
     
    Yes, you said that and you also said it was ineffective. Did you answer the point? Let’s take another look. 
     
    esurioBy over taxation the government removed the competition of private schools, by zoning and over priced housing children are stuck in failing schools, with unions it’s impossible to remove bad teachers, etc.
     
    Here you are saying that lack of competition has led to bad results. Okay, that could be true. But for that claim to be universally true, as you seem to be suggesting, you have to explain why most historians believe universal public education helped underpin America’s rise to world dominance. Perhaps, public education worked during earlier periods, but not in the modern world, because today, people and education must be more flexible. But instead of responding to this, you ignored the point.
     
    esurioI said it is the parents responsibility to educate their children, not the governments, is that so hard for you to understand?
     
    Perhaps. But sometimes parents may want to band together politically to create public schools or at least have experts establish minimum standards. Again, we have evidence that universal public education can be effective in some situations, so a claim based around it always being ineffective isn’t tenable.
     
    esurio: … immigrants
     
    Most immigrants to the United States, including most European immigrants, had little education, little money, and didn’t speak English. Hence, many of them worked at manual labor or in factories. Many never learned English — but their children did.
     
    esurio: A universal health care system controlled by the government will stifle innovation and suck the life(literally) out of our country.
     
    As the U.S. health care system is still largely private, you don’t have to worry.
     

  23. Danny Lemieux says

    Zachriel, old chum…good show!
    The 2001 WHO report ranking 191 countries on their health care systems.
    First, understand that many of us that participate in the blog just don’t think much of the UN as a reliable source of information. It is a very political, hence flawed, organization. This is with good reason: just look at its historical record. I realize that what I say may be considered anathema in the Temple of Orthodoxy. One of the problems with heavily walled compounds, as the young Siddhartha discovered, is it makes the outside world very difficult to conceive.
    Now, in the rarified worlds of abstract academia, a WHO report like this could be taken as prima facie conclusive evidence. After all, one needs not to have experienced health care in countries like France or the UK or Canada (or Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, etc.) in order to loftily conclude that, because it is the WHO /UN, it must be right (after all, they’ve certainly been right about so much).
    However, for an alternative point of view, you might want to consider this unorthodox perspective as well:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125608054324397621.html

  24. suek says

    >>universal public education helped underpin America’s rise to world dominance.>>
     
    And you think we are still in a position of dominance?
     
    Do you think that American dominance is a good thing?

  25. says

    Danny Lemieux: Now, in the rarified worlds of abstract academia, a WHO report like this could be taken as prima facie conclusive evidence.
     
    That is incorrect. All scientific claims are considered tentative and subject to review and revision. The researchers were extensively published scientists, including in the field of health metrics, so attacking WHO is rather irrelevant.
     
    Danny Lemieux: However, for an alternative point of view, you might want to consider this unorthodox perspective as well: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125608054324397621.html
     
    “More recent efforts to rank national health systems have been inconclusive. On measures such as child mortality and life expectancy, the U.S. has slipped since the 2000 rankings.”
     
    Is that your point?
     
    “The 37th place ranking is often cited in today’s overhaul debate, even though, in some ways, the U.S. actually ranked a lot higher. Specifically, it placed 15th overall, based on its performance in the five criteria.”
     
    15th is better than 37th.
     
    “But some researchers say that factors beyond the control of the health-care system are to blame, such as dietary habits. Studies that have attempted to exclude these factors from the equation don’t agree on whether the U.S. system looks better or worse.”
     
    Okay, so they are comparable enough that it was hard to distinguish between them. Is that your point?
     
    By the way, the authors responded to Musgrove here: “Since the departure of Musgrove from WHO, constructive scientific debate has evolved with the active contributions of many specialists. WHO has encouraged critical input on the concepts, methods, and data involved in the WHR 2000 through a series of technical and regional consultations, involving more than 170 scientists and policy-makers from more than 69 countries. The organisation has engaged in an exhaustive scientific peer review, including the establishment of the Scientific Peer Review Group (SPRG), chaired by Professor Sudhir Anand of Oxford University and consisting of 13 external specialists, representing all geographic regions of WHO. The process of peer review was overseen by an external advisory group, which reported that the review process had been comprehensive, objective, transparent, and informative.” 
     

  26. says

    suek: Do you think that American dominance is a good thing?

    A strong an prosperous America leading free nations is a good thing. Dominance of one nation by another is undemocratic and inherently unstable. If, as many Americans agree, Washington is detached from the concerns of the people of Aberdeen or Bangor, then why would anyone expect Washington to be able to run the affairs of people in Kandahar or Fallujah.

  27. says

    We are actually going to base our comparison of health care systems on “inequality in health-care outcomes?”  What does that phrase mean?  If everyone in some country got exactly the same level of care but that care was terrible and everybody with even minor illnesses died, would that country rank first on this indicator?  How can we take any such study seriously?  

    One of the other criteria was individual spending, which, again, has nothing to do with the quality of the care. Then the good folks who did the survey made a second adjustment for overall spending. These criteria may be appropriate in a survey of which health care system is most cost effective, but they obviously have nothing to do with which system provides the best care, which is what the survey was purportedly about.

  28. says

    Don Quixote: We are actually going to base our comparison of health care systems on “inequality in health-care outcomes?”  What does that phrase mean? 
     
    It means that if some groups get lower levels of health care, such as the poor or minorities, then it’s a problem and results in a lower score.
     
    Don Quixote: If everyone in some country got exactly the same level of care but that care was terrible and everybody with even minor illnesses died, would that country rank first on this indicator? 
     
    Yes, but lower on every other indicator. But in real life, the ruling class has quality health care, even if they have to fly it in from Germany, so countries with poor health care systems, also usually have health care inequality.
     
    Don Quixote: One of the other criteria was individual spending, which, again, has nothing to do with the quality of the care.
     
    “The aim is to ensure that poor households should not pay a higher share of their discretionary expenditure on health than richer households, and all households should be protected against catastrophic financial losses related to ill health.”
     
    This is illustrated even in the wealthy United States. The loss of jobs due to the recession has often meant the loss of health insurance. Even if they find employment later, they may not be able to get insurance due to a preexisting condition.
     

  29. says

    Of course poor households will pay a higher share of their discretionary income on health than rich households, just as they do on everything important.  That is the nature of being poor and having less discretionary income.  Actually, if you restricted the comment to “catastrophic financial losses” as the last part of the sentence does, I’d be more included to agree with you. 

    But, again, this has nothing to do with the quality of care, but rather its cost or some abstract measure of its fairness.  We can talk about which system is better, or fairer or more cost effective, but if we are just measureing which provides higher quality of care, none of those factors may properly be considered.

    Your comment prompted one other thought.  You treat “poor” as if it is a static condition.  Perhaps the most important attribute that has led to America’s economic success is the ability of the “poor” to, by hard work and talent, become rich, or at least not-poor.  The American capitalist system provides the opportunity for people to do this.  The fact that life is tougher for the poor provides the motivation for the poor to do this.  If the poor can get all the services and things they need or want without working for them, why work? 

  30. says

    Don Quixote: But, again, this has nothing to do with the quality of care, but rather its cost or some abstract measure of its fairness. 

    According to that measure, if the King has the best possible health care, perhaps flown in from Europe, and everyone else has none, then you would rate the health care system as the best. (The King, of course, would agree that it’s just some egghead and her abstract measure of fairness.) For medical professionals who care about people’s health, the distribution of health care services is an essential part of the health care system.

    Don Quixote: The American capitalist system provides the opportunity for people to do this. 

    Other developed countries have thriving market economies, compete successfully against the U.S. in global markets, and yet still manage to provide universal health care to its citizens.

  31. suek says

    >>“The aim is to ensure that poor households should not pay a higher share of their discretionary expenditure on health than richer households, and all households should be protected against catastrophic financial losses related to ill health.”>>
     
    It always amazes me that those who are most likely to believe in evolution are also those who are most likely to dismiss Darwin’s Theory…

  32. says

    Suek, because Leftists talk the talk, but they still know which side of the bread theirs is buttered on.
     
    They want to stay because they believe they can change you for the better. History has been full of people with grand delusions about how they are going to bring utopia on Earth for the betterment of their “fellows”.
     
    It’s not just your garden variety manifestation fantasy. It’s a little bit grander than that.
     
     

  33. says

    Suek, they are using Darwin’s theory. Remember the post birth abortions they like so much? Survival of the fittest.
     
    The thing is, they do so by controlling the economy. They don’t really give a damn about who suffers in a bad economy. They only care about getting power so that they can control other people’s lives. Such is the common goal that unites the members of the Leftist alliance.

  34. says

    So, it really comes down to if you can’t win at the ballot box, you’ll support violence.

    As opposed to your faction, the Left, which supports all violence, all the time. And you think you have a horse to stand on here, don’t you.

  35. Mike Devx says

    Zachriel #79
    The organisation has engaged in an exhaustive scientific peer review, including the establishment of the Scientific Peer Review Group (SPRG), chaired by Professor Sudhir Anand of Oxford University and consisting of 13 external specialists, representing all geographic regions of WHO. The process of peer review was overseen by an external advisory group, which reported that the review process had been comprehensive, objective, transparent, and informative.”

    Merely a word of warning here.

    When something is a dog and pony show, it’s nothing more than a dog and pony show.
    I’m not sure that the process cited here is a dog and pony show, but it certainly could be.  Always be skeptical.  Of *course* the overseers are going to say “the review process had been comprehensive, objective, transparent, and informative.” They always say that. It’s merely a rubber stamp conclusion.  It means nothing taken by itself, and can be discarded.  You have to determine whether the entire effort is valid, or is merely a political show. That’s often difficult to do.

    As a reference point I can give you the Jihadist attack known as the Ft. Hood Massacre.  The Army followup report was nothing more than a political dog and pony show.  The review and report are utterly worthless except as light comic reading.  Shame on Dr. Gates!

    (The airbrushing out of the seriousness of jihadist murderous intentions is remarkably correlated to a look at villains in Hollywood blockbusters in the 1980s,1990s, 2000s.
    In the 80s, there were a goodly number of Middle Eastern/Islamic villains, about 15%. It increased slightly in the 1990s.  Then in the 2000s, they disappeared completely. ZERO.  I point this out because I’m talking about political dog and pony shows causing such citations to be completely worthless, and this is evidence of the political nature of such things.  We could also look at ClimateGate, and East Anglia’s whitewashing oversight report on THAT one concerning AGW.  ”Ah yes, our internal investigation of our own controversial unit results in the understanding that nothing went wrong at all!”  When politics – and huge sums of money – are involved, keep your skeptic hat firmly in place.)

  36. Danny Lemieux says

    Professor Devx, let me caution you that if thou dost continue so to proselytize outside of the confines of the most holy Temple of Orthodoxy with such common sense, thou riskest severe remonstrations and a declaration of anathema.

  37. Mike Devx says

    You’re giving me a chill, Professor Lemieux.  It must be those political winds, and the way they’re blowing.
     
    Here’s a recent blurb concerning the Australian flooding…
     

    A report on the flood disaster and climate change will be undertaken by an expert on the federal government’s multi-party committee which is investigating ways to price carbon. Professor Will Steffen, a member of the climate change committee set up by the Gillard government in September last year, told AAP he was working on a report covering the floods.
    This is the man who already believes that “climate change” made the floods worse. Just the man to do a nice, impartial report.’
     
    How much do you want to bet *that* report on Flood Disaster and Climate Change  will be, ahem, comprehensive, objective, transparent, and informative.”

  38. Danny Lemieux says

    It doesn’t matter, Prof. Devx. It shall be a tome of considerable heft and proportion, agreed to in advance by all self-proclaimed learned authorities, that shall make a pleasing thump when laid on the table. Thus can we be assured that it shall not be read beyond the the most cursory of abstracts. By these virtues can we be assured that it shall be proclaimed as “orthodoxy”.

  39. Charles Martel says

    In Asimov’s Foundation sci-fi series, one of the signs of the galactic empire’s decay was that scholars no longer did original work. Instead, they would read the works of earlier scholars and synthesize their findings. Voila, the frontiers of knowledge pushed further out!

    These days you run into a lot of “meta-analyses” where scholars will do what Asimov’s did, going through earlier studies in a relational databasing spree. IF the underlying data are good, this is not a bad thing given the immense number of studies that have been done on everything from diabetes to electromagnetism.

    The problem, though, is when bad data, or shaky data, or skimpy data, or unreliable data, or suspect data become the basis for meta-studies that perpetuate misleading conclusions. Climategate is one example.

    While only one person here disputes that Climategate has shot a pretty big hole through the heart of AGW, the more interesting question AGW proponents never ask themselves is why they have lost the goodwill and assent of so many intelligent people. If an AGW proponent like Zach can come in here and get plastered right and left with arguments from his intellectual equals regarding the actual existence of AGW, does this cause him to stop and think that he might be wrong?

    Apparently not.

  40. says

    Mike, Mike. There you go again, talking about people thinking for themselves. That’s entirely forbidden by the government for people’s own good.
     
    I mean, think of the chaos and risks with freedom that would result if people started thinking for themselves. Can you imagine the horror.
     
    Apparently not.

    So long as the money flows ,they don’t have to admit their perfidy.

  41. evergreen78 says

    I haven’t read all the comments, but here’s what I think generally:

    The “healthcare” bill is NOT about “health” or “care.”
    Cap-and-trade is NOT about the environment.
    The “stimulus” bill did NOT stimulate anything.
    The Employee Free Choice Act REMOVES the employees’ free choice.

    In other words, The issue is never the issue.  The issue is always the Revolution.
    Always watch what the other hand is doing.

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