July 01, 2009
A Tiny Bit Of Credit Where A Tiny Bit Of Credit Is Due

While making his pro-regime propaganda film, Rick Steves missed, completely, the very large number of Iranians who were dissatisfied with the regime.  Very dissatisfied.  On Sunday, the travel writer, who should be apologizing for missing a story that big, gave us his second thoughts.

Today, the relatively peaceful Iran I experienced is in turmoil.  And it's not America that's radicalizing its population, but its own government.

But Steves does not ask, much less answer, the obvious question:  Why did he miss, completely, the turmoil underneath that "relatively peaceful Iran"?

Still, he deserves credit, a tiny bit of credit, for recognizing that his picture of Iran does not not now fit Iran.

But only a tiny bit of credit, because he uses most of the piece to argue that he was right all along — right after events have proved him wrong, wrong, wrong — and because he served a helping of bigotry with this comparison:

A year ago, while the U.S. was in the throes of a dramatic presidential election, Iran's campaign was just heating up. Being in Iran then, I thought that if McCain won in the U.S., Ahmadinejad would win in Iran.  Ahmadinejad's political base is made up of less-educated, small-town, fundamentalist-Muslim, concerned parents, motivated by the same things that motivate many American voters: fear of foreign influence and love of their family.  If these people are your political base, you shore up their support with fear.  Our politicians do, and so do Iran's.

That's right, if you voted for McCain, Steves thinks you are much like Ahmadinejad's supporters.   Incidentally, the suggestion that McCain — one of the bravest men alive — motivates people by fear is absurd, as well as slanderous.

Foreign travel is supposed to be educational.  Rick Steves is evidence that this need not be so, that one can travel in a foreign country without learning much about it.  Even worse, Steves shows that some people are unwilling to give up their preconceptions even when events prove them wrong.

Cross posted at Jim Miller on Politics.

(As I mentioned in my April post, Steves did not bother to tell viewers that the Iranian regime has been supplying weapons and training to the terrorists who are trying to kill Iraqis and Americans.  Just yesterday, General Odierno reminded us of that unpleasant fact.  (The help the Iranian regime has given to terrorists in Iraq has killed many Americans, and many, many Iraqis.)

Does Steves know about this Iranian interference in Iraq, interference that has killed Americans and Iraqis?  Would he care if he did know?  It is a terrible to thing to say, but I do not know the answer to that second question.

I say that because of an interview that Steves did in 2006, an interview described in this David Postman post.   (Which reminds me how much I miss Postman, and how much the Seattle Times needs a few real reporters.))

Posted by Jim Miller at July 01, 2009 03:04 PM | Email This
Comments
1. Steves knows but chooses to turn a blind eye to reality and tries to find a way to blame it all on evil conservatives. He truly is ignorant about the real people in Iran and the fact he was carefully shepared about for his propaganda film should have been a big clue. I am sure he thinks Castro is just a misunderstood guy also. What a doof.

Posted by: Burdabee on July 1, 2009 03:43 PM
2. Steves knows but chooses to turn a blind eye to reality and tries to find a way to blame it all on evil conservatives. He truly is ignorant about the real people in Iran and the fact he was carefully sheparded about for his propaganda film should have been a big clue. I am sure he thinks Castro is just a misunderstood guy also. What a doof.

Posted by: Burdabee on July 1, 2009 03:44 PM
3. Sorry about the double post. I thought I stopped the first one in time to correct a misspelling. Hmmm, perhaps I should ask my grandkids how to do these technical things. :)

Posted by: Burdabee on July 1, 2009 03:47 PM
4. Don't question Rick. He's Been To Europe, he knows more than you.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on July 1, 2009 03:55 PM
5. Wow, Jim... can you stuff more lies into one post? The FIRST LINE of Steves' op-ed is:

Last year, while in Iran producing a documentary for public television, I observed freedom-loving people patiently making do under a repressive regime.

He was attempting to provide a perspective on the Iranian people that did not involve the kind of broad-brush hatemongering that conservatives love to wallow in. There are plenty of reasonable folks in Iran that are being suppressed by the theocratic regime, but U.S. conservatives are quite willing to kill them all and treat them as collateral damage if it suits their purposes. (Or worse, to use them as simple pawns in a geopolitical game.)

Likewise, I really enjoyed this tidbit:

Incidentally, the suggestion that McCain -- one of the bravest men alive -- motivates people by fear is absurd, as well as slanderous.

It's NOT slanderous, and the superlatives are uncalled for given the level of political cowardice during his campaign. This was the guy that made a joke out of bombing their country. What about that seems "brave" or like it isn't "motivating people by fear"? And Steves' was exactly right: if McCain won, the democracy movement in Iran would have died quickly for that *very* reason.

Posted by: demo kid on July 1, 2009 04:18 PM
6. Jim has a strange obsession about Rick Steves' Iran travelogue. Steves apparently wanted to make a film to introduce us to the Iranian people and their culture. Jim seems to think Steves should have made a film about the awful Iranian regime instead. Because Steves didn't make a film about the subject Jim is obsessed with, Jim seems to think there's something wrong with the film.

I'm not sure what point Jim wants to make with his obsessive posting on this topic -- other than that he wishes to be assignment editor to the world.

Posted by: scottd on July 1, 2009 04:40 PM
7. Rick Steves said in the film that he made it for political reasons. (He appears to think that we were about to attack Iran and he wanted to turn public opinion against that option.) He has said the same thing elsewhere. More than once.

In treating the film as a political statement, I am simply taking Steves at his word. If one of my critics wants to provide evidence that Steves was lying about this, I am willing to look at it.

But they will also have to explain why the film is so unbalanced as to be dishonest.

Posted by: Jim Miller on July 1, 2009 04:59 PM
8. scottd: don't be daft: Steves has very explicit political perspectives he is pushing. It's not just about introducing us to Iran.

demo kid: oh grow up: conservatives recognize as well as anyone that there's a difference between the Iranian people and its government. Indeed, the continued support from the U.S. government over the years to foster revolution from WITHIN Iran has been primarily a conservative effort. This is not a lesson conservatives need to learn.

Far from conservatives needing to understand the Iranian people better, it's YOU who don't understand CONSERVATIVES.

Also, Obama engaged in FAR more fearmongering than McCain in the campaign last year. Obama's entire campaign was based on making people afraid of the possibility of "another four years of George W. Bush."

And if you think a meaningless joke -- singing the chorus to a novelty song from the 70s -- is "motivating people by fear" then you are beyond the capability to reason and I am wasting my time with you.

But then, you think that a McCain victory would have in any way adversely affected the democracy movement in Iran, so never mind, I already recognize that you are beyond reason. That makes as much sense as saying that Bin Laden attacked on 9/11 because Bush was elected (a fallacy not unheard of from your fellow leftist travelers).

Posted by: pudge on July 1, 2009 05:05 PM
9. Jim: yes, and the stupid thing is there was never ANY chance we would have attacked Iran, except for maybe targeted missile attacks against nuclear facilities, and even that has always been extremely unlikely ... and something that Obama would do just as readily as McCain.

Steves is highly naive about his own country.

Posted by: pudge on July 1, 2009 05:07 PM
10. Gee Dumbo Kid can you stuff any more stupid into your post? I'd love to see you call McCain a coward to his face. I suggest you see a doctor about your rectal-cranial inversion.

Posted by: mike336 on July 1, 2009 05:14 PM
11. Steve who?

Posted by: Hinton on July 1, 2009 05:53 PM
12. Rick Steves simply shows that the liberal democrat mind is a strange thing, indeed.

Posted by: Michele on July 1, 2009 06:43 PM
13. While making his pro-regime propaganda film, Rick Steves missed, completely, the very large number of Iranians who were dissatisfied with the regime.

Either you didn't watch the documentary, or you didn't understand it. Which is it?

Posted by: thehim on July 1, 2009 09:28 PM
14. For the same reason that Obama misses the real science that debunks human produced CO2 and alleged warming. They don't want to see certain truths that stand in the way of their worldview inside their blue cocoons.

Posted by: Jeff B. on July 1, 2009 10:04 PM
15. #15: Sounds downright soviet-esque, doesn't it?

Posted by: Michele on July 1, 2009 10:13 PM
16. Look folks, we ain't gonna change the Islamic crazy states. They need to have something like the Protestant Reformation to change their cultures and countries.

I'm not worried about Israel, either: they can take care of themselves. We've put far too much of our treasury and of our effort is to insuring Israel's survival. If they can't stand on their own two feet now, they'll never be able to. I think they can survive without our intense help.

We need to move towards a neutral stance in the Middle East and stop meddling in their affairs. Change in that region must come from within: we can't make the change for them.

It may take 100 years, but eventually those countries WILL change for the better.

Posted by: Politically Incorrect on July 2, 2009 06:51 AM
17. What's with all these Acorn trolls hi-jacking the threads lately? Do they get paid for it or do they do it for love of country?

I'd call them the computer wing of Obama's army of fascist brownshirts.

Posted by: dan on July 2, 2009 07:34 AM
18. Todays report saying that the current unemployment rate in the US is at 9.5% will no doubt be placed at Bush's feet by the libtards. I'm no fan of Bush, but the thing that pisses me off about lefty's is their inability to place blame in the proper place. This is evidenced in everything they say and do. What do you expect from people with so much gray in everything they see. They are constantly trying to keep from making a black and white decision about just about everything unless it is about some politically correct thing like, oh, hating Republicans. BTW, I aint no damn Republican either.

Posted by: REBEL on July 2, 2009 07:47 AM
19. @7: There's a strong difference. He was saying that the U.S. shouldn't attack a country, cause massive casualties amongst an innocent population, and indirectly buoy their repressive regime. You're saying that we should kill them all and let Allah sort them out?

@8-9: Weak. We're not talking about supporting the right of self-determination (which liberals support), and we're not talking about the American election and Bush, either. We're talking about someone that wanted the American people to see that there are real costs to war, and that glossing over those costs is irresponsible and amoral. There are other ways of encouraging regime change than threatening to bomb Iran in the international media.

@10: I would call him a political coward any day of the week for his performance in the 2008 campaign. He lost a lot of respect from centrists and liberals that actually though he was a stand up kinda guy.

@14: And you don't want to see reality inside your red cocoon.

(And I'd comment on the rest of the stark raving mad extreme right-wingers on here, but let me just say that these folks are the reason why liberals should rethink their position on gun control. These folks are dangerous and evil.)

Posted by: demo kid on July 2, 2009 08:19 AM
20. @23: Laying blame? Obama's been in office for six months. There are times when I think that Republicans believe he's more magical than Democrats.

Posted by: demo kid on July 2, 2009 08:23 AM
21. demo kid;

Great example of a libtard response. All you can see is the freaking president. It's the fricking Congress. It always has been and always will be. Oh, you can blame the pres if you want, since he signs off on their budget and if he had any cajunas would send it back and tell them to cut alot of stuff whatever the stench in it might be. That BTW is one of the reasons I am no fan of W.

Posted by: REBEL on July 2, 2009 08:34 AM
22. demo kid: He was saying that the U.S. shouldn't attack a country, cause massive casualties amongst an innocent population, and indirectly buoy their repressive regime.

NO PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WAS GOING TO DO THAT. As I said, Steves is grossly naive about his own country. This was never going to happen, unless, of course, Iran started a war itself.


We're talking about someone that wanted the American people to see that there are real costs to war, and that glossing over those costs is irresponsible and amoral.

Exactly: we're talking about someone grossly naive about his own country. This is not a lesson conservatives in particular, or Americans in general, need to be taught. We know this.


There are other ways of encouraging regime change than threatening to bomb Iran in the international media.

No one did that. Please stop lying.


I would call him a political coward any day of the week for his performance in the 2008 campaign.

Yes, but you're an idiot.


He lost a lot of respect from centrists and liberals that actually though he was a stand up kinda guy.

Yes, because those centrists and liberals are idiots. McCain continued to be as much of a stand-up guy as he has always been: the only changhe was that he was running against a Democrat -- The Obama, no less -- so therefore he had to be turned into a villain by the Democratic war machine. They fooled you into thinking McCain had changed. You're a dupe.

Posted by: pudge on July 2, 2009 08:34 AM
23. #16

"We need to move towards a neutral stance in the Middle East and stop meddling in their affairs"

-

I'd prefer if Obama stopped meddling in the United States.

Posted by: Gary on July 2, 2009 08:57 AM
24. *Sigh*. They say people like "demo kid" are brainless -- and mostly, they're right. But "demo kid" is correct that Barack Obama is proving to be one of the best presidents we've ever seen. Still, that doesn't excuse "demo kid"-esque ignorance and sycophant-like anti-McCain commentary. Jim Miller, as we all know, is right -- "the suggestion that McCain -- one of the bravest men alive -- motivates people by fear is absurd, as well as slanderous." Spot on. Now, is it true that all "conservatives" (and you know who you are, you baby killing, non-Barack voting, steak-eating bastards, you) are "quite willing to kill [Iranian citizens] and treat them as collateral damage"? *Sigh*. Where is some loony, gun toting assassin when you need one? Oh, wait -- "demo kid," please: tell me you DON'T own a gun?!

Posted by: NOBAMA on July 2, 2009 09:18 AM
25. @22: NO PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WAS GOING TO DO THAT. As I said, Steves is grossly naive about his own country. This was never going to happen, unless, of course, Iran started a war itself.

I would HOPE that no President would do that, but military chickenhawks in the United States are advocating for that very thing:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/01/AR2009070103020.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

There are other ways of encouraging regime change than threatening to bomb Iran in the international media.

Are you lacking sleep, pudge? Sick, maybe?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-zoPgv_nYg

And sure, it may be a "joke", like Reagan's "joke" about outlawing the Soviet Union and bombing them, but that has to be just about the dumbest kind of humor in international politics.

Yes, because those centrists and liberals are idiots. McCain continued to be as much of a stand-up guy as he has always been: the only changhe was that he was running against a Democrat -- The Obama, no less -- so therefore he had to be turned into a villain by the Democratic war machine. They fooled you into thinking McCain had changed. You're a dupe.

The one prop that I'll give him is that he was enough of a stand-up guy to stop the baseless racist attacks against Obama. In that respect, yes, he was brave.

Maybe the better term is that he ran a weak, vacillating, doddering, pandering campaign that compared to Dole, Mondale and McGovern in its sheer incompetence. He randomly sucked up to certain interests in the far right wing, and alienated a bunch of his traditional supporters. He wanted the presidency so much that he was willing to compromise himself to do it.

Better?

Posted by: demo kid on July 2, 2009 09:24 AM
26. And I'd comment on the rest of the stark raving mad extreme right-wingers on here, but let me just say that these folks are the reason why liberals should rethink their position on gun control. These folks are dangerous and evil - demo kid

Oh, get over yourself. Your sorry ass ain't worth the ammunition.

Posted by: jimg on July 2, 2009 10:02 AM
27. @26: There are some folks on here that aren't kidding when they suggest that their political goals are best served by killing their opponents. I may not believe in your positions, but I don't propose that you should be executed as a traitor.

Unlike, of course, many of the thugs that wrote posts that Jim decided to erase.

Posted by: demo kid on July 2, 2009 10:13 AM
28. dk,

I am not in a red cocoon. I am not in a party. I view both Dems and Repubs as the problem. It's either they are in our bedrooms or in our wallets, or increasing in both. We need fiscal restraint, and all the Dems have done is successfully paint Repubs with a ridiculous morality brush that has allowed the Dems to gain way too much power. How's that unemployment heading in to double digits working out? It's no better for the nation when there is too much power on the left than when there was too much power on the right. At least under Bush though, we had a vigorous media that questioned his every move. Under Obama, you have a lot of people who are not asking the tough questions. For example, why last Friday did Obama continue the executive order to keep certain detainees? Under Bush, you all screamed bloody murder. Under Obama, it was quietly ignored on a late Friday summer press dump.

But back to the topic, are you going to read the science on alleged climate change? It's not a red or blue issue. There are plenty of Progressives at the key real science climate blogs who see that the science indicates that Global Warming is not human caused and not happening. Or at worst, that it's such insignificant problem, that it certainly doesn't warrant bankrupting the nation with trillions in new taxes.

People outside of partisan lines get this stuff. And they are writing about it, and there is a lot of info you can go and read for yourself. Try ICECAP, don't fall for the "trust us" line from some politician or from those who claim to be scientists, but who are really just statistical manipulators trying to create outlier scenarios by massaging data, or creating models that make vast assumptions for results that they would like to see.

And speaking of raving mad wingnuts, are you going to continue telling people like me with whom you disagree, or disagree on how I might have approached a subject, to commit suicide. Remember that? And you could not even bring yourself to a proper apology. That's cowardice, and cowardice inline with your anonymous identity here. If you had any real integrity, you'd backup your ideas with your own name. I am far more worried about people like you who wish to quell those with whom you disagree, then I am with gun owners. Gun owners seemed to fire their guns a lot less erratically than you fire your mouth.

Posted by: Jeff B. on July 2, 2009 12:36 PM
29.
About the unexpected cooling of the oceans that the models didn't predict:

"This research suggests global warming isn't always steady but happens with occasional 'speed bumps'," said Josh Willis, a co-author of the study at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "This cooling is probably natural climate variability. The oceans today are still warmer than they were during the 1980s, and most scientists expect the oceans will eventually continue to warm in response to human-induced climate change."

-

Ah, so the "runaway greenhouse effect" isn't so "runaway" after all? So, when things cool, it's "natural", but when things warm, it's "man-made".
How can there be "speed bumps" when Mr. Inslee tells us we're "cooking the planet"? The people who failed to predict the cooling assure us that the warming will resume eventually.

And the Believers wonder why we are skeptical...

Posted by: Gary on July 2, 2009 01:05 PM
30. Under Obama, you have a lot of people who are not asking the tough questions. For example, why last Friday did Obama continue the executive order to keep certain detainees? Under Bush, you all screamed bloody murder. Under Obama, it was quietly ignored on a late Friday summer press dump.

You have a lot of people that aren't asking "the tough questions" because the opposition seems to be content with throwing whatever they can to Obama to see what sticks. If you watch far-right wingnuts on TV or listen to them on the radio, their opposition is so laughably overboard that it prevents true dialogue from actually happening.

Do I agree with you that what you identify is a problem? Sure! Absolutely. I don't think that they should be let off the hook for it either. There's plenty of things about the current administration that deserve criticism, and are actually BEING criticized by people on the left. But when the "opposition" consists of reactionary whack jobs that seem to think that Obama putting mustard on a hamburger makes a lick of difference... well... that's not a club that most reasonable people really would want to join.


There are plenty of Progressives at the key real science climate blogs who see that the science indicates that Global Warming is not human caused and not happening. Or at worst, that it's such insignificant problem, that it certainly doesn't warrant bankrupting the nation with trillions in new taxes.

And there are plenty of conservatives that have the opposite opinion. My perspective (which is off-topic for this thread) is that there is enough evidence to be concerned and take action, and that there are enough side benefits from climate change policy that make it worthwhile. This talk of massive costs to the average American is not only fearmongering, it's unreasonable, baseless lying to support the greed of certain businesses that have a lot to gain from maintaining the status quo. It's also doing what many folks claim global warming supporters of doing: cherry-picking data to confirm what you want to be true.

But again, is that relevant to this thread? No. I thought we were talking about Iran, myself.


And speaking of raving mad wingnuts, are you going to continue telling people like me with whom you disagree, or disagree on how I might have approached a subject, to commit suicide. Remember that?

Continue? Show me on this thread where I told you to "commit suicide". And heck, even if I did (which I would like to see in context), it pales in comparison to certain folks on this board that advocate killing their ideological opponents by shooting them or hanging them. (And yes, that was up before Jim took it down.)

But hey... everyone goes too far sometime. Why don't you show me what I said that offended you and made you cry, and then I'll see if it was out of line?

And I enjoy hearing your explanation as to how I'm "quelling those with whom I disagree" by posting a little trash talk in response to what I've received myself. Care to elaborate?

Posted by: demo kid on July 2, 2009 01:26 PM
31. @29: Theories aren't perfect, and are always in need of fine-tuning. No one denies that in the slightest. Likewise, we're always getting more information. In 20 or 30 years, we could have a radically different perspective on how climate change works. I don't deny that, and I think that whatever policies we propose need to recognize all possibilities.

Likewise, as with any other regulatory process, interests always come into play: Iowa loves ethanol, West Virginia loves "clean coal" and carbon sequestration, Wyoming loves conversion to natural gas.

Still... denying what evidence exists *for* climate change is the important issue. I mean, seriously! First, some climate change deniers say that "global warming" doesn't exist at all. Then, others say that it does exist but it's natural and people have little effect on it. Then still others say that it does exist and people may have an effect on it, but that it's too late and that longer growing seasons and higher carbon dioxide levels are great for plants. And then there are the folks that suggest that we could affect climate change, but the costs would be way too high. And in amidst all of this, plenty of deniers love to cherry-pick between the different groups.

Not to mention that even amongst the folks that say that climate change may be happening, there is little to no promotion of adaptation strategies, which seems like it would be a no-brainer compromise.

Not to mention that painting it as some sort of ecological religion, or trying to tear down Al Gore as a straw man, doesn't really lend itself well to a real debate of the merits of global climate change theory.

I mean, seriously... what at this point would actually convince you? You're so entrenched in your opinion that even if incontrovertible evidence was found, you still would try to discount it. You're not really motivated by evidence here, merely ideology.

Posted by: demo kid on July 2, 2009 01:43 PM
32. DK @ 31: You're so entrenched in your opinion that even if incontrovertible evidence was found, you still would try to discount it.

LOL! Your mirror beckons!

I tell you what, find (or invent) some incontrovertible evidence and then we'll talk...

Posted by: Alphabet Soup on July 2, 2009 04:59 PM
33. Figures... did you actually read what I wrote? There's evidence supporting climate change theory, and some problems with the theory. I'm saying that there's still uncertainty. Conservatives are willing to point to a single snowstorm as proof that climate change doesn't exist.

Posted by: demo kid on July 2, 2009 05:20 PM
34. Well yes, I'm embarrassed to admit that I did (at least the semi-coherent parts ;'}

I'm still chuckling over your attempts to jump the sizable gap between "incontrovertible evidence" and "and some problems with the theory".

And how's this; "Liberals are willing to point to a single sunny day as proof that climate change spells the EOTWAWKI*".
.
.
.
.
(End of the world as we know it)...

Posted by: Alphabet Soup on July 2, 2009 05:43 PM
35. And liberals are wanting to turn the entire economy upside-down because of it. The obligation of proof is one them, not us.

Al Gore has a backwards hurricane coming out of smoke stack to try and scare us all, and since 2005, we've had almost *no* hurricanes after being assured by the zealots that hurricanes were gonna wipe us out... only because of Katrina.

Where'd the hurricanes go, Believers?

Show me the "incontrovertible proof", and I will believe you. Until then, leave my car alone. The UN is not even willing to assert conclusively about man-made warming.


Posted by: Gary on July 2, 2009 06:32 PM
36. Dear Mr. dan @ 17 who said, "What's with all these Acorn trolls hi-jacking the threads lately? Do they get paid for it or do they do it for love of country? I'd call them the computer wing of Obama's army of fascist brownshirts."

1. I don't work for Acorn.
2. "hi-jacking" = typical right wing overstatement, using violent words to miply criminal action, when all someone did is TALK and engage in SPEECH. Wow, feeling threatened much? I didn't see any sign on this site saying "please, we like to keep this site for conservatives only." So the door's open, isn't it?
Aren't you being inhospitable to attack guests for whom your site has opened the door by the way? Why all the casual meanness and hostility?

3. Paid to do it or love of country? In truth, it's love of country. It's using our right of free speech; you see, the government isn't allowed to control speech so that we in America do actually get to talk to each other. That's sometimes called the marketplace of ideas? It's supposed to enhance all participants. Btw the random name calling doesn't really fulfill the goals of free speech so much.
4. "Obama's army of brownshirted facissts"!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ahh you slay me, why yes indeed, you've caught on to the secret plan. We're all plotting to take over America and put you all into gulags by COMMENTING ON CONSERVATIVE BLOG SITES. Wow, how very violent.

Seriously, you guys are sooo funny sometimes.

People show up on sites that you don't even ask to be reseved for conservatives views, they engage with you and you get so frightened all you can do sometimes is call them names. (well, some of you; others do argue a bit).

Happy Fourth of July.

Isn't free speech wonderful?

Kinda funny that you term those engaging in it fascists......I suppose in the free market of ideas, you could set up a different site where disagreement is simply not tolerated. Then the conservatives could all comment and say how correct the other comments are, and have long threads where everyone agrees with each other. You could go set up such a site! And enforce the rules by deleting all comment that disagrees.

Go ahead! Set it up! Tell us how to find it! I'm sure it will be fascinating to read and will do very well in the marketplace of ideas.

("Government is bad!" "Yep!" "Sure is!" "Ya sure you betcha!" ""Wow you said it!" "Yeah, government is really bad!" "Yep, it's really bad!" "Yes, you put it so well!" ""I'm with what he said!" ditto ditto ditto ditto......).

Just some friendly ribbing. Hope you guys have a happy and safe Fourth of July.

And btw if you do have any hydrogen bombs, using your second amendment rights, please don't set them off, the grass is kinda dry this year!

Posted by: Torture Lawyer on July 2, 2009 07:07 PM
37. We've just got to recruit a better class of trolls for this place...;'}

Posted by: Alphabet Soup on July 2, 2009 07:13 PM
38. @34: What I said was that it didn't matter what kind of evidence there was anyway... you wouldn't believe in gravity if it didn't suit your ideological bent.

But yes, I will agree that a heatwave doesn't make for global warming either! Weather is not climate.


@35: And liberals are wanting to turn the entire economy upside-down because of it. The obligation of proof is one them, not us.

And what proof is enough? There is enough evidence to suggest that SOME action should be taken. If there was absolute proof, and absolute knowledge about the devastation climate change could wreak, we could provide a perfectly economical response.

Risk, impact, evidence. Apparently, the conservative response is to just close your eyes, pretend like the evidence and risk don't exist, and assume that whatever science you can dredge up to support your position is automatically correct.

@36: We're all plotting to take over America and put you all into gulags by COMMENTING ON CONSERVATIVE BLOG SITES. Wow, how very violent.

Ha ha ha! Exactly! I seriously can't believe that these folks are thise paranoid, and this stupid.

Posted by: demo kid on July 2, 2009 07:33 PM
39. #38 "And what proof is enough? There is enough evidence to suggest that SOME action should be taken."

What action do you propose, and what temperature effect will it have on the planet? What is the ideal temperature? What was the ideal temperature before Man started emitting CO2 with machines?

So, please... what is the total CO2 in the atmosphere, and how much of it is caused by Man, and how much of *that* number do you suggest we cut, and for what temperature change, and when?

Oh, and since this just pertains to the U.S., please make your numbers relevant to just our efforts, but apply globally.

And, does Cap-and-trade achieve it, and what happens if we make a mistake and cut too much?

Thanks.

Posted by: Gary on July 2, 2009 08:05 PM
40. 38: What I said was that it didn't matter what kind of evidence there was anyway...

If that was what you meant to say, why didn't you say it? Then we both could have cut to the chase with me telling you that you are a liar. I read more than I comment (you should try it sometime) and look for knowledge. I'm not afraid to listen - even to liberals and I'm definitely willing to contemplate an alternate POV. Every once in a while one of you will say something intriguing, but mostly you post bulsh!t.

you wouldn't believe in gravity if it didn't suit your ideological bent.

Lie #23116. When I was a child I (like many others) wanted to fly. Not on a plane, but spread my arms and soar off into the blue flying. I even tried it a time or two, including one notable leap from a rooftop. Alas, gravity exerted her cruel influence to spoil my plan and my flight and I returned to Earth in a heap. I learned a valuable lesson about gravity that day - as much as it interfered with my agenda, it remained inviolate and intractable. I might defy it but I would disregard it at my peril.

Tell me again how I ignore that which does not neatly fit my "ideological bent".

Posted by: Alphabet Soup on July 2, 2009 08:11 PM
41. @40: I just outlined that there are plenty of unknowns, and a need to deal with the risk. You're stating that even if there is a risk, you shouldn't deal with it unless you have perfect numbers. Brilliant strategy!

@41: Why don't you actually READ what I wrote:

You're so entrenched in your opinion that even if incontrovertible evidence was found, you still would try to discount it. You're not really motivated by evidence here, merely ideology.

What about "even if incontrovertible evidence was found" indicates that there is perfect information? Stop misrepresenting what I'm saying.

So I'm saying that there is some evidence of massive changes in climate. What exactly are you saying?

Posted by: demo kid on July 2, 2009 08:25 PM
42. How do you find the forbearance to put up with these mental midgets Gary?

Posted by: Alphabet Soup on July 2, 2009 08:42 PM
43. #43. I enjoy it.

See? He said we need to take "SOME action". I ask what kind, and he doesn't say. I enjoy that.

Posted by: Gary on July 2, 2009 08:49 PM
44. @44: Idiots. "Some" action could be an entire book, not just a tiny blog comment. I favor energy efficiency, replacing coal-fired power plants with natural gas (and yes, nuclear), development of alternative power sources, significantly increasing fuel efficiency standards, altering soil management practices, improving methane capture from landfills... the list can go on. Promoting ethanol use and encouraging carbon sequestration aren't great strategies, given that all the benefits don't necessarily outweight the costs in my opinion.

So, even if you don't approve of global warming, each one of these elements has additional public benefits, correct? And if they have benefits for both, and there is SOME risk that climate change is actually occuring, this makes sense as an approach to take.

And in terms of meeting the necessary limits on greenhouse gas emissions... change needs to be backed up with some kind of need for change.

Posted by: demo kid on July 3, 2009 08:52 AM
45. Well, those are some actions, but liberals won't allow nuclear power or natural gas (which still emits CO2) drilling.

Do you know when this has to be done by? When is the "tipping point" now? Al Gore has been saying "10 years" for many, many years. As long as he lives, we'll always have "10 years" left, I guess.

That's science.

I read an AP article last year that said it was too late. Nothing we can do.


Posted by: Gary on July 3, 2009 09:05 AM
46. And before you take that last comment out of context, there is a strong difference between a need for long-range planning and action for the future, and short-term sitting on your ass. Making sure that we can deal with the long-term problems without getting mired down in short-term inertia can be pretty difficult.

Posted by: demo kid on July 3, 2009 09:07 AM