It's rare that my readers send me something that makes me laugh out loud, but this post did. I'll give you a bit of background first, though. Lacking the science to back up their dangerous pseudoscience, antivaccine warriors tend to resort very early to ad hominem attacks. Apparently they figure that if they can discredit the messenger who promotes the message that vaccines are safe and effective (and don't cause autism). One of their favorite techniques to accomplish this is something for which I originally coined a phrase way back in 2005: The Pharma Shill Gambit. You see it whenever someone like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. calls, for example, Paul Offit a "biostitute." You see it whenever antivaccinationists claim that defenders of science are hopelessly biased because they are completely in the thrall of big pharma, carrying it to ridiculous extremes, as Jake Crosby often does. Indeed, one time three years ago, egged on by The Young Master Crosby, a bunch of antivaccinationists tried to get me fired from my job because—get this—my university had accepted a grant from Sanofi-Aventis to do research completely unrelated to what I do. However, since one of the drugs I study in my lab is manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis, naturally Jake saw a quid pro quo and an undisclosed conflict of interest. It would have been hilarious if it hadn't briefly caused me such agita. Fortunately, my university administration immediately recognized the charges for the nonsense they were, and my dean was so supportive that she asked me if I felt physically threatened by Jake's minions. I didn't, but maybe I should have.
Be that as it may, this is the background that will allow you to understand why I found the comments sent to me by some of my readers so hilarious. There's one more thing that might help explain things. Yesterday, I wrote about the Canary Party, an antivaccine political party that was recently endorsed by that Internet Crank To Rule All Internet Cranks (well most Internet Cranks, anyway), Mike Adams of NaturalNews.com. Most recently, the Canary Party released a video narrated by the latest celebrity antivaccine crank du jour, Rob Schneider, that was chock full of lies and misinformation about the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Consistent with the embrace of Tea Party politics by the Canary Party, Ginger Taylor somehow managed to get a post about Schneider's video published over at The Daily Paul entitled Comic Rob Schneider Explains That Americans Have No Right to Sue for Vaccine Injury pimping that very same misinformation-laden video. That's not the hilarious part. Ms. Taylor's post is simply a regurgitation of the same old lies claiming that the Vaccine Court is somehow an affront to justice. No, the hilarity comes in the comments, where one reader referenced my deconstruction of the dishonest Canary Party video (but I repeat myself). Ginger was not pleased at this. Not pleased at all:
Orac is a drug developer for vaccine maker Sanofi. And he hid that for more than five years while writing about vaccines and autism. While developing a drug for them with applications for autism. Until an expose uncovered his failure to disclose his very serious conflict of interest.
So yep... absolutely... he is a compromised source. Also a cancer surgeon, not an immunologist, neurologist, or autism specialist.
No, Ms. Taylor. I am not a drug developer for Sanofi-Aventis. I don't receive any funding from Sanofi-Aventis. I don't exactly do drug development, either. Rather, I use an existing drug that happens to be manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis to probe the molecular mechanism of glutamate signaling in breast cancer cells and find better ways to target certain glutamate receptors. Nor do I have a "very serious conflict of interest." While it's true that I am not an immunologist, neurologist, or autism specialist, I do know scientific methodology. Besides, Ms. Taylor is also neither an immunologist, neurologist, nor autism specialist. She has a masters degree in clinical counseling, which is not even a degree that would make one qualified to judge basic research; yet she thinks nothing of spouting off about vaccines and autism as though she were an expert on par with Paul Offit. Compared to Ms. Taylor, quite frankly, I am an expert.
But Ms. Taylor's little broadside wasn't the best thing about this post. Oh, no. The best thing about this post was that another commenter by the 'nym of Delysid quite calmly and efficiently handed her head to her with a rebuttal so scathing that Ms. Taylor apparently couldn't allow it to stand, as the comment is no longer there. However, my readers, ever watching my back, sent me a screenshot that I transcribed:
Based on the work I have read by you, you are extremely dishonest and manipulative with your arguments. I don't give a damn if you are a fellow Ron Paul supporting freedom fighter or an "autism mother," you are spreading false information relentlessly and irresponsibly, and I will not be silent about it.
The only way that Orac (who I have never met) is even remotely a conflict of interest is if the fantasy that vaccines cause autism is true. This isn't true, and it makes your accusation ridiculous.
I've been doing some research on digital scanners and implatns. If you made the false accusation that "digital scanners and implants cause tooth decay," and I blogged that this is nonsense, am I suddenly at conflict of interest? HELL NO.
Science is apolitical. You are trying to politicize science and you are manipulating others using dipshit celebrities to spread your propaganda.
That one's going to leave a mark.
Ms. Taylor did, however, apparently reply:
Do you believe that the government should be able to pass a law removing the rights of Americans for redress of grievances?
Under any circumstances?
Even in the death or massive disabling of their child?
If so, how do you exactly belong on the Daily Paul?
Poor Ginger. So arrogantly self-righteous. So clueless. It's a highly toxic combination, even more toxic than all the fantastical "toxins" Ms. Taylor believes to be in vaccines, and as Ms. Taylor believes those toxins to be, her arrogantly sarcastic self-righteousness is deadly threat to any neuron that is exposed to it. However, she can be quite amusing, albeit unintentionally. All she did was to give Delysid another opportunity to demolish her again:
It says here that not only have people been compensated for injury by vaccines, but the average payout is $824,462.
Orac claims that you are furious that the government and every other governming body declared that vaccines do not cause autism.
I think this is a fair assesment of the situation. You are determined to prove that vaccines caused autism in your child. Is this it?
You are making one dishonest claim after another. Fortunately for you people love a liar as long as they are cheering on the things they like.
Yes, it looks to me as though Delysid has Ms. Taylor's number. The only thing he missed is her nauseating condescension and unearned sense of self-righteousness. Truly, Ms. Taylor is the living embodiment of the Dunning-Kruger effect and the arrogance of ignorance. Really, she should quit while she's not too far behind, but you and I both know that she won't. At least it will be entertaining. Poor Ms. Taylor, MS.
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Ginger must have misread the constitution. It guarantees the right to petition THE GOVERNMENT for a redress of grievances (which, as Delysid mentions, has not been removed).
Need I say more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OISR3al5Bnk
It never ceases to amaze my how often it can be pointed out to anti-vaccinationists that there is nothing that removes the rights for redress for real vaccine injuries. They can even sue for design defect claims, as long as they go through the VICP first. Of course, that destroys their self-righteous martyr complex, so it shouldn't be surprising that they would continuously lie about it.
Key words Todd: "real vaccine injuries."
To Delysid, a round of applause and a high-pitched, "nailed it!"
Every once in a while, when this nonsense starts, the masses you wouldn't expect come out and highlight just how fringe the fringe is. But like the HuffPo article going viral, more people need to do it.
The same Ginger Taylor who has been asserting that she has been a volunteer for the Canard Party but accepting a salary from them? Typical.
The same filthy-mouthed Ginger Taylor who set the example for the Thinking Moms. The same Ginger Taylor who spreads lies and who inserted herself into the Crosby/Bolen fiasco. (Good for entertainment value, though).
Good on "Delysid" for calling Ginger out on her defamatory lies...whoever (s)he is.
Ms. Taylor was definitely, as the kids say, pwn3d in that exchange. She's entitled to her own opinion, but not her own facts. Such as the government being allowed to specify the procedures by which people may seek redress, which does not mean the right to redress does not exist. (Incidentally, where does Ms. Taylor stand on things like mandatory arbitration contracts? Those things actually are designed to deny people a meaningful right to seek redress. But the people I have seen opposing the practice are not the people who openly share Ms. Taylor's political views.)
Not that this will deter her. She can moderate commenters like Delysid out of existence and go on living in her internet bubble.
" which is not even a degree that would make one qualified to judge basic research".
It's possible that she was not at all required to take experimentally-based courses that are dependent upon research ( e.g. perception, cognition, developmental, physiology etc) or much about statistical analysis or research design.
She probably did not have to submit research proposals or work with researchers. While this is called "clinical" it's not the same as clinical psych which would include more of what I refer to above, even at a master's level.
Same goes for Mac Neil's social work degree and focus on psychotherapy.
No, they can't. Bruesewitz v Wyeth settled that. Claims of manufacturing defects and inaccurate labelling may be pursued outside the VICP. Design defect claims may not:
It doesn't get more explicit than that.
My HTML-fu didn't get the link in properly, apparently:
Delysid's "dishonest" comment is still there, along with several others lamenting the level of scientific ignorance that allows the anti-vax lobby to ply its trade.
But I think the "WAKE UP" comment, posted by Bomobo (page 2 comments) sums things up pretty well.
The way I understood it, that simply means that they cannot go directly to civil court for design defect claims. First they need to go through the vaccine court. Once they have done that, they are free to accept or appeal the decision by the Special Master. If that fails, they may then go on to civil court.
Hey Orac and others,
I've been lurking on Respectful Insolence for a few months. It was refreshing discovery for me. I've been battling the quackery being spouted by others in the libertarian community, especially on the Daily Paul, for a few years now. I thought no one despised Mike Adams more than I do, but Dr. Gorski might have me beat. lol
ANd along comes today's Dilbert to bring its jaundiced eye to bear on the proceedings:
I may be recollecting wrongly, but the Vaccine Court pays (all?) attorney's fees, regardless of the ruling. This makes it even easier for those claiming an injury to go before them.
You are correct. Win or lose, reasonable attorneys' fees are paid by the program.
You're right. In fact, I think a lot of shady ambulance chasers have taken to the Court because it's a guaranteed paycheck, unlike civil courts.
She may have had some research courses but she either:
1. Doesn't remember them
2. Cannot see her objectivity is compromised because of her intimacy with the subject matter.
3. All of the above.
For my MSW degree while clinically focused had a research aspect. I had to go through the whole process from proposal, IRB filing, data collecting, SPSS, interpretation, discussion, writing the results, presentation, questions and answers as part of my degree. It depends upon the school as to what the focus is. I know there is an MSSW degree which is heavily research focused. You could be spot on though as her college/university is not heavily research focused. Mine (USF) is so I received the benefit of both research and clinical training.
Two landmark events – a government concession in the US Vaccine Court, and a groundbreaking scientific paper – confirm that physician, scientist, and Autism Media Channel [AMC] Director, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, and the parents were right all along.
In a recently published December 13, 2012 vaccine court ruling, hundreds of thousands of dollars were awarded to Ryan Mojabi, [i] whose parents described how “MMR vaccinations,” caused a “severe and debilitating injury to his brain, diagnosed as Autism Spectrum Disorder (‘ASD’).”
Later the same month, the government suffered a second major defeat when young Emily Moller from Houston won compensation following vaccine-related brain injury that, once again, involved MMR and resulted in autism. The cases follow similar successful petitions in the Italian and US courts (including Hannah Poling [ii], Bailey Banks [iii], Misty Hyatt [iv], Kienan Freeman [v], Valentino Bocca [vi], and Julia Grimes [vii]) in which the governments conceded or the court ruled that vaccines had caused brain injury. In turn, this injury led to an ASD diagnosis. MMR vaccine was the common denominator in these cases.
There can be very little doubt that vaccines can and do cause autism. In these children, the evidence for a n adverse reaction involving brain injury following the MMR that progresses to an autism diagnosis is compelling. It’s now a question of the body count. The parents’ story was right all along. Governments must stop playing with words while children continue to be damaged . My hope is that recognition of the intestinal disease in these children will lead to the relief of their suffering. This is long , long overdue .”
Here is a list of 28 studies from around the world that support Dr. Wakefield’s research:
The Journal of Pediatrics November 1999; 135(5):559-63
The Journal of Pediatrics 2000; 138(3): 366-372
Journal of Clinical Immunology November 2003; 23(6): 504-517
Journal of Neuroimmunology 2005
Brain, Behavior and Immunity 1993; 7: 97-103
Pediatric Neurology 2003; 28(4): 1-3
Neuropsychobiology 2005; 51:77-85
The Journal of Pediatrics May 2005;146(5):605-10
Autism Insights 2009; 1: 1-11
Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology February 2009; 23(2): 95-98
Annals of Clinical Psychiatry 2009:21(3): 148-161
Journal of Child Neurology June 29, 2009; 000:1-6
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders March 2009;39(3):405-13
Medical Hypotheses August 1998;51:133-144.
Journal of Child Neurology July 2000; ;15(7):429-35
Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia January-March 1971;1:48-62
Journal of Pediatrics March 2001;138:366-372.
Molecular Psychiatry 2002;7:375-382.
American Journal of Gastroenterolgy April 2004;598-605.
Journal of Clinical Immunology November 2003;23:504-517.
Neuroimmunology April 2006;173(1-2):126-34.
Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol Biol. Psychiatry December 30 2006;30:1472-1477.
Clinical Infectious Diseases September 1 2002;35(Suppl 1):S6-S16
Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2004;70(11):6459-6465
Journal of Medical Microbiology October 2005;54:987-991
Archivos venezolanos de puericultura y pediatría 2006; Vol 69 (1): 19-25.
Gastroenterology. 2005:128 (Suppl 2);Abstract-303
OMFG! Bamobo is so totally on to us!
S/he's aware of the brain altering/ brainwashing, subliminally conditioned shopping, hypno-television, pagan rituals and the shape shifting reptile/ human bodyshare programme.
And the Daily Paul's own logo mentions "GOLD"** which is, of course, key to his Lordship's ultimate plan. It also includes - "peace and love". We can't have that.
Frigging Freedom Fighters, they'll get you everytime.
** there's an AU in Paul. That explains everything.
Okay, so according to Ms Taylor, she thinks you are developing autism drugs, yet are not an autism specialist? You'd think she could keep her lies straight over the span of three sentences.
No. We've been through this. Post-Bruesewitz, the only path after the OSM is a perfunctory review by Court of Federal Claims, then the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and then SCOTUS. That's it.
So just the appeal pathway. Got it. (Here's hoping it sticks this time.)
First off, Orac, thanks for everything you are doing. I share your passion for "science-based medicine." I stumbled upon your other blog while investigating Natural News and Mike Adams a few months ago (or a year ago?) and I've been reading your work more and more frequently. Funny stuff. I consider him my nemesis with how frequently people on Facebook and my favorite sites blast me with Natural News links. Despite my best efforts to debunk him it just keeps coming.
I've never met him or corresponded with him personally (or on the internet, to my knowledge), but the other day I got into a several hours long public Facebook debate with fairly well known activist (thousands of followers) and her friends against the naturalistic fallacy and Natural News, and the next day Adams published a scathing attack on how "dentists are psychopaths."
I'd like to think that I influenced that outburst and that it was an indirect attack on me. Maybe some of his paranoid insanity has rubbed off on me, but the timing, content, and language seems to be too relevant to be a coincidence.
I had a good laugh. It's not the first time I've been suspicious that my scathing criticism of him on libertarian outlets had an an impact. Orac has pissed him something awful, too, no doubt.
But I want to clear up a few misconceptions I read here.
Ginger Taylor has no moderating abilities on the Daily Paul and nothing in that thread was censored. Censorship over there is very rare and reserved for chronic hostility and lunacy. I've been a paying subscriber to that site for 2 or 3 years now and the moderators and owner know me by first and last name. Comments retract and turn grey and become invisible to guests at a default of negative 7 cumulative votes. To see them all you need is a free sign-up.
In my lurking on Insolence I've noticed some strong criticism of the liberty movement. It's understandable because there is an extremely vocal group of quacks that have latched onto the movement and it's frustrating as hell. Having been immersed in the culture for a few years, however, I've realized that it is strongly a parasitic relationship.
Generalizing my observations, many (not all) so-called liberty activists are first and foremost alternative alternative medicine advocates who are using the liberty as a medium for their propaganda. There is a lot overlap with the quacks, but conspiracy theorists do the same thing. It's frustrating because the lunatic fringe tends to yell the loudest and muddy other legitimate points with pseudoscience gibberish.
A lot of people who oppose government control over society are trying to deny the science government is involved in. They don't realize that although government can control the laws of society, but not the laws of nature.
I published an essay about this on the Daily Paul in August. It got one upvote. Maybe you Orac and your readers would find it more interesting.
Delysid, yesterday in the library I read a very interesting commentary by Michael Shermer in the latest Scientific American. It says a bit of what you have observed, including the yelling: Why We Should Choose Science over Beliefs.
"Comments retract and turn grey and become invisible to guests at a default of negative 7 cumulative votes."
I cannot understand why websites (and Daily Paul is not the only one) allow people to cast negative votes on a post and cause it to "disappear", even if it's just to guests. What that does is enable a form of censorship in which views are deemed "not helpful" to the discussion - but all it really does is encourage people to shout down unpopular ideas.
If you want to deal with virulent invective and outright trolling, there's a much better way - it's called "moderation". Too bad some sites are too lazy to moderate their forums.
"Here is a list of 28 studies from around the world that support Dr. Wakefield’s research"
Care to explain how any of those publications support Wakefield, rather than doing a Gish Gallop of articles without even listing their titles?
well, at least orac has moved on from demonizing woo crap----grew up maybe; still, hard to understand why orac would want to spend time overwriting----as orac is prone to do----and not just do his/her science, if, indeed, orac is a scientist(so claimed). Having said that, I do that the anti-vac folks are "woos" themselves. So long
Didn't the court find that Ryan Mojabi suffered encephalitis as a result of the MMR vaccination? No finding re Autism.
They were awarded damages for the Vaccine Table Injury encephalitis. Encephalitis is not autism.
Certainly nothing in either decision argues that Wakefield's Lancet paper was anything other than fraudulent.
Gah! It's not letting me post the links, but I thought that list looked familiar...then I remembered Left Brain Right Brain and Just the Vax took care of it. A long time ago.
Keating Willcox: "Here is a list of 28 studies from around the world that support Dr. Wakefield’s research:"
Oh, I love that list. Especially the brain dead cutting and pasting where they don't notice it cites an entire year of a journal! Oh, and it is also old news and very wrong:
Also, Keating Willcox, the 2012 Vaccine Court decision was a table injury, and has nothing to do with autism.
And then about this: "There can be very little doubt that vaccines can and do cause autism. In these children, the evidence for a n adverse reaction involving brain injury following the MMR that progresses to an autism diagnosis is compelling."
The MMR has been in use in the USA since 1971, and was the preferred vaccine for the 1978 Measles Elimination Program. The USA is much larger than the UK, and its MMR vaccine was used for a much longer time before the UK introduced three MMR vaccines in 1988. So if the MMR vaccine causes autism it would have been noticed before Wakefield came on the scene. Please provide verifiable evidence dated before 1990 that autism in the USA went up during the 1970s and 1980s coincident to the use of the MMR vaccine with the Jeryl Lynn mumps component.
Those "28 studies" that supposedly support Wakefield's findings are from an interview that Andy had with Wakefield and listed here at whale.to
Ok, that's not fair. How come Chris and lilady were allowed to post links?
How many are you trying to post? There is a limit of two. Or this site just hates you. ;-)
DB @29: Two of those papers were published in the 1970s, so those papers don't support Wakefield's results (the reverse might have been true if Wakefield's results had not been fraudulent). I also see a paper from Medical Hypotheses, a paper from the first issue of the journal it's published in, a paper from a Venezuelan journal, and one that is clearly labeled as an abstract. That's without actually looking up any of those papers. I would be skeptical that any of the other 22 papers are both (1) published in reputable journals and (2) actually support Wakefield's results. I have a hunch that some of those papers really do cite Wakefield's, but to criticize his results rather than to support them (Wakefield's paper had not yet been retracted).
^... from an interview that Andy had with Mercola and listed here at whale.to
AnObservingParty was correct: Just the Vax published a thorough takedown of the claim that Keating Willcox regurgitated here. Since links seem problematic, a search for that site and "Still no independent confirmation of Wakefield's claims" will turn up the evidence that Willcox never read the papers that he cited.
Chris @33: Your response posted while I was typing mine. Thanks for confirming my suspicions.
The first article (Gastrointestinal abnormalities in children with autistic disorder) does not support Wakefield’s claims re: the MMR vaccine being causally associated the development of autism. In fact, it doesn’t mention MMR or measles at all.
Ditto for the second article (Colonic CD8 and gamma delta T-cell infiltration with epithelial damage in children with autism).
And for the third (Intestinal lymphocyte populations in children with regressive autism: evidence for extensive mucosal immunopathology)
And the fourth (Elevated cytokine levels in children with autism spectrum disorder).
And the fifth (Antibodies to myelin basic protein in children with autistic behavior).
The sixth citation actually does address measles virus and autism (Elevated levels of measles antibodies in children with autism). It’s VK Singh’s comment, claiming that he’s found elevated levels of antibodies against measles in the serum of autistic children, but not their siblings or non-autistic children. This finding has never been reproduced; instead, multiple large scale independent studies have failed repeatedly to uncover any association between measles and/or the measles vaccine and autism.
The seventh—but then, there’s really no need to go on. Is there?
@Chris Two. Just the Vax and LBRB. The site hates me. *sniff* :P
Surprising nobody, Keating Wilcox's facebook page is riddled with crank magnetism at work. far-right-wing nuttery, homophobia, golabl warming denialism, antifeminism/'men's rights,' various altie nonsense...and that's just from the past week.
So, Keating, how many of those 28 studies have you actually read?
Ironically, he also quotes Feynman:
"There are myths and pseudo-science all over the place. I might be quite wrong, maybe they do know all this ... but I don't think I'm wrong, you see I have the advantage of having found out how difficult it is to really know something. How careful you have to be about checking the experiments, how easy it is to make mistakes and fool yourself. I know what it means to know something. And therefore, I see how they get their information and I can't believe that they know it. They haven't done the work necessary, they haven't done the checks necessary, they haven't taken the care necessary. I have a great suspicion that they don't know and that they're intimidating people."
Mr. Wilcox, I recommend you spend some time checking experiments carefully, and being especially aware of "how easy it is to make mistakes and fool yourself."
@ Delysid: I don't know why you even "bother" to argue with the likes of Ginger Taylor, who is firmly convinced her autistic child is "vaccine-damaged"...but I'm glad you do. :-)
Eric Lund: "Thanks for confirming my suspicions."
Thanks and your welcome. That list was being spammed so much a couple of years ago, some of us decided to tackle it. And it has happened again with another set of studies that Liz Ditz listed at her site. It starts here:
and continues to:
"your welcome" is really "your're", use your imagination to fix it. (especially since I am giggling at a Grammar Nazi on SBM)
@ brian & AnObservingParty: I think you both got stuck in moderation because the Just The Vax thread you tried to link to, had a slew of links embedded in it.
I saw that takedown of Ginger.
I'm still giggling.
Keating Willcox @19:
The usual plagiastic copy-pasta. About About 36,700 copies, sez Google.
Keating Wilcox @20:
Keating Willcox @21: 2,680 copies.
Stupid, lazy and plagiaristic is no way to go through life.
Adams published a scathing attack on how “dentists are psychopaths.”
Everyone knows that dentistry is theft.
How perfect that Ginger is a Paulite, Ron Paul is the Mike Adams of politics.
How marvelously serendipitous it is that "cac" is the exact sound my dog makes when spitting up grass . . .
Reading Keating Wilcox reminds me of the joy I'd see on my kids' faces at age 2 when they'd discover they could play with the poop in their diapers but didn't realize it would earn them a long bath with a scrub down later.
@lilady I argue with people like Ginger, even though getting through to people like her is hopeless, to keep myself sharp and to hopefully plant some seeds in others. It's also pretty convenient having an immediate scientific response the next time the issue arises.
@Chris I agree with the sentiments of the article, but I still disagree with him about gun control and I'm definitely a skeptic regarding the proposed consequences of climate change. Global climate models are based on so many uncertainties and projections on these uncertainties that aspects of climatology enter the realm of pseudoscience. It reminds of the predictions involved in quantitive population genetics. The computations and models sound impressive and some gorgeous, colorful charts are produced, then we realize that basically nothing was accurately predicted and the process starts over with altered models.
Umm...as a population geneticist I can tell you that this is not an accurate description of the field, like at all. Many old population genetics models are being validated in humans now that large enough datasets of genetic variation are available. Here's a great recent example:
I wans't talking about the accuracy of models of retroactive populations genetics, I meant the uncertainty of predicting the future of mutations.
It's pretty tough to predict the direction of evolution.
I didn't mean to insult the field of population genetics at all. I actually did my final undergrand senior biology seminar presentation on awesome population genetics study.
Science is much better at figuring out what and why something happened than predicting the future of what and why.
If you don't understand how these two concepts are intimately related (and essentially the same thing), you don't understand population genetics. Even still you're incorrect...classic models of sequence evolution like F84 and GTR have been around for decades and continue to be validated as new population-level datasets are released.
But really none of this has anything to do with your opinions on climate change. Based on what you've written I suspect that you've been fed a very limited set of ideas on how models are used in science, and how they're generated.
I haven't been fed anything.
It seems to me we are on two different pages here.
But I admit to having a very weak understanding of these models.
But I don't think this invalidates my point. Despite the impressive quantifive aspects, I stand by statement about uncertainty after uncertainty. This is what climatologists do. This is also what econometrists do. I reject this method.
" an extremely vocal group of quacks have latched onto the movement"
I've been following Mikey for about 6 years and other quacks for nearly 14 years(!); plus new age material in the 1990s-
I noticed political and economic rhetoric becoming increasingly inflammatory and strident after the economic collapse of 2008- 2009. Perhaps their profits suffered.
My own guess is that Mike would jump on to any bandwagon that would increase his page view count or his bottom line. For a while, he scoffed about how his native land had become unacceptable and relocated to Ecuador where he was to become the centre of a group of enlightened freedom seekers. That didn't work out so well and he's moved back.
He capitalises on readers' fear and mistrust of the establishment as surely as he trades upon their fears of cancer and ill health Seemingly, he has a product for whatever ails you, physically, spiritually or politically.
I believe that he, seeing how lucrative selling alt med can be, modelled his career after Gary Null, who is listed amongst his chief influences at his new bio ( @ health ranger.com). Both also have the bizarre belief that any person can investigate, deconstruct and overturn scientifc research, making them role models for many of the anti-vax contingent, like Ms Taylor.
Over the past several years, I have seen Mike start many new projects and sell new items as well as unveiling new ideas, but it always reduces down to whatever he thinks will earn him more money and the loyalty of those who spend it.
Off-topic, but it seems some of the most scandalous goings-on in oncology in Houston, Texas, do _not_ involve the Burzynski clinic.
You've gotta watch those breast cancer docs. ;)
Why is this man not as big a crackpot as Mike Adams and Joe Mercola?
Gonzalez-Angulo gave Blumenschein not just one cup of poisoned coffee, but two.
It was an honest mistake. How was she to know Blumenschein would *drink* what was obviously intended for an enema?
Science is much better at figuring out what and why something happened than predicting the future of what and why.
Certainly there is some uncertainty in the details of climate-model predictions, but the some effect seems likely from reducing the amount of heat re-radiation from the Earth while the amount arriving as sunlight stays the same. By way of analogy, predictions of where you hit ground if you jump from a plane may not be exactly correct, but jumping is still not a good idea.
The people who do these models are acutely aware of the uncertainties and make allowances for them. However, anthropogenic CO2 puts such a huge thumb on the scales that ANY rational model shows the temperature going up very significantly for some time to come. None of the competeing effects that people have dreamed up that might keep this from happening has proven out. There's a lot of uncertainty involved, but the basic conclusions of anthropogenic global warming are very well-tested, and it would be foolish to ignore them.
I know that's considered to be heresey in some Libertarian circles, but as you're acutey aware, scientific issues can't be decided using political signifiers.
I tried to find a way to ask a question here about the shingles vaccine. I am sorry to intrude on this thread with this question.
I work at a drugstore and was helping a customer find a product in the first aid aisle. I asked them if they had their flu shot. They had just visited their doctor and did get the shot. However, they did not get the shingles vaccine. The customer had shingles twenty years ago. Our Pharmacist on duty told him he did not need the vaccine because he had built up antibodies to it.
The way the CDC site reads, he could have been given one safely. I wonder why the pharmacist simply reccomended that they talk to their doctor first.
The customer wanted the vaccine and would not be seeing their doctor soon.
I'm going to speculate that Orac was busy yesterday. Ginger Taylor proven wrong? And in other news Jake Crosby has found a conspiracy and that chick from AoA is spamming the comments of every vaccine related news story.
A bit OT, but since we have been speaking about stupid things antivaxers say. This is one the most foul quotes I have heard in a while.....
"imagine a newborn protected by it's mother's antibodies! those with underlying conditions are another question. you might ask though why would those with underlying conditions have the right to ask others to take a chance at vaccine injury so that they might live?
you might even go as far as saying that measles and other childhood diseases are a weeder out of those not fit to live and we're not doing ourselves a favour. complicated issues those. "
@Kelly M Bray: noxious, but hardly surprising. I think that they believe that "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." To me, that saying is stupid as many things that don't kill you do weaken you severely. Case in point: the organ damage caused by diphtheria, a vaccine preventable disease.
@Julian - the anti-vax folks have to say that. They have to "believe" that getting diseases are beneficial to those they get them (and survive / not suffer permanent side-effects) because they know that the end game includes the roaring come-back of VPDs....they have to convince themselves and others that these diseases are benign or even helpful, because otherwise they would have to admit that things like measles are bad (and don't get me started on Rubella) and should be avoided....and unfortunately, the only means we have for avoidance (besides full quarantines) is vaccines.....it is a vicious cycle.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
My experience is that what doesn't kill me, leaves me with a terrible hangover when I eventually wake up.
But science is based on making models and validating (or falsifying) them by making predictions. Prediction is by far the most important function of science. You can't build a bridge, computer or airplane, or design a cancer drug or whatever without being able to make accurate predictions about how they will behave in hypothetical circumstances. It's the basis of the scientific method.
Uncertainty in economic models is largely due to difficulties in accurately predicting human behavior. Uncertainty in climatology, as I understand it, is largely due to complexity and the very large number of variables. Economic and climate models are relatively unreliable for entirely different reasons.
As others have pointed out, there may be uncertainty about how fast anthropogenic global warming is happening, but not whether it is happening or not.
It's hard to believe anyone would say that in public, given recent human history.
You could equally argue that those children that are unable to tolerate vaccines are not fit to live, but it would be equally obnoxious.
In other ( nearly equally obnoxious) anti-vax news:
@ TMR, TM Tex interviews Jill Rubolino, of AIM ,who is preparing for the next IACC meeting wherein she and Ms Reed, will advocate for children with ASDs who are being discriminated against by SBM: they don't get adequate health care as any other child would**.
They will be accompanied by Drs Buie and Frye and are asking for parents to submit their own stories to both the IACC and to herself ( in case the IACC ignores them)
I imagine she'll not speak too much about her previous efforts in getting appropriate medical care for a hospitalised autistic person.
** If her charges were true, I suppose that that would mean that doctors don't set autistics' broken bones or that those with bacterial infections are declined antibiotics BUT
I don't think that's what she's talking about.
( TMs would probably advocate against antibiotics anyway)
@ Drugstoreemployee: I don't now why the pharmacist dissuaded the customer from getting the shingles vaccine. It is possible that the pharmacist has knowledge of the customer's preexisting conditions which are contraindications to receiving the shingles vaccine:
@ Pareidoius: If you check out Ginger's blog, you'll find that she was trying to have her credentials recognized to be seated with the Maine delegates at the Maine Republican Convention:
@ Denice, if you or anyone else is interested in what a fabulous "autism advocate" Rubolino is, just have a read here: http://theautismbureau.blogspot.com/2013/07/iaccick.html
Speaking of the what doesn't kill you makes you stronger mentality, the antivaxxers are always putting down flu shots and saying the flu isn't that bad and you are stronger for fighting it naturally, but in reality an influenza infection leaves you susceptible to other infections for some time after you get over it. It leaves you with lots of epithelial damage in your throat and interrupted mucus. That is in an uncomplicated case of influenza. A lot of people will get a cold or especially an adenovirus right after they have the flu.
Speaking of adenoviruses. I am still getting over one that was heavily circulating here. I apparently passed it to my husband who has GERD and it caused pericarditis that sent him to the emergency room. He had no other symptoms other than a little fatigue, a low grade fever he didn't even know he had, and seroconversion which he wouldn't know he had.
Anyway, I found that not only are adenoviruses not well understood, but that viral pericarditis isn't well understood. Also, the hospital didn't do a good job of explaining why it is important to take your GERD medication regularly even if you are not having symptoms and that esophageal damage can lead to semi-novel receptors becoming available to pathogens that commonly infected the esophagus.
Drugstoreemployee: "The customer wanted the vaccine and would not be seeing their doctor soon."
He can call the doctor's office and ask the question. We have done this often in our family, especially when the kids were young. Often it is just a conversation with a nurse who has access to the records.
My primary care doc, while not actively discouraging me from getting the shingles vaccine was dubious about it and cited an example of a patient who supposedly got shingles shortly after receiving the vaccine.
I am double-checking to see if he actually graduated from an accredited medical school.
The shingles vaccine doesn't have a very high efficacy rate. I want to say it's only about 51 percent. (It's been a while since I checked the Pink Book though.)
However, given that the complications of shingles include *years* of nerve pain? Still worth it. Still less than the complications of the shot.
The whole point of the climatology 'controversy' is that humans are playing a major role in the system. This means that human action throws in uncertain parameters. It is more similar to econometrics than some people are admitting, in my opinion.
I read the other day that finally for the first time a climatologist accounted for the massive number of artificial pools in a global climate change model.
There are conflicting opinions just on this thread (not including me) regarding the nature of climatology.
Just clarify your position a bit for me:
do you believe that human actions ( burning fossil fuels, the Industrial Revolution, autos' exhaust etc) over the past two centuries have had any effect globally?
I want to ascertain what you're arguing about.
Delysid, have you ever read any of the actual science, as explained by the researchers themselves?
The recent review of the scientific literature from the World Meteorological Organization might be a good place to start:
Here's the accompanying press release briefly summarizing their major points:
That seems a little disingenuous to me. Humans are playing a very predictable role in the climatic system, steadily increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide over the past few centuries. The only major uncertain parameter is exactly how much and for how long that concentration will increase. Even assuming it won't increase at all it is clear that global warming will be a problem.
In contrast, the vagaries of human behavior can have very rapid and very unexpected effects on markets. It is a different ball-game altogether.
Calling all posters...
The Dachelbot and her flying monkey squad are deluging Emily Willingham's latest blog about older autistic adults in Scotland:
Please come and post... and I'm getting very lonely there//sigh.
@lilady, I read that article Wednesday, and their weren't as many comments, but I don't have the mental energy to combat these crazies. I am sorry! I was so disappointed to see that 'Alain Couvier', thinking it was 'our' Alain, and it obviously wasn't lol I just really can't wrap my head around people like Ann Daschel. It seems fairly obvious to me that they had very different diagnoses 60+ years ago. Mild cases probably were 'weirdos'. Extreme cases, locked up. Thank goodness now that people with autism can get help. Or the rest of us get help, understanding this condition, and not being judgemental or condescending. I really don't understand this 'my child has autism so he/she is broken'. Would you say the same for Diabetes? Heart Conditions? Missing a limb? Why is it just Autism?
Full of rhetorical questions today. Thank you again lilady for all that you do outside this blog. I am there with you in spirit!
@Kelly M. Bray, everything that is 'natural' happens for a reason, right? My cousin had a breech baby out of hospital. It died. Guess he wasn't 'strong enough' to live. These children that just aren't strong enough to fight measles, blah, they don't matter.
I really do not understand this line of reasoning. Every child deserves to live. Every child deserves the best we adults can offer. To have a fighting chance. To not have to die from our stupidity. To benefit from generations of knowledge and science.
It's kind of interesting how the AoA contingent has developed a particular hatred for Emily. The reasons for it are obvious; she posts frequently about antivaccine pseudoscience and quackery to which autistic children are subjected. But I do the same thing, and the Dachelbot's flying monkey squadron almost never shows up here at RI anymore. I rather suspect it's because, thanks to regular commenters like lilady and others, she knows it's a futile effort . Not only does it not phase me, but the RI crew serve as an excellent antiaircraft barrage that shoots down pretty much any of the Dachelbot's flying monkeys before they can drop any loads (of poo) on the comment thread in such a way that it causes any damage.
The Dachelbot intentionally sends her flying monkeys after targets that haven't built up such effective defenses over the years, such as Emily. The problem is, there are a lot more of them than there are of us; so defending every target is close to impossible. A dilemma indeed. Perhaps we need an early warning Twitter account, a Bat Signal if you will, to activate Orac's Raiders for action. Unfortunately, I can't do both. I can't keep the Insolence coming in the quantity and quality to which you are accustomed and at the same time fly off to defend Emily and others under attack by the Dachelbot. That's why I rely on my readers...
Orac, the Dachelbot is a gutless whelp, who only alerts her flying monkey squad AFTER she posts on a science blog and AFTER she departs those blogs.
The Dachelbot is my age and she "claims" she never saw a person with autism when she was growing up, or before her 27-year-old son John was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome when he was in second grade:
The Dachelbot, before she got her gig on AoA was involved with A-Champs, one of the original fringe groups that claimed mercury toxicities, in the form of Thimerosal in vaccines, causes autism.
It truly is amazing how John Dachel has progressed. He drives a car, plays piano and the organ, enjoys his own motorboat, has his own Facebook page and is listed as a technical advisor on Dachel's videotaped interviews at the 2013 Autism One-Generation Rescue Conference.
I swear it is nothing short of a miracle !!! :-)
I've been thinking about this for a long time..
but I do believe that lilady ( take a bow -btw-) is the SB antidote?/ counterpart?/ dark matter? to Ms Dachel- whose occupation appears to be alerting antivaxxers to SB articles on vaccines/ autism and to thus precipitate a deluge of pseudoscience whensoever reasonable information appears publicly, dirtying up those articles.
I wonder how much they pay her?
Ms Dachel I mean.
I have it on good authority that lilady is not paid at all.
Unless if you count the myriad tiny robin's egg blue boxes that Lord Draconis periodically leaves off at her doorstep.
Or so I've heard.
( Note to anti-vaxxers:
the last sentence is what is called a "jest", i.e. not to be taken seriously. I don't want to find myself quoted by the MPH or another person who doesn't get it)
My political position on climate change is that politicians and their corresponding governments should not be involved or intervening in the economy. Society will adapt regardless of what happens. Mankind survived the Ice Age and there is no reason to think it won't survive even the most apocalyptic doomsday predictions. Personally I think the alarmism of people like James Hansen is political fear mongering and embarrasing to science. But even if humans cause climate change, it seems to me that a good shake-up of geography and the climate will have benefits (except for the status quo of wealthy aristocrats living in their ocean-side mansions like Al Gore).
My scienctific position is that humans are probably playing a role in climate change, as we do inhabit the Earth, but I think the predictions of the quantitative models aren't as conclusive as the powers at be want us to believe. Many scientists warned that nuclear meltdown was going to destroy the world, and now birds are nesting inside the Chernobyl sarcaphagus and wildlife is thriving in the radiation zone. How many scientists predicted that? The Earth will survive whatever we do to it.
Climatology is the worst of politicized science.
I think the reasons the Flying Monkey AntiVax Squad (FMAVS) hates Emily Willingham with such a pure burning hate is because:
1. She does not reject or fear her son's autism
2. She rejects (with science) both the vaccine-autism myth and the fraudulent-to-dangerous "treatments" so dear to the FMAVS
but mostly because
3. She is successful, getting a science-writing gig at Forbes, writing at the respected Double X science, science editor at The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism, quoted in mainstream articles, plus the other work she does in science communication.
I read one comment about Willingham on AofA that complained she was "sneering" in the photo that Forbes uses. She's displaying obvious (and well-deserved) contempt toward the anti-vax nutbars, obviously.
Climatology is the worst of politicized science.
Evolution became politicised science too, when one party adopted creationism. That doesn't make it wrong.
This whole "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" meme is a very bad strategy, IMO. Sociopaths like Delysid are the enemy, just as much as any anti-vaxers, and their bass-ackwards philosophy—which has totally destroyed the world economy and set us back a century since Reagan the Gormless was elected—can and has caused much more widespread damage. Personally, I will spend the majority of my energy combating gLibertarian shıtweasels wherever I find them. The anti-vaxers will fall by the wayside automatically.
@ Liz Ditz: Earlier today, our old pal "jen" posted two comments on AoA, congratulating the Flying Monkey AntiVax Squad (FMAVS) on their carpet bombing of Emily Willingham's blog; now that thread is dead. I *wonder* why?
@ BattleAxe. That was spoken like a true humanitarian and intellectual.
@ herr doktor Creationism might be ridiculous, but it is not comparable to climatology. Creationism is rooted in faith in religious dogma, but belief in it has minimal effect on the rest of society. There are no forces trying to enforce "Creationism taxes and regulations to stop evolution." Unlike rejection of vaccination, belief in creationism by itself doesn't really affect human health if they accept the rest of evidence-based science.
For an interesting view of libertarianism as preached here in the good ol' USA, read this:
I don't always agree with everything Professor Dutch has to say, but I always find his opinions interesting and thought-provoking.
I was so disappointed to see that ‘Alain Couvier’, thinking it was ‘our’ Alain, and it obviously wasn’t lol I just really can’t wrap my head around people like Ann Daschel
I keep wondering if I should blog & comment under my full name because of such situation and now that I intend to be a regular at Emily's numerous blogs (she's on my google+ feed). For now, I don't have any cause for concern but I'm planning to be employed in a big IT corporation (SAP, CGI or another giant) and going forward to tell them I blog under my full name and I'm noted for my strong position in certain issues including autism.
Orac (first) and anyone else, I solicit your comment in my previous post.
#100 You are not correct. Creationism *does* affect acceptance of many other facets of science, including health, and creationists *do* attempt to enforce their beliefs on other facets of society--for example, by forcing changes in education and textbooks for people who are not creationists.
@ Khani Forcing changes in education in textbooks is incomparably tame to the economic and societal consequences being demanded in the name of climate change.
I despise religious dogma and I am an unapologetic defender of the theory of evolution, but you are lying to yourself. I've avoided commenting on Orac's blog because of some of the political pretentiousness, despite agreeing vehemently with the idea of "science-based medicine."
We know evolution is a fact because we study the past, but we cannot predict with accuracy the future of evolution.
We can study the fossil records, geological tables, and other aspects of this type of science, but we cannot with certainty predict the future of climate change. We can speculate and guess on thousands of parameters and pretend that the past evidence gives us the ability to predict the future, but it is the pretense of knowledge.
I have learned plenty of pseudoscience bullshit in college and dental school. (ie all of the social sciences).
Alain, I mainly just ignore the other Alain because he craves the attention and just keeps cranking out his Spam.
Did someone mention Creationism and the infusion of Creationism and climate change denialism into textbooks?
Did someone mention Creationism and the infusion of Creationism and climate change denialism into textbooks?
Creationism is rooted in faith in religious dogma, but belief in it has minimal effect on the rest of society.
Except that you can't get good doctors in Texas now, since evolution is the bedrock of biology. If a doctor or a pharmacist can't understand basic biology, their practice is going to suffer. We're probably going to see the same thing in Lousiana pretty soon. And, you know, a lot of educated professionals are going to leave- either because they're not welcome or they want their kids to have an actual scientific education.
Creationism might be ridiculous, but it is not comparable to climatology. Creationism is rooted in faith in religious dogma, but belief in it has minimal effect on the rest of society.
You are deliberately missing my point, which was not about the social impact of politicising biology vs. that of politicising climatology. My point is that it only takes one side to politicise an issue; and if the science pre-dates the political agenda, then this does not make it invalid.
For instance, genetics became politicised in the Soviet Union when Stalin decided that Lysenko's quackery was a better fit to his goals than standard biology. That did not invalidate genetics.
In the case of climatology and AGW concerns, these pre-date their use as a political cudgel. They have been enlisted by environmentalists, and deprecated by lobbyists to the point that State governments have passed laws criminalising climate-change research, but this is irrelevant to the validity or otherwise of climatology. It was a bipartisan field until Al Gore entered his post-political career.
Creationism and rand ism both have real impacts on the community. They deny children the ability to make sense of their environment and many parents the support needed to feed them. When the Paulites are also campaigning against both abortion and the funding of contraception you know they are logically challenged.
I think that explains your attitude to global warming; a very serious problem has arisen that demands government intervention and this challenges your political dogma. Your only choices are to pretend it isn't happening, to minimize its consequences, or to change your political position. It is clear which you have chosen from your comments.
Sadly global warming is happening, and it is going to have devastating consequences for millions of people and for thousands of species across the planet. There are arguments about our best strategies for dealing with this, but pretending it isn't happening, or describing this as, "a good shake-up of geography and the climate", don't seem very effective to me (to put it politely).
According to our Glibertarian visitor the only people who will be affected are millionaires with sea side homes like all those millionaires living a meter or two above sea level in Bangladesh. What a vile disingenuous racist asshat.
The goal of the Paulites is to shrink government down to the point where it can crawl up a vagina.
First, the obstacles creationists have met in pushing their Bronze Age fairytales into the schools have fueled the push for charter schools and publicly-funded private schools, usually, and literally, at the expense of public schools. As an attempt to end-run the First Amendment, I think it sets a dangerous precedent.
Second, as to global warming, just what kind of threat is your threshold for government intervention? I once read a completely serious essay claiming that from a libertarian viewpoint, if a killer meteor were found heading for Earth that governments had no moral right to try and stop it.
"What does not kill me makes me stronger" happens to be a quote from Nietzsche, a problematic philosopher at best.
The antivaxers can be cured of their addiction to this saying by the simple expedient of finding someone with SSPE who's willing to publicize their case. Find a network that will put it on the air in primetime and follow up periodically. Let people know that if they let their infant or toddler get measles, then they may lose that same child as a teen or young adult in a particularly horrifying way. Let's see Jenny "Charlie" McCarthy and Mayim Bialik and all the other antivax idiots mealymouth their way out of that one.
Mon ami, I would still be careful: it's one thing to have a blog, as you have already, under your own name, but I would still be careful around the 'usual suspects' ( i.e. AoA loyalists, Jake, Bolen et al) and I wouldn't necessarily link to the blog.
There are ways of differentiating yourself from M Couvier:
1. you make sense
2. write *de Quebec* or suchlike
3. add another descriptive word or phrase( you're creative)
For connoisseurs of whack-jobs, this one is too good to miss:
@Jeff1971 - Wow. Just ... wow ...
Dr Rima, of the Natural Solutions Foundations ( which see), and spouse of Stubblebine. She has appeared in several of Gary Null's schlockumentaries and investigative reports.
Dr. Rima and dear hubby Stubblebine have their own entry in the Encyclopedia of American Loons:
@ ORD, while not widely read by any stretch of the imagination, Catherina and I have done just that and guess what? The anti-vaxxers don't give a toss; they just blame the victim.
The Pauls, both Papa Doc and Baby Doc*, are indeed hypocrites. And Ron Paul is the man who puts the "Aryan" in "Libertarian".
*Don't recognize the reference? Search for it.
Old Rockin' Dave - I'm not a Rand Paul fan, but I'm going to ask for an explanation and justification for that statement that he 'puts the “Aryan” in “Libertarian”.'
Dr. Rima and dear hubby Stubblebine have their own entry in the Encyclopedia of American Loons:
She's a keeper, to be sure. Woo and grift blend seamlessly.
I love the raging hypocrisy by some of the people here who pose as rational thinkers regarding science and quackery and then spout angry irrational gibberish in worshiping the religion of statism. Calling me a "racist" and other idiotic accusations and throwing shit at the wall regarding libertarianism is just emotional reactionary opposition to what is regarding as heresy of the God of government.
The unscientific and conjectural "progressive" political worldview is so similar to blind faith in quackery that all I can do is laugh.
This was a thread regarding my defense of vaccines and it devolved into pathetic ramblings about Ayn Rand, racism, Ron and Rand, climatology, and whatever hell else shit comes up to justify political prejudices.
My grammar was poor in the above comment because I deleted part of a sentence and didn't catch the mistake before I submitted it.
@GuineaPig. So you are saying that someone cant' be a good doctor and believe in creationism at the same time? The arrogance of that comment is unbelievable. The principles of evolution versus creationsim plays a negligible role in modern medicine. Was Ron Paul an incompetant OB/GYN because of his religious beliefs? Is Ben Carson a quack in pediatric neurosurgery because of his Seventh Day Adventism religious beliefs?
Give me a break.
@M O'B: Actually, I said it was Papa Doc, not Baby Doc. But here are some links:
If you do a search, the links go on and on. After defending obnoxious quotes from his newsletters, he more recently denied writing them, claiming he never read the newsletters that all had "Ron Paul" in their names. If that's true, he wouldn't make a very good president, would he?
@ Krebiozen #73
I agree with you about the scientific method of predicting and then experimenting to prove or falsify (OBVIOUSLY) which is exactly why climatology is far different from a field such as cancer research (which is far more repeatable and controllable than the study of the climate of entire planet).
As an example look at Cox inhibitors. In theory they seemed so straight forward until the unexpected cardiovascular side effects starting occurring. Or on the flip side look at a drugs like rifampicin that unexpectedly treat conditions like Parkinson's.
Some of the monoclonal antibodies that theoretically had the potential to be 'magic bullets' turned out to be a disaster
I'm not a climatologist, but it seems inevitable (and obvious) that we have a far better understanding of biochemistry than climatology just based on the nature of the field and the scientific community is still terrible at predicting outcomes.
Also, just as conjecture, it seems that many of the people who go into climatology do it with the intention of 'saving the planet.' I can't help but speculate that much of climatology is conducted with the intention of proving already preconceived notions about anthropogenic climate change.
Here's some more vintage Ron:
We can look at his positions on vaccines while we're at it (and note who submitted this one):
Knowing a number of climatologists, I'd call that an insult - they just as interested in the hard science, regardless of what the outcome is...it just so happens that what they are finding is pointing to a growing problem...something that we all have an interest in making sure is resolved in such a way as to not cause overall hardship for the planet (and ourselves).
Krebiozen @112, and Lawrence @127 - - Excellent posts. Krebiozen, especially, I think your analysis is remarkably insightful and exactly right.
I'm hoping to rebrand libertarianism as "The New Irresponstibilty". Most devotees seem to deny that the social contract even exists.
#125 Delysid... you yourself brought up climate change on this thread.
Not everyone here is "progressive," and in fact there is a wide spectrum of political views here.
@Old Rockin' Dave
Quit being an asshole. You are throwing shit to the wall and using blatant logical fallacies to make points that are irrelevant to the discussion. Just because someone is wrong about X does not make them wrong about Y.
You posted that thread that I posted on the DailyPaul about Ron Paul's opinion on vaccines, but did you see my opinion of it?
"Ron Paul gave a medical fallacy here, I should add. I adore the man, but I strongly believe he is wrong in his claim about "giving too many vaccines too soon and overwhelming the immune system." Our immune systems are exposed to tens of thousands (and greater) pathogens at any given moment. Our adaptive immune system can create practically infinite combinations of antibodies. 5 vaccines at once might sound scary, but that is nothing compared to what the immune system can handle. If anything it is better to combine vaccines so that less excipients and less doses are given. I agree fully with Ron Paul about voluntaryism, however."
Quit trying to make me guilty be association.
Branding libertarianism as "the new irresponsibility" is beyond ridiculously dishonest and the exact opposite of the worldview. Libertarians believe in voluntary relationships and personal responsibility for one's own actions. What kind of schizophrenic mind games?
The "social contract" does not mean that the government can do whatever it wants because you say so. This is a primitive, anti-intellectual position. With the possible exception in the name of God, there is no greater destruction that has occurred to mankind than in the name of the "greater good."
The greater good is an arbitrary, imaginary concept that is inherently undefinable. My idea of the greater good is not the same as your idea of the greater good. This is exactly why collectivism is so dangerous. No one should be forced into abiding by your version of the greater good just because you obtain political power. That is a savage belief system.
*What kind of schizophrenic mind games are you pulling to smear the ideology as the exact opposite of what it is?
Delysid: So you are saying that someone cant’ be a good doctor and believe in creationism at the same time? The arrogance of that comment is unbelievable. The principles of evolution versus creationsim plays a negligible role in modern medicine.
See 'underpinning of biology.' If you don't understand why a doctor who doesn't understand biology, who can't figure out that bacteria can adapt and evolve might not be a very good doctor, then I can't help you. Also, a doctor who is very religious might end up losing patients because they can't treat them appropriately- see the case of Savita Halappanaver, which could easily happen in the States.
Was Ron Paul an incompetant OB/GYN because of his religious beliefs?
Er, probably. I'm surprised he ever had any patients, since I'd hope they'd flee the waiting room once they realized how much contempt seeps out his pores for anyone who's not a WASP. I'm even more surprised that he managed not to kill anyone by enforcing his beliefs on them. And this just lends credence to my theory about Ob/Gyns.
Is Ben Carson a quack in pediatric neurosurgery because of his Seventh Day Adventism religious beliefs?
Probably. Never ran into him before, so I'd hold off on judgement, but I'd be surprised if he was any good at all.
And finally, unfettered religion escaping into the social arena is never a good idea. Thanks to your side, kids are being miseducated- if the next generation is any indication, India, China and other places that have almost grown out of religion will eat our lunch, and Texas will soon be hosting witch hunts.
Adaption is not the same thing as evolution from one species to another. Again, to emphasize, I am an atheist and far from a creationist, but you are misrepresenting their viewpoint.
It has been said by opponents that no one could defeat Ron Paul in is district because he was the OB/GYN for half of the women in two counties and they loved him. You have no basis whatsoever for the claim that "I'm surprised he ever had any patients" besides your own delusions. What evidence do you have that he was anything besides a competent physician?
"Thanks to my side?"
You mean my viewpoint, that as an atheist, people should be free to believe in whatever religion they want and that belief in creationism is totally compatible with the practice mainstream medicine? Are you a moron?
Texas will soon be hosting witch hunts?
Do you have any proof for that or are you just fear-mongering. I find it hilarious that you are commenting on this blog and declaring your own alarmist superstitious speculation.
Wacky progressive fear-mongering is the fraternal twin of science quackery. I wish you could laugh at yourself like I do, but unfortunately progressives/socialists/American liberals are unable to recognize their own hypocrisies.
@ Rockin Dave
I just read that link you posted called "Why I am not a libertarian."
Thanks for the laughs. It was written so childishly that I'm suspicious that it was a libertarian writing satire. It said, paraphrasing, "Proof that the free-market doesn't work is that people vote in terrible politicians."
The head-slapping ridiculousness of this argument should be self-explanatory.
People are bad so we need a government of people are bad so we need a government of people are bad so we need a government of people are bad so we need a government of people are bad so we need
Look, pea-brain, adaptation goes hand in hand with evolution. In fact adaptation causes evolution- ever heard of the Galapagos finches.
You mean my viewpoint, that as an atheist, people should be free to believe in whatever religion they want and that belief in creationism is totally compatible with the practice mainstream medicine?
I agree with the first one, but not the second. Belief in creationism undermines the very underpinnings of medicine, and ruins the doctor's practice, since their beliefs become incompatible with medicine and in some cases, their patient's lives.
As for Ron Paul..well, have you ever heard of Stockholm Syndrome? If he was the only ob/gyn in two counties, no wonder no one ever uttered a squeak. Plus, most women are totally brainwashed down there- they believe they merit every bad thing that happens to them because that's what their pastor said.
Dude, I studied history. I know what fundamentalism leads to. You should crack open a history book sometime, instead of Ayn Rand's terrible crimes against the English language.
Once again, you are trying to portray me as guilty by association. I have stated several times that I disagree with Ron Paul on creationism and a few other things, though I agree with him on the vast majority of other issues and the overall voluntaryist worldview. I've disagreed with quite a few things blogged by Orac, mostly involving politics, but I'm a staunch defender of science-based medicine. Believe it or not no two people agree on everything.
I know progressives love to circlejerk the meme about libertarians being Ayn Rand cultists, but I have only read one of her books (Anthem) years ago and I couldn't even give you a summary of the book. Do you have a copy of Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth on your nightstand? It's only fair to assume that that is your favorite book, right?
And you think I have Stockholm Syndrome regarding Ron Paul? Weird! I don't remember him holding me hostage. Clearly you are a genius and a god of science, so I guess I must be wrong about voluntarily doing my own research over the years and Ron Paul must have brainwashed me or something.
And I didn't know that "most women are totally brainwashed down there" and that "they believe they merit every bad thing that happens to them because that is what their pastor said."
I apologize. I did not realize that you have met most of Ron Paul's OB/GYN patients and that you have such a deep and thorough knowledge of the beliefs of the women of Eastern Texas. You must be one hell of a cultured intellectual.
Quacks make claims with no evidence, but you sir are a true scientist and intellectual and you clearly only state facts. You are far superior to quacks. I sincerely apologize for questioning any of your claims because I now see that you are truly a master of undeniable facts.
That much is glaringly obvious. However, you seem to think you know more about climatology than the people who actually are climatologists and have studied the field for years. You have the same arrogance of ignorance as the anti-vaxers with their "Google PhDs". Your arrogant anti-scientific anti-intellectualism shines through.
@Delysid, you're new here. A word to the wise: it is pointless to try to reason with politicalguineapig. You will note that she (not he) declares that every single doctor in Texas is a creationist, on the basis of no evidence whatsoever (#109: "Except that you can’t get good doctors in Texas now, since evolution is the bedrock of biology. If a doctor or a pharmacist can’t understand basic biology, their practice is going to suffer. "). That kind of "thought" is, alas, typical of her.
Google for "rapey" on this site for an introduction to her.
I was responding to your claims that science is better at explaining things than predicting things. The point is that if a model is truly explanatory it will be good at predicting the future as well. Over the past few decades models of the climate have been very successful at predicting increases in average global temperatures and in predicting the effects of volcano eruptions.
As data become more accurate and models are refined I expect them to become more and more accurate. It seems vanishingly unlikely that this entire field will prove to be mistaken.
Climatology is looking at one huge complex system with billions of variables, which is why it is difficult to accurately predict the weather more than a few days in advance. However global warming has been happening for centuries and we understand it very well in terms of how greenhouse gases behave, and that if more heat enters a system than leaves it, it is going to get hotter. As far as I am aware no other model explains the warming we have seen over the past 30 years. There is some very basic physics underpinning this that isn't going to suddenly change and surprise us.
It may be difficult to predict the precise consequences of global warming, in terms of local weather conditions, since there are likely to be complex systems that will be disrupted in unpredictable ways, as we have already seen. But global warming itself? I think we can be very sure indeed about this.
Seriously? Because some drugs have unexpected side effects, scientists might be wrong in stating that if you put more heat into a system than comes out it is going to get warmer? That's a very large stretch indeed for a multitude of reasons.
Perhaps you aren't very familiar with biochemistry. The more I learn about it the more I realize that don't understand, despite having worked in clinical biochemistry for decades, and there is a huge amount of complexity and detail that we still don't understand (look at some of the recent research for example). That doesn't mean that we don't have a good understanding of the basics.
For example if you give a patient lots of IV sodium and she doesn't excrete it in her urine, her serum sodium is going to increase. It would be silly to suggest that some unknown mechanism could suddenly make the sodium disappear, just as it would be silly to suggest that some unknown mechanism could suddenly make all the CO2 or all the heat disappear, stop CO2 from acting as a greenhouse gas, or otherwise stop the Earth from heating up.
I don't believe that's true. The current consensus on global warming has only formed over the past 30 years, and many climatologists have been in the field for considerably longer than that. For example James Hansen (who you accused of alarmism and political fear-mongering and who you described as an embarrassment to science earlier) was writing about the effects of greenhouse gases on Venus in the late 60s and 70s and appears to have been led to his opinions and fears about anthropogenic warming by the science and not by any ideology.
You on the other hand seem to me to have been led to conclusions that contradict those of thousands of scientists by your political ideology. The evidence for anthropogenic global warming is simply overwhelming and I am truly puzzled how any intelligent person can look at it and come to the same conclusions as you appear to have.
Krebiozen, for some reason I am imagining palm trees waving in the breezes alongside the Thames, making it look just like the Embarcadero, New Year's Eve in NYC in shirt sleeves and visiting Montreal for winter carnival without freezing to death... is this wrong?
In other antivax news:
Jake Crosby ( @ Autism Investigated) castigates Ginger Taylor who now admits that Jake criticised Mark because of his autism. She is a bigot and spreads her opinion far and wide via facebook: " your judgment on this is compromised because of your autism".
At another time, ( via e-mail) Mark himself "accused" Jonathan Mitchell of "irrational thinking" because of autism.
Both Mark and Ginger have discredited Jake because of his autism.
Thus the Canary Party- which Ginger and Mark represent- should be "shut out of the congressional autism hearings".
And who, pray tell, SHOULD appear there?
Kook fight! Get your tickets now!
How many factions and individuals with complicated loyalties are involved in this imbroglio anyway?
Jake also mentions Barry Segal. Then there's Hooker, Andy, various Canaries... BOLEN!
I am placing a bet that Jake, with his newly minted MPH, thinks he should be the ONE True Testifier sitting at the right hand of Andy.
We should sell scorecards.
Free tickets for the first five comments posted on R.I.
I'll bring the popcorn. What a combination Jake and Ginger make...both are pugnacious and both can't resist stirring up the sh!t.
I did miss your comment on Papa Doc's vaccination views. But as for questions of guilt by association, libertarianism, large and small 'L', had already been brought up here in a wider context, and showing his bigotry (and/or incompetence at running newsletters), hypocrisy, and lies is more than fair game.
You think Professor Dutch is a satirist, but you offer no counter-arguments. While detailed discussion is taking things way beyond the original topic here, I'd like to know even a little of what you disagree with. Your paraphrase is a childish reductio ad absurdum. I would also suggest you read what he has to say about liberalism and conservatism. You might also learn from his comments about climate change. While he is not a climatologist, he is a geologist, and climatology and geology do intersect at a number of points, as they do with physics and chemistry, in both of which a geologist must have some solid grounding (pun intended).
I might not be so concerned about the impact of the Pauls' creationist views on their medical practice and political views if it was a belief held in isolation. But creationists tend to be Biblical literalists. Does their literalism, or their interpretation of what the Bible "literally" says, affect their other views? Do they really believe in people living 900+ years? Do they see the "sons of Ham" (i.e., black people) as cursed to be subservient to other races? Do they share in the New Testament condemnations of Jews? Biblical claims are also being advanced against any kind of social welfare program. How far do Papa Doc and Baby Doc subscribe to these views? Does it affect the way they look at different patients and colleagues?
Fundamentalist views on global warming were recently expressed by at least one lawmaker who claimed that sea level rise couldn't happen because his god promised not to repeat a Noachian flood. How much do they buy into that one?
OMG...Jake is stating that Ginger and the entire Canary Party should be shut out of the Vaccine hearing that Jennifer Larson paid for.
"Now added to the long and growing list of reasons Canary Party should be shut out of the congressional autism hearings permanently is Vice President Ginger Taylor’s admitted bigotry against people with autism. Her willingness to dismiss them for their views is characteristic of the dismissals by Canary Party and affiliated groups pertaining to criticism of their activities within the months since the November hearing. Such bigotry compromises Canary Party’s entire leadership."
"for some reason I am imagining palm trees waving in the breezes alongside the Thames, making it look just like the Embarcadero, New Year’s Eve in NYC in shirt sleeves and visiting Montreal for winter carnival without freezing to death… is this wrong?"
Probably. Think of London inundated in spite of the Thames Flood Barrier. Think of no more Venice, New Orleans, Miami, St. Petersburg. Think of a hundred million Bangladeshis forced into India and Burma. Think of Times Square at New Year's Eve only a few blocks from the Atlantic and drenched by a nor'easter.
To simplify greatly, weather on Earth is the result of mixing air, heat, and water unevenly. Add more heat and the energy that drives weather events is greater, meaning more extreme weather. The increased heat also melts millions of cubic miles of ice and permafrost, adding yet more water to the mix. That's leaving out a few other elements like sequestered CO2 in the permafrost, loss of snowpack, etc. Higher temperatures may or may not send palm trees north, but it would certainly send such lovelies as alligators, killer bees, fire ants, crazy ants, banana slugs, and cane toads northwards.
A sea level rise of a few centimeters or inches doesn't sound like much until you realize that the water in the oceans isn't distributed evenly like the water in a resting glass; it gets bunched up by currents, tides, winds, rain, storm surges, tsunamis, and so forth (The Pacific Ocean next to Panama is normally about fifty feet higher than the Caribbean on the other side.).
I think the core of Mr. Crosby's argument is valid.
Ginger is saying that his actions are invalid because Jake doesn't have the "theory of mind" and "executive functioning" to see that his actions are causing pain to his ex allies. She didn't say "theory of mind" or "executive functioning" but that's what she's relying upon
In other words, she's substituting a stereotype of autism for the personality of someone she's worked closely with for some time, in order to dismiss his actions.
"Theory of mind" is controversial enough on it's own. But Jake doesn't need theory of mind to understand that he's pissing people off. They are telling him directly.
As to the idea that he can't understand the longer term fallout (damage to "good work")
"I WANT to believe that being this cruel, that making these poor choices are because of your autism, because you do not see the extent of the damage that you are doing to good people doing good work, and NOT because you actually realize how much harm you are doing."
To me this reads that she doesn't think that Jake can reason, doesn't have executive function
It's very clear that Mr. Crosby understands that what he is doing could have a major impact on the way the Canary Party operates. He states that he wants them to change. Ginger frames this as "how much harm you are doing" rather than face head on the actual criticisms he his making.
She's clearly putting autistics in the back seat of advocacy.
Now--there's the HUGE hypocrisy angle of all of this. They've accepted Mr. Crosby's hit pieces for years, but they don't think he has the executive functioning to understand the consequences of his actions? If she and the others at AoA and the Canary Party believe this, they were using Jake as a tool. Eiither they (CP, AoA and others) lack the executive functioning to realize the harm Mr. Crosby was doing to his reputation and his future employability, or they felt it was OK for them to use him as a tool, burning his bridges, screwing up his future and other fallout which she believes Jake is incapable of understanding. How exactly did they handle "informed consent" for Jake's hit pieces? "OK, Jake, this is really good. I understand that you are incapable of understanding that this will hurt your ability to seek employment in the future, but we have worked that out and decided that the good outweighs the bad. Don't worry your little autistic head, there. We've got your back"
This is bad on so many levels.
Re: lilady's comments
Is it wrong to smirk?
Matt, I think that is an excellent synopsis. Though I still can't feel sorry for him considering the bigotry he has heaped upon other autists and his vile attacks on anyone who has criticised him.
We are only reading the snippets of Jake's communications with Ginger Taylor, that Jake wants to reveal to garner sympathy for himself. His past behaviors (personal and cyber-stalking and libelous posts on AoA), have nothing to do with his ASD diagnosis.
So no...I'm don't feel empathy for Jake being being ostracized by his handlers at AoA. Time for Jake to grow up now
@ Old Rocking Dave:
It was tongue-in-cheek:
I know perfectly well what havoc a sea level rise of even 1 m would do to cities on the coast. My ancestors came from the waterside, I live near the water ( albeit on a cliff- so I never get flooded but areas nearby will) and visit various bays, shores,rivers and have seen what storms can do.
@ Matt Carey:
I sometimes doubt that many of these people have the executive fx'ing themselves ( self-evaluation etc) in order to imagine what their own actions and written ideas have on THEIR own futures - let alone Jake's on his.
Delysid :Actually, never read An Inconvenient Truth. I prefer science fiction. I like how you accuse me of making assumptions, when you then proceed to make numerous assumptions about me.
As for women in Texas-well, I can't fathom why they would stay in a state that hates them, with legislators and men that hate them, if they weren't either brainwashed or masochists.
Delysid: I’m a staunch defender of science-based medicine.
Yeah? Then why are you defending creationism and faith healing? Chose one or the other and quit talking out of both sides of your mouth, hypocrite. And cut out the lol thing, what are you, seventeen?
Complete text of the FB exchange going on:
Jacob Lawrence Crosby:
Canary Party VP: "your judgement is compromised on this because of your autism"
Canary Party: "your judgement is compromised...because of your autism"
Canary Party Vice President: "your judgement is compromised on this because of your autism"
Like · · Share · 6 hours ago ·
Kelly Dunham likes this.
Michael Casadevall: Its amazing to me how people can write off something that they disagree with because they like who wrote it.
Know as the Assoication Fallacy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_fallacy
Also known as the "Hilter ate sugar" arguement. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HitlerAteSugar
6 hours ago · Edited · Like · 2
Michael Casadevall: That should be "don't like who wrote it". Note to self: don't try and be smart before coffee.
6 hours ago · Like · 2
Jacob Lawrence Crosby: Exactly Michael, it's so much easier to come up with excuses for writing people off than to engage them in any serious dialogue.
6 hours ago · Like · 2
Kelly Dunham: Good for you, Jake, for doing this. If someone had stated these things to her about her kid, or said ANYTHING derogatory about him, she (and the rest of the CP followers) would be up in arms.
4 hours ago via mobile · Like · 2
Kelly Dunham: And Michael . . . Never EVER try to be smart before coffee. It never works.
4 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1
Brian Hooker: Any such comment regarding individuals with developmental disabilities should widely condemned. We all have impaired judgment and myopic viewpoints in some way, shape or form. I am not less "impaired" than Jake just because my own "issues" are not public (in the way that Jake has bravely and openly discussed his). We all have issues and carry biases, period. To classify a bias based on a "disability" is indeed chilling.
2 hours ago · Edited · Like · 4
Lujene Greene Clark: Jake, this is what I posted on my fb wall. You may use it unedited as you see fit. I agree this Brian Hooker's post above wholeheartedly.
For those of you writing me regarding Jake's post in Autism Investigated, please understand that I am in no way associated with Autism Investigated and have no control over its content.
I am responsible for what I communicate, not the communications of others.
However, having said that, does not diminish the fact that Jake is TELLING THE TRUTH. Yes, it makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Me, included. Heck, this whole mess makes me sick which is why I left the autism advocacy community ages ago. It is a vicious, back-stabbing, Jr. High cliquish mess! But, it is the truth and he has the right to express that in any forum he chooses. How you receive and interpret his words are between you and Jake. He is a meticulous researcher, dedicated advocate, intelligent and committed to the truth. His only agenda is to remove all obstacles to ending this travesty. You may disagree with his method; granted, it may not be how you or I would address the situation but don't judge the messenger because you don't like his message. He is frustrated, and rightfully so. Much like we get frustrated when
parents deny and ignore our warnings about vaccines because it makes them uncomfortable to see the ugly underbelly of the public health paradigm. That analogy hits a little too close to home, huh?
I agreed to turn over my research from NoMercury to Jake because I needed to walk away from all the foolishness (much like what Jake has described for months) for several reasons, not the least of which was Alan's death and the ugliness much like Jake describes. However, knowing the information I had compiled (thousands upon thousands of documents) was so important, I wanted it to go to someone with the drive, intelligence and research skills to finish the vital work that Alan and I started over 10 years ago. I chose Jake...and I stand by that decision which has no connection whatsoever with his Autism Investigated project.
If you don't like something *I* communicate then, of course, feel free to take that up with me. Don't judge me by other's words, opinions or actions. If you don't like something Jake communicates, then address your concerns to him. He is an intelligent, principled young man capable of expressing and defending his own observations.
Many of you say we need to pull together because there is strength in numbers...which sounds great in theory. In that case, why not join with Autism Speaks because they have lots of money & people? See my point? I would rather stand alone and fight against the lies and self-serving agenda of Autism Speaks that is harming our community than compromise my integrity just to go along to get along. Which, in essence, is what you are telling Jake to do. Jake's battle is no different and no less noble than our battles against Autism Speaks. HE IS TELLING THE TRUTH!!
We each are ultimately responsible for our own words and actions...including Mark, Jennifer, Ginger, et al.
about an hour ago via mobile · Like · 2
Ginger Taylor: Jake, I have responded to you in the comments several hours ago. Will you be approving my comments?
about an hour ago · Like
Brian Hooker: The CDC, WHO and Gates Foundation are working hard to stratify the U.S. population (as well as other countries) based on what certain individuals cannot do and where their weaknesses lie. It sickens me every time I see a company that wants to hire individuals with autism due to their ability to do repetitive work (What an insult!). By pointing out "flaws" in the thinking of individuals with specific challenges, we are playing into the hands of those who want there to be "thrifty, disabled working class" and those who advocate the poisoning of children for no other good reason. We can prevent a Brave New World scenario but it has to start within our own community.
about an hour ago · Like · 1
Denyse, I thought you were kidding, but then "one never knows, do one?" Actually, you put me in mind of Jill Sobule's song "Manhattan in January".
Here's a link to the lyrics:
I love her and her music, and her "I Kissed a Girl" not only preceded Katy Perry's song by some years, it's a much better song.
She is also very much pro-vaccine. By means of this blog and its commenters she was alerted that a fundraiser she was to perform at included Renfield, make that Wakefield, she withdrew in horror. (http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/07/14/say-it-aint-so-jill-jill-s…)
Alain #102, I'd say proceed with caution. I have been a target of antivaxxers for years, though I am just an innocuous parent of an autistic adult. They have tried to interfere in my relationships with work colleagues and even my office landlord! Last year one of my colleagues at work got a cranky letter from Jake Crosby's Mom Nicole trying to get me in trouble somehow. Although the kookiness of these communications speaks for itself, it's annoying for other people to get them just because they know you. Just something to keep in mind.
Earlier today I had a much longer reply to Delysid half-finished when my browser decided that, since I switched tabs to get a URL, I wouldn't mind having the page completely reloaded and everything dumped from the editbox when I got back. So, I'm not going to try to recreate the whole thing; plus, someone's already pointed out that PGP's views are hers alone and do NOT represent the rest of us (hell, a good 85% of the time, her views and the conclusions she thinks it's okay to jump to leave us speechless and flabbergasted) so I'm not going to repeat that.
I will just say that even if Delysid doesn't see a connection between his denial of climate change and others' denial of evolution, he's using one of their favorite argument tropes, namely "If you don't know the answers in the level of detail that I specify, then you can't really say you know the answers at all." "Why, yes, you claim that global climate change is sure to result from all the greenhouse gasses we've been putting into the atmosphere - but do you have a model that accounts for every possible relevant factor, so that we know exactly how much the temperature is going to rise on our current course? What? You say there's too much uncertainty to make a model that predicts the exact course? Why, then, how can you even be certain that there'll be any rise in temperature, if you don't know it exactly?? Why, I read the other day that until recently, the models used to predict climate change didn't even take artificial pools into effect! Unless you can tell me that you have fully accounted for the effect of artificial pools on global temperature, I'm sure that your models must be so far from reality that they're no more than guesswork!" No, those aren't the words he used, but that's the gist of the arguments he's been making: that until science can say "we have every aspect of global climate change known to nine decimal places", he can afford to ignore what is already known.
But, really, this is nothing more than the famous creationist "god of the gaps" argument in a new frame. "You scientists can't explain how sea-going creature A evolved into land-going creature C, so I get to believe that the intervention of a deity must have been involved! Oh, you mean, you not only figured out how flippers could have strengthened and become legs, you actually went looking and found the fossil of the amphibious transitional form B? Well... you haven't explained how A became B, or how B became C, so I get to believe that both those transitions required divine intervention!"
In fact, since Delysid does understand the value of vaccines, and advocates for them (for which I do give him credit and thanks, regardless of what other differences we have) I wonder how horrified he'd be if he were to go looking in our archives and find how many times our troll of yesteryear "Augustine" used to employ the exact same trope to argue against vaccines. On more than one occasion, Augustine claimed that you could never say that vaccines had saved any lives, unless you could point to a specific person and show scientific proof that if that specific person had not been vaccinated against the disease, a) they would have caught it, and b) it would have been fatal to them. I'm sure that Delysid wouldn't agree with that, but what's the difference between Augustine saying "You don't have absolute proof that person X would have caught measles and died from it if they hadn't been vaccinated, therefore, I get to believe that vaccines have never saved anyone's life" and Delysid saying "The current models of global climate change don't yet account for every single variable, so I get to believe that some one of those unaccounted-for variables handily counteracts the very clear effect produced by all the rest"?
@ Anne, Denice, lilady,
Thanks for your advices and warning, I shall stay semi-anonymous.
@ Old Rocking Dave:
Her song is hilarious ... and meaningful.
But now I'm gonna be picturing surfers catching waves on Park Ave.
( and maybe yacht races in Soho**)
** SoHo for purists.
Thank you for your post lilady,
The concerns listed on the CDC site are on the forms the customer fills out before they can be vaccinated. Even if the Pharmacist had a reason to think this customer would be one that should not take the vaccine (the customer has not been to our store for 15 years and she never even bothered to look him up in the system) wouldn't she be duty bound to go forward and have him fill out the paperwork that asks them if they have these conditions?
She told him he had built up an immunity against it. He had it twenty years ago.
He ends up leaving our store, and if anyone in his circle asks him about the vaccine he will share his story with them. Don't need it according to ....
In late breaking news...
Ginger shows up at Jake's ' Autism Investigated' and they uh... converse. Then they're joined by John Best.
Sometimes even *I* can not adequately describe ( nor would I want to) anti-vax antics- they need to be read in the original.
A comment from Ginger on Jake's blog:
Riiiiight, and never did she or any of Jake's other handlers ever consider this while he was writing his hit pieces, stalking "enemies" and provoking interference with peoples' employment. Suddenly his autism clouds his judgement but she's not engaging in bigotry no no. The rest of her comment is a disgusting, manipulative mind fu@k of Jake.
@Drugstoreemployee: I'm glad I was able to answer some of your questions about the Shingles vaccine...having a history of shingles 20 years ago, is not a reason to avoid the vaccine now.
@ Anne # 160: Jake's mommy wrote a letter to your work colleague?
Jake's in good hands now that his new BFF J.B. is posting at him ...it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
"The hallmarks of that disability are difficulty in seeing what is appropriate behavior"
What's her excuse?
@ I Rony Meter:
Sssssshhh! We're not supposed to be saying that! Similar observations have landed Brian Deer into trouble.
But more seriously, if you look closely at how many of the regulars ( @ AoA or TMR) behave and explain 'how the world works', you'd be hard pressed to see where Jake is so very different from the mode- he's just an extreme example of it- its full flower, so to speak.
They advocate self-serving, evidence-free theories of autism
They manufacture unlikely conspiracy theories
They place their own (quasi) knowledge above experts'
They harass SB scientists and governmental officials
( altho' more subtley than Jake does)
They play act in public ( see Congressional meeting tapes/ esp Katie Wright)
They are in short, not paragons of either realism or diplomacy. They slander and libel scientists who do have realistic information. They e-mail critics' employers. They attempt to broadcast their own ideas to influence parents without any thought of the consequences for other people ( i.e. infants, the immuno-compromised). And they used someone ( Jake) who was not quite as savvy as they, the leaders, were, because he could be beguiled into doing the more outlandish things that they wouldn't stoop to themselves that would serve their puposes.
Now, they have another youngster, Natalie, who they do not use as an attack dog but rather as a 'motion artist" ( or whatever she calls herself) in the creation of video propagand. However there, it is more a case of mutual use ( they use her, she uses them). In truth, Jake probably also though that he was using them as a staircase to fame as a journalist ( or whatever he calls himself). He could neither predict nor understand their MOs and they probably didn't entirely comprehend or predict him, thus the conflict.
"I can’t help but speculate that much of climatology is conducted with the intention of proving already preconceived notions about anthropogenic climate change."
There were climatologists before climate change. That's how we noticed it in the first place.
As to more recent additions to the field, I can tell you from personal experience that they are mainly there at the behest of the insurance industry.
That climate change is real is not even the question any more. Now they are modelling who will get hit the hardest, how, and where. Our clients run computer models to predict risk of (crop-wrecking) heatwaves and drought, increased flooding, sea level rise, etc.
Risk modelling is what the insurance industry relies on. Huge money is involved, and they are generally extremely good at what they do. They spare no expense on the best people and the most powerful equipment, and generally make pots of cash.
For them, this is purely business and risk assessment. Tree-hugging hippies they ain't.
It may be a flawed short-cut, but I have a rule of thumb that if the insurance companies are taking something seriously, so should I. Their whole business is risk mitigation. People tend to think of them as being about avoiding paying, but if they never paid out, they'd be run out of town on a rail; it's actually more a matter of making sure they take in enough in premiums to cover the claims and still turn a profit. And to do that, they have to be able to accurately predict the claims they'll get.
It may be a flawed short-cut, but I have a rule of thumb that if the insurance companies are taking something seriously, so should I. Their whole business is risk mitigation. People tend to think of them as being about avoiding paying, but if they never paid out, they'd be run out of town on a rail; it's actually more a matter of making sure they take in enough in premiums to cover the claims and still turn a profit. And to do that, they have to be able to accurately predict the claims they'll get.
Lilady, indeed, Jake's mom wrote to someone in the law firm where I practice. She accused me of making her look bad to potential customers and thereby harming her cash flow. Or something like that. It was odd, but not as strange as the one to my building office accusing me of terrorism. I have been in practice for a long time, people know me well, and nobody takes this stuff seriously. But for somebody just starting out, I wouldn't 't recommend taking on this kind of attention.
I would also tend to take it seriously when Forbes' asks if there is " A Dutch Solution for New York's Storm Surge Woes?"
( last year, by John McQuaid)
Anne: Sheesh. Jake's mom (among many others) makes an fool of herself in public and then blames someone else when she gets called on it.
I'm no scholar, but I'm unaware that there's anything in the US Constitution or any of the amendments that guarantees freedom from getting one's pwecious widdle feewings hurt.
I don't share your optomism (that's intended to be a polite way of saying "I call BS"). There's no reason to think we as a species are immune to extinction events.
In fact, there's evidence that we've narrowly avoided it in the past, a genetic bottleneck occurring about 50K years ago consistent with the world's entire human population declining to roughly 5 to 7 K individuals.
Hominids been around for a blink of an eye on a geologic scale--recall the dinosaurs were the dominant terrestrial species for more than 100 million years. That wasn't sufficient to ensure they'd survive "even the most apocalyptic doomsday predictions".
@JGC - that "bottleneck" is now assumed to have occurred during the last "Super-Volcano" eruption....of which there are a few dozen that have been located around the world (Yellowstone now being the most famous).
We are one large catastrophe away from seeing large segments of the population die-off & it wouldn't be very hard to see our current world transportation next shattered by something like that as well.
Anthropogenic climate change and the associated proposals for governments around the world to massively intervene in the economy to stop it is not comparable to the "gaps in evolution arguments." Once again, evolutionists are not trying to predict the future of evolution. A fair comparison would be that "the climate has never changed and God created the Earth as it is."
I feel like I'm constantly in the Chicken Little and the Sky is Falling folk tale whenever I discuss this issue.
People are contradicting each other just trying to defend the alarmism on this thread. Extrordinary claims require extrordinary evidence, and the evidence that human activity is going to devastate the world is not there. IT'S SPECULATION.
As someone pointed out, we have only existed on this Earth as a blip on the scale compared to dinosaurs, yet scientists supposedly know with undeniable certainty how crops, humans, oceans, and the rest of nature is going to react? We live by the rules of thermodynamics, as someone else pointed out, yet we are supposedly pushing climate to unprecedented levels? Which one is it?
And best of all, people are turning to politicians to save us?
What a huge joke. People can strawman me and pretend that I am denying science or compare me to biology quacks, but in reality I'm not joining into the doomsday scenarios because I see how life adapts unexpectedly to changing climates and the massive failures of government intervention on the economy. The biggest fucking that will happen will be the people by our own governments. You don't need to be a scientist for that one to be obvious.
If doomsday does happen and great percentage of the world population is wiped out by our own climate activity, WELL THEN THAT WILL STOP THE ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL WARMING PROBLEM WON'T IT?
It's all about control. It's all about control of governments and other international bodies over the economy and people.
If Bangladesh or other regions become uninhabitable because of climate change, THE SOLUTION IS TO MOVE TO A NEW AREA. Permanent settlements are just imaginary human bias.Yet people seem to have to obsessive belief that everything must stay as it is. Vanuatu might someday be under the sea level? "OMG WHAT IS MANKIND GOING TO DO?"
@Delysid - so, where exactly will those 300 million people go? Not to mention the displacement of millions more around the globe?
Any real solutions you'd like to present?
I'm not a denier of the physical sciences. I'm not a denier that the climate is changing, as it obviously is always changing. I'm not even a denier that humans are contributing to the process with energy emissions.
I'm a skeptic of doomsday predictions about how biological life will respond to the changing climate.
I'm a believer that governments will devastate the economy in the futile attempt to prevent the inevitable, which may turn out to be not-so-bad, or possibly even beneficial in aspects, to begin with.
There have already been "unexpected" turnarounds in regard to climate change. Jungles are retaking over former cropland. Forests are beginning to thrive in higher latitudes. Nature is doing what it always does- adapting.
I don't know where people are supposed to go. It's not my decision to make.
People need to go where things are getting done. If some areas of the world devastated by climate change, then people need to go to new areas where agriculture, life, and economics can now flourish. We live in a world of thermodynamics. It's a balance. We don't live in the folk tale "James Hansen and the world is incinerating."
Progressives unfortunately are involving their own emotions into the climate change debate. Good intentions are not the same thing as good outcome.
@Delysid - see, this is the problem....I don't understand who spending the money to relocate hundreds of millions of people (and expect that countries will have no problem absorbing those people - because there has never been a problem, right?) is going to be less than what could be put towards solutions to the problem today.....
Who paid for the hundreds of millions of poor immigrants to the US over two centuries?
Let me guess, you want government to tax society to pay for it? Provressiv
Progressives always have the same primitive, antiintellectual solution to every problem: "government will solve it!" The answer is always more taxes, more regulations, more central planning, more control. From the climate to have much pop you can order in one cup.
@Delysid - hmmm...trying to compare moving millions of immigrants over two centuries to perhaps moving several hundred million people (in very poor places with very little infrastructure - not to mention volatile with many different ethnic and religious groups) in a couple of decades (at best)?
Doesn't seem like a very good comparison to me - and for claiming that "we" meaning progressives, I guess, always think that Government has the answer - heck, at this point I'd be happy for people (including the Government) to admit that there is a problem so that we can have the discussion about the best means for tackling it...whether that is some kind of government intervention or even a private / public sector partnership to investigate alternative strategies - that would work for me.
But, burying your head in the sand and thinking that you could move people without any of the attendant problems seems a bit naive, don't you think?
Yes, the Toba super-volcano, which would certainly qualify as an apocalyuptic doomsday event. Part of the reason why I choose this near extinction event would be why the majority of the human population perished: rather than dying at the time of the eruption due to physical damage from the explosion itself or pyroclastic flows, they died over a period of time as the result of climate changes disrupting ecosystems, leading to crop failures, etc. (just as was seen on a smaller scale in 1816's year without a summer following the 1815 eruption of Mt. Tambora). Global warming is no less capable of causing such ecological disruptions.
We're resourceful, bu delysid's idea that we can of course survive whatever's thrown at us is naive at best.
No, it's not. It's about the established fact that global mean temperature has risen more than 1.33 degrees Celcius over teh past hundred years, with half of that rise (0.72 degrees) occuring over the last three decades. It's about the fact that anthropogenci factors (such as the creation of greenhouse gases by human industries) is a significant contributor to that rise in GMT. It's about the the rise in GMT is already having significant (and undesirable) effects on the world's biosphere.
If Bangladesh or other regions become uninhabitable because of climate change, THE SOLUTION IS TO MOVE TO A NEW AREA.
And if the planet becomes inimicable to human survival because of climate change, where do you suggest we move?
Why do you believe:
That the government will devastate the economy?
That there are no actions we can take to ameliorate the impact of climate change?
That disruption of the world's existing ecosystems could prove beneficial?
And finally, why do you believe that perserving the existing global economy is a more desirable goal than preserving the world's existing ecological health?
@JGC - I'm sure India would have no problem absorbing three hundred million more people, right (not to mention the internal dislocation of their own population due to changes in climate or rise in ocean levels)?
What it really comes down to, in the mind of people like Delysid, is "Survival of the Fittest" that it won't matter if hundreds of millions of people die or regions of the world have their agricultural base & economy shattered by the dislocations that could occur (it also doesn't seem to take a lot to start wars nowadays - imagine what would happen between poor nations struggling under the burden of millions of refugees and needing resources).....as long as private corporations and citizens aren't "inconvenienced."
Actually, it is things types of potential situations that has driven the Insurance Industry to lead the charge to both acknowledge climate change and push for better understanding of consequences and mitigating actions that can be taken, precisely because it screws up their actuarial tables & they can no longer effectively set insurance rates......an example where private industry is reliant on the best information possible.
@ Lawrence :
I do recall reading ( or hearing?) recently that the current situation is Syria might be related to drought after the displaced moved to cities from the rural areas.
Anyone know anything out this?
I understand that governments devestate economies because I study economics. Read economists like von Mises, Milton Friedman, Hayek, Rothbard, Sowell, Walter E Williams, and so on. Central bank monetary policy creates bubbles (booms and busts) that mislead markets and screw society. It's no secret that the Federal Reserve caused the great depression, for instance, and it was publicly confessed by helicopter Ben. Fiat currency and steady inflation keeps the poor in eternal poverty. Fiscal redistribution of wealth is not only extremely unethical, it stops society from benefitting from supply and demands, artifically shifts control from the people to the government and the elite with political connections, and maintains the status quo.
I could go on and on. Keynesian economics and neoliberal economics poses as science when it is really just a pathetic attempt to justify socialism "scientifically."
There are actions that can be taken.It's in the news today IKEA is now selling personal solar devices that you can used to power homes and essentiall ge them off of the power grid.
How much energy innovation has government supressed with senseless regulation? A new nuclear power plant hasn't been built in the US in decades. How can any person who is worried about climate change defend these regulations without exploding from this hypocrisy?
Humans, simply by existing, disruput ecosystems. Once again, this shows the insanity of ecofascists...
Ecofascists are outraged that people will be harmed and climate change will decrease the population, but then are pissed that humans exist and use the environment to better society. Which is it? It seems to me that ecofascists just want political power and don't even bother to create a consistent, rational worldview to justify it.
Hey, if [Syria] or other regions become uninhabitable because of [Civil War], THE SOLUTION IS TO MOVE TO A NEW AREA.
@Denise - actually, ready access to water is always a hot button issue in that area - because the rivers travel through many disputed areas (and borders).
I'm glad that Delsyid is so glib about the potential deaths of hundreds of millions of people, just so long as the "free-economy" is allowed to continue to operate....though one wonders, if things do get back enough, how long their will be a "free-economy" to operate?
Is it your position that any economy that doesn’t take the form of a totally unregulated free market system constitutes a ‘devastated ‘ economy, delysid? Or do you agree that regulation in some form is necessary?
What number of homes globally will need to convert to IKEA’s personal solar devices to cause any significant reduction in the rate of GMT increase? I’m sure you have this number at your fingertips. since you’re suggesting this represents a viable and rational solution to the problem, preferable to the enacting of economic incentives to reduce the anthropogenic contributors to climate change..
I give up—how much?
Nuclear power has the largest carbon footprint of any energy technology other than fossil fuels, both during construction (heavy machine plus tons of concrete and steel fabrication) and after during operation (large scale mining, transportation, converting Uranium to yellowcake, then to UF6, then enrichment, creation of fuel pellets, fuel rod assemblies, etc.)
Agreed, which is why we need to be aware of how our activities are disrupting ecosystems and take appropriate steps to minimize that disruption—for example, by reducing anthropogenic contributions to climate change.
Don’t you agree?
JGC - Actually, I can't see any way to get human CO2 levels down to a pre-industrial level (which I understand is what it would take to reverse climate change) without reducing the human population by at least 50% and eliminating any systems that rely on fossil fuels, including petroleum, coal, and natural gas. If there's a better plan that would work ...
Whilst I cannot go into my own economics because I have to get ready in leave in an hour or so, let's just say, it's not
Austrian, as you can probably guess.
Anyone else note: sid / Delysid? Meaningful? Coincidence?
You are exactly the type of environmental hypocrite that has spawned such passionate opposition. Wind and solar power require energy to construct, too, don't they? Don't they take energy go maintain? But hell, we must all obey your arbitrary worldview, right? The perfect carbon footprint is whatever you say it is?
See, here is the problem - people like Delysid don't want to admit there is a problem, because it would require large-scale interventions by both private corporations and governments, working in tandem to alleviate some of the major issues we may have to confront....no one is saying, today, that we have to junk our cars or replace our petroleum-based economy - but that it would be a good idea to start looking at alternatives, because the fix today is going to be a hell of a lot less expensive than the fix tomorrow (when you're trying to find homes for a few hundred million people).
Throwing up your hands and stating that the "Free-economy" will ultimately fix the problem is denying the fact that these economic forces only work when the world economy (and individual economies) are stable - we can expect that should there be sufficient changes to the climate which create more chaotic conditions (and dislocations of economic power), it will become nigh-impossible to do anything about it....don't you agree?
You are responding to me from a computer, wasting energy and destroying the planet. You are typing probably from some building that was built using energy.
It is well known that modern buildings make a far larger carbon footprint than a grass hut. Computers produce more emissions than smoke signals.
Let's all go back to grass huts and smoke signals in order to minimize our carbon footprints? Are people who are more extreme than you wrong? Is your arbitrary worldview of control and regulation just right?
LMAO "No one today is saying that we have to junk our cars are replace our petroleum-based economy?"
Oh really? Maybe I hallucinated cas-for clunkers. Maybe I'm hallucinating Eco-checks every year for my car. Maybe I'm hallucinating coporate subsidies for solar power or strict limitations on off-shore drilling.
@Delysid - hmmmm...who is being unreasonable now?
I guess you are in favor of leaded gasoline, unlimited powers of corporations and getting rid of all current regulations too, right? I mean, the market will determine the winners and losers, right? Who cares if some people get hurt along the way, since that is the price of progress?
"You are exactly the type of environmental hypocrite that has spawned such passionate opposition. Wind and solar power require energy to construct, too, don’t they? Don’t they take energy go maintain?"
Yes, but their carbon footprint both during construction and during operation are far, far less than that of fossil fuels or nuclear power.
I'm not offering a worldview of any sort, delysid. You suggested that the construction of nuclear power plants could have mitigated anthropogenic contributions to climate change sufficiently that regulatory intervention would not also be necessary and I'm pointing out why that simply isn't true.
The perfect carbon footprint is whatever you say it is?
Well, a 'perfect carbon footprint would be a negative value, such that you were releasing less carbon than you sequestered and your day to day activities were not contributing to rising GMT.
But that's not me saying so--that's pretty much by definition.
If there is a problem, the worst way to solve it is force by government. The more force it takes, the worse of a solution it becomes.
Letting the market figure out solutions is the best way because it's the ideas of 100's of millions of individuals competing instead of the central planning by a few elites.
Often, in a free society, many problems fix themselves. In most of the developed countries the population has a negative birthrate, for instance. People are voluntarily adopting solar power and other "green" technology. It doesn't have to be forced.
By what rational argument is this true, in 1) all cases in general and 2) with respect to climate change?
Why are you conflating "government intervention" with "force"?
Excpet that those hundreds of millions of individuals aren't competing to produce the best solution, or the soltuon that best serves all members of society, but instead competing to produce the solution that generates the greatest economic return on investment for themselves and/or their shareholders.
Do you see the problem there?
You end up with a solution such as "If there are floods the entire 300 million population of Bengladesh can just move somewhere else" being actually considered to be a 'good' solution.
Often, in a free society, many problems fix themselves. In most of the developed countries the population has a negative birthrate, for instance. People are voluntarily adopting solar power and other “green” technology. It doesn’t have to be forced.
How about Bangladesh solves their own problems, eh?
Government is force. Government intervention is force.
The beauty of the market, despite the rambling emotional gibberish of progressives regarding "profits for shareholders blah blah blah," the people are in control by deciding what goods to purchase. They don't have to buy the products sold by a corporation.
@Delsyid - what I would say is that the money being funneled to those that constantly "deny" climate change is occurring & preventing any meaningful actions from being taken (either by government or the private sector) is distorting the very process that you believe will fix the problem (or at least alleviate it).
Admitting there is a problem is certainly not an invitation for massive government intervention - I'm certainly not advocating that position & I don't believe anyone here has said as such either (hence the strawman in your argument), but that the continued denial that a problem exists is what is preventing the very discussion that should occur - as in, yes, we see there is a problem here, so let's talk about the best means for tackling it.....
So, do you believe there is a problem related to climate change & that some effort should be made (either by the government or relevant private sector entities) to deal with the repercussions?
Can you think of a better way to solve the problem of vaccine-preventable diseases than government-run vaccination programs?
@Delsyid - except that Corporations don't work in the best interest of anything but themselves and will take measures and means to distort the system to their benefit (hence the drive to "monopolize" areas of industry).
Libertarianism is as bad as communism when it comes to practice - because, in theory, they both sound fantastic....in practice, however, they deny human nature and don't really work very well for the very reason that they are practiced by people with widely varying motivations.....(power being probably the biggest distorting factor).
In a perfect world, perhaps either or both could work beautifully, but in today's world, both fail miserably when applied to the multitude of problems and human factors involved.
A lot of the antivaccine outrage comes from government forcing vaccines. I wish government would get out of medicine completely.
My dental school forces us to get a yearly influenza vaccine, and even though I would volunarily get this anyway, this policy really pisses me off.
The solution is education. There will always be the Ginger Taylors of the world who insist on ignorance, but we must do out best to educate others and win the battle of ideas. Lead by example, not by force.
I just don't know what to say about someone who thinks government shouldn't regulate anything but is in favour of nuclear power. Nuclear power doesn't work spectacularly well with regulation, and reverting back to Industrial Revolution social norms isn't going to make that any better. Of course, I reckon he's not old enough to know about the killer smogs in London, England, that somehow magically went away when the government passed the Clean Air Act there, or that for most of the history of humankind, water in cities hasn't been fit to drink and yet now somehow it is...I wonder why?
The thing is, government is a voluntary association of people. If you don't like the government you have, you can dissolve it, elect a new one, or even overthrow it. Taking government out of the equation at this point means the corporations take over, and you can't unelect Microsoft, or get rid of BP's environmental destruction by storming their corporate HQ and sending their upper management to the nearest guillotine (much though, if you watched what happened to the Gulf Coast and how hard BP's fighting to avoid paying for the externalities caused by its pollution, you might want to...).
Also, if you want to eat pre-pure food laws food (and I'd direct you to Fast Food Nation if you want to see how bad things are with regulation), be my guest, but a) don't include me, and b) don't use any of my provincial healthcare when you get sick, either.
@Interrobang - I'd recommend reading "Jennifer Government" as a great example of what life might be like without regulations & driven by the "free-market."
Libertarians often say the best regulation is the "invisible hand of the marketplace". If you study a little history, you see that the "invisible hand" is all too often an invisible thumb on the scale, one made up of money, power, and influence.
Libertarians also tend to oppose antidiscrimination laws, saying their businesses are their own property to run as they see fit. So under such a rule, if a business owner decides not to allow, say, Catholics into his store, and they insist on coming in, he can call the police. So there you get a substitution of the use of government power to enforce discrimination. Is that what you really want? Of course, with the laws slanted toward property over people, he might get away with just gunning them down if they get really angry at him. Sound like a fair solution to you?
Delysid: The solution is education.
I think you're forgetting that Ginger Taylor, and just about everyone, in the Age of Autism/ Canary Party mess is educated, and most, if not all, have college degrees. In short, education alone isn't the magic bullet, and pretending it is does no one any favors. In this case, there's a huge yawning gulf between being educated and having knowledge- or being willing to acquire knowledge.
I am extremely impressed at how many blatant fallacies you squeezed into one post. Thanks for dropping in from ImaginationLand.
"The governmet is voluntary."
This is an insane claim. Taxes are not voluntary. Regulations are not voluntary. This should be self-explanatory.
Your logic behind corporations is head-slappingly ridiculous.
Progressive logic: Corporations might screw us, therefore let's make a powerful government that is far more unnaccountable, has prisons, to control them!
What brilliant logic!
Also, the FDA was not started because pre-FDA food was poison, but because Upton Sinclair, a muckraking communist, wrote the Jungle to draw attention to labor unions.
All you are doing is conjectural, manipulative, progressive fear-mongering.
WITHOUT GOVERNMENT CORPROATIONS WILL ENSLAVE US, OUR FOOD WILL BE POISON, AND THE EARTH WILL INCINCERATE TO DUE MARKET GLOBAL WARMING
@Old Rockin Dave
I fully support ending discrimination laws. You caught me. I believe in freedom of association. If a place business wants to kick me out because I am an atheist, I fully support their right to do so. It's pretty stupid for them because they are losing out on my business.
I know this concept might be overwhelming difficult for people like you to understand, but please try.
@ Lawrence #210
Libertarianism works everywhere, everyday. Libertarianism is the belief in voluntary associations and ownership of yourself. Every time you purchase anything or even interact with someone that is libertarianism in action.
Communism can exist in a libertarian society (or under a libertarian government.) No one is stopping people from forming their own communes and not using money.
Libertarianism is not allowed to exist in a communist system (or socialist or whatever fasicst system the United States has turned into). Every one must obey. A libertarian community on which no pays income taxes or people disregard the other hundreds of thousands of government laws is not allowed to exist. The police come and raid it.
"I fully support ending discrimination laws." Your hero Ron Paul doesn't share your opinion.
Some (in)famous quotes from Ron Paul's Libertarian Newsletter...
Libertarianism boils down to the following philosophy:
"I don't wanna and you can't make me".
Oops... Delysid states “I fully support ending discrimination laws"
Would that be Jim Crow Discrimination Laws or anti-discrimination laws, Delysid?
Believe it or not I'm not Ron Paul's clone. He has progressives foaming at the mouth to smear him as a racist so he is more careful about how he words things.
JIm Crowe Laws were GOVERNMENT ENFORCED RACISM. So yes, I fully support ending those laws as well as parts of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that went too far in the opposite direction.
The progressive secret weapon is to smear libertarians as racists, which is why every conversation includes this accusations, without exception.
I'm suprised no one has said "BUT WHO WILL BUILD THE ROADS?" lol
Heck, government built a lot of roads around here, but then the sold them to the corporations to run, so now I pay tolls to get where I need to go....making my trips more expensive.
Progressivism: "The government is the solution to every problem, taxing and forcing to obey my will makes mem a humanitarian, and anyone who disagrees with me is a racist."
Ron Paul didn't write those things. Please try to be less dishonest.
Should Orac get blamed for my comments on Respectful Insolence? He's the moderator, right? Give me a break and please try not to argue like Ginger Taylor.
Poor Delysid...too ignorant to understand the differences between forms of government:
"Libertarianism is not allowed to exist in a communist system (or socialist or whatever fasicst system the United States has turned into). Every one must obey. A libertarian community on which no pays income taxes or people disregard the other hundreds of thousands of government laws is not allowed to exist. The police come and raid it."
"I made my money and I don't want to pay for public roads, fire and police protection, public schools, public libraries, grants and loans for college tuition in State universities and our infrastructure.
"Bring back George W. who tried to push through legislation to permit Americans to raid their Social Security accounts to invest in the financial markets. (Legislation for the little guys, which would not have benefited his pals on Wall Street//sarcasm...while the W's fiscal policies drove the economy off the rails)"
"Elect Ron Paul, whose Presidency would have eliminated Income Taxes, Medicare and Medicaid and the Federal Reserve...because religious groups would provide for the indigent//snort."
"Yeah, I've got mine and f*ck you all"
You should not be mocking anyone about their undertanding of government. I said it before and I will repeat it- your policital arguments are exactly like Ginger Taylor.
You just proposed a moronic strawman about libertarians (but congraduations by being first one to bring up roads) Do you think libertarians don't want fire protection, roads, police, libraries, or schools? Libetarians just diagree on the best way to go about those things.
Did you know most fire fighters are volunteer anyway? Did you know that in the time of Ben Franklin private fire departments would race to a fire to be the first ones to put it out?
My town does not have a police department, yet there is no chaos and it's a peaceful community.
"Bring back George W Bush"
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA You know less about libertarianism than Ginger Taylor knows about vaccines. Please head your head in shame because you have no idea what the hell you are talking about.
I'm not even responding to the rest of it because it's not even worth it.
In NYC gangs that constituted the fire departments of the time used to fight for the privilege of extorting money from the owners who's property was on fire.
If they weren't paid, they would watch the property burn to the ground.
Just as when you argue with alternative medicine practictionors about science you find out how little about science they really know, when you argue with progressives about politics you find out just how little they know about economics, history, and politics and how deep into emotional lalaland they really are.
Progressive politics and alternative medicine are fraternal twins. Opinion and not evidence, emotion and not logic, and of course plenty of fear-mongering.
"Ron Paul didn’t write those things. Please try to be less dishonest."
All of those remarks appeared in Ron Paul's Libertarian Newsletter. Perhaps you could point me to subsequent issues of Ron Paul's Libertarian Newsletter, where he issued apologies for not reviewing those quotations wrongfully attributed to him, in those Newsletters?
"Should Orac get blamed for my comments on Respectful Insolence? He’s the moderator, right? Give me a break and please try not to argue like Ginger Taylor."
Orac used your cogent arguments against Ginger Taylor's unscientific anti-vaccine stance. You decided to come here and start a flame war to advance your Libertarian unscientific agenda. Orac does not moderate Respectful Insolence with a heavy hand; he allows comments through posted by Bob Schecter a.k.a. Sid Offit...another science-illiterate and self-centered Libertarian.
But I thought libertarians just wanted buildings to burn? Our you saying that before public fire deparments there was actually people fighting to put fires out?
And do you have proof that firefighters would just watch the place burn to the ground? Or is that just fear-mongering?
On the flip-side, government, if you don't pay them, just takes your posessions and throws you in prison. They love doing things like throwing bleach on food that wasn't FDA approved and shooting puppies.
That's why government is so superior to libertarianism, right?
Someone here is setting fire to strawmen and it isn't me...
I'm science-illiterate, hu? My soon-to-be DDS, MS in the biomedical sciences and BA in biology and chemistry must have been a fluke. I guess I don't deserve my white coat.
I didn't come here to start a flame war. In fact I've avoided commenting here because of the flagrant pretentious ignorance I see being spouted.
So you are saying Orac doesn't moderate with a heavy-hand, just like Ron Paul didn't moderate his newsletter? But that is different somehow, right? Who has time for rational arguments these days, imma right?
I read the article and I noticed that the $75 fee is a local government policy. Regardless, that is still unethical. A free society depends on an ethical people.
I hope Delsyid can recognize that his "skepticism" about the scientific evidence for AGW is based on the argument from consequences. He may fear taxes, regulations and all other forms of government intervention, but the proposed political/economic solutions to AGW have no bearing on the validity of the science.
Climate science draws on the same scientific principles and methods as all science. The motivation and the rewards for climate scientists are the same as for any scientist. It's preposterous to attribute the overwhelming, worldwide scientific consensus for AGW to conspiracy, collusion and greed. If Delsyid can't trust climate science, then he can't trust any science. Can he really not see that?
"Did you know most fire fighters are volunteer anyway? Did you know that in the time of Ben Franklin private fire departments would race to a fire to be the first ones to put it out?
My town does not have a police department, yet there is no chaos and it’s a peaceful community."
Are you a homeowner who pays property taxes? Have you checked your property tax bill? My property tax bill has an assessment for fire protection/rescue services for the all-volunteer fire department for purchase of firetrucks, ambulances and supplies used by volunteer firemen/EMTs to transport me to the nearest hospital. My nearest hospital is the County hospital that I support with my property tax and State Income Tax Dollars.
My local property taxes and my State and Federal Income Taxes all fund the County health department and the seven satellite public health clinic where Medicaid recipients and those without medical insurance receive care.
My school taxes are twice as high as my Town and County taxes...even though I haven't had a child in school for more than twenty years.
If I wanted to stay in my County, all the taxes I pay to the Town and to the County, would be paying for the roads I drive on. But, how would I travel outside of my County, on Interstate highways, if not for the Federal Income Tax that I pay...and that you and the Libertarians want to do away with?
You claim to be pro-science and pro-vaccine...yet how do you think the Federal government funds the VFC program, for kids who are Medicaid recipients and for kids whose parents are uninsured or under-insured?
Delysid: A free society depends on an ethical people.
How many of those have you ever met? On the whole, people are nasty, small-minded, panicky and stupid. I've met a few persons who were ethical, but in a crowd, individuality and ethics vanish.
People are bad so we need a government of people are bad so we need a governmetn of people are bad so we need a government...
@delysid - good luck arguing against the past few thousand years of human history.....your philosophy is great in theory, but you'll never actually see it put into practice, thus your argument is fairly inane anyway.
"I’m science-illiterate, hu? My soon-to-be DDS, MS in the biomedical sciences and BA in biology and chemistry must have been a fluke. I guess I don’t deserve my white coat."
Ha, you've never paid Federal Income Taxes and I doubt that you've ever paid property taxes. Did you attend private universities or State universities? If you went to a State university, the taxpayers in that State, paid for the majority of your tuition.
Who funded all your education? Did your wealthy parents fund that education or did you take out student loans, which my Federal Income taxes partially funded?
@ Mal Adapted: Have you ever known me to post comments about Global Warming? I'm too smart to ever post comments about that subject, which I know little or nothing about.
Too bad, other posters here are too dumb to realize the limitations of their "expertise".
I think you are hopelessly naive.
I wish you luck with that. Sadly, without government the least ethical people with the most guns take control, and you no longer have a free society. You just have to look around the planet currently and historically to see that is true.
If you want to take all the unethical and violent people, build a huge electric fence around Texas (for example), and put them all in there where they can do little harm, and won't bother the rest of us, I'm right with you, but I can't see that happening soon.
In the meantime a democratically elected government seems to me to be the least evil of the choices we have.
I went to a mix of private and state schools. My tuition is skyrocketed compared to what my middle class parents paid for college because of government intervention in college loans over the last few decades. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible. I also used the roads to drive to school. What is your point?
Sadly, the GOVERNMENT right now has the most guns and is full of people without ethics. Saying "without government blah blah blah" is pure conjecture, and that conjucture is undeniable reality of what is already happening with the government. Sheesh!
***It is extremely difficult to go to college, grad school, and dental school on only private loans, and impossible to work through it. I have been forced to participate in the system.
In order to practice dentistry I have to pay for a DEA license, licenses which fund the entirety of the DEA, the organization which I despise more than anything. My choosing to practice dentistry in no way justifies this agency.
Delysid: You still are avoiding answering the questions I posed to you. There you stand, an about-to-be newly-minted health care worker who has benefited by public tax dollars for parts of your education, paid for by people who are childless or whose children who are grown and no longer in education programs.
What is the amount you have paid into the system in the form of property taxes, State and Federal Income Taxes for the coddled lifestyle you lead?
Cripes, I despise wise-ass twenty somethings who are totally clueless, who come from privileged backgrounds and who blather about AGW, our government and the ACA.
@ Mal Adapted
Just because my argument is partially the argument from consequence does not make it necessarily wrong. There is also the fallacy fallac in which a fallacy isn't necessarily wrong.
How do you know that no major negative feedback systems exist? Negative feedback is ubiquitous in nature. Positive feedback is relatively rare. Yet this is the "consensus" doomsday assumption.
No matter what happens confirmation bias seems to lead to more and more factors being blamed for global warming. Extreme weather has been debunked yet that arises everytime there is a hurricane.
Well, I believe that markets, science and government all have dogs in this fight, be it putting the brakes on climate change or providing essential services. But that's because I have my head firmly upon my shoulders.
And that's all I have to say about that.
We now return to your regularly-scheduled political argument, already in progress....
"No matter what happens confirmation bias seems to lead to more and more factors being blamed for global warming. Extreme weather has been debunked yet that arises everytime there is a hurricane."
It's the ignorant AGW deniers/libertarians who you hang with, who use hurricanes and blizzards in their arguments to deny AGW. They, like you, do not know the difference between "weather" and "climate".
Get a life and get a clue Delysid.
Benefitted from public tax dollars? Priviledged background?
LMFAO. My education has been a waste in many ways. DDS is an obstacle to the profession more than anything else. I despise middle-aged limosuine liberals who think their age justifies their political ignorance. I'm screwed by government far more than I benefit from it.
If you support the ACA then you understand jack-shit about economics. You are not even qualified to be voting.
Do you realize that the prices of healthcare have skyrocketed because government handed health care to insurance corproations? Have you heard of the HMO Act of 1973? This is not the free-market. Governmetn is driving up the costs with endless reglations and laws. HIPAA, COBRA, the HMO Act of 1973, Medicare Part A-D, Medicaid, the ACA, the FDA, the EPA. Every one of these agencies drives up costs and efficiency.
I might be a 20-something, but you are floating around in LaLaland. Just because you are middle-aged doesn't mean you know jackshit about economics.
Oh yeah, and I pay taxes. I've worked for 10 years, from teaching tennis, to tutoring organic chemistry, to pulling up dirty carpets and toilets. Rigth now I'm a dental school which is a freaking disaster.
Every limosuine liberal should be forced to practice dentistry in a dental school so they can truly see a bureaucratic nightmare in action.
By the way, it's the climate change alarmists who bemoan global warming everytime there is a hurricane. Progressives use every natural disasters to ramp up the debate. "Never let a crisis go to waste."
I could make a lot of objections to your supposed refutation of my analogy (do you think all fields of science which make predictions about the near future are invalidated by the fact that evolution scientists don't try to predict what course evolution will take in the millenial timeframes it generally operates in? Or is it only those fields where you perceive an economic ramification?)
But I think the more telling thing is, you didn't respond at all to the other point I made, about the anti-vaccine crusaders who try to claim that the proposition "vaccination saves lives" is somehow in doubt because they can point to some things which are not known, such as exactly who would catch the disease and die from it if not for the vaccine. Your argument is in the exact same form: "Because your science can't answer every possible question in exacting detail, it must be that every aspect of your prediction is in doubt. Iin such doubt, in fact, that my opinion as someone who isn't even in the field is just as good as the scientific consensus among those who have studied this field their entire lives."
We may not know who would die from measles if we stopped vaccinating and just let it run wild again, but there is no doubt that approach would lead to deaths. There is no reasonable doubt that an unrestrained approach to releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere has already led to climate change and will continue to do so if unchecked; the fact that questions remain such as "exactly how bad will it be?" and "have we already reached the point of no return?" does not put all the rest in doubt.
To be honest no one gives a crap what you "feel". People "feel" all sorts of things and mistakenly present them to us as if it has some power to convince us that they're right. Advocates of so-called "biomed" approaches to "curing" autism constantly whine about how they "feel" the scientific establishment ignores the "cures" they've accomplished because those "cures" would somehow prove things the establishment doesn't want to hear about vaccines being responsible. But their "feelings" on the matter mean absolutely jack and Shin-ola about what the truth is.
STOP SHOUTING, THANKS. And frankly, you are wrong. Neither the proposition that we can royally f*ck up our life as we know it if we alter our climate, nor the proposition that industries all over the globe casually pumping gasses into the atmosphere that alter how much of the heat that reaches our planet is retained can alter the climate is all that extraordinary. Given what we know, the truly extraordinary claim would be that we can do just what we like, including pumping out greenhouse gases full-tilt if that's what the Great God Free Market tells us is good, and nothing bad could possibly result from it.
That's not even a sequitur. "Dinosaurs were around much longer than we were, therefore it's perfectly reasonable to think that there's some mysterious buffer force which will perfectly compensate for everything we're pumping into the atmosphere so that we'll never suffer any consequences we don't like from it"?
The fact that you actually ask that, as if those two statements somehow didn't go together, shows just how very much you do not understand the science.
So glad to hear back from you lilady,
You see, I have the ability to help lead people to the pharmacy to get vaccinated. I try my best to overcome all of their obections. I feel good about helping people get protection from things that could help make their lives healthier. I've heard every kind of objection you can imagine
My passion is to be a great listener, bite my lip, and give them every reason in the world to trust me.
When I got my flu shot, I made it clear to all the customers that saw me. You can not sell what you do not believe in.
If I was 50 I would tell them I had the shot. But the CDC has not approved it for under 50. I have had customers in the hospital for 5-6 days that had it and were all several years younger than me.
Sorry for spelling errors,- objections punctuation and the rest.
Working seven days in a row this week.
@ Anteus Feldspar
There is no "God Free-Market." Good try. That's the entire point.
I didn't respond to your other points because there are 10 or so people responding to me.
I understand science quite well, thank you. My question was rhetorical. Apparently you have not noticed how those defending climate change alarmism are all contradicting each other. It's also not a coincidence that global warming alarmism is intimitely tied to those promoting socialism/progressivsm.
"… it should not be surprising to see hordes of former Reds, or of those who otherwise would have become Reds, turning from Marxism and becoming the Greens of the ecology movement. It is the same fundamental philosophy in a different guise, ready as ever to wage war on the freedom and well-being of the individual." George Reisman
First, taking on your snide "people like you" comment, you don't know what kinds of person I am, and to pretend that you know the first thing about me from a handful of posts here is pretentious and obnoxious. I hope you don't make such remarks to your patients when you're in dental practice - or on further thought, maybe I do.
Getting back to substance, "If a place business wants to kick me out because I am an atheist, I fully support their right to do so. It’s pretty stupid for them because they are losing out on my business." How many white people in this country regularly refused the business variously of Jews, Catholics, Latinos, African-Americans, American Indians, etc.? Did any one of them ever moan that about lost business? And what happens if that business is the only pharmacy in town and the next one is fifty miles away and will close before you can get there? What happens if the local undertaker won't bury your relative? What do you do if you pull into the first open hotel you've seen for miles and they chase you away? How about the gas station that won't sell you any gas, leaving you stranded? What if it isn't just one business, but every single one in town? Do you want to be the only person on the tour bus who has to sleep in the bus or the pool shed, or have someone with you bring your meals out to the car? The evil of discrimination in public accommodations is far greater than a little or even a lot of annoyance to the business owner or operator. Think those days will never come back? Try traveling around this country as a Sikh or a Muslim or a Chassidic Jew.
Did you all know that the the head of the IPCC is not even a scientist? Thanks for this debate. I was unaware of the hilarity that the head of IPCC is an activist and economist.
Also, here is an interesting list of science-illiteral quacks to browse.
Orac I haven't gotten to your Obamacare article yet.
You need to take 10 steps way back and figure out why we even have health insurance in the first place.
Insurance is supposed to be for risk management. We don't homeowner's insurance reshingle the roof or car insurance to pay for regular oil changes, so why would we use health insurance to pay for routine care? The system makes no sense.
It all goes back to the HMO Act of 1973.
Employer-based health insurance failed miserably in the market, and prior to 1973 there were only 40 or businesses in the entire country that had such a plan. This is because it is an inefficient and frankly irresponsible idea. Cue in Ted Kennedy and Richard Nixon and suddenly we have, instead of a system of health care, a bizarre system of HMOs, PPOs and everything else.
It used to be a doctor-patient relationship. We now have an insuranc-doctor-insurance-patient-insurance relationship.
Why would anybody be confused as to why prices are skyrocketing and health care access is a problem? Because insurance corporations now control health care.
Funny, then, isn't it, how health care costs are equal or better quality at much lower cost in countries with universal health coverage, be it a patchwork of private and public (like Germany), an Obamacare-like system (Switzerland), or single payer (like Canada or the UK).
How are you measuring quality? Please do not cite WHO surverys because I don't want a concussion from slapping my head.
I'm in canucksland (Quebec to be exact) and my healthcare is that way:
1-: annual visit to the primary care provider for my synthroid. I schedule the appointment 2 month in advance.
2-: a visit each 5 weeks to my shrink. He give me my appointment each time and I show up 30 minutes in advance.
3-: last was the surgeon for the appendix removal. Appointment was over the phone with the appointment center. Wait time (after surgery) was 6 week.
As for myself, I'm 6'1" 164lbs and I walk 7.2 km (4.5 miles) each day and looking to do more. I also do some stretching.
Finally, Ontario get better healthcare.
@Lawrence -- a life without regulations and driven by the free-market? Somalia comes to mind.
Your anecdote does not mean you have better quality health care system. This is the problem with the WHO surveys.
People in general tend to praise their socialized medical system because they have money taken away from them upfront in taxes and then are given an unknown portion of that money back in care without you doing a money transfer. It feels like you are getting it for free. This is a very deceitful trick politiicans pull.
I think it's quite apparent now that Delysid found his way to the correct side of the vaccination question purely by accident, as on any other subject he cannot think his way out of a paper bag.
Anyone, on any side of any issue, can spew out argument-shaped objects in the form "Oh, no wonder you cling to that idea that I can't actually refute meaningfully, it's because you're a closet Red/have a messianic 'save the world' complex/can only find comfort in slavish adherence to the status quo” - et cetera, et cetera, ad hominem, ad hominem.
But if you claim to understand the science, and then demonstrate that your understanding of science is so poor that you think thermodynamics somehow makes it not possible for climate to change - you just sank your own chances of being taken seriously.
You mean those rich, white, racist, libertarian Somalians!?!
Are these quacks, too?
I did NOT say thermodynamics makes climate change impossible.
Your reading comprehension is terrible.
I'm saying that the doomsday predictions seem to counter-act the concept of thermodynamics.
But of course in progressive lalaland global warming alarmism is the only true science, right? Everyone who is a skeptic about the consequences of climate change doens't know anything about science, right?
Every single one of you has demonstrated that climatology is the worst of policized science.
"[m]y objections to the global warming propaganda are not so much over the technical facts, about which I do not know much, but it’s rather against the way those people behave and the kind of intolerance to criticism that a lot of them have." Freeman Dyson
You know, we measure a population well-being as how we treat the lowest ranking members of that population and I must say, as one of the lowest ranking member of my population that the government of Quebec with its many social program (yes, we may well be the most socialist of canucksland), I have benefited greatly from our socialist^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H sometime leftish, sometime not, government but this is all anectdata and opinion.
Instead, I'll propose you a deal. I have a disability, a medical one and a social one which is the same: autism. my ex-flatmate told me one time that I should be left to die on the street (for reference, he is a true psychopath). This is an extreme view which 99% of the population will not agree but however, it's hard for me to be self-sustaining. Given the government of your choice, what would you propose for me? How do I get access to a well paying job using the financial ressources (sp?) that you prefer? How do I get out of my mess?
p.s. you might want to know what are my strength but suffice it to say that I've corrected all error in a spreadsheet which was 25 columns by 2500 lines and the resulting work is here. I'm also excellent with computers.
"LMFAO. My education has been a waste in many ways. DDS is an obstacle to the profession more than anything else. I despise middle-aged limosuine liberals who think their age justifies their political ignorance.
I agree. Your education has been a waste in every way. It's been a few years since we allowed barbers to practice dentistry.
"I’m screwed by government far more than I benefit from it."
Sure, sure, *Big Government* has screwed you. How much income tax did you pay last year...or during any year?
“… it should not be surprising to see hordes of former Reds, or of those who otherwise would have become Reds, turning from Marxism and becoming the Greens of the ecology movement. It is the same fundamental philosophy in a different guise, ready as ever to wage war on the freedom and well-being of the individual.” George Reisman"
Well, I'm not too surprised that you follow the editor of Ron Paul's Libertarian Newsletters
The whole system is screwed up, in Canada and the US (but for different reasons). I can't take the bait and give you a simple answer in your 'what if' scenario.
The government of my choice is no-government, or if I had to choose, I Nightwatchman State that is involved only with a rudimentary justice system and emergency military.
I propose a medical system that is free from governmetn manipulation in which the laws of supply and demand continuously bring about greater and greater innovation at cheaper prices through competition as we have in the technology field.
You are probably using an affordable computer so advanced that not even the richest person in the world had it 20 years ago. In 20 years (just saying a number) you will have the computer that on the richest in society can afford now. That is how the market works when left relatively free from the enormous government parasite regulating it to death.
Socialism brings everyone down to lower common denominators. Instead of a system in which the richest get the lates and greatest technology and treatment and the poor get slightly older, but cheaper, treatment, sociaism holds things to more of a standstill.
The United States system, despite it's faults, still produces an overwhelming amount of medical innovation relative to the rest of the world. The rest of the world with their various versions of socialized medicine still benefit from the innovations by the US while using socialism. I can only imagine what will happen if the US further declines into socialism.
In the United States it is not uncommon to see homeless people with cell phones more advanced than the one I had 10 years ago. People living in trailor parks can afford plasma televisions.
But healthcare is still unaffordable. It's not a freaking mystery about what the problem is. Government.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't. I'm not baiting you, that was a sincere question and it's not about what can I afford now but more, where do I get the money to pay for my education. Mind trying again?
Here is where the system is screwed up. The tuition at Yale was about $50 a semester for 40 years. Then the government started getting involved. Now the tuition at Yale doubles every few years and is up to $40,000. Government intervention in student loans and the medical system is causing medical school to increase up to 20% some years.
College used to be so affordable that someone could work part-time and pay their own tuition without student loans. Those days are gone because the government has been screwing it up so long.
I encourage you to listen to Peter Schiff break it down quite sufficiently.
The government solution here was to put a cap on tuition cost and at the moment, Quebec's cost are the lowest in Canada. See http://www.securivm.ca/2013/04/only-in-quebec.html
Since then, I started to do some research and found a few states which had very low fees (comparable to the rate found in most provinces) for native from the states but I haven't updated my blog post to reflect this.
Like a typical progressive, you have one argument- the racist card. That is all you have. How many different times have you tried to bring up racism? That is 3 now. You are even worse than Ginger Taylor.
You have nothing else. As this conversation continues you will likely just keep trying to call me or other libertarians as racist from different angles.
I said it twice and I will say it again because you just providing me with more evidence.
Progressives are the fraternal twins of quacks.
Go ahead, try and call me, Ron Paul, or libertarians racist again. I know you want to. That's all you have. It's the peak of progressive intellectualism.
The blog post apply to any program except the MBA's from McGill and Concordia university.
@ Post 277
What did you have to say twice?
Tell it to us again, as if we are two year olds
Canada has a different system that I'm not as familiar with as the US.
Generally speaking, Canadians pay for these 'low tuitions' in many other ways. You are still paying for it, just not directly. Again, this is government decieving you.
The price of living is quite a bit lower in the US than Canada.
When I get called racist over and over again it feels like I'm talking to 2 year olds. Sorry for repeating myself but it is frustrating.
Delysid: The reason we have governments and rules is precisely because people can't be trusted. They need structure. The neighborhood watch (lynch) committee is not a stable form of government, and cannot and should not be trusted. Rules endure longer than people do, and are less susceptible to bending.
As for vaccines- why would you rail against something you're going to get anyway? My mother works in healthcare, and if anything, is grateful for that rule, as it doesn't cost her anything but a little bit of time.
Finally, you do know that those regs and rules about dentists that you dislike are the main things keeping dentists in business. If they were all unregulated, most of them would be like Adams and the natural news crew- quacks. People wouldn't bother with dental care. Something to think about, if you are capable of that.
#180 Delysid... I know this doesn't touch on your arguments, but when you start using all-caps it doesn't make your arguments look more sensible. It makes them look crazy, even when they are not.
#186 Again, not everyone here is "progressive." Not everyone here is American, and not every American here votes Democratic, and not every American here is liberal.
#193 "A new nuclear power plant hasn’t been built in the US in decades."
Good. I hope we can stop building them altogether; no one wants to have the waste in their backyards and they're far from foolproof.
"Humans, simply by existing, disruput ecosystems."
Alternately, humans are part of their ecosystems, like any other animals.
"Ecofascists..." this word tells me you're unlikely to change your mind regardless of the evidence. I invite you to prove me wrong; what evidence would convince you of anthropogenic climate change? Or that people should halt climate change regardless of whether they caused it?
#202 Delysid... cash for clunkers replaced cars with other, more fuel-efficient cars. It didn't replace cars with bikes.
#227 Firefighters are volunteers; their equipment still costs money. Most departments also do have at least a smattering of paid personnel.
#229 Everyone here is still not progressive.
#244 Really? I thought college tuition had skyrocketed due to predatory lending practices and people unethically preying on naive students to extort more and more money out of them because they are in the weakest position and cannot muster enough votes to defend themselves. They also often believe the lie that college will get them a job so that they can pay for college.
Seriously people we are starting to argue AGW politics ? Give me a break and stick to the medicine.
You make it sound like you are living in some military dictatorship, and that your government took power in an armed coup. You Americans voted your government in, and if you don't like it you can vote in a different one. Unlike many people in the world, you live in a democracy, though you don't appear to appreciate your good fortune one iota.
My "blah blah blah" is not "pure conjecture", it is based on centuries of history repeating itself over and over and over, with the strong inevitably exploiting the weak unless the people organize themselves to stop this from happening.
In contrast your, "Letting the market figure out solutions is the best way", appears to be based on a childish utopian fantasy. A market is a system of rules agreed by those participating, so a "free market" is a contradiction in terms. There are always rules, and these rules are always set up to benefit those with the most power. It's the very basis and definition of capitalism.
Letting the market figure out solutions is the best way of ending up with a population of slaves ruled over by a small number of wealthy people, as has been the case throughout most of history.
If you really think that what is happening in the US currently is anything similar to what happens where there is no government you are even more naive than I thought.
I don't think many people in the developed world realize just how good things are for them. Many people in other parts of the world are living in utter misery, and people in our own countries lived in a similar manner less than a century ago.
It seems obvious to me that effective government is the main reason that our lives are so much better than they so easily could be. I'm amazed when people think we can do without that level of organization when we have hundreds of millions of people to keep fed, clothed, housed, transported, defended, policed etc etc.. Does anyone really believe that this happens magically without such organization? Sheesh indeed.
The list of scientists that oppose global warming theory that Delysis links to, is the usual assemblage of inexpert has-beens, cranks, sellouts, and compulsive contrarians. None of them have put forward an argument against the consensus that actually holds up to scrutiny.
Sorry, Delysid, for wasting your time here. I thought you were a rational individual one could engage in a productive discourse with. My mistake--your recent flurry of posts indicates otherwise, and that you live in a fantasyland where the invisible hand of the market conquers all ills.
So what you are saying, paraphrasing, is that "if I don't vote I have no reason to complain, and if I do vote I have no reason to complain?"
What lovely anti-intellectualism? So because I love in a democracy I just have to accept what my government does as just? I'm jealous of people like you. It is stressful being burdened with rational thought. I wish I could be like you and just decide "who needs to think because the government does it for me!" The funniest part about this is that when Republicans or non-socialists are voted into office, people like you are screaming from the rafters about how they aren't respecting the will of the people. Talk about cognitive dissonance and hypocrisy.
All of your fear-mongering about the market is conjecture. The failure of the state is an undeniable reality. How are you are on a science blog with such ignorance reality?
And about this "my childlike fantasy in the market." Give me a break.
"It constantly amazes me that the defenders of the market are expected to offer certainty and perfection while government has only to make promises and express good intentions." Lawrence Reed
Just ignore Delysid. He's got a child's mentality in a grown-up body. A case of over-educated for his intellectually abilities.
Once again the statists here are showing their identical genes to the biology quacks.
It's magical thinking and false attribution. "Everything great that happens in our society happens because of government. The market would enslave us."
You have basically admitted that you are so enamored by the State that you cannot even envision anything being done any differently. "The government is the alpha and omega. The government is the provider of wealth and prosperity. The government is the answer to all of society's problems and there is no other way."
You are speaking of government more fanatically and dogmatically than even the most intense worshipers of religion. Socialists worship the State with so much vigor that opposition to the State is deeply offensive. "How dare you question the democracy!"
But I should appreciate the government I live under because it's worse other places, right? Nice logical fallacy.
You are so deep into the circular argument that the government is the alpha and the omega you can't even pretend to think outside of the circle.
Yeah keep ignoring me. Keep ignoring anyone who demolishes your fallacious arguments and dismantles your hypocritical beliefs.
That's what quacks do with science. "Just ignore logic and evidence and keep blindly believing in our preconceived prejudices. The government loves me."
Belief in personal freedom and responsibility is childlike, right? Questioning arbitrary authority is juvenile.
Adults have total dependence on the government, right? Adults know and trust that the State will make the best decisions for them. Adults don't question authority or dogma. Adults believe what and do what they are told. Adults accept the system because it has good intentions. Adults proclaim that it is heresy to oppose the greatness of the father, the God, government. Also, Delysid is a racist, right?
Seems like we've got a major case of burning strawmen now.....believe we've gone far enough off-topic.
I never thought I'd hear Krebiozen being accused of not thinking for himself.
Live and learn.
Also, all of this mockery of the "invisible hand of the market" is just demonstrated non-existent understanding of economics.
The free-market is not a unified thing. It's not a magical elf. It's not a magic hand.
THE MARKET IS US. The market is hundreds of millions of individuals choosing the best way to do things. It is not an organized bureaucracy of a few hundred or few thousand people making decisions on behalf of millions. It is millions of individuals making decisions from the ground up.
Who do you people think policians are? Gods? They are just people They don't know any better what is best for you than you do. There is a lot of insults about childlike behavior, but blind trust that a politician knows best for you is the definition of childlike. A child depends on others to make decisions for them, but even then only for awhile and they start becoming more and more independent. Becoming a collectivist/socialist/liberal/progressive means reverting back to a state even worse than a child with total trust that an unseen, barely accountable bureaucracy with an undeniable history of abuse and failure will make the best decisions for you. They take your money and resources, keep a lot for themselves, and then you act grateful that they are saving your life. "I love my socialist health care system I would be dying in a ditch without it!"
It's a scam, the ultimate deceit. Not only have people been tricked into it, they defend the system with passionate anger! It's voluntary slavery!
Like a said childlike mentality.
Meanwhile, when Ron Paul said "let them die" and was cheered on by the Tea Party sponsors of that Presidential Debate...Paul clarified his statement:
ABC News Blogs > Politics > The Note
Tea Party Debate Audience Cheered Idea of Letting Uninsured Patients Die
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By Amy Bingham
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Sep 13, 2011 1:48pm
gty ron paul dm 110913 wblog Tea Party Debate Audience Cheered Idea of Letting Uninsured Patients Die
Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul speaks during the presidential debate sponsored by CNN and The Tea Party Express at the Florida State fairgrounds, Sept. 12, 2011 in Tampa, Fla.
If it was up to Ron Paul, or many of the Tea Party audience members at Monday night’s GOP presidential debate, churches, not the federal government, would help foot the bill for the medical costs of America’s 50 million residents living without health insurance.
CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer’s hypothetical question about whether an uninsured 30-year-old working man in coma should be treated prompted one of the most boisterous moments of audience participation in the CNN/Tea Party Express.
“What he should do is whatever he wants to do and assume responsibility for himself,” Paul responded, adding, “That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risk. This whole idea that you have to compare and take care of everybody…”
The audience erupted into cheers, cutting off the Congressman’s sentence.
After a pause, Blitzer followed up by asking “Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?” to which a small number of audience members shouted “Yeah!”
Paul, a doctor trained in obstetrics and gynecology, said when he got out of medical school in the 1960s “the churches took care of them.”
“We never turned anybody away from the hospital,” he said. “We’ve given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves or assume responsibility for ourselves. Our neighbors, our friends, our churches would do it. That’s the reason the cost is so high.”
Ron Paul is right...the neighbors, our friends and the churches will pick up the slack...but only in Texas.
According to census data released Tuesday, the number of uninsured people rose by about 900,000 from 2009 to 2010, bringing the total number of people living in the United States without health coverage to 50.9 million, or 16.3 percent of the population.
Texas, where GOP candidate Rick Perry has served as governor for more than a decade and Paul has served as a U.S. Congressman for more than 20 years, has more uninsured people, as a percent of population, than any other state. In the Lone Star State 26 percent of the population does not have health insurance, according to census data compiled by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.
Delysimp, I am tired of reading your abusive words and condescension in your answers.
You are an obnoxious, pompous, puerile, little shitbeard who can't see and doesn't care for anything beyond the tip of your nose. The only thing global about you is the extent of your ignorance.
Learn how to speak nicely, and maybe I'll address your issues some time later. Meanwhile, you can go and use a saguaro for your personal sextoy.
You live in a democracy, so you have a right to complain all you want. You also have a right to campaign for the political party you prefer, or even to start your own political party or to stand independently. Ain't democracy great? In many parts of the world you would be shot for expressing the opinions you have expressed here.
What anti-intellectualism is that? I have studied these subjects in great depth at university, as well as having traveled to countries around the world. I'm basing my opinions on my education and experience. I am not anti-intellectual.
You stated that having an elected government is equivalent to being ruled by those who have the most guns. It isn't. I didn't say you have to like it, I pointed out that you live in a democracy. If you don't like it there are measures you can take to do something about it, very unlike the military dictatorship you claimed it is identical to.
That's nasty. Wherever did I state any such thing? You appear to be losing your grip on this discussion.
"People like you" - there's a phrase that launched a thousand pogroms. You know nothing about me, or how I vote. I'm not American so I don't vote Republican or Democrat. If I vote for a politician who breaks his/her pre-election promises I will complain, of course. How is this hypocritical?
It isn't conjecture, and you repeatedly claiming it is won't make it so. I spent a year studying the anthropology of economics which looked at all the major western economic models as well as the way things work in different cultures, so I think I understand the subject reasonably well - I passed my university exams on the subject with distinctions if that means anything.
It seems clear to me that what people describe as a "free market" simply means a set of rules around exchanges of good and/or services that give them an advantage over others. It's as simple as that.
The failure of the state to do what? Failure compared to what yardstick? Which specific state are you talking about and where is your evidence that a country without a government is anything other than a military dictatorship or a free-for-all for organized criminals?
I think you should spend a bit of time in some African or Asian countries. That might change your mind about how successful North American and European governments are.
I think a lot of us are asking ourselves the very same question about you.
If you're going to use quotation marks please quote accurately. I wrote:
If this isn't just a fantasy, where can I see it in action? I can point to numerous historical examples of collapsed government leading to military dictatorship or lawless chaos. Where's your evidence of libertarian free market bliss?
Reed was talking about education in that quote. We have a free market in education, more or less, in the UK. What it means in practice is that only those with money get the best educations, which is why there are so many Old Etonians in the British government. Having known a number of people from that class, and their disdain for the poor and the working classes, I don't think this is a good thing.
I'm certainly not satisfied with government making promises and expressing good intentions. I don't trust government to perform properly without a boot constantly up its rear end. Government needs to be held to account by the people if it doesn't fulfill its obligations. Democracy takes work to function properly - people need to get involved. Complaining and building ridiculous, utopian, libertarian fantasies is just hot air.
How are you involved in your local community and in making sure your government keeps to its obligations Delysid?
Delysid, direct question for you:
Identify five nations where the libertarian model of an unregulated free market actually worked as you claim it will. (And by 'worked' I don't mean generated significant financial rewards for a privileged elite social class--I mean maintained public infrastructure, provided for the general welfare of all citizens, etc.)
Try as I may I cannot think of any.
I think to Delysid's mind that's exactly how things are supposed to work. If the people starving next to the mansions aren't happy, they should have made the choices which allowed them to become millionaires themselves. He rejects the notion the free market "winners" have any obligation, ethcial or otherwise, to ameliorate the suffering of the losers to any extent.
I think (hope) he believes that people's personal responsibility would lead them to help a neighbor who was starving. That often doesn't seem to work in practice.
I think that part of the problem in India is a widespread belief that people have been born into the life conditions that benefit them, and that interfering is meddling with 'the will of the gods'* and not really helping. We humans are good at rationalizing horrible behavior.
* I suspect that's also why driving standards are so awful there, as there is a fatalistic belief in divine will, and no amount of skill or care will affect that.
maybe I'm doing him an injustice, but my guess is the principle he espoused @207 ("How about Bangladesh solves their own problems, eh?") would apply to neighbors as well.
Damn! Clipboard error--haven't had that in years.
Should have read:
maybe I’m doing him an injustice, but my guess is the principle he espoused @207 (“How about Bangladesh solves their own problems, eh?”) would apply to neighbors as well.
(Note to self--keep better track of what you're arguing about and where in the future.)
@267 -- if that's a reply, it's a completely incomprehensible one.
To clarify an earlier statement by Delysid about police:
There are a number of villages and unincorporated areas around here that have no organic police force. This doesn't mean that there is no law enforcement presence.
Delysid conveniently forgets that the town in which he lives, like others in the same situation, has a contract with another jurisdiction (probably with the county) for Law Enforcement support.
So there are police in his nice safe town, they're just not wearing "Village of XXX" on their uniforms.
Delysid, so let me get this straight. You see Sciencebloggers as playing the racist card when their views are not backed up by logic and evidence with respect to the issue of government control, yet, when some of us who have questions about vaccine safety/efficacy- let's say the issue of children in developing countries being given mercury in their vaccines when it has been mostly discontinued in North America, or what about oral polio causing many cases of NPAFP in India - they throw that racist crap at us? Are you so special?
I visited a tropical island where vast differences in wealth were painfully apparent as well as rampant crime and a lack of concern for general health and environmental contamination- there was something unnerving about seeing people living in abject poverty- in the late 20th century not far from luxurious homes and resorts.
Similarly, I know a young tennis player ( now age 25) who came from Eastern Europe years ago: he had a cleft palate/ related conditions which were "repaired" in a very primitive fashion there - In the past few years, he was thrilled to get a modern reconstruction. He now speaks well, completed a degree, dates women and supports himself teaching kids tennis. He also pays taxes because he earns a reasonably good living.
I understand that 11th century Iceland was a libertarian paradise: read a saga sometimes.
Where have I heard something like this before? Oh yeah - "Dictatorship of the Proletariat". We all know how well that worked out.
You know perfectly well that thimerosal is still used in vaccines in developing countries because the use of multidose vials is far more common.. Thimerosal prevents bacterial and fungal contamination growing in the vials, something that is a very real risk in hotter climates. You also know that there is no reason to think that the tiny amounts of thimerosal cause any harm to anyone.
Equally I'm sure you are aware that NPAFP stands for non-polio acute flaccid paralysis - the clue is in the name. There has not been a huge increase in AFP caused by the polio vaccine, there has been a large increase in the number of recorded cases of AFP because of a shift from passive to active surveillance. "Approximately one case of vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis (VAPP) occurs per 750 000 doses of trivalent OPV for the first dose given". The polio eradication program in India has led to a fall in the incidence of acute flaccid paralysis (from polio or any other any cause) from 8.2 per 1000 in 1978 to 0.0111 per 1000 in 2013, a fall of more than 99%.
See, no accusations of racism, just rational argument.
Jen, by " being given mercury in their vaccines when it has been mostly discontinued in North America", you're actually referring to individuals receiving vaccine formulations from multi-dose vials which incorporate Thimerosal as a preservative, correct?
Surely you're aware that 'thimerosal' and 'mercury' are entirely different chemcial entities, and that there is no scentific evidence whatsoever indicating exposure to thimerosal as a result of immunization poses any detectable health risk?
One of the more frustrating things that I've noticed when talking to libertarians is that, if you ask 10 of them how things in general, and government in particular, would work in Libertopia, you get 12 different answers.
Less government and more freedom sounds really good, and I'd like that. As always, the devil is in the details, and that's where libertarians can't even agree amongst themselves, and one of the many reasons it will never be more than a fringe idea.
And again, no one who actually knows thermodynamics even knows why you think thermodynamics is somehow incompatible with effects of global climate change that anyone with a functioning conscience (and brain) would certainly call catastrophic. But now that I've seen that your idea of a solution to "Entire nations become uninhabitable" is not "do what we can to prevent that scenario" but "let them move somewhere else" I'm not sure there's any point pretending you have a grasp on this whole "reality" thing.
So, have there been any historical examples of any nation even making an attempt at libertarianism, and if so, what were the results?
I apologize to Orac and everyone here, with the obvious exception of Delysid, for my rant, #297. While I meant every word of it and I suspect others agree with me, I lost my temper and engaged him at his level.
So to move my part of things to a slightly higher level, here's a short list of a few things that American government has done well.
1) The Tennessee Valley Authority.
2) The National Defense/Interstate Highway System.
3) The Louisiana Purchase and the Alaska purchase.
4) Multiple exploration expeditions: The Corps of Discovery, the Ex-Ex, the Byrd Expedition, Apollo, Cassini, Skylab, the ISS, the Mars Rovers.
5) The unprecedented and stunningly successful mobilization for World War 2 including the Civilian Pilot Training Program, the Zero Defects initiative, the Manhattan Project, and much more.
6) The GI Bill of Rights.
7) The transcontinental railroad system.
8) The Land Grant colleges.
9) The Civilian Conservation Corps.
10) The continuing cleanup of our air and water.
11) The National Parks system.
12) The Panama Canal.
13) The US Postal service - laugh if you want, but consider how much they do and how well most of it is done how much of the time and ask yourself if you could design a better system that does the same.
14) The National Weather Service - more joking aside, private enterprise could never have delivered so much information for so many purposes to so many people at the same cost.
Some of these things were purely government-conceived and -run; others were private-public co-operative efforts. Each of them was a stunning success that changed the nation and the world.
Not everything government has done has been so successful, but each of these is something private enterprise would and could never have undertaken alone, or accomplished quite so well. All of these have had results both good and bad that were not conceived of when they were started, except the GI Bill, which was an unqualified success. This list is of course not complete, not a detailed discussion, and there is much else I could say about them and more. But these are indisputable successes.
@Krebiozen By "you people" I mean collectivist. Collectivists are the same all around the world. American Democrat/socialists/progressive/liberalm, British Labour, French socialist or populist, and so on. You never read libertarian literature. You were never a libertarian who grew up. No one who ever had even the slightest grasp on libertarianism would speak like you do about the ideology. You are extremely well read in collectivist propaganda, as you spouted just about every standard talking point and logical fallacy there is regarding collectivism.
Few claims make me laugh like "I used to be a libertarian and then I grew up." That would mean that you recognized the failure of the state and the economics of free-markets, then went back and decided that the government is the solution again. This is about as likely as an atheist deciding that he is now a Young Earth Creationist. I don't doubt that somewhere this has happened, but I have yet to ever see this kind of conversion. The language in which you use to speak is symptomatic of "always been a collectivist and never knew anything besides collectivism."
The proof of this is that you describe libertarianism as either chaos or a military dictatorship. You can't even picture any other way.
It is a common argument to say "name 1 (or 5) libertarian societies as an example" like this is supposed to be a legitimate argument. As I pointed out in another comment, the market is everywhere, all the time. The market is in action when people are free to interact and buy and sell from each other. It's not one thing. The free-market is not housed in the Kremlin, or th Parliment, or the White House. The free-market is the activity that happens when it is not being centrally planned and controlled by government.
Collectivists are so stuck in their mindset that they are demanding that the market solves all of the world's problems. This is the fantasy of government that is being projected onto it.
If people want health care, the market supplies health care. It's the law of supply and demand.
It's so ironic that you chose India as you example of why we need government. India is a recent colony of the British Empire and has been ruled by socialists and a deeply intrenched forced caste system since its independence. You think the free-market and capitalism have been harming India?! Do you think the moon heats up the sun, too?
You keep repeating in multiple comments that freedom leads to hell, yet you have offered no proof besides generic "centuries of observation taught us this."
No it didn't Governments throughout the world have failed. Free people don't go to war. Governments go to war. Free people don't have prisons. Governments have prisons. The British government has millions of security cameras around London. The US NSA is spying on every American.
Krebiozen, you are not saying anything new. You are repeating the same tired myths over and over. I could be talking to Piers Morgan and I wouldn't know the difference.
Anarchy is not chaos.
Collectivism is not freedom.
The government does not create wealth. The market creates wealth. The government redistributes wealth.
Every nation in the world having aspects of socialism does not justify the ethics nor effectiveness of socialism.
The intention of doing good is not the same thing as the consequence of doing good. The market does not have to declare that it is saving the world to actually do so. The government declaring it will save the world is laughable horseshit that only a fool would believe.
6) - the GI Bill. Hear, hear.
@Old Rockin Dave
Nice list. The government is not always wrong. Good work. IN 200 years I would hope that the US government did at least a few things right.
Now just about everything else in your life that we use was the work of markets. Hell even the roads you drive on were contracted out to private businesses.
Now the list of what government has failed at is too much to even begin to tackle.
And oh yeah, the market does mail service better than USPS as well. Heard of a company called FedEX?
The market does everything more efficiently, cheaper, and of higher quality than government. Everything. The private sector is even taking over for NASA.
Are we living in Governmentopia? When is the government going to create the utopia you are promising? Isn't the government the same thing as nirvana? Why hasn't this happened yet?
From PubMed, and similarly CDC, FDA and USDA:
"Due to the lapse in government funding, PubMed is being maintained with minimal staffing. Information will be updated to the extent possible, and the agency will attempt to respond to urgent operational inquiries."
Then FTC: "Unfortunately, the Federal Trade Commission is closed due to the government shutdown."
"Due to the Federal government shutdown,
NOAA.gov and most associated web sites
Only web sites necessary to protect lives
and property will be maintained."
Well, we will soon be living in your libertarian utopia. Though it would have been helpful if we knew of other countries that were doing it successfully.
How's that market-funded basic sciences research going? Oh wait, there's basically none.
And you believe this is because the private sector can do NASA's job "more efficiently, cheaper, and of higher quality"? Oh, honey.
NASA's scientist are moving to the private sector, so yes. It is going to take time, obviously, but the private space industry will develop if there is a demand.
The government is failing. There is no "libertarian utopia." That is you trying to use the nirvana fallacy.
The free-market is not a bureaucracy and it is not housed in the White House or the Kremlin. The free-market is not a magical being or an "invisible hand." It is not a shadowy group of people promising to make all of your dreams come true (while robbing you). This is the fantasy of government being projected to the free-market.
The free-market is us. As such, the market is everywhere, all the time. It is 300 million people interacting, serving each other, competing with each other, and prospering.
Whenever people attack the free-market they are almost always falsely attributing everything they hate about government.
Oh, and Big Pharma would do much better regulating itself. Yeah, right:
The Elixir Tragedy
The Thalidomide Tragedy: Lessons for Drug Safety and Regulation
Unfortunately, you still have pharmaceutical companies hiding data. Hence the AllTrials campaign touted Dr. Ben Goldacre to help make sure it is all available.
Ask Orac how much he enjoys begging for government grant money.
There is resarch and development being done in the private sector. Did you know that the first sequencing of the human genome was done privately by Celera?
A lot more private research could be done if the governmetn did steal trillions in taxes from society every year.
Also are you aware of crowdfunding? That seems to be gaining steam.
Have you heard of crowdfunding?
delysid: "The government is failing."
So which government on this planet is succeeding in your expert opinion.
By the way, one thing I dislike are blanket comments that "this or that is failing" without any details. It is like telling me that "farming is failing", yet there are still produce available at the local supermarket. Or other such nonsense.
Do explain what private company has taken over weather forecasting, which includes launching satellites.
What private company operates the satellite system used in your GPS system. Or do you just rely on good old fashioned maps?
I'm agnostic and I don't have any political leaning except, my experience was better with leftish policies: grants for school that I don't have to pay back; but, I am willing to be converted. Keep in mind that I won't let my skepticism at the door but here, I offer you a really fair occasion to convince me. The offer still stand.
What would help me is an education as either software engineering or industrial engineering. Okay? Under the socialist regime, I get grants that I don't have to reimburse and in the process makes some peoples extremely jealous (my psychopath ex-flatmate among other. He didn't want to pay taxes for me). Under a libertarianism regime, what could I rely on to get financing (and I'm okay if it need to be repaid).
I'm not asking you to base your judgement on canada or Quebec, just imagine I live in Louisville, KY for the exercise, or Silicon Valley while you're at it; I do plan to make a part of my career in the state.
Which government is succeeding? None. Some are less authoritarian than others, but none are good.
Societies across the world are succeeding in spite of their governments.
Thalidomide? Oh that's a good one./s No one knew the important biological impact of enantiomers, not even government. It is fortunate that the mistake was caught before more damage was caused, but the FDA overreacted and thalidomide was blocked from potential uses for years.
Delysid, while you were busy condescending, you failed to notice that I said the list was far from comprehensive.
The Postal Service? I can send a letter from Key West to Kodiak for the same price as to the next zipcode over and I can trust it will get there. They go everywhere every day (yes, I know, exceptions, but they are minor), and failures are unusual. If the bizarre requirement that USPS has to fund its pension system for seventy-five years in advance, it would work even better.
Our regulatory system is the envy of many countries around the world. Our regulations support private enterprise. If you buy a fleet of trucks for your company, you can usually trust that they are made to a certain standard of safety. Order beef for your restaurant, and it has been inspected. Your house has more than likely been built to code, and your neighbors are not permitted to do things with their property that are dangerous to you, or that seriously inconvenience you. I have been to places where the people and their businesses have only the protections and assurances they can buy or bribe. Want to live like that?
delysid: "There is resarch and development being done in the private sector. Did you know that the first sequencing of the human genome was done privately by Celera? "
With a head start by using data from the publicly paid for and available GenBank. Not a good example.
You mean like Orbital Sciences Corporation?
delysid: " but the FDA overreacted and thalidomide was blocked from potential uses for years."
Actually that was a worldwide reaction, not just the FDA. Those who were affected were part of the reason for the delay. See this: http://retroreport.org/the-shadow-of-thalidomide/
Remember it was not just a USA phenomena, it affected regulation in other countries.
So where is that country which has successfully created a government that you like?
The US government is the largest and most powerful entity in the history of the world, and it has unlimited money which it can print and tax from the people. Of course a private company is going to have a hell of a time competiting with the Federal government when it directs serious resources to a project. Give me a break. The governmetn has way more money it can use to start enormous projects. This isn't even a debate.
Funny how a massive failure like the US government can be so rich.
Orbital Sciences Corp. just launches.
AccuWeather is a media company, and gets its data from the National Weather Service and other government paid entities like the military.
Exactly how many weather satellites do they own? Provide links.
"If the bizarre requirement that USPS has to fund its pension system for seventy-five years in advance, it would work even better."
If the requirement *was lifted*.
No governments Chris. No governments are satisfactory for me. If I wanted to start a project, don't you think it would be a lot easier if I robbed you, Orac, Khani, Alain, Dave, and everyone else in this thread and used your money to do what I wanted? Then if I ran out I could just rob you all again. Or I could have the Federal Reserve send money into my bank account.
That power doens't make the government better! It makes it worse. But this gives it the ability to fly into space faster than the private sector. The private sector doesn't have the power to steal.
Shay, he has not yet told us what country is working well with his approved form of government.
Oh, and India... I remember when someone said that education in the USA was failing because India was producing several more engineers and scientists. I found that amusing since literacy in India is only at 62%. Bad comparison.
How many private companies have tanks and fighter jets and nuclear weapons and mass murder people around the world? Name one. Let's flip this around. Tell me.
For a group of people in a science blog all of you are sure dense as hell. The government has the power to steal as much money as it wants. Of course it is rich.
It seem to me you don't actually read our comments? It also seem to me you haven't developed a theory of mind worth a grain of salt about all of us too? Robbing us? Keep dreaming in color.
I TOLD YOU NO GOVERNMENTS WORK WELL.
Is your mind so obsessivly one-track that you can't even comprehend this answer?
I'm trying to read the comments. Different people keep saying the same things over and over. I'm suspicious that no one is reading my comments.
A "libertarian regime?" What does that mean? The whole point of libertarianism is that you are free in your own pursuits and there is a governmetn controlling the market.
Did you read the long post I sent you about the cost of educatin and why it skyrocketed? Before government intervention it used be easy to work your way through school. I sent you a link in which Peter Schiff talks about it for 15 minutes with sources. I already answered this question for you. School used to be affordable.
Actually the government is not rich. It is in massive debt and running a huge deficit. It steals as much as it wants and it is still drastically outspends what it takes in. Any business that conducted business like the government would fail miserably. Government doesn't have incentive to be efficient or offer high quality because it gets its money from taxation. This is Econ 101.
Well, t'was interesting speaking about politics and balloon filled with hot air but this distract me from a good project of porting google's map / reduce and a number of goodies to a Parallella cluster which I'll buy soon.
Did you read the long post I sent you about the cost of educatin and why it skyrocketed?
Before government intervention it used be easy to work your way through school.
Okay, I'll take that at face value.
I sent you a link in which Peter Schiff talks about it for 15 minutes with sources.
Offtopic and you'll see why in a moment.
I already answered this question for you.
School used to be affordable.
They're no longer and I need a solution for that. Don't you understand that we're not coming back to low prices? Not anymore. What is your solution to the actual problem that I need to pay 32 000$ each year to louisville.edu for my education? How do I come up with that?
The solution is to dismantle Sallie Mae and get the government out of student loans. It's a no-brainer.
You arren't getting it. You have to ask WHY school costs $38,000 a semester.
You can't just start with "here's a fucked up situation governmnt created, now how is libertarianism going to fix it?"
We have to figure out why things turned into what they did. Cause and effect.
I like begging pharmaceutical companies for money even less. They always have a lot of conditions and strings on their money, far more than the government, and right now getting pharmaceutical funding is no easier than getting NIH funding.
Delysid, you seem to be contradicting yourself.
You should have done something with smoking or HIV. The NIH seems to love throwing millions of dollars at those causes. One of my profs has a 1.5 million dollar grant to study the effects of smoking on gingiva. Like we don't know enough about that, yet. There has been enough money sent to HIV research in that it equals 10 million dollars or so per amino acid of the HIV virus.
I figured getting private money would be more difficult than NIH honestly. The point I was trying to make is that the NIH isn't exactly the conveniance of a drive-thru when it comes to grant money.
So this would just happen because The Magical Free Market will make it so? And you call us religious. Even still, would this magical free market fund less flashy, but still essential basic research? This is why 'crowdfunding' is such a naive answer: the people deciding what science to fund should be other scientists.
Also, how the hell is this an argument that private research would be "more efficient, cheaper, and of higher quality"? That's the claim I'm disputing, remember?
You're applying selective skepticism, Delysid. Yes, there are those on the left that are too quick to jump to government as a solution, but you're their mirror image; too quick to trust 'the market,' too blind to the areas where government succeeds.
@delysid: WHEN was it possible to go to college with just help and a part-time job? Certainly not in MY memory, my parents' memories, or my grandparents. Easy to work your way through school? Not likely. Not unless your parents had savings bonds, loans they didn't tell you about, and a lot of other helps. My grandmother had to quit college when the stock market crashed. My grandfather only finished college- and medical school - with a lot of loans, family gifts, and working nearly full time during school PLUS full time or more during vacations. And professors then - and now - got paid a lousy wage.
My dad and his brothers had it a little better - children of professors got reduced or no cost tuition. And they lived at home, so no dorm costs. So their college educations only cost book costs.
My mom and her brothers had WWII savings bonds and some savings to go on. Also scholerships, loans and family scrimping and savings.
I don't know WHERE you got this idea of college utopia. Try reading real letters and talking to people.
I'd thought, at first, that you were intelligent as you were pro-vaccine. Then the libertarian/anti-government in all things came out. You're so young, child. You will learn.
Delysid, aw sorry. No government satisfies your free market needs. That is just too bad. Perhaps you need to create your own somewhere else.
Delysid: "A lot more private research could be done if the governmetn did steal trillions in taxes from society every year."
Except a couple of your examples used tax funded information sources.
AdamG: "Also, how the hell is this an argument that private research would be “more efficient, cheaper, and of higher quality”? That’s the claim I’m disputing, remember?"
Again, they do it by using the tax funded information systems like the National Weather Service and GenBank.
Orac: "I like begging pharmaceutical companies for money even less. "
With the added bonus of being accused of being in the pay of Big Pharma, and therefore a "shill."
And since tax funded research funds are bad, and then it is bad to be paid by Big Pharma, I assume that there exists some universe where all research funding is from charitable donations.
I say that two libertarians can't agree where to eat lunch, and our resident libertarian responds bysaying that government doesn't provide a utopia.
You have made it clear, delysid, that no government on this earth meets your ideal. I suspect that no government ever has. Fine, I'll accept that. I feel that I can say, without fear of contradiction, that two people can't live together without a little compromise, a little give and take, a few flies in the ointment.
Please point me to any citation, WWW or otherwise, that lays out the rules of a society that you and twenty of your closest friends would like to live under. I am assuming that your perfect society will have a few rules, so please tell me where I can read about them.
Believe it it goes both ways. I see science blogs and get excited about smart people, then I discover it's a bunch of progressives and socialists, fraternal twins of biology quacks. College was never free. Relative debt was less for college graduates, but it was never a utopia. This seems to be a favorite of the commenters on this blog, the nirvana fallacy. Defend the government at all costs and from all failures- hold the market to utopia standards.
Every government across the world is too authoritarian. I guess that means you win! We live in your government utopia, right? Or are governments too small and weak for your liking?
What you don't seem to understand is that government succeeding still comes at the price of freedom. Any money it spends it has to take from others. Government doesn't produce wealth. It redistributes it.
I think I"m done with this thread. I've never commented here before because I was rolling my eyes about the continuous progressive-circlejerk, and this exchange has just confirmed it.
"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all." Bastiat
Also, happy partial government shut down today.
Hopefully you guys remain safe from the pillaging and chaos that occurs without parts of the government operating.
Delysid: "Every government across the world is too authoritarian"
Ah, again with the generalities. Of course, it also shows that along with forgetting American history and government in high school, you don't have a clue on what happens in the rest of the world. I hear Somalia has very limited government, and has some nice beaches.
Plus I have lived in South and Central America where the government was often either bent over backwards to comply with the wishes of those with money, or was trying to wrestle back some kind of control from the oligarchy (one has gone totally wacky socialist in the other direction and that is also not good). Sometimes the "free market" includes some folks hiring their own private armies. Guerrilla warfare in the city is something most American kids don't have to deal with.
By the way, my high school chemistry teacher was murdered by the thugs of one of those country's dictators. They were a "fun" bunch.
You really don't have a clue. Though you might be interested in this comic.
The problem with libertarianism (which seems to be the new term for what would have been called anarchy 100 years ago) is that it can't survive first contact with reality. Too many libertarians seem to think that they'll have the upper hand in their unregulated society, by virtue of what I can only guess.
Absence of central authority works wonderfully well for those who have all the money and the weapons. It does not work at all for anyone else. Like Chris, I have spent time in parts of the world where government no longer exists.
It's "Lord of the Flies" but with bullets.
Delysid might consider reading this article:
Gee, you mean Haiti, which was ruled for decades by left-wing dictators is worse than Chile? People are confusing left-wing dictatorships with "no government." Somalia was ruled by a left-wing dictator for decades as well. Governments destroy these countries, yet it's always anarchy or the market that is blamed. It's the endless circular argument of false attribution.
How about we use the United States pre WWI as an example? It had an extremely weak federal government and yet become a world super-power. The greatest prosperity in the history of the world developed thanks for what was the most free economy in the history of the world. No central banks, no universal health care, no other savage socialism.
Anybody ever notice how governments always find "evidence" to support government-run programs? No matter what happens governments defend their own existence? No matter what happens governments always find excuses for more intervention?
The WHO, for instance, made of representatives from socialized programs all over the world determine that socialized systems are the best, and the US is one of the worst! That's just fact, right?!
When defenders of the free-market defend anti-government economic policies, that is just because they are greedy!
Every person in this thread is stuck in the same loop.
The government is right because the government says it's right.
It's like "The Bible is fact because it says so in the Bible."
I came out of the indoctrinated progressive coma every single child in America is brought up in through the media and public schools. Why can't you?
How can educated middle aged otherwise intellectuals be stuck in a lifetime of a government circle?
When does it become too much? When does a progressive/socialist finally say "you know what, maybe the government isn't the alpha and the omega? Maybe I have been misled?"
So now that there is no government (left or right) to speak of in Haiti and none at all in Somalia for several years now, how come a functional libertarian society has not managed to evolve?
You seem to be forgetting that the US did not become a prosperous superpower until after (and because of) WWII. In 1939 our military ranked 39th (after such mighty exemplars as Portugal and Finland).
Delysid: "Gee, you mean Haiti, which was ruled for decades by left-wing dictators is worse than Chile?"
The 1973 to 1990 dictatorship was installed by the US government. It probably put Chile back at least a decade.
"How about we use the United States pre WWI as an example? It had an extremely weak federal government and yet become a world super-power."
Hi, have you heard of the Panama Canal? It was a project in Colombia that was started by the French, who realized it was too much trouble (apparently a mountain range is harder to dig through than a desert, especially with mosquitoes that carry both malaria and yellow fever). The USA thought it was a cool idea, so they created a "revolution" to make a certain Colombian province "free.' Then they created a special 10 mile wide "zone" that cut through the new country to build a huge canal.
Obviously your history knowledge of the USA, especially about its "manifest destiny" and "big stick policy" is very limited. Did you actually take American history in high school?
Delysid, are you serious? The Duvaliers were "left-wing" dictators? Your definition of left-wing must be more stretchable than Silly Putty.
The libertarians keep telling us that when the free market is established everyone will act out of enlightened self-interest and we'll have an Earthly paradise. It's the exact mirror-image of the Communists - all the bad stuff will go away once "true communism" is established. Or the Salafists - we just need everyone in the world subscribing to the same austere brand of Islam. All of it completely ignoring human nature, which will somehow undergo a complete transformation if we can just get this house of cards built and stable. In the meantime, anyone who acts contrary to the supposed ideals is dismissed with the "no true Scotsman" fallacy - "no true libertarian/communist/Muslim/what-have-you" would ever behave in such a way".
#352 It's only an anecdote, but my parents did pay for college by working full-time only in the summers. Caveat: They may have also received some grants and scholarships (they are pretty intelligent people).
Delysid: Many people here are arguing with you, so you likely missed my question above.
What evidence would convince you of anthropogenic climate change? Or that people should halt climate change regardless of whether they caused it? What are your criteria?
Thanks for the link to the comic Chris - I thought the repeated use of "Collectivists" was a tell for something, now I know what. I also find the use of the term "progressives" as a pejorative hilarious. Delysid and his ilk really do want to roll back progress and are extremely anti-utilitarian.
I wonder why Delysid resents government funding of research on HIV so much?
His arguments against AGW parallel those used by creationists right down to the list of "scientists" (which includes the a bunch of MDs, Dentists, Engineers, Veterinarians etc.) who "dissent" from the consensus.
Delysid - you accuse us of being ignorant of economics - how many university economics courses have you taken? I took 4, (macro, micro, and 2 Petroleum Economics). As for thermodynamics, I suspect you think a Rankine cycle is something that an "ecofascist " is trying to force you to trade your car for.
- one can only hope.
This reminds me of one of the early Fawlty Towers episodes where Basil Fawlty offers the cook a fraction of the money that an American guest proffered to persuade the cook to work overtime and the cook holds Basil's feet to the fire for more money. Basil reluctantly gives in and mutters "That's Socialism for you" to which the cook replies in a working class accent "No, that's the Free Market".
Back to the topic of vaccinations: http://news.yahoo.com/vaccine-refusal-contributes-whooping-cough-outbre…
Looks like vaccine refusal contributes to outbreaks. Who knew.
And, it looks like the same type of parent (white, well-educated, high socioeconomic status), are opting out of vaccines for their special snowflakes.
Who knew...that the entire article is not behind a pay wall?
...And people have still not answered my question re: historical attempts to establish a libertarian government in a country and the results thereof. If there were any, menioning the results would be germane to the argument already in progress. (And maybe would settle a few things....)
You sound like a typical religious convert. You really can't believe that anyone can take a long, hard, educated look at libertarianism and conclude it's unworkable in practice, can you? I'm not just "extremely well read in collectivist propaganda", I have been reading, talking and thinking about this subject, and looking at it from every perspective I can imagine for more than three decades*, and I have expressed my conclusions thus far.
Don't get me wrong, if we lived on a planet full of people who were all capable of accepting personal freedom and responsibility and willing to do so, perhaps libertarianism could work. But we don't, we live in the real world, not your fantasy version of it.
Would that Indian millionaire with the beggar starving to death outside his gate miraculously acquire feelings of responsibility in a libertarian society? In the US the government taxes the rich man and gives the poor man welfare, in a society without such rules the poor man mostly dies. I don't want to live in a society like that.
Anyway, I'm not wasting any more my time on a someone who accuses me of lying. I suggest you learn a bit more about history and economics (from a reputable source) and spend some time traveling outside the US. Then you will perhaps understand why my views have changed over the last 30 years.
I'm guessing you are young. You are clearly very naive and inexperienced. You might try to develop a bit of respect for people with more education and experience than you. You can learn a lot that way.
* My interest in libertarianism started with reading Robert Anton Wilson's works, and led me to read a stack of literature on the subject, and hanging out with some interesting like-minded people. I ended up corresponding with RAW and I'm proud to say he became a personal friend, though we never met IRL.
Lucario, I think the closest this world has ever come to a functional utopian society could be found in the Shakers.
If this has been answered already, I apologize.
For our libertarian friends, should the government be involved in the following things?
- Intelligence gathering
- Health care
- Worker safety
- Minimum wage
- Drug policy
- Energy infrastructure
- Transportation safety standards
- Pollution cleanup
Let's start with those.
Pre-World War I America? Child labor? Raw sewage and industrial pollutants dumped directly into tidal creeks and waterways? Unsafe working conditions, often resulting in disasters like the Triangle Shirtwaist fire? Racial discrimination at every level of society, etc., etc.?
That's your model for a working libertarian nation?
…And people have still not answered my question re: historical attempts to establish a communist government in a country and the results thereof. If there were any, menioning the results would be germane to the argument already in progress. (And maybe would settle a few things….)
See how that sounds?
@JGC: "That’s your model for a working libertarian nation?"
Well, that's not fair. We just didn't give market forces sufficient time to work out the kinks. Snirk.
It is free where I come from... the USA isn't the whole world!
Except for the ninety percent taxes on the incomes of the richest.
And where do you get "greatest prosperity in the history of the world" from? Perhaps you just mean the history of the world up to then?
I do love the "savage socialism". Like it's a rampaging free-range bear.
Also, "greatest prosperity" is absolutely hilarious. Prosperity for who?
I recently got chatting to a man from a local community in East London UK that I have seen around for years. I had assumed from their dress that they were Amish, or Mennonites of some description but the man told me they are part of the Bruderhof, an international Christian group that don't believe in personal property, and live communally, making money from the land and through publishing and making children's toys. There are some similarities to the Shakers. It was somewhat surprising to discover that there is a branch of this community close to where I live.
I was initially intrigued, as the idea of a simple life living off the land sounds appealing, but on a moment's reflection I think the way the Bruderhof (and the Shakers for that matter) live is not as utopian as it first sounds. The Christian and anti-technology aspects alone would be unacceptable to me , and I value my freedom, my privacy and my personal property too much. I also found that these simple Christian folks have had a number of vicious-sounding in-fights over dogma (musical instruments - of the devil or not? - for example). No thanks!
I'm reminded of when I was in Egypt some years ago doing some anthropological fieldwork. I mentioned to an Irish woman I had met out there how nice it was that they has such a close-knit community, and how everyone supported each other (of the same religion), and how I envied them as I lived in a more or less anonymous city where I barely knew my neighbors.
She erupted and ranted for several minutes about how suffocating living in a similarly close-knit community in an Irish village was, and how you couldn't do anything without the entire village knowing your business. Every silver lining has a cloud, I guess.
I still think that the kind of democracies that have evolved in Europe and North America are probably the best way of organizing countries on the planet, despite their many serious problems and shortcomings.
I don't think Delysid would feel any change to society was necessary. If someone wants hire children there should be no impediments--if the chidlren don't want to work 12 hours a day for 7 cents an hour in unsafe conditions they can simply find work elsewhere. If someone wants to refuse to sell to or serve members of racial minorities they should be allowed to do so without penalty (see delysid's post @217).
I think this really is an example of the society Delysid yearns for, where the central principle is "I got mine, Jack!".
JGC -- you forgot the Johnstown Flood. A classic example of market forces (rich sportsmen vs blue-collar immigrants) at work.
Not only does everyone know everyone else's business, they know it for four generations back.
Doop dee doop dee doop...
Those who do not know history are doomed to make jackasses out of themselves in front of those who do:
Catherine Young and Family
Cannery Row, 1913
Meet the Mauros, 1911
Breaker Boys, 1911
“If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Besides—excuse me—I don’t know that.”
“But you might know it,” observed the gentleman.
“It’s not my business,” Scrooge returned. “It’s enough for a man to understand his own business, and not to interfere with other people’s. Mine occupies me constantly. Good afternoon, gentlemen!”
You're forgetting "maybe the Bangladeshi should solve their own problems", which is of course the ubiquitous libertarian scratch-n-sniff for "why should I care about some darkies halfway across the world, if they just work harder they can solve it themselves".
The 90% tax rate myth.
Also I can't help but notice how liberals love to be in majority opinion, as part of the mob. Groupthink and conformity is very exciting. I'm suspicious that this is why collectivists despise individual liberty- it's a deep, innate and primitive desire to be a part of the pack. Collectivists view the government them- as safety in numbers.
I dare one of you to go debate a group of libertarians away from the inevitable circlejerks in these blogs.
Also to the people who keep bringing up Ayn Rand: LMFOA. Because Ayn Rand is the goddess of libertarianism right and everyone agrees with her about everything?
All people are doing is attacking personalities and characters instead of the libertarian ideology itself.
But then again progressvism is a mishmash of hypocrisies that is intellectually undefendable without using a barrage of logical fallacies. Ad hominum, strawmen, circular reasoning, poisoning the well, majority rule, and every other logical fallacy that can be spewed.
I'm speaking to the substance of your posts and pointing out that to date you've offered absolutely no evidence supporting the repeated assertion "NO GOVERNMENTS WORK WELL" (most recently @341) as well as no example of a Libertarian society that functioned as well or better than the USA' democratic republic or even any convincing argument that would suggest a Libertarian society where the only actor is free market forces alone could be expected to perform as well or better than democratically elected state and federal governments.
The one attempt at providing such an example--pre-WWI America--is a non-starter, due to the deficiencies I noted in my post abve: free market forces did not resolve the problems posed by child labor, unsafe working conditions, industrial pollution, endemic racial discrimnation, etc.
But guess what? State and Federal government eventually would.
Wow it's been a while since a hard-core Paultoid showed up here (where have you gone, Grandma Marsha...?) Nice try at a citation there Delysid, but Tucker Carlson's vanity website isn't exactly an unbiased source. You might as well cite the Washington Examiner or WorldNetDaily.
I'm going to refrain from comment since I can see it will be misinterpreted/ignored like everyone else's, and just post a link to the far more knowledgeable Thomas Frank: http://www.salon.com/2013/10/02/reaching_for_the_pillars_the_conservati…
And then you link to a biased, opinion hit piece on Salon. What a hypocrite.
Thank you for further proving my claims about progressive hypocrisy and spewing one logical fallacy after another.
"I dare one of you to go debate a group of libertarians away from the inevitable circlejerks in these blogs."
Well, from what I can tell in order to be a good libertarian, you have to disregard all history that disagrees with what you want it to be.
And the Ayn Rand comic was just an amusing side note. My favorite depiction of her and her fan boys was written by Tobas Wolff in his book Old School. You, by the way, are projecting the same attitude and image. It is the very epitome of group think, yet you think you are being oh so original. It is actually quite amusing.
So let me give a summary of all of the arguments I have seen here. Please add if I've missed anything.
3. Ron Paul's Newsletters
4. The life of Ayn Rand
5. The lack of any libertarian governments
7. The invisible hand
9. Industrial pollution
10. 90% tax rates
11. WHO opinion surveys
13. The nirvana fallacy regarding " market libertopia"
14. Majority rule in democracy
15. The fictional book Lord of the Flies
16. Satellites and Meteorology
17. A military (because war is beneficial to society, I guess?)
18. "fuck you I've got mine"
19. Firefighters would let buildings burn to ground or conduct mob wars
I think this is pretty exhaustive.
This line gets trotted out all the time, and I'll be damned if I can find any sort of semantic payload in it. What is this quantity 'wealth', W? What are its properties, aside from not being conserved? Is it monotonically increasing, or can it be destroyed? Are the operators 'create' and 'destroy' completely independent, rather than having a well-defined functional mapping? Was there a time such that W(t) = 0? At which it was undefined? What is its ontological status? Can it exist in isolation, such that it can be distributed to me and I will still have it if I cease to engage the market? If not, where does it go, and how does it get back from there if I return? Etc., etc.
How does the market create wealth?
Picture that Narad, Delysid, and Orac are stranded on uninhabited desert island. All 3 of us need food, so Orac wades into the ocean to catch fish with his bare hands. He fails and catches no fish.
Narad sees Orac failing to catch anything, so he comes up with an idea. He finds a stick, then he spends time and energy whittling that stick into a spear. With that spear Narad begins to catch fish.
That spear is now capital. That spear and the fish that can be caught with it are wealth that was created where no wealth existed before.
Now let's say Narad is a selfish greedy asshole libertarian who keeps all of the fish he catches to himself and won't share with Delysid or Orac.
Okay, fine. While Narad is busy whittling spears and fishing, Orac figures out to bend sticks into a shelter, a hut. Orac has now created capital for himself and has something to trade with Narad for his fish. Both people benefit from trading with each other. This is the market, this is capitalism.
Now let's say Delysid declares himself as leader of government of the island. Delysid gains power by tricking Orac and Narad that both of them want to kill the other one, and that only Delysid can keep them safe. He then sits on his ass most of the day while occasionally telling Orac how to build and Narad how to fish even though he knows less than both of them. Delysid then takes a portion of the work of them in taxes and defends it as the greater good and benefiting all of them.
Both Narad and Orac refuse to stop Delysid because they believe that without his role as government the island will resort to anarchy and war and starvation.
That is how government works.
Delysid - Thomas Frank also had a column in the Wall Street Journal for a couple of years. Is the WSJ part of the great Collectivist Conspiracy too?
And BTW, Frank started out from ideological roots very similar to your own - he just went in a different direction. No wonder you're afraid to read it, he's got your number.
Perhaps you'd like to read more closely. That wasn't the question.*
So you're asserting that it's impossible for the government to create anything that (1) never existed before and (2) has some form of utility?
@Delsyid - so, please enlighten us as to any area on Earth, in human history, where your "ideal" was ever put into practice & proved to be successful?
Never once did I type the word conspiracy who even hint about anything in your comment.
I'm sure you are eager to attack the irrational strawman you have of me, but please try to stay somewhat relevant to any of the previous 400 comments.
There's always the Republic of Minerva and other seasteading communities, which were sooooo successful.
Somehow, I don't think Orac and Narad would be interested in leaving the United States, but perhaps the Random Dude would be.
When did I say that "it is impossible for the government to create wealth?" It's possible, but the government mostly taxes and prints money rather than produces anything.
If every country in the world had institutionalized slavery to harvest crops, and I said that this system is wrong, would you say "but without the slaves who would pick the cotton? Name one country that doesn't have slaves?"
Your argument is a logical fallacy.
I'll ignore you condescending fallacy and still answer your question.
What society started libertarian ideals?
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Guess what. It failed. The Constitution and the Republic failed to uphold limited government. Now we have the most massive government in the history of the world.
Now progressives cheer the failure of libertarianism by the existence of the current massive State by defending the existence of the State because libertarianism would fail. The irrational "logic" is ridiculous.
You're now going to maintain that
actually have some sort of implicit "usually" buried in them? That's a pretty sorry evasion of the actual question.
Every one of your comments reminds me of the following Winston Churchill quote.
"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."
It terrifies me that you vote, but it makes me giggle that you think your emotional gibberish is "rational." Rationalpedia is about rational as naturalpedia is scientific.
"If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?" - Frédéric Bastiat
You still have not answered #394.
I love argument by quotation!
Congratulations, that's the dumbest thing I've read today.
But never mind that, you're all gung-ho to have a substantive discussion, so let's have at it.
Which of the following areas should the government be involved in?
- Intelligence gathering
- Health care
- Worker safety
- Minimum wage
- Drug policy
- Energy infrastructure
- Transportation safety standards
- Pollution cleanup
I don't know the answer. Why don't you explain it to me, genius?
Condescension. Ignorance. All the hallmarks. Delysid, please tell me you're young. Please tell me you're just trying out all them nifty tactics you just learned in debate club.
You are clearly a genius and your intellectual contributions to this thread have been priceless, so I'll confess my true feelings you to.
MILITARY- governments should have a military because governments are very good at war and killing. The market is far inferior to government at murder. # of nuclear weapons dropped on cities by free-market- 0. # of nuclear weapons dropped on cities by government- 2. GOVERNMENT IS GOD.
Drugs- Drugs should be illegal because only politicians know what is best. The War on Drugs is saving mankind. GOVERNMENT IS GOD.
Intelligence Gathering- government should monitor every aspect of our lives. The NSA is saving America. GOVERNMENT IS GOD.
Science- Only the government does the right science. Everything is quackery or nonexistent. GOVERNMENT IS GOD.
Pollution clean-up- Without government, our entire society would be a landfill. Only government bureaucrats care about the environment. GOVERNMENT IS GOD.
Freeways- Only the government builds roads. The free-market has no use for transportation. GOVERNMENT IS GOD.
Education- Only government can provide education. The market will teach kids bad morals such as greed and opposing government. GOVERNMENT IS GOD.
Transportation safety standards- Only government can keep us safe. The market is dangerous chaos. THE GOVERNMENT IS GOD.
Energy infrastructure- There is no such thing as private energy projects. GOVERNMENT IS GOD.
Health Care- Government can provide us with the best healthcare from cradle to grave. A perfect socialist utopia might even give us immortality. THE GOVERNMENT IS GOD.
Firefighting- the market has no reason to fight fires. The entire world would burn without government. GOVERNMENT IS GOD.
Police- We must obey the police without question. Police uphold the laws of government. GOVERNMENT IS GOD.
Minimum wage- the goverment should not just set minimum wage, but all wages. Governments should stop capitalist exploitation by setting fair wages for everyone. GOVERNMENT IS GOD.
Worker Safety- There would be no workplace safety without government. Workers are disposable slaves for capitalist maters. GOVERNMENT IS GOD.
It terrifies me that Delysid who is somewhere between an undergrad degree and a DDS degree, doesn't know the difference between Communism, Socialism and Fascism.
It terrifies me that Delysid cannot name any country where Libertarianism or partial Libertarianism has ever been implemented...no less....has ever been successful.
It terrifies me that Delysid needs to hang out on that blog mainly populated with science illiterates, AGW and AIDS denialists, 9-11 Twooothers, Birthers, general conspiracists and other assorted losers, in order to feel good about himself. (BFLPS-Big Fish Little Pond Syndrome)
I'm delighted Delysid is old enough to vote for the Libertarian and Tea Party candidates, so that Democratic candidates will win during the next election cycle.
Now, Delysid, that's a very reasonable question, but you answered it with smartass comments instead of substance. One might think that you don't have substantive answers.
Delsyid sounds a lot like the old Communist Revolutionaries....thinking that their "theories" will lead to a utopian ideal.
Unfortunately, when putting those theories into practice, they proved to be incorrect.
Once again, show us where your theories have been put into practice and been successful?
Because, otherwise you are arguing nothing but hypothetical nonsense.
The StrawMan is strong with this one , since at no time has anyone here said that government is always the answer to all problems.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't - sometimes private sector works best, sometimes not.....only one person here is speaking in absolutes.
I was going to keep out of this but some of this is just painful to read.
I never realized I was part of a liberal mob before, and I'm pleasantly surprised that I seem to be in broad agreement with most people commenting here. However the lone voice ranting about group-thinking sheeple who have been brainwashed and unable to think for themselves seems strangely familiar.
Good grief. A fantasy about how originally everyone lived in an idyllic free market until some evil deceitful person came along and ruined it all with the idea of a government. Based on my studies in social anthropology this is absolute nonsense.
What is closer to the truth is that early hunter gatherer societies such as Delysid describes were (and in some cases still are) more like socialist collectives with everyone contributing as they were able and sharing the proceeds. Sharing is almost universal in small and 'primitive' societies. It is the idea of personal property and profit that destroyed this idyllic state, not the idea of government.
Even the simplest hunter gatherer societies have some form of government, in the form of rudimentary rules, and ways of making decisions about where and when to hunt, how to defend against neighboring tribes, who and who not to trade (externally) with etc..
I think that we've already been called by an "intellectual lynch mob" ** ( by Emily-Greg-Peg).
** didn't they used to open for the Clash?
Orac, I think they should be in none of those things. I've answered this already in other comments.
I'm an anarchist but I could settle for a nightwatchman state, similar to what was intended during the creation of the US government.
I would support a system that allowed an emergency volunteer military without a standing army, like Switzerland has.
I don't support any government involvement in healthcare (not even state licenses). I do support private governing bodies and boards to uphold medical standards. I'd like to see medicine go back to more of an apprenticeship system.
I abhor the War on Drugs more than any other issue. Every drug should be legal. The DEA (and ATF) should be abolished tomorrow.
The FDA should be abolished as well. Dangerous pharmaceuticals were not the reason for the creation of the FDA, but for meat packing inspection due to public outcry from the communist fiction book The Jungle.
The market already builds the roads through private contractors. All the government does is tax and contract the work out. The government does not need to be involved in roads. The market has tremendous incentive to maintain roads for commerce. In private residential areas in Ohio the roads are perfectly maintained, then when you pull onto public roads they are full of potholes. This is government at its finest. The question should be, "without government, who will neglect the roads?"
The private sector is capable of doing fantastic science work, even fundamental science. The statistical T-test, for instance was developed by a statistician working in Guiness Brewery. I don't think government should be dictating the money flow in research.
Orac check out the public available grant allocations of the NIH. A lot of the projects are embarrassing. Many, if not most of the most important scientific discoveries did not occur in massive publicly funded universities. Marie Curie and many of the other physicists at the turn of the 20th century worked in home laboratories. Other monumental discovieries such as PCR were made in corporate settings.
There should be no minimum wage. This is basic economics.
Believe it or not I do support government involvement in pollution as far as it involves property rights violations. A factory doesn't have the right to pollute on the land of someone else. I don't support hairbrained schemes like carbon taxes, but factories should not be able to just dump chemical wastes into rivers.
Think about how much wealthier every American would be if they won't paying astronomical taxes. Elimination of the income tax alone would give every middle class American tens of thousands of disposable income.
Prosperous societies indulge in the arts and sciences. It's human nature. There is no doubt in my mind that if the trillion dollar shitshow burden of taxes and regulations of the Federal government was lifted off of the American people the sciences would reach another golden age.
Please enlighten me about the differences between fascism, communism, and socialism.
They are all variations of authoritarianism, of central planning. Fascism and socialism are neighbors on the political spectrum.
I don't vote for the libertarian party usually. I usually vote Republican, sometimes libertarian, sometimes independent. The only time I ever voted for a Democrat was John Kerry when I was 18. I will never make the mistake to vote for a Democrat again.
American Democrats refuse to limit government in anyway or cut any program or agency. This means that Democrats think that the minimum size of governmetn is always larger than it currently is. Where is the limit? They accuse libertarians and Republicans as being extremists, but what is the limit? When has a tax been too low? When has spending been too high? What is the limit to Democrat party totalitarianism? I've never seen any hint of it other than the now extinct anti-war movement during the Bush administartion.
The Intellectual Lynch Mob would be a great name for a band. Now you have triggered my literalist nostalgic reflex - it was the Slits and the Innocents who opened for The Clash when I saw them for the third time back in '78 in a small venue on their UK Give 'Em Enough Rope tour* - I was right at the front, close enough to touch Paul Simenon's bass while he was playing, which made him snarl.
It got so hot Joe Strummer poured several buckets of cold water over all of us at the front, which was nice except when I got outside in the sub-zero temperatures afterwards my jacket froze solid. Happy days.
* I came across a bootleg of that very same gig not long ago - it sounded terrible. I guess you had to be there.
Are you honestly claiming this? I'm pretty sure the majority of democrats would identify 'cuts to military spending' as among their top priorities. I certainly would, along with several other government programs.
I had high hopes for Delysid initially, based on his acceptance of science-based medicine and of evolutionary biology. His rejection of AGW isn't mysterious, though. He's employing the argument from consequences: if AGW is true government intervention seems inevitable, but that's abhorrent to him, so AGW can't be true. He's also relying on the argument from ignorance: that is, a simple lack of knowledge about how science is done by working scientists, and of how the scientific understanding of AGW has developed over nearly 200 years.
While "It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into" (Jonathan Swift), simple ignorance ought to be correctable. I'm going to make one more try, since lurkers here may benefit even if Delysid can't.
If I'm asked to recommend one book for educated laypeople who want to get up to speed on the topic, my answer is The Discovery of Global Warming by Spencer R. Weart of the American Institute of Physics. It's published both in paperback and online. Dr. Weart was trained as a physicist but spent his career as an historian of science. The book is a highly readable work of historical scholarship, not partisan polemics. Anyone who reads it understands just why the notion that AGW is a vast hoax is ludicrous.
Oh no! Don't tell me let me guess: your real name is Derek, you're 5'9", you have dish water blonde hair and you like to...
Krebiozen - you apparently had way more money than I did in '78. I was in the cheap seats (sometimes behind the stage) for Queen, Chicago, Jethro Tull, and U.K. if I recall correctly.
Sorry, U.K. would have been in '79 or '80.
Now, Delysid, that’s a very reasonable question, but you answered it with smartass comments instead of substance. One might think that you don’t have substantive answers.
That and the lack of solution for my case tell me we should just ignore Delysid. If all I get for answer is to keep questioning the government, then it's the worst of the outcome. At least with my party, we carry actions to benefit the world around us.
I don’t know the answer. Why don’t you explain it to me, genius?
You were asked (multiple times) for an example of a working libertarian society. Since you can provide none, what other evidence do you have that such a society would be feasible?
Saying "System A doesn't work" isn't enough. You've got to prove that System B does.
And that's what I'm trying to get out of this conversation, Shay. I've asked twice about historical attempts at establishing a libertarian society, just to get proof (or not) of concept. Just to see if such a society was feasible. What I got was an example of the closest thing to a utopian society. Two entirely different things.
I wish someone would answer my original question re: historical attempts at establishing a libertarian government and their results. That would be nice, and I would thank whoever did it in advance.
(Forgive me if I sound a little huffy.)
Fear not, I'm not Derek, and I don't have dish water blonde hair. You got the height right though, spookily.
I worked weekends as a petrol pump attendant - 'pumped gas' - so I had a little money, but I don't remember it being an expensive gig. It was at the now non-existant Wirrina Stadium in Peterborough (that's a sad photo), November 30th 1978, apparently the “Sort It Out Tour” not the "Give 'Em Enough Rope" tour as I recalled. It was a standing gig in a smalll sports hall, with no seats as I recall, just a stage about 4 feet high at one end, so I was literally inches away from the bands.
My usual venue was the Corn Exchange at Cambridge, a roller skating rink, also with a similar stage. I always got there early and got a spot at the front, and often had a large bruise across my midriff the next day from getting crushed against the stage by the pogoing mob.
I saw lots of punk bands there, The Damned many times, The Undertones, The Ruts, to name a few. Even Gary Numan when he was with Tubeway Army and called himself Valerian, and was nearly booed off stage. Iron Maiden briefly once too, walked in at the end of the gig when the door bouncers had disappeared...
I still much prefer small venues. The other two times I saw The Clash were at Rock Against Racism gigs in London, one in Victoria Park the other at another park, and at both they were more or less distant specks with thousands of people in between me and them. At the first I could barely hear them due to another punk band playing on the back of a truck nearby. I've only been to one big stadium gig - I had to sit down! Never again.
Who would pay for those bodies and boards? Who would make sure they were impartial? Would you trust the Astra-Zeneca Medical Board? Would you pay out-of-pocket for such a board? How much research would you be willing to do on your specialist, seeing as he or she could be certified by 10 out of 2000 medical boards? How would you prevent quacks from killing a few dozen people, picking up stakes and moving on (probably founding a new medical board along the way)? How many deaths are acceptable?
You mean like internships? What the hell?
Also, who would pay for healthcare for the poor and the elderly? How would someone with a pre-existing condition ever get healthcare? How do you prevent the poor, the indigent, the elderly and anyone who has ever been seriously ill before dying like goddamned dogs? Either you have not thought this through or you are a monster.
I agree to an extent, but you'd better get a large cattle prod and a shovel to move the dead and dying out of your way on the sidewalk then, since you've already made sure that there are no health care and detox facilities for addicts whatsoever.
Wait, that's a reason? "It wasn't originally created to prevent people dying like dogs from the lowest-bidder nostrum, so screw it, get rid of it?"
How could I possibly be sure the medication I take is what the label says? And if your answer is "if you die from it, your relatives could sue, so the market will correct that" (yes, I've heard that one from libertarians before)... first of all, thank you for not caring that I'm dead, but also, since the government isn't involved at all, how would you prevent GSK from killing a few thousand people, closing up shop when the lawsuits begin and coming back as GSK 2?
CalTrans is a private contractor? How odd.
I'm sure some day you'll point out the problem with that.
Yes, that's why the highway system was and is funded by private industry. Oh no, it was not and is not. Why isn't private industry repairing the hundreds of bridges across the nation that are about to crumble?
Right. All private residential areas, right? I'm sure the roads in trailer parks are of the exact same quality as those going to 5 acre estate lots. And if Ohio is anything like California, the project developer slaps in a nice road, builds houses and runs. Come back 10 years later and the road isn't so shiny anymore.
That must be why private industry is stepping in and fixing the potholes. Oh no, they're not. Why do you think that is?
Erp? From the way you've been talking, the government should not be collecting any taxes, so there wouldn't be any money flow to direct. Right? Problem solved, right?
What a lovely and idiotic assertion. Allow me to counterbalance your single statistical innovation with space travel, atomic power, the human genome project, computers and the Internet.
No, not really.
Forget it -- you're a monster.
Just to make sure here:
- How many jobs currently pay minimum wage?
- How much did those jobs pay before the last minimum wage hike?
- How much would these jobs pay without a minimum wage?
- How much does a single individual have to make per hour to be able to afford rent, food and medical insurance? (I'm not even going to talk about what the latter would cost in your no-government-involvement-at-all world).
So if I, as a corporation, own the land I am allowed to turn it into a complete cesspool, abandon it and move on?
Please elaborate why those schemes are harebrained, and provide alternatives to combat emissions. Or are you saying you love acid rain?
Unless they own the river, right? That's what you just said.
Just calling US taxes "astronomical" is hilariously misinformed. Not that I don't agree to a certain extent; we get preciously little value for money nowadays. Of course, that's easy enough to fix -- cut the tax loopholes for the ludicrously rich and corporations. When the Exxons of the world make profits on the scale of medium-sized countries' GDP and GET money from the government, but the IRS hires new agents to make sure people making $20,000 a year don't shirk -- something's out of whack.
Somehow I doubt that's what you meant, though.
Which would immediately be disposed. Between my police subscription, my fire subscription, my road subscription, my health insurance, my school costs and other protection rackets, I'd probably be worse off.
Also, there will be free ponies. Von Mises said so. You are spectacularly naive. Again, you are young and very, very privileged. You do realize that in a nice libertarian society you most likely would not be where you are right now, right?
Let's start with the US, say 1870-1910.
Those were the days!
Actually though, I had so many bizarre experiences related to concerts/ shows in various locales... your bruises remind me of an outdoor show in a sports field ( Irish rugby by day- punk by night), after an hour it started to rain and everyone rushed to get out and up to street level ( the field was 5 or 6 feet lower and walled in)- my friend and I were pushed against the wall and crushed against it by the crowd: quick thinking and reasonable agility allowed me to pull myself up by the guard rail post and help her do the same. We could have been really hurt. I suppose others were.
Usually though, the most excitement at these events involved girls fainting, vomiting or bleeding profusely in the ladies' room.
(Mod, aside): thank you for dequeueing that so quickly, Orac. Sympathy for the loghorraeic? :-)
I'm having a field day!!! Actually, you simply don't know how much I'm wagging my tail :D and salivating!
Denice! back some time ago, you recommended that I work some year and study the following year on and off (maybe not on these terms). Well, I have a dilemma the size of a 747, mainly because Specialisterne is coming to Montreal and they want to interview me. Now, for the job, the only requirement is to have a diagnostic of autism. There are no other requirements (which is why I told the oldest brother to brush up his resume; matter of fact, I'll do it for him).
As for employment, they want to hire a millions autists in the world with 100 000 just in USA (don't know the numbers for canucksland but it should be high).
nearly forgot the dilemma; I applied for a computer programming course at a local trade college which is one year in length but pretty intensive (4 to 5 days per week for most of the year) which I'd like to finish and as for the interview, I'll do it at the latest in december which is really soon and I couldn't ask more for the job of my dreams (and it really is to my dreams)....
Stu @ #430:
"Let’s start with the US, say 1870-1910."
Yeah, but the Gilded Age (I assume that's what you're talking about) was a highly successful time for the US. How could it possibly be "libertarian"?
Are you saying libertarian governments can be successful?
"Orac, I think they should be in none of those things. I’ve answered this already in other comments.
I’m an anarchist but I could settle for a nightwatchman state, similar to what was intended during the creation of the US government."
Oh yeah, which type of anarchist are you?
Thank goodness you're here to decide for us! Because remember, your opinion is the only one that matters. If only there was a system through which experts of differing opinions could all get in a room together and vote on which opinion is the best. Wouldn't that be something?
In your magical golden age of art and science, what force keeps scientific discovery open and accessible to the public? You only need to look at the case of Myriad to see what happens when corporate interests get involved with science.
Hey, the Dark Ages could be considered highly successful.
As long as you were the one with all the castles and the men-at-arms.
Lucario: "Are you saying libertarian governments can be successful?"
Until the folks who are providing the bulk of the labor rose up and say that they would not be abused anymore! The tenant farmer no longer needs to give the bulk of his crop to a absent landowner. That children need to be in school learning how to read, write and basic math instead of tending looms or going into mines. Or dealing with the company store.
Delysid seems to have really slept through his American history classes. That is funny since it was required to pass this class when I was in high school over thirty years ago, And for my kids to graduate just about a year ago. How did he manage to skip that requirement?
Delysid: I'm just going to repost this, for a third time, because many people here are arguing with you, so you may well have missed my questions above.
What evidence would convince you of anthropogenic climate change? Or that people should halt climate change regardless of whether they caused it? What are your criteria?
I feel like this is a pretty reasonable request, as Orac has clearly stated his criteria for changing his mind on vaccines, for example. It's an honest question.
#420 I'm still willing to engage in the argument if there's reason to believe anything would change his mind. If there is not, it's time to agree to disagree.
I could ask the same thing about libertarian principles, but I'm less interested in that argument, as I have come to believe nothing would change his mind. (I am willing to be shown I am wrong about this, however, Delysid, so if you would prefer, feel free to answer if you like: What would convince you libertarianism is not always optimal?)
It appears that Jake's Facebook page has been invaded by his new BFF, J.B.
Some pals you have friended, now that you've shat upon all your former colleagues at AoA.
I presume he wants to turn back time to before the U.S. had medical schools. You know, "more of" like this.
Oh, the paternal system, where doctors pretty much decided which students would advance based on who they were related to and whether it would bring the doctors social and monetary advancement?
Are people freaking kidding me?
Has no one here actually been to medical school? Apparently medical education is no longer monetary based and the hundreds of thousands of dollars to get a medical education is in my imagination. "Doctors would decide who advances." Good thing the system is set up so that everyone can be a doctor and there is not an admissions system! Good thing there are no courses to pass and that student doctors are not at the mercy of established doctors!
What is going on?
People are mocking me for skipping history class, but there is flagrant revisionist history taking place. Again people are in the thought loop of "before the glorious government took control everything was chaos!"
It's just fear mongering. I have demolished all of your blatant fallacies, but all my arguments are ignored and immediately rejected because people are stuck in the delusional circular argument that government is the alpha and the omega.
You are missing the point so blatantly that I don't know if you will ever understand. Read this comment very clearly.
The entire point of my libertarian worldview is that I am not deciding for you. I am not in a position of government, I am not taxing your income and then using the money I took from you by force to decide on what science projects that money is being spent on.
This is why the current system is so offensive. If I was a science bureaucrat and I used your tax money to study shrimp on treadmills, would you be happy? If I took your money by force and then used that money to study penis size of homosexuals versus heterosexuals (actual study), would you be happy?
Wouldn't you prefer that money is spent on something that you think is important?
If you do not understand the difference between central planning by force and voluntaryism in the market, I don't know how else to say it. I just feel sad and frustrated by the ignorance I see around me.
Commenting on this blog has been very disheartening. The pseudointellectualism and arrogance on display here is depressing.
Voluntaryism versus authoritarianism is not hard to understand. Those who believe in pseudoscience in the libertarianism movement might frustrate me, but their ability to reason through political issues is so superior to the savage pro-authoritarianism socialists around here that I don't know whether to laugh or sigh.
The worst part about all of this is that those who worship the government are the most likely to participate in government. Progressive socialists are like the dumb kid in class who is the first one to raise their hand to answer every question and who is the most eager to become class president to make decisions for everyone else.
No you haven't! All I have seen is a lot of hot air about how bad government is, some laughable fantasies plucked from thin air, and not a single argument to support any ideas about libertarianism would work in the real world, just a blind faith in the free market.
You dismiss historical examples as conjecture, erroneously accuse people of logical fallacies when you are spouting them left right and center yourself, and when they are pointed out you defend them by claiming, "a fallacy isn’t necessarily wrong".
You have repeatedly attempted to refute what people have argued, not through anything resembling rational argument but by accusing them of being brain-washed or fanatically and dogmatically worshiping the State, being progressives and liars, and various other ad hominems. You appear to have nothing but a host of other cheap, transparent debating tricks. You have put forward no clear argument, and no evidence at all to support anything you have asserted.
You have also blatantly ignored repeated questions about how your hypothetical society would work. Now you claim victory? Pathetic. This is almost as bad as the behavior of some of the most deranged trolls we have had here.
Again, only one person in this discussion is claiming "absolutes."
It's not a hypothetical society. It's the exact society we have now without the vast majority of government.
This quote cannot be repeated often enough.
"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain." Bastiat
Of course it isn't. I don't think many of us would disagree that a voluntaryist system would be wonderful. In an ideal world all forms of human association should be voluntary, and no one would have to be coerced to do anything, because everyone would accept personal freedom and responsibility and sign up to a social contract.
What you appear to be incapable of understanding is that many of us simply don't believe this would work in practice. This is why we think you are extremely naive, since it is blindingly obvious to most of us that many people do not accept personal freedom and responsibility, or if they claim to, they do not behave as if they do in practice.
We have asked you for any examples, historical or current, where a libertarian system has worked in any large organization, such as a country. You apparently cannot offer a single example.
How appropriate that you speak in terms of "we" and not "I."
This is how engrained the collectivism is. This is exactly what I'm talking about when I commented about the mob behavior.
Chris, @ #438:
"Until the folks who are providing the bulk of the labor rose up and say that they would not be abused anymore! The tenant farmer no longer needs to give the bulk of his crop to a absent landowner. That children need to be in school learning how to read, write and basic math instead of tending looms or going into mines. Or dealing with the company store."
Funny, that's not how I remember the Gilded Age ending. I thought it ended in a more peaceful manner - with a more gradual changing of the guard.
Then again, I mostly paid attention to the more dramatic moments of American History (which is a lot, let me tell you!) and glossed over the not-so-dramatic parts.
Delsyid definitely sounds like an old school Communist - arguing that only if their model was followed, that utopia would prevail....didn't exactly work out that way, did it?
You quote this as of immense importance:
Yet over and over people have asked you how X (whether that's defense, policing, education, healthcare, road-building or whatever) would be provided if not by government, and your only response has been either to ignore the question, or to mock the strawman that anyone here is asserting that government is the only way to do anything, or that we are incapable of even considering the possibility.
What we want is some idea of what your libertarian utopia would look like in regard to providing a variety of Xs, and some evidence to support the claim that this would work better than government doing this through taxation.
How do you deal with those too ill to work, to poor to afford health care, who fail to save money for old age, who get addicted to the freely available addictive drugs in your utopia, who steal from others, who teach their children dangerous nonsense, who plot to kill others, who invade your country with an army, who refuse to pay for a road but now try to use it etc. etc.?
If you don't have ready answers to these questions, perhaps you haven't thought this through very well, and perhaps your libertarianism friends aren't quite as superior in reasoning as you claim they are. This is strongly suggested by the pseudoscientific nonsense they come out with in regard to vaccines. Are such unbalanced reasoning abilities (in both the libertarians and in commenters here) really very likely, or could you have inadvertently become a True Believer of nonsense?
Since father governmentsaved us from the robber barons of the gilded age and formed a massive Nanny state more people are in poverty than ever before. The burden of proof is on the government, ywt the collective on RI is demanding to know how a free society would work. Free society is the default.
A delusional psychotic friend of mine talked in similar terms about how he was right (he believed his father had been replaced by the CIA, and that he had discovered a new mathematical theorem) and how the rest of us had all been fooled.
Are ad hominems about mob behavior all you've got?
Well, more people may be in poverty now than in the Gilded Age, but that's because we have a greater population than we did in the Gilded Age.
"Free society" may be the default, but according to Hobbes, such free societies tend to be "nasty, brutish, and short." A nation needs a certain amount of government in order to function. It's a delicate balance - too little and you invite the excesses that typify the Gilded Age, too much and you have authoritarianism. When you're a government official at any level, you really have to walk on eggshells.
Child mortality was also sky-high, the poor we're left in the streets to die, famine was still common in some industrialized nations, etc.
Again Delsyid show us a practical, real successful application of your philosophy, because I'm not going to just take your word for it that it would work.
Astonishing. I don't think I have ever seen someone blatantly reinvent history to support their argument the way Delysid does. How can anyone argue that peasants in feudal Europe were better off than even long-term unemployed people in a modern state? Or that the Gilded Age, when entire families worked 12 hours a day for a wage below the poverty line, and when child labor and slavery were commonplace, was better than today? I'm gobsmacked.
To all, I would recommend reading "Jennifer Government" as a better example of where Delsyd's thinking takes us in the real world.
Not all libertarians are the same. Only a fringe minority of libertarians are antivaxxers. Most antivaxxers are left-wing nutjobs (who no-doubt vote Democrat.) By bringing up the irrationality of antivaxxers all you are doing is discrediting the people who share your ideology.
Again, for the 5th or so time, by attacking a "libertarian utopia" all you are doing is using the nirvana fallacy. I never once hinted that free-market is perfect.
Some problems are eternal to mankind. A free society is the best way to deal with those problems; it's not a perfect cure.
So what is your excuse of government? The burden of proof is on you. Has the government fixed poverty? Has the government fixed unemployment?
Also child labor is not necessarily a bad thing. Farm children all grow up as child laborers. This is why schools are not in session in the summer.
My Dad delivered newspapers as a paid child laborer at 12 years old. My Mom worked on the family farm her entire childhood and as secretary for a factory at 15. I worked as a tennis pro at 16, the earliest feasible age in which I could drive myself to work.
I believe I advised you to try to accumulate courses and skills which would allow you to be employed along the way and that weren't dependent ONLY upon getting the degree: you probably are already doing that to a great extent.
I would talk to the Specialisterne reps and tell them about your prior application to the trade school. Don't think that wanting to accept one opportunity necessitates rejecting the other. I'm sure the agency/ company understands your situation and would value you getting more computer studies. I doubt that they're going to fold up their tents and leave town within a year- they have a long range plan, n'est-ce pas?. Just be honest with the interviewer/ advisor. There might be a way for you to be involved with them in the future or on a part time/ rotating basis.
I think that showing them how hard you're trying to study on your own initiative speaks well for your self-reliance and sincere interest in education. You are also someone who doesn't need money to live and doesn't really have to work but who *wants* to work- that also speaks volumes.
* Bon chance*
@Delysid: I notice you're still whining about strawmen of your own invention. Care to address #429?
I've been trying to decide who the most anti-intellectual commenter on the blog is, and I think you win. "Hey read this fictional novel to understand libertarianism." You are like the anti-thesis to Ayn Rand. Hey Lawrence, if you want to understand a free society, read Atlast Shrugged! LMFAO
You know how I know the government fails? REAL LIFE. The evidence of the failure of government is literally everywhere.
For example, right now I'm sitting here trying to nativigate the mountains of paperwork I have to do just to treat a Medicaid patient. HIPAA policies arbitarily change every week it seems like. I calculated it out and I realized that I'm paying almost 300 dollars a day on 8% interest (thanks government) just to be in dental school to spend most of my time filling out paperwork.
In other comments there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding medical education. Anyone who thinks that the American medical education system is anything other than a disasterous clusterfuck either has not been through it or is delusional.
If I could drop out of school and work for private dentist as an apprentice for the remaining 18 months of dental school and get my degree, as a message to the world that I am competent, I would do it today.
Also thanks for the sensationalism that you are bringing to the conversation. Someone in another comment even called me a "monster." How high into imagination lalaland does one have to float to consider anyone who opposes government a monster?
@Stu - he's not interested in a discussion, he's merely here to set fire to the strawmen of his own invention.
I'll take your word for that, though that has not been my experience. The whole reason Orac mentioned you in his post was that it is so unusual to see a nut job saying something sensible, to put it bluntly.
Most of the serious antivaxxers I have come across seem to be right wing, often libertarians, who distrust governments on principle and believe there is some sort of conspiracy to poison everyone to bring about a New World Order with a reduced population.
I beolieve there are some left wing antivaxxers who tend to be dippy hippy New Age types who believe in the power of positive thought and juicing, but I haven't come across many of them.
Interesting - what do you think my ideology is? I don't know any left wing antivaxxers, I have never met any, so I'm having a hard time seeing how I'm discrediting anyone but idiots by labeling them as such.
Yet another straw man. No one is attacking your utopia, we simply would like some idea of how the damned thing is supposed to work in practice!
Again, where is your evidence to support this assertion? Why do you believe that a "free society" (whatever that looks like) is the best way to deal with those problems apart from blind assertions that look to me exactly like religious dogma. "Government is bad because it's bad, any idiot can see that, and if you disagree with me you are all brain washed progressive left-wingers, because i say so!" That seems to sum up your position.
Compared to what? People in the developed world are better off than anyone has ever been throughout human history. Life expectancy is longer, infant mortality is lower, people's likelihood of dying from violent crime or being sent to war is lower. Poverty as people understand it in other parts of the world does not occur; even in America I don't believe people starve to death.
Personally I'm not convinced that unemployment is a bad thing. I would like to see more and more work done using technology and people to have more and more leisure time. That would require finding ways to redistribute wealth more equally, probably using taxation.
There are a lot of things that your and my governments do that I don't much like. I don't see the solution is to get rid of them completely, I think we can change our governments so that they truly work for us as they are supposed to.
I'm talking full-time child labor with no education and no childhood.
Probably most of us worked in our spare time as children. I certainly did, all through my education I worked weekends and vacations. That is not what I'm talking about here.
You have not the faintest clue what childhood used to be like for most children until governments made rules about it, do you? Telling me that child labor is a good thing beause your dad delivered newspapers? Words fail me.
@Stu I'm not addressing all of #429 because most of it is hysterical sensationalism. PEOPLE WOULD BE DYING IN THE STREETS. You can't reason with a lunatic, but I'll address a few for the lurkers.
"Who would pay for those bodies and boards?"
Who pays for them now Stu? Do you think the government is free? The people who use a good or a service pay for that good or service.
How did the indigant insane and elderly get medical treatment before Federal programs came into existance? Do you think they just died in the streets? I'm assuming your alarmism was just hyperbolic muckraking and you don't really believe that corpses were piled on the streets, but then again I might be giving you way too much credit.
Did you know that historically doctors do a lot chairty work? Did you know historically that people are quite generous and donate to charity? Did you know that the government drives up the costs of medicine, making prices seem way more outrageous than they would be in the market?
People with pre-existing conditions should pay for their own health care.
I support a single-payer system in which one individual person pays for his individual health care. If I take care of myself throughout my life, why should I pay for the healthcare of a lifelong smoker? Or an obese person with non-insulin dependent diabetes? They should pay for their own health care.
Also, health treatment is not the same thing as health insurance. This is a myth and a fallacy that just encourages the shitty system.
That brings us nicely to Orac's post today, which looks at the political spectrum of nut jobbery in the form of AGW denialism and conspiracy theories of various degrees of implausibility.
You keep deliberately missing my point. I never used the phrase "libertarian utopia." You are the one that keeps calling it that. How come you never address the concept of a government utopia? How much taxation and redistribution of wealth does it take to make a government utopia?
What was life like before then? Please tell me. Was it like inner-city Akron schools where kids are dropping out of middle school? I was unaware that our glorious government solved all of those problems you talk about.
It sounds to me as if you are just a privildged elitist who speaks of poverty as heresay. Those who support government love to taut themselves as heroes of the poor, but where is the evidence that government intervention works?
"One of the great mistakes is to judge police and programs by their intentions rather than theiri results." Milton Friedman
@Delsyid - you keep claiming that what we have now is bad & there should be an alternative, yet you show no evidence that your "alternative" will be better than current.....so answer the question, please point to where your philosophy has been attempted & succeeded in the real world?
Because I can point out exactly why Communism is bad & doesn't work - because we have real world examples of where it was attempted & has universally resulted in worse outcomes (and certainly not the outcomes that the people preaching for it claimed would occur).
So, show us your evidence.
Which problems are these, exactly, and what evidence demonstrates a libertarian society would deal with them better than does our current system?
The burden of proof is on you. You have to defend how government works. Tell me how minimum wage works better than no minimum wage. How has the Fair Labor Standards Act helped society?
How has Medicare and Medicaid helped?
Those programs have no been around forever. I don't have to defend the market as if it is some theoretical fantasy. The market is the default. You have to defend government.
Go ahead. Defend every program that you think is necessary. I'll be here waiting, during my mountain of paperwork.
I did tell them about my plans and the best advices she give me is to continue on my plan while they're waiting for the implementation plan at SAP to begin hiring autists.
Please help Lawrence defend each and every government program and agency that you think is necessary. Please prove actual evidence of them working and not just their feel-good intentions and positive names.
The burden of proof is on government. Go ahead. Take your time. The bureacuracy of governmetn is enormous, so I imagine defending all of them will take quite a bit of time.
To quote the study Orac discusses in today's post:
So no, it does not intend to actually defend any of its stances. How droll and typical. I think we're done here.
It's a figure of speech based on your insistence that libertarianism is the best way of running things. I'm not insisting on perfection, I just want a explanation of how it might work in practice. What is the point I have missed again?
I have never suggested that government leads to utopia and I have never insisted that you demonstrate that libertarianism is perfect either. You're the one who characterizes my position as "GOVERNMENT IS GOD", not me.
Before what? Government? You would have to go back to pre-agricultural societies, hunter gatherers, which sound quite pleasant to me, spending maybe an hour a day gathering food., the rest telling stories, singing or having fun. Life expectancy isn't great but they don't have any of those nasty ideas about private property and markets.
Or do you mean before " father government saved us from the robber barons of the gilded age and formed a massive Nanny state"? You could, you know, pick up a history book. America's 'Gilded Age' was a term coined as a sarcastic dig at those who thought it was wonderful when in fact the truth was very different. The conditions at the turn of the 20th century were appalling by some accounts:
Does that really sound better than some kids dropping out of middle school? How would a libertarian society have dealt with that situation? Would it have taken the kids out of the orphanages and put them up chimneys? That's the free market I suppose.
Now I'm a privileged elitist! Is there no end to the insulting BS you are prepared to throw at me? I have seen plenty of poverty, in Egypt where I did anthropological fieldwork, and spent time in shanty towns built from corrugated iron, and in the City of the Dead where people live in tombs. I couldn't do much to help there as a student myself, apart from give a little money, and I bought a live chicken for a hungry family. I have seen poverty in India where I spent several weeks traveling in Uttar Pradesh and Rajastan, and saw people dying, and dead in the streets, living in huge squalid villages made of cardboard and chicken wire.
I also have experienced years of unemployment due to ill health myself, forced to live on state benefits, after I had spent all my savings supporting myself and my family. That wasn't much fun, having to beg for money, being threatened with homelessness, unable to pay the rent, skipping meals to save money, something I never imagined I would ever have to do. However, that was a walk in the park compared to some of the things I have seen in the developing world.
What is your experience of poverty? Did one of your family have their pocket money stopped for a couple of weeks?
You write as someone living in a country that has a primitive welfare state that prevents anyone from dying of hunger, and you ask such a dumb question? How would libertarianism tackle poverty? Everything you have written here suggests to me that you would expect the poor to sort out their own problems, like those 300 million Bangladeshi flooded-out refugees you expect will help themselves.
You are full of intentions, show me some results, some successes of libertarianism. It has been around for at least a century, surely someone somewhere has at the very least set up an experimental community run on those principles. How does it work in practice?
Lucario: "Funny, that’s not how I remember the Gilded Age ending. I thought it ended in a more peaceful manner – with a more gradual changing of the guard."
Far from it. Ever read about the Pinkerton strike breaking tactic? Have a look:
... and more violence:
Labourers in the US no longer have to face a "race to the bottom" situation where they get squeezed. They are no longer required to work 12 hour days for below starvation wages.
How has Medicare and Medicaid helped?
People aren't dying because they can't afford medical care. People aren't going bankrupt because they needed a procedure that cost literally tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes even over $100,000.
I'm beginning to hope Delysid is a Poe. I'd like to think that nobody could be that deluded, but I've been on RI too long.
Gaah, blockquote fail. Please bring back preview or introduce an 'Edit' button.
Libertarianism is just a new word to describe the ancient belief in individual liberty. Every few decades new words have to be ascribed to individual liberty because the definition keeps getting perverted. (Classical) liberalism used to be libertarianism. Then the new liberalism came to mean collectivism, so the word conservative was used to describe classical liberalism. Then collectists perverted the word conservative, so people like Rothbard coined the term libertarian.
How would libertarianism tackle poverty?
Well thanks for asking.
No, it's not. The 'government' didn't post to this forum insisting it's the best possible system: you posted to thsi forum that all governments are bad and should not be involved in anything (including ensruing the public health, maintaining essential infrastructure, regualting food and pharmaceuticals, etc.), while claiming that a completely unregulated free market system would be far more beneficial to society.
Your claim, your responsibility to credibly support it.
And you haven't even made an attempt to do so. You've been asked many times to explain exactly how your libertarian free market society would function in the real world, or to provide examples of such societies that have functioned as well or better than the current democratic republic, and you just keep repeating some version of "All government is bad!""
Why is it, exactly, that you're unable to respond substantively to direct questions or to admit you have no answers to give?
What I really suspect is that as far as you're concerned, the problems that governments address far better than free market forces ever have been seen to address (promoting public health, safe working conditions, establishing a mandatory minimum wage, maintaining essential infrastructure, etc.) simply aren't problems that NEED to be addressed.
So, given that the burden IS yours to show that ffree market forces are better at solving soceity's problems than any other form of society, explain how they would address the problem of a single parent who is unable to command a sufficient income to provide for herself and her child.
Currently, there are state and federal programs that respond and provide subsidized housing, supplemental nutrition assistance (i.e., foodstamps), that provide health coverage (e.g., Medicaid), job training programs, etc.
What would the free market solution to this problem be? Indentured servitude? Or do you simply not see this a problem society needs to address such that your 'solution' takes the form of "Let them starve!"?
I didn't realise that you had experienced financial difficulties firsthand as well as observing poverty from your travels and work as I did. I'm sorry to hear that.
Your story enables scoffers to perhaps peer into the mindset of radical socialists like us and comprehend why we would support the idea of a 'safety net' :
you're an intelligent, well-meaning person with an education and many skills that benefit others ( medical labs) who supported a family AND who couldn't work for a while.
So you got assistance and medical care until you recovered and then went back to work. And paid taxes. And bought goods and services. And took care of yourself and others.
And what would have you done if therehad been no safety network of services?
Ask relatives to help you? Barter for medical treatments by cleaning your doctor's home? Live in the woods? Let your children beg for food?
I suppose some would differentiate services for the 'worthy poor' and those for slackers... how would that work exactly?
This is not debatable.
If I decide I don't want to work, should you be forced to fund my housing and food?
I'm the government. I now have control over your life JBC. Prove to me why I shouldn't do this. Oh you can't? Too bad. Now hand over 37% of your income to me.
Hey by the way I love this logic of "indentured servitude" without government.
WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK TAXES ARE?
If 37% of your income is taken away in taxes, that means that 37% of your labor was taken from you. This is literally slavery. Slavery is working and then having the fruits of your labor taken away from you.
Statist logic: "In the free-market people will enslave us and control our lives, therefore let's create and defend a government that enslaves us and controls are lives."
**This is not debatable that the burden of proof is on government.
The greatest thing the government does is to let people do absolutely nothing and pretend that hey are helping society.
"It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness." Penn Jillette
I know a young woman who volunteers with our agency 2 days per month. She has medical issues that would prevent any but the most open-minded and compassionate employer from ever offering her a job.
She has no family. She didn't ask for her condition; she didn't deliberately set out to render herself unemployable. She is very happy to be able to give six hours per month back to the community, even if it is only stuffing envelopes and the other very basic, menial tasks that we find for her to do (For one thing, it gives her a bit of the structure that a regular job offers luckier people).
Without the (meager as it is) safety net offered to her in this country, she'd be sitting with a bowl to beg. Or dead. Is that a better solution than the "nanny state?"
I am willing to listen to the idea that a libertarian society might work better than democratic socialism if someone can explain to me how such a society will care for its most vulnerable members.
This is what you're fundamentally too arrogant to understand, Delysid. I'd honestly answer your question NO.
That's because I recognize that what I think is important doesn't really matter. I'm not equipped to decide, alone, what grants should be funded and what shouldn't. I'd rather have my tax money divided amongst the various fields of science by the experts in those fields. Not by dudes named Delysid or Tom Coburn who think they are the sole arbiters of what's 'important.'
Look, Delysid. I've encountered many of your type before. I went to college at a University that, for historical reasons, has a high concentration of dudes just like you. Several of them were even my close friends. Luckily, of the arrogant libertarians I was friends with, all but one has come around from that phase (the last one, absurdly rich from family money, is irredeemable). As others have mentioned, the catalyst in all 3 cases I'm thinking of was travel. Get out into the world, Delysid. You have lived in a very limited bubble, and therefore your data gathering is incomplete. Is it really scientific to make judgments about human nature when you've experienced such a small slice of what humanity actually is?
It's unclear to me where there has been any "revisionist history" going on regarding medical education. Indeed, it's barely been touched.
However, since you apparently have it at your fingertips, please explain the roles of Flexner and Osler in shaping modern medical education, with application to your proposed reforms and their relationship to your working principles.
#443 Er... no, we are referring to the actual history of medicine, in which the system of apprenticeships was actually used, and nepotism actually was very common. That's not revisionism. (Citation: For Fear of Pain: British Surgery 1790-1850)
Admissions systems and organized courses are designed to weed some of that out, and while they are not perfect, they *do* have a student depend on a large group of doctors and faculty rather than only one or two doctors for advancement.
I have asked you my question about climate change three times now, and you don't answer.
I was actually willing to be convinced, having had a certain amount of skepticism about climate change earlier on (when there was less science about it), but since you won't set any standard for the argument there doesn't seem much point.
This is the second time I've asked about libertarianism, just in case you missed the first one.
What sort of evidence would convince you that libertarianism does not always offer the optimal solution?