August 30, 2007
Know Your Right-Wing Speakers: Ted Nugent
Ted Nugent, The Motor City Madman, is an anomaly of colossal proportions. He’s managed to fuse a 38-year rock‘n’roll career with a zeal for hunting, extreme gun-nuttiness and a good-ol’-boy-on-speed approach to politics, patriotism, and women. The result: A self-righteous right-wing rock star who’s now better known for his dogmatic, offensive, and sometimes plainly comical commentary than for his sporadic success as a musician.
Uncle Ted has put his name on just about every commercial venture a right-wing, hunting-happy, clean and sober, meat-lovin’, red-state-livin’ conservationist rocker could possibly brand. He hosts his own radio show, edits and publishes the “Ted Nugent Adventure Outdoors Magazine,” produced a PBS series, “Ted Nugent’s Spirit of the Wild,” and founded the Ted Nugent United Sportsmen of America.
The Nuge first came into minor rock stardom as the lead guitarist for the psychedelic outfit the Amboy Dukes. From his undeserved soapbox of lifetime sobriety, Nugent swears he had no idea that the band’s hit manifesto on acid tripping, “Journey to the Center of the Mind,” was about being “under the influence.” Apparently this wasn’t the only fact that eluded The Nuge. The band’s name, which he says he had taken from a recently disbanded R&B group, was originally inspired by a novel by Irving Shulman called “The Amboy Dukes” about a 1950s street gang in Perth Amboy New Jersey Band. The novel was controversial for the way in which it dealt with gang rape. Members came and went, but Nugent remained, eventually renaming the band (surprise, surprise) Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes.
Ted and the boys banged out a couple of middling studio recordings before Terrible Ted subtly dropped “the Amboy Dukes” from the band. His first solo release, humbly called Ted Nugent, was a huge hit with the heavy metal community. Just around the time that The Nuge started dressing like a caveman for live shows, he came out with another hit album, Cat Scratch Fever. Exhibiting his talent for clever and subtle lyricism, in the title song, he croons, “Well, I make a pussy purr with the stroke of my hand.” Of course he’s referring to his cat.
In the 1980s, The Nuge released a whole bunch of songs that went generally unnoticed. For approximately three weeks in 1990, The Nuge won the hearts of gushing teens when he came out with High Enough, which he produced during his three-year stint as part of Damn Yankees.
But enough about his sometimes awesome, sometimes middling musical career. As patriotic as Uncle Ted claims to be, he pulled a nasty stunt to evade Uncle Sam during the Vietnam War. In a July 15, 1990, Detroit Free Press interview, Nugent crowed about how he managed to dodge the draft. He claims that 30 days before his draft board physical, he disavowed personal hygiene. The last ten days he ingested nothing but junk food and Pepsi, and with a week to go until the physical, he stopped using the bathroom altogether. When the big day came, he had been living in excrement-caked and urine-stained pants. Always the hero, however, Nugent reassured the Free Press, “But if I would have gone over there, I’d have been killed, or I’d have killed all the Hippies in the foxholes. I would have killed everybody.”
In the 1990s, Nugent found he could use his effervescent persona and his modicum of fame to articulate his singularly alarming worldview through any medium he could get a hold of. Suddenly, The Whackmaster (named, ahem, for the term Nugent uses to describe what he does to his prey with bow and arrow) found that people would listen to his pro-gun, right-wing, anti-gay, sexist, anti-liberal, meat-eating, bowhunting, nationalistic spoken word rants. Since then, he has authored three books, the titles of which do not leave much to the imagination: “Bloodtrails: The Truth About Bowhunting” (1990), a New York Times Bestseller, “God, Guns & Rock ‘n’ Roll” (2000), and “Kill It and Grill It” (2002). You won’t be surprised to learn that step one of most recipes in this unique cookbook is “Kill something!”
Here’s the quagmire with The Nuge: Sometimes, he’s pretty funny , and sometimes he is a racist, sexist prick, which is not so funny. Appearing on Denver’s 103.5 FM Lewis & Floorwax morning show, The Nuge sounded off on Japanese-made guitars, referring to them as “Japs.” When the hosts of the show objected to the use of the word, Nugent made sure to tell Denver that words such as “Jap” and “Nigger” were only words, man, and shouldn’t offend anyone. Apparently, Ted was shocked to find that people are offended by these words. Still though, The Nuge saw the real victim in all this, explaining that “Political correctness has brought America to its knees.”
It’s not unusual to hear Nugent talk this way – his conversations are riddled with ethnic and racial slurs. He called his tour of Japan the “Jap Whack Tour,” (Detroit Free Press, July 15, 1990), constantly makes obscene and derogatory remarks about women, and drops the F-bomb almost as often as he refers to himself in third person. It doesn’t stop at foul language though; it’s the substance that is most objectionable. Nugent has had to pay $75,000 for shooting off his mouth after a radio interview in 1992, when he referred to Heidi Prescott of The Fund for Animals as a “worthless whore” and a “shallow slut,” asking, “Who needs to club a seal, when you could club Heidi?” (Detroit Free Press, April 5, 1995.) The Nuge has a thing about lumping women into a category with wild animals. He told Salon that he gets a “full predator spiritual erection” from tracking “bear, lions, coons, housecats, escaped chimps, small children, scared women, and everything else that can be chased and/or hunted.” He also has a thing about making sure the world knows whose opinion on matters of choice matters most, explaining on a Detroit radio show that, “Anybody that doesn’t think it is better to blow someone’s brains out than to be raped, deserves to be raped! If you don’t think your life is worth it then please go out there, don’t wear any underpants and get RAPED!! Cuz you deserve it…” (WRIF-FM, Detroit, Nugent as guest D.J., September 23, 1991).
The Nuge’s narrow-minded arrogance colors his ruthless commentary, and he offends just about anyone with whom he doesn’t see eye-to-eye. It’s a wonder he ever tours outside of the U.S., given his feelings about “foreigners.” Just before he toured in Japan, he mindlessly maligned the Japanese in a characteristic xenophobic diatribe on a Detroit radio show: “…Yeah they love me (in Japan) – they’re still assholes. These people they don’t know what life is. I don’t have a following, they need me; they don’t like me they need me… Foreigners are assholes; foreigners are scum; I don’t like ‘em; I don’t want ‘em in this country; I don’t want ‘em selling me doughnuts; I don’t want ‘em pumping my gas; I don’t want ‘em downwind of my life-OK? So anyhow-and I’m dead serious…” (WRIF-FM, Detroit, Ted Nugent as guest D.J., November 19, 1992).
An avid hunter, Nugent was a frequent visitor to Canada until the government of Ontario cancelled the spring black bear hunt in 1999. Irate that he wouldn’t get his shot at shooting at a black bear, Nugent vowed to never set foot again in what he described as “an idiotic country.” An outspoken pro-hunting media crusader, Nugent conducts five to ten media interviews every week. A longtime advocate of gun ownership rights, Nugent has served since 1995 on the Board of Directors of The National Rifle Association (NRA), of which he is a Life Member. Nugent also has been a sworn Michigan Deputy Sheriff since 1980.
Nugent’s interpretation of the 2nd Amendment is enough to send good citizens of Michigan sprinting across state lines, once saying about an encounter with a Hare Krishna, “… And in my mind, I’m going, why can’t I just shoot this guy in the spine right now; shoot him in the spine, explain the facts of life to him?…” (WRIF-FM, Detroit, Ted Nugent as guest D.J., September 28, 1990).
Terrible Ted, who owns a compound in Waco, TX (no joke) and a “swamp” in Michigan, prides himself on his conservation efforts and his lifelong commitment to what he lovingly refers to as his “environmental orgy.” But The Nuge is no lefty environmentalist. He and the animal rights movement have not always seen eye-to-eye, not surprising given classic Nugent stunts like leading a hunting trip called “The Rape of The Hills 2000.” In 2000, Nugent was jailed briefly following an incident outside a department store in San Francisco in which he allegedly spat on, threatened and physically assaulted several anti-fur demonstrators.
The Nuge continues to rock out, and his fame has allowed him to continue seeping into every corner of the media. In 2004, Nugent hosted a VH1 reality TV show, Surviving Nugent: The Ted Commandments, in which city dwellers moved to Nugent’s Waco compound to compete in such “backwoods” activities as building an outhouse and skinning a boar. During filming, Nugent injured himself with a chainsaw, requiring 44 stitches and a leg brace.
So far, The Nuge hasn’t aspired to public office, though given his wide reach, it can’t be far behind. He was briefly mentioned as a potential Illinois Senatorial candidate for the Republican Party in 2004. Unfortunately, it never came to fruition: if nothing else, a race between the Nuge and Barack Obama would’ve topped Nugent’s past stunts for sheer spectacle.
Recently the Motor City Madman has been in the news quite a bit. A speaker at the NRA’s 2005 National Convention in Houston, he received an enthusiastic reception from the delegates when he told them: “Remember the Alamo! Shoot ‘em! To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want ‘em dead. Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot ‘em.” (“Ted Nugent to Fellow NRAers: Get Hardcore,” Associated Press article, April 17, 2005).
At some point, you’d think that the 56-year-old Nuge has got to slow down. But he’s still kickin’ it full Nuge style, taking lucky hunters on hunting trips in Africa (for no small price, of course), coming out with fancy new weapons, like his Gold Tip Ted Nugent Signature Zebra Arrow, and of course is about to set off on a 2005 Summer Tour. Perhaps the most alarmingly Nuge of all the Nuge endeavors he’s got going is his Ted Nugent Gonzo Auction, in which he’s going to auction off relics from his “insane life of over-the-top rock-and-roll wild ground adventure.”
Although there is a certain hilarity to The Nuge’s insane energy, it goes without saying that he’d be a lot funnier if he ditched the sexist, racist and xenophobic remarks.
Campus Progress presents you with some of the best and worst of The Nuge:
“What’s a feminist anyways? A fat pig who doesn’t get it often enough?” Wikipedia
“My being there (South Africa) isn’t going to affect any political structure. Besides, apartheid isn’t that cut-and-dry. All men are not created equal.” Detroit Free Press Magazine, July 15, 1990
“The preponderance of South Africa is a different breed of man…They still put bones in their noses, they still walk around naked, they wipe their butts with their hands. And when I kill an antelope for ‘em, their preference is the gut pile. That’s what they fucking want to eat, the intestines. These are different people. You give them toothpaste, they fucking eat it.” Detroit Free Press Magazine, July 15, 1990
(About Haiti) “We should put razor wire around our borders and give the finger to any piece of shit who wants to come here.” Westword Newspaper, Denver, Colorado, July 27, 1994
“…Yeah, we want to go to Saudi Arabia, man, and see if we can’t get a four iron and knock people’s laundry off the top of their heads. Wear laundry on your head and die, is the basic theme of the Damn Yankees [Nugent’s 90’s band]” WRIF-FM, Detroit, Ted Nugent as guest D.J., September 25, 1990
“…I met a couple of guys in line yesterday and they say write something to my girlfriend, she won’t let me go hunting. I wrote her something, I wrote Drop dead bitch. What good is she, trade her in, get a Dalmatian, who needs her, the wench.” WRIF-FM, Detroit, Ted Nugent as guest D.J., September 25, 1991
[On Hillary Clinton] “You probably can’t use the term ‘toxic c—-’ in your magazine, but that’s what she is. Her very existence insults the spirit of individualism in this country. This bitch is nothing but a two-bit whore for Fidel Castro.” Westword Newspaper, Denver, Colorado, July 27, 1994
“And if you’re a woman who feels that his lyrics to ditties such as the immortal ‘Wang Dang Sweet Poontang’ are sexist, Nugent says, ‘Fuck you and go to a Garth Brooks show. Kiss my dog’s dead, diseased, rotting ass. If you don’t have a sense of humor, you’re not allowed in Ted’s world. I don’t objectify women. I’d like to think that I’m optimizing their hardware.’” Westword Newspaper, Denver, Colorado, July 27, 1994
“…First thing I slayed…I was nine years old. It was a squirrel, these ladies were feeding it, you know, and I said, ‘excuse me, bam.’ No it wasn’t a pet squirrel. I had it stuffed and petted it for years after that.” WRIF-FM, Detroit, Ted Nugent as guest D.J., September 26, 1991
“…My deer were put here on the earth. God even said, ‘Hey Ted, whack ‘em.’ He said this, right in the bible, Genesis, ‘Dear Ted, whack me a buck …’” WRIF-FM, Detroit, Ted Nugent as guest D.J., Sept. 24, 1991
“I contribute to the dead of winter and the moans of silence, blood trails are music to my ears …I’m a gut pile addict …The pig didn’t know I was there … it’s my kick …I love shafting animals …it’s rock ‘n’ roll power.” Ted Nugent’s World Bowhunters Magazine, Volume 1/Number 4, May 1990, p.12
Photo: Associated Press
Illustrations: August J. Pollak
Report: Giuliani’s wife worked for company that killed dogs
A few days after GOP presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani announced that his wife, Judith, would be welcome to attend cabinet meetings at the White House, the New York Post reports this morning that the registered nurse worked as a traveling saleswoman for a company that killed dogs to demonstrate surgical staples to potential clients.
al-Maliki will get wacked and replace by Allawi
The powerful Republican lobbying group of Barbour Griffith & Rogers is plotting an effort to displace Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and supplant him with former interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. IraqSlogger reported:
BGR’s work for Allawi includes the August 17 purchase of the Web site domain Allawi-for-Iraq.com.
In recent days, BGR sent hundreds of e-mail messages in Allawi’s name from the e-mail address DrAyadAllawi@Allawi-for-Iraq.com.
BGR’s staff is stacked with conservative operatives with extremely close ties to the White House. Its president is Bush’s former envoy to Iraq, Ambassador Robert Blackwill. Philip Zelikow, a former Counselor to Condoleezza Rice, serves as a senior adviser to the firm. Lanny Griffith, chief executive officer, is a Bush Ranger having raised at least $200,000 for Bush in the 2004 presidential election. And Ed Rogers, chairman and founder of the firm, has been a reliable political ally for the Bush White House.
The right-wing has long had a fascination with Allawi, largely because he has proved to be compliant with the Bush administration’s agenda. Allawi was ceremonially anointed Iraq’s leader in June 2004 by then-Coalition Provisional Authority chief administrator Paul Bremer.
While serving as interim Prime Minister, Allawi repeatedly rejected calls for U.S. troop withdrawals. During the height of the 2004 presidential election campaign, Allawi delivered a strong defense of Bush’s “stay the course” strategy in much-hyped Rose Garden appearance. Later, media reports revealed that Allawi had been “coached” by the administration prior to his appearance:
[A]dministration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the prime minister was coached and aided by the U.S. government, its allies and friends of the administration. Among them was Dan Senor, former spokesman for the CPA who has more recently represented the Bush campaign in media appearances. Senor, who has denied writing the speech, sent Allawi recommended phrases. He also helped Allawi rehearse in New York last week, officials said. Senor declined to comment.
Allawi has been described as “Saddam lite.” In 2004, he handcuffed and blindfolded suspected terrorists and shot them in the head with a pistol. Now, with frustrations mounting against current prime minister Maliki, the administration may be using that as an opportunity to usher in its reliable ally Allawi. In a Washington Post op-ed last week, Allawi wrote a piece that seemed to be an effort to curry favor with the White House.
After long claiming Maliki was “the right guy for Iraq,” Bush this week said, “If the government doesn’t respond to the demands of the people, they will replace the government.” Despite Bush’s assurance that it’s “up to the Iraqis to make that decision, not American politicians,” it appears conservative operatives are plotting to override the will of Iraqis and institute their own.
August 26, 2007
Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose—and you allow him to make war at pleasure. ~Abraham Lincoln
August 26, 2007
|flash Intro Movie||Down with murder inc Index||News by country||GOOGLE US DEFENSE|
DOWN WITH MURDER INC.
[Updated 8/20/07: Added water vapor myth #18]
[Updated 7/29/07: Updated Myths #5, 6]
The Earth is heating up, and human beings burning fossil fuels are the dominant cause. It’s not ocean warming that dominates, it’s not cosmic rays, it’s not variations in the Earth’s orbit and tilt toward the sun (Milankovitch cycles), it’s not solar irradiance – it’s us. But there is a very vocal minority that refuses to believe global heating (the severity of the problem requires more urgent language, and besides, 105 degrees isn’t warmer than 100, it’s hotter) is real.
Global heating deniers fall back on a variety of myths in order to buttress their position. These myths vary from logical fallacies to pseudoscience to poor math to scientifically valid but disproved hypotheses. Yet every single claim against global heating I’ve found has been debunked at one time or another, and at this point, the only hypothesis that fits all the data is that human civilization is heating up the planet.
I’ve gathered the top anti-global heating myths into the following list and provided a reasonably thorough debunking for every one. I’ve focused only on the scientific claims because they can be addressed with data, and there are probably a few I’ve missed that I’ll happily tackle in the comments as needed. There were a number of claims that tied together, so I addressed them all at once rather than independently. And if I could quote references that weren’t the IPCC Working Group I: The Physical Basis for Climate Change detailed report (not the summary for policymakers), I did – too many people reject the IPCC out of hand and it’s always better to use the original source if it’s available.
DENIAL MYTH #1: The source of all the CO2 in the air is outgassing from the mantle (Source: George V. Chilingar’s (of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Southern California) paper titled On global forces of nature driving the Earth’s climate. Are humans involved?).
Debunking: This theory proposes that the bulk of the CO2 in the air and oceans today is a direct result of outgassing from the Earth’s mantle, not from human consumption of fossil fuels. The key piece is this:
Recalculating this amount into the total anthropogenic carbon dioxide emission in grams of CO2, one obtains the estimate 1.003×1018 g, which constitutes less than 0.00022% of the total CO2 amount naturally degassed from the mantle during geologic history. Comparing these figures, one can conclude that anthropogenic carbon dioxide emission is negligible (indistinguishable) in any energy-matter transformation processes changing the Earth’s climate.(emphasis mine)
In essence, Prof. Chilingar is claiming that anthropogenic (human sourced) CO2 has had a negligible impact on the atmosphere over the last hundred years or so and will have no impact over next few hundred years because we are adding a fraction of the total CO2 outgassed by the mantle over the course of the last 4.5 billion years. Unfortunately, as W. Aeschbach-Hertig, of the Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Heidelberg, says in his rebuttal, there is at least one major error, like the fact that the modern atmosphere had only about 3×1018 g of CO2 in it (not the full amount every outgassed by the mantle, which is 100,000x greater), so adding 1×1018 g of new CO2 is a massive percentage change (~33%). In addition, time scales matter here – increasing the amount of CO2 by 33% over the course of a few decades would overwhelm any system (like the Earth’s climate) that has a time constant of centuries. And the fact that Prof. Chilingar concluded that direct heating of the air by human activity couldn’t possibly cause the observed heating – when every serious climate scientist (of which Prof. Chilingar is not – he’s a petroleum scientist) says that the greenhouse effect is the cause, not direct heating by human activity. (source above)
DENIAL MYTH #2: The source of the CO2 in the air is thermal heating of the ocean causing dissolved gases like CO2 to come out of solution and enter the atmosphere (Source: “Apocalypse Canceled”, by Christopher Monckton as well as others).
Debunking: The main idea here is that, if you overlay CO2 concentration data from ice cores with temperature data, you notice that CO2 has always lagged after temperature. Because hot water cannot store as much dissolved gas as cold water can (this is fundamental physics), the data could lead people to reasonably conclude that the ocean is the source of the CO2 in the air and always has been. Unfortunately, there are three problems with this argument. The first is the aforementioned “predictive appeal to history” logical fallacy – just because CO2 has lagged after temperature in the past doesn’t mean it always will (or is this time – it isn’t). The second is that this theory has been tested and been found incorrect.
If heating oceans were the source of the CO2 in today’s atmosphere, we could expect a historical trend of dropping CO2 concentrations in the oceans, yet we see the exact opposite – CO2 concentrations in the ocean have increased even as their temperature has risen, driving down ocean pH (making it more acidic) and will continue to do so (source: Impacts of Anthropogenic CO2 on Ocean Chemistry and Biology, NOAA). In addition, if a hotter ocean were the source of CO2, oxygen would be coming out of solution as well, yet the concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere is actually decreasing, not increasing (sources: Environmental Chemistry.com’s CO2 Pollution and Global Warming page and IPCC Working Group 1 Report, Chapter 2, pages 138-139).
DENIAL MYTH #3: We don’t know for sure where the added CO2 in the atmosphere is coming from, but it’s not from human consumption of fossil fuels (Source: distillation of multiple people’s claims at Wikipedia.org).
Debunking: We know exactly where the added CO2 is coming from, and it most certainly is from human activity (mostly the burning of fossil fuels, but some is from industry and slash-and-burn deforestation for agriculture). Carbon has two stable isotopes (atomic weights), C12 and C13. Plants prefer to use C12 over C13 (it takes slightly less energy to bond to C12 than to C13), so the naturally occurring ratio of the two isotopes is skewed toward C12 in plants. All fossil fuels were originally plants, and so if the C12/C13 ratio in the atmosphere is changing toward increased concentrations of C12, then the source of the new CO2 must be plants. In addition, since animal respiration isn’t enough to skew the C12/C13 ratio and simultaneously affect the concentration of CO2 and oxygen in the atmosphere, the source must be fossil fuels. (sources: Environmental Chemistry.com’s CO2 Pollution and Global Warming page and IPCC Working Group 1 Report, Chapter 2, pages 138-139)
DENIAL MYTH #4: CO2 rates are rising only 0.38% per year, not the 1% per year called out in the Third IPCC assessment report (TAR) (Source: “Apocalypse Canceled”, by Christopher Monckton as well as others).
Debunking: Basically, this claim was used by Mr. Monckton to attack the validity of the TAR’s assessment. I was unable to find the exact data that Mr. Monckton used, so I’ll use the fourth assessment’s (AR4) data to make a point about how this error could have been made by Mr. Monckton. The average rate of change of the atmospheric concentration of CO2 over the last 250 years has been about 0.14% per year (100 ppm change, ~280 ppm starting point, and the change occurred over 250 years), but rate of change has not been constant. In fact, the average rate of change since ~1960 has been about 0.50% per year, and the average rate of change since 1995 has been about 0.68% per year. And if you look at the middle left graph in Figure 3.2 of the IPCC Working Group 1 TAR Chapter 3, on page 201, you’ll see that the actual graph of the data looks almost identical to the equivalent IPCC AR4 graph (Figure 1, FAQ2.1, page 135) and the description above. In the case of Mr. Monckton’s data, I suspect that he assumed a linear progression where the rate of change has been accelerating rather than remaining constant. (Source: IPCC Working Group 1 Report, Chapter 2, , page 137)
DENIAL MYTH #5: CO2 is a sufficiently weak greenhouse gas that it could not be responsible for the level of climate change being modeled and observed (Source: distillation of multiple people’s claims at Wikipedia.org).
Debunking: CO2 is a relatively weak greenhouse gas compared to methane or nitrous oxide. If we use the radiative forcing (RF) values from Table 2.1 (page 141) of the IPCC Working Group 1 Report, Chapter 2 and assume a linear relationship between RF and concentration in the atmosphere, CO2 is about 0.0044 Watts per square meter per ppm (Wm-2ppm-1), compared to 0.2706 Wm-2ppm-1 for methane and 0.5016 Wm-2ppm-1 for nitrous oxide. This means that methane is about 62x as powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide is about 114x as powerful as CO2. The problem is that CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is measured at 379 ppm, while methane is only 1.774 ppm (1,774 ppb), and nitrous oxide is only .319 ppm (319 ppb). Because there is 213x more CO2 than methane, and 1188x more CO2 than nitrous oxide, the fact that CO2 is a relatively weak greenhouse gas is more than compensated for by concentration in the atmosphere. See also DENIER MYTH #18 below for a discussion of water vapor and CO2.
DENIAL MYTH #6: 450 million years ago was the coldest in 0.5 billion years and also had the highest CO2 concentrations. Because of this, CO2 is not actually correlated global temperature (Source: distillation of multiple people’s claims at Wikipedia.org).
Debunking: Scientists aren’t sure what happened in the late Ordovecian period, when the world plunged into an ice age while CO2 levels were still very high (8-20x current levels). There are some ideas about what happened, however. A 1995 paper titled Reconciling Late Ordovician (440 Ma) glaciation with very high (14X) CO2 levels suggests that the physical location of the megacontinent Gondwanaland may have had something to do with it, and later papers suggest that the problem could be one of resolution of the data – if we can’t tell what the CO2 levels were at the moment of glaciation, then we can’t say whether CO2 being removed from the atmosphere was the cause or not. And if the high CO2 levels plunged due to geologic processes (namely the rise of the Appalachian Mountains and a subsequent carbon sequestration due to the weathering of the mountains), then there would be a mechanism to explain how the CO2 was high while the temperature was also high – the data isn’t detailed enough to know better, so it was actually a lot lower than 8x-20x present day when Gondwanaland froze up. In fact, this identical process is proposed as the cause for the most recent spate of ice ages, with the Himalaya Mountains being the cause. However, ultimately we just don’t know enough about this particular instance to say for sure.
However, the correlation of CO2 and global temperature is well established over the last 650,000 years using ice core data. The image (click for a larger version) is a composite created by the IPCC from multiple different sources for the WG1 AR4 chapter 6 on Paleoclimate, Figure 6.3, page 444. The black line shows a proxy for local temperature (deuterium), the green line is nitrous oxide, the red line is CO2, the blue line is methane, and the gray line is a proxy for land ice (low=more glaciers/larger ice caps). Notice that not only is CO2 concentration correlated with temperature, but so is methane concentration.
But the most interesting part of this graph is the three stars in the upper right corner of the image. They are to scale with the associated lines and represent the 2000 concentrations of nitrous oxide (green star), CO2 (red star), and methane (blue star).
DENIAL MYTH #7: The Medieval Warm Period/Medieval Climate Anomaly (MWP) was warmer than conditions today (Source: “Apocalypse Canceled”, by Christopher Monckton among others).
Debunking: This claim has been addressed repeatedly, and every example I found basically summarized down to this: The evidence used by most scientists that believe this claim is anecdotal at best and that while this evidence applies regionally to the area between Greenland and the Ural Mountains, there is not yet enough evidence to support this claim on a hemispherical basis, never mind a global basis. In addition, there is a chance that the MWP and the Little Ice Age (see DENIAL MYTH #9 below) are both artificial and arbitrary and are actually representative a gradual cooling trend as opposed to a periodic oscillation in the global temperature. Check through all the sources for more detailed information. (Sources: Climate of the Last Millennium, by Raymond S. Bradley, Climate System Research Center, Dept. of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, IPCC Working Group 1 Report, Chapter 6, Figure 6.10 and Box 6.4, pages 467-469, Climate Over Past Millennia, by P.D. Jones and M.E. Mann, Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age Myths)
DENIAL MYTH #8: The MWP has been ignored in order to produce the desired conclusion (Source: “Apocalypse Canceled”, by Christopher Monckton as well as others).
Debunking: Even if this were true in the past (and the sources for Claim #7 above show it has been addressed repeatedly since the release of the TAR), the IPCC Working Group 1 Report, Chapter 6, Figure 6.10 and Box 6.4, pages 467-469 addresses this specifically. In essence, there is statistical evidence that the MWP was not warmer than the last 25 years (since 1980), but there are enough errors in the MWP data to warrant additional research into the scope (Europe? The entire Northern Hemisphere? Global?) and magnitude of the MWP. (source linked above)
DENIAL MYTH #9: The temperatures we’re experiencing in the later part of the 20th century are a result of the global climate finally coming out of the Little Ice Age (Source: distillation of multiple people’s claims at Wikipedia.org).
Debunking: The Little Ice Age is a period of significant cooling in Europe, but there are questions as to whether this known regional change was truly global in dimension. However, if you look at the graph of the temperature data for the last 2000 years, there is no period where the reconstructed global temperatures have changed at a faster rate than in the last 50 years or so. I refer people to the ;IPCC Working Group 1 Report, Chapter 6, Figure 6.10 and Box 6.4, pages 467-469, but also to this NCAR press release that verifies that the basic conclusions of the original “hockey stick” remain accurate even using multiple different models.
DENIAL MYTH #10: There was a significant period of global cooling between the 1940s and the 1970s. This cooling period existed as anthropogenic CO2 levels were rising significantly. If anthropogenic CO2 is more important than natural drivers, then this cooling period would not exist, yet it does (Sources: produced by Rcronk in the comments to Eastern seaboard of the United States to be much hotter, but also made in the Wikipedia.org claims).
Debunking: That this cooling period existed and was global in scope is not disputable as the scope of the MWP is – scientists were directly monitoring temperatures globally by this point, and these three decades were cooler than the decades preceding them and dramatically cooler than recent decades. So what caused the cooling?
First, there is a correlation between sunspots and solar irradiance (output) on the Earth. During this period, sunspots were less common and there was less solar energy reaching the Earth, allowing it to cool slightly. Second, there were several volcanic eruptions that released massive amounts of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere. Sulfur dioxide is an aerosol that forms droplets of sulphuric acid in the high atmosphere and reflects solar energy back into space, so these two volcanic eruptions had some short- to medium-term effects. In addition, prior to the 1970s there were limited pollution controls, allowing pollutant aerosols to act as coolants via reflection of solar radiation. Ultimately, though, it is believed that sometime after 1970 the concentration of CO2 rose to the point that solar forcing was no longer the dominant climate factor, anthropogenic CO2 was. (Sources: Do Models Underestimate the Solar Contribution to Recent Climate Change?, Swindled!)
DENIAL MYTH #11: Cosmic rays (very high energy particles) striking the Earth’s atmosphere is the cause of global heating (Source: distillation of multiple people’s claims at Wikipedia.org).
Debunking: According to this theory, cosmic rays are responsible for cloud cover – fewer cosmic rays means fewer clouds and less cooling in the summer (clouds reflect the energy) and more heating in the winter (as clouds hold heat in). Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any statistically significant trend in the number of cosmic rays hitting the Earth, and the few experiments performed to date appear to be stricken with error or a failure to address key points. This could be an aggravating factor, but is highly unlikely to be the primary source of global heating. (Sources: No Link Between Cosmic Rays and Global Warming, Cosmic Rays and Global Warming, Recent Warming but No Trend In Galactic Cosmic Rays)
DENIAL MYTH #12: The Stefan-Boltzmann Law (the relationship between radiation and temperature of an ideal “black body” radiator) breaks the calculations required to make global heating work (Source: “Apocalypse Canceled”, by Christopher Monckton as well as others).
Debunking: This issue was the hardest to make heads or tails of, because the only people who really use it are deniers. That said, Mr. Monckton claims that the real value of lambda (the response of the Earth to radiative forcing) of between 0.22 and 0.33 C/W. But this number is only valid for an ideal black body model of the Earth, and the Earth is not even remotely close to a black body. Unfortunately, because I can’t find examples of the math involved to walk through it, I can’t say that this claim has been as well debunked as I’d like it to be, and as most climate scientists claim it is. (Source: Cuckoo Science)
DENIAL MYTH #13: Using computer models is inherently inaccurate, especially of long-term changes in a system as complex as the Earth’s global climate (Source: Pretty much all of the deniers use this one, so there are more sources than I care to link to directly).
Debunking: Models are inherently inaccurate – anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you a bad modeling software package. However, models can be made to accurately average out to something that represents reality, and this is the case with the IPCC models. I suggest that everyone read IPCC Working Group 1 Report, Chapter 8, FAQ 8.1, pages 600-601 and IPCC Working Group 1 Report, Chapter 9, page 684 to get a better understanding of how the models work, and the fact that models without anthropogenic CO2 simply don’t match the actual measured temperature changes.
DENIAL MYTH #14: The Earth hasn’t warmed by the expected amount predicted in the IPCC TAR, and papers have suggested that oceanic storage of heat is the reason. However, the only part of the ocean that matters as a “thermal sink” for atmospheric heating is the top few meters and yet the calculations performed require that 1.25 miles of ocean are available as a “sink” to make the math work out. Unfortunately, deep ocean temperatures haven’t changed at all (Source: “Apocalypse Canceled”, by Christopher Monckton).
Debunking: First, let’s talk about what depths matter. It’s true that only the top 90 meters or so of the ocean matters to short-term absorption of heat, but because of oceanic currents, the entire ocean does turn over eventually, if very slowly. So the entire ocean must be modeled in order to understand just what the effects of the oceans actually are. Second, the IPCC TAR had to use a depth of 3000 m in order to correctly reconstruct existing temperature data using models, but the latest IPCC report (AR4) uses a depth of 700 m instead, with data correlations between the sea surface temperature, the 0-700 m ocean depth zone, and then down to 3000 m as well. These correlations were not possible back in 2001 when the TAR was released due to lack of data, and the data has significantly improved in the years since. Finally, most of the increase in the temperature of the ocean has bee in the top 300-700 m, and so no, the deep ocean temperature hasn’t changed a lot. Given that the time scales of interest when talking about the deep ocean are in the range of decades to centuries, it’s not a surprise and totally expected. (Sources: NOAA Office of Climate Observation: The Role of the Ocean in Climate, Warming of the World Ocean, 1955-2003, S. Levitus, J. Antonov, and T. Boyer)
DENIAL MYTH #15: The ocean has already begun to cool as expected given recent changes in solar output, cosmic solar rays, etc. (Source: “Apocalypse Canceled”, by Christopher Monckton).
Debunking: A 2006 paper by John M. Lyman, Josh K. Willis, and Gregory C. Johnson published in Geophysical Research Letters suggested that the oceans had lost a massive amount of heat (~20% of all the heat it had absorbed since the 1950s) without the heat apparently going anywhere. This was latched on to by many global heating deniers to suggest that the ocean had begun to cool as required by numerous suggested methods to account for purely naturally-driven global heating, or that the estimates of ocean heating were just plain wrong. Unfortunately, Dr. Lyman and his colleagues discovered that, while they’d accounted for measurement errors, they’d missed measurement biases (deterministic offsets in temperature inherent to the equipment measuring it) in their measurement devices, and the data will have to be corrected to account for this bias. Until then, however, there is no reason to believe that the unexpected cooling will actually be anything more than a glitch in need of correction. (Source: Correction to “Recent Cooling of the Upper Ocean”)
DENIAL MYTH #16: Global heating isn’t actually happening because satellite measurements of tropical temperatures have not been rising like directly-measured temperatures in the tropics (Source: distillation of multiple people’s claims at Wikipedia.org).
Debunking: The satellites used to measure tropical temperatures remotely were discovered to have been drifting in their orbit, producing temperature measurements that were not during the day as expected, but rather during the night, confusing the cooler evening and nighttime temperatures with warmer daytime temperatures. The paper this comes from is “The Effect of Diurnal Correction on Satellite-Derived Lower Tropospheric Temperature” by Carl A. Mears and Frank J. Wentz of Remote Sensing Systems. Unfortunately, there is not a .pdf of this document available that may be freely distributed. However, this was reported in U.S.A Today and Live Science, and if you search Google for “satellite balloon data error global warming” you’ll find a lot more.
DENIAL MYTH #17: Some deniers don’t directly dispute that global heating is happening or that humans are the cause. Instead, they claim that global heating might just be good for the human race (Source: distillation of multiple people’s claims at Wikipedia.org).
Debunking: The effects of global heating have been investigated by many people and organizations with specific concerns in mind, ranging from the economy to public health to population migrations to political stability. Below is a sampling of the organizations who believe that global heating will not be good for the world and why.
- The Pew Center on Global Climate Change published “U.S. market consequences of global climate change in April 2004 where they estimated that global heating would be, using the most optimistic assumptions, a temporary boost to the U.S. economy by 0.7 to 1% by 2100, but that the most pessimistic assumptions would produce a reduction in GDP of approximately 3.0%. In addition, the benefits are almost exclusively in the agriculture and energy sectors and increasing temperature will ultimately reverse the gains in both sectors.
- According to Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, Working Group II Contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report – Summary for Policymakers (the full report is not yet available online), droughts will become more common as freshwater from melt and precipitation decreases, 20-30% of plant and animal species will be at increased risk of extinction and acidification of the ocean will adversely affect marine ecosystems, global agricultural productivity will increase slightly and then decrease as temperatures continue to rise, coastal flooding will cause serious problems (especially in Asia), and developing countries will be heavily hit by droughts, disease, and rising sea levels
- Lloyd’s of London, a major global insurance company and hardly a hotbed of liberal activism, released this 360 Risk Report titled “Climate Change: Adapt or Bust”. The gist of the report is that climate change is going to cause major losses to insurers if the risks aren’t managed carefully, and that the risks must be managed by working with businesses and governments as well as by updating internal risk models to account for a changing global climate.
- The CNA Corporation released a report on “National Security and the Threat of Global Climate Change.” The report is somewhat alarmist and the time scales described may be too aggressive, but the point that global heating will cause significant instability and impact U.S. national security is valid nonetheless.
- In a Pentagon report titled “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security,” the authors propose an abrupt climate change situation that is unlikely but plausible and that results in massive food shortages, disruptions in energy supplies, droughts, and possibly even wars over access to fresh water, mass population migrations, and energy.
DENIER MYTH#18: The influence of CO2 cannot match the influence of water vapor, and since the impacts of water vapor are largely unknown and outside direct human control, human beings cannot be the source of global heating (Source: Comments on Digg.com’s post about this blog originally, but scattered around the net as well).
Debunking: First off, there is no doubt that water vapor is directly responsible for the bulk of the greenhouse effect (~60% according to Table 3 of “Earth’s Annual Global Mean Energy Budget”). As such, water vapor could far outweigh the direct effect of CO2 in the atmosphere. Unfortunately, because of the complexity of the Earth’s water cycle, figuring out what the effects of water will be isn’t simple.
As the atmosphere heats up, it can hold more water vapor. As such, we can reasonably expect that the hotter the air is, the more humid it can be and, because water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas, the hotter the air will get. This positive feedback leads us to an obviously erroneous conclusion – that we should already be boiling. Since we’re not, there must be something that provides negative feedback to at least partly compensate for the positive feedback, and there is – precipitation in the form of rain, snow, sleet, hail, etc. Small local variations in temperature can create massive differences in the amount of water vapor present in the local atmosphere – a hot high pressure system drives the humidity down and stops precipitation, while a cooler low pressure system permits condensation and then rain or snow. All in all, this means that water vapor that enters the atmosphere persists there a very short period of time – about 11 days (see the right sidebar – while CO2 persists in the atmosphere for decades to centuries.
Now, since people can’t directly control water vapor, the only way we have to influence it is via temperature. If the greenhouse effect boosts global temperature somewhat, we should realistically expect that the amount of water vapor in the air should be increasing. Similarly, if global temperatures drop for some reason (for example, a large volcanic eruption dumping massive amounts of aerosols into the air), we should expect to see water vapor concentrations decrease. In the lower atmosphere, the available data points to increasing water vapor content, but because of large variations in local humidity from day to night, from day to day, and from season to season, no-one currently knows exactly how much more water vapor is going into the air (IPCC Working Group 1 Assessment Report 4, Chapter 3, “Observations: Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change”, page 273). And unfortunately, the upper troposphere (the region of the atmosphere believed to be most important for water vapor’s effects on global heating) has no conclusive direct data on water vapor concentrations. Instead, the increase in water vapor in this part of the atmosphere has been indirectly checked by the increase in this region’s temperature. Since water vapor is such a powerful greenhouse gas, any increase in temperature in this region of the atmosphere should be largely a result of the effects of water vapor (IPCC Working Group 1 Assessment Report 4, Chapter 3, “Observations: Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change”, Figure 3.21, page 275).
But perhaps most importantly, the fact that the concentration of water vapor does increase and decrease along with external temperature changes was proven as a result of the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo. The temperature dropped for several years, and the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere dropped at the same time, and roughly in the same pattern (Figure 2, to the left). When the authors of the paper looked at their general climate models, they discovered that, once they corrected for an El Nino that occurred right after Pinatubo erupted, the model only produced roughly equivalent cooling if water vapor feedback was included in the model (Figure 4, to the right).
What does all of this mean? Basically, water vapor is a more important greenhouse gas than CO2, but because CO2 will cause heating independently of water vapor, as man-made CO2 increases global heating, water vapor will increase too, boosting the amount of warming with a positive feedback loop. How much exactly is up for debate, and there’s not a long enough data series on water vapor in the atmosphere to know everything. But just because humans can’t increase or decrease water vapor in the air directly doesn’t mean that CO2 heating of the air won’t do so indirectly.
At one point or another, each of these claims represented a real problem with the science of global heating. But no longer – the scientific evidence has become overwhelming. However, it’s the minority composed of global heating deniers who continue to hunt for flaws in climate science, so the deniers serve a valuable scientific purpose – when they find a real hole, or just think they have, addressing their claims are what has made the science of global heating as bullet-proof as it now is.It comes down to this simple fact: the overwhelming majority of the scientific evidence points to human-induced global heating, and every claim made by global heating deniers has been effectively debunked. And because the consequences of doing nothing are so severe, we must act now even as the data continues to improve – we can no longer afford to wait.[Crossposted: The Daedalnexus]
NOTE: This post was inspired by a blog Whythawk posted a couple of weeks ago entitled Life Earth will end climate change the way Live Aid ended poverty in Africa – Er… where one of the comment posters, “2008Voter”, posted the links to some of the sources used for this blog.
August 18, 2007
Soon, fellow insurgents, you will experience delays on the Central Line as stockbrokers finish themselves with gymnastic flips into an oncoming train. For, a spectre is haunting capital. According to Robert Wade’s exceptionally timely New Left Review article, the recent weaknesses in the global system led the Bank for International Settlements to declare that the world was vulnerable to “another 1930s slump”. The main reasons for the structural precarity are: (i) the exorbitant levels of global debt, with hedge funds currently valued at $1.5 trillion, making a ‘great unwind’ probable; (ii) a liquidity boom which has increased financial instability; (iii) the imbalances in the US economy, with a middle class squeezed by declining house prices and the drop in real wages, and its relative global decline leading it to seek less multilateral ways to expand its hegemony; (iv) the entry of rising capitalisms to the global club, with competition increasingly taking the form of neo-imperialism, particularly over energy access (Wade includes Russia’s recent moves over energy in Central Asia in this category), thus raising the prospect of instability in the geopolitical system. The implications of a crash, in other words, are that economic autarky will be accompanied by increasingly militarised drives to facilitate the export of capital as well as access to energy resources. Aside from that, the condition of the labour movement is not optimal, and its ability to resist the inevitable attempts to make the working class pay for a recession with pay cuts and degraded conditions is weak. Not that it couldn’t be done, not that a populist or anticapitalist challenge couldn’t be renewed, but we’d have to re-learn some old lessons extremely fucking quickly.
Interestingly, the response of both libertarians and Keynesians is to blame the rentier class in different ways. Larry Elliott rightly points out that this is no mere wobble, but a sign of deep crisis. The flashpoints of the 1998 crisis were in the developing markets such as Singapore and Thailand (which Blair had hallelujahed unto the heavens before their sudden collapse), whereas today the flashpoints are in the most advanced capitalist economies. And while that proved to be a liquidity crisis, this may prove to be insolvency crisis as larger numbers of households find that they have literally nothing to sustain them. Yet, his argument seems to be that it is the privileging of unproductive financial capitalism over useful manufacturing that is exposing us to such danger, and so he calls for tighter regulation. If the growing profile of finance since the 1970s has produced more global instability, it doesn’t mean that this is where the root of the problem lies. Had it not been for the contraction of profitable opportunities in the US economy, the investment banks would not have been tempted by these evidently risky investments in ‘subprime’ debt. And had it not been for the fact that the recovery of profitability in the US and to a lesser extent in Western Europe was based on the ruthless suppression of labour’s bargaining power, thus keeping wages either in relative or absolute decline, then there would it would not have been necessary to stimulate spending with cheap credit. If the domestic markets were not so weak, American corporations wouldn’t be relying on a peak in overseas profits to see them through.
The long-term tendency of the rate of profit to fall is the underlying factor that needs to be highlighted. The declining profitability of manufacturing in the US, Japan and Europe is what has led to the growing reliance on the service economy. Take a look at the UK’s profit rates in the respective sectors:
And have a look at long-term manufacturing profit-rates in the advanced capitalist economies:
The US economy, like the UK’s, has been losing manufacturing jobs rapidly for years. It has relied, due to the weakness of domestic markets, on overseas investments largely in the financial sector for its massive recent profit rates. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, “more than 40% of revenue of companies included in the S&P500 index now comes from operations outside the US”. The results, compounded by a weak dollar, have been staggering until lately: for instance, Microsoft reported a 32% jump in revenue and a 65% surge in earnings earlier this year. To put it another way, the US is exporting capital like crazy. Yet, a contraction in returns on investment has been expected for some time precisely because of weakened domestic demand and a reduction in productivity growth. Tightening credit conditions were expected to compound this and make fewer assets available for reinvestment, thus making a recession increasingly probable. In other words, it isn’t simply the antics of a clutch of lenders seeking risky profit that has been driving this crisis, and it will take more than a reining in of investors to solve the problem.
Short of a generalised labour insurgency, the likely means to accomplish this will be an attack on wages and conditions. Gordon Brown’s attempted pay cuts for public sector workers is certainly part of the means of handling this without making any curtailments on the privileges of investors or their profits, which is one reason why the fightback by posties is so important. It’s also probable that New Labour will ratchet up attacks on immigrants and asylum seekers as a way out of its inevitable difficulties. The US government’s way out, which Brown is very likely to support, will presumably be to aggressively push to broaden its global hegemony so as to ensure greater market access, either militarily or through subversion. And if there is to be any kind of germinal radicalism or militancy, the US is busily expanding its forms of domestic repression. The recent perverse court finding on the Padilla case, and the Democratic support for warrantless wiretapping of phone calls, strengthens this trend. It means that American citizens can be spied on, and if deemed potentially dangerous, declared illegal combatants, accused of crimes on no evidence, and locked away for years on military brigs without access to lawyers and be tortured. The US government’s domestic repression has usually been colour-coded, of course: reds and blacks were the typical public targets of statist aggression, as state police and national intelligence agencies assaulted the labour movement, peace movements, the left, the civil rights movement and so on. These days, the black working class is disciplined through the mass prison system. The US government spots a big threat from radicalised and undocumented migrant workers, whose risky activities have really been in the vanguard of the struggle to improve conditions nationally. So, naturally, they’re trying to pass a repressive Immigration Act that will enable them to fine undocumented workers $5,000 – a sum none could afford to pay, and which would surely be used selectively to target deemed troublemakers.
So, it’s all uphill from here, eh? See you in the deluge.
August 16, 2007
by Michael Carmichael
War propaganda glorifies military indoctrination as the highest form of patriotism while simultaneously demonizing the enemies of the state.
Adolf Hitler realized the power of propaganda to mould and shape public opinion. Hitler wrote a highly informed essay on the powers of propaganda in his political autobiography, Mein Kampf.
Modern governments employ propaganda to incite public outcries for war in order to advance their agendas in foreign policy.
War propaganda is nothing new. The dynastic Egyptians created monumental sculptures that glorified Pharaoh as a conqueror who personally executed � frequently by fracturing their sculls with a mace – hundreds of the enemies of his state. Thus, the public glorification of war and its most heinous crimes has been with us for thousands of years.
War propaganda is abundantly evident in the fabric of our culture, and it presents no symptoms of weakness or dissipation. Quite the opposite is true. The latest film by Clint Eastwood, Flags of our Fathers, is little more than war propaganda that glorifies American military achievements in the context of a racial enemy � the Japanese. Sadly, Clint Eastwood has a long history of manufacturing films that are nothing more than pulpish propaganda: Where Eagles Dare; Heartbreak Ridge, Firefox and many other glorifications of violence and the principle, �Might makes right.�
While the primary purpose of war propaganda is to manufacture public commitment to wars and their inevitable crimes, in George Bush�s America psychological warfare aimed directly at the American public is designed to manufacture the political platform to launch a perpetual state of war that will produce a totalitarian regime headed by a Commander-in-Chief who is nothing more than a military dictator.
�Perception management� is another term used to describe the process of transforming public opinion to conform to a premeditated political agenda. Perception management establishes underlying trends and tendencies that drive the public perception of events in the direction of war. During war, perception management manipulates public opinion to accept the horrific nature of war crimes as merely nothing more than collateral damage, friendly fire and accidental mishaps that are inevitable consequences of the fog of war.
Psychological warfare training in George Bush�s America has reached historic proportions. Social influence, perception management and a full range of persuasion techniques have permeated the American government and are now deeply embedded into the fabric of official culture � especially the US military. The purpose of psychological warfare is to manufacture public support for Bush�s wars and for future wars as well as strengthening the powers of the state while demonizing the enemies of the Bush-Cheney regime. Concomitant with these assignments, psychological warfare camouflages the most horrific war crimes and makes them seem to be acts of virtue and valour that are absolutely essential for military, �Victory.�
Language lies at the heart of propaganda. The language of propaganda, psychological warfare and perception management is grounded in ancient principles that have been well known to leading sages, philosophers and intellectuals for thousands of years. Confucius believed that the disintegration of Chinese society in his time was directly attributable to a general deterioration of the language.
Confucius (551 – 479 BCE)
Confucius sought to improve language in order to improve the society and culture. He wrote,
�The correct use of language leads to the correct behavior of people�
In the Mediaeval Era of Latin Europe, Dante realized the power of language to order society. Dante launched his quest for the perfect language to communicate the highest levels of understanding to the broadest number of people.
Dante Alighera (1265 – 1321)
Dante taught that the development of a common language could lead to the political unification of Italy, and he proposed the establishment of a world government predicated on smooth, fluent and deeply integrated communications through a more perfect language.
Niccolo Machiavelli (1469 – 1527)
In the Renaissance, Niccolo Machiavelli adapted his own theories on the political use of language to the high ideals of Confucius and Dante. Machiavelli wrote,
�Every one admits how praiseworthy it is in a prince to keep faith, and to live with integrity and not with craft. Nevertheless our experience has been that those princes who have done great things have held good faith of little account, and have known how to circumvent the intellect of men by craft, and in the end have overcome those who have relied on their word.�
In order to give a vivid example of a prince who used language as craft, or spin or propaganda, Dante described the political machinations of Pope Alexander VI. He wrote,
�One recent example I cannot pass over in silence. Pope Alexander VI did nothing else but deceive men, nor ever thought of doing otherwise, and he always found victims; for there never was a man who had greater power in asserting, or who with greater oaths would affirm a thing, yet would observe it less; nevertheless his deceits always succeeded according to his wishes, because he well understood this side of humanity.�
In the twentieth century, George Orwell emerged as one of the leading philosophers of the Machaivellian abuse of political language. Orwell wrote his classic dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, and he introduced his theories of Doublethink and Newspeak. Orwell defined Doublethink as,
�� the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one�s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. � To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them�
Orwell realized that the totalitarian state would redefine the purposes of language. The purpose of Newspeak, is to wage psychological warfare to manage the political perceptions of the populace. He wrote,
�The purpose of Newspeak was to eliminate the possibility of thoughtcrime . . .to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted . . . a heretical thought should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words.�
For Orwell, the Machiavellian political abuse of language had distorted society into an increasingly malevolent form of tyranny. He wrote,
�Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.�
In Orwell�s future, Newspeak and Doublethink would eradicate the possibility of protest, sedition, insurgency and rebellion against the state.
George Orwell (1903 – 1950)
In the first years of the twenty-first century, Doublethink became the hallmark of the Bush Era. George Bush, Dick Cheney and their minions in Washington adopted Doublethink and Newspeak to coerce and impel political acceptance of their outrageous policies of perpetual war promulgated by a reactionary totalitarian government that is indistinguishable from the fascism and Nazism of the early twentieth century.
The core doctrine of the Bush Era is pre-emptive war. When Bush argues for the right to wage war to prevent war, he invokes Orwellian Doublethink by holding two contradictory beliefs simultaneously while believing both of them: that war is undesirable while a war to prevent war is desirable.
The contradiction activating the Bush Doctrine is invisible to Bush, Cheney and their minions in Washington and elsewhere for they are the victims of Doublethink. In academic discourse, the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive war has been equated with the idea of committing suicide because of the fear of dying.
In the Bush Era, the American public are bombarded by a continuous stream of propaganda designed to elicit their political support for perpetual war and war crimes as well as for a strong, centralized government headed by a President who is little more than his ceremonial title indicates, a Unitary Executive functioning as Commander-in-Chief who is indistinguishable from a military dictator.
US military class at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in social influence, perception management and propaganda.
Manufacturing consent for perpetual war is the primary enterprise of the Bush-Cheney government. Not only are citizens heavily taxed to support the increasingly undemocratic policies of the Bush-Cheney government, they are subjected to a constant barrage of propaganda beseeching them to provide political support for policies that undermine their constitutional rights to freedom from unreasonable searches and seizure, habeas corpus and the freedom of speech. Many Americans are alarmed that the USA is now rated 53rd on the World Press Freedom Index where it is tied for that dubious distinction with the states of Tonga and Croatia.
Bush�s propaganda engines of perpetual war are driven by: xenophobia; the demonisation of immigrants; fears of foreign cultures � especially Muslims � and the persistent application of fear and terror to the body politic.
The Bush White House governs by public relations. Tony Snow � a former news presenter for the right-wing Fox News Network � has become the official spokesman for the Bush-Cheney White House revealing the priority of propaganda to the political objectives of the Bush regime.
�The correct use of language must begin at the very top of government.�
In contrast to Confucius, the blatant perception management and propaganda of the totalitarian regime is abundant, clear and constant. For example, Dick Cheney adopted the Hitlerian technique of the big lie to launch the Iraq War, when he promised the American people,
�I�m confident that our troops will be successful, and I think it�ll go relatively quickly . . . Weeks rather than months.�
Swiftly after the horrific tragedy of 9/11, Bush defined the thoughtcrime of today by stating,
�Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.�
The modern state demonizes its opponents in order to manufacture public consent for war. In the Bush Era, the demonization of Muslims has been constant. Long a central them in the fire and brimstone culture of American evangelical Christianity, the demonization of Muslims has exploded into the mainstream of western civilization. In order to understand this phenomenon more clearly, we must examine a particularly revealing aspect of this shameful legacy of American religious traditions to focus briefly on the theological work of an ancestor of the current president, George W. Bush.
The Reverend George Bush was a cousin of President George W. Bush�s grandfather. Reverend Bush�s theological writings are well known to the Bush family, but propaganda officials of the Bush government have used their powerful offices to suppress and camouflage this revealing relationship in the American media � as well as shielding it almost entirely from the global media. In April, 2005, a propaganda official named Todd Leventhal of the Office of Countermisinformation confirmed that Reverend George Bush was, indeed, a relative of President George W. Bush and his father, former President George H. W. Bush.
Reverend George Bush (1796 – 1859)
In 1837, the Reverend George Bush wrote a book titled, The Life of Mohammed: Founder of the Religion of Islam, and the Empire of the Saracens. It should be needless to state that the Reverend George Bush has little complimentary to say about the founder of one of the world�s great religions. Worse. Reverend George Bush launched what should be considered a deliberate attack on Mohammed, his teaching and the religious tradition that he founded, Islam. The Reverend Bush constantly referred to Mohammed as an, �impostor.� He wrote,
�(Mohammed�s) whole history makes it evident, that fanaticism, ambition, and lust were his master passions . . . An enthusiast by nature, he became a hypocrite by policy; and as the violence of his corrupt propensities increased, he scrupled not to gratify them at the expense of truth, justice, friendship and humanity.�
From the theological writings of his ancestor, it cannot be disputed that the family of President George Bush has been incubating Islamophobia for at least four generations.
In the current generation of the Bush family, the George Bushes have surrounded themselves with a fawning coterie of Islamophobic evangelical Christian Zionists. For example, Franklin Graham is a family friend of the Bushes. Franklin Graham controls a vast and influential religious network called the Billy Graham Evangelical Association that has an annual income of more than $100,000,000 � most of which is tax exempt. Even today, although the vast majority of the American people oppose Bush�s wars, Franklin Graham�s followers zealously support Bush�s wars and his deeply unpopular neoconservative presidency.
Franklin Graham has made explicit statements articulating his peculiar Islamophobic theology. He stated,
�The God of Islam is not the same God of the Christian or the Judeo-Christian faith. It is a different God, and I believe a very evil and a very wicked religion.�
This statement reveals that Franklin Graham is poorly informed in the field of comparative religions, a tragic intellectual disability for a professional evangelist.
Franklin Graham and Biilly Graham, firm friends and political supporters of the Bush family.
The demonization of Muslims in popular American culture is overt, in-your-face and taken as a matter of course. In the massively popular television series 24, a Muslim villain named �Marwan,� held the American hero, Jack Bauer, hostage. Muslims frequently provide the villains in 24 in a process of demonization that will reverberate for generations.
�The ruler must correct his own behavior for the people to follow his leadership.�
In Bush�s America, the President and his retinue frequently demonize whole nations and peoples. For example, the �Axis of Evil� statement by President Bush demonized two Muslim nations as well as one Asian nation fostering a climate of fear, terror, Islamophobia and a generalized dread of all racial minorities.
In his State of the Union address in 2002, George Bush stated,
�North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens. Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people�s hope for freedom. Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade. This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens � leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections � then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world. States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil,�
Unfortunately, President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Prime Minister Tony Blair are not the only leaders who contribute to the climate of terror and fear through the media.
Many religious leaders in America frequently demonize Islam and condemn Muslims. In Europe, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI made some insensitive remarks that many Muslims believe were hostile to Islam � because they contribute to the growing climate of Islamophobia.
At a high-profile address in Regensberg, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI quoted Emperor Manuel II Paleologus,
�Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.�
The process of demonizing Muslims and manufacturing Islamophobia is now a global phenomenon. An example is the Disney film, Aladdin, that was released in the early 1990s. Many of the American soldiers now serving in Iraq saw Aladdin during their childhoods when they were vulnerable to psychological programming and the demonization of foreign cultures portrayed as inimical to core American values. In Aladdin, the villains are all depicted as Arabs speaking with Arabic accents, while Aladdin is portrayed as an American youth with an American accent. This tactic is nothing less than the transparent demonization of Arabs � ie. Arabophobia.
Aladdin as an American defeats the evil vizier, Jafar, an Arab.
The propaganda of Islamophobia infiltrates society through the propaganda pronouncements of government and religious leaders that lead to the contamination of the mainstream media. The headlines of newspapers in the Occupied Territories proclaiming, �Vigilantes take up arms, vow to expel, �Muslim Filth�� incite cultural hatred, ie. Islamophobia. These headlines expose attitudes that are the products of cultural prejudices compounded by the global media campaign designed to propagate Islamophobia as the primary strategy to promote perpetual war.
�Vigilantes take up arms, vow to expel, Muslim Filth� read the headline in Hebron to caption the image above.
�HELL, THE MUSICAL COMES TO THE VATICAN� read the headline on the BBC News coverage of the announcement that the Vatican has recently authorized a new popular opera based on Dante�s Divine Comedy � one of the greatest works of Christian literature. But, is there a hidden agenda behind the launch of this major new artwork? The BBC reported,
�(Marco Frisina), a Vatican composer is to stage an opera based on Dante�s Divine Comedy, with visions of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. . .Organisers have asked permission for the premiere to be held at the Vatican in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI.� BBC
While this story seems innocuous enough, we should turn to The Divine Comedy to examine its potential for promoting the demonization of Muslims and Islamophobia.
In Inferno, the first part of The Divine Comedy, Dante wrote his description of the torments of Hell. In the Inferno: Canto XXVIII, Dante places �Mahomet,� ie. Mohammad, in one of the most terrible, tortuous and tormenting tableaus in Hell.
Undergoing an infinite series of traumatic mutilations, Dante�s �Mahomet� is tormented by a Satanic torturer armed with a massive sword called a �falchion.� The sword-wielding demon slashes, lacerates and mutilates �Mahomet� repeatedly in an eternal cycle of Satanic vengeance. After each one of these horrific woundings, �Mahomet� wanders along a circuitous path whereupon his mortal wounds heal only to be confronted again by the same sword-wielding demon who slashes him – again and again and again in an unending cycle of Hellish torture, mutilation and punishment. When Dante witnesses this dreadful scene, �Mahomet� turns to him, opens the gaping wound in his chest and says,
�See now how I rend me; How mutilated, see, is Mahomet; In front of me doth Ali weeping go, Cleft in the face from forelock unto chin; And all the others whom thou here beholdest, Disseminators of scandal and of schism While living were, and therefore are cleft thus. A devil is behind here, who doth cleave us Thus cruelly, unto the falchion�s edge Putting again each one of all this ream�
In 1869, the Christian artist, Gustave Dore illustrated Dante�s Inferno. Dore�s illustration of �Mahomet� did not create global pandemonium at the time. In the twentieth century, Salvador Dali produced some of the most outstanding Christian works of art including: Christ of St John of the Cross and The Madonna of Port Lligat. One of his lesser-known works is his �Mahomet,� whom he depicts as slashed and lacerated following the model in Dante�s Inferno.
Dali�s mutilated Mahomet 1959
Given the course of events in the first years of the twentieth century from the language and wars of the Bush-Cheney government and the statements of Pope Benedict XVI in Regensberg, it is only prudent to ask the following question. Will the forthcoming Vatican opera contain any Islamophobic elements that might enflame international tensions and foment wars against Muslim nations?
Confucius taught that the ruler must govern via his moral authority. He wrote, �The moral character of the ruler is the wind, the moral character of those beneath him is the grass. When the wind blows, the grass bends.�
We have seen how the rulers, presidents, vice-presidents, religious leaders and the Pope have contributed to the demonization of Muslims and the fomentation of Islamophobic wars.
The death toll for the wars of the Bush Era is a secret number. Highly qualified scientists at Johns Hopkins University calculated that 655,000 Iraqis had died in the first three years of the war. It is now one year later. We do not know the number of the deaths, dismemberments, disabilities, disfugurations, ravages, rapine and capricious slashings, shootings, woundings, burnings, explosions and anarchic homicides of the Bush Era, but we do know that secret number is still ascending.
For his leading role in manufacturing wars and the infinity of war crimes that are boiling out of the cauldrons of war, George Bush is an indictable war criminal. Last year, the European press reported that Bush had negotiated the purchase of a vast rancho in remote parts of Paraguay, a nation that refuses to extradite war criminals.
Driven by despair and disgusted with the treachery of their leaders who have cooperated with the warmongers, the people of the planet are mobilizing like never before in human history.
Empowered by their common sense of decency, their desire for justice and their love of peace the people of our planet are revolted by their disastrous leadership. There is a growing sense of urgency.
The pace of change is gaining momentum. The people are seizing the moment to make an impact on their political institutions to bring war criminals to justice.
The future is in the hands of ordinary people � like those who are reading these words.
Accuracy in the Media: Misinformation, Mistakes, and Misleading in American and Other Media / Todd Leventhal, Chief of the Counter-Information Team, U.S. Department of State; Dante Chinni, Senior Associate, Project for Excellence in Journalism
August 10, 2007
I’ve taken heat in the past from my own readers that sometimes my cursing is too gratuitous, that I’m too angry. So this first paragraph is for those readers. Your thoughtful pleas for more civility and less anger are very often taken under advisement and, when the mood strikes me, I oblige by laying out the facts with my arguments while not resorting to angry rhetoric. Today is different because circumstances compel me to do otherwise. So, to you gentle souls, if you have delicate sensibilities, allow me to warn you right now that what follows will be the vilest, filthiest, most furious post that perhaps I’ve ever written and will act on you like a microwave oven on Dick Cheney. So take this as your final opportunity to allow your mouse to migrate on over to the right side and click on the link of someone more civil and elegant, like Glenn Greenwald, for instance.
The rest of this post is for those readers who love to see me completely lose it when encountered by wingnuts who react to truth like a claustrophobe in a coffin.
I’m referring, of course, to the dead man to whom I’d tried to administer medicine, to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, in my post about Ann Coulter’s “victory” over Al Franken. I’d tried letting Coulter’s stupidity speak for itself without resorting to ad hominems. I’d tried being gracious while poking holes in Coulter’s fallacious, dodgy and, frankly, ironic statements to the points that Mr. Franken had brought up.
Alas, logic and civility are not enough when dealing with that “other” ilk. So I shall dispense with one while continuing to avail myself of the other.
Because it seems Gay Conservative Steve has a problem with my pointing out the holes in Ann Coulter’s argument that rival only her FBI-stretched cunt in size. Let’s start with her asking Al Franken, a man who isn’t even a politician (yet) “when the next attack will be.”
This is all too reminiscent of Sen. James Inhofe asking Michael Crichton, a vindictive, overrated and overpaid sci fi novelist, to come to Capitol Hill to pontificate against the existence of global warming or the Christian Science Monitor hiring a standup comedian to do the same thing.
Yeah, Ann. Better to ask a comedian when the next al Qaida attack will be than to ask your hero who’d been posing as the leader of the free world for the last six and a half years.
If you’d done your reading, you’d know that Ron Suskind, author of The One Percent Doctrine, recently gave an interview when he said (and I paraphrase) that perhaps the reason why we haven’t been hit is because al Qaida has chosen not to hit us. American politicians of all stripes, he added, tend to think only in election cycles. Terrorists think ahead in decades. Just because al Qaida hasn’t flattened the Pentagon again or the Sears Tower should not be construed as proof of the efficacy of Homeland Security or George W. Bush. Hauling in bin Laden’s and al-Zawahiri’s ass would be, however and we’re no fucking closer to doing that now than we were in 2001.
But, of course, as Rumsfeld made plain two and a half years ago, we can’t do that because that would piss off bin Laden’s landlord Pervez Musharraf, George’s bestest, if sometimes exasperating, buddy.
As Bukko in Australia pointed out in the comment section of Steve’s original post, it’s not as if the dry drunk rube whom you generously refer to as your president hasn’t given them ample opportunities. He and the GOP Congress slashed our budget for port security so that only a small fraction of metal containers coming in are actually inspected. Same thing with baggage checked at the airport. We can now take lighters on board aircraft. The NIE says that we’re more vulnerable than ever to terrorist attacks and the State Department’s own report, which we last saw in 2005 and said the same thing, is now no longer available, the ultimate fate of any and all news that could possibly embarrass this Orwellian/Kafka-esque ship of fools that you risibly refer to as an actual administration.
But Bush and his hyper vigilance can’t even protect us from a Chinese terrorist called Contaminated Pet Food and Toothpaste. What has your hero done to protect our food supply? Our water supply? What has he done to strengthen the FDA to protect our food supply? Oh, yes, right. He installed veterinarian Lester Crawford to the top spot and a Bible-thumping rapist/sodomite named Dr. David Hager, who was, incredibly, nominated by Bush to be the head of the FDA’s Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs, an office for which Hager held nothing but contempt, to judge by the advice that he gave women.
This rampant cronyism and systematic contempt for the humanitarian role in government services is merely the tip what is a massive tip of an even more massive iceberg. From the FDA to NASA to the Department of Health and Human Services to FEMA (once a respected and effective Cabinet-level position headed up by James Lee Witt in the Clinton years), the Bush administration has made an invariable, self-destructive habit of electing to key administrative roles the most inept and unqualified buffoons on God’s green earth, as long as they toe the fundie line.
Many of these people are in charge of our national security, including Michael Chertoff, a guy who’d essentially handcuffed Michael Brown when he wasn’t quaffing margaritas and actually trying to do his fucking job after Katrina made landfall.
You prefer to see the glass as half full: We haven’t been attacked because of George W. Bush. I say we haven’t been attacked despite George W. Bush and the murderous clown show that is the GOP. And, after all, why should al Qaida waste money, manpower and resources trying to strike terror into our hearts when we have fear-mongers like George Bush and the Republican party to remind us how vulnerable we are after he’s been on the job going on seven fucking years.
You ask what Bill Clinton had done to fight terrorism. First, let me ask you: What did HW do to fight terrorism because the attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 was just a couple of months after Clinton took office. But you want to know what Clinton did to fight terrorism? Well, let’s see, now. A helluva lot more, it seems, in the final days of his administration than Georgie’s done in his six and a half year squattage in the Oval Office. President Clinton insisted on defining terrorists and taking them out surgically, from a distance, without risking the lives of troops or killing the people who were merely sheltering them.
So far in Iraq, Bush has killed a million hostages to get at a few hostage takers.
At the very least, Clinton never went on record to say, “I am truly not that concerned about him” less than seven months after the original World Trade Center bombing.
If that conflicts with Cyrus’s version of history from The Path to 9/11, then I apologize.
The scandals involving Republicans since January 2001 are so multitudinous, the principals involved so inextricably and incestuously entwined in cross-scandalous behavior that time and space forbids enumerating all of them unless one were to put them between bound covers. Yet, only a Koolaid-gargling, Jonestown refugee psychopath like yourself could look around at the pigshit stacked up to the ceiling and insist that you’re walking on sunshine, that things are so much better since the grownups took over from that evil Bill Clinton and his surplus and horrid days of abominable peace.
So let’s see what your $300 tax refund has bought you:
A war on science that pervades the HHS, with HW’s godson, whose other sole qualification for the job of the HHS’s Office of Global Health Affairs is a degree in Latin American history, actually telling the Surgeon General what to say (like political statements) and not say in reports about diseases in prison. Shades of George Deutsch, another snot-nosed fraud who told scientists at NASA to stop writing reports about the Big Bang Theory.
We have to borrow two billion dollars a day from the Chinese to float a deficit singlehandedly and immediately created by your hero thanks to unending tax breaks for his bloated Have Mores and a plainly illegal and unnecessary war that they or their relatives don’t have to fight.
The disappearance of a major American city that’s hardly any closer to getting back on its feet than they were when Katrina struck going on two years ago. New Orleans gives us a ringside seat for the grand experiment in a free market economy that Paul Bremer turned Iraq into the minute his Timberland boots touched the sand.
Outsourced incompetence footed by your tax dollars to the tunes of tens of billions a year and much of it under the guise of “Iraqi reconstruction”, from providing our troops with (contaminated) food and water to who (didn’t) deliver the mail to our wounded troops at Walter Reed.
Allies once loyal to America now ranging from skeptical to outright contemptuous because George had to take that detour from fighting terrorism (during which bin Laden escaped from Tora Bora. I suppose that, too, was Clinton’s fault, eh?) to spend what will surely be at least a trillion dollars fighting an easily-smashed nation that had no WMD, no connection to 9/11 or ties (back then) to al Qaida, one that nonetheless has fought us to at least a standstill.
Yet you put on your fucking rose-colored glasses and credit what you perceive as “enormous success” to George Bush and blame Bill Clinton and his cigar for everything that you don’t like (I guess that would be gays in the military, earned income credit counting again, nine figure surpluses, eight years of relative peace while quietly pursuing terrorists so we wouldn’t be disturbed while watching Survivor?).
Because George wears the red jersey. He has the “R” after his name. To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, you’re rooting for red laundry and you people are so completely blind to the radioactive faults of these bloated stumblebums at whose cloven hooves you grovel that we actually fear for your sanity.
Liberals and Democrats such as me recognize, acknowledge and condemn when our own leaders betray our principles and their own. When William Jefferson is caught with $90,000 in bribes in his freezer, we condemn him.
When Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham, Jack Abramoff and other Republican scumbags are caught stealing and illegally laundering millions, you look away and whistle and keep bringing up pikers like Jefferson. Because they wear the red jerseys. They’re on your team. And members of a team stick together, right? They watch each other’s backs, right? Like when people such as Ted Haggard are revealed to be hypocrites, they then turn around and treat homosexuality as if it’s a mental disease that has to be either prayed out or requiring psychotherapy.
When Bill Clinton was caught with his pants down, two-legged Cujos such as you thought it was the end of Western Civilization. But when a Republican is busted offering to suck black cock in a bathroom because he feared for his life, I suppose that’s a profile in Republican courage?
And the reason why Republicans prosper is because of two things: One, they have to cheat year after year to win elections that they ordinarily couldn’t win and, Two, they have just enough rubes like you giving them just enough votes so that a nudge from Diebold and ES&S makes a victory plausible.
They appeal to cruel, stupid people such as you by pandering to your own pet prejudices, peeves and phobias which they dress up as legitimate campaign issues, like gay marriage. Like Creationism. Like stem cell research. Because knowledge is power and they fear an electorate that has knowledge.
Thankfully, they have ventriloquist dummies like you, Steve, who gleefully parrot every single talking point that’s somehow replaced an actual fucking national discourse on the salient issues because idiots such as you and your ilk have yet to understand that there is a crucial difference between information and actual fucking knowledge.
And while they whistle through the bank claiming innocence, claiming that those $70,000 golfing junkets to Great Britian paid for by lobbyists didn’t at all influence their legislation, that those Halliburton connections didn’t at all didn’t come into play when your neocon heroes waged, against all earthly reason, a war on Iraq, while they pretended to whore themselves out to canvas tent revivalist gay-baiters whom they then stabbed in the back and screwed them out of literally 90% of the money they were promised…
…while all this and much, much more was going on, even as the World Trade Center twin towers collapsed on your hero’s watch, even while he sat in that little chair like the wart on Bill Clinton’s cock, holding that little book after being told of the second one (yes, Bush knew about the first one before he even walked into that classroom but, as Michael Moore said, George had to have his photo op), even as almost 2000 drowned on the Gulf coast while he flew off in the opposite direction after dodging a grieving war mother to go to GOP fundraisers, play the guitar, squeeze in a round of golf, eat cake with John McCain and compare himself to a better president…
…while all this was going on and much, much more, like the secret wiretapping of your phone calls, the financial datamining, the subversion of your every constitutional right, people like you kept your thumbs up your increasingly distended rectums and never, never noticed that your thumb was getting bloodier and bloodier.
Meanwhile, you stand around, your thumb up your bleeding assholes, with a shit-eating grin on your face marveling at Republican progress while your heroes are furiously hollowing out the National Treasury like a school of piranhas in a buffalo corpse, selling out their legislation to the highest bidder, and ladling out the Koolaid that never seems to run out and, curiously, always makes you thirstier for more.
And, as a personal aside, Clinton derangement syndrome is so gauche.
posted by jurassicpork
August 9, 2007
Former vice president Al Gore told reporters during a forum in Singapore this week that he may return to politics someday but that he has no plans to run for president in 2008, according to The Associated Press. Gore has repeatedly denied he has ’08 ambitions, but then again, he’s also fairly emphatically stated in the past that he was done with politics altogether.
“I may re-enter politics at some point in the future because I’m only 59 years old,” Gore said. But more telling: “There is no single candidate that is putting forward a comprehensive argument about the environment or making climate change a priority,” he said.
Can this finally be a concrete sign that Gore’s taking the initial steps back into the political scene so as to set the stage for a surprise announcement early this Fall? Will we soon here Gore say something like: “Yes, it’s true. A couple of months ago, I stated that I might someday enter politics again but not the presidential race in ’08. But I have now come to the conclusion that I can indeed make the biggest contribution to our great country, and have the greatest impact on the issues I hold near and dear to me–climate control and putting an end to the Iraq war–if I seek the highest job in the land.”