Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The global warming hoax

This "global warming hoax" bullshit is just the ignorant persuading the ignorant. I'm not a climatologist. So I don't pretend to know more about climatology than the worldwide community of climatologists does.

I've had global warming deniers comment here. None of them have been climatologists, yet they typically claim - claim - that they can prove that all those actual climatologists are wrong about climatology.

I always ask them why they're not 'proving' their claims in research journals then, instead of commenting at random blogs. I'm ignorant about climatology. I'm not embarrassed to say that, not in the least. You can't be an expert in every field of knowledge. I'm not a scientist at all, and I've never taken a single class in climatology.

Luckily, I know enough about science and the scientific method to trust the worldwide consensus of scientists working within their own field of expertise, rather than random people making claims about things they don't understand. Could scientists be wrong? Of course. But that's not the way to bet.

Conspiracy theories are popular, though. I suppose some people get a rush from believing them. But anyone can claim anything, so why should I believe conspiracy enthusiasts? Just because it's fun? Sorry, but I care about the truth of my beliefs.

Is Donald Trump the Republican Party's new Christ?

The Republican Party's hypocrisy never fails to amaze me. Can you imagine if the Democrats had said anything even close to this?

Right-wing heads would have exploded. Fox 'News' would have covered the scandal 24/7, and there would be an orchestrated campaign of outrage lasting for years and years - certainly for Barack Obama's entire two terms. We'd never hear the end of it.

But that's not even the worst of it. The Republican Party establishment hated Donald Trump. But not now that he's won, because that's all they care about. Republicans would praise Satan himself if they thought they could benefit politically from it.

All of those Republicans who rightly called Donald Trump a scam artist and a clown, ignorant and unfit to be elected to any position, let alone to the White House, are now falling all over themselves to praise their new "king."

But hey, this is the party which deliberately used - and still uses - racism for political advantage. If you're willing to do that much harm to our country, just for your own political ambition, what won't you do?

As we've seen this past year, there's no limit to how low Republicans will go. All praise Donald Trump, the King of kings, the Lord, our Savior, huh? :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Donald Trump vs America

What have we done to ourselves? I'm still sick to my stomach that my fellow Americans were this dumb. Dumb enough to elect Donald Trump to the presidency? I didn't think anyone would be that dumb.

But they were. You were, if you did anything else but vote for Hillary Clinton. I can barely stand to even think about this. I guess I need time. Certainly, I need humor, if I have to keep watching this train wreck.

Luckily, there's Seth Meyers. Here he is again. This is even worse than the last one, if you care about America. But it is funny. (So why am I still crying?)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Normalizing fascism

Here's a fascinating article in Raw Story:
How to report on a fascist?

How to cover the rise of a political leader who’s left a paper trail of anti-constitutionalism, racism and the encouragement of violence? Does the press take the position that its subject acts outside the norms of society? Or does it take the position that someone who wins a fair election is by definition “normal,” because his leadership reflects the will of the people?

These are the questions that confronted the U.S. press after the ascendance of fascist leaders in Italy and Germany in the 1920s and 1930s.

The article begins by talking about how Benito Mussolini was a "darling" of the American press. Later, they called Adolph Hitler "the German Mussolini," which wasn't meant to be a negative term.
Hitler also had the advantage that his Nazi party enjoyed stunning leaps at the polls from the mid ‘20’s to early ‘30’s, going from a fringe party to winning a dominant share of parliamentary seats in free elections in 1932.

But the main way that the press defanged Hitler was by portraying him as something of a joke. He was a “nonsensical” screecher of “wild words” whose appearance, according to Newsweek, “suggests Charlie Chaplin.” His “countenance is a caricature.” He was as “voluble” as he was “insecure,” stated Cosmopolitan.

When Hitler’s party won influence in Parliament, and even after he was made chancellor of Germany in 1933 – about a year and a half before seizing dictatorial power – many American press outlets judged that he would either be outplayed by more traditional politicians or that he would have to become more moderate. Sure, he had a following, but his followers were “impressionable voters” duped by “radical doctrines and quack remedies,” claimed the Washington Post. Now that Hitler actually had to operate within a government the “sober” politicians would “submerge” this movement, according to The New York Times and Christian Science Monitor. A “keen sense of dramatic instinct” was not enough. When it came to time to govern, his lack of “gravity” and “profundity of thought” would be exposed.

In fact, The New York Times wrote after Hitler’s appointment to the chancellorship that success would only “let him expose to the German public his own futility.” Journalists wondered whether Hitler now regretted leaving the rally for the cabinet meeting, where he would have to assume some responsibility.

Yes, the American press tended to condemn Hitler’s well-documented anti-Semitism in the early 1930s. But there were plenty of exceptions. Some papers downplayed reports of violence against Germany’s Jewish citizens as propaganda like that which proliferated during the foregoing World War. Many, even those who categorically condemned the violence, repeatedly declared it to be at an end, showing a tendency to look for a return to normalcy.

Journalists were aware that they could only criticize the German regime so much and maintain their access. When a CBS broadcaster’s son was beaten up by brownshirts for not saluting the F├╝hrer, he didn’t report it. When the Chicago Daily News’ Edgar Mowrer wrote that Germany was becoming “an insane asylum” in 1933, the Germans pressured the State Department to rein in American reporters. Allen Dulles, who eventually became director of the CIA, told Mowrer he was “taking the German situation too seriously.” Mowrer’s publisher then transferred him out of Germany in fear of his life.

Remind you of anyone?

21st Century America is not 1930's Germany. But if we won't learn from history, we won't learn. Did we fight the Nazis only to become them?

Friday, December 9, 2016

Trump's Carrier deal

The hypocrisy of Republicans is always astounding, isn't it?

And note that there's even more to it than this. Carrier is getting $7 million from Indiana taxpayers, too. In other works, not only is Trump not punishing Carrier for moving jobs to Mexico, as he claimed he would, the company is actually being rewarded.

Given that only 730 of those jobs were saved, that works out to nearly $10,000 per job, paid by Indiana taxpayers. Yeah, any company would go for that, I suspect, Trump or no Trump. But I thought Republicans were against bailouts.

The whole thing is bullshit from beginning to end. Well, you knew that, right? It's Trump. But he's still taking credit for bullshit like this, and it's still helping him politically. My fellow Americans haven't gotten any smarter since the election, either, have they?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Normalizing the alt-right

"If it looks like a duck and talks like a duck and steps like a goose, it's a Nazi." Heh, heh.

Seth Meyers is absolutely right to point out that "alt-right" is a label Nazis and white supremacists gave themselves. When you use it, you're legitimatizing racism. But our media are so desperate to appear neutral that they bend over backward being nice to the worst people in America.

Admittedly, those people have just taken control of all three branches of the federal government. So maybe there's an instinct for self-preservation operating here, as well.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Trump's big lie

Samantha Bee puts this very well, too - as always. Not that it does us any good. We knew all this before the election, but Americans decided to be idiots, anyway.

PS. Remember, there's a public record of everyone who votes. If large-scale in-person voter fraud happened (i.e. as opposed to the Kremlin hacking our election computers), nothing would be easier than to demonstrate that.

And this lie has been around for a long, long time. The George W. Bush administration spent eight long years desperately searching for voter fraud, without success. And Republicans at the state level have searched feverishly - and fruitlessly - ever since.

Of course, GOP politicians know that it's not true. But reality is whatever you want to believe - or can convince others to believe - right? Facts don't exist?

Donald Trump's fact-free world

To the faith-based, facts don't exist. Thus, it never mattered when Donald Trump lied. And it doesn't matter when he lies now. After all, reality is whatever you want it to be, right?

For Trump supporters, if you believe that millions of people voted illegally, then that becomes your reality, even though it's simply not true. I mean, our actual reality has a well-known liberal bias, right?

This isn't just Donald Trump. Far from it. In recent decades, the entire Republican Party has become faith-based in ways that simply deny reality. Global warming is a "hoax." Evolution - the foundation of modern biology - doesn't exist. Republicans reject science whenever they don't want to believe it.

And remember Ben Carson, Dr. Knowlittle, our next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development? Because of a completely fictional story in the Bible, he's decided that the pyramids - which are nearly solid stone - were used to store grain. Even crazier, he thinks that the scientific explanation for the pyramids is that aliens built them!

This is what happens when you cease to care about what's true and what isn't. This is what happens when you decide that "facts" are whatever you want them to be. This is what happens when you're faith-based, rather than evidence-based.

And now we've got a president-elect packing high governmental positions with crazy people, along with similarly loony politicians who'll soon control all three branches of the U.S. government, who simply don't care if their beliefs are true or not, because they reject the very concept of "facts."

What has happened to my America?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Are humans contributing only 3% of CO2 in the atmosphere?

This is why rational people accept the scientific consensus on issues like this (scientific issues), rather than believe bloggers, politicians, corporate CEOs, or entertainers when they spout off about things they know nothing about.

Naturally, that's assuming that you care about the truth of your beliefs,... but I did say "rational people," remember.

And I definitely include this blogger, when it comes to issues of scientific fact, rather than opinion. I'm not a scientist myself - any kind of scientist, let alone a climatologist. I'm strictly a layman. I'm just smart enough to accept the scientific consensus where there is one (because it's obvious that the scientific method works, and I have a general idea of why it works, too).

I've had idiots accuse me of believing Al Gore. Well, Gore is a smart man, no doubt, but he's not a climatologist. I don't believe Al Gore. Al Gore and I both accept the scientific consensus, that's all. (Well, I did note that he was a smart man.)

You see, I don't get my science from politicians. I don't even get my science from individual scientists. Picking and choosing which scientist to believe would be no different from just picking and choosing what you wanted to believe.

Scientists are only human, and you can't get all human beings to agree on anything. Even with a worldwide consensus, you could undoubtedly find some scientist who disagreed - maybe even within the appropriate field of study, too. That means nothing. A consensus doesn't mean unanimity.

So of course I accept the worldwide scientific consensus on issues like global warming, evolution, the age of the earth, and other matters that are only 'controversial' outside of science, not among the people who actually know what they're talking about.

But don't use me as an authority. Again, I'm no scientist. I have an educated layman's understanding of science, at best. Indeed, even if I were a scientist, it would be impossible to become an expert in every single field of science.

Luckily, that's not necessary. It's easy enough to determine the worldwide scientific consensus, where there is one. And where there isn't, the proper action is to reserve judgment.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Keith Olbermann: The Resistance

That's just an unbelievable level of hypocrisy from Donald Trump, isn't it? I mean, it would be complete hypocrisy coming from any Republican, after how they've behaved in recent years, but especially from Trump.

But then, he has good reason to think that many Americans are idiots, doesn't he? After all, almost as many of us voted for him as for Hillary Clinton. Of course, there's no such thing as facts anymore, right? To the faith-based, reality is whatever they want it to be.

I'm still sick to my stomach about the election, still deeply ashamed of my country. And so far, Trump is proving to be just as bad as I expected. But I can't argue for sanity anymore. Not yet, at least. I have no optimism left.

PS. Did you notice that America's unemployment rate has dropped (again) to 4.6%? It's at the lowest level since the last time a Republican collapsed our economy. How could so many of my fellow Americans be such complete idiots?