Linky Friday: Making The World Go Round

Labor:

coffee kiosk photo

Image by hakzelf

[L1] The article makes Odyssey sound pretty ominous, but I kept waiting for the part that was something other than an intriguing business model. On the other hand, I probably wouldn’t throw money on it because live by the whims of young people, die by the whims of young people.

[L2] Will civil service be able to stymie the Trump Administration by simply refusing to do its job?

[L3] Is this even legal?

[L4] They have one of these at my wife’s hospital. They’re pretty cool and the coffee was good.

[L5] The Jacobin asks what a working class party would stand for.

[L6] Robert Colville explains two new papers that argue that labor is struggling at least in part because of the resurgence of the monopoly.

Energy:

canada tar sands photo

Image by Mark Klotz

[En1] Saudi Arabia is looking at geothermal energy.

[En2] It’s rough when you can’t even afford to get your product to market.

[En3] Tony Lodge explains the failure of British energy policy.

[En4] Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’, Trump and the Republicans are rolling back green Obama decisions.

[En6] A look at an energy-pooling effort in Alaska.

Education:

Finland school photo

Image by okfn

[Ed1] According to Evelyn Douck, Harvard Law students want political debate.

[Ed2] How Ivy League schools avoid real diversity. This coincides with my own observational experience with affirmative action, wherein my upper middle-class Cuban-American friends with decent but not spectacular were getting offers from across the country.

[Ed3] Finland is, evidently, getting rid of school subjects.

[Ed4] Jenny Anderson argues that learning styles aren’t really a thing. The question I have, though, is that if there is a way you’re more comfortable learning (even if psychosomatically) does it make you inclined to want to learn more? Which may or may not help in the classroom, but seems like it would be significant.

[Ed5] Walter Olson has a thing or two to say on Trump’s Berkeley-related funding threat, following the funding threats of previous administration.

Religion:

vaclav havel photo

Image by @boetter

[R1] Vaclav Havel’s thoughts on the temptations of political power, and religion, are worth reading.

[R2] What is the origin of the phrase abracadabra? Could be it… Jewish?

[R3] Whatever happened to Freedom From Religion?

[R4] The Brothers of Jesus, and other Biblical moments left out of Jesus movies.

[R5] Bradley Birzer reviews a John J Miller story The Polygamous King, which sounds fascinating.

Food:

From Pixabay

From Pixabay

[F1] This sure makes sense. Lower pork costs plus generated (and seemingly random!) scarcity make for a good combination.

[F2] Alex Tabarrok tests out some fake meat, and decides that it is good.

[F3] This strikes me as an emergency! What is Trump going to do about it?

[F4] Gustavo Arellano explains how Andrew Puzder ruined Carl’s Jr.


Managing Editor
Home Page Twitter Google+ Pinterest 

Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

Please do be so kind as to share this post.
TwitterFacebookRedditEmailPrintFriendlyMore options

141 thoughts on “Linky Friday: Making The World Go Round

  1. [F4] Gustavo Arellano explains how Andrew Puzder ruined Carl’s Jr.

    I’m not really seeing that in the article. By his own reckoning the chain went from serving, “a glorified junior-high cafeteria burger, really: a thin patty, two pickles (if you’re lucky), a floppy slice of American cheese, mustard, ketchup and buns so threadbare that I left a thumb imprint after unwrapping it,” to, “gargantuan burgers I had never tasted—the 1/2 Pound Original Six Dollar Thickburger®, the Single All Natural Burger, the Big Carl™.”

    That’s a weird definition of ruining something. It’s especially weird when you read a sentence like this:

    The Carl’s in Fountain Valley off Harbor Boulevard and Edinger Avenue is busy for lunch. The line goes fast, though, and I’m next in less than a minute.

    Sounds like the place is really struggling and heading down hill. Nostalgia is a hell of a drug.

    I was very happy to see the level of public outrage after Trump’s Executive Orders and hope that it continues, but there is a real threat that this degenerates into Trump is terrible and so is every single thing he does and so is anyone or anything connected to him by fewer than four degrees of separation. That will quickly turn into a bunch of outraged people signalling to each other how outraged they are and how right they are to be outraged. That didn’t work very well in the Republican primary and it didn’t work very well in the general election. Not sure why anyone thinks that it’s going to work now.

    Report

    • It mentions a few things about employment complaints, but I don’t trust these types of articles to understand franchise arrangements to know whether these can be hung on the guy.

      I expected more on the Hardee’s acquisition, but it looks like that occurred when he was executive VP. Carl’s bought what was then the fourth largest hamburger chain with no apparent goal other than to become the fourth largest hamburger chain, now loaded with debt. This led to closures, firings, and a slow, eratic changes of the menu to a Carl’s menu that lost some of the existing customers. It looks like another stock-driven M&A disaster, and Puzder got promoted to fix.

      Report

      • I would be open to reading an article about employment complaints, cause that would be relevant to whether Puzder would make a good Labor Secretary.

        As it stands now, it’s an article about how he turned Carl’s Jr. into something contemporary and popular that betrayed the author’s nostalgic sense of what the place once was. It’s hipster ethics.

        Report

    • I think the article isn’t actually about Carl’s Jr; it’s about how the guy works for Trump now and therefore everything he did is bad. You aren’t supposed to read past the headline.

      Report

    • Luke: What’s in there?
      Yoda: Only what you take with you.

      Looks like lots of that happening to readers of the article. The way I read it is if the role of Labor Secretary is to support American Laborers then the methods used to save CKE as a company matter. Do we define success only by the price of the stock or the profitability of the corporation? Or is there more to it than that, especially from the perspective of the employees? Maybe the tale of nostalgia for an old school Happy Star gets in the way of the larger message.

      Report

  2. Ed2: This comes up as a topic on LGM whenever affirmative action is discussed. One poster points out that elite universities do not particularly want lower class African Americans and White Americans because they aren’t going to have parents that will donate to the university and aren’t going to donate themselves if they become successful. The children of wealthy immigrants are going to donate though. Lower class African Americans and White Americans are also going to need a lot more hand holding that the universities don’t want to give.

    R3: This is a not very convincing article. Anybody who knows anything about American history knows that there have always been many Americans that saw the United States as a basically Protestant country and had no problem mixing Protestantism and government. There used to be prayers and mandatory Bible reading in public schools until the mid-20th century.

    R4: People have a particular image of the story of Jesus in their heads and Bible movies reflect this more than the Gospels. Anything that would remind people that Jesus was a Jew and his message aimed at Jews living in Judea is expunged so Jesus’ circumcision or the Temple sacrifices are not depicted. People don’t want to think about Mary having a sex life so Jesus’ siblings aren’t shown.

    F3: Launch Trump Bacon.

    Report

    • ED2: also, students from different SES have very different ideas about what “college” is, and “how to college.” One of the things we struggle with at my school – we get a lot of rural kids who are the first in their families to attend college – is that we get a lot of students who are just not ready to deal with even the small bureaucracy we have.

      I’m not saying it very well but I find that my assumptions of “what an 18 year old college student should be able to do” are regularly challenged.

      What it means is the expectations my friends at more “elite” schools have are TOTALLY different from the expectations I have developed, and sometimes I find myself annoyed at their, “But why don’t you just….” suggesting some kind of draconian policy that would not take into account the struggles of some of our students. Or they are regularly surprised at the things I tolerate.

      We also get our fair share of students who have families (or are caring for family members – I’m working with someone right now who is the sole support for younger siblings) and/or are working full time, and I keep having to tamp down my annoyance about their college performance being their last priority because really, it probably SHOULD be.

      I’m also reading “Hillbilly Elegy” right now….while it’s not QUITE the experience many of our students have, I can see parallels.

      I also realize how lucky/privileged/blessed I was to be an 18 year old college student with ONLY myself to worry about, and with parents who had attended college (and in fact, my dad worked briefly as a college admin) and so knew some of the “hacks” to deal with offices that seemed to not want to help you.

      But I will say: despite my recognition of my privilege, still, stuff that happens to people has ripples and it’s depressing and frustrating to have to work with a student to try to reconstruct their research project after their angry ex stole their laptop and destroyed their class notes (which happened to one of my students once). Not that that that would necessarily be impossible to happen to a kid at Harvard, but they might have more ways of dealing (and might have known to save their data to “the cloud”)

      Report

    • How can you prove poorer Americans are not going to donate to their universities if or when they become successful?

      Though I think some colleges and universities are better at encouraging the kind of donating relationship than others. My alma mater is a master of making you feel like you are part of a special family and should give something.

      Report

      • I’m just repeating what the poster stated. I suspect its more about not wanting to do too much hand holding and have parents contribute more than tuition during the kid’s time in school. A child of well off immigrants of color is going to need less hand holding and will have parents that could and would give more than the first generation college going kid of poor Americans. I assume that all elite schools are very good at guilt tripping graduates into donating though.

        Report

        • I attended University of Michigan – not QUITE elite, but yeah, I can verify that they can lay the guilt on pretty hard. They also play that reverse auction thing where if you say you can’t afford $500, they ask for $400 and keep on going.

          I’m mostly immune to it though because they called me up once when I was in grad school and asked me to donate $1000 to the “discretionary fund” (read: slush fund) of a dean I disliked when I was a student there. At that time, $1000 was my take-home pay for a month. I explained that to the caller.

          Now, I have Caller ID and I just ignore the calls.

          Report

  3. [L2]: Please more of this. We can single highhandedly reduce the federal payroll.

    [Ed5]: ” and that it wasn’t such a good idea to grow dependent on the federal dollar in the first place.” It never is. Live by the sword, die by it.

    [F2]: Let me know when they can make a steak I can grill and when they can make bones I can scoop out the marrow from.

    Report

    • L2 – I have no problem with the idea that a civil servant has no obligation to follow an immoral order. He does have the option of quitting, though.

      But my bigger problem with the article is that I don’t see evidence of a methodical pulverization of America’s democratic institutions that would set the stage for such dramatic action. Yates’s firing was legal (over the very issue being discussed in this article), the Joint Chiefs weren’t kicked off the NSC, the departure of 6 high-level State Department employees wasn’t extraordinary, nor was President Trump’s “gag order” against science. The immigration ban wasn’t “anti-Muslim”. The Holman Rule is more likely to be used to target specific programs than specific federal employees. So by my count, every example of pulverization in this article was misleading at best.

      Report

    • K Tell you what. Find a publication on the left that is at least roughly as respectable as the Daily Mail (remember they’re the ones who had a bunch of people including me fooled yesterday with the shoddy Gorsuch / fascism club story, so that’s not all that respectable. HuffPo would do) that try to whitewash the killer as you predict.

      I will promise in return to read three of the next links you post.

      I’m not too worried, because “he was just mentally ill, pay no attention to the politics of his action or words” is (a) old enough to be a cliche outlets are trying to avoid and (b) mostly was the right’s ring anyway and BS never did really DI with anything like symmetry on that one.

      Note that examining any mental illness in looking at* how he became radicalized into jihadis* doesn’t count, as it still is very much focused on the fact of Islamist violence.

      I also won’t accept it if it turns out to be true and the jihadist material story actually was bunk. Like the initial reports on the Quebec city shooting arrestee who was actually not the shooter at all.

      Report

  4. L2: NYPD cops are not under Trump’s control. Andrew Cuomo ordered them to let protesters to JFK and they relented. I suppose this could work but Trump seems to fire anyone who he perceives as a threat to his authority.

    L3: I think this depends. They can hire refugees who are already here. Though it would be interesting to see someone sue that they were denied a job for not being a refugee.

    L5: I wonder how Jacobin would react to a Working Class Party that was economically socialist or left but socially conservative. The problem we have seen is that no one agrees on the definition of who and who is not working class and sometime’s working class movements get treated by other members of the working class as “sub working class.” Loomis on LGM believes that the WWC always puts their race identity above their class identity. The fight for 15 is a working class movement conducted by the urban working class who also happened to be POC usually. The response from the WWC seem to be “You aren’t really working class. You are below us.”

    Ed2: I think Lee and Fillyjonk cover this above. I’ve also seen what Fillyjonk mentions in essays done by working-class people who were the first in their families to go to college. They had no help or experience in dealing with the forms and functions of college. Here is a representative sample from a Cuban-American who got into Cornell:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/23/opinion/sunday/taking-my-parents-to-college.html?_r=0

    I was a first-generation college student as well as the first in our family to be born in America — my parents were born in Cuba — and we didn’t yet know that families were supposed to leave pretty much right after they unloaded your stuff from the car.

    We all made the trip from Miami, my hometown, to what would be my new home at Cornell University. Shortly after arriving on campus, the five of us — my parents, my younger sister, my abuela and me — found ourselves listening to a dean end his welcome speech with the words: “Now, parents, please: Go!”

    Almost everyone in the audience laughed, but not me, and not my parents. They turned to me and said, “What does he mean, Go?” I was just as confused as they were: We thought we all needed to be there for freshman orientation — the whole family, for the entirety of it. My dad had booked their hotel through the day after my classes officially began. They’d used all their vacation days from work and had been saving for months to get me to school and go through our orientation.

    Further down:

    She sighed into the phone and said: “Just read me the first question. We’ll go through it a little at a time and figure it out.”

    I read her the topic slowly, pausing after each sentence, waiting for her to say something. The first topic was two paragraphs long. I remember it had the word intersectionalities in it. And the word gendered. And maybe the phrase theoretical framework. I waited for her response and for the ways it would encourage me, for her to tell me I could do this, that I would eventually be the first in my family to graduate from college.

    “You’re right,” she said after a moment. “You’re screwed.”

    Other parents — parents who have gone to college themselves — might have known at that point to encourage their kid to go to office hours, or to the writing center, or to ask for help. But my mom thought I was as alone as I feared.

    The woman who wrote this essay had a happy ending but how many others do not?

    There is also the fact that foreigners tend to have money. My law school’s undergrad unit has a reputation for taking in a lot of Asian students with sometimes questionable English skills. These students are very wealthy though. I see them driving very fancy and new sports cars. I see them wearing clothing by designers whose stuff costs hundreds of dollars per an item. This is a far cry from when I was in college and seemingly everyone just rolled out of bed and attended their first class in PJs.

    Report

    • Good points on [L5]… I was reading the article as a fiscally liberal catholic and thinking a) there’s a lot of non-economic baggage here, and b) the levels of trust required for this to coalesce anywhere near a political party (much less actionable policy) are nowhere near achieving… and the people I don’t trust most are the people writing the platform, see also a).

      On the other hand, my positive sentiment (quoting another recent comment here) is that I’d be fine with them having a crack at it in, say, a Jacobin Socialist Vermont. But then, I’m also a rotten devolutionist too.

      [L6] Yes, there is much to this, but I thought the article lost the plot at the end and veered away from the effects of consolidation on the workers and wandered into unfocused maunderings (redundant, I know) on corporate consolidation in general. As a result, neither point was sufficiently unpacked.

      Report

    • Jacobin has a very romantic image of the working class in their minds and this image never conformed to reality at any time. Even without the issue of race, the American working class always contained conservative members. Besides West Virginian coal miners, the white working class in Southern textile mills tended not to be into unionizing to the same extent as working class people in the North East and Mid-West.

      Report

      • The left, generally, has never had a good connection with the actual working class and their culture and aspirations.

        But even now, work itself is changing as manufacturing evolves into service.

        It isn’t clear that there is a definable class of people by income level. A skilled union electrician makes more than many white collar professionals.

        In the absence of income based group consciousness, race and culture play a large role.

        The 99% idea was a good one, in that is sweeps all those who live off wages into one group, and those who live off capital interest into the other.

        But it would take a more stark wealth inequality gap than we currently have to weld so disparate a group together.

        Report

        • The left, generally, has never had a good connection with the actual working class and their culture and aspirations.

          Unions? For a couple-few decades, back when unions and worker protections more or less defined the limits of the ideological left, Democrats enacted policies very consistent with those ideals. Granted, they represented the economic interests of a predominantly urban, industrial-based segment of the working class rather than the totality of laboring wage earners. But as our culture and economy have changed over the years so too has the ideology largely associated with “the left” such that now, it seems to me, the working class’s economic interests are ranked far below PCness, social justice, environmental concerns, regulation of corporate profit-seeking, etc.

          Personally, I think the US left’s disassociation from blue collar workers’ interests is a relatively recent change in focus.

          Report

          • Again, I don’t think this is completely true unless we limit the working class to the WWC. Plenty of service workers and POC do vote Democratic. There aren’t enough upper-middle class liberals in the United States for the Democratic Party to rely solely on their votes.

            Alsotoo, the left (at least in the Anglosphere but maybe universal) has always had a strange bedfellows of upper-middle class intellectuals and the working class. The Labour Party in the UK had this pairing since their inception.

            Interestingly, I never know how US lefties would react to the old saying that UK Labour owed “More to Methodism than Marxism.”

            Report

            • If I had to guess at the reason the two groups are referred to differently at this point is in how they had been organized and approached. The WWC was approached in the context of labor, exploitation and what unions and such could do for them. Minorities were approached in a different manor, one that emphasized their minority status, how they had been treated due to that faact and how that could be used in organization.

              Report

              • Minorities were approached in a different manor

                Heh. Just noticed this. Not bad (was it a Freudian slip or intended?)

                I’d just add that even tho the leadership of the proletarian left in US politics is comprised of the landed gentry their economic status has NO BEARING on the policies they promote!!!

                Report

          • I’m thinking more of how the old Left of the New Deal era disassociated itself from the more mainstream Democratic Party leftism, and quickly became isolated and marginalized.
            In my view, it was that they favored a more European culture of class identity, whereas the American unions and Democratic Party had a better grasp of the actual aspirations of the working class.

            But thats history.
            What is interesting to me is the new activism of the Fight For 15 and SEIU groups, that do have a very good fusion of economic and social justice concerns.

            Since most of the members of these groups are people of color, there isn’t any divide between demands for more respect and dignity for workers, and demands for respect more broadly.

            In my dreams, the wider pool of white color workers who are suffering from the gig economy will knit together in a coalition to press for things security issues like healthcare, retirement, and training.

            Report

            • Its the same way that Gompers had a better grasp on what the working class wanted than the International Workers of the World. Working class people in Anglophone countries generally wanted material prosperity and economic security within the market rather than to destroy the market. They were also more religious than the European working class.

              The European working class might have been more in line with the though of the intelligentsia but even they had a big component that just wanted a middle class lifestyle. They also could support the Far Right just as easily as the Far Left as pointed out by historian Luc Sancte.

              Report

      • Yeah, certain lefties when forced with the fact that despite massive expanses to the welfare state, WWC voters _for some reason_ started to turn against the Democrat’s after the CRA and other similar bills were passed.

        Said lefties always point and say, “1976!” as proof that racism wasn’t really a huge deal, ignoring a massive factor that might’ve shifted votes that one time (hint – it’s the area of the country the Democratic nominee was from).

        Report

    • Though it would be interesting to see someone sue that they were denied a job for not being a refugee.

      They said this would apply to their global operation, so about one refugee per 2.5 Starbucks locations. In the US, coffee shops average very close to ten employees per location. Starbucks has an envious (for their industry) 65% annual turnover rate. Assume the numbers apply uniformly and they’re talking approximately one refugee per 16 openings this year. IANAL, but it seems to me that it would be hard for someone to assert that the refugee was the problem when they didn’t get any of the other 15 openings either.

      Report

    • Yeah I read L5 and said to myself “Self, I can really see a party united on these principles. It could even do some good since it’d give the Green Party someone to look down on and pity.”

      Report

    • Ed2: I’ve said this before, but I will be forever grateful to the VA office at UW-Madison. As a first gen college student, I would have been hopelessly lost without them. Luckily, they are more than used to vets being first gen students.

      Report

      • My alma mater has a Vets program as well. But the programs need to be expanded beyond vets.

        I wonder if schools should run a kind of boot camp for their first-time in the family college students. Maybe invite them on for a few weeks during the summer before the official freshman orientation.

        Report

        • At UW, the VA ran the vets program, because most vets came in as transfer students (since the military pays full tuition for classes taken while on active duty, it’s rare to find a vet who doesn’t have a handful of college credits under their belt – hence a freshman vet was a very rare bird).

          IIRC, the UW did have a program for freshman who were 1st gen, but I don’t know how good it was.

          Report

        • We have a “college success” class (one credit hour and I think optional) but I don’t know how helpful it is.

          okay guys: story time.

          when I was first teaching here, I had a guy in my (intro, non-majors) bio class who fell SOUND asleep in class one day. Like snoring asleep. I was mortified. It happened shortly before the end of class and I was too embarrassed to wake the guy up so I asked a colleague to do it for me.

          The next day, the students sitting around him (and WHY didn’t they do anything?) were razzing him – they said, “Steve*, weren’t you late for your next class? We thought you had class after this”

          Steve responded: “Oh, it was just ‘College Success.’ It didn’t seem useful to me so I dropped it.”

          (*name changed to protect the guilty)

          I wanted to say – but didn’t, as I was yet-untenured and scared – “Sounds like you missed the day on not falling asleep in class.”

          Though since then, I’ve had a few students fall asleep. They have always apologized later and it’s usually something like, “I’m working the graveyard shift” or “we have a new baby and he won’t sleep”

          But we do have a “college success” class and I know we have programs for veterans as we also won some kind of award for being especially “veteran friendly.”

          Though honestly, some of it is on the profs to recognize and teach. (At one point we had an officious administrator who was suggesting the students didn’t know how to shake hands properly and that we should teach them how before they had to go through graduation. That went over like a lead balloon, especially as it was suggested we do this mid-flu-season.)

          Report

  5. L1 – “First, the algorithm feeds stories to community editors—locally based individuals who are not paid for their job—to be edited” (em added)

    yeah, stopped reading right there. That’s not at all a viable business model.

    Report

  6. L2 – The Trump administration won’t enforce labor and environmental regulations the bureaucracy likes, and so, to protest the bureaucracy…won’t do its job enforcing labor and environmental regulations.

    I don’t think the Bartlebite founder has thought her strategy completely through.

    Report

    • “I am granted one wish, but already, you’re saying nobody from the Department of Labor, OSHA, or the EPA will visit my sites nor review my records for the next 4 years? Ok, then, I’ll have a Coke”

      Report

  7. R4 – I can’t imagine a film showing a circumcision. “Now, in this scene, we strip an infant naked, focus in on his penis, and show a controversial medical procedure.”

    Report

  8. F1- I had read somewhere else that the McRib is *so* popular, it actually bends the cost curve for pork (upward), and that’s also why McD’s only rolls it out periodically.

    Report

  9. Slightly off topic, but I want to praise media good behavior when is see it.

    Following a few links I ended up at the Washington Post article about Gorsuch’s “liberal” Episcopal Church. The article concludes:

    St. John’s, the article noted, was also the parish of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey, the beauty pageant contestant whose 1996 murder became a subject of national interest.

    Fake news bait? Not so fast:

    Gorsuch and his family did not move to Colorado until 10 years later, when George W. Bush appointed him to be a judge there.

    In case you were wondering.

    Of course, they still introduced the complete non-sequitur of JonBenet Ramsey in the first place… but, baby steps.

    Report

    • That doesn’t strike me as fake news either way since both things are actually true. I’d lump it into propaganda if I thought the motivation was to create a negative view of Gorsuch but more probably I’d lump it under the title of “clicky-tittalanda” since the sole purpose of that inclusion is to generate a buzz which they can follow up on. “Gorsuch lives near where Jon Benet was killed! Was he instrumental in getting Patsy Ramsey exonerated???”

      Report

      • Sure, its not always the initial report (though even the WaPo is repeating the utterly useless bits of another reporter), its the secondary truncated parts that form from the reputable first reports.

        But yes, not Moldavian teenagers making things up whole-cloth.

        Report

  10. David Masciotra is an elitist asshole, but whenever I talk about this people here claim it’s something that I’m making up. We need to zero out funding fro higher education so that people like Masciotra are forced to interact with the people they despise. It is perfectly reasonable to believe that Climate Change was invented by people professors like Masciotra in order to destroy the lives of the people they hate.

    http://www.salon.com/2016/11/20/real-americans-vs-coastal-elites-what-right-wing-sneers-at-city-dwellers-really-mean/

    Report

  11. Maybe Yates was right:

    The Department of Homeland Security announced it has suspended all actions to implement the immigration order and will resume standard inspections of travelers as it did prior to the signing of the travel ban.

    And restore suspended Visas.

    (What day are we on?)

    Report

        • It is something that can be analyzed on its own merits, wholly independent of the veracity of the source or checking its links.

          The assertion is exactly as I described above, that there is a massive worldwide conspiracy of climate scientists to create a fictional set of data showing the world is warming, when it is not. And this is all towards the goal of establishing a one world government that wrongfully punishes the coal, oil, and gas companies.

          Do you believe this?

          Report

          • Here’s one of the things that I keep noticing:

            The style of argument that says that when one can make the argument about the other person, one can dismiss the other person’s argument after establishing that the other person is bad.

            So, in the future, let’s assume that I am bad. Just straight from the get-go. Racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, let’s just pile them on. For the sake of this argument, let’s assume that I believe that there is a massive worldwide conspiracy of climate scientists to create a fictional set of data showing the world is warming, when it is not. And this is all towards the goal of establishing a one world government that wrongfully punishes the coal, oil, and gas companies.

            There. We’ve established that I am bad.

            Here’s an article that just came out.

            Is it your position that you don’t even have to read it because we’ve already established that I am bad?

            Report

            • Where in my comment did I say anyone was bad?

              I just repeated their assertion, that there is a conspiracy among climate scientists to fool the public into thinking the earth is warming up.

              Do you believe that assertion?

              Report

              • See? And it’s about me again.

                I will copy and paste what I said before: For the sake of this argument, let’s assume that I believe that there is a massive worldwide conspiracy of climate scientists to create a fictional set of data showing the world is warming, when it is not. And this is all towards the goal of establishing a one world government that wrongfully punishes the coal, oil, and gas companies.

                We’ve established that.

                Report

                • OK, so you believe this conspiracy.

                  Why should I believe it?
                  The Daily Mail says that Dr. John Bates says that NOAA didn’t follow proper peer review process in publishing a paper on global warming.

                  The paper didn’t present anything other than an assertion from Dr. John Bates.
                  No rebuttal from NOAA.
                  No comment from any other independent authority or agency.
                  No specific evidence of why anyone should dispute the paper’s conclusions.

                  So what is my reaction?
                  Hell I don’t know.
                  Its entirely possible they rushed the paper out due to political calculations.

                  What’s your reaction?

                  Report

                  • For the sake of this argument, we’ve already established that that I believe that there is a massive worldwide conspiracy of climate scientists to create a fictional set of data showing the world is warming, when it is not. And this is all towards the goal of establishing a one world government that wrongfully punishes the coal, oil, and gas companies.

                    I mean, jeez. How many times do we have to say that?

                    So let’s get back to the article.

                    Here’s an excerpt:

                    But the whistleblower, Dr John Bates, a top NOAA scientist with an impeccable reputation, has shown The Mail on Sunday irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data.

                    Jeez. That’s a bold claim. I wonder what this “irrefutable” evidence could be. I bet we could find a real newspaper willing to refute it.

                    Here’s another excerpt:

                    Both datasets were flawed. This newspaper has learnt that NOAA has now decided that the sea dataset will have to be replaced and substantially revised just 18 months after it was issued, because it used unreliable methods which overstated the speed of warming. The revised data will show both lower temperatures and a slower rate in the recent warming trend.

                    This is something that can be checked.
                    Will the NOAA be revising the paper?

                    Maybe the Daily Mail is lying, after all.
                    Now *THAT* would be something worth getting in a tizzy over. People in a position of trust lying to the public who just don’t know any better.

                    It makes you wonder if there isn’t a huge conspiracy in the media.

                    Report

          • I’d be shocked if there were a conspiracy of this magnitude. I would be less shocked if a consensus were reached that turned out to be flawed but it were nonetheless perpetuated because professional incentives strongly discouraged deviation from the consensus and strongly encouraged finding more support for it.

            Report

            • So this assertion, is that peer pressure causes scientists the world over to disregard evidence to the contrary to the leading theory?

              Meaning that the earth is NOT warming at all?

              What evidence would cause you to think this?

              Report

              • My assertion is not that this is the case. Merely that it is something I could see happening and that if it were happening, it would look something like this.

                It would also look something like this if the theory were entirely true, which is what I am inclined to believe is the case.

                Report

                • Do you apply this to other issues of scientific consensus?

                  The earth being round, revolving around the sun, evolution of species, the 9-11 attacks…?

                  You realize that there is anomalous data in every field.
                  Creationists will eagerly show you data that can’t be explained by Darwin’s theory.
                  Holocaust deniers will show you data casting doubt on the numbers of deaths in Poland 1940-45.

                  And here’s the thing. They are correct!

                  There does exist anomalous data in every field of science, data that can’t be explained by the prevailing theory.
                  There is also evidence of malfeasance and shoddy work by scientists, rivalries and vanities that cast a shadow over their conclusions.

                  In every. Single. Field.

                  The foolishness here is in shifting the burden of proof.

                  The conspiracy theorist never are so bold as to make an assertion of their own. Instead they shift the burden of proof to the other side, and bank on the idea that a single countervailing thread will unravel the entire edifice.

                  Except they never get around to doing that work.
                  Instead they work with suggestion and innuendo.

                  Which is why I insist on an assertion.

                  Do you really believe that the earth is not warming at all, but some combination of peer pressure and bad intent just gets nearly all the world’s climate scientists to put forward that theory?

                  Report

                  • Is it possible for both the earth to be warming and for scientists to have done what it was reported that they did in the article that we still haven’t talked about because you’d rather talk about the internal states of the people you’re arguing with?

                    Report

                          • Sucks to be those scientists.

                            Because the article seems to be describing acts that would be really easy for conspiracy theorists to assume would be evidence of malfeasance in service to an ideology.

                            I mean, the behavior is bad to the point where even people who see Global Climate Change as a threat to the planet would immediately have to attack the motives of the people who noticed the story in the first place in order to keep from talking about the details of the story.

                            Report

                            • But even you’re missing the point here, Jaybird, in your effort to go too meta:

                              The real worry is that ICC and NOAA and others issue scientific reports in public forums like the Paris talks precisely so countries have sufficient empirical evidence to determine (or not) policies going forward. Once the reliability of that evidence is undermined – internally, by the actions of those creating the reports – the foundations upon which future policy is built are fundamentally undermined.

                              Report

                              • Once the reliability of that evidence is undermined – internally, by the actions of those creating the reports – the foundations upon which future policy is built are fundamentally undermined.

                                I disagree.

                                Because all scientific conclusions, always and everywhere without exception, contain anomalies, errors, and personal feuds.
                                Give me 20 seconds and I can find the equivalent assertion about the Holocaust or 9-11.

                                Yet we don’t go around questioning the credibility of science in other areas, why should we here?

                                Again, look at the original link, the Daily Mail story.
                                It is a trivially weak assertion, without any support or evidence.

                                Its the equivalent of “One guy sez…”

                                Yet, based on this one piece of data, we are being asked to cast aside the conclusion of the entire global community of climate scientists and believe in a preposterous conspiracy theory.

                                Report

                                • Yet, based on this one piece of data, we are being asked to cast aside the conclusion of the entire global community of climate scientists and believe in a preposterous conspiracy theory.

                                  Who’s asking you to do that?

                                  Report

                                  • John Hinderaker, for one.
                                    The Daily Caller, for another.

                                    I mean, c’mon.
                                    This is the latest in a series of propaganda efforts to sow confusion and distrust into making people willing to accept the status quo.

                                    They can never actually make a coherent assertion, so they just keep attacking the sources, shifting goalposts (It isn’t happening! OK, its happening, but we can’t stop it! OK we can stop it but its too expensive! OK its not too expensive, but…its not happening!”)

                                    As citizens, I think its right and fair that we demand that these people either make their case, or STFU.
                                    Because we have to make decisions and distractions like this don’t help.

                                    Report

                                    • This is the latest in a series of propaganda efforts to sow confusion and distrust into making people willing to accept the status quo.

                                      I’m unclear as to what “this” is the referent to.

                                      The guy blowing the whistle on the alleged acts of the scientists?
                                      The article talking about the guy blowing the whistle on the alleged acts of the scientists?
                                      The fact that I mentioned the article talking about the guy blowing the whistle on the alleged acts of the scientists?

                                      Report

                  • I do believe that consensus is sometimes wrong. We’ve seen it be wrong, in the area of nutrition for example.

                    Do I think it’s wrong here? While I would not be incredibly surprised if it were flawed, as I said I do not believe it is wrong. However, you don’t have to believe in a crazy anti-oil conspiracy theory to believe it’s wrong.

                    Report

                      • Define doubt and uncertainty? I think we should operate on the assumption that the scientific consensus is correct and the earth is warming and will continue to warm. I can’t say I’m certain because I’m not a scientist, but given that it *is* their area of expertise I need a lot more to be convinced that there is a reasonable likelihood they are wrong before I believe we ought to change our operating assumptions.

                        And if it turns out they are wrong, I will not be shocked.

                        Report

                        • One of the shifts I’ve seen lately from GOPers, especially with quite a few of the Trump nominees, is the view that AGW/climate change is real but that the effects are either overstated or uncertain. Which is, I’ve always thought, exactly the ground to fight on (otherwise you end up looking like an idiot who thinks global warming is a hoax created by the Chinese to take our manufacturing jobs!!).

                          Report

                        • I agree with your statement. The world is a complex nuanced place with conflicting data points.

                          As citizens of a republic, we are tasked with decision-making.
                          Do we elect representatives who want to curtail global warming, or who don’t?

                          It moves from being a cautious philosophical position amenable to navel gazing uncertainty, to a binary yes/ no decision.

                          Which is why I reacted to the initial link with a demand for an assertion that could be investigated and evaluated.

                          I understand doubt, I get nuance and complexity, but in order to make a decision as an informed citizen, I need ultimately to weigh evidence and make a binary judgement.

                          For me, the fact the the opposition refuses to ever put together a coherent alternative narrative is damning.
                          Instead, after you pin them down, what they are asking of us all is to have faith in a bizarre conspiracy that lacks any sort of motive, opportunity, or ability.

                          Report

                      • The claim is that the final report, written in advance of the Paris CLimate talks, disregarded a data set which woulda made the temp rise lower than what the final report claimed. (And then deleted, or at least didn’t provide access to, the raw data upon which that determination was based.)

                        Substantively, that’s the total complaint (as far as I could tell). The rest of the article was about why that choice was made.

                        Report

        • And all the other climate scientists the world over, are they doing the same?

          And didn’t they start doing all this before Obama was even elected?

          How do you explain all this?

          Report

        • So, anticipating Obama, they began feeding doctored data to the US Global Change Research Program under George H. W. Bush in 1989. And continued all the way through the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, tricking the USGCRP researchers into publishing documents showing warming. Not to mention the last couple of Joint Operating Environment documents from the Dept of Defense, who put consequences of global warming (eg, population migrations due to increased drought conditions) high on their list of worries. Right?

          Report

  12. From the NYT: Not ‘Lone Wolves’ After All: How ISIS Guides World’s Terror Plots From Afar

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/04/world/asia/isis-messaging-app-terror-plot.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

    I’m totally shocked to learn that these Muslim terrorists aren’t just the random mentally disturbed folks liberals seem to think they are. Maybe they will think twice when dismissing an ISIS claim of responsibility now.

    Report

Comments are closed.