Daily Wisdom

March 14, 2007

The Great Global Warming Swindle (Redux)

Well, Big Brother Google "swindled" me. Apparently they are no longer allowing this 'You Tube' video to be posted to other web sites or blogs. Little Green Footballs suggests that it might be for copyright violations. That may or may not be true. I for one however, find it very sinister that Google took the independent concept of 'You Tube' and have now 'privatized' it. We might as well call it 'Their Tube'. The video is 1 hour and 16 minutes long, but worth every minute. My apologies to those who may have been directed to this site to see the video. Apparently the only way you can watch this outstanding video is by going to the Google Video site...


CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO.


A Review From Life Style Extra:

Accepted theories about man causing global warming are "lies" claims a controversial new TV documentary. 'The Great Global Warming Swindle' - backed by eminent scientists - is set to rock the accepted consensus that climate change is being driven by humans. The programme, to be screened on UK Channel 4 on Thursday March 8, will see a series of respected scientists attack the "propaganda" that they claim is killing the world's poor. Even the co-founder of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, is shown, claiming African countries should be encouraged to burn more CO2.

Nobody in the documentary defends the greenhouse effect theory, as it claims that climate change is natural, has been occurring for years, and ice falling from glaciers is just the spring break-up and as normal as leaves falling in autumn. A source at Channel 4 said: "It is essentially a polemic and we are expecting it to cause trouble, but this is the controversial programming that Channel 4 is renowned for."

Controversial director Martin Durkin said: "You can see the problems with the science of global warming, but people just don't believe you - it's taken 10 years to get this commissioned. I think it will go down in history as the first chapter in a new era of the relationship between scientists and society. Legitimate scientists - people with qualifications - are the bad guys. It is a big story that is going to cause controversy. It's very rare that a film changes history, but I think this is a turning point and in five years the idea that the greenhouse effect is the main reason behind global warming will be seen as total bollocks. Al Gore might have won an Oscar for 'An Inconvenient Truth', but the film is very misleading and he has got the relationship between CO2 and climate change the wrong way round."

One major piece of evidence of CO2 causing global warming are ice core samples from Antarctica, which show that for hundreds of years, global warming has been accompanied by higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. In 'The Great Global Warming Swindle' Al Gore is shown claiming this proves the theory, but paleoclimatologist Professor Ian Clark claims in the documentary that it actually shows the opposite. He has evidence showing that warmer spells in the Earth's history actually came an average of 800 years before the rise in CO2 levels. While Prof Clark fully acknowledges that recent increases in atmospheric CO2 are anthropogenic, he just doesn't see any evidence that the man-made increases of CO2 are driving temperature change.

Scientists in the programme also raise another discrepancy with the official line, showing that most of the recent global warming occurred before 1940, when global temperatures then fell for four decades. It was only in the late 1970s that the current trend of rising temperatures began. This, claim the sceptics, is a flaw in the CO2 theory, because the post-war economic boom produced more CO2 and should, according to the consensus, have meant a rise in global temperatures.

The programme claims there appears to be a consensus across science that CO2 is responsible for global warming, but Professor Paul Reiter is shown to disagree. He said the influential United Nations report on Climate change, that claimed humans were responsible, was a sham. It claimed to be the opinion of 2,500 leading scientists, but Prof Reiter said it included names of scientists who disagreed with the findings and resigned from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and said the report was finalised by Government appointees.

The CO2 theory is further undermined by claims that billions of pounds are being provided by governments to fund greenhouse effect research, so thousands of scientists know their job depends on the theory continuing to be seen as fact. The programme claims efforts to reduce CO2 are killing Africans, who have to burn fires inside their home, causing cancer and lung damage, because their Governments are being encouraged to use wind and solar panels that are not capable of supplying the continent with electricity, instead of coal and oil-burning power stations that could.

Nigel Calder, a former editor of New Scientist, is featured in the programme, and has just released a book claiming that clouds are the real reason behind climate change. 'The Chilling Stars' was written with Danish scientist Henrik Svensmark who published a scientific paper, claiming cosmic rays cause clouds to form, reducing the global temperature. The theory is shown in the programme. Mr Calder said: "Henrik Svensmark saw that cloudiness varies according to how many atomic particles are coming in from exploded stars - when there are more cosmic rays, there are more clouds. "However, solar winds bat away many of the cosmic rays and the sun is currently in its most active phase, which would be an explanation for global warming."

"I am a science journalist and in my career I have been told by eminent scientists that black holes do not exist and it is impossible that continents move, but in science the experts are usually wrong. "For me this is a cracking science story - I don't come from any political position and I'm certainly not funded by the multinationals, although my bank manager would like me to be. I talk to scientists and come up with one story, and Al Gore talks to another set of scientists and comes up with a different story. So knowing which scientists to talk to is part of the skill. Some, who appear to be disinterested, are themselves getting billions of dollars of research money from the Government. The few millions of dollars of research money from multinationals can't compare to government funding, so you find the American scientific establishment is all for man-made global warming. We have the same situation in Britain. The government's chief scientific advisor Sir David King is supposed to be the representative of all that is good in British science, so it is disturbing he and the Government are ignoring a raft of evidence against the greenhouse effect being the main driver against climate change."

The programme shows how the global warming research drive began when Margaret Thatcher gave money to scientists to 'prove' burning coal and oil was harmful, as part of her drive for nuclear power. Philip Stott, professor emeritus of biogeography at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London who also features in the film, warned the issue was too complex to be down to one single factor, whether CO2 or clouds. He said: "The greenhouse effect theory worried me from the start because you can't say that just one factor can have this effect. The system is too complex to say exactly what the effect of cutting back on CO2 production would be, or indeed of continuing to produce CO2. It's ridiculous to see politicians arguing over whether they will allow the global temperature to rise by 2C or 3C."

Mr Stott said the film could mark the point where scientists advocating the greenhouse effect theory, began to lose the argument. He continued: "It is a brave programme at the moment to give excluded voices their say, and maybe it is just the beginning. At the moment, there is almost a McCarthyism movement in science where the greenhouse effect is like a puritanical religion and this is dangerous."

In the programme Mr Calder said: "The greenhouse effect is seen as a religion and if you don't agree, you are a heretic." He added: "However, I think this programme will help further debate and scientists not directly involved in global warming studies may begin to study what is being said, become more open-minded and more questioning, but this will happen slowly."

22 Comments:

At 3/14/2007 7:53 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

To All,
My apologies to those who originally commented on this thread. I was no doubt a bit hasty in deleting the entire post (along with the comments). I guess I didn't think through the consequences of my actions (for which other men have been hung). But sometimes frustration gets the better of us, and rational thought takes a back seat to swift and decisive action... albeit the wrong decision. (Sheesh!)

 
At 3/14/2007 8:46 PM , Anonymous Elroy said...

Aha! Otherwise rational actor makes rash and ultimately wrong decision! See? It can happen.

Now, to further this debate I strongly recommend you read this: http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2007/03/13/channel-4s-problem-with-science/

This is a well-researched and cogent article that rebutts The Great Global Warming Swindle; to ignore it would be to stick your head well and truly in the sand. Stay informed, Hawkeye; it's the road to truth.

Cheers

Elroy

 
At 3/14/2007 11:18 PM , Blogger RobC said...

Elroy's link got messed up. I found the page at http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2007/03/13/channel-4s-problem-with-science/.

It is an excellent writeup. Thanks, Elroy.

I think maybe it's unnecessarily critical of Channel 4. Their own information on global warming looks pretty good. I suppose their willingness to air it goes with their stated reluctance to censor viewpoints they don't share. I just hope they didn't pay for it.

 
At 3/14/2007 11:19 PM , Blogger RobC said...

Well, crap. It didn't work for me, either. The missing characters in the link are annel-4s-problem-with-science/

 
At 3/15/2007 2:19 PM , Anonymous kajun said...

I've said all along: "The sun causes global warming"! Now it looks as though maybe, I might have been right!

 
At 3/15/2007 5:40 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Elroy,
Of course it happens! People who do nothing... never make mistakes. People who do little... make but few mistakes. People who do great things often make mistake after mistake 'til they get it right (Thomas Edison comes to mind).

BTW, is that www.monbiot.com or... www.moonbat.com?? (Sorry, I couldn't help myself). OK, I'll check it out.

Cheers

 
At 3/15/2007 5:42 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

RobC,
Thanks for the rest of the link. I will check it out.

 
At 3/15/2007 5:52 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Kajun,
Nah, don't kid yourself. The polar ice caps on Mars have been shrinking for the last 3 years because the "Rover" we sent up there is not really the size of a skateboard as NASA would like you to believe. That thing is really the size of the vehicle that moves the space shuttle out to the launch pad. It uses enough diesel fuel in a year to power up 100 American cities...

Why do you think we invaded Iraq? So we could steal enough diesel fuel to keep the Mars "Rover" goin'.

(:D) Regards...

 
At 3/15/2007 6:37 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Elroy & RobC,
OK, I checked out the link you cited. I find it interesting that Monbiot's byline reads... "Tell people something they know already and they will thank you for it. Tell them something new and they will hate you for it."

Apparently George Monbiot proves the validity of his own byline through his denunciation of someone who is attempting to say something new. He likewise reinforces the views of those who appeared in the Channel 4 video that to disagree with the consensus brings rebuke.

Is he right or wrong? I can't say. 1) I have neither the time nor the inclination to follow-up all of his references. 2) If he is right, then he will have plenty of opportunity to gloat as mankind submerges beneath the waves of melted polar ice caps. 3) If he is wrong, he will never admit it and will most likely be armed with plenty of evidence to suggest that he really didn't believe that "man-made global warming stuff" all along.

Nevertheless, I can tell you this... the Biblical prophecies clearly indicate that this earth will not be destroyed by "man-made global warming". Rather, it states that "man-made sin" will cause God to pour out His wrath and consume the earth with "God-made, global-warming"...

"But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist have been stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men... But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up." --2Peter 3:7-10

 
At 3/15/2007 7:13 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

OOPS,
Sorry. That should be 2Peter 3:7,10.

 
At 3/16/2007 5:30 AM , Anonymous Elroy said...

Ah Hawkeye, a few misunderstandings to clear up. First, your moan about YouTube being ‘privatized’ is rather amusing seeing as it was never public to start with. To be privatized, a concern must be owned by the State and I know how you feel about State ownership (I’m thinking that you don’t like it too much), so what really happened was that one private company bought out another in an effort to thwart the competition they represented. I believe this is known as ‘capitalism’ and is rather favored in these here parts.

The reason that stuff has been getting pulled is contravention of intellectual copyright laws; Viacom have got them in the grip of a multi-million dollar law suite as we speak, so maybe you should direct your displeasure to them. Still, it’s always nice to see you come out on the side of socialism.

As for George Monbiot, your view that he will never admit that he is wrong is pure speculation; in fact, one thing George is good at is stating when he is, or has been, wrong. Noted for it, in fact. And, just so you know, a ‘byline’ is the line that says ‘By…’, as in ‘By George Monbiot’. It’s simple really. And not that his ‘Tell someone something…’ blurb has anything to do with the information he provides, but is not denouncing someone who is attempting to say something new; on the contrary, he is denouncing people who are saying something old and firmly discredited, even by those saying it.


However, one of the most interesting parts of your reply are when you say you do not have the ‘inclination’ to check whether he is right or not, or whether his sources are credible, that you are apparently quite happy to wait until we all drown before you go ‘Oops! Should checked out that pal of Elroy’s, whatisname, Jeff somethin’’.

I am well aware of conservatives’ efforts to politicize the global warming debate and I know y’all are, as we say down here, ropable over Al Gore’s success in giving it such a high profile, so I understand how overjoyed you must have been to see this film; however, I find it curious that you can adopt the position advocated by the film with nary a hiccup.

Aren’t you in the slightest bit bothered that it might be complete rubbish? Don’t you think it wise to check the film’s sources? That you can swallow this stuff without a whimper suggests that you accept it due to your personal ideology than any belief in the science. Did Sean and Bill tell it was OK? I thought conservatives ‘thought for themselves’ – am I wrong? How can you argue for a position if you just ignore the opposition? Oh, that's right...

Lastly, I find it ironic that you to end a post based on competing scientists by quoting the Bible, a tome which is everything but scientific. If that is the strength of your argument than please, bow out of the debate now and let us that really care about the truth to work out how to save the planet.

On the other hand, your Bible quote could be quite accurate, according to me. My interpretation.is, as I consider the free-market capitalism insanity that we are all currently experiencing to be immoral, that maybe man-made global warming, caused as it is by relentless industrialization, is the very ‘man-made sin’ which your God wishes to tell us off for. Well, maybe you – he knows I’ve been good.

Cheers

Elroy

P.S. You’ll be delighted to know that I have caved in to public pressure and so would like to announce that Let’s Ask Elroy (www.letsaskelroy.blogspot.com) is open for business. See y’all at my place!

 
At 3/16/2007 9:27 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Elroy,
Such a clever boy you are. You are absolutely correct that 'privatized' was the wrong word to use... 'swallowed up' would have been more appropriate. And even a hardened 'capitalist' like myself disdains monopolistic practices, particularly when they impinge on the freedom of speech. Economies of scale are one thing... eliminating choice and controlling access are entirely different.

"Still, it’s always nice to see you come out on the side of socialism." In your dreams.

OK, "blurb"... picky, picky, picky. You know what I meant. Now you are simply being adversarial in order to suggest that you are a superior intellect. Typical elitist crap.

Jeff... George... well, what's in a name?

My particular aim in highlighting the video was to draw attention to the fact that not everyone in the scientific community agrees with "man-made" global warming. In that regard, I have been successful. It was also useful in showing that "deniers" are treated as "heretics" against the "religion" of man-made global warming.

Beyond that, it was enlightening in its suggestions that: 1) other factors might be at work, 2) sunspot activity seems to correlate BETTER with global warming than CO2 production (albeit imperfectly), 3) cloud cover and cosmic rays might also play a part (even though a 'direct' correlation may not be indicated), 4) that the logic of CO2 production driving global temperature is extremely faulty and not borne out by the facts that CO2 production increased dramatically between 1940 and 1975 when global temperatures were decreasing (but sunspot activity was increasing), 5) that further scientific analysis is required which explores potential causes of global warming beyond merely the production of CO2, 6) that such scientific inquiries should be pursued freely without the 'backlash' of religious zealotry on the part of 'politicians' (with or without scientific credentials), and 7) that scientific inquiry should be made without preconceived notions.

These facts alone elevate the video above the level of 'complete rubbish' as you suggest. In fact, your characterization implies that you are a true believer in this new religion of man-made global warming. My response to your religion therefore, was a quote from my own religion. Since I believe that prophetic scriptures from my own religion will play out as foretold, I am completely assured that the world will not end in any way, shape, or form of man-made global warming. Yes, that is a matter of faith and not very scientific, but I am entitled to my beliefs.

And it should be pointed out that throughout history scientists have been proven wrong. It was once assumed by scientists that: 1) the human body could not travel faster than 35 miles per hour, 2) the sound barrier could never be broken, 3) man would never land on the moon, 4) that everything about the universe had been discovered, and 5) that computers would never need more than 640K of RAM. Go figure.

 
At 3/16/2007 5:13 PM , Anonymous Purplehaze said...

Actually Hawkeye, modern Science has never put a limit on human potential. Those so called "absolute truth" claims are left to 3000 year old out-dated texts like the Bible. Science, while not infallible, provides conclusions based on strong facts, evidence, and years if not decades of research and peer scrutiny. Even Christians(the sane ones),realise that religion doesn't need to contradict science, and that expanding literal conclusions out of a 3000 year old textbook is illogical if not completely kuckoo, yet some Christians still choose this path. May the truth have mercy on them.

 
At 3/16/2007 6:38 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Purplehaze,
"modern Science has never put a limit on human potential."

No argument there. If you don't believe in God, then "human potential" is unlimited because... you TOO can be "a god". FYI, the Bible only limits "human potential" to the level of Jesus Christ. It suggests that aspiring Christians should strive to attain the perfection of Jesus. Jesus said...

You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. --Matthew 5:48

Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father..." --John 14:9

Therefore, we must strive to be perfect, as Jesus was perfect. Jesus was the ultimate example of human perfection and human potential.

Those so called "absolute truth" claims are left to 3000 year old out-dated texts like the Bible.

First of all, the Bible is hardly "out-dated". Its storehouse of wisdom is unsurpassed. Its explanation of the human condition is unrivaled. Its message of hope still inspires. Its message of salvation still saves lost souls. Its message of love still results in miracles. Its admonition to charity results annually in billions of dollars of philanthropy. The Bible is still the world's best-seller. It has been translated into hundreds of languages and dialects. The Mosaic Law has been the basis for most of the judicial systems in Western culture. It still provides historical insight which, though often disputed, has been substantiated time and time again. Its past prophetic revelations (300 or thereabouts) about a single individual (Jesus) have been fulfilled to a level which are statistically (i.e., mathematically) "impossible". These facts alone suggest that the Bible is a unique and living document which deserves special attention.

Secondly, I find "absolute truth" comforting. I've never thought much of "relativity". I mean, relative to murder, homosexuality is not even a "misdemeanor"... it's a "life style". But in the eyes of God, homosexuality is a blatant sin for which a sinner must "repent" (i.e., change direction) in order to escape the same fate as the murderer. God did not change His absolute truth... Man employed relativity to legalize sin. God did not change... Man dragged himself down to the brink of Hell.

"science [is] not infallible..."

Glad you recognize that. No further discussion necessary.

 
At 3/18/2007 1:27 AM , Anonymous Elroy said...

Such a clever boy I am? Not being a little patronizing are we? Again? I’d hate to accuse you of hypocrisy but it could be argued that you are fast becoming blogspot’s Newt Gingrich.

Yes, Hawkeye, socialism! You like it plenty; you just don’t know you do. See, if you were truly a hardened capitalist you would understand that monopoly is capital’s natural state, and any capitalist concern will inherently strive to achieve this condition. A cornered market will always achieve the best return for stockholders, and as any given board of directors is legally mandated to follow the best return for investment said board would not be fulfilling their fiduciary duty, and be in actual breach of federal law, if they did follow aforementioned returns.

But if you’ disdain monopolistic practices’ then you must be in favor of some form of state regulation, and therefore the question is merely: how much? State regulation of private industry? Why that’s…socialism! See? Dreams really can come true.

And if your last post is anything to go by it appears that you are also particularly in favor of tightening media ownership laws, strengthening the FCC, reinstating the Fairness Doctrine and passing net neutrality laws! Good for you! Of course, this position will put you offside with a number of conservatives and their financial backers, including GWB and his propaganda minister Rupert Murdoch, but I understand how important principles are to conservatives, so, way to go Hawkeye!

And my putting you right on a couple of matters, well, we can’t have you running around all misinformed, now can we? And I’m not trying to suggest I’m a ‘superior intellect’ or anything else, I’m just trying to make sure that we all know what we’re talking about. If you put me right on something I don’t know about, I’m not going to call you an ‘elitist’ – I’m going to thank you for teaching me.

That you buy into this anti-intellectual ‘elite’ nonsense is disappointing, Hawkeye; people with an education are not an elite – they are people with an education, people who have learnt the skills of critical thinking, people who can reason, people who can see the woods for the trees. This ‘anti-intellectual’ campaign is dreadful for a number of reasons; it discounts the importance of a decent education, discouraging our kids from even bothering at school, and it is fundamentally dishonest in that it only targets liberals.

Conservative intellectuals, like Coulter, Horowitz, Frum et al, are lauded for their degrees and credentials while leftist brains are vilified, yet if you REALLY want to see an elite at work go no further that the Bush and Murdoch clans. THAT’S the power of privilege, dynasty, money and inherited wealth at work, THAT’S an elite, fella! The left are not an elite, they are the overwhelming majority of voters both in the USA and around the world. The right and their corporate moneymen only maintain power by manipulating the massive influence they have by dint of their media holdings, outright fraud and blackmail. We’ll find out one day, and the truth will set us free.


Maybe not everyone agrees with the man-made global-warming theory, but not everyone agrees that the world is round either, or that the theory of evolution might have some validity, or that the WTC fell down because of melted trusses. Competing hypotheses are everywhere, so we should do our best to use pure reason, empirical fact and science that is capable of being disproved to assert our cases, not emotion and superstition and unverifiable ‘facts’.

Global warming is not a ‘religion’; religions or based of faith, the unknowable, Instead, it is a scientific hypothesis which has a great deal of evidence to back it up, and those who oppose it are not ‘heretics (there’s conservatives playing the victim card again), they are the ones with most to lose, the oil, mining and energy cartels that fund GWB. Cui bono, Hawkeye!

Mr. Monbiot has produced evidence that your video is fundamentally at error, yet you are not interested, so how can ever claim to be interested in the truth on this issue and not just the opportunity for partisan politics and ideological point scoring that it presents? You can’t. Are you thinking for yourself or have you been reading too much Frank Luntz? The problem for conservatives with climate change is not so much the barrow science but more who is pushing it. Al Gore and the libss ust be stopped, and conservatives apparently don't care if they, or their children or their childrens' children, die trying.

I am intrigued that you, a conservative, are advocating a limit on human potential. Ah well. I’m also interested that you consider Jesus to be the ultimate example of human perfection and human potential’. If that’s true you guys have got a long way to go, ‘cos Jesus was SUCH a leftie!

If you are so confident of the Bible’s accuracy, please, what are these statistically impossible revelations that the Bible prophesized exactly? Name your top three.
In the name of scientific debate.

It’s nice for you that you find ‘absolute truth’ so comforting; personally, I find it a little scary that someone can believe that truth is absolute. That I don’t agree with you proves that that your truth is not absolute – it may be true to you but not it’s not true to me, so therefore, QED, truth is relative. My truth about the Iraq war is, sadly, not your truth; we believe what we choose to believe.

And is homosexuality a sin equal to murder? It’s not even in God’s Top Ten Things Not To Do! If it’s homosexuality is so bad, why did God bother making homosexuals? And if it’s so bad, what happened to getting stoned to death for mixing the threads of ones clothes? How come that’s OK now? See, we believe what we want to believe. Truth is relative.

Science is fallible, we recognize that, but so is religion. Do you recognize that?

Cheers

Elroy

 
At 3/18/2007 9:58 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Elroy,
"Blogspot's Newt Gingrich"... Hey, I like that! It would be an honor.

Unfortunately, I must completetly disagree with you on almost everything else. Monopolies are by no means the logical conclusion of capitalism. In fact, monopolies are evidence of capitalism's demise.

cap·i·tal·ism Function: noun
: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined primariy by competition in a free market.


A monopoly, by definition, eliminates "competition in a free market" and inherently destroys capitalism. A monopoly eliminates choice and therefore restricts the ability of investors to make "investment decisions". Therefore, those who seek to prevent the formation of monopolies are in fact rescuing capitalism from its demise. Those who seek to create monopolies suffer from a malady known as "greed", which is a sin. Greed is ultimately nothing more than a lust for power through absolute control. I favor freedom. Freedom of choice. Economic freedom. Political freedom. Monopolies are akin to fascism, which I also despise.

so·cial·ism Function: noun
1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state


Socialism is as bad as fascism. Socialism equally eliminates competition and free markets. Socialism equally eliminates choice. Socialism puts decisions for the means of production and the distribution of goods into the hands of the government. Socialism takes wealth from those who earn it and gives it to those who do not.

As far as advocating "some form of state regulation" you are correct. But that hardly makes me a socialist. Conservatives are not against government in any form... that would be anarchism. Conservatives do not necessarily favor a complete "hands off" approach by the government... that would be libertarianism. I favor minimal government regulation. Just enough to ensure freedom.

I also believe that as Jesus taught us, we who have been given much ought to share with those who have little. That would be called "charity". It is a self-directed choice. I do not believe Jesus was a "leftie". He did not advocate government-enforced redistribution of wealth in any form. He advocated personal spiritual renewal and good works which spring forth from that renewal. He wants you and I to "feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the sick"... not for us to leave it an impersonal, bureaucratic government.

 
At 3/18/2007 11:06 PM , Anonymous Elroy said...

Hawkeye, you sound like you think being compared to Newt is a GOOD thing. Hmm. Ah well, whatever…

You may well contend that monopolies are not the logical conclusion of capitalism, but I’m afraid you prove my point for me, that is that capitalism, given the opportunity, will eat itself.

And it sure has those opportunities. Capital seeks market share; and competition is either eradicated or enjoined. ‘I don’t meet competition’, said Charles Revson of Revlon Cosmetics, ‘I crush it!’. Or maybe you prefer cartels? If a concern cannot obliterate the competition by either swallowing them up or driving them out of business with predatory pricing, then it will collude with them. The media in the US is held by six corporations, and the pool is set to get smaller yet. This is an oligarchy. It is not a competitive commercial environment, and if anyone thinks that corporations welcome competition I believe that bridge in Brooklyn is still up for grabs.

It’s obvious really; the bigger the market share the bigger the profit, capital’s raison d’etre, and so capitalism is inextricably headed down the past of it’s own destruction unless, as you point out, it is rescued. Greed may be a ‘sin’, but either the CEOs don’t know, don’t care or are willing to risk it. Corporation X doesn’t care if ‘the ability of investors to make “investment decisions”’ is restricted; in fact that’s just what they want, because then the investors can only invest in them.

Fundamentally, capitalism is predicated on exploitation, and by its very nature it must exploit as much as possible. Companies are legally mandated to maximize profit for shareholders, and ultimately that can only be done by screwing the poor. America is seeing an increase in the use of prison populations by industry, particularly since the crackdown on undocumented guest workers; some prisons in California can turn out clothing cheaper than indeed China.

The Right’s denial of the minimum wage, which has dwindled to XXXX of its worth of ten years ago, is another method by which the corporate ruling elite coerce the poor. Their theories are all very well, but the utopian dream envisaged by lazzire faire capitalists have not happened and nor are they going to.

You may favor Freedom™, but I must say, it is hard for me to reconcile the conservatives’ pro-corporate stance with their religious beliefs; it seems that the part of the Bible that says ‘God helps those that helps themselves’ has trumped all others. How can Cheney profess a love of the almighty when he is the personification of your definition of greed? ‘A lust for power through absolute control’? That’s our Dickie!

The definition of socialism that you present is more like communism (although communism can work see – my previous post concerning the US military) and if you do not know the difference, or even realize that there is one, then maybe you should not be commenting on it. Socialism comes in many forms; it is not a one-size-fits-all absolute.

Fascism, however, is easier to define. It is, fundamentally, the marriage of the State and corporations, with totalitarian power delivering a captive workforce. There is a 21st Century version of it at work right now, just down Route 95 from where you are, Hawkeye. Yup, I’m glad to know you despise Fascists, Hawkeye; maybe you should read this: www.edwardjayne.com/iraq/31similarities.pdf. There are reasonable ground for having the discussion about how close the Bush administration is sailing to the chill winds of fascism, and should not be ignored.

Anarchy does have it’s charms Hawkeye, its not the lawless free-for-all you imagine it to be; if you think it means merely an absence of government then you obviously know nothing about it. But tell me: if you are in favor of state regulation of private enterprise, how can you then support this administration who are hell bent on deregulating as much as possible? Regulating Freedom™ cannot be done lightly; it may be counter intuitive, but the only way to get private enterprise to behave itself, and thus ensure Freedom™, is to regulate the hell out of it.

And Jesus was a leftie. The reason he wanted people to get personally involved in helping the poor was that no one else was going to do it; I’m sure that he would have condoned a state apparatus that could do the work on a more efficient scale.

But hey! That's just me! Your truth may lie elsewhere.

Cheers

Elroy

 
At 3/19/2007 12:46 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Elroy,

I repeat, monopolies are not the logical conclusion of capitalism. Monopolies are an abuse of capitalism. They are the result of sinful, greedy men (and/or women) who want power through absolute control. The problem is not with the system... it is with mankind.

Any system you may care to set up is doomed to suffer abuse, because all men (and women) are sinful. Some are clearly worse than others. If you have a capitalist system it will be abused by sinful mankind. If you have a socialist system, it will be abused. If you have communism, it will be abused. If you have a democracy, it will be abused. There can be no utopia on this earth until Jesus Christ returns and establishes His earthly kingdom which will be ruled with righteousness and justice.

I also disagree with your statement that "capitalism is predicated on exploitation". That sounds like Karl Marx talking. That is an inference, not a statement of principle. Capitalism is predicated on the private ownership of property and a free market system for the production, pricing and distribution of goods. It works well, because it "capitalizes" (pun intended) on mankind's instinctive nature to succeed and his desire for comforts. If you work hard and save, you will increase your standard of living. Communism offers no such incentive. If you work hard, you will not get ahead because everyone is treated the same. Socialism is merely the first step (and maybe the second & third too) on the road to communism.

Will some people fail in a capitalist system? Absolutely. Should we provide for them? Of course. Will some people fail in a communistic or socialistic society? Absolutely. In fact, many MORE will fail in a communistic society... they will fail to get ahead. Ultimately, all people will be reduced to the lowest common denominator of equality, which by definition must be "poverty". Why do I say that? Well, if I could do better than I am now doing, but am held back by the state or the economic system, then I am "poorer" than I otherwise could be. If the government takes my money away and re-distributes it to others, then I am "poorer" than I otherwise would be.

the only to way ensure Freedom™, is to regulate the hell out of it. Now there's an oxymoron if I heard one: "highly-regulated freedom".

And if I were you, I wouldn't be so "sure" what Jesus would or wouldn't condone. If I read my Bible correctly, it seems to me that very few people (even His 12 apostles who lived with Him for 3 years) came away from their encounter unscathed or un-rebuked. I know He'd give me a good tongue-lashing because I'm more sinful than most. What makes you think "Elroy" is better than Peter or Philip or Andrew? Even the apostle Paul got "knocked off his high horse", as they say.

 
At 3/20/2007 8:33 PM , Anonymous Elroy said...

And I repeat that monopolies ARE the logical conclusion of capitalism, and I am confused that you cannot do/do not/will not see this simple point. I don’t mean this as criticism particularly, just as an extant fact.
I agree that monopolies are an abuse and that is what anti-trust laws are for, and as they are a government instrumentality then they are a regulation. And monopolies maybe the result of greedy men, but greed is an important prerequisite for capitalists, wouldn’t you agree?

I’ll try and explain it again. I make a widget for $2 and sell it for $4, resulting in a profit of $2. Then you come along and make a widget for $1 and sell it for $2, also resulting in a profit of $2, but now I don’t sell as many widgets. So, here are my choices:

1. Sell my widgets for $2. Not much good as I will make $0.

2. Sell my widgets for $3 while pointing out their superior qualities. Not much better; I halve my profits and spend more on marketing.

3. Make my widget for $1 by raising productivity, i.e. sacking staff and working the remainder harder. Sell for $2. I’m now level with you.

4. Sack remaining staff for attempting to join American Widget Workers Union.

5. Form American Widget Manufacturers Association

6. Float Elroy’s Widgets Inc on stock market.

7. Hire undocumented Mexicans to work for below minimum wage.

8. Make my widgets for 0.75c and sell them for $1, which undercuts you by 100% but does not provide enough profit for me.

9. Sell my widget for 0.75c and continue to undercut you until I drive you out of business.

10. Buy you out.

OR…

10a. Skip 2 through 5 and buy you out anyway.

0R…

10b. Strike a deal with you that neither of us will sell or widgets for less than $3.50

11. With combined manufacturing processes and the economies of scale achieved, make my/our Widgets for 50c and go back to selling to selling them $4. Monopoly/Duopoly achieved.

12. Protect my/our market by paying stores to only carry Elroy’s and/or Hawkeye’s Widgets. Lobby my senator and/or congressman for subsidies. Demand protection from imported widgets. Donate to senator/congressman’s re-election campaign. Obtain exclusive no-bid government contract to supply all state and territories and US military with widgets.

13. Force you out in boardroom coup. Board executes leveraged management buyout. Monopoly ensured.

14. As CEO, have board of mates award self salary package of $300,000,000 pa plus stock options.

15. Shift manufacturing base to South East Asia/Mexico/India/Any US State or Federal Prison. Widget unit cost now 0.2c. Raise price of widget to $6 to recoup relocation costs. Unemployed former workers go on welfare, steal to feed family, go to prison and get old job back.

16. Dump subsidized Widgets on global market to suppress world prices and protect market share.

17. Sell shell companies owned by subsidiaries of Elroy’s Widgets Inc (Now known as WidgCorp) to other subsidiaries of WidgCorp. Book anticipated profits of shell company as net profit.

18. Sell personal stockholdings and options at height of Widget bubble created by step 12.

19. Watch as WidgCorp stock tanks and employees 421(k)s go down gurgler, precipitating drop in Dow of 500 points which wipes out 20% of stock market value and creates pressure on interest rates. Broke former WidgCorp employees now homeless due to mortgage defaults.

20. Buy bigger house with higher wall and bigger dogs. Hire ex-WidgCorp ex-con workers on minimum wage as security guards.

21. Sack security guards and hire more undocumented Mexicans at below minimum wage.

22. Count personal billions.

23. Run for president on platform advocating closed borders, anti-union legislation, abolishing the minimum wage, free trade and job creation. Fail to see irony of said platform.

There are plenty of variations on this theme – you might crush me instead – but that’s the gist of it. Kill or be killed. Nice guys finish last. That’s business. Did you never see the movie Wall Street? Now, whether all that is moral or not is a different question; all I’m saying is that capital has to conquer or die.

Unless, of course, it’s regulated, and the more regulation the competition can enter the market and the more competition the more Freedom™. See? And in cases where there are natural monopolies, like water, gas, telephone, healthcare etc, if these are run by the state then the profit motive is removed which, if properly run, leads to a reliable service at a reasonable price with what profits there are going back into state coffers to pay for schools, highways, hospitals etc.

This is called a mixed market. America used to be one, as did all the Anglophone countries post WW2; even Lenin, you might be surprised to learn, agreed heartily with the concept of the mixed market. The prosperity of post-war USA was built on it, as were other economies, as they applied the now highly unfashionable but sane and solid economic theories of John Maynard Keynes – a little bit of socialism, a little bit of capitalism, and there you go!

You may have noted that steps #3 and #6 have a certain amount of exploitation implicit in them, but as you are having problems with that concept maybe we should take a closer peek.

Exploitation: The ownership of the means of production by a small minority in society, the capitalists, the inability of non-property-owners (the workers, proletarians) to survive without selling their labor-power to the capitalists (in other words, without being employed as wage laborers) and the state, which uses its strength to protect the unequal distribution of power and property in society.

(For more, see: http://www.reference.com/search?r=13&q=Exploitation )

Also, you might have picked up on the monopolistic tendencies in steps #7 and #9. For the CEO to ignore any possibility that there might be to expand profits for the shareholders is, as a matter of fact, illegal. Look it up.

That’s enough of your bandwidth for now. I shall return. There are still a few things you are not entirely clear on.

Cheers

Elroy.

 
At 3/24/2007 4:55 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Elroy,
I get it now! You're a satirist! (I should have known.) While I'm only the occasional satirist, you are the perpetual satirist, eh? Obviously you have been joking all along. I didn't get it until I read those funny little things in your last comment.

Hahahaha! Good one. Had me goin' there for awhile buddy.

 
At 3/25/2007 2:36 AM , Anonymous elroy said...

Many a true word is spoken in jest, Hawkeye.

To think that a satirist does not believe in the essence of their message is to misunderstand the nature of satire, and outright abuse is not satire. This needs to be gently explained to Ann Coulter.

So which remarks pleased/displeased/incurred your credulity so? Please, I need to know.

Or am I joking?

Oh no, hang on – it's YOU being satirical this time! Oh, you got me there!

Cheers

Elroy

 
At 3/25/2007 12:26 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Elroy,
Frankly, I thought everything after #3 was a joke, right? I mean, #1-3 seem patently obvious. 1) Do nothing & lose sales, 2) React half-heartedly, or 3) React aggressively and become competitive.

And it should be pointed out that "sacking staff" is not the only means of increasing productivity. Yes, that may be realistic in some cases, but that strategy results in diminishing returns. As you sack people, the remainder become demoralized and less efficient. How can they put their "heart and soul" into a job if they're waiting for the axe to fall.

An alternate strategy is to invest in things like better equipment, automation, process streamlining, paperwork elimination, etc. Such investments bring an ROI and put more people to work in other industries. Unfortunately, it cuts into profits. But since most successful companies are doing it, that would suggest that those mean old capitalists you refer to are willing to forego a portion of their profit (God forbid!).

Then starting with #4 you list nothing which a company MUST do to become or remain competitive. Everything on your list is PURE speculation as to what a company MIGHT do. Everything on your list ASSUMES that the company's CEO (which happens to be YOU in this particular example, BTW) and his entire management staff are either: a) desperate, b) greedy, c) bastards, or d) blood-thirsty. I'm not exactly sure what that says about your personality.

And your list is presented in such a humorous manner as to evoke (dare I say it) a grin...
+American Widget Workers Union?
+American Widget Manufacturers Association?
+Demand protection from imported widgets?
+Obtain exclusive no-bid government contract?
+Force you out in boardroom coup?
+award self salary package of $300,000,000?
+Unemployed former workers go on welfare, steal to feed family, go to prison and get old job back?
+Elroy’s Widgets Inc (Now known as WidgCorp)?
+Widget bubble?
+Hire ex-WidgCorp ex-con workers on minimum wage?
+Count personal billions?
+Run for president?

And I'm supposed to assume that this is NOT satire? C'mon!

No sane, rational human being could believe the scenario you just suggested lurks in the heart of every "capitalist". The kind of people who believe that sort of crap are educators who have never worked a day of their life in industry, unskilled workers who have little to offer an employer, or people who are seriously paranoid and/or delusional.

And if you get all of your information about American industry from movies like "Wall Street", then you are nothing less than a stooge of the liberals in Hollywood and the media.

"capital has to conquer or die"... Pure BS. Despite what you might think, the VAST majority of people in the U.S. are employed by small businesses. The people who own those companies are "capitalists". Do you seriously believe the local electrician, pizza chef, or franchise owner wants to "crush" their competitor down the street? Get real! Most are just happy if they can stay in business, pay their bills and make a profit to justify the hassles of running a company.


Besides, none of this has anything to do with Global-Warming. So, try to stay "on-topic" next time.

 

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