Sunday, March 31, 2013

Conservatives And The 14 Points of Nazism


Commenting on yesterday's post, "Conservative Pathological Authoritarian Personality Disorder," Andrew Rei said, " you could also call them Fascists because they practice all 14 defining characteristics of fascism...," and we not only agree, but have decided to follow up on that suggestion today with a companion piece to http://www.criminalizeconservatism.com/2013/03/conservatism-equals-fascism.html AND http://www.criminalizeconservatism.com/2013/03/conservatism-equals-fascism.html -- with a follow-up tomorrow about a comparison between "Denazification and Criminalizing Conservatism." Thanks, Andrew!

But before we delve into the 14 defining characteristics, a little housecleaning first, starting with...

Godwin's Law

"Godwin's law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies[1][2]) is an observation made by Mike Godwinin 1990[2] that has become an Internet adage. It states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitlerapproaches 1."[2][3] In other words, Godwin observed that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably makes a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis.

"Although in one of its early forms Godwin's law referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions,[4] the law is now often applied to any threaded online discussion, such as forums, chat rooms and blog comment threads, and has been invoked for the inappropriate use of Nazi analogies in articles or speeches.[5]

"In 2012, "Godwin's Law" became an entry in the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.[6]



"Reductio ad Hitlerum

"Reductio ad Hitlerum, also argumentum ad Hitlerum, (Latin for "reduction to" and "argument to" and dog Latin for "Hitler" respectively) is a term coined by conservative philosopher Leo Strauss in 1951.[1]According to Strauss, the Reductio ad Hitlerum is an informal fallacy that consists of trying to refute an opponent's view by comparing it to a view that would be held by Adolf Hitler or the Nazi Party.

"According to Strauss, Reductio ad Hitlerum is a form of ad hominem or ad misericordiam, a fallacy of irrelevance, in which a conclusion is suggested based solely on something's or someone's origin rather than its current meaning. The suggested rationale is one of guilt by association. Its name is a variation on the term reductio ad absurdum.

"Reductio ad Hitlerum is sometimes called playing the Nazi card,[2] According to its critics and proponents, it is a tactic often used to derail arguments, because such comparisons tend to distract and anger the opponent.[2]


(But note that Leo Strauss is a prominent Conservative theorist, and take the term for what it's worth.)

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law AND http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_Hitlerum)



With these caveats in mind, we proceed to the meat of the matter:

1.  As a means of psychological projection, Conservatives have accused any non-Conservative, including the President, of fascism. To quote Inigo Montoya, "You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means."

2.  As those on the Left, Middle, and Right know, everyone on the Left has also been branded Socialist and Communist in the same breath as Fascist -- a fact that can't be explained away on Psychological Projection so easily, but certainly can be laid on the steps of Stupidity (http://www.criminalizeconservatism.com/search/label/conservatives_are_stupid).

3.  Those on the Left and Middle have focused on the Nazi epithet exclusively, much to the chagrin of those on the Right. (http://www.therightperspective.org/2010/05/01/a-short-history-of-liberals-using-the-nazi-card/).



And so we begin:

The 14 Characteristics of Nazism:

"Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespreaddomestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.



8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.



Few of those news junkies from the Middle or the Left can read the 14 Characteristics without remembering a multitude of incidents in recent history that have reminded them how Conservatism is uncomfortably close to Fascism, and although many Conservative Sheeplets can recite the meme that "Hitler banned all parties in Nazi Germany," few on any side of the political spectrum know about the "Strafgesetzbuch section 86a," "The German Strafgesetzbuch (Criminal Code) in § 86a outlaws "use of symbols of unconstitutional organisations" (that) concerns Nazi symbolism in particular and is part of the denazification efforts following the fall of the Third Reich.

"The law prohibits the distribution or public use of symbols of unconstitutional groups, in particular, flags, insignia, uniforms, slogans and forms of greeting.[1]"

Next:  Denazification and Criminalizing Conservatism



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"He is not a lover who does not love forever."

Euripides


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Conservative Pathological Authoritarian Personality Disorder



Conservatism and Pathological Authoritarian Personality Disorder
"...A quintessential kiss-up, kick-down kind of guy." - said of Bush United States Delegate, John Bolton.

Although we will never exhaust the subject of Conservative stupidity since scientific studies seem to abound each year (http://www.criminalizeconservatism.com/p/science-of-conservatism.html AND http://www.criminalizeconservatism.com/search/label/conservatives_are_stupid), the other half of the Conservative mindset, the Authoritarian Personality, needs to be covered more completely than our original article (http://www.criminalizeconservatism.com/2012/07/authoritarian-personality.html).

First, from the entry, "The Authoritarian Personality," at Wikipedia:



"Authoritarian personality is a state of mind or attitude characterised by one's belief in absolute obedience or submission to one's own authority, as well as the administration of that belief through the oppression of one's subordinates. It usually applies to individuals who are known or viewed as having an authoritative, strict, or oppressive personality towards subordinates.

"Current reinterpretations

"Bob Altemeyer ( a retired Professor of Psychology at the University of Manitoba.[1][2]He did extensive research on authoritarianism, identifying the psychological makeup of authoritarian followers and authoritarian leaders. His studies concentrated on who the followers are, how they got that way, how they think, and why they are by turns so submissive and aggressive. He also collected data on authoritarianism among North American politicians. Altemeyer's work is extensively referenced in John W. Dean's 2006 book,Conservatives Without Conscience.[3][4] At Dean's suggestion, he wrote an "everyperson" account of his findings, The Authoritarians, which is freely available online.[5]) conducted a series of studies on what he labeled Right-wing authoritarianism (RWA), and presents the most recent analysis of this personality type.[11] The focus of RWA research is political preferences as measured through surveys, that suggest three tendencies as noted in attitudinal clusters. These are: 1) submission to legitimated authorities; 2) aggression towards sanctioned targeted minority groups; and 3) adherence to values and beliefs perceived as endorsed by followed leadership.



The entry, "Right-wing authoritarianism," at Wikipedia:

Right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) is a personality and ideological variable studied in political, social, and personality psychology. Right-wing authoritarians are people who have a high degree of willingness to submit to authorities they perceive as established and legitimate, who adhere to societal conventions and norms, and who are hostile and punitive in their attitudes towards people who don't adhere to them. They value uniformity and are in favour of using group authority, including coercion, to achieve it.[1]

"History

"The concept of right-wing authoritarianism was introduced in 1981 by Canadian-American psychologist Bob Altemeyer,[2] as a refinement of the authoritarian personality theory originally pioneered by University of California at Berkeley researchers Theodor W. Adorno, Else Frenkel-Brunswik, Daniel Levinson, and Nevitt Sanford.[3] After extensive questionnaire research and statistical analysis, Altemeyer found that only three of the original nine hypothesized components of the model correlated together: authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression, and conventionalism. Researchers have traditionally assumed that there was just one kind of authoritarian personality, who could be either a follower or a leader. The discovery that followers and leaders are usually different types of authoritarians is based on research done by Sam McFarland.[4]
"Attitudes

"Right-wing authoritarians want society and social interactions structured in ways that increase uniformity and minimize diversity. In order to achieve that, they tend to be in favour of social control, coercion, and the use of group authority to place constraints on the behaviours of people such as gays and lesbians, political dissidents, ethnic minorities, immigrants, feminists and atheists. These constraints might include restrictions on immigration, limits on free speech and association and laws regulating moral behaviour. It is the willingness to support or take action that leads to increased social uniformity that makes right-wing authoritarianism more than just a personal distaste for difference. Right-wing authoritarianism is characterized by obedience to authority, moral absolutism, racial and ethnic prejudice, and intolerance and punitiveness towards dissidents and deviants. In parenting, right-wing authoritarians value children's obedience, neatness, and good manners.[1]

"Right-wing authoritarianism is defined by three attitudinal and behavioral clusters which correlate together:[12][13]
Authoritarian submission — a high degree of submissiveness to the authorities who are perceived to be established and legitimate in the society in which one lives.
Authoritarian aggression — a general aggressiveness directed against deviants, outgroups, and other people that are perceived to be targets according to established authorities.
Conventionalism — a high degree of adherence to the traditions and social norms that are perceived to be endorsed by society and its established authorities, and a belief that others in one's society should also be required to adhere to these norms.[14]
"The terminology of authoritarianism, right-wing authoritarianism, and authoritarian personality tend to be used interchangeably by psychologists, though inclusion of the term 'personality' may indicate a psychodynamic interpretation consistent with the original formulation of the theory."



Those of us who have had to interact with Conservative Sheeplets are familiar with one of the attitudinal behaviors that characterize the Right-Wing Authoritarian, "Authoritarian Aggression — a general aggressiveness directed against deviants, outgroups, and other people that are perceived to be targets according to established authorities."  And we can only sit back and chuckle when explaining to a recalcitrant Sheeplet that of course they are victims of their own Authoritarian Agression.



And many of us have encountered the standard response by the Sheeplets that Authoritarianism is also a feature of  the left-wing personality, BUT:

"Right and left

"The phrase right wing in right-wing authoritarianism does not necessarily refer to someone's politics, but to psychological preferences and personality. It means that the person tends to follow the established conventions and authorities in society. In theory, the authorities could have either right-wing or left-wing political views.[15]

"Milton Rokeach's dogmatism scale was an early attempt to measure pure authoritarianism, whether left or right. The scale was carefully designed to measure closed-mindedness without regard to ideology. Nevertheless, researchers found that it correlated with British political conservativism.[16] In a similar line of research, Philip Tetlock found that right wing beliefs are associated with lessintegrative complexity than left wing beliefs. People with moderate liberal attitudes had the highest integrative complexity in their cognitions.[17]

"There have been a number of other attempts to identify "left-wing authoritarians" in the United States and Canada. These would be people who submit to leftist authorities, are highly conventional to liberal viewpoints, and are aggressive to people who oppose left-wing ideology. These attempts have failed because measures of authoritarianism always correlate at least slightly with the right. There are certainly extremists across the political spectrum, but most psychologists now believe that authoritarianism is a predominantly right-wing phenomenon.[18]

"Although authoritarians in North America generally support conservative political parties, this finding must be considered in a historical and cultural context. For example, during the Cold War, authoritarians in the United States were usually anti-communist, whereas in the Soviet Union, authoritarians generally supported the Communist Party and were opposed to capitalism.[19] Thus, authoritarians generally favor the established ways and oppose social and political change. Hence, even politics usually labeled as right or left-wing is not descriptive. While Communism in the Soviet Union is seen as leftist, it still inspired the same responses. This leaves questions over what makes various ideologies left or right open to interpretation.[citation needed]

"According to Karen Stenner, an Australian professor who specializes in authoritarianism, racism and intolerance, authoritarianism is different from conservatism because authoritarianism reflects aversion to difference across space (i.e., diversity of people and beliefs at any given moment), while conservatism reflects aversion to difference over time (i.e., change). Conservatives, Stenner argues, will embrace racial diversity, civil liberties and moral freedom to the extent they are already institutionalized authoritatively-supported traditions, and are therefore supportive of social stability. Conservatives tend to be drawn to authoritarianism when public opinion is fractious and there is a loss of confidence in public institutions, but in general they value stability and certainty over increased uniformity. Authoritarians however, Stenner says, want difference restricted even when so doing would require significant social change and instability.[1]"



Parenthetically, we might say that while all Conservatives aren't necessarily Authoritarian, most all Authoritarians are Conservatives -- a description of the differences between Conservative leaders and their Sheeplets, a corollary of the old maxim, "the Republican Party is made up of a whole lot of stupid people (the Sheeplets and Tea Party leaders), and a few smart ones (the GOP Establishment leaders."

"Research

"According to research by Altemeyer, right-wing authoritarians tend to exhibit cognitive errors and symptoms of faulty reasoning. Specifically, they are more likely to make incorrect inferences from evidence and to hold contradictory ideas that result from compartmentalized thinking. They are also more likely to uncritically accept insufficient evidence that supports their beliefs, and they are less likely to acknowledge their own limitations.[13] Whether right-wing authoritarians are less intelligent than average is disputed, with Stenner arguing that variables such as high verbal ability (indicative of high cognitive capacity) have a very substantial ameliorative effect in diminishing authoritarian tendencies.[1] Measured against other factors of personality, authoritarians generally score lower on openness to experience and slightly higher on conscientiousness.[20]

"Altemeyer suggested that authoritarian politicians are more likely to be in the Conservative or Reform party in Canada, or the Republican Party in the United States. They generally have a conservative economic philosophy, are highly nationalistic, oppose abortion, support capital punishment, oppose gun control legislation, and do not value social equality.[13] The RWA scale reliably correlates with political party affiliation, reactions to Watergate, pro-capitalist attitudes, religious orthodoxy, and acceptance of covert governmental activities such as illegal wiretaps.[13]Although authoritarianism is correlated with conservative political ideology, not all authoritarians are conservative, and not all conservatives are authoritarian. It is also worth noting that many authoritarians have no interest in politics.



"Authoritarians are generally more favorable to punishment and control than personal freedom and diversity. For example, they are more willing to suspend constitutional guarantees of liberty such as the Bill of Rights. They are more likely to advocate strict, punitive sentences for criminals,[21] and report that punishing such people is satisfying for them. They tend to be ethnocentric and prejudiced against racial and ethnic minorities[22] and homosexuals.[23] However, Stenner argues that authoritarians will support programs intended to increase opportunities for minority groups, such as affirmative action, if they believe such programs will lead to greater societal uniformity.[1]

"In role playing situations, authoritarians tend to seek dominance over others by being competitive and destructive instead of cooperative.

In a study by Altemeyer, 68 authoritarians played a three hour simulation of the Earth's future entitled the Global change game. Unlike a comparison game played by individuals with low RWA scores, which resulted in world peace and widespread international cooperation, the simulation by authoritarians became highly militarized and eventually entered the stage of nuclear war. By the end of the high RWA game, the entire population of the earth was declared dead.[13]

"The vast majority of research on right-wing authoritarianism has been done in the United States and Canada. A recent (2003) cross-cultural study, however, examined the relation between authoritarianism and individualism-collectivism in samples from Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, and the U.S.A. (total N = 1,018). Both at the individual level and the societal level, authoritarianism was correlated with vertical individualism (or dominance seeking) and vertical or hierarchical collectivism, which is the tendency to submit to the demands of one's ingroup.[24] A study done on both Israeli and Palestinian students in Israel found that RWA scores of right-wing party supporters were significantly higher than those of left-wing party supporters, and scores of secular subjects were lowest.[25]

"Right-wing authoritarianism has been found to correlate only slightly with Social Dominance Orientation (SDO). Together they are strong predictors of a variety of prejudices such as sexism,racism, and heterosexism. The two measures can be thought of as two sides of the same coin: RWA provides submissive followers, and SDO provides power-seeking leaders.[4]



"Criticism

"Altemeyer's research on authoritarianism has been challenged by psychologist John J. Ray, who questions the sampling methods used and the ability of the RWA Scale to predict authoritarian behavior and provides evidence that the RWA scale measures conservatism rather than "directiveness", a construct that John J. Ray invented and that he relates to authoritarianism.[26][27] Ray's approach is, however, a minority position among researchers [28] and other psychologists have found that both the RWA Scale and the original F-Scale are good predictors of both attitudes and behavior.[29]

"A recent refinement to this body of research was presented in Karen Stenner's 2005 book, The Authoritarian Dynamic.[30] Stenner argues that RWA is best understood as expressing a dynamic response to external threat, not a static disposition based only on the traits of submission, aggression, and conventionalism. Stenner is critical of Altemeyer's social learning interpretation and argues that it cannot account for how levels of authoritarianism fluctuate with social conditions. She argues that the RWA Scale can be viewed as a measure of expressed authoritarianism, but that other measures are needed to assess authoritarian predispositions which interact with threatening circumstances to produce the authoritarian response.

"Recent criticism has also come as a result of treating RWA as uni-dimensional even in contexts where it makes no sense to do so. For example, RWA has been used in regression analyses with fundamentalism as another predictor, and attitudes to homosexuality and racism as the outcomes.[31] This research seemed to show that, for example, Fundamentalism would be associated with reduced racism once the authoritarian component was removed, and this was summarized in a recent review of the field.[32] However, since the RWA scale has items that also measure fundamentalist religiosity, and attitudes to homosexuality, this undermines the interpretation of such analyses.[33]"



So we not only know now that "stupidity" is only part of the right-wing personality, but that Authoritarianism is the other half.

A scholar paper, "Change in the Conservative Personality Equals Change in the Offender with a Resultant Reduction in Recidivism," by Michael D. Parsons and Jennifer G. Parsons, concluded:

"If those negative characteristics associated with the conservative personality could be modified, then it would have been possible to ameliorate some of the violent behavior of offenders while incarcerated and reduced recidivism."

As we've been suggesting from the beginnings of this site, while stupidity and Authoritarianism may be hard-wired in the Conservative Sheeplets, after Conservatism is criminalized, we should rehabilitate, not punish them - saving punishment for the leadership who usually knows better, who are the leaders of the vast right-wing criminal conspiracy called Conservatism.



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading
them."

Ray Bradbury


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Friday, March 29, 2013

The "Good" Republicans: Christie & Bloomberg


"Their ain't no good Conservative except a dead Conservative." -- paraphrase of saying in the Old West.

Governors Chris Christie and Mayor Michael Bloomberg are often shown to be "Good Republicans," but reprints of two stories by Alternet.org show that a "Conservative is a Conservative is a Conservative."

First, the Christie piece, "5 Corrupt Things About New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.":




"Christie knows you can piss off some of the people some of the time, just as long as you don’t rock the billionaires’ boats.

"Since last October, Chris Christie has been embraced by President Obama, friended by Mark Zuckerberg, and praised by Bill Maher. In a political time of fracture he’s seemingly been the healer; in a time of discord, he’s been portrayed as leading the singers in Kumbaya -- all five verses.

"Nonsense. The only true bipartisanship the governor has managed has been the delicate balance between his glistening public persona and the ugly reality of his stewardship of an essential northeastern state. He is extraordinarily deft at it: he can annoy the rowdies who wouldn’t invite him to CPAC yet still get the Koch brothers to welcome him to their table and happily help him write his laws. Christie knows that conservatives come in two main types: the loud bullies who always back the wrong horse and always steer him straight to the glue factory, and the stealth guys in the suits who have all the money.

"Embrace the president after Superstorm Sandy and you enrage the former. Bill O’Reilly tried to blame Mitt Romney’s loss on it. One of the interchangable umbrage merchants at the Washington Times called for Christie’s excommunication. The governor even caused Laura Ingraham to bray loudly about him becoming a Democrat.

"But the political genius of Chris Christie lies in his awareness that you can piss off some of the people some of the time, just so long as you don’t rock the billionaires’ boats. More over, sacrifice the correct group of the overheated -- like the ones still clinging to a Romney victory only they and Romney believed still possible -- and you suddenly look like you’re putting the public interest over political dogma, and you stand out like a beacon to milder liberals looking for somebody on the other side who just might possibly not be stark raving mad.

"Christie tries to hone this high-wire act on a national stage and shove the Marco Rubios and Jeb Bushes off the 2016 stage, it is instructive to realize that the act is not new -- only the venue is. Stage dramatic budget cuts in front of the gullible local media and they’ll write encomiums about your courage that the hurried national media will devour amid their limited research. The national guys may find out about the $28 million Christie cut from healthcare for women and the elderly; they’ll never be told about the $260 million in his budget wasted on an Atlantic City casino that reported $35 million in losses in just its first three months of operation.

"The national media sees the hug with Obama and the daring pushback against “Corzine Democrats.” It never sees the state teetering on the verge of 10% unemployment, nor the seemingly impossible reality of Christie advocating tax cuts that would drain more than a billion dollars from the money the state is taking in, while he still managed to increase his budget by a whopping 6.8% from 2011 to 2012.

"And Christie bipartisanship -- maintaining his own image despite vast piles of facts that contradict it at every turn -- runs through not merely legislation but also ethics. This is New Jersey we're talking about: the four governors elected before Christie were: 1) the guy who went back to private business and lost $1.6 billion in customer investments in about 18 months; 2) the guy who resigned with his wife at his side at a news conference during which he announced he was gay; 3) the woman who claimed black men competed with each other to see who could produce the most children out of wedlock, and then personally frisked one of them during a police ride-along; and 4) the anti-gun liberal who desperately tried to hold onto the governor’s mansion by promising to crack down on “welfare mothers.”

"Seen against the backdrop of that pile -- at least from a distance -- Christie looks clean. This is hardly the case; in fact it’s just another example of his amazing ability to look good while acting badly. In that light, we offer the five corrupt actions by Governor Christie.



"1. Handed a No-Bid Contract to Firm With Questionable Political Ties

"In the wake of Sandy, Governor Christie gifted a no-bid contract to AshBritt, a Florida-based debris-removal firm with eyebrow-raising political affiliations. AshBritt's founder and chief executive, Randal Perkins, has personally contributed $218,500 to political candidates and committees since 2001, nearly all of which went to Republican causes including George W. Bush and the Florida GOP. The firm has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on high-profile Washington lobbyists, including the company founded by Haley Barbour, the former Mississippi governor whom Christie identifies as a mentor. If AshBritt's name sounds familiar, it's because it was among those criticized during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina for hiring subcontractor on top of subcontractor, leading some in Congress to accuse it of inflating the cost the government had to pay in reimbursements.

"While it is not mandatory for all Jersey towns to agree to use AshBritt for debris removal, media outlets are reporting it's been implied that if they look elsewhere those communities won't get adequate FEMA funds.

"Christie has dismissed criticisms of this contract as nothing more than 'shoddy journalism.'

"2. Betting On Casinos, Not Women's Health

"Christie's economics are often remarkably arbitrary. In his first three budgets, Christie cut women's health funding claiming the state didn't have the money. Then, he somehow found the aforementioned $260 million to spend on Revel, an Atlantic City casino (which just went bankrupt). In his fourth budget, he cut women's health funding again. Once again, the governor is also a miracle worker here; you can be seen as pro-business even if the business quickly goes under and you’ve poured enormous amounts of taxpayer money down a hole.

"3. Lying To Kill ARC Tunnel

"Christie employed inflated cost estimates to justify canceling the ARC rail tunnel to Manhattan, which would have created thousands of both short- and long-term jobs, cleared up congestion and lessened pollution caused by commuters. The result of Christie's action was to give him credibility as a staunch fiscal conservative within the national Republican party, which was likely his ultimate objective.

"4. Moderate Talk, Tea Party Walk

"Christie may have strengthened his reputation as a moderate through his public embrace of President Obama days after the state was ravaged by the post-hurricane storm, but even if they turn it into a statue it won’t erase his history of advocating for some of Congress's most extremist conservatives. Steve King (IA-4), Paul Ryan (WI-1), Susan Brooks (IN-5), Ann Wagner (MO-2) and Tom Lathan (IA-3) all received Christie's endorsement. What's more, each of those Christie-approved representatives went on to vote against the Sandy relief bill…just as their radical, right-wing track-records indicated they would.

"5. Weakened Over 100 Essential Environmental Protections

"In 2011, not long after his secret meeting with the Koch brothers, Governor Christie proposed a Department of Environment Protection waiver rule which would allow landowners to request exemptions from the DEP if a rule is considered 'unduly burdensome.' The vagueness of that phrase sparked concerns among environmentalists -- and many regular people who are fond of clean air and water -- that Christie's rule would provide too big of an advantage to large corporations and land developers who already carry enormous influence in Trenton.

"Surely the timing of the proposal was merely a coincidence. Even though Koch Industries is a major polluter and leader in nearly every kind of unsustainable industry, and Christie had already proven his allegiance to the Koch agenda by pulling out of one of the Kochs’ biggest pet peeves, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), there couldn’t be linkage between these things, could there?



"I mean, after all, this is Chris Christie. He can embrace the President and Charles and David Koch. He can draw praise for cutting health care while not even getting smudged by the fourth-worst statewide unemployment in the nation. He can be the hero of a hurricane and the endorser of fellow Republicans who kill bills meant to repair that hurricane’s damage. This is the man whose ability to get himself judged by one set of standards while actually operating with almost none could seemingly be summarized by a twist of the old phrase: Who you gonna believe? His reputation, or your lyin’ eyes?"
And the story on Bloomberg isn't any prettier as we see in, "6 Ways the 7th Richest Man in America Has Screwed the Poor.":




"Mayor Michael Bloomberg leaves behind one of the biggest wealth gaps in the country.

"The following piece is part of AlterNet's series on poverty, Hard Times, USA.

"Earlier this month, Mayor Michael Bloomberg perfectly described a day in the life of your average homeless New Yorker. 'You can arrive in your private jet at Kennedy Airport, take a private limousine and go straight to the shelter system and walk in the door and we've got to give you shelter,' he said on his radio show, addressing the record rate of homelessness in the city.

"50,000 people, including 21,000 children, are currently crowded into the city's emergency shelters, a 61 percent rise from when the Mayor took office, according to the Coalition for the Homeless.

"Last month, the Mayor had assured reporters that 'Nobody's sleeping on the streets,' a claim easily refuted by a look at the city's homelessness statistics and/or going outside in New York. As it turns out, the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) had recently suspended a program making it easier for homeless families to get into shelters when the temperature dips below freezing. The DHS did not share this information widely; it came to light after a New York Daily News report highlighted the case of 23 year-old Junior Clarke, who told the News that he, his wife, and 4 year-old daughter were turned away from the city's intake center on a freezing day. When they refused to leave, staff threatened to call the police.

“'They tried to make us leave and we refused,' Clarke told the Daily News. 'You know some people leave, walk away and go sleep on the train with their families.'

"As the 7th richest man in America finishes his final term in office, he leaves behind one of the biggest wealth gaps in the country: income inequality in Manhattan is the second worst in the US, according to the New York Times. New York's poverty rate has risen to the highest level in a decade, the Times also noted. 1 in 3 New York kids live below the poverty line. In parts of the Bronx, two thirds of residents live in areas of extreme poverty.

"At the start of his second term, the Mayor raised the hopes of advocates for the poor by expanding the definition of poverty to account for the high cost of living in the city. But as sociologist Francis Fox Piven told the Gotham Gazette, 'If we thought a new measure would mean more generous policies, we were wrong.'

"In fact, many Mayoral actions have significantly worsened the lives of the poor. Here's a look at some of his greatest hits.



"1. Booting Homeless Families from Priority Access to Housing Aid

"At the start of his second term, the Mayor promised to reduce the rate of individual and family homelessness in the city by two-thirds in 5 years. Today, there are as many homeless New Yorkers as during the height of the Great Depression, according to the Coalition for the Homeless. The Mayor blames the recession and, strangely, the Coalition for the Homeless itself, but homelessness advocates point to a series of ill-advised policy decisions that separated homeless families from the government aid that had kept many of them housed.

"In 2005, the administration cut homeless families' priority access to Section 8 federal housing aid. In its place, DHS came up with Housing Stability Plus, a program designed to fire up homeless families' magic bootstrap powers by making aid temporary and contingent on work requirements. Families were only eligible if they were on Public Assistance but they also had to work, which counterproductively meant that if one parent got a full-time job they could lose their housing. A 2007 Coalition report found that families were being funneled into slumlord properties, where kids could build character by overcoming hardships like rat infestations and lead in the walls. The Advantage program, another impermanent rental subsidy that restricted rental help to 2 years, followed. Despite the administration's efforts, the rate of homelessness continued to climb as families ran out of Advantage subsidies without substantially improving their economic situation and had no choice but to return to shelter.

"Half of the program's costs were paid by New York state. When Governor Cuomo cut off funds, the Bloomberg administration scrapped the whole thing, leaving the city with no permanent housing plan for the city's neediest families.

"2. No Plan to Address Homelessness

"That didn't go well! This week, a report by Coalition for the Homeless found that as of November, 2,818 former Advantage families had returned to a shelter. A quarter of the families going into the city's shelters are former Advantage users, which explains, in part, why the rate of homelessness is high as during the 1930s.

"The Mayor's current plan seems to consist of saying out-of-touch-rich-guy things ("... it is a much more pleasurable experience than they ever had before,' Bloomberg said when asked why homeless families were staying in shelters so long), and opening up emergency shelters. Spending on temporary shelter has jumped 30 percent since 2008, according to the Independent Budget Office.

"If the Mayor had his way though, the best strategy for lowering the cost of shelter is to let fewer people stay in them. At a press conference defending his large soda ban, the Mayor philosophized about the responsibility we have to take care of one another. Minutes later he warned that the city's policy of housing the homeless threatened to set off mass unrest.

"'You're gonna see an uprising here,' he said. 'The public cannot afford to continue to do what we've been doing with homeless where everybody has a right to shelter, whether they need it or not. The public at some point is going to say to their elected officials: "I don't want to pay anymore,"' he said.

"Although the Department of Homeless services can deny families shelter -- only 35 percent of families that apply for shelter are accepted -- they don't have the same luck with homeless individuals because of various state and city laws that require the city to house any individual who asks for shelter.

"Meanwhile, a plan by City Council members Christine Quinn and Annabel Palma to move homeless families into permanent housing instead of putting them in expensive emergency shelters is gathering dust. They suggest re-prioritizing shelter residents in the allocation of federal housing subsidies, and adding a rental assistance program similar to Advantage. So far, the administration seems intent to leave the problem to the next guy.

"3. Crushing the Living Wage Laws

"Contrary to nasty stereotypes, many people without permanent housing have jobs; they just don't earn enough to support life in one of the costliest American cities.

"The campaign for a living wage in New York famously united clergy, antipoverty advocates, and unions. A large majority of City Council members stood behind the two bills. The widespread support was not surprising, since it's pretty hard to come up with a convincing opposition to the measures, which simply demanded that development projects that receive more than $1 million in taxpayer subsidies pay their workers a decent wage: 10 dollars an hour with health insurance, or $11.50 without.

"Advocates pointed out that developers who underpaid their workers were being subsidized by taxpayers twice: once when they got the initial public money and again when their workers were forced to resort to food stamps, housing aid, and other social services in order to survive on their measly earnings. The city had already been more than kind to developers, with business tax subsidies growing by 180 percent in the past decade, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute.

"While the Mayor enthusiastically supported that government intrusion into the market, he deemed the living wage to be an unacceptable government overreach. The measures were 'a throwback to the era when government viewed the private sector as a cash cow to be milked, rather than a garden to be cultivated,' the Mayor mused poetically. But things were serious. 'The last time we really had a big managed economy was the USSR and that didn't work out so well,' he warned on his radio show.

"When the City Council overwhelmingly passed the legislation, the Mayor vetoed it. When the Council overrode his veto, the Mayor actually sued the City Council to prevent the measures from taking effect. In the meantime, Council member Christine Quinn got busy weakening the measure. In the end, the legislation applied to only 400 or 500 workers, reported the New York Times, allowing companies like Fresh Direct, which was about to receive a $100-million package of tax breaks for moving to the Bronx, to underpay their workers in peace.



"4. Budget Cuts

"At the start of his second term, the Mayor launched an anti-poverty initiative that consisted of a series of pilot programs, many of them privately funded. They included job training and teaching poor families how to save money. The administration also introduced conditional cash transfers, rewarding families that met goals like going to the doctor, school attendance for the kids or even getting a library card. The money could certainly make a short-term difference for families that participated but antipoverty advocates argued that the cash transfers and other programs were too small to address the root causes of poverty like high rates of unemployment, skyrocketing rents and low wages. (Cash transfer was abandoned when it showed little impact on the behavior of participants.)

"At the same time that the Mayor was introducing and then giving up on untested programs, the administration's proposed budget cuts ended up primarily impacting public services that helped the poor. An analysis by the Gotham Gazette found that programs aiding the city's poor and working class residents -- including those providing child care, health, education and homeless services 'have lost a disproportionate number of workers -- 6 percent to more than 26 percent of their staffs.' They point out that at the same time the police department 'lost fewer than 3 percent of its uniformed officers, and the corrections department has actually increased its uniformed staffing by 2 percent.'

"Every year, like clockwork, the Mayor's proposed budget contains massive proposed cuts to programs that help poor kids and parents, like child care and after school programs. Between 2007 and 2011 more than 40,000 subsidized child services spots were canned, according to the Center for New York City Affairs. 'This year, the slots face the guillotine once again, with a $60 million cut to afterschool programs in Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed budget, and another $77 million to child care services,' writes Abigail Kramer Child Welfare Watch.

"5. Affordable Housing for Rich People

"One area the administration has been willing to spend money is in building affordable housing in the city. The New Housing Marketplace Plan, a multi-billion dollar investment, is expected to produce up to 140,000 housing units (the initial goal was 165,000). Small snag: many will only be affordable for upper-income people. A new report prepared by the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development found that two thirds of the new spaces cost too much for most neighborhood residents. In half of the districts surveyed, the majority of units are too expensive for residents that make the neighborhood's median income (the administration disputes their conclusions). "The typical Bronx household would have to make 1.5 times its income in order to be able to afford the majority of the affordable housing built in the Bronx," they write. As Eric Jaffe points out in Atlantic Cities, 'In general terms, the affordable housing plan did create low-income housing, but it was upper-low-income housing.'

"For example, an 'affordable housing' apartment built in Central Harlem costs $1,492, most likely to be rented by a relatively high income person. In contrast, the report points to another 3 bedroom apartment in the neighborhood, built in collaboration with a non-profit, which rents for $531.

"The plan certainly isn't ideal for poor residents being priced out of their neighborhoods. As Alyssa Katz points out in the American Prospect, even if the housing units provided by the initiative served low-income people, they would not make up for the impact of gentrification. 'New York is losing far more than it's building to deregulation and gentrification. According to the Community Service Society, every year nearly 60,000 apartments become too expensive for the poorest two-fifths of city residents to afford.'

"While gentrification is often seen as being inevitable, it's strongly shaped by city policy, and the Bloomberg administration has been an especially ardent advocate of redevelopment. In the past decade the city has rezoned a record number of neighborhoods, which allows developers to come in and build expensive new apartments or fill a street with H&Ms and Old Navys. While in many cases neighborhood change can be positive, advocates for lower-income people and protestors of gentrification say that despite big promises made at city meetings, development is rarely met with matching measures that ensure residents can stay in the neighborhood.

"6. Stop and frisk

"The NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy essentially makes it a crime to be a poor black or Latino person in New York (the policy is currently the target of a large class action lawsuit). The shocking stats have become familiar: 5 million stops in the last decade, close to 90% of them minorities. Only 1 in 1,000 stops yields a gun, undermining the Mayor's contention that the policy plays an essential role inkeeping guns off the streets. But as AlterNet's Kristen Gwynne has reported, stats somberly repeated by the New York Times mask the horrific on-the-ground experience of the department's violent policing: the cold numbers obscure what it's like to have a cop touch your penis while your girlfriend watches.



"Gwynne has also documented how aggressive enforcement of so-called 'quality of life laws' in poor neighborhoods -- like riding your bike on the sidewalk -- sucks kids into the criminal justice system:
"A 'Quality of life' summons for disorderly conduct may seem like no big deal, but young people in the South Bronx told me that misdemeanor summonses are so often handed to them that they “lose track” and miss a court date. Next thing they know, a stop-and-frisk turns up a warrant for arrest, and they are hauled down to the precinct. The $25 fine quickly turns into $100, stacking up to exorbitant fees for crimes prosecuted almost exclusively in low-income neighborhoods of color.


"One can see how fining low-income people hundreds of dollars for riding their bikes on the sidewalk doesn't ease their path out of poverty. Also, probably pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is more complicated when going to school or work involves being yelled at, fondled, cited, or arrested by police."


For those who thought our earlier comments about "dead Republicans" was a bit unnecessary, re-read the two stories again and try to count the numbers of people affected by actions of these two criminals: people in misery, our taxes, women's health, the environment, employment and living wages, civil rights, homelessness, poverty, job training, child care and after school programs, health, education, affordable housing, civil rights, and police violence are all affected by these "good Republicans."

Both of these pols have separated themselves early on from the more radical segment of the GOP, the Tea Partiers, reckoning along with the rest of the Conservative Establishment that the Tea Freaks are detrimental to their own ambitions.

Admittedly, both of these Conservatives pose a danger in the next Presidential Election with only the candidacy of Hillary Clinton an obstacle to another four to eight years of misery under a Conservative rule.  Both Conservatives offer unique gifts for campaigning: for Bloomberg, a $27 billion net worth, and for Christie, a practiced charismatic presence on the tube, so it is critical that Ms. Clinton make her run for the White House.

There are no "good Republicans."  To reiterate, the GOP is the front group for the vast right-wing criminal conspiracy known as Conservatism.



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"But when you pray, go away by yourself, all alone, and shut the door behind you
and pray to your Father secretly, and your Father, who knows your secrets, will
reward you."

Matthew 6:6


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Assassination, Politicide, And Tyrannicide: A Theoretical Discussion


A host of Conservative Sheeplets, and more than a few Progressives who have obviously failed to review our Page, "Objections Rebutted" (http://www.criminalizeconservatism.com/p/objections-rebutted.html), have derided this site and its premises recently, calling Criminalizing Conservative "extreme" and "un-Constitutional," leading us to wonder the reaction if we tried to justify assassination, regicide, or tyrannicide as remedies for the vast conservative criminal conspiracy hiding under the various political front groups, "think" tanks, and other Conservative fronts and other *ad hoc* groups.

First, some definitions from Wikipedia:

Assassination

Assassination Attempt On President Ronald Reagan

"Assassination is the murder of a prominent person or political figure by a surprise attack, usually for payment or political reasons.[1][2] A person who commits such an act is called an assassin.

"An assassination may be prompted by religious, ideological, political, or military motives; it may be carried out for the prospect of financial gain, toavenge a grievance, or from the desire to acquire fame or notoriety (that is, a psychological need to garner personal public recognition).

Politicide

"Politicide has three related but distinct meanings. It can mean a gradual but systematic attempt to cause the annihilation of an independent political and social entity,[1] such as the destruction of theapartheid system in South Africa.[2] Others have used the term to mean the deliberate physical destruction of a group whose members share the main characteristic of belonging to a political movement; this definition has been used because the systematic destruction of such groups is not covered as genocide under the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide(CPPCG). The CPPCG only covers the deliberate physical destruction of national, ethnic, racial and religious groups.[3] A third use as noted by the Oxford English Dictionary is that which describes an action which irreparably damages a person's own political career (political suicide).[4]

"Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling uses the term in his book Politicide: Sharon’s War Against the Palestinians and in various articles. He defines "the politicide of the Palestinian people, a gradual but systematic attempt to cause their annihilation as an independent political and social entity." This he believed has been present throughout Israel's confrontations with the Palestinians, but was epitomised by the thoughts and actions of Ariel Sharon.[5]

"The social scientists Barbara Harff and Ted R. Gurr use the term politicide to describe the killing of groups of people who are targeted not because of shared ethnic or communal traits (the types of groups covered by the CPPCG), but because of "their hierarchical position or political opposition to the regime and dominant groups"."[3]

Tyrannicide

Assassination of King Henry III of France


"Tyrannicide literally means the killing of a tyrant, or one who has committed the act. Typically, the term is taken to mean the killing or assassination of tyrants for the common good. The term "tyrannicide" does not apply to tyrants killed in battle or killed by an enemy in an armed conflict. It is rarely applied when a tyrant is killed by a person acting for selfish reasons, such as to take power for themselves, or to the killing of a former tyrant. Sometimes, the term is restricted to killings undertaken by people who are actually subject to the tyrant.[1] The term is also used to denote those who actually commit the act of killing a tyrant: i.e., Harmodius and Aristogeiton are called 'the tyrannicides'.[2]

"Tyrannicide can also be a political theory.[3] Support for tyrannicide can be found in Plutarch's Lives, Cicero's De Officiis,[4] and Thomas Aquinas's commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard.[5] TheMonarchomachs in particular developed a theory of tyrannicide, with Juan de Mariana describing their views in the 1598 work De rege et regis institutione,[6] in which he wrote, '[B]oth the philosophers and theologians agree, that the prince who seizes the state with force and arms, and with no legal right, no public, civic approval, may be killed by anyone and deprived of his life...'"[4]

A study of assassination warns us:

"JUSTIFICATION

Aftermath of Failed Assassination Attempt On Adolf Hitler


"Murder is not morally justifiable. Self-defense may be argued if the victim has knowledge which may destroy the resistance organization if divulged. Assassination of persons responsible for atrocities or reprisals may be regarded as just punishment. Killing a political leader whose burgeoning career is a clear and present danger to the cause of freedom may be held necessary.

"But assassination can seldom be employed with a clear conscience. Persons who are morally squeamish should not attempt it."

And while a recent poll has found that "Most Britons back assassination of terrorists in UK or abroad," no poll we could find asks the same question regarding domestic assassination.

And a Conservative think tank has contributed to the discussion in their piece, "Is Assassination an Option?," here --> http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/7926, while another piece, "THE MORAL ARGUMENT FOR A POLICY OF ASSASSINATION," concludes:

"Hence, where national leaders are sufficient threats to others they forfeit their rights and may thus be justly disabled or killed. A different theory of assassination does not focus on combatants or threats but instead makes the permissibility of assassinating a leader depend on whether it brings about the best consequences."

AND:

On a self-defense theory, some national leaders may be killed because they are threats. They are threats because they originate a causal process that will likely bring about large amounts of unjust harm. In so doing, they forfeit those moral rights that protect them against injurious action and thus remove one of the major constraints against violence and killing. On a consequentialist theory, such a policy would likely bring about 
the best consequences since it would be a vital tool in the protection against genocide, unjust military aggression, and other horrendous state actions that have characterized the twentieth century. It is unlikely that the harm that would result from such a policy (e.g., its misuse) would outweigh the expected gain from it."

Dictators around the world survived multiple assassination attempts, the attempts on Fidel Castro reportedly planned by the CIA.

Nicolae Ceausescu, Sadaam Hussein, and Fidel Castro

We certainly couldn't justify these methods of exterminating the worst of the Conservatism pests today, even if we believed it to be the best and speediest means to fumigating our deteriorating democracy. Some might object to this sort of wholesale killing, even if the timely elimination of a few of these gangsters would prove an unprecedented boon to mankind.

Wouldn't wiping out the five undercover Conservative operatives in the Supreme Court be considered wholly immoral by some, even though the current occupant of the White house would then be able to nominate five new Justices who weren't democratically challenged? Would the setting of bombs at the next Republican Convention, directed by home-made radio-controlled drones, be considered overkill though the Country would finally be freed from many of the murderous fiends who infest our polity?

And how in the world could we justify the selective assassination of billionaires who secretly - or openly - fund conservative candidates and causes, even though thousands of lives would be saved and starvation and disease would be reduced dramatically for thousands more with the death of just one swine like a Sheldon Adelson? If the members of the Walmart Waltons were gunned down one at a time, would some of those remaining reverse their course of Greed, or would heirs to the Walton estate just continue to impoverish their workers?

Hitler might have had problems expanding the Nazi without his propagandist joseph Goebbels, but would targeting the Limbaughs, O'Reillys, or Becks of the right-wing world have kept the Bush boys out of the White House? We'll never know, will we...

And finally, noting that neither political assassination, politicide, or tyrannicide are endorsed by this site, no matter how effective widespread targeted elimination would be, wouldn't other greedy and power-mad pigs just crawl out of the mud to fill the new vacuum -- or would they shy away from entering a precarious career fraught with itchy progressive trigger fingers? What ambitious Conservative capo would opt for the position of federal judge or Secretary of State if the possibility of a bullet in the head were a distinct possibility?  Would the snuffing of the governor of Virginia be considered a moral act if it restored voting rights to the People, or would multiple executions, say of the Virginia GOP, be a more effective - though not more cost effective - tool? (http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/virginia-governor-signs-bill-requiring-photo-id-to-vote.php?ref=fpb)

Parenthetically, we refer the curious reader thirsting for more information to our Page, "Punishments," for a more gentle, conciliatory method of controlling Conservatism in the future, when Conservatism is finally criminalized.



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Can miles truly separate you from friends... If you want to be with someone you
love, aren't you already there?"

Richard Bach


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Climate Change Denial: The Tipping Point?

A layer of greenhouse gases – primarily water vapor, and including much smaller amounts of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide – act as a thermal blanket for the Earth, absorbing heat and warming the surface to a life-supporting average of 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).

We have yet to comment on Climate Change, and a few Climate Change Deniers may finally see the light as a new report from the Climate Desk at The Atlantic by Tim McDonnell, "We're Screwed: 11,000 Years' Worth of Climate Data Prove It," pounds the final nail into the deniers' coffin:

"New research takes the deepest dive ever into historic climate records.
Average global temperature over the last ~2,000 years. Note the massive uptick on the far right side. (Science)
"Back in 1999 Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann released the climate change movement's most potent symbol: The 'hockey stick,' a line graph of global temperature over the last 1,500 years that shows an unmistakable, massive uptick in the twentieth century when humans began to dump large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It's among the most compelling bits of proof out there that human beings are behind global warming, and as such has become a target on Mann's back for climate denialists looking to draw a bead on scientists.

"Now it's gotten a makeover: A study published in Science reconstructs global temperatures further back than ever before -- a full 11,300 years. The new analysis finds that the only problem with Mann's hockey stick was that its handle was about 9,000 years too short.

Marcott's team used ocean records to reconstruct global climate further back in time than ever before. (Science)
"To be clear, the study finds that temperatures in about a fifth of this historical period were higher than they are today. But the key, said lead author Shaun Marcott of Oregon State University, is that temperatures are shooting through the roof faster than we've ever seen.

"'What we found is that temperatures increased in the last hundred years as much as they had cooled in the last six or seven thousand,' he said. 'In other words, the rate of change is much greater than anything we've seen in the whole Holocene,' referring to the current geologic time period, which began around 11,500 years ago.

"Previous historic climate reconstructions typically extended no further back than 2,000 years, roughly as far back as you can go by examining climate indicators from tree rings, as Mann did. To dig even deeper, Marcott's team looked at objects collected from more than 70 sites worldwide, primarily fossilized ocean shells that have been unearthed by oceanographers. Existing research has shown that certain chemical tracers in the shells link directly to temperature at the time they were created; by studying oxygen isotopes in the fossilized plankton shown below, for example, scientists can deduce that it formed its shell at a time when Greenland was fully without ice. Marcott's task was to compile enough such samples to represent the whole planet over his chosen timeframe.

Fossilized ocean organisms like this plankton,the size of a grain of sand, keep a chemical snapshot of the climate at the time they first formed their calcium-carbonate shells. (Jennifer McKay, Oregon State)
"'There's been a lot of work that's gone into the calibrations, so we can be dead certain [the shells] are recording the temperature we think they're recording,' he said.

"Today's study should help debunk the common climate change denial argument that recent warming is simply part of a long-term natural trend. Indeed, Marcott says, the earth should be nearing the bottom of a several-thousand year cool-off (the end-point of the rainbow arc in (B) above), if natural factors like solar variability were the sole driving factors. Instead, temperatures are rising rapidly.

"Mann himself, who literally wrote the book on attacks on climate scientists, said in an email to Climate Desk that he was 'certain that professional climate change deniers will attack the study and the authors, in an effort to discredit this important work,' especially given the close ties between the two scientists' research. 'It will therefore be looked at as a threat to vested interests who continue to deny that human-changed climate change is a reality.'

"Marcott admitted he was apprehensive about charging into the fully-mobilized troll army, but said he was grateful scientists like Mann had 'gone through hell' before him to build a support network for harassed climate scientists.

"'When Michael came along there was a lot more skepticism about global warming, but the public has come a long way,' he said. 'I'm curious to see how the skeptics are going to take this paper.'"

The opponents of Climate Change, both the Conservative Sheeplets and their political leaders, have been especially vocal about denying that change has even occured - or if it has, that it has occured because of "natural causes" such as volcano eruptions, ocean currents, earth orbital changes, or solar variations.  But their violent reaction to the fact that the earth may have even reached the "tipping point" of no return is because Climate Change is due to human factors, causes that can be laid on the feet of big business in its rush for profits, no matter what the cause is to humankind...from Climatechangechallenge.org's take on the causes of Climate Change:

"Human Causes of Climate Change
"It has been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that the climate is changing due to man-made greenhouse gases. We are already committed to future substantial change over the next 30 years and change is likely to accelerate over the rest of the 21st century.
"The Met Office, Hadley Centre, UK
"The Hadley Centre holds an unique position in the world of climate science. No other single body has a comparable breadth of climate change science and modelling, or has made the same contribution to global climate science and current knowledge."
"Independent Review 2007
"There is strong evidence that the warming of the Earth over the last half-century has been caused largely by human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels and changes in land use, including agriculture and deforestation."
"The Royal Society 2010
"The Industrial Revolution in the 19th century saw the large-scale use of fossil fuels for industrial activities. Fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas supply most of the energy needed to run vehicles, generate electricity for industries and households. The energy sector is responsible for about ¾ of the carbon dioxide emissions, 1/5 of the methane emissions and a large quantity of nitrous oxide.

"Carbon dioxide is undoubtedly, the most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Changes in land use pattern, deforestation, land clearing, agriculture, and other activities have all led to a rise in the emission of carbon dioxide. Methane is another important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. It is released from animals such as dairy cows, goats, pigs, buffaloes, camels, horses and sheep Methane is also emitted during the process of oil drilling, coal mining, leaking gas pipelines, landfills and waste dumps.

"The certainty of global warming can be seen through some of the natural phenomenon like the effect on crops and extreme weather conditions around the world. It is especially clear in the dramatic change of the polar caps, i.e. the Arctic ice cap is shrinking and the Antarctica ice shelf is melting.

"Main Contributors and Causes of Climate Change
"According to the UK Government the main contributors of man made causes of climate change in the UK are:
"* 4% of carbon emissions come from industrial processes
"* 7% come from agriculture – for example methane emissions from livestock and manure, and nitrous oxide emissions from chemical fertilisers
"21% carbon emissions from transport

"65% come from the use of fuel to generate energy (excluding transport)
"About 40% of carbon emissions in the UK are the result of decisions taken directly by individuals. The biggest sources of emissions for most people are likely to be:
"* energy use in the home (the main use is heating)
"* driving a car
"* air travel
"There other elements of people's homes that contribute to climate change indirectly. Everything, from furniture to computers, from clothes to carpets, all use energy when it is produced and transported – and this causes carbon emissions to be released."

What will happen when the general populace finally gets it: not only have the Conservatives' masters, the corporations and multi-corporations caused Climate Change, they have denied it until we reached the tipping point, a delay that might have been put to better use by preventing said tipping point.  Did this delay lead to the end of the world, or did it "merely" lead to worldwide famine, disease, and death?




Will the Climate Change deniers and their benefactors and spokesman be run down on the streets and hung from the lampposts for causing, then denying Climate Change?  Even after  Conservatism is finally criminalized, we may be powerless to stop the People from exacting their revenge from the corporate officers and their shills.















-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"If you are afraid of loneliness, do not marry."

Anton Chekhov


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------