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Monday Message Board

March 15th, 2010

It’s time, once again for the Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language.

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  1. Doc_Navy
    March 19th, 2010 at 07:13 | #1

    @ Alice:

    con·spir·a·cy (kn-spîr-s)
    n. pl. con·spir·a·cies
    1. An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act.
    2. A group of conspirators.
    3. Law An agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal action.
    4. A joining or acting together, as if by sinister design: a conspiracy of wind and tide that devastated coastal areas.

    1. a secret plan or agreement to carry out an illegal or harmful act, esp with political motivation; plot
    2. the act of making such plans in secret

    Okie dokie… now we know what it means. Hmmm, I wonder if I look hard enough through the climategate emails, will I find any emails where top AGW scientists advise eachother IN SECRET to destroy emails and data that are being asked for in FOIA requests in order to keep that information secret… Well, wattaya know?!! There ARE.

    I wonder if anyone at any other time in the past ever said that they thought there might be an insular group of AGW scientists that pretty much keep to themselves, and write “independent” papers to bolster eachother’s work… Hmmm. HOLY CRAP!!! Someone DID say that before:

    Wegman et al:

    “-It is noted that there is no evidence that Mann or any of the other authors in paleoclimatology studies have had significant interactions with mainstream statisticians.
    A social network of authorships in temperature reconstruction is described of at least 43 authors with direct ties to Mann by virtue of having coauthored papers with him. The findings from this analysis suggest that authors in the area of paleoclimate studies are closely connected and thus ‘independent studies’ may not be as independent as they might appear on the surface. Dr. Wegman stated this was a “hypothesis”, and “should be taken with a grain of salt.” (proven true by Climategate)

    -Many of the same proxies are reused in most of the “independent studies” so these “cannot really claim to be independent verifications.”

    -It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimate community; even though its members rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to interact with the statistical community. Additionally, the Wegman team judged that the sharing of research materials, data, and results was done haphazardly and begrudgingly” (Also prove to be true by Climategate)

    Well, that was interesting… seems that the definition of a “Conspiracy” has been met, and I happen to agree with stacey on one of her points…

    “these emails are in the public domain and why are you not concerned with the contents of them?”

    You see, it doesn’t really matter HOW the emails became public. Let’s, for the sake of argument, say that some anonymous super-hacker from Russia or Saudi Arabia or wherever actually DID ~illegally~ hack into CRU and spend all that time organizing them and getting thwm in chronological order and all that… we’ll even, for the sake of argument, say that there ARE laws protecting the privacy of those emails… Now then, Question:

    ~~How does this illegal hacker scenario CHANGE the validity of what was exposed in those emails IN THE SLIGHTEST?~~ (Especially after Jones and East Anglia admitted that the emails are genuine.)

    Doc

  2. smiths
    March 19th, 2010 at 10:38 | #2

    i dont know hwere youve been doc, but there are no such things as conspiracies,
    it doesnt matter what someone said, who they met with or what evidence there is, conspiracies are silly childish fantasies of paranoid delusionals,
    the fact the word exists seems absurd

  3. smiths
    March 19th, 2010 at 10:43 | #3

    and guys, arguing about whether its those emails are public domain now seems secondary,
    yes its wrong and probably illegal to take private emails and publish them,
    but for a second lets just admit that the content of that email is damning

  4. frankis
    March 19th, 2010 at 10:47 | #4

    Doc I’m fairly sure you’ll get no credit outside your usual circles for citing Wegman on anything. Without actually checking to see if I’m correct my feeling is that he’s more tightly “networked” (in his case into the GOP, denialist, wingnut world) than are Mann or any of his colleagues. I know I’ve seen Wegman’s signature on an idiot petition or statement of some kind recently, alongside the usual clowns and antiscience suspects.

    I think my impressions are right of course, but I guess the point is that even if I were being unfair to Wegman, most of your readers outside wingnuttia would be likely to share my prejudices in favour of the scientists, against characters like Wegman.

    Just thought I’d share having glimpsed that name in passing.

  5. Freelander
    March 19th, 2010 at 10:49 | #5

    @Doc_Navy

    Nothing was exposed by those emails and only the truly ignorant believe the incredible distortions that have been made of the very few emails that were capable of being grossly distorted. You are simply totally delusional. There is nothing that is capable of changing your mind. The incredible ignorance of the late average 20th century and early 21st american is staggering. Lets hope when it finally falls to bits the good ones get out and have somewhere to go. Your country has had some great people who have done some great things; in fact it still does. But nothing looks like stopping the malaise. Creationists, AGW deniers, survivalists, Tea party nutcases, birthers, people who would vote for Bush, Palin or McCann, large prison population, failed health system, ghettos, no go areas, no wonder you live in a failed state. Your better bred friends to the North had better keep their cattle prods ready. They may need them sooner than most think. I was very surprised and pleased that Obama got in, and thought maybe there was some hope for your country. Slim but some hope. Looks like I was probably wrong.
    Other than that I totally agree with your views and agree that you live in the greatest country that ever existed. A light on the hill for the rest of the world. Pity its never managed to be a functioning democracy. Thursday, what country is the US planning to invade today?

  6. Donald Oats
    March 19th, 2010 at 11:48 | #6

    For those with some interest in the commercial media…Pew!

    ht-Crky!

  7. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:50 | #7

    “Tea party nutcases”

    There is nothing nutty about wanting to pay less tax and organising peaceful demonstrations to ensure that elected officials know how you feel.

  8. Freelander
    March 19th, 2010 at 13:05 | #8

    There is nothing ‘nutty’ about wishing you could walk on water, but there is something nutty about getting out of a boat and trying it.

  9. smiths
    March 19th, 2010 at 13:48 | #9

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    how much, would you imagine that they would think, was a fair amount of tax to pay

  10. Freelander
    March 19th, 2010 at 14:16 | #10

    I would love to pay no tax and be the recipient of bountiful government services and benefits. Wouldn’t we all? Some of us though are grownups and recognise that tax revenue is required and so is government, and so are many things in life that have unpleasant sides to them but are still worth the effort. Washing the dishes for example. Not many people like that. The T party people are simply nutters. Being nutty is an attractive vocation – work your own hours, do exactly what you want when you want. Doesn’t pay so well. If you want to see what happens when a country doesn’t raise tax revenue because the people really can’t be bothered paying and the politicians really can’t be bothered making them pay, look at Greece. What an embarrassment. Why would anyone lend their government money at the reasonable rate their government seems to expect. I don’t understand why they should be considered a threat to the Euro. They can go bankrupt and still use the Euro. If Greece goes bankrupt German government bonds should still be fine. The situation is similar to the US where individual state governments or cities can go bust. There is no reason their problems ought to have an impact on the US dollar or the Federal governments ability to sell bonds as long as the Federal government is fine. Same with Europe.

  11. Fran Barlow
    March 19th, 2010 at 15:45 | #11

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)

    There is nothing nutty about wanting to pay less tax

    In practice there is. The Greeks for example, pay little tax in practice since evasion and cheating is rife — a practice that dates back to Ottoman control. Their cheating is peaceable and the government certainly knows how they feel. But how has that worked out? Not very well one would have to say. So in practice, it is nutty.

    There’s a fabulous ad on TV that covers this. In the cadbury’s ad, the line runs wouldn’t it be nice if the world was chocolate but of course, in practice, life would be impossible. It would be nice wouldn’t it if everyone just played nice and did the right thing by everyone else, but in practice, we humans are so clever at doing that. In complex societies, with sharp divisions of labour and where human bonds are attenuated, there has to be a state to coordinate human endeavour, to resolve collective action problems and to foreclose the worst consewuences of these problems. That requires a levy on the populace as a whole, who, in a rational society, are the beneficiaries of the civilisation and associated public goods that taxes make possible.

    To wish for lower taxes in practice means to wish for less public goods and shabbier services andf greater exposure to collective action problems, decline in public infrastructure, or higher collective debt or for the taxes to be imposed on someone else. That sounds either nutty or unreasonably self-serving to me. The tea-party astroturfer types were pitching to protect the tax position of people above $250K pa, and so in effect, they were seeking to have more of the burden placed on poorer people, or to allow the country to run up further debt, or to gut services to the poor.

    Nutty and sociopathic

    Their reasons were transparent. If Obama fails to deliver to the US middle class and the poor, he will be adjudged a failure, (despite the fact that the mess was mainly the consequence of Republican rule) and he will be ejected and privilege as usual for the elites will return. Working people will continue to be bankrupted by health and/or miss out while big pharma rakes it in. The fact that these schysters have dragged in witless dupes who will certainly be worse off if they have their way is tragically ironic but very American.

    So yes, pleading on behalf of people who want the right to have you suffer so they can live well is nutty. If the damage could be confined to the people actively involved in the tea party movement, I’d say let them have their way, but of course it can’t.

  12. Alice
    March 19th, 2010 at 17:33 | #12

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    Terje thinks there is nothing nutty about paying tax. Today I drove back from parramatta and was e tolled 4 times on the way to the Northern beaches.

    The last one really took the cake – it was an “etoll exit” – a 50 metre or less exit ramp to Cremorne. Sure enuff – half way up and etoll scanner.

    Ripoff. Give us back public roads. Give us back public road construction. Get the privateers off our roads and the govt out of the business of making money along with the privateers.

    Id pay more tax for that Terje and so should we all….its vital infrastructure and its good for people and good for business and Im sick to death of subsidising the “I am a major pain who lives conmfortably and well close to the CBD who doesnt pay tolls and what matters most to me is my own wealth and lower taxes…and lower and lower”

    Ive only got one thing to say on this. Give us our roads back and get the privateers out of it, start paying your taxes and stop the incessant whine for “lower taxes lower taxes”.
    have a tea party, shoot some guns but stop messing the infrastructure up.

  13. Alice
    March 19th, 2010 at 17:37 | #13

    @Alice
    Above post should read “Terje thinks there is nothing nutty about wanting to pay lower tax.

  14. Alice
    March 19th, 2010 at 17:41 | #14

    @Stacey
    Stacey says “But hey it is still right to protect the environment so stay with that.”

    So what are you doing about it Tracey apart from denying the damage of our production.

    Nuthin I spose. You bet. I am in wonderland.

  15. Alice
    March 19th, 2010 at 18:21 | #15

    @Fran Barlow
    Another ripper of a comment Fran….even my 18 year old thinks neoliberal private sector dominance ideas are entirely old hat and doing damage. Guess some old farts still dont see the change we need is coming

    but the young are confused. I speak from experience. They like personal ambition to prevail (as it should) but dont like the mess in infrastructure, may like to be right wing but dont like how mad the right wing has become, dont believe the left exists or believe it died with communism, want more moderates and also believe the two parties in Australia are indistinguishable and they have no one to vote for, beleive they have been ripped off compared to previous generations – not as many jobs, expensive house prices, expensive education and crap user pays on roads and many other things when they are trying to get their first job on low pay (oh and congestion and gridlock).

    “thats why I am so confused about who to vote for” is the sentiment.

    My heart does bleed for the youth of Australia. Clearly our politicians hearts hardened too long ago.

  16. Alice
    March 19th, 2010 at 18:30 | #16

    @Alice
    If I had my choice to go back in time and drive a wooden stake through a few hearts who pursued the global deregulated business and deregulated labour pro privatisation model in Australia the very first two on my list would be Howard and Keating (only it should have been done in the 1970s and 1980s respectively).

  17. Neil
    March 19th, 2010 at 18:54 | #17

    @stacey “Sorry forgot to add they are not private emails they are public property as the perpertrators are public servants.”

    Why? Are public servants un-people, and therefore not worthy of the right to privacy? Or the right to do their jobs without harrasment?

    That figures. I guess the right was always going to find it hard to give up apartheid.

  18. Donald Oats
    March 19th, 2010 at 19:01 | #18

    Being in what is the safe Liberal seat of Hammond SA, my vote in tomorrow’s election is unlikely to carry much weight. I like seats that are a closer call so that no matter which party gets in, they have to pay attention to winning the seat’s voters for the next election. That seems to focus the major parties more on funding promises made for those electoral areas. Safe seats of either persuasion get ripped off too often. At least this time I don’t have massive billboards with Joe Hockey’s u*** mug gawking at me – and how did he make his eyes follow people; it’s real creepy. The advantages of moving to SA, excepting said safe seat.

    As for Tasmania, that is the really interesting case. What if the Greens took enough seats to form a government with Labor, but with Labor as the minority partner? That would be worth a laugh at Labor! Don’t think that scenario will come to pass though.

  19. Alice
    March 19th, 2010 at 19:08 | #19

    @Neil
    Apartheid is right Neil. the usual robotic response is all we can expect from the likes of Stacey… “private is good public is bad”….”all science is bad liars are good” and Stacey had the hyde to accuse me of using straw man arguments.

    What I’d really like to know is why the obsessive neoliberal mad right always use the terminology “straw man” in their arguments. You can pick em that way. So obvious its a dead giveaway. Me – I think they use tin man arguments. No heart, no soul, no incentives (especially for youth), no common sense, no depth, no imagination, no discernment, no rigour and they belong on Mr Taylors production line of propaganda.

  20. March 20th, 2010 at 03:58 | #20

    I haven’t looked at the state election partisan alignments as indicated by polls. But my current thinking is that the ALP is the Natural Party of Government unless the one in office

    – is thoroughly discredited by corruption
    – been there for longer than three electoral cycles
    – is in the midst of a major economic recession

    None of these conditions pertain in SA or TAS so far as I am aware. These states also appear to have a high single mother ratio, always a predictor of high ALP vote.

    So I predict close ALP victories.

    If that is in fact the case then we are looking at the ALP one-party-state theory, since Rudd will clean up Abbott in 2010 federal election.

  21. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    March 20th, 2010 at 05:30 | #21

    Fran – the Tea Party movement was somewhat kicked off as an idea during Ron Pauls presidential campaign. They had an online fund raising day called the Tea Party and it was quite a massive event for it’s time. Ron Paul wants to abolish Federal income tax. He asserts that if you abolished the US federal income tax then federal government spending would need to be set back to the level it was at a decade ago (income tax isn’t the only source of tax revenue) which would hardly means the end of civilisation. To pay for it he repeatedly emphasises that military spending needs to be cut. He wants to withdraw the US from most of it’s military bases around the world and to stop donating large chunks of money to Israel and it’s enemies. He does however want to move beyond that to also cut corporate welfare and to remove several federal departments that duplicate state departements (eg education department and department of energy). He has indicated that cutting personal welfare should also be an objective but it shouldn’t be the first thing and shouldn’t be done abruptly. None of this would effect state income taxes or state spending. I must be nutty because it all sounds very sensible to me.

    Of course the Tea Party movement today goes far beyond the Ron Paul fan base. And it includes some elements that I probably don’t agree with. However the notion that taxes should be lower isn’t radical and is a quite reasonable position for people to adopt in a democracy. I doubt you favour tax without representation as a concept but you do seem to be wanting to marginalise those that pay tax and making representations that they ought to pay less.

    The origins of the Tea Party goes back to the Boston Tea Party when Americans refused to pay British customs duties and this was ultimately a catalyst for the American revolution. We had something similar on a smaller scale at Eureka Stockade.

    If we compare the US to the EU we find something quite interesting I think. The EU has no tax powers beyond import duties. It is funded by a handout from the constitutent nation states. There is also no military at the EU level. In essence the Ron Paul position would make the US a little bit more like the EU in institutional terms. Less money collected and administered at the centre more handled in the regions, less spending on the military. I’m not a huge fan of the EU but making the US more like the EU in these regards would be very sensible reforms. Not nutty at all.

  22. Freelander
    March 20th, 2010 at 07:13 | #22

    The tax that the Boston Tea Party protested against was pretty reasonable. Britain has just spent an enormous amount of money protecting the colonies from being taken over by the French, recovering some of these costs was quite reasonable. Tea is hardly a commodity that anyone needed to purchase. Of course, getting out of paying taxes or repaying debt is pretty reasonable if you can achieve it, having made sure to have gotten the benefits of government expenditure or borrowing first. Maybe the War of Independence should be called the Great Tax Evasion Revolt. Instead of stars on the flag they could have put dollars.

  23. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    March 21st, 2010 at 11:34 | #23

    And what would we call the Eureka revolt? The gold bugs picnic perhaps.

  24. Fran Barlow
    March 21st, 2010 at 14:22 | #24

    Pop quiz for us Quigginers …

    What important event happened 50 years ago today?

    Amandla!

  25. Fran Barlow
    March 21st, 2010 at 14:29 | #25

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)

    the Tea Party movement [...] includes some elements that I . probably don’t agree with.(my emphasis)

    You think?

    Tea Partiers Call Lewis ‘N****r’, Frank ‘F****t’, At Capitol Hill Protest

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