Friday, September 18, 2015

Turn Out the Lights




they say that all strange things must end.  

With Pope Francis traveling to the US, the cafeteria Catholics in the Tea Party are having a tough time, not only with his encyclical Laudato Si, but with a whole heap of stuff.  None more so than Congresscritter Paul Gosar who let lose with both barrels in a Townhall.com post.  Townhall is a hangout for the extreme right in the US.  The equivalent on the other side might be something like Daily Kos.  Nothing really special about his post, a standard misreading of Pope Francis.  Nothing bunnies could not read at Bishophill and so forth.  Congressman Gosar will boycott the Pope's speech to the US Congress,
So at this pivotal moment in world history, His Holiness, Pope Francis, is intending to spend the majority of his time on one of the world’s greatest stages focusing on climate change. I have both a moral obligation and leadership responsibility to call out leaders, regardless of their titles, who ignore Christian persecution and fail to embrace opportunities to advocate for religious freedom and the sanctity of human life. If the Pope plans to spend the majority of his time advocating for flawed climate change policies, then I will not attend. It is my hope that Pope Francis realizes his time is better spent focusing on matters like religious tolerance and the sanctity of all life. As the leader of the Catholic Church, and as a powerful voice for peace throughout the world, His Holiness has a real opportunity to change the climate of slaughter in the Middle East… not the fool’s errand of climate change.
That dear readers is not the fun part,  The fun part was the voting on Gosar's bleatings.

Wow              5
Important      12 
Insane           30
Ridiculous     64
Surprising       0
Awesome     41
Smart             5

This is from the heart of the beast.  Even Richard Tol could not spin this one.  

39 comments:

Layzej said...

"Even Richard Tol could not spin this one."

You underestimate Richard Tol. He's the 124th best econometrician in the world ya know.

izenmeme said...

I think the prefered spelling should be economeretricians.
izen

Fernando Leanme said...

We had parallel thoughts, but I was thinking about Cuba. Here's a quote from my post this morning


"If the Catholic church takes the side of the dictatorship, Cuba will be similar, but much worse, to Spain under the fascist Franco.

I don't think the pope will have much credibility if he limits himself to preaching religion and his communist political beliefs, because many Cubans know communism is a terrible system, and they are atheists, or take religion as a menu from which they grab what suits them.

The church is going to have problems with " Catholics " who are also into Santeria , or believe in reincarnation , or that the Trinity is a story, or that saints do not really help anyone because they are dead , or that abortion is a medical procedure , or divorcing five times is fine, and who do not object to homosexuality."

The post includes links to articles about the wave of arrests and disappearances taking place in Cuba over the last week. The dictatorship doesn't want the pope to be distracted by reality.

I sent you a link on Twitter

Blogger profile said...

Fern, wrong. Cuba, despite a ruinous blockade by the world bully, has a far better health and happiness index for the people than the USA. Better health, better education, better satisfaction.

And the support (or lack of it) of the pope isn't going to change a thing.

Barton Paul Levenson said...

FL: I don't think the pope will have much credibility if he limits himself to preaching religion and his communist political beliefs,

BPL: The Pope doesn't have any Communist political beliefs. You've never shown any sign of understanding what exactly "Communist political beliefs" are. You're a political science illiterate, just like you're a climate science illiterate.

Barton Paul Levenson said...

I'm a better Catholic than Congressman Gosar, and I'm a Presbyterian!

Fernando Leanme said...

The pope is a self declared Peronist. His beliefs are classified as communist in nature to the average American. As to whether I have expertise on the matter,my was raised in a communist dictatorship. Later in life I enjoyed myself enormously helping destroy the USSR, and making sure it wouldn't raise its ugly head ever again, which required a spend years in Russia and other former soviet countries. This led to frienships with quite a few Russians, Azeris, Ukrainians, and explains why I joke around or write seriously about my times fighting with them to kill the red menace.

http://21stcenturysocialcritic.blogspot.com.es/2014/06/communist-azeris-arent-majority.html

Fernando Leanme said...

"Blogger Profile" just for you

"“There have now been 22 consecutive Sundays of savage beatings of women and men when we are protesting in a peaceful manner. Last weekend they arrested 34 Ladies in White and 17 men. Berta (Soler) asked for a meeting with Pope Francis to describe the repression first hand. So far the Church has not responded,” said Angel Moya, one of the leaders, along with Antonio Rodiles of the Forum for Rights and Freedoms.

The dissidence asked the Catholic Church for greater support in the struggle for democracy. Moya thinks that “we need the solidarity of all the people and institutions who want a better country. If something has emboldened the regime it is the silence of the Catholic Church and the foreign press.”"

http://translatingcuba.com/cuba-awaits-the-pope-in-record-heat-and-repression-ivan-garcia/

Barton Paul Levenson said...

FL: His beliefs are classified as communist in nature to the average American.

BPL: The average American thinks the Earth is 6,000 years old.

EliRabett said...

Bunnies, you are losing the thread. Even the clowns at Townhall think that Fernando is insane and ridiculous.

caerbannog said...

A little anecdote:

As a member of the Scripps Birch Aquarium in good standing (minimum qualifications -- willingness to spend $45/year for an individual membership or $74/year for a family membership), I get free admission to monthly lectures, most often presented by Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientists.

At the most recent lecture, I got to talking to a retired scientist (didn't get his name) who said that he and several other Scripps scientists (including Walter Munk, if I heard correctly) were preparing to go meet with Pope Francis.

A senior Scripps scientist, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, is one of the Francis' principal scientific advisers. Dr. Ramanathan, a Hindu(!), is also a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Those of you who have been happily wondering why Pope Francis has put climate near the top of his agenda should give the Scripps Institution of Oceanography good deal of credit for that.

caerbannog said...

Just for grins, I just posted my above message to the comments section of that Townhall.com piece. Linky here: https://comments.townhall.com/discussions/?url=http%3A%2F%2Ftownhall.com%2Fcolumnists%2Fcongressmanpaulgosar%2F2015%2F09%2F17%2Fwhy-i-am-boycotting-pope-francis-address-to-congress-n2053596&site=townhall.com#

;) ;)

caerbannog said...

Updated Townhall.com vote count (as of 0900 PDT):

Wow: 5
Important: 13
Insane: 41 (includes my vote)
Ridiculous: 95
Surprising: 0
Awesome: 45
Smart: 7

izenmeme said...

To perceive the Pope as 'Communist' as some on the American right seem to do is to mistake the causal direction of the underlying philosophies.

The Pope is tapping into the roots of Christian teachings. The idea of a small community of mutually cooperating egalitarian individuals, the whole 'Sermon on the Mount' stuff, is the source of the Catholic idea that egalitarian communities ruled by an authoritarian theocracy are a moral Good.

Communism (and Peronism) took the idea of the moral good of egalitarian cooperatives, but dropped the theological/spiritual basis. Unfortunately it often retained the authoritarian control.

Both the Pope and Castro agree on the moral superiority of an egalitarian community, and the need for a central authority to control it.

That free market capitalism finds a moral good in a system that values inequality as a sign of the individual freedom to compete and succeed makes conflict with the older creed inevitable.

8c7793aa-15b2-11e5-898a-67ca934bd1df said...

The pope is a billionaire who dresses up in funny clothes and befuddles the masses with bullshit. Why anyone would think this idiot has any divine insight is simple an indication of the intellectual immaturity of humanity. As far as I'm concerned, the vatican is populated with criminals.

Russell Seitz said...

Liberte' , Economeretricite', Demogocite'?

Blogger profile said...

FL: His beliefs are classified as communist in nature to the average American.

This only goes to prove how nuts the average American is.

Though if you ignore the volume=numbers game, you find that the ACTUAL average American is even more to the left than Obama.

Blogger profile said...

"Bunnies, you are losing the thread. Even the clowns at Townhall think that Fernando is insane and ridiculous."

Please remember, Fern thinks that the only valid people are those who agree with him. All the others are non-persons, a fringe never to be accepted.

IOW he's in a deluded bubble.

He doesn't see the townhall seeing him as insane and ridiculous, he IMAGINES them seeing him as mighty and truthful.

THAT is how insane and ridiculous Fern is.

Blogger profile said...


"“There have now been 22 consecutive Sundays of savage beatings of ..."

Sikhs because morons, whipped up by morons like Gosar whip them up into a frenzy, much like the crazy Imams of the middle east (and for the same reasons: the cray cray), can't tell the difference between a Sikh and a muslim terrorist bomber.

Do we therefore claim the USA is inhabited by ridiculous morons?

Russell Seitz said...

Humanist opinion leaders elsewhere have put a whole new spin on lionizing moral philosophers.

jrkrideau said...

@ blogger profile
Do we therefore claim the USA is inhabited by ridiculous morons?"

Err, yes?

Toby Joyce said...

Good article here by William Nordhaus (the Yale economist) who says how the Pope may have capitalism wrong.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2015/oct/08/pope-and-market/

Blogger profile said...

""Do we therefore claim the USA is inhabited by ridiculous morons?"

Err, yes?"

ONLY ridiculous morons?

Blogger profile said...

"who says how the Pope may have capitalism wrong."

This is as valid an opinion as asking the Pope whether the Episcopalians have the wrong idea about the Roman Catholic Church.

mndean said...

To take a piece from the Nordhaus editorial:

The encyclical states that the advances in slowing climate change have been regrettably few. There is a lack of “honesty, courage and responsibility.” Progress has been slow because countries have shown “failure of conscience and responsibility" (Paragraph 169).

But, the growing peril of climate change and many other environmental problems arises primarily not from unethical individual behavior such as consumerism or cowardice, bad conscience or excessive profiteering. Rather, environmental degradation is the result of distorted market signals that put too low a price on harmful environmental effects.


The pope argues a collective, society-wide lack of conscience and responsibility extending to political leadership, while Nordhaus two-steps around this by deeming it unethical individual behavior. Even then, it is impossible to say that the distorted market signals are not due to individual failure of conscience and responsibility (in America for example, voting for anti-environmentalist candidates, rolling coal, etc.). Market signals may incentivize ethical behavior, but what incentivizes establishing those market signals? One must establish working markets first, and the lack of conscience and responsibility again peeks through, and not necessarily by the populace. Prior success in this area (as with the ozone layer) doesn't seem to have worked. If the pope overstates his case (I am not sure he does), Nordhaus' "Market über alles" response here is a bit of tunnel vision, though somewhat expected from an economist. He certainly does not seem to understand the lack of advance must be attacked from all sides, even moral (or as moral as a pope can muster).

I have feared (and expected) that little would be done until severe repercussions have already begun devastation in developed nations. I have thought so since the 1990s and still stand by that, since it will require a worldwide effort.

Blogger profile said...

The collective is made up from individuals.

Moreover, the individual can only be blamed for failures if they have the information to make informed decisions.

And the denial industry, in its crusade to tell people lies to hide the problem, is ensuring that the individuals are misinformed, not merely uninformed, and therefore the collective incapacity of society is DUE TO the individuals in the corporate collective of the denial industry.

izenmeme said...

@-"I have feared (and expected) that little would be done until severe repercussions have already begun devastation in developed nations. "

I think the 'refugee crisis' now developing in Europe, and soon to be extended globally as climate change disrupts the poorest nations with the weakest agricultural systems, will concentrate the minds of governments in developed nations long before climate devastation hits at home.

Unfortunately it will probably be with policies directed at the 'illegal migrant' problem, rather than at the cause.

Kevin O'Neill said...

Nordhaus claims that mainstream economists would start from a different point than the Pope and then declares: "The chaos of daily life without smoothly functioning markets was vividly illustrated in July 2015 when Greece’s banking system was closed."

Except that what Nordhaus fails to mention - or likely even consider - is that Greece was a result of market failures *elsewhere* that then put the Greeks into a straitjacket. The economic meltdown of 2007/8 was an 'emperor has no clothes' moment for free-market economists. Markets failed. They couldn't set a price. Not too low of a price or too high of a price, but not able to set a price at all. This should have been an existential moment; if markets can't set a price, what good are they? Only massive government intervention allowed markets to resume activity.

Nordhaus later adds, "Trade and exchange tend to benefit both parties. Therefore, most economic activities in a well-regulated market are ethically neutral or positive because they do not harm and may improve the welfare of others."

This is facile; a thief and his fence have a mutually beneficial economic relationship. It does not make the trade ethically neutral or positive. If Nordhaus wants to rely on the 'well-regulated' clause then he needs to emphasize that point, bold it, and underline it, and highlight it in yellow. Because almost *every* economic transaction barring personal services results in morally ethical choices - regardless of whether the transaction is economically ethically neutral.

All Nordhaus says to me is that economics disregards morality - and puts in place a strange relationship they call 'ethics' that we wouldn't recognize as such.

Mal Adapted said...

Profile: "

The collective is made up from individuals.

"Moreover, the individual can only be blamed for failures if they have the information to make informed decisions.

"And the denial industry, in its crusade to tell people lies to hide the problem, is ensuring that the individuals are misinformed, not merely uninformed, and therefore the collective incapacity of society is DUE TO the individuals in the corporate collective of the denial industry."

So, how is it that we know the truth then? It gives too much credit to the denial industry to say it has ensured that the individuals are misinformed, because the truth isn't hidden, it's visible to anyone who cares to look. Individuals are only misinformed if they allow themselves to be.

It is our friends and neighbors who are in denial. The disinformers are only telling them what they want to hear.

Kevin O'Neill said...

Blogger Profile writes: " the individual can only be blamed for failures if they have the information to make informed decisions."

No, this is wrong. Ignorance is rarely a legitimate excuse. If you proceed on an action, then you own the consequences. Simply claiming 'I didn't know' may absolve you from evil intent, but it does not absolve you from the result of your actions. One can consider murder vs negligent homicide.

If you didn't have enough information who's fault is that? Typically our own. There may be a small subset of situations where one is in zugzwang, but there are likely one or several bad decisions leading to that point.

Russell Seitz said...

BP should spend more time watching baroque tobacco commercials

https://youtu.be/3zegtH-acXE

Blogger profile said...

" Blogger Profile writes: " the individual can only be blamed for failures if they have the information to make informed decisions."

No, this is wrong"

No it's correct.

If I tell you that I saw Rustle molesting a child and had pictures of it but had FAKED those pictures, then would the jury be guilty of the false incaceration of that old man afflicted by dementia? Or would I be guilty of lying to the court?

Blogger profile said...

"So, how is it that we know the truth then? "

We don't.

We have to find the lie.

For example, the lies deniers plop out like steaming piles of avoidance so as to continue to reap monetary rewards for themselves, safe in the knowledge that the bad stuff won't happen in their lifetimes to them.

Blogger profile said...

"It is our friends and neighbors who are in denial. The disinformers are only telling them what they want to hear."

And without the disinformers?

Oh, and it would be a minority of your neughbours, kid. They're just a noisy and dangerously insane bunch of hooligans who happen to ALSO be "evidence" for those who are being paid to lie to the public on this case to continue.

Remember: the politicians point to all those noisy people and astroturf groups as PROOF that there is no political agreement to do anything "drastic". However, those politicans are ALSO the misinformers. See Sen "Retardo" Inholf.

Stop trying to blame a nebulous "public" for the crimes of the denier funded machine. Shifting the blame on to an unnamed group from a named and proven fraudulent organisation or individual is just another way to never punish anyone for their crimes.

Blogger profile said...

Rustle, you need to find someone to do the thinking for you, your brain has broken.

Kevin O'Neill said...

Blogger Profile, perhaps you did not read my comment. I specifically said that there are a subset of apparent situations where one may lack information, but that it's typically the result of prior bad decisions.

Did no one bother to check to see if the photos were faked?

Ignorance is no excuse.

Murder vs negligent homicide. Answer that please.

Blogger profile said...

"but that it's *typically* the result of prior bad decisions. "

Proof plz.

And "But they BELIEVED me!" doesn't make the lying sack of crap not a liar for fraudulent reasons.

Fernando Leanme said...

Here's a quote from an article about the Pope's visit to Cuba:

"In 1960, Cuban bishops declared that “Catholicism and Communism respond to two totally different concepts of man and the world which it will never be possible to conciliate.” Pope Francis however contends that Communism is really Christianity. “The Communists have stolen our flag,” he said.

The Cuban bishops condemned Communism as “a system which brutally denies the most fundamental rights of the human being.” Pope Francis’ criticisms of the Castro regime were limited to oblique references, a plea for religious freedom for Catholics and general criticisms that could apply to Cuba or any one of a number of other places. He failed to even reiterate his old criticisms of the regime.

Cuban dissidents were kept from meeting Pope Francis and even the “passing greeting” that had been planned was shut down when the Communist authorities detained political dissidents. When the protesters risked their freedom to get near him, they were arrested without receiving any acknowledgement from the pope. The Castros got their meetings and their publicity."

http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/260206/pope-forgets-oppressed-cuba-daniel-greenfield#.VgKPP6mIwis.twitter

The events in Cuba have been seen by the people as confirmation of an alliance between a Red Pope and an incredibly abusive dictatorship. I realize this blog tends to have a left wing readership. Over the years I've concluded most of you are naive, undereducated about what goes on under communism in real life, or suffer from denial. Utopian beliefs are like heroine, addictive and very hard to kick. But I do try to open your eyes, simply because it's easier to get you before start quoting this:

"Hatred is the central element of our struggle… Hatred that is intransigent…Hatred so violent that it propels a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him violent and cold- blooded killing machine… To establish socialism, rivers of blood must flow.”

Che Guevara, (if it exists, may he burn in hell forever)



EliRabett said...

The Catholic Church in Cuba in 1960 was aligned with the Baptista kleptocracy.