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Environment

Anger and the Bees

This story about what scientists are now discovering may be the true cause of the mystery of the disappearance of honeybees--a fungus and a virus--is interesting.  It is interesting because it brings to mind the hysteria that has dominated previous media reports on the subject that centered mainly on suspicions that the die-off might be caused by pesticides and increased radiation in the atmosphere from cell phone usage.  And this points to the default position of some well-meaning but, perhaps, too conventional and angry environmentalists who assume that mankind is the root of all environmental evil.  If one is a well meaning person and a lover of natural beauty and phenomena, it should not be difficult for the rest of us to understand why such a person holding to this default view (i.e., that mankind wreaks havoc upon the object of his affection) becomes a little . . . um . . .  mad (and angry too).

Jonah Goldberg writes a good piece today picking up on that sick 10:10 campaign in Britain and the insular group-think that propels people clinging to that kind of anger to produce an ad as noxious as that and imagine it salutary and beneficial to the public good.  It's not so simple as to say that these folks are barking mad--for the cause of their madness is more instructive than this kind of dismissive judgment allows us to imagine.  For people who study politics, it is worthwhile trying to come to grips with the kinds of things that motivate angry people.  That's because this kind of propensity toward fascism is not, of course, limited to enviros any more than it is characteristic of all environmentalists.  Among environmentalists, it does seem to be limited to those who don't particularly like human beings and would like the world better if most of us weren't around.  Jonah's point is well taken that the numbers of that kind of environmentalist appear to be a good bit higher today than many would like to believe.   

Anger in politics can be useful.  But when it is not managed by reason--sweet reason--it proves itself a costly master.  Everyone interested in politics ought to examine the bad examples of anger in politics from time to time and, of course, to remember NOT to allow oneself when thinking or commenting upon politics to be propelled exclusively by it. 
Categories > Environment

Discussions - 22 Comments

We are not the "top of the food chain."

Are we an end of the food chain? No one eats us.

My point was that just as viruses and bacteria (or fungus) can attack the bees, they can also attack us. We are extremely vulnerable to tiny microscopic organisms. Our notion of superiority is misplaced.

Don you might be conflating superiority with invulnerability. On the other hand we are a potential source of food for sharks, tigers, lions, grizzly bears and other large carnivores. We are also a source of food for a lot of tiny microscopic organisms.

http://www.tapewormdiet.net/

But only humans would come up with ideas on how to harness these tiny microscopic organisms to do our bidding, and help us attain certain "policy objectives" such as staying trim and fit.

If you think about it bees are always a pain. Some people are incredibly alergic, and nothing puts a damper on a good day at the pool than a bee sting. But human beings found a way to harness bees to do us a world of good. Bees polinate strawberries and grapes, apples and a host of other important agricultural crops. They also produce delicious honey.

Since we found a way to harness bees, anything that attacks bees also attacks us, or potentially harms our fruit crops(necessary for healthy living).

Bees are great, and bees are potentially also responsible for the development of plastic bottles as opposed to aluminum cans(nothing worse than going for a drink of coke to get a bee sting on the toungue). But a plastic bottle lets you recap it.

In some sense then the so called environmentalists in being worried about the plight of bees seem on this front to be inseperable from farmers, and the people who contract with farmers (say Kellogs, Krogers and Walmart) and the folks who buy the products whose yield bees help increase.

And environmentalists who like land use restrictions, and want the government to grant them negative easements or zone out particular uses, these could just as easily be conservatives in a wealthier neihboorhood who want to keep lot sizes large and resists the building of High Density Housing. While the "liberals" push for the Mount Laurel doctrine. NIMBY exists in part because everyone agrees that certain uses and human being densities create externalities, the fact that you have "liberal" and "conservative" NIMBY is rather interesting.

So Jonah is good on this, but I think he gets it wrong. “Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could just get rid of these tiresome, inconvenient people?” Is almost certainly a lurking and pregnant idea. He might even be right that this was at the root of Hitler's appeal in a germany where the middle class was destroyed by currency devalution while the banking class jews seemed to continue to prosper. But its not until you really name the class of people that you get into trouble.

White Nationalist sympathies are being stocked in Europe by the Roma/Gypsies who apparently still wander around soaking up welfare, and generally live like pigs in between day jobs of beggary, stealing children and raping women. So in Europe they are zonning the Roma out.

Racism in the United States: lets keep the blacks out via land use restrictions and large lot sizes. Most of the time even this isn't really hot racism but just a community excercising NIMBY, in conformance with its growth plan, to preserve its character, values, distinctions and feel.

In terms of sex, VMI wanted to develop citizen warriors, they wanted to exclude women, because this policy was best for achieving the ends it wanted to achieve.

I mean currently the army allows females and train them with men at Ft. Jackson, but this basic trainning is seen as weaker than the trainning at the all male Ft. Benning. VMI probably isn't the same since the courts made VMI accept women.

As soon as you have a plan or a policy you want to follow then you have undesireables. If you want to lose weight then ice cream is an undesireable. If you want good schools, then larger lot sizes and anything that contributes to zonning an upper middle class neighboorhood is good.

Lets say you want to keep Yellowstone pristine, you have undesireables. So if a developer wants to put a strip mall near Yellowstone he can't. That Strip mall or housing development may be pro-growth, and pro human or whatever other adjective you wish to employ, but the beauty of yellowstone is corrupted by human development.

NIMBY-Not In My Backyard
NIAWOP-Not In accordance with our policy.

The thing is, as soon as you have a backyard there are certain things you don't want corrupting it. If you have an enjoy a pool your neighboors bees from his apple orchard are a nuissance. In this sense everyone is a potentially angry environmentalist, and the legal instruments we have to deal with this include zoning and negative easements. The owner of the apple orchard may day dream of the grumpy neighboor's exploding head, and such a dream is likely reciprocated.

Everyone begins to hate everyone else, because but for "nuissance x" all would be well. It seems to me that there are millions of ways human beings can be nuissances. But it strikes me that by buying into the "environmentalist" are crazy meme you are just creating a new class to hate and be angry towards.

As soon as you create NIMBY or NIAWOP, or as soon as you conceive of an idea, project or plan, your natural enemies, opponents and barriers to accomplishment present themselves. In the fevered dreams of Hitler, the jews, Roma and international communist.

To love the good/God is to hate sin/barriers that allienate you from your objective.

The root of hate is thus a clash of values and interests, and no wish is more common than “Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could just get rid of these tiresome, inconvenient people?”

This is why this isn't true:

For the layman, the obvious response is, “That’s not true. Blowing up people isn’t funny.”

The obvious response is, "a brief chuckle, or a cracked smile."

The chuckle isn't because it is good clean laughter, but rather a sort of Hobbesian "sudden burst of power" in recognition of the fact that there are always tiresome inconvenient people who stand in the way of policy that we would think would be for the greater good.

In some sense the video must be seen as conservative, certainly other versions depicting the same dynamic would be seen as liberal. For example, school prayer.

"The video begins in a classroom, where a mild-mannered teacher tells her middle-school students about the gospel. She then asks the class if they’d like to say the Regents prayer. Most do, but two kids abstain. The teacher tells them, “That’s absolutely fine, your own choice.” Then she reaches for a device on her desk with a red button on it. She pushes the button, and the kids who refused to pray are blown up, their blood and viscera spraying across the classroom, staining the school uniforms of their conformist and compliant classmates." (for bonus points have one be a jew one a muslim and have another holding Atlas Shrugged.)

But for a very few number of atheist parents (not even children themselves, which is why a main case was thrown out on standing issues) we would still have prayer in schools and at graduation.

In fact what is motivating the huge sea change in Washington if not the idea: "Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could just get rid of these tiresome, inconvenient people?”

Don, yes, I see what you mean, now. Bacteria will eat us; does eat us, and that is a very good thing most of the time.

HAMLET

Not where he eats, but where he is eaten: a certain
convocation of politic worms are e'en at him. Your
worm is your only emperor for diet: we fat all
creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for
maggots: your fat king and your lean beggar is but
variable service, two dishes, but to one table:
that's the end.

KING CLAUDIUS

Alas, alas!

HAMLET

A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a
king, and cat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.

John Lewis, yes, I suppose it is entirely human to have momentary irritation with portions of the human race.

On some previous thread concerning 10:10, Craig was discussing the director of the ad. The previous work I know by that guy is full of double-edged satire. I have wondered if he and others working for the PR for that campaign are not pointing out the ethos of the group for the rest of us. The point of the satire seems mainly aimed at that group rather than with those saying "No, thank you" in the commercial. The satire of the "ad" so clearly points the logical consequence of communitarianism. Of course you eliminate undesirables from your community. That is why we have prisons and ultimately the death penalty for those we consider irredeemable.

That "these folks are barking mad" is the clear point we take away from the ad is, perhaps, the real public service message. The only way those ads could have been released to the public is if "these folks are barking mad". No sane people in a sane organization could miss the insane implications of that thing. Or maybe once the money had been spent their ethic of frugality forbade them from waste? They had to use the ad as they had spent so much on it; it was that or nothing.

Julie, bee-keeping friends have been complaining about viruses and fungus in the hive that kills the bees for years. One friend explained at length the way the bees look as they sicken and die, while we were at some luncheon. She has an emotional attachment to her bees and was quite unappetizingly graphic in her description. According to her, it is a well-known natural problem and bee-keepers themselves and the proliferation of them, especially in the large commercial honey concerns, are probably spreading the diseases when selling hives, which are infecting the natural bee populations through contact. This was years ago. It is just funny how things become "news".

I'll be very interested to see how much the eliminationist fantasies (I guess?) exhibited by the withdrawn 10-10 ad manifest themselves (either by reproduction as fantasies or as some kind of action, a la Jim Adkisson, Scott Roeder, Richard Poplawski, etc.).

Right-wing fantasies usually come from something about taking out the Others because if we don't we're headed for cultural suicide (i.e. who cares about the planet, we've gotta save Our Homeland). Consider Bill O'Reilly's message to the terrorists that they could help themselves to San Francisco since, after all, "the Pelosi Crowd" and their ilk wasn't doing their part to support the War on Bad Things, and thus helping to destroy America.

Is the ad indicative of some similar argument, indicating a difficult choice (some kind of lifeboat analogy) -that is, the willfully ignorant can't be allowed to stop the lifesaving efforts of the majority, because if they do we will ALL perish. It seems both foolish and evil to promote taking any action (even if it were more "humane" [using conservative death penalty proponent terminology there] like using lethal injections rather than blowing them up in such a messy, gross fashion), yet at the same time, when one hears the fairly mainstreamed conservative positions that mankind is NOT CAPABLE of making the Earth inhabitable or that there actually is NO LIMIT of a sustainable human population on Earth, then one has to wonder if waiting for a polite consensus, for the anti-science people to wise up, is so prudent.

I've never even met an Earth-Firster who really thought that killing those who didn't recognize an environmental crisis (or a particular solution) was any kind of answer - not least because they (the EarthFirsters) are well aware of what a tiny minority they are.

I think that eliminationist fantasies (and their occasional realization - see my examples above) are considerably more common on the right. I've seen more than a few "Liberal Hunting Permits" in my US travels, even some in the countryside surrounding Ashbrook:

http://trueslant.com/childers/files/2010/03/Screen-shot-2010-03-17-at-2.45.04-PM.png

"Liberal Hunting Permit - Tagging Not Required - May Be Used While Under the Influence of Alcohol. May be used to hunt liberals at Gay Pride Parades, Democrat Conventions, Union Rallys, Handgun Control Meetings, News Media Association [presumably excl. FoxNews!], Lesbian Luncheons, and Hollywood Functions. May Hunt Day or Night With or Without Dogs."

So, is that a haha?

I agree with the author of this piece:
trueslant dot com/childers/2010/03/18/the-conservative-policy-of-pettiness/

(remove the "dot" and put in a dot.)

that "Coexist" and "Visualize World Peace" (favorite liberal stickers/sentiments) do not really match up with the Lennon perversion "Imagine a World Without Liberals" - available at several conservative t-shirt shops online, or as seen on a sign at this recent tea party in Ohio:

http://www.ohio.com/news/103210854.html

(or the quaint "I'd rather be waterboarding!" or "we come unarmed - this time!")

Note that when it comes to climate change/global warming threats, the right has their own plan (the sticker from the article above):

"Reduce Carbon Emissions - Shoot an Environmentalist or Two!!"

(I guess we should count our blessings for the implied acknowledgment that CO2 is a problem in the first place)

Jim Adkisson, inspired by Beck and O'Reilly and Bernie Goldberg, actually hoped to work towards a world without liberals.

It strikes me as more than a touch disingenuous when people who shrug off all of this stuff (which they/you have), and also dismiss or minimize (or even promote) torture and "collateral damage" suddenly get the vapors over a stupid withdrawn ad that will "inspire" precisely no violent acts whatsoever.

Oh Scanlon, there you go again. Lefitst fantasies also obsess about "taking out the Other." If only we could get rid of those 1) rich 2) white 3) religious 4) traditional 5) stupid people who are impeding PROGRESS, the world would be a perfect place. And unlike right-wing fantasies, the Left has more often DONE something about their fantasies (e.g., Mao's reeducation camps, Hitler's extermination camps, Stalin's gulag, FDR's internment camps). And the hits just keep on rolling.

(P.S. And before you open your mouth about Hitler being right-wing, read Goldberg's book on Liberal Fascism -- then I'm more than happy to discuss it with you).

you might be conflating superiority with invulnerability.

You're right. My error. I had one too many glasses of red wine when I wrote that. :-)

When I first heard about the collapsing bee colonies my first thought was that the cause was some virus or bacteria. I had no proof of that, of course. Just my first thought.

Humans are exceptional among life on this earth. But that does not mean everything is under our control, or a result of our activity. Far from it, actually.

Some might point to "global warming" as an example of our influence upon nature. I'm personally skeptical that any warming, if in fact it's occurring, is the direct result of mankind. Were the earth cooling and we set out to pump as much CO2 into the air as we could, I doubt we'd have much effect. The global weather system is vast and complex. We are relatively small specks.

(Please ... that does not mean we should irresponsibly pollute. Nor does it mean we have no impact. There aren't enough words to explain all the things I don't mean.)

It is, I think, a central conceit of mankind -- now, and through the ages -- to try to elevate ourselves to the level of God. We are exceptional; we are not all-powerful. Our power is quite limited; we are in fact quite vulnerable to all manner of things in this world.

The first link is broken. I didn't see any signs in the second that appeared remotely offensive. Maybe you have a problem with "Duty and Honor"?

"Imagine a World without Liberals" is no more an incitement to kill liberals than "Imagine there's no heaven" is an incitement to kill God.

I agree that the "Liberal Hunting Permit" is offensive, but at least that never aired on television.

Jim Adkisson, inspired by Beck and O'Reilly and Bernie Goldberg, actually hoped to work towards a world without liberals.

Yup. And James Lee, inspired by Al Gore, hoped to work toward a world without "disgusting human children"".

I have read Goldberg's bestseller and I don't wish to spend any more time (at least, any unpaid time) sorting through its many problems, inaccuracies and shameful axe-grinding. Clearly, many on the right/right fringe have embraced his ideas (like their guns and religion - haha!!!), and will not let go for anything - including facts from liberal college professors!!!!

Besides, as I've noted before, relevant experts in the fields of history and fascism have roundly debunked the book already:

http://www.hnn.us/articles/122231.html

"If only we could get rid of those 1) rich 2) white 3) religious 4) traditional 5) stupid people who are impeding PROGRESS, the world would be a perfect place."

Yes, you are so right about that - the progressive movement is just chock full of sincere utopians... with genocide as their goal. When the crowd goes wild at Aerosmith concerts where they play "Eat the Rich," we can be pretty sure that someone in the closest gated community will probably be murdered later in the night.

I've never quite understood why - other than to bash the self-described progressives/progressive movement - the Right so easily lapses into denigrating the very concept of progress - as though they don't see their own ideas of the implementation of their correct public policies to be the best progress of all?? Even if it's a return to some mythical past, that's still progress. Or is this a really principled thing; the tea party right really doesn't believe in the concept of progress. Not only are things not going to get better, but they can't get better, so let's not even bother trying. Shrink that government down to get it in a bathtub and then we'll go about drowning it.

But seriously, if you want to read something that will really enlighten you as to the mindset of a committed conservative who really took The Culture War to heart, read Jim David Adkisson's little 4-page manifesto (the police found it in his truck after he shot up a Unitarian church in Tennessee - killing 2 and injuring 7).

Here:
http://web.knoxnews.com/pdf/021009church-manifesto.pdf

Nuggets:

"I'm absolutely fed up. So I thought I'd do something good for this country. Kill Democrats until the cops kill me. If decent patriotic Americans could vote 3 times in every election, we couldn't stem this tide of liberalism that's destroying America. Liberals are a pest like termites. Millions of them. Each little bite contributes to the downfall of this great nation. The only way we can rid ourselves of this evil is kill them in the streets. Kill them where they gather. I'd like to encourage other people to do what I've done."

"Know this if nothing else: This was a hate crime. I hate the damn left-wing liberals. There is a vast left-wing conspiracy in this country & these liberals are working together to attack every decent & honorable institution in the nation, trying to turn this country into a communist state. Shame on them...."

"This was a symbolic killing. Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book. I'd like to kill everyone in the mainstream media. But I know those people were inaccessible to me. I couldn't get to the generals & high ranking officers of the Marxist movement so I went after the foot soldiers, the chickenshit liberals that vote in these traitorous people. Someone had to get the ball rolling. I volunteered. I hope others do the same. It's the only way we can rid America of this cancerous pestilence."

But I know, I know - Liberals and progressives are trying to set up FEMA camps, take your guns away, and make America just like Stalin's Soviet Union (but with more black people)!!

=====

As for the bees, well, the article linked to finishes with this:

"I hope no one goes away with the idea that we've actually solved the problem," Jeff Pettis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service told MSNBC. "We still have a great deal of research to do to resolve why bees are dying in the U.S. and elsewhere."

I remain agnostic on the colony collapse issue, but it should also be noted that just because a fungus and a virus are suspected as causes, this does not automatically remove any possibility that humans and their various activities could be connected. (e.g. global warming theory typically suggests that some areas will see greater precipitation, which means greater moisture, which can also promote more fungi growth - note how scientists have been monitoring the northward climb of many species habitats as season lengths are changing (usu. with summer being longer and spring and fall being shorter)... But who knows - this report, while encouraging, sounds far from definitive.

But who knows - this report, while encouraging, sounds far from definitive.

As do you links to hnn.us. One "scholar" disagreeing does not make a refutation.

I think it is clear that National Socialism did not advocate "limited government." Far from it.

Beyond that ... y'all are on your own. I'm all about the bees. I like bees. I don't much care for honey, but I like fruits and vegetables. Bees do their part in nature's orchestra. Long live the bees. Just don't sting me.

Try the links again. The two that I gave in full in that post still work fine for me (and I'm running on an ancient system here) - the picture of a "Liberal Hunting Permit" and the article about the Cuyahoga Falls tea party rally.

The one that I only provided a quasi-link for (to avoid having the comment rejected by the blog system) is this:

http://trueslant.com/childers/2010/03/18/the-conservative-policy-of-pettiness/

"Maybe you have a problem with "Duty and Honor"?"

Yes, actually - within the context of the photo to which you refer - I do. The phrase is so vague and open-ended as to be meaningless. What's the "duty" at issue? La Cosa Nostra is all big on duty and honor, too, so the only thing that impresses me about that phrase is how people can get away with so much b.s. if/when they wear such a phrase on a t-shirt with a picture of an angry-looking bald eagle and an American flag. It's just a lazy free pass. No substance, just "Duty and Honor"!! That could be used by anyone doing just about anything, and it most likely has.

"I agree that the "Liberal Hunting Permit" is offensive, but at least that never aired on television."

As far as I know, that "No Pressure" ad was never on TV:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Pressure_%28film%29#Withdrawal

I only found out about it here at NLT (some enviro-Nazi I am!). Whereas I have seen "Liberal Hunting Permit"(s) more than a few times. Good thing I wasn't driving an old VW combi with peace symbols and anti-tea party stickers on it at the time.

"Yup. And James Lee, inspired by Al Gore, hoped to work toward a world without "disgusting human children.""

Oh, come on, Uncle John. Any man that's ever changed a diaper knows how disgusting human children can be! (I jest - even their excretions are adorable and ready for an Ann Geddes calendar)

The article you linked to, though, doesn't mention Al Gore at all. Has Gore ever railed against the Discovery Channel?? How do we know Gore inspired this guy? Is Gore a lot more radical than his movie and his PowerPoint stuff? Is Discovery even partially devoted to nature shows or anything? I mean, what did this guy expect from the makers of Cash Cab and Dirty Jobs?
Oh, this:
"The Discovery Channel and it's affiliate channels MUST have daily television programs at prime time
slots based on Daniel Quinn's "My Ishmael" pages 207‐212 where solutions to save the planet would be
done in the same way as the Industrial Revolution was done..."

(???)

The guy you point to just comes off as a) a guy who's been put under a bit too much pressure from his wife to have (more) kids - he's really got it in for BABIES! - and b) completely incoherent.

But you have conveniently left out that the guy's also got a possible tea party inspiration as well (whereas Adkisson's inspiration came solely from the right, Lee's inspiration - to the extent one could even call it that in this case - appears to come from different directions, all of them strange) - from his "manifesto":

"Immigration: Programs must be developed to find solutions to stopping ALL immigration pollution and
the anchor baby filth that follows that.... FIND SOLUTIONS FOR THEM TO STOP THEIR HUMAN GROWTH AND THE EXPORTATION OF THAT DISGUSTING FILTH!"

Oh yeah - the ANCHOR BABIES!! (great band name to be snatched up there)

Now THAT part of his anger could have easily come straight from Michael Savage, Lou Dobbs, or Bill O'Reilly - quite possibly Glenn Beck, too, of course.

Score at half-time:

John Lewis: 1,200 words

Craig Scanlon: 2,000 words

As far as I know, that "No Pressure" ad was never on TV

But as your link shows, it was originally intended for "cinema and television." The production values suggest that a lot of organization, time, effort, and money went into its development. By contrast, the making of the "Liberal Hunting Permit" involved some jackass with a computer.

The article you linked to, though, doesn't mention Al Gore at all.

Fair enough. Try this, from the well-known conservative source MSNBC:

"Lee said at the time that he experienced an 'awakening' when he watched former Vice President Al Gore’s environmental documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth.'"

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38957020/

Yea, Craig, "national socialism" was right-wing. Sure. And the fact that every communist dictator ends up doing the same as Hitler (although not to Jews, but to other groups that are scapegoats or just inconvenient) -- well, that's just a coincidence.

As for "scholars," it was scholars who started the myth of Nazism as a right-wing phenomenon. I'll take common sense over "scholars" any day.

AD is right...if you can't say what you mean in 200 or 300 words, then shut up. It's not like anyone actually reads those long posts anyway.

"Yea, Craig, "national socialism" was right-wing. Sure. And the fact that every communist dictator ends up doing the same as Hitler (although not to Jews, but to other groups that are scapegoats or just inconvenient) -- well, that's just a coincidence."

Nonsense. Communists and socialists were, from the very start, targeted by the Nazis, and ended up in the concentration and death camps, too - Jewish or not.

From the website of the US Holocaust Museum:

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007329

"Among the earliest victims of discrimination and persecution in Nazi Germany were political opponents -- primarily Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats, and trade union leaders. The Nazis also persecuted authors and artists whose works they considered subversive or who were Jewish."

So, did "every communist dictator end up doing the same" as that? They put all their communists and socialists into concentration and death camps?? They were all self-haters, I guess. Stalin was a paranoid megalomaniac, it's true, and did round up a lot of commies, but not because they were commies, but because they were seen as not toeing the party line adequately, not being communist ENOUGH. and thus enemies of the people. I won't go into the many crimes of various dictators (too many words!), but it's absurd to suggest that communists identified and targeted communists (beyond the internecine battles that can be found everywhere along the political spectrum).

But hey, who could trust that information - it was probably written by.... scholars!

Redwald, seriously, if you'll "take common sense over 'scholars' any day" then why do you read this blog? NLT is heavily - primarily - populated by scholars, academics. Ashbrook is affiliated with a university

They even run a program called "Ashbrook Scholars":
http://scholar.ashland.edu/

I'm guessing what you mean when you say that you'll take common sense over scholars is that you'll take (your particular notion of) common sense over scholars that are liberal (be it self-identified or described as such by you).

If common sense is all that it takes and "scholars" are automatically suspect, then why bother with higher education at all?

Oh right... I guess that's the point, isn't it?

What's with the sudden emphasis on brevity? Plenty of posts here on the blog extend beyond 200-300 words.

Do you have similar standards for books - no more than 300 words?

"Lee said at the time that he experienced an 'awakening' when he watched former Vice President Al Gore’s environmental documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth.'"

Okay, but had Gore been railing against... The Discovery Channel (or anything like that - "America, we have got to stop the nature programming from National Geographic... before it's too late!") and identifying Discovery as a main culprit in climate change?? Somehow I missed that part of the film.

Lee almost certainly was a person with environmentalist sympathies and tendencies - wanting to conserve nature and such (oh, heavens, how crazy), but his lashing out took a truly nutball approach (not to mention his bizarre focus on BABIES). The Discovery Channel, ferchrissakes!! So, he might have been 10% enviro-whacko, but 90% just-plain-whacko.

Whereas...
Adkisson not only conceded an "awakening" he admitted to being directly inspired by a lib-bashing author (he wanted to kill all the (typical liberal) people in Goldberg's book) and then he went out and started his crusade against them with a gun. 90% enraged and empowered and enabled right-wing radio listener, 10% pre-existing whacko condition.

AND... see how the guy who was heading into San Fran to take out the Tides Foundation and the ACLU (but got waylaid in a gun battle with some CHP cops) says that "Beck would never say anything about a conspiracy, would never advocate violence. He'll never do anything ... of this nature. But he'll give you every ounce of evidence that you could possibly need."

This is rather direct inspiration:

http://mediamatters.org/research/201010110002

But the thing is - and it's the most important distinction - Beck is primarily spouting off "information" that ranges from factually hazy half-truths to just plain bald-faced bullsh**. Hate Gore all you want, but his film was a lot more fact-based than Beck's chalkboard is on its best day. Beck gets his viewers and listeners stirred up with a whole lot of outright lying.

But hey, yeah, sure Obama might have one time planned FEMA camps and has a "deep-seated hatred for white people" and is out to take Real Americans to the slaughter, etc.

So, after getting enough doses of Ashbrook-honored Beck, stuff like this - it's no surprise when things like this keep happening:

http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/local/man-arrested-found-with-gun-anti-government-materials-20100916-mr

Craig, do you ever listen to yourself? The Nazis were SOCIALISTS. Explicitly, they combined extreme nationalism with socialism, which is why they persecuted INTERNATIONAL communists. Are you going to say next that nationalism is a strictly right-wing phenomenon? Funny how China has morphed into what is apparently a quasi-fascist state -- and what about all those "communists" who died in WWII for "Mother Russia." Do you suppose Hugo Chavez isn't nationalist??

You need to read some Edmund Burke if you think Nazism was a form of conservatism. We have had a couple of generations of Lefty historians and political scientists tell us so, but that doesn't make it so. Conservativism and totalitarianism are antithetical.

Interesting, Red, that the SOCIALIST Nazis would include socialists among some of their very first targets and prisoners in the concentration camps.

The way that you take things (well, some thing, chosen very selectively) at face value is amusing. National, socialists...

Take marketing 101 and then we'll talk more...

Craig, Redwald is right. Go read a history of who went to the camps and shot. You must have missed something when looking for Internet links that say what you like to hear.

"You must have missed something when looking for Internet links that say what you like to hear."

Pretty funny you would say that after today's discussion about the Wiking site. Talk about telling people what they want to hear!

Those noble, "valiant" SS troops were heroes, fighting for freedom, to defend their native lands, and we should "salute" them (well, at least their site said that - verifiable via Google cache)!!! [No mention of Holocaust, Nazi terror across Poland, mass executions into ditches, etc.???]

That's not telling people what they want to hear (for whatever sick reason)???

Please, Kate.

As far as the recent exchange with Redwald, do you think that the US Holocaust Memorial Museum is a bad source for information on who was put in the camps?

Again, the link:

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007329

The international socialists were competitors for the socialist-inclined vote, Craig. The Nazis put lots of different kinds of people in the camps 0-- pretty much anyone who got in their way.

You need to face the fact that fascism is a form of collectivism. I'm not even sure why we are arguing about this. The Left clearly owns Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, and they were at least as nasty as Hitler. What's one more in the Left's gallery of rogues?

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In addition to the Peggy Noonan column (already cited in my post below) there are some of good links worth exploring on this question of an American/conservative/Tea Party backlash against so-called "elites."  One is this column by Anne Applebaum ... Read More