Four true facts

The miserable state of the Republican Party can perhaps be understood through its response to four simple truths. Each item on this list is measurable, provable and broadly regarded as obvious. Failure to acknowledge these four truths means being as clearly, empirically wrong as it’s possible to be in the otherwise mushy, gray realm of politics:

1) Climate change is real and it is caused primarily by human activity.

2) Human beings evolved from simpler life forms, and the same evolutionary process shapes all living systems.

3) Abortion is a complex issue because it involves two legitimate liberty interests in conflict with one another.

4) Race still skews economic outcomes in the United States.

It is possible, with great care and a willingness to avoid exposure to facts, for an adult to carry on a reasonably competent existence while living in denial of these four realities. However, no one incapable of recognizing these obvious truths is qualified to serve in a public leadership capacity of any significance. Like a poorly aimed weapon, any legislation or executive action crafted in defiance of these truths will, at best, yield unnecessary collateral damage. In many cases, it will reap calamity.

Unfortunately, there is almost no corner of America in which a Republican can survive a primary election while openly acknowledging all four of these truths. As a consequence, however mistaken a Democratic policy may be, it is likely to be less damaging at the national level than a Republican alternative for as long as this condition persists (it’s worth noting, however, that Democrats have their own issues with #3).

None of those four realities dictate a particular policy response. Acknowledging these irrefutable realities would not force Republicans to abandon market economics, embrace abortion or violate any of the party’s traditional tenets. Some of these truths might be politically uncomfortable, but it is possible to devise policy responses to each of them that are entirely in line with traditional Republican agendas.  The Republican Party stubbornly refuses to acknowledge these realities because the party has developed over the past twenty years a purpose completely divorced from effective public administration.

A largely white, rural and Southern demographic bloc for whom the faster, freer world of global capitalism is a living nightmare has transformed the Republican Party into a bulwark against reality. Those who continue to look to religion not only to provide meaning, but to define their reality, are in a broad general state of panic that seems likely to continue until an older generation has seen their influence dissipate. They are determined to ensure that no government action of any kind, no matter how necessary for the protection of your interests or theirs, will in any way challenge the brittle, manufactured reality on which their mental security depends.

Republicans of a previous generation helped grant us this world. Republicans of this generation are determined to roll it back at all costs. If they must fail, they are content to see it all burn to the ground rather than confront a world of pluralism, accelerating change, and endless uncertainty.

Mediation begins by reaching some agreement on a defined, provable set of facts. The truth is slow, but relentless. Over time it becomes irresistible. Anyone who is looking for a first step, a template for building a newly relevant Republican establishment should look first to those four truths. If we can ever generate a core of Republican strategists, activists and officeholders willing to acknowledge these simple, demonstrable truths without evasion or flinching, we’ll be on our way to a far brighter future for the party, the country, and our world.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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141 comments on “Four true facts
  1. Hi
    I’m not a Republican – I have lived in the USA but I now live in New Zealand
    But I think you need to add a fifth truth

    Voodoo economics – trickle down does not work

    Without that nothing will work

  2. Emily Nghiem says:

    Hi Chris: As a Constitutionalist and Green Progressive Democrat, I express concern that two of your points stray from the central unifying principle of “respecting religious freedom of choice: and not imposing beliefs on those of others: (A). The point about global warming is biased and better replaced with a COMMON focus on environmental conservation, restoration and cleaning up pollution which are “unifying” while global warming is divisive and based on belief in the research (the same objectives can be accomplished by focusing on environmental protections and restoration WITHOUT taking sides and insulting anyone for views on global warming so why go there). (B). The point about evolution is equally unnecessary to “require” as a condition to agree upon and does not respect the equal rights and beliefs of other backgrounds; I find it better to leave it open to ALL views and combinations of “evolution AND creation,” for sake of EQUAL protection of interests and beliefs which is a more inclusive Constitutional principle; [instead of arguing over evolution and creation, I believe scientific research is better focused on Spiritual Healing, and how this practice can be applied to diagnosis, early intervention and cure of mental, physical and even criminal illness connected to spiritual causes that otherwise obstruct natural health and healing. See resources recommended for research: http://www.spiritual-healing.us%5D

    I agree with your points about the abortion issues, and believe that policies and solutions are better focused on prevention at all levels, rather than dividing or judging over views.

    As for the point about race and economics, the solutions I see are to set up equal access to training and experience in financial, legal and property/business management so all people’s interests can be equally protected. As long as not all people have equal knowledge of the laws and how to manage finances and especially property, we will not see human equality.
    Until all people have equal right to own their own land, property, schools and businesses and to govern their own cities, we will not be equal with those who have political power and access to the taxing and governing authorities. We will always fight over power until we are fully self-governing and have equal right and access to localized democratic representation.

    This is independent of race, but the Blacks have been put 150 years behind on the learning curve of managing property, business and finances; and with the legal and prison system monopolized by money, this imbalance continues. So the solution may involve revamping the prison system to set up equal access to health care, education and preventative services —
    Turning prisons, mental health and public housing facilities into campuses to train people to become independent instead of creating more bureaucracy and enslavement.

    See also: http://wwwl.earnedamnesty.org
    http://www.freedmenstown.com

    http://www.ethics-commission.net

    As a Constitutionalist, I applaud your intent of unifying people, but regret that two of your points will merely divide instead of unite if these are not revised. There are better ways of pursuing those goals that are unifying across the board and will prevent needless division.

    Please check your bias on these two points, and do not exclude the beliefs of others that are equally protected under the Constitution which is the law of the land, not policies or global warming or evolution that should remain the free choice of people to study and believe without being insulted, pressured politically, or forced by law without their consent.

    Thank you, Chris

    Yours truly,
    Emily Nghiem

    • goplifer says:

      That’s adorable, but your political/religious leanings have no bearing on whether these assertions are valid. You have a constitutionally protected right to believe that the sea is made of jello. I will actively defend that right.

      I will just as vigorously work to make sure that such a catastrophically misinformed and empirically incorrect belief does not bind the rest of us and doom our future.

      Enjoy your delusions. They are yours by right. Meanwhile, your belief in those delusions ought to disqualify you from any position of leadership, for my sake and for your own.

  3. Doug says:

    Interesting article is you believe government can promote (i.e. mandate) “conservative” ideas to prevent THE TRUTH of catastrophic climate change. It’s written by two engineers from the failed Google RE<C project.
    http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/what-it-would-really-take-to-reverse-climate-change

    Unfortunately the article has been toned down from what was originally posted. Here is an original paragraph that is now gone:

    “Even if one were to electrify all of transport, industry, heating and so on, so much renewable generation and balancing/storage equipment would be needed to power it that astronomical new requirements for steel, concrete, copper, glass, carbon fibre, neodymium, shipping and haulage etc etc would appear. All these things are made using mammoth amounts of energy: far from achieving massive energy savings, which most plans for a renewables future rely on implicitly, we would wind up needing far more energy, which would mean even more vast renewables farms – and even more materials and energy to make and maintain them and so on. The scale of the building would be like nothing ever attempted by the human race.”

    • Geoff says:

      This is why the mainstream mitigation plans (IPCC) are inherently desperate and “all of the above” type plans – consumption reduction, renewables, natural gas, investment in technologies etc. (Personally I would look to deeper experts on these topics than some academic Google project engineers, but anyway.)

      The main point of the article seems to be to call for R&D investments in advanced energy tech (nuclear, fusion etc.) similar to the sort of “let’s get a man to the moon” focus Hansen has called for. Are you saying this is inherently in conflict with conservative ideas, or are you trying to argue that climate change is a class of problem that *no* conservative ideas can help with?

    • Turtles Run says:

      I am sure the Benghazi hucksters will be just a vocal letting people know they were wrong and the President and Secretary Clinton acted in appropriate fashion.
      .
      YEAH RIGHT

  4. kabuzz61 says:

    Since Chris and his party received such a beating on election day, it is important for Chris to direct how the GOP should operate so he trots out all the faux bogeymen.

    Global Warming-check
    Abortion-Check
    Evolution-check
    Race-check.

    Of course Chris’ whole premise is incorrect. A very small group of people do not believe in the theory of evolution. (it is apparent the left doesn’t either because they are always hell bent on saving some critter from extinction) Abortion is complicated but never forget there is a life involved. Global Warming is a tool to raise money. There is Global Warming but how significant is human’s involvement? That is where the disagreement is. And Chris’ favorite, Race. Minorities, in Chris’ world view, can’t achieve without the help of white people. Now that is racist.

    Chris, your team lost in a big way. I hope the GOP gets stuff done, but the last person they need advice from is a liberal democrat.

    • goplifer says:

      If you weren’t real I might have to invent you.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      I love it when conservatives keen that, in abortion, there’s “a life involved.”

      There most certainly is, under either interpretation: the woman’s. But how telling that so many conservatives seem to care so little about that.

    • johngalt says:

      “A very small group of people do not believe in the theory of evolution.”

      That “very small group” is one-third of American adults.

      http://www.pewforum.org/2013/12/30/publics-views-on-human-evolution/

    • Geoff says:

      “There is Global Warming but how significant is human’s involvement? That is where the disagreement is”

      Sorry, no, and the author’s point on item (1) is valid. There is disagreement, but not about whether human involvement is “significant” or not. From a practical point of view (in terms of scientific work, publishing etc.) that is not an active question at all.

      The mainstream view is that “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century” (IPCC). Every national science academy and physical science association in the world endorses the mainstream view. It is not *that* deep of rocket science to estimate magnitude of energy ‘forcings’ in watts per square meter, and show that the anthropogenic greenhouse forcing dominates all other physically plausible influences on global energy balance, like changes in solar output, magnitude of plausible changes in cloudiness/albedo, etc.

      Just for reference, the statement by the American Geophysical Union, re-issued last year, gives a typical sense of where the current focus on uncertainties lies:

      “Humanity is the major influence on the global climate change observed over the past 50 years. Rapid societal responses can significantly lessen negative outcomes… While important scientific uncertainties remain as to which particular impacts will be experienced where, no uncertainties are known that could make the impacts of climate change inconsequential. Furthermore, surprise outcomes, such as the unexpectedly rapid loss of Arctic summer sea ice, may entail even more dramatic changes than anticipated.”

      http://sciencepolicy.agu.org/files/2013/07/AGU-Climate-Change-Position-Statement_August-2013.pdf

      For a mainstream political party to publicly take what is objectively a fringe position on a scientific topic *because* that party doesn’t like the implications of the topic, rather than taking a position on the right *policy* response to the science, is clearly an inherently anti-science position – it is visible to the public that the position is based on distrust of mainstream scientists and essentially conspiracy theories about their activity. To the author’s point, this plays well to paranoid and alienated voting blocs but less so to mainstream educated voters and especially not to millenials etc. who find this sort of hostility to science genuinely mystifying – even very conservative ones.

  5. CaptSternn says:

    Now I know how Tutt feels when she puts time and effort into a comment and loses it. I usually copy and paste inton a notepad file just in case, but nope.

    1) Climate change happens. Human beings do not cause it, do not control it, do not affect it in any measurable way. There is no “consensus” as most scientists do not support the idea of AGW. A handful do, and they are funded by governments that support it. Governments like China, that just made and agreement with Obama to exponentially increase their pollution over the next couple of decades while the U.S. hurts its own economy. The telling point is in their solutions, bring down the top economies and redistribute the wealth so poor nations can pollute even more.

    2) Of course evolution happens. Nature is not static no matter what people that yeall about AGW say.

    3) Yes, you admit that we are talking about basic human rights, the killing of tens of millions of innocent human beings for convenience, so one person can kill another to avoid the consequences of their actions.

    4) Yes, affirmative action, set-asides and lowering standards skews outcomes. The left viewing and treating people that are not white males as inferior has the effect of making those people feel inferior, and then they will question their abilities, doubt what they can achieve and many end up remaining dependent on their “masters” and stay on the “plantations” the democrats have created and continue to support.

    • Turtles Run says:

      “There is no “consensus” as most scientists do not support the idea of AGW. A handful do, and they are funded by governments that support it. ”

      So kids in Teatard-istan 97% of a group supporting a theory amounts to just a “handful” and 3% is “most”.

      As for the rest it is the usual standard drivel only an ignoramus could believe.

      • CaptSternn says:

        That would be 97% of 1%, Turtles. Very much like human activity contributes maybe up to 1% of 3% of greenhouse gasses. But don’t let facts or reality get in your way, you never have before.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Sternn, why do you want to view a dentist’s opinion on cardiac surgery as authoritative? Why do you believe that contract-law professors are experts on courtroom trial procedures?

        And, if you don’t understand the reason for my question, it’s a further demonstration of your own idiocy on this “97%” question.

    • Geoff says:

      “There is no “consensus” as most scientists do not support the idea of AGW”

      I replied above. This is objectively a false statement and rejection of reality. Every national science academy and physical science organization in the world supports the mainstream view. All surveys that have been done find high ~97% agreement with AGW among publishing experts. There is no salvaging your position. You can get a bloc of voters to believe it, just as large numbers believe any number of false things, but is it a political winner and a growth strategy? Of course not.

  6. bubbabobcat says:

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

    Commander Orange has just sued Obama for get this, delaying implementation of facets of the ACA…that he opposes and wants repealed anyway!

    Obama can’t win for trying with the wingnuts.

    And you wonder why he has to resort to executive orders to get anything done?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/22/us/politics/obamacare-lawsuit-filed-by-republicans.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

    Wingnut “logic” never ceases to amaze me.

  7. unarmedandunafraid says:

    What kind of bizarro world have I found. A republican that spouts ideas that I, as an evolving liberal, would definitely think are sensible. As Joe Blow said “What is going on here!!”

    • Can you say, “RINO”? Actually, unarmed, Chris is a GOP blue-blood, Rockefeller-style Republicrat. He claims he’s got nowhere else to go, but he’s really already there.

      • Manhattan says:

        It’s that term “RINO” is why the party is seen as intolerant. Tell me conservatives, is RINO, Democrat Lite and Republicrat your coded language of talking about Republicans who are seen hanging out with people who make you feel uncomfortable? Do you really only like Republicans who think the exact same way? Hell, it’s what made the Democratic Party the moderate wing of the Republican Party. Way to go guys, your purity paid off! You guys aren’t that different from the Democrats who call white voters morons who vote against their own interest.

        As if conservatives never had any blue-bloods, right….

        Chris, one part you forgot is to get ideological diversity back. You need Republicans like Margaret Chase Smith as well as someone like Everett Dirksen. All the RINO hunting and litmus tests of the past twenty years sure led to a lot of purging Communist style.

      • Pot, meet kettle, er, Tom Steyer. 😉

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Let me correct an oversight of mine brought to my attention.

        Welcome back Manhattan! You should post more frequently (at your convenience of course). Your insight and rational discourse is much sorely needed.

        So is that Manhattan as in one of the 5 NYC boroughs or as in Kansas?

  8. Well, 3 1/4 outta 4 ain’t bad, Chris. You get a solid “B”.

    “1) Climate change is real and it is caused primarily by human activity.”

    -0.5 – Climate change is *constant* and may or may not be *significantly* affected by human activity.

    “2) Human beings evolved from simpler life forms, and the same evolutionary process shapes all living systems.”

    -0 – Kinda of a gimme, except for the fringe religious right.

    “3) Abortion is a complex issue because it involves two legitimate liberty interests in conflict with one another.”

    -0 – Bingo! Go to the head of the class.

    “4) Race still skews economic outcomes in the United States.”

    -0.25 – Skin color has nothing to do with economic outcomes. Socioeconomic background has everything to do with it. Take a black baby and raise him/her up in a white middle class household, and you can fully expect a white middle class economic outcome. Raise that same child in the ‘hood, and you can fully expect the concordant economic result.

    • johnofgaunt75 says:

      I’ll just address #4: Completely agree with you but you must remember that because of the nature of social policy here in North America that really only changed in the past 50 years (after lasting hundreds of years), socioeconomic back mirrors race in America. So given that history, I have no problem with agreeing that “Race still skews economic outcomes in the United States.”

      • Crogged says:

        My argument (and has been made by others) is the ‘ending’ of the obviously restrictive law did not create the capital (real f____g money is what I mean by ‘capital’) the same community would have absent the existence of those laws. Nothing addressed this issue just as the parents had nothing to leave their children. Poor means you don’t have any money or the means to get money. I have no idea why the self evident (give someone what they lack) is the worst thing in the world.

      • Crogged, the federal government could give you a F-35 fighter. That doesn’t mean you would know how to fly it, or maintain it. The government can give you all kinds of things; that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Some things, like wealth and capital, simply have to be *earned*. That means making a whole bunch of right life choices, and hopefully, having someone to help teach you how to make those right choices at an early age when such things have the greatest impact. Unfortunately, the federal government can’t *give* you either of those things.

        The best the government can do is give you fish; it can’t teach you *how* to fish. Now, fish giving would not be all that bad were it being done by any one other than politicians. But since it is politicians doing the fish giving, it’s important to consider some ugly side effects. The politician doesn’t give away fish for free; the politician requires votes in return. Even worse, the politician doesn’t even know how to fish. All the politician can do is use the votes he receives to *take away* some one else’s fish.

        Government-sponsored fish-giving is *at best* a zero sum game. No additional fish are produced, the fish-receiver is morally corrupted and the fish catcher is discouraged from catching fish in the first place. At worst, fish catches go down, a permanent fish-needy underclass is created, and the fish catchers decamp for greener pastures. In the end nobody is happy but the fish-mongering politician. Sound familiar?

        Perhaps we ought to leave the fish giving and fish catching instruction to the fishers of men.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        The gov’t might be able to do a better job “giving out” some educational resources to help make some baby steps to making the playing field slightly less uneven.

      • flypusher says:

        The fish pond needs protection, maintenance, and even expanding, so there is a role for gov’t.

      • HH, what kind of educational resources? Why could the education of fisherman not be handled by the private sector for profit, or by sectarian interests interested in another kind of profit all together? Have I not sufficiently illustrated the cost of services “provided” by politicians?

        Fly, I’m pretty sure fish pond defense is covered in the Constitution. Are not fish pond maintenance and expansion better left to free associations of like-minded individuals? Or must we involve the coercive might of the state in fish pond maintenance and expansion?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        TT…at least in the post-secondary arena, we’ve seen some results of profit-driven education, and the results are not good for most people, and especially not good for minorities.

        I had nieces and nephews in elementary schools that were part of Edison projects, and while not private businesses (they partnered with existing school districts), they certainly did hope to make money.

        Sadly, they made no money and didn’t improve academics either.

        I’m a fan of the free market, but I cannot imagine the free market forces that are going to work to level the playing field for the schools in south Houston compared to West U.

        I’m a bit of the mindset of this poorly quoted line from the West Wing TV show: Education should be like the military. Fabulously free to people and fabulously costly to the government.

        Yes, I know “the people” fund the gov’t, but I think you understand the quote.

        However, since education is one of my interests and something about which I am sad because I have not developed the perfect solution in my head (unlike every other topic for which I do have the perfect solution), I’m completely open to learning about alternative ideas. I’ll be skeptical, but I’m skeptical of more liberal approached to education too.

      • HH, have you looked into “Social Impact Bonds” (SIBs)? See:

        http://online.wsj.com/articles/john-c-williams-letting-investors-take-a-shot-at-curing-social-ills-1411515133

        I have no idea whether this idea is truly workable, but it is intriguing.

        In truth I am quite ambivalent about “public” education. Our nation is a nation of *ideas*. These ideas must be taught; it seems reasonable we should entrust the state with this task. However, it’s pretty clear that there’s quite a bit of sturm und drang over what should be taught by the state, so… I’m not quite sure what the right path forward is.

        I do believe brick and mortar schools are increasingly an anachronism. In a world where the Internet makes it possible for anybody to learn anything, anywhere, anytime, the brick and mortar school serves as little more than a warehouse for kids.

      • johngalt says:

        Ponder these two things, Tracy, while you espouse the provision of education by for-profit entities:

        1. For-profit schools in higher education are a disaster, a scam to separate the gullible from their money. The degrees are worthless.
        http://money.cnn.com/2014/11/02/pf/college/for-profit-college-degree/index.html?hpt=ob_articleallcontentsidebar&iid=obnetwork

        2. “A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.”
        Texas State Constitution, Article 7, Section 1.

        So, constitutional buffs, it’s right there, in the state constitution, that public education is a pretty good idea.

      • flypusher says:

        “Fly, I’m pretty sure fish pond defense is covered in the Constitution. Are not fish pond maintenance and expansion better left to free associations of like-minded individuals? Or must we involve the coercive might of the state in fish pond maintenance and expansion?”

        I only had time for a short reply before, so I’ll elaborate here. Things like supporting basic research, which the private section is not well equipped by its nature to do, nourish and expand your fish pond.

    • flypusher says:

      ““2) Human beings evolved from simpler life forms, and the same evolutionary process shapes all living systems.”

      -0 – Kinda of a gimme, except for the fringe religious right.”

      Not when that fringe religious right is chairing the House Science & Tech committee.

    • goplifer says:

      It’s nice to get a B for a change.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      I would love that it would be all socioeconomic and that “skin color has nothing to do with economic outcomes”.

      I think relevant and rational data would suggest we aren’t there just yet.

      While TT’s comment is not necessarily incorrect, middle class Black kids do not have the same outcomes as middle class White kids. I recently saw a depressing comparison of outcomes for middle class Black kids compared to poorer White kids. At the highest and lowest ends of the distribution, it really didn’t matter, there were considerable differences in outcomes for everyone else.

      The figure below highlights a reason or two. Even when you are in the “middle class” (whatever that is), when you have little accumulated wealth, the stability of your middle class lifestyle and the resources you have available for education is pretty different.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Shoot…somehow it left off the Black categorization…let me see if I can find it.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        This is more explicit.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Even when we look only at college graduates, the 4% unemployment rate for Whites looks much better than the 7% unemployment rate for Blacks.

      • HH, help me out here. Are we looking at the income *frequency distributions* of the various groups? If so, there’s nothing to contradict my point. Wealth distribution conforms to a power law (Pareto) distribution. If the median white person is wealthier than the median black person, then the 1%-er white person is going to be wealthier by far than the 1%-er black person. That’s what the second graph shows.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Yep…the point was to provide a bit of context to the “race doesn’t matter, it is all socioeconomic”.

        I’m on your side that it is a whole lot economic, but even when you go into specific socioeconomic divisions, race seems to matter quite a bit.

        At the highest ends, it probably doesn’t matter because your kids are not going to do appreciable better academically if you have $300,000 in wealth compared to $3,000,000 in wealth. The smart kids in Bellaire is going to have about the same SAT scores as the smart kids at a costly private high school.

        At the absolutely lowest ends, the academic performance for kids in Appalachia is probably not wildly different than that of kids going to school behind the razor wire on Gulfton.

        I have an intern who will no doubt quickly come tell me if I have those two assumptions wrong.

        However, outside those extremes, the difference in wealth for Blacks and Whites is significant and would have an affect on outcomes for those kids.

        Even in the blissful middle class of income, having little to no accumulated wealth is going to impact the quality of daycare and/or preschool, the choice of schools (or the ability to move to accommodate school choices), and opportunities for one parent to spend significant time with their kids during the day.

        Also, the recession more harshly hit middle-class Black folks when compared to middle-class White folks by a significant degree because of the different levels of accumulated wealth and the different types of assets represented by that wealth.

        If your point is that a White and a Black kid with parents from exactly the same income and wealth levels would have the same outcomes, that might be an easier argument to make, but I do have a bright, shiny intern who will wander down here in a few minutes to inform me of how even that doesn’t work out.

      • “If your point is that a White and a Black kid with parents from exactly the same income and wealth levels would have the same outcomes…”

        That was indeed my point, along with the notion that a particular level of wealth and income tends to be coupled with a particular set of cultural values. These cultural values have more to do with level of wealth than skin color. As an example, the skin color of the Huxtable family in “The Cosby Show” was essentially irrelevant. The Huxtables were culturally upper middle class through and through. Similarly, there is no significant cultural difference between the white and black lowlifes that enliven “Justified.” They are thugs through and through.

    • Stephen Toth says:

      Hate to piss in your hat, but race in this country is tied to economic outcomes due to historical factors and still existing socioeconomic barriers rooted in racial prejudice. The hood is symptomatic of those factors.

      • Steph, I won’t argue that the current state is not the result of “barriers rooted in racial prejudice.” Rather, I’m pointing out the propagation of the current state is due more to dysfunctional cultural norms in some groups than to skin color.

        And please, don’t go all “Occupy Wall Street” on me; it’s simply not hygenic. Urinals are for urination. 😉

    • Geoff says:

      “Climate change is *constant* and may or may not be *significantly* affected by human activity”

      Your comments on climate change throughout the thread are just objectively at odds with what is understood. The rate of climate change is not constant, in fact the paleoclimate record shows this is *dramatically* untrue – there are periods of rapid change punctuating longer, more stable periods, like that enjoyed by humanity through the later Holocene as we developed civilization next to relatively stable coastlines.

      I address the “significance” of human activity in replies above.

      Your comments like “CO2 is a weak greenhouse gas” are usually flags for pretty fundamental confusion about the physics involved. Methane is stronger at a molecular level, but there is much more CO2 around. CO2 is by far the most significant greenhouse gas whose concentration in the atmosphere can be manipulated separately from temperature (by human or natural mechanisms), which is why it shows a signfiicant connection to climate change throughout known earth history.

      You also do not seem very familiar with the policy debates. The geo-engineering solutions you advocate have been explored and pursued by all sorts of parties, and the fact that they are not the leading policy options advocated by entitites like the IPCC is not because of any philosophical preference for taxes. It’s because darkening the sky to cool the world is not a trivial undertaking, as you seem to imagine it is, nor is it easy to device tech to take CO2 out of the air in sufficient quantities (though carbon sequestration is part of the desired strategy for existing fossil fuel sources.) Scientific bodies and the IPCC emphatically indicate that all possible mitigations should continue to be explored. Chris explains why carbon taxes as a response to negative externality issues are hardly a communist invention below, anyway. You seem clearly wrong on so many fronts here, really.

      Your point seems to be that climate change is rooted in leftist, Malthusian policies, but it’s a contrived and circular point. Your factual claims stand on nothing, the actual science involved dates back to legends like Joseph Fourier in 1824 rather than to Malthusian philosophers, etc. It sounds like a narrative that is spun to provide ideological air cover to reject scientific findings on an a priori basis, which is what it looks like in practice unfortunately.

  9. johnofgaunt75 says:

    I think it bears repeating that the acceptance of these facts does not necessarily dictate a “liberal” policy response. But it does dictate SOME response.

    For example, there are “conservative” policy ideas that can and do address fact #1. One could, for example, use “conservative” ideas to encourage the use of renewable energy. One could also use “conservative” policy ideas to encourage private innovation and investment in renewable energy or even technologies to address the carbon emitted by conventional sources. Many Republicans like to claim that policies enacted to address climate change will hurt economic growth but, if the policy is done right, these policies can actually encourage growth in whole new and exciting industries. This encourages innovation, development and entrepreneurial investment in the private sector, things the Republican Party has traditionally been squarely behind.

    Anyway, the point is that acknowledging these facts does not have to fundamentally change the core principles of the Republican Party. On the contrary, it could encourage the party to return to a more rational, innovative and growth oriented policy that until recently was at the core of being a Republican.

    • Actually, 75, why think so small? Let us posit that global warming, oops, sorry, “climate change” is indeed anthopogenically forced to a significant extent. Why is it that the left can only come up with Malthusian, zero-sum solutions that force everybody to suffer higher costs for energy and/or use less? Could it be the the Church of Climatology requires penance from climate sinners?

      Why is it, 75, that no one on the left ever considers *active* climate management technology? Are you afraid of having your cake and eating it, too?

      • flypusher says:

        The carbon tax is a more market driven solution. And the one most likely to be fair.

      • fly (and Owl) the problem with a carbon tax is that it’s not a ‘real’ market; it’s an artificial market based on arbitrarily defined scarcity. It’s a faux market at best, and one that raises costs for everybody.

      • texan5142 says:

        Agreed Tracy, but couldn’t the same be said about many financial products.

      • flypusher says:

        Yeah it will raise costs. There’s no way to avoid pain completely, no matter what you do. So it’s better to aim for that which minimizes the pain and spreads the pain as fairly as possible.

      • johngalt says:

        A carbon tax is not intended to create artificial scarcity. It is intended to recoup costs associated with the use of a product that has negative effects to society, what economists call externalities. Presently, the price of gas in the US pays for it’s extraction, refining and distribution, with some premium based on current demand, the benefits of which accrue entirely to the companies that produce it. The current tax rates do not compensation society as a whole for the mitigation of the pollution-induced costs. If gas taxes were to be raised to account for these externalities, then costs (of transportation, goods, etc.) would go up temporarily. The effects of this on the poorest can be mitigated. But everyone would be motivated to see how much less fossil fuels we could use, spurring innovation and efficiency. How is this bad? How is correcting a market failure in pricing bad?

      • goplifer says:

        Oh the irony.

        Pigovian taxes, like the carbon tax, are a mechanism invented and refined by libertarian economists as an alternative to regulation. So far, when implemented, they have worked brilliantly.

        The Chicago School, led by libertarian economist Milton Friedman, was one of the places where the carbon tax or cap & trade system, was developed. Republicans were the first to propose the model and it was a center of McCain’s 2008 campaign.

        Now that Democrats might actually embrace it, it is a lie straight out of the pits of hell. Dissociation from observable reality comes with costs. Those costs are mounting.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigovian_tax

      • Chris, fly, et al., I don’t have an issue with Pigovian taxes when they are clearly useful. With respect to carbon emissions, that is hardly the case. Even were carbon emissions demonstrably responsible for current climate trends, reducing carbon emissions is not the only way to mitigate climate change or control climate.

        CO2 is a *weak* greenhouse gas. If we wanted to actively raise temperature, there are far better ways to do it than pumping out CO2. Similarly, if we wanted to actively lower temperature, there are ways to engineer that outcome that are far superior to lowering CO2 concentrations. If for some reason we decide we really want to lower CO2 concentrations, there are ways to actively scrub CO2 from the atmosphere that are superior to simply passively reducing anthopogenic CO2 production and waiting for the planet’s carbon cycle to catch up.

        My point is that the left approaches environmental matters quasi-religiously. There is nothing in the left’s proposed solutions to climate change that qualifies as effective engineering. The left’s so-called solutions are more about penance for some perceived environmental sin than they are about actually solving a particular problem.

        If we want to engineer our planet’s climate, then let’s actually approach that challenge like engineers, rather than like self-flagellants on a pilgrimage to some environmentalist nirvana.

      • flypusher says:

        Tracy, I’ve got zero problem which an engineering approach in concept. Big problems usually have the be attacked from multiple angles. But unless I’ve missed the announcement of a huge breakthrough, this engineering technology is still in the R & D stages. I heard a talk last spring from a Royal Dutch Shell engineer who’s in charge of their carbon sequestration project. That’s a great idea, but they don’t have it all worked out yet. Can’t count the chickens until they hatch. There’s no technical hurdles to implementing a carbon tax right now.

      • flypusher says:

        “CO2 is a *weak* greenhouse gas.”

        Wouldn’t a carbon tax also include methane, which is considerably stronger? Or any other carbon-based externalities?

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      What, conservative policies like, say, carbon taxes or emissions trading?

      It’s funny how, every time modern Republicans have come up with a “conservative policy” that would actually address the problem it was designed to counter, they run away from it.

      Why, it’s almost as if they aren’t really serious about governing.

  10. Doug says:

    BTW, Chris, I agree with #2 and #3, although I don’t see how the truth of evolution affects anyone in a big way. That was a long time ago.

    Republicans do need to drop the abortion stuff. Maybe they could make a deal to leave it alone in exchange for Democrats dropping the idea that if you’re against free birth control pills you hate women.

    • dowripple says:

      Free birth control dispensers on every street corner would greatly reduce the abortion rate and health costs overall (including a lasting impact on poverty overall). But I guess admitting that people have sex for fun is too high a price to pay, it’s just better to tell women to keep their knees together and to chip away at abortion rights little by little.

      • flypusher says:

        Not everyone in the pro/life camp is also anti-birth control, but there’s a pretty substantial overlap on the Venn diagram. Being both anti-abortion and anti-one-of-the-best-means-to-prevent-abortion makes your motives very suspect.

    • flypusher says:

      “.., although I don’t see how the truth of evolution affects anyone in a big way…”

      Because if you insist on denying what is probably the best supported theory ever reasoned out by humans, your judgment and abilities to make good policy decisions can rightfully be found lacking. It’s a pretty damn good indicator.

    • goplifer says:

      You’re unaware of the ways that evolution affects everyday life because religious fundamentalists have been successful stifling science education. Evolution is the physics of life, the process by which all living systems interact. And we are grossly ignorant of it at a popular level.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      The theory of evolution is the foundation of much of modern biology. Certainly the acceptance of it underpins a lot of the work being done in genetics, which will also be the source for most of our near-future leaps forward in health care.

      It’s not just an obscure fight about classroom curricula. That’s like saying that the fight over the heliocentric universe wouldn’t affect anyone in a big way. Navigators (at sea or in space) would beg to differ, along with many others.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Doug says:
      November 21, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      “…although I don’t see how the truth of evolution affects anyone in a big way.”

      I would think the evolution of flu viruses (or viruses in general, possibly excluding the electronic variety) affect us in a big damn way. Pandemics anyone?

      Keep doubling down on the denial of facts and reality Doug.

      • Doug says:

        Reading comprehension…it’s a good thing. I said I believe in evolution. If some politician doesn’t, it doesn’t affect me as much as, say, a politician who believes in higher taxes for someone in my bracket. Or one who believes that nation building works.

        Non-evolutionists aren’t winning many big wars. My kids aren’t being taught creationism in school. It’s an issue that gets folks riled up, but it’s definitely not in the top ten things to worry about.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Well you say that now Doug. As Chris noted, when the ant-evolutionists ingrain their doubt subtlely and overtly at a young age in backwards fundamentalist imbued school systems (i.e. the entire state of Texas), the impact down the line on the pool of qualified scientists to address the needs of humanity logically and rationally come into question.

      • texan5142 says:

        Yet the same people will yell the loudest about indoctrination.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        What, Sternn?

      • johngalt says:

        Doug, that politician who doesn’t “believe” in evolution gets to help decide how much money is devoted to medical research in this country. Despite some conservative wishing, most fundamentally important medical research is done in academia with money from the NIH and NSF, two examples of the government working well – better, in fact, than most pharma companies (whose employees were trained using NIH funds). The last mile to drug development is walked by pharma (increasingly by small and highly innovative companies rather than dinosaurs like Pfizer and Merck), but they would literally have nothing without the basic research the taxpayer funds. And it does not cost much, relatively: those two organizations’ combined budget is about two weeks worth of the defense department. These budgets have not increased in nominal dollar terms in a decade and have declined significantly in real terms. Much of this is due to Republican intransigence, from an anti-science footing, and to Democratic neglect.

        When you are developing Alzheimer’s, or have a kid with a rare cancer, or need an organ transplant, or something else, you might think back and wonder whether electing religious fundamentalists was worth a couple of percentage points on your marginal tax rate. But by then, it will be too late.

    • Doug says:

      I grew up in a Texas public school system and believe in evolution. My kids both go to a Texas public school and believe in evolution. I guess I don’t see it as one of the most important public policy debates.

      100% agree that if you have convinced yourself that dinosaurs lived 5K years ago you’re an idiot and I wouldn’t vote for you.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Frankly, I wouldn’t have a huge problem with an elected official believing for religious reasons that dinosaurs and humans used to be friends in the Garden of Eden 5,000 years ago if that elected official was in charge of, say, transportation planning or maybe the FAA.

        The problem is that here in Texas, people that believe this are elected to a board that is actually in charge of the curriculum of the science education taught in public schools. Now that is scary.

      • goplifer says:

        There’s a clue to the problem in the structure of this sentence:

        ***I grew up in a Texas public school system and believe in evolution***

        Do you “believe” in gravity? Do you “believe” in the “theory” that the Earth is round? This is really subtle but incredibly important.

        It is encouraging to hear that you accept evolution. The terms in which you express it demonstrate the extent to which religious resistance to science has framed everything we learn about the subject, how we learn it, and how little of it we learn.

        The fact that you, like the overwhelming majority of Americans with advanced degrees, do not recognize the ways it influences day to day life is a consequence of some very important rear-guard victories by religious fundamentalists over the past century.

        We are decades behind in our general awareness of what evolution actually is and how it works among people who are not in biological sciences. It’s the sort of thing that kids should be learning about by second grade. It upsets me. Obviously, I guess.

      • Crogged says:

        They do learn more about evolution than where babies come from……..

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Fly…thanks for the link.

        I love this line: So if someone asks, “Do you believe in evolution,” they are framing it wrong. That’s like asking, “Do you believe in blue?”

  11. bubbabobcat says:

    Anyone remember Jon Huntsman?

    Nope.

    I considered Huntsman the “McCain Maverick” (pre-Palin era circa 2000) of 2012 but alas, he didn’t have the sea legs to last long.

    But in fairness, he did out poll Dick “I Am Not a Crook” Perry and Michele “I Am Not a Flake” Bachmann in the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary so there might be hope.

  12. texan5142 says:

    Toni Morrison

    “There is no such thing as race. None. There is just a human race — scientifically, anthropologically. Racism is a construct, a social construct… it has a social function, racism.”

  13. flypusher says:

    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
    Isaac Asimov

  14. dowripple says:

    Chris you forgot truth #5: Gay people exist, and it is not a choice. Reparative Therapy makes as much sense as forcing a left-hander to write with the other hand. Lastly, gay people need the same access to the “happiness” of government recognized marriage.

    While some Rebups in the North may be able to win a primary by recognizing this truth, it’s almost enough to get one hanged here in Texas.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Gay people are the ultimate conservative Republican nightmare. Basically, they offer much of the threat of 1950s Pod People. It’s easy to “defend” yourself from Blacks or Orientals or all manner of racial minorities. Religious minorities tend to give themselves away sooner or later. Heck, even political minorities will slip and wear their hair long or go out in Birkenstocks.

      But it’s almost as though homosexuals have *practiced* to be unnoticeable. Why, *anyone* could be one! We must quash this uncertainty at once!

  15. BigWilly says:

    Climate change is very real. Beyond that there are innumerable ways in which humanity changes the environment. Has anyone heard the term anthropocene?

    In the larger picture AGW is a distraction.

    I don’t believe in evolution, or Darwinism, or survival of the fittest, or your “Atlas Shrugged” whackofffestival.

    Abortion is wrong. It is a permissible wrong. Why can’t we make everything we don’t like illegal?

    Race skews economic outcomes. Duh? A black kid gets extra help in college. All I got was the B- that I “earned.”

    Your assertions are true. I believe that objective truth cannot be known, except to the individual experiencing that truth.

    Even if we agree that they sky is grey, grayness is entirely subjective. I like gray skies.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      ” ‘Atlas Shrugged’ whackofffestival.”

      Ok, BW that made my day. I will refrain from engaging you from the left on Affirmative Action in consideration. 😉

    • texan5142 says:

      Made me chuckle too.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      “Why can’t we make everything we don’t like illegal?”

      What, like body piercing? Atonal Jazz? Yellow clothing? Parsnips? SUVs that obstruct sightlines through them from the average car?

      I certainly hope you were being sarcastic.

      • BigWilly says:

        I like Schoenberg. I thought everybody liked Schoenberg. Then he’s denounced from the pulpit as a “Mad Atonal Beast.” I’ll admit it can be hard to find the melody, but “Mad Atonal Beast” seems a bit extreme.

        I’ve always liked to toy with dissonance, like a chord with the notes C, C#, and D. Not only do notes represent sounds, to me they also translate to colors and to a certain degree smells.

        The question “Why can’t we make everything we don’t like illegal” needs to be asked when any particular group assumes control of, or aspires to control, the social order. What if? The Texas GOP might be tempted to superimpose their version of reality on the people of Texas, but what if?

        My experience with Wisconsinus Liberalis Twitticusti was pretty nasty. So what if? What if I couldn’t make my student film because it wasn’t “sympathetic to the homeless.”

        Atonal Jazz-almost forgot-can you say “Harmolodic?”

      • Crogged says:

        The counter intuitive, crazy, dispossessed and the passionate or the modern, distant and the word I hate the most………..ironic.

        Mad Atonal Beast is the best punk rock band name EVAH.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Wiily’s a synesthesist! Willy’s a synesthesist! (in my best sing-song manner)

        Be careful, you could lose your rights here in Texas.

  16. Wes says:

    You are right on regarding these four truths. I live in an affluent neighborhood in the South and believe I am the only moderate establishment Republican here. My friends, older whites, many of whom attended segrated schools, are far right wing Obama haters, and are strong deniers of these four truths.
    The Republican Party will survive, but only after these old white haired “wingers” die off, and are replaced by the younger generations with more enlightened ideologies.

    • rightonrush says:

      I left the Republican Party right after Bush defeated McCain. Rove’s campaign left me feeling dirty, especially the crap regarding McCain’s adopted daughter. I have a genuine dislike for all things Bush, and the disrespect they showed veteran John Kerry was the final nail in the coffin. I’m one of those white haired ex-Republicans that will does not forget nor forgive. The only hope is for the educated young folks like Chris and perhaps you to take control from the trilobites.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Sadly RoR, that McCain “illegitimate Black baby” smear campaign worked. He lost the primary in South Carolina where it was “surreptitiously” spread and subsequently lost the momentum he had built up to that point in the Republican primary. And for those not familiar, his “Black” daughter (named Bridget), was an adopted Bangladeshi orphan.

        McCain’s thoughts:

        “There were some pretty vile and hurtful things said during the South Carolina primary. It’s a really nasty side of politics. We tried to ignore it and I think we shielded [our daughter] from it. It’s just unfortunate that that sort of thing still exists. As you know she’s Bengali, and very dark skinned. A lot of phone calls were made by people who said we should be very ashamed about her, about the color of her skin. Thousands and thousands of calls from people to voters saying, ‘You know, the McCains have a black baby.’ I believe that there is a special place in hell for people like those.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whispering_campaign

        Yep. Karl Rovesputin is going where his mentor Lee Atwater is sweating now (despite his convenient deathbed confession/acknowledgement of his abject evil nastiness).

      • rightonrush says:

        I watched McCain roll over like a trained dog for Bush and I washed my hands of the entire mess. I lost respect for all involved including McCain.

      • flypusher says:

        Picking on little kids for political gain is about as dirty as you can get.

        And because I’ve been here long enough to know the drill, I know someone will bring up the Palins. Some of the commentary was legit, some wasn’t. Bristol’s out of wedlock pregnancy was fair game, because her mom hyped abstinence so much. The youngest should have been completely off limits.

  17. Crogged says:

    I get it, you don’t smoke, the CIGARETTE does.

    If you really and truly have something to add to the scientific endeavor of modeling temperatures and climate, then there are other places where your input in validating the models would be appreciated. Seriously. These guys and gals participate in open forums on the internet where they listen and evaluate the arguments and criticisms of what they spend their life doing. If you click the below you will find a link to the site. The below was written by a radical who went to college to further the conspiracy, or he went to Texas A&M to obtain his doctorate, whichever version of the truth floats your boat.

    http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/2014/01/introducing-the-climate-change-national-forum/

  18. Mary Guercio says:

    Well stated, obvious (to you and me) truths – if Republicans choose not to face reality, they will self-destruct. The only question is, how fast. Underlying the four truths you state is the fundamental issue of inclusion and respect for human dignity. Surely there is room among intelligent thinkers for a broader range of views on the environment, evolution, choice, and race/ethnicity. Pompous indignation, mean-spirited political reprisals may play well to an ill-informed riled up base, but it solves nothing. Government is complex; governing is hard. Throw in the outside influence of a hostile, narrowly focused (but powerful) Heritage Foundation, coupled with narcissistic right wingers within the Republican Party, and the odds of increased volatility and economic calamity are absolute. If Republicans think that the American public is riled up now against President Obama, just wait until there is another government shutdown, or a Republican majority that abuses the opportunity voters gave them to govern. When the dust settles, that is what the majority of Americans want: a functioning, responsible and responsive Congress. SCOTUS is not elected to do Congress’ work. But, that is another subject for another response.

    Keep up the good work. As a Democrat I am hopeful that your views are representative of more Republicans than those in the news. I would be happy to engage with you in a civil discussion of issues from the liberal viewpoint if you are interested. Who knows, maybe we can start a conversation that trickles up!

    Mary Lib Guercio The Woodlands, TX

    • texan5142 says:

      A voice of reason in a sea of darkness, welcome Mary.

    • rightonrush says:

      Howdy Mary & welcome. Chris and his blog gives me hope for the Republican Party of the future.

    • johngalt says:

      There are Democrats in The Woodlands?

      • texan5142 says:

        That was my first thought also.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        JG, reminds of a Christmas party I attended a few years ago by in-laws of my in-laws in The Woodlands. I think they were at least moderate. They weren’t too enamored of Sarah Palin and were pretty open about it in Republican circles. Anyway, at this party I encountered a guest whom I did not know at all but he was freely hurling invectives at Obama that was just absolute venomous in tone. Nice Christmas spirit. I didn’t engage as I imagined how interesting that would end up. It was remarkable that he would freely (and apparently soberly) speak that openly in a vile tone. In front of minority. But I guess he felt safe in The Woodlands? In front of a “traditionally non-uppity type acceptable” minority? If he only knew…

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Bienvenue Mary!

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Howdy, Mary, and welcome!

  19. Doug says:

    “Race still skews economic outcomes in the United States.”
    Exactly. If only I had dark Indian skin I could be rich.

    • rightonrush says:

      That’s one dumb arse post Doug.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      “If only I had dark Indian skin I could be rich.”

      And persistently, historically, and institutionally discriminated against.

      Go for it “bro”. Enjoy the “pleasures” of being a minority.

    • Doug says:

      Apparently sarcasm is lost here. Can you guys explain what racial trait causes transplants from India to be the wealthiest group in the US? It must be something genetic, right?

      Or is Chris saying that it’s how white people treat those of different races that skews economic outcomes? If that’s the case, Indians must be subject to some sort of negative racism, because they have economically surpassed whites in this country.

      Or maybe, just maybe, could the environment and culture that a person grows up in have more influence than race per se?

      • Crogged says:

        For years in this country African Americans were systemically prevented from owning homes outright and unable to capture the capital associated with increasing value of the homestead, which would have gone to the children in descent and distribution.

      • flypusher says:

        “Or maybe, just maybe, could the environment and culture that a person grows up in have more influence than race per se?”

        Do you count centuries of slavery, Jim Crow, and other forms of systemic discrimination in your category of “environment and culture”?

      • flypusher says:

        Also, I know you want to play the “lifestyle choices” card here. Yes, that does count. But making bad lifestyle choices while black has worse odds/ outcomes than making bad lifestyle choices while white. Or Indian.

      • Doug says:

        “Do you count centuries of slavery, Jim Crow, and other forms of systemic discrimination in your category of “environment and culture”?”

        All sanctioned by the government, and thankfully changed. Unfortunately, further government intervention to “fix” the problem is doing more harm than good. I would suggest the “environment and culture” in an average black household during the Jim Crow days was infinitely better than that in a modern day housing project or inner city neighborhood. Welfare has destroyed more black families (and a big chunk of white ones) than slavery ever did. Drug laws haven’t helped, either. What’s the answer? I have no idea, but handing out money and special favors isn’t it. What would you suggest?

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Doug says:
        November 21, 2014 at 1:02 pm

        ” I would suggest the “environment and culture” in an average black household during the Jim Crow days was infinitely better than that in a modern day housing project or inner city neighborhood. Welfare has destroyed more black families (and a big chunk of white ones) than slavery ever did.”

        Wow, just wow. You sound just like … a White guy who never lived through Jim Crow as a Black person OR “in a modern day housing project or inner city neighborhood”.

        Please provide a quote that a Black person living in either situation agrees with you.

        And no, Michele Bachmann doesn’t count. Even she was politically aware enough to backtrack and claim she didn’t know what she signed. I guess even that was a better option than agreeing with you Doug.

        http://nypost.com/2011/07/10/slave-reference-scrubbed-from-marriage-vow-signed-by-bachmann-santorum/

        Otherwise this is just yet another exhibit in your head in the sand denial of reality. Re: your stance on Global Warming/Climate Change.

      • flypusher says:

        Actually the debate about black “culture” is older than most people realize:

        http://m.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/05/-this-is-how-we-lost-to-the-white-man/306774/

        Found this while reading about the Bill Cosby career/reputation death spiral (and that by itself is worth a few new blog posts).

      • BigWilly says:

        Are genetic memories culture?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        What genetic memories?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Actually, under the racial classification systems of the early 20th century, Indians were “Aryans” and thus “White”.

        Rice University, founded originally for “White male residents of Harris County, Texas”, had Indian students from long before when the “Rice Institute” took itself to court to break William Marsh Rice’s will to A) charge tuition, and B) admit women and minorities. So Indians escaped much (though assuredly not all) of the racial poison that so blasted Black populations.

        Also, India is quite a bit farther away than, say, Eastern Europe or even China. I’d wonder a bit about a potential “founder effect” among immigrants from very distant originations, who might bring more resources with them if they had enough to take the trip in the first place. But I lack easy access to the demographic data for that.

        So there are definitely potential answers, if we bother to think about them.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        You bring up a good point Owl. I think Chris touched on this in the last post. Immigrants (legal AND legal) by their nature of their drive and ambition to take the leap into a new country (usually with very little assets) that is totally foreign and hostile to them (subtlely and overtly) are a self selecting non representative sample of their originating country’s “culture” and the type of people we want populating our country regardless of their race, ethnicity or impact on the proportion of the American diversity. I couldn’t care less if this country ends up 90% Hispanic. I have faith in our system.

        Basically, the preponderance of the lazy, indifferent, unambitious members of other countries….are still there.

        And to further the case for the damaging effects of institutionalized racism, recent immigrants from African countries are not stigmatized (Nigerian immigrant negative stereotypes anyone?) as African American descendants of slaves brought here en masse against their will and struggling against a non level playing field from day one in this America to this very day.

      • Ross says:

        Don’t forget that the transplants from India tend to be among the smartest, best educated, and most driven of the Indians. They are the .001% of the Indian population at the top. The less smart, less driven Indians never make it over here.

  20. Doug says:

    “Climate change is real and it is caused primarily by human activity.”
    Sorry, that is not an empirical truth. Yes, climate change is real. No, the amount of that changed caused by human activity cannot be measured and is not provable.

    • Crogged says:

      Doctor: ” You eat too much and don’t move enough. This causes you to be overweight and more than likely it will impact your health”

      Me: “I’m not fat, there’s no proof that eating and sitting on the couch are making me fat, it’s just a correlation and I don’t care about your ‘studies’ and all that liberal crap you learned. Besides, you are biased because you get paid to tell me that”

      Doctor: “I also get a bonus from the cholesterol medication supplier, thank you for your brave stance against common sense.”

    • goplifer says:

      So…like I said…

    • Doug says:

      Models are not proof. Especially so since not a single one predicted what has happened in the past 18 years.

      Tree rings are not proof, especially when you slip in different data when the rings aren’t saying what you want them to say.

      So, precisely how much is “primarily?” What precisely is the actual climate sensitivity to an increase in CO2? What, precisely, is the size of the feedback. Hell, what is the *sign* of the feedback? There is not a person on Earth who can answer those questions and show proof. If they could, we wouldn’t still be having this debate. Calling something a truth doesn’t make it so.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Doug

        There are ample peer-reviewed studies that prove that humans do contribute to global warming. The studies has been out there for years. The fact that you chose to ignore them is your fault because you chose to be ignorant on the subject.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        Doug,

        When basically ever expert in the world is telling you the same thing, how do you (as a layman), reject this out-right?

        Oh…that’s right. It may force you to consider some uncomfortable truths about your actions and choices and you don’t want to do that. After all, you’ll be long dead when the sh*t hits the proverbial fan. Screw the following generations.

        Doesn’t sound like a very conservative view point to me. Sounds actually rather childish and selfish. “I want what I want and screw the consequences.”

        Do you use public trash cans Doug or do you simply throw your empty beer cans out the window of your truck? After all, screw everyone else, right?

      • Doug says:

        I did not and would not say humans do not contribute. Lifer made the claim that it is a “simple truth” that humans are *primarily* responsible for climate change, and that it is measurable and provable. That claim is flat out wrong, no matter how much you want it to be so. If you disagree, measure it and prove it.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Doug – Then you agree that the GOP is wrong when its members claim GW is a hoax? What measure do you support our nation do to lessen green house gas?

      • Wes says:

        Science deniers are plagued by inconvient facts.

      • Doug says:

        JG,
        I see nothing’s changed here lately. Doesn’t take long for the insults to start. But if you must know, I don’t drink beer but do drive a truck, and frequently use it to pick up illegal signs and other crap that people strew along the road. I also carry a bag on my walks and pick up trash thrown out by inconsiderate a-holes driving through the neighborhood. Sorry to disappoint you.

        As for the following generations, they have much more to fear from bad government spending and regulations that drive down economic growth than they do from a slight temperature increase that may or may not happen. If you understand math, work out what a measly .5% hit to annual growth means a century or three from now.

      • flypusher says:

        Doug, No sensible person “wants it to be true”. I expect Sternn and Buzzy to chime in at any moment with their conspiracy theories about wealth redistribution to poor countries, or scientists living large on all that grant $. It’s all bullshit. Most of us are not qualified to critique the science, but the trends of who believes it are telling. The Pentagon takes it seriously. The big insurance companies take it seriously. Even some of the big energy companies are starting to take it seriously. Also note that several prominent deniers have changed their tune on this issue, but you don’t see an equal reaction from the acceptor side.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Doug, you should at least follow the lead of your delusional denier right wing leaders.

        Get with the program; the “correct” conservative response is now “I am an idiot so I don’t know for sure”:

        “I’m not a scientist” allows Republicans to avoid conceding the legitimacy of climate science while also avoiding the political downside of openly branding themselves as haters of science. The beauty of the line is that it implicitly concedes that scientists possess real expertise, while simultaneously allowing you to ignore that expertise altogether.”

        http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/im-not-a-scientist

        You really are out there on the proverbial island with the continued obstinate head in the sand denial of reality.

      • texan5142 says:

        Doug says:
        November 21, 2014 at 11:01 am
        I did not and would not say humans do not contribute. Lifer made the claim that it is a “simple truth” that humans are *primarily* responsible for climate change, and that it is measurable and provable. That claim is flat out wrong, no matter how much you want it to be so. If you disagree, measure it and prove it.

        Doug is right on this as it is worded, humans are not primarily responsible for climate change. Climate change is natural cyclical cycle……….and that is not the point. Humans are completely responsible for the rapid increase in climate change. The rate of increase has been argued as a natural phenom beyond our control, but when one looks at the charts, one can see the correlation between the industrial revolution and the rise or increase in global temperature at a rate beyond which would happen naturally. Some would say that correlation does not imply causation, and that is true, but this time I think it does.

        Here are some charts to ponder.

        https://www.google.com/search?q=rate+of+increase+of+climate+change+caused+by+humans+chart&es_sm=122&biw=1024&bih=653&tbm=isch&imgil=_VcEkDsii0NIpM%253A%253BY_jMPlz2gelz2M%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.epa.gov%25252Fclimatechange%25252Fscience%25252Fcauses.html&source=iu&pf=m&fir=_VcEkDsii0NIpM%253A%252CY_jMPlz2gelz2M%252C_&usg=__5cliKhIpQxkmNXqyJyNZm9g1foc%3D&ved=0CDAQyjc&ei=LXpvVPvzMoHasATL5YKIDQ#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=gt6XdxBdRWZBkM%253A%3BuemFTCq_OYYunM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fearthobservatory.nasa.gov%252FFeatures%252FGlobalWarming%252Fimages%252Fgiss_temperature.png%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fearthobservatory.nasa.gov%252FFeatures%252FGlobalWarming%252Fpage2.php%3B720%3B334

      • johngalt says:

        Doug, if you’re worried about economic growth, then what do you think the costs will be of evacuating Miami, New Orleans, and New York? Or building sea walls to protect them?

        The consequences of inaction are significant. The economic costs of reducing fossil fuel consumption are manageable. The average fuel economy of a car today is much higher than in the 1970s, yet those cars are not any more expensive in real terms (and they are much safer and have many more amenities). The energy intensity (energy consumed per dollar of GDP) of our economy is half what it was 50 years ago. Putting a proper price on fossil fuels, one that incorporates the costs associated with pollution, with climate change, with 25 years worth of a standing army in the Middle East so that it keeps flowing, will provide an economic incentive to use these fuels more efficiently. This will prove to be far less of a challenge than right wing fears think and the commercial opportunities are significant – they will be captured by those countries with an incentive to innovate. I hope that is us.

      • dowripple says:

        “I don’t [always] drink beer” …but when I do, all my anti-Global Warming arguments make sense.

        ~the *least* informed man in the world

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Doug, never mind Turtles and the other libs. No one ever said there isn’t global warming. You hit it on the head. There is no real proof that humans are the cause let alone the primary cause. Most believe it is cyclical. But liberals live for crisis’.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        kabuzz61 says:
        November 21, 2014 at 1:28 pm

        “But liberals live for crisis’ [sic].”

        Yup.

        “BENGAZI![sic]”

        “EBOLA!”

        “WMD in IRAQ!”

        “ISIS!”

        “PRY THOSE GUNS FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS!”

        “BUDGET DEFICIT!”

        “THE ECONOMY SUCKS”!

        “SOCIAL SECURITY IS GOING BANKRUPT!”

        OBAMACARE IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND A SOCIALIST PLOT! Oh yeah, and Soylent Green also.

        Yup, buzzy is “right” as usual. THOSE DARN HYPERVENTILATING LIBERALS!

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        “If you understand math, work out what a measly .5% hit to annual growth means a century or three from now.”

        And how about what small but ever-increasing jumps in CO2 concentration will mean a century or three from now? That should be pretty significant, too, if we’re bothering to be fair in our assessments.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        kabuzz sneers, “Most believe it is cyclical.”

        Except, of course, for 97% of the scientists who actually work in the field.

        But kabuzz is certain he knows better.

        Self-delusion is a Tea Party value.

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