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Everything posted by bascule

  1. I think it's about time I moved on permanently...
  2. Thank you Padren. You do get it. The Republicans are simultaneously complaining about the deficit AND opposing Democratic legislation that would lower the deficit AND flat out refusing any compromise on the matter. I could've jumped straight to the Republican stereotype that they're shilling for the rich and oppose Obama's plan to make the Bush tax cuts permanent only for the lower and middle classes simply because they want to keep taxes extremely low for the rich as compared to the past half century. But I didn't do that. Instead I merely attacked Republicans because they are refusing to compromise. And Pangloss totally ignores all of the ridiculous things that are coming out of this guy's mouth and jumps on me for "making hay"...
  3. Good lord, you're defending this guy? And not even compromising with me that his position is, shall we say, just a little bit misinformed and completely uncompromising? Meanwhile you chastise the Democrats for a failure to compromise when they have tried to compromise. I'm certainly feeling the purposelessness of posting here again, both here in the politics forum and in the climate science forum.
  4. deficit = spending - revenue This guy is a Congressman? Our country has a budget deficit problem. Spending and revenue both contribute. The national debt started going up again when Bush cut taxes and tax revenue fell. So yes' date=' our country does indeed have a revenue problem. He wants Democrats and Republicans to "come together and agree" on the Republican opinion that increasing taxes on the rich is bad. Great. And he won't accept a compromise like temporarily extending the tax cuts. Must be permanent! Good lord...
  5. Defense is the low hanging fruit in my mind. I don't have any other answers but defense. Defense spending is an accounting black hole. We don't know where the money is going. True, there are human consequences to cutting defense spending, but there are human consequences to cutting any spending. Until you can tell me exactly what my defense dollars are being spent on, even if one of the line items is "SECRET PROJECT X", defense spending is an unaccountable black hole and for that I feel it does not deserve my money.
  6. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/07/eric-cantor-compromise-tax-cuts-obama_n_780029.html Yes I'm linking a Huffpost article. Please evaluate it based on substance. If you make an ad hominem argument against the Huffpost, please realize your argument is predicated on a logical fallacy. Thanks. So yes, this is one Republican, and equating his opinion to the party as a whole would be a composition fallacy, but based on my anecdotal experience with Republicans (yes, I'm admitting I'm using a logical fallacy here) it's pretty telling. This Republican doesn't want to compromise, and is making a general statement about his party that the rest of them don't want to compromise either. If Mohammed won't come to the mountain, the mountain must come to Mohammed, or rather, if the Republicans aren't willing to compromise with the Democrats (which is basically what he's stating), the Democrats MUST compromise with the Republicans to get anything done, and by compromise, I mean the Democrats MUST bend to Republican will, or the Republicans aren't going to go along with anything. This has pretty much been the case for the past 4 years. The Republicans are simply unwilling to compromise. The Democrats really want to compromise, because unlike the Republicans they aren't totally irrational and stupid. And yes, I'm calling the Republicans out for that. The Republicans are uncompromising crybabies who got creamed in the last election, and the only reason they're being elected now is because there are a bunch of ill-informed, irrational voters who simply want to vote out the party in power so long as things aren't going their way. There is honestly no reason for anyone who voted Democrat in the past to switch gears and vote Republican now except if you feel that constantly shifting gears between two parties is a good policy, which is in no way rational. Anyway, this speaks volumes to me, and conforms my previous assumptions. Even when Democrats do things that the Republicans should by their purported platforms agree with, they oppose it, until they can shit all over it and make it theirs and thus claim victory. The Republicans do not want what's best for America. The Republicans want what's best for Republicans, even if it's something they philosophically should agree with. Republicans are harmful to America. They can't compromise. They won't even vote for things they agree with. To bring up a recent event from the past which was totally overshadowed by a bunch of Republican grandstanding, Republicans voted against benefits for 9/11 first responders, because they disagreed with the way the Democrats created a bill. That would've been a great place for Republicans to compromise and give 9/11 first responders the benefits they reserve. Instead, they made a big hubbub about the bill in an attempt to mitigate the fact that Republicans were voting against the best interests of 9/11 first responders. That's DEPLORABLE. I don't know what else to conclude from this except that Republicans are so unwilling to compromise that they'd purposefully deny 9/11 first responders benefits. I'm not sure what term is exactly fitting for this, but I think "assholes" is a fairly fitting description But please, let's see the conservatives of the forum jump to the Republicans' defense like they always do. Perhaps it's a problem with conservatives in general that they're unwilling to compromise with liberals. The very fact I have to include so much pre-emptive defense of my thoughts and hand-holding through basic logical fallacies should serve as an indicator of the general treatment liberals receive from conservatives. We can't be evaluated on merit, because conservatives have so many canned responses to anything we say that the nuances are completely lost.
  7. To quote Depeche Mode, everything counts in large amounts, and that's what we're talking about with defense spending, to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. Cutting defense spending, consolidating overlap between branches, and requiring the DoD account for its spending are all positive steps we can take to reduce overall government spending. Spending on defense is practically neck-and-neck with Social Security for the most expensive item in the federal budget. The DoD is perhaps the quintessential example of excessive, inefficient government bureaucracy which wastes money and should be more streamlined. As a systems architect I look at the DoD as suffering from unnecessary program overlaps to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. So here you're admitting that government-created jobs such as the ones made by Obama's Stimulus do have an effect on the economy as a whole, right?
  8. To my knowledge GCMs incorporate a lot of modeling of the relationships between air, water, and ice. That said I don't know offhand how good of a job they do at modeling large systemic changes where ocean currents are redirected, for example the Medieval Warm Period. It would not surprise me if those sort of things were model inputs in paleoclimactic reconstructions. The null hypothesis being that man has no effect on the climate system? Semi-skillful reconstruction of the historical climate necessarily includes anthropgenic forcings. Excluding them does not lead to a successful reconstruction. What you patronizingly refer to as the "designers presupposing" radiative forcings is typically known in science as a "hypothesis" They have a model of it, albeit an inaccurate one. The radiative imbalances are model inputs, to be certain, and they don't compute to an "energy budget", but they can compare the model outputs to satellite data and see if they sync up, and see if the radiative imbalances as predicted by the model measure empirical satellite data. And for the most part, they do! I actually worked with two climate research groups, one measuring sea surface temperatures via satellite and another which was comparing the empirical SST measurements to their GCM outputs. And believe it or not, for the most part they match up! No model is "free of errors". That's what makes it a model. Models aren't perfect. The standard model isn't perfect. It's a simplification of a complex underlying system based on the best available evidence. The standard model cannot explain what particles will do under relativistic conditions. Does that make it wrong, or not useful? No, it just means that relativity hasn't yet been incorporated into our picture of quantum mechanics. And please don't bandy around the term "red herring" when I make analogies to quantum mechanics. Both climate science and quantum mechanics work off of models which are incomplete pictures of the physical systems they are trying to model. Just because the picture is incomplete does not undermine the usefulness of the models these sciences have respectively created. Excuses excuses. There are many people with a lot of money who would like to see real scientific evidence that the scientific perspective on climate change is wrong. The energy lobby has a vested interest in undermining the scientific consensus and the money to put forth towards true science which undermines the consensus viewpoint on climate change, much like the cigarette lobby had a lot of money to fund scientific research into how cigarettes don't cause lung cancer. However, in the case of climate change they haven't even managed to do that. As a complex nonlinear dynamical system, if you are able to reproduce the historical record based on temperature proxies, that pretty much tells you you're on to something. That said, I'm done with this thread. My time is valuable and I can't really spend it forum whoring and explaining climate science 101 to people over and over again. My suggestion is to truly research the issue, abandon your confirmation bias that climate scientists are wrong and truly dig into the scientific case for anthropogenically-forced climate change.
  9. Says Tea Party whack job Rand Paul: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/rand-paul-gop-military-spending-cuts/ Wow, imagine that. Sensible things can come out of his mouth! The DoD remains the only federal department which is exempt from auditing. There's endless waste that can't be accounted for, massive overlap, and that's not to mention that our military budget is larger than that of every other country on earth combined. Will the GOP do it and actually cut spending in the single most obvious place we could massively do it? Judging from past history, probably not, even while whining that spending is too high. For whatever reason incomprehensibly massive military spending is exempt in the minds of Republicans.
  10. Something tells me the only person Obama is literally in bed with is Michelle Obama
  11. Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee are now paid employees of Fox
  12. "Two equally viable economic theories" is a false dichotomy. In fact offhand I can't even tell what two economic theories you're referring to. That said I want to speak specifically to Greenspan's monetarism. The financial crisis empirically proved Brooksley Born right and proved Greenspan wrong. Greenspan even admitted as much. Monetarism is predicated on the idea that corporations are completely rational and will always act in their own self-interest. The financial crisis proved that, like people, corporations can get too greedy, take too much risk, and may not even know how much risk they're taking. The Republicans don't seem to care and are happy with business as usual on Wall Street. The Democrats believe more regulation of Wall Street is needed to prevent another financial crisis. One of these parties learned from past mistakes. The other did not. That said, I am somewhat unhappy with the Democrats for ramming through healthcare reform before addressing increased Wall Street regulation, or rather, undoing detrimental deregulation. Entities like Citigroup should not be allowed to exist, and at the very least, they should not be allowed to trade in risky and hard-to-comprehend derivatives like CDOs. I made an informed decision. There are people who make informed decision when voting predominantly for Republicans too. Those people are generally quite rich and selfish and are acting in their own self-interest. I believe the majority of people who vote Republican are uninformed and vote against their own self-interest while convincing themselves they're doing the opposite.
  13. Keith Olbermann jumped the shark when he failed to learn the lessons of the Rally to Restore Sanity. It's cool he got rid of the "Worst Person in the World" segment, and it was even cooler when he responded to previous Daily Show criticism of him with a "mea culpa", but by panning the Rally to Restore Sanity he's ignoring the fact he's part of the problem. Keith Olbermann claims if he stops shouting "the right" will only get louder. Jon Stewart claims "if we amplify everything, we hear nothing." I'm with Jon Stewart on this one. All that said, I'm against his suspension by MSNBC. However, we're talking about a guy who in the past refused to vote because he saw himself in the same light as an Edward R. Murrow. Donating money to a political party seems almost uncharacteristic of Olbermann's previous sentiments.
  14. The Democrats are interested in passing Wall Street reform and the Republicans are not. The Democrats are actually concerned about preventing a financial crisis from happening again. The Republicans are not. Also as I noted before, I voted for a Republican candidate this election because I liked him more than his Democratic counterpart.
  15. Now ask yourself who's primarily responsible. I contend there are three individuals who are primarily responsible: Greenspan, Clinton, Bush
  16. The options were so specific that I didn't feel there was a particularly good one. I vote for "attempt to compromise with Republicans, who will refuse to compromise then turn around and blame the lack of compromise on the Democrats, resulting in a political logjam"
  17. Did you have any intention of addressing my post at all, or do you just want to blame the Democrats for the financial crisis? If so, you should blame the right one: Clinton
  18. The increase in debt under "Pelosi's watch" was largely due to two factors: expensive foreign wars started before she became speaker, and the financial crisis, which was caused by years of a "hands off" approach to Wall Street, for which there are several people to blame, most notably Greenspan, Bush, and Clinton. Given the Democrats couldn't even push through Wall Street reform after the financial crisis when they had a supermajority, to even insinuate that the debt is in some way due to the Democrats being too fiscal liberal in comparison to the Republicans is completely disingenuous. If there's a Democrat you want to blame, blame Clinton. The seeds of the financial crisis were sown years before Pelosi became speaker. That said, the deficit is moving in the right direction. That's progress.
  19. I think the term "moderate" is meaningless without a "moderate liberal" or "moderate conservative" qualifier. At least in America, people who self identify as "moderates" (such as yourself) are generally moderate conservatives.
  20. And your problem with PAYGO is...? I seem to remember the Republicans getting rid of it and the Democrats bringing it back, and yet the conservative furor over Obama's spending has been huge whereas there was virtually no attention paid by conservatives to the massive spending increases that took place under Bush.
  21. Yes, clearly the standard model of particle physics is influenced by the biases and beliefs of its designers What? GCMs are designed for the purpose of identifying radiative imbalances. That's like saying physicists are unable to construct a model of what particles do. You've got things backwards here, but you're half right. Things like the PDO aren't "incorporated" into the model, but rather, if a model is truly skillful a multi-decadal climate simulation should reproduce it. At the present time they don't, which yes, indicates an error in the model. That doesn't invalidate the model itself or undermine its usefulness. When I say "model", I'm talking about something similar to a GCM. There are many, many GCMs and they all give similar results. Where are the "skeptic" GCMs, or for that matter, any GCMs that give dissimilar results to other GCMs:
  22. Yes, the earth has had a varied climate, but in the totality of Earth's history humans have only been around for an infinitesimal amount of time. The types of climates that are hospitable to humans and can afford a population of over 6 billion humans access to adequate water for drinking and cultivating crops is extremely limited. Yes, there are! (yes this graph is a bit dated, I only throw it out there in response to strawman claims that modern climate science purports one radiative forcing) Not all climate forcing are equal. All significant radiative forcings need to be studied and accounted for in a proper model of the climate system. That's exactly what climate scientists are doing. Yes, that's true, but largely because the amount of AGGs humans will emit into the atmosphere in the future is hard to predict. Perhaps humanity will create practical fusion reactors which completely mitigate the need for any other power source. Perhaps future physics will give us new ways of producing energy we can't even conceive of now. Models now use present trends of carbon consumption to extrapolate the future. Of course this is inaccurate, because no model can account for human innovation that might drastically reduce the emission of AGGs in the future. Fortunately modern GCMs incorporate as many factors as known to modern climate science as are deemed significant enough to incorporate into the model. They work very well: tbXwRP0CQNA "Climate skeptics" don't have any models or any actual alternative theories, they just try to poke holes at modern climate science
  23. No, especially not on these forums. True fiscal conservatism is politically impossible in America. The Democrats like to spend. The Republicans like to spend while chastising the Democrats for spending. The only people who would actually cut spending are either completely unelectable, unable to convince the rest of the government to do it, or were they actually able to bring it about would spell political disaster. I'm all for a sundown date on Social Security. I'll happily pay into it, knowing I'll never get money, just to actually have a timetable for winding down the program. I'd like to see more comprehensive healthcare reform in this country, which would be a great way to save money that would've otherwise been wasted in programs like Medicare. Talking about fiscal conservatism in America is just waxing philosophical. While it'd be great, it isn't going to happen, certainly not now when our economy is trying to recover from one of the worst recessions/depressions in the past 50 years. Obama has been working hard on cutting spending where he can, although (fiscal) conservatives don't seem to care, or realize that the Republicans aren't really going to do anything different.
  24. That the words "moderate" and "conservative" are interchangeable in US politics. If there's any difference between them, it's "conservative" and "extremely conservative"
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