Wednesday, June 03, 2009

What did I tell you?

"Countering Anti-Choice Terrorism" screams an article by Melissa Harris-Lacewell in The Nation, screaming, that is, in order to be heard over the unanimous chorus of pro-life voices condemning in no uncertain terms the savage murder of George Tiller:
I believe the murder of George Tiller was an act of domestic terrorism whose aim was not only to assassinate a single man, but also to frighten a generation of doctors and to shame and terrify women and families who are making difficult choices. While the murderous rage of Tiller's assassin is not representative of the broader anti-choice movement, I believe that the anti-choice community operates with a totalitarian impulse that generates a culture of terror rather than a culture of life.

Hannah Arendt suggested that totalitarians generate terror in part by cultivating profound loneliness among their targets. Loneliness locks human beings in isolation and hampers discourse, connection, and shared experience. When we believe we are alone and misunderstood we cannot form the bonds necessary to organize and resist. There are few experiences more lonely and isolating than facing an unintended pregnancy or facing the need to terminate a desired pregnancy in order to protect maternal health. The anti-choice discourse labels the women and families who chose abortion "baby killers." It is a strategy that dehumanizes these women and the doctors who care for them.
Baby killers. Let's see: people who kill babies, what shall we call them? Perhaps people hired to permanently eliminate all future choices that might be made by the babies whose bodies they dismember?

But that's far too complicated. Another possibility, though shockingly short on empathy for those who -- pardon the expression -- make a living killing babies is "killing babies."

What's worse, calling something by its right name or exploiting the vile act of one psychopath to avert attention from a mountain of small corpses which grows daily by the thousands?

58 comments:

Mike O'Malley said...

Hannah Arendt?

Wasn't she German Nazi theorist Martin Heiddegger's "hot" Jewish girl friend? I'd guess Arendt know all about totalitarianism then ... except Arendt didn't seem to be particularly adept at figuring out Eichmann's dissimulation observing that Eichmann showed no trace of antisemitiem during his trial in Jerusalem. Oddly she didn't seem to notice that her boyfriend, Heiddegger, was particularly anti-Semitic either, at least enough to terminate her long illicit sexual relationship with Heiddeger.

That's a bit off topic. But I find Melissa Harris-Lacewell's appeal to authority to be rather unpersuasive.

You'd think that Melissa Harris-Lacewell would have figured out that Scott Roeder seems to suffer from serious psychological problems and that he indeed was never a member, a staffer, a volunteer of any national, state or local pro-life group.

Perhaps she did. But knowingly or recklessly smearing political, social and religious opponents with trumped up or fabricated charges has been observed tactic "that totalitarians" employ to "generate terror". It's an often used " strategy that dehumanizes".

Mark Gordon said...

Oh, the irony of Harris-Lacewell's comment about dehumanization.

Kevin said...

Gil,
Check out Frank Shaeffer's article here:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-schaeffer/how-i-and-other-pro-life_b_209747.html

He points out how the inflamatory rrhetoric of the pro-life movement had soured things. There are folks out there who, though opposed to abortion, run from the idea of joining Operation Rescue or other groups because those groups are seen as fanatical nuts.
Although I subscribe to the the Nation, I don't subscribe to all said in there. However Ms. Pollitt does make some excellent points about the PERCEPTION of the pro-life movement.
I send this along as food for thought about how the pro-life movement might want to consider changing tactics moving out from here.


Pollitt's piece
http://www.thenation.com/blogs/anotherthing/440459?rel=hp_picks

Pollitt's salient quote
"People mock the word "choice" --it's consumerist, euphemistic, wimpy, calculated. But one thing you can say for it: It honors the individual conscience. If a desperately ill pregnant woman wants to risk her life to give birth, if she wants to carry an anencephalic fetus to term so it can die in her arms, or have her rapist's baby, or become a mother at 14, or produce octuplets, pro-choicers are not going to compel her to abort. Pro-choicers don't go around lecturing girls and women that they will blame themselves forever if they have a baby they may not be equipped to raise well. They don't paint gory pictures of the horrors and dangers of childbirth to scare pregnant girls and women into ending their pregnancies with a quick and safe termination. They don't tell women Jesus is going to send them to Hell if they sacrifice their futures to the whims of a wayward sperm -- although they might mention from time to time that the Bible nowhere mentions abortion. Pro-choicers don't blow up churches or assassinate the leaders of Operation Rescue.
Only one side wants to force women to live by its so-called morality, and only one side murders and bombs to make its point. Only one side has a terrorist wing."

Ad Astra Per Aspera,
Kevin

Mark Gordon said...

Only one side has a terrorist wing

Amazing how perspective is so important in all this. If you were a healthy fetus of 8 months gestation and George Tiller had just injected a heart-stopping chemical into your body, you might consider that a form of terrorism.

But, of course, that's the problem with Kevin and other pro-abortion liberals: they refuse to recognize the humanity of the unborn, which accounts for their discomfort when confronted with images that depict the reality of abortion, or even language that accurately describes the act and those who perform it. They prefer euphemisms (fetus! termination!) or moral misdirection (choice!)or simple ignorance (no pictures, please).

Elsewhere, I've condemned the murder of George Tiller and called for his killer to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But Tiller was a man who routinely killed healthy pre-born infants as late as nine months gestation. We call one who kills babies a "baby killer." Kevin and Katha may not approve, but given what they do approve of, who really cares what they think?

Kevin said...

Greetings,
Actually I'm not a pro-abortion liberal. I am a Liberal, a progressive even, but not pro-abortion. Perhaps I should just come out and make the proposition. Abortion is murder, albeit legal murder. So too is judicial execution and warfare. Yes we could climb the walls arguing about the moral differences of which there are many, but they are all legal means whereby one human may take another's life. In other words, we have morally reprehensible, legal behaviours and we work to end them.
Why bring all this up? To point out we want the same thing and our disagreement is over tactics.
We've been screaming about abortion for 35 years. Nothing has changed. The joke at my house is the definition of insanity is doing the same thing but expecting different results.
I think we need to get fully behind measures to prevent unintended pregnancies first and foremost. Then we should mount aggressive compassion campaigns to reach out to those who find themselves unintentionally pregnant and provide alternatives to make choosing life easier.
Even if we make abortion illegal, it won't go away. Never. I submit this study of the incidents of abortion worldwide.

http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/25s3099.html

Note: this is a 1999 study.
Even in countries where abortion is illegal there seems to be millions of abortions. Illegality will not stop it. We must persuade a change of heart, one person at a time, one heart at a time. It is the only way I can see to actually end this.

Ad Astra Per Aspera,
Kevin

Mark Gordon said...

Imagine a person writing this: I am not pro-rape. In fact, I am anti-rape. But in spite of laws against it, rape still occurs. Therefore, it is clear that all our efforts to eliminate rape by outlawing it have failed. We must face the fact that we will never stop rape by making it illegal. Never. So we should abandon that strategy and focus on changing hearts and minds instead. We should not describe rape or those who do it in harsh or judgmental language because that is divisive and ultimately counterproductive. Instead, we should reach out the hand of compassion to those inclined to rape, to convince them that there is a better choice available.

Now substitute the word "torture" for rape. Or "child abuse."

The fact is that opposition to legal abortion is not incompatible with a hearts and minds strategy. Both are required, and the abandonment of either is an abandonment of the cause of protecting innocent human life. And the pro-life movement - especially in its Catholic expression - leads the way. Catholic hospitals, adoption agencies, crisis pregnancy centers, relief agencies, pre-and post-natal clinics, food pantries, housing and heating assistance ministries, women's shelters, etc., comprise a vast hand of compassion offered to pregnant women. So, this slur, repeated so often in places like Huffington Post and The Nation (places frequented by Kevin, not surprisingly) that the pro-life movement only cares about fetuses, not women or children, is a deliberate lie.

Mike O'Malley said...

Well that essay by Katha Pollitt is without doubt food for thought!

It also reminds my of why I'm no longer a member of the radical Left. Kevin, how can you countenance such an essay in character assassination and mendacity?

There was a time when America's leading feminists where healthier people.

Kevin why don't you spend sometime reading the material at this feminist website devoted to the discussion of women and abortion:

http://www.feministsforlife.org/

It is the website for Feminists for Life.

Doughlas Remy said...

Just call me the bad penny. I can hear everyone saying, “What he doing in this discussion?”

Well, I do actually follow these discussions about abortion and find them fascinating, though I don’t usually put in my two bits’ worth. So far, Mr. Gordon and I haven’t found very much common ground about anything (In case you have forgotten, I am one of those “intrinsically disordered” individuals he refers to on his own blog site. Well! What can I say?) But I’m finding Kevin’s comments to be thoughtful, sensible and humane. I agree that preventing unintended pregnancies should be our first priority, and contraception appears to be one of the best means of achieving that goal. So I’m rooting for the pro-choicers. (Surprise!)

(And no, I am not a knee-jerk liberal; I take more conservative positions on many issues.)

Of course, the abortion issue is not one that comes up very often among those of us who are intrinsically disordered. If I were true to the old stereotype of the homosexual who seeks “recruits,” maybe I would just suggest that a good way to end abortions is to ban sex between men and women. That would really take care of the problem. And we can be sure that enough people would flout the law to keep the human race going, but without the overpopulation that we’re currently facing.

How’s that for a solution? For all those among you who are already paranoid about the “gay agenda,” there’s something new to keep you awake at night.

When I read these discussions, the Andy Rooney in me thinks, “Oh, what fools these breeders be!” and I go away feeling blessed that I am gay.

Maybe, in fact, there is something inherently problematic about heterosexuality. When my partner and I read the morning newspapers, we are astonished at some of the problems straight people seem to have. As Dorothy Parker said, “Men, women.... women, men. It’ll never work!” Most of the world’s literature is about (what else?) problems between men and women. (Mars, Venus...not a good match.)

Well, has it worked? Maybe it’s time to abandon the whole idea.

Homosexual couples who want children (and do not bring them from a previous marriage) may adopt or use surrogates or artificial insemination. But the child they bring into their home is at least wanted, and thus has much better chances of success in life. A study done several years ago (and which I cannot locate at present) found a positive correlation between lower crime rates and the availability of legal abortions. This suggested to the researcher that unwanted children have lower self-esteem and are more likely to engage in criminal activity. (If anyone wants that study, I’ll try to find it, but can’t promise anything.)

I have an adopted son, now 21 years old and a junior in one of our state universities. He has high scores in his major (math), and he has found and held jobs every summer for the past four or five years. No DUIs, no felonies, no addictions (unless we count Facebook), and he doesn’t even drink alcohol or coffee (yet). Just a good all-around kid who is comfortable with his peers (including gays and lesbians!) and who can be expected to face all the usual life challenges as he enters adult life. (Check back in a year or two...)The religious right has been telling us for years that such children are at risk, but no evidence is offered. Well, I’ve just offered evidence that these fears are unfounded, for what it’s worth. And don’t get me started about all the other kids I know who have been successfully raised by same-sex couples!

Predictions of civilizational collapse have been greatly exaggerated.

Doughlas Remy
Member, Colloquium on Violence and Religion

Mark Gordon said...

Doughlas

On my blog, I've described homosexual acts and desires as "intrinsically disordered," not homosexual persons. Are you an act, a desire or a person? If you don't know the difference perhaps we've arrived at the fundamental problem. Let the spiritual and psychological healing begin.

Regarding your strategy to reduce abortions, we may have found common ground, Doughlas. Only, it is a distinct disappointment that your parents didn't think of the idea first.

By the way, I'm pleased to see that you've remitted your 2009 CoVR membership fee. Congratulations.

Mark Gordon
Member, Sam's Club

Doughlas Remy said...

Kevin, thanks for introducing me to the Guttmacher Institute site. The 1999 study you cited (“The Incidence of Abortion Worldwide”) provides a wealth of detailed information and deserves to be read. I would just like to call out a couple of pertinent sentences from the study’s “Results” and “Conclusions” sections, respectively:

Abortion rates are no lower overall in areas where abortion is generally restricted by law (and where many abortions are performed under unsafe conditions) than in areas where abortion is legally permitted.

Stringent legal restrictions do not guarantee a low abortion rate.


I commend you for facing the abortion=murder equation squarely. I am less certain than you that abortion is murder, however, at least not in the legal sense. The term is still defined by the secular state, not by sectarian institutions or personal beliefs. You may be entirely justified in feeling that abortion is equivalent to murder, however, and I assume you prefer the word “murder” to “killing” because murder is always morally wrong, whereas killing may not be. Because I am pro-choice, I would not necessarily use the term “murder” in this context. But this is where our different perspectives (Christian vs. non-theist) determine how we think about this.

And hello to Mr. Gordon! Glad to see you're feeling perky today and that you haven't lost your sense of humor! Thanks for explaining the "intrinsically disordered" characterization. I feel so much better now that I know it is only my behavior that is intrinsically disordered. But do you really think that even I can change?

Doughlas Remy
Member, Colloquium on Violence and Religion

Kevin said...

Greetings,
Thanks for the links. I'm going to head over and see what is up.
This seems to go nowhere. Everyone leaves the table feeling self-satisfied but nothing is done.
I'll just hold out for another topic.
Ad Astra Per Aspera,
Kevin

Mark Gordon said...

But do you really think that even I can change?

I certainly hope so for your sake, Doughlas.

Incidentally, regarding your words to Kevin, there is nothing in the "non-theist" point-of-view that demands support for abortion or precludes embracing a fully pro-life position. One of the most fervent pro-life voices around is Nat Hentoff, an atheist and liberal, who views abortion as a peace and justice issue.

Mike O'Malley said...

I just don't have the time to focus on the Alan Guttmacher Institute. My attention is directed elsewhere. However, I don't have the impression that they do quality objective work. Based on my ad hoc analysis on occasion there appears to be some substance to those critiques.

Below are couple of quick links on this topic.

Stanley K. Henshaw, Susheela Singh and Taylor Haas are of course not without critique

http://www.lifenews.com/int472.html

Neither is the Alan Guttmacher Institute without critique:

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/Articles/Getting%20Desperate%20at%20Guttmacher.html

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=10643

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BTW the concept of "murder" predates the secular state as does religion.

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Moreover it seems that Mr. Gordon is correct. Framing the controversy over abortion as a Christian vs: "non-theist" conflict is bogus. In addition to Mr. Gordon's healthy example above one would expect that an informed person would know that the orthodox Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and other religious groups share substantially similarly positions on abortion.

Mike O'Malley said...

Mr. Gordon your answer reminded me that Dr. Robert L. Spitzer determined empirically that the answer to Mr. Remy's question is likely to be affirmative ... if Mr. Remy is properly motivated. A summary can be found here:
http://www.narth.com/docs/evidencefound.html

The persisting high levels of illicit drug use, alcoholism, suicide, mental illness, hyper-promiscuity ... (what is it called?)- suicide by barebacking - ... in American social environments which are largely tolerant of homosexual activity suggest that the homosexual lifestyle is not emotionally satisfy, despite what the gay activists represent to the public.

[I'll note that many of these negative indicators do not appear to be as pronounced among lesbians]

Kevin said...

Greetings,
OK, I had planned to leave this alone and then an illustrative matter came across my desk. American Life League is protesting contraceptive pills. This is the sort of thing that does nothing to convince anyone that anti-abortion groups are anything other than fanatical, reality-challenged fools.
http://www.all.org/

Sheesh....
Ad Astra Per Aspera,
Kevin

Mike O'Malley said...

So you really think that that anti-abortion groups are fanatical, reality-challenged fools?
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You know the safety of the early versions of the pill was shamefully oversold. The earliest versions of the pill turned out to carry substantial health risks. A lot of women paid dearly for early adopting the pill. The health risks of today's oral contraceptives have been substantially reduced but there are still troubling health risks. Whether or not long-term risks of the oral contraceptives on the market today outweigh their benefit is beyond my immediate interest. But I have discussed the subject with FDA scientists and they told me about how political appointees in FDA pushed through the approval of certain oral contraceptives whose known medical risks and known side effects made their approval otherwise uncertain on a regulatory basis. The Wall Street Journal published supporting information. It's too bad also that women and girls under the age of 25 have a hard time assessing long-term risk, or for that matter, intermediate and even short-term risks. Delaying the age at which young women and girls become sexually active would seem to be a social good, however disappointing that might be to adolescent boys and predatory males ages 20 through 30 something. Sexually active 11 & 12 year old girls is a phenomena that Planned Parenthood refuses to address in a legitimate way.
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What seems reality challenged is pumping $2 billion a year is tax dollars into the standard sex education programs that have been ineffective at adequately reducing illegitimacy for over four decades. Back in the 90s we were spending $9 billion a year on AIDS research. We have little to show for those billions. Entire demographic groups in some areas in the US have been decimated by HIV infection. This a problem which could have been contained if gay rights activists weren't fanatically committed to radical promiscuity and US medical authorities had approached AIDS like any other sexually transmitted disease. Even thoughtful lesbians have been critical of homosexuals in this regard. It too bad that these "fanatical, reality-challenged fools" costs so many lives. My pastor spent a lot of time some years back caring for angry bitter lonely dieing homosexual victims of AIDS who trusted those radical homosexual activists with their lives.

Doughlas Remy said...

Mr. O’Malley is citing a NARTH study by Linda A. Nicolosi? Neither she nor her husband Joseph are in good standing with the American Psychological Association, or, in fact, with any other major national mental health organization. They are both extremely controversial figures well outside the scientific mainstream. There is plenty of reliable information about reparative therapies. I would recommend the APA Online, especially http://www.apa.org/topics/sorientation.html. The following is a pertinent paragraph from their FAQ:

All major national mental health organizations have officially expressed concerns about therapies promoted to modify sexual orientation. To date, there has been no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation (sometimes called reparative or conversion therapy) is safe or effective. Furthermore, it seems likely that the promotion of change therapies reinforces stereotypes and contributes to a negative climate for lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons. This appears to be especially likely for lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals who grow up in more conservative religious settings.

Please read that first sentence again.

We can find similar statements issued from the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, ...and too many others to list here. (I have a shortlist of fifteen medical journals that have published studies on reparative therapies, if anyone would like it.)

Citing high levels of illciit drug use, etc., among homosexuals is completely irrelevant, except as support for the proposition that homosexuals need better integration into society, a goal that can be achieved in large part by encouraging them to form loving and committed relationships (as in “marriage”). ( I have said for many years that one of the best ways to strengthen the institution of marriage in this country is to legalize marriage for lesbians.)

Since lesbians form more stable relationships than heterosexuals, are we to conclude that the heterosexual “lifestyle” (as if there were only one) is not “emotionally satisfying?” And what are we to make of any other “debits” that we may find on the heterosexual side of the map? Do we conclude from these that heterosexuality is “intrinsically disordered?”

Mr. O’Malley speaks of gay rights activists as though they were all of one mind. (“This is a problem which could have been contained if gay rights activists [note: not “some” gay rights activists] weren’t fanatically committed to radical promiscuity...”) I am a gay rights activist, and as you can tell, I am not committed to radical promiscuity. Neither are most of our most vocal rights organizations, such as the Human Rights Campaign. I would urge Mr. O’Malley to visit the sites for the major national LGBT health organizations (listed with links on http://www.hrc.org/issues/8310.htm) and identify for me the ones that are committed to promiscuity.

I have no doubt that you will find gay organizations somewhere that are committed to promiscuity, and you will also find “straight” ones if you look. Castigating an entire segment of our society for the excesses of some of their members is the very definition of prejudice. It tells those who are trying to live responsibly that they are going to be judged harshly no matter what they do, and it contributes mightily to the problems that drive some gay youth to suicide.

If we are really interested in helping people who have addiction and self-esteem problems, let’s begin by dropping all the negative and accusatory language (e.g., “intrinsically disordered”), and then let’s promote positive solutions such as safe and responsible sexual behavior, sobriety, and self-affirmation.

Homosexuality does not “cause” any of the problems that Mr. O’Malley has listed, any more than heterosexuality “causes” such problems among heterosexuals.

Doughlas Remy
Member, Colloquium on Violence and Religion

Mark Gordon said...

Kevin,

Just so you're on the record. The Catholic Church teaches that contraception is contrary to natural law and a sin. Would you like to take this opportunity to label the Catholic Church a group of fanatical, reality-challenged fools?

I ask because we are having this dialogue on Gil Bailie's blog, Reflections on Faith & Culture. Gil, as you know, is a faithful Catholic layman whose work consists of a deep exploration of the anthropological implications of the Catholic faith. If you believe that the Catholic faith is fanatical, reality-challenged, or foolish, I wonder why you bother to post here?

Moreover, wasn't it you who posted a link to Frank Schaeffer's article lamenting his former use of incendiary language in the abortion debate. How, then, do you justify calling the American Life League a group of "fanatical, reality-challenged fools?" I thought you were the guy insisting on a modulation of the rhetoric, especially when it's directed at your opponents. If someone shoots Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, are you going to accept responsibility for contributing to a climate of violence?

What this shows is that pro-choice liberals like Kevin want us to shut up, even as they reserve the right to say anything at all about their opponents.

Mark Gordon said...

Incidentally, I thought readers might enjoy this, standard fare on Kevin's favorite blog:

"The sanctity of life argument is dead; and abortion foes who continue to spout that pious nonsense will have to become vegans who only eat plant products that do not damage in any way the parent plant. If life is truly sacred, eating any plant or animal would be counter to god's will, an idea no more absurd than claiming that eliminating an undifferentiated ball of cells is murder."

Now, speaking of fanatical, reality-challenged, fools ...

Mike O'Malley said...

No Mr. Remy, I cited the renown researcher Dr. Robert L. Spitzer. I linked to the NARTH webpage as a matter of convenience because, as I said, summary can be found here:
http://www.narth.com/docs/evidencefound.html

From Wikipedia:
Dr. Robert L. Spitzer is a Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University in New York City, United States and is on the research faculty of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. He was chair of the task force of the third edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) which was released in 1980. He has been referred to as a major architect of the modern classification of mental disorders which involves classifying mental disorders in discrete categories, with specified diagnostic criteria.
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In 2001, Spitzer delivered a controversial paper at the 2001 annual APA meeting arguing that highly motivated individuals could successfully change their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. The APA immediately issued an official disavowal of the paper, noting that it had not been peer reviewed and stating that "There is no published scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of reparative therapy as a treatment to change one's sexual orientation."[1]

Two years later, the paper was peer reviewed and published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.[2] The publication decision sparked controversy and one sponsoring member resigned in protest. The paper has been attacked by people on grounds that Spitzer used non-random sampling and a poor criteria for success. [3].

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Dr. Spitzer was almost immediately driven from this field of research by creditable death threats from by homosexuals. The Islamofascist similarly drive researcher into the origins of Islam from that field of study I'll note.
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Mr. Remy, you will note that I did not address causation. So what are we to infer from your defensiveness: Homosexuality does not "cause" any of the problems that Mr. O'Malley has listed?
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Citing high levels of illicit drug use, etc., among homosexuals is relevant. As I said: "(t)he persisting high levels of illicit drug use, alcoholism, suicide, mental illness, hyper-promiscuity ... (what is it called?)- suicide by barebacking - ... in American social environments which are largely tolerant of homosexual activity suggest that the homosexual lifestyle is not emotionally satisfy, despite what the gay activists represent to the public." There are a few homosexual rights activists who have criticized the insane promiscuity of most American homosexuals. They argue for "gay marriage" hoping that the traditional commitments of traditional "Marriage" would contain this malady. These particular gay rights activists have my sympathy although I think that as a matter of public policy that the damage that will be done to the institution of marriage outweighs the social benefits of "gay marraige". Other homosexual rights activists less publicly have long sought to invert the argument of their anti-promiscuity peers and seek to inject the hyper promiscuity of homosexual marriage into traditional heterosexual marriage. Those particular gay rights activist do not have my support.
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I'll decline your invitation, Mr. Remy, to visit a public relations face of the gay rights movement as we both know that what I have written is factual.
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I am sorry if I gave the impression that gay rights activists as though they were all of one mind.. They don't. I sought to address the normative positions however. I think I have done so to some reasonable degree given the time limitation of this particular media: responding to comments on a blog.
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However, Mr. Remy, you may recall the René Girard attempted to address the causation of homosexuality in light of mimetic theory in Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World.
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I sorry for the poor draftsmanship of this response. Time is short...

Doughlas Remy said...

Homosexuality was removed from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1973.

Thank you, Mr. O’Malley, for directing my attention to Dr. Spitzer. His conclusions about reparative therapy are no more reputable than Joseph Nicolosi’s, as your own Wiki quotation suggests. His famous 2001 study has serious methodological flaws in that it relied on anecdotal evidence from subjects with a vested interest in proving ex-gay success.

There is a wealth of information on the Web about Dr. Spitzer and his study, and I’ll be happy to discuss him at greater length, time permitting, but for now I would like to bring us back to the idea of “mainstream” science. Spitzer’s and Nicolosi’s findings and recommendations are disputed by the American Psychiatric Association, which in 1998 declared that there is no published evidence supporting the efficacy of reparative therapy. And, once again, the American Psychological Association’s FAQ states that “all major national mental health organizations have officially expressed concerns about therapies promoted to modify sexual orientation.”

I don’t know what you concluded from the information that you yourself cited. If it is indeed true that Mr. Spitzer received death threats because of his views, then that is something that deserves our condemnation. However, it need not reflect on the entire homosexual community any more than the murder of Dr. Tiller need reflect on pro-life Catholics.

I referred you to the Web site of a leading gay activist organization because you had made a claim that gay rights activists are fanatically committed to radical promiscuity. How else are you to know the truth of what you claim unless you look at the official positions of some of our leading organizations? They have position papers, and if they were fanatically committed to radical promiscuity, I think there would be some statements to that effect in those papers. You have made a charge that is unsubstantiated, and I am asking you to substantiate it.

No one has yet adequately explained to me what harm heterosexual marriage has suffered from same-sex marriage where the latter has been legalized. Canada legalized same-sex marriage in 2004, and no ill effects have yet been observed. Society can only benefit through reduction of promiscuity. And finally, it’s hardly fair to criticize people for promiscuity while blocking their efforts to form loving and committed relationships. Would you like us all to be celibate? (Don’t answer that question.)

Regarding my remarks about causation, I did sense that you were trying to establish a causal link between homosexuality and the social ills you described (increased rates of alcoholism, suicide, etc.). You did say that these things suggested that “the homosexual lifestyle is not satisfying.” So, if homosexuality does not cause these ills, then we can discuss them independently, without reference to the sexual orientation of the people who suffer from them.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, in her bestselling memoir “Infidel,” describes the deplorable treatment that many Muslim women receive from their husbands and other men throughout the Islamic world. I don’t think we should conclude from these facts that the heterosexual lifestyle is not satisfying. (Hmmmm. Or maybe we should!)

Regarding Rene Girard’s remarks about homosexuality, I have read them several times over the years, and have been struck by this phrase: “...toute rivalite sexuelle est de structure homosexuelle chez la femme comme chez l’homme.” (All sexual rivalry is structurally homosexual in both men and women.) Girard, in one of his recent, not-yet-translated books, talks briefly about an intense experience of sexual rivalry in his own life, during his youth. His analysis of Dostoyevsky’s “Eternal Husband” is too insightful not to have some foundation in his own life experience.

But I’m happy to hear that you have read Girard, because that means that you will understand and recognize scapegoating.

normabruns said...

Mr. O’Malley, you write,

Other homosexual rights activists less publicly have long sought to invert the argument of their anti-promiscuity peers and seek to inject the hyper promiscuity of homosexual marriage into traditional heterosexual marriage.

First, I think this sentence needs some serious unpacking. I haven’t a clue what you are talking about. What is the “hyper promiscuity of homosexual marriage?” Does this mean that homosexuals are promiscuous even when they are in loving and committed (monogamous) relationships? Is this like the “War is peace” slogan from Orwell’s “1984”? The mind reels.

It seems obvious to me that the overall thrust of gay activism these days is to secure marriage rights. Surely you would agree? But then, how can you claim that the “normative” agenda is to promote promiscuity? Which is it?

It seems to me that you are determined to find fault with homosexuals no matter what they do. If they want to enter into committed relationships, you only see that as a sinister ploy for becoming more promiscuous. If I haven’t understood you very well, it is, I think, because you seem very confused.

When you make statements about what gay activists believe or want, I wish you would provide some supporting evidence. Where are you finding this information?

Norma Bruns

Paul said...

To Douglas Remy...You refer to an as yet untranslated book by Girard: which book is this?

Mike O'Malley said...

Thank you Mr. Remy. I'll reread your post later with greater attention to detail and perhaps post a more complete response I'm going to be tied up for several days.

But quickly, it is good that you find reassurance in my acquaintance with Girard. I take it though that I will just have to await the translation of another work in addtion to Christoph Luxenberg's Die syro-aramäische Lesart des Koran: Ein Beitrag zur Entschlüsselung der Koransprache, although it seems that American translators and publishers are less fearful of censorious Girardians. ;-)

You seem to be an intelligent man Mr. Remy. Surely you'll understand that that the clustering of maladies which are associated with homosexuality in America are unlikely to be a statistical coincidence. Briefly and crudely, it seems likely that either, (a)homosexuality causes or attracts persons to maladies, (b) those maladies cause or attract persons to homosexuality, or (c) wide spread social abuse of homosexuals causes homosexuals to suffer those maladies. Some generations ago I think I'd guess that answer would be (c). That (c) seems less likely today because conditions have obviously changed. Personally I'm an agnostic about which is more likely (a) or (b) except in regard to "suicide" by high-risk willful barebacking.

I can understand how you might be personally interested in undermining the creditability of Dr. Spitzer. Perhaps you are right, but your eager acceptance of the work of Stanley K. Henshaw, Susheela Singh and Taylor Haas in contrast suggests other than balanced objective judgment in this regard.

I'll draw your attention to the timely regarding Dr. Spitzers publication and the APA disclaimer which came before the peer reviewed publication of his work. I'll decline your invitation to discuss such matters in detail because of lack of time and because I'm aware of the evident politicization of the APA on this matter. Dr. Spitzers comments at that time he left that field of research are telling.

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Now it seems unlikely that someone who sneers at heterosexuals as "breeders" will be convinced by any amount of evidence but dude Canada legalized same-sex marriage in 2004! What informed reasonable person would expect that long-term effects would be studied and published in such a short period of time to an extent that would be acceptable to someone who sneers at heterosexuals as "breeders"?

I agree that "society can only benefit through reduction of promiscuity" however as I indicated above no few radical gay rights activists argue that gay marriage should be legitimated as a means of introducing hyper-promiscuity into traditional normative marriage. This alone should be a reason for public policy caution. Furthermore, your creditability is impaired when you refuse to acknowledge and deal with that very real intent of those homosexual activists.

I've got to go.

I'll try to address Norna Burns' essay into illogic later ;-)

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I sorry for the poor draftsmanship of this response. Time is short...

Doughlas Remy said...

Mr. O’Malley, I am glad you thought in more depth about the link between homosexuality and higher rates of suicide, alcoholism, etc. I was well aware of a link, and was hoping you would hit on it yourself, and you did. It is not a causal link, as you appear to believe (or even causal-attractive).

Ignoring your scenario (b), which seems nonsensical to me, we are left with (a) “homosexuality causes or attracts persons to maladies,” or (c) “widespread social abuse of homosexuals causes homosexuals to suffer those maladies.”

Well, that first scenario is extremely easy to disprove. All we have to do is find a homosexual (let’s say, an adult with enough life experience to analyze) who does not fit your profile. Only one. Do I need to go further with this? I think you can foresee where I might go.

Can we, then, dismiss the causal link once and for all? It doesn’t stand up to reason. And, again, it would be like my claiming that heterosexuality “causes” wife beating.

But when I think of heterosexuality, I don’t automatically think of wife beating. Why do you keep thinking of bare-backing when you think of homosexuality? Why don’t you think of Leonard Bernstein? (The answer may be two paragraphs down.)

So we are left with scenario (c), which you dismissed out of hand, for reasons that I will address in the next paragraph. This is where we need to direct our attention, toward societal attitudes. It is true that these attitudes have changed enormously, but they had a long way to go, and they still do. And while it is true that these attitudes have changed significantly in the large cities of developed liberal democracies, there hasn’t been much change elsewhere. Homosexuals in the Middle East and Africa are still stoned, decapitated, or imprisoned. Almost all of South America is dominated by macho cultures that persecute homosexuals. People in the small towns where I grew up still believe pretty much what they believed fifty years ago, and gays and effectively stigmatized, shunned, and driven out. From what I have seen, your own attitudes would fit right in with theirs.

To me, this is all a striking confirmation of Girard’s thesis about scapegoating—that we do not and must not see our victims as scapegoats. If we did, we wouldn’t be able to scapegoat them. Bailie brought this idea out in his “Violence Unveiled,” and it immediately resonated with me. We blame our victims for the ills that they suffer at our hands. We stigmatize and shun them, and when they turn to alcohol, we tell them it is because they are “intrinsically disordered,” or some other such nonsense.

I am only allowed 4096 characters, so I can’t develop this idea much in this comment. Do I need to, or do you get it?

As for my use of the term “breeders,” I don’t think you will be able to adopt the language of social grievance with me. If you haven’t noticed yet, I frequently tease people as a way of opening up perspectives. I would hardly “sneer” at breeders. My own parents were of that persuasion. And I don’t think you’ll be seeing gay activists showing up at St. Patrick’s Day parades with signs reading “God hates breeders!” anytime soon.

Like Norma Bruns, I wish you would give us some sources for your bizarre claim about activists wanting to introduce hyper-promiscuity into traditional marriage. How can we possibly respond unless we know where it is coming from?

And to Paul, I am remiss in not providing my source for the comment about Girard’s own life experience. The two books I was most recently reading were “Achever Clauswitz” and “Celui par qui le scandale arrive.” I didn’t find a marginal notation, but I may not have made one. If I come across the passage again, I’ll mark it.

Doughlas Remy
Member, Colloquium on Violence and Religion

Doughlas Remy said...

Same-sex marriage in Canada: In five years we should have seen some signs of civilizational collapse. How long do you think we will have to wait? And what do you think those signs will be?

I still cannot, for the life of me, coax anyone into explaining how same-sex marriage is going to harm heterosexual marriage. Is this just a vague, floating anxiety about social stability, mimetic crises, etc.? Or is there anything more concrete that we can seize upon?

What about the Netherlands? They legalized SSM in 2001. Anyone know of ill-effects yet?

Paul said...

Gil Bailie is a good reader and has written some very insightful essays and articles. I find it sad to find him presiding over a web site that attracts O'Reilly-style disciplinary puritans of a sort who would have seemed harsh even in the middle ages. Certainly there is no trace of such a puritanical "sacrificial" style of thinking -- especially in regard to homosexuality -- in Gil's hero, Girard. Regarding gender and marriage, John Milbank (Radical Orthodoxy) argues that both the voices of reaction (nicely exemplified by Mr. O'Malley on this blog) and the voices of radical "post-gender" politics are equally victims of a ruthless postmodern capitalism. He refuses to equate homosexual unions with "opposite" marriage as our lovely Carrie Prejean puts it. But he also says this: "There need be no problem whatsoever with the idea that homosexual practice is part of the richness of God's creation and, indeed, its often parodic and ironic character (which springs at once from its need to mimic sexual difference, and its non-heterosexual logic for which two enamoured partners may share a desire for a third) can hint towards the life of angels." Another big fan of Girard and an important Christian writer (whom Girard reads, but Bailie apparently does not). A little harder to read than anti-gay pamphlets, but give it a try, Mike. You too, Gil.

Kevin said...

Greetings,
Let me address what I wrote: "This is the sort of thing that does nothing to convince anyone that anti-abortion groups are anything other than fanatical, reality-challenged fools." The point being that those who have such an impression of Pro-Life organizations, will see no reason to change their views on the matter. Perhaps a follow on sentence re-stating what I meant would have avoided confusion.

As for Gil's writings: Violence Unveiled was excellent because it for once showed a reason for the Crucifixion which actually made some sense. I don't recall if Gil ever mentioned the Roman Church or if he did it was not to the extent he makes a Roman Catholic argument today.

He spoke of Christianity and Judaism with no real mention of sectarianism. That book was an excellent explanation or primer for Christianity and how it is culmination of Judaism and part of the continuum of thought we see in the Bible.
If Girard and Bailie's teachings are only presented as a Catholic Ideology, the other parts of Christianity will never learn of this critical, ground-breaking understanding. That is I think Girardian understanding of condition of humanity is the best hope we have for real reconciliation between the various Christian denominations.

I was raised Roman Catholic in Wichita, KS. After meeting other Catholics from more enlightened locations I've come to refer to that teaching as Roman Calvinism. That is my shorthand for the Catholic doctrine was that skipping church on Sunday, masturbation, fornication, adultery and murder were all Mortal Sin. They all cost you, if unrepented and unshriven, redemption. My friends from other parts of the country, raised Catholic did not have these things made equivalent in their teaching. This got me to questioning what was taught.

I left the Roman Catholic church for the Episcopal Church because the RC teachings on contraception is ridiculous. I speak here of preventing sperm from meeting ovae not of the intentional destruction of the result of that meeting.

Would I want to label the Catholic Church as "fanatical reality-challenged fools". Let me put it this way:
The Catholic hierarchy is made up of celibate men with a vested interest in the status quo. Their policies and pronouncements affect peoples real lives. To eschew artificial contraception in lands which are overburdened by population is to ignore the suffering of these people and to be complicit in the expansion and continuation of that misery.
I would call the Pharisees; they bind up great burdens to lay on other mens' shoulders. They experience none of the risks or cost of their teachings. They are insulated and so the reality of the impacts of their teachings do not reach them.
My term for the hierarchy would be "Self-righteous Pharisees"

As for why I'm here? Girardian interpretation is not the sole province of the Roman Catholic Church. It is a truth and a means of understanding available to all Christians.


I'm certain this will raise ire. I don't say it to anger, but to explain. I'm here because the RC does not have a lock on the Truth of Christianity, regardless of what the Baltimore Catechism has to say about it.
Ad Astra Per Aspera,
Kevin

Mike O'Malley said...

Thank you Kevin for your much improved response. I've got to be quick so I won't be able to do justice to your response. Maybe I can devote more time later.

I understand your concern about overpopulation. It is a valid issue. But it also has been an issue that has been relentlessly oversold by the population control movement since at least the late 1950's. In part, America's Ivy League educated WASP elite emerged from the experience of WWII and, with some justification, blamed that war on overpopulation. They determined to reduce that risk by reducing population growth worldwide. They employed the enormous financial resources of the great foundations, Ford, Rockafeller, Sciaffe and others, the resources of the Federal and State governments. The results have been mixed to bad to outright dangerous. About 2/3rd of poverty in America is an unintended consequence of that effort. So were the significant increases in violent crime, incarceration of African American males, the widespread social and psychological damage that fatherlessness inflicted upon children, 15% increase energy usage, increase costs of education and so on. The introduction of artificial birth control has reduce rapid population growth throughout most of the world. I agree that this can be seen as a good thing. However, in most of the developed world, the movement overshot its targets and is driving populations of developed countries in the direction of demographic collapse. This is no less dangerous than over population. In the developing world artificial contraception has slowed population growth and made things more manageable it would seem, until one examines the changes in more detail. Take China for instance where the Communist Party ruthlessly implemented a one child policy, with the support of the American population control movement. China's population may peak now at 1.2 billion or so and then drop. However, this ruthless brutal one child policy has created an enormous surplus of un-marriageable military age males. Some years ago that male surplus exceeded 70 million young men and boys. Pakistan and India have similar demographic sex imbalances. You can image how those surplus males dangerously increase the likelihood of devastating war when they are young and the collapse of national social safety nets as they age. Much more can be said but my sketch must be oh so brief.

What the WASP elite may have overlooked was how artificial contraception alters what is known as the "sexual economy", the social behaviors and institutions which regulate reproduction. The Catholic Magisterium is not crippled by this oversight.

If you are interested I might be able to link you up with some resources to read and consider on this topic.

part I

Mike O'Malley said...

Part II

I think you misunderstand Calvinism and its doctrine of salvation of a predestined elect of individuals in contrast to the communalism of the Catholic Church. American Catholicism is the world's most Calvinist form of Catholicism. Similarly America produced a Calvinistic Judaism. Both are marked by emphasis on the salvation of the individual and by self confidence in goodness-righteousness of the individual self. Normative Catholicism and Rabbinical Judaism are not Calvinistic.

*


BTW: Kevin your critique of the Catholic hierarchy seems rather Calvinist and consistent with traditional American Protestant anti-papist critique - Calvinist. I find this I can be culturally so inclined myself ;-) I also find that such an inclination is a mistake ;-)


*


Baltimore Catechism? It would seem that your objections are stale ... much has happened since the time when immigrant children needed to be so taught the Faith because of Nativist American anti-Catholicism. The Episcopal Church is in obvious degenerative collapse and Evangelical intellectuals have become attune to the Catholic Magisterium.



Again thanks for your response Kevin. It is easier to articulate difference. I'm going to need more time to think through the common ground in your response. Have you read Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World?



BTW, Kevin, I'm a lapsed working class Irish Catholic from the industrial Northeast (and former radical Leftist), who has returned and reenter communion with the Church. :-)

Doughlas Remy said...

Paul, I deeply appreciate your kind words and the wonderful quotation from John Milbank, especially the part about hinting “toward the life of angels.” I do like that. Although I am a secularist, I read a lot of Christian writers (e.g., Girard and Bailie), and it looks like I’ll be checking out Milbank’s “Radical Orthodoxy.” I am only opposed to the toxic effects of religion, not its tonic ones.

I can’t speak for other gays and lesbians who want marriage rights, but I myself do not equate same-sex marriage with “opposite” marriage. They are different in all kinds of obvious, and some not-so-obvious, ways. But what really matters is that all our marriages—whether straight or gay—honor love, commitment, and mutual support. Psychologists and social workers know that people are generally much healthier and happier when they are in stable relationships and are connected through those relationships to wider social networks. The benefits are seen in lower rates of substance abuse, depression, suicides, and promiscuity. But we don’t really need psychologists to tell us that. We only need to look around us and examine our own lives.

It is sometimes difficult to swim against the strong currents of moral condemnation that we face in the culture today, and I think Christians disgrace themselves when they channel such attitudes. We wonder why any reasonable and charitable person would not support and encourage our commitment to each other. I keep asking and probing, but no opponent of same-sex marriage ever tells me how straight marriage is going to be harmed by my marriage with my partner. Maybe I should try bribes. Mr. O’Malley? How about ten bucks?

Love and commitment aside, let’s not forget, too, that all kinds of rights and responsibilities come with marriage. If my partner ends up in the hospital in a city or state where gay couples have all the legal standing of “roommates,” then I may be denied access to him because I am not considered a relative. There is also a host of tax, social security, and inheritance issues that legalized marriage will properly address.

Regarding your comment about Gil’s site, I will say, once again, that I appreciate Gil’s and Randy’s willingness to host such diverse viewpoints, including some strongly dissenting ones such as my own, yours, and Kevin’s. I believe that one of the best ways to get a reality check on our most deeply held convictions is to discuss them with someone who strongly disagrees. “Don’t believe everything you think,” says the bumper-sticker.

Having said that, I will also add the following: This site was the last place in the world where I would have expected to find the kind of scapegoating language that I have encountered here. I expected that Gil’s friends and followers would be discussing Girard’s theory of scapegoating. Instead, what I found was often more like an old boy’s club where people sit around verbally bashing the outgroups and cheering each other on. I had to go to a blog site run by a lesbian to find what I was looking for. Check out Flesh and Spirit, at http://teresawymore.wordpress.com, particularly the post “Rene Girard takes a side in who uses his mimetic theory,” followed by comments from “thebentangle” (me).

However, I will return. I enjoy a robust discussion.

Speaking of Catholic writers who write about gay spirituality, I am sure you must be familiar with James Alison’s works (e.g., Faith Without Resentment, The Joy of Being Wrong). I would also recommend John J. McNeill’s Freedom Glorious Freedom.

Doughlas Remy
Member, Colloquium on Violence and Religion

Mike O'Malley said...

...Regarding gender and marriage, John Milbank (Radical Orthodoxy) argues that both the voices of reaction (nicely exemplified by Mr. O'Malley on this blog)…

Oh Gheeez!!! “Voices of reaction”? Why the resort of Marxist category?

Or is that just the snug set up for an insulting dismissal?

(John Milbank)… (a) little harder to read than anti-gay pamphlets, but give it a try, Mike. You too, Gil.


Well thank you Paul. That is good of you. Perhaps though you too may benefit from a journey of self exploration in: The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy, by Thomas Sowell. It’s a bit longer than a pamphlet but I have confidence that you can handle it.

Have a good day Paul.

Mike O'Malley said...

...Regarding gender and marriage, John Milbank (Radical Orthodoxy) argues that both the voices of reaction (nicely exemplified by Mr. O'Malley on this blog)…

Oh Gheeez!!! “Voices of reaction”? Why the resort of Marxist category, Paul?

Or is that just the snug set up for an insulting dismissal?

(John Milbank)… (a) little harder to read than anti-gay pamphlets, but give it a try, Mike. You too, Gil.


Perhaps though you too may benefit from a journey of self exploration in: The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy, by Thomas Sowell. It’s a bit longer than a pamphlet but I have confidence that you can handle it.

Have a good day Paul.

Dean said...

In Nevil Shute's novel On the Beach, nuclear war has devastated the planet. The largest body of remaining survivors live in Australia on borrowed time as the shroud of radiation moves relentlessly forward, extending to them the same fate that has been visited on the rest of the earth. The novel is all about the stress of awaiting the rapidly falling and irreversible curtain of our fate. A fate that drags every other living thing with us.

Just as Australia becomes the last domino to fall in a cautionary story of human hubris and nuclear war, we may be the last species to fall in a cascading environmental catastrophe of our own making. This cloud of death will kill all the Canaries in all the coal mines the world over. That includes the frogs, yellow crested warblers, Honeybees, Polar Bears, Mediterranean Monk Seals, Pandas, Gray Wolves, Sturgeons, Owls, Hooded Cranes, Jaguars, Leopards, Chinchillas, Blue Herons, ad infinitum. Then, in a demonstrable act of natural and final justice, it will kill us. The dominant species; the one that prides itself on its own imagined sacrality and centrality in ruinous sacrifice and numbing ignorance of everything else which is not specifically us.

God so loved the world that he gave his unwilling permission to us to destroy it through the mechanism of our own fecundity, by breeding ourselves to extinction; by assuming that everything is expendable unless it's precious, and that nothing is truly precious unless it's human. So, in the "I'm more moral than you" war, We move toward an outcome which, in view of how completely distracted by both our unrestrained passions and depleted dogmas, we apparently have precious little interest in stopping.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this should be worth a few million: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqxENMKaeCU

As for the issue of abortion, it is and should remain a personal decision. The people who make those choices are not evil, anymore than we are individually evil for what becomes the collective evil we do to the planet. But the planet is in jeopardy. Severe jeopardy that won't be assuaged by our noble solicitude about the sanctity of life which is rendering it quickly irrelevant on a global scale. That's why I'm astounded at how this entire thread has been dominated exclusively by men, who seem to know what's both right and best for everyone else. Gender exclusivity is interesting, but hardly unique to the church. Here's a partial remedy to that from the mouths of women who've aborted, from the blog of one of those rare, freshly married, once (probably) promiscuous gay Catholic guys: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/06/its-so-personal-the-roundup.html. I hope you will read these letters or watch the above film. The reasons for people's actions are too plentiful and complex to come down on one side or the other with the unbending opprobriums of an unswerving mindset.

Population is the tap root and trunk from which all the other branches of planetary distress originates: urban sprawl, resource exhaustion, deforestation, melting Ice caps, species collapse, haline cycles, sea coral death, elevated CO2 levels, a Texas-sized floating island of non-biodegradable plastic called the Pacific Gyre which is being ingested into the oceanic food chain, a collapsing fishing industry brought about by over fishing and poor management, mercury poisoning, toxic landfills, polluted air, and the release of millions of metric tons of methane gas as the perma frost melts, (methane is 20 times more potent then carbon dioxide) the flooding of every coastal city to a depth of 20 meters. None of these scenarios are hypothetical. They are happening now at a breathtaking pace. We either control our population, or the earth will do it for us. And she's not in a good mood.

Mike O'Malley said...

Dean says: urban sprawl, resource exhaustion, deforestation, melting Ice caps, species collapse, haline cycles, sea coral death, elevated CO2 levels, a Texas-sized floating island of non-biodegradable plastic called the Pacific Gyre which is being ingested into the oceanic food chain, a collapsing fishing industry brought about by over fishing and poor management, mercury poisoning, toxic landfills, polluted air, and the release of millions of metric tons of methane gas as the perma frost melts, (methane is 20 times more potent then carbon dioxide) the flooding of every coastal city to a depth of 20 meters. None of these scenarios are hypothetical.

But all of them are histrionic.


Let's see I can dispense with a few.

urban sprawl~due to/or largely aggravated by the breakup to the traditional American family,

resource exhaustion~debunked decades ago

deforestation~The massive re-forestation of the US East Coast is one of the great under appreciated environmental stories of the 20th Century. Also German forest use system is very good even under high population conditions of Germany,

melting Ice caps~not happening

species collapse~minor, part of evolutionary condition,

haline cycles~What?

sea coral death,~transitory

elevated CO2 levels, well within range of natural background variation, Human contribution due in no small part to the wasteful industrialization of China.

a collapsing fishing industry brought about by over fishing and poor management~correctable by good management

mercury poisoning~addressed by US environmental laws

toxic landfills~addressed by US environmental laws

polluted air~addressed and resolved by US environmental laws

and the release of millions of metric tons of methane gas as the perma frost melts, (methane is 20 times more potent then carbon dioxide)~hysterical, the world is entering a long astronomical cooling cycle,

Th flooding of every coastal city to a depth of 20 meters~hysterical, the math doesn't work and the world is entering a long astronomical cooling cycle.

The problem isn't over population. The problem is insufficient human capital.

Doughlas Remy said...

I am beginning to see a pattern in Mr. O’Malley’s comments, first about reparative therapies, and now about climate change. It is a pattern of accepting information uncritically from dubious sources and channeling it without attribution and without regard to its truth value. The “dubious sources” are sectarian groups and corporate interests, all of which start with conclusions and then fund research to support those conclusions. Science doesn’t start with conclusions. It reaches them after a process of data collection, hypothesis formation, and rigorous testing. Religious groups who begin with the premise that homosexuality is “objectively disordered” (from the RC catechism) are not sources of “objectively reliable” information about it. Exxon-Mobil is not a reliable source of information about climate change. Nor are the “research groups” that it funds.

Mr. O’Malley has demonstrated once again that he cannot distinguish between mainstream science and pseudo-science that is motivated by religious belief or greed. To take only one example, the overwhelming scientific consensus is that the polar icecaps are indeed melting, and the evidence is there for anyone to see. This evidence is not just in complex and arcane mathematical models. It is in satellite photographs taken over the Arctic Ocean over the past several decades. The National Geographic Society has published such photographs. Are we now going to claim that the NGS was pressured by environmental activists into doctoring these photos? (cf. Mr. O’Malley’s remarks about the American Psychological Association’s caving to pressures from gay activists.)

A geography professor at the University of Washington tells me that the Port of Seattle has based its long-range planning on a scenario in which the Arctic Ocean will be free of summer ice sometime between 2059 and 2078. This is just reality-based planning, and it is not undertaken lightly because it involves billions of dollars worth of cargo that will eventually be diverted through the Arctic Ocean to the East Coast and perhaps to Europe. You can be certain that the Port of Seattle’s planning is based on the very best science that is available.

Mr. O’Malley may be correct in some of his points, and Dean may be incorrect in some of his. But one of the best ways to separate realities from myths is to look to reputable scientific research while avoiding sources that have an obvious bias on the issues.

Here’s a clip from the VOANews.com, 2/26/09 (“UN Scientists: Climate Change Evidence Unequivocal”). If UN scientists have a bias on this issue, I wish someone would point it out to me.

Scientists for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, say the group’s latest findings on global warming show rapidly increasing carbon dioxide emissions and quickly shrinking Arctic ice. To compound matters, a separate study released on Wednesday finds that the melting of polar ice is more severe than previously thought.

I would suggest to Mr. O’Malley that he read the entire article, which contains further information about some of the points in his comment.

Doughlas Remy
Member, Colloquium on Violence and Religion

Doughlas Remy said...

Composite satellite photo of North Pole (current) showing outlines of 1979 ice boundary:
http://www.doremiarts.com/Arctic.htm/

Doughlas Remy

Doughlas Remy said...

Sorry I couldn't find out who actually made that photo, but it was published on www.ecoble.com.

Here's an article from the National Geographic News, "Arctic Melting Fast, May Swamp U.S. Coasts by 2099," November 9, 2004:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/11/1109_041109_polar_ice.html/

Doughlas Remy

Mike O'Malley said...

Doughlas Remy wrote: "Mr. O’Malley has demonstrated once again that he cannot distinguish between mainstream science and pseudo-science that is motivated by religious belief or greed."

LOL

Yes sir! Pseudo-science that is motivated by what did you say Mr. Remy, "religious belief" and/or "greed"! I'd guess that we can take that to the bank based upon Mr. Remy's say so! Without doubt Mr. Remy would seem to be reliable, if we just don't notice the ad hominem and perhaps character assassination in lieu of substantive argument.


One must wonder whether or not Mr. Remy has ever heard of the Wegman report? I've read it in full, even the footnotes. One can find it link at Climate Audit:
http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=908


Or now here on Gil Bailie's blog as quoted from Climate Audit"

John Baltutis:
March 18th, 2008 at 6:02 pm

Wegman Testimony at:
http://energycommerce.house.gov/reparchives/108/Hearings/07192006hearing1987/Wegman.pdf


PabloM:
March 19th, 2008 at 7:41 am

Ah - found them. The links are now:


http://republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/108/home/07142006_Wegman_Report.pdf
http://republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/108/home/07142006_Wegman_fact_sheet.pdf

According to Dr. Wegman, these links were moved when the Democrats won Congress. Interestingly, the reports with the actual conclusions were moved (without providing links) but other stuff remains (hearing testimony, etc.).

Nope, no politics in this global climate debate.

Dean said...

Mr. O'Malley:

You didn't watch the film, did you?

I realize that Global Warming is a contentious subject. What subject discussed here hasn't been? The "my experts are smarter than your experts" approach is not sufficient or reasonable when used to dispel the massive amount of data and eyewitness evidence available to anyone with a pair of eyes and the willingness to be informed by what their own senses confirm. Mitigation won't work if it's not implemented; it will not be implemented if it's not believed. Reality will not redesign itself to meet the prejudices of those who choose to ignore it.

Mr. Remy has already addressed the fact of melting polar ice, so I wont attempt to improve upon what he has said, which was excellent.

Global Warming:

The concentrations of CO2 and methane have increased by 36% and 148% respectively since the mid-1700s. These levels are considerably higher than at any time during the last 650,000 years, the period for which reliable data has been extracted from ice cores. Less direct geological evidence indicates that CO2 values this high were last seen approximately 20 million years ago. Fossil fuel burning has produced about three-quarters of the increase in CO2 from human activity over the past 20 years. Most of the rest is due to land-use change, in particular deforestation.

Deforestation:

Tropical deforestation is responsible for approximately 20% of world greenhouse gas emissions. It has been estimated that we are losing 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestation, which equates to 50,000 species a year. These are serious non-remedial declines in biodiversity, that compromises our pursuit of new drug therapies and medicines by squandering resources whose benefits we barely understand before they vanish. Up to 90% of West Africa's coastal rainforests have disappeared since 1900. In South Asia, about 88% of the rainforests have been lost. Much of what remains of the world's rainforests is in the Amazon basin, which is being destroyed at the rate of 3,200 kilometers every 6 months. In Central America, two-thirds of lowland tropical forests have been turned into pasture since 1950 and 40% of all the rainforests have been lost in the last 40 years. Brazil and Madagascar have lost 90% of their rainforests. As of 2007, less than 1% of Haiti's forests remained. Mexico, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Bangladesh, China, Sri Lanka, Laos, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Guinea, Ghana and the Côte d'Ivoire, have lost large areas of their rainforest. The degradation of forest ecosystems has also been traced to economic incentives that make forest conversion appear more profitable than forest conservation. It is not.

Dying Coral:

The pH level for the world's oceans was stable between 1000 and 1800 AD. It no longer is. Without stable atmospheric Co2, ocean acidification and dropping pH levels will continue unabated, which in turn stresses ocean systems and kills coral. It's basic chemistry, and hard to argue with. 10% dead; 60% at risk.

Resource exhaustion:

How do you "debunk" finite resources? When the coal, oil and gas in the ground is removed, it wont be renewed, and should not be exploited to exhaustion. Therefore, it will have to be eclipsed with new technologies which are inexhaustible: Solar, Wind, Water, Fusion, Hydrogen.

Species collapse:

In view of the fact that 99% of all species that have ever existed are now extinct, it may not be unwarranted of us to inquire why we should have special immunity from a rather severe and accelerating selection process. Starting approximately 100,000 years ago, and coinciding with an increase in the numbers and range of humans, species extinctions have increased to a rate unprecedented since the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event. The interrelatedness of all species in the food chain, and their mutual and diverse dependence on each other is not a "minor" condition. What effects them directly impacts us.

Mike O'Malley said...

Hello Dean.


Thank you for your reply. I'm sorry I have not been able to respond. I've been traveling and often without computer access.

That National Geographic film has been around for a while and seems familiar. I may have watched it some time ago. For sake of discussion let's pretend that I have not seen it. Why would you recommend it to me? Just last night I watched as much as I stomach of a National Geographic program that entertained the silly idea of space aliens visiting earth at the dawn of history and shacking up with Neolithic hotties... and then there was National Geographic's Gospel of Judas fiasco. That's a topical area of which I have unusual knowledge for an American layman. Tell me Dean, why should I invest the time in watching a slick infomercial when I've already invested the time in reading peer-reviewed scientific reports on this topic cover to cover?

Dean persuade me if you can to watch that National Geographic video (again?) if you will.

.

While you are at it, why don't you download a lecture or two by Gil Bailie at the Cornerstone Forum. Listen to them and return with your response.

Thank you Dean

Cheryl Maslow said...

Mr. O'Malley, I have read about the Wegman report that you cited in an earlier comment. The report dates from 2006, and yet, three years later, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Academies of the G8 countries still accept the so-called "hockey-stick" model of global warming, which the Wegman report sought to refute. Why do you think the Wegman report did not have any significant influence on the scientific consensus about warming?

Doughlas Remy said...

Chris Mooney, author of "Unscientific America--How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future," reports that nearly half the American public believes the Earth to be less than 10,000 years old. And, he says, these are people who don't believe they're anti-science. There's so much misinformation out there that they can basically just go and shop online for any scientific opinion they want, including one that's completely contrary to the mainstream understanding. The trouble is, a lot of the worst pseudo-science is dressed up as real science, with footnotes and impressive-looking charts, and the layman can be easily fooled. So, what to do?
One "best practice" is to search out the triple-A sources such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Academy of Sciences. If the NSF has a position on global warming, then that position should get far more weighting than any particular piece of research that contradicts it--especially if that research has already been shown to be suspect because of the conditions under which it was conducted or peer-reviewed. If that research was conducted under the auspices of a respectable scientific organization, then we compare the research's conclusions with the organization's official or consensus position. And then we follow the trail. We may discover that the research was discredited because of methodological flaws.
Another best practice when searching for information is to abandon any prior conclusions about the subject. Instead of looking for confirmation of your opinions, treat them as contingent and look for refutations, which you can then judge on their merits. The point of your researches is to discover the truth, not to shore up a dogmatic position.
Mooney sees parallels between the status of evolutionary theory and that of climate change theory in American culture. Very often, he reports, the same people who deny one are denying the other.
Why such a large swath of the American public dismisses scientific consensus is another interesting topic for discussion. To explore this territory, we would probably need to "break the spell" around other sensitive topics, including religious belief, mimesis, and the denial of death.
Doughlas Remy
Member, Colloquium on Violence and Religion

Mike O'Malley said...

Thank you Cheryl for your thoughtful response.

Let me briefly make a couple of necessary points:

1) - There is no scientific consensus on AGW. There never has been such a scientific consensus. Over the last several years dissident scientific objection are coming out in the open more often.

2)- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a creature of the United Nations, a deeply corrupt anti-democratic political body. It seems fair to say that IPCC is a politicized NGO with an institutional interest in promoting the work of the the implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol.

.

In this regard it is sobbering to consider the resignation of Christopher Landsea from work on the IPCC saying that he viewed the process "as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound" Roger A. Pielke, Jr. who published Landsea's resignation letter stated, "(h)ow anyone can deny that political factors were everpresent in the (IPCC) negotiations isn't paying attention."

.

Why do you think the Wegman report did not have any significant influence on the scientific consensus about warming?

Without investing time to ferret out details of this particular question I have to give three general answers:

1)- IPCC and AGW computer modeling research teams' work is self-referential and self-affirming. In substance, competent peer review does not occur.

2)- IPCC and AGW computer modeling research teams are inadequate to the task. There is also valid concern about the scientific integrity of the work of Michael E. Mann, Raymond S. Bradley and Malcolm K. Hughes.

3)- The UN, IPCC, UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol are highly politicized and corrupted by the competitive divergent interests of China, India, Russia, the EU et al.

.

Cheryl, I encourage you to read for yourself the executive summary of the Wegman report and also to scan thought the body of the report itself.

Links to the Wegman Report are provided above by way of Climate Audit, which you may also find beneficial to visit.

Mike O'Malley said...

Cheryl I'm going to repost those two links from Climate Audit in a disarticulated fashion so you can paste them together in your browser if necessary.

http://republicans.energycommerce.
house.gov/108/
home/07142006_Wegman_Report.pdf

&

http://republicans.energycommerce.
house.gov/108/home/
07142006_Wegman_fact_sheet.pdf

Dean said...

Sorry to shoot down your straw man, Mike. Neolithic hotties notwithstanding, the film is not a National Geographic special. It was produced by the French production company Europa Corp. and Elzévir films. It is directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. We don't have to pretend that you haven't seen it. You haven't seen it. Hope that clarifies things. I would recommend that anyone who's concerned about the environment, who believes what we do in the next few years is critical for our survival as a species will watch this film. I hope this includes you. Unless of course, you're holding out for a rescue by space aliens, which you don't believe in because you can't see them, or God, whom you do believe in, for the same reason.

I presently have over 200 hours of Gil's teachings on tape, which I've collected since 1989 when he was teaching in Sonoma, Ca. at the Temenos and Florilegia institutes. I've listened to and studied all of them, read his book "Violence Unveiled" which is excellent, and read various articles of his online.

Once again, you can see the film in question here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqxENMKaeCU

Mike O'Malley said...

I hope you did not intend to be offensive, Dean. I missed your link because it was buried as a non-hyperlink in large body of text. I thought you were referring to:

Here's an article from the National Geographic News, "Arctic Melting Fast, May Swamp U.S. Coasts by 2099," November 9, 2004:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/11/1109_041109_polar_ice.html/

Doughlas Remy


.

I've read Rene Girard on occasion in venues such as First Things over the years. However, I've been studying the origins of Islam and the history of Jihad. Instances of human sacrifice in 19th and 20th century Islam moved me to deepen my research. Further, The Fundamentalism Project employed Girard's mimetic theory to explain the Arab Israeli conflict over Jerusalem. Dr. Robert Godwin recommended Gil Bailie's "Violence Unveiled" as an introduction to Rene Girard. I read "Violence Unveiled" and then proceed to study two of Girard's more notable works and dozens of articles and interviews.

.

Now that I have the proper link I'll view your video as soon as practical. The computer from which I am now posting does not have the necessary UTube access.

Cheryl Maslow said...

Mr. O'Malley,

I've done some reading about the scientific consensus on climate change. I conclude from what I have read that there is no substantive disagreement in the scientific community about it. Whether or not you agree with the findings or methodologies of the IPCC, that body is one of the consensus makers. The IPCC's assessment is endorsed by the National Academy of Sciences, which has stated, "The IPCC's conclusion that most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations accurately reflects the current thinking of the scientific community on this issue."

Other scientific bodies supporting the IPCC's assessment include The American Meterological Society, The American Geophysical Union, and The American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In 2004, a researcher at UC San Diego (Naomi Oreskes) did an ISI (Institute for Scientific Information) database search on the words "climate change" and came up with 928 abstracts published in refereed scientific journals from 1993 to 2003. Seventy-five percent of them accepted the reality of anthropogenic climate change (the "consensus position") and 25% dealt with methods or paleoclimate (taking no position on the consensus position). Not a single one of the papers argued that the current patterns of climate change are natural.

The impression that there is confusion among scientists about this matter is simply incorrect. I have some information that undercuts both the credibility and the significance of the Wegman Report, but I'll hold it for now. ClimateAudit.org, which you've cited several times, is a blog owned by Stephen McIntyre, who worked in hard-rock mineral exploration for 30 years and founded Northwest Explorations, Inc. From 2000 to 2003, he was a strategic advisor for CGX Resources, Inc., an oil and gas exploration company. Connect the dots.

Dean said...

Hi Mike,

I apologize for the mixup. I realized when re-reading your letter, that you were confusing Doughlas' link with my own, thus the National Geographic reference. I tried doing a proper hyper link, but ended up just pasting the URL when the HTML code was refused by the site. I will separate any future links from the main body of my text so they will stand out better.

A tip about the movie: I found some of the soundtrack hard to endure musically, but most of it is fine. The visuals are stunning, and the narration is important to the presentation. So you may want to keep your fingers close to the volume button during the crossovers. Thank you for agreeing to watch this.

Dean

Mike O'Malley said...

Thanks Dean, I've got to sign-off after a quick read. I'll try to get to the video this weekend.

Cheryl Maslow said...

Mr. O’Malley, you have inspired me to do further reading about the consensus issue that was raised earlier. When I read your claim (“There is no scientific consensus on AGW. There never has been such a scientific consensus.”), I had a strange experience of deja vu. In the summer of 1980, I was seated on a train traveling from London up to Lincoln, when I got into a conversation with a young lady sitting opposite me. One of us mentioned the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, which had begun a few months earlier and was in the news a lot. She told me that it was all a lie, and that the Soviets had not in fact invaded Afghanistan. She was quite clear and unequivocal about this. No Soviet troops were in Afghanistan.

I had been so certain of this fact, of course. I had seen photos, I had heard news accounts, and I trusted the BBC and the NY Herald Tribune and other sources. I felt as though someone were telling me that Copernicus was wrong. Simply wrong. The earth does not revolve around the Sun. Or that the Holocaust was a myth, or that Jesus really was born of a virgin. “O-kay,” I thought.

I realize you do not trust the IPCC or the National Geographic Society, for starters, and that you place a great deal of confidence in the Wegman report and Stephen McIntyre’s findings as reported on ClimateAudit.org. So you will probably not have much respect for Wikipedia. Not that you should, necessarily. But Wikipedia is fine for what they call “pre-research,” and they have a page titled “Scientific opinion on climate change.” Here is what they conclude:

“National and international science academies and professional societies have assessed the current scientific opinion, in particular recent global warming. These assessments have largely followed or endorsed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) position on January 2001 that ‘...most of the warming over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.’ Since 2007 no scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion. A few organizations hold non-committal positions.”

Here are some of the organizations:
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Federal Climate Change Science Program
The Intergovernmental Arctic Council
European Academy of Sciences and Arts
InterAcademy Council
International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Services
Network of African Science Academies
Royal Society of New Zealand
Polish Academy of Sciences
American Association for the Advancement of Science
European Science Foundation
National Research Council (US)
American Assn. of Wildlife Veterinarians
American Society for Microbiology
Australian Coral Reef Society
Institute of Biology (UK)
Society of American Foresters
The Wildlife Society (International)
American Geophysical Union
European Federation of Geologists
European Geosciences Union
Geological Society of America
International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society of London
American Academy of Pediatrics
American College of Preventive Medicine
American Medical Association
American Public Health Association
Australian Medical Association
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
World Federation of Public Health Associations
World Health Organization
American Meterological Association
Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences
Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
Royal Meteorological Society (UK)
World Meteorological Organization
American Quaternary Assn.
International Union for Quaternary Research

There are twelve others, but I’m up against the character limit.

Do you find any of this convincing?

Doughlas Remy said...

Just to clarify: The organizations that you listed are the ones that support the consensus view. (Your intro to that list was a little ambiguous, but I figured it out, because IPCC is at the head of the list.) There are no major scientific organizations that do not support the consensus.

You’ll appreciate the following joke:

A man was driving down the expressway when his wife called him on his cell phone. She said, “Honey, be careful out there! I heard on the news that some idiot is driving the wrong way on the expressway!”

He replied, “That’s right, dear, but it’s not just one driver going the wrong way. There are hundreds of them!”


Cheryl, have you considered the possibility that you and I and Dale and the IPCC and the G8 National Academies and all those other scientific organizations on your list could simply be wrong? Misguided? Delusional?

There is, after all, a statistical possibility (however small) that sham science has produced a viral meme which has now inserted itself into the mainstream scientific community and is replicating itself at a furious rate. An alternative explanation is that the world’s major scientific organizations have conspired to convince a gullible public of anthropogenic global warming in order to make fortunes in futures trading of clean energy technology stocks. Or, that they have simply caved to pressures from environmental activists who want to bring the modern industrialized world to a grinding halt. There are so many scenarios...

So, maybe the driver was right. Maybe everyone else was going the wrong way.

Mike O'Malley said...

So Ms. Maslow, I remind you of an apologist for the Soviet Union! Well thank you Ma'am. Surely you would be shocked to know that you remind me of an apologist for the Inquisition. As you might just be aware of the quality and bias issues what invest Wikipedia articles dealing with certain contemporary social and political issues you will most likely be curious enough to ask me why the Inquisition? Why? Because during the early 17th Century you would have been able gin up a similar list of respected professional and government sponsored scientific organizations (to the degree they then existed) supporting the Geocentric Model. During Galileo's lifetime a large majority of scientists and astronomers subscribed to the Geocentric Model. After Galileo began supporting Heliocentrism publicly, he met with bitter opposition from the scientific community and was eventually denounced to the Roman Inquisition early in 1615. Of course you know the rest of the story Ms. Maslow. One of the obvious similarities between scientific supporters of Geocentricism and Anthropic Global Warming is their willingness to act like thugs to quash scientific opposition. It does seem fair to point out several differences between scientific supporters of Geocentricism and Anthropic Global Warming and such. For examples: the Inquisition did exercise greater concern for the well-being of society as an whole, the Inquisition employed better use of rational argument and investigation ;-), The Geocentric Model long had better mathematical and empirical support in the earlier 17th century, Galileo was unable to demonstrate empirical proof that the Heliocentric Model was correct (proof did not come for centuries), and today there are many scientists who disagree with the Anthropic Global Warning argument.




Here is a colorful gem I found in this regard. It was published on July 17, 2007 by Iain Murray and latter confirmed by the Washington Times. For readability I'll just highlight the e-mail in question. The bold emphasis is mine.

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NDRhZWFjYTc5ODcxMWZmOTYyMzY5ZmIwMmQ5MDg5M2M=
.
.

A message from the President of the American Council on Renewable Energy [Iain Murray]

A few days ago, my colleague Dr. Marlo Lewis had a column over at the American Spectator on the current debate in Congress over climate issues. This morning he received the following message (I have edited one character):

Marlo ?

You are so full of cr*p.

You have been proven wrong. The entire world has proven you wrong. You are the last guy on Earth to get it. Take this warning from me, Marlo. It is my intention to destroy your career as a liar. If you produce one more editorial against climate change, I will launch a campaign against your professional integrity. I will call you a liar and charlatan to the Harvard community of which you and I are members. I will call you out as a man who has been bought by Corporate America. Go ahead, guy. Take me on.

Mike

Michael T. Eckhart

President

American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)


I don't think any further comment is necessary.

*
*
*

Ahhh and there is no padding in that list?

National Research Council (US)
American Assn. of Wildlife Veterinarians
American Society for Microbiology
Australian Coral Reef Society
Institute of Biology (UK)
Society of American Foresters
The Wildlife Society (International)
American Academy of Pediatrics
American College of Preventive Medicine
American Medical Association
American Public Health Association
Australian Medical Association
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
World Federation of Public Health Associations
World Health Organization

Cheryl Maslow said...

Mr. O’Malley, your identification with Galileo tells me you see yourself as a martyr, but it does nothing to advance your claims about climate change. Even if the analogy were not so seriously flawed, it would still not constitute a valid argument. The analogy is flawed because scientists in Galileo’s day lived in stark staring terror of the Church, and scientists these days do not. It is not a valid argument because one famous dissenter’s eventual validation does not mean that every dissenter deserves validation. What if I claimed that seat belts do not save lives or that condoms do not prevent the spread of AIDS? Would such fringe beliefs, unsupported as they are by mainstream science or even common sense, become valid solely because they represent dissenting views?

My sense is that you have given up any effort to offer convincing evidence for your belief that anthropogenic climate change is a hoax. Instead of evidence or solid argumentation, we are treated to persecution fantasies. No one, I repeat no one, wants to burn you at the stake or destroy your reputation. The purpose of these discussions, in my view, is to test our preconceptions against reality. Secondarily, I am also interested in the psychology of belief systems that sustain non-scientific worldviews, but for now I’ll content myself with gathering data.

Mike O'Malley said...

Cheryl Maslow said...
Mr. O'Malley, your identification with Galileo tells me you see yourself as a martyr


LOLZ Ms. Maslow! Do we have here another ad hominem? Didn't your story about the Soviet apologist have an ad hominem under trust? And your reference to Copernicus above? Did that suggests "you see yourself as a martyr" Ms. Maslow? And associating me by analogy with a Holocaust denier? Yes, a "denier" Ms. Maslow. This is not ad hominem? Or that rif about the Virgin Birth? Ad hominem, Ms. Maslow? ... or ... ridicule of my religion, Ms. Maslow?

.

Now for your fantasy version of history Ms. Maslow:
Cheryl Maslow said...
Even if the analogy were not so seriously flawed, it would still not constitute a valid argument. The analogy is flawed because scientists in Galileo's day lived in stark staring terror of the Church, and scientists these days do not. It is not a valid argument because one famous dissenter's eventual validation does not mean that every dissenter deserves validation.


That's quite a preposterous paranoid fantasy you've got there Ms. Maslow! Most scientists in Galileo's day were Catholic clerics. And who did you think got the Inquisition involved? Rival scientists! Geocentric scientists! (as I indicated above) [It reminds me of Congressman John Dingell's pursuit of Nobel Prize winner Dr. David Baltimore] The Catholic Church had been the World's foremost supporter science for centuries! [read The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories, by J. L. Heilbron, and Aristotle's Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Middle Ages by Richard E. Rubenstein and How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods Jr.] In time the Reign of Terror did indeed come to Europe ... with the inauguration of the Temple of Reason in Paris ...

My analogy works not because Galileo was right. Galileo was wrong about much. Where Galileo was right, empirical proof was unavailable for centuries in some cases. My analogy works because it illustrates what conditions look like at the start of a scientific paradymn shift.

.


Cheryl Maslow said...
My sense is that you have given up any effort to offer convincing evidence for your belief that anthropogenic climate change is a hoax. Instead of evidence or solid argumentation, we are treated to persecution fantasies.


More ad hominem?

Ms. Maslow, please observe and note that I cited peer reviewed evidence above, which it appears you have neither read nor considered. Instead you have engaged in ad hominem attack and you have offered a vaporous cut-n-paste from Wikipedia!

Look, Ms. Maslow, I've got a life. I'm training for a marathon. There is just so much time I can afford to deprogram Anthropic Global Warming cultists.

So how about it Cheryl? Walk the walk, not just talk the talk about science, Cheryl. How about reading the Wegman Report, summary and body - cover to cover?

.

Cheryl Maslow said...
Instead of evidence or solid argumentation...


WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What depth of cognitive dissonance explains this particular dismissal?!
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How about it Cheryl? How about reading the peer reviewed Wegman Report, summary and body - cover to cover - Cheryl?

.



Cheryl Maslow said...
Instead of evidence or solid argumentation, we are treated to persecution fantasies. No one, I repeat no one, wants to burn you at the stake or destroy your reputation. The purpose of these discussions, in my view, is to test our preconceptions against reality.


You are a trip Ms. Maslow! I playfully teased Mr. Remy above about heretic burning and you ... Oh my! You might want to get a sense of humor while you are at it too.

Mike O'Malley said...

I continue to maintain that you are wrong Mr. Remy. The Wegman Report (which you refuse to read) was peer reviewed, which appears to be more than one can say for the website information you rely upon. Indeed you are relying upon the very same teams of non-statistical specialists among Mann et al which were so thoroughly debunked by the Wegman team. This you might know if you had the intellectual integrity and courage to R-E-A-D the Wegman Report.

BTW isn't it odd that the IPCC teams refuse to release their raw data, their methodology and the computational algorithms ... very odd for a scientific endeavor of this sort ... very odd one would think ... and very much a red flag ...

Yet if find on Kevin's website that you can only resort to the usual ad hominem attacks on Dr. Stephen McIntyre a respected statistician in a field in which methodology similar to that employed by the IPCC and Mann et al was used to perpetrate a massive fraud. So it should surprise no reasonable person to find a statistician in the Canadian mining industry would be acquainted with the infamous fraudulent statistical “hockey stick” of Bre-X Minerals Ltd. If one wishes to connect the dots one can try these dots:

1)-Both of the McIntryre reports were peer reviewed,
2)-The Wegman report was peer reviewed,
3)-The Wegman report confirmed the substance of the McIntryre reports,
4)-The IPCC-Mann reports was debunked by the peer reviewed Wegman and McIntrye reports,
5)-Mann et al were forced to make several corrections because of Wegman and McIntrye’s scientific criticism,
6)-The Mann et al report is without peer review in substance (read the Wegman Report in this regard),
7)-Mann et al oddly refuses scientific access to their raw data and algorithms, and
8)-Dr. Mann explains that he won’t release his raw data etc. because he wants to personally profit from his climate change work.

Yes one can connect the dots …

Mike O'Malley said...

You know Gil, something is not quite right here. Rene Girard and yourself have helped me understand or at least fear a few things about MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) as a defense posture. One must wonder what-on-earth are certain foreign policy realists and defense experts are thinking when they confidently propose that we rely upon MAD as a primary defense posture for ICBM threats from a brutal crime gang in North Korea, which has no compunction about starving millions North Koreans to death. Or for a genocidal Shiite Twelver regime of fanatical Iranian Islamofascists who, like the Rwandan genociders, don’t particular mind conveying their intent to kill every single Jew and all 300,000,000 Americans. Why on earth would one want to implement such a mechanism unless one were not particular scrupulous about the likelihood of catastrophic failure? Can catastrophic failure of MAD be any less unlikely than the catastrophic failure of Fannie Mae was? The financiers who constructed mortgage backed securities out of sub-prime mortgages had far more robust data and algorithms than do the proponents of MAD! … or Anthropic Global Warming for that matter.

And here too with Anthropic Global Warning, one might expect that E-V-E-R-Y person of integrity and reason would insist that the scientific foundations (data and statistical algorithms) be determined to be absolutely sound to say the sixth or seventh standard deviation of probability! However, we find indicia of scientific fraud … and N-O-N-E of the advocates of Anthropic Global Warming insist that Dr. Mann, his research teams and the IPCC come clean and make absolutely ALL of the AGW modeling data and work fully available for thorough and robust scientific critique and challenge! The cost of implementing the current solutions proposed for AGW are tremendous and will almost certainly permanently impoverish billions of people. Indeed one can find AGW advocates in your very forums who insist that the solutions to AGW will require the world’s population be reduced by billions! More troubling is their sense of urgency and proposed tactics, suggesting to me the brutal Stalinist, Maoist and Nazi mass starvations and sterilizations. Why on earth would one want to implement such AGW solutions under these conditions unless one were not particular scrupulous about the likelihood of human catastrophe?

Mike O'Malley said...

Let us begin with prayer for the victim and the suspect.

Anti-abortion activist shot in front of Owosso High School
by Elizabeth Shaw | Flint Journal
Friday September 11, 2009, 8:52 AM

OWOSSO, Michigan -- State police at the Corunna post have confirmed a well-known anti-abortion activist was shot multiple times and killed this morning in front of Owosso High School.

The victim's identity has not yet been released but the shooting occurred around 7:30 a.m., after most students were off the buses and safely inside the building, said Owosso schools transportation supervisor Jayne Campbell.

State police also confirmed that a suspect was taken into custody about 8:15 a.m. at the suspect's home ...

A black car can be seen parked at the corner of North and Whitehaven streets, where a portable oxygen tank is lying in a front yard next to a large sign bearing the image of a baby and the word "Life."


http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2009/09/antiabortion_activist_shot_in.html