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Sisyphus

As I wrote to Alan at Idablue: The right implicitly acknowledges the impact of global warming and man's role in it by attacking the messenger in this way rather than his message. Hitting Gore doesn't make the problem go away. Clearly the right is more worried about Gore than the planet. But in defense of Gore his home is also his and his wife's office. How does it compare to Cheney's bunker in Jackson Hole? There are other points to be made and some of them are summarized here.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-roberts/talking-points-on-the-gor_b_42335.html

And Richard's dreaming on the hydro power. In this day and age its all plugged into the grid. He can't remove his taint on recieving coal fired power because he lives in the NW. Besides Idaho Power has a coal fire plant it pulls juice from in Wyoming. Also I seem to recall that the TVA relied exclusively on hydro.

shtmlf

When I read his letter I thought - An ex VP living in a big house, why that's the most evil thing I have ever heard of.

Not only does Richard take all of the TCPP's propoganda as gospel, he has to lie about himself to try to make his feeble point.

$26/mo electric bill ? Maybe one month during a moderate spring a couple of years ago - but not on average.

Hydro-power only? Does he have a water wheel in his back yard?

The only Camry that gets 40mpg is the 07 hybrid. Hooray for him if he went out and got one, but I doubt it.

Who's the phony here ?

Julie in Boise

Some great points, both of you. The HuufPo piece is excellent. Thanks for the link.

I live in a house smaller than RR's, and our lowest electric bill last year was $51.

We have a 97 Camry that may get close to 40 mpg on the highway (going downhill, with a tail wind), but nowhere close to that in the city.

PS to Sisyphus ... please don't call 'em "the right," because they're not, you know?

Sisyphus

LOL. I constantly struggle with the proper terminology. When I intend the meaning of correct I use the word "correct". But when I refer to a group or individual whose political leanings are to the right these days I typically call them reality challenged sheep whose skepticism is determined solely by the latest proclamation from Republican headquarters and who will readily endorse any legislation that involves the phrase tax-cut, support the military, or patriot even though the proposed legislation actually undercuts the sentiment behind the words. Or wingnuts for short.

Actually The Washington Post had its Mensa Invitational once again asking readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. One winner included the following that can apply in certain circumstances:

Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an a**hole.

Sometimes I think that term could be used but would add little to the debate, so I avoid temptation. That's Coulter territory. The local Republican party can choose to wallow in the mud with her but I try and steer clear.

Julie in Boise

I stopped using the words "left" and "right" in political discourse a few years ago. After several thousand blog posts here, at the Grant blog last year, at Kos, etc., I think it can be done.

I wrote an essay about this a few years ago. I've never published it here because I wanted to place it somewhere I'd get paid for it. The gist, however, was that although I realize the terms date back to the 19th century and are popularly used, they've become much more widespread in the past decade with the rise of the Extremist GOP Noise Machine. (I did some data base searches to make this case ...)

It is true that it's difficult to avoid the shorthand terms "left" and "right," but I believe the effort is worth it. I rarely use the term wingnut, either, since I am trying to resist extremism on both sides.

Still, I have to say that "reality challenged sheep" has a nice ring to it ...

Irwin Horowitz

Has anyone considered writing a response letter to the Statesman? I would, but I've used up my monthly quota of published letters with my response on March 3 to Allen Marsh's lunacy with regards to creationism.

No More Mr. Nice Guy!

I just read your letter - go Irwin! I see creationist letters in the "Arizona Repulsive" all the time, but never an educated, authoritative rebuttal such as yours.

Cameron

"...attacking the messenger in this way rather than his message..."

"...group or individual whose political leanings are to the right these days I typically call them reality challenged sheep whose skepticism is determined solely by the latest proclamation from Republican headquarters and who will readily endorse any legislation that involves the phrase tax-cut, support the military, or patriot even though the proposed legislation actually undercuts the sentiment behind the words. Or wingnuts for short."

No insults there. No attacking the messenger. Give me a break. How can you be on a high horse re: VP Gore or Ann Coulter and then write junk like this? Either it's ok to impune someone because of their ideology or it's not. What you've written here and what was written over at your Huffington Post link is the epitome of hypocrisy.

Sisyphus

Thanks Cameron. Its not really the epitome of hypocrisy. But I could see where you might think so. My point on Al Gore is that the the people engaging in the ad hominem smear really don't argue against global warming or man's role in it. They instead attack Gore for some latent hypocrisy because he uses more energy than you do. Which is kind of silly really because the attack shows how little they actually listen to what he is saying, particularly on carbon offsets. Don't you agree that listening to him should be the first step in challenging his assertions?

Now the latter quote was an effort to be funny with Julie and which I grant does little to advance a meaningful discussion on global warming. But that was not a topic in which she and I were engaged. Ironically neither does the smear on Gore engage in a discussion on global warming, which was the point of my initital comment. The Huffpo link is merely a defense to the smear using facts, perhaps you're familiar with them. Really its easy to attack someone using information taken out of context, but not very effective, wastes considerable time and certainly does little to get at the truth, no matter how inconvenient.

I used to have meaningful conversations with people with whom I disagreed and became more informed as a result. But anymore I encounter not so many who want to engage in intellectual political discourse. Instead I encounter those with knee jerk reactions who merely parrot what they're told and become removed when they reach the end of their spoonfed argument, which I take as the mark of a lazy mind.

But I'd be curious to hear your defense of Ann Coulter. I did not impugn her for her ideology but rather her tactics. From what I've read and seen she provides nothing of substance to solve problems facing us, or useful in dialogue, and uses pure vitriol in pursuit of her self apparent motivation, to bring focus on herself and her books in order to sell both. I equate that kind of opportunism to snake oil salesman. But I certainly do impugn the character of those that take her assertions at face value and fall into her scheme by buying her books and her hate based rhetoric. Because according to her I hate my country and am guilty of treason. Where I come from, them's fighting words.

Cameron

Thanks for the reasonable reply, Sisyphus. I can understand your "lazy mind" argument, though I believe that many who fall into that category are there for precisely the reason we are discussing. Most people expect politics to be nasty and pointless and so don't want to waste their time with it.

However, regarding VP Gore and global warming, I wonder what all the "deniers" and "skeptics" would say to your assertion that listening should be the first step to understanding. Meanwhile they are threatened by Weather Channel and the like for even bringing it up.

I can't say that I have given enough thought to the Gores' energy use scandal. But it does strike me as being a bit hypocritical to be telling the world that we are doomed if we don't make drastic changes, but at the same time use so much energy in his house/houses and then justify it because he "buys credits". Maybe that doesn't directly address his claims regarding warming, but for many people actions speak louder than words.

Now for Coulter. I'm not sure I'm the best one to defend her. I don't know much about her; I've never read her books or columns, and the only time I've seen her on tv was a couple of years ago on Leno where she tried way too hard to be funny and unfortunately failed. Oh, I know she gets alot of press for the outrageous things she says, but I think that's pretty much the point. I've read some defenses of her Senator Edwards remarks that say she was just making a point about political correctness. Maybe. The point here is that "selling yourself" in this way can be a quick way to stardom and riches. How many news programs are talking about Ann Coulter right now? How many blog posts are written about her? How many of them are saying just as hateful things about her as she has said in her books, speeches, etc? This might sell books and blog advertising, and may even rile up the political "base", but it does nothing but drive away even further those "lazy mind" citizens who just can't understand and can't stand the rhetoric.

If we want an end to the broad stereotypes used to make it easier to hate our ideological adversaries then it has to start with us. We cannot have it both ways. That is what I tried to point out before. Even if it was in jest, calling people reality challenged sheep and wingnuts is still "wallowing in the mud" with Coulter and her ilk.

Sisyphus

Actually Cameron I typically try hard avoid the name calling and engage in meaningful dialogue. I did so this time only as an attempt at a humorous response to Julie, a kindred spirit, who pointed out the double entendre of the word "right". My point to Julie is that sometimes shorthand (wingnut) is easier in making the reference than the longhand (reality challenged sheep...). She prefers to avoid generalities or a pejorative but I will employ them when appropriate for efficiency sake.


And I'm not sure I hit home on the "lazy mind" argument but you're turning out to be a great example. The point there was that people should become informed before they shoot off their mouth. I am well aware of Ann Coulter's methods and how she profits from them. But you defend them like its a good thing or at least acceptable. People who cite to her are exactly the lazy minds to which I was referring because they abandon their skepticism and trust implicitly every thing she says without becoming informed.

I employ broad stereotypes depending on the context, as do most people. I don't seek to make it easier to hate my ideological adversaries, they don't need my help. But I do employ descriptive terms to occasionally make a point, for efficiency or even humor depending on the audience. If the shoe fits, wear it. If not, get off my back about it. I applaud your personal quest to become more informed and godspeed. Then we'll have something meaningful to talk about.

Cameron

:-) By all means continue to inform me on why it's ok to label people as wingnuts and sheep just so long as it's efficient and/or meant to be funny.

Speaking of lazy minds, how exactly did you interpret what I wrote as a defense of Ann Coulter?

Irwin Horowitz

The NY Times has printed an op-ed piece on Gore and the climate crisis which elicited the following response from David Roberts at the Huffington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-roberts/debunking-the-nyts-slopp_b_43310.html]

Makes for an interesting read.

LALA

Funny, he should be driving an american hybrid.

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NICE ONE! Go get him hehe :) I would never believe it but you just wrote it so well!

Dalai

How come trees need CO2 to survive? Al Gore probably knows the answer, because he has the answer to everything else doesn't he? Solve the carbon crisis Big Al by cutting down the trees? Carbon monoxide from cars is the real enemy, not carbon dioxide.

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How does it compare to Cheney's bunker in Jackson Hole? There are other points to be made and some of them are summarized here.

Luigi Hanway

Daniel Duminski

All you left wing plant savers, you guys make me laugh. Do you really think that you have the power to destroy what God created. Also 1 Volcanic eruption puts more carbon into the air than all the cars and plants in the USA in one year. This global warming crap this is a scam to control buisness and people alike. I love a free Republic but you climate left wing nuts just want to control everyone with your rules and regulations.

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