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September 10, 2007 03:29 PM UTC

Monday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

Where the trolls lie down with the sockpuppets.


89 thoughts on “Monday Open Thread

  1. From Los Angeles Times article:

    Exploring the neurobiology of politics, scientists have found that liberals tolerate ambiguity and conflict better than conservatives because of how their brains work.


    Previous psychological studies have found that conservatives tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments whereas liberals are more open to new experiences. The latest study found those traits are not confined to political situations but also influence everyday decisions.


    Sulloway said the results could explain why President Bush demonstrated a single-minded commitment to the Iraq war and why some people perceived Sen. John F. Kerry, the liberal Massachusetts Democrat who opposed Bush in the 2004 presidential race, as a “flip-flopper” for changing his mind about the conflict.



    1. …I can see their point 🙂

      Seriously, it makes sense because liberals are optimistic about change while conservatives are pessimistic about change. So liberals would see ambiguity and conflict as consequences of embracing change and would at a minimum tolerate it and at best embrace it.

      Conservatives hunkered down in their bunker would view it as one more sign of approaching armageddon.

      1.   Well, it is coming any day now, isn’t it? 
          Someone (I think it might have been Parsing), posted on here some months ago the different between how liberals dream versus how conservative dream. 
          The conservative apparently experience frightening nightmares which helps to explain their ideology.  I’m not sure I put too much stock in that, but it’s as good an explanation as anything else.

        1. Yeah, that was me, and that was the gist of it.

          The liberals (both camps self-identified) had many more “weird”, unstructured dreams. And far fewere nightmares.

          It would be interesting to know what the childhood’s of both camps are.  I can see two factors.  One would be the security or lack thereof as a kid, and the other might be the parent’s teachings. 

          My one son-in-law was raised securely but with a very conservative and very fundamental religious outlook.  But he did escape the racism of his father. 

          I would expect to see a broad range of results in such research, but there might be a statistically valid tendency.

        2. I dream almost every night but I never have nightmares. My dreams are usually about work, good looking women, or my childhood. Fond memories win out I guess.
          Pars said something about how we are raised……my dad was not racist except he really did not care for Jews. Mostly because he worked as a master carpenter remodeling their North Shore Chicago homes, and they were an extremely smug lot as a whole. (A trait I can’t stand.)
          He taught me the theory that I taught my kids……..
          Sink or swim. There is nobody in this world that will help you so you need to help yourself.
          He taught me that welfare, unemployment insurance, food stamps, etc are for the “extremely needy”. The ones that are down and out because of serious physical or mental problems. Anyone else is simply a lazy loafer looking for a free ride.
          And that leads to my problem with liberals. They are far too happy to spend my money to “help” the lazy of this country.

          Of course ya’ll know my views on that…..kick the lazy to the curb.!

          1. That crazy uncompassionate greedheads co-opted and used to further their arrogant ways.  Like you, Gecko, I hate the lazy trustfund republicans and CEOs getting massive pay and perks on the backs of the working man and woman.  Self-righteous, lazy xtians piss me off. 

            1. Then you go on to tell Gecko how you hate lazy trust fund republicans and CEOs getting massive pay and perks on the backs of the working man and woman. 

              Question, does your Jesus tell you that hating is okay?

              1. I just missed you Foghorn, and knew that if I seemed to insult a Republican you’d come back.  Amazing how you let Gecko call anyone to the left of Atilla all sorts of terrible names, without nary a pee, then all of a sudden you act offended that someone would level a charge that you claim is mean-spirited or malicious (but only when directed at a repugnant Republican. 

                1. I posted on Friday and I am back today.  Didn’t check over the weekend because I was busy painting. 

                  I do not approve of Gecko calling anyone names and if he does so, then shame on him.

                  Why all the anger?

            2. Where are they?  I’d like to meet a lazy trust fund Republican.  As for CEO’s, they should get whatever their company wants to pay them. I agree with you and Gecko, stop the corporate welfare, restrict welfare to the truly needy, and keep taxes low.  Since I don’t have a trust fund, I need to keep more of what I earn.  Maybe then my children can someday be lazy trust fund Republicans:)

              1. ….the US had a very progressive tax rate, incremental to 91%.  Along with a lot of tariffs, the middle class paid very little in income taxes. 

                AS the Clinton tax hike on the rich showed, there is a wealth of monies (pun intended) that can be used for the benefit of the nation.  That tax hike allowed a paying down of the national debt, which decreased the cost of borrowing, which allowed an unheard of economic expansion.  Not one Republican voted for the Clinton budgets.

                The Reagan tax restructuring was brilliant for the wealthy.  Most average Americans went right along with it, liking the idea of simplification.  We really effed ourselves. 

                Similarly, Social Security would stay solvent forever if we removed the earnings cap.

                1. is that Reagan’s cuts boosted the economy and created nearly a decade of unprecedented growth.  Clinton happened into office following Reagan’s correct tax policies (including the “trickle down” time) and benefited from them.  On top of that, he gutted the military leaving us in our current position of fighting a war with guard and reserve troops.  Then he took us into a recession (yeah, look when it began), that was ended by another series of tax cuts. 

                  Sorry Parsing… just had to pick on you again after the long weekend:)

                  1. No wonder they call youse guys “ditto heads.”

                    While every president inherits both good and bad from previous presidents, to say that Clinton walked into a field of daisies is bullshit.  GB1 and Clinton also inherited the incredible, record setting debt of Reagan.  RR seriously damaged us financially.  I will agree (although you haven’t stated it) GB1 set a good base for Clinton to work from.

                    Our country rocked and rolled when the Reagan tax policies were tweaked with more taxes on the wealthiest.

                    Are you so deficient of memory as to not understand that it was one Donald Rumsfield that said we could slash military spending because of the “peace dividend?”  To blame Clinton is, once again, pure bullshit.

          2. No one said that every conservative has nightmares, Gecko. I used to have a nightmare of riding my MC up a hill that got steeper and steeper until I finally fell over backwards.  Go figger.

            In the study, there was a propensity, a statistical difference. Not an absolute. The types of nightmares that were the most dominant were of being eaten by animals.

            The problem in your philosophy – which would not be unique to conservatives –  is determining who is lazy v. needy.  Yes, there are “lazy” folks who shouldn’t be getting benefits, but those disproven “welfare queens” are a small minority.  That’s what benefit determinations are for. 

            Like everything in this world, it’s imperfect.  But I’d rather have some freeloaders while we take care of the needy than leave the needy being unserved.

            1. there is just too much room for error in our system now.
              I went over this a few years ago……I have worked for years in the apartments/rental houses of many welfare recipients. I have seen how they live up close, what they drive, and how they go about day to day living.
              Some are truly down and out, but many, many live a nice easy carefree life, drive newer cars, get up at the crack of noon, so they can make it to the Social Services offices before they close, etc………..
              This makes me sound cruel, but so be it. I can tell story after story of abuse in the system.
              Problem is that it is too hard to fight a system that condons this type of behavior. Abuse is swept under the rug so to speak.

              1. compared to the pallets of missing billions in Iraq, the corporate graft, the land giveaway and tax subsidies to large multi-national corporations, billions in no-bid contracts…  As Sir Bob said…

                patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings…steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you King.

              2. it going to take for you to finally tell the Iraqi’s to pick themselves up by their bootstraps and start taking care of their own instead of counting on the American military and taxpayer dollars to keep them afloat?

              3. I worked at a community center for about a year, and lived in the same general neighborhood.  Low income, for sure. I, too, have seen what you talk about, and it pisses me off, too. Many of those (mostly) single moms had nicer places and cars than I did.  Mostly, they were working, but with those kids they were eligible for lots of subsidies. 

                Yes, we need to have further welfare reforms.  I could go on, but I’ve got other things to do.

                The good news for you, Gecko, is that our tax money paid your glass company which paid you for your work!

          3.   That takeoff on the IBM-Big Blue commercial with Orwell’s “1984” Big Brother in the background and with Hillary’s face superimposed that was making the rounds on the line a few months ago plays non-stop for eight hours in mind every night.
              And beginning on 1/20/09, you’ll get to live that nightmare 24/7!

            1. with State Farm. If the beast made it in, and someone didn’t assassinate her like instantly, I’d have to consider using them…………..if ya know what I mean…

              1. really turns me off about the conservative mentality.

                Your arrogant, “I am better than them” attitude speaks volumes.  Your adolescent name calling also speaks volumes.
                Most people grown out of the black and white, good vs evil mentality, after middle school.  Sadly you are stuck there.

                Nothing you say can be taken seriously when your words are that of a name calling adolescent.  Sadly you are the face of the people running this country. Egocentric name callers who despise the notion of community.  How sad for you that you need no one. 

    2. involved the letters M and W. People were supposed to tap a keyboard when they saw M, refrain when they saw W. M appeared 4 times as often representing the “habitual” response.  Liberals had more brain activity and made fewer mistakes when they saw W.  Which got me to thinking…  maybe liberals had a bit of an advantage because of our visceral response to the letter W and everything it now stands for! 

    1. I don’t like what Bush has done one bit.
      Seriously, I have been contemplating my future and have figured to become a trucker in a few years. I’m turning 51 this year, and after 23 years in the glass industry, I’m freakin sick of it.
      But now with all the Mexican truckers allowed to freely drive here, taking our jobs, and lowering an already low pay scale, I think I will vote for which ever candidate promises to permanently reverse this stupid decision. The average trucker only makes about 15-17 dollars an hour now. This is 1/2 what I make and I can live with that. But you can bet the pay rate will drop to the floor now.

      Dem or Rep, reverse the decision and I’d even join your ranks on this one dude.

      1. …fall back occupation, as it were.

        Truckers can and do make $60-70K/yr, but what a life.  Not good for a family. 

        You are right, this matter of Mexican truckers is another wage race to the bottom.  We can thank the evil partnership of Bill Clinton’s dream of a borderless world coupled with the greed of corporations.

        Having driven in Mexico, I can honestly say that the trucks and drivers are, well, third world.  I guess I wouldn’t mind so much if they had to get an American CDL.

        I hope you realize and appreciate how much you are paid.  WAY over the mean for construction labor or even compared to average wages in the US.  (I could add except for union jobs, snark, snark.  But probably even more than those.)

        1. It was intiated by Bush 41. Also, letting truckers from both canada and mexico was in the agreement, but Clinton would not allow drivers from Mexico. He did allow those from Canada.

          1. as “they” say.

            Clinton was and is a big proponent of open borders and the free flow of goods and people.  NAFTA just fit right in with that philosophy.

            In principle, I agree with him.  In reality, as long as there are rich nations and poor nations, it is too chaotic and disturbing of the social fabrics of both sides of the borders.  While Mexico has gained billions in remittances and off-loading jobs to the US, hundreds of villages are devoid of working age men, fields are weed filled, and Mexico postpones true reform as the steam of revolution is let off.

      1. …to back up his claim of 171,000 Christians killed every years after I couldn’t find his source.

        Maybe he’s still out there Googling.  Or his head blew up.

        1. with some of these posters (Dobby, riogrande, probably more from the past I can’t recall). They come in, fight with everyone like a 70s kung fu movie hero, but probably burn out. I can relate because I once went to to debate about climate change and it wears you out when you’re taking it from 20 different posters at once.

            1. to ban me – supposedly for my not discussing the issue but repeating the same thing over and over. Which was true, but only because it was a point no one was bothering to answer, namely: Given all the people in the world and all the fossil fuel being consumed every single day by all those people, wasn’t it logical that human activity is a major factor (if not the only one, or even primary one) in climate change? (If that sounds familiar it’s because I’ve said the same thing here.)

              It was funny – one of their contributing writers actually looked me up on myspace (via my legit email address) and said what do I know, I was a history major. I thought that sucked and showed how low they were willing to stoop, but there you have it. And some of the posters made reference to other “trolls” who had been banned. Maybe if I kept going back they would have done that to me.

              I occasionally go there to post my thoughts but largely leave them alone. It’s a wingnut home and I don’t want to intrude too much. 🙂

                  1. Your name reflects your thinking. This site is all about liberals discussing those ideas day in and day out. Liberals on this site display a remarkable understanding of the policies, the costs, the social implications, and the nuances of how ordinary lives are affected by policy makers at local, county, state and national levels. Indeed, they’re wonks in the best meaning of the word.

                    1. Or changes to social security that will allow people just jioning hte work force to control how their money is invested? 

                      I haven’t seen many people willing to discuss issues like these.  there are a few, but not many.

                      By the way, why did you never respond to my comment asking you why you cut and paste from studies and then don’t give the author credit?

                    1. I agree that there is climate change, I am just not convinced that it is man made CO2 that is causing the problem.  The climate changes all the time and while there are long term trends, the computers that scientists use to predict the future are far from perfect in predicting these trends.  And while CO2 is rising, over half of the CO2 increases have occurred since the 1950’s when the increase in temperature has been the slowest.

                      Only twenty years ago, many scientists were concerned about global cooling, so I admit I am skeptical. 

                    2. that man has had ZERO effect?

                      It’s okay to be skeptical of the idea that man is the sole, or the main cause. But my question, which I had to ask over and over at redstate, is, do you think man has ZERO effect, given the billions of us that there are now burning fossil fuels every day?

                    3. If you “don’t think man is even a minor factor in climate change” then doesn’t that mean that you think man has had zero effect?

                    4. For example: I have an apple tree that has 200 apples on it.  An early frost kills 100 apples, a hail storm gets 50 more, a tornado gets 47 and the last three are stolen by my neighbor. 

                      Did man have an impact on my apple tree having no apples?  Yes.  Was it very large impact?  no. 

                    5. You can choose to respond to PR or to me, or both, but I’m going to ask a different question than PR. My question is, on what do you base your opinion that man is having little discernable effect? Is there anything you have that suggests that PR’s figure is relative to the 3-out-of-100 apples example you give?

                    6. to go through it all now, but I will comment that a website called “greatglobalwarmingswindle” doesn’t strike me as being the most objective source of information. Still, I’ll check it out later.

                      But I will comment on this – I’m not a scientist, but I do have a basic understanding of science to trust peer reviewed conclusions, especially in light of all that humans do to affect the atmosphere. That’s why that’s an important point to me – when I ask is it possible that all the CO2, methane, aerosols and whatever else is going into the atmosphere has anything to do with climate change, it’s unfathomable to conclude that the answer is no. We’ve seen short-term changes in the world’s climate when a volcano erupts. So while the questions raised by skeptics are worth considering it makes no sense that they could conclude that man is not playing a significant role in it. After all, they challenge the conclusions reached by pointing out flaws in the computer models and the fact that we haven’t much historical data to go on, so how can they reach any conclusions themselves?

                    7. Let’s go with Carter’s piece on GGWS.  I’ll take his premises point by point:

                      1) There is no theory on climate change.  By defining “theory” as something as concrete as Newtonian mechanics, Carter reduces the scientific principle to a black-and-white caricature of itself.  No more need be said about this point.
                      2) Carbon Dioxide is not a dangerous pollutant.  Carter argues that because it exists naturally and with wide variations and is vital to life on the planet, CO2 is not a dangerous pollutant.
                      3) Variation in CO2 has historically been preceded by temperature changes, not followed by them.  Here Carter really goes into pseudo-science, since carbon dioxide is known to be stored in ice and colder water, both of which have historically fluctuated with the ice ages and make his point, well, pointless.

                      Oh, heck.  I gave up about a third of the way through the paper when he quoted Michael Crichton as a definitive source.  Suffice it to say that he spends some time criticizing the ability to measure climate data and then using some selected data in his proof, attacks the community that he’s writing against very unscientifically, and ultimately relies on the argument that it doesn’t matter what we do, we just need to adapt.

                    8. I work a full-time job and went to two meetings tonight.  Cut me a bit of slack, eh?  If the arguments are little different in the other two, then they’re just two more articles with the same bad logic.

                      Some new data for you.  The Arctic lost 40% of its ice this year – the National Snow and Ice Data Center reports the area of newly melted ice is the size of Florida.  The Northwest Passage is now open for business (well, as soon as they get some towns built up there…).  Russia just staked a claim to polar oil rights because they were able to icebreak their way all the way to the pole, and in less than two decades it’s predicted that you’ll be able to sail around the globe by heading North.

                    9. Is it plausible that with 315,432,000,000 metric tons of human-caused carbon emissions since the beginning of the Industrial Era (and a corresponding rise of 100ppm in atmospheric CO2) that we are not affecting the atmosphere?  (source: CDIAC)

                    10. We’ve come a long way, baby, in what we know since then.

                      Second, The Science & Environmental Policy Project sounds far more political than scientific to me. 

                    11. They use peer reviewed research.

                      Quakers use concensus.  Scientists don’t.

                      I guess if all scientists notice that apples fall to the planetary surface, that would be concensus, right?

                    12. Quaker don’t really use concensus, either.  But it’s the word that comes closest to our group decision making process and is often called that. As we say, we would rather be right than fast.


                      I merely pointed out that consencus is a word with a range of meanings.

                      Yeah, I know you will slam me for losing my patience.  But even Laughing Boy, Dr. Dobby, and other righties stick to the topic.  You bounce around like an ADD toddler on meth.

                    14. In one post you say that peer review is what scientists use and in the next you say that consensus is okay.  Can you understand why someone would be confused.

                      Either peer review is right and Al Gore is wrong or consensus is right and you are wrong.

                      Which is it?

                    15. …it becomes a consensus.  And Al Gore takes their position.

                      Nothing contradictory there.

                      You have a way of spinning and obfuscation that would make Karl Rove proud.

                    16. There are hundreds of scientists who disagree with the “consensus” on this issue, but Al Gore and those scientists that worship at the alter of global warming don’t even want a debate on the issue.  It is their way or the highway.  How is that good for scientific debate?

                      Here is another example.  the “consensus” among scientists was that peptic and gastritis ulcers were caused by stress and diet.  But a couple of scientists, Barry Marshall and Robin Warren didn’t buy the “consensus” view and went on to prove the scientific and medical community wrong by finding out that ulcers are caused by  the bacterium Helicobacter pylori.  They won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2005 for their research.

                      So, just because there is a “consensus” doesn’t means that they are right. 

                    17. That’s what science is about.  Some things get changed, some don’t.  That’s the beauty of the scientific method; as new discoveries are made, the knowledge changes.  Just because your guys got the ulcer thing right doesn’t mean that with a twist of biological fate they would not have been chasing down the wrong rabbit hole.

                      That’s like saying because there was an accident on the road, you shouldn’t get in your car. 

                      Please notes “hundreds” is not almost 1000.  And how many of those hundreds are on the dole of Big Oil and Big Coal?

                      Probably half or better.

                    18. are on the dole of environmental groups?

                      And how many of your scientists thought there was global cooling taking place just 20 years ago?


                      Global warming is happening, but is it man made or is it part of the natural cycle that has happened since the first days of the Earth?  I don’t think taking 100 years worth of data and extrapolating it over the entire history of the Earth is a good measure that what is happening is not a natural event. 

                      I also think that global warming is a way for the left to get more control over the rest of us. 


    1. I think that she is the best pure politician in the Colorado legislature, hands down. I’m excited to watch her run in this primary. She’s very smart and has a great strategic mind. I think Polis is a nice guy who would do a good job if elected. I think Fitz-Gerald though has real potential to be a leader and a force if elected.

      1. Boulder is still small enough that things like this work.

        But you want real retail politics, I was waiting for a parade to start in Hawaii with my mom and killed time talking to Senator Inoye, Rep Ed Case, Governor Lingle, and Mayor Harris (Honolulu).

        I had the most fun talking to the Dems because the two of us could crack jokes about Repubs and my mom would just look pained.

        – dave

    1. Not surprising. Particularly striking is the across the board trade deficits. We’re losing vital assets in exchange for junk. This consumer society can’t last. Time to simplify.

      1. He speaks truth, even if it against his own party. 

        Although the American people have a lot of ‘splaining to do for their spending levels, the bottom line is that this economic blood is on the hands of the multi-national, no-loyalty corporations and their ass licking members of Congress. They’ve rigged the game so that we no longer have recourse.

        Here’s Paul Krugman’s take on the ineffectiveness of the Bush tax cuts for the middle class:


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