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Former National Review Writer Renounces the Right

“The new hysterical right cares nothing for truth or dignity”
Politics • Views: 23,766

Today’s must-read: Michael Fumento’s My Break With the Extreme Right.

I was always way ahead of the curve. And my exposés primarily appeared in right-wing publications. Back when they were interested in serious research. I also founded a conservative college newspaper, held positions in the Reagan administration and at several conservative think tanks, and published five books that conservatives applauded. I’ve written for umpteen major conservative publications – National Review, the Weekly Standard, the Wall Street Journal and Forbes, among them.

But no longer. That was the old right. The last thing hysteria promoters want is calm, reasoned argument backed by facts. And I’m horrified that these people have co-opted the name “conservative” to scream their messages of hate and anger.

Read the whole thing…

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130 comments

1 dragonfire1981  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:21:36am

Let the wingnut pile on commence!!

Seriously, by the end of the day Riehl et. al will be calling Fumento a no good commie socialist.

2 lawhawk  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:23:01am

Good for him. What took him so long though. The writing was on the wall for quite some time - including at his former employers at National Review.

Now watch the invective directed his way because he's once again identified the bad crazy on the right and how they've gone off the rails. It's not about policy. It's about hate, racism, and anti-intellectualism overwhelming logic, reason, and reasonable discourse.

3 lawhawk  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:23:28am

re: #1 dragonfire1981

The other alternative is that they ignore him as irrelevant. We know how that goes...

4 HappyWarrior  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:23:42am

All respect to Mr. Fumento but this isn't new. Does he not remember the 90's and the crazy anti Clinton conspiracies?

5 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:24:33am

I don't buy the rosy picture of the old right he paints, but I do agree that there are strong stylistic differences. I mean, compare Buckley to Breitbart. Or Palin.

6 HappyWarrior  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:25:26am

re: #5 I'm back in the USSR (sigh)

I don't buy the rosy picture of the old right he paints, but I do agree that there are strong stylistic differences. I mean, compare Buckley to Breitbart. Or Palin.

Fair point.

7 b_sharp  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:25:49am

re: #5 I'm back in the USSR (sigh)

I don't buy the rosy picture of the old right he paints, but I do agree that there are strong stylistic differences. I mean, compare Buckley to Breitbart. Or Palin.

Do I have too?

8 Daniel Ballard  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:26:13am

Charles you better send this guy a heads up about what happens to a person more loyal to facts than the party line. He may not understand how big the crapstorm can be.

9 Kragar  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:26:36am

Well, if he's so conservative, why have I never seen him on Fox?
///

10 Charles Johnson  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:27:12am

re: #8 Daniel Ballard

Charles you better send this guy a heads up about what happens to a person more loyal to facts than the party line. He may not understand how big the crapstorm can be.

Oh, I think he knows, all right - he's the one who sent me the link to his story.

11 Mocking Jay  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:32:25am

Response from the Right:

12 Kragar  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:33:02am

Prominent Islamophobes Identified As ‘Heading Up The Radical Right’

Increasing anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. has shown enormous growth in the past two years, leading the Southern Poverty Law Center to mention three notorious Islamophobes on their list of “30 new activists heading up the radical right.” The SPLC finds that “[a]n anti-Muslim movement, almost entirely ginned up by political opportunists and hard-line Islamophobes, has grown enormously since taking off in 2010, when reported anti-Muslim hate crimes went up by 50%.”

The anti-Muslim activists, who all play a prominent role in the Center for American Progress’ report, “Fear Inc.: The Roots Of the Islamophobia Network In America,” play pivotal roles as misinformation experts and online activists, stirring up Islamophobic fears across the country.

Take a wild guess at who made it into the top 3

13 Kragar  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:34:08am

re: #11 It's a cookbook!

Response from the Right:

[Embedded content]

14 b_sharp  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:35:02am

re: #12 Kragar

Prominent Islamophobes Identified As ‘Heading Up The Radical Right’

Take a wild guess at who made it into the top 3

I bet it wasn't Hickory, Dickory or Dock.

15 HappyWarrior  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:35:12am

re: #12 Kragar

Prominent Islamophobes Identified As ‘Heading Up The Radical Right’

Take a wild guess at who made it into the top 3

2/3 ain't bad. Thought that Spencer would be in there. Knew Geller and Gaffney would.

16 SpaceJesus  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:38:26am

Welcome aboard the communist muslim traitor train

17 Decatur Deb  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:39:05am

re: #5 I'm back in the USSR (sigh)

I don't buy the rosy picture of the old right he paints, but I do agree that there are strong stylistic differences. I mean, compare Buckley to Breitbart. Or Palin.

Different styles, same goals.

18 Sheila Broflovski  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:39:21am

re: #15 HappyWarrior

2/3 ain't bad. Thought that Spencer would be in there. Knew Geller and Gaffney would.

Surprised that the nutcake Yerushalmi beat out Spencer, I would have thought Spencer had more influence.

19 HappyWarrior  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:40:37am

re: #18 Learned Mother of Zion

Surprised that the nutcake Yerushalmi beat out Spencer, I would have thought Spencer had more influence.

Right, that's what I was thinking and why I predicted Spencer instead of Yerushalmi.

20 Tiny Alien Kitties are Watching You  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:41:23am

In point of fact it is basically impossible at this point for any reasonably rational and thoughtful person to remain within the Republican Party. I really wonder just how far down this road they are going to go before they realize that the only ones left are the anarchists, homophobes, Islamaphobes, theocratic religious zealots, racists, fascists, and conspiracy loons.

I never left the Republican party, they have left me. At this point all I can say is good riddance, although to be honest I'm sure that their current leaders feel the same way about me, which is actually kinda sad.

21 HappyWarrior  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:42:22am

re: #17 Decatur Deb

Different styles, same goals.

This is also a true/fair point. Let us not forget that William Buckley was a staunch supporter of McCarthyism in the 50's and later opposed the Civil Rights Movement. He was more intellectual than Palin/Breitbart certainly. Anyhow, I think it's natural that the guy has a romantic notion of the old right. After all he was a foot soldier for it. Not easy to renounce something that you made your identity being a part of.

22 Decatur Deb  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:43:52am

re: #20 Tiny Alien Kitties are Watching You

In point of fact it is basically impossible at this point for any reasonably rational and thoughtful person to remain within the Republican Party. I really wonder just how far down this road they are going to go before they realize that the only ones left are the anarchists, homophobes, theocratic religious zealots, racists, fascists, and conspiracy loons.

I never left the Republican party, they have left me. At this point all I can say is good riddance, although to be honest I'm sure that their current leaders feel the same way about me, which is actually kinda sad.

If they take the House, Senate, and Presidency in November, they won't stop in your lifetime. Chances are way too close to 50/50.

23 Sheila Broflovski  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:44:03am

re: #21 HappyWarrior

This is also a true/fair point. Let us not forget that William Buckley was a staunch supporter of McCarthyism in the 50's and later opposed the Civil Rights Movement. He was more intellectual than Palin/Breitbart certainly. Anyhow, I think it's natural that the guy has a romantic notion of the old right. After all he was a foot soldier for it. Not easy to renounce something that you made your identity being a part of.

Vidal: "As far as I am concerned, the only crypto Nazi I can think of is yourself."

Buckley: “Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in you goddamn face and you’ll stay plastered.”

24 b_sharp  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:45:02am

To state the frikkin' obvious, everything within a society evolves, but it looks like the selection going on in the right is causing a speciation event resulting in three new species; the rational, the irrational and the confused.

25 JeffM70  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:45:53am

I think he glosses over what the right used to be, but all in all a pretty thorough take-down of where the far right is these days.

26 Kragar  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:48:17am

re: #24 Ghost of Insanity

To state the frikkin' obvious, everything within a society evolves, but it looks like the selection going on in the right is causing a speciation event resulting in three new species; the rational, the irrational and the confused.

But these folks don't believe in evolution.

27 b_sharp  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:48:45am

re: #26 Kragar

But these folks don't believe in evolution.

But evolution believes in them.

28 HappyWarrior  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:49:35am

re: #23 Learned Mother of Zion

Vidal: "As far as I am concerned, the only crypto Nazi I can think of is yourself."

Buckley: “Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in you goddamn face and you’ll stay plastered.”

Yep.

29 reine.de.tout  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:50:12am

Wow. Powerful piece. Was beginning to feel like I was insane; perhaps not, after all.

30 HappyWarrior  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:50:24am

re: #25 JeffM70

I think he glosses over what the right used to be, but all in all a pretty thorough take-down of where the far right is these days.

That's my only real complaint. I am glad he sees it even if I disagree with him on the old right.

31 Kragar  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:50:31am

The modern right has become a George Carlin bit:


"Obsolete, male impulses from a hundred thousand years ago, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way". You know what I do when I see that shirt; I obstruct. I stand right in the guy's path, force him to walk around me, he gets a little past me, I spin him around kick him in the nuts, rip off his shirt, wipe it on my ass, and shove it down his fucking throat

32 Killgore Trout  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:51:38am

re: #2 lawhawk

Good for him. What took him so long though. The writing was on the wall for quite some time - including at his former employers at National Review.

Now watch the invective directed his way because he's once again identified the bad crazy on the right and how they've gone off the rails. It's not about policy. It's about hate, racism, and anti-intellectualism overwhelming logic, reason, and reasonable discourse.

When I skimmed the comments earlier it was mostly hate from lefties calling him a warmonger and friend of the rich capitalist pigs.

33 Decatur Deb  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:52:20am

re: #29 reine.de.tout

Wow. Powerful piece. Was beginning to feel like I was insane; perhaps not, after all.

There are still sane Republicans out there, but they're being vewy, vewy quiet.

34 HappyWarrior  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:54:26am

What disappoints me is instead of embracing sane conservative voices like Lugar. You're replacing them with guys whose ideas about bipartisanship and I quote "Doing what the Republicans want." When I had two Republican senators, I always preferred John Warner to George Allen because Warner was about serving the state and its people rather than the right. How hilarious that Allen who was Bush's biggest supporter in the Senate from 2001-06 and running ads calling Tim Kaine an Obama clone.

35 b_sharp  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:56:39am

re: #29 reine.de.tout

Wow. Powerful piece. Was beginning to feel like I was insane; perhaps not, after all.

Reine, it's time to start up a new right wing party - the Rational Right.

36 Decatur Deb  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:57:31am

re: #35 Ghost of Insanity

Reine, it's time to start up a new right wing party - the Rational Right.

Say it 3 times and Ojoe appears.

37 b_sharp  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:57:32am

re: #32 Killgore Trout

When I skimmed the comments earlier it was mostly hate from lefties calling him a warmonger and friend of the rich capitalist pigs.

Fukkin' lefties! They have no respect.

38 Daniel Ballard  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:57:43am

re: #35 Ghost of Insanity

Reine, it's time to start up a new right wing party - the Rational Right.

Will the GOP go the way of the old Whigs?

39 wrenchwench  Thu, May 24, 2012 10:58:15am

Fumento outlines real problems that aren't being solved.

*Drastic action is required now, nay yesterday, to start bringing expenditures in line with income. About half our government spending is fueled by borrowing, and that spending accounts for a fourth of GDP. Without borrowing, then, our GDP would drop 12 percent or more – well into depression range.
*Entitlement spending, that which requires no new legislation, is en route to consuming all tax revenue.
*Excluding the very top earners, household incomes have been declining for a decade.
*The real employment level has been trending downward since the mid-1980s. Unemployment for a year or more, the kind that just sucks the heart and soul out of people, is about double what it was in late 2009 – and yet in the 1960s it was essentially nonexistent.
*Income inequality is the highest since before the Great Depression, understandably fostering resentment.

That last one is framed in an out-of-touch way. It's not about 'resentment'. It's about middle class people sliding into poverty, and what that does to a family and what that does to the country when it happens on a large scale. It goes with the two above it.

40 Killgore Trout  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:00:20am

re: #37 Ghost of Insanity

Fukkin' lefties! They have no respect.

Not very tolerant of diversity either.

41 reine.de.tout  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:00:41am

re: #36 Decatur Deb

Say it 3 times and Ojoe appears.

LOL. That's what I was just thinking! "The Modern Whig" party!

42 Decatur Deb  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:00:55am

re: #39 wrenchwench

Fumento outlines real problems that aren't being solved.

That last one is framed in an out-of-touch way. It's not about 'resentment'. It's about middle class people sliding into poverty, and what that does to a family and what that does to the country when it happens on a large scale. It goes with the two above it.

Why didn't he phrase it "...bringing income in line with expenditures"? He sounds more like a jilted bridesmaid than a nun.

43 HappyWarrior  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:01:08am

re: #39 wrenchwench

Fumento outlines real problems that aren't being solved.

That last one is framed in an out-of-touch way. It's not about 'resentment'. It's about middle class people sliding into poverty, and what that does to a family and what that does to the country when it happens on a large scale. It goes with the two above it.

Exactly. I am glad he understands but it really isn't about resentment at all. I am glad he at least understands frustrations and doesn't shake it off as "jealously and hatred of the rich" as many conservative pundits would say but as you illustrated, he still doesn't understand the big picture.

44 ramex  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:03:23am

"...a young woman [Sandra Fluke] who expressed her opinion that the government should provide free birth control..."

Not quite her opinion, but what do I know.

45 Killgore Trout  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:03:42am

re: #38 Daniel Ballard

Will the GOP go the way of the old Whigs?

I doubt it. My guess is that they'll start to moderate again soon. The populist Tea Party insanity is over with and they'll eventually have to assume the burden of leadership which means responsible governance. They'll still carry a lot of the nutty old baggage as part of their political instincts but my guess is they'll eventually become more responsible.

46 HappyWarrior  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:04:04am

Honestly what the GOP really needs is someone at the top to realize that culture wars aren't winners in the 21st century. They can convince themselves that young voters' social liberalism on issues like gay marriage, abortion, etc is just a youthful phase but it's a reality just like increased support for civil rights in the 60's was. Younger voters aren't contrary to belief radicals on the economy. Very few of my friends in college were what you could call leftist on the economy.

47 Achilles Tang  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:04:20am

re: #10 Charles Johnson

Oh, I think he knows, all right - he's the one who sent me the link to his story.

Is that because you, and we, reached where he is long before he did?

48 Sheila Broflovski  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:04:28am

re: #44 ramex

"...a young woman [Sandra Fluke] who expressed her opinion that the government should provide free birth control..."

Not quite her opinion, but what do I know.

THAT'S NOT WHAT SHE SAID!

49 b_sharp  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:05:17am

re: #48 Learned Mother of Zion

THAT'S NOT WHAT SHE SAID!

Not even close.

50 Big Steve  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:05:31am

I am anxious to denounce my party too.....now I just need to figure out which one it is.

51 Decatur Deb  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:05:33am

re: #46 HappyWarrior

Honestly what the GOP really needs is someone at the top to realize that culture wars aren't winners in the 21st century....snip.

That would be their leadership, Rep Boehner and Sen McConnell (snicker).

52 HappyWarrior  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:07:12am

re: #51 Decatur Deb

That would be their leadership, Rep Boehner and Sen McConnell (snicker).

Well those guys aren't realizing that any time soon. Even their younger guns like Jindal and Rubio are really just more of the same albeit more younger. Same thing with Rand Paul really.

53 Big Steve  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:07:30am

re: #41 reine.de.tout

LOL. That's what I was just thinking! "The Modern Whig" party!

I first read this as "Modern Family" party.....that is one I would join.

54 reine.de.tout  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:07:59am

re: #53 Big Steve

I first read this as "Modern Family" party...that is one I would join.

hehe.

I like "The Party of One".
Me.

55 b_sharp  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:08:12am

re: #50 Big Steve

I am anxious to denounce my party too...now I just need to figure out which one it is.

I suggest you denounce it only if it has gone full bozo.

56 Kragar  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:08:30am

An Audience with Neil Armstrong

In this four part series the first man to walk on the moon, gives a personal commentary on Apollo 11’s historic lunar landing, his thoughts on leadership and taking risks to innovate for the future.

57 b_sharp  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:08:51am

re: #54 reine.de.tout

hehe.

I like "The Party of One".
Me.

Then who do you drink with?

58 Kragar  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:10:19am

re: #57 Ghost of Insanity

Then who do you drink with?

59 reine.de.tout  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:10:30am

re: #57 Ghost of Insanity

Then who do you drink with?

heh.
Myself, as I watch my weird-ass cucumbers grow.

60 Achilles Tang  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:11:04am

re: #54 reine.de.tout

hehe.

I like "The Party of One".
Me.

Nice to see you here Reine.

61 Decatur Deb  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:11:16am

re: #59 reine.de.tout

heh.
Myself, as I watch my weird-ass cucumbers grow.

Roi still out in the Gulf?

62 b_sharp  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:12:11am

re: #59 reine.de.tout

heh.
Myself, as I watch my weird-ass cucumbers grow.

But they're so purty, specially the boomerang cucumbers.

63 Big Steve  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:13:16am

re: #62 Ghost of Insanity

the boomerang cucumbers.

MUST.....RESIST.....JOKES

64 b_sharp  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:13:35am

Well, I'm all finished here. Time for the 2hour drive home listening to RW talk radio.

I should have a major mad on by the time I get home.

65 Kragar  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:15:28am

re: #63 Big Steve

MUST...RESIST...JOKES

I'm still boggling over ass cucumbers.

66 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:18:25am

re: #64 Ghost of Insanity

Well, I'm all finished here. Time for the 2hour drive home listening to RW talk radio.

I should have a major mad on by the time I get home.

There's better things to listen to!

67 Decatur Deb  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:18:25am

re: #59 reine.de.tout

heh.
Myself, as I watch my weird-ass cucumbers grow.

This lady claims a cure. Commenters on her blog also suggested a pollination problem. Do you have good bees yet?

[Link: www.farmtina.com...]

68 JRCMYP  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:18:47am

He and Frum should share office space.

69 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:19:06am

re: #36 Decatur Deb

Say it 3 times and Ojoe appears.

in a cloud of bees

70 Kragar  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:19:22am

Iranian Navy Helps Out U.S.-Flagged Ship Under Suspected Pirate Assault

This January, the U.S. Navy helped rescue 13 Iranian sailors whose boat was overtaken by pirates. Now, it appears, Iran returned the favor. Bloomberg reports that the Iranian Navy assisted a U.S.-flagged ship from what sounds like a pirate attack in the Gulf of Oman. (The company that owns the ship, based on information from the captain, said it was a pirate attack; an E.U. task force disagreed.) Suspected pirates fired upon the Maersk Texas from skiffs, and the Iranian navy was first to respond to distress calls. The Iranians offered guidance to the crew of the ship by radio, and the assailants fled after their initial attack was rebuffed. All this comes amid talks between Iran and world powers — including the U.S. — over its nuclear program.

71 Tiny Alien Kitties are Watching You  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:23:00am

re: #38 Daniel Ballard

Will the GOP go the way of the old Whigs?

They certainly are headed in that direction as their "tent" almost daily becomes smaller. However I live in a 55+ plus condo complex (still in mom and dads old unit, my own condo is still sub-leased out for another two months) and almost every single other resident here besides me expresses hatred and disgust for Obama. I can't explain it and no longer dare to talk about politics here, back when I did all I ever got was a lot of non-factual Faux news talking points in return.

The long retired age people seem to really, really, really, hate him and given the current demographics of surplus seniors and not many youngsters that vote that will very possibly be enough to allow Romney to win come November. I certainly hope not because that will only empower the current Republican leadership to go even further towards the "dark side" in search of more extremely partisan followers.

Even if they do win this time? Within another four to five years almost every single supporter they have here will be dead due to old age. Their "tent" is going to undergo an even more seriously massive contraction than the one they have already caused themselves by concentrating on "social issues" rather than fiscal ones. As age claims the majority of their remaining current supporters where are the next generation of GOP faithful going to come from?

72 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:26:12am

re: #45 Killgore Trout

I doubt it. My guess is that they'll start to moderate again soon. The populist Tea Party insanity is over with and they'll eventually have to assume the burden of leadership which means responsible governance. They'll still carry a lot of the nutty old baggage as part of their political instincts but my guess is they'll eventually become more responsible.

Will they be Terri Schiavo moderate? 9/11 never forget let's go invade some stuff moderate?

Because that's what I kept hearing after 9/11, that the GOP was very serious and very moderate and oh so patriotic and they had all the very good ideas

73 dragonath  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:26:58am

re: #71 Tiny Alien Kitties are Watching You

During the primaries, wasn't Romney losing the under-45 crowd... to Ron Paul of all people? That's a future even worse than Romney, IMO.

74 darthstar  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:28:16am

I was hoping you'd see that article.

75 darthstar  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:28:23am
76 Killgore Trout  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:28:49am

re: #73 Be Zorch, Daddio

During the primaries, wasn't Romney losing the under-45 crowd... to Ron Paul of all people? That's a future even worse than Romney, IMO.

Unfortunately Ron Paul and the looney libertarians are the only youth appeal that Republicans have. They need to work on that.

77 funky chicken  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:29:40am

The H1N1 swine flu wasn't a "particularly mild" flu. It was a really nasty flu for those who caught it. It didn't become a global pandemic, but dismissing it as a weakling of a flu virus is scientifically/medically wrong.

78 Sheila Broflovski  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:31:54am

re: #77 funky chicken

The H1N1 swine flu wasn't a "particularly mild" flu. It was a really nasty flu for those who caught it. It didn't become a global pandemic, but dismissing it as a weakling of a flu virus is scientifically/medically wrong.

In no way was H1N1 anything remotely similar to the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.

79 wrenchwench  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:34:15am

re: #67 Decatur Deb

This lady claims a cure. Commenters on her blog also suggested a pollination problem. Do you have good bees yet?

[Link: www.farmtina.com...]

I suspected pollination, but I now think it's nutrition-related, because it's so consistent. If it were being cross-pollinated, there would be random good ones, I would think.

80 erik_t  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:38:44am

re: #70 Kragar

Iranian Navy Helps Out U.S.-Flagged Ship Under Suspected Pirate Assault

Piracy is the enemy of civilization. We very rarely see eye to eye with Iran, but it's going to happen from time to time.

I bet I'd like to buy many of their Coast Guard equivalent a beer, too. Or whatever they drink instead of beer.

81 reine.de.tout  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:39:27am

Ack. I see a couple of you have spoken to me. Not at home and postin from iPhone sucks. Hopefully thread will still be alive when I can get back to it.

82 erik_t  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:40:05am

re: #77 funky chicken

The H1N1 swine flu wasn't a "particularly mild" flu. It was a really nasty flu for those who caught it. It didn't become a global pandemic, but dismissing it as a weakling of a flu virus is scientifically/medically wrong.

Well, all credit to Fumento for rejecting the hatred and froth of the extreme right, but he doesn't really seem to be distancing himself from many of their positions and/or falsehoods.

83 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:42:46am

re: #78 Learned Mother of Zion

In no way was H1N1 anything remotely similar to the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.

Smallpox was the last think that was remotely similar to the Spanish Flu pandemic.

84 Kragar  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:43:50am

re: #80 erik_t

Piracy is the enemy of civilization. We very rarely see eye to eye with Iran, but it's going to happen from time to time.

I bet I'd like to buy many of their Coast Guard equivalent a beer, too. Or whatever they drink instead of beer.

Reports say the cargo ships security detail had repelled the attack, but still good of that Iranian captain to offer assistance. Having a dedicated warship in the area couldn't have hurt.

85 Sheila Broflovski  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:45:03am

re: #83 Mostly sane, most of the time.

Smallpox was the last think that was remotely similar to the Spanish Flu pandemic.

My grandfather died in the Spanish Flu pandemic. My grandmother was pregnant with my father.

86 [deleted]  Thu, May 24, 2012 11:53:46am
87 Obdicut  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:02:19pm

I think one of the problems is that the GOP is both ideologically extremist, and politically extremist.

They've been ideologically extremist for quite awhile. Except for a brief spate of economic rationalisty under Bush the elder, Reaganomics have held sway in the GOP since, well, Reagan. Norquist isn't a new dude on the scene. The intense desire to break down separation of church and state isn't new either; Schiavo is a good example of that, but there's plenty of other examples, before and after.

The most radical change over the past eight years or so is that the GOP is also now politically radical; by that, I mean that they're using tactics like threatening to let the US default on its debt, in blocking nearly every appointee of Obama's that they can find, and now breaking their word on the negotiations that happened during the debt limit discussion, showing themselves to be completely untrustworthy.

An ideological extremist who isn't politically extreme realizes that their views are extreme and so takes concessions where it can get them, goes for the middle road, and engages in a little thing called 'politics' where they realize they aren't ever going to have one-party rule so they're going to have to give and take.

That's the main reason the GOP seems so different now; it's not a major difference in ideology, but in political behavior. Part of that difference in behavior does mean they're no longer tolerating anyone in the GOP who deviates from their purist ideology, which is making them even more ideologically extreme, but it's the political extremism, the unwillingness to engage in the actual democratic process, their often-expressed desire for one-party rule, that makes them so toxic to politics right now.

And there isn't really any reason to think they'll swing away from that back to moderation. Anyone who thinks there is should explain why they think so.

88 Kragar  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:02:45pm

HOLY SHNIKEYS!

Reaction Uses Carbon Dioxide to Make Carbon-Based Semiconductor

Making carbon-based products from CO2 is nothing new, but carbon dioxide molecules are so stable that those reactions usually take up a lot of energy. If that energy were to come from fossil fuels, over time the chemical reactions would ultimately result in more carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere—defeating the purpose of a process that could otherwise help mitigate climate change.

Professor Yun Hang Hu’s research team developed a heat-releasing reaction between carbon dioxide and Li3N that forms two chemicals: amorphous carbon nitride (C3N4), a semiconductor; and lithium cyanamide (Li2CN2), a precursor to fertilizers.

“The reaction converts CO2 to a solid material,” said Hu. “That would be good even if it weren’t useful, but it is.”

And how much energy does it release? Plenty. Hu’s team added carbon dioxide to less than a gram of Li3N at 330 degrees Celsius, and the surrounding temperature jumped almost immediately to about 1,000 degrees Celsius, or 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit, about the temperature of lava exiting a volcano.

89 Sheila Broflovski  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:02:50pm

re: #86 William of Orange

You probably do not want to make a snide reference to Michelle Malkin's ethnicity, it has nothing to do with her being evil.

90 Tiny Alien Kitties are Watching You  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:07:19pm

re: #73 Be Zorch, Daddio

During the primaries, wasn't Romney losing the under-45 crowd... to Ron Paul of all people? That's a future even worse than Romney, IMO.

So your saying that the Republican Party contemplates changing it's platform to a libertarian one? Sure it would resonate with the young pseudo anarchists but would lose the party about 80% of the members it has left immediately. Sorry, but that just does not sound like a winning strategy to me.

91 erik_t  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:09:16pm

re: #88 Kragar

HOLY SHNIKEYS!

Reaction Uses Carbon Dioxide to Make Carbon-Based Semiconductor

Pretty kickass. Unfortunately, lithium isn't dirt-cheap to extract, and the only definitely-always-friendly country with major recoverable reserves is Australia (others include Argentina, Chile, China and Bolivia).

I wonder how the process scales.

92 dragonfire1981  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:12:24pm

re: #73 Be Zorch, Daddio

During the primaries, wasn't Romney losing the under-45 crowd... to Ron Paul of all people? That's a future even worse than Romney, IMO.

That was mainly because Ron Paul was in favor of legalizing weed.

93 dragonath  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:18:33pm

Hey, look, the Daily Caller is having a weekly gun giveaway!

No hidden motives there, no sir!

94 dragonath  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:18:58pm

re: #92 dragonfire1981

Ron Paul is a gateway drug!

95 Lidane  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:19:34pm

re: #92 dragonfire1981

That was mainly because Ron Paul was in favor of legalizing weed.

And because people under 45 incorrectly assumed that Luap Nor's anti-war and pro-weed rhetoric meant he wasn't insane. They weren't paying attention to everything else he was saying.

96 abolitionist  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:19:44pm
This is nuts! Literally. As in “mass hysteria.” That’s a phenomenon I wrote about for a quarter-century, from the heterosexual AIDS “epidemic” to the swine flu “pandemic” that killed vastly fewer people than seasonal flu, to “runaway Toyotas.” Mass hysteria is when a large segment of society loses touch with reality, or goes bonkers, if you will, on a given issue – like believing that an incredibly mild strain of flu could kill eight times as many Americans as normal seasonal flu. (It killed about a third as many.)

Normal seasonal flu? What is that? Doesn't Fumento appreciate that flu vaccines have to be continually developed and are less than 100% effective because it's not quite the same disease year after year?

I'm supposed to be unconcerned about flu now, because a recent season resulted in 1/3 the "normal" number of deaths?

For someone supposedly calling for reason against hysteria, I'm appalled that Fumento managed to mangle Occam's Razor. [Link: fumento.com...]

We fear what we don't understand, so when lacking an explanation that suits us, we simply assign one. With Paleolithic man, because he understood so little, most things were magic. Thunder and lightning, the appearance of game, illness. The Ancient Greeks and Romans simply assigned all unexplained phenomenon to "the gods." During the Middle Ages, black magic came into its own and a crop failure could mean a hot time for a an ugly old crone in the village.

Occam's Razor

Because we are so heavily wired to accept magic as an explanation, most of us at best think Occam's razor -- a 14th century principle that says the simplest and most likely explanation is probably the best -- is the latest product from Gillette. At worst we actually employ the opposite, skipping over the likely and latching onto the bizarre. Minor things like physical impossibility are ignored.

I take issue with the italiziced part, above.

As for "believing in" runnaway Toyotas, I am not one to confuse highly improbable with impossible, or to accept that redundancy of unreliable parts makes a design adequate, or compensates for other flaws --such as software that ignores any distinction between signed vs unsigned vs circular number lines for purposes of comparisons.

97 Kragar  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:20:04pm

re: #95 Lidane

And because people under 45 incorrectly assumed that Luap Nor's anti-war and pro-weed rhetoric meant he wasn't insane. They weren't paying attention to everything else he was saying.

Dude, did you miss the weed bit?
/

98 Lidane  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:24:06pm

re: #97 Kragar

Dude, did you miss the weed bit?
/

There's not enough good weed in the world to make me skip the rest of his crazy. Haha.

99 Kragar  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:24:24pm

Barton: 'I Don't Care What the Supreme Court Says,' Homosexuality Should be Illegal

Near the end of the episode entitled "Politics In The Pulpit," Barton made a point that the purpose of the church is not to create harmony or unity among the congregants but to preach the word of God's and support God's laws. As such, Barton cited 1 Timothy 1:8-10 in order to declare that the purpose of the law is to punish ungodly and sinful (like gays) regardless of what the Supreme Court rules:

Thats really nice for the Church. Too bad for them its separate from the government, you addlepated nitwit.

100 dragonath  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:25:27pm

re: #90 Tiny Alien Kitties are Watching You

I'm not so sure, really. I expect some kind of unholy alliance that combines the worst of all worlds. After all, Kentucky voted enthusiastically for Rand Paul. Hating liberals is more important than anything.

102 Lidane  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:26:22pm

re: #99 Kragar

'I Don't Care What the Supreme Court Says'

That's pretty much the right wing credo these days.

103 wrenchwench  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:27:05pm

re: #101 Lidane

A war criminal says what?

Allen West Says Stay-At-Home Mothers Should Be Considered Working Moms, So Long As They’re Not On Welfare

How's he going to pay them, then?

104 Simply Sarah  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:27:06pm

re: #101 Lidane

A war criminal says what?

Allen West Says Stay-At-Home Mothers Should Be Considered Working Moms, So Long As They’re Not On Welfare

How the hell is that line of logic supposed to work?

105 erik_t  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:28:06pm

re: #95 Lidane

And because people under 45 incorrectly assumed that Luap Nor's anti-war and pro-weed rhetoric meant he wasn't insane. They weren't paying attention to everything else he was saying.

I think most people under 45 assume right off the bat that anyone still holding elected office is probably, you know, in favor of things like the Civil Rights Act.

This should be a safe assumption. Isn't, but should be.

106 Kragar  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:28:11pm

re: #102 Lidane

That's pretty much the right wing credo these days.

Yet they are surprisingly supportive of it when it swing in their favor.

107 Lidane  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:29:50pm

re: #104 Simply Sarah

How the hell is that line of logic supposed to work?

You're looking for logic from Allen West? Heh.

108 Lidane  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:30:46pm

re: #106 Kragar

Yet they are surprisingly supportive of it when it swing in their favor.

Yep. Just like they hate bipartisanship unless it means that the Democrats do what the Republicans want.

109 Simply Sarah  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:31:10pm

re: #107 Lidane

You're looking for logic from Allen West? Heh.

I said "supposed to work"! I don't need it to be valid or sound or even entirely coherent, but I tend to expect something.

110 Kragar  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:32:12pm

re: #108 Lidane

Yep. Just like they hate bipartisanship unless it means that the Democrats do what the Republicans want.

Or they say gay marriage should be a States rights issue, then push for a federal Defense of Marriage law and want a constitutional amendment to cover it.

111 Interesting Times  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:33:12pm

Mitt Romney pals around with birthers:

112 Mattand  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:33:28pm

re: #99 Kragar

Barton: 'I Don't Care What the Supreme Court Says,' Homosexuality Should be Illegal

Thats really nice for the Church. Too bad for them its separate from the government, you addlepated nitwit.

Complaint about activist judges in 3... 2... 1...

113 Sheila Broflovski  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:34:56pm

re: #92 dragonfire1981

That was mainly because Ron Paul was in favor of legalizing weed.

No, actually not. All he ever said was that it should be up to the state governments to legalize weed or not, that it should not be regulated at the federal level.

STATES RIGHTS!

114 abolitionist  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:36:03pm

re: #99 Kragar

Barton: 'I Don't Care What the Supreme Court Says,' Homosexuality Should be Illegal

Thats really nice for the Church. Too bad for them its separate from the government, you addlepated nitwit.

They're working to "remedy" that part.

115 ramex  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:38:05pm

Fumento writes, "Yes, I’ve also questioned the extent to which man-made gases have contributed to that warming and concluded that expenditures to reduce those emissions would be as worthless as they’d be horrifically expensive."

First, I'm not about to congratulate him for accepting the evidence for global warming, but I'd like to know what he would have us do to slow it down. What does it say about us as a species if we're not even willing to try? Putting out fires can be expensive. Sending criminals to jail, likewise, can be expensive, but we're not letting our cities burn and ceding our sovereignty to violent street gangs. So he accepts global warming, but can't get past throwing his hands up in despair. What a useful attitude.

116 Mattand  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:39:19pm

re: #105 erik_t

I think most people under 45 assume right off the bat that anyone still holding elected office is probably, you know, in favor of things like the Civil Rights Act.

This should be a safe assumption. Isn't, but should be.

My Paul curious phase ended when I found at that as a medical doctor, he has doubts about evolution. Quite a bit of modern medicine is built on those facts.

At best, he's playing Pander Bear to many of the Republicans in his TX district who elected him.

117 Lidane  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:44:02pm

re: #116 mattand

My Paul curious phase ended when I found at that as a medical doctor, he has doubts about evolution. Quite a bit of modern medicine is built on those facts.

Seriously. How the hell can a medical doctor question evolution and NOT be a total hypocrite or quack? Modern science is practically built on all the ideas that the anti-science RWNJs hate (evolution, relativity, etc.). WTF.

118 erik_t  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:47:11pm

re: #117 Lidane

Seriously. How the hell can a medical doctor question evolution and NOT be a total hypocrite or quack? Modern science is practically built on all the ideas that the anti-science RWNJs hate (evolution, relativity, etc.). WTF.

Severe compartmentalization. Lying to your own face, in other words.

I know a few. They're surprisingly good at what they do.

119 S'latch  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:49:33pm

The enemy of your enemy is not your friend. The enemy of your enemy is not your friend. The enemy of your enemy is NOT your friend.

120 Mattand  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:50:34pm

re: #118 erik_t

Severe compartmentalization. Lying to your own face, in other words.

I know a few. They're surprisingly good at what they do.

Like I said, the other option is that he knows that getting elected in TX is that much easier when one questions evolution. IMO, that's what he did.

It's incredibly cynical, but AFAIK, he rarely makes any pronouncements on religious issues. And at the end of the day, the only reason to reject evolution is because it threatens your religion.

121 dragonath  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:52:53pm

re: #115 ramex

The entire conservative credo since Reagan is "my ideology does not permit me to spend money for preventative purposes." Why should global warming be any different.

122 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:55:28pm

re: #117 Lidane

Seriously. How the hell can a medical doctor question evolution and NOT be a total hypocrite or quack? Modern science is practically built on all the ideas that the anti-science RWNJs hate (evolution, relativity, etc.). WTF.

plenty of sellout doctors out there! Especially when money and power and religious nonsense is concerned

Hi Bill Frist! Eat shit, Bill Frist!

123 William Barnett-Lewis  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:57:02pm

re: #119 Lawrence Schmerel

The enemy of your enemy is not your friend. The enemy of your enemy is not your friend. The enemy of your enemy is NOT your friend.

From "The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries":
29. The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less.

124 Eventual Carrion  Thu, May 24, 2012 12:59:09pm

re: #119 Lawrence Schmerel

The enemy of your enemy is not your friend. The enemy of your enemy is not your friend. The enemy of your enemy is NOT your friend.

A little bird had hung around up north a little longer then the rest. One day it was starting to get pretty cold so he started flying south. As the day wore on it was getting colder and colder. Finally it go so cold his wings started to freeze so he landed in a pasture. With night coming he know it would just get colder and he could die where he sat. Just about that time a cow came lumbering along and took a dump right on the bird. The bird was thinking, "Man, how much worse can it get?".

After a few seconds the bird noticed that the dung was warm and was warming him up. He figured that if he could get warmed up sufficiently he could get to the barn and get cover for the night and be off again come sun up. While he was waiting he started singing to pass the time. A cat heard him singing and went to the pile of cow dung, grabbed the bird out and ate him.

Moral:
Everyone that shits on you is not necessarily your enemy.

Everyone that gets you out of the shit is not necessarily your friend.

And if you are warm and happy in a pile of shit, keep your mouth shut.

125 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Thu, May 24, 2012 1:01:37pm

re: #119 Lawrence Schmerel

The enemy of your enemy is not your friend. The enemy of your enemy is not your friend. The enemy of your enemy is NOT your friend.

No, but they can be manipulated to do your dirty work.

126 Tigger2005  Thu, May 24, 2012 1:04:06pm

I think any common-sense person is partly "conservative" and partly "liberal." It used to be, the difference between the "left" and the "right" in the U.S. was largely a matter of emphasis. Not that there weren't serious differences from time to time. The Left's infatuation with Communism from the 30's through the 60's, for example--their willful blindness to the horrors of the Soviet regime, their hero worship of Castro and Che Guevara. But in mainstream politics, the differences were not so extreme.

In my teen years and young adulthood I identified largely as a conservative. My parents were of the WW2 generation...they started having their children later in life than most people (my mom was 39 and my dad 41 when I was born). I voted for Reagan in '84. Even so, I wasn't a religious conservative--I never accepted orthodox Christianity, I always loved science and evolution made sense to me from the first time I heard about it.

To me, conservatism kind of meant accepting that being a little boring was OK. It meant learning from the past and not repeating the same mistakes. It meant acknowledging that much "new" stuff is not really new...there's a good chance it's been tried in the past and didn't work, or maybe it worked for a while but didn't work when circumstances changed. It meant recognizing that some institutions and traditions exist for good reasons and should not be changed or abandoned lightly.

Yes, people might consider you "boring" if you don't compulsively try every "new" thing that comes down the pike. But I never felt conservatism meant you couldn't or shouldn't try new things, either as an individual or as a society (i.e., gay marriage)...it just meant you should analyze them first, apply reason and logic, ask if this idea is really new or if it's been tried in the past, seek empirical evidence that the new idea is really beneficial, and so on. It certainly didn't meant rejecting science, rejecting truly new knowledge, rejecting the fact that sometimes institutions and traditions do need to evolve, or even be abandoned entirely, as new facts come to light.

The founders of this country were not considered conservatives by their contemporaries. They were considered dangerous radicals. Conservatives in the 18th century believed in Church and King, not democracy. They regarded democracy as a failed idea...clearly both the divine and natural order favored Church and King, that was the way it had always been from Egypt to Babylonia to Israel to Imperial Rome. The founders were willing to buck all that because they believed human knowledge had advanced to a point where a democracy, organized with an eye to avoided the weaknesses and mistakes of democracies of the past, could work.

Despite being considered "radicals," the founders did not simply plunge willy-nilly into the future. They studied the past and did all they could to ensure that their experiment would be successful.

"Conservatives" today are following a path--extremist rhetoric, disregard for facts, demogoguery--that history has shown time and time again leads nations into chaos. They are failing to follow a supposed hallmark of conservative principles--stick with what has been proven to work, what has been proven to be healthy and constructive, not destructive.

127 Beauzeaux  Thu, May 24, 2012 1:36:49pm

I'd be more impressed if the article didn't have so many errors of fact. For example, that Sandra Fluke testified in favor of government-funded birth control. That's so far afield it's as if he had no any idea what she actually said.

It's also fairly incoherent in places. I'm still trying to figure out what point he was trying to make in the FDR/Stalin/Churchill reference.

128 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Thu, May 24, 2012 1:59:05pm

Fumento is still a lying stain, just because he's embarrassed by the tone of his party doesn't mean he's stopped lying

re: #127 Beauzeaux

I'd be more impressed if the article didn't have so many errors of fact. For example, that Sandra Fluke testified in favor of government-funded birth control. That's so far afield it's as if he had no any idea what she actually said.

it's almost as if they do nothing but lie! :D

129 Romantic Heretic  Thu, May 24, 2012 2:52:41pm

As I said when this was posted elsewhere, he overlooks the fact the old right is responsible for the new right.

Richard Viguerie, Paul Weyrich and Terry Dolan back in the mid to late 70s made a major and successful attempt to get the wingnuts of the time energized and voting for Republican candidates. The GOP knew that and was cool with it.

Unfortunately energizing and voting is not the same as controlling. Crazy people can't be controlled. So now the lunatics run the asylum.

If we're not careful they may end up running the whole country. Won't that be fun? /

130 Romantic Heretic  Thu, May 24, 2012 3:09:12pm

re: #126 Tigger2005

Nicely said. I've never been 'conservative' but that's the way I think.

I prefer to call myself a humanist using John Ralston Saul's definition of humanism:

An exaltation of freedom, but one limited by our need to exercise it as an integral part of nature and society.

We are capable of freedom because we are capable of seeking the balance which integrates us into the world. And this equilibrium in society depends on our acceptance of doubt as a positive force. The dignity of man is thus an expression of modesty, not of superior preening and vain assertions.

These simple notion are central to the Western idea of civilization. They are clearly opposed to the narrow and mechanistic certainties of ideology; those assertions of certainty intended to hide fear of doubt.


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 Frank says:

If you wind up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest or some guy on TV telling you how to do your shit, then YOU DESERVE IT. -- From the Real Frank Zappa book.