fighting the high priests of religious emissions

First they said that cows caused global warming. I dutifully repeated their claim until I was blue in the face.

But now they're saying that cows don't cause global warming after all!

Livestock could actually be good for the environment according to a new study that found grazing cows or sheep can cut emissions of a powerful greenhouse gas.
Quick! A new study is needed, so we can tell the hapless dupes who fret and worry over their footprints that they can go back to worrying about cows again! And while they're at it, they need to find a way to suppress news reports about the arctic ice that isn't supposed to be there, but is at normal levels anyway.

In many ways, this new religion is worse than the old. Used to be they were stuck having to argue over interpretations of existing rules. Now the rules are made up constantly. And while the old religion might have been annoying, at least in free countries the priests really couldn't compel non-believers to believe, nor could they force them to do things. It used to be that if you didn't believe in a religion, you had a right to be left alone.

No more. This is the sort of invasive thinking that transformed John Stossel from a Kennedy-style "liberal" into a libertarian:

We know that conservatives want government to conserve traditional values. They say they're for limited government, but they're pro-drug war, pro-immigration restriction and anti-abortion, and they often support "nation-building."

And so-called liberals? They tend to be anti-gun and pro-choice on abortion. They favor big, powerful government -- they say -- to make life kinder for people.

By contrast, libertarians want government to leave people alone -- in both the economic and personal spheres. Leave us free to pursue our hopes and dreams, as long as we don't hurt anybody else.

Stossel notes that leaving people alone used to be the essence of liberalism. It was a reaction against authoritarian control freaks:
Ironically, that used to be called "liberal," which has the same root as "liberty." Several hundred years ago, liberalism was a reaction against the stifling rules imposed by aristocracy and established religion.

I wish I could call myself "liberal" now. But the word has been turned on its head. It now means health police, high taxes, speech codes and so forth.

So I can't call myself a "liberal." I'm stuck with "libertarian." If you have a better word, please let me know.

Well, I kind of like "Tea Partier" these days. Not just because it annoys the hell out of authoritarian control freaks, but because the Tea Party movement is essentially leaderless. No leader means no one to let you down, no one to tell you what to do, and no one to tax your emissions!

MORE: Speaking of the high priests of religious emissions, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has is urging San Franciscans to go without meat. On "meatless Mondays":

SAN FRANCISCO -- Besides approving rules against using plastic grocery bags, mixing recycling with compost, and smoking in sidewalk cafes, San Francisco supervisors have passed a resolution asking residents to observe meatless Mondays.

San Francisco supervisors passed the resolution Tuesday for no-meat Mondays in their latest legislative endorsement of healthy, eco-conscious living.

It cannot stop the city's residents from eating meat. Instead, it is meant to call attention to the relationship between diet and climate change.

Via Clayton Cramer, who has more on the obvious religious implications of this nonsense.

posted by Eric on 04.08.10 at 12:44 PM


That's why I call them 'leftists' or some form of 'lefty', the word 'liberal' has been destroyed by our fine leftist betters.

The worst part about 'libertarian' is how I feel I have to say, "Small 'l' libertarian" because the Libertarians kind of scare me.
We disagree on some seriously important stuff, like privatizing police and the military and leaving the world alone.

We found out pretty conclusively in 1941 and again in 2001 that we can't leave the world alone, they eventually come here.
In 1919 we figured we could leave European matters up to Europeans. That lead to probably the biggest slaughters of people ever.
In the 90s, we figured without the USSR we could ignore the world. We can see where that left us.

So I'm left with only the GOP.

Some bloggers are all whining about the GOP taking over the tea party movement, I hope for the tea party people to take over the GOP.

People are paying attention now so it's harder to fool them. Most people are fooled because they want to be (see: Althouse, Ann) and some are actually understanding that (don't see: Althouse, Ann)

Americans have had a deal with our politicians for well over a century.
We ignore them and what they steal, they don't steal too much and don't screw us.

Today's politicians, in all parties (see Bush' folks calling me a racist during the immigration "debate") are pissing on us and telling us it's lemonade. Heck, even Boston's most corrupt but well run system is breaking down. They screwed up the Big Dig by stealing far too much.
NY, the slimiest of all political arenas, is where all politicians are heading if we don't stop them.

Tea partier is the best so far, but we really need something catchy.

And to make my rambling comment even more rambling.....
I have been figuring that global warmmongers would notice the world was cooling and start haranguing us about how modern civilization is causing the coming ice age but I've been worried the Sun would start with the sunspots and the world would warm naturally and that would reinvigorate the global worming religion.
But.... the Sun started up earlier this year but it's slowed down, there hasn't been a new sunspot in a week after a fairly active session.;O=D

Scientists have been freaking out because, in the last two years, the Sun has not acted normally, it's been unprecedentedly inactive.
It's still acting weirdly. So my prediction is looking good.
Look for Al Gore, sometime next year, to start screeching about the coming ice age.

Veeshir   ·  April 8, 2010 1:18 PM

I also have to say "small L libertarian." mainly because, being an atheist, I don't believe in god given rights. Also the more I study anthropology and game theory the more I think some ideas of Libertarians don't work.

But what I do believe, is that we should fight for (negative not "positive") rights for everyone because they are the most practical way to organize society and result in the least harm. Every other form of control, no matter how well meaning, invariably causes more harm than good.

It's funny, I'm more and more convinced of this by, as I said, game theory and anthropology, as well as evolutionary psychology and to some extent history and economics. But my socialist friends (of both parties) just start yelling how impractical and evil my ideas are. It's just too bad schools don't teach more science, and at least teach people you need reasons to believe, not just believe and idea because it feels right.

plutosdad   ·  April 8, 2010 2:11 PM

I think of myself as a party of one, or maybe two - my wife and I are close enough in our opinions for me to count her. As to the rest, I still haven't given up on classical liberalism and on most issues the libertarians come closest - I think of myself as more minarchist libertarian but classical liberalism seems to be the same thing. As for the label thing, left and right just don't do it for me anymore. I've decided to call it more collectivist vs. anyone who stands for individual liberty - classical liberal works though. Still have to explain it though.

I vote for whichever candidate seems most fiscally conservative. That's a hard decision most times because both Dems and Repubs seem committed to big government despite the rhetoric. I'm really at the point where I just hope for gridlock, so when the legislative branch is held by one party I hope for the other party to have control of the Executive branch. Still insist though that the two parties aren't that far apart on the purpose of government so policy ends up going against me hopes.


I've read some pretty convincing arguments that Wilson, by taking us into WW I - the two sides had just about fought to a standstill and quite possibly to the point of having to mutually sue for peace - helped set up the groundwork for the rise of HItler and the Nazis. The French and other Allies, because of our help, were able to demand complete surrender and then set about punishing Germany severely at Versailles. The economic hardships, then exacerbated by the depression created great resentment in Germany and presented an opening for the Nazi takeover. Thoughts?

I know this is arguing counterfactuals but as a former MI guy for the army, I can tell you that our involvement in Afghanistan in the eighties, however well meaning, did help bring about the rise of Bin Laden and Al Qaida. I'm not taking the extreme Ron Paul position here and saying that having out troops over seas always leads to people hating us. What I'm saying is that we do or can bring about unforeseen consequences by sticking our noses into other people's business as often as we do. I will also say that that sort of involvement can also be easily used as a pretext for more hegemonic pursuits. The bar for this sort of adventurism should be set really high. Like, how about reversing the expansion of Executive war powers that are/were in fact unconstitutional?

Crawdad   ·  April 8, 2010 2:47 PM

Crawdad, I meant the aftermath of WWI not the war itself.
Had we stayed and done something similar to the Marshall plan, WWII probably wouldn't have happened.
But we still thought we could get the world to leave us alone.
Ain't gonna happen, too many dictators hate us.

Just to be clear, I know that there was no will to do a Marshall plan after WWI, it took WWII for America and our leaders to understand the world is too small and someone has to be the world police and we're it.

Everybody else who has tried to be world police, or police of the world they knew, tried to take it over.
So if we leave it to someone else, we're not gonna like the empire they build.
The Brits and Romans were great at keeping order, in their empires.

Veeshir   ·  April 8, 2010 4:48 PM

Well, it might have been tough to carry out a Marshall-type plan in post WW I Germany as the Allied goal was to punish it for it's role. We did not withdraw from the world though as Wilson made the big push for the League of Nations and though it didn't take it did lead to the U.N. which to my mind is a disaster on nearly every level.

My own understanding is that no other nation, especially since the fall of USSR, has anything near the capacity needed, either economically or militarily to impose an empire on the world, much less pose a serious threat to us. Besides, the long sad history of empire building should have taught one big lesson - maintaining even a small empire eventually bleeds the imperial power of all it's money and energy. The collapse of every empire stemmed from this fact.

Right now, the closest thing to empire in the world is us. I say this not as a judgement, but as a fact. We have troops all over the world and though we are indeed tame comparatively and I don't believe out to take it over, it does put a considerable drain on our finances and on our blood, mostly from our young people.

Robert Higgs points out how much of the actual spending on things military are hidden from plain view by placing some of the budget under other arms of the government, like the DOE. Basically, the rest of the world benefits by having the American taxpayer subsidize their self-defense. None of which is ever mentioned when comparing or contrasting how the U.S. stacks up against the welfare states of Europe. They are able to carry on primarily at our expense.

Crawdad   ·  April 8, 2010 11:32 PM

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