Tomahawks Over Turtles: Congress and Obama Administration Move To Slash NOAA Budget

Wondering where the money is coming from for our three wars, including the over $1 billion for the latest war in Libya? Well, as we spend billions on the wars (including one for an oil-rich nation which has refused to re-pay any of the costs), the White House is slashing domestic programs. A good comparison is that the cost to date of the Libyan war is basically what Congress is about to cut from the budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The cuts from Congress are above those asked by the Administration. Trillions of cuts are being worked out in light of budget shortfalls.

Hundreds of millions will be cut from the Joint Polar Satellite System, a reorganized satellite system and hundreds of millions more will be cut from NOAA’s Operations, Research and Facilities budget. NOAA is already a lean organization with an expanding mission. Other countries are increasing oceanic and weather monitoring to protect lives and property. However, with yet another war launched by President Obama, we can hardly be tossing away money on the environment and science while tossing cruise missiles at Tripoli.

Source: Science Mag

182 thoughts on “Tomahawks Over Turtles: Congress and Obama Administration Move To Slash NOAA Budget

  1. While I’m thinking about it, I should thank the HST team for my avatar. I tried to image Eta Carinae with a Polaroid and a pair of binoculars, but their pictures turned out much better than mine. Maybe we’ll get lucky and the HST will be a piece of NASA gear like the Mars rovers and continue to serve us long past the expected expiration date.

  2. Those mean ole Republicans are forcing Obama to do what he wants to do anyway. No Democratic President would dream of cutting social Security so I think that means Obama isn’t what he says he is. I can’t understand the hostility from the Republicans to Obama. He is one of them.

  3. What’s so silly in this christianly screwedup christian country is that “war” can only be declared by Congress. But christians want to kill on behalf of their man made god Jesus so much that they believe that being at war is a natural. Remember the song “onward christian soldiers”? They just love to be in battle with something, drugs, homosexuals, communists, infidels, nonbelievers, muslims and so on and so on. They just love to kill on behalf of their false man mad god Jesus. How terrible

  4. GeneH: “I should thank the HST team for my avatar. I tried to image Eta Carinae with a Polaroid and a pair of binoculars, but their pictures turned out much better than mine.”
    :-) Well done sir.

  5. President Obama today issued the FY 2012 budget for NOAA, requesting $5.5 billion for the nation’s oceanic and atmospheric agency. The proposed budget includes key investments to strengthen NOAA’s most critical programs and initiatives while addressing the administration’s goals of ensuring long-term economic growth, promoting innovation and American competitiveness, and reducing government spending.

    The budget request represents a $56.8 million decrease compared to the 2011 budget.

    The horror: A 1% decrease.

    But Still a 16% increases from FY2009.

    For Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) requests a total appropriation of $5,554,458,000 an increase of $806,105,000, or 17 percent over the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010.

    For Fiscal Year (FY) 2010, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) requests a total appropriation of $4,483,750,000 an
    increase of $109,880,000 or 2.5% over the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009.

    The budget could be slashed another 750 Million and still be above FY 2009 levels.

    Whatever will those poor sea turtles do?

  6. Welcome Gene….Haven’t seen this gravatar until this morning…Good luck…we do have trolls that like to bait…alls you have to do is ignore them..some will go away on their own…

  7. Yes, because what good could increased monitoring of world-wide ocean and atmospheric currents do? It’s not like there have been any changes in weather patterns, or any extreme weather events that might have affected human lives, or worse, cost any money.

  8. kderosa,

    I’m sorry, but I’ve been reading your posts on other threads and won’t be taking your numbers out of context seriously. Or pretty much anything else you might say for that matter. However, I will provide some context for other readers.

    You have failed to take into account not only inflation, but the high costs of developing new technologies and an increased but imprecise and creeping mission mandate from politicians. Gone are the days when NASA’s mission was unitary and clear; the space or bust days of Gemini and the Moon or bust days of Apollo.

    NASA is set up to follow projects based on Space Act Agreements. Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) and Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) programs are the two of Space Act agreements that are not subject to normal Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). COTS is the program to help develop private delivery systems to be used to supply the International Space Station (ISS) and operates in conjunction with CCDev which is the part of the program to help develop private delivery systems for rotating out crew from the ISS. The Commercial Space Transportation Capabilities Agreements are for facilities support and information sharing regarding the following five private projects:

    Planetspace’s Silver Dart lifting body project
    tSpace’s Crew Transfer Vehicle (CXV) capsule project
    Spacehab’s ARCTUS cargo delivery vehicle project (using existing US technology)
    SpaceDev’s Dream Chaser lifting body spaceplane project
    Constellation Services International’s cargo delivery vehicle (using existing Russian technology).

    All of these agreements have come into force since 2007. More and bigger missions mean bigger budgets. The budgetary increases, however, have not been in line with the costs of the mandates created by the SAA’s.

    None of changes that cutting out pure science projects like the Webb Space Telescope in favor of private enterprise support is both literally and figuratively shortsighted. Space is one of the most hostile environments imaginable and the more we know about it, the safer we can make our inevitable outward expansion. The JWST is a valuable tool in gathering that knowledge.

  9. Good, it’s not like a major event with a possible huge long term impact on the ocean happened right in the Gulf of Mexico any time in the last year or so right?

    I can’t help but wonder how much BP lobbied for this particular cut.

  10. Gyges makes a point I hadn’t considered.

    The CIA loves their wars and as long as they have a president who walks their line, we will be at war. The more they can scam from other governmental agencies …

  11. Corporatism’s attitude is: “Move along folks, nothing to see here. We’re spending too much and have to cut all those wasteful government programs and let Corporations handle everything, including soldiering if we can work it out. Where we can’t replace our troops with mercenaries, make sure we pay them little and get rid of their costly benefits. Shrink the big bad government until it goes down the drain. Private enterprise solves all things.”

    This of course is to distract us from understanding that the Bush Tax Cuts for the “Haves” and “Have Mores” caused the deficit. Two unneeded wars, kept off the budget, grew the deficit exponentially. Tax credits for Oil Companies and others added to the deficit. Out of control spending to Defense Contractors exploded it further. Finally, allowing major corporations
    operating in the US, to avoid taxes with schemes to put phony headquarters in places like the Cayman Islands, has fatally decreased government revenues.

    When NASA is replaced by competing corporations we will get these corporations declaring territories on the Moon and Mars, their property. Genetics will be copy-written. Water resources will become privatized, just as is happening with highways. We will have returned to the “wonderful days of feudalism, with competing fiefdoms, eventually leading to a King or Emperor whose crown will of course rest uneasily. The old Chinese curse will have reached its acme and we truly will be living in interesting times.

  12. I can’t help but wonder how much BP lobbied for this particular cut.

    Why wonder?

    The [John] Kerry-BP alliance for an energy bill that included a cap-and-trade scheme for greenhouse gases pokes a hole in a favorite claim of President Obama and his allies in the media — that BP’s lobbyists have fought fiercely to be left alone. Lobbying records show that BP is no free-market crusader, but instead a close friend of big government whenever it serves the company’s bottom line.

    While BP has resisted some government interventions, it has lobbied for tax hikes, greenhouse gas restraints, the stimulus bill, the Wall Street bailout, and subsidies for oil pipelines, solar panels, natural gas and biofuels.

    Now that BP’s oil rig has caused the biggest environmental disaster in American history, the Left is pulling the same bogus trick it did with Enron and AIG: Whenever a company earns universal ire, declare it the poster boy for the free market.

  13. Gene H,

    I’m glad to see you’ve found your place in the herd so quickly.

    The context is that even accounting for inflation, NASA has over a billion dollars (about 8% more) more in its budget than it had in 2007. And that doesn’t even account for any expected productivity gains which apparently never occur in the government sector.

    The entire purpose of making a budget is to set priorities. That means cutting some old/obsolete crap in favor of some new stuff, if they can’t fit the new stuff in the extra billion dollars plus they have.. If you don’t like the priorities our government favors you should use the democratic process and elect new representatives.

  14. Gyges,

    Er, it’s pretty clear BP doesn’t have a problem lobbying for cuts it thinks benefits them and doesn’t have a problem finding Reps and Senators (mostly Democrats) willing to accommodate them in exchange for lobbying support in other areas.

    You obviously think NOAA cuts benefit BP.

    2+2 = 4

  15. KDE,

    Let me use an analogy for our conversation so far:

    “I wonder how big of a piece of cake Bob wants,”
    ” Bob can eat dessert.”
    “What does that have to do with the question I asked?”
    “I CAN eat cake, duh.”

    I get that BP can lobby, that’s implicate in the phrase “how much lobbying.” I’m wondering why you expected an article that says BP lobbies, but makes no mention of the specific instance of lobbying I’m curious about, to answer the question how much lobbying did BP do in this particular case. Or alternately, I’m wondering why you would say “Why Wonder” when linking to an article that you know doesn’t address the unknown I’m wondering about.

    We agree that BP can and does in fact lobby, go us.

  16. Gyges,

    Based on previous comments, I’m not sure what you get and what you don’t get.

    Having said that though, it is one thing to know that BP lobbies and quite another to know that they have been wildly successful with said lobbying efforts because our federal government has many members who are all too willing to accommodate them.

    Successful lobbying takes two parties: the lobbyist and the willing government official.

    Your comment focused on BP and ignored the government part. That seems to be your default bias. My article not only shed some light on government part, but also on the extent of BP’s lobbying efforts.

    You were content wondering without any facts. I provided some. I never stated those facts were definitive; it is unfortunate that you read it that way.

  17. [Well, as we spend billions on the wars (including one for an oil-rich nation which has refused to re-pay any of the costs),]

    WTF Prof. Turley? Refused to pay? Why would Iraq be expected to pay for the costs of a war of aggression based on lies against it? On the contrary, they should be demanding reparations and any fair court would grant them.

  18. Gene H., “None of changes that cutting out pure science projects like the Webb Space Telescope in favor of private enterprise support is both literally and figuratively shortsighted. Space is one of the most hostile environments imaginable and the more we know about it, the safer we can make our inevitable outward expansion. The JWST is a valuable tool in gathering that knowledge.”

    And even if it doesn’t foster any outward expansion just think of the pictures!

    I say that in all seriousness. Hubble, by dint of it’s pictures, reinvigorated NASA and an interest in space. While it added tons of information to our knowledge and, more importantly, raised many new questions, it was the pictures that brought a sense of excitement and awe to the space program that hadn’t been present since the end of the Apollo missions.

    People need ‘awe’ on a very basic level IMO. People need something like a Moon walk or Voyager flyby of Saturn or a Hubble to shake them out of their day-to-day and get them to look up, instead of just shuffling along looking at the ground.

  19. Gene, your posting was very interesting in that it aptly demonstrated how government money is going to subsidize private companies while basic research by NASA will suffer as that money is siphoned away. A bad trade-off I think.

  20. To expand on Gene and other comments, here is a prime example of the issue. The Rutan shop would not have been able to build Spaceship One without the data from NASA. Despite Burt Rutan’s genius at design, he needed the vast amount of space data created by NASA scientists in order to build a spaceship that you can fly in without being a billionaire.

    As a spin off, solid state computer technology came directly from the early space program. A few years ago, I was at the University having lunch with several computer scientists who told me that without government funded space program research in the early days of the 1950s and1960s, we would still be using vacuum tubes in our room-sized 4 Mhz computers with about 28 K of memory.

  21. LottaKatz,

    As the late Jack Horkheimer used to say, “Keep your feet on the ground and your eyes toward the stars!”


    I’m sorry, but I thought I was quite clear when I said I don’t take anything you say seriously. However, thanks for reminding people that it is their duty to vote out of office politicians that would be so irresponsible as to mandate projects and then not adequately fund them. The best way to cut governmental waste is by eliminating the special interest purchased members of Congress who lack the vision to understand the long term importance of programs like NASA.

  22. So we should determine funding levels by polling the scientists who stand to benefit from increased funding levels, is that what you’re saying? Why bother, we know the answer to that question.

  23. K, I was there. I have been at what I do for well over a half century. I am a scientist, and I know where ideas and big machines come from. I am also a businessman, and no business leader in his or her right mind would fund “blue sky” projects that exceed the total worth of the business. Boeing took an enormous gamble with the 707, and had it failed, the business would have gone under. But even then, the swept wing and the engines were the result of government funded research that went well beyond Boeing’s–or any other airframe manufacturer, to build. In fact, it was the German government that initially developed the swept wing used by the Horten brothers and Messerschmidt. Our early jets had straight wings (P-80 Shooting Star, F2H Banshee, etc.).

  24. I’m talking about the Integrated circuit. NASA may have purchased a lot of them, but I do not believe the initial funding came from them or other “early space program” research.

    Also, you seem to think we live in a world in which resources are not scarce (in the economic sense), funding is unlimited and you can wave your magic wand and point to some technology that has resulted from government funded research and demand ever increasing funding like it isn;t going to affect our ability to fund other areas.

  25. kderosa:

    ole Freddy Bastiat calls that the seen and the unseen. What you see is some technology, what you dont see is what technology that didnt get developed because of the allocation of resources to government funded science and technology programs.

  26. Roco, Bastiat didn’t know that we have a money tree in Washington that never stops blooming. All you have to do is reach back to some perceived good, no matter how tangential, say what a great thing it was and what it has led to, then you shake the tree until you have enough money to pay for your next research project.

  27. Roco,

    The “seen and unseen” is perhaps the highest opportunity cost of a universal health care system. Innovation will slow to a crawl and people will never know the new pharmaceuticals, medical improvements, and higher quality of life they are missing.

  28. now that we’ve all had a good laugh about spending money on turtles, along mostly ideological lines, i’d like to point out that NOAA (no t for turtles in there anywhere) Nation Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also monitors and studies hurricanes.

    you remember hurricanes, Katrina, Ike, Andrew, Hugo, etc. these are the people who study and track them. if you live along the eastern seaboard or the gulf coast like many people do this website is a very handy one to know.

  29. Actually the idea for IC’s came from Geoffrey W.A. Dummer, a radar scientist working for the British Ministry of Defence. He first proposed the idea in 1952 but never had any success in building a working prototype. The first working prototype was made by Jack Kilby when he was working at Texas Instruments in the late 50’s and led to the U.S. Army’s Micromodule Project in 1960. Kilby’s design used germanium as the semi-conductor embedding material for the circuits. Concurrently, Robert Noyce at Fairchild Electronics, came up with his own IC design about 6 months after Kilby. The biggest difference in the two designs were Noyce’s use of Kurt Lehovec’s principle of p-n junction isolation and the more efficient silicon as the semi-conductor embedding material. Noyce and Kilby are credited as the co-creators of the IC and neither man minded sharing the credit. However, their advancements would not have been possible without military involvement at the onset. While they didn’t get their funding from NASA, Kilby did get direct funding from the U.S. Army and both men benefited indirectly from the military funding of Geoffrey W.A. Dummer by the British MoD. In summary, the IC, like a lot of modern innovations, came about with governmental assistance at the onset.

    Some people, however, seem to live in a world where only private funding brings about fundamental discoveries in pure science. This is not the case. Public funding is necessary to the advance of pure science because not all pure science results – immediately or otherwise – in marketable and profitable products. Pure science does, however, lead to other discoveries that might. It is a goal worthy of pursuing for its intrinsic nature and should not be solely premised on immediate ROI expectations. That is why government is better suited for funding pure science research than private industry.

    As to the technological boon that has benefited society from the work of NASA? Cordless power tools, water purification systems, smoke detectors, high efficiency insulation materials, laser surgery, MRI’s, Digital Mammography, CCD cameras, LED’s, infrared thermometers, advanced optical systems used for everything from monitoring the physical condition of the original copies of Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to learning about cosmology, respiration and “Jaws of Life” technologies used by fire fighters, geosynchronous orbit satellites and satellite stabilization that allowed for the development of GPS technology, the advancement of practical applications for digital computers, solid state high-power transmitters, advanced materials (such as graphite composites) for building satellites and all the lovely products now made from carbon fiber composites, and last but certainly neither least nor a comprehensive end to the benefits to the world provided by NASA research – satellites for monitoring and studying the weather so we can better manage crops, forest fires and flood risks and response.

  30. OS,

    I don’t usually pay much attention to the new name on the block, kderosa, but his/her comment about the Integrated Circuit was so far off base that I just couldn’t ignore it … the technology was around but you were completely right in your response:

    The Apollo guidance computer led and motivated the integrated-circuit technology, while the Minuteman missile forced it into mass-production

  31. Some people, however, seem to live in a world where only private funding brings about fundamental discoveries in pure science.

    Strawman. No one is advocating to defund NASA or any other research focused agency. We’re talking about shaving back the budgets of some agencies that have increased greatly in the last 15 years or so. You know, so we don’t bankrupt ourselves.

  32. puzzling,

    “The ‘seen and unseen’ is perhaps the highest opportunity cost of a universal health care system. Innovation will slow to a crawl and people will never know the new pharmaceuticals, medical improvements, and higher quality of life they are missing.”

    The seen and unseen is an illusion in that instance. Having the most simple yet comprehensive health care insurance – that being single-payer maximum risk pool not-for-profit health care insurance – will not impact innovation in medical science. The funding of pure medical research by the government is along the same lines as other forms of pure research. The funding of research by private industry will be just as it is now – whatever the corporations think is most profitable in the short term. Under universal health care, medical innovation would continue much like it is today. The slower paced results of government funded pure research would still yield long term profitability and long term net positive results from building general knowledge while the private money will still be free to chase the perfect boner medication. The only difference will be the efficiency of having a consolidated singular pay track that will eliminate a lot of redundancy in current billing systems (costs passed on to patients), the benefits of maximum reduction of risk costs by having the largest risk pool possible (everyone), the operational efficiencies of not having to pay bloated CEO and insurance company executive salaries and perks (costs passed on to the patient, usually in the form of profits taken by denying coverage and care), and pharmaceutical companies would be forced to take a more reasonable timeframe in recouping R&D and other ROI costs because they’d have to negotiate prices rather than the current system of gouge the free market until the patent expires (and if this concerns them over long term profitability, I’ll be the first to say that our patent system needs revision).

  33. private companies engage in pure science all the time, I think one of them is called Bell Laboratory and Hughes come to mind.

    Again it is the seen and the unseen. You do not know what you are missing by the misallocation of resources.

    Government science is not free, it will always have an ideological component. No matter how much you wish it didn’t, bucks go to the connected or to the ideologically pure in spirit.

    Government funded science is a bad idea.

  34. Blouise, how did programs that came decades after the research that brought about the IC somehow cause that research to be done? OS stated there was “but for” causation. And there wasn’t.

  35. Gene H:

    and most of the things you mention had their genesis in theoretical science many years prior to that when science wasnt necessarily funded by government.

  36. Government science is not free, it will always have an ideological component.

    See the shenanigans behind Climate Change “Science” for some swell examples.

  37. kderosa,

    “No one is advocating to defund NASA or any other research focused agency. We’re talking about shaving back the budgets of some agencies that have increased greatly in the last 15 years or so.”

    Really? Then I suggest you look at the military and DHS first.

    What you’re advocating is cutting an already inadequate budget for the increased scope change of the NASA missions at hand and so are ensuring that failure is guaranteed from the start. If you are so concerned about trimming excess? Look at discretionary military and the abusive practices of security theater spending first instead of pure science related research and development. Not spending money on science guarantees one thing and one thing only: a loss of any competitive edge we maintain in technology. The Chinese and other governments are spending us under the table on basic science R&D funding whilst we literally hemorrhage money into a bottomless pit of a war started by the oil industry for their own profits.

    Cutting the funding of science (and while were at it, education) is shortsighted and stupid. Soon “Made In America” will mean “substandard junk” and in many cases it already does. The only real basis for an economy is physical manufacturing capacity and technological superiority. By cutting and undercutting science and education spending, you are dooming the technological superiority part of the equation coming out of the gate.

    It’s a good thing I don’t take what you say seriously or I might have been offended that you apparently don’t know what a strawman argument actually is.

  38. I worked for GSI one summer, according to Wikipedia:

    “Geophysical Service Inc. (often abbreviated GSI) was founded by John Clarence Karcher and Eugene McDermott in 1930 for the purpose of using refraction and reflection seismology to explore for petroleum deposits. It became one of the most successful seismic exploration contractors in the industry for many years. On December 6, 1941, the company was purchased by McDermott, Cecil Howard Green, J. Erik Jonsson, and H.B. Peacock. During World War II, the company produced submarine detection devices. In 1951, the company was renamed Texas Instruments (TI) with GSI as a division. GSI was later sold by TI, repurchased, and finally sold again to Halliburton in 1988. Halliburton also acquired GeoSource, a competing geophysical contractor (formerly Petty-Ray Geophysical), and attempted to merge the two companies. Unfortunately the rivalry between the two entities endured and the merged entity known as Halliburton Geophysical Services (HGS) proved to be far from profitable. After several years of losses in 1994 Halliburton sold HGS to Western Atlas (formerly Western Geophysical until its merger with Dresser Atlas in 1987). Western Atlas was bought by Baker Hughes in 1998 and was then merged into WesternGeco in 2000 through a joint venture with Schlumberger in which Schlumberger held the majority share (70%)”

    The transistor was developed by GSI and it was not for the space program.


    dont you just love a good who dunit?

  39. Government funded science is a bad idea

    if it wasn’t for government funded science they only person to see that line would be you

  40. Roco,

    No, actually most of the things I mentioned had their genesis in theoretical science that was either refined or supplemented by governmental spending and then made into practical applications by governmental and private spending. All science is a continuum of development. It is people standing on the shoulders of others, standing on the shoulders of others, standing on the shoulders of others, etc. If you want to make the back in time argument, all science traces back to the ancient Greeks and Chinese. I’m pretty sure neither Euclid nor Pythagoras was government funded, but try building a space shuttle without them and see how well that works. Your reasoning is specious at best.

  41. Blouise,

    Thank you. :) It’s nice to be welcomed. Even nicer than it is told I’ll fit right in with the herd by someone who manifestly doesn’t fit in anywhere.

  42. Yes, cut them too. We have a giant budget deficit to deal with.

    As of 2006 we were tripling China’s research funding. Is that what you mean by funding us under the table?

    What is the optimal level of science funding? You seem to know the answer.

    Education funding has increased dramatically. Education outcomes not so much.

    Your non-explanation of why I don’t know what a strawman argument is was very effective.

  43. Roco,

    Not at all. I didn’t mention a party affiliation once. But you sure did in a hurry. The only partisan arguments I I see are by you. And maybe your buddy kderosa. You know, there is an old saying about glass houses and stones you should familiarize yourself with.

    Your reasoning is still specious though.

    Have a nice day.

  44. Government-funded research has a record of mixed results and quite a few spectacular disasters such as: the Carter administration’s synthetic fuels program and the Clinch River Breeder Reactor. In 1980, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) committed over $60 million to promote the development of a malaria vaccine. In 1984, USAID announced a “major breakthrough in the development of a vaccine against the most deadly form of malaria in human beings. The vaccine should be ready for use around the world … within five years.” Fifteen years later, the world’s still waiting; The USAID program was a monumental failure.

    Government-funded research produces the wrong incentives. Government-funded recipients have incentives to be overly optimistic; that’s how they get the money. Government project directors have incentives to fund unpromising research, after all it’s not their money. Recipients of government-funded research get paid before delivering a product. As such, they may be tempted to divert resources away from the contracted research toward activities that promote their personal careers, such as publishing professional articles.

    Ecomomist Walter Williams

  45. Without private enterprise which actually found a use for that DARPA technology which was being squandered, there would be no Inernet as we know it.

  46. Pete:

    I imagine we would have had an Internet by now. Look what the private sector has done to the Internet. I has caused a million ideas to bloom and created great wealth for many people.

    Of course I would be reading these lines, because someone would have created it and made a bazillion dollars on it.

    But on a different note, the Internet did not become what it is today until it was commercialized. From early to mid 1960’s to the late 1980’s the Internet wasn’t all that much. Look at where it was 15 years ago. Now it is teaming with life.

    Do you think that wouldn’t happen to any other sector freed from government shackles?

  47. Whether research is government funded or privately funded it will have mixed results. That’s what research is about. If one knew the end result of a study or project, it wouldn’t be research.

  48. Actually kderosa, while tripling may be hyperbolic, what I mean is things like this . . .

    “China Overtakes U.S. in Green Investment
    China has shown determination to be on the frontline of green technology, while U.S. investors have been put off by uncertainties amid the legislative battle on climate change.
    By Shaun Tandon, Agence France Presse

    March 25, 2010

    A study led by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that Chinese investment in clean energy soared by more than 50% in 2009 to reach $34.6 billion, far more than any other country in the Group of 20 major economies.”

    As to why you don’t know what a strawman argument is? I think that’s apparent. You make an awful lot of them yourself but mischaracterize others valid arguments as strawmen when you can’t beat them. Either you don’t know what they are or you’re deploying the term in a disingenuous manner. I’ve now read two very long threads where you’ve done the same thing time and again. It’s not only ineffective, it’s annoyingly ineffective on your part. I can see why some of the regulars like Buddha and mespo enjoy clubbing you over the head and setting you fire in the metaphorical senses of the words. Disingenuous people often bring out that reaction in others. However, quite honestly, I’m perfectly content to just show you don’t know what you are talking about. That being the main reason I don’t take your posts seriously, naturally.

  49. @Elaine

    “Whether research is government funded or privately funded it will have mixed results.”

    It’s not a question of whether. It’s a question of degree and allocation of resources.

    And, no one is arguing that government doesn’t has a role to play in funding research.

  50. Gene H:

    You don’t need to tell me your ideological proclivity, it is staring me in the face with every word you write.

    You are a fascist or a socialist, at best a very liberal democrat. In other words you like big government.

    Nothing wrong with that, just lets be honest about partisanship. I freely admit I am a limited government type and I post that way.

  51. kderosa,

    Once again your disingenousness comes to the fore. When you accuse someone who has not made a partisan argument of partisanship, you are attempting to make the argument about partisanship yourself. That Roco didn’t specifically name the party he favors is irrelevant. I’m going to assume by the content of his posts he’s some kind of far right wing Republican, a Teabagger or a Libertarian. Really, it makes no difference to me. I think all political parties and partisan arguments are all about the same degree of ridiculous.

    However, it was indeed your buddy there who first brought up partisan politics when he couldn’t refute that his reasoning was (and still is) specious.

  52. @GeneH

    You didn’t limit your statement to Green research. You stated unqualified research. And the figure I cited was for all research. See OECD, main indicators of science and technology, june 2006. Here’s a table.

    So you have actually done, what you accuse me of doing.

    Also, you’ve again failed to explain why my arguments are strawman arguments.

  53. Ok, Roco.

    Let’s be honest about partisanship.

    It matters to you. I couldn’t care less. I’m not a member of any political party. I like to think for myself. I guess that’s one of the reasons I have gotten such a warm welcome form the other free thinkers that frequent this blog.

    You can be partisan all you want (or all you told, however that works). It will serve you no good in dealing with me. Except further convince me you are not to be taken seriously either, much like your buddy.

  54. @GeneH

    Now you are just embarrassing yourself.

    First you accuse Roco of bringing up party affiliation.

    I called you on it.

    And, then you admit that he didn’t, albeit in a backhanded sort of way. “That Roco didn’t specifically name the party he favors is irrelevant. ”

    The issue wasn’t about partisanship. It was about bringing up party affiliation.

    Your second strawman. And again I’ve explained to you why it is such.

  55. kderosa,

    “It’s not a question of whether. It’s a question of degree and allocation of resources.

    “And, no one is arguing that government doesn’t has a role to play in funding research.”


    Then you agree that the government has a role to play in funding research.

  56. kderosa,

    Once again, you’ve mistaken me for somebody taking you seriously.

    Actually, your Wiki table proves my point and not yours. China’s percentage as a percentage of the whole of government science spending outstrips ours by 10.8% (12.2%U.S. vs. 23%China). It shows the difference if priorities as does the other article I linked to which shows their top priority is green technology, i.e. freeing themselves from fossil fuel dependence. That their green initiative outpaces our spending in that area in net dollars spent should be of come concern considering the latent and largely untapped manufacturing capacity of China.

    What a coincidence! Freeing ourselves from fossil fuel dependence and those semi-barbarians in the Middle East should be our national priority as well. But it isn’t.

  57. kderosa,

    If you can’t understand that partisanship requires a party and consequently an accusation of partisanship requires a party affiliation?

    Sorry. I can’t help your basic failures of logic and language. Your failures belong to you. I’d say your successes as well, but honestly, in the threads I’ve read, you haven’t had any to date.

    It’s no wonder the collection of smart people attracted to this blog generally have their way with you all the time though.

  58. kderosa,

    You are beating a dead horse (metaphorically speaking) …

    I do appreciate that this time around you are attempting to resurrect the “more reasonable self” :)

  59. China still is a totalitarian state. So I guess they would spend a bunch of money on government funded research. Most of it on the military.

    They are biding their time.

    I doubt they care too much about green technology except as some sort of economic weapon. They have huge coal reserves and like nuclear power. Their idea of green is a high efficiency fusion reactor.

  60. @GeneH

    You are looking at the wrong column. We are talking government funding of research, not government doing the research.

    The percentages of GDP slightly favors the US and because we have a much bigger economy our expenditures are triple theirs.

    But let’s not let the facts get in the way.

  61. Elaine,

    Earlier this year I went to the first MIT Open House in decades. The entire campus was open to the public, with faculty and staff demonstrating state-of-the-art research. I spent time in the robotics labs, in aerospace garages, with infrared drone AI and like technologies. The enthusiasm, modesty and extraordinary talent of the students was unlike anything I’ve experienced on such a scale before. Highly recommended if it is ever repeated.

    However, what struck me at the end of the day was how much of MIT’s work was oriented to – and funded by – the US war machine. Over lunch Blackhawk helicopters landed on the campus to enthusiastic crowds, a strong acknowledgment by the military of the value MIT has to their mission. Technology after technology I reviewed was created for a military purpose.

    While some of these technologies may eventually have application to domestic policing and may slowly make their way into consumer technologies, they are a diversion from research that would otherwise benefit consumers more directly. I would rather see Pfizer and Intel leading the funding of research at MIT than the DoD.

  62. @Blouise

    I think you are mistaking me for your friends.

    The record is clear from the Revere thread who started the name calling first. In each case, the regulars started. I did a time line in another thread, if you care to look it up.

  63. Gene H:

    1. A fervent, sometimes militant supporter or proponent of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea.

    I am a militant supporter of human liberty and freedom. Guilty as charged.

  64. @GeneH

    I do understand that partisanship requires a party and consequently an accusation of partisanship requires a party affiliation?

    The only problem is Roco only accused you generally of being a partisan and didn’t bring up any party affiliation at all. He softpedalled it, for your benefit.

    So that was a fail on your part.

    But you keep on digging, you smart fella.

  65. Really, Roco.

    I got the impression you are a militant supporter of private profits no matter how the acquisition of said profits harms others. It must have been several things you’ve said.


    I won’t let your idea of facts get in my way any more than I’ll let your inability to understand that partisanship requires a party affiliation get in my way. Thanks for your concern though.

    I’m going to let you two play with yourselves for now. I have other reading to do. Just remember, I’ve seen you two in action and as a result I don’t take either of yours comments seriously in the slightest. What differentiates me from the other posters here though is I’m not going to napalm you. As amusing as others find it (and as funny as it was to read), quite frankly, I’m not sure you two are worth the effort of napalm.

    Enjoy your evening.

  66. Roco,

    “I doubt they care too much about green technology except as some sort of economic weapon. They have huge coal reserves and like nuclear power. Their idea of green is a high efficiency fusion reactor.”

    When I spent time in the People’s Republic of China back in the mid 1990s, I saw for myself the effect that the burning of coal had on the environment there. When I arrived in Beijing, I noticed how everything was covered with a layer of soot. The cream-colored shoes I was wearing got discolored quickly on my first walk in the city. I saw people wearing surgical-type masks on their faces as they walked down the streets or rode on their bicycles. The Chinese may have more than one reason for pursuing green technologies.

  67. GeneH:

    Enjoy your evening, I dont know but I think between the 2 of us, we got our point across pretty well.

    If we arent worth the effort, you and others and are sure expending your energy answering our posts.

    And the profits thing, you dont have a right to harm another person. If you think a person making money takes from someone who cannot make money you would be wrong. Most people who make money create wealth from an idea. No one is harmed, but depending on the idea many people could be put to work.

    Why do you hate people so much? Especially the poor and minorities?

  68. Elaine:

    the same was true in American cities many years ago. We burn coal now and have gotten rid of a good deal of waste products which used to be released into the air.

  69. Roco,

    “Most people who make money create wealth from an idea. No one is harmed, but depending on the idea many people could be put to work.”

    Unfortunately, some people in this country made lots of money off bad ideas. Ideas that were good for them–but bad for nearly everyone else. That’s why we had a near meltdown of our economy in 2008. Lots of Americans lost tons of money that they had invested for their retirements–and lots of pension funds lost bigtime. Nothing was produced. No jobs were created. A small number of already wealthy people got even wealthier. And we, the taxpayers, bailed out the banks and investment companies that these greedy folks nearly bankrupted.

  70. Roco,

    “the same was true in American cities many years ago. We burn coal now and have gotten rid of a good deal of waste products which used to be released into the air.”

    What’s the point you’re attempting to make?

    BTW, we have a coal-burning plant that has been producing electricity not far from where I live for decades. I never encountered the level of coal soot in my area that I did when I was traveling in China–not in the 1950s…or 1960s…or 1970s.

  71. @Elaine,

    That bad idea was, with the best of intentions, the government forcing banks to lend money to people with little capital and/or credit to increase home ownership among the poor. There were many misdeeds that resulted, but the root cause was misquided government intervention in the home finance market, a market that was and remains highly regulated.

  72. Blouise, thanks for the boost. I know this stuff way better than the teabagger trolls because I was there. My first job out of undergraduate school was working in the engineering department of the contractor building Titan II launch facilities. And my best friend in high school went to MIT, where the key secret for the internet was unlocked in his dorm room: the idea that the best–and probably only way–to send massive amounts of digital information over a phone line was to do it using ‘packets.’ Obviously, two college kids in the 1950s did not have the wherewithal to create the Internet, but they did help get ARPANET off the ground–with Federal funds.

    The notion was too far-fetched for industry.

  73. kderosa,

    What you write about was only one of the multiple causes of the financial meltdown. Read about AIG, Goldman Sachs, Countrywide, Credit Default Swaps, Collateralized Debt Obligations, etc. If it had not been for ethically challenged and greedy businessman–some who bet against their own investors–we wouldn’t have had to bail out the billionaires on Wall Street.
    Some of the financial instruments/securities created by the quants and other Wall Street wizards were not well regulated–if regulated at all.

  74. We didnt say that government didnt create the Internet, we just said it would have been created when private industry was ready and we also said that it took private industry to make it what it is today.

  75. Tomahawks…and NGI…

    Center for Constitutional Rights
    July 6, 2011 Fact Sheet


    The FBI’s “Big Brother” Surveillance Agenda


    NGI is a form of extreme “Big Brother” surveillance and introduces a new system of policing

    The government’s past unsuccessful plan to issue national IDs was met with forceful opposition. NGI is the FBI’s back-door attempt to advance its agenda to increase surveillance. With NGI, the FBI is distorting existing laws and systems to intrude into the lives of every-day people and offend the
    ideals of freedom, privacy and democracy that we think we can take for granted.

    NGI, through S-Comm and its other components, turnslocal police into federal officers, potentially exposing us all to intrusive surveillance and tracking, to be targeted by government programs that
    we may not even know about. (end excerpt)

  76. OS, of course no one disputes DARPA’s involvement with the Internet. What we dispute is your outlandish claim that NASA funded the IC.

  77. @Elaine,

    I alluded to those other issues. I don’t dispute that they made the problem worse. However. Without the initial government intrusion and the private sector’s understanding that they would be bailed out when things went pear shaped, we would not be in the mess we are in today. The government created some very bad incentives for private industry to misbehave, knowing there would be no consequences for their behavior.

    Also, the entire financial industry is highly regulated, but it is poorly done. CDOs aren’t bad in and of themselves. They work fine in other industries. The problem was that in the home mortgage industry the collateral was worth crap.

  78. The integrated circuit would never have gotten the boost it did without the space program. It was still a scientific curiosity up until it got some serious boost with the several ICBM projects and the early space program. Costs came down dramatically thanks to research and development funded by the DoD and NASA.

  79. and the cost would have come down without the research funding by government. It might have even been a better product since it wouldnt have been rushed to get to the moon and defend against the Russians.

    There is always another side that is not seen. You should read Bastiat, a brilliant man.

  80. Glass Stegal did nothing to protect people. It was a political response to the problems created by government regulation of the banking industry in the early part of the 20th century.

  81. Roco,

    “There is always another side that is not seen.”

    Is “what might have been” the other side?


    “we just said it would have been created when private industry was ready”

    And when would private industry have been ready?

  82. I am busy and do not have time to waste on the willfully ignorant. I have work to do. Good day all.

  83. @Elaine

    I am familiar with it. It hardly deregulated anything. It replaced stupid regulations with even more stupid regulations. ANd it shoehorned the CRA into allowing race-hustling groups to have influence in bank mergers.

    The financial sector needs to be regulated. Smartly regulated. It is not smartly regulated. Dumb regulations are the problem, not no regulations. I don’t think that condition has ever existed in this country.

  84. Elaine M asks And when would private industry have been ready?

    Whenever the Politicians decreed that it should be so. Perhaps on the 8th day, thus:

  85. Otteray Scribe, for someone who obviously believes he’s a smart guy, you undermine that impression by the manner in which you present your arguments, or rather fail to present them and then rely on some dismissive statement as a substitute. I’ve read lots of arguments and that one, without fail, is never effective or persuasive. Unless, of course, you’re merely trying to preach to the choir. But, really, why waste your time, they don’t need to be convinced? Are you just trying to assuage your ego?

  86. Gene,

    Dude, no wonder you picked something like Eta Carinae as an avatar. You are on fire! We have several other science geek types who frequent here. I saw where you’ve met OS, Tony and LK. Keep an eye out for Slartibartfast and Bob, Esq. as well. Slarti is a mathematician and Bob just loves physics. You guys will hit it off just great.

    And go, Team NASA!

  87. OS,

    Forget computers, the first tin cans were produced for the British army. For that matter canning was invented by a man hoping to win a prize offered by the French Government.

  88. Buddha,

    Thanks for the complement. I’ll have to say that among the many reasons I chose Eta Carinae, being “on fire” never came to mind. Mainly I picked it for aesthetic reasons. It’s a very pretty stellar event. There were some philosophical reasons as well, but pretty sold the deal. I should also say I’ve really enjoyed your posts too. You’re a rather savagely funny fellow. Jonathan has provided a great forum with his blog and you and the other “Regulars” really give it additional character. I’ve only been reading Jon’s blog for about a week now and I’m completely hooked. It provides some of the most stimulating conversations I’ve seen on the Internet in quite some time. Let me second your “Go, NASA” and I’ll leave it at that.

  89. Gene,

    “Savagely funny”? I like your choice of adjectives. :mrgreen: Thanks for noticing.

  90. @puzzling grads without jobs results in law schools reviews like these:

    Check the seatback in front of you first.


  91. Gyges,

    True that about the canned food, although the Napoleonic Wars ended before they perfected the method using cans. Most of the “canned” food shipped during the wars were in jars. What I find really funny about the whole ordeal is that can openers weren’t invented for something like 30 years after the can was perfected. I suspect most of the soldiers initially getting canned food felt a lot like my cats when they see a can of tuna and realize they have no thumbs.

  92. kderosa,

    I wasn’t referring to anything as recent as the Revere thread, and, the dead horse was your nit-picking O.S. but staying within the “herd” metaphor … it is so tiresome to have to explain every nuance … most posters have an ear for the pitch (musical reference which, [sigh], means catch the meaning) but if playing clueless is part of this resurrection then who am I to suggest a key change.

    I really liked the inmates/soldiers of fortune personages … especially the guy who was always getting wasted

  93. Otteray Scribe,

    I realize a troll’s purpose is to disrupt but there are times when their “brown eyes are blue” routine gets old. It’s like listening to a 14 year high school freshman girl assert that the senior quarterback wants to date her because he admires her mind.

    No matter what you wrote, OS, no matter how deep your education and experience, kderosa stubbornly maintains his/her erroneous position … foolish freshman.

    Next he/she will be telling us that the CD-Rom was invented by Phillips and Sony rather than James Russell while he was working at Pacific Northwest Labs for the Energy Dept. and NASA in the late ’60’s. Russel may have invented the CD-ROM because he wanted a better music experience but NASA saw the benefit for its computers and voila … Sony and Phillips simply purchased a license in the late 70’s … NASA and the Dept. of Energy helped fund the original and the resulting developmental research. Everybody knows that and knows the CD-Rom literally changed the world.

  94. @Blouise

    Good try at sucking up. But even OS has backed off his original claim about NASA and/or the “early space program” funded the initial development of the IC. NASA Came into the picture much later because it needed IC’s for the space program after they’d been initially developed.

    This is like saying the American people are responsible for developing the ipad because they bought millions of them and that money went to further development.

  95. K, I have not backed off squat. I do see your reading comprehension needs some polishing, but nothing new there.

    I am running late for appointments, so am not going to get into further dialogue with you. Go ahead and do what you always do; declare how you are victorious on the field of ideas and change the subject.

  96. kderosa,

    “CDOs aren’t bad in and of themselves.”

    It was what was done with CDOs and some other derivatives.

    Knives aren’t bad in and of themselves either–but when you start stabbing people with them you know what you’re doing is wrong.

  97. @OS, typical non-explanation explanation and then a hasty retreat.

    @Elaine. what was done with them that was wrong, other than the financial companies severely underestimating the value of the underlying collateral of the sub-prime loans and the resulting bubble that caused other non-sub-prime loans to go underwater as the market collapsed?

    CDOs are a way to reduce and spread risk around. Risk that banks were being forced to take on when they were forced to write sub-prime loans.

  98. Otteray Scribe:

    I dont see kderosa changing the subject at all. He/she is merely pointing out the error in your assertion.

    While the space program and the ballistic missile program benefited from IC technology and TI and Fairchild benefited from government money, the IC would have been put to good use and did not need government money for success.

    Had the space program never happened the IC would still be a very big part of our lives.

    Government did not make the market for the IC, the IC did it all by itself.

  99. kderosa,

    In addition to Matt Taibbi’s book “Griftopia,” I’d also recommend reading Michael Lewis’s “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine.”

    Here’s an excerpt from a review of Lewis’s book:

    Steven Pearlstein reviews ‘The Big Short’ by Michael Lewis
    Sunday, March 14, 2010

    In “The Big Short,” which publishes Monday, we meet Steve Eisman, a second-generation Wall Streeter whose foul mouth and total lack of social graces made it easy for others to dismiss his relentless criticisms of the subprime mortgage industry as far back as the 1990s, when he first characterized it as nothing more than a Ponzi scheme.

    There’s Michael Burry, a physician turned stock picker with an antisocial personality (later diagnosed as Asperger’s) who becomes the first money manager to buy a credit default swap on subprime mortgage bonds.

    There’s Greg Lippmann, a prototypical bonus-grubbing Wall Street bond salesman who early on sees the potential of the subprime swaps market and becomes the leading evangelist for betting on the housing market’s collapse.

    And there’s Charlie Ledley, Jamie Mai and Ben Hockett, three young financial hustlers from Berkeley, Calif., who set up a hedge fund in a Greenwich Village art studio, go looking for a long shot and find it in supposedly AAA-rated securities cobbled together from BBB subprime junk.

    From their tales, we learn that Wall Street banks think nothing of stealing the trading strategies of their clients and peddling them to other customers. We learn that the investment bankers knew as early as 2006 about the rising default rate on subprime mortgages but engaged in elaborate ruses to hide that reality from ratings agencies and investors. We learn that when investor demand for subprime mortgages outstripped the supply, Wall Street filled the gap by creating “synthetic” mortgage-backed securities whose performance would mirror that of the real thing.

    We learn that Goldman Sachs and other banks conspired to inflate the price of mortgage-backed securities well into 2007, even when they knew the true value was falling, only marking them down in value after their own hedging strategies were in place. And we learn that top executives were largely clueless about the risks their organizations were taking.

  100. kderosa:

    Matt Taibbi is a flake. As the article says, he may be a word smith but he really doesnt know what he is talking about.

    All preened up with $10 words but saying nothing, I now see why Elaine and others on this blog respect him.

  101. @Elaine, no one is suggesting that the financial sector was completely innocent. They certainly took advantage of a dopey regulated environment and were actively induced by people like Barney Frank to write loads of very risky loans and find a way to deal with the risk after the fact. They did a poor job, in some cases an illegal job, dealing with the risk part. But the fact remains, without government trying to get the financial sector to push these loans in the first place to increase poor/minority home ownership, there would be no finacial crisis today.

  102. @Elaine, no one is suggesting that the financial sector was completely innocent. They certainly took advantage of a dopey regulated unregulated environment ….

  103. Go try to sell some securities or loan some money to the public and see how unregulated the financial sector really is. I’ll make sure to visit you in jail with a file baked in a cake.

    You should probably just stick to quoting people and copying/pasting definitions; you don’t sound so stupid that way because at least the underlying quote/definition makes sense even if it is irrelevant to the issue at hand. This independent thinking business, however, does not suit you.

  104. “Yes, cut them too. We have a giant budget deficit to deal with.”

    An easy solution would be to eliminate the Bush Tax Cuts for the “haves” and “have mores;” ensure that Corporations don’t use oversea tax dodges;
    tax capital gains as regular income; eliminate government handouts to corporations; have import duties aligned with those of the rest of the world;
    eliminate the wage ceiling for pay into Social Security and really segregate it from general government funds; expand medicare to the one payer system and get corporations out of the health business; end three useless
    wars and rebuild this economy. I understand there are some who might call this socialism, but they’re the ones who don’t know what socialism really is and they’re the ones who would hand this country over to the predations of Corporatists. What I propose is an old, but entirely valid concept, capitalism restrained by the government so as to really ensure a free market that is fair. Adam Smith would have approved.

  105. “Go try to sell some securities or loan some money to the public and see how unregulated the financial sector really is. I’ll make sure to visit you in jail with a file baked in a cake.”

    I’m really sorry that polysyllabic words and concepts beyond eighth grade proficiency are causing you trouble. You’ve made a fine argument that, after the barn door has been nailed shut following the latest horse outbreak, it’s very hard for the horses to escape.

    By the way, I did both financial transactions after the barn door was thrown open by the repeal of Glass-Steagall and before the financial crisis. They were begging you to borrow and trade. Now after the financial crisis, it’s incredibly tough. The rule to be gleaned seems to be that even dense Republicons back their hand away from the flame after getting burned.

  106. Mike Spindell, why keep on giving government more revenues when it has shown itelf unwilling to increase it’s spending to capture and exceed that revenue. We don’t have a revenue problem, revenue is at historic levels of GDP. Spending on the other hand keeps on growing and growing, far outpacing GDP.

  107. My statement wasn’t limited to being after the financial crisis. Had you sold securities or loaned money at anytime after Glass Seagal, you had a host of regulations to coply with.

    No the rule to be gleaned is that no one wants to lend money in this uncertain business environment.

  108. kderosa

    I’m sucking up to Otteray!? You have no idea how funny that is.

    Honey, I support clear headed thinking and always listen to those who have proven their competence at advancing civilization. Quite simply, in my not so humble opinion, Otteray is an advancor (Otteray the Advancor … sounds like a good title for a movie).

    I only suck up to HenMan ’cause he truly appreciates my camel jokes … (yes, Buddha, that was a double entendre ;) )

    Tell the dude who’s always wasted by midnight that I miss him.

  109. Blouise, you are too kind. I do try hard to make things work rather than throw sand in the gears of civilization.

    I struggle to understand the deliberate obtuseness of those who avoid logic at all costs, and who refuse to learn by painful experience. One can only conclude they have not really suffered true pain at the hands of a cruel environment. Either that or they are just paid well by their handlers and don’t really care about the substance.

    I am afraid I may be the one who is responsible for the wild flinging of the term, “ad hominem.” I was the first to really get into the issue of logical fallacies and mentioned ad hominem attacks on several occasions. Trolls clearly do not understand what that means, as Buddha, mespo and others have pointed out repeatedly, but it has fallen on deaf ears. So far I have seen the following logical fallacies by the trolls. Not a comprehensive list, just the ones off the top of my head:

    1. Ad Hominem
    2. Failure to State
    3. Needling
    4. Argument By Laziness (Argument By Uninformed Opinion)
    5. Straw Man (Fallacy Of Extension)
    6. Short Term Versus Long Term
    7. Poisoning The Well
    8. Statement Of Conversion
    9. Argument By Dismissal
    10. Begging the Question (Petitio Principii)
    11. Affirming the Consequent
    12. Appeal To Ignorance (Ad Ignorantium)
    13. Argument to Logic (Argumentum ad Logicam)
    14. Composition Fallacy
    15. Disjunctive Fallacy
    16. False Analogy
    17. Mistaking Deductive Validity for Truth
    18. Red Herring
    19. Slippery Slope (The Continuum Fallacy)
    20. tu quoque (You Too!)

    Isn’t this wild? We can add to the list as they continue to challenge logic and the laws of both physics and economics. I am sure others will come up with some I missed.

  110. I forgot to list the logical fallacy that seems to be one most often used by the trolls:

    The Nominal Fallacy

  111. Typical Otteray Scribe Rhetoric.

    Make a statement and then fail to provide a specific argument why the statement is accurate.

    I don’t think you’ve supported one argument in the past month.

    As, such this list of your is merely one long ad hominem.

    Do you need for me to explain why?

  112. Otteray Scribe:

    I cannot help it if you went to public schools and learned an alternative universe of misinformation and misdirection from the likes of John Dewey and other progressive philosophers.

    I know it must really suck to find out your long held beliefs are most probably built on lies propagated by progressives over the last 100 years. Since their philosophy doesnt work, they have to brainwash people into believing their reality.

    As far as your logic goes? You have to have the right premise for logic to work. I am sure in your world view your logic is correct but it is based on false premises.

  113. OK, we have a couple more. Now lets play a guessing game. Which logical fallacies do the two statements above represent? Clock is ticking.

  114. not a one. Do you deny John Dewey had a good deal of input in the American public school system or in American society?

    Do you deny that progressive philosophy has been the predominant ideology in this country for the last 100 plus years?

    If you do you arent only logically deficient but your perception isnt so good. But then you wouldnt know since you have bought all the fallacies of the left hook, line and sinker.

  115. Is there a logical fallacy for someone who keeps on complaining that comments are off-topic and then posts an off-topic comment himself when he thinks he has something witty to say?

  116. OS,

    If it’s one thing Music Theory taught me, the answer’s almost always: I, ii, V, I (as a pivot chord to the relative minor): #vi, vii-dim, i (as a pivot to the Major key a whole step down): V, I, IV, V, (as V of V of the original key): V, I.

    Or it could be non-sequitar. I’m not sure.


    Care to check my work?

  117. Shoot, that should be a #vii-dim shouldn’t it? Also, it’ be a pain to avoid parallel parts for that bit in the minor key. Oh well.

  118. OS,

    Of course, I did see a troll fall prey to the fallacy of composition, so all trolls must do it.

    On the other hand, there can’t possibly be any logical fallacies because you’re a big poopoo head.

    Hey, this is kind of fun.

  119. Gyges:

    We do have a few Existential Fallacies upthread.

    I have about come to the conclusion the whole teabagger movement is predicated on an existential fallacy.

    They need to prove they are real. I am beginning to believe the whole thing is the result of too much pizza and beer.

  120. OS,

    “too much pizza and beer.”
    Depending on the pizza and the beer in question, there’s no such thing.

    I’m actually making a home-made semolina crust right now.

  121. OS,

    You know, I’d been trying to think of something witty to say about Existential fallacies, but since I’m not entirely sure they exist, why bother?

    Which is why that joke falls so flat.

  122. @Howington,

    ANd speaking of personal atatcks, here’s the very first sentence of the very first response to me that you wrote under your new GeneH persona:


    I’m sorry, but I’ve been reading your posts on other threads and won’t be taking your numbers out of context seriously. Or pretty much anything else you might say for that matter.

    Right out of the box you started with the personal attacks. I guess a tiger really can’t change his stripes, eh Buddha.

    Make sure you inform Prof Turley of your antics even under your new persona. You have a long history of this nonsense that he is well aware of.

  123. kderosa,

    I don’t take people who use numbers out of context seriously. If you want to be taken seriously by others, I suggest you not do that in the future. It’s not my fault you seem to be generally received in this blog community as a liar and dishonest operator in general. That fault is squarely on your shoulders.

  124. @Howington, I’m not the one who had to change online personae, now was I? A personal attack is still a personal attack no matter how much you want to sugar coat it (GeneH’s Modus Operandi) or not (Buddha’s Modus Operandi). The discrediting techniques you employ are exactly the same, but for the vileness of the presentation. They serve to merely disguise your weak substantive arguments.

  125. Well Kd,

    I only applied to 1 undergraduate school…was recruited by 2 others…I only applied to one Law School…never did apply to seminary….the Bishop was a friend of the family….BTW, the Undergrad school I went to school of business is # 1 and # 3 in the colleges I graduated from….I wanted a change of pace and went to a # 10 or 11 Law School at the time….so…what can you say…I see your major was not English, neither was mine….

  126. Yours Kdaponzi was never….You must have majored in Psychology…This I do believe…Major Personality Disorders….I presume it is to find out why you act the way you do…

  127. Kdnoid,

    So you went to a # 25 or not ranked law school is what you are saying…So what was the name of the law school then….

  128. Actually, it was ranked #1 for IP law back then, which is what I went for. That must be how I’m able to form coherent arguments, and you, sadly, are not. Someone must have taken your LSAT’s.

  129. Kdnoid,

    Sorry, that was either Berkley, Duke or Stanford….Back in 1990 GW Law was not even around….there may have been a law school but it was not named GWU….You are full of it…

  130. Well if Turley was in his first year it was 1990 if I recall……and GWU was there but GWU Law School was not….do your research….

  131. you have the incentive to falsify, get to it. I believe we flip flopped with columbia a few times. Berkely was up there too.

  132. Raff,

    GWU-Law School until the mid 90’s was called the National College of Law…Professor Turley started in 1990….There is no way that Kderosa…went to GWU when Turley was in his first year in 1990 as as that year if I recall at that time Berkley was No 1… I could be wrong….But the law school was not named GWU….

  133. AY and others; Kdiarrhea no more went to law school than my granddaughter’s pet hamster. Don’t waste time on it. If the troll wants to make claims, it is up to the troll to prove the claims or expect to be either ignored or ridiculed. Anyone who has been to law school would be better equipped to engage in debate, but it has fallen down miserably in that department. The Koch crime family really should demand their money back.

  134. OS,

    I just thought I should what would you say…Trap him…Kdponzi is quite illusive….

    Not that I know much…I swear there are plenty of people smarter than I ever cared to be….

    But I know what I dime looks like…

  135. All sound like tier 4 law school students….. No top 25 writers in this crew no matter what they profess.

  136. Raff,

    Kdnoid may be a smart person…But god save his soul…He has not an ounce of decency….Why he chose to attack Gene H…whom has only been here a few months…I have no ideal….

    But who know…

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