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The Carbon Flame War
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Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: no light either. on 11/15/2010 15:03:14 MST Print View

Doug, just to be clear, I was referring to the government, not the military, not the firemen, not the teachers, not even most of the bureaucracy. I'm talking about the higher party echelons and state governors and the other high up placemen here. Their positions are bought with big piles of cash, and its the cash of big invested interests interested in maintaining the status quo.

Stability isn't always a bad thing, but it does tend to lead to the corruption and perversion of democratic principles. If politics is to be left to the 'free' market, then the market owners will run the show.

The deeper questions are these: Is the ownership of money the best quailification for and indicator of fitnss to govern? Why did the founding fathers stipulate that members of the government would not be paid for their service? Should they have made sure the families of those in government weren't making a killing out of policy too?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: no light either. on 11/15/2010 15:27:19 MST Print View

"I was referring to the government, not the military, not the firemen, not the teachers, not even most of the bureaucracy. I'm talking about the higher party echelons and state governors and the other high up placemen here."

I know that Rog, my point is that the military and the firemen and the teachers, etc. are the government. You're really, I believe, talking about the politicians. And I agree wholeheartedly, I've little use for most politicians and their sycophants. And, of course, I pretty much believe that most politicians are sycophants of the uber wealthy class.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: no light either. on 11/15/2010 15:38:08 MST Print View

Hi Doug,
sure, I just wanted to be clear so as not to cause offence. It's not just politicans though. There is a cadre of high up bureaucrats with longstanding familial connections with the politicians and their families who lurk in the corridors of power no matter which party is in at the time.

Over here they all seem to come from three private schools, two universities and rejoice in wierd double-barreled second names like Prabbleson-Farquhar.

They are a long way removed from the reality most of us live in.

Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
Greenhouse Gasses on 11/15/2010 16:02:14 MST Print View

greenhouse

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: no light either. on 11/15/2010 16:02:23 MST Print View

"C'mon Nick, do you really believe this, or are you just having some fun? If this were true (higher gas mileage automatically equals higher sales) then the Prius would be one of the best selling cars in America."

"The top 10 selling cars midway through 2009, as reported by Bankrate, were:

1. Ford F-Series: 179,632
2. Toyota Camry: 150,242
3. Chevrolet Silverado: 149,949
4. Honda Accord: 131,043
5. Toyota Corolla: 121,643
6. Honda Civic: 118,459
7. Nissan Altima: 96,428
8. Dodge Ram: 94,516
9. Ford Fusion: 85,146
10. Honda CR-V: 78,917

Hardly a bunch of fuel efficient vehicles."

Thanks for saving me the bother, Doug.

@Nick: C'mon, Nick, you can do better than this. ;-)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: no light either. on 11/15/2010 16:11:56 MST Print View

"I have no respect for businesses that manipulate the government. They can do so because government is out of control and engaging in activities that our Founding Fathers would not consider legitimate functions of government. Both are wrong. The so-called businessmen who gain riches by political pull or special favors are not businessmen but looters of the worse degree. Seeking influence is evil and those who seek power are the most immoral of all."

Do I take that to mean you are in favor of the Jeffersonian vision of a nation of yeomen and small businessmen? Among other things, you'd likely be driving a horse and buggy and be backpacking, if at all, in a decidedly un-UL fashion. The upside is that a lot of politicians would be working for a living.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: no light either. on 11/15/2010 16:17:48 MST Print View

"The government is the biggest business of them all. And it can be manipulated because it is stacked with the dumbest offspring of the cleverest business families. They used to send them into the clergy. I doubt Bush Jr could work out the sales tax on a quart of oil either. This is the outcome of a system which doesn't limit political funding, and doesn't look too closely at the provenance of the cash. If Obama believes chopping the energy industry off at the knees will create more jobs, then he's a couple of sandwiches short of picnic too. The situation in Britain isn't any better, so don't think I'm just having a bash at the U.S. here either.

It suits the ruling class to have a population sufficently well educated that they understand advertising, but not so clever they start reading and understanding political philosophy or international investment economics..."

To paraphrase an eminent poster, Holy moly, Rog and I agree.

All except the obsessive focus on "global warming" as the object of their affection, of course. ;)

+1

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Producers vs. the Rest of Us?@ Miguel on 11/15/2010 16:32:12 MST Print View

"Even more so than businessmen, teaching, in the States, is a truly under-appreciated profession. Most people have never taught and have no idea how much energy and understanding of both the subjects and the minds of the people they are trying to instill the knowledge of the subjects into it takes to become a truly good teacher. It is exhausting work, because you have to give so much of yourself in order to connect with the students. If the students are unmotivated or resistant to the teaching it is especially hard"

Exceedingly well put, Miguel! America's long standing disdain for and suspicion of intellectual excellence and education will yet be our downfall. I think teachers have been forced to bear the brunt of dissatisfaction with the dismal performance of our students by several generations of parents too busy with their own lives to make the effort to send their children to school ready to learn, make sure they do their assignments, read to them, etc. This and a popular culture that exalts athletic ability and self gratification above all elseabove all other attributes has created an atmosphere where there is no motivation to excel in academic pursuits. As a result, an increasing percentage of university students, expecially in the scientific fields, are foreign. The implications of this for our future are not pleasant to contemplate, given the expanding opportunities for education available to those "who would give their lives for the opportunity to get an education and improve their lives."

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: no light either. on 11/15/2010 17:25:03 MST Print View

Tom says:
Holy moly, Rog and I agree.

All except the obsessive focus on "global warming" as the object of their affection, of course. ;)


Tom, it's their obsession, I'm just putting some effort into debunking it for all our sakes. They've spent $80,000,000,000 in the last 20 years on researching it, interpreting it, lying about it, and pursuading us to believe the lies.

Currently, the number of pursuaded people is falling rapidly. This is due to:

* Scientists who disagree finding a voice.
* The privately voiced doubts and the machinations of the scientists who believed it finding their way to the public eye
* The recent cold winters which don't fit the paradigm
* The overhyping of the issue by the media and politicians
* The growing realisation that the politician's motivation for continuing with the charade is to raise taxes and increase surveillance

Edited by tallbloke on 11/15/2010 17:34:44 MST.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: no light either. on 11/15/2010 17:34:50 MST Print View

>>> We'd all better wake up from this situation pretty sharpish, or the Chinese, Brazilians and Indians are going to start laughing at us. If they haven't already.

They are rolling on the floor laughing their assets off!

But it's not over...

Thomas Friedman says the 21st century will go to countries with the best
1. Education
2. Infrastructure
3. Rule of law
4. Environment

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/thomas-friedman-china-economy-growth-money-12155179

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Government on 11/15/2010 18:14:25 MST Print View

"The government has no moral right to take this money, which is the property of individual taxpayers, and use it in any way except for the direct protection of the taxpayers. If taxpayers do not want to spend their money on research, the government has no moral right to force them. Individual freedom is the fundamental basis of a civilized society. Without this guiding principle, other values hold little meaning. No matter how important science is to society, the principle of individual freedom is far more sacred."

I presume you are only talking about the US government. Everyone's ideas of how a government should function are different. I think government should fund basic research, that is to say research that has no guaranteed marketable outcome, yet is necessary to lay the foundations for salable knowledge. I also think governments should invest in the health, education and welfare of their population, and to protecting the environment, amongst other things. So my ideal government is quite different to Nick's! Then again, if that is Nick's ideal government then, in a true democracy, if enough other people prioritise personal freedom from taxation above social and environmental justice, then your power of vote can change it.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: no light either. on 11/15/2010 19:36:08 MST Print View

the principle of individual freedom is far more sacred.

I assume by this that if, say, one of your employees has done what he considers the work that he feels is equal to what you are paying him and he decides not to come into work when this obligation is fulfilled that you will excuse him and not take more from him than he feels is right. Because personally I feel that businesses are not democratic and do not follow these social ideals that you are talking about. I should be able to tell a boss to go *bleep* herself without fear of getting fired. I don't see how you can have a truly democratic society if one loses one's personal freedoms in the workplace.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: no light either. on 11/15/2010 20:05:54 MST Print View

> I assume by this that if, say, one of your employees has done what he considers
> the work that he feels is equal to what you are paying him and he decides not to
> come into work when this obligation is fulfilled that you will excuse him and not
> take more from him than he feels is right. Because personally I feel that
> businesses are not democratic and do not follow these social ideals that you
> are talking about.

Problem here Miguel. The concept of 'employment' is relatively new to our society: go back 200 years and there was very little of it. In some ways we are still developing the concept.

So how does it work? It is based on the idea of a contract or agreement between two people. You do this work for me and in exchange I will give you this amount of money. Very simple.

So what happens if you don't want to do the work or the amount of work previously agreed upon? YOU are breaking the agreement.Can you expect me to honour my part of the agreement if you do not honour your part? Surely not.

Where does democracy fit into all this? Does democracy fit in? Yes, it does. It is what allows the contract of employment to be created between two people, and it is what grants equal rights to both sides.

Does having a contract of employment mean one loses 'one's personal freedoms in the workplace'? Yes and no. You are free to break the contact if you wish, but remember that your breaking the contract removes the obligations placed on the other person.

cheers

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: no light either. on 11/15/2010 20:37:37 MST Print View

Yes, Roger, I understand that. But you're assuming that the employer fulfills their part of the bargain, which is very often not the case (and vice versa, very often the employee doesn't fill their part of the bargain). Where I work here in Japan I am expected to do 10 credits of class teaching at the university (which equals 15 hours of actual class teaching time, plus preparation, test and homework correction, student mentoring, and 4 times a year, special seminars on weekends. However, without getting paid, the university threatens to fire us if we don't also do the extra student advising, community outreach, highschool recruitment, translating student resume's and cover letters, designing school homepages, fliers, and brochures, free lessons to high school students, attending numerous parties for dignitaries that have nothing to do with the school, and doing our regular school work at home, in the evening and on weekends, PLUS expecting us to do research while not actually giving us time to do research or funds to do research. The work is so time-consuming and exhausting that I rarely have time for anything else. I work >way< beyond what my contract was set up for. But in Japan they give the excuse, "Japanese don't live by contracts. We live by loyalty." My university will hire the Japanese mob to threaten any employees who even dare to talk of forming a union. In the contract there is a provision which states that no more than three employees are allowed to assemble anywhere lest they start voicing dissent. Sure, I could quit my job, but as a non-Japanese in Japan, my choices for a new job are extremely limited and Japan is one of the most expensive places on the world to live. I need this job just to survive. I put up with the abuse so that I can pay my rent, care for my wife, and pay my medical bills as a diabetic. Thank goodness Japanese has a good health insurance system!

My wife recently decided to quit her job, 15 years as a registered nurse, giving four months notice. For two months, the administration of her hospital, unhappy with the inconvenience her leaving would cause, daily subjected her to two hours of meeting, with her having to sit opposite a panel of 15 upper management members literally shouting at her, telling her that she wasn't fit to be a person, let alone a nurse, that it was because of her that patients had died in the past, that they would make sure to include in any recommendations she might get from the hospital for her next job warnings that she was not to be trusted and that she was quitting because she wasn't fit to do the job. She was never allowed a word in edgewise, every time she attempted to say something they subjected her again to a barrage of apoplectic shouting. She came home everyday crying.

And companies around the world, including in the States, get away with this kind of abuse. I'd say that is NOT democracy and no company has even the remotest right to treat people this way. The hierarchy that often forms in the way companies are set up is out of the dark ages, from an era when people still lived in feudal societies and believed in the nobility and peons. It goes against everything that democratic societies have tried for so long to get out of. It goes against everything the labor movements of the 20's and 30's were trying so hard to overcome. And recently it's growing right back to the time before the labor movements when employees basically had no rights. The huge corporations today are basically the nobility all over again, this time using sheer economic power to subdue anyone who might protest. And they use the law itself to manipulate the very laws that were set up to protect individuals from this kind of abuse.

Edited by butuki on 11/15/2010 21:02:29 MST.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Government on 11/16/2010 03:46:22 MST Print View

Lynn says:
I think government should fund basic research, that is to say research that has no guaranteed marketable outcome, yet is necessary to lay the foundations for salable knowledge.


Would you agree with me Lynn that it's great that the government has funded basic research into climate, but not so great that they have also funded a body (The IPCC) whose foundational raison d'etre is to find and disseminate supporting evidence for a highly uncertain co2 driven climate theory and exclude other possibilities from their output?

Output the government then uses to 'sell' the 'narrative' of miserable sinning humans emitting dangerous levels of co2 so they can tax us for doing it.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Government on 11/16/2010 04:46:36 MST Print View

>>> Output the government then uses to 'sell' the 'narrative' of miserable sinning humans emitting dangerous levels of co2 so they can tax us for doing it.

AMEN, my brother! That sums up the situation.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: no light either. on 11/16/2010 07:26:02 MST Print View

Miguel,

You can quit and move if you have so many problems.

I have never heard of a corporate environment as bad as you discribe for your wife or yourself. I have friends that are nurses and NOTHING at all like what you said happened is going on where they work. We actually have laws against the stuff you discribe. I honestly am starting to question your experiences and understanding of the US if you think this kind of thing is prevalent here as well. Maybe you were the victim of unusual set of bad cirmcumstances that has made you dislike the US?

Edited by mpl_35 on 11/16/2010 08:34:56 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: no light either. on 11/16/2010 07:45:55 MST Print View

Really Michael, you should learn more about someone before you start saying things like that about them.

Edited by butuki on 11/16/2010 08:06:29 MST.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
learn what? on 11/16/2010 08:25:39 MST Print View

I'm telling you from my albiet somewhat limited experiences here in the US, that I have never seen what you claim. Have you had these same problems here? Know a lot of people that do?

I have worked for one of the largest corporations in the US and now a very small one. Never had anything remotely like what you say happen. I have two friends that are RNs. One at a larger corporate facility, one a smaller one. Nothing like what you say happens in Japan, happens here in their experiences. And these are women, so trust me, if this had happened I would have heard!

You alleged that these terrible things happen all over. I'm not saying that Japan isn't exactly how you claim. That is probably perfectly true. But you have a very jaded view of the US based on from what I can tell seem like very unusual experiences sometime in the (distant?) past.

You seem to dislike much about America, but have had what appear to be terrible experiences in Japan as well? I have seen plenty of employers here sued if they are forcing employees to work beyond the terms of their employment contract. I would like to claim I'm incredulous at your nobility/corparation rant, but I am actually not surprised coming from you. It is absolutely not true from everything I have seen. If anything I have seen Unions getting in the way of companies here.

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
no light on, either on 11/16/2010 08:47:53 MST Print View

Michael, we DO have laws but we have criminals as well as good people as both CEO's and politicians everywhere in the world as well as in the US. I have quit and moved several times, walking away from thieves and liars at work and abusive situations at home. An old friend has suggested that I join him at "The Firm", in the US Congress as an worker bee. "Retirement and perks are unbelievable" he said. "No thanks, I'm doing quite well for my soul in my current occupation as a 'Passer-by' ", I told him.
Glad to know that all is right in your universe.