There is extremism on both the left and the right, but right now, tea-party extremism is the most dangerous. In the '60s the left was radical and hated the government, and the right wingers (many now in the tea party) said "America: Love it or Leave it." Now the right wing hates the American government.
Google finds 6 million left-extreme web pages calling Obama a Republican, and about the same number calling him a fascist, socialist or communist. Of course there's a few million more right-wing pages calling him a Muslim and a gay, queer or fag. Unfortunately opposite bozos do not cancel out, and both sides end up hurting the country and our government. Find out how.
The Tea Party is full of real people, with real problems, many of whom volunteer time and money, and genuinely believe what they say. But almost no one knows where the Tea Party came from. The three standard myths are:
In fact, the call for a tea party dates back to 2005, and the Koch brothers have provided crucial support, from food and refreshments to organization, speakers and information. Consequently, the Tea Party reflects the extreme right-wing and libertarian views of the Koch brothers.
Abolish pubic schools, and social security, the CIA, FBI and IRS; legalize drugs, prostitution and gambling. Sound extreme? That was the libertarian position when guess who was the libertarian candidate against Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Jim Jones, who murdered 908 American progressives in his Peoples Temple in Guyana, is an extreme example of the far left. Although he was extreme, he was not ostracized and was able to do tremendous damage to the progressive cause, tarnishing people as high as Rosalynn Carter. Without Ralph Nader, who handed Bush the presidency in 2000, we would not have had the Iraq war. If you're progressive, you need to understand the connection and the dangers.
Fascists hate socialists (Hitler jailed them and killed them), hate gays and unions. Many big German corporations backed Hitler, but under socialism, the government takes over big corporations. So Fascism is an extreme version of the guess what and Socialism is an extreme version of guess what.
January 8, 2012. Extremists are damaging America.
This tells us two things. The extremists are nuts, and Obama is well aligned with the average American.
Extremists don't cancel each other out — just the opposite.
Together they could wreck the country. Right extremists are fueled by the Murdoch's FoxNews/WallStreet empire and Koch's political organizations that created the Tea Party. Left extremists have no such backing and can't get anyone elected. But they can discourage progressives and take votes from Democrats. With the two extremes working hand-in-glove (while hating each other passionately), the extreme right could take both the Presidency and the Congress.
This is what recently happened in Hungary, with the result that the ultra-right party has radically re-written the constitution, and although their popularity has dropped to 20%, there's no getting rid of them.
This is also roughly the tragedy that befell Italy under Berlusconi (three-time Prime Minister) who is both a media mogal like Murdoch and an industrial tycoon like the Kochs.
Histories of the tea party leave out its earliest beginnings which clearly demonstrate that it was, from the start, project of the Koch brothers (pronounced Coke). The earliest information is all from the Americans For Prosperity (AFP) website. AFP was started by David Koch in 2004.
What this and much more on the AFP web site makes clear is that David Koch's AFP conceived and orchestrated the birth of the Tea Party. It also shows that the Tea Party did not grow out of Ron Paul's January 16, 2007 fundraising tea-party events.
The premier libertarian think tank, the Cato Institute, was founded by the Koch brothers, and David Koch ran as the vice presidential candidate against Reagan in 1980. Libertarian positions at the time included:
You get the drift. Big government is bad, so get rid of government and let big corporations (like the Koch industries) have the run of the land. Eventually Koch learned that these ideas were not popular and so he decided, to take a secretive approach instead of running for Vice President. Now he sells toned-down versions of his ideas through the Tea Parties by using deceptions. It's working much better.
[#Frum], a thoughtful conservative, asks if the Founding Fathers were libertarians, and in the process explains libertarian ideology. And check out this page on Ron Paul's ex-Grand Wizard (KKK) and white supremacist supporters.
|[=Frum] David Frum is credited with inventing the term "axis of evil" in Bush's second State of the Union Address, and he worked at the American Enterprise Institute until 2010.|
|[=PopNotes] Just hover over green-underline links above to see the "pop" notes.|
Q: Are you still in favor of abolishing Social Security?
A: Yes, ... I’d like to get the young people out of it, just the younger generation, because there’s no money there, and they’re going to have to pay 50 years and they’re not going to get anything. ([#source])
Social Security is now collecting about $750 billion a year in [#payroll tax]. That's been going on for 64 years and according to law it will continue. Since the country keeps getting richer, in 50 years Social Security will be collecting much more. And that money must be used, month-by-month, to pay Social Security benefits. So in 50 years Social Security will collect about $2 trillion/year in revenue and will pay out $2 trillion a year to retirees. That is not "no money there. they're not going to get anything." He's just lying.
The actual problem, and it's one that has been fixed many times in the passed, is that the benefits are scheduled to get ahead of the the revenue. So, if the tax revenue is not [#adjusted up] , then in 50 years, retired people would not get as much as they are now scheduled to get. But they would still get more than retired people get today. That's not nothing. Ron Paul is just a liar. He's an expert on Social Security and he knows what he's up too.
“I have gradually and steadily grown weary of the Republican Party’s efforts to reduce the size of the federal government. Since then Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party have given us skyrocketing deficits, and astoundingly a doubled national debt. How is it that the party of balanced budgets, with control of the White House and Senate, accumulated red ink greater than all previous administrations put together?” —Ron Paul in the March-April 1987 issue of Libertarian Party News
|[=payroll tax] If you have a regular job, look at your paycheck and find the FICA payment. This is mostly social security, and you employer contributes an equal amount.|
[=source] Ron Paul's Full Answer
Yes, but not overnight. As a matter of fact, my program’s the only one that is going to be able to take care of the elderly. I’d like to get the young people out of it, just the younger generation, because there’s no money there, and they’re going to have to pay 50 years and they’re not going to get anything. I’d take care of all the elderly, all those who are dependent, but I would save the money from this wild spending overseas. — Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida , Jan 24, 2008.
|[=adjusted up] (say by not exempting all income over $106,000 per year)|
|[=PopNotes] Just hover over green-underline links above to see the "pop" notes.|
The left gets extreme in several different ways, but because it does not have backing from corporations and billionaires, it is far less dangerous. As discussed under Extreme Enviro, a leading climate-change journalist has claimed the ocean is rising a foot a year, when it's actually rising about 1/8 of an inch per year. [#That's extreme]. And, Al Gore has published a picture suggesting the same error, and I've never found a single environmentalist correcting this. And then there are the 9/11 truthers. But let's start with Jim Jones.
Let's start with a clear example. I have a friend who spent years thinking Jim Jones, the mass murderer of 908 progressives, was nearly Jesus Christ. He almost got himself killed. But, even before Obama's election he hated Obama with a passion, and loved Ralph Nader. That's extreme.
He's a very nice, calm, intelligent guy. How could he make a such mistake? And how could he learn so little from it?
I believe, he has a simplistic view of change — Change happens if we see the light and do what's right. So he will only trust a leader who reflects that simple vision, but not one who thinks change is an incremental process that requires compromise and dialog along the way.
He's also missing an understanding of the power of the constraints that keep status quo in place. He would read this and think I was arguing for the status quo. I'm not. I'm arguing that the system that protects it is powerful. To change it for the better requires hard work, and even then, positive changes come gradually.
Even more difficult for extremists to understand, is the need for strategy. Not only is positive change slow, but it must often be indirect. If people are sick of confrontational politics, and the opposition demands X which cuts entirely in the wrong direction, it may be best to offer to compromise on X/2, knowing they will reject it, look unreasonable, and fail to gain their demand.
But the extremist will see the offer of X/2 and a sellout and morally reprehensible. Of course politics is far more complex, and the strategies needed to accomplish anything are also far more complex then X/2. All of this escapes the extremist, and that is why the left splinters and turns on itself. For a brilliant 80-year look at this phenomenon, read Jonathan Chait, or watch Monte Python's The Life of Brian.
[=That's extreme] Climate Change Is Not a Hoax
The best science is telling us there's a huge risk from what we're doing. Since we can begin to address this risk very cheaply, it is completely irresponsible not to. Also, I am not saying that environmental exaggerations are nearly as bad as those paid for by Exxon and the Koch brothers, but this is no excuse. And the enviro extremism only serves to discredit environmentalists.
|[=PopNotes] Just hover over green-underline links above to see the "pop" notes.|
January 8, 2012. This is a true story. Only the name has been changed. Although its details are extreme "Mark's" thought process is shared by most of the extreme left, and in a much attenuated version is widely distributed among Progressives. From what I know of the extreme right and conservatives, they are afflicted with exactly the same curse.
Mark is a kind and thoughtful person, genuinely concerned with the plight of others, which is how he became a follower of Jim Jones, who had helped integrate some schools, churches and hospitals in Indiana. Unfortunately, although very smart, Mark tends to see things in black and white. This made him an easy mark for deception, and Jim Jones, a 50's era communist turned preacher, was a great deceiver. Luckily for Mark, he eventually got close enough to Jones to see his dark side, and fearing for his life, he escaped and hid out while Jones took his cult followers to Jonestown, Guyana.
In November 1978 U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan visited the "Peoples Temple" in Jonestown to check on complaints and was murdered along with four others. This led to a coerced mass suicide by cyanide-laced "kool-aid" in which Jones and 908 followers died, 303 of them, children. This is the worst mass murder (excluding 9/11) in US history, and it targeted idealistic progressives like Mark.
Before Jonestown, Jim Jones had gained the public support of such progressive leaders as, George Moscone, Walter Mondale, First Lady Rosalynn Carter, Willie Brown, Jerry Brown, and Harvey Milk. All of these people were nothing like Jones, but were deceived by him, and by lending him their support, they were, to some extent, discredited by him. In fact progressives have had to live with the epithet, "you drank the kool-aid," ever since.
Now you might think Mark, who was genuinely horrified by Jones, even before Jonestown, would have been chastened by this experience and become cautious about who he followed. But personalities don't change easily. Extremists tend to stay extreme even when they flip from one extreme to another. But Mark didn't flip and the last I heard, he was following Ralph Nader who has done just as much damage to the progressive cause. By taking 98,000 votes in Florida, he handed George Bush the [#election] (Gore only needed 538 votes). And this was no accident; Nader hates Clinton and Gore, but had pledged to stay out of close state races. In the end, however, he couldn't help himself and actively campaigned in Florida.
So Mark has remained an extremist. And, of course, seeing that Obama was anything but extreme, he hated him with a passion from the start. This is part of how I knew, even before the election, that the extreme "left" would turn on Obama if he were elected. These so-called-left extremists will likely join the right extremists and bring victory once again to the Republicans.
|[=election] Yes a fair recount might have saved Gore. And a bit of charisma might have, and X might have and Y too. But none of that negates the fact that if Nader had not gotten in the way, Gore would have won easily, and we would not have had the Iraq war.|
|[=PopNotes] Just hover over green-underline links above to see the "pop" notes.|
Aside from personality disorders, hubris and the ends-means confusion are the two main sources of extremism. I Let me explain.
Suppose a group of friends are driving to a restaurant and once says "turn right" and the other "turn left." Why did they disagree? There are only two generic answers: ends and means. It could be one doesn't actually want to go to that restaurant (disagrees on the ends) and is trying to disrupt the plan. Or it could be that they just have a disagreement about which route is best (means).
Normally, with friends, we assume the disagreement is about means — what's the best route, approach or strategy. Normally. But not with politics. Were the restaurant political, these "friends" would probably assume someone was a traitor to their cause, and forget that their can be honest differences over how to get there.
A Case In Point:
Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of the Nation:
"And here's a no brainer: after a year of being knifed by the GOP at every turn, isn't it time to give up on faith in genteel postpartisanship?" (p. 26, The Change I believe In.)
Now she has not, in this case, assumed Obama has a different goal on issues, but she has assumed that he is trusting in "genteel postpartisanship" — that his intermediate goal is to have a friendly chat with the Republicans and work things out. So what's wrong with that analysis?
Here's the alternative explanation she forgot to consider. By taking a bipartisan approach, he demonstrates the Republicans are the extremists. He may well believe, that only after this is revealed will he be able to win. And winning, is never just about the issue at hand, it's also about the 2012 election. Now I can't read Obama's mind much better than Katrina, although I have the advantage of knowing he has a brain and and thinks strategically, but it is clearly wrong to ignore the possibility that Obama is working a strategy. And even if she thinks it's a poor strategy, it is unhelpful at the least to pretend he is simply empty headed.
This Case Is the Rule, Not the Except;on
So far in Katrina's book, in spite of dozens of opportunities, I have no found one case in which she has said, "I can see that Obama is in a tough position and acting as he does for strategic reasons, which are clever, but it looks like he's misjudging factor X." That is what is called for in every case. Obama is not a no brainer, and he is not "malleable" as to his goals, as Katrina seems to believe.
Obama is, in an extremely difficult position, needing blue dogs for support, and up against a country whipped into an irrational frenzy over "ObamaCare." He is choosing strategies (means) after intense and prolonged debate. And, yes he's made a lot of mistakes — assuming you could do better as president is where hubris comes in again. But worse than hubris, is the assumption that Obama has gone back on his principles (ends) every time he takes an indirect approach for strategic reasons (means).
Environmentalists tend toward simple strategies, such as locking in the next 40 years of carbon policy right now based on a magic number like 80% by 2050. That's a hard sell and they get frustrated. Then they try scare tactics and then they start believing their own rhetoric. Here's an example.
Ross Gelbspan, one of the best known and most prolific popularizes of global warming has a chapter claiming that certain islands in the South Pacific are being flooded by the ocean rising a one foot per year. I found this a bit odd, since everywhere else it is rising about 1/10 of one inch per year. And since water seeks its one level, we can't very well have a big mound of water in the South Pacific. As it turns out, Gelbspan had simply misread the newspaper report he had posted on his own website. Hence the 100 fold exaggeration. (full story)
Unfortunately, Al Gore fell for this story as well. He has a picture in his book of waves crashing over such an island, and there is no way to interpret his text except to mean that the photo is showing the actual effect of global warming that has already occurred. This is complete nonsense, as he could have found out by contacting James Hansen, the leading environmentalist climate scientist, who specializes in sea level rise.
This and many other environmental exaggerations are disastrous not because they will scare us into taking un-needed drastic actions. Just he opposite. What environmentalist need more than anything is credibility, and such exaggerations destroy credibility. In the long run, it is completely counter productive, as is all of the left extremism.
This is an excerpt from my book Carbonomics. After documenting the deceptions perpetrated by the anti-science, warming-deniers funded by the oil industry, I turn to and example of gross exaggeration by one of the best known environmental reporters. (from chapter 4)
Exxon is worth about half a trillion dollars. Ross Gelbspan, a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, rather less. But he enjoys taking on the giant. Al Gore, for one, has commended him for his efforts, and he deserves the praise.
But page 2 of Gelbspan’s 2004 book Boiling Point begins with a curious statement: “The evidence [for global warming] is not subtle.” Gelbspan finds the case for global warming terrifyingly obvious. But if the evidence really is so obvious, why don’t the scientists notice? Why do they keep doing all these complicated studies and end up only 90 percent sure? Are they a bit dense? Perhaps they should read Gelbspan’s book.
Gelbspan’s certainty that global warming is obvious runs through his work as a reporter, making him incautious. Consider this excerpt from Boiling Point about a group of Pacific islands:
In November 2000, officials began the permanent evacuation of more than 40,000 people from their traditional home. As the British newspaper The Independent noted, “[this] could be the dress rehearsal for millions of people around the globe affected by risingsea levels.” … The islands are just 12 feet above sea level, and water levels are rising at 11.8 inches per year.
Gelbspan tells us—based on an article in The Independent—that the sea level is rising 11.8 inches per year due to global warming. But an experienced reporter writing his second book on global warming should have noticed something fishy about 11.8 inches per year. That really is awfully fast.
So how might an investigative reporter proceed? First, a close reading of the source newspaper article, which can be found on Gelbspan’s Web site, reveals it does not say the sea level was rising 11.8 inches per year. Instead it says “The islands … are sinking 11.8 inches a year.” That’s a little different.
To check further, a reporter might next try the IPCC’s 2001 report. Download the Summary for Policymakers from the group’s Web site, and search for “sea level.” The second hit reads, “Global mean sea level: Increased at an average annual rate of 1 to 2 mm during the 20th century.” That’s in Table 1. There are about 25 millimeters to an inch. Two millimeters annually is less than a tenth of an inch per year.
So 11.8 inches per year is about 100 times too fast to be caused by global
warming. The islands’ problem is not the tenth-of-an-inch per year rise in sea
level. The problem really is that the islands are sinking. Here’s a news report
from 2000 explaining why.
The move from the Duke of York group [of islands] is mostly due to a spectacular clashing of tectonic plates. The shift is extremely violent and this month saw a magnitude eight earthquake and several in the seven range. … The islands are sinking 30 centimetres (11.8 inches) a year. (Michael Field, Agence France Presse, November 28, 2000)
The problem really is that the islands are sinking, and they are sinking because of plate tectonics—that is, one part of the earth’s crust is sliding under another. This has nothing to do with global warming.
Unfortunately, Gelbspan’s misstatement of the facts appears to be part of a pattern in which Gelbspan and some other members of the press inadvertently undermine the credibility of the science of global warming by overstating its conclusions. For example, in the same book, Gelbspan says, “Were the Greenland Ice Sheet (or a substantial part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet) to slide into the oceans, it could cause a rapid rise in sea levels. Since about half the world’s population lives near coastlines, the consequences could be chaotic.”
“Slide,” “rapid,” “chaotic.” All possibly true on the centuries-long timescales that climate scientists normally consider. But when I read that passage, I formed an image like one in an old-time newsreel, in which someone breaks a bottle of champagne across a ship’s bow, and the ship slides into the water with a great splash. What Gelbspan and other reporters need to point out when they say “rapid” is that in a worst-case scenario—beyond anything the IPCC predicts—“rapid” means Greenland’s ice will take 100 years to slide into the sea and the sea level will rise about half an inch per year.
Warning of extreme possibilities is valuable so that people can consider the risks. But reporting extremes as if they are the likely outcome, and reporting them in misleading language, ends up making people more skeptical of the science—to the delight, I am sure, of the oil companies.
Answer: So Fascism is an extreme version of the Tea and Koch Party and Socialism is an extreme version of Occupy Wall Street. Well, it's quite a bit more complicated, but that's the rough alignment. Fortunately, most people in both groups are no where near the extreme.
December 6, 2011. Republicans like to call people socialists.
And they all call Obama and the Democrats socialists. The idea is that if it's related to government and you don't like it, then it's socialist.
But until the Republicans started this name game, socialist meant government "owning the means of production." You can define "production" pretty broadly, but traditionally it did not mean the fire department, even though those departments are quite productive. And it did not mean the defense department or the police department.
Presidential hopeful Rick Perry wants to eliminate the departments of Commerce, Education and, when he can remember, Energy. They're "socialist" because he doesn't like them. They have nothing to do with actual socialism, which means having the government own banks, steel mills and car companies.
Hitler's first target for destruction, was the German Socialist Party. The socialists fought Franco. He was a fascist. At first however Hitler subscribed to socialist views regarding capitalists, hence the name National Socialists. However once in power however the conservatives Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler moved Hitler away from these views and Germany end up essentially fascist. Big capital was allowed to operate profitably provided it cooperated with the state, and workers were completely excluded from power.
The difference between the two can be summarized roughly as:
Here's a little more detail:
May 26, 2012. Dr. Deer (aka James Kroll) Wisconsin Governor Walker's appointed "Deer Czar" says hunters are communists if they favor deer hunting on public lands instead of on private deer ranches surrounded by eight-foot fences. Check this out, and "Like" it if you like it. Wisconsin deer.
He says public game management "is the last bastion of communism." This is all revealed in "Texas Monthly." Dr. Dough, as he's known down in Texas, has is only high-fenced 200 acre spread, and he backs up his money-making plans with stories from South Africa, where they apparently don't know how to manage their game.
But does Wisconsin need to fence in all its deer just because South Africa has problems and because he see's communists anywhere government performs a service that he thinks he can make a buck off of?