“Dwelling on the nuances does not win the favor of dittoheads”

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

The Editorial Page Editor of the Colorado Springs Gazette, Wayne Laugesen, caught my attention last month when he pointed out that talk radio is “viewed, right or wrong, as part of the GOP, a big part of the GOP.”

This, he said, has hurt Republicans among Hispanics.

I asked Laugesen whether the damage caused by talk radio goes beyond Hispanics, to women or environmentalists, for example.

“I think a lot of good comes out of conservative talk radio,” he told me “But it can be a double-edged sword. That which gets ratings is not always in the best interest of those trying to win elections. Trying to find a niche on the radio is different from trying to put together a coalition of voters to win an election.”

I called Laugesen after listening to him on a talk radio show yesterday, where he had this exchange with radio host Jason Worley on KLZ’s Grassroots Radio Colorado yesterday:

Jason Worley: Environmentalism is a religion today. If you compare it to Judaism, Catholicism, Christianity, Hinduism, it has the same tenants, the same ideas. The problem is, the people who follow it, don’t have to actually ever suffer the effects of it. Go drop them off in Borneo in the middle of the rainforest with no mosquito protection repellent, no sunscreen…see how long they could last. They wouldn’t.

Laugesen: Right. If they ever got their way. If they were ever successful at stopping all this progress they intend to stop, they’d be miserable.

Worley: Wayne, you and I share a lot of beliefs. We’re right there on libertarian-leaning conservative beliefs.

Laugesen: Sure. I love progress. Almost 100% of the time, with some exceptions, when someone creates profit, which is really just the cost of capital, that person has improved the human condition. Because what are we willing to pay for? What makes us part with precious capital? An improvement to our lives. That’s the only thing that makes us part with capitol. Human beings are not intuitively into destroying their lives, or the environment that supports their lives.

Lots of people, like swing-voting soccer moms, consider themselves environmentalists.

Could this conversation possibly make them feel good about the GOP?

To be fair, there was a lot more to the KLZ radio segment, including Laugesen’s audio of a group of anti-fracking protesters saying some silly stuff.

But still, if you’re the kind of person who feels warmly toward environmentalism, and you listened to this show, you could easily have felt personally attacked.

But that wasn’t Laugesen’s intention.

I interpreted Laugesen’s 100% comment to mean he’s against most all regulations that might hinder profit. But he straightened me out, saying he believes that rules and regulations are necessary.

He also said he thinks “organized religion is far more legitimate than extreme environmental activism.”

In fact, throughout his radio appearance, Laugesen directed his critique at “radical” environmentalists, not all of them.

But, amid the extreme comments by a guy like Worley, do everyday environmentalists hear the distinction. Or do they just feel attacked?

Laugesen and I agreed that amplification can overpower details on talk radio.

“Dwelling on the nuances does not win the favor of dittoheads,” he said.

190 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Strain 1: Environment’s condition is a big part of human happiness and thus should have resources (disagreement of private v. public here) devoted to it.

    Strain 2: Environment’s well being trumps the well being of man.  See VHEMT as an extreme example: http://www.vhemt.org/

    I think Wayne was more talking about Strain 2 than Strain 1.  And just because he made such a point on talk radio as opposed to a print format does not detract from the point’s legitimacy.  

  2. Talk radio is viewed as a giant arm of the GOP. And that view isn’t inaccurate. On any given day of the week, I can find a national or state Republican office-holder who says something in the same extreme (even silly) line as your average right-wing talk show host.

    That’s because the right wing has ruled talk radio for decades, and their captive audience has trickled into FOX News and then into the activist wings of the Republican Party. Simply put, the Republican Party is now made up largely of people weaned on talk radio and FOX News.

  3. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Big difference on excluding people based on IDEOLOGY and excluding people based on group.  The GOP would be correct to exclude avowed eugenicists and racists from the party as neither comports with small gov’t ideology.  Excluding people because they speak a different language though makes little sense and doesn’t go to anything resembling the GOP’s core mission.

    I understand Wayne’s points on immigration to be that talk show radio programs have been pushing exclusion based on non-ideological bases.  And that exclusion serves neither principle nor intelligent politics.

    To the extent that the above remarks can be interpreted as “exclusionary” (a huge stretch) they would in fact be exclusionary on an ideological basis and thus fall outside what I believe Wayne was talking about  

  4. dwyer says:

    Who the hell are you?  Boy, I turn my back on the blog for a few days and they are letting in anybody.

    1) So what if some environmentalists are also Pantheists….look it up in your Funk & Wagnells….Didn’t you study Thoreau and Emerson at Northwestern?

    2) Speaking of Northwestern,  any study of the environment that occurred ten years ago is obsolete.  There have been both tremendous scientific advancements in data collection and continuing changes in climate.

    There are two legitimate issues, as I see it.

    1) The first is that those who pollute the environment and/or benefit from the products of that pollution, such as fossil fuel use, are not the same people who may suffer from the impact of that pollution or who may not suffer proportionally.  So how does a “free market” equitably distribute costs and benefits?  The answer is it never does.

    2) It is one thing to document climate change and pollution.  It is another to be able to predict what interventions will have the desired effect without unintended consequences.

  5. I’ll switch from Worley and environmentalism to get us out of the rut and back on to the topic of the diary. How about a second example, by way of anecdote?

    Rush Limbaugh was at least entertaining when Femi-Nazis were well-understood to be the few radical feminists out there. I listened to him back in those old days. But the last time I listened to him, Femi-Nazis were those feminists arguing in favor of the ERA or equal pay for equal work non-discrimination laws – i.e. people who thought women deserved to be treated with the same respect as men.

    I can’t listen to Rush now. He insults my intelligence, and it seems he tries hard to insult common sense at least once per segment.

    The same can be said of Bill O’Reilly, or Sean Hannity, or Michael Savage. Or – away from media entertainment – Rep. Michelle Bachmann, Rep. Paul Broun, Rep. Steve King or any number of other lesser lights on the Republican side of the aisle. And I think they all reflect on Laugesen’s talk show point.

  6. AristotleAristotle says:

    Why didn’t you answer my comments that were directed to you?

    I’ll link you back to them to that you don’t have to go searching. Please answer them.



  7. … because Laugesen’s comments were wrapped in Worley’s talk show rhetoric, it doesn’t come out sounding moderate, or as though he’s just attacking the extremists.

    He gets dragged into saying “almost 100% of the time [when someone profits] they’re improving the human condition”. I think we can agree that’s not true; there are many profits being made out there to the detriment of the human condition, and more that are made without thought to any side-effects on the human condition.

    The same thing happens in topic after topic on talk radio. And the phenomenon isn’t limited to conservative talk; the easiest way to host a successful talk radio show is to be provocative and extreme.

  8. Carolannie says:

    Right? Right?  Or maybe right wing, right?

  9. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    I heard no such distinction, I heard the canard that environmentalists are opposed to “all this progress they intend to stop” as if caring for the environment requires reducing the standard of living.  It’s the same leap of logic that states that because if one finds oneself among the 47% of citizens without a federal tax liability, one can never take responsibility for, or care about, one’s life.  

    When a Republican says something horrible and the apologies follow, compare to their previous statements.  You’ve offered no evidence that the speaker made any such distinction, or that the right wing does either.

  10. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Profits without gov’t subsidies/programs almost always result from a value add transaction…unless you have a non-attenuated externality involved.  

  11. Money coming out of a transaction.

    That the person paying the cash feels there’s benefit does not necessarily mean there’s a real (as opposed to perceived) improvement to the human condition.

  12. sxp151 says:

    You talk like someone who almost finished an economics course and is overconfident going into the final. This blog is not your study group.

    Government regulations exist to price externalities. That’s the whole point. Markets do a bad job without some such pressure.

  13. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Absent externalities and gov’t subsidies/involvement, profits only arise from adding value.  

  14. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    Republicans are the welfare Queens of ignoring externalities.  “Free markets” only exist when someone else picks up the pieces.  No environmental regulation no, we need free markets!

    Meth makes for profitable sales when the dealer doesn’t have to pay for the crime and healthcare problems which are the inevitable result.  The addict sees the added value in their buzz, but there is a negative value to the aggregate human condition.

  15. lyjtrpcnf says:

    and a Dem sees a massive externality requiring cost shifting 😉

    Let’s stay on point here.  The question is whether voluntary transactions add value.  Almost always they do.  The kind of very attenuated externalities you are talking about are not on point to detract from this.  

  16. BlueCat says:

    Most people concerned about the environment are ordinary self interested folk who would like for themselves and their children to have air to breathe and water  that doesn’t make us sick, the benefits of biodiversity to save us from things like catastrophic blight and to provide cures and treatments for various dire illnesses and conditions. That kind of practical self interested stuff.

    Laugesen just goes with what the audience want to hear. To the general public… yeah we need to sound (not really be) more reasonable and the extreme stuff on talk radio makes us look too far out. On talk radio… yeah wacko host and audience, right on about all the tree huggers.  

  17. BlueCat says:

    it can’t live with that arm and it can’t live without it. That’s why the level of attempted voter suppression, gerrymandering to win state legislatures and an all out attack on unions as a source of Dem funding have become so  blatant, nasty and desperate.

    Next up, all out effort to change all or nothing status for electoral votes in states like Virginia. That’s what Ryan was talking about while bemoaning the “urban” vote. Of course Obama would have won anyway. It just would have been more like the popular vote margin which wasn’t too thin by contemporary presidential standards.

  18. No-one’s saying that the GOP is excluding environmentalists (or feminists, or Latinos) from the party. It’s about language and messaging. People listen to the incendiary and extreme voices on right-wing talk radio, hear the same coming from multiple GOP officials, and still more from Republican-affiliated organizations like NOM and AFA.

    From there it’s a matter of personal choice: do I want to associate myself with a party of extremists? Do I want to vote for those points of view? The increasing number of “no” answers to those questions is hurting the GOP.

  19. lyjtrpcnf says:

    But is calling environmentalism a religion when Jedi is a religion really all that “extreme?”

  20. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    Jedi is Science Fiction.

    Religion is based in faith; “I believe this is true, though no evidence is required for that belief, and no evidence can shake that belief.”

    Science is based in hypotheses, which are tested by facts, and can be summed into grander theories as an explanatory framework, all of which are subject to revision should new facts arise.  

    Belief that man is altering the Earth in harmful ways is therefore not a religion.

    “Environmentalism is a religion” just like “atheism is form of religious belief” and “evolution requires just as much faith as Christianity” is right-wing troll-talk, unless you’ve got better arguments than the rest of your ilk.  

    So far, not so much.

  21. (at least as much as Scientology is a faith).

    Environmentalism is a fact and outcome based activist activity.

  22. Telling someone that their activism is solely faith-based is insulting to them, and ultimately it reflects poorly on the speaker to make such a characterization.

    It is “extreme” in that it’s untrue and unnecessary.

  23. BlueCat says:

    Environmental concerns are not faith based beliefs, at least not for the overwhelming majority of those who have those concerns. And denigrating various groups of people based on their origins, race, ethnicity, language, gender, sexual orientation, religion or lack thereof, so common in the GOP sphere, certainly feels exclusionary to the objects of the aggressively disdainful expressed attitudes.  Naturally the objects of the derision will tend to exclude themselves from that sphere whether they are officially exclude or not. Which leaves a shrinking pool of grumpy old bigots. There is no strategy that will turn those into an election winning majority outside of remaining safe red grumpy districts.

  24. sxp151 says:

    If you believe letting go of attachments and not succumbing to your anger is valuable, it’s a good way of getting through the world and agrees with many other philosophies. If you believe your body is full of midichlorians or that with proper training you can jump 15 feet in the air and deflect bullets with laser swords, then it’s your actual religion. The other stuff is just philosophy.

    Just like “Turn the other cheek” may be good advice morally or ethically or philosophically, but “Jesus didn’t really die” is religious.

    The basic difference between a philosophy and a religion is that a philosophy tells you this or that thing is good to do, and you can agree or not, while a religion tells you something is true while all physical evidence tells you it’s false and you still believe it’s true. Is this hard?

  25. ClubTwitty says:

    Today’s GOP welcoming anyone other than an increasingly shrinking set of reactionary ditto-heads and their .01% puppeteers.  

  26. lyjtrpcnf says:

    to many people

  27. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Burning down ski condos and saying we should stop reproducing in the name of biodiversity is akin to religiosity.  On the other hand, giving some money to have nice trail head in the mountains is not.  Specifics matter.

    (And I don’t think I used “faith based” as the definition of a religion – however I have been responding to a lot of different people).  

  28. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Sorry, but when you prioritize biodiversity over human life as a first order priority, that prioritization sounds in religion.  

  29. lyjtrpcnf says:

    And it wasn’t the IRS that won the fight.  

  30. lyjtrpcnf says:

    What is and is not a religion is a very complicated question without a really good answer.  Given that environmentalism priorities different things above human life calling it a religion is not outside the realm of accuracy and polite discourse.  Because it isn’t outside those realms, the last argument that Jason Salzman has against Jason Worley and Wayne Laugesen comments on Wed. night collapses in on  itself.  

  31. lyjtrpcnf says:

    should say “prioritizes” and not priorities.  

  32. sxp151 says:

    It’s trivial. I answered it. You’re just trying to be intentionally difficult to mask the fact that your argument doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.  

  33. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    You’re a fucking troll.

    I’ve outlined the difference between religious and fact-based endeavors above and you’ve chosen to ignore it.  Whether protecting the environment gives animals preference over humans or is merely self interested long term planning can be debated on the facts.

    Fuck off troll.  

  34. lyjtrpcnf says:

    “Government regulations exist to price externalities”

    Of course the environment CAN be an externality.  What you are missing is that often the environment is not an externality but something that people value for its own sake and will voluntarily pay to protect.  This is the reason that free market countries tend to have much better environmental conditions than command economies – because people have the capital to voluntarily pay for environmental protection.

  35. Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

    buy this, at all.

    This is the reason that free market countries tend to have much better environmental conditions than command economies

    You have some evidence of this?

  36. ClubTwitty says:

    The idea that ‘environmentalists’ are either those who think scenery is pretty and so will voluntarily pay for it, or worship it as deity; is so cartoonishly rendered into a false binary option as to be either offensive on its face (as foundation for policy or explanation of policy a la the GOP), or like unto a large, flashing neon sign above your virtual head proclaiming ‘I…D…I…O…T…’

    To say that nature has ‘intrinsic’ value does not mean that it is held aloft as a deity, it only means that it has purpose and value outside of us giving that to it.  Value in itself, not merely as a tool for our profit or to gaze upon and voluntarily support.

    There is a utility to it as well, as we learn about the ecological services–clean air and water, clear-running (as opposed to silt-laden) streams, biodiversity (and thus greater resiliency within and across species)  etc.–provided by intact ecosystems.  

    Thus we introduce the notion–to the two-dimensionally inclined that see most of the the world on one or the other side of a ledger sheet–of externalities.  Which is to say make the polluters pay directly for the mercury coming out of their stacks, the methane out of their mines, the CO2 out of their (my) tailpipe.  

    Otherwise you are looking at what conservatives claim and pretend to abhor–the transfer of wealth (etymologically connected to health, as in what Ned Prather had screwed up by benzene in his drinking water from drilling), also seen as the socialization of cost.

    So, yeah the ‘environment’ can be an externality or it can be a Disneyesque commodity (to the sadly limited and myopic) that you pay your admission to gaze upon, but guess what-?  

    Nature bats last. As the Tao says, it looks on people like you (and me) as ‘straw dogs.’  Get it?  Its up to us to get along with it not the other way around.  

    ‘Though Heaven prefers no one, the wise prefer Heaven.’


  37. Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

    is doing this?

    prioritizing biodiversity over human life

    What the hell are you talking about?

  38. Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

    represented by the views expressed at the VHEMT link you provide is preposterous.

    I checked out most of your links…just a bunch of right wing echo chamber trash.

    I suspect you are identified in the title of this thread.

  39. Progress (in terms of innovation and development) comes because we understand more than we used to.

    At one point, I’m sure the theory that the world was round was insulting to many people. And the discovery that the world went around the Sun and not the Sun around the Earth was certainly greeted as being insulting – so much so that the announcer was thrown in jail.

    Without biodiversity there are any number of drugs we might not have discovered – drugs that provide benefit to the human condition. Think of what might have happened if we had figured out a way to destroy mold (theoretically a highly beneficial result for humans) in the 1800s and were successful – no penicillin!

    If you want the best of progress, it is best to have the broadest approach. Ditching scientific progress (e.g. climate research) because it gets in the way of the immediate gratification of industrialization is short-sighted and ultimately detrimental to the human condition. And, yes, that might be insulting to some people – I don’t care, it’s also the simple fact-based truth.

  40. lyjtrpcnf says:

    I got to run to work, but this will be a good starting point for you to start checking into it if you are genuinely curious.  



    And if you poke around you’ll find academic papers too.  This isn’t really a controversial point.

  41. lyjtrpcnf says:

    You are unable to come up with a compelling definition of a religion or why people should buy into your definition (should you come up with one) in the first place.  As such you have no real argument.  

  42. lyjtrpcnf says:

    So what sort of “faith” does Scientology have?  Or what sort of faith does belief in the giant spaghetti monster involve?  

    I don’t think you realize the can of worms you are opening.

    Bottom line is that what is a religion and what is not a religion is subject to very intense disagreement.  Your attempts to try to resolve it with your own personal definition, while maybe well-intentioned, are hardly dispositive.  

  43. lyjtrpcnf says:

    One the less extreme end you could talk about the movement away from DDT that cost countless lives due to increased malaria in poor countries.  

    On the more extreme end you get groups like NumbersUSA and VHEMT that seek to ban immigration to protect the environment (NumbersUSA) and encourage people to voluntarily go extinct to protect biodiversity.

    Or you get groups that burn down ski condos in Vail to protect the biodiversity.  

    Bottom line is there are some real extremists out there in the envirnomental world.  And their extremism, while necessarily “wrong” is akin if not the same as religious fundamentalism.

  44. lyjtrpcnf says:

    “Bottom line is there are some real extremists out there in the envirnomental world.  And their extremism, while necessarily “wrong” is akin if not the same as religious fundamentalism.”

    Should read:

    “Bottom line is there are some real extremists out there in the environmental world.  And their extremism, while NOT necessarily “wrong” is akin if not the same as religious fundamentalism.”

  45. has links to diabetes, developmental problems, and reproductive issues. It is also strongly suspected to be a carcinogen.

    Further, it is misleading to say that the movement away from it cost countless lives due to malaria – it’s still used in Africa where malaria is most persistent; other, more wealthy countries have largely moved to other substances that aren’t as harmful.

    Oh – and it’s still the prime suspect (2006 study) of the massive decline in certain bird species while it was legal.

  46. ClubTwitty says:

    So extreme behavior by corporatist ‘proves’ that Market Fundamentalism (i.e. the Cato Institute) is akin to religious fundamentalism?  Sounds like your God is mammon.

  47. AristotleAristotle says:

    We’re only just beginning to see the effects that losing biodiversity is having.

  48. BlueCat says:

    The overwhelming majority of  people with  environmental concerns are not extremists who think the end of mankind would be fine, maybe even good thing, for good old Mother Earth. Most see biodiversity as something essential to the welfare of mankind, not counter to it. That has nothing whatever to do with any sort of blind religious faith. It’s about very real concerns.

    You do realize, Elliot, that the use of straw dogs only further weakens a lame argument, don’t you?  Nobody uses straw dogs unless they know an argument can’t stand on its own, after all.

  49. AristotleAristotle says:

    Religion requires worship of some kind of god, gods, or other powerful force (like AA’s “higher power”) which is typically something that one could never prove exists. It’s the thing that makes Taoism, for example, a religion instead of a philosophy.

    You’re thinking of dogma, which does not require a religious impetus.

    None of this matters, of course. These hosts were being deliberately disingenuous with that comparison. Speaking of this as though it were serious is a waste of mental faculties that could be better used to solve the problems facing our people.

  50. Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

    nothing but a bunch of Heritage Foundation hooey. You’re right, it isn’t controversial…it’s bullshit.

  51. ClubTwitty says:

    Your ‘reason’ for it–although I disagree– is not controversial either.  As DukeCo points out, its bullshit.

    The U.S. has environmental laws because citizens fought for and won them.  Is that because the Glorious Free Market frees up our leisure time so we can think of such things as babbling brooks and then pay our entrance fee to go visit them?  

    No, its because rivers caught fire and Love Canal.  

    Ever hear of Acid Rain? Two points here you might twist your head around.

    1) It was the acidification of lakes and destruction of forests in the northern part of the country and Canada that helped push through 1980 changes to the Clean Air Act (it was not citizens voluntarily deciding they wanted to foot the bill to clean up the mess made by the ‘Job Creator’ Galt Class).

    And 2) The John Galt Class and their think tank apologists claimed horror and doom would befall industry, Mom, God, baseball and apple pie should that evil Congress regulate ‘nox and sox.’ S ‘War on Coal’ they called it.  Well, it turned out to be a boon for coal mines in Colorado where lower-surfer coal was suddenly worth way more than it ever had been before and it spurred innovation in industry.

    If you are talking public lands (you seem to be conflating the ‘environment’ with ‘parks’ or more broadly ‘public lands,’ a simplistic and false perception to be dispelled at some future time), your error is similar.  

    Its was not some made-up arrangement wherein the public decided, tacitly or implicitly, to voluntarily pay for them.

    Such an impression or explanation, ipso or ex post facto, is historical hooey. .      

    Just saying, there is such a thing.  As history, I mean.  And how the ‘public estate’ came into being–different for different agencies of course, etc. etc. etc.  

    One might draw that conclusion as underlying purpose and cause more reasonably about National Parks, Monuments and even National Wildlife Refuges, but not so much other federal public lands which were either reserved for commodity purposes or only later ‘kept’ by the federal government after years of Homestead Acts, and Timber Acts, and Railroad Acts…and still managed under something other than a strict preservation agenda.  But its not like you present.  

    I’m going out on a limb here, assuming a belief of yours, but let me ask?  You think that the idea we care about the environment because it is a luxury we can afford is non-controversial?  How about Climate Change?  Is it real and exacerbated greatly by human activity, or not?  

    Boilerplate ‘think tank’ blah blah blah…meet reality.  


  52. He’s used his real name (I’m guessing), and he’s easily found online.

    I actually find the use of real words to be a step up from the usual operatives, and I’d love to keep him around. Of course, we’re arguing semantics right now because he thinks he can somehow argue his way into making his position legitimate via word games and redefinitions rather than facts…

  53. dywer says:

    You should try some MMJ for your obvious anger issues.

  54. Glad of you to concede the Jedi point, and I see you didn’t contest the Environmentalism as religion point.

    (PS – IIRC Scientology won because the IRS was told to back down; there was never a case prosecuted. In Germany Scientology is considered a money-based cult. If Scientology survives, I hope that its origin as a challenge between sci-fi writers is remembered. Jedi at least is a faith with no real mythology and an open scripture; its tenets are positive and, to mix my sci-fi, “mostly harmless”.)

  55. lyjtrpcnf says:

    And NU is hardly a “heritage foundation” university.  

    But let’s forget your strawman attack and think about this rationally for a second.  Do people enjoy the environment?  I think we can agree that yes, people do.  So if people enjoy the environment can we all agree that people are willing to voluntarily contribute money to restore it?  Again, evidence suggests that yes.  

    So the question becomes what sort of good is this “environmental restoration” consumption?  Is it a good that people will spend money on when they can’t pay rent?  Or is it a good that people will only spend money on when all other necessities are taken account of?

    Because the undisputed evidence is that free market leaning economies are more prosperous than command leaning economies (compare North Korea to South Korea as the classic example),

    your argument only thus holds up if it is the former and not the latter.  But I think you will have trouble arguing with a straight face that people will spend money on environmental conservationism if they can’t pay their other bills/buy their other necessities – which is exactly what command economics leads to.

  56. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Yep – I used my real name here.  Jelena is a good friend of mine and I’m pretty well known for pushing for immigration reform (i.e. let’s do something other than encourage the ludicrous self-deportation”) within the tea party/liberty movement.  

  57. lyjtrpcnf says:

    And that word game wasn’t started by me here – it was started by the original article.

    The premise of the article was Jason Worley took an extreme position.  The article’s argument is only going to hold up if you can show that it is utterly dishonest to argue environmentalism can be, at any time, a religion. Given the difficulty in defining what a religion, such an argument will not hold up. As such Jason’s statement was not extreme and the original article’s premise fails.

  58. lyjtrpcnf says:

    I think you must have missed the multiple decades of litigation between the IRS and Scientology.  The IRS just got sick of fighting – but did concede in the end that Scientology was a religion.  

    And I don’t think I ever conceded the Jedi point.  

  59. lyjtrpcnf says:

    That there was not less DDT used due to environmentalism?  And do you further contend that any such reduction had no impact in the amount of malaria cases?

  60. The premise of the article is that Worley painted with exaggerated words and broad brush strokes, and that that kind of rhetoric – used by right-wing talk show hosts the nation ’round and increasingly by GOP politicians – is detrimental to the GOP cause.

    Whether or not there are extremist environmentalists (there are) isn’t in doubt. Whether they’re dogmatic about it in a way that some people (you, if we’re to believe your own arguments and not take them as legalistic wrangling) consider religion is also not in doubt.

    No, the article focuses on the fact that right-leaning editor Wayne Laugesen himself notes that the over-the-top style of talk radio is hurting the GOP with more mainstream voters.

  61. BlueCat says:

    what is or isn’t a religion. Between your reliance on this distraction and your straw dog argument about environmentalists putting biodiversity above the welfare of mankind when that is entirely untrue of all but a handful of extremists who, being a tiny handful, are not particularly relevant, you demonstrate  your lack of any a solid leg to stand on.

    Bottom line, being concerned about the well being and survival of mankind in connection with real concerns about the environment, including biodiversity, doesn’t come any closer to religion than does being concerned about keeping one’s roof in good repair. Period. End of bulls–t.

  62. lyjtrpcnf says:

    That no non-partisan reasonable environmentalist would have interpreted Jason’s remarks as extending to them.  They were clearly aimed at the more extreme portion of environmentalism which views humanity as subservient to the environment to the point that people must die to satisfy mother gaia (a la VHEMT and those that burn down ski condos in Vail).  

  63. lyjtrpcnf says:

    What do you have besides “Environmentalism is a religion today” that we have discussed ad nauseam here?  Come on – give me some specifics.

    Because there WEREN’T any “exaggerated words” used the article’s entire premise fails.  

  64. dwyer says:

    No need to bastardize my  name.  I am back.  You may crawl away, again.

  65. that DDT is bad (negative) for the human condition on its own and that the compounding effects on wildlife also would have led to negative effects on the human condition.

    DDT use was reduced for multiple reasons, including environmental reasons. I have no need to deny that; it’s simple truth. I also won’t deny that DDT had a significant impact on malaria cases, and that its removal from service (regardless of whether due to environmental concerns or simple monetary issues) certainly had a negative impact on malaria cases.

    And I’ll go one step further: I’ll state that the environmental concern here in the US (where the primary concern wasn’t malaria but rather agricultural spraying) may have led to an over-reaction in its much more dilute use as a mosquito control agent overseas. Though it was never banned, its use dropped off in many places…

    However, use of DDT as an agricultural pesticide (which is what you’re really advocating here via your anti-environmentalist stand re: DDT) is considered to be the prime factor in the rise of resistance among malaria-carrying mosquitoes, and in a growing number of regions DDT is no longer effective as a result.

    Wayne Laugesen, once away from Worley, admits that regulation is necessary. The elimination of DDT here and for agricultural use abroad was in retrospect the right thing to do – just as the environmentalists said, and just as toxicology studies at the time reported. Its use in disease vector control has never been banned, though special Federal permission is required to use DDT here in the U.S..

    The banning of DDT was the start of the modern environmentalist movement, and the ban on agricultural uses (their goal and the end result of the campaign) was vindicated even beyond their initial comprehension.

  66. There are extremist stamp collectors, and this discussion is about talk radio giving the GOP a bad name.

  67. lyjtrpcnf says:

    But I disagree that Jason’s or Wayne’s comments could be read to do that here.

    This isn’t Peter Boyles going of on immigrants (which I have called him up on air to debate him on).  It isn’t excluding somebody by group, race, or language.  It is simply an exclusion of a system of beliefs when said beliefs are taken to an extreme, perhaps sounding in religion, that is incompatible with the GOP’s core principles.  

  68. lyjtrpcnf says:

    I’m a Stanford Law graduate who did my econ undergrad at Northwestern where  I graduated phi beta kappa.  My twitter handle is my name: Elliot Fladen.

    As for whether or not extreme environmentalists are pantheists, I really am not arguing that point.  I’m just saying that an argument that extreme environmentalism is akin to extreme religion isn’t an off-putting argument to undecided voters and as such is very different from Peter Boyles bashing immigrants on a regular basis on KHOW.  

    Now getting to the argument about the studies I had learned about being dated, it is true that I learned about those studies back around 2000.  But the question of climate change has little to do with those studies’ impact.  The question is whether rich societies will invest more money, both as a percentage of their (higher) income and also an absolute number, in environmental restoration than poor countries.  I had been taught that the evidence shows they do.  I see no reason why anything should have changed that in the intervening decade….in fact by the links I provided, it seems almost assuredly still true today.  

  69. lyjtrpcnf says:

    you concede Malaria increased (and people thus died) as a result of DDT’s decline, then that means something was prioritized over human life, does it not?  

  70. And that’s the point you keep ignoring. Worley didn’t say “extremist environmentalists have their own religion” – he said “environmentalism is a religion today”. He was, in order to make his point, purposefully hyperbolic. And that looks bad, and it buries the (slightly) more moderate message of someone like Laugesen.

  71. Sorry, not playing this game.

    The banning of DDT in agricultural use undoubtedly saved many lives and improved the condition of many others. Had it not been banned, the cumulative effect of DDT in our ecosystem – it has an effective half-life of 25-30 years – would have been catastrophic; if you think the strain on our health care system is bad now, imagine the extra costs from DDT related illnesses.

    DDT’s restriction from agricultural use has also enhanced its longevity as a vector control agent. Had DDT use continued in agriculture over the past few decades, it would be useless now in malaria control.

    Also, with the added time we’ve come up with much better ways to use DDT in mosquito control that are less likely to trigger resistance and more effective in control. Malaria fatalities have declined by 20% in the past decade because we have developed more sophisticated protocols to control the disease. That would not have happened if we’d continued to use DDT as an agricultural pesticide.

    The short-term trade-off (due to an over-reaction by individual governments and the WHO) was certainly the loss of lives; the long-term gain was immeasurable. Environmentalist concerns have in the long term saved lives with their actions re: DDT.

  72. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Boyles repeatedly goes after unauthorized immigrants as the sources of crime, economic blight, etc.  

    Jason has never said that housewives who like pretty parks are akin to VHEMT.  And only partisans who are going to vote Dem anyway would have misinterpreted his words to say as such.  

  73. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Nor did Worley.  But some are.  And those people are akin to a religion, no?

  74. It has statutory authority to deny tax-exemption.

    When they did, Scientology sued to overrule it. In the end, after Scientology lost every court battle and being declared a money-making venture, the IRS granted the tax exemption anyway.

    see here for a timeline.

  75. has never said that working women who want equal pay are akin to feminists who think men shouldn’t have a place in society, either.

    Both Worley and Rush have simply lumped the moderates and the extremists together for convenience – it makes a clearer point, and stirs up discussion.

  76. lyjtrpcnf says:

    I think you might be right on this subpoint.  Now that I think about it, my recollection is that many think the Scientologists got dirt on the IRS leadership at the time who then cut a deal.  

    Either way though, Scientology is still viewed today as a religion by the Feds.  

  77. BlueCat says:

    And one doesn’t have to be non-partisan to be non-crazy.  I’m quite partisan because GOP policy is so utterly destructive.  I don’t make a virtue of being even handed between sensible people and policy and loons with loony-tunes policies. Today’s GOP is not the GOP of my youth. Bi-partisanship is no longer very viable with a party that makes a virtue of no compromise.  

  78. BlueCat says:

    Of course I meant straw dog.  Horses should be Trojan, not straw.

  79. And the US Departement of Defense.

  80. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Do Jedi ministers get ordained? And if so are they knights, masters, or something else?

  81. dwyer says:

    Thank you for your very intelligent rebuttal.

  82. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Do you think statutes of limitations should exist for such lawsuits?  If so, how do you feel about the Lilly Ledbetter act (which basically eviscerated the same).  

  83. lyjtrpcnf says:

    and its easy to lose track of who said what.

    Re: Comment 1: “Biodiversity is a fundamental requirement for the support of human life.

    We’re only just beginning to see the effects that losing biodiversity is having”

    Sure we need biodiversity.  But biodiversity SERVES US.  Not the other way around.  Crucial difference.

    Re: Comment 2: “Religion requires worship of some kind of god, gods, or other powerful force (like AA’s “higher power”) which is typically something that one could never prove exists. It’s the thing that makes Taoism, for example, a religion instead of a philosophy. You’re thinking of dogma, which does not require a religious impetus.

    None of this matters, of course. These hosts were being deliberately disingenuous with that comparison. Speaking of this as though it were serious is a waste of mental faculties that could be better used to solve the problems facing our people.”

    Again, worship of a higher power may be your definition of religion.  It is not everybody’s.  And for the OP’s point to hold you’d have to show that Jason’s view of what a religion is is completely out of line.

    Now, I’m surprised nobody here has asked me creative questions like “well, if environmentalism can be viewed as a religion, what about adherence to communism and/or free market capitalism” – those questions would be much trickier to think through 😉  

  84. AristotleAristotle says:

    Is that a religious conclusion? If not, what’s your basis for that statement?

    “Again, worship of a higher power may be your definition of religion.  It is not everybody’s.”

    It IS the only reasonable definition, however. If we’re going to use words, we have to stick with accepted definitions. (There is nothing so ridiculous that someone out there doesn’t believe it. That belief does not give it any credibility, however.)

    As far as no one asking you that last question, it’s because it can only be asked if one accepts the premise on which it’s based.

  85. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Plenty of people have questioned such a definition.  Bottom line is you want to hold Jason to task for departing from your chosen definition when many do the same.  Not the same thing as holding him to task for being “extreme.”

    As for biodiversity serving us, that is my preference.  You can disagree with if you want, as my preference are in no way binding on you.  

  86. AristotleAristotle says:


    I’m not holding Jason to anything BTW. I’m responding to you, and to you alone. If your remarks happen to be in line with Jason’s, that’s purely coincidental. But I don’t believe they are.

    Words have meanings. People can question them, but without any compelling reason, they can’t affect a change to those definitions. If they fail, reasonable people will not treat their preferences as equal to the definitions that are settled and prevailing.


    Statutes of limitation serve to rationally limit a case from becoming overly burdensome to try. They are longer for some crimes because some crimes deserve trial whenever possible, regardless of the time between the crime and the trial. A statute of limitations for any crime should be as long as it is reasonable to recover evidence and no shorter.

    The previous statute of limitations on fair pay was 180 days from the date of the paycheck being contested; IMHO, that was way too short, allowing victims only 1/2 year of paycheck recovery and complicating discovery of evidence against older pay decisions. What organization tosses personnel records after 180 days? Most keep a file for the length of employment from hire date forward, and tax records are available for 7 years. Therefore lengthening the statute of limitations for pay discrimination is not highly burdensome, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was a good move.

  88. lyjtrpcnf says:

    The whole issue in Ledbetter (which the Lilly Ledbetter act tried to undo) by my understanding (NOT LEGAL ADVICE) was whether each new paycheck renewed the clock.  

    An example:  Let’s say alleged discriminatory act occurred in 1970. As a result of act, Person X received $Y less a pay period (occurs bimonthly) throughout X’s career.  X retires in 2005 and begins receiving pension.  X receives a pension payment say every month and continues to receive them to date.  Each pension payment X receives is less than what the payment would have been had X not been allegedly discriminated against in 1970.  

    X receives a pension payment on 12/1/2012 and files suit for the 1970 alleged discriminatory act the next day.  Is the alleged 1970 discriminatory act within the 180 statutory period?  My understanding (NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND NOT THOROUGHLY RESEARCHED) is NO prior to the Lilly Ledbetter Act and YES after said act.  

    If I am correct, then the act effectively wiped out statute of limitations in many discrimination cases.  Of course, double check me here.  

  89. And pretty much what I stated. (I did not include the mechanism – the renewal per paycheck), because you didn’t ask about the mechanism itself, only about statutes of limitation.

    If the company continues to provide payments at a lower rate, then the origin of those payments is at question in a trial. If it’s legitimate to try the most recent 180 days of payments, then how much harder is it to try the original wage decision on which those payments are based?

    The only way a shortened statute of limitations makes sense here is if you’re trying to shield the criminal against some portion of his liability.

  90. lyjtrpcnf says:

    With a company getting sued for an allegedly discriminatory decision 35 YEARS after the fact?  Seriously?  

    Why even bother having a statute of limitations at all in you view?  

  91. lyjtrpcnf says:

    That’s all.  Not really that complicated.

  92. Again – there’s the same burden of proof for the 180-day violation for someone’s pension accrued over 35 years as there is for the prosecuting the entire 35 year act of discrimination. What’s your argument against it?

    Ideally, I’d love to see a per-case review rather than a statute when it comes to limiting prosecution.

  93. ClubTwitty says:

    profits only arise from adding value


    Point refuted.

    Your orthodoxy is impressive and if you guard it carefully from reality it may survive for some period of time before it comes crashing down in a torrent of disillusionment.  

  94. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Simply saying point refuted does not refute a point.  

  95. lyjtrpcnf says:

    That as the wealth of a country goes up, the environmental quality does as well (at least past the initial decline that occurs from going from poor to moderately poor).  

  96. lyjtrpcnf says:

    And my time is limited, why don’t you try outlining your argument before posting.  It might help you better communicate your ideas.

  97. AristotleAristotle says:

    It’s THE definition. And we are all bound to it. We can’t simply say, Oh, I’m going to come up with my own definition and it’s as valid as the one everyone else agrees upon. We might as well claim that economics has no concern with commerce. One can believe that, but only at the cost of one’s credibility.

  98. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Without statute of limitations, evidence goes stale, people are unable to move on, etc., etc.  

  99. If a case can be brought for a pension check that relies on 35 years worth of paycheck history to justify (pension generally being based on pay history), then what’s the problem?

  100. If you truly rely on a comparison of the Koreas for your arguments, then this discussion can end only one of two ways: you admit that you’re completely clueless, or we finish this discussion agreeing that our two realities will never cross.

    Is China a command economy or a free market economy? Its factories are built by party loyalists; its economic zones planned; its infrastructure completely state-run…

    Where does Germany fit compared to the United States on your scale of command vs. free market economies? Sweden? According to the World Bank, their economies outpaced ours even with the Euro crisis.

  101. Or three.

    The United States as the wealthiest country in the world is responsible for much ecological damage today, both here and abroad. Offshoring the damage isn’t really a step forward.

    And what improvements we have had have largely been against the wishes of the market; forced on the market by government action taken after pushes by the citizens. Largely, those regulations have had long-term benefits both for the private economic sector and for the public good. (Contrary to the popular reactionary conservative belief, regulations have a thorough planning and vetting process…)

  102. ClubTwitty says:

    You ascribed a cause to it.  Historical hooey.

  103. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Here is a good reference point


    In terms of economic freedom, the U.S. (18), Sweden(30), and Germany(31) are all above average, but none are truly exceptional.  

  104. lyjtrpcnf says:

    How you measure “ecological damage” is subjective.  What is not subjective is we spend a tremendous amount of private sector money on environmental concerns.  

  105. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Let it be written, let it be done



  106. lyjtrpcnf says:

    So it hardly “is” the definition.  

  107. AristotleAristotle says:

    because there’s always some nut who insists that something just can’t be, despite all the evidence that it can. Look up “flat earthers” for an example.

    You are bound to the definition, and that’s the way it is. The sky is blue, and religion is concerned with higher powers.

  108. lyjtrpcnf says:

    You don’t get to degree the definitions of things.  Fact is that many very reasonable and respectable people disagree with your definition.  

  109. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Take a look at this law review article:


    Its not like you even have the first amendment to rely on here as at least there the question isn’t what religion is but what the founder’s thought what it was.  Instead you have to come up with some universal definition for the term…for a term that has shifted greatly throughout this nation’s history (and colonial pre-history).

    Bottom line is if you think you have a singular binding view of religion you are engaged in a lack of “nuance” which is exactly the sort of thing the OP complained about.  

  110. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Because Jason wasn’t arguing the founders would have thought something was religious under 1st amd. . . . instead he was just arguing something was religious in his view.  

  111. ClubTwitty says:

    Acid streams.  It wasn’t your Free Market that addressed those problems–at least NOT until people forced it upon them.  Hooey.  Cato Institute Think Tank Blah Blah Blah nonsense.  

  112. Our economy is driving China’s ecological disasters.

    Our economy led us straight to acid rain and burning rivers.

    Our economy is leading us into a global warming crisis.

    The question should probably be: have we already killed ourselves?

  113. AristotleAristotle says:

    Claiming I’m insisting on my own definition instead of the dictionary definition.

    If you have to insist on phony redefinitions to have your way, it’s just evidence that you have no leg to stand on. (Interesting that you have no links demonstrating how religion’s definition has changed, and that it ever meant that there was no spiritual component. That, of course, is because that’s a specious claim.)

    BTW, this is a political blog, not a legal or constitutional one. Legal cases don’t redefine words in the dictionary, and blog posts have no constitutional implications. And most importantly, neither did the radio broadcast which kicked off this whole diary. So all that is irrelevant.

  114. AristotleAristotle says:

    I’m going to take your sudden silence as capitulation on this point. Just so you know.

  115. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Command economies aren’t so good at environmental stuff.  See why China does rare earth metals.

    As for the Cuyahoga river catching ablaze, sure people voted for environmental regulation.  However, they also voted with their money too.  Bottom line is nobody wants to live in an environmental wasteland all else held equal.  Why do you think so many people take pay cuts to live here in Colorado?  Because it is beautiful.  

  116. ClubTwitty says:

    Not as a factor.  I called Bullshit.  Its think tank non-reality based ivory tower DC-insider blah blah blah.  

    I have met lots and lots and lots of folks over there in the City that hardly know there are mountains in Colorado let alone desert.  Your simplistic renderings of reality are cartoonish.

  117. Germany and Sweden are doing better than us, in harder times. China is doing better than us prosperity wise.

    Your supposed link between economic style and prosperity is, as you say, hooey.

  118. ClubTwitty says:

    Your point, again?  (Since it shifts every time someone challenges it)…

  119. ClubTwitty says:

    Gee, I puzzle why your party cannot attract women and moderates and those who care about perpetuating life on Earth.  

  120. lyjtrpcnf says:

    as us w/econ freedom.  And China is not “doing better than us” – on a per capita basis it is lagging FAR behind.  

  121. lyjtrpcnf says:

    The trick, ClubTwitty, is not just be succinct, but succinct with substance.  Keep practicing, with effort you will figure it out.  

  122. lyjtrpcnf says:

    That’s the problem

  123. lyjtrpcnf says:

    That is their government’s choice.  When they have more money, you’ll begin to see them clean up their country – because environmental quality is a luxury good.    

  124. It’s doing much better than us on that measure.

    Germany and Sweden are at 30 and 31 to our 18. That’s not the same range considering that most of the countries below them are third and second world countries who haven’t gotten to the point where they can take of.

    And the European countries aren’t in the same range if you listen to the free market folks on any day of the week when they’re not trying to argue they’re in the same range. On most days of the week they’re socialist countries. Sweden’s economy is described as strongly co-ordinated between industry, labor, and government.

  125. to prove the pension case. Let’s not get deliberately dense here.

  126. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Environment being a luxury good is taught at the top universities in the country.  That some think tanks you dislike repeat the same idea hardly makes it bullshit.  

  127. lyjtrpcnf says:

    1) People like Koch brothers don’t agree with my version of religion!

    2) ?????

    3) I’m right!

  128. ClubTwitty says:

    Or rather its overly simplistic, rendering it into a cartoonishly binary bunch of hooey.  Think tank.  University or otherwise.  

  129. ClubTwitty says:

    I find your ‘arguments’ to be simplistic bullshit that is not reflective of the reality-based world I live in.  That you are registered as a Libertarian just confirms this belief I already have about you.  

  130. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Neither Jason nor Wayne’s remarks were extreme, nor will any of them turn people off that weren’t partisans already.  

  131. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Hardly makes it simplistic.  Fact is this – people value the environment, just not as much as they value paying the grocery bills or paying rent.  Thus as income goes up, environmental spending should increase at a rate faster than income growth.

  132. ClubTwitty says:

    that makes it simplistic.  

    It is not reflective of the nuanced reality I live in, it is not reflective of the actual history of environmentalism in this nation.  

  133. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Problem ClubTwitty – I don’t belong to a think tank.  Remember, I learned this view in LIBERAL ACADEMIA at Northwestern a top 10 school (or just outside it).  

  134. lyjtrpcnf says:

    if your point is that this view is only held by “conservative think tanks” (the horror!), then you are wrong.

    if your argument is that the view doesn’t stack up to reality, well, again, rich countries spend more on the environment then poor countries (I believe on both an absolute and percentage basis of GDP).  So you are still wrong.  

  135. sxp151 says:

    for recalling that Elliot Fladen went to Northwestern.

    Oh no, it’s gonna be me!

  136. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Rather I just lost your comment in the shuffle.

    I thought I had a law review article citation on this very point posted.  


    I’m reposting it.  Basic idea – “religion” isn’t defined in our constitution, and defining it would be fool hardy. In fact, what is religion has shifted significantly from colonial times, to our founding, to today.  

  137. ClubTwitty says:

    Its the causality you ascribe to the fact that wealthy nations spend more on the environment, not the observation itself.  

    Not being a non-reality based binary viewer of the world, I reject the notion that academia is necessary LIBERAL (as you call it).  

    I am glad that you hold your education in high regard, but your impression of your credentials do not impress me.  And your ‘arguments’ likewise fail to.  There are plenty of obtuse and stupid lawyers in the world, IMO.    

  138. AristotleAristotle says:

    where I pointed out that legal and constitutional definitions aren’t germane to the discussion.

    What else do you have?

  139. You’ve never responded to the broader point. You know you’ve got a better chance trying to lose this argument in the weeds than addressing the point that right wing talk radio repeatedly makes generalizations like “environmentalism is a religion today”, putting mainstream “interested in X” people off by (at best) lumping them in with extremists.

    It’s all nice and fine arguing little points, but some of us have been here for a while… we’ve seen enough weeds to call BS on the tactic.

  140. BlueCat says:

    with what you think as you’re probably as delusional as most self described Libertarians and, in any case, your ability to influence how we are governed is non-existent.  

    As far as this particular discussion goes, your conception of environmentalists as divided into two categories, pretty park loving “housewives” and extremists, goes a long way in explaining your dogged reliance on the tactic of presenting everything in binary terms through the device of inappropriately lumping together the common with the rare in order to make your simplistic model work, then dressing it up with jargon about externalities and invoking the name of Harvard and so forth.  

    Hint…Simplistic binary arguments supported by straw dogs and hyperbole only work if the people to whom you are presenting your case are simpletons. You know.  Like the rightie talk radio audience.

  141. BlueCat says:

    the comparison made didn’t specify extreme environmentalism or extreme religion, at least not in the on air example referred to here. It was a simple Worely assertion, not challenged by Laugesen, that environmentalism, period, is no less faith based than religion. You know, like when they ask GOP presidential candidates to raise their hands if they “believe” in evolution?

    I don’t care where you went to school or what degrees you have. That doesn’t change the fact that none of your diversions, starting with the Jedi and progressing through too many other irrelevancies to count, has any bearing on the fact that you are just plain wrong to insist on the presence of nuances that are simply and demonstrably not there.  

  142. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Throwing big words around does not a successful argument make.

    True or false – is environmental spending luxury spending?  

  143. ClubTwitty says:

    Both, neither.  My reality is not reducible to true and false.  

  144. AristotleAristotle says:

    the cumulative posts CT made DO make a successful argument.

  145. Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

    jump back in here to answer this question for you Elliot.

    True or false – is environmental spending luxury spending?

    Questions can’t be true or false…only statements can do that. Is that what they teach you at Northwestern? I suggest you move the “is”.  

  146. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Thanks for playing.  

  147. lyjtrpcnf says:

    I pointed out, on a tangential argument, that rich countries tend to have better care for the environment than poor countries.  You cried foul because you didn’t like the sources I gave you.  So I pointed out it was taught at top liberal schools too.  So you still have not brought up any papers/studies/etc. contradicting the argument which is still a side point in the whole debate.  

  148. lyjtrpcnf says:

    cooking and proofing not going well together.

  149. ClubTwitty says:

    You ascribed a Free Market cause to it.  Indeed, you argued that environmentalism is caused by wealth accumulation.  

    This was after you reduced environmentalists to either ‘housewives’ that like pretty parks or zealots that worship nature by burning down ski lodges.

    The absurdity of your binary worldview aside, correlation does not imply causation.  You have pointed to one to conclude the other.  I think it is both intellectually and historically inaccurate.


  150. sxp151 says:

    I was the one who talked about Star Wars.

    Northwestern is among the top five schools in Illinois! Or at least not far from the top five.

  151. lyjtrpcnf says:

    What I said was that free market countries are wealthier and thus more environmentally friendly than command economies.

    And my “reduction” that you are ascribing to me was in truth distinguishing Jason Worley’s comments (which were aimed at extremist environmentalist that value biodiveristy over human life) from comment that would attack anybody who cared abou tthe environment.

    Small tip for the future – if you want to debate somebody, try to figure out what they actually are arguing before you build straw men.  You’ll waste less of everybody’s time.

  152. AristotleAristotle says:

    Word to the wise Northwestern-educated.

  153. lyjtrpcnf says:

    If the law, which has the additional ability to limit debate through looking at framer’s intent, has difficulty defining religion, then your attempts will even more quickly fail.  

  154. lyjtrpcnf says:

    This is getting boring.  

  155. lyjtrpcnf says:

    That environmental spending will decline as a percentage of spending?  

  156. ClubTwitty says:

    That this happens because the environment is seen as a ‘luxury good.’  You has NOT demonstrated any causal link, merely a correlation.  Life and reality and certainly the history of environmentalism in the U.S. is not so easily reducible to some notes you took in college.  

  157. ClubTwitty says:

    That this happens because the environment is seen as a ‘luxury good.’  You has NOT demonstrated any causal link, merely a correlation.  Life and reality and certainly the history of environmentalism in the U.S. is not so easily reducible to some notes you took in college.  

  158. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Necessity Goods: Increases in consumption for such goods are less than proportional to a rise in income.

    Luxury Goods: Increases in consumption for such goods are more than proportional to a rise in income?

    So which is environmental spending consumption: Is it a necessity or a luxury good?  Or do you contend that it will rise in exact equal proportion to a rise in income?  

  159. ClubTwitty says:

    I think you are having a bit of trouble.

    I also thought you were getting bored and leaving us…

    Don’t let the door hit ya, and all that!

  160. AristotleAristotle says:

    First Amendment, anyone?

    This is fun. What else do you have?

  161. AristotleAristotle says:

    belies your post.

  162. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Less bored (although emphasis on “slightly”)

    Consumption is not necessarily of physical goods.  Take vacation spending.  That is “luxury” not “necessity,” but it isn’t necessarily a good.  

    Basic question, which you are doing your utmost to avoid answering is this: does spending on the environment take up a greater proportion of overall spending as income rises?  

  163. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Not debate as ability to actually debate.

    In other words the law when debating what a religion “is” will look at what the framer’s thoughts in the question.  

    If it difficult to figure out what a religion is even with that advantage (not what a religion is but what the framers thought it was), then it will be even more challenging for you.  You can come up with an arbitrary definition, but that definition is just your own personal view with no persuasive force behind it.  

  164. ClubTwitty says:

    I am glad you learned so much in your almost top ten school.  

    Consumption is not necessarily of physical goods.  Take vacation spending.  That is “luxury” not “necessity,” but it isn’t necessarily a good.  

    May I rejoin with ‘No Shit Sherlock’?

    However, rendering every thing that people spend money on (however indirectly in the case of what you refer to amorphously as the ‘environment’ or ‘pretty parks’ via regulation) is absurd.  

    It may serve to pass a class but it falls on its face in the real world, which is not so sliceable into either ‘luxury’ or ‘necessity.’  

    I could give a few ready examples, but surely you also learned some critical thinking skills? And I would rather be ‘concise.’

  165. ClubTwitty says:

    However, rendering every thing that people spend money on (however indirectly in the case of what you refer to amorphously as the ‘environment’ or ‘pretty parks’ via regulation or taxes) as either one or the other of your neat little categories is absurd.  

  166. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Or faster/slower than real income increases?  You have steadfastly avoided answering this.  

  167. ClubTwitty says:

    Determined that the definition pertinent to this discussion should be what the Framers and Courts think as opposed to, say, the definition one might find here or there?



    Saying that, since the Framers couldn’t figure it out, then we cannot really use it in language at all, or if we do it has no real meaning or only some vague type…adrift in Constitutional mystery as it were…

    Now one could argue that it is metaphor (or implied simile actually) as in…

    ‘Environmentalism is like/as a religion…’

    and make a reasonable case that it could be, because the term is sometime used that way.

    “Arguing stupid points is (like) a religion to him.”

    But that is not the same thing as you seem to be attempting here or what was meant pertaining to the dittoheads.


  168. AristotleAristotle says:

    But I bet if I posted a poll asking whether my definition of religion is fair or not, it will be accepted as such. Probably by a very wide margin.

    You obviously enjoy making these absurd, legalistic sort of arguments because they work in your chosen profession. But out here in the real world, they don’t.

  169. ClubTwitty says:

    You put complex varied types of programs and spending, lands, regulations, levels of government, discretionary choices, etc. into this one singular neat little box that you label as ‘luxury good’ and you expect me to take you seriously?

    Answer those two things and I will gladly answer your questions.  (Why should I take you seriously? And what do you mean by ‘environmental spending’?).  

  170. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Spending on parks.  Spending on conservation.  Spending on clean up work.  Spending on green tech.  

  171. ClubTwitty says:

    cannot be taken seriously.  

    That is not the real world.  There is no singular ‘everything’ environmental box that explains complex behavior.  

    That is, as this conversation started, think tank–or if you prefer, ivory tower–blah blah blah.  It might be something someone can tally up in a textbook, but it is made up nonsense outside the doors of academia or agenda-driven ‘research’ (i.e. think tanks).

    To come up with such an equation one must make subjective calls about what all one shoves into the convenient ‘everything’ box.  Thus it is merely an observation, no sort of principle.  Thus it is as I have been saying all along, the controversy is not in the correlation its in your overly simplistic, binary formulation of how causation works in regards to environmental, public lands, public health policy and consumer choice.  

    Again, its absurd.  It falls flat on its face the minute it leaves the door at Northwestern or whatever fantasyland it was spun in.  

    (I have acknowledged all along a correlation between wealth and better environmental laws.  There is also a correlation between wealth and robust public participation just as there is between robust public participation and better environmental policy.  You have failed to show why your one cause is accurate in any significant way, other than saying that’s what you learned in school, let alone why it should be seen as the primary cause).  

  172. lyjtrpcnf says:

    And while correlation may not dispositively demonstrate causation, it can often imply it.  

    Here why do you think the correlation (in your words) is not actually indicative of causation?

  173. AristotleAristotle says:

    Logic 101. (Just to jump in there…)

  174. ClubTwitty says:

    You still have not demonstrated a causal link nor that any causal link, should it exist, is a necessary or primary cause.  So you have NOT made your case.

    You also have not answered, in a coherent manner, what ‘environmental spending’ is.  ‘Everything’ is not a legitimate category for analysis, it needs to be refined to be comparable in a manner that allows for accurate analysis and consideration.  

    Every morning the sun comes up.  Every morning I go to the bathroom.  Ergo…the sun coming up makes me go to the bathroom.  (An example of Eliot’s logic).

    Here is an extra credit question: Water– luxury or necessary good?

  175. lyjtrpcnf says:

    Correlation can indicate causation, it just doesn’t necessarily show it as the correlation can be caused by something else.

    For example – (a) X and Y are correlated.  X can cause Y, (b) Y can cause X or (c) both can be caused by Z.  

    You are so focused on b & c that you forgot about a.  

  176. lyjtrpcnf says:

    (a) X can cause Y

  177. AristotleAristotle says:

    if you mean that there might be a reason to investigate further to see if there IS a correlation, then I can see that. I didn’t think you meant the dictionary definition of “indicate” when you used it, given your unbound-by-convention approach to other words like “religion.”

    If you mean “indicate” by the dictionary definition, then I hereby retract my statement and state that I agree with you.

    Still having trouble proofreading between hitting “preview” and “post,” huh?

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