Right Wing Extremists

There’s been much back-and-forth since Wednesday’s tragic shooting of a guard at the Holocaust Musuem about the rise of right wing extremists and the need for the federal government to treat them as a threat.  Inevitably, we’re seeing the perennial “their extremists are worse than our extremists” debate.  Oddly, we’re even seeing some “No, he’s actually a Left-wing extremist!” arguments.

Rather than rehash the particulars of the debate, I’ll skip ahead to the most sensible posts I’ve seen on the matter (which, conveniently, already have much of the back story).

Jon Henke:

The ongoing efforts to conflate the Tiller and Holocaust Museum murderers with the Right, conservatives or Republicans – or to imply that criticism of government is responsible for these murders – is absurd and offensive.  Would the critics change their political views if it turned out that one of the killers was a left wing militant?   No.

[…]

Let’s conclude with two central ironies:

  • The Left strenuously objects to connecting President Obama to socialists and William Ayers; meanwhile, they want to lump all conservatives in with militant radicals.
  • Meanwhile, as Doug Mataconis points out, “Conservatives who object to being tied to Von Brunn were eagerly associating Obama with Ayers and Wright.”

Rick Moran:

Conservatives trying to make the case that the Holocaust Museum shooter James von Brunn is some kind of liberal or leftist sympathizer are tilting at windmills:

[…]

I will freely grant this this guy is a man of the extreme right. To posit the notion, as many on the left have been doing the last few days, that this guy has any connection whatsoever either in his philosophy or ideology with mainstream conservatism is ludicrous. It is equally fanciful to blame “right wing hate speech” emanating supposedly from mainstream conservative media outlets for this guy’s actions. The idea that von Brunn needed any motivation at all beyond his sick, twisted, personal extremist ideology and whatever demons possessed him ignores reality – about what we’ve come to expect from the “reality based community.”

By the same token, desperately seeking a way to disown von Brunn because the left has seen fit to smear all conservatives with his racist, anti-Semitic stench is equally ludicrous. We don’t have to disown him. It is self evident to any rational, semi-fair minded person that this guy had as much to do with mainstream politics as a member of the Black Panther party or some other far out, whacko leftist group.

Jesse Walker:

So the Department of Homeland Security, a bloated and dysfunctional agency that shouldn’t exist in the first place, should spend its time tracking the possibility that a criminal kook with no co-conspirators will decide to shoot a doctor or a security guard? From preventing another 9/11 to preventing unorganized shootings: Talk about mission creep. Yes, these murders are terrorism, but they’re the sort of terrorism that can be contained by the average small-town police force. If you try to blow them up into a grand pattern that threatens ordinary Americans, you’re no different from the C-level conservative pundits who treat every politically motivated crime by a Muslim as evidence of a broad Islamic threat to ordinary Americans’ well-being.

[…]

The effect isn’t to make right-wing terror attacks less likely. It’s to make it easier to smear nonviolent, noncriminal figures on the right, just as the most substantial effect of a red scare was to make it easier to smear nonviolent, noncriminal figures on the left. The fact that communist spies really existed didn’t justify Joseph McCarthy’s antics, and the fact that armed extremists really exist doesn’t justify the Department of Homeland Security’s report.

The Tiller shooter and Holocaust museum shooter were right-wing fanatics.  Ted Kaczynski was a left-wing fanatic.  The key part of those description isn’t their political belief system but fanatic(s). It’s rather like the never-ending debate as to whether Josef Stalin was a left winger and Adolf Hitler a right winger.  Once you’ve reached the point where you’re willing to commit criminal violence in support of your cause, your’re no longer in the company of people who merely debate issues and try to legally influence public policy outcomes.

There are various ways to represent this but these diagrams from Conservative Resources capture it nicely:

I prefer to think of ideology as a circle, rather than a line.  Left and Right have meaning but, as one gets to the extremes on either side — depicted as anarchism in the top chart and “Everyone Against Everyone” in the second — the views converge.

I actually prefer the bottom figure best in that it groups authoritarian states — Communism, Theocracy, and Fascism — very tightly and depicts, for example, Socialism and Libertarianism are near opposites.  Additionally, it contrasts all governmental/ideological forms with Anarchy, or the absence of government.  Those who murder to carry out their political agenda are in that category; their particular ideas otherwise don’t much matter.

Finally, I should note that racism is neither right-wing nor left-wing (nor, for that matter, is it centrist or anarchist).  It exists at all points on the spectrum and isn’t a political ideology at all.  Von Brunn’s hatred of Jews isn’t what makes him a right-winger but rather his views on politics.

FILED UNDER: Politics 101, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Eric says:

    I think the point missed in all of these “most sensible” posts is that, though conservatives may not be responsible in the sense that they are criminally culpable for von Brunn’s acts, conservative rhetoric over the last 30 to 40 years–and in particular over the last 20 in the form of the Limbaugh’s, Hannity’s, Savages, and even O’ Reilly’s–has fanned the kind of hatred that leads to a von Brunn.

    Dave Neiwert has done some excellent reporting on the ties between the extreme right and modern conservatism, explaining how hate talkers like Limbaugh and Malkin, for example, repackage and “mainstream” memes that in reality come from the far right. Now, you and other conservatives may dismiss such talk, but the fact of the matter is many rank and file conservatives seriously believe this stuff because it is legitimized by popular Hate Talk Radio. Words do have consequences, particular the inflammatory rhetoric of the sort Hate Talk Radio has specialized in.

    There is simply no equivalent on the Left. Whatever you may think of Ayers et al, it is pretty clear that Obama and the Left in general do not follow these people in the same way the right has followed theirs.

  2. Boyd says:

    None are so blind as those that will not see.

  3. Matthew Stinson says:

    Eric might have a point were it not for the fact that these very same “hatred-fanning” conservatives (Limbaugh et al) have been steadfast defenders of Israel, vigorous condemners of anti-Semitism, and generally the kind of people that Von Brunn would not listen to but instead dismiss as “agents or ZOG” or similar paranoid racist baloney.

    Efforts to tie this guy to the left or to the right will fail, since he and his kind are on the crazy fringe side of politics, which is inhabited by many so-called “leftists” and “rightists.”

    P.S. There is no Hate Talk Radio but there is leftist Hate Talk on college campuses. Everyone’s guilty of wallowing in the manure here.

  4. John Burgess says:

    Eric: I will posit that the growing totalitarianism of the left has left less and less space for the right. This has led to increased push-back and an identification of that totalitarianism for what it is.

    Back in my university days in the ’60s, it became abundantly clear to me that the left had one message and one message only. To wander from that message led to all-out efforts toward discrediting the speaker. ‘Fascism of the left’ may take it too far, but not very much too far.

  5. The Unabomber was a “left-wing fanatic”?

    The same guy who wrote a 35,000 word manifesto excoriating “leftists” for nearly every socio-political problem in the world while barely mentioning conservatives?

    I think you’d have to be quite far to the right in order for Kaczynski to be on your left.

  6. James Joyner says:

    The same guy who wrote a 35,000 word manifesto excoriating “leftists” for nearly every socio-political problem in the world while barely mentioning conservatives?

    I think of him as an extreme extension of the anti-globalization crowd, which is mostly leftist, as well as the “mankind is ruining the earth” crowd, which is almost entirely leftist. But, again, he was a wacko; his political beliefs are mostly irrelevant.

  7. Matthew Stinson says:

    cognitive dissident, I suggest you re-read the Unabomber Manifesto again. Kaczynski doesn’t blame leftists for the ills of society, but he has no love for them, because he accuses most of them of false consciousness (he doesn’t use the word but his claims against the left recall Marxian lines of attack).

    In general, Kaczynski sees leftism as a distraction from what he deems the true ills of society — modernization and science which has no regard for human existence. He embraces eco-anarchism, which is hardly a right-wing movement, and calls for revolution against the established social order which he feels has been orchestrated by governments, scientists, and corporations, and contrary to human nature.

    I submit you’d have to be quite far to the left to see Ted Kaczynski standing at your shoulder, but there he is.

  8. Herb says:

    A small point for John Burgess, coming from a dude born in 1976: The left of the 60s is not the left of the 21st Century aughts.

    A whole generation (or two) have sprung up since then, with different ideas, concerns, and yes, problems.

    On the same token, the right has changed considerably too. I don’t recall Eisenhower being too concerned with abortion, gay marriage, defending torture, or making sure David Letterman only told clean, unoffensive jokes.

    With that said…I hope that 40-50 years from now I’m still not complaining about George W. Bush. That would be awful.

  9. ggr says:

    Any attempt to reduce the complexities of political beliefs into a linear spectrum ends up as a caricature. Which is why you can endlessly argue about where any individual is on the spectrum – on different issues most people are in different locations. Talking about left wing vs right wing is usually a sign that someone is trying to sell you something.

  10. andrew says:

    “Conservatives who object to being tied to Von Brunn were eagerly associating Obama with Ayers and Wright.”

    Obama willingly associated with Wright and Ayers. Conservatives have nothing to do with Von Brunn. Huyuuuuuge difference.

  11. Bruce says:

    When are people out there going to realize that it is the media and its labeling that is the problem. they need headlines, they need talking points, so they make them and then call on people to talk about their talking points. Take Sunday morning shows. they invite guests on to talk about a key issue (in their minds) and then later in the week criticize the same politician for only talking about that issue. that is why abortion is constantly on the minds of the people, because the media chooses to keep bringing it up. Why do we keep letting the media label us and keep us from dialog that would be helpful? Do red and blue states really exist or have we been fed a bill of goods by this labeling? if i live in a blue state does that mean i vote that way? or is it simply a majority of the people voted that way. i once asked people whether we lived in a blue or red state and they can’t remember which is which and they always ask we why is it necessary to label us that way, since there are so many differences of opinion? lets quit labeling anyone right or left, and decide where an extremist fits, because just like them we all do not fit so neatly in the media’s labels.Please remember that that the vote for the 1964 Civil Rights Bill was achieved by republicans 85% vote to help overcome a strong southern democrat voting block opposing it. So why now are republicans labeled anti-civil rights when votes again and again show they are not. The media has labeled them and everyone accepts it as true.

  12. Eric Florack says:

    Obama willingly associated with Wright and Ayers. Conservatives have nothing to do with Von Brunn. Huyuuuuuge difference.

    Exactly so… until that millstone started getting a mite heavy.

    None are so blind as those that will not see.

    Indeed, Boyd, indeed. Put another way, GMTA; Grated Minds Think Asininely.

  13. Eric Florack says:

    I think of him as an extreme extension of the anti-globalization crowd, which is mostly leftist, as well as the “mankind is ruining the earth” crowd, which is almost entirely leftist. But, again, he was a wacko; his political beliefs are mostly irrelevant.

    I don’t know as we can dismiss these so easily as “irrelevant” James.

    Now granted, we may consider Kaczynski’s radical views to be irrelevant in comparison to that of the mainstream. But…..Radical what?

    I think the answer is obvious; radical leftist.

    With that in mind, I wonder if your first commenter is as willing to apply Kaczynski as a logical conclusion of decades of leftist mantra, as he was to tie the mainstream right to von Brunn. Somehow, I doubt it.

  14. […] Via James Joyner, Jon […]

  15. ventu says:

    This is such a moronic article….

    Obama WAS associated with Wright and Ayers. That’s why the conservatives see it that way. This shooter is just insane, and his family has said that. If someone is insane, they are not right or left– they are just insane. Like this article.
    And, by the way, you have nothing but your simple minded insistance that the shooter was right wing. It would be very helpful if you knew what facts were.

  16. PD Shaw says:

    The Holocaust Museum killer complained bitterly about society’s misplaced reliance on “rugged individualism,” which leaves us weak and divided. Similarly, capitalism is a Jewish plot to keep us weak and divided. His ideal was Western Socialism, i.e. an updated national socialism.

    He is a fascist, regurgitating lines one might hear in the salons of Paris in the early 20th century, including lines from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

    The only reason one might put a fascist in the “right” quadrant is that many of the original fascists were monarchists, who were opposed to the liberals (which we might call classic conservatives) and socialists. We don’t have monarchists in the United States, so that triangle doesn’t make sense here.

    And it certainly doesn’t makes sense to characterize fascists as “extreme” libertarians. (?!?)

  17. John Burgess says:

    Herb: The date may have changed, but the mantra and thuggishness of the hard left have not. There is still the ‘one’ truth and woe be unto him who strays from the path. Even debate is quashed in the name of the one right way of thinking.

    Sure, the subject matter might have changed, too… Vietnam doesn’t stir much excitement these days. It’s be replaced by PC concerns: climate change, affirmative action, feminism, etc. These are all topics worthy of debate, but the debate is closed down. FIRE does a good job in trying to keep the speech codes to a minimum, but the simple fact that they need to do so adequately proves that the Left still have problem with freedom of speech, if that speech is something they disagree with.

  18. American Power tracked back with, “Understanding Ideology”.

  19. Herb says:

    John, another small point in regards to this: “the mantra and thuggishness of the hard left have not.”

    I was actually talking about the left –you know, the average everyday normal left– not the hard left. I think you’ll find “the mantra and thuggishness” of the hard right to be just as…well…thuggish. A hardcore idealogue is a hardcore idealogue, no matter what side of the spectrum they’re on.

    My point is that things look different to young people. During the Clinton years, we saw Republicans do some really silly stuff. Impeaching Clinton because he had an affair? Lame. (Yeah, I know…it was the lying. Like Clinton is the first politician to lie…)

    And then we got Bush and 9-11 and Iraq and torture and Katrina and well…

    Let’s just say that to us, the “ancient history” of the 60s is just that…ancient history. Still relevant? Sure. But it’s been replaced by a much more immediate, more compelling set of issues.

    Can I ask a serious question: While I’ll grant that affirmative action and feminism are PC, how is it that you consider climate change PC?

    Besides…I think Sarah Palin’s campaign against David Letterman is perhaps the most recent –and egregious– example of political correctness going right now.

  20. G.A.Phillips says:

    I think the point missed in all of these “most sensible” posts is that, though conservatives may not be responsible in the sense that they are criminally culpable for von Brunn’s acts, conservative rhetoric over the last 30 to 40 years–and in particular over the last 20 in the form of the Limbaugh’s, Hannity’s, Savages, and even O’ Reilly’s–has fanned the kind of hatred that leads to a von Brunn.

    Dude why, Have you ever heard any of these shows?

    You are one silly propagandist….

    Racists come from what discipline of thought these days?

    The hatred of the Jews comes from what sector?

    The majority of home grown terrorism comes from what side of the donkey pooping Pie????

    If you can’t handle freedom of speech there are planes leaving daily….

    same goes for the rest of you trying to be hypocritical….

  21. G.A.Phillips says:

    Josef Stalin was a left winger and Adolf Hitler a right winger.

    Well Im pretty sure they were both, evolutionists and socialists…………. whatever that makes you…..

  22. John Burgess says:

    Climate change, per se, is neither left nor right.

    Insistence that there is one and only one cause of it, however, and that no debate is necessary, is delivered wisdom of the left. Calls for pulling tenure from academics who might question it, calls for hanging ‘climate change denialists’ are par for the course from the left. I simply don’t see that coming from anywhere on the right.

  23. Not to quibble too much on the charts, but, missing Classical Conservatism and Progressivism, and, quite frankly, fascism belongs more on the Left then the right.

    Have to disagree with you on Climate Change, ie, anthropogenic global warming. There may be some on the Right who believe in it, but, it is primarily a doctrine of the Left. Global warming, ie, something primarily or solely natural, is the view that most on the Right hold.

    When it comes to these far end wackos, like Roeder and von Brunn, they are so far outside even the extremes that referring to them as left or right just doesn’t cut it.

  24. just me says:

    Insistence that there is one and only one cause of it, however, and that no debate is necessary, is delivered wisdom of the left.

    I think this is the problem with most pet issues of the left. You either have to agree with them or you are shut down. Now I am sure conservative speakers on college campuses in general don’t have to worry about their actual safety, but the left has gone out of its way to shut down any dissent-shouting down, pie throwing etc.

    And it isn’t that the right doesn’t have their own brand of “my way or the highway” but generally I find it is overwhelmingly the conservative voices that are shut down-probably to some degree because so few college campuses are controlled by the right.

  25. Tano says:

    “Climate change, per se, is neither left nor right.
    Insistence that there is one and only one cause of it, however, and that no debate is necessary, is delivered wisdom of the left. ”

    Huh? What nonsese is this?
    Climate change is estimated with a set of extremely complex models that attempt to account for all of the factors that influence the heat budget of the planet. The debate is NOT over whether fossil carbon inputs are the ONLY factor driving change – no one beleives that. The debate is over whether fossil carbon inputs are a significant factor, driving overall average change in a positive direction at a certain rate – one that may be very problematical to human coastal infrastructure and for more-slowly evolving species.

    Debate is always important. But when grave consequences are imminent, it is important to distinguish political debate from scientific debate. The “skeptics” in the GW debate have no real valid scientific standing for their arguments – they make political arguments either based on concerns about the economy, an antipathy to science and the work of scientists, or merely an ideological aversion to any authority figure raising issues that might interfere with private commerce.

  26. An Interested Party says:

    Wow, some conservatives seem to be really, really defensive about all of this…certainly, much of the response on this thread boils down to, “These guys aren’t of the right and, by the way, the left is full of evil nuts!” This certainly doesn’t help matters…is it too much to ask to agree to the point that there are loons on the far fringe of the right and the left who are capable of violence? Or, perhaps, its just easier to heap scorn on your political enemies and not take a good, hard look at all of the people of your own political persuasion…

  27. Tano says:

    “anthropogenic global warming. There may be some on the Right who believe in it, but, it is primarily a doctrine of the Left”

    This is a perfect example of the irrationality of the Right, and why so many people find it impossible to respect conservative thought.

    Anthropogenic climate change is a scientific hypothesis about the real world. It is, therefore, true or not true. It is NOT a political question, unless you have a Lysenkoist attitude.
    There is a rock-solid theoretical basis for the hypothesis (the greenhouse effect), and there is enough empirical evidence to corroborate the hypothesis to convince almost anyone active in the field of climate science – and the overwhelming majority of scientifically-literate people.

    It is only those who think politics can trump science on scientific issues who make the arguments that Mr. Teach makes here. Not surprising perhaps from one who thinks “fascism belongs more on the Left then the right.”.
    It must be so liberating to be unconstrained by empiricism or even common sense!

  28. Herb says:

    John, thanks for the clarification and with your elaboration, I’ll agree. (Just look at how Tano jumped your case.)

    I’m a softcore enviro myself, but I jump off the train when it gets too near Al Gore country. I think there can be no question that man can cause environmental change but I also know that climate change, well, happens. It’s a constant process that began millions of years ago and continues to this day.

    I think the smart thing is to do what we can, recognizing that we do have an effect, but for god’s sake, let’s be smart about it.

    The global denialists aren’t good at the recognizing part, and the Inconvenient Truth crowd doesn’t get the “smart” part. “Grave consequences are imminent,” my eye.

  29. Duane Bidoux says:

    I think the author’s article completely missed the point. I am a progressive and I don’t for one minute believe that the “average” conservative is close to Von Brunn.

    But people like Von Brunn are frequently triggered by vitriol that is of the “black helicopter coming to get you” variety.

    When I think of Palin’s speech about “government coming to get you and control you” it doesn’t take a big imagination to realize this could trigger far right folks–and face it, at least in this country that is where most of the guns are.

  30. G.A.Phillips says:

    and there is enough empirical evidence to corroborate the hypothesis to convince almost anyone active in the field of climate science

    lol.

    I think the smart thing is to do what we can, recognizing that we do have an effect, but for god’s sake, let’s be smart about it.

    We can’t change the global climate unless maybe you want to nuke the poler cap.

    Should we stop being dirty defilers of creation as the human race, Of course. And good luck to us on this one.

    not that I believe in luck, but you know what I mean.

    Should we be forced to become members of the newest sect of the religion of evolution.

    I would like you to answer this for your self.

    OH and if your talking about the one true God, his name is spelled with a Capitol G.

  31. G.A.Phillips says:

    When I think of Palin’s speech about “government coming to get you and control you” it doesn’t take a big imagination to realize this could trigger far right folks–and face it, at least in this country that is where most of the guns are.

    lol, ummm, forget it, you seem like a nice guy.

  32. Tano says:

    “I think the smart thing is to do what we can, recognizing that we do have an effect, but for god’s sake, let’s be smart about it”

    So what is the “smart” way to deal with it?
    Is not the answer to that question wholly a function of the scale of the effect we are having on the climate? If our inputs really are kicking up a warming that is sufficient to cause devastation, then the smart thing would be to ameliorate that somehow. If our inputs really are insignificant, then the smart thing is to do nothing.

    “”Grave consequences are imminent,” my eye.”

    So. Apparantly you know the answer. Is that so?
    You are not really arguing for the “smart” solution, you are taking a position that we should do nothing, because you believe that our inputs are not leading to any grave consequences.

    And your position is opposite that of the overwhelming majority of people who actually have a clue about the subject – those that spend their lifetime studying the matter.

    So please tell. What is your source of information, independent of the peer-reviewed scientific literature, that informs you that there are no grave conseqeunces to our current path? And why do you find that source more credible than the scientific consensus?

  33. An Interested Party says:

    I guess “right-wing extremists” won’t be showing up at the next tea party…

  34. G.A.Phillips says:

    I guess “right-wing extremists” won’t be showing up at the next tea party…

    how many arrests were there?

    how much stuff got vandalized?

    how many cops got attacked by pussies wearing masks?

    Talk about black helicopters, damn…..

  35. G.A.Phillips says:

    So please tell. What is your source of information, independent of the peer-reviewed scientific literature, that informs you that there are no grave conseqeunces to our current path? And why do you find that source more credible than the scientific consensus?

    strawman question?

    TEN MYTHS of Global Warming

    MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate.

    FACT: Accurate satellite, balloon and mountain top observations made over the last three decades have not shown any significant change in the long term rate of increase in global temperatures. Average ground station readings do show a mild warming of 0.6 to 0.8Cover the last 100 years, which is well within the natural variations recorded in the last millennium. The ground station network suffers from an uneven distribution across the globe; the stations are preferentially located in growing urban and industrial areas (“heat islands”), which show substantially higher readings than adjacent rural areas (“land use effects”).

    There has been no catastrophic warming recorded.

    MYTH 2: The “hockey stick” graph proves that the earth has experienced a steady, very gradual temperature increase for 1000 years, then recently began a sudden increase.

    FACT: Significant changes in climate have continually occurred throughout geologic time. For instance, the Medieval Warm Period, from around 1000 to1200 AD (when the Vikings farmed on Greenland) was followed by a period known as the Little Ice Age. Since the end of the 17th Century the “average global temperature” has been rising at the low steady rate mentioned above; although from 1940 — 1970 temperatures actually dropped, leading to a Global Cooling scare.

    The “hockey stick”, a poster boy of both the UN’s IPCC and Canada’s Environment Department, ignores historical recorded climatic swings, and has now also been proven to be flawed and statistically unreliable as well. It is a computer construct and a faulty one at that.

    MYTH 3: Human produced carbon dioxide has increased over the last 100 years, adding to the Greenhouse effect, thus warming the earth.

    FACT: Carbon dioxide levels have indeed changed for various reasons, human and otherwise, just as they have throughout geologic time. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the CO2 content of the atmosphere has increased. The RATE of growth during this period has also increased from about 0.2% per year to the present rate of about 0.4% per year,which growth rate has now been constant for the past 25 years. However, there is no proof that CO2 is the main driver of global warming. As measured in ice cores dated over many thousands of years, CO2 levels move up and down AFTER the temperature has done so, and thus are the RESULT OF, NOT THE CAUSE of warming. Geological field work in recent sediments confirms this causal relationship. There is solid evidence that, as temperatures move up and down naturally and cyclically through solar radiation, orbital and galactic influences, the warming surface layers of the earth’s oceans expel more CO2 as a result.

    MYTH 4: CO2 is the most common greenhouse gas.

    FACT: Greenhouse gases form about 3 % of the atmosphere by volume. They consist of varying amounts, (about 97%) of water vapour and clouds, with the remainder being gases like CO2, CH4, Ozone and N2O, of which carbon dioxide is the largest amount. Hence, CO2 constitutes about 0.037% of the atmosphere. While the minor gases are more effective as “greenhouse agents” than water vapour and clouds, the latter are overwhelming the effect by their sheer volume and — in the end — are thought to be responsible for 60% of the “Greenhouse effect”.
    Those attributing climate change to CO2 rarely mention this important fact.

    MYTH 5: Computer models verify that CO2 increases will cause significant global warming.

    FACT: Computer models can be made to “verify” anything by changing some of the 5 million input parameters or any of a multitude of negative and positive feedbacks in the program used.. They do not “prove” anything. Also, computer models predicting global warming are incapable of properly including the effects of the sun, cosmic rays and the clouds. The sun is a major cause of temperature variation on the earth surface as its received radiation changes all the time, This happens largely in cyclical fashion. The number and the lengths in time of sunspots can be correlated very closely with average temperatures on earth, e.g. the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period. Varying intensity of solar heat radiation affects the surface temperature of the oceans and the currents. Warmer ocean water expels gases, some of which are CO2. Solar radiation interferes with the cosmic ray flux, thus influencing the amount ionized nuclei which control cloud cover.

    MYTH 6: The UN proved that man—made CO2 causes global warming.
    FACT: In a 1996 report by the UN on global warming, two statements were deleted from the final draft. Here they are:
    1) “None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed climate changes to increases in greenhouse gases.”
    2) “No study to date has positively attributed all or part of the climate change to man—made causes”

    To the present day there is still no scientific proof that man-made CO2 causes significant global warming.

    MYTH 7: CO2 is a pollutant.

    FACT: This is absolutely not true. Nitrogen forms 80% of our atmosphere. We could not live in 100% nitrogen either. Carbon dioxide is no more a pollutant than nitrogen is. CO2 is essential to life on earth. It is necessary for plant growth since increased CO2 intake as a result of increased atmospheric concentration causes many trees and other plants to grow more vigorously. Unfortunately, the Canadian Government has included CO2 with a number of truly toxic and noxious substances listed by the Environmental Protection Act, only as their means to politically control it.

    MYTH 8: Global warming will cause more storms and other weather extremes.

    FACT: There is no scientific or statistical evidence whatsoever that supports such claims on a global scale. Regional variations may occur. Growing insurance and infrastructure repair costs, particularly in coastal areas, are sometimes claimed to be the result of increasing frequency and severity of storms, whereas in reality they are a function of increasing population density, escalating development value, and ever more media reporting.

    MYTH 9: Receding glaciers and the calving of ice shelves are proof of global warming.

    FACT: Glaciers have been receding and growing cyclically for hundreds of years. Recent glacier melting is a consequence of coming out of the very cool period of the Little Ice Age. Ice shelves have been breaking off for centuries. Scientists know of at least 33 periods of glaciers growing and then retreating. It’s normal. Besides, glacier’s health is dependent as much on precipitation as on temperature.

    MYTH 10: The earth’s poles are warming; polar ice caps are breaking up and melting and the sea level rising.

    FACT: The earth is variable. The western Arctic may be getting somewhat warmer, due to unrelated cyclic events in the Pacific Ocean, but the Eastern Arctic and Greenland are getting colder. The small Palmer Peninsula of Antarctica is getting warmer, while the main Antarctic continent is actually cooling. Ice thicknesses are increasing both on Greenland and in Antarctica.

    Sea level monitoring in the Pacific (Tuvalu) and Indian Oceans (Maldives) has shown no sign of any sea level rise.

    Source: Friends of Science website.

  36. davod says:

    “Meanwhile, as Doug Mataconis points out, “Conservatives who object to being tied to Von Brunn were eagerly associating Obama with Ayers and Wright.”

    Obama has direct physical connections to Ayers and Wright.

    Show me a direct connection from Von Brunn to conservatives.

  37. davod says:

    “On the same token, the right has changed considerably too. I don’t recall Eisenhower being too concerned with abortion, gay marriage, defending torture, or making sure David Letterman only told clean, unoffensive jokes.”

    Pretty nonsensical statement.

    The right and Eisenhower were not concerned because these issues were not part of the debate.

    Oh! and there was institutionalized censorship of the media, including movies.

  38. Herb says:

    Not sure how this veered into a global warming showdown, and I’m hesitant to continue, but I thought I’d just say this:

    Last November I went to Chaco Canyon, NM, which Jared Diamond wrote about in his book Collapse. Chaco Canyon used to be forrested and once sustained a population of thousands. The Chacoans cut down all the trees, exacerbating erosion problems, and their intensive dry-land agriculture contributed to arroyo-cutting, which dramatically lowered the water table.

    The place is a desert in the middle of nowhere now. A thousand years ago, it was the center of civilization in the area.

    Here’s the kicker: They did this with stone-age technology. OH, and it took a couple hundred years.

    So yeah, Tano, “imminent” isn’t the best adjective to use. “Gradual” might work. “Eventual” does the job too.

    PS: This is weak:

    “you are taking a position that we should do nothing, because you believe that our inputs are not leading to any grave consequences.”

    I don’t believe I even explained what I meant about “being smart” but I can assure you that it is not “do nothing.”

    Although that does have a certain appeal from a Taoist perspective…

  39. Timothy L. Pennell says:

    How the HELL, is this Van Brun, guy, a RIGHTY? He’s a 911 TRUTHER, for Gods’ sake. Last time I looked, that was a LEFTY bunch. He hates NEO CONS. The LEFT, hates NEO CONS. He hates JEWS. NOBODY hates JEWS, more that the LEFT. Go to any LIBERAL UNIVERSITY. See who they ally themselves with. The Palestinans? Or the JEWS? See who their ‘SPEAKERS’ are. Watch C-SPAN, anytime that they’re discussing ISRAEL. Listen to the HATE FILLED BILE, on the Democrat, and Independent-(Democrat)-lines. Or just go ask the ISRAELIS, themselves, who their FRIENDS are, in America. It ain’t the LEFT. So, please. Get your facts straight. For once.

  40. cab404 says:

    Witness the difference between the sort of thing posted by Tano and the excellent contribution by G.A.Phillips. The burden of proof is on the believers of the Anthropogenic Global Warming hoax, not the skeptics. Unfortunately for the fans of global “consensus” such as Tano, another consensus is rapidly building that AGW is nothing more than a statist power grab based upon pseudoscience. The article here is about right-wing extremism. The AGW project is left-wing extremism.

  41. odograph says:

    Frank Rich went a little far for me, actually, but I’ll say he’s closer to the truth than most of the above.

    (You can’t use a lone madman to stimatize a “side” but neither should you use him as a “get out of jail free” card, declaring that the anger and irrationality are only coming from the lone nutters.)

  42. odograph says:

    (Heh, it becomes a global warming discussion because when facts fail the Right, they can always use their “standard craziness” as a tactical defense.)

  43. awr1152 says:

    I’m not sure how this turned into a global warming debate either, unless it’s because it’s one of the main issues which clearly demonstrates the differences between how liberals and conservatives arrive to solutions based on their belief systems…

    cab404- great response to Tano in your 9:29am post. I was going to suggest Tano read some of Michael Crichton’s essays on truth in science. There is some great information there for anyone who wishes to take the time to read it.

    odograph- I assume you realize you did the same thing in your 10:05am post that you accuse the Right of doing when the “facts fail them”. Maybe you should read Chriton’s essays as well.

    As emotionally distressing as it may be, facts are independent of ideology. Anything else is just politics as usual.

  44. Tano says:

    Mr. Phillips,
    You are not going to get very far in a discussion by just cutting and pasting a long list of talking points from a denialist website.
    This is hardly the forum to go through and argue all these points – as I am sure you realize. Which is why your tactic is simply an attempt to drown out the conversation.

    It seems you have not synthesized your talking points such that you can summarize your perspective in the context of a conversation. That shows a weakness in your position, not a strength.

    The points that you copied here are almost all strawmen “myths” – rather obvious distortions of what people actually believe – then knocking down the distorted position, and pretending you have made a point.

    As with most denialists, you seem to have no real understanding what the science actually claims. Or perhaps I should say that the sources that you copy here have no such understanding.
    Although maybe they do, and their distortions are intentional. I wouldn’t be surprised….

  45. Tano says:

    awr1152

    I would suggest that you read some of the scientific literature on climate change if you wish to speak intelligently on the subject. Rather than read a novelist.
    What a concept….

  46. awr1152 says:

    Tano,
    I agree with you 100%. This is not the forum for the conversation…it’s way off topic.

    However, you’re statement that Mr. Phillips arguments are all “denialist” and “strawman” in nature does nothing to support your position.

    If you choose to argue against his points, use something more than vitriolic labels to address them- describe how and why they are “strawman” in nature…tell us why they are obvious distortions, otherwise you’re just regurgitating talking points as well.

    There is nothing wrong with using lists to establish a foundation from which to debate. It’s exactly the same thing VP Gore did to support his beliefs in his movie.

  47. awr1152 says:

    Tano,
    If it’s a debate between Gore and Chrichton on the science of anything, I’ll go with the Chrichton. I’ve seen both the movie and read the essays. I’ve read plenty of literature on both sides. When you do the same, then you can talk intellectually and actually try to support your position without something other than vitriol.

    What a concept…

  48. An Interested Party says:

    re: G.A.Phillips | June 14, 2009 | 02:15 am

    You’re missing the point of the piece linked to which is that many Republicans politicians and some conservatives are now running away from the right-wing talk they were spewing not that long ago precisely because of the actions of Roeder and von Brunn…

    Witness the difference between the sort of thing posted by Tano and the excellent contribution by G.A.Phillips.

    Umm, not really, considering where the funding comes from for the group that provides the source for G.A. Philips’s “excellent contribution”…

  49. An Interested Party says:

    re: Timothy L. Pennell | June 14, 2009 | 09:17 am

    Yet another example of the extreme defensiveness felt by some conservatives about these recent shootings…as much as some might want to paint von Brunn as a left-winger, that is simply not true…look, I understand why some conservatives felt very angry with the DHS report and obviously took it very personally, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that there are extremist loons out there on the right (and the left) who are capable of committing acts of violence…but hey, if trying to twist logic around like a pretzel to throw von Brunn into the left column makes you feel better, you do what ya gotta do, I guess…next thing you know, we’ll be hearing that Roeder was a lefty too…

  50. The Socialist Party strives to establish a radical democracy that places people’s lives under their own control — a non-racist, classless, feminist, socialist society in which people cooperate at work, at home, and in the community.Socialism is not mere government ownership, a welfare state, or a repressive bureaucracy. Socialism is a new social and economic order in which workers and consumers control production and community residents control their neighborhoods, homes, and schools. The production of society is used for the benefit of all humanity, not for the private profit of a few. Socialism produces a constantly renewed future by not plundering the resources of the earth. Under capitalist and “Communist” states, people have little control over fundamental areas of their lives. The capitalist system forces workers to sell their abilities and skills to the few who own the workplaces, profit from these workers’ labor, and use the government to maintain their privileged position. Under “Communist” states, decisions are made by Communist Party officials, the bureaucracy and the military. The inevitable product of each system is a class society with gross inequality of privileges, a draining of the productive wealth and goods of the society into military purposes, environmental pollution, and war in which workers are compelled to fight other workers. People across the world need to cast off the systems which oppress them, and build a new world fit for all humanity. Democratic revolutions are needed to dissolve the power now exercised by the few who control great wealth and the government. By revolution we mean a radical and fundamental change in the structure and quality of economic, political, and personal relations. The building of socialism requires widespread understanding and participation, and will not be achieved by an elite working “on behalf of” the people. The working class is in a key and central position to fight back against the ruling capitalist class and its power. The working class is the major force worldwide that can lead the way to a socialist future — to a real radical democracy from below. Radical democracy is the cornerstone not only of our socialism, but also of our strategy.

    Source: http://socialistparty-usa.org/principles.html

  51. G.A.Phillips says:

    Radical democracy is the cornerstone not only of our socialism, but also of our strategy.

    lol.

    And I’m not defensive, I’m tired of poor brainwashed little Americans being lead around like sheep or donkeys.

    My points are you don’t know what your talking about, unless you are trying to spread falsehoods and lies, thats why you guys always get trounced, even if you can’t understand were that bad feeling in your behind came from.

    There is such a thing as the truth and absolutes no matter how much you don’t want to deal with them.

    One of witch is that almost the entirety of evolutionary science is ass backwards, the truth is that it’s an evolving evolution of piss poor evaluation, It is a bad theory latticed with fabrications and endlessly dying facts purely nothing as a true science, witch automatically qualifies if as a lie when it is taught as fact or portrayed as history. A so called mass agreement from bunk dowagerish 2nd law of thermal dynamic denial scientists means little if absolutely nothing.

    It’s a measly religious intuition for those who need something to believe in or don’t want to believe in something else.

    And remember when debating, the old saying “Opinions are like Buttholes they are all full of poop”.Or maybe I just made that up?

    Just like when a theory of evolution fails they make up another one as goes my jokes memory, so be warned.

    and for those of you not keeping up I consider GW a evolutionary theory.

    And let me apologize once again for swearing and calling names I will try to stop, I should not let people get me reverting to liberal.

  52. Dave Rice says:

    Between Black “leadership” and their ever louder anti Israel rhetoric and the fact that every major leftist organization in the world views Israel as the aggressor and “occupier” of Arab lands one would wonder why the writer finds it “odd” that some would call the nut a left wing extremist. He is a nut…….left…right…give us a break already with the petty partisan garbage.

  53. Peter Gee says:

    The facts are that extremists are just that and whether on the right or left, the end up doing basically the same things. This 89 year old extremist at the Holocaust Museum has both leftist ideas and rightist ones, but the link is in his ideas are extreme. He is an extremist and so is Bill Ayers and I detest them equally, as a conservative. The Holocaust shootings and the Ayers bombings show how the two sets of extremists dovetail into identical actions. As for Erics opening post, Fox News and talk Radio did not exist when this octogenarian was already an extremist. You are talking nonsense and acting in the folly of left (or right) in thinking that controlling speech will uplift the general liberty of the citizenry.

  54. Noah Johns says:

    There is no way anyone should blame talk radio hosts or Fox for this lunatic’s actions. No one has suggested killing anyone at any of those outlets.
    This guy was a lone wolf. Some Nazi and hate groups have even spoke out against his actions. He made this decision on his own and he should be treated as an isolated case.
    Liberal talk show hosts and commentators love using the term “right wing” as it harkens back to Hillary Clinton’s “vast right wing conspiracy” nonsense. Its easy for them to lump their whipping boys, the Republicans, in with all these nut jobs no matter how many different beliefs they have.

  55. HJFudge says:

    To get off Global Warming and back on topic a bit…

    If you are not able to see how some may believe that right-wing talk could influence someone like our wacked out shooter here to do what they do let me try to explain it from my perspective.

    I try and listen to and read as much information from both sides of things as I can, so being a progressive-liberal I still will tune into My Friend Glenn and Rush and watch Hannity at 9 o’clock. Not all the time, but when I get a chance.

    The problem is not that they oppose what Pres. Obama and the Left in general do…its that they preach and teach that the left is Evil. In a very literal sense, they convince (or try to convince) others that the left is bent on destroying america and everything we believe in.

    If you are an impressionable person, and you hear someone you trust, someone you think of as a News Source, telling you that someone is coming to DESTROY YOUR COUNTRY and to Brainwash your Kids…you are going to take action. For most this is minor, as in they Homeschool their kids so Big Bad Government doesnt teach em the Evolutions in Science Class. No real harm is done.

    But then you got the people who are wacked out and just lookin for an excuse.

    Dont get me wrong. A lot of left wing news sources can be equally harmful in their preaching and it can lead to equally damning results. Im against demonizing your opponent, regardless of whether you are right or left.

    But my friends, Demonizing is EXACTLY what Fox News and the Talk Shows do. yes yes the left does it to, but not in the same manner. They generally try to paint conservatives as stupid wanks and worth ignoring altogether.

    Hannity, for example, openly discusses the types of Revolution they would like to see and encourages people to throw parties named after those that sparked the revolutionary war. They don’t call them Tea Parties on ACCIDENT. Its MEANT to stir up anger and feelings of being oppressed.

    In conclusion, I think the real problem here is treating viewpoints that differ from your own as evil and wholly without merit. The left and right both do it in different ways.

  56. An Interested Party says:

    My points are you don’t know what your talking about, unless you are trying to spread falsehoods and lies, thats why you guys always get trounced, even if you can’t understand were that bad feeling in your behind came from.

    So you’ve moved up the ladder from silly nonsense rhyming to simple ad hominem with no basis in fact…congratulations…

    …give us a break already with the petty partisan garbage.

    Indeed, steering clear of the disingenuous argument that von Brunn is somehow on the left would be a step in the process of giving all of us a break from petty partisan garbage…

  57. odograph says:

    awr1152, I’ve read the GW pages at NASA, at the National Academy of Sciences, at NOAA.

    You bore me, and I’ve got to tell you, anyone who thinks it is their place to out-argue NASA on AGW, on the back pages of a political blog, is really telling me “I am crazy.”

    That is all.

  58. G.A.Phillips says:

    You’re missing the point of the piece linked to which is that many Republicans politicians and some conservatives are now running away from the right-wing talk they were spewing not that long ago precisely because of the actions of Roeder and von Brunn…

    dint miss it let them run…

    its that they preach and teach that the left is Evil. In a very literal sense, they convince (or try to convince) others that the left is bent on destroying America and everything we believe in.

    peach and teach…Lol

    try they tell some of the truth….. About what the left is doing to this country…..

    Dont get me wrong. A lot of left wing news sources can be equally harmful in their preaching and it can lead to equally damning results. Im against demonizing your opponent, regardless of whether you are right or left.

    Equally Ha, once again this brings us back to a silly little concept known as the truth….

    But my friends, Demonizing is EXACTLY what Fox News and the Talk Shows do. yes yes the left does it to, but not in the same manner. They generally try to paint conservatives as stupid wanks and worth ignoring altogether.

    lol

    Hannity, for example, openly discusses the types of Revolution they would like to see and encourages people to throw parties named after those that sparked the revolutionary war. They don’t call them Tea Parties on ACCIDENT. Its MEANT to stir up anger and feelings of being oppressed.

    Great job explaining tea party’s dude….

    In conclusion, I think the real problem here is treating viewpoints that differ from your own as evil and wholly without merit. The left and right both do it in different ways.

    No it’s treating view points that well are, OK, we will use evil and wholly without merit as having some or not being….

    So you’ve moved up the ladder from silly nonsense rhyming to simple ad hominem with no basis in fact…congratulations

    lalalalalal I’m not listing I’m just talking lalalalal
    Dude take off your progressive blinders for a min I see that I’m just trying to get you to see something, anything……………………..

    come on and take give and take, I say some thing you think about you say something I tell you why your wrong….lol

    An I think your a good dude but some of the thing you belive in and fight for, man……..

  59. G.A.Phillips says:

    I’ve read the GW pages at NASA, at the National Academy of Sciences, at NOAA.

    lol….

  60. Greg says:

    I am 45 years old. I have seen a huge change in this country since the clintoon/gore fiasco. The fascist leftwingnut ideology, turned into a mainstream religion by a far left leaning media. Fruitcakes of all stripes getting way more than their share of fame for espousing the most absurd and offensive to common sense beliefs, projected on the public in every medium. A new kind of Nazi-ism has taken hold here and is going to be just as disasterous as the old one.

  61. odograph says:

    I guess that was a mad cackle there, GA 😉

    Maybe hard language will make you stop and look at yourself:

    You guys don’t have shit for science, that’s why you make your fight here, and not there. That’s why you have no hope, ever, to change NASA or NOAA. You know they are smarter and have been working on this problem harder. All you’ve got, are the long back-threads at political sites like OTB.

  62. G.A.Phillips says:

    You guys don’t have shit for science, that’s why you make your fight here, and not there. That’s why you have no hope, ever, to change NASA or NOAA. You know they are smarter and have been working on this problem harder. All you’ve got, are the long back-threads at political sites like OTB.

    Change NASA or NOAA, I don’t want them to change I want them to include and learn ….

    You guys don’t have shit for science.Exactly. Well take that for what will lol…..

    I know they are smart and have been working on this problem harder and-But getting were and why not and for what motivations.

    All I’ve got is the word of God and thousands of brilliant scientists and the facts.

    I guess if you believe the curse of the Creator God is something that we can slowdown, I am with you for a better life for the humans on this planet But remember blind faith alone is not good science.

    And I come to OTB cause I have Fun and enjoy talking to you guys even though it’s some times painful and I lose my temper and become a……Extremeist lol…….

  63. odograph says:

    Well that sounds pretty fair GA. For what it’s worth I think the science is incomplete, but people have looked at the problem from too many angles and come up with the same answer for there to be no problem.

    … and when I think of God in the AGW context, all I think is that we’ve been poor stewards.

  64. Wow, imagine that, a person who insults you because they do not agree with you…..you must be a Conservative.

    Repsonse to:

    lol.

    And I’m not defensive, I’m tired of poor brainwashed little Americans being lead around like sheep or donkeys.

    My points are you don’t know what your talking about, unless you are trying to spread falsehoods and lies, thats why you guys always get trounced, even if you can’t understand were that bad feeling in your behind came from.

    Posted by G.A.Phillips | June 14, 2009 | 04:53 pm