Saturday, March 24, 2007

Be Very Afraid! A "Warning To Communists & Other Trolls"!

In this classic exchange, View From Above's Hawkeye, Mr. Freedom™ himself, decided to lay down the law a little and arbitarily censor at will. Of course, seeing as this new regime was amimed squarely at him, Elroy was having none of it, although by the time Hawkeye® allowed him to post a message he was somewhat heated.

We present Hawkeye®'s orginal premise and then enter the discussion; please note that the 'message deleted' posts are Elroy trying to be heard and in no way involved any personal attacks or foul language of any kind. Not that Elroy is a prude of any kind – he just doesn't believe that he should give Hawkeye® any free ammunition.

At some point Hawkeye® decides that Elroy is also posing as 'Purplehaze', one of Elroy's compadres in the eternal fight for truth and justice, and so Elroy decides that Hawkeye is really 'Beerme', a regular voice from the dark side who is all too coincidentally consistent. Apart from Elroy and Purplehaze, all other voices (bar the first) are for the motion, so to speak. So who wins? Tell us what you think once you've seen what Elroy said...

Hawkeye said...

"Warning To Communists & Other Trolls"

The blog administrator (Mr. Eye®) hereby announces the following policy change at "View From Above". Effective immediately... excessively long-winded, self-serving, patronizing and impudent comments from Communists and other trolls will be deleted. Such comments: 1) use valuable bandwidth, 2) offend the sensibilities (and occasionally the digestion) of other "Viewers", 3) lead to excessive wear on scroll wheels, 4) may cause drowsiness while operating machinery, and 5) generally trash the appearance of the Comment section. The blog administrator continues to reserve the right to delete comments of a rude or vulgar nature, and none of his other rights and remedies are waived with the implementation of this new policy.

Pithy comments are always welcome, even those of a contrarian nature (for example, the "View From Below"). Comments of reasonable length will be tolerated if they add enlightenment to a discussion, subject to the blog administrator's definition of the term "enlightenment". Comments which attempt to argue against every single sentence or word of a posting (or previous comment) will be considered a grievous violation of this new policy and will be punishable by vaporization into the cyber ether.

That is all. We now return you to your regularly scheduled surfing.

posted by Hawkeye® at 10:09 AM on Mar 4, 2007

Anonymous said...

Now, isn't this just grand. It is interesting to note the same folks who claim to to value all the qualities of so called "freedom", "democracy" happen to be the ones so quick to suppress it.

3/04/2007 8:18 PM

Hawkeye® said...

Thank you for your "pithy" remark. It will go down in the anals of great comments. Please feel free to come back and share again!


3/04/2007 11:01 PM

Comment deleted
This post has been removed by the blog administrator.
3/04/2007 11:04 PM

Hawkeye® said...

Sorry Elroy,

You just can't get a grasp of the "rules" can you? Too bad. Please try again.

3/04/2007 11:10 PM

Comment deleted
This post has been removed by the blog administrator.
3/04/2007 11:22 PM

MargeinMI said...

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Elroy has left the building.

3/05/2007 8:35 AM

Hawkeye® said...

Sorry Elroy,
When I said "try again", I didn't mean try to repeat yourself verbatim... I meant, "try to be a little more pithy next time". I guess I didn't explain myself too well. I try 'weller' next time.

(:D) Cheers

3/05/2007 11:56 AM

Comment deleted
This post has been removed by the blog administrator.
3/05/2007 5:26 PM

Hawkeye® said...

Apparently you were never spanked as a child... your loss (and ours). If you continue your childishness, I will be forced to switch on comment moderation. This will make you even more annoying to me than you are already... Grow up!


3/05/2007 5:54 PM

Elroy [eventually] said...

So this is justice conservative style, huh? I can be accused (and don’t pretend these ‘rules’ aren’t aimed at me) of being excessively long-winded, self-serving, patronizing and impudent, a Communist, a troll, of using valuable bandwidth, of offending the sensibilities (and occasionally the digestion) of other "Viewers", for leading to excessive wear on scroll wheels, possibly causing cause drowsiness while operating machinery, of generally trashing the appearance of the Comment section and attempting to argue against every single sentence or word of a posting (or previous comment) and threatened with having my contribution considered a grievous violation of this new policy and punishable by vaporization into the cyber ether with no recourse? That figures.

Gee, that free speech and democratic exchange of ideas so cherished by your beloved founding fathers is pretty annoying, isn’t it? What was it George II said? ‘There should be limits on freedom!’ Hey, he got them too! PATRIOT Act anyone?

I keep posting my reply because rules, my friend, are meant to be broken, especially arbitrary ones inflicted by petty dictators like you are fast becoming. Rights come with responsibilities, Hawkeye, and you either you accept your responsibility to allow me to defend myself or risk becoming another sad little conservative blog wedged up a stagnant cyber-backwater and preaching to the choir, or you could show you have the courage of your convictions and prove that you really do believe in freedom.

On Righting America you said you would take me on anytime. Well, how about it? Ready to fight fair? Or can a conservative only win an argument against the Left with a roll of duct tape? Shutting down dissent does your noble cause a grave disservice and makes you appear like those you supposedly despise. Don’t fall into the trap.



PS And your last comment was pretty patronizing, breaking #3 of your own code of ethics. Shame, Hawkeye, shame.

3/06/2007 4:17 AM

Purplehaze said...

Elroy, I think you may need to dumb your pep talks down champ. How do you think Fox news reaches so many millions of people?

3/06/2007 8:09 PM

Hawkeye® said...

Sir, this is my blog and I make the rules. You can be assured that simply because you have free speech rights does not mean that you will get published in say the New York Times, the Washington Post, TIME Magazine, or the L.A. Times. Just because you have the freedom to say whatever you want to, doesn't mean that everyone will entertain your desire to be quoted in their publication.

In a way, my little blog is no different than any of those other publications. I certainly don't have their circulation or their staff, but I DO have the right to control content (even the letters to the editor, per se).

Which reminds me. If you're such a towering intellect, why haven't I seen any of your scholarly articles in the fine publications I listed above?

If you don't like my rules, then feel free to start your own blog. You have the right to free speech man! And you can set up a blog for FREE... Truly a case for "freedom" of speech!

And don't feel that you have to defend yourself from me. You were the one that came barging in here disagreeing with everything I and my friends have had to say. That makes you (by definition) a "troll". If you don't come here, you won't have to defend yourself when you say something dumb.



3/06/2007 8:53 PM

Hawkeye® said...

Stop pretending to be two different people.

3/06/2007 8:55 PM

Elroy said...


Yes, it is your blog. A little power is a dangerous thing, no? And there is an important distinction to make between View From Above and the NYT is they have a large audience and limited space; you, however, have arguably unlimited space and an audience, if the comment section is anything to go by, of approximately six, so my chances of appearing in print are greater.

And anyway, one of joys of the internets is being able to communicate directly, and I prefer to argue with people I disagree with. You, however, prefer to discuss politics with your fellow travelers, which is all very well but ultimately useless. If the term for debating one’s ideological opposite is political intercourse, then the term for blathering on with a bunch of like-minded sycophants is, well, let’s say the Catholics warn it will send you blind.
Am I such a towering intellect? Well, if you say so. And why do you run a website with a comment section if you don’t want comment, or only want comment that pats you on the back? No wonder the Right are so under represented in Universities and colleges; their arguments do not bear any close scrutiny.

I am defending myself not because I said something dumb, but because you did; you accused me of things I am not guilty of. And by the way, I didn’t barge in anywhere; it’s the internets! You have a comment section! The door was, and is, wide open! There was no sign saying ‘Dissenters not allowed! Partisan conservatives only!’, and furthermore I am not, ‘by definition’, a ‘troll’; I mean, what is the definitive troll anyway? ‘

According to Wikipedia (sorry, Conservapedia does not offer a definition) a troll is ‘a person who enters an established community such as an online discussion forum and intentionally tries to cause disruption, often in the form of posting messages that are inflammatory, insulting, incorrect, inaccurate, absurd, or off-topic’ and will ‘often contribute no useful information to the thread, but instead make argumentative posts in an attempt to discredit another person, more often than not based on what they thought was said rather than what was actually said by the other person, concentrating almost exclusively on facts irrelevant to the point of the conversation, with the intent of provoking a reaction from others.’

I, however, legitimately wish to discuss the issues you raise. I am not a ‘troll’ merely because I disagree with you.



PS I’ll stop being two people when you do.

3/07/2007 5:13 AM

Purplehaze said...

Hawkeye, contrary to your paranoia, Elroy and myself are two different people. Imagine that.

3/07/2007 2:29 PM

Hawkeye® said...

Well, I suppose it's possible... you and Elroy may indeed be 2 different people. Nevertheless, I find it intriguing that the 2 of you seemed to show up out of nowhere at the same time. Furthermore, I find it interesting that Purplehaze always seems to show up and laud Elroy's bloviations. Have you no mind of your own man? Are you Elroy's waterboy or sidekick?

Inquiring minds need to know. The jury is still out...


3/07/2007 7:12 PM

Hawkeye® said...

Please don't confuse me with Beerme. I would love to have Beerme's skills as a brewer and a connoisseur of fine quality ales and lagers. However, in my family, that honor would go to my youngest brother... a true craftsman in his own right.

Beerme on the other hand maintains his own blog HERE. He is from Michigan and I am from Downtown, NJ. If you look closely, you will find many dis-similarities between us.

I, on the other hand, seem to have no way of comparing Elroy vs. Purplehaze. Are you open to inspection? Please provide me with data. Who is who... and why?

By the way, it's "internet"... not "internets". There are "intranets" and "LANs" and even "WANs", but there is still only ONE Internet (at least so far as I have been able to determine).

Your chances of appearing in print here are teetering on the edge my friend.

As for the number of visitors who stop by here, you are free to click on the "Site Meter" icon at the bottom of my right column. No one ever said that every visitor is a commenter. Just for fun, click on "By World Map" under "Recent Visitors"... then click on the number "100" directly under the world map. This will give you a clue as to who is "Viewing".

Indeed, upon closer examination, I would suggest that perhaps you might be "Elroy" from the city of Elwood (or thereabouts), in Victoria, Australia. Just guessing mind you.

By the way, you fit the Widipedia definition of "troll" perfectly.


3/07/2007 7:51 PM

Elroy said...


Purplehaze is merely a man of good taste, and I trust Beerme’s judgment is not clouded by an overly exuberant sampling of his product.

And yes, I am Elroy of Elwood, Victoria, Australia. That’s all you need to know. And it is not me that first called the internets the internets – that honour goes to George Bush (10/8/04). And if George said it, it must be true!

However many may stop by is inconsequential; how many take an active part in discussion? About six. Beerme, Barb, Margienme, Mr. Haze,
you and me. You’ll miss me when I’m gone.

And as for being a troll, I challenge you to back up your assertion. You’re making the charge – you’ve got to make it stick. The burden of proof is on the prosecution; the defendant cannot be made to prove a negative. These are the foundations of the West’s justice system, the ‘rule of law’ that conservatives hold so dear. Of course, I can’t expect your crew to respect those basic tenets of jurisprudence; after all, it was Republicans who threw Habeas Corpus overboard when it suited them.

The other thing is that any attempt at a defence would be deemed by you to be, ahem, ‘self-serving etc etc’ so its down to you. How about it, fella? And which standard of proof are going with? The reasonable doubt of the criminal justice system? Or the possibility Vs probability of the civil courts? I’m-a waiting…



PS And you are quite correct, I was never spanked, and I do not spank my own. It’s a funny thing, but I don’t believe in commiting common assault on minors – I prefer negotiation and debate. These are the values I wish to pass on, that violence solves nothing. If only GHWB had taught junior the same things…

3/08/2007 2:54 AM

Elroy said...

PPS Purplehaze and myself are easily distingusihed with one simple observation. He can write 'pithy' comments of three sentences or less; I, on the other hand,...(contd. p. 94)



3/08/2007 6:36 PM

Hawkeye® said...

You are a "troll" because... well, let's use the definition you provided and see how much of it applies to you...

A troll is ‘a person who enters an established community such as an online discussion forum [check] and intentionally tries to cause disruption [check], often in the form of posting messages [check] that are inflammatory [check], insulting [check], incorrect [check], inaccurate [check], absurd [check], or off-topic’ and will ‘often contribute no useful information to the thread [check], but instead make argumentative posts [check] in an attempt to discredit another person [check], more often than not based on what they thought was said rather than what was actually said by the other person, concentrating almost exclusively on facts irrelevant to the point of the conversation [check], with the intent of provoking a reaction from others [check].’

I convict you out of your own mouth...

you, however, have arguably unlimited space and an audience, if the comment section is anything to go by, of approximately six, so my chances of appearing in print are greater.
You have entered an established community with the intent of "being seen".

Well, how about it? Ready to fight fair?
Your intent is to cause disruption.

I trust Beerme’s judgment is not clouded by an overly exuberant sampling of his product.
You make inflammatory statements designed to provoke a reaction.

If the term for debating one’s ideological opposite is political intercourse, then the term for blathering on with a bunch of like-minded sycophants is, well, let’s say the Catholics warn it will send you blind.
You make insulting statements.

between half and three-quarters of a million Iraqis have died since the current debacle started, which means that Saddam’s average annual death toll, 115,000 per, is currently being exceeded in post-Saddam Iraq with a figure of 163,000.
You make incorrect statements.

as far as Saddam was concerned, the Kurds were not ‘his own people’.
You make inaccurate and misleading statements.

however, I know it’s hard for you when I land such knockout blows.
You make absurd statements.

I herby self-censor my comments for being excessively long-winded, self-serving, patronizing, impudent, Communistic, trollist, for using valuable bandwidth, offending the sensibilities (and occasionally the digestion) of other "Viewers", for leading to excessive wear on scroll wheels, possibly causing cause drowsiness while operating machinery, generally trashing the appearance of the Comment section and attempting to argue against every single sentence or word of a posting (or previous comment) for fear my contribution will be considered a grievous violation of this new policy and punishable by vaporization into the cyber ether.
You make statements that contribute no useful information to the thread.

I prefer to argue with people I disagree with.
You are argumentative.

I suggest you broaden your reading list.
You attempt to discredit others.

I keep posting my reply because rules, my friend, are meant to be broken, especially arbitrary ones inflicted by petty dictators like you are fast becoming.
You prefer to disobey rules and are therefore subversive and/or anarchist. You also have no qualms about employing ad hominem attacks.

Yes, it is your blog. A little power is a dangerous thing, no?
You are needlessly sarcastic and sardonic.

And so it goes. Karl Rove has turned out to be quite a fan of post-modern philosophy, helping the GOP take the concept that ‘reality is relative’ to new levels. Remember this classic from the ‘unnamed’ White House aide when he told NYT journalist Ron Suskind that people like him were
‘in what we call the reality-based community... [people who] believe that solutions emerge from [the] judicious study of discernible reality. That's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’
You make statements that are irrelevant to the point of the conversation.

QED. You are a TROLL.


3/10/2007 6:35 PM

Elroy said...

Au contraire!

'You have entered an established community with the intent of "being seen".’

What would be the point otherwise? Who enters an established community with the intent of hiding out? You’re just being silly now.

'Your intent is to cause disruption.’

My intent is to encourage debate. On the occasion you mention, I was reminding you of your offer of an invitation to discuss the issues in a full and frank manner and, more specifically, I was asking you not to accuse me of a myriad of crimes and subsequently deny me the right of reply. How is that ‘disruptive’?

You make inflammatory statements designed to provoke a reaction.’

Hmmm. So it’s the left that has no sense of humor, huh? You’re the one that raised Beerme’s relationship with fermented yeast beverages, not me. However, if I reference it in an obviously light-hearted manner I am chastised. You’re grasping at straws.

'You make insulting statements.’

What bothers you here? The word 'sycophants? Let’s check the book. Princeton defines it as ‘a person who tries to please someone in order to gain a personal advantage.’ Maybe ‘sycophant’ was misplaced, and if it caused any offence I unreservedly apologize, however I don’t find ‘despicable’, ‘manipulated dummy’ and ‘warped lamestream media tool’ too complementary either; I trust you will crack down on those that have insulted me equally.

Similarly, if you found my comment a little, um, off colour, for that I also apolgise, although you must admit it was out of character.

'You make incorrect statements.'

I try very hard not to, and I stand by my figure on Iraq. If you want to dispute them fine, but just saying they are ‘incorrect’ is not exactly substantive. If you can prove they are incorrect then I will admit it. Until then…

You make inaccurate and misleading statements.’

Again, I try not to, and my statement regard is neither inaccurate nor misleading. In what way do you think it is?

The Kurds are not Iraqi, or for that matter Turkish, Iranian or Syrian, three countries where they also have disputed territory – they are Kurds, and identify as such. The Turks have had a crack at gassing them too, as Kurd separatists are active in Turkey too. The Kurds want their own nation state. They are not Arabs – they are only ‘Iraqi’ by dint of the Balfour declaration and the oil in Kirkuk.

'You make absurd statements.'

Please forgive me the odd rhetorical flourish, but I base this claim on your many failures to reply to my posts. You’ve got to be in it to win it!

'You make statements that contribute no useful information to the thread.'

I was being ironic in order to make a point. I’m sorry if that was not entirely clear.

You are argumentative.

I prefer to debate with people I disagree with, which makes me debatative.

'You attempt to discredit others.'

How does suggesting you broaden your reading list discredit you? Seriously, I suggest you try Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent, or Rogue State by William Blum for instance. It’s only a suggestion. And if you have read the above tomes, good for you! I’d be interested in hearing your opinion them. And I’ll read, what, Culture Warrior? Godless? If I have to I will. See? For you I will broaden MY reading list.

'You prefer to disobey rules and are therefore subversive and/or anarchist.'

I don't 'prefer' to do anything other than satisfy myself that rules made that effect my life have some sort of validity. I try to think for myself. I do not submit to rules merely becasue they are rules per se. 'Just becasue' might work on three-year-olds, but not me.

Does that make me a subversive Anarchist? Obviously. Do I want to subvert the dominant paradigm? Yup. I was taught to question everything and so I do. If the answers stack up, all well and good. If they don’t, well, I question more. What’s wrong with that?

'You also have no qualms about employing ad hominem attacks'.

I was merely saying that dictators inflict arbitrary rules, and as I consider your rule to be arbitrary – it can be, and is, applied by you discriminately; you hold me to a different standard than that of those you agree with – I therefore contend that you could run the risk of being accused of being, in that sense, a petty dictator.

This is not an ad hominem attack. An ad hominem attack would be

‘You're nothing but a warped lame stream media tool. You're the kind of person who can read the ingredients off a bubblegum wrapper and then think he's found the answer to the mysteries of the universe. Not a single original thought in all your wretched bloviations at this site. You're like a dog returning to his own vomit. While good men and women are dying on foreign battlefields in the cause of liberty, how do you keep from slitting your wrists when you look at yourself in a mirror in the morning you pathetic and worthless troll?’ [An attack made on Elroy by 'Hankmiester' in a prevvious thread]

However, I did not notice Hankmiester being chastised over these comments to me. I wonder why that is?

'You are needlessly sarcastic and sardonic.'

I’m sorry, I thought that was acceptable. Recognize these words? ‘Which reminds me. If you're such a towering intellect, why haven't I seen any of your scholarly articles in the fine publications I listed above?’ I’ll say it again: your rules are arbitrary.

'You make statements that are irrelevant to the point of the conversation.’

This example you quote is not irrelevant – it goes to nature of the WH’s attitude to truth. And in a when a country is war (remember, Australia is a member of the Coalition of the Willing too – one of last, as it happens) truth is important. It is often said that truth is the first casualty of war, but I for one do not think we should let it go down without a fight.

Maybe you chose some bad examples for why you think I am a troll. If so, feel free to try again. In my understanding, a troll is fundamentally a troublemaker and not interested in legitimate debate. That is not me.



3/12/2007 11:18 PM

That's it so far, kids. The ball is now firmly in Hawkeye®'s court...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Great Global Warming Swindle?

My good freind Hawkeye® over at View From Above is beside himself with glee over the UK Channel 4 documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle. 'Ha!' he says, 'Gotcha!'. However, Elroy is not so sure....

We join the debate where Elroy recommends that Hawkeye® reads some George Monbiot to put him off his Cornflake. Hawkeye also grisled about YouTube and how he found it, to quote, '...very sinister that Google took the independent concept of 'You Tube' and have now 'privatized' it. Hmm. What did Elroy say? Well...

Elroy said

Now, to further this debate I strongly recommend you read this:

This is a well-researched and cogent article that rebutts The Great Global Warming Swindle; to ignore it would be to stick your head well and truly in the sand. Stay informed, Hawkeye; it's the road to truth.



Hawkeye® said...

Elroy & RobC,

OK, I checked out the link you cited. I find it interesting that Monbiot's byline reads... "Tell people something they know already and they will thank you for it. Tell them something new and they will hate you for it."

Apparently George Monbiot proves the validity of his own byline through his denunciation of someone who is attempting to say something new. He likewise reinforces the views of those who appeared in the Channel 4 video that to disagree with the consensus brings rebuke.

Is he right or wrong? I can't say. 1) I have neither the time nor the inclination to follow-up all of his references. 2) If he is right, then he will have plenty of opportunity to gloat as mankind submerges beneath the waves of melted polar ice caps. 3) If he is wrong, he will never admit it and will most likely be armed with plenty of evidence to suggest that he really didn't believe that "man-made global warming stuff" all along.

Nevertheless, I can tell you this... the Biblical prophecies clearly indicate that this earth will not be destroyed by "man-made global warming". Rather, it states that "man-made sin" will cause God to pour out His wrath and consume the earth with "God-made, global-warming"...

"But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist have been stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men... But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up." -

3/15/2007 7:13 PM

Elroy said...

Ah Hawkeye, a few misunderstandings to clear up. First, your moan about YouTube being ‘privatized’ is rather amusing seeing as it was never public to start with. To be privatized, a concern must be owned by the State and I know how you feel about State ownership (I’m thinking that you don’t like it too much), so what really happened was that one private company bought out another in an effort to thwart the competition they represented. I believe this is known as ‘capitalism’ and is rather favored in these here parts.

The reason that stuff has been getting pulled is contravention of intellectual copyright laws; Viacom have got them in the grip of a multi-million dollar law suite as we speak, so maybe you should direct your displeasure to them. Still, it’s always nice to see you come out on the side of socialism.

As for George Monbiot, your view that he will never admit that he is wrong is pure speculation; in fact, one thing George is good at is stating when he is, or has been, wrong. Noted for it, in fact. And, just so you know, a ‘byline’ is the line that says ‘By…’, as in ‘By George Monbiot’. It’s simple really. And not that his ‘Tell someone something…’ blurb has anything to do with the information he provides, but is not denouncing someone who is attempting to say something new; on the contrary, he is denouncing people who are saying something old and firmly discredited, even by those saying it.

However, one of the most interesting parts of your reply are when you say you do not have the ‘inclination’ to check whether he is right or not, or whether his sources are credible, that you are apparently quite happy to wait until we all drown before you go ‘Oops! Should checked out that pal of Elroy’s, whatisname, Jeff somethin’’.

I am well aware of conservatives’ efforts to politicize the global warming debate and I know y’all are, as we say down here, ropable over Al Gore’s success in giving it such a high profile, so I understand how overjoyed you must have been to see this film; however, I find it curious that you can adopt the position advocated by the film with nary a hiccup.

Aren’t you in the slightest bit bothered that it might be complete rubbish? Don’t you think it wise to check the film’s sources? That you can swallow this stuff without a whimper suggests that you accept it due to your personal ideology than any belief in the science. Did Sean and Bill tell it was OK? I thought conservatives ‘thought for themselves’ – am I wrong? How can you argue for a position if you just ignore the opposition? Oh, that's right...

Lastly, I find it ironic that you to end a post based on competing scientists by quoting the Bible, a tome which is everything but scientific. If that is the strength of your argument than please, bow out of the debate now and let us that really care about the truth to work out how to save the planet.

On the other hand, your Bible quote could be quite accurate, according to me. My, as I consider the free-market capitalism insanity that we are all currently experiencing to be immoral, that maybe man-made global warming, caused as it is by relentless industrialization, is the very ‘man-made sin’ which your God wishes to tell us off for. Well, maybe you – he knows I’ve been good.



3/16/2007 5:30 AM

Hawkeye® said...

Such a clever boy you are. You are absolutely correct that 'privatized' was the wrong word to use... 'swallowed up' would have been more appropriate. And even a hardened 'capitalist' like myself disdains monopolistic practices, particularly when they impinge on the freedom of speech. Economies of scale are one thing... eliminating choice and controlling access are entirely different.

"Still, it’s always nice to see you come out on the side of socialism." In your dreams.

OK, "blurb"... picky, picky, picky. You know what I meant. Now you are simply being adversarial in order to suggest that you are a superior intellect. Typical elitist crap.

Jeff... George... well, what's in a name?

My particular aim in highlighting the video was to draw attention to the fact that not everyone in the scientific community agrees with "man-made" global warming. In that regard, I have been successful. It was also useful in showing that "deniers" are treated as "heretics" against the "religion" of man-made global warming.

Beyond that, it was enlightening in its suggestions that: 1) other factors might be at work, 2) sunspot activity seems to correlate BETTER with global warming than CO2 production (albeit imperfectly), 3) cloud cover and cosmic rays might also play a part (even though a 'direct' correlation may not be indicated), 4) that the logic of CO2 production driving global temperature is extremely faulty and not borne out by the facts that CO2 production increased dramatically between 1940 and 1975 when global temperatures were decreasing (but sunspot activity was increasing), 5) that further scientific analysis is required which explores potential causes of global warming beyond merely the production of CO2, 6) that such scientific inquiries should be pursued freely without the 'backlash' of religious zealotry on the part of 'politicians' (with or without scientific credentials), and 7) that scientific inquiry should be made without preconceived notions.

These facts alone elevate the video above the level of 'complete rubbish' as you suggest. In fact, your characterization implies that you are a true believer in this new religion of man-made global warming. My response to your religion therefore, was a quote from my own religion. Since I believe that prophetic scriptures from my own religion will play out as foretold, I am completely assured that the world will not end in any way, shape, or form of man-made global warming. Yes, that is a matter of faith and not very scientific, but I am entitled to my beliefs.

And it should be pointed out that throughout history scientists have been proven wrong. It was once assumed by scientists that: 1) the human body could not travel faster than 35 miles per hour, 2) the sound barrier could never be broken, 3) man would never land on the moon, 4) that everything about the universe had been discovered, and 5) that computers would never need more than 640K of RAM. Go figure.

3/16/2007 9:27 AM

At this point, kindred spirit Purplehaze joins the fray with his two new pence worth.

Purplehaze said...

Actually Hawkeye, modern Science has never put a limit on human potential. Those so called "absolute truth" claims are left to 3000 year old out-dated texts like the Bible. Science, while not infallible, provides conclusions based on strong facts, evidence, and years if not decades of research and peer scrutiny. Even Christians(the sane ones),realise that religion doesn't need to contradict science, and that expanding literal conclusions out of a 3000 year old textbook is illogical if not completely kuckoo, yet some Christians still choose this path. May the truth have mercy on them.

3/16/2007 5:13 PM

Hawkeye® said...

"modern Science has never put a limit on human potential."

No argument there. If you don't believe in God, then "human potential" is unlimited because... you TOO can be "a god". FYI, the Bible only limits "human potential" to the level of Jesus Christ. It suggests that aspiring Christians should strive to attain the perfection of Jesus. Jesus said...

You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. --Matthew 5:48

Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father..." --John 14:9

Therefore, we must strive to be perfect, as Jesus was perfect. Jesus was the ultimate example of human perfection and human potential.

Those so called "absolute truth" claims are left to 3000 year old out-dated texts like the Bible.

First of all, the Bible is hardly "out-dated". Its storehouse of wisdom is unsurpassed. Its explanation of the human condition is unrivaled. Its message of hope still inspires. Its message of salvation still saves lost souls. Its message of love still results in miracles. Its admonition to charity results annually in billions of dollars of philanthropy. The Bible is still the world's best-seller. It has been translated into hundreds of languages and dialects. The Mosaic Law has been the basis for most of the judicial systems in Western culture. It still provides historical insight which, though often disputed, has been substantiated time and time again. Its past prophetic revelations (300 or thereabouts) about a single individual (Jesus) have been fulfilled to a level which are statistically (i.e., mathematically) "impossible". These facts alone suggest that the Bible is a unique and living document which deserves special attention.

Secondly, I find "absolute truth" comforting. I've never thought much of "relativity". I mean, relative to murder, homosexuality is not even a "misdemeanor"... it's a "life style". But in the eyes of God, homosexuality is a blatant sin for which a sinner must "repent" (i.e., change direction) in order to escape the same fate as the murderer. God did not change His absolute truth... Man employed relativity to legalize sin. God did not change... Man dragged himself down to the brink of Hell.

"science [is] not infallible..."

Glad you recognize that. No further discussion necessary.

3/16/2007 6:38 PM

Elroy said...

Such a clever boy I am? Not being a little patronizing are we? Again? I’d hate to accuse you of hypocrisy but it could be argued that you are fast becoming blogspot’s Newt Gingrich.

Yes, Hawkeye, socialism! You like it plenty; you just don’t know you do. See, if you were truly a hardened capitalist you would understand that monopoly is capital’s natural state, and any capitalist concern will inherently strive to achieve this condition. A cornered market will always achieve the best return for stockholders, and as any given board of directors is legally mandated to follow the best return for investment said board would not be fulfilling their fiduciary duty, and be in actual breach of federal law, if they did follow aforementioned returns.

But if you’ disdain monopolistic practices’ then you must be in favor of some form of state regulation, and therefore the question is merely: how much? State regulation of private industry? Why that’s…socialism! See? Dreams really can come true.

And if your last post is anything to go by it appears that you are also particularly in favor of tightening media ownership laws, strengthening the FCC, reinstating the Fairness Doctrine and passing net neutrality laws! Good for you! Of course, this position will put you offside with a number of conservatives and their financial backers, including GWB and his propaganda minister Rupert Murdoch, but I understand how important principles are to conservatives, so, way to go Hawkeye!

And my putting you right on a couple of matters, well, we can’t have you running around all misinformed, now can we? And I’m not trying to suggest I’m a ‘superior intellect’ or anything else, I’m just trying to make sure that we all know what we’re talking about. If you put me right on something I don’t know about, I’m not going to call you an ‘elitist’ – I’m going to thank you for teaching me.

That you buy into this anti-intellectual ‘elite’ nonsense is disappointing, Hawkeye; people with an education are not an elite – they are people with an education, people who have learnt the skills of critical thinking, people who can reason, people who can see the woods for the trees. This ‘anti-intellectual’ campaign is dreadful for a number of reasons; it discounts the importance of a decent education, discouraging our kids from even bothering at school, and it is fundamentally dishonest in that it only targets liberals.

Conservative intellectuals, like Coulter, Horowitz, Frum et al, are lauded for their degrees and credentials while leftist brains are vilified, yet if you REALLY want to see an elite at work go no further that the Bush and Murdoch clans. THAT’S the power of privilege, dynasty, money and inherited wealth at work, THAT’S an elite, fella! The left are not an elite, they are the overwhelming majority of voters both in the USA and around the world. The right and their corporate moneymen only maintain power by manipulating the massive influence they have by dint of their media holdings, outright fraud and blackmail. We’ll find out one day, and the truth will set us free.

Maybe not everyone agrees with the man-made global-warming theory, but not everyone agrees that the world is round either, or that the theory of evolution might have some validity, or that the WTC fell down because of melted trusses. Competing hypotheses are everywhere, so we should do our best to use pure reason, empirical fact and science that is capable of being disproved to assert our cases, not emotion and superstition and unverifiable ‘facts’.

Global warming is not a ‘religion’; religions or based of faith, the unknowable, Instead, it is a scientific hypothesis which has a great deal of evidence to back it up, and those who oppose it are not ‘heretics (there’s conservatives playing the victim card again), they are the ones with most to lose, the oil, mining and energy cartels that fund GWB. Cui bono, Hawkeye!

Mr. Monbiot has produced evidence that your video is fundamentally at error, yet you are not interested, so how can ever claim to be interested in the truth on this issue and not just the opportunity for partisan politics and ideological point scoring that it presents? You can’t. Are you thinking for yourself or have you been reading too much Frank Luntz? The problem for conservatives with climate change is not so much the barrow science but more who is pushing it. Al Gore and the libss ust be stopped, and conservatives apparently don't care if they, or their children or their childrens' children, die trying.

I am intrigued that you, a conservative, are advocating a limit on human potential. Ah well. I’m also interested that you consider Jesus to be the ultimate example of human perfection and human potential’. If that’s true you guys have got a long way to go, ‘cos Jesus was SUCH a leftie!

If you are so confident of the Bible’s accuracy, please, what are these statistically impossible revelations that the Bible prophesized exactly? Name your top three.
In the name of scientific debate.

It’s nice for you that you find ‘absolute truth’ so comforting; personally, I find it a little scary that someone can believe that truth is absolute. That I don’t agree with you proves that that your truth is not absolute – it may be true to you but not it’s not true to me, so therefore, QED, truth is relative. My truth about the Iraq war is, sadly, not your truth; we believe what we choose to believe.

And is homosexuality a sin equal to murder? It’s not even in God’s Top Ten Things Not To Do! If it’s homosexuality is so bad, why did God bother making homosexuals? And if it’s so bad, what happened to getting stoned to death for mixing the threads of ones clothes? How come that’s OK now? See, we believe what we want to believe. Truth is relative.

Science is fallible, we recognize that, but so is religion. Do you recognize that?



3/18/2007 1:27 AM

Hawkeye® said...

"Blogspot's Newt Gingrich"... Hey, I like that! It would be an honor.

Unfortunately, I must completetly disagree with you on almost everything else. Monopolies are by no means the logical conclusion of capitalism. In fact, monopolies are evidence of capitalism's demise.

cap·i·tal·ism Function: noun
: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined primariy by competition in a free market.

A monopoly, by definition, eliminates "competition in a free market" and inherently destroys capitalism. A monopoly eliminates choice and therefore restricts the ability of investors to make "investment decisions". Therefore, those who seek to prevent the formation of monopolies are in fact rescuing capitalism from its demise. Those who seek to create monopolies suffer from a malady known as "greed", which is a sin. Greed is ultimately nothing more than a lust for power through absolute control. I favor freedom. Freedom of choice. Economic freedom. Political freedom. Monopolies are akin to fascism, which I also despise.

so·cial·ism Function: noun
1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

Socialism is as bad as fascism. Socialism equally eliminates competition and free markets. Socialism equally eliminates choice. Socialism puts decisions for the means of production and the distribution of goods into the hands of the government. Socialism takes wealth from those who earn it and gives it to those who do not.

As far as advocating "some form of state regulation" you are correct. But that hardly makes me a socialist. Conservatives are not against government in any form... that would be anarchism. Conservatives do not necessarily favor a complete "hands off" approach by the government... that would be libertarianism. I favor minimal government regulation. Just enough to ensure freedom.

I also believe that as Jesus taught us, we who have been given much ought to share with those who have little. That would be called "charity". It is a self-directed choice. I do not believe Jesus was a "leftie". He did not advocate government-enforced redistribution of wealth in any form. He advocated personal spiritual renewal and good works which spring forth from that renewal. He wants you and I to "feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the sick"... not for us to leave it an impersonal, bureaucratic government.

3/18/2007 9:58 AM

Elroy said...

Hawkeye, you sound like you think being compared to Newt is a GOOD thing. Hmm. Ah well, whatever…

You may well contend that monopolies are not the logical conclusion of capitalism, but I’m afraid you prove my point for me, that is that capitalism, given the opportunity, will eat itself.

And it sure has those opportunities. Capital seeks market share; and competition is either eradicated or enjoined. ‘I don’t meet competition’, said Charles Revson of Revlon Cosmetics, ‘I crush it!’. Or maybe you prefer cartels? If a concern cannot obliterate the competition by either swallowing them up or driving them out of business with predatory pricing, then it will collude with them. The media in the US is held by six corporations, and the pool is set to get smaller yet. This is an oligarchy. It is not a competitive commercial environment, and if anyone thinks that corporations welcome competition I believe that bridge in Brooklyn is still up for grabs.

It’s obvious really; the bigger the market share the bigger the profit, capital’s raison d’etre, and so capitalism is inextricably headed down the past of it’s own destruction unless, as you point out, it is rescued. Greed may be a ‘sin’, but either the CEOs don’t know, don’t care or are willing to risk it. Corporation X doesn’t care if ‘the ability of investors to make “investment decisions”’ is restricted; in fact that’s just what they want, because then the investors can only invest in them.

Fundamentally, capitalism is predicated on exploitation, and by its very nature it must exploit as much as possible. Companies are legally mandated to maximize profit for shareholders, and ultimately that can only be done by screwing the poor. America is seeing an increase in the use of prison populations by industry, particularly since the crackdown on undocumented guest workers; some prisons in California can turn out clothing cheaper than indeed China.

The Right’s denial of the minimum wage, which has dwindled to XXXX of its worth of ten years ago, is another method by which the corporate ruling elite coerce the poor. Their theories are all very well, but the utopian dream envisaged by lazzire faire capitalists have not happened and nor are they going to.

You may favor Freedom™, but I must say, it is hard for me to reconcile the conservatives’ pro-corporate stance with their religious beliefs; it seems that the part of the Bible that says ‘God helps those that helps themselves’ has trumped all others. How can Cheney profess a love of the almighty when he is the personification of your definition of greed? ‘A lust for power through absolute control’? That’s our Dickie!

The definition of socialism that you present is more like communism (although communism can work see – my previous post concerning the US military) and if you do not know the difference, or even realize that there is one, then maybe you should not be commenting on it. Socialism comes in many forms; it is not a one-size-fits-all absolute.

Fascism, however, is easier to define. It is, fundamentally, the marriage of the State and corporations, with totalitarian power delivering a captive workforce. There is a 21st Century version of it at work right now, just down Route 95 from where you are, Hawkeye. Yup, I’m glad to know you despise Fascists, Hawkeye; maybe you should read this: There are reasonable ground for having the discussion about how close the Bush administration is sailing to the chill winds of fascism, and should not be ignored.

Anarchy does have it’s charms Hawkeye, its not the lawless free-for-all you imagine it to be; if you think it means merely an absence of government then you obviously know nothing about it. But tell me: if you are in favor of state regulation of private enterprise, how can you then support this administration who are hell bent on deregulating as much as possible? Regulating Freedom™ cannot be done lightly; it may be counter intuitive, but the only way to get private enterprise to behave itself, and thus ensure Freedom™, is to regulate the hell out of it.

And Jesus was a leftie. The reason he wanted people to get personally involved in helping the poor was that no one else was going to do it; I’m sure that he would have condoned a state apparatus that could do the work on a more efficient scale.

But hey! That's just me! Your truth may lie elsewhere.



3/18/2007 11:06 PM

Hawkeye® said...


I repeat, monopolies are not the logical conclusion of capitalism. Monopolies are an abuse of capitalism. They are the result of sinful, greedy men (and/or women) who want power through absolute control. The problem is not with the system... it is with mankind.

Any system you may care to set up is doomed to suffer abuse, because all men (and women) are sinful. Some are clearly worse than others. If you have a capitalist system it will be abused by sinful mankind. If you have a socialist system, it will be abused. If you have communism, it will be abused. If you have a democracy, it will be abused. There can be no utopia on this earth until Jesus Christ returns and establishes His earthly kingdom which will be ruled with righteousness and justice.

I also disagree with your statement that "capitalism is predicated on exploitation". That sounds like Karl Marx talking. That is an inference, not a statement of principle. Capitalism is predicated on the private ownership of property and a free market system for the production, pricing and distribution of goods. It works well, because it "capitalizes" (pun intended) on mankind's instinctive nature to succeed and his desire for comforts. If you work hard and save, you will increase your standard of living. Communism offers no such incentive. If you work hard, you will not get ahead because everyone is treated the same. Socialism is merely the first step (and maybe the second & third too) on the road to communism.

Will some people fail in a capitalist system? Absolutely. Should we provide for them? Of course. Will some people fail in a communistic or socialistic society? Absolutely. In fact, many MORE will fail in a communistic society... they will fail to get ahead. Ultimately, all people will be reduced to the lowest common denominator of equality, which by definition must be "poverty". Why do I say that? Well, if I could do better than I am now doing, but am held back by the state or the economic system, then I am "poorer" than I otherwise could be. If the government takes my money away and re-distributes it to others, then I am "poorer" than I otherwise would be.

the only to way ensure Freedom™, is to regulate the hell out of it. Now there's an oxymoron if I heard one: "highly-regulated freedom".

And if I were you, I wouldn't be so "sure" what Jesus would or wouldn't condone. If I read my Bible correctly, it seems to me that very few people (even His 12 apostles who lived with Him for 3 years) came away from their encounter unscathed or un-rebuked. I know He'd give me a good tongue-lashing because I'm more sinful than most. What makes you think "Elroy" is better than Peter or Philip or Andrew? Even the apostle Paul got "knocked off his high horse", as they say.

3/19/2007 12:46 PM

Elroy said...

And I repeat that monopolies ARE the logical conclusion of capitalism, and I am confused that you cannot do/do not/will not see this simple point. I don’t mean this as criticism particularly, just as an extant fact.
I agree that monopolies are an abuse and that is what anti-trust laws are for, and as they are a government instrumentality then they are a regulation. And monopolies maybe the result of greedy men, but greed is an important prerequisite for capitalists, wouldn’t you agree?

I’ll try and explain it again. I make a widget for $2 and sell it for $4, resulting in a profit of $2. Then you come along and make a widget for $1 and sell it for $2, also resulting in a profit of $2, but now I don’t sell as many widgets. So, here are my choices:

1. Sell my widgets for $2. Not much good as I will make $0.

2. Sell my widgets for $3 while pointing out their superior qualities. Not much better; I halve my profits and spend more on marketing.

3. Make my widget for $1 by raising productivity, i.e. sacking staff and working the remainder harder. Sell for $2. I’m now level with you.

4. Sack remaining staff for attempting to join American Widget Workers Union.

5. Form American Widget Manufacturers Association

6. Float Elroy’s Widgets Inc on stock market.

7. Hire undocumented Mexicans to work for below minimum wage.

8. Make my widgets for 0.75c and sell them for $1, which undercuts you by 100% but does not provide enough profit for me.

9. Sell my widget for 0.75c and continue to undercut you until I drive you out of business.

10. Buy you out.


10a. Skip 2 through 5 and buy you out anyway.


10b. Strike a deal with you that neither of us will sell or widgets for less than $3.50

11. With combined manufacturing processes and the economies of scale achieved, make my/our Widgets for 50c and go back to selling to selling them $4. Monopoly/Duopoly achieved.

12. Protect my/our market by paying stores to only carry Elroy’s and/or Hawkeye’s Widgets. Lobby my senator and/or congressman for subsidies. Demand protection from imported widgets. Donate to senator/congressman’s re-election campaign. Obtain exclusive no-bid government contract to supply all state and territories and US military with widgets.

13. Force you out in boardroom coup. Board executes leveraged management buyout. Monopoly ensured.

14. As CEO, have board of mates award self salary package of $300,000,000 pa plus stock options.

15. Shift manufacturing base to South East Asia/Mexico/India/Any US State or Federal Prison. Widget unit cost now 0.2c. Raise price of widget to $6 to recoup relocation costs. Unemployed former workers go on welfare, steal to feed family, go to prison and get old job back.

16. Dump subsidized Widgets on global market to suppress world prices and protect market share.

17. Sell shell companies owned by subsidiaries of Elroy’s Widgets Inc (Now known as WidgCorp) to other subsidiaries of WidgCorp. Book anticipated profits of shell company as net profit.

18. Sell personal stockholdings and options at height of Widget bubble created by step 12.

19. Watch as WidgCorp stock tanks and employees 421(k)s go down gurgler, precipitating drop in Dow of 500 points which wipes out 20% of stock market value and creates pressure on interest rates. Broke former WidgCorp employees now homeless due to mortgage defaults.

20. Buy bigger house with higher wall and bigger dogs. Hire ex-WidgCorp ex-con workers on minimum wage as security guards.

21. Sack security guards and hire more undocumented Mexicans at below minimum wage.

22. Count personal billions.

23. Run for president on platform advocating closed borders, anti-union legislation, abolishing the minimum wage, free trade and job creation. Fail to see irony of said platform.

There are plenty of variations on this theme – you might crush me instead – but that’s the gist of it. Kill or be killed. Nice guys finish last. That’s business. Did you never see the movie Wall Street? Now, whether all that is moral or not is a different question; all I’m saying is that capital has to conquer or die.

Unless, of course, it’s regulated, and the more regulation the competition can enter the market and the more competition the more Freedom™. See? And in cases where there are natural monopolies, like water, gas, telephone, healthcare etc, if these are run by the state then the profit motive is removed which, if properly run, leads to a reliable service at a reasonable price with what profits there are going back into state coffers to pay for schools, highways, hospitals etc.

This is called a mixed market. America used to be one, as did all the Anglophone countries post WW2; even Lenin, you might be surprised to learn, agreed heartily with the concept of the mixed market. The prosperity of post-war USA was built on it, as were other economies, as they applied the now highly unfashionable but sane and solid economic theories of John Maynard Keynes – a little bit of socialism, a little bit of capitalism, and there you go!

You may have noted that steps #3 and #6 have a certain amount of exploitation implicit in them, but as you are having problems with that concept maybe we should take a closer peek.

Exploitation: The ownership of the means of production by a small minority in society, the capitalists, the inability of non-property-owners (the workers, proletarians) to survive without selling their labor-power to the capitalists (in other words, without being employed as wage laborers) and the state, which uses its strength to protect the unequal distribution of power and property in society.

(For more, see: )

Also, you might have picked up on the monopolistic tendencies in steps #7 and #9. For the CEO to ignore any possibility that there might be to expand profits for the shareholders is, as a matter of fact, illegal. Look it up.

That’s enough of your bandwidth for now. I shall return. There are still a few things you are not entirely clear on.



Hawkeye® said...

I get it now! You're a satirist! (I should have known.) While I'm only the occasional satirist, you are the perpetual satirist, eh? Obviously you have been joking all along. I didn't get it until I read those funny little things in your last comment.

Hahahaha! Good one. Had me goin' there for awhile buddy.

3/24/2007 4:55 PM

Elroy said...

Many a true word is spoken in jest, Hawkeye.

To think that a satirist does not believe in the essence of their message is to misunderstand the nature of satire, and outright abuse is not satire. This needs to be gently explained to Ann Coulter.

So which remarks pleased/displeased/incurred your credulity so? Please, I need to know.

Or am I joking?

Oh no, hang on – it's YOU being satirical this time! Oh, you got me there!




We await a reply. Don't hold your breath.