Thursday, June 4, 2009

Terminate--with extreme prejudice . . .

. . . is the line spoken by the enigmatic gentleman in "Apocalypse Now," referring to the request to kill Col. Kurtz. Obviously it's meant to be an example of tortured government speak.

The good folks at Talking Points Memo are a little more blunt. In an article posted under the anonymous byline "The Insolent Braggart," the question is pointedly asked: At what point do we jail or execute global warming deniers?

I kid you not.

Unfortunately, clicking on the link will not bring up the article. Instead, you get a "File Not Found" listing. Maybe the good folks at TPM want the post to just go away. However, Climate Depot was able to get a screen capture and posted the screed in its entirety.

A snippet (edited for impoliteness):
So when the right wing f***tards have caused it to be too late to fix the problem, and we start seeing the devastating consequences and we start seeing end of the World type events - how will we punish those responsible. It will be too late. So shouldn't we start punishing them now?

Nice. Classy. Remember, this isn't a commenter from the extreme edge of the TPM universe, this is a published article.

And it's really not an extreme position, as The Insolent Braggart has a lot of company. From the Climate Depot article:
NASA's James Hansen has called for trials of climate skeptics in 2008 for "high crimes against humanity.” Environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. lashed out at skeptics of 2007 declaring “This is treason. And we need to start treating them as traitors” In 2009, RFK, Jr. also called coal companies "criminal enterprises" and declared CEO's 'should be in jail... for all of eternity."

In 2006, the eco-magazine Grist called for Nuremberg-Style trials for skeptics. In 2008, Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki called for government leaders skeptical of global warming to be thrown “into jail.” In 2007, The Weather Channel's climate expert called for withholding certification of skeptical meteorologists.

They told me that if McCain were elected, people would be jailed for having opinions that the government didn't agree with . . .


Insolent Braggart said...

Any fucktard can write a post - and they can and do take down ones they find objectionable. I wrote the article actually. And I obviously don't want anyone executed. I was taking an extreme to show an equally dangerous extreme. I'm not a trained writer -just someone angry with the ignorant people who use financial motivations to try to tackle a true consensus in the scientific community.

My account was immediately suspended at TPM so I'm not defending them out of any loyalty but they obviously felt it was just as objectionable as you do.

Small Town Doc said...

Thank you for your comments. They are appreciated.

I was hoping that you weren't serious in wanting people jailed or executed, although I have to wonder about some of the other folks on that side of the issue. Obviously, someone at TPM originally thought well enough of you and your article to publish it; it's hard to believe that TPM does not moderate either their comments or their articles. It is interesting that in seeing them as "equally dangerous," you seem to draw some kind of moral equivalence between the predicted dangers of AGW and jailing/executing people for their ideas. Perhaps you aren't serious about that idea either.

Just because someone claims there is a consensus doesn't mean there actually is one. The people who are skeptical of the AGW movement are not all wingnuts and crackpots. There are actually respected scientists (Pielke, Watts, etc.) who have raised a variety of concerns about many of the claims of the AGW crowd, especially some of the more intense, hysterical rantings (Al Gore comes to mind). Are some of the skeptics funded by "Big Oil" and other biased entities? Of course. I would posit that there are similar biases on the other side of the argument that are no less unsavory.

I think climate forecast and modeling are scientifically robust, but still relatively in their infancy, esp. in regards to their abilities to make long term predictions that may have profound sociological and economic consequences. There have been other scientific debates in this century that have been much less politicized and much more civil (check out Simon Singh's The Big Bang). It is possible to have scientific discussion without resorting to characterizing your opponents as "f***tards" or idiots. Before you launch another poorly thought out rant and have your account suspended somewhere else, try taking a look at some of the skeptical AGW sites.

Insolent Braggart said...

I agree that there are extremists on both sides of this - and many issues.

I would recommend checking out potholer54 and thunderf00t on youtube (especially potholer) about Global warming. It just might change your mind!

As far as TPM - you can get on - sign up with a username - and post a blog. Your post hits the site instantaneously - and I believe they remove them if they are flagged. I can't blame them for my inappropriate rant any more than Bill O'reilly can pass any legitimate blame onto the Daily Kos bloggers. We're just people living our lives - writing about what we see as wrong with the world.

I will be more careful not to use the kind of language used in that post again.

Anonymous said...

It's funny in the same week that an abortion provider was murdered in church (talk about terminate with extreme prejudice), you alert us to the dangers of the AGW crowd.

I feel safer already!

Anonymous said...

Jill Stanek couldn't even wait until Tiller's family had laid him to rest before announcing the next target, Dr. LeRoy Carhart. And I have to say, she's assembled a fantastic intelligence dossier on him, complete with photos of his clinic and links to a page listing his home and work addresses as well as photos of his wife and daughter. Lord knows, that's the kind of information the shooters will need. Maybe her church will hold a blessing of the rifles this weekend!

Watch out for those dangerous global warming wackos, people.

Small Town Doc said...


There were some 200,000 murders last week in the US. Although Dr. Tiller's murder was newsworthy, I have tried not to get too involved in the abortion debate, which would include the despicable murder of Dr. Tiller. Is his murder anymore an example of terrorism than the murder of the Army recruiter in Arkansas?

Since I am not really familiar with her, I am going to ask you to show me where Ms. Stanek (not someone deserving of my respect, from my brief foray to her website) made public information that was not publicly available.

I also have an OBGYN perspective to relate--a little later, perhaps.

Small Town Doc said...

More about Tiller . . .
Let's leave 1st trimester abortions out of this discussion, for the sake of brevity.

I think it is safe to say that most reasonable people agree that 3rd trimester abortions should be extremely rare occurrences. We are certainly no longer talking about a "ball of cells" here. When the limits of viability now approach the 23-25 week stage, the idea of destroying a life that we routinely rescue in a neonatal ICU is distrubing.

I can certainly understand allowing the procedure when the life of the mother is at stake. I can perhaps seeing it allowed in cases of severe fetal abnormalities, such as anencephaly. There are reasonable ethical and moral objections to this position, however.

I don't think it is reasonable to assume that carrying a fetus to term or not is just simply a woman's decision, and that a woman can decide to terminate a pregnancy at any time in the 3rd trimester, for any reason. Although this is a common theme among some in the abortion rights and reproductive rights crowd, I think we can assume that this thinking represents an extreme point of view (Equivalent to sanctioning clinic bombings and abortion provider murders).

So what kind of practice did Tiller run? By his own words, he bragged of some 60,000 terminations. Assuming he began in earnest after the Roe decision in 1972, this translates into something like 1700 terminations a year.

That's a lot--a whole lot. At my busiest, I delivered about 150 babies a year. I know of some practitioners doing maybe 200 or 300 deliveries a year, max. So 1700 terminations a year is astronomically high, to the point of incredulity.

Let's take him at his word, though. Do you think he was terminating pregnancies in a "reasonable" manner as above? or was he simply terminating advanced pregnancies on demand? If he was even half as busy as he claims, he's still doing 15 procedures a week--Monday through Friday and no holidays, that's 3 a day.

A few other considerations. In my almost 20 years in the field, I have come to realize that there are actually very few bona fide conditions where the life of the mother is actually threatened by pregnancy. These conditions are not only few in number, they occur rarely.

And terminating an advanced pregnancy is not an easy or benign procedure. Removing the fetus from the womb at this stage often involves surgical intervention, or at the very least instillation of toxic substances into the uterus. It is unclear how many fetuses actually survive the procedure, but I imagine it is not as uncommon as one would think.

None of this justifies the murder of Dr. Tiller, and other than extreme voices, I have not heard anyone actually claim this justification. His murder in front of his family is a horrible crime, and I think it's a safe assumption that most people who consider themselves anti-abortion feel the exact same way.

I actually feel close to the President's position, that we should make abortion an extremely rare procedure all around.

Anonymous said...

The way you keep agreeing with Obama is making me think you might be one of them muslim socialists.

Small Town Doc said...

Don't tell anyone, but I make Anya wear a burka every once in a while.