08 Jun 2017


Shameless Self-Promotion 16 Comments

==> Jeff Tucker has had some good takes lately. I liked his piece on why the center-left hates Trump, and his article on the arrogance of the Paris Agreement.

==> Oren Cass on Paris Agreement.

==> I talk about the case for privatizing the SPR.

16 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. Harold says:

    On why the left hates Trump. Trumps supporters suffer from TDS just as much as his opponents, with an apparent need to justify his actions and dismiss the criticism.

    “They, on the other hand, seem to object to the very existence of Trump, his every utterance, his actions no matter what they are, and everything related to this new administration.”

    This is simply not true – look at the headlines after his address the Joint Session. For example CNN said “President Donald Trump reached for poetry and conjured a vision of common national purpose…Trump adopted a statesmanlike cadence, hitting notes of inspiration…struck a conventional presidential posture…”

    On his recent trip the NYT said: “Throughout his visit, a less volatile president emerged, disciplined and relentlessly on message…His mood has been sober and careful…Mr. Trump orchestrated a sense of diplomatic calm…”

    When Trump says things that are “normal” for a president it is reported as such. The reason it seems that people object to everything he says and does is because he says and does so many odd things.

    The rest is saying that the left likes Government, but I think we knew that. It is probably true that lots of people hate trump because he “dishonors” beloved institutions. Reducing Government by simply not governing is going to rile those that like Government.

    • Craw says:

      “By simply not governing”

      So Trump isn’t Hitler anymore? He’s Tom Sawyer whitewashing a fence?

      • Harold says:

        Trump is many things. I was thinking about the very slow pace of getting people appointed to positions. There are a great many left unfilled, and the delay is largely coming from the whitehouse.

        But, yeah, it was exaggeration.

        • Andrew Keen says:

          By “unfilled,” you mean, “occupied by an Obama holdover.” That should hardly be a catastrophe for the center-left. And yet this is one more of the many contradictory criticisms they hold for this president.

    • Stephen Dedalus says:

      “Trumps supporters suffer from TDS just as much as his opponents, with an apparent need to justify his actions and dismiss the criticism.”

      Well, this is exactly what a critic suffering from TDS *would* think.

  2. Harold says:

    On the arrogance of the Paris treaty.
    “Let me pause to protest this “denial” language. It attempts to appropriate the widely shared disgust toward “Holocaust denial,””

    Er, no. It is a term coined by Freud in 1936. The American Psychological Association’s Concise Dictionary of Psychology describes it as “An unpleasant reality is ignored, and a realistic interpretation of potentially threatening events is replaced by a benign but inaccurate one.”

    Wikipedia says “In the sciences, denialism is the rejection of basic facts and concepts that are undisputed, well-supported parts of the scientific consensus on a subject, in favor of radical and controversial ideas.”

    The term denialism is not restricted to the Holocaust, but is standard term.

    Wikipedia also says “Persons and social groups who reject propositions on which there exists a mainstream and scientific consensus engage in denialism when they use rhetorical tactics to give the appearance of argument and legitimate debate, when there is none.” This seems quite a good example of that.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Oh come on Harold. People aren’t saying, “These opponents of a carbon tax are in denial.” Instead they are saying, “These guys are climate deniers.” You don’t think that’s supposed to sound like “Holocaust denier”?

      • Craw says:

        Of course it is.


        We have seen calls for its prosecution justified in the same terms.

        Harold’s post makes no sense even on its own terms. Freudian denial is not the assertion that a proposition is false, it is a psychological state. If I deny the the USA is the largest CO2 emitter that has nothing to do with Freud.

      • Mike Mc says:

        Bob, “anthropogenic climate change” is religious doctrine to its supporters (except for that small minority that are simply using it for financial gain). Its social justice dogma. Religious zealots are impervious to logic and reason. Seriously, when was the last time you changed the mind of a zealot? It might be amusing to toy with them, but you’re wasting your time engaging them in true intellectual discourse.

      • Harold says:

        “You don’t think that’s supposed to sound like “Holocaust denier”?”

        Well, personally I don’t think that is the reason for it. I think it is just an appropriate term.

        We have seen the same with ocean acidification. Ask any chemist and they will say it is perfectly reasonable term. But those in denial about anthropogenic climate change (if you prefer) insist it is a conspiracy to make it sound more scary. Very weak defence by means of distraction. It is the same here. No argument about the meaning of the term so distract attention by claiming it is a conspiracy to make everyone hate you.

        Bob and Craw make points that people who oppose certain policies are not necessarily deniers. Very true. For example, if you use IPCC data to argue against a carbon tax you cannot reasonably be accused of denial on that basis.

        However, if you attach your name to a paper that argues in a biased way about climate sensitivity by emphasising one method of assessing it without proper discussing other methods, you might be on shakier ground.

        If Craw denies that the USA is the largest emitter of CO2 that does not make him a person who is in denial about climate change. What is a symptom of denial is the seeking out of one sided evidence to support one’s case whilst ignoring contrary evidence.

        The people who are in denial abut climate change are very quick to find offence at this language, but are apparently quite happy for people who agree with the mainstream scientific opinion to be called criminals, liars, corrupt and deluded zealots.

        I might have more sympathy with the offended if they had more consistency.

        • Stephen Dedalus says:

          You who gets my craw? The climate stability denialists!

          • Harold says:

            Who are they?

          • Craw says:

            I hear my name being taken in vain!!

      • Andrew Keen says:

        You’ll have to excuse Harold. He’s in a psychological state of denial about the manipulative intent of use of the term “climate denier.”

    • Stephen Dedalus says:

      ” It is a term coined by Freud in 1936.”

      What an absurd objection! How does the fact the term “denial” was coined long ago refute the fact that when they use “denier” they are making a holocaust allusion?!

  3. Bob Roddis says:

    This is why for years I’ve been advocating that we should always refer to Keynesians and all non-Austrians in general as “Economics Deniers”.

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