Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Climate-Change Deniers Smear Their Foes With A Groundless Terrorism Link. Here's One That's Not So Groundless

A little turnabout for the Heartland Institute.

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

[Note to the satirically impaired: That's a Photoshop, courtesy of the inimitable Blue Gal.]

Right-wingers never seem to understand why people get perturbed when they helpfully compare whatever liberal cause they oppose to Nazis, Hitler, Communists, and that ol' standby, Satan. This evidently is what passes for an intellectual exchange for these folks. And they especially never understand that precisely the same argument can be applied to them as well -- in spades.

Most recently, the Heartland Institute, the noted corporate-backed deniers of climate science, decided that was the kind of discourse they wanted to engage in:
The Heartland Institute has launched one of the most offensive billboard campaigns in U.S. history. The Chicago-based anti-science think tank is comparing all those who accept climate science — and the journalists who report on it accurately — to Charles Manson, the Unabomber, and Osama Bin Laden.
The Institute, after being panned by everyone in sight, eventually took down the billboards. But not before they made it perfectly clear that this was a campaign approved by -- and indeed, seemingly the brainchild of -- their leadership. See, for instance, the statement that they posted on their website defending the campaign:
Billboards in Chicago paid for by The Heartland Institute point out that some of the world’s most notorious criminals say they “still believe in global warming” – and ask viewers if they do, too…

The billboard series features Ted Kaczynski, the infamous Unabomber; Charles Manson, a mass murderer; and Fidel Castro, a tyrant. Other global warming alarmists who may appear on future billboards include Osama bin Laden and James J. Lee (who took hostages inside the headquarters of the Discovery Channel in 2010).

These rogues and villains were chosen because they made public statements about how man-made global warming is a crisis and how mankind must take immediate and drastic actions to stop it.

Why did Heartland choose to feature these people on its billboards?

Because what these murderers and madmen have said differs very little from what spokespersons for the United Nations, journalists for the “mainstream” media, and liberal politicians say about global warming….

The point is that believing in global warming is not “mainstream,” smart, or sophisticated. In fact, it is just the opposite of those things. Still believing in man-made global warming – after all the scientific discoveries and revelations that point against this theory – is more than a little nutty. In fact, some really crazy people use it to justify immoral and frightening behavior.
The best part was the lame disclaimer near the end:
Of course, not all global warming alarmists are murderers or tyrants.

The people who still believe in man-made global warming are mostly on the radical fringe of society. This is why the most prominent advocates of global warming aren’t scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.
This is pretty funny, considering that the vast majority of professional climate scientists are just that -- scientists. The notion that they are somehow the moral equivalent of mass murderers and tyrants is absurd, far-fetched, and obscene.

But if the Heartland Institute wants to play that game, it's an easy one for the other side to join in on. And they'll lose. Because the worst mass killer of the recent past also happens to be a climate-change denier: Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian anti-immigrant far-right nutcase who murdered 77 people less than a year ago. Here's what Breivik wrote about climate change in his nutty "manifesto":
You might know them as environmentalists, enviro-communists, ecoMarxists, neo-Communists or eco-fanatics. They all claim they want to save the world from global warming but their true agenda is to contribute to create a world government lead by the UN or in other ways increase the transfer of resources (redistribute resources) from the developed Western world to the third world. They hope to accomplish this through the distribution of misinformation (propaganda) which they hope will lead to increased taxation of already excessively taxed Europeans and US citizens. The neo-communist agenda uses politicised science to propagate the global warming scam in order to implement their true agenda; global Marxism. Marxism’s ultimate goal is to redistribute wealth from successful nations to failed nations, instead of actually trying to fix these broken nations. Politicised science is being used by the cultural Marxist hegemony to manipulate the unsuspecting masses. They are using our trust and faith in science to spread lies and hysteria that will allow Marxists to implement socialist “solutions” to a problem that never actually existed.


That's exactly what is happening with the Anthropogenic Global Warming scam; too many people are too demoralised to assess true information about Socialism, Communism, and climate change to allow its use for other agendas on the hands of the useful idiots “the leftists” as former KGB agent Yuri Bezmenov calls them. Enviro-communism is a new twisted idea of redistribution of wealth through “environmental” policies and the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference 2009 is the perfect manifestation of it. Environmental Justice is the new Social Justice; Climate Debt is the new Redistribution of Wealth, Anthropogenic Global Warming scam is the Communism.
Crap like this is common among climate-change deniers. Breivik also ardently believed in the fake "Climategate" scandal, which he described as "exposing the eco-Marxist scam":
On Thursday 19th November 2009 news began to circulate that hacked documents and communications from the University of East Anglia’s Hadley Climate Research Unit (aka CRU) had been published to the internet. The information revealed how top scientists conspired to falsify data in the face of declining global temperatures in order to prop up the premise that man-made factors are driving climate change. The documents and emails illustrated how prominent climatologists, affiliated with the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change, embarked on a venomous and coordinated campaign to ostracise climate skeptics and use their influence to keep dissenting reports from appearing in peer-reviewed journals, as well as using cronyism to avoid compliance with Freedom of Information Act requests.
Who else promoted the "Climatechange" fakery? Why, the Heartland Institute, of course. Along with the same "cultural Marxism" garbage that Breivik lapped up.

Now, ahem, not all climate-change deniers are crazed mass killers. At least not yet. But it's worth pointing out that, while climate change or a belief therein played no discernible role whatsoever in motivating any of the icons of evil that the Heartland folks trotted out (except perhaps the planned appearance of killer James Lee, the Discovery Channel shooter who in fact was motivated by a paranoid nativist fear of anchor babies, but whose image never made it up onto the billboards in any event), the same could not be said of Anders Breivik: He vehemently denied the reality of climate change and insisted it was all part of a Marxist plot. Immigration was Breivik's focus, but denying climate change was a potent part of the toxic brew of right-wing extremism that made Breivik the madman he was.

Let's just say that one can make a much more reasonable argument that rhetoric and beliefs such as people like the Heartland Institute promote -- especially since these beliefs and arguments are profoundly irrational, anti-scientific, and ultimately have an unhinging effect on mentally unstable people whose contact with reality is already distorted -- can have a powerful effect in fueling psychopaths in their violent acts.

One can argue this point, of course. But when the argument is as profoundly stupid as "This madman agrees with you, therefore your belief is that of a madman," there is no point in discussing it any further. Especially when putting the same shoe on their other foot is so easy and obvious.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Right-Wingers' Desperation To Disclaim J.T. Ready Hits New Depths After Massacre

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

Just wondering: Is there any blogger out there more brazenly dishonest than Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit?

I know we have plenty of Malkins and Instahacks and nutbar Pammies to go around on the wingnutosphere. But it's hard to think of any blogger who more openly and remorselessly attempts to tell his readers that up is down, black is white, and that no, he doesn't have his head up his ass while speaking through his belly button.

I know a lot of people had chalked all this up to stupidity on Hoft's part. I don't know if he's stupid. I do know he is just flatly dishonest, a purveyor of brazenly false information.

For instance, in response to neo-Nazi J.T. Ready's massacre of his family earlier this week, Hoft posted this:
Horror!… Neo-Nazi #Occupy Phoenix Protester Goes On Shooting Rampage – 5 Dead"
Neo-Nazi Jason Todd (J.T.) Ready pictured on left patrolling the Occupy Phoenix protest and on right at Southern Poverty Law Center website.

Of course, since this was not a Tea Party rally the story was never picked up by the liberal media.
The problem with this? J.T. Ready was a regular fixture at Arizona Tea Party events. Indeed, as Matt Gertz at Media Matters reported back when Hoft first trotted out this nonsense, Ready not only regularly appeared at such events, he was regularly given a speaker's platform and even organized one such event featuring J.D. Hayworth.

That's in stark contrast to his single Occupy appearance, where he was confronted by other protesters and asked to leave, and he was not permitted to speak. He was there, as we explained, purely as an opportunist:
Let's be clear: J.T. Ready is a neo-Nazi, a classic totalitarian/authoritarian, someone who despises and loathes and sneers at the kind of democracy-in-action that the Occupy movement represents. He likes chaos, though, and he sees the movement's unsettling effect as something he can use. And showing up at protests always is good for a little attention. That's why he did this.
At least Russell Pearce was more honest and forthcoming in discussing his past associations with Ready:
After resisting for hours, Pearce relented late in the day and released a lengthy statement detailing how he came to know JT Ready and what eventually led to their falling out. Multiple media outlets in Arizona posted the statement in whole.

Pearce said he, like others in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, got to know Ready for his interest in Republican politics.

“When we first met JT he was fresh out of the Marine Corp and seemed like a decent person,” Pearce wrote. “He worked as a telephone fundraiser for Christian and pro-life groups, he dated the daughter of one of our District 18 members, and his attitudes and spoken opinions were good and decent.”

According to the Phoenix New Times, Pearce became a mentor to Ready. The powerful lawmaker helped the young man convert to the Mormon religion and he was there for Ready’s first baptism.

But Pearce said Ready’s demeanor changed somewhere along the way. Pearce described it as a “darkness.” Ready began spending time with hate groups, including the National Socialist Movement, which is the largest neo Nazi organization in the U.S.. After pressure from fellow Republicans, Pearce eventually disavowed the friendship.

“He was angry with me and stayed angry with me, and it has been several years since I have had reason to speak with JT,” Pearce said in the statement.
Over at Phoenix's Fox 13, Pearce gave a relatively forthcoming interview:

Russell Pearce: Pioneer Against Illegal Immigration or Racist?: MyFoxPHOENIX.com

Hilariously, even after all this was pointed out by Charles Johnson of LGF, Hoft just doubled down:
As Jim Treacher says, “The Occupy Camp is a great incubator for domestic terrorism.”
That’s an understatement!

More… It looks like poor unhinged Charles Johnson jumped the gun on this one. JT wasn’t a rightwinger after all, huh Chuck? Hopefully Mr. Johnson will be honest enough to post an update with corrections.
Yeah, because Jim Hoft knows all about honesty.

Pretty soon he'll start regurgitating the claim being spread by J.T. Ready's supporters that the massacre was actually carried out by Mexican drug cartels in order to frame Ready. (Kind of like Laine Lawless's defense of another Arizona child killer, Shawna Forde.) Go for it, dude.

UPDATE: Cerberus at Sadly, No! has a must-read take on this.