Charlie: Challenging free speech

by Judith Curry

In response to the tragic shootings at the headquarters of satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, there have been a number of provocative essays on freedom of speech.

I have discussed the issue in a previous post In defense of free speech, but the recent events have compelled me to write a post on the broader issues raised by Charlie.  Below are excerpts from articles on the topic that have resonated with me or that I otherwise found provocative.

From The Conversation:

While this attack and others like this shock the world, it is governments, as well as the media itself on occasion, that have been at the vanguard of banning free expression and regulating ideas in recent years.

Indeed, it is our confusion over such matters that have acted as a green light to others to take action.

Rather than living in fear, we must stand robustly against anyone who would stifle freedom of expression – be they governments, other authoritative bodies including universities, the media or a handful of self-appointed and readily-offended fools.

From Paper Bird:

For the last 36 hours, everybody’s been quoting Voltaire: “I do not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it”

There’s a perfectly good reason not to republish the cartoons that has nothing to do with cowardice or caution. I refuse to post them because I think they’re racist and offensive. I can support your right to publish something, and still condemn what you publish. I can defend what you say, and still say it’s wrong — isn’t that the point of the quote (that wasn’t) from Voltaire? 

It’s true, as Salman Rushdie says, that “Nobody has the right to not be offended.” You should not get to invoke the law to censor or shut down speech just because it insults you or strikes at your pet convictions.

I am offended when those already oppressed in a society are deliberately insulted. I don’t want to participate. This crime in Paris does not suspend my political or ethical judgment, or persuade me that scatologically smearing a marginal minority’s identity and beliefs is a reasonable thing to do. 

We’ve heard a lot about satire in the last couple of days. We’ve heard that satire shouldn’t cause offense because it’s a weapon of the weak: “Satire-writers always point out the foibles and fables of those higher up the food chain.” Of course, satire that attacks any and all targets is by definition not just targeting the top of the food chain.  To defend satire because it’s indiscriminate is to admit that it discriminates against the defenseless.

To protect expression that’s endangered you have to engage with the substance of what was said, not deny it. That means attempting dialogue with those who peacefully condemn or disagree, not trying to shame them into silence. Nothing is quick, nothing is easy. No solidarity is secure. I support free speech. I oppose all censors. I abhor the killings. I mourn the dead. I am not Charlie.

From The Daily Beast:

Charlie Hebdo weren’t asking to be shot. They were asking for a reaction, though, and for half a century now they’ve been surviving pretty much on the notoriety of constantly trying to provoke a reaction. And let’s be real: pushing buttons, by itself, doesn’t make your work more virtuous. Pissing people off is just pissing people off.

Personally, I can’t just let that slide. You see, I’m from the Internet. Things move pretty fast here compared to the “old media” world that Charlie Hebdo occupied, and I’ve already seen what happens when you get a culture that, rather than asking to what end we defend free speech, valorizes free speech for its own sake and thus perversely values speech more the more pointlessly offensive it is—because only then can you prove how devoted you are to freedom by defending it.

David Brooks in the NYTimes:

The journalists at Charlie Hebdo are now rightly being celebrated as martyrs on behalf of freedom of expression, but let’s face it: If they had tried to publish their satirical newspaper on any American university campus over the last two decades it wouldn’t have lasted 30 seconds. Student and faculty groups would have accused them of hate speech. The administration would have cut financing and shut them down.

So this might be a teachable moment. As we are mortified by the slaughter of those writers and editors in Paris, it’s a good time to come up with a less hypocritical approach to our own controversial figures, provocateurs and satirists.

 Most of us don’t actually engage in the sort of deliberately offensive humor that that newspaper specializes in. We might have started out that way. When you are 13, it seems daring and provocative to “épater la bourgeoisie,” to stick a finger in the eye of authority, to ridicule other people’s religious beliefs.

But after a while that seems puerile. Most of us move toward more complicated views of reality and more forgiving views of others. Most of us do try to show a modicum of respect for people of different creeds and faiths. We do try to open conversations with listening rather than insult.

Yet, at the same time, most of us know that provocateurs and other outlandish figures serve useful public roles. Satirists and ridiculers expose our weakness and vanity when we are feeling proud. They puncture the self-puffery of the successful. They level social inequality by bringing the mighty low. 

In most societies, there’s the adults’ table and there’s the kids’ table. Healthy societies, in other words, don’t suppress speech, but they do grant different standing to different sorts of people. Wise and considerate scholars are heard with high respect. Satirists are heard with bemused semirespect. Racists and anti-Semites are heard through a filter of opprobrium and disrespect. People who want to be heard attentively have to earn it through their conduct.

The massacre at Charlie Hebdo should be an occasion to end speech codes. And it should remind us to be legally tolerant toward offensive voices, even as we are socially discriminating.

From The Daily Beast:

The simple, awful truth is that free speech has never been particularly popular in America.

Today’s threats to free speech are more likely to come from “social justice warriors” on the left who say they are defending the feelings of those deemed to be crushed under the weight of supposedly systemic racism and sexism. 

In fact, hate-speech laws may even become a reality. An October 2014 Economist/YouGov poll found roughly equal amounts of Americans supporting and opposing “a law that would make it a crime for people to make comments that advocate genocide or hatred against an identifiable group based on such things as their race, gender, religion, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.” Thirty-six percent were in favor and 38 percent were opposed. Among Democrats, 51 percent supported such laws.

Those are troubling numbers, for unfettered speech is not incidental to a flourishing society. It’s the foundation upon which everything—from science to religion to community to politics—is built. We need to recover and grow the idea that the proper answer to bad speech is more and better speech. Or, as good, to ignore that which bothers and insults you. Tend to your own garden, to quote the great sage of free speech, Voltaire, and invite people to follow your example.

Universities

Of particular concern to me is what is going on in the universities.

From The Spectator:

Free speech is so last century. Today’s students want the ‘right to be comfortable’

Student unions’ ‘no platform’ policy is expanding to cover pretty much anyone whose views don’t fit prevailing groupthink

Have you met the Stepford students? They’re everywhere. On campuses across the land. Sitting stony-eyed in lecture halls or surreptitiously policing beer-fuelled banter in the uni bar. They look like students, dress like students, smell like students. But their student brains have been replaced by brains bereft of critical faculties and programmed to conform.

If your go-to image of a student is someone who’s free-spirited and open-minded, who loves having a pop at orthodoxies, then you urgently need to update your mind’s picture bank. Students are now pretty much the opposite of that. It’s hard to think of any other section of society that has undergone as epic a transformation as students have. From freewheelin’ to ban-happy, from askers of awkward questions to suppressors of offensive speech, in the space of a generation.  In each case, it wasn’t the fact the students disagreed with me that I found alarming — disagreement is great! — it was that they were so plainly shocked that I could have uttered such things, that I had failed to conform to what they assume to be right, that I had sought to contaminate their campuses and their fragile grey matter with offensive ideas.

There is one beacon of light: my alma mater The University of Chicago – Report of the Commission on Freedom of Expression.  Excerpts:

“Debate may not be suppressed because ideas put forth are thought to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed.”

“It is not the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from opinions they find offensive.”

Bravo.

At Georgia Tech, we are not one of the universities that enforces political correctness, but I have to say that the ‘Stepford student’ did resonate.  Georgia Tech’s students are very bright and motivated, but seem generally lacking in understanding of  social and political contexts. The upper administration seems cognizant of this issue – I hope to see some changes in this regard.

While I was at the University of Chicago (late 70’s to early 80’s), discussions of the ‘big issues’ was commonplace and ‘free spirited’ and ‘open minded’  ruled.  I hope that the University of Chicago has been able to maintain this among their students.

Climate wars

Anyone defending the satirists at Charlie should have a tough time defending Michael Mann in his legal war against the satirical writings of Mark Steyn and Rand Simberg.  It will be interesting to see if Charlie and the defense of satirists changes the dynamics of the Mann vs NRO/CEI/Steyn lawsuits.

David Brooks says it best:

Most of us move toward more complicated views of reality and more forgiving views of others. We do try to open conversations with listening rather than insult.

Healthy societies, in other words, don’t suppress speech, but they do grant different standing to different sorts of people. Wise and considerate scholars are heard with high respect. Satirists are heard with bemused semirespect. Racists and anti-Semites are heard through a filter of opprobrium and disrespect. People who want to be heard attentively have to earn it through their conduct.

In the climate wars, those that use pejorative names for people that they disagree with  are the equivalents of racists and anti-semites, and deserve opprobrium and disrespect.  It is very sad, not to mention bad for science,  to see scientists engaging in this behavior.

We need to open up the public debate about climate change, and get rid of the tyranny of political ‘correctness’ in the climate debate that is being enforced by a handful of self-appointed and readily-offended fools.

Addendum:  Upon rereading the post, I realized that I didn’t say anything about cartoons.  I am a big fan of satirical cartoons; however I don’t ‘get’ the Charlie cartoons that I’ve seen.  I spotted this cartoon on twitter, that seems appropriate for today’s post

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1,258 responses to “Charlie: Challenging free speech

  1. “In the climate wars, those that use pejorative names for people that they disagree with are the equivalents of racists and anti-semites, and deserve opprobrium and disrespect.” Amen! If a statement on race used the N-word, you’d regard the writer as an ignorant bigot. I think one should react similarly to a statement on climate that uses the word “denier.”

    • Hang on, if we’re backing free speech we need to put our bigboy pants on and allow idiots to call us deniers, if they really are determined to demonstrate their idiocy in public.

      • @Tallbloke The difference is that they get on the BBC unopposed to shout “DENIER” and so preload the debate. It’s a Equality of Opportunity point rather than FoS. They get the smear in without anyone to say “that’s just an ad hom here’s my point without an ad hom”.
        Context is everything : The blogosphere as a whole has EoO they can shout “deniers” on their blogs and we can shout “eco-nazis” on our blogs. But the public media is different, it’s neutral territory e.g. Chelsea FC would not be routinely allowed to use the label “the cheats” to mean opponents Arsenal FC.

    • As long as I can talk about what is is that I deny, I am ok with being a denier.

      They decide for others what it is that they deny. They word many questions such that a correct answer does not reflect proper meaning.

      I do deny some things, but not all the things I am accused of.

    • Actually, I would like to see greater exposure to Mann et al and their tactics. Let them be published and featured in every medium possible. The public will quickly understand the type of non-scientists they have before them. Give them all the ammunition they need to shoot themselves in their feet.

      • If as was naively asserted in a WSJ op-ed touching on climate modeling in 1986:
        “intelligent laymen can recognize cartoons when they see them and cant when they hear it”

        both sides of K-Street and Madison Avenue would be equally unemployed , and today’s climate wars would never have started.

    • I don’t mind being called a denier as long as the person calling me one can identify what I am denying. I might agree with them.

      • Ya- those pruporting CAGW very often deny the evidence which contradicts their view.

      • I’ve seen you deny just about everything except that CO2 is a GHG, steven. Is that enough?

      • Willard, enough to say you’ve seen me deny things you haven’t bothered to name? A couple of examples would be great and should be easy for you to provide since you have seen me deny so much. Then we can explore who is denying what.

      • Same here.

        I have repeatedly asked of certain commentors to be specific on what I’m suppossedly denying.

        Response is either a change of subject or crickets.

    • Grant A. Brown

      Chris Rock uses (or used) the n-word in his sketches on race all the time. And they are hilarious.

  2. Many stinking hypocrites out and about today. The Conversation standing up for free speech while deleting sceptics comments is a laugh.

    Some on Twitter are pointing out the hypocrisy of certain world leaders attending the Paris march today who don’t have the best track record on free expression attending the Paris rally. For example, Turkey’s PM Ahmet Davutoglu and ministers from Bahrain and Egypt.
    Only recently Turkey was criticised for the arrests of scriptwriters and Zaman editor-in-chief, Ekrem Dumanli

    Yeah.

    • charlie hashtag

      When the king of Belgium died, Charlie Hebdo ran a cover “Le roi des cons est mort”: the king of twats is dead. The belgians are the butt of french “thickie” jokes like the irish are in England. “Roi des cons” is a french expression meaning “prize twat”.

      Great satire to grossly offend a country in mourning and a king who never got noticed for anything.

      So I would like to take this opportunity to exercise my freedom of expression to say “Les rois des cons sont morts”.

      #IamCharlieandsoismywife.

    • “Many stinking hypocrites out and about today. The Conversation standing up for free speech while deleting sceptics comments is a laugh.”

      Thanks for the smile:

      Si monumentum requiris, circumspice

    • “The Conversation standing up for free speech while deleting sceptics comments is a laugh.”

      That you think that is about free speech is the best laugh.

  3. To the writer who wouldn’t have posted the Mohammad cartoons, what about all the insulting art and other acts aimed at Christians? The discussion around this seems really one-sided. A crucifix in piss is OK, but don’t insult Mohammad. Right.

    • There is one major religion that still kills people for apostasy, blasphemy, etc.

      This makes the religion incompatible with a free society.

      As far as free speech, I am supportive of fairly unlimited free speech. Killing people because they said something that upset you should be a special circumstances crime. “Stepford Student” types of activities should cause denial of federal money to the institution until they fix the problem.

    • David L. Hagen

      What few recognize is that the jihadists killing the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists were exactly following the mandate of Muhammad two poets killed for their satirical poems.

      • David, very few Americans realize the jihadists are blowback. This is supposed to be a blog to discuss climate related topics…but this thread was intended to discuss censorship and media control, so here it goes:

        http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175578/best_of_tomdispatch%3A_chalmers_johnson,_the_cia_and_a_blowback_world/

        I don’t necessarily agree with Johnson, but I did spend decades living and working outside the USA and Europe (for the record, I’m a USA citizen using a pseudonym). My first hand impression is that U.S. foreign policy is usually poorly conceived, backfires, and also is too dominated by special interests, including the Israel Lobby. Unfortunately, the way the media is controlled in the USA, and the overwhelming brainwashing Americans undergo, make it impossible to get through to most of you.

        Europeans aren’t nearly as brainwashed, but they are a cynical lot, and their leaders are mostly into accommodating the USA so they can shelter under the USA war machine.

        So, where does this fit with the climate wars? The USA population is being brainwashed to accept a fairly extreme view of the climate’s future state. Everything from a tornado to a dying polar bear to a drought in Kenya to diminishing ice in the Arctic is seen as a catastrophe, and there’s a clear atempt to silence dissent, asking people to defer to bogus 97% majorities.

        Brainwashing, manipulation and censorship are more common than many people expect. And don’t forget they are having a special sale at Walmart this week.

      • Fernando, I didn’t read all of the Johnson thing. What he misses right off the bat is the context of the Afghan war in the 1980s. It wasn’t some silly ill-conceived CIA operation gone awry. It was a very significant and arguably decisive battle in the Cold War. We clearly won that battle. It was worth it. It facilitated the Soviet Union’s relegation to the ash heap of history. Existential threat defused.

        Did Afghanistan become a base for terrorists, yes. But acts of terror are hatched all over the place. We didn’t have to invade Afghanistan following 9/11, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. And the invasion was a brilliantly successful military operation. The invasion of Kuwait/Iraq seemed like a good idea at the time and it was a brilliantly successful military operation. The second invasion of Iraq seemed like a questionable idea at the time, but it was a brilliantly successful military operation. The mistake we made following the invasions was to hang around and try to plant democracy in unfertile, arid territory. The military people didn’t want to have anything to do with that. The military wanted to roll through and teach the bad guys a quick lesson, get out and get ready to teach some other bad guys a quick lesson.

        I am not saying there is no validity to your observations, but it ain’t so simple. The cynical peace loving Europeans and fellow travelers really shouldn’t be too judgmental about what we do. The U.S has for a long time borne the heavy responsibility for rescuing the world from evil empires. It’s a hard job. It’s costly for us. Mistakes are made, but somebody has to do it. Believe it or not, but nearly all of the people who make U.S foreign policy and the military forces and intelligence community who carry it out aren’t doing it to impose our will on other people, or for oil, or for glory. If our power and our will to use it continues to degrade, don’t expect any improvement in peace and stability.

      • David L. Hagen

        Fernando
        See the lessons of “The Ugly American” and “Sarkhan”. Most only see those who appeared elite were ugly in action. Look at the parallel portrayal of those ugly in face who were beautiful in action.

        Secondly, consider the fairness where the world’s first superpower, the USA, was humiliated in Vietnam, and the world’s second superpower, the USSR, was humiliated in Afghanistan.

      • The West helped establish Israel. That in itself is enough to upset Muslims. But Jews have to have a place to live just like everyone else and they have a history in the ME. The US has been invited to make war in the ME and has chosen to make war there unilaterally. I understand it has upset some Muslims, but at some point, they need to suck it up. They will be better off living their own lives and leaving the West alone. Otherwise, I predict the flamboyant fashion for militant Muslims in the late twenty teens will be napalm on Kevlar.

      • Jim2, i’m not referrring specifically to Israel being founded on top of land inhabited by people who didnt particularly care to live in a Jewish nation. The problem is broader. I don’t necessarily agree with everything Chalmers Johnson writes, but the ideas are repeated over and over by others. For example, Michael Scheuer writes about the CIA war against Al Qaeda in “imperial Hubris”, and the same ideas about blowback are present.

        And Don, the Afghanistan and Iraq invasion were blunders. The USA lost. Just like it lost in Mogadishu and in Viet Nam. Don, war isn’t really about shooting up people. It’s about reaching long term foreign policy objectives. And what USA civilian leaders do is unconscionable. They put our kids in meat grinders year after year and accomplish what we saw on September 11, in Madrid in March 2003, and now in Paris. They accomplish nothing.

        The way I see it, the American people are deceived about these topics. The same bs I see going on in the climate debate goes on when it comes to foreign policy, terrorism, or the way the USA gets involved in wars. Most of what they feed you is a pack of distorted half truths, outright lies, or truly surreal. “We won in Iraq”. We won? Go read “Why we lost” by US General (retired) Daniel Bolger.

        For the record: I have a grandson in the US Military, and he isn’t wearing loafers and flying partime like Bush did during the Viet Nam war.

    • David L. Hagen

      Terror contra free speech
      Lord Monckton clarifies the underlying issues in: Why won’t the left tell the truth about Islam?

      Exclusive: Lord Monckton reveals dangers of remaining ‘culpably silent’ in face of terror . . .
      President Hollande of France, a hard-left socialist . . . said this about the Muslim terrorists who committed the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the Jewish grocery siege:
      “Those who committed these acts have nothing to do with the Muslim religion.” . . .
      What matters to him is that 93 percent of the Muslims who voted in the presidential election voted for him. . . .
      six in 10 of the French prison population are Muslims. France is not only importing and breeding Muslims: In doing so, she is importing and breeding crime. Why? Because – and this cannot be too often stressed – the Quran preaches violence and death against non-Muslims. Kill or maim an infidel and, under the Quranic disposition, you commit no crime. . . .
      And the rule of interpretation followed by Islamic scholars is that the later passages in the Quran – the “sword verses,” for instance, which call upon all Muslims to kill unbelievers – abrogate the earlier, gentler passages. . . .
      To put it at its simplest, the Quran not only does not regard the murder of infidels as a sin: It regards it as praiseworthy and actively encourages it. . . .
      Being nice about Islamic terror will merely breed more Islamic terror. . . .

    • David L. Hagen

      Transform Islam to a religion of peace?
      See: Sisi’s Extraordinary Speech on Islam

      Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi made an extraordinary speech on New Year’s Day to Cairo’s Al-Azhar and the Awqaf Ministry calling for a long overdue virtual ecclesiastical revolution in Islam. This is something no Western leader has the had the courage to do, certainly not Barack Obama, despite his Muslim education.

      Accusing the umma (world Islamic population) of encouraging the hostility of the entire world, al-Sisi’s speech is so dramatic and essentially revolutionary it brings to mind Khrushchev’s famous speech exposing Stalin. Many have called for a reformation of Islam, but for the leader of the largest Arab nation to do so has world-changing implications. Here are the key parts as translated on Raymond Ibrahim’s blog:

      Al-Sisi:

      I am referring here to the religious clerics. We have to think hard about what we are facing—and I have, in fact, addressed this topic a couple of times before. It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible!

      That thinking—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world!

      Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!

      I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema—Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now.

      All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.

      I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.

      <a href=http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/01/11/will_al-sGEORGE WILL:

      As head of the Egyptian state, Al-Sisi occupies an office once occupied by Anwar Sadat, who was murdered by Islamic extremists for his opening to Israel. This was an act of tremendous bravery by Al-Sisi, and if the Nobel Peace Prize committee is looking for someone who plausibly deserves it, they could start there.

  4. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    “Anyone defending the satirists at Charlie should have a tough time defending Michael Mann in his legal war against the satirical writings of Mark Steyn and Rand Simberg.”
    ____

    My God, Mann didn’t shoot Steyn and Simber!

    Steyn and Simber have the right to free speech. Mann has the right to sue for defamation. That’s the American way.

    • My God, Mann didn’t shoot Steyn and Simber!

      No, but he wrongly invoked the power of the state, which can shoot them. The real problem isn’t Mann, it’s that DC “judge”.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        The judge is the terrorist ?

      • Awesome.

      • The night they drove Mann’s sticksie down.
        =========================

      • Ruby Ridge

        To answer public questions about Ruby Ridge, the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Government Information held a total of 14 days of hearings between September 6 and October 19, 1995, and subsequently issued a report calling for reforms in federal law enforcement to prevent a repeat of Ruby Ridge and to restore public confidence in federal law enforcement [my bold]

        Aftermath

        Both the internal 1994 Ruby Ridge Task Force Report and the public 1995 Senate subcommittee report on Ruby Ridge criticized the rules of engagement as unconstitutional.

        […]

        The surviving members of the Weaver family filed a wrongful death suit for $200 million. In an out-of-court settlement in August 1995, the federal government awarded Randy Weaver $100,000 and his three daughters $1 million each. The government did not admit any wrongdoing in the deaths of Sammy and Vicki.[63][64] On the condition of anonymity, a DOJ official told the Washington Post that he believed the Weavers probably would have won the full amount if the case had gone to trial.[65]

        FBI director Louis Freeh disciplined or proposed discipline for twelve FBI employees over their handling of the incident and the later prosecution of Randy Weaver and Harris. He described the incident before the U.S. Senate hearing investigation as “synonymous with the exaggerated application of federal law enforcement” and stated “law enforcement overreacted at Ruby Ridge.”[66]

        […]

        FBI HRT sniper Lon Horiuchi was indicted for manslaughter in 1997 by the Boundary County, Idaho, prosecutor just before the statute of limitations for the crime of manslaughter expired, but the trial was removed to federal court and quickly dismissed on grounds of sovereign immunity.[68] The decision to dismiss the charges was reversed by an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit, which held that enough uncertainty about the facts of the case existed for Horiuchi to stand trial on state manslaughter charges.[69] Ultimately, the then-sitting Boundary County Prosecutor, Brett Benson, who had defeated Woodbury in the 2000 election, decided to drop the charges because he felt it was unlikely the state could prove the case and too much time had passed. Yagman, the special prosecutor, responded that he “could not disagree more with this decision than I do.”[70]

        Do you think government terrorism has ended in the US? Any judge has the threat of such behavior in hand; it was used to drag Mann’s innocent victims into trials they shouldn’t have had to face.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        I see. You want to deprive me of my right to sue. Shame on you.

      • kim | January 11, 2015 at 12:04 pm |
        The night they drove Mann’s sticksie down.

        And all the critics were stinging

        ===========================

    • Little maxie is shockingly correct. Mann didn’t shoot Steyn and Simberg. Nice work, maxie. Your best yet. We are finally impressed.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        That will be the judges job, who is acting for Mann.

      • I love true satire. I still think The Life of Brian is the funniest satiric film I’ve ever seen

        But satire is wasted on those without sufficient self-awareness to appreciate it – like Maxie. He seems not to understand why we laugh so hard at him

        For those who don’t think Life of Brian is funny, how about a re-make with Sharia law as the butt ? Should ignite WWIII … just ask Salman Rushdie. Are you game for this, or is it safer to stay stum about the horrors of Sharia ? Pretend that burying young women alive on the accusation of adultery is just a quaint local village custom (Pakistan) ? Or be a little more forgiving and just flog them in public, as is happening in Aceh ?

        Satire is the only sensible reply to this and other irrationality, which is why it is so disliked by those whom it “offends”

    • Max, rarely ok, cub reporter writes “My God, Mann didn’t shoot Steyn and Simber!”

      You’ll doubtless not believe me, but when I saw Judith’s post and read through a bit of it, I felt almost sure you’d make this very “point.” How sad.

      “There’s a perfectly good reason not to republish the cartoons that has nothing to do with cowardice or caution. I refuse to post them because I think they’re racist and offensive. ” (Paper Bird)

      I’d argue that’s precisely why they should be published.

      • Through the Lens (@woodyjohn1)

        So which race are we particularly offending? Must be Le Tour de Islam.

    • Well, Steyn and Simberg may have said some harsh things about Mr. Mann. Mann has made some errors and been somewhat secretive with his methods and data. I look forward to the outcome of the case with interest.

      I have noticed that over the last 40 years that people are getting better at suppressing speech that they disagree with.

      I tend to favor a absolutist version of free speech and would give people served with DMCA notices (particularly by non-copyright holders) or lawsuits a very profitable legal recourse if the plaintiff doesn’t win his case.

  5. Attending is lip service for most especially Turkey, good points about universities, more and more the students are useful idiots who are easy to brainwash and will riot to ensure their fellow students keep their brains closed to any nonconforming idea. Egypt attending is quite a statement, I have recently seen some positives from this potentially great nation.

    • charlie hashtag

      Yeah condemning 600 people to death by hanging for being present at a demo where someone killed a policeman was a great move for freedom of speech.

      Over turning a democratically elected government with military force, then making the entire party an illegal organisation and imprisoning or hanging thousands, way to go for free speech.

      Good to see they are so keen on free speech in other peoples countries though. ” Potentially a great nation. ”

      It seems the only people who were not invited to march along side Pres. Francois Holland were the french National Front, who seem to draw about 25% of the public vote.

      But that’s different because they don’t like Jews.

      #pasCharlie.

      • My mother had a common expression, perhaps every other week or so upon hearing some such news. She’d accompany it with a sorrowful shake of her head: ‘Man’s inhumanity to man’. It perplexed her tremendously. She had plenty of fun and laughter, but not about that.
        ===============

      • “Man’s inhumanity to man.”

        Nothing more depressing, not even the near certainty of a godless universe.

    • It easy to brainwash students. You flunk out the ones who disagree. The ones who agree will pass.

      A consensus Climate Scientists told our NASA Alumni group that some of us who disagreed with him could not pass his basic climate course.

      Of course we couldn’t, we would disagree.

  6. ” It is very sad, not to mention bad for science, to see scientists engaging in this behavior.”

    As a non-scientist, this blind spot by some climate scientists is the biggest mystery to me. The integrity of science, above any debate about the particulars in climate science, should trump all else.

    • John Carpenter

      Scientists are humans too. It may be sad to see the behaviour, but not surprising.

  7. When any group achieves consensus, they have a tendency to block out and attack any thing and any person that does not agree. I believe that consensus is evil, or at least, extremely bad. Scientists, especially, should remain skeptical, and listen to ideas and look at data that does disagree. Not a single Consensus Climate Scientist, was present at the Skeptical Climate Change Conference that was held last year. There were over 60 extremely qualified speakers from all over the World. Many, or Most are well known and respected, outside the Consensus World. Some had been on the Consensus Alarmist Side and saw too much that did not work right and they switched sides and got excluded from the 97%. They maintain the 97% by excluding any that disagree. Their numbers are getting smaller.

  8. These attempts to apply what happened in France to climate science are misplaced. Militant Islam is the problem, not silly climate science “wars.”

    Islam is far more than a religion. It is one embodiment of Eastern values. And it is a barbaric and brutal form of government.

    The Muslim problem presents a major conundrum. That conundrum is how to determine what fraction of them are radical or militant. I have no idea what fraction of Muslims are radical or militant. I don’t know how to determine that.

    Nevertheless, the problem must be addressed. Many parts of Europe already have so many Muslims that the nature of the problem there is materially different than the situation in the US. Not knowing the fraction of militant Muslims, I think the US should apply the precautionary principle and stop immigration of Muslims until some of the major questions about them can be sorted out. The US has plenty of source countries for immigration. And people from many of those countries already hold Western values in general. It is reasonable to assume as a working hypothesis that NO Muslims hold Western values. In fact, they are taking advantage of our values, such as free speech and freedom of religion, to spread their hate. So, I say, ban them from the US. Do it before it is too late, as it appears to be in France, where Muslims are now 7% of the population and their numbers measure in the millions. Also, infiltrate their organizations in the US and around the world. Gather boots-on-the-ground intelligence. The practice of Sharia law should be banned by law in the US. Finally, the US should declare ISIS and any other militant Islamic group, known or unknown, to be an enemy of the US. Any US citizen that goes anywhere to fight with them, or aid them in any way, should be charged of treason and, if convicted, put to death.

    WRT to continued attacks, we have another conundrum. The West have already attempted regime change as a solution. After several years of war, the situation in the Middle East is worse. And this result at the cost of much blood and treasure. This does not look like a viable option.

    The idea that the militants are trying fan the flames between the West and Islam is totally unsupported by fact. Militants want to convert the world to Islam. End of story. We do ourselves no favors by interpreting this in any other way. This also includes the idea that Muslim militants shouldn’t be killed because that’s what they want in order to become a martyr. The bottom line is if they are dead, they won’t hurt anyone else.

    From the article:

    But multiethnicity in France goes beyond that in the United States, for it includes a religious dimension in addition to racial and ethnic differences. If the most important minorities in the United States (the black and Hispanic) are overwhelmingly Christian, French minority groups are largely Muslim. American minority groups share many basic values with the rest of the country; in contrast, French minority groups tend to have alien values, to think of themselves as a new nation, and even to have hopes of superseding the present Judeo-Christian nation of France.

    http://www.meforum.org/337/islam-in-france-the-french-way-of-life-is-in

    Then there is the erosion of Western freedom due to the extensive spying by our on governments on all of us. The excuse for this is terrorism, yet this most recent incident in France went undetected. This option isn’t working apparently.

    If there are moderate Muslims, they are remaining silent. There appears to be no hope that Muslims will spontaneously rise up against the militants. They haven’t done so to this point. This would be the optimal solution from a Western view point. But it’s just not happening. The countries that host militant Imams and militant Muslims cannot or will not stamp out the militants.

    We in the West were better off with our own dictators in place in the Middle East. I suppose that could be one option, but would cost more blood and treasure to get back to that situation. And, it’s not a perfect solution.

    In the past, the US and Europe did not have to deal with political correctness. We bombed civilians in both World Wars. In the case of Japan, it took a nuclear weapon to force a culture-changing surrender. In my opinion, the West should adapt this strategy once again. We know where the most militant Muslims live. I say if they kill 10, that we kill thousands. If they kill thousands, we kill 100’s of thousands. In my opinion, this is the only way to move Muslims to change their world view. And this method has the advantage of risking least of our own blood. We have sacrificed more than enough of our own young people and have seen orders of magnitude more maimed. Make Muslims suffer until they stop or stop the militants, as the case may be. This is what has worked in the past, and it will work once again.

    The US, most countries of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and any other Western Country should band together and formally declare war on Militant Islam. An attack on one should be treated as an attack on all.

    While some might regard this last solution as a step back in civility, we don’t really have another viable path. These militant Muslims don’t understand any language other than violence. They need to be convinced that their culture, associates, family, and social structures will be eradicated if they don’t change their ways.

    JC comment: I deliberately did not mention the religious war aspect to this, since I prefer not to discuss these issues on this blogs. I would like to see a focus on the free speech issues raised by #jesuischarlie

    • Consensus Climate Science is more than a religion.
      Consensus Climate Science tries to become a barbaric and brutal form of government that will take away our coal and other fossil fuels and our economy.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      jim2 tries to be outrageous. Nice try, jim2.

    • Since Islam is more than a religion, it is a form of government with associated laws, this issue can legitimately be cast as a culture war. Western culture and it’s ideal of free speech against a realization of Eastern culture – specifically, that of Islam.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Too bad they have something we want.

      • They can’t cut us off, as oil is a fungible commodity.

      • jim2

        I don’t want to comment on your previous long post, but the outline you gave in 11.35 exactly expresses the issue. For many, Islam is placed above everything, including family, laws, democracy and whatever government a muslim happens to be living under

        The religion and free speech/western ideals is basically incompatible and whilst some of the religion who are less devout will just accept the status quo, there are a significant number who will want to ensure that their religion triumphs over the state, with all that implies.

        Getting back to the university free speech issue, is not the problem that basically the stepford students are being taught by stepford teachers at all levels of education?
        tonyb.

      • good point about the stepford teachers. There are too many career disincentives for being controversial as a professor.

        But the issue is a broader one – the students don’t seem to follow current events or engage in the big public debates. Many non college students (taxi drivers in particular) seem to be more engaged.

      • Climatereason. Let’s just focus on Islam as a culture, at least a significant subset of it.

        In the West, we value free speech, Islamic culture does not.

        In the West, in many Western countries, we value the separation of Church and State. In some Islamic countries, Church and State are one and the same.

        In the West, when we convict criminals, we advocate for humane treatment. Even when the death penalty is carried out, it is done in such a way as to minimize suffering. In Islamic countries, mutilation such as the cutting off of hand or fingers, or poking out an eye, is acceptable. Women and homosexuals get no respect. When it comes to the death penalty, the means are barbaric and brutal.

        Their form of government should be reviled by everyone in the West.

      • Climatereaon, let’s consider Islam only from a governmental perspective.

        In the West, we value free speech. In Islamic governments, speech is controlled.

        In the West, we value the separation of church and state. In Islamic countries, church and state are frequently one and the same.

        In the West, even if someone is convicted of a crime, they are treated humanely. Even if someone if put to death, it is done in such a way as to minimize pain and suffering. I don’t have to go into how “crime” is handled in Islamic countries.

        In the West, we take pains to treat everyone equally. In Islamic countries, women have to take a back seat to men. And homosexuals are killed.

        So obviously, I agree with you. The West and Islam are not compatible.

      • Sorry about the duplicate posts. The first one didn’t show up, so I thought I made a mistake by not hitting the “post” button.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        climatereason | January 11, 2015 at 12:11 pm |
        jim2

        The religion and free speech/western ideals is basically incompatible and whilst some of the religion who are less devout will just accept the status quo, there are a significant number who will want to ensure that their religion triumphs over the state, with all that implies.
        _____

        Hi Tony,

        I’ll bet you didn’t intend to describe Southern Baptists.

      • max

        what is the track record of Southern Baptists using extreme violence to enforce their views?
        tonyb

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        tony, Southern Baptists used to be violent toward black people.

      • Interestingly, the Old Testament of the Christian Bible includes an extensive law library, in books known as Deutoronomy and Judges. These laws were intended to create the legal code for those who adhered to, or were forced to adhere, to the authors’ religion.

        And my impression is that Mohammed was influenced by these laws (and/or he shared cultural traits with its authors). I believe the main difference between all these religions is the degree to which believers stick to the rules. Many Muslims seem to be fundamentalists. This isn’t surprising when the Saudi monarchy spends so much money to spread their strict interpretation of Islam. There are fundamentalist counterparts in Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism.

        For the record, I’m agnostic. I study religion as a hobby, to try to understand what makes people tick.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      You don’t remember 1973?

    • What were you thinking, Judith? The charlie case is all about religious war.

      • Thank you, but I’ll have my religious discussion without any religion. I’m in training.
        =============

      • The particular issue of relevance to this blog is freedom of speech. The charlie case is also about a whole host of sociopolitical issues (e.g. religion, immigration, etc).

      • I will help you, Judith. The charlie case is about free speech in conflict with murderous religious fanaticism. The last part is why it is being discussed. If you wanted to focus on non-religious war free speech issues, you picked the wrong case.

        I predict that from now on we won’t be seeing a lot of cartoons featuring the Prophet, whose name I won’t mention. I know I won’t be insisting on exercising my right to free speech by putting up displays in my front yard insulting any nimrod’s religious beliefs. Nor will I go to the many countries who jail people for denying the Holocaust and utter any unapproved word. I know the practical limits to shooting my mouth off in public.

      • Don

        Terrorism works – the Aus “meeja” were all over the grandiose rhetoric about freedom of press/speech blah blah … but not one of these meeja outlets will re-publish the satirical cartoons that sparked the Charlie massacre to allow us to decide for ourselves. Too scared to satirise Sharia law

    • I completely disagree with jim2 on his ban of immigration. Muslims in Western countries have generally adopted the freedoms of those countries. If they can’t tolerate certain types of speech, there are countries that share those views and they can decide to live there. You choose where to live by evaluating the standards of their laws against your own. You don’t go somewhere and try to apply your own laws within their system. If you feel you need to, first of all it is your own mistake for living there. Radicalized Muslims in western countries have this problem. They are learning about laws that apply in religion-driven nations, and feel they have to abide by those in their adopted country. Why do this instead of going to countries like Saudi Arabia that already have those laws? I don’t have an answer for this. It is a mental state of a small minority of Muslims that cannot tolerate their adopted country’s freedoms yet still live there and want to fight instead of move. This mental state is encouraged by their leaders and feeds on the worthlessness they feel in their adopted societies by giving them this sense of worth or belonging to a larger thing, even if that larger thing is an evil cult by any normal standards. How to combat this? I don’t know. Everyone is thinking about this at the moment, but it is the seemingly impossible task of identifying and bringing these people back from their cult before they get too far in.

      • I respect your opinion.

      • jimd

        you said;

        ‘They are learning about laws that apply in religion-driven nations, and feel they have to abide by those in their adopted country. Why do this instead of going to countries like Saudi Arabia that already have those laws? I don’t have an answer for this.’

        Surely the answer is that it is a consequence of multi culturalism?

        Many immigrants choose not to integrate and in effect live in their own state within a state, whereby the cultural mores of their original country still apply, as they watch tv from ‘home’, support their ‘home’ sports team, treat women and gays as they would at ‘home’, expect sharia law to be applied, kill animals in the traditional way without stunning, and don’t like free speech, especially where it applies to their religion.

        In this they have been actively encouraged by western governments. In some areas of Europe you would not know you are in a European country but could be in Karachi or Algiers. The general population constantly complain but their govts don’t listen to their concerns.
        .
        Basically the religion-when practised with fundamental fervour, as is increasingly the case- has ideals that do not match that of a liberal western democracy. Consequently we should not be surprised when the assertive and uncompromising medieval attitudes -of a significant minority (?) clash with those of the supine west.

        This has repercussions all through society, not least in learning establishments who do not want to offend anyone.

        tonyb.

      • JimD, I think that you are wrong in respect, at least, of the UK, France and the Netherlands, as well as elements in Australia. Your statement that “You don’t go somewhere and try to apply your own laws within their system” is, unfortunately, not true.

      • Faustino, I am aware that there are subcommunities, not just Muslim ones, that have their own rules but these don’t try to impose those rules outside of their communities or disobey the local laws, unless they are radicals of the kind that the country can do without.

      • “You don’t go somewhere and try to apply your own laws within their system. ”

        Yes Jim, you do. You insert “counselors” to “mediate” in your community and their decisions just happen to be based on Sharia. Besides, your religion says that it is destined to rule the world and you don’t emigrate to the West to become more Western but to make the West more like home.

        It’s a mistake to judge another culture by Western values, they have thier own values and agendas.

      • Besides, your religion says that it is destined to rule the world and you don’t emigrate to the West to become more Western but to make the West more like home.

        Actually, AFAIK, most of them migrate because there are jobs they can be paid for. Jobs the local natives aren’t prepared to do for what the “guest workers” are. After that, there’s a range of opinions how and how much their new environment should be changed to be like the one they left.

    • –These attempts to apply what happened in France to climate science are misplaced. Militant Islam is the problem, not silly climate science “wars.”

      Islam is far more than a religion. It is one embodiment of Eastern values. And it is a barbaric and brutal form of government. —
      Islam is more than a religion because it tends towards being totalitarian regime.
      But Islam is not alone in it’s tendency of certain group of people to want to control every aspect of your life.
      The desire to control what size soda that people can drink by outlawing larger soda is same thing. Same goes for banning light bulbs.
      Same goes for, “If you like your healthcare, you keep your health plan”. And etc.
      What is a clear example of barbaric and brutal form of government is Cuba.
      Whereas Iran in comparison, is a civilized, moderate, and freedom loving country.

    • Jim2 – “…if they krill 100s we krill 1000s…”

      “No one likes us-I don’t know why
      We may not be perfect, but heaven knows we try
      But all around, even our old friends put us down
      Let’s drop the big one and see what happens
      We give them money-but are they grateful?
      No, they’re spiteful and they’re hateful
      They don’t respect us-so let’s surprise them
      We’ll drop the big one and pulverize them
      Asia’s crowded and Europe’s too old
      Africa is far too hot
      And Canada’s too cold
      And South America stole our name
      Let’s drop the big one
      There’ll be no one left to blame us
      We’ll save Australia
      Don’t wanna hurt no kangaroo
      We’ll build an All American amusement park there
      They got surfin’, too
      Boom goes London and boom Paris
      More room for you and more room for me
      And every city the whole world round
      Will just be another American town
      Oh, how peaceful it will be
      We’ll set everybody free
      You’ll wear a Japanese kimono babe
      And there’ll be Italian shoes for me
      They all hate us anyhow
      So let’s drop the big one now
      Let’s drop the big one now”

      – from Randy Newman’s song “Political Science”

      • A survey of 600 people is representative of all?

      • Andrew Russell

        “They’re rioting in Africa
        They’re starving in Spain
        There’s hurricanes in Florida and Texas needs rain

        The whole world is festering with unhappy souls
        The French hate the Germans
        The Germans hate the Poles

        Italians hate Yugoslavs
        South Africans hate the Dutch
        And I don’t like anybody very much”

        Merry Minuet – The Kingston Trio

    • Jim2: A 2012 survey of Muslims in the U.S.
      http://www.wnd.com/2012/10/guess-who-u-s-muslims-are-voting-for/

    • “Islam is far more than a religion. It is one embodiment of Eastern values. And it is a barbaric and brutal form of government.”
      Your argument sounds reasonable to me. An analysis of all the options we have to deal with the fascism of Islam seems to lead exactly to what you write. I wish it weren’t so but I have seen not one solution proposed by anyone, not by any leader of the free world, not by academics on either side of the coin, (though a few writers have expressed your thoughts). I’d love to hear what solutions others on here propose. As a Libertarian I strongly disagree with the Libertarians Party stance of ‘blowback.’ There is always blowback. The only time there isn’t is when you defeat the enemy…if you play with them, what the hell? What do you expect? This Islamic Fascism has cost us a lot in blood and treasure and we can ignore it, muddle on or take the threat seriously and destroy them. That is the only solution when you are dealing with an enemy that ‘loves death.’ Would there another way, an easier way, a less costly way. But I’m afraid your enemy determines how hard you have to fight. And this enemy is not going to be bought off or just go away. The only other solution is to decimate the funding for these groups by decimating Middle Eastern oil. It’s not as good a solution as destroying them, though. Anyone up for that? And the first thing we need to destroy is the moral cachet of Political Correctness. It’s a carbuncle on the soul of morality.

  9. As many pundits have said, the liberal media doesn’t just refuse to run the cartoons: they run from them. That’s pretty much what we see has happened in the global warming debate, a knowing failure by the liberal media to print the real news: that the scientists of the official government-education establishment are fundamentally dishonest.

  10. Hear, Hear!

    That report from the University of Chicago was excerpted in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal. Happy to see you quoted it. Here is the excerpt they published:

    From the Jan. 6 “Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression” at the University of Chicago; the committee of professors was appointed in July by President Robert J. Zimmer and Provost Eric D. Isaacs “in light of recent events nationwide that have tested institutional commitments to free and open discourse”:

    In a word, the University’s fundamental commitment is to the principle that debate or deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the University community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed. It is for the individual members of the University community, not for the University as an institution, to make those judgments for themselves, and to act on those judgments not by seeking to suppress speech, but by openly and vigorously contesting the ideas that they oppose. Indeed, fostering the ability of members of the University community to engage in such debate and deliberation in an effective and responsible manner is an essential part of the University’s educational mission.

    As a corollary to the University’s commitment to protect and promote free expression, members of the University community must also act in conformity with the principle of free expression. Although members of the University community are free to criticize and contest the views expressed on campus, and to criticize and contest speakers who are invited to express their views on campus, they may not obstruct or otherwise interfere with the freedom of others to express views they reject or even loathe. To this end, the University has a solemn responsibility not only to promote a lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation, but also to protect that freedom when others attempt to restrict it.

  11. Among speech suppressionists on the climatological left, Michael Mann is the biggest offender. In the Climategate emails he was seen engaging in “prior restraint.” Now he’s after bigger game: NR, Mark Steyn and CEI. This after legally hog-tying Tim Ball for years on end for making a joke.

    Despicable.

    • Potter,
      COuldn’t agree more. Would you happen to know the current status of the Tim Ball situation?

  12. Mann and his climate imams have form assassinating the careers of those who challenge him, and there’re those on his side who have suggested the wholesale removal of Sceptics from public life You’re on very dodgy ground there..

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      It’s worse than that. Mann wants to decapitate em’ and then molest their wives and children.

      • Well, since you brought up molesting children, and though I have the utmost sympathy for the victims of Jerry Sandusky, Penn State’s cover-up of Michael ‘Piltdown’ Mann has caused, and will continue to cause, far more general social harm.

        Misty moments pique the eyes, writing thusly through the tears.
        ===================

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Well, of course you would think it was a cover-up because it didn’t go your way. And speaking of children, I wouldn’t let you anywhere near any kid of mine. I wouldn’t want you near my dog, my cat, my goldfish, my plants, my anything.

      • Max,

        It’s a shame you have developed such negative emotion… and all because for some reason you believe in made up squiggly line drawings that squiggle upwards on one end.

        Andrew

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        “Bad Andrew | January 11, 2015 at 1:49 pm |
        Max,

        It’s a shame you have developed such negative emotion…”
        ______

        It’s a shame you don’ t know a joke when you see one.

        And you better not call me a joke, because I had a post deleted for calling someone a joke.

    • Update: Video: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wants to jail his politcal opponents – acusses Koch Brothers of ‘treason’ – ‘They ought to be serving time for it’.

      http://www.climatedepot.com/2014/09/21/robert-f-kennedy-jr-wants-to-jail-his-political-opponents-accuses-koch-brothers-of-treason-they-ought-to-be-serving-time-for-it/

  13. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    BREAKING NEWS
    Swiftboating Comes to Science

    BULLETIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS
    “70 Years of Speaking Knowledge to Power
    The Serengeti strategy:
    How special interests try to intimidate scientists,
    and how best to fight back

    by Michael Mann

    Michael Mann writes about the ad hominem attacks on scientists, especially climate scientists, that have become much more frequent over the last few decades.

    Mann should know: his work as a postdoc on the famed “hockey stick” graph led him to be vilified by Fox News and in the Wall Street Journal.

    Wealthy interests such as the Scaife Foundation and Koch Industries pressured Penn State University to fire him (they didn’t).

    Right-wing elected officials attempted to have Mann’s personal records and emails (and those of other climate scientists) subpoenaed and tried to have the “hockey stick” discredited in the media, despite the fact that the National Academy of Sciences reaffirmed the work, and that subsequent reports of the IPCC and the most recent peer-reviewed research corroborates it.

    Even worse, Mann and his family were targets of death threats.

    Good on `yah, Michael Mann and all scientists who stand with him!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  14. Are death threats protected by the 1st amendment? (Serious question; I don’t know the answer.)

    • No, such threats fall under free speech exceptions
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_free_speech_exceptions

      The people making threats to climate scientists (on both sides of the debate) are doing so anonymously.

      Another factor:

      For example, the Supreme Court has held that “threats may not be punished if a reasonable person would understand them as obvious hyperbole”, he writes.

      • Thanks. Makes sense.

      • “threats may not be punished if a reasonable person would understand them as obvious hyperbole”

        Seems to exclude a lot of commenters on this blog; I will let everybody make their own list.

      • It’s unnecessary to look to any court for guidance on this question, as it is self-evident that every right has attendant responsibilities, wherefore no right may be legitimately exercised in a manner that threatens the rights of another.

  15. Jose Tomas from Brazil

    Political Correctness and “Hate Speech” laws are our version of Blasphemy Laws.

    • “Political Correctness and “Hate Speech” laws are our version of Blasphemy Laws.”

      Yep! “Hate Speech” laws are an affront to “Free Speech,” “Civil Liberty,” and the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution. The 1st Amendment is designed to prevent Tyranny of Majority or tyranny of those in power. Those who support “Hate Speech” and similar laws, and support repeal of the 1st Amendment will one day find they are no longer in power or in the majority and the laws will be used against them. There are a lot better ways of solving today’s problems than destroying long-term protections.

  16. Mann made the mistake of taking Steyn to court. However, while Steyn belongs at Brooks’ so-called ‘kiddie table’, he became widely quoted by people and what he says now contributes to the thoughts of denialist organizations and politicians. As satire, it should have been treated as an Onion article, which are generally not taken seriously except by mistake. Suing Steyn is also a mistake and the piece should have been left alone. It’s like suing the Onion. The fault is with people who take Steyn’s satire seriously, and that is their own problem.

    • Steyn does more than just smell an onion. He’s also not afraid to shed a few tears to peel it and see what’s inside.

    • Regarding free speech, this does not allow people to publicly accuse others of prosecutable offenses such as academic fraud. Yes, satire has as a goal damaging the reputations of people they don’t like, but the line is crossed when using false accusations of crime to damage those reputations. Steyn was clumsy in making this look like what he was doing, and then dug in when given a chance to withdraw the accusation, so at that point it turned from satire into a direct accusation. Anyway, Mann should have ignored it unless he saw any obvious evidence of people taking Steyn’s accusation seriously.

    • John Carpenter

      Yep

    • Neither is really about free speech. Steyn’s is about a serious personal accusation that he leveled in a public forum, while Charlie is about a consequence of speech in free societies attracting a reaction from less free societies. The Interview movie was another example of this. More a culture clash than free speech issue. While Rushdie says no one has a right not to be offended, he can’t impose that. Serious people take serious offense whether he likes it or not, and an awareness of that is needed when making any statement in public even if it is intended as satire. Even without cartoonists, Islamists have non-speech-related targets, like soldiers, Jews, malls, schools, hotels, etc. It is far beyond a speech issue.

      • –While Rushdie says no one has a right not to be offended, he can’t impose that.–
        No one can impose rights.
        You can impose privileges.

      • Interesting participation by Rushdie in this discussion.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvgdPAEu8vA

        Note the unintentional irony from Carly Fiorina at the end: She notes that Muslim societies were examples of tolerance in the 16th century even as she argues that Islam is inherently intolerant.

      • – She notes that Muslim societies were examples of tolerance in the 16th century even as she argues that Islam is inherently intolerant.-

        Comparatively, tolerate 500 year ago.
        It was empire was which was, say, quite unlike the Soviet Union’s empire.
        Or quite unlike current China.
        One could say it was similar to the Anglosphere:
        “Anglosphere refers to a set of English-speaking nations with a similar cultural heritage, based upon populations originating from the nations of the British Isles (England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland), and which today maintain close political and military cooperation.”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglosphere
        And of course it was Turkish in terms of leadership. And then Russia went to war with it:
        “The outcome of the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774 was disastrous for the Ottomans. Large territories, including those with large Muslim populations, such as Crimea, were lost to the Russian Empire.”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliphate

        Of course no where on Earth was very tolerate 500 years ago- or the guests said, we have move on since that time. Age Enlightenment, Reformation, American Independence, and etc.

      • Steven Mosher

        once again we see the irony of Joshua ritualistically finding unintended irony where there is none.

        motivated reasoning is so interesting

      • gbaike –

        ==> “Comparatively, tolerate 500 year ago.”

        Religous fundamentalist Muslims want to drag society back 500 years because they abhor the arc of history since that time. They are cultists who have followers that want to return to the Middle Ages, not entirely unlike Christian fundamentalists like Jim Jones or Fred Phelps or Jews who plant bombs in schoolyards in Palestine, .

      • It’s phun searching ‘Al Gore and Fred Phelps’.
        ===============

      • “Religous fundamentalist Muslims want to drag society back 500 years because they abhor the arc of history since that time. They are cultists who have followers that want to return to the Middle Ages, not entirely unlike Christian fundamentalists like Jim Jones or Fred Phelps or Jews who plant bombs in schoolyards in Palestine”

        There seems a lot people who are deluded about history and imagine
        that there were golden ages which are better than the present.

        It seems obvious to me that we are presently living in golden age [a global golden age- it being the best of times for most people living on Earth] which includes the Muslim who imagine times were better in the past.
        Part of this thinking could related to idea that people lived longer in the Ancient past. Think that could be simply due to people breeding at younger age, coupled poor time keeper, and finally simply tendency of people to exaggerate [a fish tale]. And/or it seems more likely that ancient people were counting moons rather than having any idea about years.
        Also I think the “magical” is easier to remember than the mundane so it was a necessity in order to preserve important cultural information.

      • Jim D | January 11, 2015 at 6:12 pm

        Excellent post.

  17. “Have you met the Stepford students? They’re everywhere. On campuses across the land. Sitting stony-eyed in lecture halls or surreptitiously policing beer-fuelled banter in the uni bar. They look like students, dress like students, smell like students. But their student brains have been replaced by brains bereft of critical faculties and programmed to conform.”

    I detest today’s student culture. But even back in the 60’s and early 70’s when l was in school and most of us considered ourselves the vanguard of the “counter-culture,” the politically correct, authoritarian seeds were there. I have clear memories of students being heatedly corrected by other students for using the term “colored,” …however benignly well-intended….instead of the newly minted “black.” In my dorm, I took plenty of heat for refusing to participate in anti-war marches. It’s not even that I wasn’t against what was going on in Vietnam because I was. It was that I hated to be pressured in that way. I knew damn well most of those kids knew even less than I did about the world…and had examined their own beliefs not at all.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Throughout history the old folks have disapproved of the ways of youth. I’m not sure why, but I suspect envy.

      • I dont how old you are Max_OK.

        But being forty I am totally non-envious of any youth. Being young is all about not knowing enough. Life is a great adventure and you understand so little of it when you’re young.

    • Read more carefully Max. Consider commenting less. Did I say I “approved” of youth when I too was young? I did? Where?

      I have no envy of youth. Change is the great universal imperative. Fail to accept it at your peril. Interestingly, there are studies that show people actually become more happy as they get age.

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/age-brings-happiness/

  18. Free speech is never completely free. There is no right to falsely yell fire in a crowded theater. There is no right to libel or defame (the Mann assertion against Steyn, where IMO Steyn’s countersuit against Mann for making the assertion likely has much more merit).
    On the other hand, there is no right to be unoffended. Radical Islam asserts there is, to an extreme seen in Paris. But mainstream Islam is not far behind. Saudi Arabia just sentenced a blogger to 1000 lashes (50 at a time for 20 weeks) and 10 years in prison for ‘insulting’ some senior religious imams there concerning something or other. That has no place in the the modern world, and indicates a fundamental problem with Islam generally—reminiscent of the Catholic church in earlier times (inquisition, Galileo, …). Religious intolerance seems a recurring historical theme.

    The University PC thing is deeply disturbing, and seem. It is no different than Saudi Arabia minus the lashes, only focused on the secular ‘progressive beliefs’ rather than the truly religious (GMO, AGW, gay marriage…pick your progressive cause du jour). Forcibly Shutting down guest lectures and other forms of uncivil disobedience equivalent to the Vietnam war protest days, simply because of the speakers stance on something. In many cases aided, abetted, encouraged by faculty. Several extreme examples reported in the last year.

    Skepticism about the CAGW “religion” is met with academic PC. Judith’s own treatment by Scientific American and Mann is strong evidence. The Bengstom affair is another recent example, shunning instead of lashes.
    The worse this gets, the more I think it shows the wheels are coming off the CAGW bandwagon. Warmunists (Lysenko allusion from essay Climatastrosophistry) know that, so increasingly resort to name calling. It is all they have left after the scienctific predictions have failed. Led by the current US president, who said the science is settled and anyone who disagrees is a flat earther. Echoed by the current US secretary of state, who also recently declared that global warming is the greatest foreign policy danger we face—not radical Islam.

    The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Now is a time to be especially vigilant on multiple fronts. It was a delight to read Judith’s alma mater UC’s new written policy against PC, and to learn she contributed. That is vigilence just like this blog. She is leading by example, challenging the rest of us to step up our game.

  19. I don’t know, being lectured about free speech by David Brooks is like mayonnaise telling mustard she is not spicy enough.

  20. Judith wrote:
    “Anyone defending the satirists at Charlie should have a tough time defending Michael Mann in his legal war against the satirical writings of Mark Steyn and Rand Simberg.”

    That’s a very inaccurate characterization of Mann’s lawsuit, Judith, and you know it. And it’s a rather shameful was to utilize the Charlie Hebdo killings.

    Mann isn’t suing about “satire” — he’s suing for defamation. Rand Simberg accused Mann of “deception” and “engaging in data manipulation” — that is not satire. Steyn has repeatedly accused Mann of “fraud” — that is not satire, they are claims. (And claims made with no evidence; indeed, Steyn doesn’t even understand the science, calling Mann et al’s work a “climate model.”)

    If the work is fraudulent, why aren’t they pursuing Bradley and Hughes as well? That no one is shows this is all political, not about science or facts.

    The Constitution’s protection of speech does not extend to defamation. And I doubt you would think so if you were the one being accused of fraudulent science and data manipulation.

    • You are plain wrong David. Mann, through his passionate activism and brutal defamation of other people, including his colleagues, turned himself into a public figure and, as such, he is fair game for political lampooning. Read his tweets. His lack of self-restraint is remarkable, given that he should have a well-developed and substantial prefrontal cortex. I have to wonder at that.

      Remember the words of the mythical Sri Justinanda:

      “Intelligence is knowing, wisdom is knowing but not saying.”

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      David Appell (@davidappell) | January 11, 2015 at 12:49 pm
      Judith wrote:
      “Anyone defending the satirists at Charlie should have a tough time defending Michael Mann in his legal war against the satirical writings of Mark Steyn and Rand Simberg.”

      That’s a very inaccurate characterization of Mann’s lawsuit, Judith, and you know it. And it’s a rather shameful was to utilize the Charlie Hebdo killings.
      _____

      It looks like an attempt to conflate the action of Mann with the action of the terrorists. He filed a law suit. The terrorists killed. See the similarity?

      • max

        I think the conflation is unfortunate as Dr Mann uses the law-however much I may disagree with his heavy handed use of it-others kill to get their way, or display a high level of violent intimidation. They are at different ends of the logarithmic scale, of getting your own way

        tonyb

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        Tony, good on you.

      • Anybody with any capacity for objectivity can see that Judith’s linking this case with the Mann BS is inappropriate. She should close this thread down and move on.

      • John Carpenter

        “It looks like an attempt to conflate the action of Mann with the action of the terrorists.”

        Not at all.

      • It can easily be interpreted by the uncharitable as conflating. Why call Mann’s lawsuit a “legal war” in this context? It’s a freaking lawsuit, that Mann had every legal right to pursue. He ain’t the judge, jury and executioner. Don’t inflate the little clown.

      • ==> “She should close this thread down and move on.”

        How interesting that Don has so little room for a thread where some % of our much beloved “skeptics” see obvious flaws in her reasoning.

        Why wouldn’t he welcome, with open arms, legitimate disagreement with her – disagreement that breaks down the typically fossilized patterns of discussion?

        Quite remarkable, actually. It’s ok to discuss issues as long as you agree with Judith. If you disagree with her, you’re either a troll or the thread should be closed down.

        Don Monfort = one of the reasons I love Climate Etc.

      • Matthew R Marler

        climatereason: I think the conflation is unfortunate as Dr Mann uses the law-however much I may disagree with his heavy handed use of it-others kill to get their way, or display a high level of violent intimidation. They are at different ends of the logarithmic scale, of getting your own way

        A legal judgment against Steyn will be backed by the police power of the government. Should Steyn continue (if the judgment goes against him), he can be arrested and jailed, and should he resist arrest he might be killed. Should Steyn be fined, men and women with arms will cooperate with banks to seize his assets, in case he resists. The distinction between the legal process and volunteer assassins is worth remembering, but so is the consideration that any laws against free speech will be backed by force.

        Your invocation of Southern Baptists was intriguing. “Extremist” members of some Christian groups have assassinated Negroes, “meddlers” from outside, and also Doctors who perform abortions. I don’t know that they have recently threatened or carried out harmful acts against people who mock and deride them, but in the past they would at least have bombed the printing presses.

      • Crispy Equivalencies, Breakfast of Champions.
        =================

      • This is just goofey:

        “A legal judgment against Steyn will be backed by the police power of the government.Should Steyn continue (if the judgment goes against him), he can be arrested and jailed, and should he resist arrest he might be killed. Should Steyn be fined, men and women with arms will cooperate with banks to seize his assets, in case he resists.”

        That’s a very scary version of the snowball effect. You can say the same about the possible legal ramifications of an unpaid traffic ticket, or for failing to keep your dog on a leash. Getting behind in the child support payments. Or letting the weeds get too high in your yard. Or shoplifting and walking down the middle of the street and beating a cop. I don’t recall hearing of anyone getting killed for resisting arrest over a freaking defamation judgement, but you are probably right.

        I have to stop reading this thread. It’s really demoralizing to see so many otherwise rational and intelligent people, staggering around drunk on Kool-Aid.

    • Mann actually sued over the parallel with Sandusky. Only after that wouldn’t fly did he amend the complaint to remove that. Mann’s “fraud” has been demonstrated in a number of venues; and as journalists, Mann’s victims were entitled to express their opinion in the way they did.

      The key reason, IMO, that Mann’s case didn’t get thrown out from was the first was indignation over the parallel: not because it wasn’t justified, it was. Instead, the judge(s) were indignant that a member of their “in-crowd” had been compared to a molester. Despite admitting that Mann had no right to sue over that comparison.

      The law is, or should be, about what was said, not about emotional reactions to something not really even implied: nobody ever suggested Mann was a child molester. “Molesting data” is a perfectly good way of describing his behavior, a matter of opinion. And the whole freedom of speech thing is about opinions.

    • David Appell, I know that the Charlie/Mann link is a difficult stretch for most to grasp, but why are you and others so defensive about people poking fun at the Nobel not-a-laureate inventor of the Mann-O-Matic?

      Did you see his latest?

      https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-OvQHzJy8gFU/VLF3XHImAqI/AAAAAAAAMGM/X1vv5Tx0kiI/w689-h411-no/oppo%2Bover%2Bmann.png

      Along with his waxing paranoid about the Serengeti he revised his “Northern Hemisphere land based temperature reconstruction to “1000 years of Global Temperature and CO2 Change”. Overlaid on his “science” is a reconstruction of the tropical IPWP.

      https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/–MkaCepVwMQ/VLPZjltmIBI/AAAAAAAAMIc/OS0xMr1-W8w/w738-h494-no/tropical%2Bocean%2Band%2Bgmst%2Bcorrelation.png

      The tropical oceans have an outstanding correlation with “Global Temperature Anomaly”, really impressive. that should be the case since the tropical oceans are like the boiler for the climate engine.

      https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-b-SFgB_wC40/VLPYpvY7xQI/AAAAAAAAMIU/ty39xNgUNPE/w743-h523-no/tropical%2Bsst%2Bversus%2B30-90N%2Bland%2Bonly%2Bcorrel.png

      The northern hemisphere extra-tropical land temperature anomaly has virtually no correlation.

      “Scientifically” speaking, Mann does not appear to be the sharpest tack in the box. I can see defending his right to be a dumba$$, but his “science” is a different situation. Don’t you think putting a bit of distance between Mann’s “science” and yours is something to consider?

  21. Oh, the irony. David Brooks, without self-awareness, enthrones his own tribe of “wise and considerate scholars” on the top of the dung heap. Of course, neither wisdom nor consideration are necessary to become a “scholar”. In fact, the thought(less) leaders of political correctness are the “scholars”, more accurately described as university employees, that have brainwashed several generations of “scholars” since the 1970s, especially in the social sciences. The faculty tenure committees of the 70s ensured ideological purity and adherence to the tenets of political correctness – a self-selected group dug in deeper than a tick on a hapless dog.

    We can learn from anyone, even the coarse and uneducated, if we open our hearts and minds and listen. Their messages, maybe delivered in crude and emotive language, may contain the lessons learned from a hard life. History teaches us, if we are good students, that the elite ignore these lessons at their own risk.

    Free speech means free speech, with no qualifications. If there are qualifications, who will be the judges of speech?

    For people that only listen to the speech of “wise and considerate scholars”, you can read this analysis of the impact of political correctness at my alma mater, the University of California:

    http://www.nas.org/images/documents/A_Crisis_of_Competence.pdf?utm_source=March+26+Press+Release+-+A+Crisis+of+Competence+2&utm_campaign=CAS+report+press+release&utm_medium=email

    • Wow, thanks for the link, hadn’t seen this analysis about University of California

    • Justin, read the report in the link. Shocking, but not surprising. It is as bad or worse at my alma mater. Prof Cornell West published zero research for over 10 years, and used his Afro studies courses for brute indoctrination of the racial victim sort. Worse that Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Louis Farakhan combined. My took one semester, and was outright told could never do better than a B- because of the wrong race to ‘understand’. When then Pres. Larry Summers finally acted to force West out after massive alumni complaint and Board of Overseers intervention, the PC faculty of Arts and Sciences banded together to force Summers out.

      And the situation has gotten worse under PC Pres. Gilpin with hires like Naomi Oreskes, well trained in exteme left PC in the California University system. So bad that I informed the University and Gilpin in writing that they would not see another nickel from me unless Oreskes was delt with. Sadly, I do not expect to donate ever again. The only bright thing is not being pestered by the office of major alumni gifts, who used to want face to faces at least twice a year.

    • http://www.nas.org/images/documents/A_Crisis_of_Competence.pdf?utm_source=March+26+Press+Release+-+A+Crisis+of+Competence+2&utm_campaign=CAS+report+press+release&utm_medium=email

      Thx JW for the above Report which includes empiric data,
      * pp19/23 that show the weighting where left of centre
      political adherents don’t merely dominate the faculty, they
      are the faculty.* 1999 Rothman, Lichter & Nevitte.* 2004
      Klein * 2007 Gross & Simmons.

      P 30/32 Mission Statements as commitment to political
      social agendas reduced to a radical POV reflected in the
      focus of History Courses pp 33/46.

      ‘One has to wonder about the self correcting ability of an
      academic culture so inbred that it reflects only of half the
      political spectrum. What arguments will be overlooked,
      what lines of inquiry ignored?’ p 30.

      • Yes, like a virus they have penetrated the university and injected their DNA. Now, the university cranks out stepford students – replicas of themselves. They are bright, ambitious, and educated but they don’t appreciate their heritage. They inherited a republic, but can they keep it?

    • John Carpenter

      Really interesting report. Thanks for linking it.

    • Yes, thanks for the great link.

  22. Judith,

    The Charlie activities in France are horrific on so many levels. Mark Steyn discusses this in his own unique way on his web site. His political and freedom of speech insights are definitely worth reading.

    You say:

    We need to open up the public debate about climate change, and get rid of the tyranny of political ‘correctness’ in the climate debate that is being enforced by a handful of self-appointed and readily-offended fools.

    Are the self appointed and readily offended fools manipulating the likes of Gore, Obama, Kerry, Ban Ki Moon, Holdren………..or is it the other way around?

    I am all for opening up the climate debate, but in truth it has been coopted by the progressive green mafia as a key element in their movement for world government and wealth redistribution.

    • Other way around. Obama is in charge, no doubt about it, his wax wings, still in flying shape, are warming. Gore, still a rich hero to many, has buffooned himself through his hubris.

  23. Pingback: If All You See… » Pirate's Cove

  24. Judith Curry,

    There are ready enough critiques of your arguments and some here will doubtless do that.

    But.

    For you to co-opt Charlie Hebdo in an attempt to assert the moral high ground in your petty squabbles.

    Before the bodies are even in the ground.

    For shame.

    • My post is about freedom of speech, and I criticize those who would try to limit free speech. This is a climate blog so we tend to mention issues related to the climate debate.

      • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

        What does cold blooded murder have to do with filing a defamation law suit?

      • Judith,

        You claim “tyranny”.

        The victims at Charlie Hebdo truly looked tyranny in the face.

        You write opinion pieces in major newspapers, testify before congress yet claim suppression!  The citizens of dictatorships would love to be suppressed in such a fashion.

        And you co-opt the still unburied victims of an appalling crime to your support.

        Again.  Shame.

      • If you are unfamiliar with the concept of ‘tyranny of political correctness”, see
        http://columbiaspectator.com/2009/11/10/tyranny-political-correctness

        I do not claim any personal ‘suppression’ of my own freedom of speech – I blog and tweet what I please.

      • You are co-opting the unburied victims, veryloudguy. Your hysterical hyperbole is hypocritical. Judith apparently thinks that this is just another opportunity to discuss generic free speech. She can be very naive, at times.

      • When the Taliban took over in Afghanistan, the murdered the meteorologists, because predictions of the future were god’s domain.

        I’m guessing that they’re not too wild about climate predictions either.

      • VTG –

        ==> “Before the bodies are even in the ground.”

        Sameolsameol. No issue is off-limits for crama-queening and exploitation in the climate wars.

        Jihadis slaughtering civilians and Judith’s victimization by “realists” = same, same but different, doncha know.

      • Judith,

        followed your link and it seems to be someone using their right of free speech to openly criticise political correctness.

        I see no references to cold blooded murder. 

        Neither do I see anyone, as you do explicitly in your post,  anyone drawing parallels between their opponents and “racists and anti semites”.

        Your words are shameful

      • John Carpenter

        “And you co-opt the still unburied victims of an appalling crime to your support.

        Again. Shame.”

        And this isn’t claiming moral high ground?

      • You are a shameless opportunist, joshie. Judith is wrong in thinking that the charlie case sheds any light on Mann case or the climate debate. She made a mistake. You want to crucify her for it. Well, you just want to crucify her for being a heretic.

      • This is a quote from a short article I wrote a few months ago:

        “How to Survive the Climate Zombie Threat”

        “An emerging threat posed by climate zombies has been confirmed by a series of interviews, media articles, and blogosphere items seen in the past 30 days. This newly created “How to Survive the Climate Zombie Threat” effectively communicates information to the public, government agencies, first responders, and the private sector what to do to reduce risk in the face of unquantified statistics. At this time we lack the modeling capability to describe the probability of anything happening. Therefore you should use the Practical Precautionary Principle (PPP). ”

        And…

        “Is this threat real? By now I´m sure you have heard about the Australian Art Minister´s funding of a play called “Kill Climate Deniers¨.

        I´m told this was meant as a joke. However, our intelligence service located this quote in a blog post by Richard Parncutt, a professor at the University of Graz: “In this article I am going to suggest that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for influential GW deniers”. And this guy wasn´t joking. This means there´s a credible, specific, emerging climate zombie threat.”

      • Don –

        ==> ” You want to crucify her for it. ”

        I’m curious. When you just make stuff up, is it intentional?

      • Who is limiting your speech, Judith? You speak all over. You publish lots of op-ed. So I don’t see the tyrannical suppression of your right to free speech.

    • I did search on “climate change deniers don’t deserve free speech” and got 3,480,000 results. It seems reasonable to bring it up when free speech is a major topic in the news.

    • Mark Steyn

      At the end of a week of bloodbaths and hostage sieges, I went looking for something appropriate for our Saturday movie date, and settled on a nine-year-old Spielberg movie about the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics.

      The death toll in Munich was, in fact, one less than at Charlie Hebdo. I don’t know what significance to attach to that statistic, but I have the vague feeling that Europe, for want of any alternative policy, has decided to live with what British government officials used to call, apropos Northern Ireland, an “acceptable level of violence”.

      Certainly, murdered Jews seem far more routine – and thus “acceptable” – on the Continent of 2015 than they were in 1972. There were four more on Friday – still lying in their blood on the floor of a kosher grocery store, as around the world TV and radio commentators preferred to focus on the as yet non-existent victims of a hypothetical anti-Muslim “backlash”. That’s the other reason Spielberg’s film seems timely. It takes a story propelled by righteous anger, and marinates it in moral equivalence – the default mode of our age

      Good of you, VeryTallGuy, to provide living breathing evidence of the sickness in western society, the stench of your moral equivalence is evident even across the internet, Tell me, did you contribute to Spielberg’s script?

    • John Vonderlin

      VTG,
      About 170,000 people die every day, ten thousand for every death in the terrorist incidents in France. There will be 170,000 more tomorrow and the day after. Within decades that number will double. Many of these deaths are fully as senseless or tragic as the terror incidents’ deaths. This is the human condition. If we were to apply your ridiculous standard of propriety to the 60 million deaths that will happen this year we’d continually be paralyzed. Just because the media and governments have decided this tragedy deserves wall-to-wall coverage doesn’t mean I and others can’t just sigh and go about our lives. In fact history has shown us that those that elevate such tragic incidents to “watershed” moments will generally use them to visit upon the populace horrors that will dwarf the original tragedy. Don’t be fooled again.

      • +1

      • Don, I thought the extremists were pretty casual about choosing victims to behead out in the desert. I don’t think they picked blasphemers. In fact, those guys have killed more Muslims than Jews or Christians, so I’m not sure your point holds–and I’ll bet Mark Steyn keeps his eyes wide open these days.

        Joshua is a shameless opportunist and Micheal is his mini-me. Michael and Joshua, there is one climate blogger who is very focused on Michael Mann. His name is Steve McIntyre, not Judith Curry. And yet I never see you at his blog–perhaps you know that Judith is much gentler than the reception you would get there and richly deserve here.

        The parallel between the moral issues involved in Charlie Hebdo and those trying to silence free speech in the West is not perfectly congruent. But it is close enough to be useful.

        Alarmists have called for skeptics to face Nuremburg trials, go to prison, ad absurdium. Alarmists have killed their children and then themselves in a chilling echo of Jonestown. Alarmists have committed suicide by cop at the Discovery Channel headquarters. They trash archaeological treasures, agitate against cheap energy for the poor in South Africa and tell skeptics ‘we know where you live.’ The issue is serious enough to warrant comparison with what happened in Paris, if not exactly the same.

        It is the alarmists who say that climate change is a species survival issue. And they are the ones who want to shut their opponents up. The fact that violence has been mostly absent is luck, nothing else.

        Alarmists do want to shut Judith Curry et al the hell up. And if they can’t do that yet, they will trash her reputation, calling her a delayer, denier, incompetent, or even showing up at her weblog and clogging up the discussions with their trollery.

        The ethical parallel is that neither radical Islamists nor CAGW prophets of doom will engage in honest debate with their opponents. Demonisation is sufficient for their cause. They are not trying to win an argument in either case. They are trying to hammer their opponents into submission.

      • Nice –

        ==> “Alarmists have killed their children and then themselves in a chilling echo of Jonestown. ”

        and

        ==> “The ethical parallel is that neither radical Islamists nor CAGW prophets of doom will engage in honest debate with their opponents. Demonisation is sufficient for their cause.. ”

        Not quite up to the standards of Chief, but a fine example of unintentional irony nonetheless, Tom.

      • Your comment makes no sense Joshua. But then that’s not new.

      • You missed that one, Joshua:

        > Demonisation is sufficient for their cause.

      • Tom Fuller, I know how many of their own people the jihadists have killed in the desert and all the various motives for doing it. I kind of alluded to that. My point was that, as current events indicate, they are particularly incensed by the blasphemy BS. Drives them crazy. That’s why they went after Charlie. You don’t think they went after Charlie for lampooning the inept French politicians, do you Tom?

        What is your point about betting that Mark Steyn keeps his eyes open these days? Do you think he is their next target? Is he about to publish some juvenile freaking cartoons insulting the Prophet, whose name we won’t mention? Is he planning a trip to the desert?

        Regarding joshie, micheal et al. Yeah, that’s right.

        The rest of your comment seems to be an attempt to justify Judith’s linking of the Mann civil lawsuit to the motivation behind the Charlie massacre, without actually mentioning the Mann lawsuit and actually explaining why mentioning it in the same sentence as the Paris massacre serves some useful purpose. It doesn’t work, Tom. And it’s way over the top.

      • Don, hère is why i don’t think this is ‘way over the top.’ If you lost your life for speaking out and saying controversial things, would you like people to be respectfully silent or talk about these issues in ways that are meaningful to them? I and others that are talking about these issues are honoring their memory arguably more than those who are respectfully silent.

      • I don’t know what your problem is, Judith. The Charlie massacre is not remotely connected to the climate wars. The real war and there is metaphorical war. Serious people don’t try to make a point by equating real war with metaphorical war. Mann’s metaphorical legal war against Steyn is not remotely similar to the terrorist war on people they want to silence. Mann’s verbal attacks on yourself and others, not like the Charlie massacre. Of course, I could be wrong. Tom’s comment doesn’t put a dent in what I am telling you. It’s just more fodder for the trolls.

      • The common thread is about freedom of speech, which has been the subject of at least half of the op-eds on the subject, and was a major theme for the march in Paris.

      • Et two prong.
        ==========

      • I’ve no problem linking these two things because they are in fact, linked. No, Michael Mann is not a terrorist, although he most certainly traffics in fear. What does one suppose all those lawsuits are about? To frighten people enough that they won’t dare criticize his work any longer.

        Don, these are two assaults on our right to free speech. One is legal and does not involve murder, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t in its way, profoundly damaging. There are many ways to destroy a free society. Mann shows us one, the terrorists another.

      • This is really getting tedious. Neither Mann nor the terrorists are going to destroy our free society. Has Mann stopped Steyn from talking? Has he Stopped Judith from talking? Has he stopped pokerguy from talking? Get back to us in the unlikely event he wins his lawsuit and we will discuss the likelihood that his victory will destroy our free society. Well, they start small and the next thing you know the free society is destroyed. I am planning to worry about that, every Tuesday from noon to about 1:30.

        Now for some totally unrelated news; the terrorists are actually killing people. But they ain’t supermen. They have been after Salmon Rushdie for decades. He is still talking. They blew up some of our biggest buildings and killed thousands of people. We now have a lot more buildings and a lot more people. We are still saying and doing things the terrorist just can’t stand. We are not going to let some terrorists destroy our free society. Believe it or not, some very good people are working on this problem. Don’t panic.

      • ” I and others that are talking about these issues are honoring their memory arguably more than those who are respectfully silent.” – Judith

        Yeah, “honouring” by hijacking the tradegy to discuss some unrelated pettty trivia.

        Nice work.

      • –Don Monfort | January 12, 2015 at 5:48 pm |

        This is really getting tedious. Neither Mann nor the terrorists are going to destroy our free society. Has Mann stopped Steyn from talking? Has he Stopped Judith from talking? Has he stopped pokerguy from talking? Get back to us in the unlikely event he wins his lawsuit and we will discuss the likelihood that his victory will destroy our free society.–

        As you say, it’s unlikely Mann could win his argument.
        If Mann could win his argument, then he doesn’t need lawyers nor would he need to do it in a court setting.

        The Hockey Stick has already been shown to be incorrect.
        Leaving Mann with the limited capability of only fooling whose have strong desire to believe his nonsense.
        I will let wiki explain it:
        “One case in point is the strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP), which is a lawsuit intended to censor, intimidate and silence critics by fear, intimidation and burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition. Such actions are self-evidently vexatious, but are typically frivolous as well in that the plaintiff does not expect, or even intend, to win.”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_abuse

      • Judith, this is how you linked Mann with Charlie:

        “Anyone defending the satirists at Charlie should have a tough time defending Michael Mann in his legal war against the satirical writings of Mark Steyn and Rand Simberg. It will be interesting to see if Charlie and the defense of satirists changes the dynamics of the Mann vs NRO/CEI/Steyn lawsuits.”

        I know about the well-worn “free speech” thread linking Mann and Charlie. That’s pretty weak and it’s not what you actually said. You could logically be interpreted as having implied that the common element is the terrorists attacked Charlie for satire and Mann attacked Steyn et al for satire, and that there is some level of equivalency there, that in both cases there are illegitimate attacks on free speech. Add to that the appearance that you may be using the progressives’ tactic of exploiting a tragedy to score points in a political argument, and you got yourself into a ____storm.

        Rational, intelligent , honest people can defend the deceased Charlie’s right to publish juvenile satire and not be killed by terrorists and at the same time defend Mann’s right to the legal recourse of a defamation lawsuit. Not tough at all. Case closed.

      • Don,

        100% right again.

        Judith has lost the plot on this issue. As a social commentator, she makes a great climate scientist.

      • “We are not going to let some terrorists destroy our free society. Believe it or not, some very good people are working on this problem. Don’t panic.”

        Don,
        Doesn’t happen all that often, but I couldn’t disagree more. I’m actually kind of shocked at your apparent faith in…. what…. our government? With Obama at the helm, and George Bush before him? No, the terrorists will not destroy our society, they’re just helping us do it to ourselves..

      • ==> “No, the terrorists will not destroy our society, they’re just helping us do it to ourselves..”

        Another day, another alarmist comment at Climate Etc.

      • Don, you seem rational–feel free to defend Mann’s lawsuit, not from a mechanistic POV (of course he has a right to bring a suit if he believes himself injured by Steyn) but from an ethical point of view.

      • Don.
        “Serious people don’t try to make a point by equating real war with metaphorical war. Mann’s metaphorical legal war against Steyn is not remotely similar to the terrorist war on people they want to silence. Mann’s verbal attacks on yourself and others, not like the Charlie massacre. ”

        we can find similarities anywhere we choose to look. That’s because things, events, words, stuff, don’t force a response from you or anyone else in any logical or iron clad manner.

        I see the similarity. You dont.

        The point I would make is that the similarity can be put to uses
        that some people like and other people don’t like.

        When I say that Mann’s behavior with data is Like the behavior of sandusky some people like it and other folks take offense.

        Now, I don’t like it cause it trivializes the crime of abusing kids

        When I say that Skeptics are like holocaust deniers some people like the use of that metaphor. Others dont.

        Tom doesnt cause it trivializes the holocaust.

        When folks find a similarity between killing cartoonists and taking someone to court for defamation, I GET the metaphor. I actually understand it. I see the similarity. I dont like that use of metaphor.
        Are the two things different? Of course. That’s how metaphor works.
        That HOW similarities work. identity works differently.

        Of course they are similar. Of course they are different.
        and they are not identical.

        How do you know when a metaphor is good, epistemically good.
        A good metaphor uses the known to understand the harder to know.

        Lets see. The greenhouse effect is a pretty good metaphor. how the atmosphere works is hard to understand. So we say Its like a greenhouse. the unknown is structured and understood by a similarity with the known. Now of course the metaphor breaks down. they all do.

        Long ago I wrote a bunch of pages about this. hmm. too long for a paper, too short for a book.

        here was the killer quote

        “[All] thinking is metaphorical, except mathematical thinking…. What I am pointing out is that unless you are at home in the metaphor, unless you have had your proper poetical education in the metaphor, you are not safe anywhere. Because you are not at ease with figurative values: you don’t know the metaphor in its strength and its weaknesses. You don’t know how far you may expect to ride it and when it may break down with you. You are not safe in science; you are not safe in history….
        All metaphor breaks down somewhere. That is the beauty of it. It is touch and go with the metaphor, and until you have lived with it long enough you don’t know when it is going.’

        I think the comparsion between the two cases makes sense.
        But, it doesnt delight
        It doesnt instruct.
        its bad poetry.

      • just to be clear.. the quote is from Frost.

        here..
        another nice piece

        http://www.bartleby.com/155/1.html

        Its related trust me

      • poker, I can assure you that nearly all the people defending you against terrorism are doing a good job, despite often poor leadership and decision making from the political class.

        George Bush had some issues, but he would listen to military advice and did everything practicable to support and protect the troops. Obama has other priorities.

      • I don’t like Mann’s suit and I hope he loses. Is that good enough, Tom?

      • I agree, Steven. We don’t like what we don’t like. And I don’t like people who try to make a point by equating real war with metaphorical war.

      • I just noticed I missed something here, Judith:

        “The common thread is about freedom of speech, which has been the subject of at least half of the op-eds on the subject, and was a major theme for the march in Paris.”

        How many of the op-eds have linked Mann vs. Steyn et al with the Paris Charlie massacre? How many marchers in Paris were even remotely aware of the Mann defamation lawsuit?

        Look, Mann lawsuit is a free speech issue. Paris Charlie massacre is a different free speech issue. And never the twain shall meet.

      • It’s called creativity; i claim to be the first. A number of others have picked up on this; not just GWPF and WUWT, but this has been reblogged by numerous people.

        But more significantly, if Charlie is to mean anything, the broad principles they were fighting for in their cartoons, need to be reflected on in a range of contexts and with a range of applications.

      • Metaphors can be use for rhetorical purposes, or to help someone understand and issue, to be instructive.

        This is a case of the former. In other words, Judith is exploiting the murder of journalists to score rhetorical points in the climate wars. As I said many comments ago.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua’s binary thinking

        “Metaphors can be use for rhetorical purposes, or to help someone understand and issue, to be instructive.

        This is a case of the former. In other words, Judith is exploiting the murder of journalists to score rhetorical points in the climate wars. As I said many comments ago.”

        They can be used for both.

        More subtlely, you assume that rhetoric is not instructive.

        Bad binary thinking.

        here is your pharmakon
        The “Q” Question

      • Steven Mosher

        “I agree, Steven. We don’t like what we don’t like. And I don’t like people who try to make a point by equating real war with metaphorical war.”

        Yes, but those who have never walked in your boots, wished they had the stones.

        You get to dislike it.
        They get to like it.

        Not everyone will live up to your standards.

        if you were god you might have a point.

        but, you’re not. so you don’t.

        except perhaps the bald declaration that you dont like it.

        you have my permission not to like it.

      • Well that is true, steven.

        As I also said many comments ago, Judith’s rhetoric on this topic has been quite instructive. It shows quite well her level of reasoning about the climate wars.

        And from that angle, I appreciate her engagement and hope she continues with the greater participation.

      • Steven Mosher

        Don of course used the metaphor of war to understand the terrorist attack.

        because he understands war, he uses that experience to structure his understanding of terror.

        Lot’s of military guys do.

        How’s that metaphor working?

        that’s an open question

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua.

        you didnt understand the Q question.

        look harder.

      • Through the prongs of a queue.
        ========================

      • Steven, the terrorist attacks are not sporadic, unrelated incidents of murder. They are part of a real war. It’s been going on for a long time. Don’t let Obama BS you.

        Some examples of wars that are pretend wars:

        1) the war on women
        2) Mann’s legal war on Steyn and Symberg’s satire
        3) the war on poverty
        4) the war on coal
        5) the war on crime
        6) the war on termites

        Only #6 is a useful metaphor, in my very humble opinion.

      • #6 is real.

      • They don’t put up much of a fight, mikey. It wouldn’t be sporting to call it real war. Oh, I forgot:

        7) the war on prongs

      • Charlie Hebdo live or Rasuli dead.
        ===============

      • I don’t know too much about termites in the timbers, Don, but it’s the prongs in the sofa you gotta worry about. Especially the old ones. Oh, that’s prawns. Never you mind.
        ==========

      • kim, I wonder if ‘on the prongs of a dilemma’ is a metaphor. We can ask Mosher when he reemerges from the philosophical weeds.

        8) the war on the prawns of a dilemma

      • He’s curley-clued with seahorses, stampeding through the forests, trampling trembling termites.
        ======================

      • I want some of what kim is smoking. Kim, do you think anybody would mind if some witty person created a very humorous satirical cartoon depicting Charlie Hedbo getting his head blown off by a very humorous satirical cartoon image of the Prophet, whose name we won’t mention? Notice the thread to free speech, kim?

      • Don,

        No, but they are very sneaky.

        The little bastards just ate my skirting boards.

      • Don, would anybody mind enough to go all Parisian, all AK-47, over that cartoonist? How do you keep them down in the banlieues after they’ve blown up Paris?
        ===============

      • Great –

        ==> “…A number of others have picked up on this; not just GWPF and WUWT, …, if Charlie is to mean anything,…”

        If Charlie is to mean anything? Really? Personally, I don’t increase in my understanding of the meaning of terrorists killing satirists through climate combatants exploiting their deaths to score points in the climate wars.

        I, for one, know what Charlie means without your input, Judith.

        This is just another in your series of posts taking complex social phenomena and simplistically overlaying them onto well-worn tracks in the climate war in entirely predictable ways. Something bad happens = it’s just like Michael Mann. Something good happens = yourself and your noble allies.

        It’s trivializing for you to exploit murders for sameolsamol.

      • I can only hope that the family member of the dead journalists, police, and Jewish shoppers can read English and thus gain the benefits accrued from reading Judith, GWPF, WUWT, etc. describe the similarities between their loved ones getting massacred and Mann pursuing legal recourse against Steyn.

        Or maybe they can just uses Google translate.

      • Steven Mosher

        Don

        let me help you. It is, as Frost argues, very hard to avoid metaphorical thought.

        See how you use the concept of war to understand terror attacks.
        See how other people use it to understand say curbing drugs

        here is my criticism of Judith’s metaphor.

        She is using the incomprehensible ( attacks on cartoonists) to structure her understanding of mann’s attack on Steyn. The latter is pretty well understood. It doesnt need illumination.

        So in the balance between delighting and instructing, she is off.
        too much delight, not enough instruct.

        So, go back and read the Frost poem about the ax helve.

        understand the difference between a strong helve which is true to the grain and one which is machine cut.

        My concern.

        By engaging Mann she will become Mann.

        some one said something similar in the Art of War which Im sure you know

      • –My concern.

        By engaging Mann she will become Mann. —

        As in, her next lifetime?

        Or in her present lifetime, she will shrink, go bald and gain weight?

        –here is my criticism of Judith’s metaphor.

        She is using the incomprehensible ( attacks on cartoonists) to structure her understanding of mann’s attack on Steyn. The latter is pretty well understood. It doesnt need illumination.–

        Why are attacks of cartoonist incomprehensible?

        And how is Mann engaging in lawsuit with Steyn understandable.
        Unless Mann did not have a clue who Steyn was.
        You can not be vaguely rational to assume that Steyn would be
        intimidated on the matter of free speech.
        So, assuming Mann paid as much attention to his lawsuit as he did with his hockey stick, we should be able to assume he know something about
        Mark Steyn.
        Mark Steyn certainly not a secret and google search will give anyone a fairly good idea.
        So I am curious how you can explain Mann actions?

        Even though know next to nothing about the terrorists, their behavior seems about as simple to explain as a bull that charges a red flag.
        They were scum and had nothing to live for, and they thought they needed to get into the good graces of God. They were trying to be famous. But they were morons.
        All they did was make Lefty atheist cartoonists into martyrs.
        So yeah, the idiot are famous for being the murderers of some atheist martyrs. And no doubt they are basking in Hell with all the other murderers.

      • “By engaging Mann she will become Mann. —”

        one thing that struck me while reading the climategate mails was the way in which people took on the behavior of their opponents

        kinda like that ancient chinese wisdom

        you dont see deeply enough for me to learn anything by our engagement

      • –“By engaging Mann she will become Mann. —”

        one thing that struck me while reading the climategate mails was the way in which people took on the behavior of their opponents

        kinda like that ancient chinese wisdom–

        Ah, so is that clue that you are indeed concerned regarding Judith’s next incarnations?

        What stuck me about climategate was the lack of professional behavior.

        And it seems to me, that Readme, felt he entombed in a kindergarten madhouse with no hope of escape.

        Climatgate is one of those too weird for fiction type things- and beyond spoof.

      • Right on target, Judith..

    • The Charlie Hebdo tragedy may have us reexamining our values and rules. Our morals may operate across many levels, from the serious to the not so serious. It wouldn’t surprise me if a moral principle that applies to the Charlies Hebdo tragedy would also apply to the Mann/Steyn case. Of the two situations, our moral principle is hoped to cover the more serious situation first. And if it also applies to the less serious situations, that’s all the better. As we may consider consistency is a favorable attribute. We may question where our most important principles are formed? Perhaps from the serious. Then they are applied to lesser but still important questions. It’s my opinion we are seeking a level of consistency with our values that applies to different situations.

      • Ragnaar, well said. It’s the same general principle.

      • Ragnaar – Right on!

        Can’t miss an opportunity to give Michael Mann a kick. Doesn’t matter how low, disgusting and opportunistic it is – an opportunity is an opportunity. And we hates Mann, so anything goes!
        Paedophiles, mass murder – no matter what it is, we’ll make a link to Michael Mann.

        Judith,

        I had thought there was some positive signs recently that you’d managed to shake off your Mann-obsession, or at least tone it down.

        But this??

        Using mass murder to make some petty and trivial attack on a scientist you don’t like???

        Maybe a good friend will take you aside and explain to you just how low you have sunk.

      • Michael, you are kidding right? In the week in review Judith linked to Mann’s latest rant. http://bos.sagepub.com/content/71/1/33.full.pdf

        He seems to think he is an aging Wildebeest being eyed by skeptical lions that are licking their chops :0

        He even went so far as to elevate his questionable Northern Hemisphere tree ring circus to GLOBAL temperature status.

        All those other wannabe paleo-climatologists might as well just pack it in since Mikey has the nuts.

        https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-OvQHzJy8gFU/VLF3XHImAqI/AAAAAAAAMGM/X1vv5Tx0kiI/w689-h411-no/oppo%2Bover%2Bmann.png

        I mean really, what does Kim Cobb even bother, there is nothing left to do in that field :)

      • This is ridiculous. There is nothing to be gained, no light to be shed, no moral principle to be extended from the Paris mass murders to the Mann-Steyn et al nuisance lawsuit making it’s way through the silly D.C. court system.

        I am very likely the only person here with hands on experience in dealing with the type of people who committed the Charlie murders. Have you noticed that they have not gone after Steyn et al? They don’t care about free speech, until it amounts to what they call blasphemy. They believe that they are obligated by their religion to kill blasphemers. They do it in their own countries to their own kind and it is not surprising to those who know them to see them do it in Western countries. You allow millions of Muslims to immigrate and you will get a significant number, who will take what we would consider to be irrational offense to cartoons that are drawn to deliberately insult their religion.

        If this was about destroying free speech in the Western world they would have attacked Le Monde, or gone through the tunnel and attacked the London Times. They are against alcohol and uncovered females. You don’t see them running around attacking liquor stores and strip clubs. They are serious about blasphemy. Charlie knew that. I am sure someone is going to call me a coward, but I don’t see Charlie as a hero.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Ragnaar
        I’m sorry
        Charlie Hebdo “tragedy”?
        what, do you think it was an accident?
        a unfortunate mistake?
        we need to reexamine our values?
        our rules?
        our moral principles?
        you think “consistency” would somehow bring these religious mass murderers to different POV?
        let’s navel gaze ourselves into oblivion

        don’t send an army, send battalions of psychiatrists and social workers

      • John Smith:
        I don’t think it was an accident, and the relatives of those killed may see it as a tragedy. I was after a less vengeful choice of words. Suppose we reacted to the aggressors in this case by promoting more free speech? That might infuriate them but it also might have them realize they can’t win on that front. Shrinking our definition for free speech here, sends a mixed message.

      • We have this:
        “To be consistent, we must apply the same moral standards to one situation that we apply to another unless we can show that the two situations differ in relevant ways.” http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/decision/consistency.html Some are saying they’re different and some are saying not so much. Looking back on my college days, some of my Profs would try to relate current events to the course contents. I enjoyed that, the opportunity to apply what we were learning to some things in the real world. Seeing relationships and building frameworks, not a bunch of compartmentalized things.

      • v. helpful link, thx

      • “Michael, you are kidding right? In the week in review Judith linked to Mann’s latest rant. ”

        capt,

        If Mann’s Serengeti analogy is a “rant” what the phuck are we going to call Judith’s insane effort to drag Mann into a terrorist massacre???

        Farrk!

      • Ragnaar and Judith,

        oh yes, very relevant

        There is no “relevant” difference between the massacre of 12 people by terrorists and a civil court defamation case???

        Really, you’re trying to play the ‘moral equivalence’ card here??

        Judith,

        Have you lost your mind?

      • Who said anything about moral equivalence? I am talking about ethically consistent application of freedom of speech.

      • “we must apply the same moral standards to one situation that we apply to another unless we can show that the two situations differ in relevant ways”

        Ragnaar is saying that there is no relevant difference between these two situations; terrorists massacre vs Mann/Steyn.

        What planet are you people on?

        For someone who has trouble clearly communicating in their own field, it is very brave (of the ‘Yes, Minister’ kind), to try and make a point out of a very raw tragedy like this.

        Judith on this, you are an ataxic elephant in a Ming Vase shop.

        Just stop.

      • Freedom of speech is a very broad principle, that the marchers in Paris and countless op-ed writers are defending in the wake of the Charlie attacks. If you are going to defend offensive/controversial/satirical writings from Charlie Hebro, I am arguing these same people should be defending other offensive/controversial/satirical writings. Case in point is Steyn/Simberg.

        I am making a very straightforward argument.

      • Judith,

        I asked you this somewhere else, but is probably better here.

        What is it that you can’t say about science/climate science/ Mann and free speech that you can’t say without reference to Charlie Hebdo??

        If, as I believe, the answer is – nothing – then this is just cheap, gratuitous, sensationalism.

      • I can say what I had to say without mentioning MM; key point is defense of Steyn/Simberg

      • Michael wrote: “There is no “relevant” difference between the massacre of 12 people by terrorists and a civil court defamation case???”

        The jihadists and Mann are both in the business of suppressing speech. Of course there are differences. One of the differences between them is that Mann, essentially a government functionary whose livelihood comes almost exclusively from government and the taxpayers, is using the instrument of the courts to suppress speech he doesn’t like about an important public controversy in which he is an advocate.

        A few years back, Mann sued Tim Ball for making what was in essence a joke as old as vaudeville. He used the machinery of government to harass someone who thinks his work is, yes, fr**dulent. Two years ago, he did the same thing to Steyn, NRO and CEI. He is attempting suppress speech on one of the crucial issues of our time. The length and cost of these proceedings are intended to intimidate anyone who might come to the same conclusion Mann’s current victims reached and want to express their disagreement.

        While the physical threat of Mann’s actions are not in anyway comparable to what the jihadists accomplished in Paris, they are still pernicious and should be viewed as such, especially because they involve the use of government to silence people.

      • potter,

        It’s pretty simple – if their accusations are true and they can demonstrate that to the court, they’ve nothing to worry about. On the other hand…..

      • Micheal;
        I guess you’re saying they are relevantly different. The magnitude of the force applied and attempting to be applied in Mann’s case is different. A monetary fine is force. While there are two differing degrees of force here, I can’t see that that matters to principles. The first amendment is related to defamation laws. Our defamation laws seem to be a compromise of the first amendment or a partial contradiction of it. While we easily support Charlie Hebdo’s first amendment type rights, we then reconcile that with Steyn’s similar rights. We may ask ourselves are we being consistent? To have a lower regard for the first amendment because it’s a civil court case, I am not seeing why? I bought into the first amendment and I don’t want to dismiss it or weaken it in most situations.

      • I wonder when Judith will begin examining her own selectivity. Imagine her saying something like this:

        If you are going to defend offensive/controversial/satirical writings from Charlie Hebro [Mark Steyn], I am arguing these same people should be defending other offensive/controversial/satirical writings, such as what Michael Mann says,even when he calls me a “denier,” although I don’t like it

        Charlie Hebro was known for publishing material that was questionably racist (sometimes to mock racists). The Danish cartoonists were deliberately being provocative and offensive.

        Since you expect others to be wearing big boy pants, Judith, put some on yourself.

      • Yawn, I’ve already defended Mann insulting me, see here
        http://judithcurry.com/2014/02/22/steyn-et-al-versus-mann/

        However, Mann is not a satirist, he is a scientist insulting another scientist.

      • ==> “The jihadists and Mann are both in the business of suppressing speech.”

        Really.

        Massacring journalists and filing a suit in court = same, same but different.

        The scale of self-victimization, and the exploitation of murders is quite remarkable. It’s sameolsameol, but still, you have to appreciate the art of it.

      • ==> “key point is defense of Steyn/Simberg”

        Key point is that you’re exploiting the murder of journalists to score points in the climate wars.

      • you mean like ‘warmists’ exploit Hiroshima and the Holocaust?

        Exactly how am I exploiting their murder? I am taking a stand that the free speech of satirists should be protected, which is essentially why they were murdered. I’m saying that other satirists should be protected.

      • Michael –

        As Ragnaar says:

        ==> “I guess you’re saying they are relevantly different. ”

        Indeed. I guess you’re saying that: (1) going into a building with machine guns and slaughtering 11 people because they published cartoons and, (2) appealing to the rule of law by asking the judicial system to address a perceived reputational injury, are “relevantly different?”

        What a unique perspective you have, Michael.

      • ==> “you mean like ‘warmists’ exploit Hiroshima and the Holocaust?”

        Why not?

        I mean like you referring to people as “deniers,” and using other epithets. I mean like Stevie Mac using holocaust references. Or like people accusing Santer of scientific cleansing, or McKitrick calling an editor a “groveling, terrified coward.”

        All of those are examples of rhetorical overreach – which is the basic definition of political satire. As Rushdie said – try to imagine a political cartoon that didn’t offend someone.

      • Hiroshima and the Holocaust are baby steps. When you get really good you can claim catastrophic weather events were caused by CO2 with no evidence and no need for them to even finish counting the bodies.

      • ==> “Exactly how am I exploiting their murder? ”

        Through thetorical overreach, by comparing the situations as if they’re meaningfully similar.

        ==> “I am taking a stand that the free speech of satirists should be protected, which is essentially why they were murdered. I’m saying that other satirists should be protected.”

        Fine. Sounds like a fine point to me. Of course, I think that the issue is somewhat complicated, as i think that there it is reasonable to seek judicial protection from a system of laws intended to address reputational harm. To address it through a judicial system that is designed, specifically, to protect free speech.

        In a sense, what Mann is doing and what the Jihadists did couldn’t better illustrate the differences between their believe system and ours. Their approach is diametrically opposed.

        So in what way are you protecting satirists by associating the murder of journalists by murderous cultists, and Mann suing Steyn for a perceived reputational harm?

        Do you think that the families of the journalists would be encouraged because you’re associating the murder of their family members by to Mann suing Steyn?

      • There is no moral equivalence between the means used by the Parisian Islamic terrorists and the means used by Michael Mann. Mann should face no penalty other than a financial one imposed by law for his abuse of process. The terrorists got exactly what they deserved, a violent death, for the means they chose.

        But there is absolutely no question that the end in both cases of silencing speech with which they disagreed is exactly the same morally. Mann’s real target is not just Mark Steyn, but anyone else who has the audacity to point out his incompetence and dishonesty.

        A man who files a false claim in court to obtain someone else’s money, has the same motivation as the street thug who murders someone to take theirs. The acts are not morally equivalent, but the immorality of their end, theft, is identical.

      • > Hiroshima and the Holocaust are baby steps.

        During the adolescent steps, the slope gets slipperier.

      • ==> “Yawn, I’ve already defended Mann insulting me, see here”

        Yeah. In between whining about it, and comparing it to tyrrany

        ==> “However, Mann is not a satirist, he is a scientist insulting another scientist.”

        Wow. So it’s OK for someone to insult people if they’re granted a label as a satirist – but if they’re a scientist it is unacceptable?

        And further yet, it’s unacceptable only if they disagree with you – as you, yourself, call people “deniers” and use other epithets.

        What a fascinating juxtaposition of statements. On the one hand, you defend Mann insulting you, but, well, he isn’t a satirist and satirists should be protected.

        I like this new trend of you commenting more, The cryptic nature of your sparse explanations have often left me wondering how your logic works. Filling in the gaps is very instructive, indeed.

      • Joshua:
        I am trying to say our ethics and morality should apply to the large and the small. I don’t see that, we say one thing is greater so we use ethics set a) and when it’s smaller we apply ethics set b). I am trying to say our ethics could be harmonious with many differing situations but come back to the same basic core principles. The alternative might be compartmentalized personal ethical rules that seemingly lack coherence.

      • This is quickly becoming my favorite Climate Etc.comment thread of all time.

        ==> “But there is absolutely no question that the end in both cases of silencing speech with which they disagreed is exactly the same morally.

        Right. It is morally, “exactly the same,” to walk into an office and machine gun 11 people, and to a suit in court to appeal to the rule of laws designed to protect free speech in order to address perceived reputational damage.

        Oh yeah.

        “Exactly the same.”

        You know, morally.

        And of course, Gary’s personal views, politically and otherwise, are just coincidental to his determination of moral equivalence.

        Thanks god have the moral arbiter of Climate Etc. to explain it to us. Aren’t we lucky?

      • Ragnaar –

        You’re one of my favorite Climate Etc. commenters, because you tend to employ skeptical due diligence. So with that understood:

        ==> “I am trying to say our ethics and morality should apply to the large and the small. I don’t see that, we say one thing is greater so we use ethics set a) and when it’s smaller we apply ethics set b).”

        i’m not suggesting that we should apply a different or inconsistent set of rhetoric in one situation from what we employ in another – but that a matter of scale and context are important.

        ==> ” I am trying to say our ethics could be harmonious with many differing situations but come back to the same basic core principles.”

        But the same basic core principles can take different shape depending on context. I’d argue that you can’t reverse engineer from context to the principles, but that you need to work in the other direction.

        What is the basic core principle here? Absolute free speech (shouting fire in a theater)? Free speech with some level of responsibility for the outcome/impact? The ability to appeal to the rule of laws designed to protect our rights of free speech to address a perceived reputational harm? The right to walk into an office and slaughter 11 people because they published a cartoon?

        ==> “The alternative might be compartmentalized personal ethical rules that seemingly lack coherence.”

        Sure, and the alternative to what I’m suggesting might be globalized personal ethical rules that seemingly lack coherence. We have a set of communal ethical rules related to the freedom of speech. They fully allow for what Mann is doing, and they absolutely disallow what the Jihadis did.

      • curryja | January 11, 2015 at 9:43 pm |
        “I can say what I had to say without mentioning MM; key point is defense of Steyn/Simberg”

        So this;

        “Anyone defending the satirists at Charlie should have a tough time defending Michael Mann…”

        is just completely gratuitous.

      • No, the defense of Steyn/Simberg satire is not particularly relevant without MM lawsuit

      • curryja | January 11, 2015 at 10:07 pm |
        “you mean like ‘warmists’ exploit Hiroshima and the Holocaust?”

        I must have missed the Hiroshima thing.

        But I think the timing has some relevance – a few days after the event is distasteful and reeks of ethically questionable opportunism.

      • oh, you mean something like when the alarmists use a natural catastrophe (e.g. hurricane Sandy) to opportunistically shill for reducing CO2 emissions, to ‘prevent’ future Sandys?

      • Joshua:
        Not sure I agree it’s rhetoric I am talking about. You seem to be saying we apply principles to context, agreed. I’d ask you, what principle did you use in the Paris case and which one to do you/will you use in the Mann court case? I’d say in both cases you apply the free speech principle and adjust the punishment to match the magnitude of the harm. So we would be using the do not kill rule and the free speech rule, and the do not defame rule. The do not defame rule is kind of weak and I say that as it partially contradicts the free speech rule. The first part of this good, showing the origins of defamation laws: http://www.firstamendmentstudies.org/wp/libel.html Seems they were a favorite of kings. Regarding the shouting fire rule, that violates the do not physically harm another rule which is one of our favorites. The rules absolutely allow what Mann is doing, but that doesn’t make them ethical rules. Laws do conflict with our ethics at times. In that case, we vote and hope, and deal with it.

      • Michael:
        You should have seen my communication skills in high school. I could have been some kind of poster child. “Relevant: having significant and demonstrable bearing on the matter at hand.” Is this violence or the first amendment? The violence emerged from the free speech issue.

      • curryja | January 11, 2015 at 11:51 pm |
        “oh, you mean something like when the alarmists use a natural catastrophe…, to ‘prevent’ future Sandys?”

        Wow, you really are completely lost aren’t you?
        Trying to defend the indefensible is leading you deeper and deeper into sh!t.

        If, somehow, your comments were about preventing a future Charlie Hebdo…..but no, you were about using it as a rhetorical device to attack Michael Mann, even worse, anyone who dare support Mann, arguing that they couldn’t defend the satirists and support Mann.

        Quite a spectacle to see you leading the charge as the nuttiest denizen, and people like Rob Ellison and Don Monfort playing the role of sensible and sane.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Judith & Ragnaar
        I see and hear much lofty discussion of ethics and consistency of such,
        from academia
        I observe… Climategate
        Judith Curry’s treatment by some of her peers
        the Sandusky affair
        University presidents with million dollar salaries while adjuncts barely make minimum wage
        the ludicrous hypocrisy of campus PC
        I could go on
        how’s that ethics education going?
        forgive me if high minded statements on University websites fall on my deaf ears
        yet I do get up, and try again

      • Note the effort by the usual suspects to suppress Judy’s speech, and failing that, sneering.
        ==============

      • Joshua

        “Massacring journalists and filing a suit in court = same, same but different.”

        I believe the argument is they are SIMILAR not IDENTICAL

        things that are similar have differences, else they would be identical.

        The question is.

        1. Is the similarity illuminating
        2. Rhetorically, how is it being used.
        3. Does it achieve its goals.

        In other words its silly to evaluate similarities for their truth status.
        but hey, its fun.

      • Mosher:
        Like your point, similar and identical. Lake ice is similar to sea ice so understanding lake ice may give insights into sea ice. People may say, they’re not identical, so don’t apply anything you know about one to the other. We may say my 140 acre lake has nothing to do with the Arctic sea ice and look at the scale difference. There are still many overlapping attributes of my lake ice that in Arctic.

      • kim | January 12, 2015 at 11:23 am |
        “Note the effort by the usual suspects to suppress Judy’s speech….”

        Besides not even trying such a thing, not failing, but in fact facilitating Judy’s speech……have you ever seen so many comments from Judith??

        No thanks needed.

      • Steven Mosher

        Don

        “This is ridiculous. There is nothing to be gained, no light to be shed, no moral principle to be extended from the Paris mass murders to the Mann-Steyn et al nuisance lawsuit making it’s way through the silly D.C. court system.”

        there is a lot to be gained.

        Here is what I see.

        Let’s look at a continuum of shutting people up and also at the question of speaking with one voice.

        I will relay my experience again with Judith.

        I found her to be someone who was unwilling to shut people up. Even Steven Goddard. Seriously, I wondered why does she continue to support the rights of idjits to speak?
        and then there is defamation and then there is blasphamey.

        In all cases I see Judith committed ( overly committed in my view) to letting people speak. There might be some reasons for that. I don’t need to ask her to defend this. I note it as a principle. She gets to have that principle. Kinda on a jihad for freedom of expression. Opps bad metaphor.

        In conjunction with this she has a real reluctance to be a part of any
        “speaking with one voice”

        So her take on the consensus and refusal to participate in consensus making, is in my mind deeply tied to her commitment to protect peoples right to be heard. even if they they are dumb. even if they say nasty things about Mann, or her, even if they offend the Prophet.
        She will draw a line in one denizen saying nasty things about An other. That’s an interesting exception. One I would think bears exploring.
        all principles have interesting exceptions.

        Other folks want to draw lines and distinctions. Its one thing to tell an idjit to shut up, its another thing to call a scientist a fraud and its another thing to blaspheme.
        And for each of these categories folks think there are different justifable reactions.

        For Judith they are all of a piece. And the various uses of power against those who have a different view are all of a piece. even the drive to speak with one voice is in her mind a use of power to close off discussion.

        I understand her unwillingness to close things off. and yet find those areas where she will “close” things off interesting.

        like not listening to sky dragons.

        Its no great feat to find these inconsistencies. every system has them.
        its no great criticism to point them out.

      • Mosh, interesting comment. My attempt to protect denizens from insults is that insulting mostly anonymous people has no particular value in the debate (and leads to boring back and forth bickering); I do allow insults for people higher up the food chain in the climate debate (including myself).

        Regarding the sky dragons, I devoted about a half dozen threads to them, and allow them to comment here on relevant threads (provided their comments are not too lengthy or numerous). But I don’t listen very hard (if someone sends me an essay via email, I will take a look).

        I encourage you to listen to christopher hitchens on free speech. It is superb https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_s5teo4E_k

        He says it perfectly, not sure I can exactly repeat the main sentiment, but by shutting people up we miss what they are saying, and it might be interesting and important.

        Over the past five years i have found the discourse here to be enormously educational. Well about 5% of it anyways, but that 5% is highly valued and I wouldn’t have been exposed to it otherwise.

      • One of the world’s all-time great listeners can’t hear everything. No Sirreee, just cain’t.
        ===========

      • John Carpenter

        “Its no great feat to find these inconsistencies. every system has them.
        its no great criticism to point them out.”

        No doubt, but if you’re obsessed with Judy’s obsession with Mann it might be central to your being where it becomes a great criticism worth repeating as often as possible.

        Just for the record, my obsession with others obsessions with Judy’s obsession with Mann is no great criticism.

      • Anything that can become a law is a real war.
        It can hurt people and even kill them just as dead as in a real war.
        Real wars might be more bloody and more in your face horrible, but a law that makes someone a slave or destroys their life is just as damaging.
        Free speech is a real war.
        The radical feminist attack on men is a real war.

        To reiterate, I dont think anyone here would try to compare the horror of a real war to the abstract wars for freedom, but, in the end, the stakes are just as high.
        $0.02

      • Let’s get real, Steven. Michael Mann hasn’t shut anybody up. He may have discouraged some from calling him the f—- word, but he hasn’t silenced anybody. Has McIntyre been shut up? Has Brandon S. been shut up? Has Steyn been shut up? On the other hand, the terrorists in Paris have shut people up. Trying some how to assert or imply there is some equivalency there is silly, bordering on dishonesty.

        I am still waiting for somebody to explain how the killings in Paris relate to Mann’s lawsuit. I told my son to shut up and stop whining this morning, or I would take away his video games. Is that linked to the killings in Paris? We can say that a molehill is shaped like a mountain, and that to an ant it looks like a mountain, but it ain’t a mountain.

      • There is a lot of self-censorship among climate scientists, as a result of the tactics of Mann et al. I hear these stories all the time (and I’m not naming names for the obvious reasons).

      • “Under this provocation, Kissinger described Hitchens in a television interview last week as “a great fiction writer who accused Mother Teresa of human rights violations and denied the Holocaust ever took place”.

        Now Hitchens, pointing out that both he and his wife Carol are Jewish, says: “Kissinger will be hearing from my attorney, who will tell him several things he already knows. What he said is false, malicious and defamatory, and if he says it again, we will proceed against him in court. …”

      • Don, it’s a little like the difference between grand and light opera. Certainly, the Piltdown Mann is a comic figure, and gunned down Hebdo is pretty grand, the works. But when you consider the billions impoverished, diminished, and extinguished by the policies incurred by calls of catastrophic alarm, then the efforts of Mann and ‘the Green Blob’ to suppress dissent are far grander than bizarre, though not absurd, theatre in Gay Paree.
        ===========================

      • That’s not helpful, Judith. We all practice self-censorship. Give us some examples that might shock us. You don’t have to name names. Have climate scientists been so intimidated by Mann’s lawsuit that they won’t call Mann the f—- word? That’s what he is suing about. You can criticize Mann and his work without using the f—- word. You and many others have done it. Isn’t it part of the collegial code anyway, not to call fellow scientists the f—- word? You are struggling with this, Judith. Why don’t you just say that Mann’s lawsuit is not really like the terrorists killing those people in Paris?

      • Even worse. Many scientists stay publicly silent about anything related to climate change for fear of attacks from the consensus police.

      • Would any climate scientist who has told J.A. Curry you self-censor because of Michael E. Mann please come forward and prove she is not wildly exaggerating this. And while you are at it, explain why you are so afraid of a mediocre climate scientist who is not very smart.

      • The issue is this. They tell me they don’t want to have to put up with what I have had to put up with. Or they work for a government agency, or they are untenured, and fear for their jobs. They are not so much afraid of Michael Mann personally, but rather the culture of ostracizing scientists who challenge the consensus, of which Mann is its most vociferous practitioner.

        Google ‘Judith Curry’. See what pops up. How is someone supposed to get a new job, or receive external recognition, with the kind of censure and abuse that is apparent here? People looking to hire someone definitely check out their profile on the internet. If a scientist doesn’t want this kind of attention, or can’t afford it in terms of their job or desired career path, who can blame them?

      • jch

        As regards climate science don’t you think people are sometime in awe of the reputation of others who are pre-eminent in their field and may be intimidated to speak out because of this, or don’t want to lose the respect of their peers, or are afraid of being sued?

        This moroccan proverb sums it up;

        ‘If at noon the King declares it is night, behold the stars.’

        97% of those who responded said they suspend their critical faculties when it comes to the output of certain leading climate scientists*

        tonyb

      • ==> “Google ‘Judith Curry’. See what pops up.”

        What pops up is that Judith Curry is an activist. A climate combatant who name calls (“denier,” anyone?), who impugns the motives, integrity, science and character of people who disagree with her about the science of climate change.

        Not to say that the kind of flak that you get is entirely deserved, Judith, but it isn’t merely because of your position on the science. If you didn’t choose to be such an activist, then the scale of the reactions would be different.

      • Joshua, I am all about disagreement. I am trying to bring disagreement and debate back into the public discourse on climate change. The only people I criticize are those who try to stifle public debate.

      • Interesting how Judith adds noble cause corruption to the appeal to consensus and appeal to authority that she criticizes in others.

      • Judith –

        ==> “Joshua, I am all about disagreement. I am trying to bring disagreement and debate back into the public discourse on climate change. The only people I criticize are those who try to stifle public debate.”

        I’m all for that,Judith, as a goal. And I support you to the extent that I think that your tactics are useful towards reaching that goal.

        What I am disagreeing :-) with, is whether your form of advocacy is improving the discourse of disagreement, increasing or decreasing the likelihood of positive outcomes from the agreement, etc.

        It is possible to be critical of your form of advocacy, Judith, and still support increased public discourse. The basic problem, IMO, is that you don’t accept that, and as such, you contribute to the sameolsameol.

      • So in other words, it’s wild-butted exaggeration.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Mosh, interesting comment. My attempt to protect denizens from insults is that insulting mostly anonymous people has no particular value in the debate (and leads to boring back and forth bickering); I do allow insults for people higher up the food chain in the climate debate (including myself).”

        Ya. So there are cases where the principle of “create value” trumps the value of “allow others to be heard”. And that principle also has an exception. If you are in a position of power over the speech of others, you
        do not apply the “create value” principle with regards to speech directed at you.

        In a classroom setting, you allow students to say anything about you.
        But when it comes to their speech about each other, you dont want to encourage\allow personal wars between say two students
        A) because you might have to pick sides and exert your power
        B) because the good of all students outweighs the rights of the
        two who are fighting between themselves

        ###########################3

        Regarding the sky dragons, I devoted about a half dozen threads to them, and allow them to comment here on relevant threads (provided their comments are not too lengthy or numerous). But I don’t listen very hard (if someone sends me an essay via email, I will take a look).
        ……
        by shutting people up we miss what they are saying, and it might be interesting and important.

        ##############

        Again, the value of being interesting takes precedence.

        so the values of letting people speak and the value of listening, is subject to constraint. try to be interesting. try to add value, and if you are in a position of power be more tolerant and patient than others and never stop listening entirely.

        I think its a mistake to label these conflicts and your resolutions as “contradictions” or “hypocritical” or “inconsistent” The rules of Judith are a lot more clear than the rules of football or golf.

      • JCH

        You do realize in a court of law your testimony would be inadmissible as speculation while Judith was testifying to personal knowledge of some who have shared their viewpoints. You could always impugn the motives of those who spoke up, or even better, you could hire some neuroscientists to discern whether they truly believed what they said or were just reacting to some sublimated, unrealistic fears. But for the time being why is it impossible to accept her version of what has been told to her.

      • Judith, you are straying off topic. You made a statement in the post we are discussing that amounts to an assertion that there is a significant level of equivalency, between the Mann lawsuit (which you characterized as a legal war on free speech) and the killings in Paris (an actual war on free speech). It’s a false equivalency. A very basic propaganda tactic easily spotted by veterans of the Cold War, and just about anybody else who can read.

        “Anyone defending the satirists at Charlie should have a tough time defending Michael Mann in his legal war against the satirical writings of Mark Steyn and Rand Simberg. It will be interesting to see if Charlie and the defense of satirists changes the dynamics of the Mann vs NRO/CEI/Steyn lawsuits.”

        You are placing Mann in virtually the same position as the terrorists. If one is against the terrorists war on free speech, then one is going to have a hard time not being against Mann, in his war on free speech. That’s easily spotted false equivalency and it’s foolishness. You should retract. Just my very humble opinion.

      • If one is concerned about the interface between freedom of expression and the intolerance of Islamic fanatics, I would think that they would have been discussing this issue long before the recent incident in Paris.

        Consider the completely different scale between the impact on freedom of expression resulting from Islamic fundamentalism dealt with on a daily basis throughout the Islamic world, and the negative impact from the massacre in Paris.

        The negative impact from the Paris massacre (if not the potential for positive impact, in twisted way) is, I would argue, orders of magnitude smaller in scale.

        Yet because climate combatants have forefront in their mind the climate wars, and as such see Steyn vs. Mann as of huge importance, they look at Paris and see the patterns that match the patterns they want to see in Steyn vs Mann (a threat our free speech).

        In fact, no matter the outcome of Mann vs. Steyn, the impact on our free speech rights will be minimal. It is one case among many, many cases that test our rules of law regarding free speech. In fact, Steyn vs. Mann represents the very antithesis of fan attack on free speech. It is the very antithesis of Jihadists murdering journalists. It is about the priority we place, in our society, to protect free speech rights by the rule of law.

        People see in these issues the patterns they want to see, so that they can draw out evidence for supporting the narratives they want to advance. It is exploitative.

        A discussion of free speech implications from Paris, and from Steyn vs. Mann, would require nuance and the consideration of questions such as whether Mann suing Steyn will in fact strengthen our free speech rights rather than weaken them – no matter the outcome.

        Exploitation of the free speech implications from Paris, and Steyn vs. Mann, only requires that we find simplistic patterns to advance pre-conceived narratives.

      • ceresco, do you think a court would entertain Judith relating what someone allegedly told her, whose name she can’t mention? Some of you people are completely blinded and rendered senseless by loyalty.

      • > There is a lot of self-censorship among climate scientists, as a result of the tactics of Mann et al.

        Absolutely. The auditing sciences would be greatly improved if the alarmists were not forcing self-censorship, e.g.

        As I’ve observed from time to time, I don’t publicly say everything that I think.

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/78844823835

        We should discuss the possibility to encourage public denunciations of alarmists. Shaming of those who do not wish to speak against their alarmist peers could become a part of the public broadcasting programs.

        INTEGRITY ™ – Greenline Tests for Science

      • Joshua:
        “…the impact on freedom of expression resulting from Islamic fundamentalism dealt with on a daily basis throughout the Islamic world…”
        “The negative impact from the Paris massacre (if not the potential for positive impact, in (a) twisted way) is, I would argue, orders of magnitude smaller in scale.”
        I am agreeing I think. The easy thing to do is denounce the terrorists now. But there is the bigger more intractable problem that you mentioned.

    • The first right time to discuss anything is when it is still in the news.

  25. I’ve added a cartoon the main post

  26. Pingback: “Charlie,” Free Speech, And Climate Change | Transterrestrial Musings

  27. This is apt.

    Freedom of speech – many adherents of disaster would shout down or silence those who point out the lack of disaster.

    Religion – climate change takes on a religious nature because a few shreds of what’s actually verifiable are extrapolated to mystical apocalypse.

  28. From the article:

    The statement mentions some of the values that the Founders saw as inherent in the principle of freedom of the press: the search and attainment of truth, scientific progress, cultural development, the increase of virtue among the people, the holding of governmental officials to republican values, the strengthening of community, and a check upon self-aggrandizing politicians. But broad statements such as this may tell us less than we would like to know about what “the freedom of the press” meant to the Founders as a rule of law, when the freedom would yield to competing concerns, or whether the freedom prohibited only prior restraints or also subsequent punishments.

    There were very few reported Founding-era court cases interpreting the federal and state Freedom of Speech and of the Press Clause, and very few Founding-era political controversies that would have excited some detailed discussion of what the clauses meant. The governments of the time were quite small, and the statute books thin. There were few laws restricting commercial advertising. There was only one state law banning pornography, and that appears to have been unenforced until 1821. There were a few state blasphemy laws, but they were largely unenforced from the early 1700s until the 1810s. There were no bans on flag-burning, campaign spending, or anonymous speech. This may but does not necessarily mean that such speech was broadly believed to be constitutionally protected; then as today, the government did not ban all that it had the power to ban. But the paucity of such bans meant that few people in that era really had occasion to define what the constitutional boundaries of speech and press protection might be. The only speech restriction that was broadly enforced was traditional libel law. Defaming another person was understood to be constitutionally unprotected.

    http://www.heritage.org/constitution/#!/amendments/1/essays/140/freedom-of-speech-and-of-the-press

  29. You say “Charlie” and I think Charlie Manson, who was the leader of a cult. Cults are weird things, they have fanatical followers but the rest of us can’t imagine why. Some cults turn into religions. Would you call Scientology a religion? Climate Science? Stalinism? Some of them are banned, such as Nazis and Neo-Nazis. Should “Mein Kampf” be banned as hate speech? If so, why should not the Koran also be banned as hate speech? It’s hard to call Islam the religion of peace when it’s sacred book reads like a jihad manual. Have the billions of Muslims around the world not read the Koran or do they just cherry pick the parts they like? Islam is only a synthetic religion, but Islam is much much more than a religion, it dictates how to run everything from the government to all the personal details. The only thing it leaves out is “thou shall not kill” and other calls for humanity and civilization (e.g., Western Values).

    In falling over backwards to submit to Islam’s values, we abandon our own hard-won but tenuous escape from the dark ages. The end of free speech and then science and justice is even worse than global warming. Without free speech, everything else falls apart.

  30. John Smith (it's my real name)

    I am uncomfortable with the common practice nowadays of equating all wrongs to the civil rights movement and the events of WW2

    one who calls me a “denier” is not equivalent to a racist or an anti-semite
    (is that not the same thing twice?)

    they are just poor debaters

    religious radicalism, particularly of this ilk, is not new
    they don’t care about our nuanced understanding of freedom

  31. Wow! Lot’s here in the unintentional irony and selective reasoning departments.

    Let’s start with the outrage, outrage I say, about the use of the term “denier?”

  32. It appears that the incident made the Associated Press face up to its double standard: http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2015/01/ap-pulls-piss-christ-after-paris-attack-200719.html

    I leave to others to judge whether AP’s response was the right one.

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      appeasement
      it astounds me that smart people do not get that the Islamic radicals don’t give a rat’s patooty about cartoons, satire, or free speech
      or any of the political imaginings of the West

      try to “understand” them
      try to make your editorial polices fair and consistent
      plow the cultural sensitivity row until the cows come home

      they’re coming for us anyway

  33. On the other hand i have never felt free to express my thoughts and sign my real name. And I’m not about to do it. In my case it can be very dangerous.

  34. mrsean2k observes the field of Bully Goats:
    Increasingly elderly, tough, semi-domesticated livestock. Kept in line by a single ruthless herds-Mann, they owe their longevity primarily to constantly chewing over the same old cud.
    In appearance, dominant Bully Goats can be readily identified, sporting distinctive facial hair (the “goatee”) and a thinning pate.
    Behaviourally, Bully Goats are marked by a tremendously stubborn attitude, snorting and defending their ground, and reluctant to concede an inch, no matter how shaky it may be underfoot. Younger examples rarely thrive unless they emulate this behaviour.
    On very rare occasions, a member of the herd (or “Team” to use the proper collective noun) breaks ranks and goes rogue. The rest of the Team refer to this as a “Judith Goat”, claiming it’s aim is solely to lead other Team members to a ruinous end.
    https://mrsean2k.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/bully-goats/

  35. I had written a much longer post but pulled it. About the only obvious connection between radical Islam and progressive PC is they both bear many hallmarks of ‘faith based’ rejection of contemporary reality. Progressive PC is perhaps a secular religion where, according to PC Hilary Clinton, corporations do not create jobs and wealth.

    Judith’s ‘tyranny of university progressive PC’ is real. My own alma mater has had three shocking examples in the last few years, noted in a comment to Justin concerning the NAS California report he called attention to.

    Freedom requires eternal vigilence. Judith’s contribution to the new U Chicago statement (that it was thought needed shows the depth of the PC free speech problem) , and her blog here are both inspiring examples of free speech vigilence.

    Needed when the PC US President declares that climate science is settled, and anyone who disagrees is a flat earther. Needed when the Secretary of State echoes that very wording in Jakarta, then goes on to opine that climate change is the biggest foreign policy problem the US faces—not radical Islam or a growling Russian bear. Such is the tyranny of progressive PC thought. And not just in academia.

    • It’s all so alarming!

      • If you want to respond to my comments, please do so with some semblence of sentient intelligence and substance.
        So, you do not think Secretary Kerry’s recent international comments are not alarming given his official State Department responsibilities? Now, that is alarming.

      • ==> “If you want to respond to my comments, please do so with some semblence of sentient intelligence and substance.”

        It would be interesting to see Rud, Chief, and Willis have a self-perception competition.

      • Joshua, as expected from your track record, you fail the requested test.
        And I am quite certain Rob, Willis, and myself would disagree on a lot, and agree on a lot. We already have, both ways. But the parry and thrust of debated data would be educational to all, including us.
        To which debate you would apparently have little to contribute. Since here almost never have previously.

      • He was takin’ it to ’em.
        =================

      • Pseudo Silver Star
        That’s what he are;
        His rice butt war
        On cameraw.
        ==========

    • Rud et al are against alarmism……but look out for progressives and PC tyranny!

      Tyranny!!

      I feel alarmed.

    • Well said. Any Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the USA that ignores the threat of Islamist extremism or Russian aggression in Eastern Europe is either a liar or is in denial. He does have more flexibility now, after his final election.

  36. Planning Engineer

    I am old enough that I remember a time when most people could present and describe various positions on an issue and from their descriptions you could not determine what their personal opinion was. In those days you could discuss issues at length and personal perspectives were not an essential ingredient.

    I’m afraid the legacy of political correctness is that the overwhelmingly dominant approach now when describing any position on an important issue that is not your own, is to make a caricature out of it and attack it with vitriol.

    I was on a board once where someone asked a question as to how does group X think Y works. I offered a dry overview of their perspective. A quick response came back, “how can you think…”, “what about….”, “that is conflicted by …”. My bemused response was, “I am not a fan of X nor do I find their perspective Y with merit and yes I am aware of the shortcomings you mention, but I was answering a question. The questioner seemed to already be aware of the perspective you are advocating, so I did not provide that”. The person challenging me was amazed at that response. I hadn’t occurred to him that you could just describe a position you did not hold without heaping scorn on it. Sadly we appear to have lost the ability to discuss things without emotional advocacy coloring the discussion. It’s hard to build bridges in such an environment.

    • Amen. In my world, that was still common until perhaps a decade ago. No longer. Of course, my world not THE world.

    • ahh, back in the old days……

    • Planning Engineer, I don’t know how old you are (I am 67). I think if the “good old days” you remember did exist it was probably because the extent of media coverage and communication (blogging etc.) back then (the 60’s?) was magnitudes less.

      Concerning political correctness, the practice of referring to climate change skeptics as deniers, with the obvious allusion to the Holocaust, has become so common place that to object to it today one would be considered thin skinned. As a Jew, I find it insulting every time I hear it. I find it particularly distasteful when the term is used by other Jews with little regard for the trivialization of history.

      • As a jew, I find it particularly distasteful when people trivialize the problem of holocaust denial by equating the use of the term “denier” in the climate wars to those who deny that my relatives burned in ovens.

      • I figured you would have some ass backwards way to spin this Joshua.

      • Planning Engineer

        Mark – I’m a decade behind and was in college in the 70s. During that time “political correctness” was just making inroads, but more of a fringe idea in most of the places I was. Most professors hadn’t been swept by the tide yet. University’s supported free speech pretty strongly. Even in the social sciences you typically wouldn’t know a Professors politics unless maybe you chatted with them in their office (unless they were in a politicized sub discipline) and upon learning it you could be quite surprised based on the content of their lectures and discussions. It was common practice to encourage students to read journals from differing perspectives. Back then the remedy for bad speech was not suppression of the bad speech, but more speech. The hope was that in a fair exchange of ideas the good ones would win out.

        I don’t solely blame the “politically correct” movement that invaded campus as resulting in the problem today. But it did rob the cause of free speech of it’s biggest defenders. There were other groups across the political spectrum that contributed to the decline and as you note people began to tailor their media sources to match their prejudices.

        Some might call this a silly longing for the old days, but it shows there was a model of teaching which once worked quite well and possibly could be replicated again.

      • Thanks, Mark. It’s nice to know that I inspire your confidence.

      • Joshua gets the trivial. He doesn’t get the non-trivial.
        ================

      • Joshua, I wish I were a cartoonist. I would have a field day with your charicature.

      • “At its core, global warming denial is like Holocaust denial, an assault on common decency.” – David Fiderer, The Huffington Post (2009)

        “The deniers of climate change are cut from the same cloth as Holocaust deniers. They’ve never been to the death camps, Auschwitz and Birkenau, so what they haven’t seen does not exist.” – Charles Larson, American University (2013)

        “It’s about the climate-change “denial industry”, …we should have war crimes trials for these bastards – some sort of climate Nuremberg.“- David Roberts, Grist Magazine (2006)

        “Let’s just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers.” – Ellen Goodman, Boston Globe (2007)

        “There are many more traits that the climate deniers share with the creationists and Holocaust deniers and others who distort the truth.” – Donald Prothero, Occidental College (2012)

        “I think these people are anti-science flat-earthers. …They are every bit as dangerous as Holocaust deniers.” – Guy Keleny, The Independent (2013)

        “These are not debunkers, testing outrageous claims with scientific rigor. They are deniers – like Holocaust deniers.” – Jim Hoggan, DeSmogBlog (2005)

        “Bluntly put, climate change deniers pose a greater danger than the lingering industry that denies the Holocaust.” – Joel Connelly, Seattle Post-Intelligencer (2007)

        “There are now proposals that ‘global warming deniers’ be treated the same as ‘Holocaust deniers: professional ostracism, belittlement, ridicule and, even, jail.” – Paul Payack, Global Language Monitor (2006)

        “Surely it’s time for climate-change deniers to have their opinions forcibly tattooed on their bodies.” – Richard Glover, The Sydney Morning Herald (2011)

        “Denialism, a concept that was first widely used, as far as I know, for those who claimed that the Holocaust was a fraud, is the concept I believe we should use.” – Robert Manne, La Trobe University (2009)

        Sorry I don’t have time to offer a complete list…

      • “I think these people are anti-science flat-earthers. …They are every bit as dangerous as Holocaust deniers.” – Guy Keleny, The Independent (2013)” – tom

        No, not “every bit as”….more!

        Really, what actual danger is posed the crank fringe of Holocaust deniers??

      • ‘posed by’

      • John Carpenter

        “Really, what actual danger is posed (by) the crank fringe of Holocaust deniers??” – Michael

        Maybe consider the words of Walter Reich,

        “The primary motivation for most deniers is anti-Semitism, and for them the Holocaust is an infuriatingly inconvenient fact of history. After all, the Holocaust has generally been recognized as one of the most terrible crimes that ever took place, and surely the very emblem of evil in the modern age. If that crime was a direct result of anti-Semitism taken to its logical end, then anti-Semitism itself, even when expressed in private conversation, is inevitably discredited among most people. What better way to rehabilitate anti-Semitism, make anti-Semitic arguments seem once again respectable in civilized discourse and even make it acceptable for governments to pursue anti-Semitic policies than by convincing the world that the great crime for which anti-Semitism was blamed simply never happened—indeed, that it was nothing more than a frame-up invented by the Jews, and propagated by them through their control of the media? What better way, in short, to make the world safe again for anti-Semitism than by denying the Holocaust?”

        That doesn’t sound like a dangerous situation for Jewish people?

        Maybe consider this from Wiki:

        “Holocaust denial is explicitly or implicitly illegal in 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Romania[171]—a country that denied the Holocaust occurred on its territory up until the Wiesel Commission in 2004.[172][173] The European Union’s Framework decision on Racism and Xenophobia states that denying or grossly trivializing “crimes of genocide” should be made “punishable in all EU Member States”.[174] Slovakia criminalized denial of fascist crimes in general in late 2001; in May 2005, the term “Holocaust” was explicitly adopted by the penal code and in 2009, it became illegal to deny any act regarded by an international criminal court as genocide. The Parliament of Hungary adopted the most recent legislation, which declared denial or trivialization of the Holocaust a crime punishable by up to three years imprisonment, in February 2010.”

        Not sure why 16 EU countries would consider and adopt such legislation if the ‘crank fringe’ of holocaust deniers were not considered dangerous.

        I wonder Michael how you could possibly think there is no actual danger in antisemitism.

      • John Carpenter

        Michael, do you think it was just coincidence that one of the French terrorists found hostages at a Jewish grocery? I mean he had a whole country of possible sites to find hostages and he just happened to find a Jewish grocery. How big of a leap would you think that maybe, just maybe his ideology would support the idea of holocaust denial? Is there any reason to be skeptical that his ideology supports antisemitism? And if you are Jewish, is there any reason to not find this dangerous?

      • John Carpenter

        But my comments to Michael have really just been preaching to the choir as Michael knows holocaust deniers to be dangerous. So what he is emphasizing is that ‘these flat-earthers’ (climate change deniers) are MORE dangerous than holocaust deniers.

        Beautiful… no alarmism there, no none at all.

      • John,

        a lot of hypotheticals. What are the actual dangers posed by Holocaust deniers? Pretty much zero – there are few of them, and their extremist views make them outcasts.

        The terrorists – you think they chose a jewish grocery store because they deny the Holocaust??? You don’t really believe that.

        Now, Michael Mann, I really think there is some identity issues motivating some of the people who so relentlessly attack and vilify him, but I’m even more sure sure that it’s got absolutely nothing to do with Holocaust denial.

      • Beaucoup de rien.

      • Thomas,

        I see you found “some” examples of where “some” people compared holocaust denial with denying the science of climate change. But I would say that most people are using denier as a pejorative with the intent to ridicule and holocaust denial is the last thing on their mind. I would hazard to guess that 99.999% are not thinking of holocaust denial or anything related. Have you seen anyone here try to equate denial of climate science with that of the holocaust? I personally don’t use the term in my conversations with “skeptics,” but I do think it is useful in characterizing some of the people who are “skeptical” of climate science.

      • New paper in new climate psychology journal, Settled Science, by Lewandumpsky, Crook, Nutticelli, et al finds with great robustness that 97% of smarmy little warmist trolls are metaphysically certain that they are morally and intellectually superior to the denier untermenschen that they obsessively annoy on skeptic blogs. I’ll get you link for the non-paywalled site, later.

      • Typo. It’s supposed to read ‘197%’.
        =====================

      • The trolls spend time on skeptic sites for the luls – they think it is fun to poke “deniers” with barbed words just to make them angry. They are delighted by their power to elicit negative feelings in others. How do you spot a troll? One way, not the only way, is to be aware of your own feelings. If you have been annoyed by a message that otherwise has no information, it is likely coming from a troll. Don’t be drawn into debate with these psychopaths. Instead, give them the opportunity to learn about themselves.

        The Hare test for Narcicissim and Psychopathy:

        http://www.counseling-office.com/surveys/test_psychopathy.phtml

        Of course, they won’t take it – it’s not nearly as much fun as taunting someone and watching them struggle, for the lulz

      • John Carpenter

        “What are the actual dangers posed by Holocaust deniers? Pretty much zero – there are few of them, and their extremist views make them outcasts.”

        Well, enough potential danger for 16 EU countries to criminalize the denial of the holocaust. Or is this just another an example of the precautionary principle run amok?

        “The terrorists – you think they chose a jewish grocery store because they deny the Holocaust??? You don’t really believe that.”

        Of course not. That’s not what I said. My point was the terrorists hold an ideology that is antisemitic. Holocaust deniers are antisemitic. I’m not sure there is such a thing as a holocaust denier who is not also antisemitic. Maybe there are vegetarian tigers too. It would not be a stretch to think the terrorists agree with holocaust denial based on their antisemitic ideology. They certainly have displayed dangerous behavior. They are part of a not so small fringe that would like to destroy not only western civilization, but Israel as well. They are not outcasts with extremist beliefs in the areas they control. They control significant amounts of territory in the ME and influence the politics of the region. They are part of a dangerous, antisemitic, holocaust denying people. They pose real danger to Jews and westerners alike.

        I wonder if Joshua would consider the idea of equating antisemitic holocaust deniers who control significant territory and influence in the ME as just extreme fringe outcast folks not really posing any actual danger as a trivial matter?

  37. While the “climate wars” surely involve highly visible and outspoken scientists, there are countless academics, government pencil pushers, and propagandists in the media that move the ball down the field behind the scenes.

    Even if there was a modicum of transparency to the “process”, the free press is not particularly interested in exposing, investigating, or reporting on aspects of climate science which may be embarrassing for its practitioners. Instead, the media focuses on “narrative” e.g. “hottest ever year”. The details are too nuanced and confusing for both journalists and editors. It is much easier for them to regurgitate talking points provided by scientists, think tanks, etc.

    Anyone who challenges the prevailing global warming narrative is immediately called a variety of names. This language is undeniably from one side of the aisle — the professional left. One should look at Mann et al. always through the prism of political ideology when disentangling their motivations which are hardly “pure science”.

  38. Here’s another way to make the parallel of Mann and Charlie Hebdo. Both echo mainstream views, but very vocally and in ways designed to create reaction and to divide opinion, and this attracts anger. In Mann’s case it is from the skeptical fringe, like Steyn and a few others, and in Charlie’s case from the extremists there. They therefore act as lightning rods for the mainstream views by expressing them in an emphasized form, and sometimes lightning strikes. And when that happens, the mainstream majority comes to their defense, although in a qualified way.

    • skeptical fringe? Would that be deniers, delayers or deminnesotans for global warming?

    • There is more of a parallel between Styne and Charlie. Both express a politically incorrect satirical slant on mainstream political correctness.

      • Is it possible to dream up a more asinine and self-serving trivialisation of mass-murder than this spluttering garbage??

      • Michael, Perhaps you should ask Jim D in regards to trivializing mass murder with his self serving narrative. Are his parrallels equally asinine?

      • As I responded to Joshua, yes, I joined in by trying to make a connection, and am not proud. This is something that couldn’t be discussed on a climate forum unless Judith made a connection, and it was too big to ignore. I appreciate her effort, because it is something it is good to get out even within this forum.

      • Jim D, I actually thought your narrative was pretty good, as you are capabable of doing, considering the controversial nature of this discussion. I also agree with Michael that trivializing mass murder is dangerous ground. I just don’t know if it rises to that level. I limited my comment being cognizant of that.

    • good point

    • What troubles me is the warmer mind set.

      Warmers have advocated jailing skeptics and there is video from an environmental group showing non-green children being blown up by their teacher.

      These are some of the strong anti-free speech statements made by warmers. The warmers come dangerously close to breaking bread with the people who attacked Charlie Hebdo.

      • You wake up to find out a Climate Etc. denizen has shot to death a bunch of people on the other side. Think about it.

    • Gotta say, Jim D –

      For you to compare Mann to Charlie Hebdo is no better than Judith’s exploitation of the murder of civilians to score points in the climate wars.

      More big boy pants & less drama-queening = better dialog.

      • I took it as a challenge to see any connection. That is all I came up with.

      • Just sayin’ it’s better to leave that kind of grasping, cynical exploitation to the “skeptics.”

      • “…Judith’s exploitation of the murder of civilians to score points in the climate wars.”

        If you really mean that joshie, you should be too disgusted to hang around here any more. I don’t know why Judith tolerates this crap.

      • ==> “If you really mean that joshie, you should be too disgusted to hang around here any more. ”

        I don’t find it “disgusting,” Don. I find it sameolsameol. People from both sides of the fence regularly employ rhetorical overreach to score climate war points. Judith included. The outrage about the term “denier.” The constant appeals from both sides about the “starving children” in Africa. The appeals to “truth” in science.

        I don’t question that Judith thinks free speech is important, nor that she’s horrified by the murders in Paris. The fact that she employs rhetorical overreach doesn’t say anything about her personally except that she’s willing to engage in over-the-top advocacy. We all do it from time to time.

        One of the problems in these discussions is that victim-card playing combatants need to view their counterparts as sociopaths to reinforce their own sense of self.

      • You can’t empathize with those who have a sense of self, joshie. Nor are you qualified to judge them. Your smuggy smarminess knows no bounds.

      • Well, the comparison of Mann’s studies to satirical cartoons is interesting….

      • It had to happen sometime I suppose:

        I agree with Joshua.

      • Joshua, I am the poster child for outrage about usage of the term denier to describe skeptics. I am outraged still.

        It is a political rhetorical device used to equate skeptics with deniers of the Holocaust. There are many who would like to use it in its traditional sense, but the term has been corrupted by those who use it more viciously.

        The outrage stems from the deliberateness with which it is used and the obtuseness with which it is defended.

        You can whine about it as much as you like. The term is indefensible.

      • JC SNIP

      • Tom –

        ==> “You can whine about it as much as you like. The term is indefensible.”

        I don’t “defend” using the term. Never have, never will – despite the self-serving and highly selective outrage from some about the term.

        But keep patting yourself on the back for your moral superiority if it makes you feel better. I’m all for people feeling good about themselves.

      • JC SNIP

      • Michael, “What a load of piffle you drama queen.”

        It might be a bit dramatic, but most believers seem to prefer avoiding a substantial conversation by picking their favorite ad hom. Denier would be an ad hom I believe.

        You are a classic example if you think back to the Heimlich Maneuver issue. One “scientist” with 29 data points and one negative result condemned the use of the Heimlich Maneuver while ignoring over 20,000 documented cases that went against his results. You opted for the PITA approach rather than participating it what could have been an interesting discussion :)

      • JC SNIP

      • ==> “I disagree. There is something special in Groundskeeper’s shirt ripping.”

        Well, he is a good writer.

      • Judith –

        Why is disputing Tom’s self-description as someone special, for commonplace behavior, off-limits?

      • Come on, Joshie.

        Wee Willie is OK.

        Alarmists are genociding maniacs is OK.

        A shirt-ripping character that fits perfectly?

        Nope.

        INTEGRITY ™ – We Defend Free Speech.

      • Capt. Cook, in his dashing uniform.

      • “Joshua is a shameless opportunist and Micheal is his mini-me. “

      • Willard,

        You just don’t get it.

        Saying that, ethically, ‘alarmists’ and Islamists are the same is wonderful free speech, but your comments are really just too much.

      • Let’s be clear, though.

        Judith’s snipping has nothing to do with free speech.

        It’s her blog. We can say whatever we want outside of her crib.

        It is relevant to her reasoning, but let’s not drama queen here, boys.

      • Joshua, you don’t get it..

        I’m being oppressed!

        It’s PC gone mad!!

        Oh, the tyranny!!!!

      • Michael –

        Judith’s snipping is not tyranny, and neither is it censorship.

        Now Realclimate moderation? That’s another matter entirely.

        That akin morally to massacring journalists.

      • yes, i snip meaningless pointless comments that insult other another commenter. If you want to be satirical, objectionable or whatever, pick a bigger target.

      • Joshua,

        And ethically equivalent to Islamists?

      • ==> “And ethically equivalent to Islamists?”

        Yes, Michael.

        It “makes no sense,” to question the moral and ethical parallels.

      • > pick a bigger target.

        I thought this prophet of the lukewarm church was big enough, Judy.

        How else can we explain his explosive shirt ripping?

        ***

        Is Joshua a bigger target? I’ve got gulag prisoners waiting to be put on his shoulders.

      • Joshua, Michael and Willard

        You forget that Climate Etc. has a purpose and a focus. Our… what… feud(?) does not advance it. I won’t be offended if Judith snips my comments as well.

        If you would like to continue this conversation, I invite you to either of my weblogs, The Lukewarmer’s Way or 3000 Quads. Or you can propose a venue of your own.

      • Tom,

        I can say whatever i want here…..unless Judith censors (oh noes!) me.

      • Joshua=SNIP Joshua, you’ve lost this argument.

    • I guess I’m not “mainstream”. I find both Mann and Charlie Hebdo quite tasteless.

      • If you don’t come from a culture of satirical cartoons then you cannot understand either the politics or the humor.

      • I suggest you visit my blog and tell me if I can’t understand politics or humour. I don’t like to plug my bs here, but your comment is irresistible

        http://21stcenturysocialcritic.blogspot.com.es/2015/01/interview-with-oilman.html

        http://21stcenturysocialcritic.blogspot.com.es/2014/12/president-obombo-opens-relations-with.html

        http://21stcenturysocialcritic.blogspot.com.es/2014/09/drowning-islands.html

        http://21stcenturysocialcritic.blogspot.com.es/2014/08/the-nature-of-jesus.html

        None are intended to be irreverent. But I think you will see I know where to draw the line. The Charlie Hebdo cartoons WERE tasteless. And it wouldn’t surprise me to see a couple of nuts blow up a similar anti Christian or anti Israel publication in the USA.

        The “west” has its share of nuts. Do you remember Oklahoma City and the room full of little children blown up by McVeigh? Or the norwegian guy who murdered a bunch of youngsters a couple of years ago?

      • Tasteless enough to kill 8 journalists in one room? Taste is mot the issue here.

      • “The “west” has its share of nuts. Do you remember Oklahoma City and the room full of little children blown up by McVeigh? Or the norwegian guy who murdered a bunch of youngsters a couple of years ago?”

        Oklahoma City is not the right case for comparison.

        I talked to a Federal agent in the mid 80s who had spend two years in North Dakota and Montana infiltrating the survivalist/supremacist/militia groups.

        Then I looked at the information on Waco and Ruby ridge. It is pretty clear that the US was targeting some groups on the right of the spectrum in an abusive way for at least 20 years if not longer and that Federal agents were using their powers in a abusive and arguably illegal way (there were other incidents).

        After the US killed about 4 score of them in two separate incidents. At Ruby Ridge, the result of an entrapment effort by the ATF, Federal agents on the Weaver property shot his dog in front of the 14 year old Weaver boy and killed the him when when he (not surprisingly) took shots at them. They then killed his unarmed mother who was holding her baby.

        The fact that many of the Ruby Ridge personnel were involved in Waco indicates that a summary firing of the Ruby Ridge personnel could have prevented further senseless tragedy.

        The actions of the Federal government as highlighted by Ruby Ridge and Waco outraged certain groups and was going to provoke some kind of reaction sooner or later. Oklahoma City was what is called a “brushback” in baseball. Since Oklahoma city until 9/11 Federal agents were treading more carefully. Not sure of the status since 9/11.

        The Fast and Furious operation indicates that the ATF is still out of control and that these tax collectors should go back to collecting taxes and be stripped of their other authority.

        It would be better to have Americans armed with military grade weaponry than to allow the continued existence of the ATF in its current form. The ability to use SWAT/No-Knock tactics on American soil should be severely restricted by statute.

    • I will restate this, because I think it is still relevant. If there is a parallel, it is Mann that is the cartoonist attacking the extremists, and the skeptical fringe, particularly in the US, that single him out for attack, as his recent “Serengeti” article lays out.
      http://bos.sagepub.com/content/71/1/33.full.pdf
      Mann is not a typical climate scientist because he makes it his business to publicly go after the extreme skeptics while most others would not offer any public opinion on them. Again, this public criticism is a parallel with the cartoonists and invites attack.

    • The ACLU, The Washington Post, NBC News, The Los Angeles Times and various other…” organizations “…filed amici briefs opposed to Michael Mann…” – Steyn. I might say Steyn was struck by lightning. Then in both cases, support followed, some of it based on the principle of free speech. Charlie Hebdo and Steyn rely on that principle. Interesting comment Jim D.

  39. Of all the links, the one that is most offensive is the one from Paper Bird, where he says it’s bad form to mock the oppressed in society. To my mind, that makes him complicit in the murders in Paris, and wherever Muslims murder those who criticize their religion. I would argue that the jihadist perpretrators were not at all oppressed, or at least they were far less oppressed than they would have been in their native countries. They had jobs, they were able to travel the world, they had all the freedoms the West offered them. Their problem is not oppression, it’s their demands.

    Conrad Black wrote an eloquent column on , a href=”http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/01/10/conrad-black-defending-the-christian-west/”>the challenge to the Christian West

    The problem is that elements in the Muslim diaspora in the West are claiming special rights. They are claiming their religion is unassailable, when no other religion is allowed to make the same claim or afforded special protection. Call it what you will but I call it Muslim exceptionalism, which is different from American exceptionalism because Muslims are claiming special rights while American are claiming a special place in history but believe in equality of all people, if not equality of outcome. Muslims are newcomers to the West and some are using violence to destroy our tradition of free expression, a phenomenon that needs to be dealt with firmly. If it means deportation, jail, or shootouts, so be it. Religious tolerance only goes so far.

    Freedom of expression means everyone is free to speak as they wish with as few restraints as possible. No religion should be beyond the thrust of the critic’s sabre, especially one in whose name 3000 plus people were murdered on 9/11/2001 and unspeakable atrocities are being committed on a daily basis.

    • Far too general to attack all Muslims. Very few Muslims that emigrated want their adopted country to become a religious state. That may well be what they wanted to get away from.

      • This isn’t about becoming a religious state. It’s about treating offensive religious imagery in the public square the same as other offensive materials like pornography and race baiting. Free speech is not without limits. This is about where a limit should be placed and what the consequences are of deeply offending a class of people with gov’t blessing.

      • JimD, the facts are against you in several countries.

    • I think Paper Bird’s point was that while they found Charlie Hebro offensive, they still defended their right to say it.

      • Yes, Judith, I see that. No one but a jihadist would NOT defend that. That’s known as cheap grace. It goes without saying if you live in a free country. But the column represents the worst kind of moral preening and self-important ranting. He’s attacking those who are horrified at the idea that someone would kill a dozen people who simply made fun of a wide range of human foibles. He doesn’t have to say, “I am Charlie.” If he wouldn’t publish the cartoons himself because he finds them “racist” and an attack on the “oppressed,” (which is a blatant exaggeration) fine, but don’t use that as an excuse to shift from the criminality of the actual event in order to attack a few people who are upset and perhaps over-reacted.

        He seems oblivious to the idea that this act was a deliberate attempt to cow people into not discussing Islam at all in Paris– the very heart of Western Civilization. Rather than scorn those who are upset by it, scorn the perpetrators and their ilk.

      • Paper Bird called the cartoons “racist,” which would make publishing them a criminal offense in many European countries. Paper Bird is calling for censorship – albeit in a form that it better tolerated by the secular left. The argument is that you can pick on Christianity and Judaism, but not Islam because only the latter would be racist. It’s a pernicious argument and needs to be fought back against at every opportunity.
        The “racism” argument is creeping into the climate debate as well. “Climate Justice” is a theme designed to make it off-limits in polite society – “racist” or inattentive to “the oppressed” – to reject the idea that western nations should tax carbon and send the money to the third world.

    • ==> “To my mind, that makes him complicit in the murders in Paris, and wherever Muslims murder those who criticize their religion.”

      Wow!

      Quite remarkable the breadth of extremism brought out by the climate wars.

      • It’s not the climate wars. It’s the war on terror, the war on Western values by those who have only recently migrated to the West that provoked that response.

    • It is bad form to mock the oppressed. It is wrong to kill people because they have bad form. And it is also wrong to crank up islamophobia using 17 murders as an excuse to tar and feather people who had nothing to do with the crime.

      • Who were the oppressed? The Muslim community in France is not oppressed by any stretch of the definition. They were welcomed to France after the war, and some 900,000 of them fled there in fear of their lives after the Algerian War, putting a huge stress on culture. Many were of mixed French and Algerian blood.

        I am not attacking peaceful Muslims, many of whom condemned the attacks. I have questions of whether they are adequately policing their own communities to prevent this type of ideology from gaining hold. The best place to combat this kind of thinking is in the neighborhoods where it originates.

      • Muslims ARE discriminated against in Europe, most minorities are. It’s human nature to do so, and it’s not exactly a bid deal. Minorities get used to it, deal with it, and life goes on.

        My point is that it’s very tasteless to draw cartoons insulting others’s religious beliefs. II notice there’s a tendency to become quite defensive when I point out my opinion that indeed those cartoons are tasteless. And I should also point out I don’t think they should be censored.

        On the other hand, there is censorship in Europe in certain areas. And it’s so strict I prefer not to discuss it. I think there’s a bit of hypocrisy involved in this case, the murders are being used by islamophobes to fire up their cause. And this is clearly going to escalate the conflict. Long term, I think this is going to end wearing down all sides, the conflict is fired up by the Netanyahu’s and the bin Laden type extremists, but I’m pretty sure both extremist sides will not succeed. However on the way to the end game we are all going to get dragged into mindless and quite stupid medieval style killing waves. It’s the same thing all the time.

  40. Ah the irony!

    Judith rushing to the free-speech barricade again….in theory.

    In reality…..what happened when some fool made threats about some comments here?…..whole threads deleted.

    • Michael, two points.
      First, you are free to say almost whatever. Just not wherever. This is her blog, and she has clear previously rules for what comstitues acceptable speech in her forum.
      Second, were I her, I would enforce those rules more than she does. Overly tolerant (in my opinion). Free speech here does not mean off topic or irrelevant or vituperous speech. And in general, independent of this forum’s rules, free speech is not unbounded speech. You have no free speech right to falsely shout fire in a crowded theater. Ponder that analogy in relation to some of your own previous blog comment speech here.

    • The threads are back, btw. I will stand up for my own comments/statements, but not for rather inane and irrelevant comments made by someone I don’t know.

      • But free speech!?

        What, it has limits!!!???

        Amazing.

      • Though, i would defend you right to delete this entire awful post and thread.

      • I’m not sure I would stand up for inane and irrelevant comments by someone I did know.

        Michael: of course free speech has limits – such as yelling fire in the crowded theater or depriving someone else of their free speech right by interrupting them or talking over them. Free speech also includes the right to ignore someone, just because someone wants to talk does not mean you are compelled to listen.

        I just realized that the right of free speech should be restricted to people who are polite and well mannered.

      • Pierre-Normand

        curryja wrote: “The threads are back, btw.”

        Is the original “Slaying a Greenhouse Dragon” thread back?
        Is there another link than the following one?

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/01/31/slaying-a-greenhouse-dragon/

      • just spotted two that were still private; these are now both back also

      • Pierre-Normand

        Tanks Judith. It’s nice to know that we can now refer back to them.

      • PA – try carrying a pornographic image around in the public square. Not all speech is protected, obviously.

      • Well David there are slander and libel laws so it is expected that public speak at least skirt the boundary of fact.

      • No PA. You are free to carry around a sign that says something untrue. Say “Canada became the 51st state yesterday”. March up and down the street with that. Add a picture of two naked people engaging in graphic sex and you’re going to jail instead.

        There are limits to free speech. There’s a law against public lewdness. It crosses a boundary where too many people agree it’s in bad taste.

        So now we have a group of people who are horrified that their religion is being blasphemed and the powers that be do nothing about it. So they take matters into their own hands. I condemn both the blasphemers and the violence in the response. Two wrongs don’t make a right. The blasphemers paid a steep price for their behavior but I’m very sure they knew they were aware their behavior might antagonize people into just such a response.

    • Dr. Curry isn’t the government. This is her blog and I support her right to delete whatever comment she sees fit to delete. If she deletes my comments, I can go voice them elsewhere.

      If the government swoops in and deletes my comments, THAT would be a violation of free speech. THAT would be censorship.

      You should learn the distinction.

      • So Michael Mann making a defamation case is not a threat to free speech?

        Phew!, that’s a relief.

        I’ve been so worried with Judith telling us what a terrible threat to free speech it is.

      • jim2, yes.
        Michael, either you are dissembling, or you are ignorant of the legal issues behind SLAPP legislation, the CEI appeal, and the Steyn separation. All of which have been extensively discussed,here and elsewhere,,including posts by practicing lawyers. Whichever of the two possibilities might be true in your case, you have revealed your nature and purpose here. My advice would be either leave for friendlier confines, or seriously up your game. Pathetic so far. Worse than Bears against Packers this year.

      • Rud,

        You don’t like the law – change it.

      • We all understand that first you must break a few eggs to make an omelette.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Laws

        In France, the Summer of 1944, it was not as easy as it sounds today.

    • Heh. Like Charlie Hebdo, Judith knows that her opponents read what she writes because they regard her as a threat to their vision of the world and their grand desires ‘for the world’.

  41. Mann: “It is similar to what happens when a group of lions on the Serengeti seek out a vulnerable individual zebra at the edge of a herd, which
    is why I call it the ÒSerengeti strategyÓ in my book The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars (Mann, 2012).”

    The irony is that Mann and his financial backers did precisely the same thing to Tim Ball.

  42. This post is exceptionally poorly conceived and somewhat distasteful. Threats to free speech derive from powerful institutions of the state and not the actions of random madmen. To fail to understand this critical distinction – in the canon of enlightenment thought – is to elevate a form of words over substance. It is freedom of speech as a mantra for the opportunistically political – rather than a considered position on fundamental human freedoms. An important idea free of the source of it’s legitimacy and so reduced to babble.

    Mann attempts use the institutions of the state as a weapon to silence critics. Whether this is warranted or not is a fine balance between individual freedom and protection of the individual from harm caused by unrestrained lies. In this case using the complex, ponderous and expensive procedures of law to remedy a slight of no consequence. The essence of frivolous litigation that is intended to restrain freedom of expression. But it is not the same at all as acts of violence by madmen.

    A siege in Sydney recently resulted in the deaths of two innocents. Needlessly tragic – but this is not nearly an exclusively Muslim thing. Mass murderers are unfortunately common enough. Unless the experience results in a stronger, wiser, more tolerant and inclusive society – as it did in Australia – it fuels a descent into social madness. The French are showing signs of a much needed coming together as a people regardless of the differences. It is the way to a bright future for all of us.

    • My god Rob, you are (almost) 100% right.

      Maybe Judith will listen to you and reconsider this whole ill-conceived notion. And comments are, as usual, making a bad situation worse.

      • ==> “My god Rob, you are (almost) 100% right.”

        Indeed – aside from confusing an attempt to restrain personal attacks with trying to restrain freedom of expression – you actually got one right, Chief.

        And that ain’t no unintentional irony.

    • From two who understand so little of the philosophy of freedom – it means so very little. Sometimes a great notion is perverted in ignorance to serve other expediencies.

      How would these barbarians inside the gates of the scientific enlightenment ever know? How would you ever know it from the moral vacuum of progressive duplicity? It is not however the moral question of our time – merely noisy mouth pieces. Froth and bubble heads.

      Is this a source of future mayhem? Already they are withdrawing from an unresponsive world – minds reeling with visions of fire and death. It seems only a matter of time.

      • ==> “From two who understand so little of the philosophy of freedom – it means so very little.

        If only some day I could reach just a hope of understanding even a fraction of what Chief understands about the “philosophy of freedom.”

        Quite a stunning self-perception. I wonder what it’d be like to see oneself from such a lofty perch?

      • I stand on the shoulders of giants. Is there any other way to roll? You should try it over a long time of old fashioned inquiry into the nature of nature, art and society – Joshua – rather than skulking in the weeds.

      • Rob’s initial comment was the exception that proves the rule.

      • Rob, I think you nailed that one! :)

    • > … not the actions of random madmen …

      Nope

      The actions of random madmen have specifically blocked public satire on Sharia law through fear of violent retaliation (one of Montford’s points above)

      The intense degree of this is *NOT* reflected in the climate wars

      • You demand a world in which freedom is given and not won every day with courage, fortitude, sacrifice and resolve?

        Why is this generation so soft?

      • >You demand a world in which freedom is given and not won every day with courage, fortitude, sacrifice and resolve?

        Again, nope. Your reply comes from some other planet ? It’s certainly not relevant to my comment. I demand nothing.

        I am also from an older generation that is anything but soft. Through humility, I will not claim “courage, fortitude, sacrifice and resolve”, but I have experienced episodes that horrify most people and which were not resolved by softness

        Your thematic coupled, non-linear chaotic climate concept I agree with. Your view of social engineering, I do not. It’s just rhetoric

      • The acts of random madmen cannot take out freedom to make offensive jokes about The Prophet unless we let them. No matter how much freakin’ social engineering slime you throw about.

      • Veterans with missing legs might ask why this generation is so soft.

        Coming from someone who whines to the world about his toe is, well…

        http://i603.photobucket.com/albums/tt112/ausador/IronyMeterSplode.jpg

    • “Threats to free speech derive from powerful institutions of the state and not the actions of random madmen.”
      May I ask who murdered Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, John and Robert Kennedy?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn, you are right. And yet mad-murderous beliefs are not born in isolation.

        Some (but not all) Climate Etc readers will know the name “Medgar Evers” from Bob Dylan’s song Only a Pawn in Their Game (beginning minute 3:20).

        Perhaps fewer Climate Etc will have visited the web page of MIT philosopher linguist Norvin Richards, which hosts a celebrated short story by Eudora Welty — written in a single day upon hearing the news of Ever’s assassination and titled Where Is the Voice Coming From? — that (like Dylan’s song) examines the cognition of Evers’ assassin.

        Conclusion  In susceptible individuals, demagoguery acts to poison reason and incite homicide.

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • “We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage…. Unless we can make the philosophic foundations of a free society once more a living intellectual issue, and its implementation a task which challenges the ingenuity and imagination of our liveliest minds, the prospects of freedom are indeed dark. But if we can regain that belief in the power of ideas which was the mark of liberalism at its best, the battle is not lost.
        ― Friedrich Hayek

        There are long fought for and hard won freedoms bought by the blood of martyrs over centuries in battlegrounds where the battle lines are sometimes very obscure.

        You have to ask yourself – is the right to be offensive about The Prophet one of these fundamental freedoms to live or die for? Or do you just want to whine about Muslims who don’t have a sense of humour? .

      • fan, Dylan was asked by activists (in a good cause) in effect to write a song condemning Ever’s killer – their focus and venom was for the killer. Dylan did not focus on the individual, but put the killing in the much broader social-historical context. This led to demands from the activists et al that he become a political leader, when he only wanted to sing, and, as I recall, had been reluctant to get involved in the event at which he sang.

    • @Rob ” ….. a much needed coming together as a people regardless of the differences. It is the way to a bright future for all of us.”

      Agree with this sentiment as the future of the human race depends on this. I am pessimistic that this will happen any time soon, so instead of the word “bright” I suggest that it be qualified as “brighter”.

      The proliferation of better education of our children and a more equal treatment of women in general seems to me to be prerequisites for the resolution of the differences in humanity and for a greater emphasis be placed on areas where we all agree.

      • Peter, the future depends on individuals developing self-awareness, understanding and wisdom. One of my concerns with Islam is that nothing I can see in that religion supports this. While most major religions and many non-religious thinkers advise “Know thyself, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you,” etc, putting the focus on the spiritual development of each individual, Mohammed’s teachings are said to be the third and final revelation, there is nothing more to be revealed. In Islam, you get to Heaven by following several religious practices, rites and rituals, which to me have no element which contributes to spiritual development, to understanding and wisdom in the individual. This to me is a fundamental difference between Muslim and non-Muslim communities. The difficulties of a “coming together” between two such differing sets of values are apparent in both inter-Muslim strife and Muslim attacks on “non-believers.”

      • Thank you for responding Faustino. I honestly believe that there is a lot of common ground between Christianity and the practice of Islam. The two religions share many of their ideals and both acknowledge many of the early prophets including Jesus.

        The early practice of Christianity had similar issues in that certain idealogical cliques had caused much pain and grief being inflicted on the Islamic “heathens” in the name of God, such as, for example, the Crusades. The inquisitions carried out in the post medieval period in Spain and Portugal, with the full support of the Church of Rome eventually led to the reformation and toward the practice of Christianity that we know today.

        Islam today has been hijacked by cultists and idealological groups, such as the Taliban, and subverted the practice of Islam from their early teachings of peacable co-existence, to the extent that ordinary Muslim families are being alienated from their Christian neighbours. I sincerely believe that a Muslim groundswell will ultimately prevail to bring the practice of Islam into line with modern principles of equity and peaceable co-existence.

        The difference between the two major religions seems to me to be accentuated by ignorance and a lack of education and equality such that westernised countries now enjoy.

      • A serf’s tail on human nay-chur

        Messiness prevails, there’s
        no Utopia out there, give
        pesky humans an inch and
        they’ll take ten miles.

        … Not jest religious zealots,
        islamic fundamentalists.
        No, confirmation bias prevails
        even among academic associates.

        Few will go that extra mile
        ter do the Feynman thing,
        even freedom of the press
        is a ticket ter excess,

        … ter irresponsibly seize the day,
        salacious gossip and the politics
        of innuendo, easy-peasy way
        ter sell the ‘news.’
        .
        Our best hope seems not ter
        lie in education, per se,
        many philosophy educated youth
        in history ended up as dictators.

        Colour me sceptical,
        not too many Socrates
        out there, our best hope,
        think serfs, lies in the quality

        …of our democratic institutions,
        requiring constant and critical
        vigilance, toughly applied
        minimal law fer all.

        Thou shalt not incite violence,
        thou shalt not, sans evidence
        maliciously slander an individual’s
        reputation. Penalties apply.

        ….Thou shalt not kill except
        in circumstances of extreme
        physical defence. But no PC.
        …. Can’t put limits on free speech

        that underpins intellectual
        thinking. What are the limits
        of censorship?
        Who decides?
        Where will it
        all end?

      • Peter, you say that you believe that “a Muslim groundswell will ultimately prevail to bring the practice of Islam into line with modern principles of equity and peaceable co-existence,” and that “The difference between the two major religions seems to me to be accentuated by ignorance and a lack of education and equality such that westernised countries now enjoy.”

        I’m not convinced. 400 years ago, the telescope was invented in Holland. Within a few decades, telescopes had been introduced from Europe to China, to the Mughal empire in India and to the Ottoman empire (the Caliphate). In Europe, this led to advances through Galileo, Kepler and Newton; a scientific revolution was set in train, which led to great advances, the Industrial Revolution etc and dynamic market economies. The Mughals were interested in the telescope only in respect of their calendar, which was revised on the basis of the Sun revolving around an immobile Earth (the Ptolemaic system). It did not lead to a general scientific advance. Similarly, while telescopes were used by the Caliphate’s navy, the Ptolemaic view prevailed and no advances followed.

        European societies were innovative, outward-looking, keen to develop and apply new knowledge, and sufficiently open to prevent the old order from suppressing the new. None of this applied in the Islamic world or China, which were still entrammelled in in traditional religious structures and too subservient to centralised hierarchies to support fee-thinking and innovation. The Islamic countries and China which were once more advanced in many respects than the West stagnated while the West flourished. The discrepancy with Islamic countries was sustained by societies which were, and still are, inward-looking, traditional and hostile to pluralism. So there are entrenched, centuries-long reasons for ignorance and lack of education and equality in Middle Eastern Islam. There are some forces for modernity, e.g. in Iran, but they remain suppressed. The groundswell you foresee does not seem imminent.

        (Drawing on Nicholas Wade’s “A Troublesome Inheritance,” which cites many references.)

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        serf
        “Messiness prevails, there’s
        no Utopia out there, give
        pesky humans an inch and
        they’ll take ten miles”

        good…nail it on head
        ATG Holder is still gonna hold a “conference” about why they’re mad at us
        this one goes to 11

      • Thanks for responding Beth. I enjoyed the way you put your POV across but feel that you and Faustino (and in fact, many of the regular contributors to Judith’s blog) have a somewhat pessimistic view about human nature.

        My central point was that cliques seem to be responsible for many of the excesses that have occurred in human history, with the the silent majority looking on and being individually too afraid to do anything about it. But tipping points do occur, when enough was deemed to be enough, and this is the stuff of revolutions.

        Not all revolutions have resulted in positive changes but the old orders are swept away and new orders take over. The European reformation certainly assisted in a better uptake of progressive ideas and inventions and this is why they are presently further advanced, culturally and in the equitable treatment of dissidents and the disadvantaged, including minorities. This is not to say that all European nations benefited at the same rate, as we all saw in respect of the Jugoslavs.

        The change to the way Islam is practised will not happen anytime soon and probably not in our lifetime, but the average timespans for such socialogical change seem to be in the hundreds of years rather than in the dozens of years, even though, like climate change, the tipping points will come and go relatively suddenly.

    • Rob, I don’t think the Charlie Hebdo killings were that isolated or self started by those two nuts. The radical Islamist side does get fired up by clerics issuing fatwas or statements which provide cover for retribution for inferred insults. There is an underlying legal framework from which these lone wolfs operate. But the clerics derive their power from islamophobia and the ill conceived wars being triggered in the Middle East. I’m not into censorship, and I myself like tweaking the lion’s nose, but those of us who do it should be wise enough to understand that challenges to dogma can cause adverse consequences. This means Dr Curry was right when she used the Paris event as a trigger for discussion about censorship and retribution in the climate controversy.

    • Enough with this overblown waffle

      Mann just this week wrote an article implying McIntyre and others are willing to destroy the entire planet for secret pieces of silver from the Koch brothers.

      A bit of perspective please.

  43. Curious George

    Is a free speech protected the same way as the right to murder? In a Communist Czechoslovakia, we were told: “You can say anything, but you have to be aware that there could be consequences”. What?? You can murder anybody, but you have to be aware that there could be consequences.

    • Curious George, you have delved to the depths of the ‘philosophy of law’. Which is only optional even at HLS. And to which there is no answer.
      On the one side, Hammurabi’s code and the presumption of innocence. On the other side, Critical Legal Studies (PC HLS when I was there) teaching that all law is just a way for rulers to oppress the ruled.

  44. Judith, you said that you’ld like to address the issue of freedom of speech aside from the Charlie Hebdo attack. That’s a bit hard at present, given the post-attack focus on the issue. If I address it here, I’ll do so sans CH. But here are two links to Brendan O’Neill articles which, while prompted by the attack, have broader relevance. The Australian has a paywall – I don’t know whether it allows limited access.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/western-freedom-of-speech-was-under-attack-long-before-the-paris-killings/story-fnhulnf5-1227180052119

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/dark-blow-in-a-long-war-against-enlightenment/story-fnhulnf5-1227178831348

    • I didn’t read the articles, but titles are quite revealing. I live in Europe, and I noticed there are laws I find quite restrictive of free speech rights. They are so repressive I prefer not to discuss the subject in too much detail. I may not end up arrested but I could get my visa suspended and find myself back in Texas.

      • Yes please don’t get your VISA suspended and thereby punish the entire state of Texas.

    • Sorry Faustino, but you are misrepresenting the situation

      The Aus (and O’Neill) are predictably full of grandiose rhetoric about freedom of press/speech and the core values of society blah and blah, but it will NOT publish any consistent satirical comment on Sharia law – due to the fear of violent retaliation

      When this occurs, it is more than evident that terrorism de facto works

      • Ian, I don’t know if Bill Leak has addressed Sharia law per se, but he has certainly taken on Islamic extremism in his cartoons in the Oz. In general, the Oz doesn’t do much satire except via James Jeffrey’s light-hearted column.

  45. We have a local case of a state appeals court overturning a county judge’s ruling that anti-gay speech was protected speech. In this case, a worker was fired from his government job for his off time public anti-gay speaking. When the fired government worker applied for un-employment insurance, he was denied because: “the attorney general’s office was justified in firing (this person) in 2010 because his posts on Facebook and an anti-gay blog, as well as his campus visits and TV appearances, clearly had an adverse impact on the agency’s (where he was employed) credibility,” “(this person)’s conduct undermined one of the department’s specific missions-ie the integrity of its anti-cyberbullying campaign.” “By employing an individual such as (named person),….the department undermined it own message.”

    The content of what was said is not entitled to protection of free speech under the US Constitution’s First Amendment because of his job in a government office was perceived to adversely effect the government agency’s message. (The named person) was viewed by his boss and government employer as a cyber bully.

    Free speech is never free.

    • As content of speech seems to be the determinant of what is allowed given a specific employment setting, I wonder about warming activists in the US EPA who are members of Greenpeace, World Wildlife Federation, Environmental Defense Council, etc and their job description is one that participates in the rule making process and regulation enforcement for greenhouse gas emissions. What is said in public regarding their views, even with the caveat of speaking as an individual and not as a missionary of the EPA, does this rise to the level of conflict of interest or an illustration of free speech in a setting of government authority?

      Likely the warmest position in this EPA is secure as it follows the consensus view. Anyone want to guess as to what may happen to a skeptic? Surely not a team player. A disruptive and disagreeable person who should find employment elsewhere. A situation where a government worker can be fired for “cause.”

      • RiHoO8, on the “what-is-allowed” pointas a public servant I never publicly addressed the issues for which I had carriage (except e.g. in invited forums to help develop policy), I confined my public comments to areas outside my work role. This was normal public service practice in the UK and Australia, I don’t know if it still is. Our last but one Treasury head certainly adopted partisan and political perspectives in public comments.

        On”team players,” I certainly suffered because I wasn’t prepared to play the insider-outsider, support me and we’ll both get promoted game, which too often over-rides considerations of good public policy – particularly at the state level, not so much in my experience in central agencies in the UK and Australia. Again, it might have changed, there seems to be a greater tendency to appoint political allies rather than selection on merit.

  46. The thing I have to guard against is my own tendency to groupthink and an “our gang” mentality. After I thought about Climategate I decided I disagreed with the pilfering and with some of the interpretations put on the emails. After I thought about Mann’s case, I decided that he had a right to sue over one specific matter and Steyn needed to defend a case (which I rather hope he wins). I know most skeps think otherwise, but my own skepticism does not rest on Climategate or the success of Steyn’s defence, any more than it rests on the Pause.

    The other thing about which I have my doubts is the identification of so many with Charlie Hebdo. While I can think of nothing more tedious than a French shock/satire mag, it is very clear that those people were taking an almighty risk that I would never have taken. How can I claim identification with them? The wanting to lose oneself in a great feel-good mass is so NOT Charlie. Charlie’s problem was its stark lack of anonymity and stark exposure.

    I am definitely NOT Charlie and it is too late to pretend I am by joining an enormous sea of protestors. While I comment as mosomoso for practical WP reasons (I am Robert Townshend of 177 Coucal Road Dondingalong, but don’t try posting and think twice about driving here without 4WD), the truth is I find anonymity to be an easier, softer option.

    By the way, for me immigration is like fossil fuel power. My society derives massive benefits from it every day, has always had it, and would sink without it. While I don’t approve of abuses and mismanagement of immigration and I am opposed to all multi-culti PC, I think a racially and culturally static society is about as realistic as an industrial society powered by pathetic wind turbines. It’s pretend stuff.

    I am not Charlie. I am not Steyn. I’m me.

    • Very brave thing to write.

    • Bamboos all rattle together, but Mosomoso thinks for himself.
      ===============

    • “I have my doubts is the identification of so many with Charlie Hebdo…”

      Probably about as many as identify with Larry Flynt.

    • Moso, +100. Hope you enjoy Blowing Smoke. Either way, highest regards.

    • Interesting thread –

      Posts by Chief and Mosomoso that I actually (well, in Chief’s case mostly) agree with.

    • moso,

      mostly very sensible.

      We need more of it, and less of the kind of sensationalist nonsense that this pot is.

      Question for Judith Curry;

      Is there anything to say about Mann vs Steyn, that couldn’t be said without reference to Charlie Hebdo?

    • +1 Mosomoso

    • I don’t agree with Joshua or Michael at all. They don’t appreciate that threats to free speech derive from encroachment on the civil space from government and are seemingly always in favour of more encroachment.

      • Mosomoso above says: ” … those people (Charlie H) were taking an almighty risk that I would never have taken”

        You say: ” …threats to free speech derive from encroachment on the civil space from government”

        It’s both of these things. Co-ordinated madmen (random or not) are rightly perceived by Govt to constitute a threat to the public, so one of Govt’s misplaced responses is to curtail civil liberties (eg. Section 18C) to reduce opportunities for the random madmen to find cause – a diminishing return, since in extremis we finish with no liberties to defend and fanatics will always find cause somewhere anyway

        I have free speech and I’m aware of reckless consequences. Nothing more is required, especially social engineering from either progressives or mad jihadis

        End of (my) story

      • Section 18c of the racial Discrimination Act make it an offence to be offensive about anyone – The Prophet included. They could be prosecuted in Australia rather than shot.

        But by all means – if you really want to be offensive about The Prophet – take your best shot and your licks. I’ll support your right to be offensive.

      • The thrust seems to be that being offended is a justification for violence.

        It’s here in satirical cartoons, it’s there in Cairo and Benghazi from videotapes.

        That elevator must’ve gone swooooosh up somewhere.
        ================

    • Matthew R Marler

      mosomoso: I am not Charlie. I am not Steyn. I’m me.

      Sooner or later, the extremists will force you to decide whom you stand with. Will you stand with the people who support killing Charlie Hebdo (so to speak), or will you stand with the people who support arresting the killers (or killing them if they resist arrest)? This weekend, many people have sided with the killers of Charlie Hebdo, and many have sided with the police who went after them. When Charlie Hebdo resurrects, so to speak, new assassins will go after them — will you side with the assassins (as a few hundred million people seem to in this case), or with the forces trying to prevent the assassinations and arrest the assassins?

      There are times in life when you can elaborate your thoughts ad libitum, but the alternatives forced upon you by the world are painfully simple. I think that this is one of those times.

      The Steyn and Charlie Hebdo differ in part because no one is attempting to assassinate Steyn. So the choice of sides is more refined. But there are people attempting to assassinate those who criticize Islam, particular Islamic practices, or Islamic leaders. No matter who you are or are not, you will be forced to choose.

      Will you buy a copy of The Satanic Verses? It was no great risk, but I did buy a copy for no other reason than the fatwa against the author, translators and publishers. When I can, I’ll purchase some copies of Charlie Hebdo that are especially critical of Islam. Without strong resistance, the zealots will eventually kill all critics, and all criticism.

      • Matthew, mosomoso can speak for himself (and does so very well), I’ll say that he is an independent and very sensible thinker. I’m sure that he would never condone the attack on Charlie Hebdo, or the motivation behind it, and believe he would condemn them, but will he ever feel “forced” to choose? I suspect not.

      • Matthew, I find Charlie Hebdo and The Satanic Verses unreadable. On the other hand, I like Max Brenner chocolate so I’m happy to push past tosser leftoid picketers to support that business.

        On the other hand, if it becomes legal for citizens to push the button to execute cold blooded assassins I will not hesitate to push if asked. No charge for zapping convicted terrorists.

        Nothing – absolutely nothing! – I wrote implied sympathy with the killers or lack of support for those charged with apprehending them. I’m actually tempted to use that hideously patronising expression of some denizens: “read harder”.

        But, no, I am not Charlie, and if you check the sorry record, many who claim to be are not.
        http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/no_you_are_not_all_charlie/

      • Why can’t someone be against religious pornography that Charlie whatever published, against assassination in response, and for hunting down the killers and bringing them to justice?

        Two wrongs don’t make a right.

      • Matthew R Marler

        mosomoso: I wrote implied sympathy with the killers or lack of support for those charged with apprehending them.

        I didn’t say you sympathized with anything. “Read harder”: I wrote that (imo) you (and I and everyone) will have to choose whom to stand with. I think that your (and my) freedom to have an independent mind will depend on the Charlie Hebdo assassins and their allies (9/11 bombers, Madrid bombers, London bombers, Jakarta bombers, Boko Harum, etc, etc) being defeated.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Faustino: . I’m sure that he would never condone the attack on Charlie Hebdo, or the motivation behind it, and believe he would condemn them, but will he ever feel “forced” to choose? I suspect not.

        I didn’t write that he condoned the attack.

        You “suspect” not. Is “suspicion” an adequate state of mind here? For now, probably. But I expect the violent Islamists to force the issue (as the violent KKK did in parts of the US in times past — and there are many examples from many places and times.)

        George Orwell wrote, with reference to the Nazis, that “[Objectively, pacifism supports the Nazis.]”

      • Matthew, I in no way implied that you wrote that mosomoso “condoned the attack.” You said that he would be “forced to decide” whom he stood with. I was confident that moso would be against the attack, hence my statement; I didn’t think, from what I know of him, that he would ever feel “forced” to choose. But I don’t know that; hence “I suspect not.” That related to mosmoso, it had no implication as to whether or not the jihadists would, as you expect, “force the issue.” My view is that they probably will, given their raison d’etre and modus operandi (multilingual? Moi?!), but I was addressing only your comments on moso.

        Matthew, I am not going to say “read harder.” I value your contributions and responses on CE. I thought that my post was clear; you have read into it things that were neither present nor implied. So it goes, historically – probably less now – I expressed myself very precisely, but was often misinterpreted. “Only connect.” Well, sometimes, unfortunately, we don’t.

        I agree with Orwell, the O’Neill links I gave supported that view.

      • Asking me, even rhetorically, if I will side with the assassins (“will you side with the assassins”) is implying plenty, don’t you think?

        Fortunately, I don’t have to decide whom I stand with. I stand for ruthless pursuit, prosecution and execution of terrorists. And I don’t even care if they have a point of view. I don’t care what Duke Godfrey or Bohemond did to their forebears. Once they start shooting up a Sydney cafe visited by Squiggle, my three year old grand nephew who likes his posh chocolate, they’re only good for execution. I don’t want disrespect, humiliation or pain for these people. I want their death, that’s all.

        Being from Australia, where lame satirists are government funded, I am heartily sick of man-boys and man-boy humour. Here our man-boys would not dare offend Muslims or anybody who might hurt them back, so I admire the courage of Charlie Hebdo. But do I identify with either Charlie’s outlook or its courage? I don’t want to agree with its outlook and I can’t pretend to share its courage.

        Buying a copy of Satanic Verses or Charlie Hebdo requires no courage at all. (Reading them requires a very high threshold of boredom.) Openly keeping premises where such publications are produced, displayed or sold requires great courage. It requires more courage than I have or would want to have, since Rushdie and Charbonnier do not speak for me. I speak for me.

        In short, I don’t want to buy or read Charlie Hebdo or the Satanic Verses. I DO want to read of the death or life-long imprisonment of the loops who murdered at Charlie Hebdo.

      • Matthew R Marler

        mosomoso: Fortunately, I don’t have to decide whom I stand with.

        mrm: Sooner or later, the extremists will force you to decide whom you stand with.

        Not yet.

        I grant that buying the Satanic Verses did not amount to much. The only thing in its defense was that it was better than doing nothing. As to Satanic Verses being boring or unreadable, that was never the issue. Literary reviews made me think that I would not like it, and I have not read it.

  47. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    *MORE* SCIENCE-RESPECTING COMICS !!!
    Thomas Midgley, Jr:
    The Most Evil Scientist in History

    http://www.qwantz.com/comics/comic2-2771.png

    “Let’s say you want to raise sea-levels …”

    http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/comicsalliance.com/files/2013/09/North01.jpg

    Good on `yah, science-respecting cartoonist Ryan North!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    morediscourse@tradermail.info
    A fan of *MORE* discourse

  48. Let me try out Judith’s rhetorical device.

    Retired Lt. Col. and Fox News Strategic Analyst Ralph Peters said that the US must avoid nation building and overlitigating the war on terror and instead “leave behind smoking ruins and crying widows” on Friday’s “O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News Channel.

    Gee. That reminds me of the climate wars, and what “skeptics” have to say.

    Oh, the tyranny.

    How’d I do?

    • To answer your self serving question, quite well at proving your utter irrelevense other than as some echo in this chamber.
      Otherwise, not so good at all.
      Interesting you had the huge ego to even ask. Wow.

    • Joshua | January 11, 2015 at 7:45 pm | Reply

      “How’d I do?”

      If you were trying to portray a drooling retard with web access then you did great!

  49. The Stepford students thing is interesting. It is a sign of a stable culture that people can disconnect themselves from politics and world affairs so much and wrap themselves in a fuzzy warm blanket of American entertainment and culture. The outside world has no effect on the average young person going through high school and college. Occasionally celebs, who are generally better informed by their own travels, will try to raise an issue in world affairs such as global warming, but that doesn’t seem to inspire many. The American public is very isolationist in attitude, even if their leaders aren’t, and I think that is because their life is not impacted by things beyond the borders. Even when we had two wars in the last decade few would say it had a noticeable effect on their lives. Foreign countries are good for little more than the tourism form of entertainment.

    • “Celebs, who are generally better informed by their own travels…” Good one.

    • nottawa rafter

      Spare us the celebrities are better informed. Have any of them ever had an original thought in their lives? They come from the same incubator as the leftists in the cloistered echo chambers of academe. They deserve each other.

  50. Those speculating about the impact of unrestricted Muslim immigration on countries idiotic enough to not only allow it, but encourage it, may find this short story by Dan Simmons interesting:

    http://www.dansimmons.com/news/message/2006_04.htm

  51. DavidIm in TX

    Free speech doesn’t mean free of risk. Freedom carries a price.

    Governments routinely make pornography, snuff films, and so forth illegal in public. This was aboout decision of what to allow, individuals who wanted to push the envelope of decency by publishing things that were as deeply offensive as anything imaginable to certain cultures, and they paid a price for it.

  52. From the article:

    The Center for Security Policy’s report, Shariah Law and American State Courts: An Assessment of State Appellate Court Cases evaluates 50 Appellate Court cases from 23 states that involve conflicts between Shariah (Islamic law) and American state law.

    These cases are the stories of Muslim American families, mostly Muslim women and children, who were asking American courts to preserve their rights to equal protection and due process. These families came to America for freedom from the discriminatory and cruel laws of Shariah. When our courts then apply Shariah law in the lives of these families, and deny them equal protection, they are betraying the principles on which America was founded.

    http://shariahinamericancourts.com/

  53. Current college and university faculty brainwash their students because they have been brain washed themselves. The greatest coup of 60s radicals, when they discovered they were never going to get their Marxist proletarian revolution, was to move into and take control of the educational colleges of this country. (There was a similar move by secular humanists to take control of Catholic seminaries around the same time – see the book Goodbye Good Men.)

    Forget the 95% rate by which black Americans vote for the Democrat Party. I suspect that Ph.Ds in education vote for them 100%.

    What do you get when all your professors are progressives, and are taught that every subject from philosophy to earth science should be taught from a progressive stand point? Today’s crop of budding fascists on college campuses across the country.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      GaryM froths  “What do you get when all your professors are progressives, and are taught that every subject from philosophy to earth science should be taught from a progressive stand point?”

      Yeah! And Albert Einstein was among the earliest and worst of the liberal-lot!

      http://www.lamarihuana.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Albert-Einstein-2.jpg

      That’s obvious to *EVERYONE*, eh GaryM?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Fan,

        While am I not surprised that you have fascist demagoguery ready to hand?

        And as an economist, Einstein made a great physicist.

    • Current college and university faculty brainwash their students because they have been brain washed themselves.

      That sounds a bit alarmist there, Gary?

    • –Joseph | January 12, 2015 at 10:08 pm | Reply

      Current college and university faculty brainwash their students because they have been brain washed themselves.

      That sounds a bit alarmist there, Gary?–

      “Total taxpayer investment in K-12 education in the United States for the 2004-05 school year is estimated to be $536 billion. [ * ]

      Even in this current time of the war against terror, taxpayer investment in education exceeds that for national defense. In addition to the K-12 money mentioned above, taxpayers will spend an estimated $373 billion for higher education in the same school year. As depicted on the chart below, the United States is a world leader in education investment. However, nations that spend far less achieve higher levels of student performance.”
      http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/fed/10facts/index.html?exp

      “In December 2012, the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) released national average results from the 2011 administration of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan promptly issued a press release calling the results “unacceptable,” saying that they “underscore the urgency of accelerating achievement in secondary school and the need to close large and persistent achievement gaps,” and calling particular attention to the fact that the 8th-grade scores in mathematics for U.S. students failed to improve since the previous administration of the TIMSS.”
      http://www.epi.org/publication/us-student-performance-testing/

      It seems to me if in general, there less effort in brainwashing and more effort in teaching, the students would do better- and they might enjoy it more.

    • I don’t see what any of that has to do with “brainwashing.”

      • Do you know why you don’t see elephants in a cherry tree?

      • Do you know what “brainwashing” entails? Does school really sound like this?

        Because brainwashing is such an invasive form of influence, it requires the complete isolation and dependency of the subject, which is why you mostly hear of brainwashing occurring in prison camps or totalist cults. The agent (the brainwasher) must have complete control over the target (the brainwashee) so that sleep patterns, eating, using the bathroom and the fulfillment of other basic human needs depend on the will of the agent. In the brainwashing process, the agent systematically breaks down the target’s identity to the point that it doesn’t work anymore. The agent then replaces it with another set of behaviors, attitudes and beliefs that work in the target’s current environment.

        And one of the problems often heard is that discipline problems have gotten worse in some schools. Sounds like the opposite of “brainwashing”

      • The Early Bird has found the worm among the cherry saplings thriving from the elephant dung.

        invisibleserfscollar.com
        ===============

      • Elephants don’t like cherries.

  54. Sarah steps in:

    “I just don’t get why Muslims hate Charlie Brown so much,” she proclaimed,” It’s good wholesome, family entertainment. I would think religious conservatives would enjoy that kind of thing.

    “But I mean you just can’t win with these people. Every little thing you do offends them. First it was burning the Quran. Then it was that whole CIA ‘torture’ scandal Now it’s Snoopy, Lucy, Pigpen and the whole gang.

    “Well guess what? I don’t care if you don’t like Snoopy. That’s no excuse to go around murdering people.

    “I can’t stand Dilbert. And don’t even get me started on The Boondocks. But that doesn’t mean I go round shootin’ up the place.”

    http://dailycurrant.com/2015/01/09/sarah-palin-why-do-muslims-hate-charlie-brown/

    • Gee – I didn’t realise that Sarah Palin was dumber than wee willie.

    • Yep, it’s satire.

      About
      The Daily Currant is an English language online satirical newspaper that covers global politics, business, technology, entertainment, science, health and media. It is accessible from over 190 countries worldwide – now including South Sudan.

    • Willard –

      That kind of ridiculing of Palin is totally unacceptable. I can’t believe that you’d promote something like that. It’s a slur against Palin – obviously something you support because you are a statist, fanatitcal, aulthoritarian who’s indifferent to starving children in Africa. There really should be serious consequences for people like you who smear a good woman like Pal…

      Oh.

      Wait.

      Nevermind.

    • So Joshua is smarter than Sarah Palin too? Never would of picked that.

    • Their toes are painted red.

  55. Thank you, Professor Curry, for having the courage to comment on the link between the integrity of government science and the constitutional limits on governments.

    The destruction of constitutional limits on government is a far more serious problem for society today than any anthropologic changes in global climate.

  56. Re: The term “denier”

    I believe people should have the legal First Amendment right to call others deniers in non-holocaust situations (where I believe the term is most appropriately used). However, I believe they should forego the use of that right (just as you should forego using many legal rights you have in particular circumstances) out of respect for the Jewish experience and the currency the term “denier” has obtained with respect to Holocaust Deniers. Based on the past 80 years of history, I believe the term “denier” should be reserved for special condemnation of Holocaust Deniers.

    If, however, Jews don’t insist on preserving the use of the term in connection with Holocaust Denial and term comes into general usage as meaning, essentially illogical, in the terms of the people using the term to attack the scientific positions of others, then I am more than willing to use the term to criticize dummies, such as Michael Mann and Peter Gleick. Once the term comes into common usage, it loses the hateful connotations that are intended by AGW extremists, and they will have to invent a new term to heap undeserved opprobrium on others and to excuse their lack of rigorous thought.

    So far, I have avoided using the term, but if warmists continue to use it without much push back, then it is appropriate for everyone to use the term to criticize unscientific thoughts and methods.

    JD

  57. There is a point being missed in all this tribal chest thumping. Police and armies are paid to hunt down and kill if necessary fringe madman. That’s part of what makes police and armies such critical components of the architecture of freedom and democracy.

    These madmen can’t take our freedoms unless we allow them too. It demands a more robust response than whining about these awful people restricting our freedom to make offensive jokes about The Prophet.

    We could try the same with Mann’s lawyers – but I suspect that way lies social madness. Imagine a world without lawyers.

  58. I am going to pull a Willis here…I love you Judith, but this is indefensible foolishness:

    “Anyone defending the satirists at Charlie should have a tough time defending Michael Mann in his legal war against the satirical writings of Mark Steyn and Rand Simberg.”

    First, I don’t recall that satire is a defense that Steyn, Simberg et al have made in the silly D.C. courts. If it is, it remains to be seen if it will have any effect on the outcome.

    Second, the case is still alive in the courts and as long as it is being adjudicated Mann’s supporters have good reason to stand by their little man. It is silly of you to suggest that they face some kind of conflict in sympathizing with Mann, while condemning the Paris murders and voicing support for free speech. Follow me, so far? What you appear to be trying to do is to put Mann’s supporters in some flimsily constructed ethical box that requires them to abandon Mann, if they support free speech for Charlie et al. You are confused. There’s more, but that should do it.

    The sensible thing for you to do is re-examine your words and decide if you want to keep going with that nonsense.

    • Wow!

      +1, Don.

      I know that coming from a runttrolldope that should have been bannedlong ago, that is less than irrelevant to you, but I just had to say it.

      No doubt.

      The Greatest (Climate Etc. thread) of all time:

    • Sorry Don, your argument makes no sense. The usual suspects are up in arms on twitter, i have responded:

      Oh I see; religious satire is ok, but satire on climate scientists is not?

      • Don’t be so cryptic, Judith.

        Explain why Don’s argument “makes no sense.”

        Brandon, in particular I’m sure, will enjoy it.

      • You are in denial, Judith. Do you know how long the alleged Prophet whose name we won’t mention has been dead? He can’t be defamed. There is no lawsuit that has survived the first level of the silly D.C courts. There is no similarity between the Mann vs. Steyn, Symberg et al case and the murderous reaction of religious fanatics to some really juvenile cartoons.

        If you see some significant similarities, please list them. Oh, it’s about free speech. If you support expression by juvenile cartoons about somebody who has been dead for 1000+ years, then you have to support Steyn et al against Mann’s lawsuit. You can’t ethically hold the opinion that Mann has been defamed and call yourself a supporter of free speech. Dems da rules.

        Now let’s see how stubborn you are going to be with this foolishness.

      • I don’t hold the opinion that Mann has been defamed, I thought I made that very clear through about half dozen posts on this topic.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        Don,

        You are sadly mistaken here, which is uncommon for you. Think this through a bit; the common thread is people who refuse to accept the freedom to express what you honestly believe.

      • “Oh, it’s about free speech. If you support expression by juvenile cartoons about somebody who has been dead for 1000+ years, then you have to support Steyn et al against Mann’s lawsuit. You can’t ethically hold the opinion that Mann has been defamed and call yourself a supporter of free speech. Dems da rules.”

        Judith, that’s me playing your part in the discussion. Since you won’t give a detailed response, I thought I could help you.

        Steve, that’s a thin thread. There is no good reason to link the Mann defamation case to the carnage in Paris and the rallying around by just about everybody to support free speech. Everybody understands that means free speech with limits. Defamation is a limit. Mann sued. It’s his right. In may countries saying that it’s your opinion that there was no Holocaust, or that it wasn’t that bad, is illegal speech. Try publishing a satirical cartoon about it. Taking the opportunity to link theis with the Mann case is unseemly. Period.

      • Judith,

        Don (!) makes a perfectly reasonable, quite simple and logical critique.

        That you find it “makes no sense” suggests you are so lost in your petty squabble with Mann that you can no longer see straight.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        Don,
        Not a thin thread, more like a thick rope. It is ONLY ‘offensive’ speech that needs protection, not ‘sensitive’, ‘caring’, or conformist speech. Yes, there are indeed lots of places where speech is much less than free, including much of Europe, with their nutso laws about what you can and can’t say about the Holocaust. And US university campuses are close behind with certain speech officially prohibited. I object to those laws and prohibitions as well, odious as some of that speech may be. As I said before, it is uncommon for you to be so very wrong about something so important. I suggest that you think this through again.

      • Don is right. When you argue that defamation is protected by free speech, you are saying anyone can just make up any lie about you, including allegations of deliberate fraud, and put it out in public with impunity. What kind of world is that? Thankfully the civilized world does not protect that. Mann is allowed to sue to officially counter the allegations and get the result on record. That is his right. Many publications have been sued for false accusations to get retractions, and this is another such case.

      • Steve, the Mann case is about one citizen suing another citizen for alleged defamation. It happens every day. Defamation is not protected speech around here. The U.S legal system will decide if there is defamation in the Mann case. I don’t see any reason to mention Mann-Steyn in the same sentence with the massacre in Paris. Different story. Simple as that. Judith has just given her trolls some live ammunition. She should cut her losses.

      • > That you find it “makes no sense” suggests you are so lost in your petty squabble with Mann that you can no longer see straight.

        Alternatively, that there’s a Chewbacca awaiting to roar in everyone of us.

      • > Steve, the Mann case is about one citizen suing another citizen for alleged defamation. It happens every day

        Don Don, #JeSuisCharlie is about ten cartoonists and two policemen getting killed. It happens every day.

        Don’t you see the obvious parallel?

      • Maybe looking at this through the other end of the telescope will help some of you see the light: Boy, this latest school massacre will really put those second amendment supporters in an ethical bind.

      • Willard,

        That makes no sense.

      • It makes perfect sense. There’s really no comparison between Islamic radicals assassinating those who blaspheme their religion and Michael Mann using legal recourse against those who blaspheme his religion.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        Don,
        I think the Mann case is a SLAPP, and at some point in the process I expect a court will agree. Mann is no private citizen who was defamed, he is a public advocate for a political POV, and regularly writes very dubious things about people who he disagrees with politically.

      • I think you are misreading me, Steve. I am not on Mann’s side. I think he’s a creepy little crybaby. I said he is a citizen. I didn’t say he is a private citizen. Public figures are not fair game for defamation target practice. They file defamation lawsuits and win. The suit in the silly
        D.C. court should have been slapped out. Like you I expect it to die when saner judges look at it.

        Now I am still waiting for someone to tell me how the Mann case is similar to the Paris massacre. If you believe that the Mann case is a loser, then how is it a threat to free speech in the Western democracies? It may be a threat to free speech in the silly District of Columbia, but that’s it. End of story.

        Meanwhile, Judith just digs herself in deeper. This silly post has not resulted in a useful discussion on free speech. It has just given the trolls a good excuse to run amok.

      • Nope, Don, you’re missing a boat here. There is a two-pronged, but unco-ordinated attack on the enlightenment, religiously from militant Islam, and scientifically, from the alarmist establishment, read Green Blob.

        It is a fanatic and panicked attack and cannot carry the middle. I’m waiting for them to find cause to attack each other.
        ==============

      • Remarkably, both prongs marshall many more forces than merely religion or science.
        ================

      • OK, kim. Don’t let them get you. Those prongs can leave a mark.

      • Settle that souffle.
        =============

    • –First, I don’t recall that satire is a defense that Steyn, Simberg et al have made in the silly D.C. courts. If it is, it remains to be seen if it will have any effect on the outcome. —

      No the defense is free speech.
      If calls Jon Steward a satirists, then could call Steyn a satirist. But would say Mark Steyn seems to love the absurd and there is a lot absurd stuff to talk about. But Rand Simberg is mostly space policy expert.
      But there no defense specifially for satire. Though both obviously thought Mann was fool and idiot.

      • gbailke, so free speech is the foolproof defense for defamation. Or is it satire? Don’t ever represent yourself in court. Spring for a lawyer.