The Republicans are self destructing with their attacks on science and Bowe Bergdahl

Friday, June 6, 2014

Good morning:

The republicans and their voice, the right-wing-hate-machine, are destroying themselves with their aggressive wars against climate change and Bowe Bergdahl.

Climate Change

99% of the scientists in the world agree that world climate is changing due to human activity that is increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Not one credible scientist disagrees.

Moreover, climate change is already underway and some changes, such as the meltdown of the West Antarctic Ice Field is unstoppable.

Nevertheless, republicans either deny that climate change is happening or they place their trust in God to save them. Regardless of the basis for their opinion, they oppose any effort to mitigate the effects of climate change.

I have news for them: Science is here to stay because it is a body of knowledge, as opposed to a belief, that is based on reproducible experiments. Religion lost the battle against science hundreds of years ago. Science has become part of our lives and only a fool would suggest that we abandon science or discount its importance as though it were just an opinion no better or worse than any other.

By taking this bizarre contrarian position, they have voluntarily excluded themselves from participating in the worldwide discussion about what we need to do globally to reduce carbon dioxide levels. The discussion we have and the decisions we make will affect every man, woman and child on the planet.

Our behavior must change and that will involve population displacement and sacrifice. Our way of life that has been sustained by extraction, production and consumption of fossil fuels must end. We have to transition to using renewable sources of energy. The major issue of the day is how quickly must we make that transition. The answer involves balancing the consequences of acting too fast against not acting fast enough.

By voluntarily absenting themselves from this critical debate and the decisions we must make based on what we know scientifically, the republicans have made themselves irrelevant and assured the eventual demise of their party.

We no longer can afford to play irresponsible political shell games. Tomorrow’s leaders must step forward today and they must propose solutions that benefit the many as opposed to the few. Honesty is required. Bullshit ideas designed to benefit the rich at the expense of poor like globalization, privatization, unregulated markets, corporate welfare, trickle down economics, the elimination of public education, labor unions and social programs must be discarded.

Conscience matters

For example, in his Rolling Stone article about Bowe Bergdahl, Michael Hastings mentioned Bowe Bergdahl’s concern about the way the military was treating the people of Afghanistan.

:These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid, that they have no idea how to live.” He then referred to what his parents believe may have been a formative, possibly traumatic event: seeing an Afghan child run over by an MRAP. “We don’t even care when we hear each other talk about running their children down in the dirt streets with our armored trucks… We make fun of them in front of their faces, and laugh at them for not understanding we are insulting them.”

His father responded,

In matters of life and death, and especially at war, it is never safe to ignore ones’ conscience. Ethics demands obedience to our conscience. It is best to also have a systematic oral defense of what our conscience demands. Stand with like minded men when possible.

Good advice for us all.

Incidentally, we now know that Bergdahl walked away from the military camp and returned at least two times before the incident that ended with his capture. Therefore, he cannot be found guilty of desertion.

In addition, he attempted to escape from the Taliban at least twice, so there is no basis to believe that he joined the enemy.

The ongoing demonization of Bowe Bergdahl by the Republicans and the right-wing-hate-machine aided and abetted by a compliant media is a disgraceful defamation of a man of conscience which confirms that they are the party of lies and unfit to participate in the important discussions of the day.

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14 Responses to The Republicans are self destructing with their attacks on science and Bowe Bergdahl

  1. ericman1949 says:

    Wow. I recall, and verified today, that Bergdahl’s accusers have been other soldiers from his unit before civilians took up the call for his prosecution. Since he walked away from his responsibility twice before deciding to wander far enough the enemy got him it seems like he should be diciplined for all 3 journeys depriving his unit of manpower/firepower. One thing for certain – he does not belong in uniform, unless it is while serving time in prison. His unreliability and inability to earn others’ respect or confidence means he was more a liability than an asset while in his unit.

    One thing about global warming. It happened over and over during the thousands of years before we (humankind) started poluting the air. And, atmospheric warming CAUSES increased levels of carbon dioxide does it not? It is not so simple that the carbon dioxide generated on earth is the sole determining cause of higher temperaturs. We play a role in warming but we are not the sole causative factor, perhaps not even the most malignant.

    Conservatives and liberals are merely opposite sides of the same coin, neither cornering the market on ignorance and corruption.

    • One thing about global warming. It happened over and over during the thousands of years before we (humankind) started poluting the air. And, atmospheric warming CAUSES increased levels of carbon dioxide does it not? It is not so simple that the carbon dioxide generated on earth is the sole determining cause of higher temperaturs. We play a role in warming but we are not the sole causative factor, perhaps not even the most malignant.

      Absolutely disagree. No credible and respected climate scientist agrees with you.

  2. MKX says:

    The Right Wing hate machine in action to taint any person who Obama makes a praising comment about.

    Let us not forget that Zimmerman was a stupid loser criminal who deserved to be put away until, big surprise, Obama made a statement that he could identify with Trayvon Martin as his son.

    All of a sudden, there were all sorts false narrative about Trayvon and the event of that night that were quickly accepted as facts.

    And nobody in the media even bothered to subject all the rumors and lies to critical review, as is their duty.

    The same shit is happening to Bergdahl.

    I laugh at anyone who says we have a left wing media.

    What we have are right wing liars and chicken shits that claim to be in the middle.

    And that will be the ruination of the USA.

  3. MKX says:

    One of his accusers got a less than honorable discharge:

    http://www.alan.com/2014/06/05/soldier-trashing-bergdahl-recieved-other-than-honorable-discharge/

    The internet chatter appears to indicate that he was a serial adulterer who was not supporting his family. And that is the cause for the less than honorable discharge.

    And then there is the fact that Korder has violated his non-disclosure agreement.

    So how does his credibility rate in a trial?

    And that is the true heart of this matter. An American has a right to a fair trial wherein he can answer any charges made against him. And as we saw in the Zimmerman trial, his defender can put the screws to any witness against him.

    IMO, the non-disclosure agreement was the Army trying to keep a lid on what Bergdahl was writing about. Well, because Korder opened his pie hole, the world will find out what this unit did.

    Karma is a bitch.

    • The New York Times looked into the 6 deaths and concluded that the connection to Bergdahl’s disappearance was uncertain. Since he had walked off twice before and returned, they did not send a patrol out to look for him. Instead, they looked for him while they were conducting their regular patrols.

      Probably not possible to establish a direct cause and effect relationship between his leaving and a casualty that probably would have happened anyway.

      The right-wing-hate-machine appears to be overreaching for political purposes.

    • Malisha says:

      I also think there is a distinct possibility that Bergdahl is being discredited because he KNOWS something that some people with more power than he has (right now that’s anybody) do not want disseminated or disclosed. I had speculated about that before on one of the closed threads. The circumstances under which he wandered off may include the fact that he was (possibly) told by someone to shut up about whatever it was he had complained of. Possibly he was complaining of something he felt was a violation of the Geneva Convention– who knows?

      • MKX says:

        War is horrible painted in massive shades of grey. Men under the stress of combat do bad things. This is one reason that I never went gung ho in the USA criticizing its enemies for their purported atrocities because I figure our guys are not the saints we portray them to be.

        I think this incident from Viet Nam is close to what we our seeing today.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incident_on_Hill_192

        Incident[edit]

        On November 17, 1966, Sgt. David E. Gervase (20) and Pfc. Steven Cabbot Thomas (21)—both members of C Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division—talked to three other squad members (Pfc’s Robert M. Storeby, 22; Cipriano S. Garcia, 21; and Joseph C. Garcia, 20)[3] about plans to kidnap a “pretty girl” during their reconnaissance mission planned for the next day.[6] When interviewed by Lang in 1968, Pfc Robert M. Storeby (under the alias of Sven Erikson) said “[Gervase] stated that we would get the woman for the purpose of boom-boom, or sexual intercourse, and at the end of five days we would kill her.” Storeby also recalled that Gervase claimed it would be “good for the morale of the squad.”[7]

        At approximately 5:00 am on the morning of November 18, the squad entered the tiny village of Cat Tuong, in the Phu My District, looking for a woman.[8] After finding Phan Thi Mao (21), they bound her wrists with rope, gagged her and took her on the mission. Later, after setting up camp in an abandoned hooch, four of the soldiers (excluding Pfc. Storeby) took turns raping Mao. The following day, in the midst of a firefight with the Viet Cong, Thomas and Gervase became worried that the woman would be seen with the squad. Thomas took Mao into a brushy area and although he stabbed her three times with his hunting knife, he failed to kill her. When she tried to flee, three of the soldiers chased after her. Thomas caught her and shot her in the head with his M16 rifle.[6]

        Aftermath[edit]

        Pfc. Storeby initially reported the crime. At first, the chain of command, including the company commander, took no action. Despite threats against his life by the soldiers who took part in the rape and murder, Storeby was determined to see the soldiers punished. His persistence in reporting the crime to higher authorities eventually resulted in general courts-martial against his four fellow squad mates.[6] It was during these proceedings that the name of the victim was identified by her sister as Phan Thi Mao.[9]

        Pfc. Thomas, Pfc. Cipriano Garcia and Pfc. Joseph Garcia were each convicted of rape and murder in March and April 1967. Sgt. Gervase was found guilty on the count of murder but not of rape.[10] At the trial of Pfc. Thomas, who committed the actual stabbing and shooting, the prosecutor asked the jury to impose a death sentence.[6] The court, however, sentenced Thomas to life imprisonment. This sentence was first commuted to 20 years, then reduced to 8, which made him eligible for parole after half that time. Likewise, Gervase’s initial sentence of 10 years was reduced to 8 and he too was eligible for release within half that time.[11] In 1968, Joseph Garcia was acquitted on the appeal of his initial 15-year sentence and his dishonorable discharge was reversed after it was determined that his Fifth Amendment rights were violated, and his confession was ruled as inadmissible. His cousin, Cipriano’s, sentence was shortened to 22 months. All soldiers (excluding Pfc. Storeby) were dishonorably discharged from the Army.[11][12]

        In 1992, former Pfc. Steven Cabbot Thomas gained further notoriety when he was charged with being an accessory after the fact in the murder trial of George Loeb, who was charged with the May 17, 1991 shooting death of an African-American USS Saratoga sailor named Harold J. Mansfield. Both Thomas and Loeb were members of the white supremacist Church of the Creator. Thomas remained free on bond, during the trial and court records showed that in exchange for his testimony he would only serve one year’s probation.[13]

        This incident was the basis for a fine movie – Casualties of War.

  4. crazy1946 says:

    Professor, If this was in a normal time and place politically, I would have to agree with your assessment. However the one common bond between the members of the GOP (and many are not necessary Republicans nor conservatives) is the hatred for the black man that has stolen their White House. IMO what this nonsense in doing is increasing the sale of “tin foil”. At your age you have seen many different things occur in racial relations in this country, but can you honestly say you have seen anything that has set those gains that had been made since the 1950’s suddenly reverse course in such a short time? No, if anything the current crop of racists, banded together under the banner of the GOP is growing stronger by the day, and unfortunately with the aid and assistance rendered by such people as the Koch’s and organizations such as the NRA, and the mega bucks at their disposal, it is us that is on the verge of becoming extinct. The only thing we have going for us is that down deep within all men is a core goodness that even hate can normally not remove… Who will win the war for the soul of this nation? At this time I suggest it is a toss up and only time will tell who the real winner (or loser) is… Will it be we who believe that the true worth of a man is what he is on the inside, or will it be those that believe a mans worth is judged by the color of his skin?

    • Malisha says:

      Crazy, I know exactly what you mean. And I don’t think it’s limited to the right-wing-unification-against-Obama that is at work, but a concerted backlash (and even that is a questionable term because it’s still more “lash” than “backlash”) against women and children (“we were trying to be indulgent to them but then they got strident and they took too much from US”), African Americans (“they think we owe them something but they’re all criminals”), and the poor (“they don’t deserve OUR hard-earned money!”). The poor fools who think it’s Christian to go along with the pompous slander handed out by the right-wing blabber machine have been trained (in the public schools and the media and the churches) to not think about what they’re told.

      It’s so demoralizing that I don’t really even enjoy mocking it any more; just do so from time to time because I don’t want to let my skills atrophy.

      But when I ask myself if the Repugnicans are really self-destructing, I hear myself ask, “Do you think the people they are swaying have enough moral fiber and natural intelligence to resist the mob-culture-bullshit before it’s too late?” and I unfortunately come up with a really scary answer. A REALLY scary answer…

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