Happy New Year!

01 Jan

Happy New Year to one and all! I haven’t been around much, sorry about that. My sorta-kinda pseudo retirement hasn’t been going well of late. So badly in fact that I am busier now than I have been in many years. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I’m enjoying it a lot. At any rate, I have officially postponed my retirement for another few years.

But enough about me. Instead, I have two questions. First, what do you think was the most significant political shift in the past year? Second, what do you think will be the most significant political shift in the coming year?

I think the most significant political shift last year was the shift in attitudes about gay marriage. The change has been amazing. And even though the Supreme Court avoided giving their final word on the issue, I think it’s safe to say that they did everything but. And in response it seemed resistance to gay marriage pretty much melted away. There may still be a few coughs and sputters along the way (e.g., one wonders what’s going to happen with respect to that recent ruling in Utah, of all places), but I think by the end of 2014 or so acceptance of gay marriage will be more the norm than the exception. Next up… bestiality!

Lol! I’m kidding. I just couldn’t help it. But I gotta say in defense of my good buddy, um… um… Okay, he’s not my good buddy, but I’m thinking about that guy on Duck’s Dynasty. You know, the one with the beard. 🙂 Anyway, I get the whole tolerance thing. I really do. Then again, maybe not. At what point does tolerance become ridiculous? And at what point does it butt up against intolerance? Said in a more personal way (except I’m not asking any one person, but everyone), what exactly are the boundaries for you, and why should we take your word for it?

The connection may seem obscure (probably because it is), but I keep thinking ’bout all those naked cowgirls floating across the ceiling. Oh Lord, naked cowgirls sure can make you think you’re in heaven. But I shouldn’t be thinking about such things. It’s sexist. More to the point, I keep thinking about how my own prejudices oscillate to and fro, depending on the particular situation, and about how they’ve changed over the years. And I gotta say, I’ve grown more tolerant of intolerance, because sometimes it has its place. Maybe it’s just me (I guess it’s all about me again), but it seems to me that if your cause is just all you have to do is apply the pressure, wait long enough, and the intolerance will respond to changes in reality, so long as those changes are just. But I digress…

As to what I think will be the most significant political shift in the coming year it just might be that the fossil fuel lobby will lose their stranglehold on the clean energy debate. In that I harken back to my post of Sept 11 wherein I pointed out that conservative Tea Party groups in Georgia and Wisconsin were teaming up with liberal environmental groups to advocate for more and better access by clean energy sources to the energy mix offered by “local” utility providers. I put “local” in quotes because utility providers are not usually “local” in any sort of proper sense of the word. And that, I would say, characterizes one of the new battlegrounds. More recently a conservative group in Michigan, calling themselves the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum, has branched out to advocate for clean energy all on their own, without the help of a leftie/greenie organization holding their hand. Interestingly, they divorced any mention of climate change in the process, electing instead to emphasize the many other important issues clean energy impacts. Things like the economic impacts, national security impacts, public policy impacts, the imperatives faith implies, and of course the fact that they’re losing the political message to the lefties/greenies — Haha!. But hey, it doesn’t bother me if they’re ignoring the obvious as long as they’re headed in the right direction.

Ironically though, the one-year extension to federal production tax credit (PTC) program that was designed to promote the deployment of clean energy sources (particularly wind) officially ended today. It did so with surprisingly little fan-fare. There are reasons for that which I won’t go into here — suffice it to say that there’s still time to reverse that lapse without serious damage, as long as it’s done within the next few months. The longer it takes the worse the impact is. And after all, this is a program that was begun under the Bush (Jr) administration with bipartisan support, and really <i>should</i> be a darling of the right. It should be so because it has not only been hugely successful in spurring the development and spread of wind energy (resulting in a dramatic 25% reduction in capital costs over just the last 4 years as well as produced multiple thousands of domestic jobs, mostly in the manufacturing and construction sectors), but also because it is a uniquely results-oriented program which rewards the producers only on the basis of what they actually produce. It appears to me that the only reason the PTC program is the least bit controversial is because the fossil fuel industry is against it. Thus, it seems to me, this coming year will be a real litmus test revealing just how deep in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry the conservatives as a group really are. After all, they do so at the expense of just about every other sector of the economy. I don’t know how they can successfully spin that at this point. Maybe they can pull it off for another year or so (and thus my prediction may be a little premature), but I’m pretty sure that by the 2016 elections the fossil fuel industry’s stranglehold on opinion will be broken and both sides will be advocating renewable fuels to one extent or another. 


Posted by on January 1, 2014 in Uncategorized



42 responses to “Happy New Year!

  1. mitchethekid

    January 1, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Great tune. Great band. And bearded! Maybe Phil was onto something when he said that girls should be married at 15 or 16.

  2. kmgtwo

    January 1, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    I’ll address the tolerance question. To me, the line is crossed when it gets personal.

    Robertson’s statements in GQ were no different than what you would hear from any evangelical. I disagree with them, but if he wants to believe that gays are sinners and won’t get to heaven, that’s fine. Where it crossed the line was when his 2010 comments came out. He was saying directly to me that my gay family members were murderers and plotting ways to do evil. That’s the point where my tolerance ends.

    • mitchethekid

      January 1, 2014 at 9:01 pm

      And many others as well.

    • ricorun

      January 3, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      That’s a good point, kmg.

  3. meursault1942

    January 2, 2014 at 10:39 am

    “Interestingly, they divorced any mention of climate change in the process”

    That’s just smart positioning on their part. After all, consider their audience. Hell, look what happened when you posted this on B4V: They got all het up at the mere mention of climate change, culminating in CSL wanting to know just what makes this group “conservative” anyway? If they want to get wingers on board with the program, they’re going to have to steer clear of climate change entirely.

    On a different note, Slacktivist has a typically outstanding post pointing out that it’s time for conservative churches to put up or shut up regarding the poor:

    But what if the politics of resentment wins? What if the tea partiers prevent the House from reauthorizing this lifeline for the jobless and those 1.3 million American families are left with no means of paying for anything?
    Well, some people seem to think that would be a Good Thing, because it would allow private charity to step up and meet this need. In this funhouse-mirror inversion of reality, private charity’s rightful responsibility has been usurped by government, thereby preventing it from solving the problem of poverty once and for all.
    Many of the people advocating this theory are religious leaders — church people who criticize government for not “allowing” the churches room to care for the poor and the jobless through private charity. Here’s their chance to put their money where their mouth is. Here’s their chance to prove they’ve been speaking truth and not just spouting hateful anti-poor garbage.
    Let’s see these religious leaders step up and replace federal unemployment benefits for 1.3 million families. This is their moment: Fish or cut bait. Shit or get off the pot.
    Step up now, or accept that from now on, no one, anywhere, ever ought to take a word you say seriously ever again.

    Take a wild guess which option the churches are going to take.

  4. watsonthethird

    January 2, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Happy new year all. I see that Cluster has thrown his own blog under the bus. We done run off the conservatives! lol I guess it’s better to revert back to a blog in which no dissent whatsoever is tolerated. So much for the idea of a place “for people of all political persuasions to engage in civil debate on a whole host of political, cultural and entertainment issues.”

    • Cluster

      January 2, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      That’s rich. You were the one who accused me of a false position on healthcare and then chide others for lack of understanding and acceptance?

      • ricorun

        January 3, 2014 at 2:29 pm

        I find it truly disappointing that this site has yet to attract more individuals of a conservative persuasion. Likewise, I find it interesting that B4V did. Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out why the discrepancy exists.

      • ricorun

        January 3, 2014 at 2:53 pm

        I mean I find it interesting that B4V attracted individuals of the liberal persuasion.

      • mitchethekid

        January 3, 2014 at 3:47 pm

        I think that’s because it’s easier to critique extreme conservative ideas rather than the other way around. Plus when they started they were a cult that idolized GWB and unquestioningly supported the invasion of Iraq. To this day they claim there were WMD’s despite all evidence to the contrary. They’ve even attached a religious component to it. I too wish we had more conservative voices. But traditional Wm F Buckley types, not lunatic TeaPeople, racists, bigots, birthers, irrational Obama haters, etc. Maybe in time.

      • rustybrown2012

        January 3, 2014 at 4:07 pm

        I agree with you Mitch, the harebrained opinions at bfv are easy and irresistible targets for criticism, while the fact-based opinions offered here are harder to refute. It’s the same reason I, and others, are censored from that blog for no other reason than we were effectively refuting their arguments.

      • casper

        January 3, 2014 at 4:17 pm

        I guess if we are looking for someone who truly represents what conservatives stand for, neo just got kicked off of B4V (just kidding, about wanting him that is).

      • mitchethekid

        January 3, 2014 at 4:31 pm

        He’s a piece of work alright. That’s a bold statement they made. Someone should congratulate them.

      • casper

        January 3, 2014 at 4:43 pm

        Shouldn’t be anyone from here. They would probably reinstate him just to spite us.

      • rustybrown2012

        January 3, 2014 at 9:35 pm

        I congratulate them. Yet it’s kind of amazing they let a cretin like neo hold court for so long.

        How humiliating for him though – to be booted from a blog with such low standards. All you need is ideological purity to post, and you’re fine. There are only two types of people who seem to be banned: Those with compelling, persuasive arguments and those who prove themselves to be human shit stains with nothing to contribute to either side. I think we know where neo falls.

      • Marner

        January 3, 2014 at 10:05 pm

        That’s his second time being banned from the blog. In a few months he will be welcomed back under a new name and everyone will deny it is the same old fmrmarine/neocon1.

      • mitchethekid

        January 3, 2014 at 10:52 pm

        And before that he went by Kahn.

      • rustybrown2012

        January 3, 2014 at 11:01 pm

        Creepy. Why would anybody want to change their handle just to slink back into where they’re not welcome?

      • casper

        January 4, 2014 at 6:38 am

        I have no doubt neo will be back. He supplies about 30% of their comments and he represents an important part of the TEA party.

      • mitchethekid

        January 4, 2014 at 9:02 am

        I’m not so sure this time. Changing his alias is stupid (but considering the source…) because his IP Address remains the same. Assuming of course, he uses the same machine. He’s become increasingly more racist, more belligerent and more defensive about it. He’s also become more desperate. As many of you know, he sent a series of cryptically threatening emails to both Cluster and myself, although his raging hard on is reserved for me. I’m still trying to figure out how he obtained my legal name and my personal email address but I suspect that Amazona gave it to him since (from what I understand) she has access to that information via her moderator status. To you an idea of the lengths this human pig went to to try to intimidate me, he ran one of those background checks and then published my marital, financial and medical records. I spent the rest of the day quivering under my blankee.
        I think they realize he isn’t helping their cause to much. An example being Amazonas’ realization of the birther problem Cruz will invite should he become overwhelmed by the spirit and try to run for the Presidency. Plus they don’t want to be associated with; as they said, racists, bigots and homophobes.

    • rustybrown2012

      January 2, 2014 at 7:10 pm

      Birds of a feather. Cluster and his brethren can’t debate in a fair, open field so they flock to the sanctuary of bfv, where dissent isn’t permitted. I see he’s rejoined just in time for their monthly ritual of confusing AGW with weather. Must be very comforting.

      • Cluster

        January 2, 2014 at 7:17 pm

        Birds of a feather? The irony of that is equally rich. How many of you are there here? 5?

      • rustybrown2012

        January 2, 2014 at 7:32 pm

        There would be more if you and tired didn’t run away.

    • casper

      January 4, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      Looks like his banning didn’t last very long. He’s back pushing his same racist stuff.

      • mitchethekid

        January 4, 2014 at 2:36 pm

        Well. I can’t believe it. I’m having a sad. Those lying chicken shit motherfuckers. How dare they live up to their word. Apparently they agree with racist, bigoted homophobes. How can anyone even consider believing what they say. I still haven’t seen any news reports about rampaging mobs burning entire cities to the ground, have you? Guess we better consult WND or Drudge. Or Mad Magazine for that matter.

      • casper

        January 4, 2014 at 2:53 pm

        I guess now he gets a time out for a week and a half which is a little shorter than the time the Duck guy got from his TV job. Not a surprise.

      • watsonthethird

        January 5, 2014 at 12:23 pm

        neocon1 has definitely been a stain on B4V. The fact that he was allowed to post his racist screeds for so long reflects poorly on Matt and Mark. Let’s also remember that he attempted to make dozens of comments here of the most vile nature. They weren’t published because the blog required admin approval of the first comment by a new user, but the moderators saw them and know neocon’s true nature. He also claims he reposts from such “reputable” sources as Drudge. But this isn’t entirely true. On occasion, I would Google phrases from some of his racist rants and the ONLY other websites on which they appeared were white supremacists sites.

      • casper

        January 5, 2014 at 2:26 pm

        “The fact that he was allowed to post his racist screeds for so long reflects poorly on Matt and Mark.”

        Apparently they are ok with his comments as they have allowed them for years. I’m pretty sure CSL is the one who gave neo his “time out”. Either she didn’t have the guts to make it permanent or neo has something on her or the other moderators so they can’t ban him forever. Either way, he will be back posting his racist stuff in a couple of weeks.

      • mitchethekid

        January 5, 2014 at 2:44 pm

        If you read her rants without getting a headache, she’s either a savant at lying or teller of truth. From what I understand, the “owners” of the blog are Matt and Leo. A few yrs back they announced that the blog was being sold to a person who had a middle eastern name. Turns out he was a felon. I am also convinced that she gave Bill Logan both my and Clusters legal name and email addresses. To which he sent a series of cryptically threatening emails. He’s now taken up residence at the Hells place. Not sure why they allow it, but since they’ve been my source on what a shit stain of a human he is (kudos Rusty for the phrase) I’m sure they are playing with him like cat to mouse.
        I said this before. If B4V wants to maintain any credibility they will never allow him to post again. I also saw that my friend GMB was back there. Last thing he posted here was we were to left for him and B4V was to right. Not to mention how much he seemed to enjoy our atmosphere months back. No problem. The internet is wide open and open sourced. A phenomena of technology and human communication. Although sometimes I communicate more clearly with my cats and dog. All 3 are easily distracted by food.

      • casper

        January 5, 2014 at 3:43 pm

        “He’s now taken up residence at the Hells place.”

        Ironic isn’t it that the only place that will let him post is a place he describes as a porn site and not just a porn site, but the site that exposed his name and background.

      • mitchethekid

        January 5, 2014 at 5:15 pm

        He’s on the dead side of 60. Outraged at his lot in life. Sure bet that he reads this. And photos of beautiful naked women isn’t pornographic. Like the Supreme Court Justice said, he can’t articulate porn but he knows it when he sees it.

      • casper

        January 5, 2014 at 5:48 pm

        i don’t consider it a porn site, but he does. And yet it’s the first place he goes to after getting kicked off B4V.

      • watsonthethird

        January 5, 2014 at 7:16 pm

        The fact that NeoClown has resorted to posting at the Hell’s place is both one of the funniest and saddest things I’ve seen in a while. Does this make Clown a forker, too? lol What a sad, pathetic need he has for attention. Good grief. I bet his wife, children and business associates are pround of his behavior online.

  5. watsonthethird

    January 2, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    I did? I do recall writing positively about Obamacare. And let me tell you: It feels REALLY good knowing that I can no longer be denied health care on the individual market based on pre-existing conditions. You may have no idea how good that actually feels, but I am really thankful.

    Anyway, happy new year to you, Cluster, even if you don’t know what you’re talking about most of the time! haha (It’s a joke, Cluster.)

  6. casper

    January 2, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Happy New Year to all of you.

  7. Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.]

    January 3, 2014 at 7:44 am

    On the topic put forth by Marner I have to say the biggest political shift in 2013 was the awakening by the Establishment GOP that the TEA Party needs to go. next year the biggest political shift will come as the last die hard Latino voters move away from the GOP to the Democratic Party after the stonewalling by the House on an immigration reform bill.

    • Cluster

      January 3, 2014 at 8:48 am

      President Obama made a campaign promise way back in 2008 that immigration reform would be one of his top priorities. To date, he has not submitted one idea or made any concerted effort towards reform other than empty speeches. So why is he, and Democrats, never held accountable? Marco Rubio has been the only one putting a recent effort towards immigration legislation

  8. sarahbloch

    January 3, 2014 at 7:50 am

    The shift in 2014 will come when the GOP runs moderate candidates for the Senate that can actually keep their mouth shut on social issues and stick to conservative ideas that will play with moderates. This gets the Senate back for the GOP in November by a slim margin. Don’t worry they will lose it back in 2016 . . . along with the House.

    The story of 2013 was the GOP ignoring the autopsy of the 2012 election in favor of doubling down on TEA Party rhetoric.

  9. mitchethekid

    January 3, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Open note to Tired:
    Much to your chagrin, this blog is a joint effort. Whether it succeeds or fails is irrelevant. The reason I have your responses directed to purgatory isn’t so much your politics, it’s what you have proven to be as a person. I don’t like you. I don’t like how you treat people. I don’t like the extremist ideology you possess and those with whom you associate. I don’t like the monotony of the rote repetition of the same words and phrases used as a device to dismiss out of hand opposing thoughts and ideas. It’s a sign of a weak intellect trying to compete. Pretending to be accomplished but oblivious to how foolish you are. You’re not impressing anyone, except yourself and those who are as shallow. Maybe you should examine just why it’s so important to you to appear intelligent.
    Blogs are many things but they are not democracies. The original intent of this blog was perhaps a bit to idealistic. But the way it has evolved might mirror our society in general and if so, reactionary, populist extremism that has an appeal to the narrow minded and the simple isn’t very attractive. Nor is it embraced by the majority. You’re just another shrill voice demanding that the square peg of the world fit into your round hole. If you had an appreciation for the golden rule, this conversation would not have taken place.

  10. casper

    January 4, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Just to be on topic, I see 2014 as being the year labor makes a come back. Walmart employees and fast food employees are starting to organize and make themselves heard.

%d bloggers like this: