Experts Believe

Experts believe Iran is 3 months from a nuclear device now … and if the Kerry/Obama agreement is kept honestly by Iran (and you can take that with a grain of salt(peter)) then they will be a year from having a device.

These same experts were the ones who said Iraq had lots of poison gas, where taken completely by surprise by Egyptian uprisings, the Russian Crimean adventure, and pretty much every uprising and event in the last decade. The question really is, who are these experts? Why does anyone believe them when they say anything? Who pays these guys? And …

The kicker, Mr Obama has on many occasions spoken of his (secret because details are never given) plan to proceed to a non-nuclear weapon world. How does giving Iran (probably) a weapon faster and more resources to fight conventionally (see their recent overthrow of the Yemen government) … get you to a safer place.

Not seeing it.

Mr Obama. You can complain about us in the States not having faith in you. But you see, you have to actually make arguments for the things you believe. That argument has not once been made publicly . So, don’t just ask us to trust you. ’cause we have no reason to trust anymore. You’ve told too many baldfaced lies for that.

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37 comments

  1. Boonton says:

    No really getting your point here. I guess this is a bad sign, the next half century of your posts will not improve upon the first one.

  2. Boonton says:

    So in reference to the Iran deal, libertarian blogger Mish has the below summary: (http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-obama-doctrine-astonishingly-good.html)

    * Iran will give up about 14,000 of its 20,000 centrifuges

    * Iran will give up all but its most rudimentary, outdated centrifuges: its first-generation IR-1s, knockoffs of 1970s European models, are all it gets to keep. It will not be allowed to build or develop newer models.

    * Iran will give up 97 percent of its enriched uranium; it will hold on to only 300 kilograms of its 10,000-kilogram stockpile in its current form.

    * Iran will destroy or export the core of its plutonium plant at Arak, and replace it with a new core that cannot produce weapons-grade plutonium. It will ship out all spent nuclear fuel.

    * Inspectors will have access to all parts of Iran’s nuclear supply chain, including its uranium mines and the mills where it processes uranium ore. Inspectors will also not just monitor but be required to pre-approve all sales to Iran of nuclear-related equipment. This provision also applies to something called ‘dual-use’ materials, which means any equipment that could be used toward a nuclear program.

    With a lot of blather about ‘good faith’ whatever, I’m not really seeing what the argument is here. If Iran surrenders the above things (and it is very easy to check that they do), then it seems pretty clear their nuclear program will be either halted or greatly slowed down. Even if one assumes Iran’s intent is to simply cheat, well the fact is 14,000 fewer centrifuges means less nuclear material can be processed. 9,700 kilos of enriched uranium given up is 9,700 fewer kilos of uranium that could be used for bombs. No plutonium plant means less or no plutonium for a nuclear bomb.

    The only good faith problem I see here is with those who are critics. What exactly are they proposing as an alternative? I don’t see any plausible case where Iran is less close to a nuclear weapon if it keeps all 20K centrifuges.

    A military strike might be proposed as an alternative but nothing in the deal precludes such an act in the future (the US isn’t giving up its bombers, cruise missiles, drones, etc.). While a strike today could plausibly put its nuclear plant out of commission, I’m not at all convinced anyone has the intelligence to be confident that air strikes could destroy 97%+ of its uranium stockpiles or 70%+ of its better centrifuges.

  3. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    * “Iran will give up about 14,000 …” so-called experts say they will acquire nuclear capability in 9-12 months instead of 3.
    * “Iran will give up 97% …” actually … no. They will chemically convert the enriched Uranium to a Uranium oxide, which cannot (in that form) be used in a device. It can however, be chemically processed back to a non-oxide at a later time.
    * Iran will .. Plutonium reactor (see point 1).

    As to to the inspectors … let’s see. Iraq didn’t give inspectors access, which precipitated a war. A big sticking point in the agreement is that Iran thinks they are on the track to an agreement in which sanctions are lifted right away and inspections start later. We apparently think *after* inspectors get access then

    Iran just de-stablized Yemen. Tell me how lifted sanctions and more money makes this sort of thing less likely? In a year they will have a nuclear device … how is that so different than having one in 3 months?

    Good faith? So if Iran gets and tests a device in a year, are sanctions imposed? Or not? The deal says not. Do you think we will do that? Do you think Iran will truly give good access to inspectors? If they do give access and then renege … was their agreement in good faith? If we fail to reapply sanctions was ours?

  4. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    What exactly are they proposing as an alternative? I don’t see any plausible case where Iran is less close to a nuclear weapon if it keeps all 20K centrifuges.

    The sanctions currently in place make it hard for the current regime to stay in power. I’m not seeing what you are getting from the deal. In return for a short delay to nuclear capability you shore up a horrific regime and give them more resources to be a bad actor in the region. Why do you think that is a “good deal”?

  5. Mark says:

    Boonton

    (and it is very easy to check that they do)

    This is untrue.

  6. Boonton says:

    1. Iran clearly has no problem ‘destabilizing’ Yeman when it currently lacks nuclear weapons and is under a sanction regime. If stability of Yeman is the goal, then perhaps we should question how is it stable to have Shi’ite majority countries ruled by Sunni autocrats? What exactly was so great about the previous Yeman regime that you’d be willing to fight for it?

    In return for a short delay to nuclear capability you shore up a horrific regime and give them more resources to be a bad actor in the region. Why do you think that is a “good deal”?

    There are not really any good actors in the region. Iran, however, does provide a counter balance to ISIS and Al Qaeda orientated populist movements in the Arab world. To the degree that the Middle East is going to split along a Sunni-Shi’ite divide, the US is better off refraining from taking any side. That being said, Egypt remains a powerhouse in the Arab world and Saudi Arabia has purchased a lot of US weapons. If Iran’s idea is to re-create a modern day version of the Persian Empire, they are going to find such an undertaking very costly.

    2. “As to to the inspectors … let’s see. Iraq didn’t give inspectors access, which precipitated a war.”…. OK but right now there are zero inspectors so again if the goal is for Iran to either slow down or stop progress towards a nuclear weapon, how is keeping nuclear material under zero international scrutiny and the entire infrastructure running helping accomplish that goal? That is the current status quo absent a deal.

    3. “The sanctions currently in place make it hard for the current regime to stay in power” As evidenced by Saddam Hussein…toppled by sanctions. Fidel Castro…toppled by sanctions. North Korea…toppled by sanctions and Seth Rogan. Iran is a large, diverse and resource rich country. Oil, in particular, is a resource that is somewhat friendly to black market transactions Sanctions have some ability to inflict pain on the regime and the people but they are not sufficient to topple the regime. They do, however, provide a carrot where good behavior, even if only modestly good, can be rewarded. Unlike military attacks, they are also easy to turn on and off. If Iran doesn’t turn over material, gives inspectors a hard time, keeps the reactor going etc. then the sanctions can simply be activated again.

    4.

    “check that they do”

    This is untrue.

    It is pretty easy to confirm that Iraq has turned over 14,000 centrifuges. It is easy to check if Iran has converted uranium into uranium oxide. Converting it back would require centrifuges and time. If your goal was to make nuclear bombs, converting your enriched uranium is a bit like taking apart every piece of an intricate model ship the moment before you were about to put the final piece on.

    so-called experts say they will acquire nuclear capability in 9-12 months instead of 3.

    There is nuclear capacity and nuclear capacity. At the end of WWII the US was in a bit of a bind because it literally only had a handful of nuclear weapons. While Iran might be allowed to leave the door open to achieve a bomb or two after a 12 month crash project, they would be giving up their ability to easily become a nuclear power (which would require the ability to manufacture a diverse array of weapons and almost certainly conduct multiple tests in order to refine them into more plausibly useful weapons).

    Of course the ‘timelines’ here seem to require a lot of salt grains. We were told Iraq was closing in on nuclear weapons too, and how did that turn out? There is some pretty undeniable truths, though. If your goal was to make nuclear weaons, giving up centrifuges would work against it. So would deactivating a plutonium generating reactor. So would converting enriched uranium to less usable forms. Having inspectors conduct any ground level observations, of course, is not very helpful if your goal is to avoid air strikes that might stop your program.

    The alternative presented is in actuality nothing. Iran will have more centrifuges, more reactors, more uranium and hence will get a bomb faster and make more bombs in the long run. If it was easy and assured to stop this with a military strike but not a full scale invasion, then presumably we already know where all of Iran’s materials are making cheating by definition much harder.

  7. Boonton says:

    Here is, of course, another way of thinking about this. Would you give Iran 14,000 high quality centrifuges, 9,700 kilos of enriched uranium, a working reactor producing plutonium in exchange for ensuring that Iran would have a hard time exporting oil for Pepsi and Apple Watches? I think most people would agree the first set of goods are much more problematic than the second, despite some pretty indirect concerns that a stronger Iranian economy could stregthen its regime and expand its influence in the region.

    This is, of course, the legacy of the Iraq invasion. We had 3 countries that we declared the ‘Axis of Evil’, and the two countries that either had or were close to nuclear weapons didn’t get invaded while the one that was far away from them did. Game theory suggests the optimal strategy would be to either try to get into the box of ‘evil with nukes’ or the box of ‘not evil’. From our POV we’d rather countries opt for the latter rather than the former so sweetening that path is a very logical play. It even makes sense, like any salesperson knows, to offer a sample of the goods before the buyer actually commits. In other words, lighter sanctions in return for even modest pull backs would be more likely to stregthen the hand of those in Iran who view it as more rewarding to try to get out of the ‘evil box’ rather than rush into the other box as fast as possible.

  8. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Here is, of course, another way of thinking about this. Would you give Iran 14,000 high quality centrifuges, 9,700 kilos of enriched uranium, a working reactor producing plutonium in exchange for ensuring that Iran would have a hard time exporting oil for Pepsi and Apple Watches?

    I see. In your magical world “Pepsi and Apple Watches” are what make up the sanctions. Hard to see in that case, why Iran cares at all. Except that isn’t the effect of the sanction. And you know that.

    Since you’re suggesting hypotheticals. You live in a largish neighborhood that has a problem with a mob presence. The mayor has opened “negotiations” with the mob because he heard they are on the verge of obtaining machine guns and rocket launchers. The mayor announces a deal. In return for tripling the mob’s revenue stream, normalizing relations (legalizing most of their operations), they’ve conceded that instead of getting those weapons in 3 months, they’ve agreed to only get them a year from now … oddly close to when his term is over and certainly the effects obtaining those that weapon will in fact be pushed post-term. The mayor claims this is a good deal, because they won’t get the weapons sooner. He ignores that this will make the mob boss more “secure” in his position and give him funds to expand his operations into other (illegal) areas now. So, then. Why do you think this is a good deal?

  9. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    Actually the biggest question regarding Yemen is why the President continues to tout it as a success story.

    There are not really any good actors in the region

    So you equate Israel with Hamas and ISIS? Your credibility wanes.

    “The sanctions currently in place make it hard for the current regime to stay in power”

    Hmm. There was in fact a north African country that didn’t just agree to sanctions but disarmed and removed their program to have them lifted. Odd you’d forget that. Oh, wait. Your favorite President attacked them without declaring war later on little or no provocation. Hmm.

    It is easy to check if Iran has converted uranium into uranium oxide. Converting it back would require centrifuges and time.

    No. No. No. Nope. If you read this from a White House document or liberal source, they are lying and you should never ever believe anything they say. If not, you need to recall you high school chemistry. Converting it back is purely chemical reactions. No centrifuges involved. Centrifuges are to enrich the U235/U238 mix to have a higher concentration of U235. A high concentration U235 oxide requires only removing the oxygen. If you had Iron and used centrifuges to separate two isotopes of Iron … then let it oxidize to rust. You make isotope enriched steel with rust. But, having used a furnace to remove the oxygen, you can. The furnace isn’t a centrifuge.

  10. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    If stability of Yemen is the goal, then perhaps we should question how is it stable to have Shi’ite majority countries ruled by Sunni autocrats? What exactly was so great about the previous Yeman regime that you’d be willing to fight for it?

    Uhm, what greatness bar does a country have a pass for you to ignore an outside power destabilizing them? Our President is highlighting them (Yemen) as a big success story. That is one thing allegedly “great” about them. Riddle me this. Why is the US supporting either “side” in the Yemen conflict?

  11. Boonton says:

    The mayor announces a deal. In return for tripling the mob’s revenue stream, normalizing relations (legalizing most of their operations), they’ve conceded that instead of getting those weapons in 3 months, they’ve agreed to only get them a year from now

    Errr no the deal is not that they ‘get them a year from now’. The deal is they give up their means of getting them ‘3 months’ from now.

    The timelines, of course, are to be taken with a grain of salt. Let’s say if I began training now I could compete with you in a marathon in 12 months. If you wanted to avoid the competition, you could offer me a deal where I defer starting any training for 3 months. That would mean in a year you would not have me as a competitor, but you couldn’t be sure about 2 years from now. However, if this deal works and you find I don’t cheat you might offer to renew after 3 months. Hence the year of training I need to get up to speed for the marathon never actually happens so maybe 5 years from now people will chuckle when you say something like “Boonton’s been a year away from being able to finish the marathon for the last five years”. Strictly speaking that is true but “a year away” is not a countdown unless I actually start a training program and stick to it.

    oddly close to when his term is over and certainly the effects obtaining those that weapon will in fact be pushed post-term.

    So you admit the deal has the effect of delaying Iran’s nuclear capacity. Therefore opposing the deal has the effect of accelerating Iran’s nuclear capacity. Why are you interested in accelerating it? Are you more loyal to Iran or simply disloyal in your opposition to Obama? Likewise your analysis seems to imply that Iran should drop its nuclear program entirely…since you seem to think that Iran’s economy would naturally let it become stronger by acquiring lots of conventional weapons so if you were an Iranian military advisor, you’d advise trading the entire nuclear program for the sanctions.

    But then what does Iran’s economy have that Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and lots of other economies don’t? Iran arming itself conventionally should naturally be offset by those countries arming themselves conventionally. Iran fought a decade long war with Saddam’s Iraq and didn’t get anywhere with it except seeing nearly a million dead in total. It is hardly obvious to me that Iran is the only tough guy on the block.

    So you equate Israel with Hamas and ISIS? Your credibility wanes.

    Asserting that there are ‘not really any good actors’ in the Middle East is hardly asserting equality. Clearly, for example, there’s a world of difference between Turkey and, say, Saudi Arabia. True Israel is easy to forget when the discussion is mostly centered on Islamic nations, have you found a credibility issue or just damaged your own with an attempt to nitpick words?

    Hmm. There was in fact a north African country that didn’t just agree to sanctions but disarmed and removed their program to have them lifted.

    So you demonstrate that it is possible to trade lifting of sanctions for delay and even elimination of a nuclear program…even when the regime (Libya under Kadaffi I believe) is lead by someone rather deranged.

    You make isotope enriched steel with rust. But, having used a furnace to remove the oxygen, you can. The furnace isn’t a centrifuge.

    You have a warehouse with 9700 kilos of uranium oxide. Every month UN inspectors check the seals on the door, go inside, sample random samples of it and confirm it is still 9700 kils of uranium oxide. Fool proof? No but you’d know exactly where 9700 kilos of their easily enrichable uranium is and you’d have people actually be able to see it on the ground rather than from space which seems like more than we have now.

    Uhm, what greatness bar does a country have a pass for you to ignore an outside power destabilizing them? Our President is highlighting them (Yemen) as a big success story. That is one thing allegedly “great” about them. Riddle me this. Why is the US supporting either “side” in the Yemen conflict?

    Beats me. What does this have to do with an Iran deal? Clearly Iran can play games in Yemen with a nuclear program and under sanctions. So presumably Iran could still play games in Yemen absent some sanctions and absent a nuclear program. I can see why maybe Saudi Arabia may care a lot about Iranian influence in Yemen but globally I think slowing or stopping their nuclear program is more valuable in advancing the US’s interests.

  12. Boonton says:

    Also the mobsters buying machine guns isn’t a really great analogy here. Perhaps the analogy would be the mobsters have clubs and knives but are making a deal that would make it much harder for them to get guns. Absent the deal they will get a shipment of machine guns from Amazon.com in a few months.

    I think that may roughly capture the different in magnitude between conventional and nuclear weapons.

  13. buddyglass says:

    “Therefore opposing the deal has the effect of accelerating Iran’s nuclear capacity. Why are you interested in accelerating it?”

    I’m guessing the alternative to a deal is not “do nothing” but “destroy Iran’s ability to get the bomb via military means”. Whether or not that’s feasible and/or wise can be debated.

  14. Boonton says:

    We can debate that, someone just has to put that on the table.

  15. Boonton says:

    From the military strike perspective, Iran putting nuclear assets into set locations would make it easier to neutralize their nuclear capacity with quick one-off strikes. While some targets like a nuclear reactor can be hit today, I do not think neutralizing Iran’s nuclear program could really happen with simple air strikes.

    There’s also institutional momentum to consider. If Iran puts a pause on nuclear development for an extended period of time, it might preserve the needed materials to pick it back up again (say after a few years talks break down), but scientists and engineers cannot be mothballed. If they are sent off to other projects for several years they cannot simply be reassembled and told to pick up where they left off. Freeze a program at something like ’12 months from a bomb’ and you are likely to find that 12 months gets longer and longer as time goes by.

    To become a nuclear power, Iran needs to get through to a working bomb and then continue to miniaturize the bomb and produce them in quantity so they can actually use the bomb in a military context. I suspect a deal that even imperfectly slows down their program would be very detrimental to its momentum while a military strike that fails to destroy the whole thing could provide a lot of momentum.

  16. Mark says:

    Mr Howard,
    I suspect that Ted Cruz is disliked in part because of the “wrong party” thing. Mr Palin, for example, engendered much hatred on the left because women are “supposed” to be Democrats. Mr Cruz as a Hispanic “should” be a Democrat as well. Gay and Black conservatives get his as well.

    Nothing these people actually say (and do) justifies the over the top response. Thus the bigotry implied in the “you belong to group X therefore rightfully you should be beholden to the Dems and a Democrat” response is triggered.

  17. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    Actually it has been noted elsewhere, that it is also likely that their ballistic development may spur a device < => device tech/material swap with North Korea.

  18. buddyglass says:

    “I suspect that Ted Cruz is disliked in part because of the “wrong party” thing.”

    Not sure that satisfies me as an explanation. I guess we can continue this here even though I originally responded to that other post.

    Rubio, for instance, is Hispanic and Republican but engenders nowhere near the same level of dislike as Cruz.

    Elizabeth Dole was a Republican woman but nobody hated her like Palin was hated.

    Cruz, for his part, is even disliked (at least, more so than the other candidates) by other Republicans. We might say, “Well, that’s just because he’s the most conservative of the bunch”. But…Scott Walker is not much less conservative than Cruz and isn’t hated as much. (Though, possibly because people just don’t know him well enough.)

  19. Boonton says:

    Marc’s position seems to be that Sarah Palin should be given deference as a serious person simply because she is a woman. Therefore any disrespect she receives cannot be because of any fault or failing of her own, but sexism on the part of liberals.

    How ironic that Marc will at the same time write against affirmative action. Whose ox is gored indeed…

  20. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    No. My position is that the animus against her far exceeds what would be expected, if for example, she was a male politician. That’s my actual position. Just so you aren’t arguing against a straw man.

    Mr Howard,
    You are right w.r.t. to Cruz I think. Perhaps it isn’t a “wrong party thing”. I guess I don’t know what engenders the indignation. For example, I saw lots of gasps and outrage w.r.t. the speech he gave announcing his candidacy. I skimmed the transcript and saw really nothing at all that justified the outrage.

    On the other hand, a blog I link on occaison (GayPatriot) gets hate comment, emails and death threats … ’cause a gay conservative strikes too many liberals as offensive. It is this response that I think in part is behind the Palin animus and to which I refer. So this “you should a Democrat, therefore I hate you” is a thing. Why it doesn’t happen for everyone, I don’t know. Clarence Thomas gets a some of that as well.

  21. Mark says:

    Mr Howard,
    And Scott Walker is a good example. Liberals froth at them mouth when they hear about him doing anything … it is their misguided memory of (or their twisted view of) recent Wisconsin politics (recall the recall?)

  22. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    Oh, and my name is spelled with a “K” (Mark)

  23. Boonton says:

    No. My position is that the animus against her far exceeds what would be expected, if for example, she was a male politician. That’s my actual position. Just so you aren’t arguing against a straw man.,

    Oh, and my name is spelled with a “K”

    Sorry about that, up far too late.

    Anyway, this argument doesn’t work very well. It essentially entails asking us to imagine an alternative universe where something different happened and then imagine how we and others would respond differently. For example, an alternative universe where Sarah Palin was exactly the same as she is now, except she was born ‘Sam’ instead of Sarah.

    But how do you know how people would react if that had happened? Plus, no one denies that Sarah Palin was selected by McCain because she was a woman. She was an attempt to both catch voters who wanted Hillary to win the nomination and to convince voters that a McCain victory would still be a ‘historic event’ (namely the first female VP….interestingly, McCain would have been the first Vietnam vet elected President but now it seems that ship is sailing…it seems the US has yet to elect a vetern from any modern war except WWII).

    So since Palin was selected because she was a woman is it not unreasonable for that to inspire extra anger and contempt? Remember her purpose was to show that the GOP ‘understands women’ and respects them therefore is worthy of support from women. If that was the agenda, then the type of women selected essentially communicates what the GOP thinks of women. If they selected a well spoken, very knowledgeable and insightful women that would have probably worked out better. In essence they selected a bimbo, and a rather noxious one at that (recall statements like “the more American areas support us”). Why shouldn’t she inspire extra contempt then?

  24. Boonton says:

    And Scott Walker is a good example. Liberals froth at them mouth when they hear about him doing anything

    So liberals froth at Sarah Palin because she’s a woman…..so that’s sexist…

    But liberals also froth at Ted Cruz….but he is a man. Ohhh its because he is Hispanic and that makes him being Republican of ‘the wrong party’….but Cruz is Cuban and while GOP dominence among Cuban-Americans it is still hardly unusual for a Cuban-American politician to be a Republican.

    But liberals also froth at Scott Walker…but he is a man and not Hispanic. Ohhh he is from Wisconson and that’s the wrong party?

    Liberals certainly seem to froth at quite a few people according to you but all you’ve demonstrated is remarkable diversity among those they froth at…at least when it comes to things like race, gender and sexual orientation.

    What you’ve shown is you are remarkably willing to embrace any type of victimization card that helps your guys and gals out. You play the PC button more than Al Sharpton or any other like character ever did or could.

    On the other hand, a blog I link on occaison (GayPatriot) gets hate comment, emails and death threats …

    How do we know these are liberals? Cite a ‘hate comment/death threat’ from a known liberal pundit or politician on GayPatriot’s blog.

  25. Boonton says:

    And how exactly does this relate to the Iran nuclear proposal?

  26. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    So liberals froth at Sarah Palin because she’s a woman…..so that’s sexist…

    Indeed.

    But liberals also froth at Ted Cruz….but he is a man. Ohhh its because he is Hispanic

    Uhm. Keep up. Mr Howard suggested that wasn’t the reason and I agreed. I’m not sure why he engenders their ire.

    But liberals also froth at Scott Walker

    Because … of their mistaken impressions/reactions to the teachers union thing in Wisconsin. You knew that.

    But you are right. Liberals like to spew hate at a lot of things. Must make you proud.

    This isn’t about victimization. It’s about overreacting based on category. It’s the “you should be one of us, but aren’t, therefore I hate you” reaction.

    I will email some of the contributors on the GP site to see if he/they can provide us some examples. Why do they have be known people? That seems unfair. After all, famous figures are not known to contribute to blog comments, requiring that they do seems a slightly high bar. It’s like pretending “that’s not hate speech, after all nobody famous is making that remark.” Oddly enough hate speech remains hate speech even if not done by famous people.

  27. Boonton says:

    But you are right. Liberals like to spew hate at a lot of things. Must make you proud.

    I’m perplexed that you are surprised that one ideology is critical of those from an opposing ideology? Do you also get upset that football teams slam into each other during each play?

    This isn’t about victimization. It’s about overreacting based on category.

    That’s funny since you’ve started adopting the language of victimization. For example, criticism is now ‘hate’ in your rhetoric. You attempted to make an argument for ‘overracting based in (irrelevant) category’ but your numerous examples have destroyed the foundation of your argument. If you’re attempting to assert that Democrats have special, over the top, anger when ideological opponents come from certain categories then you have to provide consistent examples. First you tell us the category is ‘women’…yet you sprew out examples of males who refute your hypothesis. Then you tell us the category is ‘Hispanic’, and yet you still put forward examples that refute this hypothesis. Now finally you assert the category is ‘Wisconson’ and at this point we are just too silly to keep this game up. I wouldn’t be surprised if we were having this conversation a few months ago you’d try to argue that ‘fat people’ was yet another category….as demonstrated by ‘hatred’ of Chris Christee. Hmmmmm.

    I’ll point something out to you. Try searching for the phrase “most liberal ever” or “most pro-abortion ever” over time as used by the right. You’ll probably find that while logically “most ever” is a category that can only include one person, the actual person named by the right flows up and down with polls. I recall Hillary was once the ‘most liberal’ ever, until Obama started beating her and it became him and she became ‘moderate’. But in previous times the ‘most liberal’ was Bill Clinton, Edwards, Kennedy, Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Ferraro and so on. Conservatives vary their ‘hate’ just as much, probably more and if I tried to make a category game out of it I’d quickly end up with lots and lots of categories (respectively Southerner, Northerner/Irish/Catholic, Southerner, not sure, Massacheusettes, and woman). Clearly this demonstrates your ‘category vomit’ is an unhelpful rhetorical framework here.

  28. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    I don’t understand your “What you’ve shown is you are remarkably willing to embrace any type of victimization card that helps your guys and gals out” statement. How is this victimization? I’m not seeing it.

  29. Boonton says:

    1. Defining criticism as ‘hate’ rather than addressing the actual criticism. For example, if liberal X says Palin knows nothing about foreign affairs, arguing that she in fact does know about foreign affairs despite some awkward comments would be a defense. Accusing the critic of ‘hate’ deflects the criticism by trying to paint it as some type of mental illness on the part of the critic.

    2. Categorization failure – If you demonstrated a consistent bias against people of a particular category that was not in itself a valid way to judge, you’d be ok. For example, consider the class ‘resume’ studies where some resumes are sent out with ‘black names’ and others ‘white names’ and then the process is reversed and calll back rates are evaluated. But contrast that with a statement like “this year no picture staring Black people was nominated for Best Picture, that’s racism”. That might work if year in year out consistently good pictures with Blacks are snubbed but if in the previous year such a picture was in fact nominated you’d have a problem.

    So I would define victimization here as raising a spurious claim of being unfairly judged in a biased way in order to either deflect valid criticism or to enhance one’s own position.

    When the shoe is on the other foot the right has no problem calling out victimization. For example, yelling foul when a SSM advocate implies anti-SSM advocates are ‘haters’ or ‘homophobic’. No objection there, calling foul on the other side is perfectly valid when a foul has actually happened. But as some famous book said….something something as you judge so shall you be judged….

  30. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    #1, not. Defining “hate” as going to extremes, beyond the call for no reason. Like moving in next door, dumpster diving, &c.

    #2. Hmm. Yes. Like insisting race is an actual category for choice, like preferring (or disliking) a candidate or job applicant on account of race when race is irrelevant to their job.

  31. Boonton says:

    #1 Sounds more like journalism rather than hate.

    #2 That’s something you yourself have done, as well as the rest of the Republican Party. But here we’re talking about what victimization means and one definition it means a false claim that one is being targetted by an invalid category (race, gender, religion etc.) when evidence the contrary is readily available.

  32. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    But here we’re talking about what victimization means and one definition it means a false claim that one is being targetted by an invalid category (race, gender, religion etc.) when evidence the contrary is readily available.

    OK. If it wasn’t Ms Palin’s gender I don’t get the over-reaction by the liberals/Democrats. They did overreact. Why? If not that she violated her “place”?

  33. Boonton says:

    I’m not clear what overreaction you’re talking about? Palin was a stupid, incoherent candidate and it was pretty stunning she was given such a high position. It’s chutzpah for you to even ask a question like “what would Democrats have done if she was a man” when the primary reason McCain chosoe her was *because* of her gender to begin with!

  34. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Palin was a stupid, incoherent candidate and it was pretty stunning she was given such a high position.

    Hmm. Stupid? By what metric? As discussed elsewhere there is no good way to decide that I know of whether a public persona is intelligent or not. So saying a candidate is stupid is basically useless. It’s a baseless insult, not that that means you should never say such. But you should realize that it is baseless. Incoherent? Hmm. Judging from the responses to her public speaking, she was reported as a charismatic, dynamic public speaker. That doesn’t mean “incoherent”. If you want to pretend “I mean incoherent away from a teleprompter”, do you as an Obama/Biden supporter want to go there?

    So. Let’s see. Ms Palin was a popular GOP governor of a state. She wasn’t stupid nor incoherent, unless you like baseless insults. But that’s my point. The “case” against her wasn’t about issues or qualifications. It was pure spite and demonization. As I said, the overreaction was likely “betrayal” based on gender.

  35. Boonton says:

    In sum your defense of Palin can be grouped into:

    1. It’s impossible to measure stupid, therefore we cannot even entertain the possibility that a politician could be stupid let alone dare assert that a particular poitician is stupid!

    2. Argument from popularity – Palin was ‘reported to be charasimatic’, and was a popular governor therefore she must not be stupid and she must be coherent. Interestingly if this was the case then the ‘stupid’ charge would become less potent over time as she becomes more well known by more voters. Yet it seems to be just the opposite. Right now even most Republicans do not seem to consider her fit anymore for a high office and have moved onto other candidates.

    3. Argument from victimization – It is mean to call someone stupid, so people asserting Palin was stupid must indicate a problem with those people rather than an underlying problem with Palin herself as a candidate.

    Notice what is missing from this ‘defense’. Any actual assertion to the contrary. No argument that Palin ‘gets it’, no assertion that her thinking is informed and logically coherent. Instead what we have is a rhetorical trick. First we are told we must infer she is good because if she wasn’t, people would call her stupid. Then we are told it’s mean to call her stupid, therefore we should not count people who do so.

    Just assume for a moment what you must think is a counterfactual; Palin was and is an unfit person to hold higher office because of her lack of knowledge and her inability to think coherently. Just say that is true. How exactly could that be fairly picked up upon and spoken about by interested people in your opinion?

  36. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    You are correct. I don’t think Ms Palin is suitable for President. However I think she is just as suitable for as Mr Biden was for the office for which he was running. She had more executive experience than Mr Obama at the time. Odd that. I’ve not seen evidence he can think or speak coherently. In the VP debate he couldn’t remember the difference between Lebanon and Syria … and he is a putative Middle East policy expert.

    Look regarding intelligence. You’ve been asked many many times why/how you’ve come to the opinion that Mr Obama is intelligent. How and why do you think that? By what do you based your opinion.

    It’s impossible to measure stupid, therefore we cannot even entertain the possibility that a politician could be stupid let alone dare assert that a particular poitician is stupid!

    Doesn’t logically follow. That you can’t measure a thing doesn’t mean you can’t entertain the possibility that a thing exists. However if you make a sure claim of a thing which you can measure, your only reason for doing so is not based in reality but instead purely partisanship.

    Uhm. Martin Luther King Jr was a charismatic speaker. That he was a charismatic speaker means he was not incoherent. Likewise for Ms Palin. She was touted by everyone listening to her speeches by basically everyone as a dynamic and charismatic speaker (note, charismatic is not alone but as an adjective alongside “speaker”). I maintain one cannot at the same time be great at public speaking and be incoherent. Ergo, your claim of incoherence is clearly false. If you insist on it, you are again partisan and holding to falsehoods for reasons you haven’t divulged. I’ve suggested it was because she was against type (woman and conservative). You’ve denied by not yet divulged the basis for your animus.

  37. Mark says:

    Boonton
    That’s an interesting phrase. “Suitable for President”. Not may Presidents have been suitable for President. Washington. Jefferson. Quincy Adams. Lincoln. Maybe Truman. That’s about it. Palin’s qualifications compared favorably with Obama’s. But, I agree Palin wasn’t suitable. Neither alas, was the man elected.