We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Since it was Ben Nelson of Nebraska that finally got Harry Reid his desperately needed 60th vote for socialized medicine, I hope 1) that the next two year are unpleasant for Sen. Nelson and 2) that he loses in 2012 by a landslide.
While not faulting journalists and politicians for their stupendous ignorance when discussing most scientific subjects, I do condemn their utter lack of coherence concerning basic scientific definitions, processes, and principles.
Specifically, the chattering classes have no appreciation of the following truisms: settled science comes only in the form of physical laws while the causes behind specific phenomena are sometimes never definitively settled. And the more complex the system being observed, the longer it takes to reach a consensus about the causal mechanisms.
Re climate instability and plans to address it: the climate is naturally responsive to a lot of forcings or signals. It is almost certain to be unstable as long as the planet holds out. The only known stable climates in the solar system are all impossible for humans to occupy anyway.
Upending our financial system and forcing penance on the industrial affluent world will crimp me if it happens. I'll be annoyed and constrained by high costs and petty regulation. It is the genuinely poor who will suffer the most because of the watermelons: every effort to develop their own lives will be blocked and the resources to aid them from outside (a bad idea anyway) will dry up. Instead of transferring aid to developing nations, we should transfer technology to those nations which are liberating their economies and their people. We have poured trillions into the kleptocrats, whose people remain miserable, ignorant and oppressed.