Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Is Trump a Fascist?

"Is Trump a Fascist?" That's the question on everyone's lips.

It's a diagnosis. Making a diagnosis is something that I'm used to. It is an inductive process, a matter of pattern recognition, and if someone doesn't want to believe that Trump is a fascist, then they are not going to be persuaded. But for the rest of us, it is a matter to be looked into.

Dr Laurence Britt has studied a number of fascist regimes, and here is his list of symptoms, published in 2003.

I have marked the characteristics identified by Britt up as follows:
# = Trump ticks the box.
? = I'm not sure (if you have more knowledge than I, make a comment)
Blank = nothing so far

 1. Nationalism - flags everywhere. America First #
 2. Disdain for Human Rights. Torture OK #
 3. Enemy or scapegoat(s) Muslims #
 4. Militarisation # - desire for parades
 5. Sexism, male dominant #
 6. Media control #?
 7. Obsession with National Security - Terror threat  #
 8. Use of religion #
 9. Corporate power #
 10. Labour suppressed ?
 11. Disdain for intellectuals and arts ?#
 12. Obsession with Crime and punishment; police state ?
 13. Cronyism and corruption #
 14. Fraudulent elections

So Trump scores 10/14 already.
Conclusion: he is well on his way to being the first Fascist President of the USA.
This is bad news, but the good news is that whereas in the 1930s they didnt know about WWII, now in 2017 we do, so we will all be out to stop Trump in his tracks.

Plucky John Bercow has made a start, we must support him.
Demonstrations outside Esso stations, and boycott of Esso, will help.
Violence will not help (see 3 and 7 above).

What else can we do?

Friday, January 20, 2017

Steve Goddard, leading AGW denier, caught backing model over observations

On the sad day when a climate change denier is to be inaugurated into the Presidency of the United States, I find this on my Twitter feed:

(Click on the picture if you cannot read it)

"Greenland is blowing away all records for ice growth, as climate alarmists continue their desperate lies" Says Goddard

Which is odd, because the news feed about the Greenland Ice sheet is full of stuff from NOAA, showing the decline in the Greenland ice mass: Fig3.4

So how come the discrepancy between Goddard's tweet, which was re-tweeted more than once by his followers,  and the data from NOAA?

Goddard's source is a page on the official Danish Meteorological Institute, titled

Current Surface Mass Budget of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Here you can follow the daily surface mass balance on the Greenland Ice Sheet. The snow and ice model from one of DMI’s climate models is driven every six hours with snowfall, sunlight and other parameters from a research weather model for Greenland, Hirlam-Newsnow.

Emphasis added.

So Goddard (who is one of the big, major AGW deniers of the blogosphere) is quoting a model, not observations.

This is significant, because the "sceptics" dismiss climate models out of hand (except when they agree with their beliefs), yet here is Goddard throwing up a model against the observations. 

Models are useful, because they roll out our understanding of reality. If they deviate from observations, they need to be changed with more, or more accurate, inputs to bring them closer to reality.

Goddard today is busy acclaiming his hero, Donald Trump. Let's hope that Trump checks his facts better than his fan. But don't hold your breath.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Prime Minister Speech: Channeling UKIP

I listened to the whole of Theresa May's Brexit speech, disagreeing as she went, beginning with her first claim: "The British People voted to leave". 

No Theresa. 1.3 million out of 60 million people in the UK voted to leave. That was the majority result. 1.3 million out is not the "British People".

Here are some more of her immortal one-liners:

"Trade is so important I made a special department" [and put it in the care of .. er..Liam `Werrity` Fox]

Scientists are just wrong to fear Brexit. [Scientists are always wrong if they take a different view to Conservatives].

The country is coming together. [No it isn't. Political polarisation is increasing all the time.]

At the very end, after crooning about the sweet deal that would result as a result of her negotiations, she suddenly switched to Tough Mode. Britain would not accept a punitive Brexit that discourages other from leaving EU. We would retaliate against such deal with a trade war.
This is a fair summary of what she said. 

What kind of Brexit deal does the PM think the EU wants to create? Does she really believe that they will go for a deal that encourages other states to leave? Of course the deal is going to be tough, and a trade war is going to be even tougher. 

The discussion that followed on BBC2 carried a beaming Suzanne Evans who said May was "channelling UKIP". As indeed she was. 

So we can conclude that the PM has been taken hostage by the Eurosceptic (and climate sceptic) hard line right within the Tory Party, and has succumbed to the Stockholm Syndrome. This is understandable: Theresa was a bit of a loner before becoming PM, and that, combined with being a total Billy-No-Mates in the EU, has driven her into the ideologically crisp embrace of the Right, who will, of course, persuade her to bow down before the Golden Idol of Donald Trump.

We live in interesting times.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Lines on the inauguration of Donald Trump

The USA has had a dump 
And dropped upon the world a lump
Of self regarding vanity
-The Leadership of Donald Trump.

Some hope he's just a harmless chump
But reason fears we'll hear the crump
Of shells and bombs; calamity
Of conflict caused by Donald Trump. 

'Says Washington's a filthy sump;
He says he's going to drain the swamp.
But reason says he'll swamp the drain
With effluents from Donald Trump.

Lawyers will form a solid clump 
Around the doors of Donald Trump
Sex, fraud and blackmail, chronic pain
To the misrule of Donald Trump.

Wealth and self-love the hot air pump
That lifted him while on the stump.
He'll come down with a mighty bump
The gilded con-man Donald Trump.

Richard Lawson 16/1/2016