Greg Palast: new book The ‘Vultures’


by Newswire    
10:07 am - June 6th 2012

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One of America’s best investigative reporter, Greg Palast, chases down BP bag men, CIA operatives and nuclear power con men in his new book published this week.

‘The Vultures’ looks at the billionaire financial speculators who, through bribery, flim-flam and political muscle, take entire nations hostage for mega-profits.

In the book, Palast also digs into the billionaires who are funding Mitt Romney’s Presidential campaign: including Paul “The Vulture” Singer and his colleague known as “Goldfinger.”

- He alleges that BP conspired with MI6 to overthrow the elected government of Azerbaijan to seize a no-bid lock on Caspian Sea oil.

- He says the true cause of Deepwater Horizon deaths: not an accident. It was homicide.

- Palast discovers that the thousands of miles pipeline that will be used to “frack” gas will we watched by a diagnostic robot that has been deliberately programmed to cover-over deadly safety defects. (It has killed in the US already.)

- Before the Fukushima nuclear reactors melted, Palast had the notebooks of the nuclear engineers who test the plants: “No way on earth can this plant withstand an earthquake.” Palast, a former fraud and racketeering investigator for the US Justice Department, has the inside files of the company designated to build Britain’s “next generation” nuclear stations.

Vultures’ Picnic also breaks new ground in publishing: there’s a video for each chapter accessible on-line (and embedded in the enhanced eBook versions) and an on-line “file cabinet” of the inside documents and other evidence from the investigations.

from a press release

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Reader comments


And in other conspiracy theory news….Elvis is alive, and co-ordinated the attack on the twin towers for the CIA.

2. Chaise Guevara

“Before the Fukushima nuclear reactors melted, Palast had the notebooks of the nuclear engineers who test the plants: “No way on earth can this plant withstand an earthquake.” Palast, a former fraud and racketeering investigator for the US Justice Department, has the inside files of the company designated to build Britain’s “next generation” nuclear stations.”

I love the way that slid from “Japan had unsafe nuclear power stations” to an strongly implied “Britain’s new nuclear power stations will be dangerous” without bothering to actually link the fact to the prediction. There’s probably a recognised term for this technique, but I can’t remember it off-hand, so I’m going to call it the “Dun-dun DUUUN fallacy”.

I read Madame Miaow’s review of this. The first thing that struck me was the quality of the empty, self-loathing paranoia of his journalism. While there are no doubt truths in his stories they always manage to lose my sympathy. Then we have the simply bonkers, IE did Reagan really create the Euro so that it was destined to fail and finally end European socialism? Without anyone noticing? Rilly?

What we left-liberals should ask is whether we need another John Pilger or another Christopher Hitchens? I know my choice…

He says the true cause of Deepwater Horizon deaths: not an accident. It was homicide.

Not an accident – implying it’s deliberate. Implying moider.

But I suspect Palast means it was gross negligence or recklessness or somesuch – so it’s still an accident, but constitutes unlawfulness. Much more exciting to imply murder though.

Palast discovers that the thousands of miles pipeline that will be used to “frack” gas will we watched by a diagnostic robot that has been deliberately programmed to cover-over deadly safety defects. (It has killed in the US already.)

“cover-up” surely. “cover-over” defects would be good.

And I think it’s called the Vultures’ Picnic, not the Vultures.

Never mind!

5. So Much For Subtlety

Before the Fukushima nuclear reactors melted, Palast had the notebooks of the nuclear engineers who test the plants: “No way on earth can this plant withstand an earthquake.”

Which is interesting. Given that the reactors did withstand an earthquake. In fact they have withstood several over the years. It was the tsunami that did for them.

He says the true cause of Deepwater Horizon deaths: not an accident. It was homicide.

I see. BP hated their employees so much they deliberately destroyed their own oil platform did they? Accidents can be homicides too you know.

It is sad to see the Left reduced to whackjobs and fruit loops.

“It is sad to see the Left reduced to whackjobs and fruit loops.”

They seem to occupy the further reaches of rightwing politics too, or haven’t you been paying attention?

7. Chaise Guevara

@ 5 SMFS

“It is sad to see the Left reduced to whackjobs and fruit loops.”

Given that the author is one man, whom all the other lefties on this thread are taking the piss out of, I’d wager that a) you’d be very happy to see the left reduced to whackjobs and fruit loops, b) sadly for you, this hasn’t happened, and c) you’re not very clear on the dangers of generalising from insufficient data.

You’re welcome.

8. the a&e charge nurse

‘The Vultures’ looks at the billionaire financial speculators who, through bribery, flim-flam and political muscle, take entire nations hostage for mega-profits’ – they always have, and they always will.

Ask yourself this – why are so many people ignorant to the fact we live in a one party state (lib, lab and cons are but slightly different facets of the same coin) – our political representatives serve exisiting power elites, not Joe Bloggs – anybody who thinks otherwise is living in cloud cuckoo land.

Here’s Noam thundering about the non-democratic nature of political life in the USA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeTbDdl7XiE&feature=related
While Nick Hanauer’s banned TED-talk, “Rich people don’t create jobs” also provides some interesting trends and statistics.

A small, shady minority exert a similar grip on our own culture – I don’t understand the quibbles about the minutiae of some of Palast’s claims – surely they can see there is a much bigger picture here?

“He alleges that BP conspired with MI6 to overthrow the elected government of Azerbaijan to seize a no-bid lock on Caspian Sea oil.”

A Russian backed Armenian invasion of Azerbaijan leads to the ex-Soviet leader of Azerbaijan taking power again.

This was orchestrated by BP and MI6?

“Before the Fukushima nuclear reactors melted, Palast had the notebooks of the nuclear engineers who test the plants: “No way on earth can this plant withstand an earthquake.” ”

That’s amazing of course. For it did withstand an earthquake. What it didn’t withstand is the subsequent tsunami. In more detail, the back up cooling systems did not survive being swamped.

Perhaps Palast should be placed close to David Icke on the spectrum of believability than the Pilger position he aspires to?

10. Chaise Guevara

@ 8 a&e

” I don’t understand the quibbles about the minutiae of some of Palast’s claims – surely they can see there is a much bigger picture here?”

Claims need to be accurate, regardless of whose side they’re on. These don’t look it. Saying “OK, this is all lies, but it supports our cause so we’re going to pretend its true” is not valid.

@8 A&E

“lib, lab and cons are but slightly different facets of the same coin”

Do you really think we need to alternate between nazis, anarchists, dark greens and other fringies in order to have a better variety of politicians?

12. the a&e charge nurse

[10] everyday political reality is far more eloquent than the story-behind-the-story Palast is trying to capture.

For example, Britain has been little more than a sock puppet for america’s recent adventures in the oil rich middle east – do you think Tony gave a flying fuck about what ordinary people thought about taking us to war in Iraq or Afghanistan?

Of course we occasionally go through the motions (post-hoc) with debacles like the Chilcot enquiry – but I can promise you that nobody of any significance will ever be punished as a result of such token, and ultimately pointless processes.

And when the bankers ran into a little, aherm, ‘financial difficultly’ what did our political masters do?
Correct – they decided the plebs could bail them out (to the tune of billions – and at minimal interest rates, of course).
I mean how long did it take before those rapacious bastards were awarding themselves mega-bonuses again?

This type of mindset does not occur in a vacuum – there is a long tradition of the elite doing whatever suits them, then using the media (owned by their mates) to distract characters like Palast from asking too many awkward questions.

It’s always fascinating how the tory trolls love their corporate masters so much they will do anything to protect them. They deserve to be slaves of their corporate masters. They deserve to have poor health and a fucked up environment. They hate democracy and will not be happy until the world is returned to 18th century.

We have the Tyler troll still shrilling for his international financial crooks. He has been wrong on almost everything he says. Another of the austerity for the poor, and socialism for the rich loons. And then our favourite concern troll at 10 who always wants to be ever so fair the elite thugs that he really supports but pretends he opposes. The evidence is there if you choose to open your eyes. But tory trolls don’t want the truth. They are butlers to their elite masters.

@12

The problem with Palast in this book is that he really isn’t going to make a difference. It is a polemic that will convince the already convinced, rather than do anything useful.

14 And what have you done to make a difference? Apart from sit carping at Liberals from the sidelines.

Palast was the only American journalist who went into detail about the 2000 election theft in Florida. He was right there at the beginning, and warned what was going on but the 14 and the 10 of this world were no doubt moaning that it was far fetched. Palast was proved right and the concern trolls wrong. And how the rich benefited from that voting fraud. Huge tax cuts, endless wars, and lots of free money for the bankers to play in the casino.

12 Too right. Our pip squeak chancellor who has said austerity is paramount, only today is demanding bail outs for European banks. Tax cuts and bail outs for his rich mates, but austerity for the masses.

16. Chaise Guevara

@ 12

None of that adds up to “we should turn a blind eye to the dodginess of claims made by leftwingers”.

17. the a&e charge nurse

[16] ‘we should turn a blind eye to the dodginess of claims made by leftwingers’ – I think you’ve got it arse about face.

Isn’t the problem more that Job Bloggs has been conditioned to turn a blind eye while the corporations continue to piss on his back?

Anyway, here’s Palast talking about his book, I’m sure commentators can make up their own minds as to what really counts, and what is less important in terms of the story he is trying to tell us?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imUoSSQ5-hc

For example, Britain has been little more than a sock puppet for america’s recent adventures in the oil rich middle east – do you think Tony gave a flying fuck about what ordinary people thought about taking us to war in Iraq or Afghanistan?

The Iraq war was relatively unimportant compared to the top four or five domestic concerns – way, way down the list. Blair and Labour won the subsequent general election.

There were no credible* alternatives.

(*read: against Iraq war, for say Labour policies.)

Also, don’t confuse your views, or the views with all the marchers against the war, with the views of the general population.

Representative democracy doesn’t work in the way you seem to think it should work. It doesn’t mean it isn’t a democracy.

19. Chaise Guevara

@ 17 a&e

” I think you’ve got it arse about face. ”

Nope! Back @8 you complained about people querying the accuracy of the claims made in the OP, or, as you put it, making “quibbles about the minutiae”. This was what I reacted to. If you don’t think claims such as these should be checked for accuracy, you logically must think we should turn a blind eye to false claims.

Your non-sequiturs and whataboutery don’t change anything, it’s just an ongoing attempt to shout “look over here!” rather than defend your position.

That would be the same general population that is fed constant lies by the elites corporate media? No wonder Blair and Cameron would prostitute themselves in front of Emperor Murdoch.

21. the a&e charge nurse

[18] ‘The Iraq war was relatively unimportant compared to the top four or five domestic concerns’ – I didn’t say it was the highest concern – I said the public mood had no effect decisions made by the elite.

‘There were no credible* alternatives’ – my point exactly – they are all cut from the same cloth (and even attend the same courses at the same Uni’s).

‘Representative democracy doesn’t work in the way you seem to think it should work’ – I know, that would mean moving away from the ping pong game (Lab-Con, Con-Lab ad nauseum) – not only that, it would mean politicians representing the real needs of the population rather than those of corporation lobbyists.

[18] ‘The Iraq war was relatively unimportant compared to the top four or five domestic concerns’ – I didn’t say it was the highest concern – I said the public mood had no effect decisions made by the elite.

I didn’t say you said it was the highest concern. My point is about what really matters to people when it comes to election time – the only time when we hold our representatives to account and therefore the only time that matters (in this context). I wasn’t arguing with you.

To spell it out,

“do you think Tony gave a flying fuck about what ordinary people thought about taking us to war in Iraq or Afghanistan?”

-no, because ordinary people did not give a flying fuck about it (relatively speaking) at election time. So why would their opinion count to ‘the elite’?

@ Sally

I’m still not sure if you are for real, or just a caricature loony lefty…..but if you are real, you should really call up Greg Palast and offer to co-auther another book of blitheringly idiotic left-wing conspiracy theoories.

It would be comedy *gold*

24. the a&e charge nurse

[22] ‘ordinary people did not give a flying fuck about it (relatively speaking) at election time’ – that’s not strictly true.

Many DID have grave concerns about the invasion of Iraq – I guess up until then there had been enough political spin, and enough fear mongering through Murdoch’s media outlet to persuade the public (wrongly as we now know) that there might have been justification in preemptive action.

But even by 2005 it was becoming apparent that Blair was in the wrong – so what was the political alternative back then?
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/2/18/1266454951168/Michael-Howard-MoD-001.jpg

Democracy in action – a choice between Baby face Nelson, or Al Capone!
Maybe you need to have another look at big bad Noam (@8)

That is a great video of Palast. So the Koch scam was exposed by er, um leftie conspiracy nuts.? Well no. Koch was betrayed by his own brother. HA HA HA.

So it must be a leftist conspiracy if his brother ratted on him. Tory trolls are so stupid. Interesting about BP and the fact the lied to a congressional hearing about blow outs.

America, the best democracy you can buy.

a&e,

[22] ‘ordinary people did not give a flying fuck about it (relatively speaking) at election time’ – that’s not strictly true.

Many DID have grave concerns about the invasion of Iraq – I guess up until then there had been enough political spin, and enough fear mongering through Murdoch’s media outlet to persuade the public (wrongly as we now know) that there might have been justification in preemptive action.

Many thought it important – I do not dispute that (in fact I implied it). I said, “relatively speaking at election time”. In other words – and I did use these words earlier, too – compared to other concerns at election time.

Insufficient numbers thought it sufficiently important that it outweighed their other concerns at election time. Christ, it’s self-evident from the results. And there were pre-election polls that ranked the issues by importance to the respondent – as I recall, Iraq was way down the list. The economy, education, law and order and health were the top four and by far outweighed all the other issues (immigration was the fifth).

Back then, the political alternative in this context was not the Tories because the vast majority of them backed the war. None of the LibDems backed it. SNP MPs were wholly against it too.
http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2003-03-18&number=118

I imagine a number of the smaller parties didn’t back the war.

(An interesting thing about this is that there were 84 Labour rebels but not one of them left the party over the war, IIRC. Again, then, the issue – while important to them – didn’t outweigh their other concerns, it wasn’t enough to persuade them to cross the floor.)

All else being equal, if you didn’t support the war you would vote LibDem, SNP if you were Scots, or Green or whatever – not Labour or Conservative. But all else isn’t equal, is it.

Maybe you need to have another look at big bad Noam (@8)

I don’t dispute that the main parties appear similar; I’ve cited the Power Inquiry a million times, which among other things said that “the main political parties are widely perceived to be too similar…” as one of the main reasons for voter apathy.

27. the a&e charge nurse

[26] ‘Insufficient numbers thought it sufficiently important that it outweighed their other concerns at election time’ – hang on, UKL, anti-Iraq war demonstrations were the biggest ever seen, with as many as 2 million souls massed on the streets.

‘The demonstration, and the movement around it, exploded the notion that society is slumped in a consumer-sodden apathy, and incapable of political engagement. The country’s biggest mass movement followed a general election with the lowest turnout in modern times, and preceded one in which participation was scarcely improved. The problem is the system, not the people’.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/feb/13/antiwar.iraq

In any so called democracy this level of antipathy, including hundreds of thousands who had never in their lives demonstrated before, might have meant something, but of course it had little bearing on the global intentions, or actions of the shady corporate powers that pull the strings.
This is the substantive point Palast is making, and it is a point of view that is echoed amongst many other commentators who recognise the exploitative and undemocratic nature of the way in which power elites have long behaved.

Do you really think a change of PPE graduates every four years actually means anything?

a&e,

[26] ‘Insufficient numbers thought it sufficiently important that it outweighed their other concerns at election time’ – hang on, UKL, anti-Iraq war demonstrations were the biggest ever seen, with as many as 2 million souls massed on the streets.

I have not claimed no-one was against the Iraq war. My claim is that insufficient numbers thought the war outweighed their other concerns (about health, education, law and order, the economy) at the General Election.

The protest wasn’t at or just before the General Election; it was in February 2003, and Blair won the General Elections in ’97, 2001 and 2005. The General Election is the only time when we can hold our representatives to account – there wasn’t one in February 2003.

In any so called democracy this level of antipathy, including hundreds of thousands who had never in their lives demonstrated before, might have meant something, but of course it had little bearing on the global intentions, or actions of the shady corporate powers that pull the strings.

This is the substantive point Palast is making, and it is a point of view that is echoed amongst many other commentators who recognise the exploitative and undemocratic nature of the way in which power elites have long behaved.

I am not uncritical of our representatives, but I think there are a few points to make here.

Firstly it’s a representative democracy, not direct democracy. The question for the representative is supposed to be “do I go with what I believe is best for my constituents or what some people are demanding I do?”

Edmund Burke:

…it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiassed opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the law and the constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.

Secondly:

Suppose we live in a country where our representatives are genuinely interested in what we think at all times. Suppose they each visit us to listen to our opinions and they are honest about what they think and they keep their promises. We will vote for those we’re inclined to agree with about what we think are the really really really important issues – remember, at the General Election these are the economy, education health, and law and order, with Iraq being way down the list for most people. So what difference does being bothered about Iraq make here? We have the same result as the result in our real world – the same representatives get in because of our preferences, not because they are baddies.

30. the a&e charge nurse

[28] ‘So what difference does being bothered about Iraq make here?’ – it was a prism that demonstrated WHO our representatives are really beholding to.

‘We have the same result as the result in our real world – the same representatives get in because of our preferences, not because they are baddies’ – I am not saying they are baddies per se (although some of them might be) – I’m saying they are in the pocket of those who exert real power, those who can spend god knows how much on endless lobbying.

Whenever we come to an important crossroads, like inflicting mass murder in Iraq, our PPE graduates have learnt to ask themselves, who really matters here – is it millions of ordinary people protesting about an illegal war, or our business friends in the USA and at home?

Or take another example the NHS is being farmed out to the likes of SERCO and CareUK – so that nowadays there is only one GP on duty at nighttime in Cornwall.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jun/01/serco-allegations-out-hours-cornwall?newsfeed=true

In other words the coalition has finally been able to implement Tony’s dream of a market in health care – doesn’t really matter that the vast majority of NHS workers, or the public are against it, does it – the needs of the elite always trump those of poor old Joe Bloggs.

28

Your quote from Burke isn’t really helpful when we look at representation in the 21st century, all constituents in Burke’s time were of the same class, all with similar interests, it needed little judgement to ensure that policies supported those elite few. Universal suffrage was a long time coming when Burke was around, but little has really changed and our representatives tend to still work in the interests of an elite few constituents, to the disadvantage of the many.

@15 sally

“And what have you done to make a difference? ”

None of your business.

Have you done anything useful? Selling Socialist Worker doesn’t count.

a&e,

[28] ‘So what difference does being bothered about Iraq make here?’ – it was a prism that demonstrated WHO our representatives are really beholding to.

But it doesn’t demonstrate that at all. That’s the point of my thought experiment. There’s no difference between the real world outcome and the imaginary world outcome because when it came to the point where voters can actually exert their power the majority chose to vote for parties that supported the war.

“It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see….”
“You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?”
“No,” said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, “nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people.”
“Odd,” said Arthur, “I thought you said it was a democracy.”
“I did,” said Ford. “It is.”
“So,” said Arthur, hoping he wasn’t sounding ridiculously obtuse, “why don’t the people get rid of the lizards?”
“It honestly doesn’t occur to them,” said Ford. “They’ve all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they’ve voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.”
“You mean they actually vote for the lizards?”
“Oh yes,” said Ford with a shrug, “of course.”
“But,” said Arthur, going for the big one again, “why?”
“Because if they didn’t vote for a lizard,” said Ford, “the wrong lizard might get in.”
Douglas Adams, in So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish

In other words the coalition has finally been able to implement Tony’s dream of a market in health care – doesn’t really matter that the vast majority of NHS workers, or the public are against it, does it – the needs of the elite always trump those of poor old Joe Bloggs.

People keep voting for Labour and Conservatives, don’t they?

Why didn’t the people opposed to healthcare markets form a party, an alternative to Labour, LibDems and Tories? You say the majority of the public are against it. It should be a shoe-in, then, particularly as it’s a top four issue.

steveb,

My Burke quote is about the principles behind representative democracy. Representatives aren’t supposed to comply with even two million people marching, merely because there are two million people marching. There is supposed to be more to it than that. They might be serving an elite, but we can’t tell that from them ‘ignoring’ a two million person march.

As an aside, I’d love to know how many of those two million would vote for war supporting parties / candidates in the 2005 General Election.

34

The reason that there is a sharp decrease in voting turn-out is because a large number of people have twigged that elected representatives act in the interests of the elite few, as they did in Burke’s day.

In an ideal world, representatives should vote for the good of all regardless, but Plato recognised that this would never be the outcome, which is why he was not in favour of democracy.

Marx also questioned whether the state could ever act in the interests of polarized class interests, and, of course, it could not.

We could blame voter apathy, but the very nature of representative government could not guarantee that any particular representative would a)vote against any particular policy (eg Clegg) or b)have sufficient support to uphold/deny a particular policy.

36. the a&e charge nurse

[34] ‘They might be serving an elite, but we can’t tell that from them ‘ignoring’ a two million person march’ – then whose agenda was being served by the invasion?

Palast’s book adds yet more evidence that we living in a corporate state.

steveb,

The reason that there is a sharp decrease in voting turn-out is because a large number of people have twigged that elected representatives act in the interests of the elite few, as they did in Burke’s day.

According to the Power Inquiry, the reasons for disengagement appeared to be that:
citizens do not feel that the processes of formal democracy offer them enough influence over political decisions – this includes party members who feel they have no say in policy-making and are increasingly disaffected;
the main political parties are widely perceived to be too similar and lacking in principle;
the electoral system is widely perceived as leading to unequal and wasted votes;
political parties and elections require citizens to commit to too broad a range of policies;
many people feel they lack information or knowledge about formal politics; and,
voting procedures are regarded by some as inconvenient and unattractive.

We could blame voter apathy, but the very nature of representative government could not guarantee that any particular representative would a)vote against any particular policy (eg Clegg) or b)have sufficient support to uphold/deny a particular policy.

Of course it does. See Burke – again. That’s how our system is supposed to be.

[34] ‘They might be serving an elite, but we can’t tell that from them ‘ignoring’ a two million person march’ – then whose agenda was being served by the invasion?

Two million people march against the war in 2003.

16m people vote for the war supporting parties in 2005 (Lab, Con).

“Whose agenda is served?” I don’t know. It could be that they genuinely thought it best for their constituents (see Burke, again). It could be that they thought 0.05% of the electorate (if that) marching was insignificant, that they would get sufficient votes anyway. It could be that they are serving some elite.

Their non-compliance with a million-person march is not evidence that they are serving some elite.

That the parties who supported the war would be supported by 16m voters in 2005 is evidence that the war didn’t outweigh the other concerns of those voters.

39. Chaise Guevara

ukliberty is right, as usual.

That is all.

40. So Much For Subtlety

6. Cherub

They seem to occupy the further reaches of rightwing politics too, or haven’t you been paying attention?

I don’t think that “you do it too” amounts to a reasonable counter-argument. Although I would put it to you that the Right Wing equivalent would be ranting against Jewish conspiracies – and would have no place on the Right Wing equivalent of LC. Whatever else you can say about the Right, they have purged themselves of the loonies in a way the Left has not.

Chaise Guevara

Given that the author is one man, whom all the other lefties on this thread are taking the piss out of, I’d wager that a) you’d be very happy to see the left reduced to whackjobs and fruit loops, b) sadly for you, this hasn’t happened, and c) you’re not very clear on the dangers of generalising from insufficient data.

You’re welcome.

Yet again you insist on telling me what I think despite your utter lack of any evidence to do so. Or qualification for that matter. The point is not that a few other Lefties – by no means all as Sally shows – are taking the piss out of him does not change the fact he was published here at all. Even if I cared to ignore the fact that most of the Lefties here are not taking the piss out of him at all. As for what I believe, I have often said I think our political system requires a real choice. The Left ought to be articulating a choice. We need them to articulate a choice. They are not doing so. Alas for our political system it has happened and the Left is reduced to a handful of whackjobs. As the Labour Party shows only too clearly. Which is bad for everyone.

41. the a&e charge nurse

[38] ‘It could be that they genuinely thought it best for their constituents’ – they were killing Iraqis for us – dear, oh, dear ……….

a&e @41,

I’m not sure what your point is there.

43. Chaise Guevara

@ 40 SMFS

“Yet again you insist on telling me what I think despite your utter lack of any evidence to do so.”

No evidence at all, except your own words, and your constant desperate attempts to demonise lefties by brush-tarring or, when all else fails, making shit up.

“Or qualification for that matter.”

For all you know I’m a psychologist specialising in inferring people’s thought patterns based on online communication.

I’m not, obviously. But I can read, which qualifies me to understand the things you type.

“The point is not that a few other Lefties – by no means all as Sally shows – are taking the piss out of him does not change the fact he was published here at all. ”

So you’ve got two people: Sally and Sunny. How many times do you need to multiply that to end up at all lefties?

“Even if I cared to ignore the fact that most of the Lefties here are not taking the piss out of him at all.”

Only cos the conversation’s moved on and is now mostly an argument between a&e and UKL.

“As for what I believe, I have often said I think our political system requires a real choice. The Left ought to be articulating a choice. We need them to articulate a choice. They are not doing so. Alas for our political system it has happened and the Left is reduced to a handful of whackjobs. As the Labour Party shows only too clearly. Which is bad for everyone.”

See, I love this. You get in a big strop about me “telling you what you think”, and then in the same post you prove that you DO want to paint all left-wingers as whackjobs and that you’ve managed to convince yourself that this is the case due to your inability/refusal to understand the risks of generalising from insufficent data. Plus a bit of confirmation bias to seal the deal. Sod it, LOTS of confirmation bias!

Perhaps Sunny should do a news story about you: World’s Most Judgemental Man Grumpy About People Judging Him For His Judgemental Ways.

40 watch the video link. Koch was ratted on by his own brother. No left wing conspiracy there.

45. So Much For Subtlety

43. Chaise Guevara

No evidence at all, except your own words, and your constant desperate attempts to demonise lefties by brush-tarring or, when all else fails, making shit up.

The next time you find me making anything up do let me know old chap. Your record is clear. But then so is mine.

You made three claims. You have no evidence for the first. You can quibble over my words for the second, but it hardly matters. And the third is a flat out lie. So for at least two of your claims, you have no leg to stand on no matter how much you try to twist what I said.

So you’ve got two people: Sally and Sunny. How many times do you need to multiply that to end up at all lefties?

Well no. LC is not just Sunny is it? It is one of the Left’s leading blogs. And I have the silence of everyone else. It is not just that the conversation has moved on. It is that no one here has much standing to challenge the lunacy of the OP because, well, draw your own conclusion. The fact that this does not generate any traction on a site like this says a great deal about the Left.

See, I love this. You get in a big strop about me “telling you what you think”, and then in the same post you prove that you DO want to paint all left-wingers as whackjobs and that you’ve managed to convince yourself that this is the case due to your inability/refusal to understand the risks of generalising from insufficent data. Plus a bit of confirmation bias to seal the deal. Sod it, LOTS of confirmation bias!

The fact that you happened to accuse me, in the middle of a scatter gun series of inane accusations, of something that I happened to agree with later on does not make your conclusion from the evidence you had at the time correct. Nor does it mean that every other inane thing you said was true either. What insufficient data? LC is not a minor site. No one much objects to these claims. They were published at all. That is not insufficient data. You seem to be claiming that because you personally are not bat-sh!t insane, the Left is doing well. I would call that insufficient data myself. Sally is more typical than you.

The truth is that when I were a lad, this sort of nonsense would have had no traction with the Left. When the Left was dominated by serious people with real ideas, this sort of article would have been laughed out of court. It is a sad measure of the Left’s decline that along with John Pilger, this is pretty much all the Left has. You can object all you like to me pointing that out, but I notice that these sorts of articles – and the sorts of posters who endorse them – have not been rejected by LC. Presumably because there is no alternative. It is this or silence.

Perhaps Sunny should do a news story about you: World’s Most Judgemental Man Grumpy About People Judging Him For His Judgemental Ways.

I don’t mind people judging me. I mind them lying.

46. Chaise Guevara

@ 45 SMFS

“The next time you find me making anything up do let me know old chap. Your record is clear. But then so is mine.”

Your record is indeed clear, if by that you mean easy to assess.

“You made three claims. You have no evidence for the first. You can quibble over my words for the second, but it hardly matters. And the third is a flat out lie. So for at least two of your claims, you have no leg to stand on no matter how much you try to twist what I said.”

Wrong! Here’s how my claims break down:

a) Evidence by induction, as explained above.
b) I’m right and you’re wrong, because pointing out that characteristics of some members of a group cannot automatically be applied to the whole group is not “quibbling”.
c) Evidence by induction, although I admittedly missed the possibility that you know all about the dangers of generalising but decided to do so anyway. So it’s possible that I wrongly portrayed you as ignorant when actually you’re dishonest.

“Well no. LC is not just Sunny is it? It is one of the Left’s leading blogs. And I have the silence of everyone else.”

Ah, I see. Claiming evidence out of thin air. Any unaccessible data will OBVIOUSLY back up your silly prejudices, yes?

“It is not just that the conversation has moved on. It is that no one here has much standing to challenge the lunacy of the OP because, well, draw your own conclusion. The fact that this does not generate any traction on a site like this says a great deal about the Left.”

Cough *confirmation bias* cough

“The fact that you happened to accuse me, in the middle of a scatter gun series of inane accusations, of something that I happened to agree with later on does not make your conclusion from the evidence you had at the time correct.”

No, but my conclusion from the evidence IS correct (with the possibility of dishonestly rather than ignorance as a caveat), and you’ve just confirmed the evidence.

“Nor does it mean that every other inane thing you said was true either.”

Can a non-existent thing be true? Discuss.

“What insufficient data? LC is not a minor site. No one much objects to these claims. They were published at all. That is not insufficient data.”

Yes it is. You have two lefties, one of which is a known loon, and are using that as “evidence” of the attitudes of ALL lefties. The only way you could have less sufficient evidence is if you had none.

“You seem to be claiming that because you personally are not bat-sh!t insane, the Left is doing well. I would call that insufficient data myself.”

So would I, had I made that claim. But you’re now commiting mind projection fallacy: just because YOU make absolute claims based on laughably small (and cherry-picked) data pools doesn’t mean I commit the same error.

“Sally is more typical than you.”

Well, as you seem to think LC is such a great microcosm of the wider left, the evidence here is against you, isn’t it? Because hysterical conspiracy theorists appear to be in a minority here. It’s normally just Sally and yourself (I haven’t seen Leon for a while). Maybe Sally is more typical than me on some metric or combination thereof, but sanity is more typical than insanity if that’s what you’re implying.

“The truth is that when I were a lad, this sort of nonsense would have had no traction with the Left. When the Left was dominated by serious people with real ideas, this sort of article would have been laughed out of court.”

Spurious claim backed by dreadfully defined parameters. “Serious people with real ideas” indeed. This sort of thing always gets some traction – does it not remind you of Chomsky, or of a certain brand of feminism dating back to the early 20th century? So no, I don’t accept your claim, which is absolute enough to be very unlikely, and has no supporting evidence to boot.

“It is a sad measure of the Left’s decline that along with John Pilger, this is pretty much all the Left has.”

You’re making “pretty much” do a hell of a lot of work there. This is so typical of you: you notice something bad that can be connected to a group you dislike and then desperately try to claim that it represents all or most of that group. Generalisation from insufficent data! It really is pathetic.

“You can object all you like to me pointing that out, but I notice that these sorts of articles – and the sorts of posters who endorse them – have not been rejected by LC. Presumably because there is no alternative. It is this or silence.”

HA HA HA. How many people are Sunny Hundal again? I’ll wait while you count.

“I don’t mind people judging me. I mind them lying.”

Which brings me back to a previous point: are you a liar, or do you just have no idea how statistics work? Ignorance or dishonesty?

47. the a&e charge nurse

‘The Vultures’ looks at the billionaire financial speculators who, through bribery, flim-flam and political muscle, take entire nations hostage for mega-profits’.

Palast’s hypothesis is seconded by a US vet – ‘Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don’t understand; The real enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it’s profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it’s profitable, the Banks who take away our homes when it’s profitable. Our enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in front of us’.

Full, electrifying speech here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akm3nYN8aG8


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Greg Palast: new book The 'Vultures' http://t.co/S5stbyec

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    Greg Palast: new book The ‘Vultures’ http://t.co/SSfkHlEN

  3. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Greg Palast: new book The ‘Vultures’ http://t.co/7auyor5t

  4. BevR

    Greg Palast: new book The ‘Vultures’ | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/o1VAPujY via @libcon

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