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Anti-Americanism Explained June 30, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Culture, Dwight Furrow's Posts, Food and Drink.
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Via Huffington Post

The video below has been making the rounds, and for good reason. In it, an American tourist (YouTube user simoneharuko) visits what she calls, “pretty much the coolest grocery store of all time” in Alexanderplatz, Berlin, and found something she had never seen before: an American ethnic section. As Eater pointed out, “most of this stuff seems to be there for expatriates who want brands they recognize.”

Here is the video.

 

And here is the list of products included in the “U.S.A” ethnic food section:

  • Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate mix
  • Cans of V8
  • Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup (original and “Shell” style)
  • Maple syrup
  • Regular old syrup
  • Betty Crocker Baking Mixes: Blueberry, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Brownie, Cake, Muffins, Bisquik,
  • Betty Crocker frosting: Vanilla and Chocolate
  • Five (5) Pain Is Good Hot Sauce varieties
  • Jim Beam Barbecue Sauce, Steak Sauce, Hot Sauce, and Mustard
  • Four (4) Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Sauces
  • Paul Prudhomme “Magic” Seasoning blends
  • Paul Newman salad dressings
  • Hellman’s Mayonnaise
  • Wish Bone Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Marshmallow Fluff (original and strawberry)
  • Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
  • Cheese Zip (cheese whiz)
  • Head Country Barbecue Sauces
  • Bull’s Eye Barbecue Sauce
  • Hunt’s Barbecue Sauces
  • Cheddar, Nacho, and Jalapeno-flavored squeeze-bottled cheese
  • Mustards
  • Heinz sweet relish
  • Crisco shortening
  • Marshmallows
  • Campbell’s Soups

There is not much here worth eating.

I’ve just returned from Spain and Portugal, and I have spent some time in Italy and Germany as well. If there is one thing Europeans do well it is eat. If you are an ex-pat American living in Europe do you really pine for this stuff? You really want cheese whiz when you can have a nice Allgau Emmentaler?

Of course, our ethnic food sections don’t look much like a real market either. But much of what one finds there is at least edible and sometimes interesting.

A box of Kraft macaroni and cheese might induce all manner of speculation about the “American character” deficit.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

Government by Empty Rhetoric June 29, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
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The most recent defeat of a jobs bill in the Senate will have far reaching consequences beyond the loss of benefits for the unemployed. The bill included aid to the states, which will not be forthcoming. As Ed Kilgore points out:

Unfortunately, 34 states planned on receiving that money, and its failure to materialize is going to create a whole new round of state budget crises. In many states, we can expect Medicaid cuts and/or reductions in other state spending, quite likely including layoffs of teachers and other public employees. That’s why most Republican state officials did not share the happy-talk of their brethren in Washington about opposing “bailouts of the states.”

State budget cuts will have a baleful effect on the economy, and vague conservative talk that “shringing government” will somehow produce private-sector growth is going to be exposed as illusory.

Kilgore thinks there may be a silver political lining to the Republicans’ refusal to do anything to stimulate the economy.

But there could be political consequences as well, as voters begin to realize that there is no big pot of money labeled “waste, fraud and abuse” that can be tapped to balance state budgets, much less to fund the high-end personal and corporate tax cuts that many Republicans continue to call for in the latest incarnation of the discredited theory of supply-side economics.

In other words, the anti-government populism that conservatives are counting on as electoral magic this November may lose some of its appeal when reality sets in. And Democrats should be quick to point out there is no such thing as a free “austerity” lunch.

Unfortunately, there is no evidence that the public “gets it”. Reality “set in” a long time ago with the financial crisis and consequent recession that was wholly a product of a bankrupt conservative ideology and Republican mismanagement. Yet polls show that voters are poised to put Republicans back in power in the November mid-term elections.

Conservative beliefs continue to circulate in an endless feedback loop, immune to counter-example or evidence and supported by nothing but empty nostrums about “freedom”, “big guvment”, and “free markets”.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

Mama Grizzlies June 28, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
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If you have been pining for discussions of Sarah Palin’s political prospects, here is the latest.

Apparently, Sarah Palin has taken to calling her female evangelical supporters “Mama Grizzlies”, invoking her belief that fighting for conservative causes is akin to fighting for your children (or something like that). Are Mama Grizzlies a  new political force like the “soccer moms” of the past election cycle?

According to demographics expert Rudy Texeira, the answer is no

Mama grizzlies seem likely to be just the latest in a long line of media-fueled electoral chimeras for the Republicans. The reality is that female evangelicals are not much of a growth constituency. And white evangelical protestants overall are roughly stable as a proportion of the population. They are no larger at this point than unmarried women—who are a growth constituency—as a proportion of eligible voters.
The growth action on the religious front is among unaffiliated or secular voters, who are the fastest-growing “religious” group in the United States. From 1944 to 2004 the percentage of adults reporting no religious affiliation almost tripled, rising from 5 percent to 14 percent. Projections indicate that by 2024 somewhere between 20-25 percent of adults will be unaffiliated.

This trend, combined with growth among non-Christian faiths and race-ethnic trends, will ensure that in very short order we will no longer be a white Christian nation. Even today, only about 55 percent of adults are white Christians. By 2024 that figure will be down to 45 percent. That means that by the 2016 election (or 2020 at the outside) the United States will cease to be a white Christian nation. Looking even farther down the road, by 2040 white Christians will be only around 35 percent of the population and conservative white Christians (a critical part of the GOP base) only about a third of that—a minority within a minority.

These developments will put increased pressure on the GOP to moderate its socially conservative stance. That stance may appeal strongly to a key segment of their base, but that segment will shrink substantially over time as religious diversity increases. A more moderate approach would have some chance of appealing to this diversity rather than leaving the field wide open for the Democrats. But of course Sarah Palin and her mama grizzlies takes the GOP in precisely the opposite direction

It is a relief that people who welcome Armeggedon are not gaining political ascendency.

Perhaps there really is a God.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

Disaster Capitalism 101 June 27, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
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In would not be misleading to name our current age the age of disaster capitalism. The financial collapse, the prolonged recession, and the oil spill in the gulf are our current preoccupations with the effects of climate change right around the corner. But the factors that led to these human-made catastrophes have been building for many years.

Economist Robert Kuttner has a brief but comprehensive summary of how we got here:

At issue are two interconnected failures of the economy and politics: what economists call market failure, and what political scientists call regulatory capture — and their cause and cure.

The financial and oil blowouts were spectacular cases of markets failing to price risks correctly. While market fundamentalists still insist that all markets eventually correct their own errors, fewer economists maintain that view in the face of recent events.

Oil companies pursuing short-term gains did not invest enough in safety precautions, and their shareholders didn’t care. Only government could compel action — but it failed to act.

Financial markets priced risky securities disastrously wrong. How could mortgages — whose distinguishing feature was that they were unlikely to be paid back — possibly have been converted into investment-grade securities?

There is a revealing expression in the world of hedge funds that you won’t find in most economics textbooks — “IBGYBG,’’ or “I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone.’’ Translation: by the time the dumb money finds out that it has been sucker-punched, we’ll both have made our fortunes and we’ll be out of here.

The ordinary forces of supply and demand that accurately price tomatoes can’t fix market myopia when it comes to pricing complex financial securities or risks of a drilling rig explosion.

So how do we prevent short-term thinking from overwhelming our capacity to reason. Government regulation is one answer, but that isn’t sufficient.

But to say that market failures require government regulation is only the beginning of the story — because regulation requires competent and honest regulators. And if private business invests serious money in the corruption of regulation, then a market incentive trumps government’s capacity to correct the market’s mistakes.

So who keeps the regulators honest? The answer takes us back to politics.

More than half a century ago, the late economist John Kenneth Galbraith coined an important concept — “countervailing power.’’ Big business, Galbraith observed, had immense economic influence. But countervailing forces such as the trade union movement or activist citizens groups could neutralize that economic power by harnessing government to keep business’s less savory tendencies from overpowering its benign ones.

But that was then. Despite a seemingly formidable environmentalist movement, the oil industry overwhelmed its regulators. Americans for Financial Reform, the coalition of consumer groups pushing for better banking regulation, is outspent by Wall Street lobbyists by at least 100 to one.

We have a tendency to think that when disasters occur they are unpredictable and thus there is not much we can do about them. That is true up to a point; I have blogged recently about the problems inherent in complex systems. But as Kuttner points out, there is no point in our current political system where anyone has an incentive to be cautious or think about what is best in the long run.

There has been a lot of commentary lately contending that we have a tendency to underestimate risk. Truly catastrophic events occur only rarely — they are “black swans.’’ In the meantime, a lot of money can be made by betting that disaster won’t occur, or that it will occur on somebody else’s watch.

But who, in this account, is “we’’? In fact, plenty of voices in the wilderness were warning against the risk of a catastrophic oil blowout, or a financial one. These critics did not lack prescience or insight. What they lacked was political power.

It’s true that technologies, both financial and oleaginous, are becoming ever more complex; and this does create new kinds of risk. But the cure is less technical than political.

Citizens need to act more vigorously to restore Galbraith’s countervailing power. Otherwise, private business acting in its short run self interest will ruin us twice — once when private markets pay no heed to the risks they are imposing, and a second time when they corrupt our regulatory institutions.

A look at our current political environment does not leave one hopeful. One party is afraid of its shadow and led by a President who seems genetically disposed to tinker with regulations rather than push for structural change. The other party is just insane. And the only activists who get any attention want to make disaster capitalism the norm. They would make even the sainted Ronnie Reagan blush with embarrassment.

Where is this countervailing power?

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

This is Not Pretty June 24, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, Ethics, politics.
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Two columns by Robert Herbert in the NY Times get to the heart of our current dilemma:

If a bank is too big to fail, it’s way too big to exist. If an oil well is too far beneath the sea to be plugged when something goes wrong, it’s too deep to be drilled in the first place.When are we going to stop behaving so stupidly? We nearly wrecked the economy and we’re all but buried in debt. But we can’t break up the biggest banks, and we can’t raise taxes. Now we’re fouling the magnificent Gulf of Mexico and ruining entire communities along the southern Louisiana Coast.

And, by the way, we’re still fighting a futile war in Afghanistan that we’ve been fighting with nonstop futility for nearly a decade…

For a nation that can’t stop bragging about how great and powerful it is, we’ve become shockingly helpless in the face of the many challenges confronting us. Our can-do spirit was put on hold many moons ago, and here we are now unable to defeat the Taliban, or rein in the likes of BP and the biggest banks, or stop the oil gushing furiously from the bowels of earth like a warning from Hades about the hubris and ignorance that is threatening to destroy us

And Herbert doesn’t even mention global warming, which is the biggest threat to our well-being that we refuse to confront. It is quite stunning how in a few decades we have gone from a country with vast economic, technological, and military prowess to a country seemingly unable to tie its shoes.

Herbert diagnosed part of explanation for this condition  in an earlier Times Op-Ed piece:

“Where I was wrong,” said President Obama at his press conference on Thursday, “was in my belief that the oil companies had their act together when it came to worst-case scenarios.”

With all due respect to the president, who is a very smart man, how is it possible for anyone with any reasonable awareness of the nonstop carnage that has accompanied the entire history of giant corporations to believe that the oil companies, which are among the most rapacious players on the planet, somehow “had their act together” with regard to worst-case scenarios.

These are not Little Lord Fauntleroys who can be trusted to abide by some fanciful honor system. These are greedy merchant armies drilling blindly at depths a mile and more beneath the seas while at the same time doing all they can to stifle the government oversight that is necessary to protect human lives and preserve the integrity of the environment.

President Obama knows that. He knows — or should know — that the biggest, most powerful companies do not have the best interests of the American people in mind when they are closing in on the kinds of profits that ancient kingdoms could only envy. BP’s profits are counted in the billions annually. They are like stacks and stacks of gold glittering beneath a brilliant sun. You don’t want to know what people will do for that kind of money. […]

The oil companies and other giant corporations have a stranglehold on American policies and behavior, and are choking off the prospects of a viable social and economic future for working people and their families.

President Obama spoke critically a couple of weeks ago about the “cozy relationship” between the oil companies and the federal government. It’s not just a cozy relationship. It’s an unholy alliance. And that alliance includes not just the oil companies but the entire spectrum of giant corporations that have used vast wealth to turn democratically elected officials into handmaidens, thus undermining not just the day-to-day interests of the people but the very essence of democracy itself.

Our excessive reliance on big business to solve problems and self-regulate is beyond bizarre, when you think of the fundamental norms that govern our business class.

As economist Robert Reich writes:

1 Why hasn’t BP moved more of its rigs and tankers to the site? Because BP’s first responsibility is to maximize shareholder value, and moving more rigs and tankers would be too expensive. […]

2. Why isn’t BP leveling with the American people about how many barrels of oil is gushing into the Gulf? Because BP’s first responsibility is to its shareholders, and a bigger leak means more liability. […]

3 Why isn’t BP acknowledging a huge plume of oil developing deep under water? Ditto. On Tuesday, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers reported subsurface oil as far as 142 miles from the leaking Gulf well, the first clear confirmation of such a plume. On Wednesday, BP rejected the report, insisting that it has not found any significant concentration of crude under the surface. “We haven’t found any large concentrations of oil under the sea. To my knowledge, no one has,” BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said on NBC’s TODAY show.

Notice the common theme here. It is a fundamental foundation of contemporary “business ethics” that corporations have no responsibility other than to maximize shareholder profit. What then is the basis for believing their actions will serve the community? To the extent the business community believes this (and they do, just ask them) they are entirely undeserving of our trust or support.

As Joel Bakin puts it in his legendary documentary The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders, corporations are psychopaths: thoroughly self-interested, manipulative, shallow in their relationships, and incapable of remorse or empathy.

We have turned our well-being over to psychopaths. And then we are surprised when things turn out badly?

Corporations are psychopaths; Americans are delusional.  This is not a pretty sight.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

Kaplan and the Community Colleges June 22, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, Education.
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Facing severe budget cuts and drastic cuts in course offerings, last February,  some California Community Colleges announced a deal to outsource some of their courses to Kaplan University, the for-profit “education” company responsible for GRE prep courses, etc.

Kaplan University and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office today announced an agreement to allow California students to take single courses at the online University to help them fulfill their campus-based associate’s degree requirements.

The… program allows California students to enroll in online Kaplan courses that have been approved by individual California community colleges. Students in the Kaplan University Community College Connection program will be eligible for a 42 percent tuition reduction on their Kaplan University courses.

Apparently, this is not going so well.

Months later, though it is unclear how many students have taken advantage of the option, critics view the deal as at best an “evil necessity” and at worst a dereliction by community college and state leaders of their responsibility to ensure a low-cost postsecondary education for state residents. Some also worry that Kaplan’s marketing of the agreement gives prospective students the appearance of a state endorsement of the company in particular and for-profit education in general.

One of the problems is cost:

A standard three-credit online course at Kaplan costs $1,113, and a discounted three-credit course there costs California students $645. By comparison, a three-credit course at a California community college costs a mere $78.

Another problem is that California State University and University of California may not accept these courses as transferable. That is a lot of money to pay for courses that may not be of high quality and that 4 yr schools may not accept.

Public education is a public responsibility. It cannot be farmed out to private business. This is just another example of how we look to private business to solve public problems that private businesses are ill equipped to solve.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

Is the Future Over? June 20, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Culture, Dwight Furrow's Posts, Science, Technology.
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William Gibson thinks maybe so:

Say it’s midway through the final year of the first decade of the 21st Century. Say that, last week, two things happened: scientists in China announced successful quantum teleportation over a distance of ten miles, while other scientists, in Maryland, announced the creation of an artificial, self-replicating genome. In this particular version of the 21st Century, which happens to be the one you’re living in, neither of these stories attracted a very great deal of attention.

In quantum teleportation, no matter is transferred, but information may be conveyed across a distance, without resorting to a signal in any traditional sense. Still, it’s the word “teleportation”, used seriously, in a headline. My “no kidding” module was activated: “No kidding,” I said to myself, “teleportation.” A slight amazement.

The synthetic genome, arguably artificial life, was somehow less amazing. The sort of thing one feels might already have been achieved, somehow. Triggering the “Oh, yeah” module. “Artificial life? Oh, yeah.”

New devices are cool; new human possibilities with new meaning? Eh. Not so much.

Alvin Toffler warned us about Future Shock, but is this Future Fatigue? For the past decade or so, the only critics of science fiction I pay any attention to, all three of them, have been slyly declaring that the Future is over. I wouldn’t blame anyone for assuming that this is akin to the declaration that history was over, and just as silly. But really I think they’re talking about the capital-F Future, which in my lifetime has been a cult, if not a religion. People my age are products of the culture of the capital-F Future. The younger you are, the less you are a product of that. If you’re fifteen or so, today, I suspect that you inhabit a sort of endless digital Now, a state of atemporality enabled by our increasingly efficient communal prosthetic memory. I also suspect that you don’t know it, because, as anthropologists tell us, one cannot know one’s own culture.

The Future, capital-F, be it crystalline city on the hill or radioactive post-nuclear wasteland, is gone. Ahead of us, there is merely…more stuff. Events. Some tending to the crystalline, some to the wasteland-y. Stuff: the mixed bag of the quotidian.

The future used to be a place of radically new promises and perils, game changers made possible by science. But he welcomes this new realism.

This newfound state of No Future is, in my opinion, a very good thing. It indicates a kind of maturity, an understanding that every future is someone else’s past, every present someone else’s future. Upon arriving in the capital-F Future, we discover it, invariably, to be the lower-case now.

As he points out (and he should know), science fiction is more about present hopes and fears that it is about the future.

If you are a William Gibson fan, his comments on his own writing career and his forthcoming new book are quite interesting.

If Pattern Recognition was about the immediate psychic aftermath of 9-11, and Spook Country about the deep end of the Bush administration and the invasion of Iraq, I could say that Zero History is about the global financial crisis as some sort of nodal event, but that must be true of any 2010 novel with ambitions on the 2010 zeitgeist. But all three of these novels are also about that dawning recognition that the future, be it capital-T Tomorrow or just tomorrow, Friday, just means more stuff, however peculiar and unexpected. A new quotidian. Somebody’s future, somebody else’s past.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

What Do Republicans Want"? June 17, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics, Uncategorized.
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Now that the primaries are over and the focus will gradually shift to the November mid-term elections, it is time to insist that Republicans come clean about their agenda.

We know they want to cut spending, cut taxes, and reduce the size of government. But what exactly does that mean? What government service do they want to discard? Which taxes should be cut and by how much? Where specifically is the waste, fraud and abuse they talk about? Now of course I imagine there is some waste, fraud and abuse in government. But where is it in a sufficient amount that its elimination would reduce the deficit?

I can’t think of a single Republican politician who has a specific answer to these questions; instead we get platitudes and silliness such as House Minority Whip Eric Cantor’s  “YouCut” gimmick.

We hear from the prognosticators that Republicans will make large gains in the House and Senate in November. Will they make these gains without anybody saying a word about what they actually want to accomplish in office. Or have modern elections been reduced to a head count of angry children whining because “my life’s not better yet”.

 book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

The Dalai Lama’s Wishful Thinking June 15, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, religion.
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Everybody likes the Dalai Lama (except the Chinese government) and he seems to be quite a nice person, full of wisdom and all. But in a recent NY Times article he engages in a bit of wishful thinking:

Granted, every religion has a sense of exclusivity as part of its core identity. Even so, I believe there is genuine potential for mutual understanding. While preserving faith toward one’s own tradition, one can respect, admire and appreciate other traditions.

This is a nice thought and I hope it is true, but given the amount of evidence to the contrary, such a claim would require some defense. So what is his defense?

A main point in my discussion with Merton was how central compassion was to the message of both Christianity and Buddhism. In my readings of the New Testament, I find myself inspired by Jesus’ acts of compassion. His miracle of the loaves and fishes, his healing and his teaching are all motivated by the desire to relieve suffering.

I’m a firm believer in the power of personal contact to bridge differences, so I’ve long been drawn to dialogues with people of other religious outlooks. The focus on compassion that Merton and I observed in our two religions strikes me as a strong unifying thread among all the major faiths. And these days we need to highlight what unifies us.

The rest of the article details the commitment to compassion in Hinduism and Islam as well.

But there is no argument here. The fact that all all religions share some feature does not entail that they have much in common. And it strikes me as simply false that the main idea or raison d’etre of most religions is compassion. Christians and Muslims seek salvation and the end of sin. Buddhists seek the end of suffering and the achievement of Nirvana. Compassion is a means to an end at best; just a side issue not the central concept. And al religions teach that their doctrine is a divine truth that require intolerance toward others.

What reason is there to think that religions could somehow ditch their doctrines and make compassion the point?

None as far as I can see.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com

Depressed June 13, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
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Last Wednesday, our only hope for near-term legislation that takes a first step toward confronting climate change was put to rest. Lindsey Graham, the only Republican who would even talk about such legislation, withdrew his support from the Kerry-Leiberman bill (which Graham helped to write) because it doesn’t allow enough oil drilling to please conservatives. And if Graham is not on board, no Republican is on board.

However, Stanford researcher Jon Krosnick claims this is exactly what the American public wants:

When respondents were asked if they thought that the earth’s temperature probably had been heating up over the last 100 years, 74 percent answered affirmatively. And 75 percent of respondents said that human behavior was substantially responsible for any warming that has occurred.

….Fully 86 percent of our respondents said they wanted the federal government to limit the amount of air pollution that businesses emit, and 76 percent favored government limiting business’s emissions of greenhouse gases in particular. Not a majority of 55 or 60 percent — but 76 percent.

Large majorities opposed taxes on electricity (78 percent) and gasoline (72 percent) to reduce consumption. But 84 percent favored the federal government offering tax breaks to encourage utilities to make more electricity from water, wind and solar power. And huge majorities favored government requiring, or offering tax breaks to encourage, each of the following: manufacturing cars that use less gasoline (81 percent); manufacturing appliances that use less electricity (80 percent); and building homes and office buildings that require less energy to heat and cool (80 percent).

As Kevin Drum notes:

So there you have it: the American public believes in global warming and wants the government to do something about it. However, the American public doesn’t want to do anything — carbon taxes or cap-and-trade — that might actually work. But they do want to open the federal goody bag and dole out subsidies and tax breaks to everyone under the sun, presumably because these all sound like pleasant things to do and they’re under the impression that they’re all “free.” Whether they work or not isn’t really on their radar.

And it looks like that’s what Congress is going to deliver. We are, in this case, getting exactly the government we deserve. A government of children.

Indeed. I complain quite a lot about clueless politicians on this blog. But behind every clueless politician there are millions of clueless voters.

But perhaps the descriptor “clueless” gives them too much credit. It isn’t as if the threat of global warming hasn’t been publicized.

Voters aren’t clueless. As Drum says, they are just juvenile.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com