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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 7, 2010 5:51 AM. The previous post in this blog was What's next from the bicycle overlords. The next post in this blog is More on Dan Saltzman's loot. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Tired, tired arguments

"If you use a cell phone, you have no right to complain about them sticking antennas on a pole 40 feet from your infant's crib."

"If you drive a gasoline-powered car, you have no right to criticize the way BP cares for the environment."

"If you use information from a newspaper on your blog, you have no right to criticize the way the newspaper is run."

Comments (17)

Would you rather people complain without providing solutions to the problems? Oh yeah, you've got that covered.

Suggested solutions usually get blown off.

Totally agree. These types of statements are 'Triple-U' - Uninspired, Uninformed, and completely Unreadable.

If you breathe air, you have no right to complain that it's polluted.

I don't understand your post. How is recognizing our own small contribution (which is multiplied by hundreds of millions) to the system that reliably and foreseeably produces unwanted externalities -- the oil geysers in sensitive places, the cell towers in residential areas, the E.Coli sandwiches -- a bad thing?

Why not run a poll -- how much are people willing to pay for gas if they could be assured that if the cost of that gas would be enough to pay for preventing and neutralizing its environmental insults and costs? Estimates vary, but even in the late 80s there was a book suggesting that the fully loaded price of a gallon of gas was over $10 when you factor in health care and environmental costs. Gas was touching a $1 a barrel in 1999 as I recall.

Yeah, taking over BP before it's able to put the ginnie back in the bottle as suggested by pink boy Robert Reich, was a real winner. Not. Like more government from such idiots is going to solve this disaster any faster. Turns out Bama's been in the back pocket of BP all along, and limiting media coverage of this disaster and other spin master maneuvers. No. Keep the neophytes on the sidelines, and keep the tab going on BP because that's what going to keep their feet to the fire. Taking over BP assets before leak stoppage removes BP from some of the responsibility and its full ownership of the damages. Besides the government admits it doesn't have the foggest notion how to stop the leak.

Jack,

I don't see where anyone is actually making the arguments you "quoted," at least not in the links provided.

The categorical "you have no right," is a strawman that's easy to knock down.

#1: NIMBYism is a tenuous position to support.

#2: If pictures of the oil spill piss you off, then you should probably think some more about how to minimize your use of oil. More importantly, think about government policies you oppose/support that basically institutionalize and increase dependence on oil.

#3: It's The Oregonian, I got nothing...

Rather than "you have no right,"I think the issue is more the creeping hypocrisy or cognitive dissonance between our daily choices and events that happen out in the world.

Three very different arguments, two of which I agree with (your opinion, that is) :)

Re: cell phones - when a scientifically valid study shows up connecting cell phone usage or antenna proximity to poor health, I'll agree with you. To date, ALL such studies have shown no impact. In contrast to, say, cigarettes, or air pollution, or the impact of spilled oil on a marine environment.

I have no problem with criticizing the print industry.

I just think it's funny when bloggers seem to be reveling and gloating about the actual demise of the print industry. Many many bloggers do this without apparently realizing that bloggers rarely do any active reporting of their own, and are totally reliant on others for getting stories.

It's much easier to condemn and think in black and white.

(and use bad and alarmist data)

If you vote, you have no right to complain about corrupt or craven politicians.

NIMBY is one of the fundamental principles of the American Revolution. Don't let Mad Men, PR flacks, and dittoheaded nincompoops sustain their anti-social assaults on neighborhood citizen sentinels.

Gordon, unlike you I haven't been able to review ALL such studies but I did read a macro-review of these studies written by Dr, Hanry Lai, PhD, Research Professor at the Dept. of Bioengineering at the University of Washington. Dr. Lai found that to date in the 326 studies he reviewed 72% of the studies that show no harm were funded by the cell phone industry. Of those that show biological harm (and many do) 30% were industry funded.

I don't think tobacco is a good example to hold up in this case. Like the cancers potentially associated with RF radiation from cell phones and antennas, lung cancer takes well over 10 years exposure to develop. We didn't see the public health impact of tobacco until well into its use and long after many studies showed it to cause no harm. We laugh now at the ads from the 60's showing doctors endorsing cigarettes but we still believe the same PR BS about cell phones and many other things.

I hope we don't see the same problems with cell phones but we need to learn our lessons from tobacco, asbestos, lead etc. and take reasonable precautions. Keeping a cell tower away from an infants bedroom seems to be a pretty sensible and responsible tactic. In the mean time maybe our government could dig its face out of the lobbyists trough do fund some research.

Thanks
CO

In response to MOJO.
If you vote in the good old U.S.A. you have the god-given right to complain about corrupt or craven politicians because WE LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY THE LAST TIME I CHECKED !!! The ballot box is the best way for citizens to make their views known and replace these people every ELECTION CYCLE if need be ! That is the power of the ballot box in a democracy !! If you do not vote then YOU have only YOURSELF TO blame for these people !

Try to visualize what these towers peppered throughout our neighborhoods would look like?
Keep out of neighborhoods as much as possible instead of going down the path of any utility pole now, the city will gladly provide the avenue for the corporations.

Remember in some situations:
NIABY Not In Anyone's Back Yard.

Co,
Until we have years of data and reports and can trust integrity of the studies, we need to be prudent.
We are finding out in polls that hundreds of EPA scientists were politically interfered with.
http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2008/04/epa_scientists_complain_about.php

Read this and tell me you have confidence.
I am sure there are scientists with integrity, but then there are others. .
and furthermore the whole mess has been "set" by some federal matter that we cannot bring up health matters. Why do we the citizens put up with this abuse?

tom1804: That was all in fun, keeping with Jack's original theme here.

*Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes!*
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bunker_Hill

If you do not vote then YOU have only YOURSELF TO blame for these people !

Doesn't the blame really lie with the people who elected them?


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