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Google's Science Fellows Challenge the Company's Fund-Raising For Senator Inhofe

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the keep-your-friends-close dept.

Earth 140

Lasrick writes "At the Dot Earth blog in the NY Times, 'Big companies have many, and sometimes conflicting, interests, as a spokesperson for Google tried to explain to the environmental blogger Brian Merchant this way: “[W]hile we disagree on climate change policy, we share an interest with Senator Inhofe in the employees and data center we have in Oklahoma.” Now the Web giant is facing fresh criticism, this time in an open letter from 17 scientists and policy researchers who were invited to Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters back in 2011 to explore ways to improve climate science communication....'"

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Wha if (4, Interesting)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about a year ago | (#44455137)

What if their reasoning goes like this: Inhofe is dangerous. We cannot now influence Inhofe. If Inhofe takes our money, then Inhofe will be, in part, dependent upon us. If we can create a financial dependency between Inhofe and his constituents, we can use that dependency to influence Inhofe. We can threaten to withdraw jobs, close plants, relocate.

That is what most people complain corporations do, right? That is the source of their power along with campaign contributions. It seems to work, or at least everyone bitches about it as though is does work. I believe it works.

So....

What good is a purity-play if it doesn't get you what you need- influence?

I don't know this is their thinking. It could very well be their thinking. Note my signature and check my last posts if you think I have priorities other than climate change abatement or am shilling for anyone. I am just a person looking to deal with reality in any way that is effective.

Re:Wha if (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44455177)

That would be nice.

I blame the ignorant people who elect him into office - time and time again.

But, our elected officials reflect the Voting public.

Gerrymandering?

Ask yourself why does it work?

During the last Presidential election, I had a wonderful time observing my neighbors here in the Bible Belt.

First, you need to understand, if you are not a member of their particular Christian Sect, you are NOT a Christian - like Catholics and Mormons are not Christian in their eyes.

BUT, given the choice between Obama/Biden and a Mormon and a Catholic Republican they HAD to vote Republican. Their reasons were whatever Fox News and Rush were spouting at the particular moment.

Yes, there were a few explosions as some heads assploded while they were voting for a Mormon and Catholic.

No, I won't pick on the Dems - they're too wimpy to take it.

Re:Wha if (5, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | about a year ago | (#44455189)

Corporations and their funds should not be allowed to give or fundraise for politicians period. Only private citizens should be allowed to do either. It should not be a tax deduction either. It would fix a lot of problems.

Re:Wha if (0)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#44455565)

Corporations and their funds should not be allowed to give or fundraise for politicians period. Only private citizens should be allowed to do either.

Corporations are run by people. You OK with telling a CEO "youre not allowed to donate money"? Because that seems problematic.

Re:Wha if (4, Insightful)

Bucc5062 (856482) | about a year ago | (#44455643)

I believe he said "Corporations and their funds". Certain a CEO is a private citizen and can do what he/she will with their own money. Perhaps the point is that it is not right for a CEO to use the power and profit of a Corporation to influence votes. If they can pull millions of dollars out of their own (deep) pockets then fine, though they do run up against campaign finance laws. Corporations can now contribute with no caps and thus play a huge part in how a campaign plays out.

Re:Wha if (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44456547)

Corporations are voluntary grouping of people. You're saying people cannot voluntarily spend their money as a group, but only as individuals.
Imagine there's a local issue of importance. A group of neighbors wants to pool their money to buy a TV ad. Under your rules, they can't.

Re:Wha if (5, Insightful)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about a year ago | (#44457261)

"Corporations are voluntary grouping of people"

This is a lie on so many levels it's heard to know where to begin.

You make it sound like they're all of one mind WRT politics. They're a "voluntary grouping" , right? But they're not. They're just there to work and pay the bills; they haven't "voluntarily grouped " for political reasons at all.

  Yet you force them to accept what the corporation does and use their presence in the corporation are a a kind of justification, hey,. they're there as a voluntary group! They can leave if they don't like it!

Of course they could leave their job. As if. I love it when this argument finally gets down to "if you don't like it , you are free to leave your job / state / nation" part . It's a joke and factually as untrue as "if you don't like it, you can leave your job, lose your house, wreck your credit and live on the street" . Only in an adolescent fantasy world does this kind of logic exist.

What's more, it puts unwarranted amount of political power into the hands of a tiny minority of people merely because they're rich. That's the real world effect. It's no different than 18th century England with a king and the various barons. They wield the real power. But this is what democracy was invented to prevent. You seem to overlook that basic fact. Democracy is a means to an end- the opportunity for citizens to participated as equals in government. You turn it into a circus of perverts, gleefully shaking their packages at the whole POINT of democracy through some fucking "voluntary group" horseshit.

People should be limited in how much they can give candidates. Candidates elections should be publicly funded. Elections should be of by and for the people, not of by and for corporations. and the tiny sliver of people who run them.

Nothing could be simpler to understand.

Re:Wha if (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#44457585)

You make it sound like they're all of one mind WRT politics. They're a "voluntary grouping" , right? But they're not. They're just there to work and pay the bills; they haven't "voluntarily grouped " for political reasons at all.

That's a crock. If that were true then they wouldn't be allowed to go work somewhere else if they didn't like their job.

The only groups that aren't voluntary today are militaries and labor unions. (Volunteer militaries are obligatory once you've signed up.) At least you can leave a corporation at any time of your choosing, however labor unions will take your money and spend it on whatever political cause they want even if you disagree with it, and if you don't like it tough shit, if you leave they force you out of your job even if you like your job.

Re:Wha if (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44458371)

"Corporations are voluntary grouping of people" ... [ bunch of words which confuse the employees of corporations with the stockholders, the stockholders being the ones whose money is actually being used for political purposes ]

If you don't like the political activity of a corporation, sell your stock interest in that corporation. Last I heard, no one is forced to buy stock in a particular company.

[ bunch of words ridiculing the idea of changing jobs] Only in an adolescent fantasy world does this kind of logic exist

Labor force mobility is affected by many things. In a strong economy, changing jobs is not hard for anyone with value as an employee. People do get locked in to certain jobs, true, but in many cases they are locked in by their own lifestyle choices or by conditions created by govt. actions. For instance, wage and price controls imposed by the US govt. forced companies to offer non-wage, non-salary compensation, i.e. employee "benefits", in order to compete for workers. Those "benefits" got written into tax law and solidified in regulations leading to the situation now of employees being afraid to lose their jobs for fear of losing their healthcare insurance. There was never an a priori reason for health insurance to be tied to employment, but govt. interference made it so. Another example is that govt. policies have encouraged everyone to live in debt, particularly by taking out a mortgage. There is no a priori reason why a person has to run up debt or "buy" a house on credit. There is nothing adolescent or fantastical in recognizing these things.

What's more, it puts unwarranted amount of political power into the hands of a tiny minority of people merely because they're rich

Wealth has always, under any system of laws or govt., provided political power.

It's no different than 18th century England with a king and the various barons.

Last I checked, corporations don't have the power to execute me, but maybe I missed something.

People should be limited in how much they can give candidates

Which is already the law in the US and has been since at least Watergate.

Candidates elections should be publicly funded.

Which would create exactly the kind of tiny, static political class that you seemed to be bitching about when you mentioned the King of England. By legally excluding private political donations, only self-financed, mega-wealthy candidates or candidates willing to flaunt campaign funding laws would have any real chance of challenging incumbents for national office. Eliminating private donations would also wildly increase the power of incumbency. And so long as the govt. interferes in every aspect of life, there will always be a powerful motivation for savvy operators to innovate to circumvent the intent of the funding laws. You may try to get money out of politics, but you will never be able to as a practical matter.

the tiny sliver of people

The more restrictions that are placed on political activity, the more power will shift to the tiny sliver of people who control the govt. It doesn't matter whether that tiny sliver is corporate executives or dynastic politicians. What you advocate, whether you realize it or not, will decrease political plurality and reduce the influence of citizens over the govt.

Nothing could be simpler to understand

Lots of things seem that way when you don't really understand the issue.

Re:Wha if (0)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year ago | (#44455647)

Romney is that you? Hey jackass, until Citizens United corporations were not allowed to donate directly to campaigns. It was law on the books for over 100 years. might want to do some research first.

Re:Wha if (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44456357)

until Citizens United corporations were not allowed to donate directly to campaigns

Until Citizens United, corporations were largely politically disarmed while unions (including public employee unions which are just branches of the govt.), Big Trial Lawyer, Big Enviroment and the entire network of astro-turfing, rent-a-mob, phony-spontaneous-protest-organizing, big-government-promoting, fascist-control-by-regulation professional political agitators (i.e. "community organizers), most of whom are supported in some way with tax dollars extracted from all tax payers, even those who disagree with the agitators, were able to mercilessly smear, denigrate, misrepresent, mischaracterize and demonize not just specific corporations, but capitalism in general with impunity. The Citizen's United decision simply leveled the PR playing field a little. I say "a little" because the anti-capitalists still control academia and most of the media.

I will be the first to condemn the crony capitalism that permeates both the R and D parties, although I dislike the double-standard that allows the DP to push the narrative that it is only the RP that is held in thrall by corporations.

The bigger problem is that the more byzantine the campaign financing laws, the more large organizations, large institutions and criminals are favored politically over ordinary citizens. The political situation is getting worse in the US largely because the citizenry are getting more and more alienated from the government which is supposed to represent it.

Re:Wha if (1)

demachina (71715) | about a year ago | (#44456781)

Its pretty simple, individuals should be able to contribute to the candidates of their choice with caps. Elections should be running on small money, not big money.

If people are part of a larger organization encouraging them to contribute in a certain way that is no ones business as long as its the individual making the contribution and not the organization.

If an organization is collecting funds via dues, corporate profits or anything else and spending that money in a coordinated fashion to buy political influence it shouldn't be allowed. Nor should organizations be allowed to spend unlimited funds running ads on TV's designed to influence policy, candidates and elections.

Public funding of campaigns could fix the problem in some respects but how you decide gets funded and who doesn't and giving money to crackpots who have no popular support, and will never acquires it, isn't a good idea.

Of course the bigger issue is we need to have people running for office who don't suck and that appears to be increasingly problematic these days.

The thing you are trying to accomplish is for everyone to have a reasonably even chance of influencing the democratic process. When a tiny affluent minority, whatever their agenda, can buy disproportionate influece your democracy is, for all practical purposes, gone. This is pretty much where the U.S. sits today.

Re:Wha if (1)

Sarius64 (880298) | about a year ago | (#44456803)

Because union thugs never hijacked the dues of thousands of members to pay off their political whores. Nevah.

So you agree it is a bad thing, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44458941)

Or are you saying unions are good because they are JUST AS VOLUNTARY an association as a corporation.

As in if it were a closed shope, then you could just decide to work elsewhere, right? Just like you can decide to not work for your company (who will just get someone else to do your work, so it's not like the post they're working in as part of that corporation HAS ANY CHOICE whatsoever).

Or did you just not "think" this through?

Re:Wha if (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about a year ago | (#44455649)

Out of his own bank acount or out of the corporation's?

Re:Wha if (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about a year ago | (#44455607)

Does that include unions? Does that include groups like The Sierra Club?

Re:Wha if (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year ago | (#44455659)

So now you're saying you are against lobbyists...

Re:Wha if (1)

asylumx (881307) | about a year ago | (#44456109)

IMO, yes, unions too. The individuals in the union are welcome to donate directly to the candidate if they wish to, but the union shouldn't be donating union funds to political candidates.

Re:Wha if (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44455689)

Re:Wha if (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44455201)

That would be nice.

I blame the ignorant people who elect him into office - time and time again.

But, our elected officials reflect the Voting public.

Gerrymandering?

Ask yourself why does it work?

During the last Presidential election, I had a wonderful time observing my neighbors here in the Northeast.

First, you need to understand, if you are not a member of their particular environmental cult, you are NOT an environmentalist.

BUT, given the choice between Obama/Biden and ANY Republican they HAD to vote Obama/Biden. Their reasons were whatever MSNBC and Rachel were spouting at the particular moment.

Yes, there were a few explosions as some heads assploded while they were voting for Oblame-a.

Re:Wha if (0)

Moryath (553296) | about a year ago | (#44455437)

"environmental cult"

It's you religious shitwits who are the problem, christ-for-brains.

Re:Wha if (2)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#44455455)

I blame the ignorant people who elect him into office

What, here in Oklahoma?! Nah...

Re:Wha if (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44457669)

Like Muslims, Mormons have an additional book beyond those used by Christians. They aren't Christians any more than Muslims are. Or any more than Christians are Jews. Mormonism is derived from Christianity, but not a part of it.

Re:Wha if (2, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#44455213)

The reasoning is likely much more simple than that:

One American Senator is completely meaningless and will continue to be meaningless with regards to "Climate Change," however one American Senator can be quite meaningful with regards to our business operations in his district.

Look folks, China is in the #1 spot emitting ~25% of the worlds CO2, and its still a god damned developing nation (about half of the people in China are still subsistence farming.) There is no chance that reducing CO2 emissions here is going to mean anything, ever.

Re:Wha if (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44455233)

There is no chance that reducing CO2 emissions here is going to mean anything, ever.

Ah, there's the attitude of progress!

Re:Wha if (2)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#44455319)

Ah, there's the attitude of progress!

Ah, the old "only one way towards progress now let me dictate it" argument.

If only Oklahoma's 1st district had the right Senator, for then we could force China to not be on track to producing half of the worlds CO2 emissions by 2050.

Re:Wha if (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44455737)

Ah, the old "only one way towards progress now let me dictate it" argument.

How the hell did you manage to get that from my post? All I am doing is pointing out that your post reads like "we cannot significantly do something, so why bother?". I make no claim as to the "right" approach, or even a right approach, only that yours is a wrong approach.

Re:Wha if (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44455349)

Ah, I see that you're now currently at #3 of the hierarchy of global warming denial

#1 Global warming isn't happening
#2 Global warming is happening, but it’s not caused by humanity - so we don’t have to do anything.
#3 Global warming is happening, it is caused by humanity, but China and India aren't doing anything - so we don’t have to do anything.
#4 Global warming is happening, it is caused by humanity, but even if China and India do something it’s too late for us to do anything and it would cost us a truckload of money - so we don’t have to do anything.

Re:Wha if (1)

Grey Geezer (2699315) | about a year ago | (#44455559)

And couldn't we boycot, tax, or tarrif any imported goods that are not manufactured in a green way? But first we would need to get our own house in order I think. So that brings us to #4.

Re:Wha if (4, Interesting)

Nemyst (1383049) | about a year ago | (#44455505)

Yes, because going "You first!" is sure going to convince China, India and others to cut their own level of life so that we may preserve our own.

Re:Wha if (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year ago | (#44455511)

There is no chance that reducing CO2 emissions here is going to mean anything, ever.

When a Watt of energy from wind or solar costs significantly less than a Watt of energy from coal, oil, or gas emissions will plummet. When a battery has higher effective energy density than gasoline, emissions will plummet. The problem is thinking you can come up with treaties and laws to tackle the problem, the thing about agreements like that is that the more everyone sticks to them the more there is to be gained by being the one who cheats. If you want to fix it, you have to improve the tech so that it's an upgrade, not a downgrade.

Re:Wha if (0)

morgauxo (974071) | about a year ago | (#44455673)

I don't see that happening. Not unless it's because the fossil fuels are used up to the point of rarity.

Re:Wha if (3, Informative)

evendiagram (2789803) | about a year ago | (#44456059)

Look folks, China is in the #1 spot emitting ~25% of the worlds CO2, and its still a god damned developing nation (about half of the people in China are still subsistence farming.) There is no chance that reducing CO2 emissions here is going to mean anything, ever.

It's really easy to absolve yourself of any responsibility with statements like this. Perhaps looking at your country's contribution per capita [worldbank.org] would be more helpful.

Re:Wha if (3, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44456317)

If Inhofe denies the consensus that climate change is real and is willing to screw over the future for his fossil-fuel industry customers, he's probably basing other policy decisions not on utilitarian principles but on self-interest.

For instance, he voted against raising the debt ceiling. I'm no economist, and it's a matter of opinion (or crystal balls) as to whether the cuts the republicans are trying to get as ransom are a good idea or not, but based on his position on climate change, that really makes me suspect he'd tank the economy in an attempt to get tax cuts for his rich friends.

Or worse, he's one of a disturbing number of representatives who seem to be religiously conservative, who ignores reality when it disagrees with his worldview. That can be more dangerous than simple greed in any numbers, since it can't be reasoned with.

Anyway, as far as China, it's less likely that China will reduce their emissions until it's financially advantageous if we're still pumping out carbon like there's no tomorrow, and Inhofe is yet another barrier to changing that.

Re:Wha if (4, Informative)

jfengel (409917) | about a year ago | (#44457451)

Unfortunately, one senator is NOT completely meaningless. Inhofe isn't just a Senator. He's the ranking minority member of the Committee on Environment and Public Works. That means he has enormous say in any legislation on the environment. If the Senate changes hands, he becomes the chairman of that committee, and has the power to singlehandedly stop any legislation to do anything about climate change. He would also have significant power to introduce legislation to dismantle any regulatory framework, and the ability to hassle executive branch agencies with subpoenas (and has shown a willingness to use it).

The committee structure of the US Congress puts enormous power in the hands of a few individuals. And the ones with the biggest axes to grind try to end up in prominent positions: the House Committee on Science and Technology is packed with people who aren't just climate change denialists, but creationists to boot.

Re:Wha if (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year ago | (#44455633)

LMO...so you are defending Apple's practices. Thanks I was waiting for the Google fanboys to wise up and understand Google is a CORPORATION and as a CORPORATION will do ANYTHING for their bottom line.

Re:Wha if (1)

Morg-Tpah (1308165) | about a year ago | (#44456217)

"Denier = Terrorist" - seriously?

Re:Wha if (1)

yoghurt (2090) | about a year ago | (#44456439)

The donors ARE the constituents. Voters are just chumps to be exploited. The problem with giving Inhofe some money is that other monied interests are giving him much more money. Inhofe is going to drop Google in a New York minute if it were to hurt his supply from Exxon/Mobile &c.

Re:Wha if (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44457177)

The influence is there whether they give money to Inhofe or to his opponent. By giving the money to Inhofe, they are using their influence to indicate support of what he is currently doing.

lolwut? (3, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44455163)

this time in an open letter from 17 scientists and policy researchers [...] to explore ways to improve climate science communication....

Yeah, because improved communication is the problem, not people shoving their fingers in their ear and going "glory glory halleluja!" If only there was some scientific explanation [wikipedia.org] for behavior like this. Anyway, the solution is simple: Better education, not better 'communication'. A better educated population is more likely to use science, reason, and excercise critical thinking in response to new information, than an uneducated one. Ah, what's the going rate of a college education these days?

Oh. Right.

Re:lolwut? (1)

prasadsurve (665770) | about a year ago | (#44455597)

Anyway, the solution is simple: Better education, not better 'communication'.

Not really. The more science you know, the less worried you are about climate [theregister.co.uk]

Re:lolwut? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44455883)

Anyway, the solution is simple: Better education, not better 'communication'.

Not really. The more science you know, the less worried you are about climate

Sounds like an argument for more science curriculum to me.

Re:lolwut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44456115)

Sounds like someone didn't Read The Fucking Article.

Re:lolwut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44456055)

From the study's authors:

This form of reasoning can have a highly negative impact on collective decision making ... it is very harmful to collective welfare for individuals in aggregate to form beliefs this way.

        One aim of science communication, we submit, should be to dispel this tragedy ... A communication strategy that focuses only on transmission of sound scientific information, our results suggest, is unlikely to do that. As worthwhile as it would be, simply improving the clarity of scientific information will not dispel public conflict ...

This indicates that the authors' goal was to find a way to eliminate public opposition to the "humans cause climate change" narrative, not seek to promote scientific truth.

Effective strategies include use of culturally diverse communicators, whose affinity with different communities enhances their credibility, and information-framing techniques that invest policy solutions with resonances congenial to diverse groups.

I've come across this notion before. The idea is that spokespersons who are perceived to be superficially (by race, education, lifestyle, profession, etc.) similar to a targeted audience are more readily believed because the perceived similarity lowers the initial skepticism of the target audience. It is a disgusting example of the attempt to use deceit and psychological manipulation to achieve a political goal. It is important to note that it is the proponents of ACC that feel the need to stoop to such underhanded methods.

(Hee-hee, the CAPTCHA is "democrat", I kid you not!)

Re:lolwut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44456131)

'education' and 'communication' ... what's the difference?

Re:lolwut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44456157)

oops, I meant to respond to the post above yours.

Re:lolwut? (2)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about a year ago | (#44456567)

Anyway, the solution is simple: Better education, not better 'communication'.

Not really.

The more science you know, the less worried you are about climate [theregister.co.uk]

It's a Lewis Page article - as usual when Page reports research it turns out that the research doesn't say what Page claims it does.

What about Gay Marriage? (2, Insightful)

CajunArson (465943) | about a year ago | (#44455175)

So when Google/MS/etc. etc. all were heaping money on for the pro-gay marriage debate why was protest by company employees not allowed while this is seen as being a "moral' thing to do?

I'm not taking a position either way on either topic, I'm just pointing out that lots of people on this site and in general have very blinkered views where paying money to support the "correct" politicians is perfectly fine while paying money to support the "incorrect" politicians should somehow be illegal.

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (1, Informative)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44455203)

"So when Google/MS/etc. etc. all were heaping money on for the pro-gay marriage debate why was protest by company employees not allowed while this is seen as being a "moral' thing to do?"

Was it not allowed or is it simply that Google employees are smart enough to realise that laws supporting equal rights for gay people are as important as equal rights for women and equal rights for people of different race and that only bigoted idiots take issue with them?

"I'm not taking a position either way on either topic"

Your sig suggests otherwise.

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (2, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#44455235)

..by "equal rights" you seem to actually mean "inclusion into the special rights club that all non-married people are still excluded from."

Either support the availability of all of the special rights that married people have to all unmarried people also, or stop calling it "equal rights."

Basically, stop lying. We understand that the phrase "equal rights" has powerful connotations that automatically get a large group of drones to stand with you, but its still a fucking lie.

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#44455315)

What do you think about the term "marriage equality?"

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#44455357)

Don't see a problem with it. What do you think of the phrase "hey government, get the fuck out of my marriage!"

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year ago | (#44455707)

You do realize marriage is a legal contract....

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (1)

Sique (173459) | about a year ago | (#44455771)

If the government "gets out of marriage", then it just means that marriage has no legal meaning, no consequences, no rights and no responsibilities. If that is what you want, then I'm ok with it.

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (2)

virg_mattes (230616) | about a year ago | (#44455841)

..by "equal rights" you seem to actually mean "inclusion into the special rights club that all non-married people are still excluded from." Either support the availability of all of the special rights that married people have to all unmarried people also, or stop calling it "equal rights."

This doesn't follow logic at all. The concept that marriage has certain "special rights" both ignores the concept that it also has certain responsibilities that unmarried people don't have to deal with, and ignores the idea that (in a perfect world) anyone is free to enter into marriage and free to leave it. Your argument makes about as much sense as getting mad that people can incorporate a company and get into some "special rights club" that unincorporated people don't enjoy. It may be technically accurate but it's nonsensical.

Virg

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (2)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44455915)

I'm not talking about special treatment for being married, that's country specific so pointless to talk about as if tax breaks for being married or whatever are some inherent trait of marriage everywhere - they're not.

By equal rights I'm referring to the ability to marry someone you love. Currently only gay people are denied that right.

If you jumped off your ethnocentric horse of American marriage benefits for a moment you'd realise that there is an underlying equality issue there that's far more important than whinging about tax break inequality and the like.

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44456153)

Siblings
Parents/Children
Multiple wives/husbands
Etc.

When you starting using "those you love" as a guide, you can get all kinds of things that most people agree shouldn't be allowed. Who are you to deny equal marriage rights to these other categories now that you have yours?

I smell a hypocrite

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44456421)

Do you? Where?

I don't really care what consenting adults do. Marrying a sibling may not be my cup of tea but it's not as if that didn't happen historically.

Fundamentally that taboo for example came about largely because of the lobby that decided marriage should be about reproduction rather than love but they're separate issues. It's possible to ban such reproduction because of the effects it can have on the child without banning marriage.

At the end of the day if there's consent, capability to give consent (i.e. maturity to make that decision, no mental impairment preventing it and so forth) and it doesn't harm anyone else then I really couldn't give a shit.

It sounds like the real problem is that you believe that some groups of consenting adults should be treated differently not me.

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (1)

sycodon (149926) | about a year ago | (#44457051)

What purpose is there in the government sanctioning and providing special privileges for marriage if not to encourage reproduction in order to ensure the survival of society?

Remove that reason and there is no other reason for government to be involved in marriage at all.

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44457117)

Well as I said in my other post, most countries in the world don't give special benefits to marriage and so yes maybe government involvement in marriage is a key part of the problem in countries where that happens.

In the UK there has been talk about changing this and offering tax breaks for the married but the underlying purpose is to increase marriages which as a proportion of which will occur in churches is a subtle way of the religious MPs backing it trying to get more people into religion.

I don't know if it'll pass, the other have of our governing coalition and the opposition are against it which I'm glad of because yes it should have nothing to do with government.

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44457625)

I don't really care what consenting adults do.

You don't, but most people do. Mommy marrying her adult son is considered pretty effed up by just about everyone. If you live amongst other people, you have to make compromises and accept that community standards exist. Progressives, including progressives who mislabel themselves as libertarians, think they can escape this reality, but they cannot, at least not in the long run.

Marrying a sibling may not be my cup of tea but it's not as if that didn't happen historically.

That generally happened only in cases of rulers trying to preserve their dynasties or in isolated communities with no other options. Doesn't mean it was good a thing.

Fundamentally that taboo for example came about largely because of the lobby that decided marriage should be about reproduction rather than love

Oh please, please, please provide details about the "lobby that decided marriage should be about reproduction". There was no such lobby. Marriage is a near universal institution that was created for utilitarian purposes by centuries of human experience. Generally, marriage helped to create bonds between communities, provide a stable environment for the raising of children and to provide security in old age, particularly for women. Although I am sure friendly relationships between husbands and wives has always been considered desirable, the idea that marriage has anything to do with love is a modern invention reinforced by Walt Disney. Homos harp on "love" and "equality" because it allows them is avoid talking about the purpose of the institution and allows them to portray themselves as victims who are being denied something to which they are entitled rather than as whiny bitches who are demanding that society change so that they don't have to feel like they are weirdos. If you are gay, you can express your love for another without demanding that everyone else approve of your lifestyle.

blah, blah, blah ... I really couldn't give a shit.

That's not true. You care a great deal about marriage and its definition, otherwise you wouldn't be getting so wound-up about it.

An institution that can mean anything ultimately means nothing. Letting gays unilaterally impose a redefinition of marriage onto the rest of society will rapidly lead to further redefinitions until the institution means nothing. This will please progressives who despise marriage just as they despise any other institution which imposes a sense of obligation or personal responsibility on an individual and it will please Marxists who recognize the family unit as an obstacle to their efforts to redefine the culture, but that doesn't mean that it will be good for society. At the very least, there should be a vigorous discussion of the purpose of the institution before any major changes are made. That discussion has not yet occurred. Instead, an attempt is being made to impose a redefinition on society before any one can do anything to stop it.

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about a year ago | (#44456589)

..by "equal rights" you seem to actually mean "inclusion into the special rights club that all non-married people are still excluded from."

Well, no.

Equal rights to marry the person they want to marry.

Gay people don't get to be "included into the special rights club" if they don't marry.

Re:What about fey Marriage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44455699)

Equal rights are so obvious you think ... for ranting PMS women, drooling NAMBLA fagboiz, vermin-infested environists and Bantu maths researchers ...? Dey be dem equil! Oh you really think such **equality** is of value? Build up our republic, eh pad're? Or are Stalinist cosmopolitan masters pulling strings in your **thought-crime** puppet show !

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#44455219)

You new here? Moderation works like this:

if(Classify(Character.Politics) == LEFTISH_LIBERAL_WORLD_VIEW)
{
Character.Mod++;
}
else
{
Character.Mod--;
}

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44455335)

And you never stopped to wonder why it is like that? All these poor uneducated geeks haven't yet experienced the bliss of the true CAPITALISM sent from GOD?

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44455407)

Careful! A geek is about to use his Samsung phone to bitch at you about the glories of communism.

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#44455665)

Well, that's the problem with US politics (it's mostly US, isn't it). Everything is a binary choice. In the real world opinions don't break like that. People agree on some things, disagree on others. They may agree to greater or lesser extents. I don't know why we let the most extreme positions on either side set the tone of the debate.

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (0)

Bucc5062 (856482) | about a year ago | (#44455725)

or we could look at it this way

Dim Character as new Moderator
Dim Post as new Message

if Character.GetType().Name = global.LEFTISH_LIBERAL_WORLD_VIEW then
        Post.Mod += 1
else
        Post.Mod -= 1
end if
Post.Update
Character.Dispose()

I've now blinded the eyes of most the /.'ers here (if they can even read it).

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (2)

asylumx (881307) | about a year ago | (#44456135)

They must disable this logic when the article is about gun control, eh?

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#44456245)

I don't know. I come from a country with very strict gun control.

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (1)

asylumx (881307) | about a year ago | (#44458523)

In the US, the liberal worldview typically includes a fairly gun-control stance, yet most /.ers typically seem to be against gun control - which falls more in line with the conservative worldview here.

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44455313)

The problem here is that google is funding a politician they openly disagree with, just to get him on their side so they can continue to operate their data center.

It has little to do with your war on democrats.

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#44455423)

The problem here is that google is funding a politician

You can stop there and still be right.

Re:What about Gay Marriage? (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year ago | (#44455691)

Wow you have no freakin clue do you. So basically you want people to bring a knife to a gun fight. So people should be principled and not fight back when someone is smacking them around. Is that your point Potsy?

What you fail to grasp is people are trying to change the campaign finance laws...HOWEVER, at the same time, they will use the means that are available to them until such a time as they are changed.

good grief, give it a rest (2)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44455209)

It's fine for some group of scientists to point out how they believe Imhofe is wrong. But calling on companies to blacklist any politician who doesn't agree with their position goes way too far.

In fact, a company that really is interested in good corporate citizenship should spread its money and influence around so that opposing views are heard.

I'll Second That (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44455277)

No need to bring Inhofe's private war on things climatic into a football. Jerks jerk.

Re:good grief, give it a rest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44455287)

Sorry, but the guy is a nutjob.
Inhofe had previously compared the United States Environmental Protection Agency to the Gestapo and he compared EPA Administrator Carol Browner to Tokyo Rose. Inhofe had previously stated that Global Warming is "the second-largest hoax ever played on the American people, after the separation of church and state.

Some other comments unrelated to global warming:
"I believe very strongly that we ought to support Israel, and that it has a right to the land, because God said so. As I said a minute ago, look it up in the Book of Genesis. It is right up there on the desk. The Bible says that Abraham removed his tent and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar before the Lord. Hebron is in the West Bank. It is at this place where God appeared to Abram and said, "I am giving you this land — the West Bank". This is not a political battle at all. It is a contest over whether or not the word of God is true."

In March 2002, Inhofe also made a speech before the U.S. Senate that included the explicit suggestion that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were a form of divine retribution against the U.S. for failing to defend Israel.

Inhofe is in favor of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, against adding sexual orientation to the definition of hate crimes, and voted against prohibiting job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Inhofe’s office has said he “does not hire openly gay staffers due to the possibility of a conflict of agenda.”

Re:good grief, give it a rest (0)

CajunArson (465943) | about a year ago | (#44455411)

Have you seen what the EPA has done to people? Calling them the Gestapo isn't that far off and I'm getting a little tired of the exact same people who think that the NSA spying on *anyone* (even North Korea) is some insane violation of the Constitution having zero problems with the EPA spying on American citizens and effectively confiscating their property and livelihoods because they think a slug might live within 50 miles of their homes.

Re:good grief, give it a rest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44455861)

When the EPA ruins a persons life because some of some snail, owl, or other fairly useless critter then YES, they are the Gestapo blidnly enforcing the Governments god awful rules.

When Obama uses the EPA to effectively shut down 1/6th of the coal power plants in the US based on outdated and FLAWED science, yes, the EPA is the GESTAPO.

MAN MADE Global Warming is a hoax. Climate Change is Natural. In 5 years we'll be back to the ol 'GLOBAL ICE AGE!' science.

Re:good grief, give it a rest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44458787)

Inhofe is in favor of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage

False. Inhofe favors a constitutional amendment which preserves the definition of marriage. Gay activists have gotten everyone using the phrase "banning same-sex marriage" in order to portray themselves as victims who are being denied something. The reality is that "same-sex marriage" and "gay marriage" are non-sequiturs and gay activists are the political aggressors, not the victims.

against adding sexual orientation to the definition of hate crimes

The idea of hate crimes was invented to undermine the concept that their should be one set of laws that apply to everyone. All hate crime laws should be repealed. Law should be about what one does or doesn't do not about who-as-a-member-of-a-group does what to whom-as-a-member-of-a-group.

and voted against prohibiting job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation

Good for him. Why should anyone be given special legal weapons based on what they do in their bedrooms?

Inhofe's office has said he does not hire openly gay staffers due to the possibility of a conflict of agenda

That's reasonable. Why hire someone who is likely to be a political enemy? The army hired a gay with an agenda and ended up with 100,000 diplomatic memos plastered all over the internet.

Re:good grief, give it a rest (2)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year ago | (#44455293)

Indeed. Scientists are scientists. These people are politicians that claim to be scientists.

Re:good grief, give it a rest (0)

fredrated (639554) | about a year ago | (#44455727)

You are a fucking idiot.

Re:good grief, give it a rest (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44457021)

No, these people are scientists pretending to be politicians, and that is far worse.

Re:good grief, give it a rest (4, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#44455459)

Two points.
1, Science is a matter of evidence, not a matter of belief.
2. To have an opposing view, one must first agree there is such a thing as 'reality'.

Re:good grief, give it a rest (1)

Sarius64 (880298) | about a year ago | (#44456883)

I'll remember that the next time some fucking idiot named Gore touts consensus.

Re:good grief, give it a rest (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44457009)

1, Science is a matter of evidence, not a matter of belief.

Quite right. But policy is a matter of values, decisions, and tradeoffs. The error here is with scientists trying to impose their political choices on everybody else, and misusing their scientific credentials to do so.

Re:good grief, give it a rest (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year ago | (#44455721)

LMOL opposing view to science...nice...

Re:good grief, give it a rest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44456747)

a company that really is interested in good corporate citizenship should spread its money and influence around so that opposing views are heard

A company has no obligation to fund the promotion of all viewpoints. Is a corporation obligated to provide Marxist groups a forum to demand that all corporate assets be seized and all corporate officers be tortured and put on public trial for their "crimes against the proletariat"? That's a bit much to ask. Most corporations get involved in politics as a means of self-defense, to mitigate regulatory burdens. Those corporations who promote increased govt. involvement in the private sector are generally practicing corporatism, seeking a tax-payer handout or using govt. action to suppress their competitors.

The only obligation that a corporation has is to legally make money for its stockholders. The concept of "good corporate citizenship" was invented by people who wanted to bully corporations into supporting the policies and political narratives of the political left. A corporation does not exist in order to "provide jobs" which pay a "living wage". It does not exist to "give back to the community" (although to be profitable, it must provide goods and/or services which somebody perceives as beneficial). It does not exist to "save the whales" or "save the environment" or "promote equality" or "help the disadvantaged" or "solve the problems of the developing world" unless it does so as a byproduct of its normal commercial activity. Steve Jobs understood this, took heat for it and yet Apple was a better company as a result.

Comm 101 (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44455253)

Speaking of improved communication, where's a link to this letter?

Inhofe v/ Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44455521)

In Oklahoma where ignorance and dogma cohabitate, there are those of us who would love to see someone other Inhofe in office. Unfortunately he is in power because he is the lap dog of the military-industrial (big oil) complex. The problem in Oklahoma is not a lack of education, but that the people, in the words of Paul Goodman, have been purposely mis-educated. To be taught to be as dogmatic as Inhofe. Giving him money is supporting the cause of stupidity.

Zealotry and the balkanization of our culture (1, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | about a year ago | (#44455623)

In real, grownup life (ie not "ivory tower academia") we all spend time working every day with people who may or may not PRECISELY agree with everything we believe.

The fact is that Senator Inhofe can be useful to Google in a number of contexts unrelated to either of their positions on climate change.

I have friends that are both Christians and Atheists, am I too supposed to refuse to associate with one group or the other based on which side of that fence I personally stand on?

The sort of zealotry that informs 'public posturing' like this is corrosive, and indicative of a sort of Manichean worldview that is never constructive.

Google would be best advised just to simply ignore with no comment. If those "scientists and policy researchers " no longer want to be associated with Google, they can simply refrain from participating then.

Re:Zealotry and the balkanization of our culture (2)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year ago | (#44455749)

Kind of depends if your friends discriminate against you based on their beliefs..doesn't it...

Re:Zealotry and the balkanization of our culture (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about a year ago | (#44458679)

What have you been smoking? You can never change your opinions. You can never give in to the other side. And you can never ever ever refer to people you disagree with as anything other than idiotic, terroristic fear-mongers.

Inhofe: Stupidest person on Google's payroll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44455645)

The problem with trying to buy inflence with Inhofe is that he's so stupid, it doesn't work.

My company has been a huge Inhofe supporter for at least the last 16 years I've worked here. We've even held what were essentially big required-attendence Inhofe rallies (arguably illegal). The reason I was told for this is so he'd help support our business in Washington.

So a year or so ago we invite him to speak at the grand opening of our new facility. During his speech he got the name of our company wrong twice, even though it was on a humongous banner right across from him where he could not fail to see it. But yeah, we he goes back to DC and doesn't have that banner to at least get him close, I'm sure he remembers us better. Sure....

OTOH, I guarantee you that if you bankroll an opponent, and made clear why, he'd remember that shit. Going after him personally is the one thing that has been shown to spur him into action [foxnews.com] .

Fresh criticism on global warming? (1)

alex67500 (1609333) | about a year ago | (#44455985)

Do they cancel each other out?

Simple solution to complex problem (2)

evilRhino (638506) | about a year ago | (#44456067)

Government representatives are supposed to represent their constituents, not multinational corporations [wolf-pac.com] . Make it illegal for foreign entities to fund domestic campaigns and we can avoid these conflicts.

really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44456265)

So, just because senator has guts to call global warming bullshit, you are going to hound Google? And use slashdot for that too? Gawd... you guys are getting desperate.

Job One of Do No Evil (2)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year ago | (#44458133)

Don't build anything in states that promise zero business taxes and allow no-benefit, slave-wage jobs.

Not that hard if you a functioning human soul.
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