Even More Annals of Stupidity

1. When Glenn Beck says he was wrong, you know it’s gonna lead to something worse:

For almost a year, Glenn Beck has been warning with increasing panic that America is headed toward socialism. Tonight, he issued a correction: “They” are not marching the United States toward socialism, Beck explained, but actually fascism:

It all adds up to me, having to admit that I was wrong. Our government is not marching down the road towards communism or socialism. … But now I have to tell you that they’re not marching us that direction. They’re marching us to a non-violent fascism. Or to put it another way, they’re marching us to 1984. Big Brother. … Like it or not, fascism is on the rise.

Though Beck claimed he didn’t mean “Adolf Hitler kind of fascism” and that he was talking about “fascism with a happy face,” he illustrated his point with more than a minute’s worth of Nazi footage, played dramatically on the full screen behind him.

2. George Will really should check his own wattage before titling his column “Climate Change’s Dim Bulbs“:

Fervently” is how America will henceforth engage in talks on global warming. So said the president’s climate change negotiator Sunday in Germany, at a U.N. conference on reducing carbon emissions. This vow was fervently applauded by conferees welcoming the end of what the AP news story called the Bush administration’s “eight years of obdurate participation” in climate talks.

Reducing carbon emissions supposedly will reverse warming, which is allegedly occurring even though, according to statistics published by the World Meteorological Organization, there has not been a warmer year on record than 1998. Regarding the reversing, the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change has many ambitions, as outlined in a working group’s 16-page “information note” to “facilitate discussions.”

Jonathan Chait attempts to educate Will:

First of all, nobody says that reducing carbon emissions will “reverse” global warming. The point is merely to slow the process. This is pretty fundamental.

Second, Will (again) cites the unusually hot year of 1998 to prove that the planet isn’t warming. He fails to understand a very basic concept in data that you don’t need any particular social science expertise to grasp, which is that trends don’t always move in a perfectly straight line. The planet has been getting warmer, and there was an extreme spike in 1998. Both these things can be true.

Next installment coming all too soon.

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