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From time to time I hear from a small DC group with the impressive sounding name: the"National Centre for Public Policy Research" (NCPPR).

Their president Amy Ridenour took a jab at me the other day with this strange sentence - obviously crafted to incite controversy:

"Kindness is not usually a term one associates with the anti-Holocaust global warming denier website DeSmogBlog, but its staff has made an exception today."

From time to time I hear from a small DC group with the impressive sounding name: the"National Centre for Public Policy Research" (NCPPR).

Their president Amy Ridenour took a jab at me the other day with this strange sentence - obviously crafted to incite controversy:

"Kindness is not usually a term one associates with the anti-Holocaust global warming denier website DeSmogBlog, but its staff has made an exception today."

I am assuming that much like her friend Christopher Monckton, Ridenour has not heard of the Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies. The basic point Godwin makes is that as a conversation online progresses, the likelihood of someone mentioning Nazis or the Holocaust becomes more likely.

I sent an email to Ridenour assistant, David Almasi, the other night asking for an explanation and also pointing out that in the four years I have been writing on climate issues I have never used a Nazi analogy in an attempt to bolster an argument or discredit an individual. So far they haven't responded and I think they're silence is telling.

It is a stupid and useless means of making a point that only creates division and hate.

Originally posted to Desmogblog on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 03:56 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The NAZI analogies are moronic (6+ / 0-)

    Anyone, on the left or right, who injects language like "Nazi" or "Hitler" into the modern political debate is not only a hate-monger, but also stupid beyond belief.

    As a historian, such actions drive me crazy, because they are spoken not out of hate, but ignorance.  I hope we can all agree that such vitriol should be condemned on both sides of the aisle.

    I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places...arousing and persuading and reproaching you.-Socrates

    by The Navigator on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 04:04:00 PM PST

  •  One should note that Ridenour (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, cfk, OHdog, indubitably

    was and is one of the GOP think tank operators who worked very closely with Jack Abramoff. She helped Jack launder money from China and elsewhere into the American political process. Many of the trips featured in the Abramoff scandal involved Ridenour in key roles. She should be in jail.

    Cheers

    Time to clean up DeLay's petri dish! Help CNMI guest workers find justice! Learn more at Unheard No More.

    by dengre on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 04:11:16 PM PST

  •  Even more to the point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfk, happymisanthropy

    ...Ridenour ran afoul of one of the better known corollaries of Godwin's Law: "For example, there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically "lost" whatever debate was in progress."

    The deniers lost on the science a long time ago.  Now they're losing on rhetoric.

    "The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead." ~ Paul Krugman.

    by Neon Vincent on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 04:13:35 PM PST

  •  I'm not sure Goodwin's Law applies in this (0+ / 0-)

    case.  Not all references to Nazi's or their actions falls under Goodwin's Law.  Without reading what she said in context and going from just your quote of her I could argue it doesn't apply.  If she is comparing the babble of Holocaust deniers and climate change deniers its a fair comparison of how dumb both camps are.  The mere mention in itself does not automatically invoke Goodwin's law. In fact Goodwin's Law can be misused and often is as a distraction.  Certainly not defending her only the really cool concept of Goodwin's law.  

    However, Godwin's Law itself can be abused, as a distraction, diversion or even censorship, that fallaciously miscasts an opponent's argument as hyperbole, especially if the comparisons made by the argument are actually appropriate. A 2005 Reason magazine article argued that Godwin's Law is often misused to ridicule even valid comparisons.

    from wikipedia

    Eat recycled food. It's good for the environment and OK for you.

    by thestructureguy on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 04:17:18 PM PST

  •  and to think (0+ / 0-)

    I have you, such an evil group, on my blogroll...sigh.
    ~snark~

    You must be doing something right to get such attention.  

    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 04:18:07 PM PST

  •  All that Hitler stuff is getting old. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nespolo, happymisanthropy

    Let's do Stalin for a while.

    Don't do vibrato. There'll be plenty of that naturally later when you're old and shaky. (Miles Davis, quoting his music instructor)

    by dov12348 on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 04:21:39 PM PST

  •  Nazi ref was uncalled for. (0+ / 0-)

    Looking at your diaries here, the Nazi ref was out of line.

    BTW, if you're posting something here and cross-posting it somewhere else, it's polite to acknowledge that at the top of the diary.

    Results count for more than intentions do.

    by VA Classical Liberal on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 04:26:06 PM PST

  •  Forever Invoking Godwin's Law Wrong (0+ / 0-)

    All "Godwin's Law" says is that the longer an online argument goes on, the greater the chances that someone will make a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis. That observation says absolutely nothing about whether those comparisons are appropriate. Whether or not someone has heard of Godwin's Law is totally irrelevant to whether the comparison is appropriate.

    When denying vast acts that threaten our way of life, comparisons to the Holocaust are sometimes appropriate. Which means the comparisons happen sooner than later. But Godwin's law says nothing about that.

    Hitler and the Nazis are a very clear and accepted standard of wrong behavior that nevertheless really happened, and almost converted our world into a living hell for everyone. Just because a comparison to it is inevitable in unlimited online debate changes nothing about the importance of keeping in mind that standard, and doing what we can to avoid it happening again.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Jan 18, 2010 at 06:14:46 PM PST

    •  And your point (0+ / 0-)

      All very interesting. There's a lot of discussions online about what Godwin's Law actually means.

      But I don't see your point. I don't think there's a need for anyone to compare the atrocities of the holocaust to anything.

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