Sorry, but I'm lost here. If the point is that this lost soul's opposition to gun ownership cannot reasonably be inferred from his homicidal rampage, I agree. Since there is no question but that he sincerely wants handguns proscribed, your example seems to create room for the possibility that Al Gore has decided to blast greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as a means of mobilizing resistance to the practice. Perhaps so, but I think it more likely Gore is just a very flawed human being who, despite understanding the damaging consequences of his conduct, prefers his luxuries to promotion of the commonweal.
Yes, to the extent people are even aware of Bob and his views on roses, they may point out his hypocrisy. But, who really cares about Bob? If there is serious and pervasive public debate on the dangers of growing red roses, it is unlikely many will become pro-rosies or anti-rosies because of who Bob is or what he does. The situation is, unfortunately, different with celebrities, as attitudes toward them often rub off on the public positions they take. If Al Gore is perceived to be a hypocrite or otherwise a bad person, there will be many who, without examination, will reject the merits of curbing greenhouse gas emissions simply because they are repelled by him. This is the other edge of the celebrity sword.
Larry Craig and Al Gore are indeed similar in the respect that their private conduct departs from their publicly expressed views. My point was only that Larry Craig's homosexual acts, unlike Al Gore's consumption of fossil fuels, are expressions of a very fundamental aspect of his nature. I think it is thus more likely (but not certain) that Craig's sexual conduct indicates his private views on LGBT issues diverge from his public pronouncements, than it is that Al Gore's personal gluttony provides reliable proof he does not believe the science on global warming.
The fact that I eat to the point of obesity, for example, does not mean that I doubt the connection between obesity and shortened lifespan.
I do not agree with your premise, that Al Gore either must be a mass murderer or incapable of reasoned thought.
I am certainly disappointed that, after all his good public work in alerting the world to the global warming menace, Al Gore has not adopted a less pernicious lifestyle. However, to consign him to a category peopled by the likes of Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot (actually, to a worse category, since these people killed only millions, not billions), is putting a bit too fine of a point on the matter.
Nor can I imagine that Al Gore, after so convincingly articulating and popularizing theory and evidence linking human activity to global warming, fails to understand that his excessive con sumpton of fossil fuels is inimical to good environmental health.
Among human beings, perhaps among all things, imperfection seems to be the unfailing rule. I know some very good people, but have yet to meet a saint.
Though I have taken steps to reduce my own carbon footprint, I know there is much more I could do. It would by no means be impossible for me, for example, to bicycle 30 miles to work each day, erect a windmill on my front lawn, install geothermal heating in my home, and eliminate animal proteins from my diet. Each of these choices, however, would involve sacrifices I prefer not to make. If you were to infer from my doing less than I can that I do not believe the science of global warming, you would be dead wrong. I only hope this does not make me a mass murderer or a mindless.
Is it possible Al Gore does not really believe we are burning up the planet with our profligate ways? Sure, it's possible, but I doubt it. I think it is far more likely that, like me, he is just another imperfect human being.
And, for the record, I don't think human beings possess free will any more than do other beasts. We are all pinballs bouncing off the bumpers of nature and nurture.
I am not a tax expert but I am quite certain that when corporations fail to pay what they owe in taxes they, like individuals, become liable for interest and, in appropriate cases, for penalties.
Okay, let me try to elaborate further.
This may be changing a little as I try to re-explain it, since I never attempted to enumerate this point before. Apologies about confusion as a result. Though I feel like it's basically the same, I certainly feel as though I learned a lot. ^_^ Maybe just better phrased? Or maybe I'm still phrasing it wrong? I know I'm terrible at explanation.
My claim is that someone who attempts to create a public policy for something that they do cannot believe in the necessity of that action.
The crazy gunman was created as an extreme example in order to better explain this claim, as well as one of my attempts to disprove it. Although it seems as though the madman is opposed to both guns and murder, he is willing to use both, and therefore sees them as necessary and useful tools.
You mentioned that you eat to obesity but do not dismiss the correlation between obesity and shortened life span. This doesn't break that rule because you (presumably) neither push for a law against obesity. You accept that eating to obesity will shorten your lifespan, and so long as none of my money is going towards your medical care, I have no right to stop you.
Basically, from my understanding, you don't believe that a shortened life span is a sufficient price to pay in order to eat less.
Now, let's go on to global warming. You say that you believe that the world is being wrecked by carbon dioxide. Therefore, before the natural end of your life, the world will cease to be habitable by human beings.
I would expect such a revelation to cause a horrified outcry, as people scurry and fight in every possible way to save the planet. People with such faith would do everything they can in order to stop the onset of carbon dioxide, that every molecule launched into the atmosphere would bring some measurable amount of time to the inhability of Earth.
If people make such a claim (and some have), then it makes sense that they'd try to halt the creation of carbon dioxide. This would be a logical result of the belief that human life will end if we do not act; only the most sociopathic of us would be unwilling to have the human race continue even if we ourselves would die in the process.
This is admittedly a leap of logic that I left out in earlier posts: even if you don't care about destroying yourself, it doesn't give you the right to injure others. For example, I wouldn't care about people smoking if the secondhand didn't send me into violet coughing fits, no matter how much damage they do to themselves.
But, let's say that you don't believe that you ought to interfere with the ending of humanity. Let's say that even as you burn through fossil fuels and talk about how it destroys the planet, the destruction of the planet does not bother you. Would you then try to push for others not to use fossil fuels via laws while ramping up your own? Would you buy multi-million dollar houses on the coastline when the coastline is going to be the first thing to go?
Now, I understand your point about how some people will just automatically follow and listen to celebrities, there's a difference between simple ad hominem attacks and pertinent information. For example, there's an awful lot I could say about Al (Second Chakra) Gore that I've left out of the conversation which shows him for the monster that he is but isn't pertinent.
If the only people who make such claims cannot follow them, perhaps they shouldn't try to pass laws which affect us but to which they are exempt, whether legally or politically. However, you weren't the one to bring celebrities into this debate, so I realize you probably already know this.
That's quite the sweeping generalization you make there about all levels of society, Ruby. Any factual evidence to back up such a claim or is just speculation that such a tax hike would make entire levels of economical society go "underground" and work off the books? Not every job market gives such opportunities.
I don't think she's claiming that every single level of society will do this, although diminishing returns is pretty well documented. However, you're correct in that the poor have a much harder time on simply packing up than the rich do.
Here's how it works in economics, though you shouldn't have too much trouble in seeing how it works in taxes. If you do, let me know and I'll explain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diminishing_returns