Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What He Said


Believe it or not, I often try not to make fun of Americans people in other countries. I'm not always successful.

Richard Dawkins has an article on the Washington Post website where he can't help himself. I agree with everything he says [Attention Governor Perry: Evolution is a fact].
There is nothing unusual about Governor Rick Perry. Uneducated fools can be found in every country and every period of history, and they are not unknown in high office. What is unusual about today’s Republican party (I disavow the ridiculous ‘GOP’ nickname, because the party of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt has lately forfeited all claim to be considered ‘grand’) is this: In any other party and in any other country, an individual may occasionally rise to the top in spite of being an uneducated ignoramus. In today’s Republican Party ‘in spite of’ is not the phrase we need. Ignorance and lack of education are positive qualifications, bordering on obligatory. Intellect, knowledge and linguistic mastery are mistrusted by Republican voters, who, when choosing a president, would apparently prefer someone like themselves over someone actually qualified for the job.
There's lots more. Enjoy, no matter what country you live in.


19 comments :

  1. American here (USA variety): what he says is true but humiliating.

    Any political leader who doesn't dumb down a bit will not win an election over anything larger than, say, a congressional district.

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  2. When Dawkins disagrees with others on policy, he can't accept that those he disagrees with may be decent and intelligent.
    He finds it necessary to denigrate those he disagree with.
    It is a juvenile attitude.

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  3. @Anonymous

    Another failure on reading comprehension. At least you're consistent.

    Dawkins never claimed that Perry was not decent or intelligent (I do however, at least on the decency part).

    He did say that Perry was ignorant, and wilfully so.

    Hmm, does that remind you of anybody ?

    (A note to our host, Prof. Moran, while it is usually possible to sort out the anonymous trolls on the basis of their ravings, a sort of IDiot terroir, your idea of adding additional information to anonymous postings to uniquely identify the perpetrator would be useful. I'm sure there are some legitimate anonymous posters out there that could be accommodated.)

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  4. Dawkins:
    "Darwin explained all of this with one brilliantly simple idea - natural selection, driving gradual evolution over immensities of geological time."

    I got the distinct impression from numerous posts here that natural selection did not explain all of this.
    Could this assertion from Dawkins be one of the reasons that many evolutionists are now seeing Dawkins in a less-admiring light?
    Even if he still has a pompous valuation of himself.

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  5. oberski:
    "A note to our host, Prof. Moran, while it is usually possible to sort out the anonymous trolls on the basis of their ravings, a sort of IDiot terroir, your idea of adding additional information to anonymous postings to uniquely identify the perpetrator would be useful. I'm sure there are some legitimate anonymous posters out there that could be accommodated."

    In the light of the Rhett Daniels imbroglio, I hope we all see the problem with any form of identifier.
    But perhaps oberski wants to pick and choose who may have complete anonymity or not.

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  6. Rest assured anonymous, the last thing I want to know is who you actually are (but I do know where you live and I know why you have to replace your keyboard so often).

    It would just be nice to keep the wackjobs sorted out.

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  7. Good stuff from the Prof.

    I've been puzzled since the nomination of Reagan, why republicans need to present such intellectual lightweights to the voters.

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  8. Sheez Richy, say what ya really mean. so awesome buddy.

    Kriss

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  9. Martin, consider that it is the media that presents Republicans as not too smart and presents Democrats as always smart.
    They do that by playing up any small error form Republicans and completely ignoring Democrat blunders.
    Can you imagine if a Republican had referred twice to "57 States" as Obama did. You would never hear the end of it.

    And what the media even does is play something up as if it is an error when it is not even an error.

    This media game has been going on since the time of Kennedy.

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  10. @anonymous. One can allow pseudonomymous posting while not allowing anonymous postings (I do). That actually reduces most numbfuck troll responses because it takes time to make a profile.

    @anonymous. Yes its all the fault of the media. Damn the CNN for making Michele Bachmann win the Iowa straw poll. How dare the NYTimes force Christine O'Donnell down our throats. Rachel Maddow and her evil lesbian plot to put Sarah Palin in the VP seat. And don't even get me started on Keith Olbermann and his birther nonsense. Of course Obama said something stupid 3 years ago, so everything is equal.

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  11. Dawkins:
    "Darwin explained all of this with brilliantly simple idea - natural selection, driving gradual evolution over immensities of geological time."

    I got the distinct impression from numerous posts here that natural selection did not explain all of this.
    Could this assertion from Dawkins be one of the reasons that many evolutionists are now seeing Dawkins in a less-admiring light?
    Even if he still has a pompous valuation of himself.

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  12. Anonymous asserts: ...it is the media that presents Republicans as not too smart and presents Democrats as always smart...by playing up any small error form Republicans and completely ignoring Democrat blunders.
    Can you imagine if a Republican had referred twice to "57 States" as Obama did. You would never hear the end of it. "

    Bullshit of the highest order. Republicans have no one to blame but themselves for consistently making FAR more idiotic statements of FAR greater idiocy than do Democrats, and by people FAR higher up the pecking order.

    You are simply not dealing with the reality honestly (no surprise), and bringing up the "57 states" remark is a perfect example. The media didn't harp on that because it was a clear slip of the tongue, similar to Sarah Palin saying that Canada and Russia were *IN* Alaska in her famous interview with Katy Couric. You'll notice the media said nothing about that either, and for the same reason. Sarah Palin clearly doesn't believe that, just like Obama doesn't believe there are 57 states.

    However, the GOP higher ups do constantly make idiotic statements that reflect their actual views (denial of evolution and climate change, Christianist historical revisionism re the founding fathers, etc., etc., ad nauseum). No one at the VP level or higher has views anywhere near that stupid.

    The GOP is the stupid party, and they've earned the label. No media bias necessary.

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  13. That should say above:

    "No one at the VP level or higher [for the Democrats] has views anywhere near that stupid.

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  14. "Republicans have no one to blame but themselves for consistently making FAR more idiotic statements of FAR greater idiocy than do Democrats, and by people FAR higher up the pecking order."

    If you were honest, you would admit that you really do not know if your statement is true. The only source of your opinion is the media.

    But really your point is not that the people are unintelligent. It is simply that you disagree with their ideas.
    In your vanity you think you have a monopoly on the truth.

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  15. As opposed to your source, the voices in your head? How do you know what my sources are? And what exactly qualifies as "the media".

    If you were honest you wouldn't go claiming you know things about people you don't, or resort to whiney word games in rebuttal when substantive counterexamples would do...if you had them.

    No Projectus Maximus, the problem with you and every other fair-and-balanced whiner who claims both parties are equally foolish is that you don't understand (or refuse to acknowledge) the difference between a slip of the tongue ("57 states") and a exposure of ignorance (pick just about anything that comes out of Palin's, Bachman's, and Perry's mouths), or the difference between a political opinion (say, socialism is bad) with the most credible human knowledge on a subject (the planet is warming, we are related to other animals on earth, the founding fathers did NOT seek to establish a Christian nation, and the president was born in Hawaii). You are beholden to your ideology, and any learned authority that opposes it immediately is branded "biased". You don't even know what the word means.

    I'm merely taking the position that the most learned and academically accomplished in an area has the most knowledge of it and therefore holds the most credible opinon on the matter. You (and the rest of the GOPers) are the ones claiming they know biology than biologists, more climatology than climatologists, and more history than historians.

    So who has a problem with vanity and thinking they have a monopoly on the truth? Some old saying about a beam in one's own eye springs to mind...

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  16. Obviously I agree with both the sentiments expressed in Prof. Dawkin's piece, and with Prof. Moran's stance on these issues in general.

    Gov. Perry is an American albatross who will get an embarrassing number of votes, but not enough, thankfully, to cause real damage.

    I would like, however, to plead with Prof. Moran to laud the recent statement by former Governor and Ambassador John Huntsman. He cost himself votes in the Republican primary, and he did so by throwing a major portion of the Republican power base under the bus (as he should have).

    You no doubt disagree with many of Huntsman's policies and beliefs (as do I), but I would hope that you could see what a welcome thrust of reason this is into the Republican (and hence American) public debate. One or two more Huntsmans in the light of a national campaign would throw the brazenness of the IDiots a fatal blow. They have power in the Republican party almost solely because no prominent power-brokers call them to account for their nonsense. Huntman's salvo is a fine first step and ought to be commended by those who wish to see America consistently led by rational folk.

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  17. Of course, over at Prof. Moran's favorite expert in communications (snark), Chris Mooney's blog, one Dr. Jamie Vernon takes Dr.
    Dawkins to task for being beastly towards Governor Perry. In response to a comment by PZ Myers on his post, Dr. Vernon replies with a comment totally devoid of content and empty of argument, consisting of a rather lengthy snark.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2011/08/23/richard-dawkins-takes-the-crotchety-old-man-tactic-to-communicate-science-to-rick-perry-will-it-work/

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