Mike Argento slams Coulter

On my old blog, I professed my undying love for York Daily Record columnist, Mike Argento. During the Dover trial last winter, his columns were hilarious and right on target. (See, for example, here, here, and here for snippets, though the full-text articles are no longer available). He’s now taken on Ann Coulter’s characterization of the trial in her new book, “Godless.” More after the jump…

There is an irony buried deep under the vitriol, idiocy, slander, vileness, ignorance, stupidity and simply breathtaking inanity that passes for the contribution to the public discourse of an alleged carbon-based life-form that goes by the name of Ann Coulter.

Of course, you’ve heard about this vile life-support system for a mane of blonde hair. She’s been all over the media, spreading her poison, the vaguely human counterpart of a Gila monster, except with colder blood. It’s amusing that one of her complaints about what she calls the liberal media establishment is that it gives short-shrift to morons like herself who seek airtime to inflict a toxic stew of idiocies masquerading as ideas upon an unsuspecting public.

Argento takes on several of Coulter’s simply bizarre arguments, and then gets to the meat of the story: Coulter’s characterization of the Dover trial.

She goes on to completely misrepresent what happened in Dover and concludes, “After Dover, no school district will dare breathe a word about ‘intelligent design,’ unless they want to risk being bankrupted by ACLU lawsuits. The Darwinists have saved the secular sanctity of their temples: the public schools. They didn’t win on science, persuasion, or the evidence. They won the way liberals always win: by finding a court to hand them everything they want on a silver platter.”

First off, Ann, this wasn’t a victory for liberals. It was a victory for everyone who believes in the separation of church and state, for everyone who believes in quality education, for everyone who believes that scientific research and human progress shouldn’t be thwarted by the prejudices and fears of a small group of people.

Secondly, the plaintiffs in this case – the parents who brought the case – weren’t a bunch of crazed liberals. Many of the 11 plaintiffs are Republicans and consider themselves conservative. They just didn’t like the idea that a small cabal on the school board chose to trample on their rights and violate the Constitution.

Thirdly, they did win on science, persuasion and the evidence – as so eloquently outlined in U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III’s decision in the case. They also won because the side of righteousness – as Ann would have you believe – lied repeatedly during the trial.

Of course, this kind of logic escapes many Coulter fans. Evidence be damned–the trial was stolen from them, all liberals are baby-eating atheists, and scientists are just slaves to the gods of Darwinism. I’d think that schtick would get tiresome after awhile, but apparently her book is selling well. Another reason to move to Canada, I guess.

Comments

  1. #1 Dave S.
    June 23, 2006

    Another reason to move to Canada, I guess.

    Sure, c’mon up, the weathers’ delightful this time o’ year. :)

    The Coulterites will eat up pretty much anything she says, as long as it’s slamming those liberals at maximum truthiness. Doesn’t have to be coherant, logical or true.

    PZ has a challenge for any of them to pick any one paragraph in her evolution series of chapters and explain in detail exactly how Coulter got it right. So far not one person has been able or willing to do so, nor even attempted.

    Coulter is all flash and no substance. As people get acclimatized to the volume, she has no choice but to turn it up, being even more shrill and manufacturing even more “controversial” statements.

    Sells books I suppose, and isn’t that what really matters?

  2. #2 CaptainMike
    June 23, 2006

    You might want to think twice about moving to Canada. We recently elected a dead-eyed conservative as Prime Minister.

    On the other hand, we don’t seem to have as much in the way of religious fundamentalism that the U.S. does, nor the anti-science rhetoric that goes along with it. I think this might be due to the large number of Roman Catholics living here (about 50% of the population according to some magazine article I vaguely remember reading once).

    Although the Catholic church has a number of policies that appear to be outright insane, as a church and as individuals they generally accept that evolution is a fact, that every single word in the Bible should not be taken literally, and that scientists are not engaged in some sort of evil conspiracy designed to deliver us into the waiting talons of their Dark Master (Richard Dawkins).

    I think this may be because the Catholic church still feels some collective guilt over the kicking around they gave to Galileo.

  3. #3 Bob O'H
    June 23, 2006

    The full articles are available: from Argento’s Front Stoop, along with other examples of his musings and ramblings.

    Bob

  4. #4 anon_Eh
    June 24, 2006

    Actually, CaptainMike, most polls show that on average there are half as many Canadians as Americans that describe themselves as ‘religious’ or ‘very religious’, and I think the absolute number was somewhere at a third or so. So Canadians are just less ‘religious’ on average, which probably accounts for a lot of the difference. We also believe there is such a thing as ‘hate speech’ and we prosecute it, too. Americans believe in absolute freedom of speech, and the downside is that they have to hear people like Coulter spew their crap.

  5. #5 Chuck the Lucky
    June 27, 2006

    Wow! A discussion about Ann C. that has yet to have an Ann-fan jump in and say “Boy she really has you liberals pegged.” or otherwise imply that being critical of her proves that she is right about something. Is there no one around to keep us Darwiniacs in our place?

    In statistics, don’t they sometimes cut out the extreme data points (outliers) so that sense can be made of the rest of the data? Can we do that with Ward Churchill and Ann Coulter? Put them both in a leaky boat and set them free in the Bermuda triangle. (Give people a better reason to avoid the place.)

  6. #6 richCares
    June 28, 2006

    In her latest book Ann Coulter defends “The Bell Curve,” the 1994 book which alleged that blacks are less smart than whites because of genetic rather than socioeconomic differences. “Liberals were afraid of a book that told the truth about IQ … because they are godless secularists who do not believe humans are in God’s image…,” Coulter wrote yesterday. “(L)iberals are terrified of making any comment that seems to acknowledge that there are any differences among groups of people — especially racial groups. It’s difficult to have a simple conversation — much less engage in free-ranging, open scientific inquiry — when liberals are constantly rushing in with their rule book about what can and cannot be said.”

    In Charles Murray’s best seller, “The Bell Curve”, Murray pauses to politely denounce black schoolteacher Marva Collins’ fantastic claim that ghetto black children had real enthusiasm for difficult intellectual work.. So certain were the authors that Marva Collins couldn’t be telling the truth, that they dismissed her data while admitting they hadn’t examined the situation firsthand. Collins success was a fluke and could not possibly be long lasting. That is contempt of a very high order, however decorously phrased.

    Marva Collins and the Westside Preparatory School received national recognition in 1979 when CBS’s 60 Minutes, one of America’s top rated television programs profiled the school’s remarkable achievements. Morley Safer interviewed 33 students at the school and found them to be bright, literate, inquisitive, anxious to express themselves in the classroom, well educated, well mannered, hungry for learning and very committed to having good careers.

    In September of 1995, 16 years later, 60 Minutes returned to Westside Preparatory to find out what had become of the former students. According to a statistician from the University of Chicago, the norm for those 33 children in similar environments and backgrounds would be as follows: one dead, two in jail, five on welfare. Westside’s graduates put the Bell Curve to shame. Of the 33, all were living very successful lives, most were college graduates, some still in college earning Master’s degrees, while the others built-up good jobs and careers. The Bell Curve was demolished, another stake in the vampire heart of racism.
    Ann Coulter, a firm believer in the Bell Curve, has labeled those who disagree with the “Bell Curve” in her latest book as liberals. In actuality, those that believe the validity of the “Bell Curve” are racists. If rejecting the false reasoning of the “Bell Curve” is liberal then we need more liberals.

    To me, Marva Collins is a great American hero. I briefly met her when she was the guest of honor at the Crystal Cathedral in Anaheim. The standing ovation Marva Collins received there is in stark contrast to Coulter’s defense of the Bell Curve.