The Republican Convention

Anyone surprised by how the Republican Convention is going?

The McCain campaign to this point has been nearly one hundred percent negative, and the convention has continued that trend. There are several reasons for this. One is simply that they have nothing to run on, having made a hash of everything they have touched for the last eight years. But the main reason is that mindless venom is something that comes naturally to the leaders, strategists and pundits in the Republican Party.

It has become a cliche of modern political life that Republicans “play the game” so much better than Democrats. This is code for saying that Democrats have pesky things like souls and consciences that make it impossible for them to stand in front of audiences and tell bald-faced lies about their opponents.

Surely you noticed that there was almost nothing in the way of personal attacks during the entirety of the Democratic convention. Why do you suppose that is? Do you think that Democratic strategists just aren’t aware that negative campaigning, especially at the national level, is nearly always effective? Or do you think it’s because they find it genuinely distasteful to attack people with the requisite ferocity? That when given the opportunity to address a large fraction of the country they prefer to point to the policy failures of their opponents and to explain what they would do differently given the chance?

Ever wonder why there is no liberal equivalent to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck? It’s because normal, mentally healthy people are incapable of the sorts of things that they do. Most people are not capable of sustaining the anger and dishonesty required to engage in hours a day of sustained attack. Most people care at least a little bit about getting their facts straight before holding forth on television or radio. Only brain-dead fanatics are capable of that sort of extreme simple-mindedness. To find that on the left you have to shoot right past liberal into the realms of the extreme left-wing, where you will not find anyone with either an ounce of power, or an ounce of loyalty to the Democratic party. The crazy right-wing is fanatically loyal to the Republican party. The extreme left votes for Nader and gives lectures about how there is only the Republicrat party.

The Republicans think nothing of pitting one part of the country against another. John Kerry was from Massachussetts. As far as Republicans were concerned, that was a legitimate issue against him. The Northeast is a shadowy place full of people of shady values, the sort who don’t put their country first and sneer at people who do. They are perfectly happy to use a major American city (that would be San Francisco) as a bogeyman for scaring people into line. Can you imagine any Democrat, regardless of the electoral map, talking about Kansas or Oklahoma in such terms?

And then there is the unbelievable dishonesty and hypocrisy. The willingness to say anything, anything, they think will give them a rhetorical edge. From 2000-2006 the government was completely in the control of right-wing Republicans. But here comes Mitt Romney to tell us that the problem is that the government is still just too darned liberal. Rudy Giulliani thunders about the gall of people questioning whether a mother five can attend to her family adequately while running for President, despite representing a party that for years has been berating working mothers for shirking their responsibilities at home. Sarah Palin makes it her signature accomplishment that she stood up to Congress in opposing the “Bridge to Nowhere,” even though her version of events is entirely fictitious.

And let’s talk about Palin a little more. At the Democratic Convention, every major speaker praised John McCain for his military service and war record, and the audience cheered them for it. When Palin was introduced as the VP candidate she made a brief, favorable mention of Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton, and was booed for it by a significant fraction of her audience. She has not repeated that mistake since.

When it came to light that her seventeen year old daughter was pregnant, we were told we must respect her personal decision not to have an abortion. This from a candidate that wants to take that decision away from families and give it to the government, who represents a party that has spent years laying the ills of society on teen pregnancy, and who favors slashing virtually any social program that would make it easier for people not to have abortions. (Obama, of course, was quick to reply to all of this hypocrisy by informing everyone that families are off limits.)

The personality differences between the parties are not the only issue, of course. There is also the media, especially cable news, which is now completely corrupt, incompetent and just altogether worthless. You have to search long and hard to find any real journalists, but gossip columnists are now a dime a dozen. They rarely get even their basic facts right, but don’t bother pointing that out to them, because they don’t care. Pundits are allowed either to be fanatical right-wingers, milquetoast CW spewers, or stuttering buffoons who act like they have never been on televsion before. Every once in a while Keith Olbermann shows signs of intelligence, and maybe Rachel Maddow will be able to do something with her new show, but otherwise you’re out of luck.

Democrats are tempermentally unsuited to the kinds of crazed viciousness the Republicans attain as easily as breathing. But they also fear how they will be treated by the media if they go negative. They are right to be afraid. One of the reasons the swiftboating of John Kerry was so effective was that all of the cable news shows had them on night after night after night. Someone like Chris Matthews would look vaguely uncomfortable with the idea of attacking a war hero, especially when the specific accusations were a pack of lies from start to finish, but then he would have sage discussions with the swiftboaters several times a week.

But now suppose everything had been reversed. That the media was entirely in the hands of the Democrats, and it was the Republicans who nominated a war hero (as opposed to the draft dodger they actually did nominate). Do you think for one second any Democratic campaign would have gone along with anything like the swiftboat attacks? You know full well they would not have.

Now fast forward to today. A while back Wesley Clark made the entirely obvious point that having been a POW does not qualify you for the Presidency ( apoint graciously, and oddly, confirmed by Fred Thompson). For the next several days the chat shows were entirely devoted to the question of what kind of sick freak Clark would have to be to say such a thing.

And in all of this we should not leave out the role of the much heralded ordinary American. One reason the Republicans find such fertile ground for their shamelessness is that this is fundamentally a right-wing country. My liberal friends find it difficult to accept this, but to me it seems obviously true. Why do you suppose that Republicans trumpet their pro-life credentials, but Democrats try to change the subject when it comes to abortion? Why do Republicans run around bashing homosexuals, while Democrats quake in terror at the thought of having to say what they really think? Why do you suppose upwards of eighty percent of the country want to have some sort of creationism taught in science classes?

The answer is simple. It is that in each case the Republicans are defending the popular position.

How can it be that the race is neck and neck even though the Republicans have spent the last eight years lying us into a war they went on to prosecute with breathtaking incompetence? Presiding over the destruction of a major American city, thanks in large part to having gutted FEMA and installing a blatantly incompetent person as its leader? Pursuing cartoonishly unsound economic policies that have devastated millions of ordinary folks to the benefit of a handful of very wealthy people? Disgracing the country in the eyes of nearly every world leader, as we commit war crimes in Guantanamo Bay? Deregulating major industires, giving us the Enron scandal among other things? Standing in the way of stem cell research, and corrupting every government agency related to disseminating scientific information?

It is because despite that litany of failure, there is a huge segment of the country that likes the sorts of things Republicans do when given power. And another huge segment that can be persuaded that they like it. Republicans give people simple, brain-dead sound bites and lots of enemies to hate, and people lap it up. It’s the environmentalists who won’t let us drill and who have given us high gas prices. Islamic terrorists are coming for your family, and only the Republicans have the moxie to stop them. It’s liberals who are stopping common sense solutions to your problems. Liberals want to negotiate with evil. Republicans want to defeat it. Now go forth and hate who we tell you to hate.

It might, just might, be that this time things have gotten so bad that enough people will wake up and say, “We might as well at least try the other guy.” I’m not optimistic. That the Republicans are not currently polling at zero percent is enough to give anyone pause. The campaign is about to get going in earnest. The press has already written the story about how the newbie Palin bested the old veteran Biden in the debates. They can’t wait to tell us about how decisive McCain looks versus the nuance and wishy-washiness of Obama.

The Republican playbook has a long and solid track record. Are you really so confident it will fail this time out?

Comments

  1. #1 Blake Stacey
    September 4, 2008

    John Kerry was from Massachusetts. As far as Republicans were concerned, that was a legitimate issue against him. The Northeast is a shadowy place full of people of shady values

    Hey, even a stopped clock is right twice a day! :-)

    (Greetings from Boston, Mass., where it’s currently a balmy 302 kelvins in the twilight.)

  2. #2 Jason Rosenhouse
    September 4, 2008

    Thanks for the greetings. And my apologies for not having noticed sooner that you have joined the all-devouring SciBorg collective! Congratulations!

  3. #3 slpage
    September 4, 2008

    Now this is why I like reading your blog. You tell it exactly like it is. I am thoroughly disgusted – and a little bit scared, to be honest – how easy it is to sway huge chunks of our population with platitudes and gimmicks.

    Wave the flag and thump a bible and suddenly 10% of people who were not so sure about you are suddenly die hard supporters.

    My wife said something today, after hearing, of all things, NPR gush over Palin’s ‘stellar’ performance, that gave me chills – she said “If McCain wins, let’s move to Canada.” And she was NOT kidding. To be honest, I am seriously considering it – I live close enough that I could commute to my job every day, and my kids, well, grandma and grandpa would just have to come up to visit us. I know people who said such things after W ‘won’ the second time were considered ‘quitters’ and all that, but there comes a time when you have to realize that the game is simply too stacked for it to be fair. When the only real analysis you find anymore is on Comedy Central, and former Clinton supporters talk about voting for McCain out of spite, when a power-grubbing busybody can be elevated to a great political figure by virtue of spewing soome sound-bite laden pre-fabricated rheotric, then it seems to me that the time is right to re-evaluate the situation.

    I don’t want my kids getting drafted to fight George Bush’s Holy War brought to you by MKcCain/Palin…

  4. #4 E
    September 4, 2008

    You’ve summed up my feelings more eloquently than I could.
    My husband and I are both teachers – if McCain/Palin win, we might very well join slpage in Canada. Palin’s speech was about hatemongering, not about issues – and she didn’t really even touch on health care or education, two major issues for me. It made me physically ill to watch the frat boys in the audience yelling “Drill baby drill!” as if that’s a sound environmental / energy policy. There is no way I want my kids growing up under their reign. In fact, I made my first political contribution out of the anger and disgust I felt after last night’s speech.

  5. #5 Collin Brendemuehl
    September 4, 2008

    Jason,

    Your lack of objectivity is not surprizing. Patisanship is easy. Thinking, now that’s difficult.

    #1 Reframing having served one’s country in the military is quite convenient. Of course “qualification” it is not. But the mark of a committed citizen it is. It is something that none of the other 3 (Palin included) have done.

    #2 Who is O running against? Bush or McCain? Please keep the story straight. McCain is no social conservative. Even though we laud the pick of Palin we will not know for some time whether it reflects a willingness to serve the social conservative interest or whether it is just pandering. Time will tell.

    #3 The Katrina debacle was a combination of a slow LA governor and a slow FEMA. (Why do you think Louisiana switched this last election?) A mess all the way around. Partisanship is no solution to this problem.

    #4 Does love of country show itself in one’s residence? I doubt your wife would keep her word any more than Babs or the other Hollywierds who said the same.

    #5 Democrats are tempermentally unsuited to the kinds of crazed viciousness the Republicans attain as easily as breathing.
    Wow. Have you ever listened to Harry Reid? Or Jack Murtha condemning innocent troops (Haditha)? (You know, the Jack Murtha of ABSCAM — only not indicted because he wouldn’t take the money unless he could see their faces! Traitor!) Please.

    There are problems. But can you say “victory in Iraq”?

    Criticize your country when you sense the need — that can be valuable. But don’t join the denouncers.

    Collin

    BTW — I completely agree that the NewsTainment industry is nearly worthless.

  6. #6 llewelly
    September 4, 2008

    Blake Stacey:

    (Greetings from Boston, Mass., where it’s currently a balmy 302 kelvins in the twilight.)

    ‘Kelvins’? kelvins? Is that a Communist code word, or a Satanist slang word?

  7. #7 valhar2000
    September 4, 2008

    Well, I’ve said it many times before: only the utter destruction of the United States at the hands of these guys will finally open the eyes of americans to the truth they so want ignore. And it will not be a pleasant proccess.

  8. #8 llewelly
    September 4, 2008

    #2 Who is O running against? Bush or McCain?

    Eight years ago, McCain was a conservative, Bush was a NeoCon. Now the only difference is that Bush is constitutionally disqualified from running again.

    Please keep the story straight. McCain is no social conservative. Even though we laud the pick of Palin we will not know for some time whether it reflects a willingness to serve the social conservative interest or whether it is just pandering. Time will tell.

    McCain is a NeoCon. In his view, the social conservatives – like Palin – are tools. His every concession to them is an attempt to use them. But if you’ve been watching Dobson, you know the social conservatives view McCain as a tool.

  9. #9 TheDarwinReport
    September 4, 2008

    Well written. But when you say “this is fundamentally a right-wing country”, I think you are incorrect. Conservatives are more likely to participate in the political process than liberals and progressives.

    But all the major cities in America are basically bastions of liberalism. However, liberals are less homogeneous than conservatives, and they fight over a greater number of issues and concerns. The Republican party is about 80% white, and is good at rallying like… let us say Germans.

    California, for example, is essentially divided down the middle. Demographic maps show as population decreases so do liberal politics. Conservative control lies in farm country and suburbia.

    So, the conservatives, though smaller in number, possess the power to block progressive politics, not to initiate positive change. This is why they use negative attacks. They’ve got nothing else to offer.

  10. #10 llewelly
    September 4, 2008

    There are problems. But can you say “victory in Iraq”?

    2 million dead, unending lies, trillions of taxpayer dollars wasted, and you say “victory in Iraq”?
    A wrecking crew philosophy if there ever was one.

  11. #11 TheDarwinReport
    September 4, 2008

    Collin Brendemuehl:
    There are problems. But can you say “victory in Iraq”?

    The republicans say the word “victory” too easily and too often, without any sense of what it means. I think intelligent people realize that “victory” in Iraq has nothing at all to do with success in the war on terror. To equate the two, as McCain does, is sophomoric and just flag waving.

    In reality, a terrorist cell has the same basic requirements as a band of college students living in a dorm room. A nation’s infrastructure is not needed to plot destruction. They are mobile and are not bound by borders. This is why fossilized politicians left over from the Nixon era are impotent to help. Should I to trust a man like McCain who doesn’t even know how to use a computer? He’s so set in his conservative thinking, he’s irrelevant.

    A changing world requires a flexible leader, not one set in stone.

  12. #12 Matt Hussein Platte
    September 4, 2008

    Hey Collin, “partisanship” is not a synonym for Democratic Party, despite what your leaders would have you believe.

  13. #13 Collin Brendemuehl
    September 4, 2008

    I see the tinfoil hats have come out.

    llewelly:
    “2 million”? You used a whole roll of foil. And you might want to reconsider what your number choice implies. Leave the Soros numbers behind — they’re politically tainted. But if you must maintain them, then you have branded our soldiers the same as did Jack Murtha, John Kerry, and the rest of the “patriotic” Left — “baby killers”. Such a context is disgusting.

    Is McCain really a Neocon? I don’t know if he is or isn’t, but if you’ve got something on his alliance, then bring it out. I’m all ears. Or is this just the regular slur. (I’ve been called a Neocon pleanty despite the fact that I reject all the Socialists, from Hegel to Strauss.) It’s too easy to brand and not diagnose.

    I’ve not listened to Dobson for months now. (I prefer to read books.)

    TheDarwinReport:
    Spoken like one who intends to lose for political gain. Sheeple.

    ************

    Thought for the evening, from David Nilsen:

    Why is it that those who borrow 99% of their ideas from Plato, Augustine and Aquinas are “sheep”… while those who borrow 99% of their ideas from Nietzsche, Marx and Freud are “free thinkers”?

    http://ateam.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2008/5/4/3675007.html

    Enjoy,

    Collin

  14. #14 Pierce R. Butler
    September 4, 2008

    Rosenhouse: … this is fundamentally a right-wing country.

    What a curiously broad generalization from a mathematician.

    More accurately: the US has a right-wing plurality, led by a pluto/klepto-cracy adept at exploiting the levers of an outdated political structure which favors rural areas.

    Brendemuehl: Can you say victory in Iraq?

    Do you know that “Sieg Heil” is German for “Hail Victory”?

  15. #15 Robert O'Brien
    September 4, 2008

    2 million dead, unending lies, trillions of taxpayer dollars wasted, and you say ‘victory in Iraq’?
    A wrecking crew philosophy if there ever was one.

    Cough up the evidence for 2 million dead as a direct result of US military action, hayseed.

  16. #16 Robert O'Brien
    September 4, 2008

    Ever wonder why there is no liberal equivalent to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck?

    Pull the other leg, Jason.

    The Northeast is a shadowy place full of people of shady values, the sort who don’t put their country first and sneer at people who do.

    Yes, it is.

    They are perfectly happy to use a major American city (that would be San Francisco) as a bogeyman for scaring people into line.

    I cannot think of a city more richly deserving of criticism, and I grew up in the shadow of it.

    Can you imagine any Democrat, regardless of the electoral map, talking about Kansas or Oklahoma in such terms?

    You mean those bitter people with their guns and Bibles?

  17. #17 llewelly
    September 4, 2008

    My apologies. I had intended to type ’1 million’ (as of June 2007) , not ’2 million’.

  18. #18 darek
    September 4, 2008

    Collin,

    #1 But the mark of a committed citizen it is.

    One of many marks which can display the commitment of a citizen. I don’t find military service any more meaningful than community service. In fact, I personally find it more repulsive.

    #2 Who is O running against? Bush or McCain? Please keep the story straight. McCain is no social conservative.

    He isn’t? Or is he? His back-and-forth record in the past 8 years does not support your claim.

    #3 The Katrina debacle was a combination of a slow LA governor and a slow FEMA. (Why do you think Louisiana switched this last election?) A mess all the way around. Partisanship is no solution to this problem.

    Pointing out and reminding us who should take part in responsibility helps to provide a solution – even if its only to help avoid a repeat of history.

    #4 Does love of country show itself in one’s residence? I doubt your wife would keep her word any more than Babs or the other Hollywierds who said the same.

    Depending on where you live in the country, I think you’d be surprised to the answer of your question.

    #5 Wow. Have you ever listened to Harry Reid? Or Jack Murtha condemning innocent troops (Haditha)? (You know, the Jack Murtha of ABSCAM — only not indicted because he wouldn’t take the money unless he could see their faces! Traitor!) Please.

    Evidently partisanship is the solution to the problem when it suits your needs.

    There are problems. But can you say “victory in Iraq”?

    No, I can’t. And neither can you (at least with honesty).

  19. #19 I am so wise
    September 4, 2008

    America does not follow the ideas of Augustine and Aquinas both of whom, like OBL, thought violence against non-believers was okay. Anyway, given Augustine made up stuff like purgatory, it is probably for the best he’s ignored.

    America is also better for listening to Communist Manifesto and its call for the free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Republicans are huge fans of confiscating the wealth of rebels. They just call them drug dealers, criminals, and the like.

  20. #20 Blake Stacey
    September 5, 2008

    Jason Rosenhouse:

    And my apologies for not having noticed sooner that you have joined the all-devouring SciBorg collective!

    ‘s OK.

    I’m actually an invasive program designed to bring equation support and blank verse to the hive mind.

    Congratulations!

    Thank you.

  21. #21 Jim Harrison
    September 5, 2008

    A dilemma: if McCain accepts the Bush administration definition of torture, he should shut up about his treatment in Vietnam since it wasn’t torture by that definition.

    If McCain doesn’t accept the Bush definition of torture, will be commit himself to prosecuting the leaders of the former administration for war crimes and make sure they die in prison or at the end of a rope?

    I get a kick out of conservatives who think it is perfectly OK to torture people because we were attacked, but make a big deal out of McCain’s mistreatment. After all, I’m under the impression that McCain wasn’t dropping pamphlets or candy bars out of his plane before he was shot down. Let me be clear: I don’t think torture has a place anywhere or that there is any excuse for it. I’m just pointing out that once you excuse your own behavior, you automatically excuse everybody else’s.

  22. #22 TheDarwinReport
    September 5, 2008

    : Collin Brendemuehl TheDarwinReport:
    Spoken like one who intends to lose for political gain. Sheeple.

    Sorry, Collin Brendemuehl, I’m not so arrogant to think that my desire to win (or lose) a war will have any actual effect on the outcome. The American public’s “positive attitude” isn’t going to change anything, but election results.

    And you must think a lot of McCain. In your mind he’s already achieved victory. Americans (republicans in particular) have a great propensity for self-delusion. The Russians thought victory was right around the corner in Afghanistan. And I bet some of them are still thinking that. Only fools get bogged down in wars.

  23. #23 Der Bruno Stroszek
    September 5, 2008

    Robert, thanks for stopping by to confirm Jason’s characterisation of Republicans as mean-spirited, divisive, hate-filled people.

  24. #24 Valhar2000
    September 5, 2008

    Robert, thanks for stopping by to confirm Jason’s characterisation of Republicans as mean-spirited, divisive, hate-filled people.

    Yeah, Robert is exactly the kind of average american idiot voter I was talking about.

    Dark times await, Robert, and Jesus will not come down to save you from your mistakes.

  25. #25 Collin Brendemuehl
    September 5, 2008

    Matt Hussein Platte:
    You are, of course correct. But such a broad matter is not the narrower topic of this discussion (the R Convention).

    Pierce R. Butler:
    Branding those you diagree with as Nazis is not only shallow and childish, it shows that you have nothing to discuss.

    TheDarwinReport:
    The soldiers say that our support affects their morale. They say it, not us. It’s true in any military action.
    I’m mixed on McCain. From what I’ve seen, he’s not a Neocon but rather a pragmatic conservative after the Goldwater tradition. (Little to resemble Buckley conservatism about him.)
    Part of it depends upon how we define “victory” and how the end goals are managed. Establishing a Jeffersonian democracy is lunacy. But Lebanon works in its unique fashion, and so does Egypt.
    Russia (USSR) lost because the US fed arms to the Afghans, not so much because they were so tough. They’re flesh and blood just like us.

    I am so wise:
    There is more to Christianity than Augustine and Aquinas. Many evangelicals come out of the “anabaptist” tradition which gave us both Baptists and Mennonites. Hence we have a lot of mixes positions on both the war and patriotism. Check out Robert Wenger’s book “Social Thought in American Fundamentalism 1918-1933″ for a fascinating glimpse into the minds of fundamentalists (and liberals).
    When you appeal to Marx you give ammunition to conservatives and show that you know only a portion of the history of the era.

  26. #26 SLC
    September 5, 2008

    1. To get back the the subject of Prof. Rosenhouses’ entry which has been hijacked by nutcase moron Robert O”Brian and born again bigot Brendemuehl, the Rethuglican approach to campaigning by character assassination goes back to Richard Nixon. In every campaign that Mr. Nixon was a candidate, his opponent was inevitably smeared as a Communist, a dupe of the Communists, as soft on Communism, etc. In his first campaign for Congress in 1946, his ads stated that his opponent had voted some 300 plus times the same way as an alleged Communist sympathizer from New York, Congressman Vito Marcantonio, neglecting to add that in most of the votes, he was voting with the majority. In his 1950 campaign for the Senate, he smeared his opponent, a Ms. Helen Douglas by erroneously claiming that her husband, actor Melvyn Douglas, was a Communist sympathizer. In his 1962 campaign for Governor of California, bumper stickers were distributed with the question, is Brown pink, Edmond Brown being the incumbent California at the time? So there is nothing new here, that’s the way Rethuglicans win elections.

    2. It should be noticed that two of the notorious born agains who comment on this blog, Prof. David Heddle and Mr. Collin Brendemuehl, are enthusiastic supporters of the Rethuglican vice presidential nominee, Governor Palin. The reason, of course, is that, like them, she is a religious nutcase who favors a Christian theocracy to replace the current secular government of the US. The selection of Governor Palin should be the final straw of evidence that Senator McCain has capitulated completely to the born again bigoted bible back bastards of the Dominionist religious right who, if he is elected will be calling the shots. As Ed Brayton has said on several occasions in his blog, a President McCain will allow James Dobson to select his Supreme Court nominees.

  27. #27 Signout
    September 5, 2008

    Wow! Hey, Jason, a lot of crazy people read your blog! Did you know that already?

    Like you, the fact that this is even a contest occasionally makes me wonder if I really want to call myself American any more. I’m not sure. There are apparently a lot of folks here who vote for the people that play dirty, which means a substantial proportion of the electorate is either amoral or stupid. Also like you, I’m not optimistic about our chances at beating that back.

    By the way, when Obama talked about small-town America clinging to guns and religion, he was essentially talking about Kansas and Oklahoma, etc. Maybe if he’d been more specific, he would’ve been let off the hook.

  28. #28 heddle
    September 5, 2008

    SLC,

    It should be noticed that two of the notorious born agains who comment on this blog, Prof. David Heddle and Mr. Collin Brendemuehl, are enthusiastic supporters of the Rethuglican vice presidential nominee, Governor Palin. The reason, of course, is that, like them, she is a religious nutcase who favors a Christian theocracy to replace the current secular government of the US. The selection of Governor Palin should be the final straw of evidence that Senator McCain has capitulated completely to the born again bigoted bible back bastards of the Dominionist religious right who, if he is elected will be calling the shots.

    Oh noes, our secret plan be leaked! I thought all those anti-theonomy posts on my blog would give me cover, but your lidless eye all-seeing gaze saw right trough that ruse! I would try to deny it, but coming from such a voice of reason, what’s the point? Might as well come clean.

    Bad news Jason, that tenure won’t mean much when the JMU acronym remains, but the actual name is Jesus @ My University. At our recent dominionist star chamber meeting/cabal, Sarah Palin mentioned that was action was on our “first hundred hours” list, just after legalizing slavery and instituting public stoning for adultery, homosexuality, and looking vaguely Jewish.

    SLC I am beginning to think that you fancy me, dropping my name in so many of your comments!

  29. #29 SLC
    September 5, 2008

    Re Heddle

    1. I must say that Prof. Heddles’ lame attempt at sarcasm falls rather short of the mark. However, there is nothing humorous about the affection in the Dominionist community for Governor Palin, although to be fair, we haven’t heard yet from Mr. Jon S, perhaps because he tends to eschew political discussion in favor of discussions of the dietary habits of Tyrannosaurs and the perfection of the human spine.

    2. By the way, I find it interesting that Prof. Heddle has yet to comment on any thread about the interesting theories promulgated by Mr. Jon S, despite the fact that the good professor claims to be a scientist who rejects biblical literalism. Hell, even my former old earth creationist thesis adviser would have some fun with Mr. Jon S.

  30. #30 Bayesian Bouffant, FCD
    September 5, 2008

    John McCain wants to be the candidate of change, because 8 years of Republicans in the White House is enough.

  31. #31 Bayesian Bouffant, FCD
    September 5, 2008

    Who is O running against? Bush or McCain? Please keep the story straight. McCain is no social conservative.

    McCain has been pandering to the Religious Right for years in order to gain popularity among the Republican base. If you are pointing out that this is just pandering, and not a genuine change of opinion, I don’t see that working in his favor. The result will be the same: bad policy, and bad court appointments.

  32. #32 Kevin
    September 5, 2008

    “then you have branded our soldiers the same as did Jack Murtha, John Kerry, and the rest of the “patriotic” Left — “baby killers”. Such a context is disgusting.”

    so you are saying that no babies died in Iraq due to effects of our invasion? I think that first you can add thousands of dead babies to the list for disease brought on by US destruction of Iraqi water and electric infrastructure. Second, dropping 1,000 lb bomds into cities is a sure-fire way to kill lots of non-combatants.

    And just because the military protected its own does not mean that the soldiers did not actually kill all those women and children in Haditha. And Murtha’s comments (“There was no firefight, there was no IED (improvised explosive device) that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”) ARE most likely completely true.

    In this Bush administraion and military, there is no accountability and no penalty for screwing things up. Telling the truth and trying to do the right thing, that’s what gets you canned.

    and now McSame is going to give us the same crap to eat and tell us its the NEW IMPROVED SPECIAL CHOCOLATE custard.

    err… no thanks.

  33. #33 andrea
    September 5, 2008

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  34. #34 JimV
    September 5, 2008

    Just yesterday one of my nephews mentioned that a family that had been his neighbors recently moved to Canada because they didn’t like the way things are going here (in the U.S.A.). So it does happen. I’m not sure that will do a lot of good because of the way U.S. actions affect the rest of the world, and it is a couple less votes for change, but perhaps the schools will be better.

    I am old enough to remember (vaguely) Republicans like Eisenhower and Nelson Rockefeller – not bad, as politicians go. The current party seems to have decided to gather most of the irrational elements as its base. There’s something to be said for the simplicity of having a clear demarcation, but the problem is, there are so darn many of them, and it is so easy to get their votes.

    (Note to self: remember that there but for a few random genetic and developmental differences go I.)

  35. #35 Science Avenger
    September 5, 2008

    Maybe they should rename it the “Retool” party. Their defenders here merely prove the point: We have facts, they have speculation, we have elephants, they have mice. They treat them as equivalent. We know better.

  36. #36 Collin Brendemuehl
    September 5, 2008

    Kevin,
    You clearly don’t understand the content or history of that anti-American epithet.

    SLC,
    bigot Brendemuehl Statements like that create conservatives. Your intelligence is showing. (BTW, Darwin was the racist and the NT teaches ontological equality.)

  37. #37 KeithB
    September 5, 2008

    Jason wrote:
    “Ever wonder why there is no liberal equivalent to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck?”

    Randi Rhodes and Mike Malloy come close.

  38. #38 Palin=Cheney
    September 5, 2008

    It is remarkable, how they distanced themselves from Bush/Cheney. I wouldn’t be surprised if their pictures were removed from Republican Encyclopedia’s. How strange is it, when a Party Platform calls for reform of itself yet still blames the opposition party for all the problems created in Washington. These same clowns were cheering for Bush four years ago.

  39. #39 Caliban
    September 5, 2008

    Great post Jason! Not too many commenter’s can be both entertaining and depressing at the same time. :)

    I hope you’ll weigh in more often on politics.

  40. #40 rimpal
    September 5, 2008

    This election is over. Time to plan for 2012, and hope that the Dems learn from the mistakes they made this time. It is so interesting how many of my friends, Indian-Americans, predicted this way back about 2 years ago. Neither an African-American nor a woman from the Democratic party will ever be voted president. Witness the silly bickering that went on between Obama Dems and Hillary Dems. Would they have fought it out if they knew of the September surprise? What is Obama going to do after November 4th? Plan for governor of Illinois, plan his re-election to the Senate, or work as a community organiser while keeping his Senate role active? That will tell us a lot more about him than anything else. And that may well propel him into power in 2016 or 2020. Shows us how fragile issue as well as style based politics are for Dems, who must be incredibly fickle. I see worse happening in 2010 when whatever slender majority the Dems hold now is going to be blown out by the GOP’s fresh crop led by an energized Palin base. And this time expect the battle in the taken for granted blue states.

  41. #41 JimCH
    September 5, 2008

    Brendemuehl…

    bigot Brendemuehl Statements like that create conservatives.

    If that is all it took to make you a conservative then it really doesn’t say much about the foundation of your convictions.

    Darwin was the racist

    If true … so what?

    The Katrina debacle was a combination of a slow LA governor and a slow FEMA. (Why do you think Louisiana switched this last election?) A mess all the way around. Partisanship is no solution to this problem.

    The Katrina debacle was only possible due to the steady infrastructure erosion from decades of federal neglect. Constant cut-backs in social spending means dike systems will not be maintained, resulting in tropical storm winds (not hurricane winds, even) collapsing a struggling system. Then, it can be claimed that privatization would do a better job & “presto”, a conservative agenda is swept in by taking advantage of an opportunity created by … well, doing nothing (literally). So, excuse me Collin, but it is a partisan issue.

    heddle…
    Are you mocking the idea that the Dominionists seek to have their ideas implemented by the highest political powers? Or, are you just mocking the idea that you’re a part of it?

  42. #42 Robert O'Brien
    September 5, 2008

    Maybe they should rename it the “Retool” party. Their defenders here merely prove the point: We have facts, they have speculation, we have elephants, they have mice. They treat them as equivalent. We know better.

    Like I said on PT, stick to your actuarial tables, bubba.

  43. #43 Robert O'Brien
    September 5, 2008

    To get back the the subject of Prof. Rosenhouses’ entry which has been hijacked by nutcase moron Robert O”Brian[sic]…

    Said the dimbulb who claimed Heisenberg was an atheist.

  44. #44 Barry
    September 5, 2008

    Rosenhouse ’08!

  45. #45 SLC
    September 5, 2008

    Re Robert O’Brien

    Fucktard O’Brien has yet to provide a source for his claim that Heisenberg was not an atheist or an agnostic. Put up or shut up asshole.

    Re Collin Brendemuehl

    Mr. Jim CH is, of course, quite correct that Darwins’ alleged racism is totally irrelevant to the truth or falsity of the theory of evolution, just as Johannes Starks’ antisemitism is irrelevant to whether the Stark effect exists and William Shockleys’ racism is irrelevant to his invention of the transistor. As I have pointed out to Mr. Brendemuehl on several occasions, Darwins’ racial views were actually quite liberal for the times (virtually the entire scientific community considered blacks to be genetically inferior to Caucasions in terms of intelligence at that time; by the way, so did Thomas Jefferson). Of course, if Mr. Brendemuehl wants to make an ass of himself, he can continue to post such stupid comments.

    Re llewelly

    Actually, I have to agree with Mr. Brendemuehl that Senator McCain is probably personally not really a social conservative. He is just pandering to the born agains who have hijacked the Rethuglican party. The addition of Governor Palin to the ticket is just part of the pandering as his preferred choices, Senator Lieberman and former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge would have been an anathema to the born agains because of their pro choice records.

  46. #46 darek
    September 5, 2008

    NT teaches ontological equality

    Only in ones (in this case yours) imagination.

    To polarize the Bible with Darwin to try and make a point in your favor demonstrates the exact kind of divisiveness you disparaged with reference to politics. Try encouraging standards, not double standards.

  47. #47 Robert O'Brien
    September 5, 2008

    Fucktard O’Brien has yet to provide a source for his claim that Heisenberg was not an atheist or an agnostic. Put up or shut up asshole.

    I already provided evidence of his theism. The message was queued because it contained several links and subsequently disappeared. You can take that up with Jason.

    Now, in addition to clinging to your false claim re: Heisenberg, you further demonstrate your lack of native intelligence in using the insipid term “Rethuglican.” At this point, we have more than enough evidence of your low-grade intelligence; there is no need to beat it into the ground.

  48. #48 SLC
    September 5, 2008

    Re Robert O’Brien

    My information relative to Heisenberg comes from an individual who worked with him during his declining years and who informed me that he had no religious convictions. I suggest that Mr. O’Brien supply one link which will not require moderation. I suppose it is possible that he had such convictions in his earlier years and, like Charles Darwin, lost those convictions as he grew older.

    As to Mr. O’Briens’ claim to having intelligence, I remind the readers that Ed Brayton has an award called the Robert O’Brien award for the dumbest item of the month. Mr. O’Brien is a man who lacks sufficient intelligence to grab his hindquarters with both hands.

  49. #49 Collin Brendemuehl
    September 5, 2008

    Derek:
    NT teaches ontological equality
    Only in ones (in this case yours) imagination.
    Wow. Someone who has never studied the NT or the history of theology.

    SLC,
    If Nazi though can be attached to me by inference then racism can be attached to the evolutionist by the same method. Unless one is willing to retract that method …
    (but I won’t hold my breath)

    Alleged racism? Have you even read Darwin? He speaks for himself quite well.

  50. #50 Science Avenger
    September 5, 2008

    “Like I said on PT, stick to your actuarial tables, bubba.”

    So you are able to display your lack of knowledge in two places at once. [shrug] I guess that’d make you bi-ignorant.

  51. #51 darek
    September 6, 2008

    Wow. Someone who has never studied the NT or the history of theology.

    I see. Whoever disagrees with your assumptions simply must be unknowable in what you advise. I am educated in theology. I remain un-impressed.

    Point me to someone or something within theology that delivers an impact with reality. I’ll even give you the chance to name anyone from the past or present. Do tell – what theology or theologian should I be humble to?

    Also, I am to assume you concede your hypocrisy. No surprise.

    Also, the name is darek, not Derek. Surely, someone as smart as you (in that you indicate the lack of intelligence of others) would at least get that much right…

  52. #52 heddle
    September 6, 2008

    JimCH

    heddle…
    Are you mocking the idea that the Dominionists seek to have their ideas implemented by the highest political powers? Or, are you just mocking the idea that you’re a part of it?

    First of all, Palin doesn’t have the pedigree to be a true dominionist. They are, almost to the man, from the Reformed (usually Presbyeterian) school, and almost uniformly postmillennial in their eschatology. They are not fundamentalists or Pentecostals. The latter typically have a “Left Behind” dispensational pre-millennial eschatology which, if you apply just a moment’s analysis, is incompatible with dominionism.

    I know, because I came to faith in Reformed Presby postmillennial circles, and am friends with some hardcore dominionists, acolytes of the leaders of the movement, Rushdoony, Gary North, etc. Believe me, Sarah Plain need not apply. Huckabee need not apply. These people are all highly intelectual in their theology and devoted to making a biblical case for the restoration of Mosaic law. Another common thread besides Reformed, postmillennial theology is a tendency toward patriarchicalism. Again, Palin’s lifestyle would be anathema. Think Puritans in the true sense, not just the common meaning.

    The word dominionist, like many others, has been deluded from overuse. When applied to someone from the classic religious right–say someone who is opposed to gay marriage and wants to overturn Roe V. Wade–now that might be a reasonable description of Palin, you are taking a term that used to apply to at most a few or maybe ten thousand, (and shrinking) and reapplying it to millions.

    Calling Palin a dominionist is like calling Obama a Marxist.

  53. #53 SLC
    September 6, 2008

    Re Collin Brandemuehl

    Mr. Brandemuehl still has yet to inform us what Darwins’ alleged racism has to do with his theory of evolution. If we can claim that the theory of evolution is incorrect because Darwin was a racist, then we can also claim that the Stark Effect doesn’t exist because Stark was an antisemite and that transistors don’t exist because Shockley was a racist. As a matter of fact, we can claim that the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle must be wrong because Heisenberg, although not a member of the Nazi party, collaborated with the Hitler regime. We could claim that the von Weizsäcker theory of planetary formation must be wrong because he collaborated with the Hitler regime. We could claim that the Newtonian laws of motion and the inverse square law of gravity were wrong because Newton was a misanthrope, a virulent anti-catholic and generally an extremely unpleasant man who feuded with virtually all of his contemporaries. We could also claim that the entire Protestant Religion must be wrong because Martin Luther was a virulent antisemite.

    I don’t think that Mr. Brendemuehl really believes we should evaluate scientific or philosophical ideas based on the personalities of their discoverers.

  54. #54 JimCH
    September 6, 2008

    Heddle…
    Thanks for the education in contemporary christian esoterica. But, if you’re going to admonish someone for using terms in an evolved watered-down state then I think you’ll agree that using terms like “liberal” & “conservative” in a political context becomes murky. My only point here is if you want a term to be taken in some purest-only acceptable form then mocking its use in another context doesn’t carry much load for clarification. By the way, I couldn’t care less that you mocked something, it just didn’t clarify anything for me.

  55. #55 slpage
    September 6, 2008

    Hi Collin,

    Are you suggesting that you think as opposed to engaging in partisanship?

    That Palin or the flag waving phonies at the RNC “think” about anything other than grabbing ‘power’?

    Did you serve in the military Mr.Victory in Iraq? Or are you comforatble sitting back while Blue States send more young people per capita than Red Ones to die for Bush’s oil war?

  56. #56 slpage
    September 6, 2008

    SLC:
    \
    Collin doesn’t understand science much at all.

    Sure, like most anti-evolutionists, he has convinced himself that he does, but when you get him to move beyond ‘Darwin was a racist’ you see that his grasp is on par with the typical 5th grader.

    See this for example.

  57. #57 Robert O'Brien
    September 6, 2008

    Collin doesn’t understand science much at all.

    Sure, like most anti-evolutionists, he has convinced himself that he does, but when you get him to move beyond ‘Darwin was a racist’ you see that his grasp is on par with the typical 5th grader.

    If that is true (I don’t know enough about him to say either way), then he would know as much about science as this low-rent buffoon knows about McCain and piloting.

  58. #58 Jon S
    September 6, 2008

    SLC says “…we haven’t heard yet from Mr. Jon S, perhaps because he tends to eschew political discussion in favor of discussions of the dietary habits of Tyrannosaurs and the perfection of the human spine.”

    True, I tend to stay away from the political discussions since that would take up wayyyyy to much of my time and would get me fired up more than usual. I usually just roll my eyes and walk away from those discussions. But I’ll make an exception since you’re stalking me again and solicited my opinion. I found almost no truth in the entire post… mostly hypocrisy, double standards and distortion. Where to begin??? I’ll just say that even though McCain was my last choice among Republican candidates, I’ll hold my nose and vote for him because, even though I don’t agree with him on certain topics, he’s much better than the alternative. Oboma is a joke, and I’d hate to see him get elected and destroy the country, which I’m confident he’d do. I could go on all day after reading such a typical, incredibly slanted, left-wing, psychobable post… but I’ll stop there before I say something too inciteful. Thanks for thinking of me SLC.

  59. #59 KAS
    September 6, 2008

    Thank you for your post, It is in angst that I watch the progression of this fight for our country’s greater good. Palin is such a crock and it is so blatent for me up in the NE – but, is it that I lack some understanding that the rest of the county has — or is it the better educated and more open minded individuals up here that leads to a more progressive understanding? hmmm. I wonder.

    Is it not the south that displays the confederate, i.e. slavery flag? Is it not the middle America that lacks in educational conquests? Is it not the south and middle America that is most blinded by religion?

    KAS

    My response to a blog post on a recent poll at http://scienceblogs.com/corpuscallosum/2008/09/majority_opinion_churches_shou.php#comments about the support of religion and politics entwined.

    Would it be fitting to say ‘thank god’!

    I absolutely agree. I have become far more engrossed in politics as I age; and this has got to be the biggest, most detrimental infringement on this country’s ability to succeed in all our history. There is not separation of church and state as was blatantly relevant in the ‘do you believe in god strong enough’ interview we saw both candidate’s go through a month or so back. It’s disgusting. Ignorant religious followers that believe religion is the sole source of ethics are so unbelievably off point that it has just become an example of how far humanity has not come. Everyone should be able to believe what they want, but the imbuement of religion on government, infringes upon my right in believing otherwise. And I, I assure you, am not the antichrist. I have better morals than most, am kind and more generous than most, served my country and know quite clearly the difference between right and wrong. I also am one of those rare breads that are not naturally selfish and I partake in selflessness organically and sometimes self detrimentally. The government enacts laws to govern individual ethics (abortion, same sex marriage, marijuana usage) and it is sad. Very sad… The government enacts laws to take from the people, lock them away unsparingly, murder unjustly their own condemned, spy on their own citizens through the patriot act and various branches and take far more funds to operate an obscenely large government than is ever healthy for a balance of power. This country is not in the power of the people, no matter how much the words are said, the actions show clearly otherwise.

    A country that was established on the basis of freedom has little left to show for it. This miniscule change for the better is like a far away beacon, a glimmer, through the fog and mist of the open sea. That lighthouse glimmer that is not hope, desire or a dream… it’s a blinking nugget of knowledge. Progression of the organism that is society will take many, many years. I can only hope to be around for a year in which I truly feel I live in a country that I agree is governed correctly, and is reflective of the minds eye of the average individual. This is when the glimmer will instead become and illuminated society that has experienced a psychological progression; which will be for the better of our society as a whole, while also opening up additional doors in our mind that will lead to understandings beyond our current comprehension.

    We must remember that we are the same exact people as the people that murder our cousins, gorilla’s and chimpanzee’s, for a delicacy or for ritual. We are the same exact people that have constructed the rationale of the slaughterers in Darfur. The same minds that we share are terrorists and leaders of human atrocities and the concentration camps. Our ability to progress is in what we share, information. If the information is bad, so are we.

    To progress, we as a society must make the best choices for all. Not the best choices for I.

    Repeating the past, with new players, is not change. Steps are small, but we must have the insight to know which way those steps are leading. Obama for president!

    KAS

  60. #60 KAS
    September 6, 2008

    p.s. I am a vet. Does that qualify me? I was sick in his repetitive discussion of his service. It’s honorable in a military or civilian light; but has nothing to do with this job. If anything, a person who was tortured is someone with an engrained vendetta and an unstable psychological standing.

    KAS

  61. #61 bobyu
    September 6, 2008

    KAS:
    A person who was tortured can be destroyed by it, or improved in ways no other experience can grant. There is something to be said about courage and honor being qualities that most engender trust.
    We can trust McCain to be a warrior. Unfortunately, we can also trust him to utilize the services of dangerous tools like Palin to win the battle.

    We don’t know if we can trust Obama, but he talks a hell of a good game. But if he were a glib white lawyer, all else being equal, would you trust that he will even try to do the job as promised? After all, his professions of religious belief are even stronger than McCain’s in many ways. And we pretty much sense that neither man believes all that much in other than himself. So courage of convictions may be wanting on both sides.

    And is Palin, dumb as she appears to be, any more dangerous than Biden, who has the buffoonery position pretty well nailed?
    It’s a crap-shoot, baby. Democracy always is.

  62. #62 Jim Harrison
    September 7, 2008

    One reason for keeping McCain out of the presidency is that the man actually buys into the stab in the back theory of why we lost in Vietnam. While Johnson and Nixon were perfectly clear from the get go that the Vietnamese War was a losing proposition, McCain, who simply is not very bright, never realized that we could only prevail in Southeast Asia if we were willing to turn the place into a howling wilderness. You sometimes encounter armchair general types who think that this conclusion is leftist ideology, but it is really cold-headed Real Politik. It’s objectively true and not a matter of anybody’s values. There are simply limits to power in a situation where the outcome of a war is always going to be more important to the locals than it is to the invaders, who will never be able to summon up the requisite political will to prevail because the game really isn’t worth it to them. I suppose if I had been tortured for five years, I’d want to get even too, but we’d have to be nuts to put a guy with this chip on his shoulder near the levers of power.

    I grew up in a right wing household and endlessly heard the brainless slogan “there is no substitute for victory.” People like McCain buy into this playing with tin-soldiers notion of strategy to this day. They never recognize that the point of military action is not victory, but the safety, well-being, and prosperity of your country. Buying into chest thumping machismo results in winning battles and losing wars, which is what happened to Napoleon, the Kaiser, and us in Vietnam. It may be a deadly mistake to give the reigns of power over to a military moron like McCain, who, unlike Nixon, for example, doesn’t realize that you’re not supposed to believe your own patriotic nonsense.

  63. #63 slpage
    September 7, 2008

    Hi Robert,

    What an honor – to be dinged by so ‘famous’ an internet personality!

    You write:
    “If that is true (I don’t know enough about him to say either way), then he would know as much about science as this low-rent buffoon knows about McCain and piloting.”

    Please tell me what was wrong, Mr.O’Brien, such that I will never say anything incorrect about ex-POW, war hero, TRUE American John McCain ever again.

    Was it that he finished 5th from the bottom of his class? Can’t be, I’ve seen the documentation and he has never denied it.

    That he was granted special favors because of who is (or who his father was, to be more specific)? Well, he did seem to stay at the academy despite having excessive demerits and breaking rules, and he did get into pilot school which I understand is typically reserved for those who finish in the TOP 10 percent of their graduating class, but I admit that I don’t have the specifics. Was that it Mr. O?

    That he was a mediocre pilot? Well, I based that on the fact that he lost 5 planes. Is that not correct Mr. O?
    And that was while only flying 23 combat missions, bombing civilians and the like I suppose. Contrast that to disgraced left-wing wimp, John Glenn, who flew 59 combat missions, but that was WWII. Oh, and then there were the 63 he flew in Korea. I could find no information on him having lost any aircraft during his much, much longer career than McCains – but if he had been a real man, a real hero, he would have lost a dozen, right Mr.O?

    So what did I miss? Was it just my opinion that being a POW doesn’t automatically qualify one to be president? If that were so, there are hundreds of men more qualified than McCain. Of course, while McCain was a POW, he wasn’t tortured – not according to that great man in the White House, nope – that was the equivalnet of Frat pranks (ala Limbaugh and Scalia).

    But please, Mr. O, please tell me what I got wrong.

    Thanks,

    Your humble servant,

    slpage

  64. #64 KAS
    September 7, 2008

    slpage,

    Good points! Just one thing — Women are also allowed in the military now ;)

    KAS

  65. #65 Robert O'Brien
    September 7, 2008

    I suggest that Mr. O’Brien supply one link which will not require moderation.

    SLC,

    See the latest post on my blog, which can be accessed by clicking on my name.

  66. #66 SLC
    September 7, 2008

    Re Robert O’Brien

    Fucktard O’Brien refers to Mr. Brayton as a college dropout. Well, one William Gates IV and one Michael Dell are also college dropouts so I guess that means they are failures. Also, one Ted Waitt never went to college at all. But of course, Mr. O’Brien is a schmuck.

  67. #67 Bayesian Bouffant, FCD
    September 7, 2008

    And is Palin, dumb as she appears to be…

    She doesn’t appear to be dumb to me, who is saying that she appears so? She is undeniably ignorant about American history, per her statements on the Pledge of Allegiance and the founding fathers. She is obviously hypocritical on the topic of earmarks and pork barrel spending. she has a clear theocratical bent, look up her early attempts at book-banning. She appears willing to distort facts on all manner of relevant topics, such as civil rights. But dumb? No.

  68. #68 Bayesian Bouffant, FCD
    September 7, 2008

    The Katrina debacle was a combination of a slow LA governor and a slow FEMA.

    What a short-sighted view. The potential for flooding in New Orleans was well-known years before Katrina hit. Here’s a Scientific American article from 2001:

    Drowning New Orleans
    A major hurricane could swamp New Orleans under 20 feet of water, killing thousands. Human activities along the Mississippi River have dramatically increased the risk, and now only massive reengineering of southeastern Louisiana can save the city
    By Mark Fischetti

    FEMA was only involved in after-the-fact rescue and recovery efforts.

  69. #69 bobyu
    September 7, 2008

    Cleverness is what the dumb use as a substitute for rational analysis. It’s especially applicable in appealing to the emotions of the great unwashed.

  70. #70 Collin Brendemuehl
    September 8, 2008

    SLC & slpage,
    I never suggested that you or the movement is racist because of Darwin’s clear racism. Instead I suggested that, if one can paint me a Nazi by some distorted association, then your side, for the sake of consistency, must accept the same logic in return. Specifically, if it can be maintained that I am (somehow) a Nazi then you are, by that same virtue, a racist. The fact is that these don’t rightly apply to either of us. The shallow reasoning is the real issue that I addressed. (Not bad for someone who doen’t know anything.)

    SLC,
    That was early in my reading and questions still remain.
    http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com/2008/08/evolution-questions-part-3.html

    I also have some real problems with McCain’s Teddy Roosevelt approach.
    http://evangelicalperspective.blogspot.com/2008/09/mccains-convention-speech-turn-back-to.html
    My politic is driven by my theology, not the other way around.

  71. #71 Collin Brendemuehl
    September 8, 2008

    SLC & slpage,
    I never suggested that you or the movement is racist because of Darwin’s clear racism. Instead I suggested that, if one can paint me a Nazi by some distorted association, then your side, for the sake of consistency, must accept the same logic in return. Specifically, if it can be maintained that I am (somehow) a Nazi then you are, by that same virtue, a racist. The fact is that these don’t rightly apply to either of us. The shallow reasoning is the real issue that I addressed. (Not bad for someone who doen’t know anything.)
    SLC,
    That was early in my reading. Questions still remain.
    Post: /2008/08/evolution-questions-part-3.html

    I also have some real problems with McCain’s Teddy Roosevelt approach.
    Post: /2008/09/mccains-convention-speech-turn-back-to.html
    My politic is driven by my theology, not the other way around. That is not partisan. It is also not necessarily theocratic except to the paranoid.

  72. #72 Robert O'Brien
    September 8, 2008

    That he was a mediocre pilot? Well, I based that on the fact that he lost 5 planes. Is that not correct Mr. O?

    No, it is not.

    http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/did_mccain_crash_five_planes.html

    Now, don’t you feel like an ass?

  73. #73 SLC
    September 8, 2008

    Re Collin Brandemuehl

    Actually, Mr. Brandemuehls’ claim that Darwin was a racist is based on statement he made relative to favored races. The problem is that 19th century naturalists used the term race as todays’ biologists use the term subspecies. Or more precisely, as todays’ geneticists use the term alleles. Thus, where 19th century naturalists would say that certain races are favored, todays’ evolutionary biologists would say that certain alleles are favored. The term as used in the 19th century had nothing to do with the different races of humans.

  74. #74 Collin Brendemuehl
    September 8, 2008

    SLC,

    First, I’ve some distant cousins who spell the name with the ‘a’. One of my Grandfather’s siblings wanted to separate from the rest, and the rest of history.

    It appears you misrepresent (by oversimplification) Darwin’s statements. Exposing your error would be a trivial matter, but the thread is getting lengthy. Yet at the same time you have not addressed the rash classification done by those on your side. Stop the Nazi name-calling. That’s nothing unreasonable to ask. After all, your side is supposed to be expressing a higher intelligence.

    Enjoy.

  75. #75 Jim Harrison
    September 9, 2008

    I guess people who insist on calling Darwin a racist have never read his biography. Mr. Brendemuehl seems to be particularly ignorant on this score, or he would have realized that Darwin and his extended family were vehemently anti-slavery. In fact, Darwin’s grandfather Josiah Wedgewood was a major player in the campaign for abolition, and Darwin almost got thrown off the Beagle for attacking the institution of slavery, an opinion that upset the very Tory captain of the ship. If you want an example of a serious racist from Darwin’s era, you need look no further than Louis Agassiz, the famous anti-evolutionists and ID theorist, who maintained that Negroes weren’t even human.

  76. #76 Collin Brendemuehl
    September 9, 2008

    Jim,
    You don’t suppose that some who were anti-slavery would still not see blacks as equals? Please.
    As he said:
    “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla.”

    Encouraging extermination is hardly equality.

    Yes, there are racists everywhere.

    But I still wonder — did you miss the point that I was making about illogic of assigning these associations?

  77. #77 SLC
    September 9, 2008

    Re Collin Brendemuehl

    Mr. Brendemuehl quotes a phrase from a biography of Charles Darwin. There are at least a dozen such biographies. Supply a reference (i.e. author and title) and page number. I am always suspicious of such quotes which may be taken out of context and quote mined.

    However, if we are going to discuss Charles Darwins’ racism, let us also discuss Martin Luthers’ racism. Luther, the father of the Protestant Reformation, was the second most virulent anti-semite in the history of the world, surpassed only by Adolf Hitler. I assume that Mr. Brendemuehl is not a Roman Catholic and thus probably belongs to one of the many Protestant sects, all of which owe their existence to Luther. So the founder of Mr. Brendemuehls’ religion is a far bigger racist then Charles Darwin.

    If Mr. Brendemuehl wishes to dispute this characterization of Martin Luther, several of his writings on the subject are to be found on the Internet and I will gladly supply them.

  78. #78 Jim Harrison
    September 9, 2008

    The quoted paragraph is part of a technical discussion of why related organisms often seem so distinct. The point is that if the great apes go extinct, the gap between the men and our nearest primate relatives will look even larger than it does at present, especially if the non-civilized people are also gone. Darwin is not recommending anybody’s extermination. He actively opposed mistreating native people everywhere his whole life long. He did think that various native people would probably be driven to extinction, but he wasn’t happy about it.

    Quote mining only works on people without genuine historical knowledge. Perhaps you are just just playing to the cheap seats. If not, you really ought to examine Darwin’s outlook on life and his political tendencies before you cite the same paragraph out of context for the zillionth time. Darwin was a highly moral English Liberal who was always highly critical of the way that Europeans treated non-Europeans. Like essentially everybody in his world, he assumed that Europeans were more advanced than other peoples. He would have been extraordinarily eccentric of him to think otherwise.

    Darwin simply did not encourage extermination. It is the sheerest libel to suggest that he did.

    Once again, read Janet Browne or Desmond/Moore’s biography of Darwin. Among other things, you will find that a propensity to racism didn’t match up very well with agreement with Darwin. For every racist Darwinist like Haeckel, there was an equally racist non-Darwinist like Agassiz. For that matter, you can’t even match up racism with opinions on the then vexed question of whether negroes were in the same species with white men. The non-racist Darwin certainly believed that we were all in the same species, Haeckel and Agassiz though we weren’t, but the father of modern racism, Gobineau, never denied the biological unity of the human race.

  79. #79 SLC
    September 9, 2008

    Re Jim Harrison

    Thanks for putting Mr. Brendemuehls’ quotation in context. As I suspected, it is just another example of quote mining that creationist liars like to engage in.

  80. #80 rhythmz
    September 9, 2008

    The fool or is it tool – Mr. Collin Brendemuehl – is schooled.

  81. #81 JimCH
    September 9, 2008

    Oh, Brendemuehl will be back. First, he must go over to AIG for his talking points.

  82. #82 386sx
    September 9, 2008

    Darwin simply did not encourage extermination. It is the sheerest libel to suggest that he did.

    I wonder if there are any other books that encouraged extermination and even drowning everybody on the planet, and frowned upon mixing of the chosen people with other races. I can’t really think of any. I don’t know.

  83. #83 Collin Brendemuehl
    September 10, 2008

    JimCH,
    Why do you think I am YEC (the position of AIG)? (Accepting some form of Special Creation does not require 6Ky / YEC creationism.) I’ve not said anything to indicate that. You must be one of those evolutionist liars. ;-)

    SLC,
    The quote is from Descent of Man by Charles Darwin. Chapter 6. I thought you were evolved enough to Intelligently Design your arguments. Na. You, also, appear to be one of those evolutionist liars. ;-)

    The extent that some will reach in their support of (a clearly inconsistent) racist is amazing. Truly amazing.

    So the question must be approached: Is your propensity to lie determined by a material universe in which you have no choice but to lie, or did the two of you choose this course of action?

  84. #84 JimCH
    September 10, 2008

    No, not a lie, just misinformed about the details of your life. I thought I recalled that from a previous post. So, you’re not a YEC. Ok, good to know.
    As for the rest of your comment, you’ve demonstrated astounding skill for avoidance. “Lies”?…your world view is based on lies. Strange accusation coming from you.

  85. #85 SLC
    September 10, 2008

    Re Collin Brendemuehl

    Notice how Mr. Brendemuehl is reluctant to address himself to Martin Luther, a far more egregious racist then Darwin. From this, we can only assume that Mr. Brendemuehls views are not at variance with those of Martin Luther but he doesn’t want to admit it.

  86. #86 Collin Brendemuehl
    September 10, 2008

    SLC,
    Wow. Conviction by silence. What a punk.
    Why ould you choose live by such shallow assumptions …

    JimCH,
    And what do you know of my world view?
    Those are quite well-evolved mind-reading skills.
    You must write a paper on the subject.

  87. #87 SLC
    September 10, 2008

    Re Collin Brendemuehl

    Once again, Mr. Brendemuehl declines to discuss the racism of the founder of Protestant churches, Martin Luther. The only conclusion one can draw from his failure is that either he agrees with Martin Luther, which he only peripherally denies in his last comment or he is too embarrassed by Luthers’ racism to respond. Come on Mr. Brendemuehl, several individuals have responded to the Darwin was a racist charge. Time for you to respond to the Martin Luther was a racist charge. Make it or get off the pot.